Friday, November 17, 2017

17th November,2017 daily global regional local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine



UK commerce delegation visits Pakistan; expresses desire for more investment

NOVEMBER 16, 2017
https://dailytimes.com.pk/assets/uploads/2017/11/15/ICCI-President-Sheikh-Amir-Waheed.jpgISLAMABAD: A 10-member delegation of UK Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UKPCCI) led by its President Ch Muhammad Sadeeq visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) and informed that they were planning to organise a “Made in Pakistan” Expo in UK in October 2018 to promote Pakistani products in the British market. The delegation was representing various sectors including chain of hotels and restaurants, real estate, furniture, health, education, importers of rice and food products, livestock and halal meat.
Speaking at the occasion, UKPCCI President Ch Muhammad Sadeeq said that Pakistani community in UK wanted to see a progressive and prosperous Pakistan as they had utmost love for it. He said a 25-member delegation of UKPCCI was visiting Pakistan to attend Karachi Expo and study its market as overseas Pakistani investors in the UK were keen to explore opportunities of joint ventures and investment in various sectors of Pakistan’s economy. He said the delegation had already held fruitful meetings at Karachi and Lahore many delegation members had also finalised business deals in Pakistan.
UKPCCI General Secretary Kamran Khan said that the purpose of their chamber was to promote bilateral trade between Pakistan and UK and UKPCCI would also strive to bring more British investors to Pakistan. He stressed that Pakistani media should highlight positives of Pakistan as projection of negatives was creating misperception among the youth of overseas Pakistanis. He said the ICCI and UKPCCI should set up helpdesks to facilitate members of both chambers for doing business in Pakistan and UK.
Speaking at the occasion, ICCI President Sheikh Amir Waheed said that Pakistan and UK have great potential to enhance bilateral trade from current £2.5 billion to £3 billion and both countries should facilitate frequent exchange of trade delegations to explore untapped areas of mutual cooperation. He said Pakistan was emerging as a potential market for business and investment due to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and other rising sectors and stressed that UKPCCI should convince maximum Pakistani investors in the UK to bring technology and investment to Pakistan in areas of interest.
ICCI Senior Vice President Muhammad Naveed and Vice President Nisar Mirza stressed that both chambers should develop strong liaisons to enhance connectivity between private sectors of Pakistan and UK that would help in promoting bilateral trade between both countries. They said both chambers should extend reciprocal facilitation services to each other’s members so that businessmen of Pakistan and UK could easily visit each other’s countries to explore new business opportunities. The business community of both sides was of the view that big companies were coming to invest in CPEC and both chambers should work together to explore business opportunities for SMEs in CPEC projects. The members of both chambers also held B2B meetings to explore business collaborations with each other in areas of mutual interest.
Published in Daily Times, November 16th 2017.


SUPPORT BANGKOK REFUGEES BY EATING THEIR FOOD, BUYING THEIR CRAFTS

http://www.khaosodenglish.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/BAZAAR-696x392.jpgPhoto: Chamaliin / Facebook
BANGKOK — Thousands of urban refugees and asylum seekers live in Bangkok, where they are not allowed to work and risk being detained and sent to languish in immigration detention centers at any time.Meet some of them next week at a studio-arts venue in the On Nut area which will host an evening of music, food and crafts to support women refugees.
The Intercultural Bazaar will highlight international music performances and traditional cooking from five countries – Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Check out and learn how to make traditional crafts including embroidery and cool henna designs inspired by refugees from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Somalia and Vietnam.
Local brand Chamaliin will host the workshops and show some of its handmade products made by members of the refugee community.
Asylum seekers from several nations will prepare dishes from their homelands for sale at low cost. Expect samosas, pakora and biryani rice from Pakistan alongside Syrian kebab, fatayer, hummus and ma’amoul (date biscuits).
Sri Lankan dishes will include savory nuts, watalappam (cardamom spiced coconut custard) and sweet Laddu balls. Vietnamese Bahn Mi sandwiches, spring rolls and loklak (Khmer beef stew) will also be served.
Admission is free. Food and craft sales go to the individuals involved in making them.
The event runs 5pm to 11pm on Nov. 25 at Brownstone Studio. The studio-gallery-cafe is located in Soi Sukhumvit 77 near Soi On Nut 25, which can be reached by motorbike or taxi from BTS On Nut.


Pakistan due to finalize FTA with Iran next week
 By Mahnaz Abdi
November 15, 2017
https://media.mehrnews.com/d/2017/11/15/4/2636747.jpg
KARACHI- A Pakistani trade delegation is scheduled to visit Tehran on November 21 and 22 for finalizing a free trade agreement (FTA) with Iran, according to the commercial counselor of Pakistan to Tehran.
Nazar Muhammad Ranjha, leading a delegation of Iranian businessmen from different sectors to visit Expo Pakistan 2017 (held from November 9 to 12 at Karachi Expo Center), made the announcement in an interview with the Tehran Times on the sidelines of the exhibit.

Elaborating on the measures and targets for the expansion of trade between Iran and Pakistan, the Pakistani counselor said: “We have already achieved some targets. Last year the trade between the two countries crossed the level of $1 billion and this year during April-September total trade between the two countries was $660 million which is a very good one. We hope that this will increase a lot.”
“The $5 billion bilateral target was set last year to bring this trade to level of $5 billion by 2021. We hope that within the next four years by 2021 when we have free trade agreement and all the things in place this target is achievable and even we can achieve more than this”, he added.
Referring to his government’s measures for facilitation of trade with Iran, the counselor said: “We have brought this delegation here and we have today meetings with Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Karachi Chamber to have direct contact with the business community and to get the direct input what sort of facilitation is required by them [Iranian businessmen] and what kind of facilitation Pakistani business community can offer. So we can remove the problems and facilitate in any way.”
“And we have also pointed out many things to our Ministry of Commerce and also other trade authorities to provide different facilitations and this will be provided”, he added.
Pakistan sees Iran one of its main business partners
Elsewhere in his remarks, Nazar Muhammad said: “Pakistan considers Iran its one of the most important business partners and we are doing all of the best to improve the business relations.”
“I am thankful to you [Iranian delegation] and all of the delegations that are here on our invitation and we are very honored to have all you here and your participation is a very positive sign”, he noted.
“All the business community here have lot of demand that Iranian businessmen should come here”, the counselor highlighted.

“And as you know this is one of the biggest exhibitions that Pakistan has arranged. The last exhibition took place in 2015 and there are delegations from almost 50-55 countries from all over the world. The participation is very impressive. There are almost 900-1000 delegates that have come from foreign countries”, he further explained. 
Absence of banking channel main barrier for trade
Nazar Muhammad mentioned absence of banking channel as the major barrier for bilateral trade and said: “There is no banking channel and we are trying our best to resume this banking channel, because without this it is not easy with the businessmen to conduct their trade. When there will be banking channel it will easily increase trade many folds.”
He went on to say: “Then the tariffs are very high. Pakistani business community says that tariffs are very high in Tehran, lots of certifications like certification from health ministry are required and they have to get those certifications.” 
Mutual recognition agreement expected 
“And we are also now trying to sign an agreement which is called mutual recognition agreement.  It means that if there is some certification granted by Pakistani authorities to its businessmen it will be accepted by Iran and similarly if Iranian authorities have given some certifications it will be accepted by Pakistan. We are also negotiating this agreement during the meeting of free trade agreement. So this will also facilitate trade”, he further announced.
He also said: “We have already signed an agreement that is preferential trade agreement (PTA). It was signed in 2006 and under this agreement we have included 338 items from Iran and 309 items from Pakistan. So there are almost 650 items which can take place in preferential trade agreement which means tariffs will be reduced by both countries to each other but actually from last year we see from data there are only few number of items that are taking place.” 
“In last six months we had only eight items that have gone to Iran and maximum is rice. Rice is almost 65 percent of our total export, similarly Iran’s exports are considered in only 10-15 items, so we have to look into expand it to diversify it”, he added.
“With this diversification we need to reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers and then trade increases not only in volume but also in diversification and it can be done”, he concluded 
Many Pakistani delegations visit Iran last year 
Many different delegations from Pakistan including trade delegations have visited Iran during the past year period, Nazar Muhammad said, adding: “One delegation was from Lahore Chamber of Commerce, one from Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REP), and delegations from Pakistan-Iran Joint Chamber of Commerce that visited twice in the last year. Then the joint economic committee meeting was also held in April 2017 in Tehran.”
In the end, the Pakistani counselor said: “Once again thank you for coming here and also from our delegation from Iran. They are very much encouraged with this very much positive gesture and we hope that such delegations will be visiting both countries again.”

Made in Pakistan Expo’ to be held in UK


ISLAMABAD: UK-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UKPCCI) will organise "Made in Pakistan Expo" in Britain in October 2018 in order to promote Pakistani products in the local market.
This was stated by UK-Pakistan CCI president Chaudhry Muhammad Sadeeq, who along with a 10-member delegation visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday. The delegation was representing various sectors, including chain of hospitality and restaurants, real estate, furniture, health, education, importers of rice and food products, livestock and halal meat.
The UKPCCI president said Pakistani community in UK wanted to see a progressive and prosperous Pakistan, as they had utmost love for it. A 25-member delegation of UKPCCI is visiting Pakistan to attend Karachi Expo and study its market as Overseas Pakistani investors in the UK are keen to explore opportunities of joint ventures and investment in various sectors.
The delegation had already held fruitful meetings in Karachi and Lahore and many delegation members have also finalised business deals in Pakistan, he added.
                                                            

Relief package for rice exporters demanded

Salim Ahmed
Lahore
Rice exporters demand the government to provide them relief package so that they could not only become competitive in the world market but also increase the quantum of exports of the commodity.
If financially facilitated, the rice export sector may respond with 20 percent increase in export earnings during the first year, Rice Exporters Association Pakistan president Samiullah Chaudhry said in a media interaction here on Monday.
He regretted that various sectors earning much less than rice in exports like leather, surgical and sports goods were being offered rebate while rice sector was ignored which is securing around $2 billion foreign exchange each year. He feared that the sector could face closure if no package was announced for it in the near future. He said they are initiating a proposal that export rebate should be clubbed with growth rate i.e. the firm showing 10 percent plus growth in exports than the previous year should be offered the financial support.
Under the proposed formula the branded exports should get 7 percent, white rice 5 and brown rice 3 percent rebate, he added.
He said the government won’t have to allocate extra revenue for the proposed rebate rather it would issue vouchers against the export consignments which would be adjustable against withholding tax and the banks markup the financial institutions would charge on the credit facility for the rice exports. The proposal would not cost the government more than Rs10 billion per year but it would yield Rs25 billion more export revenue, he claimed.

Relief package for rice exporters demanded

Salim Ahmed
Lahore
Rice exporters demand the government to provide them relief package so that they could not only become competitive in the world market but also increase the quantum of exports of the commodity.
If financially facilitated, the rice export sector may respond with 20 percent increase in export earnings during the first year, Rice Exporters Association Pakistan president Samiullah Chaudhry said in a media interaction here on Monday.
He regretted that various sectors earning much less than rice in exports like leather, surgical and sports goods were being offered rebate while rice sector was ignored which is securing around $2 billion foreign exchange each year. He feared that the sector could face closure if no package was announced for it in the near future. He said they are initiating a proposal that export rebate should be clubbed with growth rate i.e. the firm showing 10 percent plus growth in exports than the previous year should be offered the financial support.
Under the proposed formula the branded exports should get 7 percent, white rice 5 and brown rice 3 percent rebate, he added.
He said the government won’t have to allocate extra revenue for the proposed rebate rather it would issue vouchers against the export consignments which would be adjustable against withholding tax and the banks markup the financial institutions would charge on the credit facility for the rice exports. The proposal would not cost the government more than Rs10 billion per year but it would yield Rs25 billion more export revenue, he claimed.
Pakobserver


Iraq Makes Huge Purchase of U.S. Rice Under the U.S.-Iraq Memorandum of Understanding 





By Michael Klein

ARLINGTON, VA -- Six months after the first U.S. rice purchase by Iraq under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two countries, Iraq has awarded a new 90,000 metric ton order for long grain milled rice to Archer Daniels Midland (ADM).

As with other successful tenders, it came down to the last minute and even the Iraqi Minister of Planning got involved in final deliberations.  The Minister and a delegation had visited the U.S. this summer to get a better understanding of the U.S. rice industry and to make sure U.S. industry understood his agency's needs and standards.

"We greatly appreciate Minister Salman al-Jumaili taking such an active role in the tender," said USA Rice vice president international Sarah Moran.  "It's a testament to the transparent process we hoped to achieve with the MOU.  Ambassador Silliman and staff at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad should also be commended for their work on behalf of U.S. agriculture."

"This will make 120,000 metric tons of U.S. rice going into Iraq since the MOU was signed in 2016," said USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward, who's group helped draft the MOU.  "This sale comes at an excellent time and will give the entire industry a welcome boost as we head into the holiday season."

Ward also thanked allies in Congress who have helped keep U.S. rice front and center with the U.S. State Department and the government of Iraq, specifically Congressman Ralph Abraham (R-LA) who reached out directly to Ambassador Silliman during this latest tender process.

https://ci4.googleusercontent.com/proxy/PwY8zeozY2N-IcCD2_ylKeRnWztoJgQEUzy1x6UO5C_9NWN4oAhHKJ3ziNyVXtXzsh48LD_Qj7IQWN4G7uMz3tQ4Q4L_qdkUhbASv83bqT-i=s0-d-e1-ft#https://imgssl.constantcontact.com/letters/images/sys/S.gif

MOCI Warns Rice Importers Against Unscrupulous Behavior

  
https://www.liberianobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/MOCI-2-e1510857235565-696x392.jpgSample of the Bella Lona rice being re-bagged by some dubious business people.As part of efforts to protect consumers in Liberia, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) has rubbished allegations of contaminated Bella Lona rice on the Liberian market.
The MOCI in its press release indicated that they have received separate complaints from marketers and rice importer Supplying West Africa Traders Incorporated (SWAT) about re-bagging of ‘spoiled rice’ into Bella Lona bags by some major rice importers and their sales agents in the field.
This unscrupulous behavior by those competing importers of rice is causing serious problems for the consuming public of Bella Lona rice in Liberia, which has claimed the attention of the ministry.
“We like to call on those importers and agents who are involved into such act to immediately desist or risk closure, because the MOCI will not hesitate to name and shame them publicly,” the ministry said.
The Bella Lona rice has been on the Liberian market for several years and it has been tested from its country of origin, certified by the International Standards Laboratory (ISL) and tested by Liberia’s Standard Laboratory, and proven to be consumable for human.
The MOCI investigation has also discovered that some of the major importers of Liberia’s staple food – rice – have provided re-bagging equipment to their sales agents in the field in order to sabotage SWAT’s importation of rice.
“We feel this act by some rice importers is completely wrong and has the propensity of putting other business entities out of business,” the release said.
The ministry has instructed its inspectorate division to keep surveillance on sales agents of rice importers in the country.
Meanwhile, the MOCI further called on the Liberia National Police (LNP) to help track down those involved in this ugly act.
As we approach the transitional period of another democratically elected Government, MOCI called on all business entities to respect the trademark of others and uphold the principle of good business practice, said the release.
MOCI further appealed to consumers and marketers to report anybody who is found re-bagging rice from one brand’s bag to another, saying this act is criminal and against Liberia’s business law.
Pakistan can capture India’s $260m rice share in EU

November 17, 2017
Pakistan can capture India’s $260m rice share in EU

Salman Abduhu
LAHORE - Pakistan can capture India’s $260 million rice business with the European Union following the EU’s zero tolerance on Tricyclazole chemical found in Indian grains.
Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan Chairman Chaudhry Samee Ullah said that Pakistan can target India’s basmati rice share in the EU market, following the stringent policies placed by the European Union on the presence of hazardous pesticides in the commodity. From January 1, 2018, all countries that export basmati rice to the EU must bring down the maximum residue limit (MRL) level for Tricyclazole to 0.01 mg per kg. Up till now, the EU was accepting 1mg per kg from different countries, including India .
Samee said that Pakistan can enhance its rice export to EU from 150,000 ton to 350,000 ton, grabbing the share of 200,000 tons of Indian rice export to EU which may be stopped due to strict regulations. Tricyclazole is a fungicide used by Indian farmers in more than 70 percent of basmati crops. He said that Pakistan’s farmers do not use such chemicals to protect their crops. “Basmati varieties grown in Pakistan do not require use of the fungicide and stand to gain from the de-facto ban on Indian exports,” he added.
India had exported rice of around 350,000 tons worth $260 million to the European Union countries in last fiscal year, 70 percent of which has tricyclazole limit of 1mg/1kg. Samee demanded the government to announce matching grant to shelve Pakistani product at the international store chains. Pakistan’s brand can get space by replacing Indian basmati rice in European countries’ renowned mega stores with the financial support of the government.
“This presents an opportunity to grab India’s market share , because it will at least take two cycles to reduce the consumption of Tricyclazole in India .” He said that Basmati rice export had been facing severe competition from India . He regretted that lack of research and non-availability of new seeds has caused low yields, adding that the high input costs have made Pakistani Basmati rice totally uncompetitive. He urged the government to extend financial support to the second biggest exporting sector in line with other export-oriented industries enabling them to be price competitive in the international market to bridge the ever increasing gap of trade deficit of the country. He said rice is the second biggest exporting sector after textile but it was always ignored by the government.
Meanwhile, the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan organised an awareness for its members which was also addressed by REAP Chairman Samee Ullah Naeem. Thomas Unger of Eurofins Global Control GmbH was the guest speaker of the seminar, aimed at discussing the challenges being faced by the rice exporters to European market.
Unger said Pakistan has a huge potential of rice export but its exporters should pay attention towards meeting the specifications of their importers. He said that rice export to European countries was picking up but the exporters should pay attention towards issues like aflatoxins, pesticide residue and also new regulations being made by these markets. However, he said that complaints of aflatoxins in rice consignments from Pakistan had reduced to almost negligible level.


Exporters seek govt support to capture EU rice market

The Newspaper's Staff ReporterUpdated November 17, 2017
KARACHI: Sacks of rice being uploaded on a cargo ship at the port in this file photo.
KARACHI: Sacks of rice being uploaded on a cargo ship at the port in this file photo.
LAHORE: Pakistan has a huge potential for rice exports to European Union but the exporters must pay attention towards meeting import specifications, said Thomas Unger of Eurofins Global Control GmbH.
He was speaking at a seminar organised by the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (Reap) on Thurs­day to discuss the challenges faced by Pakistani rice exporters in the European market.
Rice exports to European countries are picking up but exporters should pay attention towards issues like aflatoxins, pesticide residue and new regulations being made by these markets, Mr Unger said. However, he said, complaints of aflatoxins in rice consignments from Pak­istan have reduced to almost negligible levels.
On the occasion, rice exporters sought government support to capture India’s $260 million rice business with the European Union, following the EU’s zero tolerance policy on tricyclazole chemical found in Indian grains.
Reap Chairman Chaudhry Sameeullah Naeem said Pakistan can target India’s Basmati rice share in the EU market following stringent policies placed by the European Union on the presence of hazardous pesticides in the commodity.
He asserted that Pakistan can enhance its rice export to EU from 150,000 tonnes to 350,000 tonnes, grabbing the share of 200,000 tonnes of Indian rice exports to the EU which may be stopped due to strict regulations.
“This presents an opportunity to grab India’s market share, because it will at least take two cycles to reduce the consumption of Tricyclazole in India,” he added.
From Jan 1, 2018, all countries that export Basmati rice to the EU must bring down the maximum residue limit (MRL) level for Tricyclazole to 0.01mg per kg. Up till now, the EU was accepting 1mg per kg from different countries including India.
Tricyclazole is a fungicide used by Indian farmers in more than 70 per cent of Basmati crops.
The Reap chief stressed that Pakistani farmers do not use such chemicals to protect their crops. “Basmati varieties grown in Pakistan do not require use of the fungicide and stand to gain from the de facto ban on Indian exports,” he said.India exported around 350,000 tonnes of rice worth $260 million to the European Union countries during the last financial year, 70pc of which has tricyclazole limit of 1mg per 1kg.
Mr Naeem demanded the government to announce matching grant to display Pakistani product at international chains.
He said Basmati rice export have been facing severe competition from India, regretting the lack of research and non-availability of new seeds which caused low yields. High input costs have made Pakistani Basmati rice totally uncompetitive, he added.
Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2017


Govt nod to paddy buying by commission agents, farmers feel cheated

The government has again approved the kacha arhati system in Uttarakhand, under which kacha arhatis or commission agents procure paddy from farmers on behalf of the government

DEHRADUN Updated: Nov 16, 2017 20:24 IST

Abhinav Madhwal
Hindustan Times
The government had promised to ’review and remove’ the kacha arhati system after a ₹600-crore rice scam hit the state last year.
The government had promised to ’review and remove’ the kacha arhati system after a 600-crore rice scam hit the state last year.(HT File)

The government has again approved the kacha arhati system in Uttarakhand, under which kacha arhatis or commission agents procure paddy from farmers on behalf of the government.
The government had promised to “review and remove” the kacha arhati system after a 600-crore rice scam hit the state last year.
Farmers suspect role of rice millers behind the continuation of the kacha arhati system. Purushottam Sharma, the general Secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Kissan Mahasabha, said that the commission agents exploit the farmers. “We have been demanding that the government should directly buy produce from the farmers, which would reduce corruption. There were talks that the farmers would dry their produce at the mandis and sell them directly, but the government is promoting commission agents for benefitting the rice millers and commission agents,” he alleged.
Farmers also alleged that many rice mill owners themselves function as commission agents.
The special investigative team (SIT), which probed the rice scam, had pointed out that the kacha arhatis bought rice from the farmers at rates below the minimum support price (MSP) — the minimum rate of a crop fixed by the government — and sold it to the government at the MSP, due to which the farmers were deprived of their actual dues. Besides, the rice millers had allegedly bought low quality rice from other states and supplied it to the government.
This year, only 28,000 metric tonne (MT) rice has been procured by the government in the Kumaon region against the set target of 74,000 MT.
Farmers alleged that the commission agents have already purchased the rice at low prices and stocked it. They would sell the purchased rice to the government at the MSP, thus making a killing, they alleged.
Lalit Mohan Rayal, the regional food controller of Kumaon, said that on November 13, some paras of the previous commission agent policy have been included in the new policy, which means the system will stay.
He said there are different ways for paddy procurement, which includes involvement of the marketing division, Uttarakhand cooperative federation and cooperative societies. Besides, the commission agents also play a big role in the procurement. “These persons are registered with the mandi and sales tax department. They purchase grains from farmers in mandi yard, sell it to the government and get 1% commission,” he said.
Rayal said the number of commission agents is more because there are less numbers of government weighing centres. He said a close watch would be kept on the rice procurement by the commission agents so that they do not indulge in malpractises and buy grains from farmers at lower rates than MSP.


3 Hacks for Cooking the Best Rice

Too many people don't know the basics. Study up

PAUL KITA NOVEMBER 16, 2017


Sifting through clues about rice

By Pam Eastlick

Nov 16, 2017 Updated 19 hrs ago

It’s time to dip into the plant file, and I found a couple of items about what could be just the most important plant in the world. At least to us humans. And what is it? Rice.
One of the problems that global warming brings is extended periods of drought all over the planet. And unfortunately, rice takes an incredible amount of water to grow which makes it very susceptible to drought. Now, scientists at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science in collaboration with researchers from other countries have developed strains of rice that are resistant to drought in real-world situations. They tackled this issue by developing transgenic strains of rice.
Normally, plants adapt to drought-related stress by producing molecules like soluble sugars that help prevent water from leaving cells. So the researchers took the genes that produce galactinol, one of these sugars, from a plant called Arabidopsis and grafted it into a rice plant.
Drought-related stress
The genomic addition improved the rice’s resistance to drought-related stress, and increased its grain yield in dry field conditions. The researchers say it’s one of the best examples where basic research knowledge has been successfully applied toward a resolution to a food-related problem.
For this study, they created several lines of transgenic Brazilian and African rice that overexpress this gene, and with their collaborators, tested how well the rice grew in different conditions in different years.
First, they grew different rice lines in greenhouse conditions and showed that the modified Brazilian and African rice did indeed show higher production levels of galactinol than the unmodified control rice. Next, they tested tolerance to drought during the seedling growth period because this period often overlaps with seasonal drought. In order to precisely control this part of the experiment, it was conducted in a shelter that allowed them to artificially create drought-like conditions. After three weeks, the modified strains had grown taller and showed less leaf-rolling, a common response to drought stress.
After several other trials, they tested the transgenic rice over a three-year period in different natural environments and several of the transgenic strains showed higher grain yield under mild and severe natural drought.
Although the researchers say that it may take five to 10 years before the drought-resistant rice reaches the marketplace, our rapidly changing climate sure makes it a good idea.
Weedy rice
Climate change isn’t the only threat to the rice crop. A new study in Nature Genetics describes an ancestry.com-type adventure that reveals the deep history of a family, including some disreputable relatives. The family is Asian rice (Oryza sativa), and the disreputable relatives are the weedy cousins of domesticated rice.
Weedy rice is neither wild rice nor crop rice but rather formerly domesticated rice that’s "gone rogue" and shed some traits that are important to people. Although it grows only in rice paddies, it’s not easily harvested and produces inedible seeds.
In some places, these weeds can cause a 90 percent reduction in rice crops and even in the U.S., weedy rice is estimated to be present in 30 percent of rice fields and causes crop losses of more than $50 million annually.
There are two major strains of weedy rice in the U.S.: strawhull and blackhull awned. Analysis shows that the two weeds evolved from two different crop varieties. They evolved at different stages in the domestication process, and the genetic basis for weediness differs between the strains. It also revealed that relatively few changes were needed to turn the crop plant into a weed. Unfortunately, rice seems to tend toward weediness.
When rice is planted by hand, each seedling is looked at and the weedy ones are thrown away. But the adoption of mechanized farming has changed the equation. The weedy relatives look so much like the crop, they blend in and farmers don't realize they have a problem until they have a real infestation.
The weeds have shattering seeds which helps them disperse at a higher rate but makes them impossible to harvest. They also have a higher rate of dormancy which means that there’s a reservoir of weed seeds in crop fields that come up year after year and out-compete the crop.
What the researchers found fascinating is the way the weeds have co-opted the agricultural system. They take advantage of this wonderful environment we create by tilling and providing nutrients, and way out-compete the plants that have desirable traits.
Of course, desirability is subjective. What’s desirable for us may not be desirable for the rice!


Exceptional growth of Telangana economy

THE HANS INDIA |    Nov 17,2017 , 12:00 AM IST
.      

It’s no surprise that the Telangana State has been ranked number one in the latest English news fortnightly India Today’s Best Economy State rankings and this speaks about the buoyant economy of the state. There has been a distinct upward shift in the growth path of the economy of Telangana since its formation in June 2014.

The average annual growth of State Domestic Product (GSDP) increased from 4.2% in the two years preceding the formation of the state (2012-14) to an impressive growth of 9.5% during the three years following the formation of the State (2014-17). 

While the average annual growth of Telangana GSDP at 4.2% was lower than the all-India average of 6% prior to formation, it achieved an average annual growth of 9.5% in the three-year period after formation which is much higher than the national average of 7.4%.

Telangana stood at 6th place in the rankings of the States by average GSDP growth in the three-year period 2014-17. It is matter of great pride that Telangana achieved double-digit growth of 10.1 % in 2016-17. The higher growth in Telangana was the result of an improvement in the growth of manufacturing and the pickup in the services sector. 

There has also been an impressive growth in the per capita income of Telangana. In the three years since its formation (2014-17), the average annual growth of the per capita income of Telangana has been 11.5% which is higher than the national average annual growth of 9.3 % in the same period. The per capita income of State increased from Rs 1,12,162 in 2013-14 to Rs 1,55,162 in 2016-17.

Thus, it is higher by Rs 52,393 as compared with the All-India per capita income of Rs 1,03,219. Telangana is among the top ten States in India in terms of per capita income. This apart, Telangana State stood first among all the States by clocking a growth of 21.10% in its own tax revenue in 2016-17 over 2015-16. As per the pre-actuals for 2016-17, own tax revenue in Telangana amounted to Rs 48,408 crore that year as compared with Rs 39,975 crore in the previous year.

Similarly, the state own tax revenue growth rate in 7 months this year compared to the same period last year is (from Rs 27,082 crore to Rs 31,285 crore) 17.5%. The overall state’s own revenue growth rate as of now stands at (from Rs. 28,587 crores to Rs. 34,473 crores) 20.58%.

The significant pick-up in the growth of the Telangana economy is entirely due to the proactive steps taken by the Government of Telangana. The first major problem that the Chief Minister and his government addressed after assuming charge was the acute power shortage in the State that was adversely upsetting both the industrial and agricultural production.

To tackle the problem once and for all, the State government added power generating capacity of 4,190 MW in the first two years as compared with the installed capacity of only 6,574 MW at the time of the formation of the State. The installed power generation capacity later reached 14,555 MW.  New plants construction is going on for another 13,752 MW of power generation.

The government is now supplying power to the industries uninterruptedly and has decided to supply 24-hour power to the farm sector. For this CM has assured to allocate Rs 5,384 crores in the budget next year. The single-window system of industrial approvals known as “Telangana State Industrial Project Approval and Self Certification System (TS-I PASS)” contributed a lot to the growth of economy.

This policy together with uninterrupted power supply paved the way for faster industrial development of the State. Approvals were given within 15 days to 5,289 companies with an investment of Rs 1,11,688 crore and employment potential of nearly 2.4 lakhs.  Out of these, 3,477 units have already commenced operations. There has been a global applause contributing further to the investments in the State. Telangana has been ranked number one in rankings of States in Ease of Doing Business. 

The government has the wisdom of economy and is fully conscious of the sectors where benefits from the investments are the highest. However, the government is also spending funds to satisfy the basic needs for the welfare of poor and vulnerable. Thus, some money goes to sectors where benefits are not directly visible but contribute to the development of human resources and make them more productive. The government’s decision to go for land records rectification and updating also will add up to 2% growth rate.

Maintaining momentum of economic growth, fiscal prudence and maintaining debt sustainability are the three important factors that contribute for a better economy and the state adheres to them. The broad fiscal policy in India lies with the union government and states are to be alike but cannot be unlike. Telangana is among few select states to become eligible for availing the additional borrowing limit of 0.5% of GSDP taking the total eligibility of the state to 3.5% of GSDP on maintaining all the fiscal parameters within the limits laid down under the FRBM legislation and those laid down by the 14th Finance Commission.

Telangana also makes optimum use of funds under the centrally sponsored schemes and obtains timely release of funds from the center after submitting utilization certificates. Telangana joined UDAY scheme and has taken over Rs. 8923 Crores of Loans to make Discoms more financially healthy and to remove their financial burden. 

When Telangana went for selling bonds they were sold overnight. For infusing and instilling confidence in the industry, 24-hour power was supplied to them without any power cuts. After uninterrupted supply for over three months they got confidence. Industries started working in three shifts.

This is how it contributed to the growth of economy. Further, growth of economy could be understood the way the economy rolls fast. For instance, due to copious rainfall paddy production in the state reached about 94 lakh metric tonnes. Four states purchased paddy from Telangana. Even small rice millers were happy. 

Restoration of over 45,000 tanks, construction of many major and medium irrigation projects with an annual outlay of Rs 25,000 crore, plans to bring one crore acres of land under assured sources of irrigation and immense potential for the development of fisheries sector in the State added to growth in economy.

The government has started distribution of 84 lakh sheep to 4 lakh Yadava and Kuruma families at 75 per cent subsidy in a phased manner which would create tremendous wealth to them. The government’s commitment to the welfare of the poor and downtrodden is unwavering. As stated by the Chief Minister many a time, mere growth has no meaning and even legitimacy, if the deprived sections of the society are left behind.

Inclusive growth should not only ensure a broad-based flow of benefits and economic opportunities, but also encompass empowerment and participation. The initiatives taken by the government have been entirely guided by these compelling imperatives. Be it a two-bed room scheme or Aasara pensions or subsidized rice or Kalyan Laxmi and Shad Mubarak or any other welfare, are all aimed at, empowerment and participation of vulnerable sections. 

The government started its journey slowly but steadily and has become economically very sound state. For nearly six decades, Telangana remained neglected despite its significant share in revenue collections and potential. Telangana is in the process of a major transition from a shackled economy to that of an economy which is being nurtured back to fulfill the long-pending just needs of its people.

Therefore, the growth prospects of Telangana cannot be defined by its past, nor can they be defined by the present. Because of the numerous initiatives taken by the government, the growth prospects are very bright, going by the performance of the State economy and the expansion of the growth possibilities. The reorganisation of the districts will create new growth centers around the new districts, which will further contribute to the growth momentum of economy. (Writer is CPRO of Telangana Chief Minister)

By Vanam Jwala Narasimha Rao

Coastal Bank opens branch in Akiveedu

THE HANS INDIA |    Nov 17,2017 , 12:50 AM IST      


Rice Millers Association Vice-President Chunduru Venkat Rao, giving a Coastal Bank  passbook to a customer at Akiveedu on Thursday
Rice Millers Association Vice-President Chunduru Venkat Rao, giving a Coastal Bank passbook to a customer at Akiveedu on Thursday

Akiveedu: The Coastal Bank opened its 48th branch in Akiveedu on Thursday. The bank branch was inaugurated by local eminent person Gottumukkala Srinivasa Raju, West Godavari District Rice Millers Association Vice President Chunduru Venkatrao and Srikanth International Prawn Exports chairman Nerella Venkata Rama Mohan Rao.

The Coastal Bank Promoter Director, Dr Jayaram Chigurupati, speaking at the inaugural meeting, said that the bank would give loans to the farming community, local traders and professionals, under various schemes. Bank General Managers D Jagapati Raju, N Sambasiva Rao, Akiveedu Branch Head KL Naresh participated in the inaugural programme.

The bank’s Promoter Director said that the bank has 47 branches in Andhra Pradesh in five districts. At present, the bank have 3.22 lakh customers. It has done a total business of Rs 760 crore.  The Bank is going to open two more branches at Tuni (East Godavari), Duvvada (Visakhapatnam district), he added.
http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/Andhra-Pradesh/2017-11-17/Coastal-Bank-opens-branch-in-Akiveedu/339885



Bangladesh rice agreement is still ‘valid’
Commerce Ministry officials and members of the private sector will fly to Bangladesh next month to discuss a new purchasing agreement for milled rice, after Bangladesh recently cancelled an order of the commodity.

The purchasing agreements for Cambodian milled rice are part of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in August between Bangladesh and Cambodia, according to which the kingdom is to sell about one million tonnes of rice in the five years leading up to 2022.

Ministry of Commerce (MoC) spokesman Long Kem Vichet told Khmer Times yesterday that both countries are now negotiating a new rice deal based on the MoU.

“After running into some stumbling blocks, the negotiations for the rice deal have not concluded yet,” he said.

“The MoU we signed with Bangladesh is still valid, so we are still sending rice to Bangladesh, but we are now negotiating a new purchasing agreement.

“In December, we will go to Bangladesh again to discuss the details of the deal.”

Reuters has reported that Bangladesh terminated the deal with Cambodia to import 250,000 tonnes of white rice due to a delay in the shipment.

Badrul Hasan, the head of Bangladesh’s state grain buyer, said the deal was cancelled after Cambodia failed to supply the rice on time.

Hun Lak, the vice-president of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF), said the deal was cancelled because Bangladesh has high requirements about the way the export process is conducted.

“Their requirements are difficult for us to meet because we ship ‘Free On Board’ (FOB), using a delivery schedule and payment method that is convenient for us,” Mr Lak said.

Mr Vichet reiterated that the MoU was still in place and that Cambodia will supply rice to the South Asian nation once details of the new purchasing agreement are worked out.

Bangladesh, the world’s fourth-biggest rice producer, has emerged as a major importer of the grain this year after flash floods in April hit domestic output. As a result, the country is facing dwindling stocks and high local prices.






Bangladesh Scraps Rice Deal With Cambodia Over Shipment Delay
http://img.beritasatu.com/cache/jakartaglobe/909x605-2/2017/11/cambodia-rice.jpgDhaka. Bangladesh has cancelled its first-ever deal with Cambodia to import 250,000 tonnes of white rice over a delay in shipments, officials at the state grains buyer said on Tuesday (14/11). The deal was signed in August at $453.00 a tonne as the Bangladesh government raced to shore up depleted stocks and combat record domestic prices of the staple grain after floods hit its crop. "We had to terminate the deal as they failed to supply the rice on time," Badrul Hasan, the head of Bangladesh's state grain buyer, told Reuters.
Despite deals with several rice exporting countries including Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar, Bangladesh is still battling to build its reserves, with rice imports are set to hit their highest levels in a decade. "We don't think this will have an impact on our efforts to build stocks," he said, adding the state grains buyer was in talks with an Indian agency. "Tomorrow we are holding talks with India's National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED). We hope we will succeed to finalize a deal with them." Traditionally the world's fourth-biggest rice producer, Bangladesh has emerged as a major importer of the grain this year and helped pushed Asian rice prices to multi-year highs in June. Rice is a staple food for Bangladesh's 160 million people and high prices pose a problem for the government, which faces a national election next year. Bangladesh has also issued a series of tenders as it looks to import a total of 1.5 million tonnes of rice in the year to June. Rice at government warehouses stood at 411,000 tonnes, well below the normal level of around 1 million tonnes. In August, Bangladesh cut a duty on rice imports for the second time in two months. The lower import duty has prompted purchases by private dealers, with most of the deals being struck with neighboring India. Bangladesh produces around 34 million tonnes of rice annually but uses almost all its production to feed its population. It often requires imports to cope with shortages caused by floods or droughts.
·         Anglophone crisis
·         cameroon
·         Biya's 35th anniversary
·         Jakiri

Cameroon imports rice worth F CFA 100 Billion yearly

Published on 15.11.2017 à 12h25 by Journal du Cameroun
·         Share
·          
·          
·          
·          
https://www.journalducameroun.com/en/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/rice-780x440.jpg


According to statistics from the Ministry of the economy, planning and regional development, the country imports rice worth F CFA 100 Billion yearly to meet up with the population rice needs.

A trend which economic experts have described as a significant loss of revenue for a public treasury that wants to up it’s game.
With an estimated domestic production of less than 150 000 tonnes and an annual demand of more than 300 000 tonnes, the country rice needs is estimated as very high.

It is against this backdrop that Cameroon government officials have embarked on process aimed at boosting local rice production to close the gap. Reports say, MINEPAT officials are currently on the field conducting operations, “with the aim of identifying a development and extension program for rice production”.
The objectives, the experts say, is to reduce imports and boost local rice production activities which will eventually cover the entire Cameroonian market and make prices fall.

https://www.journalducameroun.com/en/cameroon-imports-rice-worth-f-cfa-100-billion-yearly/Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- November 17, 2017

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices - APMC/Open Market-November 17 Nagpur, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Gram and tuar prices recovered in Nagpur Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) on increased buying support from local millers amid weak supply from producing regions. Government move to open gram export and healthy rise in Madhya Pradesh pulses also helped to push up prices, according to sources. FOODGRAINS & PULSES GRAM * Gram varieties ruled steady in open market here on subdued demand from local traders amid ample stock in ready position. TUAR * Tuar gavarani and tuar Karnataka varieties firmed up open market on renewed demand from local traders. * In Akola, Tuar New - 4,000-4,100, Tuar dal (clean) - 5,700-5,800, Udid Mogar (clean) - 8,000-8,500, Moong Mogar (clean) 7,000-7,300, Gram - 4,500-4,650, Gram Super best - 7,300-7,500 * Wheat, rice and other foodgrain items moved in a narrow range in scattered deals and settled at last levels in thin trading activity. Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg FOODGRAINS Available prices Previous close Gram Auction 3,700-4,585 3,600-4,500 Gram Pink Auction n.a. 2,100-2,600 Tuar Auction 3,750-4,030 3,600-4,000 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 1,600-1,675 1,600-1,695 Gram Super Best Bold 7,500-8,000 7,500-8,000 Gram Super Best n.a. n.a. Gram Medium Best 6,600-7,000 6,600-7,000 Gram Dal Medium n.a. n.a Gram Mill Quality 3,800-3,900 3,800-3,900 Desi gram Raw 4,800-4,900 4,800-4,900 Gram Kabuli 12,400-13,000 12,400-13,000 Tuar Fataka Best-New 6,200-6,400 6,200-6,400 Tuar Fataka Medium-New 5,800-6,100 5,800-6,100 Tuar Dal Best Phod-New 5,700-5,900 5,700-5,900 Tuar Dal Medium phod-New 5,200-5,600 5,200-5,600 Tuar Gavarani New 4,100-4,200 4,050-4,150 Tuar Karnataka 4,450-4,750 4,400-4,700 Masoor dal best 5,200-5,400 5,200-5,400 Masoor dal medium 4,800-5,000 4,800-5,000 Masoor n.a. n.a. Moong Mogar bold (New) 7,100-7,500 7,100-7,500 Moong Mogar Medium 6,300-6,700 6,300-6,700 Moong dal Chilka 5,800-6,200 5,800-6,200 Moong Mill quality n.a. n.a. Moong Chamki best 7,100-7,500 7,100-7,500 Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 8,000-9,000 8,000-8,800 Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG) 5,700-7,000 5,500-7,000 Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG) 5,200-6,300 5,100-6,300 Batri dal (100 INR/KG) 5,000-5,500 5,000-5,400 Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg) 2,750-2,850 2,750-2,850 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) 1,750-1,900 1,750-1,900 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) 3,100-3,600 3,100-3,600 MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG) 2,300-2,700 2,300-2,700 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) 4,800-5,100 4,800-5,100 Rice Shriram med (100 INR/KG) 4,400-4,600 4,400-4,600 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 5,000-5,500 Rice Chinnor medium (100 INR/KG) 4,700-5,000 4,700-5,000 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. 31.1 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 19.5 degree Celsius Rainfall : Nil FORECAST: Partly cloudy sky. Maximum and minimum temperature would be around and 31 and 19 degree Celsius respectively. Note: n.a.--not available (For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but included in market prices)
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/nagpur-foodgrain-prices-open-november-17-2017/articleshow/61687926.cms