Tuesday, November 26, 2019

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

Rice price rises by 29.41% in two months
Published November 25, 2019

Price of rice, a staple consumed during festivities in Nigeria, has risen by over 29.41 per cent since July, along with other foodstuffs. This is even as Christmas is just a few weeks away, Anna Okon reports
Before August 28 when the Nigeria Customs Service closed the borders against her neighbours, the price of rice was N17,000 per 50-kilogramme bag, having risen from N14, 000 a few months before.
Currently the price of foreign parboiled rice, has gone up to between N22, 000 and N30, 000, findings by our correspondent have shown.
Also, the price of local rice that is positioned to replace foreign ones on Nigeria’s dietary palate has also gone up.
It was gathered that the local rice at Bodija market in Ibadan, Oyo State, was being sold for N20, 000 per 50kg bag and N16, 000/50kg in Minna in Niger State.
In Garko Market, Kano, it sells for N20, 000/50kg bag.
In Lapal, Niger State; Gboko, Benue State; Maitagari, Jigawa State and Ughelli, Delta State, local rice sells for N18,000/50kg, N11,000/50kg, N19,000/50kg and N23,000/50kg bag, respectively.
In Egbeda Market in Lagos, local rice sells for about N18, 000; in Umuahia main market, Abia State, it sells for N22, 000.
The popular Ofada rice, consumed for its rich nutritional value and great flavour, sells for N28, 000 per 50kg bag and between N2, 800 and N3, 500 per 5kg bag.
This was not the case in July as data from Nigerian agriculture produce portals show.
In July, imported rice was N17, 000; local rice sold for between N11, 000 and N15, 000 for 50kg bag.
Other staples such as noodles, chicken and mackerel (ice fish) have also witnessed price increases.

Ghana Buffer Stock Company to sustain drive for consumption of local rice

Business News of Monday, 25 November 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

Description: The Buffer Stock Company is set to roll out series of interventions for farmers

The Buffer Stock Company is set to roll out series of interventions for farmers
The Ghana Food Buffer Stock Company is set to roll out series of interventions with other state institutions to sustain the drive for the consumption of local rice.

According to them, this will help in the promotion and consumption of local rice.

Speaking to Citi News, Chief Executive of the Company, Hanan Abdul Wahab listed some of the steps being taken to assist with marketing opportunities for local rice farmers.

“Our plan is based on the expansion for foods for planting and jobs. We have also identified two main issues, lack of market, and the lack of storage.

"This play a very important role. You cannot go and buy a produce when you don’t have a place to keep it. You cannot go and buy a produce when you have no taste for it. So, the campaign for the consumption of the local foods is something that we all have to join from a point,” he said.

“We have started from government institutions. For example, when you look at other brands of Ghana rice, it is also their responsibility to come out and market what they are selling. We as a government will also come in and support what we are selling. It is not easy to introduce a food that has not been tasted or eaten by a student before from home. It took me and my team a great time to be able to penetrate this. And today the acceptability is so great,” he added.

The Company moved in earlier in the week to help mop-up a huge pile of metric tonnes of rice from fields in Northern Ghana.

This follows Citi TV’s report of rice in Northern Ghana going waste due to lack of market.

Samuel Attah-Mensah, CEO of Citi FM/TV subsequently declared himself an ambassador for the consumption of local rice.

He also launched the Ghana Rice Campaign to boost consumption of local varieties of the staple.

Ghana’s voracious appetite for imported rice according to some stakeholders has had an apparent negative effect on the national economy, thus the call to reduce or halt the over-dependence.

Government to consider cut in reserve price of rice

PTI New Delhi | Updated on November 24, 2019  Published on November 24, 2019
Description: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/pydfml/article29410380.ece/alternates/WIDE_435/kharif
File photo   -  The Hindu

Price of wheat to remain unchanged

Sitting on a huge buffer stock, the government is considering cutting reserve price of rice by almost Rs 500 per quintal for bulk buyers to boost its sale through open market.
However, there is no plan to cut wheat price, official sources said.
The Government is considering downward revision of reserve price of rice from Rs 2,785 per quintal to Rs 2,250 per quintal in order to boost sale from central pool stock under the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) in 2019-20, sources said.
Food Ministry runs OMSS to sell wheat and rice stored in buffer stock by the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
Foodgrains are sold through tender at a reserve price to flour and rice millers and user industries.
However, there is no plan for any revision in reserve price of wheat, and the current reserve price of wheat will continue to prevail throughout the remaining period of 2019-20, they said.
FCI, the Government’s nodal agency for procurement and distribution of foodgrains, has 23.1 million tonnes of rice and 37.3 million tonnes of wheat.
The total foodgrain stock stands at about 60 million tonnes as on November 1.
FCI has decided to sell 10 million tonnes of wheat to bulk consumers this fiscal, over 40 per cent more than the previous year. The base base price of wheat is Rs 2,080 per quintal.
During the last fiscal, FCI had sold 7 million tonnes of wheat.
The sale of wheat and rice to bulk buyers is to make space for the new crop.
The current foodgrain storage capacity in the country is around 88 million tonnes, with over 75 million tonnes covered and 13 million tonnes covered area plinth.
Published on November 24, 2019


Support The Hindu BusinessLine's new online ad-free experience by subscribing now.

Prices rose as people now prefer fine to coarse rice: food minister

  Staff Correspondent,  bdnews24.com
Description: https://d30fl32nd2baj9.cloudfront.net/media/2017/09/15/23_rice-market_150917_0002.jpg/ALTERNATES/w640/23_Rice+Market_150917_0002.jpg
Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder has offered a fresh explanation for the recent hike in rice prices.
He says many prefer fine rice to the coarse varieties now due to their low prices, but it has driven retail prices of the fine varieties slightly.
Sadhan spoke to reporters after an event organised by the FBCCI in Dhaka on Sunday.
Prices of fine varieties of rice started to rise at the mills in the beginning of November.
In Dhaka, prices of medium quality rice rose by 11 percent and premium quality by up to 8 percent in a month, according to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh.
Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque last Thursday defended the spike in rice prices, and ruled out market manipulation.
Description: https://d30fl32nd2baj9.cloudfront.net/media/2019/10/31/food-minister-31102019.jpg/ALTERNATES/w640/Food-minister-31102019.jpg
A rise in paddy prices pushed rice prices, which is good for the farmers, he had said.
A journalist asked Sadhan why rice prices were rising though the government claimed the stock was sufficient.
“Rice prices haven’t increased. The hike you see is only in the retail market,” the food minister said.
“People don’t eat coarse rise anymore. They eat fine rice. They have become used to eating fine rice as the prices dropped following a fall in paddy prices,” he offered.
The minister claimed traders were not buying coarse rice due to a drop in demand.
“We can’t sell coarse rice at Tk 30 a kg in the market. The dealers don’t want to buy it because they can’t find customers,” said Sadhan, whose family is involved in rice business in Naogaon

Govt mulls cut in reserve price of rice to boost sale through open market

The govt is considering downward revision of reserve price of rice from Rs 2,785 per quintal to Rs 2,250 per quintal in order to boost sale from central pool stock

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi Last Updated at November 24, 2019 12:32 IST
Description: Farm labourers making bunches of paddy saplings to plant at a field on the outskirts of Guwahati | Photo: PTI
Sitting on a huge buffer stock, the government is considering cutting reserve price of rice by almost Rs 500 per quintal for bulk buyers to boost its sale through open market.
However, there is no plan to cut wheat price, official sources said.
The government is considering downward revision of reserve price of rice from Rs 2,785 per quintal to Rs 2,250 per quintal in order to boost sale from central pool stock under the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) in 2019-20, sources said.
Food Ministry runs OMSS to sell wheat and rice stored in buffer stock by the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
Foodgrains are sold through tender at a reserve price to flour and rice millers and user industries.
However, there is no plan for any revision in reserve price of wheat, and the current reserve price of wheat will continue to prevail throughout the remaining period of 2019-20, they said.
FCI, the government's nodal agency for procurement and distribution of foodgrains, has 23.1 million tonnes of rice and 37.3 million tonnes of wheat.
The total foodgrain stock stands at about 60 million tonnes as on November 1.
FCI has decided to sell 10 million tonnes of wheat to bulk consumers this fiscal, over 40 per cent more than the previous year. The base base price of wheat is Rs 2,080 per quintal.
During the last fiscal, FCI had sold 7 million tonnes of wheat.
The sale of wheat and rice to bulk buyers is to make space for the new crop.
The current foodgrain storage capacity in the country is around 88 million tonnes, with over 75 million tonnes covered and 13 million tonnes covered area plinth.

Gov’t tells farmers to plant one rice crop in dry season

Thou Vireak | Publication date 24 November 2019 | 22:05 ICT

Description: Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The 2019-2020 paddy output across the country may decline by 10.7 million tonnes, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries secretary-general Srey Vuthy said on Sunday. Heng Chivoan
The upcoming drought will affect Cambodia’s dry-season rice production, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has said on Sunday.
The Mekong River Commission announced last week that Cambodia and the other Lower Mekong River Basin countries – Thailand, Laos and Vietnam – would suffer severe drought from now until January.
The government issued a circular calling on rice farmers to only plant one crop of rice during the 2019-2020 dry season to avert water shortages.
Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) vice-president Chan Sokheang said the drought “will affect dry season paddy production and will affect our exports”.
He said the CRF will encourage planting the crop in non-affected areas to boost the Kingdom’s exports.
“We will try to work closely with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology to determine which areas paddy can be grown in,” he said.
The ministry’s secretary-general Srey Vuthy told The Post on Sunday that it had ordered the provincial Agriculture Departments of to carry out water conservation measures and instructed farmers to grow crops other than paddy.
“The ministry, following the Royal Government’s directive, has provided farmers [in affected areas with] techniques [to grow] vegetables, promoting the use of drip irrigation,” he said.
Paddy output across the country may decline by an estimated 10.7 million tonnes for the 2019-2020 crop harvests, he said.
“The total output of paddy will fall by 1.73 per cent. Of that, dry season paddy may fall 5.42 per cent from last year, with rainy season paddy declining by about 0.53 per cent.”
Late last month, CRF president Song Saran expressed the federation’s commitment to exporting one million tonnes of milled rice by 2022 after the government initially set the target for 2015 – back in August 2010.
“To meet export demand, we have a special interest rate credit package of $200 million to purchase rice during the harvest season,” he said, adding that the available funds can buy around 500,000 tonnes of paddy – particularly jasmine varieties – during the season.
However, Sokheang said the drought would not affect the export target.
“In the medium term, it will not affect the one million tonne export target because we have enough time to achieve it.”
A CRF report says the Kingdom exported 398,586 tonnes of rice in the first nine months of this year, up 2.3 per cent from the same period last year, or 389,264 tonnes.
Rice shipments to China stood at 157,793 tonnes during the period. This was up more than 44 per cent year-on-year. But exports to Europe fell to 135,471 tonnes, or down nearly 30 per cent.
The CRF expects that Cambodian rice exports to international markets this year will be between 650,000 and 750,000 tonnes, which is a slight increase on last year.

PH to continue rice imports, tighten food safety measures

NOVEMBER 23, 2019
The importation of rice into the Philippines will continue in accordance with the law, the country’s agriculture secretary clarified. 
Agriculture Secretary William Dar on Thursday, November 21 said that instead of suspending the importation, the government will tighten food safety measures to control the entry of cheap grain that is affecting the incomes of Filipino farmers.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared a rice importation ban on Wednesday in response to local farmers complaining of falling palay (rice prior to husking) prices as a result of the Rice Tariffication law. 
However, suspending imports is against the law as doing so would mean imposing quantitative restrictions on the commodity.
Dar, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III met with Duterte on Wednesday night to clarify his pronouncements, coming up with the solution of stricter measures in the issuance of sanitary and phytosanitary import clearance (SPSIC).
“The president is really looking at all angles and this is the directive. We will be strict in giving SPSIC, especially during the main harvest season,” Dar said, adding that “But we will not stop it, we are implementing the law properly.”
The Department of Agriculture will conduct pre-inspection at the point of origin of imported rice stock to ensure rice quality and safety for consumers and at the same time protect the spread of crop pests and diseases, Dar explained. 
The Philippines often buys rice from neighboring Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam and Thailand. This year, it imported 2.9 million tons of rice — more than double the annual average in recent years and making the country the world’s top buyer.
“He (Duterte) said that the Rice Tariffication Law will be pursued to provide affordable and quality rice to all Filipinos,” Dar said.
As a result of increased domestic supply, farmgate rice prices have plummeted more than 20 percent in the last 9 months.
To ensure Filipino farmers are able to sell and make a profit from their produce, Dar said Duterte has issued an order to the National Food Authority (NFA) to increase the country’s emergency rice buffer stock from 15 to 30 days by buying more palay from farmers. 

Rice Prices

as on : 25-11-2019 02:26:16 PM

Arrivals in tonnes;prices in Rs/quintal in domestic market.
Bankura Sadar(WB)
Indus(Bankura Sadar)(WB)
Tamkuhi Road(UP)
Fatehpur Sikri(UP)
Published on November 25, 2019
Consumption of local rice campaign won’t last – John Dumelo Politics of Tuesday, 26 November 2019
Source: mynewsgh.com
John Dumelo
Following the massive campaign in mainstream and social media for the consumption of locally produced rice, Actor cum politician John Dumelo has explained that Ghanaians who patronise the more expensive Ghana rice may soon stop if the prices remain higher than that imported rice. Description: John Dumelo

The campaign to patronize locally produced rice gained steam following a rice glut in parts of the country that prompted the Managing Director of CITI FM, Samuel Atta Mensah, to advocate strongly for the consumption of Ghana rice. His campaign caught on with many Ghanaians and has remained a trending issue.

But Mr Dumelo, who is also a farmer and National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary candidate for Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency maintains that given that factors beyond the control of Ghana’s rice farmers compel them to sell their produce at a higher price than imported rice, the patronage of Ghana rice may soon dwindle again because of the higher prices.

“It will interest you to know that imported rice (after paying all the shipping and duties at the port) is still cheaper than our local rice. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a farmer and a huge advocate for the consumption of made in Ghana products but the patriotic patience of Ghanaians will quickly run out if our local rice farmers don’t do anything about their pricing. Same as our local chicken and the imported ones. Once it’s cheap, it’s the best,” he pointed out on social media.

Mr Dumelo has therefore called for support for farmers to make them competitive.

“It might not be the fault of the farmers when pricing. The unit cost of producing a bag of rice depends on external factors (high-interest rates, taxes, fuel costs etc) which is beyond their control. We must do more to support farmers across the country. Competitive pricing and branding are sine qua non to Ghanaians being patriotic but all hope is not lost. Ghana shall prosper…” he appealed.

Ghana imports more rice than it produces. Many prefer foreign rice to local rice due to factors such as pricing, polishing, packaging, taste among others. Government after government has failed to reverse the trend.

US Farm Deals With South Korea and Japan to Limit China Trade War Retaliation

Rice seeds are transferred to a bucket before being loaded onto a bi-plane for distribution over a rice field in Biggs, California, U.S. in this file photo. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

CHINA-US NEWS Description: Rice seeds are transferred to a bucket before being loaded onto a bi-plane for distribution over a rice field in Biggs, California, U.S. in this file photo. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

 CommentsNovember 25, 2019 Updated: November 25, 2019
News Analysis
The Trump administration’s new farm deal with South Korea and the passage of Japanese agricultural import legislation undermine China’s trade war retaliation strategy.
China’s trade war retaliation strategy, which is aimed at economically targeting President Donald Trump’s rural voting base, took two huge hits this month. South Korea ended its four-year rice ban on Nov. 19 and agreed to allow rice imports of at least 132,304 tons annually. Shortly thereafter, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe overcame opposition in the Lower House for a potentially huge American beef, pork and corn import deal.
China has employed a sophisticated U.S. voter targeting methodology to maximize the economic pain of its retaliatory trade war tariffs in so-called U.S. “battleground” counties that President Trump will need to win in the 2020 elections, according to a study by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Research.
There has been an uptick in farm bankruptcies, mostly due to weather issues, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts 2019 farm income will increase by $4 billion, or 4.8 percent, to $88 billion in 2019, after rising in both 2017 and 2018. The USDA report added that 2019 farm income will be in the top 30 percent after inflation.
The Chinese strategy has inflicted substantial economic pain on its own households, with China food inflation rising from 11.2 percent in September to 15.5 percent in October, the highest since January 2008. Bloomberg warned that China’s monthly consumer inflation surged past 3 percent in September and could exceed 4 percent in early 2020 on the back of surging pork and other meat prices.
The ratio of Chinese household debt to gross domestic product rose by 2.1 percentage points in the first six months of 2019 to 55.3 per cent, according to Beijing think tank National Institution for Finance and Development. With China accounting for 15 percent of global debt, NIFD warned the strain of heavy debt and high inflation is hurting consumption.
Domestic inflation is credited with forcing China on Nov. 13 to lift its almost six-year ban on U.S. poultry imports that was valued by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue at “more than $1 billion worth of poultry and poultry products each year.”
The last World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement covering Korean rice exports expired in 2014. Under the new rice deal, the first 408,700-ton import tariff-rate quota will fall from 513 percent to 5 percent. With only 388,700 tons of rice imports subject to U.S., Australia, China, Thailand, and Vietnam specific quotas under WTO Plurilateral Agreements, U.S. rice farmers have export potential for another 20,000 tons.
Under the Japanese agricultural deal that is expected to clear the Upper House and be signed by Prime Minister Abe on Dec. 9, Japan will gradually lower its 38.5 percent tariff on U.S. beef to 9 percent and remove or reduce its tariffs on U.S. pork. The agreement also covers greater access for American cheese, wine and wheat exports to Japan.
The United States agreed to remove or reduce tariffs on some types of manufacturing equipment as well as for other industrial products, including parts for air conditioners and train locomotives and railcars from Japan.
But the Trump administration did not remove the 2.5 percent tariff on all Japanese car exports to the United States—a U.S. key concession the Obama administration offered Japan for approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. President Trump abandoned TPP because he believed it was bad for U.S. workers and the economy, and has refused to discuss auto tariffs as long as Japan continues to hammer U.S. auto parts exports to Japan with up to 80 percent tariffs.
U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) welcomed the news of both the rice agreement with South Korea and poultry agreement with China “that will benefit Mississippi agriculture directly.” She stated that with Mississippi being America’s sixth largest rice producer and fifth largest poultry producer, the deals could bring over $100 million to the State of Mississippi.
Chriss Street is an expert in macroeconomics, technology, and national security. He has served as CEO of several companies and is an active writer with more than 1,500 publications. He also regularly provides strategy lectures to graduate students at top Southern California universities

DOF: Excess rice import tariffs to fund unconditional cash transfer for small farmers

Published November 26, 2019 12:22pm
The Department of Finance (DOF) said Tuesday that excess rice import tariffs will be used to fund an unconditional cash transfer program for small farmers bearing the brunt of falling prices of palay.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said that the P10-billion that was set to be earmarked annually for the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) has already been reached, seven months after the Rice Tariffication Law took effect.
An excess of P1.4 billion is already on hand as of October 31, he noted.
“The P10 billion is already fixed, it already has an allocation (for RCEF). The excess will be part of the P6 billion that will be allocated to the farmers for two years,” Dominguez said.
Farmers tilling lands two hectares and below are qualified to benefit from this program which will be allocated with P3 billion this year and P3 billion in 2020..
Dominguez quoted Dar as saying that the Department of Agriculture already has a list of beneficiaries.
President Rodrigo Duterte enacted the Rice Tariffication Law earlier this year, removing quantitative restrictions on rice imports and setting a 35% tariff for shipments from Southeast Asia.
Under the Rice Tariffication Law, the government should allot P10 billion annually to the RCEF for six years.
From this fund, P5 billion will be allocated to farm machinery and equipment, P3 billion to rice seeds, P1 billion to expanded credit assistance, and P1 billion to rice extension services such as farmers’ training.
Dominguez, however, pointed out that the Rice Tariffication law “significantly reduced inflation and helped drive gross domestic product growth to 6.2 percent in the July-September period.”
He characterized the drop in palay farm gate prices as a “short-term transition challenge” which he said is being addressed by the Duterte administration through various interventions

 ‘Once it’s cheap, it is the best’ – John Dumelo on rice importation

General News of Monday, 25 November 2019
Source: www.ghanaweb.com
John Dumelo
Actor cum politician, John Dumelo, has stated that the increase of foreign rice consumption in the country is due to relatively cheap prices compared to the local produce.
Description: John Dumelo
Despite numerous advocacy messages on the purchase and consumption of local rice, John Dumelo argued that Ghanaians will continue to prefer imported rice if the local market is void of a competitive pricing and branding.

“Once it’s cheap, it’s the best.” He maintained in a post on Instagram.

Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) have complained about the influx of foreign rice in the country which has adversely affected the sale of their produce.

According to the group, the perennial post-harvest issues have served as a disincentive for the growing of rice in the country.

The Ayawaso West Wuogon aspirant, indicated that though he is a farmer and supports the consumption of made in Ghana products,“the patriotic patience of Ghanaians will quickly run out if our local rice farmers don’t do anything about their pricing.”

He was quick to add that it may not be the fault of local farmers as far as pricing is concerned, particularly because the unit cost of producing a bag of rice depends on external factors such as high interest rates, taxes, fuel costs, which is usually beyond their control.

He called on various stakeholders as well as citizens to “do more to support farmers across the country.”

Meanwhile, government has announced its intention to solicit with rice importers to invest in local manufacturers for both domestic consumption and export.

At a press briefing, the Minister for Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said rice importation will reduce drastically in about three years time as the government builds the capacity of local rice farmers.

He added, “At the moment, we are in communication with the 20 biggest importers of rice in this country. We have had three meetings with them and we are telling them that, time is going to come soon when they cannot do business and give rice farmers in Thailand, Vietnam and America an opportunity to overcome our own. Our farmers were asleep because of the lack of government’s support.

“Therefore, it means that if you want to import rice into this country, it means that you are taking away bread from the mouth of Ghanaian farmers and giving it to those in Thailand. What we are now saying is that, in two- or three-years’ time, we will work out on an agreement for them to buy from local millers.

Read his full post below:

Description: https://cdn.ghanaweb.com/imagelib/src/Dumelo_post_1.jpg

Description: https://cdn.ghanaweb.com/imagelib/src/Dumelo_post_2.jpg

Poultry farmers in Ghana want the government to reduce imported chicken

 Yesterday at 5:37 PM
Tell your friends  
The Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association of Ghana (GAFPA) has called on the government to put measures in place to reduce the volumes of chicken imported into the country ahead of the Christmas season.
Description: poultry in Ghanapoultry in Ghana
According to the association, this is to help save the local poultry industry.
The Association explained that Ghanaians would often opt for imported chicken over locally produced broilers. They argued that a deliberate attempt to reduce the import will grow the local industry.
Statistics from agricinghana.com, domestic consumption of poultry is has gone up to 13.9% per year in Ghana.
Meanwhile, the local production of poultry is growing at a rate of 14.1%. However, this is dominated by layers and not broilers.
The Association says this means there is an annual consumption of 230,000 tons of poultry. However, only 5% is produced locally.
Poultry is on almost every meal Ghanaians eat. But during Christmas, the consumption goes high which translates to more money for those in the industry.
However, according to the GAFPA, the high imports are taken a toll on their businesses, since they incur losses when Ghanaians purchase imported frozen chicken.
The Vice President of the Association, Michael Ampem, said even though the government claims it has reduced chicken imports they are yet to feel the impact.
“Those of us who’re into broilers, we are dealing with the imported broilers, and we’re looking at ways to bring the importation down. I am sure a lot of us have heard the rice farmers fighting to get rice imports banned, and we will also be glad as poultry farmers to have imported chicken if not totally banned, reduced to a level where we will be competitive”.
“This year Maize is doing well because of some of the policies put in by the government. The Planting for Food and Jobs is helping. However, that’s not the end of the day because there are other things that go into the production of our feed. We have the soya, we have the wheat brand, and we have the other things, and those ones are not necessarily coming down, so as an Association we are not able to significantly bring down the prices of our feed”.
GAFPA argued that when the government reduces importation it will have an impact on job creation.

Creating novel 4IR solutions for Africa

The design of 4IR solutions that address Africa’s problems cannot be solved by the application of canned approaches.
Description: https://www.itweb.co.za/static/contributors/persons/2018/08/resized/Rennie-Naidoo.small.jpg

Read time 5min 30sec
Description: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/VpBf-usvfVC6qoGgCqzBvM0svDevqc3S0zxz4P-5mnZvx0vQRCV1cik4YYBg_gFDggVm_3SGxDslUVbXa1aPJw
Academic researchers and industry practitioners working on the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) view the problems they hope to resolve as “wicked” research problems.
The term “wicked problem” refers to those that are difficult to define clearly, with the solutions having unintended consequences.
Although it is hoped that innovative 4IR solutions will have broad universal applicability, given the social complexity of certain contexts, 4IR innovations can exacerbate or generate further unintended problems.
Similarly, the design of 4IR solutions that address Africa’s problems cannot be solved by the application of canned approaches; Africa requires creative 4IR solutions.

Panel at the SAICSIT conference

A panel of academics at the South African Institute for Computer Scientists and Information Technologists (SAICSIT) conference, which took place at Nombolo Mdluli Conference Centre, Skukuza, in September, generally agreed that creative 4IR solutions will be needed for the African context.
SAICSIT is a prominent local association supporting education, training and research in computing and IT. The first SAICSIT conference was held in 1979. This year was a very special occasion as it celebrated 40 years since the first SAICSIT conference.
As the panel organiser and moderator, I explored the issue with four outstanding computing and IT scholars on the panel.
The panel included:
·       Robert Winter, professor of business and information systems engineering at the University of St Gallen, and director of its Institute of Information Management.
·       Paula Kotzé, extraordinary professor at the Department of Informatics at the University of Pretoria and adjunct professor in the School of ICT at Nelson Mandela University.
·       Judith Bishop, extraordinary professor, Computer Science.
·       Kirstin Krauss, professor, School of Computing, University of South Africa.

4IR and prospects for development

Winter spoke about revolutionary technologies that are benefitting the poor. He used the example of the analysis and testing of rice. In South-East Asia, rice is produced and usually tested with high-end and very expensive technology from Switzerland.
In Switzerland, there are no rice fields but for over 20 years the technological advancement has been going on – always smarter machines, always bigger, always more powerful with better functionality, always more expensive machines.
Technology is vital. We cannot stick with observation, surveys and impressions.
The latest innovation of rice quality analysis devices involves a piece of cardboard, a smartphone, and a photo which is sent to an analysis unit, and as a result of the analysis, the rice quality is displayed on the smartphone.
“Now we are thinking about what the people really need, what they have, what they can afford. Totally new things to come out; it is about data, it is about technology – smartphones, it is about the camera, it is about data analysis and about really understanding what farmers need, what they can afford and how they can be supported.
“And that is really revolutionary. If we bring together the technology view and the business view and the data view in a customer-centric way, often radically innovative, lightweight solutions can be found. A totally new enablement. A decent service that they can afford to buy.”
Bishop emphasised the value of using research to design and build innovative technologies. “We need to go further than observation in our research and insert technology into what we do.
“The technology should be relevant and chosen in collaboration with industry. That’s where the joy is going to happen, and where the satisfaction of the project as you see it with consortia. Technology is vital. We cannot stick with observation, surveys and impressions.”

4IR and the African realities

Some members of the audience felt that while we should not ignore 4IR, we need to think hard and deep about the African response.
For example, drones delivering organs for transplants assumes that qualified surgeons are in place, or hospitals are not in disrepair. Therefore, it was proposed that Africa’s preparation perhaps calls for a more unique response.
Krauss briefly spoke about what people are saying about the fifth industrial revolution and that it is principally a response to some of the perceived risks of the fourth industrial revolution.
The fifth industrial revolution is about being more humane – using technology for the betterment of humankind. For Krauss, there are social and ethical implications of the fourth industrial revolution.
Krauss cautioned that we must not reproduce the mistakes of the past. Academia has a responsibility to help make sure issues we observed from history do not repeat in new waves of tech-driven innovation.
“And I believe this is the role we have as academics to articulate these sorts of issues to people that are at the forefront of innovation with the fourth and fifth industrial revolution,” noted Krauss.
“We need to be the moral ethical compass in a sense, by being more critical than we are.”

Africa needs creative 4IR solutions

For Kotzé, there’s not a one size fits all solution. It’s a case where we need to look at our issues, our problems and we need to address them and see what technologies we can use, and if they do not exist, develop them, to solve our own problems.
“Nobody else is going to solve our problems; we are going to have to solve them ourselves.”

4IR readiness at the University of Pretoria

The Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology at the University of Pretoria has already begun steps to prepare for 4IR.
From a research perspective, these include a new Future Transportation and Sustainable Future Smart Cities infrastructure and research programme, and a world-leading Big Data and Data Science Institute.
In the School of Information Technology, the Department of Information Science has launched a state-of-the-art research, teaching and learning facility through its new virtual reality and interaction) lab.
The Department of Informatics has a mobile development lab and a user experience lab that provide students with a creative space to learn about and experience current trends in technology design.
The Department of Computer Science has already added a stream in big data science to its Masters degree offerings.

Paddy prices staging modest recovery after hitting rock bottom

Exporters hopeful of Iran market improving next year

Virendra Singh Rawat  |  Lucknow Last Updated at November 26, 2019 00:52 IST
Description: Lush green paddy fields of the Kaveri delta
Lush green paddy fields of the Kaveri delta
The domestic paddy prices are staging a modest recovery in the current procurement season after hitting rock bottom levels not long ago coupled with a rugged export market scenario.
A combination of factors have been suggested for the slow yet firm recovery in the paddy prices in the coming weeks, including significant crop loss due to flood induced inundation apart from the recent cyclone in some of the key paddy growing areas.
Besides, the paddy prices are gaining traction owing to the higher minimum support price (MSP) announced by the Centre for the current season 2019-20.
“The paddy price situation is slowly getting better after witnessing the drastic downfall. This the perfect time for the stockists and rice mills to stock for the entire coming year, which is fuelling robust procurement and buying by the market players,” Mumbai based rice exporter Devendra Vora told Business Standard.
He claimed the popular view among the traders is that the domestic rice market would not slip again at least in this season, which is why the domestic stockists and millers were acting bullish.
“At the same time, the exporters are optimistic that the Iran market would be back on track again in the next 2-4 months, which has further improved the price sentiments,” Vora added. Iran accounts for more than one million tonnes of basmati exports annually, however, the US-Iran tensions had imparted uncertainty for the mutual barter trade between India and Iran.
Description: Chart

At the Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX), the paddy (1121 variety) prices were trading at Rs 3,260 per quintal (100 kg), up by 3.55 per cent, as the purchase was halted at the Asia’s biggest grain market in Khanna (Punjab) following a spell of rain that lashed the area recently. Paddy 1121 price a onth ago was around Rs.3700 which fell to Rs.3088 last weekend.
Ajay Kedia, commodity analyst, said cyclone had caused extensive damage to the rabi crops, including paddy in West Bengal and Odisha belts, while there had been shortfall in paddy arrival in some Southern India markets, including Telangana.
“The extent of the damage to paddy due to flooding in the key Northern states and the recent cyclone in the South-Eastern states has yet not been estimated, but they are significant. The expected short supply in the current season is also pushing up the paddy prices,” he claimed.
He maintained while the prices have gained, there is expectation of further improvement in the coming months, owing to the spurt in demand around the New Year and the perceptible improvement in the US-Iran relations, which holds promise for the reopening of the lucrative Iran market for Indian rice exporters.
Besides, unseasonal rains in Maharashtra are expected to have damaged crops on 7 million hectares of land, he added.
Indian exporters rue the lack of long term rice export policy coupled with successive increase in procurement costs under the MSP mechanism, which they claim have made Indian rice exports, especially non-basmati, noncompetitive in the global arena.
As such, over the past few years, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam have emerged as strong players in the Asian and African regions, thus hampering the prospects of Indian rice exports.

WFP Senegal Country Brief, October 2019

Published on 31 Oct 2019 View Original

In Numbers
Description: preview3.48 mt of food assistance distributed US$ 0.198 m cash-based transfers made
US$ 3.3 m six months (November 2019 - April 2020) net funding requirements.
28,788 people assisted in October 2019
Operational Updates
• School feeding: WFP continued to support the Government of Senegal with the preparation of a roadmap for the launch of a national school feeding programme in 2020. WFP Country Director met with the Minister of National Education, H.E. Mamadou Talla, to discuss the proposed programme and related activities such as the adoption of a legislation and the establishment of a multi-sectoral coordination group. In addition, WFP started school feeding activities for the 2019/20 academic year.
• Lean season operations: According to the March 2019 Cadre Harmonisé, 342,000 people were projected to be food insecure in Senegal during the 2019 lean season. WFP has supported the Government response in the two most affected departments (Matam and Podor) with an integrated approach of targeted food assistance (TFA) and nutritional support. In October, 23,071 individuals received about USD 200,000 as cash transfers under targeted food assistance (TFA). WFP’s response is implemented in partnership with several actors, including the Secrétariat Exécutif du Conseil National de Sécurité Alimentaire (SECNSA), the Délégation Générale à la Protection Sociale et à la Solidarité Nationale (DGPSN) and AFRICARE.
• Nutrition (lean season): As part of lean season activities in Matam and Podor, WFP continued to provide nutritional assistance. Overall, 3,000 children aged-23 months received assistance through prevention of acute malnutrition. About, 9.54 mt of super cereals were distributed. WFP also started the treatment of children 6-59 months suffering from moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) 26 mt of nutritional products were distributed in four departments (Matam, Kanel, Ranérou and Podor). WFP held three capacity strengthening sessions with the National Agency Against Malnutrition (CLM): these sessions gathered 41 project leaders and community workers from the four targeted departments.
• In partnership with Nutrition International (NI) and the National Food Fortification Committee (COSFAM), WFP organized a workshop to elaborate a road map for mandatory rice fortification in Senegal. The workshop was held on 1-2 October and gathered key stakeholders, including government institutions, civil society, development partners, UN agencies, donors, as well as private sector, rice millers, academia and research institutions. The roadmap is set to be published by the end of 2019.

Nigeria: Why Local Rice Costs As Much As Imported Rice - Expert

26 NOVEMBER 2019

INTERVIEWBy Oge Udegbunam
A senior rice specialist at the Africa Rice Centre, a pan-African rice research organization, Philip Idinoba says the reason a bag of imported rice costs as much as its local variety is as a result of the cost of production in the rice value chain in Nigeria.
The centre works with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan. Mr Idinoba spoke with our REPORTER, OGE UDEGBUNAM, in Abuja. He said the government should subsidize the production process to help reduce the cost of local rice. Excerpts:
PT: In recent times, the price of imported rice appears to be similar to the local blend. Why do you think this is so?
PHILIP: The reason for this is simple: The cost of production of local rice is quite high. Before now, the government was working on three tracks - improving quality, improving quantity and improving efficiency along the value chain.
The efficiency along the value chain is tied down to these three factors.
For instance, a rice miller in Anambra State will have to go to Niger State, moving from village to village to mop up the rice paddy that will be taken to Ebonyi State or something like that.
The cost of transportation alone is very high. Also, these millers do not have electricity supply most of the time. The cost of servicing the generators, like supplying diesel, is very expensive.
In addition, they do not have a good mechanism to run these mills. Any little problem, they will have to look for an Indian who works with Mikano to replace the parts. So, they are still facing serious problems in all the mills.
Then, we take it back a little to the farms. The cost of production per hectare is also very high. We don't have technology for transplanting or harvesting.
The variety we are using can take up to nine tonnes. Only a few farmers get up to six tonnes, because the production environment is not so well-developed.
One can have a variety that can produce nine tonnes. But, if one does not level the ground in a way that one can control the water, and the water will rise into the plot. If you put 9:20 fertilizer blend, only 20 per cent of the fertilizer will be utilized. Others will be wasted.
That way, farmers will not get the benefits of using that quantity of fertilizer. But, if you can get to an environment where the land is well irrigated, bring in water, take out water, you can apply the quantity of fertilizer needed and you will get plant optic at above 70 per cent.
Then, one would be sure of getting the yield one expects. But, we don't have that here. So, what people are doing is very little to get what they can get.
You can plant with fertilizer today, and it doesn't rain for the next two days. If it is Nitrogen, then the fertilizer is wasted. So, at production level, people in Kebbi and Sokoto States, some of them use like 250,000 per hectares of land.
As you go down South, cost of production is dropping, because most of the farmers are not using very intensive methods.
If you go to Anambra State, for instance, they just throw the rice to the fields and just expect that everything will grow well.
But, the people in the North, like Kano, Jigawa, Sokoto and Kebbi States, try to prepare their fields. They transplant and do all the things they need to do and prepare for eight tonnes.
Indeed, some of them are getting up to that. But, if the other factor, like water availability, is not controlled, one cannot guarantee other factors, then you may not get it.
The higher the yields one gets, the lesser the cost of production per unit area. If I use a cost of N100 to produce, and I get two bags, or I begin to get four bags, it means the effective cost is N50, not N100.
Improved productivity increases the yield. We don't have technology for planting or harvesting. This is one of the bottlenecks the Nigerian government is having.
One thing the government would have done would have been to subsidize the cost of fertilizer. This is what we call mass subsidy on the fertilizer. Rather than the farmer picking the fertilizer at the N10,000 a bag, the farmer would have been getting it 50 per cent the price.
PT: In that circumstance, is there any role the government can play to bring the cost down?
PHILIP: The only thing I think the government can do would be to pay the remaining 50 per cent to the fertilizer manufacturing company under some kind of arrangement.
These are the indirect involvement of institutions like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other agencies involved in agriculture.
It is mass subsidy because the money is not given directly to the farmers. But somehow the government is cushioning the production of rice in the country.
So, if one uses six bags of fertilizer alone, at N10,000, already this is N60,000. And if one transplants with another N40,000, one is already on an N100,000, not to talk of weeding, harvesting, and all the rest of it.
So, the cost of producing rice in Nigeria is still very high. We can reduce the cost in two ways.
First, through subsidy and two, increasing productivity, so that the amount of output will get higher per unit area.
The third point is the introduction of technology to reduce the cost of production.
The places we import rice from are like Nigeria. But, their governments subsidize their production. For instance, India, Vietnam, China, and Thailand provide subsidies for their farmers.
But they hide it, because they don't want to be accused of favouring one sector over the others. You call it a smart subsidy.
The (Goodluck) Jonathan administration was doing it through the E-wallet thing where farmers were given fertilizers and seeds free.
That was the kind of subsidy used to trash the challenges and we were getting results. What's bad was that since the present government came in, we have not seen any of the previous administration's polices implemented.
Cost of production in those other countries are low, because their governments subsidized and they have some simple technology to produce and still have good environment.
Our soils are varying, while their soils are homogeneous. Their soils are deep and clear. They can use tractors one million times without disturbing the soil.
But ours is different, especially the upland. If one uses tractors, then one will not be able to use that soil again, unless one has to find a solution.
A lot of people say tractors should be given to farmers. But, our soils are so fragile. These are the factors that make our rice much more expensive. Once it is easier for one to go to the backyard and pick a bag for N50 and sell it for N150, the attraction will still be there.
Whether border closure or not, with time people will devise a means of beating the Nigeria Customs operating at the borders and bring in the rice.
PT: Do you think Nigerian rice farmers can produce enough to meet the demand for the rice required to feed Nigerians?
PHILIP: Within two seasons, we can produce enough to meet local demand if the right things are done. But, the government does not have the political will to do the right thing.
If the farmers planting rice during the wet season from Sokoto to Ebonyi States, the majority are relying on rain for their production.
In the wet season, every farmer who wants to plant rice can plant rice, whether in the upland system or in the lowland system.
Most of our rice is 90 to 120-day variety. So, if they were six million and we can still get half of them, that is three million, to plant in the dry season, then we will soon come out of the problem.
People will tell you they are going to promote dry season farming. But, only a few places have water to practice dry season farming.
In Kano, Sokoto, Kebbi and Jigawa Zones, a lot of dams have been developed there. Kebbi State, for instance, we can get water in three metres.
The rivers in Sokoto and Zamfara States made it possible for the presence of good ground water and they are well connected.
People in this area can get water at two to three metres, maximum of six metres. But, if you try to dig in Adani (Anambra State), you don't get it in 15 metres.
We actually brought farmers from the North who dug this to help those in Anambra State, they had to dig to 15 metres, but their rods were not more than 12 metres.
Most of our people who grow rice during the dry season are people who pump water from the rivers, or dig the borehole they are using. The government needs to prepare, make water available.
I hope you have heard of rivers rising and water carrying people around? These are not curses, but blessings.
We are not taking the opportunity of the good resources we have. If Niger River was dredged, all that water will contain there and it will be used for transportation of cows to have enough water, whether it is for RUGA or not.
Why is Kano State the home of agriculture in Nigeria? Because the Ahmadu Bello's government in the 1960's was able to build small water bodies.

Old newspapers to grow carbon nanotubes

"Newspapers have the benefit of being used in a roll-to-roll process in a stacked form making it an ideal candidate as a low-cost stackable 2D surface to grow carbon nanotubes," said lead researcher Bruce Brinson from the Rice University in the US.

By AuthorIANS  |  Published: 25th Nov 2019  4:10 pmUpdated: 25th Nov 2019  8:17 pm
Description: https://cdn.telanganatoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Old-newspapers-to-grow-carb-567x400.jpg
Old newspapers can be used as a low cost, eco-friendly material to grow single-walled carbon nanotubes on a large scale, says a study. Carbon nanotubes are tiny molecules with incredible physical properties that can be used in a huge range of things, such as conductive films for touchscreen displays, flexible electronics, fabrics that create energy and antennas for 5G networks.
“Newspapers have the benefit of being used in a roll-to-roll process in a stacked form making it an ideal candidate as a low-cost stackable 2D surface to grow carbon nanotubes,” said lead researcher Bruce Brinson from the Rice University in the US.
However, not all newspaper is equally good only newspaper produced with sizing made from kaolin, which is china clay, resulted in carbon nanotube growth, said the researchers.
The study, published in the Journal of Carbon Research, details the research experiments carried out in producing carbon nanotubes which could have the potential to solve some of the problems associated with their large-scale production such as, the high cost of preparing a suitable surface for chemical growth and the difficulties in scaling up the process.
The research team discovered that the large surface area of newspapers provided an unlikely but ideal way to chemically grow carbon nanotubes. “With our new research, we have found a continuous flow system that dramatically reduces the cost of both substrate and post synthesis process which could impact on the future mass manufacture of single walled carbon nanotubes,” said Andrew Barron, Professor at Rice University.

Daily Trust’s Agric Conference, Exhibition begins today
 By Francis Arinze Iloani | Published Date Nov 26, 2019 6:22 AM
Daily Trust’s Agric Conference and Exhibition will begin today in Nigeria’s commercial city, Lagos. A statement signed by the company’s General Manager, Business and Strategy, Ahmed Shekarau, said the event is holding at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. ADVERTISEMENT The statement announced the theme of the Agric Conference and Exhibition, which is the third edition, as ‘Repositioning Rice, Sugar and Dairy Production for Optimal Yield’. ADVERTISEMENT HOW OVER 5000 NIGERIA MEN HAVE PERMANENTLY OVERCOME TERRIBLE BEDROOM PERFORMANCE DUE TO THIS RECENT BRILLIANT DISCOVERY BY MEDICAL CONSULTANTS Media Trust, publishers of Daily Trust newspaper titles, disclosed that First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Limited, Unity Bank Plc, Fidelity, Stanbic IBTC, Jaiz and other key financial institutions have indicated interest to participate in event. The Minister of Agricultural and Natural Resources, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono, is expected to declare the event open. Key institutions attending the event include Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) Plc and the Bank of Agriculture (BOA).
The conference and exhibition are “aimed at tackling critical issues along the rice, sugar and dairy value chains, with the view of increasing output,” the statement said. It said further that renowned businessman, Mr. Emmanuel Ijewere, who is a co-chairman of the Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG), is expected to chair the event at which critical stakeholders like the Executive Secretary/CEO of the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Dr. Latif Busari and the Executive Director/CEO, National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI), Zaria, Prof. C.A.M Lokpini would examine issues that are vital to the growth of the value chains listed. Other stakeholders in the agricultural sector that are expected at the event, the statement said, include agricultural development institutions, the National Quarantine Service (NAQS), agricultural research councils, and agricultural research institutes. Also expected at the event, are agro-allied industries such as the projects section of Dangote Group, Honeywell Group, Wamco, Olam Group, L & Z Integrated Dairy Farms Ltd, Umza Rice Mill Ltd and Labana Rice Group Ltd. The statement said Notore Chemical Industries Nigeria has also confirmed its participation, adding that “various farmers, rice millers and paddy rice dealers’ associations are participating in the two-day conference and exhibition.”

Avoid rice millers to scrap middlemen system in paddy procurement: Minister Nani

MSP for paddy with up to 17% moisture content, says district Collector

Transport Minister Perni Nani on Monday appealed to farmers to avoid selling paddy directly to rice millers, and join hands with the government to scrap the middlemen system in paddy procurement.


Support The Hindu's new online experience.

Haryana agriculture minister gives clean chit to rice millers

CITIES Updated: Nov 25, 2019 22:34 IST
Description: Neeraj Mohan
Neeraj Mohan
Hindustan Times, Karnal

Even as hundreds of government officials along with police personnel are conducting physical verification of paddy stock at rice mills of the state, Haryana agriculture minister JP Dalal gave a clean chit to rice millers, saying that there was no scam and allegations of the opposition parties were baseless.
At the time when the opposition parties are terming the investigation a ‘cover up’ and government is being criticised for working under a ‘strong lobby’ of rice millers and commission agents, Dalal’s statement has raised question mark over credibility of the verification, which is yet to be completed.
Kaun kehta hai ghotala hua hai ?Haryana pradesh ka dhaan godaam me rakha hua hai (Who says there is a scam? Haryana’s paddy is stocked in warehouses),” Dalal said while interacting with mediapersons during his visit to Centre of Excellence for Vegetables in Karnal’s Gharaunda on Monday.
“The government has a right to inspect the stock of paddy procured by its agencies. It does not prove that there was a scam in the procurement. So far, no irregularity has been detected by the inspection teams,” he said.
‘Bring cheap labour from Orissa’
Earlier during his visit, he advised the centre’s officials to bring labourers at cheaper rates from Orissa and other states. He even told them that there were labourers at his farm who work at 100 per day. “Why are you paying higher wages to labourers while we pay only 100 per labourer at our farm. You should call labourers from Orissa,” he told the officials. However, the officials said this was a government-run centre and workers cannot be paid less than the daily wages fixed by the government.
BKU leaders protest, seek probe in bogus billing
Meanwhile, members of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) have accused the government of not taking action against the people involved in the paddy scam. They alleged that officials of the Haryana agriculture marketing board, food and supply department and commission agents were also involved in the scam along with rice millers. BKU Haryana president Ratan Mann said, “Erring officials have been tasked with the physical verification. We want a judicial inquiry in this scam so that stern action can be taken against the culprits.”

No paddy scam, claims minister Dalal

Nov 26, 2019, 7:01 AM; last updated: Nov 26, 2019, 7:01 AM (IST)Description: No paddy scam, claims minister Dalal
Agriculture Minister Jai Parkash Dalal at the Indo-Israel Centre of Excellence for Vegetables in Gharaunda on Monday.
Tribune News Service
Karnal, November 25
Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Minister Jai Parkash Dalal on Monday refuted the allegations of the opposition leaders and denied any paddy scam in Haryana.
He said no paddy scam took place in Haryana and the opposition leaders were only making baseless allegations. The rice millers have the rice which they have been allotted by the government for milling purpose. He maintained that the government has been conducting physical verification of the mills.
The minister was on the visit of Indo-Israel Centre of Excellence for Vegetables in Gharaunda and Potato Technology Centre (PTC), Shamgarh village. He admitted the farmers had been facing problem of marketing of agricultural produce and emphasised on the need of marketing of the produce.
“Farmers work hard with dedication to produce agricultural products, but they face marketing problem. We will focus on the marketing of the farmers’ produce to increase their income. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the aim to double the income of the farmers by 2022,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, he flagged off a mobile retail van from Gharaunda centre. The minister said the centre had been extending support to enhance the production with the help of new technologies and the farmers were being trained for new research in horticulture.

Lai: 95 percent of arms for kidnapping, banditry come through land borders

Description: Lai: 95 percent of arms for kidnapping, banditry come through land borders
November 25
Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says 95 percent of arms used in kidnapping and banditry in the country come through the porous land borders.
Speaking on Monday at the Seme border, the minister said neighbouring countries have not been playing by the rules as regards the ECOWAS protocol. 
“Overtime, Nigeria has been confronted with numerous trans-border economic and security challenges. These challenges range from banditry, kidnapping, smuggling, illegal migrants and proliferation of light weapons amongst others,” he said. 
“Meanwhile, the preference for foreign goods, especially food items like rice has continuously impoverished our farmers and adversely affected domestic government policies supporting the agricultural sector to enhance food security. 
“It is however disturbing that some neighbouring countries circumvent the ECOWAS protocol on transit. For clarity, the ECOWAS protocol on transit demands that when a transit container berths at a seaport, the receiving country is mandated to escort same without tampering with the seal to the border of the destination country. Unfortunately, experience has shown that our neighbours do not comply with this protocol. Rather, they break the seals of containers at their ports and trans-load goods destined for Nigeria.”
Mohammed said the closure has curbed the smuggling of foreign rice and other prohibited items into the country. 
He said from his interaction with rice millers the border closure has enhanced the production of local rice.
He also said the patronage of Nigerian rice has increased, and that farmers are increasing their scale and engaging more hands. 
The minister said the exercise has curbed the diversion of petroleum products from Nigeria to neighbouring countries.
According to him, items worth more than N3 billion have been seized and disallowed from entering the country since the exercise began.
“So far, 296 illegal immigrants have been arrested. Also, some items seized include; 38,743-50kg bags of parboiled foreign rice; 514 vehicles; 1,012 drums filled with PMS; 5,400 jericans of vegetable oil; 346 motorcycles; 10, 553 jerricans of PMS and 136 bags of NPK fertiliser used for making explosives. The estimated values of the apprehended items is about ₦3,235,126,420.00,” he said. 
“It is important to note that 95 percent of illicit drugs and weapons that are being used for acts of terrorism and kidnapping in Nigeria today come in through our porous borders. However, since this partial closure, the acts have been drastically reduced. Our conclusion is that, the arms and ammunition these terrorists and criminal elements were using no longer gains access into the country. In addition, the drugs which affect the health and the wellbeing of Nigerians have equally been reduced.
“The government, through diplomatic channels will continue to engage our neighbours to agree to comply with the ECOWAS Protocol on transit. Goods that are on the prohibition list to Nigeria, such as rice, used clothing, poultry products and vegetable oil should not be exported to the country. As a result of this closure, Niger Republic has already circulated an order banning exportation of rice in any form to Nigeria. In addition, the National Assembly has supported the executive directive on the border closure and the efforts of security agencies in executing the task.” 
The minister added that the swift response exercise coordinated the by the office of the national security adviser (ONSA) in collaboration with the military and paramilitary has strengthened inter-agency relationships.

Nigeria’s Funmi Fagbola, Mercy Bankole win L’Oréal-UNESCO science awards

 November 25, 2019
2019 Sub-Saharan Africa Young Talents Awardees. Photo: L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme
Two Nigerian female scientists — Mercy Bankole and Funmilola Fagbola — have been awarded the 2019 Young Talents Sub-Saharan Africa Awards alongside 18 other female researchers.
The award is sponsored jointly by Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO For Women in Science programme.
Mercy Temitope Bankole is a post-doctoral researcher at the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State. She majors in Chemistry, with a research project on ‘Healing open wounds faster and better thanks to a nanocomposite.’
Funmilola Fagbola is a doctoral candidate at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology’s department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering. Her research project focuses on ‘Detecting misinformation with proof and deep learning models, and nature-inspired algorithms.’
Each doctoral student awardee received €10,000; while each post-doctoral student awardee got €15,000.
The awardees also benefited from a four-day training designed to give them more resources to pursue their careers.
The four-day training course, given by international experts selected by the Fondation L’Oréal, covered different dimensions such as leadership, management, negotiation, public speaking, media training and personal branding, the Press release announcing their awards added.
The award, which held in Dakar, Senegal, last Thursday, was part of the 10th edition of its regional programme For Women in Science.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Vice-President of the Fondation L’Oréal, Alexandra Palt, said, “The number of women in Science is not yet significant: only 2.4%1 of the world’s researchers are African scientists, of whom 30% are women. Through the Young Talents Awards for SubSaharan Africa, we promote and support the continent’s remarkable female researchers.
“They play a key role to develop inclusive research in Africa, for Africa and conducted by Africans.”
According to the Press release distributed by the Chief of Project Rosine Zadi, the 20 awardees were drawn from 15 countries and comprised computer scientists, engineers and biologists.
“They prove the diversity and crucial role of women’s scientific research on the continent,” the release said.
They were awarded in front of high-level audience from all over Africa.
They included First Lady of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mrs. Denise Nyakeru Tshisekedi; Minister of Higher Education,
Research and Innovation of Senegal, Mr. Sheikh Oumar Anne; Regional Director of UNESCO West Africa (Sahel), Dimitri Sanga; and CEO Kudirat Initiative for Democracy, Hafsat Abiola, among others.
See the full list of the 2019 awardees:
1 – Regina Esinam ABOTSI – Doctoral candidate – Ghana – University of Cape Town, South Africa
Discipline: Health Sciences
Research project: Determining antibiotic resistance in potentially pathogenic bacteria present
in the respiratory tract of HIV-infected children.
2 – Becky Nancy ALOO – Doctoral candidate – Kenya – Laboratory, Nelson Mandela African
Institution of Science and Technology, Arusha City, Tanzania
Discipline: Biological Sciences
Research project: Identifying novel species of Irish potato rhizobacteria to enhance yields.
3 – Fatoumata BA – Doctoral candidate – Senegal – Gaston Berger University of Saint-Louis
Discipline: Fundamental medicine
Research project: Studying sleep to better fight metabolic diseases.
4 – Dr. Mercy Temitope BANKOLE – Post-doctoral researcher – Nigeria – Federal University of
Technology, Minna Niger State
Discipline: Chemistry
Research project: Healing open wounds faster and better thanks to a nanocomposite.
5 – Najah Fatou COLY – Doctoral candidate – Senegal – Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar
Discipline: Biological sciences
Research project: Better understanding infections during delivery to fight neonatal mortality
6 – Funmilola FAGBOLA – Doctoral candidate – Nigeria – Ladoke Akintola University of
Discipline: Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
Research project: Detecting misinformation with proof and deep learning models, and natureinspired algorithms
7 – Dr. Nowsheen GOONOO – Post-doctoral researcher – Mauritius – Mauritius University, Moka
Discipline: Materials sciences
Research project: Avoiding amputations by enhancing healing in diabetic wounds
8 – Fatou JOOF – Doctoral candidate – The Gambia – Banjul Open University
Discipline: Biological Sciences
Research project: Developing new antimalarial strategies by tracking genetic mutations
9 – Ruth KIHIKA – Doctoral candidate – Kenya – Nairobi Kenyatta University
Discipline: Chemistry
Research project: Identifying gene targets that correlate with biochemical pathways
responsible for plant resistance to parasites
10 – Stéphanie Maubath Carène KONAN – Doctoral candidate – Côte d’Ivoire – Félix Houphouët
Boigny University, Abidjan
Discipline: Informatics and Information Science
Research project: Geomatics at the service of the fight against malnutrition
11 – Carine KUNSEVI-KILOLA – Doctoral candidate – Democratic Republic of Congo –
Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Discipline: Health Sciences
Research project: Combating tuberculosis contamination in diabetics
12 – Dr. Jacqueline KYOSIIMIRE-LUGEMWA – Post-doctoral researcher – MRC/UVRI & London
School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Unité de recherche ougandaise, Uganda
Discipline: Health Sciences
Research project: Generating comprehensive data on the pre-existing immune status and its
effect on vaccine response.
13 – Dr. Henintsoa Onivola MINOARIVELO – Post-doctoral researcher – Madagascar – Université
de Stellenbosch, Afrique du Sud
Discipline: Mathematics
Research project: Using mathematical modelling and computational simulations to predict
the fate of insect pollinators.
14 – Celia MOFFAT JOEL MATYANGA – Doctoral candidate – Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe University,
Discipline: Fundamental Medicine
Research project: Using the interactions between a herbal traditional medicine and first line
treatment of hiv/aids
15 – Mweete NGLAZI – Doctoral candidate – Zambia – Cap University, South Africa Discipline:
Health Sciences
Research project: An analysis of overweight and obesity in South Africa: the case of women of
childbearing age
16 – Ines NGOH – Doctoral candidate – Cameroon – Buea University et London School of
Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Gambian Research Unit, Gambia
Discipline: Biological sciences
Research project: Understanding genetic variations, used by natural populations of malaria
17 – Georgina NYAWO – Doctoral candidate – Zimbabwe – Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Discipline: Health sciences
Research project: – Assessing the microbiome in patients with tuberculosis to develop novel
diagnostic interventions and therapeutic
18 – Dr. Cécile Harmonie OTOIDOBIGA – Post-doctoral researcher – Burkina Faso –
Ouagadougou Joseph Ki-Zerbo University
Discipline: Biological Sciences
Research project: Improving productivity of lowland rice in West Africa
19 – Francine TANKEU – Doctoral candidate – Cameroon – Yaoundé 1 University
Discipline: Biological Sciences
Research project: Treating leukemia by allying biochemistry to the power of plants
20 – Jesugnon Fifamè Murielle Féty TONOUEWA – Doctoral candidate – Benin – Parakou
Discipline: Environmental Engineering
Research project: Improving the Acacia wood supply chain in Benin
For high-level football players, kikiam is one of the worst breakfast choices
KIKIAM, rice, bread, and egg.This was the breakfast of champions of the women’s football squads — right in time for their opening SEA Games matches this week.“The quality and quantity of food is not enough,” lamented Let Dimzon, the coach for the Philippine women’s football team, at a press conference. “Sa variety din, like for this morning hindi enough yung rice and kikiam and egg, walang nutrients.”
Added Malaysia coach Joceph Jacob: “Today my breakfast, most of the players eat only bread and some egg.”
At elite levels of play, players explode into short bursts of intense action, bookended by a long stretch of constant aerobic activity as they cut back and forth across the pitch. “Mean energy expenditure (above rest) for a match has been estimated to be approximately 1107 kilocalories,” writes a team of sports scientists from Lisbon, Portugal in the article “Nutrition and Supplementation in Soccer”, published in the journal Sport in 2017.
That’s the equivalent of three and a half to four burgers.
However, it’s not just a matter of ingesting calories to cover what an athlete will burn up over the course of a match. Athletes must carefully watch their consumption of nutrients to fuel their bodies and recover well after the game.
The article recommends that, right before a match, players must ingest 1 to 4 grams of carbohydrates for each kilogram of body weight. Similarly, they must eat 0.25 to 0.4 grams of protein for each kilogram of body weight.
For athletes, it’s easy to measure: get their weight in kilos, and divide it by 4. That’s how many grams of protein they should be consuming before a match. For an athlete weighing 73 kilos, or around 160 pounds, they need to eat at least 18.25 grams of protein — equivalent to around 4 to 5 egg whites. Even then, more is probably better. “A high protein intake has been recommended for athletes for many years,” conclude four nutritionists from the Czech Republic's Charles University in their article “Macronutrient Intake in Soccer Players—A Meta-Analysis”, published in the journal Nutrients just this year.
It’s in this last requirement that the SEA Games’ athletes’ breakfast may fall astoundingly short. After all, “more important than the total amount is the intake profile, which includes characteristics as the amount of protein at each meal, the timing of intake, and the source of protein,” writes the team from Portugal.
High-quality protein is key here. If the kikiam served is the street food version of the Chinese delicacy, it’s most likely packed with fillers. But even in its most authentic version, this deep-fried dish is no match, nutritionally, for the lean protein athletes need for muscular recovery.
"Best protein sources for athletes would be lean proteins such as white meat items like chicken and lean fish," said nutritionist Timothy Jeffe Ting, RND, CSCS, to Spin LIFE. Ting is a sports nutrition consultant for the UP Fighting Maroons, the NU Women's and Girl's Volleyball Team, and the Foton Blue Energy Pro-Volleyball team.
He recommends that these proteins be grilled, baked, or boiled in a stew. Deep-fried should definitely be avoided.
"It's crucial that athletes eat lean proteins to maximize recovery [and] at the same time, allow easier digestion," Ting continued. Fats, like those present in grease and fillers, will "take longer to digest properly, and might be detrimental to performance when taken around training time."
If this quality of breakfast continues over the course of the Games, eggs will probably be the football players’ best bet.
And even then, without a wider variety of food, like fruits and vegetables, athletes, Filipino and foreign alike, may miss out on the micronutrients they need to deliver peak performance.

ATP Funds Support New Promotion in the West Bank

WEST BANK, RAMALLAH - USA Rice has initiated promotional program activities here for the first time utilizing Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) program funds. The ATP program is one of three programs that President Trump authorized in 2018 to assist agricultural producers who have been affected by retaliatory tariffs in many overseas markets, and USA Rice received more than $5.5 million to promote U.S. rice internationally over the next three years.

The West Bank imported some U.S.-origin rice in the past as the mostly Arabic speaking local population consumes rice on a daily basis and appreciates the high quality characteristics of U.S.-grown rice that fits perfectly with the local cuisine.
"There are several identified U.S. rice brands available in the market, and USA Rice reached out to importers to develop promotions supporting the increased sale of these brands," said Eszter Somogyi, USA Rice director for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. "Local traders have been very interested in participating in the program and agreed to contribute 30 percent of the third party promotional costs."

USA Rice recruited four different U.S. rice brands to participate in promotional activities that started in October and include billboard advertising and LED screens installed in several major cities, such as Ramallah, Hebron, and Jericho. Radio spots also are being aired on selected radio channels touting the benefits of U.S. rice. More in-store promotions are planned for November and December to influence consumer decisions at the point of sale.

These promotions have demonstrated increased awareness of U.S. rice and as of September 2019, U.S. rice exports are up 90 percent over the same time period last year, totaling 13,200 MT.

"The strong interest and willingness of local importers to participate in our program and contribute in cash to the promotional costs is a huge success and we look forward to further developing the program in the West Bank in the coming years," said Somogyi.
USA Rice Daily

Indonesia’s Bulog wants government funding to buy rice
Indonesia's state food procurement agency (Bulog) needs government funding of 20 trillion rupiah ($1.42 billion) in 2020 to finance purchases of rice needed as a buffer stock, its chief executive said on Thursday. The agency typically takes up bank loans to purchase government rice reserves which Bulog stocks to stabilise prices and which can only be sold under the direction of the government. But the agency is facing rising financial costs due to its large debt, Bulog's chief executive Budi Waseso told reporters after attending a parliamentary hearing where he asked for the funding. About 80% of Bulog's revenue used to come from a social security programme which involved the government buying rice from Bulog, Waseso said, a programme which has since been changed. “That's why we propose that the rice reserves are being funded by the government," he said. He said Bulog currently has nearly 28 trillion rupiah in debt, a jump from 2017's debt level after the agency was directed to import nearly 1 million tonnes of rice last year. Bulog's total short term debt stood at around 13 trillion rupiah at the end of 2017, according to its financial report. “We are buying rice every day, which means our debt continues to increase, meanwhile there is no assignment to sell," Waseso said. Bulog expected to procure 1.6 million tonnes of rice from local farmers next year. In the past three years, the government budgeted 2.5 trillion rupiah per year to help finance the rice purchase, he said, to subsidise price gaps. The request for funding comes at a time when the government is struggling to raise revenue from tax and the budget deficit is seen widening to 2.2% of GDP from 1.84% this year.

Thailand using blockchain tech to help trace organic rice

In a first, local farmers and growers will participate in the project which is expected to start in mid-2020.

The Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO) announced that it will use blockchain technology for production-to-export traceability of agricultural products, starting with organic rice, so as to build confidence among buyers. The project will start as soon as the Office receives the operating budget for fiscal 2020 and TPSO will also accelerate discussions with blockchain experts, related authorities, and financial institutions to speed up the development of blockchain system. The agency has already talked with farmers and some 5,000 growers from Surin province will participate in this project. The project is expected to start in the middle of the next year, and if successful, will be extended to other agricultural products. The blockchain system will be able to trace the process from cultivation, which involves a camera being installed in the rice fields to check where it was grown and whether it is really organic rice, while the production or packaging process can verify where it was produced. The certification process checks the department that serves as the inspector and issues the certificate, while the financial institutions who act as the payment intermediary after the rice are sold provide the information on the buyer and the country of export. The system will help instil confidence in Thai organic rice, reducing problems of buyer’s rejection, product adulteration, and licence subrogation in order to increase the bargaining power and add more value to the product, as well as creating opportunities for expanding export markets. The buyers can check the source of organic rice. If they have a problem such as finding that it is not organic rice, they will be able to reject it. The blockchain project couldn’t have come at a more vital time. Another recent report noted that on 25 November 2019, the Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister had submitted a second list of rice manufacturers to China and that its government promised it would finish the registration process under its import scheme as soon as possible. The Minister’s statement came after he met with the Deputy Minister of the General Administration of Customs, China (GACC). Rice exported from Thailand has gained huge popularity in China. The Thai government had previously submitted the first batch of rice manufacturers’ names for the GACC’s consideration based on product quality and their safety standard, and 49 exporters were given approval, comprising both large manufacturers and SMEs. China’s willingness to consider a second batch is a positive sign, which could pave the way for additional exports of 1 million tonnes of rice to China estimated at Bt27 billion. The agriculture minister also said he and China’s GACC Deputy Minister discussed opportunities to export more agricultural products from Thailand to China, including processed tapioca and fruits, frozen pork, live cattle, and bird nests.
 The two also discussed the possibility to export fruits via the newly opened Dongxing border checkpoint, which Thai exporters can use to conveniently transport their products by land. The checkpoint is located only 150 metres away from the Mong Cai agricultural market. GACC officials have acknowledged Thailand’s offers and promised to work out agreements that favour both countries as soon as possible. As exports increase so does the threat of quality and false verification, the blockchain technology, if hopefully scaled up, could aid in inter-country trade relations as well, enabling all parties to rest assured in the strength and veracity of the supply chain.

Make Thai rice great again
The failure of Thailand's signature jasmine rice, Thai Hom Mali, to win back the World's Best Rice award two years in a row, is a wake-up call for the government to start taking Thailand's rice development seriously. Earlier this month, an organic rice strain from Vietnam's Soc Trang province, ST24, was named the World's Best Rice at The Rice Trader (TRT) World Rice Conference in Manila, the Philippines, where a panel of international judges inspected and evaluated the aroma, taste, texture and shape of each participating rice variety. The ST24 strain, Vietnamese rice experts say, is a high-yield variety that can be harvested 2-3 times each year. It produces long, white grains which give off the aroma of pineapples. ST24, they say, can yield up to 8.5 tonnes per hectare, or about 1,300 kg per rai.

Last year, a premium fragrant variety from Cambodia, Malys Angkor, won the honour. Both countries have managed to take the crown away from Thailand's jasmine rice, which has received the honour five times in total -- including a back-to-back win in 2016 and 2017. The loss does not reflect a decline in the quality of our rice. Instead, it reflects the lack of further research and development of Thai rice varieties, especially when substantial improvements have been made by our neighbouring countries.

While this year is only the first time a variety from Vietnam won the award, it shows that rice strains from Vietnam could potentially become a highly-competitive rival to the Hom Mali in the international market. This is especially true when costs are considered -- Vietnamese rice are considerably cheaper, especially given the baht's continued appreciation. Thai Hom Mali goes for about US$1,100-1,200 (about 33,280 to 36,300 baht) per tonne, while a similar strain from Vietnam is priced at about $600 per tonne, according to Thai Rice Exporters Association. Furthermore, Vietnamese crops have better yields per rai. For example, the average rice crop in Thailand yields about 450 kilogrammes per rai, while in Vietnam, the average yield per rai can be as high as 800-1,000 kg per rai. Thailand's jasmine rice can still compete with Vietnamese rice in the world, thanks to the reputation it built over the past two decades. But how long can a country's rice industry rely on old reputation without further development amid tougher competition? The honorary president of Thai Rice Exporters Association, Chookiat Ophaswongse, said that without further R&D that can help improve yields and meet popular demand, Thai Hom Mali will disappear from the world's rice markets within five years. While Thailand exported more than 11 million tonnes of rice last year, generating more than 180 billion baht in revenue, the country spent much less on R&D for rice variety improvement, roughly around 200-300 million baht a year. The government seems to pay more attention on digital trends and national security rather than agricultural development, despite the fact that the agriculture sector -- particularly rice production -- has always been the backbone of the country's economy. Thailand also do not give out incentives to attract a new generation of rice researchers, resulting in the low number of rice research. With these challenges in mind, the government should set rice development as a national agenda item.

C.P. Intertrade releases high-end Hom Mali Rice brand
BANGKOK, Nov 26, 2019 - (ACN Newswire) - On November 15, C.P. Intertrade Co., Ltd (brand: Royal Umbrella) held the 3rd World's Hom Mali Rice Harvesting Day in Phayao, one of the major agricultural provinces in Thailand. During the event, C.P. Intertrade introduced various Hom Mali Rices and introduced a new local rice brand from Phayao, the Hug Phayao. Thai Hom Mali Rice, also known as Jasmine Rice, is a point of national pride for Thai people. Hom Mali Rice is a long-grain variety of fragrant rice with a smooth and chewy texture. It's very popular among consumers all over the world. C.P. Intertrade provides trade services of Thai rice and relevant products. It owns several Thai Hom Mali Rice brands, including Royal Umbrella, Royal Buriram, and C.P. Rice. Due to the high quality and strict control, it is certified by multiple international standards, such as HACCP and ISO9001. Royal Umbrella is one of the greatest Thai rice brands and among them, it is the only one that's widely sold in the world. Royal Umbrella has also achieved numerous awards: the Ministry of Commerce, Department of Export Promotion award three times; the Prime Minister's Award twice; Super Brand in Singapore in 2003-2011; the World's Best Rice Award 2009, the Philippines World Rice Conference. In 2013, it received the FDA Quality Award, which is the first and only bagged rice operator in Thailand to win such an award. Phayao is located in northeast Thailand, with a clean and beautiful natural environment. Its soil is composed of volcanic and fluvial sediments that provide extremely rich nutrition. In addition, there's hardly any industrial enterprise in Phayao. It is barely affected by human pollution, which makes it propitious to grow organic rice with high quality.

During the 3rd World's Hom Mali Rice Harvesting Day, representatives from the local agriculture department, rice brands dealers and farmers cooperatives jointly signed an agreement that they will work together and promote Thai Hom Mali Rice to the global market. In the past, there was a lack of promotion and quality control for Thai rice. Due to the unguaranteed quality and authenticity, it was difficult to buy a bag of real Thai Hom Mali Rice. According to Mr. Withaya Sriareerug, they will launch a series of promotions to deliver their high-quality Thai rice and the spirit of sustainability, so as to enhance the connection with their global customers. A large portion of the Chinese people lives on rice, so the Chinese market is a very important part of the Hom Mali Rice in CPI (C.P. Intertrade). Currently, Chinese customers can order original Thai rice from C.P. Intertrade in both online stores and physical stores.
The Phayao Thai rice harvest this time will be available around December in domestic online stores, such as Tmall.com, Taobao.com, JD.com, and Freshhema.com before it enters physical supermarkets. Except for the incomparable environment for rice planting, another important reason for the 3rd World's Hom Mali Rice Harvesting Day in Phayao province is the company's successful promotion of their GAP Plus project, which enhances the quality of the rice and improves the farmers' lives. The goal of the GAP Plus project is to boost the feeling of happiness for the farmers and sustainable agriculture.
On the basis of GAP (Good Agricultural Practices), the company established a professional team to provide high purity seeds. In the meantime, they also teach the farmers a sustainable way to plant rice in order to reduce pollution, for example, enhancing the soils, monitoring the insect attack, and checking the rice fields. As Mr. Thiti Lujintanon, the COO of the company puts it: "According to the regulations of the government, we purchase the Thai rice with a high price and standard, which results in a standard production model. The farmers also live better lives while their Thai rice can be sold worldwide." "Rice is like life for a farmer. If he plants rice well one year, the whole family will be guaranteed the next year," says Mr. Withaya Sriareerug. The concept of "Rice is life" is also the proof of it. C.P. Intertrade hopes the customers can understand the ingenuity of the farmers with the "life supply chain" from the field to the table. With the help of GAP Plus, the farmers can harvest higher quality rice, thus C.P. Intertrade (Royal Umbrella) can also purchase the rice at a better price. "We offer a high price to purchase the rice, so we can attract more farmers to participate in this project. What is more, this also encourages the farmers to plant better rice." The high quality rice not only increases the income of the farmers, but also boosts their feeling of satisfaction. It also helps to improve the living conditions as well as to promote sustainable agriculture, which protects the earth.

Thousands of Thai farmers march for pesticides
Description: https://s3media.freemalaysiatoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Webp.net-resizeimage-152.jpeg BANGKOK: About 2,000 demonstrators marched to Thailand’s Government House on Tuesday to demand a delay in a ban due from Dec 1 on three pesticides, as a dispute over the plan escalates. The protesters submitted a letter to Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha asking for time to assess scientific evidence, the economic impact and whether alternatives are available. Outlawing the chemicals will hurt Thai farmers’ competitiveness and imperil millions of jobs, according to the letter.

 Thailand plans to prohibit three pesticides – paraquat, chlorpyrifos and glyphosate – over health risks under a push by a party in the sprawling coalition government. The move against glyphosate, commonly sold as weedkiller Roundup, has sparked resistance from the US, which has also asked Prayuth to delay to consider scientific evidence. The party spearheading the ban, Bhum Jai Thai, controls the health and transport ministries. It’s one of more than a dozen in the coalition, which has a razor-thin majority in parliament. Asked by reporters whether any slip in the Dec 1 deadline would have political ramifications because Bhum Jai Thai ministers could quit, Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said he has to put concerns about health first. ‘No compromise’ “We have to listen to all parties and assess what we can do to create less dispute,” Bhum Jai Thai leader Anutin said. “But I’m responsible for the Ministry of Health, and there can be no compromise on any policy that’s dangerous for health.” Police on the ground gave rough estimates of the size of the crowd. The demonstration was organised by the Thai Agricultural Innovation Trade Association, the Thai Agro-Business Association and the Thai Crop Protection Association. Last week, Singapore-based CropLife Asia, a trade group representing pesticide firms, asked Prayuth to delay the ban because of the potential disruption to the agriculture sector. Glyphosate is banned or restricted in a range of places, such as Vietnam and Austria, and triggered a flurry of lawsuits in the US from people alleging it causes cancer. About 11 million of Thailand’s 69 million people are employed in agriculture. The nation is among the world’s top exporters of rice, rubber and sugar.
Explained: What is Golden Rice?

Said to be answer to Vitamin A deficiency, yet to be planted on large scale. Will Bangladesh be first?
By Express News Service |New Delhi |Updated: November 26, 2019 1:03:53 pm

The Golden Rice that is being reviewed in Bangladesh is developed by the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute. According to the institute, this rice variety will not be more expensive than the conventional variety.In the late 1990s, German scientists developed a genetically modified variety of rice called Golden Rice. It was claimed to be able to fight Vitamin A deficiency, which is the leading cause of blindness among children and can also lead to death due to infectious diseases such as measles.
The claim has sometimes been contested over the years, with a 2016 study from Washington University in St Louis reporting that the variety may fall short of what it is supposed to achieve.
Now, Bangladesh could be on the verge of becoming the first country to approve plantation of this variety. The Dhaka Tribune recently quoted visiting Nobel Laureate Sir Richard John Roberts as saying that Bangladesh would take a decision on the release of Golden Rice.
Advocates of the variety stress how it can help countries where Vitamin A deficiencies leave millions at high risk. In Bangladesh, over 21 per cent of the children have vitamin A deficiency.
The Golden Rice that is being reviewed in Bangladesh is developed by the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute. According to the institute, this rice variety will not be more expensive than the conventional variety.Rice is naturally low in the pigment beta-carotene, which the body uses to make Vitamin A. Golden rice contains this, which is the reason for its golden colour.



Description: Article Image Alt Text

Sun, 11/24/2019 - 8:43pm
CROWLEY — An LSU AgCenter and Louisiana Sea Grant agent is studying the effects of crawfish production following a second crop of rice.
Mark Shirley is conducting the study requested by farmers who want to know to what extent harvesting a second rice crop will affect their crawfish.
“These days, rice farmers are trying to get every bit of value out of their crawfish crop in addition to their rice crop,” Shirley said.
The study, funded by the Louisiana Rice Research Board, will try to determine how food for crawfish, habitat, water quality and crawfish populations are affected by harvesting a second rice crop.
The project is underway at the South Farm of the LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station.
On one 7.5-acre field, an initial crop of rice was harvested in August. The field was then flooded, but no second crop was harvested. On the second 7.5 acres, the first crop was harvested in August and the second crop was cut Nov. 19 with several inches of water flooding the field.
Rice straw from harvesting a second crop will decompose in the flood, Shirley said. That usually results in lower water quality because dissolved oxygen will be removed from the decomposition, reducing the amount of food available for crawfish in the spring.
“So it’s a question of how much damage do you have by harvesting the second crop,” he said.
The field with the second crop was left flooded for the second harvest because draining it would have killed most of the crawfish, he said.
Some farmers have asked about the possible benefit of using a stripper header on a harvester that leaves more of the plant intact and could have less impact on water quality. Further study may be done to explore that alternative, Shirley said.
Shirley is optimistic about the upcoming crawfish season. Cooler temperatures and rain in October provided needed moisture that allowed adults to emerge from their burrows.
“Conditions for crawfish are actually looking pretty good,” he said.

LSU AgCenter Study to Reveal Effects of Second Rice Harvest on Crawfish

The LSU AgCenter is studying the effects of how the rice harvest can affect the upcoming crawfish season.
As most rice farmers double as crawfish farmers, the study funded by the Louisiana Seagrant can help improve both.
“Rice and crawfish go well in the pot, but they are also go well in the field.” said Mark Shirley, LSU AgCenter County Agent for Vermilion Parish
After the initial rice crop is harvested in the summer, the second crop grows right behind, but this time it will stay there because it will provide the nutrients for the next crawfish crop.
Shirley is conducting the study at the Rice Research Center in Crowley.
“Harvesting that second crop rice, it actually affects water quality by dumping a lot of straw in the water so oxygen levels go down. It can have a negative impact on your crawfish.” said Shirley.
For crawfish farmers, that can be a big deal
“The production of crawfish, you can actually make a lot more money off of the crawfish so for the last several years the crawfish crop has been the lucrative crop to grow.” said Shirley.
Crawfish season is in its early stages as places like D&T Crawfish in Abbeville are getting their first round of shipments, but it’s expected to be slow for the next 4 to 6 weeks.
Shirley is optimistic the weather will be favorable this season.
“A lot depends on the weather. Crawfish may be a little more active so they will go in the traps, but if we could get a cold nasty spell or freeze that slows them.” said Shirley.
The study is expected to be completed in May.
Crawfish season starts slow in the cold months and peaks between March and June.
Rice production provides a $379 million dollar impact to Louisiana’s economy while crawfish adds $209 million.

Across the Nutra-verse: Studying probiotic impact using an ingestible sensor, Europe lowers red yeast rice contaminant level, and more

By Stephen Daniells
- Last updated on GMT
AddThis Sharing Buttons
Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to LinkedIn
© Getty Images / denphumi

It’s been a busy week for the nutra- industry around the world: Stay on top of the global nutra-news with our weekly round-up of key news from across the globe.


Using an ingestible gas sensor to study the impact of probiotics

Seed Health has announced a new partnership with digital health company Atmo Biosciences to study microbiome activity by using the Atmo Gas Capsule, which is said to be the first ingestible sensor technology to track location-specific gases through the human gastrointestinal tract.
Seed will use the capsule in a series of upcoming clinical studies on their flagship probiotic, the Daily Synbiotic.
“While antibiotics are a key frontline tool to treat and eliminate infections, they're also known to negatively impact the diversity and function of the gut microbiome as reflected in the variety of side effects they cause,”​ said Dr. Gregor Reid, distinguished professor at Western University and Lawson Institute Chair of Human Microbiology and Probiotics, and Seed's Chief Scientist.
“As a research and clinical tool, this device will contribute greatly to learning how interventions, including probiotics, alter the gut microbiome's activity and metabolic readouts.”
The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study will include 64 healthy participants between the ages of 18-55.  Recruitment for the study is slated for December with the trial commencing in January 2020.
For more on this, please click HERE​.


Europe lowers max contaminant levels in red yeast rice-fermented supplements

The European Commission (EC) has issued a notification to decrease the maximum limit of mycotoxin contaminant deemed acceptable for supplements fermented with red yeast rice, with the new max set at 100 micrograms per kilogram (µg/kg) of citrinin for food supplements.
“Given the remaining uncertainties as regards the toxicity of citrinin and the feasibility to achieve low levels of citrinin by applying good manufacturing practices, it is appropriate to lower the maximum level for citrinin in food supplements to ensure a high level of human health protection,” ​stated the Commission.

“Data provides evidence that very high levels of citrinin can be found in certain samples of these products, resulting in a high exposure to citrinin for consumers of these products.”
The new level will be effective from 1 April 2020
For more on this, please click HERE​.


Morinaga research reveals immunity-boosting metabolite produced in infant gut

Scientists from Japan’s Morinaga Milk Industry have identified a key immunity-boosting metabolite produced by that the infant-type human-residential bifidobacteria (HRB).
Writing in Microorganisms​, the scientists report that strains of infant-type HRB, including B. longum ​BB536, B. breve​ M-16V and B. infantis ​M-63, produced higher levels of the key metabolite called indole-3-lactic acid (ILA) than other species.
This mean that, “strains of infant-type HRB could be better probiotic candidates for infant use,”​ said Dr Chyn Boon Wong, research associate at Morinaga Milk Industry.
Wong added that the new discovery on the metabolite of human bifidobacteria was a breakthrough in the field and would add value to infant nutrition products.