February 2016
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 Video guest: Erich Schaitza



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Thursday, 11 February 2016

Nineteen French companies are expected to hit the shores of Nigeria for an agricultural trade expo to drive the nation's agricultural sector and also build relationships to boost Nigeria's non-oil export trade. Organisers of the fair, Promosalons Nigeria, said the fair tagged: "SPACE 2015", scheduled to hold from the 28th to 30th April 2015, at the Landmark Convention Centre Lagos, will attract key stakeholders in the agriculture, livestock, food, beverage, packaging technology and the hospitality industry. Managing Director, Promosalons Nigeria, Mr. Akin Akinbola said: "This is a great opportunity for Nigerian Companies in this Industry to secure business partnerships with visiting French companies, as participants will be able to build relationships and contacts with a view to increasing their international trade."

Wednesday, 06 May 2015

Doing Development Differently is a global initiative designed to facilitate a dynamic conversation about ways to achieve greater development impact. The project recognises that global development community is getting better with development approaches, sharing results and lessons, and collaborating on different  development initiatives. Yet, it also recognises that many initiatives still fail to address the complexity of development challenges to contribute to real and tangible impact. Some of the key issues going forward include: i) DDD is not for everyone and everything, but targets gaps in the development experience; ii)  DDD will continue to collaborate and share experiences; iii) real experience — rather than studies or theory — is the best guide to DDD; iv) DDD demands working with and through many different actors.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Philippe Van Damme, head of EU delegation to Zimbabwe announced that the Eu shall give an additional €1 million for the Regional Integration Support Programme, specifically targeting sanitary and phytosanitary measures. Speaking at the inaugural of Zimbabwe-EU Business Information Centre (Zim-Ebic, Van Damme explained, “The complementary 4,2 million euros Regional Integration Support Programme managed by Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa [Comesa] is coming upstream and shortly we will sign an additional 1 million euros with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and ITC to focus on sanitary and phytosanitary measures.”

Top agricultural development scholar, Sir Gordan Conway recently made three bold recommendations for Africa leaders to tackle hunger on the continent. Speaking at the “Closing the Gender Gap in Farming Under Climate Change” conference sponsored by a coalition of groups spearheaded byCGIAR, an international consortium of agricultural research organizations, Sir Conway made the following recommendations:, i) learn how to better deliver their messages to stakeholders and the general public; ii) shed some institutional ego to create more effective partnerships in the field, and iii) rethink the role of gender in rural development.


Thursday, 23 April 2015

Despite having committed to the Maputo Declaration, which calls for the allocation of 10% of the total national budget to the agricultural sector, the Ugandan government plans to cut the budget in the sector in the financial year 2015/2016. and the reaction from civil activists has been swift and critical. They say productivity will continue to suffer. The proposed cuts to the agriculture budget are expected to be: Ush18.4 billion ($6.2 million) from Ush473.7 billion ($160million) in 2014/2015 to Ush454.886 billion ($153 million). Fears are that productivity would suffer and youth would be discouraged from entering the farming profession.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

In response to the EU removal on the cap on sugar production in the EU, the Lib Dem Fairtrade Future (LDFF)  group has launched the Help Sugar Farmers, to support effort from the Fairtrade Foundation (the governing body of Fairtrade in the UK). In their view, this is important to to get a fair deal for sugar farmers in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, as a first step to mitigate the potential of around 200,000 people being pushed into poverty.The cap on the amount of sugar grown in Europe previously helped to protect the livelihoods of sugar farmers (including around 60,000 who are part of the Fairtrade initiative).

Friday, 17 April 2015

NGO Fern revealed that the European Union is responsible for a quarter of products connected to illegal deforestation. The EU is one of the largest importers of products resulting from illegal deforestation. In 2012 imported €6bn of soy, beef, leather and palm oil which were grown or reared on land illegally cleared of forests in the tropics - almost a quarter of the total world trade, according to Fern’s report. For example, in Papua New Guinea, which is one of the world's largest exporters of tropical timber, it was found that approximately 90% of forest clearance licenses were obtained through fraud.

Connected agriculture was addressed at the 8th Forum for Agriculture in Brussels, held in Brussels on 31 March. Agriculture is one ofthe most inefficient parts of our economic value chain today, according to Jeremy Rifkin, an American social theorist, and global warming is expected to modify the water cycles of the earth, wreaking havoc for farmers and driving up food prices. Agriculture is responsible for one third of global warming emissions; consequently it needs to be addressed as a matter of priority. Nonetheless, technology offers an opportunity to address these challenges by transforming the food production system “from farm to retail”.

7 April was the World Health Day and European Commissioner for Health & Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, and European Commissioner for International Cooperation & Development , Neven Mimica, took this opportunity to emphasize the importance of food safety, malnutrition, and fighting health threats both in the Union and in developing countries. The EU leads the way in promoting the development of internationally agreed standards in food safety and health protection in international trade and cooperation agreements. The European Union needs to ensure that people living in developing countries have enough to eat and sufficient nutrients for their proper development.

Written by James O'Brien on 8 April 2015 in News

The abolition of milk quotas in the EU means the removal of the system put in place to prevent the overproduction of milk. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, as a response to the so-called 'milk lakes' and 'butter mountains', European Council agreed to a Commission proposal to introduce cow's milk quotas, after which a levy was paid. While it was initially intended to last five years upon entry into force in 1984, the system is still in place today but soon coming to an end.