Friday, October 18, 2019

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


Demand for banning production of GM golden rice
Saykot Kabir Shayok/UNB
Description: Demand for banning production of GM golden riceDhaka, Oct 17 (UNB) - Highlighting the negative effects of genetically modified (GM) food on human body, speakers at a convention on Thursday urged the government and other stakeholders to stop the commercial production of GM golden rice being marketed as an ‘healthier alternative’ to regular rice. 
“The burden of golden rice has been imposed on the country in the name of nutrition. The inventors of golden rice have failed to provide any proof to guarantee its safety. Worldwide it has been rejected as a failed innovation,” said Nasrin Sultana, a representative of the International Union of Food. 
She and other speakers gave their opinions at the convention jointly arranged by Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Labour Federation (BAFLF) and National Women Farmers & Workers Association (NWFA) at the Jatiya Press Club. 
“In terms of crop, environment and health, golden rice is a controversial product. The most alarming factor is that scientists haven’t been able to provide any solution to the GM food effect on human body,” Nasrin said while presenting the keynote paper. 
GR2E is developed by splicing three foreign genes -- two from corn and one from a bacterium -- into BRRI dhan29, the ‘Golden Rice’ which is said to be capable of producing beta carotene alias pro-vitamin A.
“Although the paddy has been marketed as a rich source of beta carotene, 84 percent of that gets damaged within six months if not packed and stored in regulated temperature,” Nasrin said, citing the findings of a research carried out by the Indian government. 
According to a report of the United States Food and Drug Administration, golden rice contains a low level of beta carotene which is not sufficient to tackle vitamin deficiency. 
British Food Chemistry Journal data show that golden rice loses three-fourth of beta-carotene if stored within eight months of production. 
BAFLF General Secretary Abdul Majid said the lack of bio safety studies while introducing golden rice in the country’s market is an alarming matter. 
“The reason behind commercial farming of golden rice without ensuring the safety of public or environment is nothing but protecting the interests of multinational companies and increasing their profit,” he said. 
Speakers held the weak bio-safety law as the key reason behind GM food lobbying in Bangladesh. 
“Because of our ineffective bio-safety law, multinational companies are using the country as the testing ground for GM crops,” said Abdul Majid. 
BAFLF and NWFA put forward a set of proposals that include banning the golden rice and BT brinjal, introducing stricter bio-safety law and providing effective help to farmers in preserving domestic seeds

Delayed GMO Bt rice approval costs China $12 billion annually, study finds

Yan Jin | Frontiers in Plant Science | October 17, 2019
Description: l updates
To maintain self-sufficiency in rice production and national food security, the Chinese government strongly supports research that aims at increasing the productivity of rice cultivation. Rice with genetic material from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt rice) is transgenic rice that can reduce lepidopteran pest damage and the use of insecticides. It was developed in the 1990s and earned biosafety certificates in 2009. However, because of political reasons, its commercialization in China has been postponed, and, to date, Bt rice is not grown in China.
We assess the opportunity cost of postponement of Bt rice commercialization in China between the years 2009 and 2019 and consider the external costs of pesticide use and potential technology spill-overs of Bt rice. We estimate the cost of postponement of Bt rice over the analyzed period to be 12 billion United States (US) dollars per year.
Chinese rice farmers apply more pesticides than farmers in most other countries …. Huang et al. (2005) show, however, that Bt rice requires 80% less pesticide than conventional rice and reduces labor input. The simultaneous increase in production and reduction of input both contribute to the absolute increase of the total factor productivity of Bt rice, which is about 15% higher than conventional rice.
The adoption of Bt rice can also improve farmers’ health due to lower exposure to pesticides. Bt rice is also compatible with biological control and soil health management, although it should be noted that, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, no study examines its environmental effects at a larger scale or for a longer period.…
The postponement of Bt rice commercialization is largely due to low public acceptance, like other genetically modified (GM) crops. Most Chinese business managers oppose food derived from GM crops because they fear lower profits. Although almost half of consumers know little about GM food, they believe it has adverse effects on human health and the environment. In addition, Chinese scientists do not show higher acceptance of GM food than non-scientists.

95% of tested baby foods contain toxic metals, report says

6:14 AM, OCTOBER 17, 2019, BY CNNWIRE
Toxic heavy metals damaging to your baby’s brain development are likely in the baby food you are feeding your infant, according to a new investigation published Thursday.
Tests of 168 baby foods from major manufacturers found 95% contained lead, 73% contained arsenic, 75% contained cadmium and 32% contained mercury. One fourth of the foods contained all four heavy metals.
One in five baby foods tested had over 10 times the 1-ppb limit of lead endorsed by public health advocates, although experts agree that no level of lead is safe.
The results mimicked a previous study by the Food and Drug Organization that found one or more of the same metals in 33 of 39 types of baby food tested.
Foods with the highest risk for neurotoxic harm were rice-based products, sweet potatoes and fruit juices, the analysis found.
“Even in the trace amounts found in food, these contaminants can alter the developing brain and erode a child’s IQ. The impacts add up with each meal or snack a baby eats,” the report said.
The tests were commissioned by Healthy Babies Bright Futures, which calls itself an alliance of scientists, nonprofit organizations and donors trying to reduce exposures to neurotoxic chemicals during the first months of life.

Rice-based foods

Infant rice cereal, rice dishes and rice-based snacks topped the list of most toxic foods for babies.
“These popular baby foods are not only high in inorganic arsenic, the most toxic form of arsenic, but also are nearly always contaminated with all four toxic metals,” the report said.
Prior research has shown that even low levels of arsenic exposure can impact a baby’s neurodevelopment. A 2004 study looked at children in Bangladesh who were exposed to arsenic in drinking water, and it found that they scored significantly lower on intellectual tests. A meta-analysis of studies on the topic found that a 50% increase in arsenic levels in urine would be associated with a 0.4-point decrease in the IQ of children between the ages of 5 and 15.
Arsenic is a natural element found in soil, water and air, with the inorganic form being the most toxic. (“Inorganic” is a chemical term and has nothing to do with the method of farming.)
Because rice is grown in water, it is especially good at absorbing inorganic arsenic and, according to the Food and Drug Administration, has the highest concentration of any food.
And in this case, brown and wild rice are the worst offenders, because the milling process used to create white rice removes the outer layers, where much of the arsenic concentrates.
And you can’t rely on organic either. A 2012 study found that brown rice syrup, a frequent sweetener in organic foods, was also a source of significant levels of arsenic. One “organic” milk formula marketed to toddlers had levels of inorganic arsenic that were six times the levels currently considered safe by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
In the Healthy Babies analysis, four of seven rice cereals contained the most toxic form of arsenic in levels higher than the FDA’s proposed action level of 100 parts per billion (ppb).

Action needed

Urgent action is needed by major baby food companies and the FDA, the report said. While the FDA has been investigating how to reduce exposure and some levels of arsenic in rice and juice are lower than a decade ago, exposure is still too high.
“When FDA acts, companies respond. We need the FDA to use their authority more effectively, and much more quickly, to reduce toxic heavy metals in baby foods,” said study author Jane Houlihan, research director for Healthy Babies Better Futures, in a statement.

What can parents do

The analysis looked at which baby foods are highest risk, and offered safer alternatives.
Puff rice snacks and cereals
Rice cereal is the top source of arsenic in a baby’s diet because it is often used as a first food; rice puffs and other rice flour snacks also contain high levels. Healthy Babies suggested cereals low in arsenic, such as oatmeal and multigrain cereals, and rice-free packaged snacks.
Pediatrician Tanya Altmann, author of “What to Feed Your Baby” echoes the advice of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which advises parents to offer a wide variety of first foods including grains such as oats, barley, wheat and quinoa.
“Best first foods for infants are avocado, pureed veggies, peanut-butter oatmeal and salmon,” Altmann said. “They all provide important nutrients that babies need, help develop their taste buds to prefer healthy food and may decrease food allergies.”
She believes meats are a better source of iron and zinc for babies than rice cereal, “so I haven’t been recommending rice cereal as a first food for several years.”
If you do choose to cook rice for your toddler, Healthy Babies recommends cooking rice in extra water and pouring it off before eating. That will cut arsenic levels by 60%, they say, based on FDA studies.
“For the lowest levels, buy basmati rice grown in California, India, and Pakistan. White rice has less arsenic than brown rice,” the report said.
Teething foods
Teething biscuits can contain arsenic, lead and cadmium, the report said. Instead, soothe your baby’s pain with frozen bananas, a peeled and chilled cucumber or a clean, wet washcloth — but be sure to watch for choking.
Drinks
Juice is often the go-to drink for parents, but it’s not a good option, says the American Academy of Pediatrics. Juices are high in sugar, lack fiber, and can contribute to tooth decay and later obesity. Apple, pear, grape and other fruit juices can also contain some lead and arsenic, so frequent use is a top source of these heavy metals.
Instead, experts say water and milk are best choices, depending on the age of the child. Babies under six months only need breast milk and formula. The drinks of choice for a child’s second year of life should be water and whole milk. Between age 2 and 5 parents should move to skim or low-fat milk and keep pushing water to hydrate their children.
At all ages, juice should be kept to a minimum. One tip: add water to make the juice last longer and always be sure the drink is 100% juice.
Fruits and veggies
While sweet potatoes and carrots are great sources of vitamin A and other key nutrients, the report found they are also high in lead and cadmium. Go ahead and feed your child these veggies, but be sure to add many other colorful fruits and vegetables to add variety.
Krishi Mela in Brahmavar from tomorrow
UDUPI, OCTOBER 18, 2019 01:33 IST
UPDATED: OCTOBER 18, 2019 10:13 IST
Description: Arrangements are in the final stages for the two-day Krishi Mela being organised by the Zonal Agricultural and Horticultural Research Station at Brahmavar in Udupi district.
Arrangements are in the final stages for the two-day Krishi Mela being organised by the Zonal Agricultural and Horticultural Research Station at Brahmavar in Udupi district.  
Focus on latest techology transfer
The Zonal Agricultural and Horticultural Research Station (ZAHRS), affiliated to the University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences (UAHS), Shivamogga, will be organising a Krishi Mela at Brahmavar in Udupi district on October 19 and 20.
Addressing presspersons here on Thursday, S.U. Patil, Associate Director of Research, ZAHRS, said that the Krishi Mela would be held in association with various government departments, Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (SKDRDP), the Agricultural Diploma College and the Directorate of Cashew and Cocoa Development.
The main objective of the mela was to facilitate transfer of the latest agricultural technologies through demonstrations, discussions, field visits in ZAHRS, and seminars. There would be interaction programmes between agricultural scientists and farmers at the event. “This mela will provide a platform to farmers to find solutions to their problems,” he said.
Four seminars would be held during the mela on the following topics: “Cultivation of cashew and other plantation crops”, “Profitable integrated farming systems”, “Soil and water conservation and Zero Budget Natural Farming” and “Hi-tech horticulture”.
Agricultural scientists of UAHS and other institutes and progressive farmers would participate as resource persons in the seminars. “Farmers can interact with scientists in these seminars and get solutions to their problems,” he said.
Agricultural technologies and the latest farm machinery would be on display at 150 stalls at the exhibition on the mela grounds.
The other attractions of the mela include high-yielding rice varieties and seed production; preparation of Dapog nursery and SRI method of cultivation; multi-storeyed cropping system and nutrient management in coconut and arecanut; grafting techniques and terrace gardening; demonstration of organic manure compost, vermi compost and azolla; fodder production for dairy animals through Hydrophonics; demonstration of fodder grass production; and dairy, poultry, goat, rabbit, duck and fisheries demo units.
Exhibition and demonstration of agricultural implements, demonstration of value added food products, exhibition and sale of decorative plants would be the other attractions of the mela.
A major highlight would be the release of a new paddy variety, Sahyadri Panchamukhi, which was flood-resistant and suited to areas prone to flooding during monsoon.
Minister for Ports and Fisheries and Muzrai Kota Srinivas Poojary will release this variety during the inaugural function, Dr. Patil said. Sudhir Kamath, Principal of Agricultural Diploma College, B. Dhananjaya, senior scientist, were present.

Gov't readies cash aid for rice farmers hit by low prices
Bruce Rodriguez, ABS-CBN News
Oct 18 2019 12:43 PM
MANILA - The government will release a total of P3 billion to some 600,000 rice farmers affected by low prices of the staple grain.
The aid, at P5,000 per farmer, will be released before Christmas, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said. Funds will be sourced from tax collection from imported rice, he said.
Rice prices have fallen after the government replaced import quotas with tariffs to bring down the price of the staple and tame inflation from record highs in late 2018.
Some farmer groups claimed that prices of rough rice or palay dropped to as low as P7 per kilo following the influx of imported rice.
"Instead of implementing safeguard duties on imported rice, Cabinet decided to give out one-time P5,000 cash assistance to rice farmers affected by low farm gate prices due to rice tariffication law... This will be sourced from tariff collections," Dar told reporters.
Senator Francis Pangilinan also filed a resolution urging the government to use tariff collections from rice imports as cash assistance to farmers.
The Bureau of Customs said some P9.19 billion was collected as tariff from rice importation from March to August 2019, according to Pangilinan's resolution.

Philippine grain imports expected to decline

10.17.2019
WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Philippine grain imports are expected to decline after the country’s weather becomes more hospitable for production following El Niño, according to an Oct. 9 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The USDA said the arrival of African swine fever (ASF) in the Philippines will lead to a 10% reduction in hog feed demand, resulting in feed wheat imports falling 500,000 tonnes in market year 2018-19 to 7.1 million tonnes.
“USDA forecasts overall food and feed grain consumption to slow down in market year 2019-20 due to the confirmed outbreak of Animal swine fever on July 25, 2019, and its expected impacts to animal feed demand,” the report said. “This will be partially offset by the return to more normal weather conditions, contributing to increased rice and corn production.”
The USDA forecast corn imports to decline nearly 7% to 700,000 tonnes due to improved production and sufficient stocks.
The USDA noted smallholder rice farmers will continue planting rice despite low prices, while progressive rice producers are expected to become more efficient in market year 2019-20. Although area harvested is lowered, rice production will increase by 2% due to favorable weather conditions, with imports expected to decline in market year 2019-20 because of adequate supply, the USDA said.

Villanueva: Ekonomista returns, analyzes the economy

Ekonomista
October 17, 2019
IT HAS been sometime since I last wrote something for this column. Let’s just say that it was a writer’s hibernation, which took me around a year’s time to recover. After waking up from a slumber, I thought of looking at the state of our economy. Unfortunately, there have been very few (in number) or little (in degree/extent) change in the country’s economy since I went into hibernation, where there are still puppet economic managers, puppeted by a man who despises economics, and proliferated by his ki**-a** die hard supporters in government service and of course, the trolls.

Inflation rate is below one percent, which should not be celebrating much because the prices of goods and services are still increasing but now at a lower rate of increase. It also has implications to other indicators like unemployment rate. There may be an increase in the number of people who are unemployed as a result of this very low inflation. Besides, it is below the BSP’s target from 2% - 4%, so there may be a need to review the country’s existing fiscal or monetary policies addressing.

News on the falling prices of palay. This, apparently, is discouraging our farmers, blaming this on the implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL). Although it is true that our country has a food security problem (especially that we are heavy rice eaters), the RTL aims to improve the farmers’ productivity in order for them to have sustainable livelihood in the long-run. The tariffs collected from the importation of rice should be given as subsidies to support the farmers, specifically increasing their productivity. Although tariffs are usually imposed to restrict the entry of imports the apparent shortage of rice domestically resulting to an increased volume of rice imports and higher tariff collections. Therefore, there should be no problem on funding the subsidies.

Meanwhile, as a short-run effect, the falling price of palay is something that we should have expected. The increase in the supply of rice in the domestic market due to higher rice imports pushes the price of rice to fall. Since average prices of goods and services in the economy did not increase much as a result of the deflation (decrease in inflation) mentioned earlier, the already decreased price of rice seem to have fallen further. And that is one negative effect of very low inflation.

Meanwhile, Speaker of the House Alan Cayetano believes that the traffic problem, especially in Metro Manila, is a result of an improving economy. What is the basis of his perspective? Well, it is based on the premise that heavier traffic is caused by more (private) cars plying the roads, which means that there are many people have more money, and can afford to buy new cars. This simplistic point of view is expected of him, of course, given his background. The problem is, these statements are usually what the common tao believes, and will be the basis for their opinions.

Traffic is a complex phenomenon that cannot and should not be a basis of a conclusion, whether negative or positive, with respect to the economy. Although it is true that when people are richer, the economy is better. However, for traffic, the detrimental effects on the economy should also be taken into consideration. That is the reason why there are many economic indicators that are released by government agencies like the Philippine Statistics Authority and the National Economic Development Authority. The labor-hours lost in traffic as well as the labor-leisure trade-off are concepts that politicians need to think about, especially legislators who need to come up with relevant and appropriate policies and laws.

Government officials need to be more responsible in releasing statements that tend to mislead people, only with the agenda of injecting their political advocacy, like Federalism, which Cayetano did. As for the common tao, we need to be more discerning also of information, especially coming from politicians. Having to hurdle heavy traffic on a daily basis should provide us more time to reflect.

Lastly, I stumbled upon a news item regarding poverty in the country. The World Bank, apparently, expects that the poverty rate will fall below 20% by next year. Decreasing trend of poverty incidence was seen over the past few years. This year’s figures show a 20.8% poverty incidence, down by around 5% from the previous year’s 26%. Forecasts show that by 2020, poverty incidence will be at around 19.8% and by 2021, 18.7%.

The easing inflation and rising incomes were some factors that affected these forecasts. The continued implementation of Conditional and Unconditional Cash Transfers Schemes will be a vital factor that will also improve the unemployment and underemployment rates, and supported with the low and stable inflation, and eventually, decrease poverty incidence in the country. The Pantawid sa Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is to be credited for the decrease of the poverty rate by as much as 1.5%, and decrease in income inequality by 0.6%.

Among the four aspects of the economy that I looked into in this piece, the decreasing poverty incidence is good news to me. These are the fruits of the seeds that were planted by previous administrations from as far back as Gloria Arroyo. This is enough for me to be hopeful of the future of the economy of the Philippines. A giant step towards the economic prosperity that we have always been aiming for. Setbacks, like Political instability, may hinder us towards the goal. It may not happen during this President’s administration, but there is hope that this may be achieved during my lifetime, unless, of course, if I die sooner
Philippines to slow down rice imports next year

After setting record-high imports this year, the Philippines plans to buy less rice from foreign markets next year amid excessive supply coupled with improvement in local production.
VNA Friday, October 18, 2019 09:30 
Description: Philippines to slow down rice imports next year hinh anh 1

Singapore (VNA) – After setting record-high imports this year, the Philippines plans to buy less rice from foreign markets next year amid excessive supply coupled with improvement in local production.

In the latest report of the US Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS), the Philippines is expected to import 2.4 million tonnes, 23 percent lower than this year’s 3.1 million tonnes.

The forecast is given as milled production is projected to increase by 3 percent to 12 million tonnes, while total palay production will inch up 2 percent to 19 million tonnes.

Philippine farmers will continue planting rice despite low prices, and progressive rice producers will become more efficient next year, the USDA said.

Although area harvested is pared down, rice output next year will increase slightly due to favourable weather conditions compared to this year with El Nino. Along with adequate inventories, rice imports are expected to decline in 2020.

The government identified increasing food prices, particularly rice, as a major contributor to inflation last year, which peaked 6.7 percent in last October, the highest in nearly a decade.

According to USDA-FAS, the country’s mid-term elections in May and the initial implementation of agricultural policy reforms, most notably the Rice Tariffication Law resulted in a surge of imports this year. During March-August, the Philippines imported 1.3 million tonnes of rice./.

Redirecting our agriculture

Philippine Daily Inquirer / 04:20 AM October 18, 2019
Over two decades ago, the Philippines slipped from being a net agricultural exporter to a net agricultural importer. That is, we now spend more for agricultural products that we import than what we earn from agricultural products that we export. The two products mainly responsible for this switch were rice and sugar. Ironically (but to economists, not surprisingly), these two farm products have traditionally been our most highly protected commodities, via import restrictions and high import tariffs.
By the turn of the century, we were already importing larger quantities of rice, especially as domestic production was getting more frequently hit by El Niño-induced droughts, and productivity was generally falling. The latter, to a large extent, was traceable to how our total effectively irrigated agricultural land area had been declining rather than rising, owing to our failure to properly maintain our irrigation systems. It’s often said that we Filipinos are good at building new things, but not in maintaining them (just look at what’s happening to our mass transit rail lines in Metro Manila). For irrigation, this is made worse by the fact that we cannot collect irrigation service fees—traditionally the main source of funds for maintaining the systems. It’s a classic case of the economists’ maxim that there’s no such thing as a free lunch (which inspired the name
of this column!).
A second major reason for our declining irrigation service area is degradation of our watersheds due to deforestation. Diminishing groundwater also makes individual tube-well pump irrigation systems unable to provide the needed water. A third reason has been tighter competition for freshwater resources between commercial and household use, on one hand, and irrigation, on the other. Population pressure and rising industrialization lead to this inevitable result, especially if we fail to provide adequate infrastructure to make effective use of our freshwater resources.
The Casecnan multipurpose project, for example, was meant to rechannel fresh water that would otherwise spill into the Pacific Ocean, and bring it instead to the Pantabangan Dam and put the water to good use for irrigation, water supply and hydroelectric power generation. This, along with the Angat-Umiray Transbasin, a similar concept, the San Roque Dam and the Laiban Dam, have proved to be inadequate responses to a water supply problem that is getting more acute every passing year.
Sugar, meanwhile, has been humbled from what used to be among the country’s top export earners, to a product we now import in large quantities. The industry sank deeper and deeper into uncompetitiveness under years of very high trade protection—yet our approach to the industry continued to be to perpetuate, and even increase, such protection. Rather than shape up and face the realities of international competition, the politically influential industry managed to convince government after government to keep the very high trade protection extended to the sector. It should therefore be no surprise that this industry has sunk into what some now fear to be a sunset industry.
Thus, the Philippines, along with many other developing countries, finds itself importing more and more farm products from the rich countries. Industrialized developed countries have in fact become even stronger net exporters of farm products, primarily cereals, meat and milk products, to the developing countries through time. While their substantial subsidies for these products partly explains this, these countries also have higher land-labor ratios than highly populated developing countries, and hence could enjoy comparative advantage in these particular farm products.
Interestingly, and of crucial significance for us, these same rich countries have seen rapid increases in imports of horticultural products—fruits, vegetables, nuts and beverages—in fresh and processed form. The future of our farm export sector, then, must hinge on these products. Now is the time to shift from having a de facto “Department of Rice,” as I’ve heard some pundits joke, to having a true Department of Agriculture.
cielito.habito@gmail.com
Desperate, farmers make do with what little they have
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:20 AM October 18, 2019
With not a lot of options left, smallholder farmers would have to continue planting the staple until next year despite lower prices and with fewer implements and fewer harvests.
While offering a small amount of relief, rice imports—which continue to compete with local produce—is also expected to slow down in 2019 until 2020 after hitting a record-high this year.
Based on the latest report of the United States Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS), the Philippines is expected to pare down its rice imports by 23 percent next year to 2.4 million metric tons (MT) from this year’s 3.1 million MT.
Still, small-scale farmers are still expected to continue planting rice, with milled production and palay production expected to reach 12 million MT and 19 million MT, respectively.
“Smallholder rice farmers will continue planting rice despite low prices, while progressive rice producers will become more efficient [in the next crop year]. Although area harvested is lowered, rice production will increase by 2 percent due to favorable weather conditions, with imports expected to decline… because of adequate supply,” the report said.
Federation of Free Farmers national manager Raul Montemayor agreed with the report, noting farmers were already beginning to scrimp on the use of implements and decreasing their farm areas dedicated to palay with prices continuing to dive to record lows.
“It’s easy for the government to say that farmers can shift to planting other crops, but most of our small-scale farmers don’t have the capacity to do that. Most of them don’t know how, don’t have the capital, and don’t have access to markets where they can sell other crops other than palay,” Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura chair Rosendo So said.
As of the last week of September, the average farm gate price of palay has sunk to an eight-year low of P15.82 a kilogram. In some areas, rates are even lower than the prevailing production cost at P12 a kilo.
“Most of our farmers do not have any choice but to continue planting, so they try to save on inputs. It’s hard to say until when the small farmers can survive, but this is the aim of the law. It’s going to be survival of the fittest,” Montemayor said.
The USDA-FAS report noted behavioral changes on the part of stakeholders and industry shifts would take time, but in the meantime, “the Philippine government is expected to intensify efforts in finding the ideal balance of subsidies to reach an acceptable pricing compromise.”
Nonetheless, the international agency said it was expecting a slight shift to other crops this year “because of the consistently low prices, with a more pronounced shift the following year,” or between 2020 until 2021.

Salceda urges DA to impose 'hard' measures to protect farmers
By Mar Serrano  October 17, 2019, 8:28 pm
PROTECTION FOR FARMERS. Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda urges the Department of Agriculture (DA) to impose hard measures to protect local rice farmers. On Wednesday (Oct. 17, 2019), he proposed reimbursing the local farmers the losses they incurred due to the government rice importation program that affected the farm gate prices of palay. (Photo from Rep. Joey Salceda's Facebook page)
LEGAZPI CITY -- Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda has urged the Department of Agriculture (DA) to impose “hard” measures to protect local farmers by instituting a plan that would prevent the prices of palay from further decline.
In an interview on Wednesday, Salceda said the plan can protect rice farmers by way of reimbursing the rice production losses triggered by the negative effects of imported rice flooding the market.
"The failure to break down rice cartels and the suspension of the implementation of safeguard duties on rice imports by (DA) is sheer abandonment of the plight (of) hundreds of local farmers," he said.
Salceda was reacting to a DA move to defer the implementation of safeguard duties on rice imports even as prices of palay sank to an eight-year low.
The implementation of additional tariffs on rice importation would generate additional revenue to fund programs to uplift the livelihood of farmers and at the same time discourage rice importers from manipulating the prices of imported rice flooding the local market, he said.
The measure would make it more expensive for rice traders to import rice, Salceda said.
He also said DA must break the operation of rice cartels across the nation as they create a monopoly operated by traders who are also accredited grain importers.
Salceda said the DA should carry out a hard measure by reimbursing local farmers the losses they incurred due to the government rice importation program that has affected the farm gate prices of palay.
“The government should have used the PHP15 billion contingency fund of the President in giving farmers farm subsidies and reimbursement of farm losses. This way, it would help farmers in their recovery of what they lost,” he said.
Salceda, an economist, said the deferment of the safeguard duties on rice imports would only give traders dressed as importers to manipulate the prices of rice in the markets, defeating the objective of the program to bring cheap imported grain, thus bringing down the prices of commercial rice.
"Since retail prices of rice have fallen only by 6 percent, why should palay fall by 20 percent?” he asked.
According to the Albay solon, another plan would be to impose “economic tokhang” against rice traders who manipulate the prices of palay by imposing price caps, to the detriment of the farmers.
Rice traders are taking advantage of the situation because they believe the farmers have a very low bargaining position, he said.
The government should break this kind of trading practices so as not to be called “coddlers of rice cartels,” he said.
Congress has requested the Anti-Money Laundering Agency (AMLA) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate and look into rice traders suspected to be engaged in rice cartel operation. (PNA)

Imee Marcos wants temporary freeze on rice importation until end of 2019

By: Daphne Galvez - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
INQUIRER.net / 11:53 AM October 18, 2019
Description: Marcos wants temporary freeze on rice importation until end of 2019
Sen. Imee Marcos. INQUIRER.net file photo / CATHY MIRANDA
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte should impose a temporary freeze on rice importation in the country because of its adverse effect on poor local rice farmers, Senator Imee Marcos urged on Friday.
She issued the call after learning that tons of imported rice are currently stored in warehouses of traders since the rice tariffication was enacted into law.
The rice tariffication law lifted the quotas on rice importation and imposed tax. The law was intended to stabilize the rice supply in the country by liberalizing the rice industry.
The President should stop importation and order rice traders to deplete first the stocked rice until the end of December this year, she said.
“Even without amending the rice tarrification law, tigil na pansamantala yang importation hanggang end of the year, hanggang mabawasan ang laman ng mga bodega,” Marcos said in a statement.
(Rice importation should be temporarily stopped until the end of the year and until such time the supply inside the warehouses are depleted.)
“I want to say pwede ba tigilan na ang pag-import ng bigas hanggang maubos na yan, kasi eto na ang main crop, ngayon na ang panahon ng anihan,” she added.
(I want to say, can we stop rice importation until all the supply are used up because here comes the main crop, it’s now harvest season.) 
Aside from temporarily stopping importation, Marcos further suggested that the government should impose additional taxes of up to 800 percent, as well as imposing stricter sanitary and phytosanitary measures on rice.
“Dagdagan ng buwis. Patawan ng 800 percent ba buwis, like Japan and Korea, they do that,” she said.
(Hike the tax. Impose 800 percent tax, like Japan and Korea, they do that.)
The neophyte senator noted that there are currently cartels and rice traders who are taking advantage of the law and hoarding rice importers to control the prices of rice.
Meanwhile, based on the latest reports from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) the buying price of palay (unhusked rice) as of the fourth week of September fell further to P15.82 a kilogram, down by 29.25 percent from the level in the same period last year.
This is the second week that the average farm gate price breached the P15-per-kilo mark and the second time it hit an eight-year low.
In a separate report, the PSA said palay production in the country between July and September might have fallen by 4.7 percent to 3.05 million metric tons (MT) from 2018’s output of 3.20 million MT.
This may be due to the shrinking harvest area for palay at 733,000 hectares, down 11.1 percent from 825,000 hectares last year. Some palay farmers were reported to have shifted to planting other crops due to the decline in palay prices. /jpv

Confluence Rice’ll be affordable to Nigerians’


 
The producers of another brand of local rice, Confluence Rice, has assured Nigerians of higher quality, more nutritious and affordability irrespective of class.
The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Olusegun Olonade, who disclosed this to journalists, said the processes employed by the company in the growth, cultivation and refining of the final product by the management of the mill were the best standards available anywhere in the world.
According to him, ‘’although our paddy rice is locally grown, the finished product is of very high quality and higher nutrition value than imported rice grains. Consumers of the rice will find our product quite enjoyable, smooth and excellent in taste as we hit the market.
Olonade, however, said the recent ban on importation of rice by the Federal Government had resulted in widespread increase in prices of rice, leaving the masses, who represent the highest consumers of rice frustrated
“We have received a lot of patronage since the commencement of the production. Presently, there is a high demand from our distributors, as I speak our rice is currently in production is sold out.

Pisay students’ outstanding creative research vows to end traffic problems

PRESS RELEASE: The research is a proposed system for a more efficient method of managing traffic in intersections
Rappler.com
Published 8:00 AM, October 18, 2019
Updated 8:00 AM, October 18, 2019
This is a press release from the Department of Science and Technology:
The recently concluded Regional Invention Contest and Exhibit (RICE) in CARAGA Region hailed a Philippine Science High School (PSHS) – Caraga Region Campus students, Hannah Marielle G. Tecson, Angelo Mari C. Montero and Miko C. Nunez’s project “Feasibility of an Adaptive Timer System in Traffic Management Utilizing Induction Loops”as the Outstanding Creative Research (Sibol Award) for High School.
The researchers were Grade 12 students whose project topped among 43 contenders for the Outstanding Creative Research category during the RICE in CARAGA held on September 3-5, 2019, at Bayugan City Hall, Agusandel Sur.
The research is a proposed system for a more efficient method of managing traffic in intersections which uses an algorithm that works by counting the number of cars in traffic and determining the appropriate amount of time for the traffic lights to enter the green light phase.
Ms. Tecson explained that the system is able to get the number of cars by getting data from sensors that do the vehicle detection.
Stucked in traffic for hours in congested areas that the group have travelled to encouraged them tocome up with a solution to speed up the traffic flow.
“The research benefits everyone living in cities since vehicular travel is an integral part of the people’s day-to-day lives,” said Tecson.
“The logic of the system could be implemented to traffic controllers and, if installed alongside the sensors, traffic flow could speed up significantly”, she added.
The winning research bagged P20,000 and is now a qualified entry to the National Invention Contest and Exhibit (NICE) – Outstanding Creative Research Category which is set to be held in 2020.
RICE is one of the programs being implemented by the Technology Application and Promotion Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-TAPI) which is conducted all throughout the regions nationwide to recognize the indispensability of the Filipino inventors for national economic development.
The five categories of the RICE/NICE which give due recognition to the best efforts of the inventors and researchers including the students’ are the following:
  • Tuklas Award – Tuklas is a Filipino word for discovery and reflects the innovativeness and intrinsic capability of the awardee to develop something useful from otherwise commonplace knowledge/resources. The award is therefore, given to the most outstanding invention with demonstrable qualities and potential for widespread commercialization/ dissemination.
  • Outstanding Utility Model – award given to outstanding new model of implement or tools or of any industrial product which does not possess the quality of an invention, but which is of practical utility by reason of its form, configuration, construction or composition.
  • Outstanding Industrial Design – award given to outstanding new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.
  • Likha Award – Likha signifies creativity, it reflects the potential of an R&D activity developed into a relevant, commercially viable technology which may generate impact and benefits to adoptors
  • Sibol Award – Sibol means a young shoot, a growth reflecting youthfulness and hope for something fruitful and useful. This award is given to the most outstanding invention/creative research for both high school and college student. This is in recognition of the need and potential to tap the young minds to contribute significantly to S&T development and inventiveness in the country.
– Rappler.com
Researchers harness coir, banana stems for plastic alternatives
Sunitha Rao R | TNN | Updated: Oct 18, 2019, 4:00 IST

Bengaluru: With the ban on single-use plastic, a team of researchers from Centre For Incubation, Innovation, Research and Consultancy (CIIRC), Jyothi Institute of Technology, Bengaluru, has come up with biodegradable alternatives using residues from sugarcane bagasse, rice and wheat straw, coconut coir and banana stems.
The researchers have used a natural binder developed by CIIRC to bind the raw materials, which are not treated with any chemicals to ensure their inherent characteristics are not disturbed. A startup incubated at CIIRC, Agringenium Innovations Pvt Ltd, has come up with two products: packaging boxes and sapling trays.
The products will be priced depending on the materials used. For example, a box made of coconut coir costs Rs 7, whereas the one made of banana fibre is Rs 15. Banana stem fibre costs Rs 150-200 per kg compared to Rs 7 per kg for coconut coir.
“Currently, biodegradable alternatives to plastics are available in limited quantities and are expensive. We’ve used raw materials in their original form. This not only reduces cost, but also preserves the inherent properties of raw materials that provide excellent mechanical properties and stability to the products,” said Krishna Venkatesh, director, CIIRC.
Food-delivery platforms and restaurants can make use of eco-friendly alternatives for food packaging, the researchers added.
Sapling trays can be cattle fodder

CIIRC director Krishna Venkatesh said sapling trays can be used as cattle fodder as they are made of rice and wheat straw. “In the city, we often see stray cattle feeding on garbage heaps. Biodegradable tray, dumped in mounds of waste, can be fodder for cattle,” he said.
The sapling trays contain micro-nutrients that can promote seedling growth, unlike the widely used plastic trays. Also, the raw materials used can retain moisture, nutrients and other additives for a longer period than plastic trays,” said Prof Narendra Reddy, who headed the research.

A NEW CHAPTER IN AGRICULTURAL HISTORY

On 17 Oct 2019 04:33 PM

Description: https://www.industryglobalnews24.com/images/a-new-chapter-in-agricultural-history.jpeg
A new research is set to make a new mark in the agricultural history of the world as it may eradicate serious disease in the rice and wheat crops that have been affected dramatically in recent times with this disease.
Rice blast is a fungal disease that is found in the rice crops and destroys them drastically, this has been on the rise in recent years. It is said to be caused by Magnaporthe oryzae, which is a type of fungus. This same fungus has given rise to a new disease in the wheat crops and has affected them vastly spreading from Bangladesh and the rest of South Asia causing concern among the farmers of the crops and the governments. A six-year study by researchers at the Sainsbury Laboratory, Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology, Austria, and the University of Sussex have used genetic engineering and mathematical modeling to find a solution to the issue of the rice blast disease. Researchers have found a sensor in the fungus that activates its destroying mechanisms to devastate the crops. .Further mechanisms that are yet to be uncovered in the study allow the fungus to reposition a penetrative peg that is pressed against and physically breaks the leaf surface, allowing the fungus to enter and cause disease.
This breakthrough will certainly aid the farmers and manufacturers all over the globe and reduce the loss of production due to diseased crops. We expect the research to be more fruitful and aid the cure to the disease.
,

Sortex rice to be supplied to ration card holders: JC Hans News Service
   |  17 Oct 2019 11:33 PM IST
HIGHLIGHTS Joint Collector M Venugopala Reddy has said that the State government has decided to supply sortex rice to ration card holders in the district from April. Important updates in your mailbox Subscribe Eluru: Joint Collector M Venugopala Reddy has said that the State government has decided to supply sortex rice to ration card holders in the district from April. At a meeting organized with bidders on Wednesday night, the JC said that 12.6 lakh white ration card holders will be supplied with the sortex rice.
The rice should be packed in quantities of five kgs, 10 kgs, 15 kgs and 20 kgs for easy distribution. He briefed the rules and regulations in this regard to the bidders who have packing and storage facilities. As fortified rice should also be supplied from December, the rice millers should possess the machinery required for this purpose, he said. Civil Supplies GM Prakasha Rao, DSO Subba Rao and other officials were present.

Say No to Plastic’ rally to be flagged off today
Oct 18, 2019, 7:49 AM; last updated: Oct 18, 2019, 7:49 AM (IST)
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, October 17
The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), the district administration, the Police Commissioner and the Municipal Corporation will jointly launch the state-level “Say No to Plastic” campaign here on tomorrow (October 18) morning.
The campaign is dedicated to the 550th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev being celebrated throughout the world on November 12. It will spread the message of saving the environment and keep the city green. PPCB Chairman Dr SS Marwaha, Deputy Commissioner Shiv Dular Singh and the Police Commissioner would flag off a students’ rally at Hall Gate and would distribute compostable bags to the shopkeepers of Hall Bazar and take back their old plastic bags.
The campaign is being sponsored by the Punjab Rice Millers and Exporters Association. The association has funded the distribution of free bio-gradable bags. The association will distribute 2,000 jute bags to the principals of various private and government schools at a special function being held after the rally at Bhawan’s SL Public School opposite Shivala Bhiyan at 12 noon.

Over 8 lakh tonnes of paddy expected to arrive in market in Nizamabad
NIZAMABAD, OCTOBER 17, 2019 23:34 IST
UPDATED: OCTOBER 17, 2019 23:34 IST
Officials busy making arrangements to ensure hassle-free purchase
A record quantity of 8.6 lakh tonnes of paddy is expected to arrive in the market, of which the authorities have set a target of purchasing at least 7.20 lakh tonnes through over 300 procurement centres in the district.
Accordingly, the officials have been busy making arrangements to ensure hassle-free purchases which would last till December-end and may spill over to the first week of January. They have alerted all the agencies, including the Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies, women self-help groups, Markfed, rice-millers and others, to be prepared for purchases. The official machinery has decided to deploy officers from Revenue and Agriculture Departments at the purchase centres to monitor the situation from time to time.
District Civil Supplies Officer C. Padmaja told The Hindu that in kharif, an estimated 1.75 crore gunny bags were required to pack paddy, of which 65 lakh were already placed at the purchase centres, while indent was placed for the remaining bags. As of now, seven to eight procurement centres have been opened as harvesting has already begun in certain areas, she said. Meanwhile, at a meeting held here on Wednesday, Joint Collector R. Venkateswarlu asked the officials to send details of farmers online after they register so that their payments could be made without any delay. He also cautioned them against discrepancies in weighing and transportation. He appealed to rice millers and purchase centre managers to cooperate with the government for the successful completion of the task.
District Cooperative Central Bank Chairman Gangadhar Rao Patwari appealed to the officials to supply gunny bags more than the requirement.

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95% of tested baby foods in the US contain toxic metals, report says

By Sandee LaMotte, CNN
Updated 1820 GMT (0220 HKT) October 17, 2019
Expert advice for dealing with your picky eater
Michigan pediatrician and researcher Dr. Julie Lumeng suggests pairing your picky child with one that is eating a variety of foods. "Children are more likely to be willing to taste a new food if they see another human being tasting that new food," she said. "And it's even more powerful if it's a peer."
Photos: Expert advice for dealing with your picky eater
Parents should model healthy eating behavior, said Ellyn Satter, author of "Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense."
"Kids do better with eating when they get their parents' undivided, positive attention," said Satter, adding that rule applies even when serving take-out or going to a restaurant. "However you put together a meal, it's still important to sit down together and pay attention to each other when you eat it."
Photos: Expert advice for dealing with your picky eater
At age 2 and 3, it's developmentally appropriate for toddlers to have aversions to foods they used to like, said Lumeng. Worried parents often begin coaxing, harassing or even bribing with dessert. Don't do it, said Lumeng. She just completed a study showing that pressure tactics don't work.
Hide Caption
Photos: Expert advice for dealing with your picky eater
Instead of pressuring your child, continue to cook meals that you enjoy and include one or two items the child likes. "But don't cater to them and limit the menu to only things the child readily accepts," warns Satter. "And don't force them to eat. Let your child choose what and how much to eat of what you put on the table."
Photos: Expert advice for dealing with your picky eater
Following these tips will help parents survive the picky eating era and set their child up for later success, experts said.
"As the child moves through the natural stage of picky eating and emerges out the other side," said Potock, "they've been exposed and are friends with a lot of different foods and are ready to try them again."
Photos: Expert advice for dealing with your picky eater
Coping with a picky eater – Do you have a picky eater in your house? As babies grow, they can develop aversions to foods they once liked. Pediatricians, nutritionists and feeding specialists give their top tips for handling picky eaters.
Photos: Expert advice for dealing with your picky eater
You can begin "picky-proofing" when baby begins eating solid foods. "Babies learn taste preferences from a very early age, so offer a variety of tastes, textures, and even temperatures of food," said pediatric feeding specialist Melanie Potock, author of "Adventures in Veggieland."
Photos: Expert advice for dealing with your picky eater
Pediatrician Dr. Tanya Altmann, author of "What to Feed Your Baby" has a list of "11 foundation foods" she believes will help children learn to love healthy food. "Let your infant lean in and open his mouth when he wants to eat," said Altmann. "Don't force feed or play airplane games -- that doesn't help."
Photos: Expert advice for dealing with your picky eater
Encourage your child to make friends with food at a young age by involving them with cooking, said Potock. She also suggests playing with food, such as using beans in a tic-tac-toe game.
Photos: Expert advice for dealing with your picky eater
Potock also suggests talking about how food is grown, such as with green beans and "Jack and the Beanstalk." Better yet, she said, grow your own veggies if possible, and have your child harvest and cook them. Take your child regularly to the farmers' market to see and touch new temptations.
Photos: Expert advice for dealing with your picky eater
Michigan pediatrician and researcher Dr. Julie Lumeng suggests pairing your picky child with one that is eating a variety of foods. "Children are more likely to be willing to taste a new food if they see another human being tasting that new food," she said. "And it's even more powerful if it's a peer."
Photos: Expert advice for dealing with your picky eater
Parents should model healthy eating behavior, said Ellyn Satter, author of "Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense."
"Kids do better with eating when they get their parents' undivided, positive attention," said Satter, adding that rule applies even when serving take-out or going to a restaurant. "However you put together a meal, it's still important to sit down together and pay attention to each other when you eat it."
Photos: Expert advice for dealing with your picky eater
At age 2 and 3, it's developmentally appropriate for toddlers to have aversions to foods they used to like, said Lumeng. Worried parents often begin coaxing, harassing or even bribing with dessert. Don't do it, said Lumeng. She just completed a study showing that pressure tactics don't work.
Instead of pressuring your child, continue to cook meals that you enjoy and include one or two items the child likes. "But don't cater to them and limit the menu to only things the child readily accepts," warns Satter. "And don't force them to eat. Let your child choose what and how much to eat of what you put on the table."
Following these tips will help parents survive the picky eating era and set their child up for later success, experts said.
"As the child moves through the natural stage of picky eating and emerges out the other side," said Potock, "they've been exposed and are friends with a lot of different foods and are ready to try them again."
Photos: Expert advice for dealing with your picky eater
Coping with a picky eater – Do you have a picky eater in your house? As babies grow, they can develop aversions to foods they once liked. Pediatricians, nutritionists and feeding specialists give their top tips for handling picky eaters.
You can begin "picky-proofing" when baby begins eating solid foods. "Babies learn taste preferences from a very early age, so offer a variety of tastes, textures, and even temperatures of food," said pediatric feeding specialist Melanie Potock, author of "Adventures in Veggieland."
Photos: Expert advice for dealing with your picky eater
Pediatrician Dr. Tanya Altmann, author of "What to Feed Your Baby" has a list of "11 foundation foods" she believes will help children learn to love healthy food. "Let your infant lean in and open his mouth when he wants to eat," said Altmann. "Don't force feed or play airplane games -- that doesn't help."
Photos: Expert advice for dealing with your picky eater
Encourage your child to make friends with food at a young age by involving them with cooking, said Potock. She also suggests playing with food, such as using beans in a tic-tac-toe game.
Potock also suggests talking about how food is grown, such as with green beans and "Jack and the Beanstalk." Better yet, she said, grow your own veggies if possible, and have your child harvest and cook them. Take your child regularly to the farmers' market to see and touch new temptations.
(CNN)Toxic heavy metals damaging to your baby's brain development are likely in the baby food you are feeding your infant, according to a new investigation published Thursday.
Tests of 168 baby foods from major manufacturers in the US found 95% contained lead, 73% contained arsenic, 75% contained cadmium and 32% contained mercury. One fourth of the foods contained all four heavy metals.
One in five baby foods tested had over 10 times the 1-ppb limit of lead endorsed by public health advocates, although experts agree that no level of lead is safe.
The results mimicked a previous study by the Food and Drug Administration that found one or more of the same metals in 33 of 39 types of baby food tested.
Foods with the highest risk for neurotoxic harm were rice-based products, sweet potatoes and fruit juices, the analysis found.
"Even in the trace amounts found in food, these contaminants can alter the developing brain and erode a child's IQ. The impacts add up with each meal or snack a baby eats," the report said.
Description: Healthy diet improves depression in young adults, study says

The tests were commissioned by Healthy Babies Bright Futures, which calls itself an alliance of scientists, nonprofit organizations and donors trying to reduce exposures to neurotoxic chemicals during the first months of life.

Rice-based foods

Infant rice cereal, rice dishes and rice-based snacks topped the list of most toxic foods for babies.
"These popular baby foods are not only high in inorganic arsenic, the most toxic form of arsenic, but also are nearly always contaminated with all four toxic metals," the report said.
Prior research has shown that even low levels of arsenic exposure can impact a baby's neurodevelopment. A 2004 study looked at children in Bangladesh who were exposed to arsenic in drinking water, and it found that they scored significantly lower on intellectual tests. A meta-analysis of studies on the topic found that a 50% increase in arsenic levels in urine would be associated with a 0.4-point decrease in the IQ of children between the ages of 5 and 15.
Arsenic is a natural element found in soil, water and air, with the inorganic form being the most toxic. ("Inorganic" is a chemical term and has nothing to do with the method of farming.)
Because rice is grown in water, it is especially good at absorbing inorganic arsenic and, according to the Food and Drug Administration, has the highest concentration of any food.
And in this case, brown and wild rice are the worst offenders, because the milling process used to create white rice removes the outer layers, where much of the arsenic concentrates.
And you can't rely on organic either. A 2012 study found that brown rice syrup, a frequent sweetener in organic foods, was also a source of significant levels of arsenic. One "organic" milk formula marketed to toddlers had levels of inorganic arsenic that were six times the levels currently considered safe by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
In the Healthy Babies analysis, four of seven rice cereals contained the most toxic form of arsenic in levels higher than the FDA's proposed action level of 100 parts per billion (ppb).

Action needed

Urgent action is needed by major baby food companies and the FDA, the report said. While the FDA has been investigating how to reduce exposure and some levels of arsenic in rice and juice are lower than a decade ago, exposure is still too high.
"When FDA acts, companies respond. We need the FDA to use their authority more effectively, and much more quickly, to reduce toxic heavy metals in baby foods," said study author Jane Houlihan, research director for Healthy Babies Better Futures, in a statement.

What can parents do

The analysis looked at which baby foods are highest risk, and offered safer alternatives.
Puff rice snacks and cereals
Rice cereal is the top source of arsenic in a baby's diet because it is often used as a first food; rice puffs and other rice flour snacks also contain high levels. Healthy Babies suggested cereals low in arsenic, such as oatmeal and multigrain cereals, and rice-free packaged snacks.
Pediatrician Tanya Altmann, author of "What to Feed Your Baby" echoes the advice of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which advises parents to offer a wide variety of first foods including grains such as oats, barley, wheat and quinoa.
"Best first foods for infants are avocado, pureed veggies, peanut-butter oatmeal and salmon," Altmann said. "They all provide important nutrients that babies need, help develop their taste buds to prefer healthy food and may decrease food allergies."
She believes meats are a better source of iron and zinc for babies than rice cereal, "so I haven't been recommending rice cereal as a first food for several years."
If you do choose to cook rice for your toddler, Healthy Babies recommends cooking rice in extra water and pouring it off before eating. That will cut arsenic levels by 60%, they say, based on FDA studies.
"For the lowest levels, buy basmati rice grown in California, India, and Pakistan. White rice has less arsenic than brown rice," the report said.
Teething foods
Teething biscuits can contain arsenic, lead and cadmium, the report said. Instead, soothe your baby's pain with frozen bananas, a peeled and chilled cucumber or a clean, wet washcloth -- but be sure to watch for choking.
Drinks
Juice is often the go-to drink for parents, but it's not a good option, says the American Academy of Pediatrics. Juices are high in sugar, lack fiber, and can contribute to tooth decay and later obesity. Apple, pear, grape and other fruit juices can also contain some lead and arsenic, so frequent use is a top source of these heavy metals.
Instead, experts say water and milk are best choices, depending on the age of the child. Babies under six months only need breast milk and formula. The drinks of choice for a child's second year of life should be water and whole milk. Between age 2 and 5 parents should move to skim or low-fat milk and keep pushing water to hydrate their children.
At all ages, juice should be kept to a minimum. One tip: add water to make the juice last longer and always be sure the drink is 100% juice.
Fruits and veggies
While sweet potatoes and carrots are great sources of vitamin A and other key nutrients, the report found they are also high in lead and cadmium. Go ahead and feed your child these veggies, but be sure to add many other colorful fruits and vegetables to add variety.
Demand for banning production of GM golden rice
Description: Demand for banning production of GM golden rice
Photo: Saykot Kabir Shayok/UNB UPDATE DATE - OCTOBER 17, 2019, 07:59 PM
Dhaka, Oct 17 (UNB) - Highlighting the negative effects of genetically modified (GM) food on human body, speakers at a convention on Thursday urged the government and other stakeholders to stop the commercial production of GM golden rice being marketed as an ‘healthier alternative’ to regular rice. 
“The burden of golden rice has been imposed on the country in the name of nutrition. The inventors of golden rice have failed to provide any proof to guarantee its safety. Worldwide it has been rejected as a failed innovation,” said Nasrin Sultana, a representative of the International Union of Food. 
She and other speakers gave their opinions at the convention jointly arranged by Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Labour Federation (BAFLF) and National Women Farmers & Workers Association (NWFA) at the Jatiya Press Club. 
“In terms of crop, environment and health, golden rice is a controversial product. The most alarming factor is that scientists haven’t been able to provide any solution to the GM food effect on human body,” Nasrin said while presenting the keynote paper. 
GR2E is developed by splicing three foreign genes -- two from corn and one from a bacterium -- into BRRI dhan29, the ‘Golden Rice’ which is said to be capable of producing beta carotene alias pro-vitamin A.
“Although the paddy has been marketed as a rich source of beta carotene, 84 percent of that gets damaged within six months if not packed and stored in regulated temperature,” Nasrin said, citing the findings of a research carried out by the Indian government. 
According to a report of the United States Food and Drug Administration, golden rice contains a low level of beta carotene which is not sufficient to tackle vitamin deficiency. 
British Food Chemistry Journal data show that golden rice loses three-fourth of beta-carotene if stored within eight months of production. 
BAFLF General Secretary Abdul Majid said the lack of bio safety studies while introducing golden rice in the country’s market is an alarming matter. 
“The reason behind commercial farming of golden rice without ensuring the safety of public or environment is nothing but protecting the interests of multinational companies and increasing their profit,” he said. 
Speakers held the weak bio-safety law as the key reason behind GM food lobbying in Bangladesh. 
“Because of our ineffective bio-safety law, multinational companies are using the country as the testing ground for GM crops,” said Abdul Majid. 
BAFLF and NWFA put forward a set of proposals that include banning the golden rice and BT brinjal, introducing stricter bio-safety law and providing effective help to farmers in preserving domestic seeds.

Last Chance to Nominate for USA Rice Sustainability Award



ARLINGTON, VA -- Only one week remains to nominate yourself or someone you know for the third annual USA Rice Sustainability Award.  Deadline is October 25.

The award will be presented at this year's USA Rice Outlook Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, and is open to individuals or entities from any sector with significant involvement in the U.S. rice industry and with a history of promoting and advancing sustainability through innovative practices and demonstrated leadership in the sustainability community.

Go here for more information and to access the application form.

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USA Rice Meetings Cover Wide Range of Trade Topics  

             
Always lots to talk about          
WASHINGTON, DC -- The World Market Price Subcommittee held its autumn meetings today and more than 20 USA Rice members from all segments of the U.S. rice industry met to talk about rice acres, yields, price trends, stocks, and global rice trade issues.  The agenda included detailed discussions with USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Economic Research Service (ERS), and Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC).

FAS presented an overview of global rice trade, highlighting the increases in world stocks, coupled with increased global trade and consumption.  U.S. exports of both rough and milled rice are significantly higher than they were at this time last year.

"The rice industry has currently regained some of the ground it lost in its export markets," said Sarah Moran, USA Rice vice president international.  "We are looking to continue that growth trend via the successful conclusion of trade negotiations with China."

On Wednesday, USA Rice members met with Administration officials in the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and the Secretary of Agriculture's office.  USA Rice thanked APHIS for their rapid response to the recent discovery of khaphra beetle in Uruguayan rice and their continued work to address phytosanitary barriers to trade in Turkey.  At both USDA and USTR, discussions centered on Japan, Korea, and the recent announcement of a tentative trade deal with China.  In addition, U.S. rice industry concerns were raised about the continued threat of Chinese rice in U.S. and other markets, as well as World Trade Organization (WTO) cases against China and recent action taken against India.

"The last two days were informative and productive, and we appreciate so many members coming to town to address critical issues that impact our industry," said USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward.
USA Rice Daily
Rice Festival begins Thursday
Posted: 5:07 AM, Oct 17, 2019

Updated: 5:09 PM, Oct 17, 2019
Description: https://ewscripps.brightspotcdn.com/dims4/default/2fba624/2147483647/strip/true/crop/450x450+180+0/resize/300x300!/quality/90/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fewscripps.brightspotcdn.com%2F66%2F2a%2Ff6f586714b8c8786a150e0b73490%2Fabby-breidenbach.jpg

The 83rd annual International Rice Festival begins Thursday, October 17 in downtown Crowley.The oldest and largest agricultural festival in Louisiana launches with a carnival, food and live music.
KATC's Abby Breidenbach was LIVE on Thursday as the festival prepares for its first day.
To follow, there will be various contests such as Jr. King & Queen Contest, Rice Queen Contest, International Rice Eating Contest, Rice and Creole Cookery Contest, Accordion and Fiddle Contest, International Rice “Poker” Run, Classic Car Show, Rice Grading Contest, Rice Threshing Demonstration and 5K Run Walk and street carnival.
For a full list of events for the weekend visit this website.






India rice prices hit multi-month lows as buyers defer purchases
OCTOBER 17, 2019 / 7:09 PM


BENGALURU (Reuters) - Demand for rice from top exporter India was subdued as buyers delayed purchases despite a dip in prices to four-month lows this week, while restricted supply kept rates for the Vietnamese variety at their highest in two months.
Farmers plant saplings in a rice field on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, July 5, 2019. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files
Prices for India’s 5 percent broken parboiled variety fell to $365-$370 per tonne from $368-$372 a week ago.
“Asian and African buyers are not in a hurry. They are postponing buying anticipating a further fall in prices,” 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 due to weak demand from African countries for non-basmati rice, among other factors. Its rice production from the summer-sown crop in 2019 is expected to drop 1.7% from a year ago to 100.35 million tonnes.
Meanwhile, rates for Vietnam’s benchmark 5% broken rice were unchanged from last week’s $350 a tonne, a two-month high.
“Demand is weak, but low supplies have helped keep prices from falling,” a trader based in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang said.
However, there were concerns that a move by the Philippines — Vietnam’s largest rice export market accounting for 36% of total shipments — to reduce imports could further hit the Vietnamese market, another trader in Ho Chi Minh city said.
Sluggish demand pushed export prices for Vietnamese rice to their lowest in nearly 12 years, at $325 per tonne, in September.
A global economic slowdown has also been one of the factors weighing on demand, Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien told reporters this week.
In second biggest exporter Thailand, which has also been grappling with slow demand and a strong baht, benchmark 5-percent broken rice prices narrowed to $395-$400 a tonne on Thursday from $396-$400 last week.
“Demand has been very small because of our high prices and little else has changed,” a Bangkok-based trader said.
Prices for the Thai variety have remained higher than competitors due to the firm currency.
“The continued strength of the baht has prevented exporters quoting lower prices as the market anticipates further strengthening of the currency,” another trader said.
Meanwhile, farmers in Bangladesh, who have been struggling with low prices and high harvesting costs, will receive a subsidy of 30 billion taka ($354 million) to buy modern agro-tools in an effort to minimise production costs and boost domestic output, Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque said.
Dhaka has failed to clinch overseas deals for its rice since a long-standing export ban was lifted in May, losing out to cheaper grain from India and Thailand.
($1 = 84.6900 taka)
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


Rice Prices

as on : 17-10-2019 12:00:46 PM

Arrivals in tonnes;prices in Rs/quintal in domestic market.
Arrivals
Price
Current
%
change
Season
cumulative
Modal
Prev.
Modal
Prev.Yr
%change
Rice
Barhaj(UP)
140.00
27.27
5583.00
2420
2420
7.08
Muzzafarnagar(UP)
90.00
18.42
1450.00
2790
2810
4.30
Karimganj(ASM)
60.00
50
220.00
3500
3500
NC
Cachar(ASM)
40.00
100
2500.00
2400
2400
NC
Gazipur(UP)
38.00
11.76
4968.50
3310
3310
12.20
Mathura(UP)
30.00
NC
675.50
2560
2560
0.79
Sahiyapur(UP)
13.50
22.73
915.50
2470
2460
12.27
Dibrugarh(ASM)
8.80
29.41
170.20
3100
3000
6.16
Kishunpur(UP)
4.00
-33.33
170.00
1900
1900
5.56
Sehjanwa(UP)
3.00
-25
204.00
2160
2160
NC
Kalimpong(WB)
1.20
-47.83
25.30
2800
2900
-39.13
Nandyal(AP)
1.00
NC
18.00
3800
4250
-
Jambusar(Kaavi)(Guj)
1.00
NC
75.00
3000
3200
-
Alibagh(Mah)
1.00
NC
86.00
2200
2200
-56.00
Murud(Mah)
1.00
NC
87.00
2200
2200
-45.00
Published on October 17, 2019

Egypt sets up $232.74mln rice-straw board manufacturing firm

16 OCTOBER, 2019

 

The planned production capacity stands at 205,000 cubic metres a year
Description: Image used for illustrative purpose. A man throws rice straws out of trolley on the outskirts of Lahore February 17, 2015.
Image used for illustrative purpose. A man throws rice straws out of trolley on the outskirts of Lahore February 17, 2015.
REUTERS/Mohsin Raza
By Staff Writer, Mubasher
Cairo –  The Egyptian minister of petroleum Tarek El-Molla announced the establishment of the first Egyptian company for manufacturing rice straw fiberboards with an investment cost of EUR 210 million, Akhbar El-Yom reported on Wednesday.
The new plant will have an annual production of about 205,000 cubic metres using nearly 245,000 tonnes of rice straw per year, El-Molla added.
Set to be established in Beheira, the new plant will use rice straw as feedstock to prevent field burning of crop residue which causes air pollution.
Source: Mubasher
All Rights Reserved - Mubasher Info © 2005 - 2019 Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

Haiti: Civil Unrest (MDRHT016) Emergency Plan of Action Final Report

16 Oct 2019 View Original

A. SITUATION ANALYSIS
Description of the disaster
Since January 2019 large protests have taken place in the capital and other main cities of the country.
The socio-economic crisis and the devaluation of the local currency, the Gourde, against the American dollar (USD) and the resulting increase in prices have fuelled a strong public discontent. Fuel shortages have sparked riots and have led to interrupted water supplies, while people have struggled to find fuel for their generators, stoves, and vehicles. At least 17 people have died and nearly 200 have been injured in the recent protests, according to the Haiti-based National Network for the Defense of Human Rights.
The current protracted economic crisis has generated an inflation rate of nearly 18%2 over a one-year period; reaching at least 20% on rice and 30% on certain other food products. It is also hampering the stability of all petrolproducts' supply throughout the country; which has heavy impacts on transports and electricity supply.
At humanitarian needs level, the United Nations (UN) figures identify nearly 2.6 million people in situation of food insecurity3 ; with a specific vulnerability for the population which hardly recovered from the previous disasters (hurricane Matthew, earthquake in the North, January drought and/or cholera outbreaks).
As a result, the context in Haiti remains tense, with sporadic small protests and roadblocks throughout the country. Acts of violence, as infighting between criminal groups, have been occurring on a regular basis but generally limited to specific areas. As detailed in the timeline below, several calls for protests have been issued by civil society groups between March & May 2019, with low popular mobilization, however.
Gov’t tempers Q3 palay, corn output projections
October 17, 2019 | 12:32 am
Description: palay rice grainsBW FILE PHOTO
THE PHILIPPINE Statistics Authority (PSA) has slashed its projections for third-quarter palay and corn production, citing a decline in harvest area particularly for unmilled rice.
PALAY
Production of palay, or unmilled rice, is now estimated at 3.05 million metric tons (MMT), down 4.7% than the 3.2 MMT produced in August-September 2018, according to the PSA’s “Updates on July-September 2019 Palay and Corn Estimates.”
That estimate compares to the 3.06 MMT July projection.
PSA noted that “[h]arvest area may decline by 11.1% from 824,860 hectare level in 2018” while “[y]ield per hectare may increase to 4.15 MT from 3.88 MT.”
The government targets rice output this year at 20 MMT. Production of this staple totaled some 19.066 MMT last year, 1.1% less than the 19.276 MMT produced in 2017.
CORN
The PSA also said it expects corn production this quarter to settle at 2.76 MMT, compared to a 2.77MMT projection given in July, about a fourth bigger than the actual 2.2 MMT produced in August-September last year.



Harvest area may increase to 872,990 ha from 784,930 ha a year ago, while yield per hectare may rise to 3.16 MT from 2.81 MT.
The government targets corn production at 8.64 MMT for 2019. Last year, corn production reached 7.77 MMT, about 1.8% less than the 7.92 MMT produced in 2017.
Asked for comment, Rolando T. Dy, executive director of the University of Asia and the Pacific’s Center for Food and Agribusiness, said: “Third quarter is seasonally low season for rice, and peak for corn.” — Vincent Mariel P. Galang

WFP Bangladesh Country Brief, September 2019

REPORT
Published on 30 Sep 2019
Description: preview
In Numbers
8335.705 mt of food assistance distributed
US$ 4.24 m cash-based transfers made
US$ 53.8 m six months (October 2019 to March 2020) net funding requirements, of which US$ 53.6 m is for the Cox’s Bazar L2 Emergency Response
1.10 million people assisted in September 2019
Operational Updates
• In September, WFP assisted 842,100 refugees with integrated food assistance. 422,631 refugees received in-kind food distributions, while 419,469 refugees received e-vouchers to exchange for up to 20 food items at e-voucher outlets in the camps.
• In early September, Cox’s Bazar experienced 200-300mm of rain which triggered serious landslides and flash flooding, particularly in the low-lying regions of Teknaf sub-district.
WFP provided Rapid Response assistance to more than 12,000 refugees in less than 6 hours (6,500 people with high energy biscuits and an additional 6,000 with cooked meals). Between 10-13 September, WFP supported more than 15,000 refugees.
In addition, WFP provided emergency food assistance to over 800 Bangladeshis displaced due to the rains.
• WFP organized a visit to WFP Nepal’s Humanitarian Staging Area (HSA) from 5 to 8 September, with key officials from the Government of Bangladesh, to promote knowledge sharing, establish peer networks, enhance disaster management coordination and emergency preparedness for future regional emergency response. Key lessons learned from the HSA Nepal will inform WFP Bangladesh and the Government in setting up its own HSA in Dhaka.
• To mitigate the reselling of rice by refugees, WFP piloted rice capping in e-voucher outlets in Leda, Jadimura, and Camp 20 Extension for 26,018 households. The post-distribution monitoring survey showed that, as a result, rice purchase has been reduced from 82.5 to 58.3 percent while sales of oil, dry chili, egg, fruits, and beverages have doubled. It also showed positive results on the dietary pattern and food consumption score on part of the beneficiaries. WFP plans to scale-up rice capping to include camps 9, 11 and 13 in October.
• WFP organized a Symposium to discuss the role social safety nets play in addressing climate change, examine ‘best practices’ and ‘lessons learned’ on Adaptive Social Protection (ASP) and to explore options for financing. The symposium was attended by representatives from key ministries, development partners, academia, thinktanks and UN agencies. A briefing and a policy document is currently being drafted to chart next steps.

RPT-Asia Rice-India prices hit multi-month lows as buyers defer purchases
Sumita Layek
OCTOBER 18, 2019 / 6:32 AM

(Repeats Thursday’s story with no changes to text)
* India rates fall to $365-$370 a tonne from $368-$372
* Bangladesh to provide $354 million subsidy to farmers
* Thai rates narrow to $395-$400 a tonne on strong baht
By Sumita Layek
BENGALURU, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Demand for rice from top exporter India was subdued as buyers delayed purchases despite a dip in prices to four-month lows this week, while restricted supply kept rates for the Vietnamese variety at their highest in two months.
Prices for India’s 5 percent broken parboiled variety RI-INBKN5-P1 fell to $365-$370 per tonne from $368-$372 a week ago.
“Asian and African buyers are not in a hurry. They are postponing buying anticipating a further fall in prices,” 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 due to weak demand from African countries for non-basmati rice, among other factors. Its rice production from the summer-sown crop in 2019 is expected to drop 1.7% from a year ago to 100.35 million tonnes.
Meanwhile, rates for Vietnam’s benchmark 5% broken rice RI-VNBKN5-P1 were unchanged from last week’s $350 a tonne, a two-month high.
“Demand is weak, but low supplies have helped keep prices from falling,” a trader based in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang said.
However, there were concerns that a move by the Philippines — Vietnam’s largest rice export market accounting for 36% of total shipments — to reduce imports could further hit the Vietnamese market, another trader in Ho Chi Minh city said.
Sluggish demand pushed export prices for Vietnamese rice to their lowest in nearly 12 years, at $325 per tonne, in September.
A global economic slowdown has also been one of the factors weighing on demand, Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien told reporters this week.
In second biggest exporter Thailand, which has also been grappling with slow demand and a strong baht, benchmark 5-percent broken rice RI-THBKN5-P1 prices narrowed to $395-$400 a tonne on Thursday from $396-$400 last week.
“Demand has been very small because of our high prices and little else has changed,” a Bangkok-based trader said.
Prices for the Thai variety have remained higher than competitors due to the firm currency.
“The continued strength of the baht has prevented exporters quoting lower prices as the market anticipates further strengthening of the currency,” another trader said.
Meanwhile, farmers in Bangladesh, who have been struggling with low prices and high harvesting costs, will receive a subsidy of 30 billion taka ($354 million) to buy modern agro-tools in an effort to minimise production costs and boost domestic output, Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque said. Dhaka has failed to clinch overseas deals for its rice since a long-standing export ban was lifted in May, losing out to cheaper grain from India and Thailand. ($1 = 84.6900 taka) (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)

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- October 18, 2019
OCTOBER 18, 2019 / 1:31 PM
* * * * * *
Nagpur Foodgrain Prices – APMC/Open Market-October 18, 2018 Nagpur, Oct 18 (Reuters) – Gram and tuar prices reported higher in Nagpur Agriculture Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) here increased festival season demand from local millers amid tight supply from producing regions. Fresh hike in Madhya Pradesh gram prices and enquiries from South-based millers also boosted prices. About 250 bags of gram and 50 bags of tuar reported for auction, according to sources.

GRAM
* Desi gram recovered in open market here on renewed buying support from local

traders.

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

* Udid varieties firmed up in open market here on increased demand from

local traders amid tight supply from producing belts.

* In Akola, Tuar New – 5,400-5,600, Tuar dal (clean) – 8,100-8,200, Udid Mogar (clean)

– 7,700-8,700, Moong Mogar (clean) 8,000-8,700, Gram – 4,200-4,300, Gram Super best

– 5,400-5,800 * Wheat, rice and other foodgrain items moved in a narrow range in

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

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

FOODGRAINS Available prices Previous close

Gram Auction 3,600-4,300 3,500-4,300

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

Tuar Auction 4,800-5,300 4,800-5,250

Moong Auction n.a. 3,950-4,200

Udid Auction n.a. 4,300-4,500

Masoor Auction n.a. 2,200-2,500

Wheat Lokwan Auction 1,964-2,088 2,000-2,085

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

Gram Super Best Bold 5,800-6,200 5,800-6,200

Gram Super Best n.a. n.a.

Gram Medium Best 5,500-5,700 5,500-5,700

Gram Dal Medium n.a. n.a

Gram Mill Quality 4,450-4,550 4,450-4,550

Desi gram Raw 4,500-4,600 4,450-4,550

Gram Kabuli 8,500-10,000 8,500-10,000

Tuar Fataka Best-New 8,300-8,500 8,300-8,500

Tuar Fataka Medium-New 7,800-8,200 7,800-8,200

Tuar Dal Best Phod-New 7,500-7,800 7,500-7,800

Tuar Dal Medium phod-New 6,900-7,400 6,900-7,400

Tuar Gavarani New 5,700-5,800 5,700-5,800

Tuar Karnataka 6,000-6,100 6,000-6,100

Masoor dal best 5,200-5,600 5,200-5,600

Masoor dal medium 5,000-5,100 5,000-5,100

Masoor n.a. n.a.

Moong Mogar bold (New) 8,000-9,000 8,000-9,000

Moong Mogar Medium 7,000-7,700 7,000-7,700

Moong dal Chilka New 6,800-8,000 6,800-8,000

Moong Mill quality n.a. n.a.

Moong Chamki best 8,300-9,000 8,300-9,000

Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 8,200-9,000 8,000-9,000

Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG) 6,400-7,200 6,200-7,200

Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG) 5,000-5,500 4,900-5,500

Mot (100 INR/KG) 5,800-6,800 5,800-6,800

Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg) 4,400-4,700 4,400-4,700

Watana Dal (100 INR/KG) 4,700-5,000 4,700-5,000

Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG) 6,850-7,100 6,850-7,100

Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG) 2,250-2,350 2,250-2,350

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

Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG) 2,650-2,750 2,650-2,750

Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG) 2,550-2,650 2,550-2,650

Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG) 2,300-2,450 2,300-2,450

Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG) n.a. n.a.

MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG) 3,200-4,000 3,200-4,000

MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG) 2,600-3,100 2,600-3,100

Rice Parmal (100 INR/KG) 2,400-2,500 2,400-2,500

Rice BPT best new (100 INR/KG) 3,200-3,600 3,200-3,600

Rice BPT medium new(100 INR/KG) 2,700-3,100 2,700-3,100

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

Rice Swarna best new (100 INR/KG) 2,500-2,700 2,500-2,700

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

Rice HMT best new (100 INR/KG) 4,000-4,200 4,000-4,200

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

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

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

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

Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG) 5,000-7,200 5,000-7,200

Rice Chinnor best new 100 INR/KG) 5,400-5,500 5,400-5,500

Rice Chinnor medium new(100 INR/KG)5,000-5,200 5,000-5,200

Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG) 2,350-2,550 2,350-2,550

Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG) 2,050-2,250 2,050-2,250 WEATHER (NAGPUR) Maximum temp. 32.6 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 20.7 degree Celsius Rainfall : Nil FORECAST: Partly cloudy sky with one or two spells of rains or thunder-showers. Maximum and minimum temperature likely to be around 32 degree Celsius and 21 degree Celsius respectively. Note: n.a.—not available (For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but included in market prices)

Description: https://business.inquirer.net/single2017/images/sm_share_bookmark.svg
Description: https://business.inquirer.net/single2017/images/sm_share_bookmark.svg

Palay prices continue to fall

Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:04 AM October 17, 2019
The average farm gate price of palay slid further to a new eight-year low in the fourth week of September while production of the staple had also posted a decline in the last three months, government data showed.
Based on latest reports from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the buying price of palay as of the fourth week of September fell further to P15.82 a kilogram, down 29.25 percent from the level in the same period last year.
This is the second week that the average farm gate price breached the P15-a-kilo mark and the second time it hit an eight-year low.
Since the implementation of the rice tariffication law in March, palay prices have declined steadily with no signs of recovery anytime soon.
The government has yet to impose long-term solutions to address the declining prices of the staple as it continues to be edged out of the market by more affordable imported rice.
The lowest quotation for palay during the period was recorded in Bulacan where palay was sold at P10 a kilo. Meanwhile, the buying price of palay was highest in Surigao del Sur where it was sold at P20.40 a kilo.
In a separate report, the PSA said palay production in the country between July and September might have fallen by 4.7 percent to 3.05 million metric tons (MT) from previous year’s output of 3.20 million MT.
This may be due to the shrinking harvest area for palay at 733,000 hectares, down 11.1 percent from 825,000 ha last year. Some palay farmers were reported to have shifted to planting other crops due to the the decline in palay prices.
Nonetheless, yield per hectare was seen to have increased to 4.15 MT from 3.88 MT.

The True Story of the Genetically Modified Superfood That Almost Saved Millions

The imperiled birth—and slow decline—of Golden Rice.

By Ed Regis
| October 17, 2019, 10:07 AM
Plant biotechnologist Swapan Datta inspects a genetically modified Golden Rice plant at the International Rice Research Institute in Los Baños, the Philippines, on Nov. 27, 2003. David Greedy/Getty Images
The cover of the July 31, 2000, edition of Time magazine pictured a serious-looking bearded man surrounded by a wall of greenery: the stems, leaves, and stalks of rice plants. The caption, in large block lettering, read, “This rice could save a million kids a year.”
The man in question was Ingo Potrykus, a professor of plant sciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, in Zurich, where Albert Einstein had studied and taught. The rice plants around him, although the joint products of many minds and hands, had been largely inspired by him. Their kernels were not the usual plain white grains of rice. Instead, they had a distinct golden hue, the color of daffodils. When spread out on a black surface, they looked like nothing so much as tiny yellow gemstones.
This was Golden Rice, the fruit of nine years of research, experimentation, and development. The “gold” was in fact beta carotene, a substance that is converted into vitamin A in the human body. Conventional rice plants already contained beta carotene, but only in their leaves and stems, not in the kernels. Golden Rice also carries the substance in the part of the plant that people eat. This small change made Golden Rice into a miracle of nutrition: The rice could combat vitamin A deficiency in areas of the world where the condition is endemic and could, thereby, “save a million kids a year.”
Golden Rice: The Imperiled Birth of a GMO Superfood, Ed Regis, Johns Hopkins University Press, 256 pp., $29.95, October 2019
Vitamin A deficiency is practically unknown in the Western world, where people take multivitamins or get sufficient micronutrients from ordinary foods, fortified cereals, and the like. But it is a life-and-death matter for people in developing countries. Lack of vitamin A is responsible for a million deaths annually, most of them children, plus an additional 500,000 cases of blindness. In Bangladesh, China, India, and elsewhere in Asia, many children subsist on a few bowls of rice a day and almost nothing else. For them, a daily supply of Golden Rice could bring the gift of life and sight.
The superfood thus seemed to have everything going for it: It would be the basis for a sea change in public health among the world’s poorest people. It would be cheap to grow and indefinitely sustainable, because low-income farmers could save the seeds from any given harvest and plant them the following season, without purchasing them anew.
But in the 20 years since it was created, Golden Rice has not been made available to those for whom it was intended.
But in the 20 years since it was created, Golden Rice has not been made available to those for whom it was intended.
So what happened?
But in the 20 years since it was created, Golden Rice has not been made available to those for whom it was intended.
For one, Golden Rice is a genetically modified organism, and as such is weighed down with all the political, ideological, and emotional baggage that has come to be associated with GMOs—stultifying government overregulation, fear and hostility, and criticism (much of it unfounded) from environmentalist and other activist organizations and individuals. Greenpeace, for one, was especially vocal in its condemnation of genetically engineered foods, Golden Rice in particular.
To many, this protracted delay has been unconscionable, and it brought forth reactions as extreme as the hyperbolic claims made by GMO opponents. In 2016, for example, George Church, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, said in an interview with the science publication Edge:
Golden Rice was a tough call strategically for Greenpeace and some of their associates. … A million lives are at stake every year due to vitamin A deficiency, and Golden Rice was basically ready for use in 2002, so it’s been thirteen years that it’s been ready. Every year that you delay it, that’s another million people dead. That’s mass murder on a high scale. In fact, as I understand it there is an effort to bring them to trial at The Hague for crimes against humanity. Maybe that’s justified, maybe it isn’t.
Much of the pro-Golden Rice backlash was overstatement, too. For one thing, it is doubtful that Golden Rice was “ready,” in any but the most technical sense, in 2002. Indeed, some critics would argue that as a proven, viable, agricultural commodity, it is not yet ready even today. Still, the fact is that the crop has been grown, and grown successfully, first in laboratories, then in greenhouses, and finally in open fields since it was invented. The rice has also been subjected to safety studies—toxicity and allergenicity studies—and studies on human consumption, including among American adults and Chinese children. These have found it to be more effective in providing vitamin A than spinach and almost as effective as pure beta carotene oil itself.
Rice price guarantee seeded with B9.4bn
published : 16 Oct 2019 at 04:01
newspaper section: Business
Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit (centre) presided over Tuesday's kick-off ceremony for the income guarantee scheme for rice farmers. The programme pays 9.4 billion baht directly to 349,000 registered farmers.
The rice price guarantee scheme started on Tuesday, with eligible farmers set to receive the difference when market prices fall below the predetermined benchmark.
Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said the state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) transferred 9.4 billion baht in compensation directly to the accounts of 349,000 registered farmers.
The compensation will be paid mainly to growers of white rice paddy and fragrant Pathum Thani rice paddy if the market prices stay below a certain level.
Mr Jurin said the government is scheduled to pay the compensation every 15 days until the end of the harvest season.
On Aug 27, the cabinet approved a package worth 59 billion baht in price guarantees and subsidy schemes for rice and oil palm. Of the total budget, 13.3 billion baht is for rice price guarantees, 21.4 billion baht for oil palm and 25 billion baht to subsidise production costs for rice farmers.
The rice price guarantee covers five types of rice: white rice paddy with 15% moisture, hom mali rice paddy, fragrant Pathum Thani rice paddy with 15% moisture, glutinous rice paddy with 15% moisture and provincial fragrant rice paddy.
Under the scheme, running from October this year to October 2020, farmers will see the price of white rice paddy with 15% moisture guaranteed at 10,000 baht per tonne, but the guaranteed rice cannot exceed 30 tonnes per family or 40 rai.
The guaranteed price is set at 15,000 baht a tonne for hom mali rice paddy, but limited to 14 tonnes per family or 40 rai, while fragrant Pathum Thani rice paddy with 15% moisture is set at 11,000 baht a tonne with a limit of 25 tonnes per family or 40 rai.
The price of glutinous rice paddy with 15% moisture is set at 12,000 baht a tonne for a limit of 16 tonnes or 40 rai, while the price of provincial fragrant rice paddy is set at 14,000 baht at tonne for a limit of 16 tonnes per family or 40 rai.
The scheme will be run by the BAAC.
Under the programme, farmers will be paid the difference only when prices fall below the benchmark.
Pramote Charoensilp, the president of the Thai Agriculturalists Association, said most farmers felt satisfied with the government's scheme, but he argued that the government should compensate farmers at 2,000 baht per rai.
He said farmers do not need to monitor paddy prices every 15 days.