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Trade and Marketing

A business-to-business mobile platform is linking urban Kenyan retailers with rural smallholders

© Twiga Foods

A promising new continent-wide trade agreement for Africa

The new African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is expected to be a game changer, boosting inter-African trade, spurring manufacturing, and creating economic opportunities. But for its benefits to be realised, the details need to be negotiated; and Africa's leaders need to commit to AfCFTA for the long haul.

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Aligning Africa’s regulations with global markets

Poor food safety regulations hamper Africa’s ability to engage in international food markets. But harmonised regulations, tailored infrastructure and increased public and private sector investment have been identified as interventions that could bolster the continent’s food safety capacity, and ignite its food export market.

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Innovations reshaping smallholders’ market access

Technical solutions to food tracking, traceability and distribution are enabling agribusinesses along the value chain to better manage and expand their operations. Such innovations also help farmers and farmer organisations to establish and strengthen links with buyers.

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Reigniting Kenya’s international trade

In 2013, stringent standards for exports into the EU caused a hike in rejected produce from Kenya – and a huge blow to its horticulture industry. Now, a digital traceability system is helping to rebuild the sector, providing precise accountability from field to export.

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Ismaël Tanko turning tomato into red gold

Ismaël Tanko, a 33-year-old entrepreneur, has created a fast-growing company whose tomato purees are already on sale in several West African countries. The next step is a more industrialised production line and an increased number of sales channels.

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Harmonising sanitary and phytosanitary measures

In order to build economic resilience, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) must expand its more than €16 billion export market by improving regional and international market access. Upgraded sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures can lead to increased production and trade in agricultural and fisheries products that meet international standards, while protecting the environment.

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Potential of dairy in Eastern Africa

Fuelled by high demand, the Eastern African dairy sector is growing rapidly and attracting investors. However, to promote further national and regional trade, the formal sector requires restructuring.

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Caribbean condiment exports heat up

From sweet preserves to spicy sauces, regional condiment agro-processers are investing in certification and standardisation in order to sustainably enter the highly developed international ethnic and gourmet export markets.

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A sea change for local fisheries in Benin

Benin-based Awa Fish is one of the leading frozen seafood firms, a position it has established by working closely with its suppliers – small-scale fishermen. But like many companies, it finds it hard to raise funds and faces recurring power cuts.

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Strengthening Caribbean fisherfolk participation

The small-scale fisheries sector in the Caribbean plays a vital role in the region’s food security but is overshadowed by marine industries including shipping, tourism, and oil and gas extraction. An EU-funded initiative is providing a stronger voice to fisherfolk to advocate their needs.

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Honey exports take off in Africa

The African beekeeping sector – via recent organisation and modernisation initiatives – has created a favourable setting for honey exports while also partly meeting domestic demand.

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Sustainable management of a seafood delicacy

Sea cucumber is becoming increasingly profitable in the Pacific, as fishing communities are helped to improve post-harvest processing and sustainably produce high-quality beche-de-mer. A variety of initiatives led by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community are boosting incomes from high-quality sea cucumber exports, whilst protecting against overexploitation.

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Chefs drive demand for local food

Chefs are working to promote healthy food and widen the market for local produce in an attempt to reduce rising cases of non-communicable disease in the Pacific. Chef Colin Chung is targeting young people with his new cookbook, seeking to encourage students to switch from fast food to nutritious meals, using locally available ingredients.

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Organic on the horizon: easier access to organic markets in the Pacific

A new participatory certification system is providing agricultural producers and processors from the Pacific with easier access to organic markets. Although a significant share is already exported within the sub-region, the aim of locally and participatory certified organic producers is to find new outlets, particularly in the tourist industry. This offers significant potential for local producers and enterprises if they receive appropriate policy support.

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Increasing quality and consumption in Rwanda

A dairy sector competitiveness programme in Rwanda has instituted a dual-pronged approach to improve smallholder milk production, increase consumer demand and provide regulatory support for safe, high quality products. A recognised certificate of quality is awarded to those farmers meeting the standards.

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Korean-African breeding partnership

The Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) and Republic of Korea are producing Tongil-type, stress-tolerant rice varieties to increase production across Africa. The new cultivars are expected to increase the area and duration over which rice can be grown to meet the pressing needs of farmers and consumers.

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Tackling obesity

Obesity is not a foregone conclusion. In the Pacific, organisations such as CTA are supporting local farming in an effort to tackle this major health concern. With the Island nations making up eight of the top 10 countries for diabetes, governments are looking for a new approach to change individual behaviour.

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A youthful spirit in Africa

Daring young African entrepreneurs are taking the plunge – given a high profile and opportunities, they could get things moving in the African agribusiness sector. Without expecting any help from government, the youngest population in the world are preferring to go it alone to build their futures.

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Online platforms enhance regional grain trade

Across Africa, online platforms are tools that can boost regional trade and reduce postharvest losses to increase farmer incomes and decrease dependency on imports. Platform members can trade their grain ‘virtually’ via mobiles, reducing transaction costs and providing structure to the trading system.

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Policy tools to support healthy nutrition

Volatile food prices have severe consequences for hunger and malnutrition. Food insecurity and nutrient deficiency lead to health problems which increase the global health burden. The Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition recommend a variety of policy tools to better support healthy diets.

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Data: Fishy figures...

A recent study has cast doubts on FAO’s fisheries data, indicating that the UN agency regularly underestimates overfishing and resource depletion statistics. With various forms of fishing ‘slipping through the net’, what are the real numbers and what does this mean for the health of our ecosystems?

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Standards are key to European markets

Côte d’Ivoire is the second largest banana exporter to Europe among ACP countries and the world’s thirteenth largest. The sector makes up 8% of national GDP. Europe is the main destination of Ivorian banana exports but there are some conditions.

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US markets: African agreement renewed

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which gives sub-Saharan African nations preferential access to US markets, has been renewed for another 10 years. Beneficiary countries have warmly welcomed this decision.

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Free trade: Uncertainty for agriculture

The launch of the free trade agreement by three African economic blocs in June is the first step towards a continent-wide common market, supporters say. However, historical pushes for Africa to embrace free trade have backfired in many of the continent’s poorest countries - creating uncertainty for those whose livelihoods are reliant on agriculture.

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Namibian myrrh travels afar

Semi-nomadic pastoralists from Namibia’s arid west are earning valuable income from harvesting myrrh resin, which they process and sell to international perfume companies.

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