Wednesday, January 22, 2020

22nd January,2020 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter


Tensions between US and Iran dents pockets of rice growers from Karnataka's Ballari
Iran is the largest importer of the local rice variety from Ballari used exclusively for making Biryani.
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Published: 21st January 2020 02:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st January 2020 02:29 PM  
Farmers busy cultivating rice in their fields in Ballari district (Photo| D Hemanth, EPS)
Express News Service
BALLARI: The rice growers of Ballari are in a fix after traders in Iran have partially stopped importing the Kampli rice from Ballari post tensions with USA in the last one month. The ongoing tension between the two nations is now affecting the pockets of farmers in Kampli, the rice growing belt of Ballari.
The rice grown here is in great demand in Iran and other Middle-East countries and it is considered as the best suited for making Biryani and other dishes. With Iran being a major consumer, the farmers here are now worried over falling prices.
Post harvest season, after October months, the rice from Ballari and Koppal start getting exported to Iran. The farmers are given up to Rs 120 per kilo for high quality sonamasuri rice. But this time, due to indefinite ban on import of rice, the prices per kg is falled to Rs 65-70. 
This year due to good monsoon the farmers have reaped a good harvest. But due to fall in international demand in the 15 days the prices of rices are falling down. Its still uncertain when the traders will start importing the rice from Ballari and Koppal.
This year the farmers have sent rice to Iran till mid-December and post December 14 many of the traders have not got payment from the importers. Most of the rice trade to Arab countries happens through agents from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. 
Ramesh Kottur, a farmer from Kampli taluk said that rice prices have fallen since fortnight after tensions escalated in Iran. "Last year during same time we had got Rs 9,000 for 75 kg of rice. But this time the same quantity of rice is sold at Rs 4,000. We have also not received payment of Rs 45,000 which is due since December 2019. The agents have not deposited the amount as they too have not received the payment," Ramesh explained.
"This year due to good rain we got good quality rice. The local rice variety named Nallur Sonamsauri brand rice is very famous and used mostly in making of Biryani," he added.
Virabhadrappa K, another farmer from Kampli, said that the farmers reap about 38 quintals of rice in one acre of land but the falling prices have made them worry. "Despite good harvest we did not get .money this year due to halting of export to Iran which is the major consumer of rice from Kampli and surroundings," he said.
Shridar, senior agricultural officer from Kampli taluk said several farmers have complained to the department about the ongoing issue. "We however cannot comment on the international issues and tension between the countries. But Iran which is big importer of rice from Ballari has temporarily stopped trading. We are hopeful that the trade begins soon so that the farmers who have stored the rice could be benefited," he said.
The officer added that Ballari taluk alone has 30,000 Ha of land under rice cultivation, Shiraguppa taluk has about 24,000 Ha and Kampli has 13,000 Ha land under paddy cultivation. 

Cheaper China rice, high MSP — what non-basmati exporters are blaming for dip in trade

Govt data says export of non-basmati rice declines by over 37% — from 50,48,000 MT in April-November 2018 to 31,41,000 MT during same period last year.

SAMYAK PANDEY 22 January, 2020 9:00 am IST


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New Delhi: Export of non-basmati rice from India declined by over 37 per cent between April and November of 2019 as compared to the corresponding period in 2018, data with the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has revealed.
The data, accessed by ThePrint, shows India managed to export only 31,41,000 metric tonnes (MT) of non-basmati rice during the April-November period last year, compared to the 50,48,000 MT it did during the corresponding period in 2018. 
The rice exported was worth Rs 9,028 crore, a huge drop from the Rs 14,060 crore during the same period in 2018.
The decline, according to the data, is due to some top importers of Indian rice completely shunning the country last year. 
For instance, Bangladesh imported 4,70,275 MT of non-basmati rice valued at Rs 1,311 crore between April and November 2018. During the same period in 2019, the country imported just 11,787 MT of rice valued at a mere Rs 75 crore.   
This decline in exports would result in an annual loss of around Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 crore in 2019-20, according to the All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA).


Cheap Chinese produce hurting exports

Exporters are now blaming ‘cheap Chinese produce’ and the ‘high’ minimum support price (MSP) for non-basmati rice for the decline.
According to Vinod Kaul, executive director of the All India Rice Exporters Association, cheap Chinese rice along with the Narendra Modi government’s withdrawal of export incentives has led to the drastic drop in non-basmati exports. 
The association has warned that Indian exports could witness a demand decline of 50 per cent in African markets alone as the Chinese rice is way cheaper.   
“Africa is one of India’s major non-basmati markets for Indian rice and also a price-sensitive one,” Kaul said. “The government has also withdrawn the 5 per cent Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS), which was available from 2 November 2018 to 25 March 2019. The withdrawal of MEIS has made Indian produce expensive compared to other exporting counterparts such as China, Thailand and Vietnam.”
In the African markets, the price of 1 quintal rice from China is Rs 2,129 while the price of rice from India is Rs 3,479 a quintal, Kaul added.
The decline isn’t just confined to the African countries. The APEDA data shows that even neighbours Nepal and Bangladesh, among the top importers of Indian rice, are also staying away from the produce. 
Between April and November 2018, Senegal, Bangladesh and Nepal were the three top importers buying 5,11,160 MT, 4,70,275 MT and 4,48,844 MT non-basmati rice, respectively, from India.   
During the same period in 2019, however, Nepal imported over 1 lakh MT less at 3,38,313 MT, while Senegal and Bangladesh saw even drastic drops. Senegal only imported 42,101 MT of Indian non-basmati rice while Bangladesh took in even fewer Indian rice, importing a mere 11,787 MT (see graphic).
Description: https://d2c7ipcroan06u.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/s1.jpgCountry-wise export data | Infographic by Soham Sen

Exporters blame MSP for the high prices

Exporters are also blaming the MSP for the high export price of Indian non-basmati rice.
Rakesh Kumar, owner of the Delhi-based Adinath Global Exports, told ThePrint that a high MSP has led to rise in export prices of Indian rice. 
“Due to MSP, our rates are higher,” he said. “China is exporting non-basmati rice at Rs 21,200-22,700 a tonne while our price is around Rs 24,800-26300 for the same quantity of rice.”
The central government buys normal paddy crop at an MSP of Rs 1,815 per quintal. The MSP for grade A paddy crop is Rs 1,835 per quintal.
Kumar added that shipping costs also hurt Indian exporters. “It costs us up to Rs 93,600 to ship a single container whereas the cost in competing countries such as Thailand is only Rs 49,661. This puts us way behind the competition.” 

Farm output posts small growth in 2019

Published Jan 22, 2020 3:18:17 PM
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Farm production barely grew in 2019 as rice prices plunged and pork supply dwindled due to the African swine fever, the Philippine Statistics Authority says. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 22) — Agricultural production was flat in 2019 amid smaller harvests of some crops and pork supply was pulled down by the African swine fever, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.
Output climbed by 0.7 percent, a modest increase compared to last year's value of production. The pace is faster than the 0.6 percent growth rate logged in 2018.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said back in August that the sector would benefit if it grows by 2 percent in 2019, as he abandoned the 3.5 percent goal set by his predecessor, Emmanuel PiƱol.
Growth was more modest in October-December when harvests rose by just 0.4 percent, slower than the 1.9 percent pickup logged during the same period in 2018. 

Crop harvests up, prices down

Crops harvested during the fourth quarter posted a modest 1 percent increase, but their worth dropped by a tenth.
Palay (rice paddy) harvests rose by 4.7 percent due to bigger fields in Cagayan Valley and in Western Visayas. Meanwhile, corn production slipped by 8.2 percent during the period with an earlier planting season.
However, farmgate prices declined by an average of 5.7 percent. Palay rates plunged by almost 25 percent due to a supply glut after the Rice Tariffication Law removed limits on cheap rice imports.
The government raised ​₱12.3 billion from rice import tariffs. higher than the ​₱10 billion earmarked for a fund that will give farmers access to cheap but high quality seeds and machinery.
Corn prices also dropped by 18.8 percent with lower demand. The PSA added that farmers in Zamboanga have been discouraged from planting more corn due to low buying prices.
Coconut production was higher by 0.9 percent with good weather during the third quarter, resulting in better harvest. The supply of mangoes, pineapples, peanuts, cassava, and sweet potato also grew during the quarter.
Sugarcane production dropped by 14.8 percent, resulting from delayed planting a year ago. Banana harvests slipped during the period as some plantations were infested by diseases.

Meat prices drop

Meat production went down by 8.5 percent in the quarter, with hog raisers reporting the biggest declines.
Pig farms went down by nearly a tenth during the quarter as thousands of hogs were culled to contain the spread of the African swine fever in parts of Luzon, coupled with a decline in demand for pork amid fears that the disease could be transferred to humans.
"The strict implementation and frequent monitoring on the inflow and outflow of live animals in between provinces contributed to the lesser disposal of hogs in Cagayan Valley, Central Visayas and Central Luzon," the PSA added.
On the other hand, beef supply rose as farms saw a 1.8 percent increase in cattle production, while dairy enjoyed a 2.4 percent lift.
Poultry farms also churned out 5.4 percent more, led by a 4.1 percent increase in chicken meat and an 11.3 percent rise in egg supply. Duck eggs also rose by 8.7 percent despite a slide in duck production, data showed.
Meanwhile, fisherfolk harvested 16.2 percent more during the quarter, with milkfish (bangus), tilapia, tiger prawn, roundscad (galunggong), and skipjack tuna benefiting from better weather conditions.

Government to expand nationwide fortified rice programme
AUNG PHAY KYI SOE 22 JAN 2020
The Department of Social Welfare will expand its nationwide fortified rice programme among preschoolers in a bid to improve children’s health and reduce nutritional deficiencies, a senior official said.
Daw Lei Yin Win, director of the department, said her office is negotiating with millers to ensure an adequate supply of the staple.
“We are feeding fortified rice to children from the preschool level in Yangon and Mandalay regions,” she said, “and will extend the programme to other parts of the country this year.”
“If the millers can create wholesale markets to cover the whole country, every pre-primary school can be supplied with fortified rice,” she added.  
Her office can now only supply fortified rice to preschools that are near wholesale markets as the transportation costs are too high, especially in remote areas.
The Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement was instructed last year to feed fortified rice to preschoolers through the Department of Social Welfare.
Preschoolers in Yangon started getting fortified rice at the end of 2018, and those in Mandalay began getting the nutritious grain last year.
Fortified rice is enriched with vitamins and minerals, including eight essential micronutrients: iron, zinc, folic acid, and vitamins A, B1, B3, B6 and B12.
Only 16 of the hundreds of registered rice millers nationwide produce fortified rice with the right micronutrient content, according to the Department of Public Health’s National Nutrition Centre.
Over 350,000 people eat fortified rice in the country, according to the centre.
Health and Sports Minister Myint Htwe last year urged people to eat fortified rice to prevent stunted growth in children and anaemia in pregnant women and children. “People need to know the advantages of fortified rice,” he said.
Malnutrition remains a pressing health challenge in Myanmar, where 40 percent of pregnant women suffer from anaemia and one in four children is small for their age, according to the
Nationwide Micronutrient and Food Consumption Survey for 2017-18.
Thirty-four preschools in Yangon and nine in Mandalay feed children fortified rice, according to the Department of Social Welfare.
Annual Meetings Keep Rice Growers in the Know  



RICE COUNTRY, USA -- January ushers in the new year, and in the rice industry it's also time for growers to meet, ask questions, and gather information relevant to their prospective operations, laying the foundation for a successful 2020 production year.

Over the past two weeks, rice growers across Louisiana and Texas heard the latest information and updates from Research and Extension personnel on what's in store for this year.  These meetings are held annually, and tend to draw a big crowd as growers begin to plan their strategies in anticipation of the coming planting season.

Researchers from the Louisiana State University Rice Research Station in Crowley held meetings, in conjunction with local extension offices, in Jeff Davis, Evangeline, Acadia, Central Louisiana, and Vermilion Parishes, giving growers the opportunity to learn what's new and what needs to be considered in making decisions for the coming year.

Dr. Dustin Harrell, rice specialist at the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station in Crowley, said, "These annual rice forums are an excellent opportunity for rice growers and consultants to hear about the latest research and guidelines on rice varieties, fertilization, weed, disease and insect management recommendations for the new crop."

The Western Rice Belt Production Conference, recently held in El Campo, Texas, included reports from Texas A&M and Texas AgriLife researchers, as well as an update from Gary Six, state executive director of the Texas Farm Service Agency.  Also on the agenda were presentations on Conservation and Working Lands programs, such as the USA Rice/Ducks Unlimited Partnership, and watershed and resource management initiatives, pointing up opportunities for grower involvement.

Check the schedule below and plan to attend the meeting in your area.  

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Mark Your Calendar and Plan to Attend  

California Rice Commission Grower Meetings
Thursday, January 23
8:30 am, Colusa - Casino Community Room
12:30 pm, Yuba City - Hillcrest Catering at Plaza Room

2020 SETX Rice Symposium
Thursday, January 23
8 am, Winnie - St. Louis Catholic Church Building

Clay County, Arkansas Rice/Soybean Production Meeting
Monday, January 27
11:30 am, Corning - M.B. Ainley Community Center

Arkansas Soil & Water Education Conference
Wednesday, January 29
8 am, Jonesboro - ASU First National Bank Arena

Cotton & Rice Conference
Thursday - Friday, January 30-31
Memphis TN - Hilton Hotel & Convention Center

LSU Rice Forum - NELA
Tuesday, February 4
9 am, Rayville - Rayville Civic Center

A-State Agribusiness Conference
Wednesday, February 12
8:00 am, Jonesboro - Fowler Center (morning session), First National Bank Arena (lunch and afternoon session)

Mississippi Rice Council Meeting
Thursday, February 13
10 am, Cleveland MS - Wade Inc. dealership, 645 Gaines Hwy


SE Missouri Regional Rice Meeting
Thursday, February 20
8 am, Malden - Malden Community Center

Farm & Gin Show
Friday - Sunday, February 28 - March 1
Memphis Convention Center

Cambodia invites Vietnam to invest in rice processing

Description: https://assets.nst.com.my/images/articles/hunsen_1579573795.jpg
(File Pix) Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen (inset) said annual rice exports to Vietnam were between one and two million tonnes.
By New Straits Times - 
PRIME MINISTER Hun Sen has invited Vietnamese businessmen to invest in the country’s rice processing sector.
He said annual rice exports to Vietnam were between one and two million tonnes, and their investment could benefit the people of both nations.
“I am optimistic that Vietnamese and foreign investors will choose Cambodia as an investment destination,” he said at an annual dinner with the Vietnamese business community in Cambodia.
Vietnam Business Club (Cambodia) chairman Nguyen Thanh Dung said bilateral trade reached US$5.2 billion last year.
“Vietnam is the kingdom’s third-largest trading partner, with 214 registered projects here worth a total investment of US$3.074 billion. Of these, 176 are ongoing with a total registered capital of US$2.77 billion.
“Vietnamese investors focus mainly on Cambodia’s sectors such as agriculture, banking, telecommunications, information technology and processing industries.”
The Phnom Penh Post reported that the Vietnamese accounted for nearly 70 per cent of total investments in the agricultural and forestry sector, and 9.4 per cent in the finance, banking and insurance sector. Data from the Vietnamese embassy here shows that the Vietnamese have invested in the aviation, mineral, manufacturing and processing, warehousing, transport, healthcare, construction, tourism and real estate sectors.
Cambodia’s investments in Vietnam encompass 21 projects worth a total of nearly US$64 million.
It ranks 54th out of 132 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, embassy data shows.
Between 2015 and 2018, the kingdom’s exports to Vietnam reached slightly more than US$1.18 billion, while Vietnam’s exports to the kingdom amounted to US$6.96 billion, a Commerce Ministry report said.

Govt cuts reserve prices of wheat, rice to make space for new crop yield

By: FE Bureau | 
Updated: January 21, 2020 4:42:12 AM

When the OMSS scheme was announced in April last year, the government had fixed reserve price of wheat for each quarter during FY20.

Description: wheat, rice
The reserve price of rice under OMSS has been cut to Rs 2,250/quintal from Rs 2,785/quintal fixed earlier.
Faced with poor offtake of grains from the official reserves, the government has cut the reserve prices of wheat and rice to clear the space for new crop, as the current food grain stocks with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) is 2.5 times the buffer norm. But, the delayed decision may not help FCI to substantially liquidate its stocks as procurement of the new crop will start from April. For this the agency needs 35 million tonne (MT) of storage space.
The latest official data shows that FCI has 56.51 MT of rice and wheat in its reserves, besides 27.89 MT of paddy (kept by millers) as on January 1, against the buffer norm of 21.41 MT. The stock position in the year-ago period was 45.41 MT of rice and wheat, and 27.41 MT of paddy. The agency has a total storage capacity of 76 MT, including hired ones.

Besides the storage challenge, the surplus grains lying with the FCI also cost huge financial burden on the exchequer. After converting the paddy in terms of rice, the value of total surplus stocks (nearly 54 MT) will be as high as Rs 1.73 lakh crore at the current economic costs. However, the government has been selling the grains at below economic cost under the open market sale scheme (OMSS). The economic costs of wheat is estimated at Rs 2505.67/quintal and, for rice it is Rs 3601.91/quintal for FY20.
For three years in a row, the fiscally stressed Centre has made FCI take National Small Savings Fund (NSSF) loans under sovereign guarantee to ensure the corporation’s operations aren’t disrupted. However, the Centre’s dues to the FCI have now touched an all-time high of Rs 1.95 lakh-crore, and the FCI is being made to borrow more from NSSF.
The reserve price of rice under OMSS has been cut to Rs 2,250/quintal from Rs 2,785/quintal fixed earlier. The reserve price of wheat now stands at Rs 2,135/quintal for fair average quality (FAQ) and at Rs 2,080/quintal for lower quality. The benchmark price was Rs 2,245/quintal for the January-March period of 2019-20. When the OMSS scheme was announced in April last year, the government had fixed reserve price of wheat for each quarter during FY20. The objective was to liquidate 10 MT of wheat with minimum losses – every quarter there was an increase in reserve price from the previous period.
While trade sources said only about 1.7 MT of wheat has been sold under OMSS, official data showed it was less than a million tonne until November 28, 2019. The rice off-take was also very poor as only 616,290 tonne could be sold while the target was to sell 5 MT in the whole year. In 2018-19, more than 8 MT, each of wheat and rice, was sold by FCI under the OMSS scheme.
“Normally wheat stocks with flour millers exhaust by December and for January-March period most of them depend on FCI for their requirements. The government thought of earning big rather than liquidating as this year wheat reserve price was fixed at 22% more than MSP for the fourth quarter, whereas it was just about 12% more than MSP for the same period last year,” a trader said.
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Price of rice stable


DAVAO. Retail prices of rice in Bankerohan Public Market. (Photo by Roberto A. Gumba Jr.)
January 21, 2020
RETAIL price of rice in Davao City remained steady since the last week of December 2019 but a downtrend is observed on the gate price of dry palay.

Retail prices in Bangkerohan Public Market as of January 20 ranged from P34 to P38 per kilogram (kg) for regular milled rice (RMR), P36 per kg to P43 per kg for well-milled rice (WMR), P45 per kg to P50 per kg for special rice, and P45 per kg to P47 per kg for premium rice.

Based on the data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) as of December 25 to 31, the range of retail prices was unchanged.

The lowest retail price of RMR within this period is at P33 per kg while the highest was P38 per kg.

Retail prices for WMR were between P38 per kg to P43 per kg. The prices for special rice ranged from P53 per kg to P60 per kg and P42 per kg to P48 per kg for premium rice.

PSA also noted the wholesale prices for RMR at P29 per kg to P34 per kg; WMR was at P33 per kg to P37 per kg; and premium rice at P37 per kg to P41 per kg.

However, the farmgate price of dry palay in the city is at P13.38 per kg. In the last week of December 2019, farmgate was at P12.10 per kg to P14.24 per kg.

Davao City also has the lowest prevailing buying price of palay compared to Davao de Oro (P15.10 per kg), Davao del Norte (P16.50 per kg), and Davao del Sur (P17.50 per kg). The average price of dry palay in the region in this period is at P15.10 per kg.
Rice exports grow 26.30pc

APP

January 21, 2020
Description: Rice exports grow 26.30pc
ISLAMABAD        
Rice exports from the country during first half of current financial year grew by 26.30% as compared the exports of the corresponding period of last year. During the period from July-December 2019-20, rice over 2.020 million metric tons worth $1.033 billion exported as compared to the exports of 1.587 million tons valuing $817.923 million of same period of last year. According the latest trade data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, exports of Basmati rice witnessed overwhelming growth of 55.89% as about 415,083 metric tons of above mentioned commodity worth $380.623 million exported as compared to the exports of 241,491 metric tons valuing $244.169 million of same period of last year. Meanwhile, exports of rice other then Basmati also grew by 13.71% during the period under review as 1,605,613 metric tons of rice worth $652.428 million exported as against 1,345,961 metric tons valuing $573.754 million of same period of last year. However, on month on month basis, rice exports decreased by 8.19% in December, 2019 as 403,923 metric tons of rice valuing $197.185 million against exports of 431,744 metric tons of same month of last year.
It is worth mentioning here that in first six months of current financial year, food group exports from the country witnessed 10.96% growth as food commodities worth $2.199 billion exported as compared to the exports of $1.994 billion of same period of last year.
On the other hand, food imports during the period under review decreased by 13.48% as it came down from $2.966 billion in July-December, 2018-19 to $2.556 billion in same month of current financial year.
The other food commodities that witnessed positive growth in their respective exports included fish and fish products by 22.56%, vegetables 40.44% and meat and meat products 51.89%.
The import of the food commodities that had witnessed negative growth included milk, cream and milk for infants 26.69%, wheat 0%, dry fruits nuts 9.96% tea imports reduced by 24.12%, the data revealed.
Concern over low quality of local rice

Description: Concern over low quality of local rice

When people are given the opportunity to make a choice between foreign and local rice, what usually comes to mind is the local product because of its unique taste and nutritional value. The case seems to be different with the Nigerian local rice. JULIANA AGBO, in this report, examines consumers’ opinion on local rice production.


IN Nigeria, rice has become so prominent that the average meal in a day will predominantly comprise one of rice or a meal whose main or base ingredient is rice.
Rice is no longer a luxury food in Nigeria as it has become a major source of calories for both the rich and the urban poor.
As such, the consumption of rice has since the mid-1970s risen tremendously to about 10 per cent per annum. This figure, according to research, is predominantly due to changing consumer preferences thereby accounting for a large chunk of the Nigerians’ food basket.
Rice importation constituted a major source of the country’s depleting foreign reserve with over N1billion spent daily on imported rice.
Currently, the government is strongly discouraging rice import by promoting local production for import substitution.
Recall that the Federal Government, in April, 2018, said Nigeria will achieve self-sufficiency in rice production by 2020 with sustained implementation of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme launched on November 17, 2015.
Also in August, last year, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the closure of land borders between Nigeria and Benin Republic in long-running effort to boost rice production.
President Buhari also said the partial closure of Nigeria’s border with the Benin Republic, was due to the massive smuggling activities, especially of rice, taking place on that corridor.

Annual production and consumption

In 2019, the President of Rice Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, said Nigeria had hit annual eight million metric tons of rice production, with a target of 18 million metric tons by 2023.
Goronyo said the feat was achieved with the disbursement of N40 billion by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (CBN/APB) to over 12.2 million rice farmers.
However, Nigeria is the 6th highest consumer of rice in the world with over six million metric tons of milled rice consumed annually.

Consumer satisfaction

Despite government’s action on border closure to boost local rice production, there is influx of foreign rice in the market due to consumers’ preference.
Although, Nigerians have come to accept local rice as a better alternative to the imported brands, they are of the view that most of the brands of local rice in the market are yet to meet international standard due to poor processing and packaging.
However, they are also of the view that the price of local rice per bag should not go above N15, 000 so as to have competitive advantage over imported rice.
Research by Journal of Agricultural Extension revealed that the major constraints to rice consumption preference for Nigerian rice were presence of husk, dirt and stones (90.0%), poor quality (85.8%), broken grain (75.0%), low swelling capacity (72.50%) breakages (71.60%), lack of competition advantages (68.33%).
It also noted that the constraints to imported rice consumption were high cost (73.33%) and affordability of the products (62.50%), adding that factors that significantly influence the household consumption preference for imported and Nigerian rice were price, nutritional value, ease of preparation, cleanliness and taste.

Acceptability

It is observed that poor finishing and high cost of local rice per bag which goes for N20, 000 hinders its acceptability.
Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Governor Godwin Emefiele, in October, last year, told rice farmers not to increase the price of the product as a result of the border closure.
Emefiele also reiterated the need to increase rice production, promising that the CBN would support the rice millers to stem off smuggling and grow the rice sector for food self–sufficiency.
The CBN Governor maintained that the closure was done for the benefit and well-being of the people as most of the “imported rice had chemicals for preservation”.
However, a foodstuff seller at Mararaba Market, Nasarawa State, Ifeanyi Onuigbo, said he is still struggling to sell off the bags of rice he bought due to poor processing.
“If we can improve on our locally processed rice, it will be more beneficial to Nigerians than reopening the border because the money will now be within the country,” Onuigbo said.
Another foodstuff seller, Mary Okoh, said rice processed in Nigeria could compete with any variety in the world if Nigerian farmers could process the product better.
“There is no problem with our locally processed rice in terms of taste but the problem lies in the processing and packaging. There is no difference between our local rice and the imported ones, except in the processing of our rice. We still have a long way to go.
An entrepreneur, Moses Omoikhoa, who noted that he preferred the consumption of imported rice to local ones, also blamed the poorly processed rice on inadequate processing technology.
Omoikhoa said government has major role to play in forming strong policies that will favour production of local rice as it is being practised in the advanced world.
“The Nigerian rice industry is currently not doing so badly. It is just that our local rice processors need to improve on their final product. I believe that it is the increase in the demand for locally processed rice, following the border closure that has resulted in the recent poor processing of local rice.
“The price of local rice is also discouraging. If I can get foreign rice for N22, 000 per bag in the market, why won’t I abandon local rice which goes for 20,000 per bag for the imported rice that is not stressful to prepare.
“I get scared of eating local rice because of the presence of stones and dirt in it; this means we still have a long way to go.
“Most Nigerians will still go for the foreign rice if it is available because of the poor processing of our local variety,” said Omoikhoa.

Barriers

A survey carried out by The Nation across major markets and restaurants in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and some markets in Nasarawa and Niger states revealed that most Nigerian rice processors lack adequate technology of rice processing to meet international standard.
Matthew Ayaka, a Keffi-based rice miller blamed the low quality production on poor quality and insufficient paddy rice.
Ayaka said equipment constraint and use of outdated milling technology are also major challenges.
“Money is another big issue. Rice farmers in Nigeria have limited access to credit facilities. Those who obtain loans often default on repayments, and are not able to use the money to build their enterprises. Furthermore, rice farming is an expensive business: machinery, seeds, fertilisers and other agro-chemicals cost a great deal of money.
“Nigeria also hasn’t invested enough in training farmers. There’s a lack of knowledge about how to use pesticides and herbicides; how to handle rice once it’s been harvested; and how to market one’s produce. Traders are reluctant to go out and purchase produce from rice farms in the rural areas because the state of the roads is so bad,” Ayaka said.
An off taker, Clement Omonu, told The Nation in Abuja that Nigerians are paying more for local rice, not necessarily because it is scarce but due to the high cost of production.
Omonu, who also blamed government’s interference in agriculture, poor marketing infrastructure, financial constraints and lack of well-trained machine operators on the challenges associated with quality rice production, urged government to invest in Nigerian rice production by providing loans facilities for Nigerian rice farmers and encourage mechanisation.
“The reasons people still go for imported rice is because government at all levels do not practice what they say.
“Government said they don’t want to see foreign rice in the market, but the same people don’t want to give us incentives to produce rice locally. You don’t get equipment, you don’t get loans and you don’t get seeds.

Support for farmers

The government is trying to boost its agriculture sector, especially in rice production as it can be cultivated in all the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The support include government’s grants, loans offered at cheap interest rates to farmers, grants and technology given by non-profit organisations and funding from foreign agencies such as the World Bank.
Despite these supports, some farmers are lamenting that Federal Government’s policy on assistance to enhance rice production is not getting to the grassroots.
On poor processing and packaging, the Chairman, Rice Millers’ Association, Mr. Peter Dama said most Nigerians condemning the rice in the market have refused to change their appetite for local rice.
Mr. Dama said despite some challenges faced by some local rice millers, especially in having access to complete rice equipment to clean up their rice, does not mean that the rice is bad.
“Nigerians are used to foreign rice and they find it difficult to change their appetite for local rice. There are some challenges with some millers, because some of them are the smaller ones that bring in rice into the market without going through the appropriate processing procedure.
“We as an association are trying our best to make sure that our members can have appropriate equipment for rice milling.
“It may also take some time before we can get the appropriate milling we are talking about.
Description: Concern over low quality of local rice “The government has assisted by asking our members to apply for special intervention funds to purchase equipment so as to mill rice properly. We are all in the process and we are engaging our members who are out of funds for them to be able to purchase their own equipment.
“Also, our millers are still receiving trainings on how to use the modern equipment available for milling because it is computerised. All they need is to be familiar with the equipment and how they operate,” Dama said.

rice to make space for new crop yield

By: FE Bureau | 
Updated: January 21, 2020 4:42:12 AM

When the OMSS scheme was announced in April last year, the government had fixed reserve price of wheat for each quarter during FY20.

Description: wheat, rice
The reserve price of rice under OMSS has been cut to Rs 2,250/quintal from Rs 2,785/quintal fixed earlier.
Faced with poor offtake of grains from the official reserves, the government has cut the reserve prices of wheat and rice to clear the space for new crop, as the current food grain stocks with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) is 2.5 times the buffer norm. But, the delayed decision may not help FCI to substantially liquidate its stocks as procurement of the new crop will start from April. For this the agency needs 35 million tonne (MT) of storage space.
The latest official data shows that FCI has 56.51 MT of rice and wheat in its reserves, besides 27.89 MT of paddy (kept by millers) as on January 1, against the buffer norm of 21.41 MT. The stock position in the year-ago period was 45.41 MT of rice and wheat, and 27.41 MT of paddy. The agency has a total storage capacity of 76 MT, including hired ones.
Besides the storage challenge, the surplus grains lying with the FCI also cost huge financial burden on the exchequer. After converting the paddy in terms of rice, the value of total surplus stocks (nearly 54 MT) will be as high as Rs 1.73 lakh crore at the current economic costs. However, the government has been selling the grains at below economic cost under the open market sale scheme (OMSS). The economic costs of wheat is estimated at Rs 2505.67/quintal and, for rice it is Rs 3601.91/quintal for FY20.
For three years in a row, the fiscally stressed Centre has made FCI take National Small Savings Fund (NSSF) loans under sovereign guarantee to ensure the corporation’s operations aren’t disrupted. However, the Centre’s dues to the FCI have now touched an all-time high of Rs 1.95 lakh-crore, and the FCI is being made to borrow more from NSSF.
The reserve price of rice under OMSS has been cut to Rs 2,250/quintal from Rs 2,785/quintal fixed earlier. The reserve price of wheat now stands at Rs 2,135/quintal for fair average quality (FAQ) and at Rs 2,080/quintal for lower quality. The benchmark price was Rs 2,245/quintal for the January-March period of 2019-20. When the OMSS scheme was announced in April last year, the government had fixed reserve price of wheat for each quarter during FY20. The objective was to liquidate 10 MT of wheat with minimum losses – every quarter there was an increase in reserve price from the previous period.
While trade sources said only about 1.7 MT of wheat has been sold under OMSS, official data showed it was less than a million tonne until November 28, 2019. The rice off-take was also very poor as only 616,290 tonne could be sold while the target was to sell 5 MT in the whole year. In 2018-19, more than 8 MT, each of wheat and rice, was sold by FCI under the OMSS scheme.
“Normally wheat stocks with flour millers exhaust by December and for January-March period most of them depend on FCI for their requirements. The government thought of earning big rather than liquidating as this year wheat reserve price was fixed at 22% more than MSP for the fourth quarter, whereas it was just about 12% more than MSP for the same period last year,” a trader said.
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Rice exports up by 26.30pc as 2.02 million tons H1

By  admin
Staff Reporter
Islamabad
Rice exports from the country during first half of current financial year grew by 26.30% as compared the exports of the corresponding period of last year.
During the period from July-December 2019-20, rice over 2.020 million metric tons worth $1.033 billion exported as compared to the exports of 1.587 million tons valuing $817.923 million of same period of last year.
According the latest trade data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, exports of Basmati rice witnessed overwhelming growth of 55.89% as about 415,083 metric tons of above mentioned commodity worth $380.623 million exported as compared to the exports of 241,491 metric tons valuing $244.169 million of same period of last year.
Meanwhile, exports of rice other then Basmati also grew by 13.71% during the period under review as 1,605,613 metric tons of rice worth $652.428 million exported as against 1,345,961 metric tons valuing $573.754 million of same period of last year.
However, on month on month basis, rice exports decreased by 8.19% in December, 2019 as 403,923 metric tons of rice valuing $197.185 million against exports of 431,744 metric tons of same month of last year.
It is worth mentioning here that in first six months of current financial year, food group exports from the country witnessed 10.96% growth as food commodities worth $2.199 billion exported as compared to the exports of $1.994 billion of same period of last year.
On the other hand, food imports during the period under review decreased by 13.48% as it came down from $2.966 billion in July-December, 2018-19 to $2.556 billion in same month of current financial year.
The other food commodities that witnessed positive growth in their respective exports included fish and fish products by 22.56%, vegetables 40.44% and meat and meat products 51.89%.
The import of the food commodities that had witnessed negative growth included milk, cream and milk for infants 26.69%, wheat 0%, dry fruits nuts 9.96% tea imports reduced by 24.12%, the data revealed.

More than 1,000 jobs at NFA to be erased as rice import limits removed

By: Ben O. de Vera - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 04:20 PM January 21, 2020
The Governance Commission for Government Owned or Controlled Corporations (GCG) has slashed to 2,644 the number of regular positions in the National Food Authority (NFA) which now has a leaner role after the lifting of  volume restrictions on rice importation through the Rice Tariffication Act.
In a memo dated Jan. 7, the GCG set into motion the NFA’s restructuring mandated by Republic Act No. 11203, which removed volume limits on rice imports and set tariffs.
The Rice Tariffication Act signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2019 removed the NFA’s commercial functions and regulatory powers, retaining only its mandate to stock up on rice for emergencies.
In a restructuring plan proposed by the NFA to the GCG in May 2019, the NFA sought to reduce regular employee positions to 3,543 from 4,436 prior to the Rice Tariffication Act.
By June 2019, the NFA revised its proposed staffing pattern to a lower 3,191 regular positions.
The GCG, however, approved just 2,644 regular positions in the NFA’s 22 units, its central office, 15 regional offices and 45 branch offices.
The GCG order was signed by chair Samuel G. Dagpin, commissioners Michael P. Cloribel and Marites C. Doral, as well as its two ex-officio members, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III and Acting Budget Secretary Wendel E. Avisado.
As 1,792 regular jobs will be shed, the GCG said “the NFA Council, through the administrator, shall be accountable for the payment of separation benefits.”
The new staffing pattern of the NFA would start within two months from the approval by the Office of the President of the NFA’s separation package.
The GCG said vacant positions at NFA, under the new structure, would be “programmed to ensure overall financial viability” of NFA operations.
Funding for regular positions at the NFA would come from the agency’s operating budget, the GCG said.

Regional fire brigade tasked to construct seven modern apartments

21Jan 2020
Michael Sikapundwa
The Guardian
Regional fire brigade tasked to construct seven modern apartments
MOROGORO Regional Commissioner Loata Sanare has directed the regional fire brigade commander, Goodluck Zelote to construct seven modern apartments for the brigade’s staff.
Morogoro Regional Commissioner Loata Sanare
Sanare made a call during the weekend when rewarding 10 corps who performed well in their duties in 2019.
“The RC said fire brigade here owns a large plot of land which is enough to construct even more that 10 apartments…I have been informed that at least 42 police staff are living difficult lives as they have no safe place to stay thus hindering emergency and fire rescue activities especially during night ,” he said.
He wanted the force to stop rehabilitating old houses but build new ones for the soldiers to live in.
“I will support you in this by asking for stakeholders support to ensure that our soldiers live in safe places and relocate them from the remote areas where they are living now,” he said.
In facilitating financial sources to construct modern houses, RC ordered regional authorities to stop restring the Fire and Rescue Force from constructing their own business frames for the aim of generating incomes.
“Allow  the fire brigade to continue with construction of business frames…As you know their challenges, they have to look for other income generating sources as they have a number of challenges to solve including shortage of staff houses; the government also assigned them  to collect over 300m/- perr year,” her stressed.
RC Sanare later rewarded certificates of appreciation to one sergeant  namely Abdala Hamidu Juma(Sgt), three corporals , Ipyana Mwakasege(cpl),Benjamin Bandala(cpl),Hashimu Ngalawanda(CPL) and two fire constables  Geoffrey Mbate(F.C),Bahati Rajabu(F.C
He commended development stakeholders for supporting the development of the regional fire brigade especially in the construction of staff houses.
He named them MW Rice Millers, The Islamic Foundation, 21st Century Textile Industry, Tigo, Peacam Cratering and Saba General Company.

Baked is best: Immunity enhancement better from baked bread than steamed - study

By Guan Yu Lim
22-Jan-2020 - Last updated on 22-Jan-2020 at 02:23 GMT
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According to researchers in China, baked bread enhances the immune response in humans compared to steamed bread ©Getty Images
Related tags: China, Bread, Baking, steaming, Research
Baked bread may help enhances immunity and aid weight loss more than steamed bread, according to researchers in China.
Steamed and baked bread are traditional staple foods in China and Western countries respectively. But researchers added: “It is unclear whether different processing methods change the biological functions of foods and how these functions are evaluated in the human body​.”
Hence, they sought to study the cytokine network and central metabolic pathway (CMP) network.
Cytokines bind to specific receptors on immune and nonimmune cells through the circulatory system, which forms an intercellular communication network that regulates neuro-immune-endocrine functions and metabolism.
As far as we know, no research has been conducted on this subject. Understanding the effects of these two staple foods on human physiological functions is important for exploring the effects of food-processing methods on the human body and for dietary intervention to promote the human health​.”
The study was published in the journal, Nutrients​.

Bread preparation and participants

Both steamed and baked bread were made from the same wheat flour without any additives, dry yeast, and water. The dough was kneaded by hand and left to rise in a fermentation cabinet.
The steamed bread was placed in a steamer basket at 100 °C for 20 minutes while the baked bread was baked in an electric oven at 215 °C for 20 minutes.
A total of 16 healthy participants aged 23 to 25 years, of both genders (8 men, 8 women) were recruited for the study.
The volunteers main staple food was rice, and they rarely ate wheat flour-based food.

Treatment

The treatment experiment lasted for five days where volunteers were placed in a relaxed environment to protect them from stress sources.
On treatment day one, volunteers were provided with the unbiased food (boiled potato, celery cabbage, and edible rape without oil and salt; purified water) and rice (staple food) for three meals. The time for three meals were 0730 (breakfast), 1200 (lunch) and 1730 (dinner). Each meal lasted between 25 to 35 minutes.
On day two of treatment, volunteers were also provided with unbiased food + rice for three meals, and blood was collected as control. Venous blood was collected from each subject at 1430, 1500, and 1530.
On treatment day three, breakfast was the same as the first two days. However, for lunch, the unbiased food + 100 g steamed bread (replacing the rice) were provided, and a blood sample was collected at the corresponding times.
A wash out period of five days was conducted. During this interval, volunteers resumed their daily eating habits.
Treatment day four saw the same meal plan as for day one.
On the last day of treatment, volunteers were given unbiased food + 100 g baked bread for lunch, and a blood sample was collected as above.
The blood samples were used to detect 38 cytokines, 12 metabolic enzymes, glucose, lactate, and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) to compare the cytokine network and CMP network between the two staple foods on immunity and metabolism.

Cytokine network

They found that baked bread significantly increased the concentration of fractalkine (p=0.017), macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC) (p=0.026), and decreased interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA) (p=0.004).
This suggests that baked bread may enhance innate and cellular immune responses, compared with steamed bread.
One reason for this may be due to the chemical changes, researchers believed.
When baking at higher temperatures, the Maillard reaction and other chemical reactions can occur, and produce harmful components such as acrylamide, and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural. However, during steaming, with its relatively low temperature and high humidity, the above harmful components may not be produced​,
“Therefore, we speculate that the exposure of potentially harmful compounds to the intestinal mucosa may be the main reason for the enhanced systemic immune response with the intake of baked bread as compared with steamed bread​.”.
According to the metabolic findings, researchers said for people who lived mostly on wheat flour-based foods, baked bread may be helpful for body-weight control, while steamed bread may be more suitable for people suffering from malnutrition or food shortages.

Key findings

The researchers concluded: “Compared with steamed bread, the intake of baked bread enhanced intercellular communication and immune response, increased catabolism, and decreased anabolism. Cytokines may act as signals that regulate metabolism. This study provides novel insights into whether processing methods affect the physiological functions of foods and feasible methods regarding how these functions can be evaluated in the human body.”
Source: Nutrients
https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12010001
“Baked Bread Enhances the Immune Response and the Catabolism in the Human Body in Comparison with Steamed Bread”
Authors: Huisong Wang and Guangchang Pang

Study finds high arsenic levels in children rice snacks in Australia

The research, carried out by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, found 75 percent of rice-based products tested had concentrations of arsenic that exceeded the EU guideline for safe rice consumption for babies and toddlers.
Description: Study finds high arsenic levels in Australian children rice snacks
Rice snacks for children found in Australian supermarkets contain arsenic at levels above European safety guidelines, according to a new study from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).
Arsenic is a naturally occurring metal widely found in air, soil and groundwater that comes in both organic and inorganic forms. Organic arsenic is considered to be relatively safe, but inorganic arsenic is a carcinogen linked with cancers of the bladder and skin.
Senior researcher Associate Professor Suzie Reichman, an environmental toxicologist at RMIT, said the research used European guidelines because Australia does not have safety standards specifically for children. The study tested 39 rice products for babies and toddlers found in Australian supermarkets, including milk formula powder, cereal, crackers and pasta made from brown, white, organic and non-organic rice, and found that 75 percent contained arsenic that exceeded the EU guideline for safe rice consumption for children.
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“While all the products we tested meet Australian guidelines, these do not reflect the latest scientific understanding on how arsenic affects the body,” Reichman said.
“Children are far more vulnerable to the long-term toxic effect of metals like arsenic, but our rice guidelines are based on adults.
“The guidelines are also based on out-of-date dietary habits, when rice was generally eaten less often by Australian families.
“This study shows the need to develop new standards specifically for children and ensure our guidelines are in line with what we now know about safe rice consumption.”
Reichman said rice-based products were a popular alternative for the growing number of children with gluten intolerances.
“Rice can be safely eaten as part of a well-rounded, balanced diet, but if it is a child’s main source of carbohydrates, that could be a problem,” she said.
“As a general rule, we recommend that children under five eat rice in moderation and parents should avoid serving rice at every meal, to minimise the risk of exposure to arsenic.”

U of A releases new long-grain Clearfield rice variety

A Horizon Ag seed expansion field shows CLL16, a new high-yielding, long-grain Clearfield(R) rice variety from the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station rice breeding program. The new rice will be available to farmers from Horizon Ag in 2021, according to a news release. Special to The Commercial/Horizon Ag
   
FAYETTEVILLE — CLL16, a new high-yield, long-grain Clearfield® rice variety developed by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, will be available to rice growers from Horizon Ag in 2021.
Karen Moldenhauer, professor and rice breeder for the Division of Agriculture’s Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, said CLL16 has excellent rough rice yields, averaging 205 bushels per acre, slightly better than Diamond, which averages 204 bushels per acre.
“Horizon Ag is excited to market CLL16, developed in partnership with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and BASF,” said Tim Tim Walker, Horizon Ag general manager, Ph.D, Horizon Ag general manager.
“This variety promises a step change in yield potential, while offering industry leading blast tolerance and a milled product that continues to bring back the Gold Standard rice the Southern USA has historically produced,” Walker said.
CLL16 is resistant to blast in Arkansas growing conditions, Moldenhauer said. It has demonstrated good milling yields, averaging 63 percent whole kernel and 69 percent total milled rice for samples from Arkansas Rice Performance Trials across the state.
“We recognize that the Clearfield® technology continues to offer significant benefits and ROI potential to rice farmers in the region, particularly when combined with top-performing varieties like CLL16. Horizon Ag is proud to continue to partner with the elite university breeding programs which benefit the industry immensely.”
CLL16 is a very stable cultivated variety with an early maturity date, averaging 86 days to 50 percent heading, similar to CL172 and Wells and about four days earlier than Roy J, Moldenhauer said. The plant is standard height with a 36-inch canopy, similar to Diamond.
“Grain weight and size are similar to Diamond with nice long, plump kernels,” Moldenhauer said. “It has typical southern U.S. long-grain cooking quality.”
“The plants have very strong straw, indicating good lodging resistance,” Moldenhauer said. It is rated moderately susceptible to false smut and susceptible to sheath blight and bacterial panicle blight.
Nitrogen fertilizer requirements were 135 pounds per acre in performance trials, she said.
Clearfield® rice was developed at Louisiana State University from a breeding line of rice with a naturally occurring genetic mutation that was tolerant to the imidazoline family of herbicides, said Bob Scott, Rice Research and Extension Center director.
Scientists at LSU licensed the original Clearfield® lines to American Cyanamid, now BASF, which later shared the breeding material with the Division of Agriculture, Scott said. Horizon Ag is a seed technology company licensed by BASF to market Clearfield® rice varieties.
Breeder seed for CLL16 will be maintained at the Rice Research and Extension Center. It will be distributed to growers by Horizon Ag.
To learn more about Division of Agriculture rice breeding and research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: https://aaes.uark.edu or follow the agency on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch and Instagram at ArkAgResearch.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without discrimination.
— Fred Miller is a Science Editor at the University of Arkansas System
Division of Agriculture.

900-Pound 'Pakistani Hulk' Looking For A Wife At Least 220 Pounds

Vianne Burog | Jan 21 2020, 10:50AM EST

Description: incredible hulk (Image not of the actual person) ErikaWittlieb/ Pixabay
A strongman from Pakistan weighing 900 pounds and standing 6’6” is currently looking for a woman to love. Dubbed as the “Pakistani Hulk,” 27-year-old Pakistan native Arbab Khizer Hayat rose to fame after a video of him winning tug-of-war against a tractor went viral. It’s sad, however, that his fame hasn’t translated to love.
In a recent interview, Hayat revealed that love is something he desperately craves. “In the last seven years, I have been desperately looking for love,” he said. He also admitted having seen 200-300 girls over the years, but he dumped them all because of their average heights.
“I need a heavyweight wife so I do not hurt her,” he said. “All the women who have wanted to marry me so far have been too skinny,” he added.
Hayat revealed that he had to dump all the women he had dated before over fears of crushing them. That is why now, he is specifically looking for a woman who is at least 220 pounds and above 6’4” so he’s confident they’d look good together.
The Pakistani Hulk also revealed that his ideal mate is someone who is good at cooking, so she could keep up with his ungodly eating habits. Khizer, who claims to be perfectly healthy, consumes 10,000 calories a day, which include 36 eggs for breakfast, more than one gallon of milk, seven pounds of meat for lunch and dinner, and lots of rice and bread.
Hulk takes pride in the fact that despite his size, he does not have any medical conditions. He also said he’s absolutely fit and comfortable with his weight, but he still keeps exercising and eating to become a world-champion strongman.
Description: https://i.connatix.com/s3/connatix-uploads/1a73a4f6-893d-4b42-ac59-60ac56dd41a3/1.jpg?mode=crop&width=696&height=392
Description: https://i.connatix.com/s3/connatix-uploads/aa4ea06a-e0e5-4323-b9f9-42c844d184c6/287.jpg?mode=stretch&connatiximg=true&scale=both&height=326&width=580
“My immediate goal is to enter WWE competitions,” he revealed. “I am looking to meet weight targets and I am consulting doctors to keep nutrition going,” he added.
Hulk’s WWE ambition started when he was a teenager. Recognizing that he was bigger than average, Arbab Khizer Hayat made it a goal to gain weight and build muscle so he could join strongman championships in the future.