Former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq will continue to help the touring English spinners in the upcoming ODI series in India next month.Saqlain confirmed that he had signed a contract to assist English spinners, Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, during the three-match ODI series against India. (Also read: In Mumbai, an embattled England team has history to fall back upon)Saqlain, who was hired by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to help the English spinners for the first two Tests, will continue in his role in the ODI series, starting from January 15.After a draw in the first Test, England has been outplayed in the next two Tests by the Indian spinners, particularly Ravichandran Ashwin who has taken 15 wickets in the three matches. (Keaton Jennings admits England are under pressure)Saqlain told the Pakistani media from England that he had enjoyed coaching the English players in India despite the ongoing tensions between the two neighbouring countries.”I faced no problems and it was a good experience for me as a bowling coach and consultant,” Saqlain said.He also felt that the English spinners were eager learners and would improve as the series progresses.But Saqlain expressed his desire to work with Pakistan cricket.”It is a matter of pride for me that I am asked to help spinners from different countries but my wish is still to give something back to Pakistan cricket,” he said.”I am ready to offer my services to the Pakistan Cricket Board whenever they need me.”advertisementSaqlain, who was hired for a short time by the PCB to work with Saeed Ajmal last year, said Director, Academies Mudassar Nazar had indicated to him that his services would be required soon in Pakistan.
Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, says work has commenced on two of the eight proposed agro parks to be established island wide, being undertaken over the next three years at a cost of US$8 million, Dr. Phillips was speaking at the signing and launch of the $240.7 million (€2.25 million) Economic Partnership Agreement Capacity Building Project, at the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) in Kingston, on December 11. The Minister said he has been informed by the Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Roger Clarke that work has started on the parks at Amity Hall, in St. Thomas and Ebony Park, in Clarendon, to improve the irrigation infrastructure and to put in other facilities. “This will enable private producers, with the support and co-ordination of the Government, to get involved in modern 21st Century agriculture, so that we can meet the targets, not only of displacing imported food supplies, but capturing export markets, which are hungry for Jamaican products,” Dr. Phillips argued. Noting that the Ministry of Agriculture is moving “full speed ahead” with the parks’ development, being advanced under the recently enacted Public-Private Partnership Policy (PPP), the Minister explained that these facilities will help to “stabilize” the agricultural supply chains, “deepen” inter-industry linkages, increase competitive import substitution, and incorporate what he described as “under-utilized” rural labour force into productive activity. The Agriculture Minister, who announced the parks’ development in the House of Representatives in September, advised that these will be established in St. Thomas, St. Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester, St. Elizabeth, and Trelawny. He indicated that the initiative represented a “pragmatic approach” to enhancing Jamaica’s food security and reducing the country’s food import bill. Focus, he informed, will be placed on producing onions, Irish potato, yam, honey, small ruminants, hot pepper, ginger, turmeric, pineapple, and aquaculture. Mr. Clarke assured that the parks will be equipped with the requisite infrastructure to ensure sustainable production and enhance post harvest activities. These inputs include: irrigation, drainage, storage, and packing house facilities. The Capacity Building Project, being funded by the European Union (EU), aims to create an enabling environment to support increased compliance of Jamaican agriculture and agribusiness exports, with international quality standards, to EU and other markets. This will be done by strengthening the capacity of infrastructure supporting the country’s export sector. The project is designed to enhance Jamaica’s food security focus and competitiveness goals, as outlined in the National Export Strategy (NES), and the country’s National Development Plan, Vision 2030 Jamaica, being administered by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ). Project activities are slated to get underway this month with the commencement of an initial 18-month undertaking, for which €600,000 has been earmarked. This phase is slated to run until May 2014. Welcoming the project, Mr. Clarke said it will have a “far-reaching” impact in facilitating the country’s adherence to international food safety standards, regulations, and practices. “This (project) will assist the Ministry to outfit our labs with critical pieces of equipment and the technical capabilities that will make them much more efficient, as well as making an array of testing sites available to the trading public,” he pointed out, while citing the benefit of access to global markets accruable to exporters, by virtue of their products receiving accreditation from internationally recognized testing facilities. Arguing that food safety “is everybody’s responsibility,” Mr. Clarke expressed gratitude to the EU and other stakeholders who have partnered with the Ministry to safeguard the quality and integrity of food consumed locally, as well as those exported. “The Ministry signals its commitment to ensuring full compliance to global standards, through strengthened policies, institutional and regulatory frameworks and the provisions of technical support services where required,” the Minister assured.
Story Highlights Minister Paulwell noted that the growth in investment can be traced to countries with renewable energy-friendly policies. Jamaica remains committed to deepening regional collaboration. Following the Second Meeting of Energy Ministers of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Montego Bay last week, special emphasis has been placed on the development of renewable energy in the region.Manager, CARICOM Energy Programme, Joseph Williams, said the decision to move forward with some specific actions around co-operation for renewable energy is significant for CARICOM countries, because it is advancing their priority objective.In an interview with JIS News, Mr. Williams pointed out that most of the CARICOM member states are net importers of energy and as such, have agreed in their regional policy to put priority focus on renewable energy development.This, he said, had been agreed at the level of Ministers. “The reality though is that there are constraints (across the region) as it relates to capacities, financial resources, knowledge base, technology and that is where co-operation as a part of a bloc, especially countries that have similar challenges but are also more advanced in their own development, CARICOM can benefit,” he said.He noted that CARICOM also has some things to share, as small island developing states, that could be useful for some of the countries in CELAC, so it is a two-way process with significant gains to be had.Mr. Williams described the two-day meeting at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James from August 24 to 25, as being very useful.“For me as a representative of the CARICOM Secretariat, it has been very useful. We got a good sense of what is happening in the other areas and where the opportunities are; and through the documents that have been put forward, we were able to make contribution in the interest of the CARICOM member states. So, I think it was a very useful and very satisfactory meeting…and there are some tangible outputs that will form the basis for action,” he informed.In the meantime, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, while delivering the keynote address at the official opening ceremony on October 25,noted that the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region has been referred to as the new frontier in energy.“By stint of geography, it is well suited for the development of renewable energy sources,” he pointed out.The Minister informed that in 2006, the LAC had approximately 11.3 GW of generating capacity from renewable energy, which grew 135 per cent to 26.6 GW last year.“In 2012 LAC was the destination for six per cent of the world’s renewable investment; a US$16 billion slice of a US$268 billion pie. The investment is set to grow, but must be nurtured and facilitated by Government policy and initiatives,” he said.Minister Paulwell noted that the growth in investment can be traced to countries with renewable energy-friendly policies, such as tax incentives, feed-in tariffs, and net billing/metering arrangements.He also pointed out that to move to the prospect of increasing the contribution of renewable in the energy mix, in CELAC’s deliberations, it must actively consider and plan carefully to realize an energy future that promotes the sustainable use of all renewable energy resources – hydro, wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and ocean energy.The Minister said Jamaica remains committed to deepening regional collaboration. “We are proud to host this meeting and for the opportunity to work with our neighbours on as critical an issue as energy,” he added.Mr. Paulwell promised the country’s continued support for the work of CELAC, and the Latin American Energy Organisation (OLADE), which last year opened its sub-regional office in Kingston, which now serves the needs of Caribbean member states.“As the relationship deepens between the Caribbean and the rest of the region, we look forward to the recognition of the role CARICOM can play in defining and developing energy policies,” the Minister said. Most of the CARICOM member states have agreed in their regional policy to put priority focus on renewable energy development.
APTN National NewsAlmost everyone in the North is impacted by mental health and addictions issues.And what is abnormal to non-Indigenous communities has become the new normal for many Northern communities which have been left to deal with the legacy of the Indian residential school system.APTN’s Shirley McLean has this story.