Tuesday, October 10, 2017

10th october.2017 daily global regional local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

Rafique Suleman, acting chairman, Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) Monday asked the Kenyan government for preferential duty structure for Pakistani rice to create a balance of trade between the two countries. Chairing a meeting of the managing committee and rice exporters of Kenya at REAP House, Karachi, Rafique Suleman said presently Kenya is getting some $200 per metric ton or 75 percent (whichever is higher) on the import of rice from Pakistan, despite the fact that Pakistan is a major importer of Kenyan tea.

The higher tea import and lower rice exports due to higher duty structure is directly hurting the trade balance, which is largely in favor of Kenya. Trade between Pakistan and Kenya is enjoying a very good trend, however higher duties are major hurdles in improved rice exports to Kenya, he added. "Pakistan is the largest buyer of Kenyan tea, therefore, we request the Kenya government to grant preferential tariff/duty structure for Pakistani rice to create balance of trade," he maintained.

Suleman briefed the meeting that presently, rice exports to Kenya are witnessing a declining trend as Pakistan exported 465,425 metric tons of rice amounting to $ 169 million during last fiscal year 2016-17 (FY17), whereas previously Pakistan had exported approx 0.5 million metric tons of rice amounting to $ 188 million in FY16. He said that with the collective efforts of stakeholders, the declining rice exports to Kenya could be halted.

He said recently Professor Julius K Bitok, High Commissioner of Kenya in Islamabad, along with Hanif Janoo, Hon Consul of Kenya in Karachi, had paid a visit to REAP House and discussed various matters of mutual interests during the meeting.

Pakistani rice exporters had discussed several problems with High Commissioner of Kenya, particularly the issue of theft of their rice cargo during the transit from Kenyan ports to buyers' warehouses, he added.

"We don't have any support from the government of Kenya in this regard, therefore Pakistani rice exporters themselves get cargo insured from certain insurance companies, but unfortunately often don't have their claim refunded. Claims worth thousands of dollars are pending with insurance companies," Suleman said.

Pakistani rice exporters are also facing problems regarding the valuation of rice imported into Kenya by Kenyan authorities and need to address this issue as well.

Moreover, it was also decided that a high-level trade delegation of rice exporters will visit Kenya along with Hanif Janoo for meetings with the Kenyan authorities as well as their counterparts. The meeting was also attended by members managing committee - Safdar Mehkari, former REAP chairman Mahmood Moulvi and others
Rice scientists moving Golden Rice forward to the market
Domoguen: Rice scientists moving Golden Rice forward to the market Tuesday, October 10, 2017 By ROBERT DOMOGUEN MOUNTAIN LIGHT IN THE first series of this article entitled “The Golden Rice Project in the Philippines,” we noted that Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) is mainly a third-world problem.
VAD is more common in developing countries, where it is often very severe and can cause loss of vision, other health problems, and even death. Those opposing the Golden Rice Project have their followers mostly based in the third world. They propose that promoting a “diversity of diets” can work wonders for the poor. However, they also claim that the traditional sources of vitamin A have declined or disappeared in their countries, if not, unavailable due to high cost and limitations of production. In India and elsewhere in Asia, lakes, and wetlands which used to be sources of fish, shrimp, frogs and aquatic weeds rich in Vitamin A have either dried up or were long poisoned by industrial and residential wastes.
 In the Philippines, "diversity of diet" could hardly work for the middle class, what more to the poor and the very poor who cannot afford to buy vegetables or fruits regularly. Still, an oppositionist advocates “effective education and empowering” the “vulnerable sectors of the population as a more sensible approach to addressing VAD than adding yet another source of vitamin A which most likely will not be equitably distributed anyway.” The meaning of the rhetoric particularly “effective education and empowerment” has yet to be demonstrated in practice especially in areas abundant with varieties of fruits, vegetables, fishes, and livestock but continue to suffer from persistent VAD. Vitamin A is important for healthy eyes, healthy skin and for fighting infections. Foods that contain vitamin A include liver, milk, eggs and fish-liver oils.
The other sources are green, orange, and yellow vegetables and fruits which are good sources of a substance called beta-carotene that can be converted into vitamin A by the human body. A regular intake of these foods is recommended to supply the daily requirements of a person of Vitamin A. Mild forms of vitamin A deficiency can usually be treated without any long-term problems. Nationwide, results of a food and nutrition survey among pre-school children revealed VAD increased from 15.2 percent in 2008 to 20.4 percent in 2013. These figures translate to about 2.1 million Filipino children who are at very high risk of becoming blind or even dying due to preventable infections.
VAD increases vulnerability to illnesses including measles, respiratory infections, and diarrhea, which are the leading causes of death among children in developing countries. Scientists involved in the development of golden rice (GR) say that complete balanced diets are the best solution to VAD. But in areas where balance diets are also a problem, GR “provides an excellent complement to fruits, vegetables, and animal products in the diet, and to fortified foods and vitamin supplements.” In third world countries, it is the poor families who hardly eat three square meals a day and are dependent on cheap staples that need VAD fortified rice. Among poor farmers, the problem is especially felt during occurrences of drought or when not in season, fruits and vegetables are hardly available, are expensive and beyond their means.
Vitamin A fortification and supplementation programs are part of the solution but nothing beats GR being made available to poor farmers to grow on their farms and harvest as a regular part of their diet. A product of the public sector “with the realistic hope of saving the lives and sight of millions of children in the developing world, GR is like any natural rice, according to rice scientists at Philrice. Through its development, all possible risks in its propagation are being resolved in the laboratory before it is released to the farmers for them to grow on their farms.
Since the time GR research was started in the Philippines, rice scientists at Philrice and IRRI never stopped working to make it available to local farmers and ultimately consumers, according to Dr. Roel Suralta, GR Project team leader at Philrice. From the beginning, it was their commitment and ardent desire to ascertain if GR can really be an effective solution and remedy to the VAD problem. This is the main reason why they have been sensitive to the public and their peers’ opinions of their activities, according to Dr. Suralta. “We are committed to doing the science right and making sure we comply with regulations along the way,” he wrote in response to an email I sent to him. Their good work is being appreciated and rewarded in spite of the challenges.
After militant activist destroyed their experiment in Pili, Camarines Sur in 2013, the Golden Rice Project got more support from Filipino farmers and local government units, Dr. Suralta said. “Over the years and at each stage of the project, we kept key stakeholders informed of our GR research activities. In the conduct of our multi-location field trials, we are supported by local government unit officials and community leaders who are well informed of the ultimate goal of our research – to develop GR varieties with good levels of beta-carotene.
Dr. Suralta said that as partners, the farmers and LGUs are a great help in ensuring GR could be evaluated as a potential way to reduce vitamin A deficiency. We are working together to develop this rice in a manner that complies with national policies at every step of the way, he explained. “We are pleased that for each of our five field research sites, the barangay (village), municipal (city) and provincial governments adopted resolutions in favor of our Golden Rice research activities, especially the conduct of the field trials.
These local leaders have remained actively interested in and are supportive of our work ever since, participating along with members of our locally-based Institutional Biosafety Committees and the media in regular seminars about biotechnology, healthier rice, and Golden Rice,” Dr. Suralta said. – To be continued. Ads by Kiosked Tags:  RICEGOLDEN RICE Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on October 10, 2017. Latest issues of SunStar Baguio also available on your mobile phones, laptops, and tablets. Subscribe to our digital editions at epaper.sunstar.com.ph and get a free seven-day trial.  

Customs Seize 497,279 Bags Of Rice In 2 Years
October 9, 2017
Description: https://17350-presscdn-0-16-pagely.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/bags-of-rice-e1493418242360.jpgBags of rice
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says it has seized 497,279 bags of imported rice between 2015 and August, 2017 with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N3.8 billion.The Comptroller-General of the service, retired Col. Hameed Ali, disclosed this in a document obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Sunday.Ali said that 90,073 bags of rice were seized in 2015 with DPV of N693 million while 280,109 bags of rice were impounded in 2016 with DPV of N2.156 billion.He added that between January and August 2017, no fewer than 127,097 bags of rice were seized with DPV of N978 million.“From January to March this year, about four enterprises registered with Tinapa Free Trade Zone (FTZ) Calabar in Cross River State syndicated the importation of 533 containers of rice.He said the containers loaded with 299,564 bags of rice were brought into the free zone through Onne Port in Port Harcourt, Rivers.
 “Certainly, this rice cannot be consumed within Tinapa and there is no value added through further processing as to bring it to Nigerian territory.
“It took the Nigeria Customs Service a big battle with the importers and Tinapa authorities to compel them to re-export it out of Nigeria.“As at Sept. 19, this year, 299 containers were re-exported.“If this is to be allowed, it has the potential of undermining the food security policy of the Federal Government.
“With the attendant consequence of driving all the industries in the chain of production out of business, primarily the local farmers and rice millers,” Ali said.He said that in the past, the Federal Government had introduced policies like Operation Feed the Nation and Green Revolution to ensure food sufficiency.
He added that the major cause of failure of these policies was smuggling.According to him, it is the realisation of this that made the Federal Government to ban the importation of rice through the land borders.“The ban of rice importation through the land borders has made the task of fighting smuggling by the NCS more challenging.“Because major rice importers in the country have decided to shun the use of Nigerian ports and now divert their cargo to Cotonou where they bring it into Nigeria in trickles,” he said.

African farmers may soon be adopting PH knowledge, expertise in rice production

 October 10, 2017, 12:17 PM
By Roy Mabasa 
Farmers from Africa may soon be adopting Philippines’ knowledge and expertise in rice production to support food security, boost rural development and alleviate poverty in that region.This developed as 30 agricultural specialists from Africa graduated recently from training programs on quality rice seed production and extension under the three-year development cooperation (2016-2019) of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).
Description: MB FILE - Farmers harvest rice crops on a hot day in a farm in Argao, Southern Cebu. (Photo by Juan Carlo de Vela / MANILA BULLETIN)
(Photo by Juan Carlo de Vela / MANILA BULLETIN)
In a statement, JICA senior representative Yuko Tanaka said they want to help create opportunities for partner countries like the Philippines to also share with other countries the knowledge and expertise they learned from Japan.“Under this model of cooperation, together we can contribute to poverty alleviation and food security,” Tanaka said.
Both IRRI and PhilRice were beneficiaries of JICA’s development assistance.The eight-week course at PhilRice has enhanced the participants’ knowledge and skills in rice production with emphasis on the production of quality rice seeds through hands-on activities and laboratory and field exercises. They were likewise exposed to the different extension methods that can be applied in the promotion and use of quality rice seeds among farmers.
Participants in this course were a​griculture extension workers from Africa, Afghanistan and the Philippines.The activity complements the ongoing rice value chain initiatives of different members of the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD). IRRI, PhilRice and other global partners are actively supporting CARD’s agenda of helping double rice production in Africa by 2018.
PhilRice, a government corporate entity that promotes high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies in rice production, has received a Japanese grant aid in the 1980s to upgrade its facilities and research laboratories with Japanese scientists.
JICA noted in its statement that Sub-Saharan Africa has suffered from increasing rice demand since the 1990s.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) data showed that Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest prevalence of undernourishment in the world at 23.2 percent or one in every four people making agriculture productivity an urgent concern.

An addition to the list of trade agreements that Pakistan is in the process of negotiating is Pakistan Vietnam PTA which is intended to lead to an FTA. Keeping the lack of efficacy of Pakistan’s trade agreements aside, the potential trade agreement of Vietnam is just another example of the lack of direction and sense in our trade policy.
Description: http://www.brecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/str3.jpg
Vietnam is Pakistan’s competitor in the world textile market and hence is unlikely to import from Pakistan. Its rice needs are met by domestic production and neighbouring ASEAN countries. Hence it is highly dubious that demand will be generated for Pakistan’s top exports through the trade agreement. In the defence of policy makers Vietnam’s imports in 2016 were nearly $200 billion of which Pakistan’s share was a measly $239 million. Trade with Vietnam as a percentage of trade with the ASEAN bloc, that has a combined population of 625 million, combined GDP of $2.6 trillion and combined imports of $1.1 trillion, is an insignificant figure. While the demand for Pakistan’s textile products will be limited, there is potential to export cotton, cotton yarn and fabrics.
However, the potential to import from Vietnam is far greater, especially with 2016’s auto policy in place. The ASEAN countries have a strong auto sector. Under the auto policy, new investors can import non-localised parts at a duty 10 percent lower than before. Localized parts can be imported at half the previous duty than before by new entrants. Duty for CBU has been reduced by 10 percent as well. The purpose of the auto policy is to increase competition in the local market and push existing players to improve their quality and product. However, it can also have the impact of increasing the import bill as foreign auto parts become cheaper.
It seems unlikely that potential gains in cotton exports can offset imports of auto parts and similar goods. The trade agreement with Vietnam can very easily head in a direction similar to our trade agreements with other countries; imports of expensive value added products and exports of cheap resource-based goods.

Young entrepreneurs vow to serve Pakistan

KARACHI: Success stories of young entrepreneurs emanate in letter and spirit that there is no country in the world except Pakistan that offer glorious opportunities for business and investment and that it is a land of promise and potential for positive thinkers and doers.
Many a young Pakistani have such an inherent creative glimmer that continues to enable them in utilizing their promise and potential towards life and career excellence and for a better and brighter Pakistan. “National Mission – Global Vision: Young Entrepreneurs of Pakistan”,  was beyond a classroom project turned mega event assigned by faculty, Mr. Parvez Jamil to his students of Public Relations and Event Management at the Institute of Business Management (IoBM), Karachi. Gracing this occasion with their inspiring presence were IoBM’s Mr. Talib Syed Karim, President, Ms. Sabina Mohsin Executive Director and Dr. Muhammad Mahmud, distinguished, caring and sharing faculty. This program was largely-attended by young and prominent entrepreneurs and well-placed IoBM alumniamid packed-to-capacity, highly-disciplined and inquisitive IoBM students with their respective faculty. Mr. Talib Syed Karim has always been emphasizing the need for IoBM students to pursue entrepreneurial projects to become job creators and not job seekers.
He shared with the audience the importance IoBM attaches to entrepreneurship education and training. Meanwhile, Mr. Parvez Jamil, highlighted the need for the youth with business ideas to attune themselves to creative economizing rather than merely seeking sponsors. He added that young entrepreneurs with creativity, passion and positive thinking are national assets.
Invited to this occasion were such young entrepreneurs of Pakistan, IoBM alumni and multinational CEOs and COOs including Mr. Arsalan Hashmani, CEO, Hashmanis Group of Hospitals; Mr. Saad Jangda, CEO and Founder of Symbios.pk; Mr. Kazi Sajjad, Editor-in-Chief, “Regional Times” and CEO, Solutions 1; Mr. Moazzam Husain, distinguished faculty of IoBM; Mr. Tanveer Farooq, Proprietor and Director Operations at Globex International Travels and Tourism Services (Pvt.) Ltd.; Mr. Faisal Imtiaz, HR Specialist, Talent and Employer Wellbeing, Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan Limited; Mr. Syed Amir Abbas, Managing Director, Intellexal Solutions; Dr. Tasmia Billo, Director and Head of Sind Medical Stores; Ms. Arshi Mirza, Founder, Sugar Coated (cake business); Mr. Jatin Kewlani, Director Promotions at K.K. Rice Mills (Pvt) Ltd.; Mr. and Mrs. couple in Yasir Longi, a young food catering par excellence; Ms. Samia Ansari, corporate trainer; Mr. Bilal Iqbal, running a real estate business and many others. Also invited to sing some Pakistani melodies were Salman Ahmed, Talha Hussain and Bilal Abdul Wahab. 
Young entrepreneurs invited to the event have blended their hard work with pertinent learning they received in universities and are implementing it in practical lives to become symbols of success in business. Guests humbly shared with the audience how they continue to add value to their respective industries and serve Pakistan through businesses by adhering to their values, vision, resources and ideas. Revealing speeches and success stories of young entrepreneurs at this event emanated in letter and spirit that there is no country in the world except Pakistan that offer glorious opportunities for business and investment and that it is a land of promise and potential for positive thinkers and doers.
While Omar Iftikhar coordinated and Basit Chawla assisted Mr. Parvez Jamil, HoD Public Affairs to organize this program, students who were motivated in arranging this event by the faculty especially included Misha Agha, Sufyan Abdul Sattar, Yusra Zaffar, Bilal Iqbal, Fatima Marvi, Salman Ahmed, Muhammad Sarib Badi, Sagar, Mahan Singh, Muhammad Bilal Anwer and Arusa Fatima Jamil.

Hardly any progress in bilateral relations with Iran

October 09, 2017
Pakistan and Iran have decided to strike a deal on trade despite slow or no progress regarding the implementation of a payment mechanism and the Iran-Pakistan pipeline project.Both sides have decided to finalise the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) before November 2017.
The trade negotiating committee of the two countries has already held two rounds of discussions on the FTA and is scheduled to meet by November to put the final touches to the agreement. It is projected that the agreement will increase 2016’s $300 million bilateral trade to $5 billion by 2021.
The non-availability of a payment mechanism casts a shadow on the viability of the much-awaited trade agreement
“We have almost finalised the draft of FTA,” a trade officer of the commerce ministry said, adding that the next meeting is expected to reach an understanding on the remaining issues.
The non-availability of a payment mechanism casts a shadow on the viability of the much-awaited agreement.
In April 2017, SBP’s deputy governor visited Iran and signed a banking payment agreement. Under this agreement, the central banks of the two countries will have to authorise banks for undertaking trade transactions.
On the Pakistani side, the SBP has already issued a circular in this regard but not a single bank so far has showed interest in opening a branch in Iran; the plausible reason being a fear of US sanctions on the country. Not a single bank has applied so far to the SBP to open its branch in Iran, an official source in the central bank said.
The Iran-Pakistan PTA was signed on March 4, 2004. The agreement came into force on Sept 1, 2006 and has been operational since then.
Under the existing PTA, Pakistan utilised concessions on 17 tariff lines out of 334 tariff lines in 2016. Due to this poor utilisation, Pakistan has provided a wish list of 153 tariff lines to Iran and requested deepening the margin of preferences (MoP) on 22 items which are already in the PTA.
To reciprocate, Iranian also provided a wish list of 80 items seeking a MoP from Pakistan.
Looking at Pakistan’s exports to Iran, rice has the highest trade potential. In 2009, rice exports comprised 80 per cent of Pakistan’s total exports to the country. But in 2016, these exports fell substantially owing to international sanctions.
Iran’s rice imports from the world are $517m, 97pc of which are coming from India, since India circumvented the sanctions by using a barter trade model.
Other products with a high trade potential are medical instruments, cotton fabric and woven fabric of cotton. Iran imports these products from other countries while Pakistan’s exports of these products are non-existent.
There is also discrepancy in the bilateral trade data of the two countries. The data compiled by Pakistan showed exports worth $36m and imports of $284m. Contrary to this, the data compiled by Iranian customs showed Pakistani export in the range of $300m-$350m while imports worth $600m-$700m from Iran.
The only justification that came from the ministry of commerce was that it could be on account of indirect trade via Dubai, smuggling, unregistered trade from border areas via a land route.
Currently, hundi and hawala are the most popular mode of payment used for trade between the two countries.
Until the regular banking channel is established for mode of payment, the target to increase trade to $5bn in the next four years will remain only on paper, a senior officer of the commerce ministry said. “If there is no payment mechanism, then there is no importance of such an agreement.
Both sides under the strategic plan agreed to try to open two more crossing points on the Pak-Iran border, preferably by the end of 2016. Two potential crossing points are at Gabd (Pakistan)–Reemdan (Iran) and Mand (Pakistan)–Pishin (Iran).
No tangible progress was seen on this account as well. Both sides also agreed to ensure international standard border compliance for trucks i.e. standard shield, tent, seal and fuel tanks; along with exchange of customs related information and electronic trade data sharing.
An official of the energy division said that no progress was seen on the issues of the Iran Pakistan Pipeline project. He listed several bottlenecks including a disagreement on price.
However, there has also been no commitment on the part of the government to seriously negotiate the issue, apparently due to the imposition of American sanctions.
Another issue is the huge investment on the LNG terminal at Port Qasim to meet the growing energy demand through import of the fuel from Qatar. “You cannot rule out the Qatar factor in delay of finalisation of the pipeline project with Iran”, the official said.
Published in Dawn, The Business and Finance Weekly, October 9th, 2017

Bicolano farmers pledge P20-M rice as Christmas gift to Duterte

 October 8, 2017, 10:01 PM
By Ruel Saldico
Naga City, Camarines Sur — Bicolano farmers in support of President Duterte’s administration could not have expressed their sentiments better than pledging to give him R20 million worth of rice as a Christmas gift.
Silvestre Bonto, president of the National Confederation of Irrigators Association (NCIA), said the idea of giving the President the gift came up during the recent NCIA conference held here last month.
Bonto said the gift of rice is a gesture of thanks and support for the President who promised free irrigation to farmers in the Bicol Region.At present, the NCIA has already started collecting rice from the irrigators association in the Bicol Region and before their general assembly the millions worth of rice will be handed over to the President, he said.
Bonto said it will be up to the President what he pleases to do with the R20 million worth of rice and may opt to redistribute it as assistance to the needy.

Rice millers get loans to lift storage

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:    

Three rice millers were recently selected to become recipients of short-term emergency loans disbursed by the Rural Development Bank (RBD), an initiative that aims to boost their storage capacity during harvest season as well as bolster paddy prices for farmers.The loans will be used to build storage facilities such as depots and silos.
Amru Rice Cambodia was awarded one of the loans and will be building silos in Kampong Thom province.Another recipient for a loan, Khmer Food Group, was chosen to build silos in the provinces of Prey Veng and Takeo, according to a statement from the RDB.
More than 10 companies filed applications to gain access to the loans. The deadline for applications closed on September 22.
Through similar schemes, the government has disbursed more than $30 million in loans that have enabled rice millers to build silos and storage depots throughout the country. Loans are repaid at a five percent interest rate over a period of 10 years.
The first $15 million loan was awarded in April to the Cambodia Rice Bank and will be employed to build storage facilities in Battambang province.
The Cambodia Rice Bank is the kingdom’s first private large-scale rice storage facility aimed at centralising rice paddy harvested in Battambang province.
Song Saran, the CEO of Amru Rice Cambodia, told Khmer Times earlier in the year that through this loan scheme the RDB is helping support the creation of the Cambodian Agriculture Cooperative Cooperation (CCAC) in Kampong Thom province, an organisation that will be used to store, process and export rice.
The CCAC), which is set to be completed in Kampong Thom province by the end of the year, will be the first large-scale farm cooperative venture in Cambodia.“Products from Preah Vihear and Siem Reap will benefit from this centre,” Mr Saran said.Hun Lak, the vice-president of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF), told Khmer Times that some rice millers require more funds than what the RDB offers, forcing many of them to seek financial support from foreign investors.
From January to September this year, Cambodia exported about 420,000 tonnes of milled rice to 60 international markets, an increase of 16 percent compared with the same period last year.The main markets are China, France and Poland, according to government reports.
Bottom of Form
Behind breeding scams in Terai: fund flow, realty boom
Flow of development funds and real estate boom spawned scams in the Terai region, comprising mostly the agriculturally rich Udham Singh Nagar, social activists said

Oct 09, 2017 19:43 IST

Abhinav Madhwal
Hindustan Times
Description: The Rs 600-crore NH 74 scam, Rs 600-crore rice scam, irregularities in the Terai Seeds and Development Corporation, and a scholarship scam, running into hundreds of crores, surfaced in the Terai region.
The Rs 600-crore NH 74 scam, Rs 600-crore rice scam, irregularities in the Terai Seeds and Development Corporation, and a scholarship scam, running into hundreds of crores, surfaced in the Terai region.(HT File)
Flow of development funds and real estate boom spawned scams in the Terai region, comprising mostly the agriculturally rich Udham Singh Nagar, social activists said.The Rs 600-crore NH 74 scam, Rs 600-crore rice scam, irregularities in the Terai Seeds and Development Corporation, and a scholarship scam, running into hundreds of crores, surfaced in the Terai region.The NH 74 scam came to light in 2016 after the then Kumon commissioner, D Senthil Pandiyan, ordered an inquiry into the alleged irregularities in the compensation given to farmers. The probe revealed that farmers showed their agricultural land as commercial property and got huge compensations. Rudrapur special land ceiling officer was suspended.The social welfare department released scholarships in the name of fake students in the Terai region and Haridwar.
Investigations are on into the multilayered rice scam. Investigators found government officials in collusion with rice mill owners allegedly did not follow the rules set for paddy purchase, forcing farmers to sell their produce at rates lower than the minimum support price.The millers then sold the rice to the government at minimum support price, making a profit of Rs 400 per quintal. The vehicles used for transporting the rice from mills to Food Corporation of India godowns did not carry the registration number in challans.
Linking the scams to regional imbalance, social activist Chandrahsekhar Kargeti said, “Plain areas have been the focus of development; hill regions have been neglected, but Terai has witnessed development and concentration of funds. Real estate boom has also led to corruption.”Kargeti, a lawyer at the Uttarakhand high court, said a system of checks and balances did not exist in the functioning of officials in the region. “There is a nexus among officials here and there is a mindset against transparency, which has spawned the scams.”
Postings in the Terai area have been lucrative for officials because of the funds available, social activist Beena Joshi said. “The government must focus on all areas for development so that such scams do not occur in future,” she said.
CO2-induced Grain Yield Enhancements in Three Rice Genotypes
Paper Reviewed
Nakano, H., Yoshinaga, S., Takai, T., Arai-Sanoh, Y., Kondo, K., Yamamoto, T., Sakai, H., Tokida, T., Usui, Y., Nakamura, H., Hasegawa, T. and Kondo, M. 2017. Quantitative trait loci for large sink capacity enhance rice grain yield under free-air CO2 enrichment conditions. Scientific Reports 7: 1827, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-01690-8.
Introducing the rationale for their study, Nakano et al. (2017) reference the globalfood security dilemma, where there is an urgent need to increase global food production to feed the ever-increasing population of the planet. And in this regard, they note the importance of increasing crop yields per unit area given present limits to arable land.
One way to accomplish the objective of increasing food production per unit area is, in the words of Nakano et al., to formulate "a strategy that can be used to develop high-yielding [crop] varieties under increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations, such as those predicted in the near future." Clearly, as numerous studies have shown (see our Plant Growth Data section of our website), plant growth and yield do indeed respond positively to the aerial fertilization effect of atmospheric CO2. Thus, it is important for scientists to identify which genotypes of a given crop species will respond with the greatest yield increases for a given increment increase in CO2.
Such was the ultimate goal of Nakano et al., who grew three rice genotypes under ambient (383 ppm) and elevated (577) ppm CO2 in an outdoor Free-Air CO2Enrichment (FACE) study located in Tsukubamirai, Japan, over two growing seasons (2012 and 2013). The three rice genotypes included (a) Koshihikari, a conventional variety in Japan, (b) a chromosome segment substitution line (CSSL) containing quantitative trait loci GN1a, which favors the production of more spikelets per panicle of rice, and (c) a near-isogenic line (NIL) with allele APO1, which also produces a higher number of spikelets per panicle.
So which genotype performed the best under elevated CO2?
Using grain yield as the measure of interest, CSSL had the highest yield, experiencing a 21 percent increase at the elevated levels of CO2, followed by NIL at 19 percent and Koshihikari at eight percent. According to the authors, the improved yields at the higher CO2 concentration in the CSSL and NIL genotypes occurred because of their higher number of spikelets per panicle, their increased capability to translocate carbohydrates into the panicle, and their ability to enhance the sink capacity of the grains. Given such findings, Nakano et al. say that, "consequently, to develop varieties which can contribute a stable and high production of rice under increased atmosphericCO2 concentrations in the near future, introducing alleles to conventional varieties that enhance sink capacity represents a useful strategy." And that seems like a winning strategy to us!

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- October 09, 2017
Reuters Staff

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices – APMC/Open Market-October 9

Nagpur, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Gram prices showed weak tendency in Nagpur Agriculture Produce andMarketing Committee (APMC) here on poor demand from local millers. Fresh fall on NCDEX, weaktrend in Madhya Pradesh gram prices and high moisture content arrival also affected prices. 
About 200 of gram bags and 150 bags of tuar were available for auctions, according to sources.

   * Desi varieties reported down in open market in absence of buyers amid good supply
     from producing regions.
   * Tuar varieties quoted weak in open market on lack of demand from local traders amid
     profit-taking selling by stockists at higher level.

   * Moong and Udid varieties recovered sharply in open market on good festival season
     demand from local traders.
   * In Akola, Tuar New – 4,000-4,050, Tuar dal (clean) – 5,900-6,200, Udid Mogar (clean)
    – 7,800-8,500, Moong Mogar (clean) 6,900-7,200, Gram – 5,100-5,200, Gram Super best
    – 7,800-8,300

   * Wheat, rice and other foodgrain items moved in a narrow range in
     scattered deals and settled at last levels in weak deals.
 Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg
     FOODGRAINS                 Available prices     Previous close  
     Gram Auction                  4,400-4,925         4,400-5,000
     Gram Pink Auction            n.a.           2,100-2,600
     Tuar Auction                n.a.                3,400-3,752
     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        1,590-1,675        1,590-1,675
     Gram Super Best Bold            8,000-8,500        8,100-8,600
     Gram Super Best            n.a.            n.a.
     Gram Medium Best            7,000-7,500        7,200-7,600
     Gram Dal Medium            n.a.            n.a
     Gram Mill Quality            5,200-5,400        5,600-5,700
     Desi gram Raw                5,100-5,200         5,300-5,400
     Gram Kabuli                12,500-13,200        12,500-13,200
     Tuar Fataka Best-New             6,100-6,300        6,100-6,400
     Tuar Fataka Medium-New        5,700-6,000        5,800-6,000
     Tuar Dal Best Phod-New        5,600-5,800        5,700-6,000
     Tuar Dal Medium phod-New        5,200-5,400        5,200-5,500
     Tuar Gavarani New             3,900-4,000        3,900-4,100
     Tuar Karnataka             4,300-4,600        4,300-4,700
     Masoor dal best            5,200-5,400        5,200-5,400
     Masoor dal medium            4,800-5,000        4,800-5,000
     Masoor                    n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Mogar bold (New)        7,000-7,500         6,800-7,400
     Moong Mogar Medium            6,200-6,800        6,100-6,600
     Moong dal Chilka            5,500-6,100        5,400-6,100
     Moong Mill quality            n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Chamki best            7,000-7,500        6,900-7,300
     Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 8,000-8,700       7,900-8,500
     Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)    6,500-7,500        6,200-7,300   
     Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)        5,600-6,600        5,400-6,400    
     Batri dal (100 INR/KG)        5,000-5,500        5,000-5,500
     Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg)          2,800-3,000         2,800-3,000
     Watana Dal (100 INR/KG)            2,900-3,000        2,900-3,000
     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)    1,700-1,850        1,700-1,850  
     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)    3,100-3,600        3,100-3,600   
     MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)    2,200-2,700        2,200-2,700          
     Rice BPT best (100 INR/KG)        3,000-3,400        3,000-3,400   
     Rice BPT medium (100 INR/KG)        2,700-2,900        2,700-2,900   
     Rice Luchai (100 INR/KG)         2,200-2,400        2,200-2,400     
     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)        3,650-4,050        3,650-4,050    
     Rice HMT medium (100 INR/KG)        3,300-3,600        3,300-3,600   
     Rice Shriram best(100 INR/KG)      4,600-4,800        4,600-4,800
     Rice Shriram med (100 INR/KG)    4,200-4,400        4,200-4,400  
     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)    4,500-4,900        4,500-4,900   
     Rice Chinnor medium (100 INR/KG)    4,200-4,400        4,200-4,400  
     Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG)        2,000-2,100        2,000-2,100   
     Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG)         1,700-2,000        1,700-2,000

Maximum temp. 31.7 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 24.7 degree Celsius
Rainfall : Nil
FORECAST: Generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rains or thundershowers. 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)

FCI foodgrain stock at 46 mt, 53% higher than buffer norm

Description: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/multimedia/dynamic/03203/BL20_sackbag_jpg_1_3203340f.jpg
State-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) held foodgrain stock of 46 million tonnes as on October 1, which is 53 per cent higher than the buffer norm.According to the buffer norm, the FCI was required to keep a stock of 30.77 mt of foodgrain.
FCI’s latest data shows the corporation held 27.86 mt wheat and 18.18 mt rice, taking the total grain stock to about 46 mt as on October 1 of this year.The stock, however, is higher than the year-ago period and also the actual buffer requirement for running the Public Distribution System (PDS), welfare schemes and other exigencies.The corporation also sells surplus stock in the open market in times of a price rise or tight supply situation.The FCI purchases the grain at the minimum support price directly from farmers.

Cambodia exports over 400,000 tonnes of rice in nine months

VNA SATURDAY, OCTOBER 07, 2017 - 15:22:00
Description: https://imgen.vietnamplus.vn/t660/Uploaded/wbxx/2017_10_07/rice_export.jpgIllustrative image (Source: VNA)

Phnom Penh (VNA) - Cambodia exported some 421,000 tonnes of rice in the first nine months of this year, up 16.7 percent compared to the same period last year.

Deputy Director General of the General Department of Agriculture under Cambodia’s Ministry of Agriculture Hean Vanhorn said that with this slight growth, the country is not likely to meet its target of shipping abroad 1 million tonnes of rice this year.

He predicted that Cambodia may export over 600,000 tonnes in the whole year.

Hean Vanhorn also said that while Cambodia has a 200,000-tonne rice export quota to China in 2017, and the figure may reach 300,000 tonnes in 2018, local firms need to diversify markets to minimise risks.

Vice Chairman of the Cambodia Rice Exporters’ Association Hun Lak said that in the coming time, Cambodian exporters should upgrade their storage and drying system, thus improving the country’s rice quality. He also called on the government to apply support policies for exporters through capital assistance and tax cut.

In the first nine months of this year, China was the biggest market for Cambodia’s rice by importing over 120,000 tonnes, followed by France with over 50,000 tonnes and Poland with over 35,000 tonnes.

Last year, Cambodia shipped more than 540,000 tonnes of milled rice to 65 countries around the world, up 0.7 percent over a year earlier.-VNA 

Description: img10/7/2017 11:57:09 AM

(MENAFN) 421,966 tons of rice were exported from Cambodia up until September, with an increase of 17% in comparison with the same stage in 2016. 60 countries were reported to have imported the rice, with China being the main customer, followed by France and Poland.

124,760 tons were the total exports to China, which is 29.5% of the entire exports.
Cambodia produces up to 9m tons of rice per year, which makes it capable of exporting 3m tons a year.

Economists say Vietnam focuses too much on rice exporting

16:00 | 08/10/2017

VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnam is still gathering strength on rice production, taking pride as the biggest rice exporter in the world. 

Description: vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, rice exporter, MARD, MOIT

Hoang Ngoc Phong, deputy director of the Economic Development Consultancy Center, said the Mekong Delta makes up 18 percent of GDP with 90 percent of rice exports, 60 percent of seafood and 70 percent of fruit exports. However, the delta now has to pay the penalty for massive exploitation and poor development plans.
Vietnam is still gathering strength on rice production, taking pride as the biggest rice exporter in the world. 
Phong stressed that it is necessary to find a new direction for the delta development by changing the agricultural production model. “Why do we still grow rice though rice cannot help farmers get rich?” he said.He believes that Mekong Delta needs fresh water for 1 million hectares of rice growing areas.“Agriculture doesn’t always mean rice cultivation. It would be better to reduce the rice growing area to a reasonable level. We don’t strive to grow rice to export rice products at low prices, because farmers cannot make profits, while the state has to make heavy investments,” he said.

Phong went on to say that instead of trying to prevent saline intrusion, Mekong Delta should adapt to it.In fact, in many localities, people have adapted to the saltwater intrusion when changing the crop structure. They have one rice crop and one shrimp/fish crop instead of two rice crops a year.Vo Tong Xuan, a renowned agriculture expert, also thinks that it would be better to focus on growing the crops which don’t need too much water.

“Vietnam needs about 18 million tons of rice only. Therefore, growing rice should no longer be a top priority. The rice output should be high enough to eat and store 2 million tons,” Xuan said.He expressed his concern about the serious subsidence Mekong Delta, which is caused by overexploitation of underground water. In coastal provinces, underground water is used to irrigate rice fields. Every ton of farm produce needs 4,500 liters of water.

According to Xuan, to ensure food security, Mekong Delta only needs to grow 1.5 million hectares of rice and have two instead of three crops."The more rice we grow, the more rice is in excess. The oversupply leads to price reductions and farmers cannot make a profit," Xuan said.According to the Vietnam Food Association (VFA), Vietnam exported 466,000 tons of rice in September, worth $210 million, raising the total export volume to 4.57 million tons in the first nine months and the export turnover to $2.02 billion.

VFA predicted that the export volume in 2017 may reach 5.6 million tons


Gambia: Rice Self-Sufficiency targeted In Two Years

Gambia’s Minister of Agriculture Omar A. Jallow has set a two-year time frame for the country to be rice self-sufficient. “With the present intervention in the rice sector, we hope that we can be self-sufficient in the next two years,” he told journalists during a press conference held at his office in Banjul.
Description: C:\Users\ALLAHMOHAMMAD-ILOVEU\Downloads\Gambia_ Rice Self-Sufficiency targeted In Two Years - CPAfrica_files\gambia.jpg
The Gambia’s Minister of Agriculture Omar A. Jallow
Gambia has of one the highest per caput consumption rates (117 kg) in the world and the country continues to import tens of thousands of rice every year. Rice productivity is expected to surge this year as a lot of efforts have been injected by the government and the private sector.
During a recent regional meeting held recently in Banjul, the country’s Agriculture Minister reminded the gathering that Gambia government has identified rice as a major food security crop, a national rice development strategy (NRDS) for 2015-2024 has been set up with the objective of creating a competitive rice industry.
The Gambia has 216,121 ha of lowland ecologies suitable for rice production.Thus the NRDS is founded on a vision of ‘’self–sufficiency in rice production’’ by the year 2024. The overall goal of the NRDS purpose is to enhance the enabling environment for systematic exploitation of the vast natural resource potentials, mitigation of the priority constraints in the resource base, provision of production oriented technologies suitable for broad-based participation and adoption by the majority of rice farmers for efficient rice production.
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Female Gambian Rice harvesters
The over-arching objective of the NRDS (2015-2024) is the creation of a market-led, commercialized, efficient, competitive and dynamic rice industry which maximizes enhancement of food security and poverty reduction. Thus, based on the equal emphasis on intensification in both upland and lowland production systems and expansion of lowland production systems the NRDS is projected to achieve a production scope and target of 322,600 tonnes of milled rice in 2024 with sustained commitment of scientific and technical personnel and financial and human resource provision by the government.

Bangladesh to buy rice from Thailand, India

Bangladeshi workers dry rice at a rice-processing mill in Muktarpur, on the outskirt of Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Dec 29, 2016. (Reuters photo)
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DHAKA: Bangladesh is set to import a total of 250,000 tonnes of rice from Thailand and India in intergovernmental deals to shore up depleted stocks of the staple, head of the state grain buyer said on Monday.
Bangladesh, normally the world’s fourth-biggest rice producer, has emerged as a major importer of the grain this year after floods damaged its crops and sent domestic prices of the staple to record highs.
“We will buy 150,000 tonnes of parboiled rice from Thailand at $465 a tonne and another 100,000 tonnes from India’s PEC at $455 a tonne,” Badrul Hasan of the Directorate General of Food, Bangladesh’s procurement agency, told Reuters.
The prices agreed include shipping, insurance and discharge costs.
“We have almost finalised all the deals to fulfil our target,” said Mr Hasan, adding that the state grains buyer aims to import 1.5 million tonnes of rice in the year to June 2018.
The latest purchases from Thailand and India followed a government buy of 100,000 tonnes of white rice from Myanmar, a deal that put aside the worsening relations between Dhaka and Naypyidaw over the Rohingya refugee crisis.
The deals with Thailand and India were finalised after a second round of talks with the two top rice exporting countries after Bangladesh’s initial efforts suffered a setback due to high prices.
High demand from Bangladesh helped push Asian rice prices to multi-year highs in June.
Bangladesh also struck a deal to buy 250,000 tonnes of white rice at $453 a tonne from Cambodia, after earlier making a cheaper deal with Vietnam.
Rice is a staple food for Bangladesh’s 160 million people and high prices pose a problem for the government, which faces a national election next year.
In August, Bangladesh cut a duty on rice imports for the second time in two months. The lower import duty has prompted purchases by private dealers, with most of the deals being struck with neighbouring India.
The state grains buyer also issued a series of tenders to import rice. Mr Hasan, however, said: “No more tenders for rice will be issued.”
A team from India’s National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) is to visit Dhaka next week to hold talks to sell rice to Bangladesh, a food ministry official said.
“But there is no room for any more deals unless they come up with a very lucrative offer,” Mr Hasan said.
Bangladesh produces around 34 million tonnes of rice annually but uses almost all its production to feed its population. It often requires imports to cope with shortages caused by floods or droughts.