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The cruel realities behind the rising sugar cane costs in Singapore – NEWPAPER24

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The cruel realities behind the rising sugar cane costs in Singapore

2018-11-09 22:42:52

SINGAPORE and MALAYSIA: They’re too younger to have beer. However the many kids who go to Chomp Chomp Meals Centre at Serangoon Gardens can nonetheless drink to their coronary heart’s content material from the favored tower dispensers on the hawker centre.

The quenchers on their tables are sugar cane towers, nonetheless, and never beer – drink stall proprietor Brendon Tan’s resolution for his thirsty clients.

“We used to promote smaller cups,” he stated. “(Regularly) we upsized from 700 millilitres to 1 litre, then 1.5 litres. Folks had been searching for (an even bigger) jug, so I believed perhaps we will attempt a (sugar cane) tower.”

Up to now 12 months although, he needed to elevate the costs of the juice – for the primary time within the twenty years he has been promoting the drink. A tower now prices S18, up from S$15.

Mr Brendon Tan on the point of serve a sugar cane tower.

The truth is, the price of sugar cane in Singapore has risen by rather more. Between final November and this July, the value per field rose from round S$16.50 to S$29 – a 75 per cent enhance.

With meals costs rising by greater than 10 per cent over the previous 5 years, the sequence For Meals’s Sake finds out what’s behind the hikes within the costs of assorted meals and drinks.

Within the case of sugar cane, it’s a scarcity like by no means earlier than, stated Mr Ray Sng, one of many co-founders of Each day Recent Sugarcane Provider.

“A few of my clients in different hawker facilities (instructed me) they’re promoting (sugar cane) three days in every week,” he stated.

“On the opposite 4 days, they’ve no provide to promote. And even after they have, they promote it till lunchtime as a result of they’ve one or two bins solely.”

And the elements coming into play usually are not solely short-term, but additionally long-term.

Mr Ray Sng and For Food's Sake presenter Lennard Yeong eating at the Chomp Chomp Food Centre.
Mr Ray Sng (left) and For Meals’s Sake presenter Lennard Yeong consuming on the Chomp Chomp Meals Centre.

WHAT THE RAINS AND FLOODS DID

Singapore imports greater than 99 per cent of its sugar cane from Malaysia, the place the perfect areas for rising the plant are within the western states, comparable to Negeri Sembilan, Perlis, Kedah and Perak in addition to in Muar, Johor.

Sugar cane’s water necessities are increased than different arable crops, but an excessive amount of water may also create issues, as presenter Lennard Yeong found when he travelled to Negeri Sembilan.

Within the Jelebu district, being subsequent to a river has helped farmer Mohammed Farid, whose household has been rising sugar cane since his father began within the 1970s.

However when it rained repeatedly for 5 days final December, the downpour flooded his farm, leaving his crop weak.

“(An excessive amount of rain) damages the sugar cane. Some rotted and turned bitter,” he stated. “I wished to cry and scream out loud. It was very irritating and disappointing.”

In February, his farm flooded once more, together with different farms within the low-lying space – an unprecedented recurrence.

“The flood was virtually three to 4 ft excessive. So we needed to reduce the sugar cane in half (to avoid wasting),” he stated. “I deployed all 20 of my workers from one space to the following.”

On each events, he was capable of save solely about 30 per cent of his sugar cane – a crop with a minimal rising interval, ideally, of round 9 months.

“Probably the most tough factor I’ve ever confronted has been to recuperate (my losses) from the flood,” he added.

HEADING FOR CLOSURE

Even when the climate takes a flip for the higher, Singaporeans would possibly nonetheless should pay extra to get their sugar cane repair within the close to future.

Lots of Malaysia’s sugar cane farms are small household holdings, and that mannequin of enterprise might nicely turn out to be a factor of the previous.

Take, for instance, Mr Mohd Arif Majid, who runs his two-hectare farm in Negeri Sembilan with the assistance of just one individual: His 50-year-old spouse Simisah.

He takes pleasure in that truth, but additionally struggles to ship freshly reduce stems to his patrons. Whereas sugar cane is finest processed inside 24 hours of harvest, he typically has to start out earlier.

“If the request is for lots of sugar cane to be out there on Wednesday, perhaps we’d have to start out reducing on Monday. If the quantity is much less, then maybe we’d begin reducing on Tuesday afternoon,” he stated.

Age can be catching up on the 55-year-old, who may not have a lot time left to run the farm. He has 4 sons, however none of them plans to take over from him.

“Within the sugar cane enterprise, you get your returns solely after seven months (whenever you harvest),” he stated. “My 4 sons want to be salaried staff and are working for the federal government. They really feel extra snug in workplace garments.”

LARGER FARMS SCALING BACK

The time-consuming job of planting and reducing sugar cane means homeowners of larger farms should depend on international labour. And that’s additionally posing a problem.

A scarcity of staff is farmer Tan Wee Teck’s biggest downside, because the work “is just too sizzling and too powerful”. “It’s a must to go row by row to search for the longest (stems),” he stated by the use of clarification.

The scarcity extends to the labour-intensive activity of processing the crop.

This contains eradicating the pores and skin so the stems look cleaner, which is completed manually as a result of “not all sugar cane grows straight”, to not point out that “it’s a must to go away some (pores and skin) on or else the sugar cane would dry out”.

“It might be very tough to make use of a machine,” he stated.

In 2006, he had round 30 staff – lots of whom had been Indonesians – in his 40-hectare farm in Muar. Now he has a workforce of 14, which has compelled him to halve the scale of his farm to 20 hectares.

“Even when I elevate the wage, the youthful of us aren’t eager about farming. I can’t entice younger locals. There would nonetheless be only a few interviewees,” he added. “We aren’t capable of produce extra sugar cane.”

After spending three days assembly farmers, Mr Yeong additionally discovered that a few of them have began to downsize as a result of the Malaysian authorities have been cracking down on undocumented migrants up to now few years.

MIDDLEMEN GIVING UP TOO

Because it seems, even some middlemen are falling by the wayside.

For instance, Mr Yap Siong Shee, who used to provide Singapore with sugar cane from farms in southern Malaysia, needed to shut his store barely a 12 months into operations due to the lowering inventory.

“We (needed to) go to locations farther afield to purchase (sugar cane), like Pahang and Perak,” stated the previous provider in Malaysia. “(Petrol prices and salaries) grew to become dearer.

“(For each) field, we had been dropping S$three to S$4. So you possibly can (calculate) that for 200 bins … we had been dropping round $600 per day. So how a lot per 30 days might I lose? So we couldn’t maintain this.”

In Singapore, two suppliers additionally known as it quits and had been absorbed by Each day Recent, which delivers sufficient sugar cane stems each day to make 50,000 litres of juice.

There are six different firms delivering sugar cane to Singapore each day, and it was initially not simple for Each day Recent, included in April final 12 months, to achieve the belief of the licensing firms throughout the Causeway.

Mr Sng stated his firm needed to pay farms upfront to safe their Share of sugar cane. And now its efforts to maintain provide coming embody a plan to start out its personal farm, if the land might be acquired.

“It wouldn’t cowl every little thing, however it might counter a part of the issue,” he stated. “I don’t assume there’ll be a day in Singapore once we … don’t have any sugar cane juice in any respect.

“Farms have closed down (however) there’ll at all times be any individual who’s going to return into the market.”

Nonetheless, with shoppers footing solely a fifth of the present value hike pushed by the dangerous climate – in response to the provider – Mr Yeong couldn’t assist questioning whether or not costs might rise additional.

“With a watch on the underside line, whether or not (the large gamers) can hold the provision going might nicely rely upon how a lot we’re prepared to pay,” he stated.

Watch the sequence For Meals’s Sake right here. And examine why cockles have gotten costlier and more durable to search out.

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Gaza-Israel frontier calms as enemies warily stop fireplace – NEWPAPER24

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Gaza-Israel frontier calms as enemies warily stop fireplace

2018-11-13 20:15:40

GAZA/JERUSALEM: Palestinian militants and Israel held their fireplace late on Tuesday following an Egyptian mediation effort, bringing a relative calm to the Gaza frontier after the fiercest rocket salvoes and air strikes for the reason that 2014 struggle.

The enemies made clear the pause was an armed stand-off quite than a long-term lodging.

Preventing died down at 5 p.m. (1500 GMT) and a Palestinian official briefed on the negotiations stated Gaza factions ceased firing as a part of a deal proposed by Egypt. Israeli officers confirmed Cairo had been concerned in Tuesday’s association.

Since Monday, Israeli air strikes had killed seven Palestinians, a minimum of 5 of them gunmen, and destroyed a number of buildings utilized by Gaza’s ruling Hamas Islamists.

Rocket assaults from Gaza despatched residents of southern Israel to shelters, wounding dozens and killing a Palestinian labourer from the occupied West Financial institution.

The flare-up was triggered by a botched Israeli commando incursion on Sunday however the surge of violence has been stoked by the financial plight of the Gaza Strip, which Israel blockades in hope of isolating Hamas, an Islamist motion designated a terrorist group by the West.

The exchanges have been the fiercest for the reason that Gaza struggle in 2014, the third between Israel and Hamas in a decade as a part of the broader Israel-Palestinian battle. In that 50-day struggle, greater than 2,100 Palestinians have been killed Gaza, most of them civilians, together with 66 Israeli troopers and 7 civilians in Israel.

CEASEFIRE

The joint command of the Palestinian armed factions in Gaza stated in a press release on Tuesday they’d abide by a ceasefire “so long as the Zionist enemy does the identical”.

Hamas, which has dominated the packed and impoverished coastal enclave since 2007, claimed victory. Spokesman Abdel-Latif Al-Qanoua stated the militants had “taught the enemy a harsh lesson and made it pay for its crimes”.

Israeli safety minister Yuval Steinitz stated after a cupboard debate lasting a number of hours that he knew of no formal truce.

Fairly, he instructed Ynet TV, Israel had “landed a harsh and unprecedented blow on Hamas and the terrorist teams in Gaza, and we are going to see if that may suffice or whether or not additional blows can be required”.

Whereas many Palestinians celebrated within the streets, in Israel the response was combined. Dozens of residents of bombarded southern villages blocked an Israeli site visitors junction and burned tyres in protest at what they deemed a authorities capitulation.

Hamas and different armed factions had fired greater than 400 rockets or mortar bombs throughout the fenced border after finishing up a guided-missile assault on Monday on a bus that wounded an Israeli soldier, the navy stated.

Hamas stated it was retaliating for a Israeli commando mission in Gaza on Sunday that erupted into gunfight when uncovered by militants. A Hamas commander, six different gunmen and an Israeli colonel have been killed in that incident.

Israel stated its Iron Dome anti-rocket system intercepted greater than 100 projectiles from Gaza on Monday and Tuesday.

Responding with dozens of air strikes, Israel hit buildings that included a Hamas intelligence compound and the studios of Hamas’s Al-Aqsa Tv.

The Israeli navy stated its air assaults took out a rocket-launching squad and fired at a number of Palestinians infiltrating by means of the border fence round Gaza.

SIMMERING VIOLENCE

Violence has simmered since Palestinians launched weekly border protests on March 30 to demand the easing of the blockade and the correct to return to land misplaced within the 1948 struggle of Israel’s founding. Israeli troops have killed extra that 220 Palestinians throughout these confrontations, which have included border breaches.

Alarmed on the bloodshed, Egypt, the United Nations and Qatar have sought methods to enhance situations within the enclave.

Israel withdrew settlers and troopers from Gaza in 2005 however maintains tight management of its land, air and sea borders. The broader Israeli-Palestinian peace course of has been stalled for a number of years.

Within the newest violence, Israeli missiles flattened seven buildings.

Abdallah Abu Habboush, 22, stated he was woke up by shouts from neighbours to get out of his residential constructing after what Israel phrases the “faucet on the roof” warning. All of them gathered in a room on the primary flooring to attend out the assault.

“Outdated males who have been with us fainted due to the smoke,” he stated.

Israel stated all the buildings focused by the Israeli navy have been utilized by Hamas.

(Writing by Jeffrey Heller and Dan Williams; Enhancing by Andrew Heavens and Angus MacSwan)

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Donald Trump scoffs at report about secret North Korea missile bases, calling them ‘regular, nothing new’ – NEWPAPER24

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Donald Trump scoffs at report about secret North Korea missile bases, calling them ‘regular, nothing new’

2018-11-13 18:28:40


US President Donald Trump stated Tuesday that america was conscious of undeclared North Korean missile bases revealed by US researchers this week however insisted all was superb.

“We absolutely know concerning the websites being mentioned, nothing new – and nothing occurring out of the conventional,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

North Korea hiding bases that would launch nuclear missiles at US

“I would be the first to let you realize if issues go dangerous!” he stated.

Researchers on the Centre for Strategic and Worldwide Research, a distinguished Washington suppose tank, on Tuesday stated that satellite tv for pc imagery had discovered 13 missile bases undeclared by North Korea.

The bases can be utilized to cover cellular, nuclear-capable missiles, the research stated, warning that North Korea may protect the websites – and the flexibility to assault – even because it negotiates with Trump on a probably landmark accord.

Trump described a report on the findings by The New York Occasions as “inaccurate” and “pretend information.”

The 13 websites in query are amongst an estimated 20 bases, small and dispersed throughout North Korea, which might be believed to have underground amenities containing cellular launchers that may be rapidly dispersed to different areas, based on the report from Past Parallel, a gaggle on the Centre for Strategic and Worldwide Research.

Though not designed as launch websites, the bases might be used to launch short-range in addition to intercontinental ballistic missiles, based on the report.

The report’s findings appeared to undermine the Trump administration’s claims that its outreach to Pyongyang is making progress in getting Kim Jong-un’s regime to surrender its nuclear weapons programme. However specialists argue that the nation hasn’t made any dedication to dismantle such missile bases but, so the truth that it might keep them doesn’t in itself characterize a breakdown in talks with the US.

South Korean officers additionally performed down the report’s findings, as did John Bolton, the US nationwide safety adviser.

“I don’t touch upon issues that will or not pertain to intelligence,” Bolton advised reporters Tuesday on the sidelines of regional summits in Singapore. “Clearly, we’re very properly conscious of what’s happening in North Korea.”

However Senator Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat who sits on the International Relations Committee, stated in a press release that Trump was “getting performed by Kim.”“We can not have one other summit with North Korea – not with President Trump, not with the secretary of state – until and till the Kim regime takes concrete, tangible actions to halt and roll again its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes,” Markey stated in a press release Monday.

Extra reporting by Newpaper24



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China reveals J-20 stealth fighter’s missile carrying functionality at Zhuhai air present – NEWPAPER24

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China reveals J-20 stealth fighter’s missile carrying functionality at Zhuhai air present

2018-11-13 18:21:44


The Chinese language air power has displayed its first stealth fighter jet’s capacity to hold missiles to be used in high-speed flight for the primary time on the nation’s greatest air present, in an try to indicate China has the following most superior fight functionality after the USA.

Two of the power’s 4 J-20 jets opened their missile bay doorways throughout a fly-past on the biennial Airshow China in Zhuhai, within the southern province of Guangdong, every jet displaying 4 medium and long-range air-to-air missiles within the underside fundamental bays and a short-range fight missile on both sides of the plane.

The demonstration on Monday – the air power’s 69th anniversary – confirmed all of the doorways could possibly be easily opened inside a second, whereas the J-20s remained in high-speed circulating flight, which might be obligatory if launching missiles throughout air battles.

Nevertheless, it stays unclear whether or not the J-20 is ready to launch missiles in high-speed flight. Xu Anxiang, deputy commander of the Folks’s Liberation Military air power, stated the demonstration had indicated that the J-20 “has preliminary operational functionality”.

“The potential to open bay doorways throughout a high-speed fly-past remains to be a difficult and superior know-how and functionality, as a result of even Russia’s new-generation Su-57 stealth fighter jet remains to be incapable of doing it,” stated a army insider who requested anonymity.

Solely the USA air power’s F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter jets have confirmed capable of open missile bay doorways and launch missiles throughout high-speed flight.

China’s new jet engine immediately takes air fight in a complete new course

A information report concerning the J-20 aired Tuesday on state tv didn’t point out the missile carrying options, however provided particulars about new enhancements which permit the fighter to be refuelled mid-flight.

A technician interviewed on the China Central Tv broadcast stated a receptacle on the fitting aspect of the fuselage is hidden beneath the pores and skin of the plane to take care of stealth capabilities. Stealth plane have pores and skin that’s designed to minimise radar wave reflections to assist keep away from detection.

“This implies J-20 has a fair longer vary and bigger fight radius,” the technician stated, including that with a big inner gas tank, the J-20 is predicted to have a fight radius of greater than 1,100km.

Navy analysts stated Monday’s flying show was aimed toward displaying the air power’s muscle, regardless that all of the missiles held on the plane had been simulation fashions and it could take a number of years for the stealth plane to be geared up with tailored highly effective engines.

Three of the J-20s – which appeared in a six-minute show final Tuesday on the opening of the Zhuhai air present – had been nonetheless geared up with Russian AL-31 Saturn engines, which don’t present it with sufficient thrust.

The WS-15, a purpose-built thrust engine for the J-20, remains to be beneath growth that might take a number of years, requiring the plane to be geared up with the Russian engines for security causes, the insider stated.

Initially the J-20s had been fitted with WS-10B engines, which had been designed for the sooner generations of J-10 and J-11 fighters.

A modified model of the J-10B powered by WS-10B engines gave an indication on the air present of its superfast manoeuvrability, together with its J-turn, Cobra, and “falling like a leaf” strikes.

“It’s inconceivable for the J-20 to make these superfast manoeuvres just like the modified model of the J-10B, due to a scarcity of thrust,” Macau-based army observer Antony Wong Dong stated, including that creating the thrust model of the J-10B had taken practically three a long time.

“Even when the WS-15 is prepared, it would nonetheless take extra time for the J-20 to turn out to be a totally combat-ready stealth plane after complete fight drills.”

Hong Kong-based army commentator Track Zhongping stated some facets of the design of the J-20 had been extra superior than these of the American F-22 stealth fighter jets – which joined the US air power in 2005 – though the J-20 lagged behind the F-35 in each stealthiness and superior materials.

“China began creating the J-20 within the late 2000s, so engineering designers may study one of the best designs and keep away from the shortcomings of the F-22 – that’s why the design of the J-20’s bay doorways is healthier than that of the F-22, with flip-over doorways rising the plane’s stealthiness,” stated Track, a army commentator for Hong Kong’s Phoenix Tv.

China’s new J-20 stealth fighter engine a no-show at Zhuhai air present after it fails reliability checks

“The J-20s simply joined the PLA air power final 12 months, whereas the F-22s and F-35s have served within the US air power for for much longer, being modified after many rounds of complete fight drills. So the J-20s additionally want extra time to be changed into actual stealth fighter jets after the WS-15 thrust engine is prepared.”

The F-22 has undergone a serious improve since becoming a member of the US air power greater than a decade in the past, together with including air-to-air superior missiles, in addition to different refined radar and community info applied sciences.

The J-20 made its public debut on the Zhuhai air present in 2016, earlier than formally becoming a member of the PLA air power in March final 12 months.

Further reporting by Liu Zhen



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