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Rural development

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

August 2018
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Friday, 17 August 2018

The EU has supported turning fish waste into value-added locally produced organic fertilizer in Fiji. Entrepreneur and Chairman of the Fiji Organic Association (FOA) Donald Pickering received technical and financial support via the EU Agricultural Commodity Trade (EUACT) programme.Mr. pickering said that the unrefined fish waste soil enhancer “can help overcome serious soil deficiency issue (…) As well as delivering the desired results, farmers find our liquid product easier to apply than traditional fertilizers."

Thursday, 05 November 2015

On 26th October, the European Commission’s External Action Infopoint held a session with the French Centre of Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD) on the subject of ‘Aflatoxin contamination in food and feed’. The Platform for African European Partnership on Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD) presented the work it does to support research between a wide range of organisations in Africa and Europe. The  conference detailed the devastating impacts that poor crop food management (development of mycotoxins such as aflatoxin) has on nutrition and health of women and children, and the reduced income consequences for farmers. Here is the policy brief and here is the presentation.

During a recent trip to southern Africa, CIRAD President Michel Eddi signed four general cooperation agreements involving a regional organization, CCARDESA, and four universities in South Africa and Zimbabwe. CIRAD is keen to strengthen its links with its partners in the region. To this end, the hundred or so researchers it has in the zone will be working with five platforms in partnership. The aim is to foster interactions between those platforms, open them up on a regional level and build new scientific links between Réunion, Madagascar and southern Africa.

The Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA) has launched a 4.5 euro multi-year project in Uganda, which shall benefit more than 350,000 smallholder farmers using satellite data to improve production and marketing of three value chains-maize, soya beans and simsim. Designed as a demand driven, market led, user owned ICT4Ag Enabled Information service (MUIIS), the program seeks to strengthen information and communication technologies (ICT) and knowledge management capacities of grass root farmers through providing satellite based timely accurate information on crop management in central eastern, northern and western Uganda.

Neven Mimica gave the opening speech at the "Building an emerging Mali" conference organised by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris. The Conference follows up on the international donor conference on Mali held in May 2013, and the signature of the Peace and Reconciliation Accord of June 2015 in Mali. This peace accord was instrumental in forging a long-term strategic dialogue between the Malian government and its partners and marked a turning point towards stability and the improvement of living conditions of the people in Mali. The conference will aim in particular at providing a platform for the Malian government to present the immediate steps it is taking to implement the Accord.

The European Union (EU) is a strong supporter for Agriculture development in Fiji and around the Pacific. In first ever debate on organic and conventional farming methods in University of the South Pacific, the EU Ambassador for the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs said organic farmers and associations should not only engage with private sector but also with public sector and respond to the for organic food in hospitals, schools or for public functions. He underlined that the European Union spends more money on agriculture than other sectors and funds have been under constant reform since in the 1970s. Jacobs says the EU is seeking to open up commercial opportunities and should exist not only in the private sector but in the public sector as well.

While organic farming has a role to play in the new Common Agricultural Policy, an EU spokesperson said that it cannot address the perplexing issue of food security. The new Horizon 2020 Work Programme for 2016-17 will provide €33 million for organic farming and €174 million organic agriculture projects. However, critics suggest that there is little research funding for GMOs, due to the huge public opposition in Europe. In Italy, GMO research has not been allowed for over 10 years, according to the Public Research and Regulation Initiative (PRRI), a worldwide initiative of public sector scientists active in modern biotechnology research.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

The successful journey of the Oromia Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union (OCFCU) took centre stage at the EXPO conference on ‘Agribusiness investments in partnership with farmers' organisations in ACP countries’. The union spearheaded the sustainable development of smallholder coffee farming in Ethiopia since 1999 and has since become an example of best practice. The case can be used to  inform and inspire farmers, marketers, development workers and investment bodies throughout the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions.

Friday, 23 October 2015

The Brussels Briefing on ‘Women entrepreneurs – key players in ACP agribusiness development’ took place on Thursday 17 September 2015 at the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) Secretariat. Five women: three from sub-Saharan Africa, one from the Caribbean and one from the Pacific region, gave fascinating accounts of starting and managing agribusinesses. They talked about the factors that had driven their success and the challenges they face. Read the stories: Lovin Kobusingye, Kati Farms, Uganda; Simone Zoundi, Sodepal, Burkina Faso; Alberta Vitale, Women in Business Inc., Samoa;Rosemund Benn, Pomeroon Women’s Agro-Processor Association, Guyana; and Tepsy Ntseoane, Eve’s Eden, South Africa.

On 8th October, artisanal fisher folk from the Indian Ocean region officially decided to create a federation for artisanal fisheries in order to assure sustainable and responsible development in the region. Wallace Cosgrow, Minister of Fish and Agriculture from the republic of Seychelles underscored the importance of the agreement in order to create better comprehension of the sector between key regional actors. This in turn will lead to better dialogue and harness their ability to speak with one voice and defend common interests. Comoros Islands, Seychelles. Madagascar, Mauritius and Reunion Island are all part of the new federation. The Headquarters is in the Reunion Island and Seychelles holds the presidency.