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.

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)

Friday, June 15, 2007

New way to raise rice production

Agus Pakpahan, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Agriculture is a strategic instrument for generating income and employment opportunities and reducing poverty. Consequently, the growth of agriculture is one of the most important determinants in increasing the rate of economic growth.

The most important agricultural commodity for Indonesia is rice. Yet, Indonesia's rice production rate over the past five years has remained stagnant.

The Central Bureau of Statistics actually forecasted a 2.3 percent decline or 1.26 million tons of paddy -- which is approximately 670,000 tons rice (milled paddy). This is a significant loss that must be offset by imported rice to maintain the stability of pricing.

Studies show that productivity and production are determined by rice farmers, who need to establish the best possible farming practices in order to gain the highest output. In order for farmers to be able to apply the best farming practices, they need supporting infrastructure.

The current condition of irrigation mechanisms and rural roads, as well as availability of raw materials such as seeds and fertilizer, are not conducive in allowing farmers to conduct the best rice-farming practices possible.

Most farmers do not have sufficient funds to buy raw materials because they are very poor, with an average land ownership of 0.5 hectares.

A market mechanism is applied for the distribution of raw materials, such as seeds and fertilizers, to farmers who simply do not have the funds to buy them.

Lack of capital is the main reason farmers can not make an adequate investment in their rice fields. This explains why only 30 percent of farmers use good quality (certified) seeds.

Although fertilizer is subsidized for rice farmers, it has had no significant impact on the production of rice.

We need to improve the way raw materials are distributed to farmers. Farmers' capital -- their land and labor -- should be supported by conducive policies and additional farming infrastructure.

State companies that produce or supply fertilizer, seeds and irrigation water should increase their support to farmers. With good planning and the right combination of seeds and fertilizer, timely delivery and field productivity can be improved.

Some experiments indicate that rice productivity can be increased by more than eight tons per hectare. This is about two to three tons per hectare higher than the national average rice productivity rate. This additional production is equivalent to Rp 4-6 million per hectare.

It is a worthwhile investment indeed. If we assume the price of urea (fertilizer) is Rp 1,200 per kilogram and the price of paddy is Rp 2,000 per kilogram -- according to prices set by the government -- then one kilogram of urea is equivalent to 0.6 kilograms of paddy.

If, for example, state fertilizer producer PT Pusri provides five million tons of urea in rice fields as an investment, the output will amount to three million tons of paddy or equivalent to 1.59 million tons of rice worth Rp 6.36 trillion. This is Rp 360 billion (60 percent) higher than PT Pusri's Rp 6 trillion sales revenue if it sells the same volume of fertilizer to farmers at Rp 1,200 per kilogram.

By this, all constraints associated with lack of capacity on the part of farmers are removed and PT Pusri would still gain profit.

The above calculation does not include seeds and other raw materials. The problem now is how this idea can be effectively promoted among policy makers and state companies to support the national program and ensure food security in the country.

The writer is an agricultural economist who specializes in natural resources and institutional economics.

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