Friday, September 15, 2017

15 th September,2017 daily global,regional local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

Pain and despair as Rohingya families  in India and Pakistan watch from afar

In a dilapidated shelter in south India, surrounded by squalor, Alakamma Bibi dials her home in Myanmar every few hours. All she gets is a beeping tone.
In the two weeks since she first heard of the upsurge in violence in Myanmar, she has spent countless hours trying to reach her parents and siblings, desperate to hear their voices.
“I can’t sleep anymore,” she said, hunched over a pot of bubbling rice. “My parents may be dead, you know. They stayed back because it was home. Now suddenly there is no place to call home.”
Bibi is one of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who have fled from Rakhine state in Buddhist-majority Myanmar since 2012 to other countries, including Malaysia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
In the last fortnight alone, more than 300,000 Rohingya have fled across the border to Bangladesh, fleeing an explosion of violence.
Myanmar’s government regards the approximately 1 million Rohingya as illegal migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh and denies them citizenship, even though many Rohingya families have lived there for generations.
In retaliation for attacks by Rohingya insurgents on police posts and an army base, the Myanmar army and Buddhist vigilantes have mounted a campaign of arson aimed at driving out the minority group, human rights monitors and fleeing Rohingya say, a charge the Myanmar government denies.
Pockets of Rohingya communities are dotted around South Asia, with exiles anxious for news of their relatives back in Myanmar.
In an alleyway in the garbage-strewn Hundred Quarters in Karachi, Hamida, who was born in the Pakistani city but speaks fluent Burmese and only a smattering of Urdu, has been reading verses from the Quran, praying for an end to the persecution of her Muslim relatives in Myanmar.
“My cousins fleeing from their village have told us many of our relatives have been butchered, even small babies,” said Hamida, aged in her 40s, adding many had asked for help.
“We know they desperately need money, but we ourselves live hand to mouth,” said the mother of seven whose fisherman husband Majid is often out of work. 
Houses torched
The United Nations’ top human rights official on Monday slammed Myanmar for conducting a “cruel military operation” against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state, branding it “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.
In southern India, Bibi’s mobile phone is full of video clips and Whatsapp messages describing the unfolding horror. “We hear some are hiding in forests, their houses burnt down, their children killed,” Bibi told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“We had farms, a proper home, livestock. Look at where I live now - in dirt, with no savings, no hope and no future if this continues,” said Bibi.
In the run-down cyclone shelter in Kelambakkam that now serves as a refugee centre, Rohingya families are constantly on their phones, desperately dialing in to Myanmar, hoping someone will pick up at the other end.
Mohammad Yusuf, 30, managed to get a call through to his ageing father last week. “My mother and sister are missing,” said Yusuf, just back from work as a daily labourer. “My father said he was alone and dying. There is destruction everywhere, he told me. The few men left in the village are just about surviving, eating once every three days.”
‘Tenfold more brutal’
On a Karachi backstreet, Hamida’s father-in-law, Saeed Islam, relives the terror of his own getaway from Myanmar 40 years ago every time he sees video clips of the current violence on his son’s mobile phone.
The older members of Karachi’s Rohingya community fled Myanmar, formerly Burma, when the military seized power in a 1962 coup, escaping on foot or by boat to Bangladesh, which was then East Pakistan. Eventually, they made their way to Karachi.
“We were told we should go to a Muslim country - like Pakistan - as there was no place for us in Myanmar. But what is happening now is tenfold more brutal,” he said, in broken Urdu.
“They will wade through rice paddies, and uneven and rocky mountainous terrain; some will come in boats over the river,” said Islam, who took the same path himself decades ago.
“We were 200 people, all related, but 15 of them were my immediate family including my wife Aisha and Majid, then aged just five,” he said pointing to his wife and son sitting by his side.
From Bangladesh they crossed northern India and reached the port of Karachi after a three-month trek. “We travelled with just the clothes on our back, begged for food on the way and slept along the wayside. We crossed borders illegally during the night,” said Islam. “The elderly and the sick died on the way.”
Uncertain future 
The Rohingya in Karachi largely work on fishing boats, or clean the catch brought by fishermen who set sail from the nearby Korangi Creek.
Like the Rohingya in southern India, they live in uncertainty, on the margins of society. Most of them are stateless as they cannot obtain Pakistani identity cards, essential for opening bank accounts, enrolling into school, using public hospitals, and even getting a job.
In India’s Kelambakkam, the Rohingya work as ragpickers and casual labourers. As well as the violence in Myanmar, they are also following the Indian government’s talks on deporting them with concern.
“We are from Myanmar, but have no documents that recognise that fact,” said Yusuf, taking out papers carefully preserved in a plastic folder. “All we can do now is pray for the safety of those back home and hope the Indian government does not deport us.”
Recalling his own flight from Myanmar in 2012, Yusuf said it had taken a year to re-establish contact with his family after he crossed over to Bangladesh and then made his way to India. “My son Abu was born here, in this Kelambakkam refugee shelter. I had hoped to take him home one day, show him the house I grew up in, the streets I played in, the mosque I went to pray in.
Now, he may never know where he is from and what can be worse than that,” Yusuf said, sitting on the steps to his cluttered and cramped room. On the door behind him, scrawled in chalk is ‘Allah Hu’. “It’s all about keeping the faith now,” said Bibi, the woman stirring a pot of rice. “And so we pray for peace back home.

Thailand: Commerce Ministry pushes forward upgrade of Thai rice quality

The Ministry of Commerce continues to strive to raise the quality of Thai rice while promising to take action against sellers of substandard grains.Ms Suthatsanee Rajruangrabin, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Internal Trade, chaired the launch of a project to promote public awareness of the praying hands logo, which is used to certify Thai jasmine rice. When displayed on the package of rice sold domestically, the logo guarantees that the product's quality is on par with that of exports.To date, the praying hands logo has been issued to 216 brands of rice belonging to 142 companies. Among them, six brands under two companies have received special certification for exceptional production hygiene in accordance with GMP and HACCP or ISO standards.

Random inspections of rice products are being carried out by the Commerce Ministry on a monthly basis. Should substandard grains be found, the responsible company will receive a warning letter. If two discoveries are made within one year, the company will have its permit suspended for three months and be required to take the inferior grains off the shelves in 15 days. The permit will be revoked if three offenses turn up within two years.

Tofail: India’s ban on rice export will not have any impact


Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has said prices of rice will not increase even though the Indian government decided to stop exporting rice to Bangladesh from September 15 to November 30.He said this to reporters on Wednesday after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Public Procurement in Cabinet Division Auditorium in Dhaka.In a letter to Bangladesh on Tuesday, the Indian authorities concerned informed their decision that they would keep exports of rice to Bangladesh halted during the period so that the recent floods cannot cause a food crisis in India.

Asked about the temporary ban, Tofail said he phoned the Indian high commissioner to Bangladesh but could not discuss the matter as the high commissioner was on the way back to Dhaka from Cox’s Bazar, where he went to visit Rohingya refugee camps with other diplomats stationed in Dhaka.Fungicides grew in rice as unscrupulous traders tried to manipulate rice price by storing up it a long period and thus creating an artificial crisis in markets, he said, adding that actions would be taken against such traders.

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- Septmember 14, 2017

SEPTEMBER 14, 2017 / 12:38 PM / A DAY AGO
Nagpur Foodgrain Prices – APMC/Open Market-September 14

Nagpur, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Gram and tuar prices firmed up again in Nagpur Agriculture Produce
and Marketing Committee (APMC) here on good buying support from local millers amid weak supply
from producing regions. Fresh rise on NCDEX, upward trend in Madhya Pradesh pulses and enquiries
from South-based millers also jacked up prices.
About 500 of gram and 150 bags of tuar were available for auctions, according to sources.

   * Desi gram recovered in open market on goo seasonal demand from local traders.
   * Tuar varieties ruled steady in open market here matching the demand and supply

   * Jowar varieties reported weak in open market on lack of demand from local traders
     amid good supply from producing belts.
   * In Akola, Tuar New – 4,100-4,300, Tuar dal (clean) – 6,100-6,300, Udid Mogar (clean)
    – 8,300-9,000, Moong Mogar (clean) 6,800-7,100, Gram – 5,700-5,900, Gram Super best
    – 8,300-8,700

   * Wheat, rice and other foodgrain items moved in a narrow range in scattered deals and
     settled at last levels in thin trading activity.
 Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg
     FOODGRAINS                 Available prices     Previous close  
     Gram Auction                  5,000-5,765         4,800-5,765
     Gram Pink Auction            n.a.           2,100-2,600
     Tuar Auction                3,600-4,120         3,500-4,100
     Moong Auction                n.a.                3,900-4,200
     Udid Auction                n.a.           4,300-4,500
     Masoor Auction                n.a.              2,600-2,800
     Wheat Mill quality Auction        1,600-1,682        1,572-1,614
     Gram Super Best Bold            8,500-9,000        8,500-9,000
     Gram Super Best            n.a.            n.a.
     Gram Medium Best            7,600-8,000        7,600-8,000
     Gram Dal Medium            n.a.            n.a
     Gram Mill Quality            5,900-6,000        5,900-6,000
     Desi gram Raw                6,050-6,200         6,000-6,150
     Gram Kabuli                12,000-13,000        12,000-13,000
     Tuar Fataka Best-New             6,500-6,800        6,500-6,800
     Tuar Fataka Medium-New        6,100-6,400        6,100-6,400
     Tuar Dal Best Phod-New        5,800-6,000        5,800-6,000
     Tuar Dal Medium phod-New        5,400-5,700        5,400-5,700
     Tuar Gavarani New             4,350-4,450        4,350-4,450
     Tuar Karnataka             4,700-4,900        4,800-5,000
     Masoor dal best            5,200-5,500        5,200-5,500
     Masoor dal medium            4,800-5,000        4,800-5,000
     Masoor                    n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Mogar bold (New)        7,000-7,500         7,000-7,500
     Moong Mogar Medium            6,500-6,800        6,500-6,800
     Moong dal Chilka            5,500-6,200        5,500-6,200
     Moong Mill quality            n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Chamki best            7,000-8,000        7,000-8,000
     Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 8,500-9,500       8,500-9,500
     Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)    6,500-7,500        6,500-7,500   
     Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)        6,000-7,000        6,000-7,000    
     Batri dal (100 INR/KG)        5,100-5,600        5,100-5,600
     Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg)          2,900-3,100         3,000-3,200
     Watana Dal (100 INR/KG)            2,900-3,100        2,900-3,100
     Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG)    3,800-4,400        3,800-4,400  
     Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG)        1,900-2,000        1,900-2,000
     Wheat Mill quality (100 INR/KG)    1,750-1,850        1,750-1,850  
     Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG)         2,100-2,300           2,100-2,300        
     Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG)    2,200-2,400        2,200-2,400   
     Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG)   1,900-2,100        1,900-2,100
     Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG)    n.a.            n.a.
     MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG)    3,300-3,800        3,300-3,800   
     MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)    2,200-2,800        2,200-2,800          
     Rice BPT best (100 INR/KG)        3,300-3,400        3,300-3,400   
     Rice BPT medium (100 INR/KG)        2,800-3,200        2,800-3,200   
     Rice Luchai (100 INR/KG)         2,600-2,900        2,600-2,900     
     Rice Swarna best (100 INR/KG)      2,500-2,600        2,500-2,600  
     Rice Swarna medium (100 INR/KG)      2,300-2,400        2,300-2,400  
     Rice HMT best (100 INR/KG)        3,800-4,000        3,800-4,000    
     Rice HMT medium (100 INR/KG)        3,500-3,800        3,500-3,800    
     Rice Shriram best(100 INR/KG)      4,800-5,200        4,800-5,200
     Rice Shriram med (100 INR/KG)    4,500-4,700        4,500-4,700  
     Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG)    9,500-13,500        9,500-13,500    
     Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG)    5,000-7,500        5,000-7,500   
     Rice Chinnor best 100 INR/KG)    4,800-5,000        4,800-5,000   
     Rice Chinnor medium (100 INR/KG)    4,300-4,500        4,300-4,500  
     Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG)        2,000-2,100        2,000-2,200   
     Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG)         1,700-2,000        1,800-2,000

Maximum temp. 31.7 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 23.5 degree Celsius
Rainfall : 5.2 mm
FORECAST: Generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rains or thunder-showers. Maximum and
minimum temperature would be around and 31 and 23 degree Celsius respectively.

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

The Cranberry Marketing Committee and USA Rice Announce the Next Great Cranberry-Rice School Foodservice Recipe

Leadership is an overused word, and is often misused. We like this definition.
Director of Nutrition for Jackson County, GA Wins $500 National Recipe Concept Contest
Wareham, MA (PRWEB) September 13, 2017
The Cranberry Marketing Committee (CMC) and USA Rice collaborated at the 2017 School Nutrition Association Annual Nutrition Conference in Atlanta to seek out the next great cranberry-rice foodservice recipe. After receiving numerous unique and trendy recipe ideas, the CMC and USA Rice are excited to announce that Debra Morris, director of nutrition of Jackson County Schools in Jefferson, GA, has won the $500 recipe contest grand prize for her black bean, cranberry and rice shaker salad recipe.
Representing two American food staples, the CMC and USA Rice challenged foodservice professionals at the conference to think outside the box and share their most creative recipe concepts combining these two versatile ingredients.
“We were thrilled to see the diverse and imaginative entries we received this year,” said CMC Executive Director Michelle Hogan. “Cranberries are America’s Original Superfruit® and are a healthful addition to school menus year-round. With cranberries and rice being on the USDA’s Foods Available List, both are easily accessible by foodservice professionals to incorporate in their school menus.”
Morris has been working in foodservice for five years and loves the joy that comes from knowing that she played a pivotal role in promoting lifelong healthy eating habits for children and their families. “Rice and cranberries have always been a staple in our household and both add delicious taste and texture,” said Morris. “The tangy, yet sweet taste of cranberries is a perfect complement for rice.”
Morris will also serve as a consultant in developing her concept into a tested, creditable school foodservice recipe.
“We were excited to partner with the Cranberry Marketing Committee because cranberries and rice make a perfect combination that isn’t always top-of-mind,” said USA Rice Director of Domestic Promotion Katie Maher. “From savory pilafs to sweet rice puddings, the possibilities of combining rice and cranberries are endless and who better to hear from than those on the front lines of planning and preparing school lunches.”
Morris said shaker salads are a way to appeal to children and stay up with current food trends. “Shaker salads are very popular in the retail food circuit and on the home front with the popularity of mason jars,” she said. “In school nutrition, we are constantly looking for ways to offer trendy and familiar items on school menus.”
Hogan added, “We couldn’t be more excited to work with foodservice professionals directly and are excited to add this new delicious recipe to our dedicated foodservice website for schools across the nation to use on their menus.”
The full creditable recipe will be available on later this year.
About the Cranberry Marketing Committee (CMC)

The CMC was established as a Federal Marketing Order in 1962 to ensure a stable, orderly supply of good quality product. Authority for its actions are provided under Chapter IX, Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, referred to as the Federal Cranberry Marketing Order, which is part of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended. This Act specifies cranberries as a commodity that may be covered, regulations that may be issued, guidelines for administering the programs, and privileges and limitations granted by Congress. For more information about the CMC, visit Follow @USCranberries on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
About USA Rice

As the global advocate for all segments of the U.S. rice industry, USA Rice’s mission is to ensure the health and vitality of a unified U.S. rice industry by advocating on behalf of farmers, millers, merchants, and allied businesses. USA Rice conducts programs here and around the world to educate lawmakers, policymakers, consumers, and foodservice professionals about sustainably-grown U.S. rice. Each year, U.S. rice farmers produce approximately 18 billion pounds of short, medium, and long grain rice, as well as organic and specialty varieties including jasmine, basmati, and Arborio among others.
For the original version on PRWeb visit:

FDA Provides Clarification on Rice in Areas Affected by Hurricane Harvey 
 WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement this afternoon to provide much needed guidance to rice farmers whose crops are in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey and Irma. Under the original statement issued by FDA last week, it was unclear whether any crops in those areas would be accepted for use in human or animal food.
This new guidance from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb clarifies that rice that was not exposed to floodwaters can be sold. "I want to make it clear that the FDA has not issued a ban on rice or any other food crops. Rice grown in normal conditions and rice that has not been exposed to contaminated floodwaters from the recent hurricanes may enter commerce. Also, rice and other crops that were harvested and stored safely before storms hit should not be considered impacted by these events."
 Commissioner Gottlieb went on to say that, "In many cases, it is challenging to determine what contaminants are in crops that were submerged by floodwaters. Both human and animal food must meet well-established safety requirements. FDA has experts that are working closely with state regulators and directly with producers to address questions and concerns."
 In Texas, the Texas Office of the State Chemist is offering testing services to producers of cereal grains and oil seeds (including tests for mycotoxin, heavy metals, and microbiology) at no cost. If you have questions or would like to submit samples for testing, please contact the Office of the Texas State Chemist at (979) 845-1121.
 "The original guidance created a bit of confusion and growers have been waiting for some clarifications," said Lydia Holmes, manager of regulatory affairs for USA Rice. "We've been working tirelessly with USDA, FDA, and the Texas Department of Agriculture, Texas A&M, and other state agencies as well as the Texas Congressional delegation.  Our great working relationships with all of the stakeholders have helped navigate problems and find solutions in the wake of the storm's devastation.  Our members are hurting and there is still a lot that has to be done but I know they really appreciate the work of FDA to provide this guidance for rice farmers affected by Hurricane Harvey."

Full text of the statement can be found here.

USA Rice News

The 48th Annual Texas Rice Festival October 4th, 2017

Posted: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 4:46 pm | Updated: 5:00 pm, Wed Sep 13, 2017.
Posted on Sep 13, 2017
by Grant Foster
The Texas Rice Festival celebrates everything to do with rice and good times!Chartered in 1969, the festival is a weeklong event held annually in Winnie, Texas, beginning with the BBQ Cook-off the last weekend in September. The event, currently in its 48th year, is held as a celebration of the rice harvest and features family entertainment with down-home country flair. More than 100,000 people crowd the Winnie-Stowell Park annually.
BBQ Weekend, sponsored by Whataburger, starts off the festivities with a Fajita Jackpot and BBQ Cook-off, Horseshoe Pitching & Washer Tournaments. The finale of the cook-off weekend will be the Gospel Jubilee on Sunday afternoon. Wright's Amusement
Carnival (with a one-price bracelet available each day) will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday of BBQ Weekend. The festival begins with FREE admission for all on Wednesday, October 4th, 2017.
Activities include Wright's Amusement Carnival, vendor booths and Rice Education Exhibits. The entertainment is non- stop along with lots of GREAT FOOD, including rice balls, gumbo, ettouffe, pistolletes, blooming onions, crab balls, boudain balls, pork-ka-bobs and many other delicious delicacies! The event is renowned for its outstanding cuisine.
Wednesday, Oct 4th, is opening night and is FREE admission. The featured entertainers are Get Right Ramblers, Drugstore Gypsies and William Clark Green. The first 1000 adults receive a special designed T-shirt on Wednesday night sponsored by Orange County Building Materials. Thursday, October 5th will begin with Geno Delafose, Travis Matte and end with Wayne Toups. Friday, October 6th, is Youth Day, sponsored by Whataburger. The park opens at 9am and is free admission for kids 18 and under until 5pm. Youth Day Activities include a 4-H & FFA Livestock Show, Diaper Derby, Baby Costume Contest, Little Rice King and Miss La Petite Contests, Little Rice Sweetheart Pageant, Junior Queen Pageant, Characters in the park, Face Painting, Poster, Youth Parade, Photography & ArtContests and an Ice Cream Eating Contest. Night Performances by Honky Tonk Jones, Red Shahan and Pat Green. Saturday, October 7th, is a full day of family fun! It is a harvest celebration featuring non-stop entertainment beginning with the Grand Parade followed by Opening Ceremonies. Saturday’s entertainers will begin with the American Cancer Auction, a Rice Cooking Contest, Craft Show featuring booths, Photography and Art Exhibits and Antique Car Show. Starting at 4:30pm on stage will be Flatland Cavalry, Joe Diffie,
Reckless Kelly and ending with Bag of Donuts. The performance by Bag of Donuts will conclude the 2017 festival. So come on out and enjoy the great food and entertainment offered by the Texas Rice Festival.
For more information on ticket prices please visit the Texas Rice Festival website
Winnie is located just off IH-10, Exit 829, between Houston and Beaumont, with
lodging and RV facilities available. For information call Chris Street at 718-0205
or check out our web site at
The Texas Rice Festival is sponsored by Budweiser, Winnie Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram,
H&E Equipment Services, Riceland Healthcare, Philpott Motors, Market Basket,
Chambers County, Swat Construction, Whataburger, Elissa’s Playhouse, WOWCO Equipment
Co, Neches Federal Credit Union and Coors Light.
Aranmula puncha getting ready for rice cultivation

Government to launch cultivation in 1,000 acres of land
The Agriculture Department is getting ready to break its earlier record in paddy production in the Aranmula puncha. As part of the Haritha Keralam Mission of the government, cultivation in the Aranmula puncha a year ago provided an unexpected bumper crop, strengthening the confidence of the farming community in this agrarian heritage village. The puncha had been lying fallow for the past several years. Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunilkumar has already stated that the government is planning to extend paddy cultivation to 1,000 acres in the Aranmula puncha and surrounding fields this year. The Special Officer of the Mission Green Aranmula project appointed by the government, J. Sajeev, told The Hindu that the department could launch cultivation in 250 acres in the puncha last year to produce rice worth 1.18 crore.
 Paddy cultivation was held in 250 acres of land in the Aranmula puncha against the original target of 56 ha, that too, at a far lower cost of 81 lakh against the original estimate of 154 lakh. ‘Bonus’ crop The government would provide financial relief worth 30,000 a hectare to the farmers’ groups (Padashekhara Samiti) and the Uma variety of paddy would be sown in the puncha, Mr. Sajeev said. Interestingly, the paddy seeds that had dropped in the fields during the harvest had sprouted and flourished well, without any fertilizers, to provide the peasants a ‘bonus’, amply indicating the natural soil fertility, said Ananthakumar, a Padashekhara Samiti leader.
 The Padashekhara Samiti has successfully launched cultivation in 14 acres of land that was previously included in the site marked for the controversial Aranmula airport project. Restoration of stream Farmers feel that the restoration of the Karimaramthode natural stream and the Aranmula-chaal, a major water reservoir, to their original condition was a must for the successful and smooth conduct of paddy farming in Aranmula Puncha. The district administration completed almost 90% of the stream restoration work a few months ago. Delay in carrying out the final leg of work has left the natural stream stagnant. Mr. Sajeev said that cultivation would begin in October itself.
Tofail: Media reports on India rice import ban fabricated
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has confirmed that the government has taken necessary steps to keep the supply of rice smooth and prices stable
Several supply chains are trying to create an artificial rice crisis by spreading falsehoods, circulating a forged circular with no signature from Indian government officials
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has termed as fabricated the media reports regarding India’s ban on the export of rice to Bangladesh. He was responding to lawmaker Nurul Islam Milon in a question-answer session at the parliament on Thursday.
  “Our production of crops suffered a shortage because of floods in Haor basins and other parts of the country. However, we are ready to meet the demand by importing rice,” the minister said. “We have no rice shortage. The existing reserves are enough to meet the demand, and its supply in the market is adequate,” he said. On India’s reported ban on the rice exports, Tofail said: “Several supply chains are trying to create an artificial rice crisis by spreading falsehoods. They circulated a forged circular, which does not have any signature from Indian government officials, which said that the country has halted rice exports to Bangladesh.”
“I have contacted the acting High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Adarsh Swaika and also spoke to our High Commissioner in Delhi regarding the matter. They have confirmed that India neither stopped rice export to Bangladesh nor did the country take any decision regarding it,” he said. The minister added: “Vested quarters are spreading such propaganda in an attempt to destabilise the rice market. It is entirely fabricated news.” Requesting the media to be more responsible for the sake of public interest, Tofail further said: “Journalists are our friends, and we have no enmity towards them.” He also confirmed that the government has taken necessary steps to keep the supply of rice smooth and the prices stable.

Low basmati prices worry farmers

The PUSA 1509 variety of basmati has started arriving at the Bhagatanwala grain market here. At present, buyers are offering Rs 1,600 to Rs 2,300 per quintal.For the best quality rice, the maximum price offered so far is Rs 2,300 quintal. Though the price offered this year is better than the past some years, farmers feel that a cartel of private buyers and arhtiyas is offering low prices.Last year, farmers had to sell their produce below the minimum support price (MSP). The lowest price offered last year was Rs 1,200 per quintal.Another farmer, Harjinder Singh from Meera Chak village, said, “ Two days ago, the price was Rs 2,500 per quintal. Now, as farmers have started bringing the yield, traders have decreased the price. The government has failed to regulate it.” — TNS