Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
BLANTYRE - Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera says he will take steps to mitigate the steep rise of fertilizer prices which have doubled in the last year. He says about 80 percent of Malawi farmers can no longer afford to buy fertilizer.
Farmers in Malawi say the rise in fertilizer prices is likely to affect production in this agro-based southern Africa country.
Jacob Nyirongo is Chief Executive Officer for Farmers Union of Malawi.
"Most farmers in Malawi are poor and it's quite a struggle for farmers to access fertilizer even at the prices that they were like last year. So, the increase that we have seen this year means it is pushing more farmers to a bracket where most farmers won't be able to access fertilizer," he said.
Fertilizer prices have hit an all-time high in Malawi with a bag weighing 50 kilogram now selling between $40 and $50 dollars. This is almost double the prices of last year.
Agriculture experts say this would likely lead to higher costs for government subsidized fertilizers under the Affordable Inputs Program, in which ultra-poor farmers buy at $6 dollars per 50 kilograms bag.
But in his national televised address Saturday, President Chakwera vowed the keep the prices low.
He said the price hike is the result of actions by a cartel, which he did not name, and accused it of trying to undermine his Affordable Inputs Program.
He says "But what I want you to know is that I and my government cannot allow someone to kill agriculture in this country. Whether one likes it or not, farmers will buy fertilizer at a cheaper price this year."
He, however, said the prices might be slightly higher than last year's but not as exorbitant as they are now.
But the Fertilizer Importers Association in Malawi, a group of fertilizer importers justifies the current price rise.
Speaking in Malawi Parliament Wednesday, the group said the rise is dictated by the international market which is facing the rise in fertilizer's raw materials like phosphate.
In response to the rise in fertilizer prices, the Ministry of Agriculture announced in July that it has trimmed the number of beneficiaries of the subsidized farm input program this year from 3.7 million to 2.7 million.
But Chakwera has reversed that decision.
"I will not allow anyone to remove any family or village from the list of beneficiaries of the cheap fertilizer. This is taking the government for granted. If there are people I vowed to fight for, they are the farmers," he said.
Dr. Betchani Tchereni is a lecturer in Economics at Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences.
He says farmers should do organic farming which largely relies on manure.
"This organic way of farming is the way to go. We just need to propagate it to make sure that everyone understands the best way of doing it. Once we do that, I think issues of biodiversity will come in and I am very sure that at the end of the day, we are going to benefit as a country economically and also in terms of our own health," he said.
But Farmers Union's Nyirongo, also an agronomist, says manure cannot stand alone.
"So what we have seen as farmers is that if you use manure, you improve the health of the soil. And you enable the soil to utilize the fertilizer that you apply to a crop. So, if for example, you combine manure with inorganic fertilizer, you get the best yield," he said.
Nyirongo says for now, farmers are keeping their fingers crossed on President Chakwera's pledge to help control the overpricing of fertilizer. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Malawi, Fertilizer price, Business, Farmers
Heinz has just rolled out a new product that the condiment company says is the "biggest innovation in sauce since the packet itself." Earlier this month, the world's largest producer of ketchup announced the Packet Roller, a ketchup bottle-shaped gadget that allows users to squeeze the most out of a condiment packet, CNN reported.
"Do not click 'purchase' unless you are prepared to change everything about the way you sauce," the Heinz Packet Roller website says. The roller goes for $5.70. The roller is pocket-sized, can be added to a keychain, and features a packet corner cutter.
Heinz has just rolled out a new product that the condiment company says is the "biggest innovation in sauce since the packet itself | Flickr
This announcement could be part of the fast-tracked, "future-focused culinary and packaging innovations" that Steve Cornell, president of Kraft Heinz's US grocery business unit, hinted at earlier this year amid a shortage of ketchup. A surge in takeout and delivery food orders during the pandemic led to a scarcity of ketchup packets, the report said.
In April, Heinz pledged to increase production of ketchup by 25 per cent to 12 billion packets annually. "Gone are the days of fumbling with ketchup packets, pants ruined by mustard disasters, and minutes taken off your life trying to get to the bottom of that mayo packet. With the patent-pending Heinz Packet Roller, what was once taxing becomes simple -- just snip and roll to squeeze out every drop of your sauce of choice," the website says
Keywords: Heinz, Packet roller, sauce, company, ketchup
Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer, who is recovering from a right-knee surgery he underwent last month, said on Sunday that it was a difficult process to decide whether to undergo a third right-knee surgery after having two last year. But following Wimbledon, where he was "really unhappy" with his performance in reaching the quarterfinals, Federer opted to go through with it.
Federer, who made a late decision to attend this year's Laver Cup in Boston -- a tournament held between teams from Europe and the rest of the world -- said on the sidelines of the event that the recovery and rehabilitation are "going to take me a few more months and then we'll see how things are at some point next year". "The reception I've received, everybody is so upbeat that I'm here. They wish me all the best and they don't even see the crutches. They just want me to be good again and enjoy the weekend," Federer said in an interview for the event with former world No. 1 Jim Courier.
"I've seen some incredible tennis, some great matches and it's been wonderful. I'm really happy I made the trip," the winner of 20 majors was quoted as saying by atptour.com. On why he opted for a third surgery, the tennis ace said, "I was just nowhere near where I wanted to be to play at the top, top level. But I tried my best and at the end... too much is too much. Now I've just got to take it step by step," Federer said.
Federer received thunderous ovations inside Boston's TD Garden, where he has often been sitting in the front row watching the action or behind the scenes visiting with the players. | Wikimedia Commons
"I've got to first walk again properly, run properly and then do the sidesteps and all the agility work and then eventually I've got to be back on the tennis court. But it's going to take me a few more months and then we'll see how things are at some point next year. "I've got to take my time. I don't want to rush into anything at this point. This is also for my life. I want to make sure I can do everything I want to do later on. There's no rush with anything, so I'm actually in a really good place. I think the worst is behind me. I took the time and, I don't know, I'm just really in a good place. I'm really happy."
Federer received thunderous ovations inside Boston's TD Garden, where he has often been sitting in the front row watching the action or behind the scenes visiting with the players. The former world No. 1 has played in the first three editions of the Laver Cup. "I think Boston is a great city. The stadium is wonderful, the crowds have been incredible. Both teams are stacked with absolute quality and top players," Federer said. "That's what the idea was behind it: that everybody could come together, have the most incredible weekend, learn from one another and then hopefully that's going to inspire them, motivate them and get them going for the rest of this year, next year." (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Roger Federer, tennish, player, sports, knee, surgery
By Hitesh Rathi
Cleopatra, was regarded as a great beauty, to preserve her skin, she took her daily bath in donkey milk. Besides, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed donkey milk for various diseases including fever, wounds, etc. To add to these benefits, donkey milk has four times the amount of Vitamin C than cow's milk has. So, it's no secret that donkey milk is a powerhouse of nutrients for both the skin and body.
Used for Anti-Ageing and Healing
The milk contains essential fatty acids that work as powerful anti-ageing and healing properties. These fatty acids blur the wrinkles on the skin and help to regenerate damaged skin. Plus, donkey milk also contains anti-bacterial properties which are effective in healing skin irritation and redness.
The milk contains essential fatty acids that work as powerful anti-ageing and healing properties.| Flickr
Antioxidant and Nutrient-Rich
Known as a "natural elixir of youth", donkey milk is packed with antioxidants and nutrients. It contains vitamin E, amino acids, vitamins A, B1, B6, C, E, Omega 3, and 6. These properties together make it a rich ingredient when it comes to skin treatment. Moreover, vitamin D is another important ingredient for human skin, and the primary source to get it is through UV exposure. At the same time, too much of that leaves an adverse effect on the skin. Here is when donkey milk acts as a great substitute as it naturally contains vitamin D. All in all, if this milk is applied frequently, it brings a glowing effect while making the skin look brighter.
Known as a "natural elixir of youth", donkey milk is packed with antioxidants and nutrients.| Photo by Jernej Graj on Unsplash
Moisturizer and Softener
By now it's a well-known fact that this milk works as a powerful moisturizer for the skin. Besides, if donkey milk is used consistently, it acts as a great cleanser as well as helps in keeping the skin healthy, hydrated, and soft.
If donkey milk is used consistently, it acts as a great cleanser as well as helps in keeping the skin healthy, hydrated, and soft. | Photo by febri sym on Unsplash
Therefore, donkey milk with its healing, nutritional and rejuvenating properties for the skin is rapidly emerging as a key ingredient for skincare. These are also driving several leading players to roll out personal care products such as soap, cream, etc. manufactured using donkey milk. Moreover, the global donkey milk market is expanding rapidly with the market value projected to reach $68,139.0 thousand by 2027, registering a CAGR of 9.4 per cent from 2021 to 2027. And the growing use of donkey milk as an ingredient in cosmetic and personal care products will significantly contribute toward the growth of this market in the years to come. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Skin, donkey milk, skincare, anti-ageing, soft skin, hydrate, antioxidant, healing