Thursday, January 24, 2019

23-24 January,2019 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter

Bangladesh needs hybrid rice production to ensure food security

daily industryon: 
Description: http://www.dailyindustry.news/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Bangladesh-needs-hybrid-ric.gifBangladesh population will reach 215.4 m in 
2050, when 44.6 MT rice will be needed
Zahid Hossain Biplob: Experts have underscored the need for increasing the rice production capacity for meeting the demand of future. Hybrid rice production would ensure the future food security of the country, they opined.
Total annual production may rise 5.78 percent year-on-year from the 32.65 million tones of 2017-18, said the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service in its latest issue of Grain and Feed Update on Bangladesh released last week.
In 2014-15, the country acquired a rice surplus of about 2 MT for combined efforts of farmers, rice scientists, extension personnel and government.
However, maintaining the current surplus of rice in the coming decades is a great challenge. Population of Bangladesh will reach 215.4 million in 2050, when 44.6 MT of clean rice will be required, experts predicted.
Rice is the staple food for over half the world’s population. Approximately 600 million metric tons of rice is produced annually across the world. China and India alone account for 50 percent of the rice grown and consumed. Agronomists said more 150 million metric tons of rice will be needed by 2025 as the demand of rice is increasing day by day in the world.
Experts said future rice production would hamper for increasing population, decreasing resources like land, labour, soil health and water. Apart from this, the increasing climate vulnerability appeared as the great challenges to keep the pace of food production in the background of increasing population.
Bangladesh agriculture involves food production for 163.65 million people from merely 8.75 million hectares of agricultural land.
Rice production exceeded 15 million tons for the first time in FY 1986. In the mid-1980s, Bangladesh was the fourth largest rice producer in the world, but its productivity was low compared with other Asian countries, such as Malaysia and Indonesia. It is currently the world’s sixth-largest producer. Highyield varieties of seed, application of fertilizer, and irrigation have increased yields, although these inputs also raise the cost of production and chiefly benefit the richer cultivators.
The government is importing rice maximum from India to fulfill the demand. The US agency forecasted that Bangladesh would import 0.8 million tonnes of rice in July-June period of fiscal 2018-19.
Bangladesh had been a major rice buyer in 2017-18, importing 3.89 million tonnes, the highest in the last three decades, after repeated floods washed away huge amounts of crops.
Experts pointed out that hybrid rice cultivation can ensure the future demand. Hybrid rice cultivation area has remained unchanged at 8 lakh hectares for the last few years and it is yet to cross the 10-lakh-hectare mark, the highest recorded in 2009-10.
So far 174 varieties of hybrid seeds were released but nearly 30 of them survived in the market due to farmers’ unwillingness to use the seeds, which they think may fail in producing expected yield, analysts said.
More cultivation of hybrid rice can help the country to avert its future challenge of diminishing trend of cultivable land, they said.
According to Bangladesh Rice Foundation (BRF), poor quality seeds, inadequate research to invent good variety of seeds and lack of awareness campaign among the farmers are the core challenges to making hybrid rice popular. Crop lands amounting to 62,000 hectares decrease per annum because of the spiraling population, which leave a negative impact on agricultural production.
Talking to Daily Industry, M Anis Ud Dowla, president of Bangladesh Seed Association told that production of hybrid rice in more farm lands will give us a solution stemming from the challenges as its yield is 15-20 percent higher than the inbred varieties.
Farmers usually believe that they might not get their desirable production if they cultivate the hybrid rice, he said.
The private sector has a vital role in popularising the crop. And the government also should take initiative to find a way out on how to cater the seed of hybrid rice to the farmers” said Anis.
Dr Shahjahan Kabir, director general of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) said the highest priority should be given to establish a hybrid rice research institute for addressing the challenges. “Hybrid rice seed production is highly technical, so required support needs to be extended at the farmer level who is interested to engage in seed production process,” he added.
The authorities concerned should provide enough funds, human resources, training and logistic support to all stakeholders to help hybrid rice to flourish, industry insiders said.
Department of Agricultural Extension data shows that the cultivation of hybrid rice accounted for only 7.13 percent of the total 1.14 crore hectares of lands in 2016-17.
Z Karim, former chairman of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council said hybrid rice seed industry should be declared a thrust sector in the financial policy

New-and-improved protein-rich rice has higher yields

rof. Herry Utomo evaluates the growth of new generations of high-protein rice lines(Credit:Ida Wenefrida)
According to the American Society of Agronomy, it's an unfortunate fact that many people in developing nations don't get enough protein in their diets. What they often do get a lot of, however, is rice. With that in mind, scientists have improved upon a type of rice that has over 50 percent more protein than regular varieties.
Two years ago, a Louisiana State University team led by Prof. Herry Utomo released a high-protein long-grain rice cultivar known as Frontière. It was developed via a traditional breeding process, and it has an average protein content of 10.6 percent – that's a 53-percent increase over the protein content of the traditional rice with which the team started.
Additionally, it requires less heat, time and water to cook. Unfortunately, though, as is often the case with crops that have been bred for increased nutrient content, its yields aren't as high as those of regular rice.In order to address that shortcoming, Utomo and colleagues recently tested 20 newly-developed lines of high-protein rice (some of the plant cell selections are pictured above). It turned out that one of them had an 11 to 17-percent higher yield than Frontière – we're still waiting to hear how that compares to the yield of conventional rice.
This new line is now ready for final field testing. It is hoped that the harvested rice could serve not only as a basic food, but also as a source of protein-rich rice flour, rice milk, or other food ingredients. The scientists are presently investigating the baking characteristics of such flour, as compared to those of other types of rice flour.
Marketed as Cahokia rice, the original Frontière line is now being grown commercially in Illinois. Farmers reportedly don't incur any extra costs, or need to change their current rice-growing practises in any way.
Scientists have also recently introduced new high-protein varieties of bananas and potatoes.

As Per Scientists, Dal Chawal Is The Meal That Could Save The World

Description: https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/f658d592b647d0285365b8c643102f81?s=54&d=mm&r=g Suruchi Patwary 
Description: Dal Chawal By StockImageFactory.com | www.shutterstock.com
Dal Chawal By StockImageFactory.com | www.shutterstock.com
Living away from home has taught me the value of home-cooked food! While I have been a picky eater in the past, the one meal that I have always enjoyed eating with all of my heart is dal chawal. It can never go wrong, you know! The warm, flavourful dal pouring over steaming hot rice sounds like the perfect comfort food. But the truth is, it is a lot more than just that. Scientists recently revealed that dal chawal is the meal that could save the world. No, we’re not kidding or exaggerating. Read on to get all your questions answered about this little piece of information you just received.

The Facts

The Lancet, a widely popular medical journal, released a statement saying the world should embrace ‘rice with a side of lentils’ as their meal in order to save the world. It could get the climate change situation under control, prevent premature deaths that take place majorly due to starvation, and sustain this century’s forecasted global population of 10 billion. The study involved environmental experts and doctors who also suggested that along with adapting dal chawal as a lunch and dinner meal, we need to reduce the meat and sugar intake by 50% to bring a balance between the over-fed and under-fed in the world.
As for us Indians, we may have different names for dal chawal depending on various states but we’ve all been doing this for a very long time now. It is 100% mom-approved, and once you get hooked to its taste, there is no turning back. Now you know, your mom not only saves your as* every day but also is saving the world.
Description: https://media.giphy.com/media/lAPpJUBcp4DG8/giphy.gif
Tag your mom in the comments below and let her know how much you love unke haath ka dal chawal!
Don’t forget to follow us at @missmalinilifestyle to never miss a beat!

Worms can process rice straw, scientists discover

A team of scientists from MSMU discovered that earthworms efficiently process rice straw and enrich the soil with organic matter increasing its fertility and preventing the burning of the straw
SECHENOV UNIVERSITY

Description: IMAGE

IMAGE: AN EXPERIMENTAL SET OF MESOCOSMS THAT HELPED UNDERSTAND THE ROLE OF EARTHWORMS IN THE PROCESS OF RICE STRAW DECOMPOSITION. view more 
CREDIT: COURTESY OF ANDREY ZAITSEV
A team of scientists from I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University (MSMU) discovered that earthworms efficiently process rice straw and enrich the soil with organic matter increasing its fertility and preventing the burning of the straw that takes quite long to naturally decompose. The results of the study were published in the European Journal of Soil Biology. The work was supported with a grant of the Russian Science Foundation.

Rice is staple food product for the majority of the Earth's population. The demand for it is constantly growing, making its production increase annually. Harvesting and grain peeling leave a considerable amount of crop residues which are not naturally consumed by herbivorous animals and therefore is burned down. Burning causes the emission of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide and methane) and black carbon, which negatively affects the climate. Therefore, it is important to develop a more eco-friendly method for rice straw recycling.
The authors of the study collected soil samples at three regions of Russia where rice is grown: Krasnodarsky Krai, Kalmykia, and Primorsky Krai. It turned out, that in all three regions the rice fields lacked earthworms, and the scientists selected the cheapest kind of them to be tested - Eisenia fetida that is cultivated in Russia on an industrial scale for fishing and humus production. The scientists wanted to find out if they were able to process rice straw.
The team created several mesocosms (closed confinements imitating natural conditions) to study the ratio between the emission of carbon dioxide, methane, and organic carbon and the type of soil, presence of straw, and the number of earthworms in it. Each system contained 1 kg of soil with or without rice straw. Finally, different amounts of earthworms were placed into each mesocosm to find out how their activity would influence the concentration of greenhouse gases and carbon input into soil.
It turned out that adding rice straw to any type of soil increases carbon dioxide emission at least by the factor of three. The ratio between the emitted CO2 and the number of earthworms varied depending on the soil type. For example, the emissions barely changed when the worms were added to the mesocosms with soil from Primorsky Krai. In other types of soil with rice straw the emission of carbon dioxide considerably increased after the worms were added. The highest effect in the soils from Kalmykia was reached at the density of 6 worms per mesocosm, and from Krasnodar Krai - at 4 worms per mesocosm. At the same time the increase in concentration of organic carbon in Krasnodar soils turned out to be 10,000 times higher than its loss in the course of emissions. When bound with the soil, organic carbon improves its fertility and erosion resistance, and when burned - produces carbon dioxide or black carbon. As for methane emissions, the worms did not influence those.
"This work is of practical importance. We've found a way to efficiency process rice straw instead of burning it which is currently the most common practice worldwide. Along with increasing sustainability and climate safety of rice growing, it reduces the risks for the environment and mankind associated with agricultural burns as causes of fires and atmospheric pollution, including that with carcinogenic substances. Moreover, adding earthworms to soils will increase the quality, fertility, and soil health of the fields and reduce the risk of erosion due to binding with organic substances," added Andrey Zaitsev, a researcher from MSMU and a senior researcher at the laboratory of soil ecosystem functions, A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

UPDATE 1-Philippines set to import 1.2 mln T of rice as caps removed
Enrico Dela Cruz
JANUARY 22, 2019 / 1:09 PM
·        
* Philippines is lifting two-decade-old cap on rice imports
* Philippine demand could underpin Vietnam, Thailand prices
* Govt hopes imports will help curb Philippine inflation (Adds detail, background)
By Enrico Dela Cruz
MANILA, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Rice traders in the Philippines are set to import about 1.2 million tonnes of the staple food, a state grains agency spokeswoman told Reuters on Tuesday, as the Southeast Asian country lifts a two-decade-old cap on purchases.
Bigger rice purchases by the Philippines, already one of the world’s top importers and consumers of the grain, could underpin export prices in Vietnam and Thailand, traditionally its key suppliers.
Prices in Vietnam fell last week ahead of the country’s largest harvest this month, while the Thai market is likely to see additional supply towards the end of January from the seasonal harvest.
President Rodrigo Duterte in October ordered the “unimpeded” importation of rice after the country’s inflation shot up to 6.7 percent in September and October, the highest in nearly a decade, partly due to food prices.
The National Food Authority (NFA) has approved initial applications from 180 rice traders for permits to import a total of 1.186 million tonnes of either 5-percent or 25-percent broken white, the NFA spokeswoman said.
“We have not set any deadline for accepting applications to import rice. There’s no more limit,” she said.
Importers are allowed to bring in rice from any country, but grains from Southeast Asian suppliers will be charged a tariff of 35 percent while those from elsewhere will face a 50-percent charge.
Lawmakers have approved the bill removing the import cap on rice imports and replacing it with tariffs. Duterte will “most likely” sign it into law “soon”, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said on Tuesday.
Philippine inflation eased in November and December, and the rice tariffication law could help curb it this year by as much as 0.7 percentage point, the central bank has said. Rice is the biggest food item in the country’s consumer price index. (Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; editing by Richard Pullin and Joseph Radford)

Indonesia plans to export rice this year: Bulog chief

·       News Desk
The Jakarta Post
Jakarta   /   Tue, January 22, 2019   /   12:14 pm
Description:  Indonesia plans to export rice this year: Bulog chiefState-owned logistics company Bulog president director Budi Waseso (Antara/Wahyu Putro A)
Indonesia plans to export rice this year so that State Logistics Agency (Bulog) can absorb more rice from farmers, although the country still imported about 2 million tons of rice, last year, an official has said. 
Bulog president director Budi Waseso said in Jakarta on Monday that he had spoken with several ASEAN countries about importing rice from Indonesia. 
“There are a number of countries that we have contacted and they are ready to buy rice from Indonesia,” Budi said during a hearing with House of Representatives’ Commission IV overseeing agriculture affairs, among others, as reported by kompas.com.
He said rice exports were needed to optimize rice sales during the peak harvest season in April to May. “During peak harvest, we need to buy as much rice as possible for the interest of farmers. We need to export,” he added.
The’s government rice reserves at Bulog’s warehouses has reached 2.1 million tons, while the target of rice purchases from farmers in April was set at 1.8 tons.
Meanwhile, the capacity of Bulog’ warehouses reached 3.6 million tons and therefore, the oversupply was estimated to reach 300,000 tons during the harvest season, he added.
This year, Bulog only distributed 300,000 tons of rice to the poor because the government had distributed more assistance through the cashless food assistance program in the form of e-money that could be used to purchase food at designated kiosks.
In previous years, Bulog was responsible for distributing between 16 million tons and 1.7 million tons of rice to low-income families.  (bbn)


Make rice production more resilient to climate change: Lawrence Wong

Description: (From left) United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation assistant director-general Kundhavi Kadiresan, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, International Rice Research Institute director-general Matthew Morell and International Fund (From left) United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation assistant director-general Kundhavi Kadiresan, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, International Rice Research Institute director-general Matthew Morell and International Fund for Agricultural Development president Gilbert Houngbo at the opening of the International Rice Congress at Marina Bay Sands yesterday.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO
OCT 16, 2018, 5:00 AM SGT

The production of rice, one of the world's most important crops, is facing major problems such as slow growth and climate change, which could increase its price by more than 30 per cent by 2050.
"We need major changes to our rice and food production systems to make them more resilient to weather disruptions, and also to reduce their emissions and their impact on the environment," Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said yesterday.
Speaking at the opening of the International Rice Congress, he said that although Singapore is a rice consumer instead of a producer, the country has turned its limited land space to its advantage by experimenting with more productive farming methods.
"After all, necessity is the mother of invention," said Mr Wong, who is also Second Minister for Finance, citing examples of urban farming producing more rice with less land.
The congress, also called the "Olympics of Rice Science", is the world's largest scientific conference on rice. Held every four years, it is in Singapore for the first time.
This year's conference, organised by the International Rice Research Institute (Irri) and Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, brings together 1,500 participants from 40 countries, including scientists, government officials and representatives from international bodies like the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
Among the announcements yesterday was a four-year partnership between Irri and Corteva Agriscience, the agricultural arm of chemical giant DowDuPont, which aims to improve global rice production and quality.
According to the two bodies, rice production needs to dramatically increase by 25 per cent over the next 25 years to meet the growing demands of the world's population.
Both organisations will draw on each other's scientific strengths to breed rice that will overcome looming challenges of climate change and decreased rice productivity.
Description: https://www.straitstimes.com/sites/default/files/articles/2018/10/16/st_20181016_jhrice16_4348004.jpg
Corteva, for instance, has access to seven million farmers in South and South-east Asia through its educational and outreach schemes, while Irri has expertise in rice genetics.

Mr Peter Ford, president of Corteva Agriscience (Asia-Pacific), said: "Our shared goal for this partnership is to help rice farmers to become more productive and sustainable."
Irri director-general Matthew Morell said Singapore's importance to international trade made it a natural choice for this year's conference: "While agriculture plays a limited role in the economy of Singapore, the country is a significant logistics and shipping hub for rice trade. In addition, its robust financial market and reputation for regulatory rigour positions it as an ideal location for a rice futures market that can help ensure the availability and affordability of rice worldwide."
Ms Kundhavi Kadiresan, FAO assistant director-general and regional representative for Asia and the Pacific, said: "The world is changing rapidly, and the future world rice economy will look much different than it does today. Diets are changing towards fish, meat, fruits and vegetables, although rice will remain the foundation of Asian diets, especially for the poor."
Mr Wong said everyone needs to come together to overcome the vast challenges facing rice's future.
"Agriculture can and must be part of the solution to tackling climate change. We must intensify our research, enterprise and collaboration efforts to transform rice and agricultural production methods."
The congress, held at Marina Bay Sands, runs until tomorrow.

China pledges to purchase 400,000 tonnes of rice from Cambodia

Sok Chan / Khmer Times  

China has pledged to purchase 400,000 tonnes of rice from Cambodia this year, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s facebook post.
The pledge was made during the bilateral meeting in Beijing between Mr Hun Sen and Chinese president Xi Jinping yesterday evening.
Mr Xi promised Mr Hun Sen that China will increase the quota of rice import from Cambodia in 2019, aimed at boosting the bilateral trade between the two countries to about $10 billion in 2023.
. .
Mr Xi said that China will grant Cambodia $4 billion Chinese Yuan or $600 million from 2019 to 2021, the post said.
Mr Xi said that the ties between China and Cambodia are very special, according to the post.
“It is an important relationship between the two nations,” the post said “He said that China and Cambodia will continue to work together and cooperate in all sectors, including politics, security, economy and between people and people.”
Last year, Cambodia exported 626,225 tonnes of rice to international markets, a drop of 1.5 percent compared to 2017.
By individual country, the largest buyer was China (170,000 tonnes), followed by France (90,000 tonnes), Malaysia (40,000 tonnes), Gabon (30,000 tonnes), and the Netherlands (26,000 tonnes).
China’s pledge to buy more rice from Cambodia came as the European Commission last week imposed tariffs on rice imports from Cambodia and Myanmar.
The EU commission has decided to re-introduce import duties that will be steadily reduced over a period of three years.
During the first year, 175 euros ($199.5) per tonne will be levied, 150 euros ($171) in the second year, and 125 euros ($142.5) in the last.
. .

Rice price sees falls sharply in city market

Posted By: daily industryon: January 22, 2019In: BangladeshCorporateNo Comments
Description: http://www.dailyindustry.news/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Rice-price-sees-falls-sharp.gifStaff Correspondent: The prices of fine and medium variety rice found rise in last couple of weeks at different city markets immediately after the 11th parliament elections, but the price of all sorts of rice including coarse variety marked fresh decline by Tk 1-2 per kg this week compared to the last week market price.
Fine and medium quality rice price found a rise of Tk 2-3 per kg in the city market after the 11th parliament elections that continued till last week and the price of both fine and medium quality rice marked little lower this week.
But the price hike of fine and medium rice did not effect on the coarse variety rice during this time.
Fine and medium quality rice sold at Tk 54-64 and Tk 44-54 per kg today while it was sold Tk 54-65 and Tk 46-54 in last week, according to official price index prepared by Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).
Even the fine quality Nazir and miniket are now being sold at Tk 56-64 per kg while it was Tk 56-65 in last week.
Price of coarse variety rice including ‘shawrna’, china and Irri sold at Tk 38-42 pr kg while it was Tk 38-44 in last week, TCB price index shows.
Wholesale price (per kg) of good quality miniket sold at Tk 49.00-49.50,miniket (normal) sold at Tk 46, Nazir shail sold between Tk 53 and Tk 58, medium quality (BR-28) sold at 33-36, coarse varieties Guti and Shawarna sold at Tk 32 and truck sale price of coarse variety rice at Tk 30, said a wholesaler of city’s Badamtoli area.
“There is no possibility of rice price hike in the country in coming days as after the full harvest of Aman now the optimum season of fine quality irri-boro rice will arrive ahead of the Pahela Baishakh, Bengali New year,” said Zakir Hossain Rony, Vice President of Rice Merchant Association.
Regarding the rice price hike in the capital after the elections, he said due to shutdown of the vehicles before and after the elections throughout the country led fresh hike of rice price due to supply shortage.
The wholesaler, however, said the rice price becomes up and down first at the wholesale level and then it [price hike] ultimately takes time to come back at normal stage at the retail level immediately after price hike takes place at the wholesale level.
About the retail price of fine and medium fine quality rice including miniket and BR-28, Nirod Boron Saha Chandan, a wholesaler and general merchant commission agent, admitted that the price of coarse variety rice is quite stable but the fine and medium fine variety rice price has slightly increased at the wholesale level as the fine quality rice is usually produced in one season during the irri-boro period.
Sudden price hike of the staple food for two consecutive weeks immediately after the 11th parliamentary elections on December 30, drew attention of the new government.
The new food minister along with the commerce minister called meeting with the rice wholesalers and rice millers at the ministry conference room on January 10 to discuss how quickly to tackle rice price hike.

Unlimited rice importation begins

As much as 1.2-M metric tons

Updated January 22, 2019, 12:54 PM
By Madelaine B. Miraflor
The unlimited rice importation has began, starting with 180 companies as of yesterday which intend to bring in as much as 1.2 million metric tons (MT) of rice into the country.
Description: NFA logo (Photo courtesy of wikipedia)
NFA logo (Photo courtesy of wikipedia)
Based on the latest data provided by the National Food Authority (NFA), 180 companies have already filed application to import 1.2 million MT of rice. Of this, NFA said only three companies have not yet been cleared to import.
From December last year up to this month, 18 importers are expecting the delivery of more than 80,000 MT of rice, 25 percent of this already arrived in the country, a separate data showed.
Designated discharge ports are Manila, Subic, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Davao, Batangas, and Cebu.
Most of the additional supply came from and will come from Thailand and Vietnam. Most of these are 25 percent and 5 percent brokens of White Rice, while there are also some companies who intend to purchase specific amount of Glutinous Rice, Super Basmati Rice, Fragrant Rice, and Well Milled Long Grain Rice overseas.
Under the out quota importation, everyone can import rice if they have the financial, warehousing, retailing capacity to do so.
The companies who are set to bring in the largest amount of imported rice so far are Purerice Milling and Processing Corp. (100,000 MT), Muslim Christian Alliance MPC (50,000 MT), Pinguiaman Farmers MPC (50,000 MT), AJ Developers and Multi Operation Technical High Environment Resources, Inc. (30,000 MT), and Pengins General Merchandise (25,000 MT).
Other firms’ import orders would only range from about 1,000 MT to 15,000 MT of rice.
NFA’s out-quota importation program has the same idea as the Rice Tariffication Bill except that the latter, once passed, would no longer require interested importers to ask for the state-run grains agency’s permit. The Rice Tariffication Bill seeks to replace the quantitative restriction (QR) on rice imports with a specific tariff rate, effectively liberalizing rice importation in the country.
Under this new rice importation regime, legitimate rice traders can now import rice sans NFA permits, provided they secure a sanitary and phyto-sanitary import clearance from the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) and pay the appropriate tariff to the Bureau of Customs.
Where the NFA’s out-quota importation program stands in a liberalized rice sector is still uncertain.
Aside from the fact that it will no longer issue importation permit to the private sector, the agency will also no longer be allowed to import and will instead rely solely on local palay procurement to boost its stocks.
“The purpose of [out-quota] importation is to bring down the prices of rice. “Bakit ko hihintayin [Why will I still wait for the passage of Rice Tariffication Bill]? Paano kung tumagal pa yan?
Magrereklamo na naman kayo pag tumaas ang presyo ng bigas [What if it will still take time for it to be passed? People will again complain if the price of rice shoots up],” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said before after releasing the guidelines of the said importation program.
“We will be very strict in the implementation of the evaluation on the financial capability of the importer, his warehousing capacity and his retailing capability,” he added.
According to him, this importation program “will effectively weed out fly by night importers who would apply for permits and then would just sell it.”
For 2018, the NFA had a series of rice importation amounting to 1.25 million MT of rice, roughly half of which are set to arrive this year.



Smugglers Clash With Customs In Ogun Over Smuggled Rice

Published
 
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Five persons were on Monday allegedly killed while two officers were injured in a face-off between officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and suspected smugglers over foreign parboiled rice smuggled into the country at Owode-Yewa, Ogun State
It was gathered that the clash started when the officers of the Ogun State Customs command went to Owode-Yewa to evacuate some bags of rice smuggled into the country from Benin Republic and kept inside a celestial church at Owode Yewa, Ogun State.
According to an eye witness, Yinka Oladosu, there was a shoot-out between the smugglers and the customs officers due to confrontation from the smugglers which led to the death of five while several others were injured and taken to hospital.
But, in a press statement made available to LEADERSHIP by the Public Relation Officer of the Ogun command of the service, Abdullahi Maiwada said smugglers and criminal ganged up to mob officers of the command who were on legal duty. According to Maiwada, two officers were wounded while patrol vehicles were destroyed by the smugglers.
The press statement reads, “Unfortunately, at about 1200hours of Monday afternoon (21st January, 2019), some smugglers and their accomplices ganged-up against an anti-smuggling team from discharging its legitimate functions at Owode (Yewa) community.”
“The officers who went on an operation to save Nigerian economy from the mayhem of smugglers who stocked a place of worship and some houses nearby with rice suspected to have been smuggled into Nigeria.
“The team faced stiff resistance from some armed criminals inflicting serious injuries on two Officers and minor injuries on other members of the team, and further destroyed official patrol vehicles,” The PRO also stated that the hoodlums barricaded the road leading to the command and officers of the service.
He however commended the role played by other security agencies who according to Maiwada came to the aide of the command during the melee.  “The encounter led to exchange of fire between Officers and smugglers with their accomplices. For peace to reign, the team resorted to tactical withdrawal.
“However, the hoodlums took law into their hands by barricading the main road leading to Idiroko, scouting for Customs Officers to attack. They are also battling with law enforcement agencies to gain access to Customs formations for further confrontation

High-protein rice brings value, nutrition

Crop breeders build yield, market for high-protein rice
AMERICAN SOCIETY OF AGRONOMY

Description: IMAGE

IMAGE: UTOMO EVALUATES THE GROWTH OF NEW GENERATIONS OF HIGH-PROTEIN RICE LINES. view more 
CREDIT: IDA WENEFRIDA
More than 750 million people don't get enough nutrients from their food. More than two-thirds of those people live in places that consume a lot of rice. Can rice bred for extra protein be the answer?
"There are hundreds of millions of people around the world who depend on rice and eat it three times a day, but their access to protein is very limited by availability and cost," explains Herry Utomo, a professor at Louisiana State University. "High-protein rice can be used to help solve the worldwide problem across social, cultural, and economic issues."
Utomo and his team developed a high-protein line of rice cultivar, 'Frontière,' which was released in 2017. The rice was developed through a traditional breeding process. It's the first long grain high-protein rice developed for use anywhere in the world, he says. On average, it has a protein content of 10.6%, a 53% increase from its original protein content. It also needs less heat, time, and usually less water to cook. This high-protein cultivar is currently marketed as "Cahokia" rice. It is grown commercially in Illinois.
However, breeding a crop for more nutrients like protein can cause yield to go down. The researchers are trying to combat this. They tested a total of 20 new lines of high-protein rice to see if any would have a higher yield. Their data showed the new high-protein lines improved yield by 11-17% compared to the yield of the first high-protein line. Grain quality characteristics differed.
Utomo says this new advanced line, with higher yield, is ready for final field testing prior to release.
Utomo adds researchers developed high-protein rice because of the growing market for new products that can offer more nutritional value from major food crops, including rice. In addition to being eaten plain, the high-protein rice can be processed into specialty food for higher nutrition. Many products--from rice flour used in baked goods to rice milk, baby foods, cereals, and crackers--contain rice, and could benefit from more protein.
"We are now studying exactly how flours from this rice bakes differently than other rice flour," Utomo says. "The interest in gluten-free baked products continues to grow. This will present another opportunity for rice growers to give people what they are looking for."
The next steps go in two directions, Utomo says. "Because the original line is new to the market, marketing channels have to be put in place. In parallel, research for the next generation of high-protein rice lines is being carried out." Researchers hope these newer lines can ultimately be bought and grown by more farmers.
"Farmers don't have to change much to grow the high-protein line now on the market," Utomo says. "The higher protein is an incredible added value they can get without any additional cost or changed practices."
###
Utomo presented this research Nov. 7 at the Annual Meeting of American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of America in Baltimore, MD. The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) and Louisiana Rice Research Board (LRRB) funded this project.

Low-carb? World’s changing diet no bane for rice farmers

Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News
 Jan 23 2019 03:10 PM
SIEM REAP, Cambodia - Keto. Low-carb. People around the world are cutting down on carbohydrates- largely portrayed as the villain against fitness and weight loss. But is the movement towards leaner eating a bane to producers of rice, among the world’s leading sources of carbs? 
No, if you ask a top official of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 
“We see that as an opportunity,” Kundhavi Kadiresan, FAO Assistant Director-General and Asia-Pacific regional representative, told ABS-CBN News in an interview. 
Kadiresan pointed out this trend in her keynote speech at the plenary meeting of Sustainable Rice Platform, a multi-stakeholder alliance of environment groups, rice research organizations and private sector partners advocating for environment-friendlier rice cultivation practices. 
“The consumption pattern in rice is also changing… You see more and more people reducing their intake of rice, consuming a lot more meat, vegetables, fruits,” she said. 
Kadiresan encouraged farmers to consider this shift a chance to diversify their business: look at other crops that may be planted on their land, and not limit themselves to one crop.
“In that sense, the diversification is indeed having some impact in terms of our rice culture,” she said. 
Kadiresan also noted that, still as part of the movement towards healthier eating, a growing number of consumers are willing to pay more premium rice, such as organically grown varieties. 
“Naturally-grown rice, it should have more value. And consumers are willing to buy let’s say high-value rice,” Kadiresan said in an interview. 
She cited the need to connect farmers to such markets, noting that the potential for higher profitability leads to a quick shift among producers’ business strategies. 
“So in which case, linking the farmers to those markets, and where there are those people willing to pay more for organic rice or sustainably grown rice, then connecting those farmers to those markets,” Kadiresan said. 
“That will also shift because the market also forces farmers to change rather quickly: they see the market there, they know there is profitability. Then they can also scale crops if there is market they can sell to, I think that’s where we need to help, [have an] enabling policy environment,” she said. 
CALL TO ACTION
At the SRP conference here, the alliance called on stakeholders to shift to rice production practices with minimal environmental impact. Traditional rice-growing methods consume 40 percent of the world’s irrigation water and cause 10 percent in global methane emissions, per UN estimates
In a statement, SRP, an alliance of nearly 100 institutions from 24 countries led by UN Environment, the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute, and German aid agency GIZ, called on different sectors to do their part to promote its set of rice cultivation standards. 
“Governments, retailers and brands need to work together with scientists, financial institutions and development partners to promote climate-smart best practices among rice smallholders,” SRP said. 
It said governments should reduce rice tariffs on sustainable rice, noting that just a 1-percent cut would translate to $150 million in savings for exporters, which could in turn be passed on as incentives to farmers who shift to sustainable rice farming. 
Retailers and supply chain actors should, meanwhile, promote sustainable rice to consumers, while financial institutions should be open to funding smallholders and offer incentivized credit schemes for those who use sustainable rice cultivation practices. 
For researchers, SRP said there should be focus on studies on crop resilience amid climate change, improving the nutritional value of rice varieties, and efficient resource use. 
Development and civil society organizations, meanwhile, should mainstream sustainable rice in their programs. 
Rice is staple food for 3.5 billion people around the world and, per UN estimates, production must increase by 25 percent in the next 25 years to serve the growing global population. 

Hybrid Rice Seeds Production to Witness Surge in Demand in the Coming Years

Description: http://www.marketresearchblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/seed-3353568_640-640x381.jpg
As rice is the staple food of over 60 percent of the global population, rice production has long been one of the most crucial aspects of agriculture. With hybrid rice seeds, the global economies are achieving scalability as it helps them feed the growing population. With the hybrid rice seeds technology, researchers are innovating the cultivation of hybrid rice seeds that fight changing weather patterns and help attain greater nutritional value. This has propelled the revenue growth associated with hybrid rice seeds at a significant level, boosting the profitability of farmers, thereby strengthening the agricultural sector.
Quality of agricultural seeds needs to be better to ensure better protection of crops and improved productivity. With superior quality hybrid rice seeds, the farmers are also able to produce a uniform crop without having the need to add any mixtures, thereby helping attain high prices on the market. The use of high-quality hybrid rice seeds help in achieving better quality rice, resulting in accelerated profits.
Hybrid Rice Seeds Producers Aim at Tackling Key Challenges
With the increasing emphasis given to yield better crops and plants that are less prone to infestation and bacterial diseases, there are various research activities taking place. Crops are often destroyed owing to insects and bacterial diseases that affect the health of the crop. To tackle this challenge, the hybrid rice seeds manufacturers are constantly making efforts to bring a transformation with the help ongoing research. Moreover, the efforts taken to minimize the negative impact of diseases on plant health is becoming a priority for modern researchers.
For instance, with the launch of Arize AZ 8433 DT, a hybrid rice seed with dual attributes, the global agricultural leader, Bayer is revolutionizing the capabilities of hybrid rice seeds for addressing next-generation global requirements. These new hybrid rice seeds are cultivated to offer improve tolerance to two critical factors affecting the plant life, Bacterial Leaf Blight and Brown Plant Hopper. This is the only variety of hybrid rice seeds in the Philippines offering such a tolerance to destructive pests that cause damage to crops, resulting in economic losses for farmers along with the perpetual issues regarding Bacterial Leaf Blight.
Raising Production Manifold with High-yielding Hybrid Rice Seeds
Given the significance of hybrid rice seeds, the largest producers aim at accelerating the production of hybrid basmati seeds to achieve greater commercialization of the crop in the global market. The CEO of Guard Agricultural Research and Services, Shahzad Ali Malik announced that they expect to achieve commercialization of hybrid basmati in 2019-2020, by developing high-yielding fine hybrid rice seeds. He further stated that the farmers in Pakistan would be able to earn a substantially higher income by cultivating hybrid basmati rice, which would be an extra-long grain that elongates post-cooking, and would come with an aroma that would make it a distinct variety.
Hybrid Rice Seeds Technology to Attain Progress with Self-cloning Seeds
For addressing both, high-yielding requirements and affordability, various researchers are bringing revolutionary developments into the market to raise the productivity of the crop and improve food security across the globe. The need for feeding the ever-growing global population acts as a stimulus for such next-generation technology enabling researchers to ensure sufficient yield. Backed by immense theoretical study scientists have managed to create an extraordinary hybrid rice seeds technology that produces clone seeds. The co-author of the study and a plant geneticist at University of California, Davis, Venkatesan Sudaresan, stated that the new laboratory variant of hybrid rice preserves the genetic qualities showcasing the consistency required by farmers through the process of self-cloning. Imtiyaz Khanday, a US-based researcher and leading author of the study stated that the self-cloning hybrid rice seeds could help in proliferating disease and drought resistant, and high-yielding hybrid crops.
The expert analysts at Future Market Insights unveil that the hybrid rice seeds market is expected to showcase substantial growth in the forthcoming years owing to its significant characteristics, higher quality and productivity. The unique findings pertaining to the hybrid rice seeds market and the extensive statistical evaluation is also included in the report. The hybrid rice seeds market study highlights the promising segments and regional opportunities that illustrate the future scope of the market.
Need an in-depth hybrid rice seeds market assessment with the help of exclusive insights? Click here.

Advantage of early-maturing varieties

Description: https://www.panaynews.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Yap-Urban-farmer_colored.jpgIN ANTICIPATION of the coming dry season, farmers with insufficient water supply are advised to adopt early-maturing rice varieties or with maturity days less than 110.
The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) says early-maturing varieties require lesser water, as they can mature faster than other inbred varieties.
PhilRice says a rice crop that matures in 100 days will require approximately 1,000-mm of water while a crop that matures in 150 days will require 50 percent more.
For rainfed and irrigated areas, using these varieties will reduce the water needed and the number of days in supplying water.
According to PhilRice, farmers in irrigated areas are recommended to plant the following rice varieties, which include the PSB Rc 4 (Molawin), Rc 8 (Talavera), Rc 10 (Pagsanjan), Rc 82 (Peñaranda), NSIC Rc 118 (Matatag 3), Rc 120 (Matatag 6), Rc 130 (Tubigan 3), Rc 134 (Tubigan 4), Rc 140 (Tubigan 6), Rc 144 (Tubigan 8), Rc 146 (PJ7), Rc 148 (Mabango 2), Rc 152 (Tubigan 10), Rc 154 (Tubigan 11),  Rc 242 (Japonica 2), Rc 436 (Tubigan 37), Rc 438 (Tubigan 38), and Rc 440 (Tubigan 39).
While the PSB Rc 12(Caliraya), Rc 14(Rio Grande), and NSIC Rc 192(Sahod Ulan 1) are suitable for rainfed areas.
Average yield of these varieties ranges from 4 to 10 tons per hectare (t/ha).
They mature between 105 and 110 days compared to 115 to 125 days for the other varieties.
Reduction in yield happens when rice plants are exposed to stress like drought, especially during the flowering stage.
With early-maturing varieties, this is less likely to happen, says PhilRice’s in-house agriculturist and Text Center lead agent Fredierick M. Saludez.
A series of studies from the Plant Breeding and Biotechnology Division showed an average of 64 percent yield reduction, under drought condition, during dry season from 2015 to 2018.
PhilRice also recommended water-saving technologies, such as the alternate-wetting, and drying (AWD).
AWD is a water-saving technology that reduces the use of irrigation water without penalizing crop yield.
Based on studies, rice farmers in lowland areas can save water by up to 50 percent, if properly implemented.
Locally available materials such as bamboo or PVC tubes with 4-inch diameter and 25-cm in length are used to install AWD.
A farmer from Masinloc, Zambales testified that AWD is effective, as it helped him save water in irrigating his farm.
Technology promoters say that farmers should also put holes (3-5mm) to serve as a water passage, around the tube with 5cm distance.
This will be inserted into the soil up to the 15cm marked for dry season and 20cm marked for wet season. Every irrigation time, 5cm deep is enough.
Researchers said that farmers will just have to wait until the water subsides down to the bottom of the tube before the next irrigation.
In technology dissemination, PhilRice is urging agriculturists from the local government units, rice technicians, extension workers, and rice advocates to promote the use of these technologies for farmers to avoid yield losses during dry season. (jaypeeyap@ymail.com/PN)


Upcoming California Event to Help Camp Fire Victims
By Jim Morris

SACRAMENTO, CA -- This Friday, January 25, the California Rice Industry Association (CRIA) will be hosting its 10th Annual Winter Wonderland Winemaker's Dinner & Auction.  Each year, it is a special occasion to get together with colleagues in the industry and have some fun while enjoying great food, great wine, and great company. 

This year, there will be a different focus due to the devastating Camp Fire in Butte County, located in the Sacramento Valley.  In recognition of the huge impact of the Camp Fire on the community and specifically employees in the rice industry who lost their homes, all of the proceeds from this year's auction will go directly to benefit them. 

In addition to the monies raised during the auction, direct donations can be made to support the fund by sending your contribution to CRIA, 1231 I Street, Suite 205, Sacramento, CA  95814.  Please make your checks payable to GVBCF-Camp Fire. 

Should you have questions, please contact Kim DeVincenzi at (916) 387-2264.



Rice Webinar:  Thursday January 24

Tune in Thursday, January 24, at 10:00 a.m. Central Time, for a new rice webinar hosted by Dr. Bobby Coats, with the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness at the University of Arkansas.  Patrick Westhoff, director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) and professor of agricultural and applied economics at the University of Missouri, will summarize important features of the new farm bill for crop producers and discuss what is known and not known about the market outlook.

Go here to register for the webinar.

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(updated daily)


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Quote of the Day

"Rock bottom became the solid foundation upon which I rebuilt my life."
                                                          - J.K. Rowling

Enter the Fox29 "Rice-ipe" Contest Today!

Enter the contest at watchfox29.com by clicking on the "Rice-ipe" tab. The top three will compete in a cook-off on live television. The winner of the cook-off will win free rice for a year!

By | January 23, 2019 at 10:37 AM CST - Updated January 23 at 10:37 AM

Amira Nature Foods Ltd Announces Appointment of Thomas Dennhardt as CEO of Its German Subsidiary, Amira Basmati Rice GmbH

January 22, 2019 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Amira Nature Foods Ltd (the "Company") (NYSE: ANFI), a global provider of packaged Indian specialty rice, today announced the appointment of Thomas Dennhardt to the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Amira Basmati Rice GmbH, the Company’s German subsidiary. The German subsidiary was purchased in 2014 and contains many well established brands in Germany. Mr. Dennhardt received an MBA from the European Business School and started his career at Lidl, one of Europe’s largest food retailers. As Chief Financial Officer of Lidl, Mr. Dennhardt assisted in building its business in various European countries including Spain and the United Kingdom. More recently, Mr. Dennhardt assisted in building and turning around several other food-related businesses in the United Kingdom and Germany.
“I am very pleased to be joining Amira and look forward to driving the development and execution of the company’s corporate strategy in Germany going forward. We intend to devote significant time and effort to pursuing various opportunities in Germany, which we believe offer tremendous opportunity for value creation.”
Mr. Dennhardt commented, “I am very pleased to be joining Amira and look forward to driving the development and execution of the company’s corporate strategy in Germany going forward. We intend to devote significant time and effort to pursuing various opportunities in Germany, which we believe offer tremendous opportunity for value creation.”
Karan A. Chanana, Amira’s Chairman commented, “We are very pleased to have Thomas on board and look forward to leveraging his expertise and track record in steering Amira’s German business going forward. We believe the subsidiary is well positioned to develop the German market and we look forward to Thomas helping us develop that further.”
About Amira Nature Foods
Founded in 1915, Amira has evolved into a global provider of packaged Indian specialty rice, with sales in over 40 countries today. Amira sells Basmati rice, premium long-grain rice grown only in certain regions of the Indian sub-continent, under their flagship Amira brand as well as under other third party brands. Amira sells its products primarily in emerging markets through a broad distribution network. Amira’s headquarters are in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and it also has offices in India, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements generally can be identified by phrases that we or our members of management use such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “foresee,” “forecast,” “estimate” or other words or phrases of similar import. Specifically, these statements include, among other things, statements that describe our expectations for the global rice market, the financial impact of new sales contracts on our revenue, our expectations regarding the successful efforts of our distribution partners, and other statements of management’s beliefs, intentions or goals. It is uncertain whether any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will transpire or occur, or if any of them do, what impact they will have on our results of operations, financial condition, or the price of our ordinary shares. These forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to our ability to perform our agreements with customers; our ability to recognize revenue from our contracts as planned; continued competitive pressures in the marketplace; our reliance on a few customers and distribution partners for a substantial part of our revenue; our ability to implement our plans, forecasts and other expectations with respect to our business and realize additional opportunities for growth; and the other risks and important considerations contained and identified in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements attributable to us or to persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by these risk factors. Other than as required under the securities laws, we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking or other statements herein, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Contacts

Miriam Nasralla
The Amira Group
+97144357303
miriam.nasralla@theamiragroup.com

More from Business Wire


High-protein rice brings value, nutrition

January 23, 2019, American Society of Agronomy
Description: High-protein rice brings value, nutrition
Utomo evaluates the growth of new generations of high-protein rice lines. Credit: Ida Wenefrida
More than 750 million people don't get enough nutrients from their food. More than two-thirds of those people live in places that consume a lot of rice. Can rice bred for extra protein be the answer?
"There are hundreds of millions of people around the world who depend on rice and eat it three times a day, but their access to protein is very limited by availability and cost," explains Herry Utomo, a professor at Louisiana State University. "High-protein rice can be used to help solve the worldwide problem across social, cultural, and economic issues."
Utomo and his team developed a high-protein line of rice cultivar, 'Frontière,' which was released in 2017. The rice was developed through a traditional breeding process. It's the first long grain high-protein rice developed for use anywhere in the world, he says. On average, it has a protein content of 10.6%, a 53% increase from its original protein content. It also needs less heat, time, and usually less water to cook. This high-protein cultivar is currently marketed as "Cahokia" rice. It is grown commercially in Illinois.
However, breeding a crop for more nutrients like protein can cause yield to go down. The researchers are trying to combat this. They tested a total of 20 new lines of high-protein rice to see if any would have a higher yield. Their data showed the new high-protein lines improved yield by 11-17% compared to the yield of the first high-protein line. Grain quality characteristics differed.
Description: High-protein rice brings value, nutrition
Researchers nurture plant cell selections for high-protein rice lines. Credit: Ida Wenefrida
Utomo says this new advanced line, with higher yield, is ready for final field testing prior to release.
Utomo adds researchers developed high-protein rice because of the growing market for new products that can offer more nutritional value from major food crops, including rice. In addition to being eaten plain, the high-protein rice can be processed into specialty food for higher nutrition. Many products—from rice flour used in baked goods to rice milk, baby foods, cereals, and crackers—contain rice, and could benefit from more protein.
"We are now studying exactly how flours from this rice bakes differently than other rice flour," Utomo says. "The interest in gluten-free baked products continues to grow. This will present another opportunity for rice growers to give people what they are looking for."
Description: High-protein rice brings value, nutrition
Researchers measure the gelatinization temperature (the temperature at which the rice's starch will begin to cook) as part of routine grain quality tests for high-protein rice lines. Credit: Ida Wenefrida
The next steps go in two directions, Utomo says. "Because the original line is new to the market, marketing channels have to be put in place. In parallel, research for the next generation of high-protein rice lines is being carried out." Researchers hope these newer lines can ultimately be bought and grown by more farmers.
"Farmers don't have to change much to grow the high-protein line now on the market," Utomo says. "The higher protein is an incredible added value they can get without any additional cost or changed practices."
Utomo presented this research Nov. 7 at the Annual Meeting of American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of America in Baltimore, MD.

Innovative High Protein Rice Delivers Nutrition Boost


Description: http://ens-newswire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/UtomoHerry.jpgBATON ROUGE, Louisiana, January 23, 2019 (ENS) – More than 750 million people don’t get enough nutrients from their food, and that worries Herry Utomo, a professor at Louisiana State University. The majority of these people live in communities that eat lots of rice. He reasons that rice bred for extra protein could enhance the nourishment they get from each bowl.
“There are hundreds of millions of people around the world who depend on rice and eat it three times a day, but their access to protein is very limited by availability and cost,” explains Utomo. “High-protein rice can be used to help solve the worldwide problem across social, cultural, and economic issues.”

Herry Utomo is F. Avalon Daggett Endowed Professor at Louisiana State University’s Rice Research Station (Photo courtesy LSU)
Utomo and his team have developed a high-protein line of rice cultivar, called Frontière, which was released in 2017.
This rice, developed through a traditional breeding process, is the first long grain, high-protein rice developed for use anywhere in the world, Utomo says.
It has a protein content of 10.6 percent, a 53 percent increase from its original protein content. It needs less heat, time, and usually less water to cook than conventional rice.
This high-protein cultivar is currently grown commercially in Illinois and marketed as “Cahokia” rice.
The Cahokia were an Algonquian-speaking Native American tribe and member of the Illinois Confederation. Five Cahokia chiefs and headmen joined those of other Illinois tribes at the 1818 Treaty of Edwardsville in ceding to the United States half of the present state of Illinois.
The Cahokia high protein rice is grown on land alongside the Mississippi River they once planted with corn, until the U.S. government moved the tribe first to Kansas and then to Oklahoma. They are now considered extinct.
Hundreds of years later, the Gerard family settled on the same land once farmed by the Cahokia. In 1990, descendant Blake Gerard returned to the land and began to grow rice.
Description: field
Cahokia high-protein rice in the field in Illinois, close to the Mississippi River (Photo courtesy Cahokia)
Gerard says, “The Cahokia were the first sustainable farmers, and our business represents a return to these same sustainable practices. We utilize environmentally friendly practices, growing our rice without the use of GMO’s and minimizing the amount of water and fertilizer we add to our product while still maintaining a healthy crop.”
Gerard uses what he calls “best-in-class soil conservation practices” to maintain its natural fertility and reduce the farm’s environmental footprint.
To purchase Cahokia high protein rice contact: sales@cahokiarice.com.
Today, at Louisiana State, Utomo is finishing up development of a new advanced line, with higher yield, because breeding a crop for more nutrients like protein can cause the yield to decrease.
Researchers tested a total of 20 new lines of high-protein rice to see if any would produce a higher yield. Their data showed the new high-protein lines improved yield by 11-17 percent compared to the yield of the first high-protein line. Grain quality characteristics varied.
Their selection of the best line is ready for final field testing prior to release.
Utomo says researchers developed high-protein rice because there is a growing market for new products that can offer more nutritional value from major food crops, including rice.
The high-protein rice can be eaten eaten plain, of course, and it can be processed into specialty foods that can then provide higher nutrition.

Description: riceHigh protein white rice in a Mediterranean salad (Photo courtesy Cahokia)
Many products, from the rice flour used in baked goods to rice milk, baby foods, cereals, and crackers, contain rice, and could benefit from more protein. Rice is gluten-free, a major advantage in the marketplace.
“We are now studying exactly how flours from this rice bake differently than other rice flour,” Utomo says. “The interest in gluten-free baked products continues to grow. This will present another opportunity for rice growers to give people what they are looking for.”
The next steps go in two directions, Utomo says. “Because the original line is new to the market, marketing channels have to be put in place. In parallel, research for the next generation of high-protein rice lines is being carried out.”
Researchers hope these newer lines will ultimately be bought and grown by more farmers.
“Farmers don’t have to change much to grow the high-protein line now on the market,” Utomo says. “The higher protein is an incredible added value they can get without any additional cost or changed practices.”
Utomo presented this research November 7 at the Annual Meeting of American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of America in Baltimore, Maryland.
The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Louisiana Rice Research Board funded the project.

Hybrid Rice Seeds Production to Witness Surge in Demand in the Coming Years

Description: http://www.marketresearchblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/seed-3353568_640-640x381.jpg
As rice is the staple food of over 60 percent of the global population, rice production has long been one of the most crucial aspects of agriculture. With hybrid rice seeds, the global economies are achieving scalability as it helps them feed the growing population. With the hybrid rice seeds technology, researchers are innovating the cultivation of hybrid rice seeds that fight changing weather patterns and help attain greater nutritional value. This has propelled the revenue growth associated with hybrid rice seeds at a significant level, boosting the profitability of farmers, thereby strengthening the agricultural sector.
Quality of agricultural seeds needs to be better to ensure better protection of crops and improved productivity. With superior quality hybrid rice seeds, the farmers are also able to produce a uniform crop without having the need to add any mixtures, thereby helping attain high prices on the market. The use of high-quality hybrid rice seeds help in achieving better quality rice, resulting in accelerated profits.
Hybrid Rice Seeds Producers Aim at Tackling Key Challenges
With the increasing emphasis given to yield better crops and plants that are less prone to infestation and bacterial diseases, there are various research activities taking place. Crops are often destroyed owing to insects and bacterial diseases that affect the health of the crop. To tackle this challenge, the hybrid rice seeds manufacturers are constantly making efforts to bring a transformation with the help ongoing research. Moreover, the efforts taken to minimize the negative impact of diseases on plant health is becoming a priority for modern researchers.
For instance, with the launch of Arize AZ 8433 DT, a hybrid rice seed with dual attributes, the global agricultural leader, Bayer is revolutionizing the capabilities of hybrid rice seeds for addressing next-generation global requirements. These new hybrid rice seeds are cultivated to offer improve tolerance to two critical factors affecting the plant life, Bacterial Leaf Blight and Brown Plant Hopper. This is the only variety of hybrid rice seeds in the Philippines offering such a tolerance to destructive pests that cause damage to crops, resulting in economic losses for farmers along with the perpetual issues regarding Bacterial Leaf Blight.
Raising Production Manifold with High-yielding Hybrid Rice Seeds
Given the significance of hybrid rice seeds, the largest producers aim at accelerating the production of hybrid basmati seeds to achieve greater commercialization of the crop in the global market. The CEO of Guard Agricultural Research and Services, Shahzad Ali Malik announced that they expect to achieve commercialization of hybrid basmati in 2019-2020, by developing high-yielding fine hybrid rice seeds. He further stated that the farmers in Pakistan would be able to earn a substantially higher income by cultivating hybrid basmati rice, which would be an extra-long grain that elongates post-cooking, and would come with an aroma that would make it a distinct variety.
Hybrid Rice Seeds Technology to Attain Progress with Self-cloning Seeds
For addressing both, high-yielding requirements and affordability, various researchers are bringing revolutionary developments into the market to raise the productivity of the crop and improve food security across the globe. The need for feeding the ever-growing global population acts as a stimulus for such next-generation technology enabling researchers to ensure sufficient yield. Backed by immense theoretical study scientists have managed to create an extraordinary hybrid rice seeds technology that produces clone seeds. The co-author of the study and a plant geneticist at University of California, Davis, Venkatesan Sudaresan, stated that the new laboratory variant of hybrid rice preserves the genetic qualities showcasing the consistency required by farmers through the process of self-cloning. Imtiyaz Khanday, a US-based researcher and leading author of the study stated that the self-cloning hybrid rice seeds could help in proliferating disease and drought resistant, and high-yielding hybrid crops.
The expert analysts at Future Market Insights unveil that the hybrid rice seeds market is expected to showcase substantial growth in the forthcoming years owing to its significant characteristics, higher quality and productivity. The unique findings pertaining to the hybrid rice seeds market and the extensive statistical evaluation is also included in the report. The hybrid rice seeds market study highlights the promising segments and regional opportunities that illustrate the future scope of the market.
Need an in-depth hybrid rice seeds market assessment with the help of exclusive insights? Click here.

Low-carb? World’s changing diet no bane for rice farmers

Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News
Jan 23 2019 03:10 PM
SIEM REAP, Cambodia - Keto. Low-carb. People around the world are cutting down on carbohydrates- largely portrayed as the villain against fitness and weight loss. But is the movement towards leaner eating a bane to producers of rice, among the world’s leading sources of carbs? 
No, if you ask a top official of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 
“We see that as an opportunity,” Kundhavi Kadiresan, FAO Assistant Director-General and Asia-Pacific regional representative, told ABS-CBN News in an interview. 
Kadiresan pointed out this trend in her keynote speech at the plenary meeting of Sustainable Rice Platform, a multi-stakeholder alliance of environment groups, rice research organizations and private sector partners advocating for environment-friendlier rice cultivation practices. 
“The consumption pattern in rice is also changing… You see more and more people reducing their intake of rice, consuming a lot more meat, vegetables, fruits,” she said. 
Kadiresan encouraged farmers to consider this shift a chance to diversify their business: look at other crops that may be planted on their land, and not limit themselves to one crop.
“In that sense, the diversification is indeed having some impact in terms of our rice culture,” she said. 
Kadiresan also noted that, still as part of the movement towards healthier eating, a growing number of consumers are willing to pay more premium rice, such as organically grown varieties. 
“Naturally-grown rice, it should have more value. And consumers are willing to buy let’s say high-value rice,” Kadiresan said in an interview. 
She cited the need to connect farmers to such markets, noting that the potential for higher profitability leads to a quick shift among producers’ business strategies. 
“So in which case, linking the farmers to those markets, and where there are those people willing to pay more for organic rice or sustainably grown rice, then connecting those farmers to those markets,” Kadiresan said. 
“That will also shift because the market also forces farmers to change rather quickly: they see the market there, they know there is profitability. Then they can also scale crops if there is market they can sell to, I think that’s where we need to help, [have an] enabling policy environment,” she said. 
CALL TO ACTION
At the SRP conference here, the alliance called on stakeholders to shift to rice production practices with minimal environmental impact. Traditional rice-growing methods consume 40 percent of the world’s irrigation water and cause 10 percent in global methane emissions, per UN estimates. 
In a statement, SRP, an alliance of nearly 100 institutions from 24 countries led by UN Environment, the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute, and German aid agency GIZ, called on different sectors to do their part to promote its set of rice cultivation standards. 
“Governments, retailers and brands need to work together with scientists, financial institutions and development partners to promote climate-smart best practices among rice smallholders,” SRP said. 
It said governments should reduce rice tariffs on sustainable rice, noting that just a 1-percent cut would translate to $150 million in savings for exporters, which could in turn be passed on as incentives to farmers who shift to sustainable rice farming. 
Retailers and supply chain actors should, meanwhile, promote sustainable rice to consumers, while financial institutions should be open to funding smallholders and offer incentivized credit schemes for those who use sustainable rice cultivation practices. 
For researchers, SRP said there should be focus on studies on crop resilience amid climate change, improving the nutritional value of rice varieties, and efficient resource use. 
Development and civil society organizations, meanwhile, should mainstream sustainable rice in their programs. 
Rice is staple food for 3.5 billion people around the world and, per UN estimates, production must increase by 25 percent in the next 25 years to serve the growing global population. 

Expert exhorts farmers to look beyond rice cultivation

Jan 23, 2019, 9:20 AM; last updated: Jan 23, 2019, 9:20 AM (IST)
Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, January 22
A one-day workshop on the impact of changing environment and climate change on agriculture and resource conservation was held today. The seminar was held in collaboration with GIZ and shed light on the Indo- German cooperation, GIZ project, “Climate change adaptation in rural areas of India”. The PAU bagged a project titled, “Farmers network on climate resilient agriculture in Punjab”.
Dr Jaskarn Singh Mahal, Director Extension, PAU, was the chief guest on the occasion while Dr Navtej Bains, Director Research, was the guest of honour.
Technical experts, including Soumya Bhatt; Joint Director Agriculture Dr Rajesh Vashisht, Programme Director Dr Raman Mehta and Additional Director of Research Dr Pushpinder Singh Pannu, were also present.
Dr Mahal exhorted farmers to adopt new and recommended agricultural technologies, simultaneously calling upon them to look beyond rice cultivation. He shed light on the new technique of direct seeding of rice which is an environment friendly technology. “It is due to the PAU’s efforts in sensitising the farmers that a large area of wheat during the ongoing Rabi season was cultivated through direct seeding,” said Dr Mahal
Dr Bains stressed on the need for in depth planning for water conservation and called upon the experts to develop technology targeting resource conservation. He revealed the ongoing research activities targeted at changing the rice- wheat cropping pattern. Dr Bains shared the PAU’s early maturing, less water guzzling paddy varieties PR121 and PR 126 that mature in three and five weeks, respectively.
Dr Bhatt discussed the impact of climate change on agriculture and gave technical tips for managing the same. Dr Pannu emphasised on the need for collective efforts to combat climate change and suggested the adopting of integrated management techniques.
A folder on direct seeding of rice and a book discussing tips on climate related agricultural practices was released at the occasion.
The seminar was attended by university experts as well as more than 100 farmers from across the state. Lectures were held on changing climate scenario.


Villar mulls creation of rice school in Iloilo

Last updated Jan 23, 2019
Senator Cynthia Villar wants to establish a rice school in Oton town, Iloilo province.
Villar said the proposed school would provide individuals a training program on the mechanization of rice production.
The Daily Guardian reported that the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization and the Philippine Rice Research Institute will teach local government officials and cooperatives, who in turn will relay their knowledge to the farmers.
The rice school is expected to be created this year, according to Villar.
“Inaayos na namin,” she added.
Villar is the chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture and Food.


China to increase Cambodian rice quota

Sok Chan / Khmer

Chinese president Xi Jinping on Monday said his country’s import quota for Cambodian rice will be raised by 100,000 tonnes.
In a meeting with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Mr Xi agreed to increase the quota to 400,000 tonnes for 2019, up from last year’s 300,000 tonnes. The meeting between the two heads of state took place in Beijing on Monday as part of Mr Hun Sen’s official visit to China.
Chan Pich, general manager of Signatures of Asia, said this was great news for the local rice sector, explaining that the Chinese rice market has immense potential for Cambodian exporters.
. .
“Now that the quota has been raised, we urge China to also consider allowing more Chinese companies to buy our rice,” he said. According to Mr Pich, only state-owned COFCO is currently allowed to bring Cambodian rice into the country.
“Having only one company importing makes it difficult for Cambodian exporters and creates really tough competition,” Mr Pich said.
Last year Cambodia did not fulfill the quota for the Chinese market, shipping only 170,000 tonnes of the 300,000 allowed. Mr Pich said this is because only 26 local firms have Beijing’s approval to export rice to China.
Mr Pich called on China’s customs administration to speed up work auditing Cambodian rice millers and granting them permission to export to China, adding that there are many local firms that meet the requirements of the Chinese market but are still waiting for Beijing’s approval.
One of the 26 local firms certified by Beijing, Signatures of Asia sent 500 metric tonnes of rice to China in 2017. Last year, however, it shipped only half that amount.
Most rice exported to China is of the Sen Kro Ob (fragrant) variety, Mr Pich said, adding that China accepts all types of rice except broken rice.
Last year, China increased its import quota for Cambodian rice to 300,000 tonnes, from 200,000 tonnes in 2017 and 100,000 tonnes in 2016.
Cambodia exported 626,225 tonnes of rice to international markets last year, a drop of 1.5 percent compared to 2017.
China’s announcement that it will raise the import quota for Cambodian rice comes just five days after the European Union imposed tariffs on rice imports from Cambodia and Myanmar.
Last week, the EU re-introduced import duties on Cambodian rice, which will be steadily reduced over a period of three years. During the first year, 175 euros ($199.5) per tonne will be levied, 150 euros ($171) in the second year, and 125 euros ($142.5) in the last.
Mr Pich said that Chinese buyers tend to pay less for Cambodian rice than European firms but generally buy larger quantities. While a European firm usually buys 1 to 5 containers at a time, a Chinese company may purchase up to 20, he added.


Qatar to buy two gas power plants from Pakistan: FM Qureshi

Web Desk On Jan 22, 2019 Last Updated Jan 22, 2019
DOHA: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that Qatar would buy two gas power plants from Pakistan and would build two other power plants in the country, ARY News reported.
Talking to ARY News correspondent, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Qatar would play key role in the revival of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and would financially support the national flag carrier.
He said that Doha was interested in investment in agriculture sector pertaining to processing field in Pakistan.The foreign minister said that a delegation of Qatari business community would arrive in Pakistan to explore the investment opportunities in the country.
As a goodwill gesture, Qatar had lifted ban on rice import from Pakistan, Qureshi concluded.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Imran Khan held meeting with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani and discussed LNG deal and reviewed the future price of fuel.
The high profile meeting took place at Diwan-e-Amiri Doha Qatar. Sources said, the two sides had agreed over compliance of the LNG agreement but a review of prices could be discussed.
The two countries would also discuss the issue of supply of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from Qatar on upto US$ four billion delayed payment, and increase in trade volume, sources said.
Pakistan would put up a suggestion for a quota of 100,000 jobs for Pakistani nationals in upcoming FIFA World Cup, scheduled in Qatar in 2022.

Trade deficit: some respite

BR ResearchJanuary 22, 2019
The first half of FY19 is over with some respite on the external trade front, as per latest data from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. Exports have moved up sluggishly and imports have moved down languidly, resulting in an overall 5 percent yearly decline in the trade balance. The gain, however, is not commensurate with multiple PKR devaluations in the period under review. Perhaps the next half will come with more deficit reduction.
Description: https://www.brecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/2.jpg
Comparing the first half of the last six fiscal years, broadly exports across all categories declined from FY14 till FY17 before rising in FY18. From FY18 to FY19 however, the growth has been mostly at a snail’s pace.
The major export groups have posted single-digit growth. Heavyweight textiles remained lackluster in part due to the China-US trade war. Since China is the main importer of Pakistan’s cotton yarn that is partially used for exports, its demand decreased as higher tariffs were imposed on Chinese goods.
Description: https://www.brecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/import-00.jpg
Devaluation has done little to increase value-added textile exports as a lot of imported raw materials are used by the sector, including cotton and dyes. There is a deficit of 4-5 million cotton bales per annum as area under cotton cultivation gradually gives way to sugar cultivation, resulting in raw cotton imports. While in theory, a weaker rupee could make textile exports more competitive globally in the months to come, higher cost of production may offset the price advantage.
Furthermore, there is a liquidity constraint in the sector due to pending tax refunds. While many incentives were given on paper, the funds weren’t actually released. Firms are facing a capacity constraint because money is caught in back orders. (Read “Textile refunds – another circular debt?” published on January 9, 2019).
Basmati rice exports were the silver lining of the food category. Buoyed by EU’s restriction on Indian Basmati, exports saw 26 percent YoY increase in 1HFY19. (Read “Fungi, toxins, and basmati exports” published on January 15, 2019) Overall however, rice exports declined as Pakistan’s non-basmati rice exports were edged out of African markets due to auctioning off of old crop stocks by China and India.
Wheat and sugar exports story is one of subsidies. Wheat exports have led the food category courtesy ECC approval to export surplus stocks, supported by subsidy. Sugar was given a 100 percent subsidy to become export competitive. This lapsed in July and resulted in sugar exports declining to less than half their amount compared to the same period last year.
Pivoting to imports, the petroleum/gas group continued to lead imports, posting a roughly billion dollar jump in absolute terms. The ban on furnace oil (FO) has decreased the quantity of petroleum imports, but currency devaluation and higher international prices led to a jump in dollar terms. This is aggravated by nearly doubling of gas imports as substitution effect from FO to gas takes place.
While machine imports rose from FY14 to FY17, they have been tapering down since then. Declining by $1 billion YoY for 1HYFY19, they were the biggest contributor towards the cooling down of the import bill. Nearly 60 percent of the dip stemmed from power generating machinery which can be mostly attributed to maturity of CPEC projects.
For the first time in the first half of last five years, the transport group registered a decrease. As currency devaluation made automotive more expensive and higher interest rates has made financing more costly, the transport group imports decreased by half a billion dollars. Other than CKD/SKD kits of buses, trucks, and cars, all major line items of the group registered a decline in import numbers for the period under review.
The food group is largely impacted by international price of edible oil, its biggest component. As internationally palm oil and Soya bean prices decreased, pressure was eased off Pakistan’s imported food bill. (Read “CPO price – make hay” published on January 9, 2019).
The half-yearly trade data has set up the fiscal on a less-fragile footing. No time yet to celebrate for the government, however. The existing trends don’t seem near enough to steer the country completely out of its balance of payment woes.

Low-carb? World’s changing diet no bane for rice farmers

Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News
Jan 23 2019 03:10 PM
SIEM REAP, Cambodia - Keto. Low-carb. People around the world are cutting down on carbohydrates- largely portrayed as the villain against fitness and weight loss. But is the movement towards leaner eating a bane to producers of rice, among the world’s leading sources of carbs? 
No, if you ask a top official of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 
“We see that as an opportunity,” Kundhavi Kadiresan, FAO Assistant Director-General and Asia-Pacific regional representative, told ABS-CBN News in an interview. 
Kadiresan pointed out this trend in her keynote speech at the plenary meeting of Sustainable Rice Platform, a multi-stakeholder alliance of environment groups, rice research organizations and private sector partners advocating for environment-friendlier rice cultivation practices. 
“The consumption pattern in rice is also changing… You see more and more people reducing their intake of rice, consuming a lot more meat, vegetables, fruits,” she said. 
Kadiresan encouraged farmers to consider this shift a chance to diversify their business: look at other crops that may be planted on their land, and not limit themselves to one crop.
“In that sense, the diversification is indeed having some impact in terms of our rice culture,” she said. 
Kadiresan also noted that, still as part of the movement towards healthier eating, a growing number of consumers are willing to pay more premium rice, such as organically grown varieties. 
“Naturally-grown rice, it should have more value. And consumers are willing to buy let’s say high-value rice,” Kadiresan said in an interview. 
She cited the need to connect farmers to such markets, noting that the potential for higher profitability leads to a quick shift among producers’ business strategies. 
“So in which case, linking the farmers to those markets, and where there are those people willing to pay more for organic rice or sustainably grown rice, then connecting those farmers to those markets,” Kadiresan said. 
“That will also shift because the market also forces farmers to change rather quickly: they see the market there, they know there is profitability. Then they can also scale crops if there is market they can sell to, I think that’s where we need to help, [have an] enabling policy environment,” she said. 
CALL TO ACTION
At the SRP conference here, the alliance called on stakeholders to shift to rice production practices with minimal environmental impact. Traditional rice-growing methods consume 40 percent of the world’s irrigation water and cause 10 percent in global methane emissions, per UN estimates
In a statement, SRP, an alliance of nearly 100 institutions from 24 countries led by UN Environment, the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute, and German aid agency GIZ, called on different sectors to do their part to promote its set of rice cultivation standards. 
“Governments, retailers and brands need to work together with scientists, financial institutions and development partners to promote climate-smart best practices among rice smallholders,” SRP said. 
It said governments should reduce rice tariffs on sustainable rice, noting that just a 1-percent cut would translate to $150 million in savings for exporters, which could in turn be passed on as incentives to farmers who shift to sustainable rice farming. 
Retailers and supply chain actors should, meanwhile, promote sustainable rice to consumers, while financial institutions should be open to funding smallholders and offer incentivized credit schemes for those who use sustainable rice cultivation practices. 
For researchers, SRP said there should be focus on studies on crop resilience amid climate change, improving the nutritional value of rice varieties, and efficient resource use. 
Development and civil society organizations, meanwhile, should mainstream sustainable rice in their programs. 
Rice is staple food for 3.5 billion people around the world and, per UN estimates, production must increase by 25 percent in the next 25 years to serve the growing global population. 

Community Seedbanks Create Tomorrow’s Biodiversity Edens

Contrary to scientific perception that high-tech genebanks hold the future of flora in its vaults, tomorrow’s plants for food and medicine are in jars in many obscure rural villages globally, awaiting their turn to be planted for humanity’s needs. Description: seed plant dandelion
Expensive genebanks especially those of international research agencies under the Rome-based Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and private profit-oriented companies hold most seeds of the world.
CGIAR members include 15 members namely: International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines, International Potato Center (CIP) in Peru, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico, International Crops Research for Semi-arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in India, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Colombia, Africa Rice Center in Benin, Biodiversity International in Italy, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Indonesia, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) in Lebanon, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in the US, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria, World Agroforestry Center in Kenya, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Kenya, International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in Sri Lanka, and; International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management, (ICLARM) in Malaysia.
The top ten giant private seed companies include Monsanto, Shell, DuPont, Syngenta, Groupe Limagrain, Bayer, Takii, Sakata, Land O Lakes, KWS AG, and DLF Trifolium.
As climate change worsens and threatens flora especially food crops of millions of people today and worse, the future, scientists are scrambling to collect and save today’s seeds, many of which are nearing extinction.
Seeds in Farmers Hands
But this is easier said than done. Most farmers no longer want to share their seeds to the scientific community. Farmers’ distrust and suspicion of scientists’ motives remain fresh after years of biopiracy that saw thousands of traditional food varieties lost as genetically-tinkered varieties took over farms in Asia, Africa and South America.
When researchers usually from transnational companies take, use and profit from biological resources and traditional knowledge without permission, or exploit the cultures from less affluent countries or marginalised people, it is called biopiracy.
“It is not surprising,” Chief agriculturist Pandey Napradeyah of the Bharatiyah Agro- Industrial Foundation (BAIF), peoples’ rural devevelopment group of scientists in India said, “for too long, local rice, other cereals, vegetables and spices were lost through the false promises of the Green Revolution, what did not disappear due to the onslaught of laboratory-bred varieties suffered fom the effects of dangerous chemicals,”he continued. The author visited the BAIF headquarters in Pune, Maharahstra.
Traditional crop biodiversity have, for centuries, been selected by farmers for the seeds’ unique suitability to local growing conditions such that scientists claim they are more likely to adapt to changing climatic conditions.
The scientific community intends to put its hands on some of these, the Global Crop Diversity Trust recently approved millions of US dollars to fund the global seed collection effort.
Thousands of local and heirloom food crop varieties are in farmers’ hands mostly treasured through home and community seedbanks.

Community- Based Seedbanking

Home and community-based seedbanks are community-level seed-saving initiatives that have existed in many countries around the world since farming was discovered by man. Broadly speaking, community seed banks are local, mostly informal institutions whose core function is that of collectively maintaining seeds for local use
Napradeyah elaborates, “they are usually part of farmers’ informal seed systems, in which the various stages of seed management—selection, conservation, exchange and improvement take place, the drivers underlying their establishment, evolution and sustainability vary considerably. ostly set up following a famine, drought or flood and the accompanying loss of local seed supplies”, he added.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (UNFAO) Second Report on the State of the World’s Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture acknowledges the relevance of community seedbanks, saying “ these act as platforms of community-based management of agricultural biodiversity that can ensure effective implementation of farmers’ rights through the recognition of local knowledge of agricultural biodiversity, participation in decision-making concerning its conservation, benefit sharing and the existence of a supportive policy and seed regulatory framework.”
Historically, community seedbanks existed some 3,000-5,000 years ago. Biblical scholars studying the seven years of famine in Egypt during Joseph’s time say “During the good years, the crops were excellent, and appear to have given more than double the harvest of a normal year. That would mean that even with Joseph’s 20% tax, each farmer would have 160% of the grain from a normal year. If they sold all of their regular harvest, that still leaves 60% for them to do with as they please, including saving seeds for future planting in their homes and communities.”
This belies some in the scientific community who claim community seed banks first appeared towards the end of the 1980s, established with the support of international and national nongovernmental organizations.
Community Seed Banks by Ronnie Vernooy, Pitambar Shrestha and Bhuwon Sthapit say countries that pioneered various types of community seed banks include Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Nicaragua, the Philippines and Zimbabwe.
In the Global North, a particular type of community seed bank emerged known as a seed-savers network. Such networks were first established in Australia, Canada, the UK and the USA before spreading to other countries. Over time, the number and diversity of seed banks have grown. In Nepal, for example, there are now more than 100 self-described community seed banks whose functions range from pure conservation to commercial seed production. In Brazil, community seed banks operate in various regions of the country.

Empowered Community Seedbanks, Microcenters of Biodiversity

In Bolivia, of the 4,500 potato varieties grown in South America, 1000 to 3,290 varieties are found in Bolivian farmers’ hands. The great diversity of potatoes has survived eight millenia because of the life and culture of the Andean farmers and communities that grow the crop.
Ximena Cadima of the PROINPA Foundation, a farmers’ organization said the diversity of Bolivian potatoes was and still is being conserved in situ under traditional farming systems in specific geographic areas known as “microcenters of biodiversity.”
Much of the diversity has been collected and conservved ex situ by PROINPA, integrating it with in situ, combining the knowledge generated by farmers’ experiments with traditional knowledge of farming communities, Cadima revealed.
It has resulted to:
§  –Community empowerment as local farming families are able to appreciate the value and uniqueness of their agricultural biodiversity
§  –Increased awareness as more sensitive social environments are being created that are open to conservation of agricultural biodiversity
§  –Strenghtening of farming systems as traditional farming systems reintroduce native potato varieties in farms where the varieties were lost
§  –Create new markets as new initiatives link farmers to markets
In the Wello region of Ethiopia, a farmer- run initiative Ethno Organic Seed Action (EOSA) ensures seed supply system enabling food security through reliable access to planting materials.
Regissa Feyeessa, EOSA president said “ our community-based seedbanks for sorghum constitutes the sorghum bread basket of Ethiopia. It is hard to imagine drought and famine devastated our regions but over time, we developed a comprehensive approach that empowered farmers.”
“Community seed banks have been the key part of this strategy, “ she beamed, recalling EOSA’s experiences.
In EOSA’s community seedbanks, farmers maintain collection of germplasm. Each family contributes a share of seed which is used to establish a ‘revolving seed fund” that involves a broad set of crops and varieties. The fund consists of a seed and grain reserve that is dynamically linked to farmers’ fields.
Families can borrow seeds from the fund plant it in theier fields and return mit with interest at thend of each cropping season.
This reliable point of access to diverse crops and varieties decreasesv the vulnerability of the entire communnity to genetic erosion, pests and diseases and the increasingly extreme weather patterns brought about by climate change, Feyeessa explained.
The community seedbanks provide areas for farmers’ experimentation, farmer-scientist collaboration and other activities aimed at increasing productivity of farmers without compromising local crop diversity.

Traditional Practices Endure

In the Cordillera region of the Philippines, home seed and community seedbanking is as old as time immemorial. The most popular traditional way of saving seeds is the su-ulan rice storage. Almost all farming homes in the Cordillera have a su-ulan, a structure where rice harvest for food and planting is stored and prevented from rat, pest, fungus or mold infestation through smoke emanating from a hearth. This is usually located over the hearth in the kitchen . The traditional su-ulan does not only preserve, store and protect rice harvests but also corn, rootcrops, and legumes.
The su-ulan system keeps the seeds dry thereby stymying seed respiration and transpiration and prevents moisture from settling on the seeds which usually is the cause of fungal and mold infestation. Tried, tested and proven for centuries, it is the most effective traditional and effective seed conservation so far for grains, cereals, legumes and spices in this part of the country.
This and many more indigenous biodiversity approaches of local peoples deserve attention. Surprisingly, community seed banks have rarely been the subject of systematic scientific inquiry. It is time they are given a second look.
*About the Author: Dr. Michael A. Bengwayan wrote for the British Panos News and Features and GEMINI News Service, the Brunei Times, and US Environment News Service. In the Philippines, he wrote for DEPTHNews of the Press Foundation of Asia, Today, the Philippine Post, and Vera Files. A practicing environmentalist, he holds postgraduate degrees in environment resource management and development studies as a European Union (EU) Fellow at University College, Dublin, Ireland. He is currently a Fellow of Echoing Green Foundation of New York City. He now writes for Business Mirror and Eurasia Review.

Scientists Develop Modified Tobacco Plant With 40% Higher Growth

By Leslie Holland on January 21, 2019
Description: Scientists Develop Modified Tobacco Plant With 40% Higher GrowthIn field trials, scientists have come up with tobacco plants that can grow larger than the normal plants—up to 40% larger. This was published in a study in a journal named Science. According to the researchers who conducted the study, they have come across a method of overcoming limitations in photosynthesis that limit the productivity of a crop. The scientists believe that this method could considerably boost the yields from main crops such as wheat and rice.
Their growing concern is about feeding the growing population of the world in a time when there is a serious issue of climate change. Agricultural demand is expected to grow worldwide by 60 to 120% by the mid of this century. However, there is likely to be a deficit by 2050 as crop yields are growing by less than 2% annually. Although over the last few decades, the usage of pesticides, fertilizers and modernization have increased yields; their potential of growth in future is limited.
Scientists on the other hand are trying to improve the photosynthesis process to raise the productivity of food. In this study, they are developing the process of photosynthesis by working around the glitches faced in it. Dr Paul South from the US Agricultural Research Service who is also the lead author of the study said that they have tried three different techniques in order to create a shortcut of photorespiration which is an extremely energy expensive procedure.
Estimates show that in plants like soybeans, rice, fruits and vegetables, it could be a noteworthy haul on yield by 36%, he added. Dr South noted that the team has tried to create a shortcut so as to make these plants further energy efficient and when it came to field trials it turned into 40% rise in plant biomass.
Amanda Cavanagh, a researcher and the co-author of the study said that the main goal of the study is to build plants that can survive today’s heat and this would provide the farmers with the kind of technology required to feed the whole world.
Published in Science and Top Stories
Description: Leslie Holland
Leslie Holland
Leslie has been a freelancer for a while now but no doubt proves her self through the rapacious will to gain knowledge of the current scientific scenarios. Her inquisitive and intellectual nature has helped gain a remarkable amount of knowledge within a small amount of time. Her MSc post-graduation has helped her make up for the lesser experience in the editorial field. The voracious stringer makes it a point to put up centric articles for the publication

UN Environment, IRRI, partners seek sustainable rice, launch production standards

Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News
Posted at Jan 22 2019 02:56 PM | Updated as of Jan 22 2019 05:31 PM
SIEM REAP, Cambodia - For some 3.5 billion people in the world, rice is a diet staple. For the environment, it means heavy water consumption and methane emissions. 
So how does the world respond to the rice demand without harming the environment amid challenges posed by climate change?
Such crucial balance is what a multi-stakeholder alliance of environment groups, rice research organizations and private sector partners seek to achieve with the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP)’s rice cultivation standards, a set of guidelines that seek to promote rice farming that is friendlier to the environment while maximizing yield and generating profits for farmers and businesses. 
UN Environment, the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), German aid agency GIZ and government and private sector partners on Tuesday launched a revised version of the SRP Standard for Sustainable Rice Cultivation, rice farming guidelines enhanced from its pilot in 2015. 
Description: View image on Twitter
HAPPENING NOW: Plenary meeting of the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP), a multi-stakeholder alliance led by UN Environment and IRRI to promote better farming practices. | via @TarraQuismundo
The world’s first voluntary standard for rice sustainability, SRP’s rice cultivation standard recommends 41 guidelines in rice cultivation covering farm management, water use, pest management, nutrient management, harvest and post-harvest practices, even labor practices. 
Kundhavi Kadiresan, Assistant Director-General and Asia-Pacific regional representative of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said the standards seek to create a market for sustainable rice, answers the need to generate profit for farmers and businesses, and produce better-tasting rice for consumers while minimizing impact on the environment.
“SRP is serious about providing the means to produce rice that’s better: better for farmers, better for the environment, and better for agribusiness,” Kadiresan said in her keynote speech at the SRP plenary meeting and general assembly here. 
The SRP standards, she said, are “practical and necessary tools” to serve as benchmarks for agribusiness and farmers to improve their sustainability. 
“The challenge before us now is one of action: how to implement this to drive us to change and towards a globally sustainable rice sector,” she said. 
“There’s so much more we need to do. If it was actually all very easy, it would have been all done by now,” she told an audience of some 150 researchers, agriculturists, government representatives and private sector partners. 
First introduced in October 2015, SRP sought to mitigate the impact of rice farming to the environment. Per UN’s estimates, rice production uses 40 percent of the world’s irrigation water, and rice fields cause 10 percent of global methane emissions. 
“Rice is the largest source of greenhouse gases and uses more water than any other crop worldwide,” Kadiresan said. 
Rice production, meanwhile, needs to increase by 25 percent in the next 25 years to ensure that a growing population is fed. 
As Jacqueline Hughes, IRRI Deputy Director General for Research and SRP advisory committee co-chair, rice farming has been afflicted with “dependence and misuse of pesticides.” With the rice cultivation standards, the alliance aims to cut yield loss, protect consumers’ health, and make rice varieties pest-resistant, she said. 
“This is doable. These goals can be reached,” said Hughes in her opening remarks. 
“It’s time to break away from the old-fashioned way of doing business and look at new realities,” Kadiresan said in a call to action to the private sector. 
STAR/Michael Varcas
Business groups press Duterte to sign rice tariffication measure
In this Oct. 21, 2018 file photo, a woman checks rice prices in Quezon City.
Description: https://media.philstar.com/images/articles/rice-tariffy-deutsche-bank_2018-12-08_15-59-36.jpg148SHARES5000
(philstar.com) - January 22, 2019 - 7:36pm
MANILA, Philippines — Business groups on Monday urged President Rodrigo Duterte to sign into law a bill lifting the more than two-decade-old caps on rice imports to bring relief to consumers.
Rice is a Filipino main staple and pivotal political commodity in the Philippines. It is a heavy item in the basket of goods and services used to compute inflation and accounts for 20 percent of the consumption of low-income households.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the country’s economic managers have repeatedly stressed the importance of replacing rice import limits with a system of tariffs to bring inflation back inside the government’s 2-4 percent target band.
In a statement, nine major business organizations pressed Duterte to sign legislation on his desk liberalizing rice imports to address supply disruptions.
“Consumers must be freed of food supply apprehension and provided with price stability at an affordable level. This measure will address those concerns through free and open competition,” they said.
“At the same time, rice farmers will be accorded protection from unfair competition through the imposition of import tariff duty,” they added.
The business groups that issued the statement were the Management Association of the Philippines, the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, the Bankers Association of the Philippines, the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, the Foundation For Economic Freedom, the Judicial Reform Initiative, the Makati Business Club, the Philippine Investment Funds Association and the Semiconductor And Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Inc.
Congress last year passed the Rice Tariffication Bill, which seeks to amend the Agricultural Tariffication Act of 1996.
Under the measure, individuals and businesses can import additional volumes of the crop from Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Vietnam but will have to pay a 35-percent tariff. The collected tariffs will be used to fund mass irrigation, warehousing and rice research.
Based on the central bank’s estimate, scrapping import caps on rice could reduce annual inflation by 0.7 percentage points in 2019. 
While the measure is expected to give households reeling from soaring prices a reprieve, farmer groups said replacing rice import limits with a system of tariffs would drive down prices for their produce and hurt their business.
https://www.philstar.com/business/2019/01/22/1887246/business-groups-press-duterte-sign-rice-tariffication-measure

Advantage of early-maturing varieties

Description: https://www.panaynews.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Yap-Urban-farmer_colored.jpgIN ANTICIPATION of the coming dry season, farmers with insufficient water supply are advised to adopt early-maturing rice varieties or with maturity days less than 110.
The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) says early-maturing varieties require lesser water, as they can mature faster than other inbred varieties.
PhilRice says a rice crop that matures in 100 days will require approximately 1,000-mm of water while a crop that matures in 150 days will require 50 percent more.
For rainfed and irrigated areas, using these varieties will reduce the water needed and the number of days in supplying water.
According to PhilRice, farmers in irrigated areas are recommended to plant the following rice varieties, which include the PSB Rc 4 (Molawin), Rc 8 (Talavera), Rc 10 (Pagsanjan), Rc 82 (Peñaranda), NSIC Rc 118 (Matatag 3), Rc 120 (Matatag 6), Rc 130 (Tubigan 3), Rc 134 (Tubigan 4), Rc 140 (Tubigan 6), Rc 144 (Tubigan 8), Rc 146 (PJ7), Rc 148 (Mabango 2), Rc 152 (Tubigan 10), Rc 154 (Tubigan 11),  Rc 242 (Japonica 2), Rc 436 (Tubigan 37), Rc 438 (Tubigan 38), and Rc 440 (Tubigan 39).
While the PSB Rc 12(Caliraya), Rc 14(Rio Grande), and NSIC Rc 192(Sahod Ulan 1) are suitable for rainfed areas.
Average yield of these varieties ranges from 4 to 10 tons per hectare (t/ha).
They mature between 105 and 110 days compared to 115 to 125 days for the other varieties.
Reduction in yield happens when rice plants are exposed to stress like drought, especially during the flowering stage.
With early-maturing varieties, this is less likely to happen, says PhilRice’s in-house agriculturist and Text Center lead agent Fredierick M. Saludez.
A series of studies from the Plant Breeding and Biotechnology Division showed an average of 64 percent yield reduction, under drought condition, during dry season from 2015 to 2018.
PhilRice also recommended water-saving technologies, such as the alternate-wetting, and drying (AWD).
AWD is a water-saving technology that reduces the use of irrigation water without penalizing crop yield.
Based on studies, rice farmers in lowland areas can save water by up to 50 percent, if properly implemented.
Locally available materials such as bamboo or PVC tubes with 4-inch diameter and 25-cm in length are used to install AWD.
A farmer from Masinloc, Zambales testified that AWD is effective, as it helped him save water in irrigating his farm.
Technology promoters say that farmers should also put holes (3-5mm) to serve as a water passage, around the tube with 5cm distance.
This will be inserted into the soil up to the 15cm marked for dry season and 20cm marked for wet season. Every irrigation time, 5cm deep is enough.
Researchers said that farmers will just have to wait until the water subsides down to the bottom of the tube before the next irrigation.
In technology dissemination, PhilRice is urging agriculturists from the local government units, rice technicians, extension workers, and rice advocates to promote the use of these technologies for farmers to avoid yield losses during dry season. (jaypeeyap@ymail.com/PN)




FSA Offices to Reopen with Abbreviated Services 

WASHINGTON, DC -- During a meeting via conference call led by USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey and other Department officials, USA Rice learned that all Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices will be reopening later this week.  In an effort to help farmers who have been caught in the political crossfire surrounding the partial government shutdown, FSA is making every effort to provide much needed assistance by reopening FSA offices to carry out several programs important to rice, even with the shutdown still ongoing.

Beginning on Thursday, January 24, all FSA offices will be open for business providing limited functions, in addition to those offices that have been open the past three business days.  Only those offices that have been open will also be open for business tomorrow, January 23.  The following two weeks, the weeks of January 28 and February 4, FSA will operate five days per week.  The ensuing weeks would be three-day work weeks (Tuesday - Thursday).  However, this is all contingent on the duration of the shutdown.

A few of services that will be provided by FSA offices include:  administration of the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) programs, including making payments on backlogged rice PLC payments; processing of new direct and guaranteed operating loans; issuance warehouse receipts for existing Marketing Assistance Loans; processing of new Marketing Assistance Loans; and acceptance of applications/process payments for the Market Facilitation Program (signup deadline also delayed until February 14).

When USA Rice inquired about the past-due rice PLC payments that were delayed due to apportionment issues, Northey said those payments are a high priority, and that USDA is aware that those PLC payments are one of the first things that need to be done once offices reopen.

"USA Rice is thankful that FSA offices will be reopening so our farmers can complete some of their business leading up to planting season, as well as the fact that rice PLC payments will be a high priority on these offices' to-do lists once they reopen," said Ben Mosely, USA Rice vice president of government affairs.  "We appreciate the work of Secretary Perdue and Under Secretary Northey for making this happen during a time of critical need."

Go here for more information. 

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Webinar: Ag Market Outlook Under New Farm Bill, Jan. 24

Posted on January 18, 2019
Description: https://i1.wp.com/agfax.com/wp-content/uploads/combine_harvest_soybeans_iowa_state_university.jpg?fit=600%2C400&ssl=1
Soybean harvest. Photo: Iowa State University
Join in on Thursday, January 24 at 10 a.m. CST for our next webinar presentation from Patrick Westhoff. He will discuss the market outlook under the new farm bill. Final approval of the 2018 farm bill removed one source of uncertainty for the farm sector, but trade issues and “normal” supply and demand uncertainties remain.
Westhoff will summarize important features of the new farm bill for crop producers and discuss what is known and not known about the market outlook.
About the presenter: Patrick Westhoff is the director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) and the Howard Cowden professor of agricultural and applied economics at the University of Missouri. He grew up on an Iowa farm, has degrees from the University of Iowa and the University of Texas, and obtained his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Iowa State University.
He served in the Peace Corps in Guatemala, and was an economist with the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry before joining MU in 1996.

Traders to import 1.19M MT of rice
January 23, 2019 | 12:33 am

Description: rice palay harvestA Tarlac farmer harvesting this season's crop. Under the rice tariffication measure, the NFA will focus solely on procuring rice from local farmers for buffer stocking while importation duties will be left to private firms. -- PHILIPPINE STAR/MICHAEL VARVCAS
THE National Food Authority (NFA) has 180 applicants from the private sector to import 1.19 million metric tons (MT) of rice under the out-quota scheme as the government prepares to lift a cap on purchases, with its tariffication law for the staple expected to be in force “soon.”
The applications are for the importation of white rice at 5% and 25% brokens, fragrant rice at 5% brokens and glutinous rice at 10% brokens.
The NFA said this number of applications from rice traders as of Jan. 21 is still safe for now.
“Until this time, [this is] still okay. While there are 180 applicants, most of them have not actually imported yet,” Tomas R. Escarez, NFA Officer-in-Charge Administrator, said in a mobile message on Tuesday.
Asked what is the cut-off for applicants, Mr. Escarez replied, “That has not been discussed at the NFA Council yet.”
Out of the 180, 18 have been given permits to import previously, according to NFA data as of Jan. 18.
Last year, the NFA awarded five private firms from Southeast Asia contracts to import 500,000 MT of rice from Thailand and Vietnam.
It also sealed the importation of 250,000 MT of rice via government-to-government deals with Thailand and Vietnam, which will be its last purchase as the state moves to liberalize rice imports.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte in October ordered the “unimpeded” importation of rice after the country’s inflation rate shot up to 6.7% in September and October, the highest in nearly a decade, partly due to food prices.
Importers are allowed to bring in rice from any country, but grains from Southeast Asian suppliers will be charged a tariff of 35% while those from elsewhere will face a 50% charge.
Lawmakers have approved the bill removing the import cap on rice imports and replacing it with tariffs. Mr. Duterte will “most likely” sign it into law “soon,” presidential spokesman Salvador S. Panelo said on Tuesday.
Inflation eased in November and December, and the rice tariffication law could help curb it this year by as much as 0.7 percentage point, the central bank has said. Rice is the biggest food item in the country’s consumer price index.
Under the rice tariffication measure, the NFA will focus solely on procuring rice from local farmers for buffer stocking while importation duties will be left to private firms. The tariffs collected from the importation will go to the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund which will help Filipino rice farmers boost productivity by providing education, seeds, and technology among others.
In a joint statement, business groups said they support the government’s move to liberalize the economy via the tariffication measure and urged Mr. Duterte to enact the bill soon.
These groups are the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Bankers Association of the Philippines, Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, Foundation for Economic Freedom, Investment House Association of the Philippines, Judicial Reform Initiative, Makati Business Club, Management Association of the Philippines, Organization of Socialized Housing Developers of the Philippines, Inc., Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Philippine Investment Funds Association, Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Inc. and Shareholders’ Association of the Philippines, Inc.
“The bill is now with Malacañang and we urge the President to sign it into law. Upon enactment, the financial resources, management expertise, logistics support and extensive nationwide distribution system of the private sector will be harnessed to ensure food security, particularly of the most important food staple — rice,” the joint statement read.
The groups said the measure will help address via “free and open competition” the supply concerns that stoked inflation last year.
“We urge the sustained provision of essential support services and facilities — irrigation, better seedlings, modern growing and efficient harvesting technology, safe agricultural chemicals and post-harvest facilities — by the government to further assist the farm sector to be more productive and increase rural income,” they added. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio with Reuters

Rice exports set to pick up in Q1 2019

Wednesday, 01/23/2019, 18:40
VOV.VN - Rice exports are predicted to thrive during the first quarter of 2019 as regular importers are giving positive signs, according to a Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development source.
Description: rice exports set to pick up in q1 2019 hinh 0
Rice exports to regular importers such as the Philippines and Indonesia will soar in the first quarter of 2019 as both have recently been hit by natural disasters.
The Agro Processing and Market Development Authority made the prediction at a press conference on January 22. The conference briefed expectations of farm produce exports during 2019, reported the news outlet Vietnam Economic Times.
The authority stated rice exports to regular importers such as the Philippines and Indonesia will soar in the first quarter of 2019 as both have recently been hit by natural disasters.
As many as 166 Filipino companies have made plans to import 1 million tons of rice, of which many have been ordered from Vietnam. This move came after the Philippines lifted its import restriction policy.
Under new rules set by the Philippines, rice imported from ASEAN countries will be taxed at 35% while the rate of rice shipments from non-ASEAN countries is 50%.
Upon gaining easier access to the Filipino market, Vietnamese rice will face fierce competition from regional rivals, including Cambodia, Myanmar, and Thailand.
Moreover, China, a regular import of Vietnamese rice, has revised its border trading policy and begins to attach more importance to fully-taxed imports. Meanwhile, rice production will be expanded in regional countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar, and Thailand.
Apart from rice, high hopes have been placed on the export of other staple products such as peppers, aquatic products, and wooden items.
As for fruit products, Nguyen Quoc Toan, acting director of the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority, said that 2018 was a good year for fruit exports with turnover peaking at US$3.8 billion.
However, fruit shipments still depend heavily on the Chinese market. In 2019, fruit and vegetable exports have to meet more stringent requirements set by Chinese importers.
Regarding aquatic exports, Toan said that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement is scheduled to come into effect in 2019. This pact enables 90% of the tariffs levied on aquatic products shipped to the bloc to reduce from 14% to 0% over the course of three to four years.  
This opens up a range of exciting opportunities for the exporters of aquatic products. Vietnam’s aquatic exports are forecast to reach US$10 billion in 2019 as the demand for aquatic products from the Republic of Korea and ASEAN countries continues to soar.

China increases rice import quota

Hor Kimsay | Publication date 23 January 2019 | 08:48 ICT
Description: rice palay harvestDescription: Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A worker carries a rice sack at Niv Mengheng rice shop near Phnom Penh Railway Station in Daun Penh district’s Srah Chak commune on Thursday. Hong Menea
Four days after the EU imposed tariffs on rice imported from Cambodia, China agreed on Monday to increase its import quota for Cambodian rice to 400,000 tonnes this year from the previous 300,000 tonnes.
If Cambodia can supply the quantity under the new Chinese quota, then that market alone would effectively absorb 63 per cent of Cambodian rice sold abroad based on last year’s export of 626,225 tonnes.
Prime Minister Hun Sen met with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a four-day visit to Beijing which began on Monday.
In a post on his official Facebook page on Tuesday, Hun Sen said that Xi agreed to import 400,000 tonnes of rice from Cambodia this year as part of the plan to increase bilateral trade between the two countries to $10 billion by 2023.
“Although relationships at the international [level] are changing, that between China and Cambodia will still continue to provide a lot of mutual benefits,” Hun Sen said, quoting Xi.
Both countries confirmed to continue collaborating in the areas of politics, national security, and the economy.
The prime minister did not elaborate in detail the terms and conditions under which China agreed to raise the purchase quota of Cambodian rice.
Cambodia Rice Federation vice-president Hun Lak said on Tuesday that the new quota meant that the Chinese government has allowed buyers in that country to purchase rice from Cambodia tariff-free.
He stressed that without the quota, rice sold in the Chinese market would be charged at very high tariff rate.
“The quota offering is good and it unlocks opportunities for us. But what Cambodia needs to solve is our offer price as what we are facing now is price competition."
“However, when it comes to actual business, how much of a success Cambodia achieves [from the new quota agreement] depends on good strategy, and for this, we need a discussion among the relevant parties,” Lak said.
China first offered to purchase Cambodian rice in 2015 at a quota of 100,000 tonnes per year. It gradually increased this and last year, the quota was raised to 300,000 tonnes.
The Chinese market is the largest for Cambodian rice in terms of individual countries, and it is the second-largest buyer after the European bloc. Last year, China bought 170,154 tonnes of rice from Cambodia or equal to 56 per cent of the latest quota.
Centre for Policy Studies director Chan Sophal said that having a higher quota from China will be helpful to the marketing of Cambodian rice, but in the past, Chinese buyers found rice in Vietnam and Thailand more competitively priced and did not buy as much as they agreed.
“Cambodia should look for ways to improve the competitiveness of the rice sector,” he said.
The Cambodian rice sector lost its duty-free export status to the EU last Friday and for the next three years, the tariff rate will be steadily reduced.
As a result, the sector will be forced to pay about $53 million in the first year based on the amount the Kingdom exported to the EU last year.
Exporters and economist have said to minimise risk from the imposition of EU tariffs, Cambodia needs to diversify its markets. A good option for a start, they said, is the Chinese market

Malaysia in bid to increase rice production by 5%


·       NATION
·       Wednesday, 23 Jan 2019
PUTRAJAYA: The production rate of local rice will be increased to 75% from the current 70% as Malaysia looks to reduce dependency on imports, said Datuk Salahuddin Ayub (pic).
The Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister said Malaysia imported 740,000 tonnes of rice last year, which cost about RM1.18bil.
Continue Reading
TAGS / KEYWORDS:Government , Moa , Salahuddin Ayub , Rice Production , Rice Imports , Bernas



Government tries to export rice to Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines on G-to-G basis
PUBLISHED 23 JANUARY 2019

ZEYA NYEIN
The government is trying to export rice to Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines on a basis of G-to-G as there has been a fall in the current rice export sector. Moreover, the government will have to compete with rice-exporting countries for rice quality, according to the workshop on export promotion of Myanma rice sector.
“Indonesia, Malaysian and Philippines are mostly buying rice. The government will have to negotiate with these neighbouring countries for G-to-G basis to export rice to them,” said Ye Min Aung, General Secretary of Myanmar Rice Federation.
“We must try to compete with rice-exporting countries such Thailand as Vietnam, Pakistan and India for rice quality. We will have to compete with them for basic structures capable of producing quality rice. If we can‘t do like so, it will have negative effects on the economy of the country and its farmers. The government and the private sector should work together for that,” said Ye Min Aung.
“The usual words the international merchants said was ‘think Myanmar last’. They bought rice from Thailand, Pakistan and India if they saw conveniences. They can guess the situations in these countries in advance and their basic structures are in a good condition. Especially, there must be many gateways to rice export. Myanmar’s navigation gateway is Yangon. Yangon port is always full of activity. It is not easy to penetrate into the rice market at a time when Thailand, Pakistan and India are selling rice,” said Ye Min Aung.
Myanmar’s rice export volume reached more than 1.717 million tons of rice on US$ 578.807 million from April 1 to December 29 in 2018.  The last year’s export volume reached 2.542 million tons of rice on US$ 789.780 million.  
Translated and Edited by Win Htut

Under half of northern, midland paddy fields have enough water for new crops

Thursday, 01/24/2019, 09:51
Description: under half of northern, midland paddy fields have enough water for new crops hinh 0Over 253,000 ha of land in the midland and northern region had enough water for 2018-2019 winter-spring rice crops as of January 23, or 45.77 percent of the total land, reported the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Directorate of Water Resources.
Localities with high water coverage include Nam Dinh (82.5 percent), Ha Nam (67.4 percent), Phu Tho (67 percent), Ninh Binh (66 percent), Vinh Phuc (33 percent), and Thai Binh (41 percent).

The Hanoi Hydrological Station reported the same day that water levels in the Red River reached 1.91m on average, and 2.33m at the highest.

The Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) is increasing power generation to raise the water level.

The directorate asked the cities and provinces’ agricultural and rural development departments to direct bringing water to paddy fields and store water in ponds, lakes, and ditches from January 21-24.

The EVN enhanced power generation to Hoa Binh, Thac Ba, and Tuyen Quang hydropower plants on January 19.


‘China must import more Indian products to reduce trade deficit’

PTI  Updated on January 22, 2019
Description: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/todays-paper/tp-news/ms3k9b/article25044052.ece/alternates/PORTRAIT_435/bl26ndasnexpoG4C4O14AL6jpgjpg
Anup Wadhawan, Commerce Secretary (file photo)
India on Tuesday pressed China to import more Indian goods, especially pharmaceutical and IT products, as top commerce officials of the two countries held talks in Beijing on the widening trade deficit, which last year crossed USD 57 billion.
Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan also discussed the progress made under Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) during his talks with Wang Shouwen, Vice Minister of China’s Ministry of Commerce, the Indian Embassy here said in a press release.

Granting market access

On Monday, Wadhawan held talks with Zhang Jiwen, Vice Minister of General Administration of China Customs (GACC) which is responsible for examining market access and quarantine issues for India’s agriculture and allied products. The two sides held a detailed discussion on the widening trade deficit, the press release said.
According to Chinese official data, the trade deficit in 2018 climbed to USD 57.86 billion from USD 51.72 billion in 2017 in about USD 95.54 total bilateral trade. India’s exports to China went up to USD 18.84 billion, an increase of 15.2 per cent compared to 2017.
A series of recent moves by China spoke of liberalisation of sale of foreign drugs, especially the cancer curing medicines, but no announcement was made on allowing the sale of Indian drugs in Chinese market.
The expectation of China stepping up efforts to permit market access for Indian pharmaceuticals and IT was high since last year’s informal Wuhan summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
In his talks, Wadhawan pressed for more actions from the Chinese side to support and promote exports of Indian products to China, the press release said. He also pitched for more market access to Indian IT companies, pharmaceuticals and agriculture products, including major commodities like sugar, rice, milk and milk products. He noted that as a large producer of these commodities, India can emerge as a most reliable source for China, it said.
On Monday, India and China signed a protocol for exports of Indian tobacco leaves to China. Since Wuhan summit, the two countries signed protocols on exports of non-basmati rice and exports of fish meal and fish oil. GACC also approved 6 Indian mills to export rapeseed meal to China.
This recent period has thus seen significant progress in market access for six agriculture and allied products from India, the press release said. Wadhawan requested the GACC to expedite market access for other products like okra, soya bean, bovine meat and dairy products, it said. He also had a brief interaction with the Indian IT and pharma companies present in China.

RCEP negotiations

The talks also focussed on the progress of the Regional Economic Partnership (RCEP) which is a free trade area (FTA) made up of 10 ASEAN members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam) and their six FTA partners, India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
Prior to the Vice Ministerial-level talks, Sudhanshu Pandey, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce and Chief Negotiator of India for RCEP, also held “extensive discussions” on RCEP on Monday with Yang Zhengwei, Deputy Director General, International Trade and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, China, the press release said.
RCEP aims at liberalising norms for trade in goods and services and boost investment among 16-member countries. The last round of talks were held in in Hyderabad last year. China is pushing for the RECP after US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Facing threat of cheap imports from China, officials say India is specially seeking to protect its advantages in services and stagger the phase-out of tariffs over a longer period in the case of China, to allow Indian industry more time to adjust.
RCEP is the most important ongoing regional trade agreement which aims at integrating major economics in Asia, which constitutes 30 per cent of world GDP and 45 per cent of world population, the press release said.
Negotiations were conducted across all the three pillars of RCEP, i.e., goods, services and investment. Bilateral negotiations between India and China are crucial for early conclusion of RCEP negotiations, it said.

Basmati rice worth $256.9m exported in first half Description: Basmati rice worth $256.9m exported in first half

APP

January 22, 2019
ISLAMABAD : Basmati rice worth $256.922 million was exported during first half of current financial year as compared to exports of $ 203.721 million of the corresponding period of last. During the period from July-December, 2018-19, about 274,132 metric tons of Basmati rice was exported as against the exports of 191,534 metric tons of same period of last year, according the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. The exports of Basmati rice witnessed about 26.11 percent growth during the period under review, whereas overall food group exports from the country increased by 3.09 percent, it added. In last six months food commodities valuing $1.994 billion were exported as against the exports of $1.935 billion of same period of last year. During the period under review, about 1.553 million metric tons of rice valuing $828.966 million was exported which was recorded at 1.788 million metric tons worth $849.634 million of same period of last year.
On month on month basis, exports of Basmati rice grew by 8 percent during the month of December, 2018 and about 468,599 metric tons of rice worth $214.773 million exported as against the exports of 470,322 metric tons valuing $198.863 million of same month of last year.
During last month, food group exports registered about 9.64 percent growth as compared the exports of the corresponding month of last year. Food commodities worth $483.365 million exported in December, 2018 as compared the exports of $439.955 million of same month of last year.
Meanwhile, about 468,599 metric tons of rice worth $214.773 million exported as compared the 470,233 metric tons valuing $198.863 million of same month of last year, which was up by 8 percent as compared the same month of last year.
On the other hand imports of food commodities during first half of current financial year reduced by 8.49 percent as came down from $3.242 billion in July-December, 2017-18 to $2.996 billion of same period of financial year 2018-19.
Philippines set to import 1.2-M tons of rice as caps removed
MANILA - Rice traders in the Philippines are set to import about 1.2 million tonnes of the staple food, a state grains agency spokeswoman told Reuters on Tuesday, as the Southeast Asian country lifts a two-decade-old cap on purchases. Bigger rice purchases by the Philippines, already one of the world's top importers and consumers of the grain, could underpin export prices in Vietnam and Thailand, traditionally its key suppliers. Prices in Vietnam fell last week ahead of the country's largest harvest this month, while the Thai market is likely to see additional supply towards the end of January from the seasonal harvest.  President Rodrigo Duterte in October ordered the "unimpeded" importation of rice after the country's inflation shot up to 6.7 percent in September and October, the highest in nearly a decade, partly due to food prices.  The National Food Authority (NFA) has approved initial applications from 180 rice traders for permits to import a total of 1.186 million tonnes of either 5-percent or 25-percent broken white, the NFA spokeswoman said. "We have not set any deadline for accepting applications to import rice. There's no more limit," she said.  Importers are allowed to bring in rice from any country, but grains from Southeast Asian suppliers will be charged a tariff of 35 percent while those from elsewhere will face a 50-percent charge. Lawmakers have approved the bill removing the import cap on rice imports and replacing it with tariffs. Duterte will "most likely" sign it into law "soon", presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said on Tuesday.

Philippine inflation eased in November and December, and the rice tariffication law could help curb it this year by as much as 0.7 percentage point, the central bank has said. Rice is the biggest food item in the country's consumer price index.
Qatar lifts ban on import of Pakistani rice
Description: https://www.thenews.com.pk/assets/uploads/updates/2019-01-23/422638_3949437_Rice_updates.jpgISLAMABAD: During recent visit of the Prime Minister to Qatar, the Qatari Government has agreed to include Pakistan origin rice in the tender documents of the Central Tendering Committee which falls directly under the purview of Qatar’s Ministry of Economy and Commerce. The lifting of ban is expected to provide additional $ 40-50 million of rice exports to Qatar if quality is maintained. Qatar annually imports 200,000 tonnes of rice, says a statement issued by the Ministry of Commerce here Wednesday. The statement quoted Advisor on Commerce, Textile, Industries, Production, and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood as saying that the government intends to take export to the highest level ever. The government, he said, is taking different measures for export enhancement including reclaiming traditional markets besides accessing to new markets. One of the initiatives is to manage removal of restrictions on Pakistani products in foreign markets. Removal of restriction by Qatar on Pakistani rice export is a step in this direction that will reclaim Pakistan’s share in the global rice market, he added. The statement added that over the years, rice has been Pakistan’s major export product to Qatar. The exports were 80 to 100 thousand tonnes of rice per annum worth $ 80-90 million up to 2010-11, which has dropped to $ 20-25 million per annum (21,000 tonnes) in last five years. Whereas, the private sector in Qatar continued to import rice from Pakistan, the Central Tendering Committee (CTC), Government of Qatar which procures for state-supplied subsidized rice for Qatari citizens made its tender Indian-origin specific thereby effectively, banning the import of any other origin rice including Pakistani rice into Qatar in 2011-12. The CTC issues tenders after every two months for supply of more than 5000 MT of high-quality rice to the government of Qatar and the Pakistani origin rice has been excluded from these tenders. Therefore, Pakistani exporters have been deprived of supplying of about 30,000 to 40,000 MT good quality rice to Qatar per annum. Reportedly, the main reason for this change was the sub-standard and low-quality Pakistani rice supplied by the exporters against the government tenders in 2011-12. The Indian rice exporters were the ultimate beneficiaries of this situation and Indian rice exports to Qatar reached to 142,000 tonnes in 2017 from 18,774 tonnes in 2011. The statement added that henceforth, as a viable solution, a third-party inspection for supply of rice through CTC tenders and to take strict action against those found involved in supplying substandard rice in future will be offered to ensure that quality rice are being exported to Qatar.
EU’s imposed tariffs on Cambodian rice too fast: CRF
 Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) said that the European Commission’s decision to impose tariffs on Cambodian rice was made too fast leaving the country’s rice sector ill-prepared to respond to them.  In its statement issued on Thursday, the CRF said that the imposition of tariff will affect the competitiveness and it will be difficult for Cambodian rice export to the EU as Cambodia has not yet been well prepared.  It said that Cambodian rice sector needs more years to strengthen its capacity to keep the competitiveness without the preferential status. “The CRF had meeting on Monday to discuss the impact on EU’s decision as the result the CRF will protest the decision. At the same time, the CRF will boost the internal competitiveness by reducing production cost and expand more markets,” the CRF said.  “We also call on Cambodian people to support and purchase the Cambodian rice to expand domestic market and support farmers as well as rice sector as the whole,” it said.  Last week, the European Commission officially imposed tariffs on rice imports from Cambodia and Myanmar that, it says, are hurting farmers in Europe. The EC argues that a significant increase in shipments of Indica rice from Cambodia and Myanmar into the EU are causing economic damage to producers in Europe. During the first year, the EU will levy 175 euros ($199.5) per tonne on imports of Cambodian rice, 150 euros ($171) in the second year, and 125 euros ($142.5) in the last.
Tax officials suspicious of Afghan rice trade
Description: PHOTO: FILEPESHAWAR:  Officials of the income tax department have detected over Rs100 million income tax pending against some businessmen involved in rice trade with their counterparts in Afghanistan. “This is not only tax evasion, but the department fears that the rice business is just eyewash and is most probably being done in order to launder money outside the country,” a senior official at the Regional Tax Office (RTO) Peshawar revealed. The official, requesting anonymity as he was not authorised to talk to the media, said there were apprehensions that the said businessmen might have nexus with organised crime that may warrant action under the National Action Plan (NAP). An official privy to the development stated that the department served show-cause notices to traders who had failed to clear their income tax dues. The department also asked upon the defaulters to submit evidence if the tax was paid. 

Despite repeated notice, however, the identified businessmen failed to submit any details of paying income tax. “Now, we are in the final stage and we are all set to take action under Income Tax Ordinance,” he said. The official, who requested anonymity since he was not entitled to speak to media stated that the department was under severe pressure but will never step down since they feared the business was done in order to launder money. “There are many chances that the rice imports and export was just eyewash and in fact the businessmen were involved in money laundering,” the official said. Exporters and importers involved in the business were detected by the Withholding Zone of RTO with liability on account of non-deduction of taxes amounting to over Rs100 million as required under section 153 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 which might enhance as a result of further probe. “Cross-border business with Afghanistan has a huge revenue generating potential which remained untapped due to either negligence of the relevant authorities or because of them being in connivance with the businessmen,” the official informed. He stated that however the intervention by the RTO Peshawar on the information of some reliable insiders where not only taxes evaded worth millions of rupees will be recovered but will also help identify businessmen involved in other illegal activities since long.

India presses China to import more Indian products to reduce trade deficit

PTI|
Jan 22, 2019, 07.57 PM IST
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Description: India-economy-gettyThe trade deficit in 2018, according to Chinese official data, climbed to $57.86 billion from $51.72 billion in 2017 in about $95.54 total bilateral trade.
BEIJING: India on Tuesday pressed China to import more Indian goods, especially pharmaceutical and IT products, as top commerce officials of the two countries held talks in Beijing on the widening trade deficit, which last year crossed USD 57 billion.

Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan also discussed the progress made under Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) during his talks with Wang Shouwen, Vice Minister of China's Ministry of Commerce, the Indian Embassy here said in a press release.

Wadhawan on Monday held talks with Zhang Jiwen, Vice Minister of General Administration of China Customs (GACC) which is responsible for examining market access and quarantine issues for India's agriculture and allied products.

The two sides held a detailed discussion on the widening trade deficit, the press release said.

The trade deficit in 2018, according to Chinese official data, climbed to USD 57.86 billion from USD 51.72 billion in 2017 in about USD 95.54 total bilateral trade.

India's exports to China went up to USD 18.84 billion, an increase of 15.2 per cent compared to 2017.

A series of recent moves by China spoke of liberalisation of sale of foreign drugs, especially the cancer curing medicines, but no announcement was made on allowing the sale of Indian drugs in Chinese market.

The expectation of China stepping up efforts to permit market access for Indian pharmaceuticals and IT was high since last year's informal Wuhan summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In his talks, Wadhawan pressed for more actions from the Chinese side to support and promote exports of Indian products to China, the press release said.
He also pitched for more market access to Indian IT companies, pharmaceuticals and agriculture products, including major commodities like sugar, rice, milk and milk products. He noted that as a large producer of these commodities, India can emerge as a most reliable source for China, it said.

His talks also focussed on the progress of the Regional Economic Partnership (RCEP) which is a free trade area (FTA) made up of 10 ASEAN members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam) and their six FTA partners, India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

Prior to the Vice Ministerial-level talks, Sudhanshu Pandey, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce and Chief Negotiator of India for RCEP, also held "extensive discussions" on RCEP on Monday with Yang Zhengwei, Deputy Director General, International Trade and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, China, the press release said.

RCEP aims at liberalising norms for trade in goods and services and boost investment among 16-member countries. The last round of talks were held in in Hyderabad last year.

China is pushing for the RECP after US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Facing threat of cheap imports from China, officials say India is specially seeking to protect its advantages in services and stagger the phase-out of tariffs over a longer period in the case of China, to allow Indian industry more time to adjust.

RCEP is the most important ongoing regional trade agreement which aims at integrating major economics in Asia, which constitutes 30 per cent of world GDP and 45 per cent of world population, the press release said.

Negotiations were conducted across all the three pillars of RCEP, i.e., goods, services and investment. Bilateral negotiations between India and China are crucial for early conclusion of RCEP negotiations, it said.
On Monday, India and China signed a protocol for exports of Indian tobacco leaves to China. Since Wuhan summit, the two countries signed protocols on exports of non-basmati rice and exports of fish meal and fish oil.

GACC also approved 6 Indian mills to export rapeseed meal to China.

This recent period has thus seen significant progress in market access for six agriculture and allied products from India, the press release said.

Wadhawan requested the GACC to expedite market access for other products like okra, soya bean, bovine meat and dairy products, it said.

He also had a brief interaction with the Indian IT and pharma companies present in China.

In­dian po­lice ar­rest Rohingya Mus­lim group stuck on Bangladesh border



NEW DELHI: In­dian po­lice on Tues­day ar­rested 31 Rohingya Mus­lims stranded on the border af­ter they were de­nied en­try into Bangladesh and border of­fi­cials failed to agree on what to do with mem­bers of the com­mu­nity flee­ing a crack­down in In­dia.
NEW DELHI: In­dian po­lice on Tues­day ar­rested 31 Rohingya Mus­lims stranded on the border af­ter they were de­nied en­try into Bangladesh and border of­fi­cials failed to agree on what to do with mem­bers of the com­mu­nity flee­ing a crack­down in In­dia.
In­dia’s Hindu na­tion­al­ist gov­ern­ment re­gards the Rohingya as il­le­gal aliens and a se­cu­rity risk, and has or­dered that tens of thou­sands of them who live in scat­tered set­tle­ments and slums around the coun­try be iden­ti­fied and repa­tri­ated.