Thursday, September 22, 2016

22nd septemberm2016 daily global,regional and local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

Kharif crops facing irrigation water shortfall

Wednesday, September-21-2016
The Indus River System Authority has forecasted two percent shortfall for current Kharif crops including cotton, rice, sugarcane, vegetables, fodder for live stock and orchards over the protected existing uses of canal water in each province under the 1991 water accord among the provinces.Talking to Business Recorder, Punjab Irrigation Canal Regulator Eng. Husnain said that as WAPDA did not allow IRSA to fill the gigantic Tarbela dam over the mighty Indus to its full capacity up to 1550 ft during the current Monsoon season 2016 owing to on-going construction work of accident prone Tunnel Four Tarbela hydel power project.

Consequently the reservoir could only be filled up to 1544 ft level resulting in the current shortfall of irrigation water for the strategic Kharif crops. Engineer Husnain further said besides below normal rains in the catchments of the rivers in September, the water flows in the four live rivers have marginally decreased. The strategic 20,000 cusecs capacity Marala-Ravi link canal that supplements water in the river Ravi has almost been closed. The water flow in the Chashma-Jhelum link canal has also been cut down from 20,000 cusecs to 2,000 cusecs.

According to 20th September river water report of WAPDA: river Indus at Tarbela: Inflows 75900 cusecs and Outflows 105000 cusecs, Kabul at Nowshera: Inflows 17900 cusecs and Outflows 17900 cusecs, Jhelum at Mangla: Inflows 14100 cusecs and Outflows 55000 cusecs, Chenab at Marala: Inflows 27900 cusecs and Outflows 8000 cusecs.

Meanwhile in view of depleting water resources of the country IRSA held a high level meeting with a World Bank delegation on Tuesday to chalk out a plan for reducing the huge waterline losses. Senior representatives of the provinces also attended the meeting. Veteran water expert and consultant to the Punjab government Eng M.H. Siddiqi represented the Punjab irrigation department.

News Source                                                                                     News Collated by

Farmers denied expected prices for paddy produce

Paddy harvesting nearing completion at Pottepalem in Penna delta.- PHOTO: K. RAVIKUMAR

Millers not cooperating with officials on minimum support price

Paddy farmers have faced an unforeseen problem in Nellore district this season as they are not able to get remunerative prices for their produce with the rice millers not coming forward to offer minimum support price at the paddy purchase centres.
Though there were a few problems in getting water supply initially, the farmers raised paddy in over 1.76 lakh acres with most of it concentrated in the Penna delta areas like Kovur and Alluru.
Despite the average yields per acre of cultivation, the farmers hoped for better prices so that they would not incur losses. Their expectations of good prices because of lower yields also went wrong.
As the season was drawing to a close, the farmers turned panicky and started selling the produce in the fields itself without waiting to take the produce to the purchase centres to claim MSP. This had turned to the advantage of the dealers and the representatives of the millers, who were offering low prices.
Alluru Kishore Reddy, a farmer from Pottepalem, said they had not anticipated the problem this season as the officials said necessary arrangements had been made for better prices at the purchase centres throughout the district.
“But the problems have cropped up and there are no good prices for the farmers. Millers are not cooperative because of which the dealers are buying our paddy at low prices. We have no option but to settle for this and we cannot wait till we get Rs. 12,350 MSP per putti (850 kg),” Mr. Kishore told The Hindu .
He had cultivated paddy in over 20 acres at Pottepalem village near Nellore. The yield was 35 bags (each bag 40 kg) per acre due to lack of adequate water supply and unfavourable weather.
Mr. Kishore said this had become a recurring problem but this time the farmers had to sell the produce in fields itself at far lower prices. He said they would have waited if there was any hope of getting MSP in the near future.
For the farmers, lack of remunerative prices was indeed a major blow what with their financial conditions already turning grim considering the high interest loans they had taken from private persons.The cost of cultivation also rose to anywhere to Rs. 30,000 per acre.

UC endowed chair to boost rice research

Capital Press
Published on September 20, 2016 4:03PM
Tim Hearden/Capital Press Different types of rice grow at the industry-supported Rice Experiment Station in Glenn County, which often collaborates with the University of California on projects. The UC is setting up a $1 million endowed chair for rice research.

DAVIS, Calif. — An industry group has joined the University of California in setting up a $1 million endowed chair to pay for research into improving rice production and quality.
The UC and the California Rice Research Board are splitting the cost of the endowed chair, which will have five-year terms.
The earnings from the endowment — which will average $40,000 to $50,000 a year — will help UC Cooperative Extension and UC-Davis rice researchers who focus on such issues as weed, disease and pest management, nutrient management and water conservation, officials said.
“There’ll be a process where different academics can submit proposals on what they would intend to utilize those resources over a period of five years,” said Chris Greer, the UC’s vice provost for Cooperative Extension. “In most cases, we’re going to expect some sort of collaborative project.
“My guess would be we’re going to have one person who’s the chair-holder and the funds will be utilized to support collaborative, multidisciplinary work on a specific issue,” he said.
Endowed chairs are fixtures at Harvard University and other top institutions as a way to fund specific types of research. UC President Janet Napolitano announced in 2014 that she would seek endowment partners for all of the university’s campuses and for Cooperative Extension.
Last fall, the UC and the California Pistachio Research Board established two endowed chairs of $1 million each to fund studies on tree nut genetics, soil science and plant-water relations.
Glenda Humiston, the UC’s vice president for agriculture and natural resources, said at the time she was having discussions with several other groups about establishing similar funding streams for other areas of agriculture.
Getting the highest quality and yields and dealing efficiently with pests and disease could be critical for a rice industry whose acreage has declined in recent years because of drought-related water shortages.
Rice growers in California have long been committed to research, having established the Rice Experiment Station in Biggs more than a century ago and investing more per unit on research than other rice-producing states. The Rice Research Board is funded through a grower assessment of 8 cents per 100 pounds of harvested rice.
Dana Dickey, the research board’s manager, said he hopes the endowed chair will help the industry respond to issues that arise.
“Over the long term, this provides a constant source of research funds that we can use for things that concern the industry,” Dickey said. “We’ve specifically narrowed the field of people who can apply … to farm advisers and specialists who work on rice. It’s a fairly small group of people who we are already committed to funding. This is an additional funding source for them

State urged to adopt single rice seedlings

File photo
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Worawora Rice Limited, Mr Yaw Adu Poku, has underscored the need for the country to adopt a single rice seedlings for local rice production in the country.That, he said, would help increase consumption and encourage farmers to cultivate more to enable the country to become the hub of rice production within the West African sub region.Speaking to the Graphic Business on the sidelines of a rice workshop, Mr Opoku said the consumption of local rice every year was increasing, hence the state must capitalise on it in order to reap the results.
“It is crucial for the country to adopt a single rice seedlings for local rice production in order to complement the increasing patronage due to the improving packaging, absence of stones and chaff in the cultivation of varieties similar to the imported ones,” he said.

Although rice has become stable in the Ghanaian economy with a per capita consumption of about 58 kilogrammes per head, and demand for milled rice for consumption estimated at 1.6 million metric tonnes, only 46 per cent of this is locally produced.He urged the government not to see rice as just food to enhance food security but recognise the contribution of the crop to the national economy through foreign exchange.

Strategies to reduce import

For his part, Mr Joseph Nyame, a local rice farmer, called on the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to develop a strategy to reduce the import of the cereal into the country.“A boost in production and improvement in the packaging of the local rice would encourage increase domestic patronage, thereby reducing the importation of rice,” he advised colleague farmers.He also bemoaned missed opportunities in the rice sector due to inaccurate consumer perceptions about local rice, and he added that farmers could do more to dismiss such thoughts from the minds of consumers.

Rice imports

It is estimated that Ghana imports between US$200 and US$400 million rice annually.

The amount is said to be one of the major factors that swells the country’s import bill, while putting pressure on the local cedi which is consistently losing value against the United States’ dollar.Due to the high demand for the cereal, particularly the perfumed brand, many business people have found rice imports a lucrative venture and are importing from all sources around the world.

On the other hand, the government has also found it an easy source to make some revenue and has since 2010, reintroduced taxes on the importation of rice. The move has not only made the importation of rice and its sale to the people more expensive but has also created the platform for people to smuggle the cereal into the country.
According to Food Security Ghana, two of the major motivators for smuggling rice are the high import tariffs and, more importantly, the high differences between neighbouring countries’ duties and taxes.

In the rice sector, a gap of 24.5 per cent exists between import duties as compared to Ghana’s 37 per cent and Ivory Coast’s 12.5 per cent, leading to massive smuggling on Ghana’s western border.

Ban on rice import

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) has lifted the ban placed on inland importation of rice by the ministry and Parliamentary Select Committee on Trade and Tourism.
The ban, which has been in force for about three years, prevented the importation of rice into the country through the Elubo, Sampa and Nkrankwanta borders.
The move was to curb the numerous unfair trade practices such as evasion of import duties and other taxes, under invoicing, infringement of trademarks and smuggling.

What will rice industry look like in 2025?

Preliminary estimate: August rains cost Arkansas $40 million-plus
Sep 21, 2016 David Bennett | Delta Farm Press
  • Preliminary damage numbers for Arkansas flooding released.
  • How will long-term trade, population and wealth shifts affect U.S. rice?

August rains hit many northeast Arkansas crops hard. This field is just south of Cord on Highway 37 and was photographed Aug. 31.
The economic health of the Arkansas rice crop -- both immediate and long-term -- was recently addressed by Eric Wailes. Following abundant August rains that led to floods and subsequent crop quality issues, the University of Arkansas economist and colleagues say the state faces damages to all agriculture of $40 million to $50 million.
On rice specifically, the report says “By the time the rain hit, harvest in the state’s 1.58 million rice acres had only reached 2 percent. Northeastern Arkansas saw the heaviest rain, with totals up to 12 inches. (Arkansas Extension rice specialist Jarrod) Hardke estimated 40,000 rice acres were hard-hit, with the largest amounts in Randolph 15,000 acres; and Craighead counties at 10,000 acres. Total losses for rice were estimated at up to $18.6 million.”
Prior to the rains, the distinguished professor and L.C. Carter chair in the agricultural economics and agribusiness, spoke at the Arkansas Rice Expo about what the rice industry could look like in 10 years.
In early September, Wailes spoke to Delta Farm Press. Among his comments:
On the $50 million damage estimate for Arkansas agriculture…
“The estimate may be a bit conservative. We may be a bit high on some commodities and low on others. There remains a lot of the harvest to go. The rains were an unusual event and hit as many crops were just this side of harvest.”
Northeast Arkansas flooding in during both planting and harvest seasons “is rare. We’ve had huge rains during the planting season and huge rains during the harvest season. But it’s awful (for a second floods) to happen pre-harvest just when much of the crop has been made.
“Some serious decisions will have to be made in the coming days by producers, crop insurance adjusters and agents. They’ll have to come up with reasonable approaches to harvest.”
On ‘hidden’ damages and a trickle-down…
“We also have to keep an eye on hidden damages. We won’t know about the true costs of deteriorated quality for some fields until the crop reaches the elevators or mills. There’s more uncertainty in trying to nail down the damages for this event than in previous events where there was more precise data or numbers in terms of acres lost, harvest lost.
“It’s already a bad year for equipment dealers because of low crop prices. Going into this season we had projections of a near-record rice harvest and rice prices were down. Corn prices, bean prices, wheat prices have all been down.
“The more important story is the whole commodity price complex is relatively depressed. That’s led to the whole crop/farm economy losing strength and has implications for input dealers, farm credit, all of the components that make the farm economy work.”
On what rice producers can expect in 2025…
“It’s a big enough challenge figuring out what would happen going into this harvest. Again, we were expecting a huge rice crop. I know millers and the rice industry in general about finding a market. Now, with the latest crop condition report, upwards of 25 percent of the Arkansas rice crop is rated as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor.’
“I don’t want to say that’ll help with the situation. It’s terrible for those farmers who’ve suffered various problems with the flooding. On the other hand, it does ease a bit pf the pressure on having to locate the markets.
“Longer term, we need to look at the main drivers of rice in general. Rice is one of the more policy-distorted crops traded in world markets. We face large amounts of protectionism. That was made clear in last year’s U.S. International Trade Commission report on the prospects of U.S. rice exports. They noted a number of countries that have significant import barriers that affect the opportunities for Arkansas and U.S. exporters.
“Another driver is economic growth in developing countries. If you look at that long-term projections – and I’m primarily talking about Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa – we’re talking about 4 to 6 percent annual GDP growth. That’s a very positive thing.
"Looking at the African markets, you have high population growth, high income growth and rice is an ascendant food in many countries. It’s a new, novel food that was once thought of as a luxury good. But now it’s becoming affordable, certainly at the prices we’re currently facing.”
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More on global trade, and trade pacts, in the future…
“I think the total global trade market will increase by another 25 percent over the next 10 years. What role the United States can play in that will be a function of how competitive we can be with a number of countries and what happens in regard to trade policies.
“There have been a lot of discussions about the TPP and whether it’s in the interest of the U.S. rice industry. I believe the USDA and USTR have made fairly strong arguments for the TPP looking at agriculture as a whole.
“For U.S. rice, though, there is concern it would open up direct competition with Vietnam for the Mexican market. That presents a challenge. Frankly, we should be able to maintain the Mexican market against the Vietnamese, who have a clear disadvantage logistically in getting rice there. That’s a paddy market and Vietnam typically doesn’t export paddy and the United States does. So, I don’t know how strong a challenge that really is, although it certainly is there. If we maintain the Mexican market, in 10 years it may be a 900,000 ton metric ton market.
“Latin America may be another 900,000 ton metric market. We have a trade agreement with Peru – we’ve had a TRQ with them. We’ve been successful meeting the TRQ, even going above it last year, with Colombia.
“Of course, we’re facing some direct competition out of Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil. The United States will have to focus on developing and producing a competitive, high-quality rice crop.”
On exports to Cuba and China…
“If the Cuban market opens up it could be a 300,000 to 500,000 metric ton market. That’s a huge opportunity. I’d like to think in 10 years we’d at least provide 300,000 metric tons to the Cuban market. It’s a country that will be looking for high-quality rice to feed the locals and the tourist industry that’s sure to thrive. Prospects are good but we need Congress to move on ending the embargo and figuring out the financing of U.S. ag exports in Cuba.
“Another market that will require strong, competitive pricing is China. There are some upscale aspects -- we could provide rice for the middle- and upper-class grocery stores. That could be 200,000 metric tons.
“The China market (wants) half medium-grain, half long-grain. We need to get a piece of that action. The stumbling block is getting a phytosanitary agreement in place.”
On rice and climate change…
“There are number of major importing countries – Bangladesh among them – that are vulnerable in terms of their rice production, which is in lowland areas, coastal areas. The impact of climate change that I see is it may expand imports into those countries and take some of the exportable surplus from some of the traditional southeast Asian exporters like Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, even India and Pakistan.
“That would mean a potential vacuum, a potential opportunity, in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.
“Climate change will affect rice production in a number of countries. To the extent it doesn’t have a negative effect here in the United States we should be able to capitalize.
“The Arkansas congressional delegation is doing its best to open the Cuban market. Rep. (Rick) Crawford is leading that charge and I believe that’s where Arkansas is aiming to really do business.
“To ensure we can do that, we must continue to invest in research and Extension activities. That will really help make the Arkansas rice farmer productive and efficient and can making a living through both the domestic and export markets.

Rice Prices

as on : 22-09-2016 12:25:14 PM
Arrivals in tonnes;prices in Rs/quintal in domestic market.


Tamluk (Medinipur E)(WB)
North Lakhimpur(ASM)

09/21/2016 Farm Bureau Market Report


Long Grain Cash Bids
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Long Grain New Crop
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Nov '16
Jan '17
Mar '17

May '17
Jul '17

Sep '17

Nov '17


Rice Comment

Rice prices continue to face difficulty maintaining gains. Prices moved lower today as the market gave back all of yesterday's gains as prices are again testing support at recent lows. Rice needs some positive demand new to help,the oversold market rebound as large supplies continue to drag prices lower.

Retail Dietitians Encourage Shoppers to Think Rice for NRM

By Deborah Willenborg

ARLINGTON, VA -- As more shoppers are seeking healthier lifestyles, grocery stores are responding with health and wellness programs to meet their needs.  In fact, ninety-five percent of stores employ dietitians at the corporate, regional, and store levels, and these dietitians are developing nutrition programs to help shoppers make healthy food choices, while at the same time supporting retail grocery sales.

That's why this September, in support of National Rice Month (NRM), USA Rice is working with retail dietitians to remind shoppers to Think Rice before, during, and after their shopping experience.

"USA Rice has created partnerships with retail dietitians providing them with quality content that makes it easy to include U.S. rice in activities and supermarket communication channels," said Katie Maher, USA Rice director of domestic promotion. "And USA Rice is already seeing results from this month's efforts, with retail dietitian promotions logging more than 10 million consumer impressions to date.  Other efforts include in-store recipe samplings at ShopRite and United Supermarkets, and a broadcasted recipe demonstration with Rouse's Chef Nino on Good Morning New Orleans local TV segment."

Dietitians also are encouraging shoppers to Think Rice when thinking healthy family meals.  According to Maher, "A particularly unique activity this month is USA Rice's participation in Kroger and The Little Clinic's Wellness Festivals.  Earlier this month, in Nashville and Columbus, hundreds of attendees visited USA Rice's tasting and learning station staffed by one of The Little Clinic's registered dietitians, where USA Rice's Brown Rice with Sizzling Chicken and Vegetables recipe was demoed, and recipe cards and information distributed."

Maher added, "In addition to our planned partner promotions, dietitians at four other grocery stores - Big Y, Country Market, Giant Eagle, and Martin's Supermarkets - have promoted NRM at no additional cost to USA Rice.  The bonus placements from those dietitians demonstrate the quality of USA Rice's resources and also the benefit of working with this dietitian network to stretch our promotion dollars.  All told, this year's NRM retail dietitian program is shaping up to be another success!"

Cal-Cam Rice Growers Celebrate National Rice Month
By Randy Jemison

LAKE CHARLES, LA -- Yesterday, the Calcasieu-Cameron Rice Growers Association sponsored its 19th annual National Rice Month Cook-Off followed by a luncheon hosted by the Port of Lake Charles.

Sixteen Family and Consumer Science students from area middle and high schools competed in the cook-off.   Each participant received an electric rice cooker from Farmers Rice Mill here, and the Louisiana Rice Growers Association provided the contestants with a one-pound bag of Louisiana-grown Jasmine rice.

"Although our growers are just coming off one of the most challenging harvests in memory because of the floods and rain, we are always excited to see young folks interested in rice and it's place on the menu," said Adam Habetz, president of the Cal-Cam RGA.

Kiera Welker of S.J. Welsh Middle School took first place with her Shrimp Rice Patties with Gravy.  Second place went to Rachael McVey of Iowa High School for Crawfish Dressing, and third place to Makayla Hodge of South Beauregard High School for Seafood Casserole.  Evie Talbert Moss of Bluff Middle School won "Heart Healthy" recognition for her Black-Eyed Pea Jambalaya.

        USA Rice Daily, Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Bitter Harvest for Rice Farmers

It’s almost 10 in the morning in Battambang province’s Bavel district and the blazing sun would deter anyone from venturing too far from the cool comfort of their thatched huts in this rice-growing area.But for many families whose livelihoods depend on rice farming, braving the almost unbearable heat is a must ‒ if they want to make ends meet in one of the worst rice seasons the country has seen. Farmers in Bavel district ‒ one of the biggest rice-growing areas in Battambang province ‒ are reeling from the aftereffects of a prolonged drought that has resulted in falling paddy rice harvests. They are also grappling with sharply plunging rice prices and, at the same time, struggling to pay back loans taken out from banks and microfinance institutions. The outlook is bleak.Soun Sarith, a 55-year-old farmer with four children, is spreading out his just- harvested paddy rice on a large tarpaulin at the side of the road. The heat radiating from the tarmac on the road will help dry his rice quickly. 
“A broker from the rice millers refused to buy my harvested rice because he said my price was too high. I’m waiting for other brokers to give me a better price. The prices offered are too low and I have to feed my family,” Mr. Sarith told Khmer Times.“I heard the government has promised to keep the price of paddy rice at 840 riel ($0.21) a kilogram. In reality, however, the brokers for rice millers are offering us much lower than that,” he added.Mr. Sarith said he was disappointed with rice prices this year, but he did not have much of a choice.
“With such low prices, I could leave my rice fields uncultivated and wait for prices to climb before planting again.“But if I do that, what will my family survive on?” he asked.“I could dry and store my paddy rice and wait for the highest bidder to buy my harvest. But we don’t have proper warehouses and the rain will spoil my stored rice.”He said it was only a matter of time until he sold off his current rice stock.“I cannot afford to wait any longer.”On Monday, the Rural Development Bank (RDB) announced that rice millers in the country will now be able to access the government’s promised emergency loan of $20 million to purchase rice from farmers in a bid to prevent prices falling further.

 RDB CEO Kao Thach said the government’s $20 million emergency loan had been transferred to the RDB yesterday after Prime Minister Hun Sen approved it on Friday.“All rice millers in the country who have their own warehouses and silos to store rice can now apply for the emergency loan from the RDB,” Mr. Thach told reporters at a press conference.Rice millers who do not have warehouses or silos, the RDB CEO said, will still be eligible for the loan from the bank provided they deposit their paddy rice to be milled at government warehouses, which in turn will be used as a collateral for the loan.The government, Mr. Thach said, will provide loans to rice millers of up to 70 percent of the total amount required to buy paddy rice from farmers and would charge them an interest rate of eight percent a year.
Mr. Hun Sen yesterday called on all civil servants and private companies to help purchase rice from farmers across the country.“After the RDB announcement, I observed that there were many government officials and traders and some companies purchasing rice from farmers. This contribution is important to help farmers,” said Mr. Hun Sen.Mr. Thach told Khmer Times that so far that so far, after the RDB’s announcement, companies and government officials purchased between 300 and 400 tons of rice from government-run warehouses.But Sim Chhoun, chief of the remote Svay Chhrom village in Bavel district, was less than optimistic with the RDB’s announcement. 
“My village is really far and we have to see rice millers or their brokers offering the government price of 840 riel per kilo for our harvested paddy rice,” he told Khmer Times.“These millers often go to other communes, bypassing us. After they have gone away, the rice traders will move in, offering us a price of about 720 riel ($0.18s) a kilo.“Often we have no choice but to sell at this price.”Horm Hy, a rice farmer in Bavel district’s Kbal Spean village, was facing a similar conundrum.“I have loaded my harvested paddy rice in a motorized three-wheel cart and I am driving it from one commune to another looking for rice millers offering 840 riel per kilogram. I have not had any luck and the best I have been offered is 720 riel a kilogram. My family has to eat and I have no choice,” he said.“I cannot store the rice because I don’t have a proper warehouse and the longer I keep it the quality will drop further. The worst case will be if no rice miller wants to buy my harvest. Then I’ll be in big trouble,” added Mr. Hy.
A rice trader calling himself Tes Ra, however, had a different perspective of the current predicament faced by rice farmers.Standing near a big truck where workers were loading paddy rice from motorized three-wheel carts, he told Khmer Times that he bought rice from farmers at a price that he could sell to the millers.“If we buy at a high price, we are not sure if we can sell it to the millers. It depends on the market price, which we have to follow,” said Mr. Ra.Mr. Ra blamed farmers for not adhering to industry standards and trying to sell broken paddy rice to millers. He said this made it difficult for rice millers to offer higher prices to farmers.
 Thov Vuthy, the managing director of Phov Thov Rice Miller in Bavel district’s Bovil II village, said his mill had a limited capacity and he could not purchase large quantities of paddy rice from farmers.“Don’t get me wrong. We want to help out the farmers but we have limited capacity. There is only so much paddy rice we can buy with our limited funds,” he explained.In a recent report, the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) said rice mills in the country should have farmers under contract to provide consistent rice quality and aim for near 100 percent capacity utilization at the mill.“It is clear that ensuring high quality and reliable supply form the basis for increased trade,” said the IFC report.
 Farmers in Battambang province's Bavel district spread out their freshly harvested paddy rice on a large tarpaulin at the side of the road. The heat radiating from the tarmac will help to quickly dry their paddy rice. KT/Mai Vireak

Assistant Professor Ehsan Shakiba studies breeding, genetics in Stuttgart


Posted Sep 21, 2016 at 1:41 PM
Editor's Note: This is the start of a series of question and answer articles highlighting local scientists at Stuttgart's Dale Bumper's National Rice Research Center.
Name: Ehsan Shakiba
I received a bachelor of science degree in plant breeding and agronomy and master of science in plant physiology at a university in Iran. After coming to the United States I got another master of science degree and a Ph.D. in plant breeding and genetics at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Field of study or expertise:
I am a plant breeder and geneticist currently working as an assistant professor in rice breeding and genetics at the University of Arkansas. My field of interest is hybrid rice breeding.
I am originally from Isfahan, a historic and beautiful city in central Iran. I came to the U.S. about 15 years ago and became a U.S. citizen.
My wife, Cassia Oliveira, is from Brazil, and she is an assistant professor at Lyon College located in Batesville. We have a 1-year-old son, Darius.
When did you become interested in rice research?
Prior to working on rice, I worked on soybean breeding for more than six years. I worked as a postdoctoral associate at Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center focusing on identification of agronomically valuable genes in wild rice genome that can be integrated into the Arkansas elite cultivars. There are two equally important challenges facing a rice plant breeder: One to increase seed yield that is important for rice producers, and two is to improve cooking quality, which is important for consumers. Like many Asian countries, rice is an important dish in Persian cuisine; therefore, we appreciate rice with good eating quality.
What courses did you take that steered you into the field that became your career?
A plant breeder needs to know some general knowledge about different agricultural subjects such as physiology, weed science, agronomy, pathology etc. However the important courses required for this field include genetics, molecular biology, plant breeding and statistics,
What do you do at UARREC?
I am a rice breeder and my area of interest is hybrid rice.
What are you currently working on or developing? And why?
Hybrid rice is commercially grown seeds resulting from a cross between two genetically distinct parents. Rice is a self-pollinated plant and each flower contains both male and female organs. In hybrid rice production one parent must be male, or sterile, and serve as a female parent. Currently I am developing several male sterile lines — female parent — and testing them for their level of sterility, cooking quality and combination ability with other cultivars that serve as a male parent.
What are some of the collaborations with DBNRRC?
I know scientists at DBNRRC since I worked there for several years. I am collaborating with some of them in several projects.
Do you have a support staff that assists you in your research? Who are they and what do they do?
I am grateful working with intelligent and professional people. Dustin North who is a program technician. He is also a graduate student in my program. Daniel Wood is our research agro technician.
George Dunklin speaks to WERA group

PPP will ban importation of rice - Nduom

Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom
A future Progressive People’s Party (PPP) government will ban the importation of rice, the 2016 presidential candidate of the party, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, has disclosed.According to him, Ghana has more tracts of arable land suitable for rice cultivation than the various countries from where Ghana imports rice.Dr Nduom disclosed this when he began a four-day tour of Accra yesterday. The tour of the metropolis took the PPP campaign team to the Madina Market, Weija, Gbawe, Trobu, as well as Ayawaso.

Hundreds defy rain

Hundreds of PPP supporters had, earlier in the day, defied a downpour to meet and interact with the flag bearer of the PPP, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, at the Madina Market.The supporters who included taxi drivers, market women, traders and some people who had just come to the market to shop, abandoned their ‘core mission’ and caused severe human traffic as they all gathered to have a personal interaction with the PPP flag bearer.

Not even the heavy rain could deter them.

Dr Nduom was in the company of his running mate, Ms Brigitte Dzogbenuku, and other executive members of the party, including the 2nd Vice-Chairperson, Berlinda Bulley, the Executive Director, Richard Nii Armah, and the Policy Advisor, Kofi Asamoah Siaw.

Nduom to ban importation of rice

Addressing the people, Dr Nduom emphasised that a PPP-led administration would ensure that the country’s local farmers were empowered to increase their yields through mechanisation and financial support.

"The PPP is here to ask for your vote to ensure that our farmers, businessmen and women get state support to expand their business and farms to create jobs for our teaming unemployed youth,” he stated.

To buttress his point, Dr Nduom indicated that all his hotels – the Coconut Groove Hotels in Accra, Elmina and Obuasi — serve local rice.

"I have travelled extensively across the length and breadth of the country and I know what our farmers, especially rice growers, go through just to get their produce milled," he lamented.

Why in politics

Dr Nduom indicated that he was not in politics to enrich himself but he was offering himself to halt the dwindling fortunes of Ghana.

Dr Nduom then used the opportunity to introduce the PPP parliamentary candidate for the Madina Constituency, Rev. James Reynolds Boadi Baafi, to the constituent

Agriculture Minister Blames Businesspeople for Rice Crisis

With the government scrambling to protect farmers from rapidly falling rice prices, Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon on Wednesday poured blame on the private sector for boosting competing countries at the expense of Cambodia by importing products that could be sourced locally.
As rice farmers across the country have seen drastic dips in the value of their paddy—from about $250 per ton in mid-August to $193 last week—the government stepped in with $27 million in grants for rice millers in order to temporarily stabilize the market.
Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon points to statistics on rice during a news conference in Phnom Penh on Wednesday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)
During a news conference at the Agriculture Ministry’s headquarters in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, Mr. Sakhon said Cambodia’s general failure to compete with its neighbors in rice sales was due to a lack of innovation and research by local businesspeople. “Regarding the private sector, they are careless and not smart about competing in business,” he said. “They are not smart enough to compete regionally.”Both Vietnam and Thailand have gradually lowered the price of their exported rice since 2012 in order to compete internationally, Mr. Sakhon said. Cambodian businesspeople “should study the market prices and what our friends around us are doing—what they are able to do and what we are not able to do. Because it is very unfortunate that although we have customers, we make a loss,” he said.

“In Cambodia, there are factories established that produce food for fishes and food for other animals, which require rice grains for production,” he added. But businesses overlook the possibility of using domestic rice—or corn, or bran—to create these foods, and millers do not advertise them properly. Businesses in Vietnam, on the other hand, take advantage of local production, eliminating the cost of importing materials and keeping costs competitive on the international market, Mr. Sakhon said. The agriculture minister said the private sector should also step in to help farmers be more business savvy, boosting everyone’s profits.
Prime Minister Hun Sen, flanked by ministers, bodyguards and government officials, steers a motorized plow in a rice paddy in Kandal province in 2013. (Sok Chamroeun)

“If we keep allowing farmers to select seeds without technical knowledge and then we buy their products, I think our businesses will lose,” he said, adding that better use of fertilizers and pesticides could also propel their yields. “If we don’t have clear measures like that, we could lose customers,” he said. “The Royal Government needs to sit and think about the loopholes that we can help Cambodia’s private sector resolve.”
Lay Chhun Hour, CEO of City Rice Mill in Battambang province, said basic utility costs were already stretching the private sector, and that the government needed to come up with a plan to support long-term efforts to strengthen the country’s rice sector.

“How can we be smart if the cost of electricity—an important factor of production—is high?” he asked, citing significantly lower costs in neighboring countries. The government should also provide high-yield paddy seeds, improve irrigation systems across the country to allow for multiple harvests each year and raise taxes on rice imports, Mr. Chhun Hour said. “All of these measures would help us increase the competitiveness of the Cambodian rice sector.”

Milling won’t start if admn does not sort out pending issues: CPRMA

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 21 Sep 2016 11:47:24
Business Reporter,
DESPITE being the lifeline of milling activities across the State, Chhattisgarh Pradesh Rice Millers Association (CPRMA) has shown its inability in milling untill an amicable solution is reached on problems related to custom milling. After elaborate deliberations on major anti-milling issues like percentage of out term ratio of yield, transportation rates and rates of sacks during the general meeting here on Tuesday, the millers have unanimously decided that it is impossible to commence milling till solution to the problems and policies of the government related to milling for FY 2016-17 are resolved.

According to the President of CPRMA Yogesh Agrawal, the Union Government’s directive on 67 per cent against the average out term ratio of yield of 55 per cent in the state has created problem for the local millers. As such, the association has demanded for fixing out term ratio of yield of each state based on the local conditions from the state as well as central government. Agrawal further said that transportation issue has not been resolved till date. During the last milling season same issue was raised with the state administration. But after an assurance of resolving the transportation issue in the near future, the problem still persists and would be against the interest of the millers in the coming milling season.

Similarly, the rate of sack has also been an important issue that needs immediate attention. Under the existing policy, both millers and administration are at loss. As such the association has suggested that based on the policy of the Central Government, a policy on full saved sack should be framed which will benefit both millers and the administration, Agrawal added. part from Yogesh Agrawal, Devraj Sankhla, Pramod Jain, mahavir Agrawal, Paras Chopda, Vijay Tayal, Roshan Chandrakar, Mohan Agrawal, Naresh Somani, Kailash Agrawal, Suresh Kedia, Bholaram Mittal, Manish Kedia, Vijay Kedia, Kamal Agrawal, K C Goel, Manoj Paliwal, Gopal Modi, Ashwini Chandrakar, Ishwar Bhai along with aover 1000 mill owners were present on the occasion

Nueva Ecija to be a top farm-tourism destination in the Philippines

by Sheen Crisologo
September 22, 2016
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Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija – Farm tourism in the Philippines is being developed as a relatively new way to attract tourists the same way to help farmers supplement their agricultural income is soon to be a big-break to come in this province known by many as the “Rice Granary of the Philippines” and the “Food Bowl of Central Luzon”.
PRODUCTS OF NORTHERN AND CENTRAL LUZON — Native garlic, onions and various other vegetables and spice crops were showcased in the recent Hybrid Rice Congress at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in Nueva Ecija. The exhibit served as a reminder to rice farmers to consider growing cash crops at the same time that they are also growing rice. Cash crops provide the farmers a diversified source of income from farming.
Recently, the first-ever tourism caravan held at SM City Cabanatuan wherein Senator Cynthia Villar made an announcement that Nueva Ecija will become one of the top Farm Tourism Destination in the country is supported by the new law R.A. No. 10816, also known as the “Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016”.
“Farm tourism, as defined by the law, is the practice of attracting visitors and tourists to farm areas for production, educational, and recreational purposes in which this province has existing facilities and more to develop.” said Villar in her message.
Farm Tourism Spots
Nueva Ecija as major contributor of rice in the country is continuously emerging through research and development institution led by Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) located at Science City of Munoz.
PhilRice visitors can walk-through the experimental fields, which highlight new technologies and varieties, and long-term researches. They also appreciate art and culture at the Rice Science Museum and gain better understanding on rice science at the gene bank; plant breeding laboratory and screen houses; and engineering, mechanization, and post-harvest facilities