Issue No 9 of the EMPRES Transboundary Animal Disease Bulletin has a lead story on the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in North Africa, where the disease has spread across Algeria and shown isolated outbreaks in Tunisia and Morocco. Control activities, which include a vaccination campaign to prevent the spread of the disease, have been put in place.
This issue carries updates and technical contributions on three major diseases - rinderpest, Rift Valley fever and Newcastle disease, as well as other news items from EMPRES and RADISCON (the Regional Animal Disease Surveillance and Control Network) and a special feature on transboundary animal diseases in Iraq.
19 May 1999
An expert meeting on coordination of activities on non-wood forestry products (NWFP) in the Near East was held in Beirut from 10 to 12 May. One of the main topics discussed was the formulation of a regional project on NWFP development in the Near East.
FAO's regional forestry expert, Adnan Alfares said, "While wood is the predominant commercial product from most forests, increased attention is being paid to NWFP such as mushrooms, fodder, medicinal plants, insects and insect products like honey. NWFP have gained much importance in the forest communities of the Near East region. They offer interesting regional and international markets, provide income and help achieve food security for rural populations."
More on Non-Wood
14 May 1999
An International Tropical Fruits Network (ITFN) was launched at the first session of the Intergovernmental Group (IGG) on Bananas and on Tropical Fruits, held in Gold Coast, Australia, 4 to 8 May. The network will promote production, marketing, consumption and international trade in tropical fruits. Malaysia was elected to host the network headquarters.
The global market for organic bananas was high on the agenda of the IGG meeting. Global imports of fresh organic bananas reached some 27 000 tonnes at the end of 1998. Although still a small niche trade compared with total banana imports of more than 11 million tonnes, imports of organic bananas have been growing at approximately 30 percent a year since the early 1990s. The main markets for organic bananas are the European Community and the United States. Over 100 countries produce certified organic commodities. The main producer of organic bananas is the Dominican Republic, followed by Mexico, Colombia, Honduras, Costa Rica and the Philippines. The meeting also considered the Russian banana market, which collapsed at the end of 1998.
11 May 1999
Desert locust breeding should be on a small and limited scale this summer, according to the latest Desert Locust Bulletin. Poor rainfall in recent months and the absence of spring breeding have resulted in very low current locust population levels, posing little threat this summer. "No significant developments are expected", said the report.
Desert Locust Bulletin 247 reports on the general locust situation during April 1999 and provides a forecast until mid-June 1999.
11 May 1999