Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

June 2017
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EDITO
Friday, 23 June 2017

On Tuesday, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, outlined a new tomato policy, conceived in collaboration with the federal ministry of agriculture, which he said will create 60,000 jobs in the country. The new policy is expected to increase domestic production and processing of fresh tomatoes in order to reduce post-harvest losses. This policy will “stop the importation of tomatoes, preserved or otherwise by vinegar or acetic acid; increase the tariff on tomato concentrate to 50% with an additional levy of $1,500/MT…, accelerate the growth of the manufacturing industry and deepen diversification,” he said

With over 1.2m sq km of land, South Africa comprises Mediterranean, subtropical and semi-desert regions, producing everything from deciduous, citrus and subtropical fruit to grain, wool, cut flowers, livestock and game. Its farm holdings range in size from the vast fields of the Eastern Cape to subsistence-based production in deep, rural parts. When things become quiet around the Irish countryside, South Africa's counter-seasonality offers agritech and farm-machinery producers an additional southern hemisphere market to provide a counterbalance to the end of a busy period back at home.

The Government of Liberia has signed a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the European Union to boost and strengthen the country's forestry sector. The agreement was signed by Ambassador Tina Intelmann, Head of the European Union delegation and Sister Mary Laurene Browne, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Forestry Development Authority during a press conference at the Monrovia City hall on Friday, April 7, 2017. The Voluntary Partnership Agreement aims to improve forest governance, address illegal logging and promote trade in verified legal timber products from Liberia to the European Union. Speaking at the press conference, Ambassador Intelmann said the European Union has played an enormous role in helping Liberia to build the forestry sector, adding that it is time for the country to take a complete control of its forest and begin to fund it.

To satisfy competition concerns, DuPont will its swap crop protection R&D assets for FMC’s nutrition business The European commission has conditionally approved the mega-merger of Dow and DuPont, though DuPont has been told to sell off its pesticides business to avoid competition concerns. Scientist examines oilseed rape (canola) trials Source: © iStock Despite DuPont being compelled to sell off significant parts of its crop protection research, the merger could still give rise to US competition concerns in crops like oilseed rape The commission worried that the merger would reduce competition on price and choice for existing pesticides and retard innovation. Just three other companies are globally active throughout the entire R&D process, from discovery to sales – BASF, Bayer, Syngenta.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

On 20 March, the Government of Ireland announced a contribution of €3 million to the UN Humanitarian Pooled Fund in Sudan. The funding ($3.3 million) to the Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SHF) will be used to provide life-saving assistance through UN and NGO partners, based on the needs of vulnerable people facing conflict, forced to leave their homes, and with insufficient food to feed their families, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan reports in its latest weekly bulletin.

Wednesday, 05 April 2017

Despite international efforts to address food insecurity, around 108 million people in the world were severely food insecure in 2016, a dramatic increase compared with 80 million in 2015, according to a new global report on food crises released in Brussels today.The report, whose compilation required integrating several measurement methodologies, represents a new and politically innovative collaboration between the European Union and USAID, regional food security institutions together with UN agencies including the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and Unicef. The dramatic increase reflects the trouble people have in producing and accessing food due to conflict, record-high food prices in local markets and extreme weather conditions such drought and erratic rainfall caused by El Niño.

Professor Alastair Sutton, a former European adviser to the Crown Dependencies, recently warned the House of Lords of a EU “blacklisting” of the Crown Dependencies’ financial sectors as part of a drive to deal with tax havens.He told the committee the EU was undertaking a “so-called blacklisting process where serious damage to the economies of Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man… could be done if the EU blacklist these territories despite the fact that they have ticked all the boxes internationally in the OECD for compliance with tax, anti-money laundering legislation and financial regulation”.

A continued disagreement among governments over who should chair the WTO’s farm trade negotiations overshadowed talks in the global trade body’s regular committee on agriculture this week, sources said

At the launch of the Global Report on Food Crises 2017, Daniel Gustafson, the Deputy Director General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, warned that 108 million people are in “food crisis” around the world. Daniel Gustavson joined the FAO in 1994, serving in Africa and South Asia. Before assuming his present role, he was the director of the organisation’s Liaison Office for the US and Canada. Gustavson spoke with EURACTIV.com Development Correspondent Matthew Tempest. The message of today’s report seemed to be summed up in the words that ‘famine is back’, especially looking at South Sudan, Somalia and north-east Nigeria.

Monday, 03 April 2017

Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica announced today additional EU support to respond to the crises in South Sudan, Somalia and its neighbouring countries, during an official visit to the African Union. On the occasion of an official visit to the African Union in Addis Ababa, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica, announced a support package of €165 million to address the multiple crises in the Horn of Africa region. Commissioner Mimica said: "The sooner we act, the more lives we can save. This package of €165 million will support the urgent needs of South Sudanese people in the country and the region but also the millions of people at risk of famine in the Horn of Africa. With this additional support, the EU shows the way to other members of the international community to also respond urgently."