Poultry farms in India are dosing their chickens with antibiotics at such high rates that 94 percent of meat chickens and 60 percent of laying hens tested in a new study harbored multi-drug-resistant bacteria that can cause grave human infections.
Two years ago, world cotton production was the lowest in 13 years, due to smaller plantings and plunging yields. This year, the world will produce 14 percent more cotton than in 2017 for a harvest of 24.6 million tons that will drive down the season-average cotton price by 13 cents a pound, says the International Cotton Advisory Committee.
The most populous nation in Africa, Nigeria, with 191 million people today, will easily pass the United States to become the world’s third most populous nation by mid-century, says the UN Population Division in a biennial global population forecast. In a much shorter time span—just seven years—India will become the most populous nation on Earth, displacing China.
In the last decade, consumers across North America and Europe have become increasingly aware of the environmental costs of producing palm oil, now the world’s most widely consumed vegetable oil. The industry’s social problems, however, have remained largely in the dark.
The Energy Department announced it would be disbanding the Office of International Climate and Technology, which was established in 2010 to help foreign countries lower their greenhouse gas emissions.
The Paris climate treaty is a “bad deal” for the U.S. said Scott Pruitt, while adding that the country should stay “engaged" in international climate discussions.
A groundswell of Hindu nationalism has inspired resistance in India to foreign influence and large multinationals, such as Monsanto, says Reuters in describing corporate battle that has disrupted the country's seed industry. Monsanto has withdrawn its application to sell a new generation of GE cotton seed in India, which recently became the largest cotton grower in the world.
The monsoon rains that are the lifeblood of India's farmers may be unaffected by forecasts of an El Niño weather pattern at mid-year, a top weather official told Reuters. The rains usually arrive around June 1 at Kerala, a state at the southern tip of India, the second-most populous nation in the world, and retreat by September from Rajastan, which borders Pakistan in northern India, some 2,000 kilometers away.
As the India government overhauls the nation’s currency, the country’s 119 million farmers are struggling to find the cash they need to pay workers and cover costs, says NPR. The country is essentially cash-based, and farmers especially rely on having money in hand, rather than in the bank or on credit.
World cotton prices were boosted by a smaller-than-expected 2015/16 crop and remain high despite a larger harvest this year, says the International Cotton Advisory Committee, pointing to currency turmoil in India. "The currency crisis ... is exacerbating the situation, since that country is the world's largest producer of cotton and the second-largest exporter," says the intergovernmental body.