The United States Agency for International Development and Food and Enterprise Development (USAID-FED) in collaboration with the Government of Liberia yesterday inaugurated a multipurpose soil science laboratory at Grand Bassa Community College in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.Anthony Chan, USAID Mission Director, said the inauguration of the GBCC soil science laboratory is part of the United States Government Feed the Future Program which is aimed at supporting agriculture in the country.He asserted that FED has pursued three inter-related goals as it works to help improve the Liberian agricultural sector and has focused on helping rice and cassava farmers increase their yields and profitability. “It has also worked with Liberian entrepreneurs, particularly youth and women, to stimulate the growth of agricultural-related enterprises. FED has partnered with various government agencies, particularly the Ministry of Education, to help developLiberia’s agricultural workforce capacity,” he stated.The GBCC Science Laboratory is part of the National Diplomat in Agriculture (NDA), a 2-year market driven agricultural program, intended to prepare high school graduates for employment opportunities in Liberia’s agriculture sector.“The NDA program has been established in the four community colleges in Nimba, Lofa, Grand Bassa and BWI,” he said in his remarks.The USAID Mission Director said his government through the FED program is working to develop Liberia’s agriculture sector through several agricultural programs in the country.Mr. Chan encouraged the students and instructors to take advantage of the enriched learning and teaching opportunities provided by the Centers. “We look forward to seeing many successful entrepreneurs emerge from these Centers,” he urged.Agriculture Minister Dr.Moses Zinnah lauded the efforts of USAID-FED through its support to the country’s agricultural sector by empowering local farmers in the counties to promote agriculture in four value chains.He emphasized that without science laboratories it is very difficult for students to have vivid knowledge on agriculture.He pledged to work with partners who are in the country to provide maximum support to the sector to make sure that the country gets on the path to food security.He mentioned active engagement with local farmers in the various counties, working with the caucus engaging private sector involvement among others as his first steps to ensuring a vibrant agricultural sector.“Agriculture is in demand of skilled men and women in the country. In order to promote agriculture we will work with our farmers in the counties that are involved with farming activities to provide more training and empowerment to grow more food that will help improve food security,” he said.USAID-FED’s Chief of Party, Mrs. Agnes Luz, described the science lab as a multipurpose facility inaugurated to empower farmers through testing their soil before planting their crops.Mrs.Luz said promoting agriculture is the goal of USAID-FED and promised to continue working with farmers in the country to boost production in the four value chains including vegetables, cassava, rice and goats.“With this soil science lab, GBCC agriculture students will practically learn the testing of soil, animal and plant samples,” Madam Luz assured.Madam Luz meanwhile clarified that the lab is not only for GBCC agriculture students but will also be used by farmers in the community to test and know the best soil that would yield the desired produce.The GBCC Soil Science Lab is the second that USAID FED is supporting to improve food sufficiency in Liberia since millions of dollars are spent on the importation of food, especially rice, Liberia’s staple food.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
zoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: PxHere under CC0 Creative Commons license Bermuda-based shipowner Ship Finance International Limited (SFL) invested USD 1.2 billion in new assets in 2018, continuing its fleet renewal efforts.As explained, these transactions added USD 1.3 billion in future contracted charter revenue.The company intends to seek further growth opportunities and maintains a strong liquidity position “in order to be able to act decisively.”“We believe the combination of a challenging banking market for many players and low asset prices will create significant opportunities for Ship Finance in finding investment opportunities with limited downside on asset values,” SFL said.SFL had a fleet of 86 vessels comprising tankers, bulkers, containerships and rigs at the end of 2018, with only one of the original tankers remaining.“We have continuously renewed and grown our portfolio and diversified our charter revenue backlog across multiple segments and counterparties. SFL has transformed from a pure vessel leasing company, serving one related party, to a multi-faceted organization with USD 3.8 billion in contracted future revenues,” Ole B. Hjertaker, CEO of Ship Finance Management AS, commented.SFL reported a net income of USD 3.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, down from the net income of USD 29.7 million seen a quarter earlier. The decrease was due to a USD 35.7 million non-cash impairment related to offshore supply vessels.On the other hand, total operating revenues were USD 118.6 million in Q4 2018, higher when compared to revenues of USD 111 million posted in Q3 2018.During the fourth quarter, the company delivered the third 10,600 TEU container vessel on long term charter to Maersk Line. SFL also acquired two 19,400 TEU container vessels on long term charters to MSC.The company concluded more than USD 840 million lease financings in Asia for eight container vessels in Q4 2018.At the end of the quarter, SFL had ten debt free vessels, with a combined charter free value of USD 200 million.
In a column for El Pais, Argentine Jorge Valdano hailed his compatriot Santiago Solari’s football wisdom by reminding everybody of his roots.Even before the first ever match that Santiago Solari managed as the interim Real Madrid manager, it was evident that football scholars like Jorge Valdano would praise the man’s football wisdom.The whole manner in which the Argentine manager arrived in Real Madrid by taking Julen Lopetegui’s spot in the hot seat, didn’t go as probably many of the people who know Solari expected.One of the football legends who know Santiago and has watched him grow throughout his career is Jorge Valdano, another Argentine former player who has a bright past in Real Madrid and is one of football’s most respected voices.Him and Solari share a bond that is very unique, both of them have featured in the Spanish journal El Pais, where they have written countless opinion pieces about La Liga football and Jorge is currently writing every single week.This past week’s piece needed to talk about Santiago’s irruption in the club and how much it means for the man to take the seat in the club that became the bedrock of his whole career, but Valdano was very surprised by the first press conference that Solari ever gave to the press.”Conviene no subestimar a Solari, debajo de su impecable traje hay un balón lleno de barro”, escribe Jorge Valdano. En @elpais_deportes https://t.co/HgoqHc6gET— EL PAÍS (@el_pais) November 3, 2018As we may have discovered in the opinion pieces he has written in the past, Santiago Hernan Solari is a very educated man who has a rich knowledge of the Spanish language.During most of his first moments with the press ahead of Los Blancos’ Copa del Rey match against Melilla, Solari was himself and offered an eloquent set of responses that are in line with his personality.However, there was a minor moment that had a big impression with everybody who knows him after he said that the squad needed to play with “balls”.Using profanity has never really been a trade that Santiago entertains in the way he conducts himself, but he felt that it was needed at that moment for some reason.The reaction from the press was pretty quick, something that appeared to have angered Valdano because he felt the need to come out and defend his compatriot on his latest opinion piece for El Pais.In his words, we can tell that Jorge didn’t take the criticism against Solari very well because he believes the backlash came from a negative place and from people who usually come after Real Madrid for no reason.Valdano wanted to remind everyone, that Solari may have used slight profanity but his football knowledge remains intact.Fati and Suarez shine against Valencia at Camp Nou Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 15, 2019 With a mesmerizing first half from Ansu Fati and a brace from Luis Suarez in the second half, Barcelona demolished Valencia at Camp Nou.Valencia…¡Solari debuta como técnico del @realmadrid en el Bernabéu! 👌#RealMadridRealValladolid pic.twitter.com/xntbXNXXwj— LaLiga (@LaLiga) November 3, 2018“And along came Solari, ‘with two balls against Melilla’,” wrote Jorge Valdano for El Pais.“The statements that didn’t sit well in Real Madrid’s public farewell to Lopetegui, where the club bragged about their seven Ballon d’Or nominated players.”These types of unfortunate statements are the reason people dislike Real Madrid so much sometimes. On one side, they do have an incredible roster.”“But on the other side, there will always be that persistent claim of authority and superiority coming from Real Madrid. Just to sum this up, I guess that Santiago was referring to a set of Balls d’Or.”“Solari doesn’t have that particular dysfunction, he has a much more complex personality. Even though he may be capable to fully understand Nietzsche, he also comes from a family where everyone is a professional in football.”“When every single member of that family decided to hang up their boots, they made the decision to go back to the more amateur side of the game where uneven football pitches and old footballs were the norms.”“All of them wanted to keep teaching football from a place of wisdom, astuteness, and sacrifice. Santiago has absorbed all of that since he was a kid, which is why underestimating him is not wise.”“Because under that elegant suit, there is also a ball covered in mud,” he wrote.Vinicius abrazando a Solari😍😍😍😍 pic.twitter.com/Nk7SZ7PBfF— Real Madrid™ (@RMadridSoccer) November 3, 2018What do you think about Santiago Solari’s first two matches as the Real Madrid manager? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.