Saturday, April 09, 2016

8th april,2016 daily global regional and local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

·         Advanced post-harvest rice technologies introduced
·         PhilRice intensifies promotion of El Niño-ready technologies
·         Global Demand for Food Is Rising. Can We Meet It?
·         Traders eye 30pc increase in rice exports to Iran
·         Wheat, barley up on increased offtake
·         Widespread Support for USDA Presence in Cuba
·         New long, medium market grows
·         Top-end Rice Cooker Pioneers Home Appliance Revolution in China
·         China Real Time Tests Xiaomi’s Smart Rice Cooker
·         Amira Nature Foods : Expects to Release Interim Financials in April 2016 and Full Year Financials in July 2016                                                          

·         Arkansas Farm Bureau Daily Commodity Report

Advanced post-harvest rice technologies introduced
A workshop introducing advanced post-harvest rice technologies was held by the Cuu Long Delta Rice Research Institute (CLRRI) and Sontag Consult in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on April 8.During the workshop, attendees discussed the current condition of rice preservation and processing in Vietnam and factors that could increase rice quality and export values.A number of technological solutions and advanced equipment for effective preservation, storage and processing of rice were also introduced; such as, rice cleaning, drying and milling technologies, technologies for parboiled rice production, and eco-friendly rice husk burning stoves.
According to CLRRI Director Prof. Nguyen Hong Son, the Mekong Delta is the country’s rice farming hub where more than 90 percent of rice for export is produced. Last year, the region exported over six million tonnes of rice.Despite that, the rice export values have remained lower than those of other countries in the region, due to not only a lack of high-quality varieties but also outdated post-harvest handling, he said.Prof. Pham Van Tan from the Vietnam Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Post-harvest Technology noted that out-of-date handling techniques have increased post-harvest losses of rice in the Mekong Delta to about 13.7 percent, which equates to more than 781 million USD per year.Poor preservation has also reduced rice export value, he added, urging the need for the delta to apply advanced technology in rice post-harvest handlin


PhilRice intensifies promotion of El Niño-ready technologies

SCIENCE CITY OF MUNOZ, Nueva Ecija — The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhiRice) has recommended the use of drought-tolerant varieties and technologies to help farmers cope with the ongoing El Niño phenomenon.“Rice normally grows at temperatures between 20-35°C. Reports have indicated that temperatures above 35°C is critical for rice growth especially during the reproductive stage. At present, temperature may reach up to 38 to 40°C,” said Dr. Norvie Manigbas, PhilRice plant breeder.Based on the studies, rice yield can decrease by 10 percent for each 1°C increase in minimum night temperature during the dry season.
Dr. Jasper G. Tallada, head of the PhilRice’s Climate Change Center, said drought affects all stages of rice growth.”It does not only reduce water supply but also increases the amount of water needed for plant transpiration,” he said.For irrigated lowland, PhilRice said farmers may consider planting several early-maturing varieties.“Use of direct seeding technologies can also help farmers cope up with El Nino so that rice plants can escape drought or heat. Direct seeded rice matures earlier by seven to 10 days compared to transplanted culture due to stress during transplanting,” Manigbas said.
For water-saving technologies, the PhilRice recommended the alternate wetting and drying (AWD) and low-cost drip irrigation system (LDIS) technologies.Developed by International Rice Research Institute, AWD guides farmers when to irrigate or not the rice field. Hence, this prevents wasteful use of water.PhilRice studies show that use of AWD also minimizes greenhouse gas emissions in paddy fields.
LDIS is also used for efficient use of water and is recommended for irrigating rice-based crops.Meanwhile, the use of fossil fuel-free technologies such as the rice hull gasifier-pump system, windmill-pump system, rice hull stove and carbonizer lessens production cost and is environment-friendly.The rice hull gasifier-pump system uses rice hull instead of gasoline or diesel in pumping water from the ground. It is recommended for rainfed areas where fuel expenses are high.
The wind mill-pump system is applicable in areas where wind energy is abundant.A device called rice hull carbonizer processes the rice hull into biochar (charcoal).
Aside from being used as soil conditioner, biochar is also popular as main ingredient in producing organic fertilizers thus, reducing dependence on synthetic fertilizers. 


Global Demand for Food Is Rising. Can We Meet It?

APRIL 07, 2016

Over the last century, the global population has quadrupled. In 1915, there were 1.8 billion people in the world. Today, according to the most recent estimate by the UN, there are 7.3 billion people — and we may reach 9.7 billion by 2050. This growth, along

 with rising incomes in developing countries (which cause dietary changes such as eating more protein and meat) are driving up global food demand.Food demand is expected to increase anywhere between 59% to 98% by 2050. This will shape agricultural markets in ways we have not seen before. Farmers worldwide will need to increase crop production, either by increasing the amount of agricultural land to grow crops or by enhancing productivity on existing agricultural lands through fertilizer and irrigation and adopting new methods like precision farming.However, the ecological and social trade-offs of clearing more land for agriculture are often high, particularly in the tropics. And right now, crop yields — the amount of crops harvested per unit of land cultivated — are growing too slowly to meet the forecasted demand for food.Many other factors, from climate change to urbanization to a lack of investment, will also make it challenging to produce enough food. There is strong academic consensus that climate change–driven water scarcity, rising global temperatures, and extreme weather will have severe long-term effects on crop yields. These are expected to impact many major agricultural regions, especially those close to the Equator. For example, the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, one of the most important agricultural regions worldwide, may face an18% to 23% reduction in soy and corn output by 2050, due to climate change. The Midwestern U.S. and Eastern Australia — two other globally important regions — may also see a substantial decline in agricultural output due to extreme heat.Yet some places are expected to (initially) benefit from climate change. Countries stretching over northern latitudes — mainly China, Canada, and Russia — are forecasted to experience longer and warmer growing seasons in certain areas. Russia, which is already a major grain exporter, has huge untapped production potential because of large crop yield gaps (the difference between current and potential yields under current conditions) and widespread abandoned farmland (more than 40 million hectares, an area larger than Germany) following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, in 1991. The country arguably has the most agricultural opportunity in the world, but institutional reform and significant investments in agriculture and rural infrastructure will be needed to realize it.Advanced logistics, transportation, storage, and processing are also crucial for making sure that food goes from where it grows in abundance to where it doesn’t. This is where soft commodity trading companies, such as Cargill, Louis Dreyfus, or COFCO, come in. While Big Food companies such as General Mills or Unilever have tremendous global influence on what people eat, trading companies have a much greater impact on food security, because they source and distribute our staple foods and the ingredients used by Big Food, from rice, wheat, corn, and sugar to soybean and oil palm. They also store periodically produced grains and oilseeds so that they can be consumed all year, and they process soft commodities so that they can be used further down the value chain. For example, wheat needs to be milled into flour to produce bread or noodles, and soybeans must be crushed to produce oil or feed for livestock.
Nonetheless, even if some regions increase their output and traders reduce the mismatch between supply and demand, doubling food production by 2050 will undeniably be a major challenge. Businesses and governments will have to work together to increase productivity, encourage innovation, and improve integration in supply chains toward a sustainable global food balance.
First and foremost, farmers, trading companies, and other processing groups (Big Food in particular) need to commit to deforestation-free supply chains. Deforestation causes rapid and irreversible losses of biodiversity, is the second largest source of carbon dioxide emissions after fossil fuels, and has contributed greatly to global warming—adding to the negative pressure on agriculture production for which these forests were cleared in the first place.Farmers must also grow more on the land they currently operate through what is called “sustainable intensification.” This means using precision farming tools, such as GPS fertilizer dispersion, advanced irrigation systems, and environmentally optimized crop rotations. These methods can help produce more crops, especially in parts of  Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe with large yield gaps. They can also reduce the negative environmental impacts from over-stressing resources–preventing groundwater depletionand the destruction of fertile lands through over-use of fertilizer.The agricultural sector also needs significant long-term private investment and public spending. Many large institutional investors, including pension funds and sovereign wealth funds, have already made major commitments to support global agricultural production and trading in recent years—not least because agricultural (land) investments have historically delivered strong returns, increased diversification, and outpaced inflation.Still, investment in agriculture in most developing countries has declined over the last 30 years and much less is spent on R&D compared to developed countries—resulting in low productivity and stagnant production. And because banking sectors in developing countries give fewer loans to farmers (compared to the share of agriculture in GDP), investments by both farmers and large corporations are still limited. To attract more financing and investment in agriculture, the risks need to be reduced by governments. Regulators need to overhaul policies that limit inclusion of small, rural farmers into the financial system— for example, soft loans (i.e., lending that is more generous than market lending) and interest rate caps discourage bank lending. More supportive policies, laws, and public spending on infrastructure would help create a favorable investment climate for agriculture.Global policy makers, corporations, and consumers must put the global food balance higher up the agenda. International business leaders who are participating in this supply chain have to better communicate the need for policy changes and for developed countries to incentivize investment in regions where there is the most potential for growth. Our food security will depend on it.

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Maarten Elferink is the founder and Managing Director of Vosbor, an Amsterdam based commodity service and solutions provider dedicated to sustainability, originating soft commodities and derivative products selectively in Eastern Europe and the FSU for distribution in the Asia-Pacific region.

Florian Schierhorn is a post-doctoral researcher at the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies in Halle, Germany and was selected for participation in the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting on Economic Sciences in 2014. His overall research relates to the question of how to meet global food security without increasing pressure on land.