Saturday, May 09, 2015

8th May (Friday),Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Girls outperform boys at OUAT
Minati Singha | May 8, 2015, 02.22PM IST
 BHUBANESWAR: More than 70 per cent of the gold medalists at the 34th convocation of Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology ( OUAT) were girls. Job security and scope for research in the field of agriculture and technology and wide range of opportunities are attracting more women into the sector."I am really happy that there are more girls among the gold medalists of the university. This is a positive sign. It also proves that girls worked harder than boys and should get accolades," said vice-chancellor of the university Manoranjan Kar.Girls topped the university in postgraduate studies in most departments while most of the top scorers in undergraduate studies are also women students.
The highest number of awards and medals for a single student went to Sheuli Chaterjee, who received 11 medals for scoring the highest marks in different subjects.There is no particular reason but, of course, girls are more serious than boys about studies. More girls are coming to the agriculture sector because of job security and wider opportunity for diversification," said Sheuli. She added, "If you study agriculture you can go for banking, insurance, seed selection, chemical and fertilizers and so on."A total 211 medals were given away for students who graduated in 2013 and 2014 of whom 147 were women.
"It's not that girls are excelling in agriculture only, they are doing well in all examinations. More women achieving success in the higher education sector will have a direct and indirect impact on our society," said honorary professor of the university S R Das.Arnapurna Moharana, who won seven gold medals said, "In agriculture there is ample scope for research. I will continue my higher education and do my research in this field.
"Vice chancellor also informed that this year 26 students from College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology under the university qualified for GATE examination in 2015, which is a record of highest number of students being qualified from any single institute of 54 colleges of agricultural engineering and Technology in India.Former chairman of Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board Prof Madappa Mahadevappa and director general and CEO of International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines Dr Robert Stewart Zeigler were conferred honoris causa on the occasion.

Cambodia: Cambodia exports more rice in first four months

Thai News Service
Cambodia exported over 200,000 tonnes of rice in the January-April period, up 67.2 percent from the same period last year.According to the Secretariat of One Window Service for Rice Export, China was the largest importer, buying more than 66,000 tonnes of Cambodia rice. It was followed by France with 23,000 tonnes.Besides traditional customers, Cambodia is looking for new markets with the aim of increasing rice export.Farm produce, particularly rice, is a priority in Cambodia'sexport policy. However, the country is facing difficulties in processing equipment to enhance rice quality. Cambodia also has to compete with other major exporters such as Thailand and Vietnam./.


Vietnam: Rice exports likely to rise from July

Thai News Service
Vietnam is implementing a contract on exporting rice to the Philippines while negotiating with Malaysia on the same issue.In the first four months of the year, the country exported2.04 million tonnes of rice, earning US$889 million, down in 0.5% in quantity and 5% in value, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).The MoIT said the decrease is attributed to an abundant supply source of rice exporters which leads to a fierce competition in the market. Big rice exporters like Thailand and India have high stockpiles of rice.

Especially, Thailand is taking drastic measures to export more rice to key markets.Huynh The Nang, general director of the Vietnam Southern Food Corporation (Vinafood 2) hoped that from late June to early July this year, Vietnam's rice exporters might gain more markets.He added that from the beginning of the year, the Philippines has imported 300,000 tonnes of rice from Vietnam and is expected to buy an additional 500,000 tonnes. - VOV

Rice planting proceeds as water availability varies

Capital Press
Published:May 7, 2015 3:19PM
Tim Hearden/Capital Press Russel Maben stabilizes the edge of a field to be flooded for rice planting on his family’s farm near Willows, Calif. Some water districts have imposed strict rules against runoff from rice planting, which is underway in the Sacramento Valley.

Rice planting is nearing its halfway point in California's middle Sacramento Valley. Crop advisers are expecting more fields to be fallowed this year because of a lack of water, although how much more acreage is idled remains to be seen.
WILLOWS, Calif. — For rice growers in California’s Sacramento Valley, this season has been all about working and waiting.Balmy spring afternoons were perfect for getting fields ready for this year’s anticipated 408,000-acre rice crop, but water uncertainties amid a fourth year of drought forced many to wait and wonder about deliveries.But planting finally commenced in the last week of April and is nearly halfway finished, with some fields already showing rice emerging from the water.“Planting is going full swing right now,” said Luis Espino, a University of California Cooperative Extension rice crop adviser in Colusa. “With the water situation early on, everyone was expecting water deliveries to be a little late — the first week of May.

Then it was actually delivered a little earlier than that.”In Butte County, planting is about two weeks ahead of what would be a normal timeframe, said Cass Mutters, a UCCE rice farm adviser.“This spring was unfortunately so dry and so warm that growers were out working their fields,” Mutters said. “As a result, the planting schedule is accelerated this year.”Water availability varies widely this spring, depending on where a farm is. Growers in districts along the Sacramento River that have senior rights have been told to expect 75 percent of normal deliveries, although U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials have hedged a bit on whether they’d be able to deliver even that much.

Meanwhile, those who divert from the Feather River have had their water cut in half, while farmers on the east side of the valley face cuts of 30 percent to 60 percent, the California Farm Bureau Federation reported. Junior right holders who rely on Central Valley Project water will get none for a second straight year.“There’s going to be a lot of fallowing,” Espino said. “It’s hard to say how much, but my guess is it’s going to be maybe 10 or 15 percent more than last year. Growers might not get surface water but might be able to pump here and there or get water from somewhere else. We’ll see at the end what the actual acreage is.”

An anticipated 408,000-acre crop would be 6 percent below the acreage seeded in 2014 and well below the 550,000 acres planted in 2013, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. As a result of the drop in acreage, the fall yield of 36.8 million hundredweight was down 23 percent from 2013, NASS estimated.Some water transfers are taking place to facilitate this year’s crop, but the early-season hype about the prospect of growers selling water to cities has died down because of a lack of available water and because of districts’ restrictions on fallowing fields to send water elsewhere.Some districts have instituted “no-spill policies” during field flooding to maximize the acreage that can be planted, Mutters said.Rice is typically planted between mid-April and mid-May, with harvests coming six months later. Growers who plant later than that risk running into rains during harvest, which happened in 2014 with a late October storm that stopped work.

Among other field crops, according to NASS:
• Cotton planting in Fresno County is nearly complete, and fields were progressing nicely.
• Oats and alfalfa fields are being cut, windrowed and baled.
• Wheat is maturing quickly and is being cut for silage. The wheat crop is rated as 90 percent good to excellent

Spring Brings Stable Rice Prices

[As Heard in North Korea]
Unification Media Group  |  2015-05-08 13:15
"As Heard in North Korea" articles contain the content of Unification Media Group [UMG] broadcasts into North Korea. UMG is a consortium created by Radio Free Chosun [RFC] and Open Radio for North Korea [ONK], shortwave radio stations targeting North Korea; The Daily NK, an internet periodical reporting on all aspects of North Korea; and OTV, an NGO-based internet television channel.

It's time for our weekly series "Market Roundup" with special correspondent and economic specialist Kang Mi Jin. Today we'll discuss the latest trends and news from the North Korean economy. First, I'll ask Ms. Kang to give us a general overview of what has been happening in the past week.  
The market price for rice varied by regions. One kilogram of rice was sold for 5,000 KPW in Pyongyang, Sinuiju, and Hyesan. The Korean People’s Won against the U.S. dollar traded for 8,100 KPW, 8,200 KPW, and 8,400 KPW in Pyongyang, Sinuiju, and Hyesan, respectively, posting a slightly higher exchange rate from the previous week. One kilogram of corn fetched 1,600 KPW in Pyongyang and Sinuiju, and 1,700 KPW in Hyesan. In terms of pork, one kilogram stood at 12,500 KPW in Pyongyang, 12,000 KPW in Sinuiju, and 13,500 KPW in Hyesan. Next is the price of oil. In Pyongyang and Sinuiju, one kilogram of gasoline traded for 10,500 KPW and 11,000 KPW in Hyesan. Diesel fetched 8,000 KPW per kilogram in Pyongyang, 8,500 KPW  in Sinuiju, and 9,000 KPW in Hyesan. 

Spring in the North means most residents are looking forward to the weather warming up so they can go pick wild greens. Reflecting some of those positive sentiments, we’re also hearing that prices in markets have been on a decline, and we’re joined by reporter Kang Mi Jin who will tell us more about it. 
1.  We’ve heard that prices for some goods in the market have been on a downward trend. Tell us more about it. 
According to sources within North Korea, the prices of soybean oil from China, school uniforms, eggs, and spring vegetables in some markets have been falling. Market prices usually rise at this time of the year, but this year, prices for the most part have remained stable. Although limited to certain goods, some prices have even been falling. 
2. Soybean oil and spring vegetables are some of the most commonly purchased items in the North, do we know why the prices have been dipping?
According to a source from Yangkang Province in North Korea, most markets including those in Hyesan and Wiyon are seeing a drop in prices of soybean oil, school uniforms, eggs, and spring vegetables. If we first look at why the price of cooking oil would be falling, some say it may be because of a rumor that has been spreading among the public. The rumor says that there are many ‘yojae’ in the oil, which can lead to stomachaches. ‘Yojae’ refer to counterfeit ingredients in North Korea, so people are not only afraid of consuming such bad oil themselves, they’re also worried about the effects it could have on others around them.
There have not yet been any accidents resulting from consumption of Chinese soybean oil, but the rumor has made food vendors reluctant to use the oil. A lot of food vendors use oil in large amounts, but as their demand drops, the prices have naturally gone down as well.
3. You mentioned people being worried about others as well when using this oil. Could you elaborate on that, please. 
People in general are worried about their own consumption of bad oil, but food vendors are more worried than others. They worry that cooking food with bad oil could harm their customers, which would then hurt their business. In the case of merchants who sell apparel or other goods, they can somehow convince the customers that they were merely passed on the (bad) goods. However, it is different for food vendors who directly make the very goods that they sell. So it would be harder to win back trust from customers once a problem arises. Food vendors avoid purchasing oil for this reason, and this has naturally led to the fall in prices of Chinese oil. 
4. You also mentioned earlier that the price of school uniforms has dropped. The new semester started in April in North Korea, correct? Has the price of school uniforms dropped because the semester is now underway? 
No. The drop in the price of school uniforms and the start of a new semester have no correlation. Last fall, North Korea introduced new uniforms for middle school and university students nationwide, and all students now need to wear these new uniforms from this semester. The previous uniforms have now become outdated, which is why their prices are on the downward trend. 
Old uniforms used to be quite popular that even second-hand ones still sold well. But nobody buys them anymore. Merchants are trying to make at least a paltry sum of money off of the uniforms by selling them at prices below the original cost. However, even these attempts have failed to draw in customers, causing a lot of concern for the merchants. 
Some complain that all of this trouble is ultimately because of the new uniforms. Unlike other clothing, North Korean uniforms are very particular in the sense that they’re hard to wear in any other capacity. The color is blue, so even if vendors want to sell them as regular pants for women, the color doesn’t work well, and the upper garments are even worse, so no one will buy them. 
5. I can see why the vendors would be unhappy. How about some of the other goods? If you could tell us what’s causing their prices to drop? 
Sure. As I mentioned earlier, the price of eggs and spring vegetables have also dropped. Most of the spring vegetables planted last year such as spinach will be edible past April 15th, and people will also start seeing wild greens growing on hillsides nearby. As a result, the prices for vegetables such as cabbages and cucumbers, which were extremely expensive in February and March, are starting to gradually decline. 
But sources say, there are a lot of vendors who run restaurants in the marketplace or individually and they consume a large portion of vegetables. Also, it will still be a while until full heads of cabbage and cucumbers hit the markets, so they say prices probably won’t go down any further.
In Hyesan City in Yangkang Province, cabbage is said to be going for roughly 2,200 KPW per kilogram, and that’s a significant 800 KPW dip from the recent price of 3,000 KPW. 
6. So these were some of the reasons behind the sliding prices of some goods. How about the price of eggs? 
Winter is when chickens are least likely to lay eggs. I actually used to raise chickens in North Korea, and when you hit mid-April or so they sometimes lay eggs every day. They start wandering out in the spring and eating things from nature, so unlike when they’re given feed at home, they start producing eggs each day. You can then understand what would happen to the price of eggs. 
If more eggs are selling in the markets, naturally, the price of eggs drops. People who come from farming communities with large quantities of eggs, sell them for very cheap prices. This is because everyone knows the prices will dip during spring. Also, unlike in the winter, it’s hard to keep the eggs fresh for a long time, so vendors are more eager to sell their eggs quickly while they’re good. That weighs in as another factor. 
7. Does any of this have to do with the stability in rice prices these days? 
Yes, that’s right. Many defectors will tell you that most prices are determined by the cost of rice. When the price of rice goes up, so will other prices. 
Currently, the price of rice in most markets is holding at 4,000 KPW per kilogram. If the price of rice goes up from here, the fastest to follow will be beer or other types of alcohol, and then potatoes and bean prices will follow. 
If the price of rice remains stable in the market, it will also help maintain levels for other goods, so I hope things at least stay as they are so they don’t make things more difficult for people going through the hungry season of spring (that comes after people consume most of their food stored for the winter).

Rice import depends on the results of harvest evaluation

Friday, 08 May 2015, 17:59 WIB
ROL/Casilda Amilah
Rachmat Gobel (Kanan)
REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Ministry of Trade Rachmat Gobel affirmed that the decision for opening the rice import permit will be considered after the results of evaluation of rice stock are reported. Gobel admitted that he was still waiting for a report on the evaluation stocks of rice after the harvest of the Ministry of Agriculture.“So, related with import or not, we are waiting evaluation results of ricestock condition. Yes, now, Mr. Minister of Agriculture has not yet reported it. We should know soon,” said Gobel after met Vice President Jusuf Kalla in Jakarta, on Friday, May 8.He explained the import was the last alternative to fulfil the needs of domestic rice.

He also called the current absorption of rice farmers conducted by Bulog is currently lacking. Thus, this condition could also affect the high price of rice in the market. Meanwhile, Vice President Jusuf Kalla affirmed that rice import will do if rice production in domestic could not suffice the national reserves.“It means, the prices are higher than the government’s prices so the national reserves to facing Ramadan are less, then it opens the possibility to be able to add to the national reserve of imports,” explained Kalla.

Nevertheless, the steps of rice import permit will be considered after the calculation of the rice harvest season is finished, which is around May or June. So the government could calculate whether rice production could meet the national reserve.“So if after this harvest the national reserve is still less, we will see this next 1 -2 months. But, the harvest just until May, to see the results then considered if the national reserves are below 2 million tons. It will be considered,” he added.However, VP affirmed that the best steps to fulfil the needs of domestic rice are increasing the production. Though, he explained, domestic productions are influenced by some factors like weather condition and seeds. He continued that extent permitted about opening of the riceimport opportunity is also taken to anticipate the entry of the holy month of Ramadan.

Tap for rice imports always open: VP Kalla

 Antara | Friday, 8 May 2015 18:56

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The tap for rice imports is always open, especially when we have to deal with a shortage of the commodity, Vice President M. Jusuf Kalla said. "The tap is always open, in case our production does not meet demand and it is required to make up for the deficit," he stated in his office here on Friday. Citing an example, he pointed out that in case there is shortage of rice during the Islamic fasting month in June, it is possible that the country will import rice to meet the requirement. However, the vice president added that the government had yet to study the agricultural reports collected from the fields. "We will wait and see until after the end of May because a grand harvest usually lasts until May," he affirmed. After the grand harvest, we will find out whether there is a shortage in national stock and whether imports will be needed, Kalla noted.

A researcher from the Trade Policy Development and Study Agency of the Ministry of Trade, Miftah Farid is of the opinion that rice imports will not be necessary if national production increased even minimally by 5 percent from the current total production and domestic absorption by logistics company Perum Bulog reached 8 percent of the total production hike. "It (stoppage of imports) will happen when production rises by 5 percent and absorption by Bulog reaches 8 percent," he remarked here on Wednesday. According to Farid, analyses found that when production increases, imports drop, but to achieve zero imports, production must increase by a minimum of 5 percent.
 This 5 percent hike was calculated based on the total production in 2014, when the yield of dried unhulled rice reached 70.83 million tons, which was equal to 44.43 million tons of rice. The hike comes to some 3.54 million tons of unhulled rice, which is 2.22 million tons of rice, Farid said. Based on these calculations, production in 2015 must reach 78.34 million tons of unhulled rice, or 46.62 million tons of rice. According to the target set by the Agriculture Ministry, total output in 2015 is expected to increase by 3.84 million tons, with the production of total unhulled rice reaching 73.40 million tons, equal to 46.14 million tons of rice. (Reporting by Muhammad Razi Rahman/Uu.H-YH/INE/R-BSR/F001)

Low paddy price irks Sherpur farmers


Paddy farmers in the district have started harvesting the Boro crop, but its price remains very low at the growers' level.One maund of Boro paddy is selling at Tk 300 -Tk 420 at the growers' level, and between Tk 400 - Tk 600 at the local markets in the district, though the production cost this season is estimated to be around Tk 800.Although the government declared it would begin paddy procurement from May 1-- offering Tk 32 per kg for rice and Tk 22 per kg for paddy -- it has failed to create an impact on the paddy price in the district.Dulal Mian, a farmer of Bhatshala village in Sadar upazila, said he is selling paddy at Tk 400 per maund, whereas the wage for each of the day labourers who have been hired for harvesting the paddy is Tk 500.

"I've spent about Tk 32,000 for growing paddy on one acre of land, and harvested about 70 maunds of paddy that is selling at Tk 400 per maund. Though the production is good, it is causing me a huge loss," he said.According to officials at the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), as more lands in the district were brought under Boro cultivation this season compared to the previous season, the output is also going to exceed the target of 3.55 lakh tonnes.DAE deputy director Dr Md Abdus Salam said the price of paddy at the growers' level is low, but is expected to increase with the start of the government's procurement drive in the district.Farmers, however, expressed their doubt over the prospect of increase in the paddy price with the initiation of the procurement drive because the government will collect the rice and paddy from the traders, not from the farmers.

Zero import tariff hits rice growers below the belt


The New Nation (Bangladesh)
Dhaka, May 8 -- The farmers are not getting production cost after a bumper paddy yielding in Boro season as the zero tariff imported rice hover three times higher than previous years. The current market price of paddy is between Tk 420 and 470 per maund while the average production cost was around Tk 800 as per the government's assessment.According to the Food Directorate, though the price of rice has fallen by 6 per cent in the whole sale market, there is no impact of it in the retail level. A group of middlemen are making excessive profit from retail markets, the consumers alleged.

During the last fiscal year, a total of 3.74 lakh tonnes of rice was imported.But in the current fiscal 12.91 lakh tonnes rice already beenimport till April 20, according data of the Ministry of Food.Meanwhile, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has said that yielding Boro this season reached all time high due to good weather and decrease of fertilizer price. Around 47.8 lakh hectars of land were brought under Boro cultivation from where an estimated production target of paddy is about 1.89 crore tonnes, sources in the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) said.

The rice traders are not purchasing paddy for the rice mills as the cost of imported rice is lower than local rice. Imported rate of rice stood at Tk25 to 30 per kg while local rice at Tk31 to 32. As a result, about 15 thousand rice mills out of 18 thousand remained shut though the Boro harvesting period is almost over, said Niroth Chandra Saha, President of Nator Rice Owners Association.Bangladesh Bank data shows that rice imports have registered a phenomenal increase, though the government had contemplated riceexports last year because of inadequate storage space.Bangladesh saw a bumper paddy harvest last year and the export plan was considered as a means of ensuring fair price to marginal farmers and dealing with the storage crisis.

The trend of opening Letters of Credit (LCs) to importrice in the first seven months (July to January) of the current fiscal (2014-2015) was up 1000 per cent compared to the same period in FY 2013-14.Dr Mahbub Hossain, former Executive Director of BRAC, said the price of fertilizer decreased by 30 per cent. Besides, favourable weather and increasing irrigation facility the country reached a new height in rice production.The government should curb rice import to encourage local paddy grower, he said.A senior official of the Ministry of Food, on condition of anonymity, told this reporter that there is no plan to halt rice import. But the government is considering a proposal to impose 10 per cent tariff on rice import.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from The New Nation. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor

Imported rice by Indians due to expire
A prosecution witness in the case involving two Indian businessmen and a revenue officer, said the imported bags of rice in the matter were released without appropriate payment because the officer claimed they were due to expire. Mr Apana Adadzina, Chief Collecting Officer of the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority, said when Kate Kai-Kotey Laryea, the Revenue Officer was queried, she said “l released the bags of rice for them to pay back later”.Mentouf Khan, the importer and Kate Kai-Kotey Laryea were in court for various offences.
The prosecution witness told the court that when the information got to his attention, he raised a demand notice to the accused persons to pay within 30-days.“Out of an amount of GH? 526,000.00, they only paid GH? 50,000.00 and since then all efforts to retrieve the rest has proved futile,” he said.Mr Adadzina said initially, the accused persons were not in agreement with the 30-days saying it was too short a time and brought their own terms of payment but this was rejected.
Mentouf was said to have removed 30,074 bags of rice from a customs bonded warehouse, without payment of the appropriate duties and corrupted a public officer in respect of her duties by paying her an amount of GH¢500.00 to influence her conduct.Kate was also said to have abetted Mentouf and one other, Murtaza Khan to take un-entered goods from a customs bonded warehouse, falsified customs bonded warehouse register and collected various sums of monies from Mentouf.They both pleaded not guilty to the charges, before the court presided over by Mr Francis Obiri.Mentouf was granted bail in the sum of GH¢750,000.00 with three sureties, one to be justified, and one to be a public servant with a net salary of GH¢1,500.00.Kate was also granted bail in the sum of GH¢20,000.00 with three sureties, one to be justified.The case was adjourned to May 8.
China must overhaul farm support policy, says think-tank
China must abandon its policy of paying high prices to farmers for grains if it is to create a sustainable farm sector, said the director of Washington-based think-tank the International Food Policy Research Institute.By: Dominique Patton, Reuters
A farmer plants paddy on a terrace field in Suichuan county, Jiangxi province May 20, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIJING -- China must abandon its policy of paying high prices to farmers for grains if it is to create a sustainable farm sector, said the director of Washington-based think-tank the International Food Policy Research Institute.The world's top producer of wheat and rice, and second biggest corn grower, buys domestic grain at prices far above the world market for state stocks.The policy, aimed at supporting farmers and ensuring self-sufficiency in key grains, has led to a huge financial burden on the country and warehouses overflowing with surplus grain. Corn stocks are currently estimated at more than 80 percent of annual domestic consumption.
"China is in a trap right now. On the one hand, it purchases agricultural products from farmers at a very high price, but in meantime it cannot sell to the market [at such high prices] so all the purchases go into stocks, and that's very costly," said Fan Shenggen, IFPRI director general, in an interview.Beijing has recently abandoned its stockpiling system for cotton and soybeans, replacing it with a direct subsidy for farmers based on their output. Fan, whose institute works closely with Chinese government advisors, said the new system was also "a mistake"."Many countries use a similar approach but in the long run it is not sustainable," he told Reuters.China should gradually shift from a subsidy system to offering income support and helping farmers expand their scale or exit the sector, he said.
Fan said there is growing recognition at high levels that China's farm policy needs to change, with a new emphasis on achieving security in staple foods, rather than a rigid focus on self-sufficiency in all major crops.The change in thinking is set to be integrated into China's new five-year plan for 2016-2020, which is currently being drafted, he said.Fan also warned that attempts to make Chinese agriculture more environmentally sustainable may be undermined by the lack of co-ordination between ministries.Increasing grain output in recent years has been at the cost of the environment, with excessive pumping of groundwater for farms exacerbating water shortages and overuse of fertilizers causing severe pollution.Fertilizer prices and water fees will need to increase to remedy such problems, Fan said.
Tags: livestock, crops, agribusiness, updates
Genetic architecture of variation in heading date among Asian rice accessions
Heading date, a crucial factor determining regional and seasonal adaptation in rice (Oryza sativa L.), has been a major selection target in breeding programs. Although considerable progress has been made in our understanding of the molecular regulation of heading date in rice during last two decades, the previously isolated genes and identified quantitative trait loci (QTLs) cannot fully explain the natural variation for heading date in diverse rice accessions. Results: To genetically dissect naturally occurring variation in rice heading date, we collected QTLs in advanced-backcross populations derived from multiple crosses of the japonica rice accession Koshihikari (as a common parental line) with 11 diverse rice accessions (5 indica, 3 aus, and 3 japonica) that originate from various regions of Asia.
QTL analyses of over 14,000 backcrossed individuals revealed 255 QTLs distributed widely across the rice genome. Among the detected QTLs, 128 QTLs corresponded to genomic positions of heading date genes identified by previous studies, such as Hd1, Hd6, Hd3a, Ghd7, DTH8, and RFT1.The other 127 QTLs were detected in different chromosomal regions than heading date genes. Conclusions: Our results indicate that advanced-backcross progeny allowed us to detect and confirm QTLs with relatively small additive effects, and the natural variation in rice heading date could result from combinations of large- and small-effect QTLs. We also found differences in the genetic architecture of heading date (flowering time) among maize, Arabidopsis, and rice.
Author: Kiyosumi HoriYasunori NonoueNozomi OnoTaeko ShibayaKaworu EbanaKazuki MatsubaraEri Ogiso-TanakaTakanari TanabataKazuhiko SugimotoFumio Taguchi-ShiobaraJun-ichi YonemaruRitsuko MizobuchiYusaku UgaAtsunori FukudaTadamasa UedaShin-ichi YamamotoUtako

Punjab govt issues advisory to farmers on paddy sowing

Niti PTI BotStates AUTHOR: NITI PTI BOT - MAY 7, 2015
Chandigarh, May 7 (PTI) Punjab Government today issued advisory for farmers in the state and asked them not to go for early paddy sowing before June 15.  "A strict instructions in this regard have been issued to all authority concerned to ensure the strict compliance of advisory with necessary directions to all field officers across the state," an official spokesman said here.  Punjab government had passed the 'Punjab Preservation of Sub-Soil Water Act' in 2009 under which for the first time, the date of transplantation of paddy was fixed as June 10 with a view to saving natural resource of water in the State. 

Pertinently, the Punjab Government has advised the farmers of the state not to go early sowing of paddy before June 15, 2015.  Early sowing of paddy will not only put extra pressure on soil but also would lead to consuming of too much of water as the experts have already predicts to deficit of rain during this year, he said. He said that in case a farmer sows it before the prescribed period, he would be liable to pay expenses for uprooting plants incurred by the agriculture department.  He said that the researchers of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) had proved that if paddy was grown after June 15, it would help in raising the water level.

Import of Indian rice affects local production

700 of 850 rice mills in Pabna halt operation

A number of rice mills, like these ones at Joynagar village in Ishwardi upazila under Pabna district, have remained closed for the last couple of months as demand for the locally produced rice has fallen due to large-scale import of cheap Indian rice. Photo: Star
Commercial husking in the famous rice producing district sees drastic fall for the last couple of months amid large-scale import of cheap Indian rice. “Over 700 of the 850 rice mills in the district have already suspended production due to poor sale of local rice. More than 10,000 workers have become jobless due to the situation,” said Idris Ali Biswas, president of Pabna rice millers association. “During the first three months of this year, BNP-led 20 party's non-stop blockade hampered rice production.

Now relief from the blockade fails to make us happy as import of cheap Indian rice continues,” he said.Each 50-kg bag of imported Indian rice is selling for Tk 1500 to Tk 1700 while one has to pay Tk 1750 to 2000 for the same variety of local rice, stakeholders said, adding that at retail level, imported coarse rice and similar local variety are selling at Tk 28-29 and Tk 35-36 per kg respectively.“I kept my two mills closed from last February due to the poor sale of local rice. Still I have to pay Tk 50 thousand per month as rent for two mills.

Besides, I am spending Tk 40 to 50 thousand as labour payment and electric bills. To recover the loss, I am now using the rice mills for corn processing to sell it as poultry feed,” said Anwar Hossain Nantu, a rice miller of Joynagar village in Ishwardi upazila. The upazila alone has 650 rice mills, over 500 of which are now out of production due to poor demand of local rice, said Fazlur Rahman Malitha, president of Ishwardi Rice Producers' Association.Rice millers have appealed to the government to stop importing Indian rice to save commercial rice production industry in the district.
Impeach former Thai officials over rice deals, says NACC 
BY EDITOR ON       2015-05-08 THAILAND
Impeach former officials over rice deals, says NACC
Kris Bhromsuthi
The Nation
Anti-graft agency says the evidence against the trio is overwhelming
BANGKOK: — THE ANTI-GRAFT agency yesterday urged the National Legislative Assembly to impeach three former government officials under the Pheu Thai administration, saying that they could not prove the Chinese state enterprises involved in a supposed government-to-government rice contract represented the central Chinese government.National Anti-Corruption Commission member Vicha Mahakhun told NLA members that only state enterprises officially recognised as a delegation representing the Chinese government could engage in a G2G programme with the Thai government.
The three accused former officials are former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom, former deputy commerce minister Poom Sarapol and the ex-director of the Commerce Ministry’s Foreign Trade Department, Manus Soiploy.The two former ministers yesterday attended the NLA meeting to deliver their closing speeches. Manus did not show up but produced his closing speech in writing.The NLA is set to vote on whether to impeach the accused today.Vicha alleged that the Chinese state enterprises in question – Guangdong Stationery & Sporting Goods Import & Export Corp and the Hainan Grain and Oil Industrial Trading – had not received official authorisation from the Chinese central government to engage in a G2G deal with the Thai government.
He alleged that the claim there was a G2G deal was a deception created by the three accused ex-officials.Vicha alleged that bogus G2G deals were part of a plan that enabled a network of companies “network of alliance business firms” to make a huge amount of money while doing severe damage to the country’s economy and the state budget.He said one warehouse rice transaction involving China showed no G2G programme with that country but instead stated that the rice was sold at a “friendly price” to a Thai distributor.He alleged that the distributor consisted of an alliance of firms belonging to members of the Pheu Thai Party and the transaction resulted in a huge profit.The bogus G2G programme was approved, administrated and regulated by the accused ex-officials, he alleged, and as such they should take full responsibility for it and be impeached and barred from holding public office for five years.
But Boonsong insisted that it was a real programme because both Chinese companies were state enterprise and as such had officially represented the Chinese government.He said there had been no public deception and he accused the NACC of refusing to interrogate the two Chinese state enterprises, which indicated prejudice against him and his political faction.“Everyone wants to see justice but the NACC is deliberately trying to picture us as corrupt,” he said. “This has created a lot of embarrassment for me and my family.“Such an accusation indicates bias, prejudice and resentment towards myself.

“Again, I would like to deny all the accusations and wrongdoings.”Poom said he still believed that engaging the two Chinese state enterprises was the best course of action for this country at the time as high stockpiles of rice were rotting.He said the process was normal practice and had been conducted for a very long time by the same civil servants who had expertly carried out the task for many governments.


Food & Nutrition Bloggers Inspire 1.4 Million to Think Rice          
This Mujadara dish will have you thinking rice at dinner tonight!
ARLINGTON, VA - Today, USA Rice announced the winners of the "Think Rice for National Nutrition Month" recipe challenge for food and nutrition bloggers. USA Rice launched the contest with Recipe Redux, a monthly recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians and open to a network of nutrition enthusiasts who are reinventing the idea of healthy eating with a taste-first approach.Participants were required to create an original recipe using U.S.-grown rice and feature their recipe in a blog post with information about why their readers should Think Rice for National Nutrition Month and all year long.
Fifty bloggers participated in the challenge with a combined blog reach of more than 600,000 unique visitors per month and an additional 870,000 monthly impressions from Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest posts.    "Recipe Redux enabled us to engage with influential food and nutrition bloggers, get them cooking with U.S. rice, and educate them on important U.S.-grown rice messages that they in turn share with their readers," said Katie Maher, manager of domestic promotion programs. "We also now own fifty new, on-trend recipes and with beautiful accompanying photography to add to our database and use throughout our programs."
 The Grand Prize winner will receive a $1,000 American Express gift card and an Aroma rice cooker; and two Runners-Up will each receive a $250 American Express gift card and an Aroma rice cooker. Below are the winning recipes:
Grand Prize: Mujadara with Harissa Tomato Sauce, Parsley Pesto & Lemon Tahini Sauce
Runner-Up: Rice Frittata with Caramelized Tomatoes, Asparagus & Smoked Gouda
Runner-Up: Blueberry Rice Milk "Kiribath"
"I wanted to highlight rice's versatility in regards to different cuisines," said Grand Prize winner and registered dietitian, Rachael Hartley. "It is one of the most widely consumed foods in the world! Think sushi in Japan, arroz con pollo in South America, risotto in Italy, biryani in India, congee in China, gallo pinto in Central America, paella in get the, I came up with this gussied up version of mujadara, a traditional Middle Eastern dish of lentils cooked with brown rice, topped with caramelized onion. It's an incredibly simple dish.
""Selecting just three winners was a really tough decision because all of the entries were so creative and we were impressed with the representation of rice types included brown, U.S. basmati, U.S. black japonica, and wild, to name just a few," said Maher.  Maher said another value of the contest and publicity surrounding it is that it helps raise general awareness about U.S.-grown rice and its versatility."Consumers are always looking for new recipes, and we know from our research that they are often unaware of authentic ethnic varieties grown right here in the U.S. This contest helps us spread the word," she added.

Contact: Colleen Klemczewski (703) 236-1446

CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures   

CME Group (Prelim):  Closing Rough Rice Futures for May 8
Net Change

May 2015
+ $0.040
July 2015
+ $0.045
September 2015
  +  $0.040    
November 2015
  + $0.040    
January 2016
+ $0.040
March 2016
+ $0.055
May 2016
+ $0.055

New Market Research Report: Dried Processed Food in Cameroon

Recently published research from Euromonitor International, "Dried Processed Food in Cameroon", is now available at Fast Market Research
Rice is undoubtedly the number one food item within many households in Cameroon. An increasing population coupled with its relatively cheap price are just two of the key reasons why rice is a very popular food item and why it will likely continue to be one both in the short and long term. New varieties have also emerged as well like basmati rice from Asia Pacific for middle-to-high-income consumers.

 Euromonitor International's Dried Processed Food in Cameroon report offers a comprehensive guide to the size and shape of the market at a national level. It provides the latest retail sales data 2010-2014, allowing you to identify the sectors driving growth. It identifies the leading companies, the leading brands and offers strategic analysis of key factors influencing the market - be they new product developments, distribution or pricing issues. Forecasts to 2019 illustrate how the market is set to change. 

Product coverage:Dehydrated Soup, Dessert Mixes, Dried Pasta, Dried Ready Meals, Instant Noodles, Instant Soup, Plain Noodles, Rice. 

Full Report Details at 

Data coverage:market sizes (historic and forecasts), company shares, brand shares and distribution data. 

Reasons to Get this Report 

* Get a detailed picture of the Dried Processed Food market; 
* Pinpoint growth sectors and identify factors driving change; 
* Understand the competitive environment, the market's major players and leading brands; 
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Euromonitor International has over 40 years' experience of publishing market research reports, business reference books and online information systems. With offices in London, Chicago, Singapore, Shanghai, Vilnius, Dubai, Cape Town, Santiago, Sydney, Tokyo and Bangalore and a network of over 800 analysts worldwide, Euromonitor International has a unique capability to develop reliable information resources to help drive informed strategic planning. 

About Fast Market Research 

Fast Market Research is a leading distributor of market research and business information. Representing the world's top research publishers and analysts, we provide quick and easy access to the best competitive intelligence available. Our unbiased, expert staff is always available to help you find the right research to fit your requirements and your budget. 

For more information about these or related research reports, please visit our website at or call us at 1.800.844.8156 (1.413.485.7001 Int'l) 

You may also be interested in these related reports: 
Buffalo meat exports exceed Basmati shipments in FY15
The exports of buffalo meat from the country have reached an all-time high and surpassed the Basmati rice shipments...
By: Sandip Das | New Delhi | May 7, 2015 11:34 pm
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Poor grain quality forces FCI to ditch storage policy
Govt cotton stock sales at 2-year high
The exports of buffalo meat from the country have reached an all-time high and surpassed the Basmati rice shipments in the last fiscal, as per provisional commerce ministry data.The buffalo meat exports grew by more than 10% to R29,282 crore in 2014-15, against the Basmati rice shipments of R27, 598 crore, which declined more than 5% from the previous year.Overall agricultural commodities exports from the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Exports Development Authority (Apeda) basket declined marginally by 4% to R1,30,458 crore during the last fiscal. However, the exports of non-Basmati rice has seen a sharp increase of more than 14% to R20,336 crore in last fiscal against the shipment of Rs 17,795 crore achieved in 2013-14. This has pushed the rice shipment from the country to R47,934 crore in 2014-15 from R47,086 crore achieved in the previous year.
Sources told FE that decline in Basmati exports, mainly attributed to Iran imposing ban on rice import from India, has been largely compensated by sharp rise in Buffalo meat shipment.However, there has been a sharp fall in realisation from guargum shipments to the US in the last fiscal. The guargum shipment, mostly used by the US-based oil exploration company, has declined sharply by close to 20% to R9,479 crore in 2014 – 15 against R11,735 crore shipment achieved in the previous year.
Officials said that concerted efforts to eliminate diseases such as rinderpest and foot and mouth disease among buffalo population have borne fruit with a sharp increase in exports of meat products from India in the last couple of years.Countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Egypt, Thailand and Saudi Arabia are the key export destinations for the buffalo meat products.The shipments of fresh fruits and vegetables have seen a decline of more than 14% to R7,759 crore in 2014-15 from R9,030 crore reported in the previous year. The exports of other commodities which witnessed increase include poultry products, groundnuts and cocoa products.

The commodities like wheat, pulses and dairy products saw a sharp fall in the last fiscal.Apeda monitors shipment of 22 commodities such as rice, wheat, buffalo meat, fruits and vegetables, pulses and other meat products.The authority has identified 20- odd clusters located across the country for sustaining growth in the country’s food products’ exports in the future.These clusters include Basmati rice (Haryana & Punjab), buffalo meat (western Uttar Pradesh), grape and grape wine (Nasik region, Maharashtra), pomegranate (Satara and Pune regions of Maharashtra), dehydrated onions and garlic (Gujarat), poultry or egg (Namakkal) and mango pulp (Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra).

Rice export title still proves elusive

Workers load rice on a truck in Ratchaburi province in June 2014. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Thailand is unlikely to regain its crown as the world's largest rice exporter this year due to the slower-than-expected global economic recovery and a dearth of positive factors.Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said Thailand was expected to ship only 8.5 million tonnes this year, well below the 10-11 million tonnes projected by the Commerce Ministry."From the private sector's perspective, barring a serious outbreak of drought in India or China, we don't anticipate a situation that could drive rice exports to leapfrogging growth," he said.In the first four months of this year, Thailand managed to export 2.4 million tonnes, a rise of 4% year-on-year.

But Mr Chookiat said rice shipments were expected to be inactive overall, particularly in the second and third quarters, due to the persistent global economic slowdown and lowered competitiveness of Thai rice.Thai rice is now quoted at US$390-395 a tonne, while Indian grains stand at $360-365 a tonne and Vietnamese at $355-360.Thailand lost its No.1 rice exporter status to India in 2012, while Vietnam rose to second place.Despite a late surge by Thailand, India held onto the title last year, selling 11.3 million tonnes globally compared with 10.8 million tonnes for Thailand."Thailand's rice shipments should experience difficulty from now on, given the low demand and high competition," Mr Chookiat said.

"India is expected to retain the title again this year, as Vietnam itself is having trouble with its cross-border trade with China."Chinese authorities have released more state rice stocks to local traders for domestic sale and tightened controls on unofficial rice imports from Vietnam through border checkpoints."As a result of these Chinese controls, Vietnam was able to export only 1.4 million tonnes in the first four months, a steep decline of 38% year-on-year.Mr Chookiat said pressure from the government's massive rice stocks would also act to keep Thai rice prices down.

Trend watch: spice up your life?

Daniel WoolfsonDaniel Woolfson , 08-May-20152015-05-08T00:00:00Z
Jerk chicken may be the public face of Caribbean food, but dig past it and you’ll find a diverse cooking style steeped in tradition… and smothered in spice.

Spice is on the rise. More and more customers are willing to push their culinary boundaries these days, searching for the next great taste. And whilst Caribbean cooking has been moderately popular in Britain already, it’s a culinary goldmine when it comes to unique and delectable recipes.Jerk chicken may be the public face of Caribbean food, but dig past it and you’ll find a diverse cooking style steeped in tradition… and smothered in spice.
Top tips
“Whilst Caribbean people like to season their food for a full flavour, they do not use fat and salt for this,” says Trinidadian chef Sabrina Zeif, founder of Kitchen Thyme UK. “They achieve great taste through adding spices and herbs.According to Zeif, some lesser known standout dishes include plantain with orange rum sauce; sliced plantain baked with syrup made from brown sugar, rum and orange rind then sprinkled with cinnamon, callaloo soup; containing crab or pig tail, okra, callaloo bush and coconut milk and geera pork; which is marinated in green seasoning and cooked with extra cumin and pepper.
She says: “For great tasting Caribbean dishes my biggest advice is: marinate and season meats before cooking –the longer the marinade time the better the taste.“I also encourage people not to be afraid of combining spices liberally. Everything must be fresh and in copious quantities. Remember, chilli peppers are added for flavour and not always hear. Finally, I would advise people to not hold back on flavour and when in doubt, add a splash of rum.”
During warmer months, the Scott Arms, Kingston, near Dorset, puts on outdoor Jamaican barbecue with its own dedicated menu.Some of the dishes on offer include roast whole bream with spring onion and thyme, Jamaican curry mutton, Ital vegetable curry with pumpkin, sweet potatoes, celery and greens and ackee and saltfish with plantain, micro herbs and lime oil.When the weather isn’t good enough to barbecue, the venue hosts regular Jamaican food evenings for customers.
Caribbean nights
At the Wildmoor Oak, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, head chef Lorenzo Richards puts on a Caribbean night the last Thursday every month.The nights run from 6pm to midnight and feature a two course, buffet-style menu, limbo competitions and dancing with Caribbean music.The site also offers a daily Caribbean menu which includes dishes such as pan fried salmon cooked down in Caribbean sauce with rice and peas, jerk chicken, pork or halloumi on a bed of lightly spiced onions and peppers and curried goat with basmati rice, salad and hardo bread.

Back and forth: A workshop participant tries their hand at whisking green tea.

Californian flavor conference explores green tea’s versatility

MAY 8, 2015
Making the perfect cup of matcha — the frothy green tea served during Japanese tea ceremonies — requires skill. The trick is to use a bamboo whisk to whip the brew swiftly with a smooth back-and-forth motion of the wrist.“Work quickly and keep whisking until the tea reaches the consistency of a meringue,” instructed master green tea blender Ryozo Taniguchi, speaking at a Japanese tea workshop that I moderated recently at the Culinary Institute of America in California’s Napa Valley. The session was part of the cooking school’s annual Worlds of Flavor conference that took place in late April and was focused on Asian cuisine.Taniguchi presented four kinds of tea — matcha, genmaicha (roasted brown rice tea), cold-brewed sencha (green tea) and ice-brewed tencha (a premium variety of green tea) — alongside desserts prepared by Tokyo chefs Shinobu Namae and Zaiyu Hasegawa.“Are we looking for soft peaks or hard peaks?” asked a bespectacled woman in the front row.Taniguchi thought for a moment before answering, “When you see white foam on the surface, you can stop.

”The whirring sound of whisking filled the room as the 34 participants concentrated on preparing their own matcha in large ceramic tea bowls. After a few seconds, Taniguchi invited the audience to sample the tea, which was paired with a chocolate bonbon made with blue cheese and cocoa powder from Shinobu Namae. The astringency of the green tea matched the bitterness of the chocolate and cut through the savory richness of the blue cheese.Green tea, the chef explained, could accompany Western-style dishes as well as Japanese cuisine.“There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to tea pairing,” Hasegawa said, as he presented a dessert of simmered kuromame (black soybeans) flavored with whisky, which was served with the refreshing sencha.

The final pairing combined the umami-dense tencha with an herb-scented mochi(pounded rice) cake made with kuzu (arrowroot) and wrapped in a bamboo leaf. In contrast to the French-accented sweets prepared by Namae, Hasegawa had chosen to make traditional Japanese confections with a modern twist in order to demonstrate green tea’s versatility.“We want to introduce the possibilities of various kinds of Japanese tea,” said Takeshi Niinami, president of beverage giant Suntory Holdings, Ltd., which sponsored the tea workshop and several other activities at the Worlds of Flavor event.

Although the company currently has no plans to bring new tea products into the North American market, Niinami said that Suntory hopes to expand in the future, musing that the drinks group could one day develop a line of Japanese teas to suit local tastes. The main reason for participating in the event, he said, was to deepen the understanding of Japanese food culture abroad.At the end of the green tea workshop, attendants were encouraged to take home their bamboo whisks, along with notes on how to steep the different varieties of tea.“I’m totally going to use this,” one guest declared, stopping to greet tea master Taniguchi.“Back and forth, not clockwise, right?” he asked, flicking his wrist in the air.Taniguchi just gave a nod and smiled.

Use of research enhances crop intensification - survey
Publish Date: May 08, 2015
 By Julius Odeke
 A socio-economic survey carried by Action for Sustainable Intensification for Cropping Systems in Uganda (PASIC) has shown that there is need for Uganda's farmers to use research so as to enhance crop intensification so as to be able to feed the growing population.The researchers who carried out the survey have therefore urged farmers and policy makers to use research work for evidence purposes in order to enhance crop intensification in the country.Speaking in his office at Makerere University, the senior researcher at the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC), Dr Swaibu Mbowa says, research helps experts to identify constraints that face individual farmers in their plot, at household levels, community, market, and at institutional policy levels.
He said PASIC, a project that operates in our country is here to generate evidence-based researches that will provide evidence of key characteristics and opportunities on crop intensification in Uganda, adding that, "PASIC works hand in hand with various partners like the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), EPRC, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).The PASIC project co-coordinator, Dr Pamela Pali says, "One of the main outcome indicators for crop intensification is productivity, defined as amount of the crop harvested per unit of land.In our case, we will look at the amount of kilograms farmers report to have harvested per acre.
Where we need to disaggregate along two factors:
Crop, which has two levels (rice and potatoes) and season, which also has two levels (first and second).
PASIC project was carried out a socio-economic survey in two regions, the South Western Highlands (Kabale, Kisoro and Kanungu) a zone for Irish potato production, and the Kyoga plains (Tororo, Bugiri and Butaleja) for rice production."In this study, we sought to determine the drivers of crop intensification, whether intensification improves production and productivity, and whether intensification affects well-being among the rice and Irish potato farmers," added Dr Pali.She said data collection was conducted using direct structured interviews with the farmers.A total of 902 farmers participated in this surveys. Purposive sampling strategy of including only potatoes and rice farmers was used initially after which and a random sample of 405 households in the Eastern region and 497 households in the Western region was generated.In total, 172, 103, and 130 farmers participated in the survey from Tororo, Butaleja, and Bugiri districts respectively.
From South Western Uganda, 257, 157 and 83 farmers from Kabale, Kisoro and Kanungu districts participated in the survey. In total, 71 enumeration areas were sampled.In a report, Crop Intensification in Rice and Potato Farming in Uganda:
Description of the Socio- Economic Data that was carried in December 2014, seen by a local newspaper jointly produced by PASIC, EPRC, MAAIF, IITA, and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) showed that in the West, parcels are relatively small, on average 0.6 acres, while they are on average 1.3 acres and this clearly already suggests much more land fragmentation in the West.While for rice, land is often rented-in. This suggests a higher degree of commercialization in the rice growing sector however most farmers do not have a written statement of their use rights.The report adds that, "Almost 50 percent of parcels in the East have used right restrictions, as opposed to only 16 percent of the parcels reported by potato farmers.
There is high market participation for both potatoes and rice, where 71 % of households report selling potato produce and 95 % of households report rice sales."In this, most of the sales, however, occur immediately after the harvest which is the worst possible time to obtain favorable prices for produce. This finding presents substantial scope for policy action.Dr Mbowa said, EPRC contributes a lot on policy studies, value chain analysis and development in the potato and rice sector by providing knowledge of the policy environment in the agricultural sector and in building capacity at MAAIF.
Meanwhile, at the same time, he added that the research centre expanding its ability to undertake rigorous evaluation of a number of interventions that involve all facets of the research work, but particularly on Socio-economic studies of Value chain studies, Institutional studies, Policy process studies, with the aim that its researchers will be leading many of these research activities by the end of the project."Our farmers need to know that they should not stop at producing these crops alone but should also ensure that they can add value addition to what they produce.  This is because they lose a lot in terms of finances once they don't add value addition to their products as consumers buy cheaply," Dr Mbowa said, adding that, "The output of these research works are made available to farmers so as to enhance their knowledge on crop production."
"The research that we collect helps to play an important role in the collective learning activities, being an active participant, while also ensuring that the evidence brought into these learning efforts is used in an appropriate manner," he added.Dr Mbowa said the background information on policy will be used to study and analyze policies that hinder crop intensification as partners involved that include; MAAIF will formulate policies after enabling evidence has been generated to foster collective learning.
The value chain has gone into many phases such as; it has built a required capacity at the Ministry, shared information with other partners, and it has had a capacity building training in February.In our value chain analysis, it has developed tools for data collection, pretested them, had an internal review of the tools from partners, finalized with the tools, and we are at the moment having an on-going training of enumerators on strengthening commodity value chain whereby in May, enumerators will be in the field to carry out research analysis in the two zones that include; eastern and western zones that comprise six districts in total.
The interesting part about the study is that it started with IFPRI doing social economic studies then IITA doing the agronomic studies and now EPRC will be doing the community survey inquiring from a number of farmers on behalf of the bigger part of the community.Dr Mbowa says Uganda's population is growing and yet the demand of food too, is increasing, adding that "The only way out for feeding the growing population is through crop intensification since land is limited and does not increase or expand,". he added.


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