Biotechnology Is It

Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology advises the Nigerian federal government to embrace the latest trend in agricultural business in order to transform the agricultural sector

Open Forum On Agricultural Biotechnology, OFAB, Africa, Nigeria chapter, has called on the  federal government to embrace biotechnology, the latest trend in agricultural business, in her bid to transform the agricultural sector and impact on the lives of the citizenry. The June edition of the monthly forum held on Thursday, June 28, at the Premier Hotel, Ibadan, Oyo State, with the theme: ‘Biotechnology for improved cocoa production in Nigeria’ focused on the impact biotechnology could have on cocoa production.

In her presentation at the event, Feyi Okelana, executive director of the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, CRIN, Ibadan, said that cocoa, a crop which contributes about 38 percent to the nation’s gross national product, GDP, the single largest non -oil foreign exchange earner for Nigeria, also serves as a source of income and employment generation for many farmers in about 14 cocoa producing states of Nigeria. Unfortunately, she noted, cocoa is produced below the potential capacity in Nigeria.

Okelana lamented that Nigeria has not moved near the optimum production capacity, indicating that, cocoa production in the country is inefficient, unsustainable and non profitable. She identified some factors responsible for this anomaly. Some of the factors include ageing cocoa trees, ageing farmers, poor access and use of inputs, low yielding planting materials and myriad of insect pests complex. Other factors are  diseases, little or no fertiliser use in spite of nutrient depletion in many cocoa plantations, illiteracy of the farmers, and poor infrastructures among others.

She explained that cocoa improvement in Nigeria through conventional methods has gone through the stages of selection and breeding of superior cocoa genotypes which are tolerant to cocoa swollen shoot virus and black pod disease, high yield and early maturity. Other stages are in the areas of soil testing, site selection/evaluation, identification of suitable shade trees for young cocoa and development of appropriate agronomic techniques from the nursery stage to full maturation.




5 Ways to Supersize Your Business by Geri Stengel

Women are starting businesses at a record rate, but the number that break a million in revenues is flat. What’s up with that?

The start-up rate of women-owned businesses is soaring while the number in the big leagues—well above $1 million in revenue—is stagnating, according to The American Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Businesses Report. That doesn’t serve anyone’s interest.  As the Women Entrepreneurs as Economic Drivers, a report from the Kauffman Foundation shows, getting those women-owned businesses on a high-growth track would energize our sluggish economy.

But it’s not happening. Why?

I’ve been asking successful women owners what they think is holding back their counterparts, and here’s what they say:

Women need to take more risk. When women start a businesses, they think too far ahead, to the day when they’ll be managing a family as well as a business.They opt for career paths that seem safer and more flexible than running a major corporation.

Liz Elting, CEO and founder of global language service provider TransPerfect, advocates another tack:

Go for broke when you are young and have nothing to lose. Don’t worry about what your life will be like in 10 years. Dream big and follow your dreams.

When your business grows, so do your options for work/life balance. And being a high-powered CEO doesn’t mean you can’t be a good mom. “If you want to have a family and run a business, you can — and a growing number of us do,” says Elting.

Women need to get tougher. Nice girls please people. CEOs have to make tough decisions, from firing people to cutting services. In a man, that’s being strong; in a woman it is seen as being bitchy. “If you want everyone to like you, you will have a hard time doing what is necessary,” Elting says.

Men need to get over themselves. At home, men must share in household responsibilities, recognizing that their partner’s career is as valuable as their own. At work, men need to be more inclusive. Networking events shouldn’t be just guy things. Deals are done in informal settings after the conference or out of the office — on golf courses and in the corporate box at the ball game. Yes, some women like sports but a lot are left out of that schmoozing and dealing.

It’s not that men are circling the wagons; they’re just not thinking it through. They’re losing, too, when possibly great deals get left at the clubhouse.


Is Business School For Everyone?

Amir Ziv (SAYS YES) is Vice Dean and Professor of Accounting and Samberg Faculty Director at Columbia Business School. Professor Ziv teaches Financial Accounting and Managerial Accounting in MBA, Executive MBA, various Executive Education programs, and in Doctoral programs. He taught in Executive Development programs for, among others, Goldman Sachs, Philip Morris, Lafarge and Ziff Brothers. Professor Ziv has received various honors and awards. Most recently, he won the 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 “Award for Excellence,” awarded by the graduating EMBA Global class — a joint program of London Business School and Columbia Business School.

In this interview, Amir talks about why he feels that business school is for everyone, how to stand out in the admissions process, how to make the most out of graduate school and more.

Do you believe that graduate school is for everyone? What types of professionals should avoid it and who should consider it?

I can only speak to business schools, but yes, I believe it can be for all professionals, regardless of their background or industry. An MBA isn’t like an MD, where you obtain a very specific skill set and knowledge base in order to enter a narrow, specialized field. An MBA is far more open-ended, and one can truly do anything afterward. The skills you gain, not only in multiple business areas (like economics, accounting, marketing, operations, management, and more), but also in the ability to analyze a problem and integrate different perspectives, are relevant to just about any career.

English: Addition to Uris Hall of Columbia Uni...

English: Addition to Uris Hall of Columbia University’s School of Business, designed by Peter L. Gluck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here at Columbia Business School, our students are incredibly diverse, both in terms of their personal and professional backgrounds and what they do after graduation. This mix of people and backgrounds really is the cornerstone of the Columbia experience, both in terms of the education our students receive and the lifelong, ever-evolving network they gain. The skills, networking power, and approaches to management gained by an MBA—at least, by a Columbia MBA—prepare all kinds of people for the next act in their professional lives.

How does an applicant stand out in your admissions process? What do you look for?

Columbia Business School looks for intellectually driven people from diverse educational, economic, social, cultural, and geographic backgrounds. Our students share a record of achievement, strong leadership, and the ability to work in teams. Although we receive literally thousands of applications, we feel strongly about giving each candidate full consideration and careful review. That being said, the applicants who stand out are those who can tell us about themselves and their goals in a straightforward, compelling manner.


This Buzz about Microsoft Surface Taking On Ipad…What do you think..By Akinniyi Daniels

Since I uploaded the post on Microsoft Surface Tab yesterday, I have been battling with myself…Can any Tab be better than the ipad? And I have been thinking, Maybe, Just Maybe, this might just be it..

Looking at the Nigerian Co-operate Society, Microsoft plays a very important role…Although the “techy” guys and the large gadget loving community have been really into Apple Products, we can’t take it away from Microsoft..Our Cooperate world revolves around Microsoft Product..

Now, Looking at Doug Gross’s article on CNN’s website today (5 ways Microsoft’s Surface may be better than an iPad)..I’m beginning to get more convinced about this Surface Tablet..For the first time, I’m thinking the office PC is really going to be mobile..

What’s your opinion on this?