Farmers Encouraged to Engage in Climate Change Mitigation Plans

first_img “We remained flat in the periods that have passed recently because of the devastating rains, but we have a lot to be hopeful about,” he said. Chief Technical Director, Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Courtney Cole, is calling on farmers and agricultural investors to engage in more climate change mitigation plans, in an effort to protect their investments. Story Highlights Mr. Cole said due to climate change, Jamaica has been experiencing inconsistent weather patterns, which have affected crops across the island in the last 12 months, thereby impacting the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). Chief Technical Director, Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Courtney Cole, is calling on farmers and agricultural investors to engage in more climate change mitigation plans, in an effort to protect their investments.Mr. Cole said due to climate change, Jamaica has been experiencing inconsistent weather patterns, which have affected crops across the island in the last 12 months, thereby impacting the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).Addressing a Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) Agricultural Information Forum on March 13 at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew, Mr. Cole pointed out that the sector, in 2016, contributed 7.3 per cent to the GDP, and that was 1.3 per cent over the year before.“We remained flat in the periods that have passed recently because of the devastating rains, but we have a lot to be hopeful about,” he said.“What we have is a situation where we’re operating on something looking like a pendulum or a continuum, where on one side you have extreme drought conditions, and then on the other we have extreme precipitation and flooding. It seems like that has become the new norm,” he added.Mr. Cole said that the seasonal patterns that could have been predicted years ago have now changed due to climate change, and, as such, farmers and investors need to invest more in mitigation plans to prepare for the unexpected.“We have to find ways of mitigating the drought situation by harvesting more of that water that floods us out. We must have mechanisms in place that will capture that water, so that we have it when the drought situation comes around again,” he suggested.Mr. Cole said the Government, through the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, has been making efforts to prevent the devastating impact that climate change can bring to the economy.“The Ministry, through RADA and other affiliated entities, has been engaging our farmers and training them,” he noted.JAMPRO hosted the forum with the aim of increasing local and international investment in the agricultural sector to support Jamaica’s economic growth programme and empower local farmers.It was used as a platform to highlight agriculture as an important business opportunity in Jamaica and to emphasise the Government’s commitment to supporting the growth of the sector.Some of the issues addressed were financing options for agricultural activities; traditional and non-traditional crop opportunities; land availability and suitability issues; marketing of agricultural products locally and overseas; and Government initiatives and programmes to support agriculture, such as agro parks and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) support to farmers.last_img read more

Strengthening AgriTourism Link To Reduce Food Import Bill

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp 10 IMMIGRATION KIOSKS INSTALLED AT SANGSTER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Related Items:agri-tourism, food import bill, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, reduce, Tourism Linkages Hub Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppKINGSTON, July 3 (JIS): Tourism and Entertainment Minister, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, says the strengthening of linkages between tourism and agriculture has the potential to boost both sectors and reduce the country’s food import bill.He said a demand study conducted by the Tourism Linkages Hub, housed in the Ministry, indicates that tourism can potentially generate the “greatest benefits” for farmers and the suppliers of local produce.Dr. McNeill was addressing tourism and agriculture interests at the first in a series of Tourism Linkages Hub stakeholders’ consultations held recently at the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville, Manchester.Noting that the tourism industry is “doing quite well,” welcoming some 3.5 million stopover and cruise ship visitors over the past two years, he said the sector has also attracted “significant levels of investments” with an additional 5,500 hotel rooms earmarked for development over the next three years.Dr. McNeill said the Government is looking to translate the success of the sector to other segments of the society, including the agricultural sector. He argued that by producing food and selling it to the hotels, attractions, and guest houses, the money stays in Jamaica and reduces imports. “That’s what we want to do…that’s how we are going to grow the economy of Jamaica, and that’s how we are going to enrich Jamaicans,” the Minister said.Dr. McNeill said that for the linkage to work, all stakeholders must collaborate to determine the produce needed, and how these will the supplied in terms of volume, quality, cost, and timelines.“I have said to the hub that we are going to put the systems in place. They have done the demand study; I have gone through it… (but) more work needs to be done; we are going to have to drill down even more into this area (agriculture),” Dr. McNeill said.“The opportunities are there; it’s up to us to really push and do it,” he added.In his remarks, Agriculture, Labour and Social Security Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier, said the agro-tourism linkage is an idea “whose time has come.”He commended Dr. McNeill on his vision to establish the linkages hub, and the focus on increasing the supply of local produce to the tourism market. “Dr. McNeill and his team truly understand that cuisine is, indeed, a major component of the tourism and hospitality industry, and that market, therefore, is an attractive and lucrative one for the agricultural sector,” he noted.Mr. Kellier said a close examination of Jamaica’s high food import bill shows that a large proportion of the products brought in goes to the tourism sector.“We believe, however, that Jamaican produce and our renowned cuisine must be a part of the menu provided in our hotels and resorts. We, therefore, welcome every strategy that will enable us to increase our supply to a market that has come right into our front room,” he stated.Mr. Kellier added that: “Jamaica can only prosper on a sustainable basis when we develop and maintain linkages to ensure that every industry and economic activity allows as many people as possible, to prosper.”Over 50 representatives of public and private sector institutions and interests attended the meeting. Recommended for you Tourism Minister Welcomes Spanish Hotel Chain Melia Jamaica Secures Additional Airline Seats Out Of Europelast_img read more

High speed chase leaves one man shot and another arrested

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, July 5th 2017 – Nassau – A high-speed chase and gunfight between two men and police officers through several communities in New Providence early this morning, has left one man in hospital and another arrested.According to a police report, at around 1am, officers attached to the Mobile Division received a report that two males in a white Camry vehicle were armed with firearms in the Carmichael Road area. When police confronted the suspects and signaled for the driver to stop the vehicle, he refused and sped off. Officers then chased the vehicle for several miles until the car crashed near the Sir Sidney’s Bridge on East Bay Street.The two male suspects then exited the vehicle and proceeded to open fire at the police. Officers returned fire and shot one of the male suspects. Both men were arrested and a handgun was recovered from their vehicle. The injured suspect is currently detained in hospital under heavy police guard. Investigations are continuing.Story By: Kay-Marie Fletcher#MagneticMediaNews Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:#HighSpeedChase, #magneticmedianewslast_img read more

Governor Brown accepts federal funding to add National Guard staffing

first_imgCalifornia responds?? pic.twitter.com/8HCXoGXc87— Jerry Brown (@JerryBrownGov) April 11, 2018 Updated: 1:39 PM KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, Governor Brown accepts federal funding to add National Guard staffing April 11, 2018 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Responding to President Donald Trump’s call for deployment of the National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border, a defiant Gov. Jerry Brown announced Wednesday he will commit 400 troops to the state’s effort to “combat transnational crime.”In a letter to federal authorities, Brown said the National Guard troops would be added “statewide,” so it was unclear exactly how many of those 400 troops would actually be sent to the border. He said the state’s transnational-crime effort currently includes 250 personnel statewide, including 55 at the border.“But let’s be crystal clear on the scope of this mission,” Brown wrote. “This will not be a mission to build a new wall. It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life. And the California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws.”Republican governors in the border states of Texas, Arizona and New Mexico have already deployed a combined 1,600 National Guard troops to the Mexican border in response to Trump’s call for added staffing. Trump made the request last week, with the federal government paying the cost of the troop deployment. He said the troops were needed because of “lawlessness thatcontinues at our southern border,” and he wanted increased security while he continues his push to build a wall along the entire border.Until Wednesday, California was the only border state that hadn’t responded to Trump’s request.In his letter, Brown took issue with suggestions of chaos at the border.“Here are the facts: There is no massive wave of migrants pouring into California,” he wrote. “Overall immigrant apprehensions on the border last year were as low as they’ve been in nearly 50 years, and 85 percent of the apprehensions occurred outside of California.”He said the federal government funding of 400 National Guard troops will allow the Guard “to do what it does best: support operations targeting transnational criminal gangs, human traffickers and illegal firearm and drug smugglers along the border, the coast and throughout the state.”“Combating these criminal threats are priorities for all Americans –Republicans and Democrats,” Brown wrote. “That’s why the state and the Guard have long supported this important work and agreed to similar targeted assistance in 2006 under President Bush and in 2010 under President Obama.” Posted: April 11, 2018 Categories: California News, Local San Diego News, Politics Tags: Jerry Brown FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Will Kasautii Zindagii Kay 2 actress Erica aka Prerna appear on another

first_imgKasautii Zindagiii Kay 2 actress Erica FernandesinstagramErica Fernandes has emerged as one of the most sought after actresses of the telly world in recent times. While the actress enjoys a massive fan following, her fanbase multiplied two-fold after she played Prerna in Ekta Kapoor’s popular show Kasautii Zindagii Kay 2. Her striking chemistry with lead actor Parth Samthaan aka Anurag Basu is another factor for the show being loved by millions.Although Erica has a hectic work schedule, she recently managed to take some time out to shoot for another show. Yes, Erica will soon be seen in Colors’ show Khatra Khatra Khatra with Bharti Singh and Haarsh Limbachiyaa.Erica shot for the show on July 24 and will be seen performing fun tasks on the show, PinkVilla reported. She is one among the many celebrities who have appeared on Khatra Khatra Khatra.The gorgeous actress must have been paid a whopping amount to appear on Khatra Khatra Khatra given that Erica’s show runs on a rival channel.Earlier, Parth had participated in Colors Kitchen Champions and was rumoured to be the highest-paid celebrity contestant to appear on the show. Besides his crazy fan following, it was said that one of the primary reasons for the fat paycheque was apparently because Parth’s show airs on a rival channel.Meanwhile, angry fans of Kasautii Zindagii Kay 2 are blasting the makers for not uniting Prerna and Anurag. As per the recent development on the show, Prerna married Mr Bajaj (Karan Singh Grover), ditching her love Anurag. Such is the craze for Anurag and Prerna that fans started trending #WeWantAnuPreOnly on social media despite knowing that Mr Bajaj’s entry will change the equation between Anurag-Prerna. Kasautii Zindagii Kay 2 stars Erica Fernandes and Parth Samthaan in Switzerlandinstagramlast_img read more

NPCI shows green flag to WhatsApp Payments in India service limited to

first_imgWhatsApp Payments available in IndiaIBTimes India/Sami KhanThe NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) on February 17, has given nod for the preliminary launch of the WhatsApp Payments in India. The corporation has approved the beta testing of the UPI-based service but only for one million users and with a restricted transaction limit.The popular messaging app has already started rolling out the new feature in India for a limited number of users.The NPCI said in an official statement: “Currently, the NPCI has given its consent to roll out WhatsApp BHIM UPI beta launch with the limited user base of one million and low per transaction limit. Four banks will join the multi-bank BHIM UPI model in phases (in the coming weeks) and full feature product shall be released after the beta test is successful.” WhatsApp Payments: List of banksIBTimes India/Sami KhanThe NPCI, according to its official website, “is an umbrella organization for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India.” It has been working to make the digital payments smoother in the country since it was formed in 2009. It is also responsible for rolling out globally recognized products like BHIM-UPI (Bharat Interface for Money).With the introduction of UPI service, WhatsApp will face a number of competitors in the Indian market like Paytm, PhonePe, Tez, and others. In a recent statement, Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma was critical of WhatsApp’s upcoming UPI payment service and raised some safety concerns. Nice ! I hope full obligation of BHIM like security and tx data sovereignty too will be implemented before full launch. https://t.co/P8vjvkzkgz— Vijay Shekhar (@vijayshekhar) February 16, 2018Sharma stated that the WhatsApp’s UPI payment system is not secure as it does not comply with the existing guidelines. He also alleged that Facebook was “killing beautiful open UPI system with its custom close garden implementation.”WhatsApp has over 250 million active users in India. WhatsApp Payments integration is expected to help many small-scale merchants and normal users to send and receive money through digital transactions.last_img read more

UN battles mounting illness in Rohingya camps

first_imgA doctor checks a three-day old baby as Rohingya refugees gather at a relief point for babies and pregnant women at the Kutupalang refugee camp in Cox`s Bazar, Bangladesh 2 October, 2017. Photo: ReutersRelief agencies on Tuesday fought to contain a diarrhoea outbreak around camps in Bangladesh where more than 500,000 Rohingya have taken shelter in the past five weeks.The United Nations said meanwhile it would seek $430 million to increase operations in the camps along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border. The Rohingya Muslims have poured across the frontier to escape a military crackdown in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.A 20-bed treatment clinic was opened at Kutupalong refugee camp Monday to treat diarrhoea victims and another 60-bed facility would be set up this week, a UN spokesman said.UN staff and volunteers were touring Kutupalong and nearby makeshift camps to identify those who have not sought treatment, UN refugee agency spokesman Andrej Mahecic said.”We have seen an increasing trend of diarrhoeal disease cases, including cases of diarrhoea with severe dehydration,” he said.Bangladesh authorities were not aware of diarrhoea-related deaths in the camps, but the health department said more than 10,500 Rohingya had been treated since the influx began on August 25.Last week the World Health Organisation warned of a growing cholera risk in the makeshift camps as they lacked safe drinking and hygiene facilities. The Doctors Without Borders (MSF) group also said the camps were on the brink of a public health disaster.The camps face dire shortages of food and medicine in what has become one of the world’s largest refugee settlements.The overwhelmed camps around the border town of Cox’s Bazar already had 300,000 people who fled earlier violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.Mark Lowcock, a UN under secretary general for humanitarian affairs, said the world body would be seeking “something like $430 million to enable us to scale up the relief operation.””Conditions in the camps at the moment are terrible,” Lowcock told reporters in Cox’s Bazar.The UN has already given an extra $12 million from its emergency response fund.”What we want to do is to make sure that the tragedy of the Rohingya is not magnified and amplified by a human catastrophe and health catastrophe,” the UN official declared.last_img

Line Up and Line Dance for Lupus

first_imgIn recognition of May Lupus Awareness Month, Marva’s Grand Hands of Love, Inc. will host “A Line Dance for Lupus Party” to raise funds to fight lupus and to help amplify the voice of the lupus community, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., May 18, at Diamondz Events Hall, 9980 Liberty Road in Randallstown, Md. Local radio personality and line dance instructor Randy Dennis will teach supporters new line dance moves and call out traditional line dances. “Not only will supporters benefit a wonderful cause, but they also benefit themselves because line dancing is a healthy and fun way to get in some exercise,” said Marva Williams, event organizer. Proceeds support the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) DC-Maryland-Virginia Chapter. A LFA representative will be present to accept the donation. LFA estimates that at least 1.5 million Americans have the autoimmune disease. “I recently lost a 27 year old cousin to complications from lupus and my best friend has it. I’m determined to help the women, men and children living with lupus,” Williams said. Catering will be provided by Chef Mookie Hicks. Tanya’s Bling Tees has created a custom lupus awareness t-shirt for the event. Informational materials will be available. Tickets are $30 in advance. For more information, contact Marva Williams at 410-599-9159.last_img read more

Are Tolls Coming to the BWParkway

first_imgBy Hamil R. Harris, Special to the AFROTraveling along the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and I-270 could come with a toll if President Donald Trump and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan have their way.The U.S. Department of the Interior and the Governor have signed an agreement to consider transferring ownership of the BW-Parkway from Uncle Sam to the state of Maryland or install toll lanes but such an agreement would have to be approved by Congress.A photo for the exit to the Baltimore Washington Parkway. (Courtesy Photo)Completed in 1954, the 29-mile federal highway is a road, park and monument all in one. The parkway, which is lined with trees and prohibits big trucks, is dedicated to former Prince George’s County lawmaker and Congresswoman Gladys Noon Spellman and it ferries thousands of cars between Washington D.C. and Baltimore daily. But in recent years, the aging roadway is better known for its many accidents and interminable backups.Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke signed the agreement earlier this month to consider the transfer to Maryland.  Governor Hogan signed the document June 22 that calls for a study to determine if installing tolls or transferring the roadway would be “an appropriate use of this Federal resource.”While Hogan has enjoyed support from Democrats, this move couldn’t have come at a worst time. He is certain to be challenged on the proposal by Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). The Hogan administration has promised to work with Maryland’s Congressional delegation on a bill that would transfer control of the parkway to the state either as part of a sale or trade of property to the Maryland Transportation Authority.The Baltimore-Washington Parkway is part of a $9 billion effort proposed by Governor Hogan to install toll lanes around the state. He also wants to install tolls on the Capital Beltway in Maryland and on Interstate 270 up to Gaithersburg. The tolls would pay for the multi-billion dollar expansion.In what could be a traffic nightmare on a corridor often plagued by accidents, Hogan also wants to widen the road with additional lanes in each direction. Maryland officials have crafted plans to add privately operated toll lanes on the parkway and 270.The public has several opportunities to weigh in on the BW Parkway and I-270 proposals:July 17Eleanor Roosevelt High School.7601 Hanover ParkwayGreenbelt, MD 20770.*************************************************July 24Central High School200 Cabin Branch RoadCapitol Heights, MD 20743.*************************************************July 25Thomas W. Pyle Middle School6311 Wilson LaneBethesda, MD 20817last_img read more

How to Identify the Best SEO Strategy for Your Company

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of those things a lot of people talk about — it’s something that not only can increase your traffic and your website rank in keywords, but eventually will lead to more sales. And who doesn’t want more sales?Related: 10 Tips for Combining SEO and Content MarketingThe problem is, with so many people talking about SEO, there are many strategies floating around as to what is the best way to go about implementing SEO on your website.Sure, the task at hand sounds very easy at first, but using the wrong strategy will lead you to waste time and money and possibly get you in trouble with Google — which is something you definitely do not want.To make things easier for yourself, below is a guide that essentially explains what you should be looking for in an SEO strategy. What makes one strategy better than another? Why should you ignore some strategies completely?Here is the first step to becoming an expert at discerning what strategy may work over another.What are the main features of any SEO Strategy?When it comes to SEO, you need to be aware of two main components:On-page SEOOff-page SEOOn-page SEOThis type of SEO is done to your website directly; basically, it involves multiple parts of your website in determining search engine rankings. For the most part, you can make on-page SEO changes yourself, using the following list:Page contentTitle TagsMeta descriptionsHeadingsURL structureLoading time on pagesInternal linkingSchema* (I highly recommend adding this into your website)The purpose of on-page SEO is to ensure that your website is readable by search engines; the easier it is to read the structure and content of your website, the better you will ultimately rank.Related: 5 Ways to Optimize Local Search Results and Compete With the Big GuysSchema is important for your on-page SEO, and you will probably hear the word in conversation with anyone that works with SEO; if you don’t, show him or her the boot! You will also likely be confused as to what Schema really is (outside of sounding really cool): Schema is a specific vocabulary of tags that you add to your HTML to improve how your page is represented in search engine result pages (SERPs). By adding Schema to your website’s HTML, you’ll be enhancing how the snippets of information will be displayed in SERPs. You’ll also make it easier for Google, Yahoo and Bing to understand what your website/page is about.Making it easier for the search engines gives you a better chance of ranking higher.Major TipsMake sure your website loads within three seconds.Make all your images web friendly.Activate Gzip Compression and implement a content delivery network (CDN) into your website.Make sure that the first word in your title tags is a keyword.Off-page SEOOff-page SEO occurs off your website, hence the name. It includes:Link buildingSocial media sharesThere are a few more tactics employed in off-page SEO, but the two mentioned are among the more popular methods, with link building being by far the most important strategy.Off-page SEO, especially link building, is something that needs to be done right, but a lot of people take shortcuts which negatively impact their website. In life, there are no shortcuts, and the same rule applies to SEO.In fact, link-building quality is extremely important, more so than the quantity of links. Therefore, creating high-quality content is important, in order to draw in users from other websites, to link to you.You should not be buying links; that will be only a temporary solution. And Google will ultimately penalize you for trying to manipulate the system. To avoid any problems with the search engine giant while trying to improve the SEO for your website, grow your network organically. This involves reaching out to various contacts you have in your industry. When you reach out to people, they may agree to point a link toward your website.You can also have people do guest posts on your site, and do the same on their sites, filling your articles with keywords that will ultimately direct back to your website. En route, remember that you do not want to guest post or have links pointing from just “anywhere.” The website of origin needs to be reputable for the effort involved to have a positive effect.There are other link-building strategies outside of guest posting and reaching out to your contacts. Another one involves directory submissions. But I say that with some trepidation, ever since Google began going after directories. Specifically, it went after spam-like directories. Fortunately, Google does like directories edited by humans. In this context, directories like JoeAnt, Yahoo Directory and DMOZ are all worth submitting to.Local Directories, otherwise known as local citation, present another great strategy. So, submit your business on local directories like:Google My BusinessBing Places for BusinessYelpYP.comThere are many more great local directories to use. They are all a great way for the search engines to learn more about you.How to calculate ROI on your SEO expenditureAs with any marketing effort, it all comes down to whether or not you can make money. With SEO, calculating your ROI comes down to directly knowing how much your SEO efforts are costing you, and how much the total value of your sale(s) has been.To begin the process of checking your ROI, and assuming you use Google Analytics (the most popular analytics tool online), first go to the acquisition tab (sidebar) in Google Analytics. Next, select “channels” to view the traffic generated by each channel.You will want to view organic results, as that will consist of the traffic from all search engines. Now, if you have Google Goals active, you will be able to see revenue/lead conversions directly generated from the organic search. If you don’t have that feature active, you will have to manually calculate the results.You can use the simple formula below to calculate your ROI as well:ROI = (Revenue from SEO Efforts – Cost of SEO Project)/ Cost of SEO Project x 100 percentROI = ($25,000 – $10,000)/ 10,000 x 100 percentROI = 150 percentThis means that the return is 2.5 times the investment. Realistically, for any SEO project, you want to see at least 2 times the return on your investment.So, there you have it: a comprehensive guide on to what to look for in identifying the best SEO Strategy. Hopefully, when you look into SEO for your own business, these tips will help you determine whether or not your SEO specialist knows what he or she is doing.Related: Do Keywords Still Matter? November 11, 2015 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 6 min readlast_img read more