Friday, October 21, 2016

21st October,2016 daily global,regional and local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

2.1m hectares of irrigated rice area to face water scarcity by 2025

By Webmaster -
Amanullah Khan
Karachi—Pakistan’s 2.1 million hectares of irrigated rice area will face physical water scarcity by 2025, and in order to sustain such pressures to keep outputs and livelihoods intact, the farming community needs efforts like RAHBAR to educate them on conservation agriculture, in addition to best practices for higher yields, less wastage, and consequently greater profits.
This was stated by Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan while appreciating lauded Engro’s RHBAR program hailing it as a unique initiative introduced to address and find solutions that would, in the near future, improve Pakistan’s food security as well as drive sustainable economic growth within the country. Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan appreciated the efforts being made by Engro to help farmers at the grass root level to overcome challenges faced by them in terms of outdated farming methods, lack of knowledge and technology.These farmers are not only a vital element of poverty alleviation and global food security, but they also have the potential to boost local economies and communities.
Rahbar is an initiative by Engro Fertilizer & Engro Foundation, actively focusing on inspiring our farmers towards better farming methods leading to improved prosperity. The program is not only about educating farmers on best crop management practices and conservation-agriculture, it is also about exposing them to innovation and use of technology in modern agriculture.The project was rolled out in September 2015 in Sheikhupura, and has already successfully impacted 5000 farmers in the area with an impressive record of 26 per cent yield improvement in Rahbar supervised plots vs conventional farms.
 In the near future, it is estimated that 500,000 farmers in 12 districts in Sindh and Punjab would benefit from the Rahbar Program.The Minister while applauding the initiative, said that Engro’s commitment to leverage modern technology to bring crop yield productivity at par with global standards is commendable, and he hoped that other companies in the private sector would also follow to help boost our agricultural sector.

The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has urged the prime minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif to set up the Value Addition Bureau (VAB) for increasing exports and the benefit of the SME sector to inculcate and educate the sector for adding value to their products and services by taking their products and services to the next level.President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver who is also chairman of working group of Capacity Building in Technical Committee of National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) said it is indeed very painful to see the entrepreneurs not fully involved in value addition which is the key to growth and progress. The entrepreneurs are missing the opportunity.

He said the first thing the PM needs to do is to put the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) under the cabinet division to stimulate it and also have direct access to the authority. In all advanced countries of the world the SME promotion and development is under the chief executive be it the PM or the president as the case may be. In our country it is under the ministry of industries and much time and energy goes in recommendations and decisions. To avoid all this the PM needs to have this as his pet project because it is for the benefit of the majority sector and needs special attention.
Thaver pointed out that the country needs to focus on value addition in letter and spirit in manufacturing and services. The VAB under SMEDA could select one industry after another and educate the sector to add value in each and every agricultural produce from peanuts to potatoes, from cotton to cloth, in each and every fruit, vegetable, crops like rice, wheat, maize, pulses, also flowers.The services sector also needs to increase its efficiency and productivity and also introduce value added services to its orthodox style.
Much has been spoken on value addition but what is required is practical education and adoption to make value addition a manufacturing style. The country is exporting substantial quantities of agricultural produce and even if a portion is exported after value addition it will open their eyes to what they can earn with value addition.The VAB needs to be set up under SMEDA for regular contact with the SME units to educate them on value addition manufacturing.


Exports of Basmati rice fall

October 20, 2016
The exports of Basmati rice have registered a decline of 40.54 percent during last five years from 1,137,943 metric tonnes in 2010-2011 to 676,630 metric tonnes in 2014-15 while non-Basmati rice exports have witnessed a growth of 19.15 percent from 2,563,664 metric tonnes to 3,054,680 metric tonnes during the same period.

The Rice Research Institute (RRI) Kala Shah Kaku's sources said the Basmati rice exports in term of value has declined from US $1.137 billion in 2010-11 to US $676, 630 million in 2014-15 against the non-Basmati rice whose exports have increased from $1.138 billion to $1.167 billion during the same period.

The boost in non-Basmati rice exports was mainly because of the increment in Hybrid cultivated area in Sindh, Guard Agricultural Research & Services (pvt) Ltd, Shahzad Ali Malik said. Quoting the figures of the Ministry of National Food Safety and Research, Malik in a presentation given to Lahore Economic Journalists Association, said that hybrid area of cultivation has increased in Sindh form 84300 hectares in 2008-09 to 3, 022, 000 hectares in 2014-15 showing a growth of 258-percent.

He said the hybrid rice cultivation area is being increased rapidly due to high per acre yield up to 120 mounds. He revealed that Irri (International Rice Research Institute) production is persistently witnessing a decline that has dwindled from 19,493,000 tonnes in 2008-09 to 11,615,000 tonnes in 2014-15 showing a negative growth of 40.41 percent. "We have started hybrid rice seed production with 20 acres in 2005 in Sindh but now the area of seed production has increased to 900 acres in the Sindh province.

He said the Guard Agricultural Research & Services is aggressively working on research to develop extra long grain Basmati rice to 8mm, heat tolerant, drought tolerant and salinity resistant verities. The success in developing drought tolerant and salinity verities would not be less than a revolution which would help enhance rice exports from Pakistan besides uplifting the farmers' life, he said.

Shahzad Ali Malik said that his company has entered into a joint venture with Yuan Longping High-Tech Agriculture Company Limited China headed by founder of hybrid rice Professor Yuan Longping while transfer of Chinese hybrid rice technology to Pakistan was made way back in 1999. "The research, particularly in the agriculture sector, is a lengthy job that requires high degree of patience" he added. We set up rice research centres in Golarachi (Sindh) in 1999, in Larkana (Sindh) in 2003, Kandh Kot (Sindh) in 2005 and Manga Mandi (Punjab) in 2012, he maintained.

He said the hybrid rice technology has resulted in double the yield of Irri rice and double the farmers' income. Malik said that his company is now working on enhancing the per acre yield of 8mm rice to 80-100 mounds in Punjab whose seed would commercially be available in 2019. " We would not only restrict to rice but evolved a plan to include other crops like wheat, maize, oil seed of sunflower besides vegetable crops including tomato and chili" he disclosed. To a question, he said the Guard Basmati Rice is currently being exported to 38 countries.

He was of the view that Pakistan Agriculture Research Council was the appropriate organisation for granting approval of seed varieties but due to the 18th Amendment, the agriculture department has come under the domain of provincial government. He, however, urged the authorities concerned to designate an impartial body to approve/certify the seed for commercial purpose. The Rice Research Institute Kala Shah Kaku (a public sector organisation) which is also a competitor of private sector should be restricted to the evaluation role rather than granting approval of rice varieties, he demanded.

Private sector must invest in local rice industry

Stakeholders in the rice industry have urged the private sector to heighten their interest in domestic rice production by investing more in the sector.This was said at the 3rd Ghana Rice Festival organised by the Ghana Rice Inter-Professional Body (GRIB) in Accra.

In an interview with the B&FT, Mike Bartels, German Cooperation—Green Innovation Center for The Agriculture and Food Sector, Ghana, said there is tremendous opportunity in the rice industry to thrive if the private sector increases its participation.

“We believe that there is a huge potential in the rice production in Ghana which is untapped. I don’t believe that it is the task of only the government to promote the local rice industry. It is the responsibility of the government to create a conducive framework for innovations that work so that the private sector takes over the task of investing in machinery and logistics that will help the industry thrive,” he said.

Also speaking at the function, the Minister of Food and Agriculture (Crops), Dr Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan, said, for the rice sector to develop, there is the need for the private sector to complement government’s efforts in the rice value chain.

He maintained that government takes the rice sector very seriously, and to that effect, introduced certain initiatives to boost production and consumption of local rice.

Some of the interventions, he said, include the Rice Sector Support Project (RRSP), West Africa Agriculture Productivity Programme (WAAPP) which is managed by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and implemented by the Enhanced Access to Quality Rice Seed Initiative (EAQRSI).

“These selected projects have on their own contributed and impacted 18,392 farmers and resulted in the cultivation of 15,692 hectares with resultant yields of 52,720mt in 2015. This has been done through the provision of seeds, improved agric-inputs, technical training on good agronomic practices, land development and better water management systems,” Dr Ahmed said.

He further stated that some irrigation schemes had been introduced to ensure that rice farmers can produce all-year-round, adding that, Ghana has been able to produce more than 50percent of its rice consumption domestically since 2014.

“Because government realises a need for more than one crop in a year to maximise production volumes, some irrigation schemes have been identified for development for rice production. A 10,000 hectare Nasia Nabogo Project is ongoing and prospective developers, and farmers have been identified.

The objective is to produce rice under a rain water harvest management system of about 3,000 hectares within a period of three years with the potential yield of 12,000mt,” he said.

Local rice consumption is estimated at 770,000mt per year, with premium rice comprising 24percent of the total market.

Typically, local rice is regarded as inferior to imports, with urban consumers willing to pay a 113percent premium for imported rice.

This, the President of the Ghana Rice Inter-Professional Body (GRIB), Imoro Amoro, has called for more patronage of locally produced rice as he maintains that the local rice producers have put in a lot of efforts and resources to ensure that rice produced in the country matches international standards of quality.

 ‘85 per cent paddy has arrived in markets’

Heaps of paddy at grain market in Attari. photo: vishal kumar
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, October 19
The procurement of paddy will end within a week in markets of the district. According to officials of the Punjab Mandi Board 2,57,000 metric tonne (MT) paddy crop has arrived in markets of the district till date. Officials are expecting paddy arrival to stop within a few days. Out of the total procurement, government agencies have purchased 2,12,000 MT paddy and private millers bought 4,50,00 MT. Mandi officials claimed that ‘Arthiyas’ were giving payment to farmers on the spot.

Meanwhile, arrival of the Basamti 1121 is on its peak nowadays. As per the data, 8,70,00 MT Basamti varieties arrived in markets of the district till date. Basamti arrival in markets will continue till March.
District Mandi Officer Jasbir Singh Pannu said, “Almost 85 per cent paddy has come in the market. Only 15 per cent crop remains in fields. It will arrive within next three to four days. We are expecting 20,000 MT paddy in markets”

He said, “Farmers in the Jandiala, Raya and Mehta area cultivate short duration varieties of paddy and sow three crops in a year. We are expecting that paddy varieties will reach these mandis.” It is pertinent to mention here that the procurement of paddy had started in the district on October 1 and completed within 20 days. The state government had instructed farmers of the border areas to leave their villages after surgical strikes on the POK. Due to fear of war, farmers in the district harvested the crop within a short span. The government also paid farmers on the time due to the upcoming Assembly elections.

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- Oct 20

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices - APMC & Open Market-October 20
Nagpur, Oct 20 Gram prices touched to a record high in Nagpur Agriculture Produce
and Marketing Committee (APMC)auctions on increased buying support from local millers amid weak
arrival from producing region. Sharp rise in gram in other mandis in the region, fresh hike
Madhya Pradesh gram and repeated enquiries from South-based millers also boosted prices,
according to sources. 
               *            *              *              *
   * Desi gram zoomed up again in open market on festival season demand from local 
     traders amid weak supply from producing region.
   * Tuar varieties ruled steady in open market here on subdued demand from local traders 
     amid good supply from producing belt.
   * Batri dal and watana dal recovered in open market on good demand from local traders.
   * In Akola, Tuar New - 6,200-6,300, Tuar dal (clean) - 10,800-11,200, Udid - 
     10,700-11,000, Udid Mogar (clean) - 13,400-13,700, Moong - 
     6,100-6,300, Moong Mogar (clean) 6,800-7,200, Gram - 9,000-9,500, 
     Gram Super best bold - 11,400-11,700 for 100 kg.
   * Wheat, rice and other commodities moved in a narrow range in 
     scattered deals, settled at last levels. 
 Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg
     FOODGRAINS                 Available prices     Previous close   
     Gram Auction                8,500-10,400        8,100-9,900
     Gram Pink Auction            n.a.           2,100-2,600
     Tuar Auction                5,400-6,300         5,300-6,300
     Moong Auction                n.a.                6,400-6,600
     Udid Auction                n.a.           4,300-4,500
     Masoor Auction                n.a.              2,600-2,800
     Gram Super Best Bold            11,700-12,000        11,700-12,000
     Gram Super Best            n.a.            n.a.
     Gram Medium Best            11,200-11,500        11,200-11,500
     Gram Dal Medium            n.a.            n.a
     Gram Mill Quality            9,600-9,700        9,600-9,700
     Desi gram Raw                9,500-9,700         9,300-9,500
     Gram Yellow                 12,300-12,700        12,300-12,700
     Gram Kabuli                12,700-14,000        12,700-14,000
     Gram Pink                        12,000-12,500        12,000-12,500    
     Tuar Fataka Best-New             11,200-11,500        11,200-11,500
     Tuar Fataka Medium-New        10,600-11,000        10,600-11,000
     Tuar Dal Best Phod-New        9,200-9,500        10,000-10,500
     Tuar Dal Medium phod-New        8,500-9,000        8,500-9,000
     Tuar Gavarani New             6,450-6,550        6,450-6,550
     Tuar Karnataka             6,800-6,950        6,800-6,950
     Tuar Black                 11,800-12,300        11,800-12,300 
     Masoor dal best            6,400-6,500        6,400-6,500
     Masoor dal medium            6,000-6,200        6,000-6,200
     Masoor                    n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Mogar bold (New)        6,800-7,200         6,800-7,200
     Moong Mogar Medium            6,300-6,600        6,300-6,600
     Moong dal Chilka            6,200-6,500        6,300-6,500
     Moong Mill quality            n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Chamki best            6,500-7,000        6,500-7,000
     Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 12,500-13,000       12,500-13,000 
     Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)    10,500-11,600        10,500-11,600    
     Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)        7,200-7,500        7,200-7,500     
     Batri dal (100 INR/KG)        6,400-6,800        6,300-6,700
     Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg)          4,600-4,800         4,600-4,800
     Watana Dal (100 INR/KG)            3,150-3,250        3,100-3,200
     Watana White (100 INR/KG)           3,400-3,600           3,400-3,600
     Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG)    4,000-4,500        4,000-4,500   
     Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG)        1,900-2,000        1,900-2,000
     Wheat Mill quality (100 INR/KG)    1,900-2,000        1,900-2,000   
     Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG)         1,750-1,950        1,750-1,950
     Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG)    2,250-2,450        2,250-2,450    
     Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG)   1,950-2,250        1,950-2,250
     Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG)    n.a.            n.a.
     MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG)    3,300-4,000        3,300-4,000    
     MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)    2,400-3,000        2,400-3,000           
     Rice BPT best New(100 INR/KG)    2,800-3,250        2,800-3,250    
     Rice BPT medium (100 INR/KG)        2,300-2,650        2,300-2,650    
     Rice Luchai (100 INR/KG)         2,200-2,500        2,200-2,500
     Rice Swarna best (100 INR/KG)      2,100-2,450        2,100-2,450   
     Rice Swarna medium (100 INR/KG)      1,800-2,000        1,800-2,000   
     Rice HMT best New (100 INR/KG)    3,450-3,800        3,450-3,800    
     Rice HMT medium (100 INR/KG)        2,600-3,000        2,600-3,000    
     Rice Shriram best New(100 INR/KG)    4,200-4,500        4,200-4,500 
     Rice Shriram med New(100 INR/KG)    3,800-4,100        3,800-4,100   
     Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG)    9,000-13,500        9,000-13,500     
     Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG)    6,500-8,000        6,500-8,000    
     Rice Chinnor best New(100 INR/KG)    5,300-5,600        5,300-5,600    
     Rice Chinnor med. New (100 INR/KG)    4,900-5,100        4,900-5,100    
     Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG)        1,900-2,200        1,900-2,200    
     Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG)         1,700-1,850        1,700-1,850
Maximum temp. 33.2 degree Celsius (93.6 degree Fahrenheit), minimum temp.
15.9 degree Celsius (60.6 degree Fahrenheit)
Humidity: Highest - n.a., lowest - n.a.
Rainfall : Nil
FORECAST: Mainly clear sky. Maximum and minimum temperature would be around and 34 and 16 degree
Celsius respectively.
Note: n.a.--not available
(For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, butincluded in market prices)

APEDA AgriExchange Newsletter - Volume 1580

Market Watch
Commodity-wise, Market-wise Daily Price on 19-10-2016
Domestic Prices
Unit Price : Rs per Qty
Market Center
Min Price
Max Price
Dibrugarh (Assam)
Hassan (Karnataka)
Sainthia (West Bengal)
Kadi (Gujarat)
Nagpur (Maharashtra)
Satna (Madhya Pradesh)
Jagraon (Kerala)
Taura (Haryana)
Jajpur (Orissa)
Chala (Kerala)
Bargarh (Orissa)
Shillong (Meghalaya)

IGKV adopts Anther culture for better crop yield

Thu,20 Oct 2016

 Summary: RAIPUR: Scientists of Indira Gandhi Agricultural university (IGKV) have successfully adopted a complex technique of modern breeding tool called Anther Culture. Conventional rice breeding methods require 7-8 years for achieving stability in field performance and release of new variety." With this technique breeders will be able to release a crop variety in two years which generally takes a long span of 7-8 years for seed production. New rice varieties with good yield and quality should be released in a speedy manner . Anther Culture reduces the breeding time for development of new rice variety and requires only about four season compared to conventional breeding which requires more than nine season.Talking to TOI, the Agricultural University's scientists said, "To meet the demand of growing population, rice production needs to be increased in coming years .

RAIPUR: Scientists of Indira Gandhi Agricultural university (IGKV) have successfully adopted a complex technique of modern breeding tool called Anther Culture. With this technique breeders will be able to release a crop variety in two years which generally takes a long span of 7-8 years for seed production. Anther Culture reduces the breeding time for development of new rice variety and requires only about four season compared to conventional breeding which requires more than nine season.Talking to TOI, the Agricultural University's scientists said, "To meet the demand of growing population, rice production needs to be increased in coming years. 

New rice varieties with good yield and quality should be released in a speedy manner . Conventional rice breeding methods require 7-8 years for achieving stability in field performance and release of new variety.".

New slow-digesting rice could help combat diabetes, obesity

Researchers in Tasmania have created a new form of rice that could help reduce rates of diabetes and obesity.The scientists have discovered a way to increase the production of resistant starch in rice, which can improve digestibility.Professor Steven Smith from the University of Tasmania said the discovery could have numerous health benefits."Normally rice is digested relatively quickly, and because most of the component of the rice is starch, which is made up of sugars, that essentially gives you a sugar hit," he said."So the modified rice contains this different kind of starch which is digested more slowly and therefore you don't get that same sugar hit."In combination with a healthy diet, Professor Smith said the rice could help reduce instances of diet-related health problems like obesity and diabetes.
Professor Smith said there was potential for the new rice to help a large number of people in Asian countries where rice is a significant part of local diets, but he envisaged it would benefit a more specific consumer group."It will be more likely to be targeted to those people who may be susceptible or who are actively trying to control their sugar intake," he said."I don't see it as a widespread adoption of this new kind of rice but rather something that's available for particular use to help people contain their sugar intake."Further trials and assessment of the rice still need to be undertaken before it can be introduced to market.

"We could see this going into production within a few years — let's say five years," Professor Smith said."I would suspect that there will be other questions that will arise in terms of the benefits to farmers, the production systems and so on, so realistically it could take longer."The study has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

PHOTO: The new rice could help people trying to contain their sugar intake. (ABC Rural: David Sparkes)

Of Fight Malnutrition, Indian Researchers Develop Protein-Rich Rice

Over 5 lakh children in the Chhattisgarh are underweight, with tribal districts like Bastar, Dantewada, Kondagaon and Narayanpur high in malnourishment.
Raipur: A protein-enriched rice variety has been developed by the Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalay (IGKV) in Raipur and researchers hope it would serve as a boon for malnourished population, especially children, in the tribal-dominated Chhattisgarh.
“Our researchers worked for seven years to develop the variety of rice that is rich in protein along with high zinc content,” said Dr Girish Chandel, Professor in Department of Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, IGKV.
“The rice variety will play a crucial role in fighting protein deficiencies,” claimed Dr Chandel, who led the research.
“Since rice is the staple food of the state and consumed on a regular basis, the research focused on enhancing its micro-nutrients and protein contents. For majority of the people who do not eat meat products or can’t afford pulses, rice could be a good source of proteins,” he said.
“Our present varieties of rice are not rich in protein content as it mainly consists of carbohydrates, so we are developing zinc-rich rice varieties along with rich protein content,” he added.
He further said that the new developed rice variety has over 10 per cent protein content, which is three per cent more than what is found in any popular variety and has 30 PPM zinc content.
As per a survey last year, very high rate of malnutrition was found among pre-school children in tribal areas showing conditions like being underweight and stunted growth, which indicates a critical situation, he said.
Over five lakh children in the state are underweight, with tribal districts like Bastar, Dantewada, Kondagaon and Narayanpur having a comparatively higher rate of malnourishment then other districts.
However, the government has been making several efforts with schemes like ‘Vazan Tyohar’ (weight festival) and nutritious meal week to overcome the malnutrition menace.

Malnutrition leads to underweight and stunted growth in children, most commonly seen in tribal districts.

The Women and Child Development Department last month informed that malnutrition rate in Chhattisgarh has declined to 29.8 per cent from 47.1 per cent registered in the National Family Health Survey 2005-06 (weight-based), Chandel said.He said the new rice variety’s high nutritional content will be helpful in government’s efforts to eradicate malnutrition in the state.
“The rice variety will be sent to the state’s variety identification committee within six months for final release following which it is likely to be ready for cultivation next year,” he said.Hailing the efforts of IGKV, a nutrition expert in the state said researches should be undertaken to improve the protein quality in several other foods, besides rice.“Every year, new variety rice is identified. For research purpose, the development is good. But the important thing is when it will arrive in the market on a large scale so that people could take its advantage,” nutritionist Dr Aruna Palta said.
Besides, quality is more important as compared to quantity. Hence, the focus should be on improving the quality of protein rather just quantity, she said.The way scientists have developed high protein rice, researches should also be done to improve the protein quality in other food items like pulses and wheat which are also key components of Indian meal, she added.

Misplaced fears on rice QRs

Philippine Daily Inquirer / 12:28 AM October 21, 2016
Will lifting quantitative restrictions (QRs) on rice imports next year, as required of us by the World Trade Organization (WTO), deal a fatal blow to Filipino rice farmers, as is feared by some? Is seeking yet another extension (the fourth in the course of the last 21 years) in the best interests of the country?
Last August, the economic cluster of the Duterte Cabinet decided not to seek this fourth extension from the WTO, and instead do what many believe we should have done long ago: get government out of the business of rice importation and trading. Dissenters, including the Department of Agriculture (DA), are painting a dire picture of domestic rice prices plummeting to levels that would drive rice farmers out of their livelihoods. But will removing rice QRs necessarily bring about a dramatic drop in the domestic rice price?
Actually, no. The idea behind the age-old recommendation to remove rice QRs (hence the National Food Authority’s control over rice importation) is not to let imported rice enter the country duty-free. We can convert the existing import quota into an equivalent tariff rate (i.e., “tariffy” the QR) that will ensure that domestic rice prices would not change. (We could even conceivably impose a tariff duty that would make prices go up!) The WTO frowns on QRs because of the discretion it gives governments, which are never a good judge of market supply and demand conditions, and invariably foul things up and create serious distortions ultimately harmful to the people. Import tariffs are preferred because they are transparent on the protection given local producers.

How can we avoid a dramatic drop in domestic rice prices that is feared to threaten rice farmers’ livelihoods? With imported rice now costing about half of what it takes to produce rice domestically, lifting the QR but imposing a 100-percent import tariff will keep domestic prices unchanged. This assumes that we do not tolerate large-scale rice smuggling—i.e., allow rice importers to get away with not paying import duties. But stopping rice smuggling is a given that the government must do whether we maintain QRs via the NFA’s control over imports, or adopt the “tariffied” system where private importers may import the commodity subject to the equivalent tariff. The clear advantage of the latter is that the government earns substantial revenues from the tariff on rice imports, instead of pouring taxpayer money on a losing government institution that the NFA has been through the years (with debt reportedly running up to P167 billion).
The real question before us is: Do we want domestic rice prices to stay where they are? Do we want rice to be twice more costly than it needs to be, for the benefit of 2.4 million rice farmers, but to the detriment of 102 million rice consumers? Most of our estimated 2.4 million rice farmers are indeed poor, and most certainly deserve help. But there are 10 times as many poor Filipinos who are not rice farmers, and whose numbers could be significantly reduced if only they could buy the food staple at prices closer to what Thai and Vietnamese consumers do. Ironically, our fixation on 100-percent self-sufficiency in rice has led to large numbers of food-insecure Filipinos and alarming rates of malnutrition and stunting (33.5 percent) among young Filipino children, who are condemned to irreparable lifelong damage in brain and physical development.
Our longer-term goal must be to narrow and eventually eliminate this price gap, by achieving higher productivity in Philippine rice farms. In our historical experience, such productivity improvement only finally happened in other industries when trade was opened up, as trade protection invariably bred complacency. I’m confident that “tariffying” our rice QRs, then phasing down the tariff through time would push the government to finally do things right, until our production costs approach those of our neighbors. If we can achieve that, and still be able to produce all the rice we need, it would be ideal.

Month-long uptrend of price spiral hits consumers hard

FE Report

Prices of most of the essentials have skyrocketed over the last month despite adequate supply and almost steady price trend in the global market, hitting the consumers hard, market observers said.Prices of rice, cooking oil, sugar, salt, vegetables, chicken, garlic, ginger, onion have gone up notably compared to a month back, Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) data showed.According to data available with the commerce and agriculture ministries, barring a few items, supply of the essentials is good enough to meet the local demand.

Market analysts put the blame for the unbridled price spiraling on poor market monitoring by the government agencies and absence of penalty for the price manipulators.As per accounts of the TCB and Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM), prices of rice (coarse and medium varieties) soared by 20-25 per cent (pc), vegetables 20-100 pc, edible oil 7-10 pc, salt 20 pc, sugar 17-18 pc, onion eight pc, garlic 10 pc and ginger 20 per cent during the period.

According to the commerce and agriculture ministries, the country's rice production  was 34.57 million (3.457 crore) tonnes against the demand of 31.0 million tonnes, edible oil import exceeded 1.9 million tonnes in the last 12 months against the demand of 1.5 million tonnes and stock of salt was 1.8 million tonnes against the demand of 1.67 million tonnes.

Supply of onion was 2.4 million tonnes, including 1.704 million tonnes of local production, against its demand of 2.0 million tonnes, ginger's stock was 0.45 million tonnes against the demand of 0.35 million tonnes and supply of garlic was 0.5 million tonnes against the need of 0.5 million tonnes. 

Sugar and oil refiners raised the prices of the two essentials recently ignoring the Bangladesh Tariff Commission (BTC)'s recommended prices, a commerce ministry official said.

Bottled soybean oil of different brands was selling at Tk98-Tk102 a litre against the BTC recommended Tk97 a litre, he said. Sugar was selling at Tk66 a kg at mill-gates against BTC-proposed Tk64.

The commodity was retailing at Tk70-Tk75 a kg.

The commission recommended Tk35 a kg for super refined salt and Tk22 for thick quality salt but the refiners were selling the products at Tk42 a kg and Tk28 a kg respectively, said the official.

Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) Secretary Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan said the refiners bought crude salt at Tk4.5 to Tk 7 a kg at the growers' level and imported 0.25 million tonnes of the item at Tk4.0-Tk5.0 per kg.

He said production of one kg refined sugar cost not more than Tk30. Rice millers and importers are making windfall profits hurting common consumers, he commented.

Munshi Shafiul Haque, additional secretary of the commerce ministry, claimed the Price Monitoring and Forecasting Cell (PMFC) of the ministry was closely monitoring the price situation.

Prices of soybean and sugar rose to some extent in the global market, which has reflected in the local kitchen markets.

Salt refiners has committed to the ministry to reduce the price by Tk4 per one-kg pack.

Prices of rice might ease down within a few days with the beginning of Aman harvest, he expected.   

However, most of the vegetables sold at Tk50 (pointed gourd) -Tk120 (tomato) a kg in the market for the last two weeks. Papaya was the cheapest vegetable sold at Tk30 a kg on Thursday.

Brinjal sold at Tk60-Tk80 a kg from Tk30-Tk 40 a month ago while Chilli was selling at Tk140-Tk 200 a kg.

End of stock of Kharip-2 vegetables and water logging in many districts hindered farming of early Rabi season vegetables which caused the price hike,  said Md Emran Master, president of Bangladesh Kachamal Arot Malik Samity, a Karwan Bazar-based wholesalers association in the city.     

He said best quality Brinjal was selling at Tk 50 in Karwan Bazar which was trading at Tk80 a kg in Hatirpool and Newmarket--- a 60 per cent price gap.

However, after being steady for the last three months, prices of broiler chicken increased by Tk15-Tk 20 last week that ended Thursday as broiler was sold at Tk 140-Tk 150 a kg.

Prices of garlic, chilli and some vegetables, further increased by Tk3-Tk 20 a kg in a week.

Rice millers resume operations

Keshav Agrawal| TNN | Oct 20, 2016, 21:37 IST

Pilibhit: Rice millers, who had gone on a strike from October 16, have resumed operations in Uttar Pradesh.Around 4,000 rice millers across UP had stopped work in protest against the flawed policy of the state government. The rice millers association called off the strike on Wednesday evening after an assurance by the chief secretary, government of UP, to resolve their problems within one week. Prior to this, the chief secretary had sought two days’ time from the rice millers at a meeting held in Lucknow on October 17 to resolve the matter.
The process of procuring paddy from farmers by government agencies had been adversely affected as rice mills stopped work and refused to accept any of paddy. With neither government agencies nor farmers having any storage facility, the latter was forced to sell their produce at lower rates to private buyers.

According to Puranpur-based senior vice-president of the UP Rice Millers Association, Ajmer Singh Chheena, chief secretary Rahul Bhatnagar had informed the mill leaders that he had discussed the issue on Wednesday with chief minister Akhilesh Singh Yadav who had given an assurance that the matter would be resolved shortly in a positive way.
Cheena said a fresh meeting of state leaders of rice millers had been called by Bhatnagar on Friday in Lucknow to scrutinize the situation and the demands of millers. When asked why the strike was called off, Cheena said the association was swayed by the appeal made by the chief secretary to millers to protect interests of paddy growers.Meanwhile, secretary of APMC (Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee) Manish Singh said with the revival of operations by mills, the rates of paddy in the ‘mandi’ were expected to go up from Friday. Fresh ar

Nigeria to stop importation of rice before the end of 2017 – Audu Ogbeh

By Ameh Comrade Godwin on October 21, 2016

Nigeria is expected to stop the importation of rice before the end of 2017, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has assured.Ogbeh gave this assurance while speaking during an assessment tour of Coscharis Rice Farm in Anaku, in the Ayemelum Local Government Area of Anambra state.He said Nigeria spends over $3billion on food import annually, stressing that this was unacceptable for a country with huge potential to produce food.He said, “When we go round the country, we begin to have great confidence in our rich endowments and I think Nigeria’s independence is just begining to be established, because unless a country can feed itself and feed well, every other dream can’t be fulfilled.”
The minister wondered how much investments the Coscharis Group had made on rice farming in just two years, stressing that by replicating such ventures across 26 states with potential to produce rice, Nigeria would save so much in foreign currency.“I have seen similar things in Kebbi and I am seeing this big one, I am very proud of Coscharis and the effort the governor of Anambra state is making to support him.“In another year, we will have no need to import one grain of rice into this country.“In fact we may stop rice importation sooner than that. It is final word I am telling you, because Nigerians have proven that they can do it and I am proud that I can see this thing in Anambra. Because people who don’t know Anambra do not even know what potential sexist for agriculture. I am also proud of the role the CBN is playing because they are giving a lot of credit support, even allocating the scarce foreign exchange that we have to a critical sector like agriculture.
“This is heavily mechanised, the smaller farmers don’t have all these machineries but they contribute immensely. So jobs, jobs and jobs, the millers are there, the marketers, the transporters, the distributors, all of them will be part of this business, just for rice. We have not even talked about cassava, of maize, of soghurm, of millets, beans, yams so the future is huge, the jobs are there.”

Also speaking, the Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said the bank was spurred to support agriculture because the country ran into a situation where its reserves had been badly depleted, largely due to massive importation of rice when indeed it can grow rice,.He said: “we import tomatoes, when we can grow tomatoes, we are importing milk, when we can grow diary. We have people and companies in Nigeria that can take up the initiative, but we have been importing milk for over 60 years.
“There is a company that has been producing milk for 60 years, and I say it is time those kind of companies began to produce our diary in Nigeria.
Emefiele said the apex bank would continue to encourage investors like the Coscharis Group because of their commitment in the business.
“We started this with him, almost about two years ago when we granted him a N2 billion Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS).“With his own resources, he added to it and that is why he is where he is today. Those are the type of things we need to continue to encourage.“And about a month ago, he came to the CBN that we need to come and see what he has done with the CACS fund we gave to him. I must say that I am delighted that he has used the money well. And when he came, he requested for more money because he wants to have the capacity to produce rice all-year round, that is three harvests in a year.
“To do so, he needs irrigation and he needs his mill. And I am happy to say yesterday, the Committee of Governors of CBN gave approval for him to set up a mill here and also set up his irrigation. That is the kind of support we would give people who have shown interest, because there is no foreign exchange to import food, when we can produce food in the country.“After that, the next stage is to begin to encourage him, together with the state governor for supporting the initiative, to be able to create jobs for the youths

P20-billion loan to plant rice

By Dahli Aspillera

October 21, 2016
GROWTH Publishing and Maricar Bou tell us that the Duterte administration will secure a P20 billion government-to-government loan from China to finance its hybrid rice expansion to one million hectares. This is to fulfill its promise to uplif Filipino farmers’ lives and poverty reduction, according to SL Agritech Corp. (SLAC) chairman Henry Lim Bon Liong, a delegate with DU30 to China.

Lim: “If we have one million hectares for hybrid, we will be rice sufficient. Beyond one million hectares, we will be an exporter.” Land should be allotted at 800,000 hectares in the dry season and 200,000 hectares, wet season. P2,300 per bag (one bag per hectare) of hybrid seeds. Thus, at just half of the targeted area, 500,000 hectares, this amounts to P1.15 billion just for hybrid seeds alone. Hybrid rice farmers can earn P100,000-P150,000 per hectare. With a production cost of P30,000-P35,000 per hectare using hybrids, they are able to harvest 9-10 MT per hectare, a significant gain compared to the national average rice yield of just close to 4 MT per hectare.

DepAgri’s current budget for this expansion has apparently run out. But since hybrid rice planting is claimed to be economically viable, a soft loan can well fund the expansion. “We may as well finance seed for farmers, or we will be importing more rice which is more expensive,” said Obien.

 “We (SLAC alone) have a target to supply to 500,000 hectares for the year (crop year 2016-2017, dry and wet seasons)....That’s possible because we have achieved 320,000 hectares the previous year.” SLAC has been pushing in the last 15 years for government support for hybrid rice expansion since at one time the country’s rice imports had skyrocketed to around P45 billion. If hybrid rice expansion is financed, farmers’ lives are uplifted.

And the economy can benefit eventually from the stability of rice supply and the Philippines may even enjoy being rice exporters. This was the vision back in the ‘70s during the excitement in the Philippines over the wonderful High Yielding Variety, HYV, rice seeds.

From 2005-2010, Lim reminds us [as if we could forget] that the Philippine government imported 800,000 to 1.2 million MT of rice yearly. Import cost was P18 to P34 billion a year and shot up to P50 billion at one time when traded rice price soared to around $1,000 per MT. In fact, it is very lucrative for certain Filipinos and multinational rice merchants for the Philippines to import rice.

From the present 18.15 million MT paddy rice (palay) production, this annual production level will increase by 1.6 million MT with one million hectares for hybrids. Present hybrid area is around 400,000-500,000 hectares out of total harvested rice area of 4.65 million hectares.

“When milling recovery is raised to 65 percent from around 50-60 percent, added rice production will be 2.5 million MT, more than enough to feed the nation... With only a P4.5 billion yearly budget for hybrid seeds (P4,500 per hectare for one million hectares), the Philippines can become rice sufficient,” Lim said.


The news of a P20 billion debt the Philippines is getting into, to invest in planting hybrid rice: The senders should define hybrid rice--what expensive inputs (foreign-bought chemicals, different kinds of expensive pesticides, herbicides, rodenticides, fertilizers, continuously flowing ample irrigation, etc.) By being forced to plant hybrid seeds, subsistence farmers are compelled to spend for expensive, state-of-the-art inputs, and get in debt. Is this hybrid rice being promoted the same as high-yielding-variety (HYV) rice? HYV rice was a frustration, a failure for small-time farmers in tropical areas.

P20 billion to be spent for hybrid seeds, chemicals, expensive rice hybrid input manufactured and purchased bought with dollars from abroad? HYV rice requires very expensive input to produce. Hybrid seeds will not grow without modern chemical input.

HYV have short, stocky stalks, excessively overloaded with rice grains. The wind and rains come, and bends the grain-loaded stalk down to the flooded field. The HYV stalk heaping with grains get water-logged; the stalk unable to lift all those wet grains out and up from the flood. Even after the storm, when the sun comes out, the water-logged grains remain underwater; the plant and grains rot under water. Thousands of hectares of hybrid rice rotting after each storm flood.

With the old, traditional non-hybrid rice plant, the stalk does not get overloaded with grain. When the wind and rain push the thin, tall stalk down into the flooded field, the plant does not get too weighed down by too many grains. After the storm, when the sun comes up, the traditional plant readily springs upward to dry and to continue to grow. it is not weighed down by heavy, water-logged grains. The stalk springs out of the flood, to dry and to continue growing.

Filipino rice farmers will earn at least P150,000 per hectare with hybrid seeds, flaunts Lim Bon Liong and DA rice consultant Dr. Santiago Obien. Might this be counting the chicks before the eggs are laid?

Cambodian rice exports cause a stir in Italy

Ente Nazionale Risi (ENR), Italy’s national rice agency, has raised concern over increased European rice imports from countries such as Cambodia, according to rice industry publication Oryza.
ENR denounced the Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme, under which Cambodian rice exports receive preferential export status, saying that falling rice prices in the Kingdom, despite increasing exports to Europe, show that EBA terms benefit European traders and not farmers in Cambodia.
Previously, ENR opposed increased duty-free imports of rice from Cambodia and the region because of the negative effect it had on Italian rice production and sales

World Market Price Meeting Focuses on Flooding, Foreign Competition

By Kristen Dayton  Keith Glover
October 20, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC -- Tuesday, the World Market Price subcommittee held their final meeting of 2016 here where USA Rice Members met with representatives from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the Economic Research Service (ERS), the Farm Service Agency (FSA), and the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) to discuss a variety of domestic and international issues facing the rice industry.On the domestic front, the main topic was the recent flooding in Louisiana and Arkansas. Representatives from USDA were asked how they were helping rice farmers affected by the flooding, and what sort of impact these events would have on supply and demand. 

"We shared important information about the impacts of flooding in Louisiana and Arkansas with representatives from NASS, FSA, and ERS," said Keith Glover, chairman of the USA Rice World Market Price Subcommittee.  "As an industry, we have to make sure the government understands what is going on in these areas right now.  lover said, "Representatives from each rice producing state also shared with USDA their observations about this year's rice crop with regard to average field yields and milling quality for their state.  And FSA reported that Price Loss Coverage (PLC) payments are on schedule."

On the international front, FAS representatives reported on U.S. export markets including information that some competitors continue to practice illegal price support and export subsidies, making this a potentially difficult environment for U.S. rice.  Glover remarked, "The rice industry is dealing with low prices, large stocks, and an even larger crop for 2016/17 so it is imperative we find more export markets.  Our meeting with USDA focused on both short-term ways to export U.S. rice and long-term moves to secure access to important markets."

Rice Milk Market Research Report Now Available at Research Corridor

Research Corridor has published a new research study titled Rice Milk Market – Growth, Share, Opportunities, Competitive Analysis and Forecast, 2015 – 2022”. The Rice Milk market report studies current as well as future aspects of the Rice Milk Market based upon factors such as market dynamics, key ongoing trends and segmentation analysis. Apart from the above elements, the Rice Milk Market research report provides a 360-degree view of the Rice Milk industry with geographic segmentation, statistical forecast and the competitive landscape.
Geographically, the Rice Milk Market report comprises dedicated sections centering on the regional market revenue and trends. The Rice Milk market has been segmented on the basis of geographic regions into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Rest of the World (RoW). The RoW segment consists Latin America and the Middle East & Africa. The Rice Milk market has been extensively analyzed on the basis of various regional factors such as demographics, gross domestic product (GDP), inflation rate, acceptance and others. Rice Milk Market estimates have also been provided for the historical years 2013 & 2014 along with forecast for the period from 2015 – 2022.
The research report also provides a comprehensive understanding of Rice Milk market positioning of the major players wherein key strategies adopted by leading players has been discussed. The Rice Milk industry report concludes with the Company Profiles section which includes information on major developments, strategic moves and financials of the key players operating in Rice Milk market.
Key Takeaways:
  • Market Dynamics in the Rice Milk Market
  • Key Ongoing Regional Trends
  • Rice Milk Market Estimates for Years 2013 – 2022
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Latest ‘Rice Almanac’ focuses on climate change, food security

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By Johnny F. Goloyugo | Correspondent
ENGLISH philosopher Roger Bacon, the famous Doctor Mirabilis (“wonderful teacher”) from England, must have first used the word “almanac” in the latter part of the 13th century. Although the origin of the word is obscure, early almanacs were actually calendars that dealt with detailed movements of the heavenly bodies, as well as agricultural and meteorological data.
There are other known almanacs available in the market, like astrological and fictional almanacs, including almanac calculators. All these conjure images of statistics, graphs, illustrations, diagrams, tables and, of late, digitized photographs.
But what is interesting is that despite the presence of agriculture almanacs as early as the 17th and 19th centuries, such as the Harris’s Farmer’s Almanac (1692-present), Blum’s Farmer’s Almanac (1828-present) and Farmers’ Almanac (1818-present), it was only in 1993 that an Asian-focused Rice Almanac,published by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) based in Los BaƱos, Laguna, came about  in response to the “long-felt need to bring together general information about rice—its origin, its growth and production.”

Until recently, the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRISP), a three-member consortium within the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), led by IRRI (the two others are Africa Rice Center and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture) released the fourth edition of theRice Almanac, a “source book for one of the most important economic activities on Earth.”
GRISP Director Bas Bauman said this 283-page edition is breaking a “new ground in its coverage of issues related to rice production, both environmental—including climate change—and importance of food security and the global economy.”
The chapter on Rice and the Environment focuses on rice environments and cropping systems, soils, water use and water productivity, ecosystem services, managing pests in the rice ecosystem, environmental impacts and rice and health.
“Rice production mainly affects the environment by releasing or sequestering gases or compounds that are active in the atmosphere or troposphere and by changing the chemical composition of the water flowing through rice fields. Rice is, in turn, affected by environmental changes, such as global climate change,” the almanac reveals.
“Climate change is expected to raise carbon-dioxide levels and temperatures and, possibly, increase the frequency of extreme climatic events in some areas, such as storms, droughts and heavy rainfall in monsoon climates, that will increase the incidence of flooding. Rising sea levels are expected to increase flood risk and salinity intrusion in rice-growing environments,” the almanac says.
Global rice production and consumption, production and yield trends, international and domestic rice markets, domestic policy instruments and changes in demography and the rice economy are discussed in the Rice in the Economy chapter.
Also highlighted are rice-production challenges, challenges for future cropping systems and response options.
Rice around the world highlights rice and food security in Asia; rice in Latin America and the Caribbean, West Africa, East and Southern Africa, South America and Europe.
Also featured are 10 countries in Asia—Bangladesh, Cambodia China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
Of special interest are rice-production opportunities in the Philippines. TheRice Almanac states that “to become self-sufficient in rice, it has to adopt existing technologies, such as improved varieties and know-how to have yield increase by 1 to 3 ton per hectare. Better-quality seed combined with good management, including new postharvest technologies, is the best way to improve rice yields and the quality of production.”
The almanac further says, “The [Philippine] government must implement a strategy to reduce population growth since the actual volume of rice produced in the country is not enough to match rice demand because of the high increase in population.”
“If population growth will be higher than the growth in yield, the country will continue to import rice from other countries to meet domestic demand for rice in the coming years,” the almanac concluded.
Also featured are Sub-Saharan Africa—Madagascar, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania; and Latin America—Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Uruguay

NARI Boss on Role of the Agricultural Research Institute

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The director general of the National Agricultural Research Institute has remarked that NARI is set up with the mandate to improve agriculture production through client oriented adaptive research and improve production of crops, livestock and sustainable natural resource management in production systems.
Ansumana K. Jarjue, speaking during an interview with the Daily Observer, said the Efficacy of Aflasafe Biological Products in Gambia Field programme is part of a pilot project in Africa. “The Gambia joined 12 others countries in Africa that have benefited in the implementation of this new project called Aflasafe initiative. Although without clear cut funding at institutional level, it is expected to last for five years in The Gambia and hosted at NARI,” he added.
Jarjue disclosed that the Aflasafe initiative is a programme designed to protect Gambia’s agricultural products from being contaminated with aflatoxin, saying the project was facilitated by the ECOWAS Agricultural Commission and Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA).
DG Jarjue stated that NARI is working towards contributing to enhancing the quality of crop products through reducing aflatoxin contamination in groundnut and maize in The Gambia by 90%, and also contribute to enhancing groundnut and maize marketing for export trade for the country. “It’s also an objective for the institution to contribute to minimising health risks caused by aflatoxin contamination in The Gambia.”
He further explained that in the first year, results have showed generally that, aflatoxin concentration in groundnut was higher than in maize in untreated fields.
He added that among the key achievements of NARI is the releasing and adoption of important varieties of major crops including rice, maize, millet and sorghum. “These have proven to be scientifically high yielding, early maturing, tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses (pest, diseases, salinity, irony toxicity, etc),” he noted.
Aquaculture Research
He disclosed further that NARI is culturing indigenous species of fish such as tilapia, catfish and others, which has developed technology agriculture bio-products such as rich bran, moringa leaves and palm oil. “NARI in collaboration with Africa Rice Research Centre has developed ASI (Rice) thresher to reduce the post-harvest loss and ensuring the quality of rice paddy after threshing. 10 local artisans have been trained to scale out the knowledge gained to young Gambian entrepreneurs for self development.”
He explained further that in NARI’s efforts to ensure food security in the country, the institute conducted series of tests on quality assurance for imported and exported agricultural products in the areas of aflatoxin and other chemical analysis such as free fatty acid, oil content, moisture content, soluble and insoluble impurities, amongst others.
“NARI developed technologies in the use of indigenous multipurpose shrubs and tree species pruning for livestock feed and soil fertility enhancement. This is under speedy adoption in North Bank Region and application in communities where cereal/legume rotation farming is predominant. There is however, a room for out scaling the technology,” he noted.
Jarjue concluded that despite considerable progress made by NARI since its inception in 1993 and the speedy takeoff by the new management, there is however still a great deal to be done. “For instance NARI has generated several technologies with high potentials but the impact of the technology on farmers’ productivity, livelihood and quality of life has to be consolidated,” he concluded.
by Modou Lamin Jammeh