Friday, June 17, 2016

17th june 2016 daily global regional and local rice enewsletter by riceplus magazine

Rice and fruits: Pakistan agrees to increase export to Yunnan

June 15, 2016
Minister of Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan met the Secretary of Communist Party China of Yunnan Province Li Jiheng in Kunming, China. The two leaders expressed satisfaction on the very successful 4th China-South Asia Expo especially Pakistan's active participation with the largest country pavilion. They also exchanged views on the current status of Yunnan province's economic and commercial ties with Pakistan and agreed to focus on ways and means to further promote these ties in a comprehensive manner.

Cambodia rice exports dramatically increased

Agencies in Cambodia announced in May that the country’s rice exports have increased more than fivefold over the past five years.
A joint statement released by the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Cambodia Rice Federation, said “Cambodia’s formal milled rice exports have significantly increased in the last five years, from approximately 100,000 metric tonnes in 2010 to 530,000 metric tonnes in 2015.”
The growth comes despite the country announcing in December that it would fail to meet an ambitious target of exporting 1 million tonnes of milled rice in 2015. In the first two months of 2016, the country exported almost 96,000 tonnes of milled rice, showing potential for a further increase.
Farmers use a net in an attempt to clear army worms off a rice crop in Tbong Khmum earlier this week. Photo supplied


Army worm outbreak plagues rice crop in five provinces

Thu, 16 June 2016
An outbreak of army worms – brought on by recent rains – is attacking crops in five provinces, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.
A statement released by the ministry on Tuesday identified the provinces affected as Kampong Cham, Prey Veng, Tbong Khmum, Preah Vihear and Oddar Meanchey
Army worms are common in Asia, and each year they damage Cambodian crops such as lettuce, beans and corn.
The statement said that this year, because of the drought, rice crops were also affected. The hot weather acted like an incubator for the worms, and following the rains, the growing rice provided a source of food.
“The impact hasn’t been serious yet, because the outbreak is just beginning,” said Keam Makardy, field operation program manager for agricultural NGO CEDAC.
“But if farmers don’t take care of the pests, it could turn into a big problem.”
Makardy recommended farmers dig canals around their rice fields and line them with ash, which would kill the worms.
Kampong Cham agriculture department director Kim Savoern said farmers could clear vegetation, release ducks into the field to eat the army worms or use pesticide.
The latter, however, worked only one time and would not eliminate future outbreaks, he warned

Govt to retain buffer stock of rice this year

THE NATION June 16, 2016 1:00 am
DESPITE the plan to clear its rice stockpiles this year, the govern-|ment will retain some buffer stock from the new harvest season as a carry-over amid concern about the effects of the ongoing drought, the Commerce Ministry said yesterday.Duangporn Rodphaya, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said the government would continue with its plan to put a big lot of between 1 million and 2 million tonnes of stockpiled rice up for bidding next month, followed by further releases over the course of the year in a bid to clear current stocks by the year's end.

However, under the release plan, the government will carefully consider putting aside safety stocks as rice output in the current harvest season is expected to be 15 per cent lower than in the same period last year, while domestic demand is forecast to remain the same - at 10 million tonnes - she said.Although the government could find buyers for its entire rice stockpile, it would not be able to ship all the stock this year and it will retain a few million tonnes as a carry-over from the new crop harvest, she explained.

There is currently less than 10 million tonnes of rice in the government stockpiles. If the upcom-|ing fourth round of bidding this |year - for 2.23 million tonnes - resulted in around half of the for-|sale rice being sold, around 8 mil-lion tonnes would be left in the |state warehouses, Duangporn |said.About 3 million tonnes is good quality rice, more than 2 million tonnes is for consumption or processing as feed meal, while the other 3 million tonnes is degraded or Grade C quality rice, which will be destined for the industrial sector, for use in producing biomass, fertiliser and fuel.

With a backdrop of the ongoing drought and high demand in the market, Duangporn said the government would continue with its plan to put 1 million to 2 million tonnes of rice up for bidding next month.

Meanwhile, her department reported yesterday that 64 rice traders took part in the government auction for 2.23 million tonnes of rice.The proposed price for the bidding is in line with the market price, or slightly lower, which is acceptable, she said.The director-general also said that with high global demand, Thailand should achieve its target of exporting 9.5 million tonnes of rice this year.

As of Monday, the country had shipped 4.6 million tonnes worth Bt71.68 billion, some 13 per cent higher in volume and 9 per cent higher in value than in the same period last year.Since the current government came to power, a total of 9.71 million tonnes of rice has been sold out of an original stockpile of 18 million tonnes, generating revenue of Bt115.4 billion, she said.

Monsoon set to revive; enter Andhra, Odisha, Maharashtra this weekend

Vinson Kurian
, by June 10, the Arabian Sea arm of the monsoon should have covered most of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh while the Bay of Bengal arm should have reached East Uttar Pradesh.
Thiruvananthapuram, June 16:  
A cyclonic circulation in the Bay of Bengal followed by a low-pressure area is expected to play a crucial role in the revival of the monsoon later this week.
The India Met Department had put out a watch for the cyclonic circulation forming in the Bay of Bengal, which has since materialised.
‘Low’ to follow

Importantly, a low-pressure area may pop up close to the Tamil Nadu-Andhra Pradesh coasts by June 25, according to the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts.
Together, the cyclonic circulation and the ‘low’ could help revive the monsoon, which is in a recess after a delayed onset over Kerala on June 8.
In fact, projections by the Met as well as by international models suggest the monsoon driving itself to a peak during the last 10 days of June.
Over the next two to three days, India Met expects the monsoon to advance into the entire Konkan and Goa (including Mumbai) region; parts of South Chhattisgarh, Madhya Maharashtra and Marathwada; remaining parts of North Interior Karnataka, Rayalaseema, and Coastal Andhra Pradesh; parts of Telangana, Odisha and Gangetic West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar.
Spurt in rain

Seasonal rains are expected to propagate along the West Coast towards Mumbai and South Gujarat, while they will push west from the Bay of Bengal into Central India and parts of North-West India.
Meanwhile, India Met points to the possibility of a fresh spurt in rainfall off the Chennai coast from June 22, in what appears to support the outlook of the European Centre.
This would come on the heels of the current cyclonic circulation sending an active rain-head into the rest of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra.
According to initial readings, the ‘low’ is likely to travel in a north-northwest direction into Rayalaseema, Madhya Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
Monsoon milestones

Heavy to very heavy rain should be triggered during this phase over Kerala with exceptionally heavy rain over Central and adjoining North Kerala.
Normally, by June 10, the Arabian Sea arm of the monsoon should have covered most of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh while the Bay of Bengal arm should have reached East Uttar Pradesh.
Both these milestones are now expected to be achieved during the incoming busy phase of the monsoon, and will be late by at least a week in the western regions (Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh).
Given the delay in the onset over the Kerala coast, this was only to be expected, although the initial burst had made it appear as if the monsoon would make up for lost time.
On Thursday, the monsoon’s northern limit was stuck along Karwar on the West Coast, Gadag and Ongole in the southern peninsula.
(This article was published on June 16, 2016)

Rice production in Nigeria: when will we achieve self-sufficiency?

What perspective do Nigerian authorities have on Nigerian self-sufficiency in rice and wheat production? Let’s see what they say about their plans, hopes and ways to achieve this self-sufficiency.

As the specialists describe the situation, the domestic farmers are able to grow and produce at least 3 million metric tonnes of rice. That is far from being enough to cover the demand of Nigeria for this product. That is why the government has to import it in great quantities.
The amount of annual import of rice into Nigeria is at least 5 million metric tonnes. No matter how hard agricultural authorities encouraged the farmers to help reduce the import volumes by producing more on the domestic farmlands, it did not really work for many reasons, the biggest of which was miscommunication. It used to be a different way; but since 2008 numbers were extremely reduced.

However, the Head of the Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, announced that the country is now ready to produce enough to cover the demand for rice with the effort of local farmers. It seems to be more than just a promise, as politicians say that they are going to ban rice import to save costs.
The news broke recently that in certain areas farmers claim to have so much crops that they are even ready to export. However, these are more exceptions than a real rule.

The success has already been seen in Kano state where the Governor announced that their production level has significantly increased since last year. Moreover, he added that millers are now ready to process as much crops as the farmers are willing to provide. The groups of farmers now seem to feel more optimistic about the volumes the government expects them to produce.
Nevertheless, the farmers made numerous complaints about the miscommunication they face with the millers. Authorities announced that they were ready to help solve this issue in order to accumulate all the possible effort to achieve the set goal.

Last year state authorities specializing in agriculture even offered fertilizers to the farmers as an attempt to increase production. It did not help, and they still needed to import both rice and wheat.
Still not all of the specialists feel sure about Nigeria becoming a self-sufficient state in certain corps. There is a number of factors that can block the rapid production growth. Among them the weather conditions, the soil fertility, etc. The Internet is now full of sarcastic jokes about the Minister of Agriculture having a magic wand. He does not really respond to that, but it depicts the general attitude to optimistic predictions.

Nigeria is now waiting for the improvement following statements of the authorities about 100% guarantees about a rapid growth in rice and wheat production. Time will show; however, Nigerians keep their fingers crossed to see that happening!

Gov’t seeks input on new rice standards

Thu, 16 Rice is harvested from a field using a small harvest machine in Tbong Khmum province earlier this year. Heng Chivoan

June 2016
The Institute of Standards of Cambodia (ISC) is soliciting feedback from local stakeholders as it prepares to launch two new standards for the rice industry, the country’s most important agricultural sector.
The ISC is giving the public until June 30 to comment on its proposed national standards for the production and trade of two premium rice varieties – phka rumduol and phka chansensar – Chheng Uddara, director of the ISC’s standards development, training and consultancy department, said yesterday.
“We want to give one last chance to those who want to alter, add or reject any point in the draft standards of these two rice varieties,” he said.
He said that specifications were developed for the two rice varieties because of their high local and international demand.
“The standard provides a clearer identify on the rice and will help support quality assurance and promote exports,” he said, adding that the draft standards would be adopted in July if no amendments were required.
The draft standards identify each variety’s distinct characteristics, including its unique shape, texture, scent and cooking properties.
They also set requirements for hygiene, packaging and trademarks.

Growing from strength to strength

Serafina Silaitoga
Thursday, June 16, 2016

Advanced Parts & Spares Ltd general manager Yogeshwar Chand. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA
ADVANCED Parts and Spares Ltd have taken under their wings the roaring lions — Labasa Soccer Team — for the upcoming Fiji FACT 2016.With that confidence in the Babasiga Lions, the company, which has been in operation for the past 17 years has seen strengthened growth over this period.Company general manager Yogeshwar Chand said the company had come a long way from just a simple shop."It is now a fully detailed automotive spare parts outlet, satisfying customers with various needs and requirements," he said.
"Along the way we have diversified into important product which has a very important impact on the community of Vanua Levu and Fiji at large."The company has also stepped in to assist rice farmers with harvesting needs."In 2009, we showed the urgent need for miniature rice farm machinery that would help the farmers, as there was an outflow of labour force from Vanua Levu," Mr Chand said."We develop our product range to suit the farmers and later it was recognised by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Government of the day.
"The machines were used all over the country. Currently the machines are a major input for rice farming all over."The company, in seeing the need by rice farmers diversified into providing top quality machines at very affordable prices.Mr Chand said the company focused in bringing in the best services such as wheel balancing and wheel alignment.
"All machines are state-of-the-art and the precession is very accurate so the customers are getting world-class service just in their home town," he said.
"We have been one of the top businesses in Labasa to exercise corporate social responsibility as we have always found ourselves connect to the community assistance and NGOs.
"We have been co-sponsors to the festival of the Friendly North for more than 10 years now, also co-sponsors for Crime Prevention Carnival and we have also massively engaged with The Rotary Club of Labasa, whereby all our staff are involved."
Mr Chand said the company had always been supportive of all religious groups and events, being co-sponsors to the Muslim and Sanatan soccer tournaments including schools assistance.
"We also have helped people a lot during the rehab of cyclone Winston, with food packs and rehab items. We are always committed to develop the North," he said.
"With all that we have achieved, where we have reached I would like to thank my customers, who have stayed with us all the way. In whatever we did, our customers stood by us and supported us, a big thank you to all of my customers.
"Also not forgetting the founders of this company Mr and Mrs Bhuvendra Sharma, it is through their early sacrifice and culture and tradition that they have relied on us and we are able to achieve what we have today."

Atkinson Center gives record number of seed research grants

Brian Davis/Provided
São Paulo’s primary strategy for reducing flooding are big pools called piscinões, basins that divide neighborhoods and concentrate pollutants. A Cornell team will create design guidelines that will improve communities and ecosystems.Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future (ACSF) has given $1.5 million from its Academic Venture Fund to a record 14 new university projects. This marks the third consecutive year ACSF has granted more than $1 million.
“Our Academic Venture Fund (AVF) program, now in its ninth year, continues to enable faculty from across campus to form new collaborative teams offering innovative approaches to a wide range of sustainability challenges,” said Graham Kerslick, the executive director of the center. “This year, our AVF awards have a strong international component, with work involving 15 countries in addition to the United States.”
Researchers will obtain data or prove principles and seek external collaborators to partner with in government, for-profit or nonprofit companies, nongovernmental organizations or philanthropies, he said.
The 2016 projects:
Wild Seafood, Healthy Harvest –About 20 percent of the world’s wild seafood is harvested with fishing gear that operates along the seafloor with potential to disturb seabed ecosystems. The research team will develop models for how the seafloor responds to various fishing gear, with the goal to reduce habitat impacts. Researchers: Suresh Sethi and Patrick Sullivan, natural resources; Miguel Gómez, applied economics and management.
Power in the Wind –Uncertainty about the lifetime power potential of proposed wind farm sites raises financing costs and risk for investors. This team will develop computational tools to improve projections of annual electricity yields from potential wind farms. Researchers: Sara Pryor, earth and atmospheric sciences; Rebecca Barthelmie, mechanical and aerospace engineering.
New Tech for an Ancient Food – Basic 3-D printing technology could make tools rice farmers in Asia and Africa need to grow more rice sustainably. The team aims to manufacture quality weeders, transplanters and harvesters for low-water, climate-smart rice production – simply, cheaply and locally. Researchers: Derek Warner, civil and environmental engineering; Erika Styger, International Programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Robert Shepherd, mechanical and aerospace engineering.
Hydropower and Ecosystem Services –The Andean Amazon is experiencing a hydropower boom, as more than 150 new dams are proposed across several countries – with more under construction. The group will evaluate the cumulative economic and environmental impacts. Researchers: Alexander Flecker, ecology and evolutionary biology; Carla Gomes, computing and information science; Patrick Reed, civil and environmental engineering; Gregory Poe, applied economics and management; Scott Steinschneider, biological and environmental engineering.
Crop Disease and Climate Change –Climate change could mean more frequent and devastating plant epidemics, as plant pathogens spread through the air to infect staple food crops fundamental to world food security. Researchers will model how extreme weather events and changing agricultural landscapes could influence the way plant pathogens move across continents and oceans. Researchers: Natalie Mahowald, earth and atmospheric sciences; Gary Bergstrom and William Fry, plant pathology and plant microbe biology; Christopher Myers, physics.
Coffee: What’s Fair? – Fair-trade certification gives consumers peace of mind the supply chain meets a standard of fairness for workers and farmers, but small coffee growers bear many hidden expenses that may not be factored into price-setting. The team will collect real production costs and build an online tool to clarify pricing, and compare the costs and benefits of coffee production systems. Researchers: Miguel Gómez, applied economics and management; Gilly Leshed, information science; Joshua Woodard, applied economics and management.
Fighting Bacteria with Better Dairy Practices –Working with local dairy farms, the team will study routine use of antibiotics in cows and screen colostrum (first milk) to detect antibiotic residues and resistance genes that reach calves at their first feeding. Researchers: Daryl Nydam, population medicine and diagnostic science; Lorin Warnick, population medicine and diagnostic science; David Just, applied economics and management.
Big Pool, Little Pool – Piscinões (big pools) are São Paulo’s primary strategy for reducing flooding. These basins divide neighborhoods, concentrate pollutants and require costly maintenance. Investigators will create landscape-based design guidelines that work to enhance communities and urban ecosystems. Researchers: Brian Davis, landscape architecture; Raymond Craib, history; Tammo Steenhuis, biological and environmental engineering; Thomas Whitlow, horticulture.
Detecting Toxic Chemicals in Fracking Water –Many chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing gas wells are unknown, so water-quality monitoring is difficult. Using new techniques in environmental toxicology, the team will identify unknown chemicals of concern in water collected throughout the fracking process for better wastewater treatment strategies. Researchers: Damian Helbling, civil and environmental engineering; Anthony Hay, microbiology.
Conservation Incentive Programs for Latin America –Working with Rainforest Alliance and industry partners in Nicaragua, the researchers will develop practical incentive programs to help Nicaragua meet its pledge to restore 2.8 million hectares of degraded forest lands. Researchers: Amanda Rodewald, Lab of Ornithology/natural resources; Mark Milstein, Johnson; Viviana Ruiz Gutierrez, Lab of Ornithology; Miguel Gómez, applied economics and management; Stephen DeGloria, soil and crop sciences.
Boosting Maize Yields Sustainably –Farming systems that use ecological principles let African farmers raise more food sustainably. The team will look into how surrounding landscapes and soil affect crop yields to help more smallholder farmers benefit from sustainable practices. Researchers: Katja Poveda, entomology; Andre Kessler, ecology and evolutionary biology; Laurie Drinkwater, horticulture; Magdeline Laba, soil and crop sciences.
Building Better Cities – Buildings produce one-third of the world’s carbon emissions, so urban designers need new, climate-smart modeling tools for energy efficiency, solar power, light and ventilation. The team will develop software to help planners create livable and sustainable urban habitats. Researchers: Timur Dogan, architecture; Howard Chong, hotel administration; Kavita Bala, computer science.
From Carbon Dioxide to Fuel – Carbon sequestration is a promising strategy for combating climate change, but carbon dioxide has little value. The team is building an ultracompact reactor powered by the sun that converts carbon dioxide into salable methanol. Researchers: David Erickson, mechanical and aerospace engineering; Tobias Hanrath, chemical and biomolecular engineering.
Imagining Energy Transitions – With joint funding from Cornell’s Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, the project will provide a novel approach to renewable energy at Cornell. Through the Energy Transitions Collaboratory, scientists and engineers, humanists, social scientists and artists will work together to engage the public in sustainable energy solutions. Researchers: Anindita Banerjee, comparative literature; Albert George, mechanical and aerospace engineering.

The great seed piracy

Besides taking control of the seeds of farmers in CGIAR seed banks, Bill Gates (along with the Rockefeller Foundation) is investing heavily in collecting seeds from across the world and storing them in a facility in Svalbard in the Arctic — the ‘doomsday vault’
A great seed and biodiversity piracy is underway and it must be stopped. The privateers of today include not just the corporations — which are becoming fewer and larger through mergers — but also individuals like Bill Gates, the “richest man in the world”.When the Green Revolution was pushed in India and Mexico, farmers’ seeds were “rounded-up” and locked in international institutions, which used these seeds to breed green revolution varieties which responded to chemical inputs. The first two institutions were the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) in Mexico. These institutes took diversity from farmers’ fields and replaced the diversity with chemical monocultures of rice, wheat and corn.
Dr. R.H. Richharia, India’s pre-eminent rice research scientist, headed the Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI) at Cuttack, Orissa. The Indian institute existed before IRRI, had the largest collection of rice diversity the biggest rice “bank” in the world. Dr Richharia refused to allow IRRI in the Philippines to pirate the collection. The World Bank removed Dr Richharia, the guardian of Indian rice knowledge, from CRRI so that it could transfer Indian peasant intellectual property to the international institute (which later became part of the Consultative Group of International Agriculture Research). Farmers’ seed heritage is held in the seed banks of CGIAR, a consortium of 15 international agricultural research centers, which is the single biggest recipient of grants from Mr Gates.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the new World Bank when it comes to using finances to influence policies in agriculture. The Gates Foundation is a major funder of the CGIAR system — and through its funding, it is accelerating the transfer of research and seeds to corporations, facilitating intellectual property piracy and seed monopolies created through intellectual property laws and seed regulations. Control over the seeds of the world for “one agriculture” is Mr Gates’ target!
Since 2003, CGIAR centres have received more than $720 million from Mr Gates.
Besides taking control of the seeds of farmers in CGIAR seed banks, Mr Gates (along with the Rockefeller Foundation) is investing heavily in collecting seeds from across the world and storing them in a facility in Svalbard in the Arctic — the “doomsday vault”.
Mr Gates is also funding Diversity Seek (DivSeek), a global initiative to take patents on the seed collections through genomic mapping. Seven million crop accessions are in public seed banks. DivSeek could allow five corporations to own this diversity.
Today, biopiracy is carried out through the convergence of information technology and biotechnology. It is done by taking patents by “mapping” genomes and genome sequences. While living seed needs to evolve “in situ”, patents on genomes can be taken through access to seed “ex situ”. DivSeek is a global project launched in 2015 to map the genetic data of the peasant diversity of seeds held in gene banks. It robs the peasants of their seeds and knowledge, it robs the seed of its integrity and diversity, its evolutionary history, its link to the soil and reduces it to “code”. It is an extractive project to “mine” the data in the seed to “censor” out the commons.
The peasants (or farmers as they’re referred to now) who evolved the diversity have no place in DivSeek. their contributions, their knowledge is being “mined” — not recognised, honoured or conserved.
This “genetic colonialism” is an enclosure of the genetic commons. The participating institutions are the CGIAR nodes and “public universities” like Cornell and Iowa State, which are being increasingly privatised by the bio-technology industry and Mr Gates. Cornell is where Mr Gates funds the pseudo-science propaganda machine misnamed the Cornell Alliance for Science. Iowa State is where Mr Gates is funding the Unethical Human Feeding Trials of GMO bananas. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the partners of DivSeek, especially the African Agricultural Technology Foundation and an Africa-Brazil partnership in DivSeek.
Mr Gates is also investing in a one-year-old experimental genetic engineering tool for gene editing, CRISPR-Cas9, through a new front corporation EditasMedicine. While the technology itself is immature and inaccurate, it is a gold rush for new patents. The language of “gene editing” and “educated guesses” is creeping into scientific discourse. Piracy of common genomic data of millions of plants bred by peasants is termed “big data”. But big data is not knowledge, it is not even information. It is data, privateered.
Seeds are not just germ plasm. They are living. They are intelligent. They are beings and subjects of evolution, history, culture and relationships.
In the 1980s, Monsanto led the push for GMOs and patents on life. Today it is Bill Gates. One rich individual is able to use his wealth to bypass all international treaties and all multilateral governance structures to help global corporations grab the biodiversity and wealth of peasants by financing unscientific and undemocratic processes like DivSeek, and trying to unleash untested technologies like CRISPR.
Over the last two decades, humanity has taken actions and written laws to protect the biodiversity of the planet and the rights of farmers to seed, the rights of consumers to safety.
These laws include: The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); the Cartagena Biosafety Protocol to the CBD; the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources Treaty for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA).
India needs to strengthen international and national laws to protect biodiversity and farmers rights. Instead, the government is taking steps to facilitate BigMac™ seed biopiracy.
The New IPR policy has clauses which state:
2.20. Public research institutions should be allowed access to TKDL for further R&D, while the possibility of using traditional knowledge digital library for further R&D by private sector may also be explored, provided necessary safeguards are in place to prevent misappropriation.
4.20. National Biodiversity Authority.
4.20.1. The government will formalise a consultation and coordination mechanism between the national biodiversity authority, intellectual property office and other concerned ministries/departments like Ayush, with a view to harmonious implementation of guidelines for grant of IP rights and access to biological resources and associated traditional knowledge and benefit sharing;
4.20.2. The NBA will streamline approvals for expeditious grant of IP rights, monetary and non-monetary benefit-sharing and introduce efficient and user friendly mechanisms for a meaningful interface between the NBA and applicants.

In effect, the government is stating that our traditional knowledge and biodiversity heritage is available with ease of biopiracy through IPRs.
The government has also made changes in the Biodiversity Act, which was written with India’s decentralised democracy. The Biodiversity Act mandates that foreign entities seeking patents and IPRs on India’s biodiversity seek permission from the Chennai-based NBA.
Section 6(1) of the law requires a mandatory consultation with the local biodiversity management committees (BMC) since local communities are the custodians of biodiversity and traditional knowledge. Under global pressure from biopirates, there is an attempt to dispense with the BMC consultation. Which, in effect, implies destroying people’s rights to their own knowledge and heritage and the foundation of our living economies and democracies.
The writer is the executive director of the Navdanya Trust

P.F. Chang's Films a Summer Blockbuster in Arkansas Rice Country 

ENGLAND & NEWPORT, AR -- Flying high over Dow Brantley's farm, a camera drone takes in the bird's-eye view before swooping down at a high speed to hover over the bright green tillers like a dragonfly on steroids.  Brantley stands in a nearby paddy, surrounded by camera equipment and lighting reflectors, patiently explaining for the third - or maybe the thirteenth time - the life cycle of a rice plant.  

Twenty-four hours later, on her family's farm in Newport, Jennifer James is participating in an on-camera interview on the patio of her duck camp talking about rice production on her farm.  In the distance, GoPros mounted on a set of dirt pans record the distribution of soil based on a computerized plan that maximizes irrigation efficiency on a new field being readied for planting. Today the camera drone sails over grain bins and levees, and zooms along a reservoir, creating a long line of ripples in the clear, blue water glistening in the afternoon sun.

These "Hollywood comes to Arkansas" scenes are not the makings of a new reality TV show but part of a unique video project showcasing U.S. rice farming.  Restaurant industry leader P.F. Chang's is creating a series of documentary-style videos to highlight the story behind the U.S.-grown grain that is integral to so many of the dishes featured on their menu.
USA Rice Director of Domestic Promotion Katie Maher explains: "To mark last September's National Rice Month we partnered with P.F. Chang's on the RiceGiving campaign, a charitable program that donated more than 100,000 pounds of rice to U.S. hunger relief and focused awareness on the U.S.-grown rice in every P.F. Chang's restaurant.  This year P.F. Chang's is placing a deeper focus on the sourcing and stories behind their ingredients by making live action videos to share the beauty and artistry of farming to further tell the story of the food they serve and where it comes from."

"Farm to Wok™ has been our food philosophy since the day we opened.  It's been our story - and now we are telling it," said Dwayne Chambers, P.F. Chang's chief marketing officer.  "Many guests don't know that every one of our restaurants has a scratch kitchen.  This means our chefs are preparing food fresh every day - chopping vegetables, hand rolling sushi, and crafting handmade cocktails from fresh squeezed fruits.  We want to share the stories of the people who make this possible."

The U.S. rice video is one of many in a series of P.F. Chang's videos highlighting different ingredients and their natural source, including green onions, honey, and ginger.  P.F. Chang's plans to debut their video about local rice farms this September in celebration and support of National Rice Month.
"I enjoy promoting U.S.-grown rice any way I can and if this video helps spread the word, I'm in," said James.  "The fact that P.F. Chang's, a household name with a great reputation, sources all of their rice locally from U.S. farmers is so important and I appreciate them wanting to share our story with their customers.  It's proof that their commitment to the integrity of their ingredients and the food they share with guests is real."

A jealously guarded treat for two

A perfect one pot meal that’s as easy as it is delicious

Make kedgeree with smoked salmon and eggs. Photo: Pamela Timms
Our return to Scotland, as well as serving up a hefty dose of reverse culture shock (we found it hard to get used to queuing again, for instance), has also brought changes on the domestic front. When we came back, our children were all home and mealtimes were still a big, family-sized affair. Now, our daughter has left to take up her first proper job and our sons are getting set to do likewise and dinner is sadly no longer a daily, whole-family ritual. In fact, it’s rare to have even one child dining with us.
Needless to say, I am in denial about this and unwilling to downsize my cooking, which means I am still making huge meals but invariably just for the two of us. This results in a fridge full of leftovers that we soon tire of and a realization that I will have to start scaling back the catering.
I’m mostly reluctant to cook in anything less than abundant quantities but there has always been one exception. This kedgeree recipe is my perfect, jealously guarded treat for two. When the children were all still at home, we used to eat it in secret on weekend mornings while they were still in bed.
Kedgeree is thought to be a British adaptation of the traditional Indian rice and lentil dish khichdi. With a protein pack addition of eggs and smoked fish, it then became an Anglo-Indian staple. Interestingly, it also appears in the 1790 cookbook of one Stephana Malcolm of Dumfriesshire, Scotland. In Britain, unlike India, kedgeree is always a fish dish made with smoked haddock and parsley.
Traditional kedgeree recipes usually call for fish that needs to be cooked first, like smoked haddock or fresh salmon. If you want to do this, use the water in which you cook the fish to also cook the rice. The flavouring was from onions, parsley and, of course, curry powder. Mine speeds up the cooking process by adding smoked salmon to the cooked rice. I also like to flavour my kedgeree with something closer to the dish’s Indian origins: turmeric, garam masala and fresh coriander.
It’s quick to make, barely 10 minutes of kitchen activity, and results in the sublime deliciousness of lightly spiced buttery rice, eggs and smoked fish. And for the twosome devouring it here, some compensation, one of the few times when it’s nicer to be eating à deux.
Quick Smoked Salmon Kedgeree
Serves 2
1 onion
25g butter
A pinch of salt
Half tsp turmeric, ground
1 tsp garam masala
150g Basmati rice
300ml hot vegetable stock
3 large eggs
100g smoked salmon, torn into small-ish pieces
1 lemon
A handful of fresh coriander, chopped
Peel and finely slice the onion. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan and cook the onion with a pinch of salt until slightly caramelized. Add the turmeric and garam masala, stir and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the rice to coat with the spiced butter. Add the vegetable stock, bring to the boil. Put a lid on the pan, reduce heat to low, then leave to cook gently for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil the eggs for about 8 minutes, then peel and chop each egg into four pieces. When the rice is cooked, stir in the juice of half a lemon and smoked salmon, and put the lid back on for 1 minute. Stir in the coriander, then serve straight away with the chopped eggs and the remaining lemon cut into wedges.
The Way We Eat Now is a fortnightly column on new ways of cooking seasonal fruits, vegetables and grains. Pamela Timms tweets at @eatanddust and posts on Instagram as Eatanddust.

Wheat, rice strengthen as demand picks up

PTI | Jun 16, 2016, 03.05 PM IST
New Delhi, Jun 16 () Firm conditions prevailed at the wholesale grains market today as select grains led by wheat and basmati rice firmed up on demand against restricted supplies from producing regions.
Traders said besides rising demand, tight stocks position on fall in supplies from producing regions mainly attributed to the rise in wheat, basmati rice and other grain prices.
In the national capital, wheat MP (desi) and wheat dara (for mills) rose by Rs 20 each to Rs 2,270-2,820 and Rs 1,800-1,805 per quintal, respectively. Atta chakki delivery followed suit and traded higher by a similar margin to Rs 1,810-1,815 per 90 kg.
Atta flour mills, maida and sooji also quoted higher at Rs 960-970, Rs 1,020-1,030 and Rs 1,070-1,080 from previous levels of Rs 950-960, Rs 990-1,000 and Rs 1,050-1,065 per 50 kg, respectively.
Basmati rice common and Pusa-1121 variety advanced to Rs 5,750-5,950 and Rs 4,675-5,600 from previous close of Rs 5,700-5,900 and Rs 4,600-5,500 per quintal, respectively.
Other bold grains like maize too rose by Rs 20 to Rs 1,540-1,550 per quintal.
Following are today's quotations (in Rs per quintal):
Wheat MP (desi) Rs 2,270-2,820, Wheat dara (for mills) Rs 1,800-1,805, Chakki atta (delivery) Rs 1,810-1,815, Atta Rajdhani (10 kg) Rs 275, Shakti Bhog (10 kg) Rs 275, Roller flour mill Rs 960-970 (50 kg), Maida Rs 1,020-1,030 (50 kg) and Sooji Rs 1,070-1,080 (50 kg).
Basmati rice (Lal Quila) Rs 10,700, Shri Lal Mahal Rs 11,300, Super Basmati Rice Rs 9,700, Basmati common new Rs 5,750-5,950, Rice Pusa (1121) Rs 4,675-5,600, Permal raw Rs 1,975-2,025, Permal wand Rs 2,150-2,225, Sela Rs 2,800-2,900 and Rice IR-8 Rs 1,840-1,850, Bajra Rs 1,630-1,635, Jowar yellow Rs 1,850-1,950, white Rs 3,500-3,600, Maize Rs 1,540-1,550, Barley Rs 1,670-1,675. SUN KPS JM SBT MKJ
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Rice crop is well underway in state
Posted by: For the MBJ in Agribusiness, NEWS June 16, 2016

Mississippi State University graduate student Justin McCoy flushes rice at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville in late May. A hard, dry crust in some fields had to be broken so rice could emerge. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Bobby Golden)

It was clear by early June that spring’s wet, cool weather caused few issues for Mississippi’s rice crop, as growers got it planted on time and the emerged crop  looks good overall.The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that as of June 5, the crop was 99 percent planted and 97 percent emerged. Of that acreage, 78 percent was in good or excellent condition, and 20 percent was in fair condition.Bobby Golden, Mississippi State University Extension Service rice specialist, said planting this year was well within the historic planting window.“The extreme north Delta had some rice planted a little later because it stayed wetter there,” Golden said. “A few areas got some rice in very early, but for the most part, planting progress this year was done by the second week of May.”After much of the rice was planted, rains returned and there were some issues with seedling disease and herbicide injury caused by the wet, cool weather, he said. A few acres were replanted, but no more than usual in any year.
“There were a few instances where we had to flush the rice to break the crust so it could emerge,” Golden said.

Much of that flushing happened in Bolivar County, which always leads the state in the number of rice acres its growers plant each year.Craig Hankins, Bolivar County Extension agent, said any trouble so far this year came after the crop was planted.“Some folks had to flush the fields to get the seeds to germinate and come on up, but the majority of growers in this area got the rice in the ground and it came up well,” Hankins said. “When it started to rain again, it came at a good time for those who got the rice planted earlier.”Bolivar County is expected to have 45,000 to 50,000 acres of rice this year, up slightly from the 40,000 acres planted in 2015.

“Several folks have stated that it’s starting out as one of the better crops they’ve seen in the last several years,” Hankins said.Golden said statewide rice acreage should be close to 200,000 this year. Last year, Mississippi growers planted only 145,000 acres of rice. Rice had occupied 300,000 acres in 2010, but producers began planting less of the crop because of high soybean prices and problems with heat-induced pollen sterility.Herbicide drift is a problem every year for rice in the Mississippi Delta.“Rice is very susceptible to glyphosate drift,” Golden said. “Most of the other crops we grow in the Delta are resistant to glyphosate, but rice is not. Since rice fields adjoin fields growing these other crops, herbicide drift is a regular problem.”

Golden estimated about 1.5 percent of the state’s rice crop was affected by drift this year, a figure that is fairly typical despite the best attempts to prevent the problem.A change this year is the increase in the number of producers growing Clearfield 163, known as CL163, which is produced by Horizon Ag but was developed at MSU.“We’re still planting a lot of Rex, but with CL163 coming to market, it gives us a Mississippi-bred variety with Clearfield technology, which allows growers to spray ALS herbicide over the crop without harming it,” Golden said.
Rice growers and consultants are encouraged to attend the July 19 Rice Field Day held in Stoneville at the MSU Delta Research and Extension Center. MSU and Mississippi Farm Bureau are hosting the educational event and annual meeting. Contact Golden at 662-769-0274 for details.
Senior Extension Associate
Agricultural Communications

Rice auction nabs B19bn

16 Jun 2016 at 05:00
An official examines state rice at a Suphan Buri warehouse. PATIPAT JANTHONG
The government has sold an estimated 1.99 million tonnes in its latest rice auction, the biggest since the National Council for Peace and Order took control, fetching 19.4 billion baht.Duangporn Rodphaya, director–general of the Foreign Trade Department, said the amount made up 89.2% of the 2.23 million tonnes put up for a 16th bid of rice stocks under the military administration.
The department reported yesterday 64 interested bidders submitted offers, with 39 offering the highest bids for a combined 1.99 million tonnes in 152 state warehouses.
Despite the old grains the latest auction fetched a relatively good price, she said. The 5% white rice was proposed at 10-11 baht per kilogramme, while the market price for new grains is now quoted at 13-14 baht per kg.
The 16th bid comprised 16 rice types including Hom Mali rice, white rice, glutinous rice and broken rice kept at 173 warehouses in 35 provinces.
The government's rice stocks reached 18.7 million tonnes through various rice pledging schemes, which bought rice from farmers at prices 40% above market rates from 2011-14, crippling exports and leading to huge stockpiles.
Since the May 2014 coup, a total of 6.4 million tonnes of rice have been sold via 15 auctions, fetching 66.6 billion baht. Government-to-government rice deals have unloaded 3.8 million tonnes worth 50 billion baht.
The government estimates there are less than 10 million tonnes in state stocks.
Mrs Duangporn said the government was likely to call the next rice auction for 1-2 million tonnes next month, noting sentiment remains bullish.
As of June 13, Thailand has shipped 4.6 million tonnes this year, up 13%, fetching 71.7 billion baht, up 9% year-on-year. Some 44% of shipments were bound for Africa, with 40% to Asian countries such as China, Indonesia and the Philippines, with the rest to the US and the Middle East.
This year, Thailand is estimated to ship 9.5 million tonnes. She said department officials led by the commerce permanent secretary would fly to South Africa and Mozambique next month to pursue more rice sales to African countries
The Bangkok Post

Rain as affected Texas rice crop

Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2016 12:00 am
Record flooding in Texas this year may even oversaturate the water-loving rice crop and cause a 10-15 percent per acre decrease in the 2016 yield, officials estimate.
“The overall planted acreage is up by about 28 percent, which is good,” said Dr. Ted Wilson, center director at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center-Beaumont. “Those who managed to get into fields to plant before the rains began to delay things – as long as their fields weren’t flooded – they are doing OK. But we’ve had some areas that have received a tremendous amount of rain, so I don’t doubt that the yields are probably going to be down.”
Wilson and his team in Beaumont work with the rice industry to produce a weekly Rice Crop Survey for the four-region, 21-county rice-producing area of Texas.The optimum planting time for the Texas rice crop is mid-March through mid-April, he said. 
If planted on time, rice farmers cut the first crop around in August and September and then allow the plants to grow again for a second, or ratoon, crop typically in November or December, he explained.
“We’re not on schedule and it’s all spread out, depending on where the rain and floods have been,” Wilson said. 
“The latest I’ve seen the commercial rice crop planted has been mid-June. I don’t know how much that will be the case this year, but the later it is planted, the less time there is to grow the second crop.”
That’s where the drop in overall yields will be determined, he said. The ratoon crop acreage is normally 50-85 percent of the first crop, depending on the county, giving producers the much-needed added income.
“The high rainfall will definitely reduce this year’s ratoon crop production,” Wilson added.
The most recent weekly rice crop survey released June 3 indicated 165,482 acres to be planted this year. 
About 75 percent of the state crop had been planted by the mid-April optimum time. The remaining 25 percent inched toward completion in the ensuing seven weeks, and planting in six of the rice-producing counties still was not complete.
Beyond the unusual rainfall and flooding this season, Wilson pointed to two other factors normally impacting Texas rice: the release of water from the Lower Colorado River Authority to farmers for use in agriculture and the glut of rice on the world market due to extensive subsidies by the Thai government.
The first, Wilson said, led to farmers deciding to plant more acres. But the second factor – the oversupply from Thailand – suppressed prices to the point that farmers had to put a pencil to what price would be “required to make a reasonable living.” 
That’s why a weather-related reduction in yield could cause a huge dent at the farm level.
He said ultimately Texas production may show an increase in total production – given the higher percent planted – but the yield per acre on individual growers will be where the loss is felt.
Wilson said the rains and floods also are impacting the Beaumont center’s experimental rice crop planting. 
The station’s researchers annually plant numerous plots to study everything from potential new varieties to insects and diseases that can target rice. 
Delayed planting means some scientific studies could be postponed for a year, he said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is expected to release its rice crop estimates in about a month, and Wilson said those numbers may be more precise since they are tied to farm program signup. 
“If we have really great weather for the rest of the year, it could change the outcome,” Wilson said, “but a 10-15 percent yield reduction is a reasonable estimate at this point.”

APEDA AgriExchange Newsletter - Volume 1496

International Benchmark Price
Price on: 15-06-2016
Benchmark Indicators Name
CZCE Wheat Futures (USD/t)
NYSE Liffe Feed Wheat Futures (USD/t)
GFO, HRW, DAT Ontario (USD/t)
Guar Gum Powder
Indian 100 mesh 3500 cps, FOB Kandla (USD/t)
Indian 200 mesh 3500 cps basis, FOB Kandla (USD/t)
Indian 200 mesh 5000 cps, FOB Kandla (USD/t)
South Africa, HPS 70/80 peanuts CFR main European ports (USD/t)
South African, HPS 40/50 peanuts CFR main European ports (USD/t)
Argentinean 38/42 runners, CFR NW Europe (USD/t)
Source: oryza, agra-net
Market Watch
Commodity-wise, Market-wise Daily Price on 15-06-2016
Domestic Prices
Unit Price : Rs per Qty
Market Center
Min Price
Max Price
Kalol (Gujarat)
Khargone (Madhya Pradesh)
Udaipur (Rajasthan)
Haveri (Karnataka)
Neemuch (Madhya Pradesh)
Sangli (Maharashtra)
Manjeri (Kerala)
Taura (Haryana)
Sirhind (Punjab)
Bonai (Orissa)
Sirhind (Punjab)
Solan (Himachal Pradesh)
Unit Price : US$ per package
Price on 31-05-2016
Market Center
Rose Flower
Package: bunched 10s
Assorted Colors
Orchid Flower
Package: bunched 10s
Lilies Flower
Package: per bunch
Asiatic  Type
Package: per stem
Large Head