Monday, August 21, 2017

21st August,2017 daily global,regional and local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

Trade wars and the Great China Wall: How India can get its act together for a China-smart trade policy

August 19, 2017, 2:00 AM IST Ajay Srivastava 

 Edit PageIndia | TOI
“A trade war between China and India seems to be looming as India moved last Wednesday (August 9) to impose anti-dumping duties on 93 products from China. Now Chinese companies must reconsider the risks of investing in India amid strained bilateral trade ties, and India should also be prepared for the possible consequences for its ill-considered action.” Thus spake Global Times, organ of Chinese state media, on August 13. But what is the reality of India-China trade?
India exported goods worth $10 billion to China in 2005. India had a trade surplus with China during 2003-5, reveals trade data maintained by China. In 2016 Indian exports are still about $10 billion, but its trade surplus has turned into a deficit of more than $50 billion. What happened in the intervening years? The trade deficit was largely the result of China’s technical advancement. But China’s strategy to stifle Indian imports also played an important part.
During 2005-16 India emerged as a competent global supplier of polished diamonds, small cars, generic medicines, buffalo meat, etc. China imports these products in large quantities for domestic consumption, but not Indian products.
How does China reject Indian products? Quality cannot be a problem as India exports these products to over a 100 countries, including the US and EU. So China uses a complex set of inspection, product testing and quality certification requirements to stifle imports from India. Such restrictions are called non-tariff barriers (NTBs). WTO rules regulate import tariffs but are weak on regulating NTBs.
Chinese experts inspect Indian factories. Cost is borne by the Indian side and clearance seldom comes. Only Chinese labs do the product testing, and no appeal is allowed on their decisions. Punitive product testing requirements ensure that India cannot export buffalo meat to China. China will not accept Indian basmati rice, while Pakistan’s rice is welcome. Again, no appeal allowed on the decisions. Issuance of quarantine certificates for fruits or vegetables may take 3 years. Indian IT firms cannot take part if the tender size is more than $100 million. The list of restrictions is long.
Such measures ensured that India’s exports to China in 2016 stayed at the 2005 level, even as India allowed almost unrestricted access to Chinese goods during 2005-17. Of Indian imports of mobile phones, telecom equipment, and bulk drugs, 70% come from China. If China stops supplying bulk drugs India’s pharma exports will have a tough time, but China is already working to move up the value chain.
More than 95% of Indian imports of everyday use items also come from China. It is time to reduce this critical dependence on China. A time bound action plan to manage imports and increase exports can incorporate the following steps.
Push for large scale manufacturing in 30 product groups from electronics, engineering and chemical sectors. Accounting for 92% of imports from China, these should form the core of Make in India programme. Provide 20 years direct tax holiday for investments in these sectors.
Create a hundred design studios for new product development. Put in place the German Mittelstand model of industry-research-academia collaboration. This will help innovation-driven small firms and reduce dependence on import of daily use goods.
Create an institution responsible for developing standards and setting guidelines for inspection, testing and quality certification of critical products. China’s NTB regime was aided by a lack of Indian preparedness on these issues. Thereafter, use NTBs to manage harmful imports as everyone else does. China used NTBs to maim India’s exports without anyone realising what is happening. Anti-dumping duties can be used as short term measures but create too much noise.
Be more diligent in trade negotiations. For example India’s signing the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) in 1997, which was voluntary, blocked development of India’s IT hardware industry.
Finally, the truth about the Global Times story. Anti-dumping duties on 93 Chinese products were already in force for a long time. It was not a new development, although given the usual Chinese spin

Rice export target set at 5.2 million tonnes in 2017

VNA FRIDAY, AUGUST 18, 2017 - 20:56:00 
The Vietnam Food Association aims to ship 2 million tonnes of rice to foreign countries in the last five months of the year, increasing total rice export for the whole year to 5.2 million tonnes. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – The Vietnam Food Association (VFA) aims to ship 2 million tonnes of rice to foreign countries in the last five months of the year, increasing total rice export for the whole year to 5.2 million tonnes, up 6 percent year-on-year.

Vietnam exported an estimated 3.24 million tonnes of rice at FOB value of 1.4 billion USD in the past seven months, representing an increase of 11 percent in volume and 11.4 percent in value over the same period last year.

July alone saw 584,000 tonnes of rice sold abroad for more than 240 million USD, which was the highest monthly volume so far this year, with most of the rice shipped to China, Bangladesh and Africa.

China remains Vietnam’s top rice importer, accounting for 40.65 percent of the total rice export, followed by the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore. Shipments to Africa experienced a slight rise, making up 15.3 percent of the market share.

The VFA forecast that the global rice market will be led by high demand from Malaysia, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. However, large rice exporters like Thailand, India and Pakistan are entering their main crop harvest, which will affect the rice market in the coming time.-VNA

Revenue scam: Senate recovers
N120billion, gives BUA, Dana, Huawei, Kereksuk rice farms ultimatum Author: Jerrywright Ukwu UPDATED: 17 HOURS AGO VIEWS: 25966 Category: Local news, Business and Economy SHARE ON FACEBOOK SEND VIA EMAIL SHARE ON FACEBOOK SEND VIA EMAIL - The Nigerian Senate joint committee on Customs excise, tariff and marine transport are distinguishing themselves as a relevant committee
 - The committee is probing the revenue scam that involves many popular companies - Some of the companies were reportedly involved in round tripping and money laundering The Senate joint committee on Customs excise, tariff and marine Transport, said it has recovered N120 billion from companies involved in a N30trillion revenue scam. The committee on Friday, August 18 directed 13 more companies to appear before it on Monday, August 21 to explain their involvement in the probe. Chairman of the committee, Senator Hope Uzodinma, in a statement seen by said the committee was giving the companies the last opportunity to appear before it.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Hope Uzodinma has given the companies till Monday, August 21 to appear before the committee. Photo credit: Nigerian Senate PAY ATTENTION: Read the best news on Nigeria’s #1 news app The companies are Dana Group, A-kehnal Integrated & Logistics Limited, Don Climax/Skyaim, Gagsel International, Africa Tiles & Ceramics and Network Oil & Gas. Others are IBG Investment Limited, BUA International limited, Huawei Technologies, Indorama Petrochemicals, StarComms Plc, African Industries and African Wire and Allied. Uzodinma disclosed that the committee had resolved to direct the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to start issuing Demand Notice (DM) to companies found culpable in the on-going investigation.
He added that companies found to have been involved in round tripping and money laundering would be charged to court with immediate effect. ”The committee has only taken the first batch of the companies invited. ”Only 61 companies have been interrogated and over 2000 companies are still expected to appear before us. ”During the committee sitting on Friday, August 18, most of the companies’ representatives heaped praises on the committee for what they described as a thorough job,” he said.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2014 disclosed that Nigeria spent an average of N800billion annually on the importation of rice. Unofficial import receipts through the Cotonou corridor was not captured in the CBN figure. But the business of importing rice is so huge and attractive that four neighboring countries of Benin, Togo, Cameroon and even landlocked Niger Republic have technically factored transshipment or smuggling of rice and allied commodities into Nigeria in their national economic plan.
The 8th Senate continues to distinguish itself as a responsible parliament. Photo credit: Nigerian Senate checks revealed that one of the farms, Keresuk Farm is owned by Rotimi Williams, an in-law to former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Sources in the Senate say the committee's findings prompted the recent verbal tirades against the National Assembly by the former president. Other sources told that the farm is a front and not up to 50 acres of land, adding that they do not qualify for the billions of waiver they have been getting.
In a related development, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday, August 1, commissioned the 120,000 metric tones per year WACOT rice mill. The rice mill is a wholly private venture by WACOT limited, developed with policy support from the Kebbi state government and the federal government. The mill, a N10 billion investment, is supported by an Outgrower Scheme comprising 6,000 rice farmers. READ ALSO: Nigerian
 man grows cucumber in the south-east (photos) Watch a recent market survey by TV below Read more:


Bt13 billion seized in rice pledge case, says AMLO

national August 19, 2017 01:00
3,941 Viewed

Days before Yingluck verdict, anti-money laundering office boasts of assets frozen in relation to high-profile scandal.

LESS THAN a week before the Supreme Court delivers its verdict in the negligence case against ex-prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) yesterday boasted about its success in seizing or freezing almost Bt13 billion in assets from offenders in a case stemming from the rice-pledging scandal.
AMLO secretary-general Chaiya Siriampankul said the case was among the 19 high-profile cases in which the agency followed a money trail and provided public prosecutors with information to seek court orders for confiscation of assets from offenders.
Over the past year, AMLO’s work has led to the seizure or freezing of more than Bt40 billion from offenders in those criminal and corruption cases, less than 10 per cent of the total estimated damages of Bt469 billion, according to the agency’s chief. Chaiya told a press conference that one of the high-profile cases stemmed from the previous government’s rice-pledging scheme. The scandal led to more than 100 related cases involving estimated damages of Bt405 billion.
AMLO so far has managed to seize assets from people involved in only one of those sub-cases – Bt12.91 billion from wealthy businessman Apichart Chansakulporn, who is better known as “Sia Piang”, and three others, who were accused of involvement in “fake” government-to-government rice-sale deals.
Judgement day
The highest court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders is scheduled to deliver its verdict in Yingluck’s case on Friday.

The government-to-government rice-sale scandal case saw the highest value of seized assets. It was followed by the zero-dollar Chinese tour case, in which the operators of Fuan Travel and OA Transport had a combined Bt9.5 billion of assets seized.
Another high-profile graft case involving the Klong Dan wastewater treatment plant, saw Bt6.35 billion in assets belonging to the offenders seized. It was followed by the Wat Dhammakaya embezzlement case, in which Bt2.34 billion was seized from certain businesspeople involved with the controversial temple.
Another Bt724 million was seized from those involved in the Nataree massage parlour human-smuggling case, where many young migrant women were found to have worked illegally in entertainment venues.
AMLO was also instrumental in seizing about Bt500 million from people involved in a narcotics smuggling network led by Laotian drug lord Xaysana Keopimpha, who was arrested at the Suvarnabhumi Airport in January, said Chaiya.
The agency also played an important role in confiscation of assets from violators suspected of laundering money – including drug smugglers, embezzlers, online gambling operators, and corrupt foreign officials hiding here, said the secretary-general.
Chaiya said that Thailand has improved its performance in enforcing the anti-money laundering law and combating the financing of terrorism. At the latest general assembly of the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, a review of Thailand showed that the Kingdom achieved a score of 56 per cent, much better than the previous review in 2007, when it got 31 per cent.
Thailand was rated “high” and “highest” in 26 out of the 40 items in the review, according to the AMLO chief.
He said that in four out of the 11 areas reviewed, the country was in a “substantial level”, comparable to leading performers such as Singapore and Belgium. But Thailand still needed to improve in halting bribe taking, tax evasion, stock manipulation and contraband smuggling

 Norte officials, residents back golden rice dev’t

LAOAG CITY — Some local officials and residents here expressed support for the development of a genetically-modified rice to help solve Vitamin A and mineral deficiency among children.Spearheaded by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Philippine Rice Research Institute (PRRI), researchers have been pushing for the development and commercialization of the “golden rice” to complement solutions to the Vitamin A and mineral deficiency among children.
To produce golden rice, the genes of a corn and a bacterium are combined and inserted in ordinary rice. Study shows that eating a cup of golden rice would cover about half of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin A for adults.
To date, the golden rice project has completed a single confine field trial and is already applying for field trial approval.
To solicit support, a team from IRRI is briefing various stakeholders in different parts of the country about golden rice.
In Batac City, a multi-sectoral group composed of representatives of state universities and colleges, farmers, housewives, researchers, educators, legislators and policy makers, among others, attended a public forum on Friday to familiarize themselves with this genetically modified crop.
Here in Laoag, former Department of Education superintendent Cecilia Aribuabo said she fully supports the cultivation of golden rice, which she noted contains beta-carotene that is converted into Vitamin A as needed by the body.
Golden rice project field test supervisor Ronalyn Miranda meanwhile clarified that golden rice is not a “silver bullet” that would solve Vitamin A deficiency but it offers an alternative to improve the people’s health.
Dr. Reynaldo Castro of the PRRI said a field test has been conducted in Batac since 2011 and it has been proven safe to eat.
Different stakeholders here have signed a manifesto supporting the development of golden rice

National Scientist Gelia T. Castillo: The scientist with a big heart

By Dr. Emil Q. Javier

Dr. Emil Q. Javier
‘There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why… I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?’ – Robert Kennedy
The country lost a truly outstanding Filipino with the demise of National Scientist Gelia Tagumpay Castillo two weeks ago.
The best among our scientists are elected by their peers through a rigorous screening process into the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) which of late has 67 members. And among themselves, the members of the Academy vote by secret ballot the most eminent for conferment by the President of the Republic the prestigious rank and title of National Scientist (NS).NS Gelia T. Castillo was one of the magnificent 13 with that illustrious rank and title.
A rural sociologist of international renown, she served our people well and did our country proud. In her 64 years of service to our country starting with her graduation in 1953 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in UP Diliman (with magna cum laude honors) her guiding philosophy always had been: Science Must Serve a Human Purpose. As she put it “I have always believed that when the best of science and scientists are devoted to the problems of those who have less in life, that is equity and ethics at its best”.
After UP Diliman, she earned advanced degrees from Pennsylvania State University and Cornell University. She spent her entire career as professor of rural sociology at UP Los Banos. In 1994, shortly after retirement, the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) of which Dr. Castillo was a most valued trustee, held a symposium in her honor.
In my capacity then as President of the University of the Philippines and trustee of PIDS, I was assigned the privilege of delivering a testimonial message. The proceedings of that event together with 17 scientific papers contributed by our country’s leading economists, demographers and social scientists were published in Volume 21 of the Philippine Journal of Development.
Following was my message with a few additions:
In honor of Dr. Gelia T. Castillo
It is my distinct honor and privilege to deliver this testimonial speech in recognition of the achievements and contributions of Gelia Castillo: academician, university professor, national social scientist, eminent sociologist, dedicated teacher, outstanding woman and person.
What sets Gelia apart from the rest? A many-splendored individual, Gelia stands out for her ability to synthesize. She has creatively woven disparate pieces of information into major scholarly works like All in a Grain of Rice, Beyond Manila, and How Participatory is Participatory Development? She has a keen eye for detail and the patience to wade through volumes of materials, drawing insights and kernels of wisdom even from lousily written reports or poor scholarly works. More importantly, she is able to weave these details together with her own research contribution into a wonderful tapestry of broad social concepts and universal themes. Gelia also has that ability to simultaneously see the trees and the forest in full detail and vivid color, so to speak.
Gelia’s aptitude for integrating and sifting through information has made her an invaluable chair or member of advisory councils, development missions, evaluation teams, steering committees, and executive boards of Philippine institutions such as the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Population Commission, Central Bank, Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Health (DOH), Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), National Commission on Women, Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), Policy and Development Foundation, and Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).
The list of foreign professional and development organizations she has been asked to advise or review  is equally long — the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada, World Health Organization (WHO), International Labour Organization (ILO), East-West Center Communication Institute in Hawaii, International Rural Sociological Association (IRSA), The World Bank (WB), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM), United Nations University (UNU), International Potato Center (CIP) in Peru, and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). They are so numerous I am sure I missed many other institutions. Several foreign universities have invited her to serve as an External Reviewer for graduate student examinations.
Closer to home, Gelia has served various committees and task forces at the University of the Philippines. She was very much sought after for crucial sensitive committee work. While I was Chancellor of UP in Los Baños, I knew that Gelia’s membership in a committee was a guarantee that there will be no snowjob or whitewash. Gelia always calls a spade a spade. However her skills as a social scientist and humanist made whatever medicine she prescribed go down easily.
I had first-hand experience as the target of Gelia’s critical, analytical and rigorous assessment. The study group which I commissioned and which she headed decried that social scientists were being treated as second-class citizens in the UPLB campus. If her comments came from another person I might have taken it as an offense. However, she delivered her message with sincerity, goodwill, deep conviction and a touch of humor. She was supportive rather than combative. As a consequence of her disarming style, unassailed logic and coherent thinking, I listened attentively and took the appropriate remedial measures.
What is likewise noteworthy about Gelia as a person is that her integrative mind and breadth of intellectual vision were nurtured by a lifetime involvement in development concerns, a commitment which has brought her to various provinces in the Philippines and to 40 countries. Gelia’s development concerns spanned a wide range of interests (agriculture, farmers credit, women empowerment, poverty, health, rural governance etc.). She pioneered and blazed the trail for Filipino social scientists in these areas. The continuing thread throughout her professional life has been the tireless commitment to development efforts which benefit the poor. Gelia’s name in development and academic circles has been associated with that rare combination of intellect, style and above all, commitment to the poor.
Gelia’s unceasing efforts to orient scientists toward alleviating the plight of the downtrodden is matched by her many attempts to initiate and nurture exchanges among social scientists and with biological and physical scientists. She has been a champion of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary work, although being the realist that she is, she is also quick to caution against some of its pitfalls.
Honoring Gelia, I feel we are honoring ourselves in her reflected glory. We are honoring her roots to the historic town of Pagsanjan Laguna; to the Pedro Guevarra Memorial High School (then Laguna High School) where she graduated valedictorian in 1948 (which is also my Alma Mater), and the University of the Philippines both in Diliman and Los Baños with which she has been most closely associated. She does honor to Filipino institutions to Filipino scientists and to her country.
Although long retired, NS Castillo continued to be active in the affairs of NAST and her two favorite rural institutions — the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) and the PhilRice.
CARD is the country’s pioneer and leading micro-finance and micro-insurance institution with close to five million members. PhilRice on the other hand is one of our more productive and regionally, highly regarded agricultural science research institutes. In both institutions NS Castillo was present at their births until her demise, providing inspiration, steady direction, critical thinking and innovation. Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip and Dr. Santiago Obien, founding directors of CARD and PhilRice, respectively, have nothing but high praise and admiration for her incisive intellect, nurturing spirit but most importantly for her selflessness — her big heart.
Dr. Emil Q. Javier is a Member of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) and also Chair of the Coalition for Agriculture Modernization in the Philippines (CAMP). For any feedback, email
Maximum retail price of rice dropped, no change in Sugar prices - Minister Bathiudeen


Coping with the worst drought in 40 years

AUGUST 19, 2017 19:46 IST

Leading News from Sri Lanka::

Sat, Aug 19, 2017, 08:55 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.
Aug 19, Colombo: Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen says that the Committee on Cost of Living has decided to remove the maximum retail price that has been imposed on imported rice since February this year.
Participating in a ceremony in Vavuniya Minister Bathiudeen said the eight-member Committee on Cost of Living at its last meeting held under the leadership of Minister Malik Samarawickrema took measures to remove the maximum retail price set on imported rice imports. The Minister added that now anyone can import rice.
"We expect that we will be able to provide rice to consumers at a price that is lower than the previous maximum retail price now," the Minister said.
The Cost of Living Committee has also decided to raise the import tax on sugar by eight rupees in accordance with the prices in the world market, the Minister said.
However, the eight rupee increase in the tax should not affect the consumers, he said expressing hope that wholesale and retails traders will provide the sugar at the same price as before
UPDATED: AUGUST 19, 2017 21:30 IST

Sri Lankan rice and curry is a thing of legend. With steamed rice, often of the red variety, served at the centre of their plate, locals serve yellow dal and curries made of vegetables, greens, fish and meat around it, virtually covering the entire colour palette within that small radius. Rice is cultivated locally, mostly from the island’s North Western, North Central and Northern Provinces. This year, though, Sri Lanka is in a spot. From meeting the domestic requirement for rice almost entirely, Sri Lanka is now considering a substantial import of rice to ensure food security, following a drought, the worst the island has seen in 40 years. Clear warning signs emerged in 2016, after monsoons failed. Farmers’ worst fears came true when the drought extended well into 2017, affecting their two main harvest seasons, Maha and Yala. Speaking on what he called a “really bad situation”, Sri Lanka’s Agriculture Minister Duminda Dissanayake told The Hindu: “We hoped to cultivate 8,00,000 hectares of paddy this year, but about 50% of that has been damaged due to the drought.”
To cope with this, Sri Lanka is importing over 3,00,000 tonnes of rice, mostly from India. However, given the country’s monthly requirement of 2,00,000 tonnes of rice, imports are only set to increase. The Central Bank has said that if the drought persists through the year, Sri Lanka may have to import food and fuel worth an additional $800 million.
According to Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Centre, almost 1.3 million people have been hit by the drought. Several thousand farmers in 20 of the country’s 25 districts are suffering, their land and soil parched for over a year now. Data point to a severe impact in Kurunegala district, less than three hours’ drive from Colombo, and Puttalam — both in the North Western Province. While Anuradhapura in the North Central Province has also been badly hit, the Tamil-majority Northern Province is the most-affected region, where farmers in all its five districts of Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya and Mannar are in a crisis. People here are also facing a serious drinking water problem.
Broader patterns
Speaking of possible underlying causes, experts point to some broader patterns in climate in the island. Buddhi Marambe, professor of Crop Science at the Agriculture Faculty in University of Peradeniya, said over the last 50 years, Sri Lanka’s average temperature had risen by 0.01-0.03 degree Celsius annually. “The impact of such climate change has been that the wet seasons have got wetter, and dry seasons have become drier over the years,” he told The Hindu.
The last time the island faced such a severe drought was in 1973-74, and preparing for such a disaster in 2016 was simply off the cards at the policy level. “When two inter-monsoons and two monsoons [southwest and northeast] fail, that severely affects the yield. The government is in a precarious situation, with no other option but to import,” said Prof. Marambe, who chairs the country’s National Experts’ Committee on Climate Change Adaptation. Following the drought, many younger farmers are switching to other jobs, Reuters reported. An estimated 1.8 million farm families are engaged in paddy cultivation in Sri Lanka, where agriculture remains a key driver of the rural economy.
There is more to the drought story than climate change, argued Chinthaka Rajapakse, moderator of the Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform. “To start with, the government lacks a long-term strategy to tackle climate change. Moreover, its policies systematically exclude the poor. Where do ordinary people like farmers figure in its grand development agenda?” he asked.

Customs seize used tyres worth N66m, other commodities worth N141m

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has step up its anti-smuggling campaign with the seizure of more commodities in Zone C which has its headquarters in the Imo State capital, Owerri.The service seized 8, 295 used tyres popularly called “totunbo” worth N66 million just it also seized other commodities worth N141 million.The items were some of the seizures made by the service in the zone from January to July 2017.
These were disclosed by the NCS, Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Bukar Amajam in a chat with news men in the Edo State capital, Benin City.In a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer (PRO), Chioma Onuoha, the CAC stated this shortly after conducting newsmen around NCS Government Warehouse, Benin City where the seizures were being showcased.
Amajam was quoted saying that most of the used tyres were craftily concealed in their various means of conveyance but operatives of the Service were able to detect and intercept them.According to the Customs Chief, the used tyres put motorists in grave danger and therefore the unit in carrying out its functions will continue to ensure that irresponsible traders bent on putting Nigerian lives at serious risk will not succeed.The CAC said the seizures made by FOU ‘C’ Owerri for July 2017 showed that the unit has recorded 18 seizures with duty paid value (DPV) of N141, 229,000. He also revealed that the unit also made recovery of underpayments to the tune of N24, 575,796.
The seizures made include cartons of vegetable oil, used tyres and bags of rice. Others are a luxury bus intercepted with 69 bags of rice and 40 bales of second hand clothing.
He also disclosed another Sino truck laden with 460 bags of rice with DPV of N11, 776, 000 as well as Toyota Previa car was intercepted with 59 bags of rice with DPV of N944, 000.
While displaying a 1×20 foot container intercepted conveying used motor parts with cartons of foreign soap concealed in it, he explained that the foreign soap was prohibited for trade.
He explained that import prohibitions have been put in place to protect the local manufacturing industry and called on the populace to gain information and knowledge before importation.
Also on display were three exotic cars including a Bentley GT Coupe 2014 model with DPV of over N56 million naira, Mercedes s Benz GLK 2011 model with DPV of N9,235,963 and another Mercedes Benz GLK 2008 model with DPV of N7,715,838 under detention.
Amajam disclosed that preliminary investigation reveal that the three cars do not have evidence of duty payment even as he pointed out that the nature of the cars show that it was bought by someone rich and affluent.
He appealed to wealthy Nigerians to be patriotic and pay appropriate duty and taxes, adding that it was the civic duty of every Nigerian to forward any useful information to the service.He maintained that this was one of the ways that put the NCS in a position to guard against illegal activities of smugglers and protect the socio-economic wellbeing of the nation at large.He commended patriotic Nigerians that have volunteered information that have been invaluable and have yielded positive results.
Their act, he said, has led to increased success in anti-smuggling operations just as he asserted the resolve of the unit and the NCS to bring smuggling to its barest minimum.On the removal of illegal checkpoints, Amajam stated that the directive does not hamper operatives in the discharge of their duties.According to the CAC, even though smugglers were trying to capitalise on the directive to ply their trade, he noted that they have not succeeded because information patrol teams have been on high alert


Agreement reached during bilateral negotiation between the two countries under Preferential Trade Agreement.

File photo
04:59 PM, 20 Aug, 2017

Under Preferential Trade Agreement, Indonesia has agreed to give concession on major imports from Pakistan including rice, textile, ethanol, Kinnow and mangoes.This was stated by a senior official of the Ministry of Commerce in Islamabad on Sunday.He said the agreement was reached during bilateral negotiation between the two countries under the Preferential Trade Agreement.         

The official said both sides discussed twenty tariff lines and they agreed on concession for twenty different items.He said the current annual trade volume between the two countries is one hundred seventy million dollars, which is expected to increase after renegotiation on Preferential Trade Agreement

Posted at: Aug 20, 2017, 1:09 AM; last updated: Aug 20, 2017, 1:09 AM (IST)

Rice millers, exporters urge govt to reduce market fee from 4 pc to 2 pc

Parveen Arora
Tribune News Service
Karnal, August 19
Rice millers and exporters today urged the state government to reduce the market fee from 4 per cent to 2 per cent to ensure ease of doing business. They said the relief would not only check tax evasion but also help in bringing transparency. They demanded abolition of electricity fee of Rs 170 per Kv per month and urged the government to charge Rs 5 per unit from them.
Rice millers and exporters across the state held a state-level meeting here today on the sidelines of Food Show India-2017 and an award ceremony for contributions to the growth of the rice industry.
Vijay Setia, president of the All-India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA), raised the demand for 2 per cent reduction in the market fee. He said, “We don’t want complete exemption from tax or fee as we know it is necessary for the development of the nation. But we want it halved to provide relief to the industry”.
Setia said the government should allow all commission agents to procure paddy from farmers, which would also promote the genuine billing system.
Hansraj Singhal, president of the Haryana Rice Millers and Dealers Association, raised the issue of the charge of Rs 170 per Kv per month and termed it as a burden on them. He said it was a fixed charge and the government should abolish it. Instead the government should charge Rs 5 per unit from the millers.
Ajay Sharma, managing director of Lama Rice, counted the challenges facing the rice industry and said the export of Indian rice was increasing due to its high quality and packaging. There is need to educate farmers about the appropriate use of pesticides and fertilisers. Companies dealing in pesticides and fertilisers should come forward to educate farmers.
Jewel Singla, chairman of the association, urged the Union government to grant interest free loan up to Rs 10 crore to every miller to upgrade their mills.
Tushar Aggarwal, project head of the food show, said they organised such events to make the millers and the exporters aware about the latest technologies of the rice industry

Basmati rice prices surge on increased offtake

Basmati rice prices rose by up to Rs150 per quintal at the wholesale grains market on today due to increased offtake by stockists following upsurge in demand
Traders said increased offtake by stockists following upsurge in demand against tight stocks position on fall in supplies from producing belts, mainly helped rice basmati prices to trade higher. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
New Delhi: Rice basmati prices rose by up to Rs150 per quintal at the wholesale grains market on Friday due to increased offtake by stockists following upsurge in demand. However, other grains held steady in thin trade.
Traders said increased offtake by stockists following upsurge in demand against tight stocks position on fall in supplies from producing belts, mainly helped rice basmati prices to trade higher. In the national capital, rice basmati common and Pusa- 1121 variety settled higher at Rs6,500-6,600 and Rs5,250- 5,350 from previous levels of Rs6,400-6,500 and Rs5,150- 5,200 per quintal, respectively.
Following are Friday’s quotations (in Rs per quintal): Wheat MP (desi) Rs 2,100-2,350, Wheat dara (for mills) Rs1,770-1,775, Chakki atta (delivery) Rs1,775-1,780, Atta Rajdhani (10 kg) Rs260-300, Shakti Bhog (10 kg) Rs255-290, Roller flour mill Rs965-970 (50 kg), Maida Rs990-1,000 (50 kg)and Sooji Rs1,040-1,045 (50 kg). Basmati rice (Lal Quila) Rs10,700, Shri Lal Mahal Rs11,300, Super Basmati Rice Rs9,800, Basmati common new Rs6,500-6,600, Rice Pusa (1121) Rs5,250-5,350, Permal raw Rs2,150-2,175, Permal wand Rs2,200-2,225, Sela Rs2,300-2,400 and Rice IR-8 Rs1,825-1,850, Bajra Rs1,225-1,230, Jowar yellow Rs1,400-1,450, white Rs2,800-2,900, Maize Rs1,330-1,335, Barley Rs1,490-1,500.

According to the study, which was published in the recent edition of ‘Nature Scientific Reports’, when the Thaliana gene was transferred into the rice variety, the resultant transgenic rice crop had increased height, length, more efficient in photosynthesis, better chlorophyll content and high efficiency in water use.
According to researchers, the transgenic rice under drought conditions performed better than normal rice varieties. Interestingly, the study said that the transgenic rice also maintained high levels of chlorophyll, which helps plants grow.

High chlorophyll

“The gene TOR presently used is from Arabidopsis Thaliana, which is a weed. A similar gene is present in rice also. We are also trying to use this rice gene to see if we can get bigger and more efficient rice plants. However, this work is in progress,” Dr. Kirti said.
Commenting on such rice varieties, the researcher pointed out that the transgenic rice uses less water but retains good productivity. There is the potential to try the transgenic plants in the direction of commercial cultivation at the farmers’ level after proper testing by the regulatory authorities,” the researcher pointed out.
Dr. Kirti said that the economic benefits to farmers include more yield per unit area and reduced consumption of electricity for irrigating the crop because it uses water more efficiently.
Researchers in the initiative also included those from Agricultural University, Hyderabad, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru, National Research Council of Canada and Agricultural Sciences in Beijing, China

 Iraq seeking 30,000 tonnes of rice in purchase tender
BAGHDAD, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Iraq's state grain buyer has issued an international tender to buy 30,000 tonnes of rice, a government source said on Sunday. The deadline for offers is Aug. 27 and rice is being sought from all origins, the source said. Offers should remain valid until Aug. 31. Iraq made no purchase in its previous attempt to buy rice, which closed on July 30. The country has been struggling to import grain for its food subsidy programme after introducing new payment and quality terms that left trading houses unwilling to participate in its international tenders. Iraq is expected to produce about 250,000 tonnes of rice this year, suggesting that there will be a shortfall of about 1 million tonnes that will need to be covered by imports. (Writing by Maha El Dahan; Editing by David Goodman)

Bangladesh rice tender draws lowest offer of $407.89/T
DHAKA, Aug 21 (Reuters) - The lowest offer in the tender from Bangladesh to import 50,000 tonnes of rice was from trading house Regington International at $407.89 a tonne, on a cost, insurance and freight (CIF) liner out basis, officials at the state grains buyer said on Monday.Nine other trading houses competed for the tender issued by Bangladesh's Directorate General of Food that closed on Sunday.
Bangladesh, the world's fourth-biggest rice producer, has emerged as a major importer of the staple grain this year due to depleted stocks and record high local prices following floods. (Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Richard Pullin)