Friday, June 14, 2019

14th June,2019 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter

Scientists unravel the fungus responsible for Sheath Blight disease in rice
Umashankar Mishra  New Delhi | Updated on June 13, 2019  Published onJune 13, 2019
Description: https://bl.thgim.com/news/science/yuwtl7/article27900438.ece/alternates/WIDE_435/National-Institute-of-Plant-Genome-Researchjpg
Team of researchers at National Institute of Plant Genome Research
A team of scientists at Delhi-based National Institute of Plant Genome Research has unraveled the genomic diversity associated with aggressiveness of two Indian strains of Rhizoctonia solani, the fungal pathogen that causes the dreaded Sheath Blight disease in rice.
The researchers have identified several genes and gene families in the strain that might account for their disease aggressiveness. This genomic insight is expected to help develop rice varieties resistant to sheath blight disease.
Sheath Blight disease is a major issue in rice cultivation. It can cause up to 60 per cent reduction in rice yield. It is difficult to breed disease resistant rice varieties, as there is lack of natural source of disease resistance. Consequently, controlling the disease in a sustainable manner has remained a challenge.
Now, a solution could be in the offing following the new findings. The researchers, who have been working to characterise the Indian strains of the fungal pathogen for the past four to five years, decided to study the genome of two of the hyper aggressive strains. Their analysis revealed that there has been expansion and emergence of various genes and gene families in both these Indian strains. In the process, they have identified various pathogenicity associated genes and gene families that might account for their disease aggressiveness.
Rhizoctonia solani infected rice
Speaking to India Science Wire, leader of the team, Dr. Gopaljee Jha said, “Our team sequenced the genome of the two aggressive fungus strains called BRS11 and BRS13 and compared them with the already available genome of Rhizoctonia solani AG1-IA group. We have identified several Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms and insertion or deletion of bases in both these genomes”.
Asked about future plans, he said, “Further characterization of the identified genes will be helpful to understand their role in the pathogenesis of the fungus.The genetic manipulation of the pathogenicity-associated genes in rice through various biotechnological approaches may prove helpful in developing sheath blight resistant rice”.
In addition to Dr. Jha, the researchers included Srayan Ghosh, Neelofar Mirza, Poonam Kanwar and Kriti Tyagi. They have published a report on their study in research journal Functional and Integrative Genomics.
(India Science Wire)
Twitter handle : @usm_1984

India-China trade imbalance: Xi promises to simplify regulations further


Modi and Chinese Leader
Description: https://i2.createsend1.com/ei/r/A6/05A/9E7/134913/csfinal/Montesaru-Open-House-ad-9900000000079e3c.jpg
Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)– China has simplified some regulations related to import of certain goods from India to address the trade imbalance as President Xi Jinping on Thursday told Prime Minister Narendra Modi here that he will be taking further such steps.
This was stated by Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale at a media briefing after Modi and Xi held talks here, laying the ground for the Chinese President’s substantive visit to India later this year.
Modi invited Xi for an “informal Summit” in India this year. Xi accepted the invitation and said he looks forward to the visit to strengthen the relationship.
Modi and Xi agreed that the two countries have a historic opportunity to look forward to a number of issues, address a number of problems and to take India-China relations to a new level, the Foreign Secretary said.
Describing the meeting as “relatively brief” but “substantive in content”, he said there was “some discussion on trade” in the context of trade imbalance, which is in favour of China.
The Foreign Secretary said China has simplified some regulations on goods like non-basmati rice and sugar, as a result of which there will be a “significant uptake” in Indian exports to China.
The Chinese President told the Prime Minister that these are “initial steps” and that he would be taking further steps to address the trade imbalance, Gokhale said.
“Both sides agreed that, in some manner we have to, in the next few months, see how we can achieve a significant breakthrough in the discussions between the two sides,” he added.
Modi and Xi also had a brief discussion on the boundary question and they asked the Special Representatives of the two countries, who were present in the meeting, to expedite the process of finding a “fair, reasonable and mutually-acceptable” solution to the issue.
It was also noted at the meeting that 2020 will mark the 70th year of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and China.
In this context, the Prime Minister said it should be marked in a befitting manner.
It was decided that the two countries will organize 70 important events jointly — 35 in each country – and Foreign Ministers were tasked to discuss mechanism for the same.
“This is the beginning of a series of interactions the two leaders (Modi and Xi) will have,” Gokhale said, adding that they will “meet and greet” at the G-20 Summit, then at the BRICS Summit before the “informal summit” in India. (IANS)

Punjab: Over 50% wheat fields burnt to clear stubble this season
Pollution board raises red flags, farmers want Rs 5k per acre to afford alternatives.
Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar |
Published: June 13, 2019 12:37:47 am



RELATED NEWS

With 11,650 stubble fires in 2019, Punjab breaks 2018 record

Stubble burning cases peak at 1,595, a day after polling

Punjab: Stubble burning down by 40%, but coming weeks to be a challenge for pollution board

Last year, 35.12 lakh hectares of farming land was planted with wheat, of which 40% (14.05 lakh) was set on fire. (File)
This wheat harvesting season, Punjab has burnt over 50% acreage under wheat crop to clear stubble, which is 10 per cent more than last year.
In several districts, 50% to 70% of wheat fields have been subjected to stubble burning. According to data sources from the Punjab Remote Sensing Centre (PRSC), 17.81 lakh hectares of the total 35.02 lakh hectares under wheat has been set on fire.

Last year, 35.12 lakh hectares of farming land was planted with wheat, of which 40% (14.05 lakh) was set on fire. During paddy season last November, paddy stubble was burnt on around 14.05 lakh hectares, which was 22% less than that in 2017, a total of 30.42 lakh hectares area under rice including 25 lakh under paddy and the remaining under Basmati rice.

A senior officer in the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) said this bad news for the state because wheat stubble is mostly used for making fodder. “This time, fire incidents had been under control till the last day of elections (May 19), but after that, they started increasing. Within 10 days, a large number of fires were recorded across districts,” he added.

Major violators
According to the Sangrur PRSC, wheat crop was sown across 2.88 lakh hectares in the district, of which 2.04 lakh hectares have been set afire to burn stubble (70% of acreage under wheat). Ludhiana is the second biggest violator where 1.59 lakh hectares were set afire out of a total of 2.52 lakh hectares (63% wheat). In Bathinda, 1.34 lakh hectares were set on fire of a total of 2.50 lakh hectares under wheat (53.6%).
Other major violators include Patiala, Moga and Mansa with 1.21 lakh hectares (64%), 1.12 (52%) lakh hectares and over 1 lakh hectares (62%) under fire, respectively.

Muktsar, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Firozpur, Tarntaran, Barnala and Amritsar too burnt 1 lakh (46%), 98,000 (53%), 93,000 (55%), 92,000 (49%), 88,000 (47%), 77,000 (68%), and 75,000 (41.6%) hectares respectively, while Faridkot and Kapurthala burnt 64,000 hectares each with 55% and 68% burnt land, respectively.

EXPLAINED
Why wheat stubble burning surpassed the usual suspect
While paddy is considered the main menace in terms of stubble burning since it is not used for making dry fodder in Punjab, the tables have turned this year with the state recording more acres under wheat crop being set afire than paddy. There are multiple reasons for this: One, even after making fodder, wheat farmers burn away the remnants as well. Second, paddy stubble burning has been on the radar of the NGT, which has given the government a lot of flak for it. Third, wheat harvesting season clashed with elections this year, and farmers took full advantage of the authorities being too busy to keep watch, it is said.

SAS Nagar, Pathankot and Rup Nagar districts are among the lowest burning area with 3000 (4%) , 10,000 (24%) and 11,000 (16.6%) hectares, respectively. Apart from this, SBS Nagar, Fazilka and Hoshiarpur had recorded 34,000 (47%), 43,000 (22%) and 45,000 (32%) hectares of burnt fields, respectively.

Only five districts — Fatehgarh Sahib, Rup Nagar, Pathankot, SBS Nagar and SAS Nagar have recorded less than 1 lakh hectares under wheat with 41,000 to 83,000 hectares wheat area. All other 17 districts have 1 lakh to 2.83 lakh hectares under wheat.

This year, a total of 11,698 stubble burning incidents were recorded in Punjab, which was more than last year’s figure of 11,510 cases. Dr Anil Sood, head of the ACM Division, PRSC, Ludhiana, said that this year, around 10% more area was under wheat stubble burning incidents comparing to last year. He said that PRSC recorded both fire incidents and acreage so as to get the actual picture post harvesting.

Farmer organisations meanwhile, reiterated their demand of Rs 5,000 per acre to afford equipment for alternative methods of disposing stubble.
Punjab Agriculture Director Dr Sutantra Airy said that they had set up a large number of camps to make farmers aware about the bad effects of stubble burning, including its detrimental effect on the nutritional value of soil.
Bottom of Form

Customs intercepts goods worth N47m

Friday, June 14, 2019 9:23 am

One of the contraband-loaded vehicles seized by Customs
The Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC) Strike Force Zone ‘A’ has intercepted 2,494 bags of 50Kg parboiled rice, 1288 jerrycans of vegetable oil and assorted cars with Duty Paid Value of N47million in one month.
The Officer in Charge of CGC strike force Zone ‘A’ Deputy Comptroller (DC) Yahaya Biu, made the disclosure to newsmen on Thursday in Lagos.
Biu said the goods were intercepted in various locations in the zone.
“The seized items were conveyed in different vehicles ranging from Mazda to Toyota vehicles numbering six cars, five buses and two trucks.
“The vehicles were fully loaded with the seizures and parked at customs training college and warehouse in Ikeja earlier on Thursday, June 13, 2019,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the seizures were coming barely a month after DC Biu took over the Zone ‘A’ arm of the CGC strike force.
“Other seized goods include a truck and five hired buses that were fully loaded with rice which were intercepted in Igbora area of Oyo axis, while five of the cars loaded with rice commodities were apprehended along Idiroko border axis of Ogun.
“Furthermore, another truck fully loaded with over 1,000 (25 litres) vegetable oil products from Malaysia was apprehended through the vibrant information profiling method of the strike force.
“The truck was intercepted in Lagos hinterland around Trade Fair, Mile 2 axis by information patrol team,” Biu said.
He, however, urged smugglers to engage in legitimate good and save Nigerians from consuming expired smuggled items, adding that failure to comply would lead to constant seizure.

Customs intercepts rice, other goods worth N47m

The Comptroller-General of Customs Strike Force Zone ‘A’ has intercepted 2,494 bags of 50Kg parboiled rice,  1288 jerrycans of vegetable oil and assorted cars with Duty Paid Value of N47million in one month.
The Officer in Charge of CGC strike force Zone ‘A’ Deputy Comptroller, Yahaya Biu, made the disclosure to newsmen on Thursday in Lagos.
Biu said the goods were intercepted in various locations in the zone.
He said: “The seized items were conveyed in different vehicles ranging from Mazda to Toyota vehicles numbering six cars, five buses and two trucks.
“The vehicles were fully loaded with the seizures and parked at customs training college and warehouse in Ikeja earlier on Thursday, June 13, 2019.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that  the seizures were coming barely a month after DC Biu took over the Zone ‘A’ arm of the CGC strike force.
He said: “Other seized goods include one of the trucks and five hired buses that were fully loaded with rice were intercepted in Igbora area of Oyo axis, while five of the cars loaded with rice commodities were apprehended along Idiroko border axis of Ogun.
“Furthermore, another truck fully loaded with over 1,000 (25 litres) vegetable oil products from Malaysia was apprehended through the vibrant information profiling method of the strike force.
“The truck was intercepted in Lagos hinterland around Trade Fair, Mile 2 axis by information patrol team.”
He, however, urged smugglers to engage in legitimate good and save Nigerians from consuming expired smuggled items, adding that failure to comply would lead to seizure.

Customs intercepts rice, other goods worth N47m in Lagos


in NationalDescription: Customs intercepts rice, other goods worth N47m in Lagos
(NAN)The Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC) Strike Force Zone ‘A’ has intercepted 2,494 bags of 50kg parboiled rice, 1288 jerrycans of vegetable oil and assorted cars with Duty Paid Value of N47million in one month.
The Officer in Charge of CGC strike force Zone ‘A’ Deputy Comptroller (DC)  Yahaya Biu, made the disclosure to newsmen on Thursday in Lagos.
Biu said the goods were intercepted in various locations in the zone.
“The seized items were conveyed in different vehicles ranging from Mazda to Toyota vehicles numbering six cars, five buses and two trucks.
“The vehicles were fully loaded with the seizures and parked at customs training college and warehouse in Ikeja earlier on Thursday, June 13, 2019,” he said.
Description: Lorry loaded with groundnut oil seized by CustomsLorry loaded with groundnut oil seized by Customs
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that  the seizures were coming barely a month after DC Biu took over the Zone ‘A’ arm of the CGC strike force.
“Other seized goods include one of the trucks and five hired buses that were fully loaded with rice were intercepted in Igbora area of Oyo axis, while five of the cars loaded with rice commodities were apprehended along Idiroko border axis of Ogun.
“Furthermore, another truck fully loaded with over 1,000 (25 litres) vegetable oil products from Malaysia was apprehended through the vibrant information profiling method of the strike force.
“The truck  was intercepted in Lagos hinterland around Trade Fair, Mile 2 axis by information patrol team,” Biu said.
He, however, urged smugglers to engage in legitimate good and save Nigerians from consuming expired smuggled items, adding that failure to comply would  lead to seizure.

PH rice stocks up 1.3% at 3 million MT; imports seen at same level

Published June 13, 2019, 10:00 PM
By Madelaine B. Miraflor
The Philippines currently has an inventory of almost 3 million metric tons (MT) of rice as of May, while rice imports for the entire year is also expected to rise at about the same level.
As of May, the country’s total rice stocks inventory was estimated at 2.95 million MT, an increase of 12.2 percent from previous month’s stocks level of 2.63 million MT and an improvement of 1.3 percent from the previous year’s record of 2.92 million MT.
This was based on the latest rice and corn inventory of Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), which also showed that there has been a surge of 15,952.4 percent in National Food Authority (NFA) depositories.
In the span of five months, NFA’s palay procurement went up to a five-year high, with 4.7 million bags or 238,427 metric tons (MT) of unhusked rice purchased from January to May alone. During the same period last year, NFA was only able to buy 3,571 MT of palay.
Right now, about 42.9 percent of total rice stocks inventory were in the households, 38.1 percent were in commercial warehouses, and 18.9 percent were in NFA depositories.
If forecasts are accurate, the Philippines, the world’s second largest rice importer, will have more than enough rice for this year, with both local production and rice imports seen growing at record levels.
The latest report of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) showed that the Philippines is expected to increase its rice stocks amid larger crops.
It also expects the country to import as much as 3 million metric tons (MT) of rice, which is higher compared to its previous official forecast of 2.8 million MT and last year’s actual imports of 1.9 million MT.
For this year, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the country’s rice production will end at a record level of 20 million MT, higher than the 19 million MT produced last year.
The abundance in supply — mainly supported by the Rice Tariffication Law (RA 11203) which liberalized the rice sector by allowing the free-flowing entry of imported supply to the Philippines — has been pulling down the price of rice to the detriment of the farmers.
During the fourth week of May, the farmgate price of palay went down by 0.2 percent week on week to P18.20 per kilogram. On an annual basis, it was lower by 13.7 percent from the previous year’s level of P21.08 per kg.
At the wholesale trade, the average price of well milled rice also dropped by 0.1 percent week on week from P39.48/kg to P39.44/kg. It also went down by 4.5 percent year on year from a price level of P41.30/kg.
Average price of well milled rice at the retail trade also went down year on year from P44.03/kg to P43.10/kg. It, however, went up a bit by 0.1 percent from the previous week’s level of P43.07/kg.
For the regular milled rice, the average price at wholesale also declined by 0.2 percent week on week from P35.79/kg to P35.73/kg. It fell by 5.8 percent from the price of P37.93/kg recorded in the same period last year. At retail, the average cost of regular milled rice increased a bit by 0.3 percent from P38.75/kg to P38.76/kg, but it decreased by 3.8 percent from previous year’s level of P40.29/kg.
The reason why NFA was able to pump its supply to all-time high is because it now buys palay from farmers at price higher than what the traders are willing to pay the farmers.
The state-run grains agency currently buys palay at a fixed price of P20.40/kg and P20.70 per kg for individual farmers and farmer cooperatives/organizations, respectively. To recover potential losses, NFA will also start selling rice to other government agencies like Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and local government units (LGUs) at slightly higher rice starting September.
NFA Council, the highest policy making body of NFA, particularly set the price of rice to be sold to government agencies at P37/kg, instead of P27/kg, while the agency will continue to sell P27/kg rice to the public in selected areas

UPDATE 1-IRAQ HAS ENOUGH WHEAT AND RICE UNTIL END OF 2019 -GRAIN BOARD

6/13/2019
(Adds details)
BAGHDAD, June 13 (Reuters) - Iraq has enough wheat and rice to last until the end of the year, although it will continue to import to boost its reserves, the head of its state grain board said on Thursday.
Naeem al-Maksousi said local wheat purchases could reach 4 million tonnes by the end of the season in August as more rainfall had boosted the local crop. It has imported around 400,000 tonnes so far this year, and so has enough wheat for consumption until the end of the year.
Iraq, a major Middle East grain importer, needs between 4.5 million and 5 million tonnes of wheat a year and on average imports about 2 million tonnes.
It has bought 2.65 million tonnes of local wheat since the start of the local season in mid-April, already exceeding last year's total purchases of around 2.17 million tonnes.
Iraq had expected to produce only 3 million tonnes in 2019 but better rainfall provided more fertile land to grow the crop outside of the areas originally planned.
"We will continue to purchase globally, though, for our reserves," Maksousi told Reuters in an interview.
Rains provided relief for farmers in Iraq after they struggled with water shortages over the past year.
The state grain board is responsible for imports of wheat and rice for the country's food rationing programme.
Maksousi said the board bought 700,000 tonnes of rice this year, enough for consumption needs until the end of the year.
Only limited rice planting was allowed this season locally as part of a water conservation policy. (Reporting by Maha El Dahan and Moayed Kenany; Editing by Mark Potter and Susan Fenton)

PHL, Indonesia driving growth in wheat imports from US
June 13, 2019 | 9:42 pm
Description: https://www.bworldonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/US-wheat-061419.jpgREUTERS
SOUTHEAST ASIA is expected to be the top wheat importing region in 2018/2019 driven by demand from Philippines and Indonesia, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said.
In its Grain: World Markets and Trade report, USDA said that wheat imports for the Philippines have more than doubled its demand over the last decade, with a large surge in 2018/2019.
“Wheat imports in that year were boosted by reduced supplies of other grains as typhoons cut domestic corn and rice production,” it said.
Along with the Philippines, Indonesia is also expected to drive the demand for wheat during the period. “Indonesia has more than doubled its imports in the last decade, becoming the world’s second-leading importer after Egypt. Both food and feed demand in that country have skyrocketed in recent years,” USDA noted.
This is expected to continue until 2019/2020, with the Philippines and Indonesia driving the demand. “Wheat demand in the region continues to trend higher based on longer-term shifts in consumption from rice to wheat as diets diversify,” it said.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said that in April 2019, the Philippine imported wheat valued at $102.04 million, down 12.2% year on year. In the first four months of the year, wheat imports rose 21.6% to $543.6 million.



Meanwhile, in a separate report for oilseeds, USDA said that copra production in 2019/2020 is expected to decline 2.8% due to lower output from the Philippines caused by stress on trees after two years of heavy nut bearing.
“Copra meal production is projected to slightly decrease due to lower copra production in the Philippines while all other countries remain unchanged,” it said.
According to PSA, coconut production in the first quarter of 2019 rose 0.2% to 3.31 million metric tons (MMT). Davao Region was the top producer, accounting for 14.4% of total production, followed by Zamboanga Peninsula (13.6%), and Northern Mindanao (12.9%). — Vincent Mariel P. Galang

https://www.bworldonline.com/phl-indonesia-driving-growth-in-wheat-imports-from-us/

Small dams help rice farms survive drought

Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:04 AM June 14, 2019
BALUNGAO, PANGASINAN — No irrigation system feeds water to rice farms in this eastern Pangasinan town, but farmers have survived this year’s drought because of water impounding dams.
Nine small water impounding projects (SWIPs), which can irrigate 500 hectares of rice fields in nine villages, have saved the day for rice farmers who are struggling to overcome the impact of imported rice due to the rice tariffication law (Republic Act No. 11203), said Mayor Philipp Peralta.
The law liberalizes rice importation but importers now pay high tariffs.
A 10th SWIP, spanning 3 ha with a depth of 9 meters, was recently completed to serve 100 ha of farmlands in Barangay Pugaro here.
Second cropping
The SWIPs, which collect runoff rainwater and river and spring water, enable farmers to pursue second cropping, Peralta said. But the impounding dams irrigate only a quarter of the town’s 4,229 ha of farmlands, he said.
Three SWIPs serve Barangay Esmeralda while Barangay Angayan Sur, San Aurelio 2nd, Mabini, San Andres, Kita-Kita and Pugaro have their respective impounding dams.
Balungao has put up 100-square-meter water reservoirs in villages which have no SWIPs. Farmers use these reservoirs to culture tilapia.
Tourist destination
A SWIP can accommodate tilapia cages but Balungao intends to develop the dams as tourism destinations, where water skiing and banana boat rides can be offered, Peralta said.
The SWIP in Pugaro is near the Balungao hot springs, a popular tourist haunt. “We will establish a sunflower farm that will serve as a view for those who will use the ziplines offered at the hot spring area,” Peralta said.
Balungao has also introduced coffee and cacao plantations near SWIPs. “Perhaps the coffee plantations would attract civet cats and we could produce civet coffee,” Peralta said. —YOLANDA SOTELO

Scientists hit back against tidal wave of microplastics

    
2019-06-13 09:59:41China DailyEditor : Li Yan
Stopping problem at source will be key to success, experts say. 
When marine biologist Edward Carpenter was on a research cruise in the North Atlantic Ocean's Sargasso Sea in 1971, he discovered plastic particles floating amid the seaweed in concentrations averaging 3,500 pieces per square kilometer.
The following year, Carpenter published the first observations of what are now known as microplastics in the journal Science. He noted, "increasing production of plastics, combined with present waste-disposal practices, will undoubtedly lead to increases in the concentration of these particles".
His prediction was correct, but it caused little concern until an increasing amount of evidence turned up over the past decade illustrating that microplastics have spread across the oceans, threatening marine life and humans alike.
At a national academic conference on microplastics pollution and control in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, on June 5 and 6, more than 500 scholars presented their findings and discussed the issue ahead of World Oceans Day on June 8.
Researchers define microplastics as particles with diameters ranging from less than 5 millimeters, about the size of a grain of rice, to just a few microns, about one-hundredth the diameter of a human hair.
To better identify sources, microplastics are divided into two categories based on their formation process - primary and secondary. The former are plastics that are inherently small, such as industrial scrubbers used to blast surfaces clean, plastic powders used in moldings, and micro beads found in cosmetics, toothpaste and facial wash.
Secondary microplastics are produced by the fragmentation and weathering of larger items, such as plastic fibers shed from synthetic clothing, small pieces of nets and foam boxes in the fishing industry, and plastic litter on beaches. Though plastic decomposes slowly, it ages under sunlight before breaking down into ever-smaller pieces in the natural environment.
"Almost all the plastic waste in our daily lives will eventually turn into microplastics," said Pan Xiangliang, director of the Environmental Microplastics Pollution Research Center at Zhejiang University of Technology in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province.

Rice is nice
JUNE 14, 2019 11:28 IST
UPDATED: JUNE 14, 2019 11:28 IST

Description: Organic Dry Black Wild Rice in a BowlDon’t give up on carbs yet. There are a host of heritage varieties of rice to explore... some nutty, some fragrant and most rather healthy

The word rice found its way into the English dictionary only in the mid—13th Century, from strains of Old French (ris), Italian (riso), Greek (oryza), Dutch (rijst) and Macedonian (oriz). However, classical Europe itself was introduced to the word, because Alexander the Great and his team during their expedition to India in 326 BC noted and possibly took back ‘a strange plant, standing in water and sown in beds; the plant four cubits in height, has many ears and yields a large produce’, which the locals called arisi — the Tamil word for uncooked rice.
Today, this small grain is at the centre of a debate, on whether eating it makes people gain weight. Countering this concern is the recent research conducted across 136 countries by Professor Tomoko Imai of Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts, Kyoto, Japan, which suggests that the obesity rate is low in countries that eat rice as a staple food. They confidently state that a Japanese or an Asian-food-style diet based on rice may help prevent obesity.
Description: Rice is nice
“Let’s first understand that rice is a cereal. Eating any whole grain cannot lead to obesity. It is the sedentary lifestyle of urban people, who are chained to their desks yet eat quantities like farmers, that leads to them becoming obese,” explains Vidhi Beri, a Kolkata-based health coach.
“Try the red or black heritage rice varieties: they make you feel full even if you eat small quantities. Black rice variants, such as chakhao poireiton from Manipur, or karuppu kavuni from Tamil Nadu, are suitable for weight loss as they are also high in fibre and have an increased satiety value,” elaborates Sreemathy Venkatraman, clinical nutritionist and dietician, Brains Neuro Spine Centre, Bengaluru. She elaborates that heritage rice is rich in flavour, taste and texture and can also be used as table rice for making salads and desserts.

Biodiversity on your plate

Many are still unaware that India was once home to over 1,00,000 varieties of indigenous rice. Farmers would categorise them into ‘summer rice’, ‘autumn rice’, ‘winter rice’ and ‘rainy season rice’, and through this unwritten calendar avoided a monoculture and ensured biodiversity on the farm. Some grains were cultivated exclusively for biryani, like mullan kazhama from Kerala (its distinct fragrance is said to permeate across the field just before harvest season). Gobinda bhog, from West Bengal, was reserved for special occasions and offered as prasad to Lord Krishna during Janmashtami. “It is always good to include regional grains on our plate — they are nutritious, less expensive and lessen food loss. Rice can be chosen according to the meal. For example, the red grain kullakar works really well for idliseeraga champa is ideal for biryani,” explains M Menaka, assistant professor, Department of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, Ethiraj College for Women in Chennai, who has done extensive research on heritage grains.
Description: Rice is nice
Charulatha Newar, a homemaker from Delhi, believes in buying local produce directly from farmers. She explains that for her table rice, she has been sourcing brown rice from farms in Uttarakhand and Karnataka; to make idlis she wanted to shift from white rice to a healthy heritage rice option. “I’ve been using the kaatuyanam rice from Tamil Nadu to make idlis and dosas at home. Red rice is high in iron, and this particular variant is not heavy on the stomach when eaten.”

Black, red and brown

“All unpolished rice, whether red, brown or black, is ideal for weight loss, because the fibre and nutrients satiate one much more than white rice would. You’d only need to eat about half or less than half the quantity. Therefore you get more nutrients and fewer calories,” explains Dr Nandita Shah, founder of Sharan and author of Reversing Diabetes in 21 Days.
Unlike white rice, in brown rice, only the hull of the rice kernel is removed, keeping the layer of bran, which has nutrients like calcium, potassium, zinc, important fatty acids and essential vitamins, intact. Rice varieties like kullakarkaatuyanampoongkarkarunkuruvaithavala kannan matta are a good source of iron, zinc and vitamin B6. Black rice has the highest levels of anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant that protects cells, tissues and vital organs. In fact, black rice has a higher level of anthocyanin than blueberries.

To strain or not to strain

Whole grains take longer to cook, be it on an open pan, electric cooker or pressure cooker, explains Menaka. “By soaking the red and black rice for at least eight hours and the brown rice for at least an hour, the cooking time is reduced,” she says.
There is no clear evidence to suggest open pan-cooking is better than pressure-cooking rice; they are different cooking techniques, and today a matter of convenience. Though researchers point out that the strained rice water has a lot of health benefits. Add some salt or jaggery to a glass of strained rice starch and drink up, it is a revitaliser and perfect to beat the heat.
A cup of rice or whole grains, can be transformed into a series of appetising food — starting from a simple kanji, to a creamy risotto. Clearly, portions matter when eating rice; ideally, doctors suggest that rice should take up just one-fourth of your meal. So, serve yourself a heap of heritage rice, surrounded by curries, vegetables, lentils, beans and maybe even a bowl of meat — and don’t feel guilty about it; because without doubt, rice is nice.

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Sustainability Report:  Supporting Economies, Creating Jobs, and Giving Back 

Final installment in the series.

ARLINGTON, VA -- The newly published U.S. Rice Sustainability Report highlights the myriad ways the U.S. rice industry's commitment to sustainability has improved the land, the air, and the water of this country.  Much has already been said about the countless benefits to wildlife, soil quality, energy efficiency, and more.  But sustainability goes beyond environmental benefits:  one of the most significant contributions of the U.S. rice industry is economic, because if a sustainability practice doesn't pay its way on the farm or mill, it's not truly sustainable.

Nearly 85 percent of the rice consumed in the United States is U.S. grown on family farms across the six major rice-producing states.  The rice industry is a boon to the national economy, exporting roughly half of its yearly crop to 120 countries around the world.  Across the U.S., rice farmers directly support nearly 15,000 jobs, generating $1.56 billion in direct labor income.  Rice mills provide an additional $245 million in wages and support an annual average employment of nearly 5,000 people.  The total economic effect of all this was a staggering $5.65 billion in 2015, the final year of the 36-year period studied by the report.

While the rice industry certainly bolsters the national economy, the effects of economic sustainability are perhaps most apparent on a local level.  Rice is the backbone of many rural areas, providing the bulk of jobs and income that flows back into the community.  In Stuttgart, Arkansas, for example, rice is truly the economic engine that drives the local economy.  With a population of about 9,000, most people in the "Rice and Duck Capital of the World" are employed either directly or indirectly by the rice industry.

"Three rice mills employ more than 2,000 people," said Carl Brothers, former senior vice president and chief operating officer at Riceland Foods, based in Stuttgart.  "Nearly one person in every family in Stuttgart is involved with the rice mills in some way."

On average, each rice farm contributes $1 million to the local economy.

When taking into account input suppliers and others whose businesses are dependent on rice farms and mills, the numbers rise to nearly 32,000 jobs supported by the rice industry in 2017, with $2.32 billion in labor income.  This is not even including the labor that is indirectly supported by U.S. rice, such as transportation, wholesale, and retail.

Rice farms and mills are staples of the local economy, and farmers and millers are leaders in the community.  In addition to all the ways they give back to the environment, rice farmers and millers also are generous contributors to at-risk populations both at home and overseas.  In 2017, the rice industry provided 40 million pounds of rice, including 5 million donated pounds, to the Feeding America food bank network to help the estimated 1 in 8 Americans struggling with food insecurity and hunger.  Rice farmers and millers also frequently partner with local food banks.  All across the U.S., millions of servings of rice make their way to the plates of neighbors in need.  They have been there for their communities when natural disasters hit, helping residents get back on their feet and back into their homes.  And every year, anywhere from 3 to 5 percent of overall rice exports go toward international food aid, providing a safe and nutritious food staple for vulnerable people around the world.

Sustainability is an ultimate benefit for everyone that lives on the land, breathes the air, drinks water, and eats rice.  The U.S. Rice Industry Sustainability Report includes many comprehensive examples of how rice is a pillar of the national economy and local communities, and more examples present themselves every day.  Because in the end, the rice industry is about people.

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Bangladesh budget sets higher GDP for FY20

Description: Bangladesh budget sets higher GDP for FY20
14 June 2019
AHM Mustafa Kamal, Bangladesh Finance Minister, in his budget speech in Parliament on 13 June  proposed that country's GDP grew consistently at a very high rate in the last decade. He added, "We expect a GDP growth of 8.13 per cent in FY218-19. Our commitments are to achieve a growth rate of 10 per cent by FY23-24, and maintain that rate until 2041 so that we can lay a solid foundation for becoming a high income country by that time."

To achieve this objective, minister said that GDP growth rate has been projected at 8.2 per cent for FY19-20. The inflation rate during this year is forecasted at 5.5 per cent. Alongside, this goal will be to enhance the competitiveness of all business sectors, including agriculture, industry, commerce, exports, real estate and services sectors.

No direct measures for cement industry were announced but the government presented a big list of projects for implementation during the next fiscal, which would definitely create demands for cement, it is hopped.

Facilitating business and growth
The income generated through production of goods and services in Economic Zones and High-Tech Parks has been given tax exemption facilities at different rates for 10 years. With a view to driving up more investment and create more employment, minster proposes a new provision in the income tax law, to accept investment in Economic Zone and High-Tech Parks, without any question on the sources of invested fund, by the income tax department, if the taxpayer pays 10 per cent income tax on such invested amount. 

Under the existing law, 21 industrial sectors and 19 physical infrastructure development sectors have been enjoying tax holidays on the basis of geographical locations at different rates for different periods of time. This benefit will expire on 30 June of this year. With a view to promoting business and investment, augmenting export and creating employments, he proposes the facilities of tax holiday to continue and also to include some potential manufacturing sectors, such as agricultural machinery, furniture, home appliance – rice cooker, blender, washing machine etc, mobile handset, toys, leather and leather goods, LED television and plastic recycling etc.

Tax threshold, corporate tax remain unchanged

Published at 10:19 pm June 13th, 2019
Description: corporate-tax-1528658223120.jpg
Representational photo Bigstock

·      Property tax to be introduced
·      Exemption will continue for RMG and Apparel sector
·      Tax holiday period increases for 5 years
·      Money whitening facilities by paying 10% tax
·      15% tax on stock cash dividend  
The tax-free income limit for individual taxpayers and the corporate tax rate will remain unchanged in upcoming fiscal year 2019-20, proposed Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal while placing budget in parliament on Thursday.
Currently, people having less than Tk2,50,000 year earning need not to pay tax and the threshold is going to continue for the fifth year in a row.
Besides, banks, financial institutions and different companies will pay 25% to 35% of their annual profit as corporate tax like previous fiscal. 
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, on Thursday said the tax exemption threshold was almost 1.5 times above Bangladesh’s per capita income. 
“If there is any increase in the tax exemption threshold, it will push a significant number of taxpayers out of the tax net, which will eventually erode the tax base,” he said.
On corporate tax, Kamal said that the tax rate for banks and financial institutions was reduced by 2.5 percent from last year (FY2018-19), which resulted in significant reduction of tax collection from this sector.
“Considering the facts, I propose to continue with the existing corporate tax rate structure for the next year (FY2019-20)," he added.
Apart from general threshold Tk2,50,000, the tax-free ceiling will be Tk3,00,000  for women and the elderly person aged over 65 years, Tk4,00,000 for disabled people, and Tk4,25,000 for wounded freedom fighters.
The income tax slabs for the upcoming fiscal year will also remain unchanged at 10% for income above Tk4,00,000, 15% for the next Tk5,00,000, 20% for the next Tk6,00,000, 25% for the next Tk30,00,000, and 30% for anything above Tk47,50,000.
Economists had expected the tax-free ceiling would go up so that low-earning group would get relief from tax-pressure.
If average inflation of last couple of years is considered, Tk2,50,000 of four years ago is equivalent to more than Tk3 lakh now, they say, adding that it will create more pressure on marginal taxpayers.
The government has also kept the amount of the minimum payable tax rate unchanged for the upcoming FY2019-20.
The proposed budget said Tk5,000 would remain the minimum income tax for those living in Dhaka and Chittagong City Corporation.
Taxpayers from other city corporation areas are to pay a minimum Tk4,000 while the rate is Tk3,000 for those residing outside the areas.
On the other hand, publicly traded companies will pay a 25% corporate rate, banks, insurance, and financial institutions 37.5%, while it will be 35% for non-publicly traded companies, 40% for bank, insurance, and financial institutions like previous year, said the proposed budget. 
Besides, there will be a uniform duty of 45% on both publicly traded and non-publicly traded for cigarette manufacturers and a 20% tax on dividend income of companies, 10-12% for RMG sectors.
Wealth tax for the first time
The finance minister has proposed wealth tax for the first time ever in his first budget placing. 
“I am proposing that an individual taxpayer having a net wealth of Tk50 crore or above will pay higher of 0.1% of net wealth or 30% of his income tax payable as surcharge.
"Currently, individual taxpayers having a property above Tk2.25 crore need to pay a surcharge at certain rates based on their income tax but there is no system of paying tax for keeping wealth including land or others properties," the minister said in the budget speech. 
The minister also proposed to raise the limit of surcharge to Tk3 crore.
“We have observed that a large number of wealthy people show little income in their tax returns despite they possess huge amount of wealth,” said the minister, adding that, these taxpayer, in contrast, pay an insignificant amount of surcharge because their revealed little income.
This is the provision (wealth tax) for bringing the equality, said budget proposal.
Exemption for RMG and apparel sector to continue
Exemption facility of corporate tax for the readymade garments and apparel sector is supposed to end by June 2019 but the government is going to reconsider it for one year more.
The tax will remain unchanged in FY2019-20 and it will be 10%, 12%, and 15% for RMG having green building certificate, RMG without the certificate and Textile businesses.
Tax holiday period increases for 5 years
The tax holiday, which 21 industrial sectors and 19 physical infrastructure development sectors are enjoying, is supposed to expire by June 2019.
But the finance minister proposed extension of the facility for five years more to promote investment and manufacturing.
The sectors are enjoying the tax holidays on the basis of geographical locations at different rates for different periods of time. 
Some potential manufacturing sectors such as agricultural machinery, furniture, home appliance including rice cooker, blender, washing machine etc, mobile handset, toys, leather and leather-goods, LED television, plastic recycling has been added with the previously listed sector.
Money whitening facility
The finance minister has proposed a provision that will allow investors to whiten black money through investment in economic zones (EZs) and high-tech parks, with no question on the sources of the funds considering the investors pay a 10% tax on the invested amount.
Currently, the Income Tax Department does not raise any question about the sources of funds for purchase or construction of apartments or buildings, if the purchaser pays a 10% tax on the amount.
15% tax on stock dividend
In order to encourage the distribution of cash dividend, Mustafa Kamal proposed imposition of 15 percent tax on stock dividend distributed to the shareholders by any listed company.
“We observed that the companies are generally distributing stock dividends instead of cash dividends. As a result, investors are deprived of their well-deserved return,” the finance minister said.
He said investors expect cash dividends from their investment in the shares of a company. From that point of view cash dividend play an important role in increasing the value of the share and also strengthening the share market, he added.
Asia Rice: Demand stagnant in export hubs on lack of fresh offers
JUNE 13, 2019 / 6:53 PM
BENGALURU (Reuters) - Export prices for Indian and Vietnamese rice slipped this week on thin demand while strength in the baht made supplies from Thailand less competitive even as the world’s second-biggest rice exporter struggles to find fresh orders.
Farmers plant saplings in a rice field on the outskirts of Srinagar June 10, 2015. REUTERS/Danish Ismail/Files
For top rice exporter India, prices for the 5% broken parboiled variety were quoted at $365-$367 a tonne this week, down from last week’s $366-$369.
“African buyers are holding ample stocks. They are not in a hurry,” said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
India mainly exports non-basmati rice to African countries and premier basmati rice to the Middle East. Dealers said planting of the summer-sown staple crop could also be delayed with the arrival of monsoon rains expected to be late.
Demand also remained lacklustre in Vietnam, where rates for the 5% broken rice variety retraced to $345- $350 a tonne on Thursday, from $350-$360 last week, traders said.
“The market is quiet at the moment and there aren’t many offers,” said one trader in Ho Chi Minh City.
Pressuring prices was inferior quality produce from the ongoing summer-autumn harvest, another trader added.
In Thailand, rates for the benchmark 5% broken rice were largely unchanged at $393-$404 a tonne on Thursday.
Traders said demand for Thai rice has remained stagnant, with no major deals in sight in the short or medium term.
“We are keeping our eye on the Middle Eastern markets after Ramadan, but so far there are no signs of major deals and most traders are selling rice to their usual customers,” a Bangkok rice trader said.
The growing strength of the baht, which on Thursday touched its highest against the U.S. dollar in nearly four months, continues to levy competitive pressure on staple prices.
“The only factor that will impact the price of rice right now is the currency; the strength of the baht against the U.S. dollar will continue to make Thai rice more expensive than our competitors,” another rice trader said.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh is finding it difficult to export rice despite a drastic fall in domestic prices.
“It won’t be easy for us to make export deals as our produce is (more) expensive than India and Thailand,” a trader in Dhaka said.
The South Asian country, which usually produces parboiled rice, has lifted its long-standing ban on rice exports, hoping to sell as much as 1.5 million tonnes to support farmers after a sharp drop in prices.
Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um in Bangkok, Kham Nguyen in Hanoi, Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai and Ruma Paul in Dhaka; Additional reporting by Arijit Bose; Editing by David Goodman

Group: Rice farmers lose billions from low prices

JUNE 13, 2019
·       GROUP: RICE FARMERS LOSE BILLIONS FROM LOW PRICES
A business group claims that rice imports have caused farmers of the crop to lose a staggering P95 billion as farmgate prices of palay (unmilled rice) have hit lows, making them lose as much as P5 per kilo.
According to government statistics, the average cost of producing palay in the Philippines is P12.72 per kilo.
Companies participating in a recent dialogue of the Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc. (Pcafi) with Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan disclosed their concerns over the liberalization of rice imports as provided by Republic Act 11203 or the “Rice Tarrification Law” (RTA).
Frisco Malabanan, SL Agritech Corp. rice consultant, said with the prevailing farmgate prices of palay, Filipino farmers have already lost as much as P95 billion in income.
Federation of Central Luzon Farmers’ Cooperatives Chairman Simeon Sioson added the prevailing prices of palay in some parts of Central Luzon have dropped to P11 to P13 or even to P10 per kilo since the RTA was enacted early this year.
A representative of Chen Yi Agventures, which built the Visayas most modern rice complex in Leyte, also said locally produced rice has better quality than those imported from Thailand and Vietnam.
“We produce local rice; we do not mix with imports. It’s entirely good, much better quality than imported. But their (Thailand’s and Vietnam’s) rice has long been stocked in the warehouse, shipped for some time, and stocked again in local warehouses. Their rice is sprayed with pesticides because of bukbok (pests) and with artificial fragrance because it smells old,” the Chenyi representative said.
Pcafi President Danilo Fausto also questioned the capabilities of some government agencies to implement the programs and projects to be funded by the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), which RA 11203 establishes to be funded by tariff collections from imported rice.
“Even Amtech (Agricultural Machinery Testing Evaluation Center) under the University of the Philippines Los Baños is not capable of supporting that huge task of testing machines to support the RCEF mechanization program,” he said.
Amtech is the agency tasked to test farm machines and equipment before they are sold or distributed in the Philippines.
The representative from Chen Yi also underscored the importance for the country to make its rice industry competitive.
“We’re putting food security at risk. What happens if Thailand and Vietnam can longer supply us because they also have their own food security issues or if China or the US will import more? They can pay more money,” the representative said.

Rice imports this year seen reaching 3 MMT


Description: https://39byfk2z09ab1y1bzj1l5r82-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/top02-061319-696x438.jpgSacks of imported rice are delivered to a rice seller at San Andres district in Manila on Wednesday. Philippine rice imports are expected to reach a record-high of 3 million metric tons this year, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
PHILIPPINE rice imports this year will rise by 20 percent to a record high of 3 million metric tons (MMT), making the country one of the world’s top buyers of the staple, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The USDA said purchases for imports went up after the government removed the quantitative restriction (QR) on rice with the implementation of Republic Act (RA) 11203, or the rice trade liberalization law.
On March 5 the government, through RA 11203, liberalized the country’s rice trade by removing the QR on the staple and limiting the role of the National Food Authority to buffer stocking.
In its monthly global grains situation report, the USDA said it has observed “rapid pace of shipments, particularly from Vietnam,” after the government liberalized domestic rice industry.
Due to this, the USDA revised upward its 2019 import forecast for the Philippines from the earlier estimated 2.8 MMT. The Philippines imported 2.5 MMT of rice last year, USDA data showed.
The Philippines’s projected rice purchases this year could eclipse the 2.4 MMT it bought in 2008, when the country experienced a rice-price crisis. USDA data showed that this will be the first time that the country’s purchases will hit the 3-MMT level.
USDA data also indicated that the projected rice purchases of the country for 2019 would make the Philippines the second-biggest buyer of the staple for the second consecutive year.
The USDA attributed this to higher ending stocks in 2019, which could settle at 3.39 MMT.
https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/06/13/rice-imports-this-year-seen-reaching-3-mmt/

Local rice, corn stocks higher in May – PSA

JUNE 13, 2019
/
LOCAL RICE, CORN STOCKS HIGHER IN MAY – PSA
THE country had more stock of rice and corn as of May 1, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Wednesday.
In its monthly inventory report, PSA said the country’s rice stock reached 2.947 million metric tons (MMT), 1.3 percent higher from 2.909 MMT year-on-year (yoy) and up 12.2 percent from 2.627 MMT a month earlier.
Description: https://s14255.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/rice.jpgA rice stall in a market in Manila. PHOTO BY ROGER RAÑADA
PSA said stocks in NFA depositories jumped by 15,952.4 percent yoy. However, stocks in the households and commercial warehouses were down by 9 percent and 25.9 percent, respectively.
On a monthly basis, stocks from commercial warehouses and households rose by 28.4 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively. But NFA depositories fell by 3.1 percent.
Of the total rice inventory, 42.9 percent were from households, 38.1 percent from commercial warehouses and 18.9 percent from NFA depositories.
The country’s rice inventory is seen to increase in the coming months as the Philippines opens its market to cheap imported rice under a new rice regime. The United
States Department of Agriculture (USDA) earlier said imports may hit a record-high 2.6 MMT this year or higher as the Rice Import Liberalization Act takes effect.
Meanwhile, total corn stocks climbed by 145 percent to 829,110 MT yoy. The figure was also higher by 35 percent from 614,000 MT a month earlier.
Stocks from households and commercial warehouses grew yoy by 72.6 percent and 160.2 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, there were no corn stocks in NFA depositories during the period.
Month-on-month, stocks in households fell by 30.1 percent while those from commercial warehouses was up by 12.2 percent.
Of the total inventory, 87.8 percent was from commercial warehouses while the remaining 12.2 percent was from households

Floods have not disrupted national rice stocks: minister

Description: Floods have not disrupted national rice stocks: minister
Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman. (ANTARA News Sumsel/Nova Wahyudi/dol)
Kendari, SE Sulawesi (ANTARA) - 
Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman said that the floods that swept through several parts of the country in recent weeks will not disrupt national rice stocks.

"Floods are not a threat to national rice stocks. The national rice stocks currently stand at 2.3 million tons, kept in a number of Bulog (national logistics board) warehouses," he said in Kendari, the capital of Southeast Sulawesi province, on Thursday.

The floods that engulfed a number of rice-producing areas had led to farmers failing to harvest their paddy fields, he noted.

"Disasters are difficult to predict because they happen suddenly. Farmers who were ready to harvest their paddy fields were saddened because their hard work for months had failed due to the floods," he said.

While flood-hit regions failed to harvest paddy fields, other regions in Indonesia were experiencing large harvests, he said.

He noted that the central government has extended more than Rp15 billion in aid to help alleviate the burden of flood-affected farmers, particularly in Southeast Sulawesi province.

The minister symbolically handed over such aid to Southeast Sulawesi Governor Ali Mazi, accompanied by commander of the 143 Haluoleo military post, Infantry Colonel Yustinus Nono Yulianto, and a member of the House of Representatives (DPR), Umar Arsal, at the disaster emergency command post of the 143 Haluoleo military post.

"The aid consists of cash worth more than Rp12 billion and an excavator valued at Rp3.5 billion. In total, the aid reaches more than Rp15 billion," he said.
Reporter: Sarjono, Suharto
Editor: Sri Haryati
COPYRIGHT © ANTARA 2019
https://en.antaranews.com/news/127075/floods-have-not-disrupted-national-rice-stocks-minister


UPDATE 1-IRAQ HAS ENOUGH WHEAT AND RICE UNTIL END OF 2019 -GRAIN BOARD

6/13/2019

(Adds details)
BAGHDAD, June 13 (Reuters) - Iraq has enough wheat and rice to last until the end of the year, although it will continue to import to boost its reserves, the head of its state grain board said on Thursday.
Naeem al-Maksousi said local wheat purchases could reach 4 million tonnes by the end of the season in August as more rainfall had boosted the local crop. It has imported around 400,000 tonnes so far this year, and so has enough wheat for consumption until the end of the year.
Iraq, a major Middle East grain importer, needs between 4.5 million and 5 million tonnes of wheat a year and on average imports about 2 million tonnes.
It has bought 2.65 million tonnes of local wheat since the start of the local season in mid-April, already exceeding last year's total purchases of around 2.17 million tonnes.
Iraq had expected to produce only 3 million tonnes in 2019 but better rainfall provided more fertile land to grow the crop outside of the areas originally planned.
"We will continue to purchase globally, though, for our reserves," Maksousi told Reuters in an interview.
Rains provided relief for farmers in Iraq after they struggled with water shortages over the past year.
The state grain board is responsible for imports of wheat and rice for the country's food rationing programme.
Maksousi said the board bought 700,000 tonnes of rice this year, enough for consumption needs until the end of the year.
Only limited rice planting was allowed this season locally as part of a water conservation policy. (Reporting by Maha El Dahan and Moayed Kenany; Editing by Mark Potter and Susan Fenton)
Thai exports threatened by China’s cheaper rice
Africa is a potential target market for China now that consumers there are in the habit of eating aged rice
 June 13, 2019
By  Bui Dung
                                                 
Description: https://storage.googleapis.com/stateless-thailandbusinessnews/2019/06/china-rice-paddies.jpg?is-pending-load=1
Bangkok (VNA) – Thai rice exporters are fretting over their prospects this year as China looks set to ramp up its rice shipments, notably to Africa.
The Bangkok Post on June 12 quoted Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai
Rice Exporters Association as saying that China produces an estimated 120 million tonnes of rice each year and is likely to raise exports to 3 million tonnes of aged grains this year from 1.5-2 million tonnes last year.
Africa is a potential target market for China now that consumers there are in the habit of eating aged rice, he said.
China’s 5 percent white rice is quoted at 300 USD a tonne, while similar grains from Thailand are quoted at 390 USD, those from Vietnam at 360 USD and those from India at 370 USD.
Chinese rice is very cheap compared with others, said Chookiat, adding that Thailand has run out of stocks of aged rice.
The value of rice exports rose 8.3 percent last year to 5.61 billion USD from 5.18 billion USD in 2017 and 4.40 billion USD in 2016. Rice export prices averaged 507 USD per tonne last year, up 14.1 percent from 2017.
Thai rice shipments totalled 11.09 million tonnes last year, down 5 percent from 11.67 million in 2017 but greater than 2016’s 9.91 million.
For the whole of 2019, rice exporters forecast Thai shipments of 9.5 million tonnes, or 500,000 tonnes shy of the Commerce Ministry’s projection.


Government proposes hike of duty on rice bran exports
Published at 08:38 pm June 13th, 2019
Description: web_IMG_8250
This photo taken recently shows workers busy drying up paddy at a rice mill Dhaka Tribune

Finance minister proposes withdrawal of existing 10% export duty on unmanufactured tobacco and decreasing export duty on building bricks
The government has proposed to hike the export duty on rice bran from 10% to 25% to discourage export as there is a huge demand for it in the local market.
Rice bran is the prime raw material for rice bran oil and there is a huge demand from the local rice bran industry.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, while presenting his budget speech in the parliament on Thursday, also proposed withdrawing the existing 10% export duty on unmanufactured tobacco, and decreasing the existing export duty on building bricks from 25% to 15%.

Egypt has enough rice stocks to last until December - minister says

13 JUNE, 2019
Egypt would not be importing rice after the upcoming local harvest
Description: A farmer unloads rice straw for cattle from a boat near the river Nile on the outskirts of Cairo November 2, 2014.

A farmer unloads rice straw for cattle from a boat near the river Nile on the outskirts of Cairo November 2, 2014.
REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
By Momen Saeed Atallah, Reuters News
CAIRO - Egypt's strategic rice reserves are sufficient to meet its needs until December, Supply Minister Ali Moselhy told Reuters on Thursday.
Moselhy said that Egypt would not be importing rice after the upcoming local harvest as the crop, planted over more than 1.2 million feddans, is expected to cover demand. A feddan is roughly one acre.
Once a rice exporter, Egypt reduced its rice cultivation in an effort to conserve Nile river resources as Ethiopia builds a $4 billion dam upstream that Cairo fears could impact its water supply.
But the agriculture ministry said in March that it would grow about 1.1 million acres of rice in the 2019 season, up from 800,000 acres last year, in an effort to reduce the country’s import bill.
Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities, bought 40,000 tonnes of Chinese rice at its last purchase tender on May 30.
(Reporting by Momen Saeed Atallah; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Jane Merriman) ((Nadine.Awadalla@thomsonreuters.com;))
https://www.zawya.com/mena/en/markets/story/Egypt_has_enough_rice_stocks_to_last_until_December__minister_says-TR20190613nC6N21W004X3/

JUNE 14, 2019 / 1:19 PM / UPDATED 4 HOURS AGO
Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- JUNE 14, 2019
6 MIN READ
·        
·        
* * * * * *
Nagpur Foodgrain Prices – APMC/Open Market-June 14, 2018 Nagpur, June 14 (Reuters) – Gram and tuar prices declined in Nagpur Agriculture Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) on poor demand from local millers amid good supply from producing regions. Fresh fall on NCDEX in gram and downward trend in Madhya Pradesh pulses also affected sentiment in limited deals. About 700 bags of gram and 200 bags of tuar reported for auction, according to sources.
GRAM
* Gram varieties ruled steady in open market on subdued demand from local traders
amid ample stock in ready position.
TUAR
* Tuar gavarani reported down in open market here on lack of demand from local
traders.
* Moong chamki reported down in open market on lack of demand from local
traders.
* In Akola, Tuar New – 5,900-6,150, Tuar dal (clean) – 8,600-8,800, Udid Mogar (clean)
– 6,900-7,800, Moong Mogar (clean) 8,000-8,600, Gram – 4,550-4,650, Gram Super best
– 6,300-6,500 * Wheat, rice and other foodgrain items moved in a narrow range in
scattered deals and settled at last levels in weak trading activity.
Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg
FOODGRAINS Available prices Previous close
Gram Auction 3,750-4,190 3,900-4,200
Gram Pink Auction n.a. 2,100-2,600
Tuar Auction 4,900-5,550 4,950-5,560
Moong Auction n.a. 3,950-4,200
Udid Auction n.a. 4,300-4,500
Masoor Auction n.a. 2,200-2,500
Wheat Lokwan Auction 1,800-1,895 1,800-1,890
Wheat Sharbati Auction n.a. 2,900-3,000
Gram Super Best Bold 6,500-6,800 6,500-6,800
Gram Super Best n.a. n.a.
Gram Medium Best 6,200-6,400 6,200-6,400
Gram Dal Medium n.a. n.a
Gram Mill Quality 4,500-4,600 4,500-4,600
Desi gram Raw 4,500-4,600 4,500-4,600
Gram Kabuli 8,300-10,000 8,300-10,000
Tuar Fataka Best-New 8,700-8,900 8,700-8,900
Tuar Fataka Medium-New 8,300-8,500 8,300-8,500
Tuar Dal Best Phod-New 7,800-8,200 7,800-8,200
Tuar Dal Medium phod-New 7,400-7,600 7,400-7,600
Tuar Gavarani New 5,900-6,100 5,950-6,150
Tuar Karnataka 6,150-6,350 6,150-6,350
Masoor dal best 5,400-5,600 5,400-5,600
Masoor dal medium 5,200-5,300 5,200-5,300
Masoor n.a. n.a.
Moong Mogar bold (New) 8,000-8,800 8,000-8,800
Moong Mogar Medium 7,000-7,500 7,000-7,500
Moong dal Chilka New 6,800-7,800 6,800-7,800
Moong Mill quality n.a. n.a.
Moong Chamki best 8,000-9,000 8,100-9,000
Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 7,200-8,000 7,200-8,000
Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG) 5,800-6,500 5,800-6,500
Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG) 4,200-4,600 4,200-4,600
Mot (100 INR/KG) 5,000-6,600 5,000-6,600
Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg) 4,500-4,700 4,500-4,700
Watana Dal (100 INR/KG) 5,450-5,650 5,450-5,650
Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG) 6,700-6,900 6,700-6,900
Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG) 2,100-2,200 2,100-2,200
Wheat Mill quality (100 INR/KG) 2,100-2,200 2,100-2,200
Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG) 2,500-2,600 2,500-2,600
Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG) 2,400-2,500 2,400-2,500
Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG) 2,200-2,300 2,200-2,300
Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG) n.a. n.a.
MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG) 3,000-3,500 3,000-3,500
MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG) 2,600-2,900 2,600-2,900
Rice Parmal (100 INR/KG) 2,100-2,200 2,100-2,200
Rice BPT best (100 INR/KG) 3,000-3,500 3,100-3,500
Rice BPT medium (100 INR/KG) 2,400-2,900 2,500-3,000
Rice BPT new (100 INR/KG) 2,800-3,200 2,800-3,200
Rice Luchai (100 INR/KG) 2,900-3,000 2,900-3,000
Rice Swarna best (100 INR/KG) 2,500-2,700 2,500-2,700
Rice Swarna medium (100 INR/KG) 2,300-2,400 2,300-2,400
Rice HMT best (100 INR/KG) 4,100-4,600 4,100-4,600
Rice HMT medium (100 INR/KG) 3,600-3,900 3,600-3,900
Rice HMT New (100 INR/KG) 4,000-4,400 4,000-4,400
Rice Shriram best(100 INR/KG) 5,600-5,800 5,600-5,800
Rice Shriram med (100 INR/KG) 4,600-5,000 4,600-5,000
Rice Shriram New (100 INR/KG) 5,000-5,500 5,000-5,500
Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG) 8,500-13,500 8,500-13,500
Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG) 5,000-7,000 5,000-7,000
Rice Chinnor best 100 INR/KG) 6,500-7,200 6,500-7,200
Rice Chinnor medium (100 INR/KG) 6,200-6,400 6,200-6,400
Rice Chinnor New (100 INR/KG) 4,800-5,000 4,800-5,000
Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG) 2,350-2,550 2,350-2,550
Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG) 2,050-2,250 2,050-2,250 WEATHER (NAGPUR) Maximum temp. 43.0 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 30.5 degree Celsius Rainfall : Nil FORECAST: Partly cloudy sky with one or two spells of rains or thunder-showers. Maximum and minimum temperature likely to be around 44 degree Celsius and 30 degree Celsius respectively. Note: n.a.—not available (For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but included in market prices)