Monday, January 23, 2017

23rd January ,2017 daily global,regional and local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magaizne

Relief package demanded for rice export

January 22, 2017
Mahmood Moulvi Chairman Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) has urged the government for a relief package for rice export like textile sector to earn more foreign exchange. He expressed his heartiest gratitude to S.M. Muneer Chief Executive Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Zubair Tufail President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) for taking up the rebate matter of rice exporters with Muhammad Ishaq Dar Federal Minister for Finance & Revenue during his recent visit to FPCCI Head Office Karachi.

Moulvi said that rice export industry has been facing severe hardship since last couple of years and unable to compete in the world market due to which its exports were on decline. In the current scenario, rice exporters are seeking government's support to enhance the rice exports, which crossed $2 billion mark two years back.We are thankful to Chief Executive TDAP and President FPCCI for considering taking up the problems of rice exporters to government and extending their support to resolve the long pending matters of rebate", he added. Rice Export Sector, which was the 2nd largest earner of valuable foreign exchange, would get a remarkable boost after the favourable action of Government of Pakistan and this would be helpful for the survival of this important sector, he added.

He hoped that FPPCI would continue its support for the betterment of rice trade and export as well to earn more foreign exchange for the country. Moulvi said that rice export needed the same relief package like textile; Rs 180 billion recently announced by the federal government to facilitate the country's largest export sector. He said that rice export was also facing same difficulties in the world market; therefore government should consider a relief package for rice trade as well. "We believed that with the government's support, not only more foreign exchange would arrive but also the domestic rice industry would overcome the crisis", he added.


PHL tackles food security through UK’s Newton Fund

Rice researchers, scientists and funding partners from the Philippines and the United Kingdom, along with those from China, Thailand and Vietnam, converged early this month at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Los Baños, to collaborate and share issues in sustainable rice production.
Thirteen projects funded through the Newton Fund UK-Philippines-China-Thailand-Vietnam Sustainable Rice Programme presented the current outputs of their research which address real-world problems as varied as lowering the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases for rice consumers, to increasing rice plant drought tolerance.
The three-year research projects began in 2016 and will continue until 2019. The Newton Fund Sustainable Rice Programme showcases an innovative mix of regional and country approaches that aim to help solve core challenges in global food security.
About 60 researchers, joined by representatives from the UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and each of the country’s funding partners came together to explore ways to collaborate further, including sharing resources, lessons learned and data that can add value to their current projects and strengthen links with their counterparts from participating countries.Deputy Ambassador to the Philippines Nigel Boud, in his welcome remarks to the delegates, said: “This is the first regional research program that we are running under the Newton Fund and it brings together countries to collaborate on work that is so important, like the sustainable production of rice. It demonstrates the kind of work that we want to be doing in the Newton Programme in the years ahead.”
Together with Dr. Bruce Tolentino, deputy director general of IRRI, the delegates noted the significance of rice research to the country and the region, noting the importance of rice and the regional collaboration being achieved through the projects.
Of the 13 projects, four involve scientists from the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice). Two projects are working on improving the nutritional quality of rice and the other two focus on creating greater resilience of the rice plant to diseases and environmental stresses due to climate change.One PhilRice researcher involved in the projects, Dr. Riza G. Abilgos-Ramos, said: “Our work will help to provide part of the solution in preventing type 2 diabetes and other chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular diseases, by increasing dietary fiber and enhancing rice-grain properties that would help to manage or prevent spikes in blood sugar increase after meals.
“The Newton Fund gives us the chance to do this with experts from different countries and allow us to expand our network in the UK and Southeast Asia.” Ramos is a supervising science research specialist in the Rice Chemistry and Food Science Division of PhilRice. The IRRI visit was highlighted by a tour of the research facilities, group presentations, poster-sharing sessions and clinic sessions.
Representatives from partners DA-PhilRice, Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Philippine Council for Agriculture Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Chinese Academy of Science, and Thailand National Science and Technology Development Agency were among the delegates.
The Newton Fund builds scientific and innovation partnerships with 16 partner-countries to support their economic development and social welfare, and to develop their research and innovation capacity for long-term sustainable growth. It has a total UK government investment of £735 million up until 2021, with matched resources from the partner countries.
In the Philippines the program is known as the Newton Agham (Science) Programme to reflect the collaboration between the UK and the Philippines in science, research and innovation.
The UK delivery partners and the UK government, through its embassy, works with Philippine science and innovation institutions and funders, such as the DOST and the Commission on Higher Education, to codevelop and implement program that strengthen science and innovation capacity and create solutions to development challenges in the Philippines and in the region

Ambode: Lake Rice and food security

One of the outstanding features of the last Yuletide celebration was the launch of the now popular Lake Rice by the highly resourceful Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State. A creative partnership between Lagos and that of Kebbi state, the locally produced rice project has since received  plaudits from millions of Nigerians, not the least being  President Muhammadu Buhari, whose change mantra focuses on the diversification of the  nation’s economy from the mono-product of crude oil.

It would be recalled that precisely on 5th July, 2016  Ambode flew the kite when he said that his administration was putting finishing touches to the production of ‘Lake Rice,’ which would be available in the market in six months. That was some five months after the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the two states by March 2016. His Special Adviser on Food Security, Sanni Okanlawon, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) back then that the rice paddy would be milled at Imota in  Lagos State. He revealed that the reason that the state government was collaborating with its Kebbi counterpart was to ensure that quality rice was produced from the 2.5 metric ton-capacity mills to boost food security in Lagos.

Furthermore, he revealed that the rice would have been available in the market by then, but was delayed over some technical problems the milling plant had. Okanlawon said the government would soon add 20 metric tons per hour to the 2.5 metric tons Imota rice milling plant. With the machinery put in place, the state would sooner than later become a net exporter of rice in sub-Saharan Africa.

When it was officially launched, Ambode described the event as an historic occasion as it showcased Nigeria’s capacity and capability to be a force to reckon with when it comes to boosting local production of staple foods, rice inclusive. With its affordable pricing regime of N12,000 for the 50kg, N6,000 for the 25kg and N2,500 for the 10 kg not a few Lagosians pored encomium on the governor for putting a smile on the faces during the festive season. Besides, it was so well distributed that every local government area had a taste of the delicacy. Apart from its safety, devoid of the irritating stones found in some of the foreign brands its freshness stands Lake Rice in good stead. The lessons to glean from this agric feat are profound.

The first of such is that it would do Nigeria and indeed, Nigerians a world of good if we focus more on collaborations, cooperation and partnerships in various sectors of the economy rather than the asphyxiating competition that has become the hideous hallmark of our puerile polity. Each state has its area of comparative advantage. Why not identify such areas and put in place pragmatic policies as well as the effective machinery to act as catalysts for actualising them? With some 44 solid minerals available in commercial quantity and a variety of revenue-yielding crops to boost food security several states would have been in a better position toincreasing their internally generated revenue. That is, instead of their ever dependent governors going cap-in-hand to Abuja at the end of every month literally begging for the obnoxious federal allocation. The Lake Rice project has shown that.

The painful reality however, is the paradox of want in the midst of plenty. For instance, we have crude oil butover 56 years after political independence we still wait for refined products from foreign lands! Similarly, as at 2003 experts agric posited that Nigeria was capable of producing 18 million metric tons of rice but our farmersyielded a paltry 3.2 million tons. By 2002 we were spending, or rather wasting a whopping N60billion yearly on rice importation. In fact, Nigerian rice merchants imported 24 million metric tons of rice valued at $8.86 billion (N1.77 trillion) from Thailand, Pakistan, India, United States and Vietnam in the last 10 years, it has been gathered.

In fact, the statistics are both startling and scandalous. The imports were shipped between 2006 and 2015. In January 2006, the price of the commodity soared from $284.45 to $369 per metric ton. Statistics revealed that in 2006, the country imported 1.5 million metric tons; 1.8 million metric tons in 2007; 1.75 million tons in 2008; 1.75 million metric tons in 2009 and 2.4 million metric tons in 2010. In 2011, the nation also imported 3.2 million tons; 2.8 million tons in 2012; 2.8 million tons in 2013; 3.5 million tons in 2014 and 2.5 million tons in 2015.

According to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, Nigeria spent a whopping $2.41 billion on rice importation between 2012 and 2015. He revealed this at the New Telegraph Economic Summitheld in 2016. That amount was spent between January 2012 and May 2015. Unfortunately, he noted that the trend had resulted in huge unsold stock of paddy rice cultivated by Nigerian farmers and low operating capacities of many integrated rice mills in Nigeria.

Certainly, we cannot continue on this path of profligacy. On this, experts such as D.O. Onu, K.C. Obike of theDepartment of Agricultural Economics, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, have advised that policies aimed at reducing rice imports in Nigeria should consider those significant price and non-price factors that determined rice imports in Nigeria in both short and long terms. A restriction of rice imports through the use of import taxes, increased government support to domestic rice farmers through provision of credit and subsidies for rice farmers is advocated. This came from their extensive study entitled: Empirical assessment of the trend in rice production and imports in Nigeria (1980 – 2013).More importantly, more should be done than said by our political leaders to ensure that we produce much of what we consume and even export because we have the capacity to do so as Ambode and his Kebbi State counterpart have amply demonstrated.
Ayo Oyoze Baje

Stuttgart, Arkansas County Community Calendar


Posted Jan 21, 2017 at 8:10 AM
How to submit: Send your event and contact information for verification to, in person at 111 W. Sixth Street St. in Stuttgart or by fax at (870) 673-3671 or by calling and leaving a message at (870) 673-8533 with the editorial staff.
By Staff Reports
Saturday, Jan. 21
Pay Yourself First program will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21 at Stuttgart's Grand Prairie Center room D. Mother's and Children's success is a diverse mentoring program for single mothers. The goal is to provide a resourceful support system to address their concerns and needs. They are devoted to meeting the mothers where they currently are in life and helping the families achieve and maximize their potential. For more information email
Monday, Jan. 23
5:30 p.m. Arkansas County 4-H demonstration competition with registration at 5:30 p.m. and competition at 6 p.m. at the Arkansas Rice and Research Center on Highway 130 next to the Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center. Arkansas County 4-H members will be in demonstration competition in the junior and senior divisions.
Tuesday, Jan. 24
11:30 a.m. The annual Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce meeting will be held at noon at the Grand Prairie Center in Stuttgart.
Wednesday, Jan. 25
8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The 2017 Arkansas Soil and Water Education Conference will be held at the Arkansas State University Convocation Center in Jonesboro. This will be the 19th annual event and the meeting will feature an irrigation trade show with vendors and displays. This conference will address the latest issues and trends in soil and water conservation. For more information, contact Chris Jones at (870) 972-2043 or
Friday, Jan. 27
The Arkansas Rice Council and Arkansas Rice Farmers will hold their annual meeting at the Grand Prairie Center in Stuttgart.
Saturday, Jan. 28
4 p.m. The Miss Stuttgart High School and Stuttgart Junior High School (SJHS) pageants are set to begin at 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28 in the SJHS gymnasium.
Thursday, Feb. 2
The St. John's annual dinner and auction fundraiser will be held at Stuttgart's Grand Prairie Center, located on the Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas-Stuttgart Campus. The "Goes Hawaiian" themed event will begin with dine-in only dinner and silent auction at 5:30 p.m. The live auction will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. For more information contact the school.
Saturday, Feb. 11
10 a.m. Ex-inmates support group will be the second Saturday of each month at turning Point Ministries, located at 405A E. Michigan St. in Stuttgart. Light refreshments will be served. For more information contact Pastor Ernestine and Robert Thomas, founders, at (870) 672-9086. Free and open to the public.
Sunday, Feb. 12
1 p.m. The third annual Slovak Heritage Day will be held at 1 p.m. at St. Cyril and Methodius Church's Parish Hall in Slovak. The hall will be open Feb. 9-11 for individuals to set up memorabilia to display. Look to the Stuttgart Daily Leader in the coming weeks for a more in-depth article on this event.
Tuesday, Feb. 14
Valentine's Day
Sunday, March 12
3 p.m. The Olney Theatre Center of Olney will present The Giver Sunday, March 12 at 3 p.m. at the Grand Prairie Center. For more information or to purchase tickets contact the Grand Prairie Center at (870) 673-4201 ext. 1896.
Monday, March 13
9:30 a.m. The Olney Theatre Center of Olney will present a school performance for grades fourth through 12th of The Giver Monday, March 13 at 9:30 a.m. at the Grand Prairie Center. For more information contact the Grand Prairie Center at (870) 673-4201 ext. 1896.
Thursday, March 16
6 p.m. Spring Forward Into Spring Fashion Style Show and Dinner will be presented by Belk and Holy Rosary Altar Society at the Holy Rosary Church Parish Center. Tickets are $15.
Call Linda Fischer at (870) 830-0120 or Shirley Reinhart at (870) 673-6331 for tickets and information.
Friday, March 31
7 p.m. The United States Army Field Band of Washington D.C., along with the Soldiers Choir, will perform for free at Stuttgart's Grand Prairie Center at 7 p.m. Friday, March 31. For more information contact the Grand Prairie Center at (870) 673-4201 ext. 1896
Friday, May 5
7 p.m. Sonny Burgess and the Legendary Pacers will take the stage at Stuttgart's Grand Prairie Center at 7 p.m. Friday, May 5. For more information or to purchase tickets contact the Grand Prairie Center at (870) 673-4201 ext. 1896.
Thursday, Oct. 12
The Arkansas State Fair will run for 11 days, from Oct. 12-22, an increase from 10 days in previous years and will open on a Thursday instead of the traditional Friday opening.


Honor roll released for all As at Stuttgart High School

Posted Jan 21 at 12:01 AM
Stuttgart High School students receiving all As for the second quarter include:

Women's March: Hundreds of thousands protest Trump

Posted Jan 21 at 2:19 PM
Wearing pink, pointy-eared "pussyhats" to mock the new president, hundreds of thousands of women took to the streets in the nation's capital and cities around the world Saturday to send Donald Trump an emphatic message that they won't let his agenda go unchallenged over the next four years.

Stuttgart City Council condemns 3 structures

Posted Jan 21 at 8:44 AM
Structures at 1412 S. Maple, owned by Joseph and Brandy Aker; 500 N. Buerkle, owned by Freddie Mae Mullins; 1118 E. First Street, owned by Willie Mae Casey, were all condemned upon passage of the resolution.

New Stuttgart Police Department pay to be decided

Posted Jan 21 at 8:28 AM
The Stuttgart City Council committee decided during Tuesday's meeting that it will present a proposal for a new Stuttgart Police Department (SPD) pay scale and command structure after one more work session.

Stuttgart High School releases honor roll

Posted Jan 21 at 8:16 AM
Stuttgart High School students who received a 3.0 grade point average or higher in the second quarter include:

Your local news now available on Amazon Alexa-enabled devices

Posted Jan 19 at 11:01 PM
Your local news is now available as part of your daily Amazon Alexa Flash Briefing thanks to our new collaboration with Amazon. The Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, Amazon Fire TV and Fire tablets are in millions of homes across the country and have been bestsellers this holiday season. If you already have one of the devices, with a quick request of Alexa - the voice-interactive assistant that drives Amazon Alexa-enabled devices - you can hear the top headlines from our newspaper and website. To add your local news: 1...

SPD pay discussion continues

Posted Jan 17 at 4:17 PM
This salary estimate is for a fully-staffed police department, 24 officers total plus the secretary and dispatchers, working 42 hours per week. $100,000 of estimated overtime pay is built into the $1.15 million total estimate, because the committee has agreed that some overtime is unavoidable. The main issue would be managing overtime, according to Stuttgart Chief of Police Keith Connell. Last year the department paid out more than $260,000 in overtime.

Gillett Coon Supper

Posted Jan 15 at 10:41 PM
74th annual event held in Gillett

Nigel Slater’s vegetable rice recipe

A healthy, spicy, nourishing veggie treat
 Splash of colour: veggie rice topped off with an egg Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin for the Observer

The recipe

Rinse 200g of brown basmati rice in warm water and drain. Put the rice into a small, deep saucepan, pour in enough water to cover by a couple of centimetres, then add 8 whole black peppercorns, 2 bay leaves and a couple of cloves. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat so the water simmers and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Leave to cook for about 10 minutes, till the water has evaporated and small holes have appeared on the surface of the rice. Set aside, covered with the lid, for 5 minutes.
Slice 2 large leeks into pieces about the size of a wine cork, then wash them thoroughly under cold water. Melt 40g of butter over a moderate heat, add the leeks and 4 tbsp of water and cook over a lowish heat for 10 minutes, taking care they soften but do not colour.
Peel and very thinly slice a large clove of smoked garlic. Wash and finely shred a large handful of kale. In a frying pan, sizzle the kale in a little butter, add the sliced garlic and cook for a couple of minutes until bright and tender.
Sizzle the kale in a little butter before adding the garlic
Boil 2 eggs till they are as you like them, then carefully remove their shells. Check the rice, then run a fork through it to separate the grains and stir in 1 tsp of garam masala. Toss together the rice, kale, garlic, leeks and their butter, then divide between 2 plates. Top with the peeled eggs. Serves 2.

The trick

Rinsing the rice 2 or 3 times or until the water runs clear will prevent the grains from sticking together. To keep the leeks from browning, add a disc of greaseproof paper on top of the leeks, butter and water, then cover with a lid, so they steam rather than fry.

The twist

You could comfortably use this recipe for leftovers, such as roast meat, torn into large shreds, or pieces of cooked salmon or smoked mackerel. You could also warm crème fraîche in a saucepan, then spoon it over the hot, spiced rice as you eat.
Email Nigel at or follow

LT Foods promoting the use of basmati amongst global consumers, hosts a special event in Delhi
Posted On: 2017-01-21 08:25:24
LT Foods with brands like Daawat, Heritage and Royal is one of the leaders in several countries in the world, including India and the U.S. In a unique and interesting event held at Taj Mansingh, New Delhi, LT Foods brought together one of the top 10 rising chefs of the U.S, Chef Joseph "JJ" Johnson and World renowned India's Chef Sanjeev Kapoor.
Chef JJ, a highly awarded chef in New York and who is extensively working with rice and other grains was invited by LT Foods to visit the basmati growing farms in India and to study India's culinary and cultural heritage. In this event he interacted with some of the most renowned Chefs in India and was given a demonstration on basmati cooking by Chef Sanjeev Kapoor. Chef Kapoor also symbolically handed to Chef JJ the secrets of biryani making. Also attending the event was the team from Star Chefs Media who are partnering with LT Foods in promoting Basmati amongst the chefs in the U.S.
Speaking on the occasion Chef Sanjeev Kapoor said "I have been associated with LT Foods long before I started working with their brand Daawat. One of the main factors for this long association has been LT Food's commitment to not only supply extremely good quality products which we can use to highlight our recipes, but also their strong commitment to the chef community and working with them in delivering solutions that are relevant to the chefs. I was happy to note how LT Foods is working similarly in the U.S and across the globe to spread basmati which I believe is one of the finest rice grains. I was delighted to share the secret of biryani cooking with Chef JJ and through him into the U.S."
On his unique trip to India, Chef JJ said "I am in love with India! I just can't get enough of its vibrant Flavours, Spices, and Culture. To be around and see where authentic basmati rice is grown, and to meet the local farmers has been a game changer for me! Thanks to Royal Basmati and LTFA I have a whole new respect for one of my favourite types of rice to cook with. And I can't wait to get back and share some of my journey in some new dishes I will create using Basmati rice and all that I have learned about Indian food and Culture!"

Mr. Vijay Kumar Arora, CMD- LT Foods Ltd. said "Daawat is now a globally recognized brand and our focus towards ensuring its growth to the farthest corners of the world has now borne fruit in the form of Daawat and Royal becoming an integral part of American households and reaching the No. 1 position in the Basmati rice category in North America. We strive to further deliver on the expectations of our beloved customers and will look to conquer many more hearts and markets across the globe in the coming years."Shares of LT FOODS LTD. was last trading in BSE at Rs.378.5 as compared to the previous close of Rs. 366.3. The total number of shares traded during the day was 55333 in over 2577 trades.

The stock hit an intraday high of Rs. 380 and intraday low of 363.5. The net turnover during the day was Rs. 20676548.

Rice above white
Supriya SharmaTNN | Jan 22, 2017, 12.19 AM IST
Rice above white
Evolved eating patterns are slowly doing away with the whites on your plate and adding more hues to it. The idea being - more the colour in your dish, more vibrant your health will be. Colour means nutrients, colour means antioxidants, colour means fibre. And the latest food item to turn tinted is rice. Studies support the fact that eating whole grain rice varieties such as red and black rice is healthier than the good old white. Black rice, an Asian staple that's always been part of northeastern cooking in India, is making a huge comeback and so is the nutty-flavoured red rice. Red rice risottos and black rice sushi and puddings are raiding the net.

Make the shift

White rice is good but not the best. It is milled and polished, its flavour, texture and appearance altered... all to extend its storage life. The refining process strips white rice of iron, vitamins, zinc, magnesium and many other nutrients. Even when it is nutrient-fortified, it doesn't match the nutritional density of whole grain rice. And yes, the super healthy bran is also missing! "Too much of short grain white rice — the sticky varieties — have a higher glycaemic index that tend to spike the sugar levels in the body. In comparison, brown and red rice are both rich in fibre content and have a lower glycaemic load," says nutritionist Dr Taranjeet Kaur.

Red hot

Red rice is a special variety of rice that's packed with antioxidants. It's nutty flavour and earthy texture have made it a favourite of chefs and food photographers. Switching from white to brown or red rice has shown a lowered risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cholesterol and lowered blood pressure levels as well. It even provides protection against inflammation and cancer.

Black is back

Black rice is gluten-free, gut-friendly, a natural cleanser and heart-savvy. The Asian basic, also called Chakhao in Manipur, is popping up at supermarts all over the world as the super-food to get hold of. The bran hull of black rice, which is the outermost layer of the rice grain, contains one of the highest levels of the antioxidant anthocyaninfound in any known food. "Black rice is lower in calories but higher in protein content as compared to brown, red or white rice. Its antioxidant content is almost six times higher than other varieties of rice," confirms Dr Kaur.

Not all white rice is unhealthy
An exception is whole grain and white long grain basmati rice that's low in glycaemic load and is nearly equivalent to brown rice in these terms. It is digested slowly, thus keeping the blood sugar levels controlled. Basmati rice is also nutrient dense. It contains high amounts of vitamin B, copper and magnesium, which help in controlling blood sugar levels. These combined with antioxidants and anti-carcinogenic properties found in its bran and germ, make basmati rice a wise choice

Mechanized farming on the rise

The use of agricultural machinery in Cambodia has risen noticeably compared with last year, said the Agriculture Ministry.A ministry report released last week showed that the use of agriculture machinery rose to about 91 percent in 2016, compared with 83 percent in 2015, while the use of cattle in farming was 8.8 percent last year. 
Ouk Makara, director of the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute, said the increasing use of tractors and other agricultural machinery was a good sign because it cut costs and saved time. 
Thus, farmers could use their time to grow another crop or do something else besides growing rice.“It is good for agriculture when it is dominated by machinery other than cattle since Cambodia is short of labor in the agriculture sector as lots of rural people migrate to work in a neighboring country or find another job besides farming,” Mr. Makara said.I think that labor is more expensive than using machinery for farming – especially harvesting rice paddy since the cost of using labor is $150 for a hectare of rice paddy while it is only $100 for a hectare of rice paddy using machinery.”

Mr. Makara said machinery will provide much benefit to farmers if they use it properly. Farmers will cut costs, save time and speed up tasks, making their harvests competitive in the market, he added.Chan Sophal, director of the Center for Policy Studies, said the increasing use of machinery such as tractors or walk-behind tractors is good because it helps boost the efficiency in farming at a time when there is a shortage of labor.

Mr. Sophal said that in past years, much of the labor force was engaged in farming, but most workers have shifted to work in the construction and services sectors. Some have migrated to work in neighboring countries such as Thailand where they could make more money than farming.  
Song Saran, CEO of Amru Rice (Cambodia), which worked closely with 3,000 farmers in Cambodia, said the trend of farming in developed countries is turning to the use of agricultural machinery, tractors or walk-behind tractors, which are good for the agricultural sector.
However, in Cambodia it seemed be difficult to gain a profit by using machinery since fuel and maintenance costs would be higher than cattle.“We want farmers to diversify their agricultural tools, method and innovation to make the efficiencies and gain in profit in agriculture,” Mr. Saran said.

“Machinery alone will not provide much productivity if they invest a lot of money in it, even if they have more yield. There are still the high production costs, to contend with,” he said.r. Saran has suggested the government help reduce the production cost such as fuel price to help farmers.
Ngorn Saing, CEO of RMA Cambodia – the official distributor of American agricultural machinery manufacturer John Deere – said the use of tractors in Cambodia has risen but tractor imports fell last year.Mr. Saing said that RMA saw the import of agricultural machinery drop last year to about 200 units from 300 units in 2015.In 2016, farming by agricultural machinery covered about 2.73 million hectares in the rainy season out of the total of about three million hectares. In the dry season, machinery helped farm 356,705 hectares out of 369,304 hectares, according to an Agriculture Ministry report