Wednesday, June 10, 2020

10th June,2020 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsetter

PM presented performance report of Interior Ministry
The District Administration of both the districts, appreciated this gesture of CET and extended their sincere thanks and appreciation on receipt of much needed commodities donated for the poor and needy populace of their Districts. They also applauded this very gesture of kindness and brother hood exhibited by the Company which will definitely make the difference in creating harmonious and stronger friendship between China and Pakistan.
It is worth mentioning that CET which is the wholly owned subsidiary of State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) is executing a CPEC Project in Pakistan by the name of Pak Matiari-Lahore ±660 KV HVDC Transmission Line Project. The project which is the first of its kind in Pakistan, with a total investment of US$1.7 billion will provide economical solution for large distance bulk power transfer with low losses and enhanced system reliability. The management of CET is committed towards completion of this project in March 2021. In this regards, maximum possible efforts are being made to follow the health and safety procedures even during ascending coronavirus situation within Pakistan. Right now, about 4600 Pakistani workers are employed in this project and after commissioning of its operation, it will provide electricity to 4 million families of Pakistan.

Government, IMF reach consensus to increase salaries, pensions 

The third round of talks between the Pakistani government and the International Monetary Fund also saw an agreement to not increase electricity and gas tariffs until September 2020.

Description: IMF-Pakistan
LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reached a consensus on Tuesday, on not putting a freeze on the increase in salaries and pensions of government employees and keeping electricity and gas tarrifs at their current level, in the upcoming budget. 
The issues came under discussion during the third round of talks between the Pakistani government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which ended on Tuesday, June 9.
According to reports, the IMF had asked the Pakistani government to cut spending during the previous meetings. However, the government refused to do so citing the need to protect government employees and pensioners and the citizens battling the Covid-19 induced economic meltdown, from the effects of inflation.
The agreement to not put a hold on the increase in salaries and pensions came after the government gave assurance to the IMF that it will not further increase its deficit and will  increase its non-tax revenues. Media reports on May 30th had informed that the government was expected to raise salaries and pensions by 15-20 percent. However, currently there has been no official word from the authorities regarding the percentage raise to be announced on June 12 during the presentation of the federal budget.
As per the consensus, the conditions of IMF related to the loan agreement, would remain relaxed till September 30, and after October, Islamabad will fulfill the conditions which are linked with the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) .
Earlier, The finance team had made it clear to the IMF that it will not be able to achieve the previously fixed targets under the prevailing circumstances.
Earlier on June 6, Director Communication Department IMF Gerry Rice stated that the IMF and Pakistani authorities remain closely engaged to bring the second review of the EFF to a positive conclusion, while taking into account the new conditions the fund is facing in Pakistan, and to ensure the programme delivers on its objectives.
“On the EFF, which was already in place with Pakistan, I can tell you that technical discussions with the authorities continue. They remain fluid with a view to bringing that second review of that program, that EFF, to a positive conclusion, as soon as possible. We’re working with the authorities, constructively, to ensure that that can be brought to a positive conclusion, as soon as possible, while taking into account the new conditions that we’re facing in Pakistan, and to ensure the program delivers on its objectives,” he said.
The IMF has already provided emergency financing of about $1.4 billion in April this year, in a bid to help the country deal with the COVID-19 crisis.
The Pakistan government is set to unveil the budget for the next year on June 12.
It was revealed on June 6 that the federal government had decided to present a tax-free budget for the fiscal year 2020-21. Sources privy to the matter said that the government will not introduce any new taxes in the forthcoming budget while harsh measures will be taken to curb tax evasion.
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is expected to be given special powers to stop tax evasion in the country.

GC meets virtually for 51st Council Session
Photo: Adobe stock
LONDON, ENGLAND — Members of the International Grains Council (IGC) convened virtually for the 51st Council Session on June 8 where it considered recent changes in national policies, the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) measures on grains, oilseeds and rice trade as well as activities of other international organizations relating to the grains trade.
The IGC met via video conference due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and current UK government restrictions on social distancing.
The council officially welcomed Serbia’s membership of the IGC and acknowledged the UK’s application letter to join the IGC from Jan. 1, 2021, in accordance with the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, signed by Lord Zac Goldsmith, UK’s Minister of State for DEFRA, DFID and FCO.
It was agreed that the program of work for 2020-21 would continue to concentrate on its core economic and statistical activities.
The Secretariat updated the council on its ongoing projects which include:
  • Updating of the five-year S&D forecasts for the main commodities, particularly demand for feed, food and industrial use;
  • Publishing a balance sheet for pulses for main exporters;
  • Implementing Market Dashboards for the four main commodities (wheat, maize, soybeans and rice) to show market developments (prices, margins, trade).
  • Developing a methodology for building supply and demand balances for maize-based ethanol, starting with the major producers;
  • Developing potential new partnership with organizations from Eurasia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
At the council session members agreed to sign a memo of agreement between the IGC and MED-AMIN, which would include sharing information on harvests, pulses and the C&F price monitoring system for the Mediterranean region.
The council appointed Corinne Roux, policy advisor, Trade Relations Unit, Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG), Switzerland as IGC’s chairperson for 2020-21. Taras Kachka, deputy minister for Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture, Trade Representative of Ukraine was appointed as vice chairperson for 2020-21.
The council welcomed the participation of observers from Bangladesh, Brazil, Taipei (Chinese) Separate Customs Territory and congratulated Nathalie Dubé for her proactive chairmanship and initiatives taken during the year, including the IGC Grains Forum on Plant Breeding Innovation held in December 2019.
World total grains production in 2020-21 was projected at an all-time high of 2.230 billion tonnes, an increase of 54 million tonnes year-over-year, including record harvests of wheat (up 4 million tonnes) and maize ( up 50 million tonnes).
The first rise in global grains stocks for four seasons was predicted, while world grains trade was expected to be a record.
Given prospects for a much larger US crop, 2020-21 global soybean production was predicted to rise by 8% year-over-year, to 363 million tonnes. With another increase in China’s purchases anticipated, world trade was projected to expand by 4% year-over-year.
Tied to anticipated acreage increases in Asia, the 2020-21 world rice outturn was predicted at a peak of 506 million tonnes, up 9 million tonnes year-over-year, with accumulation in key exporters pushing up global carryovers to a record of 182 million tonnes.
The Virtual IGC Grain Conference will launch on June 9, with access to pre-recorded video presentations from more than 60 international government and industry speakers from the grains, oilseeds, pulses and rice sectors and 14 live Q&A sessions on June 10.
The IGC Grains Conference is part of the second London Grains Week organized by AHDB, GAFTA, IGC and IGTC to bring together the key operators of the grains value chain to discuss the latest trade issues and practices.
For the full program and to register click here.
Follow our breaking news coverage of the coronavirus/COVID-19 situation.

Vietnam wins deal to supply 60,000 tons of rice to the Philippines
By Trung Chanh

Tuesday,  Jun 9, 2020,18:42 (GMT+7)
Farmers harvest rice in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang. Vietnam has won a deal to ship 60,000 tons of rice to the Philippines – PHOTO: TRUNG CHANH
CAN THO – Vietnam will ship 60,000 tons of rice to the Philippines after it won part of a 300,000-ton government-to-government rice tender held on June 8, which also saw the participation of India, Thailand and Myanmar, Nguyen Van Thanh, director of Phuoc Thanh IV rice company, told the Saigon Times today, June 9.
However, the Philippines only purchased a combined volume of 189,000 tons of rice, which is much lower than its target, as suppliers offered prices higher than the country’s projected price. The Philipines may hold further tenders to purchase the remaining volume of 111,000 tons of rice to meet its target.
Vietnam will ship 60,000 tons of rice at US$497.3 per ton, which is higher than that offered by its rival suppliers. Of this, Vietnam will ship 45,000 tons to the Manila port and the remaining to the Davao port.
Among the suppliers, India won a deal to supply the largest volume of rice at 96,000 tons to the ports in the Philippines, at prices ranging from US$484.7 to US$485.7 per ton.
Myanmar secured a contract to ship 33,000 tons of rice to the Manila port, with each ton valued at US$489.3. Meanwhile, Thailand failed to clinch any deal as its offering price exceeded the buyer’s projected price.
The Vietnamese bidder was reportedly Vietnam Northern Food Corporation or Vinafood 1, while the Philippine International Trading Corporation represented the Government of the Philippines to organize the tender, instead of the country’s National Food Authority, as in the past.
Prior to 2019, the Philippines had imported rice under the quota regime. As a result, aside from allocating annual quotas of some 850,000 tons of rice to the private sector in the Philippines, NFA maintained domestic supply-demand balance to open bidding for rice purchases from other countries, mainly Vietnam and Thailand.
However, President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte on February 15 last year signed into effect an act that turned the Philippines' rice imports from a quota-based system to a tax-based one. The act abolished quotas in rice imports to the Philippines to impose a 35% tax rate applicable to rice imports from ASEAN countries. The import tariff is much lower than that imposed on non-ASEAN nations, which is up to 180%.
With the Philippines resuming importing rice under the government-to-government regime, the country hopes to replenish its national rice reserves quickly amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Do Increased Rice Futures Mean Increased Profitability 

With rice futures approaching record high levels, the USA Rice Daily asked Dr. Michael Deliberto, an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness at the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center in Baton Rouge, to provide some context.  The views expressed are the author's and not necessarily those of USA Rice.
BATON ROUGE, LA -- During the COVID-19 pandemic, international rice prices peaked amid domestic supply concerns and the institution of export restrictions by many foreign suppliers.  As countries implemented measures aimed at mitigating the effects of the coronavirus, delays and disruptions in their supply chains were occurring.  Although it is difficult to predict when the global rice market will fully return to pre-COVID pricing levels and market efficiency, global rice prices are becoming more competitive which, in turn, is having a calming effect on rice prices.

In the U.S. rice market, futures prices remain elevated compared to pre-COVID pricing levels driven, in part, by limited old crop rice supplies.  The 2019 marketing year dynamics can be characterized by a manageable carry-in that coincided with sales to Iraq, steady Latin American export shipments, and a large volume of rough rice that was sold early in the 2019/20 marketing year.  These factors combined are believed to have been the leading drivers in the rise in old crop rice prices.

However, understanding the present rice futures market situation requires a deeper dive into the fundamental and technical drivers of the market.

One attractive feature of trading futures is that profits can be realized from both declining prices (by selling) and/or rising prices (by buying).  When external forces related to COVID-19 began to negatively affect the corn, soybean, and cotton markets, fund managers (speculators) looked to invest in rice futures.  Rice futures have performed exceptionally well since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Whether or not this strong performance in the futures market is the result of investors seeking a new commodity safe haven, staple goods such as rice and wheat have fared relatively well.

It is important to note that rice futures are "thinly traded" as compared to the grain and oilseed markets.  Outside influence from speculators can lead to a thinly traded market suddenly exhibiting distortions in contract volume which is interpreted as implied volatility within the market.  As rice futures attracted interest from funds, the magnitude of their interest is reflected in the daily volume of contracts.

July rice futures are approaching their highest level since 2008, when futures traded near $25.00/cwt.  Some of the underlying factors to the rice market (and among traders, for that matter) include supply tightness and increasing concerns over global food security as the coronavirus continues to affect countries and their economies.  With the slow-down in U.S. exports, it is hard to make the argument that prices are being supported solely on foreign demand.  USDA export sales reports have been "light" in recent weeks.

Fundamentally, the forces of supply and demand demonstrate that limited supply leads to higher prices.  This can be observed in the current marketing environment.  Tightness in old crop supplies are reflected in July 2020 rice futures contract prices which are hovering above $22.00/cwt.  Futures prices at these levels are very difficult to sell into the cash market.  Millers cannot equate these futures prices to a cash price paid on the grounds that they either:  a) do not need additional stocks to cover immediate needs; or, b) will choose to secure supplies at a later date when prices decrease.

New crop prices for the September 2020 contract are firm at the mid $12.00 level.  This inversion between old and new crop futures prices reflects short-term available supply versus a longer-term supply outlook.  Given that acreage and production is expected to increase in 2020, the latter is a logical argument as to why the price inversion exists between the July and September rice futures contracts and why the September contract reflects a $12.00/cwt price.

It is a reasonable expectation that July futures will fall prior to the delivery date for the contract.  Outside speculators have entered the rice market and established a short position for the July contract.  This means that these outside investors are expecting the futures price to decline and would sell futures contracts in the hope of being able to buy back later identical and offsetting contracts at a lower price.

As rice futures continue to reach new highs in July, September futures absorbed some of the momentum and broke out of their sideways trading range on the recent rally.  It is true that market dynamics of the September contract are different.  It is possible that when the rally in July is over the market is likely to fall and that will likely be bearish for September contacts.  This time of year, adverse weather can sometimes be a key driver behind rallies in futures contracts.  Under this scenario, producers can take this as an opportunity to hedge anticipated new crop production if this fits into their marketing strategy.  Conversely, timely rainfall coupled with expanded new crop acreage can cause a negative reaction in futures as the growing season progresses.  This scenario seems to be materializing for the new crop rice (e.g., September contract), possibly signaling that there is ample supply for 2020.  However, a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico may change that.
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The futures price and the cash price received for a commodity are not the same.  While it would be fantastic for a producer to capture a $22.00/cwt July futures price for their crop when it is harvested in August, new crop marketing dynamics do not demonstrate that domestic rice supplies will be that tight nor will export demand be drastically increased due to a major shortfall of one of our export competitors.  Simply put, $22.00/cwt rice does not accurately reflect actual market conditions for the current marketing year.

For the producer, rice prices are based on grade, milling quality, and transportation costs.  Current season average farm prices are projected by the USDA at $11.80/cwt for long grain rice for the 2020 crop.  In Louisiana, new crop bids are $12.00/cwt.  In the Mid-South, bids are $13.00/cwt C.I.F. (cost, insurance, and freight) to New Orleans.  Cash bids such as these can be considered somewhat strong given the supply and demand outlook for the 2020 marketing year.

USA Rice Daily
Punjab Government promotes direct seeding of rice 
Chandigarh, June 7 

To cope up with the labour scarcity amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the state government has stepped up its efforts to encourage farmers to switch over to direct seeding of rice (DSR) instead of the traditional transplantation of paddy this year.
This year, nearly 25 per cent of the total area under paddy sowing is expected to come under this technology which will help to slash cultivation cost in terms of both labour and water.

To promote the technology and motivate farmers to adopt it, the State Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department sanctioned 4,000 DSR machines and 800 paddy transplanting machines to farmers on subsidy ranging from 40 to 50 per cent.
Secretary, Agriculture, KS Pannu said Punjab had earlier fixed the target to bring around 5 lakh hectares under the DSR technique but given the labour shortage and keen interest shown by farmers to adopt the advance technology, 6-7 lakh hectares of area is expected to come under this technology, which roughly accounts for 25 per cent of the paddy grown in Punjab.
He further stated that the DSR technique would be instrumental in saving about 30 per cent of water besides cutting the cost of paddy cultivation by nearly Rs 6,000 per acre. He said as per reports and research of Punjab Agriculture University, the yield of paddy from the DSR is on a par with paddy crop grown by conventional technique of transplanting.
He also appealed to farmers that most critical element in new technology is the control of weeds and as such, farmers must be careful that prior to undertaking DSR, they must procure weedicide and spray the same within 24 hours of sowing the crop.
Farmers from across the state would cultivate paddy on 27 lakh hectares, which include 7 lakh hectares under high quality basmati rice.

To lower your cancer risk, move more and skip the cocktails and steaks, guidelines say
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To lower your cancer risk, vegetables and whole grains should be on your menu and processed and red meat should be off, according to updated guidelines publi...
Posted: Jun 9, 2020 9:04 PM
Updated: Jun 10, 2020 1:00 AM
Posted By: CNN
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To lower your cancer risk, vegetables and whole grains should be on your menu and processed and red meat should be off, according to updated guidelines published Tuesday by the American Cancer Society.
It's best not to drink alcohol, the group says in its updated guidelines, and people should be getting more exercise than previously recommended.
The American Cancer Society periodically reviews the science related to diet, exercise and cancer, and updates its guidelines accordingly.
A good diet and regular exercise is important, in part, because it can help people maintain a healthy weight. Scientists are seeing more connections between cancer and weight. The World Cancer Research Fund most recent report lists 12 cancers associated with being overweight or obese -- five more cancers than the last report published from the association a decade ago.
Diets that seem to lower cancer risk are heavy on vegetables that are dark green, red and orange. Beans and peas are also supposed to lower cancer risk. Whole fruit, rather than canned or in juice form is preferred. Whole grains are better than refined flour.
Foods to avoid or limit include processed meats or red meats, like steak. Don't drink sugar sodas and juice with added sugar. Try to avoid all processed foods.
It's also best not to drink alcohol, the guidelines say, but if you do drink, women need to keep it to one a day, men to two.
'There is no one food or even food group that is adequate to achieve a significant reduction in cancer risk,' Laura Makaroff, the American Cancer Society senior vice president for prevention and early detection, said in a statement. 'Current and evolving scientific evidence supports a shift away from a nutrient-centric approach to a more holistic concept of dietary patterns. People eat whole foods -- not nutrients -- and evidence continues to suggest that it is healthy dietary patterns that are associated with reduced risk for cancer, especially colorectal and breast cancer.'
The guidelines also say you'll also want to exercise more.
The updated guidelines increase the recommended amount of exercise you need a week from 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise to 150 to 300 minutes.
If you are more of a runner, then they've upped that amount of exercise you need too, from 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity to encouraging you to get between 75 and 150 minutes.
More than 300 minutes of either is optimal, the guidelines say.
The guidelines encourage local communities to make these healthy lifestyle goals possible, suggesting they create spaces for people to get out and exercise and make affordable and nutritious food easily available.
Shifting from nutrients to whole foods
Lisa Drayer, an award winning nutritionist and author and CNN health and nutrition contributor, said these guideline updates reflect the latest science.
'These updated guidelines reinforce what scientific research has been revealing -- that eating a nutrient-rich diet, being physically active, and limiting alcohol is associated with a reduced overall cancer risk, including lower risk for breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer risk,' said Drayer.
'It's also important to point out that the various contributions of a healthy, balanced diet has been shown to be more significant in decreasing cancer risk than any single dietary recommendation -- something nutritionists have been saying for years,' Drayer said.
For example, eating a lot of fruits and vegetables may deliver a healthy dose of antioxidants that could potentially help prevent oxidative damage to DNA caused by red meat and processed meat, as well as smoking, pollution and UV radiation, she said.
Fiber rich foods may help protect against colorectal cancer, she said. That means you can make some easy swaps to help your health. Instead of regular pasta or white rice, try brown rice or lentil pasta or chickpea pasta, Drayer suggests. As far as the exercise recommendations, she says, that can be fun too.
'Being active doesn't have to mean engaging in a high intensity workout each day,' Drayer said. 'Talking a walk, going on a family bike ride, dancing or doing yoga all count.'

Liberia: LADA Launches Rice Seeds Cash Voucher Scheme

8 June 2020

The Government of Liberia in partnership with stakeholders in the agriculture sector celebrates the launch of the USAID Feed the Future Liberia Agribusiness Development Activity’s cash voucher scheme aimed at distributing quality rice seeds among 1,500 rice farmers in Bong, Nimba and Lofa Counties, respectively.
LADA, a five-year initiative funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) includes series of trainings, technical assistance and investment grants to support technology upgrade and streamlining of supply chains, increasing participation of women entrepreneurs, and boost domestic and international market access to make rice, cassava, vegetables, cocoa, and aquaculture profitable and competitive. As part of efforts to complement the Ministry of Agriculture efforts in mitigating the risk of food security impact from the COVID-19 crisis, LADA distributes agricultural inputs to smallholder rice producers to enable them remain on the production cycle during the pandemic.
The program targets approximately 1,500 food insecure and progressive rice producers in the three counties. The beneficiaries received quality rice seeds through community agricultural input voucher fairs.
USAID launched the first seeds distribution fair in Melekee, Jorquelleh District, Bong County, which brought together public-private stakeholders including farmers, agro-dealers, processors and government officials.
Speaking during the ceremony, Agriculture Minister Jeanine M. Cooper said "empowering smallholder farmers most especially during the coronavirus pandemic is essential to enable them overcome the economic shock of the virus as well as make Liberia reduce its dependence on rice imports."
Minister Cooper: "Although there are challenges confronting agriculture and food security, we are able as a country to produce our staple food to enable more food supply to many Liberians, especially the vulnerable households. We therefore thank USAID-LADA for buttressing government's effort to distribute quality seed rice within our major rice producing counties. Farmers can now grow the rice and Government can assure them that the rice they produce will be bought at a reasonable price to supply the market". Editing by Jonathan Browne
Read the original article on New Dawn.

He forgot consumers were paddy cultivators!

10 June 2020 11:35 am - 0     - 36

Rajarata paddy cultivators who have begun selling paddy stocks from their latest harvest are said to have turned their guns on a prominent politico in the area.  

This politico who once held a key portfolio in the government had drawn the ire from the paddy cultivators for making public announcements against increasing the rice prices.   The thinking of paddy cultivators is that if there was a marked increase in rice prices, it would have led to a proportionate increase in paddy prices as well to their advantage and the politico’s protests were responsible for measures taken to contain the upward swing in rice prices.  

Now this government politico elected from a district with a preponderance of paddy cultivators has become the target of attacks, not only by paddy cultivators but also by paddy millers and rice merchants, they say.   

The politico had thought that he was championing the cause of consumers when he protested against increasing rice prices forgetting that the majority of his voters were paddy cultivators.  

The politico’s preference vote bank has now shrunk to a great extent, knowledgeable sources say.

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Tulsimala rice sees record yield in Sherpur
·       Published at 09:30 pm June 8th, 2020
Description: Tulsimala
Tulsimala paddy Dhaka Trbiune
14,540 hectares of land were brought under cultivation of aromatic Tulsimala this year, compared to 4,650 hectares last year
Aromatic rice Tulsimala has had record yields in Sherpur this year, as farmers have scaled up cultivation for a tidy profit.
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) 14,540 hectares of land were brought under cultivation of aromatic Tulsimala this year, compared to 4,650 hectares last year.
The rice was cultivated on 4,800 hectares of land in Sadar upazila, 2,590 hectares in Nakla, 4,060 hectares in Nalitabari, 2,110 hectares in Jhenaigati, 980 hectares in Sreebardi.
Total production in the district was 26,637 tons, while it was 6983 tons last year. Market prices for Tulsimala rice are Tk 80 to 82 per kg.
The demand for this aromatic rice is increasing day by day at home and abroad, thanks to its alluring flavour, good taste, and high food value, encouraging them to increase cultivation, said farmers.
They also  said medium low lying land with sufficient irrigation is suitable for this rice cultivation and the soil of Sher is ideal for the purpose.

Indigenous farmer Keya Nokhrek of Nalitabari upazila said Tulsimala has been cultivated since a 100 years ago. "My grandfather also cultivated this rice because of its distinctive scent and huge demand, and my children will do so too. The paddy is also resistant to pest attacks."
Upstream water often flood low lying areas, but the floods cannot affect the paddy as it has a strong stem.
Jhenaigati upazila farmer Musa Miah said: "I have been growing Tulsimala for 30 to 40 years. We always make a profit on the rice as it is in high demand among rice traders. Wholesalers even pay us in advance for the paddy."
Rice trader Mohadeb Nath of Nalitabari upazila said : "We always need to pay money to mill owners for the rice in advance. The rice is sold as  soon as I bring this to my shop because of its aromatic scent and unique taste."
Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) Deputy Director (acting) Mobarak Hossain said: “The cultivation and demand for Tulsimala has increased in the district because of its branding by the district administration.
The district administration is campaigning on Facebook to increase the sale of Tulsimala rice. Farmers are inspired and are increasing cultivation.


Palay farmgate price hit P19.06/kg in mid-May

Description: Eireene Jairee Gomez

THE average farmgate prices of palay (unmilled rice) reached the level of P19.06 kilo during the second week of May, significantly higher than its level in the previous week and in the same period in 2019, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.
In its latest price monitoring report, PSA said the buying price of palay at the farmgate level went up from the previous week’s P18.81 per kilo. Year-on-year, it was higher by 4.1 percent from P18.30 per kilo.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) had said that the increasing prices of palay “could be a manifestation of the normalization of the rice industry” following the “transition from quantitative restriction to a tariffed trade regime.”The Federation of Free Farmers (FFF), however, cautioned the DA against overimportation, saying that it may impact the recovering prices of palay at the farmgate level.
In the same report, PSA said the average wholesale price for well-milled rice slightly went down to P39.25 per kilo from P39.28 per kilo week-on-week. Compared to its level last year, it also fell from P39.48 per kilo.
At retail trade, its level of P42.28 per kilo went up from P42.34 per kilo recorded in the previous week. On a yearly basis, the latest quotation likewise increased by 1.8 percent from P42.18 per kilo.

For regular milled rice, on the other hand, the average wholesale price was at P35.73 per kilo, nearly 1 percent higher than P35.40 per kilo recorded in a week earlier. However, it was still lower from P35.80 per kilo recorded in May 219.
Its equivalent price at the retail trade increased to P38.17 per kilo from P37.90 per kilo on a weekly basis. Year-on-year, it was lower from P38.71 per kilo or by 1.3 percent.
The drop in the palay prices at the farmgate level started in early 2019 as an effect of the government’s implementation of the “Rice Tariffication Law,” which allowed the unlimited entry of cheap imported rice from other countries.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar had said that the DA was banking on the various programs under the law’s Rice Competitive Enhancement Fund (RCEF), which will be supplemented by the DA’s P8.5-billion Rice Resiliency Project, to help the price of palay to further recover.

Malaysia ups rice, sugar import from India

INDIA Updated: Jun 09, 2020 00:20 IST

Rezaul H Laskar

New Delhi
Relations between India and Malaysia are back on the upswing after taking a hit under former premier Mahathir Mohamad, with Kuala Lumpur increasing its purchases of rice and sugar from New Delhi in recent months.
India quietly initiated steps to reset the relationship after Mahathir, who irked New Delhi with his repeated criticism of the situation in Kashmir and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act , or CAA, resigned in March, people familiar with developments said on Monday.
India’s ambassador to Malaysia, Mridul Kumar, was the first foreign envoy to meet new Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and foreign minister Hishammuddin Hussein within a week of the formation of the new cabinet in March, and the two sides have worked behind the scenes to put ties back on an even keel.
The people cited above, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said India is buying 200,000 tonnes of palm oil for the June-July period from Malaysia, the world’s second-biggest producer and exporter of the commodity after Indonesia.
Earlier this year, India, the world’s largest buyer of edible oils, had changed its rules to effectively bar imports of refined palm oil from Malaysia, largely because of the position taken by Mahathir.
“This is the largest order for palm oil by India in the past few months,” said one of the people cited above.
Indian importers will also benefit from Malaysia’s decision of June 5 to fully exempt palm oil from export duty for the rest of this year as part of efforts to help industries hit by the Covid-19 crisis.
“This move will benefit India’s refining industries, which had been hit hard by the imposition of this duty earlier in the year. This duty has been a focus of India’s commerce ministry,” the person quoted above said.
On the other hand, Malaysia has placed an order with India for 100,000 tonnes of rice for May-June, whereas its total import of rice from India last year was around 85,000 tonnes, the people said.
MSM Malaysia Holdings, the country’s leading refined sugar producer, bought around 88,000 metric tonnes of raw sugar from India last year, whereas it procured 130,000 metric tonnes of raw sugar worth $50 million for the January-March quarter this year, the people said.
Following the Covid-19 outbreak, the Indian government also approved the supply of hydroxychloroquine and paracetamol for Malaysia, the people said. External affairs minister S Jaishankar and his Malaysian counterpart, Hishammuddin Hussein, also spoke in mid-April about the response to the pandemic and efforts to assist citizens stranded in each other’s country.
Malaysia is one of India’s key trading partners in Southeast Asia, and bilateral trade was worth $17.25 billion in 2018-19, up from $14.71 billion in 2017-18
However, bilateral ties were hit after Mahathir repeatedly criticised CAA and the situation in Kashmir after the Indian government scrapped the region’s special status last August.
Despite pushback from India, Mahathir continued his criticism and the diplomatic spat led to India imposing curbs on palm oil imports that hit Malaysia for some time.

 ‘Unplanned lockdown is worsening farmers’ condition’: Shashi Tharoor

The Congress MP said that the economic packages provided by the government have given nothing to the farmers. “They need help!” he posted.

INDIA Updated: Jun 10, 2020 15:13 IST | Edited by Sparshita Saxena
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Description: File photo: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.
File photo: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor. (PTI)
The coronavirus lockdown has pushed India’s farmers in debt and has broken the supply chain, Congress MP and senior leader Shashi Tharoor said on Wednesday. Taking to Twitter, Tharoor said that the farmers’ condition is worsening due to the “unplanned lockdown”.
“The condition of our farmers is worsening thanks to the unplanned #lockdown & completely broken supply chain. Last harvest didn’t yield good monetary value since farmers unable to sell,” Tharoor’s tweet read.
The minister also added that the economic packages provided by the government have given nothing to the farmers. “They need help!” he posted.

The condition of our farmers is worsening thanks to the unplanned #lockdown & completely broken supply chain. Last harvest didn't yield good monetary value since farmers unable to sell. They are heavily in debt &Govt's package provides them nothing. They need help! #किसान_के_बोल

Tharoor called for the elimination of the middlemen who he said “are profiting at the expense of our sweat-stained farmers”.
“Why should they buy the farm products and exploit both growers and consumers?” he questioned.
The Congress leader said that the Food Corporation of India should purchase directly from farmers. The move will “give the aam aadmi cheaper food if parasitical middlemen are eliminated!” he said. Tharoor’s comments came on the sidelines of the Kisan Congress’ ‘Kisan Ke Bol’ social media campaign to raise the voice of the farmers.
Last month, while announcing the details of Rs 20 lakh crore economic relief package, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman focussed on funding big-ticket reforms in the agricultural sector.
The government recently amended the Essential Commodities Act to enable better price realisation for farmers, resulting in deregulation of prices for foodstuffs including cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onions and potatoes.
“Farmers can now export or store these commodities as they wish. These are our farmers’ demands pending for nearly 50 years now,” Union minister Prakash Javadekar said while making the announcement earlier this month.
“As a result of this, farmers will get good returns,” the minister said, adding that farmers will now be able to sell their produce anywhere and to the highest paying party.

Rice is the most wasted foodgrain in Saudi: study

Rice is the topmost ceral grain in terms of consumption in Saudi Arabia
A seller displays rice bags for sale at a store. Image used for illustrative purpose.
By Staff Writer, Saudi Gazette
MAKKAH — Rice topped the list of the most wasted foodgrains in the Kingdom, according to a study conducted by specialists in all regions of the Kingdom. The study was aimed at organizing food preservation operations.

According to the study, a copy of which was obtained by Makkah newspaper, the annual volume of imported rice is 130,000 ton, of which 34 percent is wasted. Rice is the topmost ceral grain in terms of consumption in Saudi Arabia, the study acknowledged.

Flour and bread came second in terms of rates of wastage and loss reaching 30% of the available quantity, followed by chicken with 29%, and then vegetables, fruits, and meat.

The rate of wastage and loss in flour and bread amounted to 917,000 ton during distribution, manufacturing, consumption and due to damage.

The percentages of wastage in vegetables varied due to preservation factors and damage of some of the vegetables, with the passage of time.

The quantities of wastage and loss of some foods annually, includes rice at 557,000 ton, sheep and goat mutton at 22,000, chicken meat at 444,000, beef at 41,000, camel meat at 13,000, potatoes at 201,000, tomatoes at 234,000, fish at 69,000, and onions at 110,000 ton.

4 Asian countries bid to supply PHL with rice

Description: unload tons of rice to be distributed to Quezon City barangays affected by the COVID-19 lockdown. (NONOY LACZA)

FOUR Asian countries have signified their interest to supply the Philippines with rice as part of Manila’s “contingency” procurement for the coming lean months.
The Philippine International Trading Corp. (PITC) held on Monday its 300,000-metric ton (MT) rice importation via government-to-government transaction (G2G) with India, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar participating in the bidding held via Zoom.
The four Asian countries were declared eligible bidders by the PITC after they submitted all required documents, including financial statements and authority letters from their respective states.
Under the updated terms of reference (TOR) for the G2G transaction, only foreign governments or state-owned or -controlled enterprises are allowed to participate in the bidding process.
Vietnam was represented by its state trading enterprise Vietnam Northern Food Corp. 1 (VinaFood 1), while Thailand was represented by its Department of Foreign Trade.
The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (Nafed) represented India in the bidding, while Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) was authorized to represent Myanmar.
The PITC’s TOR set the approved budget for the contract (ABC) at P24,833.33 per MT of 25 percent brokens, well-milled long grain white rice.
Under the TOR, all bids should be converted to Philippine peso at the prevailing exchange rate of the Central Bank on the bid opening date, which was at $1 to P49.904.
The TOR also stipulated that bids shall be divided into five lots based on the designated discharge ports and volume (Manila at 184,000 MT; Cebu at 42,000 MT, Tacloban at 15,000 MT, Zamboanga at 24,000 MT, and Davao at 45,000 MT).
The winning suppliers shall deliver the first half of the volume of their secured lots not later than July 14, while the remaining half must enter the country not later than August 14, based on the TOR.


Myanmar offered to supply 33,000 MT (10,000 MT for the first delivery and 23,000 for the second tranche) out of the 174,000 MT of Manila lot at an offer price of $489.25 per MT or equivalent to P24,415.532 per MT. Myanmar also bid to supply the whole Cebu lot at $494.25 per MT or about P24,665.052 per MT.
India offered to supply 4 out of 5 lots except for Manila. For the Cebu lot, India offered to supply it in full volume at a price of $484.7 per MT or P24,188.4688 per MT. India offered to supply the second tranche of the Tacloban lot (7,500 MT) at $485.7 per MT or P24,238.3728 per MT.
The South Asian country offered to supply the Zamboanga lot in full volume at a bid price of $484.70 per MT, equivalent to P24,188.4688 per MT, while it offered to supply half (second tranche) of the Davao lot at $485.7 per MT or about P24,238.3728 per MT.
Thailand, which has been an active participant of the Philippines’ G2G rice importation transactions in the past, only submitted an offer to supply the full volume of Manila lot at $541 per MT (P26,998.064).
Lastly, Vietnam submitted supply offers for all the 5 lots. For the Manila lot, Vietnam submitted a bid offer of $530 per MT (P26,449.12) for the supply of 64,500 MT (divided in two tranches).
The Southeast Asian state offered to supply in full volume the lots of Cebu, Tacloban and Zamboanga at a price of $530 per MT. Vietnam also offered to supply 30,000 MT in two deliveries for the Davao lot at $497.30 per MT (P24,817.2592)
Under the TOR, the Notice of Award shall be issued to the prospective supplier within three days from bid opening, unless otherwise advised by PITC in writing through an amendatory bulletin. Afterward, the PITC shall issue the supply contract and the notice to proceed to the foreign supplier.
Olam to produce 240,000MT of rice
June 9, 2020 in Business
food crisis in Nigeria

From Juliana Agbo, Abuja
 TO save Nigeria from the effects of a post-COVID-19 food crisis, Olam Nigeria has expressed its commitment  to make the country the agricultural hub on the  continent.
It added that it would produce a total of 240,000 metric tons (Mt) of rice in the new farming season.
Olam Nigeria, one of the leading players in the  agriculture value chain, said it will continue to cultivate its 5000 hectares which produces 40,000 metric tons of paddy.

However, the company off-takes paddy from farmers across the country to balance its milling capacity of 240,000 metric tons for both its farms in Rukubi Doma, Nasarawa State and Amarava Agro in Kano State which have milling capacities of 120,000MT respectively.

According to a statement in Abuja yesterday, Olam  said it is working with more than 20,000 direct outgrower famers and sensitising more farmers to plant rice and hand-holding them with training and input in five states of Nigeria.

It said the move became even more necessary as President Muhammadu Buhari has urged farmers to embark on massive food production this farming season.

The statement reads in part: “The farms, which have an integrated rice mills with a production capacity of 120,000 metric tonnes res are committed to producing only local and home grown quality rice with the variants of Mama’s Pride and Mama’s Choice”

“In addition, Olam participates across the country as the biggest off taker of paddy rice from Nigerian farmers impacting livelihoods of more than 100,000 farmers directly and indirectly.

“We must not forget that the COVID-19 pandemic is arguably the biggest challenge facing humanity today. It is ravaging not only Nigeria but the global economy.

“As part of the efforts to support Nigeria’s fight against Covid-19, Olam has successfully given palliatives to host communities, women were given rice, and medical kits were given to the Rukubi Clinic in Doma, Nasarawa State apart from undertaking various other community support programs.

“Enlightenment and educational campaigns in form of radio and tv jingles in local languages to stress the need for social distancing , wearing of masks as well as washing and rinsing of hands whilst ensuring they are all in line with Covid-19 protocols as espoused by WHO and NCDC”, Olam said.
Furthermore, it said Olam Rice Farms and Mills in Rukubi, Nasarawa State and Amarava Agro in Kano State have created both direct and indirect employments to the tune of over 2500 people, thereby helping the local community survive and enriching the farmers around and within the environs.