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Millions of smallholder farmers in South and Southeast Asia are missing out on new, resilient seeds that could improve their yields in the face of climate change, according to an index published Monday.
The 24 top seed companies fail to reach four-fifths of the region’s 170 million smallholder farmers for reasons such as poor infrastructure, high prices and lack of training, the Access to Seeds Index found.
Access to seeds bred to better withstand changing weather conditions such as higher temperatures is vital as farmers battle loss of productivity due to climate change, said Ido Verhagen, head of the Access to Seeds Foundation, which published the index.
“We see increasing demands for new varieties, because [farmers] are affected by climate change,” Verhagen told Reuters.
“If we want to feed a growing population, if we want to tackle climate change, if we want to go towards a more sustainable food system, we have to start with seeds,” he said.
Smallholder farmers managing between one to 10 hectares of land provide up to 80 percent of the food supply in Asia, said the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
But traditional methods of preserving seeds from harvests are not always sufficient to cope with a changing climate.
About 340 million people were hungry in 2017 in South and Southeast Asia, a number that has barely changed since 2015, according to latest figures from the United Nations.
“The question is how to get markets to provide the varieties [of seeds] that farmers want, at prices that they’re able to pay,” said Shawn McGuire, agricultural officer at the FAO.
Some smaller companies are leading the way in helping smallholders access more resilient seeds, Verhagen said, such as Thailand-based East-West Seed which topped the index ahead of global giants Bayer and Syngenta, which ranked second and third.
East-West Seed has built a successful business focusing purely on smallholders, he said, while Indian companies Acsen HyVeg and Namdhari, ranked sixth and seventh respectively, have also reached small-scale farmers with seeds.
The index, funded by the Dutch government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ranks companies based on seven areas including strategies to help small farmers and supporting conservation. (VOA)
One of Indi's leading luxurious Ayurveda skincare brands, Forest Essentials, announces its international foray with the London based Lookfantastic.com, Euroe's premium online beauty retailer. The partnership enables the brand to take significant strides towards its expansion globally starting with the launch in the United Kingdom. "Our focus and USP at Forest Essentials has always been at delivering high quality Ayurvedic products in a sustainable way, with a global appeal.
We firmly believe that the time is right for Forest Essentials to expand to the UK, as our first international footprint with Lookfantastic,' Europe's premium online beauty retailer. "The UK audience is well aware of Ayurveda and we are certain that the demand for our Made in India luxurious Ayurveda products, is going to continue to grow multifold, as consumers are today looking for moments of self-care, to feel better in this stressful period and we are well positioned to support this type of feel-good indulgence that consumers are seeking today," says Samrath Bedi, Executive Director, Forest Essentials. The brand's iconic product ranges, across skincare, body care and haircare will be available for purchase in the UK, including the Soundarya collection, crafted with 24k gold.
The brand's iconic product ranges, across skincare, body care and haircare will be available for purchase in the UK, including the Soundarya collection, crafted with 24k gold. | Wikimedia Commons
The brand's iconic product ranges, across skincare, body care and haircare will be available for purchase in the UK, including the Soundarya collection, crafted with 24k gold. Additional collections offered include the Men's Collection, Madurai Jasmine and Mogra, Green Tea and Oudh, and Nargis, Indian Rose Ab'olute. The brand's vast gifting options are also available via the e-retailer. A portfolio of over 660 premium brands onsite and revenue share grown 40 percent year on year in the last 4 year makes,
Lookfantastic is one of the most successful beauty websites globally. Unrivalled technology, a team of world-class experts, over 30 localized sites in as many languages enables the website to attract millions of visits per month with nearly 71 percent of them being international making it a natural choice as a retail overseas partner for Forest Essentials. Commenting on the announcement, Bedi added, "Ayurveda has gained acceptance globally and there is an increased need to explore authentic products that are not only luxurious but also high on efficacy. Forest Essentials has been a pioneer in every sense and we're confident that our foray into the UK will enable us to represent India and products Made in India successfully in the international market." (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Ayurveda, Skincare, Forest, Herbal, Body care, Hair care, Beauty Products
Khadi is no longer a dull, drab fabric meant only for politicians' wardrobes. A fashion show organised by the Khadi Gramodyog Board as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to mark the 75th year of India's Independence showcased the use of Khadi in traditional, as well as, contemporary and festive wear. From lehengas in resplendent Khadi silk to western clothes and casual wear, the models on Thursday night displayed new facts of the fabric.
Several well-known Indian designers including Ritu Beri, Farah Ansari, Rina Dhaka, Asma Husain, Aditi Rastogi and Himmat Singh showcased their designs. Gaurav Gaur directed the fashion show with clothes like lehengas, kurtis, kurta pajamas and partywear.
Lucknow's chikankari and silk artisans also participated in the event. A wedding collection in Khadi was the highlight of the show. "The show was based on the concept 'Khadi for nation, Khadi for fashion' and the fabric for all costumes was provided by Khadi Gramodyog Board," said a spokesman. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: lucknow, clothes, lehengas, fashion, fabric
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Intel saw its stock tumbling by more than 8 percent after the chipmaker said the industry-wide component shortage affected its PC chip business during the third quarter (Q3). Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger told CNBC late on Thursday that he didn't expect the semiconductor shortage to end until 2023. "We're in the worst of it now, every quarter, next year we'll get incrementally better, but they're not going to have supply-demand balance until 2023," Gelsinger was quoted as saying.
The company delivered its Q3 results with revenue up 5 percent (year-over-year) driven by strong demand in its DCG and IoTG businesses, despite the highly constrained industry-wide supply environment. "Q3 revenue was $18.1 billion slightly below our guide due to shipping and supply constraints that impacted our businesses," George S. Davis, Chief Financial Officer, said in a statement. He also announced plans to retire from Intel in May 2022. In the third quarter, the company generated $9.9 billion in cash from operations and paid dividends of $1.4 billion.
| Photo by Slejven Djurakovic on Unsplash
According to the company, the demand remains strong in its PC business with particular strength in commercial, desktop, and higher-end consumer notebooks. In an earnings call, Gelsinger said that the digitization of everything accelerated by the four superpowers of AI, pervasive connectivity, cloud to edge infrastructure, and ubiquitous compute are driving the sustained need for more semiconductors. "The market is expected to double to $1 trillion by 2030. In that timeframe, the market for leading-edge nodes will rise to be over 50 percent of the total, while the market for leading-edge foundry services will grow at twice the rate of the semi-industry overall," he envisioned.
PC demand remains very strong, and "We believe the 2021 TAM (total addressable market) will grow double digits even as ecosystem shortages constrain our customer's ability to ship finished systems," Gelsinger added. "Customers continue to choose Intel for their datacenter needs and our third-gen scalable Xeon processor Ice Lake has shipped over 1 million units since launching in April, and we expect to ship over 1 million units again in Q4 alone," he informed. (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Intel, Chip, processor, Desktop, AI, Semiconductor, PC, Processor