Saturday, November 10, 2018

10th November,2018 daily global regional local rice e-newsletter

USA Rice will be closed November 12, in observance of Veterans Day.
USA Rice Daily will resume publication on Tuesday, November 13, 2018.
                                                                       November 9, 2018

            Dr. Stephen Ostroff
Rice Matters at FDA Discussion
By Lydia Holmes

JACKSON, MS -- Last week the Mississippi Farm Bureau hosted Dr. Stephen Ostroff, deputy commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for an agricultural roundtable to discuss a range of recent FDA regulations including implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), added sugars labeling, cell-based meat, and Standards of Identity for packaged foods. Kirk Satterfield, a rice farmer from Benoit and a member of both the USA Rice Farmers and Rice Council Boards, represented the rice industry on the "rice pretenders" issue. 

Rice pretenders is a term the industry uses to describe food products that are marketed as rice, but contain no rice at all.  They are typically vegetable crumbles made to loosely resemble rice but their marketing is misleading and confusing to consumers. 

Because rice does not have a Standard of Identity under the FDA, there are currently no regulatory avenues to defend 'rice' from being used on non-rice products, such as cauliflower, that are using the word rice in their name.

"A consumer should be able to pick up a bag of "rice" and know they're getting a grain," said Satterfield.  "That shouldn't be something consumers have to guess or check the label to know for sure."

USA Rice has registered formal complaints with several major supermarket chains via letters requesting accountability and transparency.

"We believe there is room in shopping carts for all of us, and while we recognize you have an obligation to sell products your customers want, and consumers should be allowed to purchase the food they desire - even rice pretender products - we want to ensure these choices are not made in error," the letter says.

USA Rice continues to ask FDA to create a Standard of Identity for rice to mitigate consumer confusion and potentially misleading marketing and advertising claims.

Despite stigma, GMOs can solve food and nutrition issues

By Anna Curtis
On November 9, 2018
Whenever a change is on the horizon, human nature tends to fear it. When faced with “Frankenfoods,” better known as GM or GE crops in our supermarkets, consumers run the other way. But are these products all that scary?  
The World Health Organization defines a GMO as, “foods that are derived from organisms whose genetic material has been modified in a way that does not occur naturally, e.g. through the introduction of a gene from a different organism.”  
Several resources cite that an number of scientists believe these products are safe for human consumption and allow for improved yields to meet food demands as the world population continues to increase, which is a view that the WHO endorses.  
However, only around a third of consumers share this belief. The consumer’s fear of the unknown has companies scrambling to test their products to prove that their products are safe.  
In Asia, a GE crop called golden rice has been quite successful because of ever-increasing mandates for research and the demand for food worldwide. 
 Through research, it is found that golden rice is a product approximately thirty years in the making. This product contains a beta-carotene the source of vitamin A. 
In this highly populated region of the world, many people don’t get the vitamins and nutrients that they need on a daily basis.  
According to the International Rice Research Institute, (IRRI) a single bowl of golden rice can provide 30-50% of a child’s daily vitamin A requirement. However because of fierce criticism from activists, it hasn’t been readily available on the market despite its benefits. 
Golden rice isn’t the only GE crop to face scrutiny. Seed giant Monsanto has faced the backlash from activists against Roundup Ready Soybeans and other GMO products. 
These soybeans are resistant to the herbicide Roundup, allowing farmers to apply it directly to their fields. 
Description: a result, these soybeans can produce higher yields. For a world population that is continuously increasing, higher yields are critical for feeding everyone.  
 Monsanto’s soybeans have been on the market since the late 1990s. Like other GE crops, they are nutritionally no different than traditional crops. 
Millions have consumed GE products and have had no adverse side effects. Researching new technologies is essential but, in the meantime, the consumer’s fear of the unknown is preventing people that would benefit most from these technologies from receiving them.

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Govt optimistic on rice prices but experts not sure of sustainability

Economy November 09, 2018 01:00
Description: Sonthirat

THE COMMERCE MINISTER is upbeat that rice prices are on the up trend, citing the large number of foreigners placing orders, but exporters and economists are cautious about its sustainability. 

“The price of fragrant Thai Hom Mali rice has risen fast between Bt16,000 and Bt17,000 per tonne of paddy rice. We expect total rice exports to reach 11 million tonnes this year,” Sonthirat Sonthijirawong said yesterday.
His comments came after a meeting with 160 rice importers from 28 countries. He expected rice importers to place orders worth about Bt1.5 billion this year and Bt30 billion next year. The Commerce Ministry has invited rice importers to meet Thailand’s counterparts, as the ministry tries to push exports. Key markets include China, Hong Kong, Canada, United States, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asean countries.
As of September, total rice exports increased to 8.12 million tonnes worth US$4.1 billion (Bt135 billion), up 14.13 per cent from the same period last year. Large markets this year include Benin, the US, Indonesia, China and the Philippines. Hom Mali rice accounted for 45 per cent of rice exports, white rice 25 per cent and processed rice 3 per cent. 

Wet season rice production down in Laos due to flood

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-09 14:23:02|Editor: Liangyu
VIENTIANE, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Wet season rice production in Laos is expected to be reduced by about 300,000 tons after widespread flooding this year that affected many parts of the country.
The Lao government, especially the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, has encouraged farmers around the country to produce 3.5 million tons of rainy season rice, but authorities expected the harvest to achieve about 3.2 million tons, local daily Vientiane Times on Friday quoted the ministry officials as saying.
A total of 101,000 hectares of wet season rice were impacted by flooding, about 12 percent of the total planted area of 817,800 hectares. Some 66,000 hectares of the rice crop was estimated to have been destroyed by this year's deluge in Laos.
Consequently, to ensure food security and commercial sustainability, the Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry ordered that technical teams be assigned to joint local agricultural authorities to rehabilitate production capacity after the flooding.
Under close cooperation across various sectors, the ministry will encourage farmers to plant 100,000 hectares of rice and 185,000 hectares of other crops in this coming dry season.
The irrigation sector will guarantee to supply water for this dry season, covering about 89,150 hectares of rice and 65,000 hectares of other crops, General Director of the Irrigation Department Maykong Phonephommavong told local media recently.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is planning technical training for farmers during the dry season in a bid to boost yields and the overall harvest.

Ghana spends $1.1 billion on rice importation – Deputy Trade Minister reveals

play videoRobert Ahomka Lindsay, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka Lindsay has disclosed that Ghana imported rice worth $1.1 billion in 2017. Description: Landsey 9

According to him, rice importation “takes 82% of all imports into the country”.

Mr. Lindsay said, the leading product imported into Ghana every year from Vietnam is rice, which is by far the largest contributor to the import quota.

The Deputy Minister indicated, “We spent $1.1 billion last year on rice importation to Ghana”.

He strongly believe it is about time Ghana added value to its raw materials for exports in order to gain more from the resources of the country.

“This government’s focus and direction is on industrial transformation thus transforming our economy, the same transformation Vietnam went through some years ago led by its SME,” he said.

He said, Vietnam has managed to move from being a huge importer of rice to the largest or the second largest exporter of rice in the world making its economy the “Asian tiger” and that is what Ghana seeks to achieve.

“We can partner with Vietnam and by the same or similar model, Ghana’s economy will also become the African tiger” he noted.

The minister stressed the importance of exporting refined products to the Ghanaian economy saying, “In 2017 Ghana recorded a trade surplus of US$52.3 million with a total exports value of US$320.6 million, this is according to the Vietnam customs”.

He said, with the right support and determination the Ghanaian economy can be transformed.

The Deputy Minister was speaking at the Ghana-Vietnam trade and investment promotion forum held in Accra.

Can rice actually kill birds? staff writer

Today’s Video of the Day from the American Chemical Society disproves the theory that rice can kill birds.
In fact, the researchers found no evidence whatsoever that rice could harm birds. Even instant rice – although it was not a popular choice when offered to birds – did not have any negative influence on the animals.
The results of the study suggest that there is no reason to ban rice from being thrown at weddings.
By Chrissy Staff Writer
Video Credit: American Chemical Society

Rice Prices

as on : 09-11-2018 12:41:30 PM

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

DOJ indicts suspected rice smuggler Bangayan, 5 others

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News
Posted at Nov 09 2018 07:05 PM

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Davidson Bangayan, the alleged "rice smuggling king" also known as David Tan, is interviewed by the media after showing up at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) headquarters in Manila in 2014. ABS-CBN News/File
MANILA - The Department of Justice (DOJ) has found probable cause to charge suspected rice smuggler Davidson Bangayan and 5 others of conspiring to rig the bidding of rice imports to increase the market price of rice in 2014. 
The DOJ said Bangayan will also be charged for the unauthorized use of the alias “David Tan.”
In a 14-page resolution dated Nov. 5 and released to the media only on Friday, Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Miguel Gudio Jr. affirmed the findings of the DOJ panel of prosecutors who found that Bangayan acted as financer of some cooperatives who took part in the bidding of rice imports.
Bangayan was found to have worked with one Elizabeth Faustino, who facilitated the documentary and financial requirements of cooperatives Riverview MPC, Umasaka MPC, Sitio Muzon MPC, Sta. Cecilia MPC, Formosa MPC, and GPI San Miguel MPC.
Meanwhile, in a separate transaction, one Eleanor Rodriguez was found to have acted as broker and facilitator of import requirements, Leah Echeveria as co-signatory of bank accounts opened for rice importations, and spouses David and Judilyne Lim as financers of cooperatives Kapatirang Takusa MPC, Ugnayang Magbubukid ng San Isidro Inc, Samahan ng Kapampangan at Katagalugan MPC and Samahan ng Magsasaka sa Kalawitan MPC.
The Office of the Prosecutor General found that the cooperatives were merely used as dummies in the bidding in order to manipulate the price of rice in the market, in violation of Article 186, paragraph 3 of the Revised Penal Code.
“The financial and technical support provided by the respondents to these farmers’ cooperatives, to the extent of undertaking all the processing of the governmental requirements and paying all the necessary expenses, as well as the fact that the cooperatives were required to assign their respective importations only to the respondents, clearly indicate respondents’ intention to use these entities as dummies with the end in view of monopolizing and manipulating the rice supply in the country,” the resolution said.
The criminal offense carries with it a penalty of up to 12 years in prison and/or a fine of up to P6,000.
The complaints against 9 other respondents for the same offense were dismissed because the National Bureau of Investigation failed to allege specific wrongful acts.
Meanwhile, the Prosecutor General also found probable cause to charge Bangayan of unauthorized use of the name “David Tan,” in violation of Commonwealth Act No. 142.
It cited the affidavits of 2 witnesses and a copy of a document in a civil case where Bangayan was impleaded as defendant and did not deny that he was known as “David Tan.”
In the same breath, it dismissed the complaint for fictitious use of name because the use of “David Tan” was in conjunction with the use of his real name and it was not shown that he used the alias to mislead the public of his true identity.
The unauthorized use of alias is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and a fine of up to P10,000.
In the same resolution, the Prosecutor General absolved Bangayan and the other respondents of violating the Procurement Act because rice bidding through farmers' cooperatives is not considered a form of government procurement.
Bangayan was the subject of a Senate inquiry in 2014 over an alleged rice cartel which manipulated the supply, and in turn, the price of rice in the market.
The NBI submitted to the DOJ a copy of the Senate committee report.
During the Senate probe, no less than then Davao City Mayor and now President Rodrigo Duterte testified that David Bangayan and David Tan were one person and the “go-to-guy” for rice smuggling.
“If this guy would go to Davao and start to unload [smuggled rice] and I catch him, I will gladly kill him,” he said during the inquiry.

European customers would suffer from proposed EU rice duties



Description: European customers would suffer from proposed EU rice dutiesCredit: Niran Phonruang
The Italian government has asked the European Commission to employ the safeguard clause on rice imports from Cambodia and Myanmar in order to “protect Italian rice growers”.
However, Luca Bertoletti, European Affairs Manager of the Consumer Choice Centre, criticised the request and said that it’s time the European Union stopped pushing forward protectionism.
“The reasoning behind trade barriers is to protect a specific industry – in this case Italian rice growers – from competition,” he said.
“What’s usually overlooked though is that whilst taking the producer side, protectionist policies end up causing a great harm to consumers who get stripped of the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of free trade.
“The Italian government is simply asking to limit the affordability of rice.”
He added: “The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is the third largest trading partner of the EU. In 2017, co-operation with the ASEAN resulted in the output of more than € 227,3 billion in goods.
“As part of this economic engagement, the European Union has  been actively trading with both Myanmar and Cambodia and therefore using the agricultural imports, in particular rice, to feed up the EU market.
“Before employing another protectionist measure, the European Commission should ask itself whether it wants to ensure European consumers are able to enjoy a great supply of rice and consequently a favourable pricing or whether it is the unwillingness of one group to compete which matters more.”

500,000 jobs created through Anchor Borrowers Programme
– CBN ON NOVEMBER 7, 20189:19 PMIN BUSINESS, NEWS5 COMMENTS By Babajide Komolafe & Elizabeth Adegbesan The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said that its Anchor Borrowers Programme has added two million metric tons to rice supply in the country while also creating 500,000 jobs. Meanwhile the apex bank has dismissed reports that the country imports up to 400,000 metric tons of rice, stressing that figures obtained from the two leading rice exporting countries to Nigeria show otherwise. According to the Director of Corporate Communication Department, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, “The volume of rice importation into Nigeria (in metric tonnes) has declined drastically in 2018, judging by figures obtained from various official sources. Indeed, figures obtained from India and Thailand, which are dominant rice exporters to Nigeria indicate that as at September, the latter had so far exported about 5,161 metric tonnes of rice to Nigeria, while the former sold only a paltry 426 tonnes as at July 2018. Okoroafor attributed the reduction in rice importation to concerted effort of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the interventions of CBN. He also confirmed that the apex bank had not allocated any foreign exchange for the importation of rice this year. He averred that the figures being bandied in certain quarters were based on unrealistic assumptions such as satellite mapping of farms, expected demand by politicians for election campaigns as well as expected losses from flooding, all of which led to unauthentic conclusions that the country had imported or could import 400,000 more metric tonnes. He further noted that the combined figure of 5, 587 tonnes of rice imports from India and Thailand may have been rice imported on not-valid-for-forex basis. The Half year 2018 economic report of the apex bank showed that the country has made significant progress in its quest to achieve self sufficiency in rice production. According to the report, the Anchor Borrowers Programme, which was introduced in 2015, has added 2 million metric tons to rice supply across the country. The ABP was introduced to curb the nation’s food import bill, by boosting domestic production of food crops especially rice and wheat which formed part of four items that consumed a N1 trillion in foreign exchange. According to the half year 2018 report of the CBN,  the apex bank has so far disbursed N91.90 billion, to  412,037 small-holder farmers since the inception of the programme. The report stated: “The implementation of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme continued in the review period with the disbursement of N36.37 billion to 155,732 farmers, compared with N12.57 billion to 27 farmers in the first half of 2017. This brought the cumulative disbursements, since inception, to N91.90 billion, with 412,037 small-holder farmers as beneficiaries.
Description: Anchor Borrowers Programme The Programme was being implemented in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory through thirteen (13) state government anchors and one hundred and twenty-seven (127) private-led anchors. “In the review period, the sum of N1.57 billion was repaid, bringing the cumulative repayment since inception to N12.19 billion. The commodities being financed under the Scheme included: rice, maize, wheat, soya beans, cotton, cassava, groundnut, fish and poultry. The Scheme has created over 500,000 jobs and added 2.0 million metric tons to domestic rice supply.

House seeks stronger measures vs inflation
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - November 8, 2018 - 12:00am
Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, who is Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s economic adviser, reiterated the House leaders’ proposal for President Duterte to reduce or remove tariff on food imports
Description:, Philippines — Leaders of the House of Representatives called yesterday for stronger counter-inflation measures with the rate of increase in the cost of goods and services remaining at 6.7 percent in October, the same level as the previous month.
Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, who is Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s economic adviser, reiterated the House leaders’ proposal for President Duterte to reduce or remove tariff on food imports.
Another resident economist in the larger chamber of Congress, Rep. Michael Romero of 1-Pacman, urged the government to create a “national strategic rice reserve” that could be tapped whenever rice prices go up.
Salceda said the window for the President to reduce tariff on food imports through an executive order “closes on Nov. 12 when Congress returns to session.”
“Aside from reducing costs, lower tariffs also induce lower prices as markets for food products become more contestable,” he said.
He said the National Food Authority (NFA) should expedite the importation, delivery and distribution of 800,000 metric tons of rice.
He noted that increased rice and fish prices were the major drivers of the 6.7-percent inflation in October, “suggesting that government measures have yet to make a dent and take traction.”
Salceda pointed out that rice prices “continued to accelerate from 10.4 percent in September to 10.7 percent in October as importation remain logistically constrained,” while fish prices further rose by 13.8 percent from 13.4 percent despite imports.
He also called on regulatory agencies to postpone or defer implementation of “regulated price hikes” like those on fuel, water and transportation.
In proposing the creation of a national strategic rice reserve, Romero said the rice market “is often beset with wild price swings.”
“We must be ready for those swings. We must have a strategic rice reserve that will be continually maintained, drawn from and replenished to make sure the stocks are always new. This strategic rice reserve is what will shield Filipinos from fluctuations of rice prices,” he said.
He said this could be a new role for the NFA when rice importation is liberalized with the replacement of volume restrictions with tariff on rice imports.
Romero explained that a buffer, such as what NFA is trying to maintain, is often insufficient to influence prices, while reserves are intended to flood the market to force prices down.
Another House member, Leyte’s Henry Ong, expressed support for his colleagues’ call for more vigorous measures to fight inflation.
“With the October inflation rate staying at 6.7 percent, the same level as in September, there very clearly is a great and urgent need for much stronger anti-inflation measures,” he said.
He urged President Duterte to heed the clamor for the scrapping of fuel taxes.

Palace discretion

Finance Assistant Secretary Antonio Lambino Jr. said it’s Malacañang’s discretion to push through or not with the suspension of additional fuel excise tax by next January.
“The economic managers submitted their recommendation to suspend the next tranche of the increase in excise scheduled for January 2019. That recommendation stands,” he said at a press briefing in Malacañang.
“It is an official document that we need to receive from the Office of the President in order to implement that recommendation,” he said.
Lambino was referring to the DOF recommendation made when the price per barrel for Dubai crude and MOPS was above $80. The economic team also took into consideration the futures markets that showed prices at $80 and above for November and December.
“If we look at the increase in diesel from December 2017 to October 2018, we can see a P15 per liter increase,” he said, and that this means P2 should be added to the excise tax for January next year.
Amid rising food prices, the country’s agriculture sector meanwhile failed to maintain its upward streak, contracting nearly one percent in the third quarter.
After six quarters of growth, the latest report from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that the local farm sector declined 0.83 percent in the July to September period, a reversal from the 2.32 percent growth in the same period last year.
For the nine-month period, the agriculture sector only grew 0.15 percent compared with the expansion of 4.64 percent in the first nine months of last year.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) already said it sees no significant increase in the third quarter in view of recent consecutive typhoons that devastated Central Luzon.
“Climate change is now the biggest challenge to agriculture, especially the crops sector. The DA, in coordination with local government units and other  agencies, will have to review the planting calendar while fisheries will have to focus more on aquaculture and mariculture,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said in a statement.
University of Asia and Pacific professor and agriculture economist Rolando Dy said the sector’s performance for the whole year would just be flat.
“The third quarter is already expected. I was even projecting a decline of one to two percent. The likelihood of negative growth for 2018 is given,” Dy told The STAR.
Meanwhile, the agricultural sector, at current prices, grossed P409 billion, up seven percent from P383 billion recorded in 2017.
Total value for the first nine months reached P1.29 trillion, seven percent higher than the P1.21 trillion in the comparative period. – Christina Mendez

Indian Food and Agro Buyer Seller meet to be held in Jeddah to explore business opportunities

Indian Food and Agro Buyer Seller meet to be held in Jeddah to explore business opportunities
New Delhi, Nov 9 (KNN) Indian exporters of four key commodities of rice, tea, spices and dry fruits will be meeting the major importers in Saudi Arabia during a Food and Agro Buyer-Seller Meet (BSM), which will help the commodities to have great prospects for furthering Indian exports to Saudi Arabia.
It is organized by Consulate General of India in Jeddah in association with Jeddah Chamber and Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI).
The BSM will be an ideal platform for Indian participants to explore the business opportunities for trade, acquaint with new consumer trends and initiate marketing tie-ups and joint ventures.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been a major food and beverages (F&B) market for India.
Saudi Arabia is India’s one of the most important trade partners and is a major FDI partner of India after the UAE in Gulf region.
India’s export to Saudi Arabia was worth USD 5 billion in 2017.
India is seeking to reduce the trade deficit by enhancing exports in areas where Saudi Arabia is importing from the world.
Basmati rice export continuously dominates India’s rice export basket.
India accounts for around 72% of the total Basmati rice produced and it offers India not just the leading producer tag but also very high product visibility in the world market.
Indian tea is among the finest in the world owing to strong geographical indicators, heavy investments in tea processing units, continuous innovation, augmented product mix and strategic market expansion.
India is the 2nd largest producer and 4th largest exporter of tea in the world with a 23% share in global production and a 7.5% share in world tea exports.
India exports tea to more than 60 countries globally with Iran, Russia, UK, USA and the Gulf countries being major markets.
Indian spices too are much in demand in the GCC countries, given their exquisite aroma, texture and taste. Saudi Arabia primarily imports pepper, chilli, turmeric, ginger and cardamom from India.
The major products exported by India to Saudi Arabia were rice, chemicals, refined petroleum oil and motor vehicles and its parts. India’s import from Saudi Arabia was worth USD 21 billion in 2017, amounting to a huge trade deficit of USD16 billion.
The major products imported by India from Saudi Arabia were petroleum products.
India exported F&B products worth USD 4.6 billion in 2017.
During 2017, India’s total exports in F&B products stood at USD 33 billion while the exports to Saudi Arabia in this sector during the same period stood at only USD 1.43 billion.
BSM will be inaugurated by Md. Noor Rahman Sheikh, Consul General of India in Jeddah and Hassan Ibraheem Dahlan, Secretary General of Jeddah Chamber on November 11, 2018.

Emefiele Berates Banks For Not Stimulating Economy



The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has said the apex bank is unhappy with deposit money banks in the country as they would rather invest in Treasury Bills than perform their basic role which is to stimulate the economy.
Emefiele also said reports that Nigeria’s rice importation rose by 400,000 metric tonnes is false and fake news.
Speaking at the Nigeria Investment Conference hosted by the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Society Nigeria, the CBN governor disclosed that the role of banks is to stimulate the economy to act as catalysts to growth and development of the country.
Rather, he said they invest in Treasury Bills where they can have quick and high returns. Emefiele who was talking on the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) noted that banks are expected to partner with the CBN in achieving the goal of stimulating the economy.
“That is part of the problem we have with banks, yes you have a responsibility to work for your shareholders which is to maximise profit and what you do is to take deposits and put it in treasury bills because we feel the yield is good. We are not happy with you about that.”
Meanwhile, he affirmed that the ABP targeted at creating credit lines for small holder farmers and specific crops such as rice and cassava, has been yielding results, he queried figures of rice importation which was reported recently.
The United States Department of Agriculture World Markets and Trade Report had said Nigeria’s rice importation rose by 400,000 metric tonnes to three million in 2018. A figure the CBN governor said is false.
“I was reading a report where the United States said the volume of imports of rice increased by 400,000 tonnes. I am not a politician but people should be very mindful when they open their mouths to say what is untrue because we would come out at central bank to attack it particularly if you use data incorrectly. I seize the opportunity to say that it is untrue.
“The data that we have today shows that rice imported illegally into the country is less than 25,000 tonnes in 2018 so far. Then how come an agency that has not been to Nigeria or even been to the farms to see what we are doing would just come up and say that Nigeria has imported 400,000 tonnes above what it normally should import. Go to the data of countries that export rice, you would see their data; you would find the quantity of rice imported by Nigeria. This is false and fake news.
“I can tell you that we have empowered 800,000 farmers directly, we are not looking at the fall out. We have disbursed over N400billion to these communities and that is why it is painful when people come over and begin to say it hasn’t worked and that we are importing rice. It is very discouraging and that is why I say if you cannot join us, just keep quiet.”

School Children Enjoy Locally Produced Rice

Description: Bhutto serves some of the students at Ylamba Public School in Sacleapea.
The World Food Program (WFP) and the Government of Liberia (GoL), along with other partners, continue to demonstrate commitment by providing nutritious and locally produced rice to school children. This is evidenced by some 20,000 students in 62 public schools in Nimba County, who are currently enjoying the daily rice produced by local farmers.
The rice is being purchased by WFP as part of plans to directly support smallholder farmers, in order to boost production, improve school children’s nutrition and education status as well as develop social and productive safety nets.
Recently, a high-powered WFP-Liberia team headed by its deputy country director, Asif Bhutto, visited two schools in Nimba County where WFP and partners are also implementing the school feeding program.
Bhutto, who spoke to students and school administrators, said that WFP is pleased to support the school meals program with food commodities bought from local farmers as a way of supporting them to produce more food instead of buying the food from overseas.
He said the organization’s activities throughout the country are in line with the government’s development plan as articulated in the Pro-Poor Agenda.
Under its Home-Grown School Feeding Program, the WFP, in collaboration with the ministries of Education and Agriculture, buy rice, cassava, eddoes, potatoes, vegetables, and palm oil from smallholder farmers in the country and then supply these to selected schools.
Description: produced rice and beans and Bunadin, Nimba County, ready for sale to WFP for school meals.
The Home-Grown School Meals Program – known for its integrated agriculture, nutrition, education and social safety net approaches – is a WFP and Government of Liberia’s innovative and multifaceted development effort, which benefits both the food security and education sectors through the production of nutritious food commodities for use in school feeding.
School administrators are lauding the effort as “extremely wonderful and good for improving education.”  Principal Joseph S. Adjei of Liberia National Red Cross High School in Saclepea could not hold back his admiration for the home-grown school meals program. “We have changed from vegetable oil to palm oil and to country rice and eddoes – you name it – and the students love it,” he said.
Mr. Adjei outlined the immediate benefits of the new meals program in his school. “Right now we have 560 students. When we started in September, it was less than that but when the feeding started in October, the news spread and more students came,” he said.
WFP-supported Community Grain Reserves (CGR) in Nimba County are also supporting the school meals program by selling local rice and beans to WFP. CGR are owned and managed by rural women farmer groups that WFP trained and provided with initial amounts of milled rice for use as loan to other farmers and community residents during the peak of the hunger season.
Sampson Toko, secretary-general of the Gleyeekwa-doo (the residents of Gelyee are one) farmers group in Bunadin, said their CGR was milling at least 300 bags of 25kg rice for sale to WFP. “We are providing WFP school feeding people with rice, beans and red oil that we ourselves produced. We are going to produce more, because there is market to buy from us. One year from now we will increase our paddy rice production field from six to eight hectares.”
Up to 2017, WFP, in collaboration with authorities of the Ministry of Education, provided daily school meals to over 120,000 students in 577 rural public primary schools in nine counties.
Additionally, over 4,000 school-going girls received monthly rations of rice and oil under the WFP Girls take-home rations, which is aimed at boosting girls’ enrollment, attendance and retention. The support was provided in areas where girl child enrollment was noticeably low as compared to boys.
In late 2017, WFP experienced huge financial constraints that forced the organization to suspend school meals program in early 2018. The resumption of school meals program in October 2018 was made possible through a multilateral donor support.

NFA-Bicol orders public markets, retailers to lower rice prices

LEGAZPI CITY — The National Food Authority (NFA) regional office here has lowered the price of its rice sold in public markets and accredited retailers.
Henry Tristeza, NFA regional director, in an interview on Tuesday, said the move was in compliance with Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol’s directive to lower the price of NFA rice in all public markets from PHP32 to PHP27 per kilo.
“The decision to lower down the prices of NFA rice is to cushion the effect of the high inflation rate in Bicol and the increasing prices of prime commodities in the country,”Tristeza said.
“Tulong ito ng gobyerno sa lahat ng mamamayan lalo na ang mga nasa poverty line ng bansa (It’s the government’s way to help the people, especially those who belong to the poverty line),” he added.
According to Tristeza, their accredited retailers who bought rice at higher price from NFA warehouses region-wide will not be affected by the decision because most of them are almost running out of stocks and they are about to buy another round of stocks.
Tristeza also warned retailers not to take advantage of the lower price of NFA rice by labeling their stocks as commercial rice.
“We have a ‘One strike policy’ and whoever violates would be meted out penalties and fine,” he said.
The official also said that on Friday, NFA-Bicol will implement the SRP, or suggested retail price, on all commercial rice in the region.
They will require all the commercial rice traders to put SRPs beginning Friday.
“We are just waiting on the guidelines regarding the SRP program from our central office in Manila, we will convene the inter-agency to discuss about the implementation,” Tristeza said.
Meanwhile, the regional director said that based from their latest monitoring, prices of commercial rice sold in public markets are now PHP2 to PHP3 lower per kilogram.
The NFA expects traders and retailers to gradually lower prices of commercial rice as more NFA rice imports are expected the flood the markets soon. At the same time, the agency continues to buy palay from farmers.
Tristeza said they have been given the go-signal to procure palay from farmers at a higher price.
They are buying palay from farmers at PHP20.70 per kilo or an additional of PHP3 per kilo as buffer stock incentive and additional of 30 centavos per 30 kilometers as delivery incentive from the origin to NFA warehouse. (Jorge Hallare/PNA)

Mwea farmers want govt to facilitate purchase of their rice

Rice farmers under the Mwea rice irrigation scheme, Kirinyaga County are calling on the government to facilitate purchase of their produce by the National Cereals and Produce Board. They further want rice recognized as strategic food reserve and accorded the same status as that of maize this they say will boost rice production and secure [ ] The post Mwea farmers want govt to facilitate purchase of their rice appeared first on KBC | Kenya s Watching.

PH to Conduct another bidding for rice imports
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