Monday, January 30, 2017

30th January,2017 daily global,regional and local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

Asia Rice: Gains in India on Robust Demand; Thai Prices Drop Amid Quiet Market
Bangkok/Mumbai. Rice prices in India, top global exporter of the grain, advanced this week on robust domestic and international demand, while Thai prices fell in a quiet market.
Prices for India's 5 percent broken parboiled rice rose this week to $354-$359 per metric ton from $352-$357 last week, as demand for paddy or unmilled rice was robust from both local and overseas buyers.
"Since paddy prices have risen, exporters were forced to raise milled rice prices," said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
Government agencies were also actively buying paddy for the public distribution system.
"Supplies have improved, but demand is surpassing supplies," a Mumbai-based exporter said.
The Indian government's move to scrap high value currency notes in November to crack down on corruption also disrupted supply chains in November and December and many local rice millers couldn't replenish their inventories.
India mainly exports non-basmati rice to African countries and premier basmati rice to Middle East. Basmati is a long-grained, fragrant rice that is typically grown in the South Asian subcontinent.
In Thailand, the world's second-biggest rice exporter, prices of 5-percent broken rice fell to $355-$360 a tonne, free-on-board (FOB) Bangkok, from $360-$365 last week.
"It's quiet. Nothing significant is going on in the market," a Bangkok-based trader said. "Prices should remain stable for the next few weeks."
The Thai Rice Exporters Association quoted the 5-percent broken rice at $375 a ton on Thursday, down from $380 a week ago.
Vietnam's 5-percent broken rice was quoted at $335-$340 a ton, FOB Saigon, on Wednesday (25/01), narrower from $335-$345 a ton last week.
Vietnam, the world's third-biggest rice exporter, will ship an estimated 325,000 tons of the grain in January, down 32.3 percent from a year earlier, the Agriculture Ministry said on Thursday.
Revenue from the Vietnamese rice exports, mostly shipped to China, Ghana and the Philippines, will reach an estimated $136 million this month, or 35.1 percent lower than at the same time in 2016, the agriculture ministry said in a monthly report.
Vietnam's rice market is closed as the country celebrates its Lunar New Year holidays, which begin on Thursday and run through until next Wednesday.
On Tuesday, results from a tender from Iraq's state grains buyer showed offers were made for 240,000 tons of Indian rice, 110,000-120,000 tons of Thai rice, and 100,000 tons of Vietnamese rice.

Rice prices climb on lower rabi acreage

In north India, price is up 28% since Nov 2016 despite higher output estimates this kharif season

Dilip Kumar Jha  |  Mumbai 

Rice prices have started rising since January due to low rabi planting and reports of quality deterioration in the kharif crop.  The food ministry estimates rice is 4.3 per cent costlier in the Delhi mandi since demonetisation. Quoted at Rs 2,400 a quintal, the fair average quality rice slumped to Rs 2,350 a quintal in Delhi by the end of December but recovered to trade at Rs 2,450 a quintal on January 25. In north India, the price of rice has risen by up to 28 per cent since November despite higher kharif output estimates. “Speculators have increased their ...

Rice is ‘in-thing’ to grow as demand rises

With a boom in production, rice is a commodity to watch for farmers and other players, writes Robert Museveni
A farmer in a rice field. A significant increase in production is from the smallholder farmers. PHOTO BY FRED MUZAALE 
By Robert Museveni
Rice is an important cash and food crop in Uganda for both producing and non-producing areas for the last couple of years.
The highest production levels are evident in the districts of Iganga and Bugiri in the east, Hoima and Kabarole in the west, and Amuru, Nwoya, Apac and Lira in the north.
The consumption is mainly concentrated in both urban and peri-urban centres in areas where it is not mainly grown. This is while it is a staple food in most households in areas where it is grown.
Surge in production
A case in point is, between 2002 and 2012 when rice production grew by 77 per cent (from 120,000 to 212,000 tonnes) mainly due to a number of factors. These include favourable policies, the development of improved seeds and the high level of prices in the domestic market, which constitute a strong incentive for farmers.
Although Uganda’s production has increased significantly, it is unable to satisfy the increasing demand from urban consumers which is closely linked with rapid urbanisation and economic growth.
Since 2010, the value of Kayiso rice has increased gradually making a difference of Shs850 (30.1 per cent) per kilogramme on retail and Shs770 (30.1 per cent increase) per kilogramme on wholesale.
All these is attributed to the growing populations within the urban centres as more people enter the city centres to look for jobs hence influencing indirectly the increase in the number of small restaurants which normally buy Kayiso rice for cooking instead of Super rice or Pakistan.
Kayiso rice has fluctuated so much in the market simply because of the other alternative foods that can act as immediate substitute, for example, Pakistan, Super Tanzania, upland rice.
It is relatively stable for wholesale price and retail price with a difference of Shs1,050 and Shs550 for wholesale and retail respectively.
Super rice as the name suggests is the premium rice recognised nationally and across East Africa.
All the varieties of rice have the same trend pattern across the years indicating a possible correlation between their prices.
Like any other crop, the price of Super rice (Uganda) is affected by other rice types on the market such as Super Tanzania, which is a close competitor as well as rice from different origin that include Pakistan, IRRI-6 sweet variety type (15, 20 and 25 per cent broken), Tilda rice, Basmati.
But super rice (Uganda) beats the other types of rice on aroma and taste whereas the other types (Pakistan, for instance) are preferred for their cleanliness hence easy to cook without sorting.
The growing of upland rice have maintained a relatively stable trend in the last two years. 
And the prices for upland rice are relatively similar across the other markets, apart from northern and eastern regions where prices were slightly higher.
The wholesale price ranges and on average Arua, Kitgum, Isingiro and Mbarara register the highest retail price of Shs3,000 as the lowest retail price was registered in Jinja Market at Shs2,200.
The price difference between highest and lowest price was Shs750 and Shs800 for wholesale and retail price respectively in the period of one year.

FG denies importing GM rice

ON JANUARY 29, 2017

 The Federal Government has denied that it had imported and flooded the nation’s markets with Genetically Modified rice. The Director-General of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr Rufus Ebegba made the position of government known at a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja. An online news platform had alleged that the Federal Government through a firm had flooded the nation’s market with poisonous GM rice. Ebegba said that there was no iota of truth in the report, noting that no GM rice had either been imported or released officially into the country.

According to him, `no GMO rice has been commercially released anywhere in the world. He said that the Federal Government had banned the importation of rice and there was no indication that the ban had been lifted. Ebegba described the online report as a falsehood and imagination of the writer, who “probably used a fake name.’’ He added that the report was intended to cause unnecessary panic and called on Nigerians to disregard it. The director-general also urged them to join hands with the government to ensure safety in the practice of modern biotechnology in the country in line with global best practices. He said NBMA was capable of regulating all GMO products in Nigeria, promising that the agency would not compromise on its mandate. Positions Price List Contacts 20 Am Added Advertise Adviser Africa Agencies Airport Positions Price List

Telangana: Millers return 77 per cent of PDS rice

PublishedJan 30, 2017, 1:04 am IST
UpdatedJan 30, 2017, 6:13 am IST

For every quintal of boiled rice milled, millers have to return 68 kg and for raw rice, they return 67 kg.
 Tight measures initiated by civil supplies commissioner C.V. Anand to check diversion of PDS rice from mills have been appreciated by state government, which has resulted in huge savings for state exchequer. (Representational Image)
Hyderabad: Rice millers who had been resorting to diverting PDS rice to the black market have fallen in line. The state government’s decision appointing an IPS officer as commissioner of civil supplies for the first time in August last year to check irregularities has paid off.
Rice millers returned 77 per cent of custom-ised milling rice meant for PDS to the government even before the rice procurement for this kharif season is yet to end, which is a first in the past few decades.
Tight measures initiated by civil supplies commissioner C.V. Anand to check diversion of PDS rice from mills have been appreciated by state government, which has resulted in huge savings for state exchequer.
Earlier, millers used to divert PDS rice every year and returned it to government after years on being served notices repeatedly. This is no more the case now.
For every quintal of boiled rice milled, millers have to return 68 kg and for raw rice, they return 67 kg. “The meetings held with rice millers to streamline the milling system, stern action against recycling and diversion of PDS rice, lodging criminal cases against errant millers and blacklisting them, stopping supply of milling rice to millers booked under Section 6(A) during the last six months have yielded better results,” he said.
The millers already returned 77 per cent CMR rice this year and we have fixed a deadline of February 15 for them to return the remaining 23 per cent. We are confident of achieving the target,” said Mr Anand.
Telangana gets new teams for enforcement
The Telangana State government has constituted a Civil Supplies Enforcement Wing with five teams to check irregularities in the PDS.
This is the first-of-its-kind initiative being implemented in the civil supplies department to check diversion of subsidised commodities supplied through PDS.
The teams can take up field-level inspections to check the div-ersion of PDS stocks, inspections of private godowns and filing cases against those indulging in irregularities etc.
Five teams have been formed with four retired officials in each team drawn from police, commercial taxes, revenue and Food Corpor-ation of India departments

Iranian Government Amends Rice Import Tariffs

The government has drastically cut import tariffs on a list of agrofood products to keep prices in check in the runup to the new Iranian year (starting March 21, 2017)
Sunday, January 29, 2017

The government has amended tariffs for importing rice by reducing it from the previous 40% to 26%, Trade Promotion Organization of Iran announced.
It was announced on January 21 that the rate would stand at 5% following a series of tariff cuts on a list of agro-food products.
Based on the new regulation, tariffs on butter, meat and bananas will be trimmed to 5% from 20%, 26% and 26% respectively. Tariffs for pulses have also been cut drastically. Split peas will be subject to a 10% tariff, down from the current 15%. Rates on various other types of beans have been reduced to 5%.
The legislation describes these commodities as “basic, essential and urgent", adding that the new tariffs are currently in effect.
The move is aimed at keeping food prices in check in the runup to the new Iranian year (starting March 21, 2017). Meat and agricultural products have witnessed a hike in the past few weeks.
However, Shamsali Hajizadeh, the head of Agricultural Commission at Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, believes the reduction in tariffs is unlikely to lead to lower prices.
“Manipulating tariff rates benefits neither the producer nor the consumer. Only the intermediaries stand to gain from it,” he told the Persian daily Shahrvand.
Hajizadeh criticized the government for its “flawed” agricultural policies over the past few years.
Instead of manipulating tariff rates, Hajizadeh believes that the government should focus on enhancing productivity to minimize costs and reduce prices.
The Iranian government has a history of placing periodic bans on the import of rice and sugar, among other commodities, in support of domestic producers. 
There is an all-out ban on rice imports during harvest seasons, for example. This year the measure was in place from July 21 to November 21.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Iranians consume more than 3 million tons of rice every year, of which almost 2.2 million tons are supplied by domestic farmers.
“This [domestic supply] does not suffice demand. We need imports, but imports that are limited and controlled,” Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati said in November.
Nonetheless, figures show rice imports have been on the rise, despite all the restrictive measures.
Importers shipped more than 630,000 tons of rice valued at $527 million into the country during the nine months to December 20, 2016, which registered a 22% and 4% growth in volume and value respectively compared with the corresponding period of a year ago, according to the latest data released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
Sugar, chocolate and candy industries have been complaining in the past few months that the commodity was scarce due to restrictive regulations regarding imports. The government has dismissed the claim though.
Temporary bans on sugar imports are imposed mostly to prevent oversupply and support local manufacturers. 
According to Iran Sugar Association, Iran is currently 70% self-sufficient in sugar production and a complete self-sufficiency is possible within the next four years.  
Sugar production is estimated to exceed 1.52 million tons by the end of the current fiscal year (March 20, 2017). Domestic demand for sugar stands at 2.2 million tons annually. Therefore, the import of close to 700,000 tons is needed, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.
The government also imports a few hundred thousand tons for its strategic reserves every year

Africa’s rice farmers lose $200 million annually to parasitic weeds

REPORTfrom Africa Rice Center
Published on 27 Jan 2017 
Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
27 Jan 2017
An international team of researchers representing the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice), the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Wageningen University, has raised the alarm over the enormous economic impact of parasitic weeds on rice production in Africa, threatening the food security and livelihoods of millions of resource-poor rice farmers and consumers in the region.
Smallholder farmers in the continent are losing every year half a million tons of rice worth about US $200 million because of parasitic weeds. This is roughly equivalent to the annual rice consumption of Liberia, a low-income country, which is highly dependent on rice imports. If the rice lost due to the parasitic weeds had been saved, it would have been enough to feed the total population of Liberia (4.5 million people) for a whole year.
Parasitic weeds are among the most destructive and problematic weeds to control. “When these plants invade food crops, they turn into ferocious weeds,” said Dr Jonne Rodenburg, Agronomist at AfricaRice. The most important parasitic weed species in rice are Striga asiatica, S. aspera, S. hermonthica and Rhamphicarpa fistulosa. They are all endemic to Africa and can also parasitize other cereal crops like maize, sorghum and millet.
The team of researchers reveal that these parasitic weeds, which survive by siphoning off water and nutrients from host crops, have invaded 1.34 million hectares of rainfed rice in Africa, affecting an estimated 950,000 rural households. They are increasingly becoming severe due to an intensification of agricultural production and climate changes.
The areas affected by parasitic weeds are home to some of the world’s poorest farmers. Studies by AfricaRice and partners have shown that parasitic weeds seem to predominantly affect women farmers in Africa as they are often forced to grow rice on the most marginal and parasitic weed-infested plots.
Parasitic weeds threaten rice production in at least 28 countries in Africa that have rainfed rice systems. The most affected countries are Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone Tanzania and Uganda.
The researchers warn that these parasites are spreading fast in the rainfed rice area and if nothing is done to stop them in their tracks, the damage will increase by about US $30 million a year. These findings were revealed in a recent article by Rodenburg, Demont, Zwart and Bastiaans, entitled “Parasitic weed incidence and related economic losses in rice in Africa,” published in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 235 (306-317). It is published as open access (
Rice is the second most important source of calories in Africa. It is also critical for smallholder incomes. Demand for rice is growing at a rate of more than 6% per year – faster than for any other food staple in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), because of changes in consumer preferences and urbanization. Rice production is increasing across SSA, but the continent still imports some 40% of its rice.
Until now, there has been little information on the regional spread and economic importance of parasitic weeds in rice in Africa. “We have presented in this article best-bet estimates on the distribution as well as the agronomic and economic impact of parasitic weeds in rice in Africa,” explained Dr Rodenburg. “In fact, this is the first multi-species, multi-country impact assessment of parasitic weeds in Africa.”
The article focuses on the four most important parasitic weeds in rice. Striga species – known under the common name “witchweed” – occur in at least 31 countries with rain-fed upland rice systems. Rhamphicarpa fistulosa – known under the common name “rice vampireweed” – threatens rice production in at least 28 countries with rainfed lowland rice systems.
Dr Sander Zwart, AfricaRice Remote sensing and Geographic information systems specialist, explained that for this study, a map of rainfed rice production areas, compiled from different databases, was overlapped with parasitic weed observation data retrieved from public herbaria to visualize regional distribution of these four important parasitic weeds.
From this overlap, probabilities of actual infestation were estimated. These estimates together with secondary data on parasite-inflicted crop losses and efficacy of weed control were combined into a stochastic impact assessment model.
The knowledge acquired on the distribution as well as the agronomic and economic impact of parasitic weeds in rice in Africa underlines the importance of finding effective measures to control these pests through research.
AfricaRice and its partners have been investigating and developing efficient parasitic weed management strategies that are affordable and feasible for resource-poor rice farmers. “A range of high-yielding, short-cycle, farmer-preferred rice varieties have been identified with resistance or tolerance to different species and ecotypes of Striga, as well as varieties with good defense against R. fistulosa,” said Dr Rodenburg.
He explained that such varieties can be combined with different agronomic measures, such as late sowing (against R. fistulosa) or early sowing (against Striga), and the use of organic soil fertility amendments. Growing a leguminous cover crop such as Stylosanthes guianensis and following a zero-tillage approach also contribute to effective control of Striga, as demonstrated by agronomic experiments conducted by AfricaRice and its partners.
To study institutional and socio-economic constraints underlying the challenge posed by the parasitic weeds, and to raise awareness and improve communication on efficient management strategies, AfricaRice and its partners have brought together stakeholders, including national research institutes, extension services, crop protection services and private sector representatives in workshops in East and West Africa.
At a time where there is a decline in public sector investments in agricultural research, efficient targeting of resources is becoming increasingly important. “The results of our studies emphasize the importance of targeted investments in further research, the development and dissemination of control technologies and capacity building of farmers, extension agents and other stakeholders, to reverse the observed trend of increasing parasitic weeds in rice,” stated Dr Rodenburg./ of rice export
By Webmaster 
Engr Mansoor Ahmed,Faisalabad
Rice production in Pakistan holds an extremely key position in agriculture and the national economy. Pakistan is the world’s 4th largest producer of rice. It is the second largest export commodity after textile and placing Pakistan in the top five rice exporting countries of the world. Rice is the third largest crop after wheat and cotton which is grown over 10 percent of the total cropped area. Rice is highly valued cash crop and it accounts for 6.7 percent in value added in agriculture and 1.6 percent in GDP. Pakistan grows enough high quality rice to meet both domestic demand and allow for exports of around one million ton per annum.
Regrettably, rice export industry has been facing severe suffering since last couple of years and unable to compete in the world market due to which its exports were on drop. The present PML (N) government has taken many good measures regarding strengthen the economy of country including successfully completion of IMF program, relief package for textile sector and Kisan package for agriculture. There is a dire need in the current scenario for making arrangements to enhance the rice export. By increasing the export of rice not only more foreign exchange would come but also domestic rice industry would overcome the crisis.

IRRI Inaugurates Friendship Center For Food Security In THIS Country

By Jose Paolo Calcetas , Jan 30, 2017 04:41 AM EST
This is a high quality rice reaper. Paddy, wheat, reed can be harvested with this reaper. We are first to introduce quality Paddy Cutter Machine at Bangladesh. (Photo : sarkeragro/YouTube)
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) has partnered with the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) in launching the BRRI-IRRI Friendly-Center . The term was coined by IRRI Deputy Director Jackie Hughes and BRRI Director General Bhagya Rani Banik. It aims to expand partnered research between the two agencies and bolster global market environment in the face of climate change.
Banik said that the project is an offspring of the 50-year-old productive partnership between IRRI and BRRI. Banik also added that they have seen food security increase in their native country with a rice self-sufficiency rate of 2.06 metric ton surplus. BRRI attributed this milestone to research advances in rice science to which the two institutions adhere.
According to IRRI, the reopening of the Gazipur centre shall allow the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute to “nurture science and leadership capacity among Bangladeshi researchers.” This will be made possible by preparing IRRI scientists to collaborate with IRRI. Moreover, this partnership will also provide technical assistance that will fulfill the Bangladesh government’s vision to establish its own rice industry in 2050.
Bangladesh can be found in northeastern South Asia. It has a land mass of 144,000 km2. Moreover, the country is bounded by India on the west, north, and northeast. On the other hand, Myanmar lies on its southeast while Bay of Bengal can be found on its south, Ricepedia reports.
This nation consists of low, flat, fertile land. More than 230 rivers and their tributaries flow across the country down to alluvial soil. Flood water enriches its soils with heavy silt. Rice is a staple food for most Asian countries. Aside from developing its quality, studies are also being conducted on how to make rice plants endure and survive diseases. A study even suggests that bacteria might be able to improve rice infected by fungus.