Following the successful hosting of a two-day Regional Workshop on “Repositioning the Coconut Industry within nine Caribbean countries for resuscitation and sustainable development”, four Agencies (European Union, International Trade Centre, CARIFORUM and CARDI) have all committed to ‘resuscitating the tree of life’ in the Caribbean. Setting the tone for the Workshop was CARDI’s Executive Director, Dr. Arlington Chesney who noted that, “Sessions of this nature allow for funding agencies, strategic partners, research specialists and stakeholders to collaborate on the priority areas, such as the development of the coconut industry for agriculture development in the Region.
On 2 December 2014, in Bobo-Dioulasso, the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Craft Trades, Bernard Zougouri, launched the project activities to support the marketing of dried mango and cashew nuts processed in Burkina Faso. The ultimate aim of this three-year project is to increase export earnings and the income of operators in these two sectors. The project to support the marketing of dried mango and processed cashew nuts is costing 1.6 billion CFA francs, spread over three years. The project will be implemented by the national unit for the implementation of the Enhanced Integrated Framework, in cooperation with the Dutch Development Agency (SNV).
The 16th annual congress of the Association Nkoul-Bebend, held last weekend in Abong-Mbang, ended with several strong declarations. Within the next few days, a community radio station, built with funding from the French Development Agency (AFD) and with the assistance of the National Programme for Participatory Development (PNDP), will broadcast live from Atok. In collaboration with the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, Abong-Mbang will soon house a multipurpose community tele-centre. Participants in this assembly also learnt that a section of the association is in the process of being set up in France.
With 520,000 tonnes of cocoa processed this year, Côte d'Ivoire ranks just behind the world’s largest processor, the Netherlands. The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) expects the West-African country to top the rankings next year. The world’s largest producer of cocoa – 1,741,000 tonnes during the 2013–2014 season – Côte d'Ivoire also wants to become the world’s largest processor of “brown gold” (grinding and manufacture of cocoa butter).
Barbados is getting some help in developing its Black Belly sheep industry and putting its herbs, spices and condiments business on a better commercial scale. The assistance is coming through an Agriculture Policy Programme (APP) financed under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), which is the main instrument for European Union aid for development cooperation with the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of countries. During the launch of the Barbados part of the region-wide programme, project spokeswoman Ena Harvey of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture said Barbados would be helped to significantly increase its Black Belly sheep population. She also said emphasis would be placed on the genetic side, on registration and management of the stock. Under the EDF, about $21.3 million will be available for projects in 15 regional countries over four years.
On Tuesday 09th December, the European Commission DG DevCo InfoPoint hosted the launch of the book, ‘Public Procurement Reforms in Africa’. Mr. Jose Correia Nunes, Head of Unit DG DevCo 03, Budget Support and Public Finance Management introduced the authors Prof. Claude Menard (Economics Department, Sorbonne), Ms Christine Léon de Mariz (consultant, former Senior Economist at World Bank) and Bernard Abeillé (consultant, formerly World Bank). Prof. Menard and Ms. Léon de Mariz presented their book focusing on the institutional reforms and changes that are taken at the government level.
Vanuatu’s Foreign Minister Hon. Sato Kilman signed the National Indicative Programme for his country with European Development Commissioner Mr. Neven Mimica today, in the margins of the ACP Ministerial Committee on Development Finance. According to the agreement, EUR 31.3 million from the 11th European Development Fund will be made available for the period 2014-2020, an increase of 35% from the previous cycle.
In contrast with their counterparts in the global north and Asia, many farmers in sub-Saharan Africa rely on manure rather than chemical fertilisers. But the organic alternative cannot meet the demand. In Europe, organic farming makes up only 5.4% of all agricultural land, according to Eurostat. Food and Agriculture Organisation data shows that, globally, less than 1% of agricultural land is farmed using organic methods. Organic fertiliser can help freshen up Africa’s ailing, rusty-red soils, but there is not enough land available to produce manure in sufficient quantities, says Professor Ken Giller, a soil scientist at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
On Thursday 4th December, the European Commission’s DG DevCo Info Point organised a lunchtime conference to present the work of the European Union-African Union research programme to increase food production in irrigated farming systems in Africa (EAU4Food). Mr. Massimo Burino, the Project Officer for the Use of Natural Resources for Crop Production in DG RTD welcomed Mr. Jochen Froebrich, the EAU4Food Project Coordinator, who presented the result of his work with Dr. Philippe Ker Rault, Researcher on water management at Wageningen University. Mr. Efstathios Dalamangas, Team leader for Water, Energy and Infrastructures in DevCO(C5) presented the work of the Commission in this area.
On 02nd December 2014, the European Commission’s DG DevCo Info Point organised a lunchtime conference to present the new INFORM – Index for Risk Management New tool for shared risk analysis – platform. Ms. Denisa-Elena Ionete, Head of Unit of DevCo (07) Fragility and Crisis Management opened the conference highlighting the importance of INFORM, as the first global tool for managing and identifying risk. Ms. Julia Stewart-David Deputy Head of Unit of ECHO (A3) Policy and Implementation Frameworks and Ms. Hana Kolic Policy officer, ECHO (A3) co-presented the INFORM system.