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Bridging Gender gaps in African agriculture – Way Forward.

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The UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s Director-General José Graziano da Silva has said at a joint event with the African Union (AU) on the margins of the UN General Assembly that gender gaps in agriculture in Africa are holding back progress towards ending hunger and must be urgently addressed.



The Director-General called for better representation of women in governance mechanisms and decision-making processes, as well as adequate and equal access to land, financial resources, social protection programmes, services and opportunities for women in rural areas.

The findings and recommendations of the AU-FAO study The Regional Outlook on Gender and Agrifood Systems were presented at the event. The Outlook is based on an extensive review of existing statistics, gender audits of 38 National Agricultural Investment Plans and in-depth country gender assessments carried out in 40 countries.

The study’s recommendations call for a “gender data revolution” in the agri-food sector to inform sound policies and programmes, and elevating the gender benchmarks in planning, monitoring and accountability.

“We need to put in place gender targeted programmes that address women’s specific vulnerabilities but also their key role in household nutrition and resilience,” Graziano da Silva said.

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“Evidence shows that when women are empowered, farms are more productive, natural resources are better managed, nutrition is improved, and livelihoods are more secure,” he added.

In some African countries, women account for up to 60 percent of the labour force in family farming. They are largely responsible for agricultural activities such as growing vegetables, preserving harvests and raising small ruminants such as sheep and goats. Women are also responsible for family nutrition through the preparation of meals.

Closing productivity gaps could increase food production and consumption by up to 10 percent and reduce poverty by up to 13 percent.

If women have the same access to skills, resources and opportunities as men, they can be powerful drivers in the fight against hunger, malnutrition and poverty. Empowering women in agriculture, value chains and trade will accelerate the achievement of the Malabo Commitments and the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Qatar to withdraw from OPEC come January 2019

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The Gulf nation’s Energy Minister Saad Sherida al-Kaabi has confirmed that Qatar is set to withdraw from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC),



The decision to quit the bloc of 15 oil-producing countries that account for a significant percentage of the world’s oil production was confirmed by Qatar Petroleum, the state oil company, on Monday.

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Al-Kaabi stated their goal when speaking at a news conference in the capital Doha “The withdrawal decision reflects Qatar’s desire to focus its efforts on plans to develop and increase its natural gas production from 77 million tonnes per year to 110 million tonnes in the coming years.”

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Qatar is the first Gulf country to leave the bloc of oil-producing countries.

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Trump says China agree to mitigate tariffs on US cars after trade war ceasefire

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Chinese President Xi Jinping has agreed to cut tariffs below the 40 percent level currently in place on US-made vehicles after the two countries had talks in Argentina.



Trump confirmed the situation on his tweeter handle stating that: “China has agreed to mitigate and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the U.S. Currently the tariff is 40%”.

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During the meeting in Buenos Aires, the US agreed not to increase tariffs on January 1, as had been planned, while China agreed to immediately buy more agricultural products from US farmers.

If no broader deal is reached within 90 days, the US said it would hike tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said last week that he was examining all available tools to raise US tariffs on Chinese vehicles to the 40 percent level that China was charging on US-made vehicles.

A source reports that the Chinese state media on Monday cautiously welcomed the trade war truce on Monday, without mentioning the US January 1 deadline.

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Asian stock markets opened higher on Monday in the wake of the truce, with Tokyo rising by one percent and Hong Kong and Shanghai rising by more than two percent.

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