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first_imgDear Editor,GuySuCo’s current situation could be successfully fixed in a timely manner if there is the political will and good corporate governance is undertaken.Firstly: the bank loan backed by the corporation’s assets is questionable, not only because of the uncertainty of the pension fund’s viability, but also due to the form of the financing. A physical inventory needs to be undertaken, and a fiscal audit is also needed to support a clear understanding of the asset base to be used for securing financing. In addition, a line of credit should be pursued with Government’s backing to minimize the interest payments required.Secondly: labour concessions during the turnaround period should be negotiated, in order to reduce the cost of goods to allow for the reopening of the closed and neglected factories. In addition, an organisational capabilities assessment is required to ensure there is a clear plan to improve internal processes for improved front end operations.Thirdly: the acreage utilisation needs to be optimised in order to increase field yield rates to best in class levels, as seen by our successful international competitors. This will require limited investment. Factory maintenance improvement plans based on efficiency assessments will also provide clear guidance for improvement plans related to production costs and improved throughput. Such a fresh eyes’ audit needs to be undertaken in order to develop a clear investment plan for the industry. This should be pursued to obtain benchmarked levels.Fourth: the pricing of goods and services provided by the corporation needs to be revised, allowing for increases that reflect not only inflation rates, but also the increased demand associated with the limited supply. Market prices are currently not reflective of adjacent and competitive products. The mindset of bulk sales vs. consumer sales needs to be shifted in favour of the latter, to truly capture the pricing opportunity in the market place. A clear pricing strategy going forward needs also to be outlined.Based on my professional experience, the above outlined approach would clearly walk the turnaround initiative through the P&L, better identifying the financing needs and their required timing to support a successful turnaround initiative for the sugar industry. In addition, this approach would ensure a successful undertaking of making the sugar industry profitable in the current competitive environment.Best regards,Jamil Changleelast_img read more

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first_imgThe new €18.7m N56 Coolboy to Kilmacrennan Scheme was officially opened yesterday by Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh T.D., and Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Nicholas Crossan.The 3.1km scheme, which has seen the removal of the notorious ‘Blue Banks’ bends, is a key transport corridor to the north west of Donegal including Glenveagh National Park, Donegal Airport and the Gaeltacht.New €18.7m N56 Coolboy to Kilmacrennan Scheme which was officially opened on Monday by Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh T.D., and Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Nicholas Crossan.Cllr. Crossan explains “alongside the new road, a 2 metre shared footway/cycle track has been created on both sides of the road and it is hoped that this new shared track will be extended to Letterkenny.  This is a major infrastructural project and is of significant benefit and value not only to the local community in terms of improving safety and connectivity but also to the entire county and region. “This project provides an important strategic link to north west Donegal providing access to the Wild Atlantic Way as well as significantly improving access for businesses and investors.  The creation of the shared footway and cycle track is an excellent addition to the scheme and the value of this type of amenity, not only for the local community but as an attraction for visitors, cannot be over-estimated”.Admiring the plaque at the new €18.7m N56 Coolboy to Kilmacrennan Scheme which was officially opened on Monday are Cllr John O’Donnell, Mayor of Letterkenny MD, Cllr. Ciaran Brogan, Cllr. Michael McBride and Cathaoirleach Cllr. Nicholas Crossan. Photos by Clive WassonMinister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh T.D., and Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Nicholas Crossan at the official opening of the new €18.7m N56 Coolboy to Kilmacrennan Scheme on Monday. Picture includes Cllr. John O’Donnell, Mayor of Letterkenny MD, Cllr. Ciaran Brogan, Cllr. Michael McBride, Pat The Cope Gallagher T.D., Seamus Neely, Chief Executive Donegal County Council, John McLaughlin, Donegal County Council, Damian McDermott, Donegal National Design Office, Carmel Gallagher, Donegal National Design Office and Aine McHugh, Donegal National Design Office.Director of Roads and Transportation with Donegal County Council John McLaughlin explains that “the delivery of this scheme is the culmination of over 8 years work by the Donegal National Roads Office and is a continuation of the N56 Mountaintop to Illistrin project completed in 2009.“The original road had a narrow carriage way, no significant verge and a number of poorly aligned junctions, accesses and entrances.  The new scheme involved the widening and realignment to a 7 metre carriageway with hard strips and verges. A shared footway/cycle track on both sides of the new road caters for all vulnerable road users, cyclist and pedestrians and is a significant new local amenity.”The ecumenical blessing at the official opening of the €18.7m N56 Coolboy to Kilmacrennan Scheme by Rev Cannon Harry Gilmore and Rev Patrick Dunne . Photo Clive WassonMayor of Letterkenny MD Cllr. John O’Donnell acknowledged the importance of this project in delivering on the economic development agenda for the county and paid tribute to the support and co-operation of the local community saying “development of major infrastructure projects such as this can be a long process. “Individuals and communities are always affected by the disruption caused and I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the support and co-operation of local residents, businesses and motorists in the development and delivery of this scheme. I look forward to having the next phase of this project from Doonwell to Leitirfad in Termon prioritised.”Locals take shelter at the official opening of the €18.7m N56 Coolboy to Kilmacrennan Scheme . Photo Clive Wasson“This project represents an investment of over €18m” says Seamus Neely speaking at Monday’s launch.  “Since this road opened in May, road users have seen a major improvement and traffic can now flow freely and safely. It is the third section of this important stretch of road to be completed in the last 10 years starting from the outskirts of Letterkenny at the Mountaintop and now finishing in KIlmacrennan.  This is a major piece of infrastructure for Donegal and will go a long way in enabling the county to capitalize on opportunities such as the continued development of tourism, supporting business development and job creation.”Seamus Neely also acknowledged the strong collaborative working arrangement in place with Irish Water in the delivery of this project.  Irish Water constructed a new trunk watermain and distributor water mains serving Letterkenny and its environs adjacent to and along the N56.The official opening of the €18.7m N56 Coolboy to Kilmacrennan Scheme by Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh T.D., and Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Nicholas Crossan. Photo Clive WassonWorks on this scheme commenced in January 2018 and took 18 months to complete.  BAM Civils Ltd. were the main contractor, RPS Consulting Engineers were the Designer and construction works were supervised on behalf of Donegal County Council by Barry Transportation. The Project was managed on behalf of Donegal County Council by the National Roads Office in Donegal Town.Rev Cannon Harry Gilmore and Rev Patrick Dunne were also present at the official opening of the road along with representatives from Transport Infrastructure Ireland and Irish Water. €18.7M Coolboy to Kilmacrennan road and cycle track officially opened was last modified: October 9th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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:coolboyinfrastructurekilmacrennanN56official openingROADSlast_img read more

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jerry HagstromDTN Political CorrespondentWASHINGTON (DTN) — Following the defeat of two bills to address 2018 and 2019 disasters on the Senate floor Monday evening, Democrats offered a new plan to address Puerto Rico while Republicans criticized their colleagues for blocking urgently needed aid to other parts of the country.Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Tuesday introduced a substitute to the emergency disaster supplemental while the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee addressed the issue at a hearing on the rural economy.Democrats want more aid for Puerto Rico than the Republicans have proposed. On Monday evening, neither a Republican proposal that contained $600 million in additional food stamp benefits for Puerto nor the House-passed bill that is more generous to Puerto Rico got the 60 votes needed to proceed.Meanwhile, Senate Republicans blamed Democrats for stopping both the aid to Puerto Rico that was in the Republican bill and aid to farmers.Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said, “Senate Democrats yesterday blocked a bill that provides much-needed funds for Puerto Rico’s nutrition program, also aid for the 2018 hurricane and wildfires, and thirdly assistance to Midwest states in the midst of a flood crisis.”“That includes at least Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, maybe other states,” Grassley said.“Now, the people that voted against it say it was because they care about Puerto Rico. But the bill they blocked takes care of the urgent funding shortfalls there in that commonwealth,” he said.“Playing politics with disaster aid does a disservice to the people of Puerto Rico and the people of states like Iowa that are suffering right now from these floods,” Grassley said. “Why would these senators want to come to campaign in Iowa when they don’t show sympathy for Iowans suffering from the floods with the vote that they cast last night?”At a House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the rural economy Tuesday, Paxton Poitevint, the president and CEO of Southwest Georgia Farm Credit in Bainbridge, Georgia, said that while crop insurance, commodity programs and trade agreements are helping, the cotton and nut farmers whose crops were devastated by Hurricane Michael and timber growers in his area “need federal disaster assistance now.”House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., said at the hearing, “To be honest, I did not think we’d still be sitting here in April without a disaster aid package signed into law.”Bishop added that he is “extremely frustrated” and “hopeful it will happen soon.”Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., whose district has been devastated by floods, said that as bad as the agricultural losses are now, they “are going to mount.”Iowa officials estimate about $214 million in agricultural losses and more than $1.6 billion in total disaster losses. Nebraska officials estimate agricultural losses could top $1 billion because of as much as $500 million in livestock losses and $400 million in crop losses, as well as prevented planting challenges this spring. Nebraska officials estimate another $450 million just in road damages. Missouri officials have not released any estimates, but parts of northwest Missouri and southwest Iowa remain underwater.The Leahy/Schumer amendment totals $16.7 billion and includes $2.5 billion in new funding for disaster-stricken communities in the Southeast and Midwest and restores certain funding for Puerto Rico and other territories.Leahy and Schumer said, “We cannot pick and choose which American citizens to help in times of crisis. Democrats are ready to stand with all American communities affected by recent natural disasters. We hope Republican leadership will stand with us in this effort.”The amendment includes increased funding for Community Development Block Grants and grants to help rebuild damaged water systems in Puerto Rico. It also provides Medicaid funding for other territories and mandates that the Department of Housing and Urban Development speed up the release of billions in Community Development Block Grant funding the Trump administration has been withholding from disaster stricken communities.Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., whose constituents suffered from wildfires and forest fires in 2018, voted against the Republican bill and said, “In California, the scale of last year’s destruction was unprecedented. Wildfires killed 85 people, destroyed nearly 14,000 homes and burned more than 150,000 acres, including the entire town of Paradise. Recovery efforts are already underway and additional funding is needed to prevent any delay.”“Tragically, Californians aren’t the only Americans still trying to recover,” Feinstein said. “Victims of recent typhoons, volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes, including those that struck Puerto Rico two years ago, are also counting on Congress to approve this funding.“Congress used to set politics aside after major disasters and help victims in their time of need. Partisan infighting won’t rebuild a single home or school. It’s time we pass an emergency supplemental bill that includes funding for all disaster victims.”President Donald Trump has said he does not want to provide any aid to Puerto Rico beyond the money for food stamps. Trump called the leaders of Puerto “incompetent and corrupt” and made statements that are factually incorrect, The New York Times reported.Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at jhagstrom@njdc.comFollow him on Twitter @hagstromreport(CC/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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