Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

May 2017
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Friday, 26 May 2017

North Eastern Kenya was one of the regions in the country that experienced perennial drought. One proactive and sustainable option for insulating the region and indeed, the entire country, against the negative effects of drought is through large-scale investment in desert agriculture. With the availability of labour and a virgin territory five times the size of Rwanda, there is no better place to experiment with desert agriculture. Some of the farm produce harvested locally already signifies the great potential for agriculture in the region.They include lemons, bananas, watermelons, pawpaws, mangoes, tomatoes, kales, onions, cassava and millet.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Only 100,000 hectares of arable land, out of Angola’s 5 million hectares, are annually prepared using machinery and/or animal traction for sowing and harvesting agricultural products, the agriculture minister said on Thursday in Luanda. Minister Marcos Nhunga also said that the rest of the available land is still tilled using hoes, which is worrying and reveals the low level of agricultural mechanisation in Angola.

The coconut is undoubtedly the most important tree in the Pacific. Over the past few decades the economic significance of this important tree to the Pacific has been subject to major international shifts. With funding from the European Union, the Pacific community has recently launched a new project entitled “Coconut Industry Development for the Pacific Project” or CIDP which aims to better position Pacific Island nations to take advantage of these opportunities.PIFON is proud to announce that it has recently signed a contract to support the CIDP over the next 16 months. Through its network, PIFON will be providing a range of expertise to CIDP to carry out market studies and value chain analysis for a range of coconut products from the region.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) released its annual report showcasing the 110-fold increase in adoption rate of biotech crops globally in just 21 years of commercialization – growing from 1.7 million hectares in 1996 to 185.1 million hectares (457.4 million acres) in 2016. ISAAA’s report, “Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2016,” continues to demonstrate the long-standing benefits of biotech crops for farmers in developing and industrialized countries, as well as consumer benefits of recently approved and commercialized varieties.

The ministry of Trade together with TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) are in advanced stages of developing a strategy to improve trade across borders. The proposed strategy lays out planned interventions and priorities that will eliminate some of the challenges faced by women and informal traders. Addressing the participants during a stakeholders' meeting to review the strategy held in Kampala last week, Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde said government is going to coordinate different stakeholders in different ministries charged with trade facilitation. "The strategy has also been developed and approved and we are now going to present to Cabinet. We are giving it less than a month. We are also going to ensure that they work on infrastructure and also approve the National Export Development Strategy which comprises all these projects," she said.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The latest rankings in the 2017 Index of Economic Freedom by The Heritage Foundation shows people living in countries with low trade barriers are better off View west near Piggs Peak in SwazilandSwaziland receives more than 90 per cent of its imports from South Africa. (Image source: Michael Denne/Commons) Swaziland ranked top of all African countries as having the highest level of free trade, according to the 2017 Index of Economic Freedom. The country, known as one of the world’s last remaining absolute monarchies, scored 88.9, followed closely by Mauritius with 88.7. Swaziland’s economy is closely linked to the South African economy from which it receives more than 90 per cent of its imports and to which it sends 60 per cent of its exports: sugar, wood pulp, cotton, beef and soft drink concentrates.

Thursday, 04 May 2017

Vegetable seed specialist Hazera has announced that it has opted to support agricultural development in Africa, providing high quality seeds and expertise to support people improving their living conditions. Hazera utlined several examples of where it has made a difference on the continetn. In Ethiopia, a development project that began with the adoption of one village is expanding now to 13 additional villages, while another project is supported in Holeta, where the Roseland foundation is developing the community through education and agriculture. More broadly, Hazera is training farmers all over Africa and is introducing vegetable varieties that can bring African farms to healthy profit.

Wednesday, 03 May 2017

Zimbabwe expects to receive 80 centre pivots worth over $6 million from Spain to aid irrigation under Command Agriculture, as Government moves to adopt new technologies and strengthen infrastructural development in support of the successful import-substitution programme. Negotiations are under way for another facility worth $60 million for bigger equipment from the same country, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made said yesterday. The 80 centre pivots will come in batches of 20 and the first batch has now been prepared for shipment, with installation of the units expected to start next month. The centre pivots will range in size from those which can irrigate 20 hectares to those for 80 hectares.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

The Gambia and the European Union on Wednesday handed over their funded women’s garden project in Kumbaney village, Niamina West in the Central River Region. The project, which cost two million dalasi, was part of EU project to promote women’s socio-economic rights. The 2 hectare site was fenced and housed a shed, 2 toilets and has 8 concrete lined wells. Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Pansaw Nyassi, Project Manager at Actionaid International-The Gambia, explained that they conducted various assessments across a number of villages in the district and Kumnaney merited its naming as beneficiary of the project. He said, apart from the garden project, they have also supported the women of the region with poultry and tie and dye projects.

The European Union has allocated €53 million (Shs202.9 billion) towards easing trade transaction in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern African (Comesa) bloc where Uganda is a member. The money is part of the 11th European Development Fund's €85 million (Shs325.5 billion) support for Comesa regional integration programmes. Comesa Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya at a recent regional meeting of member states held in Lusaka Zambia, to validate the identified projects, said: "The overarching goal of the trade facilitation programme is to make trade transactions easier, quicker, more efficient and less costly, thereby enhancing trade flows in the identified transport corridors." The funding expected to increase intra-regional trade flows of goods, persons and services by reducing the costs/delays of imports/exports at specific border posts.

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