Robber fly - Nature photographer Thomas Shahan specializes in amazing portraits of tiny insects. It isn't easy. Shahan says that this Robber Fly (Holcocephala fusca), for instance, is "skittish" and doesn't like its picture taken.

Eye-popping bug photos

Nature by Numbers (Video)

"The Greater Akashic System" – July 15, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) (Subjects: Lightworkers, Intent, To meet God, Past lives, Universe/Galaxy, Earth, Pleiadians, Souls Reincarnate, Invention: Measure Quantum state in 3D, Recalibrates, Multi-Dimensional/Divine, Akashic System to change to new system, Before religion changed the system, DNA, Old system react to Karma, New system react to intent now for next life, Animals (around humans) reincarnate again, This Animal want to come back to the same human, Akashic Inheritance, Reincarnate as Family, Other Planets, Global Unity … etc.)

Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle
American zoologist played by Sigourney Weaver in the film Gorillas in the Mist would have been 82 on Thursday (16 January 2014)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Lack of incentives leaves local chocolate industry struggling

Novia D. Rulistia, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Silver Queen and Beng Beng are among the few locally produced chocolate bars that have gained any kind of following with Indonesians, while other local brands have ceased to exist or struggle simply to survive.

As the world's third largest producer of cacao beans, it is ironic that there are no Indonesian chocolate brands able to compete with high-profile brands such as Cadbury of Britain or Hershey's of the U.S., whose home countries do not have cacao plantations.

Local cocoa and chocolate associations blame the absence of incentives for local farmers to produce fermented cocoa beans as the primary reason behind the failure to develop the country's downstream chocolate industry.

"The reason (for the underdeveloped local chocolate industry) is that most beans harvested here are not fermented," chairman of the Indonesian Cocoa and Chocolate Entrepreneurs Organization, Sonny Satari, told The Jakarta Post recently.

"Farmers choose to sell their beans directly after harvest without fermenting them first because the process requires more effort and time, while the difference in price with unfermented beans is not that high," he said.

In the process of making chocolate, cacao beans must first undergo fermentation before drying in order to create the special aroma of chocolate.

"Fermented cocoa beans have a higher added value in the market because they have better quality," Sonny said.

Indonesia Cocoa Association (Askindo) chairman Halim Razak said the difference between the price of fermented and non-fermented beans was around Rp 1,500 (15 U.S. cents) per kilogram.

He said that of the total domestic cacao output of around 520,000 tons last year, only 5 percent was fermented.

The limited availability of fermented beans has forced chocolate companies to import cacao beans of good quality.

Askindo secretary-general Zulhefi Sikumbang said that besides the lack of fermented beans, local chocolate producers, most of which make semi-processed products, also faced problems in developing their brands.

Semi-processed products include cocoa butter and powder, while fully processed products usually comprise chocolate bars and candy.

The domination by large multinational manufacturers of fully processed chocolate products is another factor discouraging local producers from competing head-to-head in the local chocolate bar or candy business.

"It's like committing suicide if semi-processed chocolate producers jump directly into the manufacturing of fully processed products because brand image still comes into play," said Zulhefi.

He added that the outdated machinery operated by local producers hampered innovation in the industry.

Only a few locally made chocolate bars have managed to become favorites among Indonesians. Most people here tend to eat chocolate manufactured by international brands, including products made from cacao beans imported from Indonesia.

Zulhefi predicted that in 2008 there would be no new domestic producers of fully processed chocolate, partly because of low chocolate consumption at home despite the abundant stock of cacao beans.

According to Askindo, Indonesia's chocolate consumption is just 0.6 kilograms per capita per year, far lower than 16 kilograms per capita per year in Europe.

The association said the country's cocoa consumption reached 220,000 tons last year.

Zulhefi said that of the 14 chocolate companies in Indonesia, only three make fully processed products.

Rully Junaidi, corporate secretary of PT Davomas Abadi, Indonesia's second biggest chocolate company, said the firm would continue focusing on semi-processed products due to high demand on the international market.

Semi-processed products are also used as intermediaries for making fully processed chocolate.

Rully said the firm exported cocoa butter and powder to countries in Europe and the United States at US$6,000 per ton. That price is far higher than the raw bean price of around $2,000 per ton.

According to Askindo, Indonesia is the third largest producer of cacao beans in the world, with total production of around 560,000 tons a year. It trails only the Ivory Coast, which produces around 1.3 million tons, and Ghana with around 700,000 tons.

Askindo reported that Indonesia saw an 11.8 percent decrease in cacao beans production in 2007 to 520,000 tons from 590,000 tons in 2006, due to the late arrival of the rainy season which hurt the harvest.

It saw an even steeper decline of 38.7 percent in exports to around 300,000 tons last year from around 490,000 in 2006. The three main destination countries for Indonesia's cacao beans were Malaysia, the United States and Brazil.

Halim said the poor skills of farmers meant Indonesia's cacao yield was a low 0.7 tons per hectare.

He said ideally Indonesia should produce 2.5 tons per hectare per year from its almost one million hectares of cacao plantations.

"But there have been several training programs for farmers regarding proper planting systems, so I hope this year's harvest can increase to 590,000 tons," Halim told the Post.

He said increasing cocoa production was important to take advantage of the rising prices for the commodity.

Prices rose to $2,100 per ton this week from around $1,600 per ton in January last year, as demand continues to outstrip supply, he said.

Global demand for cocoa was increasing by around 3.5 percent per annum while supply was rising by only 2.5 percent, he said.(ndr)

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