Wednesday, September 18, 2019

18th September,2019 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter

Rice exporters lose share to cheaper counterparts

TNN | Sep 18, 2019, 04:00 IST


Chennai: Rice exports — non-basmati variety — from India during April-July plunged 26.5% year-on-year, as cheaper varieties from Pakistan and other neighbouring countries flooded key African markets, coupled with government withdrawing export incentives from April 1. Data from the directorate ceneral of commercial intelligence and statistics Government of India says that India’s rice exports in April-July, plunged 26.5% from a year ago to 3.14 million tonnes and non-basmati rice saw a 37% dip to 1.7 million tonnes. The price difference is up to $20 per tonne. Rice is mainly exported from Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Kolkata.

“The minimum support price is going up, making our rates up to $20 higher, per metric tonne. As a result, Q1 of FY20 saw a 30% drop in exports compared to the same period in FY19,” said Nikhil Singh, CEO, Rajputana Rice. Besides with an increase in the minimum support price, the pinch is seen since April 1 after the government withdrew the 5% incentive for exporters, he added. Traders, who are forced to pass on the increase in rates to the importing nations are seeing a drop in purchase from Rwanda, Angola among other countries. Vishal Agrawal, CEO of Saya Overseas — another rice exporter — said exports are down nearly 50% . “We used to export up to 100 containers a month ( one container has 23 tonnes) and now we have 60-70 which sometimes drops to even 50 containers a month to Africa,” he said. Kunal Rathod, co-founder and head of growth of logistics firm Cogoport said, “Higher tariffs on non-basmati rice threaten India’s export market. Exporters need to look for potential new markets such as Mexico which is relying less on supplies from the US.”

 


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/71174884.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

 

Misbah-Ul-Haq bans biryani, netizens troll Pakistan cricket team

Misbah-Ul-Haq has asked for a change in diet for the players in the national camp and the domestic tournament to instil a new fitness culture in the setup.

 Updated: Sep 18, 2019 08:20 IST
New Delhi
Description: Pakistan's former cricketer Misbah-ul-Haq speaks to reporters at Qaddafi Stadium.
Pakistan's former cricketer Misbah-ul-Haq speaks to reporters at Qaddafi Stadium.(AP)
As soon as the newly appointed Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq decided to scrap biryani and all oil-based red meat food from the players’ menu, social media took a dig at the Green Brigade which has been considered one of the most ‘unfit’ cricketing team globally.
In the recently concluded 2019 ICC World Cup, questions were raised over the Pakistan team’s diet and fitness before former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar also termed skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed as ‘fat and unfit’.
Moreover, Pakistani fans had alleged that the team was spotted eating junk food ahead of their crucial match against arch-rivals India.
Reportedly Misbah took the decision to help his team achieve the much required fitness. However, netizens trolled the development through their jokes and memes on various social media platforms.
Here’s a look at some of the tweets -
 Description: https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/1112572970097090560/sKhb4ePF_bigger.png
Misbah-ul-Haq has banned biryani, red meat & dessert  from the diet of players who are taking part in Pakistan's national camp.

If this were the case Inzy and Sarfraz would have NEVER made to Pakistan team .


End of biryani culture from Pakistan domestic cricket - Misbah gave strict suggestions to PCB to take good care of fitness of domestic cricketers. Pasta, boiled rice, beans, bar b q roast & less oily meals are now served to cricketers along bundle of fruits during #QEA19.Description: 🏏(GEO)




Japanese govt donates 20 rice reapers,20 threshers to Nasarawa farmers
ON SEPTEMBER 18, 20191:03 PMIN AGRICBY LAWAL SHERIFAT FacebookTwitterEmailWhatsAppPinterestShare The Japanese government has donated 20 rice reapers and 20 rice threshers to small scale farmers in Awe, Obi and Keana Local Government Areas of  Nasarawa State. Rice Farm Speaking in Azara, Awe LGA, the Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Yutaka Kikuta, said that the donation was under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP), under which the Japanese embassy, within two decades, have funded 170 projects across Nigeria, worth over 12 million U.S. dollars. Yutaka, further explained that the scheme is designed to provide mechanized rice farming equipment to increase and improve the quantity and quality of rice produced by rice farmers, towards enhancing the economic well being of communities in the three local government areas. The Japanese ambassador added that the development in the agricultural sector, is in line with the themes of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7), with the Japanese government pledging to further support economic transformation in Africa. IYC to FG: Don’t create fresh row with Water Resources Bill 13-year old Nigerian student to participate in International High Level Conference He also said the initiative is expected to be achieved through the promotion of innovation in agriculture, developing and expanding agricultural technologies, increasing income of small farmers through the Small Holder Horticulture Empowerment and Promotion (SHEP), among others. Yutaka noted that before the commencement of the project in 2011, local farmers recorded over 20 per cent loss of harvested rice due to damage from the traditional method of threshing as well as additional cost of hiring manual labour. “With the introduction of 20 rice reapers and 20 threshers, it’s our expectation that this will reduce time and loss of rice from reaping to threshing and save costs. Also speaking, Gov. Abdullahi Sule, commended the Japanese government for the choice of  Nasarawa State farmers to benefit from the collaboration, considering the comparative advantage the state has in the rice value chain. The governor disclosed that the state was blessed with 140, 000 hectares of land suitable for rice, with the state having a capacity to produce over 350, 000 tones of rice.
He said that through the GGP, 442 rice farmers were empowered and trained to improve rice production technologies, management, with 35 front line extension agents. “Farmers were also trained in good agricultural practice, as well as 11 extension agents that were trained in Japan on improved rice production technologies and research methods. Sule described the event as yet another milestone in his administration’s determination to further strengthen the collaboration with the Japanese government, towards achieving the desired import substitution and backward integration policy of the Federal Government.
“This intervention is in tandem with the vision, development objectives of this administration, aimed at giving agriculture its pride of place as the major mover of our state economy,” he stated. The governor, however, directed the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as the Nasarawa Agricultural Development Programme, to evolve a strategy to monitor the use of the reapers and threshers, as reported by NAN. vanguard


IRRI forms hybrid rice, sustainability partnership

09.18.2019
MANILA, PHILIPINES — The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) signed a four-year partnership agreement aimed at helping African smallholder farmers increase rice productivity, income, and resilience through access to good quality seeds and sustainable agronomic practices. 
“The partnership with AATF supports IRRI’s strategy to accelerate the dissemination of elite rice varieties, good agronomic practices, and knowledge, to improve food security and the economic sustainability of rice-based agri-food systems,” said Remy Bitoun, head of IRRI Tech Transfer. “This agreement is an evidence of our long-term commitment to the rice value chain in Africa. AATF’s expertise in technology transfer and extensive network across 23 countries in Africa is essential for delivering innovations to farmers and accelerating the benefits of these technologies to help ensure food and nutrition security in the region.”
According to IRRI, demand for rice in Africa is increasing at over 6% per year, faster than any other staple food.
“Local rice farmers are not yet able to capitalize on this demand, as African smallholder farms yield on average 2 tonnes per hectare, as compared to the global average of 3.4 tonnes,” the IRRI said. “This is due to a variety of factors, including the use of low-yielding outdated local varieties, traditional cultivation practices, low involvement of private seed companies in rice seed production and business, and prevailing biotic and abiotic stresses, together with climate change adversities.”
The partnership between AATF and IRRI will include testing of IRRI and AATF varieties, and dissemination of high-yielding and nutritious varieties; testing and promoting suitable agronomic practices and digital technologies for water management, crop care, mechanization, and postharvest; and regular exchange of information.
AATF and IRRI will meet regularly to develop joint projects for African rice sector development, including the seed industry and market needs and opportunities.
“AATF is pleased to be working with IRRI on delivering these potentially life-changing technologies for our smallholder farmers,” said Kayode Sanni, Rice Project manager at AATF. “Rice is increasingly becoming an important staple food for more and more Africans and upgrading our technologies and rice value chain will be key factors in meeting that need. IRRI has made significant strides in uplifting the productivity and livelihoods of farmers in Asia, and through this collaboration we hope to use this knowledge to benefit our African farmers.”
To further the partnership and expand the networks of both parties, AATF will become a member of the IRRI-convened Hybrid Rice Development Consortium (HRDC) and Direct Seeded Rice Consortium (DSRC), while IRRI will become a member of the AATF-led Alliance for Hybrid Rice in Africa (AHyRA).
Seed distribution under RCEF ready to go

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Implementation of the seed component under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) is all set following the release of its guidelines submitted 59 days before the deadline.

The Fund covers rice farm mechanization; inbred rice seed development, propagation, and promotion; expanded rice credit assistance; and rice extension services.

Dr. Flordeliza H. Bordey, PhilRice Deputy Executive Director and RCEF Program Director, said the program will promote high-quality inbred rice seeds to farmers.

“Provinces with high potential for competitiveness will be considered. These areas are selected based on the evaluation of their size of area harvested, yield level, cost of production, and share of irrigated area. Selected areas must also have an annual area planted of more than 500 ha for dry season 2019-2020,” Bordey said.

Farmers will receive seeds for two consecutive cropping seasons until Dec. 2020. Implementers said that farmers can still avail of seeds once the target yield in their area is achieved.

The program director, however, emphasized that only farmers who are enlisted in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) will be provided with free seeds. Eligible farmers are entitled to a maximum of 80kg of inbred seeds depending on farm size for October to December planting.

“We are targeting to distribute more than 2 million bags at 20kg/bag certified seeds this year. It roughly translates to planting around 1 million hectares of rice land. We expect to distribute more next season,” Bordey added.

Farmer-beneficiaries will be given rice production manual and seed propagation booklet to help them achieve the yield potential of certified seeds. Varieties for distribution include NSIC Rc 160, Rc 216, Rc 222, and two location-specific inbred varieties.

“We are requesting the help of the local government units (LGUs) to validate and enlist farmers in the RSBSA. LGUs will also identify the distribution areas and schedule,” she said.

Bordey added that the LGUs will be tapped to identify drop-off points and schedule for seed delivery and potential temporary seed storage facilities; assist in seed delivery inspection; announce details of seed distribution; and facilitate seed distribution.

As preparation for program implementation, Bordey said they have reached officials and agriculture workers in 53 provinces involving 672 municipalities. Technical briefings on seed preparation and PhilRice technologies will also be conducted before seeds are given to farmers.

With the interventions, Bordey said the seed component is hoped to contribute in increasing yield up to 6t/ha in high-yielding provinces and 5t/ha in medium-yielding provinces by 2024. The RCEF component programs also aim to help lower production cost by 30%, reduce postharvest losses to 12%, and trim down marketing cost by P1/kg.

To be implemented from 2020 until 2025 Dry Season, the RCEF will be reviewed by the Congressional Oversight Committee on Agricultural and Fisheries Modernization after six years.

For more information, contact the Agricultural Training Institute’s Farmers Contact Center: 0920-946-2474.
PhilRice News

Support from local governments pour in for RCEF implementation
Description: untitled190712-62160084

Workers of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) are receiving commitment from the local government units to ensure that the program will benefit farmers in their area, particularly on seed distribution.

“We pledge our full support for the RCEF-Seed. Ground works will be covered and that information regarding seed distribution will be properly coordinated and implemented by our municipalities. We wouldn’t do this just because we were requested, but primarily because we want to help our rice farmers,” Albay Gov. Francis C. Bichara said.

Under RCEF-Seed, local government units (LGUs) are requested to validate a master list called Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture or RSBSA by cross-checking the listed names with the list of members of farmer organizations in the city/municipality. Their assistance on facilitating or endorsing the accreditation of rice farmer organizations within their scope to DA-RFO are also sought.

They will also be tapped on identifying drop-off points and schedule for seed delivery and potential temporary seed storage facilities; assigning seed delivery inspector; announcing details of seed distribution; and facilitating seed distribution. Partnership on monitoring of area planted and yield and conducting social mobilization, communication, and capacity enhancement activities are also encouraged.

Bichara said that farmers will “continue to suffer [from the influx of cheap rice from the international market] if the government will not provide/subsidize farm machines, sustainable irrigation, and inputs.”

As of Sept. 5, 30 governors had expressed their commitment in buying, milling, and drying palay from the farmers in their areas. Nueva Ecija Gov. Aurelio Umali announced the release of P250-M capital to fund the procurement of palay this wet season. Ilocos Norte Gov. Matthew Manotoc, Ilocos Sur Vice-Gov. Jeremias Sinsgon, and La Union Vice-Gov. Mario Ortega pledged P200M. Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino committed P300M.

In Isabela, its provincial government partnered with the National Food Authority to increase the buying price of palay from P20.40 to P26.40. Meanwhile, the municipal government of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro sourced out P6.8 million this wet season to purchase and distribute 8,990 bags of seeds to 3,741 farmers. Farmers also pay P760 for every 40kg of certified seeds, which is 50% less than the retail price.

Prior to the commitments, RCEF-Seed implementers engaged the local government units through series of consultations.

“We [made] 747 cities and municipalities in the 57 RCEF provinces aware of the program. With this partnership, yield and income of farmers are expected to increase, which will help boost economic development in the locality. The RCEF- Extension Services Program may also offer Training of Trainers and refresher courses to the agricultural extension workers,” said Dr. Flordeliza Bordey, PhilRice Deputy Executive Director and RCEF Program Director.

For more information, contact the Agricultural Training Institute’s Farmers Contact Center: 0920-946-2474.

Philrice News

UH Hilo students grow exotic rice in East Hawaiʻi

UH News » Research » UH Hilo students grow…
·       September 17, 2019

·       Susan Enright

Horticultural students with greenhouse-grown rice varieties Jefferson, Carolina Gold, Koshihikari and White Basmati. (Photo credit: Sharad Marahatta)
Horticultural students at the University of HawaiĘ»i at Hilo are conducting important trials on the potential economic viability of growing exotic rice cultivars in East HawaiĘ»i. The broad objective of the project, which runs through June 2020, is to evaluate the performance of selected exotic rice varieties cultivated in HawaiĘ»i. But an equally important part of the project is in using the trials as a way to educate undergraduate students on rice husbandry practice through experiential learning.
Students enrolled in agriculture and horticulture courses are mentored in growing rice and trained in the procedures of conducting experimental trials. The students learn about rice seed sowing, seedling transplanting, how to develop experimental pot and plot settings, labeling, fertilizer application, data recording, harvesting and data analysis. At the end of growing out the rice, soil samples will be taken, and the soil nematodes will be extracted, identified and correlated with the rice yield. The students will then assess the potential economic viability of rice production in East HawaiĘ»i.
The principal investigator of the project, “Evaluation of rice (Oryza sativa) varieties for an experiential education in Hilo, HawaiĘ»i,” is Sharad Marahatta, an assistant professor of horticulture, and Norman Arancon, associate professor of horticulture, is the co-investigator. Both teach and conduct research at the UH Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management and say the findings of this project could benefit the farmers and the entire agriculture community of HawaiĘ»i.
“This grant has encouraged us to continue rice research, involve undergraduate students in research and evaluate rice agronomic practices in HawaiĘ»i,” says Marahatta.

Rice project details

From left: Carolina Gold, Koshihikari, White Basmati and Jefferson
The project involves the rice varieties Carolina Gold, Koshihikari, White Basmati and Jefferson, which will be seeded separately in community pots in greenhouses. At one month, rice seedlings will be transplanted into pots and/or field plots. Each transplanted rice variety will be replicated at least four times and the transplanted pots and plots will be arranged in randomized complete blocks.
The trials are being conducted at the 110-acre UH Hilo Farm Laboratory located in PanaĘ»ewa, 5 miles south of Hilo. The farm is an experiential place of learning where students put classroom theory into practice with projects in hydroponics, floriculture, forestry, vegetable cultivation, sustainable agriculture, livestock production, equine science, beekeeping, tropical fruit and aquaculture.
The project is funded by the County of HawaiĘ»i via the 

Rice Imitator Is Now World’s Worst Agricultural Weed

Sep 17, 2019 08:59 AM EDT
Description: agricultural weed (Photo : eliasfalla)
The world's worst agricultural weed looks a lot like the rice plant with its green stems. Sadly, early growers of rice may be blamed for unwittingly giving the barnyard grass the edge to root itself as the perfect rice imitator. 
This new research conducted by a team of researchers from the Washington University in St. Louis and Zhejiang University, China's Academy of Sciences, releases evidence that the barnyard grass may have benefitted from the cultivation practices that old farmers used to engage in. Continuous hand weeding is one of the identified practices that may have caused the spread of such weeds along the Yantze River Region about a thousand years ago. 
The barnyard grass is known in the global agricultural community as a type of invasive weed that usually grows among row of cereals and crops. They used to be easily identifiable because of their red stems, but their evolution has made it even more challenging for farmers to tell them apart from their crops. This new study was published in the Nature Ecology and Evolution journal on September 16. 
"Asia is a continent of rice farmers who despite advancements in technology, prefer to weed their farmland with their bare hands. Any of the weeds that stick out are carefully identified and removed from the crops area," said Kenneth Olsen, a Biology professor in Arts and Sciences. "Over a hundred generations has passed yet the practice of hand weeding remains the same and in place. This practice, however useful it has been has allowed some strains of barnyard grass to specialize in growing in rice fields. In fact, they have evolved to closely mimic how the rice plant looks like that it has become challenging to tell them apart from the real rice plants. This practically saved them from detection and the possible pull out."
Olsen worked in collaboration with Longjiang Fan from Zhejiang University, the corresponding author of the study who has been working on a study particularly focused on the evolution of rice genomics and the evolution of the agricultural weed. They worked together on the interpretation and analyses of the data collected. 
This study worked with the sequenced genome of the weed that mimic the rice plant and compared it with the non-mimic type of the weed. This is the initial step they took to better understand how such Vavilovian mimicry occurred. It is characterized by the adaptation of weeds to make them look a lot like the domesticated plants.
"The advent of agricultural practices  about 10,000 years ago, humans have developed a habitat for these naturally growing weeds to exploit," Olsen said. "The most successful among these  agricultural weeds are those that have evolved to escape easy detection and continue to proliferate in what they consider a fertile new environment."
Olsen openly speaks of his speculation that since US rice farmers depend highly on mechanized methods of farming, it has become even more challenging for them to detect the spread of such weeds. 
"If farmers are not in the field to do the labor by hand, these weeds will only continue to grow and simply blend in."

Development of rice fish systems in the Ayeyarwaddy Delta, Myanmar

This project is improving productivity and profitability of rice-fish systems in Myanmar. 

Rice and fish are key elements of the diet and major agricultural production sectors in Myanmar. Rice-fish systems encompass a spectrum of farming and fishing practices, from traditional capture of fish in rice-dominated landscapes through to controlled farming of fish in rice fields. 
Rice farming covers approximately 8 million ha and involves more than 5 million rural households. Governments of the recent past favoured ‘command and control’ based policies that discouraged rice farmers from diversification and making production decisions based on market demand. 
Such policies have constrained crop and land-use diversity, as well as opportunities for poverty reduction. Recent policy shifts are now encouraging farmers to diversify farming systems in agriculture, livestock and fisheries, presenting a window of opportunity for developing and implementing diversified and productive rice-fish systems. 
This project will characterise rice-fish systems; identify gender-equitable outcomes of improvements in production and management systems; and strengthen the capacity and enabling environment. 

Expected Project Outcomes

  • Better understanding of rice-fish systems potential and evidence-based improvement options for policy development and extension.
  • Prototype rice-fish systems are available and being adopted by lead farmers and producer groups within selected areas of the Ayeyarwady Delta.
  • Mapping and modelling has identified promising areas for promoting new domains of rice-fish system practice and its adaptability to climate change.
  • Private sector engaged at different points in the rice and fish value chains to promote adoption of rice-fish system improvements.
  • Evidence-based and gender sensitive extension activities are promoting promising rice-fish system improvements.
  • Increased profitability and productivity of rice and fish systems delivering improved income, nutrition and gender equity in small-scale rice farming households. 

GIEWS Country Brief: Bangladesh 17-September-2019

REPORT
Published on 17 Sep 2019 View Original


FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Boro paddy output in 2019 estimated at record high
Cereal import requirements in 2019/20 forecast close to five-year average
Prices of rice at low levels in July, after steady declines between September 2018 and April 2019
Prices of wheat remained generally stable, so far, in 2019 and close to year‑earlier level
Severe floods in northern and eastern parts expected to affect households’ food security
High levels of severe food insecurity persist in Cox’s Bazar District, where almost 1 million refugees reside
Boro paddy output in 2019 estimated at record high
Harvesting of the 2019 Boro paddy crop, which accounts for about 55 percent of the annual output, was completed in May. The output is estimated at a record high of 19.7 million tonnes. The large output reflects above-average plantings and high yields, following favourable weather conditions.
The 2019 minor Aus paddy crop, accounting for about 10 percent of the total annual output, is currently being harvested. Production is forecast to decrease compared to last year’s high level, mostly reflecting the contraction in plantings as farmers shifted from paddy to more profitable crops, including jute, maize and vegetables. In addition, some standing crops were lost to floods following heavy rainfall in June and the first half of July, mostly in the northern and eastern parts of the country.
Planting of the 2019 Aman paddy crop, which accounts for 35 percent of the annual output is ongoing and will continue until end‑September. So far, the June-October monsoon season has been characterized by average to above-average precipitation, with an overall positive impact on planting operations and development of crops. Some replanting, due to flood damage, took place in the most affected areas. Overall, the Aman area planted is expected to decrease compared to last year’s high level, mostly owing to low market prices.
The 2019 main season maize crop was harvested by the end of July. The output is estimated at a record high level, reflecting an expansion in the area sown, driven by robust demand from the feed industry and bumper yields as farmers increased the use of high-yielding seed varieties. The 2019 secondary season maize crop will be planted towards the end of the year.
The production of the 2019 winter wheat crop, harvested in April, is officially estimated at 1.3 million tonnes, close to the five-year average.
Cereal imports in 2019/20 forecast close to five-year average
Wheat import requirements, which account for the largest share of the cereal imports, are estimated at a record of 5.7 million tonnes in the 2019/20 marketing year (July/June), 12 percent above the previous five-year average following steady increases since 2012/13. The strong demand for wheat largely reflects a shift in diet preferences. Similarly, maize import requirements are expected to increase to 1.8 million tonnes, 6 percent more than last year’s record level and the fifth consecutive annual increase due to sustained demand for feed. By contrast, the ample domestic supplies of rice following the record 2018 output have lowered import requirements and, consequently, rice imports are estimated at a well below-average level of 250 000 tonnes.
Overall, total cereal import requirements in 2019/20 are forecast close to the five-year average at 7.8 million tonnes.
Prices of rice at low levels in July, while those of wheat close to year-earlier levels
Domestic prices of rice in the capital, Dhaka, decreased by about 10 percent between January and April 2019, reflecting abundant supplies from the record harvests in 2018. However, since April, prices remained generally stable, reflecting a number of measures implemented by the Government that sought to halt the declining trend of the preceding months. These measures include larger procurement purchases of the Boro season rice crop compared with the same season last year and an increase in import duties now set at 55 percent from the previous 28 percent ( FPMA Food Policies ). Overall, in July 2019, prices of rice were about 20 percent below their year-earlier levels.
Prices of wheat, which is mostly imported, were relatively stable between April and July 2019, reflecting adequate supplies from imports and the bumper 2019 harvest.
Severe floods expected to worsen food insecurity in northern and eastern parts
In June and early July, severe floods have affected about 5.3 million people, mostly in the northern and eastern parts of the country. The most affected districts are Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Sylhet and Sunamganj (located in the north) and some districts in the Dhaka and Chittagong divisions. Floods have deteriorated the already precarious living conditions and the food security situation of about 910 000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar in the Cox Bazar District. Most refugees fled to Bangladesh following the resurgence of violence in Rakhine State in Myanmar in late August 2017. They reside in temporary settlements where they suffer from high level of food insecurity and require humanitarian assistance to cover their basic needs. In addition, the influx of refugees is putting strain on the already limited resources of the host communities.
Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

INDONESIA'S BULOG SAYS UNLIKELY TO IMPORT RICE THROUGH END-2020

9/17/2019
JAKARTA, Sept 18 (Reuters) -
* Indonesia food procurement agency Bulog said it's unlikely that the country will import rice through the end of next year due to high stockpiles, agency head Budi Waseso told reporters on Wednesday
* As of this week, the country has 2.6 million tonnes of rice stocks, which is more than sufficient until the main rice harvest in April, said Waseso
* "In April, rice harvest will start again, and we will absorb those. If the harvest can be optimized, we don't need imports until end of 2020," he said (Reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe, Writing by Fransiska Nangoy)

World must transform food production or face unrest, scientists warn

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 18 2019
    
Description: Maize plants are seen in a farm in Lujan
Maize plants are seen in a farm in Lujan, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina on August 2, 2019. PHOTO | REUTERS 

In Summary

·       Global over-dependence on a relatively small number of staple foods leaves populations vulnerable to crop failures, with climate change adding to the strain.
·       The damage the modern food industry does to human health, development and the environment costs the world $12 trillion a year.
Description: REUTERSBy REUTERS

The world must diversify its food production and consumption, or face damaging supply disruptions that could lead to suffering and social unrest, scientists warned on Monday.
A new global study found the health and environmental benefits of transforming the way we farm would outweigh heavily the cost of doing so, with the authors urging governments to do more to support sustainable agriculture.
"A small disruption in supply really can do a lot of damage and leads to huge price increases," said Per Pharo of the Food and Land Use Coalition, the global alliance of economists and scientists behind the study.
"That creates suffering and social unrest. And it will highly likely also lead to hunger and instability," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Global over-dependence on a relatively small number of staple foods leaves populations vulnerable to crop failures, with climate change adding to the strain, the report said.
"Four different crops provide 60 per cent of our calories - wheat, rice, maize and potatoes. That increases our vulnerability," said Pharo.

Dr Khem Singh Gill (1930-2019): One of the pioneers of Green Revolution, he helped develop 30 crop varieties



Apart from the Padma Bhushan, Dr Gill was the recipient of countless other awards. PAU officials said his research was documented in hundreds of scientific papers, books and articles.
Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba |Jalandhar |Updated: September 18, 2019 12:14:50 pm
Dr Khem Singh Gill passed away on Tuesday. (Express File Photo: Gurmeet Singh)
Known for his contribution towards breeding new crop varieties and one of the pioneers of the Green Revolution in the state, former Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) vice-chancellor and Padma Bhushan awardee Dr Khem Singh Gill passed away at a Ludhiana hospital Tuesday morning. He was 89.
Dr Gill was known as the ‘sage-scientist’ of Punjab. He was born on September 1, 1930, in a small village called Kalke in Moga district, and served as PAU V-C from 1990 to 1993. He is survived by a daughter and two sons.
Under his guidance, PAU developed more than 30 varieties of wheat, pearl millet and other crops, which made India self-sufficient in terms of food grains. The recommendation/release of WL 711 variety of wheat by Dr Gill and launch of semi-dwarf, high yielding varieties of wheat made Punjab the ‘wheat granary of India’, which produces 21 per cent of India’s wheat and 8.5 per cent of its rice.
Dr Gill studied agriculture sciences at Khalsa College, Amritsar, in 1949, and subsequently pursued a Masters in genetics and plant breeding in 1952. He was one of the nuclear staff when PAU was established in 1962. After doing his PhD from California, he returned to India in 1966 to take over as professor and head of PAU’s department of genetics at the Hisar campus. On May 25, 1968, Dr Gill was appointed the head of the department of plant breeding and became the right-hand man of Dr M S Randhawa, who played a major role in establishing agricultural research in India.
Dr Gill was the founding trustee of ‘The Kalgidhar Trust’. As director of the Akal Academies, he set up the first academy at Muktsar in 1993. This wave of setting up academies continued over the years, and today there are 117 Akal Academies in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. He remained the director of these academies till date.
PAU’s present V-C Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon described Dr Gill an illustrious human being, a dedicated agricultural researcher and an administrator par excellence. “He was one of the pillars of PAU. Such persons are rare in this world. He was a great scientist as well as teacher and his persona was larger than life. PAU and I will personally miss Dr Gill,” he said.
“A recipient of the Padma Bhushan, Dr Gill is credited with catalysing the Green Revolution in Punjab with his research in plant breeding. He devoted his life to the service of mankind,” he added.
Dr Gill founded the Crop Improvement Society of India and remained its president from 1974 to 1979 and patron till date. He was an adviser to Wheat and Triticale Research at the global level and on the board of trustees and programme committee of the CIMMYT, Mexico (1988-93), as well as senior vice-president of the International Triticale Association (1988-94). He evaluated the UNDP global project on sorghum and millets at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Hyderabad (1981) and on rice at the International Rice Research Institute, Philippines (1983).
SC raps Centre on manual scavenging: No country sends its people to gas chambers to die
Kirpal Singh Aulakh, former V-C of PAU, said, “I have the privilege and honour to start my professional career under his leadership as assistant plant pathologist (oilseeds) in 1968 and then plant pathologist (rice). He was not only a dynamic leader but a father figure for all his colleagues.”
PAU Registrar Dr RS Sidhu, officers, scientists and staff of the university paid tribute to Dr Gill. A condolence meeting was also held at PAU campus Tuesday.
Apart from the Padma Bhushan, Dr Gill was the recipient of countless other awards. PAU officials said his research was documented in hundreds of scientific papers, books and articles.

COLUMN: Truth-tellers are really heroes

 Yes, President Trump's erroneous insistence that Alabama would be hit by Hurricane Dorian – and his ham-handed alteration of an official map to support his mistake – has spawned countless hilarious memes. But the larger implications of this incident are far more serious. It starkly symbolizes this president's ferocious war on any facts or findings that contradict his warped view of the world.
He's single-handedly destroying the ability of his own government to make sensible policy because he refuses to accept the work of professionals – scientists and economists, intelligence analysts and agronomists – who remain dedicated to their standards of independent nonpartisanship.
Three former administrators of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) made this point about weather forecasting in the Washington Post, but their words apply to all information produced by government researchers.
"Even a hint that a forecast or warning was influenced by politics would undermine the public's trust and the ability to respond quickly and effectively under potentially life-threatening conditions," wrote Jane Lubchenco, D. James Baker and Kathryn D. Sullivan. "If political appointees overrule trained scientists, imposing political concerns on scientific matters, they endanger public safety as well as the credibility and morale of the agency charged with protecting that safety."
When Trump inflates the size of his inaugural crowds, or denies hush-money payments to former girlfriends, he's being outrageous, but not dangerous. But when his delusions undermine government policy, the consequences can be deeply damaging.
When he insists that trade wars are "easy to win," or that tax cuts pay for themselves, the results can be fiscal disaster. When he denies that Russia tried to help him win the last election, he cripples our ability to protect the integrity of future elections.
No issue illustrates Trump's war on facts better than climate change. Maria Caffrey was a climate scientist for the National Park Service who documented the potential danger to coastal parks from future sea level increases. After Trump took office, she writes in The Guardian, senior park service officials "tried repeatedly, often aggressively, to coerce me into deleting references to the human causes of the climate crisis."
After a long battle, Caffrey's report was published, but she was forced out of her job. "Politics has no place in science," she writes. "I am an example of the less discussed methods the administration is using to destroy scientific research. ... The current administration may only last a matter of years, but its actions may potentially impact our planet for centuries."
As an analyst in the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Rod Schoonover produced a report "on the national security implications of climate change" for the House Intelligence Committee. But his superiors truncated his live testimony and blocked the submission of his written conclusions.
"The White House trampled not only on the scientific integrity of the assessment but also on the analytic independence of an arm of the intelligence community," Schoonover writes in the Post, after resigning from "the institution I loved."
Lewis Ziska, a plant scientist for the Department of Agriculture, documented "how rice is losing nutrients because of rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere," writes Politico. Department officials tried to bury his findings, "which raised serious concerns for the 600 million people who depend on rice for most of their calories."
"You get the sense that things have changed, that this is not a place for you to be exploring things that don't agree with someone's political views," Ziska told Politico. "That's so sad. I can't even begin to tell you how sad that is."
The political leadership at NOAA bent to the president's pressure, contradicting their own analysts and issuing a statement supporting Trump's fallacious claims about the risk to Alabama. But the professionals in the agency are fighting back and defending their integrity.
Craig McLean, NOAA's chief scientist, said the heads of his own agency had acted "inappropriately and incorrectly" when they undermined their staff's forecast that Alabama was not in danger. "My understanding is that this intervention to contradict the forecaster was not based on science, but on external factors including reputation and appearance – or, simply put, political," Mclean wrote.
"I have a responsibility to pursue these truths," he added. "I will."
McLean speaks for a vast army of professionals – judges and journalists, analysts and researchers – who share his determination. The best way to constrain the Lord of the Lies is to pursue the truth, wherever it leads.
Steve and Cokie Roberts can be contacted by email at stevecokie@gmail.com. This may be their last column together, since Cokie passed away earlier this week.

Introducing the October 2019 Issue

Monsters of the Mesozoic skies, the quest for a room-temperature superconductor and more

Credit: Scientific American
For me, there's nothing particularly special about seeing a small Cessna take to the air. But watching an Airbus A380, the world's largest commercial airliner, ascend is something altogether different. The way it lumbers into the sky just doesn't seem real. Yet mechanical and aerodynamic adaptations make flight possible for such bulky craft.
I imagine I would've had the same impression (and a dose of terror) watching a hulking pterosaur take wing, especially compared with the smaller feathered dinosaurs and birds that evolved later. Pterosaurs were the first vertebrates to fly, and while some were quite small, others were enormous. And like today's jumbo jets, an intricate set of physiological adaptations, which paleontologist Michael B. Habib details in this issue's cover story, “Monsters of the Mesozoic Skies,” allowed them to lift off. They were quadrupedal and had massive necks, for instance, much like the fearsome dragons in Game of Thrones, which inspired Habib and his colleagues when they were naming one of the pterosaur species. 
Pterosaurs are now gone, as are, unfortunately, most of the 110,000 or so distinct varieties of rice that were once planted across India. Some could tolerate flood, drought, salt and pestilence; some had unique nutritional value; and some were just uniquely pleasant and used in special rituals. With the Green Revolution in the 1950s and 1960s, the government began to focus on high-yield cultivars, which can produce a lot of grain but are expensive and vulnerable to environmental assaults, and that number has dwindled to about 6,000 varieties across India today. Thankfully, as he writes in “Restoring Rice Biodiversity,” conservationist Debal Deb has made it his life's work to redress this problem.
Whether it's rice or wheat, we should all eat more whole grains and more whole foods in general, but markets in the U.S. and elsewhere are littered with “ultraprocessed” foods, including candy bars and potato chips, as well as less obvious things like flavored yogurt and vodka. New research, which journalist Ellen Ruppel Shell describes in “Obesity on the Brain,” suggests that these unnatural concoctions disrupt gut-brain signals in a way that encourages overeating. More fruits and vegetables, preferably of heirloom varieties, please!
Elsewhere, scientists recently used a small device called a diamond anvil cell to apply about half the pressure at the center of the earth to a mix of lanthanum and hydrogen. Then they shot the mash with a laser and synthesized an entirely new material, lanthanum hydride, in hopes of finding a long-coveted room-temperature superconductor. Such a substance, which ferries a current without resistance, could accomplish technological wonders. Journalist Bob Henderson explains in “The Stuff of Dreams” how theory and computer modeling are now guiding a decades-old quest that was once based mostly on guesswork and luck.
Of course, whether it's studying ancient creatures, biodiversity or something else, all science involves a bit of conjecture and serendipity. That's part of what makes the process of research and discovery so frustrating and ever so delightful. Fortune may favor the bold, but it rewards inquisitive minds as well.
This article was originally published with the title "Dragon Up" in Scientific American 321, 4, 6 (October 2019)
doi:10.1038/scientificamerican1019-6

ABOUT THE

Why does pasta or rice water boil over?

17 September 2019

Part of the show Code Making and Breaking


BOILING_POT


Credit: CC0 via Pixabay

Question

When pasta or rice is added to boiling water, there is a sudden surge of the boiling water, to the point that the pot boils over with bubbles. Why is this?

Answer

We received this im-pastable question from Anthony. To find the answer, Phil Sansom went to speak to Phillip Broadwith, business editor of Chemistry World magazine...
Phil - Ah, the classic pasta-water-rice-water surge. Enemy of carb-lovers everywhere! I got in touch with Phillip Broadwith, business editor of the Chemistry World magazine - and he said that to understand this, you first have to understand how boiling works.
Phillip - Boiling is the process of a liquid turning into a gas. It starts with a tiny bubble, formed by a small amount of water vapourising into steam – usually at some kind of imperfection on the bottom or sides of the pan.
Phil - When the bubble is big enough it detaches from the bottom or the sides and rises up, growing bigger as it rises, and bursts to the surface. Those bursting bubbles are what you see when the water rolls and boils.
Phillip - But how aggressively the water boils is determined by the temperature and the number of sites where bubbles can form. If you have water that’s hot enough to be boiling, but doesn’t have a lot of surface for bubbles to form on, it won’t boil very hard. But if you suddenly add more surface – for example by adding pasta or rice – then a lot of bubbles will form all at once, so you get that big surge. This phenomenon can be particularly spectacular if you superheat the water in a very smooth container – for example a mug in a microwave oven. It’s then possible to get the water well above 100°C without boiling, but then if you add coffee granules, you can get a huge surge of boiling, which can be quite dangerous as it'll spit scalding liquid all over you.
Phil - So boiling happens a lot quicker once there are lots of corners and edges and surfaces where the bubbles can form. Regular forum user Alan Calverd got to the same answer, but he also said, “if the added material contains starch or gluten, the bubbles can form a strong mat instead of bursting at the surface, so the next group of bubbles pushes the mat upwards and the pan boils over." So there’s a second dimension to this. Rice and pasta both contain starch and gluten, and that’s why you sometimes get that foam on the top, which adds to the boiling over problem. For rice, there’s an easy fix that I myself approve of: rinse it! And do it properly in a bowl rather than a colander, multiple times, until the water runs clear.
Phillip: This gets rid of a lot of the loose starch particles on the surface, which will also make your cooked rice less sticky. Even better cook your rice by the absorption method, which starts with the rice in a measured amount of cold water and heats it gently with a lid on until it’s absorbed all the water.
Phil - Thanks Phillip. I’m off to make dinner. Next week’s nail-biting question comes from John.
John - I want to know, if enough people in the world donated their finger and toenail clippings, could enough keratin be produced to satisfy the demand, and thus stop poaching of wild animals in Africa?

DA chief turns  over P480-M agri-assistance to farmers in NorMin

Philippine Information Agency
18 Sep 2019, 16:38 GMT+10
Description: https://cdn.bignewsnetwork.com/pia1568788706.jpg
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Sept. 18 -- Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William D. Dar turned over a total of P480.24 million worth of agriculture support to farmers in Northern Mindanao.
Dar led the distribution of farm machinery and equipment to the different farmers' associations in Northern Mindanao on Monday, September 16, 2019 at the Northern Mindanao Agricultural Crops and Livestock Research Complex (NMACLRC) in Dalwangan, Malaybalay City.
The amount comprised farm machinery and equipment which are provisions from the 2018 unprogrammed funds and the 2019 regular programs under the banner programs: rice, corn, high-value crops, livestock and organic agriculture of DA-regional field office 10.
The assistance is part of the government's efforts in increasing productivity and income of farmers to make them more competitive.
Dar also recognized the partnership of the different stakeholders in hurdling the challenges besetting the agriculture sector which include the African Swine Fever (ASF), fall army worm, copra and palay prices.
Further, he emphasized that DA has been accelerating the implementation of interventions funded by the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Funds (RCEF) to assist the farmers affected by the implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law.
The RCEF has four components: mechanization, provision of high-yielding rice seeds, credit support and extension support and education of rice farmers.
He also stressed a much broader perspective for agriculture as an industry, from production to high value-adding to processing and marketing, both local and global, in which the value chain approach will help farmers earn more. (DA RFO10)

Rice excluded from trade accord U.S. and Japan aim to ink soon

BLOOMBERG
SEP 18, 2019
U.S. rice growers won’t get increased sales under the current terms of a trade deal agreed by President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, people familiar with the accord said.
While there are still details to be finalized, the people said there won’t be any expansion of Japan’s quotas for U.S.-grown rice. U.S. producers hope the issue will be dealt with in the second phase of negotiations between the two countries, according to one of the people.
Still, it’s unclear whether or when Trump and Abe will continue talks, given that any trade deal in Japan has to be approved by the Diet and the Trump administration is running out of time before the 2020 presidential election.
Japan is a key export market for U.S. rice farmers, who have been under pressure after the Asian nation signed trade agreements with other countries, including the revised 11-member Trans-Pacific Partnership. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue had suggested the White House may make a concession on rice, which is “sort of a cultural issue in Japan,” local media have reported.
“Although we are glad to see the bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Japan, we were disappointed to see that U.S. rice was not included,” said Stuart Hoetger, a rice trader and manager of Pinnacle Rice Coop in Chico, California. A spokesperson for the U.S. Trade Representative didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Japan is required to import 682,000 tons of rice under World Trade Organization commitments, with the U.S. typically making up about half of that amount, according to USA Rice. Since Japan signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, there’s been more competition from Australian producers, the industry group said.
Chris Crutchfield, president of rice miller and marketer American Commodity Company LLC in Williams, California, said the U.S. industry wants not only more volume but better quality access to the Japanese market. Much of the U.S. rice going to Japan is auctioned by the government and used to make noodles, beer or sake, with only a small amount sold as table rice. American rice should be allowed to be auctioned directly to private buyers and marked as being grown in the U.S.
“We still believe the administration is going to get us something better than we currently have,” Crutchfield said by telephone.

Type 2 diabetes: The best food to lower blood sugar levels

TYPE 2 diabetes is a lifelong condition that requires close monitoring to keep the risks at bay. Diet plays a key role in managing the condition. A recent study reveals swapping out potatoes or rice for a certain food can reduce blood sugar levels by more than 20 per cent.

PUBLISHED: 09:29, Wed, Sep 18, 2019 | UPDATED: 09:30, Wed, Sep 18, 2019

Type 2 diabetes: Dr Mosley gives his dietary tips

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Type 2 diabetes means a person’s pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. Overtime, rising blood sugar levels can pose life-threatening health risks such as heart disease and stroke. Luckily, making certain lifestyle choices can control blood sugar levels and stave off the risks. One study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, has revealed that replacing potatoes or rice with pulses can lower a person’s blood glucose levels by more than 20 per cent.
Pulses are extremely nutrient-dense food
Study authors
Prof. Alison Duncan, Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, and Dan Ramdath of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, found that swapping out half of a portion of these starchy side dishes for lentils can significantly improve your body's response to the carbohydrates.
Replacing half a serving of rice with lentils caused blood glucose to drop by up to 20 per cent. Replacing potatoes with lentils led to a 35 per cent drop.
"Pulses are extremely nutrient-dense food that have the potential to reduce chronic diseases associated with mismanaged glucose levels," said Duncan, who worked on the study with PhD student Dita Moravek and M.Sc. students Erica Rogers, Sarah Turkstra and Jessica Wilson.
The study involved 24 healthy adults fed four dishes - white rice only, half white rice and half large green lentils, half white rice and half small green lentils, and half white rice and half split red lentils.
Researchers measured glucose levels in the participants' blood before they ate and during two hours afterward. They repeated the process for white potatoes alone and the same combinations of potatoes and lentils.
Type 2 diabetes: Study reveals lentils can significantly reduce blood sugar levels (Image: Getty Images )Type 2 diabetes: Common symptoms (Image: Getty Images )
"We mixed the lentils in with the potatoes and rice because people don't typically eat pulses on their own, but rather consume them in combination with other starches as part of a larger meal, so we wanted the results to reflect that,” said the study authors.
Blood glucose fell by similar amounts when half of the starch was replaced with each of the three types of lentils.
Blood glucose comprises sugar found in the blood during digestion in the upper digestive tract and depends on the starch content of foods consumed.
Pulses, such as lentils, can slow digestion and the release of sugars found in starch into the bloodstream, ultimately reducing blood glucose levels, said Duncan.
”This slower absorption means you don't experience a spike in glucose. Having high levels over a period of time can lead to mismanagement of blood glucose, which is the hallmark of Type 2 diabetes. Essentially, eating lentils can lower that risk, explained Duncan.
Type 2 diabetes: Key facts (Image: Getty Images )
Type 2 diabetes: Keeping active can also help to manage blood sugar levels (Image: Getty Images )
Type 2 diabetes: Persistent tiredness is a warning sign (Image: Getty Images )
The study author added: “Pulses contain components that inhibit enzymes involved in absorption of glucose, and fibre contained in these foods can encourage the production of short-chain fatty acids, which can also help to reduce blood glucose levels.
"We are hoping that building evidence for approval of a health claim for pulses will further encourage people to add pulses to their side dishes."
Keeping physically active is another key component of diabetes management.
The NHS recommends aiming for at least 150 minutes of activity every week.
Find out the best exercise to control blood sugar levels here
As Diabetes UK explains, the benefits of being active with diabetes include:
  • Helps the body use insulin better
  • Helps a person look after their blood pressure, because high blood pressure means a person is more at risk of diabetes complications
  • Helps to improve cholesterol (blood fats) to help protect against problems like heart disease
  • Helps a person lose weight if they need to, and keep the weight off after they’ve lost it – there are so many more benefits to losing extra weight
  • Gives a person energy and helps them sleep
  • Helps mind as well as the body – exercise releases endorphins. Being active is proven to reduce stress levels and improve low mood.
  • And for people with Type 2 diabetes, being active helps improve their HbA1c.
What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?
According to the NHS, people with type 2 diabetes may experience:
  • Peeing more than usual, particularly at night
  • Feeling thirsty all the time
  • Feeling very tired
  • Losing weight without trying to
  • Itching around a person’s penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
  • Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
  • Blurred vision

 


World must transform food production or face unrest, scientists warn

REUTERS
ROME
Published17.09.201900:08
The world must diversify its food production and consumption, or face damaging supply disruptions that could lead to suffering and social unrest, scientists warned on Monday. A new global study found the health and environmental benefits of transforming the way we farm would outweigh heavily the cost of doing so, with the authors urging governments to do more to support sustainable agriculture. "A small disruption in supply really can do a lot of damage and leads to huge price increases," said Per Pharo of the Food and Land Use Coalition, the global alliance of economists and scientists behind the study.
"That creates suffering and social unrest. And it will highly likely also lead to hunger and instability," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Global over-dependence on a relatively small number of staple foods leaves populations vulnerable to crop failures, with climate change adding to the strain, the report said. "Four different crops provide 60% of our calories — wheat, rice, maize and potatoes. That increases our vulnerability," said Pharo. The panel said the report was the first of its kind to assess the benefits of transforming global food systems as well as the cost of inaction. The damage the modern food industry does to human health, development and the environment costs the world $12 trillion a year equivalent to China's GDP the study found. It proposes a series of solutions, from encouraging more diverse diets to improve health and reduce dependency on specific crops, to giving more support to the types of farming that can restore forests, a key tool in fighting climate change.
The study said the reforms could also free up 1.2 billion hectares of agricultural land for restoration, an integral part of efforts to curb climate change and halt biodiversity loss. That is more than twice the size of the Amazon rainforest, which spans seven nations.
"What we're saying is realistic if the reform agenda is implemented," said Pharo, adding that under the proposed changes, consumers would actually get "slightly more affordable food." "The excuse that we cannot priorities environment at the same time because we've got to focus on development, on human welfare, is simply false. We can deliver both."

Fish farming started around 8,000 years ago in China: Study

T V Jayan  New Delhi | Updated on September 17, 2019  Published on September 17, 2019
Description: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/migration_catalog/oz0wiq/article18086333.ece/alternates/WIDE_435/BL14AGRITILAPIA
File photo
People in China were engaged in fish farming at least 8,000 years ago –at least 4,500 years earlier than the records exist from Egypt, showed an international study on Monday.
A team of Japanese, Chinese, German and the UK, scouring an early stone age (Neolithic) settlement called Jiahu in the present-day Henan Province in Central China, stumbled upon evidence to show that those who lived there between 6,200-5700 BC were farming common carp, a freshwater fish popularly found in water bodies in Asia and Europe even today. The new findings, published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, pushes the clock back much beyond 1,500 BC, during which Egyptians were believed to have been engaged in farming Nile tilapia fish.
The study assumes importance because the origins of fish farming and domestication are poorly known till date even though aquaculture is the fastest-growing global food production system and it now provides half of all fish consumed by humans. In contrast, there are better records available to show that humans domesticated land animals at least 10,500 years ago.
"There has been a lot of research on domesticated plants and animals, but fish have been poorly understood. This paper shows that humans started to manage fish very early," Mark Hudson of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History at Jena in Germany, who is the co-author of the paper, told BusinessLine. The main author of the study, Tsuneo Nakajima of Lake Biwa Museum in Kusatsu in Japan, however, was not available for comments as he was on yet another field expedition.
The archaeologists discovered multiple number of pharyngeal teeth of carp for three different settlement periods at Jiahu: Period 1 between 7000-6600 BC, Period II between 6600-6200 BC and Period III between 6200-5700 BC.
The researchers measured 588 pharyngeal carp teeth extracted from fish remains in Jiahu corresponding with the three Neolithic periods, and compared the body-length distributions with findings from other sites and a modern sample of carp raised in Matsukawa Village in Japan. While the remains from the first two periods revealed unimodal patterns of body-length distribution peaking at or near carp maturity, the remains of Period III displayed bimodal distribution, with one peak at 350-400 mm corresponding with sexual maturity, and another at 150-200 mm.
"Under the climate similar to the present, carp becomes sexually mature in body-lengths of 300mm. We think that the unimodal distribution suggests fishing of wild carp when they become sexually mature and come to the lakeshore, so that the peak of the graph must be consistent with BL 300mm," said Junzo Uchiyama, a fellow at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures in Norwich in the UK and another co-author of the study
The bimodal distribution identified by researchers in the study was similar to that documented at the Iron Age Asahi site in Japan (400 BC - AD 100), and is indicative of a managed system of carp aquaculture that until now was unidentified in Neolithic China.
"In such fisheries," the study noted, "a large number of cyprinids (carp) were caught during the spawning season and processed as preserved food. At the same time, some carp were kept alive and released into confined, human regulated waters where they spawned naturally and their offspring grew by feeding on available resources. In autumn, water was drained from the ponds and the fish harvested, with body-length distributions showing two peaks due to the presence of both immature and mature individuals."
The fish belonging to the carp family have been widely exploited by humans since at least 40.000 years ago. While the historical records showed that carp were raised in artificial ponds and paddy fields in East Asia, particularly in China and Japan, by the second millennium BC. But, given that rice paddy fields in China dated back to the fifth millennium BC, scientists believed that carp aquaculture might have also had a similar antiquity. However, there has been no archaeological evidence to support that till date.
"There is already evidence of rice at Jiahu. So far no evidence of rice paddy fields. But the evidence for carp aquaculture suggests that the Neolithic people at Jiahu were able to control water channels to some extent. Therefore rice paddies are not impossible. The technology for rice paddy fields and carp aquaculture may have developed in tandem, " Observed Hudson.

Rice excluded from trade accord U.S. and Japan aim to ink soon
U.S. rice growers won’t get increased sales under the current terms of a trade deal agreed by President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, people familiar with the accord said. While there are still details to be finalized, the people said there won’t be any expansion of Japan’s quotas for U.S.-grown rice. U.S. producers hope the issue will be dealt with in the second phase of negotiations between the two countries, according to one of the people.
Still, it’s unclear whether or when Trump and Abe will continue talks, given that any trade deal in Japan has to be approved by the Diet and the Trump administration is running out of time before the 2020 presidential election.
Japan is a key export market for U.S. rice farmers, who have been under pressure after the Asian nation signed trade agreements with other countries, including the revised 11-member Trans-Pacific Partnership. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue had suggested the White House may make a concession on rice, which is “sort of a cultural issue in Japan,” local media have reported. “Although we are glad to see the bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Japan, we were disappointed to see that U.S. rice was not included,” said Stuart Hoetger, a rice trader and manager of Pinnacle Rice Coop in Chico, California. A spokesperson for the U.S. Trade Representative didn’t respond to a request for comment. Japan is required to import 682,000 tons of rice under World Trade Organization commitments, with the U.S. typically making up about half of that amount, according to USA Rice. Since Japan signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, there’s been more competition from Australian producers, the industry group said. Chris Crutchfield, president of rice miller and marketer American Commodity Company LLC in Williams, California, said the U.S. industry wants not only more volume but better quality access to the Japanese market. Much of the U.S. rice going to Japan is auctioned by the government and used to make noodles, beer or sake, with only a small amount sold as table rice. American rice should be allowed to be auctioned directly to private buyers and marked as being grown in the U.S. “We still believe the administration is going to get us something better than we currently have,” Crutchfield said by telephone.
USA Rice Launches School Nutrition Newsletter  

ARLINGTON, VA - Last week, USA Rice launched the "Schools Think Rice" newsletter to engage with school nutrition professionals throughout the year and provide a platform to distribute the industry's school nutrition resources to interested parties. The first edition of the newsletter was sent to more than 1,250 school nutrition professionals who USA Rice interacted with during the annual School Nutrition Association trade show, and has a National Rice month theme, providing NRM stats, a featured school foodservice recipe, educational materials, and more.

"We are very excited about the launch of this newsletter," said Cameron Jacobs, USA Rice domestic promotion manager. "We have educational resources school nutrition officials are looking for so establishing this direct pipeline to them will be huge for keeping U.S.-grown rice top of mind within the school foodservice space."

The quarterly newsletter will follow future themes of "Ring in 2020 with USA Rice," "Spring Meal Planning," and "Back to School with USA Rice." Each newsletter edition will include a welcome message from USA Rice, a school foodservice recipe of the month, lesson plan/activity and marketing tip, and include the ability to send questions directly to USA Rice.
 
"By providing resources and recipes for inclusion in school promotions we expect to see not only the professionals behind the counter get excited about U.S.-grown rice, but also the students who are being served and have both groups Think Rice all year long!" Jacobs continued.
 Results from the first newsletter edition were promising with an above average agriculture and foodservice open rate of more than 20 percent and on sector average click-through rate. To view the first edition of the School Think Rice newsletter, click here.
usa Rice daily news
Punjab: Basmati’s early variety fetches lower price than last year, arhtiyas blame sanctions on Iran


While traders said that US sanctions on Iran, which is a big importer of Basmati from India, was the reason behind the slump, the farmers blamed the arhtiyas of ganging up to show less demand in order to keep the prices artificially lower.
Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba |Jalandhar |Published: September 17, 2019 3:34:09 am
A basmati exporter said that around 16 lakh tonnes basmati worth Rs 12,000 to Rs 13,000 crores is exported to Iran and this time they were worried due to US sanctions.
Early variety of rice — PUSA 1509 (basmati rice) — has already started hitting grain markets in the state with farmers fetching an opening price which is around Rs 200 lower than last year. In 2018, the same variety fetched Rs Rs 2500 to 2600 per quintal, compared to Rs 2300/2500 this year.
While traders said that US sanctions on Iran, which is a big importer of Basmati from India, was the reason behind the slump, the farmers blamed the arhtiyas of ganging up to show less demand in order to keep the prices artificially lower.
Basmati crop is procured by the private players and paddy is procured by government beginning October 1 after main paddy varieties (non-basmati) reach the markets.
Meanwhile, farmers also said that government procurement arrangements should be made a week in advance as and not from October 1 as this time paddy sowing was done a week in advance, from June 13 as against June 20 last year. Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh had announced early paddy sowing this year.
The opening price for basmati’s early variety has worried farmers who grow late basmati variety- PUSA 1121 and PUSA 1718, which last year fetched Rs 3300 to 4000 per quintal. Both these are much superior varieties and come in the market in October.
Ujagar Singh, a farmer who sold his crop at Tarn Taran grain market, said: “I have sold around 500 quintals of PUSA 1509 in last 5 days and the rate on the first day on September 11 was Rs 2500 per quintal, while today I sold it at the rate of Rs 2300 per quintal as traders and arhtiyas fleece farmers due to no control of the government over its price.”
“Traders create false market price when there is peak arrival period of the crop in the mandis and after that the rates suddenly goes up,” said another farmer, Onkar Singh, who sold his crop at the rate of Rs 2500 per quintal Sunday at Sultanpur Lodhi Market. He said farmers have to go by the wishes of traders as they cannot hold back the crop once it is harvested and has to bring in the mandi.
“The rate of the crop should have been around Rs 2800 to 3000 per quintal, but it will be that once farmers have sold it, and it is time for the traders to mint money,” said farmer Davinder Singh, who had sold yield from his 20 acres in the past one week.
Former chairman of Punjab Mandi Board, Ravinder Singh Cheema, said: “It is because of US sanctions on Iran, which is major importer of Basmati from India, that the situation is not clear about how much basmati will be exported to Iran this time. This has impacted prices in Punjab.”
A basmati exporter said that around 16 lakh tonnes basmati worth Rs 12,000 to Rs 13,000 crores is exported to Iran and this time they were worried due to US sanctions.
“This time we are expecting production of around 8 lakh metric tonnes of 1509 variety and it is arriving in Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Batala, Tarn Taran, Dhuri, Sunam, Phagwara, Fazilka, Sultanpur Lodhi markets,” said Cheema.


Business  CRF: Rice exports to Europe may fall 10%

CRF: Rice exports to Europe may fall 10%

The Cambodia Rice Federation has predicted that the value of rice exports to the European market may decline by around 10 per cent this year to $180 million. Hong Menea
The Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) predicted that the value of rice exports to the European market may decline by around 10 per cent this year.
CRF president Song Saran said in a Facebook post that the value of rice exports to Europe was more than $200 million last year.
However, the federation predicts that the export value to the market will drop to around $180 million due to safeguards imposed by the EU earlier this year.

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- September 18, 2019

SEPTEMBER 18, 2019 / 1:31 PM /

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices – APMC/Open Market-September 18, 2018 Nagpur, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Gram and tuar prices reported down in Nagpur Agriculture Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) here on lack of demand from local millers amid high moisture content arrival. Easy condition on NCDEX and fresh fall in Madhya Pradesh gram prices also affected sentiment. About 1,000 bags of gram and 150 bags of tuar reported for auction, according to sources.
GRAM
* Desi gram showed weak tendency in open market here in absence of buyers.
TUAR
* Tuar varieties reported steady here on subdued demand from local traders amid ample
stock in ready position.
* Major rice varieties reported down in open market here on poor buying support from
local traders.
* In Akola, Tuar New – 5,500-5,700, Tuar dal (clean) – 8,100-8,200, Udid Mogar (clean)
– 7,300-8,100, Moong Mogar (clean) 8,200-8,900, Gram – 4,300-4,400, 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 weak trading activity.
Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg
FOODGRAINS Available prices Previous close
Gram Auction 3,500-4,200 3,650-4,225
Gram Pink Auction n.a. 2,100-2,600
Tuar Auction 4,780-5,400 4,800-5,450
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 1,845-2,075 1,880-2,080
Wheat Sharbati Auction n.a. 2,900-3,000
Gram Super Best Bold 5,800-6,000 5,800-6,000
Gram Super Best n.a. n.a.
Gram Medium Best 5,400-5,600 5,400-5,600
Gram Dal Medium n.a. n.a
Gram Mill Quality 4,300-4,400 4,300-4,400
Desi gram Raw 4,250-4,350 4,300-4,400
Gram Kabuli 8,300-10,000 8,300-10,000
Tuar Fataka Best-New 8,200-8,300 8,200-8,300
Tuar Fataka Medium-New 7,700-8,000 7,700-8,000
Tuar Dal Best Phod-New 7,400-7,600 7,400-7,600
Tuar Dal Medium phod-New 6,800-7,300 6,800-7,300
Tuar Gavarani New 5,550-5,700 5,550-5,700
Tuar Karnataka 6,000-6,100 6,000-6,100
Masoor dal best 5,500-5,600 5,500-5,600
Masoor dal medium 5,200-5,300 5,200-5,300
Masoor n.a. n.a.
Moong Mogar bold (New) 8,000-8,800 8,000-8,800
Moong Mogar Medium 7,000-7,600 7,000-7,600
Moong dal Chilka New 6,800-7,800 7,000-7,800
Moong Mill quality n.a. n.a.
Moong Chamki best 8,500-9,000 8,500-9,000
Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 7,500-8,500 7,500-8,500
Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG) 5,600-6,500 5,600-6,500
Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG) 4,500-5,100 4,500-5,100
Mot (100 INR/KG) 5,600-6,700 5,600-6,700
Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg) 4,800-5,100 4,800-5,100
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) 2,250-2,350 2,250-2,350
Wheat Mill quality (100 INR/KG) 2,100-2,200 2,100-2,200
Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG) 2,650-2,750 2,650-2,750
Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG) 2,550-2,650 2,550-2,650
Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG) 2,300-2,450 2,300-2,450
Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG) n.a. n.a.
MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG) 3,300-4,000 3,300-4,000
MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG) 2,800-3,100 2,800-3,100
Rice Parmal (100 INR/KG) 2,200-2,300 2,200-2,300
Rice BPT best new (100 INR/KG) 2,900-3,400 3,000-3,500
Rice BPT medium new(100 INR/KG) 2,500-3,000 2,600-3,000
Rice Luchai (100 INR/KG) 2,900-2,800 2,900-3,000
Rice Swarna best new (100 INR/KG) 2,500-2,650 2,600-2,750
Rice Swarna medium new (100 INR/KG)2,200-2,300 2,300-2,400
Rice HMT best new (100 INR/KG) 3,600-4,000 3,600-4,000
Rice HMT medium new (100 INR/KG) 3,200-3,400 3,200-3,400
Rice Shriram best new(100 INR/KG) 4,400-5,000 4,500-5,000
Rice Shriram med new (100 INR/KG) 4,100-4,300 4,200-4,400
Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG) 8,000-13,500 8,000-13,500
Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG) 5,000-7,200 5,000-7,200
Rice Chinnor best new 100 INR/KG) 5,300-5,700 5,400-5,800
Rice Chinnor medium new(100 INR/KG)5,000-5,200 5,100-5,300
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. 32.7 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 24.8 degree Celsius Rainfall : 48.7 mm FORECAST: Generally cloudy sky with a few spells of rains or thunder-showers. Maximum and minimum temperature likely to be around 33 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.

Rice Prices

as on : 17-09-2019 01:42:18 PM

Arrivals in tonnes;prices in Rs/quintal in domestic market.
Arrivals
Price
Current
%
change
Season
cumulative
Modal
Prev.
Modal
Prev.Yr
%change
Rice
Bangalore(Kar)
2933.00
-41.56
45538.00
4500
4500
4.65
Sultanpur(UP)
260.00
13.04
3813.00
2775
2750
18.09
Siliguri(WB)
210.00
1.94
5035.00
3800
3800
-
Hardoi(UP)
160.00
23.08
4340.00
2420
2430
0.41
Gondal(UP)
148.00
5.71
6538.00
2480
2480
8.53
Barhaj(UP)
110.00
-8.33
6708.00
2420
2420
8.52
Bindki(UP)
100.00
-16.67
3850.00
2430
2400
-
Agra(UP)
95.00
-13.64
3587.00
2610
2600
2.76
Srirampur(ASM)
90.00
12.5
370.00
2800
2800
12.00
Kanpur(Grain)(UP)
90.00
-40
4395.00
2340
2325
7.59
Lucknow(UP)
84.50
4.32
2442.50
2880
2880
25.22
Kalipur(WB)
82.00
5.13
1314.00
2350
2350
-
Barabanki(UP)
81.00
-6.9
420.00
2425
2450
5.90
Aligarh(UP)
80.00
14.29
3230.00
2550
2550
1.19
Rampurhat(WB)
66.00
3.12
920.00
2400
2400
-4.00
Pilibhit(UP)
65.00
-7.14
12155.50
2670
2665
4.09
Puranpur(UP)
64.00
-20
6260.00
2650
2600
6.43
Cachar(ASM)
60.00
50
3461.00
2400
2400
NC
Jorhat(ASM)
60.00
118.18
1283.50
3400
3400
6.25
Gauripur(ASM)
48.00
-4
1724.50
4500
4500
NC
Naugarh(UP)
45.50
18.18
2450.00
2450
2460
18.64
Lalganj(UP)
45.00
80
290.00
1750
1750
3.55
Gazipur(UP)
44.00
-10.2
4988.50
3230
3210
11.38
Pandua(WB)
42.00
-6.67
1006.00
2950
2950
-7.81
Karimganj(ASM)
40.00
NC
340.00
2450
2450
-
Kayamganj(UP)
40.00
33.33
991.00
2650
2660
11.81
Beldanga(WB)
40.00
NC
2075.00
2600
2600
-2.26
Muzzafarnagar(UP)
39.00
8.33
930.50
2830
2825
1.98
Saharanpur(UP)
38.00
31.03
993.50
2810
2840
1.44
Lakhimpur(UP)
35.00
NC
1633.50
2400
2420
6.67
Jhargram(WB)
35.00
-7.89
815.00
2900
2900
-3.33
Lalitpur(UP)
30.00
7.14
1561.00
2400
2640
-
Naanpara(UP)
29.00
19.83
860.80
2400
2400
6.19
Madhoganj(UP)
27.00
-11.48
3288.00
2320
2330
3.57
Mathura(UP)
25.00
4.17
804.50
2640
2600
3.53
Jayas(UP)
24.50
6.52
1063.40
2110
2100
5.50
Tamluk (Medinipur E)(WB)
24.00
NC
176.00
2700
2700
-5.59
Asansol(WB)
22.00
15.79
2432.10
2900
2900
-6.45
Indus(Bankura Sadar)(WB)
22.00
-8.33
2427.00
2800
2800
NC
Durgapur(WB)
20.20
22.42
1294.60
2700
2700
-4.42
Etawah(UP)
20.00
-13.04
1836.50
2625
2625
8.02
Dadri(UP)
20.00
-20
708.00
2920
2920
9.36
Karsiyang(Matigara)(WB)
19.90
0.51
726.90
3400
3400
13.33
Kolaghat(WB)
19.00
NC
218.00
2700
2700
-5.59
Dhekiajuli(ASM)
18.00
NC
454.00
2400
2400
NC
Sahiyapur(UP)
17.50
-7.89
1283.50
2455
2455
12.87
Bharthna(UP)
15.00
-25
5823.00
2650
2640
8.16
Sitapur(UP)
14.50
-9.38
550.00
2450
2460
-
Champadanga(WB)
14.00
-22.22
445.00
3000
3000
-6.25
Fatehabad(UP)
12.50
150
31.50
2050
2350
-12.77
Bareilly(UP)
11.00
-75.56
1476.00
2690
2675
4.47
Alappuzha(Ker)
10.00
NC
120.00
7400
7350
9.63
Milak(UP)
10.00
-
10.00
2550
-
-
Nadia(WB)
10.00
-16.67
431.00
3800
3800
-3.80
Badayoun(UP)
9.00
-18.18
533.50
2580
2570
6.39
Sirsaganj(UP)
9.00
-30.77
428.00
2640
2660
-5.04
Karvi(UP)
9.00
-10
314.00
2360
2345
7.27
Tamkuhi Road(UP)
8.50
NC
523.50
2250
2250
4.17
Khurja(UP)
8.00
6.67
508.80
2680
2700
2.68
Jafarganj(UP)
8.00
-65.22
1246.00
2450
2450
-
Kaliaganj(WB)
8.00
-20
60.00
3450
3450
-
Robertsganj(UP)
7.50
-31.82
388.45
2370
2375
6.52
Jasra(UP)
7.00
-22.22
425.00
2600
2600
13.04
Mirzapur(UP)
6.50
30
419.00
2425
2415
10.73
Soharatgarh(UP)
6.50
30
437.50
2460
2460
18.84
Mugrabaadshahpur(UP)
6.50
-50
221.50
2260
2260
-
Dibrugarh(ASM)
6.00
-22.08
182.50
3000
3000
2.74
Hailakandi(ASM)
6.00
NC
37.00
2400
2400
NC
Sehjanwa(UP)
5.00
66.67
258.10
2160
2160
NC
Ruperdeeha(UP)
5.00
-16.67
269.00
2250
2250
12.50
Fatehpur(UP)
4.50
-35.71
905.10
2410
2425
9.55
Bangarmau(UP)
4.00
33.33
115.70
2450
2460
6.52
Kasganj(UP)
4.00
-20
120.50
2570
2550
-6.88
Kosikalan(UP)
4.00
NC
188.80
2615
2600
0.58
Puwaha(UP)
4.00
-33.33
316.20
2480
2460
1.22
Jahangirabad(UP)
3.00
-25
143.00
2600
2600
-0.95
Melaghar(Tri)
2.50
25
28.00
2700
2700
-5.26
Kalimpong(WB)
2.30
-8
34.70
2900
2900
-36.96
Tundla(UP)
2.20
37.5
257.90
2580
2560
2.58
Purwa(UP)
2.00
NC
4.00
2150
2150
-
Sindholi(UP)
2.00
100
19.00
1850
1900
-
Khair(UP)
1.50
50
45.70
2590
2580
1.57
Nandyal(AP)
1.00
NC
9.00
3950
3900
-
Penugonda(Mah)
1.00
NC
28.00
4090
4090
0.25
Alibagh(Mah)
1.00
NC
86.00
2200
2200
-56.00
Murud(Mah)
1.00
NC
87.00
2200
2200
-45.00
Achnera(UP)
0.70
NC
37.80
2550
2560
NC
Ujhani(UP)
0.60
NC
25.90
2590
2630
6.15
Published on September 17, 2019

Iran Struggles With Food Security Amid Sanctions

Description: https://lobelog.com/wp-content/uploads/2880px-Ali_Azad.jpgRice field in Bandpey, northern Iran (Ali Azad via Wikimedia Commons)

by Austin Bodetti
As Iran wrestles with devastating economic sanctions imposed after the United States’ withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the news media has highlighted the impact on Iran’s economy as a whole, noting predictions by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank that it would contract by between 3.8 and 6 percent this year. The potential effect on Iran’s food security, however, has received less attention. In the wake of the sanctions, several top Western agribusinesses opted to stop selling food to the import-dependent country.
Despite Iran’s sizable deserts and troubles with water scarcity, agriculture has managed to thrive in the country for much of its history. Iranian farmers grow products as varied as barley, grapes, melons, rice, wheat, and medicinal plants, and agriculture represented 9.5 percent of Iran’s gross domestic product in 2016. The sector employed about 17 percent of Iranians in 2018.
“Despite being located in an arid and semiarid area, Iran benefits from having weather diversity, and the difference between the coldest and hottest areas reaches 40°C, making it possible to grow a variety of products at any given time,” says Mohammad Bakhshoodeh, who heads the department of agricultural economics at Shiraz University. “Iran has comparative advantages in dozens of agriculture products, especially in horticultural ones and, of course, in saffron.”
In a semi-successful bid to withstand decades of sanctions, Iran has long endeavored to achieve agricultural self-sufficiency. This quest began soon after the Iranian Revolution, and, in fact, the role of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in undermining agriculture in Iran fueled much of the rebellion against him. To insulate farmers from sanctions and protect them from the turmoil of the global economy, Iran has relied on a mix of subsidies and tariffs on agricultural imports. The United Nations has noted that Iran considers its goal of self-sufficiency “a top national priority.”
“To keep national food security, the Iranian government focuses on self-sufficiency policies, concentrates on domestic production of food and other agricultural products, and encourages productivity enhancement of basic inputs, particularly that of water,” Bakhshoodeh tells LobeLog. “Moreover, the government supports farmers with policies of guaranteeing purchases, expanding agricultural insurances with significant coverage, and so on.”
Iran’s investment in agriculture has yielded noticeable results, potatoes providing one example. Iranian farmers cultivated 5,102,340 metric tons of potatoes in 2017, over five times as many as in 1979, the year of the Iranian Revolution. Nonetheless, the country has a long way to go before it realizes self-sufficiency. In 2017, Iranians imported 1.2 million metric tons of rice, 1.3 million of barley, and 9.5 million of corn, a sign that, while Iran has lessened its reliance on other countries, recessions and sanctions can still threaten its food security.
“Imports of agricultural products have always been an obstacle to sustaining agriculture in Iran, and they may cause farmers’ income to decrease,” notes Bakhshoodeh. “However, to ensure greater food security, Iran allocates subsidized foreign exchange to importing critical foods such as wheat and rice, promotes the optimum use of scarce inputs in the agricultural sector, and relies on domestic production for the purpose of food security.”
Anecdotal evidence suggests that sanctions have already started to bite at agriculture and food security in Iran. Earlier this year, Iranian officials banned the export of potatoes and onions to guarantee a supply for the domestic market. In a more bizarre example, Iranian-backed Syrian militias complain that Iran is feeding them less meat and more potatoes because of sanctions.
“Iran is a net importer of agricultural products, so it might be affected by foreign policies such as sanctions,” says Bakhshoodeh. “It seems that the availability of food, a pillar of food security, has not been seriously affected by the sanctions. However, because of price increases, many poor households cannot afford enough food and cannot easily buy as much food as they need in the long run. In general, the dominance and traditional structure of Iranian agriculture prevents or at least postpones the negative impacts of sanctions on the availability of food.”
Climate change and environmental degradation have aggravated Iran’s difficulties. Droughts and floods—environmental issues compounded by global warming—affect farmland in much of Iran, and the problem seems on track to grow far worse in the coming years. On the World Resources Institute’s list of the world’s most water-stressed countries, Iran ranks fourth. If Iran ever wants to end its dependence on imported food, the country will have to overcome water scarcity.
“Given the problem of water scarcity, achieving food security in Iran has been a big challenge,” says Gholamreza Soltani, a professor of natural resource economics at Shiraz University and the editor in chief of an academic journal on agricultural economics. “Iran needs to import water to sustain the intensive agricultural commodities necessary for achieving food security.”
Experts expect that, as Iran’s economy deteriorates and environmental degradation worsens, Iran will have to retool its agricultural and economic policies to depend less on imports.
“In the face of sanctions, Iran must improve agricultural trade patterns to import water-intensive commodities and export water-efficient ones,” Soltani tells LobeLog. “This would result in the net import of virtual water, contributing to food security.”
Though the recent reimposition of sanctions has only renewed Iran’s fervor for self-sufficiency in agriculture, guaranteeing the country’s food security amid a financial crisis will likely demand a far more comprehensive strategy. Much of Iran’s domestic policy has contributed to its problems with agriculture, and sanctions are limiting Iranian officials’ ability to reform their environmental policy. Even so, some scholars argue that Iran is coming closer to accomplishing its agricultural objectives than it appears. For now, though, food security remains a pressing challenge.
“The major issue with food security is that food is becoming less affordable for the middle class,” says Sina Azodi, a foreign policy advisor at Gulf State Analytics. “There is plenty of food available in stores, but inflation has made [it] less affordable. Adding to the problem is that, as the economy shrinks, people are losing jobs, and, thus, less food is getting to their tables.”
Austin Bodetti studies the intersection of Islam, culture, and politics in Africa and Asia. He has conducted fieldwork in Bosnia, Indonesia, Iraq, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Oman, South Sudan, Thailand, and Uganda, and his research has appeared in The Daily Beast, USA Today, Vox, and Wired.

Indonesia agrees to import Indian rice & sugar to push trade volume to $50 billion

The bilateral trade is currently in favour of Indonesia and export of rice and sugar from India will help to bridge trade deficit, ET has learnt.

By
, ET Bureau|
Sep 17, 2019, 12.23 PM IST
0Comments
Getty Images
Description: cropThis decision to import Indian rice and sugar is understood to have been taken by Jakarta in the backdrop of India providing level playing field to Indonesian palm oil by charging same duties on Malaysian palm oil.
NEW DELHI: SE Asia’s biggest nation Indonesia has decided to purchase rice and sugar from India — a move that will help to reduce trade deficit between the two sides and push trade volume to $ 50 billion by 2025.

The bilateral trade is currently in favour of Indonesia and export of rice and sugar from India will help to bridge trade deficit, ET has learnt.

This decision to import Indian rice and sugar is understood to have been taken by Jakarta in the backdrop of India providing level playing field to Indonesian palm oil by charging same duties on Malaysian palm oil.

On September 16 the Embassy of India, Jakarta, in partnership with the Ministry of Trade of Government of Indonesia, jointly hosted a Multi Product Road Show, focusing on exports of Bovine Meat, Rice and Sugar from India to Indonesia.

The event attended by 40 member trade promotion delegation led by Paban Kumar Borthakur, Chairman of the Agricultural Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) (an apex body under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India). The business delegation of APEDA comprised of senior representatives of Indian Agro Industry from key commodities of rice, sugar and bovine meat.

During the first leg of the visit to Jakarta, a B2B meeting session was held, which was followed by a Business Seminar on 16th September, which was inaugurated by Enggartiasto Lukita, Minister of Trade, Indonesia. It was attended by senior officials of the Ministry of Trade, Ministry of Agriculture, Indonesian meat producers/importers associations, Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN), State Procurement/Logistics Agencies (Bulog, PT Berdikari and PT PPI), private import houses and retailers, apart from the Media.

Ambassador of India Pradeep Kumar Rawat in his opening address reiterated the target of $ 50 billion set for bilateral trade, to be achieved by 2025 and urged the participant companies of both countries to explore means to diversify trade basket through focused items such as bovine meat, sugar and rice. In his inaugural address at the event, Lukita expressed the hope that the multi product road show would lead to greater synergies in trade between the two sides.

During the visit to Jakarta, the APEDA delegation also had discussions with Director General of Foreign Trade of Indonesian Ministry of Trade, Bulog & Pt Berdikari (State Owned Procurement Agencies of Indonesia), and AGRI (Indonesian Refined Sugar Association).

Bilateral trade between India and Indonesia during 2018-19 was $ 21.11 bn and in the context of achieving the target of $ 50 billion set by the leaders of both countries, the visit of APEDA led business delegation to Indonesia is aimed at exports of Buffalo Meat, Rice and Sugar into Indonesian market.