Friday, June 22, 2018

22nd June,2018 daily global regional local rice e-newsletter

Market Information
Daily Rough Rice Prices
(updated daily)
Market Year Average Price Tracker (updated monthly)

In the News

Delta Farm Press
Four key equipment areas should be checked before harvest: fans and burners; spreaders; discharge and power sweep components; and roof vents.
Katy Magazine
The newly named "City of Katy Rice Festival" in Downtown Historic Katy is scheduled for the second weekend of October.

Get social with U.S. ri

Grand Debut for USA Rice at Alimentec  

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA -- The 10th annual Alimentec International Food Trade Fair took place here earlier this month and for the first time USA Rice was an exhibitor.  More than 30,000 professionals from 27 countries attended the trade show -- the leading platform for the food and hospitality industry and restaurants in the Andean and Latin America that accounts for more than $40 million in revenue for the food and beverage industry.  Exhibitors came from Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, Panama, China, Cuba, and the United States.  

During the three-day event, USA Rice garnered a lot of attention in the organization's inaugural appearance, and members made contacts with importers interested in importing U.S.-grown rice such as Best Choice, and United Millers of Medellin (Molinos Unidos de Medellin).  Other visitors to the USA Rice booth included the hotel, restaurant, and institution (HRI) industry magazine "Revista La Barra," and the Rauch Brothers, locally recognized chefs.

"Alimentec is an important tradeshow for USA Rice because it gives immediate access to industry leaders in the Western Hemisphere, and our presence here creates an opportunity for them to be educated on the benefits of U.S. grown rice," said Carmen Marquez, consultant for USA Rice, who attended the show.

Colombia is the third largest economy in Latin America.  Due to the U.S. - Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, 102,879 MT of U.S. rice can be exported to Colombia duty-free this year.  Any amount of rice exported above that amount is subject to a 73.85 percent tariff rate.  Last year, Colombia was the U.S. rice's ninth largest export market bringing in over $50 million worth of rice.

BOC says rice discharge halted by bad weather

 June 21, 2018, 4:36 PM
By Betheena Kae Unite
Port congestion in Port of Manila was not the reason behind the delay of unloading of rice intended for the National Food Authority but bad weather, the port’s top official said Thursday.
The reason why the rice imports, which are intended for Metro Manila, have yet to be completely discharged from the vessel was due to the weather condition these past few days, Port of Manila District Collector Erastus Sandino Austria said.

Around 25,000 MT of imported rice from Vietnam are being unloaded to trucks at the Naval Supply Depot (NSD) in Subic Bay Freeport Zone on Wednesday.
“We cannot accurately call it port congestion because this is just a natural side-effect of bad weather condition,” Austria said.
According to the Customs official, the ongoing unloading of rice in was cut short at the Harbor Center, a composite unit under the Port of Manila classified as a subport.
Bulk shipments that pass through the port, Austria explained, are weather-dependent when it comes to discharging.
“It is the prerogative of the captain of the vessel as well as the consignee whether they will proceed with discharging during heavy downpour because the goods that are usually unloaded here are rice or fertilizers. And these cargoes are very sensitive to weather conditions,” Austria stressed.
“Naturally, the captain will discourage continuous discharging during heavy rains because it increases the liability of the carrier over the cargoes that are still within their custody. But as soon as the weather condition clears up, the discharging continuous,” he added.
Austria also noted that these kinds of shipments are not shipped in a container van. The cargoes are usually exposed, making them exposed to weather conditions.
“We really have to stop discharging and again it is not the prerogative of the Bureau of Customs to continue discharging or not but rath   er the consignee, the captain of the vessel. All customs processes of the shipment were also completed,” the collector said.

NFA unloads imported rice from Thailand, Vietnam in Subic

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — The National Food Authority (NFA) on Wednesday started unloading the 340,000 bags of imported rice from Thailand and Vietnam, which arrived in the Port of Subic last June 5.
NFA Administrator Jason Aquino said the shipment was brought to Subic on-board MV TAY SON 2, which is currently berthed at the former Naval Supply Depot (NSD) here.
The shipment is part of the 500,000 bags (25 metric tons) of imported rice the NFA has procured. Another shipment of 160,000 bags of rice is expected to arrive next week.
Aquino said that 100,000 bags will be distributed in Region 2 (Cagayan Valley Region) while 400,000 bags will be distributed in Region 3 (Central Luzon).
He said the shipment was done through the government to government procurement scheme, and in line with the call of President Rodrigo Duterte to fast track the importation of rice to maintain food security in the country.
“As the President instructed, ‘Hindi na baleng sumobra, huwag lang kulangin (It is alright to exceed rather than lacking),” said Aquino, quoting the President.
However, the official clarified that only the marginalized population, the indigenous and NFA-accredited retailers endorsed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development Office (DSWDO) can avail of the rice at PHP27 per kilo.
Although the shipment arrived in the Port of Subic, it was only today (Wednesday) that NFA decided to unload it due to the continuous rains brought about by Typhoon Domeng and the southwest monsoon in the country for over a week now.
With the arrival of the long awaited imported rice, with more coming in August, NFA is expecting a drop in the price of commercial rice between PHP1 to PHP2 per kilo.
Aquino also clarified that NFA is not pro-importation, saying “as much as we would like to buy locally harvested palay, the price is too high and it is practically cheaper to buy imported rice.”
He also noted that more than one million bags of imported rice intended for Metro Manila has already arrived but could not be unloaded because of over-crowding of ships at the Port of Manila.
Earlier, before proceeding to NSD Compound, Aquino and NFA provincial directors made a courtesy call to Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman and administrator Wilma Eisma at the SBMA Board room.
Eisma praised the NFA officials for making Subic an NFA Disport (disembarking Port) as this will generate additional revenue for SBMA. (Ruben Veloria/PNA)

Delta summer–autumn rice planted too early, threatened by diseases
VietNamNet Bridge – Farmers in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta who sowed the summer- autumn rice crop early are facing a threat of lower yields and increased costs because of disease outbreaks.
A rice field in Kien Giang Province’s Go Quao District is affected by rice grassy stunt disease and rice ragged stunt disease, possibly because it was planted too early this time despite authorities’ warnings. - VNA/VNS Photo Le Huy Hai
In An Giang Province, for instance, farmers have planted a total of 228,000ha, and the harvest has begun in some places.  
Nguyen Van Hien, head of the province’s Sub-department of Plant Cultivation and Protection, said: “We hope the price of paddy is stable until the end of the crop so that farmers can earn high profits.”
But unfavourable weather has brought rice diseases which could hit yields, he said.
Diseases often occur when rice is sowed early or late since brown-plant hoppers and other pests from unharvested fields from the previous crop move to the newly sowed fields, he said.
In Dong Thap Province’s Thap Muoi, Tan Hong and Lap Vo districts, some 560ha sowed early have been affected by brown-plant hoppers.
Farmers in the delta had earned large profits in the 2017-18 winter-spring rice crop and so many planted the autumn-summer rice earlier than usual.
Nguyen Thanh Hoa, who has a 2ha rice field in Hau Giang Province’s Vi Thuy District, said he had earned VND45 – 50 million (US$1,980 – 2,200) from the winter-spring rice crop and immediately sowed the next crop.
Nguyen Van Mach Chau Thanh A District, who also sowed his summer – autumn rice in mid-March like Hoa, said local agricultural officials did warn farmers they had to have a gap of at least three weeks between the two rice crops to eliminate diseases.
“But since the price of rice after the winter – spring crop was high, farmers here sowed the summer – autumn rice early.”
This year the Plant Cultivation Department’s schedule for planting the summer – autumn rice crop in the delta was between April and mid-June.
In Kien Giang Province, more than 252,140ha have been planted, with 15,500ha being affected by diseases such as rice grassy stunt disease, rice ragged stunt dise
ase and rice blast disease, according to the local Sub-department of Plant Cultivation and Protection. 
It has instructed district plant cultivation and protection bureaus to regularly report about diseases and warned farmers to destroy rice plants which are severely affected by diseases.
This summer – autumn crop the delta, the country’s rice granary, has planted more than 1.65 million hectares, more than 247,000ha more than last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. 
Source: VNS

Lao rice consumers pay highest price in region: World Bank

Source: Xinhua   2018-06-21 13:18:36
VIENTIANE, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Local Lao consumers are paying one of the highest prices for rice in the region even though Laos is a significant rice producer, local daily Vientiane Times on Thursday quoted the latest edition of the World Bank's Lao Economic Monitor as saying.
Rice is the country's biggest agricultural commodity and most farmers still produce paddy rice in Laos. The crop covers about 75 percent of arable land in the country and 90 percent of the production is sticky rice.
The production meets 95 percent of domestic consumption along with 70 percent of Lao households' caloric and protein intakes.
However, Lao rice is not competitive in foreign markets with only 5 percent being exported, mainly to China and Vietnam.
The retail price for the second grade rice in Lao capital Vientiane is about 0.85 U.S. dollar per kg, the highest among neighboring countries.
The analysis suggests farmers have comparably low profit margins, while consumers are paying one of the highest prices for rice in the region.
Key challenges for Lao rice value chains include production costs, accounting for 29 percent of the final consumer price, the relatively high cost of hired labor, a lack of mechanization and low yields.
Key recommendations for improvement are enhancing value chain linkages such as facilitating closer integration between producers, processors, assemblers and traders.

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- JUN 21, 2018
Nagpur Foodgrain Prices – APMC/Open Market-June 21, 2018

Nagpur, June 21 (Reuters) – Gram and tuar prices moved down in Nagpur Agriculture Produce
Marketing Committee (APMC) on poor demand from local millers. Fresh fall in Madhya Pradesh gram prices and release of stock from stockists also pushed down prices in weak trading activity.  About 1,450 bags of gram and 150 bags of tuar reported for auction in Nagpur APMC, according to sources. 

    * Gram ruled steady in open market here but demand was poor.

    * Tuar gavarani recovered further in open market on renewed demand from local traders.
    * Batri dal reported down in open market on poor buying support from local traders.
   * In Akola, Tuar New – 4,000-4,050, Tuar dal (clean) – 6,000-6,300, Udid Mogar (clean)
    – 6,900-7,900, Moong Mogar (clean) 7,200-7,900, Gram – 3,300-3,400, Gram Super best
    – 4,600-4,800

   * Wheat, rice and other foodgrain items moved in a narrow range in
     scattered deals and settled at last levels in thin trading activity.
 Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg
     FOODGRAINS                 Available prices     Previous close  
     Gram Auction                  3,000-3,275         3,000-3,400
     Gram Pink Auction            n.a.           2,100-2,600
     Tuar Auction                3,450-3,750         3,450-3,790
     Moong Auction                n.a.                3,900-4,200
     Udid Auction                n.a.           4,300-4,500
     Masoor Auction                n.a.              2,600-2,800
     Wheat Mill quality Auction        1,700-1,800         1,700-1,780
     Gram Super Best Bold            5,500-6,000        5,500-6,000
     Gram Super Best            n.a.            n.a.
     Gram Medium Best            4,800-5,100        4,800-5,100
     Gram Dal Medium            n.a.            n.a
     Gram Mill Quality            3,650-3,700        3,650-3,700
     Desi gram Raw                3,550-3,650         3,550-3,650
     Gram Kabuli                8,000-10,000        8,000-10,000
     Tuar Fataka Best-New             6,200-6,400        6,200-6,400
     Tuar Fataka Medium-New        5,800-6,000        5,800-6,000
     Tuar Dal Best Phod-New        5,500-5,700        5,500-5,700
     Tuar Dal Medium phod-New        5,200-5,400        5,200-5,400
     Tuar Gavarani New             3,950-4,150        3,900-4,100
     Tuar Karnataka             4,300-4,500        4,300-4,500
     Masoor dal best            4,800-5,000        4,800-5,000
     Masoor dal medium            4,500-4,700        4,500-4,700
     Masoor                    n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Mogar bold (New)        7,500-8,000         7,500-8,000
     Moong Mogar Medium            6,500-7,200        6,500-7,200
     Moong dal Chilka New            6,100-7,000        6,100-7,000
     Moong Mill quality            n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Chamki best            7,500-8,500        7,500-8,500
     Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 7,300-8,300       7,300-8,300
     Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)    5,300-6,300        5,300-6,300   
     Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)        5,500-5,900        5,500-5,900    
     Batri dal (100 INR/KG)        5,200-5,500        5,250-5,550
     Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg)          2,650-2,750         2,650-2,750
     Watana Dal (100 INR/KG)            3,850-4,000        3,800-4,000
     Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG)    5,300-5,600        5,300-5,600  
     Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG)        2,000-2,100        2,000-2,100
     Wheat Mill quality (100 INR/KG)    2,000-2,075        2,000-2,075  
     Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG)         2,250-2,400           2,250-2,400        
     Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG)    2,300-2,450        2,300-2,450   
     Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG)   2,100-2,200        2,100-2,250
     Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG)    n.a.            n.a.
     MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG)    3,200-4,000        3,200-4,000   
     MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)    2,400-2,800        2,400-2,800          
     Rice Parmal (100 INR/KG)        2,100-2,200        2,100-2,200
     Rice BPT best (100 INR/KG)        3,200-3,800        3,200-3,800   
     Rice BPT medium (100 INR/KG)        2,700-2,900        2,700-2,900       
     Rice Luchai (100 INR/KG)         2,800-3,000        2,800-3,000     
     Rice Swarna best (100 INR/KG)      2,700-2,800        2,700-2,800  
     Rice Swarna medium (100 INR/KG)      2,500-2,600        2,500-2,600    
     Rice HMT best (100 INR/KG)        4,000-4,500        4,000-4,500    
     Rice HMT medium (100 INR/KG)        3,600-4,000        3,600-4,000       
     Rice Shriram best(100 INR/KG)      5,200-5,600        5,200-5,600
     Rice Shriram med (100 INR/KG)    4,500-4,900        4,500-4,900      
     Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG)    9,500-14,000        9,500-14,000    
     Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG)    5,000-7,500        5,000-7,500   
     Rice Chinnor best 100 INR/KG)    6,500-6,900        6,500-6,900   
     Rice Chinnor medium (100 INR/KG)    6,000-6,200        6,000-6,200       
     Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG)        2,000-2,200        2,000-2,100   
     Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG)         1,800-2,000        1,700-2,000

Maximum temp. 38.0 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 25.9 degree Celsius
Rainfall : Nil
FORECAST: Partly cloudy sky with possibility of moderate rains or thunderstorm. Maximum and
minimum temperature would be around and 37 and 26 degree Celsius respectively.

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

Rice Prices

as on : 21-06-2018 10:56:27 AM

Arrivals in tonnes;prices in Rs/quintal in domestic market.

A glance at local rice production

Rice has become the second most important food staple after maize in Ghana and its consumption keeps increasing as a result of population growth, urbanization and change in consumer habits. Ghanaians have over the years developed a strong appetite for imported rice due to its availability and distribution reach in the market as well as its highly polished and fragranced nature.

In view of this, government has set an ambitious target to increase rice production this year as a measure to reduce rice imports to save the economy’s foreign exchange.The nation’s value of rice imports has escalated eight-fold – from US$152million in 2007 to a peak of US$1.2billion in both 2014 and 2015. In the same period, the volume of rice imports climbed from 441,000 metric tonnes to 630,000 metric tonnes.

According to figures from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) at the end of 2016, Ghana’s rice production stood at 687,680 metric tonnes.

Therefore, plans to increase production by 49% in 2017 means an addition of 337,500 metric tonnes which will put total production this year to a little over one million (1,025,180) metric tonnes.

The 337,500 metric tonnes increase expected this year is estimated to translate into GH¢371.2million (GH¢371,250,000) as value of this additional production.

This will also create some 226,800 direct and indirect employment comprising 32,400 direct jobs, 194,400 indirect jobs.

According to Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto rice production target is one of the five crops this year under the ‘Planting for food and jobs’, campaign aimed at turning farmlands and backyards into a huge food basket that is expected to cut down the country’s food import bill drastically.

The Avnash Royal Farmers’ rice

Although, there are a number of locally produced paddy rice in Ghana, one brand that stands tall among the rice production industry, with enormous contribution to the country’s economy over the years has been the Avansh’s Royal Farmers Rice produced at Nyankpala in the Tolon District of Northern Region.

The locally produced premium parboiled long grain rice, the Royal Farmers Rice, is being produced to meet the rising demand for rice and reduce its importation.

Royal Farmers Rice is a product of Avnash Rice Mill, located at Nyankpala in the Tolon District of Northern Region, which buys quality rice from local farmers for processing.

The rice processing plant, a state-of-the-art facility and a fully automated mill of Buhler make has which has a capacity to process 500 metric tons of paddy rice per day, has been installed and is capable of feeding the country with the highest quality of rice.

The Avnash Rice Mill expects increased rice production by both smallholder farmers and a few commercial rice producers, who have cultivated over 1,200-acre under cultivation within the Northern and Upper East Regions to help meet local demand.

The commissioning of the Avnash Rice Mill last year reinforces the company’s commitment to its five-year plan to support and create one million direct and indirect jobs for Ghanaians by 2022.

Its Chief Executive Officer, Jai Mirchandani, in a recent statement said the processing plant, a state-of-the-art facility with a capacity to process 500 metric tons of paddy rice per day, is capable of feeding the country with the highest quality of rice.

“This year, we estimate some 32,000 farmers to benefit from this Rice Mill, while transporters, aggregators, mechanised service suppliers, inputs providers, and their families of an estimated 20,000 people will also benefit,” he said.

Avnash Industries Ghana Limited has so far invested about US$150million from 2007 into its agro-business operations and is aimed at adding value to the country’s agricultural produce and creating employment for wealth-creation. The company is also ready to increase its rice milling capacity once the existing capacity is exceeded by the supply of paddy. “We are confident in the hardworking abilities of our farmers and the efforts and support being offered by government will boost the production volumes of rice” said Jai Mirchandani.

The company is well known for its businesses in edible oil and rice,soaps, detergents, packaging of its products – including PET and hard plast

Curbing rice smuggling

ON Monday, the Federal Government revealed its plan to shut the land border between Nigeria and a neighbouring country to curb smuggling of rice into the country. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh,  made the disclosure in Abuja while speaking with youths in a leadership clinic under the auspices of Guardians of the Nation International. Ogbeh said that shutting the borders would  encourage local production and sustain the economy. He said: “As we speak, a neighbour of ours is importing more rice than China is importing. They do not eat parboiled rice, they eat white rice, they use their ports to try and damage our economy. In a few days, you will hear the border has been shut. We are going to shut it to protect you and our economy. ”
Last week, the Federal Operations Unit (Zone A) of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) also raised the alarm on the increase in rice smuggling into the country ahead of the celebration of the conclusion of Ramadan. Addressing newsmen in Lagos, the Customs Area Controller of the unit, Mr. Mohammed Uba, stated: “Before May 16, we intercepted nine trailers of smuggled bags of rice. Between that time and now, we have intercepted 15 trailers of smuggled bags of rice. You know during the festive period, the concentration on a particular food makes its availability in large quantities compulsory.” Uba noted that in a bid to ensure full implementation of the government’s policy banning importation of rice through the land borders, the unit beamed its searchlight on the creeks and watersides, including various locations in the South-West zone.
To all intents and purposes, Ogbeh’s lamentation is no more than a reiteration of the government’s seeming helplessness expressed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo earlier in November 2017 when he stressed that smuggling remained a serious threat to the Nigerian economy.  Osinbajo had said: “We are making the point to our neighbours that smuggling is an existential threat, we can’t permit the level of smuggling going on.” He had  further indicated that he had been asked by President Muhammadu Buhari to lead a team to work out what needed to be done. Now, it is clear that if anything was done at all, it was not well done. It is certainly strange that the same government that claims to have substantially curbed smuggling is now saying that the activities of smugglers would force it to shut the country’s borders in a few days’ time.  This is a clear vote of no confidence in the NCS, the agency statutorily charged with policing the country’s borders. It is also an indication that the government has no clear-cut strategy to curb the menace of smuggling.
The government’s planned closure of the borders to curb smuggling looks like the proverbial strategy of cutting off one’s head to cure headache. It is not well thought out. If you shut the borders, what happens to other goods that are supposed to come in through them? How do you address the negative  effects on the economy? And how do you ensure that you do not kill the economy of Nigerians living along the borders? We think that the government needs to ensure that the NCS is more alive to its responsibilities. Those smuggling rice and other commodities into the country are not doing so without the connivance of bad eggs in the NCS. The government therefore needs to ensure that these ‘undesirable elements,’ as Nigerians prefer to call them, are  fished out and punished in accordance with the provisions of the law. If the officers and men of the service are aware that the sorest punishment awaits uniformed economic saboteurs, they would sit up.

Partners collaborate to boost rice production, distribution

 21 June 2018
Supplying West Africa Traders (SWAT) and Cultivating New Frontier in Agriculture (CNFA) in collaboration with Liberia Agriculture Development Activity (LADA) Wednesday, June 20 signed a Public Private Partnership (PPP) to boost production and distribution of local rice and empower farmers in support of government’s pro-poor agenda.
CNFA/LADA is under the United States Government’s feed the future initiative with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).The goal of LADA is to increase incomes of smallholder farmers (SHFs) through increasing private sector investment in the Liberia’s agribusiness sector.
The PPP agreement with SWAT supports component II of the CNFA/LADA program which calls for market facilitation and policy advocacy for Liberian farmers and actors along LADA’s four supply chains (rice, cassava, vegetables and aquaculture).
SWAT, one of the importers of rice in the country in consultation with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry continues conversation with CNFA/LADA that led to the conclusion of the PPP agreement.The agreement, according to the two institutions, aims to boost distribution of quality locally grown rice, while empowering rice farmers to increase production.The partnership seeks to achieve an annual good quality milled rice production of roughly 15,000 metric tons in Liberia, which would help reduce imports by 30 percent at end of 2020.
Under the agreement, SWAT will support development of rice processing capacity by providing technical advice to local processors, purchasing local quality rice that meets established specifications and eventually investing in local processing.
The company will consider provision of auxiliary services such as warehousing, transportation and equipment lease to rice sector actors, among others.
On the other hand, CNFA/LADA will support procurement of rice processing mills for local entrepreneurs to establish or expand private sector agro-enterprises, promote full-time operation of mills procured with LADA support.
SWAT’s Chief Executive Officer, George N. Nehme, speaking following the signing ceremony expressed gratitude to President George Weah for challenging importers to look into investing in local production and holding consultations with the Ministries of Commerce and Industry, and Agriculture, including technicians from there who remain committed to supporting this initiative.
Nehme also thanked USAID-Liberia and CNFA/LADA team for continuing to build the capacity of local farmers to produce more rice for the Liberian market.
“We are happy about this agreement because it is a new beginning to increase rice production working together with the farmers as partners. My team at SWAT has been supporting this process over the last several months,” he said.
He also thanked John Bestman, chairman of the Liberia Rice Importers Association for his support in making the event come to light and other partners as well.
For his part, the chief of party of LADA, Willem Van Campen reminded the participants that rice is the staple food of Liberia, with a population of approximately 5million.
“Huge quantities of about 400,000 metric tons of rice are imported every year. This represents more 50% of the total consumption of a total value of about US$200million per year. The situation is not only a question of food security and food sovereignty. It is also an important issue for the use of foreign exchange and for the overall Liberian economy,” he said.
He pledged the unflinching support of CNFA/LADA to ensure the partnership succeeds and boost the agriculture sector of the country. The signing ceremony was witnessed by officials of the Ministries of Commerce, Finance and Agriculture as well as other partners. Agriculture Minister Mogana Flomo pledged the commitment of the ministry in making sure the partnership succeeds. \

576K feddans of cultivated rice spotted so far: Official

Friday June 22, 2018
Qalyub in Egypt’s El-Kalubia governorate - REUTERS

Limited resources. Farmers transplant rice seedlings in a paddy field in

Thu, Jun. 21, 2018
CAIRO – 21 June 2018: Satellites spotted 576,000 feddans of cultivated rice (one feddan is about 1.038 acres) until now in Egypt’s governorates, said Head of Planning Department and Rain Forecasting Center affiliated with the Irrigation Ministry, Iman Sayed Ahmed. In a way to mitigate the water scarcity, the Egyptian authorities shrunk the agricultural area allocated for water-intensive crops such as rice.

That the planted area is considered to be within the legally allowed area for rice cultivation per the government's decree, Ahmed added in statements to Egypt Today. However, it’s considered rather constricted compared to the area allocated for rice cultivation last year, which reached 1 million feddans.

According to Sayed's statements, only 50 percent of the legally allowed area for rice cultivation has been used and the rest is expected to be used during the coming period. In May, Egypt’s government agreed to increase the area allocated for rice cultivation by 100,000 feddans only this season, bringing the total area of rice cultivation to 820,000 feddans. In April, Egypt's Parliament passed a law banning the cultivation of some crops that require a large amount of water, amid fears that building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) would cut the country's share of the Nile. The Parliament also approved the government's request to amend some provisions in Agriculture Law No. 53 of 1966. Article 1 in the Agriculture Law refers that the minister of agriculture shall determine the areas to cultivate certain crops, and shall ban other crops in certain areas. Hence, the draft law to amend Article 1 of the Agriculture Law stipulates that the minister of agriculture, in coordination with the minister of irrigation, shall issue a ministerial decree to ban the cultivation of some crops in certain areas that have low amounts of water, in order to rationalize water usage.

Egypt depends entirely on the Nile water for drinking and irrigation purposes, reiterating consistently its "historical right" to the river guaranteed in the 1929 and 1959 Nile agreements, which granted the country 87 percent of the Nile water and the right to veto or approve irrigation projects in the upstream countries. Egypt annually needs at least 105 billion cubic meters of water to cover the needs of more than 90 million citizens. However, it currently has only 60 billion cubic meters, of which 55.5 billion cubic meters come from the Nile and just less than 5 billion cubic meters coming from non-renewable subterranean water in the desert. The remaining 80 billion cubic meters are covered by the reuse of wastewater.

In 2011, Ethiopia started the construction of the 6,000-megawatt Renaissance Dam over the Blue Nile River, one of the major sources of water that forms the Nile River downstream. Concerns have risen in Cairo and Khartoum over the negative impact the Ethiopian dam will have on their historic Nile water shares.

Since 2014, the three countries (Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia) have held several tripartite meetings and agreed on the Declaration of Principles. However, the disagreement among the countries is related to the filling and operation period of the dam; Egypt demands that this period be seven to 10 years, while Ethiopia insists on a maximum of three years. 
Accuracy cloud over State’s rice production numbers

JUNE 21, 2018 00:32 IST
UPDATED: JUNE 21, 2018 00:32 IST

Figures provided by the RBI are significantly lower than those of the State govt.

The discrepancies between the Tamil Nadu Agriculture Department’s figures on rice production and those of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for two “record years” have brought to the fore the issue of the accuracy of such information.
For the years 2013-14 and 2014-15, the data provided by the State government vary substantially from the figures provided by the RBI, which are based on its publication, “Handbook of Statistics on Indian States.”
According to senior officials of the Agriculture Department, the two years witnessed “bumper harvest”, posting production figures of 71.15 lakh tonnes and 79.49 lakh tonnes respectively. [In comparison, in 2017-2018, the production of rice was said to be 65.9 lakh tonnes].
But the RBI’s figures put rice production at 53.49 lakh tonnes and 57.27 lakh tonnes for 2013-14 and 2014-15. The RBI has quoted the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare as its source of information. However, as for the coverage of paddy (rice) crop, there is no discrepancy in the data provided by the State government and the Central bank.
“Besides, there is a view among sections of officials in the State government that field verification by village-level officials, these days, is not as rigorous as it ought to be.
C. Ramasamy, former Vice-Chancellor of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, has his reservations about the veracity of the data of the State government when it comes to coverage and production.
‘Critical scrutiny’
He argues that given the rate of urbanisation and conversion of agricultural lands into plots for housing and other purposes, the information furnished by the State government deserves to be “scrutinised critically”.
Besides, the State’s yield in rice production has “not been very impressive”, he adds.
However, Agriculture Department officials disagree with the RBI’s data which, according to them, need not be taken seriously, as the institution has used secondary data. Also, the Agriculture Department uses only those data which are compiled by the State’s Department of Economics and Statistics, which follows a “rigorous process of data examination independently.”

Rice up on export enquiries, tight supply

PTI | Jun 21, 2018, 15:17 IST
New Delhi, Jun 21 () Prices of rice basmati as well as non-basmati rose by up to Rs 100 per quintal at the wholesale grains market today due to pick up in export enquiries and local demand.However, wheat dara weakened marginally due to reduced offtake by flour mills.
Traders said, increased export enquiries and rising demand from local parties attributed the rise in rice basmati and non-basmati prices.
Besides, pause in supplies, too, supported the upside in rice prices, they added.
In the national capital, super basmati rice and basmati common new traded Rs 100 each higher at Rs 9,900 and Rs 7,300-7,400 per quintal, respectively.
Rice Pusa (1121) also traded higher by Rs 50 to Rs 6,550-6,650 per quintal.
Rice permal raw and wand too traded higher by Rs 50 each to Rs 2,425-2,450 and Rs 2,525-2,575 per quintal, respectively.
Wheat dara (for mills), howeverm traded lower by Rs 5 at Rs 1740-1745 per quintal due to reduced offtake by flour mills.
Following are today's quotations (in Rs per quintal):
Wheat MP (desi) Rs 2,100-2,200, Wheat dara (for mills) Rs 1,740-1,745 Chakki atta (delivery) Rs 1,750-1,755, Atta Rajdhani (10 kg) Rs 230-260, Shakti Bhog (10 kg) Rs 255-290, Roller flour mill Rs 950-960 (50 kg), Maida Rs 970-980 (50 kg) and Sooji Rs 1,040-1,050 (50 kg).
Basmati rice (Lal Quila) Rs 10,700, Shri Lal Mahal Rs 11,300, Super Basmati Rice Rs 9,900, Basmati common new Rs 7,300-7,400, Rice Pusa (1121) Rs 6,550-6,650, Permal raw Rs 2,425-2,450, Permal wand Rs 2,525-2,575, Sela Rs 3,050-3,150 and Rice IR-8 Rs 2,025-2,075, Bajra Rs 1,250-1,255, Jowar yellow Rs 1,650-1,700, white Rs 2,850-2,950, Maize Rs 1,270-1,275, Barley Rs 1,460-1,470. SUN DPL SHW ADI

Fungii Turn Rice And Glass Waste Into An Eco-friendly Building Material

BY LEE MATHEWS 06.21.2018 :: 5:00PM EDT
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Making buildings out of fungus-based materials might sound like the sort of thing that’s best left to floppy-hatted little blue creatures. There’s a team of human scientists that have proven otherwise.
Australian researchers have developed a clever new mycelium composite and it’s quite the amazing material. The composite is lightweight and can be formed into just about any shape you can imagine.
It’s also very eco-friendly. First, there’s the ingredient list: rice hulls and glass fines. The hulls are left behind after individual grains of rice are removed. Glass fines are small bits of glass that are produced during the glassmaking or recycling process. Fines can sometimes be used as a replacement for sand when making concrete, but they’re often just incinerated — as are rice hulls.
To bind the two materials together they enlisted the aid of Trametes versicolor, a fungus commonly know as turkey tail. Once the fungii have done their thing, it’s on to a low-temperature often where the composite can be baked into bricks, slabs, or planks.
The process is much less energy-intensive than the ones currently used to produce materials like plastic-based composite lumber. In addition to being an energy-efficeint process, it’s also a zero-carbon one.
But wait, there’s more! The composite has excellent thermal stability and would boost a stucture’s overall fire resistance. On top of that, even when the mycelium composite does burn it produces far less carbon dioxide and smoke — which should mean fewer deaths related to smoke inhalation.
There’s one more benefit that would be particularly attractive to Australian homeowners. Termites don’t find it nearly as appetizing as wood. With many of Australia’s densely-populated areas considered to be at high or very high risk of infestation, substituting mycelium composite could eliminate a lot of bothersome (and expensive) repairs.
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Minister: New rice supply model proposal by mid July

21 June 2018
By Syed Jaymal Zahiid
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub speaks at a breaking of fast event at the Malaysian Agro-Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) in Serdang May 22, 2018. — Bernama pic
KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 — Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry is expected to finalise a proposal for a new rice supply model by mid July, its minister Salahuddin Ayub said today.
The proposal will look into the possible termination of Bernas' concession as the sole rice supplier before its contract ends in 2021, the minister said.
Three separate committees within the ministry have been instructed to prepare a paper for a newly formed ad hoc Special Cabinet Committee that will review the proposal.
The committee will chaired by five ministers and headed by Minister of Economic Affairs Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, Salahuddin said.
“Because the issue of rice supply is a matter of national interest and involve not just my ministry but others like taxation and transport, a special cabinet committee will be formed,” he told reporters here.
The formation of the committee has been agreed upon at yesterday's Cabinet weekly meeting.
The Pakatan Harapan government said earlier this month it would terminate the National Rice Company's concession to end its monopoly on rice supply.
The four-party coalition vowed to end all forms of monopoly in government contracts as part of its election pledge before taking federal power on May 9.
Bernas held the sole concession to import and manage supply of the staple up until then.
Salahuddin said he expects rice prices to drop once  they open up the supply market, although there is no concrete evidence to support this as yet.
“This is why we want the committee to come up with the proposals so whatever it is we will wait until the proposals are tabled, then we will share and explain,” he said.
Critics previously claimed the decision by the previous Barisan Nasional administration to make Bernas the sole supplier of rice had distorted prices and enriched Umno cronies.
Umno leaders and Bernas officials have denied the allegation.
For now, Salahuddin said the new government has no plan to shut the company down, which will resume its regulatory functions until an alternative supply model is in place.
Bernas is also free to provide input and suggest proposals, the minister said.


* Thai prices slip by about $38/t this week
* Vietnam market quiet, but prices expected to fall
By Swati Verma
BENGALURU, June 21 (Reuters) - Rice prices in Thailand slid
to their lowest this year on sluggish demand and the prospect of
higher supplies, while rates eased in top exporter India this
week due to subdued buying from Africa and Bangladesh.
Thailand's benchmark 5 percent broken rice <RI-THBKN5-P1>
dropped to $390-$400 per tonne this week, free on board (FOB)
Bangkok, from $430-$435 last week.
At an average of $395 per tonne, this week's export prices
are almost on the same level as the average price of $393-$396
seen in the week of Jan. 4.
A combination of ample supply in warehouses, mills
suspending trade, a weaker Thai baht versus the dollar and slow
logistics due to the monsoon season pushed prices down, traders
in Bangkok said.
"The warehouses are full but the ships aren't here," a
trader said.
Thailand aims to export 10 million tonnes of rice this year.
Rice prices in the country will likely slip further as a new
crop is expected to start arriving around the end of June or
early July until August, traders said.
"Demand is still slow as people are waiting to see if prices
will fall further," another trader said.
On Thursday, Thailand's commerce ministry however said that
there are enough rice purchases by major importers from the
beginning of the year to absorb Thai rice supply and stabilize
prices until August.
The ministry is also expecting a sixth
government-to-government deal with China, which will buy 100,000
tonnes of Thai rice, as well as private deals with major
importers Indonesia, Bangladesh and some African countries.
Prices in top exporter India also fell this week as demand
was subdued from African buyers.
Buying from neighbouring Bangladesh also nearly stopped
after it imposed a 28 percent tax on rice imports to support its
farmers as the country's local production revived.
"Bangladesh is no longer in the market due to (the) duty
hike," said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state
of Andhra Pradesh.
India was the biggest supplier of rice to Bangladesh in
Rates for India's 5 percent broken parboiled variety
<RI-INBKN5-P1> fell by $4 to $394-$398 per tonne.
Rice prices in India have corrected recently due to weak
demand, said Nitin Gupta, vice president of the rice business at
Olam India.
Meanwhile in Vietnam, prices of 5 percent broken rice
<RI-VNBKN5-P1> were unchanged from the previous week at
$450-$455 a tonne.
"The market has been quiet and there have been no new deals
clinched recently, as prices of Vietnamese rice are not as
competitive as those of Thai products," a Ho chi Minh City-based
trader said.
"I think prices are under pressure to ease over the coming
weeks due to additional supplies from the ongoing spring-summer
harvest," the trader said.
(Reporting by Patpicha Tanakasempipat in Bangkok, Khanh Vu in
Hanoi, Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai and Ruma Paul in Dhaka; Editing
by Jan Harvey)