; Media Monitor 18.11.09 - 15 Nove
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Media Monitor 18.11.09 - 15 Nove


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									The All Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for Development

             Overseas Media Monitor 11th – 18th November 2009

           Ethiopian premier urges boosting of trade ties with Saudi Arabia

                 Suspected Sudanese pastoralists kill three Kenyans

     Congolese refugees in northeast Burundi stage sit-in to protest rights abuses

           Six people killed following tribal clashes in Sudan's Darfur state

    Kenyan radio listeners call for unity in assisting those evicted from Mau Forest

                Ugandan president orders eviction of forest squatters

                Ethiopian premier in talks with visiting British minister

                   UK earmarks 320m US dollar to support Ethiopia

             MPs from Kenya's rift valley rap premier over forest evictions
     Kenyan minister faults media, aid groups over forest evictions 16 November

            Al-Shabab's threat to WFP linked to US probe on businessmen

               Increasing hunger could fuel conflict in Southern Sudan

        Zambia: Banda arrives in Italy to attend world summit on food security

                 Yemen says fishing boats seized by Eritrean pirates

       East African states urged to harmonize laws, policies on food production

               Kenyan MPs demand land for evicted Mau Forest settlers

               Japan grants 860,000 dollars for water projects in Yemen

      Woman eats her new born baby due to hunger in southern Sudanese state

                    Kenya's Mau Forest settlers said trooping out

                       Beijing hikes non-residential water prices

            Nigeria working on space technology to enhance development

            South Korea: 30,000 farmers protest at plummeting rice prices

         Arab League chief says "Israel usurps most fertile Palestinian lands"

            France, Brazil call for two-year world food security "road map"

      St Lucia agriculture minister upbeat about banana industry despite EU tariffs

                                  Clerk: James Birch
       Room 311 Star Chamber Court, Houses of Parliament, Westminster, SW1A 0AA.
                        Tel: 020 7219 5472 Fax: 020 7219 1770
                              Email: birchj@parliament.uk
              China proposes four-point action plan to eradicate world hunger

South African vice president to join world leaders in Rome to find ways to tackle food crisis

            Cuba works to improve soil quality; halt land deterioration – official

                  Hamas official warns World Food summit of Gaza crisis

                     Russia's food donation to North Korea completed

            Nigeria: Regional body launches 900m-dollar food security scheme

              South Korea to increase agriculture aid to developing countries

                    Russia planning large-scale grain exports to Japan

        Japan: Minister dispels public concerns over blue-fin tuna catch quota cut

           Seychelles' leader calls for more investment to avert climate change

              President Mugabe hails FAO's 70m-dollar facility to Zimbabwe

                  Afghan minister welcomes start of fruit exports to India

                       Philippines to import 1.4m tons of rice in 2010

              Egyptian president proposes global programme on food crisis

           Libyan leader proposes solutions to food problems at Rome summit

         The wife of the Iranian president addresses the NAM first ladies meeting

                    Bangladesh sets 2013 food security goal – minister

                   South Korea seeks cheap land overseas to grow food

               North Korean agency optimistic on effort to solve food problem

              Grenada government seeks agriculture assistance from Egypt

     SAfrica 2009 farm attacks reportedly claimed more lives than war in Afghanistan

                Chinese helping Brunei trial rice strains for self-sufficiency

                        South Korea records bumper rice crop in 2009

                              Ethiopian premier urges boosting of trade ties with Saudi Arabia
Text of report in English by state-owned Ethiopian news agency ENA website – 15                              November 2009

Addis Ababa, 15 November: The Saudi [Arabia]-East African Forum was opened here on Sunday [15 November] at the UN
Conference Centre in the presence of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and leaders of east African countries.
Djibouti President Ismael Omar Guelleh, Rwandan Prime Minister Bernard Makuza and Kenya Deputy Prime Minister
Uhuru                Kenyatta              are               also              attending             the              forum.
Speaking on the occasion, Meles said east African countries and Saudi Arabia have long-standing and historical
relationships. Meles further said the long-standing relations between the two sides need to be further consolidated by
investment and trade ties. Speaking about Ethiopia, Meles said Ethiopia is endowed with suitable climate for agriculture
and has good investment policy. Pointing out that the availability of market in the country, Meles called on Saudi investors
to invest in Ethiopia. He also assured the Saudi investors that his government would extend the necessary support to them.
Djibouti President Ismael Oumar Guelleh said, on his part, that his country would do everything possible to strengthen the
relations between east Africa and Saudi Arabia. He also pointed out that members of the Common Market for Eastern and
Southern Africa (Comesa) have 400 million population which he said is a market opportunity for Saudi Arabi.
Saudi Arabian Finance Minister Dr Ibrahim [Bin-Abd-al-Aziz] al-Assaf said his country is committed to combating hunger, to
provide support for east Africa but also generate exports. "We are here not to impose our needs above the needs of local
population. We are here to work together to support one another and find rescannable [as published] and accommodating
solutions for both," he added. Somali Federal Transitional Government President Shaykh Sharif [Shaykh] Ahmad said on
the occasion that the forum would lay a foundation for strengthening ties between east African countries and S audi Arabia.

                                    Suspected Sudanese pastoralists kill three Kenyans
Text      of   report    by    state-owned   KBC       (Kenya   Broadcasting   Corporation)    Radio        on   12 November

Tension is building up along the Kenya-Sudan border after armed suspected Toposa militia shot dead three women at
Kimario water point in Kibish Division of Turkana North District 420km northeast of Lodwar town.
Confirming the incident that had left residents shocked, Lokitaung OCPD [Officer Commanding Police Division] Ndung'u wa
Ikonye said that three other women were seriously injured during the incident which occurred while they were fetching
water. The OCPD said the gunmen who had sneaked 30km inside Kenyan territory intended to steal livestock, attacked the
women in frustration after their mission failed. He said no animals were stolen in the midday attack but the assailants are
reported to have fled out of the country through the porous borders. Ikonye said the wounded women are hospitalized at the
Lodwar District Hospital. He revealed that a team of GSU [General Service Unit] personnel has been dispatched to the
border to patrol and to pursue the gunmen and also quell tension on the insecurity prone volatile border.

                        Congolese refugees in northeast Burundi stage sit-in to protest rights abuses
Text              of             report           by            Burundi           news              agency              ABP

Muyinga, 18 November: Congolese refugees at the Gasorwe Camp today organized a sit-in in front of the administration
block of Gasorwe Commune in Muyinga Province (northeastern Burundi), various sources report.
The refugees are demanding for their rights to be respected, the protesters' spokesman, Kasongo Mwema, said. According
to him, a good number of refugees are not receiving their food rations and UNHCR officers are said to be behind this
injustice. It is worthwhile to note that the Gasorwe Camp was established in 2004 and hosts more than 8,000 Congolese
refugees who fled their country due to the war that raged in eastern DRCongo. The refugees are under the protection of the
UNHCR                            and                     the                     Burundi                     government.

                              Six people killed following tribal clashes in Sudan's Darfur state
Excerpt        from       report    by      liberal    Sudanese        newspaper     Al-Sahafah        on        18 November

Six people were killed following renewed fighting between Rizayqat and Habaniyah tribes in Biram locality of southern
Darfur in the beginning if this week. Following a meeting between the state governor, Ali Mahmud, and local authority, a
heated argument ensued [between the elder the two tribes], leading to Al-Habaniyah tribal chiefs to walk out of the meeting.
However, the tribal chiefs later on came back and an agreement was reached. Sources told Al-Sahafah newspaper that the
clashes renewed between the two parties after disputes occurred between the farmers and pastrolist in Palestine area near
to Bram locality. This happened when the cattle of Al-Rizayqat tribe grazed in Al-Habaniya farms, leading to the killing of
one of the Al-Habaniyah tribe by Al-Rizayqat. This was followed by clashes on last Saturday and Sunday in which four
people were killed from Al-Habaniyan tribe and another one from Al-Rizayqat tribe. [Passage omitted governor holding
meeting with security committee the locality].

                    Kenyan radio listeners call for unity in assisting those evicted from Mau Forest

Kass FM's morning talk show on 18 November once again focused on the Mau evictions. For the third day, the presenter of
the show, Arap Tanui, continued to receive donations from listeners. He announced that so far the donations collected
(earlier estimated at over 3m shillings) have been used to buy relief supplies such as food, blankets and other basic items
which will be delivered today to the evictees. Since last weekend, Kass FM has been asking listeners to send their
donations either in cash or basic items to help those who have left                                    the Mau       Forest.
The presenter also told the listeners during the show that it was not time to focus on politics, but on the plight of the
evictees. He said that those talking about party politics were not in the right frame of mind as there are people suffering.
The           following         are          a          few          comments            from         the         listeners.

(SMS from Bingwa in Kapsabet) Thank you to all those who have helped the Mau evictees. That is the love among the
(SMS from Ben Rono in Keses) I saw something on television which I was not happy about.
(Presenter) As I had said there are many people who can do many things. Let them talk. We cannot shut their mouths. Let
them         speak       as       long        as       you       stand        on         truth       and      nothing      else.
(SMS from Julius Korir in Kuresoi) I would like to tell my fellow brothers in Tinet to persevere. What else can we do?
(SMS from Koko in Bartolimo) I thank God for the hearts of those who have mercy to help the children, men and women of
Mau.       I    am      praying     morning      and      night.    Let      us      call      on     the    God     of   truth.
(SMS       from    Maiyo)     The      Kalenjin    elders     should     call    for      a     meeting    about    the   Mau.
(Presenter) Let us not go ahead of ourselves. They said that there is alternative settlement so let us wait for the
(SMS) Is it true that those who acquired land from politicians are now losing their land to the politicians? Let us continue
helping               them                until              the               government                  steps              in.
(Caller Johnston Koech) I would like to thank Kass FM for thinking about the people in the Mau. God knows why that station
exists. I would like to tell those in the Mau that God is with them and that we are with them.
(Caller Councillor Chemoina) I am grateful for what the Kalenjin are doing. Other people can see our unity. Leaders should
not incite people and they should be careful about what they say. If someone says that they (evictees) have a place to go
to, what do they mean? Some were born there. If he says everyone should go where they come from then that is bad.
(Presenter)       Some        people       do      not       know       that       when          they     are     saying       it.
(Councillor Chemoina) It is true they do not know when they are saying it. An assistant minister also said something I did
not like. We are not invited guests in the ODM (Orange Democratic Movement). ODM is a party we supported, in which Mr
Ruto vied for a seat. The party does not belong to one side. But we hear some saying they should leave the party. Don't we
have democracy? The Kalenjin should make a decision on where they are heading. If any of us have assets, even land, we
should              help              to             take              care                of             our           people.

                                  Ugandan president orders eviction of forest squatters
Text of report by Madinah Tebajjukira entitled "Museveni orders eviction of encroachers" published by state -owned, mass-
circulation       Ugandan        daily         The       New          Vision       website        on         18 November

President Yoweri Museveni has directed Water and Environment Minister Maria Mutagamba to immediately evict
encroachers in all forest reserves.Appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory and State
Enterprises     yesterday,     Mutagamba      said    the    president's     directive    was    issued    on     October    15.
"The president has realised the dangers of forest encroachers. He has noticed the destruction, especially around the lake
shores,     and     he     wants    encroachers     evicted      before    2011,"      Mutagamba      told    the    committee.
She explained that because of the sensitivity of the matter, her ministry had organized a stakeholders meeting to set out the
modalities before going to the ground to evict people. Mutagamba told the committee, chaired by Reagan Okumu, that she
had written to the third deputy prime minister, the local government and internal affairs officials, to meet on Thursday next
week [26 November] and brainstorm over the matter. The meeting, the minister said, will also discuss how the encroachers
would be compensated. The committee, however, opposed the idea of compensating the encroachers, saying it would
encourage illegal settlers. According to the president's directive, the evictions should start with Namwasa Forest in Kiboga,
Mpanga Forest          in    Mpigi, Bukaleba in Bugiri and forests in                     Mubende and         Hoima districts.
When the committee toured forests recently, it established that the number of encroachers had increased, most especially
in western Uganda. Uganda has 506 forest reserves. Over 350,000 illegal settlers are believed to be living in the
reserves.Though the directive targets people who settled in the forests before 2005, Mutagamba asserted that even those
who     settled   in     forests   with   unique    features     like   streams,      rivers,  lakes,    would    be    evicted.

                              Kenyan MPs accuse state of "creating IDPs" in forest eviction
Text of report by Karanja Njoroge entitled "Forest eviction stirs Ruto's nest" published by Kenyan privately-owned daily
newspaper        The      Standard        website        on       18 November;        subheading       as      published

The government decision to evict Mau settlers has been replayed into what has become a familiar cycle of political reaction.
The commencement of the eviction last week has been met with criticism by Rift Valley leaders who have accused the
government of creating a new set of Internally Displaced Persons. Some of the leaders are accusing the government of
employing double standards by resettling IDPs and creating a crisis similar to the one resolved when post-election IDPs
were resettled. Over the weekend, Rift Valley leaders led by Agriculture Minister William Ruto demanded that the
government allocates land to all the settlers being evicted from the forest. The leaders have been calling for funds to be set
aside for the resettlement of all evictees, including those without title deeds. The Mau Forest Interim Coordinating
Secretariat, however says the more than 1,690 families targeted in the first phase of eviction do not possess any papers
and are not eligible for compensation. Environmentalists say the full effect of destruction in the Mau complex is taking its toll
on local rivers and streams especially in the South Rift region. A sharp decline on the water levels in the major rivers and
streams has been registered due to unchecked human activities in the forest. Planting of eucalyptus trees for domestic and
commercial scale along the rivers, streams and swamps has also been cited as a cause of the reduced water levels.

                                 Ethiopian premier in talks with visiting British minister
Text   of   report    in   English by state-owned Ethiopian news agency ENA                        website     17        November

Addis Ababa, 17 November: Prime Minister Meles Zenawi here on Tuesday [17 November] held talks with UK minister of
state for international development, Gareth Thomas MP, [who] said the international media have exaggerated food
shortage occurred in Ethiopia. The two parties on the occasion discussed on the ongoing efforts of Ethiopia to achieve the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). According to a senior government official, the two parties discussed on the food
shortage occurred in Ethiopia. They exchanged views on the discussion the government holds with opposition parties
concerning the upcoming national elections. They also discussed on issues related to Africa's common position on climate
change at the Copenhagen conference to be held in December 2009. UK supports Africa's common position on climate
change, Thomas said, adding, the international community should provide similar support. Thomas on the occasion
confirmed that his country will further strengthen support to Ethiopia. He told journalists after the discussion that he visited
various parts of the country to observe the situation and witnessed that the food shortage occurred in Ethiopia is not as
exaggerated by the international media Thomas said in particular he visited some parts of the Amhara State and witnessed
encouraging development activities. The state minister said the discussion between the government and opposition political
parties should further be strengthened with a view to making the election fair and democratic. The code of conduct of
election will significantly contribute in the efforts to make the election peaceful and credible, he said

                                     UK earmarks 320m US dollar to support Ethiopia
Text   of   report    in   English   by state-owned Ethiopian news agency ENA                      website     17th      November

Addis Ababa, 17 November: UK minister of state for international development, Gareth Thomas MP, announced a UKaid
package of four billion birr [320.9m US dollar] this year of grant aid to support the provision of basic services, social
protection and humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia. The state minister said at a press conference here on Tuesday [17
November] that the fund will be used for expansion of health and education services as well as safe water provision and
road construction over the next three years. Thomas said together with the government's own resources and other external
support over the next three years, the UKaid will contribute in the efforts to enrol additional 2.8 million children in schools,
get access to 150,000 extra trained teachers. It will also offer access to 6,000 trained health workers, equip 1280 health
centres with emergency obstetric care and enable six million households benefit from safe water service. The state minister
also confirmed that the UK government has allocated 71 million pound sterling this year for the Productive Safety Net
Program             and             for           the             emergency                humanitarian              responses.

                              MPs from Kenya's rift valley rap premier over forest evictions
Text of report by Samuel Kumba, John Ngirachu, and Dennis Odunga entitled: "Mau: Rift between Raila and MPs widens"
published      by    Kenyan    privately-owned    newspaper    Daily      Nation      website   on     17 November

The Mau forest [southwestern Kenya] saga has sparked a war of words between ministers barely two days after they
resolved to end such feuds at a cabinet bonding session in Mombasa. Two ministers and an assistant minister went
personal with the prime minister over an issue already agreed by the cabinet. Ministers William Ruto (agriculture), Franklin
Bett (roads) and assistant minister Jebii Kilimo (cooperative development) accused Mr Raila Odinga of seeking international
recognition over the Mau at the expense of settlers in the forest. The three, who were joined by more than a dozen MPs
from the Rift Valley Province, said the government had agreed that those living the forest were to be resettled. Taking the
attack a notch higher, Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto now says the PM [prime minister] did not even win the disputed
December 2007 general election, asking him to let President Kibaki run the government. "The PM was appointed the
Tanzanian way and should not claim to partly run the government. If he has any proof that he won the election let him share
it with us," said Mr Ruto. Asked whether this public attack makes a joke of the bonding session the ministers and their
assistants were meant to have at the Coast, the Chepalungu MP said the bonding was not confining. "How do you bond
with people who do not keep their word? There was an agreement that the government will not move people and throw
them into the cold as has happened. How can they say that everybody should go back to where they came from?" said the

MP. Nyanza MPs seemed to have prepared a rejoinder to their Rift Valley counterparts, but cancelled a press conference
they had called at Parliament Building. Gwasi MP John Mbadi apologised to journalists who had gathered at the venue,
saying they had to cancel it "because it could have been explosive". "After wide consultations, we have decided to cancel
this press conference on the Mau issue. I would like to apologise for this," said Mr Mbadi.

The Mombasa communique the top government officers, headed by the president and PM, came up with was clear in its
goals. The agreement stated that cabinet ministers and their assistants will trust and respect each other, and any
differences will be resolved through internal mechanisms. "Cabinet ministers and assistant ministers will foster unity and
cohesion within government by refraining from making adverse public utterances against fellow cabinet ministers and
assistant ministers, and those which could cast a bad image of the government," said the Mombasa communique. It further
states that cabinet ministers and assistant ministers shall abide by the principles of collective responsibility, a resolve that
agriculture minister would not abide by. "We have no apologies to make for demanding that these people be treated as
human beings. To suggest that we should remain silent rather than talk for people like these is to suggest we represent
animals," Mr Ruto said in apparent reference to this clause of the communique. The agriculture minister said the PM
should be held responsible for the humanitarian crisis facing the settlers, who have already spent a week in the cold,
allegedly without food, clothing and medication. A statement signed by the chief coordinator of the Interim Coordinating
Secretariat on the Mau, Mr Hassan Noor Hassan, which indicated that those moving out of the forest should return to their
original           homes,            perhaps            irks           Rift            Valley           MPs               more.

The MPs, however, claim that the people have no other home and that explains why they are now camping at Kipkongor.
Elsewhere, National Heritage Minister William Ole Ntimama asked Kalenjin MPs to stop inciting the squatters to go back to
their farms in the forest, adding that they are acting unwisely. He said the MPs are providing a recipe for disaster and
ethnic clashes by demanding that the squatters be resettled on alternative land, without which they would be told to go back
to their homes in the forest. "They are setting the stage for tribal clashes and a bid to exterminate all people. Everybody
must be removed from the forest since Mau does not belong to them but to Kenyans and the world," said the Narok North
MP. "Rivers are drying up, lake levels are going down and we don't want a disaster for this country," said Mr Ntimama, who
has been among the most outspoken MPs on the restoration of the Mau since he raised the matter of its destruction in
parliament 10 years ago. Mr Ntimama said the MPs should not be branded as Rift Valley leaders but representatives of the
Kalenjin, the only group they were speaking for. Mr Ibrahim Mwathane, a consultant on land, accused the MPs of abdicating
their responsibility to Kenyans and the rest of the world. "The Rift Valley MPs seem to totally misunderstand their wider
responsibility to this country," said Mr Mwathane. Kenya Land Alliance head Odenda Lumumba said the lack of a clear
policy on the resettlement has given politicians the opportunity to exploit the situation for their own selfish interests.

                    Kenyan minister faults media, aid groups over forest evictions 16th November

Media reports in Kenya say about 3,000 people have moved out of Mau Forest in the southwest of the country, days after
the expiry of a notice given by the government asking settlers in the forest to leave.
Evictions in the country's biggest water source are set to begin 16 November. Kalenjin-language Kass FM radio station on
16 November discussed the issue that has become the talk of national media. The breakfast show (Lenee emet - view of
the nation) that featured Franklin Bett, the minister for roads and MP for Bureti Constituency in Bureti District was presented
by                Joshua               arap                 Sang             and                Timothy                Chepsoi.

Sang said that the estimated 3,000 people who have left the forest and are camping at the edge of it in are now without
food, shelter and basic items and are still waiting for government assistance. They presenter asked the listeners to send
their cash, food, clothing and other donations to assist them. On 15 November, Bett and his cabinet colleague William Ruto
lead a group of Kalenjin MPs to visit the people who have left the forest. They said that the government had promised that it
would handle the evictions humanely, face but there is a humanitarian crisis as those affected are now camping by the road
side on the outskirts of the forest. Over the weekend, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, at a meeting attended by the president
and all government ministers criticized unnamed ministers criticizing collective cabinet decision on Mau Forest. A day later,
Ruto said collective responsibility does not bind him from speaking out for the people. "We have no apologies to make for
demanding that these people be treated as human beings. To suggest that we should remain silent rather than talk for
people like these is to suggest we represent animals," Mr Ruto was quoted by local media 16 November as saying.


The following are excerpts of the conversation with the guest Mr Bett and comments made by the listeners.
(Bett) First of all I would like to greet all the Kalenjin wherever they are and more so the people of Mau and I tell them God
is with us as is said in Psalms 23 that the lord is my shepherd I shall not want. What I would have said has been said by the
leaders. The president has spoken, the prime minister has spoken and the minister of forestry and we have also spoken.
Those who are suffering have also spoken and they have spoken well. Chepsoi said that he heard they are sleeping under
leafs. I would like to speak up because I was there and I have seen it with my eyes. These people came out voluntarily after
the request by the government. The Kalenjin people listen to the government and they obey the laws of the government .

They came out voluntarily because the government made an appeal and added that they would give them alternative
settlement. Just like the scriptures they believe with their whole heart. They have built the structures they can using
branches and leaves. This is where they are all staying children, parents, grand parents. There are no walls and things to
sleep in. It is painful because some of the children who are there were born yesterday, three days, three weeks old, we held
those children. The papers do not want to show them because some of them belong to other tribes, even television
stations. Give out the clothes you do not need anymore so that we can give them. Imagine a small infant three or four days
old and yet it is said they are Kenyans. A small child who does not know anything about their rights. Where are their rights?
The Red Cross is there when such things occur. Where are they? Those who always run to the media are not being seen,
people like Muite, when things occur he is there. I would like to thank those who came out to help by giving their
contributions because they know that no one likes us. I urge them not to stop helping.

(Sang) What should we expect today? Some have come out voluntarily and those who have not left will be evicted start ing
today.          As             leaders         what            is            the            way               forward?

(Bett) I would like to say what we agreed in the cabinet and also in parliament that the forest needs to be conserved. This is
because of many reasons. The government asked us to urge the people to come out of the forest. We asked what would
happen after they came out. They said that they would provide alternative settlement and we thought that it was good and
we agreed. I believe it was in this station when I told people that they would be compensated. I said this because it had
come from the government. Now they are making us look like liars before our people. After the government said this, they
said that they would provide transport to the new habitation, there would be medicine, food and all those other things. None
of these things were done. They said there would be security for them. Yesterday, when we were there, there was no one. I
asked the youth to look after the children and women. I told the government to allow them to harvest their crop but the
security forces are now harvesting the crop, monkeys and elephants are now eating them. What is all this ab out, then we
will ask for aid. There are some students who did not sit for their exams because they were psychologically affected by the
announcement. I would like to say that we thought that as the government drags its feet we should help our people. I
therefore ask our churches to collect things (items) from their congregations, councillors also. You can also take donations
to the Red Cross Society. We also urge the government to help. I will look for Uhuru Kenyatta (finance minister) because
they had spoke with Ruto. If it becomes hard, I will look for the prominent one [possibly referring to the president] to do a
follow up on and that is what we will do today. I ask for assistance to keep flowing. I thank those who are in America for
making plans to send assistance. Those in the forest have made committees. I thank one of them a member of the Ogiek
community who prayed until I had tears in my eyes. Some of them were born in the forest. They were told to fill forms.

(Sang)            I          saw            the             form          it                 was      written          illegal...

(Bett) We saw that and we wondered, we laughed at the term illegal. There is nothing like an illegal squatter, squatters are
squatters. How can you be a squatter as Ogiek, people who inhabit the area? I thank those people and ask them to be
accountable for the assistance they are given and to distribute the aid fairly. Let it be known by the government that the
leadership in the Rift Valley Province is not against conservation but we are against brutalization of the people contrary to
the       laws        of       this      country       and       international       laws       on        human        rights.

(Sang) In the grand coalition government, we are shocked at what has happened to our people. What are your thoughts
and            what             are           you           doing          in           this           government?

(Bett) We are not leaving; we are staying until they tell us to leave. We voted for this government and we will struggle
inside. The rights of our people are their rights whether we are in government or not. I tell our leaders to be united and look
after                                                       our                                                         people.

(Sang) Some have said if it is possible for the wealthy among the Kalenjin to contribute an acre or so to allow them to live
there         near               the             forest          until            they             are             resettled.

(Bett) I heard that yesterday. We have called on the government because these are our people. What happens when they
refuse           to         resettle        them          because         they          have         a        place?

(Sang)                    Another                    step                      will                be                    taken.

(Bett) Let us assist them first as we wait for resettlement. You may be selling yourself out .They may say that they now
have a place. Those from central did not take such a move until recently when they started volunteering land. This is after
2years (referring to the people displaced in 2008 after elections). They were being told to stay put through their stations like
this.       Remember          that      if       they       go,        out      of        sight       out       of        mind.

(Sang)                                    Your                                        last                                word.

(Bett) There is one thing I forgot, I would like to ask the youth that they should not be incited. I have heard t hat some want

to say they should be beaten, but do not agree to be involved in matters that can smear you. We should handle this matter
in peace and with wisdom. No one should touch anyone from any tribe. If you are angry at a person it is an individual an d
not      a     group.     That     is     my       appeal      and      the     appeal     of    all     the      leaders.


The              following           are        few         selected        views         from          the          listeners.

(Text message from Reuben) The government should assist those who have come out voluntarily. They should not suffer.

(Caller Councillor Chemoina) I would like to thank you for having the Kalenjin people at heart. We want people to see the
unity we have in helping our people. This is something that has never happened to the Kalenjin. We heard what the person
we voted for said, that people should go where they came from. Does this also mean that those who are in Rift Valley also
had a place where they came from and should go back? Otherwise the leaders should unite and we should help each other.
We should have a fund-raising to assist them. If it is politics then we can now read the signs. We can only put God first.

                                  Al-Shabab's threat to WFP linked to US probe on businessmen
Text        of        report        by     Somali      pro-Puntland     government        website       on        16 November

Al-Shabab militias led by Ali Dheere yesterday accused the WFP of deliberately undermining Somali farmers by distributing
food aid during harvesting time. Conflicting reports are now emerging on the issue surrounding Al-Shabab accusations
leveled against WFP. Allpuntland has received reports indicating that the accusations by Al-Shabab against WFP have
coincided with investigations on some of the WFP officials by the FBI. Senior WFP and American Intelligence officials have
been scrutinizing some of the major contracts WFP gave to individuals such as Eynow, Abdiqadir Adan and Deylaaf in
southern Somali regions. These businessmen who have been awarded WFP contracts are being accused of having ties
with Al-Shabab and Hisb Al-Islam and funding their operations. It has been reported that a decision to suspend the WFP
contracts given to these businessmen have been made in recent investigations after they were suspected of supp orting
armed opposition groups. Senior WFP officials and those of the FBI are now concerned about the cancellation of the WFP
contract for Deylaaf, Adani and Enynow have now coincided with Al-Shabab's threats that they were going to ban the
organization from operating in Somalia.

                             Increasing hunger could fuel conflict in Southern Sudan
Text of report by Nairobi-based online news service of UN regional information network IRIN on 16 November

(IRIN) POCHALLA, 16 November 2009: An increasing number of people in Southern Sudan cannot find enough to eat or
adequate pasture and water for their livestock, raising fears of conflict between communities over grazing lands, local
leaders warned. "Where there was peace, there was no rain and then where there were good rains, there was insecurity,"
Kuol Manyang, governor of Jonglei State, said. His counterpart from Upper Nile State, Gutlauk Deng Garang, warned that
hunger would force pastoralist cattle herders to move their animals, sharply increasing the likelihood of clashes with rival
ethnic groups. "We expect the cattle herders to start moving soon, and then it is expected [that there will] be conflict
between the Lou and the Jikany Nuer," Garang told IRIN recently. Conflict between the Shilluk and Dinka communities had
added to food insecurity, he said. More than 2,000 people have died and about 350,000 have been displaced by violence
across Southern Sudan since January, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The World
Food Programme (WFP), which began airdropping food in the area on 4 November, estimates that 1.2 million people are
already facing serious food insecurity in Southern Sudan. "Air drops are a last resort to get food into these inaccessible
places during this time of hunger," Michelle Iseminger, head of WFP in Southern Sudan, told reporters at Pochalla, a
remote settlement on Sudan's border with Ethiopia. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the food
insecurity in the region is part of the wider threat facing eastern Africa and the Horn, where prolonged drought and
mounting conflict have left an estimated 20 million people needing food aid. The warning came at a tense time for Southern
Sudan, which is struggling to recover from a 22-year civil war that ended less than five years ago. Elections are due in April,
followed by a referendum on the south's potential full independence in 2011. "If we are not able to handle the situation
well... repairing adequate supplies... we can expect very, very significant levels [of hunger] which can border on the red flag
emergency, which becomes a famine," Hilde Johnson, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) deputy executive director, said
during an 8 November visit to Jonglei's capital, Bor. "When natural resources are being diminished on a daily basis, you will
see hard pressure coming in on already meagre resources," Johnson added. "This will exacerbate conflict, there is
absolutely                                                      no                                                     doubt."

                               Zambia: Banda arrives in Italy to attend world summit on food security
Text   of        report   by     state-owned national newspaper Times of Zambia website                      on   16 November

President Rupiah Banda arrived in Rome, Italy to attend the World summit on Food Security which officially opened
yesterday. The plane carrying president Banda touched down at Ciampino Airport in Rome at 12:45 hours after a one and

half hour flight from the Libyan capital Tripoli. Zambia's ambassador to Italy Lucy Mungoma and other senior Government
officials were on hand to receive president Banda on arrival Mr Banda's touch down at Ciampino Airport was closely
followed by that of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi who is also in Rome for the same summit. Mr Banda was later driven
to Westin Excelstor Hotel where he would stay while in Rome. The world summit on food security, the third at heads of
State and government level since 1996, has been convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to secure a
broad consensus on the total eradication of hunger from the world by 2025. The summit has been called against a
backdrop of increasing global food insecurity worsened by the global economic crisis with food prices remaining stubbornly
high beyond the reach of most people. The FAO says it is unacceptable that more than one billion people worldwide, mostly
in developing countries, do not have enough food to meet their daily nutritional needs. Director General Jacques Diouf said
the UN organization estimated the number of hungry mouths worldwide could increase by 100 million as a result of the
global economic and financial crisis. He said significant additional investment in agriculture averaging $209 billion per
year, was required in primary agriculture and downstream services such as storage and marketing to eliminate poverty
and achieve food security in developing countries. For Zambia, president Banda and his delegation bring to the summit an
encouraging overall national food security situation in which the 2009 maize yield stands at 1.89 million tonnes, 31 per cent
above the 2008 harvest. Statistics also show that wheat production increased by five per cent over the 2008 output. The
good harvest is attributed to the good agricultural policies that Government has put in place such as the farmer input
support programme which has made inputs not only afordable, but also accessible and available to farmers throughout the

                                   Yemen says fishing boats seized by Eritrean pirates
Text    of   report    in   English    by    state-run    Yemeni      news    agency      Saba     website    16        November

Hudaydah, 16 November: Eritrean pirates have seized six Yemeni fishing boats in the international waters, an attack that
comes within continuous harassment and provocation exercised against the Yemeni boats by the Eritreans.
Under gun threat, they pulled the boats with 89 fishermen on them to Harmel island in Eritrea and confiscated all the boats'
contents      and       tools,      the      information      centre      of      the       Interior    Ministry       said.
The Red Sea-based Coastguard said that the pirates released a boat with 78 fishermen onboard. The boat has already
reached                                                   Yemeni                                                      coast.
However, another 11 Yemeni fishermen with 5 boasts are still held by the Eritreans.

                      East African states urged to harmonize laws, policies on food production
Text of report by Charles Kazooba entitled "Coming soon: New law on cross-border trade to end hunger" published by
Kenyan            newspaper            The          EastAfrican          website          on         16 November

Hunger will be a thing of the past in the region should plans by the East African Community to start formal cross border
trade in food yield positive results. Consultations to generate laws to enhance food security have kicked off, with promises
of support by the five member states. "Food insecurity is largely due to a leadership crisis. As a political class, we must
reorganize the administration of food distribution in the region," said Dan Kidega, a Uganda MP at the East African
Legislative Assembly (EALA). He spoke during consultations on food security in Kampala last week. "There is a lot of poor
planning at national levels. A regional food strategy is the way to go." The EAC Secretariat and EALA members say
borders should be opened to allow internal trade in food - from the surplus areas to the deficit ones. About 20 million
people in East Africa are facing hunger. They are dependent on emergency food aid - which distorts regional economics.
However, various hurdles still lie in the way to food security in the region. For instance, during the consultative process, the
majority of EALA members said it would be necessary to first harmonize laws and policies on food production and land
tenure. "We shall not change anything unless we have an agrarian reform, like the British did two centuries ago. Our
governments should take this issue as a priority," said Fortunatua Masha, an EALA MP from Tanzania.
The proposals will guide the formation of the Food Security Protocol that will bind the five member states - Rwanda,
Uganda, Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania. The MPs said 10 per cent of their partner states' budgets should be invested in
rural areas, as opposed to research and extension services - as agreed during the Maputo Declaration. In the new food
legislation, provisions will be made to compel partner states to shift storage facilities to the regional headquarters. Also, all
member          states        will      have        to      create         buffer       stocks,       the       MPs        said.
The partner states also ruled out future dependence on food aid, which has led to price distortion and lower food
production. "We shouldn't depend on food aid. Let's set aside a pool that will help distribute food in the region," said
Bohela Lunogelo, the executive director of Economic and Social Research Foundation. The foundation is the leading
agency on consolidation of the region's new food law. Food insecurity has been rising in East Africa lately.
It has resulted in stunted growth, especially in western Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, southern Tanzania and northern and
southern Kenya. In 2007, demand for food remained strong despite rising prices. The Uganda Bureau of Statistics says
informal cross-border food exports totalled 126.3m dollars, according to a 2007 survey. Demand remained strong in the
first half of 2008. Researchers say most cross-border trade in East Africa is informal, with high transaction costs. As a
result, such trade has been low and unstable.

                              Kenyan MPs demand land for evicted Mau Forest settlers
Text of report by John Ngirachu and George Sayagie entitled ''MPs demand land for evicted Mau squatters'' published by
Kenyan privately-owned newspaper Daily Nation website on 16 November; subheadings inserted editorially

A group of Rift Valley [Province] leaders has demanded that squatters evicted from the Mau Forest [in southwestern Kenya]
be given alternative land. The leaders, who included two cabinet ministers, accused the Kenyan government of breaking a
promise to resettle the squatters. The emotional meeting was attended by Agriculture Minister William Ruto and his roads
counterpart Franklin Bett. Mr Ruto, Mr Bett and assistant minister Jebii Kilimo left the government retreat in Mombasa early
to attend the meeting at Kipkongor in Kuresoi District. Mr Ruto said collective responsibility does not bind him from
speaking out for the people. "We have no apologies to make for demanding that these people be treated as human beings.
To suggest that we should remain silent rather than talk for people like these is to suggest we represent animals," Mr Ruto
said. Mr Bett asked the squatters to "stay put", though it was not clear whether he was asking them to stay in the camps or
in the forest. "The government has failed to abide by the promise that those removed from the forest will be resettled. They
have not. And before they assure us that they will be, we are asking you to stay put," he said. The leaders singled out Prime
Minister [PM] Raila Odinga for criticism, saying he was responsible for the suffering of the evicted squatters, now living
camps. The settlers started moving out of the forest last week at the expiry of a government notice. Settlement in the Mau
Forest has destroyed an important source of water, endangering the livelihoods of nearly half of Kenya's population. The
eviction of the settlers, many of whom live on the forest land illegally, was approved by parliament which, however, bound
the government to follow the law. The charged meeting on Saturday [14 November], at one of the camps set up by the
squatters in Kuresoi District, was addressed by the two ministers, MPs and councillors. Their criticism of Mr Odinga came
on the same day it was agreed that ministers and assistant ministers will be bound by collective responsibility, oath of
secrecy, speak with one voice and avoid publicly criticizing each other. Kipkongor is host to about 3,000 settlers who have
set up camp there after moving from their homes at Kiptegelde, Langam and Tigolwe, about 10 kilometres away. A new
order requiring settlers to move out of the forest by Sunday has hastened migration out of the Mau. In September, when the
report of the taskforce on Mau was adopted by the House, Rift Valley MPs lobbied their colleagues to push the government
to follow the law in evicting the squatters. On Saturday, the MPs said Mr Odinga had betrayed them by enforcing the
evictions before alternative land was identified for the squatters. "There have been no meetings in cabinet where it was
agreed that people be removed and dumped on the roadside or made to live under leaves like you are. If there were any
meetings           to         do         that,         they        were         illegal,"       Mr          Ruto         said.

The agriculture minister said the PM should be held responsible for the humanitarian crisis facing the settlers, who have
already spent a week in the cold, allegedly without food, clothing and medication. Mr Ruto, an influential leader in the Rift
Valley, accused Mr Odinga of pursuing international fame by championing the restoration of the forest "at the expense of
the lives of innocent Kenyans". Mr Bett asked Mr Odinga not to brand them as inciters for speaking on behalf of their
electorate. Kuresoi MP Zakayo Cheruiyot said at the next election, Mr Odinga will be asked to "stand up and be counted
with his people and then we will see on whose side the people are". Mr Ruto said he had discussed the situation with the
president, Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Dr Naomi Shaban of Special Programmes and it was agreed the
government would identify land for the resettlement of the squatters. The squatters camped at Kapsongor have no land
ownership or allocation documents. They claim to be Ogieks, a forest-dwelling community, who have lived in the forest all
their lives. The MPs used the occasion to drum up support for Mr Ruto's presidential bid. Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto, one
of the PM's fiercest critics, accused him of misleading the Kalenjin community at the last general election, adding that
President Kibaki had won the disputed vote. Cooperatives Development Assistant Minister Jebii Kilimo echoed Mr Ruto's
statements on the president's disputed re-election, saying the community had made a mistake by supporting Mr Odinga
during the last election. Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny said the battle against Mr Odinga would be taken to p arliament.
"He should not tell us to shut up about the Mau. We can bring him down and we will," he said.
Others who attended the meeting, where maize flour, cooking fat and blankets were donated, were MPs Joyce Laboso
(Sotik), Luka Kigen (Rongai), Sammy Mwaita (Baringo Central), Moses Lessonet (Eldama Ravine), Benjamin Lang'at
(Ainamoi) and Beatrice Kones (Bomet). Aid agencies have been slow to provide assistance to the settlers, possibly
because mushrooming of camps had not been anticipated and the government had promised that the evictions would be
carried out in a humane and dignified manner. On Sunday, Mr Odinga's Spokesman Mr Dennis Onyango said the PM was
not seeking popularity by fighting for the conservation of the Mau. "Saving the Mau is not a popularity contest for Raila
Odinga or a punishment he is meting out on anyone. I doubt there is any part of the world where the PM is not known for
his principled position on issues before he began the Mau campaign," he said. He said saving the Mau was a patriotic duty
meant to benefit all Kenyans, including the people of Rift Valley. "If saving the Mau has earned the PM fame, it is because
there are people out there who believe it needed to be done," he said. Mr Onyango said the Mau secretariat ought to be
given time to ensure the squatters are settled. He accused Rift Valley leaders of trying to get political mileage out of the
evictions. "It appears to us that the politicians are using the Mau to gain fame and mileage at the grassroots at the expense
of Kenya," he said.

                               Japan grants 860,000 dollars for water projects in Yemen
Text    of   report    in   English by state-run Yemeni news agency Saba                          website    14th    November

[14/November/2009] SANA'A, Nov.14 (Saba) - An agreement was signed here on Saturday [14 Nov] at Ministry of Planning
and International Cooperation through which Japanese government grants $860,000 to Yemen for financing the rural water
projects. The agreement signed by Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Abd-al-Karim al-Arhabi and Charge
d'affaires of Japan embassy in Sana'a includes funding and preparing a detailed design for the rural water supply project.
The project aims at providing water in 19 areas including five provinces via constructing installations of the project
scheduled to be inaugurated in 2010. Al-Arhabi praised the Japanese continuous support to the development process in
Yemen, affirming Yemen's keenness on promoting the bilateral cooperation frames between Yemen and Japan.
It is worthy to mention that Japan's annual support average to Yemen amounts to $20 million dedicated for funding
developmental projects in fields of water, education, agriculture, electricity and sea security.

                       Woman eats her new born baby due to hunger in southern Sudanese state
                                   Bakhita FM, Juba, in English 1600 gmt 13 Nov 09

Hunger has made some residents of Budi County to migrate looking for food elsewhere in Equatoria State and Uganda, a
youth leader said. Hetro Loboi is the chairperson of Eastern Equatoria State [Southern Sudan] Youth Parliament. He told
Sudan Catholic Radio News that famine and prolonged drought have affected many citizens in Eastern Equatoria. Loboi
said people in Kikilai and Lotukai payams [localities] left their homes and now live in a displaced camp in Chukudum
[Eastern Equatoria State]. He added that some citizens are even crossing the border to Uganda in search of food.
 Mr Loboi said this displacement will affect the next general elections and the referendum as citizens are not concentrating
on voter registration. This morning Radio Emmanuel reported that a woman has eaten her new born baby in Torit town due
to hunger. UN officials have warned that food aid is needed urgently to avert a major hunger crisis in southern Sudan.

                                  Kenya's Mau Forest settlers said trooping out
Text of report by Mark Agutu and George Sayagie entitled "Mau settlers troop out as forest force arrives" published by
Kenyan privately-owned newspaper Daily Nation website on 12 November, subheading as published

The flow of illegal settlers out of Mau Forest started on Wednesday [11 November], a day after the government deployed
security officers ready to evict them. The settlers, frightened by the show of force and a history of brutal evictions, appealed
to the government to give them alternative land even as they packed their belongings, ready to leave. Though there was
panic in some of the villages, a full scale migration had not started. However, some settlers were already moving out.

At Chematich and Tiriyta villages deep in Ndoinet Forest, one of the areas targeted in the first phase of the evictions,
farmers were packing up and moving away. After weeks of dithering in the hope that the government's resolve would
crumble, the arrival of armed rangers in their villages seemed to have finally persuaded some villagers that there was lit tle
to be gained by staying on. About 300 officers, the first batch of an eviction force, were deployed in the area on Monday
and pitched two camps at Kapkembu and Saina in southwestern Mau. The officers maintained that their job was to provide
security and that they would only kick out those who were reluctant to move. A notice requiring the illegal settlers to move
out of the largest water tower in Kenya, which measures about 400,000 hectares, expired on Monday.
Kenya Forestry Services director David Mbugua said the government chose southwestern Mau for the start of the evictions
because the settlers had no documents to back their occupation of the forest land. The move also marked a crucial stage in
the battle that Prime Minister Raila Odinga has fought to reclaim the water tower. Rift Valley MPs had earlier opposed the
evictions of the settlers and demanded they be compensated before they could be ordered to leave.

However, the settlers will now wait for the compensation as the government seeks to raise 38bn shillings [534.5m dollars] to
finance the evictions, compensation, planting of trees and fencing. On Wednesday, a crowd of some 200 villagers gathered
at an open field within Tiriyta farm, some 70 kilometres from Molo Town, from as early as dawn after word went round that
the officers would be moving in to evict those who are still on their farms. As fear of forceful eviction spread, the villagers
came out with the little they could carry, leaving behind homes, property and a ripening maize crop. A few dragged along
their reluctant goats and tethered them at the field as they awaited word from the authorities. Asked if they had permanently
left their homes, the villagers said they had property which they could not carry and were still hoping that the government
would give them more time to move. Their main concern was the maize in the farms, which most of them were looking
forward to harvesting in a few months. Some of those interviewed said they had lived in the forest for decades and evicting
them had left them as internally displaced persons. "We are not against moving out, but where to?" asked Mr David Ng'eno.
He showed a number of land allocation cards from the government indicating that the owners had been given five acres
each within the Ndoinet Settlement Scheme. Most of the cards were issued through the Nakuru District Commissioner's
office in 1996. "We need help from the government. We have documents showing we were genuinely given the land."
Ms Sabina Boses, a mother of six, said the five acres she lived on was her family's only possession. She asked the
government to consider giving those affected alternative land. "Even if we are given half an acre, it will be enough place to
put my head," she said. Earlier, Mr Isaac Wafula, the Ndoinet Forest Officer, said the settlers had started filing out after the
arrival of the officers. "They may not be moving out en masse, but once a few started moving out, the message sunk that

there was no other alternative and the others are following suit," he told the [Daily] Nation. The government had announced
that it would begin evicting the settlers yesterday, the first step in reclaiming part of the 400,000 hectare forest complex, an
important source of water for the country. On Tuesday, Wildlife Minister Noah Wekesa said the first phase of the eviction
targets 16,000 families on 19,000 hectares. The Kenya Forestry Service says the families have no documents and no right
to be in the forest.

                                    Beijing hikes non-residential water prices
Text of report in English by official Chinese news agency Xinhua (New China News Agency) 18th November

BEIJING, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) - Beijing will raise non-residential water rates starting Friday to encourage water saving in the
thirsty Chinese capital, local government said Wednesday. The water resource fee for non-residential use climbs by 0.22
yuan per cubic meter and wastewater treatment fee rises by 0.18 yuan, said the municipal development and reform
commission. The price hikes were aimed at encouraging water saving and recycling in a bid to ease water shortages in
Beijing, the commission said. The water rates for industry and commerce, and hotels, restaurants and the catering industry
rise to 6.21 yuan (91 US cents) per cubic meter from 5.6 yuan and 6.1 yuan, respectively. The rate for government and
public agencies is increased from 5.4 yuan to 5.8 yuan per cubic meter. The planning agency also raised water prices for
the car-washing and purified water sectors to 61.68 yuan from 41.50 yuan per cubic meter.
The water price for the bath industry is raised to 81.68 yuan from 61.50 yuan per cubic meter. A public hearing on water
rate     hikes   for     residential  use      will   be    held    in    the     "short-term",    the   agency     added.

                                    Nigeria working on space technology to enhance development
Text        of       report    by       privately  owned      daily  Nigerian   Tribune   website         on     18 November

[Report       by     Clement      Idoko:     "FG      Explores     Space       Technology     To     Boost      Agriculture"]
The Federal Government, in collaboration with the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) Trieste,
Italy, is working on exploring the applications of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) to enhance development of the
country. GNSS is a space technology, whose application can be used to increase food security, manage natural resources,
provide efficient emergency location services and improve survey and mapping, among others. Executive Secretary
National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okojie, speaking in Abuja, on Tuesday, at a capacity building
workshop, disclosed that about 25 Nigerian experts had been trained by foreign experts from Boston College, USA, and
ICTP on the application of the GNSS. Represented by the Director, Research and Innovations at the NUC, Professor Val
Ekechukwu, Okojie stated that the initiative would also help boost Nigeria's security system, provide precision and safety in
land, water and air navigation systems.

                                  South Korea: 30,000 farmers protest at plummeting rice prices
Text   of        report   in English by South Korean left-of-centre daily newspaper Hankyoreh              on   18   November

HANKYOREH) -Approximately 30 thousand South Korean farmers convened together for a National Farmers' Convention
to ask the government to address plummeting rice prices on Tuesday. A total of 13 farmers' organizations including the
Korea Peasant League (KPL) hosted the convention together with 30 special guests in order to ask the government to
resolve the problem of plummeting rice prices and to reform the Nonghyup, or National Agricultural Cooperative
Federation. The participants said, "The government has exhibited irresponsible behaviour in that it has not formulated a
policy to help address the issue of plummeting rice prices." The participants are also asking the government to resume rice
aid to North Korea and said, "The main cause of plummeting rice prices is the government's decision not to send rice aid to
North Korea." The participants added, "During the previous administration, 400 thousand tons of rice were sent to North
Korea annually, whereas the current administration has stocked up over 800 thousand tons of rice." They say the excess
reserves of rice are one of main causes of the steep decline in the price of rice. The participants are also demanding the
reform of Nonghyup and said, "Nonghyup should be reborn as an organization that serves ordinary farmers." Other
convention participants included Chung Sye-gyun [Cho'ng Se-gyun], chairman of the Democratic Party (DP), Kang Ki-gap,
chairman of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and Roh Hoe-chan, Chairman of the New Progressive Party (NPP).
After the convention, several hundred members of KPL staged a demonstration at various places through Seoul City. In the
Jongno district, approximately 300 members tried participate in Samboilbae, three steps and one bow, towards the Cheong
Wa Dae [ROK Office of the President] (the presidential office in South Korea or Blue House), however the police arrested
eight people and dispersed the remaining members. In the Sejongno neighbourhood, seven out of another 300 farmers that
marched                                                     were                                                   arrested.

                               Arab League chief says "Israel usurps most fertile Palestinian lands"
Text         of            report         by       Egyptian        state-run          news       agency      MENA         website

Rome, 17 November: Arab League Secretary General Amr Musa said Israeli settlers are usurping the most fertile
Palestinian agricultural lands and water resources threatening to trigger a stifling food crisis, given that the Palestinians
are                      suffering                    from                         severe                        malnutrition.
Addressing a summit on world food security in Rome, Musa said the league gives top priority to the issue of food security.
Since an Arab summit in Riyadh in March, 2007, the Arab League has approved a strategy for Arab agricultural
sustainable        development        for       the        coming           two          decades,         Musa          said.
The league also approved an initiative to boost Arab cooperation to face the global food crisis, he went on to say.
The Arab League chief, meanwhile, underlined the importance of luring further capital into suitable agricultural areas in the
Arab                                                                                                                  region.

                                     France, Brazil call for two-year world food security “road map”
Text         of             report         by         French         news        agency        AFP          16th        November

Rome, 16 November 2009: At the FAO summit in Rome on Monday [16 November], France and Brazil proposed "the rapid
debate and adoption of a two-year road map" for world food security. "This road map should be shared by all of the
players. It needs to consolidate the prospective visions for a sustainable, healthy food supply by the year 2050", said
French Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire and Brazilian Agriculture Minister Guillerme Cassel, in a joint statement. "It
needs to make provision for recommendations to improve the efficiency and the coordination of aid," according to the
statement. "We have decided to work together with Brazil, to take concrete measures to promote agricultural development,
agricultural independence in the greatest possible number of countries in the world and with the aim of fighting hunger in
the world by specific means," Mr Le Maire told the press. "We are going to work on the basis of three specific themes," Mr
Le Maire, specified, citing first of all "the stabilization of agricultural prices and world regulation of agricultural markets"
The other two themes are "the purchase and the predation of agricultural land around the world" and "sustainable
development". According to the joint statement, "after [the] Copenhagen [climate-change summit, opening on 7 December],
fresh effort must be put into adapting and attenuating" the impact of climate change on agriculture.

                           St Lucia agriculture minister upbeat about banana industry despite EU tariffs
Text    of        report     by       Caribbean    Media      Corporation      news     agency    website   on     17   November

Castries, St Lucia: St Lucia's Agriculture Minister Ezechiel Joseph says he is confident that the banana industry will
survive despite fears that Caribbean countries may have to contend with Europe having to implement further tariff cuts and
reduce preferential treatment for the entry of the commodity on the European market. In 1997, the World Trade
Organization (WTO) ruled that the EU's banana import regime was inconsistent with WTO rules since the EU's tariff quota
allocation, particularly to the African, Caribbean, Pacific (ACP) countries, were contrary to the non-discrimination rule of the
General Agreement on Tariffs & Trade (GATT). Further, the WTO said that the EU's licensing procedures were contrary to
the most favoured nation (MFN) rule and the national treatment rule. Two years later, the EU introduced a new banana
import regime but the WTO ruled in April 1999 that this new regime was also incompatible with the EU's WTO obligations.
In May 2000, the WTO granted Ecuador authorization to impose sanctions up to an amount of US201.6m dollars per year
on EU exports to Ecuador. On 31 January 2005, after several months of consultations with non-preferential banana-
supplying countries, the EU informed the WTO of its new banana tariff: Euro230 (US341 dollars) per tonne. But earlier this
year, the EU and Latin American banana producers agreed to cut the EU's import duty to Euro 114 (US179 dollars) a tonne
by 2016 after an initial cut to Euro148 (US220 dollars) in 2009 from Euro 176 (US261 dollars). Caribbean banana officials
said that current talks in Europe on the banana industry couldresult in further cuts and Joseph said that while the new
situation may result in more farmers leaving the industry, he was nonetheless confident that the sector could survive. He
said that farmers cannot continue producing 20 tons of bananas per acre and "by doubling or tripling our production we can
compete. "I am not so much concern about what is happening, what I am concerned about is what we have control over let
us work and make it better... and if we could get it right I think the banana industry will survive... "He said the answer now
lies in teaching farmers how to increase productivity, calling also for support for them in the prevailing situation. "The
farmers must get the support, the farmers must get the support with regards to inputs on a timely basis, there must be a
reliable supply and we have to see how we could reduce the costs so as to enable them to remain."
Joseph said among the problems facing the industry is the "inconsistency with regards to inputs" noting that the new
technology being used in the banana sector meant that those inputs had to be available on time.

                              China proposes four-point action plan to eradicate world hunger
Text of report in English by official Chinese news agency Xinhua (New China News Agency) 16                              November

[Xinhua:      "     China       Proposes      Four-Point      Action    Plan       To     Eradicate    World      Hunger"]
ROME, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) - Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu on Monday proposed a four-point action plan aimed at
eradicating world hunger in his address to a world summit on food security. Stressing the fact that the financial crisis has
worsened the plight of the poor and the hungry, the Chinese vice premier said the summit, hosted at the UN Food and
Agriculture Organization ( FAO) headquarters here, was "of special significance to world food security, global economic
recovery and sustainable development." In order to overcome the "dual pressure of an international financial crisis and a
global food crisis," the first suggestion of the Chinese government was to increase input and raise food production by
investing more in agriculture, build up the capability to resist natural disasters and strive for greater self-sufficiency.
Both industrialized and developing countries should in the long run forge their own "blood-generating" capacity, Hui said.
He called on developed countries and international organizations to provide developing countries with financial,
technological, market and capacity-building assistance. The second Chinese suggestion presented to world leaders at the
FAO summit was to "create a sound market environment for mutual benefit and win-win progress," obtainable through the
elimination of all sorts of protectionism, the re-launch of the Doha Round negotiations and the reform of global financial
governance. "All countries should jointly oppose trade protectionism in all its forms and manifestations and push for a
positive outcome of the Doha Round negotiations," he said, urging developed countries to slash agricultural subsidies,
remove trade barriers and give greater market access to developing countries. Thirdly, Hui proposed to push forward with
the reform of the UN food and agriculture agencies and improve the global governance mechanism in order to rapidly
react to crises. "China supports the creation of a food security safeguard system encompassing early warning, emergency
relief and regulation functions," he said. Lastly, the Chinese government called for a coordinated and global approach in
order to ensure a balanced growth. "Food security is closely related to economic growth, social progress, climate change
and energy security," Hui said, adding that global cooperation must be intensified in all sectors because challenges are
multiple and interconnected. This is why all countries "should strive for a positive outcome of the upcoming Copenhagen
summit on global warming," the Chinese vice premier said. The world summit on food security opened in Rome on
Monday. During the three-day event more than 60 heads of state and government will gather to discuss measures to
eradicate                   hunger                  and                ensure                  food                security.

                South African vice president to join world leaders in Rome to find ways to tackle food crisis
Text       of        report     by      Pretoria       Buanews         Online        in      English       on       16 November

Pretoria -Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe will on Monday join 60 other world leaders in Rome to seek a solution to
reducing global hunger. The World Food Summit, starting today, will look at strategies to tackle the crisis of food
insecurity, as over a billion people suffer from chronic hunger. The three-day summit is hosted by the United Nations Food
and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and is seen as a way to come up with key actions towards the eradication of hunger.
South Africa has indicated that its support for the summit is informed by its desire to improve and strengthen the
international multilateral system in its efforts to find a global solution to an international problem of food insecurity, that not
only affects Africa, but also South Africa's poor, both in rural and urban areas. "The visit takes place within the context of
strengthening North-South Dialogue and directly corresponds to South African foreign policy objectives of creating a better
world for all by eradicating poverty and promoting food security particularly on the African continent," the Presidency said.
According to the Presidency, South Africa will call for measures to strengthen the international resolve, by agreeing to
implement commitments already made in previous meetings, particularly the commitment by G8 countries at L'Aquila.
During the previous G8 summit in L'Aquila, donor countries committed $20billion to agricultural development. The situation
of world hunger is said to be aggravated by the global economic crisis. An estimated 1.2 billion people globally are said to
be severely affected by the food crisis with the majority in developing countries. In South Africa alone, 2.2 million
households are regarded as food insecure and vulnerable. It is estimated that this group utilizes more than 60 per cent of
their income on purchasing food. FAO blames this on the global financial crisis and a hike in the price of basic food
commodities. The summit is expected to adopt an Outcome Document, emphasising the world's collective commitment to
fight hunger and poverty. The Deputy President is accompanied by Minister Tina Joemat-Pattersson of the Department of
Agriculture and Fisheries and Deputy Ministers Mathume Joseph Phaahla of the Department of Rural Development and
Land Reform and Ebrahim Ebrahim of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation. Meanwhile, efforts to
strengthen agriculture and enhance food security received a boost yesterday, thanks to new initiatives with the Islamic
Development Bank (IDB) and a Brazilian university. The $1 billion agreement signed in Rome by FAO and IDB will fund
agricultural development in 26 least developed countries that are members of both the Bank and FAO. The agreement
aims to help leverage additional resources and bring total investment in the IDB-FAO programme to $5 billion by 2012.
"This agreement comes at a critical moment, when the international community recognises it has neglected agriculture for
many years. Today, sustained investment in agriculture, especially smallholder agriculture, is acknowledged as the key to
food                 security,"                FAO                  said               in              a               statement.

                                  Cuba works to improve soil quality; halt land deterioration - official
Text    of     report        by        Cuban        government's     official        newspaper    Granma       website    on    16     November

Cienfuegos: In Cuba, nearly 70 per cent of the farming surface presents a natural fertility limitation, and nearly 45 per cent
of the total surface area is suffering organic material losses. Dagoberto Rodriguez Lozano, director of the Soil Institute,
which is part of the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI), talked to Granma about the strategy for saving this valuable
resource. He explained that the country's leadership, since the first moments of the Revolution's triumph, gave special
attention to preserving natural resources. Institutions were created for the pursuit of research into protecting the soil and
establishing controls for its use and management. In the 1990s, the government passed the National Programme for Soil
Improvement and Conservation (PNMCS), under the direction of the MINAGRI. Currently, in 2009, tempered by the present
situation, the strategy of updating the PNMCS until 2015 takes on new importance and coincides with the implementation of
Decree-Law 259, regarding new land usufructuaries. A diagnosis, based on soil studies, has been performed for each
producer. The goal is to evaluate the condition of their land to better guide them to grow the most suitable crops and
achieve sustainable use of this resource. Over the course of the next three years, work will be done on more than 3 million
hectares, with preference being given to areas of high-agricultural value. Among the most significant actions are
conservation measures that do not entail numerous supplies and producer training. These measures include designing
contour strips, sowing living barriers, managing organic material, and using harvest waste. Concurrently, attention will be
given to the soil most deteriorated by the effects of acidity and alkalinity, using certain minerals, such as calcium carbonate
and zeolite. This method will raise its productive capacity. Rodriguez Lozano highlighted that his institute was closely
following the experience of conservation agriculture, launched in Guantanamo. Given its importance and results, this
process may spread to suburban farming. Its aim is to prevent soil from remaining "naked" by leaving green biomass on
the surface and planting seeds below this layer. In the medium and long term, these technologies make it possible to halt
deterioration and recover soil. Factors that have led to the current situation We find ourselves forced to favour conservation,
given that wasting the soil's surface is associated with climate change and other natural phenomena, such as extreme
events and long droughts, without dismissing man's irresponsible behaviour. In the unique case of Cuba, several factors
damage the soil, including the country's tropical geographical location, which by nature is aggressive. Deforestation
constitutes another cause, as does the salinization stemming from the indiscriminate use of underground basins in areas
close to the ocean. Another cause is acidity and alkalization. Improving our soil is an investment that will not pay dividends
for at least another five years. Therefore, we must intensify our training of new and old producers so that they understand
the         usefulness        of       conservation         and       our         future       is       not       compromised.

                                          Hamas official warns World Food summit of Gaza crisis
Text   of     report     in       English      by     pro-Hamas      Palestinian        Information   Centre    website   on     16    November

Palestinian minister of agriculture Dr Muhammad Al-Agha warned of what he called "the unseen famine" which started to
manifest itself in the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip. In a letter sent to the conference on world food security held in
Rome on 15 November, Dr Agha stated that people in Gaza lack a lot of nutrients and vitamins necessary for human life,
which particularly affect the health of children and pregnant women and result in poor immunity. He added that Gaza people
have been suffering from a tight siege for more than three years, where Israel imposes a ban on shipments of dairy
products, fresh food, meat and other vital needs to the Strip which leads to a rise in the incidences of anemia, osteomalacia
and immunodeficiency. The minister pointed to the Israeli restrictions imposed on the entry of veterinary vaccines and
immunizations necessary for protecting livestock in Gaza. Agha called on the conferees to help the Palestinian people live a
decent life and support their families through robustly pressuring Israel to lift its siege on Gaza and end its violations against
Palestinian                                  fishermen                                  and                               farmers.

                                               Russia's food donation to North Korea completed
Text   of     report    in     English         by    state-run     North   Korean        news    agency     KCNA    website     17th   November

Pyongyang, November 17 (KCNA) - The Russian government's donation of food to the DPRK has been completed.
The recent food donation is an expression of the traditional friendly relations between the two governments and peoples.

                                   Nigeria: Regional body launches 900m-dollar food security scheme
Text     of     report            by     private       Nigerian      newspaper           The     Guardian       website    on        17 November

[Report     by     Oghogho       Obayuwana:      "ECOWAS       Unveils    $900m        Food      Security     Scheme"]
A five-year programme designed to achieve food security in member-states has been unfolded by the Economic
Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The initiative, which will be executed through the Regional Partnership
Compact, would breathe fresh air into agricultural productivity in the bloc. Consequently, to bankroll the scheme,
ECOWAS leaders have created a regional fund for agriculture and food, from which $900 million would be invested over
the sector in the next five years. This was part of measures evolved by participants at an international conference on

'Financing the Common Regional Agricultural Policy in West Africa (ECOWAP/CAADP)' in Abuja. ECOWAS said with the
support of development partners, a "management rule" in the use of the funds "permits the pooling of resources and
transparency in their utilisation." A statement on the resolutions adopted at the conference made available to The Guardian
in Abuja yesterday, said policy reforms and investment have been strung together to ensure the followings:

       Promotion of strategic products for food sovereignty and self-sufficiency, guaranteeing returns on farmers'
        investments in the region;
       An overall environment conducive to regional agricultural development;
       And the reduction of food vulnerability as well as the promotion of sustainable access to food.

Ministers of Agriculture from ECOWAS member states, representatives of agricultural bodies, banks, regional
/international institutions, technical and finance partners as well as the African Union (AU) and the New Partnership for
African's Development (NEPAD) who were present at the event, further spelt out the institutional framework for the success
of the new programme. The framework is based on strengthening and coordinating capacities of the Department of
Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, the creation of an Interdepartmental Committee for Agriculture and
Food in charge of coordinating policy reforms, as well the establishment of a Consultative Committee for Agriculture and
Food that includes the main actors of the agriculture and food sector and the establishment of a regional agency for
agriculture and food to which the ECOWAS Commission will delegate the implementation of the regional programmes.
Nigeria's Minister of State for Agriculture, Fidelia Njeze, pledged the Federal Government's commitment to achieving the
objectives of the compact. A firm commitment was also made by the representative of Ecobank, Musa Sallah, who assured
that the bank would work with ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) to ensure the success of the
project. At a joint media briefing at the end of the meeting in Abuja, the Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Angel Losada, the
ECOWAS Commissioner for Agriculture, Salifou Ousseni as well as his AU counterpart Keizine Boaz Blackie, reiterated
that the ECOWAS, CAADP vision tallied with that of the bloc's Authority of Heads of State and Government, which is based
on "a modern and sustainable agriculture based on the effectiveness and efficiency of family farms and the promotion of
agricultural      enterprises,     productive     and    competitive     in   regional   and     international   markets..."

                              South Korea to increase agriculture aid to developing countries
Text    of    report     in     English    by    South      Korean      news    agency      Yonhap      17TH       November

SEOUL, Nov. 17 (Yonhap) - South Korea will increase agricultural aid to developing countries suffering from chronic food
shortages, government officials said Tuesday [ 17 November]. In a keynote address at a food security meeting of the Food
and Agriculture Organization in Rome on Monday [ 16 November], South Korean farm minister Jang Tae-Pyong [Jang
Thae-p'yo'ng] said South Korea is uniquely placed to help other countries as it can share its own experience in overcoming
food shortages, the officials said. "Jang pointed out that South Korea experienced serious food shortages only 40-50 years
ago, but was able to overcome them in a relatively short period of time," according to a press release by the Ministry for
Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Jang also reiterated Seoul's pledge to provide $100 million in aid over the next
three years to help improve food security issues for developing economies. The pledge was made at a meeting of the UN
Millennium Development Goals in September, they said. He was also quoted as saying in the meeting that South Korea is
committed to setting aside 150,000 tons of rice as part of the Asian emergency food reserve programme.
"The minister said that helping countries overcome famine must be a concerted global effort and called for efforts to cope
for       future        unexpected          hikes         in      food        prices,"        the       ministry       said.

                                   Russia planning large-scale grain exports to Japan
Text    of     report    in     English    by     Japan's     largest    news     agency      Kyodo      17        November

Moscow, Nov. 17 Kyodo - Russia is planning large-scale grain exports to Japan as the development of routes for grain
exports to Asia has become a key challenge for the country, according to Russian sources familiar with the matter.
Japanese trading companies such as Sojitz Corp. and Itochu Corp. are negotiating with Russian firms to construct a grain
shipment facility with an annual capacity of 1 million tons or more at a port in the Russian Far East, they said. The
companies are also considering a Japan-Russia joint venture to develop farms in Siberia and transport wheat and other
farm products via railway to a Far East port for exports to Japan and other destinations, the sources said. Russian
President Dmitry Medvedev hosted the World Grain Forum in St. Petersburg in June and emphasized the development of
routes for grain exports to Asia as a key challenge for Russia. Russia became a grain exporter in 2001 after a sharp decline
in grain production following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Its grain exports have increased steadily since then,
exceeding 20 million tons in 2008. Russian Grain Association President Arkady Zlochevsky said Russia plans to boost
annual grain exports to 50 million tons by 2020, expanding sales channels to cover the whole of Asia. But the Russian Far
East region does not currently have a grain shipment facility, while shipments from a facility in the Black Sea area have
increased up to its capacity as it handles nearly 90 per cent of Russia's total grain exports. Medvedev instructed his
government in October to develop grain shipment facilities in the Far East among other regions, the sources said.

                        Japan: Minister dispels public concerns over blue-fin tuna catch quota cut
Text     of    report      in     English    by     Japan's      largest     news      agency      Kyodo       17        November

Tokyo, Nov. 17 Kyodo - Fisheries minister Hirotaka Akamatsu on Tuesday dispelled public concerns fuelled by an
international tuna conservation body's decision to cut the annual tuna catch, saying Japan has ample stocks of frozen tuna
due to the recession. "I want people to know that there is no reason to fear tuna prices will spike or that the inventories of
tuna will run out," the minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries said at a press conference. Commenting on the decision
made Sunday by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas to slash the annual bluefin tuna catch
limit by some 40 per cent in 2010, Akamatsu said, "It's good that we can continue fishing for tuna." The ICCAT's move to
sharply curb tuna fishing in the eastern Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea has raised concerns particularly among
Japanese restaurant and shop owners about the future supply of bluefin tuna, popular as sushi and sashimi in Jap an. In
October, Monaco proposed a total ban on international trade in Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna to the so-called
Washington Convention, hoping that its proposal will be adopted in March when signatory nations of the Convention on
International     Trade      in    Endangered       Species      of    Wild     Fauna     and     Flora   meet    in    Qatar.
Akamatsu's      remark      indicated    that    he     thinks    Monaco's      proposal    is   unlikely to   be    adopted.

                           Seychelles' leader calls for more investment to avert climate change
Text of unattributed report entitled "President calls for courageous action to feed world's hungry" published in English by
Seychelles               Nation                newspaper                website               on              17 November

Seychelles' President James Michel has made a strong appeal to world leaders to fulfill their promises of feeding the more
than 1 billion of the world's hungry, while at the same time addressing the most pertinent looming crisis affecting world food
security: climate change. "Words and declarations, however well-intentioned they be, will not suffice to tackle the root
causes of hunger. They will not wipe the tears off the face of a hungry, bloated child somewhere in the underdeveloped
world. We need collective action to find lasting solutions for world food security. We need decisive action to free mankind
from poverty and hunger. And we need it now!" said President James Michel. The president was addressing heads of state
attending the World Food Security Summit which opened yesterday at the UN Food and Agricultural Organization
headquarters in Rome, Italy. President Michel called for more investment in agriculture to avert climate change as well as
infrastructure, technology and environmental protection. He also stressed that developed countries needed equitable
access to world markets as many subsidies practised in the developed world are currently distorting trade to the detriment
of developing countries. President Michel also spoke of the new threat to food security in the Indian Ocean: piracy. "Somali
pirates are venturing deeper and deeper into our waters, taking hostages, menacing shipping lanes, pouncing on industrial
fishing vessels and threatening our artisanal fishing and tourism related activities. My government moved quickly to gather
regional but more importantly global support particularly with countries having interest in the region. I express my gratitud e
to them for their cooperation in eradicating the scourge of piracy which threatens our livelihood and food security."
President Michel highlighted the plight of small island states in the imminent climate change crisis by pointing out that som e
small low-lying islands are already facing the forced displacement of their inhabitants. He pointed out that the changing
climate is negating the rights of islanders to live and work in the land of their birth; as a violation of dignity and a thre at to
the very existence of the people. "When it comes to climate change, there will be no second chances. There can be no
bailouts or deficit spending to save the earth from this impending disaster. We need to commit to a deal on emission cuts
which is real and scientific. We must act today, to save our tomorrow," said President Michel. Commenting on the upcoming
climate change summit in Copenhagen in December, the President noted the importance of keeping the political and
action-led momentum of this forum. "Copenhagen was a beacon of hope, but its brightness is fading. We cannot afford for
Copenhagen to be just a talk shop on climate change. It must rather be a forum on action to avert disaster. The choice is up
to us. The choice to save humanity. We cannot at this late hour accept that a few countries which are primarily responsible
for       polluting      our       atmosphere        hold       hostage       the        survival       of       our      planet."

                                President Mugabe hails FAO's 70m-dollar facility to Zimbabwe
Text of report by state-owned Harare-based Zimbabwean newspaper The Herald website on 17 November

[Report by Hebert Zharare in Rome, Italy: "President Hails FAO"] President Mugabe has thanked the Food and
Agriculture Organization for assisting Zimbabwe boost household food security through a US$70 million input facility
targeting smallholder farmers. Briefing the media after a meeting between President Mugabe and FAO director-general Mr
Jacques Diouf here on Sunday, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Joseph Made said the
exchanges had been fruitful. "It was a very excellent meeting. His Excellency thanked FAO for assisting us in mobilising
some farming inputs for the smallholder farmers under the US$70 million facility that is going to assist over 700, 000
farmers. "It (FAO) mobilised the farming inputs from some non-governmental organizations and was supported by some
European Union countries," he said. He said one of the issues raised in the meeting was the need for governments to come
up with policies that could be implemented. Minister Made said President Mugabe pointed out that Zimbabwe had dealt with
the challenge of declining rainfall by setting up a Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development.
"During the meeting with Mr Diouf, we looked at Africa's food security challenges in relation to development of irrigation

schemes in order to enhance productivity on farms, support for the smallholder farmers by supplying them with seed,
fertilizer and chemicals. "It was agreed that US$65 billion is needed in order to develop water sources in Africa," Minister
Made                                                                                                                   said.
Due to climate change, conventional rains are no longer reliable and farmers have to complement them by establishing
irrigation schemes. Zimbabwe is one of a few countries on the continent to come up with strategies to boost irrigation
capacity through the central bank-driven Farm Mechanisation Programme. The efforts to improve irrigation infrastructure
were also designed to recoup losses suffered when some white farmers vandalised equipment when their farms were
allocated to new black farmers under the land reform programme. President Mugabe had also told Mr Diouf that Zimbabwe
had introduced its own input subsidies, Cde Made said. He said under the subsidy, smallholder farmers would purchase a
50kg bag of fertilizer for US$6,75. "After looking at a number of factors, we have said the smallholder farmers and those in
communal areas must buy a 50kg bag of fertilizer for US$6,75 and seed for 51 US cents per kg. He said details on how
farmers         could       access      these        subsidised      inputs      would        be     disclosed       shortly.
President Mugabe, who is the Head of State and Government as well as Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence
Forces,         will      today       address         other     world        leaders       attending       the      summit.

                                 Afghan minister welcomes start of fruit exports to India
Text of report entitled "Pakistan should honour its commitment to improving economic relations with Afghanistan" by
privately-owned          Afghan         newspaper        Rah-e         Nejat       on          14        November

Economic group of Rah-e Nejat daily: Finally Afghanistan succeeded to send its first apple shipment to India by an Indian
airline from Kabul airport to Delhi after months of struggle last Thursday [12 November]. During a press conference held in
this regard, the minister of agriculture, irrigation and livestock said: "This is a historic press conference, because we
succeeded to open a new door for Afghanistan's business, and exported the first international standard shipment to India
legally." The minister added: "The produce which are being sent to India have been bought from provinces such as Paktia,
Wardag and Ghazni and weighs three tonnes." Mr [Mohammad Asef] Rahimi also said: "Nine tonnes of apples have been
sent to India via land." Mr Rahimi explained: "Afghan produce were not being exported to India legally so far and we had to
make a sanitary certificate for that." He continued: "Processing the sanitary certificate needed minimum 12 months but with
the help and contribution of the Indian officials we succeeded to process this certificate in three m onths by doing the (PRA)
test." The Indian government has set a condition for the fruit export to this country which is disinfection of the fruits. The
minister of agriculture explained: "We will send 75 tonnes of apples to India each week till the end of apple production
season which is the end of December. We will try to send 400 tonnes of apples to India by air." According to Mohammad
Asef Rahimi, Afghan produce can earn more money if the shipments are exported to India via land. According to the
officials of Agriculture Ministry, although the cost of sending Afghan fruits to India by air increases the cost and price of the
fruits, but Afghan fruit will have a better market than the Pakistani fruit in India. Afghanistan has faced many problems in
expanding its exports especially to India because of the promise-breakings and sabotage by the Pakistani officials during
last few years. Afghan exports were extremely affected in a negative way by a 17-per-cent increase in the Pakistani tariffs
which took these tariffs to 25 per cent. Rahimi answered the question asked by Rah-e Nejat in this concern saying: "As we
all witnessed, Pakistan did not accept our products by increasing its tariffs to 25 per cent, because with the new tariffs ou r
farmers are not able to compete with Pakistani local products. The increase in tariffs caused losses to our farmer and our
exports to be stopped." The minister of agriculture added: "According to our agreement with Pakistan, this country needs
to provide all the facilities to the extension of Afghan exports. Mean while we had some arguments with the government of
Pakistan to provide us all the facilities so that we can export our products to the world through Pakistan ." At the end of the
press conference the minister of agriculture announced: "Exporting apple to India via air is an example of international joint
benefits, and our farmers will benefit from it for years." The minister appreciate the financial support of the USA, activities of
Indian officials in this regard and thanked the Turkish government for building greenhouses in Wardag Province and finally
the officials of Afghan Agriculture Ministry for their commitment and support. The Indian ambassador and the
representative of the American ambassador also joined the Afghan minister in this press conference.

                                      Philippines to import 1.4m tons of rice in 2010
Text of report in English by official Chinese news agency Xinhua (New China News Agency) 16                              November

Manila, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) - The Philippines will import at least 1.4 million tons of rice next year to beef up government stocks
and stabilize domestic supply, an official said on Monday. "Our self-sufficiency level is only at 86 per cent," Ludovico J.
Jarina, deputy administrator of the state-owned National Food Authority (NFA) told reporters at the sidelines of a pre-
bidding conference for rice. Jarina said importing 1.4 million tons of rice will put the government rice stocks at "a very
comfortable level." The imports will come in the first half of 2010. The NFA will tender for 1.2 million tons of rice on
December and is eyeing to source rice from Thailand, Vietnam, China, Pakistan, Australia, the United States and India. The
NFA purchased 250,000 tons of rice Nov. 4. NFA officials, however, said that the 1.4 million tons of rice does not yet take
into account the damages in the country's rice sector. Typhoons "Ketsana" and "Parma" flooded rice growing areas in
Luzon, northern Philippines and damaged as much as 1.3 million tons of palay (paddy rice). The Philippines is importing its
rice as soon as possible to take advantage of good prices, he said, adding that based on the previous tender for 250,000

tons of rice, the weighted average price was at 530 US dollars per ton. "We hope that this price will hold until the end of the
year," he said. As of Oct. 30, the country's national rice inventory is at 2.38 million tons. The NFA's rice stocks is at 1.1
million tons, which is good for 32 days based on an average daily rice requirement of 36,000 tons.

                             Egyptian president proposes global programme on food crisis
                                     Nile News TV, Cairo, in Arabic 1020 gmt 16 Nov 09

Egyptian President Husni Mubarak has called for a global programme for combating the food security crisis. Addressing
the World Summit on Food Security in Rome on 16 November, Mubarak said: "We are in need of an international practical
programme that handles this issue comprehensively." On the outlines of this programme, Mubarak said the achievement of
food security in developing countries should have to do with economic, trade and construction development. "It has also to
do with human development, control of overpopulation, and development of education," he said. He urged developed
countries to provide "genuine support" for developing countries. He also called for developing the agriculture sector in
developing countries in order to boost their economies. In this regard, he urged rich countries to increase their agricultural
investment in developing countries, where more than 70 per cent of the population works in the agricultural sector,
according to Mubarak. Mubarak said the current risks of food security "pose a direct threat to the lives of millions of people
and to a main human right, namely the right to food". "Food shortage threatens the social stability in the developing
countries,"                                                    he                                                     warned.
He said the world is still far from achieving its goal of cutting the number of the hungry by half.
Mubarak said the global economic crunch and the global price rise had contributed to the increase in the number of hungry
people around the world. "It is time for us to go beyond the stage of dialogue and take serious and tangible measures to
deal with the food security issue on the ground," he said. The Egyptian leader called for paying due attention to combating
the climate change. He also called for providing enough finance to the existing international mechanisms and providing
food and humanitarian aid for the poor and marginalized people, especially women and children. In this regard, Mubarak
recalled the "deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza due to the continued Israeli blockade". Concluding his speech,
Mubarak urged the international community to activate its handling of the food crisis. "Let's work for a more humanitarian
and          fair        world         that        guarantees           food          for        all,"        he          said.

                          Libyan leader proposes solutions to food problems at Rome summit
                                      Libyan TV, Tripoli, in Arabic 1007 gmt 16 Nov 09

Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi criticized the world's powers and multi-national companies in his speech at the
international summit for food security in Rome. At 1005 gmt, Qatari Al-Jazeera TV aired only three minutes of the Libyan
leader's 11-minute speech. The rest of the speech was aired by Libyan TV. Al-Qadhafi said that the world had failed in
addressing its food security despite past pledges. "All the previous decisions, compassion, statements and promises have
gone with the wind," he said. "This means that we did do not anything in the past. All what was said about eradicating
poverty and hunger turned to be incorrect." He then turned to what he called the "colonialists", blaming them for the food
problems in Asia, Africa and Latin America. He said: "Europe and the other Imperalists colonized these areas and pillaged
their resources, thus turning them into poor people." He added that those countries were "indebted" to the three continents.
"The sums that are promised to be paid for these countries in the form of aid from the rich make only a small part of the
massive pillage of the Third World resources by the Imperialists". "They have no right to evade paying the debt to its
owners," Al-Qadhafi declared. He vowed to keep up the fight for restoring the "usurped" right. He said: "We are neither after
pity nor are we beggars. We are demanding a right that was usurped". Al-Qadhafi promised to "continue to chase those
who plundered our resources, whether or not they attended this conference, and no matter how long this would take".
Turning to armament, Al-Qadhafi said the world's powers should spend part of their military budgets on poverty eradication
programmes. "They spend 1.5 trillion [currency unspecified] from the money they plundered on armament in order to
continue killing fellow human beings." "Why don't they drop out of the nuclear arms race - and take Libya an example after
it scrapped its nuclear bomb programme - to save part of the 1.5 trillion to fight poverty?" He described this as "hypocrisy".
He said: "Crying over the poor and spending 1.5 trillion on arms and nuclear arsenals is a contradiction, deception and
hypocrisy". Discussing the world's food crisis, Al-Qadhafi proposed making available seeds and protecting small farmers to
address shortages. Al-Qadhafi also accused multi-national companies of aggravating the problem. "Devilish international
companies began to monopolize seeds in order to control the world food". According to the Libyan leader, this was a "very
dangerous issue". Al-Qadhafi advised that the FAO will have to create banks for local seeds in every state and to improve
their quality; otherwise this will "turn into a disaster in the future, because food will be controlled by the capitalist
companies". He predicted that this "monopoly" might extend to trees and animals. He also criticized what he described as
"neo-feudalism", saying it must be "fought and stopped". Explaining his concept, he said that large parts of Africa's rich
land are being bought for cheap by foreigners who deprive small African farmers from their land. He called for working on
averting an environmental disaster as a result of the drying-up of Chad Lake. He also called for linking the man-made river
in Libya with Rive Nile in order to save Africa from water shortages. Al-Qadhafi ended his speech by wishing the
attendants      good     luck,   but     added     over    laughter:    "and      I   doubt     there    is    good    luck".

                        The wife of the Iranian president addresses the NAM first ladies meeting
Text of report in English by semi-official Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) website 16                                November

Tehran, 16 November: First ladies of Non-Aligned Movement states conferred the ways to annihilate poverty and hunger
across the world in Rome. Also, Iran's first lady Azam Farahi, delivered speech at the meeting held on the sidelines of UN
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) meeting on food security as below: I thank the Almighty for having the
opportunity to participate in this meeting. I am also grateful to the Director General of FAQ Mr Jacques Diouf for proposing
one day of fasting in solidarity with people and Mrs Susan Mobarak for her initiative to organize this meeting with an aim to
involve effectively the first ladies of the NAM member states in the struggle against food poverty. At present, the
international community is burdened with one billion hungry and three billion people suffering from poverty across the globe.
The imbalance in food production and consumption is mounting. The current irregularity in the food market has denied the
needy sufficient access to appropriate nutrition. The continuation of this situation will undoubtedly result in the expansion of
poverty and its dire consequences. Food poverty has imposed a double burden on the shoulders of women in the family.
Now the question is that what are the root causes of this dilemma? It is obvious that food stuff in the world is insufficient.
Rather, uneven distribution systems, mercantilist attitudes, and exploitation of resources for the purpose of occupation and
arms race are responsible for the imposition of poverty on a large section of the world population particularly women and
creation of food insecurity. Today, we are in need of a new consumption pattern; we should promote the pattern of needs-
based consumption as well as the spirit of collaboration, benefaction and selflessness. Promotion of the culture of labour
and management of family by men and provision of the basic rights of women such as their food, clothing and housing and
attention to clean and healthy food which from a religious viewpoint are among the measures which help reduce such
problems. Here I wish to call on the first ladies of the NAM member states to initiate an appropriate food consumption
pattern as a first step in this direction. This will help promote the spirit of solidarity among people and institutionalize such a
pattern in the society. I would now like to refer to a number of the Islamic Republic of Iran's experiments -with a religious
learning- that have effectively increased the family's food security. 1- Enrichment of food stuff consumed by girls and
women by the Government, 2- Food support for expecting and breast feeding moms, so as to rear a healthy generation, 3-
Promotion of interest free loans as a correct solution and the establishment of small family, neighbourhood and group
interest free loan funds to again promote and fortify the spirit of cooperation and social service, while preserving the d ignity
human beings. 4. Establishment of local capacity through the selection and training indigenous facilitators. Now a number
of proposals for inclusion in the final statement: 1- Establishment of an independent strong organs to fairly coordinate the
food staff market; 2- Establishment of special funds by NAM states to help with the employment and food security of
women heads of household; 3- Promotion of international relations and access to the relevant information in the field of
agriculture and clear food; 4- Raising public awareness towards further attention and to use clean food and proper
consumption; 5- Emphasis on rights of women in the family to the provision of their food, clothing and housing by their
husbands; 6- Making every effort in protection of water and ground resources against contaminations. In conclusion, I wish
to stipulate that unfortunately our world is presently witnessing a clear example of food and medicine insecurity in the case
of besieged Gazans; the innocent people who have incurred blockade against all international rules and regulations. We
expect to see immediate end to this great oppression. I call distinguished Mrs Mobarak, as representative of this meeting, to
follow up this issue and get the voice of our gathering and oppressed women and children in Gaza across the globe.
Wishing      for    realization     of    the    divine     promise    for      development     of   justice   in     the    world.

                                    Bangladesh sets 2013 food security goal - minister
Excerpt from report by Reaz Ahmad headlined "Bangladesh Eyes Food Sufficiency by 2013: Rome Summit Opens Today
With World Hitting 1 Billion Hungry People, Highest since '70" published by Bnagladeshi newspaper The Daily Star website
on                                                      16                                                    November

With the world leaders converging at a three-day World Summit on Food Security in Rome today to give a new momentum
to the fight against hunger, Bangladesh commits to eradicate domestic hunger by becoming food self-sufficient by 2013
and making food available to the vulnerable. On the eve of the summit, first of its kind since 2002, food officials in Dhaka
told The Daily Star the country's overall food output this year is adequate to meet up the domestic demand. Bangladesh is
poised well with over a million tonnes of food stock in reserve now. But obviously there is a question of the ultra-poor's
financial capability to access required food. Food Minister Abdur Razzak, a member of the prime ministerial entourage to
Rome, told this correspondent the government was moving ahead with the goals of attaining food autarky by 2013 and
making food available to the vulnerable segment through widening the food-aided social safety-net programmes. The
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), host of the Rome summit, states in its annual flagship report
"State of Food Insecurity (SOFI) 2009" that every fourth Bangladeshi is severely food-insecure. The World Summit on
Food Security is taking place at a time when food security challenge gets bigger with the number of hungry people hitting
an all-time high of 1.02 billion since 1970, the earliest year for which comparative statistics are available. Over a decade
after the world nations pledging for halving the incidence of hunger by 2015, FAO estimates show, in real terms, the
number of hungry people rose by over 150 million from less than 850 million during 1990-92 to over a billion this year. As
per FAO statistics for 2009, of the 1.02 billion hungry people, Asia and the Pacific is the home to the largest concentration
of 642 million hungry people, followed by Sub-Saharan Africa with 265 million, Latin America and the Caribbean with 53
million, Near East and North Africa 42 million and developed countries sharing a little pie of 15 million only. The

Washington-based food policy think tank IFPRI, however, insists people to look at the hunger figure in a different way.
Releasing "Millions Fed" -- a compilation of 20 proven successes in agricultural development -- ahead of this week's food
summit, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) stated on November 12 that the proportion of the world's
population that has remained hungry has declined dramatically. "In the mid-1960s, when the global population was about
3.3 billion, only about 2 billion people were getting enough to eat. Today's population has burgeoned to more than 6 billion
and some 5 billion people now have enough food to live a healthy and productive life," states IFPRI that picked up two out
of           its        20           most          exciting       success          stories        from        Bangladesh.

                                    South Korea seeks cheap land overseas to grow food
Text   of   report   in   English    by   South       Korean    newspaper   Chungang     Ilbo   website   on    16    November

Local provincial governments are working hard to develop farmland in other countries because it's more cost-effective than
relying on imports. Land overseas in the Maritime Province of Russia in East Siberia, Cambodia and the Philippines is large
and cheap, officials explain. The latest land deal announced last Monday involves state funding starting next year for
[South] Korean companies to buy massive tracts of land in South America. The government said it is considering investing
29.9 billion won ($25.8 million) in Paraguay and Uruguay. In previous agro-deals involving land for agricultural
development, primarily in Southeast Asia, the land has been rented. The South Gyeongsang Government Office is
promoting development of overseas farm fields under a plan to secure food reserves for the future and protect farmers in
Korea against the price surge of imported agricultural products. An 11-member team from the office visited the Maritime
Province of Russia for four days to survey land for possible acquisition. "It will be reasonable to build farmland for South
Gyeongsang in the Maritime Province since there is unused land there and the local farmers lack farming skills, resources
and a labour force," said Jeong Jae-min, 46, head of the Agricultural Support Division at the office, who led the survey
squad. "There are 250 hectares [ 617 acres] of land that is capable of farming but only 50 hectares is being cultivated. The
government of the Maritime Province said it wants to develop better seeds by adopting advanced farming techniques."
During the visit, the team signed a memorandum of understanding with the Maritime Province government in agricultural
exchanges and cooperation. Jeong said South Gyeongsang is planning to raise beans and corn by expanding the size of
farmland to an additional 50 hectares next year and 3,000 hectares by the end of 2011. He also said South Gyeongsang is
considering hiring Koryoin people, or ethnic Korean migrants living in the Maritime Province, to work on the land. Meanwhile
Gyeonggi is planning to cultivate 16,000 hectares of farmland in Sulawesi, southeastern Indonesia, for four years if a deal
with the Sulawesi government goes through next year. The province expects that the 16,000 hectares of land will produce
320,000 tons of corn annually. In addition, South Jeolla has rented about 94,000 hectares in Mindoro in the Philippines to
produce corn. The province established a corporation called Jeonnam Feedstock Ltd. in January this year to manage corn
production. The province is also considering advancing into Sulawesi. At least one deal is being handled privately rather
than through government. Sixteen livestock farmers in South Chungcheong invested 100 million won each and purchased
474 hectares of land in Kampot, Cambodia, in February this year. They bought the land for around 200 won per 3.3 square
meters (35.5 square feet). The farmers said they are going to reclaim hilly land early next year and produce 3,000 tons of
corn for the Korean market. Farmers said it's nearly 20 per cent cheaper to grow corn in Cambodia than to buy on the
international market. In another deal, the North Gyeongsang provincial government signed a memorandum of
understanding for exchanges in agriculture affairs with the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry in Mongolia in
July and has since then opened an agricultural development assisting centre in Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia. The
centre supports Gaeunpam, an agricultural corporation based in Cheongdo County, North Gyeongsang, aimed at
developing 20,000 hectares of farmland for Korean farmers to use in the Bulgan province of Mongolia for the next 40 years.
"A number of Korean farmers are seeking new opportunities overseas to take advantage of large and cheap lands since
they think it is difficult to raise their profits in Korea due to lack of farmlands and fierce competition," said Lee Ha-yun, an
official at North Gyeongsang government office. However, not everyone is happy with Korea's land purchases overseas.
The Manila Bulletin reported in August that a Filipino lawmaker and farmer, Rafael Mariano, had called for a probe into a
deal between the local governments of Mindoro provinces with Jeonnam Feedstock Ltd., a deal the lawmaker says
represents a "new wave of global grabbing" and is "a threat to land rights of farmers and indigenous peoples." Similarly, the
chairman of a senate committee in the Philippines on labour issues, Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, has referred to richer
nations buying up land in poorer nations for their own food security as "agri-colonialism," according to the Philippines' Daily
Tribune in July. "Instead of helping develop these lands for our own farmers' benefit, is the government now in essence
selling these prime, productive properties to foreigners?" Estrada was quoted as saying. A land lease in Madagascar
involving Daewoo Logistics was called off early this year by the country's self-proclaimed president, Andry Rajoelina,
following                     the                   ousting                of                Marc                 Ravalomanana.

                             North Korean agency optimistic on effort to solve food problem
Text   of   report   in   English    by   state-run     North   Korean   news   agency    KCNA     website     14th   November

DPRK's Effort to Solve Food Problem Pyongyang, November 14 (KCNA) - Today is the anniversary of the DPRK's entry
into the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Since the DPRK was founded over six decades ago, it
has made sustained efforts to attain food self-sufficiency. Since its admission to the FAO in juche [juche] 66 (1977) the

DPRK has closely cooperated with the organization in its efforts for increasing food and agricultural production on a world-
wide scale so as to improve the dietary life and eliminate starvation in each country. Officials of ministries and national
institutions did the first Friday-labour for this year on coop fields. To begin with, the coop farms throughout the country
registered signal successes in the farming preparations such as producing and transporting compost, carpeting field with
humus soil and repairing and readjusting of farm machines. In particular, the continuous on-the-spot guidance of leader
Kim Jong Il [Kim Cho'ng-il] to coop farms including the Tongbong Coop Farm in Hamju County, fertilizer and agrochemicals
production bases, Wonsan University of Agriculture and others has served as a powerful driving force of the agricultural
development. The gasification projects in Namhung Youth Chemical Complex and Hungnam Fertilizer Complex which were
visited by the leader show the firm will of the Korean people to solve food problem by themselves without fail by
establishing a Juche-oriented fertilizer production method. Thanks to their will, a new agrochemicals production process
has been built in the February 8 Vinalon Complex and a gigantic waterway stretched out across the Miru Plain. The Korean
people will certainly solve the food problem, the agricultural problem by surmounting the bottlenecks and difficulties lying
on the way for increasing grain production and thus make a positive contribution to the building of a new peaceful and
prosperous                                                                                                            world.

                                     Grenada government seeks agriculture assistance from Egypt
Text      of     report    by        Caribbean    Media    Corporation     news    agency        website     on    12   November

St George's, Grenada: The Tillman Thomas administration has sought assistance from the Egyptian government to assist
with the development of the local agriculture sector. A government statement said the matter was raised during a meeting
with Egypt's Ambassador to Grenada, Ali Saleh Mohamed Mourad, where Prime Minister Thomas laid out a special case
for assistance for Grenadian farmers. "We are working to transform Grenada's agricultural sector because it is an area
that can generate foreign exchange and employment for our people," Thomas said. The Egyptian envoy said his
government was interested in building the island's human resources in agriculture and tourism. The government release
said Mourad said it could be "possible" for Grenada along with Egypt, Venezuela and another Caribbean country, to do a
project in agriculture and chemical processing. "Both the Prime Minister and the Ambassador agreed that Grenada can
benefit from the experience of Egypt in the area of irrigation technology, which is regarded as the best in the world," it said,
adding that they also welcomed the opportunity to deepen bilateral relations and strengthen the relationship s between the
two countries. "The two men also discussed the preservation of Grenada's historical sites, artefacts and landmarks as part
of       the      enhancement         of       Grenada's          tourism      product,"      the       statement          said.

                      SAfrica 2009 farm attacks reportedly claimed more lives than war in Afghanistan
Text of unattributed report "Farm attacks claim more lives than Afghan war" published by non-profit South African Press
Association                 (SAPA)               news                agency               12th                November

Farm attacks in South Africa this year have claimed more lives than the war in Afghanistan, an agricultural organization
said in a report on Thursday. A total of 91 British soldiers died this year in the war in Afghanistan, compared to 111 people
who were killed in farm attacks in South Africa over the same period, said Chris van Zyl, assistant manager of the
Transvaal Landbou Union (TLU). Beeld newspaper reported that over the past eight years, 282 British soldiers died in
Afghanistan, quoting numbers provided by the BBC broadcaster. But in just four years, 292 people died in farm attacks in
South Africa, said Van Zyl, adding that these numbers were "conservative". Van Zyl said these statistics were given to the
TLU      by      the    police,     who      did      not     want       the     organization     to     make     it   public.

                                     Chinese helping Brunei trial rice strains for self-sufficiency
Excerpt        from   report    in     English   by   Brunei   newspaper    Borneo    Bulletin     website    on   12   November

[By James Kon] In pushing forward towards the aspiration of reaching self-sufficiency in rice production and attaining food
security for the people of Brunei Darussalam, the government of His Majesty will be putting on trial various rice seeds from
China to test their compatibility with the soil and climate of the country in the hope of finding suitable rice seeds for Brunei
for mass paddy plantation. A signing ceremony for the cooperation on paddy plantation between Wen Zhong Agro-Science
and Technology, Brunei Darussalam and Guangxi Wangwangda Farmers' Company Ltd, People's Republic of China, was
held yesterday after the conclusion of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (31st AMAF) meeting. The
cooperation involves an area of about 700 ha, which is an extension of Lot Sengkuang paddy field in Mukim Labi, Belait
District. This initial phase will involve trials for rice varieties brought in from China and will be conducted during the main
paddy-planting season this month. The Phase 2 of the cooperation will be a large-scale paddy planting using the variety
that has been identified suitable to be planted in the area. According to a representative from Wen Zhong Agro-Science and
Technology, Mr Ang Swee Chuan, he said: "We want to be involved in the project to further enhance Brunei's capabilities in
self sufficiency (in rice). We will put on trial at least two rice seed varieties every month to identify which variety is su itable
for the soil and weather of Brunei. The Chinese rice that has been brought in is of high quality. The soft and fragrant variety
is almost similar to 'Beras Wangi'," he said. The first harvest of the paddy will be somewhere in February next year. To

assist in the projects, experts have been brought in from Guangxi Wangwangda Farmers' Company Ltd. [passage omitted]

                                     South Korea records bumper rice crop in 2009
Text    of     report    in    English     by     South      Korean     news      agency      Yonhap       12        November

SEOUL, Nov. 12 (Yonhap) - South Korea's rice production edged up 1.5 per cent on-year in 2009, thanks to record high
yields of the staple grain, a government report showed Thursday. Local farmers will harvest 4.91 million tons of rice this
year, compared with 4.84 million tons a year earlier, according to the report by Statistics Korea. It said good weather
conditions and lack of pest or typhoon damage this year caused average rice yields to shoot up to 534kg per 10 "ares" or
one-tenth of a hectare, despite a 1.2 per cent dip in the paddies that grew rice in 2009. The total size of the country's
paddies stood at 924,000 hectares this year. A hectare is equivalent to 10,000 square meters. The statistical office said this
is the highest yield tallied since the government started announcing rice production data. Last year, 520kg of rice was
produced from a 10 ares plot of land. The total that will be harvested is also 234,000 tons more than what was predicted in
mid-October. Related to the larger-than-expected harvest, the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said
the government will buy up 710,000 tons of rice this year and isolate this from the market to help stabilize rice prices. The
total includes the 370,000 tons that the government bought to maintain the country's strategic reserve in case of emergency
situations. Rice prices had fallen last month but started to stabilize coming into November after the ministry said it will
purchase                          large                       quantities                       of                        rice.


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