Thursday, May 23, 2019

23rd May,2019 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter


Unusually wet spring delays California crops, damages others
  • Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — California growers are frustrated by an unusually wet spring that has delayed the planting of crops like rice and damaged others including strawberries and wine grapes.
Rice grower Kurt Richter said Tuesday that storms forced him to wait weeks to start seeding his land in Colusa County. And rice that he managed to get into the ground is in a “refrigerated state” because of colder than usual temperatures that threaten to reduce yields.
Watsonville strawberry farmer Peter Navarro tells the Santa Cruz Sentinel that recent wet weather is disrupting his picking schedule and causing a loss of production.
Much of California has seen two to five times more precipitation than is normal for this point in May. The wet trend is expected to continue through the month.

‘Golden Rice’ now closer to reality

International Rice Research Institute cultivates the grain fortified with Vitamin A

In what would be a major breakthrough in agri-food biotechnology, the Golden Rice is inching closer to reality . The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and its partners, the Philippines Rice Research Institute and the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, have successfully cultivated Golden Rice in a controlled environment on IRRI campus.

Safety checks

The safety evaluations have shown that Golden Rice is as safe and nutritious as conventional rice but comes with the added benefit of increased beta-carotene content in the grain, the Philippines-based IRPI claimed. This nutrient, similar to what is found in orange-coloured fruits and vegetables, is converted to Vitamin A as needed by the body. This is aimed at covering a vast rice-eating population in the world with high prevalence of deficiencies. The Golden Rice project has taken about 18 years to reach at this stage. Ajay Kohli, senior scientist and programme leader at IRRI, said, “Besides consumers, farmers will also find it is beneficial to grow this seed. But there should be a balance to make it affordable for consumers and we expect some government intervention here. The Golden Rice can be grown just the same way we grow normal rice. There is no change in cost of cultivation and the agronomy also doesn’t change. In fact, it reduces water use by up to 30 per cent without any yield loss.” The Golden Rice was given positive food safety evaluations by three leading regulatory authorities-- Food Standards Australia New Zealand (in February 2018), Health Canada (in March 2018) and the US Food and Drug Administration (in May 2018). According to IRRI officials, the Golden Rice application is under review in Bangladesh and the Philippines. Research has indicated that one cup of Golden Rice can provide up to 50 per cent of the daily requirement of an adult for vitamin A. Quoting a global research, Russell Reinke, Programme Lead, Healthier Rice, IRRI, stated that in Bangladesh over 20 per cent of pre-school and school age kids are afflicted with Vitamin A deficiency.

Less shelf-life

However, scientists believed that there may require some advocacy in case of the storage of the rice. “The only thing that may require some advocacy is that Golden Rice should not be stored for more than three months. It may lose its nutrients after that. Within a period of three months it is enough to provide required nutrients to make a difference to the public health. But beyond that it starts losing nutritional value,” said Kohli. The research has advanced this period from earlier one month to three months now. The reporter was in the Philippines on the invitation of Crop Life Asia Farmers’ Exchange Programme.

Rice prices hit 3-year low in Bangladesh
Rice prices have fallen to a nearly three-year low impacted by downturn in paddy prices at the farmers’ level in the wake of good harvest as well as higher private and public stocks of the grain.
The average retail price of coarse rice, consumed mainly by the low-income group, was Tk 33 per kg in city markets yesterday, down 24 percent from a year ago, according to the Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM).
It is the lowest since August 2016 when the average retail price of the same quality grain was Tk 33.58 per kilogram, show data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
The FAO data showed that the prices gradually declined after they soared to Tk 47.78 in September 2017. Just more than a year later in November 2018, the prices fell below the Tk 40 mark.
Since then, the market prices have gradually been declining because of good crop harvest, a situation that hurts farmers but benefits consumers.
Bangladesh bagged 3.62 crore tonnes of rice in fiscal 2017-18 and the total production is expected to hit a new high during the current fiscal year, according to the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), rice millers and traders.
In addition, fresh imports and carryover stocks have added to the overall domestic supply, said rice millers and traders. “We’ve a huge stock of rice,” said Chitta Majumder, managing director of Majumder Group of Industries, which owns several rice mills. He said prices of rice and paddy are interrelated and when the prices of paddy fall, rice prices follow suit. Depending on quality, prices of paddy dropped as much as 23 percent during the current Boro harvesting season from the same period a year ago, according to DAM data. Coarse paddy producers were hit the hardest followed by fine and medium grain producers as current prices are much below the government-estimated production cost of paddy at Tk 993 per maund (37.20 kilogram). As of May 15, coarse paddy dipped to Tk 540 each maund from Tk 702 for the same quantity a year ago. Chitta said the response for paddy from millers remains lukewarm, as they could not clear their previously purchased grains for a dearth of buyers. “There was no large buyer in the paddy market,” he said, adding, “There is no way but to export.” Nirod Boron Saha, president of the Naogaon Dhan O Chal Arathdar Babshayee Samity, an association of rice wholesalers and commission agents, said the prices were unlikely to increase soon unless millers could sell their rice from the stocks. “Our hands are tied. The government is not willing to receive aman from us nor does the market have demand for the rice. How would we get money to buy paddy if we cannot sell [the rice]?” he asked. Saha said there was no sign yet of the paddy market to rebound to ease the lives of tens of thousands of farmers. “Farmers are in real trouble. They have to pay very high wages to hired workers to harvest paddy during this peak season, but they sell their produces at nearly half the production cost. It’s a terrible situation,” he said. He also said the demand for rice remains low because of good harvest of Boro, the biggest crop, almost throughout the country. He also said export could be a solution. But it may take time to find market. Government-to-Government contracts can be explored for quick exports, he added. Md Arifur Rahman Apu, director general of Directorate General of Food, said the commerce ministry would ultimately decide on export. He said there has been a delay in purchasing paddy from growers because of a delay in preparing a list of the farmers. Apu claimed that the food directorate has little to influence the paddy market. “We will buy only 12 lakh tonnes of rice and that will be added to our stock of nearly 13 lakh tonnes of cereal. We have a capacity of storing 21 lakh tonnes [of grains],” he said. “We have instructed all our field offices to start buying paddy and rice,” he said. DAE Director of Field Services Wing Md Abdul Muyeed said the Boro rice output was likely to be 2 lakh tonnes higher to 1.97 crore tonnes this year from the previous year owing to favourable weather and DAE support. The DAE had earlier estimated production of Aus and Aman rice crops at 29 lakh and 1.53 crore tonnes for this fiscal. Those are higher than that of the previous fiscal year

Organic grain fraud case continues with fifth guilty plea

Photo: Adobe stock
05.13.2019
CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA, U.S.  – The organic grain fraud scandal continues as a fifth farmer, John Burton of Clarksdale, Missouri, U.S., plead guilty on May 10 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa, Burton was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.  As part of the conspiracy, he admitted that grain grown on non-organic fields was marketed and sold as organic and that unapproved substances were used on fields certified as organic.
Burton’s plea is related to Randy Constant’s plea from December 20, 2018, when Constant from Chillicothe, Missouri, pled guilty to an organic grain fraud scheme involving at least $142 million in grain sales with the vast majority of those sales being fraudulent.  Constant made many of those sales through a brokerage that he owned and operated out of Ossian, Iowa, known as Jericho Solutions. 
In other related matters, the U.S. Attorney’s office of Northern District Iowa said three farmers from Nebraska previously pled guilty to fraud involving the sale of grain fraudulently marketed as organic – Tom Brennan; James Brennan; and Mike Potter – all from Overton, Nebraska.
Sentencing for Constant, Brennan, Brennan, and Potter is scheduled for August 16, 2019, before United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams, at the United States Courthouse in Cedar Rapids. 
Burton’s sentencing will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Burton remains free on bond previously set.  Burton faces a possible maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment, a fine of at least $250,000, and 3 years of supervised release following any imprisonment.
Unusually wet spring delays California crops, damages others
LOS ANGELES (AP) — California growers are frustrated by an unusually wet spring that has delayed the planting of crops like rice and damaged others including strawberries and wine grapes.
Rice grower Kurt Richter said Tuesday that storms forced him to wait weeks to start seeding his land in Colusa County. And rice that he managed to get into the ground is in a “refrigerated state” because of colder than usual temperatures that threaten to reduce yields.
Watsonville strawberry farmer Peter Navarro tells the Santa Cruz Sentinel that recent wet weather is disrupting his picking schedule and causing a loss of production.
Much of California has seen two to five times more precipitation than is normal for this point in May. The wet trend is expected to continue through the month.

Cambodia's royal oxen predict plentiful rice harvest amid EU tariffs
MAY 22, 2019 / 11:30 AM

Cambodia's royal oxen eat during a royal ploughing ceremony in Takeo province, Cambodia, May 22, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer
PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Cambodia’s royal oxen predicted a plentiful harvest of rice, the country’s biggest crop, at an ancient plowing ceremony on Wednesday.
King Norodom Sihamoni presided over the televised annual ritual in which two oxen are given offerings after plowing a field, marking the start of the rice-growing season in the Southeast Asian country.
Dressed in ornate robes and colorful headdresses, the oxen ate 85% of the rice and beans on offer and 90% of the corn in decorated bowls - indicating a bountiful harvest.
Palace astrologers make their predictions each year depending on the oxen’s choice of crops and the amount they eat.
“I pray ... for seasonal rain and regular weather,” Korng Ken, a Brahmin priest dressed in traditional white robes, said at the ceremony in Takeo province.
He prayed that “Cambodia avoid any natural disasters that would destroy the agriculture harvests which are the lives of the people and country.”
The good omen will be welcomed in Cambodia after the European Union imposed tariffs in January on rice from Cambodia and Myanmar in a bid to protect EU producers. Cambodia has since seen a surge in rice exports to China.
Cambodia’s ceremony mirrors similar traditions in nearby Thailand and Myanmar in which oxen ceremonially plow the ground and then choose between eating bowls of rice, beans, corn water, grass, sesame seeds or alcohol.
Thailand’s royal oxen predicted a good harvest at a plowing ceremony this month presided over by newly crowned King Maha Vajiralongkorn and his queen



Rice prices hit 3-year low in Bangladesh
Good harvest, healthy stocks main reasons for lower prices.

Written by Daily Star

Govt, farmers in a fix over low paddy price

22 May, 2019 12:39:16 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 22 May, 2019 03:40:41 PM
Although state-run silos do not have adequate space at this moment, a proposal has been finalised to procure rice at govt level
ANISUR RAHMAN KHAN, Dhaka
Description: Govt, farmers in a fix over low paddy price
Except for some hopeful dialogues by different ministers and officials, the government has not yet taken any concrete step over the issue of low Boro paddy prices. Although state-run silos do not have adequate space to stock foodgrain at this moment, a proposal has been finalised for purchasing additional rice at the government level.
However, the government is now contemplating to export surplus rice to ensure fair price to farmers. Experts have also suggested that the weather was extremely favourable for bumper production of Boro this year.
The Independent visited Tangail on Monday and found that farmers were suffering due to shortage of labour to collect paddy from their fields.
According to the farmers, labourers were demanding Tk. 600-700 as daily wages per person to cut paddy, but this was an extremely high price.
One maund (40kg) of paddy was being sold between Tk. 450 and Tk. 500 in different markets in the country against the average production cost of Tk. 650–800.
Rice traders have blamed mill owners for the low paddy prices. The traders alleged that most of the mill owners are either reluctant to procure paddy or involved in procuring paddy at low prices to increase their stocks. The price of rice should be Tk. 1,000 per sack (50 kg) now if paddy is being sold for Tk. 450–500 per maund, the traders said.
Meanwhile, the ministers for finance,
agriculture, commerce and food have suggested export of surplus rice. Even Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked the ministries concerned to ensure proper price for the farmers and go for export if needed.
“The government has to take some policy to ensure fair price for the farmers’ produce. The immediate remedy is to procure paddy from farmers directly instead of millers. Besides, the government should further increase the import duty on rice to discourage the import of rice,”  Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) distinguished fellow  Mustafizur Rahman told The Independent yesterday.
The import duty on rice was now 28 per cent, he said, adding that this rate should be hiked to safeguard the interest of farmers.
Asked about the disinterest among farmers to cultivate rice, Rahman replied: “Such thinking on the part of the farmers is very dangerous. If they lose their interest to produce rice, the country will have to import foodgrain. Food security is very important for a nation.”
Huge quantities of rice are imported at the private level, he said, adding that the government should stop such imports to ensure fair price for farmers’ produce.
At least 20 lakh tonnes of rice have been imported through private channels so far, said sources in the Directorate of Food.
Mahmudur Rahman Masud, a farmer at Dulla village in Delduar upazila in Tangail district, said he had cultivated two acres of land for Boro. “It is very painful that we are not getting fair price. We have to hire workers to cut paddy by paying Tk 600–700 per person per day. If such a condition continues, then we won’t cultivate rice for additional production from next year,” he added.
Masud complained that they were not getting fair prices and they were even failing to pay the cost for workers by selling one maund of paddy.  
On his part, agriculture minister Dr Abdur Razzaque said the high-ups in the government were trying to find out ways to protect the farmers’ interest.
The minister also termed the situation as critical as farmers are registering massive losses as they are not getting fair prices in the local markets, while the harvesting of Boro paddy had begun across the country.  The food ministry has expressed its inability to procure additional rice due to shortage of spaces at different government godowns. The stock position of government silos are now about 15 lakh tonnes of foodgrain as against a capacity for about 21 lakh tonnes, food ministry sources said.
Meanwhile, the government has planned to procure 12.50 lakh tonnes of Boro rice this season. Food minister Shadhan Mujumder informed that the government has decided to establish 200 paddy silos across the country on the occasion of the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, which would help farmers to get fair prices.


Duty on rice import increased to 55%

04:24 PM, May 22, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:16 PM, May 22, 2019

 

Description: https://assetsds.cdnedge.bluemix.net/sites/default/files/styles/big_2/public/feature/images/rice_export_0.jpg?itok=1e1OiVzF&c=98a81aa7a17befe0fe07306490769f60
File photo
Star Online Report
In purview of farmers counting losses in Bangladesh, the government has increased the duty on import of the basic staple to protect local produce.
National Board of Revenue (NBR) has increased the regulatory duty on rice imports to 25 per cent, from what was 3 per cent previously, said a notice.
Now, importers will have to count a total of 55 per cent tax and duty, which includes advance income tax of 5 per cent and prevailing 25 per cent tariff.
The decision came in the backdrop of widespread protest over the drastic fall of price of rice. Rice prices have fallen to a nearly three-year low impacted by downturn in paddy prices at the farmers’ level in the wake of good harvest as well as higher private and public stocks of the grain.
Bangladesh bagged 3.62 crore tonnes of rice in fiscal 2017-18 and the total production is expected to hit a new high during the current fiscal year, according to the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), rice millers and traders.
In addition, fresh imports and carryover stocks have added to the overall domestic supply.
Earlier, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on May 19 said the government would take all measures to export rice, even if it means compensating for losses exporters might incur in the process, to ensure fair prices for farmers.
And on May 20, the parliamentary standing committee on food ministry recommended to stop rice import.

UPDATE 1-Egypt’s GASC receives offers for rice in tender -traders


MAY 22, 2019 / 3:05 AM /
 (Adds conditions of tender)
    CAIRO, May 21 (Reuters) - Egypt's state grains buyer, the
General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), received four
offers on Tuesday for Indian, Chinese and Vietnamese rice in an
international purchase tender for the grain, traders said.
    GASC said on May 6 it was seeking white rice with 10% to 12%
broken parts for arrival from July 25 to Aug. 20.
    Bidders have to present samples for testing by the
Agriculture Ministry.
   
    Traders gave the following breakdown of the offers:
    Tan Long: 30,000 tonnes of Vietnamese rice +/- 10%
    Wakalex: 85,000 tonnes of Chinese rice +/- 10%
    Multitrade: 60,000 tonnes of Indian rice +/- 10%
    Al Amal: 20,000 tonnes of Chinese rice +/- 10%

 (Reporting by Nadine Awadalla)

GIEWS Country Brief: Egypt 22-May-2019
REPORT
Published on 22 May 2019 View Original

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
·       Increased wheat harvest forecast in 2019
·       Slightly above-average import requirements forecast for 2018/19 marketing year
·       Food price inflation eased in April 2019
Increased wheat harvest forecast in 2019
The 2019 wheat harvest started in early May and will be completed by June. Harvest of the minor barley crop is about to be completed.
Cereals are grown on irrigated fields, yielding relatively stable harvests. About 1.37 million hectares were planted with wheat in the 2018/19 crop year, slightly above the 1.3 million hectares planted in the previous year encouraged by higher Government procurement prices. The 2019 wheat production is forecast at 9.2 million tonnes, up by 5 percent compared to last year and slightly above the average on the account of favourable winter weather conditions, increased area and continued use of improved seeds. The 2019 cereal production is forecast at 22 million tonnes, about the same as in 2018, but about 6 percent below the average due to the decline in rice production as the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation continues to set limits on the area planted with rice to save water. Farmers not complying with the instructions face fines. Despite constraints on the planted area, new domestically developed early maturing rice varieties have the potential to increase yields.
The 2019 wheat procurement season runs from 15 April to 15 June and the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) aims to purchase 3.7 million tonnes, up from 3.3 million tonnes purchased in the previous year. Until 12 May, some 1.6 million tonnes of wheat were purchased. The procurement prices are derived from a moving average of prices paid for imported wheat in the previous two months. The 2019 procurement prices announced in March 2019 range from USD 251-263 per tonne (EGP 655-685 per ardeb or 150 kg) based on quality and moisture levels, up from USD 213-224 per tonne (EGP 570-600 per ardeb or 150 kg) applied in 2018.

Rice import duty hiked to 55pc

Staff Correspondent | Published: 18:09, May 22,2019 | Updated: 00:00, May 23,2019
      


Description: http://www.newagebd.com/files/records/news/201905/73201_141.jpg
A file photo shows varieties of rice at a shop in the capital, Dhaka. The government on Wednesday increased the duties on rice import to 55 per cent from 28 per cent to discourage the import because of significant fall in prices of the food crop in the local market amid bumper production.— New Age photo
The government on Wednesday increased the duties on rice import to 55 per cent from 28 per cent to discourage the import because of significant fall in prices of the food crop in the local market amid bumper production.
The National Board of Revenue in a statutory regulatory order (SRO) hiked the regulatory duty on rice import to 25 per cent from 3 per cent.
The total duty on rice import will now be 55 per cent, including 25 per cent customs duty, 25 per cent regulatory duty and 5 per cent advance income tax.
Before the latest hike, total duty on rice import was 28 per cent.
The increased duty would be applicable for import of husked (brown rice), fortified rice kernels, semi-milled or wholly-milled rice, whether or not polished or glazed and broken rice.
The government took the move amid farmers’ protest against falling paddy price in local market.
In a statement, NBR chairman Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said that around 3 lakh tonnes of rice was imported in the first 10 months of the current financial year 2018-19.
‘As a result, local farmers have been forced to sell the paddy at prices lower than that of their production cost. Due to the lower prices, marginal farmers are incurring huge financial losses,’ he said.
To save the farmers from the financial loss, the NBR increased the import duty of rice as per instruction of the prime minister, he added.
Farmers at different places in the country protested against fall in paddy price this year amid bumper harvest.
The severe shortage of agriculture labourers forces the growers to hire them at high wages from Tk 600 to Tk 1,000 a day to harvest their paddy while they are now selling 40kg of boro paddy at Tk 500 to Tk 600.
A farmer in Tangial set his ripen paddy field on fire protesting at low prices of the produced crop.
Rice importers said that the imposition of additional duty would discourage import but it might have little impact on the prices on the local market as a significant amount of rice had already been imported.
Average retail price of coarse rice was dropped by 15 per cent to around Tk 38 per kilogramme in a year in the local market.
More about:

Rice Prices

as on : 22-05-2019 09:41:37 AM

Arrivals in tonnes;prices in Rs/quintal in domestic market.
Arrivals
Price
Current
%
change
Season
cumulative
Modal
Prev.
Modal
Prev.Yr
%change
Rice
Tundla(UP)
6.00
233.33
187.80
2540
2520
-1.55
Nautnava(UP)
2.50
66.67
230.40
2200
2200
-
Balarampur(WB)
1.80
-1.1
32.59
2700
2610
2.27
Doharighat(UP)
1.50
NC
70.50
2100
2100
-
Published on May 22, 2019
TOPICS

FCI to pur­chase 3.44 lakh tonnes of raw rice from Te­lan­gana mills

The Food Cor­po­ra­tion of In­dia (FCI) has agreed to buy 3.44 lakh tonnes of raw rice from millers in Te­lan­gana.
FCI del­e­ga­tion
An FCI del­e­ga­tion met the of­fi­cials of the Te­lan­gana State Civil Sup­plies De­part­ment last week and dis­cussed var­i­ous is­sues re­lated to pro­cure­ment and stor­age. The of­fi­cials ex­plained`the is­sues faced by the State in pro­cure­ment and stor­age of the crop last year.
An FCI del­e­ga­tion met the of­fi­cials of the Te­lan­gana State Civil Sup­plies De­part­ment last week and dis­cussed var­i­ous is­sues re­lated to pro­cure­ment and stor­age. The of­fi­cials ex­plained`the is­sues faced by the State in pro­cure­ment and stor­age of the crop last year.
An FCI del­e­ga­tion met the of­fi­cials of the Te­lan­gana State Civil Sup­plies De­part­ment last week and dis­cussed var­i­ous is­sues re­lated to pro­cure­ment and stor­age. The of­fi­cials ex­plained`the is­sues faced by the State in pro­cure­ment and stor­age of the crop last year.
“We have pro­cured 68 lakh tonnes of paddy in the kharif and rabi seasons last year. We re­quire space to store 23 lakh tonnes of rice in the FCI godowns,” a Te­lan­gana Civil Sup­plies De­part­ment of­fi­cial said.



‘Golden Rice’ now closer to reality

Rutam Vora  Recently in Manila | Updated on May 22, 2019  Published onMay 22, 2019
Description: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/15kb9x/article27209884.ece/alternates/WIDE_435/bl23-golden-rice
The flip side of Golden Rice is that it loses nutrients after 3 months

International Rice Research Institute cultivates the grain fortified with Vitamin A

In what would be a major breakthrough in agri-food biotechnology, the Golden Rice is inching closer to reality .
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and its partners, the Philippines Rice Research Institute and the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, have successfully cultivated Golden Rice in a controlled environment on IRRI campus.

Safety checks

The safety evaluations have shown that Golden Rice is as safe and nutritious as conventional rice but comes with the added benefit of increased beta-carotene content in the grain, the Philippines-based IRPI claimed.
This nutrient, similar to what is found in orange-coloured fruits and vegetables, is converted to Vitamin A as needed by the body. This is aimed at covering a vast rice-eating population in the world with high prevalence of deficiencies. The Golden Rice project has taken about 18 years to reach at this stage.
Ajay Kohli, senior scientist and programme leader at IRRI, said, “Besides consumers, farmers will also find it is beneficial to grow this seed. But there should be a balance to make it affordable for consumers and we expect some government intervention here. The Golden Rice can be grown just the same way we grow normal rice. There is no change in cost of cultivation and the agronomy also doesn’t change. In fact, it reduces water use by up to 30 per cent without any yield loss.”
The Golden Rice was given positive food safety evaluations by three leading regulatory authorities-- Food Standards Australia New Zealand (in February 2018), Health Canada (in March 2018) and the US Food and Drug Administration (in May 2018). According to IRRI officials, the Golden Rice application is under review in Bangladesh and the Philippines.
Research has indicated that one cup of Golden Rice can provide up to 50 per cent of the daily requirement of an adult for vitamin A.
Quoting a global research, Russell Reinke, Programme Lead, Healthier Rice, IRRI, stated that in Bangladesh over 20 per cent of pre-school and school age kids are afflicted with Vitamin A deficiency.

Less shelf-life

However, scientists believed that there may require some advocacy in case of the storage of the rice.
“The only thing that may require some advocacy is that Golden Rice should not be stored for more than three months. It may lose its nutrients after that. Within a period of three months it is enough to provide required nutrients to make a difference to the public health. But beyond that it starts losing nutritional value,” said Kohli. The research has advanced this period from earlier one month to three months now.
The reporter was in the Philippines on the invitation of Crop Life Asia Farmers’ Exchange Programme.

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/golden-rice-now-closer-to-reality/article27209885.ece

Lower U.S. Tariffs Have Ripple Effect as Turkey Reciprocates 

ISTANBUL, TURKEY -- As a response to the U.S. lowering import duties last week on Turkish steel and aluminum from 50 to 25 percent, the Government of Turkey published an official announcement yesterday reducing the retaliatory tariff on U.S. rice from 50 percent to 25 percent, effective immediately.  This brings the current effective applied rates on U.S. rice exports to Turkey to 70 percent for U.S. milled rice, 61 percent for U.S. brown rice, and 59 percent for U.S. paddy rice.

"Rice imports in Turkey already face tariffs of 45 percent for milled, 36 percent for brown, and 34 percent for paddy.  The additional 50 percent retaliatory tariff on U.S. rice has been in place since August 2018, and has seriously affected U.S. rice sales to the country," said Sarah Moran, USA Rice vice president international.  "Import volumes were down from 58,000 MT in 2017 to just over 1,000 MT in 2018, and totaled just 600 MT in the first quarter of 2019."

Turkey used to be a major buyer for U.S. medium grain with sales volumes of more than 240,000 MT in 2014. 

Currently, the Turkish rice market is heavily affected by a difficult economic environment, the deteriorating purchasing power of local consumers, and the weak Turkish lira that drives up the price of imported products.

Importing of rice and other grains is currently dominated by the Turkish Grain Board (TMO) that received authorization from the Turkish government to import rice of any origin with zero import duty in August 2018 (as opposed to commercial imports that are subject to duty).  The TMO has held three tenders over the past nine months, the most recent one in mid-April, mostly buying rice of European, Russian, and South American origin, and none from the United States.  Private importers, who had dominated the market prior to last August, have recently been sourcing from China, Greece, Italy, and others.

The TMO is importing and packaging the rice in their own product packs and selling these at low prices at local retailers and through their own distribution system to ensure sufficient supply of rice in the country for food security.

"In-country political tensions continue to affect the local economy and consequently the rice market, but this reduction in tariffs on U.S. rice is a step in the right direction," said Moran.

USA Rice continues to work together with local trade and monitors market developments, as well as supports sales of available U.S. rice on the market with promotional activities. 

Description: https://ci6.googleusercontent.com/proxy/hGrq11JG9KecB2nG0ztsJdIJsShd70PcMwlY7vDILI7Fc7SBVfbbc4wG_OUVaE6DKHnxEZLrHYsrLGiKl23tFIyxiTHqbeDSTQkpSvG9=s0-d-e1-ft#https://imgssl.constantcontact.com/letters/images/sys/S.gif

USA RICE DAILY

Pakistan, Bulgaria agree to enhance bilateral trade volume

ByAPP

Description: https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/9-696x392.gif
🔊 Listen to Article
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan-Bulgaria Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) on Tuesday agreed to enhance trade and economic cooperation in the information and communications technology (ICT), agriculture, livestock, tourism, culture, maritime and railway sectors.
The agreement was reached in the 2nd session of Pakistan–Bulgaria IGC where Economic Affairs Division Secretary Noor Ahmed and Bulgaria’s Deputy Minister of Economy of Liliya Ivanova led their respective delegations.
Both sides agreed to work together for the promotion of bilateral trade and investment. The Bulgarian side agreed to facilitate the export of Pakistani citrus fruit, mangoes, rice, raw cotton, dates, fruits and marble to Bulgaria and other countries of Eastern Europe, while Pakistan would facilitate the import of Bulgarian products in Pakistan and third countries.
Both sides agreed to encourage their businessmen for participation in trade fairs and exhibitions. They also endeavoured for the establishment of joint ventures in automotive, engineering and food processing sectors.
On the conclusion of the IGC, an agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion was signed by the Federal Board of Revenue director general and the Bulgarian deputy minister.
Representatives of various ministries and organisations, including commerce, information technology, railways, maritime affairs and national food security participated in the session.
Economic Affairs Division Secretary Noor Ahmed, in his concluding speech, said that both the countries would continue to strengthen economic and trade relations in future for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
The Bulgarian minister also reciprocated the spirit of friendship, cooperation and assured that her country would enhance cooperation with Pakistan in the identified areas.
During her stay in Pakistan, Bulgarian Deputy Minister Liliya Ivanova also held meetings with the National Food Security and Research minister and the advisor to the prime minister on commerce.

Taxation treaty signed with Bulgaria

The Newspaper's Staff ReporterUpdated May 22, 2019
Description: ISLAMABD: Secretary Economic Affairs Division Noor Ahmed and Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Economy Mrs Liliya Ivanova exchanging documents after signing taxation treaty on Tuesday.
ISLAMABD: Secretary Economic Affairs Division Noor Ahmed and Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Economy Mrs Liliya Ivanova exchanging documents after signing taxation treaty on Tuesday.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has signed an agreement with Bulgaria on avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.
The agreement was signed at the sideline of the Second Session of Pakistan–Bulgaria Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) which concluded on Tuesday.
Director General FBR Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmad and Deputy Minister of Economy Republic of Bulgaria Liliya Ivanova signed the agreement on behalf of their respective governments.
The agreement would not only provide safeguards against double taxation of income of Pakistani and Bulgarian residents but also promote economic cooperation, investment and further strengthen the existing economic relations.
Enhance bilateral trade
Meanwhile, the second session of the IGC concluded with a resolve to enhance bilateral trade between Pakistan and Bulgaria.
Secretary Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Noor Ahmed and the Bulgarian deputy minister of economy led their respective delegations.
According to an official announcement, the IGC discussion focused on enhancing trade, economic cooperation in ICT, agriculture, livestock, tourism, culture, maritime and railways sectors.
The two sides agreed to work together for promotion of bilateral trade and investment.
The Bulgarian side agreed to facilitate the export of Pakistani citrus fruit, mango, rice, raw cotton, dates, fruits and marble to Bulgaria and other East European countries, while Pakistan said it would facilitate export of Bulgarian products in the country.
Both sides also agreed to encourage their businessmen for participation in trade fairs and exhibitions and to work for establishment of joint ventures in automotive, engineering and food processing.
Secretary EAD in his concluding remarks said the two countries will continue to strengthen economic and trade relations in future for mutual benefit of two countries.
Mrs Ivanova assured that Bulgaria will enhance cooperation with Pakistan in the identified areas.
Representatives of various ministries and organisations also participated in the event.
During her stay in Pakistan, Mrs Ivanova called on the Minister of National Food Security and Research Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan and Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Textile and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood.
Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2019

Pakistan signs treaty with Bulgaria to boost trade in technology and other sectors

By Faisal Saeed on May 22, 2019 

FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppReddit
Pakistan and Bulgaria have signed an agreement to get rid of double taxation and collaborate with each other to prevent tax evasion. The agreement was signed as an addition of the Second Session of Pakistan-Bulgaria Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC), which ended on Tuesday.
The treaty will promote economic cooperation, investment and strengthen the economic relations between the two countries. It will also provide safeguards against double taxation of income of Pakistani and Bulgarian citizens. Moreover, both countries agreed to collaborate and work together to promote bilateral trade and investment. They agreed to enhance economic cooperation in information and communication technology (ICT), tourism, culture, livestock, maritime and railway sectors.
The Director-General Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmad of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Deputy Minister of Economy Republic of Bulgaria Liliya Ivanova signed the treaty between the two nations on behalf of their respective governments.
The director FBR in a statement said, “Both the countries will continue to strengthen economic and trade relations in future for the mutual benefit of two countries”.
Through this treaty, the tax submitted by Hong Kong companies in Pakistan would be allowed as a credit against the tax payable in Hong Kong on the same profits, which is subject to the conditions of tax regulations of Hong Kong. Similarly, the tax paid by Pakistani companies in Hong Kong would be allowed as a deduction from the tax payable on the same amount in Pakistan.
Both sides also agreed to encourage the companies and businessman in their countries to participate in trade fairs and exhibitions and make efforts for the establishment of joint programs in engineering, automotive and food processing. The countries will also facilitate the export of products between them. Bulgaria will facilitate the export of Pakistani citrus fruit, mango, rice, raw cotton, dates, fruits, and marble to Bulgaria, while Pakistan would also export Bulgarian products and components in the country.

PU gets hybrid rice seed

LAHORE: A team of China’s Wuhan University on Tuesday handed over hybrid rice seed to Punjab University (PU) for hybrid rice breeding in Pakistan, which would bring revolution in agriculture sector.
Prof Niaz Ahmad said Punjab University would play its role for betterment of society as well country. He said PU was promoting such research projects which would leave positive impact on society and country.
Later, the Chinese delegation visited the labs and experimental area of the Institute of Agricultural Sciences for hybrid rice production.
Riceland Foods elects Jennifer James to board
by Talk Business & Politics staff (staff2@talkbusiness.net)  May 20, 2019 7:33 pm 
The farmer members of Arkansas-based Riceland Foods, Inc. have elected Jennifer James to the board of directors for the North Central Arkansas District of the world’s largest miller and marketer of rice.
James, a fourth-generation rice, soybean and corn farmer from Newport, Ark., is a regional leader in the field of agriculture and sustainability. Her district includes Newport, Tuckerman, Hickory Ridge, Weiner, Fair Oaks and Waldenburg. She takes over the seat held for the last 35 years by Joe Rennicke of Weiner, Ark.
Rennicke’s tenure on the board included many key developments for Riceland Foods, including the 1980s consolidation with individual grain dryers that united Riceland as an organization, as well as the creation of Riceland’s Research and Technical Center to develop new products like rice flour, instant rice and forecasts on future consumer trends.
“No one in the world produces higher quality rice as responsibly and sustainably as our farmers here in Arkansas and Missouri,” said James, who becomes the first woman to serve on Riceland Foods’ board of directors, the cooperative’s governing body. “As we adjust to shifting market demands and compete more directly on global trade, we need to maintain that commitment to quality and the responsible use of natural resources, including water conservation.”
James, part owner of the H&J Land Company, was recognized as the 2017 Farmer of the Year by Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture for efforts on her farm and sustainability leadership in the industry.
Riceland Food’s board of directors formulate the policies that guide the operations of the cooperative, responsible for storing, processing, transporting and marketing more than 2.5 million metric tons of grain each year. Riceland products are sold across the U.S. and exported to more than 75 foreign destinations.
“The world’s growing population needs productive, sustainable farms and the commitment of dedicated farmers like the 5,500 members of our cooperative,” said Riceland Foods CEO Danny Kennedy. “We’re thankful for the decades of leadership and hard work Joe put in during his time on the board to ensure our farmers get an equal opportunity to compete and prepare for tomorrow’s shifting marketplace. We now look forward to Jennifer’s leadership as we face that future together and make sure our farmers can continue to thrive while also being good stewards of our land.”
James graduated from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor’s of science in agricultural business. She currently serves as chairman of the USA Rice Sustainability Committee, vice chairman of the Arkansas Rice Farmers Board and is a member of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Board Agribusiness Industry Council, as well as the Arkansas Agricultural Board.

PhilMech launches RCEF backed rice modernization
May 21, 2019 | 10:18 pm
Font Size 
·       A A A
PHILIPPINE STAR/MICHAEL VARVCAS
THE Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) said it formally launched a rice industry mechanization program backed by the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).
“With the formal launch of the projects and programs under RCEF, we at PHilMech welcome the opportunity to spearhead the modernization of the country’s rice industry through mechanization,” Dr. Baldwin G. Jallorina, director IV of PHilMech was quoted as saying in a statement on Tuesday.
“PHilMech also welcomes its collaboration with the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines in undertaking the different major components under RCEF,” he added.
The government is required to support the modernization of the rice industry through tariffs collected from more liberal imports of foreign rice, which go into RCEF. The support will come in the form of mechanization, rice planting know-how, seed and financing.
PhilRice will be providing high-yielding inbred rice seed to farmers. ATI and TESDA will be conducting training for farmers and extension workers with the assistance of PHilMech which will provide training modules.
Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines will take on the credit component of the RCEF.



PHilMech expects to decrease the cost of producing palay in the country by P2-P3 per kilo.
“Based on studies by the Department of Agriculture, the cost of producing one kilo of palay (unmilled rice) in the Philippines is P12.72 per kilo while it is P6.22 in Vietnam and P8.86 in Thailand,” PHilMech said in the statement.
“PHilMech believes with the successful implementation of the different components under RCEF, the cost of producing palay in the Philippines can be reduced by P2 to P3 per kilo,” it added. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang

STEM program returns to Stuttgart

   
The STEM program, sponsored by the Museum of Discovery, was created to encourage girls to pursue (STEM) related careers.STEM Careers are careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine
The Museum of Discovery has coordinated STEM activities since 2013.
Last year the program expanded to Stuttgart and will be returning this year, June 17-21. This free week-long program is for 6th - 9th-grade girls who will engage in stimulating activities from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The girls will be able to connect with women in STEM fields and interact with hands-on STEM activities.
PCCUA- Stuttgart will host the camp.
“We are thrilled to bring the potentially life-changing ‘Girls in STEM’ program to Blytheville and Stuttgart for the first time and back to Jonesboro,” said program coordinator Shannon Jones in 2018 when the program first launched in Stuttgart.
“These areas are agricultural hubs with many STEM career opportunities, and we want this program to expose young women to those careers as well the many others across the state and country.
For instance, the young ladies in Stuttgart will spend one day at the Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center side by side with female biologists doing field research and the next day learning coding and the next engineering.”
To learn more about the program or to sign up contact Shannon Jones at sjones@museumofdiscovery.org.

‘Crop residue burning major cause of smog’

LAHORE: With an aim to establish a consensus between the relevant public and private sector on the roles, responsibilities and actions that need to be taken to discourage crop residue burning and by extension smog, WWF-Pakistan organised a seminar on crop residue burning and the issue of smog at a hotel here Tuesday.
The seminar was attended by corporate partners, journalists, academia, industry practitioners and the farming community from across Pakistan.
Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General, WWF-Pakistan, welcoming the participants said, “Lahore is among the 10 most polluted cities in the world in terms of air quality, according to air quality monitor AirVisual. Air pollution caused by traffic, industries, crop burning and burning of solid waste is major contributor to smog. Urban air pollution in Pakistan is among the world’s most severe, significantly damaging human health, quality of life, and impacting the economy and environment.” Punjab Environment Protection Department Director General Tanvir Jabar said brick kilns, industries, agriculture and transportation sector, including the role of agriculture/crop residue burning create smog.
Rafay Alam, Pakistan’s leading environmental lawyer stated that it is the need of the hour to control crop burning. This can be achieved by introducing long-term and multi-sectoral solutions that must outlive the political cycle. He discussed the need of an air quality vision that unites policymakers. He stated “Punjab region in general is extremely prone to the hazards of smog. While the transportation and energy sector qualify as the leading contributors to smog, crop residue burning also contributes to this cause.” Dr Ehsan Ali, Director Punjab Bio Energy Institute, presented a feasibility analysis of the alternative use of crop residue, such as rice husk, in the production of energy. According to him, bio-energy is of utmost importance for the environment as it is a step towards materialising the intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) that Pakistan has submitted in accordance with the Paris agreement. Yasir Idrees, Operation Manager, Punjab Bio Energy Company, discussed the prospects of developing a sustainable supply chain of crop residue. Ali Raza, a food technologist, also spoke about the plausible value addition initiatives that can be taken for rice residue. Dr Masood Arshad, Director Water, Climate and Energy, WWF-Pakistan, concluded the event and thanked speakers and participants in developing concrete steps for future actions to control crop residue burning and smog.