Agrobacterium tumefaciens still a menace to many
The World Bank jointly with Kenya Flower Council, the EU All ACP Agricultural Commodities Trust Fund Program (EU AAACP), and the African Caribbean Pacific held the second video conference (VC) on the impact of Agrobacterium tumefaciens and other soil borne disease causing agents of economic importance in production of roses on 7th June 2011 at Kenya Global Development Learning Centre (KDLC), located at the Kenya Institute of Administration (KIA).
The participants of the VC were Experts and players in the Floriculture industry from Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya where each country presented position papers on the Agrobacterium. The Experts who included Ms Gladys Maina, Managing Director of Pest Control Products Board, and Prof. Eunice Mutitu of Nairobi University addressed the conference on the facts about the Agrobacterium.
What is Agrobacterium?
Agrobacterium tumefaciens is an aerobic gram negative rod shaped and motile non sporing bacteria. The motility is due to the flexuous peritrichous flagella on the cell body. It has circular chromosome with two plasmids one linear and the other one circular. It is a soil inhabiting bacteria found mainly in the rhizosphere. It is known for its disease inducing ability on many plants. The disease is characterized by a proliferation of cells on many parts of susceptible plants especially at the stem base and roots resulting in big swellings known as galls hence the disease name crown gall.
Crown gall is the name of the disease caused by A. tumefaciens. It produces galls on the roots and at the crown of woody plants. The disease affects many plant species belonging to over 93 plant families (Kado 2002). Apples, pears, cherries, apricots, grapes and ornamentals like roses and chrysanthemums are affected. Vegetables like tomatoes and sweet pepper are also affected. The disease causes economic losses on susceptible crops. Agrobacterium tumefaciens can move systemically throughout the root system and can wipe out a crop.
In Kenya, the disease prevalence was noticed in 1998, when many flower farms that went into commercial production of roses were severely affected by the outbreak of the disease. Survey findings indicated that the disease was introduced in Kenya through infected root stock of roses imported from Israel.
Presently, Agrobacterium is widely spread in the Kenya, in nurseries, commercial production areas, and uncultivated fields. The disease organism is very versatile, adaptable to environment making it impossible to eradicate completely. The disease significantly reduces production of roses. Experience has shown that an infected field can result into the entire farm becoming infected in short period. Badly infected fields never attain their production targets and usually lead to uprooting. The bacterium can survive in soils with good aeration such as sandy loams where diseased plants with crown gall have been grown.
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The bacteria enter the plants mainly through wounds and the higher the inoculum the bigger the galls and the severe the infection. Losses range from 5 to 60% depending on age and variety.
In the East African Community Agriculture and Rural development policy, partner states committed to establish and coordinate mechanisms for monitoring and surveillance of transboundary pests and diseases. In order to manage diseases and pest, governments have put in place national policies, laws and subsidiary legislation in the form of regulations. In Kenya for instance a number of statutes have been enacted such as the Agriculture Act, The Plant Protection Act, the Seed and Plant Varieties Act, the Pest Control Products Act. Importation of vegetative parts of roses for propagation requires that such material is imported through Plant Quarantine arrangement. This is critical to prevent introduction of more virulent strains of Agrobacterium. Private industry standards such as the Kenya Flower Council Code of Practice have also been introduced to help in Management of diseases among other objectives. Despite all the efforts, Crown gall still remains a major challenge in the production of roses in East Africa.
Impact of Agrobacterium tumefaciens on productivity of Roses
Rose plants infected by Agrobacterium manifest slower growth, stunting, yellowing and chlorotic leaves and fail to produce healthy flowers. The severely infected plants develop sensitivity to environmental stress. The pathogen can survive in the soil for more than ten years. Severe infection kills the plant. Roses that have crown gall develop rounded tumours which are brown to brownish black in colour, and develop from smooth spongy to rough texture with age. Expanding tumours destroy adjacent healthy tissue and prevent normal flow of water and nutrients.
Other soil borne pathogens causing diseases of economic importance in flowers include; Fusarium, Pythium, Rhizoctonia, nematodes etc.
A number of measures have been adopted to mitigate the impact of Agrobacterium tumefaciens in production of roses.
Cultural Control: High field hygiene is vital in every activity in minimizing incidences of Agrobacterium; these measures however do not guarantee eradication of the disease. In addition, it is extremely difficult to observe hygiene practices to the expected standard in all operations. The surest means of controlling Agrobacterium is preventing introduction through infected nursery root stocks. Since the bacteria penetrate the plant through wounds, it is important to avoid plant injury during the regular field agronomic practices such as weeding and pruning. Pruning and harvesting tools such as secateurs should be disinfected from one plant to another. In addition, control of root chewing insects and piercing nematodes is vital in managing the bacteria as it can only enter the plant through wounds. Plants infected should be rouged as a matter of routine practice (Sigee, 1993; Ryder & Jones 1990). Other growers practices reported to reduce infection of Agrobacterium include use of fresh cow dung and regulating nutrients to promote uptake of Copper.
Biological control: Biocontrol agent with the non-pathogenic organism Agrobacterium radiobacter is a relatively inexpensive and effective means of managing the development of Crown Gall. Application of this antagonist by soaking seeds or dipping transplants can prevent infection by most strains of Agrobacterium tumefaciens due to the production of the antibiotic agrocin 84 by strain K-84 of A. radiobacter (Farrand 1990). However, else where in Kenya some growers have indicated that use of A. radiobacter has given temporary control, but over time infection does occur.
According to Mr. Bas Smit, an experience breeder of roses currently based in Kenya, there are no clear indications regarding use of resistant or tolerant varieties in management of Agrobacterium among the currently popular varieties at the world market. Mr. Bas Smit observes that unlike the older varieties, no longer popular at world market, presently cultivated varieties have only shown promising results only under laboratory conditions. There might been need for trials to transfer genes associated with resistance / tolerance to Agrobacterium from the older into the currently popular rose varieties.
Use of biopesticide based products such as neem oil has been reported to produce satisfactory results in managing of Agrobacterium in Kenya. This involves application of the oil to wounds resulting from plunking of the galls. The agrobacteria spray popular referred to as the AB spray is the latest biological product used for coating and drying of wound of galls; the AB spray is mainly based on vegetable soap, essential oils and fermented plant extracts. Another, product NO GALL is the registered trade mark of Agrobacterium radiobacter strain K1026 which is a non-pathogenic organism and controls crown gall by competition by antibiosis and the production of bacteriocins. NO GALL prevents the plant from becoming infected with crown gall; however there is no method of eradicating Crown Gall from an infected plant (real IPM 2007)
Chemical control: Reports on control of A. tumefaciens using chemicals suggest that copper based compounds are more reliable in providing satisfactory results. Some curative properties are exhibited by dressing galls with a fungicide KOCIDE 101, which is copper based fungicide. Early removal of young galls and applying concentrated paste of copper-based fungicides on the injured parts has been reported to be effective in managing A. tumefaciens. The curative properties of copper based compounds have be disputed in some reports which in stead have indicated that the compounds only restricts the spread of A. tumefaciens. In addition, the reports indicate that application of such compounds is complicated and the effects are difficult to measure empirically. The dressing of galls directly with a mixture 2, 4 – Xylenol and metacresol in an oil-water emulsion has also been reported as effective in managing established tumours. Dipping of seedlings in a bactericide at transplanting has also been reported to reduce disease incidence and severity. Information on use of antibiotics is scanty. This is partly because use of antibiotics in managing plant diseases is outlawed in Kenya.
Integrated approach: There is no out rightly recommended integrated approach for managing A. tumefaciens in Kenya as no empirical research has been done in this regard. However, growers have reported that a combination use of “clean” planting materials; high field hygiene and rouging of infected plants; treatment of irrigation water (more so for the recycled) to kill microbes; and application copper based compounds significantly reduces the disease severity. According to Ms. Maina, Currently, no product has been registered for control of crown gall in most countries.
The five series of interactive Video Conference (VC) seminars that will elucidate challenges facing the Flower Industry in East African Region (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ethiopia) are still going on. The five VCs will address global competitiveness of the flower industry in the East African Region, the impact of agro-bacterium (Agrobacterium tumefaciens) and other soil borne diseases on production of roses, the impact of climate change and multiple taxies and levies on the industry, and role of Strategic Environment Assessment in the establishment of sustainable flower farms.
Video Conference Topics
The Global Competitiveness of Flower Industry in East African Region will be highlighted through five (5) video conference seminars between May and December 2011. The first VC was held on 16th May 2011 on the impact of climate change on the global competitiveness of horticultural production in the East African Region – opportunities for effective interventions and or adaptation projects with special emphasis on flower production.
The upcoming Video conferences include:
1. 2ND AUGUST 2011 – The impact of taxies and levies on flower industry global competitiveness.
2. 20TH SEPTEMBER 2011 – The role of Strategic Environment Assessment in the establishment of sustainable flower farms.
3. 29TH NOVEMBER 2011 – A comparative study on the global competitiveness of the East African flower industry including Ethiopia, Ecuador, India and Columbia.
Welcome on board……..
Koppert Biological Systems Kenya Ltd. and Osho Chemicals Industries Ltd have joined the Kenya Flower Council associate membership. KFC is glad to welcome them on board and look forward to a cordial working relationship. The total KFC associate membership now stands at 56 in total.
Koppert Biological Systems Kenya Ltd.
This is a subsidiary of Koppert B. V an international market leader in the field of biological crop protection and natural pollination. Koppert has a reputation internationally for reliability, innovation and quality. Koppert has a results-oriented research and development department, and world-wide network of contacts. Large-scale production of natural enemies and pollinators takes place in modern production facilities. Some of their products include:
• Pests diseases
• Blowers for natural enemies
Their mission is to be the most preferred partner in developing and marketing pollination systems and integrated pest management for protected and high-value crops, by being a reliable provider of innovative, effective and top-quality solutions.
Osho Chemical Industries Limited
Osho Chemical Industries Limited is a leading Manufacturer, marketer and distributor of Crop protection, Animal Health Products, Public Health, Industrial chemicals, Farm Equipment, allied products and services. They are committed to excellence by providing quality products at an affordable price.
Initially dealing in the supply of Industrial chemicals and agricultural inputs in Kenya, this dynamic and innovative company has grown tremendously by grasping various opportunities on its path. Thus, from a simple trading function, Osho has grown into manufacturing and a market leader in crop protection and now has its own branded products. This is done at their premises in Nairobi’s Industrial Area. Osho’s business portfolio has expanded to reach various segments.
At Osho, immense emphasis is laid on the quality of products whether manufactured at Osho or sourced from principal suppliers. This is derived from appropriate facilities and processes at Osho, in conjunction with their prime suppliers and even key customers, whose combined efforts are focused on development and use of environmentally safe products.
Osho continues to develop and explore new horizons. They are certainly concerned with what their partners care about……..”We grow with you®”
They have a mission to provide quality and affordable life science, industrial, farm equipment and allied products and services in East and Central Africa.
Green Farming technical substrate seminar – June 23
Green Farming Consortium will hold a technical seminar on “Substrate as growing medium, an environmental friendly and durable way of producing” on Thursday the 23rd of June 2011 from 3:00 pm hrs to 5:00 pm hrs at Practical Training Centre Thika. Members interested in participating are kindly requested to confirm with the Kenya Flower Council via email@example.com.
We all know that the demanded price/quality ratio from the market for produced flowers is getting higher and higher. Therefore a grower will need to keep improving production levels per square meter and improve product quality, for instance through preventing damage and quality losses due to nematode, botrytis and downy problems. The Green Farming members have experienced that cultivation on substrate can be of great help to address these matters and even save costs at the same time. Besides improving production results, it also can form an answer to the increasing demand for sustainable practices in the horticultural sector.
During the seminar, participants will share knowledge regarding substrates as growing media. As a follow up, the members of Green Farming will start up a few trails with interested flower growers and support them on obtaining the optimal cultivation results.
By organizing the seminar and supporting the substrate cultivation trials in the sector, Green Farming members would like to demonstrate what the positive effects can be of using substrate as growing media. This includes improvement in production results but also savings on chemical, fertilizer and water use and costs, which at the end leads to better financial results. We would like to share our knowledge and thoughts and discuss the various possibilities for growing on substrate in Kenya with participants.
Details on the planned trials for substrate cultivation will be presented and interested parties can sign in to participate.
Green Farming is a program that aims to connect the horticultural networks of the Netherlands, Kenya and Ethiopia by setting up joint activities, projects or cooperation’s in the areas of research, development and production.
The Dutch horticultural sector is an innovative industry with high standards of excellence throughout the world. Its know-how and expertise has grown and developed gradually in the past few decades and is now also available to Kenya and Ethiopia. Green Farming combines Dutch technology and experience with the specific production needs of Kenya and Ethiopia, so that totally custom-made product and service packages, including on-farm training programs, maintenance and service cycles can be offered. Green Farming focuses on providing solutions for profitable and sustainable business results.
The Green Farming consortium consists of approximately 20 leading companies in horticulture technology and Wageningen University and Research Centre, that supports the program and is actively involved on the level of research and knowledge transfer. The program is coordinated by AVAG, a Dutch representative of joint Dutch horticultural suppliers and DLV Plant, active in advisory for the international agribusiness. The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation will support the program in close cooperation with the Dutch Embassies in Nairobi and Addis Ababa.
The two main pillars of the program are
– Holland Branding: demonstration of the possibilities and advantages of the implementation of a higher level of technology in products and services from The Netherlands in Kenya and Ethiopia.
– Develop sustainable production systems in close cooperation with local partners that are economically and environmentally sustainable, that meet CSR demands and are adjusted to local requirements and conditions
Themes within the program
All activities on the levels of business-to-business and government-to-government will be related to one or more of the 5 main themes of the program. Groups of members and Kenya and Ethiopian parties can jointly become active on certain theme that fits their business profiles. The 5 main themes are:
– Water Management Irrigation, recirculation, water storage and treatment, substrate cultivation.
– Crop Management Cultivation systems, crop protection, IPM, starting material (young plants, seeds) and propagation
– Climate and Energy Climate management, sustainable energy (solar, biomass, geothermal)
– Post Harvest and Logistics Post harvest procedures and treatments, import & export, transport and ICT
– Research and Knowledge Transfer Studies, seminars, capacity building, joint research and testing.
2011/12 Budget at a Glance
Theme: “Building Resilience and Sustaining Inclusive Growth for a Prosperous Kenya”
Government Capital Expenditure and Allocations
1. Kshs.65.7B to the Ministry of Energy; with Ksh.16.1 B of this amount going to Geothermal Development viable for 140MW; Ksh.5.6B for Rural Electrification Programme.
2. Kshs.3.3B as mobilization Fund to initiate the Standard Gauge Railway connecting Mombasa and Kampala through Kisumu.
3. Ksh.1.9B for construction of New Railway branch from Embakasi Railway Station to the JKIA; Ksh. 1B to upgrade Nairobi- Ruiru via Makadara Railway Line.
4. Ksh. 20.8B for the Constitution implementation; Ksh. 1.5B for salaries for Constitutional office holders; Ksh.9.3B for the Judiciary to implement the Constitution and implement strategies to reduce case backlog, access to justice and modernize court system.
5. Ksh. 8.1B for the National Assembly for additional physical facilities and infrastructure including ICT; Ksh.12.1B Election preparations and Ksh. 2B for emerging requirements for constitution related expenditures.
6. Ksh.64B Health delivery Plan part of which includes Ksh.903M for ARV purchases and Ksh.150M for purchase of machines for screening of cervical and breast cancer; Ksh.534M for the rehabilitation of Health facilities initiated under ESP; Ksh.6.6B for immunization coverage.
7. Ksh.8.25B for Free Primary Education; Ksh.18.5B Free Secondary Education; Ksh.1.65B for Free School Feeding Programme mainly in Arid Semi Arid (ASAL) areas; Ksh.387.7 B for Early Childhood Development; Ksh.750M for upgrading of National Schools; Ksh.680M for purchase of Computers for schools; Ksh.780M for improving infrastructure in schools with Ksh.380M of this amount toward construction of low cost boarding schools in the ASAL areas and Ksh.53.2B for tertiary education; Ksh.840M for Bursary programme as Ksh.4M for every constituency and Ksh.300M to provide sanitary pads for girls.
8. Ksh.17.2B for the CDF (19% increment) ; Ksh.1.8B as CDF arrears; Ksh.3.7B toward completion of CDF projects under ESP (17.8M per constituency).
9. Ksh.100B for Agriculture Sector broken into – Ksh.1.1B for water provision in 170 constituencies (Ksh.6.4M each); Ksh.1.1B for 5 needy constituencies (Ksh.30M each); Ksh.400M as Livestock Fund and Ksh.492M for ongoing and additional Slaughter Houses in ASAL areas; Ksh.475M as conditional grant to Ministry of Education for 1,900 Schools for water conservation (Ksh.250, 000/= per school); Ksh.8.6B for National Irrigation Board for irrigation projects.
10. Ksh.1.2B for irrigation projects in Nyanza under Regional Development Ministry; Ksh.400M for the Ministry of Water and Irrigation to expand small holders irrigation projects; Ksh.2.3B for Rapsu (Isiolo), Bura and Hola(Tana River, Mwea in Kirinyaga, Kaagari (Embu); Ksh.3.5B for new irrigation projects; Ksh.1B for 1500 acres in Rahole (Garissa), 2000 acres in Abaswen (Wajir), 2075 acres in Daua Clusters (Mandera), and Ksh.250M for on-going irrigation projects in Katilu (Turkana); Ksh.950M to initiate a new 2500 acres irrigation projects in Turkana; Ksh.130M for tracking irrigation projects in Kalemunyan, Nakamane, Morulem, Naoros and Napak through the National Irrigation Board; Ksh.300M and Ksh.250M to initiate new irrigation projects in Usueni (Kitui) and Iviani (Makueni) respectively; Ksh.150M for Endalala 500 acres Projects; Ksh.700M for 17500 acres Kuja in Migori, Ksh.700M for 12500 acres for Sio in Busia; Ksh.600M for expansion of Ahero and West Kano and Ksh.150M for South West Kano Phase II Project; Ksh.470M to complete design for another 30 irrigation projects throughout the country; and Ksh.1.2B as counterpart Fund for Mwea Irrigation project funded by JICA.
11. Ksh.1B towards Impact Investment Fund under Kenya Incentive Based Risk Sharing Agriculture Lending.
12. Ksh.1.8B for the Kenya Youth Empowerment Project (KYEP) towards labour intensive works (Kazi Kwa Vijana); to initiate consultation with the Private Sector on guidelines to extend tax breaks to private sector offering internships and training placement for the Youth.
13. Ksh.385M for the Youth Development Fund and Ksh. 440M for the Women Enterprise Fund.
14. Ksh.1B for the SME Fund as they sort out the Logistical implementation problems
15. Ksh 1M per constituency for competitive sports in the country. Private sector requested to match the funds on shilling for shilling basis.
16. Ksh.385M for the Disabled; Ksh. 2.8B for the 100,000 orphans and vulnerable children and Ksh.470M for the elderly person (Monthly transfer of Ksh.2000 as directed by Parliament); Ksh.3.3B for the retired teachers pension; Ksh.845M for piloting Organic Sack Gardening Programme in 5 Nairobi Urban Slums, 3 in Mombasa and 2 in Kisumu.
17. Proposal to develop a Comprehensive Social Protection Policy
18. Ksh. 4.2B for the final resettlement of the IDPs.
Taxation Measures and Amendments: Notice of Motion (Finance Bill, 2011)
1. Duty remission and importation rate of 10% CET for aseptic plastic bags used for storing fruits extracts.
2. Reduced import duty for premixes used for manufacture of animal and poultry feed to 0%.
3. Granting duty remission for imports of input for production of solar panels.
4. Duty exemption on battery operated vehicles.
5. Exemption from paying import duty on apron buses used at the airside.
6. Exemption from import duty for vehicles and equipments imported by the Kenya Police.
7. Exemption from import duty for security equipments such as metal detectors, CCTV Cameras, bomb detectors, under carriage walkways and mirrors.
8. Amending the law making it mandatory for SIM Card issuers to register subscribers before SIM card activation.
9. Central Bank to develop guidelines to allow Commercial Banks to enter into arrangements with other Banks outside Kenya to offer limited services to Kenyan abroad.
10. To allow sharing of credit information between Banks and deposit-taking Micro Finance institutions.
11. To prohibit deposit taking business by un-licensed entities.
12. Prohibit use of “Deposit Taking Micro-finance’ without license from the Central Bank.
13. To remove requirement that Pension Schemes must appoint Fund Managers – to reduce administrative cost of the Schemes.
14. Introduction of over the counter Market for the Bonds to facilitate access by the SME enterprise.
15. Introduction of Regulated Commodity Future Market such as currency, mineral and energy derivatives.
16. Power to the Insurance Regulatory Authority to assume control of assets of a financially troubled Insurer.
17. To adopt Mortality table reflective of Kenyan experience and drop the current UK model.
18. Removal of Excise duty on kerosene.
19. Extended the stay of CET application on importation of rice from 75% to 35% for one year period.
20. Importation of Wheat grain under duty remission by gazetted millers at 0% from 10% for a period of one year
21. Importation of maize under duty remission by gazetted maize millers at 0% from 50% under EAC CET.
22. Reduced import duty on food supplements to 10% from 25%.
23. Removed import Duty on Motor cycle ambulances to provide critical services to the rural population.
24. An employee to only enjoy one personal relief.
25. Exemption of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) from corporation tax and exempting investors receiving dividend from REIT from withholding tax payment.
26. Increased withholding tax to payments made to professionals from 5% to 10%.
27. Harmonization of excise duty regime for cigarettes at Ksh.1, 200 per mille or 35% of RSP whichever is higher.
28. Harmonization of rates for beers at Ksh.70 per litre or 40% of RSP whichever is higher (27 & 28 will address the administrative challenges emanating from miscalculation to reduce tax liability).
29. Government to enter into Tax Information Exchange Agreements with other tax jurisdictions to facilitate exchange of information to tame tax evasion.
30. Abolishing filing of returns by employees who have no other income and their PAYE has been paid by their employers.
31. Granting of express powers to the KRA Commissioner to register taxpayers who refuse to apply for PIN.
32. Draft VAT Bill is ready and will be available for public comment prior to validation in August 2011 and subsequent tabling in Parliament.
Report on stakeholder validation workshop on doing business indicators 2012 report
The office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Ministry of Finance organized a workshop on the Validation of Doing Business Reforms 2012 report. The workshop was a follow up of doing business reforms facilitated by the World Bank with an objective to provide a forum for the stakeholders to verify the compiled report on doing business reforms against the reality and facts on the ground.
Key presentations on the various reform indicators were used in rating Kenya against 183 world countries. The indicators used to measure reforms in Kenya include:
1. Starting a business
2. Dealing with construction Permits
3. Registering Property
4. Trading across boarders, Paying taxes
5. Getting Credit
6. E- registry
The Doing Business (DB) World Bank rating on reforms is measured in populous cities and in Kenya, Nairobi is the case study. In all of the above indicators, assumptions were made for each indicator and a methodology was adapted and main findings were arrived at. Improvement of Kenya’s reform performance was compared with the history analysis; things such as days of acquiring business permits, efficiency of the various payment transactions in relation to business, policy enforcement for good business environment were looked at keenly.
Issues raised by stakeholders
The stakeholders recommended the improvement so far witnessed on the Doing Business reforms. It was not clear whether DB World Bank Indicators focus on finished reforms or on going reforms. The common methodology across all countries proves a challenge since the environment/conditions for the various countries are not similar. World Bank DB team said nothing much can be done on that when it come to writing Kenya’s report except add footnotes since the challenge faces all countries.
Some figures on the reforms presented were not true facts: a proposal to correct was raised Stakeholders were asked to forward any more comments for the final report compilation.
Participants raised a concern that even as the government is working towards reducing the number of service delivery days; the cost should not be escalating on the other side. They were informed that as promised earlier Regulatory agencies should be funded centrally.
One stop shop for business was reiterated many times. The issue of security of Business Information as use of ICT is up scaling and e-services are being enhanced was raised and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) gave an assurance that an International Security Check system is in place.
The issue of system failure rampant on Friday was raised and participants suggested that a strong back up be put in place. The workshop was well represented by stakeholders from various organizations and Kenya Flower Council participated.
Africa Export and Import Fair 2011
The Africa Export and Import Fair 2011 themed , “A World of Opportunities” will be held in Kenyatta International Conference center (KICC) , Nairobi Kenya from 24th – 27th August 2011 . Africa Export and Import Fair, also known as “The East Africa International General Trade Fair” was realized by the need to broaden the scope of previous editions of the fair.
Africa Export and Import Fair is an international Muilti-sectored exhibition held annually in Nairobi Kenya. The organizers are planning a bigger, better and more exciting trade fair than previous years, providing exhibitors with the best possible stage on which to gain exposure and promote their products and services to a large audience from Africa and the world as a whole. For more visit www.eeoevents.com.
“Plan B” must include ongoing efforts to conclude the Doha Round
It is now abundantly clear that the DDA cannot be completed by the end of 2011 and WTO members are engaging in a discussion around “Plan B,” alternatively also referred to as an “early harvest” or a “down payment.” IPC members are in favor of reaching a positive conclusion for those parts of the negotiations that are close to agreement by the December Ministerial, but also stress the need to ensure that full Doha negotiations continue.
Discussions about how to proceed in the Doha Round are taking place while the international community is also considering how best to respond to increased food price volatility. “While there are many factors that help smooth extreme price volatility, let us be clear that better integrated markets play a very important role: they provide for increased sources of food supply, lower prices and help to transmit international price signals paramount for triggering supply responses to increased demand,” states IPC Chairman Carlo Trojan, former Ambassador of the EU to the WTO.
IPC’s newest Position Paper, “Doha and Beyond: Continuing the Reform of the International Trade System for Food and Agricultural Products,” shows the important agricultural trade reforms encompassed in the Doha Round agricultural modalities and points to the need to conclude these negotiations in order to tackle issues that have arisen since the Doha Mandate was agreed to in 2001.
“Relatively speaking, the agricultural negotiations have progressed quite far,” says IPC Vice Chairman Carlos Perez del Castillo of Uruguay, “and we must see that they can be finalized as they provide an extremely important step towards a more open and equitable trading system for food and agricultural products.”
Plan B should focus on development and address price volatility
“Given the fact that the Doha Round was launched as a development round, Plan B should squarely focus on issues of interest to LDCs,” urges IPC member Deb Bhattacharya of Bangladesh.
IPC sees an opportunity to advance an interim package of trade reforms by December 2011 that is development focused and seeks to address some trade-related aspects of food price volatility. Extreme price volatility places the greatest burden on the most vulnerable living in poor countries.
With respect to the agricultural component of the Round, the following should be seriously considered for inclusion in a December package:
• A duty free/quota free package for least developed countries to encompass all food and agricultural tariff lines.
• The elimination of agricultural export subsidies and similar disciplines on all export measures with equivalent effect, including export credits, food aid and STEs.
• Improved disciplines on agricultural export prohibitions and restrictions, including an exemption to such restrictions for food aid purchases.
• Addressing all trade distorting policies affecting cotton and development assistance related aspects.
• Improvements in the administration of TRQs, including the introduction of a Tariff Quota Underfill mechanism.
• Enhanced Monitoring and Surveillance of Domestic Support and other aspects of the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture in order to improve transparency and accountability.
The IPC’s Position Paper, “Doha and Beyond: Continuing the Reform of the International Trade System for Food and Agricultural Products,” by Tim Josling and Charlotte Hebebrand is available at http://www.agritrade.org/Publications/DohaandBeyond.html
Online assistance for pricing via FloraHolland e-Trade
Growers associated with FloraHolland e-Trade can now receive online assistance in determining the price of their products, as well as putting them on the market. This has been realized as a user-friendly dashboard that displays the market situation and provides the option to retrieve clock prices, allowing growers to better determine prices themselves. This new version of FloraHolland e-Trade is available to all associated growers. This online tool is a supplement to the personal support that FloraHolland provides its growers.
Direct link to your own supply
More improvements have been introduced in addition to the dashboard. As of today, it is possible to make a direct link to the growers’ supply available in FloraHolland e-Trade. Now, growers can send out a direct mailing or place a direct link to the supply available in FloraHolland e-Trade on their website. Traders associated with FloraHolland e-Trade can directly order the available supply.
Support for day trading
If you would like more information on the support that FloraHolland e-Trade can provide you in your day trading, please contact your account manager.