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Good News from CARI, But…

first_imgThe  Team Manager of the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI), Aaron Marshall, recently laid out some impressive plans for the Institute’s work over the next few years.  First and foremost among them is human development.  Our Bong County Correspondent, Marcus Malayea, following an interview with Mr. Marshall last week, reported that CARI is poised to receive shortly an additional six Liberian Master’s degree holders in specialized agricultural areas.They will return and help to improve crop production and assist farmers in growing more food to enhance the nation’s food security.This is good news, but!  What about Animal and Soil Scientists?  How many veterinary doctors and soil scientists have we trained since Christian Baker, and J.T. Phillips–both of whom, now deceased, returned home in the 1950s?Unfortunately, cattle production never took off in Liberia, even though cattle can grow in many places, including Grand Cess, Grand Kru County and Foya, Lofa County.Government should encourage the few Liberian vets (veterinary doctors) and soil scientists working in the United States to return.  The handful of Liberian cattle raisers should also be encouraged.Today, after 167 years of independence, we are still importing beef from rain-starved Mali.This newspaper has always called the nation’s attention to Grand Cess, the natural habitat for cattle, that onetime had more cattle than people!  Yet neither has the government, nor Liberians with money, like the Tubmans, whose Maryland County once controlled Grand Cess, nor the well-to-do sons of Grand Cess, like Cletus  Wotorson and Blamo Nelson, ever attempted to develop a viable cattle ranch there.  Besides, we are still importing chickens and eggs–one of the simplest husbandries to develop.  What is CARI doing about that?  Can CARI find one or two trained Liberian Poultry experts–on the ground and abroad–and encourage them to end Liberia’s dependence on foreign chickens and eggs?In Mozambique it is the market women that supply poultry and eggs to the whole country.  Market Association President Lusu Sloan, are you listening? We suggest that you lead a delegation to Mozambique to see what the women are doing there.  Thelma Awori can put you in touch with them.It is noteworthy that CARI has developed 20 different varieties of cassava that can dramatically increase the present yield, compared to the traditional cassava known as “Bassa Girl.”Can CARI and MOA work with the Booker Washington Institute in undertaking a crash course to train 100 Agricultural Extension Agents to carry the benefits of research to farmers throughout the country?Moreover, it is upon CARI and its scientists that we must now depend to organize, at long last, the nation’s agriculture. Government needs to send some of our experts to Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya and South Africa to see how they have been able to organize their agriculture and become food and flower-exporting nations.One more challenge CARI must face: researching and further developing our tree crops. During our long civil war Liberia lost to Cote d’Ivoire the edge as Africa’s leading rubber producer. We need to develop a crash program to encourage our rubber farmers to return to their farms and replant.  It takes money, yes, but government should find it and reach out to rubber farmers, working with the Rubber Planters Association of Liberia (RPAL). The Rubber Development Unit should be reestablished to produce high yielding rubber scions and go on to manufacture rubber cups, buckets and other implements farmers need to reopen their farms.  RPAL, with the cooperation of Morris American Rubber, can initiative this manufacturing initiative.  The Chinese can help us to do it. Firestone could help–will they?  Firestone, Guthrie, Cavalla and Morris American Rubber should also be deliberately encouraged to intensify their replanting programs.  As always, of course, Firestone is already ahead.  But it still has hundreds of thousands of acres of their one million-acre concession area that remain unused.  All of our rubber planters–and even new ones–must know that we are in a race, and we can become number one again.Coffee and cocoa, too, are challenges awaiting CARI’s intervention.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Positive things are happening in all 10 regions

first_imgDear Editor,The Aurora primary and nursery schools were recently built at a cost of about $120,000,000 followed quickly by the new building to house the Police Station that is soon to be commissioned. There are many sea defence projects in the Good Hope/Pomona Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC); likewise also the soon to be constructed stelling at Supenaam for the speed boats to moor. In addition, many streets are being upgraded, the street lights that is being installed is an illustration of the commitment the coalition Government – the A Partnership for National Unity and the Alliance For Change) have been making towards the development of the country.From my reading and information gathered from the various newscasts and talking to people who reside in other regions, a lot of developmental work is taking place in their regions also. The subject Ministries, and by extension the Government, must be commended.A lot has been done, but there is more to be done. We are certainly on our way, yes we are beginning to see that bright light at the end of the tunnel; irrespective of which side of the political divide you stand, you will have to agree that positive things are happening in all ten administrative regions of Guyana.Sincerely,Archie W Cordislast_img read more

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Minister Jordan blaming others for his Government’s carelessness

first_imgDear Editor,The Honourable Finance Minister, Winston Jordan in a letter to the media on October 9, 2018, took time from his duties to respond to a media house’s editorial of October 7, regarding his stewardship of the economy. The Minister, in his letter, addressed several matters and sought ignominiously to cast blame on others for his Government’s carelessness in managing the affairs of the State. Minister Jordan in his letter, apparently using a basket to fetch water, among other things, referred to the sugar industry.The Minister says “…our Government has provided a bailout for [Guyana Sugar Corporation] GuySuCo – a whopping $37 billion to date”. But what the Finance Minister didn’t say is that the Government, of which he is a leading member, installed the Hanoman-led Interim Management Committee, which collected the billions he referred to, but which oversaw the diminution of the industry. In Minister Jordan’s stint, so far, as Finance Minister, sugar production fell by over 40 per cent; sugar foreign exchange earnings fell by a whopping 38 per cent, and the sugar labour force contracted by some 7000 employees in the period.Interestingly, prior to the Minister taking up the helm of the Finance Ministry and having direct responsibility for our nation’s economic state of affairs, the sugar industry, with smaller allocations, was able to sustain seven estates and 17,000 workers. In the three years prior to Minister Jordan’s leadership as Finance Minister, the sugar industry received from the Treasury aggregately $15.36 billion. In that period, the Corporation was able to approve pay rises for its hard-working workers and it respected workers benefit and conditions. Interestingly, under Minister Jordan’s Government the only increases went to what is deemed “Key Management Personnel” with expenditure to this group of a handful of the industry’s echelon rising by 43 per cent between 2013 and 2016.But while the Minister harps about the State support provided to the industry, which we must add is not unusual globally, he ignores what those sums meant to the wider economy. Employment costs associated at now closed Skeldon, Rose Hall, East Demerara and Wales Estates totalled GY$11.941 billion in 2014, according to the Sugar Commission of Inquiry report. It is estimated that workers, conservatively, utilised about 85 per cent of their earnings on the purchase of goods and services. In other words, directly shopkeepers, market vendors, fisher folk, transportation providers, etc, have lost $10.15 billion. Indirectly, using the income multiplier formula, a further $70 billion has been removed from the economy. This is a massive and substantial hit and one which many, especially in rural Guyana, may not be able to recover from. Looking at the industry as a whole, using the 2014 data, we have estimated that the sugar industry generated GY$118.3 billion in economic activity. Without a doubt, the Government, through tax receipts, was recouping the support it was providing.The Minister then says, unbelievably, the Government has to find “…$5.7 billion severance payment for workers”. But it was the Government in the first place that decided to send the workers home. It, therefore, follows that the Administration has an obligation to meet the workers entitlements which we must reiterate are being paid contrary to our nation’s laws. For the Minister to seemingly complain about the repercussion of a decision he would have had a hand in is simply disbelieving and seems to give even more credence to the editorial.We saw too the Minister, seemingly, lamenting “…the transfer to Central Government of expenditure previously borne by GuySuCo, including D&I and community centres…” This is a most incredulous statement by the Minister. The admission by the Minister nevertheless is revealing and seems to demonstrate that the Government hadn’t fully considered the ramifications of its misguided adventure in the sugar industry. Certainly, had a thorough examination been done, as was suggested, then Minister Jordan and his colleagues would have known about what he is now seemingly decrying.From the Minister’s reflection on sugar, he has served, no doubt, to demonstrate how important the industry was, not only to its workers and their dependents, but to the wider economy. It also glaringly illustrates how nonchalantly the Administration approached the sugar industry in spite of several warnings not to proceed in the direction it ultimately went. So while Minister Jordan is upset by the licks he is getting from several quarters, they are not unjustified and it clearly tells us that given the current trajectory, the future could be one filled with great difficulty and upset.Yours faithfully,Seepaul NarineGeneral SecretaryGAWUlast_img read more

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Guyana needs new Public Procurement Act – accountant

first_imgAccountant Nigel Hinds has said the current Public Procurement Act (PPA) should be replaced at the earliest time possible, since there are several loopholes which allow for breaches, hence undermining the functions of the Act.Hinds shared this observation while addressing a pre-budget symposium hosted by the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG). He told the stakeholders that a dysfunctional Public Procurement Act compounds problems in the National Budget delivery, and added that the Act is a hindrance to the execution of the budget.Accountant Nigel Hinds“Problems in the National Budget delivery are compounded by a dysfunctional Public Procurement Act. It seems to me that the Public Procurement Act is a hindrance to the execution of the budget… The Public Procurement Act needs to be replaced yesterday. It is abused. It is not functional…much of this comes back to the leadership, or the lack of it,” Hinds opined.While addressing stakeholders on the key requirements for the preparation of the National Budget, Hinds stated that the budget is an extension of the Constitution in action. He added that it should have no place for bigotry and prejudice, as related in Article 15 of the Constitution.He noted that the National Budget goes beyond arithmetic and accounting, since it also requires competence and proper management of skills and resources in its delivery.“Promises are the equivalent of commitments given in a budget, and Government should ensure that their promises made in a National Budget, as in an election manifesto, are implemented,” the accountant said.“There really is not much difference in between the two in a political landscape. The key concerns we would like to see come out of the budget are: an objective and unbiased approach in the provision of expenditures that accommodate Guyanese in the most beneficial manner across the length and width of Guyana; focus on investing in people, especially the underprivileged, unemployed, and the working class; implementation of a forward-looking budget bereft of political partisan agendas; and use of the National Budget for the funding of perspective and tit-for-tat policies,” he added.Hinds also told stakeholders that the Government is yet to provide adequate reasoning behind its decision to cut the budget proposal for various autonomous agencies.On Friday last, sparks flew in the National Assembly when Finance Minister Winston Jordan refused to provide detailed justifications, or even a macro-economic outlook, to justify cutting the sums budgeted for by constitutional agencies.According to the 2018 annual budget proposals of Constitutional agencies, which were tabled in Parliament last week, the Audit Office’s request for $844.4 million was slashed to a proposal of $783.8 million. In slashing the amount, it was noted that Budget 2018’s submission did not fulfil certain requirements set out in a budget circular.The need has been expressed for the Audit Office to be as strong as possible when it comes to its audit capacity. This is especially so as Guyana gets ready to enter oil production. In addition, Auditor General Deodat Sharma has already expressed intention to audit Guyana’s environmental protection systems.Other agencies on the chopping block for 2018 were the Parliament Office, the GECOM, the Supreme Court of Judicature (request for $2.7 billion was reduced to $1.8 billion), the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions (request for $223.8 million was reduced to $174.2 million) and the Office of the Ombudsman.last_img read more

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Father gets 14-year jail term for killing son

first_imgAmarnauth Chand, called Desmond’ of Narine Street, Annandale, East Coast Demerara (ECD), was on Tuesday sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment by Justice Navindra Singh for unlawfully killing his own son, Mahesh Chand on September 29, 2016.The teary-eyed man, who was represented by Attorney-at-Law Keoma Griffith, pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter when Prosecutor Abigail Gibbs had originally presented a murder indictment against him at the opening of theDeceased: Mahesh ChandDemerara Criminal Assizes at the High Court in Georgetown.The 49-year-old man, who asked for mercy, killed his son over a $300 argument. According to the facts presented to the court, the accused and his wife were involved in an argument and his now dead son intervened.Chand accused his son of always taking his mother’s side and armed himself with a cutlass which he used to chop his son in the abdomen and chest.A post-mortem examination gave the son’s cause of death as perforation to the heart due to stab wound. The court heard that the gruesome killing was witnessed by the accused ’s daughter.Chand accepted the State’s facts and professed that he was influenced to make his decision. In his address to the court, Chand in tears said he was supposed to be at home with his wife and four children, but could not because of his son’s death.He said he was sorry for what happened, especially for his remaining children. TheAmarnauth Chand called Desmondmother of the dead man had related to Guyana Times in 2016 that on the night in question, the accused returned home around 23:00h and began verbally abusing her over $300, which he had given her earlier to purchase groceries.After his son intervened, he was chopped and subsequently rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he succumbed from his injuries. After committing the act, Chand had reportedly fled the scene, but was later apprehended. Justice Singh encouraged the offender to take anger management courses. No family member was present at Tuesday’s sentencing.last_img read more

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Mega jackpot stirs lottery fever

first_imgWinning numbers for the record $370 million Mega Millions jackpot were announced Tuesday night from a special location: a studio in New York’s Times Square. The winning numbers were: 42-39-29-22-16, and the Mega Ball was 20. It wasn’t immediately known how many tickets were sold nationwide or who, if anyone, held the winning ticket. After the jackpot hit $355 million Monday, the 12 participating Mega Millions states agreed to move Tuesday night’s drawing from the game’s usual home in Atlanta to a Times Square street-level studio. Even though the temperature was a frosty 16 degrees, a handful of hopefuls showed up to watch the event outside the studio, waving their tickets in the air. The deadline for buying tickets back East was 10:45 p.m. But lottery players in Ohio who waited until late in the day to purchase their tickets were out of luck. The gaming system went down statewide at about 10:20 p.m., about 25 minutes before the deadline for placing wagers, said Mardele Cohen, a spokeswoman for the Ohio lottery. She said it’s unclear what caused the problem and that it would not likely be until Wednesday until the system can be reviewed. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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West Ham sign Song and target THREE more last-day signings

first_img 1 GETTY Alex Song spent two season on loan at West Ham from Barcelona center_img Alex Song has rejoined West Ham on loan from Barcelona.The Cameroon midfielder, 27, joined the Hammers on a season-long loan deal in August 2014.He was a big hit at Upton Park, and they now have now landed the former Arsenal player on loan for another year from the Spanish giants.Co-chairman David Gold tweeted: “It has just been confirmed. Alex Song has signed a season long loan deal to join West Ham. Welcome back Alex.”Song is set to be the first of a number of deadline day arrivals at Upton Park.Hull striker Nikica Jelavic underwent a medical on Monday after Hull accepted an offer in the region of £2million for the Croatian striker.The Hammers have also made a £7m move for Nottingham Forest winger Michail Antonio.Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor is closing on a loan deal, meanwhile, while Chelsea forward Victor Moses is also understood to be on Slaven Bilic’s radar.last_img read more

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‘You can’t live in the past – you DIE in the past. Newcastle MUST move forward’

first_imgFormer Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd has told talkSPORT the club should focus on planning for their long-term future, rather than reflect on the past, after the confirmation of their relegation from the Premier League.The Magpies were consigned to the drop by fierce Tyne-Wear rivals Sunderland, whose 3-0 win over Everton on Wednesday meant they and Norwich will join Aston Villa in the Championship next season.It’s a sad end to what was a disastrous season for the St James’ Park outfit, who hired and fired Steve McClaren in the space of nine months while the arrival of former Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid boss Rafael Benitez couldn’t save them.Managing director Lee Charnley swiftly promised supporters a full inquest into what went wrong after the club’s second top flight relegation in seven years, but Shepherd has warned Newcastle not to dwell too much on the past.Speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, the former Toon chief said: “Newcastle is a very sad and angry city this morning, and the fact it was Sunderland [who sent the Magpies down] just made it worse.“But you can’t live in the past; you die in the past. We have got to move forward.“I remember the late Freddie Fletcher [Newcastle’s former chief executive] saying a fish rots from the head down, and I think that could well be true.“I hope Lee Charnley doesn’t leave because he’s a great guy and a good administrator…but it’s no good just having an inquest – what good will that do?“You’ve got to look forward, not in the past. Newcastle have to move on.”The drop also raises doubts about Benitez’s long-term future as manager, with the Spaniard having a release clause in his contract if the club’s relegation fears were confirmed.There are those who believe the boss could continue and drop down to the second tier for the first time in his career, but Shepherd questioned whether he deserves the chance to carry on following his failure to steer Newcastle to safety.When asked about Benitez, he added: “I think it’ll be difficult keeping him there. The money will be an issue, of course. Top managers won’t work for nothing.  “But with just two wins in ten games – I think he’s got to look at himself as well.”last_img read more

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Marathon runner followed woman into toilets and sexually assaulted her

first_imgA well-known ultra-marathon runner followed a woman into a toilet in a Co Donegal pub and sexually assaulted her.Josip Ljubicic, aged 21, appeared at Letterkenny District Court charged with the assault on May 20th, 2018. The court heard that the young woman had gone to the toilet of the Central Bar on Main Street, Letterkenny and went into a cubicle.When she came out she saw Ljubicic in the toilet and told him he should not be in the women’s toilets.He then approached her and put his hands on her back and then on her bottom.She told him he cannot do that and told him to leave the toilets.However, instead of leaving he then grabbed her in the crotch area, Detective Garda Eoin Waters said.The woman then told security staff and Ljubicic, of Burnside Park, Letterkenny, was identified on CCTV from the premises.He was identified and came to Letterkenny Garda station on June 2nd when he was arrested and made partial admissions to the incident.A victim impact statement was handed into the court and was read by Judge Paul Kelly.Ljubicic’s solicitor Mr Gordon Curley said his client followed the women into the toilet because he was attracted to her.He said his client was very sorry for the “hurt, damage and shame” he had caused the woman and that he had no previous convictions in Ireland or in his native Croatia where he had come from two years ago.He was working as a waiter since coming to Ireland but was now in college doing a media course.Mr Curley added that Ljubicic was an ultra-marathon runner and travelled a lot to take part in races.Judge Paul Kelly adjourned the case to October 21st for a probation report.Mr Curley told Judge Kelly that his client has ultra marathons in London and Connemara in the coming weeks and asked to allow him to travel for them and this was agreed to.Marathon runner followed woman into toilets and sexually assaulted her was last modified: July 22nd, 2019 by StephenShare 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)last_img read more

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DR McDAID HANDS BACK €12K TO DAIL

first_imgDR JIM McDaid has paid €12,200 of his salary back to the state because of his poor attendance at Leinster House when he was a TD.Mr McDaid had the worst voting record in the Dail in 2009 and he failed last year to register the required 100 attendance days to claim his full Oireachtas expenses.Before he quit as a TD, he had only attended Leinster House 36 times but was automatically paid travel and accommodation expenses for 80 days. Dr McDaid has given back this overpayment.New rules have since come into force in the Dail – TDs must attend for 12o days in order to claim full expenses.despite getting paid travel and accommodation expenses for 80 days.Dr McDaid told a Sunday newspaper that he knew he hadn’t attended enough. He said the travel expenses system was biased against TDs who lived a long way from the capital. “I’m not complaining about my own case but they should look at the fairness of a system where a Dublin TD only has to attend as much as someone in a peripheral county,” he said.DR McDAID HANDS BACK €12K TO DAIL was last modified: June 20th, 2011 by gregShare 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:donegal north eastjim mcdaidlast_img read more

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