Thursday, April 26, 2018

26th april,2018 daily global regional local rice e-newsletter

Global Rice Transplanter Market Status 2018-2023: Yanmar, Kubota, Branson, NantongFLWAgriculturalEquipment, Iseki, Toyonoki

Category : Machinery and Tools
This The global Rice Transplanter market report wraps a thorough perception into the  Rice Transplanter market and recognizes the chief trends associated to the different sectors of the market., in In addition to this, it offering offers methodical information rich in quantity and quality. The report also classifies the global Rice Transplanter market into main product mode All-Automatic, Semi-Automatic. Furthermore, the report offers the estimations of size of the market and analysis of the trend based on the pipeline of the Rice Transplanter market. The Various important players are mentioned in the report are Yanmar, Kubota, Branson, NantongFLWAgriculturalEquipment, Iseki, Toyonoki, DongFeng, ChangFa. Profound geographic perceptions on the main areas have also been integrated in this report. The geographical regions mentioned in the report are North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East and Africa.
The report offers a crucial opinion relating to the global Rice Transplanter market by discussing of its segmentation Residential Commercial . The sectors have been reviewed in terms of present as well as future trends. The analysis of geographical segmentation incorporates the estimated and present requirements from these regions. The study also offers the need associated to the different end-use sectors and separate goods in all of the geographical sectors of the Rice Transplanter market. The report also analyses the Rice Transplanter market in terms of volume [k MT] and revenue [Million USD].
Key Highlights of the Rice Transplanter Market :
• A Clear understanding of the Rice Transplanter market supported growth, constraints, opportunities, practicableness study.
• Concise Rice Transplanter Market study supported major nation-states.
• Analysis of evolving market segments in addition as a whole study of existing Rice Transplanter market segments.
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The study global Rice Transplanter market report calculates the worthiness of the Rice Transplanter market by taking into consideration the main shareholders in the Rice Transplanter market. The Porter’s Five Forces model and the SWOT analysis are also a fraction of this study so as to assist businessmen in recognizing the spirited background of the Rice Transplanter market. This The market report integrates a study of the investment charisma of the market, and the end consumers have been standardized based on their general attractiveness, rate of development, and size of the market.
The main competitors in the global Rice Transplanter market have been applying various tactics for making an entry as well as developing in the Rice Transplanter market. On a worldwide basis, the count of recognized companies is elevating and hence it is necessary for every market company to get a spirited edge on others. The primary tactics accepted by the well-known companies for contending in the Rice Transplanter market include advancements of new product, partnerships, mergers, agreements, and acquisitions.

Pakistan tightens regulatory checks on cargoes to curb GM rice trade

LAHORE: Pakistan has tightened grip on international rice trade with a view to getting rid of any impression of involving in the trade of tainted genetically modified (GM) rice, officials said on Wednesday.
Federal government, early this month, issued instructions to Department of Plant Protection, Ministry of Food Security & Research (MFS&R) for strict regulation of inbound and exporting rice consignments.
This move was initiated following serious concerns raised by Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) about incidence of detecting GM rice from some shipments, resulting in rejection of exporting consignments from European Union.
Echoing similar concerns, Punjab government on April 10, 2018 wrote a letter to express strong reservations about tainted trade of GM rice.
We do not produce GM rice nor do we import it. Hence, there is no possibility of any involvement of local companies in the processing of GM rice,” a government official said. “If at all it is detected from some consignments, it could have sourced from outside country, which needs to be checked thoroughly.”
As a result of the tight regulation, Pakistan blocked entry of a Chinese rice seed shipment last week. Chinese Embassy in Islamabad raised the issue with the Minister Food Security & Research.
The Chinese diplomat wrote in the letter dated April 19, 2018 that a shipment of more than 2,000 tons of hybrid rice seed is being stuck in the Karachi port and prohibited from entering into Pakistan due to the negative results of GMO testing.
It further stated that Chinese government does not allow any Chinese company to produce or export GMO hybrid rice seeds home and abroad as well. “The GMO testing conducted by Chinese quarantine authorities shows these hybrid rice seeds are non-GMO.
The Chinese exporters of these seeds are regular business partners of Pakistani importers and all of the exporters pledged these seeds are non-GMO,” the letter said.
Considering the discrepancies of the testing results from both sides, the Chinese diplomat said, it is requested to perform again the testing procedure with the participation of experts from both sides to ensure justice and transparency.
Syed Waseem-ul-Hassan, Director General, Plant Protection Department confirmed that a consignment of about 1,800 tons of hybrid rice seed was stopped from entering into Pakistan due to presence of GM rice.
Following tests conducted recently, about 1,500 tons of hybrid rice is being released while 300 tons has been held due to positive lab reports about presence of GM rice.
Shahzad Ali Malik, leading rice exporter, welcomed steps being taken to check mixing of GM rice in domestic value chain.
“We need to be vigilant on this front in order to make our rice trade fair. I am always firm believer of conducting regular lab tests of all importing and exporting shipments of rice,” Malik said.
“Chinese government has also taken strict measures in this regard and there should be zero tolerance on this issue here in Pakistan also.”
The ban on GM rice trade was strictly enforced further early this month following a letter written by secretary agriculture Punjab to federal secretary MFS&R having subject of “Ban on import of GMP rice and rice seed”.
It is stated in the letter that ‘strict quarantine measures be enforced to stop any import/export of GMO rice and rice seed through regulatory arm of the MNFS&R, especially through monitoring and scrutinizing the lots of imported rice seed.
It is noted in the letter that ‘rice is second most important food crop of Pakistan and is famous export commodity in European countries.
These countries have some serious human health concerns about genetically modified organism (GMO) rice and have zero tolerance policy for GMO rice entry into EU countries.
Because of strategic importance of this crop, provincial Secretary Agriculture stated, Pakistan too has zero tolerance policy for R&D and import / export of GMO rice.
Despite that, some GMO rice consignments are reported now and then. REAP has reported that a rice consignment from Pakistan to Europe was detected in the past with GMO and was rejected, which damaged the country's image as a major Basmati exporter, he observed.

USDA: Malaysia 2018 rice imports forecast to drop to 900,000 tonnes


The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said Malaysia rice imports are forecasted to drop 10% to 900,000 tonnes in 2018 from one million tonnes in 2017 as the government reduces ending stocks to 400,000 tonnes in 2018 from 480,000 tonnes in the previous year.

In its Grain and Feed Annual 2018 report, the USDA said Malaysia rice imports are seen improving to 950,000 tonnes in 2019 as the government needs to replenish ending stocks to 380,000 tonnes.

"There will be no increase in planted areas, and the increase in imports is in line with projected population growth of 3% annually from 2018 to 2020. Increasing urbanites that switch from traditional local rice breakfast (nasi lemak) to a healthier breakfast such as cereal and bread lead to less consumption of rice.

"Although western food such as tortillas, pizza, pasta and bread are gaining popularity, especially in urban areas, rice remains a staple food among Malaysian. Such western foods are consumed as snacks or as comfort foods and rarely make it as staple food for the dining table," the USDA said.

For 2017, the USDA said Thailand and Vietnam supplied more than 80% of rice imported into Malaysia with total volume of 630,000 tonnes. Other major exporters of rice to Malaysia were Cambodia, Pakistan and India.

said. “If at all it is detected from some consignments, it could have sourced from outside country, which needs to be checked thoroughly.”
As a result of the tight regulation, Pakistan blocked entry of a Chinese rice seed shipment last week. Chinese Embassy in Islamabad raised the issue with the Minister Food Security & Research.
The Chinese diplomat wrote in the letter dated April 19, 2018 that a shipment of more than 2,000 tons of hybrid rice seed is being stuck in the Karachi port and prohibited from entering into Pakistan due to the negative results of GMO testing.
It further stated that Chinese government does not allow any Chinese company to produce or export GMO hybrid rice seeds home and abroad as well. “The GMO testing conducted by Chinese quarantine authorities shows these hybrid rice seeds are non-GMO.
The Chinese exporters of these seeds are regular business partners of Pakistani importers and all of the exporters pledged these seeds are non-GMO,” the letter said.
Considering the discrepancies of the testing results from both sides, the Chinese diplomat said, it is requested to perform again the testing procedure with the participation of experts from both sides to ensure justice and transparency.
Syed Waseem-ul-Hassan, Director General, Plant Protection Department confirmed that a consignment of about 1,800 tons of hybrid rice seed was stopped from entering into Pakistan due to presence of GM rice.
Following tests conducted recently, about 1,500 tons of hybrid rice is being released while 300 tons has been held due to positive lab reports about presence of GM rice.
Shahzad Ali Malik, leading rice exporter, welcomed steps being taken to check mixing of GM rice in domestic value chain.
“We need to be vigilant on this front in order to make our rice trade fair. I am always firm believer of conducting regular lab tests of all importing and exporting shipments of rice,” Malik said.
“Chinese government has also taken strict measures in this regard and there should be zero tolerance on this issue here in Pakistan also.”
The ban on GM rice trade was strictly enforced further early this month following a letter written by secretary agriculture Punjab to federal secretary MFS&R having subject of “Ban on import of GMP rice and rice seed”.
It is stated in the letter that ‘strict quarantine measures be enforced to stop any import/export of GMO rice and rice seed through regulatory arm of the MNFS&R, especially through monitoring and scrutinizing the lots of imported rice seed.
It is noted in the letter that ‘rice is second most important food crop of Pakistan and is famous export commodity in European countries.
These countries have some serious human health concerns about genetically modified organism (GMO) rice and have zero tolerance policy for GMO rice entry into EU countries.
Because of strategic importance of this crop, provincial Secretary Agriculture stated, Pakistan too has zero tolerance policy for R&D and import / export of GMO rice.
Despite that, some GMO rice consignments are reported now and then. REAP has reported that a rice consignment from Pakistan to Europe was detected in the past with GMO and was rejected, which damaged the country's image as a major Basmati exporter, he observed.

USDA: Malaysia 2018 rice imports forecast to drop to 900,000 tonnes


The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said Malaysia rice imports are forecasted to drop 10% to 900,000 tonnes in 2018 from one million tonnes in 2017 as the government reduces ending stocks to 400,000 tonnes in 2018 from 480,000 tonnes in the previous year.

In its Grain and Feed Annual 2018 report, the USDA said Malaysia rice imports are seen improving to 950,000 tonnes in 2019 as the government needs to replenish ending stocks to 380,000 tonnes.

"There will be no increase in planted areas, and the increase in imports is in line with projected population growth of 3% annually from 2018 to 2020. Increasing urbanites that switch from traditional local rice breakfast (nasi lemak) to a healthier breakfast such as cereal and bread lead to less consumption of rice.

"Although western food such as tortillas, pizza, pasta and bread are gaining popularity, especially in urban areas, rice remains a staple food among Malaysian. Such western foods are consumed as snacks or as comfort foods and rarely make it as staple food for the dining table," the USDA said.

For 2017, the USDA said Thailand and Vietnam supplied more than 80% of rice imported into Malaysia with total volume of 630,000 tonnes. Other major exporters of rice to Malaysia were Cambodia, Pakistan and India.


Vietnam rice exports notch volatile in Q1

VNA THURSDAY, APRIL 26, 2018 - 9:08:00 PRINT
Workers at Trung An Hi-Tech Farming JSC pack rice for export (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Vietnam’s rice exports faced an unpredictable first quarter this year, increasing in January, declining in February and recovering in March, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

An estimated 524,000 tonnes of rice were exported in January, with a total value of 249 million USD, reported the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, representing a 49 percent rise in volume and 51.3 percent in value compared to December 2017. After declines in February, exports rose steeply in March, jumping 93.9 percent in volume and 100 percent in value to 338.44 million USD month-on-month. The rice export price also surged in March by 3.3 percent to 513.7 USD per tonne.

The country’s overall rice exports in the first quarter of this year increased by 15.5 percent compared to the same period in 2017. The average rice export price in the first quarter of the current year rose by 14.2 percent year-on-year to 501 USD per tonne, reported

The rice export price was higher against most export markets during the same period last year, with the highest price reaching 834.5 USD per tonne for rice exported to Chile, a year-on-year increase of 114 percent. However, rice exports to this market fell sharply by 95 percent in volume and 90 percent in year-on-year value.

China has remained the largest export market for Vietnamese rice, accounting for 27.7 percent of total volume during the first quarter of the current year.

During the first quarter of 2018, 40 percent of Vietnam’s major rice export markets saw a surge in terms of both volume and value, while 60 percent saw a reduction in rice exports.

Vietnam’s rice exports to Bangladesh increased 89 times in volume and 59 times in value. A similar but smaller-scale trend occurred in rice exports to Turkey, Iraq, Malaysia and France.

However, rice exports to markets such as Argentina, Chile, Ukraine, Angola, Singapore, South Africa and the Netherlands plunged between 60 to 95 percent in both volume and turnover over the same period last year.

According to experts, Vietnam will have greater opportunities when the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) comes into effect, helping rice exporters increase exports to countries that joined the agreement and demand high quality and food safety standards, such as Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Vietnam’s structure for exporting rice products has shifted to reducing middle and lower quality rice products while increasing high quality rice products annually.

As a result, from the end of 2017 to the current period, Vietnam’s rice export prices have increased to 50 USD to 100 USD per tonne against its competitors, such as Thailand, Pakistan and India.-VNA

Basmati Rice Market 2018 Analysis Report- North America, Europe, China, Japan, Southeast Asia and India



The global revenue of Basmati Rice market was valued at __.__ M USD in 2016 and is expected to reach USD _._ M USD in 2022. In the future five years, we predict the CAGR of global revenue is __._%.
The Global Basmati Rice Market Research Report 2018 report presents a basic overview of the Basmati Rice industry, including definition, industry chain structure, application, and classification. Discuss development plans and policies as well as cost structures and manufacturing processes.
The Basmati Rice Industry report then concentrates on major industry players in Global, including product pictures, company profiles, and specifications, market share, contact information, and sales. More importantly, the Basmati Rice industry marketing channels and development trends were analyzed. Implementing the main demographic data on the current status of the Basmati Rice industry is a direction and valuable guide for companies and individuals interested in the market.
This report will walk you through the Basmati Rice Market from the following aspects in 125 pages: Gross Margin, Growth Drivers, Demand, Market share, Price, Market Size, Cost, Sales Revenue, Gross, Trends, etc.
To access sample pages of Global Basmati Rice market 2018 report, click here:
Geographically, this report is segmented into several key Regions, covering United States, Europe, China, Japan, India, Asia, South Korea & Taiwan.
Basmati Rice Market segment by Type, the product can be split into
Indian Basmati Rice, Pakistani Basmati Rice, Kenya Basmati Rice, Other
Basmati Rice Market segment by Application, global market can be split into
Direct Edible, Deep Processing

Basmati Rice Market 2018- Key Players

(Partly, Players you are interested can also be added): Best Foods, KRBL Limited, Sungold, Galaxy Rice Mill, Amar Singh Chawal Wala, Hanuman Rice Mills, Dunar Foods, Amira Nature Foods, Tilda Basmati Rice, Adani Wilmar, Aeroplane Rice, Kohinoor Rice, LT Foods, Matco Foods and HAS Rice Pakistan 
For report details and TOC kindly click on the given link:  

Basmati Rice Market 2018 Report- Table Of Contents and Major Key Points

1 Basmati Rice Market_Overview
2 Global Basmati Rice Market_Competition by Manufacturers
3 Global Basmati Rice Capacity-Production-Revenue (Value) by Region (2013-2018)
4 Global Basmati Rice Supply (Production), Consumption, Import, Export by Region (2013-2018)
5 Global Basmati Rice Production, Revenue (Value), Price Trend by Type
6 Global Basmati Rice Market_Analysis by Application
7 Global Basmati Rice Manufacturers/Companies Profiles/Analysis
8 Basmati Rice Manufacturing Cost_Analysis
9 Downstream Buyers, Industrial Chain and Sourcing Strategy
10 Distributors/Traders, Marketing Strategy Analysis
11 Market Effect Factors Analysis
12 Global Basmati Rice Market-Forecast (2018-2025)
13 Research Findings and Conclusion
14 Appendix

lobal Rice Market 2018 by Top Key Players, Product Type, End-user Applications, Region and Forecast to 2025

The research report, titled Rice Market 2018 Industry Research Reports, covers the current as well as the future scenario of the global Rice market. It evaluates the Rice market based on SWOT analysis and Porter’s Five Forces Model, which analyzes the degree of competition in the global Rice market by considering several micro and macro factors.
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Complete Rice Market 2018 research report is isolated according to major key players, geographical zones, product types, plus opportunities. Rice market separation on the Basis of Geographical: The Rice research report covers gross margin of the regions including North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, The Middle East and Africa.
To offer a more holistic overview of the global Rice market, the Rice research report provides market projections for the coming years and covers some of the recent trends and developments in the Rice market. The study covers the following: mergers and acquisition scenarios, various ventures in the market, various company strategies/tactics, market analysis such as Rice market attractiveness and investment feasibility, detailed segmentation, key trends, valuable recommendation, market predictions, and information on major companies and key players along with their market shares in terms of volume and revenue.
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Why root crops are ideal substitutes for rice

By: Micky Fenix -Columnist
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:15 AM April 26, 2018
Cavite tamales and Puerto Rican ‘pasteles de yucca’
When a friend suggests eating out, the place isn’t as important as the company. And that’s how dinner was set at Gourmet Gypsy Café on Roces Avenue, Quezon City.
But it turned out to be part of a class of Fernando Zialcita, Cultural Heritage Studies Program professor at Ateneo de Manila University. And it reminded me of Zialcita’s invitation more than a year ago at another restaurant, where the subject was root crops.
Contrasting dishes
The talk at Gourmet Gypsy had the same focus—the menu was “Roots and Resilience: A Dinner of Contrasting Dishes.” Chef Waya Araos Wijangco presented two dishes for every course to show similarities and differences. Every course had Filipino cooking and a foreign dish, but the root crop was always present in both.
Before dinner was served, Zialcita reminded his student diners that root crops are easier to grow than rice, and that they require less water and labor—
but root crops are considered “inferior” by some quarters. What we ate that evening was meant to show that root crops might be good, even better, substitutes for rice.
I had forgotten to tell Zialcita that the Philippine Root Crops Research and Training Center is based at Visayas State University in Baybay, Leyte. Perhaps he and his students could schedule a visit to know about the many varieties. The province was chosen as a research center because it is home to many root crop varieties.
As in our previous dinner, the first course had kinilaw, paired this time with a Peruvian ceviche.
Pork adobo with mashed “ube” and Szechuan chicken stew with taro and mushrooms
Mildly hot
Chef Waya explained how the kinilaw is prepared: First, by washing the raw seafood in vinegar, after which the vinegar is thrown out. Citrus like calamansi is added, then the seafood is seasoned with salt, pepper, a bit of chili and chopped ginger and maybe coconut milk, depending on the main ingredient.
But that is only one way, because, like adobo, there are many versions of kinilaw.
Chef Waya’s ceviche used the Peruvian aji amarillo, a mildly hot yellow-orange chili. She gets her supply from a friend in the United States. Her ceviche also had boiled sweet potato (camote) on the side.
In Leyte, sometimes kinilaw is also eaten with root crops. But I do remember that lechon is eaten with a big gray yam called palawan, or the giant swamp taro. I was told the taro, which is bland, is meant to cut the richness of the lechon.
Native cakes
The next course had native cakes, one a Cavite tamales and the other a Puerto Rican pasteles de yucca. Waya said she approximated the Cavite recipe because she didn’t get her order of Robinsons, the most famous tamales in the province. The dish was made with rice and camote with a topping of chicken, egg and chorizo. Cassava was used for the pasteles, which looked like a yellow suman, while the filling was picadillo with olives.
By this time, most of us were getting full from the root crops.
Fish “kinilaw” and Peruvian ceviche
The main course consisted of two braised dishes—pork adobo with mashed ube (purple yam) and a Szechuan chicken with taro and mushrooms. The ube seemed a perfect match with the adobo. We thought of replicating that at home.
The dessert was guinataang halo-halo, again with assorted root crops cooked in coconut milk. This was accompanied by the Thai ruam mit, which has sweet potato chunks, corn, gelatin strips and sago in coconut milk.
While the Thai ruam mit can be considered dessert, our guinataang halo-halo is too heavy to serve as the ending to a meal. For me, any kakanin (rice cake) and even guinataan should really be merienda food and not dessert.
Zialcita also talked of dessert, but not about the ones we had. He asked the students and guests whether sans rival really came from France. I volunteered the information that Nora Daza had the original Le Cordon Bleu Gateau Sans Rival recipe printed in her book, “A Culinary Life” (Anvil Publishing, 1992).
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Global Ricebran Oil Market 2018 Forecast- SVROil, Tsuno Rice Fine Chemicals, Jain Group of Industries and Agrotech International

The report titled Global Ricebran Oil Market 2018 Research Report implements an exhaustive study of Ricebran Oil industry to gather significant and crucial information of Ricebran Oil market size, growth rate, opportunities and Ricebran Oil market forecast from 2018-2023. An appropriate flow of information such as Ricebran Oil market trends, key dominating players, chapter-wise segregation followed by various user perceptions and contemporary business details have driven many newcomers towards Ricebran Oil market.
The world Ricebran Oil market was valued at US$ XX million in 2017 and is expected to reach US$ XX million by the end of 2023, expanding at a CAGR of XX% between 2018 and 2023. Likewise, the report promotes ambitious landscape of Ricebran Oil market, business overview, their policies and recent developments. Ricebran Oil industry research report layouts past, present and future data and figures with the render assistance to pie charts, graphs, and tables thus providing clear perceptive of Ricebran Oil market. Various analytical tools are used to analyze current market needs and predict future of Ricebran Oil market movements.
World Ricebran Oil industry has a very wide scope. Ricebran Oil market is expanded across several major regions such as USA, Europe, South East Asia, India, Japan and China. Four major divisions of Ricebran Oil industry report include marketing players, applications, regions and Ricebran Oil product types. Comprehensive analysis and treasured resolutions by Ricebran Oil industrialist, key opinion leaders, and experts will grant emerging players to take decisive judgments and design new rules and policies to uplift their position in the Ricebran Oil market.
Worldwide Ricebran Oil Market 2018 Top Manufacturer:
Vaighai agro products
A.P. Refinery
3F Industries
Sethia Oils
Jain Group of Industries
Tsuno Rice Fine Chemicals
Agrotech International
Shivangi Oils
Oryza Oil & Fat Chemical
King rice oil group
Habib Industries
Wilmar International
Surin Bran Oil
RiceBran Technologies
Wanyuan Food & Oil
Honghulang Rice Industry
Hubei Tianxing
Ricebran Oil Market Product Types:
Rice Bran Oil Made by Extraction
Rice Bran Oil Made by Squeezing
Ricebran Oil Market Applications:
Refined rice bran oil
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The first portion summarize the entire content of this report by giving Ricebran Oil product definition, introduction, the scope of the Ricebran Oil product, Ricebran Oil market opportunities, risk and Ricebran Oil market driving forces.
The second portion deals with top manufacturing players of Ricebran Oil along with revenue, the price of Ricebran Oil market products and Ricebran Oil industry sales from 2018 to 2025. The third portion familiarize readers with Ricebran Oil industry geographical regions by sales, revenue, Ricebran Oil market share for exclusive regions.
Fourth, the fifth, and sixth portions of Ricebran Oil market report deal with the major regions along with sales, revenue and market contribution of Ricebran Oil industry by specific countries only.
The seventh portion compare Ricebran Oil applications and Ricebran Oil product types with growth rate, Ricebran Oil market share and sales channel forecast from 2018 to 2023. Portion eight and nine covers Ricebran Oil market forecast by types, Ricebran Oil applications, and regions along with Ricebran Oil product revenue and sales.
The last portions of Global Ricebran Oil industry 2018 research report summarizes important research findings, results, Ricebran Oil research conclusions, Ricebran Oil research data source and an appendix of the Ricebran Oil industry.

3,000 Rice Genomes Project Sequences Reveal Asian Rice History, Diversity

Apr 25, 2018

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Collaborators from China, the US, the Philippines, and France are sharing results from the 3,000 Rice Genomes (3K-RG) Project, an effort to characterize the genetic and genomic variation across Asian cultivated rice accessions.
The team — led by investigators at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, BGI-Shenzhen, and the International Rice Research Institute — sequenced and analyzed 3,010 cultivated rice representatives, identifying millions of SNPs, small insertions or deletions, and structural variants falling in and across the Asian rice populations identified. The findings, appearing online today in Nature, also highlighted genes that are shared between rice populations, along with genes falling in the broader rice pan-genome.
"The next challenge will be to examine associations of the 3K-RG genetic variation with agriculturally relevant phenotypes measured under multiple field and laboratory environmental conditions; this will guide and accelerate rice breeding by identifying genetic variation that will be useful in breeding efforts and future sustainable agriculture," the authors wrote.
The team embarked on the 3K-RG effort to spell out the diversity within and across Asian cultivated rice accessions, which until now have been placed in two broad groups within the Oryza sativa rice species. The Xian/Indica (XI) accessions are typically grown in diverse but less challenging environments, while rice accessions in the Geng/Japonica (GJ) group are more often found in harsh, high-altitude, and/or high-latitude environments.
As they outlined in GigaScience in 2014, the researchers sent rice genomic DNA to BGI-Shenzhen for Illumina sequencing. After sequencing 3,024 rice genomes and tossing out data for 14 accessions that did not meet their quality control criteria, they aligned reads for the other 3,010 accessions to a Nipponbare RefSeq rice reference to track down informative variants.
The search led to more than 29 million SNPs, the team reported. Nearly 8 percent of those SNPs appeared to have moderate to high effects on other features in the genome, while just over 5 percent were classified as low-effect SNPs. The genomes also housed some 2.4 million small insertions and deletions.
Based on genome sequence data for 453 rice accessions with particularly deep coverage, the researchers narrowed in on 93,683 structural variants, or 12,178 structural variants per rice genome, on average.
Along with five main rice clusters reported in the past, the team was able to identify nine rice sub-populations, coinciding with the geographic distributions of these plants, while the structural variant profiles provided the basis for a phylogenetic analysis on the most deeply sequenced accessions.
When they added insights from the 268 million bases of rice sequences that were poorly represented in the rice reference genome, the researchers narrowed in on 12,465 newly detected protein-coding sequences and thousands of other partial gene sequences. Beyond the 12,770 to 14,826 gene families that made up the core rice genome, the team placed more than 9,000 "distributed" gene families in the broader rice pan-genome — an analysis informed by new reference genome sequences generated for two rice representatives using Illumina and PacBio sequences.
"Our analysis brings more resolution to the within-species diversity of O. sativa," the authors wrote. For example, they noted that the GJ rice from more challenging environments tended to have broader core genomes, while the pan-genomes in the XI rice eclipsed that of the GJ accessions.
"A closer look at patterns of haplotype sharing at domestication genes suggests that not all 'domestication' alleles came to XI from GJ," they noted. "Taken together, our results — combined with archeological evidence of XI cultivation for [more than] 9,000 years in both India and China — support multiple independent domestications of O. sativa."

Court of Appeal criticises KRA in Sh355 million rice import duty matter By Joackim Bwana | Published Thu, April 26th 2018 at 00:00, Updated April 25th 2018 at 23:39 GMT +3 SHARE THIS ARTICLE Share on Facebook Share on Twitter The Kenya Revenue Authority has been criticised for erroneous calculation of import tax. Appellate Judges Alnashir Visram, W Karanja, and MK Koome said the authority makes mistakes in its calculations on the duty, then shifts the burden and pressure to importers. ALSO READ: Judge pulls out of Joho appeal case The judges said in Mombasa that the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) should change the way it operates and demands tax from importers. “Your story is that KRA is under pressure and you are making deliberate mistakes and the importers pay for the mistakes. You are intimidating and harassing the importers, yet you are a Government body. You are behaving badly and you need to change,” said Justice Visram. The judges were referring to a case where KRA is demanding over Sh355 million in duty from Krish Commodities Limited, which imported 10 containers of Indian and Vietnam rice in 2008. Justice Karanja said KRA was collecting money that was not even due for collection. Avoid fake news! Subscribe to the Standard SMS service and receive factual, verified breaking news as it happens. Text the word 'NEWS' to 22840 "Demanding Sh355 million within 14 days is enough to send someone to the intensive care unit. This is not fair and you follow it up with threats,” she said. “The wrong calculations are your mistake and KRA does this so that the importers can come to your offices so that you can negotiate,” said Visram KRA lawyer Pius Nyagah said KRA was working hard to eliminate such errors and had summoned Krish to discuss the issue. The Krish lawyer, Sanjeev Kagram, told the Court of appeal that KRA made a deliberate mistake on the tax his client was supposed to pay to compel him to visit its offices. ALSO READ: Court of Appeal dismisses petition to wind up aviation firm Mr Kagram said KRA unlawfully detained 10 containers on account of the allegedly 
Read more at:

Philippines hopes to pass rice tariffication law in 2018


The government expects the rice tariffication bill to be passed into law by the 2nd half of the year, according to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.

Under the measure, the prescribed import volume would be removed and imports can eventually be opened to private traders.

"We expect the tariffication of rice to be in effect later this year – maybe 2nd half of this year, because it's an urgent legislative measure. That means President [Rodrigo Duterte] wants it passed soon," Pernia told reporters on the sidelines of a Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) briefing in Manila on Tuesday, April 24.

The proposed tariff system, filed as House Bill 4904, amends the Agricultural Tariffication Act of 1996. The existing law, which is more than two decades old, allows the National Food Authority (NFA) to monopolize rice importation.

Pernia reiterated that replacing the quantitative restriction (QR) on rice with tariffs will lower rice prices and increase revenues for agricultural programs like crop diversification.

"To the extent that rice importation will be liberalized, the private sector will start importing. The more private sector imports, the supply of rice enlarges and therefore the price of rice goes down," Pernia added.

Prices of rice in the Philippines rose by 3.6% in March, from 2.8% in February. (READ: Philippine inflation continues to rise at 4.3% in March)

Farm gate prices of palay have been on an upward trend since the 2nd week of January, contributing to higher wholesale and retail prices of rice.

Key to rice supply problem

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), which is headed by Pernia, had cited the urgency to fast-track amendments to the Agricultural Tariffication Act.

This would allow the NFA to focus on ensuring buffer stocks for rice, among other things.

"Meanwhile, the revenue from the tariff on rice will be used to help the farmers increase their productivity," Pernia told reporters.

The Philippines' total rice inventory, inclusive of stocks from households, commercial warehouses, and NFA depositories, registered a marked drop to 1,795.78 metric tons (MT) as of February 1 this year, said NEDA.

Even if 250,000 MT of imported rice is scheduled to arrive in May, NEDA said this will not be able to meet the country's rice demand in the succeeding months.

NEDA Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Rosemarie Edillon had said inflationary pressures from other agricultural food items must be managed as well, while at the same time anticipating developments in international oil markets.

"Given the risks, we really need to be anticipative and proactive in implementing measures to ensure price stability and cushion the impact of higher consumer prices on the poor," Edillon had said.

Moving chairs in Starbucks: Observational studies find rice-wheat cultural differences in daily life in China

1.     Thomas Talhelm1,*
2.     Xuemin Zhang2 and 
3.     Shigehiro Oishi3
 See all authors and affiliations
Science Advances  25 Apr 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 4, eaap8469
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aap8469
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Traditional paddy rice farmers had to share labor and coordinate irrigation in a way that most wheat farmers did not. We observed people in everyday life to test whether these agricultural legacies gave rice-farming southern China a more interdependent culture and wheat-farming northern China a more independent culture. In Study 1, we counted 8964 people sitting in cafes in six cities and found that people in northern China were more likely to be sitting alone. In Study 2, we moved chairs together in Starbucks across the country so that they were partially blocking the aisle (n = 678). People in northern China were more likely to move the chair out of the way, which is consistent with findings that people in individualistic cultures are more likely to try to control the environment. People in southern China were more likely to adjust the self to the environment by squeezing through the chairs. Even in China’s most modern cities, rice-wheat differences live on in everyday life.


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In a laboratory study, we tested more than 1000 people from all over China on several psychological measures of culture (1). People who had grown up in southern China showed behaviors typical of interdependent cultures, such as Japan—holistic thought, low importance of the self, and a strong distinction between friends and strangers. People from northern China showed behaviors that are more common in individualistic cultures, such as the UK—analytic thought, strong importance of the self, and a smaller distinction between friends and strangers.
Another difference between northern and southern China is that, for thousands of years, people in northern China grew wheat and millet, whereas people in southern China farmed paddy rice (Guanzi, seventh century BC). The idea that how cultures historically made a living affects our behavior is called subsistence theory (24). For example, herding is a relatively individual activity, where people move from place to place, and many relationships are transitory. In contrast, many farming cultures are sedentary, with more stable, enmeshed ties between people.
The rice theory of culture breaks down farming further (15). Compared to dryland crops, such as wheat and millet, rice paddy farming often requires irrigation systems that multiple families have to coordinate. Traditional paddy rice also required about twice as many man hours as crops, such as wheat, which led many rice cultures to form customs of exchanging labor (68). Over time, this tight coordination may have pushed rice cultures to develop a more interdependent culture.

Study overview

Here, we test for rice-wheat cultural differences in everyday life in China. In Study 1, we counted how many people were sitting alone versus with other people in Starbucks and other cafes around China. In Study 2, we moved chairs to block aisles in Starbucks and observed how many people moved the self to squeeze through or moved the chairs. We designed this measure to test exerting control over the environment, which is more common in individualistic cultures (9).
These studies make several contributions to previous studies:
1) These studies test the rice theory outside of the laboratory using a sample that is not primarily students. In some ways, middle-class patrons of Starbucks in major cities might be the last people among whom we should expect to find subsistence style differences.
2) These studies address the fundamental problem of self-report measures in cultural psychology. Researchers have documented many problems with using self-report scales to measure differences across cultures, from the reference-group effect (10) to the stubbornly persistent finding that the United States is just as collectivistic as China and Korea (1112), or that Japan is actually less collectivistic than the United States [(13), p. 18]. There is also the complete lack of correlation between nation-level self-reports of conscientiousness with objective behaviors that tap into that same trait (14). However, observational studies of cultural differences are oddly rare in psychology [except for a few strong examples: (1415)]. Developing measures of concrete behaviors addresses the problems of self-report and may provide future researchers with documented non–self-report measures to use.
3) Much of cross-cultural psychology has focused on East-West differences and differences between nations. This study tests for differences within China.
4) This study extends the sample to include Hong Kong, which has not been tested as a part of rice-wheat differences.

Strengths and weaknesses of observational studies

However, observational studies have weaknesses too. Laboratory studies are strong designs because they use a controlled environment and previously validated measures. Observational studies are not so tightly controlled. We also cannot be as sure we know what we are measuring—that the behavior we are measuring represents individualism as we expect it does. For example, if a driver does not stop completely at a stop sign, is that a sign of self-importance? Impatience? Or disregard for law? The meaning of particular behaviors is more open to debate than it is with laboratory measures.
To combat these weaknesses, we use one behavior (sitting alone) that psychologists have used before to document differences between groups of people. For the new measure that we create (chair moving), we validate the measure by collecting data in the United States, China, and Japan. We also validate the reliability of the observations by having multiple observers rate the same behaviors. This gives some evidence that these behaviors truly differ between individualistic and interdependent cultures.
Despite the difficulties of observational studies, they are a good antidote for the fact that many laboratory tests are not very helpful for describing what rice and wheat cultures are like in everyday life. In a thought style task, if people in northern China are more likely to pair “train” with “bus” rather than “train” with “tracks,” what does that mean for everyday life? These observational studies give a more concrete picture of how rice and wheat cultures differ in everyday life.

Testing sites

We tested in six cities: Beijing (wheat), Shenyang (wheat), Shanghai (rice), Nanjing (rice), Guangzhou (rice), and Hong Kong (rice). All the cities are in solidly rice areas (>70% farmland devoted to rice) or wheat areas [<20% farmland devoted to rice (16)]. We chose major cities because (i) it would be easier to obtain large samples in each site and (ii) they have chain store locations that we could use as semiuniform testing environments.
Figure 1 shows how the six cities compare on demographic variables. All are major metropolises, with gross domestic product (GDP) per capita much higher than the national average, which may actually make these places harder places to test the rice theory (if modernization strongly influences culture and pushes cultures further away from their agrarian roots). The fact that most people in major cities do not farm for a living means that we are testing for the legacy of a history of farming, rather than the effect of having farmed land oneself.
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Fig. 1About 90% of the people in Starbucks were from the local rice or wheat cultural region.
The Human Development Index is a United Nations index of health, education, and wealth for 2015. GDP per capita data are from 2013, converted to U.S. dollars. The population density is as of 2013.

Why Hong Kong is an interesting test case

We included Hong Kong for two reasons: (i) Hong Kong is a much wealthier, more modernized city than the other cities. Hong Kong has a GDP per capita about three times those of Beijing and Shanghai (Fig. 1), as well as a longer history of market capitalism and globalization. (ii) Hong Kong is a former British colony, which has given it direct influence from a Western culture.
Using Hong Kong as a test case sets up a strong contrast between two competing theories: modernization and the rice theory. If Hong Kong shows more individualism, it would suggest that modernization (or British influence) has made the culture more individualistic. If Hong Kong shows more interdependence, it would suggest that rice differences can persist in the face of modernization.

Are people in Beijing cafes actually from Beijing?

One weakness of sampling large cities in China is that large cities have attracted newcomers from rural areas. So how do we know that people in Beijing cafes are actually from Beijing?
The answer is that people in Beijing cafes do not actually need to be from Beijing. Instead, this sample can adequately test the rice theory as long as most people in Beijing Starbucks are from the north—other wheat-growing provinces. Second, even among southerners who have moved to Beijing, there should be at least some cultural assimilation because most have lived in the north for years. Thus, the real threat to validity would be if more than 50% of people in Beijing cafes are recent arrivals from the south, which is unlikely.
But to be conservative, we surveyed 105 people in Starbucks in Beijing and Shanghai. We asked patrons which province they grew up in and how long they had lived in Beijing or Shanghai. In Shanghai Starbucks, 61% grew up in Shanghai, 89% were from rice provinces, and 93% were from rice provinces or had lived in Shanghai for at least 2 years (Fig. 1). In Beijing, 60% grew up in Beijing, 92% were from wheat provinces, and 98% were from wheat provinces or had lived in Beijing for at least 2 years. Thus, people in Starbucks overwhelmingly represent the rice and wheat regions.

Are cafes too far removed from farming?

Cafes are expensive. In Beijing, the full-time minimum wage is US$434 a month (17). At that rate, 10 Starbucks lattes a month would cost about 10% of someone’s income. Starbucks customers are probably wealthier than average.
However, that should make it harder to find evidence for the rice theory. If modernization erases differences based on historical rice farming, then it should be harder to find those differences among middle-class consumers in modern cafes. However, cultures have inertia, and differences rooted in subsistence styles can persist hundreds of years after people put down their plows (18). This study tests whether China’s rice-wheat differences persist among its urban middle class.

Natural laboratories

Cafes do have one strong advantage as a testing site. Cafes provide a naturally uniform environment across different cities. One benefit of global capitalism is that it produces stores with more or less the same environment—the same colors, the same chairs, and the same smells—across China. This means that environmental cues should be roughly similar across cities.


Sitting alone

In Study 1, we observed the number of people sitting with other people or alone in cafes. Why measure sitting alone? On the face of it, sitting alone seems consistent with the independent culture of wheat areas. There is also evidence that doing things alone is more common in individualistic cultures. For example, researchers created an index of individualistic markers across the United States, such as divorce rates and Libertarian voting rates (19). This index was positively correlated with the percentage of people driving to work alone versus carpooling, and the percentage of people living alone [(19), p. 284], which suggests that spending time alone is more common in individualistic cultures.

Observation rules

Three researchers observed 8964 people in 256 stores across six cities (Beijing, Shenyang, Shanghai, Nanjing, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong). Observers coded the number of people sitting alone, the number of groups, the number of people in groups, and the gender of the people sitting alone. To test whether the observations were reliable, observers coded samples in Beijing (n = 447) and Shanghai (n = 251). Codings were nearly identical (r’s > 0.99).
We hypothesized that day of the week and time of day might affect the percentage of people sitting alone, so we noted these variables and made an effort to sample evenly by time and day of the week across cities. The observers avoided tourist areas, such as the Forbidden City and the Bund, as well as areas with lots of travelers, such as train stations and airports. To avoid seasonal variation, all coding took place in the summer between June and August. Observers did not sample during national holidays or exceptional events (such as a typhoon that hit Guangzhou).

Control variables

As a predictor variable, we used the percentage of farmland devoted to rice paddies in the province, although results were similar using a binary rice-versus-wheat variable. We used the earliest rice data that we could find from the 1996 Statistical Yearbook. In addition to time of day and day of the week, we tested for city- and district-level GDP per capita, population density, and age of the population from 2013.


People in rice regions were less likely to be alone (γ = −0.42, P = 0.010, rcity-level = 0.79; γ represents group-level regression coefficients). On weekdays, roughly 10% more people were alone in the wheat region than the rice region. On weekends, the wheat region had about 5% more people sitting alone (Fig. 2).
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Fig. 2Percentage of people sitting alone in cafes.
People in the wheat area were more likely to be sitting alone on weekdays (left) and weekends (right). Bars represent 1 SEM.
Day of the week. People were most likely to be alone on Mondays (32% on Mondays versus 22% on weekends). The percentage alone went down each day of the week through Sunday (B = −0.08, P < 0.001, rind-level = 0.10; table S12) (a linear day-of-the-week variable explained slightly more variance than a weekday-versus-weekend variable).
Morning versus afternoon. People were most likely to be alone early in the day and less likely to be alone in the afternoon and into evening (B = −0.07, P< 0.001, rind-level = 0.10; time of day rounded to the nearest hour). However, rice-wheat differences persisted throughout the day (Fig. 3). Around noon, 33% of people were alone. By 5:00 p.m., 22% of people were alone. Controlling for time of day and day of the week, people in the rice areas were less likely to be alone (γ = −0.43, P = 0.003, rcity-level = 0.85; Table 1). We controlled for time of day and day of the week in all the following analyses.
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Fig. 3People were more likely to be alone earlier in the day, although rice-wheat differences persisted across the day.
Yellow represents wheat region; green represents rice region. Bars represent 1 SEM.
Table 1 Rice-wheat differences in sitting alone.
Note that day of the week is coded numerically: Monday, 1 to Sunday, 7. Time of day is rounded to the nearest hour. Model is a hierarchical linear model (HLM) using the binomial GLMER function. Data are grouped at the city level in each model except the model with district GDP per capita. Table S10 presents models with districts nested within cities.
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Starbucks versus other cafes. People were more likely to be alone in Starbucks than other cafes (γ = 0.17, P = 0.053, rstore-level = 0.05; table S1). Results were similar when we grouped together Starbucks and Costa Coffee to represent large international chains (γ = 0.21, P = 0.028, rstore-level = 0.08). Rice-wheat differences remained after controlling for international chains (γ = −0.45, P = 0.007, rcity-level = 0.80; Table 1).
Modernization. If modernization makes cultures more individualistic and more Western, then we would expect more people in modernized districts to be sitting alone. However, people in wealthier cities were not more likely to be alone (GDP per capita; γ = 0.006, P = 0.672, rcity-level = 0.15; table S3). This could be because the rice areas are also wealthier. After controlling for rice, people in wealthier cities were more likely to be alone (γ = 0.018, P < 0.001, rcity-level = 0.47) (rice remained significant; γ = −0.56, P < 0.001; Table 1).
Results were similar using wealth at the district level. Wealthier districts were not more likely to have people sitting alone (γ = .002, P = 0.824, rdistrict-level = 0.08; table S4). But controlling for rice, people were marginally more likely to be alone in wealthier districts (γ = 0.010, P = 0.082, rdistrict-level = 0.56; Table 1). In sum, the basic rice-wheat differences were stronger than modernization differences. Modernization differences were apparent only after taking rice-wheat differences into account.
Self-employed people. Some people are alone in cafes because they are working, which may be particularly common for people who are self-employed and have no office space. We tested whether cities with a higher percentage of self-employed workers had more people sitting alone. Controlling for rice, areas with more self-employed people did not have more people sitting alone (γ = 1.75, P = 0.629, rcity-level = 0.27; table S8).
Population density. Researchers have argued two opposite ideas for how population density might affect culture. On the one hand, some researchers have argued that population density should make cultures more collectivistic [for example, (2021), pp. 58–59]. On the other hand, cities are more densely populated than rural areas, and some researchers think that cities are more individualistic (22). In terms of the practicalities of sitting alone, people in dense cities may have smaller homes and more need to use a cafe as a place to work or read.
Results supported the idea that dense cities are more collectivistic. People were less likely to be alone in districts with a higher population density (γ = −0.03, P = 0.177, rdistrict-level = −0.22). However, population density is highly correlated with rice; after controlling for rice, population density was not significant (γ = 0.02, P = 0.559, rdistrict-level = 0.31). In sum, population density was not a strong predictor.
Age and gender. If China’s younger generation is more individualistic than the older generation, then districts with younger populations might have more people sitting alone. However, the finding was that those younger districts were no more likely to have people sitting alone (table S4). Men made up 50.6% of the people sitting alone in the wheat region and 52.4% in the rice region. Thus, gender did not seem able to explain differences between regions.
Alternative predictors. In the Supplementary Materials, we present analyses of other variables that researchers have used to explain cultural differences: climate (temperature), pathogen prevalence, percentage of nonlocal residents, and alternative measures of modernization (service-sector employment, employment in private industry, and Internet penetration). Although the sample is small to test many different theories, rice consistently predicted differences more strongly than these alternatives (table S8).


People in the wheat areas were more likely to be alone than people in the rice areas. This was also true in Hong Kong, a wealthier, more modernized city in the rice region. These results suggest that rice-wheat cultural differences within China extend into everyday life—not just in the careful, controlled laboratory measurements.


Chair moving

Some cultural psychologists have argued that, when people run into a problem, individualists are more likely to try to change the situation, and collectivists are more likely to change the self to fit the situation [(2123), p. 67]. Similarly, in their classic paper on self-concept, Markus and Kitayama (24) theorized that individualistic Americans value “gaining control over surroundings” (p. 241), whereas Japanese people tend to see maturity as the ability to gain control over the inner world of the self (p. 227).
Findings have supported these theories. For example, researchers have found that Americans emphasize control and influence, whereas people in Japan emphasize adjustment and fitting in (92527). In addition, research on “primary control” (active control) versus “secondary control” (adjusting to the situation) has found that Americans are more likely to try primary control (28).
To test this theory in everyday life, we pushed chairs together in Starbucks and observed how many people moved the chairs out of their way and how many moved their body to squeeze through the chairs (Fig. 4). If people in rice areas are more collectivistic, with less importance placed on the self, they should be less likely to move the chairs.
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Fig. 4Demonstrations of the chair-moving test.
A research assistant demonstrating how difficult it is to walk through the chair trap (left). To standardize chair width, researchers set the chairs to the width of their hips. Researchers only used light wooden chairs like these (right) to set the chair traps, never large stools or large plush chairs like those in the background of the picture.
To the best of our knowledge, no studies have used this method before. Thus, we cannot be certain what moving the chair represents. Thus, we tested the validity of this method by running samples in two countries shown to have differences in importance of the self—Japan and the United States. We also tested a subsample of participants in China who did and did not move the chair on psychological constructs previously shown to differ between individualistic and collectivistic cultures: cultural thought style, internal versus external locus of control, and self-efficacy (see the Supplementary Materials for more details).
Finally, moving the chair is similar to a study that put participants in front of a fan that was set to an uncomfortably high setting (29). Participants who were primed to feel powerful (and perhaps place more importance on the self) were more likely to turn the fan off or move it out of the way. Thus, there is some evidence that actively removing an obstacle is more common among people who place a higher importance on the self.

Observation rules

A total of 678 people in five cities walked through the chair trap (wheat: Beijing and Shenyang; rice: Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong). All observations were made in the summer (11 July to 2 September). We ran the study in Starbucks only to keep the testing environment similar across cities.

Control variables

Observers coded for several variables that we thought might affect how likely people are to move chairs: gender, time of day, day of the week, employee versus customer, walking alone versus in a group, and under/over 40 years old. Observers estimated whether people were under or over 40 years old on the basis of their appearance. In addition to rice, we ran models with GDP per capita and population density at the city and district level.


People in the rice region were less likely to move the chair (γ = −1.86, P < 0.001, rcity-level = −0.99, rind-level = −0.24; Table 2). In the rice region, about 6% of people moved the chair, whereas in the wheat region, 16% of people moved the chair (Fig. 5).
Table 2 Rice, GDP, and demographic predictors of chair moving.
Note that models are HLMs using the binomial GLMER function. Data are grouped at the city level, except for the bottom two models, which are grouped at the district level. See table S11 for models with districts nested in cities.
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Fig. 5People in wheat areas were about three times more likely to move the chair than people in rice areas.
Bars represent 1 SEM.
Employees. Employees were much more likely to move the chair (B = 1.93, P < 0.001, rind-level = 0.10; Fig. 6). Among employees, 24% moved the chair compared to 4% of customers. However, rice-wheat differences were apparent among employees (γ = −2.55, P < 0.001, rcity-level = −0.86, rind-level = −0.39) and civilians (γ = −1.67, P = 0.009, rcity-level = −0.97, rind-level = −0.19).
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Fig. 6
Employees were about five times more likely than customers to move the chair (left). Among customers, men were more likely than women to move the chair (center). Comparing China, Japan, and the United States, Americans were about twice as likely to move the chair (right). Bars represent 1 SEM.
Gender. Among customers, women were less likely to move the chair (B = −1.06, P = 0.016, rind-level = −0.19; Fig. 6). Among employees, men and women did not differ (B = 0.03, P = 0.936, rind-level < 0.01). In a model controlling for gender and employee effects, the rice-wheat differences remained (γ = −2.02, P < 0.001, rcity-level = 0.97, rind-level = −0.24; Table 2).
Age and time of day. Many people have argued that the younger generation in China is more individualistic than the older generation (30). If so, older people might be less likely to move the chairs. On the other hand, older people may feel more respected in society or able to assert control. There were no significant differences in chair moving for people below 40 years old (B = 0.03, P = 0.928, rind-level < 0.01).
At the district level, districts with older populations were less likely to move the chair (γ = −0.18, P = 0.041, rdist-level = −0.49) (among nonemployees; table S6). However, this relationship became nonsignificant after adding rice (γ = −0.05, P = 0.667, rdist-level = −0.19). Time of day was not related to chair moving (P = 0.851).
Alone versus groups. People in groups were marginally less likely to move the chair (B = −0.66, P = 0.069, rind-level = 0.11). However, this might be because (i) employees never walked in groups and (ii) people in rice areas were more likely to be walking in groups. In a model including rice, employee, and gender, the effect of walking in a group was not significant (P = 0.565).
Modernization. We tested whether people in more developed (and presumably more modernized) cities were more likely to move the chair. Wealth of the city was not related to chair moving (γ = −0.35, P = 0.467, rcity-level = −0.44) (GDP per capita; table S6). This was also true after controlling for rice (P = 0.936; Table 2).
Next, we zoomed into the district level. People in wealthier districts were not more likely to move the chairs (GDP per capita; γ = −0.02, P = 0.517, rcity-level = 0.23; table S6). The slight negative relationship could be because the rice areas of China are wealthier than the wheat areas. Controlling for rice, people in wealthier districts were marginally more likely to move the chairs (γ = 0.03, P = 0.199, rcity-level = 0.67).
People in more densely populated districts were less likely to move the chairs (γ = −0.19, P = 0.052, rdist-level = −0.61; table S6). But again, rice areas tend to be more densely populated than wheat areas; controlling for rice, population density was not significant (γ = 0.01, P = 0.937, rdist-level < 0.01). In sum, wealth and urbanization were not strong predictors of moving the chair.
Alternative predictors. The Supplementary Materials present tests of temperature, pathogen prevalence, percentage of nonlocal residents, and alternative measures of modernization. These alternative variables were not strong predictors of chair moving, particularly after taking rice farming into account (table S9).
Validity checks. Because previous studies have not used chair moving as a psychological variable, we tested validity in several ways. We approached a subsample (n = 42) of cafe goers who did or did not move the chair and asked them to complete several psychological measures. Chair movers thought more analytically (more common in individualistic cultures) than people who did not move the chair (B = 0.61, P = 0.024, r = 0.35). Chair movers also scored marginally higher on internal locus of control (B = 0.60, P= 0.088, r = 0.27). There were no differences on self-efficacy (B = 0.05, P = 0.845, r = 0.03).
Next, we tested validity by testing in cultures known from previous research to differ in individualism: the United States and Japan. If moving the chairs actually taps into feelings of control over the environment that are more common in individualistic cultures, Americans should be more likely than people in China and Japan to move the chair. To test this, we observed 93 people walk through the chair trap in Washington, DC and New York City. Americans were more than twice as likely to move the chair (8.0% in China versus 20.4% in the United States; Fig. 6) (B = 1.70, P < 0.001, r = 0.22; table S9).
We also ran a small sample in Japan (Kyoto and Nagoya, 45 observations). As a rice culture and a collectivistic culture, Japan should have a low rate of moving the chair. Japan’s rate of chair moving (8.5%) was similar to China’s (8.0%) (γ = −0.15, P = 0.788, r = 0.02). The results from the United States and Japan suggest that chair moving maps onto differences between individualistic and collectivistic cultures.
We also analyzed whether chair moving was more likely among particular demographic groups. Previous studies have found that men score higher on power [(3132); p. 953]. There is also some evidence that men score higher on individualism [(33), in China, (1), the Supplementary Materials; but see the study of Kitayama et al. (12), p. 243]. The fact that men were more likely to move the chair is consistent with the idea that this measure is tapping into a similar underlying concept.
Perhaps the most obvious validity check is to compare employees and civilians. Employees are in charge of the store and should feel like they have the authority to move the chairs. The finding that employees were five times more likely to move the chair supports the notion that chair moving taps into control over the environment.
Finally, we compared rates of chair moving to a measure of the importance of the self from a previous study of regional differences in China (1). That study used the sociogram task, in which participants draw circles to represent the self and friends. Researchers then measured the size of the circles to see whether people draw the self bigger than they draw friends. Participants from areas that scored higher on self-inflation were more likely to move the chair (γ = 2.21, P < 0.001, rcity-level = 0.99, rind-level = 0.23). This suggests that chair moving has convergent validity with other measures used to measure cultural differences.


Two studies found evidence that historical subsistence styles can explain meaningful regional differences in people’s everyday behavior in China. Modernization differences did not account for the differences—if anything, the wealthier cities (the rice areas) were less individualistic. The fact that these differences appeared among mostly middle-class city people suggests that rice-wheat differences are still alive and well in modern China.
Replication and limitations. This study also serves as a conceptual replication of the laboratory study using entirely different outcome measures (34). Observational studies have inherent limitations. We cannot always know whether sitting alone or moving a chair taps into individualism, and we cannot guarantee that minor differences in the environment across cities affected the results.
However, when viewed with the previous laboratory study as a whole, the results here suggest that the rice and wheat regions of China are different and that these differences are not artifacts of particular laboratory tests. Measuring concrete behaviors is important because cultural psychologists have found that nations’ self-reports on questionnaires do not always match their behavior (14). Concrete behavioral measures such as these provide an alternative to using self-report questionnaires to measure cultural differences—a method that researchers have frequently criticized (1012).
Rice farming and modernization. This study extended the rice theory by including Hong Kong. Hong Kong is particularly interesting because it has a history of British influence and it is far wealthier than the Mainland cities. However, few people in Hong Kong moved the chair or sat alone. These data suggest that modernization does not inevitably cause people to behave like Westerners—much as modern, wealthy nations, such as Singapore and Japan, still score much lower on individualism than Western countries (35). The results here suggest that these differences extend from self-report surveys into whether people are sitting alone in Starbucks.


Sitting alone

In an effort to standardize the observations, observers followed several rules. Only seated patrons counted; people standing in line did not count unless they later joined someone sitting. Foreigners were not counted. Although this is not always easy to determine, the observers used appearance and the language that people were using (if they were talking). Each location could only be observed once per day to avoid counting the same people twice. People sitting outside were only counted if they had purchased something; this excludes people who were using outdoor chairs as a place to sit without buying anything.
The observers plotted routes based on the locations of Starbucks and visited any nearby cafes. We defined cafes as places that serve coffee or tea and where most patrons are drinking beverages and eating light snacks. If many patrons were drinking alcohol or eating meals, the store was not counted.
In most cases, it was easy to determine who was alone and who was together with other people. However, particularly in cafes that were crowded or had shared tables, people sat near each other, and it was not always clear whether they were together. In these cases, the observers lingered to look for signs that people were together, such as talking to each other.
Statistical power. According to Cohen’s effect for small effect size (Cohen’s d= 0.2), the sitting alone sample had more than 99% statistical power. Thus, instead of aiming for a specific sample size, we sampled to try to ensure that time of day and day of the week were similar across sites.
Reliability. To test how reliable the observations were, three observers independently coded 447 people in 12 cafes in Beijing at the same time. Across coders, the percentage of people alone per cafe correlated almost identically (rs ≥ 0.99). Two coders also tested for reliability in the rice region by independently coding 251 people in 10 stores in Shanghai. The percentage of sitting alone per cafe was nearly identical (r > 0.99). These results suggest that coders agree on who is alone and who is with other people in the vast majority of cases.

Chair moving

Checking sample comparability. Rice and wheat sites did not differ in the age, gender, or employee status of participants (P’s > 0.73). Controlling for time of day and day of the week, people in the rice areas were more likely to be walking in groups (14% versus 30%, P < 0.001). This data point supports the finding from Study 1 that people in the wheat area are more likely to be alone.
Observation rules. Two observers followed several rules to standardize the observations. In setting up the chair trap, the observers tried to be stealthy so that the other patrons would not know that we were testing their behavior. The observers used only lightweight wooden chairs, never heavy plush chairs or high metal stools. These heavier chairs would be much harder for people to move. In each case, the observer moved the chairs to the width of his hips to ensure that the chairs were always the same distance apart. In case body size differences between the observers might affect the results, we ran analyses controlling for the observer.
If a person moved the chairs, the observers repositioned the chairs to the standard distance and did not count anyone who walked through the moved chairs while they were farther apart than the standard distance. Sometimes, other patrons would sit down in one of the empty chairs. When this happened, the observers stopped coding until they could find alternate chairs or until the person left.
If someone walked through the chair trap more than once, the observers only coded the first time. The observers only set traps in places that did not require the chairs to be moved too far from their original position. All traps were set indoors.
Statistical power. According to Cohen’s convention for small effect size (Cohen’s d = 0.2), the chair moving sample had 96% statistical power. We sampled to ensure that both coders visited rice and wheat cities and sampled for at least 2 days in each city.
Reliability. Two observers first trained together in two Starbucks to make sure that their procedures were the same. Next, the two observers independently coded the same people at two Starbucks to test whether their observations were reliable. The two coders agreed on all cases of whether the chairs were moved or not. All control variables were identical except for one observation, where one observer recorded two people and the other coder thought the second observation was the same person who had crossed previously. The Supplementary Materials include analyses with the observer as a predictor variable and find that it is not related to chair moving (P = 0.854). Thus, the results suggest that the codings were reliable across observers.
Validity checks: Psychological measures. As a validity check, we ran the chair trap in Beijing and approached 42 cafe goers who did or did not move the chair. They then completed paper-and-pencil tasks measuring cultural thought style, internal versus external locus of control, self-efficacy, and demographics.
To measure cultural thought style, the triad categorization task had participants categorize objects that can be paired on the basis of abstract category (for example, train and bus) or relation/use (train and tracks). Previous research found that people in East Asia and the rice areas of China choose more relational pairings than people from the West and wheat areas of China (136).
Participants also completed a five-item version of the locus of control scale (37). Participants chose from competing statements that endorse the idea that outcomes in their life are determined by their own control or by external forces. Researchers had found that people in the United States and Western Europe score higher on internal locus of control than people in China and Hong Kong (38). Participants also completed a five-item scale measuring self-efficacy (39), which prior research found was higher in the United States than in Japan and Hong Kong (40).

Statistical analysis

We used binomial (alone or not/moved chair or not) HLMs using the GLMER function in the program R. We present results for models nesting people in cities, districts, or stores depending on the predictor variable. Fully nested models with stores nested in districts nested in cities are in tables S10 and S11.


Supplementary material for this article is available at
fig. S1. Sample chair trap in a Starbucks in Shanghai.
table S1. Are people in international chains more likely to be sitting alone?
table S2. Rice-wheat differences controlling for international chain.
table S3. Sitting alone and GDP.
table S4. Sitting alone and district-level data.
table S5. Basic predictors of chair moving.
table S6. City and district census predictors of chair moving.
table S7. International comparison of chair moving.
table S8. How well do other major theories of culture predict sitting alone?
table S9. How well do other major theories of culture predict chair moving?
table S10. Sitting alone models with stores nested in districts nested in cities.
table S11. Chair moving models with stores nested in districts nested in cities.
table S12. Chair moving models with stores nested in districts nested in cities.
section S1. Rice statistics
section S2. Chair moving
section S3. Controlling for observer
section S4. Hong Kong GDP per capita
section S5. Age in districts
section S6. Calculating effect sizes in GLMER
section S7. Graphing mean percent sitting alone
section S8. GDP per capita
section S9. Alternative predictors
section S10. Chair moving validity checks
section S11. Ethics statement
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This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.


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Acknowledgments: We thank L. Hu for help in collecting data around China and L. Wei and X. Dong for collecting the area-level data. We also thank T. Wilson, G. Clore, N. Epley, and J. Kluver for helpful feedback on earlier versions of this work. These studies were carried out in accordance with ethical and Institutional Review Board guidelines. Funding: This research was supported by a Fulbright Scholarship and a William Ladany Award (to T.T.). Author contributions: T.T. conceived the project and analyzed the data. All authors contributed to designing the data collection process and writing the paper. Competing interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests. Data and materials availability: All data needed to evaluate the conclusions in the paper are present in the paper and/or the Supplementary Materials. Original data and analysis scripts are available via the Open Science Framework and upon request from the first author.
·       Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC).

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Global Ready to Eat Rice Market 2018 Mars, Inc, Gu Long Foods, Shanghai Meilin

April 26, 2018 7:08 am
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In China, coffee shop habits show cultural differences tied to farming

Even among longtime city folk, legacy of rice versus wheat agriculture affects behavior

2:22PM, APRIL 25, 2018
GROWING CULTURES  China’s southern rice farmers (left) and northern wheat farmers (right) have cultivated different cultural approaches to social behavior over thousands of years. These approaches manifest today among southern and northern Chinese city folk patronizing Starbucks, scientists say.
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Deeply ingrained cultural differences in everyday behavior between natives of northern and southern China bubble up while sipping coffee in Starbucks and other cafés.
How close people sit and whether they dodge or move chairs blocking aisles reveals whether their cultural roots go back to rice farming in southern China or wheat farming in northern China, researchers report April 25 in Science Advances.
As many as 9,000 years of neighboring families working together to cultivate rice paddies in southern China has encouraged a lasting focus on others over self, even among that region’s city folk today, say psychologist Thomas Talhelm and colleagues. Social interdependence remains a cultural value of the region, the investigators note.  
That dynamic plays out in coffee shops. Middle-class city dwellers in southern China who have never farmed rice often sit with others and show deference by walking around chairs blocking aisles, Talhelm’s group says. In northern cities, people more often sit alone and move offending chairs out of the way. A long history of more individualistic wheat and millet farming in the north has promoted a focus on self over others, the scientists propose.
“Different agricultural legacies have given northern and southern China distinctive cultures of social behavior, even among people who have left farming behind,” says Talhelm, of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
A lingering sense of interdependence among residents of southern Chinese cities, including Hong Kong, challenges the idea that urban expansion inevitably results in an individualistic, Westernized outlook, he adds.
The new findings make a good case that “vestiges of agricultural practices can persist for some time,” says psychologist Timothy Wilson of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, who did not participate in the experiments.
Talhelm’s group previously observed similar ways in which thinking styles differ between southern and northern Chinese in lab experiments (SN: 6/14/14, p. 11).
TIGHT SQUEEZE Chinese Starbucks customers were more likely to navigate through aisle-blocking chairs (demonstrated here) in southern cities, whereas people in northern cities more often moved chairs out of the way. These results point to farming-based cultural differences between the regions, researchers say.
This time around, the researchers observed nearly 9,000 people in 256 Starbucks and other cafés in six Chinese cities — Beijing and Shenyang in the north and Shanghai, Guangzhou, Nanjing and Hong Kong in the south.
On weekdays, about 30 to 35 percent of people in northern wheat regions sat alone, versus around roughly 25 percent of people in southern rice regions. On weekends, percentages of people sitting alone dipped slightly in each region.
Other factors, including outside temperatures, kind of café (a large chain versus a smaller local one), gender and age did not explain regional disparities in sitting alone, the team says.
In a second real-world experiment, members of Talhelm’s team stealthily pushed chairs together to block aisles in a total of 29 Starbucks in both regions. The team then observed 678 people navigating these “chair traps.”
People in a self-oriented culture often try to change a situation to their advantage, whereas people in an others-oriented culture typically change themselves to fit the situation, other research suggests. Consistent with that pattern, only about 6 percent of Chinese people in southern rice regions moved Starbucks chairs out of the way rather than squeezing through them, versus about 16 percent of the caffeine crowd in northern wheat regions. Chair moving reached a low of about 2 percent in the southern city of Shanghai.
A majority of people throughout China avoided moving chairs blocking their way, Talhelm acknowledges. But cultural differences in this behavior emerged in a setting where it wouldn’t be expected to show up — an international coffee chain located in large cities where few customers have any farming experience.
Further research needs to examine whether the extent of one’s commitment to, say, a self-orientation observed more frequently in China’s wheat regions, largely explains preferences for sitting alone or moving an inconvenient chair, Talhelm says.

Sustainable Concrete from Coconut, Rice or Cassava

25 April 2018


BAM scientists are investigating to what extent vegetable substances could be used instead of chemical or mineral additives in concrete – creating a solution that is strong and sustainable at the same time.
BAM (Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und –prüfung) will presents its solutions developed in cooperation with African colleagues at the Hannover Messe. In fact, many ideas for basic research on sustainable concrete come from German-African cooperations.
Concrete production requires a lot of energy and produces large amounts of climate-damaging carbon dioxide because cement clinker must be burned at very high temperatures and the chemical reaction is accompanied by high carbon emissions.
Cement clinker used as a binder in concrete is an essential component of cement. Therefore, the reduction of cement clinker is a starting point in the search for sustainable concrete: Which organic substances could replace clinker or use it more effectively and in such a way that important concrete properties e.g. flow behaviour, strength or durability remain unaffected?
Coconut fibres, acacia juice or cassava peel
"We are experimenting with coconut fibres, acacia juice and cassava peel, among other things, and check the resilience of organic concrete compared to conventional mixtures," explained Dr. Wolfram Schmidt from BAM’s Technology of Construction Materials division. Suggestions about which vegetable substances are worth experimenting with often result from cooperations with African colleagues. One tip that came from Nigeria is cassava.
Cassava, also called manioc, is a staple food in the West African country, which is the largest producer of this plant worldwide. Its starchy tuber is edible, but the residual peel occurs in large amounts. Concrete is a building material that is in high demand in Nigeria, and readily available raw materials are sought for its production.
Cassava peel is a suitable raw material for concrete in two respects: The residual starch adhering to the peel can be extracted and used as an additive to improve processing properties of concrete so that cement can be used more effectively.
When the peel is subsequently burned, the high reactive silica content enables the ash to be used as a sustainable cement substitute and improve the eco-balance compared to conventional concrete.
Thus, chemical additives and mineral cement substitutes can be obtained simultaneously.
The use of cassava peel has yet another advantage: Combustion energy released in ash production can be used to manufacture bricks for example.
Learning from Africa
Though no cassava grows in Germany, the construction industry is also looking for possible new, sustainable raw materials for concrete production here and in other Western countries as well. "We will be able to transfer a lot to highly technical countries from our basic research and experience gained by working with our African partners," said Wolfram Schmidt. Vegetable components may even replace chemical additives in high-performance concrete in the future. Sustainable use of agricultural residues in the construction industry would not only be a contribution to environmental protection but also a potential additional source of income for farmers.
BAM at the Hannover Messe 2018
At the BAM stand C 51 in Hall 2 Research & Technology visitors can receive additional information about this topic. 

For more information about what BAM is presenting at the Hannover Messe, please visit

Shift to coarse grains from rice for healthy, environment-friendly diet: Study

by Sahana Ghosh on 25 April 2018
  • Eating wheat and coarse cereals (such as millets) instead of rice, pulses instead of meat, and dark leafy vegetables and coconut could alleviate micronutrient deficiencies cost effectively.
  • With the Green Revolution, the government focused on high-yield varieties of wheat and rice, leading to a reduction in the area on which (the more nutritious) coarse cereals were grown
  • The Indian government is actively promoting millets. It has declared 2018 as ‘National Year of Millets’ and is working to bring in millets into the public distribution system (PDS). It has also notified some of the coarse cereals as ‘nutri-cereals’.
A diet that moves away from white, polished rice to include coarse grains and wheat could help Indians tackle micronutrient deficiencies affordably and cut down greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with agriculture by up to 25 percent, says a new study.
Researchers led by Narasimha D. Rao, scientist at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis examined the National Sample Survey (2011–12) for consumption expenditure. They found that more than two-thirds of the Indian population (around 500 million people) are affected by deficiencies in protein, micronutrients such as iron and zinc, and vitamin A.
Data presented in the study shows that nearly 90 percent of the diets are iron deficient, nearly 85 percent are Vitamin A deficient and more than 50 percent are protein-deficient. Micronutrient deficiencies in India are more prevalent than calorie and protein deficiencies.
In regional trends, the analysis revealed that India’s south and east (where rice is the staple food) eat less nutritious food than the wheat-eating north and western part of the country.
Cereals and Millet at a market in Nizampet, Hyderabad. Photo by Adityamadhav83/Wikimedia Commons
Micronutrient deficiencies are worse in urban than in rural areas, and more so, in lower-income households. Rural counterparts fared better due to greater diversity in their cereal consumption.
The study determined that “overall, eating wheat and coarse cereals instead of rice, pulses instead of meat, and dark leafy vegetables and coconut would alleviate deficiencies cost effectively.”
The authors recommend a selection of wheat, maize, and millet products instead of rice; and chicken and legumes over beef and eggs to boost protein intake.
“These diet changes would also reduce greenhouse gas emissions, predominantly due to rice production’s high methane emissions. We are not telling people what they should eat or should not eat. We are highlighting the creation of incentives for them. Moderation is the key,” Rao told Mongabay-India.
In general, most emissions-intensive foods are those that produce methane, which are from ruminant animals (beef and lamb) and rice production. Methane is roughly 30 times more potent as a heat-trapping gas than carbon dioxide.
Emissions from beef production in India are over a factor of three of that in Western Europe and over double that of in the United States, because of low feed digestibility, poorer animal husbandry and lower carcass weights, among other factors. Arecent study had shown that Indian livestock emitted 15.3 million tonnes of methane in 2012.
Methane emissions from rice production in India, on the other hand, vary widely due to different cropping patterns and flooding periods, but on average tend to be on the lower side compared with those of other rice-growing regions in the world.
Women working hard to plant the spring harvest of rice paddy in Kancheepuram district, Tamil Nadu. Photo by McKay Savage/Wikimedia Commons

2018 is National Year of Millets in India

The study comes at a time when the Indian government is actively promoting millets. It has declared 2018 as ‘National Year of Millets’ and is working to bring in millets in the targeted public distribution system (PDS). Further, the Indian government has also notified  millets as ‘nutri-cereals’ for production, consumption and trade.
The National Food Security Act, 2013, relies on the PDS to enable two-thirds of India’s population to access five kg of grains at subsidised prices.
India’s millet basket includes sorghum, finger millet, pearl millet as well as ‘minor millets’ such as little millet, kodo millet, barnyard millet, foxtail millet and proso millet. These grains are cultivated in resource poor agro-climatic regions such as rain-fed and less-fertile lands, and mountainous tracts. Many of these areas also have strong tribal population.
These areas include states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana. 
“The fact that the government is working on the inclusion of millets in the PDS validates what we are trying to say in the study,” Rao said.
Study co-author Ruth DeFries, professor of ecology and sustainable development at Columbia University in New York, feels the inclusion of millets in the public distribution system could incentivise farmers to increase production of coarse cereals and could increase consumption by those who depend on the PDS.
DeFries believes both would be positive steps.  “Research and extension is needed to increase yields of coarse cereals since they did not receive the same attention as rice and wheat during the Green Revolution,” DeFries told Mongabay India.
Proso millet. Photo by Srujan Punna, ICRISAT

Land use change and diets

India relies primarily on domestic production for cereals that people consume in the country, so the link between land use changes have a major influence on diets, said DeFries.
In the mid-1960s before the Green Revolution, millets were cultivated in 36.90 million hectares. With the Green Revolution, the government focused on high-yield varieties of wheat and rice, leading to a reduction of 40 percent in the land area on which coarse cereals were grown.
In 2016-17, the area under millet cultivation shrank to 14.72 million hectares, according to India’s Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh.
“With decline in the consumption of nutrient-rich coarse cereals, the availability of nutrients declined in people’s diets. Moreover, coarse cereals are relatively drought tolerant and can grow on poor soils,” said DeFries. Thus, coarse cereals are more nutritious and have higher resilience to climate change.
In other policy lessons suggested by the study, the authors highlight that food policy through the PDS “appears to exacerbate nutrient deficiencies” in two ways: by encouraging rice and wheat consumption over coarse cereals, and by enabling only a portion of households’ rice and wheat consumption to be covered by the PDS.
“This gives poorer households less flexibility to diversify their diets. Extending the reach and scope of the PDS to increase the affordability and availability of coarse cereals and dark green vegetables, among other foods, would be important shifts,” the study stressed.
Rao considers diet change as a better option than bio-fortification of rice. “Just imagine if you were to have iron-fortified rice, you would essentially continue to increase white rice consumption which would continue the same environmental impacts. So if you want to address both problems together, diet is the solution,” Rao said.
One major challenge, authors reckon, in implementing these shifts, could be getting consumers to accept a diversified diet.
DeFries pointed out the quinoa story that shows that people can and do change habits. And in India coarse cereals are now trendy for the urban upper class and are good substitutes for white rice for diabetics, she said.
Coarse cereals and preparations such as sorghum salad are now considered trendy. Photo by ICRISAT

Climate-resilient and forgotten crops

According to plant breeding expert S. K. Gupta, principal scientist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), who was not associated with the study, millets have “an edge” over rice and wheat in terms of climate resilience. The coarse cereals also have less of cultivation-related problems when compared with rice. They only need appropriate levels of rainfall that is well distributed over time.
“Millets have four to five times more micronutrients than rice and wheat. They are also more drought-, salinity- and heat-tolerant. Rice and wheat are grown in irrigated ecology whereas millets are grown in marginal ecologies. Millets can be grown in ecologies that have annual rainfall of 200 to 600 mm,” Gupta explained.
M. Sheikh, a scientist at the Srinagar Regional Research Station of the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, believes that providing greater policy attention on coarse grains can enhance crop diversity and this “increases options for quick and agile adaptation under future uncertain conditions.”
Many of these coarse grain crops also have reduced needs for pesticides and fertilisers and protect against soil erosion.
“Our studies show that cultivation of foxtail millet (Setaria italica) and common millet (Panicum miliaceum) in Jammu and Kashmir were abandoned about five to six decades ago due to various factors including preference for high yielding wheat varieties and untimely rains. Revival of these forgotten crops would benefit both health and climate,” Sheikh told Mongabay India.
Citation: Rao, N. D., Min, J., DeFries, R., Ghosh-Jerath, S., Valin, H., & Fanzo, J. (2018). Healthy, affordable and climate-friendly diets in India. Global Environmental Change49, 154-165.

Pearl millet is a best bet to fight climate change. A hardy warm-season cereal crop, which grows in even during harsh climates. Indian women farmer with a bountiful of pearl millet panicles. Photo by ICRISAT

New health survey aims to quantify Hurricane Harvey's physical, mental toll

Rice University, the Environmental Defense Fund and the Houston Health Department announced an information-gathering initiative on Wednesday that seeks to better understand the impact of the historic storm on Houston-area residents, including by linking health problems to environmental exposures.
 APRIL 25, 2018 20 HOURS AGO

Marcus Cossie clears his flood-ruined home in northeast Houston on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017.  Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune


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Hurricane Harvey's environmental impact on Greater Houston was sweeping: The area’s many industrial facilities emitted millions of pounds of excess air pollution, and floodwater swamped highly contaminated Superfund sites, carried bacteria into schools, homes and businesses and left behind prolific mold.
The historic storm, which forced tens of thousands of Houstonians to flee their homes, also clearly inflicted a heavy emotional toll. But the precise impact on the population's physical and mental health so far has been largely anecdotal.
An information-gathering initiative unveiled Wednesday by Rice University, the Environmental Defense Fund and the Houston Health Department seeks to better quantify it. The Hurricane Harvey Registry will collect responses to an online survey that asks Houston-area residents about where they rode out the storm and their health condition — physical and mental — before and after.
"This will help researchers predict continuing ailments from the Harvey floods — and health problems from future storms," Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a news conference Wednesday. "Pollutants released by the floods — mostly at chemical plants and other facilities outside city limits — may cause long-term health issues."
Rice University Provost Marie Lynn Miranda, the project's lead investigator, said in an interview that researchers are hearing anecdotal reports of increased respiratory problems and "the toll of stress among people who were displaced."
But, she said, "We don’t want to make decisions by anecdote — we want to do evidence-based decision-making."
Rice researchers and city officials say they will use the information to target lingering health concerns, pinpoint vulnerable communities — cross-referencing known pollution releases with reported health problems — and better prepare for the next storm. 
"Without the data, we’re really not going to be as effective at mitigating health effects," said Rice professor Loren Raun, who also serves as Houston's chief environmental science officer.
Registry officials are encouraging even Houstonians whose homes didn't flood during Harvey to respond to the survey.
The National Institutes of Health, the Cullen Trust for Health Care and the Environmental Defense Fund funded the creation of the database.
It is modeled after the World Trade Center Health Registry, which sought to track the health effects of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, but is also “the first of its kind to collect information about environmental exposures after a major flooding event,” according to a news release.
The survey, designed to take no more than 15 minutes to complete, asks respondents for some sensitive personal information, but registry officials say that information will be stored on secure servers accessible only to researchers for Rice's Children's Environmental Health Initiative and released publicly only in aggregate form. 
Respondents can also choose to skip certain questions.
Houstonians without internet access will have a hard time completing the survey — it's online only — but Environmental Defense Fund spokesman Matthew Tresaugue said the project team plans to send representatives to public events to enroll potential respondents and distribute bookmarks with bar codes and the web address to guide people to the site.
The registry will accept responses on an ongoing basis, with no cutoff date. But Tresaugue said entities involved in the registry may share general insights from the survey later this year.
Disclosure: Rice University and the Environmental Defense Fund have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

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Global Wild Rice Products Market 2018 Growth Margin, Profit Ratio with Business Analysis 2025

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This report focuses on top manufacturers in global market, with production, price, revenue and market share for each manufacturer, covering
Moose Lake Wild Rice
SunWest Foods
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Besides that, this report contains number of chapters with different aspects such as analysis of the leading manufacturers of Wild Rice Products market over the world along with the price, revenue and sales status of Wild Rice Products market by the following year. While the competitive situations among the leading manufacturers according to the market share is well displayed.
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FG approves N10.7b for 10 rice mills, N68b for roads

16 hours ago
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·       Nigeria approves new committee to fix minimum wage
Federal Government approves rice mills, road projects. Above President Buhari, (Right), VP Yemi Osinbajo and Government Secretary, Boss Mustapha at the Federal Executive Council meeting today
By Ismaila Chafe
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved N10.7billion for the establishment of new 10 rice mills and N68.6 billion for road projects across the country.
This was disclosed by the Ministers of State for Agriculture, Heineken Lokpobiri and that of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola after the Council’s meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Lokpobiri said that the Council approved the 10 rice mills with the capacity to produce 100 tonnes per day, and the mills would be managed by private rice millers.
“”Today the Federal Executive Council approved the establishment of 10 very large rice mills to enhance the milling capacity of rice value chain in the country.
“”Few years ago it was reported that this country needs a minimum of 100 large rice mills. As of today we have about 21 but Federal Government in its  wisdom decided that today we should approve the establishment of 10 at the total cost of N10.7billion.
“”These would be given to the sector to manage which they will be pay back within a given timeframe as it would be agreed between the Bank of Agriculture and the Rice Millers,’’ he said.
According to the minister, the mills will be located in Kebbi, Zamfara, Benue, Kogi, Bayelsa, Anambra, Kaduna, Ogun, Niger and Bauchi states.
Fashola disclosed that N64.108 billion was approved for additional work on 43 kilometres part of the Section one of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
According to him, the new approval is to accommodate the changing factors occurring on the project and also to modify the bitumen for the road in order to withstand the heavy vehicles passing through the road.
“”This covers Glover leaves, pedestrian bridges, toll plazas for that section so as to accommodate changing nature of that road since conception.
“”So, many new structures, religious institutions, factories, universities and increased human activities that have come up along that road.
“”The inherited design didn’t provide for all these at all. The second section under RCC about 80 kilometres will come to Council to incorporate similar works including drainage works e.t.c when we finish procurement,’’ he said.
The Minister also disclosed that N4.57 billion was approved for Sumaila-Falala-Birnin Bako-Bauchi road, linking Bauchi and Kano States.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and publicity, Garba Shehu, who also addressed the correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, disclosed that N10 billion was approved to fight erosion in the country.
“This is the fourth quarter soil erosion, flood and pollution accelerated intervention projects worth about N10 billion. These are projects that cover the length and breadth of the country.” he said
He also disclosed that $460 million  was approved to facilitate usage of new buildings located at main airports in the country, which could not be put to use at the beginning of this administration.
“”The previous administration awarded contracts for the construction of new buildings in our major airports in Lagos and Abuja and nobody can use them.
“”So, government today awarded a new contract for variation and additional contracts for new passenger and cargo terminals and a lot of other works to facilitate their usage including in the case of Lagos and Abuja improvement to enable jumbo aircraft and airbus 380 to be able to land in both cities (Abuja and Lagos).
”The rail terminal will be accessible from arrival hall in Abuja at the cost 460million dollars,’’ he said.
The Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, revealed that the council approved N93million for erosion control in Tambuwal Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
He said the council also approved N1.57 billion as payment for all the outstanding liabilities to the contractor that executed the Azare-Jere water project which he said was a spill off from the Gurara Dam pipeline water transfer project.

Paddy, rice fall on arrivals

Heavy arrivals of paddy and rice have dampened prices across Tamil Nadu and the major urban consumption centres including Chennai market, say leading traders.
Tamil Nadu is a major market for produce from Odisha, West Bengal and Gujarat apart from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. But arrivals in recent weeks have dropped because transactions are down, say trade sources.
Till a few weeks back, rice prices of new stocks were ruling steady in wholesale at about 38 a kg. But now some of the fine varieties are down to 34-35, while boiled rice variant fetches about 35-36.
Bulk buying absent
Sales are also down due to holiday season as hostels and other institutional buyers will not be in the market, according to Amara Visweswararao, President, Tamil Nadu Food Grain Merchants Association. Normally, the wholesale market in Chennai which sells about 600 bags (of 25 kg each) daily around this period sells just about 100-200 bags. Also, traders are waiting for further drop in prices and rice millers are flush with paddy stocks.
Price outlook
Over the last 20 days about 3,400 tonnes of paddy has come in at Ammoor. This is about 30 per cent more than that in 2016. At Vridhachalam, during the peak arrival season between January and March about 25,000 bags (of 75 kg) arrived on a daily basis comparable with last year. Fine varieties fetched up to 2,200 a quintal, down about Rs 300 over last year, against an MSP of 1,660.
According to AC Mohan, Secretary, Federation of Tamil Nadu Rice Millers and Paddy, Rice Dealers Association, open market sale of rice in the State is estimated at about 91 lakh tonnes (lt) annually. Local production will account for about 76 lt and the balance comes from other States. For now, the trade estimates there is a 5-lt surplus in the market with the trade.
Published on April 25, 2018

Nigerian govt approves establishment of 10 new rice mills

Posted on Apr 25, 2018 in News | 0 comments
Say Nigeria needs a minimum of 100 large mills but now has 21. It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on 26 Apr 2018 04:12:39 GMT. The current page could have changed in the meantime. Learn more.
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