‘Rapists Must Have No Rest’

first_imgThe Chairperson of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights, (INCHR), Cllr. Gladys Johnson, has called on the Government of Liberia and its partners to take drastic action against rapists so that they would have no rest.Cllr. Johnson made the statement recently at programs marking the public findings of the ‘DIALOGUE’ forum on the ongoing Constitution Review exercise, organized by the Liberia Media for Democratic Initiative (LMDI) at the S. T. Nagbe United Methodist Church in Monrovia.“The issue of rape seriously disturbs me,” Chairman Johnson declared. “People are raping children and the pain is too much for them.”Cllr. Johnson narrated a sad story she witnessed in which she said justice needs to be done.“Two men raped an 8 year old girl and the child is now suffering from a damaged bladder. The frustrating thing is that up to now, those rapists have not been arrested.”In order to give no rest to rapists in Liberia, there must be serious action to declare war on rapists who are destroying the future of children, she insisted.She described rape as a war that is being waged against children and warned that Liberia needs to fight it in order to end such a horrible crime against children.Cllr. Johnson recounted that in earlier times, prominent women participated in anti-rape campaigns, which drew the attention of the international community.The Human Rights Chairperson noted that the actual cause of the increase in rape cases is due to the government’s failure to prosecute rapists and as a result they are released from prison.“It saddens me that I, Cllr. Johnson, cannot give justice to rapists who kill innocent children. My only hope is to prosecute rapists for destroying the lives of children so that they don’t have rest,” Cllr. Johnson repeated.Meanwhile, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Madam Julia Duncan Cassell, reported a total of 554 rape cases in the country in 2014. Her report shows that Montserrado County accounted for 428 cases, while the rest of the 14 counties accounted for 126 cases.Minister Cassell also revealed that 512 of the cases were perpetrated against children between the ages 0-17 years, while 42 were against persons over 18 years.According to her, 80 percent of rape survivors did not receive medical treatment from July to September, due to the Ebola Virus Disease epidemic while 20 percent were cared for, mostly in Montserrado County. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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“Our Leaders Have Lost Focus and Fail to Do the People’s Business”

first_imgIn as much as Managing Editor Mr. Kenneth Y. Best has often been very critical of the government of recent, he deserves kudos for his positive views for at least one of the most important institutions of the country, the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL). Reading the recent commentary by our respected journalist, titled “Our Leaders Have Lost Focus and Fail to Do the People’s Business” we learned that “News is the first draft of history”. We believe that facts anchored on accuracy and precision should inform how news is pieced together in order for the story to be told correctly. Last week, Mr. Kenneth Best found himself addressing young people at the graduation of Brilliant Communication & Leadership School on a theme “Three Principles Media Practitioners Must Embrace.”Surely, there was a glorious opportunity to speak to a group of young graduates, but the packaging and the quality of the message amounted to giving the right patient the wrong dose. No other person in this country could have more authority on speaking on such topic as Mr. Best. With his background, there was ample material to draw from without falling into building a case on assumptions and falsehoods.While there is no perfect institution on the face of planet earth – the experience of Mr. Best as a household word in media circles clearly dictates that there would be no room for carelessness. The position the veteran journalist has risen to in our society put him among the leaders of this nation. This is why we find almost improbable that Mr. Best would speak to young people without ascertaining the facts belying his discourse. First thing first: the facts. Before the learned journalist took to the microphone to launch his scathing remarks, he did not get to know that shortly upon arrival at the airport, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf wasted no time in dealing with the crisis in Margibi schools. She convened a meeting with the leadership of the teachers, authorities of the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders to address the issue and discuss the way forward. Mr. Best did his audience a disservice by not ‘asking the right question’, another basic principle of his own teaching.One of the basic principles of journalism as we learned from Mr. Best’s lifelong practice is to find the truth behind every story before reporting the wrong information or reaching biased or prejudiced conclusions in the absence of scientific investigation. For once it would be fair to criticize this government or any other administration, but getting our facts correct is a recipe for responsible journalism.Certainly, we could not have selected the theme of Mr. Best’s lecture, but it would have been prudent to illuminate those young graduates with contemporary facts and figures in their best interest as our nation makes such a huge leap from war to peace; from a country branded as pariah cum rogue state to one passing piles of international litmus tests and ‘Crossing the Rubicon’; from a nation of self-destruction to a place of rebuilding and hope; and from a war weary population to one of a prosperous future, from the eye of the storm to a land of peace. It is incumbent upon Mr. Kenneth Best to ensure that the draft history he presents is occasioned by nothing but the obtainable version of the truth. He must endeavor to appreciate that in spite of his often venomous criticisms – the Daily Observer will not experience arson attacks as was the case in the 80s given that this is a legacy that come tomorrow he will reminisce with hindsight. Mr. Best can be assured that the great majority of Liberians know where their country is and where it is headed. We don’t expect Mr. Best to drum up the doomsday scenario dreamed and propagated by naysayers and those who shut their eyes on the realities and facts. Mr. Best knows well where this country stood in 2003 and where it is now. Peace, social progress and an open space for every Liberian to speak their mind and have a chance to reach their full potentials do not fall from the sky: they are the fruits of hard work and leadership. Things may not always align with Mr. Best’s wishes, but he can be assured that the Leader of this nation has her eyes on the ball and the bigger picture. Interestingly, all and sundry including Mr. Kenneth Best take great pride in the annual ratings undertaken on the watch of the Ibrahim Index of African Governance committed to analyzing data on the quality of governance in Africa freely available and accessible to all citizens of the continent and interested stakeholders. Of course the question of Liberia remains paramount but it takes profound research to get to the finishing line. On Mo Ibrahim’s Index for 2015 Liberia scorecard stands at 50.7 (reflecting a positive change since 2011 of 0.9) and rating out of a total of 54 countries at 26th, well ahead of several countries even in the region in terms of ‘overall governance’. On account of “Safety & Rule of Law”, which captures the extent to which all individuals are protected from both internal and external threats to peace, the degree to which society is safe and secure is accessed alongside the existence of a robust legal system and transparent, effective and accessible institutions – within all branches of the state. Under “Safety and Rule of Law” that encompasses ‘rule of law; accountability, personal safety and national security’ – Liberia ranks 23rd with a scorecard of 55.6% (positive change since 2011 of +1.3).Underpinning participation and human rights, which emphasizes relationship between government and citizen; it measures, on the one hand, the extent to which individuals can participate in, and take ownership of, the political process and, on the other hand, the state’s achievement in guaranteeing the political and social rights of all citizens; Liberia ranks 21st amongst 54 countries with a scorecard of 56.2% (indicating negative change since 2011 of 2.0).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Police suppressing sugar workers’ right of expression – GAWU

first_imgSugar workers’ protestThe Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) has raised serious concerns about ranks of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) for suppressing the cries from sugar workers who were picketing outside of the Ministry of the Presidency on Tuesday.Sugar workers protesting for better wages outside President David Granger’s office on TuesdayOn Wednesday, the Union said that several restrictions were imposed on the picketing workers, and in their view, it was intended to stymie their right to freedom of expression.GAWU detailed that during the commencement of the exercise, protesters assembled on the western side of Vlissengen Road, Georgetown in front of President David Granger’s office – a routine which the Union said had been practised for many years. However, during Tuesday’s picket, they were told to remove from their position. It was contended that no harm was posed by the sugar workers since it was a peaceful activity.“Within minutes of our gathering up, a Police vehicle arrived on the scene and several officers required us to remove from the parapet in front of the President’s office. The officers shared that it was a security precaution though we posed no threat to life, limb or property and were peacefully demonstrating. We had to wonder whether the Force responds to calls from citizens with such swiftness,” the Union said in a statement.Some protesters at the edge of a trench on Vlissengen Road, GeorgetownThe workers were then forced onto the eastern side of Vlissengen Road, which came with several restrictions, the Union said, adding that one Police Officer also came in contact with one of the protesters and threatened to arrest him. Adding to that, this arrangement posed a challenge in monitoring the traffic.“The officers demanded that we remain behind the eastern-most lane marker. As a result, the protesters were confined to the rain-soaked, muddied, narrow parapet in front of the trench that runs parallel to the Castellani House. In fact, at one time, the Police grabbed a worker by his shirt and threatened to arrest him had he stepped beyond the lane marker. At one time, a Police bus brought several policemen to the scene. Later, a truck carrying several metal barricades arrived, seemingly, with the intent to place further restriction,” the Union explained.GAWU has shared the position that the restriction was organised to minimise the visibility of the protest. Furthermore, questions were raised as to whether the freedom of citizens is “disregarded”.“Obviously, the protest must have been seen as an embarrassment to some and must have gotten under the not-so-thick skin of some in power. Their reaction, we believe, was manifested through the security forces…We must say we take the officers’ explanation with a pinch of salt. The situation has caused our Union to wonder whether we are now in a Police State where the rights and freedoms of citizens will be disregarded and the security apparatus will be used to quell dissenting voices and actions”.ProtestsA crowd of workers from the remaining Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) estates staged a picketing exercise demanding better wages. They were last given a salary increase in 2014 and many expressed that the cost of living and other expenditures have significantly increased.President of GAWU, Komal Chand stood on the protest lines as he declared that the Government ought not to ignore the plight of the workers who are employed by a State-owned enterprise.He stated that the APNU/AFC coalition, since it took office in 2015, has done more harm than good to the thousands of persons employed in the sugar belt and that many persons continue to suffer as a result of “the administration’s actions or lack of”.Chand further stated that over two months ago, the Union sent a petition to President Granger and he promised to have that petition addressed by the GuySuCo first and then inform the GAWU afterwards as to decisions being made.However, to date, the Union has not received any feedback from President Granger, other than an acknowledgement of his receipt of this petition and his commitment to respond to representatives of the Union.While Government has claimed that GuySuCo is responsible for raising the wages of its workers, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo shared different views during his weekly press conference last week. The Opposition Leader said that much more could be done. He had also posited that this claim is misleading since the coalition administration has made far crucial decisions for the company in the past, one of which was to close three massive estates across the sugar belt. He had proposed the usage of the $30 billion bond to supplement a hike in wages for the workers.GuySuCo has three remaining estates in operation – Blairmont and Albion in Berbice and Uitvlugt in Demerara.last_img read more

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Troyer Toy Drive returns for 12th year

first_imgTroyer Ventures, Moose FM and the Salvation Army are once again teaming up to hold the 11th annual Troyer Toy Drive in Fort St. John.  The Drive will be held at Home Hardware Building Centre on Friday, December 11 from 12 to 6 p.m. and on Saturday December 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.Moose FM will be broadcasting live from Home Hardware throughout the Toy Drive.  You can start dropping off donations at Home Hardware now in the big sleigh from Arctech Welding & Machining.Residents are encouraged to drop off new, unwrapped toys or cash donations. The Salvation Army says it has already seen an increase for toys this year. Toys for children aged 10 year old and up are needed the most, but all donations are welcome. Teenagers can be hard to shop for, but some suggestions are gift cards for iTunes, local clothing stores, and passes to the movies, skating or bowling.- Advertisement -All donations will stay in Fort St. John to help local families.last_img read more

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TISSUE TAKEN FROM DONEGAL BODY COULD UNLOCK 28 YEAR MYSTERY

first_imgTissue taken from a body washed up on a Co Donegal beach is to be analysed in an effort to unlock a 28 year mystery.It follows the opening of an inquest today to discover if the body is that of Noel McGlynn of Ballaghderg, Letterkenny.Mr McGlynn, 26, went missing on June 17, 1983 and was never seen again. Just nine days later, on June 26, a body was found on a beach in Dunfanaghy.The body was buried in an unmarked grave at the local Holycross Graveyard.Now the brother of the missing man believes it was his body which was washed up and buried in the unmarked grave.Yesterday’s inquest heard from a number of witnesses connected with the case.William Sheridan, a member of Sheephaven Sub Aqua Diving Club, recalled how he was alerted to a body which had been washed up near Horn Head on June 26th, 1983.He revealed how a member of the public had alerted them when they were diving and they managed to remove the body from rocks before the tide washed it back to sea.James McGlynn said he was convinced the body is that of his brother whom he last seen at the family home having tea and then tidying his room.He recalled how his brother had been admitted to St.Conal’s Psychiatric Hospital in Letterkenny a short time earlier and was suffering from depression.“I am not completely sure it is him but I am 90% sure it is him because of the timeframe,” he said.Mr McGlynn was shown pictures of his late brother and of the unidentified body.Pathologist David Barry revealed how he carried out a post mortem on the unidentified body the day after it was washed up.He said there was no sign of a violent death but there was no way of identifying a cause of death.He put the age of the body as between 40 and 50 years, of medium build and was balding.Although this did not completely tally with Mr.McGynn’s appearance, Dr Barry said he could not rule out that it was not him.Coroner John Cannon said he was reluctant to order an exhumation of the unidentified body.However he said he was satisfied that tissue samples taken from the unidentified body could be matched with saliva samples taken from Jim McGlynn by Gardai and solve the mystery.He adjourned the case until January 17th next.EndsTISSUE TAKEN FROM DONEGAL BODY COULD UNLOCK 28 YEAR MYSTERY was last modified: October 6th, 2011 by StephenShare 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:bodyCoroner John CannonDunfanaghyHolycross GraveyardJIm McGlynnNoel McGlynnlast_img read more

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CONNOR MALLON: A TRIBUTE

first_imgCONNOR MALLON – A TRIBUTE FROM NARIN AND PORTNOO GOLF CLUB: Marcel Proust wrote that, “People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive”.  Those words were rarely more manifest than last weekend as we all tried to cope with the tragic and heart-breaking news of the passing of our beloved golf professional, Connor Mallon. He was just thirty-five years old.He was the first to hold the position in the 82-year history of Narin and Portnoo Golf Club and we came to rely on him from the off. The shop was a haven from the wind and rain and many a golfer sat for hours with Connor, discussing the latest sports news and enjoying the banter as he went on about his business. You knew he liked your company and even on sunny days, there would invariably be someone ensconced in the big armchair.Kids loved him, for in Connor, they saw a kindred spirit. You could see their admiration in the respectful attention to his tuition at his golf clinics. He indulged them with Mars bars, golf balls, caps and tee-shirts, creating for them a friendly club atmosphere in which they felt comfortable. He knew they were the future of the club and they will always look back to their first and greatest golf teacher and mentor. When Connor spoke to you, you had his full attention. Nothing was too much trouble. His lessons were superbly efficient and positive affairs, full of praise and good advice. Finnian O’Doherty was the first of our young members to graduate from the Connor Mallon school of excellence and he is now reaping the benefits on a golf scholarship in the States. He has lost not just a coach and mentor, but a great friend.People came from far and wide to our club because of Connor. He marketed and promoted us at every opportunity, bringing the name of Narin and Portnoo to diverse spots around the globe. The many people paying tribute to him on the internet have commented on his good nature, his quick wit and his genuine love of people; how one meeting was all it took to come under his spell, as one blogger recounted who met him in Florida this past January. Fans from North West to Ballyliffin to Florida were testament to that magnetism and charisma.And what a golfer! His poise and balance were superb, his temperament ideal and his talent there for everybody to see. The quality of his ball-striking was exemplary, which combined with his course management often resulted in scores well below the par of 73. It was a privilege to play with the big fellow and he was never bothered about how high your handicap might be. The craic and the possibility of a good yarn or two were his lifeblood on the golf course, though competitive juices were sure to flow if birdies were required in a keenly contested fourball.Reminiscences of happier times filled our waking moments as we prepared to lay our friend and colleague to rest: the bear hugs, the friendly salutations, the eclectic fashion statements, the booming laughter and genuine conviviality. Tears flowed as it dawned on us how great a loss he will be. Others knew Connor better and for longer. We only had the pleasure of his company for four dynamic and fun-filled years. Connor and his assistant, Daragh were an irresistible combination, as fluid and supportive a pairing as you could ever hope to meet. They brought a life and vitality to our club which made it such a happy place to hang out. The other staff members thought the world of Connor and his escapades and the yarns will resonate around the clubhouse and course for years to come. They, and Daragh, will miss him greatly.We will continue to pray for Shawna and their four young children, and for all his family, friends and colleagues. Their loss is incalculable. He has left an indelible mark on our club and will never be forgotten. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam galánta.CONNOR MALLON: A TRIBUTE was last modified: March 27th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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:CONNOR MALLON: A TRIBUTElast_img read more

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ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT ARRESTED AT LETTERKENNY HOSPITAL ‘SHOULD HAVE LEFT IRELAND IN 2010’

first_imgLetterkenny General HospitalAN illegal immigrant who should have left Ireland in 2010 has appeared in court on a number of charges.The 34-year-old, originally from Kenya, was arrested at Letterkenny General Hospital on Wednesday night, the town’s District Court was told. She faces a number of charges of loitering and failing to give correct details to Gardaí.She is also charged with failing to have documentation allowing her to stay in the Republic of Ireland. She appears, the court was told, to have two different names.The court heard that nursing staff at the hospital called Gardaí on Wednesday night.Her solicitor Patsy Gallagher said he was unable to get proper instructions from his client due to her medical condition.“Her instructions were limited; she denies all knowledge of the offences and  denies being at Letterkenny hospital last night,” said Mr Gallagher.“There has been a medical intervention from a local GP who has made certain observations.”The woman stood and sat down on a number of occasions during the hearing as she was flanked by two Gardaí.Judge Paul Kelly ordered that the woman be taken into the care of the Central Mental Hospital in Dublin and ordered a medical inquiry regarding her fitness to understand the charges.He adjourned the case for mention on November 25.ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT ARRESTED AT LETTERKENNY HOSPITAL ‘SHOULD HAVE LEFT IRELAND IN 2010’ was last modified: November 22nd, 2013 by John2Share 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:arrestillegal immigrantKenyaletterkenny hospitallast_img read more

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Chelsea v Tottenham: Terry misses out

first_imgJohn Terry has failed to overcome an ankle injury in time to play for Chelsea at White Hart Lane, where Diego Costa is among the substitutes.Costa’s omission, plus the absence of Loic Remy, and Radamel Falcao’s injury, means the Blues will start without a recognised striker.Ramires has also been sidelined by an injury, while Cesar Azpilicueta is restored at left-back.Tottenham, meanwhile, are without Dele Alli, who is suspended after picking up five yellow cards. Ryan Mason replaces him.Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Alderweirald, Vertonghen, Rose, Dier, Mason, Dembele, Son, Eriksen, KaneSubs: Worm, Trippier, Wimmer, Onomah, Carroll, Lamela, Njie.Chelsea: Begovic; Ivanovic, Zouma, Cahill, Azpilicueta; Fabregas, Matic; Willian, Oscar, Pedro; Hazard.Subs: Amelia, Djilobodji, Baba Rahman, Mikel, Loftus-Cheek, Kenedy, Costa.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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Kenyan schoolgirls create female health app for Google

first_imgFive Kenyan teenagers, aged 15 to 17, have been selected to take part in the Google Technovation software development competition. Their innovative app design addresses female health challenges, in particular raising awareness of female genital mutilation.(Left to right) Stacy Owino, Cynthia Otieno, Purity Achieng, Mascrine Atieno and Ivy Akinyi, students at Kisumu Girls High School in Kisumu, Kenya, are members of the school’s Restorers science club. They have developed an app to counter female genital mutilation and other female health challenges. (Image: Facebook)CD AndersonStacy Owino, Cynthia Otieno, Purity Achieng, Mascrine Atieno and Ivy Akinyi are students at Kisumu Girls High School, in Kisumu, Kenya. They belong to the school’s science and technology club, and focus on developments that help their community, in particular women and young girls. They call themselves the Restorers, dedicated to “restoring hope for hopeless girls”.The five have designed and developed an information app, called I-cut, that helps teenage girls learn more about the effects of female genital mutilation, as well as gives information about rescue centres and legal and medical assistance.The app has grabbed the attention of Google, which has invited the girls to compete in its Technovation competition. Competing app and software designers from around the world can win $15,000 in prize money and an opportunity to further develop their winning app for global users. The Kisumu girls are the only Africans represented in the competition.The Technovation demonstrations took place on 6 August 2017 at the Google headquarters in Silicon Valley, in San Francisco, California. The competition is co-sponsored by the United Nations, and is aimed at encouraging technology skills in girls and young women from developing countries, ultimately with the goal of creating a new generation of tech entrepreneurs.Kenya is known as one of the most technologically advanced countries in Africa, particular for its pioneering mobile technology industry.Female genital mutilation is a non-medical procedure that involves the total or partial removal of external genitalia. It is still practised in Africa and Asia as a cultural rite of passage and a prerequisite for marriage. Despite it being an illegal practice in Kenya, one in four Kenyan women undergo the procedure, according to the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO). Globally, the practice affects more than 200 million young girls.The procedure generally does not take place in clinics or hospitals. Many of the young victims suffer from health problems and severe medical side-effects. Most never return to school afterwards, which is exactly what spurred the Restorers to address the problem.“Female genital mutilation is a big problem affecting girls worldwide and it is a problem we want to solve,” Stacy told Reuters, before leaving for the United States. “[The competition] will change our lives. Whether we win or not, our perspective of the world and the possibilities it has will change for the better.”Ivy added: “We just have to use this opportunity as a stepping stone to the next level.” The girls hope to use the experience to become programmers and software developers when they leave high school.Source: Reuters, MashableWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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Beef demand strength update and implications

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The combination of substantial price changes in cattle market prices since the start of this year coupled with the sheer amount of money at stake in each managerial and marketing decision continues to magnify producer interest in current information regarding supply and demand fundamentals. While a wealth of information is available on current (and upcoming) meat and livestock supplies (e.g. reports including Cattle Inventory, Cattle on Feed, and Cold Storage), there comparatively is much less information available regarding demand strength. Nonetheless, nearly all economists highlight it takes an understanding of both supply and demand to appreciate the current and possible future market situation.One key source of retail beef demand information is provided by quarterly demand indices maintained at Kansas State University. While more details are available online, the KSU demand indices can best be succinctly described as comparing expected beef prices with realized prices to identify if demand has strengthened or weakened. If the realized price is higher (lower) than expected given changes in beef volume, then we have evidence of demand improving (declining). This comparison of expected and realized prices relies upon information from BLS regarding retail meat prices, USDA estimating per capita beef disappearance, and the academic literature indicating that beef prices increase (decrease) 0.542% for each 1.0% decrease (increase) in quantity available.In the first quarter of 2015, beef prices increased by 13.48% and per capita consumption increased slightly (+0.01%) compared to 2014 levels. While the change in consumption was small, it is imperative to note both prices and consumption volume increase only if beef demand improves. That is, if demand was unchanged (or declining) a lower beef price would be necessary to facilitate purchase of the increased beef volume available. The KSU All Fresh Beef Demand (AFBD) index estimates this Q1.2015 demand increase was +15.5% which was the largest quarterly increase in the life of this series going back to 1990. In fact, the AFBD has increased in 18 of the most recent 19 quarters.Implications of this demand improvement are best highlighted by two interpretive examples. The AFBD index was 80.3 in the first quarter of 2014 implying that retail beef prices were 19.7% lower than they would have been had beef demand been at its 1990 level. Fast forward to the most recent quarter and the AFBD index of 92.8 implies first quarter 2015 beef prices were only 7.2% lower than they would have been had beef demand been at its 1990 level.Substantially closing the gap between current and past periods of demand strength is critical. As higher retail prices are realized, the derived demand increases throughout the industry from wholesale beef to seedstock producers leading to higher sales prices.As the industry proceeds to likely continue the process of expanding the breeding herd and hence beef production, the recent period of substantial supply-side price support will at least partially subside in coming years. During this process, the ever-present but often overlooked role of beef demand strength will become increasingly clear. Join me in hoping for both ongoing beef demand strength and enhanced understanding of implications by industry stakeholders.last_img read more

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