Wednesday, August 09, 2017

9th August,2017 daily global,regional and local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

VN bids for Bangladesh rice sale

Update: August, 08/2017 - 09:00
Việt Nam is taking part in an international aucton being held today by Bangladesh on bids to import 50,000 tonnes of non-basmati parboiled rice. — Photo
HÀ NỘI – Việt Nam is taking part in an international aucton being held today by Bangladesh on bids to import 50,000 tonnes of non-basmati parboiled rice. 

According to the tender, the imported rice would have to be shipped to Chittagong and Mongla ports within 40 days of the contract siganture. The rice has to have been harvested in the past year.

In May, Việt Nam and Bangladesh decided to extend a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on rice trade, allowing Việt Nam to sell up to 1 million tonnes of rice to Bangladesh each year until 2022.
After signing the deal, Bangladesh requested 300,000 tonnes of 5-per cent broken rice to reach its target of importing 500,000 tonnes by the end of 2017.

Bangladesh has a population of more than 170 million with a low supply capacity unequal to its high consuming power. The country often faces disasters and bad harvest while Việt Nam’s rice production industry is seeking more markets.Việt Nam sold more than 300,000 tonnes of rice to Bangladesh in 2011 and 2012. 

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Việt Nam’s rice exports in the first seven months of 2017 were estimated at 3.3 million tonnes and US$1.5 billion, up 15.7 per cent in volume and 13.7 per cent in value over the same period in 2016. — VNS

USA Rice Hosts Fifth Annual Medium Grain Cooking Contest in Japan
By Sarah Moran
TOKYO, JAPAN -- For the fifth consecutive year, USA Rice held its premier promotional activity here culminating with a cooking contest featuring U.S. medium grain rice.  This year, 184 professional chefs participated in the restaurant and deli categories, and 395 student chefs took part in the day-long event highlighting the quality and versatility of U.S. medium grain rice. 

Six finalists from both the restaurant and deli categories competed in the final contest.  Restaurant chefs were tasked with creating a dish for a party or reception, while deli chefs were instructed to come up with a deli item to liven up a special event.  The winning restaurant entry was a Lobster and Seafood Ceviche with U.S. Medium Grain Salad and Coriander, and the winning deli entry was a U.S. Medium Grain and Diced Vegetables Salad served in a Mason jar.

"Promoting usage of U.S. origin rice at the professional level is a strategic move since most of the rice imported under the Simultaneous-Buy-Sell (SBS) system that enters the commercial market is used by the foodservice industry," said Jim Guinn, director of USA Rice Asia Promotion Programs, who attended the event.  "In 2016, the demand for U.S. rice was unprecedented, setting records for both volume and market share of imports."
Colorful first prize deli dish
Trade contacts indicate that both those records are likely to be broken this year, driven by several factors, including the quality and versatility of U.S. rice, the favorable price of U.S. rice compared to domestic varieties, and a Japanese government policy that incentivizes the production of super premium varieties and rice for feed, leaving a void in reasonably priced rice varieties favored by the foodservice industry.

"We also see a greater awareness of U.S. rice as a result of activities like the chefs contest that was reported on by mainstream media," said Guinn.  "Self-initiated testing of U.S. rice by private companies and rice-related associations within Japan also is driving increased imports."

EDITORIAL: Trade helps rice farmers, and many others
By Enterprise readers Updated 1:00 pm, Monday, August 7, 2017
Rice farmers in Southeast Texas got some good news recently - and it's been a while since you've read those words. Rice farming in this region and the entire state has plummeted in recent years because the profit just wasn't high enough - or there at all.
That may change. China, which had previously banned U.S. rice imports because of disagreements over safety protocols, has agreed to allow the sales. Rice farmers are obviously excited.
As Louis Broussard, owner of the Beaumont Rice Mill, put it, "The more demand, the more competition for rice, the better the prices. It definitely won't hurt."
That's true in any business, but the key issue here is foreign trade. When U.S. firms can sell to customers beyond our border, they have an obvious opportunity to do better.
That used to be widely understood, but foreign trade has been knocked around lately. At first it was just some in the Democratic Party, who thought foreign trade took too many U.S. jobs. The election of President Trump brought that erroneous viewpoint to the Republican Party.
One of Trump's first acts was to kill a Pacific trade deal aimed at countering China's growing influence in Asia. He has also threatened to pull the U.S. out of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada, though he has backed away from that position lately.
Members of Congress from Texas need to encourage him to understand the positive benefits of trade. Many of them are Republicans, and they can influence the White House.
That should be an easy argument for Southeast Texas, which brings in oil from around the world to refine here, and exports chemicals made here to many countries abroad.
Of course U.S. officials must be vigilant against dumping, when foreign companies sell products here below cost to weaken U.S. competitors. When that happens, swift sanctions must follow.
But that's a small part of international trade. Mostly it's an agreement between a willing buyer and seller for the benefit of both.
The U.S. already imports a lot from China, mostly low-cost consumer items that wouldn't be made here anyway. If we can sell China more rice grown here, that's a change for the better.
Do you have something to say? Email us a letter to the editor at Make sure to include your name, mailing address and phone number so we can contact you to verify the letter, but only your name and city of residence will be published. You can also mail letters to The Enterprise, P.O. Box 3071, Beaumont, TX, 77704. The limit on letters is 200 words

NFA assures no fake rice in Abra
 August 8, 2017
BANGUED, Abra, Aug. 8(PIA) -- The National Food Authority assured that there is no fake rice in the province.
Veralew D.G De Vera, Branch Manager of NFA-Abra, said as he strongly believes that the province of Abra is totally free from fake rice. Abra has massive land for production of agricultural products most especially rice which is the staple food of Filipinos. Rice supply in the province is sufficient and they are not importing rice at the moment, he claimed.
De Vera also assured that the NFA has adequate supply of rice in its bodegas and is ready to supply the grains requirement of Abra in the next three months or more. (JDP/MTBB/Christian Allister G. Tubadeza – PIA CAR, Abra)

Could perennial crops be an answer to climate change?

Updated: Aug 07, 2017, 12.56 PM IST
"Perennial crops, on the other hand, hold the soil and tremendously reduce the energy required for food and fruit production."
BENGALURU: While India reaped the benefits of the Green Revolution in the 1960s, her neighbour China is now taking the lead in another area of sustainable agriculture -- developing crops that meet the challenges posed by global warming. Chinese agricultural scientists are working to convert seasonal crops into perennial crops that regrow after being harvested and deliver multiple yields before dying.

"They are saving labour costs. Besides, greater soil carbon storage and lesser input requirements mean that perennial crops have the potential to mitigate global warming," Erik J. Sacks, Associate Professor of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois, told this correspondent in an e-mail. China's Yunnan Agricultural University (YAU) started working on perennial rice after the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines wound up this project in 2001 owing to a financial crisis.

At YAU, Fengyi Hu and his colleagues developed a perennial rice by crossing Oryza sativa -- the short-lived Asian rice -- with a wild African perennial O. longistaminata.

The cross, known as PR 23, "apparently lasts at least five years and gives 10 seasons of grain twice a year with yields comparable to seasonal rice", Nandula Raghuram, Professor and Dean of Biotechnology at New Delhi's Indraprastha University, told this correspondent.

Aerobic rice a bliss for farmers facing water scarcity in Bihar

S K Jain| TNN | Updated: Aug 8, 2017, 02:06 PM IST
SAMASTIPUR: There is some good news for farmers of the state struggling with perennial problem of water scarcity, particularly for paddy production.

Scientists of Rajendra Agriculture University (RAU), Pusa (Samastipur), have found a new variety of aerobic ricewhich will grow in puddled soil. The iron-efficient variety of paddy christened as 'Rajendra Neelam', has been developed with a view to coping with the problem of erratic rains in the state and the problem of water crisis. Aerobic rice is a production system in which especially developed rice varieties are grown in well-drained, non-puddled and non-saturated soils. With appropriate management, the system aims for yields of at least 4 to 6 tonne per hectare.

Rajendra Neelam , the variety, which was found by Prof Lilanjay of plant reading and genetics department at RAU, have already been released by the 
State Variety Release Committee (SVRC) for Bihar and notified by the Central Variety Release Committee (CVRC), New Delhi.

According to sources, the new variety of the crop is now being grown on two hectares of agricultural farm in RAU and is expected that 60 to 80 quintals of breeder seeds would be produced in October-November this year for marketing among farmers and government agencies. The seeds thus produced could be cultivated in June 2018, added sources.

Erratic Weather Threatens Livelihood Of Rice Farmers In Madagascar

Posted 08-6-2017 by Jason Beaubien
Samantha Reinders for NPR
Children walk through a rice field outside the town of Kelilalina in eastern Madagascar. Rice is the dominant food and the dominant crop on the Indian Ocean island, but changing weather patterns are disrupting production in some parts of the country.
All his life, 56-year-old Jeanpier Marolahy has been growing rice in eastern Madagascar, on the steep hills that slope down from the central highlands toward the Indian Ocean.
The thin, weather-beaten Marolahy knows that rice production is all about water and timing. The grain needs a lot of water at first, but if torrential rains fall at harvest time, they can destroy the crop.
Rice is a hugely important part of life on the island nation off the southeastern coast of Africa. At times, it shows up for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In much of the country, it dominates the landscape, planted in small plots across millions of acres of land.
But erratic rains and powerful storms are threatening rice production in parts Madagascar and putting the livelihoods of subsistence farmers like Marolahy at risk.
For years, Marolahy says, the wet and dry seasons arrived in his fields in a relatively predictable pattern. But that is no longer the case.
The weather has clearly changed, Marolahy says, from when he was a boy.
Ankle-deep in the mud of a rice paddy, Marolahy notes that when he was a kid, this part of eastern Madagascar might get hit by a cyclone once every five years. Now, he says, he can get five big storms in a single year.
Complicating matters even more, this area was plagued by a four-month drought last year that Marolahy says was the worst he has ever seen.
Marolahy has two small rice paddies in a narrow valley just outside the Ranomafana National Park. He also has two smaller plots of rice and vegetables terraced into an adjacent hillside. These four fields are the only source of income for his family.
This year, the rains have been steady, but he says it has been abnormally cold and the seedlings are growing very slowly.
“Look,” he says, pointing to a 10-foot-by-10-foot plot of bright green rice shoots. “They are like this.” He holds open his thumb and forefinger. “But they should be like this,” he says, holding his hands about 6 inches apart. At night, he covers the seedlings with banana leaves to try to keep them warm.
Marolahy isn’t just another farmer complaining about uncooperative weather. Climate scientists say weather patterns are becoming more unpredictable.
Researchers tracking the temperature in the adjacent national park say the highs and lows in this part of Madagascar have become far more extreme over the past two decades.
In 2014, Celia Harvey, a scientist with Conservation International, helped conduct a study looking at how changing climatic conditions are affecting 600 small-scale farmers on the island nation.
“We found that farmers are experiencing very variable rainfall and very variable crop production,” Harvey says.
The study also found that small-scale farmers in Madagascar are ill-prepared to deal with climatic fluctuations.
“They have large families. They have very small areas of land. They’re very poor. They lack access to basic services. They’re really living on the edge in many ways,” she says. “So they depend almost entirely on rice production for both their food security and for income generation. So anything that affects their rice production ultimately very quickly undermines their livelihood.”
According to the World Bank, three-quarters of the population of Madagascar lives in poverty. Most of those people survive by growing their own food.
In Madagascar, these small, subsistence farms are particularly vulnerable to tropical storms. Madagascar is as long from tip to toe as Texas. Its 1,000-mile-long east coast stands as a long, straight bulwark protecting southern Africa from storms that barrel west across the open Indian Ocean. As ocean temperatures rise, climate scientists expect that more powerful and more frequent tropical storms will buffet Madagascar.
“Madagascar is one of those countries that are very exposed to cyclones, and when cyclones come through, farmers typically lose most of their rice crop,” Harvey says.
Marolahy, the rice farmer, says he has few options on how to deal with the erratic weather. His land is the most valuable thing he owns. He can’t just move somewhere else or find another job. His strategy to deal with the fluctuations in his rice yields is to expand. Later this year, he plans to burn the bushes off a hillside above his rice paddies and try planting cassava and beans.
Not far from Marolahy’s fields, another family of rice farmers is also diversifying. Perline Ramaniandaibe and her two daughters are panning for gold in a small stream that serves as both the sewer and the spring for the village of Kelilalina in eastern Madagascar.
Ramaniandaibe says some days they don’t find any gold, but other days, they find a few flecks of the precious metal. They use the gold to support their rice farm.
“We don’t have any other way to make money, only this, this gold,” she says.
One of the benefits of panning for gold, Ramaniandaibe says, is that when flooding makes it impossible to work in their fields, the rising water cuts in to the hillsides, exposing soil that potentially could yield more gold. She concedes that ripping up agricultural land to search for gold is a problem over the long term, but at least it can bring in some cash when crops fail.
And there may be another silver lining to climate change for some parts of the island. While researchers say storms and erratic rainfall will make it harder to grow rice in eastern Madagascar, rising temperatures might boost rice production in the central highlands of the country, where lowe
Growth in Rice Imports
Tuesday, August 08, 2017


Close to 645,000 tons of semi- and wholly-milled rice worth nearly 9.55 trillion rials ($250 million) were imported into Iran during the first four months of the current fiscal year (March 21-July 22), registering a 14.5% and 26.7% growth in weight and value respectively compared with the corresponding period of last year.
The Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration also reported that the UAE, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Turkey and Iraq were the main countries from where the products were imported, Mizan Online reported.
India’s English-language daily the Tribune recently wrote that increased buying from Iran has led to Basmati rice emerging as the top agricultural export in the Indian commodity basket.
During the April-June period, basmati contributed 29% to India’s agricultural and processed food product exports value-wise, followed by buffalo meat (19.33%). According to the country’s Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority data, basmati exports for the Q1 stood at 1.25 million tons compared to 1.18 million tons during the corresponding period of last year.
Iranians consume 3.2 million tons of rice a year, of which more than 2.2 million tons are supplied by domestic farmers.
The Agriculture Ministry expects domestic rice production to increase by 10-15% in the current Iranian year, because of favorable weather condition and timely distribution of seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, machinery and equipment among local farmers.
The government periodically places a ban on imports during the harvest season to support local farmers. Import tariffs have increased from 22% four years ago to 40% at present for the same reason.  
The two northern provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran are home to a majority of Iran’s paddy fields.
Director General of Grains and Staple Foods Office with the Ministry of Agriculture Kaveh Khaksar said 81% and 70% of rice harvest in the two provinces respectively were mechanized in the last Iranian year (ended March 20, 2017).
“The figures are estimated to increase to 86% for Mazandaran and 80% for Gilan in the current year. Expansion of mechanization is aimed at increasing productivity and achieving self-sufficiency. A 100% automation of rice harvest is projected by the end of the Sixth Five-Year Development Plan [2017-22],” he said.
Khaksar noted that out of the 185,000 hectares of paddy fields in Mazandaran, 38,000 hectares went under mechanized rice cultivation. In Gilan, mechanized rice planting was carried out over 95,000 hectares from a total of 238,000 hectares of paddy fields.
According to Kambiz Abbasi, an official with the Ministry of Agriculture, the government of President Hassan Rouhani invested 6 trillion rials ($156 million) on mechanization of rice production, which investment is “unprecedented”.
He added that mechanization would cut rice harvesting costs by up to 70%.
Abbasi noted that in view of water shortage in Iran, the administration is not willing to expand paddy fields in provinces other than Mazandaran and Gilan.
According to the Central and West Asia Rice Center, with around 54% of Central and West Asia’s paddy fields located in Iran, the country accounts for 61% of the regions’ combined rice production.
CWARice was officially established in 2010 at the Rice Research Institute of Iran in the city of Rasht in Gilan. Its member states include Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The mission of CWARice is to conduct advanced rice research with an emphasis on new production technologies that will be required to adapt rice production systems in the region to climate change

And now some real news

When they prioritise agricultural investments under CPEC, the Chinese are not looking for land. They have plenty of it. They want our water  

I recently came across some real news about Pakistan which merits sharing, and commenting. According to a July, 2017 article by Carole Dalin at University College, London and fellow authors, in Nature, world’s top journal for scientific knowledge, Pakistan is the largest exporter of depleted groundwater embedded in agricultural exports in the world. We account for 29 percent of the global trade in agricultural products grown from over abstraction of groundwater, ahead of the United States (27 percent) and India (12 percent). So we are number one in something, should we be happy and proud that we even beat the United States, let alone India? Or is there a cause for concern?
The research presented by Dr Dalinet al. is predicated upon the concept of virtual water coined by my esteemed colleague, Prof Tony Allan, at King’s College, London. The concept is simply that all agricultural, or for that matter any industrial products require a certain amount of water to produce, which is embedded in those products as virtual water. For example, it takes about 22,000 liters of water to produce one kilogram of beef, 1,350 liters for one kilogram of wheat, 3,000 liters for a kilogram of rice, 140 liters for a cup of coffee etc. As a water researcher, I have my reservations about the concept and its use, which are beside the point. One has to concede that it is an amazing teaching devise for drawing attention to the impact on water resources, for producing goods and services, particularly agricultural products that make our life styles possible.
So what does it mean that Pakistan is the largest exporter of depleted groundwater as virtual water through its agricultural exports? In Pakistan, up to 80 percent of the water required by crops to grow comes from groundwater, and not from surface water, as is commonly believed. In fresh groundwater zones, most of the water is in fact, surface water that seeps through canals into groundwater, that is pumped back up to the surface for agriculture. Groundwater extraction rates in Pakistan are much beyond the natural recharge rates, at which, the groundwater is replenished.
Water scarcity in Pakistan is socially constructed, and large farmers engaged in agricultural exports are the culprits and the beneficiaries of it. We have one of the largest reserves of groundwater in the world but we misuse it for the benefit of commercial interests
In the upper Indus we extract 54 percent more water than can be naturally replaced in the aquifer and by 18 percent in the lower Indus. This over extraction of water Dalinet al. demonstrate is mostly used to grow wheat, rice, cotton and other crops such as sugarcane, respectively. The water therefore is virtually embedded in these crops. Almost all of our virtual water exports are in the form of rice (82 percent) to four main countries, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kenya and Bangladesh. To put it simply, we are living beyond our (water) means to grow rice among others, not for ourselves, but to sell to other countries.
So, is that a good thing? The answer depends on one’s perspective. If one is a free market and free trade enthusiast, one can argue that the benefits we gain in terms of foreign exchange and revenue for the agricultural sector outweigh the cost of drawing down the groundwater. The things we are able to import, with the dollars we earn from our agricultural exports, give us the means to pursue other developmental ends including poverty alleviation.
If one is from an environmental sustainability or social equity perspective it is a very bad thing. From an equity standpoint, the costs of lowering groundwater are overwhelmingly borne by the poor and small farmers. They do not have the resources to pay for the equipment or the electricity for deep tubewells to get to ever receding groundwater, thereby leading to increasing rural poverty. In the long run, everyone pays a price as springs and wetlands dry up, and groundwater resources get dangerously low. It is no coincidence that Pakistan has the highest urbanization rates in Asia. Poor farmers unable to compete in the race to the bottom — literally — are abandoning farms and heading to the cities, putting the urban infrastructure under unprecedented stress.
Is there an absolute scarcity of water in Pakistan? How can the largest exporter of virtual water protest water scarcity? The answer simply is that there is no absolute water scarcity. It is socially constructed, and large farmers engaged in agricultural exports are the culprits and the beneficiaries of it. There are only three types of water storage: glaciers, surface (dams) and groundwater. We have one of the largest reserves of groundwater in the world, and we misuse it for the benefit of commercial interests. The Chinese when they prioritize agricultural investments under CPEC, are not looking for land. They have plenty of it. They want our water. We would do well to remember that, in this season of hollering about conspiracies and attacks on democracy.

Scientists Look for Impact of Pollution from Pills in Wastewater

Difficult to filter, chemicals from drugs and personal-care products are of 'emerging concern' in waterways like the Santa Cruz River.
by Nicholas Gerbis, Arizona Science Desk
The Santa Cruz River. (PHOTO: Border 2020 Commission)
The pipeline leak that spilled sewage into the Santa Cruz River is sealed, but another pollution problem persists, one many other American waterways share.
Contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) are chemicals from drugs and personal-care products that most wastewater treatment plants don’t filter out.
“‘Emerging concern’ is kind of a relative perspective. It usually means that they’re not regulated, but that there’s things that either might scare people or have preliminary toxicological impacts,” said Paul Westerhoff, vice dean for research at Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.
Westerhoff worked with Jacelyn Rice of Duke University on the study, which appeared online in Nature Geoscience in July.
Some CECs, including estrogenic compounds from products like synthetic birth control, disrupt the hormones of aquatic wildlife, harming reproduction.
“If you look upstream and downstream of a wastewater treatment plant, there’s a lot higher degree of feminization downstream,” Westerhoff said.
Feminization is more or less what it sounds like: A shift in male biology toward female traits. While some fish are naturally intersexual, in other species this can produce odd outcomes, like testes containing egg cells.
The effects on humans require further study.
Westerhoff and Rice combined several databases from the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey and other sources to model the concentration levels of three natural and synthetic estrogens of ecological concern.
“There’s over 14,000 wastewater treatment plants that discharge into mostly rivers and lakes around the country, and we wanted to understand how pervasive this problem could be,” Westerhoff said.
Treated wastewater provides an important source of stream flow and helps maintain aquatic and riparian wildlife habitats. Wastewater discharges supply more than 50 percent of flow for more than 900 U.S. streams.
The health of creatures that depend on that water — including humans — depends largely on dilution.
“How dangerous something is for, say, a fish in a river in this case, depends upon not only if a chemical is there at a very low level, but what is that concentration?”
Dilution can pose a problem for the Santa Cruz River as it flows north of Nogales because it consists entirely of wastewater four to six months each year.
Similar conditions occur downstream of large metropolitan areas in Arizona: Wastewater makes up the lion’s share of the Salt and Gila rivers for large parts of the year, and localized spots of high concentration exist near Verde River communities on the Mogollon Rim.
Westerhoff cited Oak Creek, near Sedona, as another example.
“Any time you have a wastewater treatment plant that discharges into the river, you’ll have some degree of exposure to these compounds," Westerhoff said.
The study found that one pollutant’s concentration exceeded the federal safety threshold in three-fifths of the 1,000-plus wastewater-fed rivers with pronounced low-flow periods. The other two endocrine-affecting substances exceeded those levels in one-third of such rivers.
The authors expect such rates to worsen under conditions of drought, population growth and climate change. Perhaps ironically, conservation efforts like low-flow toilets could worsen the effect, if bodies continue to produce the same volume of CEC-tainted waste but flush less water with which to dilute them.
Westerhoff hopes the findings will inform a national discussion about America’s deteriorating and outdated water infrastructure, preferably one that includes CECs.
“The wastewater treatment plants aren’t necessarily designed to remove them to a high enough degree using the technologies that were largely installed in the 1970s.”
As CECs gained attention in the past few decades, regulatory mandates have lagged. That poses a problem, since any potential upgrades must compete for tax dollars or federal grants with other demands.
Meanwhile, CECs or no, water infrastructure in the U.S. continues to circle the drain, Westerhoff said.
“The American Society of Civil Engineering gives our water and wastewater infrastructure ‘C’ and ‘D’ grades.”

Houston Eats! conference examines food and history

Published 11:08 am, Monday, August 7, 2017
Photo: Marie D. De Jesus, Houston Chronicle
James Beard Award-winning chef Hugo Ortega of Xochi will be among the speakers participating in the Houston Eats! conference Sept. 8-9 that explores Houston diversity and food.If you're interested Vietnamese supermarkets, local barbecue, Chinese bakeries, the Texas rice industry, Mexican tortilla factories, kolaches, and Houston restaurant history, you'll want to attend the Houston Eats!conference, Sept. 8-9.
Organized by the Gulf Coast Food Project and Foodways Texas, the conference brings together historians, farmers, food writers, sociologists, artists and activists to discuss Houston food history and diversity. The two-day conference, which is free and open to the public, will also explore how Houston eats now and how the city's food scene will change in the future.
The Sept. 8 events will be held at the M.D. Anderson Library, Rockwell Pavilion; Sept. 9 events will be at the Student Center South, Multipurpose Room 237S. The conference is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both days; held at the University of Houston main campus.
The conference begins with a keynote speaker Tyina L. Steptoe, author of "Houston Bound: Culture and Color in a Jim Crow City." Steptoe, associate professor of history at the University of Arizona, will speak between 9 and 10 a.m. on Sept. 8.
Other conference highlights:
* Asian supermarkets and food practices in Houston: Sept. 8; 10 to 11:30 a.m.
* "In the Land of the Links: Tracing Houston Barbecue Traditions" by Houston Chronicle barbecue columnist J.C. Reid: Sept. 8; 11:30 a.m. to noon.
* "Lost Restaurants of Houston": Sept. 8; 1 to 1:30 p.m

Cordilleran traditional woven fabrics showcased in exhibit

 Tuesday, August 08, 2017
THE Cordillera has a rich cultural heritage that is exhibited in its dances, rice planting practice, food, and rituals including loom weaving that attracts fabric-experts locally and internationally.
As part of the enhancement of this cultural heritage, a multi-awarded photojournalist is showing the different hand woven materials of the region through photos.
Photojournalist Dave Leprozo Jr., who advocates for the preservation of the region’s culture, is showcasing his culture-inspired photographs at SM City Baguio featuring the different traditional “habi” (woven fabrics) from the six provinces in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
The photos exhibit mainly the traditions, culture and other activities where the featured woven fabrics are normally used, both as a “bahag” (G-String) for men and “tapis” for women.
Leprozo said “the exhibit aims to showcase the unique and the colorful tradition of the Cordillerans,” adding “every province has its distinct woven fabric that symbolizes its colorful heritage and practices. Cordillera is very unique.”
Based on the region’s history, the different woven fabrics were traded with other nations during the 15th century. Weaving is an age old craft of each of the tribal peoples in the region that can be recognized in its own distinct designs, colors and patterns and is still practiced today.
These woven fabrics are being used by tribal folks during weddings, birth of a child, death, rice harvest, thanksgiving and other special occasions and in some areas, the locals wear them for their day-to-day activities.
The photo exhibit at the mall allows the public to take a peek at the region’s culture through the collection of photos on display.
The first showing of the collection was in 2016 at the University of the Cordillera, then moved to the University of Baguio.
It was also displayed at The Mall in Boracay, the National Center for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) museum in Intramuros before it traveled to the United States and was already exhibited at the San Francisco public library and San Jose Community College both in California, Daly City, Westlake City and at the San Francisco City hall in California before the SM showing as part of the Cordillera Month celebration.
Daniel Los Bañes, a 61-year-old resident of this city who saw the collection, expressed amazement in seeing the beautiful photographs.
“It's wonderful. I am normally seeing these during parades and to see it in a photograph is also beautiful," Los Bañes said.
Leprozo’s other photo collection depicting the Cordillera rice practices, was donated to the International Rice Research Institute in Laguna and remains on display at the facility as an attraction and information material on the region's rice cultural practices. (PNA)

UnitedHealth Group Names Two New Directors

·         Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, President and Dean of the Morehouse School of Medicine
·         Sir Andrew Witty, former CEO and Director of GlaxoSmithKline; Chancellor of the University of Nottingham
August 07, 2017 06:50 AM Eastern Daylight Time
MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The board of directors of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) announced Valerie Montgomery Rice, M.D., and Sir Andrew Witty have joined the board.
Richard Burke, chairman of the board of directors of UnitedHealth Group, said, “Valerie Montgomery Rice and Andrew Witty both have broad firsthand experience in health systems and research and the application of modern health care data and analytics. Each is a leading thinker on the future of health care. Valerie brings us in-depth knowledge and understanding of the specific health care needs of a wide range of communities, and how to better prepare the next generation of health care leaders to address those needs. Andrew has deep experience in health technology research and access strategies, as well as extensive skills in improving care delivery through developing partnerships and sharing information. His broad international experience in health care will help us grow to serve more people in more nations around the world. We are pleased and gratified to welcome them to the board.”
Montgomery Rice is the President and Dean of the Morehouse School of Medicine, a medical school in Atlanta, Georgia, and has served in that capacity since 2014 and as the EVP and Dean from 2011 to 2014. Prior to joining Morehouse School of Medicine, she served as Dean of the School of Medicine and Senior Vice President of Health Affairs at Meharry Medical College, and as the director of the Center for Women’s Health Research, one of the nation’s first research centers devoted to studying diseases that disproportionately impact women of color. Montgomery Rice also serves as a Council Member of the National Institute of Health (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Science. Montgomery Rice is a Member of the National Academy of Medicine and a renowned infertility specialist and women’s health researcher. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a medical degree from Harvard School of Medicine. Montgomery Rice completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Emory University School of Medicine and her fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Hutzel Hospital in Detroit, MI.
Witty was CEO and a board member of GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK), a global pharmaceutical company, from 2008 to April, 2017. He joined GSK in 1985 and, prior to 2008, served in various senior roles in Europe, South Africa, the U.S. and Asia. He is Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, a British public research university, serving in that capacity since January 2013. He is a Business Ambassador for the U.K. Prime Minister. Witty serves on the Singapore Economic Development Board International Advisory Committee, the Council at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and as an Advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Witty was knighted in the 2012 New Year Honours for services to the economy and the U.K. pharmaceutical industry. He also serves on the board of G1 Therapeutics, Inc.
About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and helping make the health system work better for everyone. UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. For more information, visit UnitedHealth Group at or follow @UnitedHealthGrp on Twitter.


UnitedHealth Group
Tyler Mason, 424-333-6122
Vice President

United States Rice Seed Market 2017 By Key Manufacturers – Dupont Pioneer, Bayer, Kaveri and Nuziveedu Seeds

Divyang Nayaron: August 08, 2017In: Technology and Media
United States Rice Seed market 2017 Research Report offers a replete and diligent analysis of the growth rate of the Rice Seed industry.This report scrutinize current market trends, future growth potential, dominant market growth drivers, elements impeding market growth, opportunities, market framework, market challenges, market future prognosis and best practices in the United States Rice Seed market.
Report Synopsis:
Initially, the research study provides subtle knowledge of the Rice Seed market composition, evaluates and overviews its multifaceted aspects & applications. It formulate both its quantitative and qualitative patterns of investigative research. The research study split the United States Rice Seed market on the basis of different parameters and assesses each section as well as sub-section of Rice Seed market.
Do Inquiry Before Accessing United States Rice Seed Market 2017 Report at:
The major areas on which the report focuses on related to each firm are key competitor profile overview/description, fiscal & accounting details, business strategies and recent developments.
Key Dominant players in Rice Seed market:
Dupont Pioneer
Nuziveedu Seeds
Rasi Seeds
JK seeds
Longping High-tech
China National Seed
Grand Agriseeds
Dabei Nong Group
Hefei Fengle
Gansu Dunhuang Seed
Dongya Seed Industry
Keeplong Seeds
Guangxi Hengmao Agricultural Technology
Opulent Technology
Anhui Nongken
Saprotan Utama
United States Rice Seed market is Splited into two segments product and application.
Product Based Analysis of Rice Seed Market:
Long-grain rice
Medium-grain rice
Short-grain rice
Application Based Analysis of Rice Seed Market:
Agricultural Production
Scientific Research
In addition,the elements that triggers and restrict the growth of the United States Rice Seed industry are mentioned and clarified in depth in this research study. It assists professionals in taking crucial business decisions to publicize their business. The study also scrutinize areas having potentialities for future market growth. It also provides information about emerging markets, profitable markets, static markets, declining markets, saturated markets or mature markets along with growth benefits.
Overall the Rice Seed report offers complete substantial analysis of the parent market, key strategies followed by dominant industry Players, forthcoming segments, former, current and forecast market analysis in terms of volume and value along with entire research conclusions.
The Report serves as a valuable/profitable guide for the industry players and other individuals who are interested in studying the Rice Seed market

Could perennial crops be an answer to climate change?

THE HANS INDIA |    Aug 08,2017 , 05:11 AM IST
While India reaped the benefits of the Green Revolution in the 1960s, her neighbour China is now taking the lead in another area of sustainable agriculture -- developing crops that meet the challenges posed by global warming.
Chinese agricultural scientists are working to convert seasonal crops into perennial crops that regrow after being harvested and deliver multiple yields before dying. “They are saving labour costs. Besides, greater soil carbon storage and lesser input requirements mean that perennial crops have the potential to mitigate global warming,” Erik J Sacks, Associate Professor of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois, said in an e-mail.
China’s Yunnan Agricultural University (YAU) started working on perennial rice after the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines wound up this project in 2001 owing to a financial crisis.
At YAU, Fengyi Hu and his colleagues developed a perennial rice by crossing Oryza sativa -- the short-lived Asian rice -- with a wild African perennial O. longistaminata.
The cross, known as PR 23, “apparently lasts at least five years and gives 10 seasons of grain twice a year with yields comparable to seasonal rice”, Nandula Raghuram, Professor and Dean of Biotechnology at New Delhi’s Indraprastha University, said.
“It seems very convincing and promising,” said Raghuram, one of the 50 delegates from over a dozen countries who recently toured different perennial rice-growing sites in the Yunnan province and tasted the cooked rice. “Farmers we spoke to seemed enthusiastic about adopting perennial rice and possibly other crops because of lower input costs.”

Noting that perennial rice is a great idea, “next only to hybrid rice”, he said perennial legumes are also being developed and it may be possible to have both rice and legume grow perennially in alternative rows/plots on the same field. “This also reduces or eliminates the need for nitrogen fertiliser and reduces the pest/pathogen problems typical to monocultures,” Raghuram said.
Work on developing perennial wheat, buckwheat, sorghum and sunflower are also at various stages in China. “The fact is that rice farmers in China are beginning to adopt perennial rice because they see the benefits to themselves,” Sacks said. “Similarly, in the US, some leading farmers are beginning to adopt Kernza (a perennial wheat-like crop) because they find the market conditions and environmental benefits advantageous.”
Perennial crops hold many benefits, including reduced chemical runoff -- which means less water pollution -- and reduced soil erosion as these plants develop much greater root mass and protect the soil year-round. Their superior capacity to store carbon and manage resources is widely recognised by ecologists and soil scientists.
The Land Institute in Kansas, according to Timothy Crews, its Director of Research, plans to convert US farmlands to 70 percent perennial crops from the current 25 percent within 50 years.
However, MS Swaminathan, considered the father of India’s Green Revolution, said the main problem with perennial varieties is the need to effectively manage the “unholy triple alliance” of weeds, pests and pathogens.
“Perennial rice used to be common in the past, but I think because of the pest problem, farmers had given it up,” Swaminathan told this correspondent. “There is also perennial wheat and many crops in nature that tend to be perennial. The advantage of perennial crops is that they will be very helpful where there is labour shortage and where the work is being done by family labour.”
Raghuram admitted that perennial crops may not be a panacea for all the ills of agriculture -- especially agrarian distress and farmers’ suicides in India -- but “they can be an engine for progressive change, both in economic and environmental terms. The challenge for scientists, extension workers and policymakers is to make it happen”.
“While the present varieties of perennial rice developed in China may be suited for Chinese agro climates, “they do offer adequate proof of concept that they can be developed for other agro climates and markets”, Raghuram noted.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), which has been highly supportive of the Chinese efforts to develop perennial rice, is keen to extend this technology to other parts of the world.

“Perennial rice, combined with perennial legumes, has huge potential in Asia, especially India,” Hans Dreyer, director of FAO’s plant production division, told this correspondent on the telephone. “A south-south collaboration on this technology can make this happen.”
Anil Rajvanshi, director of Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute in Phalton, Maharashtra, who is visiting the Land Institute in the US this month, is all for perennials.
“In India we should have a national mission for developing perennial crops for wheat and rice, and ultimately for other crops and vegetables,”Rajvanshisaid. “Crops are like factories. We never destroy a factory after the produce is made and sold. In fact, most of the time we tweak the machinery and use the same factory to produce different products.”
“Yet in agriculture, after the harvest we uproot the plants, till the soil and replant a new crop. This increases soil erosion, takes away a lot of minerals from the soil and uses up a huge amount of water and energy to develop new root structure, besides increasing the time of harvest,” he added. “Perennial crops, on the other hand, hold the soil and tremendously reduce the energy required for food and fruit production,”Rajvanshi concluded.
.By KS Jayaraman

How a Rice Cooker Can Cut Your Food Budget

·         Myles is a former reporter and editor at Before joining, he... »
August 8, 2017 • 3 min read by Myles Ma   0 Comments
A rice cooker may seem fairly limited as far as kitchen tools go. It can accomplish one simple task very well, and that’s it.
But it’s time to expand your horizons. With a little creativity, it’s possible to use a rice cooker instead of your other kitchen tools to make all your meals and save on your food budget.

How a Rice Cooker Works

A rice cooker is made up of an electric heat source, a pot and a thermostat. In normal use, you fill the pot with rice and water and heat it.
Once the water boils off, the temperature inside the pot can rise above the boiling point. Once the thermostat detects this, the rice cooker turns off or, with newer models, goes to a “warm” setting. If your rice to water ratio was correct, you’re left with perfectly cooked rice after flipping just one switch.
Many home cooks have realized that, with some tinkering, you can cook many things in a rice cooker — not just rice. The most famous proponent of the rice cooker is probably the late film critic Roger Ebert, who took a detour from cinema to write his guide to rice cookers in 2009, called “The Pot and How to Use It.”
We spoke to Neal Bertrand, a resident of southern Louisiana who published his own rice cooker cookbook, called “Rice Cooker Meals: Fast Home Cooking for Busy People.” Bertrand, through his own experimentation and the input of cooks from the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, assembled 60 recipes that can be made using a rice cooker.

‘A Portable Kitchen’

A rice cooker can make much more than rice, from pasta to seafood and even beef. And using this one tool to cook can really help you save both time and money. For example, making pasta is a matter of putting it in a bowl with water and a little olive oil, followed by all the other ingredients.
Most of the recipes just require waiting until the rice cooker switches from “cook” to “warm,” but for gumbo and other dishes with lots of liquid, Brennan recommends using a kitchen timer as well. In addition, some of the meat dishes require browning in a skillet, though he said the rice cooker can also be used to brown meat in a pinch.
For someone extremely budget-conscious, a rice cooker can potentially replace many normally-used kitchen tools, including a stove.
“I call it a portable kitchen,” Bertrand said. “All you need is a rice cooker, your ingredients and a source of electricity.”
Bertrand said readers of the cookbook had told him they were able to eat during power outages in Louisiana by plugging their rice cookers into generators.

Buying a Rice Cooker

A decent rice cooker should cost $40 or less, according to The Sweethome, a home goods review website. Using the right credit card could go along way in making that expense more affordable and in rewarding any future ingredient purchases. (Here are a few credit cards that reward you for grocery spending. But before applying, make sure to check your credit. Many rewards credit cards require good to excellent credit scores to qualify. You can check two of your scores for free on
To get any potential rice cooker chefs started, we’ve provided Bertrand’s recipe for Black-Eyed Pea & Sausage Jambalaya. Bertrand said it is a favorite from his cookbook. Enjoy!
1 lb. smoked link beef or pork sausage, sliced and browned. (Browning optional)
1 (15.5-oz.) can black-eyed peas with jalapenos
1 (10.5-oz.) can beef broth
1 1/4 cups (10 oz.) uncooked white rice
1/2 stick butter, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped green onions
Brown the sausage in skillet and drain excess grease. Add all ingredients to rice cooker, stir, cover and press down COOK switch. Once the meal is cooked, and the COOK switch pops up to WARM mode, let it stand covered 10 minutes before serving.

Philippines. Gov’t plans to import more rice next year

THE NATIONAL Food Authority (NFA) plans to import in 2018 double the rice it is bringing in this year, according to a presentation in a budget hearing last week in the House of Representatives.

The briefing, conducted by NFA Administrator Jason Laureano Y. Aquino, showed the state grains agency plans to import some 580,050 metric tons (MT)in 2018, more than double the 250,000 MT it purchased from suppliers in Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore late last month as it rushed to replenish depleted state stocks especially for the July-September lean season.

Besides that, NFA also plans to procure about 1.2 million MT of paddy rice locally, more than five times 2017’s 225,000 MT program, the same brief showed.

“Ang mandate ng NFA is really to procure local. Pag nagkaroon ng shortfall, ‘dun lang magkakaroon ng importation. (NFA can import only when there is a shortfall in local production),” Rachel Miguel, executive assistant to the NFA administrator, told reporters last week.

In a phone interview yesterday, NFA spokesperson Marietta J. Ablaza said the agency’s local palay procurement totaled 274,411 bags, or roughly just 13,720 MT, in the seven months to July.
The NFA is mandated to maintain a buffer stock sufficient for 15 days at any given time and 30 days during the lean months either via local palay procurement or importation.

The government has also approved private sector importation of some 805,200 MT of rice in an auction that is expected to take place next quarter.The government last year approved the importation of 500,000 MT but brought in just half of that volume.

For this year, the Department of Agriculture targets to produce 18.5 million MT of palay, 4.93% up from 2016’s 17.627 million MT.Palay output reached 4.42 million MT in the first quarter, a 12.38% growth from the 3.93 million MT produced in 2016’s comparable three months.
In its latest estimate, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) projects rice production in the second quarter to have increased by 11% to 4.1 million MT from 3.69 million MT a year ago.The PSA is scheduled to release second-quarter farm output data on Aug. 15 as well as the gross domestic product report for the same period two days later.

NFA to reduce reliance on cheap rice imports

AUGUST 8, 2017
Expect a major policy shift in the National Food Authority’s buffer stocking scheme next year as the state-run grains agency looks to reduce its reliance on cheaper imported rice while increasing local procurement.
With the impending influx of cheaper rice from abroad, NFA Administrator Jason Laureano Aquino said the NFA would be increasing local palay procurement to 1.2 million metric tons next year, a massive increase from the 225,000 MT projected for this year.
“The NFA targets to procure locally 1.2 million MT of paddy. This is higher than the NFA 2017 target of 225,000 MT,” Aquino told Congress during a budget hearing last week.
“This would also ensure government support to marginalized rice farmers to be affected by cheaper farmgate prices as a result of higher importation of cheaper rice from abroad,” he said, citing President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to source buffer stocks from local farmers.
For this year, the NFA plans to buy 43 million bags of rice from farmers nationwide in a bid to replenish its dwindling rice stocks, which have remained critically low despite the expected arrival of imports in the next two months.
NFA Spokesperson Marietta Ablaza has said the grains agency would buy the bulk of the target volume during the main harvest season from October to December.
“So far, we have procured about 230,000 bags during the dry season harvest, and we plan to have a massive buying of palay during our main harvest to beef up our stocks,” Ablaza told The Manila Times in a telephone interview.
The lower buying price of P17 per kilo, however, is making it difficult for the agency to compete with private traders.
The NFA was created with the intention of protecting the interests of both rice producers and consumers. As such, its two primary mandates are to stabilize the price of rice and to ensure food security.
The price stabilization mandate means that the NFA tries to influence prices on two fronts. It must support the palay farmgate price at a level that is enough to ensure a reasonable return for farmers. At the same time, it must also ensure that the price of rice is low enough for consumers.
Over the past decade, the NFA has relied massively on cheaper imported rice to replenish its buffer stocks since it could not compete with private millers and traders in buying locally grown palay.
Buying rice from abroad cuts the agency’s spending and it can earn more and slash losses by selling to consumers at higher prices.
Aquino also told members of Congress that they were also looking to import 580,050 MT of rice in 2018, more than double that imported by the government this year. But the volume is significantly lower than the average state-led importation over the last decade.
Sought for comment, Rachel Miguel, special assistant to the NFA chief, said the importation would help augment local palay procurement.
Miguel did not disclose the target arrival for the imported rice, saying the proposal was still subject to the approval of the multi-sectoral NFA Council.
The NFA Council has not been keen on exercising the importation option as it pushes institutional reforms within the debt-ridden grains agency.
Under a recent NFA restructuring proposal, rice for buffer stocking will be accumulated via higher domestic procurement, while import volumes would be reduced via encouraging the private sector to undertake the purchases.
The NFA’s policy of “buy high-store long-sell low” will now shift to a policy where the agency’s selling prices are gradually increased to approach market levels, with social welfare agencies handling subsidized rice if needed but buying stocks from NFA at market prices.

Loans offer for rice harvest

August 8, 2017
Sok Chan / Khmer Times Share:    
The government has injected another $23 million through the Rural Development Bank (RDB) to provide loans to rice mills and exporters who lack working capital to buy rice from farmers in the up-coming harvest season and stabilise the rice price.
RDB’s CEO Kao Thach said yesterday that mills and exporters who meet the criteria may apply for the loans without discrimination.
“We hope that the total of $50 million of government emergency loans would stabilise the rice price during the harvest season because most rice mills and rice exporters still have working capital to purchase rice from farmers in this new harvest season,” Mr Thach said.
He said that the rice harvest season starts in September, so the new loan would help to stabilise prices.
The government has also approved another $15 million to RDB to work with private partners to build silos and warehouses in Kampong Thom, Prey Veng and Takeo provinces, Mr Thach said.
“Besides the western provinces such Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Pailin and Pursat, the government found that Kampong Thom, Prey Veng and Takeo provinces also have the potential to produce rice, so we have to build warehouses and silos in that area,” Mr Thach said.
“As planned, we want the capacity of the warehouses to store from 50,000 tonnes to 100,000 tonnes and silos to dry from 1,500 tonnes, but sizes would be changed according to the price and infrastructure of the silo and warehouse.”
He added that the government had approved $30 million to build warehouses and silos for the rice sector.
In April, the government conducted a $15 million bidding contract to build a 3,000-tonne silo facility and 200,000-tonne rice warehouse. Cambodia Rice Bank won the contract for the facilities in Battambang.
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.
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.
He said the Cambodia Rice Bank 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 would 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.
Mr Thach said that silos and warehouses in Kampong Thom, Prey Veng and Takeo would be smaller than in Battambang, but investment would be expanded in future in these strategic rice-growing areas.
Nguon Sokha, secretary of state at the Finance Ministry, said the government through the ministry had decided to inject more capital to the RDB to provide loans to all key players in the agricultural production chain – from farming communities, processing factories to exporters and microfinance institutions

Thailand approves flood relief measures worth $48 million
A general view shows a flooded area in Sakon Nakhon province, Thailand.Dejbordin Limsupanark
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's cabinet on Tuesday approved 1.6 billion baht ($48 million) in relief for farmers hit by floods in the north and northeast.
Twenty-nine people have been killed and some 700,000 hectares of farmland damaged by flooding in 36 of Thailand's 77 provinces, with damages estimated at $300 million.
Thailand is the world's second-biggest rice exporter and some of the areas hit by flooding are used for growing rice. The government has said the floods could impact rice production during the off-season production cycle starting mid-August.
However, the country's rice export association has said the floods will not likely affect Thailand's export target of 10 million tonnes this year.
The relief measures approved on Tuesday will be distributed to some 560,000 farming households.
In 2011, widespread floods killed more than 900 people and caused major industrial disruption, cutting economic growth to just 0.1 percent.
When Thailand's junta took power in 2014, it proposed a 10-year water management plan to avoid a repeat of the 2011 floods, but it is still under review.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn had urged the government to work out long-term water management plans, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters on Tuesday.
Opponents of the military government last week accused the government of responding slowly to the flood crisis, adding to simmering political tensions.
Reporting by Aukkarapon Niyomyat, Pracha Hariraksapitak, Panarat Thepgumpanat; Writing by Panu Wongcha-um; Editing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre

Thai Rice Exporters Association: Rice exports unaffected by northeastern floods

BANGKOK, 8 August 2017 (NNT) - The President of Thai Rice Exporters Association stated that northeastern floods have not affected rice exports. 

Mr. Charoen Laothammathat, President of Thai Rice Exporters Association spoke regarding the northeastern floods stating that the disaster have not affected rice exports, because rice exports rely mainly on in stock jasmine rice, while the new season’s jasmine rice will be harvested during November to December. He noted the global market price of jasmine rice rose to 850 US dollar up from 800 US dollar last month, due to increasing demand.

Thai Rice Exporters Association will visit the flooded areas to survey jasmine rice farm in the Northeast and assess the situation to calculate whether production could drop and affect next year's rice exports.

However, most of the northeastern provinces are located on highlands, and they are unlikely to be severely affected. As for the lowlands, rice fields could be damaged but not to an extent that the overall rice yield will be affected.

Rice export increases this fiscal year: ministry

Submitted by Eleven on Tue, 08/08/2017 - 16:44
Writer: Nilar
A rice business in Bayintnaung (Photo-Myint Thu/EMG)
Myanmar has exported about 950,000 tonnes of rice and broken rice to other countries since by the end of July this fiscal year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.The majority of the exported rice and broken rice went to China, Thailand, Singapore, India and Japan, the ministry said.The country earned US$ 276 million from rice exports from April to July this year and made US$ 150 million more than that of last year’s export.

Nearly 500,000 tonnes of exported rice went through border trade and about 370,000 tonnes of exported rice used the sea route, according to official figures.Myanmar started exporting more than one million tonnes of rice annually from fiscal year 2012-13 and 1.8 million tonnes of rice were exported in 2014-15 as the biggest export.The Myanmar Rice Federation says it expected to export more than 2 million tonnes of rice in fiscal year 2017-18.
The country exported rice to 43 foreign countries this fiscal year.

India: Monsoon-2017: Daily monsoon / Flood situation report of 07 August 2017

Published on 07 Aug 2017 View Original

SITREP NO. 67/2017
07/08/2017 (1600 Hours)
According to the Central Water Commission (CWC) report dated 07/08/2017, there is no unprecedented flood site in the country. However, 01 High flood site in Uttar Pradesh & 09 Moderate flood sites has been reported in Bihar-05, Assam-01 & Uttar Pradesh-03 respectively.
2.                  IMD WARNING DURING NEXT 03 DAYS:
07 August (Day 1): Heavy to very heavy rainfall very likely at isolated places over Himachal Pradesh, Uttarkhand, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam & Meghalaya; heavy at isolated places over Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh & Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
08 August (Day 2): Heavy to very heavy rainfall very likely at isolated places over Sub-Himalayan West Bengal & Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam & Meghalaya; heavy at isolated places over Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh & Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, East Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Bihar.
09 August (Day 3): Heavy to very heavy rainfall very likely at a few places over Arunachal Pradesh and Assam & Meghalaya and at isolated places over Nagaland , Manipur, Mizoram & Tripura; heavy at isolated places over Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh & Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, East Rajasthan, Chhattishgarh, Bihar, Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
3.                  NDRF OPERATIONAL DEPLOYMENT (54 Teams- 1960 personnel)
Total 54 teams (Assam-09, Punjab-01, U.P.-08, Arunachal Pradesh-01, J & K-04, Gujarat-10, Rajasthan-02, Delhi-01, Bihar-05, WB-04, Uttarakhand-03, Jharkhand-03, Himachal Pradesh-01 & Madhya Pradesh-02) consisting of 1960 personnel with 162 boats are deployed.
Achievement during flood -2017 season are as under:
Assam : So far NDRF teams rescued 82 persons ,evacuated 532 persons, retrieved 5 dead bodies and provide medical assistance to 30 persons.
Rajasthan: During last 24 hour NDRF on 06.08.2017 team conducted rescue ops at Distt- Jalore Rajasthan and evacuated 28 personand distributed 900 food packet. So far teams have rescued 122 persons, evacuated 847 persons, 13 live stocks and retrieved 03 dead bodies and also distributed Food- 7810Pkts and Medicines.
Gujarat: So far teams have rescued 1355 persons, evacuated 7286 persons, 27 livestock and retrieved 11 dead bodies and distributed food- 71193 pkts, Water pouches/ bottles- 81150 Nos, Dry Ration ( Rice, Dal, Suger, Churaetc -1750 Bags,Biscuits / Namkin- 2225 Pkts, Cloth- 1750 Nos and Blanket- 75 Nos.
WB: During last 24 hour NDRF on 06.08.2017 team conducted rescue and relief operation at Ghatal, West Medenipur, WB and evacuated 03 persons and distributed relief material water pouches- 2200Nos, Dry Ration- 16 bags, Milk powder 6 Kgs, and Gur60Kgs. So far teams have rescued 253 persons, evacuated 1029 persons and retrieved 05 dead bodies and distributed food 1500 Pkts, Water pouches/ bottles- 25564 Nos, Dry Ration ( Rice, Dal, Suger, Churaetc – 236 Bags, Baby food - 244 Ctns, Milk- 1056 Pkts, Gur -2205 Kgs, Tarpoline- 58 Nos, Vegetable- 540 Kgs and Medicines.
Uttarakhand:On 05.08.2017Team assisted 255 Pilgrims(Total -360) of Kailash Mansarover Yatra and local villagers in crossing over the Blocked area at Paldhar, distt- Pithoragrah.
Uttar Pradesh: On 06.08.2017 teams evacuated 395 flood affected persons and distributed 800 food Pkt. So far teams have evacuated 603 persons and distributed 800 food packets .

Non-basmati rice shipments slow as stronger rupee lifts export prices

India's non-basmati rice exports are likely to slow over the next few months as its shipments of the grain have become too expensive on the world market due to a rally in the rupee and an increase in local paddy prices.

By: PTI | Mumbai | Published: August 8, 2017 7:06 PM
Lower shipments from the world’s biggest rice exporter will give rivals Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia a chance to raise their share of the global market. (Reuters)
India’s non-basmati rice exports are likely to slow over the next few months as its shipments of the grain have become too expensive on the world market due to a rally in the rupee and an increase in local paddy prices. Lower shipments from the world’s biggest rice exporter will give rivals Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia a chance to raise their share of the global market. “Other origins are cheaper than India. There will be definitely a slowdown in exports,” Nitin Gupta, business head of rice at Olam India, told Reuters. India was offering 5 percent broken parboiled rice this week at around $410 a tonne, free-on-board (FOB) from Kakinada port on the east coast. In comparison, Thai rice was offered at between $390 and $392 a tonne, and Vietnam rice was quoted at $400 to $405 a tonne. “Due to an appreciating rupee, we can’t match prices quoted by Vietnam or Thailand,” said M. Adishankar, executive director at Sri Lalitha, a leading exporter based at Kakinada. The rupee has risen more than 6.5 percent so far in 2017, reaching its highest in more than two years. A stronger rupee means rice shippers have to raise their dollar-denominated export prices to cover their purchases and other costs. Key buyers of Indian rice in Africa – such as Benin, Senegal and Guinea – were not comfortable buying at the current level, Adishankar said.
Last month, India’s high prices resulted in suspension of a government-to-government deal with Bangladesh, which needs to import rice to replenish stocks hit by flash floods. After the deal with India was called off, Bangladesh agreed to buy 1 million tonnes of rice from Cambodia. In India, paddy rice prices are still rising as most of the supplies from the winter crop have already been consumed. “Until new summer crops enter into the market from October, paddy supply will remain tight,” said a Kakinada-based exporter who declined to be named. Indian farmers had planted 28 million hectares of paddy rice as of Aug. 4, up 4.9 percent from a year ago, but lower rainfall in southern states has raised concerns over the harvest. “If Indian prices come down we can see demand from West African markets from October onwards for Christmas,” said Gupta of Olam India. “Prices need to come down by $10 to $15 (per tonne) to become competitive.”

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- August 09, 2017

 | Aug 9, 2017, 02:00 PM IST

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices - APMC/Open Market-August 9 Nagpur, August 9 (Reuters) - Gram and tuar prices firmed up again in Nagpur Agriculture Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) here on increased demand from local millers amid thin supply from producing regions because of heavy rains since yesterday. Healthy hike in Madhya Pradesh gram prices and reported demand from South-based millers also boosted prices. About 400 of gram and 200 bags of tuar were available for auctions, according to sources. FOODGRAINS & PULSES GRAM * Desi gram recovered further in open market here on good buying support from local traders amid weak supply from producing regions because of heavy rains. TUAR * Tuar varieties ruled steady in open market here on subdued demand from local traders amid ample stock in ready position. * Wheat Lokwan varieties recovered in open market here on good demand from local traders amid weak supply from producing belts. * In Akola, Tuar New - 3,700-3,900, Tuar dal (clean) - 5,500-5,800, Udid Mogar (clean) - 7,200-7,900, Moong Mogar (clean) 6,600-7,300, Gram - 4,700-5,100, Gram Super best - 7,700-8,000 * 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 because of heavy rains since yesterday. Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg FOODGRAINS Available prices Previous close Gram Auction 4,510-5,160 4,400-5,150 Gram Pink Auctionn.a. 2,100-2,600 Tuar Auction 3,500-3,960 3,500-3,800 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 1,500-1,706 1,550-1,684 Gram Super Best Bold 7,900-8,400 7,900-8,400 Gram Super Best n.a. n.a. Gram Medium Best 7,100-7,400 7,100-7,400 Gram Dal Medium n.a. n.a Gram Mill Quality 5,200-5,350 5,200-5,350 Desi gram Raw 5,150-5,300 5,150-5,300 Gram Kabuli 12,500-13,500 12,500-13,500 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 5,200-5,400 5,200-5,400 Tuar Dal Medium phod-New 4,800-5,100 4,800-5,100 Tuar Gavarani New 3,700-3,900 3,700-3,900 Tuar Karnataka 4,100-4,300 4,100-4,300 Masoor dal best 4,400-4,700 4,400-4,700 Masoor dal medium 4,100-4,300 4,100-4,300 Masoor n.a. n.a. Moong Mogar bold (New) 6,800-7,200 6,800-7,200 Moong Mogar Medium 6,000-6,500 6,000-6,500 Moong dal Chilka 5,300-5,800 5,300-5,800 Moong Mill quality n.a. n.a. Moong Chamki best 6,000-6,500 6,000-6,400 Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 7,500-8,000 7,500-8,000 Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG) 6,500-7,000 6,500-7,000 Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG) 4,000-4,500 4,000-4,500 Batri dal (100 INR/KG) 4,000-4,500 4,000-4,500 Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg) 2,800-3,000 2,800-3,000 Watana Dal (100 INR/KG) 2,850-3,000 2,850-2,950 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) 1,900-2,000 1,900-2,000 Wheat Mill quality (100 INR/KG) 1,750-1,850 1,750-1,850 Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG) 2,100-2,300 2,100-2,300 Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG) 2,100-2,400 2,100-2,300 Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG) 1,900-2,000 1,800-2,000 Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG) n.a. n.a. MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG) 3,000-3,600 3,000-3,600 MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG) 2,200-2,700 2,200-2,700 Rice BPT new (100 INR/KG) 2,800-3,300 2,800-3,300 Rice BPT best (100 INR/KG) 3,300-3,500 3,300-3,500 Rice BPT medium (100 INR/KG) 3,000-3,100 3,000-3,100 Rice Luchai (100 INR/KG) 2,500-2,800 2,500-2,800 Rice Swarna new (100 INR/KG) 2,350-2,450 2,350-2,450 Rice Swarna best (100 INR/KG) 2,500-2,600 2,500-2,650 Rice Swarna medium (100 INR/KG) 2,300-2,400 2,300-2,400 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) 4,600-4,800 4,600-4,800 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) 10,000-13,500 10,000-13,500 Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG) 5,000-7,500 5,000-7,500 Rice Chinnor New(100 INR/KG) 4,500-4,800 4,500-4,800 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. 27.9 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 23.1 degree Celsius Rainfall : 29.7 mm FORECAST: Generally cloudy sky with intermittent rains. Maximum and minimum temperature would be around and 28 and 24 degree Celsius respectively. Note: n.a.--not available (For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but included in market prices)

Rajkot Oilseeds Complex Open- August 09, 2017
 | Aug 9, 2017, 02.00 PM IST

Rajkot Oilseed Complex Open- August 09 * Edible oil prices were steady to weak in the early trades. * Groundnut oil prices eased due to low retail demand. * Mustard oil dropped due to sufficient supply. Today's Arrivals; --Groundnut, in 35-kg bags: 0,25,000 versus 0,30,000 previous --Castor seed, in 75-kg bags:0,25,000-0,26,000 versus 0,22,000-0,23,000 previous Groundnut deliveries in 35-kg bags, and prices in rupees per 20 kgs, in some of the main markets in the Saurashtra region of western state of Gujarat: Today's Today's Previous Previous deliveries price deliveries price Rajkot 05,000 0,530-0,714 08,000 0,550-0,717 Gondal 07,500 545-0,715 09,500 548-0,724 Jasdan 0,200 524-0,706 0,200 505-0,700 Jamnagar 02,500 560-0,745 02,000 544-0,746 Junagadh 03,000 510-0,691 02,500 520-0,693 Keshod 01,000 500-0,673 01,000 500-0,680 Opening Rajkot groundnut prices, in rupees per 20 kilograms: Groundnut small Groundnut bold Today's open Previous end Today's open Previous end Market delivery 0,540-0,714 0,590-0,717 0,530-0,640 0,550-0,670 (auction price) Market delivery 0,000-0,000 0,000-0,000 0,000-0,000 0,000-0,000 (traders price) Plant delivery 0,000-0,000 0,000-0,000 0,000-0,000 0,000-0,000 Auction prices of other oilseeds, in rupees per 20 kilograms, and deliveries on 100-kg bags at Rajkot: Oilseeds No. of deliveries Auction prices Previous price Sesame (White) 1,000 1,250-1,411 1,150-1,460 Sesame (Black) 1,250 1,225-1,775 1,550-1,815 Soybean --- --- --- Castorseed 0,250 0,750-0,838 0,750-0,834 Rapeseeds 051 572-670 570-670 Opening Rajkot plant delivery oil prices, in rupees: -------10 kg------- -------15 kg-------- Today's Previous Today's Previous open close open close Groundnut oil 0,795 0,800 n.q. n.q. Groundnut oil refined (15-liter tin) --- --- 1,370 1,370 Rapeseed expeller oil n.q. n.q. --- --- Rapeseed refined oil n.q. n.q. n.q. n.q. Cottonseed oil whitewash 633 633 --- --- Cottonseed oil refin1d 663 663 1,065-1,070 1,065-1,070 Soybean expeller oil --- --- --- --- Soybean oil refined n.q. n.q. n.q. n.q. Sesame oil 1,400 1,400 2,240-2,245 2,240-2,245 Castor oil commercial 0,930 0,930 1,440-1,445 1,440-1,445 Castor oil BSS 0,940 0,940 1,460-1,465 1,460-1,465 Opening Rajkot market delivery prices, in rupees per 15-kg tin: Today's open Previous close Groundnut oil(15 liter) 1,325-1,330 1,330-1,335 Groundnut oil label tin(15liter) 1,345-1,350 1,350-1,355 Groundnut oil fresh tin(15liter) 1,365-1,370 1,370-1,375 Groundnut oil refined (15 liters) 1,470 1,470 Cottonseed oil refined 1,120-1,125 1,120-1,125 Rapeseed oil refined 1,100-1,105 1,110-1,115 Palm oil 0,885-0,890 0,885-0,890 Sesame oil 2,445-2,450 2,445-2,450 Soybean oil refined n.q. n.q. Coconut oil 2,150-2,15

On July 1, 2017, the corporation had rice stocks in excess of 21 million tonne (MT) against the buffer stocks requirement of 13.5 MT besides around 5.4 MT of grain is yet to be received from the millers.

By: Sandip Das | New Delhi | Published: August 8, 2017 4:25 AM
On July 1, FCI had rice stocks in excess of 21 mt against the buffer stock requirement of 13.5 mt.
The Food Corporation of India’s (FCI) rice stocks have been growing steadily in the last few years, mainly because of the lukewarm response to the corporation’s Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) and its inability to export the excess grain because of World Trade Organisation (WTO) constraints. On July 1, 2017, the corporation had rice stocks in excess of 21 million tonne (MT) against the buffer stocks requirement of 13.5 MT besides around 5.4 MT of grain is yet to be received from the millers. With the new procurement season for 2017-18 (October-September) is to begin within two months, the corporation is holding on to huge stocks which would push up the Centre’s food subsidy expenses. According to an official, the weekly sales under OMSS have few takers as rice grown all across the country unlike in case of wheat. “The export of excess stocks of rice is ruled out as WTO has already raised objections on subsidised grain being shipped out of the country few years ago,” an official told FE.
This leaves FCI with little scope of selling excess stocks under OMSS prior to the commencement of new procurement season. In the ongoing (2016-17) procurement season (Oct-Sept), FCI in collaboration with state agencies has purchased more than 38.5 MT of rice from farmers against 34.2 MT procured in the previous year (2015-16). During FY17, FCI had allocated 30.35 MT rice to states for implementation of National Food Security Act while the offtake was around 29.29 MT, thus leaving out the rest of the stocks as excess.
Meanwhile, FCI has fixed the base price of Rs 2,500 per quintal (excluding local grain purchase taxes) for raw rice of grade-A quality under OMSS for bulk buyers for current fiscal. The FCI has incurred Rs 3,191.64 per quintal as economic costs (includes procurement, storage and transportation) in FY17. As the excess stocks rise, FCI has worked out the economic cost of rice for 2017-18 at Rs 3,264.23 per quintal. The corporation has been able to reduce wheat stocks through OMSS as the grain is grown largely only in Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. In case of OMSS for rice, bulk buyers have not shown much interest as because of ample local supplies.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), in its report last week, had stated that due to non-settlement of entire expenses of FCI by finance ministry over the years, the corporation has paid more than Rs 42,000 crore between 2011-12 and 2016-17 as interest on the loans availed by the corporation. “Excess holding of grain stocks also pushe up our (FCI)’ expenses,” an official said. FCI mostly procures around 55-60 MT of rice and wheat annually from farmers and around 50-55 MT is supplied to states for implementation of NFSA