Saudi oil minister calls for more work to cut global oil inventory

Saudi oil minister Khalid Al-Falih said that ‘Russia, Saudi Arabia and 24 other states that have been working on stabilizing the oil market.’ (AFP)
Updated 30 November 2017
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Saudi oil minister calls for more work to cut global oil inventory

TASHKENT, Kazakhstan: Saudi Arabian oil minister Khalid Al-Falih said on Saturday that more work was needed to reduce global oil inventories.
“There is a general satisfaction with the strategy of 24 countries that signed a declaration of cooperation,” he said after a meeting attended by his Russian, Uzbek and Kazakh counterparts.
Russia and Saudi Arabia are leading a deal between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to cut global oil production, with the aim of propping up oil prices.
“Everybody recognizes that (the) job is not done yet by any means, we still have significant amount of work to do to bring inventories down. Mission is not yet complete, more needs to be done,” he added.
He said members of the global pact he had spoken with have expressed the same views.
“This is the same sentiment I’ve heard yesterday from (Kazakh) President (Nursultan) Nazarbayev, this is the same sentiment I’ve heard from all the oil producing members of the Asia energy ministers’ round table,” he said.
Officials from Malaysia, Ecuador, Nigeria and Libya have had also given him similar feedback, Falih said.
“All committed to working with other producers and supporting the agreement,” the Saudi oil minister added.


Can a hungry Mali turn rice technology into ‘white gold’?

Updated 20 October 2018
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Can a hungry Mali turn rice technology into ‘white gold’?

  • Malians are cautiously turning to a controversial farming technique to adapt to the effects of climate change
  • Dubbed the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), the new method was pioneered in Madagascar in 1983

BAGUINEDA: When rice farmers started producing yields nine times larger than normal in the Malian desert near the famed town of Timbuktu a decade ago, a passerby could have mistaken the crop for another desert mirage.
Rather, it was the result of an engineering feat that has left experts in this impoverished nation in awe — but one that has yet to spread widely through Mali’s farming community.
“We must redouble efforts to get political leaders on board,” said Djiguiba Kouyaté, a coordinator in Mali for German development agency GIZ.
With hunger a constant menace, Malians are cautiously turning to a controversial farming technique to adapt to the effects of climate change.

 

Dubbed the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), the new method was pioneered in Madagascar in 1983. It involves planting fewer seeds of traditional rice varieties and taking care of them following a strict regime.
Seedlings are transplanted at a very young age and spaced widely. Soil is enriched with organic matter, and must be kept moist, though the system uses less water than traditional rice farming.
Up to 20 million farmers now use SRI in 61 countries, including in nearby Sierra Leone, Senegal and Ivory Coast, said Norman Uphoff, of the SRI International Network and Resources Center at Cornell University in the US.
But, despite its success, the technique has been embraced with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Uphoff said that is because it competes with the improved hybrid and inbred rice varieties that agricultural corporations sell.
For Faliry Boly, who heads a rice-growing association, the prospect of rice becoming a “white gold” for Mali should spur on authorities and farmers to adopt rice intensification.
The method could increase yields while also offering a more environmentally-friendly alternative, including by replacing chemical fertilizers with organic ones, he said.
He also pointed out that rice intensification naturally lends itself to Mali’s largely arid climate.

FACTOID

Up to 20 million farmers now use rice intensification in 61 countries, including in nearby Sierra Leone, Senegal and Ivory Coast.