Minister also announces new call for applications for Africa Agri Food Development Programme.
The Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, today participated in the European Union-African Union Ministerial Conference in Rome.
Minister Creed stated:
"This conference follows the recent publication of the Task Force on Rural Africa report, which highlights the strategic role which the European Union and its Member States can and should play in supporting the transformation of Africa’s agri-food sector and rural economy. Rural Africa faces both enormous challenges and opportunities, with its workforce set to grow by 800 million over the next 30 years.
"The Irish Government welcomes this strategic focus on rural Africa, and on its agri-food sector in particular. My department, will work with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and a range of stakeholders to contribute to the implementation of the Task Force recommendations."
Minister Creed chaired a conference session on ‘Sanitary and Phytosanitary standards and food safety as key for intra African trade’.
Minister Creed said:
"Ireland’s experience as an export-oriented agri-food sector has been that food safety is an essential pre-requisite for trade. Protecting consumer health, wherever that consumer may be, must be the absolute priority for farmers, the food industry and the competent authorities in each country. Food safety standards and controls are vital for the sustainable development of Africa’s agri-food industry. Ireland is committed to helping to build this capacity in African Government institutions, both bilaterally and through collaborations with the EU, FAO and Codex."
Minister Creed also took the opportunity of the AU-EU Agriculture Ministers conference to announce a new call for applications to the Africa Agri Food Development Programme (AADP), which is co-funded by the Departments of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The Minister said:
"I am delighted that the AADP enables Irish agri-food companies to partner with African companies to support sustainable growth of the local food industry; to build markets for local produce; and support mutual trade between Ireland and Africa."
This work to build sustainable value chains for agriculture and food is also a key enabler for developing solutions to the broader global challenges identified in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including: no poverty, zero hunger, gender equality, and climate action.
This round of Africa Agri Food Development Programme applications has been expanded to allow previously successful companies apply for further funding for new project goals/outcomes. Deadline for receipt of applications is 2 August 2019.