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Monday, July 24, 2017

Ghana to host West Africa Agrofood

The city of Accra, capital of Ghana, is warming up to host the 2017 West Africa Agrofood show billed for December this year, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The German trade fair specialists, FairTrade disclosed this to NaijaAgroNet, noting that the 4th edition of Agrofood & Plastprintpack West Africa slated for 05-07 December 2017 at the Accra International Conference Centre in Accra, Ghana.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that producers of process and packaging technology obviously see great chances for business in Ghana and the surrounding West African countries, hence they are participating in this event.

Official national pavilions, NaijaAgroNet gathered, have been confirmed by Algeria, Belarus, France and the Netherlands, in addition to leading exhibitors from 10 countries.

According to VDMA German Food Processing and Packaging Association, Ghanaian imports of process and packaging technology increased by 10 per cent in 2016 to 77 million euro whereas West African imports of the same also went up by 10 per cent to 557 million euro.

Also, the association said, Ghanaian imports in the plastics, printing and packaging sector rose sharply last year, as Plastics technology up 4 per cent to 23.4 million euro; Printing and paper technology up 32 per cent to 22.4 million euro; and Packaging technology up 2 per cent to 30.1 million euro.

FairTrade told NaijaAgroNet they were not surprised that producers of process and packaging technology saw the opportunity in Ghana and its surrounding West African countries.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Good rains bring hope to war-torn Syrians

The rain falls in the country of Syria offer some hope to the war-torn region says two United Nations agencies, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) gave this hope while assessing the situation in the country on the latest Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) made available to NaijaAgroNet

According to the Acting FAO Representative in Syria, Adam Yao, and WFP Representative and Country Director in Syria, Jakob Kern, good rains have brought some hope for the war-torn country with better rainfall within the Euphrates River watershed which meant greater water flows and higher water levels in many of the country's reservoirs.

Wheat and barley production slightly improved in 2017 compared to last year due to the better rainfall and improved access to agricultural land in some areas. Main constraints continue to be the high cost or unavailability of inputs, such as seeds and fertilizer, and the destruction of infrastructure for irrigation and storage.

Pasture conditions have improved because of the better rainfall, which will partially ease pressure from high fodder prices. Herd sizes have stabilized albeit at a very low level. The main constraints continue to be high fodder prices, insufficient coverage of veterinary services and insecurity that limits access to grazing areas in some parts of the country.

Gradual improvements in security and the opening of some key supply routes have allowed trade to slowly recover and urban markets to function in several parts of the country. In parts of eastern Aleppo where the entire infrastructure and markets have been heavily destroyed, recovery has started at a very slow pace. Across the country, food prices continue to be close to the record high, with the exception of the governorates of Deir-ez-Zor, Al-Hasakeh and Rural Damascus.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wheat harvest improves in Syria

Syria is likely to witness an improved wheat harvest this year, says the latest Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM), reports NaijaAgroNet.

CFSAM is a joint effort of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

According to two agencies, food security in parts of Syria is slightly better than the same time last year due to an improved security situation and enhanced access to humanitarian assistance, but the overall situation remains far worse than before the war, two UN agencies warned. 

CFSAM estimates a total wheat production at 1.8 million tonnes - 12 per cent more than last year's record low but still less than half of the pre-conflict ten-year average.

The mission's report released today estimates that 6.9 million Syrians are still food insecure while an additional 5.6 million people are likely to become food insecure without the regular food assistance they receive every month.

Adam Yao, Acting FAO Representative in Syria, said that for some Syrian families, there is a small shaft of light in the darkness, despite the immense challenges, agriculture continues to provide food for the country.

“With the evolving security situation, more farmers are expected to have access to cultivate their land again. Now is the time to step up our support, as agriculture is more important than ever for the livelihoods of many," Yao said.  

For WFP Representative and Country Director in Syria, Jakob Kern, "The small improvement in the availability of food for Syrians is promising, but the needs remain high. More must be done to provide food for families affected by the crisis, WFP and FAO are working together to make food security a reality for the people of Syria."

Access by humanitarian organizations to some besieged areas has improved compared to last year. Yet access continues to be heavily constrained in Deir-ez-Zor, where life-saving air-drops of food and other supplies continue, and in Ar-Raqqa where the situation has become critical due to continued fighting. In Ar-Raqqa, shops are destroyed and the cost of the standard food basket has jumped by 42 percent between May and June this year.

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Pix: David Beasley, Executive Director, WFP

Green energy offerings comes to Africa

The solar pioneer, Gigawatt Global has extended its services to Africa with provision of solar street lights in Bujumbura, Burundi, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Chief Executive Officer, Gigawatt Global , Yosef I. Abramowitz, made this disclosure, saying that by expanding investments from commercial scale projects to include off-grid additionally, the company has positively impacted lives of millions of people in Burundi and throughout Africa.

Downtown Bujumbura, he said, just got a little brighter, thanks to an innovative partnership between Mayor Freddy Mbonimpa and Gigawatt Global, a founding member of United States Power Africa's Beyond the Grid programme.

Abramowitz also said that this week solar-powered ‘light islands’ began appearing in the heavily-trafficked central bus station and nearby marketplace, extending commercial hours and personal safety. 

“The city of Bujumbura is very pleased to be working with Gigawatt Global on this important solar street lighting project,” said Mayor Freddy Mbonimpa. “This project will enhance security as well as provide opportunities for economic development to the citizens of Bujumbura. It is the hope and wish of all involved that this project can spread throughout the city, as well as expand to other cities in Burundi within the near future.”

Gigawatt Global is now in discussions to scale the solar-powered ‘light islands’ program throughout the city and in other major Burundian towns.

“We are grateful and pleased to work with the city of Bujumbura, and the Honorable Mayor Freddy Mbonimpa to realise this important first step of the solar street lighting project,” said Michael Fichtenberg, Managing Director of Gigawatt Global Burundi.

“We intend to expand throughout the capital and to other locations as part of our larger program of green electrification in Burundi, with 40 'light islands' planned in the first phase of the program,” Fichtenberg continued.

“Every country in which we develop commercial scale solar fields will receive additional benefits like these ‘light islands’ and rural electrification with mini-grids.”

Gigawatt Global, which provides 100 per cent financing for its projects, pioneered commercial scale solar power plants in sub-Sahara Africa, launching the first one in Rwanda in 2014, which is currently supplying 6 per cent of the country's generation capacity. Gigawatt Global will complete a 7.5 Mw solar field in the Gitega region of Burundi in the next six months, which will supply 15% of the East African country's generation capacity. Similar projects are currently being developed in 10 African countries, including Liberia and South Sudan, among many others. 

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Bujumbura Mayor and Gigawatt Global leaders Michael Fichtenberg and Nathaniel Johnson sign the solar 'Light Islands' deal

Nigeria breaks world record with more girls out of school – Malala

The Pakistani activist, student and United Nations UN Messenger of Peace and the youngest person ever awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Malala Yousafzai, has revealed that Nigeria has broken world record with more girls out of school than anywhere else in the world, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Malala made this disclosure during a working visit to Abuja and Maiduguri on Monday, lamenting that despite Nigeria riches, its record of girls child out of school remain alarming.
“Nigeria is the richest country in Africa, but has more girls out of school than any country in the world,” said Yousafzai. “Studies are clear — educating girls grows economies, reduces conflict and improves public health. For these girls and for their country’s future, Nigeria’s leaders must immediately prioritise education.”

According to UNICEF sources, over 2,295 teachers have been killed and 19,000 displaced and almost 1,400 schools destroyed since the start of the Boko Haram insurgency in 2009. Three million children in the northeast are in need of support to keep learning.
While in Maiduguri, the epicenter of the crisis in northeast Nigeria, Malala visited schoolchildren in a camp for displaced families and secondary school girls at Yerwa Government Girls School.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that while the 90 camps and camp-like settings in Maiduguri house thousands of families, more than three-quarters of the 600,000-plus displaced people are living with family, relatives or friends in host communities, placing an additional burden on local schools.

Beyond the crisis in the northeast, she noted that Nigeria already had the largest number of children out of school in the world – over 10.5 million. Among primary school-aged children not in school, only five per cent are dropouts: three-quarters of them will never step foot in a classroom, and the majority are girls.

Across West Africa, 46 per cent of primary school-aged children not in school are Nigerian. Globally, one in five children not enrolled are Nigerian.

“We will do everything in our power to make sure all children can keep learning. We believe that education – especially for girls, is the single most important way to bring hope, peace and prosperity not just for this generation, but for also for future generations,” said Mohamed Malick Fall, UNICEF’s Representative in Nigeria.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Ghana Startup Awards: Food for All Africa wins social enterprise prize

The Ghana-based Food For All Africa programme has been named the social enterprise of the year at the 2017 Premium Bank Ghana Startup Awards, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The ceremony organized last weekend by The African Network of Entrepreneurs (TANOE) at the Movenpick Hotel on Thursday 13thJuly, 2017 saw of over 150 startups in Ghana being honoured various categories including Media, Agriculture, Health, Education, Social enterprise, FinTech and Technology.

The Startup awards, the organisers said, was designed to recognize and reward the works and contributions of startups to the Ghanaian economy and also create a thriving community of startups collaborating and empowering the Startup Ecosystem.

Receiving the award on behalf of Food for All Africa programme, Chef Elijah Amoo Addo who was recently awarded by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace was full of excitement for the impact the organization is creating within Ghana’s food supply chain.

Chef Elijah also told NaijaAgroNet after the awards that Food for All Africa programme vision of creating efficiency and sustainable means of nutrition for the vulnerable in society and asked the media and all stakeholders to support them to have parliament pass the National Food Donors encouragement Bill which will ensure that the vulnerable in society have a regular means of nutrition.

He urged stakeholder to support the programme in the quest to buy a mobile kitchen van which they will use for providing daily meals to the vulnerable in society.

Chef Elijah dedicated the award to his hardworking team at Food for All and called on businesses within the food supply chain to support with their excess food since food for all is a shared social responsibility.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

UN memorial for late Osotimehin

The United Nations (UN) would Friday, July 14, 2017 hold a memorial service for the late Professor Babatunde Osotimehin, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The memorial service, NaijaAgroNet gathered is in honour of the late Professor, who was passed away on June 4, 2017 in New York.

Information reaching NaijaAgroNet news desk affirmed that UN sees this honour as an important and solemn event to be held at Green Lawn, Front Yard of the UN House, Plot 617/618 Diplomatic Drive in central business district, Abuja.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that until his death, Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin was the Executive Director of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) since 2011.

Osotimehin was a Nigerian physician, who served as Minister of Health, and later became the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund, holding the rank of Under-Secretary-General.

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Commission urges ICT use to drive SDGs

The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development has urged policymakers, the private sector and other partners to make deployment of broadband infrastructure a top priority in strategies to accelerate global development and progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), reports NaijaAgroNet.

A statement presented at the 2017 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which is ongoing in New York City 10-19 July 2017 to guide global efforts on the achievement of the SDGs.

The Commission, a high-powered community, including top CEO and industry leaders, senior policy-makers and government representatives, international agencies, academia and organizations concerned with development – outlines the many ways that broadband can improve global sustainable development, and in so doing, better the lives of millions around the globe.

These include addressing basic needs such as healthcare and food production, and helping lift people out of poverty through e-commerce opportunities and job growth, monitoring climate change and planetary processes, and bridging the digital gender divide.

"We must work together," said the Commission in its statement, "to harness the opportunities and benefits of ICTs, new and emerging technologies such as big data and artificial intelligence, as well as broadband-based technologies, while safeguarding against their downsides and risks. This will be critical to achieve the SDGs and realize the future we want. Let us seize the historical opportunity of the SDGs to build a model of sustainable development anchored by universal access to affordable broadband technologies and digital literacy in order to fulfil a future where no one is left behind."

"The theme of the 2017 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development is 'Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world'. The Broadband Commission statement to the HLPF highlights the critical role of ICTs to do so, and outlines the fundamental role broadband technology can play in helping the world achieve its most pressing sustainable development goals," said Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General. "Their statement urges HLPF attendees to recognize the need for the global roll-out of broadband infrastructures, devices, applications and services to make progress towards achieving the SDGs."

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

OECD, FAO predict decline growth in world food prices

The duo of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) have predicted a decline in growth in the world food prices, reports NaijaAgroNet.

A joint press statement on the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2017-2026, informed NaijaAgroNet that the global food commodity prices are projected to remain low over the next decade compared to previous peaks, as demand growth in a number of emerging economies is expected to slow down and biofuel policies have a diminished impact on markets, according to the latest 10-year agricultural outlook published today by the OECD and FAO.

The Outlook also predicted that vegetable oils, sugar and dairy products are expected to be main provider of additional calories over next decade.

Equally, the Agricultural Outlook, NaijaAgroNet gathered indicated that the completed replenishment of cereal stocks by 230 million metric tonnes over the past decade, combined with abundant stocks of most other commodities, should also help limit growth in world prices, which are now almost back to their levels before the 2007-08 food price crisis.

The report foresees per capita demand for food staples remaining flat, except in least developed countries. Additional calories and protein consumption over the outlook period are expected to come mainly from vegetable oil, sugar and dairy products.

“Growth in demand for meat is projected to slow, with no new sources of demand projected to maintain the momentum previously generated by China,” part of the outlook showed.

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Mozambique goes to UK for first deepwater gas Summit

The Mozambican Government in partnership with Eni have advanced plans to host the first Deep Water Gas field Development Summit in October, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This follows the recent signing of the Coral South floating LNG facility which became the first of its kind for the African nation.

NaijaAgroNet reports that this marks the start of an implementation phase for the gas industry of Mozambique, with more such deals expected to move from planning phase into fruition, the economy will see the benefits from this new business in the country.

The Mozambique Gas Summit & Exhibition, would take place in October with extensive cover of latest developments in Mozambique’s gas industry.

The three-day event, NaijaAgroNet gathered is being organized by acclaimed oil and gas events company, the CWC Group, in partnership with Mozambique’s national hydrocarbon’s company ENH.

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