Four African countries-Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Tanzania shall receive a $3.3 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates (BMGF) and the German Development Cooperation (BMZ), under the Competitive African Rice Initiative (CARI) project. 120,000 small scale rice producers, rural service providers and rice millers shall be targeted to improve sourcing capacity of quality supply up until 2017. Nigeria and the West African sub-region imports close to 50 percent of rice, approximately N1 billion daily. 40 per cent of rice supply comes from Thailand and Vietnam, who are top suppliers of the commodity to the region.
A factory with capacity to process 1,000 tons of beans per year is due to be operating within a few months. The initiative of Sociedade Malonda aims to motivate farmers to increase their production areas and support the sale of beans produced in Niassa. New machines were bought in Japan and China, and staff shall be trained to work with them. The beans processed in the factory will be exported to Portugal and Spain, after Sociedade Malonda reached an agreement with importers from those countries who participated in the 2014 Maputo International Fair. Portugal and Spain will be the factory’s first export markets.
The European Union will provide 15 million euros for a rural development project in Guinea-Bissau. Victor Madeira dos Santos, Head of the EU delegation in Guinea-Bissau said, “The approach focuses on good governance and promotion of the country’s agricultural potential, socio-economic development and food sovereignty.” The project is part of the EU-Active European initiative, which will target three main areas: development of regional agricultural plans, repairing pathways (which may also improve access to health services) and increasing the population’s knowledge. The project shall be completed over 48 months, in the regions of Quinara, Tombali and Bafatá.
During this "Green Week" 2015 in Berlin, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan presented a new publication outlining the compatibility of CAP and the EU’s development objectives. The report notes that ensuring that development and agricultural policy evolves together is key, especially as there have been many successful agreements of EPAs, and agriculture is central to the EPAs. This is therefore in line with the EU's commitment to policy coherence for development (PCD).
The European Union has given US$4 million of fund to a three-year project researching the use of roots, tubers and bananas (RTBs) and technologies to reduce postharvest losses in Uganda. Four RTBs — cassava, sweet potatoes, cooking bananas and Irish potatoes — have been targeted. Unlike Asia, in Africa, RTBs have not realized their full potential according to experts. Moses Matovu, a research scientist at the National Agricultural Research Organisation in Uganda, notes that farmers and retailers marketing perishable fresh cassava roots are constrained by a very short marketing period of 48 hours, and have to contend with economic losses of up to 90 per cent of the initial value.
In Kenya, Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has teamed up with GIZ, the German development organisation to give agriculture training classes to more than 600 youth in agriculture, between the ages of 18 and 23. The training aims to improve agricultural activities and enhance food security. GIZ is also developing a curriculum in horticulture, poultry and dairy-cow rearing and fish farming.
The Netherlands Trust Fund (NTF) III programme has financed a project to enhance the competitiveness of the avocado sector in Nairobi, Kenya. Through the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI), the USD 1 million project aims to build farmer’s capacity while also boosting export capacity. The project supports Kenya’s national horticulture policy – which contributes to 23% of GDP – and targets the expansion of horticultural exports including cash crops such as avocado. The project shall run until 2017.
The next Brussels Development Briefing n.40 will be held in Brussels on the 18th February 2015 on “Data: the next revolution for agriculture in ACP countries?” The explosion of digital data offers new technological opportunities for enhancing agricultural development; it has also become a key asset for all economies in the world. By looking at significant trends, approaches and experiences in using open data for food and nutrition security, this Briefing shall shed light on the impacts of the global data revolution for agriculture.
As post harvest losses havedropped from 30% to 10%, and the government targets to reduce this furtherbelow 5%, Banks are being urged to give their support. Raphael Rurangwa, theDirector General in charge of planning at the Ministry of Agriculture, agreesthat farmers and agro-processors should be supported by financial sector toreduce post-harvest losses, ensuring inturn that stakeholders benefit more from agro-enterprises. By funding venturesthat add value to agricultural produce under the Post-Harvest and AgribusinessSupport Project, bans can viably contribute to the development of theagriculture sector, especially in the critical area of post-harvest losses.
On Friday 9th January, the DEVCO InfoPoint held the first lunch time conference of the European Year for Development on "Research and Innovation: For Sustainable Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Security". Mr. Jean Pierre Halkin Head of Unit for - Rural Development, Food and Nutrition Security (DEVCO C1) opened the conference and Mr. David Radcliffe Policy Office for Rural Development, Food and Nutrition Security (, DEVCO C1) presented the key themes of the DEVCO paper on "Research and Innovation: For Sustainable Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Security".