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COMPANY AT CORE OF CHINA’S MILK SCANDAL IS DECLARED BANKRUPT

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 25, 2008

December 24, 2008

by Edward Wong – The International Herald Tribune

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (USA)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (USA)

Posted in CHINA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, DAIRY PRODUCTS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), FRAUD, HEALTH SAFETY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, MILK, POWDERED MILK, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY | Leave a Comment »

ARGENTINA ANUNCIA MEDIDA PARA ELEVAR EXPORTAÇÃO DE CARNE EM MEIO À CRISE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 23, 2008

22/12/2008 17:17

Da France Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘CORREIO BRAZILIENSE’ (Brasil)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘CORREIO BRAZILIENSE’ (Brasil)

Posted in ARGENTINA, CATTLE, COMMERCE, COMMERCIAL PROTECTIONISM, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MEAT, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

PRODUÇÃO DE SOJA E MILHO RENDEU R$ 2,8 BI EM 2007 (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 23, 2008

Quarta-feira, 17 de Dezembro de 2008 – 11:55

por Fernanda Mathias

PUBLISHED BY ‘CAMPO GRANDE NEWS’ (Brazil)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘CAMPO GRANDE NEWS’ (Brazil)

Posted in AGRICULTURA, AGRICULTURE, AGRONEGÓCIOS, ANIMAL FOOD, CORN, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EXPANSÃO AGRÍCOLA, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION | Leave a Comment »

CANA-DE-AÇÚCAR: MINAS GERAIS DEVE SUPERAR PR TAMBÉM NA PRODUÇÃO DE ETANOL (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 21, 2008

19/12/2008 – 19:00

por F.R. – SIAMIG

PUBLISHED BY ‘SAFRAS & MERCADO’ (Brazil)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘SAFRAS & MERCADO’ (Brazil)

Posted in A QUESTÃO ENERGÉTICA, AGRICULTURA, AGRICULTURE, BRASIL, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ETANOL, ETHANOL, EXPANSÃO AGRÍCOLA, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MG, POLÍTICA REGIONAL, PR, PRODUTO INTERNO BRUTO ESTADUAL, RECESSION, SUGAR, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | 1 Comment »

ARROZ: RS INAUGURA UNIDADE DE BENEFICIAMENTO DE ORGÂNICO (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 21, 2008

19/12/2008 – 17:36

C. B. L.

PUBLISHED BY ‘SAFRAS & MERCADO’ (Brazil)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘SAFRAS & MERCADO’ (Brazil)

Posted in A INDÚSTRIA DE ALIMENTOS, AGRICULTURA, AGRICULTURA SUSTENTÁVEL, AGRICULTURE, BRASIL, CIDADANIA, CIDADES, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, DEFESA DO CONSUMIDOR - BRASIL, DEFESA DO MEIO AMBIENTE - BRASIL, ECOLOGICAL AGRICULTURE, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, EXPANSÃO AGRÍCOLA, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), HEALTH SAFETY, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, O PODER EXECUTIVO ESTADUAL, O PODER LEGISLATIVO ESTADUAL, O PODER LEGISLATIVO MUNICIPAL, OS GOVERNADORES, POLÍTICA REGIONAL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RICE, RS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

NEGOCIAÇÃO DA SAFRA POR CONTRATO DE OPÇÃO CRESCE 238% NO ANO (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 21, 2008

19 de dezembro de 2008 – 14:00h

Assessoria

PUBLISHED BY ‘SÓ NOTÍCIAS’ (MT – Brazil)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘SÓ NOTÍCIAS’ (MT – Brazil)

Posted in AGRICULTURA, AGRICULTURE, AGRONEGÓCIOS, ANIMAL FOOD, ÍNDICES ECONÔMICOS - BRASIL, BALANÇA COMERCIAL, BRASIL, COMÉRCIO - BRASIL, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EXPANSÃO AGRÍCOLA, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PECUÁRIA, PRODUTO INTERNO BRUTO NACIONAL, RECESSION, RELAÇÕES COMERCIAIS INTERNACIONAIS - BRASIL, SETOR EXPORTADOR, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

SORRISO: AGRONEGÓCIO IMPULSIONA EXPORTAÇÕES E VOLUME ULTRAPASSA US$264 MILHÕES (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 21, 2008

19 de dezembro de 2008 – 07:50h

Só Notícias – Leandro J. Nascimento

PUBLISHED BY ‘SÓ NOTÍCIAS’ (MT – Brazil)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘SÓ NOTÍCIAS’ (MT – Brazil)

Posted in A INDÚSTRIA DE ALIMENTOS, AGRICULTURA, AGRICULTURE, AGRONEGÓCIOS, ALIMENTOS PROCESSADOS, ANIMAL FOOD, ÍNDICES ECONÔMICOS - BRASIL, BALANÇA COMERCIAL, BRASIL, COMÉRCIO - BRASIL, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EXPANSÃO AGRÍCOLA, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), INDÚSTRIAS, INTERNATIONAL, O PODER EXECUTIVO FEDERAL, PECUÁRIA, PRODUTO INTERNO BRUTO NACIONAL, RECESSION, RELAÇÕES COMERCIAIS INTERNACIONAIS - BRASIL, SETOR EXPORTADOR, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

PLANTIO DE SOJA CHEGA A 97% DE ÁREA NO PAÍS, APONTA AGRURAL (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 21, 2008

19 de dezembro de 2008 – 17:00h

AgRural

PUBLISHED BY ‘SÓ NOTÍCIAS’ (MT – Brazil)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘SÓ NOTÍCIAS’ (MT – Brazil)

Posted in A INDÚSTRIA DE ALIMENTOS, AGRICULTURA, AGRICULTURE, ANIMAL FOOD, ÍNDICES ECONÔMICOS - BRASIL, BRASIL, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EXPANSÃO AGRÍCOLA, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PRODUTO INTERNO BRUTO NACIONAL, RECESSION, SETOR EXPORTADOR, SOY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

EXPORTAÇÕES DO AGRONEGÓCIO DEVEM CHEGAR A US$ 73 BI (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 21, 2008

21/12/2008

Tribuna do Norte

PUBLISHED BY ‘TRIBUNA DO NORTE’ (Brazil)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘TRIBUNA DO NORTE’ (Brazil)

Posted in AGRICULTURA, AGRICULTURE, AGRONEGÓCIOS, ALIMENTOS PROCESSADOS, ANIMAL FOOD, ÍNDICES ECONÔMICOS - BRASIL, BALANÇA COMERCIAL, BRASIL, COMÉRCIO - BRASIL, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EXPANSÃO AGRÍCOLA, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), INDÚSTRIAS, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PECUÁRIA, PRODUTO INTERNO BRUTO NACIONAL, RECESSION, RELAÇÕES COMERCIAIS INTERNACIONAIS - BRASIL, SETOR EXPORTADOR, SUPERÁVIT COMERCIAL, SUPERÁVIT PRIMÁRIO, TAXA DE CÂMBIO - BRASIL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

NEGOCIAÇÃO DA SAFRA AGRÍCOLA POR CONTRATO CRESCE 238% (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 21, 2008

21/12/2008

Tribuna do Norte

PUBLISHED BY ‘TRIBUNA DO NORTE’ (Brazil)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘TRIBUNA DO NORTE’ (Brazil)

Posted in A BOLSA DE VALORES, A INDÚSTRIA DE ALIMENTOS, AGRICULTURA, AGRICULTURE, AGRONEGÓCIOS, ANIMAL FOOD, ÍNDICES ECONÔMICOS - BRASIL, BRASIL, COMÉRCIO - BRASIL, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EXPANSÃO AGRÍCOLA, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, O MERCADO FINANCEIRO, RECESSION, RELAÇÕES COMERCIAIS INTERNACIONAIS - BRASIL, SETOR EXPORTADOR, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

IOC PLANS TO BUY SUGAR MILL IN BRAZIL

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 17, 2008

15 Dec 2008, 17:15 hrs IST

ReutersPUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, AGRONEGÓCIOS, BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EXPANSÃO AGRÍCOLA, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), INDIA, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, RELAÇÕES COMERCIAIS INTERNACIONAIS - BRASIL, SUGAR, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

FDA, EPA AT ODDS ON CONSUMER WARNINGS ABOUT FISH (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 17, 2008

December 13, 2008

by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar – Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BOSTON GLOBE’ (USA)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BOSTON GLOBE’ (USA)

Posted in COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FISHERIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, MEAT, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA | Leave a Comment »

GROUPS URGE BPA BAN IN ALL FOOD PACKAGING (Canada)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 17, 2008

December 16, 2008 at 3:49 AM EST

by Marti Mittelstaedt – Globe and Mail

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GLOBE & MAIL’ (Canada)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GLOBE & MAIL’ (Canada)

Posted in CANADA, COMMERCE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, FEMINISM AND WOMEN'S RIGHTS, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), HEALTH SAFETY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY | Leave a Comment »

WORLD BANK PLAN BLAMED FOR FOOD CRISIS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 14, 2008

December 14, 2008

by Alison Fitzgerald and Helen Murphy

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS REPORT’ (South Africa)

The silo, which once held thousands of tons of beans and cereals, is now empty. It was abandoned in 1991 after the bank told Salvadoran leaders to privatise grain storage, import staples such as maize and rice, and export cash crops including cocoa, coffee and palm oil.

Outside, at a food stand propped against a tower wall, price increases for grains have whittled business down to 16 customers a day from 80.

“It is a monument to the mess we are in,” says stall owner Rosa Chavez.

About 40 million people joined the ranks of the undernourished this year, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the UN said this week, bringing the estimate of the world’s hungry to 963 million of its 6.8 billion people.

In addition to natural causes, the recipe for famine included corrupt governments and companies that profited on misery. Another ingredient was the World Bank’s free market policies, which have brought poor nations like El Salvador into global grain markets, where prices surged.

Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the Earth Institute, said: “The World Bank made one basic blunder, which is to think that markets would solve problems of such severe circumstances. But history has shown you need to help people to get above the survival threshold before the markets can start functioning.”

Created in 1944, the World Bank spent much of its first 35 years dispensing low-interest loans, grants and advice to poor countries with an eye toward promoting self-reliance.

In 1980, the bank’s executives began attaching conditions to loans that required “structural adjustments” in the recipients’ economies.

The mandates were designed to get poor countries to cut import tariffs, reduce the government’s role in enterprises such as agriculture and promote cultivation of export crops to attract foreign currency.

The philosophy, known now as the Washington Consensus, assumed that importing basic grains would be inexpensive and that poor farmers could earn more producing exports.

Food prices had fallen for years and few economists thought that would change, said Mark Cackler, the manager of the bank’s agriculture and rural development department.

Then in 2007 and the first half of 2008, an index of 60 food commodity prices compiled by the FAO rose 82 percent. Costs have since eased, but were still 20 percent higher on November 1 than at the end of 2006.

The spike hit hard in countries that that took structural adjustment loans, like El Salvador. Its central bank said the sum total of loans was “not available”, but the agriculture ministry did give a gauge of their effects. The country was an exporter of rice 20 years ago; now it imports more than 75 percent of its needs.

Consistently wrong

East Timor’s president, Jose Ramos-Horta, said the World Bank gave “consistently wrong advice”. The 1996 Nobel peace prize winner added: “It is their advice – that buying externally is cheaper than producing – that has resulted in this.”

Current and former World Bank officials say small countries hurt their own agriculture industries by suppressing prices, taxing farms, inflating exchange rates and favouring urban development. They reject the assertion that structural adjustment loans hurt self-sufficiency.

World Bank spokesperson Geetanjali Chopra said the institution did not agree that “this crisis was caused by these policies. This crisis was caused by much more than underinvestment in agriculture.”

Still, FAO data show imports of basic grains climbed in nations such as Honduras and Ghana after they eliminated agricultural subsidies, sold off grain stores or cut tariffs to get World Bank loans in the 1990s.

In Honduras, 23 000 rice farmers went bankrupt after the government cut import duties, according to human rights group Oxfam International. Honduran farms now supply 17 percent of the domestic demand for rice, down from 90 percent before.

In Ghana, the World Bank required a tariff reduction on rice to 20 percent from 100 percent. Imports tripled, said Raj Patel, a scholar at the University of California.

Uma Lele, a World Bank economist between 1971 and 2005, said the free market policies were a sharp turn from the bank’s earlier efforts to develop poor countries’ agriculture and self-reliance.

Former bank president Robert McNamara introduced the structural adjustment concept in 1979 as he urged rich nations to open their markets to poor countries’ exports.

“Developing countries will need to carry out structural adjustments favouring their export sector,” he said in a speech in Manila.

Pierre Landell-Mills, a bank economist at the time, said officials were frustrated that their farming investment through the 1970s was not paying off, especially in Africa.

The “preferred solution”, he said, was to dismantle state marketing boards, shrink governments and remove barriers to entrepreneurship.

McNamara approved the first three structural adjustment loans in 1980. By 1985 they made up more than a quarter of the World Bank’s total lending, according to Kyle Peters, its country services director.

Free market principles were on the rise in the US and the UK, the bank’s major funders. Alden Clausen, appointed by the US to succeed McNamara in 1981, was sure “you could fight poverty better if you get the policies of a country right. I loved structural adjustment loans, and I made a lot of them,” he said.

As these loans grew, the portion of the World Bank’s lending devoted to agriculture fell, to 8 percent in 2000 from 30 percent in 1980. Last year, farm-related loans made up 12 percent of its $24.7 billion book.

“One of the reasons we have problems today is because of the cuts in agriculture,” said Montague Yudelman, the director of the bank’s agriculture unit under McNamara. “If they’d made a continuously high level of investment, we’d have been in much better shape.”

By the late 1980s critics began saying the bank was fostering poverty and dependence.

In 1995, just 30 days into his tenure as bank president, James Wolfensohn promised changes. In a meeting with 12 non-profit organisations, he heard their argument that 15 years of adjustment lending had wiped out small farmers in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

A different way

“I am looking for a different way of doing business,” Wolfensohn, who led the bank until 2005, told them.

The bank’s commitment to free-market principles didn’t waver.

In 2000, as a condition for a $6.8 million agriculture loan in East Timor, the bank demanded that state-funded agricultural service centres be privatised and rejected money for a public grain silo, according to Tim Anderson, a political economy lecturer at the University of Sydney.

In 2001 several non-profit groups released a report saying the policies “have undermined the viability of small farms, weakened food security and damaged the environment”.

In August 2004, James Adams, the World Bank’s head of operations policy, declared the end of structural adjustments, saying the bank had “abandoned the prescriptive character of the old policy”.

The next year, the bank demanded that Niger privatise its irrigation systems, according to a report by non-profit coalition Eurodad. The condition “has seriously damaging effects on poor farmers’ access to a precious resource”, says the 2007 report. The group found economic policy conditions were attached to 71 percent of loans and grants.

In this year’s World Development Report, the bank acknowledges that limiting state participation in agriculture has hurt small farmers.

Bank president Robert Zoellick has promised to double agriculture spending while touting free trade as a solution to rising food prices.

Poor countries remain sceptical. In world trade talks in Geneva in July they insisted on their right to raise tariffs to protect domestic agriculture, stalling the negotiations.

El Salvador, meanwhile, has invested about $240 million in agriculture since 2004. Agriculture minister Mario Salaverria said: “The World Bank had a very short-term vision. It could not have been more wrong.”

His country must regain self-sufficiency, he said. “We can stop using our cars because of price increases, but we cannot stop eating.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS REPORT’ (South Africa)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), GRAINS, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

OIBM, STANDARD BANK INCLUDED IN US CREDIT FUND (Malawi)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 13, 2008

12 December 2008 – 12:39:03

by Suzgo Khunga

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY TIMES’ (Malawi)

Opportunity International Bank of Malawi (OIBM) and Standard Bank signed agreements with the US embassy which allow the two financial institutions to participate in the Development Credit Authority (DCA) programme.

The agreements would enable United States Agency for International Development (Usaid) to enlarge its DCA programme and allow the two banks to lend up to US$13 million (K1.8 billion) to Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) in the agriculture and agriculturally linked sectors of the economy until 2014.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, US ambassador to Malawi Peter Bodde congratulated the two banks for targeting SME’s which he said are a critical sector for Malawi’s economic development.

“We all know the human impact these programmes have and how they can make a big difference in improving people’s lives,” Bodde said.

Under the DCA facility, the two banks would increase their SME client portfolio, especially in agricultural sector businesses located in rural areas.

Standard Bank and OIBM would work to provide loans to credit worthy farmers and small agri-businesses that have difficulties meeting normal bank loan conditions.

While commercial banks have often given preference to established urban businesses, the DCA facility is meant to increase lending to promising SME’s and lower their collateral requirements.

Deputy Chairman of OIBM Board of Directors Rodwell Mbale said the collaboration would stimulate productivity of smallholder farmers and allow them to invest in agro-processing industries.

Ministry of Finance Principal Budget Officer Bettie Ngoma who witnessed the signing of the agreements, noted that the initiative was a great way to stimulate microfinance lending by banks.

The US government’s DCA programme is already operational in 23 countries assisting thousands of enterprises to access required finance to achieve and maximise growth.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY TIMES’ (Malawi)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MALAWI, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, USA | Leave a Comment »

FOOD SAFETY ISSUES HINDER RICE EXPORTS – There are several problems facing the export of rice, one of the cash crops that local peasants prefer cultivating compared to cotton and wheat. Recently China has imposed a ban on imports of Egyptian rice

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 13, 2008

December 10, 2008

by Amina Abdul Salam

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE EGYPTIAN GAZETTE’

The reasons behind the ban are related to the use of herbicides, in addition to safety procedures that should be taken in the last stage of the harvest, but which were not made, according to Chinese authorities.

This has prompted Egyptian Minister of Agriculture Amin Abaza to ask the Central Administration of the Agriculture Quarantine to invite a formal Chinese delegation to discuss this issue with Chinese agencies.

A study, conducted by Egyptian agronomists Ali Abdul Rahman and Inas Saleh, has found that although international trade began to expand rapidly in the 1970s in the developed countries, developing countries have recently come to dominate a large part of the agricultural trade. Although fast growing, the international exchange trade has started to slow owing to fierce competition over agricultural production, according to the study. The slowdown is also related to an increase in restrictions representing in health conditions imposed by some countries, which aim at protecting their agricultural produce. Therefore, the health conditions have become legal obstacles, similar to the customs obstacles, many of which were unjustifiably imposed on global trade, the study noted. The study also showed that the previous restrictions were drawn up by some countries, not for the purpose of protecting their produce but in response to political activities practised by those who benefit from these curbs.

Therefore, recognition of the previous conditions led to a resistance of applying health specifications, which were one of the main topics of agenda of the trade negotiations, according to the same study. Otherwise, the exporting country has a right to object to health procedures drawn up by the importer in case the first part asserted the previous procedures had no scientific justification. The complainant should settle the issue with the other country. Rice accounts for around 40 per cent of Egypt’s farm exports.In a report on development and agricultural exports, leading Egyptian expert Abdul Salam Gomaa stressed the importance of paying more attention to organic agricultural products that depend on biological fertilizers so as to cope with market demands.

The report called for a gradual expansion of using organic fertilizers and the necessity of developing programmes of agrarian guidance and linking it with research as well as beginning transforming technology to old and new agricultural lands.Concerning new trends in using undated organic technology in the agricultural field, professor Magda Sabour at the Agricultural Research Centre believes that organic cultivation aims at preserving the environmental and biological safety of living creatures.

She notes that organic agriculture depending on biological methods can combat pests that destroy plants, in addition to producing healthy and safe food. On cereal storage, such as rice, a professor of entomology at the same centre in Giza, Shadia Abdul Aziz says that the peasant should protect his crop, following the harvest, not only to reduce waste, and it is his legal responsibility as well. As for destroying insects in cereals, she explains that the insects make the crop unfit for human consumption. “Therefore strict safety and protection measures should be followed at storehouses, taking into consideration the necessity of preventive steps against the occurrence of infection.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE EGYPTIAN GAZETTE’

Posted in AGRICULTURE, CHINA, COMMERCIAL PROTECTIONISM, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECOLOGICAL AGRICULTURE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EGYPT, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), FOREIGN POLICIES, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RICE, 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 »

FIRST PORK, NOW TAINTED BEEF IN IRELAND – DIOXINS IN CATTLE DOUBLE OR TRIPLE LEGAL LIMITS; MEDICAL CHIEF SAYS NO HEALTH RISK

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 12, 2008

DUBLIN, Ireland, Dec. 9, 2008

Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘CBS NEWS’ (USA)

(AP) Ireland announced Tuesday it has found illegal levels of dioxins – the chemicals that are devastating its pork industry – in cattle, but insisted its beef was safe to eat.

Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith said Ireland has decided not to recall any of its beef products at home or abroad because, unlike the contamination of pork products, the level and extent of dioxin found so far in cattle is much lower.

Smith said dioxin tests had come back positive for three farms out of 11 tested so far, while results were pending for 34 more farms that received dioxin-contaminated feed. He described the three farms that failed as “technically noncompliant, but not at a level that would pose any public health concern.”

Smith said the government would prevent any cattle at those three farms from being slaughtered and put into the food chain until they could be individually tested for dioxin levels. Until then, he said, no meat from those farms would be permitted to enter the market.

Alan O’Reilly, deputy chief executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, said dioxin levels detected in cattle from the three farms were two to three times over legal limits. He contrasted that with last week’s finding of dioxin levels in pigs that were 80 to 200 times over those limits.

“There’s a huge difference,” O’Reilly said.

Ireland’s chief medical officer, Dr. Tony Holohan, said the levels of dioxins detected in Irish beef and pork would not pose a health risk to anyone who ate either meat.

“To all intents and purposes this is not a public health issue. … We do not expect to see symptoms as a result of this,” Holohan said.

Nonetheless, the latest findings threatened to undermine Ireland’s annual $2 billion industry in beef, Ireland’s primary agricultural export – more than three times the value of Ireland’s gridlocked pork industry.

Ireland’s major pigmeat processors have been refusing to start slaughtering an estimated 100,000 pigs at nine farms where illegally high levels of dioxins have been confirmed. The processors have already laid off 1,400 workers and say they won’t budge until the government reimburses their costs.

© MMVIII The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘CBS NEWS’ (USA)

Posted in CATTLE, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), HEALTH SAFETY, INTERNATIONAL, IRELAND, MEAT, PORK, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY | Leave a Comment »

FOR FOOD AND JUSTICE PLANS – RP to borrow $500M from ADB (Philippines)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 10, 2008

First Posted 20:54:00 12/09/2008

by Joel Guinto – INQUIRER.net

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER’

MANILA, Philippines – The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) has approved two loan packages worth $500 million for a food crisis response plan and government’s justice reform program.

The projects were presented to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during a full Cabinet meeting in Malacañang Tuesday, Press Secretary Jesus Dureza told reporters.

“These are meant to provide interventional assistance to the poor and the vulnerable,” he said.

The government will borrow $300 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the Governance in Justice Reform Program (GJRP), which aims to increase the resources of the justice sector to enable efficient delivery of its services, especially to the poor, according to a Palace statement.

The loan has a maturity period of 15 years, inclusive of a three-year grace period, it said.

Manila will also borrow $200 million from the International bank of Reconstruction and Development for Food Crisis Response, which will be used to lower and stabilize food prices in the short term, mitigate the impact of high food prices on poor households, and improve the delivery of social services, especially to poor households, it said.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER’

Posted in AGRICULTURE, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FARMING SUBSIDIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), INTERNATIONAL, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, PHILIPPINES, RECESSION, THE WORKERS | Leave a Comment »

GM CROPS CLIMB TO NEARLY ONE-TENTH OF GLOBAL CROP PRODUCTION – Genetically Modified crops have risen to the level of nine percent of world crops, warned the Worldwatch Institute today (www.WorldWatch.org)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 5, 2008

Friday, Dec 05, 2008

by Mike Adams – Natural News

PUBLISHED BY ‘ALEX JONES’ INFOWARS.NET’

Tensions are rising over the GM foods issue as consumers become increasingly educated about the sharp increases in infertility resulting from the consumption of GM foods.

A popular book, Genetic Roulette by Jeffrey Smith, is also raising literacy about genetically modified foods and the threats they pose to sustainable life on our planet.

It’s more than just a health threat, of course: GM foods also pose a threat to the environment, polluting the fertile soils of the world with unnatural genetic material that may have unknown long-term consequences. Cross-pollination with non-GM crops, monoculture practices and the liberal use of chemical pesticides alongside GM crops are just a few of the serious threats to sustainable life on Earth posed by food scientists playing God with seeds.

Activists are increasingly suggesting that the infertility side effects of GM foods are not coincidental and are, instead, part of a genocidal plan by powerful elitists who want the human population to shrink by 80 percent and are willing to destroy human fertility in order to accomplish it. “Let ’em eat their way to population control!”

Although I don’t have any solid evidence to prove such a sinister plan actually exists, I’m greatly concerned about GM crops anyway. Despite the population control conspiracy agenda, GM crops are dangerous even if they’re just a big, arrogant mistake by corporate-funded scientists.

These foods are bad for you. They’re dangerous for human consumption and they could lead to a runaway agricultural blight that causes mass global starvation. Never play God with Mother Nature unless you’re begging to be made extinct.

Learn more at www.GeneticRoulette.com

I highly recommend the Seeds of Deception videos there, too.

GM Crops Climb to Nearly One-Tenth of Global Crop Production from wwww.worldwatch.com

From Worldwatch.org: Genetically modified crops reached 9 percent of global primary crop production in 2007, bringing the total GM land area up to 114.3 million hectares, according to Worldwatch Institute estimates published in the latest Vital Signs Update. The United States continues to be the global leader in production, accounting for half of all GM crop area.

GM production has been on the rise since the crops were first introduced more than a decade ago, and it now includes 23 countries. But controversy over the benefits of genetic modification continues, including questions about the technology’s ability to deliver on promises of enhanced yields and nutrition.

“GM crops are definitely not a silver bullet,” said Alice McKeown, a researcher for the Worldwatch Institute. “They sound good on paper, but we have yet to see glowing results.”

Even as GM crop area expands, tensions are building. The European Union is expected to offer new guidance on the crops by the end of the year. Meanwhile, a new scientific study funded by the Austrian government suggests that a popular variety of GM corn reduces fertility in mice, raising questions about the technology’s safety.

“There are still many unanswered questions about GM crops,” said McKeown. “But the good news is that we have solutions to food security and other problems available today that we know work and are safe for humans and the environment, including organic farming.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘ALEX JONES’ INFOWARS.NET’

Posted in AGRICULTURE, ANIMAL FOOD, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), GENETICALLY MODIFIED AGRO-PRODUCTS, HEALTH SAFETY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, USA | 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 »

USDA: MORE ACRES TO CORN IN 2009 (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

Published Wednesday – December 3, 2008

BLOOMBERG NEWS

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE OMAHA WORLD-HERALD’ (USA)

Farmers will increase corn planting by 4.8 percent to about 90 million acres next year as demand rises and lower costs make the grain more profitable, said Joe Glauber, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s top economist.

“We’re going to go into next year tighter than we did this year,” Glauber said Tuesday at an agricultural conference in Washington.

Inventories are expected to drop 31 percent to 1.124 billion bushels by Aug. 31 of next year, he said.

He did not offer 2009 planting forecasts for other crops.

Corn futures in Chicago have fallen 56 percent from a record earlier this year. Soybeans are down 48 percent and wheat 61 percent from all-time highs. Global recession and larger crops have fueled the drop, which will keep prices next year lower than this year, Glauber said.

Rabobank Group analyst Luke Chandler said he expects slumping grain prices to rebound next year because of smaller world crops and economic stability that will boost demand for food, animal feed and biofuels.

His outlook for grains:

– Corn may rise to average $4.50 a bushel in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared with $3.80 this quarter.

– Soybeans may gain 13 percent to an average $10.20 a bushel in the fourth quarter next year from $9 this quarter.

– Wheat prices may rise 9.1 percent to an average of $6 a bushel in Chicago in the fourth quarter next year, compared with $5.50 in the current quarter.

“South American production and exports also appear under pressure with a combination of seasonal and financial influences expected to lower production expectations in coming months,” Chandler said in a report to clients. “Short-term price direction over the next six to 12 months will remain heavily influenced by the broader financial, currency and energy market situation.”

Smaller crops in Australia and Argentina should lead to a cyclical low early in the first quarter of 2009, he said.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE OMAHA WORLD-HERALD’ (USA)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, ANIMAL FOOD, BIOFUELS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CORN, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ENERGY, ETHANOL, FARMING SUBSIDIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, RECESSION, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA | 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 »

RUSIA DEBERÍA AUMENTAR LA PRODUCCIÓN DE ALIMENTOS UN 15% PARA GARANTIZAR LA SEGURIDAD ALIMENTARIA – Las importaciones deben ser un complemento a la agricultura nacional, pero no una alternativa

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 22, 2008

21/11/2008

MARM- El porcentaje de los alimentos importados en Rusia excede el umbral de seguridad alimentaria en un 10 ó en un 15%, según manifestó el vicepresidente de la Academia de Ciencias Agrícolas, en una conferencia internacional dedicada a la seguridad alimenticia del país. “Si las importaciones exceden el 20% de la producción global, en vez de servir como un complemento a la agricultura nacional, la desplazan, constituyéndose en una alternativa, lo que provoca la caída de la producción”.

Actualmente la producción nacional respecto a la demanda interna, es la siguiente: carne el 60%, productos lácteos menos del 80%, azúcar el 58%, hortalizas el 84% y frutas el 40%, señalando el vicepresidente que un nivel tan bajo de independencia alimentaria, provoca inestabilidad en los precios y en el mercado agroalimentario.

En su opinión, para alcanzar el umbral de seguridad alimentaria, el porcentaje de materias primas agrícolas y de alimentos nacionales en el mercado, debería ser, para los cereales de al menos el 90%; para el azúcar el 80%; para el aceite el 80%; para la carne y productos cárnicos el 85%; para la leche y productos lácteos el 90%; y para el pescado y sus derivados el 80%.

Actualmente, en Rusia se está elaborando un plan para garantizar la seguridad alimentaria del país, plan que se presentará a la firma del Presidente a comienzos de diciembre del año en curso, con el fin de garantizar esta seguridad hacia el año 2020.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘AGROINFORMACION’ (Spain)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RUSSIA | Leave a Comment »