Monday, October 19, 2015

19th October 2015 Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

News Headlines...

ü  Call to ensure best use of cultivable land to attain food security
ü  Ph one of world’s biggest rice importers, as food producers go hungry
ü  FPCCI leader, minister discuss WHT, rice millers' problems
ü  Pakistan rice losing place in global market
ü  Action plan in the works to promote nutritious black rice grown in the northeast
ü  Gondia millers yet to deposit rice worth Rs 37 crore with government
ü  ICCI asks govt to bailout rice sector
ü  Chinese Rice protein powder Industry 2010 – Market Analysis, Overview, Growth, Demand and Forecast Research Report 2020
ü  Pain balm from rice bran
ü  Population growth threatens PHL rice self-sufficiency goal
ü  Beyond national borders

News Detail...
Call to ensure best use of cultivable land to attain food security

RANGPUR, Oct 18 (BSS): Attaining sustainable national food security despite the threat of climate change is possible through ensuring best use of the cultivable land and latest technologies with newer cropping patterns to enhance crop output.The issue of food security has become the most important global issue, as the adverse impacts of climate change have been posing a severe threat to agriculture, among many other sectors.
According to the agriculture and environment experts, there is no alternative to increase production of foodgrain through making the best use of cultivable land to ensure social peace, stability and harmony.Talking to the news agency, renowned rice scientist and Adviser, Agriculture of BRAC International (South Asia and Africa) Dr MA Mazid put emphasis on bringing every inch of land under crop farming, as the cultivable land area continues to shrink.
He said farmers should be trained and educated enough to cope with untimely droughts, floods, lack of rains or heavy rains those have been adversely affecting the agriculture sector hampering food production almost everywhere in the world.There is no alternative to ensuring the best use of land for food security through increasing crop yields at reduced costs, saving water, facilitating crop intensification, quality seeds and remunerative markets for the produce despite climate change, he added.

Agriculture and Environment Coordinator of RDRS Bangladesh Mamunur Rashid stressed on acquainting the farmers with modern agriculture, providing them with necessary facilities, quality seeds and inputs for increasing crop production.He emphasised delivering conservation agriculture-based technologies with adoption of innovative crop rotation in which crops are planted in minimum, no-till or reduced tillage with some crop residue retention on soil surfaces to reduce unproductive losses of water.
Side by side ensuring the best use of land, he suggested introduction of short duration rice farming, cropping patterns like rice-wheat-mungbean/jute, rice-potato-relay/maize, rice-vegetables-wheat and rice-sugarcane with intercropping of garlic, onion/vegetables.
Horticulture Specialist of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) Khandker Md Mesbahul Islam stressed the need for ensuring the best use of cultivable land adopting vegetables-based cropping pattern to enable farmers in getting maximum profits of their produce.
He said a farmer can earn a net profit of up to Tk 0.10 million (1.0 lakh) on an average from only 33 decimals of land through ensuring its best use and proper cropping patterns, inputs and technologies to produce four crops from the same land annually.He said the country's northern region has been producing maximum quantity of vegetables to meet national demand and export abroad to earn foreign exchange now with the prospect of earning higher amount.Executive Director of Northbengal Institute of Development Studies Agriculturist Dr Syed Samsuzzaman urged the agri-scientists to innovate stress-tolerant crop varieties to keep food production increasing despite adverse climatic conditions.

Ph one of world’s biggest rice importers, as food producers go hungry

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Peasant and fisherfolk protested on World Food Day on Oct. 16, Friday, calling for genuine agrarian reform, which, they said, will solve hunger. (Contributed photo/
“It is ironic that the rural people who are the primary food producers are the ones who are experiencing lack of food and drastic hunger.”
MANILA – Peasant and fisherfolk protested on World Food Day on Oct. 16, Friday, calling for genuine agrarian reform, which, they said, will solve hunger.They protested in front of the Department of Agriculture’s office in Quezon City holding placards bearing calls such as “Pagkain hindi bala! Lupa sa nagbubungkal! (Food not bullets! Land to the tiller!) A farmer carried an empty pot to depict hunger in the countryside.“It is ironic that the rural people who are the primary food producers are the ones experiencing lack of food and hunger,” said Salvador France, vice chairperson of fisherfolk group Pamalakaya. “This has been a running nightmare especially for the fisherfolk and farmers all over the country.”France said that based on the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data, these are the top two sectors with the highest poverty incidence.
Peasant groups called for the enactment of the Genuine Agrarian Reform bill (Garb), and a stop to the smuggling of imported rice.Engineer Ronald Garcia, an agricultural engineer and member of Advocates of Science and Technology for the People (Agham), said the 2015 theme for World Food Day — “Social Protection and agriculture: breaking the cycle of rural poverty” — is in sharp contrast with the situation of Philippine agriculture.Garcia criticized the 2011-2016 Food Staples Self-sufficiency Roadmap (FSSR) program of the Aquino government which targeted 100 percent rice self-sufficiency.
Peasant and fisherfolk protested on World Food Day on Oct. 16, Friday, calling for genuine agrarian reform, which, they said, will solve hunger. (Contributed photo/

However, he said the Philippines remains one of the top net importers of rice in the world, importing 1.6 million metric tons of rice in 2014. This year’s rice imports is projected to increase further.

Free irrigation bill
Anakpawis Rep. Fernando Hicap, meanwhile, pushed for free irrigation services for farmers through House Bill 6224, or the Free Irrigation Services Bill.Irrigation is one of the primary factors for the growth of agricultural productivity, Hicap said, and food security is impossible without free irrigation service in the country.“The agriculture sector is the backbone of the national economy as the country remains agricultural, where farmers and farm workers, who comprise the vast majority of the population, till the lands for their livelihood and for the benefit of the entire nation,” Hicap said.

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) reported that as of 2014, only 57 percent of the targeted three million hectares had irrigation, with 1.3 million hectares still without irrigation.
Hicap said the huge budget of the National Irrigation Administration does not benefit farmers. The NIA even charges for the irrigation. The proposed NIA budget was increased from P28 billion ($622 million) in 2015 to the proposed P33 billion ($709 million) for 2016.

Hicap said irrigation fees add to the cost of rice production, with farmers bearing the high cost of fuel for water pumps. Many just depend on the rain, and eventually, “go bankrupt and lose their lands.”Hicap called for a stop to the collection of irrigation fees, as proposed by HB 6224. He said the budget for construction, repair and maintenance of national irrigation systems should be included in the General Appropriations Act.
Peasant and fisherfolk protested on World Food Day on Oct. 16, Friday, calling for genuine agrarian reform, which, they said, will solve hunger. (Contributed photo/

“To move on the path towards food security and rice self-sufficiency, we challenge President Aquino’s government to immediately pass this bill and take control of the dams to irrigate the farms across the country,” Hicap said.

Water as priced commodity
Agham’s Garcia said the “Philippines is the only country in Asia where farmers pay for irrigation services, in line with World Bank’s policy to treat water resources as a priced commodity.He said the government has continued to neglect its obligation to provide agricultural inputs and utilities to help farmers in the face of calamities, such as the El Niño phenomenon.In Basey, Samar, where Agham recently conducted an agriculture productivity assessment, irrigation facilities built during the Ramos regime remained unused, and farms still rely on rain, Garcia said.

He said that in the face of heavy losses suffered by farmers due to El Niño, the government has turned to rice importation to feed the country.“Instead of providing needed support to boost local production such as the provision of farm implements, access to improved seed varieties and water supply, the government has shown its total dependence on global policies of rice liberalization,” Garcia said.The government, he said, must take drastic action and prioritize the needs of Filipino farmers. “It must seriously consider lifting irrigation fees, especially now when water is expected to be badly needed, to increase local agricultural productivity. Irrigation facilities must be rehabilitated to ensure a steady supply of water during dry season.”

He said agricultural technologies are available to help mitigate the impact of El Niño on farmers. These include the diversification of cropping systems to increase food resources and improve soil productivity, varietal improvement of drought- and pest-resistant seeds, and community-based weather and climate monitoring systems.“Farmers can only realize full agricultural productivity, however, if genuine agrarian reform coupled with national industrialization will take place. It is only through this that farmers are fully enabled to withstand the impacts of El Niño,” Garcia said.

FPCCI leader, minister discuss WHT, rice millers' problems

October 17, 2015
The chairman of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Regional called on Provincial Minister for Finance Ayesha Ghaus Pasha on Friday and discussed issues being faced by the business community. Chairman Khawaja Zarar Kaleem, who is also Vice President, was accompanied by his Pakistan Rice Mills Association counterpart, Ahmad Mukhtar. They discussed about the withholding tax on banking transactions and rice millers' problems. The minister assured trade representatives that their fears and misunderstandings would be addressed appropriately and made it clear that the tax was only applicable to non-filers and the business community should have a clear understanding about it. "Pakistan's rice trade is facing severe challenges following the rising costs of agricultural inputs and its export may sharply decline during this fiscal year," warned Chairman Kaleem. "The rice export trade, the second largest earner of the valuable foreign exchange for the country, is continually being neglected by the federal government.
" He told the minister, "Owing to the high costs of agricultural inputs including fertiliser, electricity, water and lack of seeds development, Pakistan's rice is uncompetitive in international market, especially the basmati varieties. Presently, Indian rice exporters are offering as low as the $300 per metric tonne price for the basmati rice in the world market. As the prices of Indian rice are much lower than those in Pakistan, major importing countries and international buyers are switching to the Indian rice. "We have stocks of some 0.5 million tonnes of rice having a value of more than a billion dollars of the previous year's crop, while a new crop paddy arrival is expected in the market by October end. It is an alarming situation for the rice trade as previous stocks are still lying in the godowns and the new crop will arrive in the next two weeks, resulting in losses to farmers. Under the current situation, exporters are not in a position to buy paddy from farmers because of a shortage of cash flow as their finance limit have already been choked."
 His Pakistan Rice Mills Association counterpart then demanded, "Rice farmers will not get a good price of their commodity because of availability of previous stocks in the market, therefore, the government should take some immediate measures to support them. We [the exporters] are even not in a position to return dues of export refinance facility instantly, because rice is still in millers' stock and financial charges on these stocks are daily increasing the cost." Their Regional Standing Committee on Rice counterpart, Muhammad Yousaf, too mentioned the problems, saying that to save the rice stocks from pesticides we "would need regular fumigation" to avoid damage to commodity, resulting in an additional burden on the exporters.
He said last month the premier did convene a top level meeting with all leading exporting sectors, including rice. During that meeting, a business community delegation presented a detailed proposal to protect the farmers and exporters from huge losses, but none of the demands were accepted then. He then made plain the main demand, "Our major demand is the withdrawal of the 3.5 percent tax on local purchase of rice and repayment of export refinance loans in 360 days, instead of the current 180 days. We demand that the Rice Research Institute work on a mage project to reduce the input cost and increase the yield and quality of the Pakistani rice so that the cost of paddy will be reduced and the exporters can compete in the world market. "In addition, to protect the basmati rice export trade, Pakistan must focus on the markets of Iran and Saudi Arabia since these are the major importing countries of the basmati rice. A legal and official banking channel should be developed that can help start the official rice export to the neighbouring country, Iran, which has already lifted a ban on the commodity import from Pakistan."

Pakistan rice losing place in global market
October 17, 2015/ 3
Lahore  - Owing to high cost of agricultural inputs including fertiliser, electricity, water and lack of seeds development, Pakistan’s rice has become uncompetitive in international market especially Basmati varieties. Presently, Indian rice exporters are offering as low as $300 per Metric Ton price for Basmati rice in the world market. As the prices of Indian rice were much lower than Pakistan, major importing countries and international buyers were switching to Indian rice. This was stated by Ahmad Mukhtar, Chairman of Pakistan Rice Mills Association (PRMS) during a meeting with Provincial Minister for Finance Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha here at FPCCI regional office.
The Minister assured the trade representatives that their fears, apprehensions and misunderstandings will be addressed appropriately. The Provisional Finance Minister reiterated that the levy of withholding tax was only applicable to the non-filers and the business community should have a clear understanding of this fact. Ahmed Mukhtar said that millers have rice stocks of some 0.5 million tons rice, having a value of more than a billion dollar, of previous year’s crop, while new crop paddy arrival is expected in the market by October-end,” he said, adding that it was an alarming situation for the rice trade as previous stocks were still lying in the godowns and new crop would arrive in next two weeks, resulted in losses to the growers.

“In the current situation, exporters are not in a position to buy paddy from growers due to shortage of cash flow as their finance limit have already been choked. It believed that rice growers will not get a good price of their commodity due to availability of previous stocks in the market, therefore the government should take some immediate measurers to support the growers,” Ahmad Mukhtar Chairman of Pakistan Rice Mills Association (PRMS) demanded. “Exporters are even not in the position to pay back dues of export refinance facility instantly because rice is still in millers’ stock and financial charges on these stocks are daily increasing the cost,” he mentioned.Muhammad Yousaf Chairman of FPCCI Regional Standing Committee on “Rice” said that in order to save the rice stocks from pesticides, it needed regular fumigation to avoid damage of commodity, resulted in an additional burden on the exporters.

Action plan in the works to promote nutritious black rice grown in the northeast

NEW DELHI: White rice may rule the domestic and international markets with the famous 'Basmati' variety having pride of place, but in the near future it is black rice from the northeast that may win hearts of consumers due to its nutritional value and health benefits. Black rice is mainly grown and consumed in Manipur where it is called 'Chakhao'. Famous for its pleasant nutty flavor, this little known rice variety has, however, started entering the world market through China which cultivates it both for local consumption and export. Waking up to the need to promote the variety which already has a market in USA, Australia and European countries, India's premier agricultural research institute is set to suggest an action plan to the government on how to promote black rice and other varieties.The plan is expected to not only earn foreign exchange for the country but also improve the condition of farmers in the northeast and elsewhere. 
Setting the stage for such a move, chief of Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) Trilochan Mohapatra on Friday threw a question at a gathering of eminent scientists here at a conference on the occasion of World Food Day when he asked whether they (scientists) were leaving out other regions (non-Basmati rice producing areas) in their research. "There has to be a concrete action plan (to promote other varieties of rice from other regions). I believe this conference will throw light on the issue in next two days", said Mohapatra in what is largely believed to be a move to push other unique rice varieties, having high nutritional value, through government intervention. In value terms, India exports rice worth over Rs 40,000 crore with the maximum foreign exchange coming to the country through export of Basmati variety.
Though the country has done exceedingly well with arrival of a new Basmati variety (Pusa-1509), the idea is to increase the share of other varieties of rice as well in the international markets. Head of the IARI's genetics division, A K Singh, who was the chief breeder of the popular and hugely successful Pusa-1509 variety of Basmati rice, admitted the importance of promoting other unique variety like black rice as well for larger interest of farmers in different regions. Singh told the TOI: "Black rice has medicinal value. Being rich in decease-fighting antioxidants, it is anti cancerous as well". 
Other scientists, assembled here for the conference on "promoting exportable rice varieties and evolving a sustainable development model", too pledged to promote all such varieties including black rice which got pushed into the background over the years. Joint director (research) of the IARI, K V Prabhu, too felt the need to promote different local varieties through government's intervention. He said the institute would suggest to the government how to go about it after taking into view the deliberations of the conference, organized jointly by the institute and the Voluntary Action for Research Development and Networking (VARDAN). The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) too has of late, started promoting the unique aspect of these varieties on various discussion platforms. 

Gondia millers yet to deposit rice worth Rs 37 crore with government


BHANDARA: Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis will be in Gondia on Saturday for inauguration of an exhibition organized by the Gondia District Rice Millers Association. Thirty members of the association, which has organized the event on a large-scale with 100 stalls, are liable for not depositing one lakh quintal of rice worth Rs37 crore with the government since last five years.
The Maharashtra State Cooperative Tribal Development Corporation had given paddy to the 30 rice millers in financial years 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13. As per the agreement, the rice, known as Custom Mill Rice (CMR), was to be deposited with government godowns within 15 days from receiving the paddy from the government. On failure to do so, the millers were supposed to pay 15% interest per annum of the rice cost. The agreement also mentioned that criminal proceedings will be initiated against the millers or their immovable assets will be seized and bank guarantee forfeited if they fail to fulfil the conditions.However, the millers have neither deposited the rice nor its cost till date. Thought the state government had issued directives to the district collector to initiate criminal proceedings against the millers, the order was withdrawn under pressure from the rice millers lobby.Gondia district supply officer Prashant Kale said the quality control report of CMR is awaited. "As soon as the report is received, the millers will be asked to deposit the rice with government godowns," he said. President of Gondia District Rice Millers Association Ashok Agrawal said they are ready to deposit the CMR but the government is unwilling to accept it.

Times of India

ICCI asks govt to bailout rice sector

Updated about Oct 16, 2015
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has asked the government to bailout the rice sector which is collapsing under double whammy of falling prices and ‘harassment’ by banks. The rice sector earning over two billion of foreign exchange continue to face crisis since last two years which has taken tool on all stakeholders from growers to millers and exporters, according to a pres release issued by the ICCI here on Friday. “The arrival of new crop has aggravated the situation as around 500,000 tonnes of rice from previous crops could not be sold,” said ICCI President Atif Ikram Sheikh.He said that new crop has further imbalanced the market resulting in closure of hundreds of rice mills which the remaining are struggling for survival. 
 The millers are unable to pay bank loans or clear outstanding amount to the farmers therefore Government and State Bank have extended date of their repayments until June 2016 but banks continue to harass rice millers to recover 30.5 billion rupees loans.Atif Ikram said that farmers are pushed to sell their yield at reduced price due to oversupply which is inflicting loss up to Rs 50000 per acre that is highly discouraging. The ICCI president said that government should increase subsidy or announce support price to save farmers from market shocks.Price of all varieties of rice continue to fall from the last two years but its benefit has not been transferred to masses, he lamented.

Chinese Rice protein powder Industry 2010 – Market Analysis, Overview, Growth, Demand and Forecast Research Report 2020

Global and Chinese Rice protein powder Industry 2010-2020a professional and in-depth market survey on Global and Chinese Rice protein powder Industry. The report firstly reviews the basic information of Global and Chinese Rice protein powder Industry including its classification, application and manufacturing technology; The report then explores global and China’s top manufacturers of Chinese Rice protein powder Industry in China listing their product specification, capacity, Production value, and market share.Global and Chinese Rice protein powder Industry, 2010-2020 Market Research Report’ is a professional and in-depth study on the current state of the global Rice protein powder industry with a focus on the Chinese market. The report provides key statistics on the market status of the Rice protein powder manufacturers and is a valuable source of guidance and direction for companies and individuals interested in the industry.
Firstly, the report provides a basic overview of the industry including its definition, applications and manufacturing technology. Then, the report explores the international and Chinese major industry players in detail. In this part, the report presents the company profile, product specifications, capacity, production value, and 2010-2015 market shares for each company. Through the statistical analysis, the report depicts the global and Chinese total market of Rice protein powder industry including capacity, production, production value, cost/profit, supply/demand and Chinese import/export.
The total market is further divided by company, by country, and by application/type for the competitive landscape analysis. The report then estimates 2015-2020 market development trends of Rice protein powder industry. Analysis of upstream raw materials, downstream demand, and current market dynamics is also carried out.  In the end, the report makes some important proposals for a new project of Rice protein powder Industry before evaluating its feasibility.

Pain balm from rice bran

 October 18,2015, 04.21 AM  IST | | THE HANS INDIA
Novel gel from Indian Institute of Rice Research-Hyderabad to hit markets soon
Hyderabad: A scientist at the Indian Institute of Rice Research (IIRR), Hyderabad, has developed rice bran oil-based novel pain-relieving gel. It provides topical composition for fast relief of aches and pains of muscles and joints associated with simple strains, bruises and sprains.Rice bran, a by-product of the rice processing industry, is a potential source of edible and healthful products, according to Dr M Mohibbe Azam, Principal Scientist, Crop Improvement Section at IIRR. It is a rich source of various micronutrients and antioxidants including vitamin E and oryzanol, high-quality oil and protein.

 Rice bran oil contains various antioxidants including-oryzanol He said the present invention had provided compositions containing analgesic or anti-inflammatory agents dissolved in fast absorbing rice bran oil for quick penetration of the active components.Explaining the composition of the product, Dr Azam said one aspect of the present invention relates to a topical preparation for pain relief in humans, wherein methyl salicylate, camphor, menthol, eucalyptus oil, and clove oil were combined together to enhance the pain relief features. Moreover, rice bran oil would absorb quickly into the skin, so the penetration of the pain relief components of the composition is also quick.
 Referring to the benefits of the pain relieving gel, the Scientist said the product is an herbal formulation containing rice bran oil as a carrier. Rice bran oil also contained various skin beneficial ingredients that help in revitalising the skin and keeping skin smooth, supple and soft, protecting skin from environmental pollution, minimising the effects of sunburn and chapping and reducing the effects of dryness.  The composition of the present invention is new, very safe, eco-friendly and would not produce any harmful effects.Regarding feedback, he said 50 persons, both male and female, were provided with 50 g sample of pain relief composition, all users reported that they were extremely satisfied with the the product. They got immediate relief from muscle pain/sprain/joint pain, he said.
Dr Azam said commercially available topical compositions were often used to treat sore muscles, pain associated with the joints of a body, arthritis and other similar conditions. Many of these topical compositions were thick and have a heavy texture. Such products typically would take a considerable amount of time to reach the desired area of treatment.He said the composition also provided in the treatment of arthritis in elderly patients, tendonitis, neuralgia, and sports-related injuries. Overall, because of fast absorbing properties of rice bran oil in the skin, active ingredients of the formulation also get absorbed quickly and provide quick relief from pain.
By:V Naveen Kumar

Population growth threatens PHL rice self-sufficiency goal

by Mary Grace Padin - October 19, 2015

First of three parts
The current El Niño episode may have been the single biggest factor behind the decision of the government to import more rice for this year and 2016. In the next five years, however, experts warned that the increase in the country’s population would make it more difficult for the Philippines to avoid the international rice market.The drought caused by El Niño has forced the Philippines to front-load its importation of 500,000 metric tons (MT) of rice fornext year. The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) said the government is looking to buy an  additional 1 million metric tons (MMT) of imported rice for 2016.

Neda, chair of the interagency Food Security Committee on Rice, said the government is stockpiling rice as the dry spell could cut rice output for the years 2015 and 2016 by 25 percent. Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said this is on a par with the damage caused by El Niño in the years 1997 and 1998.While the National Food Authority (NFA) Council has yet to approve the purchase of the additional 1 MMT of imported rice, experts said the Philippines may have done the right thing in purchasing rice from abroad this year. Samarendu Mohanty, head of the International Rice Research Institute’s (Irri) Social Sciences Division, said the price of rice in the international market currently remains stable. But Mohanty warned that prices could go up next year as El Niño ravages other rice-producing countries in Asia.
Mohanty noted that some areas of India are experiencing drought and El Niño’s damage on rice crops will not be known until the end of the month. Meanwhile, planting season in Indonesia will also start by the end of October.

“The price of rice could rebound by 15 [percent] to 20 percent in the next three months if rice crops in India and Indonesia are affected by El Niño. The two countries are not the most affected by El Niño but they could decide the price,”  he said in an interview at the sidelines of the Asean Rice Future Forum held in Vietnam from October 14 to 16.“There is [also] concern that the stock level of five exporters have gone down significantly much lower than what it was three years ago. This might influence market direction and cause prices to go up. This could happen next year,” Mohanty added.

More Filipinos in 5 years
The current El Niño has made paddy rice production more challenging in the Philippines. Lower water  levels in the country’s big dams have discouraged farmers from planting rice. This is because producing one of kilogram of palay requires some 1,500 liters of water.Apart from the vagaries of weather, the expansion of the country’s population to 112 million in 2020 could make it more difficult for the Philippines to wean itself away from rice imports. Dr. Suthad Setboonsarng, member of Irri’s Board of Trustees, said in his presentation before the Asean Rice Future Forum, that the 10.6-million increase in the country’s population in five years could force the Philippines to import more rice.

According to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, each Filipino consumes about 114 kg of rice. This means that the Philippines needs to produce nearly 11.6 MMT of milled rice every year just to fill the requirements of its population. This does not yet include the buffer stock that the NFA is required to maintain every month.In a joint report released by the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development and Food and Agriculture Organization, the country’s rice imports could increase by an average of 4 percent a year from 2015 to 2024.Setboonsarng said the increase in the population of the Philippines and other countries in Asia would affect future rice market. In the next five years, he said global population will increase by 433 million. Of this figure, 50 percent will come from Asia, while Africa will account for 34 percent.

“Aside from higher rice consumption due to an increase  in population, less and aging farmers, urbanization, and the deterioration of rice farm lands would affect the rice market,” he said.Setboonsarng said the increase in population, as well as changes in global rice production would have a major impact on Asean. By 2024, five Asean countries would be classified as net rice exporters, while five others would be considered net rice importers. The Philippines is projected to remain as a net rice importer.The Philippine government, however, did not want to remain dependent on rice imports. Because of its experience in 2008, the Arroyo administration was forced to target “self-sufficiency” in rice. At the time, the Philippines was forced to buy imported rice at $1,000 per metric ton (MT) due to tight global supply.The Philippines produced 16.24 million tons of palay in 2007, representing a 6-percent growth over the 2006 palay production. Despite the jump in production, it was not enough and the government had to scramble for stocks to augment local supply. Population growth, the increasing consumption of rice, and the need to beef up buffer stock for emergencies like calamities, necessitated
the importation of 2.3 million tons of rice in 2008.

As soon as President Aquino assumedoffice in 2010,  Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala had declared that the Philippines would remain focused on achieving its rice self-sufficiency bid. To achieve this, the government poured money into the farm sector, with the rice subsector cornering a huge chunk of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) annual budget. From 2011 to 2015, the DA received a total of P339 billion, the highest budget it has been allocated within a span of five years.The increase in budget allowed the DA to rehabilitate irrigation facilities and expand irrigated areas. This and other interventions such as the use of high-yielding seeds, Alcala said, increased the country’s rice self-sufficiency level to 96 percent from 82 percent in 2010.

Beyond national borders

Brac running its development programmes in 11 countries, serving millions
Fazle Hasan Abed
Brac has gone beyond the national boundary to take the benefits of its programmes and innovations in farm sector to other countries of the world.Founded by this year's prestigious World Food Prize recipient Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Brac has its development activities running in as many as 11 countries. Its agricultural programmes have mainly reached the African countries i.e. Uganda, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Liberia and South Sudan.In Bangladesh, one in every five hybrid rice farmers and one in every three hybrid maize growers now depend on Brac Seed and Agro Enterprise for quality seeds.About 1.5 million farmers have purchased seeds from Brac till date this year, meeting 23 percent of the hybrid rice seed demand and 31 percent of hybrid maize seed demand nationally.
Sir Abed, who was knighted by the British Crown in 2009, founded Brac, the organisation originally known as Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, as a temporary relief organisation to help the country recover from the 1970 typhoon that killed about 500,000 people and the subsequent war in 1971 to win independence from Pakistan.Brac has grown into the world's largest non-governmental organisation focused on alleviating poverty -- estimated to have helped more than 150 million people out of poverty in Africa and Asia.On Thursday night, Sir Abed was awarded the 2015 World Food Prize for his outstanding contribution to enhancing the world's production and distribution of food to those most in need. The prestigious prize, known as Nobel Prize for food and agriculture, was conferred on him at an event at the Iowa State Capitol Building in Iowa, USA. The award includes a cash prize of $ 250,000.
“I must acknowledge that the award does not belong to me alone, it is the recognition of Brac's work over the last 43 years in providing pathways out of poverty for millions of people in Bangladesh and other countries in Africa and Asia,” said Abed, receiving the award.The global reach of Brac, is unprecedented, with more than 110,000 employees around the world, and a further 150,000 BRAC-trained entrepreneurs providing low-cost goods and services (such as seeds, medicine and training) to their rural neighbours.In Bangladesh, Brac-developed agricultural and food security programmes (AFSP) have helped over half a million farmers gain access to efficient farming techniques, proven technologies and financial support services.
Through farmers' participation in field demonstrations and training, these programmes have helped increase yields through crop intensification, research and development on new seed varieties and provision of quality seeds at fair prices.Talking to The Daily Star yesterday, Brac Executive Director Muhammad Musa said, "At Brac we work with the farmers, we work for the farmers. We try to link them up with the market. We operate farmers' field school."
In 2001, Brac initiated an agricultural credit programme through the north-west crop diversification project. Coordinating all activities on agricultural research, development, agricultural credit and marketing, a new agriculture and food security programme (AFSP) was launched in 2009.The goal of the programme is to contribute to achieving food security and the reduction of hunger and malnutrition through increased environmentally sustainable agricultural production.In the present phase, Brac has made significant impact on improving the livelihood status of more than 88,000 farm households in areas vulnerable to climate change.
Brac carries out participatory experiments with farmers to test the validity of using certain technology and to efficiently deliver cutting-edge agriculture and aquaculture practices to ecologically adverse regions. Brac seeks to convert single-crop areas to double or triple-crop by introducing stress-tolerant and high value crop varieties.To help achieve food security, Brac has also initiated three agricultural microfinance  projects: Borgachashi Unnoyon Prokolpo (BCUP) for tenant farmers, the north-west diversification project (NCDP), and the secondary-crop diversification project (SCDP), each offering a combination of credit, savings, access to productive assets, and training.
In 2014, Brac added over 70,000 members to the projects. Brac provided loans to 402,000 borrowers, and agricultural training to 309,000 men and women. The project takes a 'credit plus' approach that combines access to customised loans of USD 200 - 1500, savings products, and technical training. It supports ventures ranging from vegetable cultivation, livestock, duck and poultry farming, aquaculture, as well as investments in land, and agricultural machinery.
Brac has initiated research and development activities on hybrid rice and maize since the inception of hybrid rice research and development activities in Bangladesh. It introduced parent materials from China and evaluated it under Bangladesh conditions. Brac released over a dozen of hybrid rice, maize and vegetable varieties.Brac is credited for pioneering and promoting maize cultivation in Bangladesh, thereby establishing the poultry feed industry, which has previously been fully dependent on imported maize.Members of the Brac family told The Daily Star that Sir Abed's winning the food prize is also an honour for Bangladesh and it should encourage all working for the cause of food security and nutrition.
The World Food Prize was conceived by Dr Norman E Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Since 1986, The World Food Prize has honoured outstanding individuals who have made vital contributions to improving the quality, quantity or availability of food throughout the world.Other past prize winners include Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr Muhammad Yunus, pioneer of Indian green revolution Prof MS Swaminathan, pioneer of hybrid rice Professor Yuan Longping of China, former president of Brazil Luis Inácio Lula Da Silva, ex-President of Ghana John Kufour, US Senators Bob Dole and George McGovern, and former Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme Catherine Bertini.