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Philippines - April coconut oil exports fall 72.6 pct

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels: , , , , , ,


According to industry sources, Philippine coconut oil exports slid 72.6 percent in April from a year earlier, marking its 10th consecutive month of decline, Reuters reports.

Shipments from the Southeast Asian producer, the world's biggest exporter of the commodity, slumped to 31,638 tonnes last month from 115,632 tonnes in April 2008, the United Coconut Associations of the Philippines Inc (UCAP) said in a report.

That brought exports for the first four months of the year to 134,438 tonnes, down 62.9 percent from the same period in 2008.

The Philippines expects exports of coconut oil, to dip to 835,000 tonnes this year from 847,626 tonnes in 2008, on soft global demand as well as its increasing use as feedstock by local bio-diesel producers.

The bio-fuels arm of the state-owned Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) has signed deals with three groups to start jatropha plantations in Biliran, Aklan and Iligan, BusinessWorld reports.

PNOC-Alternative Fuels Corp., will fund 200 hectares owned by the San Juan Capenyahan Producers Cooperative in Biliran, 450 hectares of the Malagsum Highlands Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Iligan, and 1,000 hectares of RSL Agro-Trade Company, Inc. (27 May 2009)

Brazil - Glencore to manage financially-troubled Agrenco

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels: , , , ,


Creditors of Brazilian agribusiness group Agrenco Limited gathered in a general assembly approved importing and exporting company Glencore to manage the company's assets in Brazil, on a three-year mandate, Agência Estado reports. Agrenco has been under a judicial recovery plan since March.

Further, Agrenco said creditors approved the sale of its bio-diesel plant in the state of Paraná to bio-diesel producer Bsbios. US second-generation biofuel developer Amyris Biotechnologies has bought out Crystalsev's stake in a joint venture owned by both companies to produce diesel from cane in Brazil and aims to establish its own mill to guarantee its own cane supply, Reuters reports.

Amyris will look for partnerships with other Brazilian groups, and is now in talks with several to install industrial-scale plants next to existing mills. It plans to produce ethanol at its mill initially, converting the mill to cane diesel later in order to start producing diesel from 2011-2012. (27 May 2009)

Why US companies don't invest in Africa

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels:

The corporate America has so far given a cold shoulder to Africa when it comes to investing. Asia remains a choice destination for the foreign direct investment by US companies.

Africa is the most poor and underdeveloped continent. With one billion people, it accounts for 14% of the world's population. Still the region's share of the global foreign direct investment is only 2.2% as against Asia's 17.3%.

A new survey report by a consulting firm Baird's CMC and the US Chamber of Commerce says that US companies are now taking interest in Africa but African governments needs to build a favorable environment in order to attract investment from foreign companies. The report is based on behind closed door interviews with senior executives of 30 top multinational companies.

The survey points to the following main reasons why US companies don't consider Africa an attractive investment destination:
  • a week rule of law
  • The middle class is not large enough (who will buy our goods?)
  • Political instability in the region
  • Corruption
  • Prohibitive taxes
  • Poor transportaion and communcation structure
  • Insufficient trained human resource

The African countries that hold most interest are South Africa and some countries in the North, like Egypt; there are also some pockets of interest in West Africa, most notably Ghana, Nigeria and to some extent Angola; while some in the South (Botswana and Mozambique) and East (Uganda and Kenya), are also being watched.

According to the survey, US companies would consider investing in Africa if the African governments took the following steps:

  • Invest in education , health and infrastructure
  • Ensure the rule of law and a business-friendly climate for all investing companies
  • Show it is serious about attracting foreign investment
  • Market itself as aggressively as other regions of the world
  • Demonstrate opportunity cost of not investing

The US buisness wish-list for Africa includes:

  • Invest in the health and education of the African people to create a large pool of
    skilled and productive human resources.
  • Invest in and maintain infrastructure—transportation, communications, electricity, and
    security—so that there will be a reliable society in which to operate.
  • Build a functioning legal system to ensure the rule of law, transparency, and fair play.
  • Create a positive climate for foreign investments by reducing bureaucratic processes,
    eliminating corruption, and reforming tax systems, irrespective of country of origin.
  • Ensure stable political environments—that may or may not be based on
    western democratic principles—that work toward the common good of all
    stakeholders in society.
The problem is that most African countries don't have the resources and/or political will to take these steps. But the question is whether multinational companies are doing everything they can to find ways to invest in Africa. African communities may be poor. But smart companies can innovate to develop products and services that can be sold to poor people while uplifting their socio-economic lot in the process. This, then can lead to the creation of a swelling middle class which in turn can bring in higher profits.
The bigger question is whether large multinational companies can legitimately call themselves socially responsible by not investing in a region where communities really need them.

Trader's Highlight

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels:

DJI-NEW YORK, May 31 (Reuters) - Wall Street faces a historic shake-up next week as General Motors, a pillar of American industry, heads into bankruptcy, but the market could advance further if economic data signals the worst of the recession has passed.

All eyes will be on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke when he addresses lawmakers in Congress on Wednesday as investors will be looking for signals of the Fed's thinking on the recent surge in the supply of U.S. government debt.

Next Friday's data is expected to show unemployment rose to 9.2 percent from 8.9 percent the month before, according to Reuters data. Analysts say unemployment is expected to increase even as the economy starts to turn around as companies remain reluctant to hire.

NYMEX-NEW YORK, May 29 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures ended higher for the sixth straight session on Friday, lifted by economic data from the U.S., Japan and India that reinforced perception the global recession was abating, and as the dollar
weakened to a five-month low.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, July crude settled up $1.23, or 1.89 percent, at $66.31 a barrel, the highest settlement since Nov. 4's $70.53. It traded from $64.68 to $66.47, the highest intraday price since $70.46 on Nov. 5. From a week ago, prices are up $4.64, or 7.52 percent.

CBOT-SOYBEANS - July up 5 cents at $11.84. Fund buying, tight soybean stocks, active exports, lower dollar and higher crude oil combined to lift soybean futures.

CBOT-SOYOIL - July up 1.24 cents at 39.05. Following soybeans with extra lift from higher crude oil.

FCPO-SINGAPORE, May 29 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures climbed nearly 2 percent on Friday, lifted by strengthening crude oil prices although expectations of a rebound in production this month capped gains.

The benchmark August contract on Bursa Malaysia's Derivatives Exchange closed up 47 ringgit, or 1.9 percent, to 2,552 ringgit ($731) per tonne. Overall volume climbed to 16,098 lots of 25 tonnes each from the usual 10,000 lots.

REGIONAL EQUITIES-BANGKOK, May 29 (Reuters) - Surging oil prices pushed most
Southeast Asian stock markets higher on Friday, with energy and commodities firms such as Malaysia's Sime Darby and Singapore's Wilmar International leading the way.

Singapore's Straits Times index <.FTSTI> rose 1.57 percent to its highest close since October 2008. Malaysian shares <.KLSE> climbed 0.28 percent, snapping a three-day losing streak, while Thai stocks <.SETI> rose 0.9 percent to a near eight-month high.

Weekly DJI: Not much improved

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels:


Market looks not much improving. Resistance and support maintain at 8600-8800 and 8000-7700 level respectively.

Weekly KLSE: More upside room

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels:


No sign of turning as bulls remained strong. Currently, we continue to look for the upside resistance at 1070-1080. To the downside, support is stood at 1000.

Weekly FKLI: Topless?

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels:


Market looks topless as bulls still remains its strength to maintain the upward momentum. As for now, we continue to look for the upside resistance at 1080-1090. While, downside support is pegged at 1000.

Trader's Comment: Palm oil futures ended broadly higher on pre-weekend covering.

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels:

Palm oil futures ended broadly higher on pre-weekend covering. Benchmark Aug09 initially slid to intra day low of 2492 after opened RM8 higher at 2513 but was well supported as it immediately bounced back and climbed steadily through out the morning session. The sudden emerged of short covering activities when second session resumed had led prices to surge higher and hit intra day high at 2585. It then eased off slightly and traded between 2575-2538 level before it finally settled RM55 higher at 2560. The continuous strong rally in Asian time NYMEX crude oil which traded more than $1 higher after its overnight’s strong closed, coupled with eCBOT soy oil which edged higher had also helped to fuel the bullish sentiment in the local CPO market.

Weekly FCPO: Finding Support

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels:


Market rebounded after the recent sharp fall to the low of 2350. Bulls look may continue to find for support as the current posture was not good enough to change the negative technical outlook. As for now, we are looking for the upside resistance at 2648-2665 followed by 2799. To the downside, support is pegged at 2300-2295 followed by 2060-2020.

PEMBAJAAN SAWIT SECARA 'SUB-SOIL'

Posted by Flora Sawita


Tujuan

Tujuan pembajan adalah untuk membekalkan pokok sawit dengan sumber makanan tambahan untuk tumbesaran vegetatif yang sempurna.

Kekerapan dan masa membaja

  • Pemesanan baja dibuat 6 bulan sebelun aktiviti membaja dijalankan.
  • Tempoh membaja adalah antara bulan Mac hingga bulan September dan perlu diselesaikan dalam tempoh 4 bulan.
  • Waktu pembajaan yang sesuai adalah sebelum musim hujan dan selepas musim hujan.


Peralatan yang diperlukan

  • Kereta sorong
  • Alat pengorek
  • Sarung tangan
  • Kayu pemadat dan pengukur
  • Alat penyukat khas
  • Baja


Kaedah membaja

Cara pembajaan adalah seperti berikut:

  • Ukuran kedalaman, kelebaran lubang adalah 20cm lebar x 30cm dalam x 20cm panjang.
  • Gali lubang pada jarak +-8 kaki dari pangkal pokok.
  • 4 lubang digali pada setiap pokok sebagaimana dibawah:

*Untuk tahun seterusnya ikut turutan lubang asal (kawasan rata dan kawasan berbukit)

  • Pekerja hendaklah menggali semula lubang yang cetak.
  • Baja dimasukkan kedalam lubang dengan menggunakan penyukat yang berukuran tepat.
  • Setelah baja dimasukkan, tutup separuh lubang dengan tanah, padatkan denagn pemadat dan tutup lagi separuh tanah sekeliling.

Penanaman baja

  • Kadar baja bergantung jadual dan syor baja yang telah ditetapkan.
  • Gunakan peralatan yang sesuai untuk menjalankan kerja penanaman baja seperti kereta sorong, baldi dan alat penyukat khas. (alat penyukat khas bertujuan untuk memastikan jumlah baja yang ditanam seragam pada setiap lubang.)
  • Benang jahitan pada beg baja mestilah dibuka dengan cermat. Pemotongan beg baja adalah dilarang sama sekali.
  • Cara penanaman mestilah betul iaitu setiap lubang mesti mempunyai jumlah berat baja sama rata.
  • Lubang yang telah ditabur baja hendaklah dimampatkan dan diratakan separas permukaan tanah.
  • Baja yang keras dan berketul hendaklah diketuk dahulu sehingga hancur sebelum digunakan.

Keselamatan

  • Elakkan laluan air dan air bawah tanah dari tercemar denagn baja.
  • Amalkan penggunaan baja dengan cara yang cermat dan pada kadar yang tepat.
  • Jangan buang beg baja diladang. Simpan atau kitar semula beg baja untuk kegunaan lain seperti mengutip biji lerai.
  • Basuh tangan selepas membaja denagn air bersih.
  • Sentiasa mengikut syor baja yang telah ditetapkan.
  • Baja boleh menyebabkan kerengsaan pada kulit dan mata. Pastikan pengendalian bahan yang sensitive dengan sentuhan menggunakan sarung tangan getah yang berkualiti.
  • Beg baja adalah seberat 50 kilogram. Mengangkat beg baja mestilah berhati-hati.


Red palm oil for healthy hair

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels: , , ,

Forget hair revitalising shampoos. Proper nutrition is the most effective way to grow a headful of lustrous hair!

Your hair receives nutrition from the bloodstream through the papilla. If you fast unnecessarily or go on a crash diet without the doctor's supervision, you might end up losing your crown of glory instead.

Water: Water makes up 25% of the weight of a strand of hair. So drink up!! Water hydrates your body and helps keep your hair silky and shiny. Ideally, you should drink 8 glasses of water a day.

Protein: Protein is the building block of hair. A protein rich diet reduces the likelihood of hair splits. Eat moderate amount of fish, meat, milk, cheese and cereals.

Minerals: Iron helps to carry oxygen to the hair. If there is too little iron in your blood, oxygen-starved hair follicles will just fall off. So, don't skim on red meat and dark green vegetables. Zinc, found abundantly in seafoods, builds hair protein and helps prevent hair loss. Copper colours our hair naturally, so, help youself to a generous serving of shellfish, liver, fresh vegetables, nuts, seeds and meat.

Vitamins: Fat soluble vitamins A & E are essential to nourishing the hair roots and a healthy scalp! Red palm oil, packed with anti-oxidants, is the richest food source of carotenes and tocotrienols.

Energy Efficient Homes

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels:




ENERGY EFFICIENT HOMES
In the world of rising energy costs , energy efficiency is important to today’s consumers. It is something that impacts the environment and hit’s the pocketbook , especially with the dramatic rise in energy costs.
How to make a home more energy efficient , it provides added comfort : warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. It increases a homes value , as buyers are more likely to pay top dollar for well designed homes with small utility bills. It also represent s a cost savings to homeowners, as energy efficient homes are less costly to operate . And in turn, leaves a smaller carbon footprint.
The following list is a great start in reducing energy usage - and many of the upgrades are inexpensive and easy to implement.
1-CREATE NEW ENRGY CONSERVING HABITS
We can turn down the thermostat or install a programmable one. Also turn off lights and appliances when not in use. Use less hot water by washing clothes in cold. Try a clothesline instead of a dryer. Run dishwasher s only when full.
2- IMPROVE LIGTHING
Convert lighting to florescent or LED bulbs; Install sensors and timers to turn off lights when not needed.
3-INCREASE APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY
Replace refrigerators that were manufactured before 1993, as they use a considerable amount of energy , consider ENERGY STAR appliances , which are energy efficient.
4-ADD INSULATION
Installing more insulation in attics, walls and floors is the best energy saving measure.
5-IMPROVE WINDOWS AND DOORS
Look into energy -efficient windows and doors to keep cold air out and warm air in.
6-IMPROVE HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEMS
Heating and cooling systems account for the utility expense ,look into energy efficient models.
7-SEAL AIR DUCT SYSTEMS
Sealing ducts prevents drafts, and prevents heat loss during the winter

FOR MORE INFORMATION
www.energystar.gov
www.acee.org/consumerguide
www.energysavers.gov

By Yasemin Candelen

Ian Khama Commands Cuts in Food Prices

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Source Mmegi Online 18.05.09
Monkagedi Gaotlhobogwe
Staff Writer
Addressing the annual High Level Consultative Council (HLCC) meeting in Gaborone last week, President Khama said he does not understand why prices should continue to escalate when fuel prices have gone down. "One of the positives that we have witnessed during the global recession is the reduction in oil and fuel prices. When fuel prices increase, food and other prices increase on the basis of increased transportation costs and when they reduce, the same should happen for food."
In the same way, the president expects that the reduction of fuel prices should help to facilitate reduction in food and retail prices of consumer items. "We would like Botswana Confederation of Commerce, Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM), in conjunction with the Consumer Protection Unit (CPU) of the Ministry of Trade and Industry to examine the reasons for any continuing price increases and address the cause of this phenomenon," Khama told the HLCC. Prices for basic food commodities in Botswana have shot up over the last five years. Beef and chicken prices have also been escalating at an alarming rate.
Last year alone Botswana's inflation rate rose to 8.4 percent year-on-year in January from 8.1 percent in 2007 due largely to higher food prices, according to the Central Bank records.
Data from the Central Statistics Office show that, in the month of February, the inflation rate stood at 11.7 percent, down by 1.1 percentage points from 12.8 percent in January 2009. Botswana imports food from neighbouring South Africa and food makes up 21.8 percent of the Consumer Prize Index (CPI) basket, according to the Bank of Botswana .
The influx of Zimbabwean immigrants into Botswana has also been associated with high food prices. Majority of Zimbabweans continue to buy basic food items and other consumables, transporting them to Zimbabwe to feed their relatives back home.
Botswana is estimated to have about half a million Zimbabwean immigrants.
The Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) also recently announced new lucrative prices for cattle, consequently causing butcheries across the country to hike selling prices in order to be able to match the BMC's new prices for cattle.
At the same HLCC meeting, President Khama also criticised BOCCIM saying the organisation needs to improve on research and the quality of its submissions in support of its recommendations. Khama said BOCCIM's recommendations in two sectoral meetings held before the HLCC were found wanting. BOCCIM last year spear headed lobbying to have the controversial 70 percent alcohol levy reversed.
He added that BOCCIM should be able to turn to bodies such as the Bankers Association, the Botswana Institute of Accountants, the Botswana Law Society and the Botswana Institute of Engineers for research assistance.
Khama also lashed out at BOCCIM saying it does not have exclusive rights to represent the private sector, especially after the Revised National Policy on Incomes, Employment, Prices and Profits approved by the National Assembly. "The redefined National Policy enables a quadrie-partite partnership involving Government, Labour, Civil Society and the Private Sector."
Regarding the global financial crisis, the president said following last year's HLCC meeting, an inaugural meeting of the Botswana Economic Advisory Council whose membership includes the President of BOCCIM, was held. "The Council's main topic of concern was the effect of the crisis on the economy of Botswana. Following the meeting, I set up a Task Force to further research on the strategies advanced by Council.
The primary goal of the Task Force was to look at ways and means of countering the impact of the global recession on the economy. The Task Force concluded its work earlier this year and the recommendations were approved by Cabinet for implementation by relevant Ministries," Khama said. Khama said that the recommendations are aimed at maintaining business confidence and employment, and repositioning the country for future growth in the medium to long term, and ensuring that the country will be better able to deal with the recession if it endures.

Sh9m illegal Food, drugs, Cosmetics Destroyed

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels: , ,

Source: The Citizen, Arusha 25.05.09
The Citizen Reporter
Drug enforcement authorities have destroyed two tonnes of illegal drugs, cosmetics and expired foodstuffs worth Sh9 million, which were impounded from supermarkets and tuck shops in Arusha. Some of the burned drugs and expired foodstuffs were seized from well-established local wholesalers by officials of the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TDFA).
Mr Elia Nyeura, the TDFA's northern zone inspector said most of the destroyed beauty products are on the list of cosmetics the Government banned way back in 2002. "But apparently, the ban has not been effective enough to stop some local traders from selling the dangerous products, which are often on very high demand," he told reporters.
The burned cosmetics included body lotions, creams, as well as skin softeners and lighteners. Most of the beauty products were found to be containing deadly chemicals. Also destroyed were expired medical drugs that were deemed dangerous by the drug authorities.
The TDFA official said all traders from whose shops the destroyed products were found could lose their operating licences. Meanwhile, the drug enforcement authorities have also impounded Sh4 million worth of veterinary drugs "illegally imported" from Kenya.
The seized drugs were found at a house in Sakina suburb on the Namanga Road in Arusha. Mr Nyeura told reporters some Kenyan traders who are still at large were distributing the drugs. The confiscated drugs include 575 vials of Bellsole 25 as well as 399 vials of Epson Salt BP vet and Unizan Liquid. Two suspected Kenyan suppliers ? identified as Ezekiel Migori and John Kaman Kabugi - were distributing the drugs in the municipality. They had reportedly removed old labels from the containers of the drugs and replaced them with new ones. Two local women were arrested after they were caught changing the drug labels. Illegal cross-border drug and food dealers often use unofficial routes commonly known as "panya" to move their goods from or into Kenya

Britania Earmarks Sh10 Billion for Fruit Centres

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels: , ,

Source : New Vision Uganda Kampala
Patrick Jaramogi 21 May 2009
BRITANIA Allied Industries has earmarked sh10b for fruit processing plants in Teso region and Luweero districts, the chairman, Hasmukh Dawda, has said.
"We have conducted a study and know the potential of the soils in Soroti and Luweero. We shall set up modern fruit processing plants once the mangoes and oranges have been grown," Dawda told over 100 farmers from Luweero and Soroti at the firm's factory in Ntinda, Kampala.
"Uganda depends primarily on agriculture for income generation and food security. Given the enabling environment and fertile soils, the country can do well," he said.
Dawda said Britania, which manufactures mango, orange, pineapple, guava and apple juices, would boost local production by sensitising farmers about quality production.
"Once you have grown good mangoes, we shall install the fruit processing plants near your farms to ease transport costs and raise your earnings," he promised.
Dawda told the over 300 farmers that some of them would be taken to India to learn how mangoes are grown and harvested. India is the leading exporter of Alphonse mango pulp in the world.
He said Britania had set aside sh12b this year for purchase of fruits locally.
"We can spend between sh12 and sh15b on local fruits if the right quality and quantities are guaranteed by the farmers."

Victoria Foods Doubles Production

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels: , ,

Source The Herald 27.05.089
Edward Mukaro
Harare — VICTORIA Foods, a subsidiary of agro-industrial based group, CFI Holdings Limited has more than doubled its capacity from 15 percent to 50 percent.
"Capacity utilization has on average increased to 50 percent from a low 15 percent in the prior year," CFI chairman Mr. Simplicious Chihambakwe said in a statement last week.
The 35 percent increase in capacity utilization was largely made possible as a result of the liberalization of grain procurement.
The liberalization of grain procurement, particularly of maize and wheat has been very beneficial to this business," he added.
Popular brands manufactured by Victoria Foods include Victoria Flour, Victoria Rice, maize meal, salt among others and these products are now available in most supermarkets.
Victoria Foods is among a few companies that have been able to raise capacity since liberalization of the economy. Among them are National Foods whose capacity has gone up to levels around 45 percent. The inclusive Government targets to increase factory output to 65 percent by end of this year.
Shortage of raw materials, uneconomic prices stipulated by the Government and the general economic meltdown saw capacity utilization for most companies dropping to levels below 10 percent, resulting in the disappearance of locally produced products.
Posted by. Takudzwa Kufa

Uganda On Alert Over New Banana Virus

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels: , , ,

Source Sunday Monitor 31.05.09
Kampala: The government has raised its crop disease surveillance levels in the western Ugandan border districts after a new banana viral disease, the banana bunchy top virus, was reported to have attacked farms in neighbouring Rwanda.
The Director for Crop Protection in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Opolot Okasaai, told Sunday Monitor that although two banana sucker samples which had been feared to be affected with the banana bunchy top virus had tested negative, the surveillance levels were raised in Ntungamo district and other border areas to stem a possible spread of the disease across the border.
The samples tested by the agriculture ministry were collected from Kanungu and Kisoro districts on the border with Rwanda, where many farmers are losing their crops to the virus, which is capable of causing up to 100 per cent yields loss under severe attack. The virus stops the banana from flowering and producing a bunch.
Dr Okasaai told Sunday Monitor on Thursday in Kampala that if the virus attacks, it will jeopardise some of the efforts to restore banana production after another disease, the Banana bacterial wilt, affected production of the crop in almost 60 districts in the country.
“[The test result] is negative for now. But our alertness is at its highest,” Dr Okasaai said, adding that the government was encouraging farmers, especially in the border districts, to report any suspicious and unusual banana plant growth.
So far, Rwanda, DR-Congo, Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon and Hawaii have reported the disease, which has no cure or developed banana varieties to resist it. Dr Okasaai said the virus has no known cure so far, and that all available banana cultivars and varieties in the country were vulnerable to the attack.
An attack by the new banana virus would be a major blow to the $360 million (about Shs756 billion) banana industry, which recently saw nearly 90 per cent of farm yields wiped out by a banana bacterial wilt disease attack. Uganda has one of the highest per capita matooke consumption in the world at about 500kg.
Statistics from the National Agricultural Research Laboratories show that Matooke occupies 38 per cent of Uganda’s arable land, accounting for food security to over 12 million Ugandans. But in the last five years, production has sharply decreased due to numerous diseases and pest attacks.
Following the new threat, the government last year dispatched a team of Ugandan banana experts led by the Head of Banana Research Programme, Dr Wilberforce Tushemereirwe, to ascertain the threat.
Facts about banana bunchy top virus The virus is transmitted by insects called aphids. Unlike the banana wilt disease, the new virus is not mechanically transmitted by farm tools like pangas and hoes.
Dr David Talengera, a senior banana researcher at the National Agricultural Research Laboratories in Kawanda, said recently that the virus is known to stop the banana plants from flowering and producing a bunch. The leaves of the banana form a rough, bunchy-like structure pointing upwards, with no bunch forming.
He said the disease is also transmitted by planting materials when a parent stock produces a sucker that is transferred across distances for planting.
“We are discouraging this. We intend to develop guidelines on handling this disease,” Talengera said. Prof. Mateete Bekunda, a soils scholar at Makerere University said the rise in temperatures had made most parts of the country’s soils barren and habitable to numerous pests and parasites.
Posted By: Takudzwa Kufa

Zimbabwe Sugar Output down but EU Exports Rise

Posted by Flora Sawita

Source: Reuters 19.05.09 Harare, May 18 - Zimbabwe's sugar production fell in the year to end-March as the industry took a knock from shortages of inputs and electricity but exports to its main market the European Union rose, an industry official told Reuters.
Steve Frampton, Zimbabwe Sugar Sales general manager, said output of raw sugar had fallen 15 percent to 297,662 tonnes during the April-March period, down from 348,670 tonnes in the same period in 2008.
The major challenges facing the raw sugar industry include availability of critical inputs including coal, fertilisers and chemicals ... and electricity for irrigation," Frampton said in an e-mailed response to questions from Reuters. Frampton said a lack of consistent supply of rail wagons to move cane and sugar had also impacted on production.
Zimbabwe's sugar production has been in decline since 2000, from a high of 600,000 tonnes when President Robert Mugabe's government started seizing white-owned commercial farms, including sugarcane plantations, to resettle landless blacks. Frampton urged the government to help restore confidence on such issues as land acquisition, land tenure and the enforcement of law and order to re-assure growers, millers and refiners. "There should be a land audit, an assessment of the performance of new settler farmers, maintenance and retention of critical technical skills (and) declaration that sugar is a strategic crop," Frampton said. Critics say most of the resettled black farmers lack commercial farming skills and do not have adequate inputs to fully utilise the land they inherited from white farmers.
Zimbabwe, along with several former European colonies in the ACP, supply the EU, the world's biggest sugar purchaser, with 1.6 million to 1.7 million tonnes of the commodity each year under preferential deals at above-market prices.In 2006 the EU started reducing preferential sugar prices and from Oct. 1 this year the price will be cut from 448.80 euros ($604.7) per tonne to 335.20 euros.
Frampton said exports to the EU had nonetheless risen to 86,880 tonnes in the just-ended season, up from 55,910 tonnes previously. He did not give reasons for the jump but added that the figure was unlikely to change this year. Zimbabwe was allocated 44 million euros to compensate for the cut in the sugar price but has only drawn 2.7 million euros and has applied for 5.78 million euros this year.
Besides exports to the EU, Zimbabwe also ships sugar to the United States, where it has a 12,012 tonne quota, as well as South Africa, Egypt, India, Malaysia and Canada.The southern African country has potential to raise production to 1 million tonnes, Frampton said, if water for irrigation is increased by constructing more dams in the sugarcane producing southern region.
Posted by: Takudzwa Kufa

TANAM SEMULA KELAPA SAIWIT

Posted by Flora Sawita

Pembangunan ladang tanam semula terbahagi kepada 4 iaitu:

  • Tanam semula kawasan baru (hutan)
  • Tanam semula getah ke kelapa sawit.
  • Tanam semula kelapa sawit ke kelapa sawit.
  • Tanam semula getah ke getah.

Tujuan

Menggantikan tanaman tua/tidak ekonomi dengan tanaman baru (kelapa sawit)dengan penyediaan ladang yang lebih baik dan teratur bagi menjamin kelancaran operasi dimasa hadapan.

Penentuan kawasan untuk ditanam semula

Penentuan kawasan untuk ditanam semula adalah berpandukan hasil sehektar getah dan keperluan semasa. Hasil yang kurang daripada 700kg/ha adalah disarankan untuk ditanam semula.

Perancangan untuk tanam semula

Perancangan kerja tanam semula adalah seperti berikut:

  1. Penebangan
  2. Melonggok
  3. Membuat jalan pertanian
  4. Membuat teres
  5. Menanam kekacang penutup bumi
  6. Membuat parit
  7. Membuat pagar elektrik atau zink
  8. Membaris
  9. Membuat lubang dan menanam
  10. Merumput
  11. Membaja
  12. Mengkasi

Penebangan

Kawasan yang ingin ditanam semula ditanda dengan cat yang terang untuk mengelakkan penebangan diluar kawasan.

Sempadan blok seelok-eloknya dibuat berpandukan sungai dan jalan.
Kesemua kayu getah hendaklah ditumbangkan keakar umbi dengan jentera yang sesuai.
Menebang tidak dibenarkan sam sekali lebih-lebih lagi dikawasan berbukit untuk mengelakkan masalah bila pembinaan jalan dan teres dilakukan.

Melonggok

Kerja-kerja melonggok boleh dilakukan sebaik sahaj kerja-kerja pengeluran kayu dibuat.

Terbahagi kepada 2 cara iaitu:
1. Kaedah ‘0’ burning.
2. Kaedah longgok dan bakar.

Kaedah ‘0’Burning

Bagi kawasan rata, membaris dan jalan utama mestilah dilakukan terlebih dahulu.
Melonggok dibuat antara baris-baris utama dan jalan-jalan utama.
Kontraktor juga haruslah mengetahui kedudukan parit-parit yang akan dibuat untuk mengelakkan terjadinya kerja dua kali (double work).

Kerja-kerja melonggok diluluskan setelah pihak pengurusan berpuas hatidengan kerja-kerja yang dilakukan.
Bagi kawasan berbukit longgokan hendaklah dibuat didada teres.

Kaedah longgok dan bakar

Sisa kayu dilonggokkan ditempat yang sesuai dengan ketebalan yang sesuai dan dibiarkan betul-betul kering sehingga sesuai untuk dibakar dimusim kemarau.
Longgokan juga sesuai dibuat ditunggul-tunggul balak lama juga dipangkal pokok buluh jika ada disesuatu kawasan. Ini bertujuan untuk menghilangkan tunggul dan pokok buluh tersebut.
Pembakaran dibuat disebelah petang supaya pagi keesokan harinya pembakaran telah sempurn.

Membuat jalan pertanian

Jalan pertanian adalah sesuatu yang mustahak dalam pembangunan tanam semula Jalan pertanian yang elok dan bersistematik dapat meningkatkan lagi pengurusan ladang dengan lebih cekap dan berkesan.

Kawasan rata

Sebelum membuat jalan, kerja-kerja berikut mestilah dilaksanakan terlebih dahulu:

1. Kerja-kerja membaris utam siap dijalankan.
2. Kerja-kerja menanda baris untuk perparitan siap dijalankan.
3. Semua sisa-sisa penebangan sudah habis dibakar.

Jalan hendaklah dibuat selang 20 pokok.
Bentuk jalan mestilah cembung ditengah (5°)
Bina jalan selurus mungkin untuk mengelakkan kehilangan bilangan pokok dan memudahkan penyelenggaraan jalan tersebut.
Lebar jalan utama 18 kaki dan jalan memungut hasil (platform buah) 14 kaki.

Kawasan berbukit

Jalan mestilah dibuat terlebih dahulu sebelum kerja-kerja membina teres dilaksanakan.
Jalan yang dibuat mestilah memotong semua teres.
Kecerunan jalan tidak melebihi 25º dan mengikut kesesuaian dan bentuk bukit dengan lebar tidak kurang daripada 18 kaki bagi jalan utama dan 14 kaki bagi jalan memungut hasil (platform buah).

Jalan utama dibuat dibawah bukit dan mestilah bersambung antara bukit ke bukit dan jalan memungut hasil mestilah bertemu dengan jalan ini.
Jalan yang dibuat mestilah ‘slope’ antara 5 - 10º ke arah teres.
Jalan sepanjang sempadan jika sesuai hendaklah dibuat.

Membuat teres.

Membuat teres dimulakan setelah kerja-kerja membuat jalan utama dan jalan memungut hasil siap dilakukan.

Lebar teres mestilah tidak kurang daripada 14 kaki dan mempunyai ‘slope’ tidak kurang daripada 10 darjah daripada belakang teres.

Teres yang dibuat mestilah bersambung dengan jalan dikedua dua arah.

Panjang teres seboleh-bolehnya tidkmelebihi 20 pokok kelapa sawit dan mesti dibuat batas dengan tinggi 2 kaki dan lebar 3 kaki setiap rantai untuk menahan air daripada mengalir keluar dari teres.

Jarak antara teres mestilah tidk kurang daripada 25 kaki dan tidak lebih daripada 35 kaki tetapi bergantung kepada kecerunan sesuatu bukit.

Menanam kekacang penutup bumi

Bagi kawasan rata, kekacang ditabur ditempat pembakaran dan diatas tanah baru bila parit dibuat. Jenis- jenis kekacang yang biasa digunakan ialah;
1. Pueraria javanica
2. Calopogonium cearulium
3. Macuna broctata

Di kawasan berbukit, kekacang mestilah ditabur sebaik sahaja teres selesai dibuat dan ditabur dibibir teres.
Masa menabur adalah sangat penting untuk meningkatkan kadar pertumbuhan kekacang tersebut.
Tabur kekacang semasa bibir teres masih gembur iaitu belum lagi ditimpa hujan.
Pembajaan perlu dibuat apabila kekacang telah tumbuh, biasanya selepas 1 bulan.
Baja ‘Compoud’ atau ‘Mixture’ 14:13:9:2.5 dengan kadar 25kg /ha ditabur dan baja CIRP sebanyak 50kg/ha bila kekacang mula memenuhi kawasan tanaman.

Membuat parit

Perparitan penting bagi kawasan yang sentiasa digenangi air bagi menjamin pertumbuhan pokok yang elok.


Parit terbahagi kepada 3 iaitu:

1. Parit besar (A) : 8’ x 6’ x 4’
2. Parit utama (B) : 6’ x 4’ x 4’
3. Parit kecil (C) : 4’ x 3’ x 2’

Parit besar (A)

Biasanya digunakan untuk mengubah struktur sungai dan menyambungkan antara 2 anak sungai supaya kelajuan air yang mengalir dapat dikurangkan.
Boleh juga digunakan untuk mengawal musuh tanaman seperti gajah dan babi hutan.

Parit utama (B)

Parit ini dibut untuk mengalirkan air dari parit kecil ke parit besar.
Dibuat jika sesutu kawasan sentiasa digenangi air.

Parit kecil (C)

Biasa dibuat mengikut alur bukit bagi melicinkan pengaliran air ke sungai.
Bagi kawasan berpay ia dibuat untuk mengeringkan sesuatu kawasan dan disambung ke parit utama.

Membina pagar elektrik atau zink

Dibuat sebelum kerja-kerja menanam dijalankan.
Ia amat penting bagi mengelakkan serangan musuh terutamanya babi hutan.
Kedua-dua kaedah adalah amat berkesan dan pilihan dinuat bergantung kepada kesesuaian kawasan.

Membaris

Kerja-kerja membaris boleh dibuat sebaik sahaja kerja-kerja melonggok siap dibuat.
Jarak tanaman bergantung kepada kehendak pengurusan.
Jarak tanaman 29 kaki x 29kaki x 29kaki atau 30kaki x 30 kaki x 30 kaki boleh digunakan dikawasan rata dengan kepadatan pokok 148 pokok/ha.
Bentuk barisan pokok ialah segi tiga dengan setiap sudut 60 darjah.
Arah utama ialah 0 darjah ke utara.
Bagi kawasan berbukit, formula dibawah boleh digunakan:


Purata jarak tanaman menjadi 29 kaki dan kepadatan menjadi 148 pokok/ha.
Dipuncak bukit, jarak tanaman tidak boleh kurang daripada 25 kaki dan begitu juga di lain-lain kawasan.

Melubang dan menanam

Umur pokok yang sesuai untuk ditanam ialah 12 bulan di nuseri.
Pengendalian anak sawit di nursery amatlah dititikberatkan agar tiada yang terencat apabila ditanam.

Masa yang sesuai untuk menanm adalah pada permulaan musim hujan kerana semua jalan boleh dilalui.

Elakkan menanam dimusim tengkujuh kerana banyak jalan tidak boleh dilaui dan air banyak bertakung diatas teres.
Saiz lubang mestilah bersesuaian dengan saiz polibeg iaitu tidak terlalu dalam dan tidak terlalu cetek.

Semasa menanam, baja CIRP diletekkan didalam lubang sebanyak 500 gram dan 100 gram baja campuran 15:15:6:4.

Pastikan semua polibeg dibuang dan dipadatkan dengan cermat seboleh-bolehnya dengan tanah ‘Top soil’.

Semua rekod bilangan pokok mestilah dicatitkan untuk mengetahui bilangan sebenar pokok disamping memudahkan pembayaran dibuat.


Pengurusan rumpai dikawasan tanam semula

Meracun ‘blanket’ 4 pusingan dijalankan selang 45 hari.
Selepas 4 pusingan ‘blanket’, meracun bulatan juga dilakukan selang 45 hari dengan menggunakan racun ‘Basta 15’ai : Glusofinate ammonium 13.5% (120ml/16 liter air).
Meracun bulatan dilakukan dengan berhati-hati agar tidak terkena daun bawah kerana racun ini boleh menyebabkan daun mati.

Meracun selektif selang 45 hari dibuat berasingan daripada meracun bulatan untuk mengelakkan pekerja menggunakan racun yang sama untuk meracun bulatan.
Selepas 12 bulan,selang 60 hari untuk meracun bulatan dan selektif.
Selepas 24 bulan,meracun bulatan 4 pusingan dan selektif 3 pusingan dibuat.
Biasanya 30 bulan sudah sesuai untuk menuai, tetspi bergantung kepada kesuburan pokok.


Membaja

Pembajaan kawasan belum matang mengikut jadual dibawah:





Program selepas ini berdasarkan cadangan ahli agronomi.

Mengkasi

Sebelum kerja-kerja menuai dibuat, kerja-kerja mengkasi perlu dibuat dengan membuang semua bunga betina mengikut jadual dibawah sebanyak 4 pusingan:



Kerja-kerja pembangunan tanam semula mestilah diberi perhatian yang serius kerana banyak masalah-masalah dan cabaran-cabaran yang perlu ditangani dengan berkesan untuk menjamin hasil yang maksima bila matang nanti.

Dalam masa kerja-kerja penjagaan dibuat, pokok yang terencat abnormal, point-point kosong mestilah disulam dengan segera agar pokok boleh membesar dengan seragam dan memberikan hasil yang maksima.

RUMPAI - KEBAIKAN, KEBURUKAN & PENGAWALAN

Posted by Flora Sawita

Noormaizurah Omar


PENGENALAN


Rumpai ialah spesies tumbuhan renik, rendah atau tinggi, baik yang tumbuh menegak, melata mahupun yang menjalar bebas dan muncul di tempat-tempat yang tidak dimaksudkan untuknya. Boleh dikatakan rumpai bukanlah tanaman yang sengaja ditanam tetapi muncul secara sendiri atau dibawa oleh pelbagai vektor (pembawa) tanpa disedari. Takrif rumpai yang jelas telah diberikan oleh Profesor Beal, pakar dalam bidang biologi rumpai di Michigan State College sebagai " a plant out of place ".

Pada amnya, rumpai boleh dibahagikan kepada tiga kategori. Pertama ialah rumpai perosak, kedua ialah rumpai yang mempunyai kegunaan ekonomi, dan yang ketiga ialah rumpai yang bersifat neutral. Walau bagaimanapun, kualiti sifat-sifat rumpai ini sama ada sebagai perosak, berguna atau bersifat neutral berubah-ubah mengikut keadaan tertentu.

Disini akan dijelaskan serba sedikit kebergunaan atau kebaikan rumpai, masalah atau keburukan yang disebabkan rumpai, dan cara pengawalannya.

KEBERGUNAAN DAN KEBAIKAN RUMPAI

Terdapat beberapa kesukaran dalam memberi takrif kepada rumpai. Kesukaran ini mempunyai kaitan dengan cara penilaian dan pandangan yang dibuat terhadap rumpai. Tumbuhan ini mugkin dianggap tumbuhan yang merosakkan dan mungkin disesetengah kawasan ia merupakan sejenis tumbuhan yang berguna kepada manusia. Ini kerana, walaupun rumpai sering membawa masalah ia tetap memberi beberapa kabaikan kepada manusia.
Kebergunaan rumpai boleh dilihat apabila ia penting bagi mengurangkan hakisan. Ini boleh dilihat apabila rumpai ini digalakkan atau dibiarkan tumbuh dengan bebas di kawasan-kawasan yang terdedah atau diancam hakisan. Ia juga kerapkali dibiar tumbuh untuk membaik pulihkan kawasan yang telah diteroka. Ini seperti Acroceras munronum (rumput rintik rapat) yang dibiarkan tumbuh dilereng-lereng bukit sepanjang lebuh raya.

Selain kebaikan rumpai sebagai tumbuhan yang digunakan bagi mengelak hakisan ia juga telah dijadikan makanan haiwan ternakan seperti lembu, kambing, kuda, dan babi. Rumpai yang digunakan ialah seperti Paspalum dilatatum, rumput yang penting untuk ternakan yang terdapat di kawasan pantai Australia. Rumpai laut seperti Luminaria dan Fucus juga dijadikan makanan haiwan ternakan. Malah di Ireland dan Scotland terdapat industri pemprosesan rumpai untuk tujuan ini.

Selain itu terdapat juga rumpai yang boleh dijadikan sebagai makanan untuk manusia. Ini boleh dilihat apabila manusia menyedari bahawa beberapa rumpai laut terutama alga merah dan alga perang boleh dijadikan sebahagian daripada diet. Namun cara memakannya berbeza-beza bergantung kepada kebudayaan masing-masing.
Rumpai laut ini boleh dimakan mentah, dimasak atau dikeringkan. Tumbuhan ini merupakan sumber yang baik bagi beberapa vitamin dan mineral selain mempunyai kandungan protein yang tinggi. Ini seperti rumpai Gracilaria coronopifolio (alga merah) dan Entermorha prolifera (alga hijau).

KEBURUKAN AKIBAT RUMPAI

Rumpai melalui takrifnya sendiri cukup mengambarkan yang ia suatu tumbuhan yang banyak memberi masalah, kerugian atau memberi kesan buruk kepada manusia dan juga haiwan. Kesan-kesan buruk ini mungkin dapat dilihat secara langsung atau tidak langsung. Walau bagaimanapun, akan diterangkan secara umum keburukan akibat rumpai ini. Perbincangan tidak akan hanya berkisar kepada kerugian yang dialami dalam sektor pertanian sahaja tetapi akan dibincangkan juga keburukannya kepada aspek-aspek lain. Kerugian yang ditimbulkan oleh rumpai sukar dinilaikan terutama kerugian yang wujud secara tidak langsung.

Keburukan akibat rumpai adalah seperti kesan buruk rumpai keatas bidang pertanian, kesan rumpai kepada manusia dan haiwan, kesan rumpai keatas pengaliran air sungai dan kolam, dan lain-lain kesan lagi.

KESAN RUMPAI KEPADA SEKTOR PERTANIAN

Rumpai menimbulkan kesan yang sangat jelas ke atas pengeluaran hasil pertanian. Ini kerana rumpai biasanya lebih agresif dan dapat menyesuaikan pertumbuhannya walaupun dalam keadaan yang kurang baik. Sifat begini biasanya dipunyai oleh kebanyakan spesies rumpai yang hidup di dalam kawasan pertanian. Selain daripada sifat yang dinyatakan itu, rumpai juga mempunyai beberapa sifat lain yang agak istimewa berbanding dengan tanaman. Kesemua sifat ini akan menolong rumpai untuk bersaing dengan tanaman. Rumpai lebih berjaya dalam persaingan terhadap nutrien, air, karbon dioksida, dan cahaya jika dibandingkan dengan tanaman. Ini menyebabkan kemerosotan hasil dalam kebanyakan kawasan pertanian. Dalam tanaman tertentu, rumpai menyebabkan peratus kemerosotan yang sangat tinggi. Ini seperti rumpai Echinochloa crus-galli yang tumbuh dalam sawah dan bersaing dengan pokok-pokok padi dan akan mengakibatkan pengeluaran padi merosot.

Rumpai selain daripada mengurangkan hasil ia juga akan menjejaskan kualiti tanaman disamping meningkatkan kos pengeluaran. Ini kerana biji atau serpihan daripada rumpai sering bercampur dengan hasil tuaian. Ini sering berlaku semasa menuai tanaman bijirin dengan menggunakan alat jentera. Bijirin yang tercemar dengan biji-biji rumpai mempunyai harga pasaran yang rendah. Contohnya, padi yang bercampur dengan biji-biji
rumpai akan dikelaskan dengan gred yang rendah. Malah bahagian-bahagian tanaman yang bercampur dengan biji-biji rumpai akan menyebabkan kerosakan semasa penyimpanan. Serpihan rumpai biasanya lembap dan semasa pereputan haba akan terbebas dan kulat pada serpihan rumpai boleh menjangkiti tanaman dan merosakkannya. Semua ini akan menjejaskan kualiti tanaman.

Rumpai turut meningkatkan kos pengeluaran kerana penggunaan buruh dan racun rumpai bagi mengawal pertumbuhannya. Merumput rumpai perlu dilakukan terutama dalam peringkat tertentu dalam masa pertumbuhan tanaman. Misalnya, dalam tanaman kacang tanah,rumpai perlu sentiasa dijaga rapi dalam tempoh 4 minggu pertama. Jika ia tidak dijaga rapi dalam tempoh ini, maka pertumbuhan pokok akan terencat. Ini akan merugikan petani.

KESAN RUMPAI KE ATAS MANUSIA DAN HAIWAN

Tikus merupakan pembawa penyakit sampar dan gemar hidup di kawasan belukar. Kuman penyakit ini iaitu sejenis bakteria Yarsinia pestis, berjangkit daripada seekor tikius kepad seekor tikus yang lain oleh sejenis kutu Xenopsylla cheopsis. Apabila tikus ini mati, kutu tikus pembawa ini boleh menjangkiti manusia dan menyebabkan penyakit tersebut. Biasanya rumpai yang hidup berhampiran air, misalnya Eichhornia crassipes menjadi tempat yang sesuai kepada tikus pembawa kuman tersebut. Terdapat banyak lagi contoh yang menunjukkan rumpai boleh menjadi habitat kepada vektor. Misalnya lalat Stomoxys dan Tabanus hidup di kawasan belukar dan membawa Trypanosoma evansi yang boleh menyebabkan penyakit surra pada lembu.

Terdapat juga rumpai yang mengandungi sebatian kimia yang boleh menyebabkan keracunan kepada manusia dan haiwan ternakan yang memakannya. Ada spesies rumpai yang mengandungi aras oksalat larut yang tinggi seperti Halogeton glomeratus dan terdapat juga rumpai yang mengandungi asid hidrosianik seperti Prunus. Selain bahan-bahan tersebut terdapat beberapa lagi bahan beracun yang boleh didapati pada rumpai. Bahan-bahan beracun ini boleh didapati terkumpul di bahagian biji, beri, umbisi atau daun. Di Afrika Selatan, biji-biji Senecio sp. yang bercampur dengan gandum telah menyebabkan keracunan kepada manusia.
Daripada beberapa contoh di atas jelas menunjuk adanya hubungan rumpai dengan kesihatan dan keracunan terhadap manusia dan haiwan ternakan.

KESAN RUMPAI KE ATAS PENGALIRAN AIR SUNGAI DAN KOLAM

Rumpai akuatik tidak kurang juga menimbulkan masalah dalam sistem perparitan di negara ini. Rumpai-rumpai seperti Lemna, Pistia, dan Eichhornia crassipes, menimbulkan pelbagai masalah yang perlu dikawal setiap masa kerana ia hidup dalam parit dan kolam-kolam boleh menyekat pengaliran air. Perahu tidak dapat bergerak dalam sungai-sungai yang dipenuhi dengan rumpai akuatik. Keadaan ini akan mengganggu laluan di sungai yang merupakan sistem perhubungan yang penting disesetengah kawasan.

Ikan juga sukar untuk hidup di kolam-kolam yang ditumbuhi dengan rumpai seperti Lemna, Pistia, dan Salvinia di permukaan airnya. Disebabkan kandungan oksigen di dalam air ini sangat rendah serta kekurangan cahaya menyebabkan ikan tidak sesuai untuk hidup.

KESAN-KESAN RUMPAI YANG LAIN
Rumpai juga memberi kesan keatas penjagaan kawasan rekreasi, taman dan padang permainan. Kewujudan rumpai di kawasan tersebut akan mencacatkan pemandangan dan menyukarkan pergerakan. Ia juga akan mencacatkan kecantikan sesuatu kawasan tersebut.

Selain itu rumpai turut memberi kesan keatas kualiti ternakan. Ini boleh dilihat apabila haiwan ternakan seperti lembu tenusu telah menghasilkan susu yang rendah kualitinya. Ini kerana rumpai seperti rumpai dari genus Allium spp. yang terdapat di padang-padang ragut.

PENGAWALAN RUMPAI
Rumpai boleh menyebabkan kerugian yang besar dalam penghasilan tanaman, dan keindahan alam sekitar. Oleh yang demikian rumpai perlulah dikawal pertumbuhannya. Terdapat pelbagai kaedah pengawalan rumpai yang boleh digunakan. Antaranya, kawalan secara mekanik, kawalan secara biologi, kawalan secara pencegahan melalui amalan yang baik dan kawalan secara menggunakan racun rumpai.

KAWALAN SECARA MEKANIK

Kawalan secara mekanik ialah termasuk kawalan dengan tangan seperti mencabut, mencangkul, menebas keluar rumput daripada tanah. Kerja-kerja tersebut boleh dilakukan sendiri oleh petani dengan menggunakan alat-alat seperti parang, cangkul, sabit tajak, tenggala,dan mesin yang dilengkapi dengan alat-alat pemotong. pembajak dan penggembur yang memudahkan lagi kerja-kerja pengawalan di samping menjimatkan masa, kos, dan tenaga manusia.

KAWALAN SECARA BIOLOGI

Kaedah pengawalan ini melibatkan penggunaan haiwan seperti kulat, parasit, bakteria danpelbagai organisma lagi. Kaedah ini juga melibatkan penggunaan binatang ternakan seperti lembu, kambing,biri-biri dan kerbau. Kaedah ini sesuai terutama di kawasan padat dengan rumpai.

PENCEGAHAN MELALUI AMALAN YANG BAIK

Penbiakan rumpai dapat dikurangkan jika beberapa langkah pengawalan telah dilakukan diperingkat awal-awal lagi. Ini seperti menggunakan biji benih yang bermutu tinggi dan bersih daripada biji benih rumpai. Menggunakan alat-alat pembajak, yang bersih dan dicuci selepas menggunakannya. Selain itu memastikan biji-biji rumpai yang telah di potong tidak dibuang dimerata-rata tempat sehingga boleh bercampur semula dengan biji benih tanaman. Sekiranya petani mengamalkan cara amalan ini , berkemungkinan tanaman mereka menghasilkan hasil yang baik boleh ditingkatkan.

KAWALAN DENGAN MENGGUNAKAN RACUN RUMPAI

Penggunaan racun rumpai dalam mengawal pertumbuhan adalah suatu kaedah yang sering digunakan dalam bidang pertanian pada masa ini. Penggunaan racun rumpai dapat menjimatkan kos dan masa. Racun rumpai yang baik dan sesuai untuk menghalang pembiakkan rumpai dapat memusnahkan rumpai di kawasan pertanian.

Racun rumpai yang digunakan boleh berbentuk organik dan bukan organik. Contoh-contohnya seperti Natrium arsenit (racun bukan organik) dan racun klorofenoksi (racun organik).

KESIMPULAN

Rumpai walaupun melalui takrifnya membawa makna kepada yang lebih buruk daripada memberi kesan baik atau kebergunaan, ia tetap penting kepada ekosistem bumi kita. Rumpai boleh di kawal dan pengawalan yang betul dapat menjimatkan kos, masa , dan tenaga. Rumpai juga menjadi sumber makanan kepada manusia dan haiwan ternakan.

BIBLIOGRAFI
Ismail Sahid 1989. Sains Rumpai. Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.
Ahmad Azly b. Mohd.Yusof 1988. Rumpai: Panduan Berilustrasi. Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.
Ahmad Ismail 1995. Rumpai Laut Malaysia. Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.















SA’s Clover Eyes Slice of Zim Cheese

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels: , , ,

Source Financial Gazzatte Zimbabwe: 14 May 2009

CLOVER Industries, South Africa’s largest dairy and milk maker, is understood to be interested in partnering Dairibord Holdings in taking advantage of opportunities in Zimbabwe’s dairy industry.
Dairibord owns and controls Dairibord Zimbabwe (Pvt) Limited (DZL) and five other subsidiaries, including Lyons, which produces fruit juices, ice cream and other foodstuffs.
DZL has in the last five years found it difficult to cope with both cash-flow challenges linked to price controls and cyclical and structural changes in the supply of milk to feed its expanding product lines that include yoghurt, cheese and ice cream.
When contacted for comment, Anthony Mandiwanza, the chief executive officer of Dairibord, played down the issue as a “load of speculation”. “There is nothing like that. As a company listed on the ZSE (Zimbabwe Stock Exchange), we are required by law to inform shareholders if there is anything happening,” said Mandiwanza. But sources privy to the deal confirmed officials from Clover have been in touch with Dairibord, but the negotiations were still in their infancy. “Clover is seriously keen on working out something with DZL. They realise there are a lot of opportunities in Zimbabwe and are amenable to some form of a working relationship with DZL,” said a source.
Clover, which transformed itself from a co-operative into a private company in 2003, receives and processes about 30 percent of South Africa’s milk into a wide range of butter, yoghurts, fresh and sour milk and cheese brands.Recently, about 10 million

Dairibord shares were disposed of and simultaneously acquired under the REMO Investment Brokers Limited nominee account in a book-over deal worth about US$900 000 involving a foreign investor. A book-over matches a buyer and a seller at the same time The deal accounted for nearly half of the total value of shares traded on the day, which reached US$2 155 145, representing a daily increase of about 154 percent. The share transfer may, however, not result in a change on the share register as REMO nominees was both the seller and the buyer.

Posted by: Takudzwa Kufa


Mozambique To Increase Sugar Output by More Than 50 pct

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels: , , , ,

Source: Reuters 26.05.09
Mozambique expects to produce 390,698 tonnes of sugar this year, up from the 250,191 tonnes output reached last year, as the industry recovers from a slump in production during the civil war, a report said on Monday.
The government's Agricultural Promotion Centre (CEPAGRI) said some 40,318 hectares of land would be cultivated this year for sugar production, a 30 percent increase on last year.
"Mozambique's sugar industry expects to produce 390,698 tonnes of sugar this year and 101,360 tonnes of molasses," CEPAGRI's report said.
CEPAGRI said Mozambique expects to export some 195,000 tonnes of sugar to the European market this year, profiting from a duty-free access, which could earn the country as much as $65 million. All sugar exports totalled 175,000 tonnes last year.
"With the entry into function of the new laws of the EU with the anticipated price of $336 dollars per tonne, the country will earn more than $65 million and this will represent record earnings for the sector," the report said.
Mozambique's sugar sector is rapidly recovering from the effects of a 17-year civil war that cut production from a high of 700,000 tonnes per year to as low as 10,000 tonnes per year at the height of the war. The war ended in 1992.
In 1972, Mozambique was the world's fourth-largest sugar exporter after Mauritius, South Africa and Egypt, but 17 years of a devastating civil war wrecked the entire infrastructure bringing production almost to a halt.The government has since encouraged foreign investors to help boost the industry, also for production of ethanol.Some $500 million have been invested in the sector in the last 15 years, mainly by South African firms.

Posted by: Takudzwa Kufa

Africa Seek 500 Mln Euros in EU Banana Deal

Posted by Flora Sawita

Source: Reuters 29/05/2009
Africa's top banana export countries sought on Friday 500 million euros ($694 million) in compensation from the European Union as Talks drag on at the World Trade Organisation in Geneva between the EU and Latin America's leading banana suppliers aimed at reducing import tariffs and end the "banana wars" that have dragged on since the 1990s.
As part of the pact, Brussels must find a package of financial aid for rival banana-producing African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries to compensate them for possible losses to their industry and ease any socio-economic hardships that the liberalisation would mean for some of its former colonies. But ACP producers -- which have for years enjoyed duty-free access to the lucrative European market -- told EU ministers at talks on Friday in Brussels that the 27-nation bloc's latest offer, estimated to be around 100 million euros, is not enough.
"An update on the ACP's support needs ... indicates that an envelope of close to 500 million euros would be required to avoid social turmoil and political instability in the ACP countries concerned," a statement prepared by the ACP delegation for the ministerial meeting said.
The European Commission -- which oversees trade policy for the EU -- has proposed gradually lowering taxes on banana imports from Latin American countries to 114 euros per tonne by 2016 from 176 euros now.
But ACP producers such as Cameroon and Ivory Coast, want smaller tariff cuts over a longer period, the declaration obtained by Reuters showed.
They say Europe will become even more swamped by cheaper fruit from Latin America, which already supplies some 80 percent of EU banana imports, to the detriment of former colonies of Britain, France and Portugal.
"ACP countries will immediately suffer drastic losses which would also have to be compensated for immediately," they argued.
European Commission officials say they hope to conclude a deal with all parties soon.
"We have noted that the EU has indicated that discussions are almost at an end with the MFN suppliers (Latin American countries) and the U.S., with who it intends to sign a final deal by the end of June 2009," the ACP statement said.
Ecuador, the world's largest exporter of bananas, has led pressure from Latin America for the EU to stick to the tariff deal negotiated in July 2008 on the sidelines of a Geneva meeting seeking a breakthrough in the Doha round of wider World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks.

Three of the world's biggest distributors, Chiquita Brands International, Del Monte Foods and Dole Co., have Latin American plantations.When the WTO talks collapsed in July 2008, the EU walked away, saying the banana deal had to be part of a general Doha agreement. But, having won a string of WTO cases on the issue against Brussels, the Latin Americans insist that bananas should be included in a separate pact. ACP countries have argued that any agreement on bananas should form part of a wider Doha deal -- an arrangement that would give them added leverage in the discussion because they could threaten to block Doha.



Posted by: Takudzwa Kufa

Philippines – $475 mln renewable energy projects

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels: , , , ,

Two South Korean firms, Eco Solutions and Enviro Plasma, are planning to invest up to USD475 million in renewable energy projects in the Philippines, Dow Jones reports. Eco Solutions is interested in building a jatropha-based bio-diesel plant while Enviro Plasma is keen on an ethanol refinery using sugarcane as a feedstock.

Enviro Plasma is interested in a 500,000-liter refinery, which could cost up to $300 million, in Tarlac province in northern Philippines, said the president of the Philippine Agriculture and Development Corp.

Enviro Plasma will provide 70% of the project cost while its local partner Central Luzon Bioenergy Corp will contribute the remaining 30%. Eco Solutions is considering a bio-diesel processing plant with a daily capacity of 100,000 litres. The project, to be located in General Santos City in southern Philippines, will require an investment of $175 million. (26 May 2009)

Brazil- Interest from Turkey in biofuels

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels: , , , ,


During the visit of the Brazilian President to Turkey last week, his Turkish counterpart expressed interest in cooperating on new energy technologies and the production of ethanol and biodiesel, Efe reports.

The Brazilian leader proposed that Turkey and Brazil invest in biodiesel and ethanol production in African countries. AFP reprots that the G8, the EU, Brazil, China and Mexico signed an agreement to exchange information and experience on energy efficiency over the weekend. This may include technologies for low carbon dioxide emission and investment in construction and transport.

Dow Jones reports that the recovery of the international agricultural commodities markets and renewed interest in Brazilian farmland from foreign buyers has supported land prices in the country between March and April, an analyst at AgraFNP said. The average price for a hectare stood at R$4,393 between March and April, when foreign buyers started purchasing land, compared with R$4,373 per ha between January and February. AgraFNP said that the
average price for a hectare has risen 2.5% over the past 12 months to R$4,287.

Launched to coincide with next week’s Ethanol Summit, the Economist has started an online debate over whether the cars of the future will run on bio-fuels or electricity, Udop reports. (At present the voting is favouring the latter). You can join in on: http://www.economist.com/debate/overview/145. (26 May 2009)

US – Bio-diesel plant back at work

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels: , , , ,

SeQuential Pacific Biodiesel is rehiring workers after closing down a month ago, World Link reports. Oregon’s largest bio-diesel plant in Salem was built to produce 5.8 Mmgy. But owners could not run the plant at capacity because of a lack of buyers, and had to store 250,000 gallons in early spring until it could find markets.

The manager said that the plant has begun to run at half capacity. “We need the market to grow before we can get at full production,” he said. Portland’s Water Bureau fleet, for example, moved from a 20% bio-diesel blend to a 99% bio-diesel blend on April 15.

A Minnesota Soybean Processors bio-diesel plant was rocked by a fire and explosions, Bloomberg reports. While the fire was contained, residents nearby were evacuated, and people within a one-mile radius were told to leave their homes, according to the report. The plant in Brewster, Minnesota, processes 50,000 bushels of soybeans a day and makes about 30 Mmgy of fuel.

OriginOil, found its technology the centre of discussion before the Senate Subcommittee on Environment and Public Works in Washington this week, TheBioenergySite News reports. During the session, the President of Sapphire Energy, commented on the many benefits of using algae as the foundation for a new generation of renewable and low carbon transportation fuels.

"Growing algae, and converting it into plastics, fuels, and or secondary feedstock, could significantly help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, reduce energy price shocks, reclaim wastewater, conserve fresh water (in some scenarios), lower food prices, reduce the transfer of US wealth to other nations, and spur regional economic development." Her testimony also named OriginOil as one of the prominent algae-based fuel companies to develop "fascinating algae-based biological carbon capture and beneficial reuse applications". (26 May 2009)

World – Clean energy investment to create jobs

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels: ,

Hoping to create a global carbon market, the organizers of the World Business Summit on Climate Change said that 2 million new jobs would be created in the US alone if it increased its reliance on cleaner sources of energy, Green Momentum reports.

The Copenhagen Climate Council study said the United States would gain that many jobs if its electricity use grew by just half of 1% a year and a quarter of its electricity came from wind energy and other renewable sources.

The EU Commission President told the CEOs of major international corporations that similar investments could produce a million new jobs in European Union countries. The International Energy Agency's (IEA) chief economist said that oil prices may return to "significantly higher" levels because companies have cut investment in the new production needed to match demand from fast-growing China and India. The IEA chief economist said that oil companies have cancelled at least $170 billion of planned investments - including $100 billion this year - as they seek to save money amid the financial and economic crisis. That's equivalent to 2 million barrels of oil per day, and a further 4.2 million barrels per day of future oil-supply has been delayed by at least 18 months, he said. Oil companies are likely to announce even more cutbacks in oil and gas production investments in coming months, he said. (26 May 2009)

EU – Largest renewable diesel plant in Rotterdam

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels: , , ,


Neste Oil laid the foundation stone for its renewable diesel plant in the Port of Rotterdam, Market Wire reports. Upon completion, the plant will be the largest renewable diesel plant in Europe with an annual production capacity of 800,000 mt.

The investment cost of the plant is estimated to be EUR 670 million, and it will create over 100 jobs. "With this plant in the Netherlands, Neste Oil will become the leading renewable diesel producer supplying Europe from the Netherlands. Our investment also signals Neste Oil's commitment to driving forward latest innovation with our NExBTL technology in Europe", said the President and CEO of Neste Oil.

Oil company Preem is planning to increase its production of bio-fuels significantly, Esmerk reports. The Head of Development expects the production of alternative fuels to total about 400,000-500,000 cu m within four-five years, up from current small volumes Swedish venture capital company Acap Invest is planning to sell bio-fuel technology company TPS, a former subsidiary of Talloil acquired by Acap Invest two years ago following Talloil's bankruptcy, Esmerk reports. Acap Invest has not managed to increase turnover of TPS fourfold to SEK 1billion as intended. TPS rebuilds oil- and gas-fuelled heating plants into bio-fuel based plants. (26 May 2009)

Think Before You Kill!

Posted by Flora Sawita

Posted by Kelly Wu

Is that RAID you are using? No matter how much you care about your health, or how much you stay organic, bugs can be a weak spot for many people. According to Dini Miller, an urban pest management specialist at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, “The biggest abusers of pesticides are consumers.” Although the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has reviewed all the pesticides for home use, it should be used in an appropriate manner but not overused.

You may ask if there is a safe pesticide available. Well, it does available on the market today. EcoSMART - Safe Pesticide Brand™ claimed to be as effective as conventional products. It also claimed that EPA classifies EcoSmart products as “Minimum-Risk” pest control products. It is so safe that EPA does not require it to have an extensive list of precautionary and first aid statements on its labels. Its formulas are primary organic plant oils which FDA classifies those as “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS) if they are to use on foods or beverages.



While there are reviews on the internet about the EcoSMART products, it will be hard to judge its effectiveness as every one of us has different sensitivity towards bugs. Also, as we all know with scientists finding new things daily, something that is safe today may prove to be not safe tomorrow, so its safety-ness is also a relative unknown.

Another important point is that something organic does not necessary mean it is non-toxic. If it can be use to kills insects, then it is toxic no matter how you define it is. The Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Pesticide Database is an excellent source online where it provides details on toxicity and regulatory information for different pesticides, which can be search by products name.

So what’s the best thing to do next time when you see a bug, here are some of the tips from Dini Miller:

1) Don’t Panic – Most inserts are harmless, and instead of going for the pesticide spray can, go for the vacuum cleaner instead or just stomp on it.

2) Monitor – If it is just a single lost ant and no more others are coming back, why use the whole spray can?

3) Trace – Try to find its source can help you get rid of its nest. You may also be surprised to find a wall crack to fix.

4) Be caution – If you do use pesticide, make you have the right product for the right pests and make sure you follow the instructions.

Source:
USATODAY.com – Bug control goes beyond the spray can
EPA - Pesticides
EcoSMART FAQ

RTRS-Analyst Fry: Malaysian palm futures may hit $830 by yr-end

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels:

JAKARTA, May 29 - Malaysian crude palm oil futures may hit the $830 level by year end on the back of a stronger crude oil price and China's stockpiling of oilseeds, top industry analyst James Fry said on Friday.
"If you believe that energy prices will go on rising to $70 per barrel in six months' time, CPO prices will reach $830 by year end," Fry, who is chairman of London-based commodities consultancy LMC International, told a conference Jakarta.
In the worst-case scenario, the palm oil price may fall to $580 in six months' time -- down about 20 percent from the current level of around $720 -- if Brent crude prices fall back to $45 per barrel, he said.
Crude oil prices give some direction to palm oil prices as rival vegetable oils like soyoil and rapeseed oil are increasingly diverted into the biodiesel sector in Europe and the United States, leaving palm oil to satisfy much of the demand for food.

Breaking News-RTRS-UPDATE 1-Palm futures may hit 3,000 rgt on crude oil-Fry

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels:

JAKARTA, May 28 (Reuters) - Malaysian crude palm oil futures may hit 3,000 ringgit if crude oil markets continue to rise, top industry analyst James Fry said on Thursday, although he declined to give a timeframe.
"I myself would say the price will be 3,000 ringgit but it depends on crude oil, not vegetable oil," Fry, chairman of London-based commodities consultancy LMC International, told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in the Indonesian capital.

Breaking News-RTRS-ANALYSIS-U.S. soybeans jump past $12 on tight stocks

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels:

CHICAGO, May 27 (Reuters) - The U.S. soybean market set an eight-month high above $12 a bushel on Wednesday, fueled by the outlook for soy stocks in the world's largest exporter to shrink to a 32-year low if demand stays hot through August.
"In a nutshell, there is a legitimate concern about whether or not the U.S. is going to have sufficient supplies at the end of the marketing year," said Rich Feltes, senior vice president at MF Global Research.
The U.S. Agriculture Department this month forecast U.S. soy stockpiles will fall to 130 million bushels by the end of the 2008/09 marketing year on August 31 -- a 15-day supply and smallest since August 1994 when they dipped to 112 million.

Trader's Highlight

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels:

DJI-NEW YORK, May 28 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks climbed more than 1 percent on Thursday as higher oil prices drove up energy shares and falling yields in the bond market eased concerns that higher borrowing costs would hinder economic recovery.

"We had the OPEC meeting today, plus we had inventory numbers, and both were favorable for oil. That's helping that whole sector," said Owen Fitzpatrick, head of U.S. Equity Group at Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management in New York. OPEC decided to hold production at current levels.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 103.78 points, or 1.25 percent, to finish at 8,403.80. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 13.77 points, or 1.54 percent, at 906.83. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 20.71 points, or 1.20 percent, at 1,751.79.

NYMEX-NEW YORK, May 28 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures ended Thursday above $65 a barrel, the highest settlement since early November, after government data showed a steep drop in oil inventories last week.

Traders also factored in better-than-expected economic data and OPEC's decision to hold production at current levels.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, July crude settled up $1.63, or 2.57 percent, at $65.08 a barrel, the highest close since $65.30 on Nov. 5. It traded from $62.75 to $65.44, the highest intraday price since $65.56 on Nov. 10.

CBOT-SOYBEANS - July down 8 cents per bushel at $11.79.

Profit-taking after rally to eight-month high on tight stocks of soy and fund buying.

There was talk that China may have canceled one to three cargoes of U.S. soybeans out of the Gulf.

Census pegs U.S. April soy crush 140.56 million bushels, below estimates for 141.2 million.

CBOT-SOYOIL
- July unchanged at 37.81. Support from higher crude oil but pressure from lower soy.

Census pegs U.S. soyoil stocks at end of April 3.134 bln lbs, below estimates for 3.166 bln lbs.

FCPO-KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm futures ended unchanged on Thursday as some buyers took some positions after a key industry analyst predicted that prices of the vegetable oil could reach 3,000 ringgit if the crude oil market strengthened.

The benchmark August contract on Bursa Malaysia's Derivatives Exchange ended flat at 2,505 ringgit per tonne (after going as low as 2,440 ringgit). Overallvolume climbed to 12,897 lots of 25 tonnes each from 10,000 lots.

REGIONAL EQUITIES-BANGKOK, May 28 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stocks eased
on Thursday, as investors worried about the U.S. economic recovery, profit takers swooped on Singapore's CapitaLand and Malaysia fell for a third day on a bearish GDP outlook.

Asian shares came off a seven-month high as concerns grew that rising U.S. government debt yields could push up borrowing costs and choke off a potential recovery in the world's largest economy.

Malaysia's index <.KLSE> fell for a third day, ending down 0.6 percent, after Prime Minister Najib Razak said the domestic economy would shrink by as much as 5 percent in 2009, its biggest fall in a decade.

Thailand's benchmark SET index <.SETI> ended unchanged, while Vietnam <.VNI> lost 2.3 percent. Indonesia's index <.JKSE> added 0.5 percent after a 1.9 percent gain on Wednesday.

DJI Daily: in Yo-Yo manner

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels:


Market one day up and one day down moving in a yo-yo manner. So far, nothing much changed on the immediate technical landscape. Resistance maintains at 8600 followed by 8800-9000. Downside support is pegged at 8000-7800

KLSE Daily: Uptrend still intact

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels:


Uptrend remains intact. We are now looking for the immediate upside resistance at 1044-1047 (gap left over on 28/5/2009)followed by 1060. To the downside, immediate support is stood at 1030-1025.

FKLI Daily: Bull took a breathe

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels:


Market violated the support at 1040-1035 however, the overall technical landscape remains positive. We continue to look for the upside resistance at 1045.5-1047 (gap left over on 28/5/2009)followed by 1056.5. Downside support is at 1030-1025..

FCPO Daily: Directionless

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels:


Market was directionless as doji appeared after prices close unchanged. We are waiting for a significant breakout either of 2350 or 2799 level. As for now, we are looking for the immediate upside resistance at 2530-2560 followed by 2600. To the downside, support is pegged at 2422 followed by 2350.

Trader's Comment: Palm oil futures ended unchanged after trading in a roller coaster manner.

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels:

Palm oil futures ended unchanged after trading in a roller coaster manner. Benchmark Aug09 hit intra day high of 2525 after opened almost unchanged at 2506, but immediately fell to intra day low at 2440 as profit-taking activities emerged after yesterday’s rally. Prices then began to hover between this range through out the day in a very choppy manner, until it finally settled unchanged at 2505. The statement made by a well-known industry analyst Mr. James Fry had helped to provide some cushion of support to the local CPO market. He said that CPO prices may hit RM3000 if crude oil market continue to rise, but without stipulating a time frame. ECBOT soy oil was also mix today after a volatile trading day while Dalian palm ended to inch lower.

CSR Social Evening, June 09

Posted by Flora Sawita

Singapore Compact's CSR Social Evening will be held on the 4th June (Thu). The venue will be at the Union Square (Amara Shopping Centre). Drinks are available at low prices and some food will be provided. The networking event is open for all. Just walk in if you have interest in CSR and would like to meet up with CSR folks.
CSR Social Evening is an informal opportunity for CSR professionals and enthusiasts to network.

China – Algae bio-fuels commercialization

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels: , ,


PetroSun, Inc announced the recent meetings held in Shanghai between PetroSun and Shanghai Jun Ya Yan Technology Development Co, Ltd resulted in the completion of an agreement to move the parties into the initial stage of the commercialization of the algae-to-bio-fuel industry in China, Market Wire reports.

Viaspace Inc, a company that commercialises space and defence technologies from NASA and the US Department of Defense, announced it has planted 1.2 million seedlings of its proprietary fast-growing China Giant King Grass near the IPA factory in Guangdong province, Market News Publishing reports. Giant King Grass is a natural hybrid perennial grass which is propagated from seedlings rather than seeds and was developed as an animal feed and as a feedstock for production of cellulosic ethanol, methanol, bio-crude and green gasoline. In tropical and subtropical areas such as Southern China, it can yield four crops per year and up to 156 mt of grass per acre per year. (11 December 2008)

Philippines – Bio-fuel investments

Posted by Flora Sawita Labels: , , ,


A senior government official said the Philippines expects to generate around PHP80 billion ($1.66 billion) in bio-fuel investments over the next two years, Dow Jones reports. The head of the Sugar Regulatory Administration and vice-chair of the National Biofuels Board said next year, about PHP4 billion worth of investments are expected to be realized as three to four bio-fuel refineries are likely to come on stream.

Indigenous women leaders from Mindanao said the expansion of jatropha plantations in Sarangani and in other provinces in Mindanao has displaced traditional food crops, which forced members of the B'laan tribe to go hungry, Philippine Daily Inquirer reports. (11 December 2008)

Less is More

Posted by Flora Sawita


Tankless water heaters are an innovative way to cut water heating costs dramatically while providing more hot water A traditional water heater consists of a holding tank that heats and stores water at a desired temperature, usually between 125 degrees to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, until it is drawn off to be used for showers or other washing within the home. As the temperature drops with incoming water, the heater, which can either be gas or electric operated, comes on, and brings the temperature back up to standard. This takes time requires a lot of energy.

The tankless water heater however only works on demand without holding water. When hot water is needed, such as when a bath faucet is turned on, a water flow turbine signals a control board. The temperature difference between incoming water and the temperature that is needed is calculated and a gas burner ignites (or electric element comes on). This heats water through a heat exchanger to the predetermined temperature as it flows to the faucet. When the faucet is turned off so is the heat exchanger. The water is heated almost instantly and there is no waiting time while tank has to reheat more water. No energy is lost through heating too much water or holding temperature reheating. Cost savings can be as much as $250 a year depending on source of heating used.

Some other advantages of tankless water heaters are that they provide clean water and take up very little space. Traditional water heaters rust and build up metal and other debris. In the course of the standard ten year life time of these tanks that can amount to a lot of dirty water. Tankless have no such debris and have lifetimes typically of 20 years. Further, without the tanks, there is more space for other uses in the home and retro-fitting old homes is not a problem.

Tankless water heaters qualify for tax credits and energy rebates. For more information:

www.energystar.gov

by Erik Richardson

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