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Abstract

The employment of people with disabilities has multidimensional aspects - economic, social, legal, human rights, discrimination, psychological, ethical and responsibility aspects - with different actors involved representing various kinds of interests. The European Union Disability Action Plan and Strategy specifies the objective of promoting the employment of people with disabilities in the open labour market. The employment of such individuals is not only an economic issue, but also an issue of social inclusion, poverty reduction, equal opportunity and socially responsible employment. Effective and fair use of human resources for national economic development requires a variety of support mechanisms, including regulatory frameworks, the active involvement of local municipalities, and measures taken by state institutions. Because of the different issues and the various actors with different interests involved, an integrated way has to be considered to analyse the employment factors and employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The purpose of this study is to explore and substantiate the possible scenarios associated with promotion employment opportunities for people with disabilities in Latvia. The research methodology employed for this study is based on the Analytic Hierarchy Process, and expert interviews are used to analyse the interests of all involved parties, in order to determine the best possible scenarios as to how to stimulate employment for people with disabilities. As a result, three scenarios to promote the employment of people with disabilities were developed. Although the results showed slight differences between the three scenarios, experts believe that the optimal scenario for promoting the employment of people with disabilities is the one in which the EU participates.

Abstract

In sub-Saharan Africa intensifying small-scale farming is essential in addressing poverty related issues in rural communities and the degradation of natural resources. Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) are the best practices used to improve the productivity of crops whilst maximizing agronomic efficiency of inputs applied and hence contributing to sustainable intensification. ISFM usually include the appropriate use of inorganic fertilizer and organic resources, good agronomic practices and appropriate use of germplasm. The survey was carried-out on the awareness of Integrated Soil Fertility Management practices in the Savelugu Municipal of Northern Ghana to study the awareness of integrated soil fertility management practices amongst farmers through the administration of questionnaires. A multistage method of sampling was used in selecting thirty (30) respondents randomly from five (5) selected communities namely Jana, Yapalsi, Diari, Nabogu and Gushie to make up a total sample size of 150 respondents. Frequency distribution and percentages were used to represent the data. Correlation analysis was used to test for the relationship between awareness, educational level and household size. The survey showed that majority of the respondents at ages between 21 and 30 years were married and majority with household size of 3 to 5 as well as primary and secondary education. Farming activities were carried-out by hand (80%). Majority of the respondents (43.3%) were informed about ISFM through demonstrations and 20% of the farmers apply inorganic fertilizer. About 85.5% of the respondents were aware of ISFM. The research also revealed that ISFM improves production and supports finances of respondents. The assessment of respondents’ perception of ISFM revealed a positive agreement of the effect of ISFM on soil health as well as improved production. In conclusion, it is thus suggested that it is needful for the involvement of the government on the adoption of ISFM via Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) locally and or internationally for a suitable advancement and to guarantee a sustainable environment with a world-wide corporation for improvement.

Abstract

The economy of Latvia lags behind economically developed nations approximately fourfold in terms of labour productivity in the tradable sector, which is the key constituent of a modern economy, thereby affecting future sustainable development in the entire country, including the rural areas. The economic backwardness is characteristic of the entire Central and Eastern Europe. This is the heritage of a communist regime that lasted for about half a century and the economic system termed a (centrally) planned economy or a command economy. However, such a term for the communist-period economy is not correct, as it does not represent the purpose it was created for. Accordingly, the paper aims to assess the effect of the communism period on the economic backwardness of the Central and Eastern European region of the EU. A planned economy that existed in all communist countries, with the exception of Yugoslavia, was not introduced to contribute to prosperity. It was intended for confrontation or even warfare by the communist countries under the guidance of the USSR against other countries where no communism regime existed, mostly Western world nations with their market economies. For this reason, it is not correct to term it a (centrally) planned economy or a command economy; the right term is a mobilised (war) economy. An extrapolation of a geometric progression for GDP revealed that during the half a century, Latvia as part of the USSR was forced to spend on confrontation with the West not less than EUR 17 bln. (2011 prices) or approximately one gross domestic product of 2011. The research aim of the paper is to assess the effect of the communism period on the economic backwardness of the Central and Eastern European region of the EU.

Abstract

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a computing concept that describes the idea of everyday physical objects being connected to the Internet and being able to identify themselves to other devices, and day by day it becomes popular in everyday life as well as in entrepreneurship. The IoT covers broad areas, including manufacturing, the health sector, agriculture, smart cities, security and emergencies among many others. The market for the industrial IoT is estimated to surpass 107 billion euros by 2021 and reach a compound annual growth rate of 7.3% as of 2020. The IoT makes an impact on all industries and provides benefits for various areas of business; however, business may be faced with some risks as well. The research aim is to analyse the benefits and risks of the IoT in entrepreneurship. The descriptive method, analysis and synthesis, the induction and deduction methods were used to achieve the aim. The research has revealed that the IoT can provide several opportunities for business in all fields of operations – marketing, logistics, accounting and human resource management. However, businesses may be faced with some challenges related to privacy and security, processing, analysis and management of data, as well as monitoring and sensing.

Abstract

The technical inspection of a building carried out by an expert in civil engineering can identify and classify the physical conditions of the real estate; this generates relevant information for the protection and safety of users. Given the real conditions of the property, and for the real estate valuation universe, using artificial intelligence and fuzzy logic, it is possible to obtain the market price associated with the physical conditions of the building. The objective of this experiment is to develop a property evaluation model using a civil engineering inspection form associated with artificial intelligence, and fuzzy logic, and also compare with market value to verify the applicability of this inspection form. Therefore, the methodology used is based on technical inspection of civil engineering regarding the state of conservation of properties according to the model used in Portugal and adapted to the reality of Latvia. Artificial intelligence is applied after obtaining data from that report. From this, association rules are obtained, which are used in the diffuse logic to obtain the price of the apartment per square meter, and for comparison with the market value. For this purpose, 48 samples of residential apartments located in the city of Jelgava in Latvia are used, with an inspection carried out from October to December 2019. The main result is the 9% error metric, which demonstrates the possibility of applying the method proposed in this experiment. Thus, for each apartment sample consulted, it resulted in the state of conservation and a market value associated.

Abstract

The change in the concept of urban agriculture has been driven by social, political and economic factors, changing the role of agriculture in the urban environment. From the second half of 20th century topicality and practices of urban agriculture are growing widely not only in social initiatives but also in scientific research (the number of articles in scientific databases has increased 18-30 times since 2000). Growing interest has identified various variations and tendencies in the interpretation of the concept of urban agriculture, having regard to the current United Nations definition that is broad, but in research works and case studies researchers adapt the definitions to the local characteristics and aim of the study, thus creating a number of risks in the interpretation of the concept, including limited possibilities for quantitative comparisons between studies. The aim of the article is to identify the historical development stages of the concept of urban agriculture and to determine the main research tendencies in its application. To achieve this aim, the method of monographic and descriptive analysis was used for theoretical discussion, analysis, synthesis and deduction - for information gathering, logical systematization and classification. As a result of the study, it was identified that the concept of urban agriculture is developed in three different stages - originally associated with the technical solutions of urban planning for providing food for city dwellers, it is currently developing in tendencies of different directions: analysis of agriculture’s role in urban areas (including mitigating climate change risks), classification of types of urban agriculture, opportunities for adapting innovations and technological solutions to urban agriculture, the place and context of urban agriculture for sustainable development in the circumstances of urbanization. Such in-depth research of the experience and impact of urban agriculture on sustainable development could increase dynamically due to environmental considerations, aspect of the circular economy, and new paradigms in planning urban and peri-urban areas.

Abstract

Although poor use of contraceptives and high desire for children is characteristic of sub-Saharan Africa, this demographic challenge is more peculiar to more disadvantaged segments of the population like rural farmers. This study was designed to examine current use of modern family planning and fertility intention among women farmers of reproductive age in Ido and Ona-ara Local Government Areas of Ibadan, Nigeria. Using cross-sectional survey design, semi-structured questionnaire were administered via structured-interview to randomly and systematically selected 408 respondents. Chi-square was used to show significance of associations between pairs of variables. Contingency co-efficient was used to examine extent of significant associations. Results indicate that majority of respondents (77%) desired additional children, the mean number of children that respondents already have is 2.94±1.35 while mean fertility intention is 1.85±1.44. The proportion of current users of modern family planning is 45.6%. The use of oral pills (30.6%) is most popular among respondents. There is no significant association between current use of modern family planning and fertility intention among married and divorced respondents, among respondents in all the age sub-groups, and among respondents with no formal education or secondary education (p > 0.05), but there is among respondents with primary and tertiary education (p < 0.05). The synergy between the use of modern family planning and fertility intention among women farmers in the study area is notable but requires significant progression. Having primary education and tertiary education is significantly associated respectively with lower and higher use of modern family planning in relation to fertility intention. Education is an important element of fertility dynamics among women farmers in the study area.

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of separated exhaust expansion chamber parameters on pressure oscillations in spark-ignited internal combustion (IC) gasoline engines. It is known that exhaust expansion chambers are becoming increasingly more popular among both – original equipment (OE) and aftermarket equipment (AE) exhaust system manufacturers for performance-oriented motorcycles equipped with mainly single cylinder engines, but the companies are reluctant to reveal any detailed principles of operation of the mentioned expansion chambers. The subject of this research is the type of expansion chamber (separate) as used on performance-oriented motorcycles, particularly its’ effect on exhaust pressure pulsations as different chamber volumes, locations and passage sizes are tested. Time-dependent computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis was carried out in Solidworks Flow Simulation environment on a simplified exhaust header pipe model imitating engine operation at full load and steady speed. Honda CRF450R motorcycle engine was used as the example and fully defined using a 1D engine performance calculator software to determine the combustion chamber pressure and exhaust valve lift at any given crankshaft position. Volume flow rate of exhaust gasses at the header pipe inlet was calculated based on engine parameters and operating speed. The average pressure values with respect to physical time were measured and graphed across the header pipe inlet cross-section. Eight different header pipe and exhaust expansion chamber combinations were modelled, tested, and results compared at low, medium and high engine speeds. It was found that the presence of exhaust expansion chamber tends to dampen the amplitude and decrease the frequency of pressure oscillations generated at the opening of the exhaust valve(s). Observations show that the addition of an expansion chamber as per design of performance-oriented motorcycles helps to decrease the negative effect of engine tuning while also dampening the positive effect.

Abstract

One of the mechanisms for enhancing innovative processes in the industry is the application of the concept of the “four-link spiral”. In contrast to the 3-link spiral, this model as one of the most important components includes a “society”, acting as one of the actors of innovative transformations. Firstly, it is society that is the main consumer of innovative products being created and, thereby, establishes “requirements”, forming demands for the quality and parameters of future products; secondly, society, in turn, acts as the initiator and generator of innovations, forming the so-called “social capital” necessary for the implementation of directly innovative transformations. In this scientific work, the problems of the formation of a “smart specialization” strategy for the innovative development of the industrial sector of the national economic system based on the application of the four-link spiral concept are investigated. A system of quantitative indicators for assessing the innovative level of industrial development is presented. The experience of introducing the concept of a four-link spiral as a mechanism of innovative development of industry (on the example of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation) is given. The aim of the article is to describe innovation processes in the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus and to develop an innovation transfer model.

Abstract

The development of organic farming is determined by many factors. On the one hand, it is an increase in demand for food produced in this production system, on the other it is a subsidy system for organic farming under the CAP. The purpose of the article is a comparative analysis of the direction of changes in the development of organic farming in Poland and Latvia compared to the EU in the years 2000-2017. Information was analysed on the organic farming i.e. the area of organic crops, the number of certified farms and organic retail sales, based on FIBL data from the years 2000–2017. An analysis of the trend of changes in organic farming in Poland and Latvia indicates that the development of organic farming in both countries has clearly accelerated after their accession to the EU and after covering organic farming by the CAP support system. However, the case of Poland is definitely different from the trend of changes in organic farming in Latvia and in the EU, where both the number of organic farms and their area increased, with the simultaneous development of the organic food market. There are many indications that mistakes were made in the organic farming subsidy system.