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MERU, KENYA —
When she woke up one morning in February, Catherine Kagendo realized that one of her cows could not stand.
“It was lying on its side, had lost its appetite and was breathing heavily,” she told Reuters from her farm in Meru, in eastern Kenya.
With her husband, she decided to turn to WeFarm, a text-based network of small-scale farmers, for help.
Within an hour, their text — “one of my lactating cows cannot stand” — generated a flurry of suggestions, from “feed your cow with minerals rich in calcium” to “make sure the cow shed is clean and well-drained so the animals don’t slip.”
“I realized our cow had milk fever, so gave it calcium-rich feed and it was standing again within hours,” Kagendo explained.
She is one of many Kenyan small-scale farmers who lack good information — mostly due to a lack of internet access — on how to manage problems from dry spells to diseases, local farm experts say.
As a result, such farmers often lose their harvest or animals, they said.
But WeFarm, a farmers’ network launched in Kenya in 2014 and more recently expanded to Uganda and Peru, allows people to ask a question by text message and receive advice from their peers.
The service, whose Scottish co-founder Kenny Ewan describes it as “the internet for people with no internet,” is free to use and only requires a mobile phone.
Farmers text questions to a local number, and WeFarm transmits the message to users with similar interests in the area, tapping into their knowledge.
“We want farmers to get answers to their problems without needing to access the internet, so the information is available to all,” said Mwinyi Bwika, head of marketing at WeFarm.
Although the platform also exists online, over 95 percent of users choose to use it offline, he said.
Kagendo said that when her animals were ill or her maize crops too dry, she used to have to hire an extension officer to help solve the problem.
“But we had to pay a fee ranging from 500 to 2,000 Kenyan shillings ($5-$20), and most of the time the officer didn’t even explain their diagnosis,” she said.
That cut into her family’s income and left them no better able to understand the diseases facing their cattle and their crops.
“We cannot even afford a smartphone to go online, so finding credible information was near impossible,” she said.
According to Bwika, small-scale farmers often lack the information they need because of a lack of cash — most live on less than a dollar a day — as well as poor internet connection and low literacy levels.
“Ewan realized that farmers living just a few miles from each other were facing the same challenges, but with no way to communicate about them. So, he created a platform to connect them,” Bwika said.
Joseph Kinyua, another farmer from Meru who grows vegetables, said he spends at least 30 minutes per day using WeFarm.
“It’s taught me anything from using pest control traps to ensuring that my sprinklers don’t put out too much water,” he said. “And I know the methods are proven and tested by other farmers.”
The knowledge has helped improve the quality of the kale he grows, he said, enough that “I can now sell a kilo at the market at 70 shillings [$0.70] compared to 50 [$0.50] previously.”
While the platform might receive dozens of replies to a question, it only sends out to the user a selection of answers judged correct, Bwika said.
But it uses the questions and advice received to help track disease outbreaks or extreme weather spells, and shares those insights with governments and non-governmental organizations, Bwika said.
“In doing so, we hope to prevent disease outbreaks and track problems before they occur,” he said.
Not everyone shares this optimism, however.
Mary Nkatha, a farmer from Meru, said she found it hard to implement some of the recommendations she received from WeFarm without the practical guidance of an expert.
“If I am told to inject my cow with something, how do I make sure I do it in the right place? And where do I find the equipment?” she asked.
Fredrick Ochido, a Kenya-based consultant on dairy farming, also worries that the platform may be entrenching farmers’ poor use of technology, rather than helping them keep up with new trends.
The WeFarm platform has over 100,000 current users in Kenya, Uganda and Peru, and its operators hopes to reach one million farmers in the next year. They also aim to expand the effort to other countries, including Tanzania. (VOA)
The Centre on Wednesday directed all Union Ministries and Departments to clear Air India's dues immediately. An office memorandum from the Finance Ministry's Department of Expenditure said: "Recently, the Government of India has decided to disinvest Air India, and the process of disinvestment of Air India and Air India Express is ongoing.""Air India has stopped extending credit facilities on account of purchase of air tickets. Therefore, all Ministries or Departments are directed to clear Air India's dues immediately." "Air tickets from Air India may be purchased in cash till further instructions."
In 2009, the Centre had mandated that Central government officers travel via Air India for all official purposes including availing of LTC. On Monday, conglomerate Tata Group entered into a share purchase agreement with the Central government for buying out the latter's stake in national carrier Air India, Air India Express, and AISATS.
Earlier, a Letter of Intent was issued to the Tata Group. After the SPA, Tata Group would need to fulfill the conditions precedent in the agreement before taking over the airline. The rest of the transaction is expected to be completed by December.
Tata Sons' subsidiary Talace emerged as the highest bidder for the national carrier under the divestment process. Talace had quoted an enterprise value of Rs 18,000 crore for 100 per cent equity shareholding of the Centre in Air India along with that of Air India Express and AISATS. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: India, air India, ministers, government, purchase, dues, Tata group, centre
Sports betting has been around for centuries for the audience to not only watch the sport but to get more deeply involved in the match. It is a fun and often profitable activity for the viewer to win some extra fortune or simply get some extra sweat while watching the game. At first glance, sports betting may look like it's pure luck, but when you indulge deeper into the activity you realize it is more of a calculative and research activity than just pure luck. We must note that yes, luck does play a certain role to some extend but a win is not completely dependent on luck, if you're putting your bets on a certain team you have to make sure to do some research about the players on the team, history of wins and losses of the team and compare the probability of winning and then place bets.
Even though sports betting has existed since the ancient era, it was not until recently that it became increasingly popular among the youth. This happened due to the legalization of the activity and the rise of online sports betting. The technological revolution has expanded the sports betting industry, offering the bettors new markets and ways to bet. The only major difference between online bookmarkers and traditional brick-and-mortar venues of sports betting is that now you can place bets online from your mobile devices, laptops, computers etc.
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Online sports betting allows the sports enthusiastic bettors to place their sports bet online from wherever they are on real-life happening sports events. For instance, if there is a match between Chelsea F.C. and Machester United in the English Premier League, you can place wagers on either of the team to win from your comfort space, on your device and if you correctly predict the outcome, you'll win money.
How to Bet on Sports?
Sport betting gives more thrill and involvement in the sport to the bettor.Istockphoto
Now that you understand the basic mechanism of sports betting, how and where should you place your bets? For new bettors, sports betting can be a little intimidating because you're putting real money as stakes and no one wants to lose it. Here are the steps to place your sports bets online:
Choose a betting site: The first step to placing your sports bets is to find a reliable sports betting site. BetRivers sportsbook is one of the most popular sports betting sites in the US which also has a mobile app. It has a solid design with intuitive navigation, user friendly and polished layout.
Sign up: After choosing the website, you must sign up and provide simple details like your name, email address, age etc. to verify your proof of identity and if you're legally allowed to start betting in the state or not.
Deposit money in your online sportsbook: Once you've registered an account, you can immediately deposit some money and place your bets on the sport of your choice. Most online sports betting platforms accept numerous deposit methods. BetRivers accepts various methods like online banking, Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, pay+, etc; and withdrawing money is as simple as depositing the amount.
ALSO READ: The Growth of The Sports Betting Market
Locate the market: Before placing your first bet, pinpoint the sports you want to place bets on, then select specific competitions or leagues that interests you the most. Then you need to find a team you want to bet on. Do some research on the odds and market. Once you've made up your mind you can bet your money on your prediction.
Place your first bet: Once you're certain about your bet, you're required to enter the amount you want to bet. Most sites give you a preview of how much a bettor stands to win in the bet slip. If you're satisfied with the odds, you can happily hit the button to confirm your bet and wait for the results.
Enjoy the game: The bet has been placed, the game has started, now all you need to do is sit back, relax and watch the game and let your bet come in.
Disclaimer: (This article is sponsored and includes some commercial links)
It is indeed good news that the book showcasing the wisdom of India in the eyes of Western intellectuals is getting due recognition and appreciation from other states and abroad. After Karnataka and Punjab, the Government of Assam has recently consented to translate the research-based book by Shillong-based author - Shri Salil Gewali titled "Great Minds on India". The Chief Minister of Assam - Shri Himanta Biswa Sarma was amazed to know that so many top western scientists and philosophers have drawn a considerable amount of inspiration from ancient scriptures of India, particularly in the studies of modern physics, linguistic and astronomy. In the recent meeting with the author, the Chief Minister had highly appreciated Gewali's book and promised to read it thoroughly. Gewali's book was also approved for translation in the year 2020 by the former Chief Minister – Shri Sarbananda Sonowal but due to COVID-19, the translation work was delayed.
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Furthermore, the two scholars from Canada --- Dr Hema Murty -- Air Space Engineer at the University of Toronto, and Dr. Harsh H Thakkar of Sheridan College of Brampton, Ontario have sought permission from Mr. Gewali for the translation of 'Great Minds on India' into the Sanskrit language. After the translation, the Sanskrit edition will be published and circulated and utilized by Samskrita Bharati of Canada, besides its other branches in India, USA and UK. Gewali says that the book that has been praised by countless scholars and publication by the Government of Karnataka and Punjab has so far been translated into thirteen languages, including German.
'Great Minds of India' by Salil Gewali is an impressive compact book discussing the power that Indian ancient wisdomFile
A university scholar from Winchester, United Kingdom - Ms. Janet Murphy remarks:
" 'Great Minds of India' by Salil Gewali is an impressive compact book discussing the power that Indian ancient wisdom, thought and way of life had an impact on western minds, especially those who are of great historical significance, such as Voltaire, Albert Einstein, Ralph Emerson, Julius Robert Oppenheimer, Mark Twain, HG Wells et al. It is hoped all right-thinking scholars will find Gewali's work extremely applaudable."