SA sends first batch of maize to Lesotho

first_img22 November 2013 South Africa will on Friday transport its first consignment of maize to Lesotho, which has been experiencing a food crisis since July 2012. Earlier this year, South Africa struck a deal with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to buy maize from the country’s smallholder farmers as part of a R180-million South African humanitarian donation to Lesotho. “Friday’s consignment is the first of many that are planned for Lesotho. Several more trips will be made in January next year with maize from smallholder farmers from the Eastern Cape, the North West and Limpopo,” Department of Agriculture spokesperson Palesa Mokomele said this week. Maize from the Zivuseni agricultural co-operative and the Ziyibane farming project milled at the Pride Milling plant in Nigel, in Gauteng, was packaged into 4 920 bags each weighing 25 kilograms and would be transported to Lesotho, Mokomele said. Mokomele said Friday’s initiative was a joint venture with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, the WFP and the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Social Development. “The WFP, which is an internationally recognised agency of the United Nations, will channel and distribute the maize meal to the school meals programme, health and nutrition activities in Lesotho,” Mokomele said. Lesotho food crisis In July 2012, Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane declared an emergency food crisis and formally requested support from development partners and the international community. Following a meeting with President Jacob Zuma in October 2012, the South African government, through the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, responded to the appeal with a donation of R180-million. “One of the conditions of this agreement from the South African government’s side was that at least 40 percent of the white, non-GMO [genetically modified] maize must be purchased from smallholder farmers in South Africa,” Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said earlier this year. “Our country’s aid will help provide up to 22 months of food security for 227 000 children and pregnant and breastfeeding women in Lesotho.” Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Green Remodeling is a Process of Discipline and Discovery

first_imgWhen you’re talking about building and remodeling three words should be part of the conversation: Green, smart, and quality.Some parts are up to consumers, some are up to us. We guide the discovery process and use a disciplined construction process to boost value whatever shade of green our clients aim for.Despite the economic upheavals in the housing market, about 8 million new homes were built last year. And we’re building them greener than ever. That’s a good thing, but improving the existing housing stock will have a much greater affect on greening America than even gargantuan efforts taken on the new construction side.Smart remodeling (and building) is ongoing, and the notions of green are simply the next step in construction evolution. As a production manager for a remodeling company, my primary task is doing my job efficiently, in smarter ways, with value added. I don’t care how you define green, as long as you let me build smart.Green remodeling involves a balance of products and processes; there are two areas of opportunity to influence our client’s choices during the sales process, but we are limited by their level of understanding, desire, and commitment.During the sales process we can influence product choicesWe’ve been including a free duct blaster test as a part of high end remodels and this year we started offering energy audits. We look for opportunities to tie in envelope upgrades within the scope of the current and future remodel plans. For big energy wasters, we suggest fixing them regardless of the scope of work and clients never balk (would you balk at a mechanic who ignored severely worn tires because you hired him to change the oil?).When gauging a client’s level of green, we start by showing them low-maintenance no-brainers like durable PEX plumbing systems and healthier paints. Making sure they see the obvious benefits is easy, and once they understand, then they become curious. We ask questions, exploring their living habits, and talking about water and energy conservation, we can find out if their wishes include better hot water delivery—if so, we steer them towards tankless water heaters—or super-efficient ceiling fans, in which case we point towards one rated as Energy Star. [Some follow up about desire]. Bath fans are another easy upgrade: they are bigger, badder, quieter, and more expensive than they used to be — and worth every penny. Sucking moist or stale air out is as important as circulating air for interior air quality.To take it up a notch we’ll talk HVAC upgrades or spray-in insulation, both of which offer big benefits, but an additional level of up-front financial commitment (we are talking thousands of dollars here). For our clients committed to maximum efficiency we go beyond conservation and look towards contribution — think photovoltaic panels, solar water heaters, rain water collection, etc.The main point is that by following their lead on budget items we can dial in on where to lead the conversation next. We look for opportunities to sell green building, and we want to be ready to take it as far as they want.To go deep green, we need trade partners who are up to the task: suppliers who want to help install their products, engineers and designers who will specify them and fellow contractors who will take the ball and run with it. These specialists must know the products, or be willing to learn about them. We lean on them pretty heavily because we can’t be their technical expert, and we can’t spend all our time talking people in to a different (smarter) way of doing things.During production (and demo) we are in control of the details**Levels of commitment to the products vary wildly among clients, but our commitment to the process varies little. The tactics may change but strategies don’t. We keep consistent quality with durability and ‘best practices’ checklists learned from 17 years of remodeling. These standards and checklists help us stay focused on whatever we can do to tighten and refine the building envelope. Things like cladding, flashing, and drainage which are conditions begging for improvement. Advanced framing techniques that increase opportunity to add insulation and cut thermal transfer. Air flow management that controls temperature and humidity, and therefore, comfort.Our systems and practices attempt to squeeze value from every square foot, no matter how many square feet there are. We do this by examining every inch of floor, wall and ceiling space for maximum benefit. Some value choices aren’t necessarily green per se, but they’re good design. For example: it often makes sense to thicken a bathroom or kitchen wall — plumbers and electricians like the extra room to work with utilities and fixtures; designers and architects like the extra room to play with things like built-ins and pocket doors. It costs a little more but the square foot of floor space is used well.Our demolition approach is less like tear-out and more like surgery, with instruments and masks. The attitude is remove, re-cycle, and ReStore. Old aluminum window frames and copper supply lines don’t go to the dumpster; they go to the salvage yard. And many items we take out of a particular home can find another home somewhere else. Hardware, doors and windows, even commodes are in enough demand that the Habitat for Humanities of the world will come pick them up. And it means fewer trips to the dump for us.Surgical demolition should be mapped out with a solid 3-point plan: Isolate—reduce the impact of major renovations on the rest of the home by controlling security, traffic, and of course, dirt.Protect —go the extra mile, even if means 1/8 in. at a time: I’ve pulled 300’ of shoe molding so we could better protect a hardwood floor all the way to the baseboard.Remove — pay attention to negative air pressure and reduce dust for the people living there and the people working there.The next big thing in the marketplace—no matter which marketplace—is always right around the corner. Despite the fog of economic uncertainty we know some things: gas, oil, and kilowatts won’t get cheaper. Quality construction is a concept that continues to evolve and we continue to roll with it. During a green remodeling project we elevate the quality and number of products whenever we can through education and options; through our processes, we maximize value no matter what selections are made. As we do, we make the best buildings we can, those that stand the test of time–the most valuable commodity we have.last_img read more

The Rise and Fall of the Account Manager

first_imgThe Account Manager is supposed to be responsible for making sure your client captures the value of using your products and services, and for helping to drive greater adoption. With that value recognized, the Account Manager can then introduce new offerings and create even greater value, bringing in the Account Executive to help create and capture these new opportunities. Well, in theory, this is what is supposed to happen.There is a reason that the Account Executive (supposed Hunter) is now the Account Manager (supposed Farmer) and the Account Manager is now Glorified Customer Service. The reason your Hunter isn’t hunting and your farmer isn’t farming is because each of them has taken one step down in responsibility. More accurately, they are pulled in that direction.When the customer service and operations teams can’t clean up the day-to-day challenges, maybe because the challenges are systemic, maybe because that team is disempowered, maybe because the Account Manager lacks trust in their operations team, maybe because the client has no trust in that team, or maybe because no one wants to engage in the conflict necessary to produce better results, the Account Manager steps in to solve those problems.Now, the Account Executive who ultimately owns the client, steps into their role of the Account Manager, trying to help the client with the existing problem and managing relationships without selling anything new, fearful of failing the client even further, and petrified of the pushback they expect from stakeholders who are already not happy.I’m just back from a day with the team at CEB, now Gartner, where they shared their latest research with me and a few other friends from the community. Their research shows that the strategies most companies believe will encourage revenue growth only end up causing members of the team that serves the client to do everything possible to retain the client–and nothing to actually grow the account.As I have written here and here, the best retention strategy is proactively creating greater value, from month to month, and quarter to quarter.Changing the Account Manager’s title to Client Success Manager (all the rage now) isn’t likely to clear up the lack of role clarity. It’s going to take a change in the overall strategy, and it’s going to require a clarity in roles–and a greater commitment to execution in each. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Paresh Dhanani is Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly

first_imgParesh Dhanani (41) is Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s choice for Gujarat’s Leader of the Opposition post. A third time legislator and Patidar leader from Amreli, Mr. Dhanani was appointed as the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader on Saturday.The announcement was made by Congress General Secretary in-charge of Gujarat, Ashok Gehlot, after a meeting with the Congress president in New Delhi. “After taking a sense of all elected legislators, I submitted a report to Rahulji, who then called me and Paresh Dhanani for a meeting in Delhi,” Mr Gehlot told The Hindu.“He is young and aggressive leader from Saurashtra region. He comes from grassroots and has understanding of issues in Gujarat,” Mr. Gehlot added.“During our meeting with legislators, everyone had supported his name and passed a resolution authorising the Congress president to name the legislative party leader,” Mr. Gehlot said.However, earlier, two senior legislators Kuvarji Bavalia and Vikram Madam had staked claim for the post. Mr Bavalia is a senior leader and former MP belonging to numerically important Koli community while Mr Madam is former Jamnagar MP and prominent leader of Ahir community. The party high command has, however, chosen a Patidar leader for the post.last_img read more

Jones-Cormier rematch headlines outstanding UFC 214 card

first_imgMOST READ Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Jones’ yearlong suspension has ended, and the UFC put him right back in a title shot with Cormier, who dutifully defended the belt during the mercurial ex-champion’s absence. Cormier, an ex-Olympian and family man who also works as a television commentator, sees every flaw in Jones’ makeup.“He’s a guy who can’t stop hurting himself and people around him,” Cormier said. “He’s a talented athlete, but mixed martial arts aren’t just about the best athlete. He’s weak mentally. He’s got problems, and I don’t know if he solved them yet.”Jones plays it cool when talking about Cormier, yet their promotional staredowns have usually devolved into trash-talking and physical drama. They got into an infamous brawl in a Las Vegas casino lobby in 2014 during the early stages of their promotion of the first bout.They exchanged harsh words again this week in a faceoff, but Jones has vowed to be classy after he wins their rematch.“He’s a good dude,” Jones said. “I want the best for him, I really do. I wish he was just man enough to realize that he’s (in) the wrong era. He just happened to come into the sport, he’s 39 years old, and he’s (fighting) a guy who’s in his prime, a guy who’s doing everything in his power to make sure this is his era. I wish he could just swallow that and say, ‘I’m the baddest (man) outside Jon Jones, and I can go to sleep with that.’”The UFC 214 pay-per-view card starts with two absolute corkers: Veteran brawlers Robbie Lawler and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone meet after light heavyweight prospects Jimi Manuwa and Volkan Oezdemir. Even the undercard is strong, featuring fights for Ricardo Lamas, Renan Barao, Aljamain Sterling and Brian Ortega.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ But the remarkable main event could be the culmination of Cormier’s career or a monumental return for Jones, whose career and life have been severely fractured since their first bout.“It’s pretty cool that it ends here,” Jones said recently, speaking of both his disputes with Cormier and his own winding path back to the top. “There will be no grudge match. There will be no trilogy. Like I say all the time, Daniel Cormier is not my rival. I have no issue with him.”Jones’ biggest issues have always been with himself.Jones reached the pinnacle of his sport when he soundly defeated Cormier in January 2015 to defend his UFC 205-pound title. Practically nothing has gone right in the ensuing 2 1/2 years for Jones, whose capacity for self-sabotage and lousy decision-making surpassed even his incredible MMA talent.The UFC stripped Jones of its title twice — after a hit-and-run accident in which he broke a pregnant woman’s arm, and again after he was revealed to have failed a doping test four days before fighting Cormier at UFC 200 last July.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Everything about Jones’ behavior suggests he might have stronger feelings than he acknowledges. When they finally hit the Honda Center cage on Saturday night, he’ll have a chance to show how he really feels.“A guy like Daniel, he has my full, undivided attention,” Jones said this week. “He says that he’s in my head, and that’s exactly where I want him to be, because he is in my head. I think about him all the time. That’s what makes me do the things I do.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsJones and Cormier are headlining the UFC’s best show of the summer, and likely the entire year, in Orange County.UFC 214 features three title fights and numerous rising stars. Before Jones and Cormier, welterweight champion Tyron Woodley takes on Brazilian jiu-jitsu master Demian Maia in a compelling clash of styles, and pound-for-pound women’s superstar Cris “Cyborg” Justino faces Invicta champion Tonya Evinger for the vacant featherweight title. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress FILE – In this Jan. 3, 2015, file photo, Daniel Cormier, bottom, takes down Jon Jones during their light heavyweight title mixed martial arts bout at UFC 182 in Las Vegas. If Cormier wasn’t Jones’ bitter enemy, the UFC light heavyweight champion probably could could give sound advice to Jones, the troubled former champ. Instead, the steady Cormier realizes he needs a victory over his self-sabotaging archrival on Saturday, July 29, 2017, at UFC 214 to validate his own title reign. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)ANAHEIM, Calif.— Jon Jones insists Daniel Cormier isn’t his rival, not even when their rematch at UFC 214 is the most anticipated mixed martial arts fight of the year.Jones says he doesn’t even dislike Cormier, the man who has spent most of the past 2 1/2 years holding the light heavyweight title belt that Jones considers rightfully his.ADVERTISEMENT Younghusband brothers set for Davao move on 5-year deal View commentslast_img read more