Saturday, 27 March 2010

NHS needs surgery?

UK official statistics show that the productivity of publicly funded healthcare fell by an average 0.3 per cent every year from 1995 to 2008.

Figures just published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that productivity within the National Health Service fell by a total of 3.3 per cent during the period.

In the report, the ONS said that between 1995 and 2008 inputs — the amount spent on healthcare — rose by 75 per cent, or an average 4.4 per cent a year. Yet outputs — the amount of healthcare provided and its quality — rose by only 69 per cent, or 4.1 per cent a year.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Coffee Up

Thiet Van Nguyen, Vietnamese coffee specialist with UTZ CERTIFIED, the leading global agricultural sustainability certification program, presented at the National Coffee Conference (March 19) and showed how coffee production under the UTZ CERTIFIED program increased in Vietnam as a result of the organization’s program which focuses on productivity, efficiency, and quality.

Results show an increase in both Arabica and Robusta coffee grown under the program in Vietnam from 11,600 metric tons (MT) when the UTZ program started in 2002 to 93,634 MT in 2009. Currently 10 percent of Vietnam’s coffee production is UTZ CERTIFIED and 13 leading traders offer the coffee. The Vietnam program is a positive example of a country’s coffee sector growing in a sustainable fashion.

The efforts of each company and country can add up to major changes in efficient, yet sustainable coffee production globally.

One of the main benefits of UTZ CERTIFIED’s program for farmers in Vietnam is cost-reduction through adequate use of fertilizer (correct mix, amount, and application methods) and pesticides (spray less of the correct product and only on the infested areas of the farm, rather than the entire farm). In addition, irrigation water use is reduced by understanding the required amount of water per tree. These steps have reduced costs by decreasing inputs while steadily increasing productivity 6 to 8 percent per year.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Nigeria puts productivity into schools

Government Girls' Science Secondary School, Kuje Abuja. Nigeria has won the Schools Productivity-In-Action Debate, organised by the National Productivity Centre (NPC).

At the grand finale of the competition held in Abuja, Government Girls' Science Secondary School, Kuje and Government Day Secondary School, Karu, proposed and opposed the motion that, 'Agriculture has contributed more to national productivity than the Petroleum sector'.

Director General of NPC, Dr. Paul Bdliya said the contest was, a part of the centre's Schools Productivity Programme, an educational project aimed at empowering students with basic productivity concepts and culture for self and national development and with an overall objective of breeding productivity conscious citizens.

It is also an important aspect of the centre's campaign for improved productivity culture amongst the youths; to draw their attention to the benefits of improved productivity through culture building and value orientation.

Bdliya expressed hope that the programme, which included productivity lectures, debates and quizzes in schools, would eventually lay foundations that will help the students understand the values of productivity and how best to inculcate its concepts in their daily activities, He disclosed that arrangements were in top gear for participation in an international productivity debate with South Africa and Mauritius where productivity in schools programme are encouraged&

The winners, as well as Government Day Secondary School Karu and Government Secondary School Lugbe which came second and third respectively, went home with television sets, DVD sets, mini refrigerators and among other gifts.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Not so sweet

Production at Cuba's sugar plants has been hit hard this year by inefficiency, a spate of breakdowns and other technical problems, state-media reported last Wednesday, adding to sobering news for the Communist-run island's economy.

The media blame poor planning and "a lack of discipline" going on to say "we must defeat a hard enemy - loss of industrial time".
Sugar - once the be-all and end-all of Cuba's economy - now ranks no higher than third behind nickel production and tourism, contributing about $600 million a year.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Greece takes a step forward

The International Monetary Fund has welcomed "substantial"  fiscal measures announced by Greece on Wednesday and urged the authorities to develop and implement reforms to increase productivity and growth.
In a statement on Greece's earlier announcement of extra austerity measures to meet fiscal targets this year, the IMF said the fiscal program will be a "crucial step forward". "We stand ready to support the implementation of the authorities' plans by sharing our technical expertise in these matters," it added.