Barclays Premier League Points Standing1. xxxxx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xxxStandingsPOS P W D L GF GA GD PTS1 (1) Leicester City 26 15 8 3 48 29 19 532 (2) Tottenham Hotspur 26 14 9 3 47 20 27 513 (3) Arsenal 26 15 6 5 41 23 18 514 (4) Manchester City 26 14 5 7 48 28 20 475 (5) Manchester United 26 11 8 7 33 24 9 416 (6) Southampton 26 11 7 8 34 24 10 407 (7) West Ham United 26 10 10 6 40 31 9 408 (11) Liverpool 26 10 8 8 38 36 2 389 (8) Watford 26 10 6 10 29 28 1 3610 (9) Stoke City 26 10 6 10 27 32 -5 3611 (10) Everton 26 8 11 7 46 35 11 3512 (12) Chelsea 26 8 9 9 38 36 2 3313 (13) Crystal Palace 26 9 5 12 27 32 -5 3214 (14) West Bromwich Albion 26 8 8 10 24 32 -8 3215 (15) Bournemouth 26 7 7 12 30 44 -14 2816 (16) Swansea City 26 6 9 11 24 34 -10 2717 (17) Norwich City 26 6 6 14 30 50 -20 2418 (18) Newcastle United 26 6 6 14 27 49 -22 2419 (19) Sunderland 26 6 5 15 32 50 -18 2320 (20) Aston Villa 26 3 7 16 20 46 -26 16
HOVE, England, CMC – Jerome Taylor said he welcomed the chance to play county matches in England and hoped his brief stint with Sussex can spur a recall to the West Indies team. The 32-year-old fast bowler last month reversed his decision to retire from Tests last year, admitting he made a mistake and was working hard to regain a place in the Caribbean side for future matches. “I think I might have jumped the gun retiring from international cricket.,” he told the Argus newspaper. “When I sit at home and watch, I just want to get back out on the park and play for the West Indies again. I want to give back to West Indies cricket. That is what I always wanted to do growing up and hopefully I can do it again.” Taylor has played 46 Tests, 85 One-day and 23 Twenty20 Internationals for West Indies between 2003 and his decision to step away from Tests last July. He played in the Regional Super50 Tournament earlier this year for the Jamaica Scorpions, showing he had lost little of his fire and collected 16 wickets at 18.81 apiece in eight of his side’s 10 matches, and he also turned out for the franchise in four Regional 4-Day matches in which he grabbed eight wickets at 28.62 each. The West Indies selection panel, headed by Courtney Browne, however, ignored his claims and a record that include 130 Test scalps at 34.46, 126 ODI wickets at 28.16 and 24 T20I wickets for the preceding England ODI and ongoing Pakistan home series. For now, Taylor is relishing the chance of replacing injured South Africa fast bowler Vernon Philander at the 1st Central County Ground. He is looking to play a more prominent role having been disappointed with his figures of 1-54 from eight overs, as the Sharks secured a much-needed win on his debut against Glamorgan last Tuesday, having only arrived from the Caribbean 24 hours earlier. It was only the county’s second win in the One-Day Cup since August 2014 and boosted their hopes of challenging for a place in the knockout stages. “It was great to get the win, but I was not satisfied with my performance,” he said. “I was still probably a bit jet-lagged, but I don’t want to blame it on that. It is a game of cricket and I have played enough cricket to know what is required. “There is a lot of room for improvement, and hopefully, I can give some very good performances for Sussex while I am here. It is only a couple of weeks, but I will try to adapt as quickly as possible.” He said: “I’m loving every minute of it so far and the lads in the dressing room have made it a lot easier for me to settle in. But my body needs to acclimatise to the different temperature over here and the pitches are different. “It was also a bit strange bowling down the hill, but after the first three or four overs, you know you have to pull yourself up a bit. This is home for the next two to three weeks so I need to get used to it. “I’ve been in England before, but a long while ago, so it is about learning all over again. I am willing to do that and I’m sure it won’t take me long to hit top form.”
Although 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)
With the Guyana Floodlights Softball Cricket Association (GFSCA) officially launching the Guyana Softball Cup 8, Steve’s Jewellery has continued its commitment towards the Association for the tournament set to run October 26-28 under floodlights in Georgetown and on the East Coast of Demerara.Representatives of Steve’s Jewellery and the GFSCA pose with the gold and diamond pendantsThe tournament is deemed one of the biggest softball tournaments in the world, bigger than the Orlando Cup, Fort Lauderhill Cup, New York Cup and Canadian Cup. Over the years, the sponsors have been an integral part in what has made the tournament good. Steve’s Jewellery, located at 301 Church Street, Georgetown, Guyana, has promised to continue to play an integral role in the tournament.Company representative Mitchell Pereira, in a statement, said, “Once again, Steve’s Jewellery is pleased to be associated with the Guyana Softball Cup 8 under the GFSCA. On their eighth edition of this event, we wish this organisation well in their continued effort and making this a reality.”Pereira also stated that Steve’s Jewellery would be presenting the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the three categories of the tournament with brand new gold and diamond pendants made of the finest Guyanese gold and diamonds.The registration fee for the open category will remain at US$400 with the prize money set at US$4000, while the cost for registration for the masters (O-45 and O-50) is set at US$700. The prize money for the master’s categories is yet to be determined.The tournament will feature teams from New York and Florida in the US, Guyana and Canada.Some of the sponsors on board thus far are ANSA McAL under its Lucozade, Stag and iCool Water brands; Mike’s Pharmacy; Rubis Guyana; Trophy Stall; Survival Group of Companies; A and R Jewanram Printery; Rohan Auto Spares; Steve’s Jewellery; Ramchand’s Auto Spares; Clear Water; Busta; WJ Enterprise and Nand Persaud & Company Limited. (Timothy Jaikarran)
Romelu Lukaku worth £28m? talkSPORT looks at how transfer values are determined 1 Romelu Lukaku has joined Everton for £28m, a figure that could be a touch confusing when considering that multiple trophy-winner Alexis Sanchez joined Arsenal for a similar fee. That got us thinking: just how exactly is a player’s value in the transfer market decided? talkSPORT takes a look at all the variables in play, and explains how Andy Carroll ended up costing £23m more than £12m man Daniel Sturridge…Previous formThe most obvious factor in deciding a player’s value is previous form. After all, clubs only want to sign players if they have seen something that impressed them. Cristiano Ronaldo scored nearly 70 goals and made it to consecutive Champions League finals in the two seasons preceding his move to Real Madrid in 2009, so his status as the most expensive player on the planet wasn’t exactly surprising, even if the fee was unrivalled. A more contemporary example is Diego Costa’s switch to Chelsea this summer: putting away 36 goals en route to an expectation-defying league title win and Champions League final place means the £32m the Blues have paid for him makes sense on paper.The story doesn’t stop at form, however: other factors come in to play. Above all, one of the most important variables is the situation of both the buying and selling club.Position of the clubsThe phrase ‘transfer tug of war’ is a cliché, but in a sense it does describe how the shifting postures of both parties can have an impact on a fee. If a club is in a poor financial situation and desperate to sell, it’s a guarantee that other sides interested in buying their players will try and do so at a lower price, holding more of the rope and preying on the weak. Similarly, if the selling club knows the buying club is in a desperate situation – the most common of which is deadline day signings to cover a key position – they will always try to raise the fee, as they hold the power. Hence Andy Carroll moves to Liverpool for a ridiculous £35m on January 21, 2011. With Newcastle well aware that the Reds were desperate to buy in a short space of time, the power was firmly in the North East side’s hands.NationalityCuriously, the nationality of a player seems to have an impact on transfers in the Premier League in particular. British players of a similar or even lesser quality to those from elsewhere regularly move for inflated fees to top flight English clubs. Compare the £12m Sunderland paid for Steven Fletcher to the £2m Swansea paid for Michu. Both players were previously at clubs of a similar stature (relegation fodder Rayo Vallecano and Wolves respectively), both had scored a similar number of goals in the previous season (17 for Michu, 12 for Fletcher), yet £10m separated their cost. Michu went on to score double the number of goals in his first season at Swansea than Fletcher managed in his own debut year with Sunderland, so their respective fees don’t quite add up if based purely on quality. The reality is that British players often cost English clubs more, perhaps because of home grown quotas, or the notion that they know the conditions of English football and the culture, so will be more settled. Hence Stewart Downing moves for £20m and Ashley Young for £17m, but Philippe Coutinho joins Liverpool for only £8.5m.CompetitionTransfers don’t only involve the buying and selling club of course. Without fail there are other clubs interested in purchasing the player at the same time, and as with any kind of market, competition raises cost. Barcelona justify the incredible figure they paid for Neymar (between €58m and over €100m depending on who you believe) by pointing out that several other high profile clubs, including Real Madrid, were also competing to sign the Brazil poster-boy. Santos, as well as the third party who owned part of the player’s rights, knew that Neymar would be one of the most coveted players on the planet, and as competition increased for his signature, so too did their asking price. The more high-profile clubs are interested in a player, the more the club that succeeds in signing him is likely to pay for the privilege to do so.PersonalityA further factor that can have an impact on the cost of a player is his personality, and a perfect example of the role that can play is provided in the recent transfers of both Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez. When Bale moved to Real Madrid in 2013 he only had one genuinely exceptional season under his belt, with two strong but not outstanding campaigns before then. Suarez, on the other hand, could point to two exceptional campaigns with Liverpool as well as one ridiculously prolific year with Ajax (49 goals in 48 games in 2009/10) before his move this summer.At the time of their respective moves, both players had a similar amount of Champions League experience (Suarez had played just over a handful of games in the competition with Ajax, Bale more or less the same number at Spurs). Yet in their transfer fees there is a difference of some £10m in favour of Bale. Neither Tottenham nor Liverpool really wanted to sell, and indeed, the Reds had tied Suarez down to a new deal less than a year ago, so why the discrepancy? It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the Uruguayan’s track record of disciplinary issues – including being banned until November 2014 – will have dented his value somewhat. Bale, whose only notable disciplinary problem is a solitary red card in 291 competitive games as a professional footballer, is a safe bet not to miss games through suspension.FitnessOne final factor worth keeping in mind is a player’s injury record. The infamous Michael Owen brochure or similar Owen Hargreaves workout videos weren’t produced because the players lacked quality, they were produced in an effort to prove their fitness. Bringing in a player is a significant investment not only in terms of the transfer fee but also the wages you commit to, and no one likes to pay for nothing, so clubs are less likely to risk forking out money for a player with a horrific injury record, regardless of his quality. For example, Barcelona have been trying to offload Ibrahim Afellay for a number of years, but despite the Dutchman’s quality and a significant list of interested parties, the Catalans can’t find a buyer willing to match their evaluation due to his history of lengthy injury lay-offs. The opposite also applies: a player boasting an excellent fitness record comes with a premium. Cristiano Ronaldo’s excellence in that area will have undoubtedly helped boost his fee back in 2009.talkSPORT verdictIf we keep all of the factors mentioned above in mind, understanding the wild variations in transfer fees is made slightly easier. Daniel Sturridge may have proven to be twice the player Andy Carroll is, but the £23m between their respective transfer fees is easy to understand if we consider that Carroll’s form was significantly better than Sturridge’s in the seasons prior to the move, Sturridge was signed early in a transfer window while Carroll moved in the dying minutes, and finally, the selling club (Chelsea) was happy to see Sturridge go, while Newcastle had no need to offload Carroll at that particular moment in time, but Liverpool seemed desperate to bring in an additional striker. As for Romelu Lukaku, is £28m a good valuation for Everton or Chelsea? Time will tell.
From news services The Yankees are preparing to offer Alex Rodriguez a contract extension that probably will run for four or five years and have an average yearly salary of $25 million to $30 million. New York has attempted to set up a meeting with A-Rod but the slugger’s agent, Scott Boras, hasn’t committed to a face-to-face session. Rodriguez can opt out of his record $252 million, 10-year contact up until the 10th day following the World Series. He is owed $72 million by the Yankees during the final three seasons of that deal, but New York would receive a $21.3 million subsidy from the Texas Rangers, who originally signed Rodriguez to the contract and agreed to the payments when they traded A-Rod to New York in 2004. The Yankees would lose that subsidy if Rodriguez terminates the contract and say they would drop out of negotiations if he opts out. In addition to Rodriguez, the Yankees have several other potential free agents to deal with. The team is hopeful of reaching agreements with closer Mariano Rivera and catcher Jorge Posada on contracts that would be for about $40 million over three years each, and New York is likely to exercise a $16 million option on right fielder Bobby Abreu. Pitcher Andy Pettitte has a $16 million player option, and the Yankees hope he will return for 2008. Retiring Biggio wins Clemente Award Craig Biggio capped his sweat-stained career with one more cherished honor. The longtime Houston Astros star won the 2007 Roberto Clemente Award, given annually to a major league player who combines community service with excellence on the field. Biggio received the trophy in a ceremony at Coors Field before Game 3 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Colorado Rockies. He was picked from among 30 nominees, one from each big league team, by a committee that included Selig and Vera Clemente, Roberto’s widow. “I’m very humbled and grateful for this honor and to be part of his legacy,” Biggio said. “I think the biggest part about Roberto is, as great of a player as he was, he was a bigger man off the field in his generosity and his time and giving back to the community.” The 41-year-old second baseman retired after this season, his 20th in the major leagues – all with Houston. He became the 27th player to reach 3,000 hits on June 28. Asked about winning such a prestigious award in his final season, Biggio left the whole room laughing. “I guess it was our last chance,” he said. “So, thank you.” Known for his gritty play at several positions, Biggio also is the national spokesman for the Sunshine Kids Foundation, which provides support and fun activities for young cancer patients. He visits the Sunshine Kids house regularly and often wore the organization’s pin on his Astros cap. “The Sunshine Kids are near and dear to my heart and they’re one of the reasons that I stayed there and never left as a free agent,” Biggio said. “We’re not about a cure. We’re about families, we’re about putting smiles on faces.” Selig won’t get a sneak preview Selig doesn’t think he will get an advance look at George Mitchell’s report on steroids use in baseball. Mitchell, a Boston Red Sox director and former Senate Majority Leader, was hired by Selig in March 2006 and is expected to issue his report before the end of the year. Selig was asked whether he will see the report before it is made public. “I doubt I will,” he responded. “Nobody will see it.” Then he modified his answer slightly, saying he might get it a few hours before others so he could “digest it.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.In addition, A-Rod is owed $3 million annually in deferred money by the Rangers, payments that were converted to an assignment bonus at the time of the trade. Meanwhile, General Manager Brian Cashman said there were no developments in the team’s managerial search. Hank Steinbrenner, a son of owner George Steinbrenner, was quoted in Saturday’s editions of The New York Times as saying the team will make a decision Monday and an announcement the following day if given permission by Commissioner Bud Selig, who must approve announcements made during the World Series. “Every club has to do what they think is right,” Selig said. “What they’re doing now internally, they’re entitled to do that.” Other Yankees officials were not as certain Saturday as to the timing of a decision. Bench coach Don Mattingly, considered the favorite, hasn’t heard anything from the Yankees, agent Ray Schulte said, and Yankees broadcaster Joe Girardi said before Game 3 of the World Series that he hadn’t been informed of anything. First-base coach Tony Pe a also was interviewed for the job earlier this week.
10 Another weekend of Premier League action is done and dusted and entered into the record books.There were some brilliant matches and some brilliant moments with Tottenham winning 3-1 against rivals Chelsea and Bournemouth ace Jefferson Lerma netting a classic own goal against Arsenal. Bournemouth vs ArsenalReal result: 1-2xG result: 0.65-1.68 10 What is expected goals? Mooy is now Huddersfield’s top scorer this season with two goals 10 Dele Alli helped keep Jorginho quiet in Spurs’ 3-1 win Aubameyang was Arsenal’s match winner Watford vs LiverpoolReal result: 0-3xG result: 0.85-1.45 Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates one of his goals Should a team end with a higher xG than actual goals scored, it is probable they were wasteful in front of goal due to poor finishing or an in-form opposition goalkeeper. If the real goals scored is higher than the xG, the team may have been lucky to score so many in that match, or have an above average finisher scoring hard chances others would miss.West Ham United vs Manchester CityReal result: 0-4xG result: 0.84-2.76 Manchester United vs Crystal PalaceReal result: 0-0xG result: 1.34-1.28 But do the results we got reflect what actually happened in the matches we witnessed?Find out below how every team performed compared to their expected goals in the 13th round of Premier League matches thanks to statistics from Understat.com… Manchester United stars Anthony Martial, Alexis Sanchez, and Marouane Fellaini look dejected Fulham vs SouthamptonReal result: 3-2xG result: 1.38-1.63 Jordan Henderson was sent off on his return to the Liverpool team Expected goals (xG) is a statistic used to work out how many goals should be scored in a match.Every single shot is awarded an xG value based on the difficulty of the attempt, with factors including distance from goal, type of shot and number of defenders present affecting the value.The higher the xG of a particular shot, the more likely a goal should be scored from that shot.The xG value of every shot in a game is then used to calculate the expected goals in a particular match. Leroy Sane’s composed finish had the game all wrapped up before half-time Heung-Min Son celebrates his goal against Chelsea Gylfi Sigurdsson got Everton’s winner Jamie Vardy rescued a point for Leicester 10 10 Tottenham Hotspur vs ChelseaReal result: 3-1xG result: 3.37-0.93 10 10 Everton vs Cardiff CityReal result: 1-0xG result: 2.36-0.93 10 10 Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Huddersfield TownReal result: 0-2xG result: 0.69-0.63 10 Brighton and Hove Albion vs Leicester CityReal result: 1-1xG result: 0.84-1.12
Thabo Mbeki and Frederik van Zyl Slabbert at the Dakar Conference in 1987. (Source image: Netwerk24.com)Johannesburg, Monday 10 July 2017 – As part of the Commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Dakar 1987 Talks and Celebration activities around the Twinning of Robben and Goree Islands, Brand South Africa, in partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture, the National Arts Council, SA Embassy in Senegal, DIRCO and Senegalese Ministry of Arts and Culture, will host a series of activities in the week of 10-14 July 2017.In the context of South Africa’s liberation – political dialogue played a significant role in the nation’s transition to democracy. In this regard, the 1987 meeting in Dakar between the ANC and an IDASA delegation, stands out as a significant moment in the history of South Africa’s journey towards democracy.Brand South Africa’s CEO, Dr Kingsley Makhubela said: “The Dakar Conference would not have been possible were it not for the assistance of countries like Senegal and then President Abdou Diouf, who paved the way for delegates to meet during a period when liberation movements were still banned internally, and the Apartheid regime still presided over a pariah state sanctioned and internationally isolated.”“Likewise, the assistance that came from governments and individuals who contributed material resources to make the conference possible further attests to the fact that the liberation movement was not alone in its struggle against apartheid South Africa.”Contemporary developments in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent indicate that political dialogue is not a once-off. It remains a crucial feature of societies transitioning towards democracy and transforming an unequal socio-economic environment.In global terms, and particularly on the African continent, the success of conflict management and mediation, conflict prevention, and resolution as well as intervention, are all linked to the ability and capability of political rivals to engage in constructive political dialogue.As part of the week-long activities, Brand South Africa in partnership with the Dakar-based CODESRIA host a Colloquium on Thursday 13 July 2017, under the theme, the Power of Dialogue – Past, Present and Future. During the week, the two countries will also sign a Twinning Agreement between Robben- and Goree Islands. This is a significant moment not only to reflect on the past, but to celebrate what Senegal and South Africa have in common.Dr Makhubela added: “The Colloquium will bring together experts on conflict mediation and resolution from government, civil society and academia, to discuss the role of political dialogue in conflict prevention, mediation, and resolution on the African continent and beyond. The session will also focus on drawing the youth into the dialogue – the goal being not only to impart knowledge but also to provide a platform for them to share their views on the power of dialogue.”The Colloquium will cover three sessions, where delegates from South African and Senegalese government and other role players will share their experiences and insights with attendees. This will provide the background for further reflections in the second panel discussion between Dakarites from Senegal and South Africa, with the final session focussing on political dialogue in Africa today.For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:Tsabeng NthiteTel: +27 11 712 5061Mobile: +27 (0) 76 371 6810Email:email@example.comVisit www.brandsouthafrica.com
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest An aging American farm population, the need to successfully transition land ownership from senior farmers to new industry entrants, and providing support and training for these beginning farmers, are top concerns for the future of the American farming industry, said an agricultural economist in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.“Farm transitions have been identified as one of the major upcoming structural changes in agriculture that concerns policy makers,” said Ani Katchova, chair of Ohio State’s Farm Income Enhancement Program. She also holds appointments with Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.Katchova defines farm transitions as changes in farm size or structure, intergenerational transfers of a farm operation, and the entry and exit of industry participants.Using data from the 2012 U.S. Census of Agriculture, Katchova worked with Mary Ahearn, an agricultural economist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, to analyze the age distribution of all farmers and beginning farmers.The team also examined how young and beginning farmers enter the industry and grow their operations over time, how many beginning farmers join the farming industry each year, and the exit rates for U.S. farms.The average age of U.S. farmers in 2007 was 57.1 while in 2012 this figure reached 58.3, Katchova said. Additionally, the current data shows that there are fewer beginning farmers joining the industry compared to findings from earlier agricultural censuses, she said.“Among U.S. farmers, 6% are 35 years old or younger, while 33% are greater than 65 years old,” Katchova said. “In Ohio, 7% are 35 years old or younger, while 29% are older than 65.“Most people think of beginning farmers either as young or older, second-career farmers, however, statistics show that beginning farmers can be of any age with the highest number of beginning farmers being mid-age.”As an industry, farming is currently showing lower entry numbers for new farm businesses started each year across the nation, she said.“There were 652,820 beginning farmers in 2007, and only 522,058 in 2012, representing a 20% drop over the five-year period,” Katchova said. “Only 25% of farmers are classified as beginning farmers according to Census of Agriculture statistics.”Katchova and Ahearn found that there are significant challenges facing beginning farmers, or those with less than 10 years of experience, and young farmers, or those less than 35 years old.Both groups report a need for more support and training, as well as help in acquiring access to farmland, Katchova said.“Depending on their age, we find that beginning farmers have different capital needs in terms of purchasing or leasing farmland and that they likely need different support programs to start their businesses,” she said. “While young farmers may have similar needs to initially acquire farmland as older beginning farmers, young farmers may need additional capital or may face more credit constraints for purchasing additional farmland to expand their operations.“These considerations make it important for policy makers to have a clearer sense of their policy goals in targeting beginning farmers, including targeting young farmers and tailoring farm policy support for their needs.”
brian proffitt Tags:#Big Data#cloud computing#small business 2013 is going to be a 12 full months of hype surrounding the Big Data craze, with tantalizing tales of e-commerce analytics that will move beyond predicting pregnancies to doing something really cool: like figuring out the Last Twinkie Ever Bought.As the hype continues, smug enterprise IT departments will whip out their thick wallets and plunk down serious coin for multi-cluster hybrid cloud Hadoop systems that can figure out the worldwide effects of a butterfly wings’ flapping before brunch and knock out the Ultimate Answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything before afternoon tea rolls past.Meanwhile, poor and tattered small business IT managers will look enviously on this feast of big data as they huddle out in the cold, shivering as they wrap themselves in tiny spreadsheets and Quickbook invoices.Big Data Doesn’t Have To Be That WayIts easy to get that impression when thinking about Big Data, but the reality can be far different: While enterprise-level datasets can be costly and difficult to manage, there’s no reason analytical and visualization techniques can’t be applied to small- to medium-sized business (SMB) datasets – on an SMB budget.Plugging small businesses into big data is not a new idea (see Intuit CEO: Big Data Can Be The “Great Equalizer”). Perhaps the most popular approach to solving the problem includes “Big-Data-as-a-Service” options.There are two large obstacles to taking on big data methodologies, according to Amit Bendov, CEO of Tel Aviv-based SiSense. The first is breaking past the barrier of cost. SAP HANA appliances, which Bendov holds up as an example of what he’s talking about, can handle about half a terabyte of data, with a price tag of $500,000. That may work for the enterprise, but is nowhere near realistic at the small business level.The second obstacle is the notion of complexity: Right now, the impression is that you have to have full-blown data-scientist talent on the payroll in order to figure out your own data. That’s hogwash: “I know my business very well,” Bendov said. “I don’t need statistical languages to figure out what the data means. I just need to see the data.”SiSense Tries To Solve The ProblemBendov’s company is in the business of making that happen. Working with a customer’s existing data stores, SiSense will pull the data into a columnar database that’s either hosted by SiSense or held locally by the company. Customers can then use whatever tools with which they’re familiar – from Excel spreadsheets to SQL-based databases – to mine the data for the information they’re seeking.General-purpose hosted data services like SiSense or sector-oriented vendors like LeisureLink in the hospitality industry represent a new front in the Big Data cycle: taking the expense and complexity down several levels so smaller businesses can get at least some of the benefits of data analytics without the pain.It’s not a bad idea: by acting as the middle man to handle the hard parts of Big Data management, these vendors are essentially running Big Data co-ops.But there are risks with this approach. While SiSense has a local-hosted option, some vendors do not… so you’ll need to decide where your comfort zone is with storing critical company data in the cloud. You will also need to decide if your data actually has enough value to recoup whatever costs you will have to outlay if you work with these vendors. That’s a bit of a Catch-22 for many smaller companies, since you may not know your data’s value until you can pull it together and mine it for useful information.The best option is to shop around with various vendors, perhaps carrying in a subset of your data and seeing what can be done with it – and at what cost. Perhaps most importantly, this can also give you a sense of how much of a learning curve will be involved in getting up to speed with a new service.Big Data options are out there for businesses of all sizes, just be sure you understand the benefits versus the risks.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Related Posts IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…