Posted tagged ‘society’

ILLUMINATI: FRATERNITY OF MALEVOLENT OLIGARCHS

December 3, 2013

ILLUMINATI: FRATERNITY OF MALEVOLENT OLIGARCHS

Erle Frayne Argonza

[Excerpts. Originally titled “The Fraternity of Malevolent Oligarchs & the Iraq War.” Delivered as a speech at the Earthlite, Quezon City, Metro Manila, on Oct. 2003.]

One of the most shocking knowledge that had reached me, through 25 years of inquiry, is the existence of a malevolent secret society whose Initiates have been conspiring for world domination ever since its founding in 1776. I am referring particularly to the Illuminati, established by the Bavarian Joseph Weishaupf, a Jesuit and Freemason, which supposedly uses rituals of the fire element for its initiation rites. Due to its dubious objectives and suspicious activities, the fraternity was ordered abolished by the German princes around 1786. It was forced to go underground, with the promise that one day it shall control the world’s governments, oligarchs, wealth and natural resources, through a tightly hierarchical, totalitarian power arrangement.

It had since recruited fellows from among the nobles, aristocrats, and financial-commercial oligarchs. Likewise did the society recruit scientists, philosophers, artists and professors, who have served as its articulators in the open sphere. With the great amounts of wealth at their possession, the Illuminate oligarchs were able to extend their tentacles gradually through the past centuries. Today they are able to control governments and international institutions by installing directly their fellows, called Illuminates, or by designating people from their organizational vehicles, such as the Council on Foreign Relations, Tri-Lateral Commission, and Freemasonry. They control minds through various doctrines, and by controlling the main media corporations of the North. They control business through the same means, and by a new vehicle, the Bilderberger group. They won’t stop thinking of nasty means just to ensure their steady and stable positioning over the globe.

To note, while it is true that the Illuminates represent the capitalist `Who is Who’ in the northern oligarchy (Europe, North America, Japan), it is likewise true that they supported anti-capitalist revolutions to be able to (a) install totalitarian regimes under their favor, (b) who can in due time permit entry of the grand capitalists’ business interests in their backyards, and whose totalitarian regimes can serve as rationale for sending an invasion force from outside under the guise of advancing the interests of the free world. The intervention of the Illuminates, together with another secret fraternity the Priory of Sion, in the Soviet revolution, through the summoning of Vladimir Lenin with monetary support of $20 million, is classic. The American Illluminates likewise did their job, by donating millions of money to the purse of Leon Trotsky and subordinate cadres, with the order of a rendezvous with Lenin. The specific task was to exterminate the Russian Czar and family members, as a matter of revenge against a past Russian monarch’s refusal to join in a conspiracy to declare the Hapsburg as the ruling house of a United Europe, with Austria as capital (the plan failed to materialize due to the Czar’s non-committal inaction). Note that Lenin himself had exposure to the Ordo Templi Orientii, another secret society, and was personally initiated by the most dreaded black magician of the 20th century, Alesteir Crowley.

Saddam Hussein by the way is a high degree freemason. Likewise all the presidents of the U.S.A. are high-degree freemasons, plus the current president of the Palestinian Authority, Y. Arafat, and past Premiers of Israel such as Rabin. It was the British and Americans who actually installed Hitler, an initiate of a satanical fraternity called the Germanenorden, to power. By the same token they installed Hussein to power, with the object of putting a counter-check on the possible excesses of Islamic Iran. Note that the European Illuminates likewise assisted the Ayatollah Khomeini in the overthrow of the Shah of Iran, which eventually saw the rise of a militant version of Islam.

 

Freemasonry, which used to be a vehicle of the “Goodly Company”–the Great White Brotherhood, the cosmic fraternity of all spiritual masters and their under-study assistants–was captured by the Illuminati through the penetration of the fraternity by American Illuminate Albert Pike and his brethrens in the mid-19th century. The said American Illuminates, so bigoted and racist as they were, were the ones behind the cabal that desired for a separate Confederate States of America, which when materialized will actually be subordinated to the British empire. Failing in their avowed goal, they managed to constitute the Ku Klux Klan to continue to harass the blacks and the true libertarians of America….So now, back to Saddam, it seems that his time is up–as it appears to us–as he has already done his assignment well, with no further purpose for the global oligarchy.

Prior to this decade, to recall, the secret government (Illuminati) was able to reverse public policies all over the world from dirigiste to free market ones. They began by first hatching the neo-liberal ideology, through the University of Chicago economists Friedman and Hayek, which later was popularized by professors of the same institute. The same doctrine became the basis for an experiment conducted through the IMF’s top guinea pig, the Philippines, of a free floating exchange rate beginning in 1969, aimed eventually at terminating the gold standard and the institutionalization of free markets of currencies all over the world. The gold standard was eventually killed by 1971, after the successful Philippine experiment, and by then the hyper-conservatives in the North began hatching the idea of expanding the doctrine to all areas of economic life. By 1979, privatization became sacrosanct through Britain’s Thatcher. By 1980, Reagan of America extended the doctrine to deregulation, trade liberalization, and decentralization. In the 3rd world the policies came to be called `structural adjustments,’ which included tax reforms, devaluation of currencies, government downsizing, and decreased budgets for social & economic services (“no to fiscal stimulation”). The national economies then became integrated into a globalized order, as the term globalization was to be popularized by the Japanese subalterns of the oligarchs such as Ohmae and Fukuyama.

The objective is of course to empower Big Business all the more, so that the entire planet will be a maneuverable backyard for heightened operations. Eventually, the secret government wants national borders erased, as this is now happening, and a world government installed–under their auspices, of course. The events leading to the rise of the world order will see, among other things, the rise of fascistic movements and regimes, inclusive of ones that go under new names such as Islamic fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism, neo-realism and new utopianism. Likewise the rise of new academic doctrines such as the `clash of civilization’ and the `strong state’ theory. Through series of violent events world-wide, which will lead to increased panic and terror, the doctrines will increasingly rationalize the need to recede the rule of law, rule of restraint, rule of dialogue, and civil liberties, and, consequently, the legitimation of fascist totalitarian regimes.

 

Let us take a cursory glance at some of the sordid operations of this cabal of sinister plotters. Through a liberalized currency market throughout the world, the financier Illuminates, through the front man George Soros, are able to effectively attack the currencies of various nations. George Soros’ financial assets alone can affect transactions worth $100 billion per day. Compare this to the dollar reserves of the Philippines of $15 billion. Combining their assets, the financial oligarchs can actually whack combinations of nations including the U.S.A. through financial meltdowns alone. This they first experimented on Britain in the early 1990s. Why Britain? one may ask. Note that Britain, or England, had long lost its sovereignty, over 200 years back yet, so that the devastation of the British economy will not hurt cold-blooded evil conspirers among the British oligarchs. As mentioned earlier, the Illuminates don’t know national loyalties, and will take no second thought to destroy the economies of their own countries of origin.

Through Bin Laden and his contemporaries, the Illuminates, via the British and American intelligence agents serving as couriers, can pass on money. The money can then be forwarded to various terrorist groups in the planet, who naively believe that Bin Laden, paymaster of the oligarchical cabal, is amessiah. Note that the Bin Laden family has investments in the Bush oil companies in America. On June of 2001, according to counter-intelligence reports, Bin Laden was actually cited with CIA agents somewhere in the Middle East, a clear 3 months prior to the Sept. 11 terror attack in the USA. The role of terrorist groups is to create maximum organized chaos, as they actually receive instructions from British & American espionage handlers. Every time terrorist trouble occurs in one hot spot in the planet, massive funds transfers occur in that area due to financial panic. The British oligarchs control 36%of the world’s financial flows, and the Americans 15%, or a total 51% controlled by just two groups of oligarchs who will benefit the most from such funds transfers. Thus, the terrorists supplement the worksof aboveground speculators and fund managers represented by George Soros. Aside from this, the terrorist champions also serve as assassins for the oligarchs and intelligence agencies, as this task was already perfected in the 1960s yet, to recall the likes of Italy’s Red Army and Carlos “The Jackal.” Through the espionage rings, the Illuminates are able to penetrate and control mafia rings all over the world. It is through these rings that drugs and armaments transactions can be done, to be able to salt foreign currencies, earn and spend money beyond the oversight functions of accounting government agencies. Should a criminal lord know too much information, given that organized crime circles are not the best people to be trusted with information, then he can be easily terminated with dispatch. This was what befell the drug lord Escobar of Colombia, a country that only has a paper government today, where actual power resides in the hands of drug lords. In Colombia, whenever big bankers and investors from the North seek permission to establish or diversify business, they would report directly to the drug lords rather then the official government.

In the case of the control for the Presidency of the U.S.A., the classic case of Illuminati intervention was the attempted coup d’etat on President Clinton Bill Clinton, who refused to further allow speculators to raid the pension and health funds, and whose wife Hilary was a militant advocate of health and pension welfare, was greatly weakened through the sexual offender case filed against him, a case that was clearly masterminded by Rightwing elements and the Illuminati. The American presidency, already weakened by past machinations of American Illuminates whom the late Pres. Eisenhower refers to as the “Military-Industrial Complex” and which he fought tooth and nail behind the scenes, was weakened all the more, and remains to be a lame duck institution till this day.

 

Going back to the 2nd World War, a British Illuminate, Bertrand Russell, a white supremacist who masqueraded as a peace and human rights advocate, was among those who pressed the American authorities to drop The Bomb on Japan. As Gen. McArthur correctly assessed then, Japan was already so weak as to surrender officially, and that, per report from an American spy deployed in Italy, the Japanese Emperor was in fact already negotiating for the surrender. No less than the Pope enthusiastically volunteered to intercede for the Allies, and was willing to transact with the Japanese Emperor. But behind the scene, Russell and his ilk worked ignominiously, by summoning their creations Szilard and Oppenheimer to finalize the prototype of The Bomb and convince cold-blooded hawks in the Establishment to drop Bombs on Japan. To the shock and consternation of both McArthur and Eisenhower, two Bombs were dropped on Japan, which burned innocent women, old folks and children to death.

Back to the 90s, to recall, the then Princess of the U.K., Dianne, married to Windsor, was sincerely campaigning for the prohibition of mines, land mines or whatever, as instruments of warfare. She badly hurt the Illuminates who had billions of dollars staked in the mine business, and was embarrassing the Queen of England, a mega-investor in Illuminati network corporations added to the scandalous insult Dianne’s extra-marital affairs were causing on Windsor. At the peak of her campaign, which won her international accolades, she was ordered for termination by the Illuminati, with the possible collusion of the Queen of England herself, the world’s richest woman. Of course, it was made to appear that the assassination was an accident.

Here at home, we are witness to the flourishing of NGOs, which appear to be so valiantly audacious in clashing with Establishment, and sincerely philanthropic by their nature. But behind some NGOs, more so those coming from abroad to establish branches here, are British and American spies, gathering information about the grassroots. Those environmental NGOs, such as the Greenpeace, by propagandizing against manufactures in the 3rd world through toxic labels as `smoke stack’ industry, are actually working for the interests of financial and commercial oligarchs who want to kill 3rd world industrialization and further subordinate them through debt burdens and IMF prescriptions. These same NGOs, through works among Indigenous Peoples, have been gathering information about natural resource endowments in various ecosystems, as well as keeping stock of militants among the host populations. Human rights groups are not spared, such as the Amnesty International, that actually work for the British intelligence SAS that reports directly to the Prince of England. Some other NGOs, inclusive of inconspicuous yoga groups originating from India, are used as transit clubs for drug deals, illegal merchandise, hot money, and information by British spies.

 

The Illuminates surely have working committees in Asia, comprising of notable politicians and local intelligence assets, who, while not necessarily Illuminates, are willing tools for the grip effect aim of the Illuminati in our backyard. I am sure that Fidel Ramos, Lee Kuan Yew and Anwar Ibrahim are among the chief articulators of Illuminati-sponsored laissez faire public policies. The monarchy of Brunei works directly for the British and American intelligence community, ensuring an observation post in the region. When the Philippines 2000 (Medium Term Philippine Development Plan 1992-98) was drafted and disseminated, I received information from the local guru F.F., an advertising man whose firm was among those contracted by government for a public relations blitz, that globalist diabolical fraternities are happy over the pursuit of their policy initiatives in this country… With possibly hundreds of CIA agents planted in government hierarcy (both Congress & Executive), military & police, business sector, NGOs, church, media, and rebel organizations, added to the assets of the British Intelligence, the colonizing, balkanizing, and terrorizing schemes of the evil cabal will proceed to ensure control over the islands and its vast reserves of untapped energy and mineral resources, as well as to divisively control the ASEAN region. Today, they wish to destroy the autonomous ASEAN and build a military union under their control, while continuing to balkanize Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Burma, and every other country that must tow their line.

The latest scheme of the Illuminates concerning Southeast Asia is to encourage the growth of nationalist movements under their tight grip, or which they will initiate and lead. The objective is to isolate China, which is too late for the British and Americans to destroy whether economically or militarily. Witness the rise of new nationalist movements in the Philippines that have begun to make ripples in the media. New movements are now being hatched in Burma, Thailand, Indonesia. The use of these forces differ from the Islamic terrorists, whose role is chiefly to distract and show semblance of invincibility through coordinated bombing runs across wide territories. The nationalist movements are legal, with counterparts being organized in the officers’ corps of the national armies, and are coherent a collective force as to possibly lead national governments by the years 2004 through 2010. These preparations are being done with haste today, as hardline nationalists are rising to power inside the Chinese Communist Party. So, preparations are under way, as former anti-nationalist & anti-communist local spies are planted everywhere to begin `patriotic organizing.’

 

Let’s now go back to Saddam. As one can read in the media, the plan is to fragment Iraq, with the main Sunni portion to be integrated into Jordan whose king reports to the Illuminati through the CIA and the British MI groups. It is too bad for Saddam’s Ba’ath party, for failing to accelerate the production of nerve gas at the minimum. The said weapons, possessed by such countries as Iran and North Korea, could have been used as a leverage, now that the northern sponsors have appeared bellicose towards Iraq. That is, with nerve gas at least, Saddam could say “let us get down and talk or else I’ll bomb a million people in Israel and another 2 million in Saudi Arabia,” a line that can zipper the mouths of Bush and Blair. Such is the situation for North Korea, which the Bush-Blair clowns cannot just touch due to its developed weaponry, or else a million people in South Korea and another 2-3 million in Japan can be marched to the cemeteries soon. Irony of all ironies, the U.S.A. is even building nuclear reactor breeders in North Korea worth $4 billion plus! Saddam just doesn’t have his luck enough, and so he is as expendable as others before him such as the Shah of Iran. As one can see, pan-Arab nationalism–advocated by Saddam and the Ba’ath Party–used to be an effective ally of the northern oligarchs in checking the southern advance of the Soviet Union and the possible disloyalties of conservative Arab states. The era of Arab nationalism had already receded, and with its gradual withdrawal came the rise of Islam. It seems that in the new arrangement, the oligarchy is prepared to drop militant Arab nationalism in favor of militant Islam, though in appearance it seems to display some modicum of sympathy for the Palestinian state. Having lost control over Illuminati assets such as Saddam and Arafat, the global oligarchs would want the British and Americans to exercise direct control of the area itself through military presence, as they have successfully done in Afghanistan. The plan is to eventually destroy the Arab states, with the collusion of the Opus Dei forces who have been salivating for a re-conduct of the ancient Crusades to once and for all exact revenge on all Moslems. A later phase of the plan would be to destroy Iran and its client states in Central Asia, possibly with the use of satellite-guided Neutron Bombs that have been installed up in space since the Reagan era yet. Meanwhile, as the Iraq warfare scheme is being finalized in the work desks, the populations of Africa are massively decimated by famines, wars, and biological warfare experiments hatched by the evil…

FILIPINO BEAUTIES CHARM THE WORLD

November 7, 2013

FILIPINO BEAUTIES CHARM THE WORLD

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Gracious day to all ye global citizens!

 

Megan Young, who hails from the city of Olongapo, recently won the Ms World pageant. It is precedent setting for the Philippines that won the pageant for the first time. The victory looks like the last step in  the great pyramid of Cheops, as all the previous steps mark the victories of Filipino young women in the other pageants.

 

Filipinos are definitely in ecstatic awe for the victories of their compatriot beauties. A gladdening news such as the win by Megan Young is enough to trample the fiery news about sickening events such as plunder of tax money by politicians & dirty business operators, and the rampaging Misuari bandit forces in Zamboanga that almost torched a city.

 

The list of majestic beauties is getting longer by the year, as year in and year out Filipino women win pageants across the globe. Venus Raj and Shamcey Supsup, aside form names that my short term memory could hardly recall (gigabyte limits!), were among the top marvelous divas that walked the planet prior to Megan Young.

 

What makes the Filipino beauties stand out is that they’re not only physically beautiful or walk with superb elegance, they also are intelligent. Go back to the television presentations of Megan Young’s performance during the Q&A, and you can affirm for yourself the smartness of the beauty. Shamcey Supsup was an honors graduate of the topgun University of the Philippines, and was among the board topnochers in architecture.

 

Such marvelous divas are exquisite ambassadors of goodwill for which they are naturally fit for. Their body beauties also make them perfect models for wellness, which should push women across the country and planet for more efforts to stay fit and go the wellness path to perfect health.

 

The Filipino beauties of late have shown much more sophistication than the beauties of the previous decades, if I’m not mistaken. Many of the latter beauties fell prey to the deceitful tongues of lotharios, besides many lack the culture savvy of the present generation of younger beauties.

 

Filipino women are among the prettiest in Asia. As per my own assessment, the women of the Philippines and Thailand are Asia’s most beautiful. While there may be subjectivity to my judgement, I’d say look at the beauty contests and see the performances of the Filipino and Thai women.

 

For all the majestic pageant beauties of the Philippines, mabuhay!

 

[Manila, 04 November 2013]

PHILIPPINE ECONOMY TOPS ASIAN GROWTH, FIREWALL AMIDST POLITICAL TURMOILS

November 2, 2013

PHILIPPINE ECONOMY TOPS ASIAN GROWTH, FIREWALL AMIDST POLITICAL TURMOILS

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

For this particular note, I will go back to my reflections on the Philippine economy, while I look forward to expand to ASEAN concerns as ASEAN integration nears by 2015. Philippine economic growth tops ASEAN, which makes it the leading ‘tiger’ of the region today.

 

For a recall, Philippine economic performance showed past 7% growth for the last four (4) quarters already. As of middle of 2013, PH growth was at par with China’s which seems to show some sputtering after past two (2) decades of double digit growth. China’s very own growth pattern may decline even more in the years ahead, thus permitting the PH economy to be on top if it shows a sustained trend over the next couples of years.

 

Economic performance can only be as good as the economy players themselves. While economic policy environment, which is the terrain of politicians and bureaucrats, plays a very vital role in stimulating economic development, in the last instance it is the performance of economic players that counts most.

 

As a matter of fact, it is on the side of the state—with poor expenditures for infrastructures during the first two years of the Aquino administration—that produced a lackluster economic growth. Bad governance stalks the Philippine state, which ends in an overall Weak State, though governance reforms are in order.

 

Incidentally, across the decades, the Philippine economy built a ‘firewall’ that protects it from political caldrons here and abroad. Along with other Asian economies, the Philippines also built a ‘firewall’ against turmoils in the global economy that are caused by the economic weaknesses of the North (Japan, USA, EU).

 

As economists put it, the Philippine economy just entered a ‘virtual cycle’ of growth, thus ending a long arduous history of ‘boom & bust’ cycle. Much of the growth comes largely from the domestic demand itself, showing the great purchasing power of domestic institutions, households, and individuals when combined. Income from international trade plays only a secondary role in the country, which enables it to outsmart the vagaries of the unstable global economy.

 

In the past decades, so much of ‘organization re-engineering’ and corporate governance were infused into the Philippine business structures and processes. Business culture was also properly addressed by internal stakeholders, chambers of commerce, and management professional societies. The result, of course, is better adaptive capacity thru better competitiveness and higher productivity.

 

The trend in Philippine manufacturing had so far shown a consistent generation of high value-added by its labor force, followed by services. The two sectors have shown dynamism so far, thus making them the big drivers of the domestic economy. Agriculture is very sluggish in this respect, which challenges food producers to make up and move up their labor force’s value-added capacities.

 

Note also the trend of consistently high Net Factor Income from Abroad, which will continue to grow in absolute terms over the next decades. Remittances from overseas Filipinos (workers/professionals) continue to grow, contributing past $20 billions annually to the national income. Furthermore, overseas Filipino investments are growing by the year, in highly diversified concerns, so let’s anticipate the repatriations of profits from such business concerns to surpass remittances from overseas workers in the foreseeable future.

 

So far the credit standing of the Philippine economy has been moving up. Fitch’s, Moody’s, Standard & Poors’, and other institutions have been optimistic about the Philippine economic performance and good governance measures, which made them shore up the credit ratings nearer and nearer to the triple A mark.

 

The Philippine economy is still a Middle Income economy as of this moment. It if grows consistently at 7% per annum for succeeding years, then it can double its size in every 6 years. By 2025, PH economy will be 4 times its present size. At the end of that year, PH economy will have entered a ‘mature’ developed economy, and joins the club of 1st world nations.

 

[Manila, 28 October 2013]

PHILIPPINES’ CAMPOS GROUP BUYS U.S. DEL MONTE CORP, NEW INVESTING HISTORY BEGINS

October 27, 2013

PHILIPPINES’ CAMPOS GROUP BUYS U.S. DEL MONTE CORP, NEW INVESTING HISTORY BEGINS

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Good day to you, global citizens!

 

For the good news coming from Asia: the Philippines’ Campos group, majority owner of NutriAsia, just bought the Del Monte Pacific Ltd., a US-based company that has been operating a large subsidiary in the Philippines. This is a milestone event for Filipino business investments in the USA, which could be followed up by other Philippine-based conglomerates buying into other American-owned big businesses inside the USA.

 

This experience isn’t exactly precedent setting. Couples of years ago, the San Miguel Corporation, PH’s largest Food & Beverage conglomerate, bought the NatFood of Australia. NatFood is Australia’s biggest F&B firm by the way, so that negotiation marks a precedence to show the maturity and advanced systems of economic enterprises constituted in the Philippines.

 

Though it isn’t precedent-setting on a regional-global setting, it is milestone for U.S. engagements by Filipino businessmen & entrepreneurs. Since F&B companies in the Philippines have attained a maturity and advanced development, expect the purchase by other Filipino F&B giants, such as Jollibee Group, of large F&B companies owned by American business tycoons.

 

It may not be long when the big realty mall-makers of the Philippines will set foot in the USA. SM Group, Gokongwei Group, and Ayala Group are the top players so far, besides being recognized as among Asia’s topguns in the terrain of mall-making. Not only do these conglomerates make big malls, they also produce architectural marvels that are among the world’s top mall architectural wonders.

 

I would credit the maturation of the Filipino companies to good measures of corporate governance, update organizational culture, and best practices put into place across the decades. Re-engineered to pass the test of time and resilience, the same Filipino firms have become global and have invested in other regions and continents as well.

 

It is merely the ‘planting season’ for Filipino investments overseas as of the moment. At a certain juncture in the foreseeable future, when the pattern attains maturity, the repatriation of profits from such business concerns to the Philippines will exceed those of remittances from overseas workers. I’ve been forecasting this trend since the start of the new millennium yet, and I’m optimistic of its coming to fruition timed with the maturation of the Philippine economy to a 1st world rich economy by the latter part of next decade.

 

[Manila, 19 October 2013]

 

Source: http://www.philstar.com/business/2013/10/12/1244140/campos-firm-buys-del-monte-us-1.7-b

Campos firm buys Del Monte US for $1.7 B

By Neil Jerome C. Morales (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 12, 2013 – 12:00am

 0  6 googleplus0  0

MANILA, Philippines – Del Monte Pacific Ltd. (DMPL), majority owned by the NutriAsia Group of Campos family, is buying the consumer food business of US-based Del Monte Foods (DMF) for nearly $1.7 billion.

The move will give DMPL access to the profitable US and South American markets while boosting its net sales by around $1.8 billion, the company said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

The Singapore and Philippine-listed DMPL said it entered into a definitive agreement for subsidiary Del Monte Foods Consumer Products Inc. to acquire privately-owned DMF for $1.675 billion.

“This landmark transaction offers DMPL greater access to a well-established, attractive and profitable branded consumer food business in the world’s biggest market,” said DMPL chairman Rolando Gapud.

“Prior to this acquisition, the US was one of few key markets where our company did not have a direct presence nor have its own brands,” Gapud said.

Shares of DMPL in the local bourse surged to as much as P39.50 yesterday before closing 11.11 percent higher at P30 apiece from P27 on Thursday.

Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

DMF owns the Del Monte brand rights for processed food products in the US and South America. Its consumer business has a strong portfolio of leading brands, with seasoned employees, healthy cash flows and $1.8 billion in sales in the fiscal year that ended last April.

DMF owns the iconic Del Monte brand, along with Contadina, S&W and College Inn brands. The company claims to  be number one in major canned fruit and vegetable categories in th US and top two in canned tomato and broth categories.

“This leading branded market position in the canned fruit and vegetable segments provides DMPL with significant scale and reach and, the company believes, an opportunity to unlock meaningful potential synergies,” the firm said.

Under the agreement, DMPL will buy the brands and certain assets and liabilities of DMF, including equity interests in certain South American subsidiaries.

DMPL said it will finance the acquisition through a combination of $745 million of equity in the new acquisition subsidiary as well as $390 million in long-term debt financing from BDO Capital and Investment Corp. and Bank of the Philippine Islands.

“As part of the equity financing, the company plans to issue common and preferred shares in the market,” DMPL said, adding that the acquisition will be finalized not later than the first quarter next year.

Moving forward, DMPL plans to launch new product offerings to the US catering to the growing Hispanic and AsianAmerican markets.

“The company expects to generate significant value creation opportunities in the US market through the expansion of DMF’s current product offering to include beverage and culinary products,” Gapud said. 

DMF’s consumer food business is also an attractive platform to offer certain products appealing to the large Hispanic and Asian American population in the US, he added.

DMPL’s 23,000-hectare plantation in Mindanao is the world’s largest fully integrated pineapple operation with a 750,000-metric ton processing capacity. It was set up in 1926 by the US government because of the widespread pineapple disease in Hawaii.

DMPL produces, markets and distributes food, beverages and related products in the Asia-Pacific region and the Indian subcontinent, and has supply deals with Del Monte Pacific trademark owners and licensees around the world.

In the first half, DMPL’s sales gained 14 percent to $208.4 million while net income inched up two percent to $10.6 million.

DMPL’s principal shareholder NutriAsia leads the Philippine market for condiments (Datu Puti and UFC), specialty sauces (Jufran and Mang Tomas) and cooking oil (Golden Fiesta).

CAN THE WORLD’S PEOPLES BE FED IN THE LONG RUN?

October 15, 2013

CAN THE WORLD’S PEOPLES BE FED IN THE LONG RUN?

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

“In the long run, we shall all be dead!” – John Maynard Keynes

 

Good day to you fellow global citizens!

 

By the year 2050, the world’s present human population will breach the 10 billion mark. That’s what the forecasts are saying so far, although it is always possible that assumptions done in the forecast may not work in the future.

 

At any rate, yielding a population figure that is based on zero population growth or ZPG is all wishful thinking. World population is now growing at 80 millions annually, and there is no indicating a reversal or decline of the number of babies born and survived annually (less the numbers of death).

 

There just aren’t enough land to treat as frontier lands anymore, sufficient to yield greater harvests. Human food production is still based largely on land cultivation, though hydroponics was already perfected in the late 1980s yet, which can considerably shift production stress away from land. So we will still be stuck up with land-based cultivation + land- based fish farming + land-based livestock production.

 

As studies show, the sub-Saharan (desert largely) has the potential for feeding an additional 4 billions of warm bodies. This is quite some good news so far, though it only is a palliative. Unless that population growth will taper down slowly across the coming decades, till it possibly gets nearer ZPG, the feeding problem will be a headache for humanity in the long run.

 

Below is a very interesting report about the feeding forecasts and problems anticipated in food production in the long run.

 

[Manila, 10 October 2013]

 

Source: http://www.scidev.net/global/farming/analysis-blog/focus-on-poverty-how-can-we-feed-ten-billion-people.html

Focus on Poverty: How can we feed ten billion people?

Speed read

  • Demand for food is set to outstrip supply and there is little spare land for crops
  • But Sub-Saharan Africa has great potential to increase production
  • As well as science, inequality and consumption patterns must be considered

It will be even harder to feed the world in 2050, but African farmers could be key, says Roger Williamson.
 
An alarming study has found that major crop yields are increasing too slowly to meet future food demands. With the latest UN projections suggesting a world population of 9.6 billion by 2050 [1] and the population rising by more than 80 million a year — with the fastest rates in some of the most populous African countries — how will the human race feed itself?
 
In future, will we be talking about three to four billion people in extreme poverty rather than the current ‘bottom billion’?
 
A recent, timely book, 10 Billion by Stephen Emmott [2], paints a bleak picture. Emmott examines technological fixes or changes in behaviour or political will as potential solutions, but says  these are likely to fail.
 
This conclusion must be taken seriously. A key part of his narrative is that there is simply not enough land to feed the growing population — more importantly, one with growing food needs. What’s left are cities, where you buy food (not grow it); oceans, which are largely being overfished; forests; and desert. Thus there are only two real possibilities: somehow finding more land to cultivate or improving yields from existing cropland.

A video posted online earlier this month by the ReCom programme — which aims to research and communicate what works in foreign aid — of the UN University-World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), based in Finland, provides a more hopeful scenario for Africa.

In it, Ephraim Nkonya, a Tanzanian land management specialist at the International Food Policy Research Institute, makes the surprising statement that Africa could become the world’s breadbasket.

His argument hinges around two interlinked opportunities — that the yield gap for current and maximum potential production for crops is greatest in Sub-Saharan Africa, and that there is potential for radically expanding food production through increasing the area of land under production. According to Nkonya, 90 per cent of all land that could be brought under cultivation is in Africa or Latin America.

Akio Hosono, of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Research Institute, recently presented positive examples of the latter at a UNU-WIDER conference. He highlighted the use of Brazil’s vast Cerrado region for soya production. [3] JICA and the Brazilians are exploring this model’s applicability to Mozambique. [4]
 
However, increasing crop yields by expanding the area under cultivation often means deforestation. Intensification of yield is the key.

Forecasts of having three to four billion people living in absolute poverty, and strategies for eradicating this problem, are questions for science, but they are also more than that. Social and economic issues of extreme inequality (for example around access to land) and consumption patterns (for example ensuring that resources for food production are distributed equally) are also vital elements to the mix.

Roger Williamson is an independent consultant and visiting fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, United Kingdom. Previous positions include organising nearly 80 international policy conferences for the UK Foreign Office and being head of policy and campaigns at Christian Aid. 

References

[1] Worldwatch Institute Fertility Surprises Portend a More Populous Future (Worldwatch Institute, 10 July 2013)
[2] Emmott, S. 10 Billion (Penguin, 2013)
[3] Hosono, A. Industrial Strategy and Economic Transformation (ReCom, accessed 26 July 2013)
[4] Hosono, A. South-South/Triangular Cooperation and Capacity Development. In K. Hiroshi (ed) Scaling Up South-South and Triangular Cooperation (JICA Research Institute, November 2012)

HAS MONSANTO INVADED CHILE’S SMALL PLANTERS?

October 4, 2013

HAS MONSANTO INVADED CHILE’S SMALL PLANTERS?

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

“God must be angry on Chilean peasants, He’s sending Monsanto here!” could be an apt idiom by angry Chileans over the passing of the Monsanto Bill in their legislature. I am very much in sync with the protesting farmers and concerned Chileans, as I know the dire implications of getting Monsanto to invade their country.

 

I was among the social activists in the Philippines who opposed the signing of the GATT-Uruguay Rounds in the mid-90s, and spoke in many venues to expose the social costs that the treaty would spawn. The rise of gigantic trusts or monopolies has been on the agenda plate of the global oligarchs in the the 90s when the treaty was signed, and, as an adroit observer of international political economy, I was among those who forecast the rise of such global monopolies that will control certain sectors of agriculture such as seed production.

 

That monopolization is taking place in steel and mining. Ditto for agriculture, with Monsanto as the flagship trust. I am no professional basher of genetic modification of organisms, as I myself witnessed the great benefits brought forth by genetic engineering on many varieties of veggies, fruits, and grains in my backyard country. However, the likes of Monsanto gobbling up grains, which effectively prohibits small farmers to own seeds for re-cultivation later, is pure EVIL.

 

The Monsanto Bill had raised blood pressures in Chile that is rising fast as a developing country in South America. Details of the issues raised are reflected in the reportage below.

 

[Manila, 30 September 2013]

 

Source: http://www.scidev.net/global/bioprospecting/news/farmers-rights-at-stake-in-chile-s-monsanto-law-bill.html

Farmers’ rights ‘at stake in Chile’s Monsanto law bill’

Speed read

  • Campaigners say the bill suits big firms rather than ordinary farmers
  • But biotech companies deny claims that it would unfairly restrict seed use
  • Strong intellectual property rights could also aid agricultural exports, say the bill’s supporters

[SANTIAGO] Campaigners who last month marched through more than a dozen Chilean cities against a bill dubbed the ‘Monsanto law’ after the giant US biotech firm, plan to protest again if the bill progresses through the country’s Senate.
 
Meanwhile, the bill’s supporters — mainly associations of large-scale farmers — are lobbying senators to back it.
 
At issue is the legal implementation in Chile of the latest version of the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 91).
 
As a signatory to the 1978 version, Chile already protects plant breeders’ rights, but campaigners claim that the new version of the convention suits commercial rather than conventional breeders.
 
“UPOV 91 extends the intellectual property rights of companies that produce seeds, thus increasing their monopoly over seed production and exchange,” Iván Santandreu, co-founder of the NGO Chile without GMOs (genetically modified organisms), tells SciDev.Net.
 
“If UPOV 91 becomes law, it will become illegal for farmers to save and exchange seeds,” he adds.

But Miguel Sánchez, executive director of ChileBIO, an association that represents agricultural biotechnology companies, says: “UPOV 91 allows a seed developer to charge a farmer for using any intellectually protected seed, even retroactively.
 
“But nobody forces this farmer to buy and use intellectually protected plant varieties. If he does, it is because he believes the protected seed will increase his yields.”
 
Sánchez adds that campaigners’ fears that UPOV 91 will not stop large firms from appropriating native vegetable species and varieties or their agricultural or medicinal uses are misplaced.
 
“A seed developer cannot claim intellectual property rights for a vegetable species such as maize. He can only do so if he has bred a maize variety that is new and distinct,” Sánchez tells SciDev.Net.
 

“If UPOV 91 becomes law, it will become illegal for farmers to save and exchange seeds.”

Iván Santandreu,
Chile without GMOs

Another of the campaigners’ concerns is that the proposed law would introduce GMOs into the country through the backdoor by allowing companies to register GM seeds (GMOs are banned in Chile).
 
“This allegation is wrong: UPOV 91 does not mention GMOs,” Patricio Parodi, scientific advisor to the Ministry of Agriculture of Chile, tells SciDev.Net.
 
“Campaigners are conflating it with the bill on genetically modified plants, which has been stagnating in the National Congress since 2006. Only this law would make way for the general use of GMOs in Chile,” he adds.
 
Santandreu replies that, while UPOV 91 may not mention GMOs by name, it refers to genetic improvement and defines this process as ranging from hybridisation to genetic engineering.
 
But the politicians, large farm owners and agricultural companies backing the bill argue that an agricultural exporter such as Chile needs solid intellectual property rights.
 
“We cannot be seen as a country that practises intellectual property piracy. Chile has signed many free trade agreements, including with the US and Japan, on the basis of reciprocal intellectual property rights,” says Parodi.
 
José Antonio Poblete, commercial manager of the Fruit Nurseries Association of Chile, told the Constitutional Court last year: “If Chile does not adhere to UPOV 91, there will be no reward for all the efforts made by 12 new, state-backed genetic programmes that are developing new fruit varieties”.
 
But anti-GMO campaigners remain unconvinced.
 
“We are waiting for the next significant development in Congress before we march again,” Santandreu says.
 
Link to International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants

MENINGITIS THREAT IN AFRICA SALVED BY VACCINE

September 26, 2013

MENINGITIS THREAT IN AFRICA SALVED BY VACCINE

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Gracious day to you fellow global citizens!

 

An alarming report by health experts concerns the 450 millions of Africans who are at risk of meningitis. While the ailment can be cured, response systems are insufficient to reach out to the very poor families who comprise the greater majority in the resource rich continent.

 

The good news that is now ‘knocking on heavens doors’ in Africa and developing countries is that a recently innovated vaccine is now out in the open for immediate usage. Not only does it cure the deadly disease, it can also prevent meningitis from taking place for the persons who immediately seek an intervention.

 

Eradicating meningitis via vaccination is valuable an intervention to me, as my own country used to be very poor whence my own relatives in the provinces died of the ailment. There were also moments in my past when I was on the verge of being hit by meningitis, as I keep on contracting inflammations of my sinus and throat—with infections that can lead to meningitis if not treated early.

 

Chad was employed as a test case for the new vaccine, with stunningly high success. For the details on the report, please refer to the enclosed  article below.

 

Source: http://www.scidev.net/global/health/news/meningitis-vaccine-cuts-cases-by-94-per-cent-in-chad.html

 

[Manila, 24 September 2013]

Meningitis vaccine cuts cases by 94 per cent in Chad

Albert González Farran/UNAMID

Speed read

  • The MenAfriVac vaccine helped cut cases by 94 per cent in the 2012 epidemic season
  • Results are based on analysis of 1.8 million vaccinations in Chad
  • The vaccine’s roll out should continue, but also be monitored

A meningitis vaccine that has recently been rolled out in several African countries has reduced the incidence of the disease by 94 per cent in Chad after just a single dose per person, in what scientists say is a startling success for the new vaccine, called MenAfriVac.
 
And the presence of the bacteria responsible for the disease in people’s throats — carriage prevalence — dropped by 98 per cent, according to the study published in The Lancet today.
 
The research, based on an analysis of data from 1.8 million vaccinations in Chad, revealed that there were no cases of serogroup A meningococcal meningitis, the most dangerous strain of the disease, following vaccination.
 
“This is one of the most dramatic outcomes from a public health intervention that I have seen,” said lead author Brian Greenwood in a press release (12 September).
 
“There are now real prospects that the devastating effects of this infection in Africa can be prevented,” said Greenwood, a professor of clinical tropical medicine at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom, which carried out the study together with the Centre de Support en Santé Internationale in Chad and other partners. 
 
Deadly epidemics of meningitis A occur regularly in Sub-Saharan Africa’s meningitis belt, a band of 21 countries stretching from Senegal in the west to Ethiopia in the east, where around 450 million people are at risk.
 
Group A meningococcus accounts for an estimated 80 to 85 per cent of all cases across the belt, with the most affected countries being Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia and Niger. If untreated, the disease — which mainly affects infants, children and young adults — kills half of those infected.

“One of the most dramatic outcomes from a public health intervention that I have seen”

Brian Greenwood, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

In the new study, researchers compared the impact of Chad’s 2011 vaccination programme on meningitis incidence and carriage in three vaccinated areas with the results from the unvaccinated areas over the same period.
 
When the 2012 epidemic seasons arrived, the incidence of meningitis of any type in the three vaccinated regions was 2.5 per 100,000 people, compared with 43.6 per 100,000 people in the unvaccinated areas.
 
And there were no meningitis A cases in the vaccinated regions, compared with 59 in the unvaccinated regions.
 
Carriage of the bacteria also dropped dramatically among vaccinated people, and even unvaccinated people — those too old or young to be vaccinated — showed no cases after their communities were vaccinated, suggesting that vaccination programmes substantially reduce carriage and transmission.  
 
Although mass vaccination campaigns in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger had shown the vaccine to be safe and highly effective so far, “until now, it was not known definitively whether MenAfriVac had a major impact on the incidence of serogroup A epidemics and carriage”, according to Greenwood.
 
The WHO says the vaccine has several advantages over existing vaccines, including: a higher and more long-lasting immune response; reducing the number of throat bacteria, and thus transmission; its expected long-term protection for those vaccinated, their family members and others who are exposed; and its lower than average price.
 
The findings support the case that vaccination programmes should continue across the African meningitis belt, according to Greenwood.
 
But he warns that continuing surveillance and further carriage studies in the belt will be needed to confirm the duration of protection provided by this vaccine.
 
“This is an extremely encouraging sign for those countries that are yet to introduce the vaccine,” Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele, director of the WHO department of immunisation, vaccines and biologicals, said in a press release.
 
“We are not even half-way done with introducing this revolutionary new vaccine across the meningitis belt of Africa, yet we already have extraordinary results.”
 
The vaccine was developed by the Meningitis Vaccine Project, a partnership between the WHO and PATH (Program for Appropriate Technology in Health), with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
 
Link to paper abstract

References

The Lancet doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61612-8 (2013)

 

WORMS CAN BE WIPED OUT BY GM BACTERIA

September 20, 2013

WORMS CAN BE WIPED OUT BY GM BACTERIA

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Worm parasitism, notably of the pinworm variety, infects over 2 billion children and pregnant mothers across the globe. That’s nearly 1 in every 3 Earthlings infested by the worm disease!

 

Sadly, many worms are now resistant to drugs. Reversing the process, with the object of eliminating worm parasitism in the long run, seems to find its salvation in the genetic modification of a certain bacterium. But while the new panacea awaits trial results on humans, many children and pregnant women will face the scourge of disabilities brought by worm parasitism.

 

The GM bacterium was already tested on hamsters in the laboratory. Gladly, the finds about the impact of the GM strain on the parasite-infested hamsters were positive and conclusive. The next stage—of testing the panacea on humans—is now in the works, which should cheer up many children and mothers.

 

The brightening reportage is shown below.

 

[Manila, 18 September 2013]

 

 

Source: http://www.scidev.net/global/medicine/news/gm-bacteria-could-help-mass-produce-hookworm-drugs.html

 

GM bacteria could help mass produce hookworm drugs

Speed read

  • GM bacteria similar to those used in food makes proteins against parasitic worms
  • The proteins are more effective in animal experiments than currently used drugs
  • The work has yet to reach the pre-clinical stage but plans are underway

[SÃO PAULO] Researchers have produced a protein that kills parasitic intestinal worms, by genetically engineering a bacterium similar to those used in probiotics — raising hopes of more effective and safer therapies for infections that affect up to two billion people worldwide.

“There is a growing number of drug resistant parasites.”

Rose Gomes Monnerat 

The protein, Cry5B, has previously been shown to kill parasitic worms. It is normally produced by Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacterium used as an insecticide and not considered safe for use in people.

Bacteria containing Cry5B could be an ideal drug against human parasites, researchers say, as they can be easily and cheaply produced in large quantities, as well as shipped and stored under adverse conditions.

The researchers inserted the protein-producing gene into another related bacterium, Bacillus subtilis — strains of which are commonly used in foods such as probiotic yoghurts.

They first showed that the modified strain successfully produces the protein, and then tested it for treating parasitic worms in hamsters.

When given in small doses to hamsters infected with hookworm, Ancylostoma ceylanicum — which is capable of infecting people, and is related to a major human parasite, A. duodenale — the protein reduced the parasite burden by 93 per cent.

The study reports that this is comparable or even more effective than currently approved drugs for treating hookworms, whipworms and large roundworms.

These parasitic worms “are the leading causes of disease burden and disability in children and pregnant women worldwide” and “infect mostly impoverished people in the developing world and contribute significantly to keeping these people trapped in poverty”, the study says.

Rose Gomes Monnerat, a researcher at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), and a member of the study team, tells SciDev.Net: “Treatment of gut parasites has been done with highly toxic drugs so far.”

“There is also a growing number of reports of drug resistant parasites. So it is important to have alternatives to their control,” she adds.

Manoel Victor Franco Lemos, a biologist at São Paulo State University, Brazil, says: “Although the results have been achieved by using animal models of parasitic infections, the worm species used are quite close to those that cause the same infections in humans”.

But he highlights the need for trials on humans.

Raffi Aroian, co-author and a biologist at the University of California, San Diego, says: “We are talking to knowledgeable people about how much pre-clinical testing would have to be done prior to human clinical trials”.

One of the main challenges, Aroian adds, is that although the B. subtilis strain used is a model for food-safe bacteria and used in some probiotics, it is not a proven food-safe bacterium.

“Now we need to put the gene into a proven food-safe one,” he says.

“Additionally, several toxicity tests must also be done until we can ensure its safety,” says Monnerat.

The study will be published in the September issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Link to full article in Applied and Environmental Microbiology

References

Applied and Environmental Microbiology doi:10.1128/AEM.01854-13 (2013)

AID AGENCIES BETTER LOCALIZE THEIR PURCHASES OF MATERIALS

September 16, 2013

AID AGENCIES BETTER LOCALIZE THEIR PURCHASES OF MATERIALS

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

$69 Billion is spent each year by international aid agencies for procurements of needed materials from external markets. The total amount is over half of aid funding for developing countries.

 

The advisory from experts who know the development processes in Africa is this: aid agencies better source materials locally. The behavior will impact as sound social development practice. Besides, the materials sourced from local markets do reduce the cost of materials.

 

I still recall, in my studies on economic history, when aid agencies infused massive aid funds supposedly on Philippine agriculture in the late 40s through the 60s. PH during those days was predominantly agricultural, with farmers and fisherfolks comprising past 75% of the population. Studies showed that the aid agencies bought tractors, fertilizers and seedlings from International Harvester and outside sources. The tractors alone provided headaches for the end-users, as they are hardly practicable in terrains that are hardly fit for them.

 

Let it be stressed that procuring materials in external market bring along with them inefficiencies. Besides, there could be corruption in the procurement processes, as they could favor certain manufacturers or producers that result to padding of prices. In the end, a very small portion of the aid funds actually go directly to the target beneficiaries, thus defeating the purpose of the development endeavor.

 

Below is the insightful report about the subject matter.

 

[Manila, 12 September 2013]

 

Source: http://www.scidev.net/global/aid/news/aid-agencies-should-go-local-when-sourcing-materials.html

Aid agencies should ‘go local’ when sourcing materials

Speed read

  • Buying locally would slash costs, and identify locally appropriate solutions
  • 20 per cent of aid purchases are still tied to firms in donor countries
  • Local social enterprise experts firms to carry out policy reviews

Aid agencies should source development products from local manufacturers to help them make the most of their budgets and improve their impact, a group of small businesses, service providers and manufacturers from Africa said this week.

Development agencies spend around US$69 billion each year on procuring goods and services from external providers — more than 50 per cent of total official development assistance — according to a press release by AidEx, a global humanitarian and development aid event held annually in Brussels. But 20 per cent of bilateral aid purchases are still tied to firms in donor countries, resulting in project expenses increasing by up to 40 per cent.

The group of businesses participating in the AidEx Developing World Supplier Zone — an area of 25 free stalls designed to help businesses from developing countries reach an international buying audience — is now urging aid agencies to carry out procurement policy reviews that would compare the cost, delivery time and social benefits of obtaining goods and services through local providers. They are also calling for the removal of conditions that tie donors to procurement in donor countries.

“Aid agencies’ use of local suppliers is key to maximising business opportunities and upskilling communities.”

Ben Solanky

By using local businesses in Africa, aid agencies could lower transaction costs, shorten delivery times and improve the investment climate in the surrounding region, the press release said.

“It’s vital for aid organisations to seriously consider locally developed solutions in their procurement, as these companies’ offerings have already been tried and tested ‘on the ground’,” said Grant Gibbs, project manager at Hippo Water Roller, a water technology project in South Africa.

“Superimposing First World business models can underestimate differences in African infrastructure — particularly at the rural level — and lead to inefficiencies,” Gibbs added.

Simon Lucas, CEO of Reltex Africa, a humanitarian relief materials supplier based in Kenya, said the benefits of the organisation’s location in Mombasa, for example, are that it “can easily access raw materials and re-export finished goods through supply chain routes across East Africa.”

“This,” he said, “has led to reduced transportation times and decreased environmental impact for humanitarian aid deliveries.

“When looking at purchasing products from Africa, I urge procurement managers to look further than just the price and take into account the social benefits and economic input to the region.” 

Charles Mugasa, of Ugandan social enterprise start-up Chiabiz, said: “Aid agencies must prioritise local companies that have grassroots connections with the community if they are to realise their goals, otherwise the bureaucratic nature of governments can get in the way.”

And Ben Solanky, director of Global Hand, a non-profit matching service for public-private partnerships, added: “Aid agencies’ use of local suppliers is key to maximising business opportunities and upskilling communities.

Dialogue, openness and connectivity between for-profits and non-profits is crucial in Africa — to see the idea of ‘doing well’ become an economic reality.”

 

DESERT’S GRACES: PLANTATIONS CAPTURE CARBON!

September 14, 2013

DESERT’S GRACES: PLANTATIONS CAPTURE CARBON!

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Here’s another one for the good news, fellows! That desert plantations offer basic graces for whole nations.

According to a study published in the Earth System Dynamics, cultivating plants such as jathropa in deserts could absorb up to 25 tones of carbon dioxide annually. Desert plants also reduce desert temperature by a centigrade at least, and also induce rainfalls.

The advantage of desert-fit plants is that they don’t compete with other crops. It just needs some special technical expertise to plant them. In my own country [PH], desert-fit plants are among the top waves for renewable energy or RE sources, backed by policy environment that is among the world’s top as regards RE for power production.

Enclosed is the reportorial from the scidev.net about the intriguing find.

[Manila, 06 September 2013]
Source: http://www.scidev.net/global/desert-science/news/desert-plantations-could-help-capture-carbon.html
Desert plantations could help capture carbon
Speed read
• Each hectare of the tree could absorb up to 25 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year
• Jatropha needs little water but could be irrigated by desalination plants
• Plantations can also cut average desert temperatures and boost rainfall
Planting trees in coastal deserts could capture carbon dioxide, reduce harsh desert temperatures, boost rainfall, revitalise soils and produce cheap biofuels, say scientists.

Large-scale plantations of the hardy jatropha tree, Jatropha curcas, could help sequester carbon dioxide through a process known as ‘carbon farming’, according to a study based on data gathered in Mexico and Oman that was published in Earth System Dynamics last month (31 July).

Each hectare of the tree could soak up 17-25 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, they say, at a cost of 42-63 euros (about US$56-84) per tonne of gas, the paper says. This makes the technique competitive with high-tech carbon capture and storage.

Klaus Becker, the study’s lead author and director of carbon sequestration consultancy Atmosphere Protect, says that a jatropha plantation covering just three per cent of the Arabian Desert could absorb all the carbon dioxide produced by cars in Germany over two decades.

“Our models show that, because of plantations, average desert temperatures go down by 1.1 degree Celsius, which is a lot,” Becker says. He adds that the plantations would also induce rainfall in desert areas.

Jatropha, which is a biofuel crop, needs little water, and coastal plantations would be irrigated through desalination, Becker says.

He also envisages a role for sewage in such large-scale plantations.

“There are billions and billions of litres of sewage that are discharged into the oceans every week, but instead we could send that water to the desert and plant trees,” he says. “In this situation, you wouldn’t need any expensive artificial nitrogen [to fertilise the trees].”

The team has also been working in Israel’s Negev desert, where they planted 16 tree species, which, they say, is preferable to a jatropha monoculture. “A diversity of trees is good for the environment, good for investors and good for preventing diseases,” says Becker.

At another of the team’s carbon farms — a jatropha plantation in Madagascar — the organic matter content of degraded soil has risen from 0.2 per cent up to three per cent.

Local people now harvest beans planted between the trees, providing a vital source of protein and creating a symbiotic exchange of nitrogen — fixed from air by beans — and shade provided by the jatropha trees.

“Previously, no one had the idea of using uncultivated land to plant these kinds of leguminous beans because they would not grow there. But after four or five years of applying cultivation techniques, the soil quality increases dramatically,” Becker says.

Alex Walker, a research assistant at the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College London, United Kingdom, describes carbon farming as a “common-sense approach to rising carbon dioxide levels, with potentially positive biodiversity impacts”.

He adds: “It will grow on non-arable land, and so not compete with food production, but it is more difficult to process and subject to varying yields and absorption volumes”.

Egypt is pioneering an experiment in desert farming, using sewage water after basic treatment to produce wood, woody biomass and biofuel crops, such as casuarina, African mahogany, jojoba and neem, in addition to jatropha.

“In Egypt, there are 15,000 acres planted with trees of good quality but so far they have not been sold to create economic value,” Hany El Kateb, a professor at the Technical University of Munich in Germany, tells SciDev.Net.

According to El Kateb, Egypt produces more than 6.3 billion cubic metres of sewage water a year, and 5.5 billion cubic metres of this would be sufficient to afforest more than 650,000 hectares of desert lands and store more than 25 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually in new forests.

El Kateb points out that Egypt has an advantage over European countries that are leaders in forestry, such as Germany, because the same trees grow more than 4.5 times faster in Egypt where the sun shine most of the year.

But Mosaad Kotb Hassanein, director of the Central Laboratory for Agricultural Climate in Egypt, says: “One of the big challenges of planting forests in arid areas is the lack of experience, expertise and technical personnel involved in the establishment and management of forest plantations.

“The project in Egypt was lucky to have technical assistance and support establishing a forest administration from the German Academic Exchange Service.”

Additional reporting by Nehal Lasheen.

Link to full paper in Earth System Dynamics

References
Earth System Dynamics doi: 10.5194/esd-4-237-2013 (2013)

SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL PRODUCT DESIGN: INFORMAL MARKETS

September 14, 2013

SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL PRODUCT DESIGN: INFORMAL MARKETS

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Gracious day, fellow global citizens!

What makes a product design click in a certain market? As far as developing countries are concerned, the presence of informal markets matter most. This was the astounding finding of a study done in the M.I.T.

I do resonate with the study findings, being a development worker who knows the basic end-users in my country. Those families in the lower middle to lower income brackets comprise a very large portion of the population here, a fact that was highly recognized by big retailers and manufacturers who tailor fit their products for them.

For the product designers, better consult economists who are in the know about markets or end-users. The antiquated Say’s Law, which posits that “a supply creates its own demands,” was long debunked, with John Maynard Keynes providing the coup d’ grace to the demolition of the flawed doctrine.

The lesson forwarded is: don’t ever engineer products that require a lot of time and effort to educate the end-users. In developing countries, among informal markets, such a line of thought won’t work, as the end-users want a quick usage of the items without much ado about how to use them.

Below is the reportage about the revelatory development.

[Manila, 01 September 2013]

Source: http://www.scidev.net/global/enterprise/news/study-reveals-secrets-to-successful-product-design.html

Study reveals secrets to successful product design
Speed read
• Sales hits such as a phone for rent were designed for micro-entrepreneurs
• Design guidelines call for a focus on products’ money-making ability
• But a product’s business model is also viewed as crucial
The secret to successful product design for developing countries is to tailor products for informal markets, a study has found.

Some of the best-selling products in emerging markets, such as solar lamps and a Nokia mobile phone, were specifically designed to help the owners of low-income businesses, known as micro-enterprises, make money, the study says.

These micro-enterprises are an untapped but potentially lucrative market and products tailor-made for them could make large profits for both local salesmen and multinational corporations.

The study authors, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States, are now planning a large-scale study to evaluate and refine a set of guidelines for those designing products for developing countries.

Design firms in more mature markets generally develop products for consumers or businesses, but not for the informal markets that are prevalent in developing countries, says Maria Yang, co-author of the paper published as part of the ASME international design conference this month (4-7 August).

The study cited mobile phone multinational Nokia as an exception.

In 2003, Nokia launched a phone that dominated sales in India and Sub-Saharan Africa. It was designed for the owners of small, phone-renting businesses, according to the study.

The Nokia 1100 was intended to be shared by many people and used in various environments. It had an easy-grip back for humid climates, a dust-resistant keyboard, an LED torch and several contact lists so users could share the phone and keep personal contact lists separate. Nokia also developed eRefills, a metering tool that displays the exact cost of each call. In addition, Nokia used a fleet of vans to reach rural customers for marketing and product servicing.

“The phones have been used by farmers, fishermen and other producers to check market prices. They have also been used as the basis for money transfers in communities without adequate access to financial services,” Yang tells SciDev.Net.

Products designed for this sector not only benefit local entrepreneurs, but can help develop whole communities.

“The ability to communicate is critical to development at a basic level, particularly when some emerging markets lack the infrastructure to support other key types of communication such as landlines,” says Yang.

The researchers highlighted solar lamps as another example of design success aimed at micro-enterprises.

Solar lamps enable micro-entrepreneurs to keep their businesses open at night. US firm Greenlight Planet has designed one that can also charge mobile phones. This lamp has sold particularly well because buyers can make money by charging phones for a fee.

But supplying emerging markets with solar lamps also benefits the entire community, driving the switch to solar lighting from expensive, potentially dangerous kerosene lighting.

Daniel Schnitzer, founder of the NGO EarthSpark International, which provides solar lamps to micro-entrepreneurs, believes that strong product design is not the only factor in ensuring sales success.

“Way too much effort is put into designing these products, rather than on coming up with the right business model and the right after-sales service model. That’s really what makes these businesses successful,” he says.

He adds that EarthSpark has spent much time and resources on designing education and training materials for the entrepreneurs to use themselves and to give to their customers. “I think this is an area where manufacturers have really fallen short,” Schnitzer says.

But Yang disagrees. “Educating the user can take a long time, which can backfire,” she says. “The best strategy is to come up with a novel product and business models that users can immediately grasp.”

The paper offers some guidelines for future designers that focus on creating products that foster micro-enterprise. For example, it says that designers should think of their target users not only as consumers but also as micro-entrepreneurs, and be aware of their needs. It must be clear how the user can make money from the product, and the product should be upgradable so its performance capacity can grow with the business.

Another guideline calls on designers to consider multi-functionality, for example, the solar lamp’s ability to charge phones was key to its success.

Link to the paper
References
Austin-Breneman, J. and Yang, M. Design for Micro-Enterprise: An Approach to Product Design for Emerging Markets (Proceedings of the ASME 2013 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, 4-7 August)

FOLKLORE TO IMPROVE LITERACY: ORAL TRADITION IN ASEAN

May 24, 2012

FOLKLORE TO IMPROVE LITERACY: ORAL TRADITION IN ASEAN
Erle Frayne D. Argonza / Ra

Visual and oral traditions are very strong among the peoples of ASEAN region. In our current analytic models, Southeast Asians are strongly right-brained as learners.
The right-brained facet of ASEAN peoples is largely a legacy of the Lemuro-Atlantean race (part of 4th ‘root race’). As per explications from Divine wisdom or Theos Sophia, the current Southeast Asians, with Malayan and IndoMongolian ethnicies as the largest, were among the last sub-races to evolve in the Atlantean racial phenotypes. The Mahatmas termed them as Lemuro-Atlantean, as they were bred from the surviving Lemurians that appeared prior to Atlantis’ heyday.
The use of folklore as potent tools for learning is practically accepted in the entire ASEAN region. Below is an example of a human development effort in Malaysia in substantiation of the folklore as learning tool.
[Philippines, 16 June 2011]
Source: http://www.unicef.org/malaysia/media_7099.html
Folklore inspiration to improve Malaysian Orang Asli children’s literacy
By Indra Nadchatram
KUALA LUMPUR, 25 July 2007 – Malaysia’s Orang Asli children will soon get to improve their literacy skills as a result of a specially tailored education program which will incorporate Orang Asli folklores and legends into teaching and learning aids.
Organised by the Ministry of Education and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the remedial program will introduce story-telling techniques in the classroom together with story books designed to capture the imagination of close to 6,000 Orang Asli children, with the aim of encouraging reading habits and improving writing skills.
While the country has achieved impressive results in education with a net enrolment rate of 96% in primary school for Malaysian children, most children from the Orang Asli community however are found lagging behind. Orang Asli children together with children from Sabah and Sarawak’s indigenous groups make up for a sizeable proportion of Malaysia’s remaining 4% children who fair poorly in both primary school enrolment rates and achievements.
Trapped in poverty
Due to poor education performances, Malaysia’s Orang Asli remain one of the poorest in the country. A household income survey carried out less than ten years ago found as many as 51% of the population living below the poverty level.
Teacher Santey anak Dugu (24) who hails from Malaysia’s Mah Meri ethnic group in Selangor’s Carey Island blames the lackadaisical attitude of Orang Asli parents towards education for low school enrolment, absenteeism and drop out rates.
“Orang Asli parents simply don’t realise the value of an education. When girls reach 10 or 11 year old, they are often asked to stay at home to look after their younger siblings and do household chores, while boys will be taken out to sea to fish,” says Santey. “It is a huge loss to our community because without an education, we will always remain trapped in poverty”.
Collecting folk stories
Santey together with 19 Orang Asli teachers representing 5 ethnic groups – Jakun, Mah Meri, Semai, Semalai and Temuan from the states of Pahang, Johor, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Melaka came together recently for a four day workshop to share Orang Asli folklores and legends with the Ministry of Education and UNICEF.
Like many other Orang Asli teachers who participated in the Workshop, Santey relied heavily on the knowledge of her village elders for Mah Meri folklore. She is particularly glad for the program as it means the culture and beliefs of her community will be kept alive for the younger generation through the story books.
“I am excited about the value the Ministry of Education and UNICEF is placing on our cultural heritage. It gives me pride to be able to share stories from my own community for others to learn from,” continues Santey.
Santey believes the folk stories, each with its own important life lesson, will be a powerful incentive to encourage both parents and children to get involved in learning. At the same time, the initiative will help the others learn about the traditions and beliefs of the different Orang Asli ethnic groups in Malaysia.
Children’s love for stories
A total of 13 stories were collected during the workshop to develop story telling materials and text books for use by Year Two and Year Three Orang Asli students in the country. In addition, the Ministry of Education and UNICEF will train Orang Asli teachers from 93 schools in techniques and practices of storytelling which will include the use of facial expressions, body gestures and exaggerated character voices.
According to the Ministry of Education’s Assistant Director, Puan Norhayati Mokhtar, the program design takes into consideration children’s love for stories.
“Stories are most meaningful and best able to promote literacy when they speak to a student’s world. Using folklores can help children develop pride in their ethnic identity, provide positive role models, develop knowledge about cultural history, and build self-esteem,” explains Puan Norhayati.
This recent initiative builds on the Ministry of Education and UNICEF’s 1997 Special Remedial Education Program for Orang Asli children.
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

PROF. ERLE FRAYNE ARGONZA WEBSITE: http://erleargonza.com

ARGONZA COSMIC BLOGS & LINKS:
http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com, http://kathapantas.blogdrive.com, http://talangguro.blogfree.com, http://tribes.tribe.com, http://lovingenergies.spruz.com, http://www.newciv.org, http://thatsthewayoflight.socialparadox.com, http://lightworkers.org, http://www.spiritualpassions.com, http://www.articlesforfree.net
http://community.beliefnet.com/erleargonza, http://paranormaluniverse.ning.com, http://healinginternational.ning.com, http://innercoredaystarcommand.ning.com, http://raefdargon.mysticblogs.com, http://efdargon.multiply.com, http://newageconnection.com, http://www.facebook.com

MASTERS’ SITES:
http://www.theascendedmasters.com, http://www.greatdreams.com,
http://www.drunvalo.net, http://www.lightchannels.com,
http://www.blavatsky.net, http://www.joelyonskincheloe.info/,
http://www.kriyayoga.com, http://www.lightascension.com,
http://www.tsl.org, http://www.gandhiserve.org,
http://www.maharishi.org, http://www.rssb.org, http://www.fisu.org, http://www.saibaba.org, http://trishulabearer.com,
http://www.salrachele.com, http://www.yogananda.srf.org,
http://www.sriaurobindosociety.org

VALUES EDUCATION VIA FOLKLORE: BRUNEI SHOWCASE

May 21, 2012

VALUES EDUCATION VIA FOLKLORE: BRUNEI SHOWCASE

Erle Frayne D. Argonza / Guru Ra

Values education is of fundamental import in awareness-raising and human formation anchorage. It is important too that values are made to work for those imbued with it, for the powerlessness to assert values make people less human.

There are many entry points to values education, which renders values formation an open field for the exercise of creative imagination and ingenuity. One of these entry points is folklore. Among the showcases for the region is that of Brunei, which I will echo in this note.

As argued by me in previous writings, folklore is a depository of ancient wisdom in Southeast Asia. I would hasten to add the Polynesians as manifesting also such a deep embeddedness of ancient or divine wisdom in their folklore. Values are part of the practical domains for divine wisdom, as it is in values where virtues (dharma) are made to work in demonstrative ways.

Below is a news briefer of the Brunei efforts.

[Philippines, 16 June 2011]
Source: http://bruneitimes.com.bn/news-national/2011/01/28/promoting-values-through-folktales
Promoting values through folktales
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Friday, January 28, 2011
ANTHOLOGIES of local folk tales should be published to promote Brunei stories as such books are found to be lacking in many Asian countries, with the exception of Japan, said an expert.

Dr Chu Keong Lee, a lecturer from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore made this suggestion when he presented his working paper “Promoting values using folk tales from Brunei” during the last day of the Brunei Information Resource Collection Symposium at Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

Local folklore are well worth promoting and libraries are the organisation most well-placed to promote them, said Dr Chu.

Additionally, governments can play a part in ensuring that local schools purchase a specific number of books for their students to encourage publishers to print local stories.

“Stories play an important role in the transmission of culture in a society, in effective organisational communication and learning, in knowledge sharing and in helping to understand a person’s illness experience,” said Dr Chu.

His paper analysed four local folk tales published in The Singing Top: Tales from Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei by Margaret Read MacDonald in 2008.

The four folk tales were The Dollarbid and the Short-tailed Monkey, The King of the Mosquitoes, Dayang Bongsu and the Crocodile and Si Perawal, the Greedy Fisherman.

It also discussed the ways in which libraries can leverage on indigenous stories in promoting the values within the tales locally and internationally.

The stories were first read as a whole to obtain a gist of the story, after that, each story was read carefully to find out what it was about and what value was being referred to.

The values identified from The Dollarbid and the Short-tailed Monkey were the importance of paying heed to good advice and the consequences of ignoring it, bravery, compassion and the perseverance of nature.

The King of the Mosquitoes emphasised the consequences of greed, bravery, not judging a book by its cover and the fruits of kindness.

In the paper, Dr Chu suggested that librarians should train tertiary students to be engaging and sensitive storytellers when promoting folk tales and their values, and then the students can be sent to primary and secondary schools to tell the stories to other students.

This, he said, was a method successfully employed by the Mahasarakham University Storytelling Project in Thailand.

“Senior citizens should be mobilised as their real-life experiences contain many valuable lessons that can be used as examples that illustrates the manifestations of these values.

“Senior citizens are probably the best people to convey these values to the young because of the Asian values of respect for elders,” he said.

The two-day symposium which concluded yesterday was attended by librarians, researchers, teachers, archivists, information specialists as well as government officers.

The symposium was aimed at sharing best practices and advancements in the management and dissemination of local information collection, while highlighting efforts to enhance collections and resources for the benefit of the teaching and learning community. — Zareena Amiruddin

The Brunei Times

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

PROF. ERLE FRAYNE ARGONZA WEBSITE: http://erleargonza.com

ARGONZA COSMIC BLOGS & LINKS:
http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com, http://kathapantas.blogdrive.com, http://talangguro.blogfree.com, http://tribes.tribe.com, http://lovingenergies.spruz.com, http://www.newciv.org, http://thatsthewayoflight.socialparadox.com, http://lightworkers.org, http://www.spiritualpassions.com, http://www.articlesforfree.net
http://community.beliefnet.com/erleargonza, http://paranormaluniverse.ning.com, http://healinginternational.ning.com, http://innercoredaystarcommand.ning.com, http://raefdargon.mysticblogs.com, http://efdargon.multiply.com, http://newageconnection.com, http://www.facebook.com

MASTERS’ SITES:
http://www.theascendedmasters.com, http://www.greatdreams.com,
http://www.drunvalo.net, http://www.lightchannels.com,
http://www.blavatsky.net, http://www.joelyonskincheloe.info/,
http://www.kriyayoga.com, http://www.lightascension.com,
http://www.tsl.org, http://www.gandhiserve.org,
http://www.maharishi.org, http://www.rssb.org, http://www.fisu.org, http://www.saibaba.org, http://trishulabearer.com,
http://www.salrachele.com, http://www.yogananda.srf.org,
http://www.sriaurobindosociety.org

POTATO BATTERY

May 17, 2012

POTATO BATTERY

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good news meets you rural folks as well as field workers, as research & development discovered the positive usable energy stored in potato that can be used for micro-instruments.

The cooking pot surely promises lots for those living in hinterlands, as boiled potato was shown to exhibit positive energy capacities. That is, just to stress, when potato is boiled.

Potato is eventually available everywhere, which explains why it was chosen among diverse agri products for the research & development project. From rural to urban markets, potatoes can be found. They comprise the 4th most abundant agri products.

Below is the exciting news about the a battery of the future.

[Philippines, 20 April 2012]

Source: http://www.scidev.net/en/news/potato-battery-could-help-meet-rural-energy-needs.html
Potato battery could help meet rural energy needs
James Dacey
25 June 2010 | EN
The holy grail of renewable energy research may lie in the cooking pot, according to scientists.
The search for a cheap source of electricity for remote, off-grid communities, has led to batteries that work on freshly boiled potatoes.
One slice of potato can generate 20 hours of light, and several slices could provide enough energy to power simple medical equipment and even a low-power computer, said a research team from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.
“The technology is ready to go,” co-researcher Haim Rabinowitch told SciDev.Net. “It should take an interested body only a short while, and very little investment, to make this available to communities in need.”
The team, which described its work in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy earlier this month (7 June), said its work hinges on a recent discovery that the electrical flow from potatoes — long known to be natural electrolytes — can be enhanced tenfold when their cell membranes are deliberately ruptured by boiling.
To demonstrate, the researchers created a series of batteries out of slices of boiled Desiree potatoes about the size of a standard mobile phone, though they say the type and size of potato slice do not determine its power.
The device had the same basic components as conventional batteries, consisting of two electrodes separated by an electrolyte (the potato). Each battery powered a small light for 20 hours, after which a new slice could be inserted.
Potato batteries are estimated to generate energy at a cost of approximately US$9 per kilowatt hour (kW/h), which compares favourably with the best performing 1.5 volt (AA) alkaline cells — or D cells — which generate energy at US$50/kWh.
Banana and strawberry batteries could also be used, said Rabinowitch, but their softer tissues would weaken the structure of the battery and the sugars could attract insects.
“Potatoes were chosen because of their availability all over including the tropics and sub-tropics,” he said. They are the world’s fourth most abundant food crop.”
Teo Sanchez, energy technology and policy advisor at Practical Action, a charity which promotes technology for development, said: “With half the world’s population having no access to modern energy, this research is a valuable contribution to one of the biggest challenges in the world”.
But he is concerned about the limited amount of power that individual batteries can generate and the possible implications of diverting a food crop into energy production.
Link to abstract in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy
• Send to a friend
• Print
• Comment
• | Share
Comments (9)
Dr.A.Jagadeesh ( Nayudamma Centre for Development Alternatives | India )
28 June 2010
Any energy generation must be consistent,economic and available in plenty. Potatos are primarily for food. There are several ways of generating electricity. For a school project POTATO ELECTRICITY is OK but not for commercial exploitation. Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP), India
Boris Rubinsky ( University of California at Berkeley | United States of America )
6 July 2010
The potato serves as a solid state salt bridge. The advantage is in the convenience of a solid component with a naturally generated composition. The quantity of potatoes needed for the salt bridge function is negligible relative to food consumption. The wearable material is the Zn. In fact with proper studies it may turn out that the migration of Zn ions into the potato may provide nutritional benefits to the potato slice used in the battery. Therefore no food is wasted. Furthermore, as mentioned in the paper, while the potato may be optimal because it is widely available, every tuber or solid plant material could be used as a solid state bridge. Nevertheless, reducing the internal impedance of the salt bridge through actions such as boiling is crucial to increasing efficiency.
Agnes Becker ( Institute for Global Health, Imperial College London, UK | United Kingdom )
6 July 2010
Definitely need something more sustainable. Take a look at e.quinox (http://www.e.quinox.org/), a non-profit, humanitarian project that hopes to bring cost-effective renewable energy to developing countries. They have already set up energy kiosks in rural Rwanda in which a local staff member uses solar energy to recharge portable battery packs that people can take home and use for electricity.
musoke christopher ( MUST | Uganda )
19 August 2010
Potato electricity is a good idea in regions where potatoes are grown in plenty. Regions like western Uganda where potatoes rot due to the inability to transport them to urban areas in time for sale, the idea can work perfectly well. If the people are sensitized, excess food crop can be converted in electricity.
Arthur Makara ( Uganda )
13 January 2011
This is a marvellous invention, it should not merely be dismissed on the pretex of encroachment on food. It is s significant scientific find and can be modified or improved upon to a commercial value level using substitute sources of appropriate materials to avail energy rural communities. It should be encouraged!

Arthur Makara, Science Foundation for Livelihoods and Development, Kampala, Uganda
ironjustice ( Canada )
15 January 2011
Quote: Regions like western Uganda where potatoes rot due to the inability to transport them to urban areas in time for sale

Answer: “A solar crop dryer developed by a UNSW photovoltaic and solar energy engineering student has the potential to provide a living for thousands of people”

“It’s particularly great for women because they are the ones that sell foods through the local markets.”
http://www.unsw.edu.au/news/pad/articles/2011/jan/solar_dryer.html
SteveK ( United States of America )
3 April 2011
There is a huge amount of cattail rhizome going to waste in Lake Chad. I doubt that this is the best way to use it, but it beats wasting it.
louandel ( Jacob Eco Energy Ltd | United Kingdom )
3 May 2011
I find it extraordinary that people should find this obvious move forward in renewable resources not only innovative and creative but also potentially effective to global community if it is taken seriously. All renewable resources were considered marginal and off-beat when they first came to being. Now they are part of our everyday lives. Give this the same respect.
elecsolar ( offgrid energy alternative technologies | Kenya )
29 March 2012
This is brilliant idea, so glad that soon the rural people will have clean cheap electricity thanks to LED discovery. i have also been working on a charcoal battery which have impressed me very much since am able to make none spill-able charcoal battery for portable use it lasts for many days. Women and children can make it when they need it and there is no need to switch it off after use .Thanks to these technologies
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
PROF. ERLE FRAYNE ARGONZA WEBSITE: http://erleargonza.com

ARGONZA SOCIAL BLOGS & LINKS:
http://erleargonza.blogspot.com, https://unladtau.wordpress.com, http://www.facebook.com, http://www.newciv.org, http://sta.rtup.biz, http://magicalsecretgarden.socialparadox.com, http://en.netlog.com/erlefrayne, http://talangguro.blogfree.net, http://www.blogster.com/erleargonza, http://efdargon.multiply.com,
http://internationalpeaceandconflict.org, http://erleargonza.seekopia.com, http://lovingenergies.spruz.com, http://www.articlesforfree.net, http://www.facebook.com

DEVELOPMENT SITES:
http://www.adb.org, http://www.asean.org, http://www.bis.org, http://www.devex.com, http://www.eldis.org, http://www.fao.org, http://www.icc-cpi.int, http://www.imf.org, http://www.iom.int, http://www.scidev.net, http://www.un.org, http://www.undp.org, http://www.unescap.org, http://www.unesco.org, http://www.unhabitat.org, http://www.unhcr.org, http://www.unido.org, http://www.unis.unvienna.org, http://www.who.int, http://www.worldbank.org, http://www.wto.org

CRITICAL STATE OF PLANET

May 12, 2012

CRITICAL STATE OF PLANET

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Social scientists over the last decade came up with researches that show an alarming increase of patters pointing to a critical state of the planet. Man’s intrusive intervention in many spheres of life has scaled up, sufficient to cause a tipping point towards even greater uncertainties.

The interconnectedness of politics, economics, culture, and institutions of private sphere has entered a seemingly new phase of even greater couplings. Thus, the very wellbeing of human civilization is at risk of catastrophic results of interventions that tip off to the uncontrollable.

Today, there has been a greater need for scientists across disciplines to come together and look at the problems in multi-faceted ways, added to anticipating models of emerging realities that project the different dimensions concerned.

Below is a very interesting sum up of the views of scientists on the state of the planet.

[Philippines, 19 April 2012]

Source: http://www.scidev.net/en/agriculture-and-environment/planet-under-pressure-2012-2/news/planet-is-in-critical-state-warns-science-declaration.html
Planet is in critical state, warns science declaration
Aisling Irwin
30 March 2012 | EN | ES
[LONDON] Earth has only one decade to pull itself back from various environmental ‘tipping points’ — points at which the damage becomes irreversible, scientists have said.
If it fails to do so, it is likely to witness a series of breakdowns in the systems that sustain people, such as oceans and soil, according to a major meeting on safeguarding the planet’s future, the Planet Under Pressure conference (26–29 March).
“Research now demonstrates that the continued functioning of the Earth system as it has supported the wellbeing of human civilization in recent centuries is at risk,” said some of the world’s leading documenters of global environmental change in the first ‘State of the Planet’ declaration.
They also admitted that scientists could no longer continue with ‘business as usual’.
This article is part of our Planet Under Pressure 2012 coverage — which takes place 26–29 March 2012. To read insights from our conference team please visit our blog.
“We have been far better at documenting the problem and understanding the processes than engaging with solutions,” said Mark Stafford Smith, science director of the Climate Adaptation Flagship at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia’s national science agency.
Johan Rockström, executive director of the Stockholm Environment Institute, in Sweden, said it was “absolutely shocking” that scientists had not answered questions such as “how much biodiversity [do] we need in order to sustain landscapes for our economy?”.
He told a press conference: “I and many scientists are still profoundly frustrated that we don’t know whether we are heading for a two degree or six degree temperature rise — that’s not satisfactory for any decision makers”.
The declaration says that three changes over the last decade make scientists’ warnings qualitatively different from before.
First, a decade of research is leading to the consensus that we inhabit a new epoch, the Anthropocene, in which humans are dominating planetary-scale processes.
Second, science has revealed that many planetary processes are interconnected, as are, increasingly, society and the economy. This interconnectedness can confer stability and accelerate innovation, says the declaration, but it also leaves us vulnerable to abrupt and rapid crises.
Third, social research has demonstrated that our current ways of governing global environmental change are not dealing effectively with problems such as climate change and biodiversity loss. Many researchers conclude that local, national and regional partnerships are also needed as an insurance policy against failures of governance at a global level.
The declaration supports some of the ideas that are being promoted for inclusion in the Rio+20 agreement, to be finalised at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (20–22 June) in Brazil.
These include: the need to go beyond GDP (gross domestic product) by taking into account the value of natural capital when measuring progress; a framework for developing global sustainability goals; the creation of a UN Sustainable Development Council to integrate social, economic and environmental policy at the global level; and the production of regular global sustainability analyses.
One key outcome of the meeting was agreement on the need to push forward a scheme to redirect global change science, so-called ‘Future Earth’, which will pull together an wide variety of disciplines to answer questions that societies need to tackle.
Irina Bokova, director-general of UNESCO, who attended the final day, praised the Future Earth initiative for being “unprecedented in its creativity”.
Liz Thomson, executive coordinator of the Rio+20 summit, told the meeting that many of the messages from the scientific community, which has been lobbying for some time over the Rio+20 agreement, had already made it into the ‘zero draft’ of Rio+20’s outcome document, and that the declaration would “increase the pressure on policymakers to get the message and act on it”.
The UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon said in a recorded address that he was “taking forward” a recommendation from his high-level science panel that he appoint a science advisor.
Co-chair of the meeting, Lidia Brito, director of science policy and capacity building in natural sciences at UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), said: “We have a positive message: strong leadership from all sectors, and harnessing [our] increased connectivity, offer hope that the risk of long-term environmental crises can be minimised”.
But some delegates said that while the conference linked natural and social scientists, it was less successful in luring policymakers and business representatives.
Nigel Cameron, president of the US-based Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies, told the meeting that he did not see venture capitalists or heads of research and development from industry “around the table … and the reason for that is that the people around the table don’t want them [there]”.
And others said that scientists might be overestimating the influence they could have. Carlos Nobre, of Brazil’s ministry of science, technology and innovation, talked of “the stark reality of anti-science political power … no matter how good we become as communicators we have to recognize it is very effective at blocking action”.
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

PROF. ERLE FRAYNE ARGONZA WEBSITE: http://erleargonza.com

ARGONZA SOCIAL BLOGS & LINKS:
http://erleargonza.blogspot.com, https://unladtau.wordpress.com, http://www.facebook.com, http://www.newciv.org, http://sta.rtup.biz, http://magicalsecretgarden.socialparadox.com, http://en.netlog.com/erlefrayne, http://talangguro.blogfree.net, http://www.blogster.com/erleargonza, http://efdargon.multiply.com,
http://internationalpeaceandconflict.org, http://erleargonza.seekopia.com, http://lovingenergies.spruz.com, http://www.articlesforfree.net, http://www.facebook.com

DEVELOPMENT SITES:
http://www.adb.org, http://www.asean.org, http://www.bis.org, http://www.devex.com, http://www.eldis.org, http://www.fao.org, http://www.icc-cpi.int, http://www.imf.org, http://www.iom.int, http://www.scidev.net, http://www.un.org, http://www.undp.org, http://www.unescap.org, http://www.unesco.org, http://www.unhabitat.org, http://www.unhcr.org, http://www.unido.org, http://www.unis.unvienna.org, http://www.who.int, http://www.worldbank.org, http://www.wto.org