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24.01.2006 Diaspora News

Ghana shakes German Green Festival

By Chronicle
Ghana shakes German Green Festival

....with 'juju' beer The nine-day Green Week Festival in Berlin, Germany's most important trade fair, ended on Sunday with a spectacular exhibition by a Ghanaian who had showed up at the fair with 'juju' beer, served in a calabash.

Almost everyone, including some delegates from the European Union and the German Ministry of Agriculture, who turned up at the fair, was carried away by the exhibition of the Ghanaian, whose 'juju' beer had no alcoholic content, and yet was powerful enough to resist the minus eight degree temperature.

The beer, made with palm kernels, passion fruit and banana flavouring, had been named 'juju' (cult) because of its high boozing content.

Though officials from the Ghana Ministry of Agriculture did not turn up at the event, the Ghanaian exhibitor, David Tagoe, represented Ghana with the beer and by the end of the fair, had stolen the whole show.

David, born to a Ghanaian father and a German mother, also taught his patron to say 'twa amane aba' instead of cheers!

According to him, his family had a long tradition of brewing in Africa and they hit upon the idea of creating some unusual varieties for the European market, based on the beers they made at home for celebrations and other events.

The 80-year old fair titled 'International Green Week Berlin 2006' was marked by 1,639 exhibitors from 53 countries, comprising 1,090 exhibitors from Germany and 559 exhibitors from abroad.

For experts and the general public alike, the various product markets at the Green Week fair are an additional source of contacts for trade and information purposes and offers an invitation to a unique gourmet tour.

The fair has now become the most important international trade fair for the food industry, agriculture and horticulture, attracting hundreds of thousands of consumers every year.

The European Union Commissioner on Agricultural and Rural Development, Madam Mariann Fischer Boe,l in her speech, said the commission was of the believe that in giving special treatment to weaker developing countries, which were not yet comfortably integrated into global trade networks,,they should be allowed more time to scale back subsidies and open their markets, as well as giving them preferential access to markets.'And we believe that ambitions to liberalise trade should not discourage other countries from aiming at these goals, possibly through similar Green Box payments' She noted

She intimated that EU would continue to make a solid contribution to this process on behalf of its citizens and consumers, 'always remembering that trade is our servant, not the other way round.'

The German Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection,Mr. Horst Seehofer indicated that over the past two decades Europe has undergone some fundamental changes.

It has become larger, more open and more differentiated'. He added.

He advised that a carefully applied policy of compensation was the most likely way of revitalizing the development of rural areas and poor countries leading to a new prosperity and growth.

'For us this exhibition in Berlin is an important instrument for expanding our economic, trading ties”. he said.

“We need an open-minded attitude to modern technology, among consumers and farmers alike.”

He explained that farmers and world leaders must be ready to embrace technical progress, especially if they intended to meet the needs of markets of the future such as that for renewable raw materials.