Tuesday, January 29, 2019

29th January,2019 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter


Azerbaijan-Pakistan security cooperation enhancing: Ambassador Ali Alizada

By DND
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Pakistan Ali Alizada has reiterated his country’s keenness to further strengthen military ties with Pakistan, hoping that robust security cooperation with Islamabad helps it deal with its territorial dispute issues more efficiently.
The ambassador was of the view that two countries are suffering from terrorism and extremism, and their bilateral cooperation may reciprocate each other’s support to a large extent.
In an exclusive interview with the Chief Editor Dispatch News Desk (DND) news agency Agha Iqrar Haroon here in Islamabad, Ali Alizada said that military to military relationship between Pakistan and Azerbaijan is of importance since both the countries have long been dealing with issues of same nature.
Description: Azerbaijan-Pakistan security cooperation enhancing: Ambassador Ali AlizadaAmbassador Azerbaijan Ali Alizada while giving interview to Chief Editor Dispatch News Desk (DND) news agency Agha Iqrar Haroon
The ambassador said that if Pakistan has fought a tortuous war against terrorism and rendered matchless sacrifices, Azerbaijan has also had to suffer atrocities and brutalities from the Arminian side.
It is worth mentioning that Azerbaijan and Armenia have been archrivals for decades over the illegal occupation of historical Azerbaijani region of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven other adjacent regions by Armenia.
“Our 20 percent of territory is occupied by the aggressive country of Armenia. Unfortunately, we have one million refugees and IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) in our Country,” Ali Alizada said.
Azerbaijan Ambassador stated that his country faced heart-wrenching massacres and genocides from Armenia, and on February 26, they are going to commemorate victims of the Khojaly genocide on its twenty seventh anniversary. Ali Alizada said that under these circumstance, the two countries may make full use of their expertise to help each other.
 “Military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Pakistan is very important. We are keen to further strengthen these military relations,” the ambassador said.
When asked about the status of bilateral trade between Azerbaijan and Pakistan, the ambassador said that their bilateral trade has gradually been growing. But, he added, in the last year, the trade volume witnessed a surge around 25 percent.
Ali Alizada said that the two countries have enough potential to take their bilateral trade to new heights. Therefore, he added that, there exist a number of opportunities and possibilities that Pak-Azerbaijan bilateral trade gets a further boost in the future.
Further commenting of bilateral trade, the ambassador said that the two countries can kick off energy cooperation, and added that Azerbaijan has already offered Pakistan the supply of oil and oil products.
Azerbaijan Ambassador said that apart from the energy field, the two countries have also deliberated upon to work together in other sectors including agriculture. He said that Pakistan can import agricultural products from Azerbaijan, and likewise, Pakistan can export its agricultural products such as rice, fruits, sports goods and surgical instruments to Azerbaijan.
The envoy said that Pakistan and Azerbaijan can explore each other’s markets to supply their respective products. He said that if tangible initiatives are taken in this regard, Pak-Azerbaijan bilateral trade volume will take no time to grow more.
In response to a question that how can we enhance people to people contacts between Pakistan and Azerbaijan, Ali Alizada said that we have increased the number of visitors from Pakistan as in 2017, the number of visitors from both the countries to each other was around 4,000 and now by end of last year, it has increased to more than 41,000.
The ambassador that a large number of tourists from Pakistan are flocking to Azerbaijan’s popular cities such as Baku, Ganja, Nakhchivan, Quba and Qabala to enjoy the natural beauties.
“Now more people from Azerbaijan are also visiting Pakistan, which make us happy,” he said.
Ali Alizada was of the view that the two countries can also increase the people to people contacts through the cultural, science and education exchange programmes.
“We can expand our cultural programs in the two countries,” he said.
The envoy said that last year, we arranged a lot of events in Pakistan such as celebration of 100th anniversary of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR). He said that they also arranged cultural evenings in Lahore and Islamabad, and organized events to mark Azerbaijan National Day Celebrations, Armed Forces Day.
Description: https://cdn.dnd.com.pk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Azerbaijan-Ambassador-Ali-Alizada-and-Agha-Iqrar-Haroon.pngAzerbaijan Ambassador Ali Alizada and Agha Iqrar Haroon pose for picture
Moreover, he said that they can also organize official events, and telecast cultural programs and movies on TV screens, depicting the rich heritage of their respective history, places, tourism, and social values.
The ambassador said that at the moment, a lot of Pakistanis students are studying in Azerbaijan, and they are endeavoring to attract more Azerbaijani students to study in Pakistan.
“We can provide more scholarship programs to each other,” Ali Alizada remarked, adding that the education exchange between scholars and professors of different research Universities of both the countries can help bring them further closer.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijan Ambassador Ali Alizada expressed gratitude to DND news agency for its interest for the promotion of Pakistan-Azerbaijan bilateral relations.
“We are grateful to DND for its effort to promote bilateral ties,” the ambassador said.

Rice exports to China: pipedream or reality?

Description: https://www.brecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/rice-1-160x160.jpgBR ResearchJanuary 28, 2019
Rice occupies a prominent position in Pakistan’s export market. While the cereal has found a market in far flung destinations of Africa and EU, inroads in China’s market have been limited.
The ITC data indicate that China imported about $2 billion worth of rice in 2017, most of which is sourced from ASEAN countries. Pakistan’s share in China’s rice imports import was an insignificant 5 percent. Similarly, China’s share as a percentage of total rice exports of Pakistan in FY18 was 7 percent, as per SBP data.

In a recent conference held in Karachi, Razaq Dawood indicated that this skew would be addressed. Rice and sugar were highlighted as two exports which would lead the $1 billion increase in exports to China. Keeping sugar aside for the moment, the potential of increase in rice exports has to be considered.
On one hand, ASEAN countries have a significant advantage over Pakistan’s exports in terms of tariffs. As a rice producing country, China has put rice on its no concession list under the Pakistan China Free Trade Agreement (PCFTA). Pakistan’s exports face 65 percent tariffs. On the other hand, ASEAN China FTA (ACFTA) allows rice imports at an average tariff of 31 percent.
This barrier is one of the several that have prevented any real increase in the export of rice to China. Pakistan is not the only country trying to get a bigger piece of the Chinese pie. India has also been pushing China to increase rice imports to correct the trade deficit which is in the latter’s favour.
China’s preferred rice variety from Pakistan is long grained non-basmati. Even if China is willing to buy rice, with or without adjusting tariffs, there needs to be sufficient supply available for the exports to take place. Exports worth $1 billion translate roughly into 2 million tons of rice with PBS data putting FY18’s total rice exports at 4.1 million tons that fetched $2 billion.
Despite the hurdles, one of Pakistan’s leading rice exporting companies, Matco’s views were positive on the matter. While the $1 billion increase in rice exports may not be realized in FY19, the next 2-3 years could see the high number come to fruition.
Speaking to BR Research, Faizan Ghouri, director of the vertically integrated Matco, talked about the need for improvements on the agri-side. Seeds here have good yields but high postharvest damage reduces quality and quantity.
Not only is there lack of milling infrastructure, there is also grain damage of drying equipment. A source in REAP lamented weather change which has made field drying of paddy less effective. Less sunlight during winters in Punjab increases the need for more dryers to prevent rise in aflatoxin levels. Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring toxin that can cause damage to health. Various countries have various acceptable limits with EU arguable having the toughest (meaning lowest) acceptable limit. (For more details read “Fungi, toxins, and basmati exports” published on January 15, 2019)
While, Ghouri opined that $500 million in 2-3 years is a realistic figure to target it cannot be achieved without government support.
The rice sector does not need subsidies to become export competitive, but it does need infrastructural support to be able to increase volume by 50 percent in a short time frame.

15 hospitalised in Karachi after consuming poisonous food

BY STAFF REPORT , (LAST UPDATED
Description: https://cache.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/06/poisonous-food.jpg
KARACHI:  Fifteen members of a family, on Monday morning, fell unconscious after consuming hazardous rice from a street shop at Super Highway Adam Hingora Goth, Karachi.
According to details, a family of fifteen people, including women and kids were admitted to the hospital after consuming toxic food.
Police sources stated that all fifteen members’ health was termed ‘out of danger’ after they were admitted to a nearby hospital on an immediate basis.
Police sealed the shop from where the family bought rice and also arrested the shop keeper. Moreover, samples from the supplied food and shop utensils were collected and sent to a laboratory for carrying out tests on them.
According to the SSP Malir, the affected family bought yellow pigment and rice from a local area shop yesterday (Sunday).
Later, a day ahead, as the family cooked and ate food using same rice and pigment to make ‘Zarda’, the health of all 15 members deteriorated and had to be admitted to the hospital abruptly.

NAFCO vows to cut foreign rice importation
Ghana currently imports almost all of the rice it eats but NAFCO wants to change the narrative
Description: Rice HandfulThe Ghana National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) says the importation of foreign rice into the country, especially to feed students in second cycle institutions, will soon be a thing of the past.As part of its mandate, NAFCO supplies food to students of second cycle institutions under government’s flagship programme – the Free Senior High School initiative.Speaking to 3news.com in the Upper East Region where NAFCO validated its warehouses and packhouses in the area, Chief Executive Officer Hanan Abdul-Wahab said that revamping the Builsa South Warehouse, in the rice-cultivating zone, will get farmers there produce more rice, thereby cutting down foreign rice importation into the country.

“Once we are able to produce what we consume, there is no point bringing in the foreign rice. It is government’s intention to actually cut off the importation of foreign rice.

“Today, if we say we are cutting off foreign rice, the local rice will not be able to sustain government’s flagship programme [of Free SHS].

“Gradually, we are reducing the number of foreign rice/food we feed into our second cycle institutions,” Mr. Hanan said on Thursday.

A representative of the District Director of Builsa South, Michael Anokye, who also spoke to 3news.com as the Bulsa South Warehouse was officially handed over to NAFCO, expressed optimism that the warehouse going to be operational will see farmers in the area cultivating rice on large scale.

“This year, for instance, some people [farmers] had more than 6.0 or 6.5 metric tons per hector [of rice],” he said, “meaning, if we have the valleys [at Bulsa South] developed, more farmers will come here to produce and once they produce and NAFCO is here, they know they have a ready market.”

An inspection at the Zuarugu Warehouse at Zuarugu, also in the Upper East Region, saw two KIA trucks loading bags of fertilizer that currently occupied the facility.

This, NAFCO says, would pave way for fumigation of the facility so it starts buying from farmers their produce to stock the warehouse.
A visit was also made to the Pwalugu Packhouse [a facility with inbuilt refrigerator to store fruits and vegetables] and also to the premises of the Navrongo Fire Service command, Navrongo, where a structure there would be renovated to serve as a temporary warehouse.
Rice exports to China: pipedream or reality?
Description: https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/173628b036ef3b516f7b96f4170b2ce8?s=25&d=mm&r=gBR ResearchJanuary 28, 2019
Rice occupies a prominent position in Pakistan’s export market. While the cereal has found a market in far flung destinations of Africa and EU, inroads in China’s market have been limited.
The ITC data indicate that China imported about $2 billion worth of rice in 2017, most of which is sourced from ASEAN countries. Pakistan’s share in China’s rice imports import was an insignificant 5 percent. Similarly, China’s share as a percentage of total rice exports of Pakistan in FY18 was 7 percent, as per SBP data.
Description: https://www.brecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/rice-1-160x160.jpg
In a recent conference held in Karachi, Razaq Dawood indicated that this skew would be addressed. Rice and sugar were highlighted as two exports which would lead the $1 billion increase in exports to China. Keeping sugar aside for the moment, the potential of increase in rice exports has to be considered.
On one hand, ASEAN countries have a significant advantage over Pakistan’s exports in terms of tariffs. As a rice producing country, China has put rice on its no concession list under the Pakistan China Free Trade Agreement (PCFTA). Pakistan’s exports face 65 percent tariffs. On the other hand, ASEAN China FTA (ACFTA) allows rice imports at an average tariff of 31 percent.
This barrier is one of the several that have prevented any real increase in the export of rice to China. Pakistan is not the only country trying to get a bigger piece of the Chinese pie. India has also been pushing China to increase rice imports to correct the trade deficit which is in the latter’s favour.
China’s preferred rice variety from Pakistan is long grained non-basmati. Even if China is willing to buy rice, with or without adjusting tariffs, there needs to be sufficient supply available for the exports to take place. Exports worth $1 billion translate roughly into 2 million tons of rice with PBS data putting FY18’s total rice exports at 4.1 million tons that fetched $2 billion.
Despite the hurdles, one of Pakistan’s leading rice exporting companies, Matco’s views were positive on the matter. While the $1 billion increase in rice exports may not be realized in FY19, the next 2-3 years could see the high number come to fruition.
Speaking to BR Research, Faizan Ghouri, director of the vertically integrated Matco, talked about the need for improvements on the agri-side. Seeds here have good yields but high postharvest damage reduces quality and quantity.
Not only is there lack of milling infrastructure, there is also grain damage of drying equipment. A source in REAP lamented weather change which has made field drying of paddy less effective. Less sunlight during winters in Punjab increases the need for more dryers to prevent rise in aflatoxin levels. Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring toxin that can cause damage to health. Various countries have various acceptable limits with EU arguable having the toughest (meaning lowest) acceptable limit. (For more details read “Fungi, toxins, and basmati exports” published on January 15, 2019)
While, Ghouri opined that $500 million in 2-3 years is a realistic figure to target it cannot be achieved without government support.
The rice sector does not need subsidies to become export competitive, but it does need infrastructural support to be able to increase volume by 50 percent in a short time frame.


Korean govt to defend 513% tariff rate on rice imports

2019.01.28 15:35:51 | 2019.01.28 15:36:33
The Seoul government is committed to defend the 513-percent duties on rice imports amid protracted verification process from the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs said in a statement Monday.

Korea has won a 10-year moratorium on tariffs on foreign rice since the Uruguay Round agreement in 1994. From 2015, it has employed tariff rate quota, referring to the amount of rice the country must import on low tariff rate.

Farming majors like the United States, China, Australia, Thailand, and Vietnam have complained over Seoul’s tariff rate of 513 percent, and the WTO has been reviewing the matter since then.
By Lee Yu-sup and Choi Mira
https://pulsenews.co.kr/view.php?year=2019&no=57678

NAFCO vows to cut foreign rice importation
Ghana currently imports almost all of the rice it eats but NAFCO wants to change the narrative
Description: Rice HandfulThe Ghana National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) says the importation of foreign rice into the country, especially to feed students in second cycle institutions, will soon be a thing of the past.As part of its mandate, NAFCO supplies food to students of second cycle institutions under government’s flagship programme – the Free Senior High School initiative.Speaking to 3news.com in the Upper East Region where NAFCO validated its warehouses and packhouses in the area, Chief Executive Officer Hanan Abdul-Wahab said that revamping the Builsa South Warehouse, in the rice-cultivating zone, will get farmers there produce more rice, thereby cutting down foreign rice importation into the country.

“Once we are able to produce what we consume, there is no point bringing in the foreign rice. It is government’s intention to actually cut off the importation of foreign rice.

“Today, if we say we are cutting off foreign rice, the local rice will not be able to sustain government’s flagship programme [of Free SHS].

“Gradually, we are reducing the number of foreign rice/food we feed into our second cycle institutions,” Mr. Hanan said on Thursday.

A representative of the District Director of Builsa South, Michael Anokye, who also spoke to 3news.com as the Bulsa South Warehouse was officially handed over to NAFCO, expressed optimism that the warehouse going to be operational will see farmers in the area cultivating rice on large scale.

“This year, for instance, some people [farmers] had more than 6.0 or 6.5 metric tons per hector [of rice],” he said, “meaning, if we have the valleys [at Bulsa South] developed, more farmers will come here to produce and once they produce and NAFCO is here, they know they have a ready market.”

An inspection at the Zuarugu Warehouse at Zuarugu, also in the Upper East Region, saw two KIA trucks loading bags of fertilizer that currently occupied the facility.

This, NAFCO says, would pave way for fumigation of the facility so it starts buying from farmers their produce to stock the warehouse.
A visit was also made to the Pwalugu Packhouse [a facility with inbuilt refrigerator to store fruits and vegetables] and also to the premises of the Navrongo Fire Service command, Navrongo, where a structure there would be renovated to serve as a temporary warehouse.
Rice exports to China: pipedream or reality?
Description: https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/173628b036ef3b516f7b96f4170b2ce8?s=25&d=mm&r=gBR ResearchJanuary 28, 2019
Rice occupies a prominent position in Pakistan’s export market. While the cereal has found a market in far flung destinations of Africa and EU, inroads in China’s market have been limited.
The ITC data indicate that China imported about $2 billion worth of rice in 2017, most of which is sourced from ASEAN countries. Pakistan’s share in China’s rice imports import was an insignificant 5 percent. Similarly, China’s share as a percentage of total rice exports of Pakistan in FY18 was 7 percent, as per SBP data.
Description: https://www.brecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/rice-1-160x160.jpg
In a recent conference held in Karachi, Razaq Dawood indicated that this skew would be addressed. Rice and sugar were highlighted as two exports which would lead the $1 billion increase in exports to China. Keeping sugar aside for the moment, the potential of increase in rice exports has to be considered.
On one hand, ASEAN countries have a significant advantage over Pakistan’s exports in terms of tariffs. As a rice producing country, China has put rice on its no concession list under the Pakistan China Free Trade Agreement (PCFTA). Pakistan’s exports face 65 percent tariffs. On the other hand, ASEAN China FTA (ACFTA) allows rice imports at an average tariff of 31 percent.
This barrier is one of the several that have prevented any real increase in the export of rice to China. Pakistan is not the only country trying to get a bigger piece of the Chinese pie. India has also been pushing China to increase rice imports to correct the trade deficit which is in the latter’s favour.
China’s preferred rice variety from Pakistan is long grained non-basmati. Even if China is willing to buy rice, with or without adjusting tariffs, there needs to be sufficient supply available for the exports to take place. Exports worth $1 billion translate roughly into 2 million tons of rice with PBS data putting FY18’s total rice exports at 4.1 million tons that fetched $2 billion.
Despite the hurdles, one of Pakistan’s leading rice exporting companies, Matco’s views were positive on the matter. While the $1 billion increase in rice exports may not be realized in FY19, the next 2-3 years could see the high number come to fruition.
Speaking to BR Research, Faizan Ghouri, director of the vertically integrated Matco, talked about the need for improvements on the agri-side. Seeds here have good yields but high postharvest damage reduces quality and quantity.
Not only is there lack of milling infrastructure, there is also grain damage of drying equipment. A source in REAP lamented weather change which has made field drying of paddy less effective. Less sunlight during winters in Punjab increases the need for more dryers to prevent rise in aflatoxin levels. Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring toxin that can cause damage to health. Various countries have various acceptable limits with EU arguable having the toughest (meaning lowest) acceptable limit. (For more details read “Fungi, toxins, and basmati exports” published on January 15, 2019)
While, Ghouri opined that $500 million in 2-3 years is a realistic figure to target it cannot be achieved without government support.
The rice sector does not need subsidies to become export competitive, but it does need infrastructural support to be able to increase volume by 50 percent in a short time frame.


Korean govt to defend 513% tariff rate on rice imports

2019.01.28 15:35:51 | 2019.01.28 15:36:33
The Seoul government is committed to defend the 513-percent duties on rice imports amid protracted verification process from the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs said in a statement Monday.

Korea has won a 10-year moratorium on tariffs on foreign rice since the Uruguay Round agreement in 1994. From 2015, it has employed tariff rate quota, referring to the amount of rice the country must import on low tariff rate.

Farming majors like the United States, China, Australia, Thailand, and Vietnam have complained over Seoul’s tariff rate of 513 percent, and the WTO has been reviewing the matter since then.
By Lee Yu-sup and Choi Mira


UK-Thailand research yields rice progress 

opinion January 29, 2019 01:00
By Brian Davidson
Special to the Nation

Science and innovation is at the forefront of the modern partnership between Thailand and the UK. Both countries recognise the importance of strong science as key to our continuing development and prosperity. We also recognise the importance of international collaboration to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery. 


This international collaboration is exemplified by the Newton UK-Thailand Research and Innovation Partnership Fund. Launched in 2014, the Fund is supporting up to Bt325 million worth of joint science and innovation activities – and is jointly funded by both the UK and Thailand. 
Under the Partnership Fund, the UK and Thai governments support a diverse range of world class science. This includes research on human and animal health, agriculture; resilience against drought and other extreme weather, as well as the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship. This work helps to tackle difficult global challenges, as well as supporting Thailand 4.0, the Kingdom’s ambitious economic development strategy.
Earlier this month, Thailand’s National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) and the UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), hosted a workshop in Bangkok on sustainable rice production. The workshop brought together scientists from the UK, Thailand, China, the Philippines and Vietnam to discuss the outcomes of their joint research, which was funded through the Sustainable Rice Research Initiative under the Newton Fund.
The scientists presented some of the key findings from their research. They also discussed some of the opportunities and challenges in relation to rice. These included improving rice breeding and the development of new strains, increasing the nutritional value of rice, as well as maintaining crop yield under difficult environmental conditions. 
After three years of research, initial findings look promising. The researchers are helping to make rice production more resilient to the growing risks of climate change, ensuring it will continue to play its vital role as a staple food in both Thailand and the region. The burning of rice straw is also a major contributor to pollution and greenhouse gases, and researchers are looking closely at the alternatives. 
At the workshop in Bangkok, Deputy Prime Minister Prajin Jantong presented awards to some of the most exciting and innovative projects in the initiative. He spoke about the importance of rice to the Thai economy and the Thai people, as well as to consumers around the world. He also spoke about the importance of research into improvements to the way rice is bred and grown, so that it can be more resilient to the threats of pests, climate change and weather extremes. 
This Sustainable Rice Research Initiative has brought together UK and Thai scientific excellence, with partners from around the region, to improve our understanding of a crop which is vital for health and economic wellbeing. I look forward to further work under the Newton UK-Thailand Research and Innovation Partnership Fund in other, equally important, areas of science and innovation, and to continuing to deepen our research and innovation cooperation with Thailand. 
Brian Davidson is British ambassador to Thailand.
Egypt’s GASC tender attracts 4 offers for Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian rice — traders

Description: http://www.arabnews.com/sites/default/files/styles/n_670_395/public/main-image/2019/01/27/1442676-1107849259.jpeg?itok=zNIPbifh
A farmer is seen next to freshly harvested wheat at a field in Beni Suef, south of Cairo, Egypt April 24, 2017. Picture taken April 24, 2017. (Reuters)
Updated 27 January 2019
REUTERS
January 27, 201913:18
CAIRO: Egypt’s state grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), on Sunday received four offers at its first international purchase tender for rice in 2019, traders said.
The offers presented were for Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian rice, the traders said.
GASC said it was seeking white rice with 10 percent to 12 percent broken parts on a cost, insurance and freight (CIF) basis for arrival March 20-April 20 and/or April 1-30. Each bidder should present samples alongside its offer to be tested by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Traders gave the following breakdown of the offers presented, however prices were not immediately available:
* Hakan: 20,000 tons of Indian rice for arrival from April 1-30
* Mufaddal: 25,000 tons of Vietnamese rice for arrival from April 1-30
* Wakalex: 20,000 tons of Chinese rice for arrival from March 20 — April 20 and 48,000 tons of Chinese rice for arrival from April 1-30
* Al Amal: 20,000 tons of Chinese rice for arrival from April 1-30

Egypt’s self-sufficiency rate of rice reaches 94.2% in 2017: CAPMAS

Egypt’s self-sufficiency rate of rice reached 94.2% in 2017, with an average rice consumption per capita of 38.7 kg versus 34.7 kg in 2016, an increase of 11.5%,” the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced in its annual bulletin of production movement, foreign trade, and available agriculture commodities for consumption in 2017. …

Description: https://dneegypt.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/2019/01/rice-768x430.gif
Egypt’s self-sufficiency rate of rice reached 94.2% in 2017, with an average rice consumption per capita of 38.7 kg versus 34.7 kg in 2016, an increase of 11.5%,” the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced in its annual bulletin of production movement, foreign trade, and available agriculture commodities for consumption in 2017.
It continued that the self-sufficiency rate of wheat stood at 34.5% in 2017 with an average wheat consumption per capita of 163.9 kg versus 137.8 kg in 2016, an increase of 18.9%.
The self-sufficiency rate of vegetables was 103% in 2017 with an average vegetables consumption per capita of 79.3, kg down from 86.3 kg in 2016, a decrease of 8.1%, according to the CAPMAS.
The agency also declared that the self-sufficiency rate of fruits reached 99.3% in 2017, with an average fruits consumption per capita of 62.9 kg up from 62.6 kg in 2016, an increase of 0.5%.
Furthermore, it stated that the self-sufficiency rate of red meat amounted to 55.9% in 2017, with an average red meat consumption per capita of 10.7 kg versus 9.6 kg in 2016, an increase of 11.5%.
Meanwhile, the self-sufficiency rate of poultry and bird meat reached 91.5% in 2017, with an average per capita of 10.0 kg versus 10.1 kg in 2016, a decrease of 1.0%
The CAPMAS is the official statistical agency of Egypt that collects, processes, analyses, and disseminates statistical data, and conducts the census.
Topics: CAPMAS Rice

Lagos denies disappearance of Lake Rice during yuletide

By Gbenga Akinfenwa
27 January 2019   |   3:12 am
Description: https://guardian.ng/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Lake-Rice.jpg
Lake Rice

The Lagos State Government producers of Lake Rice told The Guardian last week that it sold a total of 18,494 bags of the 50kg size, 2,034 of 25kg and 72 bags of 10kg of the product between Saturday, December 22, 2018 and Tuesday, January 22, 2019, contrary to reports of its disappearance from markets during the festive period.
In addition, it said it has embarked on continuous production of the rice, with two to three trailers coming to Lagos daily from Kebbi State and offloading the commodity in Agege, Itoikin or Ojo, a suburb of Lagos.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Olayiwole Onasanya, who disclosed this to The Guardian in his office, said between December 2018 and March 2019, the state booked a total of 50,000 bags of the 50kg, 20,000 bags of 25kg and 40,000 bags of 10kg, noting that part of these had been sold out.
He said: “Though people will complain, especially due to the population of the state, but the fact is that we sold rice during the yuletide directly to the public through our designated centres and through our distributors and we are still selling. Our distributors are still coming to take rice to their shops. During festive period, like Christmas, New Year, and Ileya, we sell directly to the public.
“Our major challenge is just logistics, getting the rice down here from Kebbi. It takes four days for trailers to move the rice here from Kebbi, yet we are meeting distributors’ demand. We still have them in abundance in Oko Oba, Agege and other designated centres. We have 20 major distributors. It is not true that Lake Rice was not sold during the yuletide, we sold to the public and we are still selling.”
He noted that the state subsidise each bag with at least N3, 000, including the cost of transportation, and that a total of N1.5b has been spent on subsidy, to bring the price down for Lagosians.“We used to sell the rice at Surulere Farmers’ Mart, but last December, it was sold at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, many people did not know this, maybe because they are used to the farmers’ mart, that was why they claim the rice disappeared in markets. Now, our distributors in Daleko, Iddo and other major markets have the rice.
“We are already building our rice mill at Imota, Ikorodu, and installation has started. It will be the biggest mill in Sub-Saharan Africa, with 32 metric tons per hour to sustain the production and processing of local rice, which will create over 500,000 jobs directly and indirectly. When it is ready, the logistic challenge and other issues will be permanently removed,” he said.
The permanent secretary added that: “Lake rice will not disappear with our administration. With what government has put in place, other administrations will enjoy it. Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has put a lot of funds into the project and incoming administrations will not want it to waste.


Scientists have put forward a new hypothesis for the origin of life on Earth

By paradox

Probable scenario of the origin of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur in the silicate part of the Earth not appear funny, as earlier, most likely a meteor stream, was the cause of the origin of the bacteria.
There are many theories about how life originated on Earth, many of which try to explain how our planet has the ingredients for life: elements like carbon and nitrogen. One new study suggests that a previously unknown collision helped “to light” life on Earth.
Previously, scientists thought that meteorites brought life-giving elements on Earth. Although isotopic signatures of these elements on the planet coincide with these objects, the ratio of carbon and nitrogen is not entirely true. While the meteors supposedly brought to the Earth elements that are critical for life (known as carbonaceous chondrites) contain 20 parts carbon to every part nitrogen, this ratio is around 40-1 on Earth. Instead, these important elements could be in a collision, says a group of petrologic from rice University. Scientists know that the long-standing clash between the ancient planet Earth and an object the size of Mars created the moon, that same drummer may also gave us the elements for sparking life, they say.
To come to this conclusion, the research team created a simulation of this event on the basis of a series of experiments in which they tested the behavior of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur in the process of forming a core on a rocky planet. Then the team simulated high pressures and temperatures during core formation, and estimated how much carbon or nitrogen may be on the planet the size of Mars with a core, rich in sulfur. Through their simulation, along with the known ratios and concentrations of elements on Earth, the team found that instead of the rain of meteorites, delivering essential elements, a more likely explanation is that they came from.
“The results of our simulation showed that the most likely scenario for the origin of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur in the silicate part of the Earth is when these elements are brought the size of Mars (8-10% by weight of a modern Earth),” says Rajdeep Dasgupta, co-author of the article in an email, stressing that life on Earth is “flashed” because of the violent collisions in space.
In addition, this planet probably would have a core, rich in sulfur. The results do not cover the question of how life originated on Earth, but they begin to answer the question of how the ingredients for life could appear on earth.
“There are many unanswered questions about how to actually life originated. Our study, however, provides a mechanism for obtaining the raw materials necessary for life recipe, ” said Dasgupta.Thus, there is a probability of collisions in space and hence may be somewhere there is a prototype of life on Earth.

ANGRAU to set up National Rice Research Institute in Srikakulam dist
THE HANS INDIA |    Jan 27,2019 , 12:39 AM IST
      


Description: ANGRAU to set up National Rice Research Institute in Srikakulam dist
ANGRAU to set up National Rice Research Institute in Srikakulam dist


  • It will come up at Naira
  • The agriculture university has earlier set up maize research institute at Vijayarai in WG district
  • ANGRAU VC Dr Vallabhaneni Damodar Naidu says soon vacancies will be filled up in the university
Guntur:  Acharya N G Ranga Agriculture University will set up National Rice Research Institute at Naira in Srikakulam district and changed the name of the rice research institute at Bapatla as Agriculture Research Institute in Guntur district, according to university Vice-Chancellor Dr Vallabhaneni Damodar Naidu.  

He said a maize research centre was set up at Vijayarai in West Godavari district. He hoisted the national flag at ANGRAU premises in Guntur city on the occasion of Republic Day on Saturday.

Speaking on this occasion, he said that steps should be taken to promote research in agriculture. He said university buildings were constructed at a cost of Rs 135 crore and solar power system was introduced in the university. 

He pointed out that the agriculture scientists of the university visited the Titli cyclone affected agriculture fields in Srikakulam and provided suggestions and advise to the farmers. 

The university released new seeds of paddy, black gram, sugarcane and groundnut and imparted training to the farmers to improve their skills. 

He said that steps will be taken to soon fill the vacant posts in the agriculture university.

ANGRAU board member Mekala Lashminarayana said that they have taken up construction of buildings in the research centres at a cost of Rs 31.5 crore which was sanctioned under Rastriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.

He said that they will give 40% of the seats to the children of the farmers. Earlier it was meant to children of ryots who had three acres of land and now it has been reduced to one acre. 

He further said that they increased dress code allowance to the SC,ST students from Rs 200 to Rs 600. 

ANGRAU Registrar Dr D Bhaskar Rao, scientists Dr L V Naidu, Dr K Yella Reddy, Dr L Uma Devi and Dr S R Koteswara Rao were among those who participated. https://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/Andhra-Pradesh/2019-01-27/ANGRAU-to-set-up-National-Rice-Research-Institute-in-Srikakulam-dist/482885



U.S. Rice Varieties Spark Keen Interest in Mexico 

GUADALAJARA, MEXICO CITY, & VERACRUZ, MEXICO -- Last week, USA Rice's Dr. Steve Linscombe and Asiha Grigsby along with USA Rice consultant Marvin Lehrer met with the top wholesalers, millers, and packers in Mexico to provide samples of several varieties of high quality U.S. rice suitable for the Mexican market. This tour was a follow-up to a successful USA Rice trade mission last November in Mexico City that brought together a 10-member delegation, staff, and the most important stakeholders in the Mexican rice industry to discuss the issues of U.S. rice quality and future export partnerships. 

Historically, the United States enjoyed nearly 100 percent market share of rice exports in Mexico.  However, over the last ten years, Mexican buyers have expressed growing concerns about the quality of U.S. rice.  Their concerns led them to begin sourcing rice from other countries such as Uruguay, Thailand, and Argentina.  Last year Uruguay unseated the U.S. as the principle supplier of milled rice in Mexico and is increasingly preferred by importers as the quality leader.  The current U.S. market share has fallen to 76 percent for all types of rice.  This trip was meant to recapture lost U.S. market share by making Mexican importers aware of the higher quality varieties of available U.S. rice. 

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Under the bright lights at Mexico City Central Market
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The itinerary included meetings with the leadership of major Mexican companies and buyers who showed interest in sourcing U.S. rice during the November trade mission.  The USA Rice team visited the headquarters of the top millers, Schettino and Promexa, 22 of the top wholesalers at Mexico City's Central Market, and the country's top rice packer, Verde Valle. 

"It's an honor and a great opportunity to have the USA Rice team at Verde Valle," said German Rosales, the company's president and CEO.  "It allows us to compare U.S. rice varieties to the quality that we are looking for and opens the possibility of once again purchasing from this country.  We have come to an understanding and gained valuable knowledge from the USA Rice team today."  The Verde Valle brand is the gold standard for long grain white rice and previously used U.S. rice in their products until quality concerns forced them to diversify their suppliers.  They currently source long grain white rice from Uruguay.

At each stop on the tour, eight samples of U.S. rice were distributed in a blind test, and evaluated by industry experts based on preferred rice characteristics in the Mexican market.  The same three varieties were consistently chosen by the testers in every region.  The exercise provided overwhelmingly positive feedback that USA Rice will use to further liaise with their Mexican counterparts and provide competitive rice varieties.

"It is obvious from our meetings that most of these companies would like to source higher quality rice from the U.S.," said Linscombe.  "The November trade mission and last week's tour should facilitate accomplishing this goal moving forward."

Mexico is the number one export market for paddy rice and number two in milled long grain rice behind Haiti.  As of November 2018 the U.S. exported 600,345 MT of all types of rice to the country.

Comparing cooking characteristics at Verde Valle

If the ball isn’t dropped, this just might work

By Nasir Jamal
THE so-called mini-budget, or the economic reforms package, comprising an array of tax incentives and administrative actions placed before the national assembly last week has provoked highly polarised commentary on the suggested measures that seek to boost economic activity and investment.
The supporters of the six-month-old PTI government contend that Asad Umar, the finance minister, who laid down the proposals for the assembly’s approval through the second amendment in the finance bill 2018-19, has ‘nailed it’, arguing that implementation of the package will facilitate industrial growth, and stimulate a sluggish economy and stagnant exports forthwith.
The critics of the government appear to have taken the other extreme position, insisting that the measures will put more money into the pockets of the rich (which government hasn’t done that before?).
They have focused more on what wasn’t part of the proposals: a plan to control growing fiscal deficit, mounting inter-corporate debt in the power sector and widening current account gap.
The government’s economic team took its time in rolling out its economic strategy, but the argument that it does not have a clear policy direction does not hold water
Many have argued that the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan has clearly demonstrated the lack of a plan or direction to address these ‘macro issues’ by not tackling them in the mini-budget. Some say the lack of a strategy to drastically document the economy and increase the tax revenues will hurt Pakistan’s position in ongoing negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout loan deal.
Any government action, policy or decision has to anticipate criticism. Yet the PTI government has attracted more than its fair share of criticism for its economic and financial policies owing to a number of political and economic factors, including growing political division and declining business confidence in the country.
Indeed, the government’s economic team took its time — in certain cases longer than expected — in rolling out its economic strategy, but the argument that it does not have a clear policy direction does not hold water.
Given the fact that the PTI had inherited a broken economy on coming into power — the fiscal deficit was mounting, an external sector propped up on expensive foreign debt was fast unravelling, inflation was going north and so on — it was but natural for it to take some time in rolling out its economic and fiscal policies to stabilise the collapsing economy. Last week’s economic reforms package also needs to be seen in this context.
Ever since it took over the reins, the Imran Khan government appears to have worked on a two-pronged strategy to steer the economy out of the deep mess the previous PML-N government had left behind, without immediately turning to the IMF for its funding needs in an attempt to avoid its strict conditions.
On the one hand, it went out to stabilise the external sector in the short-term by arranging much-needed cash from the Gulf States and China to finance the country’s widening current account gap, and implementing measures to compress aggregate demand in the economy, mainly through new curbs on imports, massive currency devaluation and higher interest rates.
On the other, it is trying to pursue a policy that it believes will help unshackle the manufacturing potential of the country, boost investments in new industrial projects and increase exports, thus unleashing growth in the medium to long term.
The latest tax and administrative reforms package for the industry and agriculture is but a part of the second prong of the government strategy to deploy supply side, business-friendly and pro-growth policies to improve market sentiments and put the slowing economy back on the track to recovery and sustainable growth.
The government has been able to provide some fiscal space for industrial growth and fresh investment because it did not rush for a bailout from the IMF as many of us wanted it to. Had it gone for the Fund programme, it would have found its hands tied as in the case of the previous two governments.
However, it would be naïve to expect the new policies to yield immediate results. Economic growth is unlikely to pick up pace in the next couple of years. Also, it will be wrong to assume that enough has been done to clean up the mess.
The government will have to follow up on the measures so far announced in the next budget through more reforms aimed at pushing investment in the manufacturing industry, broadening the tax net and rationalising unproductive public expenditure, and stabilising the external sector.
A break, however short it is, can reverse the impact of the whole effort.


Disappointed farmers

Amjad MahmoodJanuary 28, 2019
Description: https://i.dawn.com/large/2019/01/5c4e6160c6d89.jpg
THE farmers’ community seems to be dissatisfied with the measures announced in the second mini-budget of the fiscal year.
In his speech, Finance Minister Asad Umar announced a few steps to help the agriculture sector. He incentivised banks to offer agricultural loans by reducing the tax rate from 39 per cent to 20pc on their interest income. The proposed measures include reducing the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) for fertiliser units by half and the duty-free import of diesel engines for irrigation purposes.
The farming community believes the mini-budget will not benefit small landholders and that the “economic reforms agenda” is bereft of measures needed for a turnaround in the sector.
“The sector needs a reduction in the cost of production and an increase in the small farmers’ access to financing in the short run. The government should subsidise farm mechanisation as well as fix support prices at least for major crops in the long run,” says Khalid Mahmood Khokhar, president of the Pakistan Kissan Ittehad, the representative body of small landholders.
The agriculture sector requires policy-level interventions, like aggressive diplomacy to find new international markets’
Quoting a document of the Punjab government, he says the cost of production for basmati rice in Pakistan is 34pc higher than India. It is 37pc, 57pc, 44pc and 34pc higher in the cases of wheat, cotton, onion and gram.
Mr Khokhar argues that the country needs to allocate at least 1pc of the agricultural GDP against the present 0.2pc for research because the sector is prone to natural disasters and requires continuous research to improve farm yield and ensure protection from pests and diseases.
He notes that the two commodities that enjoy the support price facility — wheat and sugar cane — are in surplus.
His point is endorsed by Ebadur Rehman Khan of the Farmers Associates Pakistan. He says the growers need a better price for their produce more than they need subsidies on inputs. “Reducing the farm inputs’ cost is a good but temporary step. The sector requires policy-level interventions, like aggressive diplomacy to find new markets along with the revival of old ones on the external front and ensuring a fair and better price to the farmers on the internal front,” he says.
He says that even a reduction of Rs500 in the price of a bag of fertiliser will bring the small farmer a relief of only Rs1,000-1,500 per acre. But if the government ensures a stable market through a support price-like mechanism, the same farmer may increase his per-acre earnings by around Rs10,000.
Despite being uncompetitive internationally because of its higher production cost, some of the local produce may still find clients in the world market because of the unavailability of alternatives, he insists.
In reference to the lifting of ban on Pakistani rice by Qatar and China agreeing to import our rice and potato, Mr Khan says the government should continue its aggressive diplomacy to open new markets and revive the lost ones. “Our produce like basmati rice, kinno and mango are unmatched in the world because of their taste,” he says.
The Kissan Board Pakistan (KBP) believes a fair and just agriculture marketing system along with the timely payment of official rates to the growers is essential for the agriculture sector’s development. “Eliminate the role of the middleman by allowing the growers to directly sell their produce in the market. But no such step was taken in the two mini-budgets,” says KBP Punjab President Amanullah Chathha.
He says the authorities expect the farmers to turn to high-value crops like oilseeds without extending any guarantee about the procurement/marketing of the yield. At the same time, the government is allowing unchecked imports of poor-quality palm oil, he adds. “The government needs to revisit its palm oil and dry milk import policies to help the overstressed oilseed growers and livestock farmers.”
Some observers challenge the veracity of the projected relief to the farmers’ community.
“The tax incentive for banks won’t improve the farmers’ access to finance. Loans for agriculture production and agriculture processing units have been brought under one head since Dr Ishrat Husain’s stint as governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). In the name of agriculture, loans are now being offered to feed mills, hatcheries and other processing units,” says Kissan Rabita Committee Pakistan General Secretary Farooq Tariq. The duty-free import of diesel engines will likely be misused because such engines are already being manufactured locally, he adds.
Published in Dawn, The Business and Finance Weekly, January 28th, 2019


Only a minority of farmers prefer hybrid rice seed
January 28, 2019 | 12:05 am
Description: rice farmersPHILSTAR
MOST rice farmers in the Philippines still prefer inbred seed instead of hybrid varieties despite the latter’s higher yields, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) said.
In a briefing, IRRI Plant Breeding Rice Breeding Platform Senior Scientist II Arvind Kumar said that in the Philippines, 90% of agricultural lands are planted to inbred seed, and only 10% at most are planted to hybrid varieties.
“Hybrid seed is supposed to give 10% or 15% higher yields as compared to inbred seed provided that farmers have access to better practices and knowledge about how to manage the hybrid seeds,” Mr. Kumar said.
According to Mr. Kumar, cost is also a factor for farmers choosing which seed variety to plant.
“Both inbred and hybrid play [a role] in rice contribution,” Mr. Kumar said.
“Hybrid is still a bid costlier than inbred seed. The cost is an effective thing to consider which seed you select for,” according to Mr. Kumar.
According to IRRI, in choosing a rice variety, farmers consider grain quality, price at market, optimum yield potential and stability over seasons, maximum tillering capacity for weed competition, resistance or tolerance to major diseases, insects and other stresses, the right growth duration to match the season, and resistance to lodging under normal management.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kumar said that IRRI continuously develops rice seed that can withstand climate change, noting that there are eight drought-tolerant rice seed varieties in the Philippines available for highland and lowland planting. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio

Duterte ‘ignores’ Dinagyang invitation

“The safety of the people shall be the highest law.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
NEW YORK CITY – Ilonggos shouldn’t consider it as a big deal that President Rodrigo R. Duterte “ignored” Iloilo City Hall’s invitation to grace the just-concluded Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City in the Philippines.
The president can’t just say yes to all the invitations in all the festivals and other social, political, religious and even business gatherings anywhere in the Philippines.
If he accepts one invitation and rejects another, he will be accused of playing favorites.
January is the month of religious and cultural festivals.
Iloilo City was only one of the many cities and municipalities in the Philippines that celebrated the feast of Senior Santo Niño aside from the Sinulog Festival in Cebu City.
Either his schedule wouldn’t allow it, or President Duterte probably decided to skip the Dinagyang Festival on January 25-27, 2019 for security or even health reasons.
The safety of a sitting president is always a paramount concern over other considerations.
Many Ilonggos still couldn’t forget when he called Iloilo City as “the most shabulized” and when he threatened to kill the former mayor, Jed Patrick Mabilog, for being a “protector” of illegal drugs.
It would have been a security nightmare for the “overloaded” Regional Police Office 6 (RPO-6) led by Director John Bulalacao if the president came after being officially invited by Mayor Jose “Joe III” Espinosa III.

-o0o-

As Iloilo aims to harvest one million metric tons of rice this year, rice traders in the Philippines are reportedly set to import about 1.2 million tonnes of the staple food, as the Southeast Asian country lifts a two-decade-old cap on purchases.
This developed as 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,
It was also reported that 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.
According to Reuters, 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.
Dr. Sailila E. Abdula, acting executive director of Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), has rallied workers to support the upcoming Rice Tariffication Act or currently the Senate Bill 1998, which aims to replace import restrictions on rice with tariffs.
Abdula said cost-effective technologies should be further generated for the farmers to survive the possible influx of cheap rice from the international market.
Under the Senate Bill already signed by Senate President Vicente Sotto III and House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, PhilRice will annually receive P3 billion for six years, which will be used for “developing, propagating, and promoting inbred rice seeds to rice farmers and in organizing rice farmers into seed growers associations to be engaged in seed production and trade.”

-o0o-

The Family Planning Organization of Philippines (FPOP) Iloilo Chapter reportedly distributed thousands of condoms to revelers during the highlight days of the recent Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City.
FPOP Iloilo Chapter program manager Monalisa Diones said they have chosen the festival as a perfect venue to exhort the revelers to practice safe sex and to spread public awareness against the rising cases of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in Iloilo City.
We suggest that FPOP go directly to the barangays and educate the couples not only to practice safe sex, but also to minimize producing battalions of babies.
One major reason why many Filipinos are still wallowing in abject poverty is because of overpopulation.
For lack of proper education and training, many couples in slum areas continue to transform their households into bodegas of babies.
The number of mouths to be fed isn’t proportionate to their income, thus many of them continue to live below the poverty level despite working like dogs.


Lalmonirhat rice mills lie idle as govt's paddy purchase scanty

12:00 AM, January 28, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:05 AM, January 28, 2019

The crop remains stockpiled with farmers, many labourers go jobless

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Two labourers work at a chatal (paddy drying field) of a rice mill at Uttar Saptana village in Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila. Photo: Star
Following the government's decision to procure less rice from the local rice mills (chatal) this year than that of the previous years, most of the rice mills in the district are idle now.
As a result, a huge number of day labourers, who earn their livelihood by working as rice mill workers, have become unemployed this year.
Moreover, as the government does not intend to procure a large quantity from the rice mills, mill owners are not showing interest in purchasing paddy from the farmers as well.
According to the District Food Control Office in Lalmonirhat, about 467 rice mills, including seven auto and three semi-auto rice mills, are enlisted under the government's rice procurement scheme this year.
Although the government has a target to procure 7,958 tonnes of rice from the enlisted rice mill owners by the end of February this year, about 70 percent of the procurement target has already been fulfilled.
Rice mill owner Matiar Rahman of Uttar Saptana village in Sadar upazila said he got allotment of only 10 tonnes of rice under the procurement scheme this year which is insufficient to run a mill in full swing.
“As the allotment was three times more last year, many labourers got job opportunities then but the number of labourers is almost half this year,” Matiar said.
“As the government has allotted a very small quantity this year, we are buying limited quantity of paddy from the farmers,” another rice mill owner Haider Ali of Durakuti village in Aditmari upazila said.
Nilphamari District Food Controller Kazi Saifuddin, who is also performing additional duty as Lalmonirhat District Food Controller, said the government has been purchasing each kilogram of rice from the mill owners at Tk 36 while it's being sold at Tk 28 in local markets.
“Although the millers got a small allotment this year, they are getting more profits than that of the previous year,” Saifuddin said, adding that the government might issue a fresh directive soon to procure more rice from the millers.
Abdul Karim, a rice mill worker of Uttar Saptana village, said only four workers are now working in the mill though the number was eight last year.
“We used to earn Tk 400 to Tk 500 daily on production basis earlier, but we manage to earn only Tk 200 to Tk 250 this year,” Karim said.
“Due to less paddy processing and rice production work about 50 percent labourers became unemployed this year,” another worker Shafiqul Islam of the village said.

Thank you China for smoking: Indian tobacco heads to biggest market

Commerce Department has secured market access rights for Indian tobacco in China- the global leader in smoking

Subhayan Chakraborty  |  New Delhi Last Updated at January 28, 2019 21:18 IST
37
Description: Soon, Chinese smokers to puff on Indian tobacco
Hemmed in by increasingly restrictive policies and changing social mindset, Indian tobacco growers may find solace soon in sending out shipments to China, the nation with the highest number of smokers globally.The decision was taken during a two-day visit by Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan to Beijing last week, the government said on Monday. In a meeting with Zhang Jiwen, Vice Minister of General Administration of China Customs (GACC), India has pushed rights for market access and sought to calm Chinese concerns over quarantine issues for agriculture and allied products.
Quality tobacco on a par with international standards is available in India at competitive prices and there is good potential for export of Indian tobacco to China, according to the government. The revival of the phytosanitary protocol with China is expected to boost tobacco exports to China and prove economically beneficial to Indian farmers.
India exported a total $934 billion worth of tobacco - both raw and processed as well as manufactured products like cigarettes - and tobacco substitutes in 2017-18. A majority of these headed to Belgium and the United Arab Emirates, with only a negligible amount finding its way to India’s northern neighbour.
China is a smokers’ paradise, with more than 300 million smokers (nearly one-third of the world’s total), making it the largest market for tobacco. According to the World Health Organization, about one in every three cigarettes smoked in the world is sold in China. A mind-boggling 2.3 trillion cigarettes were consumed in China in 2009 – more than in the other top 4 tobacco-consuming countries (Indonesia, Japan, the Russian Federation, and the US) combined, it adds.
The international arm of China’s gigantic state tobacco monopoly, China National Tobacco Corp, is planning on going public. Documents necessary for an initial public offering were recently submitted by it in Hong Kong.
Market access push
Talks on allowing market access to Indian agri produce gained pace last year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan. Subsequently, a protocol on exports of non-basmati rice was signed in June, while the GACC has also approved six Indian mills for export of rapeseed meal. Finally, the protocol on exports of fish meal and fish oil was signed during the visit of China’s Vice Minister of GACC to New Delhi in November 2018.
The GACC has also deputed experts to inspect Indian soybean meal establishments and pomegranate orchards and pack houses in December 2018. The SPS Protocols for these products are at an advanced stage of negotiation, the government said.
In the latest meet, the government has requested Beijing to expedite market access for other products like okra, soybean, bovine meat, and dairy products.
India’s trade deficit with China hit a historic high of $63 billion in the last financial year.
Business Standard

Thank you China for smoking: Indian tobacco heads to biggest market

Commerce Department has secured market access rights for Indian tobacco in China- the global leader in smoking

Subhayan Chakraborty  |  New Delhi Last Updated at January 28, 2019 21:18 IST
37
Description: Soon, Chinese smokers to puff on Indian tobacco
Hemmed in by increasingly restrictive policies and changing social mindset, Indian tobacco growers may find solace soon in sending out shipments to China, the nation with the highest number of smokers globally.
The decision was taken during a two-day visit by Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan to Beijing last week, the government said on Monday. In a meeting with Zhang Jiwen, Vice Minister of General Administration of China Customs (GACC), India has pushed rights for market access and sought to calm Chinese concerns over quarantine issues for agriculture and allied products.
Quality tobacco on a par with international standards is available in India at competitive prices and there is good potential for export of Indian tobacco to China, according to the government. The revival of the phytosanitary protocol with China is expected to boost tobacco exports to China and prove economically beneficial to Indian farmers.
India exported a total $934 billion worth of tobacco - both raw and processed as well as manufactured products like cigarettes - and tobacco substitutes in 2017-18. A majority of these headed to Belgium and the United Arab Emirates, with only a negligible amount finding its way to India’s northern neighbour.
China is a smokers’ paradise, with more than 300 million smokers (nearly one-third of the world’s total), making it the largest market for tobacco. According to the World Health Organization, about one in every three cigarettes smoked in the world is sold in China. A mind-boggling 2.3 trillion cigarettes were consumed in China in 2009 – more than in the other top 4 tobacco-consuming countries (Indonesia, Japan, the Russian Federation, and the US) combined, it adds.
The international arm of China’s gigantic state tobacco monopoly, China National Tobacco Corp, is planning on going public. Documents necessary for an initial public offering were recently submitted by it in Hong Kong.
Market access push
Talks on allowing market access to Indian agri produce gained pace last year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan. Subsequently, a protocol on exports of non-basmati rice was signed in June, while the GACC has also approved six Indian mills for export of rapeseed meal. Finally, the protocol on exports of fish meal and fish oil was signed during the visit of China’s Vice Minister of GACC to New Delhi in November 2018.
The GACC has also deputed experts to inspect Indian soybean meal establishments and pomegranate orchards and pack houses in December 2018. The SPS Protocols for these products are at an advanced stage of negotiation, the government said.
In the latest meet, the government has requested Beijing to expedite market access for other products like okra, soybean, bovine meat, and dairy products.
India’s trade deficit with China hit a historic high of $63 billion in the last financial year.

What is the lowdown on zearalenone in cereals?

JANUARY 26, 2019 21:11 IST
UPDATED: JANUARY 27, 2019 13:19 IST
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What is it?

Zearalenone is a fungal toxin infesting cereals such as wheat, maize and barley. It attacks crops while they are growing, but can also develop when cereals are stored without being dried fully. While numerous studies document this toxin in cereals across the world, no data existed for India until now. This month, a Journal of Food Science study detected zearalenone in wheat, rice, corn and oats from markets in Uttar Pradesh. The study, by researchers from Lucknow’s Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR), found the substance in 70 of the 117 samples tested. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India does not impose maximum limits for zearalenone, though the European Union (EU) does. Twenty-four of the U.P. samples exceeded the EU regulatory limits of 100-200 mcg/kg of cereals. Based on this, the authors say India should set limits on zearalenone in cereals. “It is definitely a worry,” Mukul Das, a food toxicologist at the IITR and an author of the study, told The Hindu.

How did it come about?

Fungal toxins are commonly found in food, and can be a public health concern, says Vasanthi Siriguri, a researcher at Hyderabad’s National Institute of Nutrition, who was not involved in the study. India regulates the levels of some of these, including aflatoxin, deoxynivalenol, ergot and patulin. The first three infest cereals, while patulin is found in apples. Each of these toxins has been associated with disease outbreaks. For example, in 1974, a hepatitis outbreak in Rajasthan and Gujarat, which made 398 people sick and killed 106, was linked to aflatoxin in maize. Meanwhile, chronic aflatoxin consumption has been shown to cause liver cancer. Given this, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies aflatoxin as a Group 1 carcinogen, meaning there is enough evidence for its carcinogenicity. In zearalenone’s case, there is no strong evidence of toxicity in humans so far, though several research groups are investigating, says Dr. Siriguri. As a result, the IARC classifies it as a Group 3 carcinogen, which means evidence is not sufficient for an evaluation yet.

Why does it matter?

Zearalenone behaves like oestrogen, the female sex hormone, and could cause endocrine disturbances in humans. Its nasty effects in animals, such as pigs, are documented. When fed with mouldy corn, pigs develop inflamed vaginas, infertility and other symptoms. This is why countries like Brazil regulate zearalenone levels in animal feed. In humans, the data are fuzzier. It is probably dangerous to humans too, but to be certain, we need to know how much humans consume, how it is metabolised, and how exposure is correlated with disease. Some experiments suggest its ill-effects: in one, when oestrogen-sensitive breast cancer cells were exposed to the chemical in a lab, they proliferated. In 2014, a Tunisian case-control study found a correlation between a zearalenone metabolite in urine and breast-cancer risk in women. But other studies did not find similar links. In the Journal of Food Science study, Dr. Das and colleagues also looked at National Sample Survey Office data on Indian diets to calculate how much zearalenone people could be consuming. They found that average daily consumption through wheat and rice was 0.27 and 0.3 mcg/kg of body weight — higher than the EU limit of 0.25 mcg/kg. In highly contaminated samples, exposure could be as high as 16.9 times the EU limit.

What next?

Dr. Siriguri says more data are needed from cereals in other States, and from other storage conditions, before India decides to set limits. Since zearalenone favours cool climates, such contamination could be limited to a few States. Also, strong epidemiological data linking human zearalenone levels with diseases such as breast cancer are important. The paper is an excellent starting point, since nothing was known about the chemical in India so far. It is time to build upon it.
The article has been edited to correct a factual error. An earlier version of the copy said, For example, in 1974, a hepatitis outbreak in Rajasthan and Gujarat, which made 398 people sick and killed 106, was linked to aflatoxin in wheat instead of maize.


Rice farmgate prices drop
Description: https://drflkq9jqzld5.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/styles/mystyle/public/main/articles/2019/01/29/bus2-rice-stalks_2018-03-17_20-49-58.jpgGovernment has reduced rice farmgate prices in a move that has raised the prospects of a dip in revenues for farmers. Last week, the Ministry of Trade and Industry set new farmgate prices for short gain rice at Rwf270 and Rwf290 for long grain rice. This means that farmers will now get Rwf18 less for a kilogramme of short grain rice and Rwf8 less for long grain rice compared to the previous season. Apollinaire Gahiza, the president of Rice Farmers’ Federation (FUCORIRWA), told The New Times  that the new  prices imply that, overall, a farmer will get about 20 per cent in profits compared to the investment they made, which reflects a reduction of five percentage points. Cassien Karangwa, the Director of Domestic Trade at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, said that was triggered by complains from processing factories saying that they had witnessed high supply from framers yet they still had stock from last season. According to the ministry, as at January 8, 2019 rice processing firms across the country had an estimated stock of 5,000 tonnes of short grain rice and 1,600 tonnes of long grain rice carried forward from the previous season. The ministry and analysts say the reduction in rice farmgate prices was also caused by changing consumer behaviours, with more and more people resorting to other staple foods such as cassava, bananas and corn. Last year, Rwanda produced 113,880 tonnes of rice, up from 83,338 tonnes in 2017, according to information from the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources. Yet the country produces more than 1.12 million tonnes of cassava in 2018 from 1.04 million in 2017 as banana yields rose from 724,544 tonnes to 759,696 tonnes in the period under review. Production of Irish potato increased to 835,576 tonnes in 2018, from 776,722 tonnes in 2017 while maize yields increased to 424,204 tonnes from 357,665 tonnes. Now with the rise in the output of other staples, consumers prefer more affordable commodities.  “The Government sets minimum rice price to protect farmers’ interests so that they do not incur losses that might be caused by their weak bargaining power. Also, putting in place minimum prices helps farmers have contracts with agro processing factories as well as banks as it helps to make reliable estimates of finance based on projected production,” he said. While government intervenes in setting farmgate prices, it does not have control over commodity prices in the retail market, leaving it to be determined by market forces. Peter Uwamahoro, the Vice Chairman of Rwanda Forum of Rice Millers, told The New Times that while the prices that were set last year were favourable for farmers, they did not cater for the interests of rice millers whose business expenses were high. “We were expecting to sell a 25 kilogramme sack of short grain rice at between Rwf14,500 and Rwf15,000, but we ended up selling it at Rwf12,500,” Uwamahoro said. He added that the factory price for a sack of 25 kilogramme for short grain rice is Rwf16,000, some Rwf1, 000 lower than it was projected. Short grain rice—locally known as Kigori—is the one which is attracting low demand from milling firms, a situation that is partly blamed on quality. Gahiza said that only between 30 and 40 per cent of the rice the farmers grow is long grain. “Long grain rice does not develop well in cold areas. So, we are telling farmers who have farmland suitable for such a variety to grow it based on the factories’ demand. We want to have 70 per cent of rice production occupied by long grain variety,” he said.




Local demand for rice increases
Description: https://www.fbcnews.com.fj/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Mohammed-Khan-Senior-Agriculture-Officer-960x540.jpg
There is an increase in the demand for rice for local consumption.
To help address the issue, the Agriculture ministry is working to identify areas suitable for rice farming. Rewa Senior Agriculture Officer Mohammed Khan says they also have training strategies and incentives for farmers who wish to utilize their land for rice farming. Khan says this will also contribute to the sustainable food security in the country and for commercial use. “Government has been working had for food security – rice which is consumed at and is the number 1 edible food for most in Fiji because of our eating habit now, we are moving away from root crops and so forth.” Khan says the Chinese government has also put in place incentives to support local rice farmers. The ministry has identified 15,000 hectares in the Rewa Delta ideal for rice farming in the Central Division.
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Date: 28-Jan-2019

Only a minority of farmers prefer hybrid rice seed
Description: rice farmersMOST rice farmers in the Philippines still prefer inbred seed instead of hybrid varieties despite the latter’s higher yields, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) said. In a briefing, IRRI Plant Breeding Rice Breeding Platform Senior Scientist II Arvind Kumar said that in the Philippines, 90% of agricultural lands are planted to inbred seed, and only 10% at most are planted to hybrid varieties. “Hybrid seed is supposed to give 10% or 15% higher yields as compared to inbred seed provided that farmers have access to better practices and knowledge about how to manage the hybrid seeds,” Mr. Kumar said. According to Mr. Kumar, cost is also a factor for farmers choosing which seed variety to plant. “Both inbred and hybrid play [a role] in rice contribution,” Mr. Kumar said.
“Hybrid is still a bid costlier than inbred seed. The cost is an effective thing to consider which seed you select for,” according to Mr. Kumar. According to IRRI, in choosing a rice variety, farmers consider grain quality, price at market, optimum yield potential and stability over seasons, maximum tillering capacity for weed competition, resistance or tolerance to major diseases, insects and other stresses, the right growth duration to match the season, and resistance to lodging under normal management. Meanwhile, Mr. Kumar said that IRRI continuously develops rice seed that can withstand climate change, noting that there are eight drought-tolerant rice seed varieties in the Philippines available for highland and lowland planting. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio


Rice exports to China: pipedream or reality?


BR ResearchJanuary 28, 2019
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Rice occupies a prominent position in Pakistan’s export market. While the cereal has found a market in far flung destinations of Africa and EU, inroads in China’s market have been limited.
The ITC data indicate that China imported about $2 billion worth of rice in 2017, most of which is sourced from ASEAN countries. Pakistan’s share in China’s rice imports import was an insignificant 5 percent. Similarly, China’s share as a percentage of total rice exports of Pakistan in FY18 was 7 percent, as per SBP data.In a recent conference held in Karachi, Razaq Dawood indicated that this skew would be addressed. Rice and sugar were highlighted as two exports which would lead the $1 billion increase in exports to China. Keeping sugar aside for the moment, the potential of increase in rice exports has to be considered.


On one hand, ASEAN countries have a significant advantage over Pakistan’s exports in terms of tariffs. As a rice producing country, China has put rice on its no concession list under the Pakistan China Free Trade Agreement (PCFTA). Pakistan’s exports face 65 percent tariffs. On the other hand, ASEAN China FTA (ACFTA) allows rice imports at an average tariff of 31 percent.
This barrier is one of the several that have prevented any real increase in the export of rice to China. Pakistan is not the only country trying to get a bigger piece of the Chinese pie. India has also been pushing China to increase rice imports to correct the trade deficit which is in the latter’s favour.
China’s preferred rice variety from Pakistan is long grained non-basmati. Even if China is willing to buy rice, with or without adjusting tariffs, there needs to be sufficient supply available for the exports to take place. Exports worth $1 billion translate roughly into 2 million tons of rice with PBS data putting FY18’s total rice exports at 4.1 million tons that fetched $2 billion.
Despite the hurdles, one of Pakistan’s leading rice exporting companies, Matco’s views were positive on the matter. While the $1 billion increase in rice exports may not be realized in FY19, the next 2-3 years could see the high number come to fruition.
Speaking to BR Research, Faizan Ghouri, director of the vertically integrated Matco, talked about the need for improvements on the agri-side. Seeds here have good yields but high postharvest damage reduces quality and quantity.
Not only is there lack of milling infrastructure, there is also grain damage of drying equipment. A source in REAP lamented weather change which has made field drying of paddy less effective. Less sunlight during winters in Punjab increases the need for more dryers to prevent rise in aflatoxin levels. Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring toxin that can cause damage to health. Various countries have various acceptable limits with EU arguable having the toughest (meaning lowest) acceptable limit. (For more details read “Fungi, toxins, and basmati exports” published on January 15, 2019)
While, Ghouri opined that $500 million in 2-3 years is a realistic figure to target it cannot be achieved without government support.
The rice sector does not need subsidies to become export competitive, but it does need infrastructural support to be able to increase volume by 50 percent in a short time frame.
Egypt’s GASC tender attracts 4 offers for Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian rice – traders
CAIRO, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Egypt’s state grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), on Sunday received four offers at its first international purchase tender for rice for arrival March 20-April 20 and/or April 1-30, traders said. The offers presented were for Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian rice, the traders said. GASC said it was seeking white rice with 10 percent to 12 percent broken parts on a cost, insurance and freight (CIF) basis. Each bidder should present samples alongside its offer to be tested by the Ministry of Agriculture. (Reporting by Nadine Awadalla, Maha El Dahan and Michael Hogan; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Mark Potter)




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VENTURE INTO RICE PRODUCTION-GOVT



Government has called on investors to invest in Rice production and value addition in Western Province.
Agriculture Minister Michael Katambo says attraction of investments in the rice industry in Western Province is important because of the region’s favorable climatic conditions for the crop.
Speaking when he toured Namushakende Farm Institute in Mongu that is producing various rice seed varieties, Mr. Katambo observed that increased investment in the sector will attract some out-grower schemes were farmers would be empowered to grow the crop.
Mr. Katambo said increased investments in Rice production and value addition will also help create market linkages for farmers within the region through the formation of bulking centers.
He stated that the production of rice seed varieties at Namushakende Farm Institute needs to be replicated in other provinces that are into rice production.
And Western Province Agricultural Coordinator Roy Lumamba said the province has great potential for rice production due to availability of water in the Zambezi flood plains.
Meanwhile, Namushakende Farm Institute Principal Chama Mwila said the institute has this year embarked on production of rice varieties only, and that 10 hectares has so far been planted.

UK-Thailand research yields rice progress 

opinion January 29, 2019 01:00
By Brian Davidson
Special to the Nation

Science and innovation is at the forefront of the modern partnership between Thailand and the UK. Both countries recognise the importance of strong science as key to our continuing development and prosperity. We also recognise the importance of international collaboration to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery. 


This international collaboration is exemplified by the Newton UK-Thailand Research and Innovation Partnership Fund. Launched in 2014, the Fund is supporting up to Bt325 million worth of joint science and innovation activities – and is jointly funded by both the UK and Thailand. 
Under the Partnership Fund, the UK and Thai governments support a diverse range of world class science. This includes research on human and animal health, agriculture; resilience against drought and other extreme weather, as well as the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship. This work helps to tackle difficult global challenges, as well as supporting Thailand 4.0, the Kingdom’s ambitious economic development strategy.
Earlier this month, Thailand’s National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) and the UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), hosted a workshop in Bangkok on sustainable rice production. The workshop brought together scientists from the UK, Thailand, China, the Philippines and Vietnam to discuss the outcomes of their joint research, which was funded through the Sustainable Rice Research Initiative under the Newton Fund.
The scientists presented some of the key findings from their research. They also discussed some of the opportunities and challenges in relation to rice. These included improving rice breeding and the development of new strains, increasing the nutritional value of rice, as well as maintaining crop yield under difficult environmental conditions. 

After three years of research, initial findings look promising. The researchers are helping to make rice production more resilient to the growing risks of climate change, ensuring it will continue to play its vital role as a staple food in both Thailand and the region. The burning of rice straw is also a major contributor to pollution and greenhouse gases, and researchers are looking closely at the alternatives. 
At the workshop in Bangkok, Deputy Prime Minister Prajin Jantong presented awards to some of the most exciting and innovative projects in the initiative. He spoke about the importance of rice to the Thai economy and the Thai people, as well as to consumers around the world. He also spoke about the importance of research into improvements to the way rice is bred and grown, so that it can be more resilient to the threats of pests, climate change and weather extremes. 
This Sustainable Rice Research Initiative has brought together UK and Thai scientific excellence, with partners from around the region, to improve our understanding of a crop which is vital for health and economic wellbeing. I look forward to further work under the Newton UK-Thailand Research and Innovation Partnership Fund in other, equally important, areas of science and innovation, and to continuing to deepen our research and innovation cooperation with Thailand. 
Brian Davidson is British ambassador to Thailand.

Internal reform needed to survive tariffs: Ministry

Sok Chan / Khmer Times 




With the recent imposition of tariffs by the European Union, the local rice sector needs to focus on enhancing competitiveness by increasing efficiency and reducing costs, the Ministry of Agriculture said in a statement this week.
Creating a high-quality fragrant rice seed must also be a priority, the ministry noted, calling on government agencies and research institutes to continue studies and on the private sector to help fund this research.
The statement highlights the need to streamline import procedures for fertilizers and pesticides, as well as to reduce the time it takes to conduct quality inspections, which will save exporters time and help them reduce costs.
. .
“Exporters must ensure the purity of their fragrant rice and make sure it is not mixed with other varieties,” the statement reads. “This is necessary to protect trust on our products.”
According to the statement, the ministry will provide technical support to industry players to increase yields and slash expenses.
The announcement mentions that the European Union re-imposed tariffs on rice imports from Cambodia this month, adding that the tax will make Cambodian rice more expensive and thus less competitive in Europe.
“To face the new tariffs imposed by the EU, the sector must strengthen the competitiveness of their products and reduce production costs,” the announcement notes.
Chan Pich, general manager of Signatures of Asia, told Khmer Times that the government must help industry player reduce costs.
. .
“The government should consider lowering electricity tariffs, while encouraging lower interest rates and lower logistics costs.
“We also ask the government to build warehouses near railway stations, which will facilitate the transport of rice,” Mr Pich said.
Ouk Makara, director of the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), a body of the Ministry of Agriculture, told Khmer Times that his institution is working on creating high-quality fragrant rice seeds.
He said the institution has already produced a foundation seed resilient against droughts and floods.
Last year, Cambodia exported 626,225 tonnes of rice to international markets, a drop of 1.5 percent compared to 2017.
. .
Local firms exported mainly three types of rice: fragrant rice (493,597 tonnes shipped, or 78.82 percent of total rice exports), long-grain white rice (105,990 tonnes, or 16.93 percent), and long-grain parboiled rice (26,638 tonnes, or 4.25 percent).

IGAU develops three new rice varieties

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 29 Jan 2019 11:44:38

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Staff Reporter,
RAIPUR,
Developed by the Indira Gandhi Agriculture University (IGAU), Raipur, Central Variety Release Committee has released three new varieties of rice for Chhattisgarh.
These three varieties are named ‘Trombay Chhattisgarh Dubraj Mutant-1, Chhattisgarh Devbhog and Chhattisgarh Zinc Rice-2. These varieties were notified for the State of Chhattisgarh taking in view the suitability, high production capacity, quality, nutrient value, resilience to insects and diseases, capacity to survive hostile weather conditions, medicine and other characteristics at Indian Institute of Rice Research, Hyderabad, recently. Chhattisgarh State Seeds Sub-Committee had already approved these varieties.

Salient features of these varieties are as follows: Trombay Chhattisgarh Dubraj Mutant-1 is the first variety developed using Gama Radiation induced mutation with the assistance of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai. It’s a medium dwarf variety which qualitatively alike Dubraj. It was developed considering the popularity of the Dubraj. It grows up to 90 to 95 centimeters derived from the local Dubraj which grows around 135 to 150 cm, which affects production and quality due to lodging. Its fertilising capacity is also quite good, which is found at 47 quintals per hectare at national-level. Its yield is quite high even with less fertilizer. The variety has been recommended for irrigated state.

Second variety of Chhattisgarh Devbhog has been developed through the process of selection, in which seeds of Swarna and Jirasankar varieties were selected as Germinatives for cross germination. Its yield is around 45 to 50 quintals per hectare within 135 to 140 days. This variety has a rice producing capacity of 67.6 per cent. This has been recommended for irrigated state in Chhattisgarh.

Chhattisgarh Zinc Rice-2 has been developed with the bio-certified technique. With 22-24 ppm Zinc content, this is a premium variety. It’s a small grain variety, which is tasty to eat. It has been found 42 quintal per hectare yield, higher than other nutri-rich varieties at national level. It also has higher rice bran oil content than other varieties. High content of zinc makes it nutritious and makes it suitable in controlling diarrhoea in younger children. It was developed by adopting the pedigree after the cross germination of IR-68144-B-18-2-1-1 and PKV HMT.

JANUARY 27, 2019 / 6:20 PM / 2 DAYS AGO
UPDATE 1-Egypt's GASC tender attracts 4 offers for Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian rice - traders
CAIRO, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Egypt’s state grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), on Sunday received four offers at its first international purchase tender for rice in 2019, traders said.The offers presented were for Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian rice, the traders said.GASC said it was seeking white rice with 10 percent to 12 percent broken parts on a cost, insurance and freight (CIF) basis for arrival March 20-April 20 and/or April 1-30. Each bidder should present samples alongside its offer to be tested by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Traders gave the following breakdown of the offers presented, however prices were not immediately available:

* Hakan: 20,000 tonnes of Indian rice for arrival from April 1-30

* Mufaddal: 25,000 tonnes of Vietnamese rice for arrival from April 1-30

* Wakalex: 20,000 tonnes of Chinese rice for arrival from March 20 - April 20 and 48,000 tonnes of Chinese rice for arrival from April 1-30

* Al Amal: 20,000 tonnes of Chinese rice for arrival from April 1-30 (Reporting by Nadine Awadalla, Maha El Dahan and Michael Hogan; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Mark Potter) https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-shutdown-nativeamericans/we-know-how-to-survive-but-u-s-shutdown-cut-deep-for-native-americans-idUSKCN1PN18G

India, China hold talks on providing market access to domestic products

PTI|Jan 28, 2019, 02.29 PM IST
Description: India-China-flags-AFP
NEW DELHI: India and China have held wide ranging discussions on various issues, including providing market access to domestic products in the neighbouring country, the commerce ministry said Monday.

The meeting was held last week in Beijing between Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan and Vice-Minister of General Administration of China Customs (GACC) Zhang Jiwen.

Both the countries have signed a protocol for exporting non-basmati rice, fish meal and fish oil to China, it said.

GACC has also approved six Indian mills for export of rapeseed meal to China, it added.

Both the nations have also inked a protocol to export Indian tobacco leaves to China, which is the largest consumer and producer of tobacco with over 350 million smokers - the world's highest.

These developments assume significance as India wants to increase exports to China with a view to bridge the ballooning trade deficit, which has increased to USD 63.12 billion in 2017-18 from USD 51.08 billion in the previous fiscal.

Telangana’s FPC overcomes challenges to bring handsome profits to Kamareddy small farmers

Description: Telangana’s FPC overcomes challenges to bring handsome profits to Kamareddy small farmers
By Gargi Parsai

Kamareddy (Telangana), Jan 27 (UNI) Overcoming challenges of dry land and formidable middle-men, a Farmers Producer Company with membership from 23 Telangana villages in Kamareddy district here has notched up a profit of over Rs 5 lakh in the sixth year of its formation, bringing handsome income to its individual growers including women.

The FPC--Kamareddy Progressive Farmers Producer Company Limited (KPFPCL)-- did not only empower growers but also effectively addressed agrarian distress in back-of-the-beyond villages in a rainfed, arid zone.

The financial success of the company reflected in the smile of Kadham Laxmibai, the secretary of a mandal who shared with this correspondent as part of a visiting media team here last week, how she, as a member of a Village Association cluster and member of FPC, was able to repay a loan of Rs 1 lakh and was able to marry off her daughters, which seems like a dream to her.

She said her farm income had increased 30 per cent annually as also for other farmers, many of who had started taking three crops in a year. There are no farmers suicides in the district, she told UNI.

Indeed in the last five years, the yields of major crops such as soyabean, maize and paddy have almost doubled enhancing farmers income.

Watershed approach helped recharge of groundwater and ensuring ecological and nutrition security for villagers who were initiated into forming Village Associations (and Village Development Plans) by the Reliance Foundation under its Rural Transformation--Bharat-India-Jodo—initiative in 140 villages in the district.

The plan is to bring 14000 hectares of dry land in the region into cultivable area and so far about 9000 ha including about 2000 ha in Kamareddy district has been made cultivable through various interventions especial in water and resource conservation.

``Our objective is to bring holistic and sustainable rural transformation. FPO is the last-mile connectivity to the market.,’’ said Rama Krishna Yarlagadda, RF Programme Integrator for the Southern Region.

He said their organisation encourages farmers to form Village Associations. ``We don’t tell them what to grow but help them identify their critical challenges be it roads, ponds, electricity, water, farm inputs, machinery, markets and so on.

``They bring their own contributions and do shram daan as well. We ask them to contribute for development of the community as a whole and encourage them to set up a village development fund. We orient then to government schemes and funds and help them to avail funds and services,’’ he said.

Ashutosh Deshpande, the Project Lead looking after Market Linkage said just recently the RF helped KPFPCL avail a grant of Rs 10 lakh from the Small Farmers Agriculture Consortium. They also help them with licences and certification.

With the financial help, the FPO has moved away from custom hiring of combines and was able to buy their own combine harvesters. They also serve as aggregators for selling produce at the Minimum Support Price to the Civil Supplies Department of the Telangana Government.

For now, depending upon produce it is sold to solvent factories (soyabean), poultry feed manufacturers or rice millers etc.

There are envious middle-men and domestic traders who try to put a spoke but the strength of KPFPCL is the unity amongst its 2213 members who are share holders.

For Amrutha Mohan Rao, a small farmers in Lingampally village, his joining a Village Association was a boon as he was abe to develop his arid land using soil water conservation activities such as trench-cum-bunding, creation of a farm pond and silt application.

He not only started taking two crops in a year but because of fodder cultivation he could raise dairy animals. ``I have reduced the cost of cultivation and increased my profit with the use of micro irrigation like sprinklers and drip irrigation.’’ he told the visiting media persons.

This back-of-the-beyond village has now become a progressive village and attained for itself a panchayat to which the Chairman of KPFPCL Chandar Rao was elected unopposed.

A unique feature of this earlier water-scarce village smart-card operated RO water services to villages at the cost of Rs 3 per filling of a can of 20 litres.

However, the time for baby steps is over. KPFPCL is now eyeing bigger markets and even exports. Chander Rao hopes to increase shareholder farmers from 2213 to 10,000 by 2025 and achieve a turnover of Rs 50 crore annually.

The Foundation, which worked as a facilitator and provided seed money, is ready to bow out as it sees this FPC as ``replicable and scalable’’.


Korean rice consumption falls to all-time low in 2018
·       Published : Jan 28, 2019 - 14:01
·       Updated : Jan 28, 2019 - 14:01
Per capita rice consumption in South Korea dropped to a record low in 2018, data showed Monday, although the rate of decrease slowed compared with recent years on the back of the popularity of ready-to-eat meals.

According to the data by Statistics Korea, the average annual consumption of rice per person came to 61 kilograms last year, down from 61.8 kg posted in 2017. 

Description: http://res.heraldm.com/content/image/2019/01/28/20190128000806_0.jpg
(Yonhap)

Rice is a key staple food for Koreans, but its consumption has been on a decline since 1980, when it reached 132.7 kg. The figure came to 136.4 kg in 1970.

The on-year drop of 1.3 percent in 2018 accelerated from the 0.2 percent annual dip posted in 2017, but the figure was lower compared with the average on-year decline of 1.79 percent posted for the 2008-2017 period, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said.

The ministry said the rice consumption is contracting at a slower pace as the government started to include one-member households in the survey in 2017, with more people consuming ready-to-eat meals that are eaten with rice, such as soups and stews.

The ministry, however, said it still needs to closely monitor rice market developments for two or three more years to determine the overall trend.

The government will continue to support local firms to develop food products based on rice to promote further demand and roll out marketing programs to promote the nutritional benefits of rice to the people, it added. (Yonhap)

Korean govt to defend 513% tariff rate on rice imports

2019.01.28 15:35:51 | 2019.01.28 15:36:33
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The Seoul government is committed to defend the 513-percent duties on rice imports amid protracted verification process from the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs said in a statement Monday. Korea has won a 10-year moratorium on tariffs on foreign rice since the Uruguay Round agreement in 1994. From 2015, it has employed tariff rate quota, referring to the amount of rice the country must import on low tariff rate.

Farming majors like the United States, China, Australia, Thailand, and Vietnam have complained over Seoul’s tariff rate of 513 percent, and the WTO has been reviewing the matter since then.
By Lee Yu-sup and Choi Mira


North Korean authorities demand rice from new Party members in North Pyongan Province


Description: https://www.dailynk.com/english/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/KakaoTalk_20180410_121853302.jpgThe fifth session of the 13th Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) in April 2017. Image: Rodong Sinmun

The North Korean authorities are ordering newly-appointed Party members in North Pyongan Province to contribute supplies in exchange for their new status. North Korean society has long seen Party membership become accessible to those offering money or other bribes, but recently the authorities have started to formerly demand contributions in return for Party membership cards.
“A ceremony was held in December to issue the new Party membership cards. Suddenly, the managing secretary ordered all of the new Party members to contribute one ton of rice to the state,” said a Sinuiju, North Pyongan Province-based source.
“I heard about the story right after it happened. One particular man had worked hard to become a Party member and had given bribes to higher-ups to speed up the process. So he was really taken aback by what happened.
“He was granted membership in mid-December thanks to a recommendation from his workplace and attended a ceremony later to receive his membership card. But the managing secretary suddenly told them after the ceremony ended that they had to immediately contribute one ton of rice each, which caused an uproar among the attendees.”
The man ended up borrowing rice from neighbors and friends to meet the quota, but he now faces the difficulty of having to pay back the debt, which according to current market rates amounts to over 500 USD.
“I worked hard with the belief that getting a Party membership card would be the best thing for me, but now I’ve just been saddled with debt,” he said, according to a separate source in North Pyongan Province close to the matter, who noted that “other people are in dire straits because of this.”
“People tell me that becoming a Party member isn’t as much of an honor as it used to be, and that you can survive without a membership card. All you need is money.”
The growing marketization that North Korea is experiencing has led many residents to avoid Party membership. Members are required to attend all Party-related activities and are thus less free to engage in private business activities than non-members. If Party members are caught engaging in such activities, they may be expelled and placed on a surveillance list.
North Koreans with poor “songbun,” or social status, are increasingly offering bribes to join the Party, which has led many North Koreans to believe that membership is not as prestigious as it was in the past.
An additional North Pyongan Province-based source reported that the common sentiment among many residents is that “Party members outwardly support socialism but are capitalists through and through once they’ve gotten their membership cards.”

Only a minority of farmers prefer hybrid rice seed
January 28, 2019 | 12:05 am
Description: rice farmersPHILSTAR
MOST rice farmers in the Philippines still prefer inbred seed instead of hybrid varieties despite the latter’s higher yields, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) said.
In a briefing, IRRI Plant Breeding Rice Breeding Platform Senior Scientist II Arvind Kumar said that in the Philippines, 90% of agricultural lands are planted to inbred seed, and only 10% at most are planted to hybrid varieties.
“Hybrid seed is supposed to give 10% or 15% higher yields as compared to inbred seed provided that farmers have access to better practices and knowledge about how to manage the hybrid seeds,” Mr. Kumar said.
According to Mr. Kumar, cost is also a factor for farmers choosing which seed variety to plant.
“Both inbred and hybrid play [a role] in rice contribution,” Mr. Kumar said.
“Hybrid is still a bid costlier than inbred seed. The cost is an effective thing to consider which seed you select for,” according to Mr. Kumar.
According to IRRI, in choosing a rice variety, farmers consider grain quality, price at market, optimum yield potential and stability over seasons, maximum tillering capacity for weed competition, resistance or tolerance to major diseases, insects and other stresses, the right growth duration to match the season, and resistance to lodging under normal management.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kumar said that IRRI continuously develops rice seed that can withstand climate change, noting that there are eight drought-tolerant rice seed varieties in the Philippines available for highland and lowland planting. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio

79K bags of NFA rice from Vietnam unloaded in Bacolod City

By Erwin Nicavera/PNA

IMPORTED RICE. National Food Authority Grains Operations Officer III Roem Precioso (right) inspects the bags of imported rice from Vietnam unloaded at the Bredco port in Bacolod City. (Photo courtesy of NFA-Negros Occidental)

BACOLOD CITY — The National Food Authority (NFA) in Negros Occidental awaits the completion of the unloading of 79,000 bags of rice from Vietnam, which is the third and last import allocation for the province for 2018.
Frisco Canoy, provincial manager of NFA-Negros Occidental, said as of Sunday, a total of 58,461 bags were already unloaded and stored in warehouses in the province.
The 79,000 bags shipped via MV Han Binh 16 and arrived at the Bredco Port here last December 30.
Canoy said the vessel started discharging the stocks only on January 19 and on January 27, a total of 14,321 bags have been unloaded.
“If the good weather continues, the unloading of the remaining 20,539 bags will be completed in two days,” he added.
The previous stocks came from Myanmar and Thailand, which delivered the final shipment last November.
Records showed that of the 160,000 bags of rice from Myanmar shipped via MV Tan Binh 79, only 159,739 bags were considered good stocks and fully unloaded on January 19.
The NFA does not accept “bad order” stocks from the supplier thus, unloading activity is suspended during rains as the rice may be damaged if wet.
Canoy said that in terms of distribution, the NFA-Negros Occidental is implementing a “first in, first out” scheme.
They have yet to complete the distribution of all stocks from Myanmar before those from Vietnam could reach the market, he pointed out.
He added that with the present volume of available government rice in Negros Occidental, the weekly allocation for retailers has returned to normal.
During the last two quarters of 2018 when the buffer stocks were limited, the allocation was based on the availability of stocks and the level of need of an area.
For major markets in Bacolod City, the NFA-Negros Occidental is currently distributing 140 bags per week.
Those in markets outside Bacolod are receiving a weekly allocation of 80 bags while those outside markets, like stores in the barangay level, are getting 60 bags every week.
Some 113 “Tagpuan” centers in Negros Occidental with a weekly allocation of 50 bags were also reactivated.

EU imposes tariffs on rice imported from Cambodia, Myanmar

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-17 16:16:01|Editor: xuxin
PHNOM PENH, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission has imposed tariffs on rice imported from Cambodia and Myanmar in a bid to curb a surge in rice imports from the two Southeast Asian countries.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the European Union (EU) said a significant increase of imports of Indica rice from Cambodia and Myanmar into EU caused economic damage to the EU producers.
"The European Commission has therefore decided today to re-introduce import duties that will be steadily reduced over a period of three years," the statement said.
According to the commission's decision, from Friday, the EU will reinstate the normal customs duty on this product of 175 euros (199 U.S. dollars) per ton in the first year, progressively reducing it to 150 euros (171 U.S. dollars) per ton in the second year, and 125 euros (142 U.S. dollars) per ton in the third year.
During the investigation launched in March 2018, the commission found that imports of Indica rice from both countries combined have increased by 89 percent in the past five rice-growing seasons, the statement said.
At the same time, the investigation found that the prices of the imported rice were substantially lower than those on the EU market and had actually decreased over the same period, the statement said.
"This surge in low-price imports has caused serious difficulties for EU rice producers to the extent that their market share in the EU dropped substantially from 61 percent to 29 percent," the statement added.
Cambodia and Myanmar are beneficiaries of the EU's Everything But Arms (EBA) trade scheme, which unilaterally grants duty-and quota-free access to the world's least developed countries, according to the statement.
Cambodia exported a total amount of 626,225 tons of milled rice in 2018, with 42.9 percent of it going to the European markets, government figures showed.


Egypt’s self-sufficiency rate of rice reaches 94.2% in 2017: CAPMAS

Egypt’s self-sufficiency rate of rice reached 94.2% in 2017, with an average rice consumption per capita of 38.7 kg versus 34.7 kg in 2016, an increase of 11.5%,” the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced in its annual bulletin of production movement, foreign trade, and available agriculture commodities for consumption in 2017. …
Description: https://dneegypt.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/2019/01/rice-768x430.gif
Egypt’s self-sufficiency rate of rice reached 94.2% in 2017, with an average rice consumption per capita of 38.7 kg versus 34.7 kg in 2016, an increase of 11.5%,” the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced in its annual bulletin of production movement, foreign trade, and available agriculture commodities for consumption in 2017.
It continued that the self-sufficiency rate of wheat stood at 34.5% in 2017 with an average wheat consumption per capita of 163.9 kg versus 137.8 kg in 2016, an increase of 18.9%.
The self-sufficiency rate of vegetables was 103% in 2017 with an average vegetables consumption per capita of 79.3, kg down from 86.3 kg in 2016, a decrease of 8.1%, according to the CAPMAS.
The agency also declared that the self-sufficiency rate of fruits reached 99.3% in 2017, with an average fruits consumption per capita of 62.9 kg up from 62.6 kg in 2016, an increase of 0.5%.
Furthermore, it stated that the self-sufficiency rate of red meat amounted to 55.9% in 2017, with an average red meat consumption per capita of 10.7 kg versus 9.6 kg in 2016, an increase of 11.5%.
Meanwhile, the self-sufficiency rate of poultry and bird meat reached 91.5% in 2017, with an average per capita of 10.0 kg versus 10.1 kg in 2016, a decrease of 1.0%
The CAPMAS is the official statistical agency of Egypt that collects, processes, analyses, and disseminates statistical data, and conducts the census.

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