Tuesday, April 16, 2019

16th April,2019 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter

Iran looks to cultivate over 14 million tons of wheat despite flood damages

16 April 2019 10:28 (UTC+04:00)

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Larger portions a big piece of the childhood obesity puzzle, researchers say
Researchers from Penn State University have found that children between the ages of three and five are susceptible to the ‘portion size’ effect – the tendency to eat more when larger portions are served – finding that children will consume more, both in terms of weight and calories – when larger portions of meals and snacks are available.

Alissa Smethers, a doctoral student at the University, said the findings suggest that those working in early childhood education and care (ECEC) and other caregivers should “pay close attention to not only the amount of food they serve, but also the variety”.

Ms Smethers acknowledged the challenge of defining appropriate portion sizes for all preschoolers, given the calorie requirements that vary due to differences in height, weight and activity level. She recommended looking at the proportions of different foods being served, and using the MyPlate nutrition guide for support.

A good “rule of thumb” suggested by Ms Smethers was to fill up half the plate with fruit or vegetables. Her advice is consistent with that provided to The Sector by Mandy dos Santos, founder of Little People Nutrition. Ms dos Santos recommended that ECEC educators align themselves with the Get up and Grow guidelines on what they should be giving the children each day, and look at a plate and think, “does half of it have veggies, a quarter protein and a quarter carb based foods?”

Ms dos Santos said “Our role as educators and parents is to have the variety of nutritious foods on the table. That might be rice, a meat dish, a vegetable dish and perhaps even some fruit (yes fruit can be offered at the main meal too!) A child then decides what and how much they would like to eat. If they eat half a cup of meat and two tablespoons of pasta, that’s ok. If they eat fruit and rice, that is okay too.”

Barbara Rolls of Penn State University said the results of the study also suggest that the portion-size effect can be used strategically by caregivers to help children eat more fruits and vegetables.

“You can also serve them at the start of the meal or on their own as snacks. When there are no other foods competing with them, kids may be more likely to eat them,” Ms Rolls said.

The researchers undertook their work to determine if the established portion size effect, well documented in adults, was accurate for children also. Prior to the study, some researchers believed that young children could sense how many calories from food they need and adjust their eating habits accordingly, a process called “self-regulation.”

Previous studies have tested this theory by looking at children’s eating habits at one meal or over a single day. But Ms Smethers said it may take longer — up to three to four days — for self-regulation to kick in, and so she and the other researchers wanted to study the portion size effect in children across a full five days.

46 children between the ages of three and five were recruited for the five-day study, based on a population attending ECEC services on the University Park campus. All meals and snacks were provided for the children, who during one five-day period received baseline-sized portions — based on Child and Adult Care Food Program requirements — and during another period had portions that were increased in size by 50 per cent.

For the larger portion meals, researchers wanted to serve similar portion sizes to those encountered by children in their everyday lives. For example, instead of getting four pieces of chicken nuggets, they would get six, for a 50 per cent increase, Ms Smethers said.

During the five-day study, children were free to eat as much or as little of their meal or snack as they wanted. When they were done eating, their leftovers were weighed to measure how much each child had eater.

Each child wore an accelerometer during the study which measured their activity level, with researchers also measuring and recording their height and weight. After analysing the data, the researchers found that serving larger portions led to the children eating 16 per cent more food than when served the smaller portions, leading to an extra 18 per cent of calories.

Ms Rolls said that, if preschoolers did have the ability to self-regulate their calorie intake, they should have sensed that they were getting extra calories over the five days and started eating less, but that researchers found no evidence of that.

Children with higher BMI percentiles for their age were more likely to be influenced by the presence of larger portions, and that the portion size effect was stronger in children experiencing being overweight or obese than more proportioned children.

“We found that while the portion size effect is powerful overall, some children seemed to be more susceptible to the effect than others,” Ms Smethers said. “Children who were rated by their parents as more responsive to food when it’s in front of them were also affected more by portion size, while children who were rated as paying attention to whether or not they were actually hungry were less affected by portion size.”

The research, which was supported by The National Institutes of Health and the United States Department of Agriculture has been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Rice millers’ lament

Time to get tough with our neighbours over smuggling

WE are not surprised at the finding by the Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RIPAN) that over 20 million bags of rice (approximately one million metric tonnes) were smuggled into Nigeria between January and March. According to RIPAN chairman, Mohammed Abubakar, investigations conducted by the association in the last few months indicated that “all our international borders have been converted to smugglers’ route and our markets are filled with smuggled foreign rice.”
“Nigeria currently loses huge revenues, foreign exchange and jobs to this menace. Nigeria rice processing companies are shutting down because of their inability to gain market access. More painfully, millions of small-holder farmers are stuck with their paddy because the millers can no longer afford to buy from them”, he told newsmen in an interview in Abuja, last week.
He did not spare officials of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) at the borders, some of whom he accused of colluding with smugglers to undermine the nation’s quest to attain self-sufficiency in rice production, warning that the magnitude of loss to stakeholders would be too devastating to cope with.
“The development, if left unchecked, could impact negatively on the integrated rice processor’s capacity, which had increased from 800,000 metric tonnes in 2014 to 1.6 million metric tonnes in 2018″, he said.
We sympathise with the millers’ body. Indeed, the threat from smuggling, given their exposure to other players in the rice value chain, borders on an existential one. The issue, however isn’t that the problem of smuggling, particularly of rice, is a recent phenomenon but the failure of the Federal Government to recognise it for what it is – a serious act of economic sabotage – and confront it accordingly. Surely, the Federal Government has a surfeit of intelligence to  stamp it out. For instance, only last December, Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Agriculture had cause to decry the abuse of the Economic Community of West African States protocol allowing neighbouring countries to bring in rice into Nigeria.
According to Lokpobiri, “people from Thailand would go to Benin Republic with their parboiled rice and then re-bag them as though they were produced in Benin Republic and then smuggle them into Nigeria, thereby denying the people of Benin the opportunity to grow rice and then benefit from the Nigerian market”.
Earlier in 2018, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, acting on intelligence on three shiploads of 120,000 metric tons of Thailand rice headed for Nigeria via Benin Republic could not but raise the alarm. The preceding Christmas, he spoke of some 500,000 metric tons of rice also denied entrance from the same country.
Unfortunately, as if part of an incipient culture of denial, the Federal Government continues to tout the decline in import of Thai rice from 644,131 metric tonnes in 2015, to 58,260 metric tonnes in 2016, and 23,192 metric tonnes in 2017 as achievement while pretending to be oblivious of the corresponding figures from our other neighbours. For instance, rice imports from  Benin Republic rose geometrically from 805,765 metric tonnes in 2015, to 1,427,098 metric tonnes in 2016, and 1,811,164 metric tonnes in 2017.  Cameroun also witnessed a surge in Thai rice imports from 449,297 metric tonnes in 2015, to 505,254 metric tonnes in 2016 to 744,508 metric tonnes in 2017. In the circumstance, only the Federal Government still lives under the illusion that those dramatic surges in imports are headed anywhere other than Nigeria – sadly for an administration that has acquired a reputation for aggressively pushing for self-sufficiency in the nation’s major staples which the illegal trade directly undermines.
We  agree with RIPAN that the time to tackle the menace of rice smuggling is now; just as we shudder to think of the grave risk of the failure to act on the initiatives and the linkages that they have spawned in the rice value chain. While we agree that the customs management can do more to curb corruption and indolence in the ranks of its men, the nature of the problem is such that require engagement between the Nigerian government and our ECOWAS neighbours. For far too long, our ECOWAS neighbours have taken advantage of our good neighbourliness to undermine our economy; the rice issue obviously provides one avenue for the Federal Government to demonstrate, for once, a clear resolve to defend our national interest.

Govt should tread carefully before liberalising rice industry, says reportDescription: https://themalaysianreserve.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/p3s1-Beras.jpgTuesday, April 16th, 2019 at , News
The whole chain of domestic paddy industry must first be strengthened if there is any move to liberalise the sector
A recent research report warned of the implications of liberalising the import of rice in a fragile midstream ecosystem, the absence of social net to help paddy growers and the ramifications to the country’s stockpile.
A report by Khazanah Research Institute (KRI) revealed that the whole chain of domestic paddy industry must first be strengthened if there is any move to liberalise the sector or to abandon the single importer model.
KRI, in the report titled “The Status of the Paddy and Rice Industry in Malaysia”, said Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas) plays a key caretaker role in the midstream segment which the report suggested that there “is distrust between millers and farmers”.
The report said Bernas is also responsible to take in any excess of paddy produced, known as Buyer of Last Resort (BOLR), at the guaranteed minimum price (GMP) of RM1,200 per tonne to protect the rice growers.
“If private millers refuse to purchase the grains, usually for not meeting the quality standards needed, farmers can sell to Bernas,” said the report which was released last week.
“Besides importing rice from other countries and distributing them to wholesalers, Bernas also procures paddy from local farmers and millers, and then markets them.
“This procurement is not only part of its commercial interest, but also of its social obligations to be the BOLR,” the report said.
The report suggested that Bernas had no choice but to purchase the paddy, irrespective of the quality.
The report also said in the event of no or insufficient private millers in certain paddy planted areas, Bernas still has to carry the same task although at a loss.
“For example, due to the GMP standardisation exercise in 2014, many millers were forced to shut down in Kelantan. As a result, Bernas, due to its social obligation as a BOLR, had to buy paddy from farmers in Kelantan, regardless of the quality.
“The second instance is when the private millers have met their daily drying capacity during peak harvesting seasons. In the past, all these purchases were done based on the market price, above the GMP,” it said.
“Due to the long-standing social obligations of Bernas, the domestic paddy industry must first be strengthened before attempts are made to change Bernas’ role, including its exclusive rights to import rice,” the report said.
Bernas’ monopoly has been in the limelight over suggestion that the government should abolish monopolies in Malaysia, including Bernas’ role as the caretaker of the country’s rice imports.
Certain parties had claimed that Bernas has the monopoly over the sector.
Known as “Single Gate Keeper Mechanism”, Bernas inherited the policy from the government’s National Paddy and Rice Board (LPN) to ensure sufficient supply and prices are capped at a low price.
The KRI report also suggested that high market share does not automatically constitute a monopoly or abuse of dominant power.
“Bernas does not have the power to set the price for rice, which is determined by the government through ceiling prices,” it said, adding that Bernas is also tasked to managing national rice stockpile, which now stands at 150,000 tonnes compared to only 92,000 tonnes prior to 2008 crisis.
“Understanding Bernas’ operations, effectiveness, relevance and effects on the industry is a complex exercise and care is needed when determining policies affecting this company,” the report said.
In 2008, the price of rice rose more than 250% from about US$300 to US$1,000 (RM4,110) per tonne, forcing consumers in many countries to pay higher prices.
However, Malaysians only paid not more than RM3 for every 1kg of rice due to the price mechanism implemented by the government. Bernas had to bear the price difference for rice imports as selling prices are determined by the government.
Industry observers also warned of a possible repeat of the 2008 rice hike and importers’ reluctance to bring the staple food due to the losses to be incurred by these traders, if the single importer model is abandoned.
In 1974, due to the world food crisis, the LPN had been made the sole rice importer and the country’s gatekeeper. The move then is said was due to the reluctance of some importers to import rice due to the high price.

16th April,2019 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter