Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

May 2017
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EDITO
Monday, 29 May 2017

Every day in the wee hours of the morning Verónica Reyes’ extended family grinds corn to make the dough they use in the tacos they sell from their food truck in Mexico City. (...) The cooked corn dough takes on a yellow tone, an effect caused by a process called nixtamalisation – the preparation of corn or other grain, which is soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution, usually limewater, and hulled. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), 25 percent of world food crops are contaminated with aflatoxins. This technique dates back to before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in Mexico in the 15th century, when local indigenous people cooked corn this way. Nixtamalisation significantly reduces aflatoxins – any of several carcinogenic mycotoxins produced by molds that commonly infect corn, peanuts and other crops.

The first tilapia farm in Belize has become ASC certified. The Fein Catch tilapia farm is the first of its kind in Belize to gain certification against the ASC Tilapia Standard for responsible aquaculture after independent assessment by certifier Control Union Peru. "I would like to congratulate Fein Catch on their certification. This is a great example of the diversity of the farms engaged in our programme," said Chris Ninnes, ASC's CEO.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

One of Zimbabwe’s leading private investors, Adam Molai, who has a controlling stake in Savanna Tobacco says the country is open for business. The millionaire entrepreneur, who has several business interests in tobacco, liquid fuel logistics, lubricants distribution and retailing, says he leveraged a personal friendship with India's cola king Ravi Jaipuria to get him to invest in Zimbabwe. Billionaire Jaipuria, who became Pepsico's second-biggest bottler and owns Varun Beverages will invest US$30 million into the beverages industry to build a bottling plant.

Monday, 11 January 2016

While America and Asia are geographically distant markets, and Europe is in crisis, Asian and French operators are taking an interest in Africa, with its emerging economies. France, the former colonial power, intends to retain influence over the African audiovisual sector. The Canal+ group, the pay-TV operator, wants to invest in this market of 250 million French-speaking Africans. It has teamed up with the company iROKO, an online distributor of African audiovisual content, to launch a mobile-based video on demand service. Canal+ and iROKO want to boost their customer base by recruiting customers among smartphone and mobile Internet users in French-speaking Africa.

Friday, 08 January 2016

Amb. Lin Songtian, Director-General of African Affairs at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, on Monday, restated his government's commitment to support the development of African countries in the next three years. Lin told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the Chinese government would in the next three years follow-up on the outcome of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit. Let me reassure African countries, including Nigeria, that the ten areas of cooperation announced by President Xi Jinping at the Summit would be completed within the next three years.

Tuesday, 05 January 2016

The Chinese President, Xi Jinping, has announced that China is starting major operations to help people in Africa modernise agriculture, among other cooperation projects. The development initiatives will be provided with 60 billion US dollars from China, including aid, interest-free loans and loans with favourable credit terms, and the plans will be rolled out over the coming three years. In order to help Africa accelerate agricultural modernisation, China will carry out agricultural development projects in 100 African villages to raise rural living standards as part of the plans, China's national Xinhua news agency has reported.

Monday, 14 December 2015

The Cassava Weed Management Project, which is being managed by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), an agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria that ensures manufactured products entering Nigerian market give the required degree of satisfaction to consumers through compliance with government policies on standardization and conformity assessment. The SON also ensures that goods imported into the country meet the minimum requirements of industrial standards or any other approved international standards.

Tuesday, 01 December 2015

While the global economy is gradually recovering from the recession, Vietnam has recovered mush faster, creating opportunities for local and foreign businesses. This was the consensus among development experts, policy specialists, government officials, and business executives from Africa and Vietnam who attended a workshop last Friday on enhancing South-South Co-operation between African countries and the Mekong region. Their evolving economies and expertise allow for exchange of advanced knowledge, but a common language to facilitate communication is first needed, they pointed out.

Monday, 30 November 2015

Commercial agriculture has a growing potential and Grace Road Food Company is tapping into this. The Korean church-based company says it will be investing $5 million towards an Agricultural Training Institute in Navua. The construction is expected to begin in January and is expected to be completed by October 2016. Company managing director Daniel Kim said: “The students need actual farming skills and they need the proper venue to learn this skill. “This institute will provide this platform for the students and bring out the potential in them.” The institute is proposed to offer both practical and theory agriculture work for the students.

Reforestation efforts in Haiti, where only two per cent of forest cover is estimated to remain, got a leg up from Jamaica recently when a group of seven agronomists from that country visited Jamaica for a week-long intensive agricultural training programme. The project was an initiative of non-profit, American-based organisation Trees That Feed Foundation. Its founders, Michael and Mary McLaughlin, teamed up with the Hope Botanical Gardens; College of Arts, Science and Education; and the Ministry of Agriculture's Boodles Research Station for the project.