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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – SATURDAY JUNE 27, 2015

first_imgO’NEILL, MILLER TIED IN BATTLE FOR TRAINING HONORSGREGSON FOUNDATION HONORS SMITH AND STEVENSTEXAS RED DRILLS FOUR FURLONGS FOR DWYER STAKESTVG’S SIMON BRAY DIAGNOSED WITH MULTIPLE MYELOMA TRAINERS’ RACE GOING DOWN TO THE WIREDoug O’Neill and Peter Miller were in a flat-footed tie for the training lead with two racing days remaining in Santa Anita’s 39-day Spring Meet. Each had 21 wins, O’Neill from 105 starters, Miller from 91.O’Neill already has three Santa Anita crowns, winning consecutively from 2004-05 through 2006-07. Miller, training out of San Luis Rey Downs, has never won a title at The Great Race Place.O’Neill and Miller each had horses entered in three races today.On Sunday, O’Neill and Miller each had one horse in the second race; Miller had one in the third; O’Neill had one in the fifth; each had one in the eighth; O’Neill had one in the ninth; and Miller had Katy Drama in from the also eligible list in the 10th and final, with Aylara on the also eligible list.With a 44-33 lead over runner-up Tyler Baze, perennial Southern California riding king Rafael Bejarano was well on his way to another championship. Through Friday, Bejarano had ridden 183 horses to Baze’s 220 (more than any rider this meet),Bejarano also led Baze in purse earnings, $2,058,126 to $1,886,100. Michael Machowsky2855318%$154,634 Peter Miller9121181223%$817,684 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS John Sadler7013101219%$843,264 Drayden Van Dyke12517161214%$739,422 Eddie Truman2172433%$287,208 Tiago Pereira771214716%$523,170 Fernando Perez13725221218%$946,690 Mike Puype67913813%$520,980 Tim Yakteen1954026%$165,880 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Bruce Headley1551233%$132,250 Santiago Gonzalez10911161310%$480,524 Rafael Bejarano18344313224%$2,058,126 Flavien Prat15924301715%$1,461,042 Joseph Talamo15624152815%$1,060,778 Mario Gutierrez58106917%$490,968 Elvis Trujillo585479%$269,290 Mike Smith491010720%$800,536 Martin Pedroza106820158%$433,150 William Spawr3255316%$191,270 Jerry Hollendorfer70819911%$660,288 Felipe Valdez101915109%$384,120 Kent Desormeaux78816910%$512,134center_img Carla Gaines2864421%$288,170 TVG’S SIMON BRAY DIAGNOSED WITH MULTIPLE MYELOMA            Former trainer and current TVG analyst Simon Bray, who has been off-air for the last month with a back injury, has been diagnosed with a rare blood cancer, according to a press release issued this morning by TVG. The popular Bray, whose disease is considered treatable, but not curable, issued the following statement:“My primary focus will now be fighting this disease. With the help of the doctors at the City of Hope hospital, I will be getting some of the best care in the country. I appreciate the overwhelming support from TVG and I look forward to getting back to the job I love so very much.”TVG is encouraging viewers to help by making a donation to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. TVG Betfair has also announced that it will match all contributions up to $10,000.For more information, please visit BIT.LY/SUPPORTSIMONFINISH LINES: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red had his final major drill for the $500,000 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park July 4, going four furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Saturday in 48 seconds flat. Trainer and part owner Keith Desormeaux plans to ship Texas Red to New York on Wednesday . . . Spring Fever Stakes winner Sunday Rules worked six furlongs for Phil D’Amato in a bullet 1:11.20, fastest of 22 drills at the distance, the average time of which was 1:14.06. On the dirt training track, D’Amato worked multiple turf stakes winner Obviously four furlongs in 50.40 . . . With favorites winning at 40.50 percent this meet (130 out of 321), some seven points above the national average, chalk players were in their glory. Favorites on dirt were winning at 40.76 percent (96 of 211) and on turf, 40 percent (44 of 110). In the money favorites were winning at 73.83 percent (237 of 321), while in the money odds-on favorites were scoring at 89.53 percent (77 of 86) . . . There will be mandatory payoffs on the Super High 5 and the Pick Six tomorrow. First post time on the 10-race program is 1 p.m. Alex Solis4375516%$311,404 GREGSON FOUNDATION HOSTS CHARITY FUNDRAISERThe Edwin J. Gregson Foundation will host a charity fundraising dinner Aug. 3 honoring Hall of Fame jockeys Mike Smith and Gary Stevens for their extraordinary racing accomplishments and contributions to the prominence of the Thoroughbred industry.This dinner marks year 15 of fundraising activities spearheaded by Jenine Sahadi, president of the Edwin J. Gregson Foundation. “We look forward to a fabulous evening celebrating two great, phenomenally talented jockeys, esteemed not only by our industry members, but literally loved by fans throughout the world,” says Sahadi.Proceeds of the event will be used for continued development of various educational programs to benefit California’s worthy backstretch workers and their families. These programs, such as college scholarship grants, computer literacy classes, on-going English as a second language course, were part of trainer Eddie Gregson’s vision in helping individuals improve their standard of living and achieve excellence in their lives.The Foundation will fete Smith and Stevens at The Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego on Monday, Aug. 3. Tickets for the event are $300 per person. This annual event has sold out each year, and the Edwin J. Gregson Foundation encourages early purchase of tickets to assure attendance.Please contact Angie Carmona at (626) 447-2339 for further information or go to www.gregsonfoundation.com. Richard Mandella471213426%$892,860 Doug O’Neill10521191220%$965,778 Philip D’Amato601710728%$965,550 Richard Baltas63179527%$893,178 Brayan Pena7082311%$185,690 Edwin Maldonado9710141510%$441,700 Victor Espinoza43117826%$774,014 Gonzalo Nicolas10168166%$264,988 Ignacio Puglisi5466311%$215,350 Tyler Baze22033363315%$1,886,100 (Current Through Friday, June 26) Mark Glatt60681010%$292,254 Gary Stevens3183626%$681,118 Kristin Mulhall2565024%$139,050 Vann Belvoir565789%$196,110 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Robertino Diodoro3376321%$309,600 Martin Garcia53971017%$391,210 Hector O. Palma1752229%$153,110 Bob Baffert3273622%$349,600last_img read more

Setién vs Bordalás: a history of attacks and disagreements

first_imgQuique Setién and José Bordalás, two antagonistic technicians in the style they impose on their teams, will face them again next Saturday at the Camp Nou with aa newspaper archive full of statements that reveal a rivalry that over time has been softened to an apparent cordiality.The Barcelona-Getafe of the weekend will be the most even of all that have been played at the Camp Nou. The Bordalás team had never reached the Barca field so high in the standings. It is third after 23 days and after its exhibition against Valencia (3-0), it seems that the candidacy of the Azulón team to play the next edition of the Champions League is serious. Bordalás, on this occasion, answered his counterpart on the bench. He made his position clear: “The important thing is that he has won the team that has most wanted to win, the one that has most sought the victory and the one that has thrown a couple of balls. I think it is a very serious and I urge disrespectful, Federation, LFP or AFE to take action on the matter to cut these comments “, he claimed.2017Already with the two coaches in the First Division, Bordalás in Getafe and Setién in Betis, both signed a 2-2 on November 3, 2017, at the Benito Villamarín stadium that unleashed criticism from the Cantabrian coach: “I thought it was unfortunate. Getafe is the team that lacks the most. He knows it and it is unfortunate that only three minutes have been added. It is always the same. These things have to look at it because the referee’s fault . You can’t allow only 25 minutes to play each time. This is not football. This is something else. My blood boils. “.Those statements broke the usual greeting of the coaches before the games. Bordalás, in the return clash that was played at the Alfonso Pérez Coliseum, did not approach Setién to shake his hand. It was the last time that both got involved in a dialectical dispute.2018Then, in every confrontation that their matches have played, it seems that cordiality has returned. Or, at least, a truce imposed not to light the fuse. On October 28, 2018, Getafe won 2-0 against Betis and Bordalás, who also did not greet the Cantabrian, was asked again about the state of his relations with Setién.“I have never made any comment about Mr. Setién. I have only defended my team from criticism. We have not entered into such things. We have not greeted each other because I have left a little late. I will not enter, I have nothing to comment. We have to enjoy the good moments of football. We have won a game, we have not done anything, but we have a few hours to enjoy “.In the return clash, he beat Betis again, 1-2 at Villamarín, and threw a capote at Setién after being questioned by the whistles he received from his hobby the former coach Verdiblanco: “It is not pleasant and I do not like it. I am very respectful of all the hobbies, which are sovereign and that of Betis has shown that it is fantastic. I respect the work of all the technicians very much, that of Betis too. If he is here, it is because no one has given him anything. “2019After that meeting, Setién held out for more than a month on the Betis bench. He was dismissed on May 19, 2019 and since then the path of both coaches have not crossed again. Until this Saturday. Again, the faces will be seen again. One, in Barcelona, ​​the other, is still in Getafe. It seems that the fires are already suffocated, but a public greeting is still pending that could return in the Camp Nou to seal the peace definitively. 2013In the midst of that clash of styles, In the past there was also a verbal confrontation that began in 2013, when José Bordalás trained Alcorcón and Quique Setién al Lugo. On April 13 of that year, Setién criticized the Bordalás team after losing 0-1 in the Anxo Carro. “We have let ourselves be won by a team that has not deserved it. I am pissed to see the players waste time. Of the teams that are up, I hope that the Alcorcón does not ascend, because it is sad to see them. It is a complicated rival because it does not play or let play. They interrupt and waste time “said Setién that day.2014A year and a half later, on November 23, 2014, again they both collided in a duel between Alcorcón and Lugo. Setién again criticized the team led by Bordalás: “It seems that all teams warmed the game against Alcorcón and this team ends up having trouble with everyone, not with me. This has been a game to call it somehow, because I do not interpret it as such, I interpret it as something else. It has not there has been continuity, with some assiduity there have been interruptions, messes and for us it is not like the ones we used to play“, said. LaLiga Santander* Data updated as of February 11, 2020center_img LaLiga Santander* Data updated as of February 11, 2020 With a three-point income over the fifth classified, Sevilla, Getafe needs revenue at the Camp Nou to stay in the fight to finish in the top four. To do this, Bordalás will have to overcome a team whose coach imposes a completely different style from the blue box, marked by intensity, fighting, verticality, poor possession and fast transitions.last_img read more

Yeng Guiao ejected in 2nd quarter of crucial NLEX game

first_imgBea De Leon breaks out of slump in style with dominant showing in latest Ateneo win MOST READ Guiao’s ouster, however, appeared to have lit a fire under the Road Warriors, who closed the quarter on a 14-5 run to take a 50-36 lead at the half.The Road Warriors are currently 11th in the standings and a victory over the Aces will definitely boost their bid for a quarterfinals slot.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs LATEST STORIES Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Read Next Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history MANILA, Philippines–Facing Alaska in a crucial game, NLEX will have to make do without its head coach Yeng Guiao for the rest of the way after he got ejected in the second quarter.The fiery Guiao was tossed after he picked up two quick technical fouls with a little over five minutes left in the second period.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazillast_img read more

Accused narco-trafficker remanded

first_imgA man who was allegedly discovered with 50 grams of narcotics while lingering in front of the Camp Street Prison was on Friday morning remanded to prison by City Magistrate Leron Daly.Leon Jonas denied that he had the narcotics in his possession on August 29, 2018.According to the prosecution’s case, Jonas was seen standing across from the prison for a lengthy period, and was as such approached by ranks.He was later subjected to a search, and a quantity of leaves, seeds and stems were discovered on his person. As such he was taken into Police custody, and the substance was weighed in his presence.He was later charged with the offence of possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking. The case will continue on October 2.last_img read more

Peace Motocross to conclude season with double header

first_imgWith four heats left to make up the final races, a lot can happen with the championship picture, as the winner of a given race is awarded 25 points. With 100 points on the table, it gives riders who are on the outside a chance to finish on top.With over 20 classes of racing competing over the double header, the weekend is sure to be jam packed with intense races throughout. The Peace Motocross Association will officially cap their season with a year end awards banquet on September 21, also in Dawson Creek.  – Advertisement –last_img read more

JOBS BOOST AS 175 NEW POSITIONS ANNOUNCED

first_imgTHERE is a massive jobs boost for the region tonight after healthcare company Abbott said will invest €85m into expanding its Sligo pharmaceutical manufacturing facility, which will create about 175 highly skilled jobs and 150 temporary construction jobs in the process.A number of current employees of the company are from Co Donegal and commute to the facility each day.The extra space for manufacturing operations to support Abbott’s future pharmaceutical pipeline in therapeutic areas of virology, oncology and nephrology. It will provide additional capacity in Abbot’s global pharmaceutical manufacturing network. The expansion of the facility will be completed in 2014 and the investment is supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland.The new jobs will include skilled roles in engineering, quality, pharmaceutical science and other science-based areas. The majority of jobs will be added during construction and the remainder will be recruited after the expansion is complete.In addition to these 175 jobs, another 150 temporary jobs will be created in construction. “Abbott has had a presence in Ireland for more than 65 years and began manufacturing in the country in 1974,” said Dr Azita Saleki-Gerhardt, president of Global Pharmaceutical Operations at Abbott.“Sligo is an important part of Abbott’s pharmaceutical manufacturing network and we are pleased to expand it to support future production needs. The success of our Sligo facility is due to the dedication of its staff and management.“This state-of-the-art expansion will enable us to produce innovative therapies that we expect will represent significant advances in the treatment of cancer, chronic kidney disease and viral infections,” said Saleki-Gerhardt.Barry O’Leary, CEO of Ireland, welcomed the announcement, saying that Abbott Ireland is of “key importance” to Ireland’s life sciences sector, which contributes substantially to Ireland’s export economy. “(Abbott) is part of a strong cluster of life-sciences companies in the northwest region, which is hugely important to the local economy,” said O’Leary.‘’Abbott, with 13 manufacturing, commercial and shared services sites across the country, continues to go from strength to strength and employs nearly 4,000 people. I wish Abbott Ireland every success with this new venture and offer the continued support of IDA Ireland as the company further develops its Irish operations,” he said.JOBS BOOST AS 175 NEW POSITIONS ANNOUNCED was last modified: February 9th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Man charged in connection with Lifford burglaries

first_imgA man has appeared in court today charged with a series of burglaries and crimes in Lifford over the last two months.Detectives investigating recent commercial burglaries in the Lifford area arrested a male in the town on Wednesday, 1st May. The man was detained at Letterkenny Garda Station and questioned over burglaries, attempted burglaries and criminal damage incidents in Lifford during March and April 2019.He was subsequently charged in connection with the crimes and appeared before a sitting of Letterkenny District Court today (Thursday) where he was remanded on bail to appear before the courts on a later date.Gardaí have thanked the public for their assistance so far in this investigation.Anyone with further information regarding the burglaries can speak with detectives in Letterkenny by contacting Letterkenny Garda Station on 0749167100 or if they wish, contact the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.Man charged in connection with Lifford burglaries was last modified: May 2nd, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:courtLiffordlast_img read more

Inter Milan initiate talks with Sampdoria for Tottenham target

first_imgHis fine performances have alerted some of Europe’s biggest names, with Spurs and Inter rumoured to be tracking the youngster closely.Italian champions Juventus have also been keeping a close eye on Andersen’s development but, according to Corriere dello Sport, Inter are leading the race to snap up the defender. Inter Milan have moved a step ahead of Tottenham in the race to land highly-rated Sampdoria defender Joachim Andersen.The Italian giants have initiated talks with chiefs at their Serie A rivals for the 22-year-old Dane, who has been hugely impressive this season, making 12 appearances in all competitions. Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City Did Mahrez just accidentally reveal Fernandinho is leaving Man City this summer? 2 Sampdoria’s young Danish talent Joachim Andersen. Guardiola-inspired tactics: Is this how Arsenal will line up under Arteta? TOP WORK This will serve as bad news for Spurs, who are huge admirers of the Sampdoria star. huge blow Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 That is because sporting director Piero Ausilio held talks with Sampdoria chiefs earlier this week in an attempt to hammer out a deal for the in-demand Dane.It is understood that a deal is close and that Andersen would be keen on a January move to the San Siro. How Everton could look in January under Ancelotti with new signings tense changes gameday cracker whoops Sampdoria defender Joachim Andersen in action. Most Popular Premier League Stories Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update Liverpool’s signings under Michael Edwards – will Minamino be the next big hit? revealed latest SORRY Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT predicted Sky Sports presenter apologises for remarks made during Neville’s racism discussion 2last_img read more

Baca’s baby

first_imgIt was scarcely a year ago when Los Angeles County voters shot down a plan to increase the sales tax by a quarter-percent to fund additional police services. It’s not that voters were against hiring more cops, they were just fed up with self-serving politicians who disingenuously plead poverty amid swelling tax coffers. Yet somehow, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca didn’t seem to get the message. A year later, Baca is pleading poverty again, encouraging county voters to consider the same tax plan they rejected last year. Only this time, Baca’s effort isn’t merely misguided, it’s pathetic. While there’s little doubt that Baca’s department can use more deputies – it’s currently hemorrhaging 430 cops a year – money isn’t the problem. The Sheriff’s Department employs 8,150 sworn officers, or about 1,100 fewer than it’s budgeted for. In other words, Baca could increase his force by nearly 13 percent simply by spending the money he already has on hand. But so far, he’s been hard-pressed to recruit, train and retain enough officers to keep the force stable, let alone expand it. That’s not all his fault. Generous pension plans make it all too appealing for deputies to retire early. Moreover, cop-hiring sprees in neighboring cities lure some 150 experienced deputies away from the department each year and drain the pool of potential recruits. But these trends only undermine Baca’s calls for the sales-tax hike, which, at least in its last incarnation, would have provided funding not only for the Sheriff’s Department, but also for law enforcement agencies throughout the county. The fact that so many cities – including Los Angeles – have found the funds to boost their forces without raising taxes exposes the hollowness of the claim that local governments are strapped for cash. They’re not. Soaring property-tax revenues have provided a municipal windfall. Los Angeles County’s budget is up $565 million this year, including $79 million more for the Sheriff’s Department. Of course, Baca wants even more than that, but he’s yet to show that he actually needs it. And unless he can, if he takes his tax-hike proposal to the people once again, he can expect the same disastrous result. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Africa: Serious about food

first_imgA boy smiles for the camera at Eva Orango school in Orango Island of Bijago Archipelago in Guinea-Bissau.(Image: Manoocher Deghati, Irin Photo) The record prices of staple grains in 2008 made investment in agriculture an attractive proposition for countries exporting as well as importing food. The African Union (AU), with its mix of producers and buyers, has been steadily gearing up for self-sufficiency. Shortly after Malawian president Bingu wa Mutharika became AU chair in 2010, he announced a plan to make Africa food secure in the next five years.Martin Bwalya, head of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) said the AU’s seven-year roadmap to put the spotlight on farming so as to promote food security and economic growth, and reduce poverty, was set in motion five years ago.By the end of 2010, the agriculture development plans of 18 African countries had undergone a rigorous independent technical review and were being rolled out.Over 60% of Africa’s people live in rural areas and most depend on farming for food and income. Agriculture contributes between 20% and 60% to nations’ gross domestic product.In a document called The African Food Basket, Mutharika spelt out the details of his plan, which requires countries to allocate a substantial portion of their budget to agriculture, provide farming input subsidies, and make available affordable information and communications technology.This would be possible with the help of a new strategic partnership between countries, donors, aid agencies and the private sector.CAADP, initiated in 2003, covers all the main aspects of Mutharika’s plan, including African governments’ commitment to devote at least 10% of their budgets to agriculture.Under the programme, countries draw up comprehensive investment plans that include the four CAADP pillars: sustainable land and water management, improved market access and integration, increased food supplies and reduced hunger, and research, technology generation and dissemination.“We expect the countries to contribute at least 10% of the annual expenditure budget demonstrating local ownership and responsibility,” said Bwalya.He added while development aid financing remained important, it was also crucial that countries consider measures to attract direct private sector financing to agriculture.Uganda, one of the 18 states to undergo the review process, has met about 65% of its funding requirements from its own budget.The AU’s development agency, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad), which runs CAADP, helps countries to mobilise funds.Is achieving food self-sufficiency in five years a realistic goal? It would be a tough call, said Ousmane Badiane, director for Africa at the US-based International Food Policy Research Institute.He noted that the AU had 53 members with varying degrees of agriculture investment, development and needs, and some countries did not have the structural capacity to reach the target of food self-sufficiency for many reasons including civil conflicts.Going regionalA more realistic option, Badiane said, would be for countries with the potential to improve food production to produce enough to feed their less productive neighbours. This called for expanding regional trade and investment in transportation, including ports, railways and highways linking countries.AU members have begun to take regional economic integration “seriously”, noted Calestous Juma, professor of international development at Harvard University in his recently released book, The New Harvest.He lists regional markets as one of the three opportunities that could fortify Africa’s food security against the rising threat of climate change.There are at least eight regional economic communities, “that are recognised by the AU as building blocks for pan-African economic integration”; these include the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, or Comesa, and the East African Community. However, “Regional cooperation in agriculture is in its infancy and major challenges lie ahead.”Regions could become food secure “by capitalising on the different growing seasons in different countries and making products available in all areas for longer periods of time”, he wrote.Both Mutharika and CAADP emphasise the development of regional markets. Mutharika listed 12 regional trade corridors identified by the various regional economic communities and suggested the AU draw up an institutional framework for each corridor.Science and technologyIn his book Juma lists advances in science and technology as another factor that could propel Africa towards food self-sufficiency, and called for more investment in the creation of regional hubs of research and innovation.Research is being carried out by groups created under Nepad, such as the Biosciences Eastern and Central Africa Network, which has been leading research on food crops, including banana, teff, cassava, sorghum and sweet potatoes. More investment in networks, especially agriculture-related ones, could produce far-reaching results.Fertiliser and subsidiesUnderuse of fertilisers has often been cited as a major cause of low production in Africa. Only four countries – Egypt, Malawi, Mauritius and South Africa – have exceeded the 50 kilograms per hectare target set by the AU, Mutharika noted in his plan.Fertiliser use in Africa accounts for less than 10% of the world average of 100 kilograms per hectare. “Just five countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria) account for about two-thirds of the fertiliser applied in Africa,” Juma said.Mutharika, who promoted the provision of subsidised fertiliser in Malawi, makes a strong case for this approach. At present 19 African countries are implementing various programmes providing fertiliser.Juma sees leaders like Mutharika, who has prioritised food security as the third factor that could set Africa on the path to food security. The Malawian government devotes 16% of its national budget to agriculture.Yet Badiane of the International Food Policy Research Institute sounded a note of caution on subsidies and cited the case of Senegal. After independence the West African country put in place an agriculture subsidy programme in the 1960s that was even more comprehensive than Malawi’s. “It had a dramatic effect on agriculture in Senegal, but by 1979 one of its [agriculture] agencies had worked up a deficit amounting to 98% of the national budget.”Carefully managed subsidies, run for a short term, and aimed at strengthening existing markets and agricultural infrastructure, were a lot more effective, he said.The Rwandan government provided free fertiliser to farmers for four years after 1994. In 1998 it wanted to hand over importing and distribution to the private sector, which unfortunately lacked capacity, so the government continued to procure and import fertiliser but left distribution and selling to the private sector.Since then, aid from financial institutions has helped the private sector build capacity to import, and at least 20 bodies now import several hundred metric tons of fertiliser, Badiane said.Way forwardThe AU’s plans for agriculture also tackle other major issues affecting food security, such as irrigation (only 4% of Africa’s crop area is irrigated, compared to 39% in South Asia); improving soil fertility (more than 3% of agricultural gross domestic product in Africa is lost annually as a direct result of soil and nutrient loss); post-harvest storage loss (sub-Saharan Africa loses about 40% of its harvest per year, against 1% in Europe); setting up databanks to share early warning information and energy.There is a high level of engagement between countries on agriculture. “They meet regularly and we support them in building evidence-based information,” CAADP’s Bwalya noted.If they stayed the course in implementing CAADP, Badiane said in five years a large number of African countries, if not food secure, would be in a much better position to feed themselves.last_img read more