Thursday, December 19, 2019

19th December,2019 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter

Climate damage to Pakistan's cotton crop ripples through economy

By Reuters
Published: December 18, 2019
 
This fiscal year, cotton farmers will fall drastically short of government's target of 15 million bales. PHOTO: REUTERS
ISLAMABAD: Mahboob Ahmad was so sure he would have a bumper crop of cotton last season that he was planning to finally fix the date of his eldest son’s wedding.
Then unusually heavy rains pelted Khanewal district in eastern Pakistan’s Punjab province, destroying the cotton plants just as they were fruiting.
“All my dreams and plans were shattered,” said Ahmad. “I am so disappointed with this year’s loss that I may quit cotton cultivation from next year.”
Another season of erratic weather has crippled Pakistan’s already ailing cotton sector, resulting in lost revenue and jobs that could cost the economy more than $3 billion by the end of the fiscal year in June 2020, industry experts have warned.
Heavy rains and high temperatures during the whole of the cotton-growing season from April to September severely damaged the crop, said Khalid Abdullah, cotton commissioner and vice president of the Pakistan Central Cotton Committee.
That has put a strain on the entire textile industry, he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Most of Pakistan’s cotton is grown in the southern part of Punjab province which experienced unexpectedly high temperatures in August and September, even at night, Abdullah explained.
The rest is mainly cultivated in Sindh province in the southeast.
Together, the heavy rains and dry spells destroyed over a third of the country’s expected cotton harvest, according to the state-run Central Cotton Research Institute (CCRI) in Multan, southern Punjab.
Yet again, Pakistan’s cotton farmers have seen their cash crop devastated by unpredictable climate extremes, said Abdullah.
“The farmers are continuously hit by changing weather conditions,” he said.
Last year the culprit was unusual heat which parched crops and dried up rivers in the two regions.
Cotton is a major driver of the economy, contributing almost 1% of GDP, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.
But this fiscal year, cotton farmers will fall drastically short of the government’s target of 15 million bales.
To meet the demands of its textile industry, Pakistan regularly imports cotton – mainly from Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the United States, according to the CCRI.
By June, the country will have to bring in at least 6 million bales – almost double what it imported last financial year, said Shahid Sattar, executive director of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA).
Importing cotton is expensive, which pushes up the overall cost of textile production, he explained.
Figures from the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) show that cotton, the main raw material for the textile industry, accounts for about 70% of the basic cost of the final garment.
“Failure of the cotton crop translates into damage to the country’s economy,” Sattar said.
Better forecasts
To help farmers cope with the increasingly extreme weather, Abdullah said the Pakistan Central Cotton Committee has directed its national seed-breeding program to come up with new climate-resilient varieties to hand out to farmers.
Another major problem is that most rural growers lack access to weather forecasts from the meteorological department, he added.
And that information is only delivered in five languages, including English and Urdu, which is a problem for many farmers in a country where more than 70 languages are spoken.
In a bid to tackle the issue, in 2016 the cotton committee launched TeleCotton, a text message service that delivers simple, clear weather information and advice to farmers in their local language, Abdullah said.
So far, only about 25,000 farmers have signed up, but the committee is working on registering more users and increasing the frequency of the messages, he added.
Ahmad, the farmer in Khanewal, said the government needed to do more to make it possible for him to keep growing cotton – otherwise, he might have to abandon the crop for rice.
He told the Thomson Reuters Foundation he would like to see the government set up testing stations in every village.
If farmers can check the quality of their seeds and pesticides before using them, that would go a long way to improving cotton production, he said.
“Cotton is not only our lifeline but the lifeline of the country’s economy too,” he said. “It needs the policymakers’ attention.”

President Akufo-Addo commended for directive on Ghana rice



   


Thursday 19th December, 2019


Description: Social Foundation Commendation
By Hafsa Obeng, GNA 
Accra, Dec. 19, GNA – The John A. Kufuor Foundation has applauded the directive of the President for all state institutions to procure Ghana rice beginning next year.
It said the commendation comes at the time the advocacy to eat Ghana rice was not new, and yet as a country there was no courage to take the bold step in ensuring that we all begin to purchase the Ghana rice.
The Foundation in partnership with Value Chain Institutions such as the Ghana Rice lnter-Professional Body (GRIB), the Miller’s Association of Ghana and Hopeline Institute, have been working tirelessly in different capacities to promote the adoption of Ghana Rice to reduce the country's dependence on imported rice.
Description: https://ghananewsagency.org/images/gna-logo-blue-icon.pngAt a News conference in Accra, Professor Baffour Agyemang Duah, Chief Executive Officer of the John A. Foundation said the president's directive was appropriate, especially when local producers, together with government and importers were working out modalities for import substitution in the rice sector.
He said over the years, past Presidents issued lots of directives which somehow were not respected or implemented by those responsible.
He said after years of collaborating in diverse ways mainly through policy and advocacy for reforms in the rice sector, they found it important that the bold step would be undertaken by government.
He said the directive would go a long way to revitalise the local industry which declined, and help the country to become self-sufficient in rice
Prof, Ayemang Duah said the Foundation and its partners would work out strategies for improving service delivery by developing a monitoring mechanism to ensure that public institutions adhered to the directive of the President.
“We shall also, in collaboration with other partners, evolve effective and institutionalised monitoring and evaluation frameworks or strategies for monitoring and, or evaluating the compliance with the president’s directive.”
He also noted that the Foundation would engage further with other state institutions to develop measures that would encourage nationwide adoption of Ghana rice, and support the value chain actors to forge closer ties to address the challenges of the rice sector and to create the most conducive environment.
Prof. Agyemang Duah reiterated their commitment to create a viable local rice sector for Ghana to become self-sufficient, as they believed that the government’s target of achieving self-sufficiency in rice production by 2023 was achievable.
Nana Adjei Aryee II, President, Ghana Rice Inter-Professional said the pronouncement of the president was welcoming news, which was long overdue and gave the assurance that it would be implemented.
“We want to encourage our farmers and the financial institution to come up with a plan to support the government’s initiative.”
GNA

https://ghananewsagency.org/social/president-akufo-addo-commended-for-directive-on-ghana-rice-161510

Rice imports to drop as inventory stabilizes

By: Leila B. Salaverria - Reporter / @LeilasINQ
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 04:54 AM December 18, 2019
MANILA, Philippines — Agriculture Secretary William Dar on Tuesday said rice imports could go down next year as the country’s inventory stabilizes, and that farmers could become more productive as the programs supported by the rice competitiveness enhancement fund (RCEF) gather steam.
Dar made the statement as the Commission on Appointments endorsed and eventually confirmed his appointment to the Department of Agriculture.
Rice imports in the country reached 3 million metric tons this year, when the Philippines began implementing the rice tariffication law that removed quantitative restrictions on rice.
The influx of imports sent rice farmers reeling as the farmgate prices of palay dropped.
But Dar said rice importation might not reach 3 million tons next year.
“If 3 million tons are here and your inventory is good for 100 days, you will need fewer imports,” he told reporters.
During his confirmation hearing, he also said the programs funded by the P10 billion RCEF have started being rolled out and he expects this to lead to better rice production.
The programs under the RCEF consist of mechanization, distribution of high-yield seeds, credit support, and agricultural extension.
Asked about the lamentation of many farmers who have been abandoning their lands because of the flood of rice imports, he said the lifting of quantitative restrictions was a major structural reform undertaken by the country.
The rice tariffication law provided for the RCEF which is intended to help farmers in rice producing provinces to become not just more productive but also competitive, he said.
But for areas not conducive to producing rice, the alternative is to turn them to other endeavors, such as crop diversification, he said.
“We will do our best to really implement the law and assist now those farmers that are badly affected,” he added.
Pressed for concrete action by Rep. Josephine Sato of Occidental Mindoro, a rice producing province, Dar said the P3.6 billon of the RCEF had been obligated and P5 billion for mechanization is now under proce

Rice Prices

as on : 19-12-2019 07:03:17 PM

Arrivals in tonnes;prices in Rs/quintal in domestic market.
Arrivals
Price
Current
%
change
Season
cumulative
Modal
Prev.
Modal
Prev.Yr
%change
Rice
Gadarpur(Utr)
3114.00
3.01
175813.00
2350
2795
-
Bangalore(Kar)
2407.00
10.31
150220.00
4550
4550
5.81
Pilibhit(UP)
350.00
-12.5
94512.50
2550
2560
12.33
Bangarpet(Kar)
307.00
43.46
2238.00
1850
2050
1.65
Roorkee(Utr)
276.00
10.4
3721.00
2400
2400
-
Siliguri(WB)
265.00
1.15
10328.00
5400
5400
-
Bazpur(Utr)
264.00
120.55
5465.50
2350
2200
NC
Kanpur(Grain)(UP)
250.00
42.86
8130.00
2280
2290
7.04
Hardoi(UP)
250.00
19.05
11740.00
2460
2420
10.31
Bindki(UP)
200.00
81.82
9018.00
2380
2380
5.31
Gondal(UP)
184.00
19.48
8818.50
2435
2435
-2.60
Bharthna(UP)
150.00
-25
6421.00
2560
2580
4.49
Raibareilly(UP)
143.00
-1.38
1335.00
2350
2350
15.76
Lucknow(UP)
109.00
-11.02
5233.50
2565
2575
10.32
Madhoganj(UP)
105.00
-12.5
4908.50
2280
2280
7.04
Ballia(UP)
100.00
100
3265.00
2340
2325
-2.90
Agra(UP)
97.00
2.11
5703.00
2550
2560
0.39
Choubepur(UP)
97.00
-1.52
2093.80
2360
2350
0.43
Gorakhpur(UP)
96.00
16.79
356.40
2540
2470
13.39
Katwa(WB)
87.80
-0.79
1616.37
2400
2400
-
Allahabad(UP)
80.00
NC
2376.50
2550
2500
8.51
Muzzafarnagar(UP)
80.00
-11.11
5874.00
2700
2700
-0.37
Kalipur(WB)
80.00
-2.44
3730.00
2400
2400
-
Mainpuri(UP)
78.00
-2.5
5124.00
2535
2530
-7.82
Naugarh(UP)
77.50
-12.43
5693.50
2550
2545
14.09
Guskara(Burdwan)(WB)
76.50
-7.83
1889.00
2400
2400
NC
Thodupuzha(Ker)
70.00
NC
3570.00
2900
2900
-7.94
Mathura(UP)
65.00
4.84
2541.50
2580
2560
-4.44
Chintamani(Kar)
61.00
32.61
1685.00
2300
2300
21.05
Saharanpur(UP)
59.00
7.27
2536.50
2680
2680
-1.29
Pandua(WB)
55.00
5.77
3042.00
3100
3100
NC
Sindhanur(Kar)
50.00
-50
394.00
1700
1700
19.30
Ghaziabad(UP)
50.00
25
2660.00
2860
2850
4.95
Karimpur(WB)
45.00
NC
1730.00
3550
3450
16.39
Kicchha(Utr)
43.00
-21.82
887.00
2325
2250
5.68
Bahraich(UP)
42.70
35.56
2615.50
2450
2445
2.08
Basti(UP)
40.00
73.91
1538.50
2460
2475
11.31
Khalilabad(UP)
40.00
-20
1245.00
2450
2450
9.87
Kasganj(UP)
37.00
428.57
453.00
2590
2580
3.19
Bareilly(UP)
36.00
5.88
2439.50
2575
2560
13.19
Muradabad(UP)
35.00
16.67
1218.40
2570
2580
11.74
Dahod(Guj)
32.40
620
905.90
4000
4000
-4.76
Partaval(UP)
31.50
26
623.50
2400
2400
5.73
Atarra(UP)
30.00
-14.29
768.00
2225
2225
1.14
Bankura Sadar(WB)
30.00
-6.25
1663.00
2600
2600
NC
Puranpur(UP)
29.50
-4.84
4850.00
2505
2510
10.11
Firozabad(UP)
28.00
19.15
406.20
2650
2570
-
Lakhimpur(UP)
28.00
-6.67
2531.00
2410
2400
6.64
Bhivandi(Mah)
27.00
800
1371.00
2300
2400
-0.86
Karsiyang(Matigara)(WB)
25.50
1.19
966.00
4000
4000
33.33
Pratapgarh(UP)
25.00
8.7
371.00
2410
2385
7.59
Dadri(UP)
25.00
NC
1763.00
2860
2880
7.92
Chorichora(UP)
25.00
13.64
548.00
2545
2560
13.62
Jangipura(UP)
25.00
8.7
1298.00
2300
2300
1.32
Lalitpur(UP)
23.50
-30.88
1955.00
2375
2350
-14.72
Mangalore(Kar)
23.00
-14.81
238.00
3700
3665
2.78
Sitapur(UP)
22.50
4.65
1226.00
2455
2460
9.60
Jayas(UP)
22.10
57.86
1467.40
1980
1980
2.86
Pukhrayan(UP)
22.00
-37.14
838.00
2200
2180
1.85
Badayoun(UP)
21.00
-4.55
1133.50
2600
2610
14.29
Cachar(ASM)
20.00
NC
3860.00
2400
2400
NC
Jaunpur(UP)
20.00
-28.57
1329.20
2330
2340
0.43
Mohamadabad(UP)
20.00
NC
471.00
2680
2680
-
Falakata(WB)
20.00
NC
1280.00
2600
2600
-1.89
Jafarganj(UP)
19.00
5.56
1244.00
2460
2520
0.41
Asansol(WB)
18.90
2.16
2368.48
2900
2900
-3.33
Durgapur(WB)
18.60
1.09
1741.30
2700
2700
-5.26
Indus(Bankura Sadar)(WB)
18.00
-10
2427.00
2800
2800
NC
Saidpurhat (UP)
17.00
NC
426.00
3140
3200
8.28
Banda(UP)
16.00
33.33
364.50
2250
2275
3.69
Farukhabad(UP)
16.00
-5.88
1216.50
2750
2750
3.38
Akbarpur(UP)
15.20
-27.62
1096.60
2360
2360
6.31
Safdarganj(UP)
15.00
50
903.00
2480
2480
8.77
Ghatal(WB)
15.00
20
591.50
2650
2650
6.00
Champadanga(WB)
15.00
25
827.00
3150
3150
5.00
Sirsaganj(UP)
14.50
-3.33
773.00
2620
2610
-4.73
Kannauj(UP)
12.00
-4
609.50
2700
2700
10.20
Lalganj(UP)
11.00
41.03
524.60
2000
2000
18.34
Chikkamagalore(Kar)
10.00
-
20.00
2340
-
17.00
Vilthararoad(UP)
10.00
NC
1041.00
2150
2150
NC
Vishalpur(UP)
10.00
53.85
819.80
2610
2595
13.48
Jhijhank(UP)
10.00
25
90.00
2250
2260
-
Purulia(WB)
10.00
-37.5
322.00
2620
2620
NC
Shamli(UP)
9.50
-52.5
386.00
2700
2675
-3.57
Auraiya(UP)
9.00
350
485.60
2560
2550
21.90
Ramkrishanpur(Howrah)(WB)
8.50
-54.05
158.80
3000
3000
NC
Tamkuhi Road(UP)
8.40
-5.62
754.60
2150
2150
NC
Karjat(Mah)
8.00
-
16.00
4500
-
28.57
Etah(UP)
8.00
33.33
379.50
2560
2570
1.59
Mirzapur(UP)
7.50
-6.25
449.50
2430
2435
5.65
Hailakandi(ASM)
7.00
16.67
182.00
2450
2450
2.08
Etawah(UP)
7.00
-92.63
3716.00
2500
2570
4.17
Raath(UP)
7.00
-36.36
50.00
2000
2000
NC
Bijnaur(UP)
6.50
-23.53
163.10
2585
2575
12.39
Jhansi(UP)
6.00
50
191.10
2345
2350
-1.88
Bishnupur(Bankura)(WB)
6.00
-20
614.60
2600
2600
-1.89
Baberu(UP)
5.80
28.89
99.10
2300
2290
6.48
Risia(UP)
5.50
NC
32.00
2450
2450
-
Shikohabad(UP)
5.00
-50
359.50
2400
2450
-12.73
Tundla(UP)
5.00
-9.09
330.70
2560
2560
1.19
Gadaura(UP)
4.50
28.57
645.10
2400
2400
14.29
Kosikalan(UP)
4.20
-2.33
300.70
2545
2540
-1.36
Mahoba(UP)
4.20
-19.23
369.50
2325
2315
-
Mangaon(Mah)
4.00
33.33
134.00
3500
3500
25.00
Achalda(UP)
4.00
-33.33
145.30
2550
2560
34.21
Buland Shahr(UP)
4.00
NC
238.80
2655
2650
1.34
Tulsipur(UP)
4.00
100
116.40
2430
2430
-
Khatra(WB)
4.00
NC
637.00
2650
2650
NC
Nadia(WB)
4.00
-33.33
574.00
3750
3750
-1.32
Jahangirabad(UP)
3.00
-25
253.50
2525
2525
-1.94
Anandnagar(UP)
2.60
18.18
283.40
2530
2535
12.44
Charra(UP)
2.30
-11.54
90.00
2545
2540
0.79
Panichowki(Kumarghat)(Tri)
1.80
NC
15.40
2980
2950
1.36
Muskara(UP)
1.50
7.14
57.40
2300
2260
2.22
Nandyal(AP)
1.00
NC
66.00
4250
3900
-
Jambusar(Kaavi)(Guj)
1.00
NC
129.00
3200
3200
3.23
Moodigere(Kar)
1.00
-
2.00
3000
-
-
Penugonda(Mah)
1.00
NC
44.00
4090
4090
0.25
Alibagh(Mah)
1.00
NC
142.00
4200
4200
86.67
Murud(Mah)
1.00
NC
143.00
4200
4200
86.67
Mawana(UP)
1.00
NC
44.00
2730
2710
-
Gurusarai(UP)
1.00
NC
20.60
2500
2500
11.11
Wazirganj(UP)
1.00
-16.67
26.60
2580
2570
-
Ujhani(UP)
0.80
-20
46.40
2570
2560
13.22
Published on December 19, 2019
Broken rice export fetches over $ 48 m in two months
PUBLISHED 18 DECEMBER 2019
From October 1 to November 29 in 2019-20 FY, Myanmar earned 48.413 million US dollars from exports of 0.1866 million tons of broken rice to 38 countries, according to the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF).
During this period, Myanmar earned over 17 million US dollars from exports of 64,900 tons of broken rice to Indonesia. 
In addition, Myanmar exported 27,500 tons of broken rice worth seven million US dollars to Belgium, 5,000 tons of broken rice worth more than one million USD to Mali and around 5,000 tons worth over one million USD to Thailand. 
Myanmar exports rice and broken rice to the EU and African markets via marine route and to China via Muse border gate. 
In 2018-19 FY, Myanmar earned 709.693 million US dollars from exports of 2.355 million tons of rice and broken rice, according to the MRF. 
In 2017-18 FY, Myanmar’s rice and broken rice export hit a record high of nearly 3.6 million tons during over 50 years. 

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- December 18, 2019
DECEMBER 18, 2019 / 5:18 PM
Nagpur Foodgrain Prices – APMC/Open Market-December 18, 2018 Nagpur, Dec 18 (Reuters) – Gram prices firmed up again in Nagpur Agriculture Produce and Marketing Company (APMC) here on good demand from local millers amid tight supply from producing regions. Notable rise in Madhya Pradesh gram prices and repeated enquireis from South-based millers also helped to push up prices. About 100 bags of gram reported for auction, according to sources.

GRAM
* Desi gram reported higher in open market on increased demand from local traders.

TUAR * Tuar Karnataka reported down in open market here in absence of buyers.

* Lakhodi dal recovered strongly in open market here on good demand from local

traders amid tight supply from producing region.

* In Akola, Tuar New – 5,100-5,300, Tuar dal (clean) – 8,000-8,200, Udid Mogar (clean)

– 9,500-10,700, Moong Mogar (clean) 8,300-9,200, Gram – 4,000-4,100, Gram Super best

– 5,500-5,700 * Wheat, rice and other foodgrain items moved in a narrow range in

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

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

FOODGRAINS Available prices Previous close

Gram Auction 3,650-3,950 3,600-4,050

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

Tuar Auction n.a. 4,800-5,265

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

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

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

Wheat Lokwan Auction 2,000-2,125 2,000-2,116

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

Gram Super Best Bold 5,700-5,900 5,700-5,900

Gram Super Best n.a. n.a.

Gram Medium Best 5,400-5,600 5,400-5,600

Gram Dal Medium n.a. n.a

Gram Mill Quality 4,250-4,350 4,250-4,350

Desi gram Raw 4,250-4,350 4,300-4,350

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

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

Tuar Fataka Medium-New 7,900-8,100 7,900-8,100

Tuar Dal Best Phod-New 7,400-7,700 7,400-7,700

Tuar Dal Medium phod-New 6,800-7,300 6,800-7,300

Tuar Gavarani New 5,250-5,350 5,250-5,350

Tuar Karnataka 5,750-5,850 5,800-5,900

Masoor dal best 5,600-5,800 5,600-5,800

Masoor dal medium 5,300-5,400 5,300-5,400

Masoor n.a. n.a.

Moong Mogar bold (New) 9,000-9,700 9,000-10,000

Moong Mogar Medium 8,000-8,500 8,000-8,800

Moong dal Chilka New 7,500-8,200 7,700-8,500

Moong Mill quality n.a. n.a.

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

Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 10,000-11,000 10,000-11,000

Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG) 8,500-9,500 8,500-9,500

Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG) 7,200-7,700 7,200-7,700

Mot (100 INR/KG) 6,700-7,500 6,700-7,500

Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg) 4,900-5,100 4,850-5,050

Watana Dal (100 INR/KG) 5,650-5,850 5,650-5,850

Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG) 9,000-9,200 9,000-9,200

Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG) 2,350-2,450 2,350-2,450

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

Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG) 2,700-2,800 2,700-2,800

Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG) 2,600-2,700 2,600-2,700

Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG) 2,400-2,600 2,400-2,600

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

MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG) 3,600-4,200 3,600-4,200

MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG) 2,800-3,200 2,800-3,200

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

Rice BPT best new (100 INR/KG) 3,000-3,600 3,000-3,600

Rice BPT medium new(100 INR/KG) 2,700-3,000 2,700-3,000

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

Rice Swarna best new (100 INR/KG) 2,600-2,800 2,600-2,800

Rice Swarna medium new (100 INR/KG)2,400-2,500 2,400-2,500

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

Rice HMT medium new (100 INR/KG) 3,800-4,000 3,800-4,000

Rice Shriram best new(100 INR/KG) 4,800-5,000 4,800-5,000

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

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

Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG) 5,000-7,500 5,000-7,500

Rice Chinnor best new 100 INR/KG) 5,300-5,500 5,300-5,500

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

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

Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG) 2,050-2,250 2,050-2,250 WEATHER (NAGPUR) Maximum temp. 27.7 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 13.1 degree Celsius Rainfall : Nil FORECAST: Partly cloudy sky. Maximum and minimum temperature likely to be around 28 degree Celsius and 13 degree Celsius respectively. Note: n.a.—not available (For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but included in market prices)

Cambodia exports up 6.4 pct in 10 months

Xinhua, December 18, 2019
PHNOM PENH, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia exported products worth 10.8 billion U.S. dollars under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) during the first 10 months of 2019, up 6.4 percent over the same period last year, said a Commerce Ministry's report on Wednesday.
In its status as a Least Developed Country, Cambodia has received GSP from many countries, which allow its products to be exported to their markets with reduced tariffs or duty-free.
Speaking at the Commerce Ministry's annual conference, Lay Soksaokunthea, head of the Commerce Ministry's General Department of Administration and Finance, said garment, textile and footwear products accounted for 68 percent, or 7.35 billion dollars, of the exported products under the GSP.
Rice attributed 2.6 percent, or 286 million dollars, to the exported goods, he added.
Cambodian products, mostly garment, textile and footwear, have been shipped to Europe, the United States, Canada, and some Asian countries including China, Japan, and South Korea.
Cambodia's Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak said, overall, Cambodia's export in 2019 was good, though earlier this year the European Union imposed duties on rice importing from the country.
"The growth of our exports to major markets such as the United States, Canada, and China this year is similar to that of last year," he said at the conference. "We are expanding our markets to some countries in Eastern Europe and are trying to export more products to potential markets such as China, Japan and South Korea." Enditem

PH rice inventory up 30% in Nov

Philippine Daily Inquirer / 04:06 AM December 18, 2019
The country’s rice inventory in November rose by 30 percent from month-ago level as imports continue to come into the country, government data showed.
The Philippine Statistics Authority reported in its monthly rice and corn inventory that rice stocks reached 2.96 million metric tons during the month. This was, however, lower by 1.3 percent than the year-ago level.
Economic managers said that last year was an abnormal year for the rice sector considering the artificial shortage caused by the National Food Authority (NFA), which led to rising rice prices. Rice supply rose significantly after a series of importation.
Relative to the inventory level a year ago, rice stored in households and commercial warehouses declined by 2 percent and 26.7 percent, respectively. However, a surge of 334.8 percent was recorded in NFA depositories.
This sudden uptick was due to President Duterte’s directive to the grains agency to beef up its stocks with local palay through aggressive procurement as a means to help Filipino farmers cope with tightening competition in the market due to rice importation.
In the meantime, the Department of Agriculture is set to distribute P5,000 worth of cash aid to each of the 600,000 small-scale farmers who were most affected by the initial impact of the rice liberalization law.
Of the total rice stocks during the month, 51.5 percent were held by households; 33.1 percent in commercial warehouses, and 15.3 percent in NFA warehouses. INQ

Civil supplies wing told to explore green alternatives

VIJAYAWADA, DECEMBER 19, 2019 08:39 IST
UPDATED: DECEMBER 19, 2019 08:39 IST

Packaging materials made of cloth, paper fit the bill: GoM panel

The Andhra Pradesh State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited has been asked to take the green route and explore the use of environmentally-friendly biodegradable packaging materials like paper and cloth for financial and operational feasibility.
The Group of Ministers’ Committee constituted to suggest ways for supply of quality rice in packed form under the Public Distribution System (PDS), has asked the department to shift to the alternatives for packaging material.
The committee also wants the department to re-collect the poly propylene (PP) bags from the beneficiaries and arrange for reverse logistics of these bags for recycling as a measure to curtail environmental damage.

Quality rice

At its first meeting on August 20, the committee discussed supply of rice with improved quality at the doorstep of the beneficiaries in tamper-proof packets through village or ward volunteers.
It has been decided that for every 100 kg of rice supplied by the department to the rice millers, the latter will provide 92.5 kg of rice in the packet sizes of 5 kg, 10 kg, 15 kg and 20 kg bags.
The Civil Supplies Corporation will supply the packaging material and will bear the transportation charges from the godown to the rice mill and from the rice mill to the mandal or village level stock points.
The miller will be allowed to retain the by-product to cover its charges of grading, packaging, loading and unloading but they will have to return the gunny bags to the corporation.
It has been made clear to the rice millers that they will have to deliver only Swarna and equivalent variety of rice to the corporation without mixing other varieties under custom-milled rice.

Incentives

The Group of Ministers, at their meetings, focussed on key issues such as negotiations with the rice millers on charges/incentives to be paid to them for supplying improved quality or product, to finalise the packaging machinery and the material to be used for bags.
The incentives will be paid also to recommend appropriate measures to encourage small and medium rice mills to install sorting machines that can sort rice according to the colour differences of granular materials in raw rice like stone, bad rice, half-husked rice, etc, and participate in the government’s new programme.

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Duterte tries to tame hunger through rice imports

Analysis

Description: https://www.bworldonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/rice-import-112219.jpg

REUTERS

By Vincent Mariel P. Galang
Reporter
NILO BINALANGBANG, 61, has been tilling two hectares of land in Occidental Mindoro — one of the rice-producing provinces south of the Philippine capital — for about 20 years now.
He is one of about 10 million rice farmers affected by falling palay prices after a new law allowed cheap imported rice to enter the country. Republic Act No. 11203, or the Rice Tariffication Law, also freed the National Food Authority of its mandate to import the grain after it was given a P7-billion budget to obtain it locally.
“The government failed to solve the issue of tariff,” Mr. Binalangbang said in an interview. “We never felt the support of the government. It never came.”
The Rice Tariffication Law seeks to make rice — a highly political commodity in the Philippines given its importance as a staple food and a major source of employment for millions of Filipinos — affordable to consumers, while raising the income of farmers. The law’s main goal is to ensure food security.
But critics noted that since the law took effect in March, rice consumer prices have indeed gone down, but not low enough as originally expected. The buying prices for farmers’ palay, on the other hand, have continued to go down.



As of last month, average retail prices of regular milled and well-milled rice had fallen to P36.70 and P41.53 a kilo respectively, according to Philippine Statistics Authority data. These fell short of economic managers’ P25 a kilo projection for the staple. The average palay price fell 22.6% from a year earlier to P15.52 a kilo.
A total of 3.72 million metric tons (MT) of imported rice is expected to arrive by yearend, which represents 26% of the country’s annual requirement, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said last month. This would make the Philippines the world’s biggest importer of rice this year, beating China.
Palay production for 2019 is expected to reach 18.49 million MT, which is 15% short of the country’s annual need.
The Philippines produced 19.07 million MT of palay in 2018, 1.1% lower than a year earlier as harvested areas and yield declined 0.2% and 0.9%, respectively, according to the statistics agency.
Some rice farmers have opted to sell their land or shift to planting a different crop as farmgate prices continue to fall. Some farmers now sell their harvest for P14 a kilo — a level set by local buyers — to be able to earn, lower than the P19 a kilo of the NFA’s buying price.
Prices so far dissuaded farmers from planting.
SELF-SUFFICIENCY
The government of President Rodrigo R. Duterte now relies on the liberalization of rice imports for food security, after pushing self-sufficiency for years.
The current policy begs the question: is rice self-sufficiency no longer needed?
Rosario Bella Guzman, and economist and executive editor at IBON Foundation, argued that the Rice Tariffication Law jeopardizes food security. “The Philippines has now embarked on import liberalization of its staple, a dangerous path not just for the country’s food security, but more importantly, for that elusive economic development,” Ms. Guzman wrote on the Web site of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies state think-tank a month after the measure took effect.
She cited the “narrow” global rice market, with only 9.7% of global production ending up in the global market in 2018. “Contrary to what President Duterte and his economic managers are saying that Filipinos should no longer aspire for self-sufficiency, the rice-producing world is consuming more than 90% of the rice produced where it is produced,” Ms. Guzman said.
“Even the country’s self-sufficiency ratio in 2017 was 93%. It is inconceivable therefore that the government is declaring that rice-producing Philippines, whose average self-sufficiency ratio in the last 30 years is 91%, should now simply rely on importation,” she said.
Ms. Guzman said economic managers pushing for import reliance contest the capacity of local farmers to feed the nation.
But she also noted that government statistics on average rice consumption is inaccurate and outdated.
“Despite lack of wisdom, the Duterte government has painted a picture that the country can never be rice self-sufficient.”
But Roehlano M. Briones, a PIDS research fellow, said rice self-sufficiency in the Philippines is impractical given the big budget needed to subsidize farmers. “You provide huge subsidies or production support in the order of tens of billions of pesos. But obviously, nobody wants to pay that price, so it’s not a practical policy.”
Rolando T. Dy, executive director of the Center for Food and Agri Business of the University of Asia and the Pacific, said the state should focus instead on increasing farmers’ income and production. “If the farmers are productive and profitable, we may be able to reduce imports, and if they are productive, who knows?” Mr. Dy said. “But on the other hand, we have only so much money to address agriculture-related poverty.”

Rice shortage, price hike loom – FEF

Due To Rice Import Suspension

MANILA, Philippines – The Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF) is warning of “significant shortages” and “increased rice prices” in the country following President Duterte’s recent order to suspend rice importation.
In a statement issued yesterday, the FEF called on President Duterte to reverse his decision to stop all rice importation as the group cited its adverse effects on the country.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel PiƱol last week said Duterte ordered him to stop the importation of rice to protect the country’s farmers.
“Stopping all rice importation is a dangerous policy that could lead to significant shortages and increased rice prices. The country is not self-sufficient in rice production. Stopping rice imports even during rice harvest season will put upward pressure on rice prices and lead to significant hikes, worsening hunger and poverty in the country,” the FEF said.
Rice self-sufficiency, the group said, is neither a desirable, nor a practical objective for the Philippines given its archipelagic nature and because it does not have vast lands and giant river systems like Vietnam and Thailand which enable them to plant and harvest rice several times a year.
“Instead, the Philippines should rely on international trade to guarantee food security, just as Malaysia and Singapore have done. Furthermore, the country can forge a rice security pact with fellow ASEAN members, such as Vietnam and Thailand, to guarantee rice supply in the Philippines in case of global shortage,” the FEF said.
The group pointed out that allowing only the National Food Authority (NFA) to import rice is the wrong policy, saying the “government is a poor judge of the timing of rice imports.”
“We believe that neither allowing the NFA to solely import rice, nor stopping all rice imports, is good for the Filipino consumer or the Filipino rice farmer,” the FEF said.
“Typhoons can hit the country at anytime and destroy rice crops. Neither is the government equipped to respond quickly to a rice shortage given its bureaucratic procedures. A delay in importing rice will lead to considerable spikes in rice prices and make rice more unaffordable to the poor,” the group said.
Instead of having the NFA maintain its monopoly on rice importation, the FEF urges the government to liberalize rice imports.
By doing so, the group said the government would not incur debt to finance the importation.
The FEF said decisions to import are best left to the market since it is in the interest of suppliers to import at the lowest possible price and in an amount that would not lead to an oversupply.
“We, thus, call on the Duterte administration to remove the NFA monopoly on rice importation and liberalize the rice trade. We support the tariffication of rice imports and the use of tariff revenues to help rice farmers to either shift production to higher-value crops or increase productivity,” the FEF said.
“We believe that rice import liberalization will lead to lower rice prices, lower consumer inflation, and higher disposable income for the working class. It will make manufacturing more competitive since rice, which is the single biggest source of calories for workers, will become more affordable,” it added.
The FEF, an advocacy organization for free market reforms, well-defined and secure property rights, consumer welfare and good governance, counts among its members former and present cabinet secretaries and undersecretaries, as well as those from the business and finance community.

We're Ready To Produce Quality Local Rice - Sucryza Distributors

By News Desk

Description: We're Ready To Produce Quality Local Rice - Sucryza Distributors
Sucryza Distributors Limited, an importer of rice and sugar in Ghana says it is ready to venture into the production and sale of local rice.
According to the company, a team from Vietnam is in the country to assist with the process.
The campaign for Ghanaians to consume local produce, especially rice, took on a new turn when former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor and John Mahama, joined President Akufo-Addo to urge Ghanaians to patronise the product and support the local economy.
President Akufo-Addo during his recently held media encounter also directed all public and government institutions to start using local rice for all public programmes and activities.
After a meeting between the Ministry of Agriculture and some major rice importers, the government further announced plans to ban rice importation by 2022.
Speaking on the development, Country Director of Sucryza Distributors Limited , Nabin Pandey said, the decision to venture into the production of local rice is not only to support the campaign but to position the company for the future.
According to him, the Happy Family Ghana Rice, as their brand will be named, is going to be launched in the last week of December 2019.
“All the artworks and everything have been processed and we have done a lot of hard work on this. We really appreciate a lot of the advocacy ongoing about Ghana Rice; we have always been at the forefront for the promotion of Ghana Rice.
“We also know there is a big gap between imported rice and Ghana Rice. There’s a huge difference but the difference is going to be minimised because our management team from Vietnam has been in the country since the last week of November,” he added.

The President is firm on the enforcement of Maximum Retail Price on rice and other gazetted essential items

 
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has directed Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) that immediate steps be taken to enforce the declared Maximum Retail Prices (MRPs) and ensure uninterrupted market supply of essential goods during this festive season which times consumers are vulnerable to market manipulation. Recently, the Authority has gazetted a MRP on rice at Rs. 98/kg. This decision was arrived at by the Cabinet of Ministers having consulted the major suppliers and verified stock positions in the country.
Major millers agreed that they will mark this price at their rice packets and ensure their retail distribution network will sell such rice at this price. However, there are complaints that this is not complied with in several places. Therefore, the CAA is instructed to check the market supply situation to deploy a team to check the stock and daily releases at rice milling supply stations. The CAA should also initiate immediate actions to check the rice suppliers at Pettah and other major markets.
Further, rice millers and traders should appreciate that the government is making its best endeavors to develop the rice industry and it is the responsibility of the millers and traders to ensure supply conditions in the market without compelling undue import of rice or other form of government interventions to the market operations. Since 2019-2020 Maha cultivation Season has begun and the harvest is expected from late January 2020, the farmers must be given maximum comfort to expand their cultivation while consumers are given the opportunity to have affordable prices at this festive season. There is no reason to fear supply shortages.
The government has also relaxed the restriction on import of wheat flour with a view to promote market competition and availability of wheat flour at affordable prices particularly in support of urban and plantation working community during this season.
The government has already reduced VAT rate from 15 percent to 8 percent, removed 2 percent NBT and several other indirect taxes with a view to reduce the high cost-of-living on the one hand and to create business friendly environment to promote supply activities in the country on the other. Rice millers and traders will also benefit from the removal of Economic Service Charge (ESC) and concessions announced by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
However, observations have been made that prices of some commodities have not come down satisfactorily. Prices of all food items, cosmetics, building materials and many other items must reflect corresponding price reduction. Therefore, CAA have been instructed to summon all sector groups involving supplying such commodities and request them to pass down this benefit to the consumers and also to communicate to the market effectively on a regular basis.

Customs seizes 2,540 bags of rice

• N34.6b generated

Description: Customs seizes 2,540 bags of rice

Agency Reporter

Oyo/Osun Command of the Nigeria Customs Service seized 2,540 bags of 50kg foreign rice during the partial closure of the border, Comptroller Abdullahi Zulkifli has said.
He added that the command generated N34.6 billion between January and November.
Zulkifli spoke on Wednesday in Ibadan at the command’s end of year news briefing.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other items seized include 12 used cars, 15 bags of sugar, 500 pieces of tyres, 40 bales of used clothes, 25 means of conveyance and 101 bags of Indian hemp.
Zulkifli said the total Duty Paid Value (DPV) on the seized items stood at N142,896,113.
He said the border drill exercise had assisted in promoting national security, curbing illegal migration, encouraging local farmers and increasing revenue generation, among others.
The comptroller, however, said that some recalcitrant smugglers still devised other means of smuggling goods despite the partial border closure.
He said most of the goods were concealed in trucks and vehicles meant for carrying out legitimate businesses and conveyance of commuters.
Zulkifli said: “The command has been doing well in the area of revenue generation, having generated N34,686,875,967 from January to November, as against N21,954,286,381 generated in 2018.”
He said the command made 313 seizures and arrested 24 suspects within the period under review.
Zulkifli said 21 of the suspects were on administrative bail, adding that two had been convicted and one still in court.
He hailed the officers and men of the command for working to achieve set goals.
NAN reports that awards were given to three officers for performing well.
The awardees are AC Amusan John, Officer in-charge of Igbeti outstation, CSC Adewole Moses, Officer in-charge of Operations and ASC Idowu Gafar, Officer-in-charge of Anti-fly patrol.

Climate change is hurting farmers – even seeds are under threat

Description: https://cdn.theconversation.com/avatars/667774/width170/file-20190115-152965-19df3uz.jpgDecember 19, 2019 12.25am AEDT

1.     Richard Ellis
Professor of Crop Production, University of Reading

Disclosure statement

Richard Ellis works for The University of Reading and receives funding from a range of sponsors including DEFRA, the Worshipful Company of Fruiterers, and the Crop Trust (via ILRI). He is Principal Investigator of the National Fruit Collection, a Trustee of the National Fruit Collections Trust, and a Director of the World Vegetable Center.


Climate change is already affecting the amount of food that farmers can produce. For example, crop sowing in the UK was delayed in autumn 2019 and some emerging crops were damaged because of wet weather. Meanwhile in Australia, considerable drought has been immensely damaging.
But climate change can also have a knock-on impact on farming by affecting the quality of seeds, making it harder to establish seedlings that then grow into mature, food-producing plants. My research group has recently published a study showing that even brief periods of high temperature or drought can reduce seed quality in rice, depending on exactly when they occur in the seed’s development.
Nonetheless, it is possible to breed improved varieties to help crops adapt to the changing climate. And the resources needed to do this are being collected and conserved in “genebanks”, libraries of seeds conserving crop plant diversity for future use.
In much of the developing world in particular, the supply of affordable, good-quality seed limits farmers’ ability to establish crops. Seeds need to be stored between harvest and later sowing and poor-quality seeds don’t survive very long in storage. Once planted, low-quality seeds are less likely to emerge as seedlings and more likely to fail later on, producing a lower plant density in the field and a lower crop yield as a result.
For this reason, investigating seed quality is an important way of assessing such effects of climate on cereal crop production. We already know that climate change can reduce the quality of cereal seeds used for foodfood ingredients and for planting future crops.
The main factor that affects seed quality in this way tends to be temperature, but the amount and timing of rainfall is also important. This impact can come from changes in average weather patterns, but short periods of extreme temperature or rainfall are just as important when they coincide with sensitive stages in crop development. For example, research in the 1990s revealed that brief high temperature periods during and immediately before a crop flowers reduces the number of seeds produced and therefore the resulting grain yield in many cereal crops.
Hot spells can make rice seeds less likely to become seedlings. FenlioQ/Shutterstock
Our research has now confirmed that seed quality in rice is damaged most when brief hot spells coincide with early seed development. It also revealed that drought during the early development of the seeds also reduces their quality at maturity. And, unsurprisingly, the damage is even greater when both these things happen together.
In contrast, warmer temperatures later in the maturation process can benefit rice seed quality as the seeds dry out. But flooding that submerges the seed can also cause damage, which gets worse the later it occurs during maturation. This shows why we have to include the effects of changing rainfall as well as temperature and the precise timing of extreme weather when looking at how seed quality is affected.

Future seeds

Our research has also shown that different seed varieties have different levels of resilience to these environmental stresses. This means that farming in the future will depend on selecting and breeding the right varieties to respond to the changing climate.
The world now has a global network of genebanks storing seeds from a wide variety of plants, which helps safeguard their genetic diversity. For example, the International Rice Genebank maintains more than 130,000 samples of cultivated species of rice, its wild relatives and closely-related species, while the AfricaRice genebank maintains 20,000 samples.
Our finding mean that, when scientists breed new crop varieties using genebank samples as “parents”, they should include the ability to produce high-quality seed in stressful environments in the variety’s selected traits. In this way, we should be able to produce new varieties of seeds that can withstand the increasingly extreme pressures of climate change.


https://theconversation.com/climate-change-is-hurting-farmers-even-seeds-are-under-threat-128722

Optimism Growing Around New U.S. Rice Access into the UK 

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- USA Rice participated in a series of meetings here this week to kick-off discussions regarding post-Brexit rice trade between the U.S. and the United Kingdom (UK).

Meetings also were held in Brussels, Belgium, with the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Minister Counselor and with the Federation of European Rice Millers (FERM).  Talks there largely centered on the European Union (EU) reaction to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's landslide victory in the UK elections and the new clarity around an upcoming Brexit.  The EU will have an 11-month transition period through December 31, 2020 to work out a long-term trade agreement with the UK, providing some certainty to U.S. exporters through that period.  Much of what happens with the U.S. and UK negotiations will be dependent upon the direction their talks take with the EU.

In London, USA Rice visited with the new FAS ag counselor and her marketing specialist, the UK Rice Association, analysts from the Live Rice Index, and a number of U.S. rice importers.

"All of our meetings this week were met with a revitalized sense of optimism around a U.S.-UK trade deal and a clear desire for more access here for U.S.-grown rice," said Chair of the USA Rice European Union Trade Policy Subcommittee Mark Holt.  "We would obviously like to regain the market share that we once held over a decade ago but that will take time and some work on our negotiators' part.  They would also have to ensure that we can compete fairly in these markets without being constrained to an arbitrary quota or by providing duty-free access to all of our global competitors."

Just this week, the U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer said, "The U.K. is a priority.  As soon as they get their objectives agreed to, we will start talking."  Lighthizer also shared that he thinks the talks will lead the U.S. to "a really big deal [with the UK]."

Following the UK's December 12 elections that had the conservative Tory party taking a substantial majority within Parliament, the January 31, 2020 Brexit from the EU is almost certain to proceed.  The U.S. published negotiating objectives last year but will officially be able to begin negotiations on a free trade agreement once the UK breaks away from the EU early next year.

USA Rice supports the full, existing EU quota for U.S. rice to remain with the EU, providing an opportunity for duty-free access into the UK.

USA Rice Daily
Smuggled rice from Thailand held at Cebu port
By John Rey Saavedra  December 18, 2019, 7:43 pm
Description: https://files.pna.gov.ph/category-list/2019/12/18/er8dnjxut4md6ngmkibgthumb441.jpg
Port of Cebu (PNA photo by John Rey Saavedra)
CEBU CITY -- The Bureau of Customs–Port of Cebu has held a shipment of Thai rice smuggled four months before the Rice Tariffication law was fully implemented in March this year.
Lawyer Charlito Martin Mendoza, BOC-Cebu acting district collector, issued abandonment proceedings against five 20-footer container vans of white rice imported from Thailand and consigned to an agricultural company based in General Santos City.
According to the notice and decree of abandonment, a copy of which was sent to the Philippine News Agency on Tuesday, shipment with container numbers BMOU-122844-5, OCGU-209217, TRHU-325820-9, WHSU-206076-7 and WHSU-275907-6 and covered by bill of lading number 0359X52799 arrived at the Cebu International Port (CIP) on Nov. 10, 2018.
The shipment was reported to contain “Thai white rice (with) 5 percent broken”, but the claimant or the consignee “has not filed any request for extension of period to file entry prior to the deadline".
Mendoza said his office, through the Entry Processing Unit (EPU), has sent a notice to the consignee, Agcor Consolidated Agriventures Corp., in its office at Unit No. A Catalina Bldg. 1, Salvani St. in Soriano Subdivision City Heights in General Santos City, but it failed to file import entry declaration “despite lapse of unreasonable length of time.”
Importation of rice prior to the implementation of Republic Act 11203 or the Rice Tariffication law of 2019 required an import permit (IP) from the Department of Agriculture. As no one lodged an entry over the cargo, BOC-Cebu suggested they are not covered by an IP.
Jessica Luzano, head of EPU in BOC-Cebu, told the Philippine News Agency that Agcor denied importing the Thai rice.
In its one-page letter addressed to Luzano, the president of Agcor, Divina Aguilar, claimed that the company “has no shipment of any sort on the mentioned dates respecting the mentioned contents.”
Aguilar manifested that Agcor will not file any import entry for the shipment, considering that the imported rice cargo is not legally consigned to the company.
“As provided for under Section 1129(b) of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, an imported article is deemed abandoned when the owner, importer or consignee fails to file the goods declaration within the prescribed period under Section 407 of the same law,” Mendoza said.
He added that the office of Customs Commissioner Leonardo Guerrero issued a memorandum directing all collection districts to strictly implement provisions on implied abandonment under the new customs law.
Mendoza directed the Auction and Cargo Disposal Division (ACDD) of BOC-Cebu “to take immediate action for the disposal of the articles in the manner prescribed by law.
ACDD chief lawyer Kenneth Kern Sesante said the acting district collector will lead in the inspection of the shipment on Thursday. (PNA)

rain traces traced to & # 39; dark matter & # 39; of the rice genome


DECEMBER 18, 2019

Domesticated rice has fatter seed grains with a higher starch content than its wild rice relatives, the result of many generations of preferential seed classification and planting. But despite the fact that rice was the first crop to be completely sequenced, scientists have only documented some of the genetic changes that made rice a staple food for more than half of the world's population.
New research now finds that a considerable amount of changes related to domestication in rice reflects the selection of traits that are determined by a portion of the genome that does not transcribe proteins.
Xiaoming Zheng, a biologist with the Institute of Crop Science of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, is the first author of an article recently published in Scientific advances"Genome-wide analyzes reveal the role of non-coding variation in complex traits during rice domestication." Qingwen Yang and Jun Liu, also from the Institute of Crop Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and Kenneth M. Olsen of the University of Washington in St. Louis are also communicating to the authors of this article.
It is suspected that non-coding RNAs play very important roles in the regulation of growth and development, but are only beginning to be characterized.
"Despite almost 20 years of genomics and genome studies of crop domestication, we still know very little about the genetic basis of most domestication traits in most crop species," said Olsen, professor of Biology in Arts and Sciences from the University of Washington.
"Early studies tended to look for & # 39; low fruit & # 39 ;, simple traits that were controlled by only one or two genes with easily identifiable mutations," Olsen said. "It is much more difficult to discover the more subtle development changes that were critical for many of the changes during crop domestication.
"This study offers a step in that direction, by examining a regulatory mechanism that has been critical in modulating the changes associated with domestication in rice grain development."
Diversity of features
A large proportion of the DNA in the chromosomes of many plants and animals comprises genes that do not encode instructions for producing proteins, up to 98% of the genome of any species. But this genetic information is little known. Some scientists have called these things the & # 39; dark matter & # 39; of the genome, or even discarded it as & # 39; junk DNA & # 39 ;, but seems to have played a huge role in the development of rice.
In this study, researchers discovered that the key changes that occurred during the domestication of rice more than 9,000 years ago could be related to molecules called long-lasting RNA (lncRNA), a class of RNA molecules with a length of more than 200 nucleotides. .
About 36 percent of the genetic information recorded in the rice genome can be traced to uncoded regions, but more than 50 percent of the diversity of important traits for agriculture is linked to these same areas, the researchers found.
"For the first time, lncRNAs in the non-coding region of cultivated rice and wild rice were deeply noted and described," said Zheng.
"Our transgenic experiments and the genetic analysis of the population demonstrate convincingly that the selection of lncRNA contributed to changes in the quality of the domesticated rice grain by altering the expression of genes that function in starch synthesis and pigmentation of the grain, "he said.
Working with several hundred rice samples and more than 260 Gbs of sequence, the researchers employed sensitive detection techniques to quantify and solidly track the transcription of lncRNA in rice. The new study validates some previously identified lncRNA and also provides new information on previously undescribed molecules.
This new study adds fuel to the speculation of some researchers that most of the adaptive differences between groups of plants or animals are due to changes in gene regulation and not to protein evolution.
"Based on our findings, we propose that the selection of lncRNAs could be a broader mechanism by which gene expression patterns throughout the genome can evolve in many species," said Zheng.
This study on rice also opens the eyes and possibly new doors to produce new crops and grains through precision breeding.
Source of the story:
Materials provided by Washington University in St. Louis. Original written by Talia Ogliore. Note: The content can be edited by style and length.

https://upnewsinfo.com/2019/12/18/grain-traces-traced-to-39-dark-matter-39-of-the-rice-genome/

Vitamin A-Rich Rice Developed to Cure Blindness

 December 18, 2019
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Another success for Philippines-based rice research agencies
By: Our Correspondent
After years of development and “rigorous biosafety assessment,” the so-called “Golden Rice” has been approved by the Philippine government for direct use and food and feed. The new strain, which takes its “golden” because of its yellowish cast from beta-carotene, is intended to protect up to 200 million people from irreversible blindness due to vitamin A deficiency. It still requires approval for commercial propagation before it can be made available to the public.
Nonetheless, it has been a long, hard battle on the part of the Philippine Rice Institute and the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute, which jointly developed the genetically modified strain with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation created by the billionaire Microsoft founder. 
In 2013, more than 300 farmers and militants whipped into a frenzy over unfounded fears of genetically modified foods stormed a Philippines Department of Agriculture regional office in Bicol, 450 km south of Manila, and stomped out a 1,000 square meter experimental rice field, destroying part of the project and setting it back for months. 
Golden Rice “has been found to be as safe as conventional rice” by the Philippine Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry, according to the IRRI. The project adds three genes found in squash, carrots and melons to allow the rice plants to manufacture their own vitamin A. In the process, it turns the rice yellow.
“With this approval, we bring forward a very accessible solution to our country’s problem on Vitamin A deficiency that’s affecting many of our pre-school children and pregnant women,” said PhilRice Executive Director John de Leon.
Despite public health efforts including oral supplements and feeding and nutrition education, Vitamin A deficiency among children aged 6 months to 5 years increased from 15.2 percent in 2008 to 20.4 percent in 2013 in the Philippines, according to the IRRI. The beta-carotene content of Golden Rice aims to provide 30 to 50 percent of the estimated average requirement (EAR) of vitamin A for pregnant women and young children. 
“IRRI is pleased to partner with PhilRice to develop this nutrition-sensitive agricultural solution to address hidden hunger. This is the core of IRRI’s purpose: to tailor global solutions to local needs,” said IRRI Director General Matthew Morrell. “The Philippines has long recognized the potential to harness biotechnology to help address food and nutrition security, environmental safety, as well as improve the livelihoods of farmers.”
In 2018, Food Standards Australia New Zealand, Health Canada, and the United States Food and Drug Administration published positive food safety assessments. A biosafety application was lodged in November 2017 and is currently undergoing review by the Biosafety Core Committee in Bangladesh.
Up to half a million malnourished children go blind each year from vitamin A deficiency, with about half dying within a year of going blind, according to the United Nations Special Session on Children. It also diminishes the ability to fight infections such as measles and may increase risk of developing infections, cut growth, slow bone development and cause other health problems.
Although the Swiss agri-business giant Syngenta produced the original Golden Rice, it was passed to the International Rice Research Institute for free, without royalties. That means there will be no multinationals involved, which require farmers to buy new seeds every year for genetically modified products including corn and cotton. IRRI was established in 1960 with funding from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations of the US and the Philippine government to produce open-source rice strains and farmers are not charged royalties.
The IRRI became famous in the late 1960s and 1970s for its role in the so-called Green Revolution in Asia via the breeding of dwarf varieties of rice that because of the length of their stems were less prone to falling over during inclement weather. It has been given credit for keeping millions of people from starvation although anti-GMO activists have argued that the dwarf varieties require massive amounts of fertilizers. 
“There is nothing unnatural about the process — scientists just figured out how to take a gene from one species and add it to another’s DNA,” wrote Michael Purugganan, a Filipino plant geneticist attached to New York University, at the time the activists stomped out the experimental plot. “Plants do this in the wild all the time. It is called horizontal gene transfer, and plants, animals and bacteria have been shown to get many genes from each other as they evolve. Breeders actually do much more radical things to the rice genome and the rice plant by traditional breeding methods, and with much less information about what exactly they are doing to the rice plant’s genes.”
IRRI has continued to develop new strains of rice, almost all of them through traditional plant propagation methods. In 2005, it was estimated that 60 percent of the world’s rice area was planted to IRRI-bred rice varieties or their progenies, according to a study by GS Kush and PS Virk of IRRI.
While there have long been concerns that GMO products are unsafe, the Golden Rice project involves a relatively simple genetic splicing of the same kind that created a frost-free potato in 1983, allowing the tubers to endure temperatures eight to 14 degrees F colder than normal strains, saving farmers millions of dollars from crop loss.
Together with its national partners, the Healthier Rice Program at IRRI is working to improve the nutritional status in countries across Asia and Africa, where rice is widely grown and eaten. Delivering essential micronutrients through staple foods like rice offers a sustainable and complementary approach to public health interventions for micronutrient deficiency, which affects 2 billion people worldwide. In addition to Golden Rice, research is being conducted on high iron and zinc rice (HIZR) to help address iron-deficiency anemia and stunting.
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