COMESA calls on investments into sanitary standards to improve trade

AFRICA - Experts have advised Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) members states to invest in food safety, animal and plant health to increase market access for agricultural produce. According to the experts, animal and plant health measures, also known as sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS), have largely received low investment because governments…

Kenya’s sugar imports rise to reach 189,000 tonnes in nine months to September

KENYA – Kenya’s sugar imports have clicked 189,000 tonnes in the nine months to September, a significant reduction from the 933,000 tonnes of sugar it imported last year. A report by the East African revealed that out of the total imported sugar, that from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and East…

US Trade Representatives unveils US$200bn tariff list on Chinese imports

USA - The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has unveiled a list of additional tariffs on approximately US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports in what U.S. trade officials termed as “continuing response to China’s theft of American intellectual property and forced transfer of American technology”. The additional tariffs will be effective starting September 24, 2018 initially…

Government to spend US$1.2b to buy farmers products after retaliatory tariffs from China, USDA says

USA - The federal government will spend up to US$1.2 billion to buy products from farmers hurt by the retaliatory tariffs from China and other countries, and will provide almost US$5 billion in payments to farmers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced. Accprding to ABC, the the purchases and payments are part of an emergency…

Trump administration provides US$12b to aid US farmers in US-China trade wars

USA - The Trump administration has said it would provide up to US$12 billion in aid for U.S. farmers from early September to shield them from the repercussions of trade disputes between the United States and China, the European Union and others. According to CNBC, the United States has never before offered aid of this…

South Africa soya beans unlikely to be affected by US-China trade war

SOUTH AFRICA - Following China’s response tariffs on US goods including soya beans, there could be possibility of price shocks on the commodity, but an agricultural economist, Wandile Sihlobo has said that this should be cushioned by the ability to substitute yellow maize in feed stock. An article in the Business Day reported that despite…

African countries sign continental free-trade agreement

RWANDA - African leaders from 44 countries have signed to the continental free-trade agreement, meant to open-up the continent through regional integration and economic growth. The deal to create the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was signed at the 2018 African Union member states summit, attended by 44 out of 55 African countries. With…

East Africa moves to harmonise staple food standards, boost trade

UGANDA - The quality of regional trade in cereals and pulses is expected to improve following the launch of newly gazetted standards for staple foods. The harmonisation comes after a long period where each East African country used its own yardstick to determine quality of cereals including maize, millet, wheat, sorghum, rice and pulses such…

Govt. ban on maize exports not working – report

MALAWI - Malawi Government ban on maize export is not working to it expectation following revelations that between June and July a total of 3,519 metric tonnes of maize illegally crossed the borders into Tanzania and Mozambique a development that is feared to result into severe shortage of the staple in the coming months. In…

Fake honey continues to flood European market

EUROPE – Beekeeping is endangered around the world as cheap imports of counterfeit honey continue to flood the market, with severe consequences on world food production. According to a research published in December 2016, foreign sugars were found 1.4 times in every 10 honey samples tested by the European Joint Research Centre. Around 20% of…