The same fungal, bacteria and viral diseases that affect vegetable farmers can have the same detrimental impact on backyard gardeners’ spring and fall gardens.Whether it’s a disease like phytophthora that strikes in wet years or a virus like tomato yellow leaf curl that thrives during warmer conditions, these common pests can undermine months of hard work. To avoid these culprits, University of Georgia Extension vegetable horticulturist Timothy Coolong encourages gardeners to select vegetable varieties that are resistant to common diseases and to look for signs of disease early in the season. “There are some chemicals available to the homeowner, but they are generally not nearly as effective as those available to commercial growers,” Coolong said. “Because of that and (because) of the extreme insect and disease pressure we have, homeowners are probably going to want to combine a resistant variety with a spray program.”Tomato varieties with resistance to nematodes or fusarium and verticillium wilt are commonly available for home gardens. Most plants or seeds will have a disease resistance labeling that includes code letters for certain diseases. This can be a useful tool to help gardeners grow a more successful crop. Viral diseases tend to be more prevalent in the fall because of increased populations of insects that transmit plant diseases such as thrips, whiteflies and aphids. But these diseases can also damage tomatoes and many other popular garden vegetables like squash and cucumbers, Coolong said. “Once you get these viruses in a plant, there’s not much you can do about them,” he said. “Really the best way to manage those viruses is to control the insect vector, or to incorporate resistance to those viruses into the crop.” Viruses aren’t as much of a problem during the spring because cooler weather keeps insects less active. But gardeners should plan ahead to control aphids, thrips and white flies or plant resistant varieties. For some crops, like yellow squash, there are several good virus resistant varieties available.Before buying seeds or transplants, visit the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences publication website at caes.uga.edu/publications to find varieties recommended for each part of the state and see which diseases to guard against. Search by vegetable to find the proper publication. For more gardening help, call your local UGA Extension office at 1-800-ASKUGA1.
Press Association The in-form striker is eyeing a Wembley win against Liverpool on Sunday when they face the Reds in the last four. But he has told Villa they must secure Barclays Premier League survival as well with five games left. Benteke scored the winner in Saturday’s 1-0 victory at Tottenham which lifted Villa six points above the relegation zone. It was his eighth goal in eight games under Tim Sherwood but the hitman warned Villa they need more than one more win to survive. He said: “The more the better, I think it’s risky to say we can take three points and we’re finished. We have to try to win every game. “Saturday was a massive three points because now we’re six points clear of QPR so it’s very important for us to be far off them.” The Belgium international missed last summer’s World Cup after rupturing his Achilles a year ago and only returned in October. And, ahead of Sunday’s clash, the 24-year-old admitted playing at Wembley will be the biggest game of his career. “For the moment, yes,” he said. “It (missing the World Cup) was hard but now it’s in the past, I’m looking forward to playing the semi-final. “Liverpool are a good team but the thing with the FA Cup is it’s still something special. It’s 50-50 for me but some will say they are favourites. “Wembley is something good and special because it’s a semi-final, it’s close to the final and we have to do everything to be there again.” He is likely to be partnered by Gabriel Agbonlahor up front, with Sherwood preferring to pair the duo together, and Benteke is enjoying playing with Agbonlahor. He said: “He said to the team we have to play to our strengths, to play with me and Gabby. “He helped me to destroy the defenders, with two we’re always better than one. I’m comfortable, it’s a good partnership.” Christian Benteke insists it is “risky” to consider Aston Villa safe and urged them not to relax ahead of the FA Cup semi-final.
Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter MOVE THEY COULD MAKEThe Angels’ catcher of the future doesn’t seem to be in their farm system yet. In Baseball America’s just-completed ranking of the Angels prospects, they had no catchers in the top 30. Unless they are going to keep piecing it together with one-year band-aids or spend a lot to sign J.T. Realmuto as a free agent next winter, they could try to make a trade for a top catching prospect. The Cardinals have three good catching prospects: Andrew Knizer, Ivan Herrera and Julio Rodriguez. Meanwhile, the Angels’ prospect surplus is in the outfield, so maybe they could deal D’Shawn Knowles or Trent Deveaux for a catcher.Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone As the Angels head toward the first workout of spring training on Feb. 12, we are providing a breakdown of how they stand with their roster. Players acquired this winter include the method of their acquisition in parentheses. Today, the catchers. (Previously, the rotation and bullpen).2019 RECAPThe Angels started the season with a pair of new catchers, Jonathan Lucroy and Kevan Smith, and neither performed as they’d hoped. Lucroy hit .242 with a .681 OPS and had trouble blocking balls. He was eventually released after the Angels made a trade for defensive-specialist Max Stassi at the deadline. Smith came to the Angels with a reputation as an offensive catcher, and he actually finished strong to end up with a .251 batting average and a .710 OPS, not quite up to expectations but passable. He suffered a concussion and a wrist injury that limited his playing time. Stassi also ended up getting hurt shortly after he was acquired, finishing the season with three hits in 42 at-bats with the Angels. Overall, Angels catchers combined for a .638 OPS, which ranked 25th in the majors.HOW IT LOOKS RIGHT NOWThe Angels added Jason Castro (free agent, from Twins) and he figures to get the bulk of the playing time. Castro, 32, has been a solid defensive catcher, known in particular for his pitch-framing. Offensively, Castro is coming off a season in which he hit .232 with a .767 OPS in 79 games (he hit .125 with a .347 OPS in 40 at-bats against left-handers). For his career, he’s got a .703 OPS (.553 vs. left-handers). Castro also gives the Angels a left-handed bat to add some balance to their right-handed heavy lineup. Stassi, who might not be ready for Opening Day after hip surgery, figures to be the backup (or platoon partner) to Castro, but he might get plenty of playing time. The Angels are hoping that Stassi’s disappointing 2019 season at the plate was a fluke, and he can return to being more like the hitter he had been prior to 2019, when he had a career .713 OPS.THE NEXT LAYERThe Angels picked up Anthony Bemboom last year, and he ended up getting some playing time around all the injuries to Lucroy, Stassi and Smith. Bemboom could make the Opening Day roster if Stassi isn’t ready. After that, it doesn’t look good. Don’t be surprised if the Angels pick up someone on waivers, or sign a veteran to a minor league deal, just to provide another warm body for depth.
Chatterpaul Singh, known as Kevin Singh, was on Friday arraigned before Georgetown Magistrate Leron Daly on two counts of fraud, both of which he has denied.It is alleged that on April 23, 2018, while in the vicinity of Georgetown, having received $240,000 for or on account of Richard Singh, Chatterpaul Singh fraudulently converted same to his own use and benefit.It is also alleged that on March 24, 2018, in Georgetown, having received $600,000 for or on account of Richard Singh, he fraudulently converted same to his own use and benefit.Singh’s attorney told the court that his client was employed with the virtual complainant for over nine months and never got paid.The Police prosecutor did not object to the accused being placed on bail, and the magistrate placed Chatterpaul Singh on bail in the sum of $100,000 on each count. The matter was adjourned to July 13, 2018.The father of two had been placed before the courts in July last on a charge of wounding Chatanand Persaud with intent to murder him.
The recent South African Football Association Under-17 Inter-Provincial Tournament was part of president Danny Jordaan’s plan to develop youth football. Judging from the talent displayed, the future of the local game looks promising. (Image: Shamin Chibba) • Maqsood Chenia Under-17 selector South African Football Association +27 83 377 5294 [email protected] • Fifa World Cup Legacy Trust has changed lives• Dreamfields changes lives• Boost for South African football coaching• Grassroots football alive and kicking• Centre for South Africa’s future football stars Shamin ChibbaKaizer Chiefs’ under-17 right-winger, Katlego Mashego, looks nothing like a footballer. He is short, has small shoulders, a narrow chest and skinny legs that seem as if they can barely kick a ball. But when he puts on the club’s gold jersey, he transforms into a potent attacker, beating defenders with clever feints and speed. Labelled the team’s star player by his coach, the former Bafana Bafana midfielder Arthur Zwane, Mashego represents everything that is right with development football at the moment.The 16-year-old was chosen for the provisional South African under-17 squad out of 240 promising footballers who featured at the South African Football Association (Safa) under-17 Inter-Provincial Tournament held at the Nike Training Centre in Soweto between 1 and 5 April. All nine provinces, including the academies of Wits University, Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns, were part of the spectacle. And the talent on show will give South African football administrators and fans something to look forward to in the future.The tournament forms part of Safa president Danny Jordaan’s drive to overhaul youth football in a country where the game at development level has been neglected in recent years. This is evident in that the last time Safa hosted this very same tournament was in 2010.Maqsood Chenia, one of three South African under-17 selectors who were scouting players in Soweto, said the tournament presented him a base from which to judge players who might have the talent not only to enter his team but also to become regulars for Bafana Bafana. “The senior team is forced to choose from a limited bunch. That’s why tournaments like this will be very forthcoming for selection.” Provinces disrupted by poor preparationChenia was pleased with the talent seen at the tournament, especially that of the academy sides. However, he was concerned about a few provinces that did not perform too well, including Eastern Cape and Northern Cape. “As Safa, we should be concerned that we are not doing enough in those rural areas.”He explained that the selectors felt a South African under-17 B-team should be put together so that talented individuals from the weaker provinces could be selected. “We would give provinces like the Eastern Cape an indication that two or three of their players are selected so they can work on those players. We have to pick 20 players from about 240. That’s less than 10%. So the overflow must be taken into consideration.”Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal claimed to have talented teams, but their performances were lacklustre because of poor preparation. Gauteng had problems assembling their squad a day before the tournament began. KwaZulu-Natal coach Doctor Mkhonza said his team did not have enough time to train, having only assembled a day before departing for Johannesburg. “We didn’t have a single day to prepare. We just drove up here and played.”His team’s left-winger, Ncebo Nala, said the players did not know each other before leaving for the tournament, which affected their performance. “We all met each other for the first time on Monday [two days before the tournament]. We were picked up in Pietermaritzburg and came [to Johannesburg] on Tuesday. We drew the first match against the Eastern Cape because we didn’t know each other.”Nala, who has been picked for the provisional South African under-17 side, said the problem could come from the difficulty in bringing together players who lived far from one another. “It’s a problem because some of us are from Mtubatuba and ‘Maritzburg and others are from Newcastle and Durban.”Despite being an academy team, Kaizer Chiefs also had to deal with administrative problems just before the tournament began. Zwane said they were going to register players born in 1997, but Safa enforced a rule stating that only boys born after 1998 could participate. They did not have much time to quickly scout for players. “We could only look for players in Gauteng because it wasn’t going to be easy for us to go out and scout nationally. So we had to look for players who were doing well for their respective teams.”But Chenia said the teams had no excuse for their poor preparation as they were informed about the tournament months before it started. “When the tournament was well advertised, why weren’t the teams prepared on time? What are their excuses? If there are administrative problems they need to be sorted out.” Academies have the advantageProvincial coaches argued that having academies participate in the tournament did not give their teams a competitive advantage nor did it give their players an opportunity to be considered for the South African team.Mkhonza said that his team did not stand a chance at winning the tournament against the likes of Chiefs, to whom they lost the semi-final 3-0. The difference, he said, was that academy players had been training every day for a number of years and they knew each other really well, whereas the provincial sides lacked training, competitive match experience and rapport among players.When the tournament was drawn up, Chenia said, the idea of including academies was a concern. However, their inclusion would allow provinces to gauge where they were in terms of their development. “Teams like the Eastern Cape, which lost 5-0, would go back and realise they needed to do a lot to improve their game. If the tournament only had the provinces, they’d never get to know where they were.”Academies had a great support structure that could help players ease their way into the professional setup, Zwane pointed out. Those who came out of the Kaizer Chiefs academy would have been honed to such a point that they would be able to sign professional or development contracts with the club by the time they turned 17.Being in an academy, Mashego said he and his teammates developed quicker than most players. His team trained every day and experienced coaches were on hand to refine their technique and mental abilities.At under-17 level, coaches are trying their best to prepare the boys for the reserve team. “All of us want to get to that reserve side at an early age so that you don’t struggle going into the first team,” said Mashego. “Current Premier Soccer League (PSL) players, the young boys, they get signed by clubs and when they go to the first team they struggle.”Mashego said that with the top-class training they received, he and his teammates believed they would be capable of playing in Europe someday. “We all want to play for Kaizer Chiefs but we see the club as a stepping stone to Europe.”WATCH: SAFA president Danny Jordaan speaks on the importance of youth development football Football education starts at a very young ageOn the football pitch, Mashego plays with the confidence of a professional in his prime. His passing is crisp, his first touch is effective and he dribbles with purpose. What is extraordinary, and rare for a young footballer, is that he transfers this confidence to his life off the field. His side may have lost the tournament final 3-0 to a well-oiled Wits University, but the result has not diminished the faith Mashego has in himself. He still believes he will sign his first professional contract with Kaizer Chiefs within the next two years.He is proof that playing from a very young age will bring out the best in a footballer, he believes – he started when he was just three years old. At the age of eight, he joined Wits University’s academy before heading off to Palmeiros Academy three years later. He joined Chiefs nine months ago, and will be one of the youngest players in their under-19 squad when they travel to Cape Town for the Metropolitan Under-19 Premier Cup later this month. “I don’t think it is good for a player just to start when he’s 13 because at that age you’re expected to have some of the basics as a player.”Chenia said that at age nine, children were still learning the game and their skills should be honed in this period through participation, interaction and regional tournaments. But by age 12, the learning eventually stopped and all the knowledge would then be put to use.Talented boys like Mashego could enter teams that were a few years above their age group because they grew quicker today than players did when he was young, Zwane said. “The most important thing is they develop well, they know the basics of the game and personalise their game while they’re still young.”A good development structure ensured players rose through the ranks together, he added. By the time they were full professionals they would have played with each other numerous times. Zwane himself had honed his skills as an under-10 player in the Chappies League before signing up for Jomo Cosmos’ under-19s many years later. At 17, he got his first contract with the senior team, which started a career that included appearances for clubs such as Orlando Pirates, Santos and Kaizer Chiefs. By rising through each age group, he got to befriend a number of players. “There’s a lot of players from that development structure that we played against. We knew each other. And most of us were also picked by [Ephraim] ‘Shakes’ Mashaba for the national team. So we grew up together.”He said it would be ideal to have more national tournaments and leagues for children between the ages of 12 and 16 to create a similar structure and a strong pool of players who could potentially play for senior teams at club and international levels. “We need to have a league and involve the clubs from a young age, where, for instance, Kaizer Chiefs can play Amazulu in Durban. They’ll get exposure and experience, and they’ll learn more about the game while they are still young. If you can make sure they play a lot of games and get the right coaching then I don’t see us going wrong.”In his first public statement as president of Safa last September, Jordaan implied that South Africa did not have a large pool of young players. He pointed out that Germany played about 80 000 junior matches over a weekend; Spain played 30 000 and France had 40 000. South Africa did not come close to those numbers. “If you find 3 000 matches in South Africa, you’re doing well. That’s the problem,” he said. But Jordaan is already working on that issue. The 2010 FIFA World Cup Legacy Trust, which he helped to set up, will provide the funds for development tournaments like the under-17 championship. FIFA put aside R450-million ($42.6-billion) for football development in South Africa. Already, R17.1-million has been ploughed into the establishment of Safa under-13 and under-15 boys’ and girls’ leagues in 311 local football associations around the country, with regional and provincial championships tied to them. These leagues and championships are meant to develop players who can compete in the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Possible improvementsJordaan’s youth development focus has a clear goal: to make South Africa one of the top three countries in Africa and to place them in the top 20 on FIFA’s world rankings. But to get there, a number of improvements have to be made. Jordaan mentioned one of his ideas at the launch of the Safa under-17 Inter-Provincial Tournament.He said PSL clubs should focus on youth development instead of buying players. However, he conceded that many of the clubs lacked the funds to run youth academies. “Some of them will say they don’t have the financial resources and that’s it. If you look at how many PSL clubs actually have sponsors, you will find that many of them play without a sponsor. It could also be a revenue problem.”However, Zwane said this should not be an excuse for clubs to avoid setting up youth structures and that they should look for funding if they were financially constrained. “If you are talking about development it’s supposed to start with the youth.”In an ESPN blog, South African sports writer Firdose Moonda said that while Jordaan’s implementation of nationwide age-group leagues was admirable, his aim to make South Africa a top 20 team would not be realised if there were not enough skilled coaches at youth development level to ensure children were guided properly.According to Jordaan, there is only one coach for every 2 000 players in South Africa, which is a major concern for Safa.Moonda suggested that the game be reintroduced to the country’s top sporting schools, which had the best facilities. She added that teams should tour regularly and play against good opposition as a way to continuously measure themselves against the best. There had to be a pipeline that led exceptionally talented players to academies – and to be contracted to clubs – so that they were constantly learning and viewed football as a viable career option, she added.Talent scouting should be considered an important aspect of development, Chenia said after noting that there were no scouts from professional clubs at the Inter-Provincial Tournament. Currently, there was no scouting programme in South Africa, which he said was denting football development. “If you look at developing countries of the world, scouting is a key factor in their game. The first world countries in football will not allow any talent to go through the sieve. Yet, we are losing so much of talent year in and year out.”He added that a lot of money was spent on the Inter-Provincial Tournament but without scouts looking for players, not just the talent was wasted but so were the resources. South African players are too smallMashego may have made it on to the South African under-17 provisional squad, but for him to compete at international level he will have to refine the technical skills he already has to make up for what he lacks in physical stature.This is not a dilemma only he faces. According to Chenia, the problem pervades all levels of the South African game. “We’ve got a huge problem in terms of size,” he said, when talking about playing against other African teams. “The physical aspect of opposition like Nigeria or Ghana is awed.”He said that with physicality being a greater feature of the game than ever before, South African players would have to rely heavily on technical skills. He referred to Spain as an example of a team with small players who used their technical abilities to be world beaters. “We need to grasp the approach of Lionel Messi and the approach of Spain to overcome our physical constraints with sheer mobility and speed.”He admitted that a lot of work needed to be done on the under-17 team, which had failed to make an impression in the last two tournaments in which it had participated. That meant Mashego and his national under-17 teammates would have to have longer training camps, more rigorous drills and lengthier playing seasons, Chenia said, to ensure they qualified for next year’s CAF African under-17 Championship in Niger.Mashego is eager to work hard for his success, an attitude he expresses clearly on the field. “At the moment I would say that I have the ability [to succeed] because at Kaizer Chiefs we train at a high intensity every day so that when we go into a game we don’t struggle. And I think that helps me as a player to go anywhere in the world to compete,” he said.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Luke Schulte, Beck’s HybridsWhile it may seem far off, soon it will be time to make crop evaluations to determine whether or not to apply a fungicide application to your tasseling corn crop. As of today, several major yield determining growth stages have already passed. Emergence and potential ear size have been determined and pollination (actual kernel number) will take place very soon. The primary function of the corn plant post-pollination is to minimize kernel abortion and maximize kernel depth and weight. Many things can impact these three outcomes but nutrient availability, moisture, and sunlight capture are the most significant.Many of the fungicide products available today consist of a class of fungicides known as strobilurins. These “strobi” class of fungicides provides multiple benefits. For many farmers, fungicides are considered mainly for their role in mitigating disease. While strobis do provide systemic activity on disease, they also help reduce respiration. Reducing respiration leads to several beneficial outcomes including improved stress tolerance and increased efficiency of the plant’s physiological processes. This results in improved water-use efficiency and increased activity of nitrate reductase, the enzyme that makes a form of nitrogen that can be used by the corn plant. Both of these will have a significant impact on kernel retention, kernel depth and ultimately, yield.Corn hybrids vary in terms of plant intactness and staygreen as they mature or move towards senescence. Generally speaking, the greener a hybrid remains as it nears maturity, the better the standability, test weight and yield. Preventing the loss of leaf area to disease increases our overall solar panel to harvest more sunlight. Some hybrids also have a tendency to die prematurely, which is often a result of fungi invading the plant from the root system and traveling up the plant. Wetter, saturated soils tend to have increased populations of these fungal pathogens. Fungicides applied at tassel can reduce the severity of early plant death while also allowing the plant to mature more naturally. The longer a corn plant can continue to harvest sunlight, the more energy it can generate to drive yield.Consider the following when evaluating your need for an at-tassel fungicide application:Hybrid ResponseOverall disease ratingStaygreen ratingPremature death or the hybrid’s tendency to die early (preventative approach)Yield potential – A racehorse hybrid will likely be more responsive than a workhorseDisease PressureScout/observe two leaves below the ear leaf and the above portion of the plantForecast for Gray Leaf Spot (GLS) — when temperatures range between 75 degrees to 85 degrees F, spore reproduction occurs every two to three weeks. Forecast for Northern Corn Leaf Blight — when temperatures range from 64 degrees to 81 degrees F, spore reproduction occurs every six to eight days.EnvironmentResidue in a corn after corn rotation = increased fungal inoculumAir movement, bottom areasWetter soils cause an increased risk of PMDNitrogen deficient.AdjuvantsCan help with penetration of the canopy and coveragePrior to full tassel (uneven fields) do not use adjuvants containing NPE, which is a compound found in some adjuvants that can lead to arrested ear development. InsecticidesPrimary objective is to control silk clippers such as Japanese beetles, CRW beetles, etc.If moisture is not limiting, then an insecticide will likely not be necessary.If you have concluded that a fungicide is warranted, the last item to address is which product to use? Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR) team has tested many fungicide products over the years, but the fungicides that have resulted in the highest ROI have been those that provide the greatest length of activity. Each of these fungicides (shown below) contains multiple fungicide classifications, including a strobilurin.
BATANGAS 95 – De Joya 31, Ablaza 17, Bautista 15, Ragasa 11, Laude 7, Dela Peña 4, Zamora 4, Anderson 2, Isit 2, Mendoza 2, Mag-isa 0, Napoles 0, Saitanan 0.GAMBOA COFFEE MIX 88 – Avenido 22, Vidal 14, Jumao-as 12, Montuano 12, Parala 12, Acibar 6, Padilla 6, Arellano 2, Sarangay 2, Riva 0.Quarters: 23-22, 39-43, 68-64, 95-88. MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes It was quite a scare for the Batagueños as they were challenged by a determined Coffee Lovers crew from the get-go.Jett Vidal drilled back-to-back treys to erect the six-point advantage for Gamboa with 4:02 to play, but the 5-foot-6 De Joya stepped up and led the huge fightback, with Bautista and Jhygruz Laude also chipping in the go-ahead buckets for Batangas to fend off the Coffee Lovers.“Maybe they’re not used to the playoff games. That’s my major concern because these guys has no experience. So we have to always remind them on the right things to do on the court,” said Gonzales.Playing-coach Leo Avenido captained his side with 22 points, four rebounds, and three assists, while Vidal had 14 in Gamboa Coffee Mix’s ninth straight defeat to exit with a 1-9 slate.The Scores:ADVERTISEMENT View comments FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Cedric De Joya. PBA IMAGESCedric de Joya proved to be the biggest man on the floor for Batangas as it moved on to the 2017 PBA D-League playoffs with a come-from-behind 95-88 victory over Gamboa Coffee Mix Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.The diminutive playmaker stepped up when it mattered the most, firing 11 points in the final four minutes as he helped the Batangueños come back from an 81-75 deficit and nab their sixth win.ADVERTISEMENT Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant De Joya unloaded 31 points and eight assists to lead his side to the quarterfinals.Cedric Ablaza chimed in 17 markers, seven rebounds, and three dimes, Jhaps Bautista shot 3-of-8 from three to wound up with 15 points, four boards, and two assists, and John Ragasa had 11 in the huge victory.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“I’m already happy with this,” said coach Eric Gonzales as he fulfilled his goal for the team to advance to the playoffs. “But again, we still have to play the right way. Hopefully, we pull off miracles in the next games.”Batangas still has a chance to grab the fourth seed, armed with a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals, if it beats Flying V or CEU drops its final game against Racal Motors on Tuesday. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Quiel replaces injured Dolor in PH men’s volleyball team Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
Mumbai: An RBI panel on Friday suggested setting up of a federal body on the lines of the GST Council to implement reforms and boost credit flow in the agriculture sector, besides pitching for direct transfer of subsidy and no farm loan waivers. Among other recommendations, the panel said banks should develop a management information system (MIS) to flag loans sanctioned against gold as collateral in core banking solution (CBS) platform for effective monitoring of end use of funds. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalIn February this year, the RBI had set up the ‘Internal Working Group’ to understand the reasons for regional disparity and other agricultural credit related aspects and suggest workable solutions to address constraints in accessing institutional agricultural credit. Recommending solutions to improve farm credit flow, the panel said, “Government of India (GoI) should set up a federal institution, on the lines of GST Council, having participation from both the Centre as well as the states to suggest and implement reforms in the field of agriculture.” Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostThe Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, that consists of the finance ministers of Centre and all the states, decides on tax rates. The panel said farm loan waivers should be “avoided” and interest subvention or subsidy given on farm loans should be replaced with Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), which is being implemented in host of government schemes like subsidy on LPG and fertiliser. It also stressed that banks should increase credit for allied farm activities as well and give consumption loans to farmers up to a sanctioned limit of Rs 1 lakh. The panel further said that the Centre should push state governments to complete the digitisation process and updation of land records in a time bound manner. That apart, state governments should give access to banks to digitised land records in order to verify land title and create charge online. In such states, banks should not insist on submission of land title documents, it added. The panel also said state governments having a highly restrictive legal framework should be encouraged to reform their legal framework on the basis of Model Land Leasing Act proposed by NITI Aayog/ Land Licensed Cultivators’ Act, 2011 of Andhra Pradesh so that formal lending to tenant farmers can improve. On farm loan waiver, the panel said it should be “avoided” and both the Centre and state governments should undertake a “holistic review” of the agricultural policies and their implementation, as well as evaluate the effectiveness of current subsidy policies. Among other recommendations, the panel said the interest subvention scheme should be replaced with DBT to targeted beneficiaries with an overall limit of Rs 3 lakh per individual farmer. To curb the misuse of interest subsidy, banks should provide crop loans, eligible for interest subvention, only through Kisan Credit Card (KCC) mode. To address regional disparity in agri-credit flow, the panel said priority sector lending (PSL) guidelines should be revisited and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) should gradually increase the allocation of Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) in central, eastern and north eastern states over a period of time. Also, the corpus of RIDF should be increased and state governments should be sensitised to allocate a larger portion of their borrowing from RIDF for the purpose of absorbing funds for rural infrastructure development in their state.