Saturday, October 26, 2019

26th October,2019 Daily Global,Regional,Local Rice E-Newsletter

Farmers Bureau for incentives to corn, cotton, rice growers

Our Staff Reporter

October 26, 2019
Description: Farmers Bureau for incentives to corn, cotton, rice growers
Farmers Bureau of Pakistan (FBP) has called upon the government to declare emergency in areas hit by the current heat wave, document the tentative losses incurred by the farmers due to failure of corn, cotton and rice crops and announce an incentives package for farmers. FBP President Dr Zafar Hayyat asked the government to write off the interest loans extended to farmers by the public and private financial institutions, disburse financial or other form of assistance in the hard hit areas. This should include per acre financial assistance, special subsidy on fertilizer and seed for the next crops, waiving off abiyana and Theka (lease) and soft or preferred rate loans for the next Rabi crop. He said that Pakistani farmers have been badly hit by the impact of heat wave which started somewhere in the end of August and continued till mid of September. The south of Punjab faced this brunt more than the rest of the country, though whole of Pakistan was affected. Cotton farmers especially are facing bad patch for the second consecutive year, this year more than the last year.

'Not a safety concern:' Health Canada responds to U.S. study that found toxic metals in baby food

Description: Baby food allergies
A child in a highchair is shown in this file photo. (Patrick Breig /
Cillian O'Brien
Published Friday, October 25, 2019 1:05PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 25, 2019 2:41PM EDT
TORONTO --- Health Canada has said that levels of toxic heavy metals found in baby food “do not pose a safety concern” after a U.S. investigation found nearly all infant foods tested contain lead.
Tests of 168 baby products from major manufacturers in the U.S. found 95 per cent contained lead, 73 per cent contained arsenic, 75 per cent contained cadmium and 32 per cent contained mercury.
A quarter of the foods contained all four heavy metals.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, right, speaks to the media on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in New York. Michael Akavan holds his 6-week-old daughter, Summer, as he listens to Schumer speak. (AP Photo/Julie Walker)
Health Canada confirmed that “the levels of metals…being reported are likely applicable to infant foods sold in Canada, as many of the same products are available in Canada.”
“The available monitoring data indicate that levels of cadmium, lead, total mercury and perchlorate in foods sold in Canada, including those consumed by infants, do not pose a safety concern,” the department told in an emailed statement.
Foods with the highest risk for neurotoxic harm were rice-based products, sweet potatoes and fruit juices, the analysis found.
The tests and analysis 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, according to CNN. The report was released Oct.17.
“Health Canada’s view, like that of other international authorities, is that concentrations of certain metals, such as arsenic and lead, in foods should be as low as possible,” the department said.
“The department is working to ensure this. If Health Canada identifies a potential health concern, the Government of Canada will take immediate and appropriate action to protect the health and safety of all Canadians, including infants and young children.”
The report said even trace amounts of 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.”
Rice-based foods, such as puffed rice snacks and rice cereal, topped the list of most toxic foods for babies. Because rice is grown in water, it is especially good at absorbing arsenic and, according to the Food and Drug Administration, has the highest concentration of any food.
“Unfortunately, the findings from this thorough study were to be expected,” Prof. Andy Meharg from Queen’s University Belfast told
“The findings reinforce three things. We should not be giving infants rice products because of rice’s arsenic and cadmium content, baby food needs to be routinely screened to check for toxins as they may arise from unexpected sources and standards need to be set at stricter levels for infants than for the general populace.”
Urgent action is needed by major baby food companies and the FDA, the report said. It also suggested safer alternatives to foods with a higher risk for heavy metal exposure.
"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.
If parents choose to cook rice for their toddler, Healthy Babies recommends cooking it in extra water and pouring it off before eating. That will cut arsenic levels by 60 per cent, the report said, 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 biscuits can also contain arsenic, lead and cadmium, the report said. Instead, it suggests soothing teething pain with frozen bananas or a peeled and chilled cucumber.
Tap water is also preferable over juice because it contains 63 per cent less heavy metals, the report said.
Health Canada said it was working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to gather more information on arsenic in rice-containing foods for babies.
“The report advocates a 1 ppb (parts per billion) limit for metals in infant foods,” Health Canada said.
“This is more conservative than limits that have been established by food standard setting bodies and regulatory authorities. For example, both the European Union and the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) have established a maximum level of 10 ppb of lead in infant formula.
“The Department is systematically working to lower existing maximum levels and to establish new ones, as necessary, for arsenic and lead in foods sold in Canada.”
In the U.S., the Senate's top Democrat Chuck Schumer has called on the FDA to take more action to regulate the baby food industry.
The New York senator told The Associated Press that consumers "rightfully expect those foods to be undeniably safe, appropriately regulated and nutritiously sustaining."
He says federal regulators should examine the study and release a public statement of their findings.
---- With files from CNN and The Associated Press

Failure of corn, cotton, rice crops: FBP urges govt to announce financial incentive package for growers
By ZAHID BAIG on October 26, 2019
Farmers Bureau of Pakistan (FBP) demanding emergency in areas hit by the current heatwave has urged the government to document the losses incurred by the farmers due to failure of corn, cotton and rice crops and announce a financial incentive package.

FBP President Dr Zafar Hayyat talking to Business Recorder here on Friday asked the government to write off the interest loans extended to farmers by the public and private financial institutions, announce per acre financial assistance, special subsidy on fertilizer and seed for the next crops, waiving off Abiyana and Theka (lease) and soft or preferred rate loans for the next Rabi crop.

He said that Pakistani farmers have been badly hit by the impact of heatwave which started somewhere in the end of August and continued till mid of September. The south of Punjab faced this brunt more than the rest of the country, though whole of Pakistan was affected.

Especially cotton farmers are facing bad patch for the second consecutive years. Unfortunately no scientific impact analysis has been done so far, by the departments concerned and no measures or policies have been announced so far, he regretted.

Cotton suffered heavy losses due to heat wave and severe white fly infestation. Farmers aggressively tried to manage this pest but falling prices of cotton and no timely policy intervention by the government, discouraged them to spend more on their ailing crop, resulting in further loss to national cotton production. Lower cotton production is not going to hit the farmers alone, but it will have very devastating effect on the cotton and textile industry and, the overall economy of Pakistan in days to come. Our assessment is that cotton may not cross 10.5 million bales (170kg bale) this year. Maize another emerging crop in importance has also witnessed sever grain loss due to heat wave. Many corn farmers instead of harvesting it for the grains converted it to either silage or sold it as green fodder, which may not recover their cost of production.

Windstorm-hit farmers expect little compensation from govt

Worried farmers blame previous govts for not helping their cause
Oct 26, 2019, 7:10 AM; last updated: Oct 26, 2019, 7:10 AM (IST)
Vikas Sharma
Tribune News Service
Jammu, October 25
Already worried over low production and damage being done to their paddy crop by the recent windstorm, the affected farmers in the Jammu region have not much expectations form the government in terms of disbursement of relief, which they will get after assessment of the damaged crops.
During a visit to a few areas, signs of worry were clearly visible on the faces of farmers working on their agricultural land who blamed the successive governments for not helping their cause.
“This is for the third consecutive year that the crop has been damaged due to non-seasonal rain and windstorms. Just when we were hoping for a better crop, the windstorm has poured water on all our hopes”, Om Parkash, a farmer from Karwal village said.
“As far as the relief for damaged crop is concerned, I am not very sure whether we will get the same after assessment by the authorities. For the past many years, we are hearing that adequate relief will be disbursed among the farmers for the damaged crops but in actual terms, it rarely happens”, he added.
“My elders who used to work in the fields have also informed that the relief amount received by the farmers for their damaged crop was not sufficient.
This time too, we don’t have much expectations from the government to get adequate relief for our damaged crops”, said Garo Devi, a woman farmer from Patli Morh village.
“Leave aside selling of rice in the market, it is not even sufficient for the family to survive. Last year too, un-seasonal rain and windstorm had caused damage to the basmati rice crop, but luckily it was enough for the family. Let us hope that all affected farmers like me will get adequate relief for their damaged crop”, another farmer, Sankalp Kumar from Khairi village said.
Jammu Province produces one lakh metric tonnes of exotic varieties of basmati rice in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts in areas along the 198-km International Border (IB) with Pakistan. Around 30,000 metric tonnes of rice is exported every year.
Inconsistent rice production
Due to various climatic reasons, the rice production in J&K has not been consistent for the past few years. As per data available, in 2010-11, J&K produced 0.51 million tonnes of rice followed by 0.54 million tonnes in 2011-12, 0.82 million tonnes in 2012-13, 0.61 million tonness in 2013-14 and 0.52million tonnes in 2014-15.

Pakistan: addressing nutritional crises through awareness

The National Nutrition Survey 2018 reveals how badly nourished nation we are despite producing more wheat and rice, the staple food, than we need. The survey shows that 40 percent children under five years of age are stunted, while 17.7 percent suffer from wasting. Surprisingly, rural population suffers more than their urban counterparts with 43.2 percent stunted children than 34.8 percent in urban areas.
Description: nutritional-crises-through-awareness3There are several aspects that lead to this malnourishment, such as poverty, insufficient health care, global supply chains and access to quality food. Many of these aspects would require time and resources to show impact. We would like to emphasise a simple and relatively low cast measure that can show impact in short term. It is awareness.
The worth of nutritional awareness cannot be overemphasised as it is one factor that is directly linked with human well-being, quality of life and human capacity. Personal health is a sum of multiple influences including genetic makeup of a person, quality health care and the general external environment including air pollution levels. Additionally, several researchers have linked an important factor i.e. individual choice behaviour with human health. Individual or personal choices and preferences mean that every individual has a free will that a person can exert for the choice of food items he/she could partake, time of meals and number of calories. This free will of an individual is influenced by the presence of regional social values and cultural norms, which are all in turn influenced by the availability of different food items for consumption and the local climate and geography.
The awareness and knowledge about what to eat and what not to can affect personal choices in a big way. Rather, this conscientiousness would help get rid of local myths and negative social and cultural influencers about food to make a person master of his self that guides him through the correct consumption of local items making use of worldwide and area specific knowledge. Nutritional awareness is thus the scientific know how about food and pattern of food consumption that is exceptional to a human being.
Level of nutritional awareness is low in Pakistan as its one key determinant, literacy rate, is as low as only 60 percent of the total population above 15 years of age in Pakistan. The literacy level of female population is even lower registered at only 45 percent. It is that section of society that nurtures the coming generation. As the literacy rate threshold only starts at the level where a person can merely read and write, it remains dubious whether the literates in Pakistan can be qualified as nutritionally aware. Diet and nutrition subjects remain a part of select curricula and part of medical and some social sciences like home economics. The literates in Pakistani society can be developed into nutritionally aware by instigating a passion for good health and wellbeing among them, and by letting them search for themselves the right information dispersed at various locations in print and on social media. It has been observed that patients suffering from critical and life-threatening diseases at hospitals require more of this information, and thus should be rightfully educated, and would, in time, become more well-informed.
The incumbent government is focusing on curative healthcare by expanding the Sehat Sahulat programme. Necessary but insufficient spending on preventive healthcare should also be increased. So far awareness and education components are not duly addressed in the expanding public healthcare programmes. For political mileage, there is more emphasis on setting up new hospitals than preventive healthcare facilities.
40 percent children under five years of age are stunted, while 17.7 percent suffer from wasting
Nutritional awareness information is also the requirement of expecting mothers and mothers with babies up to the lactating age and beyond. Government, NGOs and health officials should therefore, specifically target this segment in all awareness drives and campaigns. Mothers should be given the printed material, delineating body nourishment requirements at each stage of development, both crucial for the mother and the child. Hospitals and consulting physicians should also display this information at prominent online and physical sites. The goal of providing excellent nutrition does not end at the lactating stage of child rearing. Every family in Pakistan should be made aware of family food requirements, a discipline widely studied and followed in the developed nations.
Designated programmes are needed for the families of out-of-school children. Local community-based religious institutions such as mosques, churches and temples should also be taken in this drive as protection of life is a virtuous act in all religions.
Generally, nutritional information by legislative assistance and by recommendations of federal food and drug agencies is written on all food products manufactured in the developed countries. As Pakistanis would become more food conscious, subsequently, they would also be requiring such information printed on the food products manufactured in Pakistan. This would lead towards a better choice by consumers at the time of purchase and selection about what to and what not to include in their food basket and would thus improve their consciousness. These measures would direct towards enhancing better quality control in food manufacturing and processing and would help food and drug control agencies to act against companies that do not care to follow these rules.
Some government bodies, NGOs and private sector organisations involved in the spread of the awareness message and are already doing good work: Ministry of Social Welfare and Special Education, Ministry of Health’s nutrition wing, Ministry of Education, Nutrition Section of Planning and Development Division, Government of Pakistan, United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation. These bodies can and should bring their act together and should work robustly to achieve clear timely targets. After all, being nutritionally informed is the right of every citizen and all bodies whether public or private have a stake in the well-being of the population of Pakistan.
Danish Ahmed Khan is Assistant Professor, Department of Management Sciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology. He can be reached
Dr Abdur Rehman Cheema is an Islamabad-based economic and development policy academic and practitioner based. He can be reached at arehmancheema

wants India in the RCEP
Why the rice trade wants India in the RCEP
Vishwanath Kulkarni  Bengaluru | Updated on October 24, 2019  Published on October 24, 2019
Trade sources feel this will give them access to the 10-million-tonne ASEAN market
At a time when domestic producers of commodities such as dairy and plantation products including coffee, tea, rubber, pepper and arecanut, among others, are wary of the proposed RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) deal, the Indian rice trade is keen that the cereal is included as part of the agreement as it could help boost exports.
Rice is among the few commodities where India has a competitive advantage in the ongoing RCEP talks. Negotiations are in advanced stages between the ten members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and countries with whom they (ASEAN members) have an existing free trade agreements such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, China and India, for the proposed RCEP.
The pact is a proposed comprehensive trade agreement that covers goods and services, among others, including investment, economic and technical co-operation and intellectual property rights. India is the second largest producer of rice after China, but is currently the largest exporter of the cereal. Trade sources believe that inclusion of rice as part of the RCEP pact will open up a market as big as 10 million tonnes per year in the ASEAN region, where the Indian players expect to get a fair chance to compete with other major producers such as Thailand and Vietnam. Though India has been the largest exporter of rice, including the basmati, for several years now, its market share in the ASEAN region is negligible (see table).
Indian exporters, mainly of the non-basmati rice variety, sources said, have largely been denied a fair chance to compete in markets such as Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and China due to various reasons, including the imposition of both tariff and non-tariff barriers by the consuming countries and their preference to source the cereal from regional producers. For example, in the Philippines, which annually imports about 2 million tonnes of rice, the Indian cereal faces a differential duty structure, which makes it expensive compared to other ASEAN competitors such as Thailand and Vietnam. Indian rice is subjected to a duty of 50 per cent in the Philippines, while the Thai and Vietnamese origin rice attract a duty of 40 per cent. This higher duty makes the Indian rice uncompetitive in the Philippines.
In the case of Malaysia, which has an annual rice import market of 1 million tonnes, the South East Asian nation prefers to buy the cereal from Pakistan over religious affinity. “Though India imports over 3 million tonnes of palm oil and related products from Malaysia, it is unfair that we get a raw deal from that nation when it comes to rice,” sources said. Similarly in Indonesia, the complex tendering process makes it tough for the private Indian players to participate.

China play
With regard to China, the largest buyer of rice among the proposed RCEP members, with an estimated market size of 3 million tonnes, Indian exporters are yet to receive any major orders. Last year, China had certified about 23 rice mills in India, including four non-basmati rice producers.
Meanwhile, China has started selling its old rice stocks in the African market, the stronghold of India, at a lower price.
“We want the Centre to insist on including rice as part of the RCEP deal as there is a possibility that attempts are likely to be made by ASEAN members to exclude it, knowing fully well that it is advantageous to us,” a source said.
Also, countries such as Japan and South Korea present an opportunity for Indian exporters to explore. Japan is currently importing all its rice requirements from the United States, while South Korea has a duty of 513 per cent on rice imports.
Besides helping consolidate its position in the global rice trade, the opening up of the RCEP market could help rake in more foreign exchange and also trim the bulging stocks in the Central pool, sources said. Unlike the African nations, which form the largest market for Indian rice exports, the export realisations could be higher in the ASEAN/RCEP bloc.
India’s rice production is on the rise and touched a new high of 116.42 million tonnes in 2018-19. With surplus rains aiding planting this year, output is likely to go up further. Moreover, the rice stocks in the Central pool are at a record high of 24.91 million tonnes as on October 1, ahead of the start of the procurement season.
According to the International Grains Council, rice production in India is projected to be 115.5 million tonnes for the 2019-20 October-September marketing year and consumption at 102.2 million tonnes. With an opening stock of 27.4 million tonnes, the total rice availability is projected at 142.9million tonnes. IGC has projected Indian rice exports for 2019-20 at 11.7 million tonnes.

Science inches on: Presenting the mystifying, amazing, thrilling, frightening ... blob
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
Every day, we’re inundated with new reports of scientific or technological achievement, for better or worse. A camera the size of a grain of rice? Sure. Telescopes powerful enough to detect signs of water on a planet millions of miles away? Yeah, baby! Software that can digitally recreate not only video but also audio to alter our perception of reality? Maybe not our first choice of uses, but OK. Genetic tools that allow designer animals, even children? Umm …
Between the news of scientific advancements and the plots of science fiction films, books and TV, it sometimes seems there’s no limit to what we understand; nothing is surprising. Time travel? Invisibility? Shrinking to microscopic size? Even if it’s not real — yet — it’s certainly been fodder for pop culture in our collective imagination.
And then, every so often, something rudimentary can mystify even our greatest scientific minds.
The newest exhibit at the Paris Zoological Park is thrilling in its simplicity and its complexity.
“The blob” — dubbed for the iconic 1950s sci-fi film of the same name — is a single-celled marvel.
It’s not animal. Nor vegetable. Nor even, we guess, mineral. It’s just the blob, defying science in ways that are at once amazing, exciting and frightening.
Officially called Physarum polycephalum — that’s Latin for “many-headed slime” — the bright yellow blob has been classified as a type of slime mold; similar to, but not quite, a fungus.
The blob, according to news reports from Reuters and The Washington Post, has more than 700 sexes. It does not have limbs, but can move. It has no brain, eyes, mouth or stomach — but can navigate a maze to find food or avoid hazards, and can pass on that learning. It can merge with another blob and reattach its own parts if split or cut. It may be a billion years old.
“The blob is really one of the most extraordinary things on Earth today, but it’s been here for millions of years, and we still don’t really know what it is,” said Bruno David, director of the French National Museum of Natural History, according to Reuters.
So what do scientists know? Well, its type of slime mold lives all over the world, but this specific species is found in forests in dark, moist vegetation, dung, wood and soil. It reproduces by releasing spores into the wind, which grow into new creatures under the right conditions. To eat, it inches toward its food, surrounds it, and secretes enzymes to digest it. Then it poops and moves on. Ah, science.
What we really find astounding is how much isn’t known about these amazing creatures. If they came from outer space, riding in on a meteorite, the world would be abuzz. It can grow to hundreds of centimeters in size — well shy of its cinematic cousin — but remains a single cell.
Think of how much we know about Elvis Presley, Princess Diana or any random Kardashian. By comparison, the amazing blob, long known about and studied vigorously by some of our best minds, remains a mystery in many ways. Perhaps unlocking those mysteries will someday prove the key to astounding advances in medicine, technology or other useful applications. It’s thrilling in its potential.
On the other hand, if this simple creature, found abundantly in forests throughout America and elsewhere, can so baffle modern science, what else don’t we even know that we don’t know? Frightening.Thrilling, frightening and yet fun — that’s science in a nutshell.

‘Probe undervalued rice imports’

THE Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) has reiterated its call on the government to investigate the alleged undervaluation of tariff collection from rice imports, which may have caused at least P1.6 billion in forgone revenue.
In a statement on Friday, the FFF said the tariff collections could have been higher by P1.6 billion from January to July this year if not because of what they claim “anomalous circumstances” namely, “the declaration of import values lower than the BoC’s (Bureau of Customs) reference values, the understatement of freight costs, and the erroneous application of tariff rates on rice imports.”
As of July 2019, Philippines’ rice imports have reached 2.36 million metric tons (MMT), while tariff collections from March to July amounted to P7.8 billion, based on the data from the BoC. But Agriculture Secretary William Dar had earlier announced that tariff collections have already breached the P10 billion needed for the annual Rice Competitive Enhancement Fund (RCEF) as mandated by the Rice Tariffication Law.
The liberalized rice industry allowed the private sector to import unlimited volumes of rice, provided the appropriate tariffs were paid.
FFF National Manager Raul Montemayor explained that tariffs on rice imports are based on the cost of imports from the point of origin, otherwise known as the “free on board” (FOB) price, plus the cost of freight and insurance, to come up with the “cost, insurance and freight” (CIF) price. The CIF price is then multiplied by the tariff rate to come up with the customs duties to be paid by the importer.

“Almost half of the volume of rice imports had declared FOB values which were lower than the BoC’s reference rates by more than 5 percent. By declaring a lower FOB value, importers will be able to reduce the tariffs they have to pay to the BoC. We estimate that tariff collections could have increased by P684 million had the BoC insisted on collecting tariffs based on their reference rates instead of FOB values declared by importers,” Montemayor said.
He also stressed that the freight costs declared by the importers is only P0.01 per kilo, despite having published shipping rates from Bangkok or Hanoi to Manila amounting to about $30 per metric ton, or P1.56 per kilo.
“Our computations show that an extra P756 million in tariffs could have been collected had the BoC applied the proper freight rates and not rely exclusively on the declarations of importers,” Montemayor pointed out.
Furthermore, he said a 35-percent tariff rate that should be charged only to imports from member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) was also applied against imports from countries like India and Pakistan, translating to P140 million in revenue losses.
Under the Rice Tariffication Law, the country will apply a 35 percent tariff for rice shipments from Asean member-states, 40 percent for in-quota or within minimum access volume (MAV) from non-Asean countries, and 180 percent for out-quota and non-Asean or as calculated by the Tariff Commission.
Since no MAV quota has been issued so far for rice imports, all imports outside Asean should have been assessed a tariff of 180 percent, according to FFF.
“Rice imports will come out to be abnormally cheaper if importers are able to cheat on the tariffs they pay, and this could lead to a further depression in palay prices,” Montemayor said.
Earlier this week, the Department of Finance said tariff collections from rice imports have so far reached P15 billion. The law also stipulates that the excess of P10 billion a year, for six years from rice import tariffs, will be used to assist farmers and provide them support in diversifying into other crops.
“In effect, farmers lost P1.6 billion worth of projects because of the undervaluation of import and freight costs and the misapplication of tariffs. This money went to the importers instead,” said Montemayor.
The FFF said it has submitted copies of its study and recommendations last August 26 to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd and Agriculture Secretary William Dar, but has not received any definitive reply as of the moment.

Group seeking probe of rice undervaluation
October 25, 2019 at 08:05 pm 
The Federation of Free Farmers urged the government to immediately investigate the apparent undervaluation of and the wrong application of tariff rates on rice imports which may have resulted in the loss of tariff revenues of at least P1.6 billion as of July 2019.  
Latest reports indicated total imports may have already reached 3 million tons as of September, while tariff collections since the import liberalization already breached P10 billion.

A detailed study conducted by the FFF indicated, however, that tariff collections could have been higher by P1.6 billion from January to July 2019 because of declaration of import values, understatement of freight costs and the erroneous application of tariff rates on rice imports.
FFF national manager Raul Montemayor claimed the tariffs on rice imports were based on the cost of imports from the point of origin, or the “freight on board” or FOB price, plus the cost of freight and insurance, to come up with the “cost, insurance and freight” or CIF price.

RPT-Asia Rice-Vietnam rates hit multi-month peak on robust demand from Africa, Cuba
Sumita Layek
OCTOBER 25, 2019
* Vietnamese rates rise to $350-$355/tonne from $350

* Indian rupee hits highest in over one-week

* Demand muted for Thai variety- traders

* Philippines may ease rice import restriction -Vietnamese trader

By Sumita Layek

BENGALURU, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Vietnamese rice export prices rose to a four-and-a-half-month high this week on healthy demand from Africa and Cuba as supply remained scant, while a stronger rupee helped rates for Indian variety recover from a four-month low.

Rates for Vietnam’s benchmark 5% broken rice RI-VNBKN5-P1 rose to $350-$355 a tonne — a four-and-a-half month high — from $350 a tonne a week earlier due to limited stockpiles.

“Supplies are running low while demand remains steady, especially from Africa and also Cuba,” a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said.

The Vietnamese market could get a further fillip as the Philippines, which accounts for 36% of total shipments from Vietnam, might be considering easing its restrictions on rice imports soon, another trader said.

In September, prices for the Vietnamese variety had touched their lowest in nearly 12 years at $325 per tonne.

In top exporter India, prices for the 5% broken parboiled variety RI-INBKN5-P1 rose to $368-$372 per tonne from $365-$370 a week ago.

The Indian rupee on Thursday hit its highest in more than a week, reducing exporters’ margins.

President of the Rice Exporters Association B. V. Krishna Rao, however, said, “demand from African countries is still weak”.

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.

Neighbouring Bangladesh, meanwhile, has failed to secure any overseas deals since a long-standing export ban was lifted in May, due to cheaper rice from competitors.

“We are still looking for a market to export rice. India can export rice at $370-390 per tonne while we are asking for at least $500,” said Shah Alam Babu, president of Rice Exporters Association.

Prices in second biggest exporter Thailand’s benchmark 5-percent broken rice RI-THBKN5-P1 rose to $396-$410 a tonne on Thursday from $395-$400 last week.

Traders attributed the slight rise in prices to the changes in the currency exchange rate.

“There has been very little change in demand and supply and the strengthening of the baht has moved the price up slightly,” a Bangkok-based trader said.

A stronger baht has marred demand for the Thai variety for many months now.

“If the baht weakens a little, we may be able to sell some rice, but at the moment, Thai rice is just too expensive compared with competitors,” another rice trader said. (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 Shinjini Ganguli)

Safeguard duty on rice imports to add 0.2% to inflation —NEDA

October 25, 2019 6:07pm
The plan to impose safeguard duties on rice imports to shield farmers from the impact of enhanced competition amid a liberalized trade regime was thumbed down due to its inflationary impact.
In a press conference in Taguig City, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said imposing safeguard duty on the imported staple would add 0.2% to inflation.
NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillion noted its “very direct effect” will be “20 basis points to inflation.”.
An estimated 600,000 rice farmers will receive the cash assistance in December.
The Rice Tariffication Law removed quantitative restrictions on rice imports and imposed a 35% tariff on imports from Southeast Asia.
The unimpeded importation of rice has brought down farmgates price of palay to as low as P7 per kilo after the Rice Tariffication law was implemented earlier this year, prompting farmers to seek government intervention.
The law mandated the creation of a Rice Competitive Enhancement Fund (RCEF) to help farmers face the unrestricted flow of imported rice into the country.
The P10-billion RCEF includes P5 billion for farm mechanization, and P3 billion to buy seedlings.
Dar earlier said the financial assistance of P5,000 per small farmer who till less than one hectare will be sourced from excess tariff collected from rice imports.
“We are seeing the RCEF collection to be greater than P10 billion. It will probably hit P13 billion so the P3 billion will be given to rice farmers,” Pernia said.
The NEDA chief said safeguard duties will not be discussed for at least a year. —VDS, GMA News

Beware! Toxic Metals in Baby Foods may Damage Brain Development

Toxic metals are found in baby foods, say Healthy Babies Bright Futures Foundation, researchers. Description: Beware! Toxic Metals in Baby Foods may Damage Brain Development
Baby foods contain a varying proportion of lead, mercury, cadmium or arsenic says the study. About 168 baby foods were tested of which almost 95 percent had lead. 73 percent had arsenic and 75 percent had cadmium. 25 percent had all the heavy metals in them.When seven kinds of rice cereal were analyzed, four of them contained toxic arsenic content that was higher than the proposed level approved by the FDA.
HBBF National Director Charlotte Brody who has authored the study reports that heavy metals in the baby foods interfere with brain activities.The FDA has to interfere and take steps to protect babies, says Brody. There is no maximum safe limit set for heavy metals in almost 90 percent of baby foods, she adds.
When baby foods were tested, it was found that the most prevalent heavy metal was lead, which was found in 95 percent of baby foods. Lead may alter the brain development of a child, says the study.
Though toxic metals have been banned, they are still found in large quantities in the soil and water as well as in baby foods, say reports.
Fruit juices, sweet potatoes, and rice-based products face a high risk of harmful content in them, says the research. The first few months of a child are important and at this tender phase, they should not be exposed to neurotoxic chemicals, says the study.
A 2012 study has shown that brown rice sweeteners are used in organic food that has a high concentration of arsenic.
Tanya Altmann a pediatrician says that the best food for babies and infants is pureed veggies, avocado, salmon and peanut-butter oatmeal. They have important nutrients that a baby requires especially in its infant stage. They help in brain development, bring down food allergies and help to develop taste buds.

MANAGING EDITOR & TEAM LEADER. At Semiconductor Industry Reports
Description: Robert McPhersonRobert McPherson completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering. In his initial days, Robert worked as an Aerospace Engineer. But his inclination toward writing pushed him to spare some time for writing as well. Robert is known as the media magnet and is always surrounded by his teammates. He has completed almost 7 years in the field of Science now. Robert has been working with Semiconductor Industry Reports as the Head of the Department form last 2 years. Earlier, he worked at PPP for about 3 years. As a part of his responsibility, Robert is also engaged in the training of new employees in the department.

Research in protein analysis uncovers new ways to learn new information regarding crimes 
Police officers, detectives and investigators arrive at a crime scene. All the evidence seems to be gone except for a couple of human teeth and a few strands of hair. Thanks to the work of Glendon Parker and Robert Rice, professors in the department of environmental toxicology, and their teams, even scarce evidence like this could help link perpetrators to a crime. Using proteomics, researchers have discovered new ways to identify people from hair, teeth, skin and ancient bone samples. 
“The joint effort of both the Rice and Parker labs have resulted in sex estimation from teeth, human identification from skin, human identification from hair, and even work with ancient bone,” said Zachary Goecker, a fifth-year doctoral student from the pharmacology and toxicology program in the department of environmental toxicology, in an email.
Proteomics involves the large-scale analysis of the protein component of a cell, tissue or an organism, said Julia Yip, a UC Davis class of 2018 graduate from the forensic science graduate program, via email. To study proteins, researchers break down proteins from a tissue, then analyze the sample through mass spectrometry, a technique that measures the mass-to-charge ratio of ions.
“What we do is we discover, characterize and work at ways to detect a certain set of peptides that change as a result of someone’s genetics,” Parker said. “These are single amino acids that are swapped out. Then we can get a pretty big chunk of information that should have been in their DNA.”
Proteomics can be applied to a variety of aspects in forensic science. Human identification, ancestral classification, and body fluid identification are some of the more developed research topics, Goecker said. 
One goal of the research is to give the forensic community an alternate method when traditional DNA method fails, according to Yip. 
“For the Parker lab, we are specifically looking at the use of proteomics in scenarios where it might be challenging for traditional forensic analysis to obtain usable results,” Yip said. 
According to Parker, traditional forensic anaylsis cannot always dechiper information obtained from hair, degraded bone, fingerprints, teeth and sexual assault cases, so that is why the lab focuses on these types of evidence. 
“As hair is made, it shreds up its DNA, so that means it’s now less useful to get these profiles using DNA,” Parker said. “For degraded bone, if it’s in a certain environment, it will often have a lot of DNA, but it also may not. For fingerprints, they’re very variable since we are in contact with people all the time, dust is in the environment, and you are more likely to get mixtures and it’s really hard to interpret. With sexual assault evidence, you have mixtures and the victim’s DNA dominates.” 
According to Rice, hair used to be widely used as evidence when investigating crimes. 
Investigators used to try to link suspects to hair found at crime scenes. Experts used to analyze hair under microscopes, but that is now understood to be ineffective. 
“There have been a lot of people convicted of crimes because their hair looked the same as the hair found in the crime scene,” Rice said. ”It turns out many of those people have now been exonerated. Those hair identifications, nobody believes them anymore, and so you have a substantial amount of people who should not be imprisoned.”
Since teeth are the hardest and most robust skeletal tissue, they often preserve the best, said Jelmer Eerkens, a professor in the department of anthropology, via email.
Eerkens helps Parker develop research techniques and figure out how to apply it in real-world settings. His main interest is in applying the proteomics techniques to historic cases, rather than forensic ones.
“Back in 2017, there was a small child found buried in the backyard of a house in San Francisco,” Eerkens said. “It turns out the house is built on an old cemetery dating to the 1800s, and when the cemetery was moved in the 1930s, they missed some graves. We used a range of different techniques, including proteomics, stable isotopes, and ancient DNA, to identify the girl. We now know her name is Edith Cook, and she died in 1876 of disease when she was about 3 years old. We were also able to find a distant living relative.”
Without these “archaeoforensic” techniques, researchers would not have been able to figure out the young girl’s identity, according to Eerkens.Goecker’s role so far in the lab has been to optimize the chemical processing of human hair for proteomic analysis, develop tools for automated searches and the calculation of random match probabilities and determine ancestral classification. Additionally, Goecker has presented this research at meetings including the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, International Symposium on Human Identification and the Green Mountain DNA conference. 
“One of our goals is to help provide the field with easy-to-use tools to get started with proteomic genotyping,” Goecker said. Yip was involved in the development of the proteomics based method on estimating sex of an individual using teeth enamel for her master thesis. She applied Parker’s method to teeth  and was able to develop a framework for estimating sex. 
“Male teeth had peptides from a Y-chromosome protein,” Yip said. “Female teeth had only the X-chromosome form so we depended on a calibration curve we developed that could give an estimation of female sex.”
Funding for the research comes from the National Science Foundation, according to Eerkens. 
“The research is ongoing and has many hurdles to leap before becoming forensic practice,” Goecker said. “The findings of our research have been very exciting so far. Recently, we have reported obtaining random match probabilities of up to 1 in 624 million from a single hair less than an inch in length. We are hoping to break the 1 in a billion barrier soon for a single hair.”
Customs Seizes foreign rice, vehicles worth N145m in Niger state
 Oct 25, 2019  National  440  By Afam Jude Offor
The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Niger and Kogi Area command, has seized imported rice, vehicles and second hand bale clothing with duty paid value of about N145 million in the third quarter of 2019.        The Comptroller in charge of the command, Yusuf Abba- Kassim, announced this while displaying the seized items before newsmen in Minna on Thursday Mr
Abba-Kassim said a total of 3,529 kilogrammes of imported bags of rice with duty paid value of over N62 million were seized by officers and men in different parts of the area command. According to him, 2 used vehicle’s with duty paid value of over N32 million were also seized under the command’s new anti-smuggling strategies which he said had been yielding positive results. He said that 1, 018 bales of second hand clothing with duty paid value of over N48 million were seized within the command’s area of coverage. The comptroller said the command had also arrested one DAF diesel tanker with registration number RBC 05 ZS suspected to be concealing 500 bags of foreign rice on the Abuja-Kaduna expressway.He described smugglers as economic saboteurs and advised them to desist from such act. He said the command was committed to the eradication of all forms of smuggling activities within its area of jurisdiction. Since the closure of Nigeria's border, Custom officers have being able to checkmate the influx of smuggled rice into the country more effectively. Various reports across the borders in the country, show that the activities of smugglers are taking a big hit as there have being series of interceptions of consignment of rice being smuggled into the country among other products.

Agric minister ignores journalist’s question on N30 meal

By Murtala Adewale, Kano

26 October 2019   |   7:25 am


[FILES] Alhaji Mohammed Sabo Nanono, Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development
The Minister of Agric, Alhaji Sabo Nanono yesterday declined to response to question put before him on his N30 meal claim.
Nanono, who was having Town Hall meeting with farmers and stakeholders in Kano, insisted he would not comment on the controversial issue.
The minister had contended with tons of criticism following a statement credited to him where he claimed Nigerian can feed on a good meal with N30 particularly in Kano after boosted that the country is food secured.
Earlier at the town hall meeting, the minister had hinted the Federal Government plans to revamp the moribund textile industry in Kano.
The minister, who underscored the high usage of textile, regretted that Nigeria still remains among top importers of textile materials in the world, an attitude he argued capable of killing the country’s economy.
Nanonon pledged that Buhari’s administration is committed to revolutionise agricultural system with a deliberate plan to attract investors to set up assembly plants in Nigeria.
“Already, we are planning to establish service centers across the local government areas in Nigeria where farmers can access mechanised and other farm inputs.
” With this establishment, the machines and other facilities will be sourced and assembled in Nigeria. Federal Government is attracting these companies to set up their factories in Nigeria and when they do that, it will generate not less than 3.8 million jobs. We would continue to support our farmers especially the Rice millers to produce more to meet the nation’s demand.”

India Grain:Spot maize up on low arrival; wheat flat amid thin trade
Friday, Oct 25

By Sampad Nandy

NEW DELHI – Prices of maize continued to rise across key spot markets today as arrivals remained subdued ahead of Diwali, traders said. However, weak demand from the poultry feed industry and starch makers prevented prices from rising sharply, they said. 

In Nizamabad, arrivals were pegged at 200-250 bags (1 bag = 100 kg), down 300 bags from Thursday. In Davangere and Sangli, too, arrivals remained weak due to heavy rains, traders said. 

Demand for the new crop is likely to remain weak in the coming days as fresh arrivals are of poor quality due to high moisture content of 25-30%, against the acceptable limit of 13-14%, Davangere-based trader Shiva Kumar said. 

The November maize contract on the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange enhded flat at 1,900 rupees per 100 kg. 

Prices of mill-quality wheat were unchanged across keys spot markets today due to thin trade ahead of Diwali, traders said. 

In key spot markets of Indore and Kota, arrivals were negligible due to Diwali. Demand was also marginal today. 

Futures contracts of wheat on NCDEX were not traded today. 

Prices of the grain are likely to fall in near term as they have crossed the base price in the government's weekly auction scheme–open market sale scheme–at most mandis, traders said.

For Oct-Dec, the government has set a base price for wheat at 2,190 rupees per 100 kg in non-wheat producing states under its open market sale scheme. The price will be hiked by 55 rupees every quarter in the current financial year.

Prices of Pusa 1121 basmati paddy fell today due to a weak demand from from rice millers and weak arrivals, traders said. Millers are are awaiting arrivals of the new crop to start in full swing, Amritsar-based trader Ashok Sethi said. 

The November 1121 basmati paddy futures contract on the Indian Commodity Exchange ended 2.3% down to 3,318 rupees per 100 kg. Futures contracts fell today tailing spot cues, traders said. 

Following are today's prices of wheat, maize, and paddy, in rupees per 100 kg, in key wholesale markets, and the change from the previous day: 

Pusa 1121 basmati paddy


Edited by Arshad Hussain

Cogencis Tel +91 (11) 4220-1000
Send comments to

Punjab VB arrests two Pungrain inspectors

 |  | Chandigarh
Punjab State Vigilance Bureau on Friday arrested Pungrain’s (Punjab Grains Procurement Corporation Limited) two Inspectors — Taranjeet Singh and Vikas Sharma — for misappropriation of 10,000 empty gunny bags and causing loss to the state exchequer.
A corruption case has been registered against both the Inspectors besides the owner of Jagdambey Rice Mill Khasa, Amritsar, Vinod Kumar and officials or employees of Amritsar Market Committee for “misuse of bardana” (gunny bags).
Spokesperson said that the Vigilance Bureau Range Amritsar DSP Harpreet Singh have got a tip off that Taranjeet Singh and Vikas Sharma were diverting these gunny bags to a private mill named as Jagdambey Rice Mill which was to be shipped to Bhagatawala Grain Market. This paddy was being bought at a cheaper rate and sold to government at higher rates, added the spokesperson.
In the matter, the Bureau has registered a case against both the accused under sections 406, 420, 465, 467, 468, 471, 120-B of the Indian penal Code (IPC) and 7, 8 Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, at VB police station Amritsar to probe the allegations and further investigation was under progress.
67.05 LMT paddy purchased
The Government agencies and private millers have procured 67.04 lakh (67,04,838) metric tonnes of paddy in Punjab till October 24 while payment worth Rs 6,781.60 crore has been transferred to the accounts of arhtiyas (commission agents or the farmers by the Government, rendering MSP benefits to 4,53,697 farmers.
The Government spokesperson said that out of the total procurement from various procurement centres in the State, the Government agencies procured 66.29 lakh (66,29,445) MT of paddy while 75,393 MT has been procured by the millers.
Pungrain has procured 26.90 lakh (26,90,973) tonnes, Markfed 17.45 lakh (17,45,143) tonnes and Punsup procured 1.20 lakh (1,20,776) tonnes while Punjab State Warehousing Corporation procured 7.94 lakh (7,94,307) MT paddy. The Central Government agency, Foood Corporation of India (FCI), has procured 1.08 lakh (1,08,246) MT paddy.
As per the 72 hours norm, 92.55 per cent lifting of the purchased paddy has been achieved.

Border closure, best thing FG has done to farmers — farmers, rice millers
 ON OCTOBER 25, 20192:33 PM
Farmers in Kano and Kebbi states have commended border closure, saying it is the best thing ever done by the Federal Government to farmers in the country. Rice processing companies also hailed the decision, saying it had brought value to local rice in the country. They spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews that government’s action had made positive impacts on the economy, especially the survival of rice mills hitherto struggling to survive due to smuggling.
: Nigeria’s border closure: Lawmaker wants Nigerians to be patient with FG Alhaji Faruk Rabi’u, the Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Kano state chapter said farmers were now more confident in producing more rice. “The border closure is a clear indication that the Federal Government is ready to boost agricultural production by insisting on the patronage of the home products. “With this development, farmers will have more confidence that their products will be patronised. Therefore they can invest more on their farms because they know that after harvesting their farm products will be sold.
“If we continue to import foreign rice, despite the fact that the locally produced one is the best for our health, people will continue to buy it. “Therefore, I am calling on the government to continue to give us all the necessary support as farmers. “Most of our people go for foreign rice not minding its low quality and risks to their health. The one we produce is more qualitative than the foreign ones, “ Rabi’u said. Rabiu added that the closure of the border would encourage farmers who have abandoned the business due to lack of market to return. “It will also cut post-harvest losses, as there is a ready market in the country for the products,” the AFAN chairman said. “Locally produced rice is now getting more patronage than before and it is available all over our markets.
“If the borders remain closed, our products will take over the smuggled foreign rice and that will go along way in boosting the nation’s economy.” An industrialist, Alhaji Aminu Ahmed, also commended the Federal Government for its decision to close the nation’s borders to check to smuggle of foodstuffs and other goods into the country. Ahmed, who is the Managing Director of Tiamin Rice Milling Plant in Kano, said the border closure would revitalise the nation’s industries and give entrepreneurs hopes of survival in the country. “The border closure has received significant support from the Nigerian Rice Producers who said the policy is greatly making an impact on the homegrown rice,” he said. According to him, many rice mills have started springing up, employing hundreds of persons since the closure of the borders. He said his company was now producing 320 tonnes daily with over 300 permanent staff and 600 casual workers. “The closure of land borders is working and if government sustains it, in the next few years, Nigeria will start exporting its own rice after feeding its citizens, that is where we are heading now,” he added. Alhaji Muhammadu Jega, a large scale farmer, who holds the traditional title of Sarkin Noman Kabbi said it would be a great mistake to open the borders now. “We should increase the production of rice until we reach a level that we don’t need to import as we have it in abundance even waiting to be exported.
“Nigerians should understand the difference between the imported rice and the ones we produce here in the country; between the fresh and preserved one. “I believe we can produce rice that we can feed ourselves and even export to other countries.” According to him, importing foreign rice discourages farmers as the patronage of local rice will reduce. Jega advised the federal and state governments to purchase the excess of rice produced locally to save farmers from post-harvest losses. The General Manager of one of Nigeria’s largest rice mill – Labana Rice Mill Limited – Alhaji Abdullahi Zuru said in spite of support to farmers and processors through the CBN  by the Federal Government, the import of rice through borders had negatively affected the production of rice in the country.
 “When the Federal Government is supporting and funding rice production and processing in Nigeria and the rice is being smuggled into the country on a daily basis with impunity, through our borders. “We have more rice farmers, more rice mills in Nigeria and yet foreign rice was flooding our markets by the day. “Before the closure of borders, from February to March this year, it was disclosed by the National Association of Rice Millers of Nigeria that more than 20 million bags of rice had been smuggled into the country from different borders. “I want to state without fear of contradiction, an additional five million or more had been smuggled into this country afterwards. “So this situation had led to the closure of some rice mills, suspension of production in some rice mills in Nigeria and was discouraging farmers to embark on dry season farming this year. “Most of the rice mills, if you go to their warehouses then, they have produced so much such that they filled all the warehouses, they had nowhere to stockpile their products and as a result of that, they stopped production.
 “But now, we are looking for paddy rice to buy as our warehouses have been almost empty as we produce and sell and buyers are coming more and more,” he said. Zuru commended the Federal Government for the closure of the borders, adding “it is a good move in the right direction”.

Customs seizes N3.5m smuggled rice in Kaduna

in National
Zone B of Nigeria Customs Service Federal Operations Unit Kaduna, on Friday, said it had seized 149 smuggled rice valued at over N3.5 million in Kaduna.
The command Public Relations officer, Abubakar Usman, made the disclosure in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna.
Usman said that the rice was seized at Mando motor park in Kaduna while being rebagged in local sacks to be transported to Lagos.
He said operatives of the command swooped on the site following intelligence reports, but added that no arrest was made.
“The command will continue to do its best in the discharge of it responsibility. The Customs service is equal to the task and will not be cowed by smugglers and their collaborators.
“We will continue to make seizures and also ensure that smugglers keep recording loses until they abandon the illegal business.”(NAN)
California Crop Goes From Slow Start to Swift Completion  

SACRAMENTO, CA -- "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

That familiar creed is usually associated with the U.S. Postal Service but could just as easily apply to California rice farmers this year as they faced a myriad of challenges, most from weather, at each stage of the 2019 crop.

"The story of this year's harvest goes back to the spring, as all harvests usually do," said Matthew Sligar, a farmer from Gridley.  "We like to start groundwork in early April but got a delayed start because of rains in mid-April.  More rains in mid-May pushed planting back; some people out here planted mid-June, which is generally unheard of."

The late start on planting was exacerbated by spring temperatures that were well below normal.  "In addition to field prep that was rushed, the lower temperatures slowed down young rice trying to establish itself in the field," said farmer Kurt Richter, from Colusa.  "The cooler temperatures persisted throughout the summer along with higher humidity that caused more disease issues than we typically see."

As summer turned to fall, the weather became more cooperative, and according to Seth Fiack, who farms in Glenn, "while we didn't have a lot of hot weather during the growing season, harvest time brought north winds to dry down the rice.  That means no heavy dews and that means our quality is probably going to be pretty good this year."

Those north winds proved both a blessing and a curse.  

On the positive side, Richter said, "the north winds helped ripen the rice ahead of schedule, setting us up to finish earlier than expected."  

But the flip side of the accelerated schedule was all that harvested rice was backing up at the dryers.  Sligar said, "Normally, you're cutting-cutting-cutting, and then you have to stop because you come across a field that isn't ripe enough, and that gives the dryers some breathing room to process the rice.  But this year's winds were extremely high, drying all the rice out at the same time, and speeding up harvest."

The back up at the dryers had a ripple effect - the loads of harvested rice were coming in dramatically faster than they could dry rice and move it out to storage warehouses.  And then came the power outages.

PG&E, or Pacific Gas & Electric, provides gas and electricity to the northern part of California, including rice growing regions.  The high winds that were helping out rice harvest are also creating a fire hazard here in the dry foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, so as a preventative measure, PG&E initiated power shutoffs in at-risk areas. (In February, PG&E admitted that its equipment had probably ignited the Camp Fire that so devastated the region last year.)

It takes a while for a rice dryer to recover from a power surge much less a complete outage.  At Red Top Rice Growers in Biggs, a surge left them without power for only two minutes but it locked up the augers transporting rice.  Augers can't be restarted when they're full of rice as it would blow the motors up so they had to be completely cleaned before rice started moving again

USA Rice Daily

Korea to Shed Developing Nation Perks in Win for Trump

By Sam Kim
 Updated on October 25, 2019, 7:18 AM GMT+5

Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here
South Korea is abandoning its developing-nation privileges at the World Trade Organization following allegations by the Trump administration that some countries were taking advantage of the status.
President Donald Trump in July named South Korea in a list of countries claiming the status even though they were among the world’s richest nations. South Korea has mainly used the self-declared status to protect its agricultural sector. Korea imposes a tariff of more than 500% on rice imports.

 “It’s difficult to be recognized any longer as a developing nation in international society considering our economic status,” South Korea’s Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said at a nationally televised address. “The government will do everything it can to provide maximum protection in sensitive agricultural areas such as rice in future WTO negotiations.”
The Finance Ministry said in a separate statement that South Korea is not giving up privileges it has already secured as a developing nation and that the decision only affects future WTO talks. South Korea will also continue to honor WTO-endorsed agreements previously signed among developing nations, it said.
South Korea’s announcement on Friday will likely add to pressure on China to drop the status. Trump has repeatedly called for the world’s second-biggest economy to give up the privileges granted by the WTO.
Hong Nam-ki
Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg
“This is a win for Trump pressuring China,” said Cheong In-kyo, a professor of international trade at South Korea’s Inha University. “China now has one fewer reason to hold on to its developing-nation status.”
The WTO allows countries that claim the status to enjoy longer transition periods for implementing trade deals and protection against emergency import restrictions by developed nations.
The WTO is BROKEN when the world’s RICHEST countries claim to be developing countries to avoid WTO rules and get special treatment. NO more!!! Today I directed the U.S. Trade Representative to take action so that countries stop CHEATING the system at the expense of the USA!
Warning of unilateral action in July, Trump named China, Brunei, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Macau, Qatar, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Turkey and South Korea as those unworthy of the status. Singapore has since said it would not seek privileges granted by the status in negotiations
Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- October 25, 2019
OCTOBER 25, 2019
* * * * * *
Nagpur Foodgrain Prices – APMC/Open Market-October 25, 2018 Nagpur, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Gram prices moved down in Nagpur Agriculture Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) here poor buying support from local millers amid high moisture content arrival. Easy condition on NCDEX, fresh fall in Madhya Pradesh gram prices and release of stock from stockists also pushed down prices in limited deals. About 400 bags of gram reported for auction, according to sources.

GRAM * Desi gram prices reported down in open market here on poor demand from local


* Tuar Karnataka firmed up in open market here on renewed demand from local traders.

* Wheat varieties recovered in open market here on increased buying support

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)

– 7,900-9,000, Moong Mogar (clean) 8,500-9,200, Gram – 4,300-4,400, Gram Super best

– 5,800-6,200 * 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 3,850-4,240 3,850-4,360

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

Tuar Auction n.a. 4,920-5,100

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

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

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

Wheat Lokwan Auction 2,000-2,085 2,000-2,075

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

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

Gram Super Best n.a. n.a.

Gram Medium Best 5,900-6,100 5,900-6,100

Gram Dal Medium n.a. n.a

Gram Mill Quality 4,500-4,700 4,450-4,550

Desi gram Raw 4,600-4,700 4,650-4,750

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 7,900-8,200 7,900-8,200

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

Tuar Dal Medium phod-New 7,000-7,400 7,000-7,400

Tuar Gavarani New 5,700-5,750 5,700-5,750

Tuar Karnataka 6,100-6,200 6,050-6,150

Masoor dal best 5,500-5,800 5,500-5,800

Masoor dal medium 5,200-5,400 5,200-5,400

Masoor n.a. n.a.

Moong Mogar bold (New) 9,000-9,500 9,000-9,500

Moong Mogar Medium 7,500-8,200 7,500-8,200

Moong dal Chilka New 7,000-8,000 7,000-8,000

Moong Mill quality n.a. n.a.

Moong Chamki best 8,500-9,500 8,300-9,200

Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 8,200-9,500 8,200-9,500

Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG) 7,000-8,000 7,000-8,000

Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG) 5,300-5,800 5,300-5,800

Mot (100 INR/KG) 6,000-7,000 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) 2,300-2,400 2,250-2,350

Wheat Mill quality (100 INR/KG) 2,150-2,250 2,100-2,200

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

Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG) 2,600-2,750 2,550-2,650

Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG) 2,400-2,500 2,300-2,450

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

MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG) 3,400-4,000 3,200-4,000

MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG) 2,800-3,200 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. 28.9 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 20.1 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 29 degree Celsius and 20 degree Celsius respectively. Note: n.a.—not available (For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but included in market prices)

IGC Estimates Decline In Global Rice Trades

IGC Estimates Decline In Global Rice Trades
October 25, 2019 8:32 IST | capital market
As per the latest release from International Grain Council (IGC), world rice trade in 2019 (Jan/Dec) is set to fall to 44.5m t (46.4m). While combined dispatches by the five majors may contract by 2m t y/y, Chinas exports are seen rising strongly, to more than 3m, on bigger deliveries to sub-Saharan Africa. Despite tentative prospects for smaller harvests in the largest producers, gains elsewhere should compensate as world output matches the previous years peak of 500m t. Led by accumulation in China and key exporters, global stocks are predicted at a record of 179m t, up 4m y/y. Trade is anticipated to recover in 2020 on firmer African demand.

Safeguard duty on rice imports to add 0.2% to inflation —NEDA

October 25, 2019 6:07pm
The plan to impose safeguard duties on rice imports to shield farmers from the impact of enhanced competition amid a liberalized trade regime was thumbed down due to its inflationary impact.
In a press conference in Taguig City, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said imposing safeguard duty on the imported staple would add 0.2% to inflation.
NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillion noted its “very direct effect” will be “20 basis points to inflation.”
An estimated 600,000 rice farmers will receive the cash assistance in December.
The Rice Tariffication Law removed quantitative restrictions on rice imports and imposed a 35% tariff on imports from Southeast Asia.
The unimpeded importation of rice has brought down farmgates price of palay to as low as P7 per kilo after the Rice Tariffication law was implemented earlier this year, prompting farmers to seek government intervention.
The law mandated the creation of a Rice Competitive Enhancement Fund (RCEF) to help farmers face the unrestricted flow of imported rice into the country.
The P10-billion RCEF includes P5 billion for farm mechanization, and P3 billion to buy seedlings.
Dar earlier said the financial assistance of P5,000 per small farmer who till less than one hectare will be sourced from excess tariff collected from rice imports.
“We are seeing the RCEF collection to be greater than P10 billion. It will probably hit P13 billion so the P3 billion will be given to rice farmers,” Pernia said.
The NEDA chief said safeguard duties will not be discussed for at least a year. —VDS, GMA News

China to import more rice from Cambodia

Chinese authorities have agreed to speed up the review of applications of 40 Cambodian firms that want to export rice to the Chinese market, according to local media.

Description: Illustrative image (Source:
Illustrative image (Source:
The Chinese side agreed to prioritise work reviewing the applications of the 40 Cambodian firms at a meeting in Beijing this week between the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture and China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), Khmer Times reported.
The meeting aimed to discuss Cambodian exports to China, particularly rice, bananas and mangoes.
During the first round of reviews, 26 local rice traders passed the quality-control tests and were permitted to export rice to China.
“The second round of reviews is taking place soon and those that gain approval will be able to send their rice to China,” the paper quoted Ngin Chhay, director-general of the ministry’s General Directorate of Agriculture, as saying.
The decision by AQSIQ is seen as an important development that will help Cambodia achieve its goal of fulfilling its rice export quota in the Chinese market, said the English-language newspaper.
According to the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF), Cambodia exported 157,793 tonnes of rice to China from January to September. Exports to China accounted for 39.6 percent of Cambodia’s total rice exports.
Last year, Cambodia was unable to meet its rice export quota in the Chinese market, shipping only 170,000 tonnes out of the 300,000 allowed. This year, however, CRF is confident the Kingdom will be able to ship all the 300,000 tonnes of rice that it is allowed.
Pakistani man 'comes back to life' in Ajman scam
October 24, 2019
Description: . PHOTO: GULF NEWS
Pakistani businessman and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) worker Chaudhary Hayyab Arif Kamboh lied about his death in 2017 and has now started a company to dupe exporters in Ajman, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
According to Gulf News, the “ideological worker” of the political party had staged his ‘death’ in an apparent road accident in Sharjah on July 17, 2017.
Hayyab’s untimely ‘death’ was even mourned by the Karachi-based party.
“RIP Chaudhary Hayyab Arif Kamboh bhai. Our deepest condolences to the family of this ideological worker of MQM from Lahore who passed away on July 19th in a tragic road accident in UAE,” MQM Television said in its official Facebook page on July 21, 2017.
“May Allah grant him highest level in heaven and give his grieved family enough courage to bear their loss,” added the social media post.
It was accompanied by a photo collage of the deceased. One picture showed Hayyab’s ‘dead’ body wrapped in a white burial shroud.
A Facebook post by his younger brother Mian Zaryab, 20, also followed talking about his struggle to deal with the ‘loss’.
“Travelling to Bahrain for a project… Initiative of this project was taken by my elder brother Chaudhary Arif Hayyab Kamboh. I’m missing him a lot today because today I have to handle all of these things on my own… after his death I feel alone in my life…” Zaryab wrote on August 7, 2017.
Both posts elicited an outpouring of grief with scores paying tributes to him.
Back from the dead
Hayyab, however, is far from dead. He is alive and kicking.
In fact, if those who dealt with him are to be believed, he’s currently busy making a killing by scamming overseas companies.
Description: Hayyab Arif sitting in his Ajman Freezone office in 2019. PHOTO: GULF NEWS
Hayyab Arif sitting in his Ajman Freezone office in 2019. PHOTO: GULF NEWS
In recent weeks, several Indian and Indonesian exporters have contacted Gulf News detailing how they were duped out of millions of dirhams worth of fruits, vegetables and grains by H&MZ Global Worldwide, a foodstuff trading company launched by Hayyab in Ajman almost 14 months after his purported death.
Description: H&MZ owner Hayyab Arif receiving a shipment of onions in Ajman. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
H&MZ owner Hayyab Arif receiving a shipment of onions in Ajman. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Long list
Shri Siddhivinayak (rice: $93,000); JK Export (coconut: $39,000); Dakshah Overseas (bananas: $18,071) Mahakal (onions: $20,034); Bintang Persaka (wood charcoal: $31,041) K. International (red chillies: $35,700); CV Tri Mitra Persaka (coconut: $12,375) and Bhavya Enterprises (rice: $17,750). It’s a long list and it’s getting longer with each passing day as more victims come forward.
None of them has been paid. Exporters said they were tricked into shipping tonnes of food material to H&MZ by its owner Hayyab after being promised payment within 24 hours of delivery.
It’s not that the exporters didn’t do any due diligence. Some like Mumbai-based Vijay Ruparen, who supplied dried red chillies worth Dh130,000, even flew to the UAE last month to verify the antecedents of the company.
Meticulous planning
“Hayyab Arif sent his manager with a bouquet of roses to pick me from the airport. He drove me to Ajman and put me up in a fancy hotel… I was impressed.
The following day, I met Hayyab Arif at his office. There was nothing remotely to suggest all of this was a charade,” he recalled.
“Secure in the belief that I was dealing with a reputed company, I handed the bill of lading to Hayyab Arif which enabled him to release the shipment from Jebel Ali Port. He promised to pay the same evening. That day never came. I spent days chasing him but he refused to see me or respond to my calls,” added Ruparen who returned to Ajman recently and apprised the police about the case.
A similar experience was recounted by Akshay Laljibhai from Bhavnanagar in Gujarat who supplied two containers of red onions worth nearly Dh65,000.
“He treated me like royalty but once he got the shipment he discarded me like a used teabag. When I ask for my payment, he mocks me,” said Laljibhai, sharing profanity-laced WhatsApp voice messages where Hayyab can be heard ridiculing, abusing and even intimidating him.
“Yes, I scam people … this is my business … A bigger crook than me is yet to be born. I cherry-pick my victims and prey on greedy dogs like you. This is what I do for a living. You were a fool to fall for me,” he’s heard telling Laljibhai in the audio.
He also says that he doesn’t even remember how many cases he has against him in Pakistan. “Why do you think I don’t go back there?”
Gulf News was unable to verify the authenticity of the messages although Hayyab himself told the media outlet’s journalist that the voice in the audio is indeed his.
Hayyab responds
He claimed that he did not fake his death and has no clue why MQM posted an obituary about him.
But what about the picture of him lying dead?
“That’s from my theatre days in Pakistan where I played a dead man in a stage show,” he said, declining to reveal the name of the play or when it was staged. “It’s my personal matter,” he said.
If this were the case then why has his younger brother posted the fake news about this death on his Facebook page?
“Oh, that was not him. Someone hacked his Facebook account and posted it,” he replied.
Hayyab could not provide any evidence to prove if he or his brother contacted MQM or Facebook in this regard.
He denied allegations that he has cheated exporters. He said all of them were lying and that he did not pay them as the foodstuff, veggies and fruits supplied by each one of them were of poor quality.
“I have documents to prove it,” he said.
When asked why he has stopped taking calls of exporters, Hayyab said that he has lost his cellphone and could not get a replacement SIM card as there’s an outstanding bill against it. “It’s my personal matter why I don’t want to clear my dues and get a replacement SIM,” he said responding to a call made by Gulf News on his new cellphone number.
Meanwhile, H&MZ, Hayyab’s second company Saya International FZE, and Soha Arif Foodstuff Trading – owned by his brother Zaryab – continue to solicit customers in different parts of the world.
Companies which dispatched goods to Soha Arif Foodstuff said they have been similarly duped. Best Zest Agro which supplied coconuts, pegged its losses at $97,412 while Shri Siddhivinyayak reported losing rice valued at $93,000.
Caught in limbo
Exporters said their efforts to lodge a police complaint have drawn a blank as the authorities have directed them to the courts.
“It’s not feasible to pursue a court case from abroad. If losing money to a scam is not bad enough, we have to now front high legal costs to fight a protracted legal battle,” said one of them.
So far, only Sharjah-based 10X has approached courts. It supplied onions worth $110,000 to Soha Arif Foodstuff.
In an email to Gulf News, Soha Arif’s owner Mian Zaryab categorically denied links with H&MZ Global Worldwide but a Gulf News investigation proved otherwise.
Mian Zaryab is mentioned as Import Manager on a business card of H&MZ Global Worldwide. Zaryab insists he does not know how his name appeared on the business card of a third party.
“It’s a conspiracy against me,” he said.
However, that doesn’t seem to be the case as the email printed on the H&MZ card alongside his name is the same he gave while registering the domain name of Soha Arif Foodstuff.
Despite persistent questioning, Zaryab refused to confirm or deny if he’s related to Hayyab. For most questions, his standard response was no different than his elder brother. “It’s my personal matter.”
This is the second time in recent months when exporters have been hit by a multi-million dollar trading scam. In July, Gulf News reported how over 20 exporters were left devastated after losing 6,000 tonnes of rice worth Dh15.3 million to Dubai-based Al Rawnaq Al Thahbhi whose owner has since run away.
Why are Punjab govt, farmers demanding compensation for stubble management?
Both farmers and Punjab CM Amarinder Singh have been demanding cash incentive as ‘cost compensation’/’bonus’ to stop burning crop residue
Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba |Published: October 24, 2019 4:45:26 pm
From the last paddy season, Punjab has witnessed nearly 56,678 field fires across the state.
Despite the Centre approving a grant of Rs 665 crore to Punjab for a two year period till 2020 for subsidised machinery for stubble management and the state distributing over 50,000 such machines, stubble burning continues unabated in the state. ANJU AGNIHOTRI CHABA explains why both farmers and Punjab CM Amarinder Singh have been demanding cash incentive as ‘cost compensation’/’bonus’ to stop burning crop residue.
How many field fires have been reported in Punjab ever since the state started distributing machines on subsidy?
Punjab government started providing stubble management machines from the last paddy season. Despite that Punjab has witnessed nearly 56,678 field fires across state since then, including 11,698 in wheat season, over 4373 in the ongoing paddy season and 40,607 in the last paddy season. Even during wheat harvesting in April-May this year, Punjab farmers had burnt 50 per cent of the wheat fields of the state which was 10 per cent more in terms of area as compared to 2018.
How much stubble is produced in the state?
In Punjab, nearly 64-65 lakh hectares area comes under paddy and wheat crops. This year, 29.20 lakh hectares is under rice including 22.91 lakh under paddy and 6.29 lakh hectares under Basmati rice. Around 35 lakh hectares area was under wheat during last Rabi season. While paddy produces over 20 million tonnes of stubble, the wheat crop produces around 18 million tonnes residue, but most of the wheat residue is used to make the dry fodder for cattle in Punjab.
What type of machines are distributed?
Among the 50,000 machines made available since September last year, there around 14,000 Happy Seeders, 6000 Super Stubble Management Systems (Super SMS), an attachment with the existing Combine harvester, 8000 choppers and mulchers, 350 balers, 4000 MB Ploughs, 5000 rotabators, while the remaining are shrub masters, cutter cum spreaders and zero till drills. These machines are provided on 50 per cent to 80 per cent subsidy to individuals and groups, respectively.
How do these machines manage stubble?
Super SMS and Happy Seeders are considered most effective machines for stubble management. While Super SMS attachment with combine harvester helps in chopping the stubble and spreading that evenly in the filed at the time of paddy harvesting itself, the Happy Seeder helps in direct showing of wheat without clearing the stubble, which can sow wheat in around 16 inches standing stubble. And where both these machines are not available to farmers, farmers can use chopper & mulcher, baler, MB plough for chopping, making bales of stubble and mixing the stubble in the soil, respectively while zero till drill can be used for sowing in the absence of Happy Seeder.
Are these machines helpful?
Going by the area of paddy and wheat in Punjab these machines cannot cover even half the area due to short window period between paddy harvesting and wheat sowing . The paddy harvesting starts from first week of October while wheat sowing starts from November 1. According to Agriculture Department in Punjab, the best wheat sowing period is between November 1 to November 15.
There is a 20-day period between paddy harvesting and wheat sowing with the farmers and during that period these machines cannot cover even one-third of the total area under these crops.AIMIM's victory 'dangerous' for Bihar: Giriraj Singh on Kishanganj bypoll
A harvester with Super SMS can harvest around 12-15 acres in a day and if 6000 harvesters with Super SMS are run then these can harvest around 22.50 lakh acres (9.10 lakh hectares) in a period of around 25 days which is less than one-third of the total area under rice in Punjab.
Similarly, Happy Seeder can sow 7-8 acres land in a day and in period of 25 days (due to extended sowing period) it can sow only 28 lakh acres (11.33 lakh hectares) which is one-third of the total area under wheat in Punjab. Also if the sowing is extended for even one more week not more that couple of lakh hectares more would be covered. Apart from this, other machines too cannot cover more than 2 to 3 lakh acres. To cover entire area with machines, Punjab needs at least three times the number of machines available now.
Why farmers and the state government want ‘bonus’?
While farmers have demanded Rs 200 bonus for per quintal paddy, Punjab CM has demanded Rs 100 per quintal paddy. This would come around Rs 3000 per acre at the rate of Rs 100 per quintal as the yield of paddy is 29 to 30 quintal per acre.
Farmers claim that they need bonus as machines are not available to every farmers in Punjab due to which they have to engage manual labour to clear stubble. If machines are taken on rent, then it costs the farmer extra, for which they are demanding monetary compensation.
“We have 68 per cent farmers with less than five acres of land who cannot afford to spend Rs 2500-3000 extra per acre to avail these machines as every such machine is available at the rent of Rs 1200 to 1800 per acre,” said Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) Ekta Dakaunda general secretary Jagmohan Singh, adding that with the bonus farmers can hire labour to clear the stubble or if they get machines on rent then they can pay from this amount.
He added: “Both machines and bonus are needed to curb stubble burning.”
Farmer experiments with more climate-friendly rice cultivation
Conventional rice paddies emit a lot of methane, a potent heat-trapping gas.
Rice is often grown in flooded fields called paddies. When it’s farmed this way, it uses more water than any other crop in the world. But rice plants do not need to be submerged in water all season long.
“If you keep rice watered at certain periods, then you don’t have to flood the field,” says Nazirahk Amen, an organic farmer in Takoma Park, Maryland.
His rice grows much like a conventional vegetable crop: in rows, with drip irrigation. He says the goal is to keep the field saturated when the plants need the water the most.
“And with that, we’ve been able to produce rice with about a third of the water that’s used in paddy production,” Amen says.
Amen is not alone in growing rice this way. Around the world, people are experimenting with less water-intensive methods, partly because flooded fields emit a lot of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
Growing rice with drip irrigation, however, reduces methane emissions. It conserves water. And recent research suggests it can improve yields, too.
So there could be many benefits to this approach, whether it’s used on a small farm in suburban D.C. or in the vast rice fields of Asia.

Doing Good by Doing Well: U.S. Gains by Investing in Agricultural R&D
on: 08:39AM Oct 24, 2019

On October 15, the Board on International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) released a report entitled “How the United States Benefits from Agricultural and Food Security Investments in Developing Countries” at a pre-event at the World Food Prize in Des Moines.  This report was commissioned by BIFAD in response to a request from USAID Administrator Mark Green a few months after he assumed office in August 2017.  The report can be downloaded at

I was privileged to be a co-author of this report, along with Dr. Joseph Glauber of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Dr. David Kraybill, professor emeritus at Ohio State University.  Staff at IFPRI and the Association for Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) coordinated preparation of the final report. 

The report describes a couple of different channels through which federal funding has been expended on global food security activities since the 1940’s. The main agency overseeing this funding has been the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and has consisted of bilateral development projects with USAID staff and contractors working directly with institutions in developing countries, funding to multilateral institutions such as the World Bank, and research funding provided to the 15 agricultural research centers under the CGIAR system and through U.S. universities under the Feed the Future Innovation Laboratory system.  In fiscal year 2017, this funding totaled $1.41 billion (more than 70 percent through USAID programs), accounting for 4.2 percent of non-military foreign assistance spending and 0.04 percent of all federal expenditures.
The report looked at several different categories in which U.S. farmers, universities, companies, consumers, and taxpayers have been able to increase income, reduce production costs, build human and institutional capacity, access a greater variety of food and beverages for their diets, or gain other less tangible benefits from the funding that the U.S. government has provided to support international research and development over the last several decades.
Our investments have helped to modernize and improve the agricultural sectors of many developing countries over the last several decades.  Since agriculture is such an important part of many of these economies--it accounts for about 15 percent of GDP and 60 percent of jobs in Sub-Saharan Africa on average--strengthening the sector helps a country’s overall economy, leading to increased demand for agricultural imports such as meat and livestock products in many cases.
As a result, over the last few decades, gains in U.S. agricultural exports to developing countries, which have been the beneficiaries of U.S. agricultural development investments over time, have far outstripped gains to developed country markets.  U.S. agricultural exports to developing countries in aggregate has increased by 103 percent over the last 20 years, as opposed to only a 19 percent gain in agricultural exports to developed countries over the same period.  The developing country markets includes China, which was our second largest market behind Canada in 2017, until the current trade war erupted in mid-2018.
Based on econometric modeling of the U.S. economy, it is estimated that each dollar of agricultural exports generates an additional $1.87 in business activities, and every billion dollars in exports creates 8,619 full-time jobs.  For 2018, U.S. agricultural exports to developing countries totaled $90 billion, stimulating an additional $169 billion in economic activity and supporting 779,000 full-time jobs.
U.S. support of international agricultural research also generates significant direct benefits for U.S. farmers and ranchers.  In particular, U.S. investments in international research conducted on wheat and rice, two important U.S. crops, has allowed U.S. farmers to benefit from improved yields from productivity work conducted at two of the 15 institutions of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), which the U.S. government has supported since its inception.  A study conducted by Dr. Phil Pardey from the University of Minnesota and several colleagues in 1996 found that U.S. rice and wheat farmers received between $3.4 billion and $15.6 billion in benefits from varieties developed by CIMMYT (corn and wheat) and IRRI (rice) over the period 1960-1993. Over that period, the U.S. investment in those two lines of research generated huge returns, so that every $100 of benefits cost U.S. taxpayers only two cents.  The report describes similarly large returns to U.S. farmers from investment in research on peanuts, grain sorghum, and edible beans.

U.S. consumers also benefit considerably from having improved access to imported food products from developing countries which are either not produced in the United States (such as coffee, tea, and spices) or are not available in abundance outside of the summer growing season in the northern hemisphere, such as fresh fruits and vegetables grown in Central and South America.  U.S. foreign assistance has helped to improve the efficiency and food safety standards of agricultural value chains for these products in developing countries, such as Guatemala and Mexico.  In recent years, USAID provided funding for research into combating coffee rust (known as roya in Spanish) that was devastating coffee plantations in Central America.

CSSP recognizes Gregorio for crop breeding research
posted October 24, 2019 at 08:05 pm
by Brenda Jocson
Davao City—The Crop Science Society of the Philippines has awarded and recognized a scientist, research manager and teacher in national and international public and private institutions as an Honorary Fellow.
The CSSP has recognized Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, currently the director of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture, for his significant contributions to crop science through his pioneering breeding research.
The award was presented during the 25th Federation of Crop Science Societies of the Philippines and 1st Federation of Plant Science Associations of the Philippines Scientific Conference held in September in Davao City.
Holding an annual scientific conference and publishing the Philippine Journal of Crop Science, the CSSP promotes human welfare through the discovery and dissemination of knowledge concerning the nature, utilization, improvement, and interrelationships of plants and their environment and the people.
According to the society, Gregorio was recognized for having led the development of at least 20 rice varieties with tolerance to abiotic stresses while at the International Rice Research Institute as Senior Plant Breeder.
Gregorio’s studies on the genetics and molecular mapping for salinity tolerance, and his development of rapid screening techniques resulted in the first batches of salt-tolerant varieties in the Philippines and other countries in Asia and Africa.
He also led a team that developed the iron-enhanced rice was proven to significantly increase levels of total body iron in the blood of women. 
A prolific author, he has 112 scientific publications to date. He has also mentored many undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows in the Philippines and other countries.

Why the rice trade