Wednesday, June 21, 2017

ORYZA Rice News-Rice Online News -21st June 2017 Daily global regional local rice news





IFC Partners with AMRU Rice to Promote Sustainable Rice Production in Cambodia


The FINANCIAL -- IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and AMRU Rice, one of the leading rice export companies in Cambodia, on June 20 launched a joint advisory project in Phnom Penh.
As part of this partnership, IFC will support AMRU Rice over a three-year period to implement the developed Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) standards and practices in the company’s supply chain. Building on the success of IFC’s work in the rice sector, IFC and the World Bank are implementing a four-year project with local agricultural exporters to improve the competitiveness, build an enabling environment for the agribusiness sector, and facilitate more and higher value agricultural exports. 
In this partnership with AMRU Rice, IFC will train and coach at least 2,000 contracted farmers in AMRU’s supply chain in Kampong Cham Province. The training will equip them to implement the SRP standards and practices. By adopting the SRP standards, AMRU Rice will be equipped to meet the requirements of international buyers and respond to global market trends of sourcing rice products in a more sustainable manner, according to IFC.
“IFC brings in significant global experience of delivering knowledge and expertise in agriculture to help businesses grow sustainably and improve farmers’ livelihoods,” says Song Saran, AMRU Rice’s CEO. “Adding SRP rice fits our strategy of expanding its niche market with higher value and sustainable products. Thanks to IFC’s great support over the past years, we are delighted to work with IFC to achieve the next milestone”. AMRU Rice started its rice trading activities in 2011 and gradually integrated other steps in its rice value chain. Over time, the company established its own semi-processing facilities and then ventured into contract farming with farmer cooperatives in Kampong Cham, Preah Vihear and Battambang provinces. 
Since 2010, IFC — in partnership with the European Union, Enhanced Integrated Framework and other donors — has been supporting the Cambodian government by working with its clients and industry associations to create industry standards, improve export procedures, promote private sector participation in the seed industry, and enhance efficiency of rice millers and re-processors.
“Over the past seven years, IFC has intervened on key levels such as farming, milling and exporting to promote Cambodia’s place on the global rice market map. IFC’s support has brought about a transformational change in the country’s rice sector, increasing its export volume from less than 100,000 tons in 2010 to more than 500,000 tons in 2016,” said Kyle Kelhofer, IFC Country Manager for Vietnam, Cambodia, and Lao PDR. He added, “Our partnership with AMRU Rice will help farmers along the rice supply chain to access necessary skills, markets and services, and significantly improve their livelihoods.” 
SRP is a multi-stakeholder platform established by the United Nations Environment (UNEP) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). It aims to promote resource efficiency and sustainability in trade flows, production and consumption operations, and supply chains
http://www.finchannel.com/business/65833-ifc-partners-with-amru-rice-to-promote-sustainable-rice-production-in-cambodia

NFA probes ‘fake’ rice, warns public vs malicious info

By Jed Macapagal
June 20, 2017
The National Food Authority (NFA) yesterday said  there is no proof  that “fake rice” is being sold in the Philippines.

The agency in its daily monitoring has not found any adulterated or unusual rice stocks in the  market.

But NFA said  its investigation and enforcement department is nevertheless  verifying all reports on  the alleged fake rice. “We have instructed our field personnel to go directly to the people who claim  they have purchased what they suspect as fake rice and get samples, rather than wait for them to come to our offices to file a complaint or bring samples,” said  Jason Aquino, NFA administrator.

Aquino also warned  the NFA will deal with those who are intentionally causing alarm among consumers by spreading wrong information about plastic or fake rice.He said such is a criminal act that is punishable under Philippine laws. NFA said  a sample of alleged fake rice bought by a consumer from Borongan, Samar is currently being analyzed at the Food Development Center (FDC) laboratory in Taguig City.

 NFA enforcement agents have also been sent to another complainant in Taguig City who posted a video of cooked rice molded into a ball and which bounced on the floor. Sample of the rice shall be taken for laboratory analysis although experiments on other authentic rice samples show that any cooked rice shaped into a ball will actually bounce when thrown on a hard object.

In 2015, a report on alleged fake rice in Davao City also caused panic among consumers. Back then, tests on the sample given to multiple agencies including the NFA-FDC, Philippine Rice Research Institute, International Rice Research Institute, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and the Department of Health proved the strange appearance of the reported fake rice was only due to a retrogradation process involving a series of freezing, thawing and heating.

 NFA said  retrograded rice is technically  stale rice. Rice samples studied two years ago were also found to be contaminated with a plasticizer chemical compound called dibutyl phthalate  due to mishandling and contamination from other stocks.

That was regarded an isolated case.The agency is also urging the public to report observations about any unusual features in the rice that they buy in terms of appearance, smell or taste  so  it can send enforcement agents to the source of the stocks and samples can be taken for laboratory analysis.
http://malaya.com.ph/business-news/business/nfa-probes-%E2%80%98fake%E2%80%99-rice-warns-public-vs-malicious-info



Video] Issue Of Fake Rice, How You Can Differentiate Between Natural Rice


Tuesday, 20 June 2017 12:04
As we come closer to the Hari Raya festivities, most households are preparing to cook their feasts and celebrate the occasion.And one food item that is essential for raya dishes like lemang and ketupat – is rice.However, the public were sent in a flurry of panic recently over the news about fake rice being widely sold after a video which went viral claiming that a rice wholesaler, ‘Cap Rambutan’ in Kedah, had produced rice containing traces of plastic.It tarnished the brand’s image instantly as netizens were out to boycott the brand, prompting the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry to make an inspection at their rice mill in Mergong, Alor Setar.
Samples of the brand’s rice were taken and tests were carried out, to which Kedah Paddy Regulatory Office acting director Mohd Hidzir Selamat and his team found that Cap Rambutan rice contains starch and had been produced of pure origin.Burning and cooking were also conducted as part of the investigation, as synthetic rice would look like Styrofoam once it becomes cold.
After the preliminary tests, a sample of the rice had been sent to the Chemistry Department for further analysis.“We have also examined the rice clamping machinery and its premises... and no traces of fake rice were detected.“However, we will still send a sample of the rice to the Chemistry Department to gauge its actual contents and composition which will provide a more accurate result,” he told Bernama.
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek also confirmed this saying, "Texture and iodine tests were carried out on the rice samples to obtain certainty, but based on the inspection of officers at the rice processing plant, no foreign substance was found in the processing of rice there."Logically, the cost of making plastic rice is higher than planted rice, plus the global rice price is low now, so there is no reason to replace it with fake rice," he told Utusan Malaysia.According to him, allegations on the use of synthetic materials in rice have been circulating in India and Indonesia since 2011 and the authorities there have confirmed it as false report, adding the public must first consult with local authorities before believing any video or report that is circulating via social media.
The issue of fake rice which is made from a mixture of potatoes, sweet potatoes and synthetic resins that are processed to be look like natural rice, started in China then escalated to our neighbouring countries.The chemicals contained in fake rice are found to be the same contents used to produce pipes and cables such as polyvinyl chloride and butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP) which are hazaradous for the health.

Additionally, it contains toxic substances such as Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP)) and diisononyl phthalate (DNIP) that can cause cancer and digestive disorders like gastritis.Earlier in January, several brands of imported rice, Kokeshi Rice, Kohinoor Basmati Rice dan NICR, were also claimed to be made from plastic.The Health Ministry however assured they had been monitoring the types of rice available in the local market and confirmed that Bernas (Padi Beras Nasional Bhd) rice imported into the country are usually from Vietnam, Thailand and Pakistan.
To know the difference between natural rice and fake rice, watch the video below.Those who are in doubt over the safety of food they consume can write in their complaints to the ministry's website, or the ministry's Food Safety and Quality Division Facebook page.
Watch Videos by clicking the next Links

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=EwZrSsHDpK4

http://www.malaysiandigest.com/frontpage/29-4-tile/681989-video-issue-of-fake-rice-how-you-can-differentiate-between-natural-rice.html






USTR Ag Negotiator Nominated and Acting Under Secretaries at USDA Named to Keep the Ball Moving 
 WASHINGTON, DC - President Trump has nominated the Chief Agriculture Negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative's Office and at long last some crucial acting undersecretaries have been named at the Department of Agriculture (USDA).Agriculture veteran Gregg Doud has been nominated to serve as the Chief Agricultural Negotiator at USTR.  Doud is president of the Commodity Markets Council, a trade organization for commodity futures exchanges and their industry counterparts, and served for eight years as the chief economist for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.  Doud remains a part owner of his family's 100+ year old Kansas farm.
 Doud's nomination will require Senate confirmation which is not currently scheduled.  He succeeds Ambassador Darci Vetter who held the post under President Obama and addressed USA Rice members on multiple occasions during the now defunct Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations.
 "Gregg is a seasoned and well-respected farm and trade policy veteran," said Ben Mosely, Vice President of Government Affairs for USA Rice.  "Having worked in the Senate and in the private sector on behalf of agriculture, Gregg is well-versed in procedure and has played a major role in the development of policies that benefit U.S. farmers. He understands the intricacies of phytosanitary issues and other trade barriers we face, and he also has a deep knowledge of commodities markets.  We support Greg's nomination and will work with the Senate to see that his confirmation advances as quickly as possible."
 Additionally, Secretary Perdue has appointed three USDA veterans to acting under secretary roles that are part of the reorganization he announced last month.  The acting USDA officials named this week may not ultimately fill the posts, however, since it is suspected none of the posts will be filled by White House-nominated, Senate-confirmed appointees until September, it was important to place experienced leaders in these positions to help solidify the chain of command at the department.
 Jason Hafemeister, a 20-year veteran at USDA, has been named acting Deputy Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agriculture Affairs.  The position is a new one, created with the 2014 Farm Bill, that USA Rice has been urging both this Administration, and the previous one, to fill. The position, that will have authority over the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS), is important in particular to the rice industry, since about half of the annual crop is exported each year to more than 100 countries.
 Robert Johansson, a USDA economist since 2001, has been named acting Deputy Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation - a new position that will have authority over the Farm Services Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Dan Jiron, the current Associate Chief of the Forest Service with 29 years in natural resources management experience, has been appointed acting Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment.

"Acting or not, these are good, knowledgeable choices who will ensure the important work of the department can go forward," said Mosely.  "We look forward to working with the new Under Secretaries and assisting them any way we can.

16 years on, GI draft law not final


Mubarak Zeb Khan
ISLAMABAD: With a delay of over 16 years, the Ministry of Commerce has yet to table a proposed Geographical Indication (GI) law in the National Assembly that aims to protect the ownership rights of goods specifically produced in Pakistan.A well-placed source in the Ministry of Commerce told Dawn the law was already drafted in consultation with all stakeholders, but was placed on the back burner.In February, the then secretary commerce Azmat Ranjha told the National Assembly Standing Committee on Commerce that the law would be tabled in the assembly “in the next couple of weeks”.The Ministry of Commerce has been working on the GI law since 2000. The draft has been vetted many times by the authorities concerned, but no action has been taken so far.
According to the draft law seen by Dawn, the term of registration of an authorised user of a geographical indication will be for a period of 10 years from the date of filing of application for registration. This exclusive right over the use of GI will be extendable for another 10 years.GI is an intellectual property right (IPR) which gives the right to a person over the creation of their minds for a certain period of time.Member countries of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) need to give protection to GIs under Article 22-24 of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) agreement. Unless Pakistan provides GI protection, it cannot obtain the same for its own goods in other countries that have the GI law.
The GI law covers a wide variety of products that include industrial, agricultural, horticultural and others. In the absence of the GI law, Pakistan may lose ownership rights of the hybrid variety of super basmati rice.
In Pakistan, the GI law can protect products like apricot, Charsadda chappal, Multani halwa, Hala’s ajrak, Sargodha’s kinno, Kasuri methi, Sindhri mango, Dir’s knives, Swat’s wild mushrooms, Nili-Ravi buffalo, Chaman’s grapes, dates from Dera Ismail Khan, Turbat and Khairpur, Pashmina shawls, etc.
The custodian of all of Pakistan GI and national heritage will be the federation of Pakistan through the Ministry of Commerce.An official said that the purpose of the law was to ensure that no foreign country can exploit its indigenous production.The promulgation of the proposed law will also ensure that the state is responsible for protecting and enforcing these laws.
Published in Dawn, June 20th, 2017

Nigeria Ready To Begin Rice Export By 2018 – NAGB

By dickson
By CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos
The Nigeria Agribusiness Group, a think tank group that advises government on ways to grow the country’s agriculture sector, has said that with the successes already recorded in rice production the stage is now set for the country to move from rice importation to rice exportation.The group said that by 2018, locally processed rice would be exported to other countries which in turn will create jobs and generate foreign exchange for the federal government.
Dr. Emmanuel Ijewere, the group’s coordinator and vice president, while speaking as a guest at the monthly forum of Nigeria Association of Agriculture Journalists, NAAJ, in Lagos said that with the level of activities going on in rice production, Nigeria should have enough to consume and start importing by end of 2018.The Vice-President also stated that Nigeria is now self-sufficient in cassava production, while the group is ensuring production value chain with the cooperation of the government. He noted that end products like ethanol, sugar and renewable energies are now derived from cassava.
The group, he noted is also experimenting with tomatoes and the value chain inherent. According to him, work is going on with Dansa tomatoes plant in Kano where locally made tomatoes paste will be produced for consumption and exportation
He dismissed the claims of some tomatoes paste importers that the type of paste being imported is not found in Nigeria. “Nigeria is blessed with soil that can grow any type of tomatoes. What they import is ‘triple concentrate’ which is not good for consumption.” He said.http://leadership.ng/2017/06/21/nigeria-ready-begin-rice-export-2018-nagb/



Bangladesh issues tender to import 50,000 tonnes of rice

By Reuters

DHAKA, June 21 (Reuters) - Bangladesh's state grains buyer on Wednesday issued its fourth international tender since May, looking to import 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice as it grapples with depleted stocks and record local prices.The deadline for offers is July 9, with the rice to be shipped within 40 days of signing any deal, a senior official at the country's state grains buyer said, declining to be identified.
The step comes as the government is set to slash tax on rice imports after flash floods hit local output, plunging state reserves to 10-year lows.Growing demand from Bangladesh will help stoke Asian prices that have already hit multi-year highs in recent months.Separately, Ataur Rahman, additional secretary at the food ministry, told Reuters last week, that the country would import 200,000 tonnes of white rice at $430 a tonne and 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice at $470 a tonne from Vietnam in a government-to-government deal.
Those rates are sharply higher than what it has been paying through previous tenders. Bangladesh is buying 50,000 tonnes of white rice at $406.48 a tonne and 100,000 tonnes of parboiled rice at $427.85 and $445.11 a tonne through tenders.The government is also in talks with Thailand and India to import rice to replenish reserves.Meanwhile, Bangladesh's central bank has ordered banks to allow traders to import rice without any deposit against letters of credit. (Reporting by Ruma Paul)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-4624292/Bangladesh-issues-tender-import-50-000-tonnes-rice.html

Bangladesh to cut rice import duty to cool local prices

A boy plays with bicycle tire while workers dry rice on a rice-processing mill in Muktarpur, on the outskirt of Dhaka, Bangladesh, December 29, 2016. 
Bangladesh will lower tax on rice imports in a bid to cool record-high local prices amid dwindling state reserves, the country's commerce minister said on Tuesday.Domestic rice prices reached an all-time high in May after flash floods hit local output and state rice stocks plunged to 10-year lows."We have decided to reduce the import duty to 10 percent from the current 28 percent," Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed told reporters.
The price of rice will come down by 6 taka per kg as a result of the tax change, the minister said.High demand from Bangladesh, the world's fourth-biggest rice producer, could underpin prices in major exporters such as Vietnam, Thailand and India.Bangladesh is set to import 200,000 tonnes of white rice at $430 a tonne and 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice at $470 a tonne from Vietnam in a government-to-government deal, said Ataur Rahman, additional secretary at the food ministry.The rice will be shipped in 60 days, with the first consignment expected to arrive in 15 days, Rahman told Reuters last week.
The rates are sharply higher than what it is paying for through tenders. Bangladesh is buying 50,000 tonnes of white rice at $406.48 a tonne and 100,000 tonnes of parboiled rice at $427.85 and $445.11 a tonne through tenders.The government is also in talks with Thailand and India to import rice to replenish reserves.Separately, Bangladesh's central bank has ordered banks to allow traders to import rice without any deposit against letters of credit.
Traders and officials say Bangladesh could emerge as a major importer of rice this year. It was ranked as the fourth-largest importer by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2011.The Bangladesh government has not imported rice since then, although private traders have done so, mostly from India.Bangladesh produces around 34 million tonnes of rice annually but uses almost all its production to feed its population of 160 million. It often requires imports to cope with shortages caused by floods or droughts.
($1 = 81 taka)
(Reporting by Ruma Paul; editing by Alexander Smith)
 http://in.reuters.com/article/bangladesh-rice-duty-idINKBN19B16J

Govt lowers rice import duty to 10pc

Bangladesh government has decided to lower the import duty on rice in a bid to rein the instability in price of the prime staple in the domestic market. STAR file photo
Staff Correspondent
The government has decided to reduce the duty on rice imports by more than half the existing rate to encourage the private sector to import the staple and thus help stabilise the volatile rice market.The import duty will be 10 percent, down from 28 percent, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed told reporters at his office yesterday afternoon. A gazette will be issued soon in this regard. 
The move comes at a time when prices of coarse rice, mostly consumed by the poor and lower middle-income people, have shot up to Tk 48 a kilogram at the retail level -- a record 47 percent increase from the market price in June last year.Crop loss due to flashfloods in haor regions and fungi attacks in Boro fields in as many as 19 districts this year were the backdrop to the rice price going up from early April.
With the rice stock in public granaries hitting a 10-year low -- only 1.85 lakh tonnes -- the government is substantially incapable of intervening in the market situation, while importers have little interest in importing rice since with 28 percent tariff the business is less cost-effective.Now in a rather delayed move, the government has gone for 3.5 lakh tonnes of rice import under public sector initiative. At the same time it has come up with a package of policy supports to encourage the private sector to import rice, which would in turn subdue the unusual hike in rice price.
The decision to slash the import duty came just a day after Bangladesh Bank issued a circular advising banks to allow rice importers to open LCs (letters of credit) with zero margin, meaning the importers will not have to make advance payments to import rice.The high import duty was slapped in 2015 and 2016 in efforts to give a cushion to local growers against cheap Indian rice flooding the markets.
The government has made a move to cut the duty when the private sector rice import dropped to a four-year low with traders blaming the high duty.Speaking at a programme in the capital, the World Bank chief economist in Bangladesh, Zahid Hossain emphasised the need for the right decision about the import duty to check the rice price hike.Importers have already stockpiled rice across the border and are eagerly waiting for duty relief, he added.
http://www.thedailystar.net/frontpage/govt-lowers-rice-import-duty-10pc-1423162


Scientists at work: bridging the divide between development and conservation in Cambodia

June 20, 2017 11.23pm AEST
Harriet Ibbett received funding and support for this research from Chester Zoo Act for Wildlife Fund, the Tropical Agricultural Award Fund, Imperial College London, WCS Cambodia and the UK National Environment Research Council (Grant ref. NE/N001370/1).Gentle groans of cattle gradually woke me from my slumber. It had been another hot, humid night spent shuffling to sleep on wooden slats – my three research assistants had adopted hammocks, but I simply couldn’t stand being surrounded by polyester in 35°C. Even at 4am, it was just too hot. Above me, the deep fiery hue of dawn spanned the sky as far as the eye could see. Swifts swept in among the palms, clearing the skies in a feeding frenzy.
Sunrise on the floodplain. © Harriet Ibbett
I’d been in Cambodia six weeks, and this was one of the last villages left to survey. I was researching the impact of local communities’ livelihoods on a critically endangered bustard species; the Bengal florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis). Fewer than 1,500 florican remain globally, over 60% of which seasonally reside in the grasslands of Kampong Thom province, central Cambodia.
Male florican are distinctive. If you’re lucky, between February and April you may spy their beautiful black and white bodies leaping 30 metres into the air; performing to impress shy females. However, opportunities for encountering such moments are increasingly rare. In recent decades florican have undergone dramatic population declines, initially driven by over-hunting, but now by widespread habitat loss, primarily due to rice cultivation.
A florican flying in the distance. 
People I’ve met typically assume my time is spent in vast vistas, surrounded by swathes of jungle, spotting exotic wildlife. For me the reality is sleeping on a plank alongside cattle, surrounded by farmlands. I’m a member of the Interdisciplinary Centre of Conservation Science at Oxford University, and unlike typical ecological or biological approaches to conservation, we use a broad range of techniques developed from disciplines as varied as sociology, anthropology, psychology and economics to enhance understanding of complex socio-ecological systems. My research in Cambodia, recently published in Oryx, is reflective of our lab as a whole; instead of spending time in the field monitoring wildlife, we usually work in communities, trying to understand human behaviour.

Floodplain fieldwork

My team and I travelled by motorbike from village to village along dusty dirt roads. We spent a short time in each village conducting household surveys with a wide variety of people in a bid to better understand how communities live, and how their activities overlap with surrounding grasslands. Sometimes we were invited into peoples’ homes; others we sat beneath their stilted houses, perched on wooden beds or plastic chairs. Around our feet scabby puppies and occasionally piglets snuffled, grunted and squealed.
Interviewing local people. 
Agriculture has long played a role sculpting the landscape of central Cambodia, with rice cultivated on the floodplains since the Empire of Angkor (c.800-1400AD). But over the last two decades the production of rice has intensified. Whereas once rice was only grown for subsistence in wet season, usually in paddies naturally inundated by seasonal floods, nowadays rice is also grown throughout the dry season in newly converted fields, primarily for commerce. Great reservoirs and canal networks sprawl across the landscape, carved where grasslands once were. Across the dusty floodplain, dry season rice fields glow like green irrigated iridescent beacons.
Large scale dry season rice production emerged at the turn of the millennium, initially driven by profiteering businessmen. From my interviews I learned that this practice is now widespread among local communities, with nearly half of all households capitalising on the infrastructural investments made by urban elites to cultivate dry season rice. Koyuns, small hand-driven tractors, can be seen dotted alongside channels, extracting water. Plastic, python like tubes pump water back to paddies to grow this perceived “green gold”.
Dry season rice. © Harriet Ibbett
It was believed dry season rice was typically grown between December and March. However, my interviews revealed that nearly half of all dry season rice farmers now farm two crops of rice a year, extending the rice cultivation season into June. This is a relatively recent and previously undocumented trend, with significant implications for florican, who visit grasslands from February to July. Expansion of dry season rice not only means less habitat is available for floricans to forage and breed, but it also reduces the time for which it is available. Floricans return to the same large territories each year to mate. This means the miniscule populations that remain are likely returning to increasingly sub-optimal habitat.
In addition, around 95% of the dry season rice farmers I spoke to said that they use fertiliser or pesticides on their crop. Many have to borrow money in order to do so, and sometimes if their crops fail or the market collapses, they may find themselves indebted to credit lenders, forced to sell land to clear their debts. There are also considerable environmental and ecological implications. Agro-chemicals not only reduce food availability, but they typically include substances banned in the West, including DDT, a chemical known to cause egg thinning in birds. Fertilisers also filter into groundwater, impacting food webs. This is highly concerning, especially given the proximity to the TonlĂ© Sap, the largest inland fishery in Cambodia, and the lifeline of many throughout the land.
Dry season rice reservoir carved out of the floodplain. 

Conservation’s future

Conservation is complex, and we live in a rapidly changing world. Whereas once people measured their prosperity, health and happiness against that of their neighbours, today the advent of social media and the internet means that people compare themselves to others across the world. Nearly a half of households I surveyed had children that had left home to seek prosperity in the factories and sweatshops of Phnom Penh and Thailand. Priorities have changed. More of my interviewees owned a mobile phone (87%) than had access to a toilet (just 36%). Understanding how these changing priorities affect natural resource use is critical to the success of global conservation efforts.
For this reason, we also hosted focus groups in each village, bringing people together to discuss both conservation and options for the future. We asked about local perceptions of conservation work in the area. Some were unaware of conservation activities, whereas others applauded efforts – these were usually communities that had seen some returns from tourism. Others resented the limitations conservation placed on their livelihoods, citing too many costs and too few benefits.
Focus group. 
If we are to successfully secure both the livelihoods of local people and the future of endangered species, then it is essential conservation is reconciled with development. One such medium is the Sustainable Rice Platform, an industry led initiative that encourages production of rice that meets sustainability standards. These include measures for protecting biodiversity, reducing pollution, gender equality, and supporting fair wages. In return, farmers that are supported to meet the standards receive stable, premium prices for their crop. NGO Wildlife Conservation Society are now piloting this in some surveyed villages.
It is clear that typical biological approaches are no longer enough. Too often conservation is filled with doom and gloom; relying on research that counts species to extinction. Instead, interdisciplinary, social research that engages local communities should be the norm. Luckily, I am not alone in this belief: there is a growing generation of conservationists for whom this is and always will be the way conservation is done.
http://theconversation.com/scientists-at-work-bridging-the-divide-between-development-and-conservation-in-cambodia-79142

Rice import duty to be cut by 18%

02:29 PM June 20, 2017
Last updated at 12:51 AM June 21, 2017
Both coarse rice and fine rice prices rose over the past monthDHAKA TRIBUNE

The price of coarse rice in the capital was increased by Tk5 per kg which is now selling at Tk48 at new normal from the earlier rate of Tk45.The government has decided to cut the duty on rice import by 18% amid the soaring prices of the staple food in the markets, officials have said.Besides, the government stocks have come down to lower than 1,90,000 tonnes in the wake of an insufficient supply from the ongoing rice procurement programme.The stock of rice stands at 1,81,000 tonnes till June 18, according to the Directorate General of Food.The price of coarse rice in the capital was increased by Tk5 per kg which is now selling at Tk48 at new normal from the earlier rate of Tk45.

Stakeholders, however, said the price of rice is unlikely to come down in the local
market unless the Indian course rice enters the market along with the Vietnamese rice being imported by the government.They added that the government will face serious problem despite the import duty cut if the Indian authority hikes its export price limit to Bangladesh.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed revealed the decision of reduction in rice import duty at a workshop on Tuesday.“We hope the price of rice will fall by Tk6 a kg after the import duty cut and import from the neighbouring country,” he said.He said following the NBR circular, a 10% duty will be slapped on rice import instead of previous 28%.

In 2015, the government imposed a 15% regulatory duty and 3% supplementary duty for protection of local rice farmers.Tofail added that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina took the decision to slash rice import duty during the cabinet meeting on Monday.Rice prices saw a sharp rise as the millers had to count losses due to recent flash floods in hoar areas in the country.Prices of coarse rice, which is generally consumed by the poor and lower-middle income groups, have shot up by 5% to 10% in grocery stores across the country.

Usually, it is not possible to intervene in the market with only less than two hundred thousand tonnes of rice in the government’s hand.Naogoan Rice Mill owner Nirod Chandra Shah told the Dhaka Tribune there will definitely be a pause in the upward trend of rice price after the duty cut.“But it is our fear that the Indian authority might increase the price of their exported rice as our government reduces the import duty.”Nirod also mentioned that the Indian authority increased their export in recent years.

He said: “The per-tonne cost of exported coarse rice is now only $420 while local coarse rice sells at between $480 and $500 in our market.”Former commerce adviser to the past caretaker government and chairman of Power and Participation Research Centre Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman told the Dhaka Tribune “The government could take decision to reduce the import duty a couple of months ago.

It has been too late for the government to decide on rice import from Vietnam, he added.
In order to avoid an untoward situation, the government has to remove all bureaucratic tangles to facilitate the availability of rice in the market, he suggested.The US Department of Agriculture and Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS) in a report said in Fiscal Year 2016-17, rice production in Bangladesh is likely to fall by 34.51 million tonnes due to reduced planting of its summer rice and increased winter rice production.

http://www.dhakatribune.com/business/commerce/2017/06/20/rice-import-duties-10-28/

How social media fed the frenzy of ‘plastic rice’

AISHWARYA VALLIAPPAN
CHENNAI, JUNE 20:  
A WhatsApp video clip showing a ball of rice, allegedly made of plastic, bouncing off a wall went viral recently. The video goes on to claim that traders are selling rice made of plastic.
And this is not the first time such claims have surfaced on the social-media platform. A few months ago, it was plastic cabbage, then came plastic eggs, and now it’s the turn of the most popular staple.
Even as Tamil Nadu Food Minister R Kamaraj and a group of traders hastened to assure the people that plastic rice is not being sold in the State, it did not convince many, especially the young set which unquestioningly trusts all that is put out on social media platforms.
Despite assurances from various authorities and the trade, youngsters feel there is a possibility of plastic rice being sold, though none of them has actually bought any. “When eggs are being made from plastic, why not rice? This news makes me insecure,” says Veena Priyalakshmi, a 21-year-old engineering student.
Not convinced?
Suggesting the impracticability of selling plastic rice, AC Mohan, Secretary, Federation of Tamil Nadu Rice Millers and Paddy Rice Dealers Association, points out that plastic melts when heated and can be easily identified while cooking. Also, plastic is costlier at 100/kg than the rice typically used for daily consumption.
Engineering students Bhavishanth and Dhananchezhiyan are among the few who dismiss the plastic rice as a rumour. However, many are unsure.A Akshitha, a 22-year-old architect, says: “Till somebody convinces me that plastic rice actually doesn’t exist, there is a cause for concern.”
Possibly, only a WhatsApp or Facebook denial can convince this set.
(The author is an intern with BusinessLine)
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/variety/how-social-media-fed-the-frenzy-of-plastic-rice/article9731425.ece



IFC, AMRU Rice to promote sustainable rice production in Cambodia

June 20, 2017 - by Eric Schroeder

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA — The International Finance Corp., a member of the World Bank Group, has partnered with AMRU Rice, a rice export company in Cambodia, to launch a joint advisory project in Phnom Penh. As part of the partnership, the IFC will support AMRU Rice over a three-year period to implement the developed Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) standards and practices in the company’s supply chain.
As part of the partnership, the IFC said it will train at least 2,000 contracted farmers in AMRU’s supply chain in Kampong Cham Province to understand the SRP standards and practices. By adopting the SRP standards, AMRU Rice will be equipped to meet the requirements of international buyers and respond to global market trends of sourcing rice products in a more sustainable manner, the IFC said.
“IFC brings in significant global experience of delivering knowledge and expertise in agriculture to help businesses grow sustainably and improve farmers’ livelihoods,” said Song Saran, chief executive officer of AMRU Rice. “Adding SRP rice fits our strategy of expanding its niche market with higher value and sustainable products. Thanks to IFC’s great support over the past years, we are delighted to work with IFC to achieve the next milestone.”
AMRU Rice began rice trading in 2011, and since then has gradually integrated other steps in its rice value chain. The company has established its own semi-processing facilities and begun contract farming with farmer cooperatives in Kampong Cham, Preah Vihear and Battambang provinces.
The IFC has been supporting the Cambodian government since 2010, working with industry associations to create industry standards, improve export procedures, promote private sector participation in the seed industry, and enhance efficiency of rice millers and re-processors.
“Over the past seven years, IFC has intervened on key levels such as farming, milling and exporting to promote Cambodia’s place on the global rice market map,” said Kyle Kelhofer, IFC country manager for Vietnam, Cambodia and Lao PDR. “IFC’s support has brought about a transformational change in the country’s rice sector, increasing its export volume from less than 100,000 tons in 2010 to more than 500,000 tons in 2016. Our partnership with AMRU Rice will help farmers along the rice supply chain to access necessary skills, markets and services, and significantly improve their livelihoods.”
SRP is a multi-stakeholder platform established by the United Nations Environment (UNEP) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). It aims to promote resource efficiency and sustainability in trade flows, production and consumption operations, and supply chains.
http://www.world-grain.com/articles/news_home/World_Grain_News/2017/06/IFC_AMRU_Rice_to_promote
Vietnam’s rice granary endangered by water shortage
VietNamNet Bridge - The weaker water flow towards the downstream Mekong River has caused drought in  The Mekong Delta, affecting the livelihood of millions of people in the area.




Both farmers and scientists are concerned about the development of Mekong Delta, the rice granary of the country, amid attempts to change the current of the river.The rains in June 2017 helped cool down the land in the Delta. The Central Hydrometeorological Forecast Center said the floods this year may be a little higher than previous years 

This is a great opportunity for locals to store water in the context of big changes in the Mekong water flow due to water exploitation in the upper course by hydropower plants and water diversion projects.Both farmers and scientists are concerned about the development of Mekong Delta, the rice granary of the country, amid attempts to change the current of the river.According to Nguyen Nhan Quang, a river basin management expert, Thailand has had 990 more projects in the northeast on using Mekong’s water to serve irrigation in the area.

In Cambodia, the strategy on stepping up rice cultivation for export is being implemented, with the country seeking cooperation with foreign countries, mostly from China, to expand the irrigation network.In Laos, the current total irrigation area is 166,476 hectares, but the figure is expected to increase by 213,062 hectares by 2030. As upstream countries try to expand water use, this will be a great challenge for Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Fresh water is a valuable resource, compared with ‘white gold’. It is needed for daily life, food production, industrial production and other purposes.

Le Anh Tuan from Can Tho University cited international research as reporting that  hydropower dams will change the current in the lower course and lead to a loss of tens of millions of tons of alluvium.Therefore, the Mekong Delta needs to take the initiative in storing water for reasonable use in dry season. The development of agriculture production in Mekong Delta depends heavily on investment policies on irrigation. The weak point of interior-field irrigation is the lack of support systems such as pump stations and canals. Scientists have emphasized solutions of storing and saving water.
Nguyen Van Dong, director of the Hau Giang provincial agriculture department, said the province is taking full advantage of major tributaries to store water. When drought and saline intrusion come, the stored water will serve people’s daily life and agricultural production.Scientists warn that Mekong Delta should get ready to prepare to fight against floods, which not only come from nature, but also from hydropower plants. It is necessary to build a strategy on ‘living together with floods’

http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/environment/180361/vietnam-s-rice-granary-endangered-by-water-shortage.html

 

Govt floats more tenders to import rice, wheat in desperate bid to bring down local prices

Government data shows a 47 percent rise in the price of coarse rice while a fine variety saw around 20 percent rise in a year
Bangladesh seeks to import more food grains as the government has floated new tenders to procure 100,000 tonnes of rice and wheat in a desperate bid to bring down local prices.The Directorate General of Food posted two separated tender notices on its website on Tuesday, just ten days before this fiscal year ends.The government has invited bids from international traders to import 50,000 tonnes of non-basmati parboiled rice.
The rice tender, which closes on Jul 9, is the fourth in the outgoing fiscal 2017.The latest tender brings the amount of rice to 200,000 tonnes Bangladesh is seeking to procure from outside in the year ending Jun 30.The second tender floated by the state grains buyer on Tuesday is to import 50,000 tonnes of wheat. Suppliers have been told to submit bids by Jul 11.Bangladesh initially planned to import 600,000 tonnes of rice to keep the market stable.Until Jun 18, the government had 486,000 tonnes of food grains in stock, with rice amounting to around 181,000 tonnes.
The depleting reserves have caused rice prices to spiral out of control with millers and wholesalers blaming each other.Bangladesh also gave the green light for a purchase of another 250,000 tonnes of rice from Vietnam under a government-to-government deal.The government hopes rice prices will ease once imports arrive in the market.Government data, often lower than market prices, shows a 47 percent rise in the price of coarse rice while a fine variety saw around 20 percent rise in a year.
The fine variety is currently on sale at no less than Tk 60 per kg. Last three months were the worst period when people saw a steep rise in prices of rice of almost all varieties.According to figures by the food ministry, the flash floods damaged Boro crops, which would have yielded around 600,000 tonnes of rice. Unofficial estimates put the number at 2.2 million tonnes.
http://bdnews24.com/economy/2017/06/20/govt-floats-more-tenders-to-import-rice-wheat-in-desperate-bid-to-bring-down-local-prices

Global demand for Thai rice remains high

VNA TUESDAY, JUNE 20, 2017 - 19:36:00 
 Bangkok (VNA/NNT) - Thailand has exported 5.5 million tonnes of rice during the first five months of this year and is expected to reach its export target of 11 million tonnes by the end of the year.Thailand continues to be a major rice seller in the global market, with around 5.5 million tonnes of rice already exported during the first five months of 2017. If the trend continues, the amount of rice exported this year will reach up to 11 million tonnes, or 10 million THB worth of rice, breaking the previous record of 10.8 million tonnes in 2014.

Factors, including overseas demand and declining global rice supplies, have led to an increase in rice export volumes from Thailand.Thailand's National Rice Policy Committee is set to convene a meeting on June 26, where the Ministry of Commerce will propose a plan to release the remaining rice in government stockpiles from July to August. It is hoped that by the end of September, all stockpiled rice will be released.-VNA/NNT
http://en.vietnamplus.vn/global-demand-for-thai-rice-remains-high/113610.vnp

Bangladesh took so long to start rice imports, says economist

 
The government, now scrambling to fill up rice reserves, should have worked on increasing import much earlier, an expert has said. Import duty on rice was slashed to 10 percent, from the existing 25 percent, to encourage private traders to purchase more from abroad, the latest in a series of steps to curb prices.Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed announced the decision on Tuesday, hoping it would stabilise the market. “The government has also decided to buy rice.”
 The duty was in place to ensure fair prices for farmers, but flash floods in April destroyed their yield, he said. “So the prime minister had ordered the cutback on duty. A formal notice will be out soon.”

But mill and store owners had already price-gouging after finding out about the shortage in government reserves, agriculture economist M Asaduzzaman told bdnews24.com.     The latest decision will, however, force this syndicate to release their stores, which would hopefully normalise the market. “The market’s panic will basically end,” he said.The government, meanwhile, maintained that there was no shortage and the prices were raised by businesses to create an artificial crisis.“Nearly 20 million tonnes of Boro rice was produced this year. The time to harvest Aush rice is nearing, all this grain is or will be with someone within our country,” said Ataur Rahman, additional secretary at the food ministry.

“This is why we keep saying that there is no crisis.”   The government also decided to withdraw the 3 percent regulatory duty, a contentious issue that discouraged the traders from importing rice.Rice imports by private traders slumped 58 percent year-on-year to 103,200 tonnes between July 1 and May 25 of the outgoing fiscal year, according to the Food Planning and Monitoring Unit. The imports are the lowest in four years.
In December 2015, the government increased customs duty on rice imports from 10 percent to 25 percent to discourage imports. The total duty amounts to 28 percent when 3 percent regulatory duty is added.
"We hope the decisions will help ease prices very soon. The government has already decided to import rice,” Ahmed said.Separately, the government seeks to import more food grains as it has floated new tenders to procure 100,000 tonnes of rice and wheat amid criticism over the price shock.The Directorate General of Food posted two separated tender notices on its website on Tuesday, just ten days before this fiscal year ends.The government has invited bids from international traders to import 50,000 tonnes of non-basmati parboiled rice.The rice tender, which closes on Jul 9, is the fourth in the outgoing fiscal 2017.The latest tender brings the amount of rice to 200,000 tonnes Bangladesh is seeking to procure from outside in the year ending Jun 30.
The second tender floated by the state grains buyer on Tuesday is to import 50,000 tonnes of wheat. Suppliers have been told to submit bids by Jul 11.Until Jun 18, the government had 486,000 tonnes of food grains in stock, with rice amounting to around 181,000 tonnes.
The depleting reserves have caused rice prices to spiral out of control with millers and wholesalers blaming each other.Bangladesh also gave the green light for a purchase of another 250,000 tonnes of rice from Vietnam under a government-to-government deal.The government hopes rice prices will ease once imports arrive in the market.
Government data, often lower than market prices, shows a 47 percent rise in the price of coarse rice while a fine variety saw around 20 percent rise in a year.Bangladesh Bank on Monday instructed banks to allow private traders to import rice without any deposit against letters of credit or LC margin.The decision is meant to ensure rice supply to local markets in the aftermath of crop losses in recent flash-floods, the central bank said in a statement.The new rules will remain in force until Dec 31, which will allow the traders to import rice first and make the payments afterwards.
http://bdnews24.com/business/2017/06/20/govt-slashes-rice-import-duty-to-10-from-25

Philippines cuts Q2 rice output forecast

ABS-CBN News
Jun 20 2017 02:45 PM | Updated as of Jun 20 2017 03:27 PM
MANILA - The country's palay or unmilled rice output from April to June is now forecast to hit 4.10 million tons, down slightly from the April forecast of 4.13 million tons, the Philippine Statistic Authority (PSA) said in a report on Tuesday.The agency said the lower harvest may be attributed to continuous rainfall in several provinces and other factors."In some provinces, this was also affected by insufficient water supply and incidence of pests," the PSA said. 

Despite the lower than expected rice harvest, the PSA noted this year's second quarter rice output was still 10.5 percent higher than the previous year’s output of 3.71 million metric tons. The Philippines, one of the world's biggest rice importers, is preparing to issue a tender to import 250,000 tons of the grain to boost dwindling state stockpiles. -- with a report from Reuters
http://news.abs-cbn.com/business/06/20/17/philippines-cuts-q2-rice-output-forecast

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- JUN 21, 2017

Nagpur, June 21 (Reuters) – Gram and tuar prices declined in Nagpur Agriculture Produce andMarketing Committee (APMC) auction on poor buying support from local millers amid increasedarrival from producing regions. High moisture content arrival and downward trend in MadhyaPradesh tuar prices also affected sentiment. About 1,100 of gram and 1,000 bags of tuar were available for auctions, according to sources.

    FOODGRAINS & PULSES
    
   GRAM
   * Gram varieties ruled steady in open market here on subdued demand from local traders
     amid ample stock in ready position. 
  
   TUAR
     
   * Tuar gavarani declined further in open market on lower demand from local traders.

   * Wheat mill quality recovered in open market here on increased marriage season demand
     from local traders amid tight supply from producing regions.
                                           
   * In Akola, Tuar New – 3,900-4,100, Tuar dal (clean) – 5,700-5,800, Udid Mogar (clean)
    – 8,200-9,200, Moong Mogar (clean) 6,800-7,200, Gram – 5,600-5,800, Gram Super best
    – 7,800-8,500

   * Other varieties of 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
   
     FOODGRAINS                 Available prices     Previous close  
     Gram Auction                  4,400-4,860         4,500-4,950
     Gram Pink Auction            n.a.           2,100-2,600
     Tuar Auction                3,400-3,675         3,400-3,700
     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        1,500-1,616        1,500-1,645
     Gram Super Best Bold            7,800-8,500        7,800-8,500
     Gram Super Best            n.a.            n.a.
     Gram Medium Best            7,000-7,500        7,000-7,500
     Gram Dal Medium            n.a.            n.a
     Gram Mill Quality            5,300-5,400        5,300-5,400
     Desi gram Raw                5,700-5,900         5,700-5,900
     Gram Yellow                 7,700-8,200        7,700-8,200
     Gram Kabuli                12,300-13,400        12,300-13,400
     Tuar Fataka Best-New             5,900-6,200        5,900-6,200
     Tuar Fataka Medium-New        5,500-5,700        5,500-5,700
     Tuar Dal Best Phod-New        5,200-5,400        5,200-5,400
     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             4,100-4,200        4,100-4,200
     Masoor dal best            5,000-5,400        5,000-5,400
     Masoor dal medium            4,500-4,700        4,500-4,700
     Masoor                    n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Mogar bold (New)        7,000-7,500         7,000-7,500
     Moong Mogar Medium            6,300-6,600        6,300-6,600
     Moong dal Chilka            5,200-6,000        5,200-6,000
     Moong Mill quality            n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Chamki best            6,500-7,500        6,500-7,500
     Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 8,000-9,000       8,000-9,000
     Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)    7,000-7,500        7,000-7,500   
     Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)        4,900-5,200        4,900-5,200    
     Batri dal (100 INR/KG)        5,000-5,500        5,000-5,500
     Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg)          2,900-3,100         2,900-3,100
     Watana Dal (100 INR/KG)            2,950-3,050        2,950-3,050
     Watana White (100 INR/KG)           3,500-3,700           3,500-3,700
     Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG)    4,100-4,600        4,100-4,600  
     Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG)        1,950-2,050        1,950-2,050
     Wheat Mill quality (100 INR/KG)    1,800-1,900        1,800-1,900  
     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)    3,000-3,500        3,100-3,500   
     MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)    2,200-2,800        2,300-2,800          
     Rice BPT new (100 INR/KG)        2,800-3,200        2,800-3,200
     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)       2,200-2,400        2,200-2,400  
     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        4,800-5,200
     Rice Shriram best 100 INR/KG)    6,500-6,800        6,500-6,800
     Rice Shriram med (100 INR/KG)    5,800-6,200        5,800-6,200  
     Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG)    10,000-14,000        10,000-14,000    
     Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG)    6,000-8,000        6,000-8,000   
     Rice Chinnor New(100 INR/KG)        4,600-4,800        4,600-4,800
     Rice Chinnor best 100 INR/KG)    5,800-6,000        5,800-6,000   
     Rice Chinnor medium (100 INR/KG)    5,400-5,600        5,400-5,600  
     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

WEATHER (NAGPUR) 
Maximum temp. 40.3 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 25.6 degree Celsius
Rainfall : 0.6 mm
FORECAST: Partly cloudy sky. Possibility of rains or thunder-showers likely towards evening ornight. Maximum and minimum temperature would be around and 39 and 26 degree Celsius
respectively.

Note: n.a.--not available
(For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but included in market prices)
http://in.reuters.com/article/nagpur-foodgrain-idINL3N1JI2ZJ

Government hikes paddy MSP by Rs 80 per quintal, pulses by up to Rs 400 per quintal

By PTI | Updated: Jun 20, 2017, 05.54 PM IST
NEW DELHI: The government has approved Rs 80 per quintal hike in paddy MSP, while support price of pulses has been raised by up to Rs 400 per quintal to encourage farmers increase area sown under Kharif crops this season. The Union Cabinet had on June 7 approved the minimum support price of 14 kharif (summer-sown) crops. However, the decision was not announced amid farmers protest in many states including Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, seeking waiver of crop loans. The Union Agriculture Ministry has now informed states and Union Territories through a letter about the hike in Kharif MSP for the 2017-18 crop year (July-June).

The sowing operations have already started with onset of monsoon, which has been projected to be normal this year by the Met department. The announcement of MSP will help farmers in deciding which crop to grow. The Centre buys rice and wheat at MSP, while in other crops it enters the market only when market rates fall below the support price. Last year, the Centre bought pulses from farmers and market to create 20 lakh tonnes of buffer stock. According to the letter to the states, the Centre has approved Rs 80 per quintal hike in paddy MSP at Rs 1,550 for common grade variety and Rs 1,590 for 'A' grade variety.

In pulses, the MSP has been hiked by up to Rs 400 per quintal. Tur MSP has been raised to Rs 5,450 from 5,050 a quintal, while support price of Moong dal has been increased to Rs 5,575 (including bonus) from Rs 5,225 per quintal. Urad MSP is now Rs 5,400 per quintal against Rs 5,000 in the previous year. According to the letter, cotton MSP has been raised by Rs 160 per quintal to Rs 4,020 per quintal for medium staple cotton and Rs 4,320 per quintal for long staple cotton.

The MSP of soyabean, a major crop in Madhya Pradesh, has been raised by Rs 275 per quintal to Rs 3,050 per quintal. Groundnut-in-shell and sunflower seed MSPs have been raised by Rs 230 and Rs 150 per quintal respectively. The support price of groundnut-in-shell and sunflower seed now stands at Rs 4,450 per quintal and Rs 4,100 per quintal.

Nigerseed MSP has been increased to Rs 4,050 from Rs 3,825 per quintal and sesamum MSP to Rs 5,300 from Rs 5,000 per quintal. Among coarse cereals, prices of maize have been raised by Rs 60 to Rs 1,425 per quintal. Bajra MSP is up by Rs 95 to Rs 1,425, while ragi MSP has been increased by Rs 175 to Rs 1,900 per quintal.

Jowar (hybrid) has been raised by Rs 75 per quintal to Rs 1,700 per quintal and jowar (maldandi) too by Rs 75 at Rs 1,725 per quintal. In terms of percentage, the maximum hike in MSP has been in ragi at 10.14 per cent, followed by soyabean at 9.91 per cent.

The government has approved Rs 200 higher MSP in case of tur, moong, urad, groundnut and soyabean than what it was suggested by the the statutory advisory body on farm prices CACP (Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices). It has given Rs 100 per quintal extra in case of sesamum, nigerseed and sunflower seed than recommended by the CACP.

With monsoon rains expected to be normal this year, the government is aiming to achieve yet another record foodgrain and horticulture production. The country achieved record foodgrains production of 273.38 million tonnes in the 2016-17 crop year, but bumper output has resulted in fall in market price and distress to farmers.


http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/agriculture/india-raises-rice-cotton-buying-prices-as-farmers-protests-mount/articleshow/59231095.cms