11 December 2009Standard Bank has signed a six-year US$100-million (about R747-million) loan agreement with three European development finance institutions. The loan will be used to fund infrastructure projects and project finance lending in Africa.The loan was coordinated by Germany’s Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), along with Netherlands’ FMO and the Austria’s Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank (OeEB).“The deal will hopefully serve as a platform for future cooperation between Standard Bank, DEG and the other lenders across a range of different banking products and geographies,” said Standard Bank Africa CEO Clive Tasker in a statement last week.It is the first transaction between Standard Bank of South Africa and DEG, one of Europe’s largest development finance institutions.“The tranche, made available by several development finance institutions, will enable Standard Bank to finance investments in the infrastructure sector,” said DEG chairman Bruno Wenn.Boosting continental trade, investmentStandard Bank has been very active in securing international credit facilities to fund trade and investment on the African continent, especially in light of the global financial crisis.In April, it received a $400-million credit line from the International Finance Corporation’s Global Trade Liquidity Programme to support trade in sub-Saharan Africa.In September, it raised a further US$1-billion loan facility with four major Chinese banks: the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Macau), Bank of China, China Development Bank, and China CITIC Bank.And, in October, it signed a further $150-million loan agreement with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation to boost trade on the continent.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
21 February 2014 South Africa will enter a new “radical phase” of economic transformation over the next five years to address poverty, unemployment and inequality, President Jacob Zuma said in Cape Town on Thursday. Replying to the debate on the State of the Nation address in Parliament, Zuma said South Africa had achieved social transformation over the past 20 years, and the emphasis would now be on economic transformation to ensure that black people also owned the economy. It would be a phase “of focusing on economic transformation in particular,” Zuma said. “We have achieved political freedom, now we have to achieve economic freedom and ensure that the owner of the economy is deracialised.” He added that the New Growth Path, which promotes local manufacturing, the National Infrastructure Plan and the Industrial Policy Action Plan would continue to shape the government’s policy agenda. Zuma said work was underway to establish a BBBEE commission to regulate and oversee empowerment transactions related to South Africa’s black economic empowerment policies. Despite the country’s employment equity policies, equity reports indicated that the economy was still in the hands of the white minority. “We must therefore intensify the implementation of affirmative action policies in order to deepen reconciliation and social cohesion in our country. I think it is important to look at reality … to take those who were left outside and bring them into the economy.” Responding to opposition parties’ criticisms over job creation, Zuma said they failed to give credit where it was due. All the jobs that had been lost during the 2008-09 global economic crisis had been recovered over the past five years and the economy had in fact created additional new jobs. He said the Jobs Fund, which was created in 2011, had approved 66 projects and committed more than R3-billion to job-creating enterprises. To date, more than 8 000 new permanent jobs and 4 000 short-term jobs had been created through the fund, while more than 25 000 beneficiaries had received training. The country’s development finance institutions, meanwhile, had also been directed to invest in job creating projects, Zuma said. The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) had approved more than R50-billion in new industrial funding since 2009, in projects ranging from agro-processing, film-making, the auto sector, steel and engineering, clothing and textiles, mining, the green economy and tourism. And the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) had committed in excess of R38-billion to enhancing the productivity of the real economy through economic and social infrastructure, enterprise development and renewable energy. Source: SAnews.gov.za
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Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Darcy MaulsbyProgressive Farmer Contributing EditorAs he looks across his fields spanning the flat terrain of northern Iowa, Mike Riggert isn’t just seeing rows of soybeans. He’s thinking about ways to adjust his seeding rates.“For years, we planted a flat rate of 150,000 seeds per acre, but we’ve definitely cut back on seeding rates in the last two or three years,” said Riggert, who farms with his brother, Brian, near Whittemore.It’s a targeted process for Riggert, who plants soybeans in 30-inch rows and has been experimenting with variable-rate seeding. In some cases, he has dropped rates as low as 80,000 or 90,000 seeds per acre. In other places, like high-pH areas that tend to stunt the plants, Riggert has planted 175,000 seeds per acre. In fields with neutral soil pH and adequate fertility, he typically plants 120,000 seeds per acre.“You can get good yields with lower planting populations if you pay attention to detail,” said Dan Bjorklund, seed team leader for MaxYield Cooperative, which serves the Riggert farm. “Mike planted slow enough to singulate, and he’s counting 80 to 100 pods per plant where the seeding rate is 120,000.”Riggert saw no yield loss with his lower planting rates in 2018. “Those areas didn’t yield more than expected, but they yielded the same as when we used higher seeding rates in years past. We came out ahead, because we didn’t plant more seeds than necessary.”Soybean farmers are finding ways to boost revenues despite market and trade challenges. This story is the third in a six-part series, More Green From Beans. The series looks at ways soybean farmers are finding ways to answer trade challenges by boosting revenues through switching up agronomics and finding new markets.SURVEY STUDIED OPTIMAL DENSITYDeciding the right seeding rate is one of the most influential factors for increasing soybean profitability since seed cost is one of the most expensive inputs.“I’ve been in this business 20 years, and farmers have talked about soybean seeding rates every year,” stated Seth Naeve, a University of Minnesota Extension soybean agronomist. “The thing to remember is that different fields respond differently to various planting populations.”Soil type, soil fertility and weather conditions affect final stand establishment. “We don’t look at variable-rate seeding as a way to get more soybean bushels,” Naeve added. “It’s really a way to save on seed costs.”Ignacio Ciampitti, an associate professor of crop production and cropping systems at Kansas State University, teamed up with Corteva Agriscience to study optimal plant density by yield environment.Researchers created a soybean database of seeding rates ranging from 69,000 to 271,000 seeds per acre, including final number of plants and seed yield. The results were classified by low-yield environments (less than 59.6 bushels per acre (bpa), medium-yield environments (59.6 to 64.1 bpa) and high-yield environments (more than 64.1 bpa). They found that:— Optimal plant density decreased by 24% from low (127,000 plants per acre) to high (97,000 plants per acre) yield environments.— The optimal density ranged between 109,000 to 144,000 plants per acre for the low-yield environments; from 77,000 to 114,000 plants per acre for the medium-yield environments; and 76,000 to 117,000 plants per acre for the high-yield environments.“It’s a myth that one of the best ways to increase soybean yield is just to plant more seeds,” Ciampitti said. “It depends. In a high-yield environment, you might be planting too high of a seeding rate. In a low-yielding environment, you might need to increase your soybean seeding rate.”NO YIELD DRAGJoe and Suzanne Shirbroun have found this to be true on their northeast Iowa farm. They began experimenting with various soybean seeding rates in 2015 through the Iowa Soybean Association’s On-Farm Network, which offers research opportunities focused on agronomics, cropping systems and more.“Standability issues pushed us,” said Joe Shirbroun, whose fields near Farmersburg are defined by rolling hills. “We were growing high-yield beans, but they were falling down.”The Shirbrouns, who plant in 15-inch rows, had been seeding a flat rate across all their soybean acres to get about 150,000 plants per acre. “We didn’t realize that having planting prescriptions would pay for soybeans like they do for corn,” said Amos Troester, the Shirbrouns’ Pioneer seed associate.The Shirbrouns began experimenting with lower plant populations in higher-yielding environments. “We can get down to 90,000 plants per acre in the low-lying areas, while our highest seeding rate is about 160,000 in other areas,” Suzanne Shirbroun said. “We didn’t see any yield drag with the lower seeding rates. Our yields were maintained, or they went up.”KEEP IT SIMPLEHow does geography affect soybean seeding rates? A series of studies financed by the United Soybean Board was conducted in 2012 and 2013 across the Midwest and Mid-South to examine high-input soybean production practices. Results showed that maximum yields were obtained between 100,000 and 165,000 seeds per acre across all nine states.In the southern states (Arkansas, Kansas and Kentucky), seeding rates between 130,000 to 170,000 seeds per acre were needed to obtain maximum yields. This response was consistent across production systems, regardless of whether they included a large number of yield-enhancing treatments like seed treatments, fungicides, growth promoters, etc.“You might assume you’d need much lower seeding rates in the South and higher seeding rates in the North, but that wasn’t always true,” Naeve said.Don’t get too concerned about specific prescriptions, however, he adds. Keep things simple, agrees Shawn Conley, a soybean and small grains specialist at the University of Wisconsin. “It’s not worth your time and money to hire someone to write a planting prescription. Buy a bag of seed per acre. Each bag contains about 140,000 seeds. Plant 120,000 seeds in higher-producing areas and 150,000 seeds in lower-producing areas.”Also, stay focused on Agronomy 101 basics. “Soybeans require management, just like corn,” Bjorklund said.Maintain a good soil-fertility program focused on potassium — a vital nutrient for soybeans, Conley said. Plant seeds 1 to 1.25 inches deep, ensuring good seed-to-soil contact. Also, plant as early as possible, as long as soil conditions are fit. “You get one chance to do it right,” said Bjorklund, who noted that mudding in beans can cause compaction, which can hinder seedlings from emerging evenly.Riggert began planting his 2019 beans on April 25. “This was much earlier than ever before,” he added. “The earlier-planted beans at lower populations have been superior, though, when you start counting nodes and pods.”Seed treatment is another key to success, especially with early-planted soybeans, Riggert said. It helps protect seedlings from diseases lurking in cold, wet soil, including sudden death syndrome. “When you start dropping your seeding rate, you need a strong seed treatment program,” Bjorklund said.Control weeds by using pre-emerge programs, multiple modes of action and a residual program to manage yield robbers such as waterhemp, Conley said. “While farmers get bored with the basics and want to talk about applying nitrogen or using molasses to boost soybean yields, the basics still matter the most,” Conley said.As for seeding rates, start small if you want to try cutting back. “Take baby steps,” Joe Shirbroun advised. “Take 20 acres of your farm, and learn from that.”(ES/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.
Tillakaratne Dilshan was on Monday appointed as Sri Lanka’s captain for all three formats for next month’s tour of England, following Kumar Sangakkara’s resignation after the World Cup.T Dilshan has been appointed Sri Lanka captain for next month’s England tour. AP”Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is proud to announce the appointment of of TM Dilshan as the national captain in all three formats of the game for Sri Lanka’s tour of England in May 2011,” a Sri Lankan Cricket (SLC) statement said.The selectors, however, have not named a vice-captain for the tour because “the prospective candidates are nursing injuries, and their availability for the forthcoming tour is still in question.”Sangakkara had resigned from the post of Sri Lanka captain a few days after his team’s loss to India in the final of the World Cup, their second successive loss in the title clash of the quadrennial extravaganza.A day later, vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene and all the national selectors also resigned from their respective posts.The 34-year-old Dilshan, currently playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Royal Challengers Bangalore, had previously led Sri Lanka in two Twenty2O internationals in 2008 and 2009, and also during a five-match ODI series in Zimbabwe in 2010.The big-hitting opener’s appointment to the top post ended the speculation over whether he, or the 23-year-old all-rounder Angelo Mathews, would be named as Sangakkara’s immediate successor.With exactly 500 runs under his belt, Dilshan was also the highest run-scorer in the 2011 World Cup, surpassing the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, player-of-the-tournament Yuvraj Singh and Sangakkara.advertisementDilshan has till date represented Sri Lanka in 66 Tests and scored 3990 runs at an average of 42.44 with 11 centuries and 16 half fifties to his credit.In 203 ODIs, Dilshan has accumulated 5456 runs at an average of 36.61 with 160 being his highest score. He has also played 32 Twenty20 Internationals for Sri Lanka.- With PTI inputs
Chennai, Dec 13 (PTI) Former West Indies opener Phil Simmons Thursday said cricket in his native will continue to suffer till “somebody decides to do the right things”, expressing sadness at a time when his country of employment, Afghanistan, is making rapid strides in the sport. On the West Indies team’s struggles over the years and the crushing innings loss to Bangladesh in a Test recently, he said it was depressing. “I can imagine how depressing it must be for the Clive Lloyds, Viv Richards’ and Sir Gary Sobers of this world. It is depressing for all of us. “Until somebody decides to do the right things where cricket is concerned, it is going to stay like that for a while,” he said. The Afghanistan coach lauded India’s victory in the first Test against Australia and expected the team to maintain the momentum at Perth. “Brilliant performance by India in Adelaide. They have put down a marker saying that we are here to win the series. I think Pujara was exceptional in that first innings and he kept India in the match,” Simmons said. India defeated Australia by 31 runs to take a 1-0 led in the four-match series. “India has good fast bowlers too, it is not just Ashwin and Kuldeep. Bumrah, Shami, Ishant, Umesh Yadav can bowl well on bouncy wickets too and it is something that Australia should be wary of at Perth,” Simmons, who is here with the Afghanistan team for a training camp, told PTI. The Afghan players are training at the Centre for Sports Sciences (CSS) premises at Sri Ramachandra University. The camp would conclude on December 15.advertisement Asked to pick a favourite for the 50-overs World Cup in England next year, the former Caribbean batsman said England would have to be one because of the way the team was playing. “England will be high up there. It will be because of the way they are playing and also the conditions. Given their form and the make-up of their team, you have to say England,” he added. About Afghanistan team’s preparations for the World Cup, Simmons said it had started with the camp in Chennai. “Preparations for the World Cup have just started and it has started well. The series against Ireland in February and March will give us a better idea as to where we stand. “We still have a lot of work to do in the next three months so when May comes we can be as sharp as we can hope to be. We have started well. Hopefully everything will get better as we move along,” the Afghan coach said. On whether he had an idea of the squad that would be travelling to England, Simmons said the series against Ireland would be an indicator in that regard. “Once we start whittling down our squad, we will know who are the 18 who will make it to the tournament. By the end of February-March, when we play the ODI series against Ireland, we can know.” To a query as to whether the team was too dependent on star leg-spinner Rashid Khan, he said that was not the case. “I don’t know where that concern comes from. In the Asia Cup recently, it wasn’t just Rashid Khan who took wickets. Lot of guys got wickets too. I’m not too worried. People are of the opinion that he is the only one who can win games. As long as the team doesn’t think that way, we are fine.” Afghanistan, who made their entry into Test cricket with a comprehensive defeat to India in Bengaluru earlier this year, need to get better at playing the longer format, he said. “We need to get better at playing the longer format of the game as we haven’t played much over the years. Most of the players have been exposed to the white-ball format. “As with every team before, they struggled at the beginning because you have to learn how to adapt. That’s the same with this team. They have to learn how to play for five days. It is a learning process.” PTI SS AH AH