Qatar Airways announces $69 million revenue loss this year

Qatar Airways also adjusted its profit in 2017 to $766 million off revenue of $10.7 billion. (AFP)
Updated 19 September 2018
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Qatar Airways announces $69 million revenue loss this year

DUBAI: Qatar Airways says it suffered a $69 million loss this year off revenue of $11.5 billion amid a boycott of Doha by four Arab nations.
The carrier made the announcement in a statement Tuesday, over a year after the boycott saw Qatar Airways locked out the airspace of Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Qatar Airways also adjusted its profit in 2017 to $766 million off revenue of $10.7 billion.
The airline's chief executive, Akbar al-Baker, said: "This turbulent year has inevitably had an impact on our financial results, which reflect the negative effect the illegal blockade has had on our airline."
The four Arab nations are boycotting Doha in a political dispute. Mediation by Kuwait and the United States hasn't managed to stop the boycott.


Can a hungry Mali turn rice technology into ‘white gold’?

Updated 20 October 2018
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Can a hungry Mali turn rice technology into ‘white gold’?

  • Malians are cautiously turning to a controversial farming technique to adapt to the effects of climate change
  • Dubbed the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), the new method was pioneered in Madagascar in 1983

BAGUINEDA: When rice farmers started producing yields nine times larger than normal in the Malian desert near the famed town of Timbuktu a decade ago, a passerby could have mistaken the crop for another desert mirage.
Rather, it was the result of an engineering feat that has left experts in this impoverished nation in awe — but one that has yet to spread widely through Mali’s farming community.
“We must redouble efforts to get political leaders on board,” said Djiguiba Kouyaté, a coordinator in Mali for German development agency GIZ.
With hunger a constant menace, Malians are cautiously turning to a controversial farming technique to adapt to the effects of climate change.

 

Dubbed the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), the new method was pioneered in Madagascar in 1983. It involves planting fewer seeds of traditional rice varieties and taking care of them following a strict regime.
Seedlings are transplanted at a very young age and spaced widely. Soil is enriched with organic matter, and must be kept moist, though the system uses less water than traditional rice farming.
Up to 20 million farmers now use SRI in 61 countries, including in nearby Sierra Leone, Senegal and Ivory Coast, said Norman Uphoff, of the SRI International Network and Resources Center at Cornell University in the US.
But, despite its success, the technique has been embraced with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Uphoff said that is because it competes with the improved hybrid and inbred rice varieties that agricultural corporations sell.
For Faliry Boly, who heads a rice-growing association, the prospect of rice becoming a “white gold” for Mali should spur on authorities and farmers to adopt rice intensification.
The method could increase yields while also offering a more environmentally-friendly alternative, including by replacing chemical fertilizers with organic ones, he said.
He also pointed out that rice intensification naturally lends itself to Mali’s largely arid climate.

FACTOID

Up to 20 million farmers now use rice intensification in 61 countries, including in nearby Sierra Leone, Senegal and Ivory Coast.