Friday, August 11, 2017

11th August,2017 daily global,regional and local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

Pakistan committed to free trade agreement with GCC states

Commerce ministers of GCC countries are expected to meet by the end of August
Published: 15:42 August 9, 2017
By Sana Jamal, Correspondent 
Pakistan remains fully committed to finalising a free-trade agreement (FTA) with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in a bid to step up trade between the two sides, a Ministry of Commerce official has told official news agency, APP.
The report released on Friday also added that a text of the initial FTA framework had been agreed with the GCC, comprised of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait, while the third round of negotiations would start after conclusion of a ministerial-level meeting of the GCC countries to be presided over by Bahrain.
Commerce ministers of GCC countries are expected to meet by the end of August where the FTA between Pakistan and the Gulf bloc will be considered a high priority.
A Pakistani Ministry of Commerce official was also quoted as saying that Pakistan and GCC states were committed to promoting bilateral trade and business relations. “Promoting private sector for enhancing trade volumes is a priority for both sides,” he added.
This Gulf News Correspondent has learnt that a draft of the initial FTA framework has already been prepared as early as in March 2017.
Pakistani businessmen hope that the country would have better opportunity to export rice, meat, fruits and also an investment in the agro-processing unit in Pakistan. While the GCC countries would have an opportunity to concentrate on tourism, manufacturing and the services sector of Pakistan.
Private sectors from both sides are expected to play a major role in enhancing the trade volume with the GCC

Government issues rules for MAV rice importation

Local traders may start applying for permits to import rice under the minimum access volume (MAV) scheme on August 29, according to the guidelines released by the National Food Authority (NFA) on Wednesday.
The NFA released Memorandum Circular AO-2017-08-002, which detailed the guidelines for the importation of 805,000 metric tons (MT) of rice under the MAV scheme of the World Trade Organization (WTO).  Imports within MAV are usually slapped a lower tariff.
“Rice importation under this program shall be pursuant to Republic Act 8179 and the July 24, 2014, decision of the WTO on waiver relating to special treatment for rice of the Philippines,” Cabinet Secretary Leoncio B. Evasco Jr., who is also the NFA Council (NFAC) chairman, said in the memorandum circular.
Under the importation guidelines, rice traders are allowed to source from countries with a specific quota and from omnibus origin, or other rice-producing countries.
Rice traders and farmers’ groups can import 293,100 MT of rice from Thailand and Vietnam. They can also import 50,000 MT of rice from China, India and Pakistan; 15,000 MT from Australia; and 4,000 MT from El Salvador.
“No applicant shall apply, directly, or indirectly, for an import volume allocation under this program in excess of 20,000 MT for crop year 2016-2017,” Evasco said.
Evasco noted that well-milled rice imported under the 2017 MAV program will be slapped a 35-percent tariff. The quality should also not lower be than 25-percent brokens and/or any special rice variety.
The NFAC, the highest policy-making body of the NFA, has divided the shipment of rice imports under the 2017 MAV into two phases: first, starting from December 20 until February 28, 2018; and the second phase covering June 1, 2018, until August 31, 2018.
NFA Deputy Administrator for Marketing Operations Tomas R. Escarez told the BusinessMirror that the NFAC scheduled the arrival of rice imports in two phases to ensure imported rice would not depress palay prices.
“The reason behind this is to ensure that its arrival will not coincide with the harvest season, which usually ends on the second week of December. So we allowed imports to arrive between the second week of December until February 28, when there is no harvest of rice,” Escarez said in an interview.
“Imported rice will also be allowed to arrive in the country from July to August, because again, these are the lean months for palay. So, this will not affect local producers,” he added.
While most of the rice imported under MAV could arrive within 2018, Escarez said the NFA’s decision to purchase rice from abroad to beef up its buffer stocks would depend on the supply situation next year.
“The importation of 805,200 MT is not usually totally availed because some of the rice come from Australia, China. Usually we do not source from those countries because we import from Asian countries, like Thailand and Vietnam,” he added.
After interested importers have filed their letter of intent, the NFA MAV prequalification team will conduct the validation and authentication of all the requirements submitted by the applicants.
The team will also verify if the applicant is a party to any case or investigation for rice smuggling, hoarding, unauthorized rebagging or resacking of government stocks to commercial sacks, diversion and cornering activities.
“The validation would take about another 30 calendar days. So the issuance of certificate of eligibility [COE]will be around first week of November,” Escarez said.
He added one of the significant changes in the 2017 MAV importation program is the decision of government to allow rice traders to decide when and how much they will import. For example, traders could choose to import 40 percent of their volume allocation during the first phase and the remaining 60 percent during the second phase of the MAV program, according to Escarez.
“Before, when they receive the COE, they automatically pay 50 percent of the tariff. But now, if you only decide to import 40 percent of your volume during phase 1, they will only pay half of the tariff for the 40-percent volume,” he said. “The remaining tariff shall be paid by the importers once, before the clearance of customs, when their shipments arrive.”
Under the guidelines, all rice importers are also required to register with the Bureau Plant Industry-National Plant Quarantine Services Division prior to the conduct of negotiation and actual importation.
Last year, the NFA allowed 210 farmers’ organizations and private firms to import 692,340 MT of rice, 110,160 MT less than the 2016 MAV volume of 802,500 MT Asian workers no longer seek “iron rice bowls”

Kelvin Ong - 
10 Aug 2017

An old Chinese concept, the idea of a lifelong job is no longer attractive to workers in this part of the world.
Finding a good job and building a lifelong career in an organisation used to be the goal of many employees, although it’s clear that this has gone to the wayside. With the changing of jobs every few years becoming the new norm, the concept of “iron rice bowls” is now increasingly passé in countries like Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
According to the Randstad’s latest Workmonitor Research for Q2 2017, 73% of employees globally felt that the “job-for-life” was all but extinct. This sentiment was much higher across the region with over 8 in 10 employees in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia agreeing that life-long jobs no longer existed.
Surprisingly, the more senior employees in Singapore and Hong Kong were more pessimistic about a lifelong job than their younger counterparts, going against popular thinking that millennials are the job-hopping generation.
Managing Director for Randstad Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, Michael Smith, attributed the demise of lifelong jobs and careers to the growing willingness of employees to move organisations and specialisations to define their own career paths based on their own requirements.
With organisations having understood that the traditional career ladder has evolved into a career web, employees are often provided the opportunity to move laterally within their current companies with strong retraining programmes to boost retention of their best talent.
“Despite the less-than-encouraging findings from this latest Workmonitor research, many organisations are starting to take appropriate steps in ensuring that their employees are being provided opportunities for retraining and lateral movement,” says Smith.
“My discussions with senior leaders across industries say they find these lateral movements highly beneficial for both the organisation and the employee, as it allows for fresh innovative perspectives, faster on-boarding and stronger retention rates.

Facility at ILRI to monitor rice blast outbreak

Aug. 11, 2017, 12:00 am
By AGATHA NGOTHO @agathangotho
Richard Karinde at the maize plantation at the Mombasa Agricultural Show on August 29, 2016. /ELKANA JACOB
A screening facility has been developed to monitor the outbreak of rice blast.
Lusike Wasilwa, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation director for crop systems, said this will go a long way to securing one of the four most important food crops in Kenya.
“Based on the current challenges facing the number one crop, maize, rice may become even more significant for food security in Kenya,” he said.
The bio-bank of different rice blast-causing fungi has been established at the International Livestock Research Institute, under the Durable Rice Blast Resistance for Africa project.
Nick Talbot, the project leader from the University of Exeter, said the facility will make it easier to monitor outbreaks and identify specific forms of the pathogen.
“In this way, we can facilitate efficient screening of African rice varieties for blast resistance and guide future rice breeding programmes,” he said.
He said rice is steadily becoming a staple food for a large population in Africa, yet its production is outstripped by demand, resulting in net imports. Rice blast is one of the major production constraints to rice production in Africa.
The Bioscience Eastern and Central Africa-ILRI Hub director Jacob Mignouna said between 2013 to 2017, they have collaborated with international and regional partners to develop rice varieties that are resistant to blast and enhance production in sub-Saharan Africa.
“There is need to translate the research to impact. We have to ensure that all the research efforts being made to address this challenge eventually get to the farmer,” he said.
He added that the four-year plan has made significant progress in breeding for durable resistance against blast in rice varieties that are adapted for Africa, and developed a robust collection of resources for outreach and awareness creation.
The multidisciplinary team of experts in this project are drawn from national, regional and international research institutions


Kingdom courts rice deal with Bangladesh

Thu, 10 August 2017
A woman harvests her rice crop at a paddy field in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district late last year. Heng Chivoan

The Kingdom’s apex rice industry body has been meeting this week to discuss ways of nailing down a potentially massive deal with Bangladesh, which earlier this month inked a memorandum of understanding to purchase 1 million tonnes of Cambodian rice over the next five years.
Bangladesh has been shopping around to fill its silos after devastating floods earlier this year reportedly wiped out a potential 700,000 tonnes of rice under cultivation, leading to a severe food shortage. Its government has reportedly discussed import deals with Thailand, Vietnam and India, but has yet to settle on a supplier.
The Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) convened on Tuesday for a strategy session aimed at clinching Bangladesh’s initial order of 250,000 tonnes of rice. The shipment calls for 200,000 tonnes of white rice and 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice to be delivered in October.
CRF Vice President Hun Lak said the federation’s board and members discussed whether Cambodia was capable of filling the large order, and if it could compete on price.
“According to our members, we have sufficient rice to supply Bangladesh, but we must first see what the terms and prices are,” he said yesterday. “It’s too early to make any conclusions on our [offer] price as we’re waiting to see how prices fluctuate on the international market.”
Lak said the CRF was working with state-owned rice exporter Green Trade to prepare the offer price as well as its terms, with Green Trade to take the lead on firming up a contract with Bangladesh.
Norng Veasna, director of sales and marketing at Nikoline Rice Mill, said local millers were ready to supply rice to Bangladesh but would need support – such as reduced electricity tariffs or logistics costs – to lower their price.
He said currently the market price for Cambodian white rice was between $410 and $415 a tonne. By comparison, Thailand was offering $390 to $395 a tonne, and Vietnam was even cheaper at $385 to $390 a tonne. In addition, Cambodia’s market price on parboiled rice was $450 per tonne, about $50 higher than that of Thailand and Vietnam.
“Even though the current price of Cambodian rice is a bit higher than the rice of our neighbours we remain hopeful that negotiations can reduce this gap, allowing us to export to the Bangladeshi market,” he said.

Govt hints GST on packaged food awaiting trademark, MSMEs say much needed

Govt hints on GST on packaged food awaiting trademark, MSMEs say much needed
New Delhi, Aug 10 (KNN) Responding to the complaints that big companies are misusing the exemption under GST given to small scale industries, reports have surfaced that the government may consider 5 per cent GST on packaged foods that are yet to receive trademarks confirmation.
Talking to KNN, Prem Chand Goyal, Finance Secretary of Punjab Rice Millers Association explained that the industries particularly the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) that didn’t have logos and trademarks demanded exemption.
Following which many big companies stepped in and are misusing the exemption that is exclusively meant for the MSMEs.
To avoid the tax net, companies that are already registered are seeking deregistering to avail the exemption; also there are companies who are enjoying zero per cent tax just because their logo and trademark is yet to get approval.
This is resulting in an unfair playfield for the MSMEs, while the zero GST was given to ensure that the small scale doesn’t suffer, it is happening otherwise.
Goyal informed that there are talks of requesting the government to consider the definition of brand used under excise laws for Small Scale industry and not go by the trademarks laws.
Also the government must go ahead with a 5 per cent tax on the brands that have already applied for the trademark, he added. (KNN/ DA)

Greens oppose commercial release of Golden Rice

Laxmi Prasanna| TNN | Aug 10, 2017, 10:39 PM IST
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In stiff opposition to the plans for commercial release of genetically modified (GM) Golden Rice, green activists and voluntary organisations supporting farmers in Kerala have raised concerns that it would contaminate existing indigenous rice varieties and pose grave threat to food safety and consumers' health. It forms part of the national and Asian campaign against golden rice.

Swiss based agro-chemical firm Syngenta which has recently merged with ChemChina, along with 
Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had funded International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the research and promotion of Golden Rice. However, rampant protests against GM golden ricein Bangladesh, Philippines and India had prevented its commercial release.
Recently this year, IRRI has established its South Asia's Regional Centre in Varanasi and the greens have raised alarm over its aggressive move to commercialize GM rice on the pretext of government support.

"If Bangladesh allows Golden Rice it can impact India's rice biodiversity as well as food security and sovereignty of the region. It will affect farmers and consumers. Its introduction will take away rice farmers rights over seeds and country's seed sovereignty," Save Our Rice campaign national coordinator Usha S said.
A gene from the wild daffodils plant is engineered to create GM golden rice and it is touted to address Vitamin A deficiency. Even after decades of research, the efficacy, safety and viability of Golden Rice remains uncertain, she said. In 2012, there was an uproar in China over unethical feeding of Golden Rice to children without informing the concerned families. Till date, there are no published reports proving that Golden Rice is safe for human consumption, she said.
Inventions like Golden Rice are dangerous ways of solving an otherwise easy issue. "Night blindness caused by Vitamin A deficiency can be tackled by consuming green leafy vegetables, papaya, drumstick leaves. Instead, a costly, hazardous GM technology is not needed at all" said Sridhar R from Thanal.
"Studies indicate that over 55 traditional rice varieties in Kerala are extinct, still the state has a good number of traditional rice species under cultivation. India is also home to rich rice biodiversity hosting two-thirds of the world's rice varieties," Green activists told TOI.
Campaigns against golden rice in India has gained momentum. Voluntary organisations including Coalition for GM Free India, Save our Rice network, the Folk Rice Movement and the Seed Mothers movement who conserve traditional indigenous seed varieties have joined the protest

In Delta, governor calms on NAFTA

Outing a chance to meet farmers

This article was published today at 2:08 a.m.
STUTTGART -- On his second day visiting farming communities in the Arkansas Delta, Gov. Asa Hutchinson defended free trade and said he hopes to meet with the president of Mexico next month.
The Thursday visit at the University of Arkansas Agriculture Division's Rice Research and Extension Center was one stop on a seven-county "Turnrow Tour" of east and northeast Arkansas farms.
Rice farmers, scientists and businessmen turned out to talk to the governor -- including Danny Kennedy, president and chief executive officer of Riceland Foods. Arkansas produces more rice than the rest of the nation combined.
Hutchinson celebrated gains for farmers at the stop. He noted that China had agreed to import American rice and that Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency with whom he met in Arkansas last month, would be more farmer friendly.
The governor also said he planned to meet with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto when pressed by one attendee to urge President Donald Trump to first do no harm when it comes to the North American Free Trade Agreement.
J.R. Davis, a spokesman for the governor, said later that the meeting with Pena Nieto is in the planning stages and has not been finalized.
"Modernizing NAFTA -- that's fine," Hutchinson said. "It's probably a good idea, but if we modernize it, we've got to keep in mind that we want to make sure that we keep that trading relationship expanding versus shrinking."
After the event, Hutchinson said the trip to Mexico -- planned for late September -- would include visits with businessmen and an open house at Arkansas State University's new campus in Mexico.
"Mexico is a very significant trading partner to Arkansas," Hutchinson said. "We want to make sure that maintains strength and to assure them that while we renegotiate NAFTA and strengthen that, we certainly don't want to reduce that trading relationship that we have with Mexico.
During the meeting, farmers pressed the governor about the future water supply, a failed plan to reorganize the Arkansas Agriculture Department and the possibility of eliminating tax exemptions for farmers.
Kennedy said the state should be open to private investment for big projects that aim to reduce the need for groundwater by harnessing the White and Arkansas rivers.
"If we can figure out a way to do that -- put in private money -- and not lose control of the water, I think there's a lot of workable solutions," the Riceland CEO said. "Growers are the best in the world at trying to figure out how to get something done. Those discussions, I think, would really benefit the state and more than just agriculture."
The Grand Prairie Area Demonstration Project and Bayou Meto Water Management Project are expected to cost more than $1 billion, but federal money for the projects had dwindled, Kennedy said.
Hutchinson said the project plans might need to be changed to lower the cost.
"These projects need to be re-examined to make them work under the more constrained investment commitment from the federal government," he said. "That's what I've asked the irrigation districts to do, to re-engage engineering services to re-examine the original plans, to see how they need to be adjusted so they can come to fruition sooner than 50 years."
During the meeting, Robert Seidenstricker, who grows rice and soybeans about 15 miles north of Stuttgart, expressed concern about a proposal to reorganize the state Agriculture Department -- a plan that the House defeated during the regular session earlier this year.
Seidenstricker said the plan could politicize entities such as the Plant Board, which largely has operated free of politics since its creation in 1917.
"I am just 100 percent for keeping those agencies as independent as they are," Seidenstricker said.
Supporters have said House Bill 1725 by Rep. Dan Douglas, R-Bentonville, would have saved about $600,000 a year through various management tools involving the Agriculture Department and its several entities, including the Plant Board, the Livestock and Poultry Commission and the Arkansas Forestry Commission.
Hutchinson said Thursday that greater integration would allow the state agriculture agencies to respond to problems as a group instead of operating in separate silos.
Also during the meeting, Gary Sebree, a rice farmer, said the possible end of agriculture-focused tax exemptions was of concern to him. He said a tax exemption on agricultural inputs like seed keep his business above water.
The Legislature formed a task force to look into ending some exemptions to lower the overall tax rate, Hutchinson said.
"I would encourage you to look at this as an opportunity to show the value that those exemptions bring and make your case," the governor said. "I think the Legislature would be very responsive to that message."

Bangladesh’s import grows by 10.47% in FY 17

By Siddique Islam

Dhaka, Bangladesh – Bangladesh’s overall imports grew by 10.47 per cent or US$4.20 billion in the fiscal year (FY) 2016-17, thanks to a jump by over 37 per cent in import of capital machinery, officials said.“The country’s overall import payments increased in the last fiscal year mainly due to higher imports of capital machinery,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, said in Dhaka.

The actual import in terms of settlement of letters of credit (LCs) rose to US$ 44. 27 billion during the July 2016-June 2017 period of the FY 17 from $40.08 billion in the previous fiscal year, according to the central bank’s latest statistics. It was $38.45 billion in the FY 15.

On the other hand, opening of LCs, generally known as import orders, grew by 11.05 per cent or $4.79 billion to $48.12 billion in the FY 17 from $43.33 billion in the previous fiscal year.

He also said the overall imports may increase further in the ongoing fiscal year because of rising trend in food grains particularly rice to meet the growing demand for the essential in the domestic markets.

The import of food grains particularly rice and wheat increased by 2.78 per cent to $1.15 billion in the last fiscal from $1.12 billion in the FY 16 while import of consumer goods increased by 9.18 per cent to $5.02 billion from $4.60 billion.See also:  "Skullcap" ruin Belarusian business

On the other hand, the import of capital machinery or industrial equipment used for production rose by 37.39 per cent to $4.85 billion in FY 17 from $3.53 billion in the FY 16.Higher imports in sectors including textile, leather and tannery, garment industry, power and energy, pharmaceuticals, telecom industry and ship building have contributed to raise the overall capital machinery import in the last fiscal, according to the central bankers.

The imports of intermediate goods like coal, hard coke, clinker and scrap vessels increased by 11.05 per cent to $3.72 billion in the FY 17 from $3.35 billion in the previous fiscal year.

The import of industrial raw materials rose by 3.52 per cent to $16.22 billion in the FY 17 from $15.67 billion a year ago.

Besides, import of machinery for miscellaneous industries witnessed a 7.25 per cent growth to $4.62 billion in the last fiscal from $4.30 billion in the previous FY 16.

“Lower prices of petroleum products in the global market have contributed to easing import payment pressure on the economy in the recent years,” another BB official explained.

He also said fuel oils import increased by 3.30 per cent to $2.52 billion in the last fiscal from $2.44 billion a year before.

Missouri Rice Field Day to Offer Growers Updates on Markets, Crop Management, Global Testing

August 10, 2017 | AgricultureCampusHome PageScience/Tech/Ag
Rice — including market acceptance, varieties for this region, and research and production in southeast Missouri — will be the focus at the Missouri Rice Research and Merchandising Council’s Annual Rice Field Day Aug. 24 at the Missouri Rice Research Farm in Glennonville, Missouri.
Anyone with an interest in rice production is invited to this free event. The farm is located about 10 miles west of Malden, Missouri, on Highway J in northern Dunklin County.
The day begins with registration at 7:30 a.m.  Trailers will load at 8 a.m., with presentation tours scheduled for 8:30-11:30 a.m. Lunch will follow.
Featured lunch presentations will be given by Greg Yielding with the U.S. Rice Producers Association, who will give a U.S. Rice Producers Association update, and Eric Hover who will present a Missouri Rice Research and Merchandising Council update.
Various field presentations to be discussed during the tours, including row rice and market acceptance, mid-season using sensors, rice varieties for Missouri, rice straw management, weed control, rice markets and farm program payments, irrigation scheduling of row rice with a crop water use application, managing rice to reduce chalkiness in grain, rice diseases, and global agricultural testing of rice products.
Speakers will include Dr. Michael Aide, soil scientist with the Southeast Department of Agriculture; Samuel Atwell of the University of Missouri Extension Service; Anserd Foster of Kansas State University; Dr. Christian De Guzman, rice breeder with the Southeast Department of Agriculture; David Dunn of the University of Missouri Soil Testing Laboratory; James Heiser with University of Missouri Weed Science; David Reinbott, agriculture business program with the University of Missouri Extension, Southeast Region; Matthew Rhine, University of Missouri agronomy professor; Dr. Gene Stevens from the University of Missouri Fisher Delta Research Center; Yeshi Wamishe, University of Arkansas plant pathology; and Ken Cote of Intertek Ag Services.
The Missouri Rice Council will host the Missouri Rice Research Station Annual Field Day with support from Southeast Missouri State University, University of Missouri Fisher Delta Research Center and University of Missouri Extension.
For more information, contact the Southeast Department of Agriculture at (573) 651-2106

FAO to boost rice production in Africa

Wednesday 9th August, 2017

By Benjamin Mensah, GNA


Elmina, Aug 9, FAO - Rice farmers in Africa should be empowered with more resources for higher productivity and less post-harvest losses for food security, job creation and improvement in livelihoods.

 Mr Bukar Tijani, FAO Assistant Director General and Regional Representative for Africa, maintained that food production and nutrition were still basic human needs, which required the commitment of more resources and investment even as many economies in Africa turn their attention to mineral and oil wealth.

Opening a five day workshop underway in Elmina, on “knowledge sharing for the promotion of efficient rice farming practices and value chains in Sub- Saharan Africa through South-South Co-operation,” Mr Tijani highlighted the rice value chain as a major example of agriculture’s potential for income and employment generation and a critical entry point for poverty reduction.

He said rice production in better and higher volume has the potential to induce economic development in Africa, and that required that government committed more resources to its production and that of other staples.


There has been a sharp rise in rice production in Africa in recent years, but producers in the region continue to contend with the lack of right and enough planting materials, tools, machinery for land preparation, harvesting, processing and prevention of post harvest losses.

Growth rates went up to a high eight per cent between 2007- 2012, but there were significant post-harvest losses of between 15-25 per cent.

Top rice producing countries in Africa, namely Nigeria, Madagascar, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire and Tanzania have boosted their rice production through the introduction of high yield technologies and the application of modern rice cultivation techniques including mechanization.

Mr Tijani noted that the availability of right quality and quantity of seeds, improved geographical and environmental conditions, capacity development, and suitable technology, especially locally manufactured small-scale machinery supported by FAO’s South-South Cooperation (SSC) approach as fundamental to efforts to improve the quality of rice production and reduce post-harvest losses.

 South- South Cooperation approach places emphasis on the mutual sharing and exchange of development solutions as a pathway towards the achievement of regional and national agriculture development goals.


It focuses on facilitating the exchange of agriculture development innovations through a range of methods such as the deployment of experts, policy dialogues, technology exchanges, study tours and learning programmes

The FAO is working closely with knowledge and research institutions to scale up the application of technologies able to enhance agriculture and rural development.

Mr Tijani assured the conference participants that the South- South team engaged development institutions including national and regional stakeholders in the promotions of SSC knowledge exchange networks and platforms based on an overarching demand driven approach.

Consequently, FAO is actively supporting AfricaRice in the establishment of rice centres of excellence such as the Africa Korea Rice breeding laboratory launched this month in Saint Louis, Senegal.

Under the five million dollar regional project called  ‘Partnership for Sustainable Rice Systems Development in Sub-Saharan Africa, FAO is supporting the sharing of technologies and innovations among beneficiary countries, as well as capacity building, while facilitating access by smallholders, especially women and young people, to inputs and small-scale agricultural equipment.  It is envisaged that all targeted project beneficiaries located in Benin, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda will benefit from the impact of planned actions.

Mr Josey Kamanda, Leader of Rice Sector Development of the Abidjan-based Africa Rice, said rice is a strategic and priority food security crop in Africa, the single most important source of dietary energy in West Africa and Madagascar.

Rice is also the third most important crop for Africa as a whole; and it offers s a pathway out of poverty and employment opportunities for young men and women entering job markets.

He noted that rice demand was growing at more than six per cent a year and faster than for any other major food staple in SSA, but the local production has been unable to keep pace with demand.

The continent continues to rely on importation to meet its increasing demand for rice.

In 2015 rice production in SSA was approximately 14.4 million tons and consumption approximately 26 million tons, reflecting a self-sufficiency ratio of 55%. This increase in demand is caused both by accelerating growth of per capita incomes in most of the countries and high population growth rates. SSA currently spends about 5 billion US dollars on rice import annually.


He said: “As the demand-supply gap continues to widen, there was an increasing need for investments that will significantly increase local rice production to reduce the import bill.

The FAO responded to requests received from African Heads of States and Ministers of Agriculture for increased rice productivity and production by initiating a partnership for sustainable rice systems development in Africa (PARDA).

The initiative sought to mobilize resources and key partners at the global, regional, sub-regional and national levels to jointly develop and implement a holistic and comprehensive programme for sustainable rice systems development in the region. PARDA expected outputs include increased access to and utilization of quality seeds and appropriate rice varieties (ii) increased production and productivity in the major rice production systems and reduced post-harvest losses and improved grain quality.

Other interventions are finding options for effective policies, institutions and markets developed/promoted, developing linkages between actors of the rice value chain strengthened and ensuring a self-sustaining partnership for rice development.


Within the framework of PARDA, AfricaRice and FAO have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that builds on their long-standing collaboration, spanning over a period of 40 years.

AfricaRice’s concept of working towards widespread diffusion and use of scalable rice technologies and innovations in rice sector development hubs established in African countries is aligned with the broader concept and activities of PARDA and can make a significant contribution to the achievement of its goals.

The workshop is being attended by representatives from FAO partner institutions– AfricaRice, Coalition for Africa Rice Development (CARD), Rural Development Administration (RDA)–Korea and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Government representatives, FAO officials from Africa country offices and FAO Regional office for Africa.

It will provide an effective platform to share knowledge, experiences and best practices for sustainable rice intensification and provide guidance on the documentation of innovative models to enhance rice production systems and accelerate rice value chain development.

Arkansas Rice: Late Season Rain Exacerbates Disease Problems

By Yeshi Wamishe, University of Arkansas Extension Rice Plant PathologistAugust 9, 2017
Photo: University of Arkansas
According to Dr. Jarrod Hardke, Extension Rice Agronomist, over 70% of Arkansas rice is headed, most in the southern Arkansas. Of these fields, most are ready for harvest or close to it. However, the rain has moved in and it appears will continue for several days.
False smut: With the rain, temperatures have also gone down. These conditions may encourage false smut. I observed (8/7) a high level of false smut in CL151 planted on April 12 in test plots at RREC (Rice Research and Extension Center near Stuttgart (Figure 1).
The plots were provided with 20% more nitrogen fertilizer above the recommended rate. Excessive nitrogen fertilizer was added to encourage diseases. False smut is a late season disease favored by a wet and cooler environment in susceptible rice. It is severe in fields with history of the disease that received excessive nitrogen fertilization.
The false smut pathogen is relatively less sensitive to the protective fungicides than the kernel smut pathogen. Protective fungicides (Propiconazole) have been proven to protect only 50% to 75% of the crop if applied with the correct rate (at least 6 oz/acre of tilt or tilt equivalent), correct timing (between early to mid-boot) and adequate coverage (at least 5 GPA).
Both false smut and kernel smut are very important diseases that contribute a paramount loss in grain quality and grain yield. Most rice cultivars including hybrids are susceptible to false smut.
Kernel smut: If rice kernels are already infected, endosperms get fully or partially replaced by pathogen spores.  Wet conditions allow the kernels to swell and spores to ooze out (Figure 2). If kernels are free of infection, quality loss would be from wetting and drying effect as harvest is delayed by rain. Warm and wet conditions often favor the kernel smut disease in rice.

Fig. 1 False smut in CL151 planted on April 12 in test plots at RREC Rice Research detected on 8/7/2017
Fig. 2. Wet conditions make grain to swell and black spores of kernel smut pathogen ooze.
Sheath blight: Sheath blight disease of rice is widespread in Arkansas and is estimated to be found in more than 50% of rice fields. It is more severe in susceptible semi-dwarf long grain rice varieties.  With hot, dry conditions in July, sheath blight disease was moving very slow. In test plots at RREC where plots were artificially inoculated we have observed sheath blight moving up (8/8) in the last few days (Figure 3).
The disease affects both sheath and leaves and progresses quickly under favorable conditions. Therefore, it is advisable to continue scouting both headed and late rice. Rice past milk stage may possibly outrun the disease. Remember the PHI before deciding to apply fungicide. For strobilurin fungicides the PHI is about a month.
PHI (Pre-harvest interval) is the number of days from treatment to harvest. To slow down sheath blight disease for up to two weeks, 6 to 8 oz/acre rate may be used. Remember, sheath blight at later stages of the crop is more to protect stem strength against lodging than getting a grain yield advantage.
Generally, as long as the upper two or three leaves including the flag are not threatened, there is no need to apply fungicides.
Blast: Last year (2016), joint blast (Figure 4) was seen in some headed rice fields after continuous rain that started at the end of July. Blast spores that had rested on the leaves or leaf collars appeared to be washed and percolated with water between leaf sheath and stem.
The spores got trapped at stem joints and similar to neck blast, they germinated and penetrated in joint tissues leading to joint blast and then lodging. To check for joint blast, we remove the flag leaf sheath carefully and look for greyish rot at joints.
In hybrid rice we have observed similar joint lesions. Instead of blast spores, we only isolated spores of Culvularia spp. To date, in 2017, leaf blast has been reported in 14 Arkansas counties. A few cases of neck blast have also been reported recently.
Fig. 3. Sheath blight in artificially inoculated plots picks up with the rain in the last few days. (Picture on 8/8).

Fig. 4. Joint blast in some headed rice fields after continuous rain that started at the end of July in 2016
Sooty molds and other weak pathogenic and saprophytic microorganisms: Sooty molds (Figure 5) affect the appearance of rough rice and hence, lower the quality of bran.  Sooty mold symptoms are caused by opportunistic fungi that colonize rice panicles under wet, humid weather.
These molds are often severe in lodged rice or in rice where harvest is delayed. Sooty molds are superficial and, therefore, milled rice is not affected. Often kernel surfaces get covered and black spores are seen on leaves. Sooty molds can sometimes be confused with kernel smut. To separate sooty molds from kernel smut, remove the hull and see if the dark color is superficial or internal.
If a kernel has sooty molds, once the hull is removed the kernel should be whole and clean. If kernel smut, the kernel should be partially or completely filled with black spores. Both sooty molds and kernel smut problems may result in black, discolored equipment during harvest.
However, heavy kernel smut fields will have severe yield losses and will cause darker discoloration on the combine harvester. Exceptionally high yields and intense kernel smut do not go together.  Sooty molds may sometimes be associated with high yield.

Fig. 5. Sooty molds (black) superficially affect the appearance of rough rice and lower quality of bran
If harvest is delayed due to wet conditions, infection from Fusarium spp. may be seen (Figure 6). Also, other microorganisms that cause various kernel discoloration may be favored as in (Figure 7)Neck or panicle blast-looking symptoms as in (Figure 8) may also be seen where most grains in panicles are full unlike neck blast where panicles are blank and upright (Figure 9).
Fig. 6. Fusarium spp. play role in rice kernel discoloration late in a season.
Fig. 7. Sooty molds and other microorganisms on mature rice kernels.
Summary: When harvest is delayed due to rain, real pathogens, opportunistic pathogens and saprophytic microorganisms, in isolation or collectively, work against grain yield and quality.
Fig. 8. Neck or panicle blast-looking symptoms may also be seen when harvest is delayed.
Fig. 9. Neck blast leads to blank panicles that do not tip down.


Rice industry complains cauliflower "rice" is misleading

AUGUST 10, 2017, 8:20 AM| Cauliflower rice is growing in popularity as a trendy substitute for carbohydrates. Minced cauliflower is popping up in many stores, from organic markets to the freezer aisle. However the rice industry is upset over the product's name. John Blackstone reports.

Saving water a vital part of rice profitability formula

Researchers are finding farmers can grow a "nice rice crop" using two acre feet of irrigation water.
Aug 09, 2017
 enough to make rice farming truly profitable. That’s why more than 100 farmers traveled to Osceola, Ark., to attend the Mississippi County Water Management Field Day Tuesday (Aug. 8).
Joe Massey, agronomist with the USDA-ARS Delta Water Management Research Unit at Arkansas State University, set the stage for the presentation, which included talks given by Mike and Ryan Sullivan with Florenden Farms, which hosted the field day.
Dr. Massey said he’s seen a number of farmers grow “a nice rice crop” with only two acre-feet of water. That could be increasingly important as growers try to conserve water in areas like the Grand Prairie of Arkansas.

Spread the word about the great South Indian flavors at Kathakali in Kirkland

Originally published August 10, 2017 at 6:00 am Updated August 10, 2017 at 12:46 pm
This dosa at Kathakali comes with spinach basil pesto and spiced potatoes inside, chutneys and lentil soup. (Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times)
The restaurant is easy to miss, but once you’re there, Kathakali will be a pleasant surprise with layered flavors from Kerala, the state on India’s southern tip.

If you go looking for Kathakali, you may drive right past it, distracted by the orange construction drums and traffic cones guarding the stand-alone building across from Columbia Athletic Club in Kirkland’s Juanita Bay neighborhood. The sidewalk is nothing but gravel, thanks to a municipal improvement project expected to take several more months. The only signage on the building is a drooping banner that says “coming soon.”

Kathakali opened in April and word-of-mouth is doing a fine job of filling the dining room. I first heard about it from my dermatologist. She’s a vegetarian married to an omnivore. They both like to eat out and they live in the neighborhood. If I lived nearby, I’d be regularly indulging in Kathakali’s dosas and curries.

Husband-and-wife co-owners Ajay Panicker, the chef, and Ramya Balachandran, a friendly, front-of-the-house presence, established a following on the Eastside after opening Aahaar, an Indian restaurant in Snoqualmie, five years ago. The couple met in New Jersey, but both were born in Chennai, in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, as was Srinivasan Anandhakumar, their longtime friend and also a partner in Kathakali.

Kathakali ★★★  


11451 98th Ave. N.E., Kirkland
Reservations: accepted for dinner only Tuesday-Thursday
Hours: lunch 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday; dinner 5:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 5:30-10 p.m. Friday and Sunday, 5:30-9 p.m. Sunday
Prices: $$ (plates $7-$24)
Drinks: Indian and other beers by the bottle; wines by the glass; wild berry lassi, lavender coconut lemonade and other soft drinks
Service: gracious
Parking: free lot on site
Sound: moderate
Credit cards: all major
Access: (temporary rough terrain due to road construction)
Aahaar is a more traditional Indian restaurant than Kathakali, which concentrates on the cuisine and culture of Kerala, the state west of Tamil Nadu on India’s southern tip, a lush, verdant land of rice paddies, coconut groves and spice plantations. Kathakali (accent on the last syllable) is a storytelling form of classical dance in Kerala (accent on the first syllable). Examples of the dancer’s elaborate costumes and masks dress up the restaurant’s white-walled, wood-trimmed interior. A tasseled nettipattam, the forehead ornament worn by elephants during Keralan festivals, hangs opposite the front door, next to a wall of tea lights in Mason jars that evokes in a small way the thousands of candles illuminating Kerala’s 5,000-year-old Guruvayoor temple.
Kerala has been central to the spice trade for millennia. In his interpretations of this exuberantly flavorful cuisine, Panicker wields a large arsenal that includes green chilies, peppercorns, cumin, coriander, mustard and fennel seed, cardamom, turmeric and tamarind, just to name a few.
In a well-made curry, you can detect layers of flavors that usually start with toasting the myriad spices. This complex, aromatic base rounds the peppery heat. The best sauces here — and there are many — unfold like a blossom in the mouth. You discover something different in every bite.
This was as true for the bright, tart, ruddy sauce of Kerala chicken curry, as it was for mutton varattiyathu, cubed lamb submerged in dark, brown gravy rippling with ginger, cumin, curry leaf and fennel. Vegetarian curries include eggplant kootan, in which the eggplant’s soft, charred flesh mingles with red chilies, tamarind, tomato and lots of garlic — a curry for baba ganoush fans.
These are forthrightly spicy dishes. For something less explosive, try green mango fish curry. Coconut milk gentles the green-chile heat in the thick, creamy sauce. The slightly sour fruit counters the strong flavor of mackerel, a particularly oily fish.
Kerala’s long coast line means seafood figures prominently in the cuisine. Several dishes here feature tilapia, a fish I don’t usually care for. Its muddy taste is well masked, however, in the extremely pungent Kerala meen curry, made with kodampuli, a special type of dried tamarind they import just for this dish. Meen pollichathu, sea bass smothered in thick masala paste, is pan-fried in a banana leaf. It’s a beautiful package, but the fish was very firm and the sauce lacked the nuance that distinguished the curries.
There are other nifty bits of packaging. For chemeen vada, whole shrimp are embedded in deep-fried lentil and rice-flour fritters. They have a texture like falafel and flecks of mint complement the heat. Chicken tikka naan is a flatbread stuffed quesadilla-like with minced seasoned meat and onion. It’s served cut into wedges with a smooth, buttery tomato dipping sauce that I could have eaten happily with a spoon. The same tomato sauce accompanied tandoori chicken, a notably moist leg and thigh joint.
Dosas are the most eye-catching bundles. You’ll see one on almost every table. The large wraps are indigenous to South India where it’s often breakfast food. They are crepe-like pancakes made with a lentil and rice-flour batter that are lightly browned and delicately crisp, yet pliant enough to roll and fill. Basil and spinach pesto was spread inside one dosa, filled with masala-spiced potatoes. Another was packed with minced green jackfruit and coconut. My goal is to try them all.
Though you can use a knife and fork, traditionally you tear and eat a dosa with your hands, scooping up some mint or tomato chutney along the way to your mouth. “In all of India we eat with our hands,” Balachandran told me in a phone interview. That includes idiyappam, or string hoppers. Balls of steamed rice are pressed through a sieve to make the thin, noodle-like strands. Topped with grated coconut and dipped in coconut milk, they have a comforting blandness that stands out amid so many scorching flavors.
Bread is another utensil for conveying food. Here they make naan, kulcha, puri and roti, but my favorite was the Malabar parotta that pulls apart in lacy striations like a croissant. Steamed basmati rice accompanies all the curries, but consider biryani, rice mixed with nuts, herbs and spices. You can incorporate a protein if you wish. I loved the clove and cinnamon percolating through a biryani with shrimp.
So, Doc, if you’re reading this: Thanks for the tip. You and hubby should definitely plan on a date night at Kathakali.


S.Korea buys 77,222 T of rice for Sept-Nov arrival

Reuters | Aug 10, 2017, 09:55 AM IST
SEOUL, Aug 10 (Reuters) - South Korea bought a total of 77,222 tonnes of non-glutinous rice for arrival between September and November via tenders that closed on Aug.4, state-run Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp said on its website ( Details of the purchase are as follows: TONNES(M/T) GRAIN TYPE SUPPLIER PRICE/T 22,222 Brown Short Sinsong Food Corp $757.97 15,000 Brown Short DNB Co. $750.00 10,000 Brown Short Sinsong Food Corp $757.99 10,000 Brown Medium DNB Co. $655.00 20,000 Brown Long Sinsong Food Corp $435.80 *Note: The state-run agency bought the 22,222-tonne and 10,000-tonne brown short rice products from China, while it bought another 15,000-tonne brown short rice from Vietnam. For the brown medium and brown long rice products, it purchased from Australia and Thailand respectively. (Reporting by Yuna Park; Editing by Sunil Nair)

Rice imports under MAV opened to private traders

By Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) 
MANILA, Philippines - State rice importer National Food Authority has opened to private traders the importation of up to 805,200 metric tons of rice under the minimum access volume (MAV) scheme.
In its published guidelines, NFA said private traders could import up to 293,100 MT each from Thailand and Vietnam, while the rest would come from other countries.
Philippine private rice importers can also buy up to 50,000 MT each from China, India and Pakistan, up to 15,000 MT from Australia, up to 4,000 MT from El Salvador, and 50,000 MT from any country.
According to the NFA, traders should bring in well-milled rice with a quality not lower than 25 percent brokens or any special rice variety.
All shipments will be levied with a 35 percent tariff to be paid in advance with the Land Bank of the Philippines.
The first phase of the arrival of rice imports will start on Dec.  20, 2017 up to Feb. 28 next year while the second phase will be on June 1 to Aug. 31, 2018. Discharge ports are La Union, Batangas, Iloilo, Bacolod, Zamboanga City, Davao City, Legaspi, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Manila, General Santos City and Tacloban.
All interested NFA-licensed importers shall submit documents to the grains marketing operations department which will include letter of intent, legal, technical and financial documents.
All applicants will also undergo the MAV pre-qualification team before the issuance of certificate of eligibility which specifies the country of origin, quantity commodity, discharge port, schedule of arrival and the tentative assessed custom duty.
Importers are required to register with the Bureau of Plant Industry quarantine services division prior to the conduct of negotiation and actual importation.
MAV refers to the volume of a specific agricultural product allowed to enter the country at a lower tariff as a commitment of the Philippines under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade of the World Trade Organization.
The NFA Council is composed of Evasco and representatives of the NFA, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Development Bank of the Philippines, Land Bank of the Philippines, Department of Finance, Department of Trade and Industry and National Economic and Development Authority.

Egypt rice production to cover local needs until Oct 2018

Thursday 08/10/2017 8:38:00 AM
Cairo: Egypt's rice production is enough to cover local needs until October of next year, Ragab Shehata, head of the Rice Division at the Federation of Egyptian Industries, told state news agency MENA on Wednesday.Egypt expects to produce about 4 million tonnes of white rice during its harvest this season, which begins this month, higher than its annual consumption of about 3.3 million tonnes per year.

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open-August 11

Nagpur, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Select pulses showed firm tendency in Nagpur Agriculture Produce
and Marketing Committee (APMC) on increased demand from local millers amid weak supply from
producing regions because of rains. Notable rise on NCDEX, fresh hike in Madhya Pradesh pulses,
enquiries from South-based millers and weak overseas arrival also boosted prices, sources said
             *            *              *              *          
* Gram prices reported higher in Nagpur APMC on fresh festival demand from local           
   millers amid tight supply from producing belts.       
* Gram varieties ruled steady in open market but demand was poor. 
* In Nagpur APMC, tuar prices recovered on increased buying support from local millers.   
  Weak overseas supply also pushed up prices.          
* Tuar varieties remained static in open market matching the demand and supply     
* Moong Chamki declined sharply in open market on lack of from local traders and
  release of stock from stockists.         
  * In Akola, Tuar - 2,725-2,750, Tuar dal - 5,200-5,500, Udid at 3,800-3,900,        
   Udid Mogar (clean) - 4,900-5,000, Moong - 3,700-3,850, Moong mogar    
  (clean) 5,800-5,900, Gram - 3,000-3,050, Gram Super best bold - 3,300-3,600      
   for 100 kg.   
 * Wheat, rice and other commodities prices remained steady in open           
   market in thin trading activity, sources said Thursday.        
 Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg 
  FOODGRAINS                 Thursday's open     Previous close           
  Gram Auction                2,336-2,931          2,300-2,870      
  Gram Pink Auction            n.a.           2,100-2,600   
  Tuar Auction                1,992-2,249          1,900-2,200        
  Moong Auction                n.a.           3,200-3,400     
  Udid Auction                n.a.           3,600-3,800        
  Masoor Auction                n.a.              2,100-2,200 
  Gram Super Best Bold            3,800-4,000        3,800-4,000
  Gram Super Best            n.a.                         
  Gram Medium Best            3,500-3,600        3,500-3,600    
  Gram Dal Medium            n.a.            n.a.    
  Gram Mill Quality            3,400-3,500        3,400-3,500      
  Deshi gram Raw                2,950-3,050         2,950-3,050    
  Gram Filter Yellow            n.a.            n.a.    
  Gram Kabuli                6,800-7,800        6,800-7,800          
  Gram Pink                4,700-5,200        4,700-5,200  
  Tuar Fataka Best (new)        5,400-5,700        5,400-5,700  
  Tuar Fataka Medium (new)        5,100-5,300        5,100-5,300        
  Tuar Dal Best Phod            4,800-5,000        4,800-5,000    
  Tuar Dal Medium phod            4,100-4,300        4,100-4,300          
  Tuar Gavarani              2,750-2,850        2,750-2,850          
  Tuar Karnataka             2,900-3,200        2,900-3,200         
  Tuar Black                 4,900-5,300           4,900-5,300         
  Masoor dal best            3,600-3,700        3,600-3,700          
  Masoor dal medium            3,300-3,400        3,300-3,400   
  Masoor                    n.a.            n.a.  
  Moong Mogar bold            6,300-6,450        6,300-6,450     
  Moong Mogar Medium best        5,800-6,050        5,800-6,050       
  Moong Mogar Super fine        n.a.            n.a.          
  Moong Dal Chilka best            4,800-5,100        4,800-5,100           
  Moong dal Medium            4,500-4,800        4,500-4,800    
  Moong Mill quality            n.a.            n.a.    
  Moong Chamki best            4,800-5,500        5,000-5,700   
  Udid Mogar Super best (100 INR/KG)    6,500-6,600        6,500-6,600       
  Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)    5,700-6,100        5,700-6,100          
  Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)        4,700-5,000        4,700-5,000   
  Batri dal (100 INR/KG)        2,550-2,700        2,550-2,700  
  Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg)           2,500-2,600         2,500-2,600      
  Watana Dal (100 INR/KG)        2,575-2,600        2,575-2,600         
  Watana White (Naylon) (100 INR/KG)    2,500-2,550        2,500-2,550      
  Watana White (100 INR/KG)        2,400-2,450         2,400-2,450    
  Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG)    2,800-3,050        2,800-3,050 
  Watana Green Medium (100 INR/KG)    2,500-2,600        2,500-2,600       
  Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG)        1,350-1,450        1,350-1,450          
  Wheat Mill quality (100 INR/KG)    1,200-1,250        1,200-1,250  
  Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG)        1,700-1,800           1,700-1,800     
  Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG)    1,600-1,675        1,600-1,675
  Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG)    1,450-1,600        1,450-1,600      
  Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG)    n.a.            n.a.           
  MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG)    2,300-2,400        2,300-2,400    
  MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)    2,100-2,150        2,100-2,150          
  Wheat 147 (100 INR/KG)        1,350-1,450        1,350-1,450          
  Wheat Best (100 INR/KG)        n.a.            n.a.        
  Rice BPT (100 INR/KG)               1,950-2,150        1,950-2,150     
  Rice Swarna Best (100 INR/KG)    1,850-2,000        1,850-2,000    
  Rice Swarna Medium (100 INR/KG)    1,600-1,900        1,600-1,900          
  Rice HMT (100 INR/KG)            2,300-2,800        2,300-3,850       
  Rice HMT Shriram (100 INR/KG)    3,000-3,500        3,000-3,500  
  Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG)    9,100-11,100        9,100-11,100           
  Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG)    7,100-7,400        7,100-7,400         
  Rice Chinnor (100 INR/KG)        3,750-4,000        3,750-4,000      
  Rice Chinnor Medium (100 INR/KG)    3,650-3,850        3,650-3,850        
  Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG)        3,300-3,500        3,300-3,500   
  Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG)        2,500-2,700        2,500-2,700        
WEATHER (NAGPUR)          
Maximum temp. 30.6 degree Celsius (87.1 degree Fahrenheit), minimum temp.        
23.8 degree Celsius (74.8 degree Fahrenheit) 
Humidity: Highest - 98 per cent, lowest - 73 per cent.
FORECAST: Generally cloudy sky. Maximum and Minimum temperature likely to be around 32 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.)     
SARITA PURADBHAT: CONTACT NO. 0712-2226020, 096650-72288, 094221-029

Govt to further slash duty on rice import

12:00 AM, August 10, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:27 AM, August 10, 2017

Goes for deal with Thailand to buy the staple

Anticipating a further reduction in import duty, importers delay unloading rice-laden trucks from India at Hili Land Port in Dinajpur. Some 4,500 tonnes of rice are on the trucks and importers expect to save a lot of money. The photo was taken a few days ago. Photo: Collected
In a desperate bid to stabilise rice price, the government has decided to further reduce the duty on import of the staple and strike a deal with Thailand to buy rice.
Meanwhile, private importers, anticipating the duty slash, are delaying in having the already imported rice released at the country's two main land ports -- Hili in Dinajpur and Benapole in Jessore.
Over 200 trucks loaded with some 7,000 tonnes of rice were standing still at the ports yesterday.
As rice prices continue to remain high, the food ministry on July 25 proposed to allow import of the staple on zero tariffs.  
On Tuesday, the commerce ministry informed the parliamentary standing committee concerned that the government would halve the import duty from 10 percent.
Bahauddin Nasim, a member of the parliamentary body on the ministry, told The Daily Star yesterday although the food ministry insisted on lifting the duty altogether, the government would keep a five percent duty on rice import.
Till last night, the National Board of Revenue, however, did not receive any communications in this regard.
But speculation over an imminent duty cut prompted private importers to go slow with the release of already imported rice consignments from India.
On June 20, the government reduced duty on rice import from 28 percent to 10 percent. As a result, the country witnessed over 2.4 lakh tonnes of rice import in the last one and a half months. This volume is almost double the entire volume of rice imported by private traders in the last financial year.   
Mamunur Rashid, an importer, told our Dinajpur correspondent Kongkon Karmaker yesterday that they were taking time in unloading the imported rice as they heard that the government would lower the duty further.
“We are waiting for a final decision from the government,” said Rashedul Islam, a Clearing and Forwarding Agent at Hili Land port.
As many as 138 loaded trucks were parked at the port, said Sohrab Hossain, public relation officer of Panama Port Link Ltd at Hili. Import of rice would go up further once the duty is cut off, he said.
Our Benapole correspondent Mohsin Milon reported that 65 rice-laden trucks were kept in port area as importers were waiting to reap the duty-cut benefit.
Meanwhile, a Thai delegation is due in the city today to sign a government-to-government (G2G) deal with the food ministry for export of the staple to Bangladesh.
However, ministry sources yesterday declined to reveal the price at which the government is going to buy the rice from Thailand, which in last month had asked for a high price ($500 a tonne). The price, however, was not agreed by Bangladesh.
Besides, a Cambodian official delegation is also due sometime next week to decide on rice price. Last week, a MoU (memorandum of understanding) was signed between Bangladesh and Cambodia for the import of
10 lakh tonnes of rice from the Southeast Asian country in next five years.
After with Cambodia, if the deal is signed with Thailand today, it would be the third such import deal in two months since the government approved import of 2.5 lakh tonnes of rice from Vietnam under a separate G2G agreement.
Besides, over the past two months, the Directorate General of Food floated seven international tenders seeking to import an additional 3.5 lakh tonnes of rice.
The moves come long after the crop loss in the March flashflood, which ravaged the backswamps in the country's northeastern region where 90 percent of standing Boro crops, totalling over 10 lakh tonnes, were damaged. Fungal attacks in at least 19 districts also caused crop loss in the last Boro season.
With the Cambodian deal signed, 8.5 lakh tonnes of rice is now lined up for import, which still falls short of a projected import need of 12 lakh tonnes. A recent US Department of Agriculture projection, however, put the figure at 15 lakh tonnes in the current fiscal.
The food ministry's move also comes at a time when end-season rice stock in public granaries dropped to a six-year low and market price of coarse rice shot up to as high as Tk 48 a kg in June-July. This is a 47 percent rise from the price during the same period last year.
Despite government moves and increased imports by the private sector, a Trading Corporation of Bangladesh's market monitoring report shows that the price of coarse rice has remained static at Tk 45 a kg for over two weeks

Guess what? Rice prices are ruling steady

By Express News Service  |   Published: 10th August 2017 01:18 AM  |  
Last Updated: 10th August 2017 07:54 AM  |   
KOCHI: Rice prices in the state, which saw a spurt during March and rose to Rs 50/kg, have cooled down to Rs 36-38/kg now, justifying the government’s claim in the Assembly on Wednesday there has not been any spike in rice prices. With the government likely to place orders for 750-1,000 loads (1 load equals 10 tonnes) of rice from Andhra Pradesh for Onam to sell it through Consumerfed/SupplyCo, the prices are likely to remain subdued for another couple of months at least, say dealers.

The state imports its branded rice from Andhra Pradesh, especially its preferred Jaya variety. The government purchases the rice at wholesale prices and sells it at subsidized rates of around Rs 25-26/kg during the festive season. “Due to this, prices will remain lower,” said Gangadaran, a leading rice broker. However, compared to last Onam, when the rice prices were in the Rs 26-27 range, the prices this year are higher. The state consumes nearly 40 lakh tonnes of rice per annum, of which the ‘Jaya’ and ‘Surekha’ varieties account for at least 22 lakh tonnes. Around 70 per cent of the state’s populace consumes the two rice varieties.

Venkatesh Divakaran, another rice dealer, said rice production has been good this season in Andhra Pradesh. “The lack of domestic demand will ensure the prices continue to be lower in the coming months. There has not been a major hike or fall in prices in recent months. We expect it to rule steady until the end of Onam season,” he said.The spike in prices during January-March was attributed to large-scale rice exports from Andhra Pradesh to Africa and south Indian states, which led to a reduction in arrivals from Andhra Pradesh.
BD,Thailand to ink-MoU on rice import today
High-level delegations comprising representatives of different ministries and private sectors of both the countries attended Wednesday's meeting that also discussed the scopes of increasing trade and investment between the two countries.
Sources said the meeting discussed about the scope of signing a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA), but agreed to set new target of doubling trade between the two countries by 2021 from US $ 995 million to $ 1.8 billion.

The Bangladesh ambassador to Thailand said though bilateral trade between Dhaka and Bangkok increased during the last two years, Bangladesh's export to Thailand dropped significantly after 2012.
Ms Tasneem said the 4th JTC meeting is likely to help reach the bilateral trade target set by the two countries by focusing on trade-related issues, including comprehensive FTA.
"We are looking towards more intensive trade and investment cooperation with Thailand," she told the FE.A Commerce Ministry official, attending the meeting, said the Thai side has shown more interest in FTA, but the Bangladesh side was for conducting a feasibility study first in this regard.

As Bangladesh enjoys duty-free facilities as a Least Developed Country, he said a study is needed first to assess benefits of FTA with Thailand, he added.The Bangladesh side, however, placed a list of 36 products to get duty-free quota-free (DFQF) facility from Thailand.
Besides, the two sides agreed to set a common standard of certification and will sign an MoU between two agencies concerned.Though Bangladesh's share in the $ 995 million trade recorded last year is insignificant, the country was able to export new products including seeds, pharmaceutical items, readymade garments and fertilisers to Thailand following a trade expo last year.

Both Bangladesh and Thailand are the 3rd largest bilateral trade partners among countries of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and South Asia.Thailand exports mainly poly-raising, clinkers, machineries and cosmetics, toiletry and food items to Bangladesh.

Thailand provides DFQF access to nearly 5,000 products of Bangladesh. But the latter has hardly any of those to export.Bangladesh's fresh list of DFQF items was placed as the Thai government had announced revision of its list this year.,-Thailand-to-ink-MoU-on-rice-import-today

Rice import duty to see another 5% cut

·         Emran Hossain Shaikh
·         Published at 10:30 PM August 09, 2017
·         Last updated at 01:56 AM August 10, 2017

Once the decision comes into effect, the import duty on rice will be halved from the existing 10%

The government has decided to cut the import duty on rice by another 5% to make the essential commodity more affordable for consumers.
The decision came at a meeting held at Jatiya Sangshad on Tuesday following Monday’s Cabinet meeting, when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina instructed the authorities concerned to effect the decision.
Once the decision comes into effect, the import duty on rice will be halved from the existing 10%. The meeting also discussed the recent hike in the price of onions  caused by floods across the country.
The chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce Ministry, Tajul Islam Chowdhury, said the import duty on rice had already been cut once, to 10% from the previous 28%.
“Prime Minister on Monday reduced the duty by another 5%, which means it will have only 5% import duty now. We expect that rice price would come down further thanks to the new move,” he said.
“There is no reason for hiking rice price as there is a lot of rice in the stock. Rice prices saw a rise as the people were in a panic due to floods and conspiracy by some people with ill motives,” he added.
Another member of the committee, AKM Bahauddin, said the meeting also discussed prices of several other commodities including onion and salt but the authorities concerned have yet to issue any gazette.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said the Finance Ministry would issue a gazette in this regard.
Meanwhile, several hundred rice-laden trucks remain parked at Hili Land Port in Dinajpur because of the information that teh rice import duty may drop in Bangladesh.

Onion price hike

The Commerce Ministry informed the parliamentary standing committee that the prevailing flood situation resulted in a hike in onion price.
“The onion price was quite lower for some time. Consumers got angry, with the price going up. They must have patience,” Bahauddin said.
“We import onions from India when a flood occurs in Bangladesh. But this year, prices have gone up there as well because of floods. The price has also increased as the Eid-ul-Azha is nearing fast.”
Bahauddin said the ministry was monitoring the issue. “Everything will become normal soon,” he said.

Appointment of new TCB dealers

The committee made several recommendations for appointing new dealers in districts and upazilas and emphasised monitoring the whole system so that people can easily buy commodities from Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).
It also underscored the need for befittingly holding the International Trade Fair and recommended the ministry take necessary measures so that it can contact organisers to make sure Bangladesh’s pavilions are allotted important places at the fair.

Nation’s food self-sufficiency rate hits 23-year low as rice consumption decline continues
Nation's food self-sufficiency rate hits 23-year low as rice consumption decline continues

AUG 10, 2017
The nation’s food self-sufficiency rate hit a 23-year low on a calorie basis in fiscal 2016 ended in March, due primarily to falling rice consumption, the farm ministry said.

The self-sufficiency rate fell 1 percentage point from the previous year to 38 percent, the second-lowest level on record after the 37 percent recorded in fiscal 1993, when the country suffered a serious rice shortage following unstable weather, the ministry said Wednesday.

The drop reflected significant falls in the production of wheat and other crops in Hokkaido, which suffered typhoon damage, in addition to the continuing decline in rice consumption. The government aims to raise the self-sufficiency rate to 45 percent by fiscal 2025, a task expected to be difficult.
The self-sufficiency rate shows how much domestic consumption is covered by domestic production.Demand for meat is increasing, due to the Westernization of dietary habits, while consumption of rice, with high levels of self-sufficiency, is steadily declining.Per capita annual rice consumption fell 0.2 kg to 54.4 g, less than half the amount consumed 50 years ago. On the other hand, meat consumption rose 0.9 kg to 31.6 kg.
On a production value basis, the food self-sufficiency rate rose 2 points to 68 percent, mainly because domestic beef prices rose. Imports of fruits and vegetables fell, while domestic production went up.“It is necessary to enhance both the calorie-and production value-based self-sufficiency rates from the viewpoint of food security,” a ministry official said, voicing determination not to backtrack on the calorie-based target.
“We hope to achieve the 45 percent target by expanding the production of rice and wheat that suit the needs of consumers,” a senior official said.An agricultural cooperative official, however, said, “With the number of farmers decreasing and trade liberalization progressing, the self-sufficiency rate will not rise unless the government goes all out to take necessary steps.”

Blocking pathogens in rice

Düsseldorf plant researchers funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

What is known as "rice blight" is a dreaded plant disease that endan-gers rice harvests throughout the whole of South-East Asia, especially India, as well as large parts of Africa and can thus lead to great hardship amongst the local population. The disease is caused by the bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae oryzae.
Professor Wolf B. Frommer, plant researcher at the Institute of Mo-lecular Physiology at HHU, has assembled an international research group to fight rice blight. The team includes scientists from Iowa State University and the University of Florida in the USA, the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement in Montpellier, France, Colombia's International Centre for Tropical Agriculture and the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines. The researchers have found a way to make plants resistant to the pathogen.
Frommer is an expert on transport processes in plants. The sugar transporters known as SWEET identified by his research group play a key role in resistance. Plants need these transporters to bring the sugar produced during photosynthesis in the leaves to the seeds. And it is precisely this transport mechanism that the pathogens re-programme for their own purposes.
In independent studies, US-American researchers Professor Bing Yang and Professor Frank White (now at Iowa State University and the University of Florida) discovered that a protein (which later tran-spired to be SWEET) is responsible for plants' resistance to rice blight. Joint trials then revealed that the bacteria systematically activate the transporters in the rice cells and in so doing gain access to nutrients. If such activation is prevented, the bacteria cannot multiply.
Wolf B. Frommer says: "This surprising discovery has provided us with a strategy for our joint research project: We cut off the patho-gens' route to their larder - the plants' sugar stores - and starve them out."
The research project "Transformative Strategy for Controlling Rice Disease in Developing Countries" began on 1 August 2017. The pro-ject is supported by a four-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In the framework of the project, Frommer will concentrate especially on the production of elite varieties for India and Africa. He will mostly conduct his research work within the working group led by Dr. Joon Seob Eom at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne.
The research results can prove valuable beyond the specific topic of rice blight. Wolf B. Frommer: "Our discovery might be just the tip of the iceberg. We could use the same approach to try and combat other plant diseases and in that way hopefully make a small contribution to protecting the world's food supply." And that would also be good for the climate and the environment, since if plant diseases can be com-batted effectively, less pesticides and fertilisers would be needed worldwide to ensure sufficient harvests

"unming scientist works to change world with perennial rice
This article was posted by Patrick Scally in News     and published August 11, 2017
There are an estimated 300 million people engaged in some form of agriculture in China — a statistic almost equal to the total population of the United States. That number is almost impossible to fathom. Imagine the prospects if tens of millions of Chinese rice farmers suddenly had their workloads cut by half. What would the consequences be in terms national employment trends, in terms of new entrepreneurial opportunities, in terms of even more internal migration?

These are only a few of the questions that may need to be answered if rice scientists based at Yunnan Agricultural University in Kunming are successful. They — and many colleagues around the country — are involved in researching how to create viable perennial rice strains that grow and produce grains over multiple seasons — perhaps years — before dying.

The research has been going on in Yunnan for years, both in hermetically sealed laboratories and wide-open paddies, under the watchful eye of agronomist and biochemist Hu Fengyi (凤益). His team has now bred a perennial strain that earlier this summer yielded 9,000 kilograms of rice per hectare growing in test paddies near Yuxi (玉溪).

Professor Hu Fengyi of Yunnan Agricultural University
The plant in question is a hybrid of the seasonal species Oryza sativa — the most common rice variety in the world — and a wild-growing perennial cousin from sub-Saharan Africa called Oryza longistaminata. Doctor Hu is cautiously optimistic with the results, but more research is necessary to see if this new strain, called PR23, stands up as expected to drought, extreme temperatures and other challenges associated with global climate change.

"We think this version should be able to grow for somewhere between three and five years," Hu told reporters in Yuxi, adding that PR23 can be harvested twice each year. Hu's overall goal is to create a tough and sturdy rice plant that can be grown almost anywhere, but his intention is also to lower the impact of rice-farming in general. Nandula Raghuram recently visited farms growing Hu's rice. He is the Dean of Biotechnology at New Delhi's Indraprastha University, and explained what he saw in Yuxi:
It seems very convincing and promising. [Hu's rice] reduces or eliminates the need for nitrogen fertilizer and reduces the pest/pathogen problems typical to monocultures...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.

Hu's rice requires far less water than current commercial seasonal versions. This fact makes intercropping with nitrogen-producing plants such as potatoes possible, and could lessen — as Raghuram suggests — the overall use of fertilizers. The next major question to see if assumptions about pest resistance prove valid, which is another factor Hu and his team are testing in their Yunnan plots.
The competition in China to create a new rice that checks all the proper boxes is intense. In April of this year, the country hosted its first ever International Forum on Rice, where scientists debuted 500 new strains of rice. Hu was there, extolling the virtues of PR23. His 20-year dream of finding a way to make "rice perennial, just like fruit trees" may someday come true. If it does, the impact on China will extend well past the dinner table.

Indian Scientists Devise Novel Method to Extract Silver From Paddy
Anupam Nath

11:39 10.08.2017(updated 12:11 10.08.2017)
Researchers claim that as much as 15 mg of silver can be extracted from a kilogram of the Garib-sal variety of rice which accumulates an unusual quantity of the noble metal in its aleurone layer.
New Delhi (Sputnik)  Indian scientists have rediscovered a rice variety that accumulates an unusually high quantity of silver in the grains. The test conducted by researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) could become a novel method of bio-extraction of silver metal.
 “Our study of 505 native rice landraces showed that nine of them accumulate silver at a high concentration when grown in the same soil. Among these, a medicinal rice landrace from West Bengal, Garib-sal was found to accumulate silver at an especially high concentration in the grains. Cultivation of Garib-sal rice in three successive years in Basudha farm in the rice growing period of June–October confirmed that for the same concentration of silver in the soil (0.15 mg/kg), Garib-sal accumulates it in the grains to the extent of 15 mg/kg, reads the report published in science journal — ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.
“The rice variety has the ability to accumulate silver about 100 times more than any other rice. It is possible to extract 14.60 mg per kg of silver from the rice using a cheap and simple chemical method. This is a unique way of extracting silver through agriculture. With further research, it may be possible to find better ways of enhancing the bioaccumulation of silver,” Prof. T. Pradeep told The Hindu.
To detect the location of deposition of silver in the grains, scientists had performed secondary ion mass spectrometry where it is revealed that silver is concentrated in the aleuronic layer of the rice bran. Its concentration decreases in the sub-aleurone and becomes negligible in the endosperm. “Accumulation of silver does not alter the grain morphology and chemical characteristics. The metal may be extracted from the bran after milling of the rice, thereby causing no loss of the foodstuff,” the research paper claims.
Garib-Sal was once grown in West Bengal and was recommended as a diet for patients with gastrointestinal infections and the presence of silver in rice might have had a therapeutic effect by killing pathogenic microbes in the human gut

Asia Rice-Bangladesh in new deal talks, Indian prices rise again

10 AUGUST, 2017
 By Nguyen Mi and Ruma Paul

HANOI/DHAKA, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Bangladesh is in talks to import rice from Myanmar, the food ministry said on Thursday, after plans to import rice from Thailand and India suffered a setback due to high prices.

Bangladesh, the world's fourth-biggest rice producer, has emerged as a major importer of rice this year due to depleted stocks and record high local prices following flash floods.

"We are in talks with Myanmar to import rice in a government-to-government deal," Badrul Hasan, head of Bangladesh's State Grains buyer, told Reuters.

Hasan said an Indian state agency was also in talks to sell rice to Bangladesh after a previous attempt fell through because of high prices.

Bangladesh also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Thursday with Thailand to import up to 1 million tonnes of rice every year till 2021.

"The price will be determined in line with the prices in the global markets after a negotiation between the two countries," Bangladeshi Food Minister Kamrul Islam told reporters, after signing the deal in Dhaka.

Prices in India rose as the rupee climbed but dipped in Thailand due to upcoming white rice supply.

In India, 5 percent broken parboiled rice prices rose $3 per tonne to $412 from $409 as the appreciating rupee forced traders to raise prices despite weak demand.

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 the rally in the rupee and an increase in local paddy prices.

The Indian rupee has risen more than 6.5 percent so far in 2017 to its highest in more than two years.

"New season paddy supplies will become available only from October onwards. Until then Indian prices are likely to remain firm," said a New Delhi based dealer.

Thai benchmark 5 percent broken rice was quoted at $385-$387 a tonne, free-on-board (FOB) in Bangkok, down from $390-$392 a tonne last week.

Thai traders said the slight drop in price could be attributed to incoming off-season white rice which is being harvested from mid-August through to September.

Thailand has been hit by floods in the north and northeast since July but traders said there had been minimal impact on rice export so far.

The government has said the floods are unlikely to affect Thailand's export target and it is expecting the country to export 11 million tonnes of rice this year.

In Vietnam, the price range for benchmark 5 percent broken rice widened to $395-$405 a tonne, FOB Saigon, ending a three-week flat trend. Traders were unsure if the prices would fall further.

"If companies ask to buy or foreign demand increases considerably, the prices will soar," a trader in Ho Chi Minh City said.

Vietnamese rice suppliers are completing delivery of 175,000 tonnes of rice to Philippines between August and September. Other deals being delivered include 200,000 tonnes of rice to Bangladesh, which is expected to complete by mid August.

Thailand and Vietnam are the world's second and third biggest rice exporters.

(Reporting by Mi Nguyen in Hanoi, Ruma Paul in Dhaka, Panu Wongcha-um in Bangkok and Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai; editing by David Clarke) ((; +84 24 38259623; Reuters Messaging:

Bangladesh to import 1.0m tonnes of rice from Thailand

MoU signed on Thursday

FE Online Report
Bangladesh will be able to import up to one million tonnes of rice from Thailand in next five years.To this end, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on Thursday.

Through the signing of this MoU Bangladesh can now import rice from Thailand until the year 2021 as per need of time.

Bangladesh Food Minister Qamrul Islam and Thai Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantrapirn signed the MoU on behalf of respective governments before a ministerial level meeting of Joint Trade Committee in the afternoon.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed also present during the signing ceremony.After the signing ceremony, the food minister told the press that import of rice is necessary as there may be shortage of rice production this year due to natural disaster.
Bangladesh usually produces around 35 million tonnes of rice every year. But due to natural calamities, the production could not meet the target this year, he said.

As a result the government has started importing rice from Vietnam and will also import from Thailand through negotiations to ensure interest of each other.The Thai minister also expressed her happiness after signing the MoU and is hopeful about the success of new export target set by the two countries in JTC.

Arkansas Rice Farm Tests the Waters
By Frank Leach

OSCEOLA, AR -- On Tuesday, USA Rice staff participated in the Mississippi County Water Management Field Day here.  Hosted by Mike Sullivan, a rice farmer from Burdette, Arkansas, the event was an opportunity to spotlight the innovative approach Sullivan has employed to facilitate water conservation on his farm.In consultation with USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Sullivan's tour included four neighboring fields with different approaches to irrigation:  traditional cascade flood, Multiple Inlet Rice Irrigation (MIRI), Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD), and row rice.  The water used on each field has been recorded during the irrigation cycles, with noticeable differences in the amounts of water used.
"The key to this deal here is we are trying to find ways to be more efficient and conserve water because there are many counties in Arkansas that have groundwater challenges," Sullivan said.
USA Rice, through the USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Rice Stewardship Partnership, has helped champion water conservation for rice farmers through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).  The RCPP secured funding for projects like the Mid-South Graduated Water Stewardship Program, which was awarded $7 million to be used for rice-specific projects in Arkansas, Central and Northeast Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri.

Josh Hankins, USA Rice Stewardship Partnership Coordinator, is based in Little Rock and led the development of the Mid-South Graduated Water Stewardship Program. 

"The USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Rice Stewardship Partnership is excited to see our RCPP efforts making such a large impact on irrigation in Arkansas," said Hankins.  "We are increasing the awareness of these techniques and technologies, and it's great to hear more people in the Mid-South include water management shop talk wherever they gather - in organized field days like this one or in the local coffee shop."

Innovative irrigation system controlled from a phone

WASDE Report Released   

WASHINGTON, DC -- Total U.S. rice supplies are lowered 5 million cwt from last month due to a smaller crop and a slight reduction in beginning stocks.  The 2017/18 U.S. rice production forecast is lowered 4.8 million cwt to 186.5 million based on the first survey-based yield forecast of the 2017/18 season.  Long-grain production is lowered nearly 4 million cwt and combined medium- and short-grain production is down almost 900,000 cwt.  This is the smallest all rice crop since 2011/12.  At 7,513 pounds per acre, the 2017/18 yield is down 194 pounds from the previous projection.  Partly offsetting the reduction in supplies is a 2.5 million cwt reduction in domestic and residual use.  All rice ending stocks are lowered 2.5 million cwt to 30 million, the lowest in a decade.  The 2017/18 all rice season-average farm price is raised $0.40 per cwt at the midpoint to a range of $12.20 to $13.20.  Prices for all rice classes are raised this month. 

The 2017/18 global supplies are lowered fractionally with decreased production more than offsetting higher beginning stocks.  This remains the second largest global crop on record. Foreign production is lowered 900,000 tons on reductions for Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.  Global consumption for 2017/18 is lowered 600,000 tons with the largest reduction for Bangladesh. Global exports are raised 500,000 tons primarily on India.  The 2017/18 global ending stocks are raised 400,000 tons to 122.9 million. 

Read the full report 

Ghana now has an official ‘Jollof Rice Festival’ and here are the details

Jollof was made in Ghana and there is a new festival in town. You don't wanna miss it.
·         Published: 09.08.2017
·         Kwame Boakye
Ghana now has an official ‘Jollof Rice Festival’ and here are the details

Jollof is made in Ghana. Nigerians can take their argument to wherever they want to take to not here in Ghana. They should start marketing their ‘3ba’ maybe.

The Ghana Tourism Authority has initiated a ‘Jollof Rice Festival,’ a strategy in their mission to help people patronise made-in-Ghana goods.
Ghana’s first edition of the Jollof Rice Festival is set to take place on Saturday, August 26 as part of the Ghana Tourism Authority's ‘See Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana, Feel Ghana’ campaign.
Ghana Tourism Authority to take take Jollof Rice tot he world.

Mr. Akwasi Agyeman who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority talked about the event at a press conference at the authority’s head office saying:
“Basically we want to settle the age old controversy of who has the best ‘jollof’ rice in West Africa. We believe it is Ghana and we are going to hold one of the biggest food festivals.
“Even though this is a ‘jollof’ competition, it will also help us showcase all the other food we have. Under the big umbrella, it is a food festival but we want ‘jollof’ to feature prominently.
“We are going to also leverage on some of the festivals that will be held in August. August is our eat Ghana month so Homowo is also ongoing. We will use that platform to project Ghanaian foods.”

SunRice seeks new opportunities to increase returns for growers

August 9, 2017 7:00pm
SUNRICE  has acknowledged the real risk of its growers turning to other high-value commodities if its doesn’t improve its farmgate returns.
SunRice chief executive Rob Gordon said higher returns were necessary so the rice exporter could “earn your (rice growers) resources”, with new markets and supply chains in South-East Asia, China and Europe on the hit list.
It comes as 60 Riverina growers are planning to grow cotton for the first time this year.
SunRice chief executive Rob Gordon
“We’ve had a good deal of success but the reality is we’ve probably optimised what we’ve got and when we have a look at challenges in the Riverina, nothing stands still,” Mr Gordon told the Ricegrowers Association of Australia annual conference in Leeton last week. “Frankly ... we need to be making a better return for you at farmgate otherwise you, as people who have responsibilities within the farm, will need to move to other higher-ret­urning activities.”
A low Riverina rice crop and low medium-grain rice prices saw SunRice’s consolidated revenue drop to $1.1 billion for the financial year to April 2017, while net profit was $34.2 million — down 34 per cent from the previous year.
Mr Gordon said SunRice’s sales line needed to grow by 11 per cent each year — about twice the rate of the past five years — which would see it be a “substantially different-scale business by 2021 than we are today”.
Mr Gordon said SunRice was “at something of a crossroads” and if it continued to rely on medium-grain rice sold in its normal channels, “we will find ourselves increasingly challenged by other nations that have a lower cost base”.
SunRice’s new five-year strategy will try to take advantage of emerging food trends, including typically rice-eating nations’ growing desire for premium produce and health foods.
Mr Gordon said SunRice was “knocking on the door to China” with its low-glycaemic index rice. He said they would not be exporting the low GI rice as a rice commodity, but instead as a health food. China is home to the largest population of diabetics, at 109 million people. SunRice is already selling its products in China through the online shopping platform Alibaba, which it is able to do despite no phytosanitary clearance.
The first order for entry into Malaysia — the most obese nation in South East Asia — has already been received, Mr Gordon said.
The growing, global love of sushi and Japanese cuisine also presented an opportunity for Australian-grown japonica-style rice, while the shift away from sugars and toward gluten-free products meant a rise in rice flour and rice bran.
The global desire for food safety assurances could also see the supply chain expanded in Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar to allow SunRice customers “dual sourcing”


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Rice yield competition in Punjab
 SIALKOT (APP): Agriculture department was finalising arrangements for organising Rice Yield Competition 2017-18 across Punjab province. Sources in Agriculture department told APP on Wednesday that agricultural implements worth millions of rupees will be awarded by the government to the winners. The department was mobilizing all the available modes for creating awareness among the rice growers about the proposed rice yield competition. Both male and female farmers growing Basmati rice, super basmati 515 of rice growing districts would be invited to join the competition. Rice Yield Competition will be held at provincial and district level in Punjab. Those interested were directed to obtain application forms from Tehsil and markaz level and Agriculture department to get themselves registered latest by September 15.\ According to sources, farmers having self-cultivation not less than 5 acres, tenants or lessee having lease agreement duly verified by tehsil committee will also be considered for the competition after fulfilling the conditions.
Application from candidates having land under Mushtarka Khata will also be entertained. The participants growing basmati rice from approved and certified seeds only would be able to join the contest. The district committee will select overall 10 plots from the district on the basis of evaluation marks given to plot through tehsil committees, the sources added.
 Spices exports earn $84.022m in one year
 ISLAMABAD (APP): Pakistan exported spices worth $84.022 million during the fiscal year 2016-17, showing growth of 9.58 percent in trade when compared to the same period of last year. The spices exports during last fiscal year (2015-16) were recorded at $76.677 million, according to the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). In terms of quantity, Pakistan exported 22,927 metric tons of spices during the period under review against the exports of 19,746 million during last year, showing an increase of 16.11 percent. It is pertinent to mention here that the overall food exports from the country during the fiscal year (2016-17) decreased by 6.94 percent when compared to the last year. The overall food exports from the country were recorded at $3,712 million in July-June (2016-17) compared to the exports of $3,989 million in July-June (2015-16), the PBS data revealed. Meanwhile, on year-on-year basis, the exports of spices increased by 75.30 percent during the month of June 2017 compared to the same month of last year.
The spices exports during June 2017 were recorded at $7.913 million compared to the exports of $4,514 million recorded during June 2016.
On month-on-month basis, the exports of spices increased by 5.58 percent in June 2017 when compared to the exports of $7,495 million in May 2017, according to the data.
The overall exports from the country during the fiscal year 2016-17 witnessed decline of 1.63 percent when compared to fiscal year 2015-16.
The exports from the country in FY2016-17 were recorded at $53,026 million compared to the exports of $44,685 million last year, according to PBS data.
 PARC chairman for disseminating research, innovation to farmers
ISLAMABAD (APP): Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Chairman Dr Yousuf Altaf on Wednesday called for disseminating research and innovative technologies to the doorstep of farmers to promote and develop agriculture and livestock sectors. Chairing a meeting of the Competitive Grant Selection Committee, he said new techniques would help the farmers to achieve high per acre yield. The meeting was held under Agricultural Innovation Programme (AIP) for Pakistan in collaboration with PARC-CIMMYT and USAID for grant selection. Dr Yusuf Zafar said that under the AIP, agricultural funds were provided for adopting new techniques to enhance crops output and livestock sector. He said that under the AIP initiative a modern beef production and research centre was established in Sibbi to enhance daily weight of livestock. In order to promote the livestock sector in Balochistan a cross breading center was also established in modern beef research center, he added.
He further said that detection of mycotoxin in poultry feeds of Balochistan and its bio control had also been developed by using probiotic bacteria.
Other participants of the meeting also expressed their views and share their expertise to enhance agriculture and livestock production in the country.
The meeting also discussed microbiological upgradation of industrial waste, poultry fed fortification, effect of different antibiotics and their effect on human health.
 Attack on LEJA ex-chief condemned
 LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) have condemned the attack on former president of Lahore Economic Journalists Association. In a statement issued on Wednesday, FPCCI Regional Chairman Manzoor Malik and LCCI President Abdul Basit expressed their great concern over attack on senior anchor person of Bole TV and ex-president of LEJA Sudhir Ch during his programme recording at Liberty Chowk. They said that it is a well-known fact that working journalists in Pakistan are a beleaguered community threatened from all sides. Pakistan has been one of the most dangerous countries for media practitioners for years. It has also consistently ranked among 10 nations with the highest levels of impunity for perpetrators of crimes against journalists. Business community believes that the culture of impunity makes the work-related threats facing journalists more grave.
 The FPCCI regional chairman and LCCI president urged the authorities to take all possible measure to apprehend the perpetrators in this case. They said that a failure to do that will not only embolden the perpetrators but also force journalists, whose services society needs more now than ever, to exercise self-censorship in the hope of avoiding violence.
Meanwhile, a rally in support of senior journalist was organized here by various media associations including the Lahore Press Club and Punjab Union of Journalists (PUJ) and Lahore Economic Journalists Association, condemning the attack on Sudhir

How to identify fake rice

Updated: a day ago
Views: 4574
Some people may be afraid of getting tricked in restaurants or eating some spoiled food on the street. But you probably never imagined that there are other places you can be tricked with food you don't want. Did you know that plastic cabbage and eggs have also been made, and you might not be able to recognize if they are fake or not. Now plastic rice is booming in the food market. In almost every African and Asian country, Chinese and Vietnamese plastic rice is hard to be identified. In this short overview, we will provide you with some ways of how to identify fake rice. Besides, learn about consequences of eating fake rice and its influence on your health.
African markets are filled with fake rice
China is the main producer of rice, and nowadays plastic rice as well. The process of making rice was taken to whole different level. These days rice made of plastic is not a joke, but a reality in a lot of Chinese factories. It is cheap and profitable to produce such kind of rice, but how about its danger for people? Not to be tricked with fake rice, here are top ways of how to detect plastic rice:
1. Burn it
Everybody knows how plastic smells. So just take a lighter and burn a handful of rice. Does it smell like burnt plastic? Well, then your rice has to be thrown out.
Burn some rice to identify if it is fake or not
Do this test to check if the rice is fake. Take a few grains of rice and pound it with a mortar and pestle. If the powder gives us white in colour, the rice is natural. If the colour turns yellow, your rice is fake.
3. “Water” it
For this test, you only need to use some cold water. Put raw rice in bowl or glass and pour some water in it. Stir it for a couple of seconds. Then watch carefully to see if the rice sinks or floats. If it sinks to the bottom – the rice is natural. If the rice is floating at the top, it contains some plastic in it.
Water may help you to identify if you eat natural rice or fake one
4. See any mold?
This test would take a while, but it is worth it. First, you need to boil the rice. Then leave it for 2-3 days in warm place. Do not touch the rice. If there is no mold, then rice is fake, being left alone will not have an effect on plastic rice. Usually, original rice gets mold within 30-40 minutes. Therefore, if there is no mold in few days, the rice is fake.
5. Boil it
Put the rice in a pot and observe it while boiling. At around 4-5 minutes, if you notice a layer on the surface, then it's plastic.
6. Bring some hot oil
Prepare some hot oil and get your rice. Put rice in oil and watch how it will change. Just take some of the rice and drop into some real hot oil. If it is plastic, it will melt. It may also stick to the bottom of a pan or just stick together.
Watch out for fake rice!

The dangers: health risks of eating plastic rice

All dietitians and health experts have stated that plastic grains could cause serious damages to a person's digestive system. It is so dangerous that after a long period of time eating fake rice, a person simply dies, showing no symptom. Popular platforms, such as Whatsapp and Facebook have been filled with photos of fake rice being sold on markets in Shaanxi province. Neighboring countries, such as Malaysia and Singapore also confirmed some “plastic rice” accidents in their countries. Both countries mentioned that rumors about fake rice are true.
Malaysia’s health ministry is aware of that fake rice is being produced in China. After the rice is packed, it will then be exported to a number of Asian and African countries. Also, plastic rice, sold on the Chinese market might even find its way into popular rice brands. The difficult thing is to detect this kind of rice. It is hard because usually it comes mixed with normal rice. Right now, there is no system to check fake rice when importing, but we can help you with ways of identifying fake rice on the spot.
Markets are filled with fake rice bags, how to stop the import?
The toxic synthetic rice is usually made from sweet potatoes or/and synthetic resin (plastic). Usually, you cannot even know it's fake just by eating it, as it looks and tastes like rice. But your body would definitely let you know, as fake rice is incredibly toxic.
Natural rice is gone, or where can it be found?
No one wants to have semi-boiled plastic rice in own stomach. The danger of fake rice is terrifying. It causes gastritis and stomach-related diseases. Plastic rice consumption causes not only problems with stomach but leads to various other health issues such as cancer, impaired immunity, and problems with reproductive functions, as well as birth defects.
Nutritionist Upasana Shukla says: ” One of the biggest risks of ingesting plastic is the hormonal imbalance it creates giving rise to a host of diseases. It also stops the body from absorbing nutrients present in the food thus leading to deficiencies.”
Now you know how to recognize real rice from the fake. Toxic grains are made of sweet potatoes, plastic and synthetic resin to look like real rice. Because they have been sprayed by chemical product, fake rice even smells like the natural one. Remember to test your rice and share these tips with your friends and family. Watch out for fake rice in shops and stay healthy.