Friday, April 14, 2017

14th April,2017 daily global,regional and local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

Iraqi envoy says India deceived importers by sending rotten rice

*Karim says Iraq wants to set up gas terminals at Port Qasim and Gwadar


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KARACHI: Ambassador of Iraq in Pakistan Dr Ali Yasin Mohammed Karim has underscored the need of having twin cities agreement between Pakistan and Iraq by either declaring Karachi and Basra or Karachi and Najaf or any other city as 'twin cities' which would not only help in dealing with visa issues but will also pave the way for bringing people more close.
Exchanging views at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), the Iraqi ambassador added that declaring any city in Iraq and Karachi as twin cities will be an important step as there will be no visa issue and the people will be able to move freely between the twin cities without visas.
KCCI President Shamim Ahmed Firpo, Senior Vice President KCCI Asif Nisar, Vice President KCCI Muhammad Younus Soomro and KCCI Managing Committee members were also present on the occasion.
The Iraqi ambassador further said that some factories including 18 cement manufacturing factories were available in Iraq but they were not working properly as compared to Pakistan's advanced industrial units and infrastructure.
"As factories in Iraq need improvements, therefore the private and public sectors of Iraq and Pakistan can undertake joint ventures in all the sectors of the economy. We prefer private sector's joint ventures which are quicker as compared to joint ventures at public sector level," he added.
The Iraqi envoy said that currently Iraq was mostly buying goods from China, India and some other countries whereas Pakistan can also enhance its share and efficiently compete with Chinese and Indian products through quality control.
"Four months ago, Iraq imported hundreds of tons of rice from India and the first shipment of Indian rice was good but the second shipment was 100 percent rotten, which discouraged Iraqi importers. Subsequently, the Iraqi Embassy in Pakistan was asked to find anyone who could export rice to Iraq. This trade inquiry was forwarded from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to all Chambers of Commerce in Pakistan but nobody has answered us yet," he added.
To a query regarding trade opportunities in Iraq, Yasin stressed the need for frequent meetings between Karachi Chamber and Chambers of Commerce in Basra, Baghdad or Najaf in order to explore trade opportunities not just in the fabric market but also in other sectors as Iraq requires almost everything so the business community of Karachi should not confine itself to fabric market only.
Commenting on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the Iraqi ambassador said that Iraq was considering to establish gas terminals at Port Qasim and Gwadar worth billions of dollars. "With CPEC many ports in the region will be paralyzed and Pakistani will be a rich country whereas most of the Pakistanis residing abroad especially in the Gulf region will return to their homes", he added
Earlier, KCCI President Shamim Ahmed Firpo, while welcoming the Iraqi Ambassador, said that with improved law and order situation and upon completion of CPEC and Gwadar Port, this region is likely to attract substantial amount of foreign investment from different parts of the world whereas Iraq can also benefit from the situation by investing or undertaking joint ventures in Pakistan, particularly in Karachi

This Jerk of a Weed is Hiding in Plain Sight in a Huge Amount of the World’s Rice Fields

By Dan Nosowitz on April 11, 2017
Ken Olsen
Rice is the world's second-biggest cereal crop, and it's the most important for human consumption. Yet in a vast majority of rice operations, a harmful copycat sits right in plain sight, sucking up nutrients and infuriating farmers.
This copycat is a weed that’s extremely difficult to find, has lots of evolutionary protections to ensure its ongoing survival, and has a significant negative effect on rice crops around the world. Even in the US, where it’s less of a problem than it is elsewhere, it’s estimated to cause crop losses of more than $50 million per year. This weed is called weedy rice, and scientists are trying to figure out where it comes from—and how to fight it.
Weedy rice is in fact a form of rice. It comes in a bunch of different species, but they’re all in the same Oryza genus and therefore authentically rice plants. You can sometimes tell them apart from regular rice by its longer awns (awns are those hairs you see on grasses sometimes), or because it’s more red in color. But while technically rice, they’re no good to us: they produce very few seeds (otherwise known as grains of rice), and what they do produce is hard and unpalatable.
But weedy rice is also super frustrating. It grows comfortably amongst regular rice, and it self-propagates easily—it releases its seeds before regular rice is ready for harvest, which ensures it’ll be present the following year. It can also stay dormant for years, unlike regular rice, and the combination of that seed-release schedule and its dormancy means that weedy rice lingers in the soil of rice farms for quite a long time.
What’s worse, because weedy rice is such a close relative of regular rice, there are no available pesticides that will kill just weedy rice while leaving regular rice alone. Because it’s such a worthy adversary, it’s found in huge percentages of rice fields worldwide: it’s in up to 75 percent of fields in Europe, more than half in parts of West Africa and Latin America, and up to 80 percent in Cuba.
“Control of weedy rice plants is much more difficult than that carried out on other weeds because of the great morphological variability, particular growth behaviour, and high biological affinity with cultivated varieties,” writes Aldo Ferrero for the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.
A new study from Washington University in St. Louis attempts to find out more about these pests by conducting what they call “an adventure” to see where they come from. What they found out is that two known strains of weedy rice, though they evolved independently, evolved in a similar way.
Weedy rice, the study finds, is a natural and frustrating evolution of regular, domesticated rice. After looking into the precise changes in the plant’s DNA, researchers found that it takes comparatively few changes for rice to evolve into weedy rice. “It’s different genomic islands in each weed type,” said Kenneth Olsen, the lead author of the paper, in a press release. “So changing a crop into a weed doesn’t take many genetic changes and it can occur through different genetic mechanisms.” In other words, rice just sort of…does this. It has a natural proclivity to becoming an incredibly frustrating weed.
This particular study was aimed at learning more about weedy rice, but that’s the first step to figuring out how to stop it because at the moment, there’s really no effective way to fight i

End in Sight for Colombia's Restrictions on U.S. Paddy 

ARLINGTON, VA -- It's been a long journey with too many delays, but the government of Colombia looks close to removing longstanding import restrictions on U.S. paddy.  Colombian plant health officials have acknowledged to their U.S. counterparts that the fungal disease Tilletia Horrida is present in Colombia.  The presence of this disease in U.S. rice country has been used as an excuse by Colombia to restrict imports of U.S. rough rice to only the port of Barranquilla and processing in surrounding mills, and to require fumigation of the cargo before shipment.  

"This discovery removes the scientific basis for Colombia's current import restrictions," said USA Rice COO Bob Cummings.  "Colombian officials should now take this evidence from their own study and move forward to remove the restrictions."  

U.S. officials have told USA Rice that Colombia will review and revise the import regulations on U.S. paddy, with estimated completion this summer.  

"The U.S. rice industry will continue to support and assist U.S. officials in Washington and Bogota in what we see as the final push to open fully the market in Colombia as soon as possible," concluded Cummings. 

Since the enactment of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, Colombia has emerged as a consistent and strong market for, primarily, U.S. long grain milled and paddy rice.  Sales in 2016 were 139,985 MT valued at $58.2 million.  The trade agreement provides for an increasing amount of U.S. rice to enter Colombia under annual duty-free tariff rate quotas (TRQ) until Colombia's import duties phase out completely in 2030.  In 2017, 98,448 MT of U.S. rice can enter duty free; rice imports over that amount pay an 80-percent duty.   

As an added benefit, state rice research boards receive one-half of the revenue received from auctioning off import licenses under each year's TRQ.  In 2016, more than $13 million was distributed to the six rice states to support research.

What to do with leftover roast lamb from Easter

Second helping: give leftovers a new lease of life CREDIT: STOCKFOOD

If you’re serving lamb for Easter lunch you may be looking for inspiration when it comes to any leftovers. Here are two great recipes to try.

Lamb – it’s not just the perfect choice for Easter lunch – it’s a versatile meat that can be easily transformed into a whole range of different dishes.
For a flavoursome lamb curry, gently fry a finely chopped onion over a medium heat in a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Grate in a 2cm piece of peeled fresh ginger and two finely chopped garlic cloves. Stir together and cook until fragrant. Add another tablespoon of oil and a tablespoon of curry powder. Gently cook for about a minute, then add 350g roughly diced leftover lamb. Stir to coat the meat, then add 250ml stock and any leftover gravy.
Lamb can be easily transformed into a whole range of different dishes
Add a tablespoon of tomato purée and a handful of Tesco finest* Piccolo Cherry Tomatoes, and cook gently until the liquid reduces and you have a thick curry. Stir in a tablespoon of Tesco finest* Greek Yogurt and a tablespoon of finely chopped fresh coriander, and serve with Tesco finest* Basmati Rice.Or for lamb tacos, heat a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over a high heat and stir-fry your diced lamb leftovers until slightly crisp. Remove from the pan and shred the meat using two forks. Make a salsa by chopping up a handful of Tesco finest* Piccolo Cherry Tomatoes and mixing with chopped fresh coriander and half a red onion. Season with salt, pepper and a dash of Tabasco. Set aside.
To make guacamole, roughly mash one or two avocados with a splash of lime juice, a pinch of salt and a clove of crushed or chopped garlic. Add chopped coriander to taste.
Pile the lamb into some tacos (or warm corn or flour tortillas). Top with the salsa and the guacamole, add a little sour cream and serve with pickled jalapeno chillies.

Easter lamb wrap tip

Stir 1-2tsp harissa paste into 4-6tbsp mayonnaise. Warm up some wraps. Pile on leftover lamb, harissa mayonnaise, dill pickles sliced lengthways, shredded lettuce and plenty of chopped flat-leaf parsley. Drizzle with a little tahini. Season. Serve with Tesco finest* Pomegranate Tabbouleh.
Enjoy the finest Easter
Easter is almost here and with it four lovely days of relaxing, food and fun.
To help you make the most of the holiday, the Telegraph has partnered with Tesco finest* to help you have your best Easter yet.
For simple and delicious recipes, clever Easter food hacks, and brilliant ideas for days out and indoors, visit