Friday, August 17, 2018

17th August,2018 daily global regional local rice e-newsletter

Local View: MPCA admits there's no solution in sight on wild rice sulfate issue
By Steve Giorgi on Aug 15, 2018 at 4:50 p.m.

Description: Steve GiorgiThe seemingly never-ending saga over the contentious wild rice/sulfate standard in Minnesota moves into the next phase, the 2019 legislative session, after the long-awaited release of an independent analysis and report on the affordability and viability of multiple treatment options for the removal of sulfate.

Steve Giorgi
This independent research and report was requested by the Legislature and was due by May 31. When the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency announced in 2017 that it had decided to commence with its rule-making public hearings prior to the completion of this financial and viability study, the Range Association of Municipalities & Schools, or RAMS, objected via letters to the governor and MPCA commissioner.
It seemed to make little sense to undertake the rule-making process prior to knowing for certain whether, first, there was a viable, affordable treatment process and, second, the actual cost for treatment to the citizens of the impacted communities and potentially to the state.
Since no other state in the nation has a sulfate standard for the protection of wild rice, there are no functioning treatment systems to analyze. The assumption was, and still is after the independent study, that reverse osmosis is the "most likely" treatment method known that could reduce sulfate to the 10 milligrams per liter standard required by current Minnesota law.
This summer, the MPCA finally released the comprehensive independent report conducted by Bolton & Menk, Inc., and Barr Engineering Co., on the affordability of sulfate removal from wastewater. The researchers also looked at alternative treatment methods for sulfate removal.
The report stated in plain English the following determination: "The study results show that reverse osmosis is the one treatment method that is closest to being feasible — but that it is not currently affordable. The 30 other treatment processes evaluated either would not effectively remove sulfate from wastewater, were not yet developed enough to be used, or would cost even more than reverse osmosis."
This is virtually the same testimony provided at the MPCA public hearing on this matter by RAMS and the same position taken by our organization on behalf of the 13 Iron Range communities targeted as having wastewater plants that discharge to wild rice waters, as identified by the MPCA.
If the Duluth-based Western Lake Superior Sanitary District had to install a reverse-osmosis filtration system to meet the current standard, the estimated cost would be $500 million. Imagine what that would do to the sewer rates for the end users of WLSSD.
Other major issues with any reverse-osmosis system is that the filtration process produces a brine that, to date, the MPCA has not been able to determine whether it is toxic. This brings into question the how and where one could dispose of this residue.
Unfortunately, a solution to the wild rice/sulfate standard was not accomplished in the last session of the Minnesota Legislature, despite lawmakers twice passing bills to prohibit enforcement of the standard (which has been the case since 1973). Lawmakers instead established a task force to explore options and provided funding for wild rice growth and rehabilitation.
Perhaps common sense can be applied to the problem once a new governor and Legislature are elected and all of the needed information around costs and feasibility of treatment options are available.
This should not be that difficult. Make a permanent funding source available for wild rice growth and rehabilitation efforts. And allow our Native people to control water levels and invasive species proven to be one of the most detrimental factors to wild-rice growth. Then Minnesota will have a vibrant, natural, wild-rice crop for generations. Isn't that what we all want?
Steve Giorgi of Mountain Iron is executive director of the Range Association of Municipalities & Schools, or RAMS (

A way to get green revolution crops to be productive without needing so much nitrogen

August 16, 2018 by Bob Yirka, report
Description: fertilizers
Credit: CC0 Public Domain
A team of researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences in China and the University of Oxford in the U.K. has found a way to grow green revolution crops using less nitrogen with no reduction in yield. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes their research efforts and the results they found when planting newly developed plant varieties. Fanmiao Wang and Makoto Matsuoka with Nagoya University offer a News & Views piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue.
The green revolution was characterized by big increases in crop production in developing countries—it came about due to the increased use of pesticides, fertilizers and changes in crop varieties used. One of the changes to the crops came about as rice and wheat plants were bred to grow less tall to prevent damage from wind and rain. While this resulted in improved yields, it also resulted in the use of more nitrogen-based fertilizers, which are environmentally harmful. In this new effort, the researchers wondered if it might be possible to re-engineer green-revolution crop varieties in such a way as to restrict height and therefore retain high productivity, while also using nitrogen more efficiently.
Prior research had shown that proteins in the DELLA family reduced plant growth. Crop breeding in the 1960s led to varieties of rice and wheat with genetic mutations that allowed the proteins to build up in the plants, thus stunting their growth. Unfortunately, DELLA proteins have also been found to be the cause of inefficient nitrogen use in the same plants—as a result, farmers used more of it to increase yields. To overcome this problem, the researchers crossbred varieties of rice to learn more, and found that the transcription factor OsGRF4 was associated with nitrogen uptake. Using that information, they engineered some varieties of rice to express OsGRF4 at higher levels, which, when tested, showed higher uptake of nitrogen. The team then planted the varieties they had engineered and found that they required less nitrogen to produce the same yields—and they were just as stunted. They therefore claim that it is possible to grow green-revolution crops that require less nitrogen.
More information: Shan Li et al. Modulating plant growth–metabolism coordination for sustainable agriculture, Nature (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0415-5
Enhancing global food security by increasing the productivity of green revolution varieties of cereals risks increasing the collateral environmental damage produced by inorganic nitrogen fertilizers. Improvements in the efficiency of nitrogen use of crops are therefore essential; however, they require an in-depth understanding of the co-regulatory mechanisms that integrate growth, nitrogen assimilation and carbon fixation. Here we show that the balanced opposing activities and physical interactions of the rice GROWTH-REGULATING FACTOR 4 (GRF4) transcription factor and the growth inhibitor DELLA confer homeostatic co-regulation of growth and the metabolism of carbon and nitrogen. GRF4 promotes and integrates nitrogen assimilation, carbon fixation and growth, whereas DELLA inhibits these processes. As a consequence, the accumulation of DELLA that is characteristic of green revolution varieties confers not only yield-enhancing dwarfism, but also reduces the efficiency of nitrogen use. However, the nitrogen-use efficiency of green revolution varieties and grain yield are increased by tipping the GRF4–DELLA balance towards increased GRF4 abundance. Modulation of plant growth and metabolic co-regulation thus enables novel breeding strategies for future sustainable food security and a new green revolution.

 ‘Green revolution’ crops bred to slash fertilizer use

Researchers have identified a molecule that increases plant growth while reducing the need for nitrogen.

Jeremy Rehm

 15 AUGUST 2018
The green revolution created hardier rice that needs more fertilizer than older varieties. Credit: Anuwar Hazarika/Reuters
A gene that enhances plants’ ability to absorb nitrogen could be used to breed high-yield varieties of rice, wheat and other staple crops that would need less fertilizer, researchers report on 15 August in Nature1. That could slash costs for farmers worldwide, and help to limit the environmental damage that occurs when nitrogen-rich water and soil wash from farm fields into rivers and oceans.
The research focused on crops bred during the ‘green revolution’ of the 1960s, a period when agricultural scientists boosted yields by breeding smaller, hardier versions of common crops. Farmers used these alongside improved irrigation methods, strong pesticides and efficient fertilizers. That sent the global harvest of cereal crops soaring from 741 million tonnes in 1961 to 1.62 billion in 1985.
But the latest study shows that there is still room for improvement, says Kathryn Barton, a plant scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, California. “If you thought that these green-revolution varieties were it — that they’re the end of the line — you’re wrong, because there is more we can do,” she says.
That’s because modern crops have a weakness: they can’t absorb nitrogen as well as traditional crops can, so they need a lot of fertilizer to grow. In 2015 alone, the world’s farmers used roughly 104 million tonnes of nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
That practice is costly for farmers and harmful to the environment, says study co-author Xiangdong Fu, a plant geneticist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology in Beijing. When nitrogen-rich runoff from farm fields reaches rivers, lakes and oceans, it can feed massive algal blooms that consume oxygen and suffocate aquatic organisms. “That’s why we need to look for new varieties — ones that can produce high yields but with less fertilizer,” Fu says.
To do that, he and his colleagues examined the role of molecules called DELLA proteins that had been identified as the cause of green-revolution plants’ poor nitrogen absorption and short stature. In conventional crops, these proteins are destroyed by hormones that stimulate plant growth. But DELLA proteins flourish in green-revolution crops because the plants are immune to the hormones’ influence, or produce less of them.

Protein vs protein

Fu and his colleagues wanted to find a way to combat the accumulation of DELLA proteins. They began their search by comparing the DNA of 36 varieties of dwarf rice, and looking at the varieties’ ability to absorb nitrogen. The scientists identified two genes that control nitrogen consumption: one that codes for DELLA proteins, and another that codes for a protein called growth-regulating factor 4 (GRF4), which had been thought to increase only grain size and yield. Fu’s team found that GRF4 counteracts the effects of DELLA proteins by encouraging plants to absorb and metabolize nitrogen and carbon to support growth.
Then the researchers bred rice plants to produce a higher concentration of the GRF4 protein. The result was short plants with high yields that required less nitrogen than conventional green-revolution varieties.
The strategy is promising, says Jennifer Volk, an environmental-quality specialist at the University of Delaware in Dover. Farmers use several methods to lessen the environmental harms caused by excess nitrogen and other plant nutrients, such as constructing wetlands whose aquatic plants filter excess nitrogen and phosphorus from water before it drains to streams and rivers, she says. “Going this next step — making the crop more effective and efficient at taking those nutrients up — would tighten that system up even more,” Volk says.
But Anna Michalak, an environmental engineer at the Carnegie Institution who has studied the link between climate change and nutrient runoff in water systems, is more cautious about the implications of the study’s findings. “Whenever something seems like a win–win situation, I immediately think there’s something we haven’t thought of,” she says. “We’re never quite smart enough to anticipate what will happen.”
Nevertheless, Fu and his colleagues are in the middle of preparing a patent, and have already begun plant-breeding programmes in China. Fu anticipates that other parts of the world might see these new breeds of crop in five years.
doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-05980-7
Read the related News & Views article: ‘Improved nutrient use gives cere

Heavy Metals in Baby Food: What You Need to Know

Consumer Reports’ testing shows concerning levels of arsenic, cadmium, and lead in many popular baby and toddler foods

By Jesse Hirsch
August 16, 2018

Description: Consumer Reports performed testing that showed high levels of heavy metals in baby food. Pictured: hand holding spoonful of food.
You’ve probably heard that lead has been found in drinking water, that certain kinds of fish contain high levels of mercury, and that worrisome amounts of arsenic have been found in rice. But you may not know why that's a problem—or that these elements (and others, such as lead and cadmium), commonly known as “heavy metals,” are also in many other foods. This includes foods made just for babies and toddlers, such as popular snacks, cereals, prepared entrées, and packaged fruits and vegetables.
Over time, exposure to heavy metals can harm the health of adults and children. One of the biggest worries: cognitive development in very young children.
“Babies and toddlers are particularly vulnerable due to their smaller size and developing brains and organ systems,” says James E. Rogers, Ph.D., director of food safety research and testing at Consumer Reports. “They also absorb more of the heavy metals that get into their bodies than adults do.”
That’s why CR’s food safety team analyzed 50 nationally distributed packaged foods made for babies and toddlers, checking for cadmium, lead, mercury, and inorganic arsenic, the type most harmful to health.
Children in the U.S. eat a lot of packaged baby food. More than 90 percent of parents with children 3 and under turn to these foods at least occasionally, a new Consumer Reports national survey of more than 3,000 people found. And annual sales of baby food now top $53 billion and are projected to reach more than $76 billion by 2021, according to Zion Market Research.
Our tests had some troubling findings:
• Every product had measurable levels of at least one of these heavy metals: cadmium, inorganic arsenic, or lead.
• About two-thirds (68 percent) had worrisome levels of at least one heavy metal.
• Fifteen of the foods would pose potential health risks to a child regularly eating just one serving or less per day.
• Snacks and products containing rice and/or sweet potatoes were particularly likely to have high levels of heavy metals.
• Organic foods were as likely to contain heavy metals as conventional foods.
While those results are worrisome, parents who have been feeding these foods to their children don’t need to panic, says James Dickerson, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at Consumer Reports. He notes that consuming these foods doesn’t guarantee that a child will develop health problems, but that it may simply increase that risk. And whether problems develop depends on a host of factors, including genetics and exposure to other sources of heavy metals, such as from lead paint or contaminated water.
Our testing did have some encouraging findings for parents: It showed that 16 of the products had less concerning levels of the heavy metals, suggesting that all baby food manufacturers should be able to achieve similar results.
What’s more, there are important steps parents can take right now to reduce their child’s health risks. See "What Parents Can Do," below.

How Heavy Metals Can Harm Children

The human body needs small amounts of certain heavy metals, such as iron and zinc, to function properly. But cadmium, inorganic arsenic, lead, and mercury (especially methylmercury) can be toxic for everyone and pose particular risks for young children.
Exposure to even small amounts of these heavy metals at an early age may increase the risk of several health problems, especially lower IQ and behavior problems, and have been linked to autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
“The effects of early exposure to heavy metals can have long-lasting impacts that may be impossible to reverse,” says Victor Villarreal, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of educational psychology at the University of Texas at San Antonio who has researched the effects of heavy metals on childhood development.
For example, researchers at Duke University looked at 565 adults who had their lead levels measured as children. Those with high childhood lead readings had IQ levels 4.25 points lower, on average, than those with lower childhood lead levels.
Exposure to inorganic arsenic may also affect IQ, according to a recent Columbia University study of third- through fifth-graders in Maine. Students who had been exposed to arsenic in drinking water had IQ levels 5 to 6 points lower, on average, than students who had not been exposed. 

Long-Term Risks

The risks from heavy metals grow over time, in part because they accumulate in the kidneys and other internal organs.
“These toxins can remain in your body for years,” says Tunde Akinleye, a chemist in Consumer Reports’ Food Safety Division who led our testing. Regularly consuming even small amounts over a long period of time may raise the risk of bladder, lung, and skin cancer; cognitive and reproductive problems; and type 2 diabetes, among other conditions.
And research has shown that even in adults, frequent, consistent exposure to low levels of heavy metals can contribute to other serious health problems.
A recent study in the journal Lancet Public Health suggests that low levels of lead from food and other sources contribute to about 400,000 deaths each year, more than half of them from cardiovascular disease. Getting too much methylmercury can cause nerve damage, muscle weakness, lack of coordination, and impaired vision and hearing. And over time, cadmium exposure can lead to kidney, bone, and lung diseases. 
Description: Consumer Reports performed testing that showed high levels of heavy metals in baby food. Pictured: silhouettes of packaged baby foods.

What CR’s Tests Found

Previous Consumer Reports work found worrisome levels of heavy metals in canned tunaprotein powdersfruit juice, and rice and rice products, including infant rice cereals. Other nonprofit food safety organizations and the Food and Drug Administration have also found heavy metals in some of those foods. But this is the first time CR has looked at the levels of heavy metals in an array of baby and toddler foods, or determined the consumption levels that pose a risk to children.
We looked at 50 popular baby and toddler foods, then purchased three samples of each from retailers across the country. (Our findings were a spot check of the market and should not be used to draw definitive conclusions about specific brands.)
The products fall into four categories:
• Baby cereals.
• Packaged fruits and vegetables.
• Packaged entrées (for example, turkey and rice dinner).
• Packaged snacks, including cookies, crackers, crunches, puffs, snack bars, wafers, and biscuits such as teething biscuits and rice rusks.
Most of the products came from the two biggest U.S. baby food manufacturers, Beech-Nut and Gerber. Other brands were Baby Mum-Mum, Earth’s Best, Ella’s Kitchen, Happy Baby, Parent’s Choice (Walmart), Plum Organics, and Sprout.
About two-thirds of the products (34) we tested contained concerning levels of cadmium, lead, and/or inorganic arsenic; 15 of them would pose a risk to a child who ate one serving or less per day.
Two rice cereals contained measurable levels of methylmercury. Although the amounts were not high enough to be associated with potential health risks from this heavy metal in our analysis, other research suggests that rice cereals may be an overlooked source of mercury in infants’ diets. For example, in tests of 119 infant cereals, researchers at Florida International University found that rice cereals had on average three times as much methylmercury as multigrain cereals and 19 times as much as other non-rice cereals.
Products made with rice fared the worst in our tests. That's because they contained worrisome amounts of inorganic arsenic, and many also had lead and cadmium.
As a category, snack foods—bars, cookies, crackers, crunches, crisps, puffs, and rice rusks and other teething biscuits—were most problematic, generally because of their rice content. That’s especially concerning because snacks are also the most common type of packaged product that babies and toddlers eat, according to CR’s recent survey. Seventy-two percent of parents said they feed their child at least one of the types of snack foods we tested.
CR’s findings that heavy metals are very common in rice products and that baby food cereals and snacks are higher in heavy metals than baby food fruit and vegetables are consistent with results from the Total Diet Study, an FDA program that monitors Americans’ intake of heavy metals and other contaminants from foods and beverages.  

A Largely Unregulated Market

Our survey also suggests that parents are often unaware of the potential risks of heavy metals in their kids’ food. About half, for example, believed that children’s foods are subject to more strict regulation and safety testing procedures than other packaged foods.
But they aren’t—even though the FDA has acknowledged the dangers heavy metals in baby and toddler foods could pose.
In 2016, the FDA did propose limiting inorganic arsenic in infant rice cereal to 100 parts per billion, and in 2013 proposed limiting inorganic arsenic in apple juice to 10 ppb, the federal arsenic standard for drinking water. But neither limit was ever finalized. The agency told CR it is on track to finalize these guidelines by the end of 2018.
We informed the FDA of our overall findings, and the agency told us: “The agency has made this a priority and is working to reduce the health risks these elements present, especially to those most vulnerable: children.”
The agency also said it “plans to consider a wide range of policies and actions to reduce exposure,” such as educating consumers on how to reduce the risks posed by toxic metals and requiring or encouraging industry to lower the amount of them in their products. In addition, it is looking into the risk posed by foods that contain multiple toxic metals, and working to identify products “for which these combinations are most prevalent, and exploring options for dealing with the issue.”  

What Manufacturers Say

We contacted all of the baby food manufacturers included in our testing. All stressed the importance of safety, and some noted that heavy metals can be naturally occurring. Most also said they did their own testing, and supported the government setting limits for heavy metals in baby and toddler foods.
“We are a responsible company with high safety standards for our ingredients and our products,” read one typical response, from Sprout. “We are continuing to work with the fruit and vegetable industry to look for the cleanest sources of ingredients. We fully support the evolution of FDA safety regulations that help ensure the highest levels of food safety standards for babies.”  

Assessing the Risks

Just how dangerous is it for babies and toddlers to eat these foods? And what if you’ve been feeding your child one or more of these products every day for the past year or two or three?
To answer these questions, we looked into the potential health risks, based on several factors.
First, we estimated how much of these foods children typically eat, using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
We then reviewed the medical research to determine at what exposure level each heavy metal could increase the risk of certain cancers, kidney damage, reproductive disorders, and neurobehavioral problems.
Last, we put that information together with our own test results (along with the average body weights for each age group) and calculated how much a child would need to eat of the tested foods to face potential health risks.
“No amount of heavy metals such as lead can be considered safe,” says CR’s Rogers, “but less is certainly better.”
In many of the foods we tested, the levels of heavy metals combined were more concerning than the level of any one specific heavy metal. “Each of these metals has shown similar adverse effects on children’s developing brains and nervous systems, and there are potential additive effects,” says CR’s Akinleye.
Another concern: The amounts of heavy metals in any one type of food may be low, but because heavy metals are so pervasive in foods and the environment—and because they tend to accumulate in the body—small amounts can add up.
You’ll find a list of products we tested and the daily limit—the number of servings that pose a potential health risk—for each in the chart below.
If you have been giving these foods to your child, CR’s Dickerson says that it is important to have perspective. “The heavy metal content in baby and toddler foods is a concerning issue but not an imminent threat,” he says. “The risk comes from exposure over time, and the risk can be mitigated. Making changes to your child’s diet now can reduce the chance of negative outcomes in the future.”
There are many variables—genetics, type of exposure, and the overall quality of a child’s diet, for example—that affect how an individual responds to heavy metals in his or her environment or diet.
“You really don’t know if an individual child is going to be adversely affected,” says pediatrician Jennifer Lowry, M.D., chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Environmental Health. “This is not going to be a situation where we’ll find an acute, alarming level of these metals in the blood, as with ingesting lead from paint.” She says she typically would advise concerned parents to give their kids a variety of foods, and to remove the more concerning items from their diets.
And for some of the products CR tested, despite the presence of heavy metals, you’d have to feed your child quite a bit of the food for it to pose a risk. For instance, our analysis found that it would take more than five servings of Plum Organics’ Little Yums Organic Teething Wafers per day before his or her intake from that product alone reached a level of concern. 

A Loss for Public Safety

While there is a lack of federal regulations for the amount of heavy metals in most foods, California does set a threshold for lead. Products sold in the state that can expose someone to more than 0.5 microgram of lead per day must have a health warning, according to California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (often referred to as Proposition 65).
Based on our test results, all the samples of Beech-Nut Classics Sweet Potatoes, Earth’s Best Organic Sweet Potatoes, and Gerber Turkey & Rice had concerning levels of lead. We purchased one sample of each of those products in California, and we believe our samples exceeded the state’s threshold.
We sent our findings to Beech-Nut, Gerber, and Hain Celestial, the parent company of Earth’s Best.
Gerber and Hain Celestial said that they believed their products complied with the California law. But Gerber also said it went back and tested samples of its turkey and rice dinner from the same three batches CR tested. The company said it got similar results and that it was “reviewing our protocols for further improvement.”
Beech-Nut said that it had "reviewed the ingredient testing reports of its independent lab, which showed the lead levels as undetectable," but that as a result of an internal investigation, the company “upgraded the requirements for our third-party lab testing." 
Hain Celestial also pointed to a 2015 case involving the nonprofit Environmental Law Foundation. The organization had sued Beech-Nut and other companies after it claimed that its testing found that some of the companies’ fruit juices and other fruit products sold in California exceeded 0.5 mcg of lead in one serving, and therefore should require a warning.
However, the defense lawyers successfully argued that the daily limit could be averaged over a two-week period, based on typical consumption levels. This means, for example, that a person could consume up to 13 servings of a product with 0.5 mcg per serving in 14 days without exceeding the daily threshold.
CR’s food safety experts are troubled by this ruling. “We believe the outcome of this case significantly undermines public health, especially when it comes to protecting children,” says CR’s Dickerson. “The amount of lead permitted under this ruling is not a level we consider safe, given what we know about consumption of these baby foods.”  
Jay Schneider, Ph.D., a professor of anatomy, pathology, and cell biology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, has examined hundreds of children who have suffered the effects of lead exposure. Given lead’s extreme toxicity, and the inability to reverse or remediate its effects, he calls it “outrageous” that there would even be the tiniest amount of lead in children’s food.
“It’s extremely potent,” says Schneider. “We know that there is no level of lead in the blood of a child that is safe.”

How Heavy Metals Get Into Food

Where are these heavy metals coming from, and why are they in food?
They all are part of the earth’s crust, so they are naturally found in the environment. But most of the heavy metals in food come from soil or water that has been contaminated through either farming and manufacturing practices (such as pesticide application, mining, and smelting) or pollution (such as the use of leaded gasoline).
Crops absorb heavy metals from earth and water, the same way they do nutrients. But some crops take up more of the compounds than others. For example, rice absorbs about 10 times more arsenic than other grains absorb.
In packaged foods, it is also possible that something in the manufacturing process, such as the type of metal used in machinery, contributes to contamination.
It's also important to know that these heavy metals aren't just in packaged baby and toddler foods. “Rice, for instance, is known to contain inorganic arsenic whether it is part of an infant cereal, a rice pilaf mix, or a rice cracker,” Akinleye says. So, depending on the food type and source, making your own baby food won't necessarily reduce your child’s heavy metal intake.
Still, some research suggests that children’s food may have more of certain heavy metals than other foods. For example, according to the Environmental Defense Fund’s recent analysis of the FDA’s Total Diet Study data, more samples of baby food apple juice, grape juice, and carrots had detectable levels of lead than regular versions of those foods. Why that would be the case is unclear, though it is possible that there are differences in the manufacturing processes.

Organic Isn’t Safer

Although foods that are certified as organic by the USDA do have benefits—including lower pesticide levels and less impact on the environment—avoiding heavy metals isn’t one of them. Twenty of the products in our test were labeled organic, and, as a whole, they were just as likely to contain heavy metals as the conventional ones.
“Arsenic and lead, which have been used in the past as pesticides, are prohibited under organic regulations,” says Charlotte Vallaeys, Consumer Reports’ food labeling expert. But because these heavy metals are contaminants in the soil, there's no reason why organic baby foods would contain lesser amounts.”
That may surprise many parents, though. In our survey, 39 percent of parents who purchased packaged foods sometimes bought organic food for their children, and they cited avoiding lead, arsenic, and other heavy metals as their primary reason for doing it.
Description: A toddler reaching for a snack food. Consumer Reports has found heavy metals in baby foods.

What Needs to Change

Parents want tough standards for the foods they feed their children: 72 percent of those in our recent survey said that baby foods should be subject to more stringent regulation and safety testing than other foods.
And CR’s recent tests suggest that the FDA needs to set regulatory limits for heavy metals in baby foods. Read the letter CR sent to the FDA about our findings (PDF).
“Any limits would be welcome, but the ultimate goal is to have no measurable levels of any heavy metal in baby and toddler foods,” says Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives at Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports.
Our test results also showed that goal is achievable.
“In about a third of the products we tested, the amounts of heavy metals were below our level of concern, and for some of the products, amounts of some metals were not measurable,” Rogers says. “Every category of food we tested was represented in that lower-risk group. That indicates that there are ways for manufacturers to significantly reduce or eliminate these metals from their products.”
To that end, Halloran says that the FDA should take the following actions, quickly:
Establish aggressive targets. Set a goal of having no measurable amounts of cadmium, lead, or inorganic arsenic in baby and children's food—and use the most sensitive testing methods to determine the presence of those metals.
Create and enforce benchmarks. To reach its goals in baby and children’s food, the FDA should set incremental targets for industry to meet along the way.
Meanwhile, finalize proposed guidelines. By the end of 2018 (the FDA’s planned deadline), the agency should limit inorganic arsenic in apple juice to 10 ppb, the arsenic standard for bottled water, and limit inorganic arsenic in infant rice cereal to 100 ppb. In addition, it should revise existing guidance for lead in fruit juice to reduce the limit from 50 to 5 ppb, the standard for bottled water.
(Sign CR's petition to tell the FDA to take action to keep infants and children safe.)

What Manufacturers Should Do

Children’s food manufacturers don’t have to wait for the FDA before they reduce the heavy metal content of their products.
One step they can take is to source their ingredients from areas that are less likely to be contaminated.
Research shows that plants grown in different parts of the globe—or even different parts of the same farm—can contain significantly different heavy metal levels. "Soil near big cities and centers of industry tends to contain more heavy metals," says chemist Tracy Allen, lab supervisor at the University of Massachusetts Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Laboratory. But contamination can also be very localized, she says, "such as a 3- to 5-foot swath of contaminated soil around an old farmhouse that was coated in lead paint."
Many of the manufacturers we reached out to said they source ingredients from areas believed to have lower levels of heavy metals in the soil and regularly test samples of their products’ heavy metals content.
But, Halloran says, many could be doing more. In addition to reviewing their ingredients’ sources, they could ensure water and equipment used for manufacturing don’t contribute to contamination. “The truth is that when you look at Gerber and Beech-Nut, which make up more than half of the samples in our tests, some products are more concerning than others.”

What Parents Can Do

CR’s Dickerson says parents should remember that exposure to heavy metals doesn’t guarantee that a child will face health problems as a result, only that it increases that chance. If you are concerned about possible exposure, talk with your pediatrician about having your child tested.
It may not be possible to completely eliminate heavy metals from your food. But there are steps you can take to reduce the amount of heavy metals you and your children are exposed to, and to minimize some of the effects of heavy metals. “Just making changes now will go a long way to protecting your children, regardless of any prior exposure,” Dickerson says. These tips will help:
Limit the amount of infant rice cereal your child eats. Cereal is often a baby’s first solid food because it is easy to swallow, and it’s usually fortified with iron, an important nutrient for babies. But both the FDA and the American Academy of Pediatrics say that there’s no reason it must be rice cereal and that infants should be given a variety of cereals, noting concerns about levels of inorganic arsenic in those products. “Parents have other choices—there are iron-fortified cereals made from other whole grains, such as oats, that are lower in inorganic arsenic,” Rogers says.
Choose the right rice. In previous CR tests, brown rice had more inorganic arsenic than white rice of the same type. White basmati rice from California, India, and Pakistan, and sushi rice from the U.S., are good choices that had, on average, half as much inorganic arsenic as most other types. Rice cakes, cereal, and pasta were also high in inorganic arsenic.
Rethink rice prep. Cook it in a large amount of water—the FDA recommends 6 to 10 parts water to 1 part rice—and drain it well afterward. This will help reduce arsenic content.
Limit packaged snacks. Many contain rice flour, but even those without it don’t supply much nutritional value. “Even without the heavy metal risks, snack items aren’t a necessary part of your child’s diet, and they can have added sugars and sodium,” says Amy Keating, R.D., a nutritionist at Consumer Reports. The same goes for rice cakes, rice crackers, and chips that you and your child may eat.
Seek out whole foods low in heavy metals. Based on their review of the data from the Total Diet Study, our experts suggested a few easy-to-pack foods, suitable for snacking, that are very low in heavy metals: apples, applesauce (unsweetened), avocadosbananas, barley with diced vegetables, beanscheese, grapes, hard-boiled eggs, peaches, strawberries, and yogurt.
Be wary of fruit juice. Past CR tests found inorganic arsenic and lead in many brands of apple and grape juices. In addition, all fruit juices are concentrated sources of sugars, and lack fiber. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not giving any fruit juice to babies in the first year of life, and limiting juice to 4 ounces a day for kids ages 1 to 3 years and 6 ounces for 4- to 6-year-olds, for nutritional reasons.
Go easy on the chocolate. Cocoa powder may contain cadmium and/or lead. Cocoa itself may have more than dark chocolate, and dark chocolate may have more than milk chocolate.
Pick the right fish. Bigeye tuna, king mackerel, orange roughy, shark, and swordfish are particularly high in methylmercury. Children and women of childbearing age should avoid these fish; others should eat them infrequently, if at all.
Take a pass on protein powders. These may contain arsenic, cadmium, and lead, according to tests from CR and others. Whey and egg-based powders tended to have less than plant-based ones—such as soy and hemp—but even they should be used in moderation. You probably don’t need them anyway. “The vast majority of people get plenty of protein from the foods they eat,” says Keating. “And when you get your protein from foods, you also benefit from all the other nutrients found in whole foods.”
Check your water. If you get your water from a well, or if your home has older pipes, consider having your water tested. Heavy metals sometimes seep into well water, and older pipes may have been made with lead.
Eat a broad array of healthful whole foods. Rotating the foods you eat may help you avoid overconsumption of heavy metals and provide a variety of nutrients that may help offset some of the damage heavy metals do to the body. These include calcium, iron, selenium, vitamin C, and zinc.

Where We Found Heavy Metals

Consumer Reports tested the 50 baby and toddler foods listed in the chart below. These products represent a cross section of the market. We tested three samples of each food, and the samples were purchased from different retailers across the country. In the chart, these products are organized into four main categories: cereals, snacks (such as bars, biscuits, and rice rusks), packaged fruits and vegetables, and entrées.
While our findings are a spot check of the market and cannot be used to draw definitive conclusions about specific brands, every product we tested had measurable levels of at least one of these toxic heavy metals: cadmium, inorganic arsenic, and/or lead; 34 of the products contained enough of a single heavy metal or a combination to reach a level that CR’s food safety experts believe warrants concern.
For each food, we have calculated a daily limit—the number of servings a child would need to eat for the food to pose potential health risks from exposure to the three heavy metals. The top section of each category lists foods that, based on CR’s analyses, pose less concern; there is no daily limit for these. The bottom section of each category shows foods of more concern, listed in order of the number of servings that would present potential health risks to a child. The lower the daily limit, the greater the risk from that food.
Unless otherwise noted, CR’s shoppers were able to still find these products on the market in the spring of 2018. Though in some cases the manufacturer told CR that the product has a new label or packaging, or has been reformulated, our shoppers were able to find the product as we tested it in stores or online.
Meals and Entrées

Gerber Lil' Entrées Chicken 

New rice research center to open in northeast Arkansas
AUG 16, 2018
Description: Rice harvest
University of Arkansas to expand facility over several years
David Bennett | Aug 15, 2018
Desiring to maintain a top-notch rice research capability into the future, the University of Arkansas and far-sighted members of the rice sector in the state are looking at a new facility just south of Jonesboro. In the northeast part of the state, the new center will see limited capacity in 2019 and will expand from there.
Recently, the university’s Jean-Francois Meullenet spoke to Delta Farm Press about the new venture. Among his comments:
On the genesis of the project…
“We are still in the planning stages so we’re not 100 percent sure who will be located there. The purpose of the new farm will primarily be rice research.
“Right now, there’s a 600-acre piece of land without infrastructure. So we’re looking at what we need to do to bring the infrastructure to where we can farm it. Over time, we’ll then build a research structure.”
Time frame?
“We’re hoping to initiate some research in the spring of (2019). It obviously won’t be full-scale and we’re unsure about what acreage we’ll do research on.
“The land was purchased through a gift received by the (University of Arkansas System) Division of Agriculture from the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board. It’s off Highway 1 south of Jonesboro in the community of Greenfield. It has a Harrisburg address and is adjacent to the Ricetec research facility.”
Reasons for opening a new facility in northeast Arkansas?
“We’re already doing rice research in Keiser although the soils are quite different from what you’ll find in Greenfield. There are also differences in climate and soils between rice grown north of I-40 and south of I-40.
“Much of the state’s rice production is now in the northeast. We feel to fully address the needs of the rice industry we need a research facility in that area.
“We hope within three to five years we’ll be fully operational. Our current plans for doing research in 2019 include constructing a shop and equipment storage facility on the site. That will start within the next two or three months so we have something available by the spring of 2019 to house equipment and have it be secure.
“Obviously, we won’t have a lot of office facilities. But we hope to have personnel on the farm next year to keep an eye on the operation. Long-term, though, we’ll need to build a research building with offices and labs. We’re still considering our options as far as funding the building before thinking about what program and faculty might be houses there. That’s a bit on the horizon, though. It’ll probably take a couple of years to build a research building and find a way to fund that – having a building within the next three years is probably the earliest timeline.
“Dr. Chuck Wilson is heading this. He came from Stuttgart where he was the center director to take the same role at Keiser. He’s now helping us with this project, on the ground helping with the planning…
“I’d imagine there will be collaboration with (Arkansas State University). We’re already partnering with researchers there. I imagine our ability to have (a new rice) facility nearby will only strengthen those relationships.”
On goals for the new facility…
“For 2019, assuming we can build the shop and get the equipment in place, we will conduct some of the rice performance trials. All the relevant cultivars and hybrids available in the state will be looked at. We’ll likely look at nitrogen trials and planting date trials, as well.
“Longer-term, there are a lot of ideas floating around. We’re talking about irrigation studies where we compare surface- versus ground-water, alternative irrigation strategies, and do long-term soil fertility studies. Breeding, obviously, will be part of the research.
“We’re not planning to move our rice breeders from Stuttgart. But in the early selection trials they conduct, certainly the new farm will be another site that will reflect new significant climates that will be helpful to them.
“We anticipate weed science will be represented with herbicide trials. Entomology (research) will also be a part.”
On maintaining Arkansas’ position as number one in U.S. rice…
“We’re very proud of Arkansas being the largest producer of rice in the country by a wide margin. The investment we make in rice research is probably unparalleled in the country. We need to further enhance what we’re doing and make sure the rice industry remains strong.
“We’re very excited about the project. A new (research) location hasn’t been opened in a long time. So, these are exciting times for us and the partnership with the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board has proven to be very strong and we appreciate their help in making this a reality.”

Africa: Farmers Set to Make More Profits From Hybrid Rice in Kenya, Africa

By Njenga Hakeenah
In October last year, rice production declined sharply pushing retail prices up by 38 per cent in Kenya.The country's staple was selling at Sh145 in January 2017 but hit Sh200 per kilogramme towards the end of the same year.But all this may change with researchers targeting to increase production from less than 200,000 tonnes of rice which is far below the national demand of over 450,000 tonnes per year.
To fill the deficit, Kenya imports the grain mostly from Asian countries since low productivity leads to high production costs which limit rice farmers by making their products costlier and less competitive in the global market.
Imports are mainly from Pakistan, Thailand, India and Vietnam but there are also modest imports from Tanzania and Uganda.
According to the 2017 Kenya Corn, Wheat and Rice Report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agriculture Service, EAC maintains a common external tariff of 75 per cent ad valorem or $345 USD per ton, whichever is higher for rice imports from non-EAC countries.
Kenya has however been granted by EAC "the stay of application", based on limited local production, and therefore applies the former tariff structure (that was applicable before July 1st, 2015) of 35 per cent ad-valorem or $200 USD per ton, whichever is higher.*
The USDA adds that Kenya mainly produces the aromatic Basmati in irrigation schemes managed by Kenya's National Irrigation Board (NIB).
In addition, GOK and county governments have been promoting the New Rice for Africa (NERICA), an improved, rain-fed, upland rice variety. NIB is also responsible for the rehabilitation of the irrigation schemes.
And scientists are now working on the Hybrid Rice Project which aims to develop 2-line hybrids and parental lines in selected African countries among which is Kenya.
According to the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), the project will facilitate expedited farmer access to this product through private companies and public institutions in Africa, for increased yields and improved income streams for farmers.
In AATF's 2017 Annual Report, in the trials, the candidate hybrids outperformed the local checks for key traits such as date-to-maturity, yields and disease resistance.
The hybrids take only 90-120 days to mature compared to 135-150 days for local varieties. Tried in Hola and Malindi in the coastal region, Mwea in central Kenya, and Bondo and Kisumu in western Kenya, the new rice hybrids will not only improve yields of rice but they will also be as competitive as imported rice in terms of grain quality and affordability.
It is estimated that farmers stand to gain an average of US$350 to US$1,000 per hectare more than with the commercially available varieties.


Growing paddy rice in upland fields

By Zhu Lingqing in Shihezi, Xinjiang | | Updated: 2018-08-16 06:5
It is not a paddy field, but the paddy rice planted in it is developing splendidly.
The secret lies in the under-film drip irrigation system, an efficient and environmentally friendly system developed by Xinjiang Tianye (Group) Co Ltd.
The State-owned enterprise in Shihezi, a city in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, spent eight years overcoming the problem of growing paddy rice in upland fields.
It carried out field experiments for five consecutive years beginning in 2004, successfully tested the system in small fields in 2008 and set up large-scale demonstration projects in 2009. In February 2011, its mechanized direct seeding rice drip irrigation technology was granted a national invention patent.
Chen Yifeng, research director of the Agricultural Research Institute of the Tianye Group, said compared to the traditional method of planting rice in a paddy field, the rice drip irrigation system can save more than 60 percent of water, which makes it perfect to be applied in dry areas.
"By applying the technology, the yield of rice can reach 59.53 kilograms per hectare, while the average yield of rice in China is about 26.67 kg per hectare," Chen said.
In addition to saving water, the technology also can save fertilizer and the labor force, as farmers can control the system on an app, even from a long distance.
"Israel is leading the world in developing drip irrigation technology, but its technology has not been adopted as widely as ours due to its high costs," Wang Yongqiang, vice-director of the Agricultural Research Institute, said.
Tianye Group has become the world's largest production base of water-saving, under-film drip irrigation equipment.
He said with Tianye Group's technology, the total cost of drip irrigation equipment and plastic film used in the field is about 6.67 yuan per hectare.
In addition, the water-saving droppers are recycled annually, which allows farmers to replace the old ones with new ones at very low prices every year.
Not only having a 200 mu (13.33 hectares) demonstration field in Shihezi, the system also has been introduced in other provinces, such as Northeast China's Heilongjiang, North China's Shanxi, and East China's Shandong and Jiangsu.
The various kinds of water-saving drip irrigation systems developed by Tianye Group have been promoted in 17 countries, according to the company.
Song Xiaoling, chairwoman of Tianye Group, said the company will further expand to markets involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, to promote its products and technologies.
Description: demonstration field for the under-film rice drip irrigation system is pictured in Shihezi, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Aug 14, 2018. [Photo by Zhu Lingqing/]

Agrinurture cleared to import rice
posted August 16, 2018 at 07:10 pm by Manila Standard Business
The National Food Authority granted an ‘original proponent status’ to listed Agrinurture Inc. for its unsolicited joint venture proposal for the financing and purchase of imported rice to help augment the country’s buffer stock.
Agrinurture said in a disclosure to the stock exchange it received a letter from NFA acknowledging receipt of its proposal and that the company was considered and recognized as original proponent.
Under the proposed JV agreement, the ANI consortium will finance the supply of NFA rice with no cashout on the part of the government. 
Both parties will jointly determine the origin, suppliers, delivery and arrival periods, packing and loading and discharging ports. 
The NFA will solely determine the type of commodity to be imported, specifications and quantity.
As accepted by NFA, the ANI consortium will import 500,000 metric tons of rice, equivalent to two weeks of national inventory of subsidized NFA rice per quarter. 
Agrinurture said as NFA would not release a single peso for the purchases, the state-run agency could use its budget to buy more palay from local farmers or import more rice as needed.
Under its mandate, the NFA is required to ensure national food security and to stabilize supply and prices of staple cereals like rice both in the farm and consumer levels. 
The agency is required to maintain a rice buffer stock good for 15 days, and good for 30 days during lean months. 
The Philippines has a daily rice requirement of 32,750 metric tons. ANI said the planned 500,000 metric ton importation would be just enough to fill NFA’s 15-day requirement. 
The NFA needs to import more during the lean months to match the mandate of President Rodrigo Duterte to maintain 60 days inventory.
ANI said the joint venture proposal would not replace local supply to the detriment of local farmers. Instead, it only aims to augment the country’s rice inventory at no cost to the government.
It said that aside from not bearing the costs of importation, the NFA would have no risk or exposure to losses. All risks will be borne by the ANI consortium from the time of purchase up to the point of dealing with undisposed stocks.
ANI said that after being granted original proponent status, the project proposal would now proceed in accordance with both the technical and legal processes under the National Economic and Development Authority’s guidelines.

Palay output seen declining by nearly 2% in 3rd quarter
August 15, 2018
THE country’s unmilled rice output could decline by nearly 2 percent to 3.323 million metric tons,  from the previous year’s 3.39 MMT, according to latest forecast of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
In its quarterly “Rice and Corn Situation and Outlook” report, the PSA attributed the possible decline to the contraction in harvest area and the decision of farmers to delay planting.
The PSA expects total harvest area for the July-to-September period to shrink by 2.82 percent 829,000 hectares, from 853,000 hectares recorded a year ago.
In contrast, yield per hectare could increase to 4.01 MT per hectare, from 3.98 MT per hectare in 2017, according to the PSA.
“The considerable decreases in production are foreseen in Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, MIMAROPA and SOCCSKSARGEN,” the PSA said in the report published recently.
“Cutbacks in output may be attributed to delayed plantings due to the late release of irrigation water and late onset of rainfall in Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, MIMAROPA, Western Visayas, SOCCSKSARGEN and Caraga,” it added.
Based on farmers’ planting intentions, the PSA noted that palay production in the fourth quarter may be higher than the previous year’s level.
“This may be attributed to the perceived availability of irrigation water coupled with occurrence of rain during the planting period,” it said. The PSA did not provide a production forecast for the fourth quarter.
Price drop
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said in a Facebook post that he sees the farm-gate price of palay in the third quarter to decline “drastically” due to the influx of imports.
“The farm-gate price of locally produced paddy rice, which went up to an unprecedented level today, could fall drastically this harvest season because of the delay in the arrival of rice supplies from Vietnam and Thailand imported by both the National Food Authority (NFA) and the private sector under the Minimum Access Volume (MAV),” Piñol said on August 15.
“The PSA reported a few days ago that the national average farm-gate price has fallen [from an] all time high of P22 per kilogram (kg) to P21.50 per kg. Prices are expected to fall further at peak harvest season because this will be the time when imported rice is expected to reach the market,” he added.
Piñol said the decline in paddy rice prices is a “welcome relief” for consumers as this could ease the rise in the retail price of the staple.
“The delay in the arrival of rice imported by both the NFA and the private sector is also the main factor behind the spike in the price of rice in the market,” he said. The agriculture chief said the delay in the arrival of rice imports was due to by the conflict between the NFA and the NFA Council.
Piñol noted that rice imports usually arrive during the country’s lean season, which runs from July to September, to beef up local supplies. The country has minimal harvest during the lean months.
“The issuance of the import permits both for NFA and the private sector, however, was delayed because of a disagreement between the NFA and the NFA Council, the governing body composed of several government agencies (but not including the Department of Agriculture), over the mode of importation,” he said.
Furthermore, Piñol said the late arrival of the imported rice has “placed the country’s buffer supply at critical level resulting in speculation in the market which further pushed rice prices up.”
“The private sector importation, however, is expected to arrive by the end of August toward early-September by which time the farmers would already start harvesting their paddy rice,” he said.
Palay production in the second quarter reached 4.09 MMT, 1.44 percent lower than the 4.15 MMT recorded output a year ago due to contracted harvest area. Harvest area shrank by 1.52 percent to 932,790 hectares, from 947,190 hectares

Rice export earnings hit over $ 280 million

Submitted by Eleven on Thu, 08/16/2018 - 11:46
Writer: Zeyar Nyein

From April 1 to August 2 of the mini budget year, Myanmar earned US$ 288.986 million from exports of 833,663.820 tonnes of rice and broken rice according to Myanmar Rice Federation.
Exports of 363,878.420 tonnes of rice and broken rice via sea routes hit US$ 121.121 million and exports of 469,785 tonnes via border route, US$ 167.865 million.
Thanks to the market expansion in 2017-2018 FY, Myanmar exported 3.6 million tonnes of rice. This is the largest export volume in 50 years.
Border trade accounted for more than 70 per cent of the total rice export and marine trade, for nearly 30 per cent. In 2017-2018 FY, rice export via sea routes increased to 48 per cent.
Last fiscal year, Myanmar was on the list of five top rice exporting countries. In 2018-2019 FY, rice export will hit its target only when the country can export rice to China via border area, according to the MRF.
Lu Maw Myint, Joint General-Secretary of the MRF said: “Rice export via sea route is normal and remains unchanged. China’s rice imports depend on its minimum support price.”

Transplanting Machines Market Overview, Investment Feasibility, Supply-Demand, Manufacturers & Forecast 2023

August 16, 2018
2 Min Read
Transplanting Machines Market analysis of an industry is a crucial thing for various stakeholders like investors, CEOs, traders, suppliers and others. The Transplanting Machines industry research report is a resource, which provides current as well as upcoming technical and financial details of the industry.
The report provides a complete study of the Global Transplanting Machines industry leaders with key information like revenue, price, product picture and specifications, contact information, cost, capacity, production and company profile.
Key Manufacturers of Global Transplanting Machines Market: John Deere, Great Plains, Kubota, Mechanical Transplanter, Ackerman, Holland Transplanter, Kennco Manufacturing, Big John Manufacturing, Whitfield Forestry Equipment, Yanmar, Checchi Magli, Kukje Machinery, Egedal, Zhongji Southern Machinery,
Scope of the Report:
This report focuses on the Transplanting Machines in Global market, especially in North America, Europe, China, Japan, Rest APAC, Latin America. This report categorizes the market based on manufacturers, regions, type and application.
Transplanting Machines Market Types:
Riding Type
Walking Type
Tractor Mounted
Transplanting Machines Market Applications:
Rice Transplant
Vegetable Transplant
Tree Transplant
Tobacco Transplant
Fruit Transplant
With a purpose of enlightening new entrants about the possibilities in this Industry, this Global Transplanting Machines Industry report investigates new project feasibility. A thorough SWOT analysis investment analysis is provided in the report which forecasts imminent opportunities for the Global Transplanting Machines Industry players.
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Global Rice Bran Oil Market: Analysis, Technologies, Forecasts and Types: Made by Extraction, Made by Squeezing.

·       AUGUST 16, 2018

Rice Bran Oil Market:
Summary: Excellence consistency maintains by Garner Insights in Research Report in which studies the global Rice Bran Oil market status and forecast, categorizes and Equipment market value by manufacturers, type, application, and region.
The report on Global Rice Bran Oil Market studies the historical data and evaluates the current market scenario so as to project the flight of the market during the next couple of years. This study has been collated using primary and secondary research methodologies that are meant to provide the users a detailed view of the major aspects of the market. The report also takes into consideration the different strategies, emerging technologies, collaborations, product launches, and mergers & acquisitions, in order to carry out a detailed analysis of the market.
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Scope of the Research:
·       Current market size for 2018 and forecast till 2025
·       Strategic analysis and market focus
·       Latest industry-specific trends and the technological advancements
·       Market developments covering M&A, investment, funding, partnerships, collaborations, etc.
·       Competitive landscape analysis
·       Continue…
Some of the key regions covered in the market:
I.North America (U.S and Canada and rest of North America)
II.Europe (Germany, France, Italy and Rest of Europe)
III.Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea and Rest of Asia-Pacific)
IV.LAMEA (Brazil, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Rest of LAMEA)
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Global Rice Bran Oil Market Segmented by Types:-  Made by Extraction, Made by Squeezing.
Global Rice Bran Oil Market competition by top manufacturers/players:-    Ricela, Kamal, BCL, SVROil, Vaighai, A.P. Refinery, 3F Industries, Sethia Oils, Jain Group of Industries, Shivangi Oils, Balgopal Food Products, King Rice Oil Group, Kasisuri, Surin Bran Oil, Agrotech International, Tsuno Rice Fine Chemicals, Oryza Oil & Fat Chemical, Wilmar International.
Applications analyzed in this report are:-   Food, Cosmetic, Industry.
The report also presents a thorough qualitative and quantitative data pertaining to the projected impact of these factors on market’s future growth prospects. With the inclusive market data concerning the key elements and segments of the global Rice Bran Oil market that can influence the growth prospects of the market, the report makes for a highly informative document.
Report Highlights:
·       The report provides a detailed survey of the current and future industry trends so as to identify the investment analysis.
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·       Key industry trends across all the market segments and sub-segments, geographies, and nations.
·       Key developments and strategies determined in the market.
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Rice Transplanter Machine Market 2017: Present Status, Competitive Scenario & Growth Prospects To 2021

Rice Transplanter Machine Market details out informative data related to the Rice Transplanter Machine market dynamics i.e. market size, market trends, market challenges, market drivers. Vendor Landscape Analysis is done for both international markets as well as regional markets, marking out regions countries showing promising growth trends for the coming years (2017-2021). The Market Report also provides an analytical assessment of the prime challenges faced by Rice Transplanter Machine Market currently and in the coming years, which helps Market participants in understanding the problems they may face while operating in this Rice Transplanter Machine Market.
For key manufacturers, company profiles, product analysis, shipment, ASPs, revenue, market shares and contact information are included. For industry chain, upstream raw materials, equipment, and downstream demand analysis are also carried out. Finally, global and major regions Rice Transplanter Machine industry forecast is offered.
Major Regions: APAC, EMEA Americas | Forecast period: 5-year annual forecast (2017-2021)
Historic Data Period: 2011-2017 | No. of Pages: 101
About Rice Transplanter Machine
The rice transplanter machine was introduced in Japan by Kubota during the 1960s. It is specifically designed for transplanting rice seedlings in paddy fields. Farmers are required to drive the machine along a straight line to transplant the seedlings in rows. The rice planter comprised of three parts, namely the motor, running gear, and transplanter device. The transplanter consists of a seedling tray, seeding tray shifter, and pickup forks. The seedlings are fed into the seedling trays from where they are picked up by the forks and placed into the ground.
Industry analysts forecast the global rice transplanter machine Market to grow at a CAGR of 9.35% during the period 2017-2021.
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Important Rice Transplanter Machine Market data available in this report:
·       Strategic recommendations, forecast growth areas of the Rice Transplanter Machine Market.
·       Emerging opportunitiescompetitive landscaperevenue share of main manufacturers.
·       This report discusses the Rice Transplanter Machine market summary, market scope gives a brief outline of the Rice Transplanter Machine
·       Key performing regions (APAC, EMEA, Americas) along with their major countries are detailed in this report.
·       Company profiles, product analysis, Marketing strategies, emerging market segments and comprehensive analysis of Rice Transplanter Machine market
·       Challenges for the new entrants, trends market drivers.
·       Market share year-over-year growth of key players in promising regions
Market driver
·       Shift toward mechanization
·       For a full, detailed list, view our report
Market challenge
·       Lack of finances for small farmers to replace old machinery
·       For a full, detailed list, view our report
Market trend
·       Product innovation
·       For a full, detailed list, view our report
Key market data related to the Rice Transplanter Machine Market major vendors provided in the report:
·       Book Value(Value of the company to its shareholders)
·       Working Capital( Money required to run the day-to-day operations of the business)
·       CAGR Value( Used to track the performance of the company over the period of time, longer than 1 year)
·       Enterprise Value(Measure of companyrsquo;s total value comprehensive tool to analyze the value of company)
The above data is available for the following key vendors: Kubota, Iseki, Yanmar, TYM, Jiangsu World Agriculture Machinery, CLAAS, Mitsubishi Mahindra Agricultural Machinery, Changfa Agricultural Equipment, Shandong Fuerwo Agricultural Equipment, Dongfeng Agricultural Machinery,
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Presentation of Data in the report: The data is presented in the form of pie charts, tables figures for a quick accurate analysis of the overall Rice Transplanter Machine market. Segmentation of the market data is in the following form:
·       Parts ( Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 many more)
·       Exhibits ( Exhibit 1, Exhibit 2, Exhibit 3, Exhibit 4, Exhibit 5 many more)

Global Rice Transplanter Machines Market 2018 | Status( 2013-2017) and Forecast(2018-2025)

Market study report Titled Global Rice Transplanter Machines Market 2018 Industry Research Report recently published on is the key document for industries/clients to understand current global competitive market status. The Rice Transplanter Machines market study report base year is 2017 and provides market research data status (2013-2017) and forecast (2018-2025) and also categorizes the Rice Transplanter Machines market into key industries, region, type and application. Global Rice Transplanter Machines Market 2018 study report covers all major geographical regions and sub-regions in the world and concentrates on product sales, value, market size and growth opportunities in these regions.

Competitive Analysis for Rice Transplanter Machines market industries/clients:-

Global Rice Transplanter Machines Market 2018 Industry Research Report provides current competitive analysis as well as valuable insights to industries/clients, which will help them to formulate a strategy to penetrate or expand in a global Rice Transplanter Machines market. Insights from competitive research analysis will provide a competitive advantage to industries/clients in the Rice Transplanter Machines industry. Study years considered for this insight to analyze the market size of Global Rice Transplanter Machines Market are – ‘History Year: 2013-2017’, ‘Base Year: 2017’, ‘Estimated Year: 2018’, ‘Forecast Year 2018 to 2025’.
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Global Rice Transplanter Machines Market 2018 Industry Research Report is segmented into key players, type, application, and region.
Geographically, this Rice Transplanter Machines Market 2018 report studies the key geographical regions – United States, Europe, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, India, And study insights of product sales, value, industry share and growth opportunity in these regions. Subregions covered in Rice Transplanter Machines industry study reports are- ‘North America- United States, Canada, Mexico, Asia-Pacific- South Korea, Australia, India, China, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, Rest of Asia-Pacific, Europe- Germany, Italy, Spain, France, UK, Russia, Rest of Europe, Central & South America- Argentina, Brazil, Rest of South America, Middle East & Africa- Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Rest of Middle East & Africa.’
The major players covered in Global Rice Transplanter Machines Market report-
Yanmar, Iseki, Kubota, TYM, Jiangsu World Agriculture Machinery, CLAAS, Shandong Fuerwo Agricultural Equipment, Mitsubishi Mahindra Agricultural Machinery, Dongfeng Agricultural Machinery, Changfa Agricultural Equipment
Main Types covered in Rice Transplanter Machines industry-
Mechanical, Manual
Applications covered in Rice Transplanter Machines industry-
Commercial, Household
More details, inquiry about report and table of content visit our website:-

Global Rice Transplanter Machines Market study objectives are:-

To study and analyze the Rice Transplanter Machines industry sales, value, status (2013-2017) and forecast (2018-2025).
To study the major players in the world (North America, China, Europe, India, Japan, Southeast Asia ), to study the sales, value and market size of major players in the world.
Main Focus on the worlds major Rice Transplanter Machines industry players, to study the sales, value, industry size and future expansions plans.
Main Focus on the worlds key manufacturers, to define, describe and analyze the industry competition landscape, SWOT analysis for Rice Transplanter Machines industry.
To define, describe and forecast the Global Rice Transplanter Machines industry 2018 by key players, region, type, application.
To analyze the worlds major geographical regions as well as sub-regions Rice Transplanter Machines industry, their potential and advantage, opportunity and challenge, restraints and risks.
To study important trends and segments driving or inhibiting the worlds Rice Transplanter Machines industry growth.
To study the opportunities in the world Rice Transplanter Machines industry for stakeholders by identifying the growth segments.
To study every submarket with respect to individual growth trend and their contribution to the Rice Transplanter Machines industry.
To study competitive developments such as expansions, agreements, new product launches, and acquisitions in the Rice Transplanter Machines industry.
Global Rice Transplanter Machines Market 2018 Industry Research Report recently published on is the key document for industries/clients to understand current global competitive market status.

Iowa State University scientist helps to develop rice plants to neutralize HIV transmission

Description: Rice plants grow in a laboratory
Transgenic rice plants are capable of expressing a trio of proteins that can prevent HIV from entering human cells. Photo courtesy of Evangelia Vamvaka. Larger image.
AMES, Iowa – Extracts from transgenic rice plants could help stop the spread of HIV, according to research results from an international effort that included an Iowa State University scientist.

Raziel Antonio-Ordonez, a postdoctoral researcher in 
agronomy, contributed to a research team that successfully developed a transgenic rice plant that expresses three different proteins that can stop human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from entering human cells. The finding could lead to a less costly, easier way of producing prophylactics that could stop the spread of HIV, particularly in the developing world. The peer-reviewed academic journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published the research findings.

The research team also included scientists from the Universitat de Lleida-Agrotecnio Center in Spain; the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute, Spain; the National Cancer Institute; Imperial College in London and the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies. The team was led by Paul Christou at Universitat de Lleida.

Scientists previously had shown that expressing anti-HIV proteins in plants was possible, though refining those proteins into a form that could be useful to prevent the spread of the virus often proved prohibitively expensive. Expressing the proteins in rice could be a more cost-effective alternative, Antonio-Ordonez said. Extracts from such a rice plant could be used to produce a topical antimicrobial gel that can be applied before intercourse to prevent sexual transmission of HIV.

Evangelia Vamvaka, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, and a member of the research team, laid the foundation for the project as a Ph.D. student when she proved a single anti-HIV protein could be produced in rice seeds.

“Plants offer an affordable and scalable alternative production platform,” Vamvaka said. “We have shown that we can now produce multiple components in a single plant.”

There are 1.8 million new HIV infections worldwide every year, most occurring in Africa. Antimicrobial gels might present a valuable tool in the developing world where people have difficulty accessing HIV treatments and barrier methods, such as condoms. Vamvaka said men in regions with high HIV infection rates sometimes are reluctant to use condoms, but the availability of an antimicrobial gel would empower women to protect themselves from infection.  Antonio-Ordonez analyzed the data and validated the research team’s results.

Transgenic Rice Plants Could Help to Neutralize HIV Transmission Description: transgenic rice plants

Aug 16, 2018
Transgenic rice plants are capable of expressing a trio of proteins that can prevent HIV from entering human cells. Source: Evangelia Vamvaka
Extracts from transgenic rice plants could help stop the spread of HIV, according to research results from an international effort that included an Iowa State University scientist.
Raziel Antonio-Ordonez, a postdoctoral researcher in agronomy, contributed to a research team that successfully developed a transgenic rice plant that expresses three different proteins that can stop human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from entering human cells. The finding could lead to a less costly, easier way of producing prophylactics that could stop the spread of HIV, particularly in the developing world. The peer-reviewed academic journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published the research findings.
The research team also included scientists from the Universitat de Lleida-Agrotecnio Center in Spain; the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute, Spain; the National Cancer Institute; Imperial College in London and the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies. The team was led by PaulChristou at Universitat de Lleida.
Scientists previously had shown that expressing anti-HIV proteins in plants was possible, though refining those proteins into a form that could be useful to prevent the spread of the virus often proved prohibitively expensive. Expressing the proteins in rice could be a more cost-effective alternative, Antonio-Ordonez said. Extracts from such a rice plant could be used to produce a topical antimicrobial gel that can be applied before intercourse to prevent sexual transmission of HIV.
Evangelia Vamvaka, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, and a member of the research team, laid the foundation for the project as a Ph.D. student when she proved a single anti-HIV protein could be produced in rice seeds.
“Plants offer an affordable and scalable alternative production platform,” Vamvaka said. “We have shown that we can now produce multiple components in a single plant.”
There are 1.8 million new HIV infections worldwide every year, most occurring in Africa. Antimicrobial gels might present a valuable tool in the developing world where people have difficulty accessing HIV treatments and barrier methods, such as condoms. Vamvaka said men in regions with high HIV infection rates sometimes are reluctant to use condoms, but the availability of an antimicrobial gel would empower women to protect themselves from infection.
Antonio-Ordonez analyzed the data and validated the research team’s results.
Source: Iowa State University

Wheat genome unlocked after 13 year research project

17 Aug 2018, noon
 Researchers have finally mapped the wheat genome.
Description: Researchers have finally mapped the wheat genome.AUSTRALIAN researchers have played a key role in a painstaking 13 year international project which has finally unlocked the full wheat genome.While breeders have had ‘road maps’ for the genetic make-up of other important food crops such as rice and corn for many years, a full code of wheat’s DNA had proved elusive up until now.This was due to the wheat genome’s complexity, at five times larger than the human genome and with over 20 times more genes than rice.
Australian researchers were critical in the establishment of the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium which led the drive to map the genome.​The gargantuan effort required to get the full map is highlighted by the fact the project involved 202 researchers across 73 institutions in 20 countries.
Rudi Appels, honorary research fellow with Agriculture Victoria, was one of four founders of the project.He said the genome map was the equivalent of a 16 billion piece puzzle, with around 108,000 genes.“Wheat is an incredibly complex plant, the entire rice genome could fit in any one of the 21 wheat chromosomes,” Prof Appels said.
Moving forward, he said the breakthrough would streamline the breeding process, allowing breeders the chance to identify key areas critical for making advances in areas such as wheat quality, abiotic stress management, such as drought and frost and better disease tolerance.
“It will essentially mean breeders have a road map for wheat, they can define a particular region within the genome that controls drought resistance,” he said.“They will be able to find the spot and land immediately on it and then fine tune the responses from that gene so it will speed things up markedly.”
“The pain-staking work in trying to randomly find the right genes, which was a little like finding a needle in a haystack, will now be able to be done really quickly.
Interestingly, Prof Appels said it would not only be breeders that will be able to make use of the wheat genome
Description: Gregor Heard“This is not just something for the breeders, it will bring technology to the grower, they will be able to be out in the paddock and look at something like disease resistance and they will be able to tell whether their variety will be able to stand up to a particular strain of a disease or not.“If it has the right genetic make-up yet disease is being found it will be a signal the disease pathogen has mutated, finding this out used to be a slow process but now farmers will be able to work in real time and use that information to make their management decisions.”
Prof Appels said wheat’s astonishing genetic diversity was due to its widespread range.“It is essentially years of selection coming through and the fact its range where it was grown was so diverse this has reflected in its genetic make-up, you look at the other major food groups, and corn has only been grown outside the Americas for 400 years or so and rice has a very specific set of growing requirements as well.
“Wheat is a lot more adaptable, it is a fascinating plant.”

Global Rice Flour Market Research 2018 : Thai Flour Industry, Burapa Prosper, Rose Brand, CHO HENG, BIF, Lieng Tong, Bobs Red Mill Natural Foods

·       Global Rice Flour Market Research 2018 : Thai Flour Industry, Burapa Prosper, Rose Brand, CHO HENG, BIF, Lieng Tong, Bobs Red Mill Natural Foods
·       AUGUST 16, 2018

Global Rice Flour Market Research 2018 : Thai Flour Industry, Burapa Prosper, Rose Brand, CHO HENG, BIF, Lieng Tong, Bobs Red Mill Natural Foods

The Global Rice Flour Market 2018 is expanding year by year. Due to the overall global economic growth and progress in the market of the developing countries, the Global Rice Flour Market is witnessing a better future and has more doors open now.
The Global Rice Flour Market is estimated to reach great heights by the year 2022. This market research report has been prepared with an objective to explain, define, segment, and summarize the Global Rice Flour Market on the basis of the type, application, region, and end users.
The report will also provide you with the information on the Global Rice Flour Market in the context of factors affect the Global Rice Flour Market such as market dynamics, business policy, national and international policies, economic scenarios, technology and market entry and key players.
Thorough knowledge of the industry would be one of your weapons in winning Global Rice Flour Market.
Based on the type, the Global Rice Flour Market seems to be dominated by the hot finished Rice Flour .
On the basis of the regions, the Global Rice Flour Market will be lead by the Asia Pacific region during the forecast period. The report has considered the Global Rice Flour Market by dividing the global market into different regions such as:
North America (USA, Canada, Mexico)
Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand
Europe (Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, etc.)
South America (Brazil, Argentina, etc)
Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Iran etc)
Africa (Egypt, South Africa, etc)
The Market Research Explore report on Rice Flour market includes:
Competitors Analysis
Product/Service Analysis
End User Study
Analysis on the basis of the crucial research parameters :
Key Players :
Thai Flour Industry, Burapa Prosper, Rose Brand, CHO HENG, BIF, BIF, Lieng Tong, Bobs Red Mill Natural Foods, Pornkamon Rice Flour Mills, HUANGGUO
Investment Analysis:
Market Features
Investment Opportunity
Investment Calculation
If you have any customized information need to be added regarding Rice Flour , we will be happy to include this to enrich the final study.
Contact us @:

Global ready to eat rice Market 2018- Vala Thai Food Co., Gu Da Sao, Kohinoor Foods Ltd, Tasty Bite

This report studies the global ready to eat rice market status and forecast categorize the global ready to eat rice market size (value & volume) by key players, type, application, and region. This ready to eat rice industry report focuses on the top players in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and Middle East & Africa.Global ready to eat rice Market 2018 Report offers vital and distinct market information highlighting the growth opportunities, business strategies which will influence the decision-making process of the market players. This ready to eat rice industry research report identifies the development opportunities, latest market trends, and competitive scenario of the top industry players.
The major manufacturers covered in this report –  Gu Da Sao, Kohinoor Foods Ltd, Yamie, Mars and Gu Long Foods, Jin Luo, VegaFoods, Tasty Bite, MTR FOODS, Shanghai Meilin, Goldern Star, Maiyas, Tastic and Vala Thai Food Co.
Global ready to eat rice market report then lists the details related to the company profile, sales revenue, product specification, consumer volume forecast from 2018-2025 which will provide key business insights to the readers. Latest technological developments, analysis of emerging ready to eat rice market segments, cost structures, production volume and consumer base of ready to eat rice has been studied at depth in this research report. In-depth analysis of historical, present and futuristic ready to eat rice market data will forecast the market growth in coming years.
All the fundamental details related to ready to eat rice like the product definition, market scope, applications, demand and supply statistics of ready to eat rice, sales volume, consumption ratio has been analyzed at depth in this ready to eat rice market research report.
Core highlights of the report are:
ready to eat rice overview based on the product type, geographical regions, applications forecast from 2018-2025
Competitive study of the ready to eat rice players based on their company profile, consumer volume, market gains, supply, and demand structure and production capacity.
A comprehensive study of ready to eat rice growth opportunities, threats to market growth will help the shape the future of ready to eat rice industry.
A complete study of downstream buyers, raw material, product cost, marketing strategies and sales channel will drive key ready to eat rice decisions.Global ready to eat rice market report is a valuable research material which lists the details in the form of graphs, tables, pie-charts to provide a complete market picture in an easy format. Lastly, beneficial research conclusions are offered related to the latest development and growth scenario forecast to 2018-2025.
Description: Juventus Veteran Marchisio Bids Farewell to Club after 25 YearsJuventus veteran midfielder Claudio Marchisio has ended his
contract with the Serie A champions by mutual agreement after
25 years at the club.
Description: Jember University Teams Up with French Institute on Biotechnology
THURSDAY, 16 AUGUST, 2018 | 18:16 WIB
Jember University Teams Up with French Institute on Biotechnology
TEMPO.COJember - The University of Jember, East Java collaborated with Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement (IRD) in France to develop biotechnology in agriculture and health. One of the current partnership programs was a research on genome editing in rice. The study was initiated by researchers in Tegalboto campus who joined in a research group called Kelompok Riset (KeRis) Plant Health. The research object was rice and other plants including sugar cane, cassava, and coffee, which expected to develop seed plants that resistant to bacteria and can gain high productivity.
The ties with IRD France also aimed at supporting the construction of the biotechnology center at Jember University.
Chief of the KeRis Plant Health research group Tri Chandra Setiawati, said that the collaboration in the research directorate would include science publication as well as the development of the Sister Lab with the French institute.
"Through the partnership of Sister Lab, researchers of Jember University will have a chance to conduct a study in IRD laboratory and publicize it on the accredited scientific journal in France, and vice versa," Tri explained on Thursday, August 16, 2018.

India & Pakistan: Divided by Borders, United by Problem of Hunger

A few months ago, Madhu, 27, was first tied and then brutally beaten to death by a frenzied mob in Kerala. His fault? Allegedly stealing food worth USD 3. In a similar incident in 2011, a video appeared, showing a Pakistani teen being shot twice by security forces for allegedly stealing food.
Even seven decades after Independence, a hunger crisis in the neighbouring south Asian countries continues to persist.

Two Nations, One Struggle

Sharing a common colonial legacy, India and Pakistan, post-Independence, have struggled to achieve sustainable growth. Although, successive regimes on both sides of the border have tried to bring about massive policy changes and improve the living standards of its citizens, both the countries have failed to produce major breakthroughs, particularly in hunger alleviation.
According to the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017 report, out of the 850 million hungry people in the world, 300 million are from India and Pakistan alone. This is despite the fact that both countries produce surplus food.
“Problems arise owing to deficiencies in policy implementation, and distribution rather than production,” says Khurshid Ahmad, a senior official working in the Government of India's food distribution department.
Description: Dataa darbaar pakistan 
Dataa darbaar pakistan 
(Photo courtesy: Maohammad Haseeb Halai)
India and Pakistan both export food grains in large quantities to foreign countries. For instance, India is ranked first and Pakistan fourth when it comes to exporting rice and yet millions in both countries starve for want of food.
“It’s a paradox of plenty. Despite producing sufficient food, India and Pakistan rank at the far end of all global hunger indices. Mountains of grain continue to rot in go-downs, while more recently, irate farmers spilled tonnes of potatoes on the streets in Indian Punjab. We have seen similar incidents in Pakistan too. And if you think this is a recent phenomenon, you are mistaken. I have seen this happening for nearly 25 years now across both the countries at regular intervals,” says Davender Sharma, a food and agriculture policy analyst, based in New Delhi.

The Humongous Problem of Hunger

Food and Agriculture Association of United Nations in its 2017 report, estimated that 190.7 million people are undernourished in India, amounting to 14.5 percent of the entire population. In Pakistan, the numbers too cross 40 million, quite humongous considering the population of the country is less than 200 million.
“The problem will not cease until we are successful in decentralising the whole distribution system. Brazil is a classic example. They were able to eliminate hunger in 20 years by applying decentralised system based on model of local production, local equipment and local distribution. Here in India food is transported from one state to another for stocking purpose and then redistributed to the first state,'' says Sharma.
Description: Food preparation at Bagla Sahib Gurudwara.
Food preparation at Bagla Sahib Gurudwara.
(Photo: Amanjeet Singh)
Mukhtar Ahmad (name changed), a senior official at Punjab Food Authority, Government of Punjab, Pakistan, blames smuggling and inadequate storage for the problem. “A lot of wheat from Pakistan is smuggled to Afghanistan which compounds the problem. Plus there is lack of proper storage system for crops,” he says, adding that many a time, prices become unaffordable for a common man due to the role of middlemen and hoarders. “National food security policy 2018 aims high but there is no work on ground to root out the existing problems.”
In a bid to climb up the economic ladder, both countries are focusing more on infrastructural development rather than agriculture. This has led to migration of people from rural areas to urban and suburban areas in search of work, which further aggravates the problem.
Description: Men volunteers at a food langar. 
Men volunteers at a food langar. 
(Photo: Hanan Zaffar)
“My husband works as a construction labourer and toils hard to feed us. But he doesn't get work every day. We have to sleep on empty stomachs on the days when nobody offers him work,” says Sita, 27, who has migrated with her family from eastern Uttar Pradesh to New Delhi in search of livelihood. Along with her three kids and husband, she lives at a dumping yard in Okhla. “Some days if we get lucky , people from the gurudwara or mosque distribute food to us,” she adds.
Description: People waiting for food provided by an NGO outside AIIMS, Delhi
People waiting for food provided by an NGO outside AIIMS, Delhi
(Photo: Amanjeet Singh)
Sita is among thousands of people who have migrated from rural parts of India to urban or suburban areas, in search of better living standards and employment. However, due to limited resources, she, like many others, ended up living on roadsides without enough food to feed the family.
Description: Sita (left) near a dumping yard in Okhla, Delhi.
Sita (left) near a dumping yard in Okhla, Delhi.
(Photo: Ila Kazmi)
“The problem arises when we try to ignore the fact that both these countries are agricultural economies, and economic policies unfortunately revolve around industrialization alone,” Sharma says, blaming policy makers with a narrow understanding of development for deaths related to hunger.
Sharma suggests, “Agriculture, with the latest technology, can help in sustaining communities in their original habitats. If every region or area produces some amount of food quantity, people will not end up dying of hunger.”

How Religious Organisations Are Helping

With governments in both neighbouring countries failing to meet food demands, many religious institutions are trying to help poor people get at least two meals a day. At Bangla Sahib Gurduwara, a historic Sikh shrine in central Delhi, langar (free kitchen) housed within the golden-domed complex, serves fresh meals to around 20,000 people a day.
“Hundreds of volunteers pour in to assist in cooking and serving chapatis, rice and dal, round the clock. Apart from serving in the gurudwara, we also dispatch food packets to different locations, especially during a crisis,” says Harjinder Singh, an employee of the gurudwara.
Description: Robinhood Army volunteers at a drive.
Robinhood Army volunteers at a drive.
(Photo: Hanan Zaffar)
Some 300 miles away, in Pakistan, at Lahore's bustling Daata Durbaar Ganjbaksh shrine, a similar 24x7 langar goes on, feeding more than 40,000 people on a daily basis. “We serve to all those who come to visit the shrine, without distinctions of caste or class but usually at night time, people who can't afford food, come here to satiate their hunger,” says Aftab Ahmed, 27, a local volunteer.
Others too are engaged in the battle against hunger. For Juhi, 28-year-old volunteer of the non-profit organisation, Robinhood Army, weekends are not for leisure. She, along with other volunteers, collects surplus food from various restaurants in Delhi and distributes it among the underprivileged.
Description: Juhi distributing food  Meharchand cluster
Juhi distributing food Meharchand cluster
(Photo: Amanjeet Singh)
“Whenever I enter my assigned cluster, kids literally jump in joy. I think this is the best way to contribute to society,” says Juhi. “It is my kind of nationalism,” she adds.

How NGOs Are Fighting Hunger

“Understanding that the same problems engulf the other side of border too, on 15 February 2015, we expanded our mission to the neighbouring country and commenced activities in Karachi, Pakistan,” says Rahul Chaubay, Head, Delhi Chapter of Robinhood Army.
In August 2017, buoyed by their success, the Robin Hood Army undertook a mission titled Mission1Million, which aimed at mobilising Indians and Pakistanis together to serve food to one million countrymen, to mark Independence Day. Robinhood Army volunteers across both countries, successfully managed to serve 1.34 million meals during this mega event.
Description: Langar at Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, Delhi.
Langar at Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, Delhi.
(Photo: Amanjeet Singh)
However, are weekly or one-off events the answer to alleviating such a humongous problem? Jayati Ghosh, Professor at Centre for Economic Studies and Planning Jawahar Lal Nehru University in New Delhi believes rapid aggregate income growth over the past two decades has not addressed the basic issue of ensuring the food security of the population.
“Nutrition indicators have stagnated, and per capita calorie consumption has actually declined during and post the liberalisation period, suggesting that the problem of hunger may have gotten worse,” Ghosh says.
(Hanan Zaffar is Associate Editor, ‘Muslim Mirror' and Editor 'CricSwarm'. He has written extensively on politics and sports for national and international organisations like DailyO, The Diplomat, The Quint, Albilad Daily, The Citizen etc. He tweets @HananZaffar.
Amanjeet Singh is a freelance journalist who has reported for  organisations like India Today, Dailyo and The Citizen.  He tweets @s_amanjeet.
Ila Kazmi is an independent journalist based in New Delhi. She is currently pursuing a masters in convergent journalism from Jamia Millia Islamia.)
(This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)
(The Quint is now on WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Just go to and hit the Subscribe button.)

Pakistan Market Price Bulletin, August 2018

Published on 16 Aug 2018
Description: preview
·       In July 2018, the prices of wheat and wheat flour increased by 1.5% and 7.6%, respectively, over June 2018; the price of rice Irri-6 increased by 0.8% while the price of rice Basmati decreased by 0.6% in July 2018 when compared to the previous month;
·       Headline inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased in July 2018 by 0.94% over June 2018 and increased by 5.83% over July 2017;
·       The prices of staple cereals and most of non-cereal food commodities in June 2018 experienced negligible to slight fluctuations when compared to the previous month’s prices;
·       In July 2018, the average ToT more than slightly decreased by 7.1% from previous month;
·       In August 2018, the total global wheat production for 2018/19 is projected at 729.63 million MT, showing a decrease of 6.63 million MT compared to the projection made last month.

Organic baby foods contain lead and arsenic, here's what parents can do to safeguard kids

Description: twitter share
Parents who feed their children organic foods want to be assured they're making the healthier, safer choice. 
But a report released Thursday by Consumer Reports said that organic foods are no safer than conventional baby and toddler foods when it comes to heavy metals. Among the metals found in some of the more popular baby food products are arsenic, cadmium and lead.
"Organic foods were as likely as conventional foods to have heavy metals, because the organic standard is focused on pesticides and not these contaminants."

Organic is good, but not when it comes to heavy metals in food

Organic baby and toddler foods have benefits.
Babies are ingesting fewer pesticides. Because of this, it naturally follows that organically grown foods have less of an impact on the environment, according to the new report.
But avoiding heavy metals, which, when consumed regularly, have been known to pose certain health problems in children, is not one of them, the study says. 
Of the 50 baby and toddler products that Consumer Reports sampled, 20 were labeled organic. 
The report found a metal in every sample. 
“Arsenic and lead, which have been used in the past as pesticides, are prohibited under organic regulations,” says Charlotte Vallaeys, Consumer Reports’ food labeling expert. "But because these heavy metals are contaminants in the soil, there's no reason why organic baby foods would contain lesser amounts.”

Parents surprised because they thought organic meant safe

Some parents didn't expect the findings. The primary reason parents cited for buying packaged organic foods was because they thought they were avoiding harmful contaminants such as heavy metals, they survey found. 
Almost 40 percent of parents believed there wasn't lead, arsenic or other heavy metals in the foods they bought.

What can parents do if organic isn't the answer?

It may be impossible to completely eliminate all heavy metals from food. But Consumer Reports has suggestions on steps parents can take to reduce heavy metals in the food they give their children. 
"Making changes now will go a long way to protecting your children, regardless of any prior exposure," said James Dickerson, Consumer Reports' chief scientific officer.
1. Limit the amount of infant rice cereal your child eats. 
Cereal is often a baby’s first solid food because it is easy to swallow and fortified with iron. But Consumer Reports notes concerns about levels of inorganic arsenic in the product.
2. Be picky about the types of rice your child eats.
Brown rice had more inorganic arsenic than white rice of the same type. Rice cakes, cereal and pasta were also high in inorganic arsenic.
A better choice is white basmati rice from California, India and Pakistan. Sushi rice from the U.S. had an average of half as much inorganic arsenic as most other types.
3. Pick snacks low in heavy metals. 
Apples, unsweetened applesauce, avocados, bananas, beans, cheese, grapes, hard-boiled eggs, peaches, strawberries and yogurt are snacks that were found to be low in heavy metals.
4. Be wary of fruit juice. 
Past tests found inorganic arsenic and lead in many brands of apple and grape juices.
5. Go easy on the chocolate.
Cocoa powder may contain cadmium and/or lead. Cocoa itself may have more than dark chocolate, and dark chocolate may have more than milk chocolate.
6. Pass on protein powders. 
These may contain arsenic, cadmium and lead, according to Consumer Reports tests. Whey and egg-based powders tended to have less than plant-based ones such as soy and hemp.
Baby food products test positive for arsenic including 80% of baby formulas. Time

Ethiopians, Japanese in Tanzania for technical exchange programme

16Aug 2018
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
 Ethiopians, Japanese in Tanzania for technical exchange programme
SIX Ethiopian agricultural researchers and three Japanese experts from EthioRice will be in the country for four days from August 14th to 18th for a technical exchange programme with their Tanzanian counterparts.

The exchange programme will be held at the Kilimanjaro Agricultural Training Centre (KATC) in Moshi, Kilimanjaro Region between the Project for Functional Enhancement of National Rice Research and Training Centre in Ethiopia (EthioRice) and the project for Supporting Rice Industry Development in Tanzania (TANRICE2).
Both EthioRice and TANRICE2 are technical cooperation projects implemented by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Both programmes have been closely working with JICA on rice industry development. It is one of seven implementing institutions of TANRICE2 which has been cooperating with the Ministry of Agriculture in Tanzania mainland and Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Livestock and Fisheries in Zanzibar.
Participants of the programme will also visit Lower Moshi irrigation scheme in Moshi District, Kilimanjaro Region and Lekitatu irrigation scheme in Meru District, Arusha Region for observation of advanced rice farming practices.
TANRICE2 works to conduct training for extension officers and farmers on improving rice cultivation technologies. The project also pays attention to irrigation scheme management, gender, rice marketing and agricultural machinery.
The long-lasting cooperation between the Tanzanian government and JICA on improving rice industry in Tanzania has been attracting neighbouring African countries.
In fact, TANRICE2 has hosted the programme for visitors from Burundi, Egypt, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda and Uganda in the last 3 years. Rice is a relatively new crop in Ethiopia. It is expected that the programme will be useful for improving rice farming in Ethiopia. ethiopians-japanese-tanzania-technical-exchange-progr..