Nigeria’s approval of GMO crops boosts Africa’s hopes for the technology

NIGERIA- Nigeria’s decision to approve the introduction of genetically modified (GM) cowpea and cotton has boosted hopes for the technology across Africa. Farmers and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector express confidence that their nations will soon follow in the footsteps of the continent’s most populous country to help ensure food security. “Lessons should be…

Flipkart and Amazon appeal for more time to comply with new FDI policy

ASIA – Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart have appealed to the Indian government seeking more time to comply with the new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy for ecommerce. The firms have requested an extension by up to six months to comply with the new regulation announced by the government in December last year that requires a…

China approves five genetically modified crop imports amid US talks

CHINA – China has approved five new genetically modified crops for import in the midst of the just-began trade talks with the United States, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs revealed. The move which aims to boost its overseas trade saw the approval of two rapeseed products, one corn and two soybean products. The…

Tanzania grants free market access for Uganda soya, sugar and sunflower

TANZANIA - Tanzanian government through the Ministry of Trade has said that Sugar, sunflower and soya exports from Uganda had been cleared and will now freely access Tanzanian market reports, Daily Monitor. This comes after Tanzania had over the past few persistently prevented the entry of a number of Uganda’s commodities into the country prompting…

Tanzania government decides to buy cashew nuts stock as dealers cry foul

TANZANIA - Tanzanian President John Magufuli has officially announced that the government would buy all cashew nuts from farmers at about US$1.44 (3,300 Tanzanian shillings) a kilogram. This was after private buyers were reluctant to buy the crop due to disagreement in purchase prices. To support implementation of the directive, President Magufuli directed the Tanzania…

Salt producers form association to address iodine deficiency

ETHIOPIA – Iodized-salt producing companies in Ethiopia have established a new association in bid to help combat iodine deficiency in the country. According to AddisFortune, the association was formed by the Ethiopian Food, Beverage, & Pharmaceutical Industry Development Institute. The Ethiopian Iodized Salt Producers Association, made of close to 15 salt producers plans to introduce…

Malaysia to introduce tax on sugary soft drinks and juices

MALAYSIA – Malaysia is set to introduce a tax on ‘high sugar’ beverages including juices and soft drinks effective 1 April 2019 to help address the country’s levels of obesity and sugar related diseases. Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced that the government will introduce an excise duty of MYR 0.40 ($0.10) on beverages containing…

FDA considers requirement to label sesame as an allergen on packaged foods

USA - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched an investigation into the prevalence and severity of sesame allergies in the United States with a possible consideration for a requirement to label sesame as an allergen on packaged foods. Sesame is not required to be disclosed as an allergen, and in some circumstances,…

United Kingdom hikes wine duty but freezes duty on beer, spirits and cider

UK – United Kingdom Chancellor Phillip Hammond has announced that duty tax on wine will increase while that on beer, spirits and cider would remain the same in line with the rate of inflation, effective 1 February 2019. Duties on beer and spirits will remain at the same level as last year in a bid…

Karan Beef and PIC deal to go ahead despite collusion fine

SOUTH AFRICA – The Competition Commission has said that Karan Beef’s collusion fine may unlikely affect its buyout deal with the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), reports Business Day. “In no way does this investigation into Karan Beef and the fine affect the PIC’s deal with Karan Beef,” said David Maimela, the commission’s acting chief of…