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Sunday, March 24, 2013

EU sponsors study on food allergy

Crop of food experts have commenced work on the biggest study of food allergy in the world, worth about Euro 15.1 million as the research takes off with sponsorship by the European Commission.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that the world's biggest ever study on allergies;spearheaded by the University of Manchester.

The €9million project builds on an earlier €14.3 million research study and will involve the world’s leading experts in the UK, Europe, Australia and US. Together they mark the biggest study of food allergy in the world.

Up to 20 million European citizens suffer from food allergy. However management of both food allergy, by patients and health practitioners, and allergens, by industry, is thwarted by lack of evidence to either prevent food allergy developing or protect adequately those who are already allergic.

The EC-sponsored research, known as the Integrated Approaches to Food Allergen and Allergy Risk Management (iFAAM), will produce a standardised management process for companies involved in food manufacturing. It will also develop tools designed to enforce these regulations and produce evidence-based knowledge to inform new health advice on nutrition for pregnant women, babies and allergy sufferers.

The Manchester team will work with 38 partners including, industrial stakeholders represented by Unilever and Eurofins, patient groups representing people at risk of severe allergic reactions from Germany, UK and Ireland and a risk manager and assessor group including the UK Food Standards Agency.

The project, Media Relations Officer, Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences The University of Manchester, Alison Barbuti, said will work loosely with the clinical community, working in collaboration with the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Professor Clare Mills, from the Allergy and Respiratory Centre of The University of Manchester's Institute of Inflammation and Repair and based in the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, will head the study.

"This is a massive research project which will have far reaching consequences for consumers and food producers. The evidence base and tools that result from this will support more transparent precautionary “may contain” labelling of allergens in foods which will make life easier for allergy sufferers as they try to avoid problem foods.”

Nikolaos Papadopoulos, Head of Allergy Department, University of Athens and President Elect EAACI, said
"Food Allergy is a disease that can be conquered, if critical steps are taken. iFAAM sets the stage for facilitating such steps to be taken."

Dr Bert Popping, Eurofins Scientific Director, said: “Eurofins is excited to be part of this European Commission project. We are looking forward to sharing our newly-developed multiple allergen detection method and making a meaningful contribution to this crucial initiative.”

Sue Hattersley, Head of the UK Food Standard’s Agency’s Allergy Branch said: “We welcome the launch of the iFAAM, which the FSA will be supporting through some of our own current research projects. We anticipate that the information learned through iFAAM will help determine a more consistent approach to providing consumers with information, so they can make safe choices about the food they eat. 

Furthermore it has the potential to provide a much greater insight into the development of food allergies – and, from an industry and regulatory perspective, more guidance and a big impact on the management of allergens in food manufacturing and production.”
Remmy Nweke
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Land grab confab’13: Researchers gather @ London Zoo

The city of London would play host to researchers from around the world for two days to discuss issues over conservation and land grabs.

The conference holding at London Zoo on 26-27 March, would afford land researchers to join the dots between large land deals, conservation, land rights and efforts to tackle poverty in poor communities worldwide.

Also, speakers would present research on both impacts of land grabs on conservation and its reverse, as well as the role of conservation as a driver of land grabs.

Dilys Roe, a senior researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) says, “They will also share studies that show how stronger land rights can improve conservation outcomes.”

The issues, Roe said, are burning because worldwide large land deals are on the increase, and they often take place in areas that are home to both large numbers of poor people and important biodiversity. People and wildlife can lose out when investors acquire land for large scale agriculture.

At the same time, there are growing threats from ‘green grabs’ that displace communities in order to conserve wildlife or gain value from eco-tourism, biofuels or the carbon that forests store in their wood.
The meeting is jointly hosted by IIED, the International Land Coalition, the Zoological Society of London and Maliasili Initiatives; the international symposium of the Poverty and Conservation Learning Group. While speakers will present case studies from Cameroon, Uganda, Chile, Kenya, Mongolia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Ethiopia, Liberia and Cambodia. 

Remmy Nweke
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Saturday, March 23, 2013

CAADP 9th kicks off in Addis Ababa on Monday

The African Union Commission (AUC) Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Rhoda Peace Tumusiime alongside the Chief Executive Officer,  NEPAD Agency,  Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, are billed to grace the 9th Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Partnership Platform.

The two-day meeting scheduled for African Union Conference Centre, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, NaijaAgroNet gathered would hold between Monday 25 and Tuesday 26, 2013, with the theme “Sustaining the CAADP Momentum - from Decisions and Commitments to Implementation for Results and Impact.”

The continental annual forum which brings together stakeholders in African agriculture, would be graced by President of Benin, H.E Boni Yayi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, H.E Hailemariam Desalegn  and  AUC Chairperson, H.E Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Also expected in attendance would be High level African Leadership, Regional Economic Communities, government ministries, farmers’ organizations, the private sector, civil society, development partners, donor communities, the African Union Commission, and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development stakeholders involved in agricultural development.

NaijaAgroNet recollects that the CAADP PP is a programme that facilitates practitioners, especially country level players and other stakeholders to share and learn lessons.
In addition, the 9th CAADP PP would build on the discussions and outcomes of the 8th CAADP PP but with more focused attention on implementation, results and impact.

This year’s theme NaijaAgroNet learnt is within the broader CAADP framework of eliminating hunger, job creation and reducing poverty through agriculture.

The theme on “Sustaining the CAADP momentum” according to the organizers, is aimed directly at renewing the thrust of CAADP by providing a clearer perspective and the overall role of agriculture in the economic transformation of the continent.
 It will particularly aim to examine achievements and successes during the past 10 years of CAADP in order to achieve CAADP objectives. The 9th CAADP PP will take into account  the creation of a platform for “CAADP at 10”, which will provide an opportunity to reflect on drawbacks in order to impress a new thinking and visioning on how to transition the CAADP agenda into the next decade. 

Admin: NaijaAgroNet

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Green Climate Fund Board meets in Berlin, searches for innovative solutions

The 24-member board at a recent meeting.
As the three-day meeting of the Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) takes off in Berlin, Germany, today, how to finance innovative solutions tops the agenda at the third session of GCF.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that the meeting would last between March Tuesday 12 and Friday 15, 2013. Noting that the Green Climate Fund was established by the United Nations Climate Change Convention to channel support to the developing world to address climate change.

Also gathered by NaijaAgroNet was that the Green Climate Fund is expected to be one of a range of funding channels to deliver on the long-term goal to mobilize US$ 100 billion, about N158,249 billion per annum in climate finance by 2020 from a range of sources, both public and private.

According to a Press Advisory, the Fund’s board, equally composed of representatives of developed and developing countries, is currently in its start-up phase and is focusing its work on establishing the systems and policies to manage financial flows in order to have a global impact on climate change.
Co-chair of Green Climate Fund Board, Zaheer Fakir, said they need to put systems in place, robust enough to handle a significant flow of climate funding and flexible enough to ensure that these funds are spent effectively on adaptation and mitigation throughout the developing world.

‘The challenge is to get the Fund up and running as soon as possible with the institutional
structures, policies, and safeguards to target funding based on country owned strategies,” he said.

Equally speaking, the Co-Chair of GCF, Mr. Ewen McDonald, pointed out that the impact of climate change in developing countries could limit or even reverse their growth.

“The Fund needs to be innovative to help developing countries undertake action to move their economies onto climate-resilient and low-emission development pathways. A key part of this will be the Fund’s ability to leverage significant funding from both public and private sources. Discussions in Berlin around the design of the Private Sector Facility will be critical in this regard.” McDonald said.

Alongside discussions on a business model framework, the three-day Board meeting is also expected to advance the plans to establish the Fund within its host city of Songdo, Incheon City, Republic of Korea, as well as adopting additional rules of procedure for the Board, and begin discussing how best to mobilize resources for the Fund.

Remmy Nwekke/NaijaAgroNet

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Nigerian Adesina is guest speaker @ 30th Brussels Development Briefing

Dr. Adesina, Nigerian Agric Minister
The Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, would today address the 30th Brussels Development Briefings in Belgium, NaijaAgroNet can authoritatively reveal.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in conjunction with the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee, the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group, Concord and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) are the organisers of the 30th Brussels Development Briefings, which holds today, 4 March 2013.

The briefing under the theme, “Agricultural Resilience in the Face of Crises and Shocks” is expected to attract some 200 ACP-EU policy makers, representatives of EU Member States, civil society groups, researchers, development practitioners and media.

Confirming this, CTA  Director, Mr. Michael Hailu says that since its inception in 2007, the Brussels Development Briefing has been the premier event for sharing and debating up-to-date information on critical issues relating to food security and agricultural development in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

“It has also offered an excellent networking opportunity for development partners in Brussels. The session on agricultural resilience marks the 30th edition of this highly successful programme that CTA is proud to host on behalf its partners,” he said.

As disclosed by him, Nigerian Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, is the chief guest of this edition of the briefing and would give a keynote address on conducive policies in support of resilience.

Other speakers expected at the briefing, he said, would address key challenges to strengthening resilience, cutting across the capacity of agriculture to withstand or recover from stresses and shocks and bounce back to the previous level of growth.

Hailu stressed that experts would present proven successes on building resilience and decreasing the vulnerability of agricultural systems in the ACP region.

Remmy Nweke/NaijaAgroNet 
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