Saturday, November 09, 2019

9th November,2019 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter

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10 Rice Water Hair Products That Promise Longer & Stronger Hair
Nov 9, 2019
All it takes is a couple of YouTube tutorials for beauty lovers to tap into their inner scientists, concocting some of the most potent at-home treatments — like rice water, a DIY solution that's been proven to make your hair grow longer. But instead of toiling over a hot stove, rice water hair products can give you the same results with less mess.
With a centuries-long history of making the most stubborn hair flourish in length, it's the starchy water bred from that pantry staple that's a solution for those in hair rut. "With the use of rice water, or 'forbidden rice,' dating back to the Heian Period (794 to 1185 AD), I see the ways in which rice water has been regarded as a core ingredient in hair care from well before modern beauty products, routines, and trends began to arise," Diane C. Bailey, SheaMoisture Brand Ambassador, tells The Zoe Report. "Once reserved only for wealthy and royal citizens in ancient China, rice provides strength and moisture, resulting in hair that feels smooth and strong from roots to ends. Additionally, rice water reduces friction, increases elasticity and closes the cuticle, leaving hair extra shiny."
But a rich head of hair isn't the only benefit, as food-based hair products create yet another means of access for nutrients to enter the body though the scalp. And just as a healthy, balanced diet is arguably the most necessary route toward optimal health, applying rice water to the hair shaft acts as another dose of supplements. "Malnutrition is often a culprit of hair concerns, and eating a nutrient diet really benefits the overall body including our hair," Dr. Afiya Mbilishaka, Ph. D, hairstylist and psychohairapist, says. "Healthy foods impact the quality of the hair follicle and production of the hair shaft, and food can be applied topically. These foods represent nutrients that our hair needs in its purest form."
However, like anything, moderation is key, and while a healthy supply of rice water can result in the long, luscious locks you've been dreaming of, too much of it will do the opposite. "Since rice water is rich in protein, overusing the products can lead to protein overload, which may result in dry or hardened hair." Luckily, many beauty products out there have achieved the perfect formulations that dish out just the right dose of rice water, while keeping the hair balanced and free of a protein excess.
And OK, OK... the process to make rice water isn't that tasking — the only tricky part is waiting for the mixture to ferment, which takes a minimum of 12 hours. But if you don't have the patience, these 10 products are the next best thing to DIY-ing it. See them ahead.
Shop Rice Water Hair Products










Low-protein rice, low-phosphorus whey may improve hyperphosphatemia

November 8, 2019

WASHINGTON — For patients on hemodialysis who eat rice as a main source of calories, low-protein rice plus low-phosphorus whey can reduce serum phosphorus and improve serum albumin, according to study results presented at ASN Kidney Week.
“Some patients sometimes don’t eat high-phosphorous foods, like meat and eggs. In Asia, most people eat rice. Although the phosphorus is not very high, but if they eat a lot of rice, then their phosphorous intake is high,” Song Wang, MD, of Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing, China, said.
In the self-controlled study, Wang and colleagues enrolled 29 patients on hemodialysis with average serum phosphorus of at least 5.5 mg/dL for 3 consecutive months. Patients initially received 4 weeks of low-phosphorus diet instruction, followed by 10 weeks of low-protein rice plus low-phosphorus whey to replace the protein gap. After 10 weeks, patients ate normal rice for 8 weeks. Researchers measured the changes in serum phosphorus, serum albumin, calcium, intact parathyroid hormone and nutritional evaluation.
Baseline serum phosphorus was 6.66±0.87 mg/dL. After diet instruction, serum phosphorus was 6.27±1.54 mg/dL. After patients changed to low-protein rice, serum phosphorus decreased to 5.43±1.71 mg/dL after 2 weeks, 5.36±1.50 mg/dL after 6 weeks and 5.79±1.35 mg/dL after 10 weeks. When patients returned to eating normal rice, serum phosphorus increased to 6.05±0.98 mg/dL. Researchers found phosphorus intake was low for low-protein rice compared with normal rice and serum albumin increased with low-protein rice combined with low-phosphorus whey.
“For those patients who eat rice as their main food, using the low-protein rice and low-phosphorus whey can decrease serum phosphorus and maintain nutritional status,” Wang said.
Researchers observed no change in serum calcium, intact parathyroid hormone levels, dialysis strategy and phosphorus-binding agents. – by Kristine Houck, MA, ELS
Wang S, et al. Abstract FR-PO152. Presented at: ASN Kidney Week; Nov. 7-10, 2019; Washington D.C.
Disclosure: Wang reports no relevant financial disclosures.

Low-protein rice, low-phosphorus whey may improve hyperphosphatemia

November 8, 2019
WASHINGTON — For patients on hemodialysis who eat rice as a main source of calories, low-protein rice plus low-phosphorus whey can reduce serum phosphorus and improve serum albumin, according to study results presented at ASN Kidney Week.
“Some patients sometimes don’t eat high-phosphorous foods, like meat and eggs. In Asia, most people eat rice. Although the phosphorus is not very high, but if they eat a lot of rice, then their phosphorous intake is high,” Song Wang, MD, of Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing, China, said.
In the self-controlled study, Wang and colleagues enrolled 29 patients on hemodialysis with average serum phosphorus of at least 5.5 mg/dL for 3 consecutive months. Patients initially received 4 weeks of low-phosphorus diet instruction, followed by 10 weeks of low-protein rice plus low-phosphorus whey to replace the protein gap. After 10 weeks, patients ate normal rice for 8 weeks. Researchers measured the changes in serum phosphorus, serum albumin, calcium, intact parathyroid hormone and nutritional evaluation.
Baseline serum phosphorus was 6.66±0.87 mg/dL. After diet instruction, serum phosphorus was 6.27±1.54 mg/dL. After patients changed to low-protein rice, serum phosphorus decreased to 5.43±1.71 mg/dL after 2 weeks, 5.36±1.50 mg/dL after 6 weeks and 5.79±1.35 mg/dL after 10 weeks. When patients returned to eating normal rice, serum phosphorus increased to 6.05±0.98 mg/dL. Researchers found phosphorus intake was low for low-protein rice compared with normal rice and serum albumin increased with low-protein rice combined with low-phosphorus whey.
“For those patients who eat rice as their main food, using the low-protein rice and low-phosphorus whey can decrease serum phosphorus and maintain nutritional status,” Wang said.
Researchers observed no change in serum calcium, intact parathyroid hormone levels, dialysis strategy and phosphorus-binding agents. – by Kristine Houck, MA, ELS
Wang S, et al. Abstract FR-PO152. Presented at: ASN Kidney Week; Nov. 7-10, 2019; Washington D.C.
Disclosure: Wang reports no relevant financial disclosures.

Rice export prices plunge as global supply increases

By Hong Chau   November 9, 2019 | 09:00 am GMT+7
A farmer harvests rice on a rice paddy field outside Hanoi. Photo by Reuters/Kham.

Vietnam’s rice exports fetched an average of $435.6 per ton in the first 9 months this year, a drop of 13.4 percent year-on-year.

Surplus global supply has driven prices down this year, with rice from major competitors like Thailand and India, and even newly exporting countries like Cambodia and Myanmar, being sold at very attractive prices, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's (MARD) latest report.
Vietnam’s major export markets such as China, Indonesia and Bangladesh have all reduced imports of Vietnamese rice as economic growth slowed down, said head of MARD’s Agrotrade Department Nguyen Quoc Toan.
Vietnam exported 5.56 million tons of rice worth $2.43 billion in the first 10 months this year, up 6.1 percent in volume but down 9.1 percent in value year-on-year, the report said.
In this period, the Philippines was the biggest importer of Vietnam’s rice, accounting for 35.1 percent of export turnover for the item. However, in September, Philippine authorities initiated a "safeguard probe" after the country saw a surge in rice imports.
But the country did not end up putting any additional import duties on rice imports, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) said in an announcement one month later.
MARD did not provide further information on rice exports to other countries in the first 10 months, but mentioned that exports to Senegal, Ivory Coast, Australia, Hong Kong and Iraq had risen during this the period. 
Last year, Vietnam exported $3.03 billion worth of rice, up 16 percent from 2017, MARD data shows.

INFOGRAPHICS: Thailand’s rice export to Nigeria’s neighbours drops

Description: INFOGRAPHICS: Thailand’s rice export to Nigeria’s neighbours drops
November 08
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Rice export from Thailand to countries that share borders with Nigeria has recorded a decline from 2018 levels.
TheCable’s analysis of the data provided on the Thai Rice Exporters Association website shows that Cameroon is the only exception.
Closure of Nigeria’s land borders might have contributed to this drop because of previous unbridled rice smuggling into the country.
Nigeria’s rice importation from the Asian country also dropped from 1.23 million metric tonnes (MT) in 2014 to 8,304MT between January and September 2019.
Between January and September 2018, Nigeria imported 5,161MT of rice and imported 8,304MT within the same period in 2019.
This is the first increase in rice importation since 2015 when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced that it would no longer provide foreign exchange for 41 items including rice, cement and toothpicks.
It argued that the move would encourage patronage of locally made goods. This move led to immediate increases in the prices of some of the items.
In January 2018, rice imports to Benin Republic recorded an increase while Nigeria’s imports were on the decline after the CBN restricted forex for rice importation.
This led to suspicion that the staple might have been smuggled to Nigeria through land borders.
In August, Nigeria closed its land borders with President Muhammadu Buhari saying the borders were closed to check smuggling activities.
“Now that our people in the rural areas are going back to their farms, and the country has saved huge sums of money which would otherwise have been expended on importing rice using our scarce foreign reserves, we cannot allow smuggling of the product at such alarming proportions to continue,” Buhari told Patrice Talon, the Benin Republic president.
Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor, said the action is in line with the government’s intention to revive industries.
“We are not saying that the borders should be closed in perpetuity, but that before the borders are reopened, there must be concrete engagements with countries that are involved in using their ports and countries as landing ports for bringing in goods meant for local consumption, it is understandable,” Emefiele said.
“But the fact that those products are landed in their countries and then transshipped or smuggled into Nigeria is something that I am sure you all agree as Nigerians we should not allow happening because it undermines our economic policy, it undermines our own desire to make sure that industries are alive and jobs are created in Nigeria.”

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Egypt's strategic sugar, rice reserves sufficient for 3 months: MinistryThe country also has enough vegetable oil to meet demand for a minimum of three months, according to the supply minister

Ahram Online , Friday 8 Nov 2019
Description: sugar
File Photo: Bags of sugar are stacked inside the government food outlet in Cairo, Egypt August 29, 2017. (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt has sufficient strategic sugar reserves to last at least three months, the supply ministry said on Friday, without specifying the size of the reserves.
The country also has enough rice and vegetable oil to meet demand for a minimum of three months, the ministry added in a statement.
In September, Egypt’s Supply Minister Ali Moselhy said the country had enough locally produced rice to meet consumption needs for over five months and there would be no need for imports in the current financial year, which started in July.
In 2018, Egypt went from being an exporter of rice to an importer, after the country moved to cut its rice cultivation in a bid to preserve its scarce water resources.
Cairo fears the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, a giant hydropower dam Ethiopia is building upstream on its section of the Nile river, will diminish its water supply when in operation

We’re fed three spoons of rice once daily –Victim of Ibadan torture house

 November 9, 2019
Afeez Hanafi
His innocent looks could easily pass him for a gentle, easy-going lad but he’s not. Tall and dark, Abayomi (as her parents want him identified) is infamous for roguery in his vicinity in the Mushin area of Lagos State. Fighting, betting, truancy were the pastimes of the 19-year-old secondary school leaver.
His excesses stretched his parents’ patience as complaints about him poured in from neighbours — old and young.
Overwhelmed by his conduct, the parents sought advice from relations and friends and arrived at a decision they would live to regret for the rest of their life.
Sometime in July 2019, the parents in a desperate move to reform Abayomi took him to a detention camp garbed as an Arabic school at Oloore Mosque on Ojo Road, Ibadan, Oyo State.
They expected that in the next few months, he would return home reformed. But two months into his stay in the torture chamber busted on Monday by the Oyo State Police Command, the once comely young chap had become a shadow of himself; looking pale, disheveled and sickly.

“My parents could no longer recognise me after spending about two months in bondage. They picked me up and took me back home,” Abayomi, told Saturday PUNCH during the week. “I was down with sickness; they had to get a nurse to treat me for two weeks,” he stated.
On Monday, November 4, an escapee from a torture centre in Apata, Ibadan, had reportedly hinted the police about the horror house and a similar one on the premises of Oloore Mosque in Ojo.
About 259 victims comprising 191 males, 34 females, 11 children and 23 sick persons were rescued from the Ojo detention camp while inmates in the Apata torture chamber were said to have been hurriedly evacuated before the arrival of the police. Nine suspects including an unnamed owner of the Oloore camp were arrested.
“I was happy when I learnt the police busted the place and freed those people. Living there was my worst experience,” the teenager disclosed, lost in deep thoughts as if he was picturing his harrowing stay in the camp.
After assuring the family that his identity would be concealed as demanded, Abayomi opened up to our correspondent about the degrading life he went through at the horror camp operated by one of the clerics he identified as Alfa Olawale.
Description: suspect
“My parents bought foodstuffs and many items for me when they took me there, but they didn’t allow me to use any of them,” he began. “They also collected the pocket money my mother gave me.”Abayomi said he and many others held in the illegal centre usually took a meal per day.He recalled, “We don’t eat until 2pm every day. They would give us three spoons of rice with poorly-prepared stew; no meat or fish. If we were lucky, we would have the same thing in the evening but most times, they would not give us anything again until 2pm the following day.
“They would bring us out in the morning to pray till 2pm when they would give us food. After eating, they would take us back to our rooms and we would not come out again until the next morning. Whenever my parents visited me, they (the clerics) stayed beside me so that I would not expose what I was going through. If I did, they would beat me after my parents left.
“Relations of one of us at the camp came to pick him. They were asked to bring a discharge fee. When they returned with the money, they said it was the parents who brought him that they wanted to see, whereas the parents have died.”
Abayomi stated that about 28 persons were crammed into a medium-sized room, with many sleeping on bare floor while few ‘lucky ones’ slept on mats. He added that many people were infected with bacteria which the camp operators didn’t bother to treat.
“I was in the same room with Abeeb and Sikiru. Abeeb also came from Mushin while Sikiru was from Sagamu. They are in their mid-20s. Females live in separate rooms and some of them already gave birth there. They were impregnated at the centre,” he added.
While speaking with the press during the operation at Oloore Mosque on Monday, the Oyo State Commissioner of Police quoted the escapee who tipped the police off as saying that the victims were “being treated like slaves and engaged in forced labour; and oftentimes, their deaths were not reported to anybody.”
Abayomi told Saturday PUNCH that four of his peers died during his two-month stay at the facility and that inmates were being subjected to hard labour.
He said, “Four people died while I was there. One of them was my friend and roommate, Wahab. He was sick and they didn’t allow his parents to take him away. He battled malaria for weeks without being treated. It was only paracetamol that they gave him.
“He died at night inside the room. He was from Ijebu-Ode. He was a tall and slim young man. They called his parents to carry his corpse. There was also somewhere inside the compound where they buried bodies.”
He added, “We fetched water for the clerics and washed their clothes. If you were a new inmate, they would lock you up for one week. Throughout the time I was there, they didn’t teach me anything new in the Qur’an apart from what I had known before getting there.
“It is an offence for two persons to talk. If they catch us, they would accuse us of planning to escape and give us 40 strokes of cane. I was beaten several times for an offence as minor as making a noise.”
On the eve of the last Eid-Kabir celebration (August 12, 2019), Abayomi and other captives were hopeful that a reprieve would come their way the next day. Being a special day when food is usually surplus in many Muslim homes and meals dished out happily in the spirit of the season, the inmates expected sufficient food.
They realised it was a tall dream after all when the day came. “That was my saddest day at the camp,” Abayomi said with a burst of anger. “Everybody was expecting that at least they would give us enough food that day. But to my surprise, there was no difference from what we normally ate.
“They did not allow us to go for Eid prayer because they knew many people would run away.”
Abayomi’s mother, who gave her name only as Aduni, explained that a family friend recommended the centre to them when they got tired of their son’s recalcitrant behaviour.
She said, “They (the centre operators) charged us N150,000 the day we took him there and we were given a list of items he needed to bring, including clothes, foodstuffs, provisions mat, soap, toothpaste which I bought. We paid N50,000.
“I went there once or twice in a month to check on him. I later discovered that they made it look like an Arabic school. Most of the persons I saw that first day looked pale. I was worried and complained to the person that took us there but he assured me that my child would be safe. He said the school also took care of mentally-ill people.
“They told us that over 400 persons lived there. I also saw exotic cars of people who were on a visit. Two weeks after, I went to visit him and took some foodstuffs along. When I got there, I asked for my son unknown to me that he was among the people outside. He had changed. He looked lean and shabbily dressed. I asked him what was wrong but he did not say anything because one of the clerics was with us. Apart from the foodstuffs I took there, they collected N27,000 for his monthly feeding.”
Aduni explained further that when she visited her son a month after, she could not recognise him again, adding that she returned home sad.
She added, “I had to beg my husband on his behalf for him to come back home. By the time we brought him back home, neighbours could not recognise him again. He looked thin and emaciated.
“We paid N105,000 before they released him. They didn’t know we wanted to pick him that day. He was seriously sick when he got back home. I regretted my decision. I thank God he is becoming a changed person now with constant counselling.”
Condemning the act in the torture home, the Oyo State Governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, promised that structures at the centre would be demolished and rescued victims treated and rehabilitated.
He said, “What we have seen is something that we all have to condemn and this shouldn’t be happening in a modern environment. You can’t use a mosque as a façade to perpetrate this kind of evil.
Description:“We have marked the entire structure for demolition; we have here people from the state ministries of lands and urban planning, health and justice. The government will do everything that is humanly possible to ensure that this kind of thing is stamped out in our environment.
“But, there are houses around here; the people, if they see something, ideally, they should say something because this kind of thing could not have been going on without all of these people, particularly the residents around here, not knowing about it. They should have reported this thing to the authorities and maybe we would have unravelled this a long time ago.
“We will ensure that we take this place away from those people doing this kind of thing within the ambit of the law. Also, all those involved are going to be prosecuted.”
The Ibadan torture centre made it the sixth to be discovered in recent times after similar ones were discovered in Katsina, Kano, Kaduna (two Arabic schools) and a church in the Isheri area of Lagos State.

GRIB celebrates 2019 Ghana Rice Festival

General News of Friday, 8 November 2019
Prof. Baffuor Agyeman-Duah (L) and Nana Adjei Ayeh II (R) opening the exhibition
The Ghana Inter-Professional Body (GRIB), in collaboration with the John Agyekum Kufuor (JAK) Foundation, has today, September 08, 2019, celebrated the Ghana Rice Festival at the Afua Sutherland Children’s Park in Accra. Description: Prof. Baffuor Agyeman-Duah (L) and Nana Adjei Ayeh II (R) opening the exhibition

The event marked under the theme: Achieving Rice Sufficiency in Ghana; the Role of the Investor witnessed attendance from members and executives of GRIB, which is largely made up of rice farmers and other persons along the rice value chain.

Delivering his welcome address at the ceremony, National President of GRIB, Nana Adjei Ayeh II said, GRIB is looking forward to growing its relationship with the Kufuor Foundation which has provided great assistance to his organisation in ensuring the sustainability and growth of the rice industry in Ghana.

He noted that the rice grown in Ghana can be said to be the best considering its quality and the nutrients it contains.

Nana Ayeh appealed to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to adopt policies aimed at solving the problems currently facing the rice industry in Ghana.

He further called on the ministry to provide mechanisation support for rice farmers, as well as a special allocation of fertilizers for rice farmers, at a subsidised price.

He also appealed for credit facilities in the form of soft loans for rice farmers.

“We also plead to government to also help us get or work with financial institutions to be able to get soft loans or concessionary loans. Currently we are borrowing at the rate of 30%, which almost or near impossible for farmers to do business.”

The Chief Executive Officer of the John Agyekum Kufuor Foundation, Prof Baffour Agyeman-Duah who also spoke at the ceremony, reiterated the request by the president of GRIB saying such inputs are important in effective rice production.

In sharing his expectations for the rice industry, Prof Baffuor said he is hopeful the rice industry in Ghana will be able to meet its target of increasing rice production in order to end the importation of rice into the country by 2023.

He urged government to use homegrown rice in feeding schools in the country as a way of boosting rice consumption in the country. He also announced plans being made by the foundation for GRIB, including District Business Centres where equipment for rice production will be made available for farmers.

Patrick Robert Ankobiah, Chief Director at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, who graced the event on behalf of the Minister in delivering the minister's speech said, the idea of achieving rice self-sufficiency by 2023 falls in line with the president’s vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid.

Whiles indicating his notice of the requests made on the ministry by GRIB, Mr Ankobiah said most of the concerns raised are currently being taken care of by some policies being undertaken by the ministry.

“Talk about mechanisation, the minister on behalf of government and the ministry is equipment and machinery, including rice millers from India and Brazil.”

He urged the members of GRIB to effectively play their roles in achieving the quest to make Ghana a rice self-sufficient nation.

The Ghana Rice Festival is an annual festival used to celebrate the local rice industry. Various producers and industry players were present at this year’s event to exhibit their products.

Description: Border closure: Rice Millers make brisk businesses in GombeBorder closure: Ogun rice traders laud FG’s policy, seek price regulation

Some rice traders at Ota in Ogun on Friday attributed the current hike in the price of local rice to unregulated activities of middlemen distributing the commodity across the country.
The traders expressed the viewpoint in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while reacting to the recent land border closure by the Federal Government.
According to the rice sellers, there is no scarcity of local rice but dealers who acted as middlemen between the sellers and the rice millers are the ones responsible for the high price of the commodity.
Alhaja Nurat Mustapha, a local rice sellerbat Oja Market in Ota, said she bought a 50 kg bag of the commodity at N22,000 and sold for between N23,000 and N24,000.
“We are even surprised that Nigeria has enough rice. We always get the rice when we need it, and people are really happy with what they are buying.
“I now eat local rice, and I must say it is very delicious, we just need some time to adjust to the new policy; but the dealers, who buy in bulk from the farmers in the North should be cautioned,” she said.
Another trader, Mr Ojo Adekunle, noted that some locally-produced rice that could match the quality of the imported brands.
According to him, those brands are selling faster because it has been properly de-stoned and well-polished.
“After the closure, it becomes difficult to get imported rice. So, all the rice I sell now are local products, but some of them actually look like the imported type, you will never know that it is a local brand until you cook it.
“I am particularly happy with the closure because a lot of the substandard rice coming in has stopped. We just have problems with the dealers bringing the commodity from the North.
“You might go to them to buy 20 bags of 50 kg at N20,000 each today, and tomorrow they will sell at N21,000; so, we need to regulate them,” he said.
Adekunle, also a dealer in Ofada rice, noted that business was booming, especially now that he could make profit of between N1,000 and N1,200 per 50 kg bag,  whereas, he made only N200 before the closure of the borders.
Mr Paul Obike, another trader, said the border should remain closed because it was going to be a win-win situation for everybody.
“I would not want the border to be re-opened because this is just the initial stage, we will adapt accordingly as time goes on. People are buying the local rice and I am sure the price will soon normalise,” he said.
A customer at the market, Ms Bolanle Gbadebo, said the commodity was very expensive, adding that rice was Nigerian’s staple food and the most popular diet of the people.
“For now, we do not have a choice. I just bought a paint bucket measure of local rice at N1,800; but before the border closure, it was N1,200.
“Although I support that government leaves the border closed, so that our farmers will have a market to sell their produce. We cannot continue to depend on imported things,” she said.
Description: Border closure: Rice Millers make brisk businesses in GombePrices of the commodity were similar when NAN checked at the Iyana-Ota and Ojuoore markets, both in Sango-Ota, Ogun but with a slight difference of less than N100, depending on the quality. A De Rica measure of rice, which sold at N200 before, now sells at N250, N300 and N350, depending on the quality.
Also, a paint bucket measure, which was sold for N1,200, now goes for between N1,700 and N1,800, while those traders who had the imported rice, sold at N2,000 for that measure.
Meanwhile the price of vegetable oil has also increased considerably at the markets.
A vegetable oil trader, Mrs Victoria Abike, said that a 20-litre of the commodity, which used to sell for N8,000, now attracts N13,500.
Abike said that a bottle of vegetable oil now costs N350 while the five-litre measure goes for N2,800. (NAN)
Rice Inter-professional Body decentralises to create robust rice value chain

Source: Ghana |
Date: 08-11-2019 Time: 08:11:29:am
The Ghana Rice Inter-professional Body (GRIB) has begun a decentralization process to help create a more robust rice value chain in the country.
With support from the John Agyekum Kufuor Foundation (JAKF), GRIB has elected district and regional executives across the country. The executives comprise various members of the rice value chain including farmers, millers, marketers/aggregators, input dealers, service providers, among others. 
Description: GRIB execs from Upper West region
GRIB executives from Western and Northern region
Elections were held nationwide in rice-growing regions of the country including Eastern, Bono East, Oti, Western, Western North, Upper East, North East, Central, Volta and Ashanti to elect presidents, secretaries and treasurers.
The Directorate of Crops at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture collaborated with the foundation in rolling out of the elections.
Description: GRIB execs from Central region
GRIB executives from Central region
Chief Executive Officer of the John A. Kufuor Foundation Prof. Baffour Agyeman – Duah noted the objective of the nationwide elections is to initiate rice platforms under GRIB to strengthen coordination and representation of rice value chain actors at the district, regional and national level.
This will put GRIB in a more strengthened position to engage government on issues in the rice sector.
Description: GRIB execs from Bono region
GRIB executives from Bono region
“It is our fervent hope that the executives will strengthen coordination and engagement at all levels to ensure a vibrant and robust national value chain association for rice sector development in Ghana under the umbrella of GRIB,” he noted.
The Ghana Rice Inter-Professional Body is the national umbrella organization of rice stakeholders incorporated in 2014 to help build a competitive local rice sector.
Prof. Agyeman – Duah says the foundation will continue to work with GRIB to better strengthen the rice sector.
Description: GRIB execs from Western region
GRIB executives from Western and Northern region
“We work very closely with GRIB. Four years ago, it was almost dormant. But we were able to raise some funds to get it revived and right now it’s becoming one of the most vibrant organization promoting rice consumption in the country,” he said.
Ghana currently spends more than $600 million annually importing rice despite the huge local capacity to grow enough. Stakeholders are working to reverse the situation.

As climate change hits crops, debate heats up over use of plant gene data
Thin Lei Win
NOVEMBER 8, 2019
ROME (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Rich and poor countries are at loggerheads over how to share benefits from genetic plant data that could help breed crops better able to withstand climate change, as negotiations to revise a global treaty are set to resume in Rome on Monday.

The little-known agreement is seen as crucial for agricultural research and development on a planet suffering rising hunger, malnutrition and the impacts of climate change.
“We need all the ‘genetics’ around the world to be able to breed crops that will adapt to global warming,” said Sylvain Aubry, a plant biologist who advises the Swiss government.

Rising temperatures, water shortages and creeping deserts could reduce both the quantity and quality of food production, including staple crops such as wheat and rice, scientists have warned.

The debate over “digital sequence information” (DSI) has erupted as the cost of sequencing genomes falls, boosting the availability of genetic plant data, Aubry said.“A lot of modern crop breeding relies on these data today,” he added.
At the same time, the capability of machines to process vast amounts of that data to identify special crop traits such as disease resistance or heat tolerance has grown.
Pierre du Plessis, an African technical advisor on treaty issues, said companies and breeders can use DSI to identify the genetic sequence of a desired plant trait and send it by e-mail to a gene foundry that prints and mails back a strand of DNA.
“Then you use gene-editing technology to incorporate that strand into a plant. So you have created a new variety without accessing the trait in biological form,” he said.

That process could enable businesses to circumvent the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture which stipulates that the benefits derived from using material from species it covers - including money and new technology - must be shared.Developing states, which are home to many plant species such as maize and legumes used in breeding, hope to add digital sequence information to the treaty’s scope.
This would force companies and breeders that develop new commercial crops from that data to pay a percentage of their sales or profits into a fund now managed by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The fund’s resources are used to conserve and develop plant genetic resources - the basis of the foods humans eat - so that farmers, particularly in the developing world, can cope better with a warming climate.

Most wealthy nations, which are generally more active in seed production, argue digital information on plant genetics should be available to use without an obligation to share benefits.
“There’s almost no one still doing the old-fashioned, ‘let’s try it and see’ breeding. It’s all based on the understanding of genome and a lot of CRISPR gene editing creeping in,” said du Plessis.
CRISPR is a technology that allows genome editing in plant and animal cells. Scientists say it could lead to cures for diseases driven by genetic mutations or abnormalities, and help create crops resilient to climate extremes.
But developing nations and civil society groups such as the Malaysia-based Third World Network say companies that develop new crop varieties using this information could lock access to their critical traits using intellectual property rights.
The treaty row emerged in late October when representatives of governments, the seed industry, research organisations and civil society attended a meeting at FAO headquarters in Rome.
Negotiations have been going on for more than six years to update the treaty, which came into force in 2004 and governs access to 64 crops and forage plants judged as key to feeding the world.
Last month, the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and Germany rejected a proposal from the co-chairs of the talks to include “information, including genetic sequence data” in the treaty’s provisions on benefit-sharing.
Africa, India, Latin America and the Caribbean pushed back but the meeting ended without a compromise, which negotiators now hope to secure before the treaty’s governing body meets on Nov. 11.
The International Seed Federation, a body representing the $42-billion seed industry, says plant breeding still requires the use of physical material and it is too early to set the rules on genetic data.

“Developing policy based on speculation and on things that are bordering on scientific fiction doesn’t seem wise,” said Thomas Nickson, who attended the Rome talks for the federation.
“It is critical to have the information publicly available, especially for small companies in developing countries,” he added.

But Edward Hammond, an advisor to Third World Network, said small farmers needed support, and open access to plant data should not mean a “no-strings-attached free-for-all”.
“Resilience to climate change is being grown in the fields,” he said. “Interesting and new varieties are appearing in the fields as they adapt. This is not coming from companies using new seeds.”
Kent Nnadozie, secretary of the treaty, said if it were agreed the genetic data should be freely available, it would be mostly developed countries that had the capacity, resources and technology to put it to use.
“The fear is that (this) perpetuates and reinforces an unfair system or... amplifies it,” he said.Concerns over increasing privatization and monopolization of food crops - which experts say threaten agricultural biodiversity - played a role in the treaty’s origins.
Its aim was to build a multilateral approach to access and exchange plant resources, with “fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from their use” as a means to address historical imbalances between farmers and seed companies.
While breeders and seed firms rarely pay for the knowledge and genetic resources they source from farmers and indigenous peoples, farmers usually have to buy the seeds of the improved crop varieties businesses produce and sell.
So far, more than 5.4 million samples of plant genetic resources have been transferred under the treaty between governments, research institutes and the private sector in 181 countries, its secretariat said.
A large majority of those transfers are improved materials from CGIAR, the global agricultural research network, to public-sector research organizations in developing countries tackling food security issues, said Michael Halewood, head of policy at Bioversity International, a CGIAR center.
“Countries around the world have always been interdependent on crop genetic resources. Climate change is making us all more interdependent than ever on those resources,” he said.

Golden Rice: The GMO crop loved by humanitarians, opposed by Greenpeace

Paul McDivitt | November 8, 2019
Description: pcs natural golden rice plant non gmo heirloom high disease resistancehigh yield recrop high quality jpg q
Golden Rice is back in the news.
The Philippines and Bangladesh are moving closer towards commercialization of the GMO food crop to combat vitamin A deficiency, a serious public health issue in Asia.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), the countries’ joint food safety regulator, already has recommended Golden Rice be approved for import sale in order to limit trade disruptions with countries in Asia that adopt Golden Rice.
But not everyone is supportive.
Anti-GMO group GE-Free New Zealand launched a campaign calling on the country’s minister for food safety to review FSANZ’s draft recommendation. The group echoes many of the worries about Golden Rice that environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs), led by Greenpeace, have been promoting for years.
“‘Golden’ rice is a proposed but not practically viable crop solution that has never been brought to market,” Greenpeace International declares on its website. “It is also environmentally irresponsible and could compromise food, nutrition and financial security.”
“We/I believe there is not enough safety information provided for me as a parent, consumer to safely feed my family this food,” GE Free NZ’s “Call to Action” letter template reads. “There is no advantage to the consumer, but there could be unknown risks to public health.”
Claire Bleakley, the group’s president, also questioned Golden Rice’s effectiveness in combating vitamin A deficiency.
“A person would have to eat 4 kg [8.8 pounds] of cooked rice, (assuming it was fully absorbed and eaten immediately after harvest with minimal cooking) to get the same level of vitamin A that one medium carrot or 1 tsp. parsley would provide,” she said.
With claims about Golden Rice’s effectiveness and impact on human health and the environment swirling, here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the controversial crop:

What is Golden Rice?

Golden Rice is conventional rice that has been genetically engineered to have high levels of beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A. Beta-carotene is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables (it’s what makes carrots orange), but rice, which can make up to 80 percent of the daily diet in Asia, contains few micronutrients.
Description: misguidedThe Golden Rice prototype was developed in the 1990s by European scientists Ingo Potrykus and Peter Beyer without any direct corporate involvement, and was greeted with much enthusiasm. Potrykus appeared on the cover of Time Magazine in 2000 along with the headline “This Rice could save a million kids a year.” However, the prototype didn’t contain high enough levels of beta-carotene to be an effective source of vitamin A.
Recognizing the need to improve upon their breakthrough discovery, the scientists licensed their intellectual property to Syngenta on the condition that it would be made available to farmers in the developing world for free. The company developed an improved Golden Rice variety with much higher levels of beta-carotene in 2005 and decided not to commercialize it in the developed world as there was no market for it. Syngenta continues to support the project with advice and scientific know-how, but has no commercial control over it.
The current version of Golden Rice has two transgenes, or genes from another species. One is from corn and the other comes from a commonly-ingested soil bacterium. These two genes activate rice’s metabolic carotenoid pathway, which produces beta-carotene.
Contrary to popular perception, Golden Rice is not a single rice variety. The nutritional traits that were originally inserted in rice plants using genetic engineering have been crossed with many local rice varieties via conventional breeding. This means that farmers in the Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Vietnam can maintain the advantages of the cultivars they’ve been growing, improving via conventional methods and eating for years.

How big of a problem is vitamin A deficiency?

Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is one of the most important issues in terms of global public health, according to the World Health Organization. It is a leading cause of childhood blindness in the developing world, and weakens the immune system, increasing vulnerability to illnesses such as measles, respiratory infections and diarrhea, often leading to death.
The condition affects more than 140 million pre-school children in 118 nations, and more than seven million pregnant women. UNICEF estimates that 1.15 million child deaths are precipitated by vitamin A deficiency each year.
According to a 2001 World Health Organization study, 1 million of the estimated 1.5 million blind children in the world live in Asia. “Each year there are half a million new cases, 70 percent of which are due to vitamin A deficiency,” the authors wrote in 2001. At the time, the authors estimated that a child went blind somewhere in the world every minute. Worst of all, the study points out, the majority die within the first year.
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In the Philippines, vitamin A deficiency affects around 4.4 million children between the age of six months and five years. In addition, one in ten pregnant women in the country suffers from vitamin A deficiency.
In Bangladesh, one in five children between the age of six months and five years are affected by vitamin A deficiency.
Of the estimated 190 million children globally suffering from vitamin A deficiency, 78 million are in India. Research has shown that Golden Rice has the potential to decrease vitamin A deficiency by 60 percent in the country and prevent 40,000 deaths per year.

Will Golden Rice be effective at combating vitamin A deficiency?

Ian Godwin, a professor of plant molecular genetics at the University of Queensland in Australia, said his review of the academic literature contradicts claims by Greenpeace and GE Free NZ that Golden Rice isn’t a good source of vitamin A.
“GE Free NZ is relying on old data based on the original Golden Rice variety from the 1990s,” Godwin said. “The new variety produces up to 23 times more beta-carotene than the original.”
According to a 2009 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the improved Golden Rice strain, being tested in the Philippines and Bangladesh, is as effective as vitamin A capsules and works better than the natural beta-carotene found in spinach.
“Daily consumption of a very modest amount of Golden Rice—about a cup—could supply 50 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A for an adult,” said rice breeder Russell Reinke, who leads the Healthier Rice Program at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the organization that has been conducting field trials in the Philippines. “Ms. Bleakley’s statement is inaccurate and unsubstantiated.”
Golden Rice is meant to complement, not replace, other efforts to address VAD, according to the IRRI. Its goal in the Philippines is to supply 30-50 percent of the estimated average requirements for vitamin A for preschool age children and pregnant or lactating mothers, with vitamin A supplements and diet diversification providing the rest.
Supplementation requires substantial and consistent funding in order to distribute the capsules to those who need them when they need them. While many foods contain beta-carotene, they can be expensive to buy and difficult to grow in regions where VAD is an issue. Rice is a staple crop in many countries in South and Southeast Asia, and is widely grown by smallholder farmers. Thus Golden Rice could be a cheap, wide-reaching, sustainable approach to fighting VAD.

Will corporations control Golden Rice and charge farmers to use it?

Because the two academic scientists who developed the original Golden Rice stipulated that it be made available to poor farmers for free, Syngenta, or any other corporation, does not own the intellectual property in developing countries and therefore cannot charge royalties. According to IRRI, the terms of the licenses in place in the Philippines and elsewhere ensure that Golden Rice varieties will cost no more than their conventional equivalents. This means that farmers will be able to save and replant Golden Rice seeds.

Syngenta could in the future choose to commercialize Golden Rice in developed countries, likely as a substitute for vitamin A pills.

Why is Golden Rice still not available for distribution or on the market?

Genetically engineered crops take longer than conventional crops to reach consumers for a variety of reasons. First, crop genetic engineering is a relatively new and complex technology, and therefore demands substantial time and money. Second, all countries that allow GMO crops have strict regulations governing their use, and require lots of testing, including field trials, which are time-consuming and expensive. Conventional crops are not subject to any of these requirements. The average time it takes for a new biotechnology crop to reach the market (starting from its initial discovery)  is 13 years, according to a 2011 industry survey.
“The development of Golden Rice is on pace with this timeframe,” according to IRRI officials. “In 2006, IRRI and its partners began working with a new version of the Golden Rice trait that produces significantly more beta-carotene than the 1999 prototype, and it is this version of Golden Rice that is still under development and evaluation.”
However, Golden Rice has hit bumps along the way, including problems integrating the nutritional traits with local varieties. See the question below, “Does Golden Rice have the same yields as conventional rice?”, for more on this issue.

Does Golden Rice have the same yields as conventional rice?

In 2014, IRRI reported that field trials revealed the most advanced version of Golden Rice at that time, GR2R, showed a lower yield compared to its conventional equivalent. This only became apparent when the crop was exposed to wind and rain in open, multilocation field trials (MLTs). Results showed that while the target level of beta-carotene in the grain was attained, the average yield was lower than that of comparable local varieties preferred by farmers.
To remedy this, IRRI initiated new breeding programs in 2014 to develop high-yielding versions of Golden Rice.
Results from confined field trials (CFTs), which took place from October 2014 to July 2017, showed no unintended effects of the GR2E variety on agronomic performance, yield, and grain quality. Moreover, there were no observed differences in pest and disease reactions. Except for the intended production of beta-carotene, all other nutritional components of the rice were the same as conventional varieties.
IRRI’s GR2E variety is currently undergoing MLTs to confirm the results from the CFTs.
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Does Golden Rice pose health risks to consumers?

Before being approved, all genetically engineered crops are subject to rigorous testing and stringent food safety regulations by the countries reviewing them. There has been no study suggesting any health issues related to the consumption of vitamin-enhanced genetically engineered rice.
A recent report by Australia and New Zealand’s food safety regulator FSANZ found that consumption of Golden Rice “is considered to be as safe for human consumption as food derived from conventional rice cultivars.” The FSANZ safety assessment found “no concerns regarding the potential toxicity or allergenicity.”
“There is no reasonable argument that would support any public health, human toxicological or any other adverse effect in respect of carotenoids,” the Golden Rice Humanitarian Board writes, in reference to the beta-carotene produced by Golden Rice. “Indeed, carotenoids are more generally associated with imparting important health benefits.”

Could Golden Rice be bad for the environment or “contaminate” non-GMO rice?

According to a report by VIB, a life sciences research institute in Belgium, Golden Rice’s potential to cross-pollinate other rice varieties has been studied and found to be limited, because rice is typically self-pollinated.
Many plants produce beta-carotene, and their ability to do so doesn’t provide a competitive advantage, or disadvantage, that could affect the survival of wild varieties should cross-pollination occur. Research at IRRI and elsewhere has demonstrated that the chance of “gene flow” is very low because rice is self-pollinating and rice pollen is only viable for 3-5 minutes. Preventative measures such as staggered flowering dates and observing recommended distances to other rice fields could further limit this risk.

Who is opposed to Golden Rice?

A variety of environmental and public safety groups and activists oppose Golden Rice because it is genetically modified.
Soon after the Golden Rice prototype was announced, influential food author Michael Pollan wrote an article in the New York Times Magazine criticizing Golden Rice as a kind of Trojan horse—a way for agricultural biotechnology companies to “win an argument rather than solve a public-health problem.” He and other critics of biotechnology have aggressively promoted many of the criticisms voiced by Greenpeace and other anti-GMO activist groups.
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Greenpeace has been especially vocal in its opposition to Golden Rice, issuing reports, organizing protests, and working to sow public doubt and fear in developing and developed countries. The group argues that Golden Rice is not a “practically viable crop solution,” is “environmentally irresponsible,” and could “compromise food, nutrition and financial security.” Similar to Pollan, Greenpeace has also promoted the argument that Golden Rice is a Trojan horse aimed at paving the way for multinational corporations to deceptively hook developing countries on genetically engineered crops.
Several groups in developed and developing countries have adopted Greenpeace’s arguments against Golden Rice.
In August 2013, 400 protesters smashed down the fences surrounding an IRRI field trial of Golden Rice in the Philippines and uprooted the rice plants.

Who supports Golden Rice?

Golden Rice has the support of the vast majority of scientists with and without expertise in agricultural biotechnology. In June of 2016, a group of 110 Nobel laureate scientists penned a letter criticizing Greenpeace for its campaign against GMOs, specifically its effort to block Golden Rice. The letter states:
We urge Greenpeace and its supporters to re-examine the experience of farmers and consumers worldwide with crops and foods improved through biotechnology, recognize the findings of authoritative scientific bodies and regulatory agencies, and abandon their campaign against ‘GMOs’ in general and Golden Rice in particular.
The list has since grown to 129 Nobel laureates.
The Golden Rice project has received funding and support at various stages from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the European Union, the US Agency for International Development and various other humanitarian groups.
A version of this article previously ran on the GLP on February 13, 2018.
Paul McDivitt is a science and environmental writer based in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has a Master’s in environmental journalism from the University of Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @PaulMcDivitt
The GLP featured this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. The viewpoint is the author’s own. The GLP’s goal is to stimulate constructive discourse on challenging science issues.

Farmers Receive Relief as Trade Disputes Continue  

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Thursday afternoon that the White House has approved the second round of 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments.  This decision comes shortly after President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. and China had reached a "phase one" trade agreement that if signed by both countries would include China purchasing a large sum of agricultural goods from the U.S.

The 2019 MFP is designed to provide relief for farmers affected by the ongoing trade disputes and retaliatory tariffs based on damages assessed at the county level.  USDA announced in May 2019 that $14.5 billion would be designated for MFP, and the first round of payments were distributed late this past summer.

"We greatly appreciate USDA and the Administration's commitment to fulfill the second round of 2019 MFP payments," said Charley Mathews, Jr., a California rice farmer and chair of USA Rice.  "While these MFP payments are welcomed and needed during these dismal times in the agriculture economy, our hope is that we will soon again be trading fairly and see export markets rebound and expand."

Farmers should expect to receive payments by the end of this month or early December.  It is still yet to be seen if USDA will pay out the contingent third tranche of the 2019 program, which if fulfilled, is slated for January 2020.
USA Rice Daily
WASDE Report Released  

WASHINGTON, DC -- This month's outlook for 2019/20 U.S. rice is for slightly lower supplies, unchanged use, and decreased ending stocks.  The NASS November Crop Production report indicated 2019/20 rice production is lowered 700,000 cwt from the previous forecast to 187.9 million.  Long grain is lowered 500,000 cwt and combined medium and short grain is lowered 200,000 cwt.  The average all rice yield is down 29 pounds to 7,587 pounds per acre.  The production decrease corresponds to a 700,000 cwt decrease in all rice ending stocks.  The season-average farm price is unchanged at $13.00 per cwt, up from last year's revised $12.30.

Global 2019/20 rice supplies are raised 1.4 million tons, mainly on increased beginning stocks reflecting lower 2018/19 consumption.  Several mostly offsetting changes led to fractionally lower global production.  India production is raised 1 million tons due to ample water supplies and increased planting intentions of the irrigated Rabi crop.  Indonesia production is lowered 900,000 tons due to the delayed onset of the monsoon, and the Philippines are lowered 200,000 tons as farmers shift production to more profitable crops.  Global exports for 2019/20 are lowered fractionally led by a 500,000-ton reduction for Thailand as its export prices are expected to remain uncompetitive.  Partly offsetting is a 200,000-ton increase in India exports reflecting the larger crop, and a 200,000-ton increase for Vietnam on improved price competitiveness.  Global imports are down 500,000 tons with a 800,000-ton increase for Indonesia more than offset by 600,000-ton decrease for China, a 400,000-ton decrease for Nigeria, and a 200,000-ton decrease for the Philippines.  Ending stocks are raised 2 million tons to a record 177 million.

Go here to read the full report. 


USA Rice Daily

USA Rice stops in Shepherdstown on East Coast tour

November 8, 2019
Tabitha Johnston - Chronicle Staff Shepherdstown Chronicle
SHEPHERDSTOWN -- Hundreds of rice cookers and bags of rice lined the walls of Evolve on Saturday for USA Rice's only stop in West Virginia on their East Coast "Think Rice" promotional tour.
Based in Arlington, Va, USA Rice Federation's first promotional tour was held last year on the West Coast. Both events featured free giveaways of one rice cooker and bag of rice per person, along with the sale of raffle tickets for a new Ford truck that was being used to carry the giveaway items, itself decked out with USA Rice insignia.
"We are a trade organization that represents the U.S. rice industry -- that includes farmers, millers and other industry agents," said USA Rice domestic promotions representative Lesley Dixon.
Tom Barton, of Elkins, shows off a bag of red rice he was given by USA Rice in their pop-up shop at Evolve on Saturday. Tabitha Johnston
Description:"Our farmers are all over the country. Mostly in the south, but also in northern California--that's where a lot of the medium grain and short grain rice, or sushi rice, is grown," Dixon said, mentioning the southern farms usually grow long grain, jasmine and basmati rice. "The southern rice farmers are in Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi and Arkansas. Arkansas grows the most rice in the U.S.
"We're giving out rice cookers, which we bought at-cost, because we did some research and figured out that people would be more willing to eat rice if it were easier to cook," Dixon said, mentioning all of the bags of rice were donated by American farms and millers. "A lot of people don't even know we grow rice in the U.S. Eighty-five percent of the rice we eat in the U.S. is grown in the U.S."
According to USA Rice domestic promotions representative Michael Klein, last year's tour was 5,000 miles over nine states. This year's is also 5,000 miles, but will cover only the District of Columbia and five states: Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia.
"Most people are excited to know that we grow rice in the U.S. -- there's a strong sense that people want to buy U.S. produce," Klein said, mentioning this was the first time USA Rice has held a pop-up shop. The tour typically stops at farmers markets and colleges, or for bar trivia nights and charitable events.
"This morning, we donated 156 pounds of rice to local food banks," Klein said, mentioning rice grown in the U.S. is sustainable and safer to eat than rice grown internationally. "We produce more rice with less land than other countries do, and with no GMOs."
To learn more, visit

Lahore smog recedes after rain

LAHORE: A Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) official on Thursday said that overnight rain has receded the level of hazardous smog that was engulfing Lahore for over two weeks.
According to Lahore’s Chief Meteorologist Shahib Khan, the current rain spell was expected to continue till Friday, with wind direction also likely to change within the next 24 hours. He said that winds coupled with rain were blowing from east and southeast.
“Today citizens are safe from smog,” he said.
Khan said that smog in the provincial capital is caused by stubble burning in Indian Punjab. “[Otherwise] there is no smog in Lahore,” he said.
Khan claimed that the city was in the grip of smoke caused by crop burning. He said rice crop is being harvested in Punjab which has polluted the air.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Meteorologist Mahr Sahibzad Khan said that the current smoke levels should not be confused with “smog”.
“Smog components become visible after smoke and fog combine. Until now, the fog has not developed,” he said while speaking to a local news channel.
“Fog has its own criteria under which it develops: the visibility must reduce to less than 1 kilometre, the humidity levels must be more than 90 per cent, the air must be still and the sky clear. Only then are there chances for fog,” Khan explained.
“These phenomena (required for fog) are not currently present. There is smoke, because of car and factory emissions, as well as transboundary smoke coming in from India due to crop burning. So the smoke levels have risen significantly owing to these factors. And there are components in the smoke that raise the air quality index. People start calling it smog, but it isn’t. There are alarmingly high levels of smoke, however.”

Scores of Indian farmers arrested over polluting fires

NEW DELHI: More than 80 farmers have been arrested in northern India for starting fires that contributed to the recent pollution crisis in New Delhi and other cities, officials said on Thursday.
Each winter the post-harvest burning of crop stubble covers swaths of the region in toxic smog, which combines with car and factory emissions to turn Delhi into the world’s most polluted capital.
India’s top court this week ordered a crackdown on illegal stubble-burning, but the fires continued across Punjab and Haryana states — with many started at night to try and avoid detection.
A senior Punjab police officer said more than 17,000 farm fires had been reported in the state in the past three days, with 4,741 on Wednesday alone.
“More than 84 people have been arrested for violating the law. Cases have been filed against 174 farmers,” the officer told AFP.
Punjab and Haryana make up a key agricultural region that produces nearly 18 million tonnes of rice each year. This, in turn, creates nearly 20 million tonnes of crop stubble — most of which is burnt.
Authorities said more than 48,000 farm fires had been reported in the two states since late September — a dramatic increase from 30,000 cases in 2018.
The Supreme Court ordered a complete stop to the fires on Monday and on Wednesday slammed local governments for not taking action, instructing them to pay hard-up farmers to stop burning the stubble.
“You just want to sit in your ivory towers and rule. You are not bothered and are letting the people die,” said Justice Arun Mishra.
Pollution levels in the Indian capital remained bad on Thursday, four days after one of its worst pollution attacks in several years during which schools were closed and a public health emergency declared.
Dirty air causes hundreds of thousands of premature deaths in Indian cities each year, according to medical studies.
Tiny particles from the fires, which can enter the bloodstream and penetrate the lungs and heart, get blown over New Delhi.
In the winter, cooler temperatures prevent pollutants from dispersing, while smoke from millions of Diwali firecrackers also helps turn the capital’s skies a putrid yellow.
Meanwhile, air pollution forced the closure of thousands of schools in Lahore, with an environment agency spokesman blaming the poisonous haze on crop-burning in India. Lahore is less than an hour from the Indian border.
However Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said similar burning takes place in Pakistan, and that his administration is tackling the problem.
“Administration is already on high alert and have tasked them to escalate actions against crop burning and other factors that contribute to smog,” he said.
Twitter user Ammar Ali Jan wrote that the city was unbearable.
“The smog is impossible to escape. We destroyed our water resources. Now our air is hazardous. We have turned elements of life into vehicles of death,” said Jan

Govt to provide Rs6b for essential items at Utility Stores: PM

November 08, 2019
Government has decided to immediately provide six billion rupees to the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) to ensure provision of essential items including flour, ghee, sugar, rice and pulses to the people at reduced rates.
The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad on Friday.
In his remarks, the Prime Minister said it is the priority of the government to provide relief to the masses. It is our utmost effort to provide special relief to the lower income and poverty stricken groups.
Imran Khan said the government took difficult decisions in view of the difficult economic situation. These decisions however helped stabilize the economy. He said the economic indicators have improved and these will improve further in the days to come. 
He said despite difficult situation, every possible effort will be made to provide relief to the masses.
The Prime Minister directed the administration of Utility Stores Corporation to ensure immediate provision of essential commodities to the people after receiving the amount of six billion rupees to it.
Minister for Communications Murad Saeed told the meeting that the vast network of Pakistan Post could also be used to provide essential commodities to the masses. He said Pakistan Post will also soon launch a home delivery service to supply essential items to the people at their doorsteps.
The Chairman and Managing Director of Utility Stores Corporation told the Prime Minister said provision of six billion rupees to the corporation will help visibly bring down the prices of essential commodities.
The Prime Minister was informed that the funds will help reduce the twenty kg flour bag price by 132 rupees, sugar nine rupees per kilogram, ghee thirty rupees per kg, twenty rupees rice per kilogram and the prices of pulses will also go down by fifteen rupees.
The Prime Minister was also informed about the steps being taken to check corruption in the Utility Stores Corporation and ensure adequate supplies of essential commodities at the utility outlets.
The Prime Minister directed that information technology should be used to check corruption in the Utility Stores.


Pakistan-Morocco bilateral trade stands at US$ 321 million

By  Mati
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The volume of bilateral trade between Pakistan and Morocco stood at US$ 321 million in the Fiscal Year 2018­19, the National Assembly was told.
Replying to a question in the House, the Minister for Commerce and Textile told that Pakistan’s exports to Morocco in the FY 2018-19 amounted to US$ 24.93 million and imports US$ 296.07 million.
The minister told that Pakistan’s major exports to Morocco include cotton yarn, Denim fabrics of cotton, Twill weave cotton fabric, Rice, semi­milled or wholly milled, Plain weave cotton fab, and Gloves impregnated etc.
Whereas Pakistan’s top imports from Morocco include ‘Phosphoric acid and Polyphosphoric acids’, Natural calcium phosphates, aluminum calcium phosphates etc., Diammonium phosphate, Waste and scrap, of tinned iron or steel, Polyether’s, and Waste and scrap, and aluminum etc.
Apprising the House of steps being taken by the incumbent government to boost up domestic exports to Morocco in the next financial year, he told that the Ministry of Commerce has launched “Look Africa Policy Initiative” to boost Pakistan’s exports to Africa including Morocco in the coming years.
The minister said that talks on the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Morocco are being reactivated. He said that both the sides have already agreed on a road map for the negotiations of the project of PTA. In this regard, an exploratory meeting would be convened in the coming months.
In addition, he told that the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) regularly participates in Medical Expo, Morocco in Casablanca and each year leading companies from Surgical Instruments sector participates in the exhibition.
The minister further told that in addition to the approved trade fairs/exhibitions, new trade fairs will be considered for the participation of Pakistani companies and promotion of their potential products.
The TDAP is also planning to hold Single Country Exhibitions in major African countries including Morocco.

J&K: Army Jawan Martyred in a Ceasefire Violation by Pakistan in KG Sector

The ceasefire violation took place at KG sector of Mendhar sub-division in Jammu and Kashmir.

Updated: November 8, 2019 8:29 AM IST
Representational image
Srinagar: One Army jawan was on Friday martyred after Pakistan violated ceasefire at KG sector of Mendhar sub-division in Jammu and Kashmir.

Defence PRO Jammu: One Army jawan has lost his life in ceasefire violation by Pakistan in KG sector of Mendhar sub-division #JammuAndKashmir

More details are awaited.
Prior to this on October 20, two Army jawans were killed in ceasefire violation by Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Tangdhar sector of Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir. A civilian was also killed and three others injured, and a house and a rice godown were completely damaged. Besides, 2 cars and 2 cow shelters with 19 cattle and sheep inside were also destroyed in the firing.
Indian army sources confirmed the fact that two Indian soldiers were killed in the ceasefire violation, along the LoC in Tangdhar sector (Jammu and Kashmir), when Pakistan Army was pushing infiltrators into Indian territory.
The Valley has seen no let-up in the incidents of ceasefire violations by Pakistan this year.
Issuing a statement, the Indian Army had earlier said, “Over 2,317 ceasefire violations by Pakistan in 2019 till October 10, while 147 terrorists have been killed in different operations by the security forces on the Line of Control and hinterland.”
Published Date: November 8, 2019 8:27 AM IST|
Updated Date: November 8, 2019 8:29 AM IST

India pollution: How a farming revolution could solve stubble burning

Pollution in Delhi has hit record-breaking levels and a farming method, known as stubble burning, was a major contributor. DW's Catherine Davison went to the countryside to check out what's being done to stop this trend.
·       Description: Extreme smog in India's capital, Delhi (picture-alliance/Photoshot/P. Sarkar)


Burning problem

Delhi experienced some of its worse-ever pollution in November. City authorities called a public health emergency as parts of the city were blanketed in thick, toxic smog. Despite a variety of causes, from traffic to construction, many regard crop residue or straw burning in nearby agricultural regions as the main culprit. Despite a High Court ban, thousands of fires continue to burn.

As a cloud of pollution enveloped Delhi earlier this week, closing schools and prompting the announcement of a public health emergency, new hope in mitigating the capital's annual pollution crisis might be found in a government plan to transform the agricultural sector.
Delhi has seen the worst pollution since 2016 this month, with some parts of the city experiencing over 150 times the concentration of toxic particles recommended by the World Health Organization.
Although a variety of measures – such as restricting Diwali fireworks and halting construction in the city – have been implemented in an attempt to curb the pollution, blame has largely been apportioned to stubble burning in the neighboring states of Punjab and Haryana.
As farmers set fire to their fields to clear excess crop residue in time for the wheat sowing season, Delhi's Chief Minister tweeted that the fumes were transforming the capital into a "gas chamber." 
"If you take an average of the whole year, the contribution of agricultural burning [to Delhi's air pollution] is only 5%," says Dr Sumit Sharma, an Associate Director at TERI, a New Delhi-based research institute. 
"But if you talk about specific days when the fires are peaking, then it can go up to 40%." 
Despite an order on Monday from the highest court in India for an immediate halt to the practice, satellite data showed over 5,000 fires that day in Punjab alone. 
Description: A busy road in the middle of the day is caught in a haze amid a smog emergency in the Indian capital (DW/Catherine Davison)
Record-breaking pollution left Delhi gasping for air
Description: An Indian man rakes a field that is partially on fire as farmers try to clear land quickly (DW/Catherine Davison)
A big contributor has been stubble burning, a cheap and quick method of clearing landDescription: Extreme smog in India's capital, Delhi (picture-alliance/Photoshot/P. Sarkar)
India's unsustainable demand for crops
The states surrounding Delhi are known collectively as the "grain bowl" of India after the agricultural sector underwent a green revolution in the 1960s, leading to a dramatic increase in rice and wheat productivity. In Haryana alone, 80% of the almost 5 million hectares of land is now under cultivation, producing over 13 million tons of grain per year. 
But as production grew, the sector could not keep up with an increasing demand for labor, with farmers eventually abandoning hand harvesting in favor of less labor-intensive methods such as the combine harvester. 
Unlike manual harvesting techniques however, combine harvesters leave behind rice stubble, which prevents machines from sowing wheat seeds. With as little as 10 days between rice harvesting season and the sowing of wheat, farmers often turn to stubble burning to quickly remove the remaining rice crop residue. 
"To hire laborers in a 5 million hectare area at one time within 10 days is not possible," explains Dr ML Jat, Principal Scientist at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), which has a research center in Karnal, Haryana.
"So when you cannot move the loose residue, when you cannot spread it on the surface there is no option except burning."
Description: An Indian woman, head covered, looks through the basmati fields, a small boy in tow (DW/Catherine Davison)
A woman hand harvests basmati rice in a field near Karnal, HaryanaDescription: Extreme smog in India's capital, Delhi (picture-alliance/Photoshot/P. Sarkar)
Description: A man holds up his hand to reveal several grains of brown rice (DW/Catherine Davison)
The result: basmati rice
Could new technology trigger a second revolution?
With one ton of residue containing 4-6 kg of nitrogen, 1-2 kg of phosphorus, and 15-20 kg of potassium, CIMMYT's research has shown that residue burning not only releases toxic gases into the air, but also reduces soil nutrition and therefore crop yields. 
Burning the residue "means you are burning a lot of nutrients, basically," says Dr Jat.
He argues that India now needs to undergo a second, "evergreen" revolution, driven by technology such as the happy seeder, a machine which allows wheat to be sown on top of rice stubble, and the super sms (straw management system), a machine which attaches to the rear of a combine harvester to cut and spread loose residue across the field.
CIMMYT studies show that agricultural productivity can be improved with the use of happy seeders and super sms machines by between 10 and 15%, by reducing labor costs and time and allowing nutrients from the crop residue to be recycled back into the soil. Dr Jat sees it as a win-win situation: "On one side you are increasing your productivity with the happy seeder," he says, "And on the other you are saving your resources.”
Government subsidy helps farmers
Although the technology itself is not new, it was up until recently prohibitively expensive, with a happy seeder costing around 150,000 INR (almost €2,000). With around 80% of farmers in Haryana owning under 5 acres of land, the majority cannot afford to invest. 
Now, however, a central government scheme is investing over 11b INR (€140 million) in three states over a two-year period, with the aim of reducing crop residue burning by providing subsidies to farmers buying the machines. Organizations like CIMMYT are working alongside state governments to train farmers and promote the new technology, in an attempt to both increase grain productivity and reduce economic and labor inputs required by the farmers. 
Description: Two many tinker with a happy seeder machine in a field (DW/Catherine Davison)
Saptal Ram, 67, operates a happy seeder machine used to sow wheat in KarnalDescription: A man holds up his hand to reveal several grains of brown rice (DW/Catherine Davison)
Description: Farmer Vikas Chaudray kneels to the ground to show off his wheat crop to the camera (DW/Catherine Davison)
Farmer Vikas Chaudray examines wheat growing through the rice stubble residue
Vikas Chaudhary, 39, a beneficiary of the plan who owns 14 hectares of land just outside Karnal, Haryana, says that his input cost has decreased from 3-4 thousand rupees per acre to just over 1,000 since he started using the happy seeder.
"Everyone said I was a mad farmer, I will never get a good yield with the field full of straw," Chaudhary says. "But I am very happy. I am saving time and energy."
'Without the machines, you cannot stop it'
Although the number of happy seeders has increased from just 100 to around 10,000 within the past decade, the machines are still only used on 20% of the land cultivated each year. In the rest of the region, stubble burning persists. 
"We are trying to stop the stubble burning, but it takes time," Dr Jat explains. ”In two years, we cannot stop this residue burning in a 5m hectare area."
He worries about what will happen when the government funding ends next year, and farmers are left without subsidies to buy the new machinery. 
With the pollution crisis increasing year-on-year however, investment in agricultural technology is becoming more of a priority for governments and NGOs. 
"If the funding comes again, then we can reduce the stubble burning in a significant area," Dr Jat says. "Because you need the machines. Without the machines you cannot stop it."

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- November 08, 2019

NOVEMBER 8, 2019 / 1:29 PM

* * * * * *

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices – APMC/Open Market-November 8, 2018 Nagpur, Nov 8 (Reuters) – Gram and tuar prices firmed up again in Nagpur Agriculture Producing and Marketing Company (APMC) here on good seasonal demand from local millers amid weak arrival from producing regions. Good hike on NCDEX in gram, upward trend in Madhya Pradesh Madhya Pradesh pulses and reported demand from South-based millers also boosted prices. About 250 bags of gram and 100 bags of tuar reported for auctions here, according to sources.


* Desi gram reported higher in open market here on renewed demand from local traders.


* Tuar varieties ruled steady in open market here on subdued demand from local
traders amid ample stock in ready position.
* Moong chamki recovered in open market here on increased demand from local traders
amid weak supply from producing regions.
* In Akola, Tuar New – 5,500-5,700, Tuar dal (clean) – 8,300-8,400, Udid Mogar (clean)
– 7,900-9,000, Moong Mogar (clean) 8,500-9,200, Gram – 4,350-4,500, Gram Super best
– 6,000-6,300 * Wheat, rice and other foodgrain items moved in a narrow range in
scattered deals and settled at last levels in thin trading activity.
Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg
FOODGRAINS Available prices Previous close
Gram Auction 3,930-4,550 3,900-4,500
Gram Pink Auction n.a. 2,100-2,600
Tuar Auction 5,400-5,560 5,200-5,500
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 2,050-2,198 2,000-2,098
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 5,800-6,000 5,800-6,000
Gram Dal Medium n.a. n.a
Gram Mill Quality 4,600-4,750 4,600-4,750
Desi gram Raw 4,450-4,650 4,400-4,600
Gram Kabuli 8,500-10,000 8,500-10,000
Tuar Fataka Best-New 8,500-8,800 8,500-8,800
Tuar Fataka Medium-New 8,000-8,300 8,000-8,300
Tuar Dal Best Phod-New 7,800-8,000 7,800-8,000
Tuar Dal Medium phod-New 7,200-7,600 7,200-7,600
Tuar Gavarani New 5,800-5,900 5,800-5,900
Tuar Karnataka 6,200-6,300 6,200-6,300
Masoor dal best 5,600-5,800 5,600-5,800
Masoor dal medium 5,300-5,400 5,300-5,400
Masoor n.a. n.a.
Moong Mogar bold (New) 9,100-9,600 9,100-9,600
Moong Mogar Medium 7,600-8,200 7,600-8,200
Moong dal Chilka New 7,200-8,000 7,200-8,000
Moong Mill quality n.a. n.a.
Moong Chamki best 8,500-9,500 8,500-9,500
Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 9,000-10,000 9,000-10,000
Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG) 7,500-8,500 7,500-8,500
Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG) 5,900-6,200 5,900-6,200
Mot (100 INR/KG) 6,000-7,000 5,800-6,800
Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg) 4,800-5,200 4,800-5,200
Watana Dal (100 INR/KG) 4,700-5,000 4,700-5,000
Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG) 8,500-8,800 8,500-8,800
Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG) 2,300-2,400 2,300-2,400
Wheat Mill quality (100 INR/KG) 2,200-2,300 2,150-2,250
Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG) 2,650-2,750 2,650-2,750
Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG) 2,600-2,750 2,600-2,750
Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG) 2,400-2,500 2,400-2,500
Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG) n.a. n.a.
MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG) 3,400-4,000 3,400-4,000
MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG) 2,800-3,200 2,800-3,200
Rice Parmal (100 INR/KG) 2,400-2,500 2,400-2,500
Rice BPT best new (100 INR/KG) 3,000-3,500 3,000-3,500
Rice BPT medium new(100 INR/KG) 2,700-3,000 2,700-3,000
Rice Luchai (100 INR/KG) 3,000-3,100 3,000-3,100
Rice Swarna best new (100 INR/KG) 2,600-2,700 2,600-2,700
Rice Swarna medium new (100 INR/KG)2,400-2,500 2,400-2,500
Rice HMT best new (100 INR/KG) 3,900-4,000 3,900-4,000
Rice HMT medium new (100 INR/KG) 3,600-3,800 3,600-3,800
Rice Shriram best new(100 INR/KG) 4,500-4,800 4,500-4,800
Rice Shriram med new (100 INR/KG) 4,000-4,300 4,000-4,300
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. 33.4 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 20.2 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 33 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)

Myanmar earns US$ 65 million from rice and broken rice export of more than 220,000 tons
Description: The workers carry rice bags to unload from the vessel.
The workers carry rice bags to unload from the vessel.


Myanmar earned US$ 65 million from exporting more than 220,000 tons of rice and broken rice within one month of the current fiscal year, up US$ 21 million on more than 90,000 tons, compared to the same period of last year, said a source from the Ministry of Commerce.
From October 1 to 25 in 2019-2020 financial years, Myanmar exported 220,000 tons of rice and broken rice, up more than 90,000 tons compared to the same period of last year, Khin Maung Lwin, Assistant Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce.
“Rice and broken rice export volume reaches US$ 65 million, up 21 US$ million, compared to the same period of last year,” said Khin Maung Lwin.
In the same period of last year, Myanmar exported up to 2.954 million tons and earned US$ 1,003.662 million.
Myanmar is exporting rice to EU and African markets by water and China through Muse by land.
Myanmar managed to extend its rice market into the world during 2017-2018 FY exporting almost 3.6 million tons.
“There were only 11 companies exporting rice to China. Recently inspections of more than 100 rice mills have been carried out. More than 40 companies have been already picked. The list of these rice export companies will be sent to China. Rice will be exported to China once again due to already-inspected rice mills,” said Deputy Minister Aung Htoo of the Ministry of Commerce.    
Translated and Edited by Win Htut
Thailand’s rice subsidy scheme needs additional budget
At least 2.6 billion baht (86.6 million USD) must be added to the subsidy scheme for rice farmers after the number of participants gets higher than expected, according to the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives of Thailand (BAAC).
VNA Friday, November 08, 2019 21:31 
Description: Thailand’s rice subsidy scheme needs additional budget hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: Internet) 
Bangkok (VNA) - At least 2.6 billion baht (86.6 million USD) must be added to the subsidy scheme for rice farmers after the number of participants gets higher than expected, according to the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives of Thailand (BAAC).
BAAC President Apirom Sukprasert said the number of farming households signing up for the scheme exceeds the target by 90,000, totalling 4.4 million, so an additional 2.6-billion-baht budget is required.
Even more funds could eventually be sought because some farmers in southern areas have yet to register, he said.
Typically, rice in the south is harvested a few months later than in other regions.
The government's farm aid measures include price guarantees for certain crops.
Earlier, officials budgeted 24.8 billion baht for subsidies in the 2018-2019 crop season that started last November, aimed at 4.31 rice farming families who delayed paddy sales to stabilise prices./

Crop Monitor for AMIS | No. 67 – November 2019

Published on 08 Nov 2019 View Original

Description: previewAs of the end of October, conditions are mixed for wheat and rice, while generally favourable for maize and soybeans. In the Northern Hemisphere, spring wheat harvest is wrapping up while winter wheat is in early development before winter dormancy. In the Southern hemisphere, wheat conditions remain mixed in Australia, Argentina, and South Africa. Maize harvest is wrapping up under generally favourable conditions with spot areas of concern in western Europe and in parts of the US. Meanwhile, the sowing of the spring-crop is beginning in South America. Rice in Asia is under mixed conditions with some adverse conditions across all Southeast Asia countries.
Soybean harvest is wrapping up under generally favourable conditions in the Northern Hemisphere while sowing in the Southern Hemisphere.

Rice exporters back ban on three toxic chemicals
published : 9 Nov 2019 at 06:01
newspaper section: Business

Description: Sacks of rice at a mill in Kalasin province. Some countries are rejecting rice with excessive levels of chemical residue.Sacks of rice at a mill in Kalasin province. Some countries are rejecting rice with excessive levels of chemical residue.
Rice exporters have thrown their full support behind the ban on three toxic farm chemicals, saying importer countries have tightened their order of crops based on food safety.
Charoen Laothamatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said the group agrees with the government's decision to ban paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos, and has asked farmers to adjust by reducing the use of chemicals.
"Many rice buyers have tightened their measures to protect consumers," Mr Charoen said. "If Thai farmers ignore the ban or do not reduce chemical use, rice exports will be affected."
He said global rice consumption is shifting towards chemical-free products.
Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the association, said several countries including the US and Japan, as well EU members, have introduced new laws to protect consumers and tightened food safety rules for chemical residues, especially for farm products.
For rice, in particular, they require no chemical residue or the least residue. Japan, for instance, has slashed its maximum residue limit for chemical residues on rice from 0.05 parts per million to 0.01 ppm.
Mr Chookiat cited the sampling collected by OMIC, a surveyor from Japan, that found no Thai rice meeting Japan's rigid food-safety requirements.
"Thailand is asking for leniency, but we don't know if they will give in," he said. "Thai farmers need to shift to producing safer food and chemical-free products. Overall farm exports will be affected if later detection finds chemical-tainted products imported from Thailand."
The 26-member National Hazardous Substances Committee (NHSC) on Oct 22 voted to ban two herbicides -- paraquat and glyphosate -- and the pesticide chlorpyrifos.
The committee upgraded the three farm chemicals from Type 3 toxic substances to Type 4, which prohibits their production, import, export or possession.
The decision prompted some farmers to petition the Administrative Court to issue an injunction suspending the ban, while asking the committee to reconsider the move with new evidence.
The farmers want clarity on what options they will have to eradicate weeds after the ban comes into effect. They fear the alternatives could be expensive and add to their costly overhead.
They will also pursue legal action against cabinet ministers, the NHSC, academics and activists who provided "incorrect information" to back the ban.
Nonetheless, the Central Administrative Court ruled on Nov 1 to throw out the petition, saying the decision by the NHSC to prohibit the substances had yet to take effect.
In dismissing the request, the court said that when the NHSC resolved to ban paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos on Oct 22, it merely kick-started the process of prohibiting them.
The ban is scheduled to take effect next month.