Monday, November 21, 2016

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

World Rice Conference: Vietnam looks to a “better year” in 2017

Following this year’s drought which compromised its crop and subsequent exports; the Vietnamese rice industry looks forward to a more positive 2017.

This season’s exports look set to reach only 5 milliontonnes, below average for the major player in the market, indicated a speakerat the World Rice Conference in Thailand.
“It’s not been a good year,” admitted Dieu Pham Quang ofAgromonitor Vietnam.

World Rice Conference: India to keep export crown in 2017

Indian is expected to remain the world’s largest rice exporter next year, although recent currency issues may hamper the country reaching its full potential.

Rice shipments out of India are likely to stay at similarlevels to this current season, enabling it to still retain its position as theworld’s largest exporter. Its closest rival Thailand is potentially set toexport around

Importation threatens government’s agriculture policy

By Joke Falaju, Abuja   |   20 November 2016   |   1:10 am
Rice farm
The big players in the agric sector whose businesses thrive on importation now constitute a big threat to the Nigerian Agricultural Promotion Policy, and unless the Federal Government takes a decisive step to rescue the sector, the so-called economic diversification agenda may not materialise.From rice millers, dairy processors to tomato processing, it is the same story of threatened businesses due to increased smuggling and importation.  Farmers are now at the mercy of government to take the bold step to call the bluff of multi nationals, so as to increase local production.

The Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RIPAN) at a recent media briefing in Abuja, raised alarm over massive smuggling of finished parboiled rice from the Republic of Benin, Niger and Cameroon. Of concern to them is that Nigeria is the only country on the West African Coastline that consume parboiled rice, however, they were frightened that 1million metric tonnes of finished parboiled rice now berth at the Republic of Benin, and if the rice is pushed into the Nigerian market, it would not only affect local investment, it will kill whatever intervention the Federal Government is making through programmes, to empower over 25million rice farmers.

RIPAN urged the Federal Government to engage governments of the neighbouring countries on joint anti-smuggling initiatives to tackle smuggling of rice into the country, stressing the need for the countries to increase their tariffs on rice.

They also advised that the Federal Government could threaten the countries with strong economic sanctions for aiding and abetting smuggling of rice into the country, saying it would go a long way in reducing the economic sabotage against Nigeria.

RIPAN stressed the need for Nigerian Customs Service to collaborate with the Directorate of State Security Service and other relevant security agencies to design strategies to track local collaborators and bring them to book.

They said the customs service need to investigate the roles played by some conglomerates based in Nigeria, who are at the forefront of importing and diverting rice cargoes to neighbouring countries, saying RIPAN would stand by to provide the Customs Service with necessary information at their disposal.

Indeed Dangote Tomato Processing Plants also had to shut down three months after opening their factory because of increased smuggling of Tomato paste into the country, despite ban by government.

The Vice Chairman of Dangote Group, Sani Dangote, while speaking to journalists alleged that some importers currently import the product from China and in the bid to avoid the payment of, they established large warehouse in Ghana in the free zone under the disguise of ECOWAS, where the importers warehouse the product, package it and push the commodity as retail packs into the Nigerian market.
He said: “Maybe we were not as smart as the importers; we shouldn’t have opened a factory, we should have just been importing and making our profit.”

He said if they continue to produce, they might continue to run at loss, adding that they have reported the matter to government, but are yet to get any result.

He explained that the Chinese government had reduced the price of the commodity by 50 per cent so that they would continue to benefit from the large Nigerian market given the increasing foreign exchange shortfall.
He lamented that government has been talking for the last one year and up till this very moment, there is no clear policy on where they are heading. He noted that the minister of industry, trade and investment has been talking about bringing the importers to the table with local producers, so as to fashion out a common ground, unfortunately, there is no way they can find a common ground when somebody’s business is about import and the other is producing locally.
Unfortunately, the high cost of factors of production has made the prices of locally produced goods high. Olam rice mill producers of Mama Pride rice said that electricity generation alone amounts to 90 percent of the production cost as the farm had to be run on generating sets, adding that if the government of Nassarawa State can be kind enough to provide them with electricity they may be able to slash the price of rice by half.

Chairman of dairy processor, L-AND-Z integrated farms, Mohammadu Abubakar said the plan by the Federal Government to increase milk production is not the best way to go as already, milk production is higher than the demand, but what is lacking is for government to enhance use of local milk.

He said: The best way to go is the enforcement of tariff to compel big players to use local milk. Nigeria produces 12million litres of milk daily, the total consumption is 10million, so we have an excess of 2million liters. People who say Nigeria does not have enough milk are liars, what is lacking is the collection of the milk and channeling it to the processing plant. The problem is not production but collection.”

Abubakar warned government to desist from relying on multinational companies to develop the dairy industry, rather, the ministry must take a bold step to compel companies to source their raw materials from the local market and imposing high tariff on imported milk to ensure that they comply.

He said processing plants of the multi national companies are fed with milk produced by farmers in their home countries and for most of the companies it is cheaper to import milk than buy from the local producers.

He said: “people think that placing ban on powdered milk may lead to poor nutrition and starvation, but that is not true, because most of imported milk are not good milk because they contain lot of fats, which is not good for consumption, so there is the need for the regulatory agencies to be more proactive.”

Cameroon: government proposes cancelling VAT (19.25%) on rice from 2017

 Saturday, 19 November 2016 09:00
 (Business in Cameroon) - After reinstating in 2016 the customs duty of 5% on rice imports, which had been cancelled after the February 2008 hunger riots, the Cameroonian government is once again considering eliciting a drop in the prices of this mass consumption product, much sought after by local populations.
Indeed, in the 2017 Finance bill, which will be reviewed by Parliament in the coming days, the government proposes that rice be exempted from the payment of added value tax (VAT). If this proposal is approved by parliamentarians, the price per kilogram of rice on the Cameroonian market (FCfa 300) could drop by 19.25%, which is the equivalent of the VAT rate applicable in the country.
A small rice producer with about 100,000 tons on average per year, Cameroon is a big consumer of imported rice. For example, for 2015 only, the statistics of the National Payment Balance Technical Committee reveal that 707,200 tons of rice were imported in Cameroon, for a financial value of FCfa 181 billion.

Double-cropping hybrid rice sets new yield world record

Source:Global Times- Xinhua Published: 2016/11/20 16:00:42

Yuan Longping, known as the father of hybrid Chinese rice, has set a new world record by achieving an annual yield of 1,537.78 kilograms of rice per mu (0.067 hectare) in pilot field in Xingning, South China's Guangdong Province, the local authorities announced on Saturday. The yield of the second crop of rice was 705.68 kilograms of rice per mu, and together with the 832.1 kilograms per mu from the first crop in July, the double-cropping super rice has set a record-high annual output of 1,537.78 kilograms per mu, reported the Guangdong-based Nanfang Daily on Sunday.

The project was jointly launched in 2015 by the China National Hybrid Rice R&D Centre in Central China’s Hunan Province, directed by Yuan; the Guangdong provincial agriculture department; South China Agricultural University; and the Xingning city agricultural bureau, the Nanfang Daily said.The project aimed achieve the goal of an annual output of 1500 kilograms of rice per mu in the three years from 2015, said the Nanfang report. 

The record-high yield in Xingning is the only key scientific project focused on double-cropping rice, among Yuan’s 38 demonstration super rice fields across the country, according to the Nanfang Daily.The annual yield of double-cropping rice is equal to that produced over three seasons in the past, marking a big breakthrough, Luo Xiwen, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, was quoted as saying by the Xinhua News Agency,

"This is the fifth generation of hybrid rice technology," Yuan told Xinhua. "The quality of the rice is as good as Japan's renowned Koshihikari rice."Additionally, Yuan, 86, also head of the sea-rice research and development center, delivered a speech at the World Life Science Conference in Beijing on November 1, saying that a newly founded research center in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province, planned to expand the yield of sea-rice to 200 kilograms per mu within three years, Xinhua previously reported .

The Qingdao research center will use gene sequencing to cultivate new, high-yield strains of sea-rice that can grow in saline water, but the technology is a challenge, Yuan said.He noted that China has more than 1 billion mu of saline-alkali land that has not been cultivated so far, together with some 10 million mu land in intertidal zones. "The cultivation of sea-rice is very promising."The target yield of sea-rice is 300 kilograms per mu, he revealed.

Global Times- Xinhua

Customs seizes bank’s bullion van with smuggled rice

By Gistmaster  On November 19, 2016 In Latest Tagged Latest News
By Udeme Clement

The Oyo/Osun Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has seized a bullion van belonging to a commercial bank in Nigeria, but used in smuggling rice into the country through the land border.  The bullion van meant for conveyance of bank currency was intercepted by operatives of Oyo/Osun Customs loaded with smuggled rice through a tip off.The Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the Command, Compt. Ogunkua Tope, who disclosed this, displayed the vehicle at the Command’s office in Ibadan , loaded with 50kg bags of rice. According to him, “The interception of a bullion van meant for carrying cash, but used in concealing smuggled imported foreign rice into the country illegally should send a serious signal to recalcitrant saboteurs of the Nigerian economy that there is no hiding place for them, especially as the juletide approahes”.The Bullion Van loaded with 50kg bags of rice

He went on, “We are determined to beat all their concealment patterns with our superior intelligence network, because the Service has equipped us with necessary work tools and adequate training to curb the menace of smuggling in the region.It is worrisome to see that some Nigerians still remain unrepentant, even as they continue to lose. Not even the Federal Government’s visible efforts in transforming the agricultural sector, especially in the area of rice production as well as increase prevalence of expired imported rice with its hazardous health implications have touched their conscience to avoid rice smuggling.However, our resolve to deal with them remains unshakened, more so now that the present management has directed thorough investigation with a view to prosecuting all those found connected to this illegal act. I am using this opportunity to appeal to well-meaning members of the public who want to engage in legitimate business to come forward for clarification or visit the Command headquarters for trade facilitation and enquiries.”

“The recalcitrant ones who still insist on engaging in the illicit business of smuggling should be well advised that they would not escape the long arm of the law, especially as the yuletide approaches.You will recall that we had reiterated our resolve to increase the revenue profile of the Command and to tirelessly reduce the incidence of smuggling. In keeping to this promise, the Command initiated new anti-smuggling strategies, which led to remarkable exploits seen in the seizures that include  one bullion van loaded with rice, a  fairly used Rover,  one fairly used Toyota Highlander, two fairly used Toyota Camry,  two fairly used Volkwagon, two fairly used Mecedes Truck loaded with rice, two fairly used Nissan Land Rover,  one fairly used Man diesel truck, two fairly used Nissan Urvan loaded with rice, five fairly used Toyota Hiace loaded with rice,    one fairly used Nissan Vannet loaded with smuggled imported rice, two fairly used Toyota Land Cruiser,  one fairly used Mazda 626, one fairly used Honda Accord Saloon,  one fairly used Toyota Duet,one fairly used Lexus GX470,  one fairly used Daihatsu Atrai, one fairly used lite Ace bus, two brand new Land Rover Discovery  truck carrying smuggled brand new Honda Accord, made at different locations within the Command’s area of coverage”.The post Customs seizes bank’s bullion van with smuggled rice appeared first on Vanguard News

Can I Eat Rice If I Have Diabetes?

Written by Caroline LeopoldReviewed by Peggy Pletcher, MS, RD, LD, CDE
Last reviewed: Sun 20 November 2016

Diet plays an important role in staying healthy, especially for people with diabetes. Many people wonder whether high-carbohydrate foods such as rice are healthy to eat.
This article will explain how to count carbohydrates, how to incorporate rice into the diet, and what the healthy alternatives to rice are.

Diabetes basics

Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases where the body does not adequately produce insulin, use insulin properly, or both. Insulin plays a crucial role in allowing blood sugar into the cells to be used for energy. There are two main types: type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Staying healthy by exercising and eating well is recommended for people with diabetes.
People with diabetes have abnormally high levels of blood sugar. This can damage many organs in the body if left untreated. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommend the following steps to manage diabetes:
§  Make healthy choices in eating
§  Engage in regular physical activity or exercise
§  Take medications, if required.
Healthy eating is important in keeping blood sugar levels at a healthy level. The healthy range is 80 to 130 mg/dL before meals or below 180 mg/dL after meals, according to the American Diabetes Association.
People with type 1 diabetes require insulin. Various insulin delivery systems and protocols are used to manage blood sugar both between and at meal times.
People with type 2 diabetes often manage their condition with diet and exercise, and with medications as needed to keep blood sugar within the target range. These medications vary in how they work.
People with diabetes will have different treatment plans, and they will respond to food, exercise, and medication differently.
It is important to consult with a doctor to get individualized recommendations on target blood sugar levels, medications, diet, and exercise.

How do carbohydrates affect diabetes?

Carbohydrates are an important source of energy for the body. Carbohydrates are found in foods that have starches and natural or added sugars. Examples are grains, vegetables and legumes, fruit, dairy products, and sweets.
Carbohydrates are broken down by the digestive system into sugar. When the digested sugar enters the blood, the body produces a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps the sugar enter cells. Once the cells absorb the sugar, blood sugar levels fall.
People with diabetes have an impaired ability to produce insulin, use insulin, or both.
People with type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin, so they take insulin to make sure the cells can get the sugar they need for energy.
People with type 2 diabetes are often insulin resistant. They also often have difficulty producing enough insulin to keep their blood sugar in the normal range.

Counting carbohydrates

Carbohydrate counting is a way of keeping track of the carbohydrates in the daily diet. A person with diabetes who uses carbohydrate counting to manage their diet sets an amount of carbohydrate to eat for meals and snacks.

Bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes are all sources of carbohydrates.
The American Diabetes Association suggest a target of about 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrate per meal. This recommendation may vary depending on other factors such as gender, weight goals, and blood sugar target goals.
The three different types of carbohydrates are starch, sugar, and fiber.
Starches are complex carbohydrates found in starchy vegetables such as peas, potatoes, and corn. Beans and whole grains are also complex carbohydrates.
Fiber comes from plants and cannot be digested. Fiber is found in foods such as vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, and nuts.
Unlike other carbohydrates, fiber does not raise blood sugar, and it can help to slow the digestion of meals. This helps to minimize spikes in blood sugar. It is recommended to eat between 20 to 35 grams of fiber per day.
Sugar is a carbohydrate. It is generally absorbed into the body more quickly. There are natural sugars found in milk and fruit. There may also be added sugars in canned fruits, baked goods, and processed foods.
There are also carbohydrates in non-starchy vegetables such as lettuce, peppers, cucumber, mushrooms, and many others. There are fewer carbohydrates in these foods because they have a high water content. For example, a half cup of cucumber has around 2 grams of carbohydrate.
The type and amount of carbohydrate will affect post-meal blood sugar levels.
Foods that digest more slowly, such as those with a lot of fiber, and those eaten as a mixed meal, digest more slowly. They can help to prevent post-meal spikes in blood sugar. Large amounts of carbohydrates eaten at one time will raise blood sugar more than smaller amounts.

Is eating rice healthy with diabetes?

High-carbohydrate foods like grains, cereals, pasta, rice, and starchy vegetables are not forbidden, but they should be eaten in moderation.
Rice is a high-carbohydrate grain, but it can be incorporated into meals in appropriate amounts.
One-third of a cup of rice has 15 grams of carbohydrate. That accounts for one-fourth to one-third of the amount of carbohydrate recommended for a single meal, if the target is 45-60 grams of carbohydrate per meal.
Meals that also include healthy proteins and fats can help to slow the impact of the rice on blood sugar levels.

Are some types of rice healthier than others?

Some grains are better than others for managing diabetes.
A scale called the "glycemic index" measures how quickly food is digested into sugar and absorbed in the blood. High glycemic foods raise blood sugar faster and should be eaten in limited portions, or eaten with lower glycemic index foods.
White rice is more processed and it has a higher glycemic index than brown rice, although the index of brown rice can vary with type and brand.
Different varieties of rice have different glycemic indexes. Some long grain rice varieties, converted rice, and basmati rice varieties are lower on the GI scale than white rice.
Puffed rice cereal and rice cakes are sometimes thought of as diet foods, but they have a high glycemic index and they are not ideal for healthy meals.
Foods that are high in fiber offer many health benefits. They help with blood sugar control, they promote bowel health, and they may lower cholesterol.
Whole grains have more fiber than other grains. It is important to check the label to check the fiber content.

Tips for preparing rice

Some brown rice varieties are unprocessed and have more fiber. They can be part of a balanced meal when eaten in proper portions. Mixing brown rice with other foods can help to balance blood sugar levels. Examples include legumes, such as red beans, or protein and healthy fats.

Brown rice may have a lower glycemic index than white rice.
Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice, but the cooking process is simple. People can cook brown rice in a pot or rice cooker at a ratio of 1.5 cups of water per 1 cup of rice.
The instructions are as follows:
§  Bring rice and water to a boil in an uncovered pot
§  Cover the pot and simmer for about 20 minutes
§  Turn off heat and let the covered pot sit for at least 10 minutes.
Rice can be mixed with seasonings, herbs, vegetables, and nuts such as slivered almonds.
Brown rice can be stored in a refrigerator and used for leftovers. People can reheat brown rice on the stove or microwave and serve with beans and salsa for a quick meal.
Care must be taken with storage, because cooked rice left at room temperature can develop toxins that lead to food poisoning.

Nutritious and delicious alternatives to rice

Because rice is high in carbohydrates, it should be accompanied by other foods.
Vegetables are high in fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients. Vegetables are made of carbohydrates, but at a much lower level than grains.
Eating foods that are lower in carbohydrates and higher in fiber can make meals more satisfying. For example, one-half cup of rice has 22 grams of carbohydrate. In contrast, one cup of squash only has 8 grams of carbohydrate.
Many foods can serve as substitutes for rice.
Examples include cauliflower, mushrooms, and eggplant. Quinoa contains the same amount of carbohydrates as rice, but it has more protein, and some types have more fiber.

Scientist is a mechanized rice farmer

Published November 18, 2016, 10:00 PM
by Zac B. Sarian
Dr. Dionisio G. Alvindia, a scientist, is the new director of the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization. But more than a director of PhilMech and scientist, he is foremost a mechanized rice farmer.He and his wife operate a 30-hectare rice farm in Quezon, Nueva Ecija, that is mechanized from land preparation, transplanting up to harvesting.
LATEST RICE TRANSPLANTER MODEL – Photo shows the latest rice transplanter model showcased at the KIEMSTA 2016, the biggest agricultural mechanization trade show in Korea. This could transplant very fast, making big savings in planting rice. Even with the improvised model that Dr. Dionisio Alvindia made for his own farm is effective in reducing transplanting cost to the tune of R6,500 per hectare in savings. Dr. Alvindia is the new director of PhilMech based in Nueva Ecija.We met Dr. Alvindia at the recent agricultural mechanization trade show in Cheonan City in Korea, and together we witnessed the many agricultural machinery for practically every farming purpose.

And he said that mechanization can really cut the cost of producing rice. As per his personal experience, he can save as much as P6,500 from transplanting cost per hectare with the use of the transplanting machine.Unknown to many, including those from the Department of Agriculture, he is about the first, or one of the first, to adopt the use of a mechanical transplanter. A scientist that he is, he did not have to buy a brand new rice transplanter. He improvised his own transplanter by rehabilitating a second hand tractor he bough for P120,000 and also fabricated metal trays for growing his seedlings.How is he able to save P6,500 by mechanizing his transplanting? Here’s how. When the seedlings are transplanted manually, it takes 20 people to do the job on one hectare in one day. On the other hand, it takes only three workers to transplant by machine on one hectare using his improvised 4-row transplanter.

The daily wage of the 20 transplanters, including snacks and lunch, amounts to P7,000. Add to that P1,000 as cost of growing the seedlings; P2,000 for pulling, and P500 for hauling the seedlings to the field. That amount to P10,500.In the case of transplanting by machine, the workers are allotted P1,500 including their food. Add P1,500 for fuel, and P1,000 for growing the seedlings. There is no cost for pulling and hauling because the seedlings are in metal trays which are brought to the field by the tractor.

That’s a total of P4,000, which means a saving of P6,500.With 30 hectares, Dr. Alvindia could save a total P195,000 on transplanting per cropping. If he plants two times a year, that would amount to P390,000.Dr. Alvindia admits that in the beginning, he encountered some problems. There were some missing hills but eventually the problem was solved. The workers are now very efficient in doing their transplanting job.COMBINE HARVESTER – Harvesting with a combine also results in big savings. According to Dr. Alvindia, the harvesters get a share of 7.5 cavans per 100 cavans harvested. Then the cost of threshing is also 7.5 cavans per hundred cavans. That 15 cavans per 100 cavans. If the selling price of freshly threshed palay is R16 per kilo, one bag will be P800. Thus the 15 cavans are worth P12,000.

Let’s take the cost of combine harvesting. For every 100 cavans the share of the combine harvester is 9 cavans worth worth P7,200. The palay is already threshed with one passing of the combine. So there’s a saving of P4,800 per 100 cavans harvested.According to Dr. Alvindia, he normally harvests 170-180 cavans per hectare. That would be 5,100 to 5,400 cavans. And if the savings is P4,800 per hundred cavans, the savings would amount to P244,800 to P259,200 from 30 hectares.CLSU ALUMNUS – Dr. Alvindia got his bachelor’s degree in agriculture, major in pathology, from the Central Luzon State University in 1985. Immediately after graduation he joined PhilMech as a research aide. Then in 1997 to 2003, he studied at the Tokyo University of Agriculture under a scholarship from Japan for his masters and PhD degrees.

In 2006-2008, he went back to Japan for his post-doctoral studies. That’s when he started to develop biological crop protection products.He has now patented two biological fungicides. One of them was developed from fungus and bacteria from Cavendish banana. It has been found to control banana diseases like Sigatoka and Fusarium wilt, crown rot in papaya and anthracnose in mango.The other biological fungicide was derived from organisms from banana and cacao. It is also good for controlling banana diseases, vascular disease of cacao and pod rot. The two are under further field testing prior to release for commercial use.AT PHILMECH – Meanwhile at PhilMech he will be kept busy developing farm mechanization equipment needed by different agriculture sectors.

For one, he would like to develop improved stripping machines for abaca. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) between PhilMech and the Korea Agricultural Machinery Industry Cooperative (KAMICO) was signed recently. Under the MOU the two parties will collaborate in promoting agricultural mechanization in the country through the establishment of  Farm Mechanization Center and in developing appropriate machinery for the Philippines’


Jamdani registered as GI product: Lessons from Champagne dispute

Published : 19 Nov 2016, 21:31:01
M. S. Siddiqui

The 1996 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Properties Agreement (TRIPS) of 1996, of the world Trade Organisation (WTO) provides the most comprehensive multilateral treaty to enact and enforce intellectual property laws, including Geographical Indication Law. Geographical indications (GI) give the producers of a region the exclusive right to use the indication for their products originating from that region. It also means that they have the right to prohibit any unauthorised use, usurpation or imitation of the sign on a product that is not from the designated area or which does not have the qualities guaranteed by the GI. The GI right holders are also protected against any misuse, imitation or evocation, even if the true origin of the product is indicated or if the protected name is translated or accompanied by an expression such as 'style', 'type', 'method', 'as produced in', 'imitation', or 'similar'

The arguments in favour of protecting geographical indications include: (1) protecting the city's or region's reputation for quality; (2) preventing confusion of consumers; (3) encouraging the development of quality products in association with the name or mark; (4) protecting high quality and regional exports; (5) providing fair treatment; (6) strengthening competitiveness; (7) protecting cultural heritage, traditional methods of production, and natural resources; and (8) rewarding producers' investments in quality.

TRIPS represents the minimum level of protection that WTO member countries are required to enact domestically. It is hailed as 'the most significant step in creating a uniform system for the international protection of all Intellectual Property, especially GIs'.TRIPS is the dominant international agreement dealing with intellectual property. It requires that members' domestic laws protect geographical indications. But legal and cultural clashes occur when international conventions dictate the adoption of new legal constructs into domestic law.

GI product to be produced, processed or prepared in the geographical area needs have only one particular quality, rather than the majority of the good's characteristics, that is attributable to, rather than exclusively due to, the geographical area'. The definition of a GI mentioned in TRIPS Article 22 provides indications which identify a 'good' as originating in the territory of a Member, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.

Indications of geographic origin fall into three broad categories: (a) Indications of source (indications de provenance): for example, "Made in Bangladesh". Such designations contain no implication as to the quality of the product. They merely indicate its geographical origin; (b) Appellations of origin (appellations d'origine): these impute to the product a characteristic quality that relates to geographic factors; and (c) Geographical Indications (indications géographique): sometimes used as a broad term encompassing both indications of source and appellations of origin.  In the TRIPS Agreement emphasis has been given on a more specific meaning, in between the other two categories - more than a mere indication of source, but not necessarily meeting the high quality standards of an appellation of origin.

The general standard focusing on protecting the consumer public from misleading geographical labels is also found in Article 22. The legal means for interested parties to prevent: (a) the use of any means in the designation or presentation of a good that indicates or suggests that the good in question originates in a geographical area other than the true place or origin in a manner which misleads the public as to the geographical origin of the good. The legal methods and remedies for the enforcement of Article 22 are implemented subjectively into members' legal systems. GI holders may prosecute any other party liable to mislead the consumers as to the true origin of the product.

The TRIPS agreement covers all products for standard protection (Article 22) and wine and spirit for special and higher level of protection (Article 23). There are exceptions also (Article 24). GI does not have to be protected or the protection can be limited. Among the exceptions that the agreement allows are: when a name has become the common (or "generic") term (for example, "cheddar" now refers to a particular type of cheese not necessarily made in Cheddar, in the UK), and when a term has already been registered as a trademark.

INDIA VERSUS BANGLADESH: Indian Parliament passed the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act in 1999 and registered Jamdani as UPADAYA Jamdani as their GI product.

Bangladesh was very late and passed GI act in 2012 and registered Jamdani in November 2016. There was a pressure from home and abroad to register it as DHAKAI Jamdani but the present government has correctly registered it as simply 'Jamdani'.  It has been proven from various historical accounts and folklores that a fine quality of the fabric was available in Bengal as far back as the first century AD. Jamdani has been weaved in Dhaka district for centuries, especially on the bank of Shitalakkhya under a particular weather condition. The water of Shitalakkhya was used for making colour in the fine clothes. The weavers have developed the skill with experience of generations and designs developed by them are unique for each piece of the fabrics.

Some Indian weavers, who might have moved there from Bangladesh territories, weave Jamdani-like fabrics and market those as 'UPADAYA Jamdani'. They are selling those in the Indian market and are also exporting to other countries as 'Jamdani'. After the registration of Jamdani under  Bangladesh law, the use of UPADAYA Jamdani is no longer valid. But the matter may not be easy to address with India.

THE CASE OF CHAMPAGNE: Champagne is a unique example of GI and relevant to the Jamdani fabric. The word 'Champagne' is derived from the Latin 'campania', meaning open country. The Latin term is also the source of the English word 'campaign'.

The Champagne wine region is within the administrative province of Champagne in the northeast of France. There is a large region of southern Italy also known as Campania, of which Naples is the capital. Wine was grown there by Greek settlers as early as the 7th century BC and wine-making has undergone a modern resurgence in the area. The town of Campania, in Tasmania Coal River Valley, Australia is a premier wine-producing region. In the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland, lies the tiny village of Champagne, where a wine, still bearing that name, has been made since 1657. It is at the centre of an on-going dispute with its more famous French namesake.

In 1933, Canada and France entered into a treaty to protect GIs nominated by the respective countries. One of the terms included by France was CHAMPAGNE. This posed a problem, as the term CANADIAN CHAMPAGNE had been used on sparkling wine made in Canada since 1927. No action was taken under the treaty to stop such use until the French Institut National des Appellations d'Originedes Vins et Eaux-de-Vie ("INAO") launched a court case in 1968. This ultimately led to an injunction from the Superior Court of Quebec in 1976 preventing the use of the term 'CANADIAN CHAMPAGNE' on sparkling wine not originating from the Champagne region of France. Despite all these complexities and long history the issue has been settled.  Champagne is GI of French producers in a particular region.

There is no logical, legal, economic or trade-related reason to protect only GIs of wines and spirits effectively and to leave the rest of the world's products with a second-class protection.  The TRIPS Agreement allows the misuse of geographical indications- for example, "Roquefort-type cheese made in Australia" or "American Basmati rice" - on all products except for wines and spirits.  The protection of geographical indications at the international level could be improved by extending the protection currently guaranteed only to wines and spirits to all other products.  The European Union (EU) argues that the protection should be extended to other products. 

The process of arbitration under TRIPS is very complicated and difficult. Many countries resolved such issues through bilateral negotiations and bilateral or regional trade agreements. Bangladesh may consider negotiating the Jamdani dispute with India bilaterally and/or regionally.

The writer is a Legal Economist.

Wheat extends gains on rising demand

New Delhi: Wheat continued to rise for the fifth day by gaining by Rs 50 per quintal at the wholesale grains market today on persistent demand from flour mills. Rice basmati also strengthened on pick up in demand.Traders said increased demand from flour mills against restricted supplies mainly kept wheat prices higher.In the national capital, wheat MP (desi) and wheat dara (for mills) gained Rs 50 each to Rs 2,800-3,335 and Rs 2,320-2,325 per quintal, respectively.
Atta chakki delivery followed suit and enquired higher by a similar margin to Rs 2,330-2,335 per 90 kg.Atta flour mills, maida and sooji also settled higher at Rs 1,340-1,350, Rs 1,430-1,440 and Rs 1,480-1,490 from previous levels of Rs 1,260-1,270, Rs 1,340-1,360 and Rs 1,350-1,370 per 50 kg, respectively in line with a wheat trend.
In the rice section, rice basmati common and Pusa-1121 variety finished higher at Rs 5,800-5,900 and Rs 4,700-5,900 against last close of Rs 5,700-5,800 and Rs 4,500-5,700 per quintal, respectively.
Following are today’s quotations (in Rs per quintal):
Wheat MP (desi) Rs 2,800-3,335, Wheat dara (for mills) Rs 2,320-2,325, Chakki atta (delivery) Rs 2,330-2,335, Atta Rajdhani (10 kg) Rs 300, Shakti Bhog (10 kg) Rs 300, Roller flour mill Rs 1,340-1,350 (50 kg), Maida Rs 1,430-1,440 (50 kg)and Sooji Rs 1,480-1,490 (50 kg).
Basmati rice (Lal Quila) Rs 10,700, Shri Lal Mahal Rs 11,300, Super Basmati Rice Rs 9,700, Basmati common new Rs 5,800-5,900, Rice Pusa (1121) Rs 4,700-5,900, Permal raw Rs 2,050-2,075, Permal wand Rs 2,150-2,200, Sela Rs 2,800-2,900 and Rice IR-8 Rs 1,850-1,860, Bajra Rs 1,540-1,545, Jowar yellow Rs 1,850-1,900, white Rs 3,500-3,700, Maize Rs 1,680-1,690, Barley Rs 1,810-1,820

In 9 days, Pilibhit power dept gets Rs 5.75cr

Keshav Agrawal| TNN | Updated: Nov 20, 2016, 10.42 PM IST
PILIBHIT: The electricity department has got a sudden windfall thanks to demonetisation. Since the union government announced the scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, big consumers like rice millers and the nursing home owners have made a beeline to collection centres to deposit advance payments against their electricity consumption as one can pay using old currency notes till November 24.

According to executive engineer of the department Ranjeet Chaudhary, during the month of October, the department had received the total electricity charges to the tune of Rs 10.80 crore while within nine days after the demonetization was announced, the payment up by around 50% of the total monthly collection. The revenue collected in the form of payments for electricity charges between November 10 and November 18 was over Rs 5.75 crore whereas in the normal course, about Rs 1.25 to a maximum of Rs 1.75 crore is deposited in the corresponding period, he added.

Chaudhary said of the total 70 rice mills in the district, 10 used to pay around Rs 30 lakh in a month against their electricity charges during their operational season. Small rice processing units comsume electricity worth Rs 6 to 8 lakh in a month.As for the nursing homes, Chaudhary said the monthly electricity charges varied between Rs 75,000 and Rs 1 lakh depending upon the size of nursing home.

Rumduol Rice in Top 3 at World Conference

Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol rice failed to recapture the title of World’s Best Rice for the second year in a row, with Thailand taking top honors at the 8th World Rice Conference held in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai last week.The three-day conference, organized by trade publication The Rice Trader, ended on Friday. Cambodia placed in the top three – along with Thailand and the US (California) – of the 14 countries joining the competition. Cambodia won from 2012 until 2014, but lost its crown last year to rice grown in California.

Sok Puthyvuth, president of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF), said during the conference that Cambodian Rumduol rice was as good as Thailand’s Hom Mali rice due to similarities in the geographical area for growing rice.

He added that to win next year’s competition, CRF and the Cambodian government would solve the most pertinent issues in the rice sector and develop the rice production chain to gain further recognition in the international market.

“We will work and cooperate with farmers, rice millers and rice exporters to adhere to international standards on growing, processing and packaging and push famers to better select seeds with quality and grow following international standards,” Mr. Puthyvuth said.

“We will try our best for next year’s competition which will be held in Cambodia.”Jeremy Zwinger, president of The Rice Trader, said during the event that even though Cambodia did not win this year’s top prize, it still beat countries such as Vietnam, Myanmar, India and Pakistan.“That was a tough decision for chefs not to hand the first prize to Thailand’s premium rice,” he said.

Song Saran, CEO of Amru Rice (Cambodia), told Khmer Times that every country wanted to claim the World’s Best Rice award but it was impossible with premium rice from all 14 countries in the competition.

He said Cambodian Rumduol rice was similar in quality to Thailand’s premium Hom Mali rice, adding that Cambodia should improve its quality of rice seeds and techniques and work on new innovations.

“We are proud that Cambodia was crowned champion for three successive years at the World Rice Conference. We cannot win every year if we don’t have the best quality rice to show the world,” Mr. Saran said.

“Our rice quality was similar to Thai premium rice, but Thailand has modernized their rice growing with high technical support, innovation and good seeds. We have to upgrade our seeds to win next year’s competition.”

In the first 10 months of this year, Cambodian rice exports grew by 3.3 percent to 421,000 tons compared with the same period last year. China was the largest market at 89,946 tons, a 7.6 percent rise from the previous year, while France imported 61,000 tons and Poland 56,000 .


Concern over N720.2b yearly rice import

Posted By: DANIEL ESSIETon: November 21, 2016In: NewsNo Comments
From left: Emefiele, Kebbi State Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and RIFAN chair in Kebbi Alhaji Abdullahi Sa’idu Argungu at a rice farm in Kebbi State.
The Federal Government has invested a lot in rice production, yet the nation has not attained self-sufficiency. DANIEL ESSIET writes on what stakeholders say should be done to attain the mark.  To Sahabi Muhammed Augie, Chairman of Kebbi State Rice Farmers’ Association, Nigeria has what it takes to become Africa’s next rice granary. Ample, suitable land, water resources and a good climate are needed to expand rice production in the country.
Augie believes that local farmers in the Northwest state have capacity to take rice production to greater heights in terms of quantity and quality. Rice is grown twice yearly —during the rainy season from January to June and during the dry season, spanning August to December in some parts of the country.But the access to improved varieties and capacity building remain a major challenge as many farmers cannot explore new varieties. Only few of them have the technological know-how on the application of improved agronomic management practices and good seed systems for high-quality yield.Augie believes that support in mechanisation would be an added advantage to abounding national resources, adding that mechanisation would make up for labour shortage for land preparation, weeding and harvesting.
Rice is a staple menu in most homes across Nigeria. But imported rice accounts for over 60 per cent of its total consumption.It costs the country a whopping $1.8 billion (about N720 billion) to import about 3.2 million metric tons of rice to feed the population yearly. Local production accounts for a small portion of rice production and consumption.With the likelihood of the population hitting the 250 million thresholds by 2020 and rice production short of demand, something must be done. But experts say supply growth can no longer match population growth.

But farmers are worried that concerted efforts are not being made increase rice production.
According to the Coordinator of Women Rice Cooperative Union in Kogi State, Mrs.  Esther Audu, Nigeria can achieve its rice development vision with focus on the entire value chain, from seedling to production, processing, and marketing.

State of the sector
Since 1970, increased consumption in rice has created a surge in imports, a development that the forced the Federal Government to ban importation in 1985. The aim was to encourage local production.However, 10 years after, the ban was lifted as local supplies failed to meet rising demand.Despite last year February’s announcement that local farmers would add about 2.9 million metric tons rice stock from the 2014 season, the country lost N1 billion daily to rice imports, translating to about N360 billion annually.

According to the Federal Government, the country lost more than N1.3 trillion to import waivers between 2011 and 2014. To address the trend, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has reintroduced the ban on rice imports through the land borders, again to boost local rice production.With capacity to produce 3.2 million tons of paddy rice, or 2.0 million tons of milled rice, Nigeria is the highest rice producer in West Africa.Although rice grows well in all the six geo-political zones of the country, the demand for polished long grain, stone-free and odourless rice by the urban dwellers has been fuelling the demand for imported rice.

The yearly demand for rice is put at about five million metric tons (MT) out of which about 3.2 million MT is produced locally. Rice importation accounts for a large chunk of the food import bill, estimated in excess of N1.5 trillion. This is expected to reduce as local farmers expand operations and improve on their farm yields.
The latest ban has pushed up price with a 50kg bag, which hitherto sold for N10, 000, now selling for as high as N23, 000. Rice, often imported smuggled into the country through illegal routes, has contributed to the pressure on the naira.
Going by the 2016/17 estimate, rice consumption is about 5.2 million tons, a four per cent decrease from the revised 2015/16 estimate of 5.4 million tons. The reduction has been attributed consumer’s declining purchasing power and rising market prices, triggered by price inflation and currency devaluation.Experts are pushing for transformation in rice cultivation to meet future needs and food security.


The adoption of adequate mechanisation in rice cultivation of rice is low.  It was observed at meeting of stakeholders on rice production convened by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Minna, the Niger State Capital,  that lack of mechanisation undermines production and competitiveness of rice. Held under UNDP’s Agribusiness Supplier Development Programme’s (ASDP’s) Rice Supply Chain, the meeting was organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, UNDP and Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL). Participants at the meeting spoke of the need to test small equipment, such as two-wheel tractors, row seeders, mechanical threshers, small combine harvesters and small mills and where possible, manufacture them locally.

The engineering Director at the National Center for Agricultural Mechanisation (NCAM), Dr Yinka  Ademiluyi,  said that mechanisation will increase efficiency and that farmers will lose about 40 per cent of the crops with manual harvest.“But with a combined harvester, loss will be reduced to as low as 10 per cent. Furthermore, the time it takes to harvest is also reduced considerably”, Ademiluyi said.Agriculturists have urged the governments to engae research organisations when importing machinery to ensure that effective and durable implements and the technology adaptable to local operation are procured.
Many farmers and research institutes have recommended the use of hybrid varieties and training of farmers on rice technologies to boost productivity.

Nigeria has ability to plant rice thrice a year due to the general availability of water, use of early maturing varieties, direct seeding and synchronous planting.Addressing the  forum, Agricultural Production Advisor, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) Programme, Dr Unamma Victor Chyka,  representing Country Programme Manager, IFAD Country Office, Dr Atsuko Toda, noted that the  adoption of technologies  should be  more of a bottom-up approach and that there should be village-level demonstration trials to sensistise local farmers.

According to him, IFAD provided an integrated platform to help farmers by creating, validating, disseminating and adopting new rice technologies.Other participants said a lot factors change the pattern of local rice production.  They said that weather-related quality eroded the high quality and integrity of Nigerian rice.The forum appraised the effects of government policies and other factors on production and consumption, the cost of fertiliser, energy, water and seedlings to farmers.

The said the government must support production

Rice seed expert, Africa Rice, Dr.  Abraham Attah Shaibu,  said the country,  with its vast water bodies for irrigation purposes, could become one of the best rice producer in sub-Saharan Africa.Abraham said farmers need to be educated on proper agricultural practices, especially on the need to tackle pests and diseases.RIFAN Chairman in Kogi State, Mrs. Peace Emaiku urged the government to empower farmers with capital to build infrastructure such as ponds.She said her organisation was mobilising farmers to engage in large-scale production.

Boosting production

President Muhammadu Buhari has promised that his administration would make Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production within 18 months.Speaking at a Ramadan breaking of fast with members of the business community, the President said that 13 states have been identified for the production of the crop.He said the Agriculture Minister, Audu Ogbeh, has already been briefed on how best to achieve the target. Buhari decried how the nation’s scarce resources were wasted on the importation of food items by his predecessors.In a bid to reduce rice import bills, Ogbeh launched a roadmap to promote rice revitalisation and import substitution programme to expand domestic rice production.

A lot of farmers and groups have signified interest to support the ministry’s initiative. Their  motivating factors include:  high demands for and better returns from rice; availability of suitable land and better yields; stable prices compared to traditional crops; better shelf life and declining demand for and returns from traditional crops.
Ensuring food supply
The roadmap, known as “The Green Alternative”, for the promotion of agriculture from 2016-2020, emphasises strategic approach to food security, which aims to ensure the sustainability of food supply, food accessibility and affordable food prices to the public. To ensure adequate rice supply, the government said it is working on silos and buffer stocks of rice to meet the food requirement.Besides improving stockpile for strategic management and cost-effectiveness, the government also spoke of a plan to ensure production yield by upgrading existing infrastructure and to improve productivity in the granary and non-granary areas.Among the recommendations are: transformation plan for research and development (R&D) on the green revolution innovation in paddy and rice industry.
Improved technologies

Rice farming requires huge investment on the acquisition and maintenance of tools, equipment, irrigation and drainage systems as well as pest and disease management.Ademiluyi acknowledged the role of the development of agricultural technologies for improving the grain industry. He attributed the increase in grain production, to Sawah technology.According to him, much progress has been recorded in perfecting the technology and in developing a package of practices, citing many research programmes and projects of NCAM in partnership with other organisations.

IFAD’s role
IFAD, as a specialised UN agency, designed to eradicate poverty and hunger in developing countries, has been working in remote and rural areas to assist in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
About 150 rice farmers in Niger State partook in IFAD’s e N50 million worth of inputs to increase their yields. Programme Coordinator,  IFAD’ VCDP in the state, Dr Mathew Ahmed, broke the news at the inauguration of support programme for small holder farmers in Katcha Local Government Area.He said: “We have supported 150 rice farmers from six different cooperative groups with a grant of N25 million to match the N25 million they contributed for this programme.“Fifty hectares of land will be cultivated by the clusters of farmers, numbering 25 in each group.

Jos gripped by concerns over plastic rice

By Hir Joseph, Jos | Publish Date: Nov 20 2016 12:56PM

Some common brands of rice in Nigerian market
 Concerns grew at the weekend over reports alleging that China is shipping tones of what is suspected as “plastic rice” into the country, although there were hardly any news to substantiate that.  The Plateau State capital, Jos and environs was hit hard with the concerns by consumers of rice, who raised queries with dealers, demanding proof that they were being offered genuine rice for patronage at stores, Daily Trust can report.  The concerns slowed down sales of the commodity, dealers say.  “We just want to be sure we are not paying to carry plastic home to our families,” one customer at a store located at Bukuru, a major commercial location of Jos, told this reporter on inquiry. “We have read reports warning about this plastic rice in the market. One has to be careful.”

 The unsubstantiated reports were carried on online media platforms especially by bloggers who did not state the source of their information, as there were no efforts to get official reactions. The reports, which were widely shared on the social media within the last five days, also failed to state what locations of the country the plastic packaged as rice, were in circulation.  The reports warned consumers not to buy rice in the market without first conducting a series of tests to ascertain the genuiness of the commodity.

 The   'news' went viral with residents of Jos and environs spiking concerns which dealers confirmed are slowing down sales.  The customer spoken to at Bukuru, who declined to allow for her identity to be published said she learnt of the alert from many neighbours and relatives, who informed her they had to carry out the tests to confirm the commodity before they bought. She said she had to search for the report herself, and to proceed to share same to alert unsuspecting consumers who may be risking to buy plastic for meal.  “I had to share the news too, to help others,” she said, although acknowledging that “I never read anything about the source of this information from all the reports I saw.” A major dealer of the commodity around the same location confirmed to this newspaper that he spent the last five days struggling to convince consumers to patronize him, disclosing however, that the concerns overwhelmed his explanations.

 “I have old stock. I don’t know for sure if there is anything like plastic rice in circulation. I don’t have such in my store,” Balarabe Adam said, just as he insisted that dealers have no knowledge of this commodity.
 He said sales have dropped with the spread of the 'news'. “Customers are not taking this news lightly. They are insisting on tests to ascertain the genuiness of the commodity before they will buy. We are allowing for that because we want to sell.