Thursday, May 04, 2017

4th May,2017 daily global regional local national rice e-newseltter by riceplus magazine

Self sufficiency, rice security: not either-or

posted May 04, 2017 at 12:01 am by Rudy Romero

The choice of an appropriate national rice policy is currently being presented to Filipinos, debate-style, as a choice between food security (taking all existing ricelands out of rice production and leaving it to other countries to supply this country’s total rice requirement) and self-sufficiency in this staple of the Filipino diet. On one side, it is being asked why the Philippines has to strive for self-sufficiency when other countries – notably other Southeast Asian nations – can supply rice to this country at prices more advantageous for Filipino consumers. On the other side it is being argued that the Philippine rice industry is capable of attaining national self-sufficiency if only the government would provide Filipino rice farmers with support adequate for efficient production.
The presentation of the national rice-policy choice as one between food security and self-sufficiency is characterized by falsity. The issue is not as simple as that. It is not as facile a matter as this country’s having to choose between leaving it to other countries to make Filipinos rice-secure and its striving to produce its entire rice requirement.
A country whose production of a commodity falls short of the national requirement will buy it from other countries. That is a given. Of course, in the case of the Philippines’ rice-supply record, given is spelled with a G: during the two decades the Philippines has been either the No. 1 or the No. 2 rice importer in the world. The way things look, the Philippines’ being a major rice importer is likely to remain a fact of international life for some time to come.
Those on the food-security side of the debate (1) are asking why this country should strive for rice self-sufficiency when other countries can fill its rice requirement and (2) are proposing that the government resources devoted to rice production be diverted to other, public uses. Why continue to prop up Filipino rice growers, they are asking, when Thai, Vietnamese and other East Asian rice farmers can produce the staple at lower cost. It is the anti-self-sufficiency group’s firm belief that the Filipino consumers’ welfare will not be imperiled if the government were to withdraw its support from the rice industry.
Sound economic policymaking does dictate that, when an industry is generally inefficient and uncompetitive, whatever support it receives from the government must be gradually phased out and diverted to more beneficial uses. But here lie the flaws in the anti-self-sufficiency group’s position.
Not all of the Philippine rice industry is inefficient. Many parts of the 3 million hectares of land planted to rice and corn are high-yield areas. Chief among these are the Cagayan Valley, Nueva Ecija, Central Mindoro, Iloilo, the Bicol River basin and Central and Southern Mindanao. These were the areas that the late Secretary (later Minister of Agriculture) Arturo Tanco identified with the foreign aid agencies as the nation’s highest yielding areas for purposes of the Masagana 99 rice program. Adequately supported with irrigation and other production inputs – especially credit and agricultural extension services – these growing areas can again produce rice sufficient to feed the Filipino people.
But that’s just the point. The Philippine rice industry – and the companion corn industry – have not been receiving the production support conducive to the attainment of the highest possible yields. Before jettisoning the Philippine rice industry and placing the nation’s food security in the hands of Vietnamese and Thai farmers, the anti-self-sufficiency folk should go out to the countryside and talk to the rice farmers.
This discussion begs the question: Are rice self-sufficiency and food security mutually exclusive? Must it be an either-or situation? What is so terrible about being able to achieve rice self-sufficiency?
I fail to see how rice self-sufficiency and food security can be incompatible with one another. Given the kind of support that the governments of countries like Thailand and Vietnam – translation: full support – I see no reason why the Philippine rice industry cannot perform as well as its counterparts in those countries and thereby make the Filipino people food-secure. Masagana 99 showed that it can. Fully supported, today’s Filipino rice farmers can reprise that program.
 Finally, two thoughts about the imports that domestic production deficits render necessary. News about impending rice imports have the predictable effect of bringing down the prices that Filipino rice farmers are paid for their outputs. And imports undertaken by the National Food Authority – currently the only means of importing rice – have become classic generators of corruption.

Why a Hong Kong plant scientist with a biofuel research breakthrough has to leave for greener pastures

Lydia Lam Pui-ying will further her study at Kyoto University in Japan
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 May, 2017, 6:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 May, 2017, 6:00am
Hong Kong and Japanese scientists have discovered a new way to make biofuel from rice straw, which may offer a cheaper alternative to chemical methods currently employed.
However, due to a lack of research opportunities in the city, a leading scientist in the study will have to seek support elsewhere.
Lydia Lam Pui-ying, a research assistant at the University of Hong Kong, spent three years studying tricin, a special component in the cells of cereal plants, paving the way for publication of the final study in scientific journal Plant Physiology.
The 29-year-old researcher said she committed herself to plant science in secondary school but, after obtaining a bachelor’s degree and a doctorate at HKU, she found it difficult to develop a career in her home city.
“To be honest, there is no way forward as a plant scientist in Hong Kong, which is very unfortunate,” Lam said.
“Many [science] students here have published papers in prominent journals, but most of them were not able to stay in the research field.”
In September, Lam will start her postdoctoral fellowship at Kyoto University, where she will continue her work on plant cell research and the production of biofuel.
In the study published last month, Lam and her colleagues from HKU and Kyoto found that energy production from rice straw could be increased by 37 per cent after inhibiting the production of tricin in the plant.
The process, involving genetic engineering, makes it easier to break down cellulose – an organic compound in plant cells – into glucose, which is then used to produce ethanol.
Plant biochemist Clive Lo Sze-chung, another core member of the study, said the technology may replace the costly chemical method being used today.
 “The most important thing is that we managed to increase glucose yield without hurting rice production,” Lo said. “We hope some companies will come to cooperate with us, so we can apply this technology on a larger scale.”
The same strategy may also be used on other crops such as maize and sorghum, he added.
“Every plant cell has cellulose,” Lo said. “If we can extract it in an efficient way, it will become a major source of clean energy.”
Biofuel production was a hot topic for scientific research globally, but in Hong Kong plant scientists were struggling to get funding and jobs due to a lack of research programmes and biotech companies, the researchers said.
“Hong Kong is relatively weak in science, especially plant science,” Lam said.
“It is understandable because we don’t have an agricultural industry, but I hope the city can make progress in the future.”
Lo, who also teaches Lam at the university, said he encourages young scientists to gain international experience, but the government should also create opportunities for those who want to stay.
“Compared with medical research, we don’t have much resources in plant science,” he said.
“If the government can increase its support, we will be able to get more local students to work in this field.”
A spokesman for the Innovation and Technology Bureau said that the government had put in place various programmes to support research and development in Hong Kong.
New initiatives included the development of a technology park, which would attract leading institutions and bring science talents to the city, he added.

Delta Research Center - Problem Solving for More Than One Hundred Years 

STONEVILLE, MS -- The Delta Research and Extension Center (DREC), located here in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, is a component of Mississippi State University's Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine focusing the majority of its attention on research and extension activities in rice, cotton, corn, soybeans, and catfish production. 

The physical facilities and scope of research programs have increased since the station's inception in 1904.  DREC now covers about 4,700 acres total, including approximately 200 acres of federally-owned land.  Row crops are grown on about 1,800 acres, and soil types vary from very fine sandy loams to heavy clays making the research at DREC applicable to producers in a variety of soil environments. 

Research and extension faculty work cooperatively to solve crop and aquaculture production problems and relay new solutions to producers.  DREC strives to increase yields of commercial agriculture producers while also preserving the country's natural resources and environment. 

"Our mission here at DREC is to provide producers with the most current information needed to make informed decisions on their farms to maximize profitability and sustainability," said Dr. Jeffery Gore, entomology research professor at Mississippi State University.  "By transferring new research information and technology through extension education activities and methods we are able to focus on both the short and long term concerns of producers."For example, Read Kelly, a Masters student under Dr. Gore, has concentrated his studies on the impacts of insect pests in rice.  "Dr. Gore and I are doing research on the impacts of insects such as the rice stink bug, rice water weevil, and fall armyworm on rice yields as well as the optimal methods of management for these pests," said Kelly.  "The majority of my studies analyze the impact of water conservation and management practices on rice water weevil populations and control." Another area of DREC's research focuses on pollinators.  "We are also doing a lot of research to evaluate the occurrence of managed pollinators in rice fields throughout the mid-south to determine the potential impact of pesticide use," Kelly added.  "It is important that researchers and farmers continue to work together to discover the best methods of treating the decline in pollinator populations and promote solutions that will benefit the insects as well as the farmers."
The work at DREC has had positive implications for producers across the mid-south and the country at large and research conducted here is a tangible example of the benefits that land-grant institutions such as Mississippi State University provide to not only producers, but consumers around the world by discovering innovative methods of producing safe, sustainable, and affordable sources of food and fiber. 

Zulfikar Thaver

The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) greeted Shahid Rashid the chairman of Intellectual Property Organization (IPO) on' World IPO Day' and complimented him on his dedicated work on the geographical indications (GI) issue and invited his attention to the other issues faced by the sector due to lack of prompt action on the part of the policy makers. The basmati rice issue calls for the immediate attention of the IPO..

President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver appreciated the efforts of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) for celebrating World IPO Day on 2nd May 2017 but was disheartened when the issues were not openly discussed at the forum and no question and answers session was held. Much time was spent on speeches and distribution of shields to the guest by the host and by the guests to the host. This practice of distributing shields must end. The shields must be given only for outstanding contribution to the cause of the business community. The participants were expecting an update on the GI approved draft which is on the threshold of becoming a law.

Thaver said the speech of the chief guest the governor of. Sindh Muhammad Zubair was really encouraging and inspiring. The governor assured his full support and expressed his availability for the business community. He recognized the importance of IP rights as a tool for promotion of entrepreneurship and foreign direct investment.

Thaver said there is no IPO tribunal operating in Sindh although there are two operating in Punjab.The aggrieved have to go to the high court which takes many years to conclude due to heavy burden of cases.

Secondly he said the basmati rice case is in the high court under appeal as although the learned registrar gave an exhaustive 92 page order on the subject of basmati trade mark ownership, the stakeholders were compelled to move the high court and the matter is now in the high court. The basmati issue demands an urgent decision as the HC will take time to decide. In the meantime it is urged that all the cases need to be transferred to the tribunal, which could decide faster.

Thirdly he said the IPO needs to work closely with the trade associations and the different chambers of commerce and industry to enlighten them on the subject of IP rights, trademarks, copyrights, designs and patents. The associations must also make efforts for the protection of the rights of their members and educate them on the subject.

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Wheat demand to touch 140 mt by 2050: ICAR

The demand for wheat in the country will reach 140 million tonnes (MT) by 2050, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research has said.I S Solanki, ADG, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) said here that he country has so far recorded unprecedented growth in wheat production.
Solanki was delivering the keynote address at the memorial in Hisar on the birth anniversary of Rao Bahadur Dr Ramdhan Singh, a noted plant breeder.The crop yield, which in 1912-13 was only 790 kg per hectare has increased to 3,197 kg per hectare in 2016-17.
“But in future, intensive efforts will need to be made as national productivity of wheat has to be increased to 46 quintal/ha to produce 140 million tonnes of wheat from the available land,” he said.
Highlighting the challenges facing wheat production, he called upon agricultural scientists to develop new wheat varieties which apart from being heat tolerant and resistant to diseases and pests, are water efficient.He also emphasised the need to bridge the existing yield gap between the different zones of the country.
Solanki said there is a need to develop wheat varieties with at least seven tonnes per hectare of yield for the north-western plain zone of the country.
Paying tributes to Ramdhan Singh, he said that the scientists and students should draw inspiration from the legendary scientist and work hard to contribute in providing food and nutritional security to the country.K P Singh, Vice Chancellor, CCSHAU, in his presidential remarks said that with the burgeoning population, the number of vegetarians is also increasing.
Underlining the achievements of Ramdhan Singh as a plant breeder, he said that today India is a leading exporter of basmati rice.
This has been developed from the basmati 370 variety developed by Ramdhan Singh. He said Ramdhan Singh had developed 25 improved varieties of wheat, rice, barley and pulses in his life which resulted in unprecedented increase in food production in the Indian sub-continent.
(This article was published on May 2, 2017)

Rice monopoly on hold

May 2, 2017 OBSERVER media

A controversial deal involving the importation and distribution of bulk rice and sugar has been halted on the intervention of Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
The Central Marketing Corporation (CMC) was expected to become the sole importer of both commodities through a partnership with a private company, BOAD Aggregates Limited, with which the son of the country’s attorney general is affiliated.
Sparks flared on the weekend when details of the agreement were disclosed via the media.
Browne acknowledged the concern indicating the management of the corporation has been advised to not go forward with the deal until the concerns are addressed.
 “I understand that there are some concerns and we have since placed the deal on hold until we can get further and better particulars,” he said.
 “The intent here is not to preclude existing suppliers of rice and other products from importing. My understanding of the intent was to deal specifically with basmati rice and to have the unfinished product imported to Antigua and to have the polishing take place here …,” the PM said.
Based on documents obtained by OBSERVER media, BOAD has proposed to supply CMC with a minimum of 100 tonnes of rice each month — the equivalent of four 20-foot containers — and 100 tonnes of sugar.
However, CMC indicated in the draft document that it would not be able to achieve the feat without a full monopoly on the importation of rice in Antigua.     
CMC also presented similar concerns over the quantity of sugar, which BOAD presented in its draft agreement.
The statutory corporation also warned that there would be serious negative political implications for the current administration “especially at this critical stage of its tenure, should a monopoly be granted”.
Both parties had agreed to have follow-up talks to address the concerns.

(More in today’s Daily Observer)

Vietnam’s Jan-April rice exports fall to 9-year low – govt

Despite falling shipments and a smaller crop, Vietnamese rice prices remained stable over the past month and were cheaper than Thai rice.
Vietnam exported an estimated 1.84 million tons of the grain in the first four months of this year, down nearly 9 percent from a year ago and the lowest volume for the same period in nine years, the government said.
April shipments were estimated at 550,000 tons from the world’s third largest rice exporter, up 21 percent from a year ago and similar to March when volume hit its highest monthly level in a year, the General Statistics Office said in its monthly report released at the weekend.
January-April’s shipment volume was the lowest since 2008, based on government data.
Low export volume in the first two months of 2017 pulled down the four-month average. Vietnam exported 337,000 tons in January and 402,700 tons in February, below the monthly average of 409,000 tons last year, based on government statistics.
A U.S. Department of Agriculture report late last month said preferential import taxes in Eastern European countries and Russia and an extended supply agreement with the Philippines may help boost Vietnam’s rice exports this year by around 9 percent to 6 million tons.
Smaller harvest
The Mekong Delta food basket has finished harvesting its key winter-spring rice crop, with paddy output easing 2 percent from last year to 9.8 million tons, the statistics office said.
Rice being dried in the Mekong Delta. Photo by VnExpress/Cuu Long
The agriculture ministry blamed higher rainfall for the lower output.
The winter-spring crop is the delta’s largest among the three crops it grows each year, and most of the grain is exported.
Despite a slightly smaller crop, Vietnam’s rice export prices stood stable at the end of last month and were cheaper than Thai grain. The Vietnamese benchmark 5-percent broken grade stood at $350 a ton, free-on-board (FOB) Saigon Port, little changed from $347-$350 at the end of March.
Thai rice of similar grade stood at $360-$375 a ton, FOB Bangkok, at the end of April, Reuters cited Thai traders as saying, while the Thai Rice Exporters Association priced the 5-percent broken grade at $387 a ton on April 26, FOB basis, up 3.5 percent from a month ago.

Plans to introduce contract farming to 300,000 acres of farmland introduced

Submitted by Eleven on Wed, 05/03/2017 - 15:17
Writer: Nilar

Plans are underway to introduce contract farming into 300,000 acres of farmlands, in order to grow monsoon and paddy for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, said an official from the Myanmar Rice Industry.
Myanmar expected to export 2 million tonnes of rice to foreign markets during 2017-2018 fiscal year. So to meet this expectation, contract farming and integrated farming methods must be developed on a basis of joint venture, Ye Min Aung, the general secretary of MRI, said.
The MRI is required to negotiate with the farmers from different regions to introduce contract farming. It is expected that the monsoon and summer paddy will be grown on 300,000 acres of farmland on a basis of contract farming during 2017-2018 fiscal years. The monsoon paddy will be about 150,000 acres and the rest will be summer paddy, Ye Min Aung said.He added that the MRI would develop contract farming system through systematic techniques to help support the agriculture sector.
Myanmar managed to export more than 1 million tonnes of rice to foreign countries over the last five years. The MRI expected that it would earn US$700 million, with export volume reaching 2 million tonnes of rice.
Rice exports reached 1.4 million tonnes during 2015-2016 fiscal year and 1.7 million tonnes in the 2016-2017 fiscal year. Myanmar is expected to earn US$1 billion from rice exports by 2022.

Soggy fields slow start of rice planting


Issue Date: May 3, 2017
By Ching Lee
Yuba County rice farmer Keith Davis examines a chunk of wet soil from a field in Marysville he was trying to prepare for planting last week. Soggy weather in April kept many Sacramento Valley farmers from working their ground, resulting in a late start to the planting season. 
Photo/Ching Lee
Time is running out for California rice farmers whose fields remain too wet for planting.All last month, the Sacramento Valley should have been buzzing with tractors working the ground in preparation for seeding. Instead, soggy weather kept many farmers twiddling their thumbs or biting their nails as they waited for their fields to dry out."It's really getting nerve-racking at this point," Yuba County farmer Keith Davis said.Most of the ground he farms on the east side of the valley was "still too wet to do anything with," he said, so he's focusing on a small area where the soil is lighter and he can begin turning it. But his fields with red clay dirt in the lower foothills were "extremely wet" and needed more drying time.
Spring rains have caused planting delays in the past, Davis noted, but they were usually followed by drying periods long enough for farmers to get in the field. This year, fields were so saturated that growers didn't have that opportunity, he added.Typically, his fields would have been planted by May 15, but Davis said that date is "almost unreachable now." The final planting date for California rice is June 1, after which farmers with crop insurance could seek compensation for prevented planting. Trying to plant after June 1 is considered risky because it pushes harvest into the rainy fall season, which could hurt yield and quality if the crop gets soaked.
Mike DeWit, who farms rice in Yolo and Sutter counties, said he's tried planting as late as June and "got burned," so he won't take that gamble again. Without crop insurance, he said he'd be "real stressed out and a mess right now," as the indemnity helps pay the rent when he can't grow a crop. In a down market year such as this, he said "it's not a bad option to have."
He already knows he won't be able to plant 50 percent of his acreage—land in the Yolo Bypass that's still underwater. On his drier ground, he started some field work last week; normally, he would have started on April 1. If weather cooperates, he said he hopes to get his first field planted by the week of May 22.
"We're going to be under the gun and may bunch the planting up more than we'd like to," he said.
The bunching could result in other delays. Irrigation districts with small canals and outlets are not able to deliver water to fields all at once, Davis said, noting that it could take 20 to 30 days to put water in fields before they could be seeded. Farmers may also be standing in line for agricultural planes that seed their fields. On the back end, DeWit said delayed planting could result in a logjam at rice dryers in the fall if farmers try to harvest at the same time.
California farmers are expected to plant 539,000 acres of rice this year, down from 541,000 in 2016, according to a prospective plantings report released in March by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The department reported that zero acres had been planted in the state as of the week ending April 30.
With the adobe clay soil he farms in Butte County, grower Matt Tennis said he'll be lucky to get 50 percent of his crop planted this year. He's already made the decision to switch to growing a short-season variety because of the narrow planting window he has left. As of last week, his ground was still too wet to do any work and he said he likely wouldn't start until the end of this week.
Field preparation takes time and patience, he said, as several passes are needed to work up the soil, level the ground and produce a good seed bed.
"We don't have an unlimited number of tractors sitting in a barn ready to go out and get it all done," he said. "By the time we can get in the ground, we would've lost one month."
With the late start, Tennis said he wants to plant as much as he can, but conditions must be right so he could do a good job."If you cut corners and slam your crop in, you're going to have greater weed pressure and undesirable yield," he said. "This is not the kind of year where I'd want to cut corners in planting my rice crop."
Not all areas of the valley were as sopping wet. In Colusa County, farmer Mark Sutton has made some progress, having started working his fields early last week. He said he expects to be finished planting by the second week of June, as long as he doesn't have any more rain. Unlike growers farming along the river bypass and dealing with floodwaters, Sutton said his biggest problem has been with spring rains, but he noted most of his fields are now dry enough."We're a week behind, but it's not the end of the world," he said. "Farmers who plant earlier varieties are in a lot worse spot than we are, because their planting window is right now."
Because a late-planted crop is usually also smaller, Sutton said he hopes prices will improve to counter what may be lower yields this fall.
If the weather warms up and stays dry from here on out, Glenn County grower Larry Maben said he thinks he can have everything planted by June 1. His fields are drying slowly and he's about two weeks behind schedule.
"It will definitely affect the yield, but it's not necessarily going to be a tragedy," he said. "I've gotten good yields planted late in the season."
With the current weak market, Maben said farmers are "pretty close to break-even" at this point. Those who watch their production costs "should be able to perhaps turn a profit," he said, but much will depend on whether they have reduced yields.
Because it's so late, Maben said he expects some farmers will skip a step or two to try to save fuel and time.Rather than waiting for one field to dry out, Davis, who also grows wild rice in Yuba County, is allowing wild-rice volunteers to establish in that field as an experiment. He said he's never done this before and is not sure it will produce a viable crop, but with his planting window closing, he said if the experiment works, he will be better off than planting nothing on that ground.
Despite their early struggles, farmers agree their year may still turn out fine. Get some 75- to 80-degree temperatures and some north winds blowing, and fields will dry out quickly, Davis said."We could have an ideal growing season from today until the middle of September and have perfect harvesting conditions, and then nobody will even think about the planting date," DeWit said.
(Ching Lee is an assistant editor of Ag Alert. She may be contacted at

Egypt has contracted to import 20,000 tonnes of Indian rice

Wed May 3, 2017 5:23pm GMT

CAIRO May 3 (Reuters) - Egypt, traditionally a rice exporter, has contracted to purchase 20,000 tonnes of Indian rice, a cabinet statement said on Wednesday.The government statement did not explain why it had contracted to buy the rice. But in December, the government had said it would import rice after cancelling a tender to buy locally produced rice when the bidding companies all offered higher prices than the government had asked for.
Egypt's 2016 rice paddy production is estimated at 5.1 million metric tonnes versus annual consumption of about 3.95 million tonnes, a United States Department of Agriculture report in October stated.
In March, the government reached an agreement with private rice mills to produce white rice, potentially ending a standoff over the buying price of last year's crop that has led to millions of tonnes of paddy sitting idle since the harvest.
The supply ministry said at the time it had agreed to pay private mills 6.3 Egyptian pounds ($0.3784) per kilogram of white rice, which the government would then sell at its outlets for 6.5 Egyptian pounds. (Reporting by Ehab Farouk; writing by Amina Ismail. Editing by Jane Merriman)

NO To Fixing Rice Prices In Costa Rica

By Rico on 3 May 2017
Costa Rica needs about 20,062 tons of rice caught per month and has a consumption of 49.82 kgs per person per year, according to Conarroz figures.

Costa Rica needs about 20,062 tons of rice caught per month and has a consumption of 49.82 kgs per person per year, according to Conarroz figures. Photo Édgar Chinchilla, La Nacion
Q COSTA RICA – The Comisión para la Promoción de la Competencia (Coprocom) – Commission for the Promotion of Competition) – is opposed to the fixing of grain prices, the only commodity in the country whose price is established by decree

Although Corporación Arrocera Nacional (Conarroz) continues to insist on the negative effect of freeing up the price of rice, Coprocom is maintaining its stance against the measure, arguing that it has not served to increase the volume produced or improve the productivity of the rice reports, “…In a statement of April 20, the Commission reiterated to the Ministry of Economy Industry and Commerce (MEIC) the position it has maintained since 1998, as regards the inconvenience of maintaining the fixing of rice prices … in addition, it pronounced itself against the setting of minimum prices to the consumer, a measure that has been applied since 2013 and which, according to Coprocom, harms consumers in acquiring an essential product in the Costa Rican basket.”
The Coprocom is an agency of the MEIC, but its role is totally independent.The measure, fixing prices by decree, has been questioned by some countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO),  an intergovernmental organization which regulates international trade, as it is described as a subsidy or transfer of resources from the consumer to the producer.Rice is the product most demanded in Costa Rica. Some 20,062 tons are required per month and has a consumption of 49.82 kilos per person per year, according to Conarroz figures.The government of Costa Rica, by Executive Decree, set the producer price and the minimum and maximum consumer price for different presentations (packaging) and qualities of milled rice, either locally produced or imported.

The decree also sets the price for all the available rice qualities in the market. For instance, it sets the price for
milled rice packaged in 46 kg bags for a rice qualities of 80/20 (80 percent whole grain and 20 percent broken grain) and lower. It also sets the price per kg for those qualities of rice, and does the same for other rice qualities such as 90/10 all the way to 99/1.

The decree further limits market competition by indicating: “it is considered contrary to price regulation, any commercial practice which tries to change the intentions of the legislator in this matter; some of these practices are: attaching of additional products, raffles, promotions, offers or similar practices; the above because the regulation has the goal of strengthening the proper functioning of the rice market, searching for a balance between the producer, the consumer, and the millers, according to article 50 of the Political Constitution”

Kogi woos World Bank, wants to become largest rice producer in North Central

Mr Kehinde Oloruntoba, the state Commissioner for Agriculture
The Kogi Government has appealed to the World Bank, through its FADAMA III AF intervention project, to facilitate the state’s plans to become the largest producer of rice in North Central Nigeria. Mr Kehinde Oloruntoba, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, made the appeal on Tuesday when he received the Mid-Term Review Mission Team of the World Bank/FGN on Fadama III Additional Financing (AF) Project in Lokoja.
He said that the appeal became imperative in view of the enormous agricultural potential of the state, coupled with the myriad opportunities that were currently being wasted.
Oloruntoba said that the intervention would also enable the state to attain its desired target of becoming the largest producer of rice in the North Central geopolitical zone, while addressing youth unemployment.
“We have just completed some arrangements with a private investor who will be establishing a rice mill, capable of milling 50 tonnes of rice per day, at Omi in Yagba West Local Government Area of the state.”
“The Federal Government has also pledged to set up another rice mill with the same capacity in Ibaji and so, we must upscale our rice cultivation to produce paddy rice to feed these mills,” he said.
Oloruntoba appealed to the team to urgently consider the request, adding that the state government had already mobilised all the stakeholders to provide all the necessary logistics for the venture.“We need the intervention because the resources that are available to the state may not be enough to pursue the project but if we have intervention from the World Bank and other development partners, we would be able to actualise all our rice development plans,” he said.
Earlier, Dr Adetunji Oredipe, the Task Team Leader, Fadama III AF, said that the mid-term review mission team was in the state to re-assess the intervention programme, with a view to finding pragmatic solutions to the challenges facing the programme.
Besides, Oredipe said that Kogi had signed a subsidiary agreement to access a 20-million-U.S.-dollar facility but had thus far drawn only three million dollars for its intervention projects.
He, however, said that a new window of opportunity to access the funds had opened with the extension of the programme by eight months for the benefit of the north-eastern states which were hitherto ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency.
He solicited the support of the Kogi Government for the success of the Fadama III AF in the state by waiving the new order compelling all the Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to operate a Single Treasury Account (TSA).
He added that the practice would impede progress of the programme.
Oredipe said the four-day mid-term review would enable the team to address issues regarding the perceptible successes or glitches of the FADAMA III AF programme in the state and identify specific areas that required modifications or outright overhaul.

Rice planting starts early with eye to rain

3 May 2017 at 09:48 3,373 viewed1 comments

Water has been discharged into the irrigation system at Bang Ban district of Ayutthaya province on Tuesday. (Photo by Sunthon Pongpao)
The rice farming season in the lower Chao Phraya River basin has started early this year to allow paddy fields there to retain water during the rainy season once this harvest is out the way, according to the Department of Royal Irrigation.

Sanchai Ketworrachai, chief of the Department of Royal Irrigation, said the department is ready to discharge water from the dams to irrigate rice fields in 12 lower-lying areas along the lower Chao Phraya River basin, in Ayutthaya, Chai Nat, Ang Thong, Sing Buri, Lop Buri and Pathum Thani provinces.
The rice planting season started on May 1, instead of being traditionally held after the Royal Ploughing Ceremony, which this year falls on May 12.

The department wanted to replicate the success it had in starting the planting season early in Phitsanulok's Bang Rakam, a low-lying area where farmers began planting rice last month. The harvest is expected in July. The plan hopes to avoid any possible damage caused by potential flooding in the rainy season.
Water has been released into the irrigation system to support 1.15 million rai in the lower Chao Phraya River basin, he said. According to the plan, the harvest can be done in August, which can prevent the yield loss from heavy flood happening during September and October.

After the harvest, the paddy fields can become water retention zones, called kaem ling or monkey cheeks,  during the rainy season. This hopes to avoid the impact of heavy rain in urban areas, including big cities such as Pathum Thani and Bangkok, which were severely hit by floods in 2011.