Tuesday, May 16, 2017

16th may 2017 daily global regional local national rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

Coloured rice is under the microscope as medical students investigate health benefits

To partake in the study contact email Esther Callcott at ecallcott
By Cara Jeffery
Charles Sturt University researchers Esther Callcott and Kiara Thompson are investigating the health benefits of coloured rice.

(ABC Rural: Cara Jeffery)
The health benefits of coloured rice are being investigated by PhD students at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga.
Purple, black, red and brown rice are under the microscope to see if they can inhibit obesity and its related diseases. Medical research students at CSU's Functional Grains Centre, Kiara Thompson and Esther Callcott, need participants for their study, which could lead to a new coloured rice industry in Australia."The seed coats of coloured rice are rich in antioxidants and our aim is to test the role of these chemical compounds in reducing blood clotting, inflammation and chemical damage to cells in overweight or obese people and in those who have type 2 diabetes," Ms Callcott said.
CSU medical researchers Kiara Thompson and Esther Callcott investigate the health benefits of coloured rice in the Charles Sturt University Functional Grains Centre laboratory.
(ABC Rural: Cara Jeffery)
The researchers are seeking people to partake in the study who are aged 18 to 65 and are overweight or have type 2 diabetes, non-smokers, who are not pregnant and who do not suffer any chronic diseases.
Participants will be asked to complete a health and food questionnaire, body measurement, and give a sample of blood.
"Once we receive the participants blood sample we will add the coloured rice extract and we will perform multiple tests," Ms Thompson said.
"We'll perform specific testing in regards to inflammation and cardiovascular diseases. They are tests that you would normally not get done at your doctors and the participants will receive all of their results at the end of the trial."

Coloured rice samples being used in research at Charles Sturt University Functional Grains Centre at Wagga Wagga by medical researchers Kiara Thompson and Esther Callcott who are investigating the health benefits of coloured rice.
The results of the research will be relayed to NSW Department of Primary Industries rice breeding program, which provided the rice varieties for the study.
"Hopefully they use the information to breed coloured rice varieties that contain therapeutic levels of bioactive compounds, which can then be grown on a commercial scale and made available to consumers in Australia," she said.

USA Rice Promotes Medium Grain to Supermarket Chains in Japan 

TOKYO, JAPAN -- Co-Operative Grocer Chain (CGC) Japan, a cooperative chain of 220 middle to small size supermarkets with more than 4,000 individual member stores nationwide, sponsored an exhibition last month to introduce their members to new food products and U.S. medium grain rice was one of the featured rice items.   

"CGC actually developed an original bag for U.S. medium grain and recently started experimental sales at selected supermarkets," said Hugh Maginnis, USA Rice vice president international.  "Their 5kg bag of U.S. medium grain features menu pictures designed to teach consumers that U.S. medium grain is actually a good table rice."

U.S. rice is gaining momentum in both the retail and foodservice markets in Japan.  "For instance, Costco Japan started stocking U.S. medium grain rice," said Maginnis.  

U.S. rice for commercial use in Japan enters through the restrictive Simultaneous-Buy-Sell (SBS) system which makes it difficult to develop consistent, long-term marketing plans in Japan.  The SBS system is limited to no more than 100,000 MT annually from all origins.

Maginnis concluded, "Further reforms would make it easier for Japanese consumers to access imported rice and would likely have a positive effect on demand for rice imports in both the retail and foodservice sectors in Japan."

Upcoming Rice Field Days 

Mark your calendar and plan to attend the event in your area. 
May 25 -- Vermilion Parish Field Day
4:00 p.m. -- Lounsberry Farm, Hwy 14 East, Lake Arthur, LA
Contact:  Andrew Granger, AGranger@agcenter.lsu.edu

May 31 - Southwest Louisiana Rice Field Day
8:00 a.m. - Fenton Coop and Hoppe Farms, Fenton, LA
Contact:  Frances Guidry, fbellard@agcenter.lsu.edu

June 1 - Evangeline Parish Rice Field Tour
7:45 a.m. -- Bieber Farms, Mamou, LA
Contact:  Todd Fontenot, JTFontenot@agcenter.lsu.edu 

June 14 -- Acadia Parish and Rice Research Station South Farm Field Day
8:00 a.m. -- LSU AgCenter Rice Research South Farm, Hwy 13 South, Crowley, LA
Contact:  Jeremy Hebert, jphebert@agcenter.lsu.edu 


The nonpartisan U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council says the first shipment of U.S. rice to Cuba in nine years apparently passed unnoticed in the ongoing debate over trade with the island nation. Based in New York, the council, which produces monthly reports on commerce involving the countries, says the comparatively small cargo of 157.8 tonnes of parboiled rice, some mixed with grain, was worth $252,000 and sailed from the Houston area.
According to the council, U.S. ag exports to Cuba totaled $232 million in 2016, up by 36% from $170.6 million in 2015. Frozen chicken meat accounted for 41% of sales in 2016; soybeans, soy oil, and soy meal were 28%; and corn was 16%. Since 2012, frozen chicken has been the number one purchase by Havana, although purchases plummeted to $78 million in 2015 during the bird flu epidemic. Sales rebounded to $95 million last year.
The rice shipment occurred at the end of 2016, but it takes a while for exports to be tallied by the Census Bureau and made public. Far larger rice sales, with a cumulative value of nearly $191 million, were recorded from 2002 to 2008.
U.S. farm groups have argued for a change in law to allow private financing of ag exports to Cuba. The sales were exempted from the overall U.S. trade embargo in 2000, but payment must be made in cash upon delivery. Some $5.3 billion in U.S. goods have been sold under the terms of the 2000 law.
This article was produced in collaboration with the Food & Environment Reporting Network, an independent, nonprofit news organization producing investigative reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health.

At Rs 53/kilo, Vizag gets highest price for rice

V Kamalakara Rao| TNN | May 16, 2017, 06.00 AM IST
Visakhapatnam: Cost of superfine rice is the highest in Visakhapatnam as compared to other places in the state.

As on May 14, grade-1 variety of superfine rice cost Rs 53 per kilo in Vizag as against the state's average of Rs 46.45 per kg, according to Directorate of Economics and Statistics under the state ministry of civil supplies.

"Prices are higher at the supermarkets. At the Rythu Bazar, we sell the rice below Rs 50," said Potnuri Venkateswara Rao, a rice trader at MVP Rythu Bazar.

"I had purchased a 25-kg rice bag for Rs 900 in March, but now it costs Rs 1,000 per bag. There should be a control over the price rise," K Radhika, a housewife at Sivajipalem, said.

K Varahalu, estate officer of MVP Rythu Bazaar told TOI, the rise in prices is due to a spike in demand due to increase in urban population.

Visakhapatnam civil supplies officer Ch Ananda Kumar said, "Rice millers usually less at a cheaper rate. But they do not have direct counters or rice mills in the city. Some of them have opened counters at Rythu Bazaars. The prices are higher in the city as compared with Visakhapatnam rural region."

Jangareddy Gudem in West Godavari reported the lowest price of superfine rice in the state. The Godavari districts are known as the rice bowl of the state. A kilo of superfine rice is priced at Rs 40 per kg in the division.

The government considers six items as essential commodities including rice, red gram, groundnut oil, tamarind, red chillies and onions. Apart from rice, price of groundnut oil is also reported to be the highest in Visakhapatnam at Rs 130 per litre as against the state average price of Rs 116.78 per litre. The price of onions was highest in Srikakulam. Grade-1 onions are priced at Rs 15 per kg in Srikakulam against the state average of Rs 13.80.

G Prasad, estate officer at Kancharapalem Rythu Bazaar in GVMC, said, "Supply of onions are at par with the demand, resulting in low prices."

RN Madhavi, secretary of All India Democratic Women Association for Greater Visakha City Committee, said, "High prices of essential commodities are affecting the poor people who are not able to access healthy and hygienic food. The government should take measures to regulate prices of essential commodities for safeguarding the interests of a large section of the society."


The government considers six items as essential commodities including rice, red gram, groundnut oil, tamarind, red chillies and onions

Gap between demand and supply is reason for rise in prices

Huge demand in urban areas due to high population

Rices millers missing in the city; Prices sold at miller counters are lesser than other places



AP's average price

Superfine rice

Rs 53 in Vizag

Rs 40 in Jangareddy Gudem

Rs 46.45

Groundnut oil

Rs 130 in Vizag

Rs 100 in Nujiveedu

Rs 116.78

Tamarind without seed

Rs 140 in Vijayawada

Rs 80 in Vizag

Rs 87.96


Rs 15 in Srikakulam

Rs 12 in Jangareddy Gudem

Rs 13.80

Red gram

Rs 100 in Paderu

Rs 70 in Gurajala

Rs 80.20
Red chillies
Rs 110 in Paderu
Rs 70 in Markapur
Rs 90.06


BUSINESS: Uganda’s rice politics

How mutton pulao survived the chicken takeover in Pakistan

Mutton pulao has been a popular dish throughout the history of Indian cuisine and is still popular in the city.
Mutton and beef have, with time, been replaced with chicken in the dish, but there are still many admirers of the mutton pulao.
The rice is made in mutton stock and an array of spices including coriander seeds, cumin, cardamom, cloves and others.
Mutton pulao came from Central Asia at the time of the arrival of Muslims in the Indian subcontinent and was one of the more popular dishes in Mughal cuisine as well.
The dish is made almost in every house during Eidul Azha and also on most special occasions. A lot of restaurants across the city also offer the dish.
Mutton pulao came from Central Asia at the time of the arrival of Muslims in the Indian subcontinent and was one of the more popular dishes in Mughal cuisine as well. Like the Urdu language, biryani and pulao too varied across the region and was cooked differently in Delhi and Lucknow, the two main cultural centres for the Muslims of the subcontinent. Biryani was more popular in Delhi and pulao in Luknow and residents of both cities had their own recipes for both the rice-based dishes.

The rice is made in mutton stock and an array of spices including coriander seeds, cumin, cardamom, and cloves. — Dawn
Many people who migrated to Pakistan after the partition established shops in downtown Rawalpindi offering pulao for which they used a mix of both recipes.
“We came from Amritsar and brought with us the traditional recipe for mutton pulao, which is still liked by the people. We have been making pulao since and a lot of things have changed with time. For instance, chicken has replaced mutton because the latter now costs too much,” said Ghulam Hussein, owner of a pulao shop in Bhabara Bazaar.
He said the distinct aroma of the dish was due to the use of stock and spices and that basmati rice is used to make pulao at the shop.
Pulao was only made on special occasions before such as weddings when people wanted to serve a special meal, he said.

Pulao is made best with lamb
Mr Hussein added pulao is best made with the meat of a lamb and not that of a goat as the fat lends a soft and creamy quality to the rice, which is also helped by the use of curd.
The manager of a hotel on Murree Road, Munawar Hussein said they also use lamb meat to make pulao because if cooked in goat meat, the rice turns out harder. Beef pulao is also requested by some diners, he said, but that has to be made after an order is placed.
He said mutton pulao is still requested by diners, even though people think the chicken variety is now preferred.
“Chicken pulao costs less than mutton pulao,” he said.
A customer at Bhabara Bazaar, Mohammad Imran said mutton pulao made in a cauldron tastes better than the home cooked version, also because professional chefs follow the traditional recipe.
“I always like having mutton pulao at least once a week for a change because I get fed up of eating chicken,” he said.
"Pulao is best made with the meat of a lamb and not that of a goat as the fat lends a soft and creamy quality to the rice," says pulao shop owner Ghulam Hussein
Mohammad said though biryani also tastes good, he prefers pulao as the use of mutton stock makes it a healthier option.
A resident of Satellite Town, Fayyaz Mohammad said he likes mutton pulao due to its distinct aroma.
“It reminds me of special occasions when I was a child where we would make pulao, and sweet rice and korma. These were traditional dishes which people would not make often because they were spicy,” he said
Arkansas Rice Update 5-12-17

Author: Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist

Arkansas Rice Update

Dr. Jarrod Hardke

May 12, 2017  No. 2017-08                www.uaex.edu/rice

Crop Progress

As of Monday planting progress was 92% based on USDA-NASS numbers.  There were more acres planted during the dry conditions this week and relatively little rice should be left to plant in the state – but the replant situations for areas of the state flooded out remains a mystery.As the waters have receded in parts of the northeast a number of those fields have been replanted this week.  Many more are left to emerge from the floodwaters or field conditions are so poor that a great deal of field work is necessary to get them into a condition to replant anything.  Still trying times for many acres.

One additional advantage of the dry conditions of this past week was the ability for many to re-pull all of the lost levees from heavy rains and flooding.  Yields from rice on levees still play a major role in overall field yields in the state.  We can expect a decrease in overall field yields this year related to yield loss associated with lost production on levees – some slight decreases from delays in re-seeding and some complete losses as levees can’t be re-seeded in a timely manner to be viable at crop maturity.

Fig. 1.  Re-pulled levees will likely lower yields in fields across the state.


 Most Problems Improved by Rain?

Rainfall received last night and today should alleviate many of the current concerns out there, though not helpful to those with flooded fields.  Fields up and down the state have young rice with a burned, desiccated appearance reminiscent of salt injury (Fig. 2).  While we do have salt problems in a number of fields in the state, that’s certainly not what has been happening on a widespread basis.

A number of factors have been in play to create the current situation.  A prolonged period of wet conditions combined with cool nights exaggerating herbicide injury was the starter.  That was followed by a major increase in temperatures combined with high winds which dried out the soil and ultimately the shallow-rooted rice plants.  Stressed seedling also become more susceptible to seedling disease which has also picked up but it is the secondary problem at this time.  Rain should be the answer to promoting new green growth and straightening the crop out to move forward.

Others with rice coming out of flooded conditions have rice attempting to stick to the ground.  The rain should help to keep the soil surface wet enough to prevent sticking and avoid plant death associated with this condition.

Fig. 2.  Sick, drought-stressed rice is common throughout the state.


Fig. 3.  Stretched rice plants sticking to the ground after being submerged.

Fig. 4.  Other fields with healthy rice in the state are now going to flood.  More next week.


Further Replant Considerations

There are a few items to consider with the given seed shortages out there when looking at replant options.  If you have planted a Clearfield cultivar and made Newpath applications then you can only plant back to a Clearfield cultivar.

If you are unable to secure seed of a Clearfield cultivar for the replant, then it is not feasible to plant to a non-Clearfield cultivar because of the crop injury that would occur and is off-label based on the plant-back guidelines on the Newpath herbicide label.  The label requires an 18-month interval between Newpath applications and planting conventional, non-Clearfield rice.  This is a topic that would need to be discussed with an insurance adjustor should you find yourself in this situation.

As a reminder for those attempting furrow-irrigated rice (row rice), this is not an insurable practice.  While this has been discussed and written about numerous times it seems that some confusion still remains, but again it is not an insurable practice at this time.

 Preflood Nitrogen Recommendations

The 2017 Rice Farming for Profit publication on pages 12-14 contains recommendations for nitrogen rates, urease inhibitors, and determining midseason nitrogen needs using the Greenseeker handheld.

 Enroll Fields in the DD50 Program to Help Time Management Decisions

The variability in environmental conditions the past few seasons has shown the importance of managing the rice crop on time.  The DD50 Rice Management Program helps to predict the timing of the most critical practices to make sure we hit our marks and produce the best crop that the environment allows.  The DD50 program can be found at http://DD50.uaex.edu.  The program is now much friendlier for mobile use than in the past and efforts are underway to further improve functionality for future seasons.  Please let us know if you have any questions or encounter any problems.


Additional Information

Arkansas Rice Updates are published periodically to provide timely information and recommendations for rice production in Arkansas.  If you would like to be added to this email list, please send your request to rice@uaex.edu.

This information will also be posted to the Arkansas Row Crops blog (http://www.arkansas-crops.com/) where additional information from Extension specialists can be found.

More information on rice production, including access to all publications and reports, can be found at http://www.uaex.edu/rice.


We sincerely appreciate the support for this publication provided by the rice farmers of Arkansas and administered by the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board.

The authors greatly appreciate the feedback and contributions of all growers, county agents, consultants, and rice industry stakeholders.






Monsoon rains reach India's Andaman islands early -weather office

Sun May 14, 2017 12:13pm GMT
 MUMBAI May 14 (Reuters) - Monsoon rains, which are vital for farm output and economic growth in India, reached the country's Andaman and Nicobar islands on Sunday, six days ahead of schedule, the domestic weather office said in a statement.
Andaman and Nicobar, off India's eastern coast, are usually the first areas to receive the monsoon rains, typically around May 20.
The early onset of monsoon comes after the chief of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Tuesday that India looks likely to receive higher rainfall than previously forecast because concern over the El Nino weather event has eased.
The monsoon season, which typically runs for about four months, delivers about 70 percent of India's annual rainfall and is critical for growing crops such as rice, cane, corn, cotton and soybeans.
As such, they can have a big impact on economic growth and food price inflation. (Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by David Goodman)

GIEWS Country Brief: Bangladesh 10-May-2017

Published on 10 May 2017 

·         Rice production in 2017 forecast to increase, but floods dampen prospects for main “boro” crop
·         Cereal imports in 2016/17 marketing year (July/June) forecast to increase to record levels
·         Rice prices increasing and at near-record highs, while those of wheat decreasing
Flash floods dampen prospects for 2017 main “boro” paddy crop
Harvesting of the 2017 almost entirely irrigated “boro” paddy crop, accounting for some 55 percent of annual output, will be completed in June. Adequate irrigation water supplies and favourable weather conditions benefitted “boro” paddy development this season, although excess precipitation in late March and early April triggered localized flooding over northeastern producing areas. The inundations occurred just before harvest time, impacting crops in Sylhet, Dhaka and Mymensingh divisions in particular.Planting of the minor “aus” paddy crop, which accounts for 7 percent of annual output, is currently ongoing and will be followed by the June start of “aman” plantings. Assuming normal growing conditions prevail, early prospects for these crops are favourable, on anticipation that attractive paddy prices will stimulate increases in plantings. As a result and pending assessments of “boro” damages incurred, FAO tentatively forecasts aggregate 2017 paddy production at 53.1 million tonnes, 1 percent above last year’s level.
Harvesting of the 2017 recently-completed minor winter wheat crop is estimated by FAO at 1.4 million tonnes, reflecting an increase in yields owing to favourable weather conditions.
Cereal imports in 2016/17 marketing year forecast to increase to record level
Cereal imports in the current 2016/17 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at 5.9 million tonnes, 11 percent above last year’s high level and a new record. The increase reflects larger wheat imports, which are officially forecast at 5.4 million tonnes, up 24 percent from last year’s level owing to increased domestic demand for high-quality wheat for milling. By contrast, rice imports in the 2016/17 marketing year (April/March), which already concluded, are estimated at close to 115 000 tonnes, well below the 614 000 tonnes imported in 2015/16. Maize imports are anticipated to remain close to last year’s average level of 400 000 tonnes.
Rice prices increasing, while those of wheat decreasing
Retail and wholesale prices of rice have been increasing since February 2017 following seasonal trends. Prices were 35 percent higher than a year earlier, after steep increases registered in the second part of 2016 in response to lower imports and reduced 2016 main “boro” and “aus” outputs. Prices of mostly imported wheat and wheat flour have been generally stable during the last 12 months with a slight decrease in March, as a result of improved availabilities from the 2017 wheat harvest and increased imports in recent months. The continuing distribution of wheat flour by the Government through Open Market Sales (OMS) also contributes to keep prices at low levels.
Large number of people in northern and central parts affected by severe floods in 2016
Heavy monsoon rains in July 2016 caused a series of localized floods and landslides, mostly concentrated in northern and central parts of the country, affecting at least 3.7 million people. The most affected districts include Kurigram, Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Lalmonirhat and Sirajganj, located in the north, and Tangail, Madaripur, Manikganj and Shariatpur, in the centre. Floods followed earlier tropical Cyclone Roanu which triggered strong winds, landslides and flooding over southern coastal areas in mid-May affecting at least 1.3 million people

Flooding will mean heavy losses to Arkansas row crop farmers

May 13, 2017

U of A System Division of Agriculture
Estimate of acres impacted and dollar losses associated with storms in late April.

Vic Ford, U of A System Division of Agriculture
Map showing cropland affected by flooding.
STUTTGART – With flooding and other storm effects battering some 937,000 acres of Arkansas cropland, losses to farmers could hit $64.5 million, according to a preliminary estimate released by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
“If those numbers scare you, you should be terrified,” said Jarrod Hardke, extension rice agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “I’m being conservative. There’s no sugar-coating it.”
The weather has struck Arkansas agriculture with some heavy blows in the last decade; row crop farmers suffering an estimated $40-$50 million loss last year due to heavy rain; beef cattle producers endured a $128 million loss from drought in 2012; and farmers were hit with an estimated $335 million in losses in 2011 from flooding that mirrored this year’s.
Thursday’s estimate was compiled by Hardke from a survey of extension agents and agronomists this week. Among the factors taken into account: the costs of seed and herbicides already applied, equipment and labor. It does not include the impact of the flooding and high winds to poultry facilities in the northeastern part of the state or farm structures, grain or feed storage or other structures.
There was a glimmer of hope: of the 937,000 affected acres, the crops on 641,300 acres were expected to survive – if no more rain falls. Of the crops affected, rice was the hardest hit. Eighty-nine percent of the state’s anticipated 1.2-million-acre crop had been planted, according to Monday’s National Agricultural Statistics Service report. Seventy-one percent of planted rice had emerged.
“I’m estimating 156,000 acres of rice were lost,” Hardke said. “I don’t mean prevented planting, I mean acres lost that have already been planted.”
Soybean losses were pegged at 83,200 acres, corn at 47,900 acres and cotton at 9,300 acres.
Soybeans were projected at 3.5 million acres this year and were 45 percent planted and 32 percent emerged. Ninety-seven percent of a projected 600,000 acres of corn was planted and 89 percent emerged. Cotton, projected to total 500,000 acres, was 15 percent planted and 5 percent emerged.Sunday marks a week since the deadly storm system raked the state.“We’re knocking on a 10-day window,” Hardke said. “Anything that’s still covered in water at the end of next week is a loss, and farmers need to make preparations for it to be gone and be ready to take action whenever it dries.
“If it’s still wet at the end of next week, it’ll be June before it will be dry enough to replant,” he said.Hardke said some producers who weathered the 2011 floods were lucky enough to have a good survival rate in their rice.“Those are the exceptions,” he said. “It depends on the temperature of the air, the water temperature, whether the water is muddy or clear, or moving or stagnant.”If there’s one helpful quality, it’s that this week’s temperatures were relatively cool.
“Being cool, it’s good,” Hardke aid. “If the water gets warm and stagnant, you’re going to see that crop go out a lot faster.”The April 28-30 storms spawned tornadoes in Boone, Drew, White, Woodruff and Lonoke counties. Some areas in Arkansas saw more than 10 inches of rain during the weekend, prompting flash flood warnings across the state. Flood warnings were still in place Thursday along the Black, White, Arkansas, Ouachita and Mississippi Rivers. Major flooding was reported along the Black and White Rivers in northeastern Arkansas where the majority of the crop damage has occurred.
Estimate of acres impacted and dollar losses associated with storms in late April.
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Map showing cropland affected by flooding.
Vic Ford, U of A System Division of Agriculture
Volatility in rice prices projected to continue"

Stallion to boost rice production to 1.5 million tonnes annually
Our Reporter On: May 14, 2017 

Posted By:  In: Business

A sub-division of Stallion Group, Stallion Popular Farms & Mills Limited has hinted of plans to increase rice production to 1.5 million tonnes annually.Giving this hint was Stallion Popular farms & Mills Group Director, Hapreet Singh.Singh spoke in Lagos at the IBCA-“Outstanding Projects and Business Leaders of the Year Award” recently bestowed on the company in recognition of Stallion Popular Farms & Mills Limited concerted efforts at integrating rice value chain in Nigeria agrarian economy as well as its dogged resolves to humanise farmed rice and self-sustainability in food production.

Singh, while receiving the award, on behalf of the farm at the occasion in Lagos, said it hopes to increase locally farmed rice to 1.5million tonnes yearly from 450, 000 metric tonnes.
He said the farm has already deployed enhanced milling activities and set up more milling facilities through structured farming techniques.

“Our vision has always been to preserve and enhance rice production in Nigeria by ensuring genetic integrity of seeds, encouraging scientific agricultural practices and promoting world-class processing techniques to emerge as industry benchmark for product quality,” Singh said.
Also noting that part of its sustainable efforts was to integrate rice growing values among the locals, the group director said it has established procurement and collection centers; introduced co-operative associations as well as logistics and post-harvest epicenters and marketing midpoint, while it act as a catalyst for achievable growth.

A farm division of Stallion West African conglomerate, Popular Farms & Mills Limited recently established collection centers across rice producing states in Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Niger, Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa, Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi to not only help farmers embrace modern farming techniques but help distribute farm inputs through farmers cooperatives and associations to inspire rice revolution in Nigeria.
Popular Farm is today renowned for producing premium varieties of rice from farmed paddy, which are branded and distributed nationwide as Royal Stallion Shinkafa, Tomato Aroso and Super Champion.

Volatility in rice prices projected to continue

Philippine Daily Inquirer / 01:02 AM May 15, 2017
Politicians tinkering with rice policies in Asian governments amid shrinking stocks among exporters and rising demand could again drive global prices up, according to an economist at the International Rice Research Institute.
Samerandu Mohanty, head of IRRI’s social sciences division, said in a commentary on the global rice market that efforts among importing countries such as the Philippines to wean themselves away from foreign supplies
 would not stop the upward trend in the volume of grains traded worldwide.“The overall upward trend of the volume of the global rice trade that was set in motion in the early 1990s continues to stay on track even after a change in sentiment of the importing countries during the post-2008 crisis to pursue self-sufficiency and reduce reliance on foreign rice,” Mohanty said.
 “The current trade volume now accounts for nearly 9 percent of global production as compared with less than 7 percent during the 2008 rice crisis and 3.5 percent in 1990,” he said.Mohanty, a principal scientist at IRRI, noted that major Asian importers such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia continue to import a combined three million to five million tons of milled rice, depending on their domestic output.He added that record global output in the past several years has kept prices stable but, at the same time, stocks of the top five exporters —India, Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan and the United States —have steadily declined.
He said strong growth in demand has pushed down the five countries’ combined inventories from 41 million tons in the crop year 2012-2013 to 28 million tons in 2016-2017.
Meanwhile, rice consumption has increased by nearly 14 percent from 418.5 million tons in 2006-2007 to 475.5 million tons in 2016-2017.
Mohanty said that as demand was expected to continue to rise in the coming years, the active participation of India and China in global rice trade—respectively as exporter and importer—“may bring a degree of uncertainty to the market because of their sheer size and their focus on domestic food security.”
“Politicians will continue to fiddle with domestic and trade policies to support farmers and achieve greater domestic price stability and in the process may bring greater volatility to the international market,” he said.
In the Philippines, the Duterte administration has sent signals that—now that the peak of the dry-season harvest is over—it would again allow importation to shore up domestic stocks as the lean production months start next month.

Philippines Q1 agriculture output up 5.28 pct y/y
May 15 The Philippines' agricultural output grew 5.28 percent in the first quarter compared with a year ago, rebounding from a contraction in the previous quarter largely due to good weather, the statistics agency said on Monday.Crop output, accounting for nearly 54 percent of total agricultural production, rose 8.28 percent, with the paddy rice harvest up 12.38 percent to 4.42 million tonnes. All other sub-sectors posted gains, with livestock up 3.22 percent, poultry up 1.88 percent and fisheries up 0.73 percent.
The numbers were released three days ahead of third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data for the Philippines. Agriculture accounts for about a tenth of the Southeast Asian nation's GDP. (Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Joseph Radford) http://in.reuters.com/article/philippines-economy-agriculture-idINP9N1E402K

A urges hike of buying price of palay

 (philstar.com) | 
The Department of Agriculture urged the National Food Authrority to hike its buying price of paddy rice, in an effort to decrease expenses for importation. CC0/Faixal
MANILA, Philippines  — The Department of Agriculture is urging state-run National Food Authority (NFA) to increase its buying price of paddy rice to P20 per kilogram to beef up buffer stock.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said he is supporting moves in Congress for the increase in support price of palay to compete with local rice traders, instead of the continuous importation which would further hike NFA's debt."They should just increase their support price. In the long run, it will still be cheaper for NFA to buy local palay since they will no longer need to pay for tariff," he said.
"This move will also stabilize the price of local palay because now the NFA will be able to buy more from local farmers especially in the areas that are being controlled by traders," Piñol added.
The Agriculture chief said the move will allow NFA to no longer shell out money for importation, thus lessening its outstanding debt.The state importer's loan is at P152 billion as of end-April, a factor which economic managers consider for the non-approval of importation, following its unstable financial state.
"Let the private sector do the importation. Just let NFA increase buying price to P20 so they can compete with the buying price of local traders. In the final accounting, it will still be advantageous and cheaper for the government to just buy produce from farmers than for NFA to import rice," Piñol said.The NFA buying price remains at P17 per kilogram for clean and dry. It gives an additional incentive of P0.20 to P0.50 per kilogram for delivery, P0.20 per kilogram for drying and P0.30 for cooperative development incentive fund for farmers' organizations.
Despite orders from President Duterte to prioritize rice purchase from local farmers, the agency maintained that it can no longer buy more and hit its target following higher prices offered by private traders.
NFA's field monitoring shows traders are buying palay at an average of P18-20 per kilogram. Farm gate price of palay even reached a high of P22.60 per kilogram in some areas like Davao del Norte and Misamis Oriental.The NFA targets to procure 4.6 million bags or about 230,000 metric tons (MT) of palay from local farmers nationwide until yearend to boost buffer stock and rice distribution requirements.
As of the end first quarter, NFA has bought approximately 21 percent of its 2017 procurement target.The palay-buying for the first three months of the year is significantly lower by almost 80 percent as it only bought 134,355 bags compared to the 603,915 bags in 2016 due to higher average farm-gate price of palay.
Under the law, NFA is tasked to buy the palay produce of local farmers as buffer stock for calamities and other contingencies.
This year, the agency has a P5-billion budget for the procurement of palay alone

NFA still backing gov’t-to-gov’t rice imports

May 15, 2017

THE National Food Authority (NFA) continues to push for the importation of 250,000 tons of rice via a government-to-government arrangement, citing the decline in rice inventories.

“We can’t add to the inventory. The alternative is to import,” NFA Spokesperson Marietta J. Ablaza said in a phone interview over the weekend, noting that the agency’s stocks are currently at less than 15 days.

The NFA is required to maintain a rice buffer stock equivalent to 15 days’ supply at any given time. During the lean months -- July to August -- the grains agency is required maintain a 30-day inventory. “Inventories are thin. When the rainy season comes we will have little to give out in the event of calamities,” Ms. Ablaza said, without providing details.
She added that the NFA still endorses the activation of the 250,000 metric-ton import quota which has been awaiting the NFA Council’s approval since late last year. 

“The proposal has been pending but the President has ordered us to purchase from domestic sources first. But we have not been able to purchase much because domestic prices are high,” she added.The food agency hopes to buy 4,607,350 bags of unmilled rice this year and has so far bought 134,355 bags as of March 31, or 21% of the target for the first quarter.

“We can’t stabilize prices if we don’t import,” added Ms. Ablaza.The 250,000 tons is the remaining balance of the 500,000 tons of rice imports authorized for 2016 via the government-to-government import scheme.The NFA Council has rejected importing the balance, citing the lack of a recommendation from the National Food Security Committee, the interagency body which reports the need for rice imports to the council.

Earlier, President Rodrigo R. Duterte discouraged imports, saying that inbound shipments would depress local rice prices if they coincide with the harvest season.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol also deems rice imports to be necessary, estimating the supply requirement at about 500,000 to 800,000 metric tons. -- Janina C. Lim

Rice supply probe eyed amid threat of shortage
 May 15, 2017 at 12:01 am by Rio N. Araja
Lawmakers are pressed to look into the state of the country’s rice inventory and come up with policy proposals to ensure an “ample and affordable” supply of rice.
Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Ray Villafuerte made the call  amid fear the country’s buffer stock might not be adequate  to last through the lean months after the summer harvest season.
Villafuerte said a congressional inquiry is necessary  to help Malacañang determine the actual supply of rice, draw up proactive measures to avert a potential rice shortage and know if there is a need for the National Food Authority to import rice under the minimum access volume during the lean period between July and September.
“Given  that rice is the country’s staple food, it behooves the House of Representatives to conduct a public inquiry in aid of legislation into the complete inventory of rice held by the government, private traders and [even the] households,” he said.
Congress could support an immediate importation only if determined necessary “to enable the government to proactively maintain the ideal buffer stock level—equivalent to a 30-day supply of the national daily rice requirement—by the time domestic stocks dwindle during the traditional July-September lean months,” the lawmaker said.
“Considering the time needed for shipment to arrive in the country from day 1 of the negotiations, “now would be the best time for the government to give the green light to such importation, but if, and only if, such action would be deemed warranted in the course of the proposed public hearings on the supply situation,” he said.
“Otherwise, there is absolutely no need for the government to accommodate rice imports if the rice inventory would be found adequate for the remainder of the year as any unnecessary importation would unduly distort domestic supply and depress farm-gate prices of palay to hurt the local farmers.”
Villafuerte said he received information from the NFA’s Camarines Sur provincial manager, Dr. Yolando Navarro, that the province’s buffer stock only totaled 42,293 cavans or 50-kilo bags as of April 30, or an equivalent of a three-days consumption against the province’s daily rice requirement of 13,840 cavans

 Commerce Ministry takes action against unscrupulous rice traders
BANGKOK– The Commerce Ministry has launched an initiative to take action against unscrupulous rice traders.
Director General of the Department of Internal Trade, Nuntawan Sakuntanagak said today that the department has been receiving complaints from rice farmers in Sing Buri Province about some irregularities surrounding the purchase of rice by middlemen.
Ms. Nuntawan said that a team of inspectors from the department was dispatched to inspect all scales at rice trade stations in Mueang District, Bang Rachan District and Khai Bang Rachan District on May 8th and 10th.She said that at least two cases of irregularities with the scales were found and their operators were charged with violation of the law before each was fined 20,000 baht and the scales were banned from use.
The Director General of the Department of Internal Trade said that rice farmers should make sure all scales are in good condition and carry the department-approved tag to make sure they are not taken advantage of and to report any suspicious cases for investigation, to their provincial commercial affairs office or on the department’s hotline number of 1569.