24 June 2010Initial research shows that Cape Town restaurants, informal traders, hotels and shopping malls are experiencing better than usual business over the winter period, as foreign football fans flock to the city for the 2010 Fifa World Cup™.Spike in salesOverall, business activity in Cape Town has picked up since the arrival of the first team in the country, said Mansoor Mohamed, executive director of economic and social development and tourism for the City of Cape Town.“The V&A Waterfront shopping mall has seen a record increase in the amount of visitors in the first week of the 2010 Fifa World Cup,” Mohamed said. “Suburban shopping malls in Cape Town like Cavendish, Century City and Tygervalley have also seen a spike in sales. The restaurants in Cape Town are also doing better than expected trade, with some even beating their actual Christmas figures.”Most of the municipal markets in Cape Town, for example Greenmarket Square, the Grand Parade, Green Point and Mitchells Plain, have seen a significant boost in trading activity since the start of the World Cup on 11 June.“Informal traders have been well prepared by the City of Cape Town’s economic unit to take advantage of the World Cup visitor numbers,” Mohamed said.‘Still a bumper season’Initial surveys are showing that the accommodation numbers for Cape Town thus far are generally lower than expected, except for budget accommodation, which is looking promising.Although the more expensive hotels in Cape Town are experiencing lower than expected occupancy (under 20% to 40%), it is still a bumper season compared to last year, said Mohamed.The city is expecting higher accommodation numbers towards the end of the World Cup, as people come down from Johannesburg to enjoy the last part of their South African holiday in Cape Town.“Cape Town has won the ‘Oscars’ of the Travel Industry (World Travel Awards) as the leading tourism destination on the African continent for two consecutive years in a row. More recently, it won the prestigious award of being the best destination worldwide for Responsible Tourism (2009 Virgin Responsible Tourism Awards).“These awards are the culmination of strategic partnerships between the city, its tourism agencies and the tourism industry. This is why Cape Town has been a destination of choice for many of the international visitors in the country for the World Cup and we expect an increase in the number of international visitors as the tournament progresses,” Mohamed added.Tourists staying longer, spending moreEven though less people than expected seem to be coming to Cape Town during the tournament, early economic research suggests that tourists are staying for longer periods and are spending more. A recent Grant Thornton Study on the economic impact of the World Cup supports these findings.“If visitor numbers are down 20% from our initial estimates, but those who do come spend 20% more and stay three days longer than originally anticipated, we will see an increase of nearly 40% in the expected economic impact that the tournament will have, which is very encouraging,” said Mohamed.Comprehensive research to followMohamed emphasised that these findings were based on initial surveys and that the true economic impact of the World Cup would only be established by comprehensive research following the end of the tournament.He is, however, confident that Cape Town will benefit from the World Cup in the next few decades to come.“The World Cup is the single most important event for South Africa and the African continent in recent time. It is positively changing the world’s perceptions about Africa.“The socio-economic benefits of the World Cup will be felt for a very long time, and it is therefore important that government and businesses develop strategic partnerships to reap the benefits of this tournament over the next 20 years.”Source: BuaNews
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest “Farm Service Agency is running out of Direct Operating Loan (DOL) and Guaranteed Operating Loan (GOL) Fiscal Year 2016 funding in June, with a third of the fiscal year still remaining. This substantial shortfall will leave many beginning farmers, and others who cannot be fully serviced by commercial credit under current price conditions, without the loans they need to stay in business. It will also create a backlog and long waiting list for Fiscal Year 2017.”This was the beginning of a letter sent to congressional appropriators from groups including the American Bankers Association, Farm Credit Council, Independent Community Bankers of America, National Association of Credit Specialists, National Farmers Union, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, National Young Farmers Coalition and Opportunity Finance Network. These organizations share the concern about the possibility that farmers and lenders within the agricultural community, counting on FSA loans or guarantees, could see a delay in funding due to a higher than usual volume of interest for those available funds, thus tapping the FSA well dry.Current loan availability depends on the state. FSA grants states each their own allocation so some states may run out of funds before others. So, what does the situation look like for Ohio?“We have not run out of funds here yet, but we certainly could,” said Steve Mauer, Ohio FSA Executive Director. “We’ve had a lot of demand for our loan programs and that is simply indicative of the farm economy.”“When things start to get tight in any particular allocation category then the funds will begin to be pooled nationally which we have seen happen, but we still have control of some of our other state allocations.”If more allocations begin to run out, farmers could see a delay in loans granted for this year and a waiting list for loans granted for 2017, but this wouldn’t be a first.“This is not new to the agency,” Mauer said. “When we run out of money nationally to support our loan making, then we have to wait until somebody appropriates more money.”FSA’s fiscal year still has some time left in it as it runs until the end of September.Despite the possibility of funds not being available at their usual times, Mauer said that doesn’t mean that they won’t be accepting applications from farmers looking for loans. Local FSA offices will still have the ability to approve loans, but they may not be able to fund them until more money is made available.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Lainey Wolf, National Association of Wheat GrowersAfter 12 years of research and the work of 20 countries, the genome of wheat has finally been sequenced. The complexity of the wheat genome made sequencing a long and difficult process. Now, the world’s most widely cultivated crop has each gene sequenced, and the possibilities are endless. With the use of this scientific breakthrough farmers and scientists can now coordinate to improve wheat production.Wheat is most complex plant to be fully genetically sequenced, to date. Decoding the incredibly complex structure of the wheat genome is a major scientific breakthrough that will allow for future improvements in wheat production. Wheat has a genome five times larger than that of humans, with much of the DNA being highly repetitive. Additionally, the cells are hexaploid, meaning that there are six homologous pairs of chromosomes instead of just two. Now that each of the approximately 108,000 genes of wheat are known, it is time to finish figuring out exactly what each of them do. Like other organisms, often multiple genes influence certain characteristics. Once the purpose of a gene is identified modifications can be made to improve traits.Modifying genes will allow for improvement across many areas in wheat production. In recent years, wheat yields have been declining. Increasing yields would provide more food to meet the demands of a growing world population. Resistance to climatic changes such as drought and frost could benefit farmers incredibly. Additionally, disease and pest resistance could potentially decrease a large loss of yield for wheat growers across different terrains.By creating better seeds, that are more suited to the environment which they will grow in, there is an increased potential for a more abundant and efficient harvest. The potential for environmental improvements has increased exponentially with the sequencing of the wheat genome. Creating more drought resistance wheat would allow for water conservation. Pest resistance could result in the reduced usage of pesticides, which enter the environment.Sequencing the genome of wheat has opened a new door for shaping the future of wheat production. With continued research and scientific discovery, one of the world’s major food sources can be improved for the benefit of producers and consumers alike. Looking forward, the wheat industry can hope to improve yields, environmental impacts and efficiency because of this breakthrough.
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Another quality which people believe puts Harden in a league of his own is his ability to adjust to any defense and figure out ways to play around it. The Jazz tried several tactics to try and corral Harden in their first round series with Houston, but he still averaged 27.8 points as the Rockets won in five games.“He’s like artificial intelligence,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said during the series. “His ability to dissect and recognize different situations, particularly spacing, and they do a great job with him.”Though Harden led Houston in scoring in every game in the first round, he didn’t shoot particularly well in the series, especially in Game 3 when he set an NBA playoff record by missing his first 15 shots. If the Rockets hope to finally knock off the Warriors in the postseason this year they know that Harden will need to continue that improvement D’Antoni raved about. Houston has been eliminated in the playoffs by Golden State in three of the last four seasons including last year in the Western Conference finals.“You’re never satisfied, you never get too comfortable,” Harden said. “I watch film, I’m in the gym. I work on my conditioning. I study moves. I try new moves I just don’t do the normal.”Harden isn’t simply trying to be the best player in the game today. He’s focused on leaving his mark as one of the best the league has ever seen.“That’s one of the things you dream of when you’re a little kid on the playground outside, to be one of the best basketball players ever,” he said. “So that’s what I strive for and that’s what I’ll continue to go (after) until I retire.”A boost to that legacy would be to help Houston win its first title since 1995. Though Harden won’t look too far ahead, he knows that great players are often judged on how they perform in the playoffs and he’s determined to do all he can to get the Rockets past the Warriors and give them a shot at that elusive championship.“It’s very important,” he said. “Obviously, championships are important. But I’m just taking it one game at a time. That’s all I worry about. I let everything fall in place where it needs to be.” PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH 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 Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Chiefs owner ‘deeply disturbed’ by Tyreek Hill allegations MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 21: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets reacts in front of Mike D’Antoni as he fouls out during a 111-106 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on February 21, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Harry How/Getty Images/AFPHOUSTON — Houston coach Mike D’Antoni thinks James Harden should win a second straight MVP award.The veteran coach also believes the Beard should take home another award, too.ADVERTISEMENT DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated “I don’t know if he’ll get MVP, he should in my opinion,” D’Antoni said. “But he definitely should get most improved player because he’s improved his game.”It’s daunting to think: Harden is actually getting better. And there are plenty of numbers to back it up as the Rockets prepare to play the Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals starting Sunday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsA year after Harden became the first Rocket to win MVP since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1994 when he led the team to the first of two titles, Harden has improved in almost every statistical category.He raised his scoring average from 30.4 to 36.1 points lead the NBA, upped his rebounds from 5.4 to 6.6, improved his steals from 1.8 to 2.0, raised his free throw percentage from 85.8 to 87.9 and made 4.8 3-pointers a game after averaging 3.7 a year ago. And those numbers don’t even take into account how much he’s improved on defense and the skill with which he uses his step back 3-pointer.Never lacking in confidence, Harden wasn’t surprised that D’Antoni’s thought he could be called the league’s most improved player a year after winning MVP.“It’s true,” he said. “Every year I try to come back better. I try to come back and find ways to be more impactful than I was the year before and I think I was this year. And hopefully next year it will be the same thing. To try to go up as high as I can until I’m done.”Some criticize Harden’s game because they believe he relies too heavily on drawing fouls and piling up chunks of his points at the free throw line. The Rockets scoff at that notion and even one of the Warriors disputed that theory.“He can do everything,” said Golden State’s Kevin Durant said, a former teammate in Oklahoma City. “If you’re not focused, he can drive past you, hit you with the shoulder because he’s strong, finish with either hand. He’s shooting floaters now. Obviously the step back 3-pointer is one of his staples, but I never really believed he was just a free throw guy. He can score in a variety of ways.”ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid LATEST STORIES