Thursday, August 17, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: All Time Record - India Set For Best-Ever Foodgrain Production








Breaking: Drilling Begins At Cuadrilla’s Lancashire Shale Gas Site

In this newsletter:

1) All Time Record: India Set For Best-Ever Foodgrain Production
Times of India, 17 August 2017 
 
2) India’s Foodgrain Output Up 5-Fold In 60 Years
India Spend, August 2017
 
3) Brazil to Harvest Record Grain Crop in 2017
Prensa Latina, 10 August 2017 
 
4) Record Global Grain Production In 2016
World Grain, November 2016
 
5) Reminder: The Era Of Great Famines Is Over
Alex De Waal, The New York Times, 8 May 2016
 
6) Russel Saltzman: The End Of The World Is Always 10 Years Away
Aleteia, 10 August 2017
 
7) Shale Will Beat OPEC As U.S. Oil Thrives At $40, Citigroup Says
Bloomberg, 15 August 2017 
 
8) Breaking: Drilling Begins At Cuadrilla’s Lancashire Shale Gas Site
Drill or Drop, 17 August 2017

Full details:

1) All Time Record: India Set For Best-Ever Foodgrain Production
Times of India, 17 August 2017 
 
NEW DELHI: India’s foodgrain production for the 2016-17 crop year is estimated at record 275.68 million tonnes. The government on Wednesday revised its previous figures upward by 2.3 million tonnes and came at the new figure which is over 4% higher than the previous record production achieved in the country during 2013-14.


 
The production in 2016-17 is significantly higher by 24.12 million tonnes (9.59%) than the output of 2015-16 which was a drought year.
 
The revised figures, released on Wednesday, are part of the agriculture ministry’s fourth advance estimate for the year 2016-17. In its third estimate, the ministry had put the estimated production at 273.38 million tonnes (MT).
 
The ministry releases four advance estimates followed by final estimates of production of major agricultural crops of the country every crop year (July-June).
Fourth advance estimates are considered as good as final estimates.
 
India had recorded its previous best in the year 2013-14 when the country produced 265.04 MT of foodgrain, backed by good and well-distributed Monsoon rainfall.
 
The ministry attributed the all-time record of foodgrain production in 2016-17 to good rainfall in 2016 and various policy initiatives taken by it. Record output has been achieved in all major crops of foodgrain basket like rice (110.15 MT), wheat (98.38 MT) and pulses (22.95 MT).
 
Full story
 
2) India’s Foodgrain Output Up 5-Fold In 60 Years
India Spend, August 2017
 
India’s foodgrain production rose five times over six decades, according to 2016 government data, the latest available.
 

 
But with the average Indian farm half as large as it used to be 50 years ago and yields among the lowest in developing economies, both the agriculture sector and farmers have been driven to the brink, shows an IndiaSpend analysis.
 
Output of foodgrains in India increased from 50.82 million tonnes in 1950-51 to 252.22 million tonnes in 2015-16, according to the Agriculture Statistics At A Glance 2016 report. Yield increased as well, from 522 kg per hectare (ha) in 1950-51 to 2,056 kg/ha in 2015-16.
 
Though it is the largest producer of pulses in the world, India’s pulses crop yield (659 kg/ha) was the lowest among BRICS countries in 2014.
 
Cereal yield in India was the second lowest in the BRICS list, above Russia (2,444 kg/ha), according to Food and Agriculture Organisation’s 2014 data, the latest available. China reported the highest yield of cereals (5,888 kg/ha) and pulses (1,725 kg/ha) among BRICS nations.
 
Full story
 
3) Brazil to Harvest Record Grain Crop in 2017
Prensa Latina, 10 August 2017 
 
Brasilia Aug 10 (Prensa Latina) Grain harvest will grow this year 31.1 percent in Brazil with respect to 2016, and it will reach a record figure of 242.1 million tons, estimated the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics ( IBGE) today.
 
In a new estimation divulged on Thursday the institution detailed that regarding June's previsions producing projections increased 1.8 million tons.

Records on the soybean harvest (115 million tons) and corn (99.4) are also expected, said IBGE and stressed that these products and rice represent this year 93.6 percent of estimated products.

According to IBGE's researcher Carlos Antonio Barradas, quoted by Brazilian Agency, the escalating rise in products projections obeys two key factors.

One is the rainy weather that benefited workings after a too dried 2016.

The other element is grain prizes' increase, which stimulated both the gain of planted area of soybean, corn, rice and beans, and a higher investment in production technologies.
 
4) Record Global Grain Production In 2016
World Grain, November 2016
 
World wheat production in 2016 is expected to exceed the 2015 record by 1.2%, underpinned by output increases in India, the Russian Federation and the U.S.
 

World grains production will break records again this year. Although usage also is expected to rise, ending stocks will be higher and export availabilities will be ample.

“A positive outlook for global cereal production in 2016, together with abundant stocks, points to a generally comfortable supply and demand balance in 2016-17,” the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a Cereal Supply and Demand Brief issued Oct. 6.

“In 2016, world cereal production is set to increase by 1.5%, or 38 million tonnes, to hit a new record of 2.569 billion tonnes, topping by at least 5.5 million tonnes the preceding peak of 2014,” it said. “The current FAO forecast is over 3 million tonnes higher than projected in September, with most of the upward revisions concerning wheat and rice.”

World wheat production in 2016 is expected to exceed the 2015 record by 1.2%, underpinned by output increases in India, the Russian Federation and the United States, it said.
 
Full story
 
5) Reminder: The Era Of Great Famines Is Over
Alex De Waal, The New York Times, 8 May 2016
 
Famine isn’t caused by overpopulation, and as Ethiopia’s experience shows, it’s not a necessary consequence of drought. Politics creates famine, and politics can stop it.
 


ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — The worst drought in three decades has left almost 20 million Ethiopians — one-fifth of the population — desperately short of food. And yet the country’s mortality rate isn’t expected to increase: In other words, Ethiopians aren’t starving to death.
 
I’ve studied famine and humanitarian relief for more than 30 years, and I wasn’t prepared for what I saw during a visit to Ethiopia last month. As I traveled through northern and central provinces, I saw imported wheat being brought to the smallest and most remote villages, thanks to a new Chinese-built railroad and a fleet of newly imported trucks. Water was delivered to places where wells had run dry. Malnourished children were being treated in properly staffed clinics.
 
Compare that to the aftermath of the 1984 drought, which killed at least 600,000 people, caused the economy to shrink by nearly 14 percent and turned the name “Ethiopia” into a synonym for shriveled, glazed-eyed children on saline drips.
 
How did Ethiopia go from being the world’s symbol of mass famines to fending off starvation? Thanks partly to some good fortune, but mostly to peace, greater transparency and prudent planning. Ethiopia’s success in averting another disaster is confirmation that famine is elective because, at its core, it is an artifact and a tool of political repression.
 
Full story
 
6) Russel Saltzman: The End Of The World Is Always 10 Years Away
Aleteia, 10 August 2017
 
Alarmists have been doling out humanity's demise decade by decade, but it has resulted in some very positive developments.


 
Unchecked population growth will result in widespread famine, multiple wars over dwindling resources, and will yield only social, economic, and environmental collapse.
 
These were the key dead-certain predictions contained in the 1968 book The Population Bomb by Sanford University professor Paul R. Ehrlich. His wife, Anne Ehrlich, was co-author but she was not credited until some years later. Ehrlich was then a biologist specializing in butterflies (he became a professor of population studies after publication of Bomb).
 
Ehrlich was an alarmist. That’s putting it nicely. The only prediction about which he was even half right is the present-day size of the world’s population. As for other predictions, The Bomb is a dud.
 
Foremost, Ehrlich did not foresee developing agricultural improvements. He didn’t even know they were underway. The The Green Revolution had been percolating since the 1950s and before, and was showing results. But for Ehrlich, many people simply meant less food.
 
While Ehrlich was wearing a The End is Near sandwich board, Norman Borlaug (d. 2009), a Lutheran sleeves-rolled-up agronomist from Minnesota, was working in Mexico, Pakistan, India and elsewhere. Mexico became a net wheat exporter in 1963. The Philippines became a rice exporter in 1968, for the first time in the 20th century. By 1970 India and Pakistan more than doubled their wheat production. India became a net exporter; Pakistan became Asia’s third largest grain producer, also an exporter, and Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his work.
 
While this was happening, Ehrlich was calling for “social policies” to curb population. He suggested mandatory sterilization of Indian males with two children, and he asserted that U.S. food aid to the Third World should be withheld from recipient nations that would not agree to compulsory population control.
 
Borlaug is often cited as “the man who saved a billion lives,” while Ehrlich, now nearing 86, argued in 2009, “Perhaps the most serious flaw in The Bomb was that it was much too optimistic about the future.”
 
Full post
 
7) Shale Will Beat OPEC As U.S. Oil Thrives At $40, Citigroup Says
Bloomberg, 15 August 2017 
 
U.S. shale oil will prevail over OPEC as the two rivals compete in an oversupplied world market, Citigroup Inc.’s head of research said.
 
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies may have boosted oil prices by cutting production, but they’re losing revenue in the process and their position “is not sustainable over a long period,” Citigroup’s Ed Morse said in a Bloomberg television interview on Tuesday. On the other hand, U.S. shale drillers have adapted to survive prices as low as $40, he said.
 
“In the end, the markets are going to win, and it’s going to be shale,” Morse said. “If we’re in a $40 to $45 world, we’ll have enough drilling to add to the surplus in the world as a whole.”
 
Oil prices have lost 12 percent in London this year, trading near $50 a barrel, as output curbs by OPEC, Russia and other partners fail to drain a global surplus. U.S. shale explorers have boosted drilling and are poised to reach a record output next month, plugging some of the gap left by OPEC’s cutbacks.
 
The steadiness of crude prices on the forward curve at about $50 a barrel suggests that U.S. oil producers are active in using futures contracts to lock in — or “hedge” — their output for this year and next, according to Morse.
 
Full story
 
8) Breaking: Drilling Begins At Cuadrilla’s Lancashire Shale Gas Site
Drill or Drop, 17 August 2017 
 
The shale gas firm, Cuadrilla has confirmed that drilling began today at its site at near Blackpool.
 
Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site, 12 August 2017. Photo: Frack Free Creators – Knitting Nanas of Lancashire

The Preston New Road site at Little Plumpton will see the first horizontal shale gas exploration wells in the UK.

A spokesperson for the company said drilling began early this afternoon but was unable to give a precise time.

Drilling will continue 24-hours a day and the company has estimated it will be completed before the end of the year. Fracking is expected to take place early next year.

Cuadrilla’s spokesperson said the company would drill the pilot well vertically to about 3,500m. Samples would then be taken from the shale rocks. Based on analysis of the samples, Cuadrilla wold then decide where to drill the first two horizontal wells, which would be at depths of 2,000-3,500m.

An opponent of drilling described the news as “a sad day for Lancashire and democracy”.
 
Full story

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at www.thegwpf.com.

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