Wednesday, July 10, 2019

10th July,2019 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter

Crop Monitor for Early Warning | July 2019
Published on 08 Jul 2019  Description: preview

In East Africa, production prospects are poor for main season cereals in parts of Somalia and Kenya due to a delayed onset of rains and dry conditions. In West Africa, main season maize planting continues across the south of the region and conditions are favourable with good rains received. In the Middle East and North Africa, winter wheat crops are generally favourable due to good rains throughout the season except in parts of Morocco where poor production has resulted from dry conditions, and in Syria and Iraq due to ongoing conflict. In Southern Africa, winter wheat planted in May is favourable, except in Zambia, where dry conditions have carried over from the previous season. In Central and South Asia, winter cereals for harvest in August are favourable despite some dry conditions in May. In Southeast Asia, harvest of dry-season rice is complete in the north and favourable yields resulted except in parts of Thailand and Philippines. Planting of wet-season rice is underway and conditions are favourable with good rains at the start of the season. In Central America and the Caribbean primera season planting started in May and there is some concern due to irregular rainfall and dry conditions.

Curbing Rice Smuggling


Local rice farmers and producers have decided to engage in price war in order to confront smuggling of foreign rice into the country. The hope is that with this policy, they may gain more access into the market and compete with the cheaper foreign rice. About two years after the ban on its importation, smuggling of rice into the country has continued to be on the rise.
Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RFAN) and Rice Producers Association of Nigeria (RPAN) recently disclosed plans to crash the price of 50kg of locally produced rice from N15, 000 currently to N10, 000 before Christmas.
The Farmers claim to have produced a lot and that has helped the cost of paddy rice to reduce from about N11,000 that it used to be to N8,000 now. They also said that the cost of milled rice has been reducing over the years and to curb smuggling, local rice price will come down further. In this process, the cost reduction in paddy production will definitely warrant a decrease in the price of milled rice.
This newspaper commends the resolution of the rice farmers and millers because we believe policy makers can make the price of local rice competitive with that of smuggled ones. It will also encourage farmers and millers to produce more and make rice affordable to the average consumer of the product.
We believe that for the policy to work, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) must step up its anti-smuggling activities. Nigeria’s fledgling local rice industry is facing the grim threat of collapse as toxic foreign rice dominate most of the country’s major food markets. Across the country, rice smugglers are having a field day filling the markets and stores with imported rice whose quality and safety are as questionable as the unscrupulous elements that brought them.
Rice, according to the NCS,  is the most smuggled item into the country, constituting 70 per cent of all rice products in the local markets and sucking away  scarce foreign exchange. Despite the outright ban on rice imports, it appears smugglers are always finding ways to circumvent measures to halt their illegal trade.
Investors in Nigeria have made enormous financial commitment in the rice sub-sector. Unfortunately, the only threat to the industry’s total development, is smuggling. According to the farmers, over one million metric tonnes of rice, which is equivalent to about 20,000,000 bags of 50kg rice, have been smuggled into Nigeria in the last three months.
LEADERSHIP investigations also showed that the smuggled rice usually came into the country through Niger and the Republic of Benin. For instance, in Ogun and Lagos states, it was gathered that the traders bought a bag of rice at between N5,000 and N6,000 in the Republic of Benin, as the contraband was usually transported to Nigeria through the Seme and Idi-Iroko borders.
Nigeria currently loses huge revenues, foreign exchange, and jobs to this menace, as Nigeria rice processing companies are shutting down because of their inability to gain market access. Findings also revealed that most of international borders in the country have been converted to smugglers route, and the markets are filled with smuggled foreign rice.
The most worrisome issue, in our opinion, is that the imported rice brands are loaded with deadly chemicals, repackaged with fake production and expiry dates, and shipped in after over 20 years in foreign silos.
We therefore urge the government to step up efforts to curb smuggling into the country because unless the menace of rice smuggling is totally eliminated, local rice industry will continue to be under serious danger of collapse. The nation is losing huge revenues, foreign exchange and jobs to the menace as Nigerian Rice processors are shutting down due to inability to gain market access as a result of the influx of foreign rice into the local markets.

Fertiliser prices to rise by Rs100 per bag after hike in gas tariff

d: July 10, 2019
Description:  PHOTO: REUTERS
ISLAMABAD: The government has hinted at increasing fertiliser prices by Rs100 per bag following a hike in gas prices.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industries and Production Abdul Razak Dawood said the production cost of fertiliser had gone up due to a recent hike in gas prices. However, he said, final decision would be taken on Thursday, following a meeting with representatives of the fertiliser industry.
The industry had demanded an increase of Rs200 per bag in fertiliser prices due to the hike in gas prices, the adviser said, adding that the industry had not yet increased the prices.
He claimed that there was a smooth supply of fertiliser in line with demand and the government was making efforts to prevent undue hike in fertiliser prices. The government would safeguard the interest of farmers, however, subsidy could not be given following a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as it would affect the revenue collection, he added.
Regarding the country’s trade, Dawood said there had been no change in the volume of exports and imports during 2018-19. Exports stood at $23 billion against the target of $24 billion.
There had been no increase in exports in dollars terms, he said. However, a decline of $6 billion was witnessed in the trade deficit, he said, adding that the deficit stood at $31 billion in 2018-19.
Rice exports to Qatar
In a statement, the Ministry of Commerce said Qatar had lifted the ban on rice export from Pakistan while Iran would also import 500,000 tons of paddy. It would lead to an increase in exports from Pakistan. “Pakistani is set to export rice to Qatar as the latter has advertised a tender to import 100,000 bags of the commodity,” it said.
The Ministry of Commerce said the current government had been working to boost exports of traditional and non-traditional products. Rice is the largest agro- commodity in the export basket of the country with exports of over $2 billion.
The government wants to take rice exports to $5 billion in the next five years. To achieve this target, the Ministry of Commerce said it was recapturing traditional markets as well as entering new markets. With continuous effort of the government of Pakistan, Qatar has now opened its market for Pakistani rice, the statement added. Previously, Pakistan’s rice was not being purchased by the state procurement agency of Qatar.
Dawood said rice exports to China and Indonesia were going up due to the additional market access secured by the government. Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) said it was encouraging that basmati rice exports had been on an upward trend, fetching $637.99 million in FY19 compared to $581.85 million in the previous year.
Previously, the private sector in Qatar continued to import rice from Pakistan, however, the Central Tendering Committee (CTC), which procures for state-supplied subsidised rice for Qatari citizens, made its tender Indian-origin specific, thereby effectively banning the import of any other origin rice including Pakistani rice into Qatar in 2011-12. 
Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2019.
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Unjustified price hike of fertilizers not to be tolerated: Dawood

Description: 9, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industries and Production Abdul Razak Dawood on Tuesday said any unjustified increase in fertilizer prices would not to be tolerated as the government was fully determined to protect the local farming community for the development of agriculture sector of the country.
Addressing a news conference, he said the prices of fertilizers to be determined according to the guidelines of federal cabinet by taking the fertilizers manufacturers on board.
He said that he would meet with the fertilizers producers on Thursday and the prices of the commodity would be determined after due calculations.
He added that he had met with the fertilizer produces before budget 2019-20 and they had agreed that any change in price of the commodity would be made with due consultation of the concern ministry.
The adviser reiterated the government resolve to protect the local farmers from price hike, besides providing them maximum relief for the development of agriculture sector and poverty alleviation from the country.
Razak Dawood said due to certain changes that had introduced in Federal Budget 2019-20, gas prices were increased and due to that the fertilizers manufacturers have demanded to increase prices of the commodity by Rs100 per bag.
However, he said that the federal cabinet has decided to reduce the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) in order to minimize the increasing gas prices impact on fertilizer manufacturing.
He categorically cleared that there was no dearth of the fertilizers across the country,  adding that according to the demand and supply analysis, sufficient stocks were available for domestic consumption upto December this year.
He informed that average domestic production of the fertilizers during last six months were recorded at 3.2 million tons as compared the local demand of 2.9 million tons.
Highlighting the trade volume during the last fiscal year (2018019), he said exports from the country were recoded at US $ 23 billion as against the targets of US $ 24 billion.
He said in quantity terms, the exports of ready made garments was increased by 20%, rice by 46%, cement 26%, foot wear 27% and netwear by 10%.
He said that it was a positive sign for the local industrial sector that showed that the output has increased, value addition has gone up and international market share was also enhanced.
He said that decrease in dollar term was due to decreasing prices trend in international market as the over all world trade was reduced by three percent  in last fiscal year.
Besides that, he said import into the country had also gone down by US $ 6 billion as against the last year, adding that trade deficit was reduced by US $ 5.9 billion during the period under review.
He said Pakistan was moving towards value addition and many foreign companies had expressed their keen interest in establishing their units of lather and textile here.
He said that about nine Chinese companies were going to establish their industrial units at Faisalabad and started work.
The adviser said Qatar had also removed the ban on the imports of rice from Pakistan and rice exports had already been started for Qatar.
He informed that Iran has also expressed its keen interest to import rice from Pakistan, adding that about 500,000 tons rice to be exported to Iran.
Replaying to a query, he said there were some certain issues that had emerged after the current budget, adding that government was determined to address all such matters to facilitate the local trade and business.
He said that he along with the Prime Minister would visit Karachi and would meet with the business community to address all their issues in an amicable manner for the development of trade and industry in the country.
The adviser cleared that the tax compliance culture would be promoted as no body in the country was willing to pay its due tax that was the main impediment in national economic development.
Ben Diokno’s mantra
posted July 10, 2019 at 12:40 am by Tony Lopez

Description:"Financial inclusion through technology"

Low inflation, low interest rates, high growth rates, deeper financial inclusion using technology.
On these four core policy thrusts will public management expert and political economist Benjamin E. Diokno, 71, be remembered by the Filipino people as governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
The central bank chief thinks the inflation rate or the rate of increase in prices of goods and services consumed by an average Filipino household will be 2.9 percent for the whole of 2019.
In September and October of 2018, inflation climbed to 6.7 percent—the highest in 11 years, thanks to the state-owned National Food Authority announcing a rice shortage before it happened and NFA, given P5 billion, deciding to pay its debts instead of buying rice to boost the stockpile of the Filipino staple food.
Rice is 15 points of a poor man’s consumer price index (CPI or the basket of goods and services). Together, all food items account for 50 percent of that CPI. Since rice is a bellwether food item, when its price goes up, so do prices of other food items. Since food prices have psychological effect on all other products, the price of all other products rise as well. Worsening the situation last year was the sudden spike in prices of refined petroleum products, thanks to TRAIN.
Diesel used to be zero excise tax per liter. It was taxed at P2.50 per liter in 2018; P4.50 by January 2019. The government claimed diesel is dirty and is used mainly by the rich. Not true. Diesel is used by farmers for irrigation, by fishermen for their fishing boats, by drivers for their jeepneys, the main transport of the poor. Diesel is also a bellwether product. You increase its price with a tax, you increase the prices of other commodities.
The government now allows private companies to import rice. Rice imports were no longer limited by quotas, but by tariffs, meaning as long as the importer pays tariffs, he can import as much rice as he can. The result: A flood of imported rice, bringing its price down from P50 per kilo to as low as P27.
If you halve the price of rice and rice is 15 points of the CPI and all food is 50 percent of the CPI, you readily reduce inflation by at least 25 percent. In fact, inflation by April 2019 was cut by half to 3.0 percent or less than half of the 6.7 percent September-October 2018 inflation. Diokno thinks inflation for the whole of 2019 will be 2.9 percent, if not lower.
How will Diokno cut interest rates? He will flood the banking system with money. How? By lowering the reserve requirement on bank deposits. Reserve is the percentage of deposits banks must park with the central bank. It is useless, idle money. You release it to the system by lowering the reserve requirement, initially, from 18 percent when Diokno took over BSP governor last March 2019, to 16 percent, a reduction of 2 percentage points. One percentage point is equivalent to P100 billion. Two percentage points is P200 billion.
With reserve at 16, only P84 billion of each P100 billion will be released to the system. So P200 billion less 16 percent reserve is P168 billion. Usually, banks can lend a peso of deposit 7x, assuming their capital can handle the risk, so 7x P168 billion is P1.176 trillion.
Over the next four years of his governorship, Diokno promises to cut RR by half or to 9 percent, in effect releasing P900 billion which the banks will have to lend as loans—to corporations (including government), to consumers, to you and me.
If there is more supply of money, interest rates (which is the price of money) will go down. The cheaper money borrowed then will go into capital goods (roads, bridges, machinery and equipment, cars, your smart), and consumption (shopping at SM, travel abroad, trip to Tagaytay, dining at Mang Inasal). Businesses will expand. Government will improve infra. More factories will be opened and more people will be hired. So good times are ahead.
Diokno notes that other countries in ASEAN have even lower RR. Thailand is one percent. Malaysia is 3.5 percent. No wonder these countries are robust, economically. Their economy is flooded with deposit money.
With the spending buoyant and the economy expanding, you have high growth rates.
This is not happening yet though. In fact, economic growth as measured by GDP growth rate, is slower—from 7.2 percent in third quarter (Q3) 2017, 6.5 in Q4 2017, 6.6 in Q12018, 6.2 in Q2 2018, 6 in Q3 2018, 6.1 in Q4 2018, and finally, down to 5.6 percent in Q1 2019.
Why the slowing growth? I suspect government people are stealing the money (the so-called corruption) or are simply incompetent to implement projects (the so-called absorptive capacity). And private companies have been slow to react to the improved economic environment (the so-called economic lag of projects).
How can the poor benefit from all this good news? That is where financial inclusion comes in. Banks will pay more attention to you. Some 600 towns have no banks. BSP explains financial inclusion this way:
“Financial inclusion is a state wherein there is effective access to a wide range of financial services for all. Effective access does not only mean that there are financial products and services that are available. These products and services must be appropriately designed, of good quality and relevant to benefit the person accessing the said service. Wide range of financial services refers to a full set of products such as savings, credit, insurance, payments and remittance services for different market segments, particularly those that are traditionally underserved or unserved.”
Diokno hopes to achieve financial inclusion through technology—through your cellphones, Facebook, the internet of things, the digitalization of banking functions. You get your remittance through your cellphone. You pick up your money from 7-11, Jollibee, Mcdo, Starbucks, your corner pawnshop. You pay your bills through them too. Kasama ka, kasali ka. Sa pera ng bangko.

Let’s talk about India’s colossal water problem
India needs to provide the basic resources necessary to make its cities function

Published:  July 09, 2019 15:34David Fickling

Description: opn 190709 india water-1562672094033Residents fill their containers with drinking water from a municipal tanker in New Delhi, India, on July 1, 2019.Image Credit: Reuters
As a child in 1943, the noted Indian economist Amartya Sen watched one of the worst famines of the 20th century sweep through his native Bengal. Contrary to the popular image, the disaster didn’t manifest as a widespread shortage of food, he later wrote. The middle classes hadn’t “experienced the slightest problem during the entire famine,” which primarily affected “landless rural labourers” instead.
That observation carries an important lesson for India as it runs short of a commodity even more fundamental than grain: water. As Sen showed, famine doesn’t simply result from supplies running out, but from prices being pushed beyond the reach of the neediest. Similarly, India’s current drought isn’t happening so much because of an absolute shortage of water, as its misallocation and mispricing.
That’s shown most dramatically by the crisis in Chennai. While the city is now dependent on importing water by tankers to slake its thirst, India simultaneously has the title of the world’s biggest water exporter:
Modi has vowed to give every household in the country access to piped drinking water by 2024, a target that will inevitably require farms to take a smaller share of the pie.
- David Fickling
So-called virtual water exports ‘the molecules of H20 embedded in exported goods, alongside those rendered unusable by the production of those goods’ amount to a net 95.4 billion cubic metres a year, according to data collected by the Water Footprint Network, a group that encourages thriftier usage. This makes India a bigger exporter of water than far better-endowed countries such as Brazil, Russia, the United States and Canada, and represents nearly four times the 25 billion cubic metres consumed by India’s households and industrial enterprises.
Criminal waste
Most of that comes down to the fact that India’s largest agricultural exports are rice and cotton, which both require thousands of litres of water for every kilogram of product. Sugar and water buffalo meat, two of the other leading farm exports, are also water-intensive.
There’s no scarcity of these crops in global terms. India blocks rice imports with tariffs and typically sends about 10 per cent of its crop overseas. That puts the country on par with Thailand for the title of biggest exporter and contributes to a worldwide glut of rice, expected to hit a record 172 million metric tonnes in the 2020 crop year. Cotton prices have fallen 20 per cent over the past year, with a global stockpile equivalent to about 60 per cent of consumption. Sugar hit its lowest price in a decade last August.
Putting so much water into fattening rice grains and swelling cotton bolls seems a criminal waste of a precious resource that urban areas are crying out for. As Mihir Sharma has written, 21 Indian cities will start running short of groundwater by next year, including New Delhi and Bengaluru, while 200,000 people in the country die each year because of a lack of access to safe water.
If India wants to grow the economies of these cities, it needs to provide the basic resources necessary to make them function. Yet while urbanites are having to watch every sip they consume, farmers are living high on the hog. About 70 per cent of agricultural water use comes from groundwater, much of it pumped out of the soil with heavily subsidised, coal-fired electricity and then used in a notoriously wasteful fashion.
In the Chennai basin, about 79 per cent of water is set aside for agriculture and livestock farming, with just 11 per cent going to domestic use and another 10% to industry. Nationwide, the figures are even more tilted towards the farm sector. In a country where a third of the population lives in cities, agriculture uses about 90 per cent of fresh water, compared with 64 per cent in China, 60 per cent in Brazil, and 44 per cent in Nigeria.
Uneven allocation
One view is that this uneven allocation is simply the price India pays to support its rural poor. That’s not quite right. The farmers who have access to pumped groundwater aren’t typically low-income smallholders, but larger-scale rural business owners with the collateral to finance purchases of pumping equipment.
These figures constitute a powerful political grouping that has resisted measures, such as power metering and more generous diversions to cities, which are needed to avert India’s urban water crisis. The rural poor don’t do so well. If anything, small-scale farmers reliant on hand-drawn wells are even worse off when the water table is being pumped away for nothing by their wealthier neighbours.
That status quo may be on the verge of breaking. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed to give every household in the country access to piped drinking water by 2024, a target that will inevitably require farms to take a smaller share of the pie. Worse, climate change and the ongoing over-extraction of groundwater are already pushing the system to a breaking point.
It’s the same old story that the Nobel laureate Sen observed. As in 1943, India’s poor and landless (whether in urban or rural areas) are the ones who suffer, while the wealthy and landed prosper. If Modi wants to deliver on his electoral promises, that’s going to have to change.
— Bloomberg
David Fickling is a columnist covering commodities, as well as industrial and consumer companies.
First-Ever Sale of US Rice to China Announced
 July 09, 2019

 Dan Siekman
Jim Guinn, Director, Asia Promotion Programs, USA Rice Federation; William Li, Overseas Director, Shenzhen Yintuo & Vice President, Dragon Ocean Hing Group, Jim Levy, U.S. Consul General to China, U.S. Embassy; Chris Zhang, President, Dragon Ocean Hing Group; Erin O’Donnell, Assistant Vice President of Global Rice Trading, Sun Valley Rice; Bobby Richey Jr., Minister-Counselor for Agricultural Affairs in China, USDA. Image: Sun Valley Rice
The door to a promising new market has been cracked open for US rice exporters with the announcement on July 3 that Dunnigan, California-based Sun Valley Rice had completed the first-ever sale of US-produced rice to China.
In a press release, Sun Valley said it would be providing, "California Calrose medium-grain rice to Shenzhen Yintuo, part of the Dragon Ocean Hing Group, one of the largest importers of rice into China." The statement continued, "The private packaged rice for Shenzhen Yintuo will be delivered in time for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival, held in September in China and available for both retail and food service distribution." Media reports in the US and China stated that the first shipment would be comprised of two containers carrying 40 tons of rice.
Sun Valley stated that it has been seeking to gain access to the China market since 2004—although China and the US did not finalize import protocols until 2017.
“We chose Sun Valley Rice because when we first toured the US, we went to California and witnessed that Sun Valley Rice had clearly studied Asian cultures deeply (especially Japanese and Chinese),” said William Li, Overseas Director, Shenzhen Yintuo & Vice President, Dragon Ocean Hing Group, according to the Sun Valley press release.
"Most rice imported into China today currently comes from Thailand, Pakistan and Vietnam and is of the long-grain type," said the statement from Sun Valley. "California Calrose is a medium-grain varietal, predominately grown in the Sacramento Valley, and is considered the premium medium-grain rice due to its superior taste, aroma and texture. "
Despite its domestic production being dwarfed by Asian countries like China and Thailand, the US is globally the fifth largest exporter of rice, with almost 3.2 million tons of exports in 2018.
The industry is hopeful this first deal in one of many to come. “This sale marks a turning point for the U.S. rice industry and its relationship with China,” says Betsy Ward, President and CEO of USA Rice, the national trade association representing rice growers, millers and merchants in the United States. “We’ve spent decades chasing this enormous market, and the Sun Valley Rice sale is the first ever of U.S. rice to a private importer. It is truly historic and sets the stage for continued regular trade with China for U.S.-grown rice.”

As Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Rises, Nutrient Content of Rice Falls

RISING LEVELS OF ATMOSPHERIC COdon’t just warm the planet, they lower the levels of beneficial vitamins and other nutrients in grains and edible plants. New research has shown that rice grown at carbon dioxide levels that could be reached as soon as 2050 are expected to suffer a one-sixth to nearly one-third loss of their B vitamin content. A study conducted at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) now quantifies the health impact of that change.
Globally, rice is humanity’s most important staple food, and for half a billion people, the crop provides more than 50 percent of their daily calories. That poses a serious potential problem: a prior study published by principal research scientist Samuel Myers and colleagues at HSPH found that when atmospheric COreaches 550 parts per million (up from its current 410+ ppm), the reduced protein content of the rice will lead to protein deficiency in an additional 148 million people.That work also documented declines in the iron and zinc content of rice, wheat, barley, legumes, maize and potatoes—all of them important staple foods.
The latest study, published in GeoHealth, focuses on the impact of rising COon the B vitamins folate, riboflavin, and thiamin. Maternal deficiencies in folate can lead to neural-tube defects in unborn children, as well as weakness and loss of appetite in adults; thiamin deficiency causes beriberi; and low levels of riboflavin can cause skin lesions and nervous disorders, including migraines. Using a framework that allows them to estimate the impact of these changes on the global burden of disease, the researchers estimate that an additional 132 million people would suffer folate deficiency based on their consumption of rice alone, 67 million additional people will become deficient in thiamin, and 40 million more people will become deficient in riboflavin.
Those numbers almost certainly understate the impact. As Myers and his coauthor, HSPH research associate Matthew R. Smith, write: “Because elevated COconcentrations are likely to reduce B vitamins in other crops beyond rice, our findings likely represent an underestimate of the impact of anthropogenic COemissions on sufficiency of B vitamin intake.” And their new study does not attempt to quantify the global burden of disease that may be triggered by deficiencies in other nutrients that decline with rising CO2. As they put it, “CO2-induced nutritional declines could produce a major headwind on progress toward alleviating malnutrition, and deserves attention and concerted action.”


Andrew Urevig
Freelance science writer
You can’t see them, but it’s time to start trying.
Microorganisms, tiny creatures invisible to the naked eye, play a “central role” in our climate crisis, more than 30 microbiologists contend in a new report in Nature Reviews Microbiology. “The microbial world constitutes the life support system of the biosphere,” the researchers write in what they call a “scientists’ warning to humanity.”
Despite living everywhere that larger organisms inhabit, and in many extreme environments in which they don’t, bacteria and other microbes are “rarely the focus” of climate change research, the scientists say.  To adequately address the climate challenge, they say, that needs to change.
Take the greenhouse gas methane, whose molecules heat the planet by 86 times as much as carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. A key source of methane emissions is agriculture — or, more precisely, microorganisms that live in agricultural systems. The microbiologists’ warning notes that while rice helps feed half of all people on Earth, the microbes that live in rice paddies produce one-fifth of agricultural methane — hundreds of millions of tons of the gas.
Meanwhile, the researchers point out, the No. 1 way humans spurt methane into the air is by raising ruminant livestock, animals like sheep and cattle, who carry methane-producing microbes in their guts. These tiny bacteria, protozoa and fungi help break down food, a process that releases methane on the other end. That’s why the climate footprint of ruminant meat production is 19 to 48 times higher than some plant-based protein.
The amount of methane in the atmosphere has been climbing, especially since 2014. While researchers haven’t reached a consensus on exactly what’s driving the recent spike, it likely involves both fossil fuels and microbial methane-makers in wetlands and farmland.
In the oceans, the report says, warming waters may change the communities of microorganisms that live in corals, which could in turn boost the risk of coral bleaching and disease. And as oceans absorb carbon dioxide from the air, they become more acidic, which might be damaging the tissue of fish and other organisms, weakening their immune systems and opening an opportunity for bacterial infection.
Small marine algae known as phytoplankton coat the oceans, and they suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Half of photosynthesis worldwide is the work of these plankton, which churn through their life cycles far faster than trees and other plants. That speed, the study notes, makes them “respond rapidly on a global scale to climate variations.”
On land, melting permafrost serves up a meal of formerly frozen carbon to microbes that decompose it, releasing carbon dioxide and methane into the air above.
The researchers urge more research investigating the role of microorganisms in climate change, and call for climate models to include microbial processes in order to improve predictions of future climate scenarios.
In addition, the scientists recommend that policy-makers and natural resource managers factor microorganisms into their decisions and actions such as efforts to meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. That may seem like a big emphasis on such tiny creatures — but if these researchers are right, it will be to everyone’s benefit to size up the small stuff.

USA Rice Partners with Acclaimed Chef 

REHOBOTH, DE -- USA Rice is teaming up with three times James Beard award nominee and 2018 Starr Chef Rising Star winner Hari Cameron for a year-long program across the culinary and foodservice realms.  Chef Cameron will assist with recipe production, spokesperson duties, tradeshows, content creation, culinary introductions, and expertise into foodservice operations and sourcing. 

"I am thrilled to have Chef Hari joining the USA Rice team," said USA Rice Domestic Promotion Manager Cameron Jacobs.  "His culinary expertise and insight into the foodservice industry coupled with his passion for supporting American farmers and commitment to sourcing local products makes him the perfect person for helping to spread USA Rice messaging and promote U.S.-grown rice."

Cameron is a highly acclaimed chef winning multiple Best Chef Mid-Atlantic awards and Delaware's Best Farm to Table Restaurant in addition to his James Beard nods.  He is frequently featured in foodservice media, culinary exhibitions, and mid-Atlantic television.  

"Hari's expertise goes beyond cooking," said Jacobs.   "He is a gifted media spokesperson and I have no doubt that in addition to his culinary knowledge, his media skills will truly benefit USA Rice."

As an ardent supporter of local agriculture, Cameron incorporates U.S.-grown rice into many rice dishes featured at his a(MUSE) restaurant here with special callouts to U.S.-grown on the menu and the USA Rice restaurant emblem prominently displayed out front.  And Chef Cameron's skill set is not just limited to the kitchen.  He's also responsible for the creation of Gentle Giant, a U.S.-grown brown rice green tea beer, brewed with four different types of malted rice and aged on Genmaicha green tea and Koji rice that was part of the BrewAdvocate's Extreme Beer Fest this spring.

"In life, when you put the best in, you achieve the best end results.  The same rule applies with the principles of cooking and recipe development," said Chef Cameron.  "That's why I use US- grown rice.  I love both the quality and variety of rice available to me.  The fact that I can trace it back to the state that grows it ensures the best product available.  I'm excited and appreciate the opportunity to partner with USA Rice and continue to spread the word about U.S.-grown rice."

The chef partnership kicks off August 1 and will run until the end of July 2020.

Brad Robb
Dr. Steve Linscombe talks about The Rice Foundation’s recently released sustainability report during the 110th Annual Rice Field Day held at the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station in Crowley, La.

U.S. rice industry reviews pillars of improvements

Rice sustainability report released
Brad Robb | Jul 05, 2019
In 2017, Dr. Steve Linscombe retired from the Louisiana State University Rice Research Center after 35 years of service, but he has much more he wants to do for the industry that fueled his career for so long.
Linscombe, a world renowned and respected rice breeder and researcher with over 30 varietal releases to his credit, knows that when one door closes, another one usually opens, and for him, that door led to an opportunity to become the new executive director of The Rice Foundation.
He returned to Crowley, La., last month to participate in the 110th Annual Rice Field Day with a specific message to each rice farmer in attendance. “The rice industry has come so far in terms of environmental, social, and economic improvements,” says Linscombe. “These three areas are being called our pillars of sustainability, and they are interwoven. You can’t have one without the other. We have a great message that must be told to the end users of our product, and we have recently taken a big first step to tell it.”
Thanks to a grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), The Rice Foundation was able to commission a rice industry sustainability report that highlights 36 years of constant improvements and how those improvements have solidified the U.S. rice industry’s position as one of, if not the most, sustainable in the world.
While the definition of sustainability may be open to interpretations, the U.S. rice industry’s extensive track record of improvements is evident, and Linscombe complimented the many growers who have helped make those improvements.
“U.S. rice farmers have not only raised the yield bar tremendously, they have increased rice production’s land use efficiency by 34 percent over that time period,” says Linscombe. “Through a 52 percent reduction in water use, less trips across fields through adoptions of conservation tillage, and more efficient equipment, 34 percent less energy is being used to produce our nation’s annual rice crop — that’s huge.”

Climate change and biodiversity

Linscombe noted that no matter your view about climate change, it is real, and the 1,000-pound gorilla in rice production is the large volume of methane being emitted from each year’s crop. “Upland crops don’t produce high volumes of methane because they’re not flooded,” he told the tour group. “When you get into an aquatic situation, there’s more tendency to produce methane, but the gains made by all of you and other growers across the six rice-producing states have helped this industry as a whole reduce our cumulative methane production by over 40 percent.”
Soil loss has never been an issue or major concern in rice production, but that does not mean it was overlooked in this sustainability analysis. “Because of the way rice has been produced through the decades, we have actually decreased soil loss by 28 percent,” says Linscombe. “We do have an area where our industry can really take great pride, and that is in the area of biodiversity.”
Production rice ground contributes to the biodiversity of habitats for a wide variety of birds, waterfowl, and other animals that make rice fields their homes or stopping grounds along their migratory routes. Grain and crop stubble left after harvest are actively foraged by this flurry of activity.
“Rice farmers have provided very diverse waterfowl habitats for many decades, but six years ago, an alliance solidified between USA Rice and Ducks Unlimited through the creation of the Rice Stewardship Partnership (RSP) significantly propelled these conservation efforts forward,” says Linscombe. “NRCS matching grant funding, through its Regional Conservation Partnership Program, as well as funds from private partners, is helping rice farmers implement conservation practices on their operations.”
In the report, value placed on the habitats created by overwintered flooded rice fields is estimated to be almost $3.5 billion. “The partnerships between these aforementioned organizations and these funds they bring to the table will be used by rice producers to create and sustain essential habitat areas on over 700,000 acres of production rice fields between now and 2023,” says Linscombe.

Economics and the future

Findings in the report state rice farming operations, rice mills, and the 125,000 jobs they create contribute over $34 billion annually to the U.S. economy. “Our ag economists found that each rice farm contributes $1 million to its local economy,” says Linscombe. “That doesn’t even count impact from the number of sponsored activities and civic donations rice industry organizations make to communities and food banks.”
While each aspect of any sustainability analysis is important and contributes to an industry’s overall sustainability picture, any industry would collapse if it lacked one particular aspect — economic sustainability. “If rice farmers and rice mills are not profitable, it will have negative ramifications down the supply chain,” says Linscombe. “In many cases, a town or a community’s economic stability relies almost exclusively on the business of rice.”
As more rice operations adopt new technologies like variable rate equipment and automated water control structures, the sustainability levels reflected in those three pillars should improve. Mills are also making sustainability improvements by moving toward no-waste practices and using renewable energy sources.
The U.S. Rice Industry Sustainability Report is the first of its kind for the industry. An executive summary of the report and the full version in pdf format are available electronically at
You may also contact The Rice Foundation at 1-800-888-RICE (7423) for a printed copy.

ICPAC signs an MOU with NASA Harvest

Published on 09 Jul 2019 
IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre-ICPAC has been deliberate on the organization’s goal of early warning information for early action. Agriculture and Food Security is now a sector priority area in the Greater Horn of Africa based on IGAD assessment of the region. For this end, ICPAC has now formalized her partnership with NASA Harvest.
NASA Harvest is a new, multidisciplinary Consortium commissioned by NASA and led by the University of Maryland to enhance the use of satellite data in decision making related to food security and agriculture both in the US and worldwide. ICPAC has been engaging in seasonal agriculture monitoring and early warning in the outfit of Eastern Africa Crop Monitor supported by NASA Harvest and Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa-GMES Africa programme.
On 26 June 2019 during the NASA Harvest Conference in Washington DC, the University of Maryland-USA signed a formal MoU with ICPAC to support and collaborate in the thematic application areas of agriculture and crop monitoring, and in future atmospheric monitoring. The MoU is aimed at formal recognition of the technical cooperation. NASA Harvest choose ICPAC as global example of an institution that utilizes Earth Observation (EO) data and tools and conducts research activities and also as a regional policy organization of IGAD. The MoU commits ICPAC and NASA Harvest (represented by University of Maryland) to closer working in applied research for a mutual benefit.
ICPAC was represented by the Director-Dr. GuleidArtan and witnessed by Thematic Assistant - Kenneth Mwangi. NASA Harvest was represented by Dr. Inbal Becker-Reshef - Program Director of Harvest, University of Maryland witnessed by Dr. Christopher Justice - Chief Scientist for NASA Harvest, University of Maryland. Dr. Catherine Nakalembe from Nasa Harvest and Kenneth Mwangi from ICPAC are the focal persons coordinating the activities of the MoU in the region.
“The number food insecure in IGAD region has been on a worrying increasing. This alone is the driver of most regional challenges like peace, security and a cause of human migration. The region needs coordinated interventions and better early warning for early action…” Dr. GuleidArtan during the NASA Harvest conference session.
The first regional crop monitor bulletin Eastern Africa Crop Monitor was published in May 2018. Other editions have been published on September 2018, February 2019, April 2019 and most recent one June 2019. These are seasonal bulletins with information on crop conditions collected in a monthly manner but summarized into the climatic season. For the purpose of enhanced regional agriculture monitoring, ICPAC and NASA Harvest will be sharing more information, technical support and capacity building in the use of satellite and weather information to enhance resilience in Eastern Africa.
Key food security related questions that ICPAC and NASA Harvest together with other partners want to answer are; what kind of crops are we growing? How much food are we growing this season? How much of it will be harvested? What interventions and early actions can be done by the different actors for food security?

Cheap Imported Rice Soothes Philippine Inflation Pangs

Claire Jiao
July 9, 2019, 6:53 AM GMT+5
Philippine rice prices have retreated from last year’s record highs after the Southeast Asian nation scrapped import quotas for the first time in nearly a quarter-century. The staple grain retailed for 38.65 pesos ($0.75) per kilogram last month, down 15% from its peak in September 2018 when typhoons and pests decimated local harvests and forced government to look abroad for supply. June inflation fell to its slowest pace in two years as a result, boosting odds the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas could further slash the interest rates it hiked during the height of the rice shortage last year.

‘Undervalued rice imports may have caused P5-billion gap in tariff collection’

Description: of rice are seen being delivered at a warehouse in Manila on Monday, July 8, 2019. According to a local farmers’ federation, the Bureau of Customs may have been losing billions in tariff collection because of the undervaluation of rice imports by traders and importers.
THE lower tariff collection from rice imports—which, in turn, may have caused the government billions in forgone revenue—may have been caused by the undervaluing of such by importers and traders, according to the Federation of Free Farmers Inc. (FFF).
Given the prevailing global prices of the staple, FFF National Manager Raul Q. Montemayor described as quite small the P5.1-billion tariff collections from 1.43 million metric tons (MMT) of rice imports by the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
According to FFF’s computation, the landed cost of the rice imports per metric ton would only be about $227 if one were to base this on the import and tariff collection figures released by the BOC, Montemayor said.
This, he pointed out, indicates an undervaluation of shipments by importers, which they could deliberately do in connivance with their suppliers abroad to avoid paying higher duties.
“Data from international monitoring groups, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO] indicate that the real landed cost of these imports should have been around $391 per ton if these were 25-percent broken rice,” he said in a statement on Monday.
“In effect, importers appear to have undervalued their shipments by 42 percent and paid P4.24 billion less than what was due from them,” he added.
Montemayor said the discrepancy in tariff collection could rise to as much as P5.1 billion, as a majority of imported rice constitutes 5 percent of the “brokens” variety, which is estimated to have a higher landed cost of $422 per MT.
“In fact, reports indicate that most of the private-sector imports were for 5-percent broken rice, which commands a higher price in the market and gives a better profit margin for traders.  This type of rice should have landed at $422 per ton at the lowest, instead of just $227,” he said.
“In this scenario, the tariff discrepancy would amount to around P5.1 billion,” he added.
Sought for comment, the BOC had not responded as of press time.

Both government, farmers lose

If the undervaluation is true, it would not only mean revenue losses for the government but also lower funding for rice farmers, as rice tariffs are now earmarked for the improvement of the industry, Montemayor said.
Under the rice trade liberalization law, which took effect on March 5, the government shall allocate P10 billion annually to the rice sector, which is known as the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).
The RCEF shall be primarily comprised of the rice tariffs collected by the government and any excess of the P10 billion would still be appropriated for other programs targeted for rice farmers.
“Because of undervaluation of imports, tariff collections may not breach the P10-billion threshold, or the excess may be too small to provide any meaningful assistance to affected farmers,” Montemayor said.
If the undervaluation of rice imports is true, then it could further depress farm-gate prices of palay as the landed cost of imported rice translates to only about P17.30 per kilogram, Montemayor explained.
“The $227 per metric ton landed cost of imported rice translates to around P17.30 per kilo wholesale in our domestic market.  Traders will be forced to buy palay from farmers at less than P10 per kilo in order to compete with this price,” he added.
BOC data showed that it has already collected P5.072 billion tariffs from over 815,173.960 MT worth P14.459 billion in the March-to-May period alone, the period effectively covered by the rice trade liberalization law.
Based on BusinessMirror’s computation, this shows that the average unit cost of rice imports is about $339.57 per MT.
At this average unit cost, the BOC should have already collected P8.837 billion if 1.43 MMT of rice entered the country from the March to June period, BusinessMirror’s analysis showed.
Montemayor concurred with BusinessMirror’s analysis and noted that it is possible that the BOC’s figures, either the import volume or tariff collection, are incorrect. It is also possible that both figures are incorrect or it is really a case of undervaluation, Montemayor added.
Image Credits: Nonie Reyes

Ministry: Rice Stock Sufficient despite Increasing Crop Failure

Translator: Dewi Elvia Muthiariny

Editor: Petir Garda Bhwana
9 July 2019 12:38 WIB
TEMPO.COJakarta - Director General of Food Crops of Agriculture Ministry, Gatot Irianto, assured the crop failure or locally known sawah puso during this year’s dry season will not decrease national stock rice.
“The price of rice is cheap now, [the stock] still sufficient. The crop failure happens in a really small area,” said Gatot in the ministry office, Jakarta, Monday, July 8.
The ministry recorded drought hit 102,746 hectares of rice fields and 9,358 hectares of which failed to produce crops. The area suffered crop failure was relatively small as it did not reach 3 percent or some 450,000 hectares from the total planting area a year at 15 million hectares per 2018.
Previously, the ministry noted 100 regencies or cities affected by drought across Banten, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, West Nusa Tenggara, and East Nusa Tenggara.
East Java is the worst province hit by the drought up to 34,006 hectares with crop failure up to 5,069 hectares.
Gatot explained the drought mitigation measure in 2019 would be different than that of previous years considering the ministry developed areas with a potential wetland that amounted to 670,000 hectares.
“Adaption of drought in swamp areas hit by dryness will bring more surplus and improve productivity,” he added.
Moreover, the ministry would irrigate the dry fields to anticipate crop failures, optimize nearby water sources (river, lake, retention basin), revamp water lanes, and build artesian well.

Vietnam’s rice exports drop, causing big worries

Over the last 10 years, rice exports have brought $2-3 billion to Vietnam a year. However, they are facing difficulties in nearly all key markets this year.
The problem is that importing countries are reducing imports and trying to become self-reliant in rice production. The US Department of Agriculture predicted the increase in rice output in nearly all countries, including Thailand (138,000 tons), India (2.87 milion tons), Cambodia (79,000 tons), Bangladesh (2.35 million tons) and Indonesia (100,000 tons).
Description: Vietnam’s rice exports drop, causing big worries

The global total rice output in the 2018/2019 crop, as estimated by the agency, may hit 499 million tons, increasing by 4.2 million tons over 2018.
Meanwhile, the import demand decreases, at 46.98 million tons, down by 561,000 tons over the last year because big importers all cut imports.
The global total rice output in the 2018/2019 crop, as estimated by the agency, may hit 499 million tons, increasing by 4.2 million tons over 2018.

China has the high inventory level of 113 million tons and it exports rice to African countries. The country imported 850,000 tons in total in the first four months of the year, or 24.4 percent lower than the same period last year.

Indonesia, an important market of Vietnam, plans not to import rice in 2019. Meanwhile, the Philippines plans to cut the import volume by 435,000 tons, though the country has removed the rice import quota scheme.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) also predicted that Indonesia and Bangladesh will restrict rice imports this year. The average export price in the first five months was$427.5 per ton, down by $76.8 per ton compared with the same period last year.

Because of the limited exports, the domestic market has turned gloomy. The Ministry of Finance reported that the summer-autumn rice production cost is VND3,826 per kilogram, while the selling price is VND3,800 per kilogram only.

Pham Thai Binh, general director of Trung An Hi-tech Agriculture, confirmed that farmers are incurring losses and that the government needs to take measures to collect rice from farmers.

Thanh Nien quoted Bui Thi Thanh Tam, deputy chair of the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) as saying that the golden age of rice is over, and rice export companies, especially private ones, are meeting big difficulties.

Vietnam, the third largest rice exporter in the world, has been urged to reconsider its rice export strategy.

“Vietnam has to ensure food security and export 5 million tons of rice every year by 2050. Will it still need 3.8 million hectares of rice fields any more to reach that goal,"asked Le Minh Duc, director of Long An provincial Industry and Trade Department.

He said that Vietnam needs to produce less rice which is the recommendation by the World Bank in Vietnam.
Kim Chi 

JULY 10, 2019 / 2:01 PM / UPDATED AN HOUR AGO
Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- JULY 10, 2019

* * * * * *
Nagpur Foodgrain Prices – APMC/Open Market-July 10, 2018 Nagpur, July 10 (Reuters) – Gram and tuar prices showed weak tendency in Nagpur Agriculture Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) on poor demand from local millers amid release of stock from stockists. Easy condition in Madhya Pradesh gram prices also affected sentiment in limited deals. About 150 bags of gram and 950 bags of tuar reported for auction, according to sources.

* Desi gram raw reported down in open market here on poor buying support from local


* Tuar varieties ruled steady in open market here but demand was poor.

* Lakhodi dal recovered in open market here on good demand from

local traders amid tight supply from producing belts.

* In Akola, Tuar New – 5,800-6,000, Tuar dal (clean) – 8,300-8,500, Udid Mogar (clean)

– 6,800-7,500, Moong Mogar (clean) 7,300-8,300, Gram – 4,400-4,500, Gram Super best

– 6,200-6,400 * Wheat, rice and other foodgrain items moved in a narrow range in

scattered deals and settled at last levels in thin trading activity.

Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg

FOODGRAINS Available prices Previous close

Gram Auction 3,700-4,180 3,800-4,240

Gram Pink Auction n.a. 2,100-2,600

Tuar Auction 4,900-5,575 4,900-5,620

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 1,950-2,015 1,900-2,000

Wheat Sharbati Auction n.a. 2,900-3,000

Gram Super Best Bold 6,200-6,500 6,200-6,500

Gram Super Best n.a. n.a.

Gram Medium Best 5,800-6,000 5,800-6,000

Gram Dal Medium n.a. n.a

Gram Mill Quality 4,400-4,500 4,400-4,500

Desi gram Raw 4,400-4,500 4,400-4,500

Gram Kabuli 8,300-10,000 8,300-10,000

Tuar Fataka Best-New 8,500-8,600 8,500-8,600

Tuar Fataka Medium-New 8,200-8,300 8,200-8,300

Tuar Dal Best Phod-New 7,700-8,000 7,700-8,000

Tuar Dal Medium phod-New 7,000-7,500 7,000-7,500

Tuar Gavarani New 5,800-6,000 5,800-6,000

Tuar Karnataka 6,200-6,400 6,200-6,400

Masoor dal best 5,400-5,500 5,400-5,500

Masoor dal medium 5,100-5,300 5,100-5,300

Masoor n.a. n.a.

Moong Mogar bold (New) 7,500-8,500 7,700-8,800

Moong Mogar Medium 5,500-6,500 5,800-6,500

Moong dal Chilka New 6,700-7,700 6,700-7,700

Moong Mill quality n.a. n.a.

Moong Chamki best 8,000-8,500 8,000-8,500

Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 7,000-7,800 7,000-7,800

Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG) 5,500-6,500 5,500-6,500

Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG) 4,000-4,400 4,000-4,400

Mot (100 INR/KG) 5,100-6,500 5,100-6,500

Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg) 4,800-4,900 4,700-4,900

Watana Dal (100 INR/KG) 5,500-5,600 5,500-5,600

Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG) 6,800-7,000 6,800-7,000

Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG) 2,100-2,200 2,100-2,200

Wheat Mill quality (100 INR/KG) 2,000-2,100 2,000-2,100

Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG) 2,500-2,600 2,500-2,600

Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG) 2,400-2,600 2,400-2,600

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) 3,200-3,800 3,200-3,800

MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG) 2,700-3,000 2,700-3,000

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) 4,000-4,400 4,000-4,400

Rice HMT medium (100 INR/KG) 3,500-3,700 3,500-3,700

Rice HMT New (100 INR/KG) 3,800-4,200 3,800-4,200

Rice Shriram best(100 INR/KG) 5,500-5,700 5,500-5,700

Rice Shriram med (100 INR/KG) 4,500-4,700 4,500-4,700

Rice Shriram New (100 INR/KG) 4,600-5,000 4,600-5,000

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) 5,300-5,500 5,300-5,500

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. 34.2 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 23.7 degree Celsius Rainfall : 8.6 mm FORECAST: Generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rains or thunder-showers. Maximum and minimum temperature likely to be around 34 degree Celsius and 25 degree Celsius respectively. Note: n.a.—not available (For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but included in market prices)

Rice Prices

as on : 09-05-2019 11:12:39 AM

Arrivals in tonnes;prices in Rs/quintal in domestic market.
Published on May 09, 2019

A delayed start followed by poor rains have led to a dip in the sowing of summer crops in India for the monsoon season, beginning 1st June. According to statistics released by the Indian agricultural ministry, there was a drop in sowing by around 27 per cent in 2019 as compared to the same time period in 2018.
The sowing season in India coinciding with the monsoon extends to July-end. In terms of specific crops, around 5.2 million hectares of rice were sowed as part of the monsoon sowing season for the week ending 5th July. For the same time period in 2018, around 6.9 million hectares of rice were sowed.
The shortfall is quite significant since rice is considered to be the most important crop to be sowed in the summer. Around 4.6 million hectares of cotton were sowed up to 5th July 2019 as compared to about 5.5 million hectares sowed in 2018.
Planting of corn, too, had reduced to 2.1 million hectares for 2019 vis-a-vis about 3.1 million hectares sown in 2018. Monitoring the trajectory of rains in India revealed that rainfall continued to be in deficit for the week-ending 5th July, for the fifth consecutive week.
However, given the picking up of monsoon in the Western and Central parts of the country, the deficit is not alarming. Likewise, it is expected that the statistics for the sowing season will be revised after analysing the trends of monsoon for the months spanning June to September in which majority of the country receives its annual rainfall.

Liberia: 'Govt Can Use the U.S.$ 8 Million Import Subsity to Support Local Rice Production'

By Judoemue Kollie
Mohammed Kamara, a local rice producer, is calling on the Liberian government divert its US$8 million annual subsidy for rice imports to local rice production which, according to him, will be the best way to truly strengthen food security in the country.
Kamara is the chief executive officer of the Agriculture Infrastructure Investment Company (AIIC), and president for the National Rice Federation of Liberia. Speaking to agriculture stakeholders at a rice development conference held in Monrovia, he said there is limited support being provided to rice farmers and processors, making it difficult for the country to meet domestic supply of rice production.
Experts say that the country's rice sector continues to underperform with the overall yield and production low, compared with other countries in the sub region.
According to Kamara, increasing domestic rice production is key to strengthening Liberia's economy, and ensuring political stability. He said the increase in rice importation is putting pressure on the country's trade balance, and foreign exchange which is a possible threat to food security.
"The government must train more farmers and provide them with appropriate inputs and machineries to promote production. There must also be subsidies provided to all actors along the rice value chain," he said.
Kamara added that rice processors must have access to loans to enable them purchase paddy from farmers that will encourage farmers to increase productivity.
"We are convinced that once the government can use the US$8 million to support local production, the challenges in the sector would be minimized," he said.

Qatar tenders buy 4,000 tonnes rice from Pakistan - trade
Tender deadline is July 21. Basmati rice was sought, traders said.
By Michael Hogan, Reuters News
HAMBURG- Qatar’s state purchasing agency has issued a tender to buy about 4,000 tonnes of rice to be sourced from Pakistan, European traders said on Tuesday.
Tender deadline is July 21. Basmati rice was sought, traders said.
Some 100,000 bags of rice of 40 kilos each were sought.
(Reporting by Michael Hogan) ((; +49 172 671 36 54; Reuters Messaging:

Grain of truth: the price of rice
Costs of savoury rice vary wildly – from €1 to €16 per kilo
Tue, Jul 9, 2019, 03:01
Rose Costello

The old favourite, creamed rice, shares the shelves with a wide variety of savoury options. Photograph: iStock

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One of my first serious roles in life was as an English teacher in Hong Kong. Of all the cultural interpretation I had to do, explaining the role of rice in Irish homes was problematic.  
“Do Irish people eat rice?” I was asked regularly.
“Oh yes, we love it. With sugar and milk. Or cream.”
My students were too polite to tell me what they thought of that, but I could see the horror in their eyes. Rice was to them as potatoes are to us: impossible to imagine as a creamy dessert. Worse still, the best one came out of a can.
Creamed rice pudding is still available in tins and cartons, but it now shares the shelves with a wide selection of savoury options. These run from simple 1kg bags to pouches, sacks and packets of readycooked at a vast range of price points. You can pay anything from less than €1 to more than €16 per kilogramme.
This means the cooked convenience products cost more than 16 times the price of the basic foodstuff.

The most expensive product was a pouch of Erin’s Golden Quick Rice. One packet costs €1.90 and has 120g in it. With this, you are paying for the convenience as it takes just five minutes to prepare. You can reheat it in a microwave or on a stove.
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The front of the packet announces it has no hydrogenated vegetable fat, but then you would struggle to find that in any supermarket product these days. It’s also “low fat and full of flavour”. Rice, of course, is naturally very low in fat, but vegetarians should note that some of the flavour in this packet comes from chicken fat.
It also has wheat flour, which is annoying for coeliacs as rice is one cheap cereal they can have. It is also why some brands now say “gluten-free” on the front. It’s not a given.
The madness of serving sizes is evident when you see that this 120g packet is supposed to have two servings. Compare that to Tilda’s speedy Brown Basmati in a similar pouch. One packet costs €2.10 for 250g, which is also regarded as two servings. So it’s almost twice as big for a few cents more. It is pre-cooked too and takes just two minutes to heat up.

Real value
For real value, take the time to cook the rice yourself. Although a 1kg bag of Tilda’s wholegrain brown basmati rice looks expensive at €5.99 when you see it on the shelf, it works out at less than half the price of the ready-cooked rice. Better yet, a 1kg bag of Aldi or Lidl wholegrain brown rice costs closer to €2.
There isn’t often much to see on the labels of regular rice aside from what type it is. With those, the name is often a giveaway, such as long grain or short grain. Long grain is simply longer than the other varieties.
Basmati is a type of long-grain rice from parts of India and Pakistan. The name means “fragrant” and it commands a premium, as does jasmine rice, as they are believed to have a better aroma than other types. Arborio rice is starchier so it is used for risotto.
Then it comes down to white or brown. Brown rice, which is also known as wholegrain, is subjected to minimal milling to remove the husk but keep the bran layer. So it retains more vitamins, minerals and fibre than regular or easy cook white rice, according the Rice Association. That bran outer layer gives it a nutty flavour, but it takes longer to cook at about 25 minutes.
White rice has had the outer layer removed – and with it some of the nutritional value – making it faster to cook. Most of the packets of white rice on sale now take just 10 minutes. This is the case with Uncle Ben’s Boil in Bag long grain rice for example. That’s because they have been “parboiled”. This process involves steaming the rice under pressure before milling. It hardens the grain and helps to reduce the possibility of overcooking.

Red rice and black rice are simply a different variety, though some believe black rice is healthier. Wild rice isn’t rice at all. It just looks like it.
You will notice that some packets, such as the Aldi wholegrain rice, say, “Don’t reheat”. That’s because rice needs to be cooled very quickly and reheated to a high temperature to kill any lingering toxins and avoid food poisoning. Or cool it quickly and don’t reheat it. Better safe than sorry.
You won’t have that problem with a tin of Ambrosia.

States told to shift farm focus from production to marketing
Punjab urges for help, Haryana says doing fine

Description: States told to shift farm focus from production to marketing
Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar (3R) lights a ceremonial lamp to inaugurate a conference of state agriculture ministers in New Delhi on Monday. Ministers of State Parshottam Rupala (2L) and Kailash Choudhary (2R) are also seen.
Ravi S Singh
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 8
Working towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mission to double farmers’ income by 2022, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday urged the states to shift their focus from production-specific approach to market-oriented agriculture with stress on exporting the produce.
Addressing a conference of state agriculture ministers, Tomar emphasised the need for states to develop synergy with the Centre for better implementation of welfare schemes and programmes meant for the agricultural community.
The minister also urged the states to take measures to reduce the input costs of cultivation for better income generation, besides reinforcing the initiative for judicious use of fertilisers on the basis of soil health card.
The conference, first in Narendra Modi 2.0 regime, was convened to discuss agriculture-related issues with an overriding goal to increase income. The focus was on central schemes, including PM Kisan Card, PM Fasal Bima Yojana, e-National Agricultural Market (e-NAM) and organic farming and market reforms.
Tomar lay thrust on ensuring proper price to farmers for their produce and bolstering agricultural marketing through e-NAM, “which has the potential boost exports”.
Showing concern over the depleting underground water, he made a case for states to play an active role in creating awareness on water conservation practices among farmers. “Drip, sprinkler irrigation and water harvesting are the ways forward,” he said. Representing the Punjab Government during an interactive session, state’s Agriculture Secretary KS Pannu urged for central help to diversify the cropping pattern from water-intensive paddy to maize. This was in the context of the Central Ground Water Board’s May 2019 report, which mentions alarming an depletion of underground water in the state. 
Pannu appealed for establishing a laboratory in Punjab to check chemical residue levels in the soil to improve the production of better export-quality basmati rice. Rice with chemical residue gets devalued in foreign market.
Taking part in the discussion, Haryana Agriculture Minster OP Dhankar said the state government had taken concrete measures for the welfare of farmers and to augment their income. “The state has dispersed Rs 4,665 crore as compensation to farmers. Also, we are providing better remunerative MSP compared to the prices fixed during non-BJP governments,” he added.