Boost for African cotton sectors from UNCTAD

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) will support Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Uganda to add value to their cotton sectors. “We expect improved capacity of policymakers to formulate evidence-based polices that improve the value add to cotton and devise investment profiles to attract investors,” said Kris Terauds,…

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Malawi will now recognise local seed

The Malawian government has bowed to pressure to recognise the importance of locally grown crop seed alongside commercially produced varieties. It is still unclear what impact the development will have on the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa’s (COMESA) harmonisation of national seed laws. Non-governmental organisations fiercely lobbied to…

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COMESA tips Zambia on tomato value addition

Zambia can be the region’s major exporter of tomato paste, said Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Industry and Agriculture, mr. Thierry Kalonji. Kalonji said investment in tomato processing plants will reverse the situation where Zambia imports tomato paste, despite being a large producer of raw…

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Stakes high to launch Continental Free Trade Area

Stakes are high to launch the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) this year, says Francis Mangeni, Director of Trade and Customs at the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). “This self-imposed burden is quite heavy but not insurmountable and the world is watching to see if we will…

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Durban harbour, one of the busiest ports in Africa.

Kenya fears sugar imports will suppress local industry

Kenyan millers say the import of duty-free sugar from Zambia and other countries can suffocate the local industry. In May, the Kenyan government permitted cheaper sugar imports without restrictions on quantity or specific importers to cushion the country’s deficit of more than 300 000 tons. The move also allowed Kenya…

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ZNFU fumes over agro dumping as local producers moan

The Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) is fuming over what it says is a continued trend of Zambia being increasingly a dumping ground for foreign agricultural products. This is as local producers complained of being marginalised by imports, mainly from South Africa. ZNFU President Jervis Zimba said the ‘free flow’…

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COMESA wants harmonisation of livestock laws to unlock trade

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has called for the harmonisation of veterinary legislation to unlock international livestock trade among member states. This as the World Health Organisation (WHO) said harmonisation of the laws will help curb disease. According to COMESA, the process can be expedited by…

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Turf war over imported white potatoes

A turf war is raging to keep imported South African white potatoes out of the Zambian market. Sources close to tough negotiations between the Zambian government and the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) say local farmers, both small and commercial producers, are concerned that the imported potatoes are choking local…

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East African traders strengthen food trade to secure food supplies from Southern Africa

The Regional Trade Facilitation Forum in Lusaka is working to strengthen food trade linkages between southern African countries. More than 195 maize and other grain commodity traders attended the meeting where buyers and sellers signed trade deals valued at US$100 million for the export of grain commodities. The forum was…

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COMESA to certify member-state seed companies

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) will issue agro companies with certificates to trade in seed in the region. This is in line with COMESA’s Seed Harmonisation and Implementation Plan (COMSHIP), a framework for the 19 member states to trade, promote the seed industry and support local…

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