Thursday, March 15, 2018

15th March,2018 daily global regional local rice e-newsletter

Section 199 Tax Mess Getting Untangled, But Also Held Hostage
  March 14, 2018                                                                         
By Michael Klein
Still a mess
WASHINGTON, DC -- It looks like Congress has a possible fix to the Section 199A cooperative deduction in the recently passed tax bill.  However, the fix is being stalled in the Senate.The law as written and passed along party lines inadvertently handed massive tax breaks to co-ops of any kind, leading tax advisors to encourage co-ops be established for any profession - from doctors to tax advisors.  The "cost" to the government in lost tax revenue would quickly break the system.
The proposed fix takes a number of steps to balance the playing field again between co-ops and private purchasers of grain and essentially recreates the way that co-ops used to use a tax deduction that was repealed by the tax law.  All farmers not organized as C corporations would still get a 20 percent deduction on net farm income.While the fix looks good on paper, it is currently being held up by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who is looking for Republicans to open the tax law to other fixes his caucus is seeking.

While the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and the National Grain and Feed Association helped negotiate the fix, earlier today, the National Farmers Union came out against the compromise saying they wanted the special tax break to stay exactly as written.These battle lines are being drawn against the backdrop of the expiration of the current temporary government spending bill that runs out on Friday, March 23 at midnight.

Farm Bill Delayed  

WASHINGTON, DC -- Farm Bill language was expected to be released as early as today, but now House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) has announced he is delaying work on his committee's bill until April at the earliest.Specifically, Conaway cited a desire to spend more time working with Democrats to negotiate changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) portion of the legislation that would be more amenable to them.  

House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) issued a statement that the current version of the new Farm Bill would knock eight million Americans out of the food assistance program with new work requirements and that the proposal, left unchanged, would doom the legislation to failure.

Conaway disagrees with that stark analysis, but does say new work requirements could lead to more Americans "self-selecting" to leave the SNAP program.

The two giants of ag policy met yesterday and Conaway reported progress.  The two will continue to work together in an attempt to bring a truly bipartisan farm bill forward in the coming months.

Rice plant keeps expanding in Memphis

Tom Bailey, USA TODAY NETWORK – TennesseePublished 11:31 a.m. CT March 13, 2018 | Updated 3:28 p.m. CT March 13, 2018
The Riviana Foods rice plant in South Memphis keeps expanding like dry rice in boiling water.But this time the growth involves the frozen rice and pasta products of Riviana's sister company, Ebrofrost North America.A new application for a construction permit shows that Riviana plans $3.1 million worth of site work in the complex it shares with Ebrofrost at 2360 Prospect/2314 Lauderdale, which is just southwest of the city's Links at Pine Hill golf course.The site work is part of the second phase of a $26.5 million project to build facilities in which Ebrofrost will process, package and distribute frozen rice and pasta.That's the fourth expansion at the Riviana complex since 2010.
"Phase 1 was where the (Ebrofrost) manufacturing is done,'' Chris Getsfred, Riviana's director of Memphis operations and rice engineering, said of the latest expansion. Phase 2 will be the construction of a warehouse that can house 9,000 pallets of products.The frozen rice products will be sold to other food processing customers. For example, other brands that sell frozen packages of, say, vegetables and rice may purchase the rice from Ebrofrost, Getsfred said.
The South Memphis processing/packaging complex for Riviana Foods and sister company Ebrofrost keeps expanding. (Photo: Tom Bailey)
The new Ebrofrost operation will add 19 jobs paying an average of $60,654 a year. That will bring total employment at the complex to 364 employees.
Ebrofrost North America's Memphis facility will be like three similar facilities the Spanish company operates in Europe.
In return for the investment and new jobs, the company last spring received approval for eight years of property tax breaks that will total $2.6 million. The amount of new tax revenue projected to be generated by the new operation is just over $2 million over the eight years.
Also last year, Riviana in October completed an interior expansion that doubled production of its ready-to-serve, microwavable rice products under the Minute rice brand. That project involved adding equipment in the 400,000-square-foot plant next door to Ebrofrost. Riviana's building at 2314 Lauderdale was designed for manufacturing expansion, Getsfred said.
In 2012, the equipment for the ready-to-serve products was installed inside the Lauderdale facility.
And in 2010, Riviana opened the $67 million, 431,000-square-foot plant that at the time could daily process and package enough rice — 2 million pounds — to cover a football field a foot deep in rice.
The Memphis complex is among the world's largest rice plants, Riviana officials have said.
Asked why Riviana and now sister company Ebrofrost continue to expand in Memphis, Getsfred replied, "We're centrally located, and the Arkansas rice fields. Most the rice in the U.S. is grown in Arkansas...
"I think really the driving factor is the convenience of being close to the abundance of rice in the U.S.,'' he said.
Riviana Foods is the largest processor, marketer and distributor of brand-name and private label rice products in North America, and the second-largest pasta manufacturer.
Riviana brands include Minute, Mahatma, Success, Carolina, Comet, Adolphus, Blue Ribbon, RiceSelect, Gourmet House, Ronzoni, Creamette, Skinner, San Giorgio, Prince, Catelli, American Beauty, No Yolks, Wacky Mac and Light & Fluffy.Riviana is headquartered in Houston, Texas, and is a subsidiary of Spanish food company Ebro Foods.

Try a spicy delicacy from Pakistan's 'Glass City'

Mary Bilyeu
“Hyderabad is Pakistan’s Glass City,” said Dr. Anwer Ali of the city for which he serves as the Toledo Sister Cities International’s trustee. “They are the hub for the glass bangles” — beautiful, colorful bracelets that the town is noted for.
Ohio’s own Glass City has had a formal relationship with the other one since 2011. And Dr. Ali, a native of Karachi, which is about 90 miles from Hyderabad, was “the driving force, the heart, and the passion” behind it, said James Hartung, vice president of the TSCI.
In addition to its glass jewelry, the metropolis is famous for beautiful textiles and exquisite cuisine, particularly for a dish that bears its name: Hyderabadi Biryani. Also called Sindhi Biryani, for the province in which the city is located, this complex, layered dish of meat, rice, potatoes, and spices is reserved for special occasions such as weddings or birthdays, said Dr. Ali. It’s a festive dish for celebrations.
Usually featuring mutton, the biryani can also be prepared with lamb or chicken. But whatever meat is used, “biryani is supposed to be spicy,” said Dr. Ali’s wife, Naureen. “It has to be very spicy and delicious.”
Pakistani food is a rich amalgam of cuisines, including Arab, Telugu, and Turkish. “Moghuls were the food lovers,” said Dr. Ali of the group that ruled in the region during the 16th and 17th centuries. That the cooking is heavily dependent upon meat is directly attributable to them. “Beef or chicken or mutton, these are Moghul,” said Dr. Ali.
While there are similarities in the cuisines of Southern India, Northern India, and Pakistan, which became an independent country in 1947, there are also significant distinctions. Some of this is due to geography, while some of it is based in religion.
“Because Pakistan has a Muslim majority,” Dr. Ali said, “we eat more beef,” which Hindus, who predominate in India, will not consume.
There is also remaining influence from the British Empire, which controlled the region from 1858 to 1947. Dr. Ali said that Hyderabad’s Bombay Bakery is famous for making sweets such as coffee cakes that are British holdovers.
One very traditional dish from the Alis’ homeland is paya, which translates to “legs”: the slow-cooked hoof of a cow, often, though goats and sheep can also be served. It’s “very tender,” said Mrs. Ali. “Eat it with naan, put a bit of lemon on it ... it’s just delicious,” she said with a smile. Nihari, a long-simmered shank stew that is considered the national dish of Pakistan, is another delicacy the family enjoys. It is said to have been created in Hyderabad.
Having lived here since 2001, “I like Toledo, because you get all four seasons,” Dr. Ali said. “Karachi is just like Florida,” he said, with very mild winters and scorching summers. Mrs. Ali noted that “northern areas,” though, “have all the seasons,” and even get snow.
The weather isn’t the only thing that’s hot in Hyderabad; the cuisine as a whole, not just the biryani, is distinctly spicy.
“It should be flavorful,” said Mrs. Ali, who is an exceptionally good and enthusiastic cook. “That’s what my mom taught me. I follow my mom’s recipes.”
Raitas, yogurt-based condiments with herbs and, sometimes, vegetables such as cucumbers, serve as cooling agents. So do fresh fruits and beverages made from them, such as Aab Shola, a refreshing mango juice drink. Kulfi, an ice cream-like treat, is made by slowly cooking down milk while stirring constantly to make it thick and sweet, said Dr. Ali. Pistachio, almond, and other flavorings are then added.
As he shared memories of beloved Pakistani dishes, Dr. Ali smiled happily. “There is so much good food there,” he said.  
Sindhi Biryani

Sindhi Biryani
3 medium onions (sliced)
1/2 cup oil
2 teaspoons garlic paste
2 teaspoons ginger paste
1 pound tomatoes, chopped
10 to 15 prunes, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons red chili powder
10 cloves
8 green cardamom pods
4 black cardamom pods
10 black peppercorns
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
1 to 1 1/2 pounds cubed lamb
1 cup plain yogurt
1 pound potatoes, cut into large chunks
6 small, thin green chilies, or to taste, minced
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, minced
5 cups basmati rice (soaked in water for 1/2 hour and drained)
3 teaspoons salt
3 bay leaves
3 cinnamon sticks
2 black cardamom pods
2 drops orange food coloring
1 tablespoon chopped mint leaf
Prepare the lamb: In a large skillet, fry the onions in oil over medium heat until they are light brown. Take out 1/4 of it and set aside.
Add the garlic, ginger, tomatoes, prunes, salt, red chili powder, cloves, cardamom pods, peppercorns, cumin, cinnamon, and bay leaves to the remaining fried onions. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are cooked and the liquid has evaporated.
Add the lamb, yogurt, and a bit of water to thin the sauce, if desired. Cook on medium heat until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened.
Fill a medium saucepan with water and boil the potatoes until they are half-cooked (a fork can penetrate, but they are still firm).
Add the green chillies, mint, cilantro, and the potatoes to the meat and mix. Turn heat to low and simmer while preparing the rice.
Prepare the rice: Prepare the rice according to package directions along with the salt, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, and cardamom. When half-cooked, strain the rice and discard the remaining water and the spices.
Prepare the biryani: Layer the lamb with the rice in a Dutch oven, alternating layers. Sprinkle with the food color, top with the fried onions, and add the chopped mint on top.
Close the lid tightly, making sure no steam passes out of the pot, and cook over low heat until the rice is done. Gently mix it before serving.Serve with raita, a condiment of yogurt mixed with cucumber and herbs.

Murad invites Iran to invest in Sindh
March 14, 2018            
KARACHI - There are vast investment opportunities in Sindh, particularly in energy, infrastructure development, education, health, agriculture and in various other sectors.
This was stated by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah while delivering his presidential speech at Iran-Pakistan Business Forum organised at a local hotel on Tuesday.
The program was attended by a large number of Iranian businessmen led by Iran’s Foreign Minister Dr Javad Zarif.
He said Foreign Minister Dr Javad is a seasoned diplomat and a scholarly man and he has brought the high-level delegation of leading businessmen of Iran to explore investment opportunities in Sindh and boost trade between the two countries.
“His personal interest, experience and stature would definitely make difference in his endeavors,” he said. Murad said there were vast investment opportunities in Sindh, particularly in energy, infrastructure development, education, health, agriculture and in various other sectors.
“We have (Sindh government) introduced Public Private Partnership concept which is producing best results,” he said and added that some projects has launched under the PPP mode were Hyderabad-Mirpurkhas Road, Jhirk-Mulakatiar bridge on River Indus and various others.
He said new projects being launched under the PPP mode is Kandhkot - Ghotki Bridge on River Indus. The chief minister said that trade between the two countries showed 33 percent growth as compared to the previous year.
Over last nine months, as a result of the facilities provided by the Iranian side to Pakistani rice exporters, the volume of Pakistani rice export to Iranhas jumped up by 42 percent, he added.
“In Sindh, Sukkur and Larkana divisions are rice producing divisions, Mirpurkhas, Hyderabad and Shaheed Benazirabad division are rich in mango production, Larkana has guava,” he said and suggested investment in agriculture sector.
Bilateral Banking ties between the two countries are developing. “I know the process is very slow but hope it would be done,” he said and added he knows banking relations are necessary to expand bilateral trade which currently stands at $1.2 billion. The target is to increase it to $5 billion per annum over the next few years, he added.
Murad recalled that President Asif Ali Zardari had launched Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project, now it has been delayed. He hoped that the Iranian businessmen would take benefit from investment opportunities in Sindh and sure the projects would be completed.
Iraq makes no purchase in talks for U.S. wheat and rice
Iraq had been in talks to buy U.S. origin grains which are outside of the traditional international tender purchasing system.By Maha El Dahan and Michael Hogan, Reuters News
DUBAI/HAMBURG- Iraq's trade ministry failed to seal a deal for U.S.-origin rice and wheat, in what would have been its second direct purchase outside the formal tender process in less than a year, because prices were too high, trade sources said on Monday. Iraq's cabinet authorised the ministry of trade last May to make direct purchases of wheat and rice to guarantee food security.
 In recent talks with the United States, Iraq had sought to buy at least 30,000 tonnes of U.S.-origin long grain rice and 50,000 tonnes of U.S. wheat, trade sources said.ADM made offers for 30,000 tonnes of rice at $759 a tonne cost, insurance and freight and 50,000 tonnes of wheat at $348.59 a tonne CIF, but the trade ministry viewed the prices to be too high, the sources said.

Murad invites Iranian businessmen to invest in Sindh

 On Mar 13, 2018
KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Tuesday told Iranian businessmen to invest in the vast opportunities in the province particularly in energy, infrastructure development, education, health, agriculture and various other sectors.
“There are vast investment opportunities in Sindh, particularly in energy, infrastructure development, education, health, agriculture and in various other sectors,” said the chief minister while delivering his presidential speech at Iran-Pakistan Business Forum.
The program was attended by a large number of Iranian businessmen led by Foreign Minister of Iran Dr. Javad Zarif.
CM Sindh said that Dr. Zarif is a seasoned diplomat and a scholarly man and has brought a high-level delegation of leading Iranian businessmen to explore investment opportunities in Sindh, and boost trade between the two countries.He said that Dr. Zarif’s personal interest, experience and stature would definitely make difference in his endeavors. He further stated there were vast investment opportunities in Sindh.
The chief minister said the provincial government has  introduced public private partnership concept which is producing best results, including projects such as Hyderabad-Mirpurkhas Road, Jhirk-Mulakatiar bridge on River Indus and various others. He added that a new project being launched under PPP mode is Kandhkot – Ghotki bridge on River Indus.

He further said that trade between the two countries showed 33 percent growth as compared to the previous year. Furthermore, there was been 42 percent increase in Pakistani rice exports to Iran over the last nine months as the facilities provided by Iran to rice exporters.He suggested investment in agriculture sector saying that Sukkur and Larkana are rice producing divisions, while Mirpurkhas, Hyderabad and Shaheed Benazirabad are rich in mango production, while Larkana has guava.
He also stated bilateral banking ties between the two countries are developing, which are necessary to expand trade which currently stands at $1.2 billion. The target is to increase it to $5 bn per annum over the next few years.
The chief minister recalled that former president Asif Ali Zardari had launched Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project and now it has been delayed but would surely be completed. He hoped that the Iranian businessmen would take benefit from investment opportunities in Sindh.

Customs arrest one, intercept 4,000 bags of rice, 9 trucks in Oyo, Osun

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Oyo/Osun area Command on Tuesday said it has arrested one person in connection with the smuggling of some prohibited items into the country along Opara/Bodo Musa axis of Iwajowa Local Government Area of Oyo state.
Customs Area Comtproller in charge of Oyo and Osun states, Comptroller Christopher Odibu while addressing journalists at a press conference in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, however, noted that the command in the last one month has seized contraband goods, ranging from trucks, cars, bags of rice, used tyres, second hand clothes and vegetable oil with the duty paid valued worth ninety two million, seven hundred and seventy eight thousand and forty eight naira twenty two kobo (N 92,778, 048.22).
Odibu while speaking noted that the above seizures were made at different locations within the command area of coverage.
He said the seized items include 9 trucks and two cars with duty paid value of N34, 782,792.29, 4,000 bags of rice with duty paid value of N48,596,321.00, 150 pieces of used tyres with duty paid value of N1, 298,34563, 51 bales of second hand clothes with duty paid value of N7,043,205.75 and 50 kegs of vegetable oil with duty paid value of N1,057,375.00.
He said “In keeping to this mandate of the service, the command has re-strategised its operations by utilising the intelligence reports gathered by its officers and men which have led to the recent seizures, which includes:
“One used yellow color leayland DAF Truck carrying 450 bags of imported rice, One used gold color DAF carrying 450 bags of smuggled rice, One used white color DAF Truck carrying 450 bags of smuggled rice, One used blue color DAF Truck carrying 330 bags of smuggled rice, One used white color DAF 65 Truck carrying 400 bags of smuggled rice, One use green color DAF 75 Truck carrying 450 bags of smuggled rice and One used yellow color DAF 65 carrying 450 bags of smuggled rice.
Others according to him include, “One used white color DAF 75 Truck carrying 450 bags of smuggled rice, One used yellow color DAF Truck carrying 450 bags of smuggled rice, One used red color Volvo Wagon carrying 50 kegs of vegetable oil, One used gold-yellow color Mazda carrying 30 bags of smuggled rice, 51 bales of second hand clothes, 150 pieces of used tyres and ninety bags of parboiled rice.”
Odibu while speaking further declared that, “It is worrisome to note that some Nigerians remain unrepentant even as they continue to lose. The federal government efforts in transforming the agricultural sector, especially in the area of rice production should be encouraged while importation of rice should be discouraged by all.
“Let me sound a note of warning and advise to all unpatriotic Nigerians who engage in smuggling is used cars, foreign rice and other contraband goods to desist from it and look for other legitimate means of businesses.
“I want to affirm that no matter the means of conveyance or concealment of prohibited goods, I assure you that the officers of this command are on constant surveillance and monitoring and we will discover them.
“Finally, let me appeal to you our respected gentlemen of the press that we need to partner and work together, especially in the area of enlightening our local communities on the dire consequences of smuggling activities on the Nation’s economy.”

U of A Division of Ag releases second aromatic rice variety

Improved rice varieties like ARoma 17, Wells and others are developed and tested in research plots at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s Rice Research and Extension Center. Special to The Commercial/U of A System Division of Agriculture/Fred Miller
STUTTGART — ARoma 17, a new aromatic long-grain rice from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, offers exceptional rough rice yields with good milling yields, according to a news release.
Breeder and foundation seed for ARoma 17 will be maintained by the Division of Agriculture’s Foundation Seed Program at the Rice Research and Extension Center near Stuttgart. The Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station will direct market the variety in late 2018 to rice producers, but foundation seed will not be available for seed producers, according to the release.
Aromatic rices are fragrant varieties that originated in southeast Asia. Jasmine-type rice is especially popular in Thailand as well as a growing market of American consumers. They are prized for their light, fluffy texture, mellow nutty flavor and floral scent.
Research associate Debra Ahrent Wisdom said ARoma 17 fills a market niche for consumers who enjoy jasmine-type aromatic rices.
Wisdom said Arkansas’ climate doesn’t favor growing Thai jasmine rice. ARoma 17 offers a jasmine-type rice adapted to Arkansas growing conditions for rice producers who want to serve that consumer market.
“ARoma 17 is not intended for the mainstream rice market and growers should make arrangements with aromatic rice markets before planting,” said Nathan McKinney, assistant director of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station and interim director of the Rice Research and Extension Center.
ARoma 17 was developed from a cross made at the Rice Research and Extension Center in 2009 between Jazzman — a Louisiana variety — and PI 597046, germplasm donated to the USDA Plant Introduction and Research program by the International Rice Research Institute in 1994. The resulting cross was selected for advancement toward commercial release in 2012.
It is the second aromatic rice from the Division of Agriculture rice breeding program, according to Karen Moldenhauer, professor of rice breeding and holder of the Arkansas Rice Industry Chair in Variety Development.
The first Arkansas aromatic rice was JES, released in 2009, Moldenhauer said.
ARoma 17 averaged 163 bushels per acre over four years in the Arkansas Rice Performance Trials, with 173 bushels per acre in the 2014 state trials. Its four-year average in the multi-state Uniform Regional Rice Nursery was 172 bushels per acre.
Wisdom said milling yields are a little better than Wells. In three years of Arkansas Rice Performance Trials, ARoma 17 averaged 67 percent whole kernel and 71 percent total milled rice.
The plant averages 39.8 inches in height, about an inch shorter than Wells, and matures in about 86 days, approximately the same as Wells. Its grain weight and size is similar to Wells.
It has high straw strength and has better lodging resistance than Wells, Wisdom said.
ARoma 17 is moderately susceptible to blast and sheath blight, moderately resistant to bacterial panicle blight. Under high rates of nitrogen fertilization, it is susceptible to false smut.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without discrimination.
— Fred Miller is with the U of A System Division of Agriculture.

Vietnam raises $51 million from selling 23 percent of Vinafood II at IPO

HANOI (Reuters) - The Vietnamese government raised 1.16 trillion dong ($51 million) from selling a 23 percent stake in top rice exporter Vietnam Southern Food Corp (Vinafood II) at an initial public offering on Wednesday, exchange data showed.
A seller displays rice bags for sale at a store in Danang city, Vietnam March 14, 2018. REUTERS/Kham
The company sold all of the 114.83 million shares on offer on the Hochiminh Stock Exchange.
The sale of state-run Vinafood II is part of Vietnam’s broader privatization program to increase efficiency and performance of state-owned enterprises.
The program, supported by a strong stock market, will also fill the government’s coffers as public debt nears the mandated ceiling of 65 percent of gross domestic product. Vietnam’s main stock index rose 48 percent last year, making it Asia’s strongest performer.
A farmer works on a rice paddy field in Quang Ngai province, Vietnam March 14, 2018. REUTERS/Kham
Trading and retailing firm Hanoi Trade Corp said last month it aimed to raise around $43 million by selling a 34.5 percent stake in an IPO on March 30.
Vinafood II has rice processing plants with an annual capacity of three million tonnes for exports. Most of its facilities are located in the Mekong Delta, the country’s rice bowl. The company also processes seafood and produces instant noodles, flour and fish feed.
Vinafood II also plans to sell another 25 percent stake to strategic investors after the IPO.
Vietnam is the world’s third-largest rice exporter. The country is seen exporting 6.5 million tonnes of rice this year, up 12 percent from last year.According to Vietnamese regulations, any state-owned company has to list its shares within one year after its IPO.

Thailand looks to boost rice exports with intergovernmental dealsSupporting farmers high on agenda ahead of election

Supporting Thailand's farmers has become a government priority ahead of elections next year. (Getty Images)
BANGKOK -- The Thai government plans to boost rice exports by negotiating sales directly with other governments in a move intended to help struggling farmers ahead of a general election to be held by February next year.
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Bangladesh exceeds its Boro rice cultivation target

Farmers were given the target of planting over 4.99 lakh hectares of land but finally, they planted Boro rice seedling in 5.08 lakh hectares of land.

Devdiscourse News Desk 14 Mar 2018, 01:05 PM Views : 48

Around 2.25 lakh irrigation devices have been introduced for irrigation of Boro rice fields. (Image credits: Youtube)
The farmers have overpassed the fixed cultivation target of Boro rice in the agriculture region of Rangpur, achieved by various pro-farmer and effective steps taken by the government. There is an excellent growth in Boro rice plants and government is looking for the bumper production of the crop, says Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE). As per Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha, heavy production of Boro rice will meet half of the demand in the northern region.
Farmers were given the target of planting over 4.99 lakh hectares of land but finally, they planted Boro rice seedling in 5.08 lakh hectares of land, 8,686 hectares more. This has been achieved in one season.
The scientists are providing practical knowledge and assistance along with the latest technology to meet the production target. The government has a fixed target to produce over 20.70 lakh tonnes of Boro rice from 4.99 lakh hectares of land, says Horticulture Specialist of DAE, Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam.
As per the programme, from 1.40 lakh hectares of land, around 6.69 lakh tonnes of hybrid Boro rice and 13.97 lakh tonnes of high yielding variety of Boro rice from the 3.56 lakh hectares of land is to be produced.
The farmers have reached 2,638 hectares of land for cultivation of local variety Boro rice and over 3.24 lakh hectares of land for high yielding variety of Boro rice.
Around 2.25 lakh irrigation devices have been introduced which includes 2.21 lakh shallow tube wells, 2,694 deep tube wells, and 440 low lift pumps for irrigation of Boro rice fields.

Liberia Association of Rice Importers Recommit to Price Reduction

Monrovia — The Association of Liberian Rice Importers (ALRI) has reiterated its commitment to the reduction of rice price on the Liberian market.According to the importers, this reduction has been in place since February, following two separate meetings with the president of Liberia which led to the assurance given him.At the beginning of this month, the price of a 25kg bag of rice was reduced by US$3.00, while the price of a 50kg bag was reduced by US$6.00   
This  is a clear demonstration of the importers preparedness to support  the government pro-poor agenda.
At the end of the meeting held with the importers last month, the President also assured the importers of his government’s continued support to the business community by  providing a friendly business environment. The importers will do all in its power to support the government’s pro-poor agenda and will do nothing to the contrary. In recent times, it has been speculated and discussed in some media institutions that the rice importers have not reduced the price of rice as agreed, something we fervently disagree with.

FG releases N43.92bn to 330,000 rice farmers
ON MARCH 14, 20188:01
New York – The Federal Government has released about N43.92 billion (122 million dollars) to 300,000 rice farmers to increase Nigeria’s rice production by additional two million tonnes in 2018. President Buhari in a group photo: With him are Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu, President Rice Farmers Association Aminu Goronyo, Jigawa State Governor Abubakar Badaru and others as he receives in audience Delegation of Rice Processors Association of Nigeria in State House on 13th Mar 2018 Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development Aisha Al-Hassan stated this in New York at Nigeria’s side event during the ongoing 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
 The theme of the event was: “Achieving Economic Empowerment: Addressing women peace and security issues as a pathway for socioeconomic Independence for rural women in Nigeria”. Al-Hassan said: “The Agricultural Transformation Agenda is aimed at strengthening the agricultural value chain, achieving a hunger-free nation, accelerating food and nutritional security, generating employment and growing wealth for millions of farmers “The current Anchor Borrowers Programme of the Federal Government has released over 122 million dollars to farmers through 13 participating institutions. “This is to spur the production of additional two million tonnes of rice in 2018 by 300,000 Rice Farmers, majority of whom are women in rural areas”.
 She said the Muhammadu Buhari-led Government was determined to meet the overarch objectives of poverty eradication and the empowerment of rural women and girls for sustainable development, inherent in Agenda 2030. According to her, the Nigerian Government has taken rigorous steps to initiate and strengthen policies, institutional frameworks, systems and mechanisms aimed at achieving gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. She said some of the implementable strategies were designed to harness the socio-economic potentials of Nigeria’s 83.3 million female population.
Al-Hassan said the development and launch of Economic Growth and Recovery Plan gave prominence to the inclusion and empowerment of women in the rural areas and linked national development strategies to Agenda 2030 in an integrated, multi-sectoral and multifaceted manner. On Girl-Child education, she said government wad implementing with more vigour a universal basic education programme strategically directed at enhancing girl child education at the grass root level. She said the implementation of the N-Power job Creation and Youth Employment Programme, which targetted gainful and sustainable employment for 500,000 graduates and 100,000 non-graduates, had taken off successfully in the country.
“Consequently 200,000 N-Power graduates have been successfully deployed to serve in local communities in the country with another batch of 300,000 graduate volunteers already pre-selected,” she said. Al-Hassan said additional 10,000 artisans were being trained in the construction and automobile sub-sectors in close collaboration with the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria and the National Automotive Design and Development Council. She said government was implementing the implementation of the Conditional Cash Transfer scheme, aimed at providing one million poor and vulnerable households with N5,000 monthly cash transfers to the “care givers of households”.
 “As at December 2017, over 622,649 identified poor and vulnerable households have been enlisted in the programme with over 439,859 captured in the National Social Register from 233 Local Government Areas across 23 States. “Of these figures, 293,973 caregivers from 9,567 communities have been paid, with over 25,000 beneficiaries already accessing requisite skills through trained community facilitators. “The Home Grown School Feeding programme, also part of the social investment programme is designed to provide one nutritious meal a day to 5.5 million school children, including girls in classes one to three of public primary schools is progressing. “By December 2017, over six million pupils are being fed daily nationwide. The programme has trickled down financial incentives to local farmers and cooks, who are mostly women,” the minister said. She said the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme and the National Women Empowerment Fund, also under the government’s Social Investment Programme, were designed to provide 1.66 million dollars micro credit, lending to businesses at the bottom of the financial pyramid. According to her, the soft conditions of zero collateral, zero interest and only five per cent administrative fee attached to the loans had resulted in the disbursement of over 250 million dollars loans directly to beneficiaries as at December 2017.
The minister disclosed that plans had been concluded to establish eight technology innovation hubs across the country, to extend technology to rural communities. “Already, a pilot Adamawa Humanitarian Innovation Hub, known as the North East Makeathon Company, was opened in the last quarter of 2017, while the Lagos Climate Change Hub, designed to facilitate generation of ideas on renewable energy and reduction of pollution, is set to commence in March 2018. She said conscious of the centrality of the empowerment of rural women and girls to the realisation of objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, AU Agenda 2063 and the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action, Nigeria would redouble efforts to improve access to productive resources for rural women and girls and ensure the protection of their fundamental rights. (NAN)

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- March 15, 2018
MARCH 15, 2018 / 1:04 PM /

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices – APMC/Open Market-March 15, 2018

Nagpur, Mar 15 (Reuters) – Gram and tuar prices reported higher in Nagpur Agriculture Produce
Marketing Committee (APMC) on increased seasonal demand from local millers amid weak supply from
producing regions. Notable hike in Madhya Pradesh pulses and reported demand from South-based
plants also jacked up prices. About 2,300 bags of gram and 2,000 bags of tuar reported for auction in Nagpur APMC, according
to sources. 

   * Gram varieties ruled steady in open market here on subdued demand from local traders
     amid ample stock in ready position.
   * Tuar gavarani reported down in open market in absence of buyers amid good supply
     from producing regions.

   * Moong Chamki firmed up in open market here on good seasonal
     demand from local traders.      
   * In Akola, Tuar New – 3,900-4,100, Tuar dal (clean) – 6,300-6,500, Udid Mogar (clean)
    – 7,500-8,200, Moong Mogar (clean) 7,200-7,600, Gram – 3,700-3,900, Gram Super best
    – 5,400-5,800

   * 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                  3,100-3,562         3,100-3,480
     Gram Pink Auction            n.a.           2,100-2,600
     Tuar Auction                3,500-4,100         3,500-3,950
     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        1,600-1,742        1,650-1,700
     Gram Super Best Bold            5,500-6,000        5,500-6,000
     Gram Super Best            n.a.            n.a.
     Gram Medium Best            5,150-5,350        5,200-5,400
     Gram Dal Medium            n.a.            n.a
     Gram Mill Quality            3,650-3,750        3,650-3,750
     Desi gram Raw                3,750-3,850         3,750-3,850
     Gram Kabuli                12,500-13,100        12,500-13,100
     Tuar Fataka Best-New             6,600-6,800        6,600-6,800
     Tuar Fataka Medium-New        6,200-6,400        6,200-6,400
     Tuar Dal Best Phod-New        5,900-6,100        5,900-6,100
     Tuar Dal Medium phod-New        5,500-5,800        5,500-5,800
     Tuar Gavarani New             4,250-4,350        4,300-4,400
     Tuar Karnataka             4,550-4,750        4,550-4,750
     Masoor dal best            4,800-5,200        4,800-5,200
     Masoor dal medium            4,500-4,700        4,500-4,700
     Masoor                    n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Mogar bold (New)        7,500-8,000         7,500-8,000
     Moong Mogar Medium            6,500-7,000        6,500-7,000
     Moong dal Chilka            5,600-6,600        5,600-6,600
     Moong Mill quality            n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Chamki best            7,500-8,000        7,400-7,900
     Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 8,000-8,500       8,000-8,500
     Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)    5,900-6,800        5,900-6,800   
     Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)        6,100-6,300        6,100-6,300    
     Batri dal (100 INR/KG)        5,000-5,500        5,000-5,500
     Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg)          2,600-2,700         2,600-2,700
     Watana Dal (100 INR/KG)            3,450-3,600        3,450-3,600
     Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG)    4,200-4,300        4,200-4,300  
     Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG)        2,000-2,100        2,000-2,100
     Wheat Mill quality (100 INR/KG)    1,900-2,000        1,900-2,000  
     Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG)         2,150-2,350           2,150-2,350        
     Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG)    2,350-2,450        2,350-2,450   
     Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG)   2,100-2,200        2,100-2,200
     Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG)    n.a.            n.a.
     MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG)    3,200-4,000        3,200-4,000   
     MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)    2,400-2,800        2,400-2,800          
     Rice BPT best (100 INR/KG)        3,500-4,000        3,500-4,000   
     Rice BPT medium (100 INR/KG)        3,000-3,400        3,000-3,400
     Rice BPT new (100 INR/KG)        3,500-4,000        3,500-4,000  
     Rice Luchai (100 INR/KG)         2,500-2,700        2,500-2,700     
     Rice Swarna best (100 INR/KG)      2,600-2,800        2,600-2,800  
     Rice Swarna medium (100 INR/KG)      2,400-2,500        2,400-2,500
     Rice Swarna new (100 INR/KG)      2,400-2,500        2,400-2,500  
     Rice HMT best (100 INR/KG)        4,200-4,800        4,200-4,800    
     Rice HMT medium (100 INR/KG)        3,600-4,200        3,600-4,200
     Rice HMT new (100 INR/KG)        4,200-4,600        4,200-4,600    
     Rice Shriram best(100 INR/KG)      5,000-5,600        5,000-5,600
     Rice Shriram med (100 INR/KG)    4,700-4,900        4,700-4,900
     Rice Shriram new (100 INR/KG)    5,100-5,600        5,100-5,600  
     Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG)    9,500-14,000        9,500-13,500    
     Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG)    5,000-7,500        5,000-7,500   
     Rice Chinnor best 100 INR/KG)    6,100-6,500        6,100-6,500   
     Rice Chinnor medium (100 INR/KG)    5,500-5,900        5,500-5,900
     Rice Chinnor new (100 INR/KG)    6,000-6,200        6,000-6,200  
     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

Maximum temp. 38.8 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 21.4 degree Celsius
Rainfall : Nil
FORECAST: Partly cloudy sky with possibility of thundery development. Maximum and minimum
temperature would be around and 39 and 21 degree Celsius respectively.

Note: n.a.--not available
(For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, butincluded in market prices)
Thailand to auction remaining state stockpiles of rice — commerce ministry
BANGKOK (March 12): Thailand plans to offer for sale 2 million tonnes of rice still remaining in state stockpiles next month or in May, the country's commerce ministry said on Monday. Thailand's military government inherited 18.7 million tonnes of rice stocks built up under the previous government's rice subsidy scheme, and has held several auctions since taking power in May 2014. The last auction was in July 2017. "Currently there is constant demand for rice in both domestic and international markets," said Adul Chotinisakorn, director-general of the commerce ministry's department of foreign trade.
An auction that will be set for next month or May will aim to offload the remaining amount, which includes 40,000 tonnes of rice for human consumption and 2 million tonnes of rice unfit for human or animal consumption and intended for industrial use.
If the amount sold is short of the target, another auction might open in the third quarter this year, Adul said. Thailand has already exported 2 million tonnes of rice so far in 2018, up 4.17% from the same period last year. The amount sold was worth almost US$1 billion. Thailand, the world's second-biggest rice exporter after India, aims to export 9.5 million tonnes this year. The country shipped a record 11.63 million tonnes of rice in 2017. The commerce ministry said Thailand has received rice orders from China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan so far this year. The Thai government will ship 100,000 tonnes of rice on a government-to-government deal with China's state-owned trader COFCO Corporation this month or next month, the ministry said. Thailand is planning to participate in a rice tender due out from the Philippines, which is looking to import 250,000 tonnes.

 Japonica to become Việt Nam’s leading export rice                                              

In 2018, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development expects the country to export 6.5 million tonnes of rice. — Photo
Viet Nam NewsHÀ NỘI — Japonica rice is set to become one of the main export rice categories of Việt Nam in the coming time, according to the Việt Nam Food Association (VFA). This variety earlier accounted for a small share of the rice export structure, but it has grown significantly over the past year, comprising 4.4 per cent of rice export by 2017, said the VFA. The variety and quality of Việt Nam’s export rice has changed dramatically in recent years. Fragrant rice has witnessed a dramatic growth from 6.6 per cent in 2011 to 23.5 per cent in 2017. In addition, sticky rice exports have witnessed the same growth during the same period. According to VFA, this is a positive trend as it will gradually reduce low-grade rice and enable the switch to high-quality rice, improving the efficiency of rice production and export business. Last year, Việt Nam earned US$2.6 billion by exporting 5.8 million tonnes of rice. In 2018, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development expects the country to export 6.5 million tonnes of rice. — VNS

Thailand looks to boost rice exports with intergovernmental deals
 Supporting farmers high on agenda ahead of election BANGKOK -- The Thai government plans to boost rice exports by negotiating sales directly with other governments in a move intended to help struggling farmers ahead of a general election to be held by February next year. In order to accelerate negotiations, officials will be sent to major importers of Thai rice, said Adul Chotinisakorn, director-general of the Commerce Ministry's Department of Foreign Trade. "In some countries in Asia, rice importing issues are completely controlled by government procurement bodies," Adul said.
"We aim to visit them and inform them that the Thai government is ready to assist Thai private exporters in selling more rice and the government can also sell rice via the government channel." Several Southeast Asian importers will be targeted, including the Indonesian government's procurement and logistics agency Bulog, the Philippines' National Food Agency and Malaysia's commodities procurement agency Bernas. According to ministry's statistics, Indonesia and Malaysia import around 800,000 tons of Thai rice per year, while the Philippines imports 1 million tons. The government also hopes to engage traditional importers in the Middle East such as Iraq and Iran, each of which currently imports about 1 million tons of Thai rice anually.

Government-to-government deals have been used to boost rice exports and absorb excessive supply
Meanwhile, the Philippine government is due to hold a tender in March for the purchase of 250,000 tons of rice from the private sector, for which Thai companies are expected to bid. The Thai government does not intend to compete with the companies, but "would help facilitate Thai exporters to join the bidding," Adul said. In recent years, the Thai government has been keen to export rice on a government-to-government basis, particularly to countries where the payment and delivery processes can be complicated.
Selling rice via government channels helps shoulder risks that private exporters are often find too much to bear, such as navigating economic sanctions imposed by the international community. Doing business with Iranian companies, for example, has historically been difficult as banks have been unable to process payments. The prices involved in government deals can also be slightly lower than market rates due to trade relationships between countries. This has made Thailand's government-to-government exports more competitive than offers made by private companies. Generally, the aim of such deals is to increase export quantities to help absorb excessive supply and prevent prices from falling during the harvesting season. The practice is also designed to support Thailand's 13 million or so farmers, a demographic group that makes up about 20% of the population. Related stories
Thai jasmine rice harvest set for first decline in a decade
Rising baht and falling output to curb Thai rice exports
In the past, government rice sales played a significant role in supporting exports, accounting for about 20% of the annual total of 8-10 million tons. Trade liberalization in the past few years has made it easier to conduct private deals, allowing the government to take a step back. "We offer help, but we will not compete in selling rice with Thai exporters," said Adul. "It depends on whether the buyers want to buy from the government or from private exporters.  Then, we can provide the right support." Although demand has remained strong this year, Thai rice exporters say increased competition is making it difficult to operate. A stronger baht has not helped as competitors in Vietnam and India can now offer the crop at cheaper prices. Limited production is also expected to cut exports this year, preventing the country from capitalizing on global demand. Farmers have been encouraged to grow other profitable crops such as cassava, corn and sugar cane. The Thai Rice Exporters Association said it would monitor exports closely in the first quarter of this year and, if the baht continues to rise, could revise down the 2018 export target to be below the 9.5 million tons forecast earlier.

India’s April-Jan non-basmati rice exports jump 34 percent
MUMBAI (Reuters) - India's non-basmati rice exports during April-January jumped 34 percent from a year earlier to 7.02 million tonnes as Bangladesh, Benin and Sri Lanka raised purchases, a government body said. The country's buffalo meat exports during the period rose 7.2 percent from a year ago to 1.16 million tonnes on good demand from Vietnam, Malaysia and Egypt, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority said in a statement. India is the world's biggest exporter of buffalo meat and rice.