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Smart thinking will boost local rice production – agribusiness practitioner

Ghanaian radio personality and agribusiness practitioner, Kojo Akoto Boateng, has stressed the need for policymakers to think smartly in boosting rice production in Ghana.

According to him, the cultivation of local rice will become more successful if industry players use smart approaches in their work.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Wednesday, he explained that the country’s failure to maximize its rice production is due to the absence of smartly conceived policies.

He however noted that if policies in relation to rice are smartly formulated, Ghana’s rice production will see a tremendous improvement.

Oil production picking up in second-largest U.S. shale field

Oil production in South Texas, home of the second largest U.S. shale field, is expected to rise as much as 4 percent this year, as higher prices spur more drilling and as U.S. crude exports set new records.

Output in the Eagle Ford shale field tanked in 2020, but has returned to growth with an average increase per month of about 17,000 barrels per bay (bpd) in the back half of 2022, according to U.S. government data. Its gains will help keep U.S. output rising as the Permian basin, the largest U.S. shale field, has slowed rapidly in the last year.

EIA: soaring production will keep natural gas prices in check

Continued increases in U.S. dry natural gas production are expected to outpace domestic demand and exports this year and in 2024 according to the EIA

Continued increases in U.S. dry natural gas production are expected to outpace domestic demand and exports this year and next, sending the average U.S. benchmark price lower than in 2022, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.

The EIA expects the U.S. benchmark Henry Hub price to average $4.90 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) this year, according to its January Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). The projected average would be more than $1.50/MMBtu lower compared to the 2022 average of natural gas prices.

In 2024, Henry Hub prices are expected to remain almost the same compared to 2023 levels, as U.S. production is set to continue growing, the EIA said.

Agriculture: correcting the wheat market

For the last few decades, Pakistan’s agriculture sector has become the happiest hunting ground for crises. Going from one crisis to the next, the entire sector is operating in a firefighting mode and that too without any policy or regulatory effort on the part of the government, allowing the market to determine and extract its windfall.

The latest example is of fertiliser. In the last few years, all kinds of fertilisers have gone beyond the farmers’ reach for one reason or another. Of three major fertilisers, potash was the first to fall out of farmers’ favour when its price soared beyond a whopping Rs16,000 per bag two years ago. The squeezed supply deprived the soil of three primary micronutrients — nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK).

The next one was Di-ammonium Phosphate (DAP). Its prices tripled in a year (beyond Rs14,000 per bag), and the soil dried up, deprived of nitrogenous and phosphatic supplies, robbing plant health and compromising yield.

Market watchers have calculated a 37 percent drop in its usage this year so far, compared with the last year.

Palm firms for second session on rival oils strength

Malaysian palm oil futures firmed on Thursday for a second consecutive session, tracking gains in rival edible oils, although concerns over demand lingered.

The benchmark palm oil contract for April delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closed up 21 ringgit, or 0.54 percent, to 3,888 ringgit ($902.93) a tonne.

Trading volumes are lower than usual for Malaysian palm oil, and Chinese vegetable oil futures are experiencing a liquidation of positions due to the upcoming Chinese New Year holidays, said Anilkumar Bagani, research head of Mumbai-based vegetable oils broker Sunvin Group.

Exports of Malaysian palm oil products for Jan. 1-15 fell between 28 percent and 37 percent, from the same period last month, due to a tumble in shipments to key markets India and China, cargo surveyors said this week.

Palm oil prices in 2023 are set to average at 3,800 ringgit a tonne, down from from last year’s record of 4,910 ringgit, a Reuters poll showed.

Production in Indonesia is forecast to rise 2.4 percent to 48 million tonnes this year, while Malaysia’s production is seen 3 percent higher at 19 million tonnes.

India not likely to allow more sugar exports as output dips- sources

India is not looking at allowing more sugar exports, government and industry officials said on Thursday, dampening speculation that the world’s biggest producer of the sweetener would permit a second tranche of overseas shipments.

India, the world’s biggest sugar exporter after Brazil, exported a record 11 million tonnes in the previous season to Sept. 30, 2022.

But the government has allowed sugar mills to export only 6.1 million tonnes of the sweetener in the current season that began on Oct. 1 2022. Food price inflation was high at the start of the season, prompting curbs on exports.

County train farmers on clean milk production

Dairy farmers in Kiambu County have been trained on safe Milk handling to ensure the milk produced in the farm is safe for human consumption.

The exercise conducted by the county department of Health in collaboration with the department of Agriculture trained Dairy Society representatives from all over the county in a bid to help farmers comply with relevant regulations.

According to the Director Cooperatives Jane Kamunge the farmers trained have covered a wide range of topics related to milk production, including best practices for maintaining cleanliness on the farm, properly storing and transporting milk, and testing the milk for bacteria and other contaminants.

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