Monday, October 31, 2016

31st October,2016 daily global,regional and local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

SCA demands interest-free loan package

October 31, 2016

The Sindh Chamber of Agriculture (SCA) has demanded of the Sindh Government to announce an interest-free loan package for the farmers of Sindh similar to the one being offered in Punjab.A meeting of the SCA at its secretariat here on Sunday chaired by its President Dr Syed Nadeem Qamar urged the government to set aside Rs50 billion for three years for the interest-free loan scheme.
The meeting also asked the government to increase the amount of subsidy given to the growers for purchase of the tractors to Rs800,000.The participants expressed dismay over what they described as the exploitation of the rice farmers."The price of Belarus Tractors has risen considerably. Without adequate government subsidy the farmers will not be able to afford the purchase," said Shah.According to him, the Sindh government used to subsidised Rs600,000 tractor by contributing Rs300,000 in the buying.But, presently the price had soared to Rs1.6 million for which at least Rs800,000 which was half the original price should be contributed by the provincial government, he added.
The meeting called upon the government to take action under the law against the rice mills involved in the exploitation and to seal those mills for violating the law.The participants said that during their meeting with Sindh Agriculture Minister Suhail Anwar Siyal on October 17 the rice mill owners had been agreed to pay the support price for the rice crop which had been fixed by the government.However, the farmers lamented that the millers reneged their assurance by continuing to pay a lower rate.The meeting expressed condolence on the demise of the SCA's founding member Syed Qamar Zaman Shah.
The SCA's General Secretary Nabi Bux Sathio, members Mir Imdad Talpur, Mohammad Khan Sarejo, Mir Abdul Karim Talpur, Haji Nisar Memon, Agha Syed Khadim Hussain Shah and Ghulam Mujtaba Unar and others were present. The farmers' representatives from Karachi, Sanghar, Sukkur and Ghotki districts attended the meeting through the video link

Solon opposes lifting of quota on rice imports

posted October 31, 2016 at 12:01 am by Rio N. Araja
Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Ray Villafuerte on Sunday raised concern over a governmentt plan to lift the quantitative restrictions or quotas on rice imports and allow importation of private traders.If such a plan pushes through, “palay farmers will be at the losing end,” Villafuerte said, adding the local rice producers do not have the capability to compete with the prices of imported rice.

“Is there any guarantee that the entry of cheap rice imports would lower the price of rice in the market? The government must provide safety nets to our farmer by helping them cut production and distribution costs, and other post-harvest expenses,” he said.The Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura, an umbrella organization of farmers, agri-business operators and party-list groups, also expressed alarm over the abolition of quantitative restrictions, he said.

Villafuerte was reacting to reports that the government supports the quota removal starting in 2017 in line with the country’s commitment as a member of the World Trade Organization.WTO had allowed the country to extend its quantitative restrictions on rice several times since 1995. The latest extension will expire on June 30, 2017.

Jute packaging must for nine more agro products

The government is set to make it compulsory to package nine more agricultural products in jute bags to limit the use of environmentally harmful plastic bags and reduce dependence on the global market, a senior official said yesterday.
Farmers and traders will soon have to pack chilli, turmeric, onion, ginger, garlic, pulse, coriander, potato and rice bran in jute sacks. At present, the use of jute sacks for packaging some of these produces is optional.“A decision has been taken in this regard. We expect a notice to be issued by the end of this year,” said Mosleh Uddin, director general of the Department of Jute.
The move comes as businesses have started packaging rice in jute bags in recent times in the face of heightened enforcement of the law, framed in 2010 to protect the interest of 40 lakh farmers and increase the use of environment-friendly fibre.The government has made the use of jute sacks mandatory for packaging six commodities -- rice, wheat, maize, fertiliser and sugar -- based on the law of compulsory packaging of goods.
In 2013, rules were framed to implement a law stipulating that all traders as well as government organisations must use jute bags to pack the commodities.It also asked all rice millers and traders to clear their stock of plastic bags by December 31 of the same year.However, private companies remained non-compliant, citing reasons such as higher cost of jute sacks compared to plastic bags and problems in branding.The market has ample supply of jute sacks to meet the demand for packaging, Mosleh Uddin said.
Jute millers will be able to meet the additional demand that will be generated for the inclusion of new products, he said.About 50 crore more pieces of sacks may be needed for inclusion of new items in the rule for compulsory packaging, according to Mosleh Uddin.Public and private jute mills will increase production, he said, citing that 125 jute millers, including public sector mills, are in operation.
A study conducted jointly by the Centre for Policy Dialogue and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in 2012 estimated that the annual demand for jute sacks would rise to 84 crore pieces from 90,000 pieces.It will require 539,200 tonnes of raw jute a year, equivalent to about 77 percent of the total production of the fibre, according to the study.Industry insiders said the enforcement of the mandatory packaging law has increased the demand for jute, allowing farmers to get better prices for the fibre. As a result, the acreage of jute began recovering from fiscal 2014-15, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.Bangladesh produced 75 lakh bales of jute in fiscal 2015-16, up 0.7 percent from a year earlier, according to BBS.Mills process two-thirds of the raw jute mainly for shipment abroad. Jute yarn and twine account for 65 percent of the sector's annual export receipts of over $850 million, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau and Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association.

Consumer board assures farmers can sell rice directly to consumers online

The Office of the Consumer Protection Board assures farmers that they can sell rice directly to consumers using the online channel.
Assurance by the state agency in charge of protecting consumers came after farmers have planned to group together to sell their rice directly to consumers after rice millers offered very low prices for their paddy claiming various reasons to suppress the paddy prices.The office said on its Facebook page that direct selling of rice by farmers via the social media networks does not breach the Direct Selling and Direct Marketing Act.It said the intent of the law is aimed at supervising e-commerce operators doing business professionally and not at farmers using  e-commerce channel to sell rice occasionally, not professionally.
It said although farmers will post their products on the webpage, but the deal and details have yet to be negotiated between the seller and the buyer.Therefore actual rice deal has not yet happened instantly on the webpage, meaning what they offer to sell does not violate the law.Earlier the deputy permanent secretary Tawatchai Thaikiew has assured farmers that selling rice using social media network did not violate any laws.
His assurances dismissed earlier comment by a lawyer who said farmers could face legal action under the Direct Selling and Direct Marketing Law.Mt Tawatchai reasoned that the law is used to regulate direct sellers with a network of independent distributors to reach out to consumers.The law does not relate to farmers’ efforts to sell their rice to end-consumers at all, he said.

AfricaRice moves to power rice farm mechanisation in Kano

By Murtala Muhammed, Kano   |   30 October 2016   |   3:52 am

As part of measures to accelerate Federal Government’s sustainable growth policies on Rice production in the country, AfricaRice, pan African intergovernmental agricultural research center has provided 50 Rice Farmers with modern mechanised technology training.28 of the benefiting youths were trained with the use of locally fabricated Rice threshers, while others specialised in the maintenance of the threshers.
Besides, the centre empowered another set of youths drawn from rural areas in Kano, under Rice innovation platform, to furnish Rice farmers with relevant information on fertilizer application and improved seeds to enhance efficient rice production in the country.
Though Kano is one of the few states in the country endowed with potential in commercial rice production, however, rice farmers are still engaging in subsisting farming with heavy loss es during post-harvest period.

Hence, the AfricaRice intervention targeted at young farmers would reduce losses and check the level of poverty in the land.Speaking during farmer field day in Kura, about 40 kilometers away from Kano, the team leader, AfricaRice Dr. Sidi Sanyang posited that the organisation is committed to enhancing value chain in Rice production through farm mechanisation and improved technology for young farmers in the state.
He explained that the project, which covers productivity and profitability for the beneficiaries, would reduce time cost and post-harvest losses through the use of thresher.
According to Sidi: “the farmers field day enable us the opportunity to showcase successes recorded in the last three months of the training of youths and empowerment of the Rice farmers in Kano. We have equipped the youths with requisite knowledge to render advice to rice farmers on right input and fertilizer application.
“AfricaRice is giving the supports under the Support to Agricultural Research for Development on Strategic Commodities in Africa and the intervention designed to enhance food and nutrition security as well as contributing to poverty reduction covers 11 countries.
“SARD-SC specifically has priority value chain for Cassava, Maize, Rice and Wheat, on sustainable basis being managed by three centers. AfricaRice manage Rice as value chain. We have International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) that takes care of cassava and maize, while International Center for Agricultural Research in the Day Areas (ICARDA) manages wheat. The five years SARD-SC projects are being funded by African Development Bank (ADB), to the tune of $86.9 million”. Dr. Sidi explained.Country coordinator of AfricaRice Dr. Francis Nwilene urged state government to support farmers with provision of sufficient threshers to encourage massive rice production.
He allayed farmers’ fears on the circulation of adulterated seeds, noting that AfricaRice has trained seed companies with necessary technology to produce recommended improved seeds

Global Baby Rice Flour Market Research Report 2016-2021 Just Published by 9Dimen Group

October 30, 2016  No Comments  Stanley Baby Rice Flour Industry Policy and Plan, Baby Rice Flour Market Analysis, Baby Rice Flour Market Capacity, Baby Rice Flour Market Cost Price, Baby Rice Flour Market Forecast, Baby Rice Flour Market Growth, Baby Rice Flour Market Product Development, Baby Rice Flour Market Share, Baby Rice Flour Market Size, Baby Rice Flour Market Supply

Global Baby Rice Flour Market Research Report 2016-2021 is in-depth study and comprehensive analysis on the Global Baby Rice Flour Market 2016 Forecast, Analysis, Size, Share, Demand, Overview, Market Development, Production. This report is focuses on the major regional market conditions of Baby Rice Flour Market. It is aim is to provide deep and accurate analysis about market size, company growth, recent trends and future forecast.The geographical representation of the Global Baby Rice Flour Market Research Report includes North American, Europe and Asia etc and the main country including United States, Germany, Japan and China etc.
Request for FREE SAMPLE Report @
The report is designed to introduced Baby Rice Flour Market and its vivid information with definition, classification, application and industry chain overview. The market report provides wide perspective and analysis of industry policy and plan, product specification manufacturing process, cost structure also it includes market condition of the main region, its product price, profit, capacity, production, capacity utilization, supply, demand and industry growth rate etc.
Our aim is to give lucid information on Baby Rice Flour Market and its ongoing and future projects, company SWOT analysis, investment feasibility analysis, investment return analysis and Global Twin-screw Extruder industry.
It is one of the clear and unique reports on Global Baby Rice Flour Market. Our team of experts and analyst has taken immense efforts to make it possible. We are thankful to technical and marketing experts those supports us during Research Team survey and interviews of Baby Rice Flour Market.
Browse Complete Report with TOC @
This report is categorize into six parts first part includes mainly the product basic information; the second part mainly analyzed the Asia Baby Rice Flour industry; the third part mainly analyzed the North American Baby Rice Flour industry; the fourth part mainly analyzed the Europe Baby Rice Flour industry; the fifth part mainly analyzed the market entry and investment feasibility; the sixth part was the report conclusion chapter.
Table of Content
Part I Baby Rice Flour Industry Overview
Chapter One Baby Rice Flour Industry Overview
1.1 Baby Rice Flour Definition
1.2 Baby Rice Flour Classification Analysis
1.2.1 Baby Rice Flour Main Classification Analysis
1.2.2 Baby Rice Flour Main Classification Share Analysis
1.3 Baby Rice Flour Application Analysis
1.3.1 Baby Rice Flour Main Application Analysis
1.3.2 Baby Rice Flour Main Application Share Analysis
1.4 Baby Rice Flour Industry Chain Structure Analysis
1.5 Baby Rice Flour Industry Development Overview
1.5.1 Baby Rice Flour Product History Development Overview
1.5.1 Baby Rice Flour Product Market Development Overview
Chapter Two Baby Rice Flour Up and Down Stream Industry Analysis
2.1 Upstream Raw Materials Analysis
2.1.1 Upstream Raw Materials Price Analysis
2.1.2 Upstream Raw Materials Market Analysis
2.1.3 Upstream Raw Materials Market Trend
2.2 Down Stream Market Analysis
2.1.1 Down Stream Market Analysis
2.2.2 Down Stream Demand Analysis
2.2.3 Down Stream Market Trend Analysis
Contact Us
Joel John
Tel: +1-386-310-3803
GMT Tel: +49-322 210 92714
USA/Canada Toll Free No. 1-855-465-4651

Feed your brain... and boost your memory and mood:

 Our life-changing series by a psychologist who’s studied the effect of diet on mental powers for 20 years 

·         Health expert Delia McCabe talks you through the big brain dos and dont's
·         Leafy greens and cold water oily fish among the good foods to eat
·         Alcohol, sweets and fried food like chicken nuggets on the banned list  
Have you ever walked into a room and forgotten what it was you went in for, or been at a party and completely forgotten someone’s name, even though you know them?
Perhaps you’ve found yourself standing uselessly at a cashpoint, unable to remember your PIN. Or your search for a specific word feels as if you are rummaging through empty drawers.The chances are that if you have experienced any of those memory lapses — and most people have — you’ll have blamed them on the fact that you’re getting older or have had a stressful few days.Then again, you might be one of the millions suffering from more serious conditions such as anxiety and depression, which have reached epidemic levels.
Indeed, mental health costs the NHS a staggering £77 billion a year — more than heart disease and cancer combined.Whatever your problems, the chances are that no matter what remedies you’ve tried —from a holiday to antidepressants or just a stoical acceptance that this is the way things are — you won’t have thought of what is perhaps the easiest treatment of all: to change what you eat.With my background in clinical psychology, I’ve lost count of the people who have told me they suffer from all of the problems mentioned above. But when I ask if they’ve ever considered improving their mental function by altering their diet, they look at me with astonishment.
Yet the simple fact is this: when you feed your brain, you can change your life
Yet the simple fact is this: when you feed your brain, you can change your life. 
When you give your brain the nutrients it needs to function optimally, it can work efficiently, improving learning potential, focus and memory. You become lighter in mood and weight, and brighter in outlook and cognitive capacity.


Pack your diet with my top 15 and banish the bad five and you’ll be on your way to optimum brain health.
(kale, rocket, watercress and spinach)
Full of vitamins (C, K and the Bs) as well as minerals (calcium, potassium, copper, magnesium, folate, manganese and zinc) plus fibre and many plant nutrients.
(salmon, mackerel, herring)
These are all the best possible direct source of healthy brain fats called omega 3 essential fats.
Another great source of brain fats when eaten in moderation.
(pecans, walnuts, macadamias, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts)
A great source of good fats plus protein and brain nutrients such as selenium, in Brazil nuts specifically.
 (organic and cold pressed)
Contains antioxidants and brain healthy plant chemicals.
 (flaxseed, sunflower and sesame seeds, chia seeds)
A rich source of plant essential fatty acid (EFA), containing omega 3 oils and lignans, phytochemicals that act as good hormone imitators and antioxidants.
Contains a beneficial saturated fat plus anti-microbial and anti-fungal and anti-viral function.
Packed with vitamins, fibre, minerals and mostly mono-unsaturated fats.
(sweet potato, pepper, carrot, tomato)
Their rich colour indicates high anti-oxidant content, and they are also sources of fibre, minerals, enzymes and plant nutrients.
(broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage)
Have phyto-chemicals that stimulate our enzyme defences against cancer, plus minerals and vitamins.
Great for a big punch of fibre and detox nutrients. Also acts as a prebiotic (provides food for bacteria in our gut).
(lentils, peas and beans)
In addition to vitamins and minerals, they contain lignins, also known as phyto-estrogens, which protect against different forms of cancer, as well as balancing hormone levels. Low in fat and high in fibre.
(quinoa, millet, amaranth, basmati rice)
Rich in vitamins and minerals plus protein.
Nutrient-dense brain superfoods we should eat every day. 
When a seed, grain or pulse has germinated, its nutritional value rises so there is 60 per cent more vitamin C and 30 per cent more B vitamins in a sprouted seed, grain or pulse. 
They also contain large amounts of protein and vitamin E, as well as phosphorous and potassium. 
Sprouting makes these nutrients highly digestible.
(blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)
True brain superfoods, colourful berries contain antioxidant power to protect the brain from ageing plus an anti- inflammatory and ellagic acid, which is a unique compound that a number of experts say could help to protect the body against cancer.
Because when your brain is satisfied it sets off a wonderful domino effect, a cascade of improved health on every level.
All the most up-to-date brain research indicates very clearly that cognitive decline is not inevitable with ageing.
We can take very practical and simple steps to maintain our cognitive health throughout our lives — but if you want a brain that’s going to work well into old age, you need to think about its welfare before memory lapses strike.
Of course, it would be naive and simplistic to suggest our modern, highly processed junk food diet is the only reason people are suffering from increased mental health challenges. 
We live in a sophisticated and complex world.
Navigating this complexity produces levels of stress humans have never before encountered. 
But with psychological distress so widespread and on the rise, looking after your brain has never been more important. 
And there is scientific proof to support the fact that what you eat can and does influence your mood, behaviour, concentration, learning and memory.
Most people do not associate what they eat with how their brain is functioning. 
If they are forgetful or moody or battling to learn something new, they often look for other reasons to explain why they are feeling that way.
But because thinking is a pattern of cellular activity across a vast network of cells, chemicals, membranes and molecules, it is possible to influence the brain’s functioning in the same way we influence our body’s.
You can feed your brain to be happy or sad — and help it to learn and remember things much more efficiently — simply by changing the type of foods you eat.
In fact, every meal and snack you consume, or feed your family, is supporting healthy brain function or undermining it.
After 20 years of being involved in research into how nutrition influences brain function, I’ve learned a lot about food and what it does to the brain. 
If you know what various nutrients do in your brain and why they are critical for optimal brain function, you’ll be better equipped to choose the right foods.
You may believe that you have no control over how your brain works and ages.
But actually only one third of the ageing process is determined by your genetic make-up — the other two-thirds are under your control.
The brain is made up of many billions of neurons that can stay robust or shrink in size, and the connections between those neurons can be strengthened or weakened — or new ones created.
These changes on the physical terrain of your brain give instructions to the body, which manifest as new abilities and skills.
When you forget someone’s name or why you walked into a room, this is a sign of weakening connections to that memory. 
So you can focus on keeping the connections strong and robust, and on forging news ones, or you can allow your brain to shrink and become diminished as a person in the process.
Because nutrients go to work very fast, you can quickly see a cognitive result after eating.
Coffee gives you a very obvious energy hit, but a snack that provides good fats, protein and unrefined carbohydrates, such as a handful of almonds and sundried tomatoes, will provide a much more sustained energy boost.
Though your brain is so small you could fit it in your cupped hands, it has a ferocious appetite.
This network of interconnecting cells works together to control every single thought and movement, masterminding your concentration, focus, memory and mood.
At any given moment, these cells are receiving and processing 100 million pieces of information. Little wonder they have such a hunger for nutrients.
Your brain consumes 25 per cent of the oxygen you breathe, 20 per cent of the blood that pumps through your heart (sent along 100,000 miles of minuscule blood vessels in your head) and up to half the glucose your body processes from food.
If your brain is not fed precisely the nutritional cocktail it needs to work smoothly and efficiently, things will swiftly go downhill — and that’s when anxiety, depression, lapses in memory and wavering concentration can appear.
Using food to keep your brain working well, once you know which are the best brain-supportive foods, is the simplest way to stay sharp.
More than half your brain — 60 per cent — is made up of fat.
After water, fat is the most abundant substance found in the body and the brain. 
Every single brain cell is surrounded by fat, and good healthy fats should form a fundamental part of everyone’s diet.
But as fat has been the Number One enemy in diets over the past 50 years, many of us have brains that are fat-deprived. 
If you’ve ever gone ‘low fat’ in the interests of weight loss, there’s every chance you suffered from low mood, possibly depression, as a consequence.
Stick to a low-fat diet long-term and I’m convinced the impact on your brain will be so great you’ll be compromising your ability to learn new things and to remember the skills you already have.


(chicken nuggets, fried chicken, chips and crisps).
(sweets, pastries, biscuits, cakes and milk chocolate).
(full sugar or diet versions).
Excess has been linked to poor brain function.
Meat, fruit and vegetables that have been subject to a heavy chemical or pesticide load. 
Pesticides accumulate in our fatty cell membranes and, with a brain made up of 60 per cent fat, it’s best to avoid these toxins. 
In addition, you’ve probably got sore joints, dry skin, dry eyes, a sluggish metabolism and low energy levels.
But a knee-jerk switch to crisps and cakes isn’t going to cut it. 
A quarter of the brain’s 60 per cent fat is made up of specific types of fat called EFAs or essential fatty acids. 
So even if you start your day with a full English breakfast, there’s every chance your brain will still be woefully lacking the EFAs it needs.
This is a serious concern: researchers know that a lack of these specific types of fat is likely to predispose you to memory decline and even, ultimately, Alzheimer’s disease.
The key lies in an emerging understanding that not all fats are equal. 
To function at its best, your brain needs healthy forms of saturated, monounsaturated and polyun- saturated fats.
Your body can happily make the first two. 
But it can’t make the polyunsaturated fats that are EFAs. 
These have to be supplied through the diet.
The fatty composition of animal fats tends to harden our cell membranes, leaving them inflexible and unable to respond quickly to the various jobs they have to do.
Ultimately this leads to sluggish thinking and forgetfulness, as well as general cognitive decline.


Answer the following questions honestly. 
If your answer to five or more is ‘Yes’, you could be unwittingly starving your brain. 
Follow my plan all next week in the Daily Mail and test yourself again next Saturday — you’ll be amazed at how quickly your brain responds. 
And the benefits last for life!
1 My thinking is not as clear as it used to be and sometimes I have trouble making decisions.
2 I seem to be forgetting things, such as people’s names and places, more often than I used to.
3 Even after a good night’s sleep, I still feel tired.
4 I sometimes have feelings of deep depression, hopelessness and despair
5 Some days I drag myself around and everything feels like a huge effort.
6 I ALWAYS need a cup of coffee to wake myself up in the morning.
7 I need a cup of tea or a chocolate bar or biscuit to give me an energy burst mid-afternoon.
8 I crave foods that are high in fat or sugar, or both.
9 My skin is dry and I need lotions to keep it moist.
10 I have found that I’m putting on weight around my middle.
11 I battle to go to sleep at night and wake during the night, too.
12 I drink alcohol three or more times during the week.
13 I have a number of allergies and food intolerances and they seem to be getting worse.
14 My joints are sore and sometimes they ache.
15 I feel more anxious and stressed than I used to.
16 I often feel hungry two or three hours after eating a meal. Having something to eat gives me a quick burst of energy.
17 I feel that I’m more irritable and moody than I used to be and sometimes have angry outbursts.
18 It’s hard for me to remember when I last felt calm and at peace
19 Sometimes I feel that I’m just too old to learn new things become I fear that my memory isn’t that good any more.
20 I rarely feel like eating any vegetables.
Rigid membranes impair the ability of brain cells to have smooth conversations with each other, so messages between them can become muddled.It’s like talking on a very bad phone line — the result is sluggish thinking, difficulty in learning a new task or recalling an old one, depression and anxiety, a lack of motivation, poor sleep and even a lowered pain threshold.However, EFAs in the diet can swiftly make those membranes flexible and elastic. 
So, consuming saturated fats as well as EFAs is the solution — not avoiding saturated fats! 
This is where many people have become confused — and why the ‘fat discussion’ leads to so many heated arguments among people.
The speed of your thinking depends in part on the health and flexibility of a special brain cell component called myelin, the covering of the connections between neurons. 
But a significant percentage of myelin is made up of EFAs, so if we don’t eat enough of them, communication between brain cells will significantly slow.
In addition to this, our thoughts travel through brain cells via electrical currents carried by neurotransmitters. 
The point at which the brain cell (the neuron) and neurotransmitters connect is the synapse.
If the synapse isn’t packed with EFAs, it will not be able to release the neurotransmitter optimally and its messages become garbled.
If any part of this electrochemical current is interrupted, the memory or thought becomes incomplete or is destroyed.
That’s partly what happens when you’ve walked into a room and forgotten why you went there in the first place.
Luckily, consuming enough EFAs will naturally lessen any negative effects of eating the wrong kinds of fats because EFAs are very soft and flexible, so they balance out the hardness and inflexibility of other fats.
So, how do you improve the fat in your brain? By taking action to feed your brain properly.
And in Monday’s paper I will focus on precisely what kind of food.
Then all next week I’ll be telling you exactly what sort of protein, sugar, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins your brain needs in each meal, with a recipe pullout each day packed with delicious brain-food recipes that are tasty and easy to make.
And I’ll also explain how food intolerances may be seriously affecting your brain — and how to tell which, if any, foods you may need to cut out altogether

Putting Wheat in Its Place, Or Why the Green Revolution Wasn’t Quite What It’s Made Out to Be

Narratives that present the Green Revolution as necessary and successful ignore the context that it was brought around in and the fact that it did not lead to a food-secure India.

Growing wheat. Credit: Nupur Das Gupta/Flickr CC BY 2.0
Growing wheat. Credit: Nupur Das Gupta/Flickr CC BY 2.0
This article is in response to Gopi Rajagopal’s piece ‘The Stories of Ehrlich, Borlaug and the Green Revolution‘ published by The Wire on October 13, 2016.
The article by Gopi Rajagopal (‘The Stories of Ehrlich, Borlaug and the Green Revolution’, October 13, 2016) uses a selective narration of the history of how the Green Revolution came to pass, to uphold the popular narrative of why it was needed. The stark numbers that he presents – 10.4 million tonnes of wheat was “woefully inadequate to feed a population of over 500 million” in 1966 – shows the magnitude of the possible disaster that the coming of the Green Revolution seemed to have averted. The quotations from newspaper articles dating back to 1966 are used to add further authenticity to such claims.
It is not surprising that this is done. The Green Revolution only provided more wheat (later on high-yielding rice strains came from the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, but this article is concerned only with wheat), so it is convenient to compare the amount of wheat grown in 1966 with the amount grown in the following decades – 20 million tonnes in 1970, 32 million tonnes in 1980 and a whopping 90 million tonnes in 2016, making India the second largest wheat producer in the world. This is a triumphant tale of success, of conquering the vicissitudes of nature and of the celebration of the man who brought it all to pass.
The glorification of wheat
Let me begin this critique by stating a couple of historical facts about wheat. First, a majority of Indians were not consumers of wheat in the decades prior to and following independence. Instead, India was a nation of rice eaters with the so-called coarse cereals (maize, millets) and gram coming a close second. In 1951, we grew 20.6 million tonnes of rice, 19 million tonnes of coarse cereals and gram, and 6.5 million tonnes of wheat. In 1965, we grew 39.3 million tonnes of rice, 31.1 million tonnes of coarse cereals and gram and 12.3 million tonnes of wheat.
Second, much of the wheat grown in the country was exported to Britain and Europe under colonial rule as raw material for cheap bread. The canal colonies of Punjab had been settled and converted into wheat-growing tracts by the British, along with areas in the Central Provinces and Berar. In fact, there was an excess production of wheat in the late 1920s and with the crash of purchasing power due to the worldwide Great Depression in 1929, wheat exporting nations, including India, participated in a series of urgent meetings to figure out how to dispose of the surplus and work towards reducing production!
Given this background, it is obvious that there wasn’t enough ‘wheat’ to feed 500 million people – it was never supposed to be the only thing that Indians ate. In fact, most statistics of the time did not even capture large portions of the diets of coastal Indians who ate fish and rural Indians, especially tribal groups, who relied on forest produce, not to mention oilseeds, pulses, meat, milk and the like, apart from cereals.
The story of Mexico is used to suggest that there was an inherent problem in terms of wheat productivity globally. But it is even more selective in its choice of historical actors. The problem of rust that was devastating Mexican wheat in the late 1930s and early 1940s is portrayed as an agricultural crisis for the entire country. Yet, the majority of Mexican farmers grew corn, which formed the staple Mexican diet. The crisis was faced by Mexican farmers who had just started growing wheat on a large scale in the Sonoran desert in the north of the country, thanks to the newly built Yaqui River Valley irrigation project.
In fact, the Yaqui Valley research station had been built in the region to support the needs of Mexican wheat growers, so that wheat output could be increased, not only for domestic consumption due to changing food preference in urban areas but more so for export. The problem of rust that was solved by Norman Borlaug helped Mexican farmers become exporters of wheat by 1958. It is not clear what is meant by self-sufficiency here since wheat was not a major component of the diet of a majority of Mexicans.
The missing twists and turns
Coming back to the Indian case – the narrative becomes even more selective in the listing of events that prompted the adoption of the “new agricultural strategy”, which set the Green Revolution in motion. The “several twists and turns in the tale” are as follows: India had been importing wheat from the US under Public Law 480 (PL480) since 1954, which gave developing countries the opportunity to purchase wheat, soyabean, edible oils and milk powder using their own currency, instead of dollars. This allowed countries to save their precious foreign exchange to buy industrial equipment and also to supply cheap food to their industrial labourers, thus facilitating a Lewisian transition from an agrarian economy to an industrial one. It allowed countries to obtain cheap food without extracting huge surpluses from their agrarian sectors to facilitate the transition. The US benefitted because it found a marketing outlet for its farmers who were over-producing these commodities and could not find enough markets globally.
The situation mutually benefitted India and the US until the India-Pakistan war in the summer of 1965, and the subsequent condemnation of US actions in Vietnam by India, which led to an immediate threat of withdrawal of the PL480 programme by the US. By this time, India’s urban labouring class had become dependent on PL480 wheat supplied to them through the ration shop system. India might have been able to weather the situation using domestic supplies, but there was a monsoon failure in 1965. This caused consternation and gave rise to the “ship to mouth” crisis since the US had pledged only one-fourth of the grain requested for 1965-66. It is important to note that the food crisis was not experienced by the entire nation but would have affected urban labourers alone, had the imports stopped. However, it was in the US’s favour to have international reports suggest conditions of a nation-wide famine so that it could then show its magnanimity by generously restarting PL480 imports, but under certain conditions.
The logjam was broken in November 1965 when C. Subramaniam travelled to the US and worked out a deal on behalf of the Lal Bahadur Shastri government, allowing private foreign investment in fertiliser plants and the import of fertiliser in exchange for the continuation of PL480 imports. This formed the backbone of the “new agricultural strategy”, which was inspired in part by a World Bank report that called for providing cost and price incentives to individual farmers in the form of seeds, pesticides, power implements, chemical fertilisers and water (in contrast to the earlier approach of the government focusing on community development programmes and land reforms), effectively, “guaranteeing profitability to the farmer.”
As should be evident from the narrative so far, the so-called miracle seeds are nowhere in the picture yet. In fact, India faced a double whammy with monsoon failure for the second time in parts of the country in 1966. However, the production in this year was marginally better than 1965, clocking 74 million tonnes of food grains. India imported its highest ever amount of wheat under PL480 that year – 10 million tonnes.
In a series of conjunctures which led M.S. Swaminathan to become a wheat breeder, brought him and others at IARI in touch with Norman Borlaug’s work, and led to the planting of the imported Mexican seed varieties in C. Subramaniam’s garden in Lutyen’s Delhi, the government approved the dissemination of the new seed varieties through the Intensive Agricultural District Program (IADP) in December 1965. Districts with sufficient access to water had been chosen and farmers who were “progressive”, i.e. typically upper caste and class, were provided with seeds in the winter of 1966. It is crucial to note here that the new seeds did not express their potential yield unless given adequate doses of chemical fertilisers and water, which the government also began to subsidise.
The new seeds fit very well into the new agricultural strategy, which was about incentivising individual farmers, and early adopters in the IADP regions were typically large farmers who had enough capital to pay for irrigation and purchase chemical fertilisers. They also received a guarantee that the government would purchase all their wheat to stock the Food Corporation of India godowns, at a minimum support price. The World Bank report had recognised the consequences of this policy, which would aggravate the inequality between large farmers and others, and between irrigated and rain-fed areas in the country.
Coming back to our narrative full of twists and turns, the miracle year of 1968 saw a recovery of the monsoon and a growth in food grain production from 74.2 million tonnes to 95.1 million tonnes. The increase of 20.9 million tonnes came as follows: 7.2 million tonnes was contributed by rice, 7.1 million tonnes by coarse cereals including gram and 5.2 million tonnes by wheat. In fact, good weather the world over had made it a bumper year of production, leading many commentators to talk of over-production once again. Some of the growth in wheat can be attributed to the new seeds of Borlaug but in case of the other crops, it was still local seed varieties that were being used. This was also the year following which the area under cultivation of coarse cereals starting going down, just as the wheat area started increasing.
As farmers in irrigated tracts realised that the government was providing input subsidies including the seeds to grow wheat and was buying back the crop under a guaranteed price, they started switching area from coarse cereals and gram to wheat (and rice). From a high of 55.6 million hectares in 1968, coarse cereals and gram lost acreage steadily, falling to 28 million hectares in 2006. Wheat’s success was built on the loss of other crops. So what has this meant for self-sufficiency?
What is self-sufficiency?
This brings me to the last loop in this story. About defining self-sufficiency and food security. What does it mean to say that, “India became self-sufficient in cereals in 1974”? Total food grain production in 1970-71 was 108.4 million tonnes, which fell in 1974 to 99.8 million tonnes, which was, in fact, a drought year. 1971 was the year when PL480 wheat imports were stopped, only to be restarted in 1972 again, continuing till 1975. All this while wheat production had been increasing, doubling to 24.7 million tonnes in 1972 and 28.8 million tonnes in 1975, but PL480 imports had continued. So what was the meaning of self-sufficiency?
Ironically, the PL480 programme was wound up not because India did not need to import wheat anymore. It was due to other geopolitical considerations of the US, which now saw self-sufficient nations feeding their restive populations as more amenable allies in the Cold War, especially if the US had arranged for the “self-sufficiency” in the first place (by providing the miracle seeds to them through the Rockefeller Foundation which had employed Borlaug and which organised for the transfer of genetic material).
Even more ironically, India did not need PL480 imports to provide enough food for its people to begin with. They served only a small constituency, the urban labouring class, and that too, due to conscious policy choices made in the 1950s. They had been started despite India having enough production in the 1950s (and a robustly growing agrarian economy that had been freed from the fetters of British rule).
From 1950 to 1965, Indian agriculture witnessed a surge in productivity across all crops. After half a century of 0% growth in agriculture (1900-1947), freedom from the shackles of punitive land revenue demands, demolition of the zamindarisystem, modest land reforms and repeal of taxes on digging wells and making improvements to the land had given a new lease of life to farmers. The production of major crops (except wheat) increased as much in the 1950-1965 period (in 15 years) as it did between 1965 and 1990 (in 25 years).
Ehrlich and the Malthusian juggernaut
It is suggested that even if we accept that India had enough food to feed its population in the 1960s, there was expected to be runaway population growth and without the Green Revolution, all those new mouths would have gone hungry. This is the classical Malthusian argument which, in simplified terms, says that food production grows linearly while population grows exponentially, eventually reaching a state of collapse – hence the doomsday predictions. The popular narrative of the Green Revolution challenges this hypothesis by arguing that food production can grow faster than the population thanks to high-yielding variety seeds.
Sadly, however, it does not question the very premise that ultimately survival on this planet is basically a race between food and population growth rates. As Amartya Sen’s now famous work has shown, food and population growth rates cannot be compared directly. Food availability has to be refracted through the element of price. There may be a mountain of food available, but access to food is only based on the entitlements that people have, to be able to exchange for food. This is one of the reasons, among others, that explains the bitter irony that Indians have remained food insecure despite all this bumper wheat production. Malnutrition levels in 2005 continued to remain horrific – three out of five children under five, or nearly 60%, were found to be chronically malnourished (two standard deviations below normal) by the National Family Health Survey. Moreover, the per capita availability of coarse cereals, gram and pulses had fallen by 42 kg per person per year, while the gains from wheat were only 28 kg per person per year between 1961 and 2006. This has resulted in the skewing of the nutrition basket.
Furthermore, Malthus’s theory assumes that population growth is an independent variable. Nothing can influence it except a dire reduction in food availability and economic distress that would lead millions to perish. However, there is not a shred of evidence to support his hypothesis, whether one looks at the history of populations in Europe and the West or India and the South. Population growth rates are dependent on birth rates and death rates. As death rates, especially infant mortality, have reduced, birth rates have also dropped, but with a time lag. The resulting bulge in population growth, before the reduced birth rates have kicked in, has been used to malign specific populations as being afflicted by runaway fertility.
However, this has ignored research which has shown that birth rates are influenced not only by food availability (and accessibility/affordability) but more so by rising incomes, occupational shifts, the availability of contraceptives and most important, women’s education and empowerment to be able to exercise reproductive choice, among other reasons. More insidiously, Malthusian theory has been used to justify coercive population control of specific populations, with terrible consequences – both India and China have dark histories of this and the latter has recently repealed its one-child policy after realising the distorted demographic consequences of the same.
Writing history
Fear mongers would do well to study a little bit of history. But as they say, history is written by the conquerors, or in this case, the ones who had the power to define the course of its narrative. Those who present calculations of food security in India on the basis of wheat production alone are either doing so out of surprising naivety or, more insidiously, from a desire to defend a certain triumphant version of history, where actors like Borlaug and Swaminathan are said to have saved a million lives.
This narrative of victory has also buoyed the boats of a host of interest groups, including chemical and seed companies, makers of power implements and mechanised equipment and, not to mention, the better-off farmers from irrigated tracts in the country who are, unfortunately, now rueing their fate. Monoculture farming promoted Green Revolution-style has destroyed the long term fertility of soils, chemicals have caused health problems and the technological treadmill has led to growing debt. All this, but India still doesn’t have food security, if one looks at nutritional outcomes of the population.
No surprise, since the story of wheat has not been put in its place – where it belongs – within the larger context of food production and consumption in India.
Richa Kumar is an assistant professor of sociology and policy studies at the department of humanities and social sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. She is the author of Rethinking Revolutions: Soyabean, Choupals and the Changing Countryside in Central India (Oxford University Press 2016). She can be reached at

Rice exports rose 10% in September

Description: C:\Users\WINDOW\Downloads\Rice exports rose 10% in September _ Bangkok Post_ news_files\c1_1123541_620x413.jpg
Rice is loaded on a truck at a warehouse for delivery and export.
- +
Thailand shipped 790,000 tonnes of rice overseas in September, a growth of 9.9% year-on-year, lifting total exports of the grain for the first nine months of 2016 to 6.85 million tonnes.
Charoen Laothamatas, president of Thai Rice Exporters Association, said exports in September were worth 12 billion baht, up 3.4%. 
For the nine-month period, rice exports rose 3.7% in volume compared to the same period last year, but the value increased by only 1.6% to 108 billion baht.
He said September exports jumped from the delivery of both old and new-harvest rice to buyers in Africa, as African countries have resumed purchasing rice to add to their diminishing stocks.
Exports of parboiled rice to African markets totalled 255,000 tonnes in September, up 103% from August. Benin was the largest buyer, taking 177,000 tonnes of parboiled rice.
The export of white rice to African and Asian countries also rose by 22% in the month to 371,000 tonnes.   
However, exports of Jasmine fragrant rice dropped by 13% to 158,000 tonnes.
Mr Charoen said he expected rice exports would total 700,000-800,000 tonnes for October, with deliveries  to China and continuous sales to African buyers.
As of Oct 25, the export price of 5% white rice from Vietnam and India stood at US$350 a tonne and $345 from Pakistan. Thai rice of the same quality was quoted at $369 a tonne on Oct 26, according to the Thai Rice Exporters Association.Rice farmers despair amid low prices

31 Oct 2016 at 04:30 5,931

No way out: Just as the rice harvest begins, farmers are caught in a trap, facing the lowest prices of the century, with worldwide demand still falling. (File photo)

Kneeling and sobbing before a top commerce ministry official, a Phichit farmer appealed to the government Sunday to help growers suffering from the fall in rice prices to 5,000 baht a tonne, the lowest level in decades.Sanit Kaho, a 63-year-old farmer, held the legs of permanent secretary for commerce Wiboonlasana Ruamraksa, who visited Wangkrod Tai Tambon Administration Organisation (TAO) in Muang district to meet local authorities, farmers and rice millers to discuss ways to deal with the tumbling price of paddy.The farmer said she wanted the prime minister to help. She can't afford to sell her Hom Mali rice now due to current prices, adding that mills are offering just 5,000 baht per tonne.

The crop will be ready to harvest this week, though farmers will not be able to survive with this price, she said.
According to Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn, a new scheme will be proposed at a meeting today held by the national rice policy committee.The scheme sets out a pledging price of no less than 10,000 baht a tonne for Thai Hom Mali paddy.The measure is expected to be forwarded to the cabinet tomorrow for approval and will take immediate effect as one measure to help farmers.Ms Sanit said most of Phichit farmers do not have their own barns and usually sell their rice immediately after harvesting it.The government should come up with ways to address this problem, she said.Mana Wuthiyakorn, head of the rice farmer network in Bang Mun Nak district, said the government should buy Hom Mali rice directly from farmers at 10,000 baht per tonne, insisting farmers would shoulder the cost of rice production.

He asked Ms Wiboonlasana to relay the concerns to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.He said farmers in the province's three districts are due to harvest their rice this week, but prices are still falling due to manipulation by middlemen and millers.He said his group will close the Bang Moon-Tapan Hin road if nothing is done to solve the problem.Mingkwan Pook-eiam, head of an unofficial rice milling club in Phichit, said it is impossible to force millers to buy rice from farmers at 10,000 baht per tonne as exporters buy rice from the millers at lower prices, adding the government should hold talks with exporters to find ways to deal with the issue.
Ms Wiboonlasana said falling global rice prices are to blame for the problem, noting that many rice-growing countries are undercutting Thailand.As part of the scheme up for approval, the government is planning to set a quota of 50,000 tonnes at US$600 (about 21,000 baht) to countries and exporters interested in buying Thai rice, a measure that should shore up prices, says Ms Wiboonslasana.

The government will launch campaigns to boost domestic demand in rice, such as holding farmers markets specialising in rice, and seek more foreign markets, she said.Government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd insisted the government wants to solve the problem of falling rice prices in a sustainable way, while educating farmers and the public that domestic prices are determined by global pressures.