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Prevention is best defense against Bangladesh crop diseases

Bangladeshi farmers are struggling with five major crop diseases, likely reducing the crop yield by up to 62 percent annually. Researchers suggest no effective insecticides for these diseases except for taking precautions and preventive measures.

Rice Blast disease, rice tungro disease, wheat blast disease, jute stem rot and powdery mildew are the five major types of crop diseases in Bangladesh, according to researchers and the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI).

Wheat crop at risk from severe drought

Pakistan’s wheat and other Rabi crops are facing a severe threat from an extended dry spell that has lasted for months, agriculture experts warned on Wednesday.

The Country, which is largely dependent on agriculture for its food security, has received only 1.1 mm of rainfall in December 2023, a 92 percent drop from the average, according to the Meteorological Department.

One of the earliest driest Decembers was recorded in 1999 with 0.0mm. It was the year when a winter dry spell triggered severe drought conditions that hit agriculture hard in the next couple of years, following lack of rains at key growing seasons and lesser flows in rivers.

India’s sugar production down 7pc

India’s Sugar production this season, which started on October 1, 2023, was 14.87 million tonnes (mt) until January 15. This is 7 percent lower, according to co-operative sector sugar mills body. Since the sugar recovery rate is at par with last year, the actual sugar output will depend on how much sugarcane crop comes to the mills for crushing.

“Considering the lower sugarcane output estimated by the Agriculture Ministry, the Government has already taken several initiatives to increase the availability of sugarcane for production of sugar,” an official source said. The ban on sugarcane juice for ethanol and increased rate for ethanol when produced from C-heavy molasses, have resulted in more cane diversion towards sugar, the official said pointing to 9 percent fall in sugar production until December 15.

Oil up on OPEC demand estimate

Oil Prices rose on Thursday as OPEC forecast relatively strong growth in global oil demand over the next two years, while the market also eyed disrupted U.S. oil production amid a cold blast and tensions in the Middle East.

Brent Crude futures gained 49 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $78.37 a barrel by 0740 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 70 cents, or 1.0 percent, to $73.26.

OPEC, in a monthly report, said world oil demand is expected to rise by a robust 1.85 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2025 to 106.21 million bpd. For 2024, OPEC saw demand growth of 2.25 million bpd, unchanged from its forecast in December.

US natural gas demand eyes record

U.S. Natural Gas demand for heating and power generation was set to hit a record high on Tuesday, a day after natural gas supplies fell to near a 13-month low as Arctic weather across much of the country froze wells.

Millions of Americans awoke on Tuesday to snow, freezing rain and frigid temperatures as an extreme cold gripped much of the United States, shutting a U.S. Gulf Coast refinery in Texas and halving North Dakota oil production.

The Texas power grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), reduced its peak demand forecast for Tuesday and mustered enough generating supplies to meet sky-high demand due in part to energy conservation efforts by homes and businesses.

Poultry production falls

Türkiye’s chicken meat production was down 3.9 percent to 2.13 million tons in January-November 2023 from a year ago, while milk output increased 4.3 percent in the same period, the data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) have shown.

The Number of chickens slaughtered declined by 6.2 percent to 1.16 billion in the first 11 months of 2023, but hen egg production rose by 3.5 percent to 18 billion, TÜİK said on Jan. 15.

Sri Lanka tea production up 1.3-pct in 2023

Sri Lanka’s tea production expanded 1.7 percent to 256.03 million kilograms in 2023, while exports fell 8.2 percent to 241.9 million kilograms, the island’s Tea Board, said.

The Expansion in production was driven by Medium Grown teas, which increased by 2.6 million kilos to 42.3 million kilos and High Growns which expanded by 1.6 million kilos to 58.6 million kilos.

India to host global meet on pulses after 18 years

About 800 representatives of governments, as well as commercial and non profit organisations involved in the production and processing of pulses will attend the Global Pulse Convention to be held here at the Taj Palace Hotel in February. Jointly organised by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED) and the Global Pulse Confederation (GPC), the conference will see experts in the field sharing their views and experiences with various stakeholders and policymakers.

Union Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said that pulses production has increased in India and the government is keen to learn and share practices globally.

US coal production rises 18.9pc on week

The US boosted weekly coal production 18.9 percent to 10.3 million st throughout the week ended Jan. 6, according to US Energy Information Administration data released Jan. 11.

Compared with the year-ago week, US coal production was 7.2 percent lower. All major US coal producing regions increased their output compared with the previous week.

Central Appalachia production grew by the steepest weekly margin, with a 1.4 million st output, up 22.2 percent from the previous week. Compared with the year-ago week, CAPP coal production was 2.1 percent lower.

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