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POTATO EXPORT TO PAKISTAN SEES A SUDDEN JUMP (India)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 9, 2009

9 Jan 2009, 02:52 hrs IST

PTI

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

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Posted in AGRICULTURE, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, INDIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PAKISTAN, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

SNOWFALL RAISES HOPES OF GOOD APPLE HARVEST IN HIMACHAL (India)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 8, 2009

8 Jan 2009, 0256 hrs IST

IANS

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, INDIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

D.A. PUSHES SWIFT PASSAGE OF AGRI-FRIENDLY BILLS (Philippines)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 3, 2009

01/03/2009

The Daily Tribune

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY TRIBUNE’ (Philippines)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY TRIBUNE’ (Philippines)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FARMING SUBSIDIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FISHERIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, GRAINS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MEAT, PHILIPPINES, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

D.A. TO STRENGTHEN NATIONAL VEGETABLE PROGRAM (Philippines)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 3, 2009

January 03, 2009 06:04 PM Saturday

by Cory Martinez

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE JOURNAL ONLINE’ (Philippines)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE JOURNAL ONLINE’ (Philippines)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FARMING SUBSIDIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MACROECONOMY, PHILIPPINES, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

DA TO STRENGTHEN NATIONAL VEGETABLE PROGRAM (Philippines)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 3, 2009

January 03, 2009 06:04 PM Saturday

by Cory Martinez

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE JOURNAL ONLINE’ (Philippines)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE JOURNAL ONLINE’ (Philippines)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FARMING SUBSIDIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PHILIPPINES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

EXPECT A DIP IN US AVOCADO SUPPLY (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 2, 2009

January 1, 2009

Los Angeles Times

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BOSTON GLOBE’ (USA)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BOSTON GLOBE’ (USA)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA | Leave a Comment »

ASSENTADO PARAIBANO VENDEU 75 TONELADAS DE POLPAS DE FRUTAS EM 2008 (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 1, 2009

Quarta, 31 de Dezembro de 2008 – 14h29

Correio da Paraíba

PUBLISHED BY ‘CORREIO DA PARAÍBA – PORTAL CORREIO’ (Brazil)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘CORREIO DA PARAÍBA – PORTAL CORREIO’ (Brazil)

Posted in A INDÚSTRIA DE ALIMENTOS, A QUESTÃO AGRÁRIA, AGRICULTURA, AGRICULTURE, AGRONEGÓCIOS, BRASIL, CIDADANIA, CIDADES, COMÉRCIO - BRASIL, COMBATE À DESIGUALDADE E À EXCLUSÃO - BRASIL, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, DESENVOLVIMENTO SUSTENTÁVEL, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EXPANSÃO AGRÍCOLA, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, EXPANSÃO INDUSTRIAL, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, INDÚSTRIAS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, POLÍTICA EXTERNA - BRASIL, PRODUTO INTERNO BRUTO ESTADUAL, PRODUTO INTERNO BRUTO NACIONAL, RECESSION, RELAÇÕES COMERCIAIS INTERNACIONAIS - BRASIL, RELAÇÕES DIPLOMÁTICAS - BRASIL, RELAÇÕES INTERNACIONAIS - BRASIL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

INNOVATION IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 13, 2008

11 Dec 2008

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BUSINESS NEWS’ (South Africa)

THIS year has been exceptional in that the export markets started on an unbelievably high level and thanks to a combination of factors, Capespan realised on average 43% higher payments to growers of deciduous fruit in the first couple of months this year, compared to the same period last year, while citrus was up 70%, according to group managing director Neil Oosthuizen.

But in an interview with CBN he sounded caution, indicating that recent developments on the world’s economic scene have brought their own uncertainties.

“It’s clear that consumers in most countries are taking financial strain and although we aim to keep prices low on the retailers’ shelves, sales may be strained as fruit products, especially grapes, are often viewed as a luxury”, Oosthuizen says.

Consumers will have less money to spend on expensive fruit. And because supermarkets will be fighting to retain shoppers and because fruit is often regarded a high profile item, they’ll want to show that they’re offering the lowest possible fruit prices.

It is for this reason that Capespan will continue to be innovative particularly so in specialised packaging and value added products. So for example Capespan has launched its new fresh-cut products.

In partnership with UK processors Orchard County Foods and Superior Foods, Capespan is meeting the need for convenient fruit snacks with a range of products under the CAPE label. These are Snack Bags (apple and grape) and Fruit Pots, a fruit medley and pineapple and grape.

Another innovation is individually sleeved CAPE fresh pineapple sticks, which were launched earlier this year as part of the British Airways long haul menu. So far feedback has been extremely positive, Oosthuizen says, with the demand currently 80 000 sticks a week, but this is forecast to increase to 100 000 sticks a week. It is now looking at increasing the range in the future with additional fruit products.

Capespan also launched its new Capespan Gold brand in the UK market to meet demand from its top-end global customers for fruit of exceptional quality. Customers range from independent retailers to catering and food service organisations supplying the UK’s boardrooms and airport business lounges.

It’s anticipated that once Capespan Gold grapes are established in the market, the brand will be extended to other fruit kinds. A simple, stylish livery has been developed for the brand.

He also notes the continuing trend for retailers to get closer and better understand producers. “As the middleman, we the exporters, acknowledge the growing importance of supply chain management services in supporting the marketing process. Continual pressure to cut costs and find the most effective routes will beef up supply chain management challenges further. Therefore we’ve examined ways to elevate our service delivery and offering to the highest levels”.

“This is essential in guaranteeing Cape-span’s exceptional services, featuring quality and innovation – factors which distinguish us from our competitors”, he says.

Of strategic importance is also securing Capespan’s fruit supply. To this end it has, through its associate company Rapiprop, purchased the 490 ha Applethwaite farm in the Grabouw area. “The purchase of this large apple, pear and plum production unit underscores Capespan’s continued focus on growth and development”, says Oosthuizen.

“Because the farm has been a Capespan supplier for more then 60 years, we know the business intimately”, he says.

With orchards covering 300 ha, Applethwaite annually exports 260 000 cartons of apples, 50 000 cartons of pears and 100 000 trays of plums. Apart from having its own pack house and cold stores, the farm was one of the first in the country to offer a creche, pre-school, clinic and church facilities to staff members. The company’s infrastructure is a producer’s dream. Plus, it was one of the pioneers in computerised quality control, according to Oosthuizen.

Rapiprop, a joint venture between Capespan, Total Produce plc and the Cape Empowerment Trust, owns and operates farms in South Africa. The organisation buys farms that are good investments, secures a strategic fruit supply and will plan an important empowerment role in future.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BUSINESS NEWS’ (South Africa)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, AIR TRANSPORT INDUSTRY, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PAPER INDUSTRIES, RECESSION, SOUTH AFRICA, THE WORK MARKET, TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

GIRLS CHEW QAT TOO (Yemen)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 12, 2008

Friday December 12, 2008 – Issue: (1215), Volume 16 , From 11 December 2008 to 14 December 2008

by Saddam Ashmori For the Yemen Times

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE YEMEN TIMES’

In the governorate of Amran, some 50 kilometers north of Sana’a, chewing qat and smoking among women is strongly disapproved of by society. Although only a few elder women would practice these habits in the past, nowadays more and more women of different ages chew qat and spark up their cigarettes and hookahs, the ancient Middle Eastern water pipe filled with sweetened tobacco, on a daily basis during social gatherings similar to those of men.

Elham, a university student says that she picked up the habit when she was in high school: “I liked qat because it helped me stay up late to study, particularly during exams. Now, I chew qat every day and in increasing quantities.”

Um Ammar says that she usually chews qat at her friend’s house. “I chew every day at the qat session and smoke my hookah as well,” she points out. “Girls like these sessions as it’s an opportunity for them to share their problems and they talk about different things including politics and gossip.”

Some girls say they are only victims, as they succumb to peer pressure. “One of my friends insisted that chew qat and smoke with her until I became addicted,” says Siham, another university student. “Now, I don’t believe I can ever give up chewing or smoking. I have tried, but unfortunately I couldn’t quit, although I know the risks of these habits. I chew qat in front of my family members but started smoking in secret.”

Najwa says that, after she completed high school, her family didn’t allow her to attend university. “I found myself always idle and bored and resorted to chewing qat and smoking with my friends. It helps me momentarily relax and to forget some of my troubles.”

Um Arwa says that she chews qat to keep slim. She says that she doesn’t have her supper because qat causes loss of appetite. “If I chew qat, I don’t eat supper and only eat a small portion at breakfast. This helps me to maintain my grace,” she points out.

Many girls in Amran lead a life of chewing and smoking with little regard to the dangers that result from such practices. Balqees Al-Masswari, a sociologist, says that the reason of this increasing trend is a vacuum in other forms of entertainment such as clubs for women. She says that it is widely thought that chewing qat and smoking bring about psychological relaxation, which prompts many girls to practice these habits. She also stressed that families are responsible for their daughters’ well-being.

“The absence of family scrutiny on the behavior of girls during their teenage years makes them subject to peer pressure with little awareness of its consequences. Some girls believe that these practices are part of a woman‘s freedom,” says Al-Masswari, adding, “Families should educate their daughters about the dangers of qat and smoking to health.”

General medical practitioner Dr. Faisal Makhidi confirms that chewing qat and smoking have many bad consequences on health. “Many girls who come to the hospital suffer from health problems due to qat and smoking such as pulmonary diseases, toothache and insomnia, apart from other serious ailments including cancer and liver diseases,” he says.

He maintains that smoking and chewing qat have many detrimental effects on pregnant women and their unborn child. In addition, the practices decrease the amount of breast milk during feeding and can even lead to infertility and schizophrenia.

For centuries, men in Yemen have gathered around hookahs to puff fruit-scented smoke and chew qat, talk and pass the time. Today, unaware of the devastating -quite possibly even deadly- consequences of the habit, women are increasingly taking it up as a favorite pastime.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE YEMEN TIMES’

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CONSUMERS AND PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, HEALTH SAFETY, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, YEMEN | Leave a Comment »

QATAR LOOKS TO GROW FOOD IN KENYA -THE GULF STATE HAS JOINED A GROWING LIST OF RICH COUNTRIES THAT WANT TO GROW FOOD IN POOR COUNTRIES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 5, 2008

Tuesday December 2 2008 16.58 GMT

Xan Rice in Nairobi – guardian.co.uk

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Qatar has asked Kenya to lease it 40,000 hectares of land to grow crops as part of a proposed package that would also see the Gulf state fund a new £2.4bn port on the popular tourist island of Lamu off the east African country.

The deal is the latest example of wealthy countries and companies trying to secure food supplies from the developing world.

Other Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have also been negotiating leases of large tracts of farmland in countries such as Sudan and Senegal since the global food shortages and price rises earlier this year.

The Kenyan president, Mwai Kibaki, returned from a visit to Qatar on Monday. His spokesman said the request for land in the Tana river delta, south of Lamu, in north-east Kenya was being seriously considered.

“Nothing comes for free,” said Isaiah Kabira. “If you want people to invest in your country then you have to make concessions.”

But the deal is likely to cause concern in Kenya where fertile land is unequally distributed. Several prominent political families own huge tracts of farmland, while millions of people live in densely packed slums.

The country is also experiencing a food crisis, with the government forced to introduce subsidies and price controls on maize this week after poor production and planning caused the price of the staple “ugali” flour to double in less than a year.

Kibaki said that Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani was keen to invest in a second port to complement Mombasa, which serves as a gateway for goods bound for Uganda and Rwanda and is struggling to cope with the large volumes of cargo.

By building docks in Lamu, Kenya hopes to open a new trade corridor that will give landlocked Ethiopia and the autonomous region of Southern Sudan access to the Indian Ocean. Kabira said that if the financing was agreed, construction of the port would begin in 2010.

Qatar, which has large oil and gas revenues, imports most of its food, as most of its land is barren desert and just 1% is suitable for arable farming. It has already reportedly struck deals this year to grow rice in Cambodia, maize and wheat in Sudan and vegetables in Vietnam.

Much of the produce will be exported to the Gulf. Qatar’s foreign ministry in Doha did not return calls today, but Kabira said that its intention was to grow “vegetables and fruit” in Kenya.

The area proposed for the farming project is near the Tana river delta where the Kenyan government owns nearly 500,000 hectares (1.3m acres) of uncultivated land.

But a separate agreement to allow a local company to grow sugarcane and build a factory in the area has attracted fierce opposition from environmentalists who say a pristine ecosystem of mangrove swamps, savannah and forests will be destroyed.

Pastoralists, who regard the land as communal and rear up to 60,000 cattle to graze in the delta each dry season, are also opposed to the plan.

“We will have to ensure that this new project is properly explained to the people before it can go ahead,” said Kabira.

The sudden rush by foreign governments and companies to secure food supplies in Africa has some experts worried. Jacques Diouf, director general of the UN’s food and agricultural organisation (FAO), recently spoke of the risk of a “neo-colonial” agricultural system emerging.

The FAO said some of the first overseas projects by Gulf companies in Sudan, where more than 5 million people receive international food aid, showed limited local benefits, with much of the specialist labour and farming inputs imported.

A deal struck last month by Daewoo Logistics and Madagascar to grow crops on 1.3m hectares of land also attracted strong criticism. While the South Korean firm has promised to provide local jobs and will have to invest in building roads and farming infrastructure, it is paying no upfront fee and has a 99-year lease.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Posted in 'DOHA TALKS', AGRICULTURE, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, FARMING SUBSIDIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), FOREIGN POLICIES, FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, KENYA, MACROECONOMY, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, QATAR, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, ROAD TRANSPORT, SOUTH KOREA, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE UNITED NATIONS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES, WATER | Leave a Comment »

FINANCIAL CRISIS KILLS OFF AGRICULTURE SCHEMES (Australia)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 2, 2008

December 02, 2008

by Rick Wallace

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

THE economic crisis appears to have killed off one of the most divisive trends in Australian agriculture: the growth of aggressively marketed, tax-effective investment schemes.

The future of the schemes, loathed by many growers for buying up land and billions of litres of water, is in jeopardy thanks to the global financial collapse and recent tax changes.

The two largest agricultural managed investment scheme companies, Timbercorp and Great Southern Plantations, are trading at less than 5 per cent of their peak values in 2006. Overall, their plummeting share prices have stripped more than $1.7 billion from their combined market capitalisation.

Timbercorp will quit the MIS sector next year and has begun selling plantations to reduce debt while Great Southern has also announced a major restructure that will reduce its involvement in non-forestry MIS schemes.

Enviroinvest, another MIS operator, controlled by the family of former Liberal politician Roger Pescott, recently went into liquidation with debts of $100 million.

The sector’s woes may change the landscape of horticulture in Australia with investment slowing to a trickle and plantations along the Murray River potentially sold off to foreign investors.

Under restructure plans, Timbercorp will sell some forestry blocks along with almond and olive groves, although it will lease them back. Great Southern is converting some cattle, forestry and horticultural projects to non-MIS based structures.

Analysts predict Great Southern will have to sell more assets if investors don’t support the restructure, although the company is upbeat about its chances.

Individual growers reeling under debt and a decade of drought believe much of the land and water rights controlled by MISs will now be bought up by foreign firms.

Northwest Victorian grape grower and MIS critic Bill McClumpha said many MISs would fold. “The schemes are financially unviable and just an arm of the tax avoidance industry,” he said.

The growth of MISs saw them expand from forestry into almonds, avocados, abalone, pearls, truffles and walnuts, olives and wine grapes. Investors ploughed almost $1.1 billion into them in 2007 at the height of the boom, buying hundreds of thousands of hectares from farmers to establish plantations and orchards.

According to their detractors, who include Liberal senator Bill Heffernan and former Nationals agriculture minister Peter McGauran, the attraction was not so much the returns but the tax deductions they offered.

From July this year, a tax office ruling has meant non-forestry schemes no longer attract the deduction, although this is being reviewed by Treasury and challenged in the Federal Court.

Many of the schemes were sold on commission to high-income earners. To their supporters they offered innovation, economies of scale and capital beyond the reach of the average farmer.

Great Southern spokesman David Ikin said the company would wait on the tax reviews before considering any new non-forestry MIS and Timbercorp is now focusing on agribusiness rather than fund management.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

Posted in AGRICULTURE, AUSTRALIA, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, GRAINS, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, WATER | Leave a Comment »

BANANA FIRM SUED OVER TOXIC WASTES (Philippines)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 2, 2008

First Posted 23:39:00 11/29/2008

Edwin O. Fernandez – Inquirer Mindanao PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER’

COTABATO CITY, Philippines—The local government of Magpet in North Cotabato has sued one of the country’s major banana producers over its disposal of suspected toxic wastes in at least two villages there.

Mayor Efren Piñol on Saturday said toxic chemical wastes from the plantation of AJMR Holdings had leaked into the villages of Basak and Datu Celo and the company did nothing about it.

The villages are near the company’s banana plantations, which are at the foot of Mt. Apo.

The Inquirer repeatedly tried but failed to reach officials of AJMR in Davao City.

AJMR is a holding company of the AMS Group of Companies, which counts Sumifru Corp. of Japan as one of its major shareholders.

Contaminated drainage

Piñol said villagers of Datu Celo were the first to notice the chemical spill, which filled their drainage system.

The complaints also started coming in from residents of Basak.

Last week, Piñol said he personally saw the chemical wastes flowing in the canals of the two villages.

“I already called AJMR officials and informed them of the spill but it seems they had ignored the matter,” Piñol said.

The company’s apparent lack of interest to remedy the situation has prompted the town to sue AJMR for violation of environmental laws, according to Piñol.

“It was just appropriate to file a complaint against AJMR, which seems to be neglecting its responsibility of keeping the people safe from these chemicals,” Piñol said.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER’

Posted in AGRICULTURE, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, HEALTH SAFETY, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, PHILIPPINES, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY | 1 Comment »

BANANA FIGHT THREATENS DOHA DEAL – Deals in the Doha global trade talks next month are at risk if the European Union fails to settle a long-running banana dispute

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 27, 2008

November 27, 2008

by Alonso Soto in Quito, Ecuador

Article from: Reuters

Ecuador, the world’s top banana exporter, said it would not agree to agricultural accords in the Doha talks after the World Trade Organisation upheld a ruling against the EU in the lung-running “banana wars” pitting Brussels against the United States and Latin American producers.

“Unfortunately, our country will not agree to the consensus to settle the agriculture terms of the (Doha) round … if this problem is not properly resolved by then,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

A top government official told Reuters later that Latin American banana producers were demanding that the EU lower import tariffs on the fruit, beginning with a series of cuts starting next year.

The official, who asked not to be identified, said the EU should eventually cut its current duty of €176 ($349) per tonne of bananas to €114 ($226) in eight years.

Latin American states came close to securing a deal with the EU during a WTO ministerial meeting in July, but Brussels walked away from the deal when the broad Doha negotiations fell apart.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’ (USA)

Posted in 'DOHA TALKS', AGRICULTURE, BELGIUM, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMY, ECUADOR, FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, LATIN AMERICA, THE EUROPEAN UNION, USA, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION | Leave a Comment »

MALAWI IDENTIFIES NEW EXPORT MARKET

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 15, 2008

11:12:34 – 14 November 2008

by Caroline Kandiero

Government has secured an outright order of 15,000 metric tons of red beans to export to Cuba as RED BEANSsoon as possible.

Minister of Industry and Trade Henry Mussa said this on Wednesday on his arrival from the country’s 26th International Trade Fair which was held in Havana.

According to Mussa, the hurricanes that were experienced in Cuba destroyed nearly one third of the crops in the country.

“We have been given an outright deal to export to Cuba about 15,000 metric tons of red beans, which is translated to nearly US$12million (K1.9bn),” said Mussa, adding that there is a big export market in Cuba.

He further said apart from the beans export, there was also an agreement that Cuba would assist Malawi with expertise and knowledge to process fruits to improve shelf life after harvest.

Mussa therefore urged all beans farmers to come forward so that government can arrange logistics for the exportation of the beans especially on transportation.

The Minister also said that Cuban government has also offered technical support on the Shire Zambezi water corridor, and the technicians are expected in the country next year.

Principal Secretary in the trade ministry Nebert Nyirenda said Malawi has the capacity to export the beans at the same time have surplus.

“Beans are early maturing and we are not going to export the whole lot at once. We will be exporting in tranches and that will give us room to plant more,” he said.

According to Nyirenda, experts from Cuba are expected in the country to select a variety of their choice.

As a country, Malawi showcased several agricultural commodities which included groundnuts, tea, and coffee among others.

Statistics from the Ministry indicate that the country produces about 34,000 metric tonnes of beans annually.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY TIMES’ (Malawi)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, BEANS, COFFEE, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CUBA, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, GROUNDNUTS, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MALAWI, TEA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

WHY EATING GM FOOD COULD LOWER YOUR FERTILITY (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 14, 2008

Last updated at 11:22 AM on 12th November 2008

by Sean Poulter

Genetically modified corn has been linked to a threat to fertility in an official study that could deliver a Frankencorn by Monsantohammer blow to controversial ‘Frankenstein Food’.

A long-term feeding trial commissioned by the Austrian government found mice fed on GM corn or maize had fewer offspring and lower birth rates.

The trial has triggered a call from Greenpeace for a recall of all GM food crops currently on the market worldwide on the grounds of the threat to human health.

Fertility threat: mice fed on genetically modified corn had fewer offspring

Most of the research on GM crop safety has been conducted by biotech companies, such as Monsanto, rather than outside independent laboratories.

GM advocates have argued that the fact the US population has been eaten some types of GM food for more than a decade is proof of its safety.

However, these reassurances have been turned on their head by the study commissioned by the Austrian Ministries for Agriculture and Health, which was presented yesterday at a scientific seminar in Vienna.

Professor Dr Jurgen Zentek, Professor for Veterinary Medicine at the University of Vienna and lead author of the study, said a GM diet effected the fertility of mice.

GM expert at Greenpeace International, Dr Jan van Aken, said: ‘Genetically Engineered food appears to be acting as a birth control agent, potentially leading to infertility.

‘If this is not reason enough to close down the whole biotech industry once and for all, I am not sure what kind of disaster we are waiting for.

‘Playing genetic roulette with our food crops is like playing Russian roulette with consumers and public health.’

The Austrian scientists performed several long-term feeding trials with laboratory mice over a course of 20 weeks.

One of the studies was a so-called reproductive assessment by continuous breeding (RACB) trial, in which the same parent generation gave birth to several litters of baby mice.

The parents were fed either with a diet containing 33per cent of GM maize, a hybrid of Monsanto’s MON 810 and another variety, and a normal feed mix..

The team found changes that were ‘statistically significant’ in the third and fourth litters produced by the mice given a GM diet. There were fewer offspring, while the young mice were smaller.

Prof Zentek said there was a direct link between the changes seen and the GM diet.

A press release from the Austrian Agency for Health and Nutrition, said the group of mice given a diet of genetically engineered corn saw a significant change in fertility.

It said: ‘The number of litters and offspring decreased in the GE-fed group faster than in the control. In the GE-fed group more females remained without litters than in the control group.’

Monsanto press offices in the UK and USA were unable to provide a comment on the findings.

CropGen, which speaks for the biotech industry, claims GM crops have been accepted as safe by Government authorities on both sides of the Atlantic.

British scientists recently unveiled a GM purple tomato they claimed could help people avoid developing cancer. The tomato is high in antioxidants – naturally found in other fresh produce such as blueberrys, cranberries and carrots – which are seen as a protection against ill health.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘DAILY MAIL’ (UK)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, GENETICALLY MODIFIED AGRO-PRODUCTS, GRAINS, INTERNATIONAL, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

DISSERVICE TO THE NATION – “Men are more often bribed by their loyalties and ambitions than money.” – Robert Jackson – (Philippines)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 14, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

by Postgen Hector R.R. Villanueva

WHILE the monetary authorities among the world’s major economies have categorically declared that the world is definitely in recession, and there is no telling how long it will take to bottom out, we here in the Philippines are still obsessed with Congressional investigations that invariably end inconclusively.

It is dismaying to note that mainstream broadsheet newspapers and major television networks are like ambulance chasers dedicated to magnifying juicy issues and controversial personalities, and oblivious to the global financial crisis that will not spare any country, regardless of how large or small the economy maybe, from economic contraction.

So here we are. Instead of preparing, and looking for alternative sources and resources, to counteract expected decline in overseas employment and pari-passu corresponding drop in inward remittances from abroad; expected contraction in major exports, such as, electronics, garments, and fruits, and reduction in direct private foreign investments and official development assistance (ODAs), our congressional leaders are more preoccupied in extracting confessions, though not yet formally charged or accused, and admissions of wrongdoing, from former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn “Jocjoc” Bolante which obsession is not only counter productive but also wasteful of people’s money and time.

Second, as the externally-induced financial crisis – originating from America – starts hitting landfall, a vicious spiral starts to spin.

That is, consumers become more cautious and parsimonious in their buying habits; banks start collecting from maturing loans while borrowers cannot pay, and when the banks’ liquidity gets threatened, the Government will either provide emergency assistance or buy in into the equity of banks which foreign governments have been doing to their own national banking system.

Needless to say, despite governments’ decisive moves and succor, the people have become wary, confused, and dazed.

Third, it is in this context of preparing for the worst, and hoping for the best, that the political leaders should address and pay attention to instead of grandstanding probes in aid of ambition.

In a word, many of our natural disasters, misconduct of public officials, and financial felonies are better investigated and resolved with the least fanfare and publicity when our officials have more important issues, such as, budget deficit, and diminishing exports, to address.

When all is said and done, it is disconcerting to be subjected to tedious and boorish congressional investigations that lead to nowhere unless the end objective is, say, to associate Jocjoc Bolante to the First Gentleman, and collaterally embarrass the President.

By the same token, with 2010 election just around the corner and the advent of a new administration, the filing of impeachment against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is a waste of everybody’s time, and an exercise in futility.

There are so many critical issues to attend to than Jocjoc Bolante, or De la Paz.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘MANILA BULLETIN’ (Philippines)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ELECTRIC / ELECTRONIC INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, GARMENT INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PHILIPPINES, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET | Leave a Comment »

WORKER TRUSTS TAKE CONTROL OF FRUIT EXPORTER (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 3, 2008

Posted to the web on: 03 November 2008

by Chris van Gass

Cape Correspondent

CAPE TOWN — Nearly 200 workers and packers of a prominent apple and pear producer in the fertile Kashmiri Farmers pack Pear fruit in srinagar 01 August 2008Elgin Valley have taken a controlling interest in two farms in a R29m deal representing one of the largest land reform and agricultural black economic empowerment (BEE) projects in the Overberg region.

The project will see three worker trusts take a 52% share in the Vintage Group, a grower, packer and exporter of quality deciduous fruits, mainly apples, pears and grapes, which operates on the farms Arieskraal and Vyebosch.

The BEE partnership provided R8,5m to procure its interest with funding obtained through the land affairs department’s land redistribution for agricultural development programme and bank financing.

The project, which was conceptualised more than three years ago but began operations in earnest 18 months ago, had already realised its first dividend of R1,5m, which was “happy news” for the new shareholders, said farm manager and shareholder Peter Januarie.

Western Cape MEC for agriculture Cobus Dowry said on Friday the project was an example of how commercial farmers like Vintage CEO Barbara van den Bossche and MD Charl van den Berg could contribute to the government’s land reform programme. He said the extension of ownership was one way of combating poverty and eradicating the inequalities of the past.

Dowry said his department believed strongly in training, which the new partners of the farm would be able to tap into, and had budgeted more than R30m for structured agricultural training in the province to improve the living standards of farm workers.

Arieskraal and Vyebosch comprise nearly 300ha with 175ha planted under fruit trees. The Vintage group recently bought two additional farms, Kentucky and Twaalffontein, which has significantly extended its fruit farming operations to service its growing international customer base.

Januarie said Arieskraal produced 1500 tons of pears and 7500 tons of apples a year, with a turnover of R22m. The company exports to regions including Europe, the Middle East, Near East and Africa.

Januarie said he had been working on the farm for more than 30 years and, like all the new shareholders, he was excited about future prospects.

Van den Bossche, whose family started Vintage when they arrived from Belgium in SA in 1995, initially on holiday, said the partnership with Van den Berg had resulted in the establishment of a very competitive export business which already benefited a large community.

She said the group believed that the people who worked on the farms needed to be part of the land transformation process and Arieskraal was the first such initiative to accomplish this .

Van den Berg said the group had a clear vision on what was needed to keep farming profitable in the future, in view of a dramatic rise in input costs and especially the prices of fuel and fertiliser.

He said the group understood SA’s past and also the social responsibility it had as owners.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

Posted in AFRICA, AGRICULTURE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, INTERNATIONAL, SOUTH AFRICA, THE WORKERS | Leave a Comment »

ESPAÑA ESTÁ PREPARADA PARA HACER FRENTE A LOS REQUISITOS DE EXPORTACIÓN DE RUSIA – El Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino (MARM) ha asegurado hoy que España está preparada para exportar frutas y hortalizas a Rusia a pesar de los requisitos fijados por ese país a las autoridades europeas y que en nuestro país ya se habían previsto.

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 3, 2008

31/10/2008

EFE- Así lo ha asegurado el director general de Recursos Agrícolas y Ganaderos, Carlos Escribano, quien ha subrayado que hay “otros Estados miembros a los que a lo mejor se les plantea un problema si no estaban tan preparados, pero nosotros estamos en condiciones de hacer frente a las condiciones rusas”.

El año pasado, España exportó 50.000 toneladas de cítricos a Rusia, y el objetivo es ampliar “considerablemente” año a año estas cantidades, según el director general, quien se ha mostrado “optimista” ante las posibilidades de vender estos productos a ese país.

“No hay ningún problema, es un trabajo más que tienen que hacer las empresas, las Comunidades Autónomas y el Ministerio, pero los tres estamos preparados y ya se han mandado las instrucciones, los protocolos y los procedimientos para poder hacerlo sin más complicaciones”, ha resaltado.

Freshfel, la asociación que reúne a los comerciantes europeos de frutas y hortalizas, denunció ayer que las nuevas trabas de Rusia a las verduras y cítricos suponen un obstáculo a las exportaciones.

Escribano, por su parte, ha explicado que hace unos meses representantes del MARM trataron en Moscú con las autoridades rusas estas condiciones, que pasan por la no aceptación de ese país de las normas del Codex Alimentario Internacional y por que se cumpla su propia legislación.

A partir de ahí, según ha aclarado, España hizo saber a la Comisión Europea estos requisitos y le pidió que negociase con Rusia en nombre de todos los Estados miembros dada la importancia del sector hortofrutícola y, en especial, de los cítricos españoles, así como de los productos cárnicos, que también se ven afectados.

Posteriormente, el Ministerio reunió a las Comunidades Autónomas y, por otra parte, a los exportadores de frutas y hortalizas para explicarles estas condiciones a las exportaciones.

Por todo ello, se elaboró un documento -que es una declaración del agricultor en el que precisa los tratamientos efectuados- y que era solicitado por las autoridades rusas, y se trasladó al sector que ese país también les pediría un análisis previo de los productos utilizados para comprobar si dejaban residuos.

Escribano ha añadido que entre los laboratorios de las empresas, de las Comunidades Autónomas y del Estado se pusieron de acuerdo en que España haría esos análisis y estos certificados para respaldar las exportaciones de los productos.

“Para nosotros es una dificultad más, un trabajo más que tenemos que hacer, pero estamos preparados para ello”, ha garantizado Escribano.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘AGROINFORMACION’ (Spain)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EUROPE, FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, INTERNATIONAL, MEAT, RUSSIA, SPAIN | Leave a Comment »