Wednesday, March 01, 2017

1st March,2017 daily global,regional and local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

Rice Industry to Congress:  "Reject Conservation Programs at All Our Peril"
By Peter Bachmann

WASHINGTON, DC -- This morning, the House Committee on Agriculture's Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee held a hearing to solicit feedback from rural America on conservation policy ahead of constructing the 2018 Farm Bill.  USA Rice was invited to provide a witness to testify and Timothy Gertson, Texas rice farmer, graduate of the Rice Leadership Program, and member of the USA Rice Federation and USA Rice Farmers Board of Directors was tapped to represent the industry.
"The Conservation Title of most farm bills is typically not the most contentious but has steadily grown to absorb a larger portion of the legislation's overall budget, making it look ripe for cuts," said USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward.  "But the investment in voluntary working lands conservation programs - the mission of the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service - is vital to the future not just of agriculture, but of the planet.  Many groups in agriculture, including USA Rice, will stand together to fight to protect this investment in our future."
Gertson credits the rice industry's "unique relationship with waterfowl" as one of the reasons rice farmers are by default, some of the best stewards of the environment and said the USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Rice Stewardship Partnership "could be used as the model for commodity and wildlife groups working together going forward."
Gertson's testimony focused on the effectiveness of the "workhorses" of NRCS working lands programs:  the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), and their economic benefits.  "With working lands programs the land is still in production, so the economic drivers of small communities are still working, unlike some programs like the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) that pay farmers not to grow a crop," he said.

"The [EQIP] practices I have put into place over the years have helped make my land more resilient to the multi-year drought we experienced a few years ago," Gertson continued.  "These conservation practices have helped me stay in business over the course of this depressed farm economy."

And when a community's farmers stay in business, so does the community.  "The revenue generated from my farm is reinvested in inputs for the following year and ends up in the hands of other small, local businesses," he said.  "Small towns like mine rely on the agriculture industry for jobs and investment or they would disappear."
Aside from asking for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program to be reauthorized and the removal of several regulatory provisions that deincentivize conservation, the continuity of Gertson's operation was a major concern.
"My boys want to be farmers just like dad and someday farm the same land our family has been working for the last 108 years.  But without being able to make a living for my family and maintain the natural resources to keep my land in production, there won't be anything left to hand to the sixth generation," he said.
"I am here to ensure that this Subcommittee fights to maintain Conservation Title funding and important working lands program investments so my children can play a part in feeding this great nation," concluded Gertson.

Customs seizes 9000 bags of rice in Ibadan

Description: Customs seizes 9000 bags of rice in IbadanAgency generates N14.8b in 2016
In another dramatic raid, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Oyo/Osun Command, has seized 9,000 bags of imported rice in a warehouse in a market in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
The Controller, Temitope Ogunkua, who vowed to stop illegal importation of goods, spoke yesterday at a briefing on the achievements recorded by the command in the last one year.He said the command generated N14.8billion in 2016.
During the night raid of the warehouse in an undisclosed Ibadan market, he said one suspect was arrested.

The seizure of the 9,000 (50kg) bags of smuggled imported rice had a duty paid value of N88,776,000.00.According to him, the night operation was carried out by the combined anti-smuggling team and the Federal Operations Union (FOU), Zone A.

Ogunkua said the command would not rest on its oars in playing strategic roles of revenue collection, trade facilitation and border security.He said the seizure of the rice and any other products proved to be smuggled into the country illegally was in line with Section 147 of Customs and Excise Management Act, 1990 as amended.
The Controller said 1207 vehicles paid duty of N320, 329,797.00 between January and December last year, adding that 266 packages of Canabis Sativa were seized and handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) within the period under review.

His words: “A total of 8,378 50kg bags of rice were seized within the period under review. The duty paid value of the intercepted rice is N87,153,591.00.
“The Command seized 111 vehicles with a duty paid value of N136,770,011.65; 1971 cartons of frozen poultry products with a duty paid value of N16,373,097.00 were intercepted. A total of 173 (25) litres gallon of petroleum products were seized and handed over to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).”

Ogunkua said the command has a N20.6billion target for the year.
“A total of 9000 (50kg) bags of smuggled imported rice with a duty paid value of N88,776,000.00 was seized and evacuated from a warehouse by the Command’s anti-smuggling team in conjunction with the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A few weeks ago”

Kishore Biyani lays out roadmap for Future Consumer-Hain Celestial JV

The joint venture will begin with three of Hain Celestial’s main products—Terra Chips, baby foods, and non-dairy milk products, says Kishore Biyani
Description: Kishore Biyani said that the prices of Terra chips would be lowered from the current close to Rs400 a packet to around Rs100 a packet. File photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
Kishore Biyani said that the prices of Terra chips would be lowered from the current close to Rs400 a packet to around Rs100 a packet. File photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
Mumbai: Kishore Biyani has laid out a roadmap for Future Consumer’s 50-50 joint venture with New York state headquartered Hain Celestial Group, that sells organic food and personal care products.The joint venture was announced in January this year.“We will begin with three of Hain Celestial’s main products, Terra Chips, baby foods, and non-dairy milk products,” Biyani said at a press conference on Tuesday. “I believe Indians, especially mothers, are very conscious about brands, and more Indians today are lactose intolerant.”
With this joint venture, Future Group will have products competing with Nestle’s Cerelac baby foods, Pepsico’s Frito Lay’s chips, and Hershey India that sells non-dairy soy milk under the brand name Sofit. Other non-dairy milks include rice, almond, and coconut milks.
 “We’ve identified a new plant in Tumkur, Karnataka, to manufacture Terra Chips”, Biyani said. “This will be rolled out by the end of December this year, made in India.”
Biyani added that the prices of Terra chips would be lowered from the current close to Rs400 a packet to around Rs100 a packet.He said the joint venture will continue to invest in manufacturing facilities for these products over the next 4-5 years. However, Biyani declined to comment on how much investment has been made or is planned for the venture. “We have already assessed machinery requirements and other things for now,” he said.
“We have the products and Future (Consumer) has the distribution and the food park,” said Irwin Simon, founder and chief executive of Hain Celestial. “We’re partnering with the largest retailer in India.” Future Group set up an integrated food park in Tumkur, Karnataka, in 2014.
Hain Celestial, a $3.58 billion company by market capitalization, was founded in 1993 and listed on the NASDAQ in 1994. Most of its sales come from consumer food products, particularly the Whole Foods chain of retail stores in the United States. Hain also owns and markets the basmati rice brand Tilda, for which it sources rice from India.
Future Consumer has, in the past, brought other foreign food and personal care brands to India. For instance, in 2013, it introduced California-based citrus juices brand Sunkist.
Biyani and Simon emphasized the growing demand for healthy and organic food among increasingly health-conscious Indians. However, it may have to contend with the growing popularity of ayurvedic and ‘traditionally’ made food and personal care brands in India that health-conscious consumers have also taken to. “I don’t think that will be something we will be thinking about,” Biyani countered. “There isn’t much ayurvedic (trends) in packaged foods, except perhaps things like Chyawanprash
Stocks in news: L&T, Idea, HPCL, NHPC, KRBL, Merck, BEML, Varun

Stocks in news: L&T, Idea, HPCL, NHPC, KRBL, Merck, BEML, Varun L&T | Idea Cellular | ONGC | HPCL | Coal India | Sambhaav Media | Quess Corp | Merck | Assam Company | NHPC | Kohinoor Foods | LT Foods | KRBL | Adani Enterprises | Varun Beverages and BEML are stocks, which are in the news today.   Here are stocks that are in news today: L&T -LIC to persuade government to sell part of its SUUTI stake in L&T -LIC is looking for an additional 5 percent taking its total stake to 21 percent Idea Cellular   : Sources -P5 Asia Investments launches book to sell Idea shares up to USD 190 million -Idea block deal price-range set at Rs 106.5-114.55/share -Providence will exit Idea post block deal ahead of proposed merger with Vodafone Alert: P5 Asia Investments is the investment arm of Providence Alert: Providence bought 15 percent stake in Idea in 2006 ONGC   - HPCL   : Government Sources -ONGC may acquire HPCL in Rs 44,000 crore deal Alert: HPCL's current market cap is Rs 57,000 crore -ONGC may buy government's entire 51.1 percent stake in HPCL -ONGC may have to pay government Rs 29,000 crore for 51.1 percent stake in HPCL -ONGC will have to buy another 26 percent in HPCL from open market for Rs 15,000 crore Alert: Deal value of ONGC's HPCL acquisition at Rs 44,000 crore as per Monday's closing price Merck   Q3 -Net profit up 24.7 percent at Rs 18.2 crore versus Rs 14.6 crore (YoY) -Total income up 5.9 percent at Rs 251.5 crore versus Rs 237.5 crore (YoY) -EBITDA down 1.6 percent at Rs 24.6 crore versus Rs 25 crore (YoY) -EBITDA margin at 9.8 percent versus 10.5 percent (YoY) Sanofi Q4 -Net profit (ex-exceptional item) down 3.8 percent at Rs 50.5 crore versus Rs 52.5 crore (YoY) -Total income up 4.1 percent at Rs 592 crore versus Rs 568.7 crore (YoY) -EBITDA down 5 percent at Rs 107.3 crore versus Rs 112.9 crore (YoY) -EBITDA margin at 18.1 percent versus 19.9 percent (YoY) IL&FS -Lone Star, IL&FS collaborate to revive stressed infrastructure assets in India -Lone Star, IL&FS collaboration to have investment pool of USD 550 million Assam Company   -Company now owns 100 percent of participating interest in Amguri field -Production sharing contract of Amguri field extended by 5 years -Arbitral board has granted company USD 3.54 million in damages plus cost of proceedings Tata -DoCoMo case -Tata Group agrees to pay NTT DoCoMo USD 1.17 billion -Tata Sons to pay full amount of damages sought by NTT DoCoMo -Tata Sons, NTT DoCoMo may announce resolution to dispute today Edelweiss   -To bid afresh for bank licence, sell commodities unit -In talks with several parties to sell commodities unit Other stocks and sectors that are in news today: - Sanghi Industries   - India Ratings & Research assigns rating of A- and A2+ - Adani Transmission   bought back non-convertible debentures (NCDs) worth Rs 165 crore - Pincon Spirits acquires 5 additional retail outlets in Kolkata - Sambhaav Media   wins FM radio channels for 13 cities of Gujarat and J&K - Siti Networks   allotted 7.77 crore shares on conversion of warrants & OFCDs (optional fully convertible debentures) to promoters - Indian Overseas Bank   share capital increased from Rs 3,000 crore to Rs 10,000 crore - Coal India   's South Eastern Coalfields approved buy back up to Rs 1,200 crore at Rs 79777 per share - Varun Beverages   approved allotment of NCDs worth Rs 150 crore each to RBL Bank   & Kotak Mahindra Bank   - Transformers and Rectifiers gets order worth Rs 153 crore from Gujarat Energy Transmission - Den Networks   launched Den TV+, OTT services for subscribers - Titan forays into ethnic womens wear segment - Adani Enterprises   in focus: Adani group plans to expand ship fuelling business from 1 million tonne to 3.5 million tonne by 2020 - Kohinoor Foods   , LT Foods   , KRBL   , Lakshmi Energy   , REI Agro in focus: Export realisation for basmati rice has dropped to the lowest price at USD 784/tonne (8MFY17) against USD 1298/tonne in FY14 - ICICI Bank   probing into fake notes at Rohtak ATM - Quess Corp   is looking at managing airports, health services, roads & ports - Prime Focus   ' promoter release pledge on 1.33 percent shares on February 23 - NHPC   signs power purchase agreement with GRIDCO, Odisha for 35 years - SREI Infrastructure allots NCDs worth Rs 335.17 crore on February 27 -Merchant Bankers & legal advisors to make presentation for BEML   stake sale today

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open-March 01,2017

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices – APMC/Open Market-March 1
Nagpur, Mar 1 (Reuters) – Gram and tuar prices firmed up in Nagpur Agriculture Producing and
Marketing Committee (APMC) on increased buying support from local millers amid weak supply from
producing regions. Healthy rise in Madhya Pradesh pulses and reported demand from South-based
plants also jacked up prices, according to sources.
   * Gram varieties ruled steady in open market here but demand was poor.  
   * Tuar gavarani and tuar Karnataka moved down in open market here on poor demand from 
     local traders amid increased supply from producing regions. 
   * Major rice varieties reported higher in open market on good festival season demand 
     from local traders amid thin arrival from producing regions like Chhattisgarh and 
     Madhya Pradesh.     
   * In Akola, Tuar New – 3,900-4,000, Tuar dal (clean) – 6,500-6,700, Udid Mogar (clean)
    – 8,500-9,000, Moong Mogar (clean) 6,600-6,900, Gram – 4,700-4,800, Gram Super best 
     bold – 7,300-7,500 for 100 kg.
   * Wheat and other commodities moved in a narrow range in scattered, deals, settled at 
     last levels. 
 Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg
     FOODGRAINS                 Available prices     Previous close   
     Gram Auction                     4,200-4,485         4,100-4,200
     Gram Pink Auction            n.a.           2,100-2,600
     Tuar Auction                3,800-4,190         3,800-4,150
     Moong Auction                n.a.                6,400-6,600
     Udid Auction                n.a.           4,300-4,500
     Masoor Auction                n.a.              2,600-2,800
     Gram Super Best Bold            7,500-7,800        7,500-7,800
     Gram Super Best            n.a.            n.a.
     Gram Medium Best            6,500-6,800        6,500-6,800
     Gram Dal Medium            n.a.            n.a
     Gram Mill Quality            4,400-5,000        4,400-5,000
     Desi gram Raw                4,750-5,050         4,750-5,050
     Gram Yellow                 7,600-8,000        7,600-8,000
     Gram Kabuli                11,600-12,800        11,600-12,800
     Tuar Fataka Best-New             6,600-6,800        6,600-6,800
     Tuar Fataka Medium-New        6,200-6,400        6,200-6,400
     Tuar Dal Best Phod-New        5,800-6,000        5,800-6,000
     Tuar Dal Medium phod-New        5,300-5,600        5,300-5,600
     Tuar Gavarani New             3,950-4,150        4,000-4,200
     Tuar Karnataka             4,350-4,550        4,400-4,600
     Masoor dal best            5,600-5,800        5,600-5,800
     Masoor dal medium            5,300-5,500        5,300-5,500
     Masoor                    n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Mogar bold (New)        6,800-7,200         6,800-7,200
     Moong Mogar Medium            6,200-6,500        6,200-6,500
     Moong dal Chilka            5,800-6,500        5,800-6,500
     Moong Mill quality            n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Chamki best            6,000-6,500        6,000-6,500
     Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 8,800-9,500       8,800-9,500 
     Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)    7,500-8,000        7,500-8,000    
     Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)        5,200-5,500        5,200-5,500     
     Batri dal (100 INR/KG)        5,000-5,500        5,000-5,500
     Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg)          3,650-3,850         3,650-3,850
     Watana Dal (100 INR/KG)            3,000-3,100        3,000-3,100
     Watana White (100 INR/KG)           3,200-3,400           3,200-3,400
     Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG)    3,800-4,300        3,800-4,300   
     Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG)        2,000-2,100        2,000-2,100
     Wheat Mill quality (100 INR/KG)    2,000-2,100        2,000-2,100   
     Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG)         2,100-2,300           2,100-2,300         
     Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG)    2,500-2,700        2,500-2,700    
     Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG)   2,200-2,500        2,200-2,500
     Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG)    n.a.            n.a.
     MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG)    3,600-4,200        3,600-4,200    
     MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)    2,700-3,200        2,700-3,200           
     Rice BPT best New(100 INR/KG)    3,200-3,800        3,100-3,700    
     Rice BPT medium (100 INR/KG)        2,700-3,000        2,700-3,000    
     Rice Luchai (100 INR/KG)         2,200-2,500        2,200-2,500
     Rice Swarna best (100 INR/KG)      2,400-2,600        2,400-2,500   
     Rice Swarna medium (100 INR/KG)      2,300-2,400        2,200-2,400   
     Rice HMT best New (100 INR/KG)    4,000-4,500        4,000-4,400    
     Rice HMT medium (100 INR/KG)        3,400-3,600        3,400-3,500    
     Rice Shriram best New(100 INR/KG)    5,200-5,500        5,200-5,400 
     Rice Shriram med New(100 INR/KG)    4,700-5,000        4,600-5,000   
     Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG)    9,200-13,300        9,200-13,300     
     Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG)    5,000-6,200        5,000-6,200    
     Rice Chinnor best New(100 INR/KG)    5,600-5,800        5,600-5,600    
     Rice Chinnor med. New (100 INR/KG)    5,000-5,300        5,000-5,100   
     Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG)        2,000-2,300        2,000-2,300    
     Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG)         1,900-2,000        1,900-2,000
Maximum temp. 35.7 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 15.5 degree Celsius 
Rainfall : Nil
FORECAST: Mainly clear sky. Maximum and minimum temperature would be around and 36 and 15 degree
Celsius respectively.
Note: n.a.--not available
(For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but
included in market prices)

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open-February 28,2017

Reuters | Updated: Feb 28, 2017, 01.25 PM IST
Nagpur Foodgrain Prices - APMC/Open Market-February 28 Nagpur, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Gram and tuar prices showed weak tendency in Nagpur Agriculture Producing and Marketing Committee (APMC) on poor demand from local millers amid good supply from producing regions. Downward trend in Madhya Pradeshtuar prices and high moisture content arrival also affected sentiment, according to sources. FOODGRAINS & PULSES GRAM * Desi gram declined further in open market on lack of demand from local traders amid good supply from producing regions. TUAR * Tuar varieties ruled steady in open market here on subdued demand from local traders amid ample stock in ready position. * Batri dal and Lakhodi dal reported down in open market on poor demand from local traders amid good supply from producing belt. * In Akola, Tuar New - 3,900-4,000, Tuar dal (clean) - 6,500-6,700, Udid Mogar (clean) - 8,500-9,000, Moong Mogar (clean) 6,600-6,900, Gram - 4,700-4,800, Gram Super best bold - 7,300-7,500 for 100 kg. * Wheat, rice and other commodities moved in a narrow range in scattered deals, settled at last levels. Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg FOODGRAINS Available prices Previous close Gram Auction 3,800-4,160 4,000-4,300 Gram Pink Auction n.a. 2,100-2,600 Tuar Auction 3,800-4,180 3,800-4,240 Moong Auction n.a. 6,400-6,600 Udid Auction n.a. 4,300-4,500 Masoor Auction n.a. 2,600-2,800 Gram Super Best Bold 7,500-7,800 7,500-7,800 Gram Super Best n.a. n.a. Gram Medium Best 6,500-6,800 6,500-6,800 Gram Dal Medium n.a. n.a Gram Mill Quality 4,400-5,000 4,400-5,000 Desi gram Raw 4,750-5,050 4,800-5,100 Gram Yellow 7,600-8,000 7,600-8,000 Gram Kabuli 11,600-12,800 11,600-12,800 Tuar Fataka Best-New 6,600-6,800 6,600-6,800 Tuar Fataka Medium-New 6,200-6,400 6,200-6,400 Tuar Dal Best Phod-New 5,800-6,000 5,800-6,000 Tuar Dal Medium phod-New 5,300-5,600 5,300-5,600 Tuar Gavarani New 4,000-4,200 4,000-4,200 Tuar Karnataka 4,400-4,600 4,400-4,600 Masoor dal best 5,600-5,800 5,600-5,800 Masoor dal medium 5,300-5,500 5,300-5,500 Masoor n.a. n.a. Moong Mogar bold (New) 6,800-7,200 6,800-7,200 Moong Mogar Medium 6,200-6,500 6,200-6,500 Moong dal Chilka 5,800-6,500 5,800-6,500 Moong Mill quality n.a. n.a. Moong Chamki best 6,000-6,500 6,000-6,500 Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 8,800-9,500 8,800-9,500 Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG) 7,500-8,000 7,500-8,000 Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG) 5,200-5,500 5,200-5,500 Batri dal (100 INR/KG) 5,000-5,500 5,200-5,600 Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg) 3,650-3,850 3,750-3,950 Watana Dal (100 INR/KG) 3,000-3,100 3,000-3,100 Watana White (100 INR/KG) 3,200-3,400 3,200-3,400 Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG) 3,800-4,300 3,800-4,300 Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG) 2,000-2,100 2,000-2,100 Wheat Mill quality (100 INR/KG) 2,000-2,100 2,000-2,100 Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG) 2,100-2,300 2,100-2,300 Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG) 2,500-2,700 2,500-2,700 Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG) 2,200-2,500 2,200-2,500 Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG) n.a. n.a. MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG) 3,600-4,200 3,600-4,200 MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG) 2,700-3,200 2,700-3,200 Rice BPT best New(100 INR/KG) 3,200-3,800 3,200-3,800 Rice BPT medium (100 INR/KG) 2,700-3,000 2,700-3,000 Rice Luchai (100 INR/KG) 2,200-2,500 2,200-2,500 Rice Swarna best (100 INR/KG) 2,400-2,600 2,400-2,600 Rice Swarna medium (100 INR/KG) 2,300-2,400 2,300-2,400 Rice HMT best New (100 INR/KG) 4,000-4,500 4,000-4,400 Rice HMT medium (100 INR/KG) 3,400-3,600 3,400-3,600 Rice Shriram best New(100 INR/KG) 5,200-5,500 5,200-5,500 Rice Shriram med New(100 INR/KG) 4,700-5,000 4,700-5,000 Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG) 9,200-13,300 9,200-13,300 Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG) 5,000-6,200 5,000-6,200 Rice Chinnor best New(100 INR/KG) 5,600-5,800 5,600-5,800 Rice Chinnor med. New (100 INR/KG) 5,000-5,300 5,000-5,300 Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG) 2,000-2,300 2,000-2,300 Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG) 1,900-2,000 1,900-2,000 WEATHER (NAGPUR) Maximum temp. 36.6 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 15.1 degree Celsius Rainfall : Nil FORECAST: Mainly clear sky. Maximum and minimum temperature would be around and 35 and 15 degree Celsius respectively. Note: n.a.--not available (For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but included in market prices)

AATF, others to boost rice production for export

THE African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and partners will soon develop and disseminate a Nitrogen-Use Efficient, Water-Use Efficient and Salt Tolerant Rice (NEWEST) for food sufficiency in Sub-Saharan Africa. Researchers involved in the development of Nitrogen-Use Efficient, Water Use Efficient and Salt-Tolerant Rice, insist it will lead to self-sufficiency in rice production
The AATF Executive Director (ED), Dr Denis Kyetere made this known at the NEWEST Rice Project Annual Review and Planning Meeting held at International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan.Kyetere said the goal of the project was to develop, disseminate farmer preferred, locally adapted rice varieties with enhanced nitrogen, water use efficiency and salt tolerance.
He noted that it would lead to food sufficiency, adding that food self-sufficiency in rice will redirect limited foreign exchange used to import rice.In his words, Kyetere said “there will be improved rice yields resulting in enhanced household food security and production of marketable crop surplus.”
“Also abandoned croplands will be reclaimed reducing land shortages; an additional 1.3 million tons of rice will be produced in Africa each year, reducing the current deficit by 10 per cent.”
Also speaking, Dr Mohammed Ishiaq, Director, Information and Documentation Department, National Cereal Research Institute (NCRI) emphasized that rice demand exceeded production in most Sub-Saharan
Africa. Ishiaq who represented the NCRI Executive Director, Dr Samuel Agboire, said insufficient rice production affected well-being of over 20 million smallholder farmers who depend on rice as a staple.
“Sub-Saharan Africa countries are spending more than US$5 billion annually on rice imports, rice production deficit along with large outflow of foreign exchange presents great development challenge to governments in SSA. Low yields experienced by farmers are responsible for rice imports in SSA where over 40 per cent of the rice consumed is imported. Also nitrogen deficiency has been cited as a major constraint to rice production; nitrogen is difficult to maintain when applied in lowland areas due to floods,” he said.
According to the project manager, Dr Kayode Sanni, the project started in 2008 and that the essence was to have excess rice production and reduce its importation by or before 2020.“Improving the nitrogen use efficiency of rice is one means of achieving this goal. With the utilization and application of water use efficient component, the rice will require less water and this will offer an appreciable coping mechanism against drought,” he said.Sanni noted that the project was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Scientists from AATF, National Cereal Research Institute, NCRI, Badegi, Nigeria, Crop Research Institute, CRI, Kumasi, Ghana, National Research Organisation, NARO, Uganda, Arcadia Biosciences, USA and International Centre for Tropical Agriculture, CIAT, Colombia form the team that is working on the development of this variety.

Australian Met upgrades El Nino outlook

Description: KURIAN

With the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) upgrading its outlook to ‘El Nino watch’ mode, the Indian Ocean could well hold the key to this year’s South-West monsoon here.The Indian Ocean will be watched for any sign of an evolving positive phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD).
The IOD event is comparable to El Nino-La Nina playout in the Equatorial Pacific.During a positive IOD phase, the western part of the Indian Ocean (close to South Arabian Sea) warms up setting up clouds, and boosting a concurrent Indian monsoon.The Application Laboratory of the Japanese national forecaster Jamstec has alluded to the likelihood of a positive IOD, but the BoM is not that optimistic.
Because it happens closer to the monsoon theatre, the IOD is thought to influence rainfall pattern over India than would the El Nino-La Nina in the far-away Pacific. Meanwhile, the BoM had kept away from taking a call on the El Nino, the abnormal warming in the East Equatorial Pacific with implications for global weather, but took the plunge on Tuesday.
In its updated outlook, it said that the likelihood of an El Nino developing this year has increased. It has since put its El Nino tracker back to a ‘watch’ position.It estimated the probability of the recurrence of El Nino this year at 50 per cent, despite current conditions being ‘neutral,’ the BoM said in background information.But recent changes go to elevate the probability of El Nino, it added. The Application Laboratory of the Jamstec has already come out with a similar outlook.
Both these forecasts are in dire contrast to expectations that the year 2016 was likely to be a La Nina year, which reverses El Nino conditions in the Pacific.A La Nina has often been accompanied by heavy rain and flooding in parts of India, resulting in normal to excess monsoon.
Thus far, the BoM had gone on record to emphatically rule out a La Nina this year. But it has now proceeded to upgrade the lookout to an El Nino.Meanwhile, parts of South India are bracing to receive badly needed summer showers from the weekend. Pilot showers may hit the extreme southern parts even ahead of it. This is being masterminded by the presence of a trough each to either side of the peninsula, anchored over the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal and adjoining Sri Lanka.
The showers may scale up from Saturday, grow along the East Coast of India and last for a fortnight, according to the US National Centres for Environment Prediction.The US Climate Prediction Centre is of the view that heavier rain may lash South Kerala and adjoining Tamil Nadu during March 6 to 12.

Chairman Keith Glover closes out government affairs conference

Keith Glover 
USA Rice Federation




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"We meet in Washington, D.C. three times a year, and our February session benefits from several previous days of meetings with congressional and administration officials," Subcommittee Chairman Keith Glover of Producers' Rice Mill in Stuttgart, said. "We also welcome the newly graduated Leadership Class so they can see first-hand the work of the Subcommittee and all segments of USA Rice's membership."
USA Rice's World Market Price Subcommittee met on Feb. 16, marking the unofficial last meeting of the 2017 Government Affairs Conference.
"We meet in Washington, D.C. three times a year, and our February session benefits from several previous days of meetings with congressional and administration officials," Subcommittee Chairman Keith Glover of Producers' Rice Mill in Stuttgart, said. "We also welcome the newly graduated Leadership Class so they can see first-hand the work of the Subcommittee and all segments of USA Rice's membership."
Members discussed estimates for the 2017 rice crop in anticipation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Prospective Plantings Report to be issued at the end of March. Area this year could fall as much as 15 percent from 2016's 3.15 million acres given current prices of rice and competing crops. The Subcommittee focused discussions with USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service on reporting of monthly rough rice prices. 

"Reporting of average cash prices by NASS is very important to our industry, and we continue to work with the agency and our members to get this right," Glover said.

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Representatives from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) reported on favorable developments in USA Rice's long-running efforts to have fortified rice included in U.S. food aid programs and to have private food aid organizations request fortified rice in U.S. donations.
"We met earlier this week with administration officials and representatives of the World Food Program and we're getting very close to the door opening wide for U.S. fortified rice in food aid," reported USA Rice President and CEO Betsy Ward.
FAS officials also noted the discrepancy in figures for rice exports to Mexico as reported by the Bureau of the Census, the U.S. government's official source for trade data, and figures as reported in USDA's weekly Export Sales report. Export numbers to Mexico as carried in Export Sales consistently lag those reported by Census, and all industry participants were encouraged to improve exporting reporting to USDA in line with regulatory requirements.
The subcommittee will next meet in May in Washington, D.C.