‘The Church Needs To Invest In Agriculture to Deal with Food Security’

first_imgThe Senior Pastor of Providence Baptist Church (PBC), Dr. Samuel B. Reeves, Jr., has encouraged religious institutions to invest in Agriculture, such as in the cassava sector, to help enhance food security in the country.Dr. Reeves said the involvement of the church would make a significant impact on the lives of many Liberians amidst the evident  food insecurity.The Baptist preacher made the  statement recently when he was called to offer the benediction at the end of the launch of the National Data Collection National Data Collection on Cassava Value Chain and the official opening of offices of the National Cassava Sector Coordinating Committee.The program brought to the fore over 100 farmers across the country, Agriculture Minister Florence Chenoweth and senior officials of the Ministry as well as international partners.Dr. Reeves urged farmers to work together in unity and move from Sustenance or Subsistence Farming to Mechanized Farming to make farming a business.He hailed international partners for helping to sustain food security in the country, describing their help “as from mat to mattress.”He committed the Providence Baptist Church to be the first church to engage in Mechanized Farming beginning with the cassava sector to lift cassava through value addition.Providence Baptist is Liberia’s first church.  It was there that the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 26, 1847 to make the country a sovereign state.“Let me also challenge religious institutions and the church to get involved and let me say to the Cassava Coordinating Committee that if you don’t have any church involved, the Providence Baptist Church will be the first in the process.”His assertions might have stemmed from various speakers’ admonition but especially from the US Embassy Economic Officer Caroline Dow,  who said cassava can contribute to the country’s food security and reduce rural poverty.“Cassava cultivation has the potential to contribute substantially to socioeconomic development both in the rural and urban areas. Investing in it and the value chain has a positive impact on food security to improve livelihoods of farmers, producers, processors and traders,” Madam Dow said. Agriculture Minister Dr. Florence Chenoweth, who also spoke at the program, stressed the need for Liberians to intercrop rubber with cassava to increase production.It is observed that despite the urgent need to improve food production, there are many rubber farmers only engaged in rubber production rather than food crops.The National Cassava Sector Coordination Committee (NCSCC) is a national body set up through a public-private initiative to regulate the activities and development of Liberia’s cassava industry.It was set-up through a European Union fund which is being implemented by ZOA and ADRA in Liberia.The four-year project, which began in 2013, is value about US$2.2 million dollars.The Project, known as the Cassava Value Chain Development, is presently ongoing in Bong, Montserrado, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu Counties.Cassava is a food crop that is entwined in the lives and culture of Liberians and can reduce hunger and a supplement to the country’s stable food, rice.Liberia has a favorable climate to grow cassava in large amounts and processed into a variety of products to be sold in  local and foreign markets.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

When does it make sense to sell again?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Corn has moved 20 cents off the lows in the recent weeks.  We seem to be range bound yet and lots of farmer movement has been noted across the U.S.Farmers have asked me lately when it makes sense to sell again.  There is no easy answer because of all the variables:What are their breakeven costs?What are their goals?Where do they think the market will go?How much old crop do they have left to sell?How much new crop do they already have sold?Many farmers have a breakeven point of $4.25 futures for new crop using Dec corn futures. Rallying to $4.25 Dec from the current $3.90 level would place old crop near $4. It’s important to remember that old and new crop corn are intertwined now, making it difficult for the relationship spread to change for the rest of the season.  At this point, quite a few farmers are willing to sell old crop corn before $4. That could keep the market 10 to 20 cents lower than many farmers goals/breakeven.What could cause a market swing?The two big ones: one, a shortage of acres in the March intentions report or in the June acreage estimate and two, a below trend line average yield this summer which is near 164 bushels per acre on corn at 45 bushels per acre on beans.What would cause big adjustments to planted acres in 2016?Each crop is a little different and has its own potential issues:Soybeans – It’s more cost efficient to plant corn versus beans west of the MO river.  East of the MS river, it’s about equal.  It may be a bit more profitable in areas of Ohio, so farmers there could pick up some bean acres dropped from the western belt.  Despite it not making financial sense, some farmers may decide to plant beans to reduce upfront inputs costs (vs corn).Wheat isn’t a profitable option for many over corn or beans.  This could shift some acres to either cropCRP acres could increase at the expense of all grains. However this would likely be a shift of marginal ground that produce low yields.Milo acres might be changed back to corn.  The lack of large Chinese demand (like a year ago) makes the profit levels less desirable than growing corn. This could be an area where acres that were shifted away from corn in 2015 will be shifted back to corn, potentially adding one million corn acres.Alfalfa and hay may be another option for some, but will not likely have a big effect on overall corn or bean acres.I doubt we’ll see an corn acre decrease in 2016, while beans are uncertain. Current acre estimates are just under 90 million for corn and 84 million for beans.  A move of more than 1 or 2 million acres in either would be a catalysis for moving the market.What will yields be?Until weather can be predicted with 100% accuracy, it will always be the part of the equation that causes market volatility.Corn – With good growing conditions, $3 corn may be a reality.  A drought could bring $5.  Weather forecasters anticipate normal conditions right now, but a weather scare could still bring $4.25 futures.Beans – Average yields could bring bigger carryouts.  This means prices under $7 without a weather event are possible.  On the flip side, a drought could bring $11.  Bean prices worry me more than corn, and it may be August before we know anything.Are there other issues?There is still a lot of milo in storage, that could ultimately hurt corn demand.DDG is not being imported as quickly by China as in the pastCrude Oil prices continue to be sluggish, which may hurt ethanol margins and reduce corn demand.Soy meal demand isn’t strong, hurting chances for a bean rally.World stocks of corn, beans and wheat are extremely abundantWorld stock markets are weaker and volatileThe strong US dollar hurts exports.Is there positive news?There is still plenty of time for weather issues in South America.  The record short by the funds could also cause a brief market swing.  And….there can always be surprises unimaginable today causing twists and turns in the market.The key is to plan ahead and be ready.  I base my marketing strategy on average market conditions and estimates.  This includes taking advantage of market carry and basis premiums because in most years there are additional profits available to me. But, my marketing plan is also set up to take advantage of surprises and rallies in the market when they happen to optimize as much potential as possible for my farm operation while keeping my overall risk in check.Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. He can be contacted at jon@superiorfeed.com.last_img read more

Unease on campuses in Valley

first_imgStudents were practising football on the well-manicured lawns outside the Business and Management Studies Department at Kashmir University on Thursday, with food carts and canteens abuzz after five days of disruption following the death of an assistant professor in an encounter. However, even as apparent normalcy returned, anger and disillusionment were palpable among the students on the 247-acre campus.A stone’s throw from the Gandhi Bhavan auditorium, a 5X8 feet flex banner of slain assistant professor-turned-militant Muhammad Rafi Bhat atop the three-storey building that houses the Sociology Department greets visitors. Bhat was a faculty member of the department. More posters and banners lauding Bhat are emerging at other places on the campus with the slogan, “In memory of those who died for our freedom”.Atypical profileBhat was killed along with two Hizbul Mujahideen militants in Shopian on Sunday, just 36 hours after he joined the outfit. Bhat has left behind a new profile of a militant — in his thirties, he had been married for six years, and was on the cusp of a professional career of his choice, unlike the typical militant recruit most often in his early twenties.Sociology professor Anisa Shafi is perplexed and described Bhat’s move as “a mystery” that she could not crack “because he never discussed politics or expressed any anger”.Army chief’s remarksOn the edgy campus, where students unions are barred, scores of students outside the Law Department are busy debating General Bipin Rawat’s remarks on freedom and militancy. “Youth in Kashmir are not picking up arms to defeat the Army militarily. The gun is a challenge to the moral values of Indian democracy, to deliver justice in a very just cause,” a student said.Living in isolation“Students are living in isolation or cocoons. Social and interactive spaces have been destroyed on campus. Students could be driven to anything. Departments of KU should have debating societies in every department. One ideology should be allowed to clash with another through social spaces,” suggested Political Science professor Gul Wani.This week, a Kashmir University Teachers Association (KUTA) also suggested to Governor N.N. Vohra, chancellor of the varsity, to consider “constitution of a student’s council and grievance cell”.last_img read more

Mumbai eager to get back on track against struggling Deccan

first_imgMumbai Indians would look to excel in home conditions and get the better of bottom-placed Deccan Chargers in an Indian Premier League clash at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.After the 76-run defeat to Kings XI Punjab at Mohali, Sachin Tendulkar-led Mumbai would be eager to get their act together and return to winning ways. Mumbai have 16 points, the same as Chennai Super Kings but a better net runrate has pushed the defending champions to the top spot after the victory over Delhi Daredevils.However, Mumbai have a match in hand and if they win their last three games, they would finish on top of the points table.The return to the Wankhede would be welcomed by the freestroking Mumbai batting line- up out of which only four reached double figures against Punjab.But in home conditions, they have excelled with Tendulkar himself leading the way.The champion batsman has 371 runs under his belt from 11 games this season.Ambati Rayudu ( 362 runs) and Rohit Sharma ( 287) have been impressive with the bat and ideal foils to Tendulkar, but the overseas players including big hitters Kieron Pollard ( 78 runs from 11 games) and Andrew Symonds ( 127 from 9) have been huge let- downs.The bowling has been spot- on for the most part with Lasith Malinga starring with a haul of 26 wickets.He has been well supported by Munaf Patel, who picked up a five- wicket haul against Punjab and off- spinner Harbhajan Singh ( 12).While Mumbai have come up with consistent displays at home, the Chargers’ batting has misfired with only skipper Kumar Sangakkara ( 306 runs from 11 games) showing some consistency.advertisementThe other foreign recruits – JP Duminy, Cameron White and Dan Christian have not showed yet they were worth the amount paid for at the auctions.The bowling has been the Chargers’ strength with the speed duo of Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma leading the way. Amit Mishra ( wickets) has done his bit, but Pragyan Ojha and Christian have been less than impressive.last_img read more