Thursday, August 29, 2019

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

Nigeria shuts part of porous border with Benin to curb rice smuggling

ABUJA, Aug 28 – Nigeria has partially closed its western border with Benin to curb rice smuggling that is threatening the country’s attempt to boost local production, the government said on Wednesday.
The government wants Nigeria to be self-sufficient in rice and has imposed import controls but these have kept prices high and led to smuggling from Benin into Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari has introduced policies since taking office in 2015 that are aimed at curbing imports to boost local production and conserve foreign exchange reserves.
He said rice smuggling across the western border threatened his policy of self-sufficiency.
“The country has saved huge sums of money which would otherwise have been expended on importing rice using our scarce foreign reserves,” Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his spokesman. “We cannot allow smuggling of the product at such alarming proportions to continue.”
The statement did not say when the border was partially closed.
Buhari also said there would be a meeting with Benin and Niger, Nigeria’s northern neighbours, to determine measures to check smuggling across the borders.
He said the border closure was limited to allow security forces stem the trend and that he would consider fully re-opening the border in the future.
The government has said Nigeria’s imports of rice and wheat together cost almost $4 billion a year but its 190 million people rely on imports for most of what they consume due to limited manufacturing capacity.
The country has considered developing agriculture for export to earn more hard currency and to increase revenues from outside its dominant oil industry.
Earlier this month, Buhari told the central bank to stop providing foreign exchange for food imports as part of his drive to bolster the country’s agriculture sector

Agriculture Minister Candidate Says Imports of Rice for Boiling Are Inevitable
·               By Michael Herh
·                August 29, 2019, 11:58
Description: In May 2015, more than 300 South Korean farmers held a protest in Seoul to block the import of rice for boiling.More than 300 South Korean farmers hold a protest in Seoul in May 2015 to block imports of rice for boiling.
U.S. President Donald Trump recently made an issue of South Korea’s developing country status in the WTO. Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister candidate Kim Hyun-soo said on Aug. 28 that the U.S. president’s remarks can be a chance for South Korea to change the framework of its agricultural industry.
Specifically, the candidate said that a prudent approach to reform is necessary in view of potential impacts on future WTO negotiations and reviews need to be made on issues such as agricultural subsidies and industrial competitiveness enhancement.
At present, South Korea’s developing country status in the WTO is being maintained in the agricultural industry and the country is enjoying benefits with regard to tariff reduction and subsidy policy. As a result, up to 1.49 trillion won can be spent a year in aggregate measurement of support (AMS). According to the candidate, the subsidy structure has to be modified once South Korea loses the status.
When it comes to imports of rice for boiling, the candidate remarked that imports of such a type of rice are inevitable to some extent in view of ongoing trade issues and WTO rules. The United States and China are currently demanding that South Korea increase imports of that type of rice. “Commercial rice imports are likely to become difficult once the rice tariff rate reaches 513 percent,” he said.

Nigerian Leader Says Rice Smuggling on Benin Border Alarming

By Elisha Bala-Gbogbo
August 28, 2019, 8:31 PM GMT+5 Updated on August 28, 2019, 9:52 PM GMT+5 Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said large quantities of rice and other goods are being smuggled into the country through its western border with Benin and that e frontier was “partially closed” by the security forces to curb the trend.
“The country has saved huge sums of money which would otherwise have been expended on importing rice using our scarce foreign reserves,” an emailed presidency statement quoted Buhari as saying during a meeting in Yokohama, Japan, with Benin President Patrice Talon. “We cannot allow smuggling of the product at such alarming proportions to continue.”
Though there was no formal announcement of a border closing, travelers have reported restrictions since Aug. 20, with long lines of trucks laden with goods waiting on both sides of the border.
Buhari, who won re-election in February, is seeking to boost agricultural production as a means of diversifying the country’s economy away from its oil dependence, with self-sufficiency in rice production a key target.
As imports by Africa’s most populous country of more than 200 million people plunged 95% in the last four years under government curbs, imports by Benin, which has only 11 million people, jumped to make it the biggest buyer from Thailand, the world’s number two producer, according to the Thai Rice Exporters Association.

Another 25-basis point cut in BSP rates seen

Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:24 AM August 29, 2019
The country’s inflation rate likely eased further to 2 percent this month, seen to give the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) the leeway  to slash its key interest rates by 25 basis points in the next monetary policy setting on Sept. 26.
This is according to Union Bank chief economist Ruben Carlo Asuncion, who said August inflation was likely to cool further from 2.4 percent in July because of slower annual increases in the prices of rice and other food items.
“Lower fuel prices and electricity costs may have also contributed to the slowdown. Weather-related impact on prices may have been muted, though,” he said.
With the inflation rate coming from a high of 6.4 percent in August last year, Asuncion said consumer prices might had been largely influenced by lower rice prices, lower average pump prices for August and lower electricity cost. Specifically, he noted that Meralco’s electricity rates had gone down for the fourth straight month due to lower spot market prices.
“As rice prices were noted to have dropped in the last three months starting May, this (easing of inflation) has been traced to the rice tariffication law signed in February,” he said.
Signed by President Duterte into law on Feb. 14, 2019, the law amended the two-decade-old Agricultural Tariffication Act of 1996 and replaced the quantitative restrictions  on rice imports with tariff.  It liberalized the importation of rice, which had been a monopoly of the state-run National Food Authority for decades.
UnionBank’s economic research unit now sees this benign inflation trend as a huge window for the BSP to ease monetary policy further. Asuncion’s economic team expects the BSP to “continue its rate-cutting to the tune of 25 basis points on  Sept. 26.”
In a forum with the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines on Wednesday, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno had said he was open to another 25-basis point interest rate cut by the end of the year.
The BSP has so far slashed its overnight borrowing rate by a total of 50 basis points so far this year, the last 25-basis point of which was sanctioned earlier this month.
Diokno noted that “price pressures have continued to dissipate, while prospects for global economic activity are likely to remain weak amid sustained trade tensions among major economies.”
“Looking ahead, we expect inflation to remain on a target-consistent path for 2019 and 2020. The latest baseline forecasts indicate that inflation is projected to average 2.6 percent for 2019 and 2.9 percent for both 2020 and 2021,” Diokno said.

The desolation of PHL agriculture: Can Secretary Dar reverse its continuing stagnation?

 Description: of the collapse of Philippine agriculture are not difficult to find. Official statistics indicate growing agricultural trade deficits, declining GDP share, and grinding rural poverty everywhere. Most worrisome, there are reports in various regions that there is an acute shortage of agricultural workers because majority of the millennials and those belonging to the younger generation Z have been avoiding farm work like a plague. The Philippine farming population is aging and fading away.
The agricultural sector is facing an existential sustainability issue. How will the newly-appointed DA Secretary William Dar handle this challenge? Will he end up like Secretary Manny Pinol, who waged a losing fight against the economic technocrats who pushed for the all-out liberalization of the rice sector without any clear transition program for the domestic palay producers?
The desolation of the agricultural sector started in the 1980s. The government, during the last years of the Marcos Administration and the second half of the decade under President Corazon Aquino, surrendered to the IMF-World Bank’s “structural adjustment policy” (SAP) conditionality: deregulate the agricultural sector and phase out government credit and price support to the sector. DA Secretary Arturo Tangco, architect of the Masagana 99, was bitter as the  rice self-sufficiency program quickly wilted. Under the SAP austerity, funding for rural infrastructures and irrigation systems also dried up, further weakening the productivity of the sector. The 1980s was a disaster decade for the agricultural sector. 
In the 1990s, the desolation of the agricultural sector continued under the SAP-driven agricultural deregulation program. This time, the deregulation program was reinforced by the decision of the government to be one of the founding members of the World Trade Organization (WTO). As part of its commitment to the WTO, the government placed the whole sector under the tariff regime, meaning the private sector can come in and import any agricultural product. 
However, the WTO allowed rice to be temporarily exempted from the coverage of the tariffication program. The rationale given: the Philippines needed some time to transform its rice sector to become globally competitive. In this regard, Congress rushed the passage of the Agricultural Fisheries and Modernization Act (AFMA) to help modernize the fishery sector and the production of rice and other crops. And yet, AFMA turned out to be a disaster itself.  Poorly funded and poorly implemented, AFMA failed to stop the downward collapse of agriculture.
Meanwhile, another poorly-implemented agricultural program came into being – the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). The CARP’s enabling law was passed in 1988, and yet, three decades after, DAR is still in process of “completing” CARP’s implementation. Worse, majority of the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) have remained poor, or just a little better than the landless rural poor. Incidentally, the latter (e.g., ambulant agricultural workers, camote miners, slash-and-burn hillside farmers, coastal fisherfolks, etc.) are more numerous than the ARBs. And yet, there are no clear alternative programs for these landless rural poor.      
One reason for the continuing poverty of the ARBs is the failure in transformation. Secretary DAR mentioned the importance of making farmers “agri-preneurs”. Yes, farming is business and should be managed in a professsional and business-like manner. For this, the ARBs and small farmers should possess the skills and knowhow on how to prepare and implement a farm business plan. But who will help them acquire these skills and knowhow? The agricultural extension officers? These extension officers have been placed under the command of the LGUs, no thanks to the Local Autonomy law. It is also doubtful if these extension officers are trained to become trainers in this field.
Partnership with the big corporations? This is a controversial proposition. The “corporative” proposal during the time of President Joseph Estrada was severely criticized by farmer leaders, who believed that the proposal is a gift to the big corporations that want to access and manage the lands of the small farmers without being dragged into excruciating land cases under CARP. For example, there are numerous land and employment conflicts over the contract growing arrangements that big banana exporters in Mindanao have concluded with the small farmers holding the certificates of land ownership or CLOAs over these lands.    
To summarize, one does not need rocket science to determine the root causes of agricultural stagnation. Foremost among these is the SAP-driven and WTO-reinforced agricultural deregulation program, aggravated by the mangled and never-ending implementation of CARP and various modernization programs.
Also, most of the government programs for agriculture in the past have been criticized to be graft-ridden, e.g., distribution of fertilizer and farm inputs intended for small farmers ending in the hands of LGUs in the cemented cities of Metro Manila. One will not be surprised if the green light given to the big rice importers under the Rice Tariffication law will be used by the unscrupulous to under-declare imports and avoid paying the right amount of duties. Is this one explanation why rice prices have not gone down substantially, and yet, palay prices have been diving down at or below production cost, pushing palay farmers out of farming. 
To complete the picture on the desolation of the agricultural sector, one must add here the environmental problems: continuing erosion of the resource base, deforestation, soil degradation and the weak fortification of the countryside against climate change risks.
May kinabukasan ba ang ating agrikultura at magsasaka? Does agriculture have a future? More in the next issue.

Siege on smugglers’ paradise

Description: Siege on smugglers’ paradise

One week into the “Exercise Swift Response’, the heat bites harder on Nigeria’s neighbouring countries, as economic activities are gradually grinding to a halt, MUYIWA LUCAS reports
Travellers on the Seme-Krake route have tales of woes to tell. The rigorous stop-and-search operation at all the over 12 roadblocks counted between Igboelerin and Seme axis presents more than enough pains for commuters. The roadblocks, mounted by men of the Customs, Immigrations, the police and Army, have created long queues of vehicles and passengers who ply the route. There are long queues of vehicles and human traffic arising from the intensive check at the Igbaji checkpoint.
With the intense searching, and security operatives pursuing smugglers into unconventional roads to effect the arrest, activities at the Seme-Krake border in the last week have further buttressed the position that smuggling activities are what makes the axis tick.
Nigerians, as well as other nationals at the border, have continued to groan in hardship over the ongoing exercise. From the Okada riders, transporters, currency traders (black market) to Cross-Border traders, tales of woes is on everybody’s lips.
When The Nation visited the Seme-Krake border on Wednesday, economic activities were at its lowest ebb. At the border post, the Customs scanner section remained closed, while petrol attendants at the ConOil filling station at the border were on holiday.
A visit to the ECOWAS building in Seme revealed the extremely low level of economic activities. At the immigration section of the building, less than 15 travellers were seen processing their travel documents either into or out of the country. Pedestrians trying to go through the border without valid travel documents were turned back at both ends.
Over 1000 trucks carrying different goods were also seen parked at the huge landmass around the ECOWAS building. The trucks were those waiting for clearance but the restriction of movement at the border. At the scanning section of the Customs, not a single consignment was seen, just as trucks parked at the examination bay of the Service were left unattended to. As a result of this, banking activities at the border is also suffering. With no duties to be paid, and travel restricted, the First Bank office at the border remained virtually on holiday yesterday.
A truck driver, Ibrahim Zana, said he and his colleagues have been stranded at the border since the restriction of movement commenced. He explained that some perishable items some of his colleagues conveyed from Benin republic have gone bad. He added that one of his colleagues require medical attention but cannot get the same because they have run out of cash.
Official position
Joseph Attah, Deputy Comptroller, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and National Public Relations Officer, said: “The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), which is coordinating the exercise is already recording large numbers of seizures and arrests from the four sectors comprising the Northwest, Northcentral, South-West, and Southsouth geopolitical zones. As at 26th August 2019, 33 illegal migrants have been arrested while seizures include: 3,560-50kg bags of parboiled foreign rice; 59 bags of NpI (fertilizer); 15 vehicles; 12 drums filled with PMS; three engine boats; 61 drums of groundnut oil; four trucks; 75 gallons of PMS; 29 motorcycles; six gallons of vegetable oil; 70 jerricans of PMS; among other items,” he said in a statement.
or Attah, this feat is a positive for the operation, which is barely a week old and seen as a strong resolve by the Nigerian security agencies to better secure the country’s territorial integrity, particularly the land and marine borders against transborder security concerns. The exercise has led to the partial closure or restriction in movement between the country’s borders and those of the Republic of Benin, Niger and Chad as well as that of the Central African country of Cameroon.
The exercise, led by the NCS and the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), in collaboration with the Armed Forces as well as the police and other Security and Intelligence agencies, may have started yielding dividend in terms of securing the country’s borders, but it has continued to inflict pains on the economy of not only Nigeria but also that of other neighbouring countries whose economy depends on that of Nigeria. The joint exercise is taking place in four geopolitical zones, namely; Southsouth, Southwest, Northcentral and Northwest.
Ripple effect

A peep across the border towards the Krake (Benin Republic) end also shows the near-comatose economic activity on the side. A Nigerian traveller from Togo, shortly after completing his documentation at the Nigerian Immigration, told The Nation that business activities from Togo are at a standstill. He said several trucks are parked at the entry points of the two countries of Togo and Benin Republic, waiting to enter Nigeria with their consignment.
Security sources at the Seme-Krake border told The Nation that the ongoing exercise has further shown that Nigeria is the main economic power of its neighbours. For instance, the sources explained that the ripple effect of the exercise in Nigeria has taken a toll on the price of petrol in the Benin Republic, which is said to have risen by about 150 per cent.
Already, sources from across the various borders warn that if the border closure continues, the Bennoise, Nigeriens and Chadians economies will be the worse for it. The situation is believed will be worse off in Republic of Benin, where the people are said to be getting agitated over the closure. This is for no other reason but the dwindling fortunes of their income.
Sources in security circles told this reporter that the flagrant disrespect for trade agreement led the Federal Government to decide on her borders. For instance, it is believed that the country had taken advantage of their business relationship with importers from Niger and Chad, both landlocked countries, to allow their transit cargos, particular, foreign parboiled rice, which pass through Benin Terminal, Cotonou and Bollere seaport, to end up in the Nigerian market. This has weakened the government’s resolve on the ban on foreign importation of some commodities into the country and disrupting the policy on local rice production.
t is worthy of note that the volume of rice importation into the Republic of Benin had risen over time. The country’s rice imports are handled by four multinational companies and between 20 to 30 smaller small rice importers. These importers include African Agro Foods, with Headquarters in Pan Lebanese Group, Dubai, United Arab Emirate, UAE, Di Fezi Fils, Sonam linked to the Stallion Group in Dubai, which also have an operational base in Lagos, and ABC Enterprises.
A breakdown of these companies share of rice import into the Benin Republic indicate that African Agro Foods Imports 360, 000 MT or 30 percent of the rice needed in the country; Di Fezi Fils, 300, 000 MT or 24 percent; Sonam, 240,00 MT and 20 percent ABC enterprises, 10,000 MT or one percent while other rice importers bring into the country 290,000 or 24 percent of the total rice imports of the country.
ith a small population, experts explained that the country can’t consume such volume of rice. Since June 2015, market watchers say, rice imports into the Benin Republic has increased tremendously, finding its way into the Nigerian market notwithstanding that the Central Bank of Nigerian (CBN), led by Godwin Emefiele, included the prohibition of foreign exchange to rice and 43 other products. Virtually all the parboiled rice imports into the Republic of Benin are smuggled into the Nigerian market through unapproved routes.
A Nigerian returning from Togo, en route Benin, who simply identified himself as Fatai, explained that the economy of Togo and Benin Republic are already in comatose as a result of the situation. He disclosed that some consignment of bulk rice cargoes that had arrived at the Benin terminal and Bollere ports are still waiting to be discharged. He said practically all the warehouses in the two countries are filled with rice awaiting evacuation to Nigeria.
Similarly, across the other regions, a report by The Value News, an online publication, has it that indigenes of the Border Communities in the Northwest and Northeast are also severely hit by the exercise. The report says that from Matamaye, Magarya, Babura, Mai mujiya, Tikim, and other Border communities in Kano and Jigawa states which fall within the Zandar region directly linking Niger and Nigeria in the south, are now a shadow of itself: low economic activities of buying and selling of traded goods.
According to the report, Nigerien traders’ major worries was that between Wednesday, August 23 when the exercise starts and now, they have not been able to access the ancient city of Kano, which is the commercial nerve centre of northern Nigeria, to buy goods because of the tight security. It is imperative to say that it is only from these border communities that transit cargoes from Benin could be supplied Niger.
A bureau de change operator, who identified himself as Gilli, a resident of Amaimujiya, a border community, said his business had been at the lowest ebb since last Wednesday when the exercise began.
‘’My Bureau de Change business has virtually closed because of lack of patronage,’’ he said.
Nigerians also cry
he lawmaker representing Badagry constituency in the House of Representatives, Babatunde Hunpe, has urged residents to remain calm and supportive over the ongoing Joint Border Security Exercise in the area.
“It is not only the Seme border that is affected by the Federal Government’s directive, but it also affects many communities in 25 states across Nigeria. I want to appeal to my people to let peace reign by going about their normal daily activities peacefully. Badagry communities should cooperate with the special task force created by the Federal Government to enable them to achieve their aims,” Hunpe said.
But while the focus is on security, the promoters of the partial closure of the border, or restriction of movement at the border, as Attah prefers to call it, seem to have ignored the breach of trade agreements between ECOWAS countries.
Trade and market integration are at the heart of ECOWAS’ aims and objectives. Article (3) of the Revised Treaty of ECOWAS stipulates the removal of trade barriers and harmonisation of trade policies for the establishment of a Free Trade Area, a Customs Union, a Common Market and an eventual culmination into a Monetary and Economic Union in West Africa.
The ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) adopted in 1979 with an agreement on agricultural, artisanal handicrafts and unprocessed products, and extended to industrial products in 1990, is the main framework for trade and market integration in ECOWAS as it addresses protocols on the free movement of goods, persons and transportation. The ETLS main pursuit of consolidating the free trade area is guided by the National Approval Committees that informs the member States.
For this purpose, ECOWAS established an ETLS website to ease harmonisation and usage of it. In this regard, ECOWAS thus implemented a Customs and Connectivity programme to simplify the movement of goods in the region. The ECOWAS Common External Tariff has thus been operational since 2015. Moreover, member states are increasingly implementing the ECOWAS Single Customs Declaration Form for their customs administrations. The World Bank-sponsored Abidjan-Lagos Trade and Transport Facilitation Programme for Benin and Nigeria is one such example. Burkina Faso and Togo are likewise operationalising the scheme. Nevertheless, there are said to be challenged in regards to poor domestication of the ETLS, which needs to addressed for deepened trade and market integration in the ECOWAS region.
But how long will this calmness remain given the increasing economic hardship being experienced? Are there no means of ensuring security while trade continues? Time, only time, will tell.

Navy arrests five suspects, seizes 424 bags of contraband rice
By Iniabasi Umo, Uyo | Published Date Aug 28, 2019 16:32 PM TwitterFacebookWhatsAppTelegram The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base, Ibaka, Mbo local government area, Akwa Ibom State, has arrested five suspects and seized 424 bags of smuggled rice in two different operations. Speaking on Wednesday in Ibaka during the hand-over of the items to the Nigeria Customs Service, Commanding Officer, FOB, Captain Toritseju Vincent, said navy officials on patrol arrested five suspects with 294 bags of rice on August 17, 2019. ADVERTISEMENT The CO said in the second operation, the suspects escaped on sighting the navy gunboats, and left behind their wooden boat with 130 bags of rice which they seized. ADVERTISEMENT OVER 5,000 NIGERIAN MEN HAVE OVERCOME POOR BEDROOM PERFORMANCE SYNDROME DUE TO THIS BRILLIANT DISCOVERY He said the Navy has made various arrests over the months in line with its constitutional role to check smuggling on the water ways, adding that it would not rest on its oars and warned smugglers to desist from the act. The 5 suspects and 294 bags of rice were handed over to the Deputy Superintendent of Nigeria Customs, K. Alabi, while the 130 bags of rice were handed over to the Assistant Controller, NCS, Ali Garko. “On Friday, the 24th of August at about midnight, our gun boats on routine patrol at Effiat and Ayewa accosted a wooden boat with 130 bags of illegally smuggled rice from Cameroon. The suspects on sighting the gun boats dived into the water, abandoned the boat and were able to escape, but we were able to retrieve the boat back to the base.” “This is in line with our continuing constitutional role for anti-smuggling of contraband goods. As you are well aware in Description: with the Navy, over the past months, we have continued to make various arrests of these illegally smuggled goods into the country.” “We will not rest on our oars but will continue to perform this role as we send out this stern warning to these illegal smugglers to desist from this act which is economic sabotage to the nation.” “On behalf of the flag officer commanding the Eastern Naval Command, I hereby hand over these 130 bags of rice and the wooden boat to the Nigeria Customs Service,” he said. Receiving the suspects and items from the Nigerian Navy, Assistant Controller, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Ali Garko said, “On behalf of the Comptroller, Eastern Marine Command, I hereby take over 130 bags of 50kg rice from the Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base, Ibaka. “It is a constitutional role given to us, and like we say all the time, we thank the Nigerian Navy for this wonderful effort and we wish they will continue to give us the support needed,” he stated.

Nizamabad: Convert ration rice to broken rice Bhagyanagar Bhaskar Kumar Hans News Service
28 Aug 2019 9:36
PM IST File photo of PDS rice caught by Civil Supplies officials at Manik Bhandar checkpost in Maklur tehsil HIGHLIGHTS Smugglers always find new ways to carry on their business whenever the government tightens its grip on them. The smuggling of PDS rice has become a major issue for the government and increased vigilance. Nizamabad: Smugglers always find new ways to carry on their business whenever the government tightens its grip on them. Smuggling of PDS rice has become a major issue for the government and increased vigilance. This has stopped the ration rice smuggling to some extent. But the smugglers find new ways to smuggle the rice. They are converting the PDS rice into broken rice and crossing the borders and the officials are unable to recognise the smuggling. Advertise With Us The price of broken rice in neighbouring States ranges from Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,200 per quintal. The smugglers will buy rice from the ration cardholders from Rs 10 to Rs 12 per kg and will recycle this rice into broken rice or flour. Broken rice is packed into gunny bags and transported to other Description: Nizamabad: Convert ration rice to broken riceStates in the name of the rice mill. If police or revenue officials stop and check, they will show the papers of the rice mill as broken rice business is legal. Smuggling of PDS rice from Kamareddy and Nizamabad districts in the form of broken rice to other States is going on unabated. It was reported that large quantities of ration rice is being shipped to Rayalaseema region and Karnataka and Tamil Nadu States. No one stops the shipment because the people on the vehicle will show all the documents related to broken rice. Advertise With Us Sometimes people use another method where the ration rice is polished to make them fine rice. And then it will be smuggled. Broken rice business is legal for rice. The government converts paddy into rice at mill during every Kharif and Rabi seasons. During the process, the government will not the by-product and the millers are free to use it. Since there is no scientific method to calculate the quantity of broken rice than can be produced from one quintal of rice, for example. In fact, only a small amount of broken rice can be produced after custom milling process. But there are allegations that the rice mills will sell more than 10 times of broken rice. A comprehensive investigation should be conducted over the transport of broken rice.


·       Top of Form
Part 3: Other Factors, Other Studies, Conclusion
The MPCA study was criticized for not considering other factors that affect wild rice, such as water depth and temperature. The authorizing legislation, however, directs the MPCA specifically to “address water quality standards for waters containing beds of natural wild rice” and to assess the impacts of sulfates and other substances on the growth of wild rice. The MPCA did recognize that other factors besides sulfide influence the abundance of wild rice. But the fact that other factors are important does not negate the need to protect wild rice from excess sulfide.
A number of critics of the MPCA’s science pointed to studies conducted by Fort Labs that were sponsored by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. An EC10 of 963 micrograms per liter sulfide was calculated from the Fort Labs hydroponic experiments, but an EC10 of only 106 micrograms per liter sulfide was estimated from the MPCA-sponsored hydroponic experiments (plants are grown without soil with nutrients provided in a water solution), but. (EC stands for “effect concentration.” An EC10 is the sulfide concentration that would result in a 10% reduction in plant mass compared to controls.) As a protective level of sulfide, 963 micrograms per liter compares very unfavorably with the MPCA’s estimate of 120 micrograms per liter obtained by considering data from multiple sources, a method the EPA consistently recommends, called a “weight-of-evidence” approach: A laboratory (hydroponics) experiment, an outdoor container experiment (mesocosms), and field surveys. When considering all the available data, as critics have demanded, the value of 963 micrograms per liter is an outlier and its inclusion in any data set used for further analysis must be seriously questioned. Recall also the warning from the peer review panel that establishing a sulfide level of 300 micrograms per liter as a threshold for the onset of effects is not supported by the data and “would likely result in ecologically significant adverse effects to wild rice.” However, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and others with similar interests, continue to push for the higher sulfide level obtained from the Fort Labs studies.
The demand made by several people that the MPCA consider all the data does not reasonably require that all the data be accepted uncritically. Including outliers in the data may bias results and could lead to faulty conclusions, and as the MPCA’s critics have said, it’s important to get this right. The MPCA did not, in fact, ignore or reject the Fort Labs study as they were accused of doing. The results were discussed in the TSD and the SONAR published by the MPCA. The MPCA did put less weight on that study but they also put less weight on some of their own MPCA-sponsored studies. It should also be pointed out that the wild rice in the Fort Labs study was grown in only 1 centimeter of water, allowing the plant to quickly emerge from the water, obtain oxygen from the room air, and use that oxygen to detoxify sulfide.
The MPCA also received a number of comments about a second, unpublished, Fort Labs study. This study was not identical to the previous study, as claimed, differing in duration and light exposure, and considered germination as the only biological endpoint. (In response to the MPCA’s criticism, water depth was increased to 6 centimeters, which is still far short of the 15 centimeter depth considered a typical minimum for natural stands of wild rice.) Perhaps the most significant finding from the Fort Labs studies is that germination is not a growth stage that is very sensitive to high sulfide concentrations.
Based on the comments I have read from the six public hearings, the rebuttals put forward by the MPCA, the documents published on-line by the MPCA, the articles that have been published in peer-reviewed journals, and the findings of the Administrative Law Judges, it seems reasonable to conclude that the MPCA’s findings are grounded in peer-reviewed science, and the claim that the standard is based on “flawed science” is unfounded.
At a fundamental level, it is hard to believe that an agency staffed with experienced, qualified, professional scientists could be as incompetent or as nefarious as they are accused of being. On a number of occasions, while reading the hearing transcripts, I came across the phrase, “it makes no sense” expressed as criticism of the science and the proposed standard. So, let me make a comparable “common-sense” argument in support of the science: it makes no sense that trained, experienced, professional scientists would do “flawed science.”
The objections being raised are really about equity and differences in values, not about the science. Different stakeholders hold different values: Industry values profits; labor values good jobs; environmentalists value healthy ecosystems; anglers value abundant, healthy fish; native and non-native wild ricers value abundant harvests; Native Americans have strong cultural values associated with wild rice; science values the search for truth and understanding. Attacking the science is not an appropriate way to resolve values differences. Following the opinions of the Administrative Law Judges, the EPA, and the MPCA’s responses to all criticisms, should lead stakeholders to accept the science and move on to an honest, open-minded discussion about how to resolve the problems of equity and conflicting values so that meaningful progress can be made.
Doug Pribyl holds a Ph.D. in Soil Science from the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, with a minor in public policy from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. During his time at the University he taught biogeography and soil science, including wetland soils and wetland delineation. Much of his research centered on the origin and interpretation of iron-based soil features. Since moving to Pengilly, he has produced several reports on lake and stream water quality for the local Swan Lake Association. During his career, he has maintained an interest in the relationship between science and public policy.

Paddy farming: Telangana, IRRI may join hands

The IRRI proposed project will result in water and time saving technologies being implemented in paddy cultivation - S Niranjan Reddy, Agriculture Minister

By AuthorTelanganaToday  |  Published: 27th Aug 2019  7:57 pmUpdated: 28th Aug 2019  12:20 am
Description: IRRIAgriculture Minister Singireddy Niranjan Reddy felicitating Dr Jacquelin Hughes, Deputy Director General, Research, IRRI, at PJTSAU on Tuesday.
Hyderabad: The State government will explore joining hands with International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to implement methods for improving profitability of paddy farmers in Telangana. The proposed programme also seeks to increase nutritional security through rice-based agri food system in the State.
Agriculture Minister Singireddy Niranjan Reddy on Tuesday said he would place the proposals mooted by IRRI before Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao. The IRRI proposed project would be helpful to farmers and result in water and time saving technologies being implemented in paddy cultivation, he said.
The Minister was speaking at Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University on Tuesday at an interaction with IRRI scientists led by Deputy Director General, Research, IRRI, Dr Jacquelin Hughes. The State government was spending more than Rs 20,000 crore on the agriculture sector to make farming a profitable activity in Telangana in addition to implementing several programmes for welfare of the farming community, he said.
Dr Hughes said the proposed project would ensure doubling of farmers’ income, sustainable water management in agriculture, developing of stress tolerant rice varieties for sustainable farming and developing of low glycemic index varieties of rice which are particularly suitable for consumption by diabetic patients.
IRRI, she said, was ready to provide, through the project, mechanisation and post-harvest business models, capacity development and knowledge exchange to scholars, staff, and farmers. It will also be possible to implement these methods to increase yields of other crops such as pulses, she said.
University Vice-Chancellor Dr V Praveen Rao said the programme would be a good opportunity for the university scientists to gain international exposure. Director, IRRI Varanasi Centre, Dr Aravind Kumar, several IRRI scientists, Director of Research Dr R Jagadeeshwar, scientists from PJTSAU and university officers attended the meeting.

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Traders seek more regional export markets via Thailand
YU WAI 29 AUG 2019
Description: Policemen search around trucks loaded goods waiting for check-up near the gate of Myawaddy border trade zone. Photo - EPA
Policemen search around trucks loaded goods waiting for check-up near the gate of Myawaddy border trade zone. Photo - EPA
Myanmar should consider exporting agriculture products such as rice, nuts, beans and nuts to Malaysia via Thailand, said Daw Thin Thin Myat, chair of Myawaddy Border Traders Association.  
Currently, these products are being exported only to Laos and Vietnam via Thailand. The government does not have an agreement with the Malaysian government, but one should be explored to extend the reach of Myanmar’s overland exports via Thailand, she said at the latest meeting between the government and Private Sector Development Committee.
Currently, export volumes to Thailand at the Myawady border are much lower than import volumes from Thailand, said Daw Thin Thin Myat. Between October 1, 2018 and August 16, 2019, exports from Myanmar to Thailand totaled US$181 million, while imports from Thailand to Myanmar totalled US$648 million. 
As such, more should be done to raise exports to Thailand, she said.
Importantly, Myanmar truckers also face difficulties when transporting goods back from Thailand, as under current cross border transport arrangements with its neighbour, Myanmar trucks are not permitted to enter Thailand without cargo. This has made it hard for Myanmar traders to transport good purchased in Thailand back into Myanmar. – Translated


Ebro Foods purchases premium rice brand from Hain Celestial

MADRID, SPAIN — Ebro Foods S.A. has acquired premium specialty rice brand Tilda from The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. for $342 million in cash. The transaction includes two plants in Rainham, U.K., and a workforce of 326 employees.
Founded in the earlier 1970s, Tilda offers a range of grains and rice, primarily basmati rice. The brand’s portfolio includes steamed, dry and specialty rices as well as Super Grains, featuring grains such as quinoa, millet and rice combined with coconut, cranberries and pumpkin seed; Blends, which combine basmati rice with wild rice or quinoa; Pulses and Rice, which pair pulses such as chickpeas and edamame with basmati rice in such flavors as harissa and lemon or spring onion and wasabi; and Tilda Kids, which blend steamed rice with vegetables.
Tilda’s net sales in the fiscal year ended June 30 totaled £152.6 million ($200 million), 60% of which was in the U.K.
“Through this acquisition, Ebro not only enhances its portfolio of global premium brands in the rice sector, but also acquires a strong foothold in the British market, where it has to date had only a token presence,” Ebro Foods said. “In addition, Ebro believes that Tilda’s international nature will pave the way for extensive development with other group products.”
Hain Celestial plans to use a portion of the Tilda sale proceeds to pay down debt and is evaluating distribution alternatives.
“We are pleased to complete the strategic sale of Tilda, which is consistent with our transformational plan to simplify our portfolio, strengthen our core capabilities and expand margins and cash flow,” said Mark L. Schiller, president and chief executive officer of Hain Celestial. “Tilda has been a strong business for us, primarily in the United Kingdom, and under new strategic ownership, we expect the brand to continue to thrive. We believe this transaction represents a significant premium to a majority of other European food and global rice and pasta industry transactions over the last several years. In addition, this divestiture will enable us to reduce our exposure to marketplace disruption associated with the uncertainty of Brexit and additional future potential foreign currency fluctuations.”

Consumer Behavior Unmasked at Outlook Conference 

ARLINGTON, VA -- Sam Walton said, "There is only one boss.  The customer - and he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else."  It's humbling, which is why companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year trying to convince consumers to spend money with them - to keep the lights on and the doors open.

But all the money in the world spent on advertising, marketing, and even packaging won't make a bit of difference if you don't understand what consumers actually want.  Understanding how consumers are behaving, and how technology is causing seismic shifts in consumer behavior, is paramount to commercial success.

Building on last year's wildly popular session, "The Future of Retail," USA Rice has added a can't miss session to this year's Outlook Conference that will look at grocery shopper trends.  

In "Customers Also Viewed This: Unpacking Consumer Retail Behavior," David Fikes, vice president, communications and consumer/community affairs for the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), will present the results of FMI's 2019 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends that builds on more than four decades of research into customer attitudes and practices.

"Before you can market well, you need to understand," said Fikes.  "Consumer approaches to shopping and food are constantly shifting, and our research identifies those changing expectations, so the food industry can more effectively address shoppers' concerns, dietary needs, and appetites."

Fikes' fast moving session will take a deep dive into customer personalization and consumer expectations on food safety, sustainability, ingredients, and values.  

If you're in the business of food, or a consumer of food - and you are - this session is for you!

The USA Rice Outlook Conference is the largest rice specific event in North America.  The 2019 Conference will take place from December 8-10 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Check 
here for updates.

If You Like Chewing On Straws, This M’sian Co. Makes Halal Rice Straws That’re Actually Edible

Sade Dayangku

We’ve seen an increase in the popularity of plastic straw alternatives like metal, bamboo and paper straws in the last year or so in the name of saving the earth. Those are the common alternatives, but have you heard of edible rice straws before?
One company capitalising on the alternative straws industry is Penang-based NLYTech Biotech formed in December 2018. They recently launched a product called RiceStraws, which is, as the name suggests, rice straws that are also Halal-certified for consumption by Muslims.
The founders behind the company are CEO Law Yee Tee, Business Director Kenzo Lim, and IT Director Anddrew Loh. They’re bringing rice straws to the table because they believe they’re one of the more affordable alternatives available.

Familiar Straw Alternatives Aren’t As Eco-Friendly As You Think

NLYTech Biotech wants to do their part in reducing plastic use and wastage by introducing products (with RiceStraws being their first one) that are 100% biodegradable, made of natural ingredients and are edible.
Their rice straws are made of rice and tapioca—rice which makes up the bulk of the material with tapioca used as a coagulant. According to them, rice straws hold advantages over not just plastic ones (clearly), but also polylactic acid (PLA) ones which are vegetable-based bioplastic and even paper straws.
Kenzo said, “Paper straws are made from trees and has harmful environmental impacts due to deforestation. PLA straws and other PLA products become another form of plastic that will take years to break down in landfills and the ocean. PLA straws need to be composted under specific conditions and most countries do not yet have common facilities to compost PLA-based products, forcing them to end up in landfills.”
Description: Credit: NLYTech Biotech
While metal straws can be used for a long time and bamboo straws can be used for a slightly extended period of time compared to paper ones, the former can lead to self-inflicted injuries if used carelessly and the latter brings up hygiene concerns.
If you own an F&B establishment, presenting your customers with metal straws could be risky as they’re a more expensive reusable straw option that tends to get stolen, and cleaning the metal straws properly takes more effort than simply throwing out used plastic ones, which could lead to a lack of hygiene by irresponsible F&B operators.
NLYTech Biotech believes that RiceStraws combats these issues by being easily compostable (they don’t require a commercial composting facility like PLA does and they decompose completely in 90 days), edible and because they’re made from resources that are bountiful in our region.
While they don’t exactly dissolve in drinks, they do soften up after a while. The rice straws can last for 2 to 3 hours in hot drinks and 4 to 10 hours in cold drinks.

Keeping The ASP Of RiceStraws Low

The company keeps the average selling price (ASP) of their rice straws relatively low at RM0.08 per piece based on volume (for comparison, plastic straws generally cost around 3 sen per piece). They’re able to do this by using fully-automated production lines as NLYTech Biotech is an extension of NLYTech Solution Sdn Bhd that deals with equipment and has an automation division.
In an exclusive video interview with Food Manufacture, CEO Law Yee Tee said that this means they’re able to design their own equipment that can produce “at least 100,000 pieces per hour” leading to a total of 2.4 million pieces produced per day if there is appropriate market demand.
The biggest challenge for the company so far has been convincing consumers to switch from plastic straws to biodegradable ones as the latter might cost more. “This is the major challenge we face when we try to penetrate into developing countries in the region. The next challenge in line will be custom regulatory, hence, we need help from our local distributors who are familiar with this.”
In Malaysia itself, Kenzo said that the reception of RiceStraws has been good because “the Malaysian government is gradually implementing plastic ban throughout the nation. However, creating awareness amongst the general Malaysians are also essential as not many are prepared to pay more to contribute to a more plastic-free environment.”

Striving To Become As Eco-Friendly As Possible

RiceStraws won in Asia Food Innovation Awards 2019’s Best Sustainable Packaging category, and they plan to take the eco-friendliness of their product one step further by recollecting used RiceStraws to be re-processed into animal food for chickens, fish, birds and other animals.
Description: Credit: NLYTech Biotech
Some of the added benefits of RiceStraws according to Kenzo are that you have the option of buying them in an array of food-grade colours, the taste of them can be altered, and you can customise the diameter, length and logo print on them.
They also have a shelf life of 2 years, so buying them in bulk shouldn’t be a worry. Of course, these seem like options that cater to F&B establishments instead of your average Malaysian who carries around their own reusable straw.
For those concerned about the food safety certifications of RiceStraws, the product is certified according to HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) standards and complies with ISO 22000 (a food safety management standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization).
With the good response RiceStraws has received in major urban areas like Klang Valley, Selangor, Penang and Johor Bahru, Kenzo said they plan to expand their product range by producing cutlery made of rice and tapioca in the year 2020.

 Celestial sells Tilda rice business to Spain's Ebro Foods ahead of earnings results

By Simon Harvey | 28 August 2019
Description: Deal was done for $342m in cash
Deal was done for $342m in cash

US food group Hain Celestial has sold its Tilda basmati rice brand to Spain-based Ebro Foods for US$342m in cash as it continues with a programme to trim its portfolio.

Nasdaq-listed Hain, which has also recently sold its Pure Protein divisionincluding Plainville Farms, as well as WestSoy Tofu, announced the deal ahead of its full-year results expected tomorrow (29 August). The company said the transaction represents an adjusted EBITDA multiple of 13.5 times. 
Tilda will contribute around $200m to net sales and $25m to adjusted EBITDA for the fiscal year ended on 30 June, Hain added in a statement.
Based in New York, Hain has been immersed in the process of cutting its SKU count to boost profits under chief executive Mark Schiller and the Project Terra 2020 initiative put in place by his predecessor before the CEO came on board last November. The latest deal will enable the business to reduce its debt.
Schiller said: "We are pleased to complete the strategic sale of Tilda, which is consistent with our transformational plan to simplify our portfolio, strengthen our core capabilities and expand margins and cash flow. Tilda has been a strong business for us, primarily in the United Kingdom, and under new strategic ownership, we expect the brand to continue to thrive."
The CEO added that the Tilda deal will reduce Hain's exposure to Brexit ahead of the 31 October deadline for the UK to leave the European Union and the uncertainty around exchange rates that goes with it.
Schiller continued: "We believe this transaction represents a significant premium to a majority of other European food and global rice and pasta industry transactions over the last several years. In addition, this divestiture will enable us to reduce our exposure to marketplace disruption associated with the uncertainty of Brexit and additional future potential foreign-currency fluctuations."
Ebro, which has recently been focused on buying up organic food businesses, said the purchase of Tilda would give it a "strong foothold in the UK market, where it has to date had only a token presence".
The company, which has rice businesses in the US and in Europe in its portfolio, added: "Ebro believes that Tilda's international nature will pave the way for extensive development with other group products."
The Spanish firm added Tilda generated sales of almost GBP153m (US$187.8m) in the year through June, with 60% of that coming from the UK market and 92% generated from basmati rice sales.
Tilda has two plants in Rainham, Essex, in the south-east of England, employing around 326 people..

Thailand to spend over 1 bln USD on rice, oil palm price guarantees

VNA WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2019 - 17:49:00 
Description: image (Source: Bangkok Post)

Bangkok (VNA) – The Thai Government has approved a package worth 34.8 billion baht (over 1 billion USD) to ensure rice and oil palm prices at suitable levels for farmers.
A deputy government spokesperson said the rice price guarantee scheme worth 21.5 billion baht will be disbursed for 892,000 farming households, while the remaining 13.3 billion baht will be provided for 300,000 others farming oil palm.

The budget for palm farmers will be carried out from now to September 2020.

Meanwhile, the rice price guarantee scheme will be applied in one year starting this October. It will cover five types of rice: white rice paddy with 15-percent moisture, glutinous rice paddy, Thai hom mali rice paddy, provincial fragrant rice paddy, and fragrant Pathum Thani rice paddy.

Additionally, the Thai Government also approved 25.8 billion baht to subsidise production costs for 4.3 million rice farming households.-VNA

Bumper Aush rice output likely despite floods in Rangpur

·       Published at 12:50 am August 28th, 2019
Description: Aush-rangpur
Photo: Dhaka Tribune

The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) officials said farmers have already completed harvesting Aush rice crop on 43,645 hectares of land producing over 1.37-lakh tonnes of clean rice (2.06-lakh tonnes of paddy) in the region
Despite notable damages caused to standing Aush rice crop by recent floods, officials are expecting its bumper production as harvesting is nearing completion this season in Rangpur agriculture region.
The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) officials said farmers have already completed harvesting Aush rice crop on 43,645 hectares of land producing over 1.37-lakh tonnes of clean rice (2.06-lakh tonnes of paddy) in the region.
Before floods in July last, farmers cultivated Aush rice on 55,530 hectares of land, higher by 755 hectares than the fixed farming target on 54,775 heaters of land to produce 1.54-lakh tonnes of clean rice (2.34-lakh tonnes of paddy) in the region.
“Last year, farmers produced 1.23-lakh tonnes of Aush rice from 40,618 hectares of land against the fixed production target of 68,969 tonnes from 26,159 heaters,” Horticulture Specialist of the DAE at its regional office Khondker Md. Mesbahul Islam said.
Despite causing production loss of 28,665 tonnes of Aush rice worth Taka 59.30 crore on 7,754 hectares of land by recent floods, farmers are harvesting the remaining Aush rice crop on 47,776 hectares of land this season in the region.
“After harvesting on 43,645 hectares of land so far, farmers are continuing harvesting Aush rice on reaming more 4,131 hectares of land now,” Islam said.
After completion of Aush rice harvest soon in the region, the total Aush rice output might be around 1.49-lakh tonnes of clean rice this season, higher by 26,000 tonnes of Aush rice than last year.
Talking to BSS, Deputy Director of DAE for Rangpur region M Moniruzzaman said farmers exceeded the fixed Aush rice cultivation target this time following various realistic programs taken by the government.
The programs include distribution of special intensives, providing technical support to farmers and conducting motivational campaigns.
Under the programs, the government distributed special incentives in terms of Aus rice seed and fertilisers worth Taka 5.75 crore among 34,029 small and marginal farmers of all five districts in Rangpur agriculture region this season.
“Each of the beneficiary farmers got 5 kg high yielding variety Aush rice seed, 15 kg Di-ammonium phosphate and 10 kg Murrieta of Potash fertilisers free of costs to cultivate Aush rice on one bigha of land,” he said.
Additional Director of DAE for Rangpur region Muhammad Ali said the profitable Aush rice cultivation regained popularity among farmers in last ten years as a result of special steps taken by the present government.
“The farmer are reaping more profits through cultivation of Aush rice at lower costs using unused seasonal rain water during May, June and July as an additional crop on the lands those remain fallow during the off season,” Ali said.
“After harvesting Aush rice by August, farmers can easily cultivate T-Aman rice on the same land to further increase rice production for attaining sustainable national food security,” Ali added.
Talking to BSS, local farmers Hossain Ali and Mofizar Rahman said they had already harvested their Aush rice crop and got excellent yield rate of 3.15 tonnes of clean rice per hectare of land on an average this season.
They also expressed satisfaction over the current excellent market price between Taka 650 and 750 per mound (every 40 kilogram) of the newly harvested Aus paddy in local markets

India's monsoon rains 14% below average this week - weather office

AUGUST 28, 2019 / 5:28 PM /
MUMBAI, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Monsoon rains in India were below average for the first time in five weeks in the week through Wednesday, the weather office said, as the rice-growing north-western parts of the country received lower rainfall.Monsoon rains are crucial to farm output and economic growth as the agricultural sector accounts for about 15% of India’s $2.5 trillion economy.India received 14% less rainfall than the 50-year average in the week to Aug. 28, data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) showed, with rice-growing north-west India receiving 36% less rain.Overall, India has received 1% more rain than average since the start of the monsoon season on June 1. (Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- August 29, 2019
AUGUST 29, 2019

* * * * * *
Nagpur Foodgrain Prices – APMC/Open Market-August 29, 2019 Nagpur, Aug 29 (Reuters) – Gram and tuar prices firmed up again in Nagpur Agriculture Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) here on increased festival season demand from local millers amid thin supply from producing regions. Reports about weak monsoon in the region, good recovery on NCDEX in gram and fresh rise in Madhya Pradesh pulses also boosted prices. About 450 bags of gram and 200 bags of tuar reported for auction, according to sources.

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

* Tuar gavarani reported higher in open market here on good demand from local


* Major rice varieties declined in open market here on lack of demand from

local traders.

* In Akola, Tuar New – 5,600-5,800, Tuar dal (clean) – 8,100-8,200, Udid Mogar (clean)

– 7,200-7,800, Moong Mogar (clean) 7,900-8,700, Gram – 4,000-4,200, Gram Super best

– 5,600-6,000 * Wheat 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 3,800-4,285 3,700-4,100

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

Tuar Auction 5,000-5,600 5,000-5,590

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 2,000-2,095 2,000-2,110

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

Gram Super Best Bold 6,000-6,300 6,000-6,300

Gram Super Best n.a. n.a.

Gram Medium Best 5,600-5,800 5,600-5,800

Gram Dal Medium n.a. n.a

Gram Mill Quality 4,350-4,450 4,350-4,450

Desi gram Raw 4,250-4,350 4,250-4,350

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

Tuar Fataka Best-New 8,400-8,500 8,400-8,500

Tuar Fataka Medium-New 8,000-8,200 8,000-8,200

Tuar Dal Best Phod-New 7,600-7,800 7,600-7,800

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

Tuar Gavarani New 5,900-6,000 5,850-5,950

Tuar Karnataka 6,200-6,300 6,200-6,300

Masoor dal best 5,600-5,700 5,600-5,700

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

Masoor n.a. n.a.

Moong Mogar bold (New) 8,200-8,800 8,200-8,800

Moong Mogar Medium 7,000-7,500 7,000-7,500

Moong dal Chilka New 6,500-7,600 6,500-7,600

Moong Mill quality n.a. n.a.

Moong Chamki best 8,500-8,900 8,500-8,900

Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 7,500-8,200 7,500-8,200

Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG) 5,600-6,200 5,600-6,200

Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG) 4,400-4,800 4,400-4,800

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

Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg) 4,800-5,000 4,800-5,000

Watana Dal (100 INR/KG) 5,800-6,000 5,800-6,000

Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG) 7,500-8,000 7,500-8,000

Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG) 2,200-2,300 2,200-2,300

Wheat Mill quality (100 INR/KG) 2,100-2,200 2,100-2,200

Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG) 2,600-2,700 2,600-2,700

Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG) 2,450-2,600 2,450-2,600

Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG) 2,250-2,350 2,250-2,350

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) 2,200-2,300 2,200-2,300

Rice BPT best new (100 INR/KG) 3,000-3,500 3,200-3,800

Rice BPT medium new(100 INR/KG) 2,600-3,000 2,800-3,200

Rice Luchai (100 INR/KG) 2,900-3,000 2,900-3,000

Rice Swarna best new (100 INR/KG) 2,600-2,750 2,600-2,750

Rice Swarna medium new (100 INR/KG)2,300-2,400 2,300-2,400

Rice HMT best new (100 INR/KG) 3,600-4,200 3,800-4,400

Rice HMT medium new (100 INR/KG) 3,300-3,500 3,400-3,600

Rice Shriram best new(100 INR/KG) 5,500-5,600 5,500-5,800

Rice Shriram med new (100 INR/KG) 4,200-4,500 4,500-4,800

Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG) 8,500-13,500 8,500-13,500

Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG) 5,000-7,500 5,000-7,500

Rice Chinnor best new 100 INR/KG) 5,600-5,800 5,800-6,000

Rice Chinnor medium new(100 INR/KG)5,200-5,400 5,500-5,600

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. 32.2 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 24.8 degree Celsius Rainfall : Nil FORECAST: Generally cloudy sky with moderate rains. Maximum and minimum temperature likely to be around 32 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)

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

TICAD7: PM Shinzo Abe says Japan will help double Africa’s rice production by 2030

“We must end hunger in Africa. Yes, we must! Hunger diminishes our humanity.” - Adesina urges
Description: Rice fields in Northern Ghana. Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS
Rice fields in Northern Ghana. Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS
YOKOHAMA, Japan, Aug 28 2019 - The Sasakawa Association will work with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), to help double rice production to 50 million tonnes by 2030.  Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the announcement at the Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) symposium held on Wednesday during TICAD7.
“Japanese technology can play a key role in innovation which is key to agriculture,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told delegates.
We want to help shift the mindset of small-holder farmers from producing-to-eat to producing-to-sell. We are hopeful that Africa’s youth can take agriculture to a new era, and that they can see a career path in agriculture

Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of the Nippon foundation
Discussions at the Symposium focused on Africa’s youth bulge, unemployment rates, agricultural innovations and technologies, solutions and job creation opportunities in the agricultural sector.
“We’ve always believed in the agriculture potential of Africa,” said Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of the Nippon foundation.  “We are paying more attention to income-generating activities. We want to help shift the mindset of small-holder farmers from producing-to-eat to producing-to-sell. We are hopeful that Africa’s youth can take agriculture to a new era, and that they can see a career path in agriculture,” he added.
In a keynote address, African Development Bank Group President, Akinwumi Adesina, called for urgent and concerted efforts to “end hunger”.
“In spite of all the gains made in agriculture. We are not winning the global war against hunger. We must all arise collectively and end global hunger. To do that, we must end hunger in Africa. Hunger diminishes our humanity,” Adesina urged.
According to the FAO’s 2019 State of Food and Security, the number of hungry people globally stands at a disconcerting 821 million. Africa alone accounts for 31% of the global number of hungry people – 251 million people.
Commending the Sasakawa Association’s late founder, Ryochi Sasakawa, for his tireless efforts in tackling hunger, Adesina said: “Passion, dedication and commitment to the development of agriculture and the pursuit of food security in our world has been the hallmark of your work.”
Between 1986 and 2003, Sasakawa Association in Africa, operated in a total of 15 countries including – Ghana, Sudan, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo, Mali, Guinea, Zambia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and Mozambique.

Harnessing the potential of new technologies
Adesina expressed confidence in the ability of technology to deliver substantial benefits in agriculture. To accelerate Africa’s agricultural growth, the African Development Bank has launched the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) to deliver new technologies to millions of farmers. ‘TAAT has become a game changer, and is already delivering impressive results, Adesina said.
Working with 30 private seed companies, the TAAT maize compact produced over 27,000 tons of seeds of water efficient maize that was planted by 1.6 million farmers.

Tackling climate change: a top priority
Hiroyuki Takahashi, founder of Pocket Marche, a platform that connects Japanese farmers and producers with consumers, shared insights and lessons learnt from Japan’s experiences, historic cycles of climate disasters and the country’s rebound.
“The power to choose what we eat is the power to stop the climate crisis and bring sustainable happiness to a world with limited resources,” Takahashi said.
It is estimated that Africa will heat up 1.5 times faster than the global average and require $7-15 billion a year for adaptation alone. Limiting the impacts of climate change is expected to become a top priority for Africa.
“Africa has been short changed by climate change. But, it should not be short changed by climate finance,” Adesina said in his concluding remarks.
“Let’s be better asset managers for nature. For while we must eat today, so must future generations coming after us. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that we do not leave empty plates on the table for generations to come,” Adesina concluded.

Nafissatou Diouf is Communication and External Relations Department, African Development Bank

Rice exports dip but earnings up during first half of 2019 –GRDB

Venezuela a key market

Nizam Hassan
 August 28, 2019
Description: Nizam HassanDespite a dip in rice exports within the first six months of the year as compared to 2018, the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) says more revenue has been earned during the same period by way of the sale of higher-value products.Overall, from January to June, the GRDB facilitated the exportation of 297,489 tonnes of rice, bringing in a total of US$123.1 million, representing an increase from US$120.2 million it earned last year after 312,593 tonnes of rice was exported in the same period.GRDB Head Nizam Hassan credited the increase in revenue to more higher-end products being exported as compared to last year.

Hain Celestial sells rice brand for $342 million, lowers Brexit exposure

Aug 28, 2019 8:47 a.m. ET

Hain Celestial Group Inc. HAIN, +0.99% said Wednesday that it has sold the Tilda brand of basmati and specialty rice for $342 million in cash to Ebro Foods S.A., a deal that lowers Hain's exposure to Brexit impact. "Tilda has been a strong business for us, primarily in the United Kingdom, and under new strategic ownership, we expect the brand to continue to thrive," said Hain Celestial's Chief Executive Mark Schiller in a statement. "In addition, this divestiture will enable us to reduce our exposure to marketplace disruption associated with the uncertainty of Brexit and additional future potential foreign currency fluctuations." Hain says it will use a portion of the proceeds to pay down debt. The company is scheduled to report fiscal fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday. Hain Celestial shares edged up 0.4% in Wednesday premarket trading, and have gained 14.6% for the year to date. The S&P 500 indexSPX, +0.65% is up 14.5% for 2019 so far.

Stronger baht pounding rice exports, say traders

Aug 26. 2019
By Wichit Chaitrong
The Nation
Charoen Laothamatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, has expressed concern over the impact the baht’s appreciation is having on his sector.
The baht has risen about 6 per cent against the US dollar since January, whereas the Vietnam dong has held study and the Indian rupee has even weakened, Charoen noted, citing Thailand’s chief competitors in the global rice trade.
“The stronger baht has largely made Thai rice more expensive than those of our competitors,” he said. “Homali fragrant rice, for example, currently cost $1,200 per metric tonne, while Vietnam jasmine is only $520.” 
The association puts the price of Indian basmati at between $1,030 and $1,140 per tonne and Cambodia’s pkha malis at $935.
Thailand exported 4.4 million tonnes between January and June, down 19.6 per cent year on year, and the value plunged 17 per cent to Bt72.2 billion.
Charoen said total rice exports this year are expected to reach 9 million tonnes, down from 11.2 million last year.
Severe drought this past season might not greatly affect the first crop now that rain has appeared, he said, but the second crop will be hit because there’s so little water in reserve at the dams.
Rice vendors have meanwhile been complaining about the rising cost of glutinous rice. 
Charoen pointed out, though, that glutinous rice is for domestic consumption rather than export and its price is quite sensitive to local demand and supply. 
Description: vietnam riceFarmers in the Northeast  have given up growing it as preferences shift to fragrant rice, he said, resulting in a diminished supply.

Vietnam and IRRI explore collaborations to enhance rice sector productivity

Thursday, 29 August 2019 06:15

Dr Matthew Morell, director-general of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) met with Dr Nguyen Xuan Cuong, Vietnam’s minister of agriculture, to discuss ways to increase the resilience of domestic agriculture to climate change, enhance the productivity and access to markets of rice farmers

Vietnam is taking initiatives to protecting rich and diverse rice biodiversity. (Image source: Sasin Tipchai/Pixabay)
Minister Cuong discussed with Dr Morell the priority areas where Vietnam, specifically the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and its attached agencies, would like support from IRRI.
Minister Cuong stressed, “MARD will coordinate with the IRRI Vietnam country office to work on our agricultural policies to help improve the lives of our farmers.” Several existing and pending collaborative programs between IRRI and MARD will also push through in the coming years.
To address the impacts of climate change, Minister Cuong commended IRRI for its continued support of the national breeding program of Vietnam to produce climate change-tolerant rice varieties.
Minister Cuong requested for IRRI’s help in studying and developing Vietnam’s rice market such as exploring non-traditional markets in Africa and Latin America.
Dr Morell shared that the 50-year longstanding partnership between Vietnam and IRRI has produced significant gains including boosting yields of southern Vietnamese farmers by an average of 9.8 per cent per year.
Minister Cuong agreed that IRRI’s support to Vietnam helped them achieve a lot of successes in the agriculture sector, particularly in increasing rice sufficiency and knowledge expertise.
Minister Cuong expressed to Dr Morell Vietnam’s gratitude for the 50 years of collaboration between IRRI and MARD, with the ministry agreeing to the joint hosting of an event in Hanoi to celebrate this fruitful partnership.
After meeting with the minister, Dr Morell proceeded to visit Dr Cao Duc Phat, the former minister of agriculture and a member of the IRRI Board of Trustees. They discussed several issues concerning the Vietnamese agriculture sector such as climate change impacts and rice production. Dr Phat suggested that IRRI should design a program package of research and technology development that addresses productivity as well as climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Are Snack Bars for Kids a Healthy Choice?

Many companies now offer 'healthy' snack bars for kids. But are they actually good for them?

By Consumer Reports
August 29, 2019

Description: A snack bar for kids, partially unwrapped.
Small stomachs and high energy needs mean that kids are often hungry, so keeping snack bars on hand seems like a good idea. There’s no doubt they’re convenient, and many snack bar companies have recently come out with kid versions of their "adult" snack bars. But are these bars really a nutritious choice for kids?
Our nutrition experts evaluated the ingredients and nutritional information for 12 different childrens’ snack bars and found that some can make for a healthy snack. “When it comes to kids, calories aren’t the main concern,” says Amy Keating, R.D., a CR nutritionist. Instead, our testing and scoring weighed factors such as natural vs. added sugars and whole vs. refined grains.
We noted three additional ingredients to look out for:
Rice. We determined whether any of the bars contained rice products, such as brown rice flour or brown rice syrup, because CR research has shown that rice may contain worrying amounts of arsenic. Nine out of 12 bars we evaluated contained some kind of rice products. 
Chicory root fiber. Also known as inulin, chicory root fiber is a processed ingredient. It’s best when filling, heart-healthy fiber in a bar comes from minimally processed whole foods such as oats or other grains, rather than from processed sources. Three of the 12 bars contained this ingredient. 
Soy/whey/pea protein isolates. These processed substances help manufacturers inflate the protein level on the label, but it’s better for kids to get protein from whole food ingredients such as nuts or seeds. Only two of the 12 bars contained at least one of these protein ingredients.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, children and teens need to eat every three to four hours to fuel their growth and provide energy for study and play. A bar can be a reasonable choice, but it doesn’t have to be one marketed specifically for kids. For example, our top-rated regular snack bar—Pure Organic Wild Blueberry Fruit & Nut—got the same nutrition score as the top-scoring kids bar, and could also be appealing to youngsters. (See our energy bar ratings here.) But think outside the bar, too, and serve whole foods for your child’s other snacks. Easy options include whole fruit, dried fruit, nuts, popcorn, carrot sticks, and bell pepper slices. (For additional ideas, 
When you’re buying snack bars, choose the healthiest ones you can by looking at the ingredients and nutrition information. Our two top-rated bars contained no rice, no (or fewer) added sugars, and no processed protein or fiber. Several others aren’t as healthful as the wrapper vibe might suggest. Below, our results for all 12 bars.
Sticky rice discounts to B35 next week
published : 28 Aug 2019 at 18:05
Description: A trader shows sticky rice at New Happy Land market on Monday. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)A trader shows sticky rice at New Happy Land market on Monday. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)
The government will discount sticky rice packs to 35 baht per kilogramme late next week to ease consumer burdens following a steep rise in prices.Whichai Phochanakij, director-general of the Internal Trade Department, who on Wednesday met representatives of packaged rice producers, millers and retailers, said in the preliminary stage the ministry will offer about 200,000 to 300,000 glutinous rice packs ranging from 2kg to 5kg.

The rice packages will be offered at 35 baht per kg, which is lower than the market price of 50 baht per kg. The discounted rice will be sold mainly to low-income earners through the state-initiated Thong Fah low-priced shops focusing on the north, the northeast and the central regions.
Purchases will be limited to three packs per person for 2kg packs and two packs per person for 5kg packs.
Mr Whichai said the department is set to offer more discounted rice packs if the amount is insufficient.
“We believe the problem will start easing late next month when the new supply enters the market,” he said.
Mr Whichai warned farmers not to rush growing glutinous rice, noting the market is limited compared with white rice and hom mali fragrant rice.
In a move to tackle rising glutinous rice prices, the government last week ordered millers, traders and exporters to report their stocks.
The department also ordered nationwide inspection of glutinous rice to check hoarding and price gouging.
Millers, traders and exporters who refuse to submit their stock reports or submit inaccurate stocks will be subject to up to five years in jail or a fine of not more than 5,000 baht, or both.
For hoarding or price gouging, perpetrators are subject to seven years of imprisonment, a fine of up to 140,000 baht, or both.
According to Mr Whichai, 660 operators in 57 provinces have report glutinous rice stocks at a combined 42,096 tonnes.
The domestic price of sticky rice rose sharply to 50 baht per kg from 35 baht last month.
The surge was attributed to the widespread drought and lower production over the last two years, as farmers shifted to grow more hom mali fragrant rice as the latter has a higher price.
Thailand normally produces an average of 3.5-3.6 million tonnes of milled rice, with 3.3-3.4 million tonnes for domestic consumption.
Key export markets include China, the US, Malaysia and Japan.

Cabinet okays schemes for rice, oil palm
published : 28 Aug 2019 at 08:22
newspaper section: Business
A farmer cultivates rice in Pathum Thani province. Five types of rice are covered by the rice price guarantee scheme. (Photo by Pongpat Wongyala)
The cabinet on Tuesday approved a package worth 59 billion baht in price guarantees and subsidy schemes for rice and oil palm.
Of the total budget, 13.3 billion baht is for the price guarantee programme for rice, 21.4 billion for oil palm and the remaining 25 billion is to subsidise production costs for rice farmers.
Rachada Dhnadirek, a deputy government spokeswoman, said the rice price guarantee scheme will cover five types of rice: white rice paddy with 15% moisture, Thai hom mali rice paddy, fragrant Pathum Thani rice paddy with 15% moisture, glutinous rice paddy with 15% moisture, and provincial fragrant rice paddy.
Under the scheme, which will run from October this year to October 2020, farmers will see the price of white rice paddy with 15% moisture guaranteed at 10,000 baht per tonne, but the guaranteed rice cannot exceed 30 tonnes per family or 40 rai.
The guaranteed price is set at 15,000 baht a tonne for Thai hom mali rice paddy, but limited to 14 tonnes per family or 40 rai, while fragrant Pathum Thani rice paddy with 15% moisture is set at 11,000 baht a tonne with a limit of 25 tonnes per family or 40 rai.
The price of glutinous rice paddy with 15% moisture is set at 12,000 baht a tonne for a limit of 16 tonnes or 40 rai, while the price of provincial fragrant rice paddy is set at 14,000 baht at tonne for a limit of 16 tonnes per family or 40 rai.
The scheme will be run by the state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC).
Under the programme, farmers will be paid the differences only when the prices fall below the benchmark prices.
Ms Rachada said the cabinet also acknowledged the 25 billion baht allocated from fiscal 2019 to subsidise rice farmers' production costs during the 2019-20 main crop at 500 baht per rai, for a limit of 20 rai per family.
For palm, the cabinet agreed to set the guaranteed price for fresh palm nuts at four baht a kg, for a limit of 25 rai per family.
Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said the government expected 300,000 farmers to participate in the project, which will run from August this year to September 2020. To be eligible, planters must register with the Agriculture Extension Department and the money will be deposited directly into their BAAC accounts.