Friday, July 10, 2020

11th July (Saturday), 2020 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter

Monsoon vigorous over TN, East and North-East India
Vinson Kurian  Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on July 10, 2020  Published on July 10, 2020
Indifferent over South Peninsula, Central India
East and North-East India are getting a severe pounding from a monsoon which is behaving indifferently over the rest of the country in signs that it has entered a weak phase. But this is also the phase when the East Coast as well as Odisha, Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu make gains as part of the season.


Beneo invests 50m euro in Belgium rice starch plant

Beneo has announced a €50 million investment into its Wijgmaal rice starch facility, which it claims will see production capacity increase by 50%.
Located in Belgium, the Wijgmaal plant will see the addition of a new production line which Beneo says will cater to the rising customer demand for its rice starches. The company claims that its trials have shown that clean label rice starch can play an important role in applications such as baked goods, confectionery, sauces and dressings.
The investment consists of a two-stage expansion process valued at €50 million and will reportedly lead to increased capacity by March 2022. The first phase of the investment will include the installation of a third drier and dewatering line, which will allow the company to reduce bottlenecks and further increase efficiency.
According to Beneo, rice starch is an ideal ingredient for the development of products that responds to the clean label trend. It can be used to fill up all of the micropores on the surface of coatings, which reportedly benefits confectionery manufacturers since it ensures a stable result where edges do not crack or splinter.
Since January 2020, titanium dioxide, which is used to fill microscopic irregularities in coatings, is no longer permitted for use in food products in France. Beneo says there are expectations that other EU markets may follow the country in banning the additive.
Roland Vanhoegaerden, operations managing director, speciality rice ingredients at Beneo, said: “We fundamentally believe in the value of this investment, with demand for rice starch coming from both natural and organic growth, as well as from new projects and applications.
“One of the key reasons for our confidence is the ‘clean label’ trend, where food manufacturers are moving away from artificial additives and replacing them with natural alternatives, such as rice starch.” 
In recent years, Beneo has invested in the docking station at its Wijgmaal plant enabling two-thirds of its rice raw material to be received by barge and just one-third by truck.
“The impact is on cost saving, but also on the environment, due to lower carbon emissions and a reduction in traffic. Our factory is in the middle of an urban area and by increasing barge use, we can reduce congestion and noise levels in the neighbourhood,” added Vanhoegaerden.
During the course of the expansion, 20 full-time positions will be created, adding to the current 180 people working at the factory. 
The recent investment closely follows Beneo’s announcement to invest €50 million to expand the production of chicory root fibre at its factory in Chile.

Rice Prices
as on : 10-07-2020 02:20:52 PM
Arrivals in tonnes;prices in Rs/quintal in domestic market.

Food Aid Before Eid: Free rice for 1 crore poor

12:00 AM, July 08, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:41 AM, July 08, 2020

Govt allocates one lakh tonnes for VGF card holders in 492 upazilas and 328 municipalities

The government is set to distribute 10-kilogramme rice for free to each of over one crore "ultra-poor and destitute families" ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.
The food aid will be given to 1,00,06,869 vulnerable group feeding (VGF) card holders across the country to mitigate the consequences of disasters like flood and coronavirus outbreak.
The disaster management and relief ministry yesterday sent a letter to all the offices concerned and asked the deputy commissioners of all districts to inform the respective lawmakers about the allocation.
The letter also asked the officials to collect the allocated rice by July 28.
"We have made the allocation so that people can have some food stocks during the festival," Disaster Management and Relief Secretary Md Mohsin told The Daily Star yesterday.
These ultra-poor and destitute people, especially those belonging to women-headed households, are at risk of starvation and malnutrition amid this pandemic, said government officials.
Most of the poor are facing financial hardship and struggling to maintain their families as coronavirus has battered the economy.
Many have lost their jobs or are experiencing pay cuts as most businesses and offices remained closed during the 66-day countrywide shutdown beginning at the end of March.
Businesses and offices started to open on limited scale last month but the momentum is yet to be back. Economists predict that it will be tough for the country to see economic normalcy soon.
According to the ministry letter, they have allocated 1,00,068 tonnes of rice for the all the 1,00,06,869 VGF card holders of the country.
Of the card holders, 87,79,203 are from 492 upazilas and 12,27,666 from 328 municipalities. A total of 87,792 tonnes of rice have been allocated for the upazilas and 1,227 tonnes for municipalities.
According to the letter, the ultra-poor and destitute families will need to meet at least four out of 12 criteria, to become eligible for receiving the assistance.
The criteria include landless households or those who have only homestead; households dependent on daily wage labour; households dependent on women's income or begging; households with no income-generating assets; households headed by widowed, divorced or separated women; households headed by a freedom fighter with disability, and households without access to two full meals a day for most of the year.
Only one beneficiary per household can receive the food aid, which will be distributed by local public representatives.  
The letter also asked for redistribution of the VGF cards for unions and wards based on the 2011 census.
Secretary Mohsin said many card holders may have died and that is why officials concerned will recheck the list before handing over the assistance.
Speaking on the issue, noted economist Hossain Zillur Rahman said the government has been providing food aid to VGF cardholders for the last several years during the Eid festivals.
"But this year it was much needed as they are bearing the brunt of coronavirus crisis that has hit hard our economy," said Zillur, also executive chairman of Power and Participation Research Centre and a former caretaker government adviser.
He also suggested that urban slum dwellers should be provided with food for free as the VGF assistance is only for rural poor.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has so far announced stimulus packages, which is around 3.7 percent of Bangladesh's GDP, to offset the shock of Covid-19 pandemic in various sectors.
Finance ministry officials said in the current fiscal year, the government will distribute or sell at lower prices 31.37 lakh tonnes of food grains among the poor and low-income groups to protect them from food insecurity.
In the last fiscal year, it was 27.29 lakh tonnes.
This apart, the government also plans to expand the food friendly programme and Open Market Sales (OMS) of rice and flour at subsidised rates. It will sell 19.80 lakh tonnes of food grains in this fiscal year under the schemes, a significant rise from 14.97 lakh tonnes from the last fiscal.
In this fiscal, the government allocated Tk 6,176 crore as subsidy in food sector for sale of the food grains at lower prices or free distribution -- an increase from last fiscal's Tk 4,692 crore.

Vietnam to increase rice exports to EU under EVFTA

Asia News Network | Publication date 09 July 2020 | 22:55 ICT

Description: Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Vietnam earned $1.71 billion from exporting nearly 3.5 million tonnes of rice in the first half of this year, up 17.9 per cent in value and 4.4 per cent in volume year-on-year. VIETNAM NEWS AGENCY/VIET NAM NEWS
Rice quotas for Vietnam under the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) are expected to push the country’s rice exports up from the second half of this year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) said.
Under the EVFTA effective from August 1, the EU pledges to provide an annual rice quota of 80,000 tonnes to Vietnam and completely liberalise trade in broken rice. After three to five years, tariffs on rice products will be slashed to zero per cent.
MoIT’s Department of Import and Export deputy director Tran Thanh Hai said Vietnam had a modest value at $10.7 million from rice exports to the EU owing to the high import tariffs in the market.
At present, the EU’s import tariffs for Vietnamese rice is €175 ($200) per tonne of milled rice, €65 per tonne of broken rice and €211 per tonne of paddy.
Hai told the Hai quan (Customs) newspaper: “The rice quotas of 80,000 tonnes to Vietnam according to the commitments in the EVFTA is an opportunity for Vietnam to enhance its rice exports to this market, which has annual demand of about 2.5 million tonnes of rice.”
Meanwhile, the EU also sets a range of conditions for those quotas such as origin certificates on Vietnamese rice. The rice exported to EU must have authenticity certificates issued by Vietnamese authorities.
To take advantage, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the MoIT are compiling a draft decree guiding the registration process for certification of rice categories exported to the EU to submit to the government for approval.
According to the draft, eligible rice varieties exported to the EU must meet Vietnam’s technical standards and regulations on quality, region cultivating rice varieties, and processes of harvesting, preserving, grinding, milling and packaging rice.
Pham Thai Binh, director-general of the Can Tho city-based Trung An High-tech Agriculture JSC, said Vietnamese rice meeting the requirements to enter the EU with low tariffs would help Vietnam increase its rice exports in the future.
“When the tariff for Vietnamese rice is reduced to zero per cent, it gives local rice products more advantages in competing with rice from Cambodia and other countries in the EU market,” Binh said.
The agricultural sector expects to significantly increase exports of many key products until 2025 thanks to the EVFTA, such as rice (up 65 per cent), sugar (eight per cent), pork (four per cent), forestry products (three per cent) and cattle and poultry meat (four per cent).
However, those products must overcome many trade barriers of the EU, such as technical barriers on origin, product quality and intellectual property protection.
Therefore, experts said that local farmers and businesses in the agriculture sector have to improve production capacity and product quality, find export markets and build brands for agricultural products.
In the long term, strict regulations on quality standards for exported Vietnamese agricultural products, including rice, would force the agriculture sector to undertake comprehensive restructuring in production and business.
Vietnam earned $1.71 billion from exporting nearly 3.5 million tonnes of rice in the first half of this year, up 17.9 per cent in value and 4.4 per cent in volume year-on-year, data from MARD show. Last month alone, 409,000 tonnes of rice worth $207 million was shipped abroad.
The Philippines was the top buyer between January and May, importing 1.3 million tonnes of Vietnamese rice worth $598.6 million, or 40 per cent of total rice exports. They were up 23 per cent in volume and 42 per cent in value from a year earlier.
During the first five months, markets to which the value of rice exports enjoyed the strongest year-on-year growth were Senegal (18.3-fold), Indonesia (2.9-fold), and China (2.3-fold).
Meanwhile, rice export prices increased 13 per cent from the same period last year to average $485 per tonne.
LANDBANK delivers P2.65-B aid to 530,000 rice farmers amid COVID-19
Friday, July 10, 2020

THE Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK), in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA), has distributed a total of P2.649 billion to 529,816 rice farmer-beneficiaries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic across 26 provinces, under the DA’s Financial Subsidy to Rice Farmers (FSRF) Program.
As of July 1, 2020, a total of 61,928 rice farmers claimed their cash benefits through their existing LANDBANK ATM Cash Cards while 467,888 farmers received their financial assistance in designated pay-out sites nationwide.
Through the FSRF Program, small rice farmers tilling farms with an area of one hectare or less received P5,000 each to supplement their production budget and family income.
“In partnership with the Department of Agriculture led by Secretary William Dar, LANDBANK continues to deliver much-needed financial aid to small palay farmers nationwide during these difficult times. This is in fulfillment of our expanded mandate to support our priority sector—the agriculture sector—recover from the challenges of COVID-19 as soon as possible,” LANDBANK president and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo said.
Aside from the delivery of cash aid, LANDBANK has also provided 29,728 agrarian reform beneficiaries a one-year moratorium on amortizations with due dates falling during the previous enhanced community quarantine period. This covered 41,837 hectares of agricultural land amounting to a total of P1.56 billion in dues.
For more updates, please Follow, Like and Share the official LANDBANK Facebook, Instagram and YouTube accounts (@landbankofficial), Twitter (@LBP_Official), or visit the LANDBANK website (

Agri groups to DA: What’s real score on current rice supply?

July 10, 2020

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

VARIOUS rice and agriculture industry groups have urged the Department of Agriculture (DA) to be “more transparent” on the real score of the country’s current rice supply situation as data provided by the department indicated apparent discrepancies.
Federation of Free Farmers National Manager Raul Q. Montemayor said the DA’s recent pronouncement that the country’s current rice inventory of 2.7 million metric tons (MMT), equivalent to 82 days of consumption, is somehow misleading.
Montemayor explained that the 2.7 MMT stock level is sufficient only to last for about 76 days at a 35,369.57 MT daily nationwide consumption rate—this, based on a per-capita consumption of 118.81 kilograms and a population of 108.66 million, which the DA uses in its projections.
Furthermore, Montemayor said their estimates show that supply stocks at the start of July 1 may be at 2.4 MMT, which is a tight volume to consider since it is only good for 68 days of consumption.
Montemayor explained how they arrived at the 2.4 MMT volume: with an 8.2 MMT estimated palay production in the first semester, combined with the 2.675 MMT beginning inventory and 1.5 MMT rice imports to date, less the estimated total utilization of 7.13 MMT.
Montemayor questioned the DA for seemingly changing, from time to time,  the per-capita consumption they use in their supply projections and current supply stock estimate.
“We urge the DA to be more transparent in how they arrive at their inventory estimates. For example, they should divulge their estimates of local palay production and the per-capita rice consumption figure that they use,” he told the BusinessMirror.
“They should also explain why their stock estimates keep on changing every time they make an announcement,” he added.
Asked by the BusinessMirror, the DA said the bulk of the 2.7 MMT current rice supply is held by households and commercial warehouses, without divulging exact figures of each segment.
The BusinessMirror also sought comments from the National Food Authority (NFA) on their current buffer stock level but they did not respond as of press time.
Rice Watch and Action Network Executive Director Hazel Tanchuling said the government needs to divulge the real volume of rice being held by the NFA in light of Pagasa’s forecast that at about 10 to 17 tropical cyclones will enter the country this year.
NFA stocks are now solely used for buffer stocking during calamities following the implementation of the rice trade liberalization law last year.
“It is very hard to rely on the goodness of the hearts of traders to offer cheap rice in a disaster situation. It should be NFA. And because we do not know their stock level and with the foiled importation by the Philippine International Trading Corp., it is possible that the government has less than the mandated 30-day stock level,” Tanchuling told the BusinessMirror.


BASED on the data obtained by the BusinessMirror, the DA projects total rice supply demand this year at 14.536 MMT, about 12.91 MMT of which are for food consumption.
The DA arrived with the 12.91 MMT rice demand for food consumption using a 108.66 million population multiplied by a 118.81 kilogram per capita consumption based on Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data.
The BusinessMirror learned that the 118.81 per kilogram per capita figure used by the DA is based on the PSA’s supply and utilization account (SUA) figures, a data set that some pundits have questioned to be unreliable in estimating food demand.
The SUA uses the so-called disappearance method which treats rice consumption as merely residual after computing rice stocks and removing exports and waste, among others.
Nonetheless, using DA’s own figures, a BusinessMirror analysis indicated that indeed, the 2.7 MMT current stock is only equivalent to 76 days and not 82 days.
The 2.7 MMT would be equivalent to 82 days of consumption if the daily consumption rate is lowered to 32,926.83 MT, which would mean a lower per capita consumption of 110.6 kilograms, BusinessMirror analysis showed.
Based on official food consumption survey (FCS) data of the PSA, the country’s rice per capita consumption as of 2015-2016 is nearly 110 kilograms.
In 2018, the BusinessMirror published a long-form article explaining how the government uses two sets of data  that can result in data discrepancies that make rice demand and supply difficult to evaluate.
A mere 1-kilogram reduction in the estimated per capita rice consumption of Filipinos is already equivalent to 108.66 million kilograms or 108,660 metric tons.
Government officials admitted to the BusinessMirror that they indeed face discrepancies in using the FCS data and the SUA figures in evaluating the country’s rice supply and harmonizing the two data sets is close to, if not totally, impossible. (Read the BusinessMirror’s award-winning BroaderLook special report:
Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc. (Pcafi) President Danilo V. Fausto said the government should establish a sound data system so it does not resort to “guesstimates” that may put the country’s supply in jeopardy.
“We ask the DA to review their estimates based on actual data. We run the risk of having a shortage of rice if we do not have reliable data that could cause prices to spike,” Fausto told the BusinessMirror.
“A difference of 3 kilograms in per-capita consumption computations for example is huge. That is already equivalent to 300,000 metric tons which is what the PITC wanted to import earlier,” Fausto added.

In Memory:  Kenneth Collins 

USA Rice extends condolences to the family and friends of Kenneth Collins, of Gridley, California, who passed away July 2, at the age of 65.  He is survived by his wife, Rebecca, children Tarah and Andrew, and four grandchildren.

Ken learned the importance of hard work at a young age and did all types of jobs to support himself including driving logging trucks before finding his true passion, rice farming.  He founded Biggs Farming in 1985 and dedicated 38 years to growing rice.

In 1999, Ken was named California Rice Farmer of the Year.  He served on many agricultural boards; most notably for 20 years with Farmers' Rice Cooperative (FRC), where he spent the last 12 years as vice chair.

"Ken Collins was an integral part of the transformation of FRC into a modern-day efficient marketing and milling organization," said Charley Mathews, Jr., fellow California rice farmer and chair of FRC.  "When FRC had its challenges, Ken never waivered and was as steady as anyone I know.  But most of all, he had a presence about him no matter where he went, either in Washington DC or at home.  His is a great legacy.  Ken will always be remembered and certainly missed."
Ken Collins (third from right) and the FRC contingent meet with Arkansas Senator John Boozman at the USA Rice Government Affairs Conference


New USA Rice Chair
Bobby Hanks
Changing of the Guard as USA Rice Elects New Leadership   

ARLINGTON, VA -- New chairs for USA Rice, The Rice Foundation, the USA Rice Millers' Association (RMA), and the USA Rice Merchants' Association were elected by their respective Boards of Directors during annual meetings this week held via video conference calls.  All newly elected officers will assume their two-year posts on August 1.

USA Rice's new chair, Bobby Hanks, CEO of Supreme Rice in Crowley, Louisiana, takes over for Charley Mathews, Jr., a rice farmer from Marysville, California, who has been chair of the group since 2018.

"Bobby is going to make a great chair," Mathews said.  "He is well versed in U.S. rice industry issues and is a long-term member of USA Rice having joined in 1999 when he first acquired Louisiana Rice Mill."

Hanks has served on numerous USA Rice committees, including past chair of the Rice Millers' Association and current chair of the USA Rice International Trade Policy Committee.

"Under Charley's leadership over the past two years, USA Rice finally opened the world's largest market - China - to U.S. rice.  We also solidified relationships in Iraq, did great outreach on Central America and Mexico, and received our largest ever grant from the federal government to promote U.S., rice overseas," said Hanks.  "He has represented USA Rice in markets around the world, and made presentations at both the annual Mexico trade mission and the annual international promotion planning conference in Colombia in Spanish!

"Here at home," Hanks added, "Charley helped us notch wins for rice in domestic purchasing programs and federal aid programs and lent his support to retail efforts.  He also visited the White House twice - something no USA Rice chairman has ever done."

David Petter was elected chair of The Rice Foundation.  Petter, a fourth-generation rice farmer from Stuttgart, Arkansas, replaces Frank Carey, who served as chair of The Rice Foundation for two years.

The Rice Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization, which serves as the research and education program arm for the rice industry, and under Carey's term funded projects like a nutritional analysis on the effects of rice in the diets of infants from 0-24 months; a study on improvements in U.S. rice competitiveness; and research on blast in U.S.-grown japonica, invasive pests in Texas rice, and acephate degradation.

Outgoing RMA Chair Keith Gray passed the gavel to Keith Glover, president and CEO of Producers Rice Mill.  As RMA chair, Gray worked on the renegotiation of NAFTA and the passage and adoption last week of its replacement, USMCA.  He led efforts to combat unfair trade practices hampering U.S. milled rice exports and also oversaw the process of updating RMA membership requirements and benefits and the organization's dues structure.

Ryan Carwell, vice president at Poinsett Rice and Grain, replaces Dick Ottis who helmed the USA Rice Merchants' Association for six years.  During his tenure as chair, Ottis successfully guided the Merchant's Association to a much stronger place:  reserves have grown, the size of the Board has doubled, and the merchants have a strong, respected voice for the rice industry.

"On behalf of USA Rice, I extend special thanks to our great board leaders who served with distinction over the past two years - Charley, Keith, Dick, and Frank," said USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward.  "We are very grateful for their guidance and support."

In addition to electing new leadership, all USA Rice boards approved their 2020/2021 budgets and the organization's program of work for the upcoming year

WASDE Report Released  

WASHINGTON, DC -- The outlook for both 2019/20 and 2020/21 U.S. rice is for increased supplies, higher domestic use, and lower exports while ending stocks are reduced for 2019/20 and increased for 2020/21.  All rice supplies for 2020/21 are raised 3.5 million cwt this month based on a 4.5-million-cwt production increase and a 1-million-cwt import increase, which are partially offset by a 2-million-cwt reduction in beginning stocks.  The NASS Rice Stocks report, and surging imports, implied significantly higher domestic and residual use than previously estimated for 2019/20.  Imports for both 2019/20 and 2020/21 are raised to record-high levels, primarily reflecting strong demand for imported Asian aromatic varieties.  Long grain production for 2020/21 is raised 6.3 million cwt to 161.8 million on increased planted acreage, and combined medium and short grain production is lowered 1.8 million to 58.9 million on reduced area, based on the June 30 NASS Acreage report.  Rising domestic and residual use is expected to continue in 2020/21.  Exports for 2019/20 are lowered 1.5 million cwt on continued uncompetitive prices for U.S. long grain as well as recent cancelations of outstanding sales; 2020/21 exports are lowered 1 million cwt (though still up 3.5 million cwt from the previous market year) on expectations of continued strong international competition for long grain exports.  All rice ending stocks for 2020/21 are raised 500,000 cwt to 43.8 million and the season-average farm price for all rice is lowered $0.20 per cwt to $12.70.

Global 2020/21 rice supplies are raised fractionally on higher beginning stocks and production.  The higher 2020/21 beginning stocks stem from several 2019/20 changes including a 900,000-ton production increase that is only partially offset by increased domestic and residual use.  Global 2020/21 production and domestic use are each raised 500,000 tons, and both remain record high.  With supplies rising more than use, global 2020/21 ending stocks are a record high 185.8 million tons with China and India respectively holding 63 percent and 21 percent.

Go here to read the full report.  

Fruits, vegetables exports grew during 11 months

ISLAMABAD, Jul 09 (APP):Fruits and vegetables exports grew by 1.18 percent and 29.27 percent respectively during 11-month of financial year 2019-20 as compared the exports of the corresponding period of last year.
During the period from July-May, 2019-20 about 762,007 metric tons of fresh fruits worth $397.997 million exported as against 731,029 metric tons valuing $393.356 million of same period of last year.
Meanwhile, country earned $284.469 million by exporting 798,817 metric tons of vegetables of different kinds which was recorded at$020.258 million in same period of last year.
Meanwhile, rice exports from the country during period increased by 5.05 percent as compared the exports of the corresponding period of last year.
During the period from July-May, 2019-20 country earned $2.024 billion by exporting over 3.893 million tons of rice, according to the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.
During 11 months of last financial year about 3.873 million tons of rice valuing $1.927 billion exported, it added.
Meanwhile, exports of Basmati rice during the period also registered about 27.62 percent growth as about 852,117 metric tons of Basmati rice worth $724.511 million exported as compared 597,639 metric tons valuing $581.814 million of same period of last year.
During the period under review, country fetched $1.281 billion by exporting about 3.01 million tons of rice other then basmati as against the exports of 3.242 million tons valuing $1.281 billion of same period of last year.
Food group exports from the country during 11 months of fiscal year ended on June 3, 2020 decreased by 5.02 percent as compared the exports of the corresponding period of last year.
Different food commodities worth 4.056 billion exported during 11 months of last year, which stood at $4.270 billion of same period of last year.

PCJCCI keen to promote Eco-Farming for increasing agricultural yields
JULY 10, 2020
Description: svg%3EPakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) President Zarak Khan has urged the government to adopt Eco-farming model of China for increasing agricultural yields to avert the growing food crisis and to provide fresh fruits, vegetables at this hour of crisis.
While introducing the Chinese Cultivation Model of “Eco-Farming” at the PCJCCI think-tank session here on Friday, he emphasized to get benefit of Chinese friendship in the field of Agriculture during this pandemic. Chinese cultivation model involved usage of hybrid seeds, better water management, increased role of government for ensuring effective safety and support mechanisms such as making a reservoir of food grain and also public-private partnerships to overcome the future food crisis, he said.
China accounts for only 10 percent of arable land produces food for 20 percent of the world’s population and it ranks first in worldwide farm output. “It is because they have devised different techniques to increase the yield of crops just by making use of nature, and such farming is termed as, “Eco-Farming”, he said and hoped that implementation of Chinese model of farm mechanization practices in Pakistan would help overcome the expected food crisis.
The PCJCCI President said that China was the largest producer of rice with per hectare yield of 0.6 ton and it produces 1.2 ton per hectare rice, which is twice that of Pakistan. Pakistan’s sugarcane production is 53.4 ton per hectare whereas China obtains a yield of 66.7 ton per hectare sugarcane through its cultivation techniques, Therefore, Chinese cultivation pattern is the best model to be implemented on the land of Pakistan to increase agriculture yields, he asserted.
He said that Chinese Model of Eco-Farming ensures healthy farming and healthy food for today and tomorrow by protecting soil, water and climate; promotes bio-diversity and does not contaminate the environment with chemical inputs or genetic engineering.
PCJCCI Senior Vice President Moazzam Ghurki highlighted the environment friendly techniques being used by China for effective farming. He quoted the example of increasing yield of rice through methods such as Rice duck farming, in which ducks are raised on rice paddies and feed on pests and weeds, which means the farmer doesn’t have to use earth and water-ravaging chemical pesticides and herbicides on their plants. He said that duck droppings are also an excellent, natural fertilizer for rice plants. Similarly, growing two or more crops in proximity helps reduce disease outbreaks, he added.
PCJCCI Secretary General said that 50 percent of the population is taking less calories recognized for average human need. The current crisis, would worsen if the government fails to come up with an informed policy and decisions. In this situation, the government should allocate land to locals in association with Chinese to obtain farm productivity on the same pattern as Chinese are doing, he suggested and urged to introduce corporate farming trends to compensate rising inflation and high input prices in the field of Agriculture in the country

PDS rice for Irong Kongleiram Village misappropriated by former village Headman
Source: IT News
Thoubal, July 09 2020: People of Irong Kongleiram Village are deprived of their share of PDS rice to be distributed under Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Awaj Yojana(PMGKAY) by Government of India allegedly misappropriated by two persons, said in a press conference by the villagers of the said village today and urged the Government to intervene in the matter.

In a press conference held today at Irong Kongleiram Village located in Kasom Sub-Division under Kamjong district, Ramthar Keishing Chairman of Development Kongleiram Village said "A total of 52 bags of PDS rice meant to be distributed as relief material to the people have been misappropriated former Headman cum Chairman of the Village, Shangprangleng Awungshi and former Secretary, Justine Awungshi without informing the village authorities" .

Toboso mayor says allegations against him 'politically motivated'

July 9, 2020
TOBOSO Mayor Richard Jaojoco said that the accusations made by a town councilor are "politically motivated."

Jaojoco, in a press conference Thursday, July 9, 2020, said that contrary to the claims of Councilor Madelene dela Torre questioning the release of the municipal government's rice assistance, all are "accounted for which is now 9,129 sacks of rice currently stored at the municipal gymnasium."

The mayor said that he is challenging De la Torre to literally count all the rice sacks at the town gym anytime.

"What we are doing in the municipal government is strategizing the distribution of our rice assistance. We do not know when this pandemic will end. We are only a third-class municipality with a small budget. If this will be longer, I don't know if we can sustain it," Jaojoco pointed out.

He also said that De la Torre also claimed that Toboso received funds under the Bayanihan To Heal as One Act.

"The funding from the Bayanihan Law is P11,359,107 from which we purchased food assistance, transportation and needs for our frontliners, construction of our isolation facility and PPEs," he also said.

Aside from that, Jaojoco said they have P14 million for their Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Fund and the still unused 20 percent of the local development fund of the town.

"Our current fund available for this pandemic is P32,328,916," he said.

"I do know why the councilor does not know about that since the record is available to her," Jaojoco said.

He questioned De la Torre: "where were you, why you don't know about it?"

Jajoco said that the councilor missed 12 sessions of the Sanggunian Bayan.

"She submitted a leave form only on June 23, which showed that she was on vacation leave. Can you have a vacation leave while everyone is under threat of the coronavirus pandemic?" He added.

Jaojoco called on De la Torre "to set aside politics so that we could be one in helping the people heal amid this pandemic."

Friday Fakeaway: Pepperoni pizza with rocket salad and balsamic dressing
 July 10, 2020, 12:00 pm
© Shutterstock
Make your own delicious pepperoni pizza.
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This week Brian Stormont heads to Italy bringing you a tasty pepperoni pizza with a fresh rocket salad and a balsamic dressing. Easy to make and also one you can involve the kids in as they have great fun topping the pizzas.
This week, why not create your very own taste of Italy by making this classic pepperoni pizza with a rocket salad?
To tuck into this classic, you’ll dollop your flame-baked pizza bases with garlic tomato sauce, add delicious fresh mozzarella and pepperoni, then bake until golden and sizzling. Have a pizza that!
You can then enjoy it with a fabulous rocket salad and sweet balsamic dressing. It’s an ideal summer treat to enjoy al fresco.
Our friends at Gousto tell us: “As the most Instagrammed dish, our pepperoni pizza needs no introduction!
“You’ll sauce things up with a garlicky tomato base, before layering mozzarella and pepperoni on flame-baked pizza bases.”
Senior recipe developer Jordan Moore’s top tip to get this pizza just right is: “Squeeze as much water out of your mozzarella as possible, to ensure you don’t get a soggy pizza base.”

Bring a taste of Italy to your own kitchen with this tasty pizza.
Pepperoni pizza and rocket salad
(Serves 2)
·         1 garlic clove
·         1 mozzarella ball (125g)
·         125g cherry tomatoes
·         50g rocket
·         1 tsp dried oregano
·         1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
·         Flame-baked pizza bases
·         2 tbsp tomato paste
·         30g pepperoni, sliced
Accompany the pizza with a fresh rocket salad and balsamic dressing.
1.      Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C (fan)/ 390°F/ Gas 6. Put a large baking tray (or two) in the oven to heat up (this will stop the pizza bottoms from going soggy!).
2.      Peel and finely chop (or grate) the garlic. Add the tomato paste to a bowl with the chopped garlic and a generous pinch of salt, pepper and sugar. Add 5 tbsp of cold water and give everything a good mix up – this is your tomato sauce.
3.      Drain and pat the mozzarella dry with kitchen paper (squeeze as much liquid out as you can!). Tear the drained mozzarella into rough, bite-sized pieces.
4.      Remove the heated trays from the oven and add the pizza bases. Divide the tomato sauce between the pizza bases and spread it evenly all over them with the back of a spoon. Top the pizzas with the torn mozzarella and sliced pepperoni and sprinkle over the dried oregano
5.      Put the tray in the oven for 13-15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the bases are crisp – these are your pepperoni pizzas.
6.      Meanwhile, combine the balsamic vinegar with 2 tbsp olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper – this is your balsamic dressing.
7.      Chop the cherry tomatoes in half. Wash and drain the rocket and pat it dry with kitchen paper and combine the rocket and halved tomatoes in a bowl – this is your rocket salad.
8.      Serve the pepperoni pizzas with the rocket salad to the side, drizzle the rocket salad with the balsamic dressing. Enjoy!