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Liberia’s 2014 Agriculture Sector Review: Underscoring Achievements & Challenges

first_imgAlthough growth in Liberia’s agricultural sector remained stagnant as the result of limited funding, the Ebola crisis, which began early 2014 seriously, stalled every effort by government and its partners to boost agriculture. With a population of about 4 million people that still depends on food imports, despite much promise by the Liberian government to make agriculture a priority to ensure food security and also reduce poverty in the lives of rural citizens, the crisis has contributed to more challenges as farmers abandoned farms for fear of contracting the virus.Also, all attention was placed on fighting the Ebola disease by government and partners.The Liberian government struggled to secure food supplies in the wake of quarantines and border closures which were aimed at containing the Ebola outbreak that disrupted farming. It mounted pressure on food imports.“The agricultural sector has been hardest hit by the Ebola crisis, which has crippled domestic food production,” said Dr. Florence Chenoweth, Agriculture Minister.In 2014, before the outbreak of Ebola, the Government of Liberia through the MOA and its partners introduced some agricultural  projects aimed at giving local farmers the opportunity to improve productivity and generate income. Such projects included the West Africa Agriculture Productivity Program (WAAPP- Liberia), the revamping of the Central Agriculture Research Institute (CARI) quarantine livestock facility, and the initial production of foreign breed of chicks by Obassanjo farms for poultry farmers.WAAPP LiberiaIn March 2014, WAAP- Liberia’s ten-year agricultural project of the MoA with funding from the World Bank to increase rice and cassava production was introduced  in eight of Liberia’s fifteen counties,  including Gbarpolu, Mar-Gibi, Bomi, Bong, Sinoe, River-Gee, Grand Gedeh and Maryland counties.According the World Bank assessment,  “WAAPP- Liberia” shows some significant gains amidst the Ebola where 270 metric tons of improved seed rice was produced and distributed to more than 46,500 farmers and 12,100 hectares of cassava cultivated in the targeted counties. However, farmers in some of the counties affected by the virus abandoned farm land because of fear to contract the virus which lowers production. Livestock Development As part of effort to revamp livestock production, the United States Agency for International Development Food and Enterprise Development Program for Liberia (USAID FED), in partnership with the Liberian government, in 2014 revamped the CARI’s animals quarantine facility in Suakoko, Bong County.The facility has the capacity to house 500 animals but only 23 goats were initially supplied by Land O’ Lake,  another partner under the livestock program, and distributed to local farmers in Bong, Lofa, Grand Bassa and Nimba Counties. Because of the Ebola technical support to animal producers in some of the counties, farmers were limited in  raising livestock, as some of the partners scaled  down.Poultry ProductionFor the first time after the war in 2014, Liberian poultry farmers gained  access to the initial production of exotic breeds  of chicks produced by Obassanjo Farm, reducing the burden on imported chicks.Obssanjo farm is a multi-million dollar  private investment established in 2013 in Grand Cape Mount by former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obassajo. The aim is to revamp poultry production in Liberia for the improvement of food security.The marketing of poultry products from the Obassajo farm became a serious challenge as the three countries; Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia identified mainly for the markets, were affected of the Ebola outbreak.Agricultural FinancingFarmers in Liberia often lack access to credit due to a lack of credit worthiness required by traditional banks and also inadequate or no business records. The lack of collateral also serves as another barrier in getting loans. Many commercial banks thus consider it a risky venture to lend to farmers because of the misconception that farmers will not pay back these loans.To improve access to credit for Liberian farmers USAID FED and the Liberia Entrepreneurial and Asset Development (LEAD) partnered to provide loans  worth US$40,000 to nine farming organizations from Lofa County in December 2014. The farmers received loans ranging from US$1,750.00 USD to US$10,000 USD which they are expected to invest inimproving existing farm projects. Those are some of the farmers who demonstrating strong resilience in the midst of Ebola in Lofa which was heavily hit by the virus.In order to further boost agricultural financing, President Ellen Johnson in her 2014 Annual Message announced US$ 9.8 million as a  loan in the National Budget for Liberian farmers. However, not much is known on how Liberian farmers were able to access the loan due to the crisis.Ebola fightEbola affected farmers in small agri-businesses to get assistance from FAOAs a way to sustain food security, government and its partners got involved  into the Ebola fight by sensitizing farmers on the prevention of Ebola to remain productive. The United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is one of the partners assisting farmers to overcome the effect of Ebola.The FAO has disclosed plans  to assist several farmers across the country affected by the crisis in improving their agri-businesses.Moreover, the World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim in December last year promised an economic package for Liberian farmers to recover from the Ebola challenges. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgLough Eske Castle in County Donegal, Ireland was among the winners at this year’s World Luxury Hotel Awards, meaning it has now been recognised at the event for three years in a row.The property, which is located just outside Donegal Town, was named the best luxury country hotel for 2011.Situated in 43 acres of woodland by the shores of Lough Eske, the castle features 95 guestrooms, an aromatherapy spa, a swimming pool and the Cedars restaurant. It also provides two bars and more than 6,000 square feet of conference and banqueting space.Jeroen Quint, general manager of Lough Eske Castle, said the award is an endorsement of the hotel’s “first-class facilities and surroundings” and the “exceptional service” offered by its staff.He added: “It is a huge honour to be named the world’s best luxury country hotel.“This is also a win for Donegal, which in our opinion is Ireland’s most beautiful tourist destination and we are happy it is home to the world’s best luxury country hotel for the last three years.” Among the other winners at this year’s World Luxury Hotel Awards was the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, which was named the world’s leading luxury property.Fairmont Chateau Whistler in Canada, Sandals Royal Plantation in Jamaica and Diva Maldives were recognised in the categories covering ski resorts, island escapes and luxury beach properties respectively.SOLIS LOUGH ESKE WINS ANOTHER GLOBAL AWARD was last modified: September 28th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:solis lough eske hotellast_img read more

Sync Your Footage Faster with Red Giant’s Plural Eyes

first_imgRed Giant Software releases Plural Eyes 3 for syncing audio and video  Discover why this update may become an essential part of your post production workflow.When Final Cut Pro X was announced at the 2011 NAB Supermeet I couldn’t help but feel a bit sorry for the team from Singular Software (maker of Plural Eyes) that had a booth there.  After all, Apple’s new editing app included it’s own synching tool that could automatically marry video with external audio.   Adobe’s Premiere Pro now has a similar software based syncing tool.  Surely Plural Eyes would become an obsolete software, right?Imagine my surprise then when Red Giant Software, a leading video editing plugin developer, snatched up Plural Eyes in the summer of 2012.  Now we know why.Plural Eyes 3 is faster than ever…20 times faster to be exact.  Anyone shooting on DSLR knows the time it takes to sync up camera footage/audio with audio recorded on an external recorder.  Depending on the amount of footage it could take days manually, and hours using earlier software syncing technology.  The new Plural Eyes aims to make this process a breeze.  It’s a standalone application, so you don’t need a certain video editing application for it to work.  Plural Eyes can export its timeline to Final Cut Pro or Premiere Pro for an even smoother post production workflow.For video editors who do a lot of work with externally recorded audio having this tool in your editing toolkit seems like a no-brainer.  Time is money…so speed up your workflow so you can make the most of it.More info and download Plural Eyes 3 at Red Giant ($199).See Plural Eyes 3 in action:last_img read more

Bucks get Bledsoe from Suns for Monroe, 2 draft picks

first_imgBledsoe, who wanted out of Phoenix, was traded to the Bucks on Tuesday in exchange for big man Greg Monroe and two 2018 draft picks.The 27-year-old Bledsoe had not been with the Suns since Oct. 22, when he posted “I Don’t wanna be here” on Twitter, the same day the Suns fired coach Earl Watson. He had been averaging 15.7 points per game, second behind Devin Booker, and was the team’s on-court leader.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHe was sent home by the Suns after the tweet, reducing the team’s leverage because everyone in the league knew Phoenix was trying to trade him. Bledsoe had asked to be traded before the season, Suns general manager Ryan McDonough has said. The NBA fined the eight-year NBA veteran $10,000 for the tweet.Adding Bledsoe will take some of the focus off Antetokounmpo, the Bucks’ primary ball-handler. Milwaukee had lost four of its last five games before visiting the Cavaliers, but adding Bledsoe’s scoring ability alongside Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton on a team that also includes rising guard Malcolm Brogdon could help. LATEST STORIES QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Olympic marathon champion Sumgong banned 4 years for EPO Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH “We’re excited. Eric’s excited,” Bucks coach Jason Kidd said in Cleveland.Bledsoe will take his physical on Wednesday and is expected to join the Bucks in San Antonio in time for Thursday’s game against the Spurs.Middleton can’t wait to see what Bledsoe brings.“He’ll be another great player for us, a guy who can create for others and create for himself on offense,” Middleton said. “I’m excited to play with him. We can do a lot of things. We’ll have more ball-handlers on the court at the same time. He’s going to be a great for us.”Already a dangerous and up-and-coming team, the Bucks could go to another level with Bledsoe.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Read Next Giannis Antetokounmpo powers Bucks in bounce back win over Celtics PLAY LIST 02:29Giannis Antetokounmpo powers Bucks in bounce back win over Celtics00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games “He adds a veteran point guard, a guy who plays with pace and can get into the paint, can make the right play,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “He’s been on the cusp of being an All-Star the last three years. He brings a different dimension to their team. He can shoot the basketball, get in the paint, run pick-and-roll and he’s a good defender also.“It’s a good pickup for them.”Bledsoe averaged more than 20 points and six assists per game in each of the last two seasons with the Suns, including career highs in points (21.1) and assists (6.3) last season. Bledsoe spent the past five seasons in Phoenix after his first three years with the Clippers.The 27-year-old Monroe, who joined the team as a free agent in 2015 after five years in Detroit, has been sidelined recently because of a left calf strain. Over three seasons with the Bucks, he averaged 13.3 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists over 165 games.Without him, Milwaukee will likely consolidate the center position and look ahead to early next year, when the front line should get a boost with the return of injured forward Jabari Parker.The 6-foot-11 Monroe has an expiring contract, which means even more room for a Suns team with loads of cap space. They also could have as many as three first-round picks next season.“Moose did everything we asked him to help us win, from being a starter to being asked to go to the bench and help us have a stronger bench,” Kidd said. “I wish him the best because he did everything we asked.”Milwaukee’s first-round pick will belong to the Suns in 2018 if in the range of 11-16 overall; in 2019 if in the range of 4-16; in 2020 if in the range of 8-30; and in 2021 it will be unprotected. The Suns get Milwaukee’s second-round pick next year if in the range of 48-60 overall.Phoenix, rebuilding with an extremely young roster featuring Booker and T.J. Warren, has not made the playoffs in six years. MOST READ FILE – At left, in a March 6, 2017, file photo, Milwaukee Bucks’ Greg Monroe (15) shoots during an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, in Philadelphia. At right, in a March 12, 2017, file photo, Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) shoots over a Portland Trail Blazers defender during an NBA basketball game, in Phoenix. A person with knowledge of the deal says the Phoenix Suns have agreed to trade disgruntled guard Eric Bledsoe to the Milwaukee Bucks for big man Greg Monroe and two 2018 draft picks. The deal includes a protected first-round and a protected second-round draft pick, according to the person who spoke Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, on condition of anonymity because the trade first reported by ESPN had not yet been finalized.(AP Photo/File)MILWAUKEE — Eric Bledsoe’s disgruntled days are over.The talented guard is getting a fresh start with the Milwaukee Bucks, who have another proven scorer to take some pressure off All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo.ADVERTISEMENT Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101last_img read more

TFA Says ‘Thanks A Million’

first_imgThis week (Monday, 13 May to Sunday, 19 May) is National Volunteer Week, Australia’s largest celebration of volunteers and volunteerism. Touch Football Australia (TFA) would like to take the opportunity to thank its hard working volunteers for their dedication to the sport of Touch Football across the country. Today there are over six million people volunteering annually in Australia, representing 36 percent of the adult population. Touch Football has thousands of volunteers that contribute their time to the sport, from local affiliates through to at a TFA Board of Management level. Board Member, Barry McNamara has been on the TFA Board for 18 months and became involved at this level as he wanted to help make a difference. “I accepted nomination to the Board to give something back to the sport while I am still an active participant,” McNamara said. Board Member, Jane Russo has been involved in Touch Football at many levels and is enjoying her time on the TFA Board. “Having been involved in Touch as a player, selector, coordinator, administrator and now a Board Member I have been fortunate enough to have seen the sport from many angles. But it has been in the role of volunteer that I have learnt the most about the sport and truly embraced it. Being on TFA’s Board of Management has been a privilege,” Russo said. “To be involved in leading the way forward for the sport I love is very rewarding and with this comes great responsibility as it’s the member’s interests that I am representing. At the end of the day I am passionate about ensuring our sport grows at the grassroots and that it continues to engage with all. Volunteering is easy when you are passionate, committed and believe in what you are doing.”TFA Chief Executive Officer, Colm Maguire, says that National Volunteer Week is a good opportunity to recognise the work of the sport’s volunteers, who do so much for Touch Football.“No sport can operate effectively without the valuable contribution of volunteers; however, our sport is indebted to them at so many levels.  Our sport has a heavy reliance on volunteer infrastructure to not only steer the organisation at Board level but also the technical delivery and right down to the actual delivery of our product on a weekly basis. Without this amazing contribution of time and dedicated service from so many people, our sport would not have developed into what we are today,” Maguire said. “On behalf of the TFA Board, staff and indeed participants I thank all the people that afford time to our sport on a volunteer basis.  We truly value your contribution.”For more information on National Volunteer Week, please visit the following website:www.volunteeringaustralia.org For more information on how you can get involved volunteering in Touch Football, please contact your local affiliate. Related LinksTFA Thanks Volunteerslast_img read more

a day agoWatford injury chief unsure of Welbeck prognosis

first_imgWatford injury chief unsure of Welbeck prognosisby Freddie Taylora day agoSend to a friendShare the loveWatford’s head of injury prevention and rehabilitation Alberto Leon says the club are waiting on a prognosis for Danny Welbeck’s ankle injury.The striker lasted only a few minutes before being substituted during last Saturday’s draw with Watford”We are waiting on the report from one of the specialists,” said Leon.”We did a first report and it’s not the best news but we are waiting for this opinion. We will decide in a few days what we are going to do with the rehab.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Looking forward to play different characters

first_imgNew Delhi: Actor Jim Sarbh who has created a niche for himself in Bollywood by playing grey characters in films like Neerja, Raabta and Padmaavat is back with web series ‘Made In Heaven’. “There are plenty of projects in my hand right now. I am looking forward to play characters that I have not played so far. It is important for an actor to play different roles,” Jim said. The 31-year-old is currently enjoying praise for portraying Adil Khanna in web series ‘Made in Heaven’, which he says explores reality of society. “The show is like a great juxtaposition of all those that go on behind beautiful facades. It removes the curtains and make you see the reality of backstage. It shows what actually goes on in a wedding, not just looking perfect from outside. It reflects the integration of modernism and traditionalism,” said Jim. To a question whether a web series give more depth to an actor, he said: “It totally depends upon the writing. Be it films or shows or plays, it’s the content that matters the most. Good writing is the key.”last_img read more

Two criminals involved in 85 heinous cases in Delhi arrested

first_imgNEW DELHI: The special cell of Delhi police has arrested two criminals Shakeel and Rashid involved in almost 85 heinous cases in Delhi. One of them was having a reward of Rs 50,000 on his arrest. Both were arrested from their rented house in Shahin Bagh, Jamia Nagar, Delhi on April 2.Two semi-automatic pistols of .32 along with 8 live cartridges have been recovered from the duo.During surveillance, it was found that Shakeel was wanted in three fresh cases. He was having a reward of Rs 50,000 in a case of armed dacoity, committed on September 17, 2018 in broad daylight in the area of Jagatpuri. In this dacoity, Shakeel along with his 5/6 associates had waylaid a businessman and his employee in Old Arjun Nagar area and tried to rob them at gunpoint. When victims resisted, gang members opened fire and injured Ram Sewak. They robbed Rs 15 lakh from them and fled from the scene. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”He also disclosed that he along with Rashid and other associate burgled the house of the famous poet Ashok Chakradhar in the area of Sarita Vihar and took cash and valuables from the house, but his awards and medals luckily remained intact. Shakeel is facing trial in many criminal cases in various courts but he is not appearing in these cases,” said PS Kushwah, DCP Special cell. Arrested Shakeel and Rashid were thoroughly interrogated. It is revealed in the interrogation that Shakeel is previously involved in more than 70 cases of dacoity, robbery, snatching, extortion, kidnapping, attempt to murder, assault on police, hurt, arms act etc. Arrested accused Rashid is previously involved in more than 15 cases of various nature including murder, dacoity, arms act, rape, burglary.last_img read more

Hans Raj ineligible to contest Kejriwal

first_imgNEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal claimed on Thursday that the BJP’s North West Delhi candidate in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, Hans Raj Hans, is “ineligible” to fight from a reserved seat, urging the voters not to waste their votes on him.He tagged a tweet of senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Rajendra Pal Gautam, in which he claimed that Hans had deliberately concealed the information that he had converted to Islam recently and was not eligible to contest the polls from the North West Delhi seat which is reserved for the Scheduled Caste (SC) category. “Hans Raj Hans is ineligible to fight from a reserved seat. He will finally be declared ineligible,” Kejriwal said in a tweet, adding that the voters of North West Delhi should not waste their votes on him. However, the BJP said the AAP was levelling baseless allegations against its candidate. “They have lost mental balance sensing their defeat in the Lok Sabha election. With people deserting them, they are trying all sorts of propaganda to remain in the news,” Ravindra Gupta, the head of Delhi BJP’s media committee for the Lok Sabha polls, said.last_img read more