Monday, May 29, 2017

29th May,2017 daily global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter by riceplus Magazine

IRRI launches app to help farmers deal with rice pests, diseases

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) said it has rolled out a Filipino version of an offline smart phone app that enables farmers to identify and manage crop problems in palay production.
IRRI knowledge management and outreach specialist Poornima Shankar said the app, dubbed “Rice Doctor”, is an interactive questionnaire that helps extension workers, farmers, researchers and students in the diagnosis of pests, disease and other problems affecting rice.
The current version of the app can help diagnose any of more than 80 of the most common conditions affecting rice, Shankar added.
“Although Filipinos remain among the most English-proficient in Asia, for many farmers as well as the agricultural extension workers assisting them, a mobile app such as Rice Doctor being available in Filipino presents an easier-to-understand and, thus, a more straightforward knowledge resource,” the IRRI said in a statement.
“Rice Doctor in Filipino is the first localized and translated version of the diagnostic app. Similar efforts are ongoing in India and Bangladesh,” the IRRI added.
The IRRI said it conducted series of workshops and consultations with farmers, extension workers and  specialists from the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) to increase awareness on the localization of the Rice Doctor app.
“The development of Rice Doctor in Filipino was supported fully under the project Improving Technology Promotion and Delivery through Capability Enhancement of Next-GenRice Extension Professionals and Other Intermediaries (IPaD), a collaboration among  IRRI, Department of Agriculture (DA)-PhilRice and (DA)-Agricultural Training Institute,” the IRRI said.
“Last year Project IPaD and the Impact Acceleration Unit also did a study in different parts of the country to assess and improve the usability of Rice Doctor,” it added.
Earlier, the DA launched its very own smartphone application called “Farmhelp”, a 24/7 online assistance desk that would attend to farmers’ needs and complaints, such as those related to managing plant and animal diseases.
Farmhelp also provides other pertinent information to farmers, such as price monitoring of commodities in the market and weather forecasts.
The DA is set to conduct a nationwide information campaign by November to instruct farmers on how to use Farmhelp. The DA also vowed to provide each farmers’ association and cooperative with a “low-cost” smartphone, to help them access Farmhelp.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. PiƱol said apps like Farmhelp would help “revolutionize” the agriculture sector through the utilization of available technologies.

Rice Imports Valid Until July 23 | Says IRAN

Monday, May 29, 2017
Order registrations are valid for rice imported until July 23 only, director general of Imports and Exports Regulations Bureau at the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, Ali Aliabadi, said.The Iranian government bans rice imports every year during the harvest season to support local farmers and domestic production. Iranians consume 3.2 million tons of rice a year, of which almost 2.2 million tons are supplied by domestic farmers.  The two northern provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran are home to a majority of Iran’s paddy fields.

Bangladesh gets lowest rice import tender
Bangladesh received a lowest offer of $406.48 a tonne CIF liner out from Singapore-based Agrocorp International in a tender that opened on Sunday to import 50,000 tonnes of white rice, officials at the state grains buyer said.Five traders competed for the tender issued by the Directorate General of Food at a time when local rice prices have reached record highs and state reserves are at 10-year lows.
Other offers in a tonne CIF liner out were: LDC $413.13, Olam $413.90, Phoenix $421.00 and Desh Trading $446.70, the officials said.One trader said the origin of the lowest offer was not known but was likely to be from Vietnam.A Bangldesh delegation was in Vietnam last week to finalise imports of the staple grain in a government-to-government deal, Food Ministry officials said.
Vietnamese rice prices this week hit their highest in over a year on expectations of strong demand from top importing countries such as Bangladesh and the Philippines.

The state grains buyer earlier this month said it would ship in 600,000 tonnes of rice, initially issuing two tenders for a total of 100,000 tonnes of rice, its first such tenders since 2011.In its first tender that opened last week, it received a lowest offer of $427.85 a tonne CIF liner out from Dubai-based Sukhbir Agro Energy to import 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice.
Rice Tech Expo-Bihar & Jharkand will take place on 8-10 September 2017 at the Gandhi Maidan, Patna, Bihar State, India. This expo is a meeting ground for foodgrain processing equipment manufacturers, suppliers agents and millers, end users in the Rice & Grain processing sector. ‘Shiny Group’ organise in 2012 & 2014 in the same state with most successfully.Launching new Brands, Products and Technologies are the highlights of this event. Exhibitors in large no. from Sri Lanka,India, China, Japan, Korea and many other Nations will be displaying their products and around 10,000 trade visitors are expected from Rice, Pulses, Dall, Spices and oil seed processing industries.
Exhibitor Profile
Rice, Grains, Cereals, Pulses, Spices & Oil Seeds Cleaning, Grading, Colour Sorting and Milling Technology
Pollution controlling equipment manufactures
Parboiling plants
Post Harvest Technology
Boiler & turbine
Heat exchangers
Packaging Machinery & Equipment for all types of Grains
Energy transmission/gear boxes
Air compressor
Solvent extraction plants
Abrasive wheel
Thread manufactures
Grains storage and Silos manufactures
Financial & Insurance institutions and Banks
Rubber roll & V-belts
Warehousing Technologies & Facilities
Bag closing machines
Water treatment companies
Lab equipments
Elevators, conveyors manufacturers
Electric Panels
Bio Energy & Waste Management
Packaging machinery & material manufactures
Weighing scales/bridges
Pre-engineering building manufactures
Food Products : Rice/ Spices/ Pulses/ Cereals/ Wheat Products/ Oil Seeds/ Milled Products/ Namkeen/ Corn Flakes/ Chips/ Health Products/ Tea/ Coffee/ Cocoabean/ Soyabean Products/ Noodles/ Pasta/ Vermicelli/ Wheat Flour/ Maida/ Sooji/ Dalia/ Wafers/ Cones/ Roti/ Corn Flour/ Cooking Oils/ Biscuits/ Cookies/ Cracker/ Bread/ Snacks/ Macaroni & Other Processed Agri & Food Commodities etc.
Roofing system & Insulation providers
Bakery Products & Inputs
Electric motors
Automation & Software solution providers
Digital Temperature Controller & Data Loggers
Mill Store & Fabricators
Wrapping, Sealing & Lamination Equipments
Banks & Financial Institutions
Feed Machinery & Equipments
Vegetable Oil & Fats Manufactures
Tarpaulin manufacturers
Pumps and valves manufactures
Perforated sheets

Visitor Profile
Rice, Dall, Pulses Mill Owners, Rice & Grain Buyers and Exporters, Food Processors, Feed Manufacturers, Solvent Extractors, Mill Operators, Biscuits & Bread Manufacturers, Purchase Manager of Super Markets, Snacks Companies, Oil Millers Distributors & Agents, CEOs and Chief Engineers, Rice & Grain Importers & Exporters, Warehouse Owners, Trade Analysts, Trade Commissioners & Consultants, Research scientists and technologists, Govt. Officials, Food Retail Chains, Ware houses, Farmers & Agri Entrepreneurs, those who are directly or indirectly related to the Rice & Grain Processing & Technology sector.
8-10 September 2017
Gandhi Maidan, Patna, Bihar State, India
Shiny Group
D.No: 59A-15-28, 2nd floor, Pantakalva Road,
Near NTR Statue, Patamata
Vijayawada – 520 010,
Andhra Pradesh India
Contact Details
Sharif Sk , Project Head
+91-8297563036, 7780682815
Bangladesh rice prices break world record
Bangladeshis buy the poorest quality of rice at the highest prices in the world.According to the government, a kilogramme of a coarse variety of rice is being sold at Tk 48, setting a new record in the country's economy. Another South Asia nation, Pakistan, stood second on the chart, but its nationals buy the same variety of rice at Tk 10 less than in Bangladesh. Analysing information from three agencies, it has been observed that rice prices have consistently been rising for the last one year. According to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), in the past month, the price of rice has increased by 11 per cent and prices have doubled in the past one year. Economists say this is due to wrong policies and not taking proper steps in this regard.
Asked about the rise in rice prices, food minister Quamrul Islam did not make any specific comment on it. "I've just come from Vietnam after signing an agreement for rice procurement. I am unable to comment on the price of rice in Bangladesh right now. International rates of rice According to a daily report published by the food ministry, Vietnam is now selling rice at the cheapest rates in the world. The price of a kilogramme of rice is Tk 33. 62 there.
In neighbouring India, the price of a kilogramme of rice is Tk 34, Tk 37.81 in Thailand, and Tk 38. 54 in Pakistan. Outside this region, the world's largest rice producing countries -- China, Indonesia, and the United States -- do not export rice to international markets. Rather, they import rice. In the international rice market, rice is being sold at the highest price in Bangladesh. But, it is also true that rice prices are on the rise internationally as well. According to 'Agri Market', a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report, in the past week, rice prices have risen in all countries except Vietnam. Thailand has increased rice prices by 5.77 per cent, while India has raised rice prices by 1.4 per cent, and Pakistan by 2 per cent.
 According to the FAO's April report, world rice production will decline by 6 million tonnes this year compared to last year. As much as 173.3 million tonnes of rice was produced in 2015-116 fiscal. It is expected to go down 2 million tonnes this year. Rice prices break all record International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) said rice prices rose to Tk 38 per kg in October, 2016 in Bangladesh. During the last caretaker government regime in 2008, a kilogramme of rice price shot up to Tk 36 per kg.
Then, the rice prices started falling after bumper production of rice in 2009 that brought the rice price down to Tk 26 per kg in 2012. The rice prices continued to increase again after the Bangladesh Awami League came to power for the consecutive second term in 2014. Although keeping the rice price within the reach was one of the main election promises of the AL in 2014, the rice price rose to Tk 30 per kg and it went up to Tk 33 in 2015. *This piece, originally published in Prothom Alo Bangla print edition, has been rewritten in English by Toriqul Islam.
BOC orders seizure of Thai rice
Date: 28-May-2017
THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) Port of Cebu issued a warrant of seizure and detention (WSD) against a Vietnamese vessel docked in Talisay City. Mv Kung Min, according to BOC Port of Cebu Collector Elvira Cruz, is illegally carrying 3,080 tons of rice from Thailand. Cruz said she discovered that the ship arrived last month, but it did not go directly to the Cebu International Port (CIP) for inspection by the Bureau of Immigration and the Bureau of Quarantine. With the WSD, the BOC will summon the alleged rice consignees, whose names Cruz withheld, for seizure and forfeiture proceedings. Possible auction A BOC source said that the shipment's worth is estimated at P200 million. If the consignees cannot submit evidence to prove the shipment is legal, the BOC will forfeit the rice and the vessel in favor of the government, and will sell these in a public auction. The Office of the Custo
ms Commissioner recently cleared for release 4,760 metric tons of rice to Pilmico Food Inc. (3,080 metric tons) and Farm Mechanism and Distribution Corp. (1,680) reportedly because these were covered by National Food Authority import permits. Cruz issued notices to file import entry to Pilmico and Farm Mechanism.
Nigerian Agricultural reforms to help its rice compete with international brands soon
Nigerian rice would compete favorably with any brand in the world, said the acting President, Mr. Yemi Osinbajo recently. He said the government was mindful of agriculture development and would do everything within its powers to encourage local farmers to improve the output and quality of local rice. “It is worrisome that locally produced rice is still expensive than imported rice from India, China and Thailand,” he said. Sounding a note of optimism he added that “By subsiding rice production for farmers, more jobs are created so we are also planning to introduce some kinds of assistance to our farmers in due course.” Speaking on the need to change the narrative on rice production, Osinbajo said that Nigeria has enough capacity to grow quality rice that would meet the demands of not only Nigerians but all the countries in Africa.
Reforms undertaken in the agricultural sector by the Nigerian Federal Government’s would bear results as the country would soon start producing local rice, explained Mr. Osinbajo during an interactive session with some middle level civil and public servants on the ease of doing business. If Nigerians can consume what the country produces locally, poverty and unemployment would be easily tackled. We will hold meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture every day if we have to but would leave no stone unturned for our rice to compete with any rice in the world even if, the Acting President Stressed


Budget 2017-18: Full budget brief for Parliamentarians

Economic Performance (2016-17 vs. 2012-13)

Salient features of the budget 2017-18.

• The total revenue is estimated at Rs.5,310. This includes FBR tax estimate of Rs.4,013 billion as compared to revised estimate of Rs.3,521 billion. As compared to revised estimates of FY 2016-17 the total revenue is being increased by 12%. While the FBR tax revenue is estimated to increase by 14%;
• Out of the total revenues, the provincial governments share is estimated to be Rs.2,384 billion as compared to Rs.2,121 billion revised estimates for 2016-17, showing an increase of about around 12.4%. These resources will be utilized by the provincial governments in enhancing human development and security of the people.;
• After transfer to provincial governments, the net revenue of the Federal Government is estimated at Rs.2,926 billion in 2017-18 as compared to revised estimates of Rs.2,616 billion in the current financial year.
• Total expenditure for FY 2017-18, is budgeted at Rs.4,753 billion compared to the revised estimates of Rs.4,256 billion for 2016-17, showing an increase of 11.7%. Out of the total expenditure highest increase is accorded to the development budget.
• The defence budget is proposed at Rs.920 billion against the revised budget of Rs.841 billion in the FY 2016-17;
• As I had said earlier, the PSDP budget is being increased from revised estimates of Rs.715 billion to Rs.1,001 showing a 40% increase;
• The result of the above revenue and expenditure estimates is that the budget deficit will be reduced to 4.1% of GDP as opposed to 4.2% of GDP of revised budget estimate in the financial year in 2016-17.

Budget Targets 2017-18

The following goals & targets have been set for FY 2017-18:
• Real GDP Growth of 6%
• Investment to GDP ratio of 17%
• Inflation below 6%
• Budget deficit at 4.1% of the GDP
• Tax to GDP ratio at 13.7%
• Development expenditure of Rs. 2.1 trillion
• Foreign Exchange Reserves level to cover a minimum of 4 months’ imports
• Net Public Debt to GDP ratio below 60%
• Elimination of load shedding by addition of 10,000 MW of electricity to the National Grid by Summer 2018.
• Continuation of targeted social interventions

Budget Strategy 2017-18

The above targets will be achieved through the following strategy:
• FBR revenue targeted to increase by 14% while Federal expenditure will grow by 11%.
• Federal PSDP for next year budgeted at Rs.1,001 Billion which is 40% higher than revised estimate of Rs.715 billion for the current Fiscal Year. With the addition of provincial ADPs the total development outlay for FY 2017-18 would be Rs.2.1 trillion.
• Growth in current (non-development) expenditure will be contained below the level of inflation.
• New initiatives being announced for Agriculture, Financial Sector, Exports, Textiles, Social Sector and Employment generation.
• Tax incentives are being announced to facilitate Agriculture, IT and Services sectors.
• Investments to speed up process of Development of Gwadar including establishment of Airport, Hospital and Desalination plant.
Special Initiatives
• BISP Beneficiary Graduation Program Grants – to self-sustain individuals: BISP beneficiary families starting their own business will be provided training as well as a one-time cash grant of Rs. 50,000. Initially, 250,000 families will be targeted with a size of Rs. 12.5 billion
• Increase in BISP allocation: Around 5.5 Million mostly women led families will be provided with Cash transfer of Rs.19,338 Per Annum, for which Rs.121 Billion will be allocated to Benazir Income Support Program (BISP). This allocation is an increase of 300% of the Rs.40 Billion allocated in FY 2012-13.
• Off-grid electricity solutions in small cities: In areas with no transmission lines, the Government in partnership with World Bank will introduce solar power systems for small towns and cities with sparsely populated areas with special focus on Balochistan.


In order to give further boost to the Prime Minister’s Kissan Package of 2015 following additional measures being introduced:
Reduced mark-up rates: small farmers with 12.5 acres landholding to be provided loans at reduced mark-up of 9.9% per annum from current range of 10-14%.
. Enhancement in the target of agriculture credit to Rs.1,001 Billion from last year’s target of Rs. 700 billion, which is an increase of 43%.
Maintaining concessional fertilizer prices: subsidy impact of Rs. 13.8 billion on DAP and nitrogenous fertilizers by fixing sales tax rates at Rs. 100 per bag.
Use of automated land revenue records for agricultural credit to facilitate farmers.
Establishment of Plants Breeders Rights Registry (PBRR) to register new high quality seeds which will increase crop yields.
Continuation of subsidized electricity tariff for agri tube-wells @ Rs. 5.35 per unit with estimated cost of Rs. 27 billion.
Production Index Units to be increased from 4,000 to 5,000 to faciltitate farmers to get maximum credit from banks.
Agricultural tax incentives
Reduction in customs duty and sales tax at import stage to 0% for new and upto 5 year old Combined Harvesters.
Removal of GST on imported Sunflower and Canola Hybrid seeds.
Reduction of GST @ 7% on imported machinery for poultry and livestock.
Reduction in Sales tax from 17% to 10% to encourage use of Peter engine.

• Export Promotion & Textiles:

All measures announced in FY 2016-17 will be continued in FY 2017-18. Following additional measures are proposed for the textile sector:
Zero-rated sales tax regime for 5 export oriented sectors: textile, leather, sports goods, surgical goods and carpets announced in FY 2016-17 will continue.
Similarly Duty-free import of textile machinery to continue.
Rs.5 Billion allocated for implementation of various schemes under Textile Policy.
A system of Cotton hedge trading for domestic cotton will be initiated to stabilize cotton prices.
Brand Development Fund for Textile Sector to be launched.
. Implementation of the establishment of 1,000 stitching units to be started during FY 2017-18 and will be completed in 3 years.
Ministry of Textile industry to launch first ever online textile business/ trade portal for textiles using B2B and B2C mode.
. The government has established an Export-Import Bank (EXIM), tol be operationalized next year
Mark-up rates of Export Refinance Facility reduced from 9.5% in June 2013 to 3% in July 2016
Custom duty on raw-hides and skins will be reduced to zero
Stamping foil used in producing high value added finished leather will also be exempted from customs duty
Allow warehousing of rice outside Pakistan to rice exporters.

• Housing:

Risk Sharing Guarantee Scheme for low-income housing will be launched. Under this scheme, the Government will provide 40 percent credit guarantee cover to Banks and DFIs for home financing for up to Rs.1 million.
In addition to financing for public sector infrastructure the government is also facilitating private sector investment and finance in infrastructure.
Pakistan Development Fund (PDF) long-term infrastructure financing for commercially viable public sector and PPP projects
Pakistan Infrastructure Bank (PIB) will also be established to provide infrastructure financing for commercially viable private sector projects.
Public Private Partnership Bill provides a regulatory framework for promotion of financing public-private-partnership projects in the country

• Financial Inclusion:

The government is implementing the National Financial Inclusion Strategy. For the next year, the following initiatives are being proposed
. Rs.8 billion fund to be created at the State Bank of Pakistan to provide loans to low-income segments
 To facilitate transactions through mobile banking, the Government is establishing a state-of-the-art e-gateway system at the State Bank of Pakistan at a cost of Rs.200 million.
Exemption from withholding tax on cash withdrawal by branchless banking agents to the extent of actual disbursement to clients
Establishment of Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company (PMIC) to augment availability of capital for microfinance institutions.
An Endowment Fund of Rs.12.58 billion has been created for disaster risk management
 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
The Government is planning to introduce Risk Mitigation Facility for Small and Medium Enterprises through a Rs.3.5 billion fund
The Government is announcing establishment of an Innovation Challenge Fund with Rs.500 million
. Secure Transaction registry for Movable Property, which will enable small borrowers in SME and agriculture sector to obtain loans by pledging their moveable property
• Information Technology:
Government will set up an IT software park in Islamabad with the help of Korean Government at a cost of 6 billion rupees.
. Income Tax Exemption for the first 3 years for start-up software houses
. Exports of IT services from Islamabad and other Federal territories shall be exempted from Sales Tax
. IT export houses/companies shall be allowed to open Foreign Exchange Accounts in Pakistan
Reduction in withholding income tax on cell phone call from 14% to 12.5% and Federal Excise Duty from 18.5% to 17%
. Custom duty on Smart/Android phones shall be reduced from Rs.1,000 to Rs.650.

Relief Measures

§ Welfare Scheme for families of Shuhada (Martyrs): Under this scheme, a guaranteed and enhanced profit will be given to the families of Shuhada on CDNS instruments
§ Scheme for disabled persons: the provision of 2% employment quota to be extended to public and publically listed companies
§ Pakistan Bait Al Mal. Budget increased from Rs.4 Billion to Rs.6 Billion which will be utilised for financial assistance to individuals, child support Programme, orphanages through Pakistan Sweet Homes and Thalassemia Centre for treatment of poor children
§ Loan write-off for widows scheme: loan obligations of widows falling under House Building Finance Corporation will be written-off. This scheme is being re-launched with enhancement in loan write-off limit from Rs. 350,000 to Rs. 500,000.
§ Facilitating pensioners, widows and elderly of CDNS: CDNS has become member of banking clearing house resulting in reduced transaction clearance time by 5 days, online branch presence offering 24/7 customer care center, debit cards, mobile and net banking solutions.
§ Facilitating the expatriates: Government plans to invite the Pakistani diaspora to invest in infrastructure development of the country and will issue a sovereign non-convertible Bond specifically with a rupee coupon.
§ To further facilitate investment by the Pakistan diaspora in the real estate sector, CDA shall announce an exclusive sector for ex-pat Pakistanis
§ Subsidy on electricity usage: The government will continue to subsidize bills of low income domestic electricity consumers upto 300 units per month in shape of electricity subsidies. For farmers in Balochistan, Government will pay portion of their electricity bills, while billing for agriculture tube-wells will continue at significantly reduced rates. For this purpose Rs.121 Billion have been allocated.
§ The Prime Minister’s Youth Schemes, which include business loans scheme, interest free loans scheme, training scheme, skill development program, fee reimbursement for students of backward areas, laptop program and health insurance programs will continue. For this Rs.20 Billion have been allocated in FY 2017-18
Relief measures for Government Employees and pensioners
§ Increase in different allowances admissible to personnel of Armed forces and civil pensioners.
§ Employees in BPS-3 exempted from deduction of house-rent charges at the rate of 5%;
§ Daily Allowance – domestic – for BS 1-18 increased by 50% and for BS 19 and above at the rate of 75%.
Minimum Wage:
§ The minimum wage of labour increased from Rs.14,000 to Rs.15,000 per month
PSDP 2017-18
The majority of the Rs. 1,001 billion Federal PSDP has been allocated for roads and communications, infrastructure and energy. Infrastructure has been allocated 67% of the development outlay. The transport and communication sector has been allocated Rs. 411 billion, including Rs. 320 billion for national highways, Rs. 43 billion for railways and Rs. 44 billion for other projects including aviation schemes.

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