Latest EMPRES bulletin published

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.

FAO/14189/R. Faidutti


The Bulletin is published every three months by FAO's Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases. It can be read on the EMPRES web site or downloaded in pdf.

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.

EMPRES homepage

19 May 1999


Near East regional workshop on non-wood forestry products

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 Forest Products

14 May 1999


International Tropical Fruits Network launched at meeting in Australia


FAO/16232/Peyton Johnson


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.

Go to Press release
Go to IGG meeting documents

11 May 1999


Desert Locust Bulletin 247 released

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.

Go to the Latest Desert Locust Situation and Forecast

11 May 1999


School milk meeting for Europe

Following an FAO-organized meeting on school milk programmes held in October 1998 in South Africa, the UK Dairy Industry Federation is hosting a School Milk Conference for Europe in Windsor, UK on 5 May. The conference will look at best practice in the administration of school milk programmes.

Internationally, there is growing interest in starting or restarting programmes giving children a glass of milk every day at school. Such programmes have both a nutritional and an educational purpose. They give children added energy and nutrients, and they train them in the healthy habit of drinking milk. Dairy farmers and the milk industry are playing an active part in promoting school milk programmes in many countries.

FAO is encouraging the exchange of information between countries developing these programmes and the Windsor Conference is the first in a series of regional meetings. Later in May, a conference is planned in Sydney, Australia, and another is scheduled for Thailand in December.

Educational games and competitions, cartoon characters and promotional gifts are all part of the school milk programmes of the 90s. Everything from T- shirts and sun-hats to inflatable Jersey cows are used to appeal to children. In most schools, plain white milk is just one of a range of flavours on offer - and banana, chocolate and strawberry are often the more popular.

School milk comes in many flavours for the 21st century
European School Milk Conference
School Milk in Oceania (download in pdf)
Dairy Outlook
Dairy Information

5 May1999



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