Wednesday, November 01, 2017

1st November,2017 daily global regional local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

Growth in food exports




Though exports declined from August this year, the first quarter of the fiscal year brings a case of cautious optimism. 1QFY18 saw an 11 percent increase in exports over the same period last year with all major commodity groups’ exports rising. Other than increase in textiles), the growth in exports was led by the food category. 
The increase of nearly 18 percent in food exports was mostly due to rice. However, while rice exports increased by 32 percent, it was not Pakistan’s top export of Basmati rice that led the double digit growth; non-Basmati rice exports have nearly doubled compared to the same period last year. Over the past several years there has been a boom in non-Basmati rice exports, particularly to African countries. However, non-Basmati rice earns significantly less than Basmati rice due to its lower price point.
While Basmati rice’s quantity remained nearly the same, exports increased in dollar amount indicating a higher price point that led to the 2.5 percent growth. Since EU has placed stringent policies on the presence of hazardous pesticides in rice, India may lose its market share since Pakistan does not use the chemicals that have been prohibited. This may be reason driving Basmati rice’s higher price.
Fish and fish preparations’ exports grew by 18 percent which fishermen attributed to the netting better catches since the fishing season started from August 1. Increase in fisheries exports was due to shrimp, squid, cuttlefish, and ribbon fish. Improved harvesting with five new fish meals plants set up in Balochistan also contributed to the rise in its exports.
Almost 300,000 tons sugar export was allowed in July this year of which nearly 92,000 tons were exported last quarter. In September, 1.5 million tons of sugar export was approved over three phases. However, the increase in export quota of sugar seems premature. While Pakistan’s record crop of sugar drove the increase in exports which were previously banned, steep fall in global sugar prices have slowed down shipments. Pakistan is not the only country that enjoyed a bountiful harvest of sugar and key producers like India, China and Thailand are expected to drive prices further down.

Increasing trade: Govt contemplating FTA with South Pacific countries

By APP
Published: October 31, 2017
ISLAMABAD: The government is planning to initiate dialogue with South Pacific countries for formalising a free trade agreement (FTA) to increase exports and trade, a senior official of the Ministry of Commerce told APP on Monday.
Countries including the Philippines and Japan in the Pacific region are on the list of countries to which the government intends to propose a preferential trade agreement (PTA) leading to a FTA, the official informed

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1545640/2-increasing-trade-govt-contemplating-fta-south-pacific-countries/

Nigeria Customs impounds N5 million poultry products, 300 bags of rice

The Nigeria Customs Service in Ogun State has impounded 350 cartons of contaminated poultry products valued at N5 million and 300 bags of rice illegally imported into the country.The Comptroller of the Area Command, Sani Madugu, told PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday that the command made the seizure within one week.


He said four fairly used vehicles illegally imported into the country were also seized, including two mini buses, a Ford salon car and a Golf station wagon car. Mr. Madugu said five cars loaded with illegal rice were also apprehended. He put the duty value of all the seized vehicles at N14, 947, 500.The carrier vehicles are a Mazda 626 with inscription Ogun GNI 2019, Nissan car with registration number Ogun TTN 531AA, Mazda 626 brown colour without registration number and another white colour Mazda car without registration number.

He said a Peugeot J5 bus built for carrying goods was used for the illegal importation of the poultry products, adding that the driver bolted away on sighting the customs personnel. He vowed that the suspects would soon be arrested.
https://www.premiumtimesng.com/regional/ssouth-west/247860-nigeria-customs-impounds-n5-million-poultry-products-300-bags-rice.html








University researchers collaborate overseas

PATRICK LI
The National Center for Supercomputing Applications is located at 1205 W Clark Street in Urbana.
BY ELIZABETH SAYASANE, CONTRIBUTING WRITER
OCTOBER 31, 2017
The individual research projects of Dr. Matias Carrasco Kind, Liana Acevedo-Siaca and Dr. Cris Hughes span several fields of study but are united in one aspect: production of any meaningful results requires communication in research across geographic and linguistic boundaries.The work that each of these three researchers conduct is part of a larger group that draws from over 500 institutions and more than 30 universities in the United States, Europe and Australia.

Kind is a research scientist for the University’s Department of Astronomy. He works at the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope developing algorithms for data production, data workflows and data analysis. He also works at the Dark Energy Survey, where he primarily acts as a liaison with the group’s collaborations, according to his website.He began his higher education in his native Chile, continued his studies in Germany and finally came to the University for his master’s and doctoral degrees.A conference for the international research team Kind is involved in is held twice a year. During these conferences, representatives from every institution attend to share their progress and collaborate in one room. 

Outside of these conferences, the team uses resources such as telecoms, the instant messaging app Slack and email to communicate and work together to solve problems.“I mean it’s a very, very organized and friendly collaboration, so we are able to split different tasks among ourselves very easily,” Kind said.Kind said even though communication through video and email is excellent and reliable, the conferences are invaluable because actually sitting together for more than an hour provides collaboration opportunities.One commonality among every researcher involved in the team is curiosity about the universe.

Kind said the researchers all feel the same passion about the work, so it becomes a friendly collaboration.“When somebody makes a discovery or some breakthrough progress then we all get excited about it and talk about it,” Kind said. “I think it’s not really a barrier between us, it’s just a small challenge, but the goal is so so big and so important for all of us that it’s not an issue.”The relationship between astronomers across the world is strengthened by a combined curiosity, and the need for collaboration to further increase a combined knowledge overcomes any difficulties.

Kind isn’t the only researcher on the team with close international ties. Last year, graduate student in ACES Acevedo-Siaca studied at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, working in global food security. While there, she performed field work to further her research.  This time spent abroad provided Acevedo-Siaca the opportunity to work with a new team of people from a variety of backgrounds and academic concentrations.“If you have everyone in the same field, I think you really limit the different approaches that you can take to solve a problem, and in this case with a problem like food security, there are so many different aspects to it,” Acevedo-Siaca said.  

The greatest barrier Acevedo-Siaca found while studying in the Philippians was the time difference. She expressed the frustration that could happen when an email that sent at 9 a.m. may not be responded to until the next day. This could cause work to be slow, yet the work always managed to be completed.  Today, Acevedo-Siaca works with a research team called Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency. The team strives to combat work food shortages by increasing crop production. Her focus is on the diversity of traits and genetic variation in photosynthesis for rice.

Working in the states after her time abroad, Acevedo-Siaca finds she is not relying as heavily on international communication. Still, she says working across borders is easier than one might expect.Similarly to Kind, Acevedo-Siaca participates in annual conferences among fellow researchers from all over the world. She said these meetings are where they get a chance to talk about research progress.

“Everyone comes together and talks about the improvements in their research over the past year, where everything is heading, but it’s also a really great chance for collaboration,” Acevedo-Siaca said.
Acevedo-Siaca said food insecurity is not a localized concern, but one that affects lives all over the world. Every researcher involved wants to address a common goal.  They work to overcome struggles that may arise because their task requires a greater concern than any frustration of geography or time.
Hughes’s research, however, often faces greater struggles because of difficulty in confronting language barriers.
Hughes is a professor of anthropology dedicated to investigating the death of migrants on the border between the United States and Mexico. More specifically, she seeks to solve the problem of unidentified migrant bodies and how to connect with families of the dead.
The first issue Hughes faces is that a migrant found dead inside of the United States immediately opens an international investigation. However, many of the resources available do not cater to international investigations. 
Websites that serve as databases for missing persons are only in English and, more recently, Spanish. She said websites are also not easily accessible to those who are most often looking for a loved one.
Hughes said an advantage that American universities have is that all of the top journals anyone wants to be a part of are in English.
“So that comes down to who you’re choosing as your collaborators, and the default is that we expect them to speak our language,” Hughes said. “We’re very privileged in that regard … in many other countries, knowing English is directly tied to the success that you’ll be able to have as an academic (and) as a researcher because that’s going to essentially be the quality of your publication.”
Even so, Hughes said her work is too important for a barrier such as a language to stop it. 
“Language cannot be a hurdle,” Hughes said.
eis3@dailyillini.com
https://dailyillini.com/features/2017/10/31/university-researchers-collaborate-overseas/



Why North is shifting from groundnut pyramid to rice pyramid

November 1, 2017
Muhammad Sabiu -Kaduna Arewa
There was once a time when groundnut pyramids were not only the pride of the Northern region of Nigeria  but they signposted the economic prosperity of the region.However, today, the story is different as  groundnut pyramid have not only disappeared but the crop is  no longer economically viable, as rice has  taken over the position of groundnut in the region.Thus, rice is one of the staple food consumed in most homes. A rice farmer, Alhaji Yahaya Umar, contended that, “rice  has economic value. Venturing into rice farming is lucrative. He said currently, the country needs about 5m metric tonnes to meet its local demand.

‘But what the country produces annually is just three million metric tonnes, leaving it with a deficit of two million metric tonnes.According to Umar, “every year, the country import about 2m metric tonnes,saying ,’on the  average  Nigeria spends one billion Naira on rice importation daily(365 billion Naira annually).The question still remains,  ”why spend such an outrageous amount of money importing rice when Nigeria has the potential of growing enough rice to support her growing  population and generate surplus that can be exported?”.
It was against this backdrop that when the present administration of President Muhammad Buhari came on board and preached about the need to diversify the economy, many states governments in the region took up the challenge.Findings gathered that most of the state governments have acquired thousands of hectares of land to boost rice farming in their respective states
http://www.tribuneonlineng.com/north-shifting-groundnut-pyramid-rice-pyramid/





Govt must increase NFA’s buying price 


PRIOR to the start of the lean season this year, the National Food Authority (NFA) faced difficulties in propping up its rice stocks. Every year, the NFA is supposed to keep a buffer stock equivalent to 30 days of rice consumption before the start of the lean season in July. The NFA can do this by purchasing rice from local farmers and by importing from neighboring countries, such as Thailand and Vietnam.
This year President Duterte ordered the NFA to prioritize the procurement of rice from local farmers. Even if it was already apparent in April that the food agency would be hard pressed to come up with a 30-day buffer stock, the President was not keen on buying rice produced by farmers abroad.
Unfortunately, local farmers themselves were not keen on selling rice to the NFA because traders offered better prices. The NFA buys rice from farmers at P17 per kilogram, but traders paid farmers anywhere from P18 to P20 per kilogram. Even with the incentives offered by the NFA, the choice will always be obvious to a farmer who needs to recoup his production cost so he could plant rice again.
It was in May when the government had decided to finally import rice so the NFA could preposition rice stocks in calamity-prone areas before the lean season kicked in. The interagency NFA Council allowed the purchase of 250,000 metric tons (MT) of imported rice under the government to private-sector scheme.
On top of this, the council also gave its go signal to the importation of 805,000 MT of rice under the minimum access volume (MAV) scheme. During the lean months of July, August and September, Philippine rice harvest goes down significantly. The country is also visited by strong typhoons during the lean season. The NFA is supposed to ensure that the Philippines would have enough food supply during this critical period.
Ideally, the NFA should no longer import rice and just rely on local procurement, as this would benefit Filipino farmers. But its buying price, which has been raised to P17 per kg in 2008, is no longer competitive. The NFA has proposed a P5 per kg increase, but economic managers rejected the proposal as it could cause inflation to accelerate.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. PiƱol had proposed a P3 per kg increase in the NFA’s buying price and this could be a good starting point. But the government must decide soon because 2017 would be over in two months. The NFA would again be faced with the dilemma of having to compete with local traders during harvest for the dry season crop next year.
The government must also increase the budget of the NFA for its palay-procurement program. For next year, the food agency has been given P7 billion to purchase some 390,000 MT of rice. If the government decides to increase the buying price, then the NFA would have to be given a bigger allocation in 2019 and beyond. The food agency should be allowed to buy more local unhusked rice so the Philippines would not be held hostage by global food-price crises
https://businessmirror.com.ph/govt-must-increase-nfas-buying-price/



Government policies still worry EU businesses

 (The Philippine Star) 

In a recent assessment of its 2016 recommendations, the EU-Philippines Business Network (EPBN) cited little progress or no action by the government toward achieving some of the group’s recommended policy reforms in the areas of competitive business environment, trade facilitation, tourism and healthcare. File
MANILA, Philippines — Challenges in the business climate continue to hound European companies in the Philippines, with some of the current administration’s policies seen as more worrying bottlenecks in the past year. 
In a recent assessment of its 2016 recommendations, the EU-Philippines Business Network (EPBN) cited little progress or no action by the government toward achieving some of the group’s recommended policy reforms in the areas of competitive business environment, trade facilitation, tourism and healthcare.
“Despite the efforts of the administration in promoting the Philippines as a safe destination, security concerns persist,” the EPBN said regarding its call to improve security at major tourism destinations in the country. The group said the weak enforcement of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act was also not helping the country’s business environment.  
It added that despite the positive reforms carried out by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the technical assistance program from the EU in support of better regulation and anti-counterfeit enforcement, cases of unregistered and fake medicines continue to increase. As far as intellectual property rights (IPR) protection is concerned, the EPBN said “while IPOPhil has moved to allow recognition and registration of geographical indicators, there is still no specific legislative or executive framework to establish their protection.”
The EPBN said there has also been no progress in its recommendation to remove non-tariff barriers to trade in line with ASEAN economic integration. “The ATA Carnet Convention was not applied in the Tariff and Customs Code. Import restrictions and licenses under the Tariff and Customs Code of 1978 Decree 1464 said imports of corn, rice and other products are restricted. The Philippines’ WTO waiver for rice imports already expired in June 30, 2017, while fish products may be imported only when the import is certified as necessary by the Department of Agriculture in observance of its food security policy,” the EPBN said. 
Meanwhile, the group also identified “retrogressions” in some of its policy recommendations last year, particularly those in the sectors of energy and food and beverage.
“The current administration has abandoned the 30-30-30-10 energy mix policy in favor of a 70-20-10 formula,” the EPBN said, referring to its recommendation last year to enforce a sustainable energy mix policy and review existing licenses for planned coal projects. 
The group said there is also a lack of interest in the new administration to approve additional installation targets for renewable energy.
In addressing inefficiencies in the certificate of product registration process to facilitate product registration, the EPBN said its Food and Beverage Committee members have reported significant delays in the e-registration process with the FDA despite the computerization of the registration process.
For its call to reduce the excise tax on champagne and sparkling wines, the group said the opposite is happening as excise tax is increased every year. 
“The Philippines has the opportunity to attract foreign companies that are willing to invest in Southeast Asia. However, substantial reforms are needed in order to provide for the creation of a more competitive business environment that includes a level playing field and an appealing incentive scheme for foreign investors. Further reforms conducive to the ease of doing business in the country will contribute as well to create an attractive destination for foreign investment,” the EPBN said. 
The EPBN is a project co-funded by the European Union and implemented by a consortium of European business organizations based in the Philippines.
http://www.philstar.com/business/2017/11/01/1754304/government-policies-still-worry-eu-businesses

N. Korea's grain imports from China dives in September
·         Published : Nov 1, 2017 - 13:20
·         Updated : Nov 1, 2017 - 13:20
North Korea's grain imports from China in September tumbled about 40 percent from the month before, a US broadcaster reported Wednesday.

The North brought in 17,375 tons of grain from China in September, Voice of America said citing China's General Administration of Customs.

Experts observe that the decrease indicates that a severe drought that has hit the North hard since spring did not affect the country seriously, the broadcaster said.
Chinese workers loading sacks of rice onto a truck to transport them to North Korea. (Yonhap)

Of the imports, rice, a main staple for Koreans, showed whopping plunges of 67.6 percent and 85 percent on-month and on-year, respectively, at 2,396 tons, the broadcaster said.

Corn imports of 1,160 tons also represent a 92 percent dive from the previous month, according to the broadcaster.

On the other hand, flour imports surged more than twofold to 13,400 tons in September from a month before. The imports are also an eightfold surge from a year ago, the broadcaster added.

Of imports, flour took up the biggest share, trailed by rice, corn and starch, the broadcaster said. (Yonhap)
http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20171101000612


Korean food imports to UAE reach Dh1.1b in 2017
Filed on October 31, 2017
Delegates during the K-food Fair held in Dubai (Supplied photo)



Dubai - The value of food import from South Korea to the UAE reached $310 million (Dh1.13 billion) since the beginning of 2017, said Korean officials in the UAE on the sidelines of K-Food Fair held in Dubai recently.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Government of the Republic of Korea, the combined trade between the UAE and South Korea alone has grown by 12 per cent this year as compared to 2016.
Heo Namduk, Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Dubai, said, "Rice has been very important cultivated crop in Korean's life since long time ago. Rice covers 90 per cent of total grain production and over 40 per cent of farm income in Korea. In 2016, rice production was four million metric tons. We have many kinds of rice foods such as rice cookie, rice noodle and rice cake etc. With this seminar, I hope that export of Korean rice and rice products to UAE and Mena will rise up in the future."
The 2017 edition of the K-Food Fair, organized by Abu Dhabi-based Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation (aT Center), concluded in Dubai with the Government of the Republic of Korea introducing more manufacturers and exporters to this region.
The annual festival is organized to expand the reach of South Korean food by exploring export opportunities and building more inroads for Korean companies in the Mena region. The festival brought exporters and manufacturers from South Korea and Mena under one roof to exchange ideas and build business relations.
The UAE is home to more than 150 South Korean companies. The UAE plays a significant and strategic role due to its geographic and economic position in the region. Currently South Korea shares strong bilateral ties with the UAE especially in the fields of nuclear energy and infrastructure. The UAE and South Korea have also recently sealed an agreement to boost co-operation in agriculture and Halal food exports.
The exporters and manufacturers to be featured in the festival includes - OKF, KO-A Trading, Dong-jin Pharmaceutical, Food Berry, Ginlac Kuan, Bogoshinyak, Korean Pear Export, Hainong, Serim, Tutto, Haeyeareum, Haenong Food, Brand Acumen, Danurim, Nokchawon, Bedelkorea, Daedong Korea Ginseng, Flanet, MIDM Agricultural Union corp, 21 Lazy Farmer, Renewallife, Erom Global, Young Poong and The Korea Foodstuffs Association from South Korea.
waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com

https://www.khaleejtimes.com/korean-food-imports-to-uae-reach-dh11b-in-2017 Sleep protein discovery could spark more research

31st October 2017


Structure of the amino acid, L-Tryptophan
Elizabeth Swan reveals that innovators have been experimenting to find alternative uses for the plant-based proteins commonly found in food supplements, with some unexpected and beneficial results.Recently a team of scientists at Healthy Skoop, a company that manufactures plant-based nutrition, has developed a new ‘sleep protein’ product containing tryptophan, a naturally-occurring amino acid that is known to induce sleep. The product is part of a growing trend in the use of specially formulated protein powders to treat lifestyle-related conditions, such as insomnia.

Tryptophan, which is commonly found in turkey, chicken, nuts, seeds, cheese, eggs, beans and lentils, is needed for normal growth and development and is known to improve sleep latency by increasing serotonin levels in the bra

http://www.scientistlive.com/content/sleep-protein-discovery-could-spark-more-research

RUDN University researcher found out what happens to organic matter on rice fields

RUDN UNIVERSITY
A soil scientist from RUDN University has found out how plant root secretions affect microorganisms and biochemical processes in paddy soils (rice fields, for instance). Rice field soils play a very important role in the agriculture of Southeast Asia, since they cover > 160 Mio ha and are used to produce food for a quarter of world population. The results of the study were published in the European Journal of Soil Biology.
Soil fertility depends very much on the quantity and quality of carbon - the organic matter in soil. Both quantity and quality are regulated by plants growing on the soil and the quantity of plant residues remaining after harvesting - this defines the amount of organic matter and, consequently, the soil fertility, the productivity, stability and quality of the crops. These questions are relatively well studied for the upland soils. However, not for rice paddies, which are flooded for at least several months each year, and play an important role in the economy of China and other Southeast Asia countries. The biochemical processes in these regularly flooded soils remain relatively understudied. The rate of carbon input and transformation in paddy soils is different than in the soils well known and investigated in Europe and North America.
"People breathe with lungs and fish breathe with gills. This is the simplest and the most precise analogy showing the difference between functioning of the two types of soils: upland and paddy soils. There are very few studies devoted to the processes taking place in paddy soils" says the co-author of the paper Yakov Kuzyakov (RUDN University).
During growth, plant roots release a lot of organic substances into the soil that are easily accessible for microorganisms. These root secretions become a substrate or food for microorganisms, which, in turn, mineralize organic substances both - released by roots and present in soil and produce nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur accessible to plants. Due to microbial processes, greenhouse gas emissions occur: in particular, rice fields emit a lot of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O).
In order to study the effects that root secretions have on microorganisms, scientists from China, Russia and Germany added three groups of substances into soils: glucose, oxalic acid and acetic acid. These substances are secreted by the roots of most plants in significant quantities. The researchers studied the decomposition rate for these analogues of root secretions in upland and in paddy soils (rice fields), and the ways these compounds stimulate the microbial activities.
The researchers found out that there are more microorganisms in paddy soils than in upland soils. However, the amount of the three tested substances (analogous to root exudates) in both soil types is approximately the same. This means that microorganisms in the rice fields use plant root secretions more slowly. Consequently, root-released carbon remains for longer in paddy soils, and this affects long-term carbon accumulation and soil fertility. Due to the input of root secretions, the activity of microorganisms and, accordingly, the organic matter decomposition rate increases. This, in turn, accelerates the mineralization of nutrients - nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur -which become available to plants.
"Roots do not simply give out organic substances into soil and lose these energy rich compounds. Roots stimulate the activity of microorganisms, which consequently benefit plants by producing more nutrients in an accessible form," Kuzyakov said.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-10/ru-rur103117.php

 

Govt avails 300t rice to encourage BVR uptake

October 30, 2017 Local NewsUncategorized

Rtd Maj-Gen Bonyongwe

Nqobile Tshili Bulawayo Bureau

GOVERNMENT has availed 300 tonnes of rice to be awarded to districts that mobilise the most registrants under the ongoing Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) programme, a Cabinet Minister has said. The district that will register the highest number of voters in every province will receive 30 tonnes of rice.

The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Retired Major-General Happyton Bonyongwe, revealed this last week at the National Chiefs Conference in Bulawayo. He also implored traditional leaders to encourage their subjects to register as voters.

Rtd Maj-Gen Bonyongwe said in line with the topical issue in the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, they saw it fit to introduce a competition on voter registration.

 “We then thought of programmes to do with voter registration; as a ministry, we want to see people registering to vote. Everyone should go out and register as a voter. The district that will register the highest number of voters per province will receive a truckload of rice, which amounts to 30 tonnes per district. So, in 10 provinces it will be equivalent to 300 tonnes. It’s now a competition, lets encourage people to register as voters. So if you become number one, that is the prize that is coming your way,” he said.Rtd Maj-Gen Bonyongwe said voter registration was an important issue in Government as it maps the way forward ahead of next year’s elections.“The biggest issue in the country at the moment is the issue of the elections that are scheduled for next year. As the Ministry of Justice, we are the ones administering the Electoral Act. But we have the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, an independent commission handling the electoral processes. At the moment, they have their BVR programme which is ongoing,” he said.

About 1,2 million people have since been registered as voters countrywide, with the Matabeleland provinces recording the least number of registered voters.

Minister Bonyongwe also emphasised that chiefs have an important role in the preservation of the country’s heritage and cultural values as enshrined in the Constitution.

He said the chiefs ensure traditional values and cultural beliefs are not eroded by imported cultures.Meanwhile, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services, Mr Patrick Zhuwao, urged chiefs to partner Government in assisting the needy in society.He also challenged politicians to desist from diverting Government’s aid programmes to gain political mileage.

http://www.herald.co.zw/govt-avails-300t-rice-to-encourage-bvr-uptake/

 

 

Prosecutors to seek review of two acquittals in rice-pledging case

politics November 01, 2017 01:00
By THE NATION

PUBLIC PROSECUTORS will soon finalise key legal points in an effort to seek a review of court verdicts on two criminal cases concerning the previous government’s rice-pledging scheme and fake government-to-government rice export deals.


Kitinan Thatpramook, director-general in charge of the cases, said there would be meetings early this month to proceed with plans to appeal the cases after the Supreme Court acquitted some private-sector and rice-miller defendants in the case of the government deals.
Acquittals would affect related civil liability lawsuits filed by the government in this case, Kitinan added.
Former commerce minister Boongsong Teriyapirom and former deputy commerce minister Phumi Saraphol were respectively sentenced to 42-year and 36-year jail terms for their roles in implementing fake contracts in connection with the rice-pledging scheme.
Former premier Yingluck Shinawatra was sentenced to a five-year jail term for negligence of official duties while overseeing the rice-pledging scheme, resulting in massive financial damages to the state. Yingluck fled the country before her verdict was read.
Regarding the fake government-to-government export contracts, the government wanted to seek compensation from private-sector executives and rice millers found to have conspired with other parties to cause the damages.
Boonsong and Phumi, who are both now in prison serving lengthy terms, have also sought a review of the court verdicts.
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30330527

Posted at:

4.28 lakh MT paddy lifted

Nov 1, 2017, 2:14 AM; last updated: Nov 1, 2017, 2:35 AM (IST)


Fatehgarh Sahib, October 31
Deputy Commissioner Kanwalpreet Brar on Tuesday said the procurement of paddy at all 33 centres was going on smoothly and 4.28 lakh MT paddy had been procured by government agencies and rice millers. As many as Rs 659 crore has been paid to farmers. 
She said that Pungrain had purchased 1,42,006 MT, Markfed 1,09,997 MT, Punsup 1,07,768 MT, Warehouse 24,560 MT, Punjab Agro 41,301 MT, FCI 1,600  MT and private traders 363 MT. The DC said the payment against  90 per cent of the procured paddy had been made. — OC
http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/chandigarh/4-28-lakh-mt-paddy-lifted/490671.html






USDA Announces Enrollment Period for Safety Net Coverage in 2018 

WASHINGTON, DC -- On Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that starting November 1, 2017, farmers with base acres enrolled in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage safety net program can enroll for the 2018 crop year.  Producers who have enrolled in ARC and PLC programs in the past are reminded that they must still enroll during the 2018 enrollment period.  The 2018 enrollment period will end on August 1, 2018.

The opening of the enrollment period comes on the heels of the Farm Services Agency (FSA) issuing nearly $850 million in rice payments for the 2016 crop year.  The ARC and PLC programs were established by the 2014 Farm Bill as a means to provide a safety net to producers who suffer a substantial loss in price or revenue.  

Covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium grain rice (which includes short grain and sweet rice), safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed, and wheat.

Go 
here for more details regarding these programs or visit your local FSA office.







USDA Announces Enrollment Period for Safety Net Coverage in 2018

Release No. 140.17
Contact:
Wayne Maloney (202) 720-6107
WASHINGTON, Oct. 30, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that starting Nov. 1, 2017, farmers and ranchers with base acres in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) safety net program may enroll for the 2018 crop year. The enrollment period will end on Aug. 1, 2018. 
“Since shares and ownership of a farm can change year-to-year, producers must enroll by signing a contract each program year,” said Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting Administrator Steve Peterson. “I encourage producers to contact their local FSA office to schedule an appointment to enroll.” 
The producers on a farm that are not enrolled for the 2018 enrollment period will not be eligible for financial assistance from the ARC or PLC programs for the 2018 crop should crop prices or farm revenues fall below the historical price or revenue benchmarks established by the program. Producers who made their elections in previous years must still enroll during the 2018 enrollment period. 
“This week FSA is issuing approximately $850 million in rice payments,” said Peterson. “These payments are part of the $8 billion in 2016 ARC and PLC payments that started in October to assist enrolled producers who suffered a loss of revenue or price, or both. Over half a million producers will receive ARC payments and over a quarter million producers will receive PLC payments for 2016 crops.” 
The ARC and PLC programs were authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and offer a safety net to agricultural producers when there is a substantial drop in prices or revenues for covered commodities. Covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium grain rice (which includes short grain and sweet rice), safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity. For more details regarding these programs, go to www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc
For more information, producers are encouraged to visit their local FSA office. To find a local FSA office, visit http://offices.usda.gov.
USDA is an equal opportunity lender, provider and employer.
https://www.fsa.usda.gov/news-room/news-releases/2017/nr_20171030_rel_0140



Rice basmati, wheat up on uptick in demand

PTI | Oct 31, 2017, 14:17 IST
New Delhi, Oct 31 () Prices of rice basmati and wheat rose by up to Rs 100 per quintal at the wholesale grains market today on pick up in demand.
Traders said besides upsurge in demand, restricted supplies from producing belts, mainly attributed the rise in rice basmati and wheat prices.
In the national capital, rice basmati common and Pusa -1121 variety rose by Rs 100 each to Rs 7,700-7,800 and Rs 6,200-6,300 per quintal respectively.
Non-basmati rice permal, raw, wand, sela and IR-8 also settled higher at Rs 2,250-2,300, Rs 2,300-2,350, Rs 2,500- 2,700 and Rs 1,900-1,925 from previous levels of Rs 2,225- 2,275, Rs 2,275-2,325, Rs 2,400-2,600 and Rs 1,875-1,900 per quintal respectively in line with rice basmati trend.
Wheat MP(desi) and wheat dara (for mills) too edged higher by Rs 10 each to Rs 2,125-2,375 and Rs 1,835-1,840 per quintal respectively. Atta chakki delivery followed suit and enquired higher by a similar margin to Rs 1,840-1,845 per 90 kg.
Atta flour mills and maize traded higher by 10 each to Rs 9,80-9,90 and Rs 1,010-1,020 per 50 kg.
Following are today's quotations (in Rs per quintal):
Wheat MP (desi) Rs 2,125-2,375, Wheat dara (for mills) Rs 1,835-1,840, Chakki atta (delivery) Rs 1,840-1,845, Atta Rajdhani (10 kg) Rs 260-300, Shakti Bhog (10 kg) Rs 255-290, Roller flour mill Rs 980-990 (50 kg), Maida Rs 1,00-1,020 (50 kg)and Sooji Rs 1,060-1,080 (50 kg).
Basmati rice (Lal Quila) Rs 10,700, Shri Lal Mahal Rs 11,300, Super Basmati Rice Rs 9,800, Basmati common new Rs 7,700-7,800, Rice Pusa (1121) Rs 6,200-6,300, Permal raw Rs 2,250-2,300, Permal wand Rs 2,300-2,350, Sela Rs 2,500-2,700 and Rice IR-8 Rs 1,900-1,925, Bajra Rs 1,160-1,165, Jowar yellow Rs 1,350-1,400, white Rs 2,700-2,800, Maize Rs 1,300- 1,305, Barley Rs 1,500-1,510. SUN KPS ADI MKJ
https://agriculture.einnews.com/article/412840372/glVVSdoggVKBj

Meera Sodha’s recipe for vegan autumn pilau with squash, cavolo nero and smoked garlic


Don’t be scared of cooking rice: just follow a few simple rules and you’ll nail it every time

 Meera Sodha’s autumn pilau with squash, cavolo nero and smoked garlic: You could use this as a vehicle for leftover Halloween pumpkins.’ Photograph: Louise Hagger for the Guardian. Food styling: Emily Kydd. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay

My husband is a gifted cook – he can transform fridge scraps into heavenly meals and cook pasta dishes that nonna would be proud of – but ask him to make rice and he falls apart. It’s not only him: many people I’ve talked to about rice (more than you’d think) struggle to cook fluffy basmati; the fear of turning it to mush runs deep in Britain’s veins.
At best, each grain can be silky, plump and rich with flavour; at worst, bland, clumpy or a sodden mess. But if a nation of a billion (India) can cook the stuff perfectly, so can you: there is no secret, but there are a few tips to help you master it and make it part of your weekly toolkit.
The first step is the wash and soak. Rice has starch in it, which makes rice grains stick together, but washing and soaking rice can help remove it, so wash the rice under cold water until it runs clear, then soak for at least 10 minutes.
You can now either boil the rice, like pasta, in plenty of salted water until the chalky bite in the middle disappears; or go for the absorption method, which is what I’ve used in this week’s pilau. This involves cooking the rice in just the right amount of water (usually, twice the volume of water to rice) by bringing it to a boil, then simmering in a tightly covered pan until all the water is absorbed, along with any other flavours you’ve added to the pan. This way, every grain is flavoured.
The final step is that, like most things, rice is better after it’s had a rest. So, once cooked, leave it to steam for 10 minutes, until the grains magically “stand up like soldiers”, in my mother’s words.
In today’s pilau, I’ve used some of autumn’s finest vegetables – buttery squash, earthy black cabbage – with smoked garlic, which adds a glorious and timely bonfirey-ness to proceedings.

Autumn pilau with squash, cavolo nero and smoked garlic

This can be used as a vehicle for leftover Halloween pumpkins. At this time of year, smoked garlic is available in many larger supermarkets; failing that, try thegarlicfarm.co.uk. Serves four.
300g basmati rice
1kg squash, halved, deseeded and cut into 1cm half-moons
5 tbsp rapeseed oil
Salt and black pepper
3 brown onions, peeled and thinly sliced 
4 cloves smoked garlic, very thinly sliced
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1 ½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp turmeric
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 small bunch coriander, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
200g cavolo nero, leaves stripped from stalks and roughly chopped (use up the stalks, chopped, in a soup, say)
1 lemon

Heat the oven to 200C/390F/gas mark 6. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear, then soak in warm water until you’re ready to cook it.
Arrange the squash in a single layer on a large baking tray, drizzle over three tablespoons of rapeseed oil and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper, then roast for 30 minutes, until tender.

Meera Sodha’s recipe for vegan mushroom bao


Read more
Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan for which you have a tight-fitting lid on a medium flame, add the remaining rapeseed oil and, when warm, add the sliced onions and smoked garlic. Sweat for eight minutes, then add the spices, chillies, coriander stalks and a teaspoon and three-quarters of salt. Cook for four minutes, until the onions start to brown, then add the cavolo nero.
Gently stir in the soaked and rinsed rice, add 600ml warm water and cover the pan. Turn down the heat to a whisper and leave to cook for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to steam with the lid still on for a further 10 minutes.
When both the rice and the squash are cooked, gently fold the squash into the rice and pour out on to a platter (or spoon on to individual plates). Serve with a generous squeeze of lemon and a scattering of coriander leaves
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/oct/28/autumn-pilau-squash-cavolo-nero-smoked-garlic-recipe-vegan-meera-




World Market Price Meeting Takes Full Advantage of Capital Setting 

WASHINGTON, DC -- USA Rice's World Market Price Subcommittee (WMP) met here last week and took full advantage of having leadership from all segments of the rice industry in our nation's capital.  "The World Market Price subcommittee meets three times a year in Washington, DC," said Chair Keith Glover, CEO of Producers Rice Mill, in Stuttgart, Arkansas.  "In addition to exchanging views on the area, yield, and milling quality of the 2017 crop and key trade challenges with representatives from the Department of Agriculture, our group also had the opportunity to have more detailed discussions with leadership at USDA as well as with key staff at the House and Senate Agriculture Committees and to support several activities of the USA Rice PAC Board."

In the WMP meetings, members continued to focus on ensuring accurate reporting of rough rice prices to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, which is an important component in USDA's calculation of grower payments under the price loss coverage program.  

Members had a wide-ranging discussion with representatives of the Foreign Agricultural Service about factors influencing global demand for U.S. rice including recent changes in USDA's estimates of China's rice stocks, developments in Venezuela, Colombia, Iraq, key Asian markets, negotiations to modernize NAFTA, and Brexit.  

USDA also provided a good-news update on rice in food aid.  Over 108,000 MT of rice has been programmed thus far in 2017, up from last year's year-end total of 105,000 MT.  Nearly a quarter of this year's rice food aid has been fortified rice.  Fortified rice is a relatively new product and each year, more private voluntary organizations are requesting fortified rice.  

"USA Rice supports the use of fortified rice as a sound, economical choice to deliver vitamins and minerals.  As the most consumed commodity in the world, rice is the perfect delivery mechanism," said USA Rice Chairman Brian King, a rice merchant from Jonesboro, Arkansas.  "It's very gratifying to see that our work over the years to boost rice as food aid is paying off."

"The USA Rice PAC board made significant progress last week in fulfilling our objective of supporting All-Rice events for a Member of Congress from each rice state," said Sean Doherty, a California rice farmer and chair of the USA Rice PAC Board.  USA Rice held four events around the WMP, for Congressmen Kevin Brady (TX), Doug LaMalfa (CA), Jimmy Panetta (CA), and Bruce Westerman (AR).

Subcommittee members had the opportunity to discuss issues in more depth in separate meetings with USDA officials and staff from the House and Senate Agriculture Committees.  "As producers, we are frequently asked by USDA to provide statistical information on our operations," noted L.G. Raun, Texas producer.  "These requests can be complicated, and last week provided a good opportunity to review in some detail surveys about producer costs of production, the results of which can be important in farm bill discussions." 

WMP members also had the opportunity to discuss priorities for the upcoming farm bill in separate meetings with staff of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees.

The next Subcommittee meeting will be in Washington, DC, on February 15, 2018.


Representative Kevin Brady, chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, talks with USA Rice members



Album: Chinese agriculture experts in Africa
                                    Source: Xinhua | 2017-10-31 21:15:52 | Editor: huaxia








A Chinese bamboo expert introduces the uses of bamboo to Rwandan youth during World Bamboo Day celebration in Kigali, Rwanda, Sept. 18, 2017. Some 30 Rwandan youths on Monday joined Chinese bamboo experts in Rwanda's capital Kigali to celebrate World Bamboo Day. (Xinhua/Lyu Tianran)
NAIROBI, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- In many African countries where food security is vital, respectable Chinese experts are offering their expertise and experience to help locals prosper and thrive.
Locals observe Chinese agriculture experts cooking mushrooms cultivated by Chinese technology, in Kigali, capital of Rwanda, June 24, 2017. China-Rwanda Agriculture Technology Demonstration Center displayed various kinds of agriculture products cultivated by Chinese technology at National Agriculture Show of Rwanda held from June 22 to June 27. (Xinhua/Lyu Tianran)
Local workers work at the field where the experimental stevia are planted at Egerton University in Nakuru, Kenya, Oct. 13, 2016. As the Sino-African relations are getting stronger in recent years, this continent has attracted more and more Chinese people and companies to invest in African countries with their fund, knowledge and skills to help Africa fight against poverty, to prosper and thrive. Chinese expert Liu Gaoqiong introduced the first green house for tomato planting into Kenya in 1997. Now Liu Gaoqiong and his Chinese and Kenyan colleagues are trying to induce a cash crop stevia to this country.(Xinhua/Sun Ruibo)
Minister of Namibia's Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF), John Mutorwa (C, front), Chinese Charge d'affaires ad interim, Li Na (2nd L, front) and the Chinese agriculture experts take a group photo in Windhoek, capital of Namibia, Feb.8, 2017. Namibia's agriculture ministry on Wednesday bade farewell to 15 Chinese experts who completed a two-year program teaching farming skills in the southern African country.(Xinhua/Musa C Kaseke)
Liu Gaoqiong (front), a Chinese expert who introduced the first green house for tomato planting into Kenya in 1997, checks experimental stevia planted at Egerton University in Nakuru, Kenya, Oct. 13, 2016.As the Sino-African relations are getting stronger in recent years, this continent has attracted more and more Chinese people and companies to invest in African countries with their fund, knowledge and skills to help Africa fight against poverty, to prosper and thrive. Chinese expert Liu Gaoqiong introduced the first green house for tomato planting into Kenya in 1997. Now Liu Gaoqiong and his Chinese and Kenyan colleagues are trying to induce a cash crop stevia to this country.(Xinhua/Sun Ruibo)
Photo taken on May 5, 2016 shows Chinese agriculture expert Liao Zuoquan checked rice plant in Kalimbeza Rice Research and Production Station in north-eastern Namibia. In April, 2015, 15 Chinese agricultural experts and technicians arrived in Namibia to conduct a two-year program of technology transfer and guidance. Tasked to help support the Southern African nation's agricultural development, they were separated into four regions to work with their Namibian counterparts in the fields of rice, gardening and husbandry. (Xinhua/Wu Changwei)
A Chinese agricultural expert trains a Zimbabwean woman how to plant potatoes at the Chinese Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center in Gwebi, about 30 kilometers northwest of Harare, capital of Zimbabwe, Sept. 11, 2014. The center, which started operating in 2012 serves as a base for Chinese technology and knowledge transfer to rural Zimbabweans through lectures, workshops, contract farming and agricultural machinery exhibitions. (Xinhua/Xu Lingui)
Luc Guyau (C), UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) official, is shown around - by Chinese experts - a vegetable shed at the Demonstration Center of Agricultural Technology in Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of Congo, April 25, 2012. Guyau commended China for helping Africa develop agriculture. (Xinhua/Hanbing)
A Chinese agricultural specialist teaches Nigerian farmers about agricultural technology in Abuja, Nigeria, June 13, 2016. A Chinese multinational group of companies CGC on Monday kicked off capacity building organized for Nigerian agricultural technicians, an effort aimed at promoting integrated agricultural technology in the West African country.(Xinhua/Zhang Baoping)
A Chinese agricultural specialist teaches Nigerian agricultural technicians about agricultural technology in Abuja, Nigeria, June 13, 2016. A Chinese multinational group of companies CGC on Monday kicked off capacity building organized for Nigerian agricultural technicians, an effort aimed at promoting integrated agricultural technology in the West African country. (Xinhua/Zhang Baoping)
Nigerian agricultural technicians take part in the training in Abuja, Nigeria, June 13, 2016. A Chinese multinational group of companies on Monday kicked off capacity building organized for Nigerian agricultural technicians, an effort aimed at promoting integrated agricultural technology in the West African country.
(Xinhua/Zhang Baoping)

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-10/31/c_136718149.htm

Surface ozone is damaging wheat and rice crops across the country: Study

Findings are important, help establish that the air pollutant not only affects people’s health but is also a threat to India’s food security, researchers said.

MUMBAI Updated: Oct 31, 2017 16:25 IST
Snehal Fernandes
Hindustan Times
With a projected rise in man-made pollution including surface ozone, researchers said the findings are important as a decrease in crop yield in India will have a serious impact on food security and economic growth. (HT File)
Surface ozone, a plant-damaging pollutant could be destroying up to 15% wheat crop and up to 6% rice yield every year across India, a first-of-its kind study based on ground observations of ozone, has revealed.
A multi-institute study comprising 14 scientists and led by the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, under the Department of Space, has estimated that every year, surface ozone is likely to wipe out 4.0–14.2 million tonnes (MT) of the total 95 MT of wheat produced in India, and 0.3–6.7 MT of the total 105 MT rice grown.
Surface ozone – also called a secondary pollutant – is generated through chemical reactions between primary pollutants such as oxides of nitrogen and volatile organic compounds, in the presence of sunlight. The sources of these primary pollutants are power plants, vehicles, industries, and bio-mass burning.
With a projected rise in man-made pollution including surface ozone, researchers said the findings are important since a decrease in crop yield in India, which is the second populous country, will have a serious impact on its food security and economic growth.
“Wheat and rice are important crops for India since they form a staple diet,” said professor Shyam Lal, principal investigator, PRL. “Photosynthesis takes place during the day. When ozone molecules, which are generated in the presence of sunlight, get into the plant cells, the plant gets affected and can get damaged.”
Previous studies have calculated the annual loss of wheat crop in the range of 5% to 30%, and between 2.1% and 16 % for rice yields. However, these high estimates were based on either limited observations – restricted to some states only – or regional and global chemistry transport models.
“Ozone is a very new phenomenon in India now, and ozone levels are rising. The findings are important, as we now know from different sources of the impact of surface ozone on vegetation and crops, in addition to health. This means that pollution is ultimately reaching food security,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director, research and advocacy and head of the air pollution and clean transportation programme, Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi, who was not involved in the study. “Ozone reduction strategies have to become an important policy focus now.”
The present study, drawn from data on surface ozone recorded at 17 locations across India, has found that general pattern of ozone variability shows higher ozone in April–May, lower in August and again increasing in October– November.
This is because high pollution levels and strong sunlight especially between March and May results in high levels of surface ozone damaging crops. Low surface ozone levels recorded during winter months when pollution levels are high but sunlight is low will either not damage crops or the loss is less.
Though there is a permissible human exposure level for surface ozone set by the Central Pollution Control Board, there are no safe levels prescribed for plants.
For the study, researchers used two internationally adopted methods to assess the exposure of crops to surface ozone – average ozone levels for seven hours during the day for three-month cropping period and second, accumulated ozone levels that exceed 40 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) over the same period.
[S2] In the present study, exposure to wheat in the north and west-central regions of India crossed the average surface ozone 40 ppbv threshold between January and March. The North Indian region includes Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, while west-central regions comprise Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Average ozone levels during the wheat crop duration of three months were highest in the west/central region at about 47 ppbv followed by north India at about 41 ppbv. The corresponding accumulated ozone levels recorded in the west was 16,300 ppbv*hr and it was about 7,200 ppbv*hr in the north. However, a major part of the wheat crop is grown in north India only.
The damage to rice though lower was also pronounced in northern and western-central parts of the country. The seasonal average ozone levels in the north and west-central were 33 ppbv and 27 ppbv – and the corresponding accumulated ozone levels in both these regions were 4730 ppbv*hr and 3400 ppbv*hr.
Researchers said as compared to wheat, crop loss for rice is less because surface ozone levels are lower as the main harvesting period is soon after the summer monsoon. Also average surface ozone levels are lower in the eastern and southern regions of India where large quantity of rice is grown.
India has two cropping seasons – Kharif and Rabi. Sowing for rice, a kharif crop, takes place between June and July, and it’s harvested from September to October. Wheat is a rabi crop that is sown between November and December, and harvested from February to April.
North India logged the highest annual loss of about 9 MT of wheat. For rice, the maximum loss of about 2.6 MT every year was recorded from the country’s eastern region of Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Chattisgarh, Assam, and Jharkhand.
With pollution levels set to rise further including levels of surface ozone, international studies have predicted higher losses for wheat and rice for India by 2030.
“Ozone is a very reactive gas, and while it is very harmful for health it also has a huge impact on vegetation. Ozone will increase if emissions of gases from combustion of sources such as vehicles and industries increase. If you have to control ozone, then need to control emissions from nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons,” said Roychowdhury.
Based on the study findings, researchers have suggested that wheat, 73% of which is cultivated in north India alone, should be sown as early as possible starting November so that it is grown in the period when ozone is relatively lower.
“Wheat and rice cultivars, which have resistance to ozone damage, need to be developed. We would like to suggest policy makers to work out plans to reduce air pollution, particularly in the northern India. This will take care not only of the losses of the crops but also health of the public,” read the study.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/surface-ozone-is-damaging-wheat-and-rice-crops-across-the-country-study/story-ATrw25PIoFHlYeQsqG7YDJ.html


PhilRice Negros showcases farm tech in ‘LakbayPalay’


Tuesday, October 31, 2017 THE Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice)-Negros showcased modern farming technologies and cultural management practices in rice production during the LakbayPalay Field Tour held in Murcia town on October 27. Themed “Kita kita sa Modernong Pagpanguma,” the event sought to assist farmers in the adoption of advanced technologies, including the use of high quality seeds, farm mechanization and climate smart management practices.

It envisioned optimizing farmers’ productivity and reducing production costs. Department of Agriculture (DA)-Western Visayas Technical Director for Operations and Extension Manuel Olanday said the agency will continue to support PhilRice in advancing research and development activities to aid rice farmers in the region. He also urged the farmers to adopt up-to-date farming technologies, use hybrid rice seeds, and employ modern farm machinery. He stressed that farmers shall organize themselves into registered associations to avail of different programs and services of DA.
Provincial agriculturist Japhet Masculino said farmers in Negros Occidental supply only 80 percent of the province’s requirement with four metric tons per hectare average yield. “Farmers shall embrace change and implement innovative farming technologies to attain its target yield of at least six metric tons per hectare,” Masculino added. Farmer-participants toured to seed production demo sites, and learned PhilRice’s rice varieties which can adapt in varied growing conditions with its susceptibility to pests and diseases.
They also visited the farm machinery demo sites, mechanization field trial site, and PhilRice Negros Water Rice Project. Other agencies, including the National Irrigation Administration, Bureau of Plant Industry-National Seed Quality Control System, Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, Philippine Carabao Center and National Dairy Authority, also participated and addressed the various concerns raised by farmers during the open forum. (PR)
http://www.sunstar.com.ph/bacolod/business/2017/10/31/philrice-negros-showcases-farm-tech-lakbaypalay-572283


Arkansas rice industry unveils new mural on Main Street Little Rock

Arkansas Rice showcased a new mural in downtown Little Rock on Monday. The art illustrates a field during harvest on the exterior wall of Besser Ace Hardware on Main Street.
The mural’s downtown location was chosen specifically to highlight the impact rice has on the state and give urban Arkansans a glimpse of life on the farm. Arkansas produces approximately 50% of the rice grown in the U.S., according to industry statistics.
“We are pleased to see another mural in downtown Little Rock,” said Gabe Holmstrom, Downtown Little Rock Partnership Executive Director. “Rice is an essential part of our State’s economy and this is a good way for people to have that reminder when they come downtown.”
Local artist Matt McLeod was commissioned to complete the project. It is one of multiple recent partnerships between Arkansas Rice and the Downtown Little Rock Partnership that are striving to bring the country and the city together.
“The accessibility and prominence of the mural will allow us to share the story of Arkansas rice with folks in town who have never experienced a turnrow during rice harvest,” said Lauren Waldrip Ward, Executive Director of the Arkansas Rice Federation. “Our hope is that the engagement component of the mural will increase our exposure by giving consumers a way to interact and help us educate Arkansans about this locally grown crop.”
https://talkbusiness.net/2017/10/arkansas-rice-industry-unveils-new-mural-on-main-street-little-rock/


THAI COMMERCE MINISTRY BEGINS NEW RICE SALE WITH HIGH HOPES


 

BANGKOK, 1st November 2017 (NNT) – The Ministry of Commerce has been contacted by over 200 foreign buyers in connection with its latest rice sales with expectations the sales will net over 30 billion baht.  Minister of Commerce Aphiradee Tantraporn has made known that negotiations to sell rice from state stocks has begun, with over 200 buyers from 25 different countries and over 100 domestic buyers expressing interest in buying the rice. She said sales so far are in keeping with Commerce Ministry policy to push Thai rice into the world market. 

The ministry has had all of its representatives around the world contact potential buyers and is expecting to see 586 million baht in immediate sales, with back-orders over the coming year expected to reach 30 billion baht in value.   It is also signing eight Memorandums of Understanding with major foreign rice importers and Thai buyers such as 759 Store, which supplies rice to 224 supermarkets throughout Hong Kong.   That one company has ordered 10,000 tons of Jasmine rice and up to 4,000 tons of other strains such as Rice Berry. Government to Government deals have also been struck with nations such as Bangladesh, which has ordered 150,000 tons of rice at a value of 69.75 million USD.  The ministry has made plans to connect rice mills with relevant agencies in line with a new Demand Driven approach being applied initially in Buriram, Surin and Si Sa Ket.

The Department of Foreign Trade has been directed to survey demand in foreign markets and to promote Thai rice.  From January to September this year, Thailand exported 8.23 tons of rice, worth 3.5 billion USD, 15.79 percent higher year-on-year. Major markets for Thai rice have been the Republic of Benin, China, the US, South Africa and Cameroon.  Aphiradee voiced confidence that her office will hit the 11 million tons of exported rice target it has set, especially as interest from Hong Kong has grown and new strains with properties such as diabetes mediation have been created.





Surface ozone is damaging wheat and rice crops across the country: Study



Findings are important, help establish that the air pollutant not only affects people’s health but is also a threat to India’s food security, researchers said

With a projected rise in man-made pollution including surface ozone, researchers said the findings are important as a decrease in crop yield in India will have a serious impact on food security and economic growth. (HT File)

Surface ozone, a plant-damaging pollutant could be destroying up to 15% wheat crop and up to 6% rice yield every year across India, a first-of-its kind study based on ground observations of ozone, has revealed. A multi-institute study comprising 14 scientists and led by the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, under the Department of Space, has estimated that every year, surface ozone is likely to wipe out 4.0–14.2 million tonnes (MT) of the total 95 MT of wheat produced in India, and 0.3–6.7 MT of the total 105 MT rice grown. Surface ozone – also called a secondary pollutant – is generated through chemical reactions between primary pollutants such as oxides of nitrogen and volatile organic compounds, in the presence of sunlight. The sources of these primary pollutants are power plants, vehicles, industries, and bio-mass burning. With a projected rise in man-made pollution including surface ozone, researchers said the findings are important since a decrease in crop yield in India, which is the second populous country, will have a serious impact on its food security and economic growth. “Wheat and rice are important crops for India since they form a staple diet,” said professor Shyam Lal, principal investigator, PRL. “Photosynthesis takes place during the day. When ozone molecules, which are generated in the presence of sunlight, get into the plant cells, the plant gets affected and can get damaged.” Previous studies have calculated the annual loss of wheat crop in the range of 5% to 30%, and between 2.1% and 16 % for rice yields. However, these high estimates were based on either limited observations – restricted to some states only – or regional and global chemistry transport models. “Ozone is a very new phenomenon in India now, and ozone levels are rising. The findings are important, as we now know from different sources of the impact of surface ozone on vegetation and crops, in addition to health. This means that pollution is ultimately reaching food security,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director, research and advocacy and head of the air pollution and clean transportation programme, Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi, who was not involved in the study. “Ozone reduction strategies have to become an important policy focus now.” The present study, drawn from data on surface ozone recorded at 17 locations across India, has found that general pattern of ozone variability shows higher ozone in April–May, lower in August and again increasing in October– November. This is because high pollution levels and strong sunlight especially between March and May results in high levels of surface ozone damaging crops. Low surface ozone levels recorded during winter months when pollution levels are high but sunlight is low will either not damage crops or the loss is less. Though there is a permissible human exposure level for surface ozone set by the Central Pollution Control Board, there are no safe levels prescribed for plants. For the study, researchers used two internationally adopted methods to assess the exposure of crops to surface ozone – average ozone levels for seven hours during the day for three-month cropping period and second, accumulated ozone levels that exceed 40 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) over the same period.



[S2] In the present study, exposure to wheat in the north and west-central regions of India crossed the average surface ozone 40 ppbv threshold between January and March. The North Indian region includes Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, while west-central regions comprise Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Average ozone levels during the wheat crop duration of three months were highest in the west/central region at about 47 ppbv followed by north India at about 41 ppbv.

The corresponding accumulated ozone levels recorded in the west was 16,300 ppbv*hr and it was about 7,200 ppbv*hr in the north. However, a major part of the wheat crop is grown in north India only. The damage to rice though lower was also pronounced in northern and western-central parts of the country. The seasonal average ozone levels in the north and west-central were 33 ppbv and 27 ppbv – and the corresponding accumulated ozone levels in both these regions were 4730 ppbv*hr and 3400 ppbv*hr. Researchers said as compared to wheat, crop loss for rice is less because surface ozone levels are lower as the main harvesting period is soon after the summer monsoon.

Also average surface ozone levels are lower in the eastern and southern regions of India where large quantity of rice is grown. India has two cropping seasons – Kharif and Rabi. Sowing for rice, a kharif crop, takes place between June and July, and it’s harvested from September to October. Wheat is a rabi crop that is sown between November and December, and harvested from February to April. North India logged the highest annual loss of about 9 MT of wheat. For rice, the maximum loss of about 2.6 MT every year was recorded from the country’s eastern region of Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Chattisgarh, Assam, and Jharkhand. With pollution levels set to rise further including levels of surface ozone, international studies have predicted higher losses for wheat and rice for India by 2030.

 “Ozone is a very reactive gas, and while it is very harmful for health it also has a huge impact on vegetation. Ozone will increase if emissions of gases from combustion of sources such as vehicles and industries increase. If you have to control ozone, then need to control emissions from nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons,” said Roychowdhury. Based on the study findings, researchers have suggested that wheat, 73% of which is cultivated in north India alone, should be sown as early as possible starting November so that it is grown in the period when ozone is relatively lower. “Wheat and rice cultivars, which have resistance to ozone damage, need to be developed. We would like to suggest policy makers to work out plans to reduce air pollution, particularly in the northern India. This will take care not only of the losses of the crops but also health of the public,” read the study.


Summer-autumn crop yields 11.5 million tonnes of rice
 Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam’s rice output during the summer-autumn crop was estimated at 11.5 million tonnes, an increase of 127,500 tonnes, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The total rice farming land for this crop was 2.1 million hectares, with 1.93 million hectares in the southern region. The Mekong Delta region, the country’s granary, alone had 1.65 million hectares, representing 98.6 percent of the same period last year. By mid-October, 661,500 hectares in the Mekong Delta had been sowed for the autumn-winter crop. Numerous localities pumped water into fields to enrich farming land and reduce diseases for the next crop. The northern region had by mid-October harvested the winter rice crop on 870,800 hectares, accounting for 76.7 percent of the total farming land, including the Red Delta harvesting on 418,400 hectares, or 77.1 percent of its cultivation land.-VNA


Rice millers owe 7,500 crore to Punjab

       
CHANDIGARH: There are 1,537 rice millers in the defaulters' list of Punjab as they have failed to return the levy rice worth Rs 7,500 crore to the state government after milling paddy in the last 10 years. "One-time settlement scheme(OTS) has not been as per our expectation. They (millers) say that it is due to liquidity crunch. Though some rice sellers have taken its (OTS) benefit," said K A P Sinha, principal secretary in the department of food, civil supplies and consumer affairs.

He added that as per the clause put in the custom milling policy, "along with the persons, rice sellers will also be treated defaulters." Addressing the media here, Sinha said this year the state government is expecting procurement of 182 lakh tonne paddy by December 15, which is an all-time high. He said last year, a total of 168 lakh tonne paddy was procured by various agencies in the state. Till October 29, procurement agencies and millers have procured over 123 lakh tonnes paddy as compared to 121 lakh tonnes last year in the corresponding period.

"We have got Rs 28,000 crore cash credit limit (CCL) sanctioned on October 5 this year, which is in time. We are ensuring payment to farmers within 24 hours," said Sinha. He added that this CCL is valid till the end of October and the state government has asked for more CCL to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore from the Reserve Bank of India. Sinha said because of the good weather this season, procurement agencies have been receiving the paddy within the 17% prescribed moisture content limit.Answering a question, Sinha said that payment of provident fund to the labourers is a statutory responsibility of the arhtiyas which they cannot escape.

He also informed that prices of basmati rice are fluctuating but the market is good and rice millers are purchasing it.
Sinha added that the state government has flagged the issue to settle around Rs 31,000 crore debt incurred for foodgrain procurement during the previous government. "This includes Rs 12,000 crore principal amount and over Rs 18,000 crore interest. The chief minister had taken up the issued with the Prime Minister.We have sent the reports demanded from us by the Centre," said Sinha.He said the government had paid Rs 16,000 crore to the farmers for paddy so far.


Rice millers owe 7,500 crore to Punjab


CHANDIGARH: There are 1,537 rice millers in the defaulters' list of Punjab as they have failed to return the levy rice worth Rs 7,500 crore to the state government after milling paddy in the last 10 years. "One-time settlement scheme(OTS) has not been as per our expectation. They (millers) say that it is due to liquidity crunch. Though some rice sellers have taken its (OTS) benefit," said K A P Sinha, principal secretary in the department of food, civil supplies and consumer affairs.
He added that as per the clause put in the custom milling policy, "along with the persons, rice sellers will also be treated defaulters." Addressing the media here, Sinha said this year the state government is expecting procurement of 182 lakh tonne paddy by December 15, which is an all-time high. He said last year, a total of 168 lakh tonne paddy was procured by various agencies in the state.
Till October 29, procurement agencies and millers have procured over 123 lakh tonnes paddy as compared to 121 lakh tonnes last year in the corresponding period. "We have got Rs 28,000 crore cash credit limit (CCL) sanctioned on October 5 this year, which is in time. We are ensuring payment to farmers within 24 hours," said Sinha. He added that this CCL is valid till the end of October and the state government has asked for more CCL to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore from the Reserve Bank of India. Sinha said because of the good weather this season, procurement agencies have been receiving the paddy within the 17% prescribed moisture content limit.
Answering a question, Sinha said that payment of provident fund to the labourers is a statutory responsibility of the arhtiyas which they cannot escape.

He also informed that prices of basmati rice are fluctuating but the market is good and rice millers are purchasing it.
Sinha added that the state government has flagged the issue to settle around Rs 31,000 crore debt incurred for foodgrain procurement during the previous government. "This includes Rs 12,000 crore principal amount and over Rs 18,000 crore interest. The chief minister had taken up the issued with the Prime Minister.We have sent the reports demanded from us by the Centre," said Sinha.He said the government had paid Rs 16,000 crore to the farmers for paddy so far.

 

Farmers ask FG to maintain ban on rice importation

October 30
19:112017
by News Agency

Rice farmers have appealed to the federal government to maintain the ban on rice importation, saying this would boost local production.Jamilu Ibrahim, chairman of rice farmers in Daura, Katsina state, said this in an interview with NAN on Monday.He said maintaining the ban would protect farmers and boost local rice consumption in the country.
He said the farmers would increase their production capacity and sell at affordable prices.
“In Nigeria, we have fertile land in no fewer than 25 states where rice can be produced in large quantities for local consumption,” he said.While Ibrahim praised government’s intervention in the agricultural sector, he also reached out to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to open up more opportunities to grant loans to local rice farmers in the country.
“The CBN should continue with the anchor borrower programme that was introduced to assist local rice farmers with loans,” he said.“The programme has assisted farmers in producing rice in large quantities during the 2017 farming season.“We are now set to go back to our farms for the production of rice during the dry season farming.


Late rice enters harvest season in Liuzhou, south China

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/11/1 7:43:46

Aerial photo taken on Oct. 31, 2017 shows paddy field in Chengtuan Town of Liuzhou City, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Late rice entered the harvest season in Liuzhou recently. (Xinhua/Li Shuhou)

 
A villager harvests rice in Chengtuan Town of Liuzhou City, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Oct. 31, 2017. Late rice entered the harvest season in Liuzhou recently. (Xinhua/Li Hanchi)

  
A villager dries rice in Chengtuan Town of Liuzhou City, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Oct. 31, 2017. Late rice entered the harvest season in Liuzhou recently. (Xinhua/Li Hanchi)

  
Villagers dry rice on their rooftops in Chengtuan Town of Liuzhou City, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Oct. 31, 2017. Late rice entered the harvest season in Liuzhou recently. (Xinhua/Li Hanchi)
http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1072987.shtml OCTOBER 31 2017 - 1:44PM

NSW Rice Marketing Board elections announced

Elections for the Rice Marketing Board (RMB) for NSW are fast approaching and rice growers are encouraged to vote. Seven candidates are vying for three positions on the board. New candidates are John Bradford, Debbie Buller, Ted Hatty, Paul Kayess, Gillian Kirkup, Ian Mason and Alan Walsh are seeking election, with incumbents Gillian Kirkup and John Bradford also putting their names in the hat. 
After 34 years at the forefront of the rice industry, board stalwart Noel Graham is not seeking re-election.RMB Chair, Robyn Clubb encourages rice growers to have their say. “Growers should receive their voting packs from the NSW Electoral Commission in the next week or thereabouts,” she said. 
“We strongly encourage all growers to have their say on who should represent them on the Board.” Of the seven board members four are nominated by the NSW Minister for Primary Industries and three are elected by rice growers.The RMB aims to ensure that NSW rice growers get the best return on their product. “The RMB has an important role to play in ensuring vesting continues to provide strong returns to NSW rice growers,” said Ms Clubb. 
“We rely on engaged and informed board members to deliver these returns to the industry.”Voting closes on 20 November and is by postal ballot. If growers have any questions or do not receive ballots within the next two weeks, they can contact the NSW Electoral Commission on 02 9290 5924.
http://www.irrigator.com.au/story/5025035/nsw-rice-marketing-board-elections-announced/




Summer-autumn crop yields 11.5 million tonnes of rice

Hanoi, October 31 (VNA) - Vietnam’s rice output during the summer-autumn crop was estimated at 11.5 million tonnes, an increase of 127,500 tonnes, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The total rice farming land for this crop was 2.1 million hectares, with 1.93 million hectares in the southern region. The Mekong Delta region, the country’s granary, alone had 1.65 million hectares, representing 98.6 percent of the same period last year. 

By mid-October, 661,500 hectares in the Mekong Delta had been sowed for the autumn-winter crop. Numerous localities pumped water into fields to enrich farming land and reduce diseases for the next crop. The northern region had by mid-October harvested the winter rice crop on 870,800 hectares, accounting for 76.7 percent of the total farming land, including the Red Delta harvesting on 418,400 hectares, or 77.1 percent of its cultivation land.


https://vietnam.vnanet.vn/english/summer-autumn-crop-yields-115-million-tonnes-of-rice/355847.html








Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- November 01, 2017
NOVEMBER 1, 2017 / 2:03 PM /
Nagpur Foodgrain Prices – APMC/Open Market-November 01

Nagpur, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Gram prices firmed up again in Nagpur Agriculture Produce MarketingCommittee (APMC) on increased buying support from local millers amid thin supply from producingregions. Fresh rise in Madhya Pradesh gram prices and reported demand from South-based millersalso helped to push up prices, according to sources. 

    FOODGRAINS & PULSES
    
   GRAM
   * Gram varieties ruled steady in open market here but demand was poor.
  
   TUAR
     
   * Tuar Karanataka reported down in open market in absence of buyers amid increased
     supply from producing belts.

   * Rice Chinnor variety reported strong in open market on increased seasonal demand
     from local traders amid tight supply from producing regions.
                                                       
   * In Akola, Tuar New – 3,950-4,075, Tuar dal (clean) – 5,700-6,000, Udid Mogar (clean)
    – 7,700-8,300, Moong Mogar (clean) 6,900-7,200, Gram – 4,700-4,800, Gram Super best
    – 7,100-7,300

   * Wheat, other varieties of 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                  3,700-4,807         3,700-4,600
     Gram Pink Auction            n.a.           2,100-2,600
     Tuar Auction                3,500-3,935         3,550-3,940
     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        1,600-1,688        1,600-1,642
     Gram Super Best Bold            7,500-7,800        7,500-7,800
     Gram Super Best            n.a.            n.a.
     Gram Medium Best            6,200-7,000        6,200-7,000
     Gram Dal Medium            n.a.            n.a
     Gram Mill Quality            5,000-5,100        5,000-5,100
     Desi gram Raw                4,800-4,850         4,800-4,850
     Gram Kabuli                12,500-13,200        12,500-13,200
     Tuar Fataka Best-New             6,200-6,400        6,000-6,400
     Tuar Fataka Medium-New        5,700-6,000        5,700-6,000
     Tuar Dal Best Phod-New        5,300-5,600        5,300-5,600
     Tuar Dal Medium phod-New        4,750-5,150        4,800-5,200
     Tuar Gavarani New             3,750-3,850        3,750-3,850
     Tuar Karnataka             4,100-4,400        4,200-4,500
     Masoor dal best            4,900-5,400        4,900-5,400
     Masoor dal medium            4,500-4,800        4,500-4,800
     Masoor                    n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Mogar bold (New)        6,800-7,400         6,800-7,400
     Moong Mogar Medium            6,300-6,600        6,300-6,600
     Moong dal Chilka            5,600-6,200        5,600-6,200
     Moong Mill quality            n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Chamki best            7,000-7,500        7,000-7,500
     Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 8,000-8,500       8,000-8,500
     Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)    6,100-7,100        6,100-7,100   
     Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)        5,200-6,200        5,200-6,100    
     Batri dal (100 INR/KG)        5,000-5,400        5,000-5,400
     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)    3,400-3,800        3,400-3,800  
     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)    2,200-2,450        2,200-2,400   
     Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG)   1,900-2,150        1,900-2,100
     Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG)    n.a.            n.a.
     MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG)    3,000-3,600        3,000-3,600   
     MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)    2,200-2,700        2,200-2,700          
     Rice BPT best (100 INR/KG)        3,000-3,500        3,000-3,500    
     Rice BPT medium (100 INR/KG)        2,800-2,900        2,800-2,900   
     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)        3,600-4,000        3,600-4,000    
     Rice HMT medium (100 INR/KG)        3,250-3,600        3,250-3,600   
     Rice Shriram best(100 INR/KG)      4,600-5,000        4,600-5,000
     Rice Shriram med (100 INR/KG)    4,200-4,500        4,200-4,400  
     Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG)    10,000-14,000        10,000-14,000    
     Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG)    5,000-7,500        5,000-7,500   
     Rice Chinnor best 100 INR/KG)    5,000-5,500        4,700-5,200   
     Rice Chinnor medium (100 INR/KG)    4,700-5,000        4,400-4,600  
     Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG)        2,000-2,200        2,000-2,100   
     Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG)         1,800-2,000        1,700-2,000

WEATHER (NAGPUR) 
Maximum temp. 33.2 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 14.3 degree Celsius
Rainfall : Nil
FORECAST: Mainly clear sky. Maximum and minimum temperature would be around and 32 and 14 degreeCelsius respectively.

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

https://in.reuters.com/article/nagpur-foodgrain/nagpur-foodgrain-prices-open-november-01-2017-idINL4N1N73HZ




Rice millers owe 7,500 crore to Punjab

TNN | Oct 31, 2017, 08:16 IST

CHANDIGARH: There are 1,537 rice millers in the defaulters' list of Punjab as they have failed to return the levy rice worth Rs 7,500 crore to the state government after milling paddy in the last 10 years."One-time settlement scheme(OTS) has not been as per our expectation. They (millers) say that it is due to liquidity crunch. Though some rice sellers have taken its (OTS) benefit," said K A P Sinha, principal secretary in the department of food, civil supplies and consumer affairs. He added that as per the clause put in the custom milling policy, "along with the persons, rice sellers will also be treated defaulters."

Addressing the media here, Sinha said this year the state government is expecting procurement of 182 lakh tonne paddy by December 15, which is an all-time high. He said last year, a total of 168 lakh tonne paddy was procured by various agencies in the state. Till October 29, procurement agencies and millers have procured over 123 lakh tonnes paddy as compared to 121 lakh tonnes last year in the corresponding period.

"We have got Rs 28,000 crore cash credit limit (CCL) sanctioned on October 5 this year, which is in time. We are ensuring payment to farmers within 24 hours," said Sinha.


He added that this CCL is valid till the end of October and the state government has asked for more CCL to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore from the Reserve Bank of India. Sinha said because of the good weather this season, procurement agencies have been receiving the paddy within the 17% prescribed moisture content limit.

Answering a question, Sinha said that payment of provident fund to the labourers is a statutory responsibility of the arhtiyas which they cannot escape.He also informed that prices of basmati rice are fluctuating but the market is good and rice millers are purchasing it.

Sinha added that the state government has flagged the issue to settle around Rs 31,000 crore debt incurred for foodgrain procurement during the previous government. "This includes Rs 12,000 crore principal amount and over Rs 18,000 crore interest. The chief minister had taken up the issued with the Prime Minister.We have sent the reports demanded from us by the Centre," said Sinha.He said the government had paid Rs 16,000 crore to the farmers for paddy so far.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/rice-millers-owe-7500cr-to-state/articleshow/61350087.cms


Sri Lanka closes 200,000 Metric Tons int’l rice tender

2017-10-31 00:07:45
      
The international rice tender recently floated by Sri Lanka for global procurement will close at 2pm today. Meanwhile, 17000 MT of parboiled rice from India is already in the local marketplace, now sold via Lanka Sathosa outlets at Rs 74 per kilo. 

“We are making every effort to ensure that there will be no shortages for the consumer” said Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen during his discussions with his top officials at the ministry earlier. Accordingly, Sri Lanka floated this international tender on 19 October for a 200,000 MT rice tranche consisting of 90,000MT of Parboiled Nadu rice, 60,000MT of Samba (parboiled) rice, and 50,000 MT of White Raw rice. 

Along with global bidders, Sri Lankan rice importers too are eligible to take part in the latest tender. Of the 200,000 MT rice called for in the tender, Sri Lanka expects 100,000 MT to arrive in Colombo by end November 2017 and the other 100,000 MT to arrive by end of December 2017.  

Meanwhile, 17000 MT of the 100,000 MT rice consignment ordered from an Indian private supplier have been received in Colombo in the last few days and cleared by Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (CWE). 

Under the directions of the government’s Cost of Living Committee (CoLC) of Sri Lanka announced on 13 October Sri Lanka will import 500,000 MT rice to overcome domestic supply shortages as a result of fall in paddy supplies for three straight seasons.

 The aim of CoLC and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce is to give the Lankan consumers with lowest prices and a steady supply.

http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/Sri-Lanka-closes-Metric-Tons-int-l-rice-tender--139428.html


In a first, India to export rice to Bangladesh as neighbouring country hit by shortfall

In a first of its kind arrangement between India and Bangladesh in recent years, India would be exporting around 5 lakh tonne of parboiled rice to Bangladesh for meeting its domestic demand and creating a buffer stock.

By: Sandip Das | New Delhi | Published: October 4, 2017 3:02 AM
At present, Bangladesh is facing a shortfall of 1.5 million tonne (mt) of rice this year due to crop losses by heavy flooding in the recent months.
TOP NEWS

In a first of its kind arrangement between India and Bangladesh in recent years, India would be exporting around 5 lakh tonne of parboiled rice to Bangladesh for meeting its domestic demand and creating a buffer stock.
Sources told FE that the India government has authorised agri cooperative Nafed to export rice to Bangladesh. At present, Bangladesh is facing a shortfall of 1.5 million tonne (mt) of rice this year due to crop losses by heavy flooding in the recent months.
Bangladesh’s ministry of food has called a meeting on October 15 to decide on the prices and time-frame for supply of rice from India. As the rice exports would be carried on a G2G (government-to-government) basis, there would not be any tender for rice exports from India. Around 1.5 lakh tonne of rice has been already exported to Bangladesh by private trade this fiscal year.
Nafed is expected to source parboiled rice from eastern states such as Chhattisgarh, Bengal and Odisha for exports to Bangladesh as the region has similar food habits.
Meanwhile, in a bid to boost domestic rice supply, Bangladesh has cut import duty on rice twice in last couple of months. Recently, the import duty was slashed to 2% from existing 10%. In June, the import duty was slashed to 10% from 25%.
Earlier this year, the Bangladesh government had set a rice production target of 19.1 mt, but floods in the northeastern region have damaged around 2 mt rice. “One thing needs to be clear that the decision to import doesn’t mean that there’s a crisis. The stock in government warehouses as well as the supply in market is ample,” Bangladesh food minister Qamrul Islam said recently.
Currently, the price of common variety of rice in Bangladesh is around taka 50 ($0.62), which is an increase of more than 78% from 28 taka a kg prevailed about four month ago.
Around 75% of requirement in Bangladesh is of parboiled rice while the rest is of white rice
However, India’s domestic rice prices are expected to be soften as kharif paddy for 2017-18 crop year (July-June) has started to arrive in the market. India produced a record 110 mt rice in crop year (2016-17) while in the current year, the output could decline marginally because of patchy monsoon rains in some of the key growing areas. India is the world’s largest exporter of rice with annual shipment of more than 10 mt for last couple of years.
Trade sources said that India is well-placed to supply rice, because of physical proximity to Bangladesh compared to Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. The cargo consignment from India can reach Bangladesh within a day via land, or 3-4 days via the sea





Rice to be imported thru' 3 more customs stations

October 31, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 31, 2017
The National Board of Revenue has allowed rice import through three more land customs (LC) stations.
The move was made to facilitate the entry of the staple from all sides of the country for curbing a price spike through increased supply.From now on, businesses will be able to import rice through LC stations at Rohanpur of Rajshahi, Akhaura of Brahmanbaria and Bibirbazar of Comilla, reads a notification issued by the NBR last week.
These will function along with the existing nine LC gateways with neighbouring India, including those at Benapole, Sonamasjid and Hilli, it said.“We think import of rice through more LC stations will not only ensure increased supply in all areas but also will reduce the cost of the importers,” said Mohammad Ehteshamul Hoque, first secretary of customs modernisation and international trade at the NBR.The NBR's latest move came two months after it allowed rice import through Sheola and Zakiganj LC stations in Sylhet.The move was made to augment supply to arrest a price hike in the northeastern region that suffered from crop losses due to floods just ahead of the harvest of Boro rice, the principal crop.Rice prices, which began to rise from April this year, hit a record high of Tk 54 a kilogramme, in mid-September for a host of factors.
These include crop damage owing to recurrent floods, hoarding by a section of millers and traders and low stocks at government warehouses.Prices declined a bit since the third week of September because of increased imports and duty cuts by the NBR.Yesterday, retail prices of coarse rice in Dhaka city's markets were Tk 44-46 per kilogramme, down 8 percent from that a month ago. Prices of grain of the same quality were 15 percent higher year-on-year, according to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh.Hoque, the NBR official, said rice import through rail route would get a boost on inclusion of the Rohanpur LC station.A railway route exists connecting Rohanpur in Chapainawabganj and Singabad in West Bengal's Malda.
Officials said the NBR has allowed entry of the commodity through more customs gateways based on proposals from importers and local chambers.“Inclusion of rail route will be beneficial. The more the avenues, the more supply will be,” said Citta Majumder, managing director of the Majumder Group of Industries, a rice miller and importer.
Yet there is a problem. “The number of engines that Bangladesh Railway has should be increased to pull wagons coming from India. Unloading of products and return of wagons are not done on time because of a shortage of locomotives here,” he said.
He said prices of coarse rice have declined to Tk 36-37 per kilogramme at the border because of increased supply.From July 1 to October 24 in 2017-18, rice imports stood at 14.13 tonnes, up 10 times the total import of 1.33 lakh tonnes in July-June period of 2016-17, according to food ministry data.Private traders imported three fourth of the total rice that has arrived so far.
http://www.thedailystar.net/business/rice-be-imported-thru-3-more-customs-stations-1484092

Traders urge radical steps to reduce Pak-Afghan tension

Pakistan, Afghanistan are losing out on huge potential for trade due to fraught diplomatic ties: experts
Traders urge radical steps to reduce Pak-Afghan tension
By Aamir Latif
KARACHI, Pakistan
Pakistan and Afghanistan are losing out on the huge potential for trade due to fraught diplomatic relations and poor connectivity, according to traders and experts, who urged radical measures to rectify the situation.
Trade between the two countries currently stands at $1.5 billion compared with $2.5 billion in 2015.
Pakistan Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industries Chairman Zubair Motiwala told Anadolu Agency: “Fortunately, there is a huge trade potential between the two brotherly countries as Afghanistan being a landlocked country, heavily depends on Pakistan.
“But, unfortunately, we are not exploiting this potential.”
The actual trade potential between the two countries, according to Motiwala, is over $10 billion but because of multiple hurdles, which are very much addressable, bilateral trade -- documented and undocumented -- is not more than $4 billion.
Government and independent estimates suggest that cross border or undocumented trade between the two neighbors is around $2.5 billion.
The first and foremost step, Motiwala suggested, is to build trust between Kabul and Islamabad.
"Lack of trust, which is at highest level in recent decades, has crumbled the bilateral trade," he added.
Rationalization of customs duty is another step, which could boost depreciating trade between the two neighbors, he said.
“I have personally told President Ashraf Ghani during a recent meeting that irrational customs duties are badly affecting trade between the two countries, which need to be addressed.
“He [Ghani] agreed to my suggestion and a committee representing both sides was formed to address the issue, but said know what, not even a single meeting of that committee has so far been held,” he maintained.

'Colossal financial losses'
A strict visa regime, sporadic closure of crossings and absence of strong mediation and arbitration points in both countries are other factors, which demand immediate solution, Motiwala said.
“Security comes first, there is no doubt about that. But when you close crossings after every one or two months in the name of terrorist, who by the way, never use gates to infiltrate, then the confidence of traders from both sides is shattered,” Motiwala added, referring to closure of borders by Islamabad in recent months following a spate of terrorism in the country, for which it blames Afghanistan-based militant groups.
Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) Vice President Khan Jan Alakozay agrees the rift between Islamabad and Kabul is detrimental to bilateral trade, business community and common people in both countries.
“Globally, it is a known fact that trade between neighbors is always the easiest and cheapest, but unfortunately trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan is on downward trajectory,” Alakozay told Anadolu Agency, urging Kabul and Islamabad to relax the tariff regime and adopt friendly postures.
Atif Ikram, head of regional trade committee of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FPCCI) -- a central body of Pakistani businessmen and traders, agreed with Motiwala.
“The recent closure of borders has not only caused colossal financial losses to traders from both sides, but it has allowed India, Iran, and China to replace Pakistani products in Afghan markets,” Ikram told Anadolu Agency.
“Our policymakers want to improve trade with countries which are thousands of miles away but continue to ignore neighboring nations which is surprising.
“Imports from Afghanistan do not require foreign exchange because many Afghan traders happily accept rupee which should be exploited.”
After Iran, Pakistan was Afghanistan's second-largest trade partner for long but China has recently replaced Islamabad while the U.K. and Germany have also improved their trade with the war-stricken country, he added.
Ikram further said Pakistan had not been able to improve trading points -- northwestern Torkham and southwestern Chaman -- and operationalize Ghulam Khan crossing, which had facilitated trade between Kabul and Tehran.
According to ACCI, Afghanistan had long been importing hundreds of containers via Pakistan’s Karachi port annually but that has now fallen considerably with Kabul developing alternate routes such as Iran's Chabahar port and growing trade with Iran, Central Asia and Turkey.

Need for mutual understanding
Pakistan’s longtime rival India has recently launched its air-cargo service for Afghanistan, which would help it reduce border issues with Islamabad.
Islamabad allows only Afghan exports to India through its northeastern Wagha border but it does not permit exports from India meant for Afghanistan.
Making things further complicated, Afghan President last week in New Delhi announced that his country would not provide road access to Pakistan for trade with Central Asian states unless it was given trade access to India by Islamabad.
The Afghan government has also imposed regulatory duties on various Pakistan products which helped similar Iranian and Indian goods to replace Pakistani items.
Islamabad and Kabul have recently imposed ban on entry of each others’ goods transport to their respective territories following the expiry of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Trade Agreement (APTA).
Enjoying the trade volume heavily in its favor with a ratio of 80-20, Pakistan exports rice, petroleum products, cement, flour, pharmaceutical products, vegetables, leather products, plastic articles, chemical products, transport equipment, textiles and wheat. While, it imports fruits -- pomegranates and grapes -- and hand-knitted carpets from the landlocked country.
The recent diplomatic stand-off and increase in import duty have badly affected Afghan fruits exports to Pakistan as well.
Fruit sellers from southern Kandahar province last week announced they would stop exporting fresh fruits to Pakistan in protest against hike in import duty.
Afghanistan was earning up to $2 billion per annum from transit trade services provided to Pakistan for the Central Asian states, but the Kabul government believes the losses it sustains because of Pakistani government not allowing Afghan trucks bring goods from India are greater than this profit.
“The way forward is mutual understanding; Pakistan has fruits such as mango, banana and other items for which Afghanistan and the Central Asia are main markets.
"Similarly, for Afghanistan’s grapes, pomegranates, marble and other items Pakistan is the nearest and most easily accessible market,” Alakozay said.
*Shadi Khan Saif contributed to this story from Kabul, Afghanistan