9 research outputs found

    The Pandemic in the Himalayan Country: Nepal

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    The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating economic impact globally and Nepal is no exception. Tourism and migration abroad to work— two of the important sectors that have significantly contributed to the Nepali economy — have suffered tremendously in the face of lockdown and other restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, this paper aims to understand how COVID-19 impacted Nepalis while focusing on Nepal’s tourism and migration sector. The paper is based on the review of secondary resources, including newspaper articles available in the public sphere. Data in this paper comes from the period prior to February 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation of Nepalis who were recovering from social and economic destruction caused by the global earthquake of 2015. The resulting lockdowns, the closing of land ports and airports, and the limitation of people’s mobility have significantly affected Nepal’s tourism sector. In addition, thousands of Nepali migrants lost their jobs and incomes in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations, Malaysia, India, and other destination countries as the pandemic struck the global economy. However, Nepali people appear to remain resilient in the face of yet another disaster

    Financial performance in portuguese outdoor tourism industry: a quantitative research

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    Tourism is a vital industry in south European countries, like Portugal, where outdoor tourism is growing. Understanding the macroeconomic importance of outdoor tourism in the Portuguese economy, it is also noticeable there are fewer studies regarding the profitability of outdoor companies. Therefore, this paper investigates the financial determinants influencing the profitability of Portuguese outdoor tourism companies for the period 2010 to 2020. The results from an OLS regression allow finding evidence that companies working capital and financial autonomy are positively related to company performance. Moreover, size is negatively associated with the companies' performance in this industry. Leverage and sales growth seem not relevant to ensuring outdoor companies' profitability. The results also show that companies' location is not important in explaining the performance of outdoor tourism companies.info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio

    Assessment of Outreach and Engagement with Prospective Migrants by the Agencies Recruiting Labourers for Foreign Employment

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    This study was conducted to identify the gaps in policies and practices of labour recruitment in Nepal and assess the outreach and engagement of major formal labour intermediaries, private recruitment agencies (PRAs) and pre-departure orientation training (PDOT) centres, with migrant workers for providing information on human trafficking prior to departure. The study used data from interviews with the management of 15 PRAs and 10 PDOT centres, along with a review of online materials published by the sampled PRAs and PDOT centres and existing publications on labour migration from Nepal. This research finds that several inconsistencies and gaps in the practices and policies of labour recruitment have contributed to increase the overall migration costs for, and affected the safe migration of, Nepali workers. Only minimal information on human trafficking was provided to migrant workers prior to departure through online materials, print job advertisements, and face-to-face interactions with the potential migrants. The PDOT classes had simply become a customary requirement in the process of getting labour permits and there was little incentive for the PDOT centres to improve their quality of service as they got their clients through their PRA network, rather than through competition based on quality. The study concludes with recommendations to the government agencies, non-governmental organisations, and PRAs for improving labour migration from Nepal.United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Offic

    A Media Analysis of Changes in International Human Trafficking Routes from Nepal

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    This study examined the media portrayal of different actors involved in human trafficking from Nepal to understand the reported changes in international routes of human trafficking from Nepal after 2015. The findings of the study are based on content analysis of 480 news articles published in six national newspapers in Nepal in a five-year period from 2016 to 2020, along with existing literature and interviews with newspaper reporters and editors. Most of the alleged perpetrators reported in the media were male while females dominated reportage on ‘victims’. An overwhelming majority of the reported victims of sex trafficking were females while the reported victims of labour trafficking were evenly split between males and females. This is in contrast to the actual distribution of male and female migrants from Nepal, where male workers lead female workers on labour permits for overseas employment by a margin of over 80 per cent. Analysis of the news articles showed that India still remains, as it has historically been, the top trafficking destination and transit country. Countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia have emerged as new destinations while Myanmar along with some countries in Europe, Africa, and Latin America have emerged as new transits for human trafficking from Nepal. The study recommends the allocation of resources for investigative journalism and training of reporters on robust reporting including critical gender analysis in order to improve the reporting of human trafficking in Nepali media. Coordination between government agencies and revision of counterproductive policies can contribute to curb human trafficking and encourage safe migration for employment.United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (UK Aid

    Construction of a genome-wide genetic linkage map and identification of quantitative trait loci for powdery mildew resistance in Gerbera daisy

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    Powdery mildew (PM) is a common fungal disease in many important crops. The PM caused by Podosphaera xanthii has been the most challenging problem in commercial Gerbera (Gerbera hybrida) production globally, often leading to severe losses of crop yield and quality. A small number of PM-resistant breeding lines and cultivars have been reported in Gerbera, but the underlying genetics for PM resistance in Gerbera is largely unknown. Scarcity of genomic resources such as genetic linkage maps and molecular markers has severely hindered the effort to understand the genetic basis and locate loci controlling PM resistance in Gerbera. This study aimed to construct a genome-wide genetic linkage map, identify quantitative trait loci (QTL), and molecular markers for PM resistance in Gerbera. A segregating mapping population was developed by crossing PM-resistant and -susceptible Gerbera breeding lines, genotyped by sequencing, and phenotyped for PM resistance. A genome-wide genetic linkage map constructed with 791 single polymorphic site (SNP) markers spans 1912.30 cM across 27 linkage groups (LG) and reaches a density of 1 marker per 2.42 cM. One major consistent QTL was discovered in LG16, explaining more than 16.6% of the phenotypic variance for PM resistance. The QTL was tagged with two flanking SNP markers. The availability of this genetic linkage map will be very useful for locating and tagging QTLs for other important traits in Gerbera, and the newly discovered QTL and SNP markers will enable development of molecular markers for improving Gerbera for resistance to PM

    Progress in Developing Bacterial Spot Resistance in Tomato

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    Bacterial spot (BS), caused by four species of Xanthomonas: X. euvesicatoria, X. vesicatoria, X. perforans and X. gardneri in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) results in severe loss in yield and quality by defoliation and the appearance of lesions on fruits, respectively. The combined industry standard for BS control (foliar applications Actigard® rotated with copper plus mancozeb) does not offer sufficient protection, especially when weather conditions favor disease spread. Development of tomato cultivars with BS resistance is thus an important measure to minimize losses. Hypersensitive and non-hypersensitive resistance has been identified in different wild accessions and cultivated tomato relatives and has been transferred to cultivated tomato. However, complete resistance is yet to be obtained. With the advent of next generation sequencing and precise genome editing tools, the genetic regions that confer resistance to bacterial spot can be targeted and enriched through gene pyramiding in a new commercial cultivar which may confer higher degree of horizontal resistance to multiple strains of Xanthomonas causing bacterial spot in tomato

    Diversity among Modern Tomato Genotypes at Different Levels in Fresh-Market Breeding

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    Cultivated tomato has been in existence for about 400 years and breeding activities have been conducted for only eight decades. However, more than 10,000 tomato cultivars have already been developed. Ninety-one tomato genotypes were characterized for twenty-one morphological traits using developmental, vegetative, and fruit traits. Correlation, principal component, and cluster analysis between the traits were carried out. Higher correlations between fruit traits including fruit shape, fruit size, and fruit types were observed. These correlations indicate that specific fruit types require specific traits like branched inflorescence and a greater number of fruits per inflorescence are beneficial only for smaller fruit sizes like cherry and grape tomatoes. Contrastingly, traits like determinate growth habit and fruit maturity are preferred in all fruit types of tomato for better cultivation practices and longer production duration and hence showed lower correlations. Principal component analysis clustered tomato genotypes into three main clusters with multiple subgroups. Similar tomato genotypes were placed into one or more clusters confirming the results from correlation analysis. Involvement of private breeding programs in cultivar development has increased the competition on introgression of novel and desired traits across new cultivars. Understanding the diversity present in modern cultivars and potential traits identification in related wild species can enhance tomato diversity and improve quality and production

    Firm performance in portuguese outdoor tourism industry: the corporate governance

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    Firms working in the outdoor recreational activities supply are influenced by internal and external economic, financial and social aspects, and other external factors, like climate change that affect their financial performance. Although recognising the importance of this emergent tourism type, there is not much research on the factors that affect financial performance in turnout tourism companies, namely, the ones related to corporate governance. Therefore, this study aims to analyse the impact of ownership and management of outdoor tourism companies on their performance, using a set of control variables as the size of firms, their location and their financial leverage. The study focuses on Portuguese firms from which was collect data from 2010 to 2019. The application of an OLS regression shows an inverted-U shaped relationship between the size of a firm’s board and the firm performance and that firms with the largest ownership percentage have higher performance. This situation seems to better control agency problems.This project is being carried out within the scope of the TURNOUT Project- Development ofOutdoor Tourism ofNorthern Portugal, POCI-01-0145-ERDF-032289, financed by the European Investment Fund Regional Development (ERDF) through the Operational Program of Competitiveness and Innovation (POCI) and the Foundation for Science and Technology, IP (OE). The authors are also grateful to the UNIAG, R&Dunit funded by the FCT—Portuguese Foundation for the Development of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education. “Project Code Reference: UIDB/04752/2020”. The SABI database was made available by the Applied Management Research Unit (UNIAG), according to the protocol between UNIAG and COFACE.info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio

    Structure and Function of Major SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV Proteins

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    SARS-CoV-2 virus, the causative agent of COVID-19 pandemic, has a genomic organization consisting of 16 nonstructural proteins (nsps), 4 structural proteins, and 9 accessory proteins. Relative of SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, has genomic organization, which is very similar. In this article, the function and structure of the proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV are described in great detail. The nsps are expressed as a single or two polyproteins, which are then cleaved into individual proteins using two proteases of the virus, a chymotrypsin-like protease and a papain-like protease. The released proteins serve as centers of virus replication and transcription. Some of these nsps modulate the host’s translation and immune systems, while others help the virus evade the host immune system. Some of the nsps help form replication-transcription complex at double-membrane vesicles. Others, including one RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and one exonuclease, help in the polymerization of newly synthesized RNA of the virus and help minimize the mutation rate by proofreading. After synthesis of the viral RNA, it gets capped. The capping consists of adding GMP and a methylation mark, called cap 0 and additionally adding a methyl group to the terminal ribose called cap1. Capping is accomplished with the help of a helicase, which also helps remove a phosphate, two methyltransferases, and a scaffolding factor. Among the structural proteins, S protein forms the receptor of the virus, which latches on the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor of the host and N protein binds and protects the genomic RNA of the virus. The accessory proteins found in these viruses are small proteins with immune modulatory roles. Besides functions of these proteins, solved X-ray and cryogenic electron microscopy structures related to the function of the proteins along with comparisons to other coronavirus homologs have been described in the article. Finally, the rate of mutation of SARS-CoV-2 residues of the proteome during the 2020 pandemic has been described. Some proteins are mutated more often than other proteins, but the significance of these mutation rates is not fully understood
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