Invasive alien plants and job creation

first_img10 May 2011 KwaZulu-Natal’s Invasive Alien Species Programme has created more than 4 000 job opportunities a year since its inception in 2005, while tackling the scourge of invasive alien plant species in the province. Invasive alien plants are those that have been brought to South Africa from other countries for their aesthetic, economic or ecological value, or in some cases unintentionally. However, they are brought here without their natural enemies, which results in plants reproducing copiously. In KwaZulu-Natal, alien invasive hotspots include Zululand, the Natal Midlands and the coastal zone. In 1998, a staggering 9.75 percent of the province assessed was invaded. The provincial Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development works together with conservation groups to identify affected areas, which are then targeted for cleanup operations.Threat to water security, ecosystems According to Nonhlanhla Mkhize, project manager for KwaZulu-Natal’s Invasive Alien Species Programme (IASP), invasive alien species affect water security and the ecological functioning of natural systems. They also pose a threat to the productive use of land, while intensifying the impact of veld fires and floods and increasing soil erosion. Eco-tourism is also affected, say Mkhize. People visit South Africa to enjoy the country’s indigenous fauna and flora, not to see what they already have in their own country. “When we lose our biodiversity and ecosystems, we lose our clean air, eco-tourism and traditional medicines,” says Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development MEC Lydia Johnson. “When we lose potentially productive agricultural land and conservation land, there will be a reduction in the land value. “When we lose grazing lands for livestock, we will have to use more supplementary feed for the livestock, resulting in high costs in livestock farming and increased poverty,” says Johnson.Value-adding opportunities But it’s not all doom and gloom. Mkhize says one aspect of the programme focuses on value-adding opportunities by creating products like “eco-coffins” and school desks from alien trees. Sandile Motaung heads up a plant in Durban where the desks and eco-coffins are made on request. Prior to 2006, Motaung was unemployed; now he has been trained in coffin and desk making. Alien trees that are cut down all over the province are collected and processed to make these products, which now include church pews and boardroom tables. The department selects unemployed people and trains them in life skills, safety and operational skills. Social issues form part of these workshops, and they are also taught to create and sustain viable businesses. Motaung’s life has been turned around after becoming involved in this project, and has now set his sights on having his own company in two years time. “I had an interest in making furniture, but didn’t have any skills,” says Motaung. “I got into this programme and have learnt a lot of things. I now teach this to my team here. I do feel like I make a difference to their lives.” Experienced coffin maker Koos Goosen, responsible for training Motaung, says he enjoys mentoring young people. Goosen also educates his trainees on safety and health regulations, and is always on hand to assist them.School Desk Project The School Desk Project currently employs 91 people, of which 47 percent are women, 37 percent are youngsters and five percent are people with disabilities. Earlier this year, the project handed over 200 desks to rural Sabuyaze Primary School. “Training and empowerment of the beneficiaries of the IASP programme is seen as one of the key solutions to addressing the socio-economic challenges of rural poor communities,” says Johnson. “The vision of the department … is to train and empower programme beneficiaries and let them form their own business initiatives outside the department’s ambit.” The department constantly receives request for donations, says Mkhize, but all institutions are encouraged to buy these products so that the projects continue to be viable. Mkhize says that although this is not the core business of the department, they are finalising the appropriate model for the project so that people can continue manufacturing products on their own. For more information on the programme, contact Nonhlanhla Mkhize on Nonhlahla Mkhize 0823777080. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

2018 OFMA Convention highlights

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Each January the Ohio Fair Managers Association gathers for it annual convention to discuss exhibitions in warmer days ahead.“The purpose of the convention is to be educational and it allows directors, especially newer directors, to come and rub shoulders with other fairs around the state. That is how you learn,” said Tom Stocksdale from Wayne County who serves as the District 5 representative on the Ohio Fair Managers Association Board of Directors. “People do not really understand the number of volunteer hours that even local fairs have. If fairs had to pay for everything that happens, they couldn’t afford to operate. So much depends on volunteer hours.”Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David Daniels was on hand this year to discuss some of the highlights expected during the upcoming Ohio fair season.“We continue to look at the youth development opportunities that grow stronger every year. There are 94 different county and independent fairs out there and they tell us that exhibitorship is up. We look forward to expanding those opportunities for young people to find out about responsible food production,” Daniels said. “There are a lot of exhibitors at fairs but we also get a lot of people from town that come out to find out a little bit more about production agriculture. I think our fairs put out a great product that everyone should be proud of. Our fairs still have a strong ag and animal presence and fair managers are working to continue to have a good experience for everyone.”Part of that positive experience includes the health of both human and animal participants at the fairs. In 2017, there were multiple bouts of influenza in hog barns at fairs that can hopefully be avoided in 2018.“Some of the things we are recommending, particularly with the influenza aspect of it, is to get the pigs in and out of the fair in 72 hours. All pigs will carry influenza virus and it is important to get them in and have the show and get them out in a 72-hour period. If there are partial terminal shows, get the ones going home back home. It is critical so we can make sure we have a wholesome product going into the marketplace,” said Dr. Tony Forshey, Ohio’s State Veterinarian. “That 72-hour rule is very critical. We’ve dealt with influenza in the past and it is nothing new. We just want to make sure we don’t have that happen this year and get the animals on to market. We also recommend that fairs have hand-washing stations outside all the barns at the fair if they can. People are touching animals and it is critical they use those hand-washing stations. We just need to make sure we handle things properly and enjoy the shows.”There are some exhibition rules changing in 2018 that should be noted.“The quality assurance program put on by Ohio State University Extension is required to be done at least 45 days from the exhibition. It depends on what the first exhibition is. If it is the State Fair then it is 45 days prior to the Ohio State Fair,” Forshey said. “We also talked with fair board members about how to make sure to have all the paperwork done and all of the drug use notification forms and those things.”In addition at the event, Morgan McCutcheon from the Hartford Independent Fair was crowed the 2018 Ohio Fairs’ Queen. Morgan, from Licking County, was chosen from 77 Ohio fair queens. She is the daughter of Jeff and Lisa McCutcheon and a senior at Utica High School. She will be attending Ohio State University in the fall to pursue a degree in nursing.last_img read more

India-SA match ticket seekers lathi-charged

first_imgThe Nagpur Police on Tuesday used force on cricket lovers at the old stadium of Vidarbha Cricket Association following a melee to grab tickets for the World Cup match between India and South Africa here on March 12.In a virtual repeat of the action on cricket lovers in Bangalore ahead of the India-England clash last week, the police cane-charged the fans who had queued up to buy tickets in Nagpur. Few people received minor injuries in the ruckus.Police personnel, who were deployed in large numbers at the stadium anticipating a trouble, used force to control the fans following which organisers closed the counters for some time. Order was restored later.Fans protest lack of tickets for India-Netherlands matchThings were no better in the national capital as it prepared for the match between India and the Netherlands on Wednesday. Fans gathered outside the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium protesting lack of tickets for the match.As it is the only match involving India being played in Delhi, there was a mad scramble for tickets and fans were protesting that enough tickets were not made available in the general category.last_img read more

UST notches 2nd straight win, downs NU

first_imgSEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte For what it’s worth, Eya Laure delivered somewhat of a redemption game after she avenged her previous championship losses against NU in several finals in the high school level.Laure put up a game-high 20 points but it was role players Dimdim Pacres and Caitlyn Viray, who finished off the Lady Bulldogs.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesPacres twisted her attack to evade NU’s block to put UST in match point, 24-15, and although the Lady Bulldogs were able to score two more, Viray had enough and converted on a crosscourt kill to end the affair.UST head coach Kung Fu Reyes said his team’s two straight wins were a big morale booster for them after they lost Season 80 Rookie of the Year Milena Alessandrini to injury four games into the season. P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST PLAY LIST 01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH 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 Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Thai playmaker Chanathip Songkrasin raises profile in Japan Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policycenter_img Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES UST Golden Tigresses. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—University of Santo Tomas had its first taste of back-to-back victories after turning back National University in four sets, 26-24, 25-17, 23-25, 25-17, in the UAAP Sweason 81 women’s volleyball tournament Saturday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.The Golden Tigresses, who swept De La Salle in their previous game, 25-20, 25-22, 25-17, now tied the Lady Spikers for the No. 2 spot with identical 4-2 records.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end “This is huge for the players’ morale and it’s a good thing we’re now able to recover,” said Reyes in Filipino. “The back-to-back wins are big because we’re doing this for Milena.”Cherry Rondina supported Laure’s offensive exploits with 16 points while Pacres had 12.Princess Robles and Ivy Lacsina had 14 points for the Lady Bulldogs, who dropped their third straight game for a 1-5 record.ADVERTISEMENT P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbedlast_img read more