Friday, October 11, 2019

11th October,2019 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter


 

 

Sarhad Chamber Of Commerce And Industry, Portugal Diplomat Agree To Boost Trade Ties

  
Description: Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Portugal diplomat agree to boost trade ties

President of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Engr Maqsood Anwar Pervaiz and Ambassador of Portugal to Pakistan, Mr Paulo Neves Pocinho have agreed to make joint efforts to give boost to mutual trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Portugal

Peshawar (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News / Online - 10th October, 2019) President of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Engr Maqsood Anwar Pervaiz and Ambassador of Portugal to Pakistan, Mr Paulo Neves Pocinho have agreed to make joint efforts to give boost to mutual trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Portugal.The agreement came during a meeting at the chamber house here on Thursday.Engr Maqsood Anwar invited the Portuguese investors to make investment in hydel power generation, oil and gasLPG, mines and mineral, gemstones, agriculture, medicine, fruits, livestock, honey and other potential sectors.The meeting was attended by SCCI Senior Vice President, Shahid Hussain, Vice President Abdul Jalil Jan, former president Faiz Mohammad Faizi, members of the chamber excutive committee, Sadiq Amin, Sherbaz Bilour, Ihsanullah, Mohammad Naeem Butt, Mujeebur Rehman, Ghulam Bilal Javed, Sanaullah Khan Shams Rahim, Mohammad Altaf Baig, Mihajuddin, Abdul Hakeem Shinwari, Mohammd Tariq, Nisarullah Khan, Shahid islam and Hazrat Noor and others.SCCI chief observed the mutual trade volume between Pakistan and Portugal stood at $ 178million, which need to be boost up by launching of joint venture, exchange of business delegation.He asked the visiting diplomat to issue business visas on recommendation of SCCI to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa business community, besides to exchange business delegation to take benefit from each other experiences to bolster the bilateral economic and trade relations between the two countries.
Engr Maqsood Anwar informed that Pakistan exports items to Portugal include textile, hides, rice, animal organs, sport goods, soapstone, plastic products, leather, etc, while Portugal imports products to Pakistan include coal tar, synthetic filament tow, cyclic hydrocarbons, synthetic coloring matter, newsprint, uncoated paper, concentrated milk, etc.Paulo Neves Pocinho while speaking on the occasion have agreed with recommendations of SCCI president Engr Maqsood Awnar and assured him they will issue on visas to business community on priority basis to further strengthen economic and trade ties between Pakistan and Portugal.The diplomat said his country is lucrative destination for foreign investors and asked the business community to make investment in information technology, software engineering, tourism and other potential sectors in Portugal.On the occasion, former president, Faiz Mohammad Faizi and other members of the business community spoke and gave number of recommendations to further enlarge mutual trade and economic ties between Pakistan and Portugal.

https://www.urdupoint.com/en/business/sarhad-chamber-of-commerce-and-industry-port-733645.html

 

RCCI, MoC discuss ways and means to explore new markets for country


October 11, 2019
RAWALPINDI     -     The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) president Saboor Malik called on Ministry of Commerce, Joint Secretary, Ms Maria Kazi, Thursday and discussed ways and means to explore new markets and help building positive image of Pakistan.
Maria Kazi while exchanging views said that special incentives would be provided to Pakistani companies through new strategic trade policy framework for participating in trade fairs in Africa.
She said Pakistan’s exports to Africa were confined to few products including rice, pharmaceuticals, cement, textiles, surgical and sports goods and urged that private sector should focus on exporting more products to Africa.
She lauded RCCI efforts for promoting trade activities and appreciated its efforts for organising Business Africa Forum earlier this year in Islamabad. She assured full support and assistant to RCCI for organising trade exhibitions in the region.
Saboor Malik, on this occasion, said that Africa, South and Latin America and Central Asian countries are the non-traditional markets for Pakistan’s exports and have huge potentials for enhancing of exports.
An Egyptian trade delegation is expecting to visit RCCI next week, he informed. We will be holding Business to Business (B2B) meetings on the sidelines of the visit and added that ministry should open help desks at Chamber houses across Pakistan for information related to African markets.
He said RCCI will organise similar events including business opportunities conference and African Day to involve business community to explore new markets for exports and promoting trade ties with African Countries.
Africa is the second largest continent of the world with 54 sovereign states and population 1.2 billion with collective GDP $3.3 trillion and imports market of around $500 billion, he added. Chairman regional trade Khurshid Berlas and HAP president Fahad Berlas was also present on the occasion.

 

https://nation.com.pk/11-Oct-2019/rcci-moc-discuss-ways-and-means-to-explore-new-markets-for-country

 

Hybrid Rice Research Base Opens In South China

Description: Hybrid rice research base opens in south China

An 83.3-hectare research base for hybrid rice breeding was inaugurated Wednesday in Guanyang County, southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region

MANNING, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 10th Oct, 2019 ) :An 83.3-hectare research base for hybrid rice breeding was inaugurated Wednesday in Guanyang County, southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
The research base is part of a newly-launched workstation of Yuan Longping, an agronomist known as China's "father of hybrid rice." Yuan and his team will focus on breeding high-yielding hybrid rice strains adaptive to various environments. They aim to develop rice strains that can achieve a yield of more than 1,200 kg per mu (about 0.
07 hectares), or 18 tonnes per hectare.
Yuan said at the unveiling ceremony that his team would work to increase the output of hybrid rice as well as to improve its quality.
He added that his workstation is located in Guanyang because the county has a very high yield of super hybrid rice and ratoon rice.
Earlier this year, Guanyang saw its weighted average yield of its super hybrid rice exceeding 1,000 kg per mu in one season.

https://www.urdupoint.com/en/world/hybrid-rice-research-base-opens-in-south-chin-733372.html

 

Portuguese invited to invest in KP

Bureau ReportOctober 11, 2019

PESHAWAR: Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has invited Portuguese investors to make investment in hydel power generation, oil and gas, mines and mineral, gemstones and agriculture sectors in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.Mr Pervaiz met Ambassador of Portugal to Pakistan Paulo Neves Pocinho and both agreed to make joint efforts to boost bilateral trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Portugal.

 

Highlighting the significance of trade potential in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the SCCI chief invited the Portuguese investors to make investment in hydel power generation, oil and gas, LPG, mines and mineral, gemstones, agriculture, medicine, fruits, livestock, honey and other potential sectors.

 

SCCI senior vice president Shahid Hussain, vice president Abdul Jalil Jan, former president Faiz Mohammad Faizi, members of chamber executive committee Sadiq Amin, Sherbaz Bilour, Ihsanullah, Mohammad Naeem Butt, Mujeebur Rehman, Ghulam Bilal Javed, Sanaullah Khan, Shams Rahim, Mohammad Altaf Baig, Mihajuddin, Abdul Hakeem Shinwari, Mohammd Tariq, Nisarullah Khan, Shahid Islam and Hazrat Noor were also present on the occasion.

 

The SCCI chief said that volume of bilateral trade between Pakistan and Portugal stood at $178million that needed to be boosted by launching a joint venture and exchange of business delegations.

He urged the envoy to issue business visas on recommendation of SCCI to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa traders besides exchanging business delegations to take benefits from each other’s experiences.

Maqsood Anwar said that Pakistan exports items to Portugal included textile, hides, rice, animal organs, sport goods, soapstone, plastic products and leather. He said that Portugal imports products to Pakistan included coal tar, synthetic filament tow, cyclic hydrocarbons, synthetic coloring matter, newsprint, uncoated paper and concentrated milk.

 

Speaking on the occasion, Paulo Neves Pocinho agreed with recommendations of SCCI president and said that the proposal regarding issuance of visas would be given priority to strengthen economic and trade ties between Pakistan and Portugal.

 

The envoy said that his country was lucrative destination for foreign investors. He asked the business community to make investment in information technology, software engineering, tourism and other potential sectors in Portugal.

On the occasion, SCCI former president Faiz Mohammad Faizi and other members presented several recommendations to enlarge mutual trade and economic ties between Pakistan and Portugal.

Published in Dawn, October 11th, 2019

 

https://www.dawn.com/news/1510168/portuguese-invited-to-invest-in-kp

 

Pakistan sets wheat production target at 27m tons

Published: October 11, 2019
Description: The Indus River System Authority Advisory Committee has anticipated a 15% water shortfall for Rabi 2019-20. PHOTO: FILE
The Indus River System Authority Advisory Committee has anticipated a 15% water shortfall for Rabi 2019-20. PHOTO: FILE
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) has set the wheat production target for Rabi 2019-20 season at 27 million tonnes from an area of 9.2 million hectares.
The committee also suggested that provinces should focus on oilseeds and pulses cultivation in order to reduce the import bill.
In a meeting chaired by Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan on Thursday, the committee reviewed the performance of Kharif crops (2019-20) and the production plan for Rabi crops (2019-20). It also discussed the availability of agricultural inputs for Rabi crops.
The committee was informed that sugarcane production in 2019-20 was estimated at 64.77 million tonnes from an area of 1.06 million hectares while rice production for the year was estimated at 7.7 million tonnes from an area of 3.04 million hectares. The area and production are up 5.5% and 3.6% respectively from the target fixed by the previous FCA meeting.
Meanwhile, the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) Advisory Committee has anticipated a water shortfall of 15% for Rabi 2019-20. In the Rabi season, the provinces are allocated 31.44 million acre-feet (maf) of water.
Given the prevailing weather conditions, which were supportive, the shortage was manageable, it said. Irsa also highlighted the wastage of water in the country.
It told its members that the water storage capacity in 1976 was 15.7 maf against 13.7 maf at present. Officials said the economic cost of one million acre-feet of water in Pakistan was $0.5 billion. Thus, from 1976, the country lost a resource unutilised into the sea worth over $600 billion.
They pointed out that Pakistan had an annual GDP growth of over 6% from 1970 to 1990 mainly because of the major water reservoirs including Mangla and Tarbela.
If Pakistan wanted to develop economically, it must construct new reservoirs of about 20 maf, allowing 8.5 maf downstream Kotri to cater to environmental flows and also to check seawater intrusion in the Indus delta, it added.
The Meteorological Department said summer rains from July to September 2019 remained normal and well distributed all over the country. Due to the rainfall received in late September and early October, there is sufficient soil moisture for sowing Rabi crops.
By the end of August, the lending institutions had disbursed agri-loans of Rs163 billion, which was 12.1% of the annual target of Rs1.350 trillion. “Availability of urea and DAP fertilisers during Rabi 2019-20 seems comfortable,” the meeting was told.
The committee was also informed that the availability of food commodities in the country was satisfactory and Kharif crop production was better compared to previous years.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2019.
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https://tribune.com.pk/story/2076923/2-pakistan-sets-wheat-production-target-27m-tons/

 

 

Scientists track wheat aphids and their natural enemies for better pest management in Pakistan

Date:October 10, 2019
Source:CABI
Summary:Scientists have studied the distribution and population dynamics of wheat aphids and their natural enemies in Pakistan through seasons and periods of time. This research could be useful to develop better pest management methods and safer, healthier crops in wheat production.
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For the first time, CABI scientists have studied the distribution and population dynamics of wheat aphids and their natural enemies in Pakistan through seasons and periods of time. This research could be useful to develop better pest management methods and safer, healthier crops in wheat production.
The two-year study led by Dr Muhammad Faheem across ten farms in five Punjab districts sought to discover the relationship between different timings, seasons, space and the presence of aphids and the insects that eat them -- particularly syrphid flies -- in varying deliberately-selected farming scenarios; combinations of rice, arid and cotton.
Wheat aphids are well known pests of the cereal crop -- causing up to 20 to 80% loss of wheat yield, particularly in Pakistan where over 26.3 million tons of wheat was produced in 2017-18 and where wheat accounts for 10 percent of value added in agriculture. The presence, spread or influx of aphids had led to considerable economic loss especially comparing the average yield of wheat in Pakistan with neighbouring India and Bangladesh.
In the paper published by PLOS ONE, Dr Faheem and his team revealed seasonal trends of wheat aphids in the studied areas, citing temperature as a key factor in the movement of aphids. Dr Faheem said, "no key differences in aphid activity were observed in the colder and warmer parts of Punjab. In addition, although Syrphid flies are efficient predators of aphids, we also found no correlation between the population of aphids and their natural enemies in both years of the study."
There are several reasons cited for the findings made including behaviour differences among species; ultimately this study provides baseline data for further investigation into two approaches in aphid management -- top down, the use of natural enemies and bottom up, the use of fertilisation and irrigation.
Dr Faheem also remarked that "understanding where aphids will tend to infest, and at what time is necessary to effectively manage use of biocontrol agents." The researchers recommend further study as a follow on to this baseline for better understanding of how wheat aphids and their natural enemies are spread in order to improve integrated pest management programs.

Story Source:
Materials provided by CABINote: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:
1.     Muhammad Faheem, Shafqat Saeed, Asif Sajjad, Su Wang, Abid Ali. Spatio-temporal variations in wheat aphid populations and their natural enemies in four agro-ecological zones of PakistanPLOS ONE, 2019; 14 (9): e0222635 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0222635

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191010113242.htm

 

Gambia’s rice cultivation boosted under OMVG


Description: http://thepoint.gm/_library/2019/10/omvg-s.jpgThursday, October 10, 2019
State House, Banjul, 10 October 2019 – Some 50,000 hectares of desalinated land will be available for rice production to The Gambia under the Samba Ngalo Dam Project of the OMVG, the Council of Ministers of The Gambia River Basin Development Organisation (OMVG) revealed in a meeting with President Adama Barrow at the State House on Tuesday.
“The project has social and economic benefits like agriculture, which through the Samba Ngalo Dam, will push the salt water… It will make 90, 000 hectares of land available to member countries for rice cultivation,” Gambian Minister of Environment, Lamin Dibba told the State House press corps after an audience with the President.
With the 50, 000 of this land available to The Gambia, the OMVG will help contribute to achieving the Social Development Goals and food self-sufficiency objectives in The Gambia. It will help eradicate hunger, malnutrition, and poverty in the country.  
The Ministers, along with the High Commissioner of the regional organization, were led to the State House to pay a courtesy call on President Adama Barrow, who currently doubles as the Chairperson of the Conference of Heads of States of the group.
The Gambia River Basin Development Organisation (OMVG) and its dam projects were the brainchildren of former President of The Gambia, Sir Dawda K. Jawara, and his Senegalese counterpart, President Leopold S. Senghore, beginning in 1976. Currently, it enjoys the backing of eight international donors.
The Council of Ministers of the OMVG are currently holding a workshop in Banjul to draw a master plan for the financing of its future projects in member states. With the completion of the recently launched transmission and distribution network loop, The Gambia can benefit from hydro-electric energy by September 2020. Hence the meeting with President Barrow at the State House was aimed at updating him on the progress registered since the launching of the hydro-electric power plant in Jarra Soma earlier this year.
Despite the gains made in enhancing energy production and integration in the region, the cost of transnational energy partnership is a big cause for concern.
 “However, the issue of electricity tariffs across borders of member countries is something that requires a political decision of the Heads of States. The High Commissioner has therefore made a request to the chairman of the Conference of Heads of State to convene a meeting over this issue in Banjul before the end of the year or early 2020,” Issufu Balde, Chairman of the Council of Ministers said.

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/gambias-rice-cultivation-boosted-under-omvg

 

Ghana: Senior Minister Fumes Over U.S.$1.35 Billion Rice Importation

10 OCTOBER 2019

By Abeduwaa Lucy Appiah
Ghana spent 1.35 billion dollars on the importation of rice last year, the Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo has disclosed.
According to the senior minister, foreign exchange that could be used on machinery to modernise the economy was spent on rice although rice could be grown in every part of the country.
Mr Osafo-Maafo was speaking at the Ghana Beyond Aid (GBA) committee's stakeholder consultation with leadership of faith-based organisations (FBOs) yesterday, in Accra.
In a presentation on the GBA charter document, he said there was some part of the Northern Region which could grow more than enough rice to feed West Africa with little irrigation.
Mr Osafo-Maafo indicated that, private sector development was important because the rice production could not be developed by government but the private sector.
"It will depend on private farmers to develop rice like we depend on cocoa farmers to develop cocoa," he noted.
In addition, Mr Osafo-Maafo stated, there was the need for human development hence, focusing on technical and vocational education would enhance the economic growth of the country.
"The countries that have made it such as South Korea, Japan and Germany, that is where the emphasis is on their education system," he said.
In order to achieve a country beyond aid, Mr Osafo-Maafo added that, there was the need to harness effectively available resources and deploy them creatively and efficiently for rapid economic and social transformation.

https://allafrica.com/stories/201910100611.html:

PM’s agri emergency programme launched

LAHORE:The Punjab government has launched the Prime Minister’s Agriculture Emergency Programme with a view to increasing productivity of wheat crop.

Small farmers have been asked to become part of the programme by setting up demonstration plots with the financial support of the government. Government is offering Rs 11,000 per acre to farmers for demonstrating best agriculture practices. According to an official, the present government has a resolve to enhance agriculture productivity. The Prime Minister’s Agriculture Emergency Programme has been initiated with the primarily focus on productivity enhancement of wheat, rice, sugarcane and oilseed crops. Three specific projects on productivity enhancement of wheat, rice and sugarcane are being developed under the programme. The cost for wheat project is Rs 19,301 million, rice project Rs.11,433 million and sugarcane project Rs.3,912 million over a period of five years.

Other components of the programme include conserving water through lining of watercourses, enhancing command area of small and mini dams in barani areas, water conservation in barani areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, shrimp farming, cage fish culture, trout farming in Northern Areas of Pakistan, Save and Fattening of Calf Programme, Backyard Poultry Programme.

delegation briefed on security: Chances of international cricket have increased in Pakistan as the delegation of England and Ireland cricket boards visited Punjab Safe Cities Authority Headquarters where they were briefed about security measures.

The delegation consisted of chief executive officer, Director of England Cricket Board, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer of Ireland Cricket Board, Chief Executive Officer PCB and Director of International Operations. Managing Director, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Administrative Officer Punjab Safe Cities Authority briefed the delegation and shown them the security measures by cameras. The Managing Director took the delegation to various sections of the authority and briefed them about the project’s key role in bringing back international cricket to Pakistan.

Office-bearers: Zahoor Awan, General Secretary of Pakistan Workers Federation (PWF), has been elected unopposed chairman of the International Trade Union Confederation of Asia Pacific.

The election was held in Japan in which trade union hailing from thirty five countries took part. Saad Muhammad also became Titular Member again of ITUC-AP for next four years. Saad was selected on ITUC-AP ex official seat unopposed keeping in view his experience and work in the past. Chaudhry Naseem, central leader of PWF, congratulated them and said today it was victory of Pakistan workers.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/539048-pm-s-agri-emergency-programme-launched

 

 

Punjab govt slashes Rs.10 lakh non-refundable levy security on millers to Rs.7.25 lakhs

Punjab News Express | October 10, 2019 02:26 PM
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CHANDIGARH: A meeting of the Punjab government was held under the chairmanship of Punjab Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Minister Mr Bharat Bhushan Ashu and Rural Development & Panchayats Minister Mr Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa was also present here today. This meeting was attended by prominent rice millers of the state including Gian Bharadwaj Group and Rakesh Jain Group.

In the light of the ongoing strike by a politically motivated group of rice millers, during the meeting, several decisions were taken. Mr Bharat Bhushan Ashu informed that to save the farmers from any harassment and keeping in mind genuine demands of the rice millers, the Punjab government has decided to slash Rs 10 lakh of levy security (Rs 5 lakh refundable plus Rs 5 lakh non refundable) to Rs 7.25 lakh refundable levy security. He informed that this decision would bring respite to the rice millers. Bank Guarantee shall be applicable only to millers for quantum of paddy stored over and above 5000 MT instead of 4000 MT.

He further informed that the rice millers who apply before October 10, 2019,  would be allotted paddy on priority and without pro rata cut, the quantum of the release orders of those millers would also be increased.He further stated that those rice mills which had opened last year and the year before  would be treated as old mills.

Due to shortage of space, if the miller is not able to deliver rice, he would not have to pay any interest, said Mr Ashu, while adding that to waive off that interest on quality cut, a case has already been favourably forwarded to the finance department.

He further informed that only one particular group with vested interests is on strike and is trying to misguide other rice millers, due to which out of total around 4000 rice mills in the state, only 1500 have been allotted till date. He urged the millers to apply before October 10 and avail maximum benefits being provided by the Punjab government. To allay the apprehensions of the millers regarding shortage of space, he reiterated the commitment of the State to create space. He also informed that FCI has planned a movement of 7 LMT rice every month which shall lead to sufficient creation of space in the near future. He also assured the millers that no negative impact shall have to be borne by them in case of shortage of space.

IRRI working to ‘close the gap’ for women in ag

Women training in mat nursery raising. Photo courtesy of IRRI.
10.10.2019
KALAHANDI, ODISHA, INDIA — The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), together with Access Livelihoods Consulting (ALC) India and the Department of Agriculture and Farmer Empowerment (DAFE), is taking steps to narrow the gender gap for women farmers through a new Women Producer Company (WPC) initiative in the Dharmagarh and Kokasara blocks of the Odishan district of Kalahandi in India.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, closing the gender gap in access to productive resources such as land, seeds, credit, machinery, or chemicals can increase agricultural output by 2.5% to 4%, increasing food security for an additional 100 million people.
“The gender gap in access to productive assets, resources and inputs is well established,” said Ranjitha Puskur, senior scientist and theme lead for IRRI’s gender research. “Due to a multitude of societal and structural barriers, women farmers tend to face serious challenges in accessing good quality agricultural inputs at the right time, place and at an affordable price. Women’s access to markets tends to be limited, as they are not often recognized as farmers. This also limits their ability to access inputs from formal governmental sources or co-operatives. Through WPC, we can begin to address many of these constraints.”
Led and managed by women, the WPC initiative in Odisha has more than 1,300 members, and provides services that include input provision (seed, fertilizers, bio-pesticides), custom hiring of agricultural machinery, financial services and marketing. It also facilitates access to the latest technologies in production, processing, information and traceability.
“The WPC also builds the capacity and knowledge of women farmers,” Puskur said. “So far it has trained 78 members in mat nursery raising and machine transplanting. The women trained have become confident in using the machine transplanter independently and are earning extra income selling the mat nurseries. They are excited that the use of mat nurseries and transplanters are reducing their drudgery and contributes to better health.”
For the next cropping season, the WPC initiative is working to expand its reach and deliver benefits of its provision services and technology delivery to more women, contributing to increased incomes and better livelihoods for these farmers and their families.

Hybrid Rice Research Base Opens In South China

Description: Hybrid rice research base opens in south China

An 83.3-hectare research base for hybrid rice breeding was inaugurated Wednesday in Guanyang County, southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region

MANNING, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 10th Oct, 2019 ) :An 83.3-hectare research base for hybrid rice breeding was inaugurated Wednesday in Guanyang County, southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
The research base is part of a newly-launched workstation of Yuan Longping, an agronomist known as China's "father of hybrid rice." Yuan and his team will focus on breeding high-yielding hybrid rice strains adaptive to various environments. They aim to develop rice strains that can achieve a yield of more than 1,200 kg per mu (about 0.
07 hectares), or 18 tonnes per hectare.
Yuan said at the unveiling ceremony that his team would work to increase the output of hybrid rice as well as to improve its quality.
He added that his workstation is located in Guanyang because the county has a very high yield of super hybrid rice and ratoon rice.
Earlier this year, Guanyang saw its weighted average yield of its super hybrid rice exceeding 1,000 kg per mu in one season.

Experts point to dangers of burning crop residue

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Oct 11, 2019, 7:49 AM; last updated: Oct 11, 2019, 7:49 AM (IST)
Description: Experts point to dangers of burning crop residue
Many management options have been developed to address the issue of stubble burninng. FILE PHOTO
Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, October 10
Crop residue burning in North-West India is one of the major concerns for researchers, policy planners, farmers and civil society.
Many management options have been developed to address the issue. However, from a long-term sustainability perspective of agriculture and soil health, a new scheme of subsidising the machinery and equipment for crop residue management has been launched by the government.
Punjab Agricultural Management & Extension Training Institute (PAMETI) organises rice residue management training courses from time to time.
This time also, it organised a two-day training session on “Alternatives for Rice Residue Management” for the extension functionaries of State Department of Agriculture and Allied Sectors and ambassador/progressive farmers from yesterday, which concluded today. The training programme was attended by 48 participants.
Dr HS Dhaliwal, director, PAMETI, inaugurated the training session and informed the participants that crop residue burning caused serious threats to human, animal and soil health, environment, bio-diversity and traffic.
Dr Dhaliwal also requested the participants to spread the message of maintaining sanctity of soil, water and air, as propounded by Guru Nanak Dev. He appealed to the participants to contribute to the cause of no-burn agriculture, keeping in mind the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of the first Guru of the Sikhs.
Experts from PAMETI, Farm Power Machinery and Power Engineering, Department of Microbiology, Department of Zoology and Department of Veterinary Extension, GADVASU, discussed various options for managing the crop residue.
Dr Manpreet Singh practically explained the use of different types of machinery available for this purpose.
A panel discussion was organised by Lakhwinder Singh Brar, deputy director, marketing, PAMETI, to identify the reasons for burning of crop residues in the fields.
Narrow window between harvesting of paddy and sowing of wheat, costly CA machinery, scarcity of labour, high cost of residue removal from the field and use of combines (without SMS) in harvesting the crops were the main reasons quoted by the participants.
Manpreet Singh Grewal, a progressive farmer from Ludhiana, shared his personal experience with the participants. Dr Dhaliwal proposed a vote to thanks to the functionaries and farmers for attending the training session. He said it was an honour for PAMETI to train staff from agricultural and allied departments and progressive farmers for the cause of conserving the environment.
Pakistan, Russia trade lower than potential’
October 10, 2019
Description: PHOTO:CREATIVE COMMONS/FILE
PHOTO:CREATIVE COMMONS/FILE
LAHORE: The bilateral trade volume between Pakistan and Russia is far less than its potential, said Russian Trade Representative Yury Kozlov.
Speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), he said that there was a need to enhance bilateral cooperation in order to increase the two-way trade.
“There is a traditional trade culture between the two countries as trade of the same products is ongoing. There is a need to explore more sectors for trade,” he added.
“We are having regular meetings with the Pakistani business community to develop more interaction between the two countries,” he stated, adding that Russian businessmen were keen to develop cooperation in trade and investment with their Pakistani counterparts.
He invited the LCCI office-bearers to attend the sixth session of the Pak-Russia IGC (Inter Governmental Commission) to be held this December in Islamabad.
Also speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Irfan Iqbal suggested that a Russian trade representative head office be set up in Lahore, similar to those in Karachi and Islamabad.
“Punjab is a major province of Pakistan and has a lot more trade potential in many sectors,” he added.
Iqbal suggested that a joint venture be set up to invest in the fruit pulp processing sector as Punjab has huge scope of investment in the sector.
He said that according to the International Trade Centre World Trade Map, the volume of bilateral trade between Russia and Pakistan stood at $532 million in 2018 compared to $442 million in 2017.
“There is huge potential to boost the existing trade volume between the two countries, but progress has been slow due to a lack of direct banking channels.”
He said that in the current scenario when the agriculture imports of Russia from European Union have come to a halt, Pakistan food exporters can capitalise on this opportunity.
LCCI Senior Vice President Ali Hussam Asghar said that Pakistani products have become much economical as compared to the past.
“The export of livestock, meat, rice, fresh fruits and seafood can be enhanced to suit the needs of the Russian markets,” he added.
LCCI Vice President Mian Zahid Jawaid Ahmad said, “The embassies of Pakistan and Russia should give preferential treatment for visa processing of business people on reciprocal basis.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 10th, 2019.

How I lost 22kg in 8 months: Pakistani expat in UAE shares his weight-loss story

Mohammad Asif recalls his plateauing days, when nothing would help him shed those pounds

Description: 191010 asifAsif before (left) and afterImage Credit: Supplied
The kilos came along with his achievements. Thirty-four-year-old Mohammad Asif, who is originally from Pakistan, settled comfortably into life in the UAE about eight years ago. He was married with three kids, and three years ago, he decided to do an MBA to further his career. And in the rush of things, his scale fell to the wayside.
He started getting used to shirt and pant sizes needing upgrades. And as they inched up, he noticed other – at first, insignificant - changes creeping up on him. There was “numbness in [my] hands in feet, pain in body, pain in the hands and legs, tough time getting to sleep and getting up was difficult”, he says. The pain turned chronic, and no physiotherapy or doctor’s visits could help. “When you have pain in your body each day, each week, each month – it [is] really terrible,” he recalls in an interview with Gulf News.
Then he came across articles about weight-loss transformations in Gulf News in February. Meanwhile, when he stood on the scale, he found himself dazzled by the numbers: He was now 101kg. “I was doing MBA from a university in the US, with a full-time job and a family here, so I was having a really tough time. This was the trend for three years.”
As he considered alternatives, he found inspiration in his collegues and friends who had undergone body makeovers themselves. “In February, one of my family friend [who lost a lot of weight] was visiting us, so I got some inspiration from him. Another colleague of mine was able to run for almost 15-16 miles. And one of my colleagues also lost 10-15kg. So two-three things happened at the same time.”

Meals key to weight

He began with monitoring what was on his plate. “So I went into very, very strict diet. The diet I went for was oatmeal in the morning, two multigrain slices of bread (with curry) with fruit; mostly apple and banana; and evening only salad. And from 7-730pm – I read in Gulf News a suggestion to do overnight fasting for good 5-6 months and that really helped me. And one-off cheat meal once or twice a month on the Friday. Cheat meal – typically I’d go for rice, biryani; something other Asian dish.”
Today he has cut out carbs during the week; only bread or rice over the weekend.
In the beginning, Asif recalls, there were tough days. “I used to get cramps in my tummy”, cravings, hunger pangs. “I used to drink some water, just to fill up my tummy, just to avoid everything else. But it was really really hard time for me,” he says.

Working out time

In May, he added time on the treadmill. “So my routine was one hour before fast breaking [during Ramadan], I used to run for 30-35 mins.”
He hung on to his commitment – even while he travelled. Work, the marketing manager explains, requires him to travel for about a week every month. “But I never missed my gym for more than 2 days; we were on vacation in July, I couldn’t go to [the]gym but what I did was walking 30-40 mins on alternate days,” says Asif.
And while visiting clients, when he had no access to a gym, he says: “I used to walk even in the customer space in the office or the lounge area. They used to laugh at me and I said, this is how I’m doing it.”
“Now I am at a point where I can tell you, I can run at a speed of 9km/h for almost 81 minutes without stopping,” he says.

Moment of truth

But there was a time he thought he would like to stop. “When I started doing the workout in May,” he recalls, he was 93kg. At the end of June, he was still 93kg.
But before he could be truly disheartened, he remembered the advice of a friend. “I remembered my friend [telling me] initially, for the one-one-and-a-half-two months you may not lose anything. But once you start losing weight it will be a very quick drop in the weight so you have you continue with that.”
And he did.
Today, Asif weighs 78.5kg. He burns about 600Kcl a day through exercise.
To keep himself on the path, Asif weighs himself almost obsessively – in the morning and evening, before and after his workout, “, just to make myself accountable”.
And just as he left the aches and pains behind, he says, he picked up lessons on mindfulness. “When I work out people get shocked because how can I focus - I don’t like hearing music during exercise; I just want to focus on my running. This has really helped me focus on the moment,” he says.
So how tough was it – to get rid of 22kg in about 8 months? Well, says Asif, sometimes people are amazed at his transformation and dedication. And you know, he says: “At times I also get amazed at myself.”

This is part one of our weight-loss success stories from the UAE. Have you undergone a transformation? Would you like to share your story? Write to us at readers@gulfnews.com

African rice farmers test traditions against NY climate

By Krishna Ramanujan |

 
In 2013, Nfamara Badjie and his wife, Dawn Hoyte, bought a 6-acre farm in Ulster Park, New York, in the Hudson Valley. They soon realized the fields were muddy – almost wetlands – but Badjie didn’t mind.
“I said, ‘That’s the one I’m looking for, the wetland is good for the rice,’” Badjie said, flashing an easy smile. “Dawn said, ‘No, you can’t grow rice here. Are you crazy?’”
Few farmers attempt to grow a warmth-loving crop like rice in the Northeast’s short growing season, but Badjie and Hoyte are experimenting with rice-growing methods to suit New York’s climate on their Ever-Growing Family Farm. It’s the only commercial rice farm in New York state, and one of a handful of small rice farms in the entire Northeast.
Badjie is guided by generations of farming experience. Before moving to the United States in 2005, he had spent his whole life in rice fields in the Gambia, West Africa. He belongs to the Jola people, from the Gambia, Senegal and Guinea Bissau, who have been farming rice for 1,000 years. Now Badjie, Hoyte and Moustapha Diedhou, a Jola farmer from Senegal, are successfully building their rice farm, and a Cornell agronomist is helping them optimize their crop.
Gambia native Nfamara Badjie grows rice in the Hudson Valley using centuries-old, West African techniques of the Jola people. Cornell rice expert Erika Styger is working with Badjie to study which Jola rice techniques work best in the Northeast.
The collaboration may improve farmers’ commercial success, provide a roadmap for future rice growers, and create a local market for fresh rice – which cooks and tastes different from aged rice – as a boutique, specialty grain. And rice grown in the Northeast may provide a valuable alternative for organic farmers looking to diversify their crops in the face of climate change, as trends of warmer temperatures and increased precipitation continue in the Northeast. Data from 1957 to 2010 from the Northeast Regional Climate Center for Rosendale, New York (the best data near Ulster Park), reveals a consistent trend of increased annual rainfall; the center reported an average of 9.1 more inches of rain in 2010 than in 1957.
“Rice can be part of a new cultural and ecological landscape that adapts to climate change in New York, which makes a lot of sense in so many ways.”
Erika Styger, associate director of Cornell’s Climate-Resilient Farming Systems program
“Rice can be part of a new cultural and ecological landscape that adapts to climate change in New York, which makes a lot of sense in so many ways,” said rice scientist and agronomist Erika Styger, associate director of Cornell’s Climate-Resilient Farming Systems program in International Programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Styger – who has worked with rice farmers in West Africa for 12 years – teamed up with the Ever-Growing Family Farm as the technical adviser on a $14,000 Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Farmer Grant last spring. She is an expert in the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), an agro-ecological method for increasing the productivity of rice by changing the management of plants, soil, water and nutrients. Together Styger and the farmers designed a field experiment testing how an African rice variety called Ceenowa fares in the Hudson Valley climate when reared in traditional Jola rice nurseries and grown with SRI methods and staggered transplant timings.
“The main aim of the grant is to study different ways of crop establishment,” Styger said,“ so the system can become more flexible, less risky, cheaper, guarantee a harvest or even improve the harvest, and diversify the options so farmers can test and see what works for them.”

John Munson/Cornell University
From left: Dawn Hoyte, Moustapha Diedhou, a Jola farmer from Senegal, Nfamara Badjie and Erika Styger, associate director of Cornell’s Climate-Resilient Farming Systems program.
Returning to their roots
After buying the land, Badjie, his three sons, Malick, 27, Modou, 18, Abibou, 15, and Diedhou labored to create a farm. They cleared brush and dug out paddies, all by hand. It can take Malick Badjie two to four weeks, depending on size, to dig and level a paddy. He digs with a traditional Jola tool called a kajundu, a cross between a spade and a shovel attached to a 12-foot pole. Diedhou had brought the specially crafted blade from Senegal in a suitcase.
“If you don’t know how to use the tool, they say you [can’t keep] a wife; people think you are lazy,” Diedhou said.
With paddies in place, they struggled with a nursery method they had adopted for growing seedlings and the timing of transplants in the Hudson Valley climate. They soaked seeds and started growing them in trays in a hoop house, then transplanted month-old seedlings into paddies after the last frost. But the spindly seedlings turned yellow in the trays, and the fragile roots bunched up and broke when transplanted, shocking the plant and slowing its development.

John Munson/Cornell University
Nfamara Badjie holds a kajundu, a Jola tool used by rice farmers. A metal blade is attached to a teak base, which is then specially tied to a long pole.
Hoyte and Badjie had picked up this planting strategy, developed by Japanese farmer Takeshi Akaogi, at a meeting of the Ecological Rice Farming in the Northeastern USA network in 2014, which took place at Akaogi’s rice farm in Putney, Vermont.
“Our conference basically gave everybody a chance to come and exchange ideas,” said world-renowned rice geneticist Susan McCouch, Cornell professor of plant breeding and genetics, whose 2009-14 National Science Foundation grant supported the network.
Akaogi’s method tried to address a bottleneck, Styger said. “You have to time the establishment of the crop very, very well.” Plant too early, and frost kills the seedlings. Plant too late, and grains won’t be ready for harvest.
For every farmer, such techniques are a matter of trial and error. With the method not working optimally on their land, Badjie decided to return to his roots in 2018 and he tried his traditional Jola method of starting plants directly in the soil, in raised beds. They began soaking seeds later in the season, planted outdoors, covered seedlings with plastic or burlap to protect from frost, then transplanted them in paddies.
The Jola method eliminated the need for a greenhouse; the roots were healthier and could be transplanted surrounded by dirt without breaking, limiting transplant shock.
“It can save me,” Badjie said.
In all, the Jola nursery was cheaper and shortened the rice production cycle. This created flexibility.
“That was very good for me,” Badjie said. “I’m going to keep doing that.”
Added Styger: “They tested those nurseries last year, and the transplanted plants were doing much better.”
With Styger on board this spring to advise them, they integrated some best practices from the SRI system such as transplanting younger and single seedlings. The younger plants grew faster in the paddy and caught up to older plants. They combined these techniques with their Jola raised-bed nursery and together designed an experiment to quantify what they observed.

John Munson/Cornell University
Nfamara Badjie holds a clump of rice starts.
The experiment
The experiment is three-pronged. First, it tests how well two types of rice grow in the local climate. Duborskian rice is a long-awned, short-grained, Ukrainian variety introduced to New England in 1983 by Christian Elwell ’69, one of the first known rice farmers in the Northeast, who was given the seeds by Cornell soil science professor John Peverly. Ceenowa is a red heirloom rice from Africa that the Jola have grown for centuries, and so far, it has grown well in the Hudson Valley climate. The only drawback is that birds love the smooth seed, so the farmers string magnetic tape from video and music cassettes across paddies, which rattles in the wind to scare off birds.
“African [Ceenowa rice] is No. 1,” Malick Badjie said. “It grows fastest and gets done first.”
Second, Styger and the farmers are comparing the Akaogi and SRI/Jola nurseries, with separate plots devoted to each. And third, they’re comparing the two varieties and nurseries with staggered planting dates. They will continue collecting data through the October harvest.
“We’re seeing … how far we can push the window of transplanting,” Hoyte said.
If the SRI/Jola method proves productive, other Northeast farmers would have another technique to try.

John Munson/Cornell University
Moustapha Diedhou, right, and Nfamara Badjie.
Future plans
One thing is clear: Their product is in demand.
“It’s really popular, people love it,” Hoyte said of the fresh rice, which tastes nuttier than stored rice and cooks with less water.
They sell it by word of mouth at $8 per pound. Local restaurants have offered to buy their entire stock.
Last year, they yielded about 1,000 pounds of rice; they expect a bigger harvest this fall. With machines, they believe they could harvest up to 3,000 pounds per acre.
“These are specialty rices for customers who are willing to pay for the efforts and the story behind them.”
Susan McCouch, professor of plant breeding and genetics
“Every problem is one of equipment,” Diedhou said. But they are limited by personnel and money. They have used some of the grant for a small combine and rice dryer. They plan to expand beyond the 3-plus acres they already farm, and have offers to grow rice on other people’s land.
The Ceenowa variety offers a promising niche market, especially in New York City, where many consumers would be willing to pay more for African rice produced by an African family, McCouch said.
“These are specialty rices for customers who are willing to pay for the efforts and the story behind them,” she said.
In the end, the Badjies and Diedhou cultivate the crop because it’s in their blood. It’s part of their heritage. The farmers dream of quitting their day jobs and growing rice full time.

“We want our family to know where we come from and how we live, what we were doing before we got here,” Nfamara Badjie said. “That’s what we want to show them.”
  

Punjab Grill gives diners the royal treatment


Food critic
October 10 at 8:00 AM
The following review appears in The Washington Post’s 2019 Fall Dining Guide.
Description: https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/DxVrcLVkBWR0SEzxNkZxuRv0cMk=/1484x0/arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/Y4YFESGLOAI6TIP6ZJDORVLTYA.jpg
White chickpea curry with bright red onions at Punjab Grill. (Laura Chase de Formigny/For The Washington Post)
    (Good/Excellent)
Description: https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/KhbB9fcsCZdz5jHdhrZZwiosHyg=/90x90/s3.amazonaws.com/arc-authors/washpost/e5cb7b94-b900-46de-917c-335e98d197b8.pngHands down, it’s the most sumptuous place to eat gol gappa in the city. Scan the interior — the marble bar inlaid with mother-of-pearl, the hand-carved wooden screens, the party room shimmering in mirrors — and you can see where owner Karan Singh sunk $5 million. But the modern Indian restaurant isn’t just a shiny bauble. Chef Jaspratap Bindra sees to it that the feast for the eyes extends to the plates: tiger prawns...
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Safeguard duty on rice imports seen in place soon

Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:06 AM October 10, 2019
The Department of Agriculture (DA) is expected to address the influx of imported rice in the market this week by imposing a safeguard duty, although the agency has yet to make any pronouncement until now.
In an ambush interview at the Senate on Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary William Dar refused to comment when asked about the measure, but he earlier said the DA would place general safeguards on rice imports by the end of September or early October.
The duty is expected to address the continuous decline in palay prices which, as of September, had already dropped by 30 percent to P16.18 a kilo from P23.14 a kilo in the same period last year.
Under Republic Act No. 8752, or the Anti-Dumping Act of 1999, the government can impose duties on imports that are priced way below the prevailing fair market value. Also under the rice tariffication law, import duties may be increased, reduced or revised to protect Filipino farmers and consumers.
Safeguard duties would increase tariffs and would make imports more expensive. This would discourage traders from bringing in the staple to the domestic market and would force local traders to buy from local farmers at higher rates.
The Federation of Free Farmers has recommended a safeguard duty between 60 to 70 percent on top of the current tariffs slapped on rice, while the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura said it wanted the government to impose the maximum tariff rate allowed.
The Philippines is currently 93-percent self-sufficient in rice and imports around 7 to 10 percent of its rice requirement. To date, about 2.4 million metric tons of rice had already been imported which, according to the DA, “has gone beyond what is needed by the country.” —KARL R. OCAMPO
Ghana’s Senior Minister laments over Ghana spending US$1.35bn on rice importation
 Yesterday at 11:39 AM
Description: https://ocdn.eu/pulscms-transforms/1/oFIk9kpTURBXy8zNTM5ZTM5YmNkMzQ4M2U2MTQyYmE5MTM2NjAzNTkzZC5qcGeRkwXNAxTNAbyBoTABSenior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo
·       Ghana spent US$1.35 billion on rice importation in 2018.
·       The Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo is unhappy about this development.
·       He believes Ghana has enough arable land to grow rice for the population.
The Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo has bemoaned the amount of money Ghana spent on the importation of rice.
Ghana spent US$1.35 billion last year on rice importation alone.
Speaking at the Ghana Beyond Aid (GBA) committee’s stakeholder consultation Mr Osafo-Maafo said the money used for the importation of rice could be used on machinery to modernise the economy.
The stakeholder consultation with the leadership of faith-based organisations (FBOs)
Presenting the GBA charter document, he explained that some parts of the Northern Region could produce more than enough rice to feed West Africa with little irrigation.
He, however, added that the private sector must take charge of the rice production since the government cannot do it alone.
“It will depend on private farmers to develop rice like we depend on cocoa farmers to develop cocoa,” he noted.
He added that human development was key to this, hence the focus on technical and vocational education which would enhance the economic growth of the country.
“The countries that have made it such as South Korea, Japan, and Germany, that is where the emphasis is on their education system,” he said.

Punjab slashes levy security for rice by Rs 2.75 lakh

TNN | Updated: Oct 10, 2019, 10:09 IST
Description: https://static.toiimg.com/thumb/msid-71515399,imgsize-303947,width-400,resizemode-4/71515399.jpg
Man using traditional method for thrashing at grain market in Ludhiana
CHANDIGARH: In a relief to rice millers in the state, the Punjab government on Wednesday decided to reduce the levy security by Rs 2.75 lakh, besides providing other relaxations.
The decision was taken in a meeting of Punjab food, civil supplies and consumer affairs minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu and rural development and panchayats minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa.
Ashu said the government has decided to slash Rs 10 lakh levy security — Rs 5 lakh refundable plus Rs 5 lakh non-refundable — to Rs 7.25 lakh refundable levy security. The condition of bank guarantee will be applicable only to millers for quantum of paddy stored over and above 5,000 metric tonnes (MT) instead of 4,000 MT. The minister said these decisions would bring respite to the rice millers.
He added that the rice millers, who apply before October 10, would be allotted paddy on priority and without pro rata cut. The quantum of the release orders of these millers would also be increased. He further stated that those rice mills which had opened last year and the year before would be treated as old mills.
Due to shortage of space, if the miller is not able to deliver rice, he would not have to pay any interest, said Ashu, adding that to waive off that interest on quality cut, a case has already been forwarded to the finance department.
Ricer millers are up in arms against the government which Ashu termed as “politically motivated”.
“Only one particular group with vested interests is on strike and is trying to misguide other rice millers. Due to this, out of the 4,000 rice mills in the state, only 1,500 have been allotted till date,” said Ashu.

The minister urged the millers to apply before October 10 and avail maximum benefits.
Quelling the apprehensions of the millers regarding shortage of space, Ashu reiterated the commitment of the state to create space. He said the FCI has planned the movement of 7 lakh metric tonne (LMT) rice every month which will lead to sufficient creation of space in the near future. He also assured the millers that no negative impact shall have to be borne by them in case of shortage of space.

India's August rice exports drop 29% on weak African demand
Rajendra Jadhav
OCTOBER 10, 2019 / 4:25 PM MUMBAI (Reuters) - India’s rice exports in August fell 29% year-on-year to 644,249 tonnes, government data showed on Thursday, due to weak demand from African countries for non-basmati rice, among other factors.

Farmers plant saplings in a rice field on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, July 5, 2019. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files
“Demand from west African countries is weak for non-basmati rice. They have bought a lot from China and don’t need to buy huge volumes now,” said Nitin Gupta, vice president of Olam India’s rice business.

India is the world’s biggest rice exporter but its shipments have plunged 27% in the first five months of the 2019/20 financial year, starting on April 1, to 3.8 million tonnes, the data showed.

Iran, the biggest buyer of India’s basmati rice, has nearly stopped purchases in the last few weeks as it harvests its own crop, said an exporter based in New Delhi, who declined to be identified.

“Iran could resume buying early next year after harvesting the local crop,” the exporter said.

Rice supplies from India’s summer-sown crop are expected to improve from next month and this could moderate local prices and make exports competitive, Gupta said.

Last month, the government had said that rice production from the summer-sown crop in 2019 was expected to drop 1.7% from a year ago to 100.35 million tonnes.

Non-basmati rice exports could fall 40% in 2019/20 from a year ago unless the government provided some incentive for exports, said B V Krishna Rao, president of the Rice Exporters Association (REA).

“The industry badly needs government support to accelerate exports,” Rao said.

India exported 11.95 million tonnes of rice in 2018/19 through March 31, down 7.2% from the previous 12 months, even though it had provided incentives for exports of non-basmati rice for four months of the year.

Lower prices from competitors could also be a contributing factor to a fall in exports.

India’s 5% broken white rice was quoted at about $368-$372 per tonne this week compared with $350 for supplies from Vietnam.

Smaller shipments from India could help rivals such as Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar raise their exports, according to Indian exporters.

It could also force Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to buy more from farmers, even as it struggles to liquidate last year’s stocks.

India mainly exports non-basmati rice to Bangladesh, Nepal, Benin and Senegal, and premier basmati rice to Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

RPT-Asia Rice-African demand boosts Vietnam rates, India prices dip to 4-month low
Sumita Layek
OCTOBER 11, 2019 /
(Repeats Thursday’s story with no changes to text)

* Thai prices narrow to $396-$400 a tonne from $396-$417

* India’s exports in August fall 29% y/y

* Bangladesh reports bumper harvest

By Sumita Layek

BENGALURU, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Vietnamese rice export prices rose to their highest in two months this week as demand from African buyers increased, while prices in top exporter India fell to a four-month low on sluggish demand.

Rates for 5% broken rice RI-VNBKN5-P1 in Vietnam rose to $350 a tonne, matching early August’s peak, from $330-$340 a tonne a week ago.

“Demand seems to be recovering now with more vessels waiting to be loaded at Ho Chi Minh City ports,” a trader based in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang said.

Preliminary data showed at least 70,600 tonnes of rice are scheduled for loading at Ho Chi Minh City ports during October 1-20, with most bound for West Africa and Malaysia, traders said.

Africa’s demand for Vietnamese jasmine rice has increased significantly recently, a Ho Chi Minh City-based trader said.

Customs data released on Thursday showed September rice shipments from Vietnam fell 20.4% from August to 479,363 tonnes. However, shipments in the January-September period rose 3.7% from a year earlier to 5.06 million tonnes.

In contrast, softer demand from African countries for India’s 5 percent broken parboiled variety RI-INBKN5-P1 saw prices extend losses to touch their lowest level in nearly four-months at $368-$372 per tonne from $369-$373 a week ago.

“African countries have ample inventories. They are not active in the (Indian) market now,” said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

India’s rice exports in August fell 29% year-on-year to 644,249 tonnes, government data showed..

Weak demand also weighed on the Thai market, with benchmark 5-percent broken rice RI-THBKN5-P1 prices narrowing to $396-$400 a tonne from $396-$417 last week.

“It doesn’t look like there will be fresh demand for Thai rice in the short term, even well into next month,” a Bangkok-based trader said.

The baht, Asia’s best performing currency this year, has been one of the main factors keeping prices of the Thai variety higher than competitors.

“The market is expecting new supply after the end of the rainy season this month,” another Bangkok-based trader said.

Elsewhere, Bangladesh’s rice output from the summer crop also known as ‘Boro’, hit a record 20.4 million tonnes, exceeding a target of 19.5 million tonnes, on higher acreage, said Mizanur Rahman, a senior official of the Department of Agriculture Extension.

However, the bumper harvest failed to cheer farmers who have incurred huge losses this year from high production costs and low domestic prices.

Boro usually contributes more than half of Bangladesh’s typical annual rice production of around 35 million tonnes. (Reporting by Khanh Vu in Hanoi, Panu Wongcha-um in Bangkok, Ruma Paul in Dhaka and Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai; editing by Arpan Varghese and Kirsten Donovan)

The rise of rice
October 11, 2019 | 12:30 am
The Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2019 has concluded its search for the country’s most successful and inspiring entrepreneurs. Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines is a program of the SGV Foundation, Inc. with the participation of co-presenters Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippine Business for Social Progress, and the Philippine Stock Exchange. In the next few weeks, BusinessWorld will feature each of the finalists for the Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2019.
The rise of rice
1 of 2


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Description: https://www.bworldonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/SL-Agritech-Corp-logo-101119.jpg


Henry Lim Bon Liong
Chairman and CEO
SL Agritech Corp.
HENRY LIM BON LIONG believes that one seed has the power to uplift the nation. He claims that it only took one seed for him to disrupt the agriculture industry in the Philippines and, in the process, transform the lives of millions of Filipinos.
With a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of the Philippines-Diliman, Mr. Lim set his sights on agriculture.
His vision was to transform the Philippines into a self-sufficient rice producing country.



Mr. Lim established SL Agritech Corp. (SLAC), with the aim of empowering farmers by bridging the gap in food production and farming technology.
Mr. Lim founded SLAC in 2000 and has served as chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) ever since. However, his entrepreneurial journey began in 1976, when he took over as chairman of Sterling Paper Products after the death of his father, Lim Seh Leng.At present, SLAC is part of the Sterling Paper Group of Companies.
Driven by his dream, Mr. Lim invested in property and infrastructure for SLAC’s research and development (R&D) efforts. His research led him to collaborate with the world’s top rice scientists at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
Eventually, he sought the help of the man dubbed as the “father of hybrid rice”, Chinese agronomist, Yuan Longping.
Mr.. Longping devoted his career to developing high-yielding rice strains that helped solve the famine in China during the 1960s. He successfully developed hybrid rice varieties in the 1970s by crossbreeding a naturally-mutated male-sterile strain of rice with wild rice.
Mr. Lim invited Mr. Longping and three of his scientists to the Philippines in 1998, who brought with them 75 different hybrid rice seed varieties.
Unfortunately, none of the seeds survived the tropical climate as the hybrids Mr. Longping had developed were more suited to temperate climates.
Despite these setbacks, Mr. Lim’s mother, Maria Co Chiao Ti Lim, told him not to give up his search for a hybrid rice seed that was suitable for wet and dry seasons, even as the company’s funding became dangerously low after several years of investing wholly in R&D.
Her faith in his dream bore remarkable fruit, when in January 2001, Mr. Lim and Mr. Longping’s team were able to discover the first high-yielding, hybrid rice seed variety for the tropics. Mr. Lim attributes this discovery to his mother, who had passed away just two months prior.
Mr. Lim named his hybrid seed discovery, SL-8H, as a tribute to his late father’s initials and plot number 8, where the seed first germinated.
SLAC subsequently distributed the seeds to farmers across the Philippines for three harvest seasons. According to Mr. Lim, farmers reported a dramatic increase in their yield when they planted SL-8H seeds, as their harvest increased form 3 metric tons, to 14 metric tons.
Currently, SLAC is the market leader for hybrid rice in the Philippines, with 70% of the total market share. The company is focused on the development, promotion and growth of hybrid rice technology through its two major operations: hybrid seed production and premium quality rice production.
The commercialized hybrid rice seeds are sold to Filipino farmers and exported to Vietnam, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Indonesia and India. Farmers from Bangladesh and Myanmar similarly experienced a drastic yield increase due to SLAC’s hybrid seeds.
In Bangladesh, they jumped from 2.2 metric tons per hectare, to harvesting 9.5 metric tons per hectare. In Myanmar, farmers were able to yield 10 metric tons of seed per hectare.
Dr. Lim developed two brands for their rice products: Doña Maria premium rice and an affordable line, Willy Farms rice. To strengthen production capacity, SLAC engaged contract growers all over the country who exclusively produce rice for the two brands.
Today, the company has also expanded its network of contract growers to Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Mr. Lim further diversified his products with two additional variants of rice for the company’s Doña Maria premium line: Jasponica, a chewy, fragrant hybrid of Jasmine and Japanese rice; and Miponica, a soft, glutinous, long-grain hybrid of Milagrosa and Japanese rice. Both variants offer brown rice alternatives.
The company sells its premium rice to retailers, restaurants, hotels and catering services. It is also exported to countries across Asia, the Middle East, and North America.
Through Mr. Lim’s leadership, SLAC has attained international certifications from ISO (9001:2008), the Halal Authority Board Standard, and the United States Food and Drug Administration.
The company has also achieved other accolades including: the ASEAN AGROW Awards, the ASEAN Business Awards, the Agriculture Entrepreneurship Awards, the BizNewsAsia Asia-Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards, and the Agriculture Industry Asia-Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards.
On Aug. 6, Mr. Lim was conferred the Order of Lakandula by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, with the rank of Marangal na Pinuno or Grand Officer, for his lifelong commitment and outstanding contributions to the improvement of the country’s economic and civic welfare.
He was awarded with honorary doctorate degrees in Humanities and Science by the Foundation University-Dumaguete in 2013, and by the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in 2014.
Aside from being the country’s leading hybrid rice authority, Mr. Lim is also a philanthropist. He is dedicated to elevating communities through innovative programs that have helped countless beneficiaries in the country and across the region. Among these projects are the Rice Bucket Challenge and the Balik Biyaya program that were able to provide rice to over 50,000 families.
Mr. Lim is also swift to respond during times of national emergencies, by donating sacks of rice to calamity-stricken areas. During the Marawi City siege, he sent containers of Doña Maria Premium rice to the barracks after learning that soldiers were eating old supplies of rice.
In addition to his social work, Mr. Lim is equally passionate about education. He has built school buildings, donated school supplies and conducted feeding programs to help students in rural areas. He and his technicians are determined to educate farmers in advanced farming methods.
Farmers from the Philippines, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Vietnam, and other countries that use SLAC’s hybrid seeds, are trained by SLAC’s rice experts in modern farming techniques that will help them increase their yield and speed up production.
To other Filipino entrepreneurs, Dr. Lim shares, “Entrepreneurship takes guts. You will feel a lot of hardships, but you really have to weather them.”
The official airline of the Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines 2019 is Philippine Airlines. Media sponsors are BusinessWorld and the ABS-CBN News Channel. Banquet sponsors are Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc., Jollibee, Robert Blancaflor & Groups, Inc., Udenna Corporation, and Uratex.
The winners of the Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2019 will be announced on Oct. 15 in an awards banquet at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel. The Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines will represent the country in the World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020 in Monte Carlo, Monaco in June 2020.

Zubiri warns of ‘disaster’ in sugar industry

 October 10, 2019, 9:26 PM
By Vanne Terrazola
Another “disaster” similar to what is happening now in the rice industry might happen should the government pursue plans to liberalize sugar importation, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri warned on Thursday.
Description: Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri (Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri
(Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)
Zubiri was asking energy officials on biofuels during a budget hearing in the Senate when he segued into proposals to deregulate sugar imports in the country amid rising prices and declining supply of domestic sugar.
The lawmaker reiterated his opposition to the plan being pushed by the Department of Finance (DOF) and other economic managers, citing the current problems faced by rice farmers following the passage of the Rice Tariffication Law, which liberalized rice importation.
“We’ve seen what happened to rice. It is a disaster,” Zubiri said at the budget deliberation.
Zubiri said he recently went to General Santos City and his home province Bukidnon where rice farmers complained about the declining price of local rice due to the surge of rice imports.
He recalled the Senate passing on second reading the resolution that will authorize government agencies to buy from local rice farmers for their rice subsidy programs.
On Wednesday, Zubiri prodded the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) to come up with a “strong position” to convince the DOF to ditch the liberalization plan for sugar.
“Mr. Secretary, what is deafening is the position of the DA and the SRA on sugar import liberalization. We need a strong voice. We do not want to happen what had happened to rice,” he told DA Secretary William Dar during the deliberation of the proposed 2020 budgets of agriculture agencies.
“My worry is if we do this for sugar, OMG (oh, my God), what will just happen to the five million people [in the sugar industry],” he lamented.
Dar, in response, said he has asked the SRA to craft an action plan to accelerate the implementation of the Sugarcane Industry Development Act (SIDA), which was passed to help the local sugar farmers.
The action plan will be submitted within this week, he said.
But Zubiri was unsatisfied, saying the DA should stop the DOF.
“Dapat pagsabihan muna ang finance team natin na hindi muna tayo handa, hindi tayo handa (You should tell our finance team that we are not ready for it. We are not ready),” he said.

208 traders, big firms bought 1.614 MMT of imported rice

By

Description: https://39byfk2z09ab1y1bzj1l5r82-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/agri01-030819-696x490.jpgThis file photo shows different varieties of rice being sold at a local market in Manila.
A TOTAL of 208 private entities, including big firms, imported more than 1.6 million metric tons (MMT) of rice seven months after the government eased import restrictions on the staple, data from the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) showed.
Figures from the BPI, an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture (DA), showed that cooperatives, traders and institutions imported 1.614 MMT of rice as of October 4 after the rice trade liberalization law took effect on March 5.
The BPI data indicated that importers bought rice from India, Italy, Myanmar, Pakistan, Spain, Thailand and Vietnam.
Topping the list of importers is Puregold Price Club Inc. (Puregold), the grocery-chain operator owned by businessman Lucio Co, which imported 52,021.850 metric tons during the seven-month period. Puregold accounted for 3.22 percent of the total rice volume that arrived in the country.
Davao San Ei Trading Inc., which brought in 48,360 MT of rice and Arvin International Marketing Inc. with 45,418 MT of imported rice were the other two large importers.
The BPI was mandated to facilitate private-sector importation by issuing sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances (SPS-IC) after the rice trade liberalization law took effect on March 5.
Under the new trade regime, private entities must secure an SPS-IC from the BPI prior to bringing imported rice into the country.
The rice trade liberalization law, or Republic Act 11203, eased the importation of rice by deregulating the National Food Authority (NFA), which effectively removed its regulatory powers over rice importation.
Various farmers’ groups and nongovernment organizations pointed to the increase in rice imports as the culprit for the double-digit decline in the average farm-gate price of unhusked rice.
The steep decline in palay prices following the increase in rice import volumes prompted the DA to initiate a preliminary investigation to determine whether the imposition of safeguard duties is warranted.
The DA is supposed to reveal the findings of its investigation last October 10, a month after the start of the probe, if the sudden increase in rice imports did cause injury to local palay farmers.
Scientists Warn Against the Chronic Diseases Linked With High BMIs
By Melissa Scott October 10, 2019

Individuals who want to get the weight loss aid of this natural remedy may take into account using Divine Bounty L-Carnitine.
(Newswire.net -- October 10, 2019) Orlando, FL -- A new, first-of-its kind analysis of trend data from 188 countries reveal that about 2.1 billion individuals are either obese or overweight. This equates to almost 30 percent of the global population.
According to Dr. Christopher Murray, director of IHME and a co-founder of the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, obesity is an issue affecting people of all ages and incomes, everywhere.
It is worth mentioning that the highest proportion of the world’s obese individuals, which is 13 percent, resides in the United States.
Health authorities have long warned that obesity or having high body mass index (BMI) is linked with the onset or worsening of chronic diseases. These include diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and even cancer.
There are dietary and lifestyle habits to follow to maintain a healthy BMI. It is strongly recommended to consume healthy foods and engage in physical activities most days of the week.
Experts recommend consuming five to six servings of fruits and vegetables daily. For whole grains, it is best to opt for brown rice and whole wheat bread. It is similarly important to avoid intake of highly processed foods made with refined white sugar, flour and saturated fat.
Losing weight in a natural way may be made possible or efficient through the use of L-Carnitine. This amino acid has been known to be useful in enhancing levels of energy.
According to research, it works wonders in aiding with the mitochondria and burning fat. It provides more energy to go to the gym and increase endurance. It is worth remembering that L-Carnitine has long been identified to be useful for fat burning.
Experts warn that low insulin encourages the mitochondria to start turning to fat for fuel. The fatty acids need L-Carnitine to get into the mitochondria, which is provided with the raw materials useful in producing lots of energy.
It is further worth stressing that L-Carnitine is needed in metabolizing fat. Reduced levels of this amino acid won’t provide fat with the help it needs to reach the mitochondria.
There are many benefits linked with the use of L-Carnitine. Experts strongly recommend its use for various medicinal purposes.
Individuals who want to get the weight loss aid of this natural remedy may take into account using Divine Bounty L-Carnitine. This amazing formula could work wonders in delivering this natural remedy’s healing goodness.
In addition to being pure, this formula is also highly potent and is equipped with superior quality L-Carnitine (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XF7K9MM).

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Average farm-gate price of rice falls to 8-year low–PSA


Description: https://39byfk2z09ab1y1bzj1l5r82-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/agri01-051619-696x464.jpgPrices of assorted varieties of rice are seen at the San Andres public market in Manila in this BusinessMirror file photo.
THE average farm-gate price of dry unhusked rice in the third week of September fell to its lowest level in nearly eight years, according to preliminary data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
PSA figures showed that the price of dry palay plunged by 30 percent to below P16 per kilogram for the first time since the fourth week of December in 2011.
Experts, such as the University of Asia and the Pacific Center for Food and Agribusiness Executive Director Rolando T. Dy, attributed this to the influx of cheap rice imports.
“The average farm-gate price of palay went down further to P15.96 per kg or by 1.4 percent during the week relative to its previous week’s level of P16.18 per kg,” the PSA said in its weekly price monitoring report.
“On an annual basis, it also continued to drop at a rate of 30.1 percent from its level of P22.84 per kg in the same week of the previous year,” the report read.
From September 18 to 24, PSA data indicated that the lowest average farm-gate price was recorded in Pampanga at P12 per kg, while the highest quotation was reported in Surigao del Sur at P20.40 per kg.
The steep decline in palay prices following the increase in rice imports by the private sector prompted the Department of Agriculture (DA) to initiate a preliminary investigation last month to determine whether the imposition of safeguard duties is warranted.
The DA is supposed to reveal the findings of its investigation on October 10, a month after the start of the probe, to determine if the sudden increase in rice imports indeed caused injury to local planters.
The BusinessMirror earlier reported that the DA has also formed a 30-man multisectoral task force to address and fast-track measures to help farmers cope with declining farm-gate palay prices.
The DA issued Special Order (SO 862), Series of 2019, which created a task force that would “facilitate assistance relative to the drop of palay farm-gate price.”
The task force is composed of experts and economists from the academe, the private sector and government, as well as representatives of rice farmers, millers, cooperatives and various government agencies related to rice.
“The task force shall perform the following: develop, adopt and promulgate measures to promote rice productivity and farmers’ viability, and ensure the effective and efficient implementation of rice-related measures in relation to the drop of palay farm-gate price,” according to the SO, which was dated August 27, but was uploaded on the DA’s web site on October 8.
With the increase in imports and the start of harvest, the farm-gate price of palay will continue to go down, according to various farmers groups and nongovernment organizations.
How Three Minutes Can Change Your Life


ARLINGTON, VA -- Three minutes of innovative storytelling about U.S.-grown rice is all it takes to earn money for college!  

If you're a high school graduating student from Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, or Texas, submit a three-minute video that creates awareness and promotes U.S.-grown rice, September National Rice Month, and the importance of rice to your state, for a chance to win this year's National Rice Month Scholarship.

"Winning the National Rice Month scholarship was an incredibly unique and exciting experience, and helped fund my first year of college," said Heaven McKinley, from Grand Prairie, Texas.  McKinley won the first ever video contest in 2016 for her entry, "Power Plants," and is now studying environmental engineering at Colorado School of the Mines.  

Caroline Benoit, last year's grand prize winner who attends Tulane University in New Orleans said she was a bit reluctant to enter the contest at first but so glad she did.  "I really enjoyed learning about a topic that is so important to my home state and to share how important rice is to Louisiana's economy and the nation as a whole."

Three scholarship prizes, sponsored by Corteva Agriscience, totaling $8,500 will be awarded.  The grand-prize winner will receive a $4,000 scholarship and a trip with a chaperone this December to the awards ceremony at the 2018 USA Rice Outlook Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas.  The second-place winner will receive a $3,000 scholarship, and third-place $1,500.

Entries are due by October 31.

For more information, including tips on making a great video, visit the NRM scholarship page.

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WASDE Report Released  

The outlook for 2019/20 U.S. rice this month is for increased supplies, unchanged domestic use and exports, and higher ending stocks. Supplies are raised as NASS increased the all rice production forecast by 1.3 million cwt to 188.6 million, all on a higher yield. The all rice yield is forecast at 7,616 pounds per acre, up 53 pounds from the previous forecast. Higher yields for Arkansas, California, and Texas more than offset a lower yield for Louisiana. Projected 2019/20 all rice ending stocks are raised 1.3 million cwt to 37.1 million, still down 17 percent from last year. The projected 2019/20 all rice season-average farm
price is reduced $0.20 per cwt to $13.00, compared to $12.00 for 2018/19.

Global 2019/20 rice supplies are raised by 3.6 million tons to 669.6 million, mainly on higher projected production for India and Egypt. India's production is raised by 2.0 million tons to 114.0 million, primarily based on the government's First Advance Estimate of Production. Egypt's production increased 1.3 million tons to 4.3 million on greater harvested area than previously estimated. World 2019/20 consumption is raised by 1.3 million tons to 494.5 million, led by increased expected use in Egypt on higher domestic supplies. Global 2019/20 trade is increased 0.8 million tons to 45.9 million, mainly on higher exports by India with greater supplies. India is expected to remain the leading global rice exporter for the sixth consecutive year. Projected world ending stocks are up 2.4 million tons to a record 175.1 million with India and Egypt accounting for most of the increase.

The full report can be found here.
USA Rice Daily



DA chief keeps silence, at the moment, on rice import probe

 
Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar was tight-lipped a day before the government is supposed to reveal the findings of its investigation on whether the increased rice imports did cause injury to palay planters.
Dar said he has no comment after the media pressed him if he would impose a provisional duty on Thursday, October 10, or reveal findings of DA’s preliminary investigation on the increased rice imports.
“No comment yet,” he told reporters while he was waiting for the elevator in the second floor of the Senate.
Dar was also mum on whether the Cabinet-level Economic Development Cluster (EDC) intervened in the safeguard investigation of the DA.
Asked again if he would impose a provisional duty on rice imports starting tomorrow, Dar reiterated that concerned government officials are still discussing the matter.
“No comment, yet. No comment yet,” he emphasized before he entered the elevator after he was asked if he will impose a provisional duty on rice imports on October 10, a month after the DA initiated a preliminary investigation for safeguard duty.
BusinessMirror sources said the EDC wants to discuss the proposed imposition of a safeguard duty on rice imports before the DA moves forward with the results of its preliminary investigation.
Reliable sources told the BusinessMirror that the DA’s preliminary investigation has been completed and all information, including recommendations, are now on Dar’s table, awaiting for his decision.
Under Republic Act 8800 or Safeguard Measures Act, the Agriculture chief shall “make a preliminary determination that increased imports of the product under consideration are a substantial cause of, or threaten to substantially cause, serious injury to the domestic industry,” not later than 30 calendar days from publication of its preliminary investigation.
The 30th day of the DA’s safeguard investigation would fall on Thursday,October 10, as the department published its notice of investigation on September 11.
Under the law, the date of publication of the notice for preliminary investigation serves as the first day of the investigation.
Under RA 8800’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR), the secretary shall “essentially determine” five factors in its preliminary determination.
First, he should determine if there was an increase in imports, either in absolute terms or relative to domestic production, in the last five years preceding the application to substantiate claims of significant increase in import volume, according to the IRR.

“Provided, however, that in some cases, the period maybe adjusted to cover a shorter period, if necessary, in order to take into account other considerations that will ensure the appropriateness of the chosen period, e.g., seasonally of product, availability of data or facility in verification of data,” it added.

The secretary should also determine the “presence and extent of serious injury or threat thereof to the domestic industry producing the like or directly competitive product.”

The secretary must also explicitly show the “causal relationship between the increased imports of the product under consideration and the serious injury or threat thereof to the affected domestic industry.”

The secretary must also take into account the impacts of seasonality of products, whenever, applicable.

“That there has been a substantial increase in imports taking into account their volume and whether or not there has been a rapid accumulation of inventories of the domestic product and a reduction in sales and profit margins of the domestic industry,” it added.

If the preliminary findings meet the above-mentioned conditions, then the secretary, without any delay, should transmit his findings to the Tariff Commission for immediate formal investigation within three calendar days from adopting the decision.

“However, if the preliminary findings of the secretary are negative, the secretary shall terminate the investigation,” the IRR read.

Under the law, the secretary is mandated to “issue a public notice on his preliminary findings” within two days after he makes a decision.

“He shall also furnish all interested parties on record a copy of his decision, subject to the requirement to protect confidential information, whether affirmative or negative,” the IRR read.

In a news statement on September 21, the DA said it initiated the preliminary investigation to “arrest” the influx of imports, “particularly this forthcoming main harvest season.”

The DA pointed out that the imposition of a safeguard duty on rice imports is one of the measures it is banking on to stabilize the supply and price of rice.

““We have to holistically and systematically protect the consuming public and much more, our small farmers,” Dar was quoted as saying in the statement.

“So, I have taken the necessary steps and the direction where we will enforce legal measures during these times when we have greatly exceeded the volume needed to fill up the slack in national rice supply, most particularly in Metro Manila and major urban rice consumption centers,” Dar added.

Dar said at least 2.4 million metric tons of rice have entered the country, which “has gone beyond what is needed by the country.”

“We will protect our small farmers by not allowing additional imports especially this main harvest season. We want them to benefit from the respectable farmgate prices of palay set by the government through the National Food Authority (NFA),” he said.


As Arkansas Rice Harvest Heads Toward Final Leg, Growers Enjoy High Market Prices
Description: http://www.mafg.net/images/photos/thumbnails/Article_Photos/as-arkansasge.jpg

 Scenes from the 2015 harvest season. Combines make their way through a rice field in Cross County.
 Ryan McGeeney, University of Arkansas Systems Division of Agriculture








LITTLE ROCK, ARK.
   The “store and hold” strategy employed by many rice growers in 2018 has finally paid off, as rice prices rallied in 2019, hinging largely on record prevented planting acreage and general uncertainty about the year’s crop size. 
   According to a rice stocks report released in late August by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, rough rice stocks for five of the country’s six largest rice-producing states, including Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri, all rose over 2018 levels. Only Texas fell in rough rice stocks from 2018 to 2019. Nationwide, August stocks rose from about 23.9 million hundredweight to about 38.6 million hundredweight year over year.
   The report compared August stock positions, year to year. Arkansas increased from about 12.4 million hundredweight to about 22.9 hundredweight.    Scott Stiles, extension economist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said the change reflects both the size of the crops, year-to-year, as well as market prices.
   “We saw a rebound in 2018,” Stiles said, citing a rise in Arkansas rice production from 82.6 million hundredweight to 107.3 million hundredweight.
   “Following a sharp cut in 2017 acres, rice prices started to rally,” he said. By the time September 2017 contracts expired, rice futures had traded up to $12.90/hundredweight.
   “From late 2017, futures prices were fairly stable into April and May, 2018.”
   Prices helped spur a recovery in 2018 rice acreage, and a rebound in rice production as well, with the second highest average yield on record – 167 bushels per acre – and fifth-largest production total on record.
   Naturally, the rice markets have been affected by external factors, including the weather and global economy, as well. The same intermittent rains that delayed planting – and eventually, harvest – in every other major Arkansas commodity had its way with rice as well. Only this week has harvested rice acreage in the state, at 72 percent, according to a Sept. 30 report from NASS, began to approach the five-year average. Suppressed soybean prices and the ongoing trade dispute with China affected rice marketing decisions as well, Stiles said.
   Overall, rice acreage in Arkansas has seen a reduction over the past decade, however. Jarrod Hardke, rice agronomist for the Division of Agriculture, said the state average fell from nearly 1.5 million acres in 2000-2009 to about 1.35 million acres during the past decade.
   “The declining average acreage has somewhat stabilized our prices, but our production, overall, within any given two-year period, is fairly consistent,” Hardke said. “The yield averages have been mostly greater than 160 bushels per acre the past several years – that’s been largely consistent, and so have our prices.” 
   “Rice futures have traded from a low of $9.80 in February to a high of $12.52 in July this year,” Stiles said. “Keeping some of the 2018 crop in storage has been a sound marketing strategy this year.” ∆
http://www.mafg.net/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=7343&utm_source=October+11%2C+2019+issue+41&utm_campaign=19-41+Enewsletter&utm_medium=email

Average farm-gate price of rice falls to 8-year low–PSA


Description: https://39byfk2z09ab1y1bzj1l5r82-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/agri01-051619-696x464.jpgPrices of assorted varieties of rice are seen at the San Andres public market in Manila in this BusinessMirror file photo.
THE average farm-gate price of dry unhusked rice in the third week of September fell to its lowest level in nearly eight years, according to preliminary data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
PSA figures showed that the price of dry palay plunged by 30 percent to below P16 per kilogram for the first time since the fourth week of December in 2011.
Experts, such as the University of Asia and the Pacific Center for Food and Agribusiness Executive Director Rolando T. Dy, attributed this to the influx of cheap rice imports.
“The average farm-gate price of palay went down further to P15.96 per kg or by 1.4 percent during the week relative to its previous week’s level of P16.18 per kg,” the PSA said in its weekly price monitoring report.
“On an annual basis, it also continued to drop at a rate of 30.1 percent from its level of P22.84 per kg in the same week of the previous year,” the report read.
From September 18 to 24, PSA data indicated that the lowest average farm-gate price was recorded in Pampanga at P12 per kg, while the highest quotation was reported in Surigao del Sur at P20.40 per kg.
The steep decline in palay prices following the increase in rice imports by the private sector prompted the Department of Agriculture (DA) to initiate a preliminary investigation last month to determine whether the imposition of safeguard duties is warranted.
The DA is supposed to reveal the findings of its investigation on October 10, a month after the start of the probe, to determine if the sudden increase in rice imports indeed caused injury to local planters.
The BusinessMirror earlier reported that the DA has also formed a 30-man multisectoral task force to address and fast-track measures to help farmers cope with declining farm-gate palay prices.
The DA issued Special Order (SO 862), Series of 2019, which created a task force that would “facilitate assistance relative to the drop of palay farm-gate price.”
The task force is composed of experts and economists from the academe, the private sector and government, as well as representatives of rice farmers, millers, cooperatives and various government agencies related to rice.
“The task force shall perform the following: develop, adopt and promulgate measures to promote rice productivity and farmers’ viability, and ensure the effective and efficient implementation of rice-related measures in relation to the drop of palay farm-gate price,” according to the SO, which was dated August 27, but was uploaded on the DA’s web site on October 8.
With the increase in imports and the start of harvest, the farm-gate price of palay will continue to go down, according to various farmers groups and nongovernment organizations.

UNDP’s agricultural intervention programme to boost rice production in Nigeria
 ON OCTOBER 10, 20193:50 PM
IN AGRICBY LAWAL SHERIFAT FacebookTwitterEmailWhatsAppPinterestShare The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said that its intervention in the agricultural sector would boost rice production in Nigeria. The United Nations Development Programme UNDP Mrs. Rhoda Dia, the Project Manager for UNDP-Global Environment Facility Integrated Approach Programme (UNDP-GEF-IAP) on Food Security, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Gombe. Dia said that the UNDP’s intervention in the area of good agricultural practices and training for key stakeholders in the agricultural value chain would enhance the knowledge of farmers in rural areas to boost rice production. According to her, Nigeria’s good potential in rice production, if properly harnessed, will impact greatly on the economy and enrich more farmers, especially those who have embraced the use of improved seedlings. Okowa receives Apostle Suleiman, charges the Church to be change agents She said that if the series of intervention programmes from UNDP and the Federal Government were to be properly harnessed by farmers, food security would be guaranteed. “As you might be aware, the issues of having effective agribusiness platforms in the development of agriculture and food security with a view to enhancing sustainable development have become regional and national concerns. “The UNDP is doing a lot in the area of boosting rice production. Recently, we brought in major stakeholders involved in the rice value chains to a food summit in Gombe, on how to boost productivity.
“ During the summit, Agricultural Development Programme (ADPs) of Adamawa, Benue, Nasarawa, Kano, Katsina, Jigawa and Gombe signed a Memorandum of Understanding with major rice mills to facilitate the growth of the produce and groundnuts by farmers. Buhari approves fine of N5m on any media that violates NBC code – Lai Mohammed “ The rice mill companies will provide inputs, training, and general support, off-take and process the farm produce, while the National Agricultural Seed Council certifies through registered dealers. “We established linkages through the creation of an innovation platform, which provides the sustainable structures for the advancement of what the project refers to as a win-win inter-state food commodity value chain,’’ she said. The project manager canvassed the need to review the immediate business environment across the rice value chains to obtain information from millers and off-takers about the required quality and specifications of rice to be produced by the farmers. Dia said that the UNDP had been empowering women and communities with treadle pumps to make farming easier while curbing environmental degradation arising from poor agricultural practices.
She lauded the government’s efforts at boosting food security in the country, urging rice farmers to embrace bio-friendly agricultural practices, to protect the environment. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on Sept. 26, a Food Summit was held in Gombe under the UNDP-GEF-IAP project being implemented by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture. The objectives of the summit are to kick-start the process of establishing cooperation along rice and groundnut value chains and work with various stakeholders to coordinate their activities for better efficiency.

FIRST LEG OF ASEAN RICE BOWL 2019 KICKS OFF IN MALAYSIA
By Digital News Asia October 11, 2019
  • 13 category winners at Malaysia Rice Bowl Conference & National Awards
  • 5th year to empower ASEAN Economic Community to power up local economies
Description: Malaysia Rice Bowl Startup Awards 2019 winners with [from 4th left] Dzuleira Abu Bakar, CEO MaGIC, Wan Suraya, Head Secretary of Ministry of Entrepreneur Development, Mohd Redzuan Yusof, Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Hamdi Mokhtar, chairman The New Entrepreneurs Foundation (myNEF).Malaysia Rice Bowl Startup Awards 2019 winners with [from 4th left] Dzuleira Abu Bakar, CEO MaGIC, Wan Suraya, Head Secretary of Ministry of Entrepreneur Development, Mohd Redzuan Yusof, Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Hamdi Mokhtar, chairman The New Entrepreneurs Foundation (myNEF).

The New Entrepreneurs Foundation (myNEF) yesterday successfully organised its first Malaysia Rice Bowl Conference and kicked off the ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards.  The events were officiated by Mohd Redzuan Yusof, Minister of Entrepreneur Development.
The inaugural conference included panel discussions on startup fundraising, perspectives from investors and a panel discussion on the role of government agencies in the Malaysian startup ecosystem which saw participation by government agency heads  Dzuleira Abu Bakar (Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre), Surina Shukri (Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation) and Azmi Said (SME Corp).
Running for the 5th year, the Rice Bowl Startup Awards aims to connect and empower the ASEAN Economic Community to power up local economies with startups and scaleups. The awards, which celebrates the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship in Southeast Asian startups is also the official Southeast Asian circuit of the Global Startup Awards.
Mohd Redzuan shared, “This award is in line with the Ministry’s own aspirations for Malaysia to become an outstanding entrepreneurial nation in 2030. Under the National Entrepreneurship Policy 2030 (DKN 2030), launched on 11 July 2019, we seek to foster a stronger entrepreneurship culture across all segments of Malaysian society. I am confident that awards such as this will help in building a critical mass of entrepreneurs by publicly recognizing entrepreneurship role models. For the economy to grow, we must ensure the presence of more startups, capital, talent and markets.”
Hamdi Mokhtar, chairman of ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards and myNEF adds, “To those who wonder why Rice Bowl Awards are called as such, it is because ‘rice’ is a staple diet in Asian countries. Not only that, it is also a symbol of wealth and resources throughout the region, making the rice bowl an enduring symbol of livelihood and sustenance. Startups have always been that rice bowl that sustains and grows the Southeast Asian economy, and we believe they will continue to provide for ASEAN for generations to come. We honor and celebrate these startups for their innovation and entrepreneurial spirit especially for their courage, determination, hard work and perseverance that helps power the region’s economy and wealth.”
More than 3,000 nomination were received this year from across Southeast Asia, a 60% increase from the previous year. The startups come from diverse industries and backgrounds but are united in their hunger and drive to succeed.  “These are the risk-takers who inspire and thrive in the startup community with their hard work,” adds Hamdi.
Among the notable winners from Malaysia in previous years who are making waves today are Carsome, Dropee, JomParking, and iflix.
Description: Mohd Redzuan Yusof, Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Wan Suraya at Malaysia Rice Bowl Startup Awards 2019.Mohd Redzuan Yusof, Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Wan Suraya at Malaysia Rice Bowl Startup Awards 2019.

Following are the categories for Malaysia Rice Bowl Startup Awards 2019:
  1. Best E-commerce & Supply Chain Startup
  2. Best Life Helper
  3. Best Foodtech/Agritech Startup
  4. Best IoT Startup
  5. Best AI & Machine Learning Startup
  6. Best Fintech Startup
  7. Best Accelerator or Incubator Program
  8. Best Coworking Space
  9. Investor of The Year
  10. People’s Choice
  11. Best Newcomer
  12. Founder of The Year
  13. Startup of The year
The top 3 categories with the most number of nominations in Malaysia are Best Life Helper, Best e-commerce & Supply Chain and Best Newcomer.
Nominations were open to all companies established no more than 5 years in an ASEAN country with the nomination period between 27 May 2019 to 9 August 2019. This was followed by a round of judging by panels of industry-experts. The winners of each country will be announced in multiple national events in October and November 2019.
Malaysia is the first country to announce its Rice Bowl Winners for 2019 and each category Winner for will receive a PR Strategy Advisory Services from Suppagood PR worth RM15,000 each.
All National Winners will get to participate in the regional finale, a cross-regional program designed for entrepreneurs. At the finale, winners will be able to meet and leverage the vast ASEAN startup community network to strike regional, vertical, or cross-commercial partnerships to accelerate their market expansion.
This year the regional grand finale of the awards will be held in Kuala Lumpur in January 2020 in Kuala Lumpur.