Wednesday, June 07, 2017

7th June,2017 daily global rice e-newsletter (Global,Regional,Local Rice News)


Price cap on Indian rice supports Pakistan’s rice exports to Iran

At times when Pakistani exporters of textile made-ups are unhappy over the crisis being faced by them in international markets, rice exporters seem happy to avail the opportunity of improving exports to Iran, following restrictions by Iran on rice imports from India. As both India and Pakistan produce the same high quality of rice known as Basmati, the two countries usually compete for major rice consuming countries, especially Iran which is considered a major destination for the long-grained aromatic rice.

 According to sources, Indian exporters of Basmati rice are facing serious problems in Iran after Tehran put upper limits for import and consumer prices of the cereal. While India’s recent exports of the rice to the West Asian country cost the importer around $950 per tonne (landed price), the ceiling price imposed is $850 a tonne and the maximum consumer price set is $ 1.15 a kg. With the ceiling prices, it would not be economically viable for India to export rice to Iran. Iran consumes more than 3 million tonnes of rice annually and a third of this demand is met by imports.

Indian exporters have feared that the crisis in Iranian market would indirectly benefit Pakistan because of its proximity to Iran, as transportation cost was higher for India’s exporters. Not only the ceiling issue but also the uncertainty overuse of currency for trade between Delhi and Tehran has impacted India’s basmati rice exports to Iran following hesitation over the use of the dollar after fresh sanctions levied by the United States on the republic.

 Indian Basmati exports to Iran had witnessed sharp jump as Delhi launched a rupee settlement mechanism from April 2012 with Iran to avoid sanctions from the US and EU. This situation, as exporters in Pakistan believe, has opened room for exporters here to meet the demand of the neighbouring country. The export of rice mainly Basmati to Iran is being witnessed during the past few months creating over 50 per cent jump in the domestic price of the commodity. “We are largely happy to see the boost in export after a long time crisis faced by the sector,” said an exporter from Punjab.


 “Not only the crisis in Iranian market but the hike in the domestic price of rice in India following low production has also caused a reduction in export to Middles Eastern countries creating an increased demand for Pakistani rice in the traditional markets,”  he added. According to the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the exports of basmati rice from the country during the month of March 2017, increased by 154.28 per cent compared to the exports of the corresponding month of last year.


 During the month of March, about 45,745 metric tonnes of basmati rice worth US$ 43.976 million were exported as compared to the exports of 17,412 metric tonnes valuing of US$ 17.294 million of the same month last year. It may be recalled that food group exports from the country during the month of March decreased by 10.20 per cent and it was stood at US$ 346.12 million as against the exports of US$385.313 million of the same month last year. In last 3 quarters (July-March) of current financial year food group exports decreased by 11.58 per cent and recorded at US$ 2.885 billion as against the exports of US$ 3.037 billion of the corresponding period last year.


Coarse rice price soars

42pc rise in a year; govt to import 3 lakh tonnes of rice on urgent basis

Among the essential commodities, coarse rice price registered the highest rise in the last one year, according to the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) which keeps track of prices of daily necessities.

Prices of coarse rice, mostly consumed by the poor and people of lower-middle income groups, went up 42 percent since June last year.Even though the private sector imported one lakh tonne of rice during that time, paying 25 percent import duty, the price of a kg of coarse rice was Tk 45-46 this week. In the first week of June 2016, it was Tk 30-34 a kg.

Though prices of finer and medium quality rice varieties registered 9 to 20 percent rise during the same period, price hike of coarse rice was worrying the government.To add to its worries, public granaries now only have 2.5 lakh tonnes of rice, a six-year low yearend stock.Over 10 lakh tonnes of boro crop were lost this year to early flooding in seven haor districts and fungi (rice blast) attack in 19 districts.These forced the government to renew a 2011 memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Vietnam for 3 lakh tonnes of emergency rice imports. Three international tenders have also been floated during the last fortnight for importing 1.5 lakh tonnes more.

A day after the finance minister placed 2017-18 fiscal year's budget in parliament, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury said rice prices went up due to sudden floods in the haor areas and that prices would come down quickly as the government took steps to import rice.However, the government's rather late move to stabilise the rice market would yield no immediate results with local millers reluctant to sell to the food department for a non-lucrative price offered by the government. The government's rice imports are unlikely to reach ports before the end of July.  To make matters worse, market sources told The Daily Star that prices of rice in the international market have been rising for the last two weeks.

Sources at the food ministry and the office of the Director General of Food said the government floated three international tenders in quick succession in May and in the first week of June seeking to buy 1 lakh tonnes of parboiled (Shiddo) and another 50,000 tonnes of white rice (Atap).

Dubai-based Sukhbir Agro Energy quoted the lowest price, $427.85 a tonne, for 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice (first tender) and Singapore-based Agrocorp International quoted the lowest price, $406.48 a tonne, for 50,000 tonnes of white rice (second tender). The bids for the third tender, for 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice, are scheduled to be opened on June 11, food ministry sources said.

As it stands now with 25 percent levies on imported rice, the government would have to pay Tk 44 for each kg of imported rice, Tk 10 more than what it offers farmers and millers.Though the government had plans of buying 13 lakh tonnes of rice from the domestic market this boro season, its offer of Tk 34 a kg fell far short of farmers' and traders' desires. They are now selling at Tk 42-44 a kg in the domestic market.

A month has gone by since official boro procurement began and the government could only sign contracts with millers for 1.6 lakh tonnes of rice. There is no guarantee that the government would actually get that 1.6 lakh tonne of rice.Food Minister Quamrul Islam acknowledged in parliament on Monday that the government's rice stock was low. He said the process to import six lakh tonnes of rice was underway.Meanwhile, a recent report of the Vietnam Economic Times stated that Vietnam would sell up to 10 lakh tonnes of rice to Bangladesh every year until 2022, under an extended MoU first signed in 2011.

Bangladesh did not need to import rice since 2011-12 financial year but after renewing the MoU, it immediately wanted to purchase 2.5 to 3 lakh tonnes of rice and a total of 5 lakh tonnes of rice by the end of 2017, according to the Vietnam News Agency.The government's Food Planning and Monitoring Unit's (FPMU) May 31 report stated that rice prices went up in the international market over the last fortnight. It recorded that prices of Indian, Thai and Vietnamese rice increased up to 8 percent.Market sources said the Philippines was in the international market to buy rice along with flood-ravaged Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, which caused the price hike.


Blight to food safety- rice importation


JUNE 7TH, 2017 



In the past two years, Nigeria has experienced a significant boost in her domestic rice production, largely due to innovative incentives. In 2016, the country recorded an impressive 17.4 per cent increase in output of unmilled rice;-this was estimated at 7.85 million tonnes compared to 6.69 million tonnes in 2014 according to the National Bureau of Statistics. This improvement is a fantastic indicator of equitable and sustainable socioeconomic development, but there is so much more to the story.

For so long, Nigeria has been a major importer of rice. Most of these imports come from Asia, where heavy metal contamination of agricultural land is frequently reported. Heavy metals occur naturally in soil and water resources and uptake from the soil by plants is already an established phenomenon. It is also noteworthy that rice is particularly vulnerable to pollution as it readily scavenges heavy metals from the soil.


However, heavy metal contamination of paddy rice swamps, irrigation water and other cultivation media used to grow rice in Asia have been documented to exceedingly surpass acceptable limits, due to the rapid industrialization experienced in that region recently. The proximity of agricultural, smelting and mining activities to planting regions are postulated to contribute massively to the contamination. In 2013, Guangdong Province government in China reported that 44 per cent of rice samples had excessive Cadmium levels. Similarly high levels of Arsenic, Mercury and Lead have been detected in rice samples from Asia.


A slow-burning epidemic of compromised child development, cancers, lung problems, cardiovascular complications and other degenerative diseases have been associated with heavy metal contamination. The United States Food and Drug Administration warns that long-term exposure to high levels of Arsenic may predispose humans to skin, bladder and lung cancers, as well as heart disease. Other adverse health effects including kidney damage, bone defects, hypertension and cancers have been attributed to Lead, Cadmium and Mercury toxicity.

Experts say that intake of heavy metals through food is a chronic intoxication process by small doses. The body bioaccumulates the toxins insidiously over time, and the excretion and drainage is extremely slow. The half-life of Cadmium for instance is about 17 to 38 years, in other words, it would take that long to reduce by half. Ideally, no individual should be exposed to more than 2 grams of Cadmium in an entire lifetime. Substantial quotients of heavy metals absorbed by the human body eventually concentrate in the kidneys and liver, exerting formidable damage. Rice is a staple part of the diet of most Nigerians, therefore, it represents a leading dietary source of heavy metals to the populace. In a nutshell, rice from Asia constitutes a major public health challenge to Nigeria. To this end, it is imperative to make more intensive efforts to completely eliminate rice imports from this region.


It is apparent that many Nigerians including the elites and urban dwellers consider many varieties of local rice such as Ofada, Abakaliki, Ekpoma and African rice a delicacy. In addition to the perceived superior organoleptic characteristics, certain studies have indicated that some varieties of Nigerian local rice are more nutritive, possess antioxidative properties, are rich in phenolic compounds and confer other health enriching benefits on consumers. However, the occurrence of foreign matter and impurities, as well as cracked and damaged grains in locally grown rice is a major deterrent for consumption.


Rice can be cultivated in virtually all the agro-ecological zones in Nigeria. Vast areas of fertile, arable land (over 79 million hectares), most of which is located in close proximity to rivers useful for irrigation is available. The warm, tropical climate is also very suitable. The competitive status of local rice products in the domestic and international markets can be boosted by improving paddy cultivation and post-harvest practices, providing adequate education to farmers, and improving the quality of life of rural farmers.


 Massive investment in infrastructure, machinery and methodologies is necessary to improve rice cultivation and processing. Policies that will improve local rice processing capacity and enhance the overall quality of locally grown rice should be initiated. The ultimate goal should be to produce clean, table-ready, premium quality rice. We should henceforth, no longer record unmilled rice output but finished ready-to-cook product statistics. Therefore, obsolete and inefficient rice milling activities need to be revised and upgraded. All subsectors of the rice value chain should be revitalized as well.


The reform of our rice production sector will yield numerous benefits; including but not limited to ensuring food safety and security, developing the agricultural sector, creating jobs, and export provisions as well as improving the health and overall wellbeing of Nigerians





India on pace for record rice procurement

WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Riding on expected record harvest, India’s rice procurement already has surpassed the previous record of 36 million tonnes in market year 2009-10. The country’s rice procurement through May 24 is estimated at 36.9 million tonnes compared to 32.6 million tonnes during the corresponding period last year, according to a May 19 report from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
 With additional procurement of rabi and summer rice expected to continue in eastern and southern states, India’s rice procurement in market year 2016-17 is likely to touch a record 38 million tonnes, about 4 million tonnes higher than last year and 2 million tonnes higher than the previous record. The USDA estimates India’s market year 2016-17 rice production at a record 108 million tonnes. Market year 2016-17 area is revised lower to 42.9 million hectares based on the revised official estimates from the Ministry of Agriculture. Consequently, market year 2016-17 rice yields are estimated at a record 2.51 tonnes per hectare. According to the USDA report, the normal 2016 monsoon supported timely planting, lower incidence of pest and diseases, and relatively lower harvest losses due to untimely rains at the time of harvest. The relatively higher share of high yielding non-Basmati rice compared to the long grain Basmati rice supported higher rice production in the north Indian states.
 Indian rice exports have been strong since the beginning of calendar year 2017 on relatively strong demand for non-Basmati rice, mainly from African countries and neighboring Bangladesh. According to preliminary official statistics, rice exports from October 2016 to March 2017 were estimated at 5.2 million tonnes compared to 4.8 million tonnes for the corresponding period last year, largely on strong resurgence in the demand for both Basmati and non-Basmati rice since December 2016. Assuming no significant changes in the price parity for Indian rice during the remaining marketing year, market year 2016-17 exports are likely to reach 11 million tonnes compared to 10.2 million tonnes in the previous year. However, any change in the import policy of the major destination country or in the value of the Indian rupee against the U.S. dollar may affect the export prospects in the second half of the marketing year. Market year 2017-18 rice exports are forecast at 10 million tonnes on sufficient domestic supplies, assuming continued export demand and international price parity for Indian rice.

Alleged “fake” Basmati rice to be tested by Sri Lanka’s MRI
A social media claim via Facebook that Basmathi rice purchased from Lanka Sathosa is made of plastic drew a strong rebuttal and response from the state-owned organization on Monday. T.M.K.B. Tennekoon, Chairman, Lanka Sathosa Ltd, told reporters at a hurriedly-summoned news conference, that after investigation by the Medical Research Institute (MRI), if the so-called report is proved wrong they would take legal action against the media concerned for damages caused to the organisation’s goodwill.
 He alleged that the media can create a big commotion in the society out of a minute thing (Ivakbawak nethiwa ada maadhyayata puluwan podi theyak aragena mawaapanna ratte okkoma kelabenawa).  Twenty tons of this rice was purchase from a local trader registered with Lanka Sathosa after a tender board approval in which the rice was imported from Pakistan, he said and consequent to the Facebook account claim the sale of the balance quantity of seven metric tons has been suspended.   However, grilled by the media, Mr Tennekoon was forced to concede that there is no trustworthy food testing facilities in Sri Lanka with the result that there is a possibility of substandard food being sold to the consumers.(QP)

Police urge calm after plastic rice claims in Hyderabad
Students said the rice was very sticky and they made balls and played cricket with them
Hyderabad: Police on Tuesday appealed for calm as alleged incidents of sale of plastic rice and plastic eggs were reported in Hyderabad and Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool district. Two incidents of ‘plastic rice’ surfaced in Yousufguda and Meerpet areas in Hyderabad on Tuesday. Inmates of a private hostel in Yousufguda complained that the cooked rice provided to them Monday night was plastic rice as it tasted differently.
The students said the rice was very sticky and they made balls and played cricket with them. Claiming that the eggs bought by the hostel owner were also of plastic, the students lodged a complaint with Yousufguda police station. Authorities collected the samples and launched investigations. In another incident in Meerpet on the city outskirts, a citizen complained that the rice he purchased from a local merchant was plastic rice.
 He too lodged a complaint with the police. The incidents came two days after a TV journalist in Saroornagar area was attacked by a hotel owner and his aides after he complained about plastic rice in ‘biryani’. Meanwhile, police in the old city of Hyderabad said that a complaint about plastic rice was lodged at Mir Chowk police station but an analysis of the sample in laboratory revealed that it was not plastic though hazardous. Deputy Commissioner of Police V. Satyanarayana told reporters on Tuesday that the analysis showed that during polishing of the rice, chemicals beyond permissible limits were used.
While there was no need for any panic, people should remain alert and bring to the notice of police any instance of sale of plastic rice, he said. An alleged incident of plastic rice sale in the temple town of Srisailam in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh also created flutter on Monday. Some people complained that a merchant sold them plastic rice. Police said they were investigating. Experts say that it’s easy to detect plastic rice. If rice is poured in a water container and falls to the bottom, it is organic rice, else it is plastic rice. Also if cooked rice is kept for a longer period, fungus get deposited if the rice is organic. According to doctors, if plastic is consumed on sustained basis, it leads to hormonal imbalance, digestion, absorption problems, birth defects and even cancer.


GlobaI Institute to open rice research centre in Varanasi

Subhash Mishra| TNN | Jun 6, 2017, 05.55 AM IST
LUCKNOW: The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is likely to be open its centre in Varanasi soon as Prime Minister Narendra Modi evinced keen interest in enhancing rice production in the country through propagation of multiple- stress-resistant varieties.

Speaking exclusively to TOI, IRRI's 
South Asia coordinator Dr U S Singh and agriculturist, Mukesh Gautam a consultant at the institute, soon after meeting chief secretary Rahul Bhatnagar claimed that the first green revolution of the 1970s had hardly any impact on the eastern parts of India, including eastern UP. "That is the reason it was decided to set up IRRI's centre in Varanasi," said the experts, adding that the institute has its headquarters at Manila, Phillipines.
The IRRI is devoted to enhancing rice production through use of lesser water and introduction of drought and flood resistant varieties produced in China. "India is the largest exporter of rice and the agenda now is to exceed production in China which does not have yield quality varieties like Basmati," said Singh.
Both agriculture experts of Indian origin are working towards popularising rice in Africa and to introduce new varieties that can sustain odd weather.
"Eastern India depends mostly on rains and has a very small irrigated area, so the region is most vulnerable to frequent floods and droughts and that is why IRRI has taken up the cause of introducing weather resistant varieties of rice in the region," said Gautam. He lamented that despite major effort and government intervention, not more than 50% agricultural land is irrigated while the remaining is rain-fed.
Singh said that Central government has shown keen interest in improving the yield and has supported the IRRI project of setting up a research Centre in Varanasi. It has in principle been approved by the agriculture ministry too and a cabinet meeting will finally approve the opening of its centre. "Though IRRI is a world organisation funded by the public and NGOs don't have any research centre anywhere in the world we are happy to start a research centre in Varanasi," he said

Plastic rice on your platter?

Very little authentic information available on plastic rice from food experts has made people anxious in the State capital.
By AuthorM. Sai Gopal  |   Published: 7th Jun 2017  12:05 am Updated: 7th Jun 2017  12:44 am
Hyderabad: Against the backdrop of apprehensions triggered by reports of plastic rice being sold in the city, the Civil Supplies Department on Tuesday collected samples from a rice outlet in Meerpet and sent them for laboratory analysis.
The department swung into action after a resident of Meerpet lodged a complaint with the police, alleging that the rice he bought from the outlet had characteristics similar to a synthetic or plastic material. However, officials said clarity on the complaint and the rice would emerge once the lab reports were available.
Civil Supplies Commissioner CV Anand, confirming the collection of samples, said the reports were expected to be submitted on Wednesday. On the possibility of collecting more samples, he said much would depend on the lab reports and action would be initiated accordingly.
Earlier, the incident saw posts on plastic rice going viral on social media and vernacular news channels airing the same through the day, triggering concern among the public. The absence of authentic information on the issue not coming from food experts only aggravated the anxiety.
According to the Indian Dietetic Association (IDA) and food technology experts, there is no set definition for plastic rice due to lack of thorough analysis in accredited food laboratories in Hyderabad or elsewhere. Experts said what was being projected as plastic rice could be a wrong type of rice starch made into rice granules and given synthetic coating. It could also be starch derived from plant sources like tapioca or sweet potato and made to look like rice granules. The plastic rice could also be a synthetic material that is made to look like rice.

“There is no need for people to take plastic rice in the literal sense because so far, there has been no analysis done in a laboratory. We suspect that there could be some synthetic source of starch in the shape of rice. Further analysis has to be done before people come to any conclusions,” said Janaki Srinath, National Executive Member of IDA.
On the other hand, rice millers have come out saying such incidents are sporadic and have requested customers to procure rice from reputed sellers and brands.
“It is difficult to differentiate between normal and adulterated rice with the naked eye. However, while purchasing, customers can taste raw rice on the spot. They can immediately make out the difference and complain to police,” members of Karmanghat Rice Millers Association said.
Meanwhile, senior doctors said consuming any kind artificial additives in food or even plastic was harmful.
“Additives to make food items attractive or cheap are always harmful. And, if it is real plastic, it’s dangerous because plastic is made from chemicals. There could be traces of heavy metals, lead and even cadmium,” says B Balraju, Vice-President (Medical Services), Yashoda Hospitals.

Rice storage offers price security

  Rice millers can expect a certain degree of price stability in their exports with the construction of a 200,000-tonne capacity rice warehouse and a 3,000-tonne silo facility in Battambang province. The silo is expected to be finished by the end of the year and the warehouse will be fully operational for the 2018 harvest season, according to the CEO of the Cambodia Rice Bank. 
 Phou Puy, CEO of the Cambodia Rice Bank, said that once the facility is ready, it will help stabilise prices during the harvest season and will benefit farmers in Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Pursat and Siem Reap provinces.  “We spent about $5 million on machines and other facilities for silos and all of these facilities will be installed in July,” Mr Puy said.
 Cambodia Rice Bank, which won the $15 million contract to build the facility from the state-run Rural Development Bank in April signed a construction and design agreement with the Cambodian company NGY Investment on the warehouse.
 It also signed two other agreements with Taiwan’s Agrosun Co and Thailand’s International Rice Engineering Co to supply machinery for the silos.  Mr Puy said farmers will no longer have concerns about rice production and price fluctuations after harvests. The rice, he said, could be stored when prices were low and released to be sold when prices recovered.

Phon Nary, director-general of Heng Huch Rice mill in Battambang, said the facility would not benefit his mill but would be of use to farmers. He said his warehouse could store about 3,000 tonnes of paddy rice and his silo processes about 45 tonnes of milled rice per day. 
 “It is good for farmers in the context of preventing the flow of rice to neighbouring countries, but for me as rice miller, I cannot purchase rice to store there,” Mr Nary said.Last September, the price of fragrant rice fell to about 600 riel ($0.15) per kilo, leaving many farmers complaining that the price was too low to support their families and pay back farming loans.
 The farmers used to receive 800 riel ($0.20) per kilogramme. The fall came after rice mills did not have enough funds and space for storage. There was also a lack of silos for drying and processing paddy rice while the global rice price fell. The Ministry of Economy and Finance allocated about $20 million from the emergency budget fund to the Rural Development Bank to implement a special government programme. The money would be used to both stabilise currently falling prices and pay farmers, at market prices, for their newly harvested rice. 

Through this programme, the government will purchase about 90,000 tonnes of rice from farmers, which should increase the rice price to more than 940,000 riel ($235) a tonne.
Khmer Times

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Health Survey Shows Consumer Confusion, But Bright Spots for Rice 
 ARLINGTON, VA -- According to the International Food Information Council Foundation's 12th Annual Food and Health Survey, food information overload is having a detrimental effect on decisions Americans make when it comes to diet and health, however, there's good news for rice in some areas.

The survey, of more than 1,000 American adults, revealed that 96 percent of consumers seek out health benefits in what they eat and drink, however, 78 percent report seeing confusing or conflicting information about what to eat and what to avoid.

"Part of this is their own fault, since 77 percent say they look to friends and family for nutrition and food safety information, but only 29 percent say they trust their friends and family," said Michael Klein, vice president of domestic promotion for USA Rice.  "The good news is they also seek out and trust Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) either in person or online or on television."

Klein said USA Rice has spent several years building up strong networks of RDNs to help disseminate good and useful information about U.S.-grown rice, including Supermarket Retail Dietitian Toolkits that provide ideas for thinking, writing, and talking about rice with consumers that are distributed in the run up to National Rice Month.

More good news for U.S. grown rice can be found in attitudes on package and label information.

Eighty-eight percent of respondents want to be able to recognize ingredients listed on the package, and 76 percent make purchasing decisions based on the number of ingredients listed.

"So many of the packages in our aisle list a single, clearly identifiable ingredient: 'milled rice,' it is reassuring to consumers," Klein said.

The survey found consumers remain distrustful of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), with 73 percent seeking out non-GMO food because they believe these foods are either healthier, safer, or better for the environment.

"With no GMO rice in commercial production in this country, we can satisfy consumers with these concerns," Klein said.  "Interesting to us is that we also have a great sustainability story to tell, but it doesn't resonate as strongly with consumers yet."

Amongst labels consumers regularly seek out on food packages, "Sustainably Sourced" came in last behind: "No added hormones," "Natural," "No antibiotics," "Pesticide-free," "Non-GMO," "Organic," and "Locally-Sourced." 

"We have a healthy, safe, sustainably-produced product and it is gratifying to see these factors are all important to consumers to one degree or another," Klein said.  "We'll continue to tell our story to explain why U.S.-grown rice is always the right choice."
Continual rainfall in recent days has Louisiana farmers worried about disease problems in their rice crop, an LSU AgCenter plant pathologist said at rice field days held in Jefferson Davis and Evangeline parishes.
“In the last week and a half, I’ve probably had 20 to 30 disease calls,” said LSU AgCenter plant pathologist Don Groth, speaking at the Evangeline Parish rice field day on June 1.Groth also spoke about those concerns at the field day held the previous day in Fenton.
Groth urged farmers to scout their fields and to use fungicides on time, usually at the boot stage with 2- to 4-inch panicles in the head. But a treatment for blast disease should be applied at heading. “Once an epidemic gets going, it takes a lot more to stop it than if you catch it in the beginning,” he said.
Sheath blight is showing up in some fields, but occurrence is erratic. Fields where soybeans are planted in rotation with rice are more likely to have the disease than rice fields following crawfish, Groth said.
Blast disease has not been a problem so far. “If you see it, make sure everything is flooded,” he said.Fungicide applications should be avoided immediately after or before a rain, he added.

New genetics

AgCenter rice breeder Adam Famoso said a new genetics lab funded by the Louisiana Rice Research Board is providing new benefits with improvements in the foundation seed program. Varieties grown for seed at the AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station can be screened to minimize off-types.
AgCenter rice breeder Steve Linscombe said last year’s flooding resulted in some rice seed with low vigor. Some of the plots at one of the field day locations were seeded with low-vigor seed, and those plots were more adversely affected by recent heavy rainfalls.
A Clearfield Jazzman line under development will have improved yield from previous versions of Jazzman. “I think this market will slowly continue to expand,” he said.
AgCenter rice specialist Dustin Harrell said the rice crop got off to a good start this year with a warm winter and spring that allowed early planting.
This year’s crop of 400,000 acres in Louisiana is about 8 percent lower than last year. “Everything was looking good until late April when we got significant rainfall,” he said.

Lost acreage

About 4,000 acres of rice were lost in Louisiana because of floods, but rice acreage in Missouri and Arkansas had more significant losses, with more than 150,000 acres ruined in Arkansas.
Harrell said a new product to prevent nitrogen fertilizer losses will be available in 2018.
AgCenter entomologist Blake Wilson said a high percentage the for Louisiana rice acreage was treated with Dermacor, suggesting that heavy dependence on the product could lead to resistance problems.
No insecticides can be used in fields where crawfish are raised, but farmers can reduce stinkbugs by keeping levees and ditches mowed, he said.
The rice leaf miner is showing up this year, he said, but it poses little threat to yield.
AgCenter weed scientist Eric Webster said the herbicide benzobicyclon could be available in Louisiana next year as Rogue. The product is good for controlling aquatic weeds, but it does not have the broad spectrum weed control of another new product, Loyant, he said.


AgCenter plant pathologist Boyd Padgett said this year’s soybean crop looks good so far. “I’m impressed with the crop overall,” he said.
Farmers are concerned about how long soybeans can survive flooded conditions, Padgett said. Research indicates soybeans can survive 48 to 96 hours of flooding, but it depends on growth stage, temperature after drainage and water clarity.
AgCenter plant pathologist Trey Price said the soybean disease called taproot decline is caused by a fungus. LSU graduate students have several studies under way on the problem.
Taproot decline is unlikely in south Louisiana because the disease is found in fields where soybeans are planted in consecutive years, he said.
Work is ongoing to find a solution to Cercospora that is resistant to fungicides. “I think resistant varieties will be our ultimate solution to resistant Cercospora blight,” Price said
elta Farm Press

June brings many challenges to weed control in rice

North Arkansas continues to be wet, making it difficult to properly time preflood nitrogen and herbicide applications in rice.
Ford Baldwin 1 | Jun 05, 2017
I am getting the normal calls that “my field was clean last week and there is 4-leaf barnyardgrass everywhere this week and half the field is covered in water!” Welcome to June in rice weed control.
On preflood applications I always assume the grass is big. Often choice of treatments now is more a matter of what you can get sprayed as opposed to what a first or second choice might be.
Where it can be applied, I have recommended a lot of Regiment and Regiment plus Ricestar HT combinations. I have also recommended a lot of Ricestar HT plus Beyond and Regiment plus Beyond in Clearfield rice. Where grasses are larger and there is a mix of species, I prefer mixtures. The Ricestar HT plus Beyond is a stout combination that can be blown toward soybeans.
Sometimes, where it is impossible to get a Newpath or Beyond treatment out because of conventional rice, Regiment alone can be a nice fit if the grass is barnyardgrass.
I have recommended more RebelEX this year than normal — either because I needed a recommendation that could be blown toward corn or the weed spectrum was a mix of grasses, broadleaf and aquatic weeds.

Herbicide drift

Another big story continues to be drift. In rice is a mixed bag of glyphosate, paraquat and Newpath or Beyond on conventional rice. More paraquat or Gramoxone is being used every year because of glyphosate-resistant weeds.
Paraquat by itself often is a burner and rice recovery can be quite rapid. However most of it is being applied with metribuzin in it to increase the effectiveness. In fact I seldom recommend paraquat without a photosynthetic inhibiting herbicide in it. This complicates the drift injury by increasing the severity and making recovery much slower.
I have been admonished several times this year to write about respecting your neighbors when applying herbicides. I do not know what else to say! Most of the drift situations I have walked this year were the result of ground applications. In most cases there was a strong wind blowing right at the injured crop. This is either blatant disregard for a neighbor, overconfidence in the equipment or both.
I am frequently told “you can see right where the spray stopped — I painted a line!” Yes, it painted a line in the vegetation that it took full rates to kill, but the fines from the pattern blew a half mile across the rice field!
You simply cannot apply a herbicide with the wind blowing toward a susceptible crop in an adjacent field without expecting bad things to happen.
The other story in the field continues to be reports of pigweed escapes and off-target issues with dicamba applications in the Xtend crops. If we ever had a year we needed a new technology to get off to a good start, it is this one, and some of the things going on are disappointing. Sound science definitely got disconnected from marketing and regulatory regarding dicamba. Hopefully most of this is correctable but it remains to be seen ontrol-rice

Sathosa suspends controversial ‘Basmathi’ rice sale

2017-06-05 21:01:03
The distribution and selling of the controversial consignment of 'Basmathi' rice imported from Pakistan has been suspended with immediate effect, Lanka Sathosa Chairman T. M. K. B. Tennekoon said.Panic made among the consumers due to a video went viral on social network news describing the subject rice as ‘Plastic Rice’ due to its several suspicious qualities.
Addressing a press briefing Mr. Tennakoon said selling and distribution of the Basmathi imported rice has been completely halted through the Lanka Sathosa outlets after he heard the rumors however, only 4 metric tons out of 20 imported left in the stores and the others has been already disposed.
“We will send the suspicious rice sample to Medical Research Institute (MRI) today and it will take minimum two weeks period to receive the report. Until then we will not sell the 'Basmathi' rice imported from Pakistan,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Tennakoon said they will complain to the Crime Investigation Department (CID) to probe weather this issue was an intentionally created to defame the Lanka Sathosa state retail super market chain. (Thilanka Kanakarathna)
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Rice farmers encouraged to plant maize after harvests

in General | June 05, 2017 | (456 views) | By Thai PBS Reporters

Low-land rice farmers will be encouraged to plant maize after rice harvests in an attempt to reduce high-land forest encroachment to clear land for maize cultivation.
Agriculture Minister Chatchai Sarikalya said on Monday that, from his discussion with representatives of the animal feed manufacturers’ association, it was learned that animal feed producers need between 7-8 million tonnes of maize year as raw material to produce animal feed.
Of the 7-8 million tonnes of maize needed for the industry, half of them came from legitimate farmland the rest came from high-land plantations on land which was used to be covered with forest but which was destroyed and encroached.
The agriculture minister said he would call a meeting on June 19 with representatives of the animal feed manufacturers’ association, the maize buyers association and rice farmers who want to plant maize after rice harvests to discuss maize production to meet domestic consumption and the purchase of maize crops from the farmers.
The Agriculture Ministry aims to cultivate maize on 3.36 million rai of land after rice harvests.
Mr Pornsilp Patcharinrattanakul, president of animal feed manufacturers association, said that demand for maize this year was estimated at 19.64 million tonnes – up 5.4 percent from last year’s 18.63 million tonnes
GCAP identifies 20,000 hectares for rice farming

06 JUNE 2017
Rice being harvested at Bontanga in the Northern Region. Picture: Seth J. Bokpe
The Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project (GCAP) has identified 20,000 hectares suitable for rice cultivation in the Nasia-Nabogo valley in the Northern Region.Feasibility studies in the area reveal that while half of the land could be cultivated under improved rain-fed agriculture, the rest could be cultivated through irrigation with water from the Nasia and Nabogo rivers. The GCAP is a World Bank/United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded project. The land was identified with support from the Land Administration Project (LAP).
Known as the Nasia-Nabogo Inland Valley Improved Rainfed Scheme for Rice Production, it is expected to significantly increase rice production and ultimately cut down the country’s rice import bill.
During a recent tour of the project, communities in the Northern and Upper East regions, the Communication Specialist of GCAP, Mr Daniel Kondor, told the Daily Graphic that the project had been working with investors on putting a minimum of 3,000 hectares under improved rain-fed rice production since last year as part of the objectives of GCAP in reducing poverty and ensuring food security. It is also promoting an all-inclusive commercial farming activities along selected commodity value chain.
According to the project’s documents made available to the Daily Graphic, GCAP is funding the development of the land. Contractors were engaged in April last year for a pilot development of 600 hectares but were able to realise 485 hectares by June last year, which was cropped by six farmers. Yields of up to four tonnes per hectare were achieved and in the process, several jobs were created.
Continuing this year, the contractors are back on the field doing remedial works to enable completion of the 600 hectares in preparedness for 2017 cultivation.GCAP is expected to add another 500 hectares while advertising for investor farmers to take up additional 1,900 hectares in 2017.
The project also intends to get agribusiness companies to partner farmer-based organisations in the Nasia Nabogo valley to crop 7,000 hectares.The remaining 10,000 hectares that will be put under an irrigation system within the valley is a long-term project that will need the construction of dams.
GCAP previously supported farmers under its first matching grant, under which 3,563 hectares are under cultivation in communities in the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) zone, including the Volta Region.
GCAP started the implementation of a matching grant scheme in mid-2014 to support farmers with various interventions to remove constraints that impeded the growth and sustainability of their businesses.
Thirty grantees (and their smallholder farmers) are being supported under the scheme. They consist of eight grantees in the Accra Plains and 22 in the SADA zone. As of the end of March 2016, US$7.1 million (75 per cent of earmarked funds) had been disbursed to support the various interventions.
At Biu in the Kassena Nankana district in the Upper East Region, outgrowers working with Sambay Enterprise, one of the nucleus farmers, expressed appreciation for the support they had received, including land preparations and the provision of inputs such as fertiliser.
According to the farmers, before the GCAP intervention, the average yield of rice per acre was nine bags but it had since increased to about 15 bags.
“The reason for the increase in yield is that the land preparation was done early for planting. We also received quality seeds from Sambay. In the past, we were using our own seeds,” Ms Yaa Abatisohma, one of the outgrowers, said at a meeting with GCAP officials to assess the performance of the project.
The farmers were also excited about the ready market for the products.At Tamalgu in the Karaga district in the Northern Region, smallholder farmers also recorded increases in their yields; from 10-12 bags of rice per acre cultivated before the GCAP intervention, to 15-17 bags per acre after the support.The beneficiary farmers received training in best practices, including weed control, pest identification and fertiliser use.
Among the challenges identified by the farmers are late preparation of land before the rains, high cost of fertiliser, inadequate threshers and harvesters and high cost of harvesting.

140,000 farmers to get anchor borrower loan in Kebbi
June 5, 2017
A farmer inspects his maize crop at a farm in Senekal, South Africa, February 29, 2012. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, said on Monday that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would grant loan to140,000 rice farmers in the state under the next phase of its Anchor Borrower Programme.Bagudu made the disclosure in Birnin Kebbi when he addressed some APC loyalists in the state.
“The CBN has agreed to provide soft loan to 140,000 farmers in the next phase of anchor borrowers programme.“This will ensure that our state remain on top in the rice production chart as well as a leading exporter of the commodity”.The governor said efforts were on to fully recover unpaid loan released to farmers under the programme in 2016.
He urged farmers who were yet to repay the loan to do so, so as to enable others to benefit.Bagudu stressed that agriculture would continue to be accorded top priority by his administration

 Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- JUN 05, 2017
CommoditiesJun 05, 2017 13:50

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- JUN 05, 2017

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices - APMC/Open Market-June 5 Nagpur, June 5 (Reuters) - Gram prices firmed up again in Nagpur Agriculture Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) auction on increased buying support from local millers amid thin supply from producing regions because of farmers strike in all over Maharashtra. Repeated enquiries from South-based millers also jacked up prices. Only 550 bags of gram and 1,450 bags of tuar were available for auctions, according to sources.
* Gram varieties suffered heavily in open market here on subdued demand from local
traders amid profit-taking selling by stockists at higher level.
* Tuar varieties reported down in open market on poor buying support from local
traders amid good supply from producing regions.
* Masoor and Udid varieties moved down in open market in absence of buyers amid
healthy supply from producing regions.
* In Akola, Tuar New - 3,600-3,700, Tuar dal (clean) - 5,400-5,600, Udid Mogar (clean)
- 8,200-9,200, Moong Mogar (clean) 6,800-7,200, Gram - 5,500-5,800, Gram Super best
- 7,200-7,400
* Wheat, rice and other commodities moved in a narrow range in
scattered deals and settled at last levels in thin trading activity.
Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg
Available prices
Previous close
Gram Auction
Gram Pink Auction
Tuar Auction
Moong Auction
Udid Auction
Masoor Auction
Wheat Mill quality Auction
Gram Super Best Bold
Gram Super Best
Gram Medium Best
Gram Dal Medium
Gram Mill Quality
Desi gram Raw
Gram Yellow
Gram Kabuli
Tuar Fataka Best-New
Tuar Fataka Medium-New
Tuar Dal Best Phod-New
Tuar Dal Medium phod-New
Tuar Gavarani New
Tuar Karnataka
Masoor dal best
Masoor dal medium
Moong Mogar bold (New)
Moong Mogar Medium
Moong dal Chilka
Moong Mill quality
Moong Chamki best
Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 8,500-9,500
Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)
Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)
Batri dal (100 INR/KG)
Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg)
Watana Dal (100 INR/KG)
Watana White (100 INR/KG)
Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG)
Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG)
Wheat Mill quality (100 INR/KG)
Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG)
Wheat Lokwan new (100 INR/KG)
Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG)
Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG) 1,900-2,100
Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG)
MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG)
MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)
Rice BPT new (100 INR/KG)
Rice BPT best (100 INR/KG)
Rice BPT medium (100 INR/KG)
Rice Luchai (100 INR/KG)
Rice Swarna new (100 INR/KG)
Rice Swarna best (100 INR/KG)
Rice Swarna medium (100 INR/KG)
Rice HMT New (100 INR/KG)
Rice HMT best (100 INR/KG)
Rice HMT medium (100 INR/KG)
Rice Shriram New(100 INR/KG)
Rice Shriram best 100 INR/KG)
Rice Shriram med (100 INR/KG)
Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG)
Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG)
Rice Chinnor New(100 INR/KG)
Rice Chinnor best 100 INR/KG)
Rice Chinnor medium (100 INR/KG)
Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG)
Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG)
1,800-1,900 WEATHER (NAGPUR) Maximum temp. 43.0 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 30.0 degree Celsius Rainfall : Nil FORECAST: Partly cloudy sky. Maximum and minimum temperature would be around and 43 and 29 degree Celsius respectively. Note: n.a.--not available (For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but included in market prices)

India sees 2017 monsoon rains at 98% of long term average

The HinduThe monsoon delivers about 70 per cent of India's annual rainfall, critical for the farm sector. Photo: K V S Giri
Forecasting systems currently indicate neutral El Nino conditions until the end of this year
India's crucial monsoon rains are expected to reach 98 per cent of the long-term average this year, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Tuesday, 2 percentage points higher than its previous forecast, potentially boosting farm incomes and economic growth.
The monsoon delivers about 70 per cent of India's annual rainfall, critical for the farm sector that accounts for about 15 per cent of India's $2 trillion economy and employs more than half of the country's 1.3 billion people. Monthly rainfall across the country is likely to be 96 per cent of its long-term average during July, and 99 per cent of the average during August, both with a model error of 9 per cent, IMD said in a statement.
In April, the IMD forecast this year's monsoon rains at 96 per cent of the 50-year average of 89 centimetres.
India's 260 million farmers depend on monsoon rains to grow crops such as rice, cane, corn, cotton and soybeans because nearly half of the country's farmland lacks irrigation. Monsoon rains lashed the Kerala coast of southwest last month in what was the earliest start to the rains since 2011.
El Nino impact
India's forecasting systems currently indicate neutral El Nino conditions until the end of this year, the IMD said, in contrast to the outlook from other global climate centres which see a 60 per cent probability of weak El Nino conditions developing during the second half of this year.
El Nino, a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific that typically occurs every few years and was linked to crop damage, fires and flash floods, faded in 2016. Reuters reported in May that India was likely to receive higher monsoon rainfall than previously forecast as concern over the El Nino weather pattern eased.
India's monsoon is also likely to receive a boost from the Indian ocean dipole (IOD) phenomenon, also called the Indian Nino, as weak positive IOD conditions are likely to develop during the monsoon season, according to the statement.
The India Meteorology Department has for the first time relied on the so-called dynamic model to improve the accuracy of one of the world's most vital weather forecasts. The new system, based on a US model tweaked for India, could help India raise its farm output by nearly 15 per cent, by helping farmers tweak the best time to sow, irrigate or apply fertiliser, and, if rains fail, plan state-wide measures.
(This article was published on June 6, 2017)
Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- JUN 06, 2017
Nagpur Foodgrain Prices – APMC/Open Market-June 6

Nagpur, June 6 (Reuters) – Gram and tuar prices moved down in Nagpur Agriculture Produce andMarketing Committee (APMC) auction on lack of demand from local millers amid good supply from producing regions. Fresh fall in Madhya Pradesh gram prices and high moisture content arrivalalso pulled down prices. Farmers strike in major parts of Maharashtra also affected arrival.Only 150 bags of gram and 250 bags of tuar were available for auctions, according to sources.

   * Desi gram raw moved down further in open market on lack of demand from local traders.
     Weak trend in other foodgrain market in the region also affected sentiment. 
   * Tuar varieties ruled steady in open market here but demand was poor.

   * Rice Shriram recovered in open market on increased demand from local traders amid
     weak supply from producing regions.
   * In Akola, Tuar New – 3,600-3,700, Tuar dal (clean) – 5,400-5,600, Udid Mogar (clean)
    – 8,200-9,200, Moong Mogar (clean) 6,800-7,200, Gram – 5,500-5,800, Gram Super best
    – 7,200-7,400

   * Wheat, other varieties of rice and other commodities moved in a narrow range in
     scattered deals and settled at last levels in thin trading activity.
 Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg
     FOODGRAINS                 Available prices     Previous close  
     Gram Auction                  4,400-4,850         4,500-5,040
     Gram Pink Auction            n.a.           2,100-2,600
     Tuar Auction                3,400-3,740         3,400-3,785
     Moong Auction                n.a.                3,900-4,200
     Udid Auction                n.a.           4,300-4,500
     Masoor Auction                n.a.              2,600-2,800
     Wheat Mill quality Auction        1,500-1,624        1,500-1,618
     Gram Super Best Bold            7,500-8,000        7,500-8,000
     Gram Super Best            n.a.            n.a.
     Gram Medium Best            6,700-7,000        6,700-7,000
     Gram Dal Medium            n.a.            n.a
     Gram Mill Quality            5,100-5,200        5,100-5,200
     Desi gram Raw                5,750-5,950         5,800-6,000
     Gram Yellow                 7,200-7,500        7,200-7,500
     Gram Kabuli                12,300-13,400        12,300-13,400
     Tuar Fataka Best-New             5,800-6,000        5,800-6,000
     Tuar Fataka Medium-New        5,400-5,600        5,400-5,600
     Tuar Dal Best Phod-New        5,200-5,500        5,200-5,500
     Tuar Dal Medium phod-New        4,800-5,000        4,800-5,000
     Tuar Gavarani New             3,800-3,900        3,800-3,900
     Tuar Karnataka             4,000-4,150        4,000-4,150
     Masoor dal best            5,200-5,500        5,200-5,500
     Masoor dal medium            4,600-5,000        4,600-5,000
     Masoor                    n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Mogar bold (New)        7,000-7,500         7,000-7,500
     Moong Mogar Medium            6,500-6,800        6,500-6,800
     Moong dal Chilka            5,500-6,500        5,500-6,500
     Moong Mill quality            n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Chamki best            7,000-8,000        7,000-8,000
     Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 8,500-9,500       8,500-9,500
     Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)    7,000-8,000        7,000-8,000   
     Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)        5,200-5,500        5,200-5,500    
     Batri dal (100 INR/KG)        5,200-5,500        5,200-5,500
     Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg)          3,100-3,300         3,100-3,300
     Watana Dal (100 INR/KG)            2,900-3,000        2,900-3,000
     Watana White (100 INR/KG)           3,400-3,600           3,400-3,600
     Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG)    4,000-4,500        4,000-4,500  
     Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG)        1,950-2,050        1,950-2,050
     Wheat Mill quality (100 INR/KG)    1,750-1,850        1,750-1,850  
     Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG)         2,150-2,350           2,150-2,350        
     Wheat Lokwan new (100 INR/KG)    1,850-2,050        1,850-2,050
     Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG)    2,200-2,400        2,200-2,400   
     Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG)   1,900-2,100        1,900-2,100
     Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG)    n.a.            n.a.
     MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG)    3,100-3,500        3,100-3,500   
     MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)    2,300-2,800        2,300-2,800          
     Rice BPT new (100 INR/KG)        2,900-3,400        2,900-3,400
     Rice BPT best (100 INR/KG)        3,500-4,000        3,500-4,000   
     Rice BPT medium (100 INR/KG)        3,000-3,200        3,000-3,200   
     Rice Luchai (100 INR/KG)         2,500-2,800        2,500-2,800
     Rice Swarna new (100 INR/KG)       2,300-2,500        2,300-2,500  
     Rice Swarna best (100 INR/KG)      2,600-2,800        2,600-2,800  
     Rice Swarna medium (100 INR/KG)      2,400-2,500        2,400-2,500  
     Rice HMT New (100 INR/KG)        3,600-4,000        3,600-4,000
     Rice HMT best (100 INR/KG)           4,500-5,000        4,500-5,000   
     Rice HMT medium (100 INR/KG)        4,100-4,300        4,100-4,300   
     Rice Shriram New(100 INR/KG)           4,800-5,200        4,700-5,100
     Rice Shriram best 100 INR/KG)    6,500-7,000        6,400-6,900
     Rice Shriram med (100 INR/KG)    5,800-6,200        5,700-6,100  
     Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG)    10,000-14,000        10,000-14,000    
     Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG)    6,200-8,500        6,200-8,500   
     Rice Chinnor New(100 INR/KG)        4,600-4,800        4,600-4,800
     Rice Chinnor best 100 INR/KG)    6,000-6,500        5,800-6,300   
     Rice Chinnor medium (100 INR/KG)    5,500-5,800        5,100-5,300  
     Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG)        1,900-2,200        1,900-2,200   
     Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG)         1,800-1,900        1,800-1,900

Maximum temp. 40.5 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 30.3 degree Celsius
Rainfall : Nil
FORECAST: Partly cloudy sky. Maximum and minimum temperature would be around and 40 and 30degree Celsius respectively.

Note: n.a.--not available
(For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but included in market prices)

GIEWS Country Brief: India 05-June-2017

Published on 05 Jun 2017 
·         Wheat production in 2017 estimated at record level
·         Aggregate cereal production rebounded in 2016
·         Total cereal exports in 2017/18 forecast close to last year’s reduced level
·         Rice prices stable, while those of wheat on decrease
Wheat production in 2017 estimated at record level
Harvesting of the 2017, mostly irrigated, rabi (winter) wheat is nearing completion, with the bulk already harvested. Latest official estimates put this year’s output at a record high of 97.4 million tonnes, 6 percent above last year’s good level. The expected increase is due mostly on a 7 percent year-on-year expansion of the area to 31.8 million hectares, encouraged by State incentives provided in the form of large State purchases at high Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) ( FPMA Food Policies ), strong domestic prices and adequate irrigation water supplies.Planting of the 2017/18 main kharif season crops, including rice and maize, has just started. FAO tentatively forecasts the 2017 rice production at 165.5 million tonnes (110.2 million tonnes, milled basis), slightly above the 2016 record crop. However, the current forecast is highly tentative, as the performance of the monsoon rains from June to September will be critical in determining the main season’s output and will influence water availability for the secondary rabi season crop, planted in the last quarter of the year. The Government support to the rice sector, such as large domestic procurement operations at minimum support prices, is encouraging farmers to continue favouring rice cultivation over other crops in 2017. The 2017 maize output is anticipated by FAO at 26 million tonnes, close to the 2016 record output, under the assumption that strong domestic demand keeps plantings at last year’s high level.
Cereal production rebounded in 2016
The 2016 season is closed now and the latest official estimates indicate a rebound in the aggregate cereal output, reflecting an overall recovery in plantings and yields mostly sustained by favourable weather conditions. The 2016/17 rice crop is set at 163.7 million tonnes (109.2 million tonnes, milled basis), implying a 5 percent rebound from the 2015 dry weather-affected output. The 2016 maize output is officially estimated at 26.1 million tonnes, a 16 percent increase from last year’s reduced level. The 2016 wheat production, harvested earlier in 2016, is put at 92.3 million tonnes, an increase of 7 percent year-on-year.
Total cereal exports in 2017/18 forecast close to last year’s reduced level
Cereal exports in the 2017/18 marketing year (April/March) are forecast to remain close to the 2016/17 low level at 12.2 million tonnes, almost 30 percent below the five‑year average. This mainly mirrors tighter exportable availabilities, following the sharply-reduced output in 2015. Wheat exports in 2017/18 are projected at 500 000 tonnes, close to the 2016 reduced level and significantly below the previous three-year average of 3.6 million tonnes. By contrast, maize exports in the 2017/18 marketing year (September/August) are anticipated to increase by 34 percent year-on-year to 850 000 tonnes, but they still remain well below the average as a result of low carryovers and increased domestic demand from the feed and starch industry. Rice exports in calendar year 2017 are forecast at 10.8 million tonnes, 8 percent above the 2016 high level, reflecting prospects of increased demand from key African and South Asian destinations.
FAO forecasts wheat imports in the 2017/18 marketing year (April/March) at 2.5 million tonnes, half the high level of 2016/17, in line with expectations of sufficient local availabilities from a large 2017 crop.
Rice prices stable, while those of wheat on decrease
Retail prices of rice were mostly stable in recent months, ahead of the 2017 rabi season harvest. Prices of wheat and wheat flour decreased in most markets, reflecting improved market availabilities, following the 2017 bumper harvest and large levels of imports in recent months.
Overall food security is satisfactory
The overall food security situation in the country is satisfactory given the provision of highly subsidized rice as well as wheat and coarse grains through distribution programmes, especially for the below poverty-line families through the National Food Security Act (NFSA). The NFSA was first approved in September 2013 and since then has gradually been rolled out throughout the country, covering all states and territories by November 2016 ( FPMA Food Policies ). The country is prone to floods during the monsoon season, which normally affect large numbers of people. In 2016, floods and landslides in July and August, mostly concentrated in the northeastern areas, affected about 6 million people causing losses of human lives, livestock and flood supplies.