Tuesday, September 11, 2018

11th September,2018 daily global regional local rice e-newsletter

USA Rice Website Update Offers New Features and Resources
ARLINGTON, VA -- After months of hard work, diligent research, and tireless attention to detail, the new and improved USARice.com is ready for its debut.  The redesigned website features a bold, modern style that lends the U.S. rice industry the strong digital presence it deserves, and creates an experience that is streamlined and intuitive, laying out resources and information so that both members and non-members can find exactly what they need, when they need it. 

"USA Rice is the national leader and go-to resource for the rice industry, so we wanted our website to reflect that," said Katie Maher, director of strategic initiatives at USA Rice, who spearheaded the redesign project.  "It was important for us to listen to the needs and suggestions of members and staff, and that feedback provided the foundation for our redesign.  Not only is the site easier to use, but it also has a lot of innovative new features that we think members will appreciate."

Visitors exploring the revamped USARice.com will find new resources at their fingertips, including full board and committee listings, detailed overviews of international markets highlighting USA Rice promotional activities, and a calendar of upcoming industry events.   Members also benefit from a personally tailored Member Documents portal that provides access to the USA Rice eBrief, talking points on current issues, meeting materials, and more.  

One of the most exciting new features is an innovative search tool designed by USA Rice that will help rice farmers find conservation programs available in their state.  

The reorganized site forges a clearer path for web traffic to its sister site, the consumer-facing ThinkRice.com, making it easier for visitors to find rice recipes, nutrition information, foodservice trends, teaching tools, and facts about U.S.-grown rice.  

The Rice Foundation now has its own designated place within the USA Rice website, highlighted clearly at the top of the homepage, which showcases all the great work it does for the rice industry.  The site-within-a-site shares recent news on the Foundation's activities, as well as information on research projects and easy access to apply for the Leadership Program. 

"It's been a long planning and production process, but now that the new website is up and running, we are excited for everyone in the rice industry and beyond to click through and see what USA Rice is all about," said USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward.
USA Rice daily

Arkansas rice research makes a big leap forward

A new high-tech greenhouse at the Rice Research and Extension Center in Stuttgart, Ark., will get new varieties into growers’ hands faster and also quicken research. Photo courtesy of Ehsan Shakiba. greenhouse provides new avenues of study Description: rice-greenhouse-stuttgart18.jpg
David Bennett | Sep 10, 2018
A new, technologically top-notch greenhouse recently opened at the Rice Research and Extension Center (RREC) in Stuttgart, Ark. The greenhouse was opened in a bid to improve rice research efforts and provide producers with new varieties much faster.
Among those responsible for, and using, the new facility is Dr. Ehsan Shakiba. Since 2015, Shakiba has worked at the center as an assistant professor, rice breeder and geneticist. His specialty is developing hybrid cultivars.
In late August, Shakiba spoke with Delta Farm Press about the possibilities the greenhouse provides for research, the need for new angles of study and how the facility will condense the amount of time needed to provide the rice community with answers to pressing questions. Among his comments:
How will the new greenhouse fold into your work?
“We wanted a multipurpose greenhouse so we can develop and evaluate hybrid parental lines under controlled conditions and produce seeds during the winter. For example, during the winter, we can grow our plants in the greenhouse. Maybe we don’t have much seed to send to a winter nursery, but we can grow what we have here and then gather more seed.
“There are two systems for hybrid rice production: a three-line system and a two-line system. We are working on both systems. Presently, our focus is on developing male sterile lines for the two-line system.
“In hybrid production, in a two-line system, we’re working with a male sterile that is specific to temperature. If the temperature (is at a certain point) — say, 85 degrees — the plant can be sterile. When the temperature is below that threshold, the seed will be fertile.
“It’s usually very difficult to do a seed increase outside because of the environmental changes. But if we’re going to capitalize, especially in the early stages of line development and ensure the plants are fertile, the best place to test plants is the greenhouse.
“Meanwhile, when developing populations, we pick our plants, bring them to the greenhouse, and make a cross. That ensures no outcrossing will happen.”
On the new dynamic with winter nurseries in light of the new greenhouse…
“At the earliest stages of development, F1 or F2, there is usually very little seed available to send to winter nurseries. That seed also requires special care. Therefore, we prefer to germinate what seed we have on the station.
“When we have more seed available, at F3 or F4, we’ll send it to a winter nursery. But at the earliest stages — and it doesn’t matter if you’re working with a hybrid or other type of rice — the best place to do the seed increase and evaluate your lines based on molecular studies is the greenhouse.
“Developing new rice varieties is different than other crops in that yield isn’t the only thing to look for. Quality is very important. Just because a line yields well, it may not have good eating quality and will go nowhere.
“So, we have to make sure the plant has proper quality. To do that, the best thing is to grow the plants in the greenhouse, collect leaf samples from each single plant and take them to our molecular genetic lab. There, we analyze each sample via a set of molecular markers to see if the plant has the genes related to the desirable agronomic traits.
“If the line has those genes, we can go ahead and develop it. If a line doesn’t have a gene associated with ... agronomic traits such as eating quality and disease resistance, it can be eliminated. We only choose the best ones.”
On the physical layout of the greenhouse…
“This greenhouse is very unique for us. When we got the budget to build it, we did our homework. We — me, Dr. Glenn Bathke (RREC project director) and Dr. Nathan McKinney (at the time, interim director at the RREC) — traveled to different states and checked greenhouses. We asked those working there, ‘If you were to build this greenhouse again, what would you change?’ They told us the advantages and disadvantages. We took all that information together and then came up with exactly what would work best for us.
“It’s very important everyone knows the greenhouse is a result of support from the checkoff funds and the Arkansas Rice Promotion Board.
“We can control the heating, the humidity, the CO2, the temperature. We also have sensors attached to a computer and it can control all environments in the greenhouse. It can also be programmed to what we desire for study.
“There are three systems for controlling temperature. If temperatures are very hot, we can use a curtain on the ceiling to control light.
“When the temperature or humidity changes, for example, the greenhouse signals that to the computer. The computer then tells us immediately what is going on and can turn on the cooling system or release water through sprinklers.
“Another thing our system has is a place for flash drives. That way we can collect data for 24 hours on what’s happening in the greenhouse. We can also receive information over our telephones telling us something is wrong and we can come fix it quickly.
“The greenhouse facility also has two walk-in growth chambers. These growth chambers are presently being used for high nighttime temperature project. We can use the large size growth chambers to evaluate number of rice variety at the same time in control conditions.”
Using this new facility, are you expecting to team up with other facilities interested in your research — maybe, say, your high nighttime temperature work?
“Yes. Our research station is already collaborating with others outside the state and also internationally. We’d welcome more of that type of research.”
As mentioned previously, “the breeding programs (are conducting) a high nighttime temperature project. High nighttime temperature stress has become an issue in Arkansas rice production. When the temperature rises during seed developing stage, it affects seed quality by increasing chalk in seeds.
“This is a collaborative study between geneticists, plant breeders, and a plant physiologist at the RREC. Currently, our scientists are evaluating more than 70 rice verities under control conditions in the greenhouse and growth chambers to identify tolerant varieties to this stress. Then, we will identify genes associated with high nighttime temperature stress via advanced molecular techniques. The results can be used for developing new rice lines that tolerant to such stress.
“Work in the high nighttime temperatures is important and this greenhouse provides enough controls so a researcher can gain better data more quickly.”
On more research…
“Right now, our rice breeding program is looking at long-grain, medium-grain and hybrids. We may be working on different projects but feel we’re part of the same team.
“We’re doing molecular studies to identify genes associated with yield. We’re evaluating the threshold of the temperature for the male sterile.
“Most importantly, in the high nighttime study we’re looking at the effects on seed quality. We want to know how best to address the issue.”

Greenhouse gases from rice paddies may be 2x higher than thought

September 10, 2018 by Kerry Sheridan
Description: Farmers prepare a paddy field to cultivate rice in Naypyidaw on July 28, 2018. The way some irrigated rice paddies are managed w
Farmers prepare a paddy field to cultivate rice in Naypyidaw on July 28, 2018. The way some irrigated rice paddies are managed worldwide, with cycles of flooding followed by dry periods, may lead to twice the planet-warming greenhouse gas …more
The way some irrigated rice paddies are managed worldwide, with cycles of flooding followed by dry periods, may lead to twice the planet-warming greenhouse gas pollution as previously thought, researchers said Monday.
Since rice is a major staple for at least half the world's seven billion people, the way it is managed has significant effects on the Earth's warming climate, said the report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed US journal.
For the study, researchers at the non-profit Environmental Defense Fund took a closer look at emissions of nitrous oxide, a long-lasting atmospheric pollutant that is more potent than methane or carbon dioxide.
N2O rises when rice fields are allowed to dry before being wetted again.
This process, called intermittent flooding, happens when water falls below the soil level several times per year.
It is encouraged by some agricultural organizations affiliated with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization as a way of saving water and reducing methane, another major greenhouse gas emitted by rice paddies. It remains unclear how many farmers do it.
"When the soils are frequently wetted and dried, they repeatedly become ideal environments for microbes that produce nitrous oxide," explained lead author Kritee Kritee, senior scientist at the EDF.
"Methane on the other hand is produced by microbes that require soils to be submerged in water," she told AFP in an email.
It is widely assumed that "almost all irrigated farms in the world are continuously flooded and it is a fact that continuously flooded farms do not produce significant amounts of nitrous oxide," she added.
But it is not true that all farms are continuously flooded.
That's why Kritee says the "full climate impact of rice farming has been significantly underestimated."
200 coal plants
Currently, the amount of unaccounted-for N2O global emissions from rice may be as high as the annual climate pollution from about 200 coal power plants, according to the authors.
In India alone, where the study took place across five intermittently flooded rice fields, nitrous oxide emissions "could be 30-45 times higher than reported under continuous flooding," researchers estimated.
Overall, they calculated that nitrous oxide per hectare (2.5 acres) was three times higher than ever reported by research on intermittently flooded farms before.
"When this new information is extrapolated across the world and embedded into estimates of methane emissions, the net climate impact from both methane and nitrous oxide could be two times higher than previous estimates," Kritee said.
Experts say a better way would be for all irrigated rice farmers to shallowly flood their fields, meaning the water level stays within five to seven centimeters of the soil level.
"This flooding regime produces the least amount of methane and nitrous oxide," Kritee said.
As of now, N2O from rice-growing simply isn't being tracked on a broad scale, and is left out of greenhouse gas inventories reported to the United Nations by major rice-producing countries including China and India.
But as water becomes scarcer around the globe, many rice farmers may look to wet and dry cycles as a solution, not knowing the danger they are posing to the planet.
To avoid that, scientists need better tracking and reporting of N2O worldwide, the EDF said.
More information: Kritee Kritee el al., "High nitrous oxide fluxes from rice indicate the need to manage water for both long- and short-term climate impacts," PNAS (2018). www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1809276115

Rice farming up to twice as bad for climate change as previously thought, study reveals

Levels of overlooked greenhouse gas are up to 45 times higher in fields that are only flooded intermittently
·       Josh Gabbatiss Science Correspondent 
·       @josh_gabbatiss 
Rice is a vital crop that provides people with more calories in total than any other food ( STR/AFP/Getty Images )
Rice farming is known to be a major contributor to climate change, but new research suggests it is far bigger a problem than previously thought.
Techniques intended to reduce emissions while also cutting water use may in fact be boosting some greenhouse gases, meaning the impact of rice cultivation may be up to twice as bad as previous estimates suggest.
Scientists at the US-based advocacy group the Environmental Defense Fund suggest the short-term warming impact of these additional gases in the atmosphere could be equivalent to 1,200 coal power plants.
Description: https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2018/05/23/14/rice-farm-nepal.jpg

Considering the importance of rice as a staple food crop, providing more calories to the global population than any other food, the researchers have recommended ways to adapt farming practices and make its cultivation more climate-friendly.
Past estimates have suggested that 2.5 per cent of human-induced climate warming can be attributed to rice farming.
The main culprit is methane, a potent greenhouse gas emitted from flooded rice fields as bacteria in the waterlogged soil produce it in large quantities.
However, there is another gas produced by rice fields that can have a harmful climate effect. Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is also produced by soil microbes in rice fields.
Partly in a bid to reduce methane emissions, several international organisations have promoted intermittent flooding of rice fields, but this practice comes with problems of its own.
“The full climate impact of rice farming has been significantly underestimated because up to this point, nitrous dioxide emissions from intermittently flooded farms have not been included,” said Dr Kritee Kritee from the Environmental Defense Fund, who led the research.
Analysis by the team showed that process of alternately wetting and drying rice fields – while reducing methane levels – is producing up to 45 times more nitrous oxide than constantly flooded fields.
The intermittent flooding and airing of the fields results in pulses of microbial activity that in turn leads to increased nitrous oxide levels.
Description: https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2018/07/04/16/india-farmers-rice.jpg

These results, obtained by working with farms in southern India, were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“Increasing pressure on limited water resources under a changing climate could make additional rice farming regions look to intermittent flooding to address water limitations and concerns about methane emissions,” said Dr Kritee.
“Water management on rice farms needs to be calibrated to balance water use concerns with the climate impacts of both methane and nitrous oxide emissions.”
Despite being a powerful greenhouse gas in its own right that traps even more heat in the atmosphere than methane over long time periods, most rice producing countries do not report their nitrous oxide emissions.
Nicola Sturgeon mocks Donald Trump over climate change ahead of UK visit
Dr Kritee said it was essential that scientists began investigating this overlooked threat so that nations can tackle it effectively.
“We now know nitrous oxide emissions from rice farming can be large and impactful,” said Richie Ahuja, a co-author of this study. 
By considering each farm individually and taking into account their methane, nitrous oxide and water use, the scientists suggest that specific strategies can be used that can minimise emissions of climate harming gases.
“We now also know how to manage the problem. Major rice producing nations in Asia are investing to improve the agriculture sector and could benefit from the suggested dual mitigation strategies that lead to water savings, better yields, and less climate pollution,” said Mr Ahuja.

Warriors win over Ashland

·       Sep 9, 2018
·       RICE LAKE — The Ashland High School boys soccer team struggled in its biggest tests of the season so far Saturday in Rice Lake, where the Oredockers dropped a pair of non-conference matches to the Warriors.
Amery posted a 10-0 shutout against Ashland (1-7-0) in the opening match, while host school Rice Lake defeated the Oredockers 4-0 in the second game later in the day.

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Plastic bags for rice to be exempted from SST: Guan Eng

By Bernama - 
ALOR STAR: Plastic bags used by distributors and traders to pack rice will also be exempted from the Sales and Service Tax (SST), Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.
This, he said, is to ensure that distributors would then be able to reduce the cost of packaging rice, which is among the items exempted from SST.
"There is a request from the distributors and traders not to tax the plastic bags and since rice is exempt from taxes, we will also exclude the plastic bags for rice from being taxed. We hope this will reduce their costs," he said.
Lim was speaking at a press conference after delivering a SST briefing to more than 500 traders and representatives of business associations at a hotel here which was also attended by Customs Department director-general Datuk Seri T. Subromaniam.
Earlier, during the session, there were traders who had raised the plastic bag issue claiming that they would have to spend almost RM1 million to buy the before SST part from the cost for rice.
Lim also said the government would also exempt the management and maintenance services charges from SST equally for homes with strata titles as well those with non-strata titles.
Lim said previously only the former was exempted from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to encourage homeowners to apply for strata titles.
"We have to bear in mind that it is not the owners who do not want to apply (for strata ownership) but it could be problems related to bankers and financing, so the government does not feel it is necessary (to charging SST for management services charges for residential owners without strata titles)," he said.
Commenting on the price of imported vehicles after the implementation of the SST, Lim said the government had given tax exemptions to companies that were re-assembling vehicles in the country if they used local components.
"To encourage them to use local components, the government granted them exemptions to exclude the Industrial Linkage Programme (ILP) costs, so that when the ILP is removed from the price for sales tax purposes, its impact would be lesser than the during the GST and SST 1.0 period.
"That's why the response of the automotive industry is very positive. They respond by reducing the price of their respective vehicles, but that's only for vehicles that have local inputs, and if there are higher local inputs, the costs would be a lot lesser,” he said. -- BERNAMA
Description: https://assets.nst.com.my/images/articles/LGEalor_star_1536505880.jpg
Lim Guan Eng was speaking at a press conference after delivering a SST briefing at Royale Signature Hotel. (NSTP/SHARUL HAFIZ ZAM)

Transferring sorghum’s weed-killing power to rice

ARS scientists are testing rice to determine if they can transfer sorghum's weed-killing properties.

Description: Sorghum Weed-Killing Compound

USDA researchers studying potential to transfer sorghum weed-killing compound into rice.
USDA | Sep 07, 2018
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have transferred a biochemical pathway found in sorghum, which produces a weed-killing compound, into rice plants.
The compound, sorgoleone, secreted by sorghum, helps the plant combat weeds. It works so well that some other crops struggle to grow in fields where sorghum has been raised, causing problems for growers who want to rotate different crops in those fields.
Scientists at ARS’s Natural Product Utilization Research Unit (NPURU) in Oxford, Mississippi, are investigating whether sorghum’s weed-inhibiting properties can be transferred to other crops like rice and used as a bioherbicide. Producing sorgoleone in other crops would potentially give those plants the ability to fight weeds and reduce reliance on synthetic herbicides, says NPURU molecular biologist Scott Baerson.
Prior to this research, nothing was known about the genes that make sorgoleone, Baerson says. After years of research, the NPURU team, which include Baerson and molecular biologist Zhiqiang Pan, recently reached a milestone that allowed them to transfer the sorgoleone compound into rice. The impact of this research, part of which was recently published in New Phytologist, is twofold, according to Pan and Baerson. The rice plants that produce sorgoleone should require less herbicides to control weeds. At a minimum, the natural compound could reduce the amount of synthetic chemicals sprayed onto food crops. Secondly, growers would spend less on buying and applying chemicals—a major part of their overhead cost.
In addition, a crop that produces its own herbicide potentially would be more efficient—increasing profits for farmers and food processors. Ultimately, these savings could be passed on to consumers, Baerson adds.
In earlier studies, the researchers successfully increased sorgoleone to make sorghum more resistant to weeds, which would help growers who do not rotate sorghum with other crops. They also stopped sorghum plants from producing sorgoleone, which would benefit farmers who want to rotate different crops with sorghum.
The next step is to see if rice plants grown in the laboratory will produce sorgoleone as they grow and have the same weed-fighting ability as sorghum.
ARS has five patents on this technology.
Source: Sandra Avant, USDA

Rice Radio

By Kurt Richter

To listen to an audio podcast, mouse over the title and click Play. Open iTunes to download and subscribe to podcasts.


Rice Radio is an inside look at all things related to the California Rice Industry and the Sacramento Valley. Produced and Hosted by California Rice Grower, Kurt Richter, Rice Radio covers the crop, the market, water, water and property rights, conservation, regulations, and much more.


Episode 11: Times are a'Changing
For decades, rice has been a key piece of the Sacramento Valley's identity.  But in the last 20 years, that has changed.  Rice acres have diminished at the hands of other crops.  More specifically, rice fields are being replaced by...
Episode 10: Planting Rice & Summer Weather Forecast
The month of May is perhaps the busiest month the Sacramento Valley sees each year, as all farmers (especially rice) are rushing to plant their crops for the season at hand.  This May was no exception.  Find out in this episode how planting...
Episode 9: Plant '18, and The Future!
Spring has arrived, which means we rice farmers jump into action on our 2018 rice crop.  It's a season where swings in the weather can both help us and hurt us, as we plow forward with ground work, fertilizer, and water.  Also in April, the...
Episode 8: Preparing For Planting, Chinese GMO & The Road To New Storage
It's March in the Sacramento
 Valley, which means farmers
are chomping at the bit to start
working ground.  In this
 episode of Rice Radio,
we check in at the shop as
the countdown to planting
season draws to a close.  
We also debunk a meme...
Episode 7: Sites Reservoir, Snowpack & The Farm Show
The ongoing saga of Sites
Reservoir and Proposition
1 made news this month,
 but not for good reasons.
 In this episode, I sat down
with Jim Watson, General
Manager for Sites Project
Authority, to break down
the hysteria around Sites.
Saving Salmon in the Sacramento Valley
Sacramento River salmon
runs have been on the
 decline for years, with
 almost no glimmers of
hope or upticks in fish
 counts for more than a decade.  
Several years ago, the farmer
 and water agencies who pump
 off the river decided to take
The USA Rice Outlook Conference: Growing Rice, Selling Rice, and Telling That Story.
The USA Rice Federation held
 its annual Outlook
Conference in early December.  
It's a change for people from
all avenues of the industry to
 get the latest on what's going
on with rice in the United States
and globally.  What's happening
Episode 4: The Oroville Dam: Past, Present, and Future
In February of 2017, the
residents of Oroville,
California, along with
other downstream
communities of the Feather
River, had their lives turned
upside down by the threat of
flooding from failed structures
at the Oroville Dam site.  
It was a...
Episode 3: Harvest ’17, Waterfowl & Water Storage Outlook
  Lodged rice, equipment
breakdowns, parts shortages,
crazy geese! In this episode
of Rice Radio, we recap a
 California Rice Harvest
 that has been called one
 of the most difficult of the
last 40 years.  I also talk to
Fish and Wildlife about...
Episode 2: Harvest, Shorebirds, and Roxy
It's autumn in California,
which means rice harvest is
 in full swing. In this episode
of Rice Radio, we check in
at harvest and see how things
are coming along. I'll also
 introduce you to a new
development in California Rice,
 which could change how...
Episode 1: Welcome to Rice Radio!
The premiere episode of the
new podcast, Rice Radio.
 Topics covered include a
 recap of the 2017 rice season,
 including wild weather and
flooding. Also covered,
 army worms, weedy red
rice, and the Chinese market
 finally opening up to U.S.
11 Items 

Customer Reviews

Engaging and informative 
For the thousands of drivers that head up and down the monotonous i5 corridor and want to know more about the sea of rice fields they are passing through, this will inform and entertain you on your journey. For those in the industry, hearing Mr. Richter’s fresh perspectives may give you something new to consider. Whether you are in the industry or not, this podcast will hook you in.

Rice prices jump to new highs in 4th week of August

Cheap rice from the National Food Authority once again fails to bring prices down
Ralf Rivas
Published 8:45 AM, September 10, 2018
Updated 9:45 PM, September 10, 2018
Description: RICE PROBLEM. Individuals queue to buy NFA rice at the Commonwealth Market. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler
RICE PROBLEM. Individuals queue to buy NFA rice at the Commonwealth Market. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – As poor Filipinos struggled to keep up with elevated prices of fish, meat, and vegetables, prices of rice accelerated further to new highs in August.
According to the latest price monitoring report of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the average retail price of regular milled rice rose to P43.86 per kilo during the 4th week of August, while well-milled rice soared to P47.12.
These prices were 15.2% and 11.6% higher compared to prices during the same period last year. (IN CHARTS: This is how bad August 2018 inflation looks like in regions)
The prices were much higher in some regions and provinces.
For instance, regular milled rice in Western Visayas, the Davao Region, Soccsksargen, the Zamboanga Peninsula, Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), and Eastern Visayas were much higher than the national average.
Regular milled rice in the Ilocos Region and Cagayan Valley were below the P40 level.
Well-milled rice in Western Visayas, the Zamboanga Peninsula, the Davao Region, and Soccsksargen were above P50. Both the Ilocos Region and Cagayan Valley had well-milled rice at around P43 per kilo. (READ: Taming rice prices: What lawmakers, experts say)
Rice prices in Basilan continued to be problematic, with regular and well-milled rice priced at a hefty P60 and P58 per kilo, respectively.
Sulu enjoyed the cheapest prices. Regular and well-milled rice there were at P38 and P31, respectively. These levels can even compete with National Food Authority (NFA) rice priced at P27 and P32, respectively.
Long lines for NFA rice
The NFA assured the public that it will continue to distribute cheap rice to ensure that consumers will have alternative sources.
The agency distributes rice through almost 16,000 market accredited retailers and outlets.
From January to August 23, the NFA had already distributed a total of 4,443,082 bags of rice through its accredited retailers, outlets, and other recipients.
However, access to cheap rice remains limited. While the NFA allows up to 5 kilos per individual, some have reported that they were only allowed to purchase less.
Cathy Estavillo of Bantay Bigas said they have received reports that there were people being turned away despite patiently waiting for their turn.
"May bigas pero halatang kulang pa rin kasi iniipit nila. Hindi rin nila binaha ang merkado ng murang bigas kaya hindi naapektuhan ng NFA ang presyuhan ng regular rice,"Estavillo said.
(There's rice but it's obvious that it's not enough because they're limiting purchases. The NFA wasn't able to flood the market with cheap rice, that's why it wasn't able to influence prices.)
The NFA Council has approved additional importation of 250,000 metric tons (MT) of rice to boost current stocks.
"The additional importation can increase NFA's active participation in the market by as much as 20%," the NFA said.
The NFA Council also approved the immediate importation of 133,500 MT of rice by the private sector for distribution to Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi (Zambasulta) to bring down prices. Additional allocation for NFA rice is also expected for consumers to have access to cheaper alternatives.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol previously said he expects prices of the staple to stabilize by November. – Rappler.com

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Organic Rice Syrup Sales | Global Market Analysis till 2023 Including (SuzanneŒÍs Specialties , NatureŒÍs One Wuhu Deli Foods) and more

Description: mm4 hours ago5 views
Global Organic Rice Syrup Sales Market – The Present and Future
An Industry research report on Global Organic Rice Syrup Sales Market 2018 has been recently carried by 99MarketResearch.com. The report is a well-drafted one for those who are eager to understand the existing competitive market status at the global level. This is a key document analyzing the market trends and could be of much use to industries, as well as, clients in the space. The global market scale is changing, and the report covers the regions that matter the most to draft a future plan.
Existing Status
The existing market status is a key factor in the Organic Rice Syrup Sales market. Similar is the case in respect of the previous market research data that covered the period 2013 to 2017. While the base year is taken as 2017 for the research report, historical data also assumed importance for projecting the outlook for the period between 2018 and 2025. There are some key aspects that will form some interesting aspects for those involved in the sector.
For instance, the Organic Rice Syrup Sales market has been categorized into different types like application, region, type, and industries. The research report has covered a major part of geographical regions, as well as, sub-regions throughout the globe. The researchers have taken pains to evaluate the market size, product sales, and opportunities available for growth in those regions. These are vital data since several countries in the emerging markets have initiated steps to reform their economy. That is an opportunity for those engaged in the business to probe into such markets.
More details, inquiry about report and table of content visit our website:
Competitive Analysis
An interesting aspect of the research report is that it focused on the existing competitive analysis of the global Organic Rice Syrup Sales market. Apart from that, it has provided some useful insights to both industries and clients thus helping them to plan strategies. The researchers believe that this would help the stakeholders to not only expand their business but also penetrate into a new market to get their own slice of share.
The researchers think that it is important to have the competitive research analysis so that others could not only understand but also plan to execute their strategies to their strength. In a nutshell, the competitive research analysis is meant to offer a competitive advantage to every player in the global Organic Rice Syrup Sales market. While the report indicated history years as 2013 – 2017 and base year as 2017, it will provide estimation for the year 2018 and outlook for the period 2018 – 25.
Geographical Scope of this report includes :
The West, Southwest, The Middle Atlantic, New England, The South, The Midwest
Major players in the report included are :
SuzanneŒÍs Specialties , NatureŒÍs One , Wuhu Deli Foods , Axiom Foods , California Natural products (CNP) , ABF Ingredients , Cargill Incorporated , Archer Daniels Midland , Wuhu Haoyikuai Food , Gulshan Polyols
Types covered in the Organic Rice Syrup Sales industry are : 
Brown Rice, White Rice
Applications covered in the report are :
Baking, Confectionery, Beverages, Processed Foods, Dairy Products
The global markets are expanding in some regions while it is remaining either stagnant or falling a bit in some other regions. In effect, it is a mixed one though the global market is different.
Still, there are some of the big players and region that are useful for industries and clients to focus in the upcoming years. The emerging or developing economies cannot be taken lightly since they provide enough opportunities. Therefore, the research report will be much useful.
If you want to inquire about what the report covers, click here: www.99marketresearch.com/global-organic-rice-syrup-sales-market-report-2018/10542/
About 99 Market Research:
99marketresearch has been providing in-depth and accurate industry reports from so many years. It is one of the Trusted and Reputed companies in the Market Report Research Industry. We have served more than 100+ Fortune 500 Clients since our launch and servicing more and more daily.
Contact Us:
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2018 Summer Science Research Program

September 10, 2018 – by Reilly Wright ’20
Description: https://www.owu.edu/files/news/thumb_sml_ssrp-2.jpgOhio Wesleyan professor Robert Harmon and student Amanda Jewell ’19 conduct research at OWU’s Perkins Observatory. They are exploring starspots – dark regions of heavy magnetic field – on the surface of the star LO Pegasi. (Photo by James D. DeCamp)

Ohio Wesleyan Students Complete Original Research with Faculty Mentors

From songbird communication to atomic nuclei, this summer was one for the books – and the microscopes, petri dishes, and pipettes – for Ohio Wesleyan students participating in the University’s annual Summer Science Research Program.
Over the course of 10 weeks, 21 OWU students participated in this year’s program, working side by side with faculty mentors from May to July to conduct original research both on and off campus. Seven students from other institutions across the nation traveled to Ohio Wesleyan to participate in the prestigious program as well.
Students will discuss and present their findings during the annual Patricia Belt Conrades Summer Science Research Symposium at noon Sept. 24 in the atrium of Schimmel/Conrades Science Center.
Meet some of this year’s SSRP participants and read about their Summer Science Research Program (SSRP) experiences.

Investigating Neuronal Development

Description: https://www.owu.edu/files/resources/medium_cowles.jpgLandry Cowles ’19
Landry Cowles ’19 of Louisville, Ohio; Benjamin Arnold ’20 of Tiffin, Ohio; and Maddie Meyer ’20 of Marion, Massachusetts, researched “The Role of miRNA-7 in Neuronal Development” with faculty mentor Suren Ambegaokar, assistant professor of neuroscience and microbiology. Ambegaokar’s research involves neurodegenerative disorders, infectious diseases of the nervous system, and the intersection of the two.“It has been eye-opening to see the knowledge from my previous courses come together and actually observe the interplay of chemistry, biology, and neuroscience,” says Cowles, a pre-medicine and molecular neuroscience double major and Spanish minor.
Arnold, a neuroscience and pre-medicine double major and chemistry and psychology double minor, says, “Because the research we are doing is extremely applicable to the medical field, it has led to a lot of thoughtful conversation and reading of scientific articles related to the origin and possible treatment of different brain cancers.”
Description: https://www.owu.edu/files/resources/medium_arnold-4.jpgBenjamin Arnold ’20
Arnold says his research has led him to heavily consider pursuing a Ph.D. through a joint program at a medical school that would allow him to not only practice medicine, but also conduct his own research.Meyer, a neuroscience and biochemistry double major, says a major lesson she learned from Dr. Ambegaokar is the importance of communication.
“This is true within a single lab group,” she says, “but it’s also encouraging to see that researchers all over the nation and world will make time to share information with other researchers who they have never met, and everyone is only one phone call or email away.”
After graduation, Meyer hopes to attend graduate school while both Cowles and Arnold plan to attend medical school.
Why did these three student-scientists choose OWU?
Description: https://www.owu.edu/files/resources/medium_meyer-3.jpgMaddie Meyer ’20
Cowles says, “I chose OWU because I wanted a smaller campus, and it had an established neuroscience department.”Arnold says, “Because of my mother’s career in higher education, I knew I wanted to attend a private, liberal arts school that offered a neuroscience program. Like most other OWU students, upon my initial visit, I fell in love with the Delaware area, academic opportunities, and beautiful campus. The connections I’ve made since – both with peers and faculty members – have made my first two years at Ohio Wesleyan the best of my life so far!”
And Meyer adds, “Professors were very helpful and welcoming when I visited campus – even those outside my majors were happy to help and show me around campus.”

Studying Invasive Species

Description: https://www.owu.edu/files/resources/medium_shumaker-2.jpgAidan Shumaker ’20
Aidan Shumaker ’20 conducted a study on the “Impacts of Invasive Species on Ecological Processes in the Kraus and Bohannan Nature Preserves.” Shumaker, a microbiology major and computer science and data analytics double minor from Loveland, Ohio, conducted his research under the mentorship of Laurie Anderson, professor of botany-microbiology.
“Working with Dr. Anderson has shown me what it is really like to think in a practical sense in field and laboratory work, including all the processes of how to start a project, obtain funding, and planning out how to perform the tasks that will provide answers,” he says.
After graduation, Shumaker hopes either to attend graduate school or work with microbiological interactions for an agricultural or medical company.
Why did he choose OWU?
“I chose OWU because of the Patricia Belt Conrades Summer Science Research Symposium,” Shumaker says. “I was motivated by hearing students talk about their experiences, opportunities, and connections gained from their experiences.”

Exploring Video Game Exposure

Description: https://www.owu.edu/files/resources/medium_rice.jpgMickey Rice ’20
Mickey Rice ’20 of Louisville, Kentucky, and Lexi Lease ’20 of Toledo, Ohio, concentrated research on “The Effects of Video Game Exposure on Cognitive Control.” Rice and Lease, both psychology and neuroscience double majors, worked under the guidance of Kira Bailey, assistant professor of psychology.
“I have taken multiple classes at OWU that have discussed research methods, how research has been impactful in the scientific community, and the significance of a well-executed study,” Rice says. “My experience with SSRP has allowed me to put this knowledge into action, as well as learn all of the intricacies and nuances required to conduct a study with human participants.”
Rice says the process of creating ideas to carrying out an authentic scientific study has sparked her interest in pursuing experimental psychology or clinical neuropsychology in graduate school, an ambition shared by Lease.
Description: https://www.owu.edu/files/resources/medium_lease.jpgLexi Lease ’20
During spring semester, Lease took cognitive neuroscience taught by Bailey. There, she learned the foundations of the biological processes underlying our thoughts and this summer’s research heavily built on concepts gained from the class.
“Experiences like the SSRP matter because they allow students to transition what they have learned in the classroom to actual concrete practice,” Lease says.
Why did these student-researchers choose to attend OWU?
Rice says, “I chose OWU because I loved the layout of the campus and the city of Delaware. I was also very interested in OWU’s neuroscience program and was impressed by the all the faculty members I met. I knew I wanted a close relationship with my professors and advisors, and OWU has provided me with that opportunity countless times.”
And Lease adds, “I was impressed by their neuroscience program. I also wanted an opportunity to be mentored by a professor. I knew that with a smaller school, my chances of getting a mentor would be higher, and SSRP has given me that experience this summer.”

Undertaking a Salty Experiment

Description: https://www.owu.edu/files/resources/medium_porter-2.jpgBecca Porter ’20
Becca Porter ’20, an English and zoology double major from Washington Grove, Maryland, and Katie Vonderembse ’19, an environmental science major and classics minor from Toledo, Ohio, conducted “The Global Salt Experiment.” They explored how freshwater ecological communities interact internally and environmentally under the mentorship of Amy Downing, professor of zoology.
“I’m able to see for myself the ways that human-caused threats, like runoff, can disrupt entire ecosystems and drastically change their composition and viability,” Porter says.
Porter plans a career in marine conservation ecology and says this summer’s experience introduced her to techniques and equipment valuable for her future career.
Vonderembse says, “Dr. Downing has taught us that large experiments, like the one we are undergoing, can be tedious, but also rewarding. Hot or rainy days in the field or long days at the microscope pay off when interesting findings pop up during the process.”
Description: https://www.owu.edu/files/resources/medium_vonderembse-2.jpgKatie Vonderembse ’19
After graduation, Vonderembse plans to pursue an advanced degree in ecology or environmental science, while Porter says she wants to work for a few years before enrolling in graduate school.
Why did these student-scientists select OWU?
Porter says, “OWU fit my needs as a liberal arts institution with small, often discussion-based classes, and lots of opportunity for research and travel.”
And Vonderembse adds, “I wanted to attend a small college that would challenge me academically. I am glad I did choose OWU because I have had so many great opportunities, like SSRP, that I do not think would have been the same at another school.”

Examining Artificial Intelligence

Description: https://www.owu.edu/files/resources/medium_kramskoi.jpgEugene Kramskoi ’19
Eugene Kramskoi ’19, a computer science major from Lewis Center, Ohio, researched “Artificial Intelligence for Modern Board Games” under the mentorship of Sean McCulloch, professor of math and computer science.
“With this project, I’m having to combine a lot of the different knowledge of algorithms and programming I’ve learned into one large independent program,” he says. “This is a great learning opportunity since this kind of holistic project is usually not possible in a normal class setting.”
Kramskoi plans to find a career in software development once he graduates.
Why did he choose OWU?
“The main reason I chose Ohio Wesleyan is for the small classes and the chance to get to know my professors,” Kramskoi says. “My relationship with my professors is actually what led me to this research in the first place.”

Studying Health and House Wrens

Description: https://www.owu.edu/files/resources/medium_angelo.jpgCailynne Angelo ’20
Cailynne Angelo ’20, a pre-professional zoology and sociology/anthropology double major with a chemistry minor, studied the “Stress Response and Immune Function in Female House Wrens.” Joe Brush ’20, a pre-professional zoology major, concentrated on the “Social Modulation of Testosterone and Corticosterone in Two Species of North American Wren.” Both students worked under the guidance of Dustin Reichard, assistant professor of zoology.
Angelo, from Monaca, Pennsylvania, says the skills she has gained, including laboratory techniques and procedure, are helping her to prepare for the future.
“[This experience] has given me the opportunity to enjoy what I am doing in order to pursue my goals,” she says. “It has reminded me that, while end goals are important, so is stopping to take in more of the experiences that are meant to prepare you for it.”
Description: https://www.owu.edu/files/resources/medium_brush.jpgJoe Brush ’20
Brush, from Lawrenceburg, Indiana, says, “I want to work with different types of animals in the future, so getting to handle birds every day this summer and learning more about them is going to be a huge asset moving forward. This experience is invaluable in that I have gained insight into the ways in which we go about understanding phenomena in the natural world, a process I definitely took for granted while learning out of a textbook.”
After graduation, Angelo hopes to study healthcare in graduate school, while Brush plans to focus on mixed animal medicine in veterinary school.
Why did these future healers choose OWU?
Angelo says, “I chose Ohio Wesleyan because of the opportunities it provided for world travel and valuable experiences through study abroad, travel-learning courses, and grant programs.”
Brush concludes, “I chose Ohio Wesleyan because it had everything I wanted in a school: a strong zoology program and a great soccer team. The small class sizes make being successful in academics possible for anyone, and the opportunities to get involved on campus are extensive.”
Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s Summer Science Research Program at www.owu.edu/ssrp.


India study: greenhouse gases from rice paddies may be two times higher than thought

Amount of unaccounted-for N2O global emissions from rice may be as high as the annual climate pollution from about 200 coal power plants
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 September, 2018, 8:44am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 September, 2018, 8:44am
Description: https://cdn1.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/styles/980x551/public/images/methode/2018/09/11/502aef3e-b558-11e8-89ab-e29b0678280a_1280x720_084444.JPG?itok=YDTNf8qZ
Since rice is a major staple for at least half the world’s seven billion people, the way it is managed has significant effects on the Earth’s warming climate, said a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed US journal.
For the study, researchers at the non-profit Environmental Defence Fund (EDF) took a closer look at emissions of nitrous oxide, a long-lasting atmospheric pollutant that is more potent than methane or carbon dioxide.
Description: https://cdn4.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/images/methode/2018/09/11/3a848a0a-b558-11e8-89ab-e29b0678280a_1320x770_084444.JPG
N2O rises when rice fields are allowed to dry before being wetted again.
This process, called intermittent flooding, happens when water falls below the soil level several times per year.
It is encouraged by some agricultural organisations affiliated with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation as a way of saving water and reducing methane, another major greenhouse gas emitted by rice paddies. It remains unclear how many farmers do it.
“When the soils are frequently wetted and dried, they repeatedly become ideal environments for microbes that produce nitrous oxide,” said lead author Kritee Kritee, senior scientist at the EDF, on Monday.
 “Methane on the other hand is produced by microbes that require soils to be submerged in water.”
It is widely assumed that “almost all irrigated farms in the world are continuously flooded and it is a fact that continuously flooded farms do not produce significant amounts of nitrous oxide,” she added.
But it is not true that all farms are continuously flooded.
That is why Kritee says the “full climate impact of rice farming has been significantly underestimated”.
Currently, the amount of unaccounted-for N2O global emissions from rice may be as high as the annual climate pollution from about 200 coal power plants, according to the authors.
Description: https://cdn2.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/images/methode/2018/09/11/039530b2-b558-11e8-89ab-e29b0678280a_1320x770_084444.jpg
In India alone, where the study took place across five intermittently flooded rice fields, nitrous oxide emissions “could be 30-45 times higher than reported under continuous flooding”, researchers estimated.
Overall, they calculated that nitrous oxide per hectare (2.5 acres) was three times higher than ever reported by research on intermittently flooded farms before.
“When this new information is extrapolated across the world and embedded into estimates of methane emissions, the net climate impact from both methane and nitrous oxide could be two times higher than previous estimates,” Kritee said.
Experts say a better way would be for all irrigated rice farmers to shallowly flood their fields, meaning the water level stays within 5cm to 7cm of the soil level.
“This flooding regime produces the least amount of methane and nitrous oxide,” Kritee said.
As of now, N2O from rice-growing is not being tracked on a broad scale, and is left out of greenhouse gas inventories reported to the United Nations by major rice-producing countries including China and India.
But as water becomes scarcer around the globe, many rice farmers may look to wet and dry cycles as a solution, not knowing the danger they are posing to the planet.
To avoid that, scientists need better tracking and reporting of N2O worldwide, the EDF said.


Civil Supplies Dept completes sapling planting target in one day!

Hyderabad, Sept.10 (NSS): The Civil Supplies Department has taken Haritha Haram program prestigiously and completed the target set by the government in one day only. It supplied one sapling with each cylinder delivered at household in some parts.
The State government communicated District wise and Department wise tree planting targets for implementation target to Civil Supplies Department 1,29,600 plants. The Department took the project prestigiously and took measures in that direction.
It has given responsibilities to Department and Corporation officials in the district levels and also involved the stake holders — Consumer Forum, LPG Dealers, Ration Dealers, Petrol Bunks and Rice Millers in the program.
On Monday, Commissioner for Civil Supplies Akun Sabharwal planted a sapling at Hyderabad MLS point. The District officials planted saplings at various Civil Supplies godowns, Petrol Bunks, LPG godowns, Rice mills and so on.



Agriculture Sec. Piñol: 'Rice prices to stabilize by November 2018'
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol made this forecast during deliberations on the Department of Agriculture (DA)’s proposed P55.9-billion budget for 2019 by the Senate finance sub-committee, chaired by Sen. Cynthia Villar.

Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - September 11, 2018 - 12:00am Description: http://media.philstar.com/images/articles/gen6-emmanuel-pinol-geremypintolo_2018-09-10_22-11-14.jpg
MANILA, Philippines — Rice prices are expected to stabilize in November when the harvest season starts, although prices will not likely go below P40 per kilo, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said yesterday.
Piñol made this forecast during deliberations on the Department of Agriculture (DA)’s proposed P55.9-billion budget for 2019 by the Senate finance sub-committee, chaired by Sen. Cynthia Villar.
Prior to the price surge, commercial rice was sold at P35 to P40 per kilo while National Food Authority (NFA) rice was at P27 per kilo.
The agriculture chief said the new price level was because traders are now buying from farmers “fresh” palay at P22 to P25, and P29 per kilo for “dry” palay.
“If it’s any comfort, the price change has led to expansion of more rice areas,” he said, adding that farmers are already starting their harvest this month and which is expected to end by October.
Villar and Sens. Joseph Victor Ejercito and Juan Miguel Zubiri supported Piñol’s push to revive his proposal to give beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) rice instead of cash to buy food to help them cope with the rising inflation while helping farmers increase their income. 
There are about 4.4 million families benefiting from the 4Ps who were allocated P89 billion for this year under the budget of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Piñol said 4Ps beneficiaries – or the poorest segment of the population – are given additional cash subsidies supposedly to allow them to buy rice. However, he claimed that there is no guarantee the beneficiaries were using the cash grants to buy rice, adding that over P35 billion would be infused to the farming sector if the subsidy was converted to grain.
He told the senators the program was ready for implementation with the involvement of farmers’ cooperatives but the DSWD opposed it, saying it was difficult to implement.
Sen. Francis Escudero questioned why the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) slashed the DA’s proposed budget by P49 billion when the country was experiencing what can be argued as a food crisis. Piñol said he was warned by economic managers not to lobby before senators to increase the budget.
Meanwhile, House appropriations committee chairman and Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles yesterday called on the NFA leadership to start procuring palay from farmers this early.
“The NFA has not had a good track record in procuring rice from local farmers, but if there is a time for them to step up and intensify their rice procurement operations, this is it,” he suggested. 
The NFA Council, according to him, should also increase the buying price of palay from the current P17 to at least P22 if it wants to compete with local rice traders. 
Nograles said that with rice buffer stocks down to three days as reported by the NFA and imported rice not expected to arrive in the country until November, “the onus is on the NFA to find and purchase additional rice stocks as soon as possible.” The three days is far lower than the minimum 15-day buffer stock the NFA is required to maintain.
“The NFA has to try to secure as much rice locally because one, if they do not buy the palay stocks, these might be adversely affected by the coming super typhoon. Two, if the country continues to get hit by strong typhoons, the NFA will need a healthy buffer stock to allow it to distribute rice for government relief operations in the provinces that will be affected,” he added.
In Bulacan, the Department of Trade and Industry, NFA and private rice traders are expected to launch several outlets that will sell rice at only P38 per kilo in several depressed areas in the province.
Roderico Sulit, vice president of the Golden City Business Park Association and spokesman for the Bulacan Rice Millers Association, informed Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez that the plan was hatched after the association members coordinated with rice importers and NFA on the possibility of selling imported rice at cheap prices. – With Delon Porcalla, Ramon Lazaro

Read more at https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/09/11/1850462/agriculture-sec-piol-rice-prices-stabilize-november-2018#SkBhkDJJQ9IMMakY.99

Full-time Customs exec eyed to handle rice import permits

Description: https://businessmirror.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/top03-090418-696x466.jpgA man arranges sacks of NFA rice at the agency’s warehouse in Quezon City in this file photo.
Malacañang is looking to designate a full-time Customs person who will focus on authorizing the issuance of import permits for rice. This, after August inflation soared to a nine-year high and the delayed delivery of rice imports to the warehouses of the National Food Authority (NFA) was delayed partly for causing the supply pinch.
Presidential Spokesman Harry L. Roque Jr. said on the designation of the Bureau of Customs point person is being owing to the delays in rice importation in terms of logistics and the actual signing of relevant documents like import permits from the BOC.
Sometimes, he said in Filipino, “importation gets delayed because…the one who authorizes the issuance of permits is with the chairman of Customs, so rice import permits pile up or some import permits are not being signed. That’s why imported rice cannot be unloaded.”
Bad weather has delayed rice imports’ delivery to the NFA’s warehouses and it has also hindered the agency from immediately distributing cheaper rice to local markets.
“We know the problem. We have the problem in logistics. We have a problem sometimes on the time gap when it comes to signing the relevant documents at Customs. All of those are being addressed by the government,” Roque said.
Earlier, the economic managers agreed to recommend to the President the issuance of a directive to further simplify and streamline the licensing procedures for rice imports of the NFA.
Roque also said in a radio interview over the weekend that the President has made some decisions on the NFA, but he refused to give details yet on what such decisions are.
Asked if it is related to sacking NFA Administrator Jason Aquino, Roque said, “I’d rather that the President make that declaration if he has made up his mind on it.”
The President is also set to speak to the nation through a press conference later at 3 p.m. on Tuesday at Malacañang.
As of press time, there were no details yet on what prompted this sudden call for a press conference or what the President will be announcing.
After the press conference, the President will also be attending the Cabinet meeting, where the government preparations for the upcoming super typhoon, expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Wednesday night, might be discussed.
Roque also urged the public to start preparing for the upcoming typhoon and gave assurances that the Department of Social Welfare and Development is ready to provide humanitarian assistance.



Import delays, hoarding may have caused rice woes, says DA chief

Sep 11 2018 10:42 AM
Description: https://sa.kapamilya.com/absnews/abscbnnews/media/2018/news/09/11/20180911_rice_1.jpgWorkers unload sacks of rice at a warehouse in Manila on August 07, 2018. George Calvelo, ABS CBN News
MANILA -- Delayed imports and hoarding by some traders might have caused the spike in rice prices, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said Tuesday.
Imports are expected to account for 7 percent of requirements of the staple grain, with local production accounting for 93 percent, Piñol told DZMM.
"Na-delay ang importation, ngayon pa lang ibinibaba. In fact, may nagrereklamo nang importers na mukhang mabagal ang pag-release ng Bureau of Customs," he said.
(Imports were delayed, some are just arriving. In fact, some importers are complaining about the slow release by the Bureau of Customs.)
Asked where the record palay harvest of 19.28 million metric tons in 2017 went, Piñol said hoarding was possible.
"The only explanation there is somebody getting it. In the eyes of the government, that's hoarding," he said.
Piñol said the lack of NFA rice supply earlier this year and discussions on the effects of tax reform could have triggered speculation in the rice market.
The Agriculture chief told senators on Monday that he expected rice prices to stabilize in November as imports arrive, adding there was no shortage of the staple.


Senate to pass rice tariffication bill in September

Description: https://businessmirror.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/top01-021018-696x454.jpgIn this May 7, 2014, file photo, workers unload bags of rice imported from Vietnam at North Harbor in Manila.
THE head of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food vowed that the upper chamber will pass the rice tariffication bill within the month after the Economic Development Cluster’s (EDC) recommended fast-tracking the measure as one of the nonmonetary
inflation busters.
The rice tariffication bill, which would convert the country’s quantitative restriction (QR) on rice into tariffs, is seen by the EDC as crucial in arresting the accelerating inflation and rising prices of the staple. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) last week reported a 6.4-percent inflation in August, beating all estimates. All rice varieties also posted double-digit price increases during the month.
“Yes. We will try hard,” Sen. Cynthia A. Villar, committee chairman, told reporters, when asked if senators can pass the bill within the month. She spoke to journalists after the budget hearing of the Department of Agriculture (DA) on Monday.
Villar said her committee has already released its report on the rice tariffication bill, and the measure is already on the Senate floor.
The House of Representatives passed last month on third reading its version of the rice
tariffication bill.
NFA powers
However, Villar did not say whether her version of the rice tariffication bill includes a provision that would remove the regulatory powers of the National Food Authority (NFA) in relation to imports, particularly its licensing role.
“The things that I will only defend on the floor are the rice tariffication and the rice competitiveness enhancement fund,” she said.
Villar said she would seek a clarification with the Department of Finance (DOF) regarding the removal of the licensing power of the NFA in relation to the tariffication of rice imports.
“From my understanding, when I talked to the DOF, once we pass the rice tariffication [bill], then our rice importation will be liberalized,” she said.
“The NFA will [no longer have the] power to determine importation. That’s why I was shocked when they [DA officials] said that it is [not the case],” she added.
During the DA’s budget hearing, Agriculture Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Segfredo R. Serrano said the tariffication of rice imports is not tantamount to full liberalization. Despite the conversion of the QR into tariffs, Serrano said the current import regime, where imports are monitored by the NFA, could stay.
“Our commitment after the expiry of our waiver is to tariffy rice. Meaning to say, [we just have to] put a tariff value,” Serrano said. “You put a tariff but the import regime can stay as it is. [We can still have the control] until we touch the mandate of the NFA, which has the import licensing function,” Serrano added.
Full liberalization of the rice sector would entail scrapping the minimum access volume, import licensing power and all administrative measures that control the entry of the staple, according to Serrano.
“The whole point, madam chair, is that when you say tariffy, it doesn’t mean you fully liberalize the sector,” he said.
Nonetheless, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said he will continue to push for the retention of the NFA’s licensing power on rice imports in a post-QR regime.



Description: http://thenationonlineng.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/rice.jpegNew twist

Posted By: The Nation On: September 11, 2018 In: Uncategorized

Nigeria’s rice sector economics gets trickier by the day
Rice production and consumption in Nigeria have long become a conundrum that must be of grave concern to both the government and Nigerians. The reason is that Nigerians’ love for and consumption of imported long grain rice has assumed the status of a troubling phenomenon. But even more troubling is that Nigeria’s attempt at producing the major staple locally has continued to be stumped.
The seeming addiction of Nigerians to imported rice, which makes smuggling of the commodity through the land borders a very profitable venture, is yet one reason local production suffers. Another is the lack of capacity and / or collusion of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in the lucrative smuggling trade. Lastly, the inability of government to muster the will to build a sustainable rice sector has made the rice crisis seemingly intractable.
Solving what has become Nigeria’s rice albatross would therefore require an especial ingenuity and dedicated effort to span at least a decade. And it must be said that the effort would be well worth it.
In the last seven years or so, the Federal Government has been making spirited efforts, including spending billions of naira to grow enough rice for local consumption. During the Goodluck Jonathan administration, a 2015 deadline was proclaimed for achieving self-sufficiency in local rice production. The period marked a renaissance of sort as paddy fields were expanded and for the first time, modern rice mills were installed in some parts of the country.
At the end of 2015, neither the target was achieved nor was serious dent made to Nigeria’s rice import bill. The Muhammadu Buhari administration intensified efforts at rice production with more mills, more loans to local farmers and increased sensitisation of the populace. Both the private sector and even state governments have shown more interest in the last three years more than ever before.
However, contrary to government’s claims, results remain shockingly dismal. While it is claimed that Nigeria saved about $800 million (N288 billion) from rice imports, there are indications that the country may have actually lost close to N1 trillion (over $2billion) in the last one year. Chief AuduOgbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, caused a stir early in the year when he asserted that the Thai ambassador to Nigeria had lamented to him that increased production of local rice had caused warehouses to shut down in Thailand, one of the chief exporting countries to Nigeria.
However, a global trade portal, Index Mundi, has released figures stridently repudiating government’s numbers. The outfit noted that while Nigeria imported 2.6 million tons of rice in 2017, as at 2nd quarter of 2018, Nigeria had reportedly imported 3.0 million tons. It suggests that domestic consumption may have risen sharply to nearly 7.0 million tons from 6.4 million tons in 2015 while local production may have stagnated since 2015.
What this boils down to is that Nigerians’ crave for imported rice far out-strips supply. Measures like high tariff and strictures in foreign exchange availability for rice imports have not tamed demand for it; not even the ban on imports through the land borders.
Ironically, more foreign rice is imported and smuggled through the neighbouring countries of Benin Republic and Cameroun than come in officially through Nigeria’s sea ports. It becomes double jeopardy as huge revenues are lost to these countries which now find rice business as their economic mainstay.
We urge government to review its rice policy once again. First, it must think long term, during which to achieve sufficiency and second, it must initiate bilateral engagements to secure the buy-in of her neighbours. The NCS must raise its game; there is so much more the service can do to cage the monster of smuggling. Then there is need for a massive, well planned and sustained attitudinal change campaign to get Nigerians to see the good in their local rice. Finally, a private-sector driven and sustained large scale rice production process must be put in place.
Providing home-grown rice for a population inching towards 200 million will conserve ample forex and give the Nigerian economy a big boost.


Vietnam to grow rice shipments; PH among main markets

By Asia News Network, Inquirer.net|September 09,2018 - 11:37 PM
Description: http://cebudailynews.inquirer.net/files/2018/06/n0605tungro-300x200.jpg
Jade Mesias, Asturias’ municipal agriculturist, checks on the tungro-affected rice crop in Barangay Lunas in Asturias during a field inspection on Sunday.
HCM CITY — Vietnam’s rice exports are expected to rise in the remaining months of the year thanks to increasing demand in many markets, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Higher demand has been forecast in China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Iraq, and Southern African countries, it said.
The Philippines, for instance, plans to import 500,000 to 800,000 tonnes to supplement its depleting stocks and stabilize prices.
A new decree, which takes effect in October, is expected to remove difficulties and legal barriers faced by rice businesses in expanding exports.Rice exporters said they are likely to see positive signs from October but also challenges.Lam Anh Tuan, director of the Ben Tre Province-based Thinh Phat Foodstuffs Co Ltd, said if the Philippines and Indonesia buy in the near future they would buy through bids or negotiations at low prices.Prices of certain varieties of Vietnamese rice are higher than their rivals, he said.


600 rice containers from Pakistan held up at Kenyan port

Updated September 08, 2018
LAHORE: At least 600 containers of Pakistani rice are stuck up at Kenyan ports as the customs authorities there have subjected the consignment to 100 per cent scrutiny and verification against the norms.
Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (Reap) Chairman Sameeullah Chaudhry says the Kenya Bureau of Standards and Customs started full verification and sampling of rice containers reaching Mombasa port, Kenya, for inspecting phytosanitary standards and physical characteristics (broken, damaged) since one month.
The step is being taken despite appropriate certificate of conformity at the loading port by the agencies recommended by KEBS including SGS, Intertek and Bureau Veritas etc, he says, adding the detention of containers is causing heavy demurrages and thus landing cost of the rice is increasing with each passing day.
He says that there is only one lab in Kenyan capital Nairobi to conduct the heavy metal tests whereas the cargo is stuck up at Mombasa port and thus the testing process is taking extraordinary time.
Mr Chaudhry demands that the foreign office should take up the issue with their Kenyan counterparts for Pakistan High Commission as commercial consular’s requests are not being entertained by Nairobi. Kenya is one of the largest markets for Pakistani rice as it imports at least 475,000 tonnes or 12pc of the total rice exports of Pakistan.
Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2018



Nigeria: Tough Time Awaits Nigerians, As Price of Rice Soars

Photo: P.TumwebazeBy Gbenga Akinfenwa
Description: https://cdn08.allafrica.com/download/pic/main/main/csiid/00330140:f22dab4716caa1e5b22aefbfd9c55cf7:arc614x376:w285:us1.pngNigerians would need to brace up for another round of hardship, with the soaring price of rice, considered as a staple food for households in the country.Based on feelers from industry analysts, The Guardian reliably gathered that the price might escalate in few weeks to come and may last till December or beyond if urgent provisions are not made to address the challenges.
Currently, a 50kg of parboiled rice initially sold between N12, 000 and N12, 500 has risen to between N13, 000 and N14, 500, depending on the area, in the last two weeks.
This has not only resulted in panic buying and hoarding, it has also added to stress of already distraught Nigerians, as the price is gradually taking the commodity beyond their reach.
Attesting to this development was the release of several bags of the Lake Rice, penultimate week by the Lagos State government to designated retail outlets; high end markets, super markets, open markets and stores in large quantities across the state, to cushion the effect of the price hike.
According to the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Oluwatoyin Suarau, through a statement: "The attention of the state government has been drawn to the skyrocketing price of other rice brands in the market and as such it behooves government to ensure all year round availability of Lake rice to residents at affordable prices."
Shaming the much-hyped success of the Federal Government in achieving a 90 per cent reduction in the importation of rice, The Guardian learnt that importation of rice has not been reduced by 90 per cent because 80 per cent of food consumed locally is still imported, as smugglers have become warlords under the direct nose of government officials.
Based on the Federal Government's claim, the current yield per hectare of rice has increased from 2.5million tons in 2005; 3.5 tons in 2010 to 5.5 tons in 2018.
Contrary to government's claims, the country's import bills keep increasing by the day, thereby reducing the foreign reserves.
The country is ranked the largest producer of rice in West Africa, at the same time she is ranked second largest importer of rice in the world as at 2017, incurring an average import bill of N1b daily on rice import.
According to the import data from a global trade portal, Index Mundi, the country imported 5.6 million tonnes of rice between 2017 and now, at the global price of $410, which amounts to $2.29m.
This is contrary to claims by the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) that Nigeria had saved $800 million from importation of rice.
Experts in the rice industry have attributed this to several factors: low productivity, which triggers scarcity in the market; ban on rice importation; unavailability of local rice as alternatives; and scarcity of paddy rice.
The Managing Director/CEO of Bama Farms, Prince Wale Oyekoya, told The Guardian that he is not surprised by the sudden sharp price rise, said the development was expected because of government's insincerity about the state of the country's economy.
"Our economy is struggling with low production of food, especially the carbonate section of Agric produce that the government is heavily promoting, such as rice and cassava.
The production is so low and it triggers scarcity in the market, and price increase. Banning of rice importation is another factor that shoots up the price because smugglers are having a field day with Nigeria Custom Service.
"The economics of scale is effective here where the product is very scarce and demand is high thereby forcing the price to go up.
The price will continue to increase, especially with Christmas approaching. We will continue to have price increase on staple foods until the central government can have people-oriented policy and not selfish policies that increase the amount of their bank accounts."
Chairman, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Kebbi State Chapter, Muhammed Augie, who told The Guardian that scarcity of paddy rice has hit the market, said inability of rice processors to get paddy, is the major cause of the price increase.
"This is a lean period where supply from the market is declining, due to the fact that harvest season is still far away, prompting current price hike."
The local rice that should have served, as alternatives are currently not much in circulation as expected, and the few ones in the market are expensive, more than the imported rice.
For instance, a 50kg bag of local rice in Kebbi State was N15, 000, compared to the imported type that was around N12, 500.
For those buying retail, a measure that was N300 is currently N350.
In the Southwest, a measure of Ofada rice, which contains about 12 Dericas, is currently N4, 000, as against N3, 100 price of the imported type.
The same goes for local rice from Asaba, Ebonyi and the likes, originally to crash the market.
Adekoya, who was Chairman, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)'s agriculture sector, berated government for lack of capacity.
"Production will improve if the government introduces policy that will favour the masses and not the elites or cabals.
The government has no business doing agriculture business, but instead it should provide enabling and conducive environment for farmers to do business.
"Our government is the problem of our economic woes where they want to be in charge of everything and in the process get confused and misappropriate our funds.
Importation has not been reduced by 90 per cent because 80 per cent of food we consume in the country are still been imported, where smugglers have become warlords under the direct nose of government officials.
"The only solution to avert more food crises is for the three tiers of government to do more in rolling out conducive environment for farmers to strive and survive thereby increasing production of our farm produces and provide adequate storage facilities, provide very low interest rate soft loans with adequate moratorium to pay and to use farmers asset debentures, instead of draconian demand of collateral from farmers to access loans," he said.


India summer crop sowing edges up; rice area expands 2.3 percent

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Indian farmers have planted summer-sown crops on 104.17 million hectares as of Sept. 7, up 0.2 percent from a year earlier, government data showed.Cotton sowing was down 2.4 percent, while rice planting rose 2.3 percent.Monsoon rainfall was 7 percent lower than normal as of Sept. 7, but in some states such as Manipur the rainfall deficit was as high as 53 percent, data compiled by the state-run India Meteorological Department (IMD) showed.
India’s monsoon rains, a crucial element for the country’s farm output, are likely to be below average in 2018, after the country experienced lighter than usual rainfall during the first half of the season.The following figures are provisional and are in million hectares. Some numbers have been rounded, and the table does not include all crops.
Crops 2018/19 2017/18
Rice 38.193 37.336
Pulses 13.441 13.745
Pigeon peas 4.520 4.511
Cereals 17.431 18.164
Corn 7.861 7.870
Oilseeds 17.395 16.920
Soybean 11.192 10.526
Sugar cane 5.194 4.986
Cotton 11.810 12.098
Total 104.165 103.957
Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; editing by David Evans


Hot right now: Our top trending food and beverage stories on social media

By Gary Scattergood
11-Sep-2018 - Last updated on 11-Sep-2018 at 09:13 GMT
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Check out what is gining traction online. ©GettyImages
In the first of our monthly reviews of the top five stories finding favour on social media, we highlight the latest developments at Nestle, DuPont and around palm oil and e-commerce.

1 - Nestlé Philippines responds to Greenpeace waste criticisms following Manila's 'plastic waves'

Our most popular story on social media covers Nestlé Philippines’ response​ to criticisms from Greenpeace over packaging waste, with the firm issuing reassurances that steps are in place to ‘reduce its environmental footprint’.
Tropical Storm Yagi (local name: Karding) hit Manila earlier this month, and its aftermath saw enormous waves of plastic waste crashing into the shores.
This comes just months after Manila made international headlines for its ‘trash bin’ waterway, Estero de Magdalena, being covered in plastic bags, bottles and food containers.
“At Nestlé Philippines, we are committed to play our part. We continuously find ways to reduce our environmental footprint,”​ said Nestle Philippines in an official response to queries from FoodNavigator-Asia​.

2 - ‘Fabricated hysteria’: Food firms making dubious ‘no palm oil’ claims under fire as GAR highlights sustainability gains

In second place is our spotlight on palm oil giant GAR​, which claims sustainability practices in Indonesia are slowly reaping rewards, while arguing that manufacturers which make unjustified ‘no palm oil’ label claims are merely cashing in on ‘fabricated hysteria’.
Palm trees were responsible for 270k hectares of annual tropical forest loss, while cattle-rearing and soy farming was responsible for 2.7 million hectares and 480k hectares of forest loss, according to Supply Change Report 2017​.
 “There is increasing evidence that the efforts being made by the palm oil companies, particularly in Indonesia, is slowing rates of deforestation,”​ Anita Neville, Vice President of Corporate Communications and Sustainability Relations from Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) commented on palm oil sustainability efforts in an interview with FoodNavigator-Asia.​ 

3 - Beating the market rate: DuPont seeks to accelerate sales growth in Japan with new innovation centre

Next we have news that DuPont aims to drive sales growth​ that is four to five times higher than the market rate for its Japan’s health and nutrition business.
In an interview with FoodNavigator-Asia and NutraIngredients-Asia, Kobus De Klerk, global innovation leader (sales application food ingredients) of DuPont Nutrition & Health and Dr Li YongJing, regional president (APAC) of DuPont Nutrition & Health, revealed DuPont’s aspiration for its newly opened innovation centre in Japan.   
Located in the Kanagawa Prefecture, Tokyo, it is hoped that the 700m2​ innovation centre will boost sales growth by providing an array of customised food and nutrition solutions.

4 - Philippine rice crisis escalates as shortages push prices to a three-year high

In fourth spot is the rocketing price of rice in the Philippines​, which has increased for the eighth month straight and hit a three-year peak, despite the injection of rice imports.
Rice costs continued on an upward trend despite imported supplies arriving in June. Philippines’ National Food Authority (NFA) has admitted the lack of effect the imports have had on the predicted lowering of prices, especially in Manila, the nation’s capital city.
“As of now, no effect. There are areas that have minimal reduction but here in Metro Manila, where we do not have rice production, there is none,”​ it said in a statement.

5 - Newly-launched UAE organic food e-commerce site seeks to become region’s biggest

Our final story concerns UAE-based Organic&Real.com (O&R), which is aiming to become the biggest online marketplace​ for certified organic and natural, vegan, gluten-free and free-from healthy food products.
Founder and CEO Manu Mahdi said the e-commerce site already carried almost 2,000 products, and will be crossing 3,000 in a month’s time.
“Our target is to reach more than 15,000 products by the end of the year, which would be one of the largest stores carrying exclusively organic range of products,” ​Manu told FoodNavigator-Asia​.


Barley up on scattered demand

New Delhi, Sep 10 () Barring a marginal rise in barley prices on mild demand, other grains held steady at the wholesale grains market on Monday. Traders said scattered enquiries from consuming industries led to rise in barley prices.
PTI | Sep 10, 2018, 14:42 IST
New Delhi, Sep 10 () Barring a marginal rise in barley prices on mild demand, other grains held steady at the wholesale grains market on Monday.
Traders said scattered enquiries from consuming industries led to rise in barley prices.
Meanwhile, activity in the market remained restricted as enquiries from neighbouring states remained negligible due to 'Bharat Bandh' call given by the Congress and several other parties against rising fuel prices.
In the national capital, barley traded higher by Rs 10 to Rs 1,570-1,580 per quintal.
Following are today's quotations (in Rs per quintal):
Wheat MP (desi) Rs 2,320-2,420, Wheat dara (for mills) Rs 2,000-2,005, Atta Chakki(delivery) Rs 2,010-2,015, Atta Rajdhani (10 kg) Rs 250-280, Shakti Bhog (10 kg) Rs 275-310, Roller flour mill Rs 1,070-1,090 (50 kg), Maida Rs 1,170-1,180 (50 kg) and Sooji Rs 1,220-1,230 (50 kg).
Basmati rice (Lal Quila) Rs 10,700, Shri Lal Mahal Rs 11,300, Super Basmati rice Rs 9,900, Basmati common new Rs 7,900-8,000, Rice Pusa (1121) Rs 6,850-6,950, Permal raw Rs 2,425-2,450, Permal wand Rs 2,525-2,575, Sela Rs 3,050-3,150 and rice IR-8 Rs 2,025-2,075.
Bajra Rs 1,350-1,355, Jowar yellow Rs 1,650-1,700, white Rs 2,850-2,900, Maize Rs 1,360-1,365, Barley Rs 1,570-1,580. SUN KPS SHW ADI ADI


PDS rice, wheat worth Rs 8.2 lakh misappropriated: police

TNN | Sep 10, 2018, 04:48 IST
Mangaluru: City police have confirmed the misappropriation of food under the public distribution system by private firms. On receiving information of commodities under PDS being transported to a private godown in Manjalpade near Bondel under Kavoor police station limits, the police had on Friday raided a godown and seized 290 quintals rice and 9 quintals wheat. These items were supposed to be supplied to a ration shop and three hostels meant for minorities. The total value of the edible commodities is estimated at Rs 8.2 lakh. A lorry, a mini lorry and a pick-up truck, of a total value of Rs 9 lakh, were also seized. In addition, the police also seized an electronic weighing machine costing Rs 4,000 and a machine to stitch gunny bags. A driver of one of the vehicles, Mobeerul Islam Rajabarabhuya, 21, was detained.

Viet­nam to grow rice ship­ments; PH among main markets

HCM CITY — Viet­nam’s rice ex­ports are ex­pected to rise in the re­main­ing months of the year thanks to in­creas­ing de­mand in many markets, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment.HCM CITY — Viet­nam’s rice ex­ports are ex­pected to rise in the re­main­ing months of the year thanks to in­creas­ing de­mand in many markets, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment.
Higher de­mand has been fore­cast in China, the Philip­pines, In­done­sia, Iraq, and South­ern African coun­tries, it said.
The Philip­pines, for in­stance, plans to im­port 500,000 to 800,000 tonnes to sup­ple­ment its de­plet­ing stocks and sta­bi­lize prices.
The Philip­pines, for in­stance, plans to im­port 500,000 to 800,000 tonnes to sup­ple­ment its de­plet­ing stocks and sta­bi­lize prices.
A new de­cree, which takes ef­fect in Oc­to­ber, is ex­pected to re­move dif­fi­cul­ties and le­gal bar­ri­ers faced by rice busi­nesses in ex­pand­ing ex­ports.
Rice ex­porters said they are likely to see pos­i­tive signs from Oc­to­ber but also chal­lenges.
Rice ex­porters said they are likely to see pos­i­tive signs from Oc­to­ber but also chal­lenges.
Lam Anh Tuan, di­rec­tor of the Ben Tre Prov­ince-based Thinh Phat Food­stuffs Co Ltd, said if the Philip­pines and In­done­sia buy in the near fu­ture they would buy through bids or ne­go­ti­a­tions at l ow prices.Prices of cer­tain va­ri­eties of Viet­namese rice are higher than their ri­vals, he said.


Measures to curb inflation underway: Lambino

MANILA – An official of the Department of Finance (DOF) allayed fears surrounding the country’s elevated inflation rate, citing recently approved measures aimed at addressing supply constraints.
DOF Assistant Secretary Tony Lambino, during the launch of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) program “The Presser” at the PIA Auditorium Monday, said the eight-point measure approved by the Economic Development Cluster (EDC) last week should address lack of rice supply, among others.
This, amid the further acceleration of food inflation due to supply issues created by weather disturbances.
Headline inflation rose to 6.4 percent last August from month-ago’s 5.7 percent, bringing the average to date to 4.8 percent. Average inflation in the first eight months this year is already way beyond the government’s two to four percent target band until 2020.
The eight-point measures include replicating the issuance of certificates being issued by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to allow importation of fish to be distributed in wet markets in Metro Manila and other parts of the country, and immediate distribution of 4.6 million sacks of rice that are available in warehouses of the National Food Authority (NFA) to markets nationwide.
Members of the EDC expect the delivery by the end of this month of about two million sacks of rice that have been contracted earlier.
The supply is expected to be boosted further after the NFA Council authorized the importation of five million sacks of rice for delivery in the next one-and-a-half-months and another five million sacks in early 2019.
Since rice shortage is high in the areas of Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, the EDC agreed that 2.7 million sacks will be allocated in these areas.
Lambino said average price of rice, a staple food in the Philippines, in these four areas in Mindanao rose to about PHP42.85 per kilo last August from below PHP40 in the past.
“So over the short-term, the National Food Authority is helping address high rice prices by sending more stock to affected provinces and importing more rice,” he said.
Lambino said the NFA is sending around 4,000 bags of rice to Zamboanga alone on a daily basis thus, covering some 80 percent of the province’s rice requirement.
He said economic managers have also called on Senators to approve the proposed rice tariffication bill to liberalize rice importation.
To date, rice importation is covered by a quantitative restriction (QR), which allows importers to purchase rice from overseas based on their license.
With the proposed tariffication, Lambino said NFA would be mandated to ensure adequate emergency buffer as well as proper logistics “to make sure that this buffer stocks gets to where it’s needed.”
He said the proposed measure is beneficial to local farmers since it will help increase their production or allow them to shift to higher value crops.
“Under a tariff regime, the tariff will be collected from anyone who wants to import rice and that money will be used to support our farmers,” he said.
Other recommended measures
Aside from measures aimed at increasing rice supply, the EDC also agreed to recommend to President Rodrigo R. Duterte the issuance of a directive that will further simplify and streamline the licensing procedures for importation of rice.
Other measures include: the formation of monitoring teams to be composed of representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), NFA, Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI); farmer groups to closely watch the transport of rice from ports to NFA warehouses and retail outlets; reduction of gap between farm gate prices and retail prices of chicken; the opening by the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) of sugar importation to direct users to moderate costs for consumers; and for the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to prioritize the release of essential food items in the ports.
Lambino said the rate of price increases should decelerate once the eight approved measures have been implemented.“The point is this – implementing the solutions is the priority of the Duterte administration’s economic development cluster. They are based on an understanding of the problem based on data from PSA, not speculations,” he added. (Joann Villanueva/PNA)