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December 2016
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Sunday, 04 December 2016

Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya says agriculture is the commercially untapped jewel of Fiji as the sector is brimming with opportunities. Koya says that in Fiji there are acres of arable land that can either be used for commercial agro-farming or organic farming in niche markets. The Minister says the prospects are enormous and the latest sectoral investment data suggests that a number of foreign have realized this and are seizing the opportunity. He adds the government has a vision to harness Fiji’s potential in the area of organic farming given Fiji’s environment, ideal climate and fertile volcanic soil.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Vanuatu hosted its first ever Agritourism Festival from 9-11th November at the Agriculture Complex- Tagabe, in the capital city of Port Vila. Agriculture and food production are critical to Vanuatu’s prosperity and welfare: for food security and job creation. Given that animal, vegetable and other food products equate to over 82% of the island’s economy, Vanuatu boasts rich agricultural resources. Yet, the country is still heavily reliant on imports, which in 2011 amounted to over 280 million USD (more than four times the amount of exports). Vanuatu, like many other Pacific Island nations, relies on cheap, calorific and low nutritional food imports from the USA and Australasia.

Major NGOs gave a guarded welcome today (22 November) to a major once-in-a-decade, overhaul of the EU’s thinking on development. The Commission – fronted in a Strasbourg press conference, in a sign of the weight it gives the issue, by foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans and Development Commissioner Neven Mimica – unveiled a trilogy of papers setting out the future of development and aid spending between now and 2030.

Yesterday, the European Commission launched a policy package that maps EU current actions and commitments to achieve the UN 2030 Agenda and lays down the future direction for the EU development cooperation and relations with Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries. The Fair Trade movement welcomes the recognition by the EU of the “strong contribution” of Fair Trade to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and looks forward to work with the EC to upgrade the EU answer to the global goals. Yesterday, the European Commission announced its new strategic approach for achieving sustainable development in the EU and globally.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Today, the European Commission is setting out a strategic approach for achieving sustainable development in Europe and around the world. A first Communication on the next steps for a sustainable European future explains how the Commission's 10 political priorities contribute to implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and how the EU will meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the future. A second Communication on a new European Consensus on Development proposes a shared vision and framework for development cooperation for the EU and its Member States, aligned with the 2030 Agenda.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) will fund two projects in eastern Sudan aimed at improving water, sanitation and hygiene services in Kassala state, and in treating and preventing malnutrition in Red Sea state. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports in its latest weekly bulletin that the two projects will cost €1.3 million (about $1.45 million) in total. In Kassala State, the €800,000 ($891,000) one-year project will address the severe need for water and waste management services. It will be implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The creation of jobs, strengthening private sector engagement, mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change and strengthened human rights and gender empowerment are a few of the impacts targeted through the new EU Pacific Regional Programme (RIP) under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) for which the European Union makes available €166 million. Beneficiaries are the 15 Pacific Island Countries which have signed up to the Cotonou Partnership Agreement between the European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Germany urged other developed countries on Friday to support a plan it is finalising to bolster the economies of Africa, create jobs and slow the flow of migrants from the continent to Europe. Chancellor Angela Merkel and her officials, anxious to stop growing numbers of migrants risking their lives crossing the Mediterranean Sea, are pushing for increased public and private investment in Africa. Development Minister Gerd Mueller said Germany would in coming weeks release details of what he called a new "Marshall Plan with Africa" - drawing a direct parallel with the huge U.S. investment programme that kick-started the ravaged German economy after World War Two.

The Federal Government of Nigeria has been called upon to adopt the Netherland’s agricultural model to increase its food security. Marc van der Sterren, Managing Director/CEO Farming Africa, made the call in Lagos at a workshop on ‘Sustainable Agriculture under Economic Recession.’ Van der Sterrn said “I would appeal to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, in the biggest African country, who is not only the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, but also a farmer, to focus on the empowerment of smallholder family farmers by providing them access to independent information, knowledge and education.”

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

UNCTAD is set to support Central African countries cut the costs of their cross-border trade, after signing a three-year €380,000 ($420,000) deal with the European Union in Brussels on Friday. The grant enables UNCTAD to help countries comply with various trade regulations, including the Trade Facilitation Agreement, a World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement, that will streamline import, export and transit procedures between the WTO’s 162 members. The agreement could increase the value of global merchandise exports by up to $1 trillion a year, according to the WTO.

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