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Malawi asks Mike Tyson to be its cannabis ambassador – NewsDay

Malawi’s agriculture ministry has written to former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson to be the ambassador for the country’s cannabis crop.

Minister Lobin Lowe said the legalisation of cannabis last year in Malawi had created opportunities locally and internationally.

The ministry said the United States Cannabis Association was facilitating the deal with Tyson.

“Malawi may not go it alone as the industry is complex requiring collaboration. I would therefore like to appoint you, Mr Mike Tyson, as Malawi’s Cannabis Branch ambassador,” Mr Lowe wrote.

Tyson is also an entrepreneur and has invested in a cannabis farm.

Local media reported that Tyson was expected in Malawi last week but his visit was postponed.

Malawian cannabis, particularly the strain known as Malawi Gold, is considered by recreational smokers as one of the finest.-BBC

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PepsiCo’s exclusive rights to potato variety revoked – Times of India

AHMEDABAD: In what has come as the final victory for Indian farmers and agriculture activists, the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority on Friday cancelled US food and beverages giant PepsiCo’s registration of potato variety FL 2027 and with this the company’s exclusive rights to grow this variety of potato, which is used to manufacture chips of PepsiCo’s Lay’s brand.
In 2019, PepsiCo India Holding sued farmers from North Gujarat for growing this potato variety and demanded compensation from them for alleged unauthorized planting of the seeds without entering a contract with the company. The company cited its registration of the variety in 2016. The litigation snowballed into a controversy and agriculture activists raised questions against the corporate’s registration of the potato variety and its assertion of exclusive rights. This also forced the government to pressure the company to settle the dispute with the farmers and the company withdrew its litigation.
One of the activists, Kavitha Kuruganti, dragged the company before the authority and demanded revocation of PepsiCo’s registration of the potato variety under the provisions of India’s Protection of Farm Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001. She submitted that the grant of certificate of registration was based on incorrect information furnished by the company; that the certificate was granted to a person not eligible for protection; that this granting registration and exclusive right over the variety was not in public interest.
Acting on the revocation application filed in June 2019, the authority revoked the company’s registration and accepted the activist’s argument that the law acknowledges farmers’ rights and any attempt to harass and intimidate farmers should be considered a matter of public interest.
After the judgment was pronounced, Kuruganti said the judgment set a precedent for all seed and food and beverages corporations and other registrants to not only uphold, but more importantly, not to transgress the legally granted farmers’ seed rights and freedoms in India. “Companies should not think that they are at liberty to harass farmers.
We are watching and will disallow any such mischief. For us, any intimidation and harassment of farmers is clearly a matter of public interest. We sincerely hope that the authority will proactively put into place all measures and mechanisms possible to ensure that farmers’ rights are not violated at any cost. The interpretation of ‘public interest’ by the authority today is very progressive. This is a victory for farmers in the country, especially potato farmers in Gujarat, who strongly resisted Pepsi’s onslaught on their rights in 2019,” she added.
Reacting to the development, Kapil Shah of Kisan Beej Adhikar Manch said, “We believe that the Authority and the government have a responsibility to let every applicant and registrant under the PPV&FR Act know that their rights do not supersede farmers’ rights. The registrants’ rights are limited to only production of a variety, and not production from a variety.”

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FAO Food Price Index rises in November – World – ReliefWeb

Wheat and dairy drive fourth consecutive monthly increase, global cereal supplies “comfortable” .

Rome -The barometer of food commodity prices in international markets rose for the fourth consecutive month in November, led by strong demand for wheat and dairy products, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported today.

The FAO Food Price Index averaged 134.4 points in the month, its highest level since June 2011 and 1.2 percent higher than during October. The index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of commonly-traded food commodities, was 27.3 percent higher than its level in November 2020.

The FAO Dairy Price Index led November’s aggregate rise, increasing by 3.4 percent from the previous month. Strong global import demand persisted for butter and milk powders as buyers sought to secure spot supplies in anticipating of tightening markets.

The FAO Cereal Price Index increased by 3.1 percent in November from the previous month and was 23.2 percent higher than its year-ago level. Maize export prices rose slightly and international rice prices remained broadly steady, while wheat prices hit their highest level since May 2011. The increase reflected strong demand amid tight supplies, especially of higher quality wheat, while prices were also supported by concerns about untimely rains in Australia and uncertainty regarding potential changes to export measures in the Russian Federation.

The FAO Sugar Price Index was 1.4 percent higher in November than in October and nearly 40 percent above its level in November 2020. The increase was primarily driven by higher ethanol prices, though large shipments from India and a positive outlook for sugar exports by Thailand tempered the upward pressure on quotations.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index declined by 0.3 percent from a record high reached in October, reflecting lower values for soy and rapeseed oils as well as lower crude oil prices. International palm oil prices remained firm.

The FAO Meat Price Index decreased by 0.9 percent, its fourth consecutive monthly decline. Influenced by reduced purchases of pig meat by China led to lower international quotations, while ovine prices also fell steeply on increased exportable supplies from Australia. Bovine and poultry meat prices were largely stable.

Record cereal production to keep markets supplied

FAO’s new Cereal Supply and Demand Brief, also published today, forecasts world cereal production at 2 791 million tonnes in 2021, a new record and 0.7 percent higher than the previous year. Compared to 2020, worldwide coarse grains and rice outputs are expected to increase, respectively, by 1.4 percent and 0.9 percent, while that for wheat to drop by 1.0 percent.

World cereal utilization in 2021/22 is forecast to rise by 1.7 percent to 2 810 million tonnes, while world cereal stocks by the close of seasons in 2022 are predicted to decline by 0.9 percent form opening levels. The consequent stocks-to-use ratio of 28.6 percent “would still indicate a comfortable supply situation overall,” according to FAO.

FAO forecasts global trade in cereals in 2021/22 to increase by 0.7 percent to 480 million tonnes, with an anticipated 2.2-percent expansion in world wheat trade more than offsetting a likely contraction in coarse grains trade.

Crop production to fall in low-income food deficit countries

Conflicts and drought are exacerbating food insecurity conditions in several parts of the world, particularly in East and West Africa, according to the latest Crop Prospects and Food Situation Report, also released today. FAO assesses that globally 44 countries, including 33 in Africa, nine in Asia and two in Latin America and the Caribbean, are in need of external assistance for food.

The 44 countries in need of external assistance for food are: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The quarterly report also provides updates on cereal harvest trends, forecasting production in 2022 to grow by 2.0 percent in developed countries but slightly contracting by 0.1 percent in developing countries. For Low-Income Food Deficit Countries, the contraction is expected to be 2.4 percent, due to significant drops foreseen in Near East and East Africa.


FAO News and Media
(+39) 06 570 53625
[email protected]

Christopher Emsden
FAO News and Media (Rome)
(+39) 06 570 53291
[email protected]

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Mainstreaming sustainable forest and land management to enhance ecosystem resilience for improved … – The Herald

The Herald

FAO Regional Office for Africa

FAO Regional Office for Africa

The process of land degradation negatively affects 3.2 billion people globally out of which 2 billion are located across dryland regions. Promoting and investing in healthy and vibrant drylands worldwide is therefore key to build back better and to promote a resilient world that fosters food security, biodiversity, addresses climate change, achieves land degradation neutrality, and leaves no one behind. Degradation of forest and land resources have been identified as major impediments to sustainable development in Zimbabwe. The way people use and exploit natural resources largely contribute to their degradation, and this is mainly due to activities such as over-cultivation, overgrazing, cutting and clearing of forests to pave way to expand agriculture and other activities.

To avert this, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in partnership with the Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry (MECTHI), Environmental Management Agency (EMA) and other national partners launched a new Global Environment Facility (GEF-7) project to promote sustainable forest and land management in dryland landscapes in the South Eastern low-veld of Zimbabwe. This initiative will support a cross-sector approach which will result in mainstreaming of sustainable forest and land management to enhance ecosystem resilience for improved livelihoods in the Save and Runde Catchments of Zimbabwe. The Honourable Minister Nqobizitha Ndhlovu (MP) officially launched the project today.

“As part of my Ministry’s contribution to attainment of agenda 2030, an accelerated land restoration programme will be implemented to enhance economic resilience, food security, biodiversity replenishment and increasing land cover thus mitigating against climate change and creating green jobs,” said Hon Minister Ndhlovu in his remarks officially launching the project. “My Ministry takes this opportunity to thank the United Nations family and in particular FAO for their continued collaboration in resource mobilization to environmental management in the country under the Multilateral Environmental Agreements framework,” he added.

The project which is funded by GEF to the tune of USD 10.4 million will be implemented from December 2021 – 2026. The project in Zimbabwe is part of a larger, programmatic and integrated GEF-7 Impact Programme for Dryland Sustainable Landscapes covering 11 countries of which seven are in Southern Africa. The countries will be supported by a Global Coordination Project and a regional exchange mechanism both led by FAO. Implementation of the project is led by EMA together with other governmental, NGO and private sector partners. The project interventions will be implemented in three provinces of Manicaland, Masvingo and Midlands.

“The project is anchored in the new FAO Strategic Framework, which focuses on the transformation to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life. The project is also aligned to national priorities and will contribute to the attainment of targets outlined in the National Development Strategy 1 and contribute towards attainment of SDGs as well,” said Patrice Talla, FAO Sub-regional Coordinator for Southern Africa and FAO Representative to Zimbabwe, Eswatini and Lesotho.

In the face of climate change, unsustainable land management and growing population pressures, there is a need to draw heightened attention of drylands forests (such as in the Save and Runde catchment areas), so as to prevent, avoid and reverse degradation trends, in alignment with the SDG target 15.3 which calls on countries to become Land Degradation Neutral by 2030.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of FAO Regional Office for Africa.

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