Financial – Atlantic Storm Thu, 31 Mar 2022 02:58:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Financial – Atlantic Storm 32 32 Lowering Rate Not Solution to Short-Term Loans Wed, 16 Feb 2022 06:27:31 +0000 Advocates for consumers and those working to safeguard the vulnerable are preparing to fight a war that will not take place in the current legislature, which officially began on Jan. 19. The session officially started however, in reality, very there isn’t much work completed until after the long weekend.

The battle that won’t take place is about the interest rates on short-term loans, quick payback period, typically referred to as title or payday loans. The individuals fighting to lower the rate have made huge gains over the past few years. They are able to succeed in 2017 in reducing the rate charged for short-term, small loans down at 175 percent. They’d like to see the rate to be at least 36 percent.

Arguments on the two sides are both strong and grounded in reality as well as common sense. Both sides are in agreement on that last point. From the outside, when looking inside, a rational person can see why legislators are battling this problem.

Some say it’s excessive and also takes advantage of the weak. There are 1,300 shops located in New Mexico and most are near reservations.

Industry lobbyists insist they meet a need, and that the high-interest rate is essential to their business models. When one person cannot pay back a loan this high-interest rate structure lets other lenders “cover” the loss for the company. Dead beats are included in the model.

The study from 2013 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation study revealed that more than 30% of New Mexico households used one or more of these loan options. They were mostly not homeowners, aged 25 to 34, Hispanic, lacked a high school diploma, and had a household income lower than $15,000.

A bank will look at a household’s balance sheet and ask them to send the person packing. Where do they go? In this sense, they are filling a very needed niche.

The problem begins when a person is permitted to take out more loans than they are able to repay by a less lenient time frame for repayment and a balloon payment. This is reminiscent of the financial crisis in 2008. Similar circumstances, larger loans. A similar study showed that longer-term loans are most likely returned in comparison to short-term loans (under 120 days). This is because the longer the loan term and the more expensive the monthly payments.

Then we enter the math behind compound interest. This keeps at work, quietly, against the borrower. If your balloon payments are late or the smaller installments are pushed back, interest is brought at the borrowers. A loan that they might just barely manage becomes inaccessible and becomes more expensive every month.

Northern New Mexico College’s President Rick Bailey set up a loan program for Northern employees who have True Connect. The lender’s employees can take out loans within their budgets to pay back. The payments are processed through the College’s payroll system, which means there is a guarantee that repayment will be made. This means that you can pay a lower interest rate.

Northern Human Resources Director Kenneth Lucero stated that the loans are being offered at 30% and he’s had $1,700- $2,300 in payments. The loans range from a single loan of 88 days up to a few that last for one year.

He did not know how effective the program was, but “I believe it’s aiding in the high rates market.”

This is an excellent solution to the issue, but this type of system isn’t available on the shelves of Burger King, Walmart, or Chilies. The turnover of employees is high with benefits being scarce and pay is low, so the repayment cannot be assured. These types of employees are likely to continue to be forced towards the “predatory loan” market “predatory credit” market.

A 2018 FDIC study revealed that when the rate of interest for short-term lenders was lowered to a certain amount lenders quit the state. However, the number of loans that were average remained similar. The other lenders picked up the pieces and helped make their business models work. It’s not logical to expect that the model will continue to work if states continue to reach the 36 percent threshold. In the end, the business model isn’t working and they’ll be leaving the state.

What does that mean for those who need the loans to cover the costs of crises?

The best solution for the long run is to the need to introduce financial management classes to every high school. A person with a $1,000 iPhone does not require a loan they require education. It is important to know how to manage their money before they even have money. We strongly recommend math teachers employ interest rates for teaching students to solve problems frequently and often throughout high school.

The quick answer is to create a business model that benefits lenders as well as borrowers. The changes should not include a balloon payment that could rip the lender as well as fair interest rates and reasonable payments Make loan schedules sufficient to accommodate lower monthly payments.

Another modification that needs to be implemented is to prevent people from getting multiple loans from different businesses. We’ve heard horror stories of people who borrow at one bank to fund for another and then fall behind on both. They then move to a different lender.

It’s not the case for the situation of a person who needs to borrow money in an emergency. This is someone who can’t control their finances. They require education and not “expensive” funds to indulge in frivolous spending.

We’re looking for a lender-business model that is a win-win for both lenders and borrowers. We’re not sure if constantly cutting the rate, but without altering the business model, is going to benefit either of them.

TAMU student killed in plane crash receives Silver Taps Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:33 +0000

Victoria Walker died on August 30 in a plane crash at Coulter Airfield. His parents also died in the accident.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M will honor one of its own on Tuesday at one of the college’s oldest traditions, Silver Taps.

Victoria Walker, 21, of Farmersville, was a Terry Scholar and a student at the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship. Victoria’s family said she worked hard and was proud to be an Aggie. She died on August 30 in a plane crash at Coulter Airfield in Bryan.

Silver Taps will take place virtually Tuesday at 10:30 pm The ceremony will feature bugles Ross Volunteers and Corps of Cadets. It will air simultaneously on KAMU-TV and the Texas A&M YouTube channel. The link to the university’s channel is below.

Hi! Texas A&M University is located in College Station, Texas. We are one of the few universities to hold land, maritime and space grants.

The accident is still under investigation. Preliminary reports from the FAA and NTSB said the plane was taking off from the airport on a sightseeing trip around Bryan-College station, when it suddenly lost altitude and crashed near the end of the track. Victoria’s parents, Brian and Tammy Walker, were also killed. Victoria’s boyfriend Luke Armstrong, also an A&M student, survived the crash and is currently in rehab after sustaining life-threatening injuries. You can follow Luke’s progress by clicking on the link below.

The Luke Armstrong and His Road to Recovery has 5,983 members. Join me as we come together to pray for Luke’s healing.

A GoFundMe is still active for Madeline Walker, Victoria’s sister. Madeline suffered the loss of her immediate family in the crash and members of the Texas A&M community and Tau Kappa Epsilon members created the fundraiser to help cover life and funeral expenses. The fund has raised over $ 40,000 and the link is included below.

Hello, On Sunday August 30, a tragic plane crash claimed the lives of Victoria Walker, her parents and seriously injured Luke Armstrong, Victoria’s longtime boyfriend. Victoria was a sweetheart of Tau Kappa Epsilon at Texas A&M University and her boyfriend Luke is a TKE officer. They are our family.

Silver Taps takes place on the first Tuesday of each month from September through April.

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Going out: when getting fat in dairy is no longer enough Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:23 +0000

The Andreas Farm Milk Parlor is dark and quiet on December 10, 2020, in Sugarcreek, Ohio. The Andreas sold their dairy herd of around 1,200 cows in September. (Photo by Rachel Wagoner)

SUGARCREEK, Ohio – The Andreas Farms milk parlor is quiet for the first time in decades. The last of the dairy cows left the farm on September 21.

“It’s always something on the back of your mind,” Dan Andreas said. “How to get out of the industry? You know it’s going to happen whether you’re alive for it or not.

The Andreas retired from the dairy industry this year after more than 50 years of milking cows on their farm in Tuscarawas County. The opportunity arose to sell their entire dairy herd at once this summer, and they seized it.

Dan Andreas and his son, Matt, together ran the dairy where they milked 1,200 cows and farmed hundreds of acres.

The decision was not easy, but it was ultimately the right one.

“My wife said to me, ‘God, you’ve come back,’” Matt said. “Even my parents said, ‘Your personality is back. Was I miserable doing it? May be. I guess I was. Negative prices year after year, and the human side. It’s hard.”

Good times, bad times

Things were looking up at the start of 2020, when Farm and Dairy published a cover story in January titled “Go Fat or Get Out: The Reality of Milking 1,200 Cows” about the Andreas. Matt said at the time that, for the first time in years, it looked like they would actually be profitable.

Then the pandemic struck. The market has collapsed. They never had to throw out the milk, but the prices have dropped. Try as he could, he couldn’t lower his cost of production. He was between 17 and 17 years old.

Speaking of what the future holds in January, Matt said Farm and Dairy that no matter what, they were always talking about not reducing their equity until the farm was worthless. They had a line, and once they hit it they knew they would need to make a big change.

The Andreas have been milking cows in the valley near Sugarcreek, Ohio since the 1950s, although their family has farmed the same land since 1881.

The operation grew considerably after Dan returned to the farm in 1978. At that time, they were processing 140 cows. They have grown to milk over a thousand cows over the years. Dan and his brother Bill ran the dairy together until 2008, when Matt bought out Bill’s share of the farm.

Going big was their way of staying afloat and staying profitable. As they developed and became more efficient, the cost of production decreased and spread out. But large ships are more difficult to turn, especially when the seas get rough. The dairy industry has been in turmoil for five or six years.

Go Big or Go Out: The Reality of Milking 1,200 Cows

The weight

They have considered getting even bigger and investing in massive expansion, but it’s not as easy as building new barns. More animals means more manure, more manure management, and more labor. The terrain of the valley they are in and the price of land has made it difficult to expand, Dan said. It didn’t make enough financial sense.

Matt tested the waters, spoke to a cattle broker he knew. It turned out that there was a farm looking for cows. They have had other exit opportunities over the years, but the timing and conditions have never been right, Dan said, until now.

They haven’t hit the line. Their accountant said they could probably continue to stagnate for another 20 years, Matt said, if they were to continue milking cows and slowly disappear from the industry.

“Sometimes you say if you could get enough out of your investment, you’d be a fool to say no. And that’s what happened here, ”Dan said. “The conditions were good. The debt burden was just that we could go out and keep doing what we wanted to do and stay in farming. “

They set their price for the cows. The buyers came out and roamed the herd during the summer.

“We sat in the office waiting for them until 9pm, wondering,” Matt said. “The guys came back and said, ‘We want your cows. “”

Dan taught high school chemistry for 11 years at a school outside of Columbus before returning to the farm. Matt graduated in business administration and history and coached college football for seven years before returning home.

Working off the farm may have helped them leap into the unknown. They didn’t exactly have a plan for what they would do after the cows left, but they knew they had options. They knew there was life outside the dairy.

You gonna make me feel lonely when you go

Cows started leaving the farm on September 17th. About fifteen semi-trailers showed up on the first day. In all, they send around 40 half loads of cows. It took five days for all the cows to leave.

It was difficult to see the cows leaving and walking through the empty and quiet barns. Dan has always been a cowboy. For him, the dairy cow is a magnificent work of art. But he knew they were going to a good home.

Most of the cows went to a new dairy in Minnesota. A few went to Iowa. There was only a 17-18% slaughter rate, Matt said. His father was happy with what this said about the quality of the herd they have developed over the years. The herd moving average in 1978 was around 14,000 pounds. By the end, they had hit a moving average of 29,000 pounds, Dan said.

The advances in production and efficiency, however, are bittersweet.

“We have become more and more efficient over time,” Dan said. “That’s what really pisses you off after awhile.” During my career, we have done things much better than my dad and his dad never did. But in the end, it didn’t seem like it was good enough that you could make any money and afford what you really wanted to do with this dairy.

They had about 20 full-time employees and a few part-time workers. Most of them have found new jobs. Matt kept five employees.

To continue

Jumping into the unknown is scary, but the Andreas managed to get out without a hitch.

“The important thing was to keep the farm intact,” said Matt. “It allows us to do it. That’s what got us through it. The cows were going to leave, but we will come out on the other side.

They know that is not everyone’s situation. They also know what the community looks like when a farmer sells his cows.

“It’s this old axiom that dairy farmers have in their communities: when you sell the cows, does that mean you are a failure? Dan said.

Dan and Matt don’t see it that way. They didn’t have to sell, although Dan thinks the writing is on the wall for other farmers. More and more dairy farmers will be faced with the question of what to do to stay afloat.

The Andreas have no advice in this regard. Everyone needs to do what’s right for their farm, whether it’s expanding, finding a niche, or selling. But Matt has a thought to share.

“You only have one life to live,” he said.

He didn’t want to spend it walking on water.

“I don’t want to do this. I want to do stuff with my kids, ”he said. “It’s more important to me than milking a dairy cow.”

After the cows left, they still had around 1,400 animals left between the heifers, calves and beef cattle. They are slowly selling purebred heifers.

They jumped straight into the crop after the cows left. Things are only slowing down. Now it’s time to seriously think about what to do next. Matt is in talks with dairies to rent the buildings. Then he and the handful of employees he has left can simply grow crops and make food for someone else’s animals.

They also considered raising beef in their barns or raising heifers. They are studying all the options and hope to have a clear path by spring.

What they do know is that things are a lot less stressful now than they were before. Matt said he could turn off his phone at night.

“He’s actually smiling again,” Dan said of his son. “He has time to visit his family. This is something I neglected to do during my tenure as a milkman. I didn’t want that to happen to him.

(Journalist Rachel Wagoner can be reached at 800-837-3419 or


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Personal loans to become the most important segment of the Indian banking sector Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:13 +0000

Personal loans, including real estate and credit card debt, are expected to become the largest segment of India’s banking sector, ahead of industrial credit and business loans, by the end of March this year. In the first nine months of FY21, the bank’s industrial credit outstanding declined 1.2% year-on-year (YoY) to reach Rs 27.6 trillion (as of December 18, 2020).

During the same period, outstanding personal loans increased 9.5% year-on-year to Rs.26.6 trillion. As a result, personal loans caused service sector lending to drop to become the second category of Indian banks. Total …


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Mitch McConnell downplays need for federal COVID-19 help for Kentucky Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:37:58 +0000

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell downplayed yet another injection of federal relief for his home state government, questioning the need on Monday as the economy seeks to rebound from the pandemic of COVID-19.

During a stop in Lexington, McConnell touted federal pandemic aid passed by Congress last year with bipartisan support – when the GOP held the Senate and the White House. The Kentucky senator has rejected the latest round of federal relief championed by Democratic President Joe Biden that recently overtook the united opposition of Republicans in Congress. The Kentucky state government is eventually expected to receive more than $ 2.4 billion from the latest federal package.

“What we did last year was a big bonus for Kentucky on top of what they needed,” McConnell said. “It’s an even bigger bonus. I’m sure they’ll love having it. But I don’t see that they need it.

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No impact expected on Guelph’s credit rating if $ 115 million is approved, staff say Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:37:38 +0000

Guelph is on the verge of accepting new multi-million dollar loans.

At Tuesday afternoon’s Committee of the Whole meeting, the board unanimously approved a staff request seeking permission to go to market this year for up to $ 115 million in new loans, with those funds being directed to large capital projects that will see shovels in the ground in the near future.

Staff recommend that, if the full amount of the debenture is supported, the funds be allocated to the Baker Quarter redevelopment ($ 11.25 million), including the construction of a new central library ($ 52.2 million); the construction of South End Community Center ($ 37.55 million); and improvements to the FM Woods water treatment plant ($ 14 million).

While the loans would be taken to pay for the projects, city staff say more than half of them would be repaid through development charges and service charges.

According to city staff, the rationale for the loans now was to save long-term money for these projects, given the current low interest rates the city could afford.

Prior to the vote, Mayor Cam Guthrie noted that it was “really smart of the staff to do what they’re doing right now”.

“We dabbled, even before COVID, in these types of conversations as to whether it would be better to switch to bond at certain times, when (interest rates are) lower, so now is exactly the time. to do it, ”he said. .

As previously reported by the Mercury Tribune, city staff said that with a term of up to 20 years, the cost of taking these loans now would reduce costs in the long run. At a 2% interest rate, a $ 115 million debenture would incur an annual management fee of about $ 1.28 million, or about $ 25.5 million over a two-decade period.

At 4%, those maintenance costs would more than double to $ 2.7 million, with a total cost of $ 54 million over a 20-year period.

While the nine-figure loans would dramatically increase the city’s unpaid debts, city treasurer Tara Baker said she didn’t expect this to have a negative impact on the city’s credit rating. city.

“Assessing a credit score is complex – there are a number of different factors that go into that score,” she said in response to a question from Coun. Christine Billings.

“It’s one of those factors, so we think there is some risk, but because we remain strong on these other indicators, we don’t expect, at this point, that the rating of credit is negatively affected by this decision. “

This is not the last time that council will consider this file, which is expected to return to the city council meeting on April 26 for a ratification vote. This meeting is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. and will be webcast live online at direct.

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20 American real estate moguls or Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg? Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:37:16 +0000

Bubble watch”Digs into trends that may indicate upcoming economic and / or real estate problems.

Buzz: The country’s richest landowners may have dodged a pandemic bullet, but they collectively look relatively poor compared to, say, a Silicon Valley icon.

Source: Reviewing my trusty Forbes annual ranking of the world’s billionaires spreadsheet.

The trend

If you were looking to burst a commercial real estate bubble, first think about the wealth of the 20 richest real estate moguls in the country – a list that includes six Californians: Donald Bren, John Sobrato, Edward Roski, Jr., Rick Caruso, Donald Sterling and Jay Paul. Together they are worth $ 97 billion. If you think that’s a lot of money, well, it’s not in rich math these days.

A hot stock market, especially for technology investments, means those 20 fortunes combined only match Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for the fifth largest individual fortune in the world, according to the Forbes tally. Yes, attached!


Commercial real estate – where most of the real estate wealth is located – appears to have averted a major pandemic.

Various government aids, cheap finance, and a little patience have given smart homeowners enough flexibility to exit the coronavirus economy with just a few bruises.

Look at these 20 real estate moguls as a sort of clue to commercial properties. Their strengths include everything from office parks to iconic skyscrapers; apartments for the working class and the rich; and shopping centers ranging from shopping malls to iconic shopping centers.

The combined net worth of the 20 tycoons of $ 97 billion is actually up $ 13 billion, or 16%, since the spring of 2020, when coronavirus lockdowns slowed the economy.

It’s an impressive performance if you think back to when the pandemic was first brewing and remember that most landlords and landlords feared the worst – everything from housing fill issues and perception. from rents to meltdowns in financial markets and loans.

These concerns were why the total real estate fortunes of the top 20 were reduced to $ 84 billion from $ 100 billion – a 15% drop – in the year that ended in the spring. 2020.

That leaves a $ 97 billion question: who is too rich?

Yes, Zuckerberg’s wealth – tied to the market value of his business – was in a similar situation a year ago. Since equity investors had no experience with the pandemic, “selling” was the knee-jerk reaction of most traders.

Much like the real estate crowd, Zuckerberg’s wealth has plummeted: a drop of $ 7 billion – or 12% – in the year ending at the start of the pandemic era.

But stocks, especially those in tech niches, didn’t stay down for long.

Over the past year, Facebook CEO’s wealth has grown 77% – that’s $ 42 billion if you count – to tie in the value of the 20 collective wealth of the real estate tycoons.

This surge in stocks placed Zuckerberg in fifth place among the richest in the world behind Amazon’s Jeff Bezos ($ 177 billion); Tesla’s Elon Musk ($ 151 billion); Bernard Arnault of LVMH retail wealth in France ($ 150 billion); and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates ($ 124 billion).

How sparkling?

On a scale of zero bubble (no bubble here) to five bubbles (five alarm alert) … TWO BUBBLES for commercial real estate and FIVE BUBBLES for technology stocks.

Think about the reach of those seemingly extravagant tech stock market bonuses for, say, the biggest individual fortune in American real estate.

Donald Bren, the 88-year-old owner of real estate giant Irvine Co., is again ranked by Forbes as the richest individual real estate owner in the country. Newport Beach-based Bren’s $ 15.3 billion empire was ranked as the sixth largest real estate fortune in the world and was No.132 on Forbes’ list of global billionaires. That is 127 places behind Zuckerberg.

But that was a two-year stagnation for Bren, according to Forbes’ calculations. His net worth has fallen 1% in the past year after dropping 5% in the previous 12 months.

Zuckerberg? In the last year alone, the stock market has essentially added nearly three fortunes of Bren’s size to his net worth.Jonathan Lansner is an economics columnist for the Southern California News Group. He can be contacted at

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The Gulf growth forecasts noted by the IMF Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:36:48 +0000

European stocks hit their lowest level in a week on Tuesday as a surge in government bond yields hit high-growth tech stocks, with further signs of a slowing Chinese economy weighing on consumer sentiment. investors.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 1.3 percent, falling for a third session as a surge in US Treasury yields signaled investors bracing for higher rates and the risk of persistent inflation .

Global stocks also fell for the third day in a row, as bond yields on both sides of the Atlantic soared amid concerns about when central banks might raise interest rates.

The MSCI All Country World Index, which tracks stocks from 49 countries, fell 0.3% the day after trading in Europe began.

The UK FTSE 100 index fell 0.5%, while the German DAX fell 0.8%. The French CAC 40 fell 1.1% and the Italian FTSE MIB index slipped 0.6%.

Tech stocks fell 3.7% to a one-month low after their Wall Street peers fell overnight. They are particularly sensitive to rising interest rate expectations because their value relies heavily on future earnings, which are more strongly discounted when rates rise.

At the same time, data showed that profit growth of Chinese industrial companies slowed for a sixth month in August, with the ongoing energy crisis becoming a growing threat to production and profits.

“The pandemic situation is still not resolved. The Chinese economy is slowing and the authorities have yet to stimulate vigorously. The Fed is preparing to normalize its policy. And the debt ceiling showdown is underway,” BCA Research analysts wrote in a note.

“Heightened uncertainty combined with high speculation suggests that the near-term path will be bumpy.”

As the benchmark STOXX 600 is poised to extend its quarterly winning streak, a volatile September shone its third quarter gains as investors consider risks to soften global growth momentum and tighten monetary policies.

However, a rally in Brent crude futures above $ 80 a barrel continued to support energy stocks, with the oil and gas index rising 0.9% to new highs since February 2020. .

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Asian Development Bank approves two $ 800 million loans for India Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:43 +0000

The Asian Development Bank will also provide a technical assistance grant of $ 2 million. (Representative)


The Asian Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a loan of $ 500 million to build new metro lines in Bengaluru, Karnataka, and an additional $ 300 million to strengthen primary health care in urban areas of the country.

“It will strengthen the economy, improve the urban environment and make the city more livable. The project supports the urban transformation of the city of Bengaluru through a multidimensional approach to urban public transport and urban development, ”said Kaoru Kasahara, AfDB Senior Transport Specialist for South Asia.

“The new metro lines will facilitate daily commuters and ease traffic congestion across the city, thereby contributing to overall productivity,” he said in a statement. “The project will provide efficient, punctual and safe transportation in the city and promote a clean urban environment.

The project will construct two new, mostly elevated metro lines with a total length of 56 km along the Outer Ring Road and National Route 44 between the Central Silk Board and Kempegowda International Airport.

It will also establish 30 metro stations, which will include multimodal facilities such as bus docks, a taxi rank, motorcycle pools, and pedestrian bridges and bridges. The needs of vulnerable groups such as the elderly, women, children and people with disabilities will be incorporated into the design of the facilities.

An additional technical assistance grant of $ 2 million from the AfDB will help the state government to formulate urban development plans and their implementation frameworks, with an emphasis on transport-oriented development. common and multimodal integration.

It will also strengthen the capacity of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd and other public bodies to implement transit-oriented development and multimodal integration.

The AfDB said the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has exerted pressure and revealed weaknesses in India’s health system. In response, the government launched the Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PM-ASBY) to strengthen public health systems and respond to future pandemics and other emergencies.

AfDB’s Urban Comprehensive Primary Health Care Strengthening Program will support Ayushman Bharat (Healthy India Initiative) (AB-HWC) and PM-ASBY health and wellness centers to ensure access equitable to comprehensive and quality primary health care services in urban areas of 13 states.

The program will benefit approximately 256 million city dwellers, including 51 million from the slums of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan , Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal.

“India has made impressive progress in ensuring access and quality of health services for all. However, COVID-19 has shown us that challenges remain and that we need to do more and address these issues, ”AfDB Senior Social Sector Specialist for South Asia said. Gi Soon Song.

“This program aims to meet not only the medical needs of the urban population, but also the physical and mental health and well-being of the target beneficiaries.”

The program will strengthen the institutional capacity, operation and management of urban health and wellness centers at central, state and municipal levels. It aims to address the current challenges of COVID-19 while ensuring the continued delivery of non-COVID-19 health services.

It will conduct health and nutrition awareness and education campaigns, including preventive measures and strategies. Health information and delivery systems for primary health care will be upgraded through digital tools, quality assurance mechanisms and engagement and partnership with the private sector.

In addition to the loan, a technical assistance grant of $ 2 million from the AfDB’s Japan Poverty Reduction Fund will provide technical support for program implementation and coordination, capacity building, innovation and the application of new knowledge to the health system.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)

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Africa’s agricultural landscape sows digitization Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:42 +0000

In a geographic market as large as Africa, fragmentation within the food and agriculture industry has created many points of friction and inefficiency that disrupt B2B business workflows, both for farmers and their farmers. buyers.

Vendors are often small, independent farms with limited resources available to focus on optimizing their B2B sales initiatives, while buyers similarly operate in a fragmented market with significant barriers to optimizing their business. everything from finding suppliers to paying.

Rick kleinhans, co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO) of the recently launched company Nile, told PYMNTS that many of the most important issues for farmers and buyers can be solved through digitization. In an interview, he explored the industry’s most pressing challenges and highlighted some of the greatest opportunities to inject optimization through technology.

Multi-sided pain points

Across Africa, the traditional process of buying and trading food products takes place in various physical B2B markets across the continent. As Kleinhans described, farmers who need to connect with buyers in these regions face many challenges.

In addition to the potential for food waste involved in the process of trucking produce to and from market – which can often be far removed from where a farm is located – the traditional workflows of these physical markets are plentiful. Farmers rely on third-party traders to find a buyer and set a price for the farmer, who then takes a percentage commission on that sale.

“This raises some issues,” Kleinhans said. “The first is that historically there has been no transparency there. Ultimately the power of price rests with that agent, and the farmer doesn’t really know what he can get. “

The risks of fraud were high, allowing these traders to lie about the price they got in order to skim a higher commission on the transaction. In addition, this B2B mode of transaction also prevents the supplier from obtaining payment in advance, causing cash flow issues.

Moreover, thanks to the fragmentation of these markets across countries and across the continent, it is virtually impossible for farmers to be able to follow the prices in all of them. A market may experience a shortage of apples resulting in an increase in the price of that product, but unless a farmer is able to have visibility into these types of fluctuations, it is unlikely that this seller will be able to benefit.

The alternative to the physical market is to secure direct B2B relationships between buyers and farmers, which means sellers can get paid up front and have better price control. The problem with this strategy, however, is that market fragmentation means sellers would have to manually establish thousands of relationships and individual contracts with their buyers – a feat Kleinhans said farmers lack the resources to do. reach.

While some of Africa’s biggest retail giants have gained the purchasing power to alleviate many sticking points in the sourcing process, the industry is also teeming with smaller B2B customers facing their challenges. own challenges.

Since farmers do not have the capacity to establish direct relationships with buyers, these customers often have to resort to these physical markets to source the produce they need to store the shelves. Like the farmers themselves, small buyers must make what can often be an overnight or multi-day trip to physical markets, with similar risks of food waste.

Data and digitization

Many of these hurdles can be overcome through the digitization of the B2B business workflow, Kleinhans said, with the B2B e-commerce model well suited to provide suppliers with the scale they need to build direct relationships with their buyers. . This strategy improves visibility and efficiency on both sides of the transaction.

Digital business processes can also optimize the actual payment for goods, he added, supporting cash flow for both buyer and seller. Sellers can secure funds in advance, with Nile being able to facilitate EFT transfers as well as the ability for B2B buyers to purchase goods on credit.

For the customer, the choice of payment is vital for an optimized experience. Kleinhans said buyers can choose an EFT service that facilitates near instant fund transfers to the supplier to speed up the negotiation process, if they need to stock their shelves faster. Or, they can choose a traditional EFT that wears off in a matter of days. Nile also supports the ability for buyers to upload funds to some kind of digital wallet, allowing that company to place an order and pay for it with available funds.

“There are a lot of choices for the cash flow framework for the buyer,” Kleinhans said.

In such a vast industry, the opportunities to fight friction and introduce efficiencies into the B2B commerce and payment process are equally prolific. As Nile grows up, Kleinhans said there are other key challenges the company hopes to address by using valuable transaction data aggregated on the platform.

This data can be used to provide suppliers with the level of price transparency in the physical market landscape, for example, or to consolidate smaller orders to enable full loads and optimized logistics operations.

While there is progress to be made to help modernize a highly manual and fragmented industry, Kleinhans said B2B e-commerce technology has the potential to digitize key processes that are already well established for buyers and suppliers. . Technology needs to meet companies where they are in order to gain traction and solve the biggest problems for everyone involved.

“Anytime you’re a B2B marketplace trying to be that bridge between buying and selling an entire industry, you have to deal with the really big players and the small players,” he said.



On: Eighty percent of consumers want to use non-traditional payment options like self-service, but only 35 percent were able to use them for their most recent purchases. Today’s Self-Service Shopping Journey, a PYMNTS and Toshiba Collaboration, analyzes more than 2,500 responses to find out how merchants can address availability and perception issues to meet demand for self-service kiosks.

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