Photo credit: Norman Grindley Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppKingston, Jamaica, December 25, 2016 – Government is moving to safeguard Jamaica’s food security against the impact of climate change through the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) drip irrigation project. Agricultural Specialist with the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), which implements REDI, Vincent Thompson, tells JIS News that the project is an “aggressive approach” to minimizing the debilitating effects of climate change on agriculture.Mr. Thompson says despite Jamaica not experiencing extreme drought conditions this year, as prevailed in 2015 resulting in hiked food prices due to reduced outputs, the Government is endeavoring to be proactive in safeguarding the nation’s food supply. This, he adds, due to the unpredictable nature of climate change. Mr. Thompson reports that phases one and two of the project, undertaken in 2014 and 2015, respectively, have positively impacted nearly 1,160 farmers in 13 communities in St. Catherine, St. Thomas, Trelawny, Manchester and South St. Elizabeth.The farmers were provided with irrigation lines, drip kits, 1,000-gallon water storage tanks and harvesting implements. They were also exposed to innovative farming techniques, food safety practices, business management, record keeping and marketing strategies. The beneficiaries, who are members of the National Irrigation Commission (NIC) Limited Water Users Association, were provided with water from NIC pumping stations, such as the facility in New Forest, Manchester, and guided on efficient irrigation methodologies.Phase three will benefit 690 farmers in the South St. Elizabeth communities of Tryall, Red Bank, Ballards Valley, Essex Valley, Flagaman and Top Hill, where the fustigation technique was introduced to increase outputs. Fertigation is the injection of fertilizers, soil additives and other water-soluble inputs into an irrigation system. This is then applied directly to the plant root for optimal delivery of nutrients.“The farmers used to apply the fertilizer on the surface of the soil which, often, the nitrogenic factor in the fertilizer is volatilized by sunlight. Now, they are able to apply liquid fertilizer through the drip lines. So now they can reduce the cost of production, because they are better able to utilize fertilizers using fertigation,” he further states.Drip irrigation, Mr. Thompson contends, has significantly increased crop yields where utilized. “We have found that, overall, our farmers in South St. Elizabeth (in particular) have been able to achieve up to (a) 60 per cent increase,” he says. “With climate change, no one can predict when we are going to have drought, heavy rainfall or flooding. By providing the farmers with drip irrigation equipment during the dry season, they are better able to plan their production so we don’t have any shortages. (As a result) we (hope to) have a consistent supply of produce (from here, onwards),” he adds.Among the crops grown in St. Elizabeth are tomato, sweet pepper, scallion, thyme, watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew melon, as well as pumpkin, hot pepper, broccoli and cauliflower. Mr. Thompson points out that a key advantage of drip irrigation is that farmers now have greater control of production. “We can mitigate the effects of climate change, especially when we are going through a dry spell. We are actually changing the way in which farmers (cultivate),” he says.The drip irrigation project is also being carried out in the agro park communities of Colbeck, St. Catherine; Plantain Garden River, St. Thomas; and Braco, Trelawny, as part of the Government’s Onion Production Project targeting produce for the domestic market.The REDI project is being implemented with World Bank funding support totaling US$15 million, with additional financing of US$2.5 million from the Government and through community contributions. The project, which started in 2010 and ends in July 2017, aims to improve market access for micro and small-scale rural agricultural producers, as well as tourism product and service providers, through grants to support infrastructural development. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, October 20, 2017 – Providenciales – Premier Robinson continues to welcome many regional and international partners who are offering assistance and support in the country’s Recovery efforts.“The level of assistance being offered is unprecedented and we are grateful that in this climate where many countries around the world are affected by recent disasters, our country is being considered favorably in our early framing days of our recovery strategy. We have a few more critical assessments to complete and we are pleased that the various offers of assistance can be factored in for consideration in our Strategic Recovery Framework”, said Premier Robinson. “People are eager to learn what if anything the Government is able to do in terms of housing repairs, business support and rebuilding. We are closer to that date and we are pleased with the critical work done thus far.”“Last week I was pleased to welcome the DFID/FCO Reconstruction Team which comprised of critical skills and posts. The Team led by Chris Austin, Barbados based head of the UK Joint Task Force in the region comprised of David Barlow, Consultant on Emergency Planning; Alex Stevens, Head of OT Governance Team, DFID; John Bowker, Infrastructure Advisor, DFID; David Woolnough and Miriam Sachak, head of Economic and Financial team, DFID, FCO.”“The Team was able to meet with the Governor, myself, Ministers, Senior Public Service Management and critical Department Heads. I was pleased with the dialogue and was satisfied with the initial feedback received in the Debriefing at the end of the Visit. The Team will report to the UK Ministerial Group and formal dialogue will follow on our country’s needs and the UK’s commitments.”“I was likewise delighted to receive a courtesy call from a Bahamian Delegation led by the Hon Philip Brave Davis, Leader of the Opposition and which included Member of Parliament, Hon Paiswell Forbes and Senator the Hon Jobeth Coleby Davis.“This week, I welcomed Caribbean representative, Diane Quarless for UN ECLAC. At my invitation, a full delegation will travel to TCI the first week of November to continue the critical damage and Loss Assessment Report. The work of UN ECLAC is critical in assessing our economic loss and recommendations for recovery efforts.”Press Release: TCIG Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:
Handicrafts Export Awards to 68 companies for excellence in exports were distributed by Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Union Minister of State for Textiles along with launching of Handicrafts and Carpet Sector Skill Council by Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Parliamentary Affair. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Member of Parliament, S K Panda, Secretary (Textiles) and S K Biswas, Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) were also present during the ceremony beside luminaries from the trade and industry exporters of handicrafts. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’With the distribution of handicraft export awards, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Parliamentary Affairs also launched the new institution called Handicrafts and Carpet Sector Skill Council which has been set up to promote skill development amongst artisans, craft persons and workers of handicrafts and carpet products. While launching the Handicrafts and Carpet Sector Skill Council, Minister of State for Skill Development, Entrepreneurship and Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy said, ‘The role of skill development in Indian economy is very important keeping in view of the fact that percentage of skill manpower in India is very low as compared to China, Korea, Japan and Germany. There is a great need to develop skill of all sectors of the economy so that India become competitive in production of good quality products.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixUnion Minister of State for Textiles Santosh Kumar Gangwar said, ‘Although exporters are doing excellent job of achieving high rate of growth, yet there is big scope of further improvement, the exporters need to develop new lines, new products and give emphasis on good skill, good quality to make products more competitive in world market.’ M/s C L Gupta Exports Ltd, Moradabad received trophy of top export award for their performance in all product categories of handicrafts. Whereas, World leader in Shawls, Ahujasons won the ‘Highest Export Award’ in ‘Shawls as Art ware including scarves and stoles’ category. Karan Ahuja, Director, Exports, Ahujasons said ‘It is a matter of great delight and pride to receive this award for the third time in a row. This is very encouraging and acknowledges our world class products in the global market.’ Trophies were also given under each product category which included Woodwares, Zari Handicrafts, Lace, Laces and Embroidery, India Items, Textiles based handicrafts, fashion jewellery and crafted stone, iron crafts, jute handicrafts, glass, artware, ceramic artwares and aluminium artwares.‘Handicraft export has been growing at an average annual growth rate of 15% during the last decade. However, growth during the current year was 30.80% in rupee terms and 17.55% in dollars terms as compared to previous year. Exports of handicrafts during the year 2013-14 was Rs. 23,504.42 crore,’ said Rakesh Kumar, Executive Director – EPCH (Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts).
When people are in the process of building trust among each other, their hearts get synchronised and beat as one, an interesting study has found.Researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark showed that there was a larger physiological response in the form of an increase and synchrony of the participants’ heart rates in the “trust group” compared to the control group.“The heart rate synchrony is an indicator of rapport, affiliation and the improvement of group dynamics,” said lead researcher and assistant professor Panagiotis Mitkidis. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’To reach this conclusion, Mitkidis and colleagues studied the link between heart rate and trust.They had 37 pairs of participants do a cooperative task involving building Lego cars.The control group only did the lego task while a second group played an investment game in between the building sessions.The game, known as the “Public Goods Game” had the goal of including the element of trust in the experiment.“Trust is a necessary ingredient for successful cooperation and of most importance for our society,” Mitkidis noticed. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“A further indication of that is that heart rate synchrony is a significant predictor of expectations in the Public Goods Game, an indication of preferences and beliefs about the behaviour of others,” the authors pointed out.The experiment revealed that heart rate synchronisation was significantly higher in the “trust” group.Heart rate arousal was also significantly higher in the trust condition.The paper appeared in the Journal of Physiology and Behavior.
Kolkata: Trinamool Congress workers staged agitation at different places on Sunday, against the abnormal hike in the fuel prices.It may be mentioned that petrol and diesel prices have touched Rs 81.76 per litre and Rs 73.61 per litre respectively in Kolkata.With the all time high fuel prices, common people are apprehending that the cost of essential goods will also go up, as cost of transportation of goods will rise with increase in the fuel prices. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had repeatedly raised her voice against the hike in the prices of petrol and diesel. On Friday, she had attacked the Centre in this connection and tweeted: “Rupee suffering from low fever. Petrol and Diesel prices highest ever. Foreign Exchange Reserves have fallen by $21.84 Billion between March end and August 3. Current Account Deficit is moving up towards 2.8 per cent of GDP…”On Sunday morning, Trinamool Congress workers held rallies at different places against the hike in the prices of petrol and diesel. They have also protested against the increase in the price of LPG. The party workers and supporters held rallies at places including Baidyabati in Hooghly. Common people also joined the rallies organised by Trinamool Congress and raised their voice against the same. They shouted slogans against the Centre for its indifferent attitude in this connection. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedWith the increase in the prices of petrol and diesel, business of trucks and mini-trucks are getting badly affected. According to an owner of a mini-truck, they engage into an agreement for at least months with authorities of a company to transport their produce and they get payment at the same rate for the next three months despite changes in fuel prices.In such a situation, they are incurring a huge loss when fuel prices are going up almost every day.
MONTREAL — Air Canada Vacations is offering free StormGuard protection to select destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean, for bookings made by May 14.StormGuard allows clients to rebook their vacation package if the US National Hurricane Center declares a tropical storm warning within three days (72 hours) of scheduled departure. Protection typically costs $49 per person but for a limited time ACV is waiving the fee.“In the Caribbean, the summertime is typically known as hurricane season; however, StormGuard gives travellers peace of mind when booking their vacation with ACV,” said Nino Montagnese, Managing Director, Air Canada Vacations. “Plus, the now waived fee will make it even easier for travel agents to add-on this protection plan to client bookings.”More information about StormGuard and applicable destinations is at aircanadavacations.com. Tags: Air Canada Vacations Wednesday, May 3, 2017