South Africa’s largest maize crop in history

first_imgThe country’s largest maize crop is expected later this year, says the Department of Agriculture. We look at the positive effects of this on exports and food security.South Africa is expecting its largest maize crop in history in 2017, says the Department of Agriculture. (Image: Brand South Africa)Brand South Africa reporterSouth Africa could expect its largest maize crop in the country’s history, said the Crop Estimates Committee of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Daff).The yield of maize is expected to be just more than 15-million tons, 101% higher than the 2016 crop, despite the drought.“The three main maize producing areas, namely the Free State, Mpumalanga and North West provinces, are expected to produce 83% of the 2017 crop,” said the department.The bumper harvest is expected to have a knock-on effect on food prices, by bringing them down.Drought reliefDespite the recent drought in Southern African, caused by the El Niño climate phenomenon, there was more than double the average recorded rainfall in January and February, according to local weather services.In November 2016, Daff also received R212-million from the National Disaster Centre for drought relief efforts for farmers.Earlier this month, it provided an update on the money spent.“With the allocated funds, Daff has managed to assist 74,335 farmers. Currently, Daff has distributed 613,481 bags of animal feed and 3,790 tons of lucerne.” In total, the department had spent R210-million of the allocated funds.Effect on exports and food securitySurplus maize would most likely be exported, said Grain South Africa. “Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, those are three countries that have ordered a lot of maize from South Africa,” Grain South Africa CEO Jannie de Villiers told Reuters.South Africa’s domestic consumption of maize was approximately 10.5-million tons, he said. Anything over that could be exported, showing the resilience of the country’s agriculture sector.The increased harvest could also improve food security in South Africa.The World Health Organization (WHO) defines food security as a state in which all people in society have enough food always for an active and healthy life. “Food security as an umbrella term includes the availability of food that is nutritious and safe, and an assured ability to procure and acquire food of good quality in a socially acceptable way.”After a 10-year study, which started in 1999, the WHO concluded that food security in South Africa had increased. It cited government programmes such as feeding schemes in schools and social grants as positively contributing to people having more food.“Although the measures and programmes initiated by the South African government appear to be beneficial, they need to be run more effectively to further alleviate food insecurity,” the report read.Statistics South Africa found similar results in its 2016 General Household Survey. “The percentage of South African households with inadequate or severely inadequate access to food decreased from 23.9% in 2010 to 22.3% in 2016,” the organisation said.“The percentage of households that experienced hunger decreased from 23.8% to 11.8% while the percentage of individuals who experienced hunger decreased from 29.3% to 13.4% over the same period.”Other harvest grainsThe remaining grain forecast is largely unchanged, except for dry beans.Sunflower seeds remain unchanged at 853,470 tonsSoybeans remain unchanged at 1.2-million tonsGround nut crop remains unchanged at 86,600 tonsSorghum remains unchanged at 153,480 tonsDry beans increase by 1.94% to 68,450 tonsSources: Daff, World Health Organization, Stats SA Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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The Small Business Handbook gives guidance to aspiring entrepreneurs

first_imgAn international businesswoman, consultant and mentor, Nokwazi Mzobe is playing her part and sharing her deep experience with current and aspiring South African entrepreneurs in her new book, The Small Business Handbook.Already established in the world of global entrepreneurship, consultant and business mentor Nokwazi Mzobe is sharing her knowledge and expertise with South Africa’s new generation of aspiring businesspeople. (Image supplied)Mathiba MolefeBusinesswoman Nokwazi Mzobe is sharing her wealth of international experience with the new crop of ambitious South African entrepreneurs in her new book, The Small Business Handbook.The guide was launched earlier this month at Nu Metro Cinemas in Hyde Park, drawing a range of high-profile guests. Minister of Home Affairs Hlengiwe Mkhize gave the keynote address, with the backing of MCs Anele Mkuzo-Magape and Gugu Nkabinde.“Looking back on my adventure as an entrepreneur, I always wished there was a single, accessible source in which to find the answers to my questions or solve problems, or at least point me in the right direction,” Mzobe says.“That’s the inspiration behind The Small Business Handbook.”Before Mzobe started Matoyana, her consulting agency, she spent eight years at two Fortune 500 multinational companies operating throughout Africa and the Middle East, where she developed and honed her business skills.Mzobe then decided to take a year off to do her MBA, focusing on entrepreneurship and innovation.This inspired her to establish Matoyana, which allows her to follow her passion for consulting and mentorship services. Her consultancy work enables other entrepreneurs to run successful, sustainable businesses, helping promote a culture of entrepreneurship and innovative thinking in the South African business community.Mzobe says her book is far from being a typical business publication. It is more of a guide, covering 17 critical business-related topics. These include the role of social media in business as well as finance and best practices. She says the book is easy to understand and can be referenced on a daily basis to provide inspiration and practical advice.Beyond just businessMzobe’s willingness to improve people’s lives goes further than just the world of business.Among a number of other endeavours, she has set in motions plans to partner with a local NGO to develop and maintain urban gardens.She says her biggest wish is to improve education in South Africa. Mzobe’s mantra is a quote from media mogul Ellis Watson: “Just be obsessed about being brilliant and the money will come by default rather than by design.”The Small Business HandbookMzobe says her book is far from being a typical business publication. It is more of a guide, covering 17 critical business-related topics.The Small Business Handbook is a tool business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs can refer to for ideas on how to address issues in their businesses. Other topics covered include how to create an ethical business environment, and understanding different revenue strategies.The book is available online through the Matoyana website. Visit their Facebook and Instagram pages for more information.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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Google Maps Ditches Tele Atlas in Favor of Street View Cars and Crowdsourcing

first_imgRelated Posts frederic lardinois Tags:#Google#news#NYT#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market After a flurry of activity around Google Maps over the last few weeks, it now looks like Google is also ditching Tele Atlas as its data provider for Google Maps in the US in favor of a do-it-yourself approach. Google had been using data from Tele Atlas’ maps since September 2008 after moving away from Navteq’s data after Navteq was acquired by Nokia. Now, Google will use its own data, which it will supplement with data from government sources and a crowdsourcing approach.Thanks to its Street View cars, Google already has a pretty dataset for even some of the more obscure locations in the United States, and the company has also recently expanded its efforts to launch more Street View data in other parts of the world. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Last week’s update to Google Maps introduced new ways to report errors for Google Maps users, so Google is clearly thinking about using a crowdsourcing approach to mapping for Google Maps. Google also announced that it now includes data from a number of US government organizations like the Forest Service and the US Geological Survey in its maps. In the US, the Census Bureau creates a fairly accurate base map, and this data is available freely and represents the core data set for the OpenStreetMap project. With Map Maker, Google also offers an easy-to-use mapping product that even non-geographers can use to create and edit maps and which Google has already employed to let its users create maps for countries where no accurate maps existed until now. While the new maps that were launched last week also include new errors, the overall detail of the maps has clearly increased and now even includes data for the boundaries of land parcels in some municipalities. Why?The question, of course, is why Google plans to make its own maps now. For one, chances are that Google is currently paying Tele Atlas a lot of money for using its maps. Mapping services are notoriously protective of how their data can be used, which is one of the reasons Apple can’t offer turn-by-turn directions in the built-in mapping application on the iPhone, for example. Google probably wants to be free to do whatever it wants with its maps without having to worry about licensing issues. By providing its own maps and an API for others to use these maps, Google could potentially become a major competitor to Tele Atlas and Navteq now, and if Google continues to make these maps easily available to developers without cumbersome licensing restrictions, it could bring radical change to the mapping business.last_img read more

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Sealing Ducts: What’s Better, Tape or Mastic?

first_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in Most residential duct systems have numerous leaks that waste energy and lead to room-to-room pressure imbalances. Unfortunately, though, few building inspectors outside of California bother to enforce existing code requirements that residential duct seams be sealed with mastic or high-quality duct tape.Most model codes, including the International Residential Code (IRC), include duct tightness provisions:To learn how to test residential duct systems for leaks, see Duct Leakage Testing.All about masticMost energy-conscious builders seal duct joints with mastic. Mastic is a gooey, non-hardening material with a consistency between mayonnaise and smooth peanut butter. Duct joints should always be secured with #8 sheet-metal screws before seams are sealed with mastic.Sealing duct seams is messy work, so wear old clothes. The mastic is spread over duct seams with a disposable paintbrush, putty knife, or your fingers. (If you spread mastic with your fingers, wear rubber gloves.)Gaps in ductwork or plenums that are over 1/16 or 1/8 inch wide can be sealed with mastic as long as the gap is first reinforced with fiberglass mesh tape. If you’re using mastic to seal seams in fiberglass board ductwork, use fiberglass mesh tape for all joints.Sources of masticManufacturers of mastic include: Hardcast (Versi-Grip 181 mastic), McGill AirSeal (Uni-Mastic 181), Polymer Adhesives (AirSeal #22), RCD Corporation (#6 Mastic), and ITW/TACC (Glenkote mastic).Among the distributors of AirSeal #22 mastic is AM Conservation Group.All about duct tapeSince common hardware-store duct tape — technically known as cloth-backed rubber-adhesive duct tape — fails quickly when used on ducts, most energy-conscious builders seal duct joints with mastic. Although mastic works well on galvanized steel ductwork, it has its disadvantages: it is messy to apply and awkward to use on clamped flex duct joints.According to section 503.3.3.4.3 of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), any tape used on duct board… Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.center_img This article is only available to GBA Prime Memberslast_img read more

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Backing Up Libraries in Final Cut Pro X

first_imgBacking up libraries is a quick and easy way to protect your video editing work.If you have ever lost a project file than you can attest to how essential it is to properly backup libraries in FCPX. You could potentially save yourselves hours of wasted work for doing a few seconds of backup preparation. The following video by the always entertaining guys from MacBreak Studio explains how to backup libraries in FCPX, as well as some of the more technical aspects to backing up your files.The video covers:Auto back-upsChanging program defaultsOpening an early iteration of a projectMaking copies of your librariesBacking up files straight to Dropbox As stated in the video you can back up your files straight to Dropbox. This makes a lot of sense for video editors on-the-go, as the file is accessible from anywhere. Dropbox is a free and easy way to back up project files (and any files for that matter) in the cloud. If you become a power Dropbox user (like me) you can always pay for additional space.Thanks MacBreak guys for sharing this useful tutorial!If you have any tips for backing up files in FCPX please share in the comments below!last_img read more

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Factionalism a thing of the past, says Scindia

first_imgAsserting that factionalism in the Madhya Pradesh unit of the Congress party is a “thing of the past”, senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said the entire State leadership worked as a “united front” during the Assembly polls in a bid to dislodge the BJP government.‘Uprising for change’ Mr. Scindia, who spearheaded an energetic and spirited campaign for the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, said there is an “uprising for change” in the State.“During my campaign, I covered over 115 constituencies in Madhya Pradesh. There is an omnipotent energy – it is an uprising for change,” he said on Sunday.Exit polls predictionSome exit polls have given an edge to the Congress to form a government in the State after remaining in opposition for 15 years, while others have predicted a close finish for the grand old party and the ruling BJP. Counting of votes for the November 28 elections to 230 Assembly seats in the State will take place on December 11.“We will get a clear majority from the people of Madhya Pradesh,” Mr. Scindia said while responding to a question on the exit polls.Asked if he considers himself as a front-runner for the Chief Minister’s post in case the Congress wins the elections, Mr. Scindia said he does not want to answer hypothetical questions. The Guna MP said he has consistently maintained that the goal of the entire Congress party has been to unseat the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh.“Once that is achieved, the next step is for the party leadership to decide (on the chief ministerial face)” said Mr. Scindia, one of the top Congress leaders in the State who had won the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 despite a huge wave in favour of the BJP.CM contendersMr. Scindia and the State Congress chief Kamal Nath are being seen as main contenders for the Chief Minister’s post if Congress emerges victorious in the State.On whether the selection of the Chief Minister by the Congress in case of a win could leave some senior leaders “hard done”, Mr. Scindia said: “Not at all. One must understand, that we have to learn from our past. We have previously struggled with factionalism within the party. However, that time has passed.”He asserted that throughout this election in MP, the entire party machinery including senior leaders and every single party worker, worked as a “united front”.“Our strength, this time, has been in the unity of our campaign. And this will and must continue,” the 47-year-old leader said.last_img read more

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Why 2014s NFL Draft Picks Should Hope Next Years Picks Are Bad

We won’t be able to fully assess the quality of this year’s NFL draft class until all the players retire. But we can be pretty sure their success will depend on more than innate ability. One important factor will be something they have little control over: The more success produced by a draft’s immediate predecessor and successor, the less value that draft is likely to produce.It’s a surprising finding. Normally we’d expect talent to be roughly equally distributed each draft, with some fluctuations. The draft process isn’t entirely random: College players can leave school early. But that should smooth any fluctuations, because the draft is, after all, an efficient market, so rational players should time their exit for when they’ll have the least competition from their peers.And yet, total value from a single draft depends on the year before and the year after.Two explanations strike me as most plausible.The first is that the total talent entering the draft each year does oscillate. That could happen because a particularly strong college class will get a disproportionate share of playing time and coaching, leaving surrounding classes weaker.The second possible explanation is that NFL teams can only play 11 men at a time; being surrounded by other young athletes getting a lot of playing time makes it harder for rookies to get on the field. That suggests that the underperforming draft class’s sin isn’t being less talented, but having bad timing, and therefore less opportunity.I think one of these two explanations is more likely than the other. But before I explain why, here’s what I did:I downloaded the data for every draft from 1970 — the year the AFL and NFL merged — to 2013 from Pro-Football-Reference. For each drafted player, each year, the website lists his career contribution to team success. Its unit of measure is the player’s approximate value (AV), an all-encompassing estimate of a player’s usefulness, for all positions. For its draft pages, PFR doesn’t use a simple sum of AV, but instead an alternative measure that takes into account a player’s overall career contribution and his peak value. (100 percent of his best single-season AV, plus 95 percent of his second-best season total, and so on.)To compare adjacent draft classes’ total AV, I had to account for the varying number of draft picks in a given season: as low as 222 in 1994, as many as 487 in 1976. For each pair of adjacent drafts, I chose the lower of the pair’s number of picks, n, and summed the AV of the players selected in the first n picks, for each draft. I then restricted the analysis to the period 1970 to 2002, because many of the players for subsequent seasons remain active, which could affect the year-to-year correlations. Then I checked the correlation of one draft class’s total value to the total value of the preceding and subsequent drafts. Each correlation was -0.54. The negative sign means the higher one class’s value, the lower the preceding year’s and following year’s. And the correlation was even more strongly negative between the value of one year and the average of the value for the year before and after: -0.7.The most extreme fluctuation, as Brady Butterfield noted this week on his blog, was from 1982 to 1983. The 1983 class, which included six Hall of Famers in the first round, produced 53 percent more AV than the year before. It also produced 36 percent more AV than the 1984 class.I then performed similar checks of offensive stats to see whether they hinted at the reason for the negative correlation. I wanted to check whether the effect was due to opportunity or performance. Counting stats represent opportunity: If players are getting on the field more, they’ll put up better numbers and higher AV totals, on average. Rate stats represent quality of performance: The more a player does with his opportunities, the better his rate stats and higher his AV totals.What I found is that opportunity was the chief driver of the results. Counting stats exhibited the same sort of negative correlation from year to year, especially for quarterbacks: For completions, attempts, yards and touchdowns, the higher the numbers the classes before and after compiled in their career, the lower the numbers that year’s class racked up, with a correlation for each of about -0.4. Yet for rate stats, the opposite effect held: The higher completion percentage and passer rating were for neighboring years, the higher it was for that year’s draft class, with a correlation for each of about 0.5. Quarterbacks surrounded by draft classes with lots of QBs who got a lot of playing time got to play less, but when they did, they were better. That suggested they had to do better to even get the chance to play.Opportunity matters in sports, as in other walks of life. General managers are inclined to give top draft picks playing time in the hope they’ll justify the pick. The careers of Ryan Leaf and JaMarcus Russell demonstrate this phenomenon on a micro level. The macro-level data tells the same story. read more

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The TCI Community College raised a whopping 64 thousand dollars for the

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTen scholarships and equipment purchase can now happen thanks to that recent fundraiser by the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College… the event support and donations which streamed in amounted to over 64 thousand dollars for the tertiary level institution, and with around ten thousand dollars expended to put on the dinner held at the Regent Palms, the board proudly unveiled a whopping $54,778 dollar cheque at the college yesterday. The main message from the executives: Thank you. One friend of the college donated $20,000 after promising to match funds raised. Plans are already underway, according to Chairperson, Claudette Cleare to follow up with 20th anniversary plans where the focus will continue to be on monies to support more scholarships and campus modernization.last_img read more

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Nielsens Back Stage Combines East West Editions

first_imgBack Stage East and Back Stage West—the weekly New York and Los Angeles entertainment industry magazines for aspiring actors—have been combined into one national edition, publisher Nielsen Business Media announced Friday.“This is the first step in the transformation of Back Stage as we re-position the brand to maintain our leadership position in our vertical in print, digital and face-to-face,”  Backstage vice president Jeff Black said in a statement.Back Stage East, which was launched in 1960, had a circulation of 15,000. Launched in 1994, Back Stage West carried a 10,000 circ. The national edition will effectively combine both circulations to 25,000. “We responded to our advertisers’ desire to reach a broader audience and our readers’ desire to receive news, information and resources that are relevant to both coasts,” a Nielsen spokesperson wrote in an e-mail to FOLIO: “Actors today are bicoastal, so New York-based actors are just as interested in reading about casting notices and other opportunities in Los Angeles as they are about ones in New York, and vice versa.”The combination of the two editions was not made due to financial difficulties at the magazines, according to the publisher. While declining to offer specific figures, the spokesperson said ad revenue at Back Stage is ahead of budget in 2008.Earlier this year, Back Stage launched a weekly digital edition of the magazine. Today, the online version has about 25,000 paid subscribers.last_img read more

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Alameda Honored for Redevelopment Project

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The city of Alameda, Calif., has been recognized for the redevelopment of Alameda Landing located on the site of the Navy’s former Fleet Industrial Supply Center.“The Landing is a complex project that lends itself to a public-private partnership,” said Debbie Potter, the city’s community development director. Alameda partnered with master developer Catellus to redevelop the 72-acre site. Potter accepted the Phoenix Award on behalf of the city at the Brownfields 2015 conference in Chicago, an event sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the International City/County Management Association.Most of the retail space at Alameda Landing, located across the Bay from San Francisco, is now filled, and the 284 residential units are nearing completion, reported the Alameda Sun. The project’s homebuilder is TRI Pointe Homes.The final phase of the project is scheduled to begin next year. The office space originally planned for that parcel has been removed and replaced with housing. The development also will include a waterfront park and promenade.The project has encountered a variety of difficulties since it began. The city and Catellus “had to work through infrastructure challenges, regulatory challenges, and financing challenges,” said Potter. “Virtually every aspect has required special attention, from soil conditions to retail makeup to the strength of the pier structure along the waterfront,” she said.In 2009, a fire destroyed the vacant supply center, requiring several million dollars in demolition and cleanup costs. The recession also forced changes in the project, and resulted in the share of the project devoted to office space being curtailed and the addition of up to 300 residences, according to the story.last_img read more

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