Friday, July 24, 2015

23rd July (Thursday),2015 Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Nigeria spends N10tr on rice, sugar, wheat since 2005


Posted By: Frank Ikpefanon: July 23, 2015In: 
The Federal Government yesterday said the country has spent over N10 trillion on the importation of rice, sugar, wheat and fish since 2005.The government said the figure indicated that the country spends over N1 trillion year importing the food items.The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Sonny Echono, said  Nigeria’s food import bill is growing at an unsustainable rate of 11 per cent, while the country continued to rely on the importation of food from the global market.Echono spoke during a two-day workshop on Food Crisis Prevention and Management Charter held at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Abuja yesterday.

He added that import dependency was hurting Nigeria farmers, displacing local production and creating  unemployment.According to him, Nigeria’s unemployment rate is spiralling, driven by the wave of four million young people entering the workforce every year with only a small fraction able to find employment.“Nigeria became a net importer of food and major importer of wheat, rice, sugar and fish. Importation of these four commodities accounts for over N1trillion in foreign exchange every year since 2005. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) showed that Nigeria is the world’s largest importer of United States hard red and white winter wheat with an annual food import of N635billion.

“It is also the second largest importer of rice (N700billion last year), sugar (N217billion) and fish (N97billion). Nigeria’s food imports are growing at an unsustainable rate of 11 per cent per annum while relying on the import of expensive food on global markets fuels domestic inflation,” he said, lamenting that Nigeria  imports what it can produce in abundance.According to him,  import-dependency is hurting local  farmers, displacing local production and creating job loss.Echono, who was represented by the Director of Agriculture, Mr. Damilola Eniayeju, explained that Nigeria had vast arable land for cultivation, adding that this must be harnessed by stakeholders in order to effectively prevent food crisis and reduce import to its barest minimum.

He noted that the country has about 174 million people to feed daily as well as its neighbours, adding that it was time to start thinking of massive agricultural production for export.“Nigeria has huge agricultural potential, with over 84 million hectares of arable land, of which only 40 per cent is cultivated. A population of over 167 million making it Africa’s largest market; and 230 billion cubic meters of water, making it one of the richest sources for agricultural growth in the world.“Agriculture contributes to rural people’s livelihoods by providing them with food and income. In addition, agricultural exports have potential to contribute to the national economy through generating foreign exchange and improving the balance of payments.“The fact that the bread basket region–Northcentral part of Nigeria, has the lowest unemployment rate (nine per cent) in the country suggests that increasing investment in agricukture is a frontal attack on the unemployment challenge,” Echono added

http://thenationonlineng.net/nigeria-spends-n10tr-on-rice-sugar-wheat-since-2005/

 

Have Scientists Found A Way To Feed The World Without Warming The Planet?

 Description: http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/plugins/cap-byline/bird_blue_16.png JUL 23, 2015 2:50PMCREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK
Description: http://d35brb9zkkbdsd.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/shutterstock_113017732-1024x682.jpgAside from corn, rice might be the single most important staple crop on Earth. According to the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, more than 3.5 billion people around the world depend on rice for at least 20 percent of their daily caloric intake. But rice is also a major source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that’s more effective, at least in the short term, at trapping heat than carbon dioxide.
Now, scientists at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences think they’ve found a solution: a high-yielding, low-methane type of rice that can cut methane emissions from rice cultivation by up to 90 percent.To create the starchy, climate-friendly rice, the scientists transferred a single gene from barley to rice that stimulates the production of starch in grain and stems. According to the study, published this week in Nature, previous research has shown that rice plants with smaller root systems tended to expel less methane than plants with larger roots, and the scientists hoped that by emphasizing starch growth in the stems and grains, the rice plants would naturally grow smaller root systems.
Root systems in rice secrete the carbohydrates created by photosynthesis — when rice paddies are flooded, the oxygen-devoid environment provides the perfect breeding ground for methane-producing bacteria that feed on these carbohydrates. By reducing the size of the rice plants’ roots, the scientists hoped that they could curb the amount of methane produced in the fields.To test how the modified rice plants fared in the real world, the scientists planted the rice in two different fields in China, alongside conventional rice, which served as a benchmark. Over three years, they measured the methane emitted by the plants in the fall and summer, near the end of the growing season. They also took measurements of starch content in the plants’ stems, roots, and seeds.
They found the modified rice plants extremely effective at producing starch and curbing methane emissions. In the summer, when temperatures were highest, the modified rice cut methane emissions to 0.3 percent of conventional rice. On average, the modified rice produced less than 10 percent the methane of conventional rice, while providing 43 percent more grain per plant.In an essay in Nature that accompanied the study’s publication, Paul Bodelier, a researcher at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology who was not directly involved with the study, called the findings “a tremendous opportunity for more-sustainable rice cultivation,” but cautioned that large-scale trials are necessary before moving forward with full-scale commerical use.

Without more trials, Bodelier wrote, it’s difficult to know how the genetic modification impacts the rice cultivar’s long-term chances for survival. It’s also important to study how the plant’s root system impacts microbes in the soil — microbes that themselves contribute to the production and consumption of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane.In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Bruce Linquist, a plant scientist at the University of California at Davis, echoed Bodelier’s sentiment.
The research is too preliminary to know for sure how the genetic modification impacts methane production, Linquist said, and there is some concern that smaller root systems might impact the plants’ ability to take up nutrients.Even if further trials prove the efficacy of the modified rice, it faces huge hurdles in order to become commercially viable. Largely in response to public distrust of genetically modified foods, no genetically modified rice has ever been successfully used in commercial production. Golden rice — a genetically modified strain of rice that contains beta carotene to combat malnutrition in developing countries — was ready for full-scale use in 2002, but has faced staunch opposition that has kept it from market for over a decade.

Despite public distrust — a January poll conducted by Pew found that 57 percent of Americansthink genetically modified foods are generally unsafe to eat — nearly all scientific evidence suggests that genetically modified foods pose no threat to human health.There is some concern, however, about the environmental impact of genetically modified foods. Crops like Roundup-resistant soy or corn have led to a marked increase in the use of herbicides in the United States, though some studies have also shown that genetically modified crops have led to a decrease in the use of some pesticides. Since the low-methane strain of rice isn’t bred to be herbicide or pesticide resistant, this most likely won’t be an issue with this particular strain — though the way that its root-system interacts with microbes in the soil is something to watch.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/07/23/3683754/gmo-rice-climate-change/

SCIENTISTS WARN OF RISK OF ARSENIC IN RICE

THURSDAY, JULY 23, 2015
Scientists at Queens University in Belfast are warning of the risks of arsenic in rice, in particular for babies and young children.
Description: http://media.central.ie/media/images/b/BabyEatingFoodGeneric_large.jpg
They have found that using plenty of water during cooking can significantly cut the level of arsenic.Coffee percolators have been found to be particularly good for cooking rice.Inorganic arsenic is found in all types of rice, where its grown under flooded conditions which causes soil minerals, including arsenic, to be absorbed by the plant.A range of health problems including bladder and lung cancer can be caused by arsenic consumption.
Professor Andy Mehang of Queens University said that babies in particular can be at risk.
"There's more concern over young children," he said.He added: "Their exposure to arsenic from rice is three times higher than adults, so I'd be especially careful to avoid as much as possible a reliance on rice products for young children - and there are many of them out there.
http://www.carlow-nationalist.ie/2015/07/23/scientists-warn-of-risk-of-arsenic-in-rice/

Stuttgart Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center researchers working to fight rice blast

 

According to Dr. Yeshi Wamishe, Extension plant pathologist, along with Dr. Jarrod Hardke, Extension rice agronomist of the UA Cooperative Extension Service, blast has been reported in four counties in Arkansas (Desha, Prairie, Arkansas and Greene).

By Stuttgart Daily Leader Staff
Posted Jul. 23, 2015 at 4:22 PM 
As most rice farmers in Arkansas know, rice blast  is one of the most devastating rice diseases.According to Dr. Yeshi Wamishe, Extension plant pathologist, along with Dr. Jarrod Hardke, Extension rice agronomist of the UA Cooperative Extension Service, blast has been reported in four counties in Arkansas (Desha, Prairie, Arkansas and Greene). It has occurred in fields planted with Jupiter and CL 151 varieties. Last year, almost all rice-producing counties in Arkansas reported blast disease on several varieties, including Jupiter and CL 151. The extent of damage varied among the producers surveyed.
Because the blast pathogen is air, seed or residue-borne, it can easily move long distances and attack the leaves and seedheads of the rice plant. It can cause dramatic yield loss on susceptible rice varieties under certain conditions.The Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center (DBNRRC) has worked with university colleagues to develop new tools for producing blast resistant rice varieties.  Drs. Yulin Jia and David Gealy recently had these new findings published in the prestigious science journal, Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions. 
 Working with scientists from Washinton University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Arkansas Rice Research and Extension Center, they sought to understand the genetic basis of weed adaptation in rice to blast disease. The scientists evaluated the disease reactions of 60 U.S. weedy rice accessions with 14 blast races commonly found in Arkansas and southern U.S. rice production areas, and investigated the QTL’s (quantitative trait loci where rice genes contribute small effects) associated with blast resistance in two major ecotypes of U.S. weedy rice. They discovered that U.S. weedy rice had a broad resistance spectrum.   

Using a new genetic technique called genotyping by sequencing (GBS) with next gen DNA sequencing, they identified 28 resistance QTLs in two U.S. weedy rice groups.   When they compared with publically available databases, they found  the resistance genes at these resistance QTLs are novel, suggesting that U.S. weedy rice is a potential source of novel blast resistance genes for resistant breeding.According to Dr. Yulin Jia, “This is the first report to investigate the quantitative trait loci with resistance to rice blast in U.S. weedy red rice.
”These findings not only provided important insights into the molecular basis of the adaptive evolution of weeds, but also discovered a potentially important resistance resource for U.S. rice breeders.Five genetic loci with broad resistance spectra defined in weedy rice can be used to breed for durable resistance to blast pathogens. These newly identified blast resistance genes from weedy red rice can be readily used in combination with deployed major blast resistance genes to effectively prevent blast disease in Arkansas.  For more information, contact Jia at the DBNRRC.
http://www.stuttgartdailyleader.com/article/20150723/NEWS/150729782

GMO Rice Produces Higher Yields, Less Greenhouse Gases

By Jim Algar, Tech Times | July 23, 9:02 PM
Description: Rice

An alteration of a single gene produces a strain of rice that yields more grain but creates less methane, researchers say. The finding could bring more sustainable rice production to help feed the world, they say.

(Photo : Spencer Platt | Getty Images)
A new strain of GMO rice, with just a single altered gene, shows significant increases in yield per acre while reducing emission of methane, a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide.A single gene borrowed from barley has created the new strain that produces 43 percent more rice grain per plant while creating significantly less methane, researchers say.With more than half of the world's population consuming rice as a dietary stable, rice paddies around the world constitute one of the largest human-linked sources of methane, with a greenhouse gas effect 20 times that of carbon dioxide.

It is estimated global rice production puts between 25 million and 100 million metric tons of methane into the atmosphere each year.The researchers inserted a barley gene into the rice to cause it to store more carbon in the form of starch and sugar in its stems and grains, and less in its roots, they report in their study appearing in the journal Nature.In rice paddies, the plants' roots leak carbon into the soil, where it is converted into methane by microbes. With less carbon in the roots, there is less raw material for the microbes to work on, the researchers explain.In laboratory tests and field trials in China, methane emissions from the GMO rice were 0.3 percent compared with 10 percent produced by non-modified rice, they say.
"For three years of field trials it worked very well," says study senior author Chuanxin Sun of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.At the other end of the plants, the grain was starchier than conventional rice, increasing the food yield of the plants.The dual benefits — higher yield with lower methane emissions — suggest "a tremendous opportunity for more-sustainable rice cultivation," Paul Bodelier, a microbial ecologist at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, wrote in an essay accompanying the published Nature study.It could be the better part of 10 years before this new strain of rice is widely available, the researchers caution, as more testing and more extensive field trials need to take place first.
It will also take years to selectively breed the genetic modification into a new variety of rice in sufficient volume to begin sending it to farmers for planting and harvesting, they say."Right now, of course, it's a GMO issue, and we cannot deliver this variety directly to farmers," says Sun. "We have to use traditional breeding methods and breed the new, society-acceptable variety for farmers.
http://www.techtimes.com/articles/71475/20150723/gmo-rice-produces-higher-yields-less-greenhouse-gases.htm

Rice cooked in coffee maker can reduce arsenic intake

Rice has 10 times more arsenic than other foods because it is grown in flood plains.
By Stephen Feller   |   July 23, 2015 at 12:33 PM
Description: http://cdnph.upi.com/sv/b/i/UPI-4051437665024/2015/1/14376683883947/Rice-cooked-in-coffee-maker-can-reduce-arsenic-intake.jpgUp to 85 percent of arsenic in rice, absorbed from soil in floodplains, can be removed by cooking it in a coffee maker instead of boiling it in a pan. Photo by Mrs_ya/Shutterstock
BELFAST, Northern Ireland, July 23 (UPI) -- Researchers are suggesting people cook rice in a coffee maker instead of boiling it in a pan to reduce potentially harmful levels of arsenic in the food.Rice contains on average 10 times more arsenic than other foods because it is grown in flood plains. This causes inorganic arsenic to be released by soil minerals, which are then absorbed by the plant."This is a very significant breakthrough as this offers an immediate solution to decreasing inorganic arsenic in the diet," said Andy Meharg, a professor of Plant and Soil Sciences at Queen's Institute for Global Food Security, in a press release.Researchers sought a simple way to remove arsenic from rice by testing two types of percolating technology, one a normal store-bought coffee maker using tap water and the other using freshly hot distilled water recycled by condensing boiling-water steam.

Both methods removed up to 85 percent of arsenic depending on the type of rice. The steam method of percolating on average removed 59 percent of arsenic from white rice and 69 percent from whole grain rice. The store-bought filtration coffee maker removed and average of 49 percent of arsenic from samples of 6 white and 6 whole grain brands of coffee."We discovered that by using percolating technology, where cooking water is continually passed through rice in a constant flow, we could maximize removal of arsenic," Meharg said. "Chronic exposure to inorganic arsenic can cause a range of health problems including developmental problems, heart disease, diabetes and nervous system damage. However, most worrying are lung and bladder cancers."The researchers said that children and infants were of most concern for arsenic poisoning because they eat about 3 times as much rice as adults, and their organs are still developing.
http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2015/07/23/Rice-cooked-in-coffee-maker-can-reduce-arsenic-intake/4051437665024/

Rice Expo scheduled for Aug. 7 in Stuttgart


Posted: Thursday, July 23, 2015 9:06 am
By Mary Hightower U of A System Division of Agriculture 

Gov. Asa Hutchinson will deliver the keynote at this year’s Arkansas Rice Expo, set for Friday, Aug. 7, in Stuttgart.The half-day event opens at 8 a.m. at the Grand Prairie Center, 2709 U.S. 165 in Stuttgart. There is no cost to attend and the event ends with a catfish lunch. Field tours of research plots, food demonstrations and family fun are all part of the expo, a salute by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture to rice production in Arkansas.“Arkansas is America’s No. 1 rice state, growing more than half of the rice produced in the United States,” said Mark Cochran, head of the UA System’s Division of Agriculture.

“The Rice Expo is our opportunity to celebrate the successes of the farmers who make agriculture the state’s largest industry and share some of the exciting developments from our research and extension programs.“We also see the Rice Expo as our open house – an invitation for the community to meet our researchers and extension educators and see their work first-hand,” he said. “We are very pleased that Gov. Hutchinson will be our keynote speaker this year.”The governor is scheduled to speak at 11 a.m.Hutchinson is no stranger to the Arkansas Rice Expo, having attended the last two years.

Rice industry issues
This year’s event features breakout sessions that focus on issues looming large in the rice industry, including the implications of rice trade with Cuba, marketing rice and managing barnyardgrass.Expo-goers will get an up close and personal look at the work being done for the rice industry by Division researchers, who will be leading field tours.Event attendees with problems in the garden or landscape can take advantage of the plant disease clinic by bringing samples for diagnosis.There will also be a feral hog exhibit, food preservation clinic, equipment display and an update on crop application technologies.Staff from the Arkansas 4-H Youth Development program will be there with activities for youngsters.Don’t miss the cooking demonstrations and tastings, and see the finalists in the rice recipe contest and the creativity on display in the rice tabletop centerpiece competition.

http://mymonticellonews.net/news/article_0222825c-3144-11e5-86db-335bed00ccbe.html

PH may import more rice as El Nino worry persists

Reuters
Posted at 07/23/2015 4:20 PM | Updated as of 07/23/2015 6:24 PM
MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines, one of the world's biggest rice importers, could ship in more to boost buffer stocks and keep local prices stable because of an El Nino dry weather pattern now forecast to last until next year, potentially hurting the local harvest."The economic managers have indicated that they are reassessing the rice supply-demand conditions for the rest of the year (to see) if there is a need to do another importation," Zeno Ronald Abenoja, director at the Department of Economic Research of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, said on Thursday.The central bank is represented in the National Food Authority Council (NFA), which approves rice imports.Purchases this year have reached 750,000 tonnes - 550,000 tonnes from Vietnam and the rest from Thailand.
The NFA has permission from President Benigno Aquino to import an additional 250,000 tonnes if drought conditions worsen and hurt local rice production.Timely imports of the staple have prevented a repeat of last year's spike in rice prices caused by damage to supply chains from Super Typhoon Haiyan in late 2013. Food prices have a weighting of 39 percent in the consumer price index.Central bank Governor Amando Tetangco, in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, said he saw no need to alter monetary policy settings for now but cited the potential threat of an extended El Nino as one of the reasons to be careful.
Inflation is expected to inch up later in the year, after slowing to a two-decade low in June, due to the potential impact of the worsening dry spell and possible adjustments to electricity prices.Latest government data shows local rice prices have fallen around 5 percent from a year earlier. The expectation now is for the domestic harvest to be "lean" in the third quarter before rebounding in the final three months, Abenoja said.The Philippines' weather bureau forecasts a "moderate" El Nino that is likely to intensify and last until early next year.Private rice traders have also been given permission to import 805,200 tonnes of rice with a tariff of 35 percent, although so far they have applied to ship in only about 300,000 tonnes.
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/business/07/23/15/ph-looking-import-extra-rice-el-nino-intensifies


PHL world’s 8th biggest rice producer by 2016–World Bank

byMary Grace Padin - July 23, 2015
The Philippines will be the world’s eighth-largest rice producer by the end of 2016, according to the latest report released by the World Bank.In the report, titled Commodity Markets Outlook, the World Bank estimated that the Philippines is estimated to produce 12.4 million metric tons (MMT) of milled rice by the end of 2016. In 2015 the World Bank estimates that the country will produce some 11.9 MMT of milled rice.The world’s largest rice producer is China, which is estimated to produce 146 MMT by 2016 and 144.5 MMT of milled rice by 2015.“Global rice production is set to increase in 2015-2016 by 4 MMT [from last season’s 476 MMT] in response to better crops in Asian rice-producing countries, including China, India and Indonesia,” the report stated.

With the expected increase in production, the World Bank estimated that the country’s rice imports will decline to 1.3 MMT by the end of 2016 from the expected 1.7 MMT this year.This will make the country the world’s sixth-largest importer of the commodity by 2016. The largest importer of rice is also China which is expected to import some 4.7 MMT by 2016.The World Bank estimated that the Philippines’s rice stocks may reach 2.5 MMT by 2016. This is higher than the rice stocks this year, which is estimated at around 2.1 MMT.The report also bared the World Bank’s rice-price estimates, particularly for Thailand-sourced rice. Data showed that the prices are expected to escalate to $410 per metric ton (MT) by 2025 from $400 per MT in 2015.

“Agricultural prices fell 2.6 percent in the quarter, due to large declines in food commodities— especially edible oils and grains— on further improvements of supply conditions and despite some adverse weather in North America and El NiƱo fears.The World Bank expects agriculture prices to average 11 percent below 2014 levels this year, revised downward from 9 percent in April,” the World Bank said.Meanwhile, the World Bank increased its 2015 forecast for crude oil prices from $53 in April to $57 per barrel after oil prices rose 17 percent in the April to June quarter.

The World Bank reports that energy prices rose 12 percent in the quarter, with the surge in oil offset by declines in natural gas (down 13 percent) and coal prices (down 4 percent).However, the World Bank expects energy prices to average 39 percent below 2014 levels. Natural gas prices are projected to decline across all three main markets—the US, Europe  and Asia—and coal prices to fall 17 percent.Excluding energy, the World Bank reports a 2-percent decline in prices for the quarter, and forecasts that nonenergy prices will average 12 percent below 2014 levels this year.“Demand for crude oil was higher than expected in the second quarter. Despite the marginal increase in the price forecast for 2015, large inventories and rising output from Opec [Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries] members suggest prices will likely remain weak in the medium-term,” said John Baffes, senior economist and lead author of Commodity Markets Outlook.

http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/phl-worlds-8th-biggest-rice-producer-by-2016-world-bank/

Japan may allow import of less than 100,000 tons rice under TPP

The Yomiuri Shimbun/Asia News NetworkThursday, Jul 23, 2015
Description: Description: http://business.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/styles/article-image/public/2015/07/23/20150723_Akira_Reuters.jpg
TPP minister Akira Amari aims to reach agreements with his US and Australian counterparts in separate talks later this month. Photo: Reuters
The government considers allowing less than 100,000 tons of rice to be imported from the United States and Australia under the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, it has been learned.Under Japan's planned tariff-free import quota for rice as a staple food, the amount for the United States could be increased to 70,000-80,000 tons, while Australia would be granted about one-tenth of the US amount, according to sources.TPP minister Akira Amari aims to reach agreements with his US and Australian counterparts in separate talks later this month, the sources said.
http://business.asiaone.com/news/japan-may-allow-import-less-100000-tons-rice-under-tpp


Govt. allocates Rs.6,000 Mn for Yala season paddy purchases

Published inLatest - Defence
The government has allocated 6,000 million rupees to purchase paddy for Yala Season, the Cabinet Spokesperson Rajitha Senarathne said at the Cabinet Press briefing held today at the Government Information Department.He said the Cabinet has granted approval to release a loan of Rs.6,000 million to the Paddy Marketing Board for these purchases. The Bank of Ceylon will provide 4,000 million rupees and the people's bank the balance Rs.2,000 rupees to meet this requirement. It is expected to purchase 120,000 M/T of paddy from all districts in the country. The Sub committee on paddy purchase which was appointed by the Cabinet  has met on Wednesday(22) to discuss the modalities of the process and to adhere new purchasing methods in order to implement the process effectively.

Govt. allocates Rs.6,000 Mn for Yala season paddy purchases


Published inLatest - Defence
The government has allocated 6,000 million rupees to purchase paddy for Yala Season, the Cabinet Spokesperson Rajitha Senarathne said at the Cabinet Press briefing held today at the Government Information Department.He said the Cabinet has granted approval to release a loan of Rs.6,000 million to the Paddy Marketing Board for these purchases. The Bank of Ceylon will provide 4,000 million rupees and the people's bank the balance Rs.2,000 rupees to meet this requirement. It is expected to purchase 120,000 M/T of paddy from all districts in the country.The Sub committee on paddy purchase which was appointed by the Cabinet  has met on Wednesday(22) to discuss the modalities of the process and to adhere new purchasing methods in order to implement the process effectively.

Thai government told to 'cut water use'

ALL STATE agencies have been told to cut water use by 10 per cent while people in the country, businesses and the industrial sector have also been urged to save and reduce water usage during this severe drought period.Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha issued the instructions while presiding over the first National Water Resource Committee meeting at Government House yesterday.

The committee was given strategies on water resource management to increase water access nationwide and to tackle drought and flood issues in the long term."There are 12 projects aimed at solving shortage for every kind of water use.The agriculture sector will get maximum water share, followed by water for sustaining the ecology, for domestic use and for industrial use," Prayut explained.The 12 projects would prioritise increased tap water accessibility and focus on preventing drought and flood in the long term.According to the plan, a total of 7,490 villages would have access to piped water by 2021.The irrigation area will increase to 8.7 million rai in 2026 because of more ponds and artesian wells to supply water for farmlands.

The total water available for agriculture in 2026 will rise to 7,842 million cubic metres, up sharply from the present 2,074 million cubic metres.It is estimated that the overall expense on the projects until 2016 would be up to Bt80 billion.Prayut insisted that the government was looking after every sector and emphasised that everyone should use the water within their quota."If everyone doesn't use water responsibly, there will surely be a water shortage for all sectors because all activities share the same water source," he warned.Water Resources Department director Jatuporn Buruspat said to save water and be a role model for others, Prayut had ordered government agencies to cut water use by 10 per cent from the current 19 per cent of tap-water share.

Jatuporn said that while domestic, business and industrial water consumers were not ordered to reduce water usage, the government would urge them to voluntarily save water.Regarding the agricultural sector the biggest consumer of water he said Prayut had told the Agriculture Department to encourage farmers to grow plants that needed less water and to re-zone agricultural land use.He said long-term solutions included considering ways to draw water from international rivers to Thailand; finding ways to use water at the bottom of dams; construction of pipes to send raw water for domestic use in the capital directly from the northern region's water source."Those plans are for the future, which still require further feasibility studies of possible impacts, and negotiation with all stakeholders," he added.

Meanwhile, HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn has granted 5,000 packs of drinking water to drought-affected residents in Pathum Thani's Thanyaburi, Lam Lukka and Nong Seu districts, a senior official at the Princess' Personal Affairs Division, Pradith Arnpothong, said yesterday.Rice farmers in the Chao Phraya basin yesterday started pumping water into their rice fields after the government approved the water release on Tuesday. Ayutthaya Governor Apichat Todilokvechm said four sluice gates - Chao Ched, Lad Chado, Phak Hai and Khanom Jeen were opened, allowing the irrigation of more than 100,000 rai of rice fields in Sena, Phak Hai and Bang Sai districts.
In Lop Buri's Tha Wung district, Bang Nga subdistrict municipality workers installed more pumps to deliver water from Chao Phraya River to the area's 16,000 rai of dying crops, half of which could be saved by this operation.In Phichit's Muang district, farmers persisted with pumping the remaining water from an irrigation canal onto rice fields, in defiance of the Royal Irrigation Department's orders to suspend the activities in keeping with the government's policy.Uttaradit's Sirikit Dam reportedly received 17 million cubic metres of water per day due to the increase in rainfall and local farmers were advised to dig a pool to store the water.Dam director Suthep Lertmongkol said the dam would still release 11 million cubic metres of water daily until August as per the Cabinet resolution. The dam level was at 276 million cubic metres or four per cent of capacity, which is considered critical, he added.
http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/thai-government-told-cut-water-use

PH may import more rice as El Nino worry persists

Reuters
Posted at 07/23/2015 4:20 PM | Updated as of 07/23/2015 6:24 PM
MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines, one of the world's biggest rice importers, could ship in more to boost buffer stocks and keep local prices stable because of an El Nino dry weather pattern now forecast to last until next year, potentially hurting the local harvest."The economic managers have indicated that they are reassessing the rice supply-demand conditions for the rest of the year (to see) if there is a need to do another importation," Zeno Ronald Abenoja, director at the Department of Economic Research of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, said on Thursday.The central bank is represented in the National Food Authority Council (NFA), which approves rice imports.
Purchases this year have reached 750,000 tonnes - 550,000 tonnes from Vietnam and the rest from Thailand. The NFA has permission from President Benigno Aquino to import an additional 250,000 tonnes if drought conditions worsen and hurt local rice production.Timely imports of the staple have prevented a repeat of last year's spike in rice prices caused by damage to supply chains from Super Typhoon Haiyan in late 2013. Food prices have a weighting of 39 percent in the consumer price index.Central bank Governor Amando Tetangco, in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, said he saw no need to alter monetary policy settings for now but cited the potential threat of an extended El Nino as one of the reasons to be careful.
Inflation is expected to inch up later in the year, after slowing to a two-decade low in June, due to the potential impact of the worsening dry spell and possible adjustments to electricity prices.Latest government data shows local rice prices have fallen around 5 percent from a year earlier. The expectation now is for the domestic harvest to be "lean" in the third quarter before rebounding in the final three months, Abenoja said.The Philippines' weather bureau forecasts a "moderate" El Nino that is likely to intensify and last until early next year.Private rice traders have also been given permission to import 805,200 tonnes of rice with a tariff of 35 percent, although so far they have applied to ship in only about 300,000 tonnes.

USA Rice Gets In-depth Look at Japan Market       
Yumi Kojima leads the discussion
TOKYO, JAPAN -- Last week USA Rice leaders engaged in the export trade to Japan received a detailed briefing on USA Rice's promotional activities in Japan, where the focus is on the quality and safety of U.S. rice and the promotion of U.S. medium grain rice to the foodservice sector, deli operators, and retailers.  U.S. rice is under particular challenge today because the depressed domestic price of Japanese rice, coupled with the high costs imposed by the Japanese government in the operation of the Simultaneous Buy-Sell system, severely reduces the cost competitiveness of imported U.S. rice.
Yumi Kojima, head of USA Rice's representative office in Tokyo, outlined Japan's domestic rice market situation, the relative competitive position of imported rice from various origins to Japanese rice, and outreach and promotion efforts to consumers, bloggers, restaurants, and retailers.While here, the USA Rice team also attended the 18th annual U.S.-Japan rice technical meeting and met with staff from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service posted to the U.S. embassy.
"These annual meetings are an excellent and important venue for discussing and resolving technical issues with our Japanese counterparts with the goal of better mutual understanding and more efficient rice trade between our two countries," said Alex T. Balafoutis, U.S. delegation chairman and vice president, PGP International, Inc.

Both sides exchanged reports on the rice supply and demand situation in the United States and Japan, the U.S. rice export situation, and concluded with a discussion and overall positive assessment of the quality of U.S. rice. In addition to Chairman Balafoutis, the U.S. delegation included Todd Burich, ADM Rice; Jess Errecarte, SunWest Foods; Jim Higa, Sun Valley Rice Co.; Kirk Messick, Farmers' Rice Cooperative; Michael Rue, rice producer, and USA Rice COO Bob Cummings.

Contact:  Bob Cummings (703) 236-1473

USA Rice Federation
EPA Sets New Threshold for SPCC Rule        

Description: Description: https://ci3.googleusercontent.com/proxy/Y9Ai2OKcADnx7xLCXIONe09FKkC_3WAptIJ629FjzOHzswZ02vI3FF1fYEbArT5gTfMp0jnx-8r2oi9iD1CnUpCV9pMA2GY4z_Jm2FjmOabcRbXgREtN6Q=s0-d-e1-ft#http://www.usarice.com/images/Daily/Daily_Photos/GA/epa%20logo.pngWASHINGTON, DC -- Recently the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Emergency Management released the findings of a study to determine the aggregate aboveground oil storage capacity threshold for farms subject to the Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC).  The EPA storage capacity report was a requirement of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014.
 Without a national registration database of aboveground oil storage tanks on farms, EPA used anecdotal and other data to determine that the original 1,320 gallon capacity threshold was appropriate.  However, the WRRDA required a new threshold of between 2,500 gallons and 6,000 gallons.  EPA has opted for the minimum 2,500 gallon threshold as the new trigger for compliance under SPCC -- a move that EPA states will exempt more than 80 percent of farms in the United States.
 In response to the new WRRDA report, Congressman Rick Crawford (R-AR) plans to reintroduce the Farmers Undertake Environmental Stewardship (FUELS) Act, which modifies EPA's SPCC regulations applicability on farms and raises the exemption level for a single container up to 10,000 gallons.

A fact sheet on the WRRDA-compliant SPCC rule for farms can be found here.

Nigeria: Kebbi Targets 500,000 Tonnes of Rice From Local Farmers

By Garba Muhammad
Birnin Kebbi — The Kebbi State Government has initiated a programme to, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), provide support to rice farmers for the production of 500,000 metrics tonnes of rice this year.Governor Atiku Bagudu made the disclosure when he received delegates of commercial rice millers and farmers led by the Special Adviser to the CBN Governor on Finance, Mr Paul N. Eluhaiwe, in Birnin Kebbi.He stressed the need to obtain rice quality project certification, adding that the state government already has in store, 9,000 tonnes of rice.He called on commercial millers to provide seedling on the variety their firms preferred, to enable farmers produce the required quality.
According to the governor, "additional farmland would be cleared and young farmers would be provided with funds and extension services to boost production."Strategies would be worked out for transportation of produce to the designated centres," he said.The CBN delegation and the commercial rice millers earlier undertook tour of some rice production centres in Bunza, Suru, Jega, Birnin-Kebbi and Argungu to assess quality and variety of rice proposed for processing in commercial quality.
http://allafrica.com/stories/201507231470.html
Pakistan asks Kenya to lower import duty on rice
Facing surplus rice stocks of close to 1 million ton due to fallingCOMMODITY PRICESDescription: Description: http://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.pngin the international market, Pakistan has asked Kenya to lower the import duty on Pakistani rice which is affecting rice exports.Finance Minister Ishaq had a meeting with Kenyan High Commissioner Prof Julius Kibet Bitok on Thursday. The minister highlighted the issue regarding enhancement in import duty on Pakistani rice by Kenya and asked for a review of the matter.He said that enhancement of the duty was affecting Pakistani rice exports to Kenya. The matter regarding import of Kenyan tea in Pakistan was also discussed with emphasis on efforts to ensure import through regular channels.
It is important to mention that Pakistani exporters use Kenya as a hub for exports to the Africa region. Pakistani exporters are facing stiff competition from Indian, Thai and Vietnamese exporters. Pakistan, for the last two years, has not managed to export its surplus rice and this year another bumper crop of 7 million tons is expected which is estimated to increase the exportable surplus for current 0.6 million tons to over 1 million tons.The lowering internationalCOMMODITY PRICESDescription: Description: http://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png are impacting the farmer, whose cost of production is estimated around Rs 70,000 per acre but in return they are getting Rs 36,000 per acre. The government is under pressure to buy the surplus stocks from the rice mills and export them on government to government basis to protect the farmers
Weekly Rice Sales, Exports Reported  
     
WASHINGTON, DC -- Net rice sales of 9,400 MT for 2014/2015 were down 91 percent from the previous week and 88 percent from the prior four-week average, according to today's Export Sales Highlights report.  Increases were reported for Venezuela (30,000 MT switched from unknown destinations), Haiti (14,300 MT), Mexico (6,800 MT), New Guinea (3,200 MT), and Canada (1,300 MT).  Decreases were reported for unknown destinations (28,000 MT), Turkey (20,000 MT), and Taiwan (300 MT). Net sales of 132,400 MT for 2015/2016 were reported for Iraq (60,000 MT), Iran (60,000 MT), unknown destinations (5,500 MT), and Honduras (3,400 MT).

Exports of 92,400 MT were up noticeably from the previous week and up 53 percent from the prior four-week average.  The primary destinations were Venezuela (30,000 MT), Haiti (14,300 MT), Mexico (12,700 MT), Japan (12,000 MT), and Ghana (7,000 MT).

This summary is based on reports from exporters from the period July 10-16, 2015. 


Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open-July 23

Nagpur, July 23 Gram and tuar prices reported higher in Nagpur Agriculture Produce
and Marketing Committee (APMC) here on good buying support from local millers amid weak supplyfrom producing regions because of rains. Healthy rise in Madhya Pradesh pulses and reporteddemand from South-based millers also boosted prices, according to sources.

               *            *              *              *

    FOODGRAINS & PULSES
    GRAM
   * Gram varieties ruled steady in open market here but demand was poor.

     TUAR
   * Tuar gavarani recovered in open market on increased demand from local traders amid
     tight supply from producing belts. Estimate about weak production in this season
     also activated stockists. 
       
   * Batri dal and Lakhodi dal firmed up in open market here on good seasonal demand
     from local traders amid restricted supply from producing regions.
                                                                                    
   * In Akola, Tuar - 7,100-7,200, Tuar dal - 10,100-10,300, Udid at 9,500-9,900,
     Udid Mogar (clean) - 11,000-11,400, Moong - 7,000-8,000, Moong Mogar
    (clean) 9,800-10,100, Gram - 4,100-4,200, Gram Super best bold - 5,700-5,900
     for 100 kg.

   * Wheat, rice and other commodities remained steady in open market
     in thin trading activity, according to sources.
      
 Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg

     FOODGRAINS                 Available prices     Previous close  
     Gram Auction                   3,800-4,590         3,800-4,510
     Gram Pink Auction            n.a.           2,100-2,600
     Tuar Auction                6,700-7,530         6,700-7,480
     Moong Auction                n.a.                6,000-6,400
     Udid Auction                n.a.           4,300-4,500
     Masoor Auction                n.a.              2,600-2,800
     Gram Super Best Bold            6,000-6,200        6,000-6,200
     Gram Super Best            n.a.               
     Gram Medium Best            5,700-5,800        5,700-5,800
     Gram Dal Medium            n.a.            n.a.
     Gram Mill Quality            5,350-5,550        5,350-5,550
     Desi gram Raw                4,550-4,650         4,550-4,650
     Gram Filter new            5,950-6,150        5,950-6,150
     Gram Kabuli                5,600-7,100        5,600-7,100
     Gram Pink                6,500-6,700        6,500-6,700
     Tuar Fataka Best             10,600-10,850        10,600-10,850
     Tuar Fataka Medium             10,200-10,500        10,200-10,500
     Tuar Dal Best Phod            9,700-9,900        9,700-9,900
     Tuar Dal Medium phod            9,200-9,500        9,200-9,500
     Tuar Gavarani New             7,700-7,800        7,650-7,750
     Tuar Karnataka             8,100-8,300        8,100-8,300
     Tuar Black                 11,000-11,300           11,000-11,300
     Masoor dal best            8,000-8,300        8,000-8,300
     Masoor dal medium            7,700-7,900        7,700-7,900
     Masoor                    n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Mogar bold               9,500-10,500        9,500-10,500
     Moong Mogar Medium best        8,800-9,200        8,800-9,200
     Moong dal Chilka            8,800-9,200        8,800-9,800
     Moong Mill quality            n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Chamki best            9,600-9,900        9,600-9,900
     Udid Mogar Super best (100 INR/KG)    11,200-11,800       11,200-11,800
     Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)    10,600-11,000        10,600-11,000
     Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)        9,200-9,600        9,200-9,600
     Batri dal (100 INR/KG)        4,600-5,000        4,400-4,800
     Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg)           3,300-3,400         3,250-3,350
     Watana Dal (100 INR/KG)        3,300-3,400        3,300-3,400
     Watana White (100 INR/KG)        3,100-3,200         3,100-3,200
     Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG)    3,200-3,800        3,200-3,800
     Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG)        1,400-1,500        1,400-1,500
     Wheat Mill quality(100 INR/KG)    1,550-1,700        1,550-1,700
     Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG)        1,300-1,500           1,300-1,500
     Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG)    2,200-2,400        2,200-2,400
     Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG)    1,900-2,100        1,900-2,100
     Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG)    n.a.            n.a.
     MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG)    3,200-3,700        3,200-3,700
     MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)    2,550-2,850        2,550-2,850       
     Rice BPT New(100 INR/KG)        2,750-2,900        2,750-2,900
     Rice BPT (100 INR/KG)               3,050-3,300        3,050-3,300
     Rice Parmal (100 INR/KG)        1,600-1,750        1,600-1,750
     Rice Swarna new (100 INR/KG)      2,200-2,450        2,200-2,450
     Rice Swarna old (100 INR/KG)      2,500-2,700        2,500-2,700
     Rice HMT new(100 INR/KG)        3,100-3,600        3,100-3,600
     Rice HMT (100 INR/KG)               3,800-4,200        3,800-4,200
     Rice HMT Shriram New(100 INR/KG)    4,200-4,500        4,200-4,500
     Rice HMT Shriram old (100 INR/KG)    4,500-5,100        4,500-5,100    
     Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG)    8,000-10,000        8,000-10,000
     Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG)    7,000-7,500        7,000-7,500
     Rice Chinnor new (100 INR/KG)    4,500-4,800        4,500-4,800
     Rice Chinnor (100 INR/KG)        5,100-5,500        5,100-5,500
     Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG)        2,100-2,350        2,100-2,350
     Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG)        2,400-2,500        2,400-2,500

WEATHER (NAGPUR) 
Maximum temp. 33.2 degree Celsius (91.8 degree Fahrenheit), minimum temp.
24.7 degree Celsius (76.5 degree Fahrenheit)
Humidity: Highest - n.a., lowest - n.a.
Rainfall : 9.6 mm
FORECAST: Generally cloudy sky. Rains or thunder-showers likely. Maximum and minimum temperature would be around and 33 and 25 degree Celsius respectively.
Note: n.a.--not available
(For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but included in market prices.)
http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/07/23/nagpur-foodgrain-idINL3N1033GD20150723

The best and worst baby foods revealed
JULY 23, 2015 5:30PM
Description: Description: Smart choices ... a new study has named the best and worst baby foods on the market.
Smart choices ... a new study has named the best and worst baby foods on the market. Source: Supplied
THE best and worst baby foods have been revealed in a new study that finds nearly half of Australia’s baby foods get a four out of five star health rating.Australia’s baby foods have been hailed as healthier than salt and sugar-laden products in Britain and Canada.However, parents are warned more than half of all commercial baby foods are fruit-based and there is a risk babies could develop a sweet tooth.
“Their relatively high sugar content deriving from fruits requires close attention to ensure these foods do not replace more nutrient dense foods, given children have an innate preference for sweet tastes,” the study says.The research by the George Institute which looked at 309 baby food products shows 30 per cent of products are high in sugar.Only six per cent were high in saturated fat and only six per cent were high in salt, the study published in the Journal of Maternal Child Health shows.“The message for mums and dads is that generally the products are good, but some aren’t good,” says University of Sydney researcher Professor Victoria Flood.Only 25 products had a Health Star Rating of less than 3 stars while 45 per cent were four out of five stars.

Look out ... babies could develop a sweet tooth from fruit-based treats. Source: Getty Images
The study found the worst baby foods tended to be dry finger food products and snack bars.
The four worst products were:

Heinz Little Kids Yoghurt Muesli Fingers Fruit Salad had 38.5 grams of sugar and 75 grams of salt per 100 grams.Rafferty’s Garden Fruit Snack Bars Blueberry Banana Apple contained 40.1 grams of sugar and 170 grams of salt per 100 grams.Heinz Little Kids Wholegrain Cereal Bars Apple and Strawberry with yoghurt flavour had 35 grams of sugar and 80 grams of salt per 100 grams.Rafferty’s Garden Fruit Snack bars with banana had 37.2 grams of sugar and 220 grams of slat per 100 grams.The study found Australianj baby foods had less sugar and salt than foods in the UK and Canada.
Description: Description: Healthier ... Australian baby foods had less salt and sugar than foods in the UK and Cana
Healthier ... Australian baby foods had less salt and sugar than foods in the UK and Canada. Picture Getty Images.Source: Getty Images
The four best products were Only Organic Pasta Bolognese which contains just 4.2 grams of sugar and 20 grams of salt per 100 grams.

Best baby food ... Only Organic pasta bolognese. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied
Description: Description: Look out ... babies could develop a sweet tooth from fruit-based treats.Description: Description: Best baby food ... Only Organic pasta bolognese. Picture: SuppliedRafferty’s Garden Beef with Veggies and Basmati Rice had 1.3 grams of sugar and 15 grams of salt per 100 grams.Only Organic Pear, Purple Carrot, Blueberry and Quinoa had 4.6 grams of sugar and 11 grams of salt per 100 grams.Heinz Little Kids Tender Beef and Vegetable had 2.9 grams of sugar and 35 grams of salt per 100 grams.Obesity experts have hailed the first three years of a child’s life as crucial to setting up their food preferences for life.They warn overloading children with sweet and salty foods will establish a lifetime preference for these sorts of flavours associated with obesity inducing junk foods.

Think about it ... the first three years of a child’s life are crucial to setting up their food preferences for life. Source: Getty Images
Description: Description: Think about it ... the first three years of a child’s life are crucial to setting up theiProfessor Flood says parents should persevere with introducing vegetables to their children.“Sometimes you’ve got to do it 10,15, 20 times before they will take it,” she says.Commercial baby foods are consumed by 90 per cent of children by the time they are nine months old so their impact on the child’s food preferences cannot be over stated.The market for commercial baby food is growing at 4.8 per cent a year and is now worth $300 million a year.“Part of the increase in this market can be attributed to time-poor parents needing to make quick food decisions and that isn’t likely to change any time soon, so we need to get it right,” says George Institute for Global Health Professor Bruce Neal.


CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures   
CME Group (Prelim):  Closing Rough Rice Futures for July 23
Month
Price
Net Change

September 2015
$11.110
- $0.010
November 2015
$11.375
- $0.010
January 2016
$11.645
- $0.005
March 2016
$11.845
- $0.005
May 2016
$12.035
- $0.005
July 2016
$12.035
- $0.005
September 2016
$12.045
- $0.005


USA Rice Federation



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