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Daily Archives: July 22, 2018

Grain Market Participants Highlight the Role of Enhancing Supply Chain Efficiency and Data Availability to Improve Food Security in Egypt

Grain Market Participants Highlight the Role of Enhancing Supply Chain Efficiency and Data Availability to Improve Food Security in Egypt

Egypt is likely to remain the world’s biggest importer of foreign-grown grains for the foreseeable future given the limits to arable land and water supplies

CAIRO, Egypt, July 20, 2018,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) held two workshops on 17-18 July 2018 in Cairo on “Grain Market Data Availability and Quality in Egypt” and “Supply Chain Efficiency & National Food Security”, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade, other government agencies, the Egyptian Grain Suppliers Association and other private sector representatives.

The discussions during the first workshop focused on reviewing the methodologies used to collect, prepare and validate Egyptian official estimates on areas planted and harvested, yields, consumption, trade and stocks of grains and oilseeds.

The Economic Affairs Sector of the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, the General Organization for Export and Import Control, The Egyptian Holding Company for Silos and Storage, and the Chamber of Cereal Industry participated in the discussions. Representatives from grain importing, processing, and handling companies provided feedback on the official data and discussed its availability and quality.

The second workshop focused on identifying obstacles facing grain and oilseed imports to enable a more efficient supply chain that will ensure the availability of strategic commodities and reduce the cost of grain imports in the future.

Key governmental and private sector representatives attended the workshop, including the Egyptian Organization for Standardization and Quality, the General Organization for Export and Import Control, the Central Department of Quarantine, the General Administration of Food Control in the grain sector of the Ministry of Health and the National Food Safety Authority

 “These workshops represent a huge leap in the development of supply chains of the grain sector in Egypt, and the development of consolidated methodologies used to collect and validate available data. This is especially important since Egypt is one of the largest grain importers in the world, considering total imports of wheat, maize and oilseeds last year amounted to more than 24 million tons. Imports are expected to rise due to the population increase and the limited arable land and water resources”, said Hussein Gadain, FAO Representative in Egypt, in his opening speech.

 “Collecting high quality data on grains requires focusing on a certain number of pillars, the most important of which is the institutions responsible for producing statistical data and information related to the grain sector along the grain value chain in Egypt. One should also focus on the available types of statistics and data base structures, the possible methods of collecting, analysing and presenting these data, as well as the problems of limited available statistics in the possible development areas,” said Shaaban Ali Salem, Director of Agriculture Economics Research Institute, in his speech delivered on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation.

“The Government of Egypt is currently seeking to develop policies and programs to improve the efficiency of food supply chains in order to build a storage model, which can provide grain in times of emergency and crisis, and protection against global price fluctuations. Another type of storage is the operational storage, which prevents loss of time during grain handling within the supply chain,” said Nomaani Nasr Nomani, Advisor to the Minister of Supply and Internal Trade for GASC Affairs.

“Since 2014, EBRD has supported public-private dialogue in Egypt recognizing the importance of the grain sector and its role in achieving food security. This support aims to improve supply chain efficiency, increase private sector participation, and further develop the investment climate. The availability of validated data on the grain sector will enable a more efficient supply chain,” said Reem El Saady, Principal Manager, Advice for Small Business Program at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Egypt is likely to remain the world’s biggest importer of foreign-grown grains for the foreseeable future given the limits to arable land and water supplies. Determined action to improve Egypt’s food security and wheat supplies is therefore vital. The private sector can help improve the sustainability of grain imports in the country by contributing their know-how and financial backing.

The joint FAO-EBRD project, “Public-private dialogue in the Egyptian Grain Sector” contributes to implementing the strategic objectives of FAO to support an efficient network for food production and foster Egypt’s national food security strategy by helping eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Enhancing fish farming to ensure food security stressed

Enhancing fish farming to ensure food security stressed

Experts at a post-rally discussion in Rajshahi on Thursday underscored the need for boosting fish farming through the best uses of existing natural resources for reduction of protein deficiency and poverty.
They viewed that all the government and non-government organisations concerned and farmers should come forward and work together for attaining the cherished goal.
Department of fisheries and district administration jointly organised the discussion in Shilpakala Academy auditorium marking the National Fisheries Week-2018.
In his address of welcome, district fisheries officer Shamsul Alam Shah narrated the district level fisheries extension and development activities with highlighting the potentials of the sector.
Commissioner of Rajshahi division Nur-Ur-Rahman and superintendent of police Md Shahidullah addressed the discussion as chief and special guests respectively with deputy commissioner SM Abdul Kader in the chair.
Divisional deputy director of DoF Rezaul Islam, senior assistant director Jahangir Alam, farm manager Abdul Khaleque, assistant director Shirin Shila and senior upazila fisheries officer Abul Kalam Azad also spoke.
Referring to the immense prospect of the fisheries sector, Nur-Ur-Rahman said fish production could easily be increased to a great extent if the natural resources were utilised properly.
He recommended inspiring the farmers, providing them with latest scientific technologies and educating them in producing quality fish fries to boost production.
Taking part in the discussion, some of the fishermen stressed the need for mitigating all the existing problems being faced by the fish farmers to attain the cherished goal.
Earlier, a colorful rally was brought out from Chandipur Crossing and parading the main thoroughfares before converged into the meeting venue.
Later, the chief and special guests released fish fingerlings in DC’s Banglow’s pond.

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Malawi, Sadc face bleak food security outlook

Malawi, Sadc face bleak food security outlook

Southern African Development Community (Sadc) countries face a bleak food and nutrition security outlook with 29.4 million people projected to be food insecure in the 2018/19 season from April 2018 to March 2019.

The number of people represents 14.2 percent of the regional grouping’s total population.

Fall armyworms affected maize yield this harvest season

In Malawi, the Sadc State of Food and Nutrition Security and Vulnerability Report estimates that the number of people requiring food and nutritional assistance before the next harvest will increase to 2.3 million in 2018/19, a 130 percent rise from one million people in 2017/18.

Released on July 9, the 2018/19 report attributes the increase in food insecure populations to the fall armyworm epidemic which hit the region in 2016/17 contributing to the reduction in maize production.

The report predicts that the fall armyworm will continue to affect the region, urging governments and stakeholders to consider long term investments in containing the problem.

The number of food insecure people has increased in Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe despite increases in food production, compared to the previous years.

Reacting to the report, the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (Fanrpan) and Care Southern Africa welcomed findings of the report and applauded Sadc member States’ efforts in the implementation of various policies to address food and nutrition security.

“However, this report reveals that these efforts are not enough considering the unprecedented impacts of climate change, such as floods, droughts, widespread pests and epidemics, gender inequalities in the agriculture sector and low investment in extension services,” said Michelle D Carter, Care’s Southern Africa Regional director, in a press release.

On the other hand, Fanrpan chief executive officer Munhamo Chisvo advised governments to consider investing in winter cropping and post-harvest management.

He said: “The report projects that 2018/19 will be an El Nino season, signalling high probability of low agriculture production with serious negative impact on most economies in the region which are agro-based.”

Care Southern Africa advocacy and partnerships coordinator Vitumbiko Chinoko said: “It is evident that climate change has been the main cause of low food production in Southern Africa. All climate scenarios indicate the region will continue to receive less rainfall.

“Rainfall-based agriculture systems will continue to keep the region food and nutrition insecure. Governments should scale-up irrigation and ensure that such initiatives allow adequate participation of small-scale famers who comprise 60 percent of the food producers in the region.”

On nutrition, the report indicates that the Sadc region is off-track in reducing childhood stunting by 40 percent and the proportion of stunted children is increasing in most countries.

World Health Organisation has found that stunted children are more likely to fall ill and develop poor cognitive skills and learning and their labour productivity, employment potential, and socialisation are also affected later in life.

The second round of crop estimates show that maize production has declined by 19.4 percent from 3.5 million metric tons in 2016/2017 growing season to 2.8 million metric tons in the 2017/18.

In the 2018/19 budget statement, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe acknowledged the impact of the fall armyworm infestation and dry spells on maize production and made an allocation of K20 billion to maize purchases and distribution to areas affected by low production.

The maize purchased will be in addition to the current maize stock of 282 000 MT held by Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation and National Food Reserve Agency.  n