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EDITO
Friday, 23 June 2017

With nearly 4 million people estimated unable to meet their food needs, South Sudan is on the brink of famine.  As the situation in South Sudan worsens and aid delivery is increasingly challenging, the European Commission has released €20 million in new humanitarian assistance for the country. Food insecurity is at emergency levels. An estimated 40 000 people will face famine if aid is not provided urgently, especially in southern Unity State. The country's health system is also in a critical condition with ongoing measles and malaria outbreaks. "The suffering of the people of South Sudan is beyond imagination.

Crop production prospects in Southern Africa have been weakened by the El Niño weather phenomenon that has lowered rains and increased temperatures, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said. A reduced agricultural output would follow on last year's disappointing season, which has already contributed to higher food prices and "could acutely impact the food security situation in 2016," according to a special alert released on Dec. 22 by FAO's Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS).

As the proverb says, bread is the staff of life, the southern African country Mozambique knows it well. Four years ago, Rudy Manuel, a Mozambican youth, could not imagine that his father's farm, located in Xai-Xai district in Mozambique's southern province of Gaza, can reach a yield of up to 4,8 tonnes of grain per hectare. Before cooperating with China WanBao Co., Ltd. in 2011, Manuel's 42-hectare farm only had the capacity of producing an average of 1,5 tonnes of grain per hectare. It is not an exception in Mozambique, which possesses large alluvial plains as arable land, but is still plagued by a food deficit of nearly 300 000 tonnes of grain, constrained by its primitive farming techniques.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The Federal Republic of Germany last week announced a donation of €16.5 million (about $18 million) to support refugees in East Africa. Tanzania is of recent host to several thousand displaced people  from Burundi. “We welcome the generous contribution of the German Government and people; their consistent support for UNHCR, in this case funds for the operation in Tanzania and two other countries which have received Burundian refugees will definitely help to fill some of the large gaps in the response to our on-going appeal,” Joyce Mends-Cole, the UNHCR Representative in Tanzania said. Of this, €14 million ($15 million) will go to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to provide food assistance to both Burundian and Congolese refugees in Tanzania.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

An El Niño-related drought and frost have triggered severe food and water shortages in Papua New Guinea's highlands, prompting the European Commission to more than double its assistance to the Pacific island nation. The warming of the Pacific Ocean due to the El Nino weather system is causing drought and other extreme weather, affecting millions of people across parts of the world. Prime Minister Peter O'Neill in August said El Niño may bring on the worst drought in 20 years in Papua New Guinea, which is home to more than 7 million people who mostly rely on their own crops for food.

Monday, 11 January 2016

A special alert issued by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warns that food security could be acutely affected in southern Africa in the year ahead. The UN agency’s Global Information and Early Warning System said on Tuesday that agricultural prospects in southern Africa were weakened by the El Niño weather phenomenon that has seen a widespread drought in southern Africa and higher temperatures. Reduced farm output would follow last year’s disappointing season, which has already raised food prices and could acutely affect the food security situation in 2016, the alert said.

Thursday, 07 January 2016

A new report issued by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says that Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries are making good strides in their global targets in reducing hunger and under-nutrition. The FAO’s “The State of Food Insecurity in the CARICOM Caribbean 2015″ report, released this week, showed that the number of undernourished persons in the Caribbean declined from 8.1 million in 1990-92, to 7.5 million in 2014-16. The reduction represents a 7.2 percent decrease, from 27 percent to 19.2 percent.

Wednesday, 06 January 2016

The European Union has announced a contribution of €125 million to finance emergency actions in countries affected by the extreme weather phenomenon ‘El Niño’ in Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America. The current El Niño is expected to be the strongest on record, surpassing the 1997/1998 El Niño. The support, €119 million of which comes from the European Development Fund reserves, and a further €6 million from the humanitarian budget, will contribute to the joint effort of bringing life-saving emergency assistance and increasing resilience in the affected countries.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Global food and nutrition security (FNS), the overarching theme of the EXPO Milan 2015, remains high on the policy agenda. Still there is a growing difficulty for scientists and policy makers to keep up with the expanding volume of information about the challenge of meeting human food and nutritional needs while preserving natural resources. A 2-day event organised by the European Commission with the European Association of Agricultural Economists (EAAE) and the International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium (IATRC) at the margins of the EXPO Milan 2015, gathered high level speakers from academia, major international organisations and governments to provide a closer look at the various dimensions of food security.

Tuesday, 01 December 2015

Aflatoxin contamination is a growing threat to trade, food and health security in sub-Saharan Africa, where smallholder farmers are challenged by food production and now climate change, researchers said. Aflatoxins are toxic and cancer causing poisons produced by certain green mould fungus that naturally occurs in the soil. The poisons have become a serious contaminant of staple foods in sub-Saharan Africa including maize, cassava, sorghum, yam, rice, groundnut and cashews.