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Mindful Chef's healthy recipe of the week: nori wrapped salmon, ginger & spring onion rice

Each week, Myles and Giles, founders of healthy recipe box delivery service Mindful Chef, will be sharing an easy mid-week supper recipe exclusively for the Evening Standard

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We wrap our delicious sustainably sourced salmon in nori seaweed and bake it in the oven to intensify the flavour.

Served on a bed of fragrant ginger and spring onion rice with fresh sesame seeds, cucumber, grated carrot and a drizzle of tamari.

Recipe for two people, halve the ingredients for one person

503 calories • 47g carbs • 20g fat • 38g protein

Ingredients 

1 baby cucumber

200g carrot

250g steamed brown basmati rice

2 spring onions

2 tbsp tamari

2 tsp oil

2 tsp white sesame seeds

2 x 150g salmon fillet (skin off)

2 x nori sheets

4cm fresh ginger

Method


1. Preheat the oven to 200C / gas mark 6.

2. To assemble the nori wrapped salmon; put the nori sheet on a flat surface, place the salmon fillet to one edge of the nori sheet, dampen your finger with a little cold water and lightly rub over the nori sheet to soften, roll up the salmon fillet (to resemble a sausage shape) then run a wet finger along one edge of the nori sheet to seal it.

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Tuck the loose ends underneath and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place in the oven for 12-13 mins until cooked through.

3. Peel and finely chop or grate the ginger. Thinly slice the spring onion. Heat a frying pan with 2 tsp oil on a medium heat then add the ginger and spring onion and cook for 1-2 mins, stirring occasionally. Add 1 tbsp cold water and the rice to the pan and cook for 5 mins until piping hot.

4. Peel and grate the carrot, leave to one side.

5. Dice the baby cucumber into small cubes then place into a bowl with half of the sesame seeds.

6. Spoon the rice into two warm bowls. Slice the salmon and place over the rice, then place the sesame cucumber and grated carrot alongside. Sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds over the carrot. Place the tamari in a small ramekin as a dipping sauce or, alternatively, pour over the entire dish.

https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/wellness/nutrition-gut-health/nori-wrapped-salmon-ginger-spring-onion-rice-recipe-a4211376.html

 

 

Plant protection: The next blockbuster basmati

Breeding for resistance, rather than spraying pesticides, is the way ahead to secure a $ 5-billion export industry.

Written by Anju Agnihotri ChabaHarish Damodaran |Jalandhar, New Delhi |Updated: August 15, 2019 4:25:59 am

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Description: https://images.indianexpress.com/2018/04/punjab-farmer.jpg?w=105

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Farmer Davinder Singh at his basmati field in Tarn Taran district of Punjab. (Express photo by Anju Agnihotri Chaba)

Onkar Singh has been cultivating Pusa-1121 — the basmati variety that, till recently, accounted for nearly three-fourths of India’s exports of the aromatic rice ($ 4.71 billion in 2018-19) — since 2008.

This year, the 53-year-old from Majitha village in the same tehsil of Amritsar district, has slashed his Pusa-1121 acreage to two acres, from 10 acres in 2018. Simultaneously, his area under Pusa-1718, a new improved basmati bred by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in New Delhi, has expanded five-fold to 10 acres.

“Pusa-1718 is essentially Pusa-1121, which they (scientists) have made more disease-resistant. You don’t need to spray any pesticides now. I tried it out first last year and got an average paddy yield of 23 quintals per acre, against 18-20 quintals from Pusa-1121. Also, the crop tillered better (more side stems produced from the initial parent shoot),” says Onkar, who grows the short-duration Pusa-1509 basmati variety on the remaining 33 acres of his total 45-acre holding.

Onkar Singh farms only basmati paddy, which has no assured government procurement at minimum support prices (MSP). “Pusa-1509 matures in just 115-120 days, from the date of nursery sowing to harvesting. I can transplant it from June 10 to June 25 and harvest between mid-September and early-October. It gives the flexibility, then, to plant matar (pea) in September and potato in October for harvesting by late-November/early-December. There is time to sow wheat, winter maize or ajwain (celery) even after that,” he explains.

Source: APEDA, Ministry of Commerce.

Pusa-1121 is a longer-duration basmati (140-145 days, seed to grain), mostly transplanted during June 10 to July-end for harvesting towards October-end and mid-November. It leaves scope only to sow wheat. “Yields, too, are lower than the 24-28 quintal/acre from Pusa-1509. The only advantage is price. Last year, I got Rs 3,600-4,000 per quintal for Pusa-1121, whereas Pusa-1509 paddy fetched Rs 2,600-3,000,” he adds.

This is where the new variety could make a difference.

“Pusa-1121 was susceptible to bacterial blight. We have basically made it resistant to the pathogen by introducing two genes Xa21 and xa13, derived from a wild rice species (Oryza longistaminata) and a traditional land race (BJ1), respectively. The resultant variety (Pusa-1718) also possesses a non-lodging habit from a strong culm (stem). It is, hence, less prone to falling and can withstand heavy rain or water-logging better than Pusa-1121,” A.K. Singh, head of IARI’s Division of Genetics, tells The Indian Express.

Davinder Singh (30), of Khabba Rajputan village in Tarn Taran district and tehsil, agrees. This farmer has dedicated 20 acres to Pusa-1718 in the current season, from last year’s two acres, while halving it from 40 acres to 20 acres for Pusa-1121.

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“I did it after seeing how the new variety stood tall, despite being submerged under water for a week after incessant rains in September 22-24. And my yield was 27 quintals/acre, compared to 18-19 quintals of Pusa-1121,” states Davinder, whose total 150-acre holding also includes 50 acres each under Pusa-1509 and non-basmati paddy varieties, and 10 acres of other crops (maize, vegetables and pulses).

Onkar and Davinder Singh are both bullish on Pusa-1718, which also matures 10 days earlier than Pusa-1121. “The traders are paying Rs 200-300/quintal lower for the new variety, just as they once tried to beat down the price of Pusa-1509. But the grain quality of Pusa-1121 and Pusa-1718 is just the same,” claims Onkar.

According to Davinder, the economics of basmati cultivation today is superior to non-basmati. A yield of 25 quintals/acre from Pusa-1509 and Pusa-1718, at an average Rs 3,000/quintal rate, gives more return than from non-basmati varieties even at a guaranteed MSP of Rs 1,835/quintal on 34-35 quintals/acre. Progressive farmers like him are able to harvest high yields through practices such as incorporating crop stubble into the soil (rather than burning) and applying farm yard manure, in addition to granular sulphur and other secondary nutrients.

Talwinder Singh of Nauli village in Jalandhar district/tehsil is growing Pusa-1718 on three of his nine acres this time. Amarjit Singh from Viram in Amritsar’s Majitha tehsil has, likewise, halved his Pusa-1121 area to five acres, while planting Pusa-1718 on five and Pusa-1509 on his balance 18 acres. Both have cited the same reasons — better disease resistance, less lodging-prone and more tillering ability.

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Description: https://images.indianexpress.com/2019/08/trump-xi-7.jpg?w=310

Farmers in Punjab have sown a total basmati area of 6.29 lakh hectares (lh) this kharif season, 1.92 lh more than last year, while bringing it down under non-basmati varieties from 26.66 lh to 22.91 lh. They have also stepped up cotton acreage from 2.67 lh to 3.91 lh. The reduced non-basmati area would mean less pressure on government procurement agencies. Within basmati, a significant switch from Pusa-1121 to Pusa-1718 has taken place. G.S. Bal, chief agricultural officer of Amritsar, estimates the new variety to cover 30-35% of the district’s basmati area of 1.39 lh this time.

Increased planting, of course, comes with price risk. Farmer realisations have been good in the last couple of years due to a rebound in basmati exports (see table). The value of shipments have marginally slipped during April-June ($ 1,255 million versus $ 1,285 million in the same quarter of 2018-19), with the payment problems in Iran adding to the uncertainty.

One way to protect the country’s export interests is by preserving basmati’s premium quality attributes — aroma, long kernel length, linear elongation on cooking and fluffiness — and minimising use of chemical pesticides. The Punjab government, last month, issued an advisory to farmers not to spray formulations of five insecticides (acephate, thiamethoxam, triazophos, buprofezin and carbofuran) and four fungicides (tricyclazole, thiophanate-methyl, carbendazim and propiconazole).

An alternative approach to pesticide application is to “breed for disease resistance”. This is what IARI scientists have sought to do through transfer of specific disease-resistance genes, from landrace cultivars and wild relatives of paddy, into existing high-yielding basmati varieties. Pusa-1718 is a result of such marker-assisted backcross breeding, which helps avoid use of streptomycin or tetracycline combinations to control bacterial blight.

A similar variety Pusa-1637 has been bred by incorporating a ‘Pi9’ gene, sourced from Oryza minuta (a wild relative of the normal cultivated Oryza sativa paddy), into the popular Pusa Basmati-1. This gene provides high-to-moderate resistance against leaf and neck blast, obviating the need to spray fungicides such as tricyclazole, azoxystrobin and picoxystrobin.

Vijay Setia, president of the All India Rice Exporters Association, feels Pusa-1718 is a “good variety”. But he emphasises that farmers should not put all their eggs in a single variety, while advocating tough action against companies aggressively marketing pesticides. So long as an insect’s population is below the “economic threshold level” — at which the value of the crop destroyed exceeds the cost of controlling the pest — there is no need to spray at all, he points out

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/plant-protection-the-next-blockbuster-basmati-crop-5906430/

 

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Millers to supply rice at reduced price to TTD

Description: https://th.thgim.com/static/theme/default/base/img/author-deafault.pngSPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

TIRUMALA, AUGUST 18, 2019 00:53 IST

UPDATED: AUGUST 18, 2019 00:53 IST

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Move will help the administration save ₹60 lakh in three months

Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Special Officer A.V. Dharma Reddy managed to prevail upon rice millers to supply fine quality of rice to the temple at a reduced price.

At a meeting with leaders of several rice miller associations on Saturday, Mr. Dharma Reddy successfully persuaded them to supply rice at ₹37 per kg, as against the existing price of ₹38, for a period of three months.

The reduction in price of ₹1 per kg of rice is expected to help the TTD save an amount of about ₹60 lakh in the three-month period.

The rice supplied by the millers is used by TTD in the making of anna prasadams at the hill temple as well as in the cooking of free meals under its Nitya Annadanam scheme. About 1,60,000 pilgrims are fed under the scheme, for which the monthly requirement of rice is 750 tonnes.

This apart, about six to eight tonnes of vegetables are required by TTD to meet its daily requirements in the Annadanam scheme.

Detailing the merits of the scheme, Mr. Dharma Reddy urged the millers to supply some quantity of rice free of cost to which they readily agreed and assured him a supply of 275 quintals of rice as a goodwill gesture.

Goodwill gesture

Chairman and General Secretary of All India Rice Millers Association Gummadi Venkateswara Rao and Mohan Rao said that they would discuss the issue of supplying some free rice to TTD on a regular basis with the leaders of various district associations and contribute their bit for the flourishing of the Nitya Annadanam scheme.

He later held a meeting with potu workers at the Vaibhavotsava mandapam and assured to resolve their problems in a phased manner.

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12 August 2019  Last Updated at 11:56 am | Source: IANS

Erosion of Doon Valley''s pride: Basmati rice

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Erosion of Doon Valley''s pride: Basmati rice

Dehradun, Aug 12 (/ 101Reporters) Rice trader Ummed Bora, a resident of Dudhli Ghat in Uttarakhand here, has just started sowing seeds for the Kasturi rice crop, an aromatic variety of rice. While there was hardly any rain during June, steady rainfall in the second week of July has given respite to the farmers in the region.

July is when seeds of Kharif crops are sowed. Bora has also planted a Type-3 paddy crop, which is popularly known as Basmati rice. Known for its aroma, Doon Basmati is slowly losing its place in markets all over the world owing to the increasing urbanisation, pollution and lack of support from the government.

Vinod Bora, a resident of Dehradun, claimed that at one point the fragrance of the crop used to envelop the whole area. When Basmati rice would be prepared, the aroma would reach the adjoining houses as well, he reminiscenced.

While Basmati is still being grown in the area, he mentioned, the area under cultivation and the income generated from the crop have shrunk.

Even other types of Basmati rice -- Haridwar-Saharanpur -- is sold as Doon Basmati rice, he claimed.

Whether it is Dudhli Ghat or Majra, the vast farms growing Basmati rice have transformed into residential complexes and flats. Bora claimed that farmers don''t get proper compensation for their crops, but they get good prices for the land.

The farmers are attracted by the profits the selling of their land garners, asserted Ummed. He said that after selling their land, they move to the towns for a job or child''s education, leaving their farms behind.

In 2017, Bora revealed that he used to export a consignment of Basmati rice worth Rs 1.5 crore to Germany. The next year it came down to Rs 50 lakh. The expected yield this year is only Rs 20-22 lakh.

Chaman Lal, a farmer, said the Basmati rice crop is very fragile and cannot withstand heavy winds. Rains are always playing havoc and it rains at a time when it affects the crop, he claimed.

He also blamed the Suswa river for the low yield. There used to be a time when the water from the river could be consumed without giving it much thought, but now it is unfit for consumption, even for animals, he added.

As a testament to the rising pollution, he informed, the water has also turned black and is being circulated to the farms in Dudhli Ghat through canals for irrigation. The water brings garbage and medical waste to the farms, resulting in the low yield.

The contaminated water from Suswa river has affected the aroma, for which it used to be famous, stated Surya Prakash, another farmer. "The river whose water we used to drink out of our cupped hands has turned into sewer.

"Nature has changed, the weather has changed, rain patterns have changed and thus, the scent of the Doon Basmati has also vanished," he said.

S.S. Rasaily, Member Secretary of the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board, informed that a study has been sanctioned to find the reasons behind the decreasing yield of Doon Basmati rice and the report was expected within a few months.

He informed that there was no provision for the storage of Basmati rice seeds and farmers take turns for storage and preparation of the seeds. While this ensures quality control, there is no way for someone to procure the seeds from the market, he stated.

Rasaily said there is no record of how much the yield was 10 years ago, and thus there is no way to find out how much it has declined. He said even the Agriculture Department has no record of the trade.

The Biodiversity Board member even alleged that the Agriculture Department has not been taking any step to save the Doon Basmati.

Vinod Bhatt, a member of Navdanya -- an NGO focusing on agricultural issues -- and part of the study by Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board, said the area where the Basmati rice was being grown has reduced considerably in the last two decades.

Bhatt said the yield of varieties like Kasturi, Pusa, Basmati 1, Pant 4 has also dropped.

In addition, he said, rising temperature, declining fertility of the soil, shortage of water for irrigation, change in rain patterns and usage of chemical fertilizers have affected the taste and production of Doon Basmati.

At one point, the air around Dudhli Ghat and Majar used to be heavy with the fragrance of Basmati that rivalled sandalwood or flowers.

Doon Basmati, which had created a space for itself in the international market, is disappearing from the farms. Urbanisation, lack of awareness, water pollution and lack of support from the government has taken the crop to the verge of losing its place from plates across the globe.

--

 

Vietnam struggles to find new buyers as Chinese demand dwindles

FRI, AUG 16, 2019 - 9:57 AM

Description: BP_VietRice_160819_54.jpg

Export prices of rice from Vietnam fell this week as the country struggled to find new buyers amid waning demand from China, while a drought continued to squeeze supply in Thailand and a weak rupee weighed on rates for the Indian variety. 

PHOTO: REUTERS

[BENGALURU] Export prices of rice from Vietnam fell this week as the country struggled to find new buyers amid waning demand from China, while a drought continued to squeeze supply in Thailand and a weak rupee weighed on rates for the Indian variety.

Prices for Vietnam's 5 per cent broken rice fell to US$335-345 a tonne on Thursday from US$340-350 last week.

"Vietnam is struggling to find new markets to compensate for the sharp decline in shipments to China," a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said.

Exports to China in the first seven months of this year fell 65.7 per cent from the corresponding period last year, to 318,100 tonnes, Vietnamese customs data showed.

"We heard from Chinese importers that China's demand for rice remains high but the importers cannot buy from Vietnam because of new technical barriers the Chinese government has imposed," the trader said.

SEE ALSO: Vietnam demands Chinese ship leaves its exclusive economic zone

Vietnam's Ministry and Industry and Trade said on Wednesday it would organise several trade promotion trips this year to boost rice exports.

Meanwhile, Thailand's benchmark 5 per cent broken rice prices narrowed to US$415-425 a tonne on Thursday from US$406-425 last week, with traders attributing the relatively high prices to concerns over supply as the country grapples with its worst drought in a decade.

"Domestic prices are up due to fears over possible shortage of rice because of the drought," a Bangkok based trader said.

AFRICAN MARKET ACTIVE

Demand, however, remained relatively flat and the strong baht - Asia's best performing currency this year - has kept Thai prices higher than those of other Asian hubs.

"It's hard to find new buyers as the price will likely increase going forward due to the foreign exchange as well as domestic supply situation," another trader said.

Top exporter India saw prices of its 5 per cent broken parboiled variety ease to about US$374-377 per tonne from last week's US$377-381.

"Africa market is again active now," said Nitin Gupta, vice president for Olam India's rice business.

"Due to the currency depreciation in the last couple of days, prices have corrected."

India's rice exports in April-June dived 28.2 per cent from a year ago to 2.35 million tonnes, a government body said on Monday, due to subdued demand for non-basmati rice from Africa.

In neighbouring Bangladesh, traders demanded cash incentives for rice exports as the country has been unable to secure any deals since a long-standing ban was lifted in May.

"At present, we're not in a position to compete with India or Thailand for parboiled rice. It's almost impossible to export any rice unless the government provides at least 20 per cent cash subsidy on exports," a Dhaka-based trader said.

REUTERS

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/energy-commodities/vietnam-struggles-to-find-new-buyers-as-chinese-demand-dwindles

 

Mishtann Foods Reports 22.1% Increase in Q1FY2020 PAT at INR 3.14 Crore


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Mishtann Foods 

14 Aug, 2019, 17:56 IST

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AHMEDABAD, IndiaAug. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Mishtann Foods Limited (MFL), one of the leading agro-product companies with primary focus on Basmati rice, has announced its unaudited financial results for the first quarter of FY 2020 ended on June 30, 2019.

For Q1 FY2020, MFL reported total revenue of INR 125.93 crore, as against total revenue of INR 130.00 crore reported in Q1 of FY2019 and INR 123.66 crore reported in Q4 FY2019. The company's net profit for Q1 FY 2020 at INR 3.14 crore was up by 22.1% y-o-y.

Ahmedabad-based, MFL is one of the fastest growing branded Basmati rice companies with strong established relationships with farmers, suppliers and customers. During Q1FY20, Basmati rice contributed 95.74% to the total revenue, followed by wheat and pulses contributing 2.29% and 1.97% respectively. MFL's Basmati rice sales volume stood at 14624 MT as against volume of 14704 MT achieved in Q1 FY19. The sales realisation for Basmati rice for Q1 FY20 was INR 82.43 per kg as against INR 88 per kg in Q1 FY 2019. The sales realisation for wheat for Q1 FY 2020 was INR 20.27 per kg as against INR 21.24 per kg in Q1 FY 2019. The sales realisation for pulses for Q1 FY 2020 was INR 48.78 per kg as against INR 65.27 per kg in Q1 FY 2019. The overall sales realisation for Q1 FY 2020 was INR 76.05 per kg as against INR 87.73 per kg in Q1 FY 2019.

Commenting on the financial performance, Mr. Hitesh Patel, Managing Director, Mishtann Foods Limited said, "We are happy to report robust profitability growth for Q1 FY20. We continue to focus on transforming our business, emerging as a growing global branded rice company. We are now pursuing strategies that involve greater differentiation and allow us to create sustainable value for all our stakeholders."

About Mishtann Foods Limited:

Mishtann Foods (BSE: 539594) is India's leading agro-product company with primary focus on Mishtann brand of Basmati rice. The company also has presence in wheat and pulses segment. MFL's 100,000 metric tonne per annum rice processing facility is strategically located at Himatnagar in Gujarat, in a close proximity to port giving the company cost advantage for the export market. Mishtann's wider portfolio of Basmati rice includes Raw, Sella and Steam that cater to wider customer segment in wholesale as well as retail. For more information, please visit www.mishtann.com

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https://www.prnewswire.com/in/news-releases/mishtann-foods-reports-22-1-increase-in-q1fy2020-pat-at-inr-3-14-crore-857703994.html

 

Bank loans rose 12% YoY in two weeks to Aug 2: RBI

Bank deposits rose 939.60 billion rupees to 127.45 trillion rupees in the two weeks ended Aug 2.

Reuters|

Aug 16, 2019, 08.03 PM IST

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Getty Images

BENGALURU: Indian banks' loans rose 12.2% in the two weeks ended Aug 2 from a year earlier, while deposits jumped 10.1%, the Reserve Bank of India's weekly statistical supplement showed on Friday.

Outstanding loans rose 711.3 billion rupees to 97.30 trillion rupees ($1.37 trillion) in the two weeks ended Aug 2.

Non-food credit surged 743.9 billion rupees to 96.67 trillion rupees, while food credit fell 32.50 billion rupees to 627.50 billion rupees.

Bank deposits rose 939.60 billion rupees to 127.45 trillion rupees in the two weeks ended Aug 2.

 

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/stocks/news/bank-loans-rose-12-yoy-in-two-weeks-to-aug-2-rbi/articleshow/70704220.cms

 

 

Plant protection: The next blockbuster basmati

Breeding for resistance, rather than spraying pesticides, is the way ahead to secure a $ 5-billion export industry.

Written by Anju Agnihotri ChabaHarish Damodaran |Jalandhar, New Delhi |Updated: August 15, 2019 4:25:59 am

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Farmer Davinder Singh at his basmati field in Tarn Taran district of Punjab. (Express photo by Anju Agnihotri Chaba)

Onkar Singh has been cultivating Pusa-1121 — the basmati variety that, till recently, accounted for nearly three-fourths of India’s exports of the aromatic rice ($ 4.71 billion in 2018-19) — since 2008.

This year, the 53-year-old from Majitha village in the same tehsil of Amritsar district, has slashed his Pusa-1121 acreage to two acres, from 10 acres in 2018. Simultaneously, his area under Pusa-1718, a new improved basmati bred by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in New Delhi, has expanded five-fold to 10 acres.

“Pusa-1718 is essentially Pusa-1121, which they (scientists) have made more disease-resistant. You don’t need to spray any pesticides now. I tried it out first last year and got an average paddy yield of 23 quintals per acre, against 18-20 quintals from Pusa-1121. Also, the crop tillered better (more side stems produced from the initial parent shoot),” says Onkar, who grows the short-duration Pusa-1509 basmati variety on the remaining 33 acres of his total 45-acre holding.

Onkar Singh farms only basmati paddy, which has no assured government procurement at minimum support prices (MSP). “Pusa-1509 matures in just 115-120 days, from the date of nursery sowing to harvesting. I can transplant it from June 10 to June 25 and harvest between mid-September and early-October. It gives the flexibility, then, to plant matar (pea) in September and potato in October for harvesting by late-November/early-December. There is time to sow wheat, winter maize or ajwain (celery) even after that,” he explains.

Source: APEDA, Ministry of Commerce.

Pusa-1121 is a longer-duration basmati (140-145 days, seed to grain), mostly transplanted during June 10 to July-end for harvesting towards October-end and mid-November. It leaves scope only to sow wheat. “Yields, too, are lower than the 24-28 quintal/acre from Pusa-1509. The only advantage is price. Last year, I got Rs 3,600-4,000 per quintal for Pusa-1121, whereas Pusa-1509 paddy fetched Rs 2,600-3,000,” he adds.

This is where the new variety could make a difference.

“Pusa-1121 was susceptible to bacterial blight. We have basically made it resistant to the pathogen by introducing two genes Xa21 and xa13, derived from a wild rice species (Oryza longistaminata) and a traditional land race (BJ1), respectively. The resultant variety (Pusa-1718) also possesses a non-lodging habit from a strong culm (stem). It is, hence, less prone to falling and can withstand heavy rain or water-logging better than Pusa-1121,” A.K. Singh, head of IARI’s Division of Genetics, tells The Indian Express.

Davinder Singh (30), of Khabba Rajputan village in Tarn Taran district and tehsil, agrees. This farmer has dedicated 20 acres to Pusa-1718 in the current season, from last year’s two acres, while halving it from 40 acres to 20 acres for Pusa-1121.

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“I did it after seeing how the new variety stood tall, despite being submerged under water for a week after incessant rains in September 22-24. And my yield was 27 quintals/acre, compared to 18-19 quintals of Pusa-1121,” states Davinder, whose total 150-acre holding also includes 50 acres each under Pusa-1509 and non-basmati paddy varieties, and 10 acres of other crops (maize, vegetables and pulses).

Onkar and Davinder Singh are both bullish on Pusa-1718, which also matures 10 days earlier than Pusa-1121. “The traders are paying Rs 200-300/quintal lower for the new variety, just as they once tried to beat down the price of Pusa-1509. But the grain quality of Pusa-1121 and Pusa-1718 is just the same,” claims Onkar.

According to Davinder, the economics of basmati cultivation today is superior to non-basmati. A yield of 25 quintals/acre from Pusa-1509 and Pusa-1718, at an average Rs 3,000/quintal rate, gives more return than from non-basmati varieties even at a guaranteed MSP of Rs 1,835/quintal on 34-35 quintals/acre. Progressive farmers like him are able to harvest high yields through practices such as incorporating crop stubble into the soil (rather than burning) and applying farm yard manure, in addition to granular sulphur and other secondary nutrients.

Talwinder Singh of Nauli village in Jalandhar district/tehsil is growing Pusa-1718 on three of his nine acres this time. Amarjit Singh from Viram in Amritsar’s Majitha tehsil has, likewise, halved his Pusa-1121 area to five acres, while planting Pusa-1718 on five and Pusa-1509 on his balance 18 acres. Both have cited the same reasons — better disease resistance, less lodging-prone and more tillering ability.

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Description: https://images.indianexpress.com/2019/08/trump-xi-7.jpg?w=310

Farmers in Punjab have sown a total basmati area of 6.29 lakh hectares (lh) this kharif season, 1.92 lh more than last year, while bringing it down under non-basmati varieties from 26.66 lh to 22.91 lh. They have also stepped up cotton acreage from 2.67 lh to 3.91 lh. The reduced non-basmati area would mean less pressure on government procurement agencies. Within basmati, a significant switch from Pusa-1121 to Pusa-1718 has taken place. G.S. Bal, chief agricultural officer of Amritsar, estimates the new variety to cover 30-35% of the district’s basmati area of 1.39 lh this time.

Increased planting, of course, comes with price risk. Farmer realisations have been good in the last couple of years due to a rebound in basmati exports (see table). The value of shipments have marginally slipped during April-June ($ 1,255 million versus $ 1,285 million in the same quarter of 2018-19), with the payment problems in Iran adding to the uncertainty.

One way to protect the country’s export interests is by preserving basmati’s premium quality attributes — aroma, long kernel length, linear elongation on cooking and fluffiness — and minimising use of chemical pesticides. The Punjab government, last month, issued an advisory to farmers not to spray formulations of five insecticides (acephate, thiamethoxam, triazophos, buprofezin and carbofuran) and four fungicides (tricyclazole, thiophanate-methyl, carbendazim and propiconazole).

An alternative approach to pesticide application is to “breed for disease resistance”. This is what IARI scientists have sought to do through transfer of specific disease-resistance genes, from landrace cultivars and wild relatives of paddy, into existing high-yielding basmati varieties. Pusa-1718 is a result of such marker-assisted backcross breeding, which helps avoid use of streptomycin or tetracycline combinations to control bacterial blight.

A similar variety Pusa-1637 has been bred by incorporating a ‘Pi9’ gene, sourced from Oryza minuta (a wild relative of the normal cultivated Oryza sativa paddy), into the popular Pusa Basmati-1. This gene provides high-to-moderate resistance against leaf and neck blast, obviating the need to spray fungicides such as tricyclazole, azoxystrobin and picoxystrobin.

Vijay Setia, president of the All India Rice Exporters Association, feels Pusa-1718 is a “good variety”. But he emphasises that farmers should not put all their eggs in a single variety, while advocating tough action against companies aggressively marketing pesticides. So long as an insect’s population is below the “economic threshold level” — at which the value of the crop destroyed exceeds the cost of controlling the pest — there is no need to spray at all, he points out.

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Business News of Thursday, 15 August 2019

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Dealing with food fraud: UCC School of Agric develops technology to detect fake rice

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Description: GM Rice  ParliamentFile: Rice producers are excited about the new move

The school of Agriculture at the University of Cape Coast has developed a technology that detects fake rice that is sold on the market.

The technology will among other things deal with fraud that is perpetrated in the production and sale of rice and also authenticate the integrity of food across Africa.

The researchers are upbeat the many fraudulent food-related activities that impede productivity and also have consequential effect on the health of consumers would be put in check courtesy the technology.

The university achieved this feat with the support of the Queen’s University in UK, a pioneer university that researches into food fraud and authenticity.

Lead researcher of the project, Dr. Ernest Teye, revealed after a conference on food fraud and authenticity at the University of Cape Coast, users of mobile phones could easily check the authenticity of the rice they are buying or are in their possession.

“With this technology, it is easier to detect where the rice was produced, whether the rice is a plastic rice or not. The technology makes it possible for each and every rice particle to be sampled and scanned,” he explained.

The market, he reveals is flooded with many substandard and low-quality rice and the technology, he is convinced will help assuage the fears of consumers.
“For instance, you will find Ghana rice packaged as rice from Vietnam and you could also find

Vietnam rice packaged as Ghana rice. These are done to deceive consumers of rice. There is also the emergence of plastic rice that caused a scare in the country few months back. The technology will help deal with them,” he indicated.

Queen’s University’s Prof. Chris Elliot, a stalwart in food fraud and authenticity, believes, the technology is a breakthrough not only for Ghana and Africa but for the world. He is confident the university’s work will help impact society positively.

“The technology works perfectly and that’s good news for rice consumers and consumers of other food stuffs as well. It behooves on state agencies to lend their support to the researchers to make huge impact with this technology,” he said.

Dean of the school of Agric, Prof. Elvis Asare Bediako is hopeful their collaboration with the Queen’s University will see to the establishment of Centre of Excellence for Food Fraud in
Africa.

“The awareness of food fraud is very limited in Ghana and Africa. This has given many people the opportunity to dupe unsuspecting consumers. The centre when established will help provide information and make people aware about food fraud and how to authenticate the food they are buying and the ones in their possession,” he indicated.

Prof. Asare Bediako says the School of Agric at UCC will liaise with the relevant state authorities like the Ghana Standards Authority, the Food and Drugs Authority and other national regulatory bodies that are responsible for assessing the quality and authenticity of food in the country.

Rice producers and other stakeholders in Agric that took part in the conference were expressed their excitement about the breakthrough. They believe it will help sanitize the industry.

https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/business/Dealing-with-food-fraud-UCC-School-of-Agric-develops-technology-to-detect-fake-rice-772324

 

 

Local FCCLA students take in national trip

Editor |  | 

Description: https://www.page1publications.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Image-1-2.jpg

The GMR FCCLA students who attended the FCCLA National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, Calif., held June 30-July 4, pose for a group photo. They are (L-R): Bella Burkel, Honna Westlund, Morgan Reed, Berlyn Burkel, Chance Christian, and Elizabeth Gust. Reed Christian, and Gust advanced to this national conference by virtue of their performances on their individual STAR Event projects at state.(photo by Mara Gust)

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Badger students Amelia Wilt and Ada Lee pose for a photo at the FCCLA National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, Calif. These two students earned gold at nationals for their video presentation about online catfishing. (photo by Gretchen Lee)

Last month, the first part of the story, “Local FCCLA students taking in national trip” was featured in The Tribune. The first part highlighted the Badger FCCLA students who were attending the FCCLA National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, Calif., and the projects some of them did to advance to this national conference. Part two of this story highlights the Greenbush-Middle River (GMR) students who attended the national conference and the projects some of them did to also advance to this national stage. At the end, the awards and recognitions both chapters earned at this event will be provided.

At the Minnesota FCCLA State Conference, held on March 28-30, GMR FCCLA students Elizabeth Gust and Morgan Reed found out both had earned their way to the National FCCLA Leadership Conference in Anaheim, Calif., June 30-July 4. When asked about their reactions to this discover, they first mentioned how they both reacted upon finding out another one of their chapter team members had also advanced: Chance Christian.

“We both burst out in tears (when we heard Chance’s name). We were so happy for him,” Gust said.

They were excited for him, knowing how much this opportunity meant to him.

“Through the whole season, all he (Chance) talked about was, ‘Oh, I can’t wait to go to state. I can’t wait to go to nationals. I can’t wait to do this,’” Reed said. “And I was like, ‘Man, I’m just trying to get past regionals… He was planning the whole (national) trip before we were even going to state. So to actually hear his name get called, Chance is one of the hardest working people on our team. He works the hardest and he definitely cheers everybody else on.”

“It’s the biggest honor to go there (to nationals),” Christian said.

As the GMR FCCLA Advisor, Laura Dahl views her entire chapter’s achievements as even more special, given how much she has seen them put into their projects.

“I could not be more proud of our chapter as a whole. The dedication observed, the skills refined, and the success earned is so rewarding as an advisor,” Dahl said.

Besides the three national advancers, three other students, Berlyn Burkel, Honna Westlund, and Bella Burkel, also attended the FCCLA National Leadership Conference.The three students who did bring their STAR Event projects to the National Conference— Christian, Reed, and Gust– discussed them.

Competing in the topic area of “Entrepreneurship”, Christian did his project on the snow cone business he started during softball and summer baseball games. The first summer he did this business, he did “fairly well,” reeling in $500.

Participating in the topic area of “Food Innovations”, Reed did a project inspired by her sister, who has Celiac Disease, an “immune disease in which people can’t eat gluten because it will damage their small intestine,” according medlineplus.gov. With this inspiration, Reed created a gluten-free appetizer product: krispie pops– a small rice krispie ball on top of a stick. Putting these rice krispie balls on a stick allows for more decoration and customization, Reed said

“At first I decided to do brownies, but gluten-free brownies aren’t very good, and I realized I wasn’t an expert at making them,” Reed said. “And at the time my sister was living in Wyoming, so she couldn’t really help me, but then she moved back to Minnesota and she actually was making rice krispies one day, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s such a better idea.’” So we just took it and made it into rice krispie balls.”

She did add a little extra butter to her rice krispie treats to allow them to stay softer longer. These treats also have corn syrup in them versus malt syrup due to malt syrup having gluten in it. Despite the differences, her treats taste very much like the regular rice krispie bars, Reed explained.

Competing in the topic area of “Career Investigations”, Gust looks to be a musician and decided to look deeper into this career. She did research on this career path, including what one has to do during the high school and college years to reach a career in this field. As part of this project, she also interviewed her aunt Melanie Moos Wilson, a musician with a band in the Twin Cities.

Her presentation focused on both the work to get to a music career and her personal goals.

“To go to a good music conservatory college would be fun, like Juilliard or something,” Gust said. “But I mean if that doesn’t work out, there are lots of other colleges with good music programs, like even BSU (in) Bemidji.”
She also learned of the job opportunities a musician has out there and of a lesson that future musicians should follow.

“Take what you can get as a musician because getting jobs is pretty hard,” Gust said. “… You have to kind of stay true to yourself and keep working at it until you make it.”

Speaking of projects, Dahl talked about how she encourages her members to choose a project topic they have passion for.

“Once they do that, the research and putting their presentation (together) comes naturally,” Dahl said. “The success becomes their own.”

Local FCCLA National Results:

Out of the GMR Chapter, Chance Christian earned a gold, and Morgan Reed a bronze. Elizabeth Gust didn’t actually compete at nationals, but is still considered a national advancer. She would have presented if a finisher above her in her category would have not have been able to compete for some reason.

Out of the Badger Chapter, Ada Lee and Amelia Wit earned gold on their video project about online catfishing. Jordan Davy and Jordan Lee earned silver for their project about promoting and publicizing FCCLA. Kennedy Truscinski also earned silver for her project, “Tackle Breast Cancer for Mrs. Lee,” having organized a pink t-shirt fundraiser for her teacher and advisor Gretchen Lee, who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Speaking of Gretchen Lee, she earned the Spirit of Advising Award at this year’s FCCLA National Leadership Conference.

To see the complete story, read the August 14 issue of The Tribune in print or online. To see part one of this story, highlighting the Badger FCCLA students who attended nationals, read the July 3 issue of The Tribune in print or online.

 

Talking without facts: Tax issue or government expenditures?

Dr. Farrukh Saleem discusses in-depth how Pakistan's economic structure is gradually deteriorating and what are the causes behind it. Is it a decline in tax collection or the government's uncontrollable spending?

Dr. Farrukh Saleem

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Dr. Farrukh Saleem |

In 1958, Field Marshall Mohammad Ayub Khan wanted to expand the tax net. In 1969, General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan wanted to expand the tax net. In 1976, PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto tried to expand the tax net. In 1986, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq wanted to expand the tax net. In 1997, PM Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif wanted to expand the tax net. In 1999, General Pervez Musharraf tried to expand the tax net. In 2008, President Asif Ali Zardari wanted to expand the tax net. In 2016, PM Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif once again tried to expand the tax net.

Why have the best and the most powerful failed to expand the tax net?

1: According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), there are 101 million women in Pakistan. According to the World Bank, female labor participation (FLFP) hovers around 24 percent. Pakistan’s FLFP would mean that 77 million women are not employed. Surely, unemployed women cannot be expected to pay income tax.

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Why have the best and the most powerful failed to expand the tax net?

2: A few years ago, the Economic Survey revealed that “if the poverty line is $2 per day in line with international standards for middle-income countries, then 60.19 percent of the population fall below poverty line in Pakistan.” Lo and behold, 124 million Pakistanis earn Rs320 or below per day. Surely, 124 million Pakistanis earning Rs320 per day or below cannot be expected to pay income tax.

Description: https://www.globalvillagespace.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Screenshot_2-300x190.jpg

Why have the best and the most powerful failed to expand the tax net?

3: Last year, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), in a report titled ‘Unleashing the potential of a young Pakistan’, declared: “Pakistan has the largest percentage of young people ever recorded in its history.” The Report states: “64 percent of the total population is below the age of 30.” Lo and behold, 133 million Pakistanis are below the age of 30. How much do 30-year-olds make in Pakistan? Not much, I reckon. Surely, 133 million Pakistanis who are under 30 cannot be expected to pay income tax.

Description: https://www.globalvillagespace.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Screenshot_3-300x181.jpg

 

 

Why have the best and the most powerful failed to expand the tax net?

4: A little more than 4 percent of our population is 65 or over. That’s 8 million who cannot really be expected to pay income tax.

Why have the best and the most powerful failed to expand the tax net?

5: According to the National Nutritional Survey, nearly 37 percent of us are ‘food insecure’. That’s 77 million Pakistanis who are ‘food insecure’. Can anyone in their right mind expect to collect income tax for them?

To be certain, there must be a few thousand Pakistanis who are not paying their fair share of income tax. Get them all and make them pay their due share of income tax. Yes, the government can probably raise an additional Rs50 billion. Lo and behold, the budgetary deficit is Rs3,200 billion. Surely, the issue is not ‘inadequate taxes.’ Surely, the issue is ‘excessive government spending’. Imagine; current government expenditures have gone up from Rs1.5 trillion in 2008-09 to a whopping Rs7.2 trillion.

Everyone who should be in the tax net must be brought into the tax net. But, doing this will not cure our disease. Doing this will not save the Titanic from sinking.

For the record, in 2008-09, taxpayers deposited Rs1.1 trillion as taxes into the government treasury. By 2018-19, tax revenues had actually gone up to Rs3.8 trillion; an increase of 336 percent. We really need to focus on who is filing the treasury and who is emptying it all out.

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Yes, the government continues to throw away a colossal Rs1.1 trillion into Public Sector Enterprises every year. Yes, the accumulated circular debt now exceeds Rs1.7 trillion. Yes, the government’s commodity operations have taken on Rs734 billion worth of debt (provincial food departments and other government procurement agencies routinely buy wheat and other commodities but are supposed to retire their debts). Yes, a good $2 billion worth of natural gas somehow ‘leaks’ out every year (in Pakistan ‘unaccounted for gas’, a euphemism for ‘stolen gas’ is as high as 20 percent against a global average of under 2 percent). Yes, the government will be paying around Rs1,000 billion this year in ‘capacity payments’ to power plants. Do you still think that the problem is inadequate taxes?

Description: https://www.globalvillagespace.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Screenshot_5-300x238.jpg

Yes, every government over the past 4 decades has been talking about FBR reforms. Intriguingly, FBR employs some 21,000 employees but around 90 percent of tax revenues get deposited into the government treasury without any active direction of the FBR.

Did you know that Pakistan only has 1.3 million credit cards? This really is the potential tax pool-no more. Can anyone show me a country where the government’s current expenditures have gone up by 500 percent in just 10 years? This year, the government collected Rs3.8 trillion in taxes. Divide that by around 30 million Pakistani households and on average every household is paying Rs125,000 in taxes.

Read more: PTI forgot Tax lessons they preached to PML-N

Everyone who should be in the tax net must be brought into the tax net. But, doing this will not cure our disease. Doing this will not save the Titanic from sinking. Please focus on who is filing the government treasury-and who is emptying it out. Once again; the issue is not ‘inadequate taxes’. Once again, the real issue is ‘excessive government spending’.

Description: https://www.globalvillagespace.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Screenshot_6-300x195.jpg

A Partial List of PSEs

1.    Pakistan International Airlines

2.    Pakistan Steel Mills

3.    Pakistan Electric Power Company

4.    Pakistan Railways

5.    Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Utility Stores Corporation

6.    Tomato Paste Plant

7.    Roti Corporation of Pakistan

8.    Pakistan Stone Development Company

9.    Pakistan Hunting and Sporting Arms Development Company

10. National Institute of Oceanography

11. Pakistan Gems & Jewelry Development Company

12. Technology Commercialization Corporation of Pakistan

13. National Industrial Parks Development & Management Company

14. Technology Up-Gradation and Skill Development Company

15. National Productivity Organization

16. Council for Work and Housing Research

17. National Institute of Electronics

18. Pakistan Council for Science and Technology

19. Pakistan Council of Research in Water Technology

20. Centre for Applied & Molecular Biology

21. National Insurance Corporation, Heavy Electrical Complex,

22. Machine Tool Factory, Services International,

23. National Power Construction Company,

24. National Fertilizers Corporation, State Engineering Corporation,

25. National Construction Limited,

26. Pakistan Steel Fabricating Company Limited,

27. Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation,

28. Ghee Corporation of Pakistan, Republic Motors,

29. Pakistan National Shipping Corporation,

30. State Cement Corporation of Pakistan,

31. State Petroleum Refining & Petrochemicals Corporation,

32. Trading Corporation of Pakistan, Cotton Export Corporation of Pakistan,

33. Rice Export Corporation of Pakistan, Pakistan Industrial Technical Training Centre and Pakistan Engineering Company

Dr. Farrukh Saleem, an economist, is a prominent public policy commentator in Pakistan. He has worked extensively with international development organizations and has been associated with Center for Research & Security Studies (CRSS). His columns have appeared in The News and The Dawn and he has been a TV Anchor with 92 News. He did his doctorate from Western Illinois University, United States.

https://www.globalvillagespace.com/talking-without-facts-tax-issue-or-government-expenditures/

 

IRRI introduces interactive crop diagnostic tool

Field testing of Rice Doctor at Sundargarh, Odisha. Photo courtesy of IRRI.

08.15.2019

By Holly Demaree-Saddler

SUNDARGARH, ODISHA, INDIA — The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is working to decrease crop loss from pest and diseases with an interactive crop diagnostic tool.

Rice Doctor is a tool developed to cater to the needs of the extension and advisory service providers and farmers as primary users to identify insect pests, diseases, nutrient deficiencies, toxicities, and agronomy related problems of the crops. It provides information on these problems as well as recommendations to address them. It also can be useful for researchers, students and private input dealers.

IRRI said crop loss is a major threat to farming communities globally, “In the case of rice, up to 37% of economic losses are caused by insect pests and disease infestation. Timely and accurate disease and insect pest diagnosis and management can not only reduce crop losses, but also help protect the environment.”

IRRI’s Rice Doctor is an information and communication technology-based tool that enables farmers to make timely decisions for better pest management. It helps farmers access global knowledge and information to address their challenges.

Rice Doctor is currently available online and as a mobile app that can be downloaded free of cost on smartphones and tablets.

A more localized prevalent version of Rice Doctor for the Odisha region in India is being developed with the help of the local government. The “Increasing Productivity of Rice-based Cropping Systems and Farmer’s Income in Odisha” is being used to facilitate the localization of Rice Doctor in Odisha. It includes user testing and workshops that were conducted with extension intermediaries, farmers, and plant protection specialists from partner institutions.

User testing helped assess the efficiency and accuracy of the Rice Doctor mobile application for mid-season diagnosis and management of insect pests, diseases, abiotic stresses, and agronomic problems. The content is being updated to enhance the usability based on the feedback received.

Activities are being undertaken to enhance the capacities of extension functionaries and farmers to use the tool. Plans also are ongoing to develop business models for provision of advisories to farmers on pest and disease management using Rice Doctor, so its use becomes viable and sustainable.

https://www.world-grain.com/articles/12468-irri-introduces-interactive-crop-diagnostic-tool

Discovery could pave the way for disease-resistant rice crops

AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

    

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IMAGE: PROTEIN CRYSTALS AND A RICE PANICLE DEPICTED AGAINST A BACKDROP OF RICE GRAINS REPRESENT THE STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY AND PLANT PATHOLOGY ASPECTS OF A STUDY BY VARDEN ET AL., WHICH UNVEILED... view more 

CREDIT: MARINA FRANCESHETTI AND PHIL ROBINSON

Researchers have uncovered an unusual protein activity in rice that can be exploited to give crops an edge in the evolutionary arms race against rice blast disease, a major threat to rice production around the world.

Magnaporthe oryzae, the fungus that leads to rice blast disease, creates lesions on rice plants that reduce the yield and quality of grain. The fungus causes a loss of up to a third of the global rice harvest, roughly enough to feed more than 60 million people each year.

Various strategies to ward off the fungus have been employed, but a sustainable approach has not yet been developed. Cost and environmental concerns have limited the success of toxic fungicides. And a phenomena called linkage drag, where undesirable genes are transferred along with desired ones, has made it difficult for breeders to produce varieties of rice that exhibit improved disease resistance but still produce grain at a desired rate.

Gene-editing technologies could eventually be used to precisely insert genes in rice plants, overcoming the issue of linkage drag, but first, genes that boost rice immunity need to be identified or engineered.

A team of researchers in Japan and the U.K. report in the Journal of Biological Chemistry that a particular rice immune receptor--from a class of receptors that typically recognize only single pathogenic proteins--pulls double duty by triggering immune reactions in response to two separate fungal proteins. The genes that encode this receptor could become a template for engineering new receptors that can each detect multiple fungal proteins, and thereby improve disease resistance in rice crops.

Rice blast fungus deploys a multitude of proteins, known as effectors, inside of rice cells. In response, rice plants have evolved genes encoding nucleotide binding-leucine-rich repeat proteins, or NLRs, which are intracellular immune receptors that bait specific fungal effectors. After an NLR receptor's specific fungal effector binds to the bait, signaling pathways are initiated that cause cell death.

"(The cells) die in a very localized area so the rest of the plant is able to survive. It's almost like sacrificing your finger to save the rest of your body," said Mark Banfield, professor and group leader at John Innes Centre in Norwich, England, and senior author of the study.

After learning from previous work that the fungal effectors AVR-Pia and AVR-Pik have similar structures, the researchers sought to find out whether any rice NLRs known to bind to one of these effectors could perhaps also bind to the other, Banfield said.

The scientists introduced different combinations of rice NLRs and fungal effectors into tobacco (a model system for studying plant immunity) and also used rice plants to show if any unusual pairs could come together and elicit immune responses. An AVR-Pik-binding rice NLR called Pikp triggered cell-death in response to AVR-Pik as expected, but surprisingly, the experiments showed that plants expressing this NLR also partially reacted to AVR-Pia.

The authors took a close look at the unexpected pairing using X-ray crystallography and noticed that the rice NLR possessed two separate docking sites for AVR-Pia and AVR-Pik.

In its current form, Pikp causes meager immune reactions after binding AVR-Pia, however, the receptor's DNA could be modified to improve its affinity for mismatched effectors, Banfield said.

"If we can find a way to harness that capability, we could produce a super NLR that's able to bind multiple pathogen effectors," Banfield said.

As an ultimate endgame, gene-editing technologies could be used to insert enhanced versions of NLRs--like Pikp--into plants, Banfield said, which could tip the scale in favor of rice crops in the face of rice blast disease.

###

DOI: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.007730

This work was supported by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, grant numbers BB/P012574, BB/M02198X; the ERC (proposal 743165), the John Innes Foundation, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and JSPS KAKENHI 15H05779 and 18K05657.

Other authors on this study include Freya A. Varden, Hiromasa Saitoh, Kae Yoshino, Marina Franceschetti, Sophien Kamoun and Ryohei Terauchi.

About the Journal of Biological Chemistry

JBC is a weekly peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes research "motivated by biology, enabled by chemistry" across all areas of biochemistry and molecular biology. The read the latest research in JBC, visit http://www.jbc.org/.

About the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The ASBMB is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization with more than 11,000 members worldwide. Most members teach and conduct research at colleges and universities. Others conduct research in government laboratories, at nonprofit research institutions and in industry. The Society publishes three journals: the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the Journal of Lipid Research, and Molecular and Cellular Proteomics. For more information about ASBMB, visit http://www.asbmb.org.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-08/asfb-dcp081519.php

 

Discovery Could Pave the Way for Disease-Resistant Rice Crops

15-Aug-2019 10:00 AM EDT

 

 

 

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BB/P012574; BB/M02198X; 743165; 15H05779; 18K05657; Journal of Biological Chemistry

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AgriculturePlant Sciencericerice agricultureRice BlastPlant DiseasePlant ImmunityGene EditingGMO

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Newswise — Researchers have uncovered an unusual protein activity in rice that can be exploited to give crops an edge in the evolutionary arms race against rice blast disease, a major threat to rice production around the world.  

Magnaporthe oryzae, the fungus that leads to rice blast disease, creates lesions on rice plants that reduce the yield and quality of grain. The fungus causes a loss of up to a third of the global rice harvest, roughly enough to feed more than 60 million people each year.

Various strategies to ward off the fungus have been employed, but a sustainable approach has not yet been developed. Cost and environmental concerns have limited the success of toxic fungicides. And a phenomena called linkage drag, where undesirable genes are transferred along with desired ones, has made it difficult for breeders to produce varieties of rice that exhibit improved disease resistance but still produce grain at a desired rate.   

Gene-editing technologies could eventually be used to precisely insert genes in rice plants, overcoming the issue of linkage drag, but first, genes that boost rice immunity need to be identified or engineered. 

A team of researchers in Japan and the U.K. report in the Journal of Biological Chemistry that a particular rice immune receptor—from a class of receptors that typically recognize only single pathogenic proteins—pulls double duty by triggering immune reactions in response to two separate fungal proteins. The genes that encode this receptor could become a template for engineering new receptors that can each detect multiple fungal proteins, and thereby improve disease resistance in rice crops.

Rice blast fungus deploys a multitude of proteins, known as effectors, inside of rice cells. In response, rice plants have evolved genes encoding nucleotide binding–leucine-rich repeat proteins, or NLRs, which are intracellular immune receptors that bait specific fungal effectors. After an NLR receptor’s specific fungal effector binds to the bait, signaling pathways are initiated that cause cell death.

“(The cells) die in a very localized area so the rest of the plant is able to survive. It’s almost like sacrificing your finger to save the rest of your body,” said Mark Banfield, professor and group leader at John Innes Centre in Norwich, England, and senior author of the study.

After learning from previous work that the fungal effectors AVR-Pia and AVR-Pik have similar structures, the researchers sought to find out whether any rice NLRs known to bind to one of these effectors could perhaps also bind to the other, Banfield said.

The scientists introduced different combinations of rice NLRs and fungal effectors into tobacco (a model system for studying plant immunity) and also used rice plants to show if any unusual pairs could come together and elicit immune responses. An AVR-Pik-binding rice NLR called Pikp triggered cell-death in response to AVR-Pik as expected, but surprisingly, the experiments showed that plants expressing this NLR also partially reacted to AVR-Pia.

The authors took a close look at the unexpected pairing using X-ray crystallography and noticed that the rice NLR possessed two separate docking sites for AVR-Pia and AVR-Pik. 

In its current form, Pikp causes meager immune reactions after binding AVR-Pia, however, the receptor’s DNA could be modified to improve its affinity for mismatched effectors, Banfield said.

“If we can find a way to harness that capability, we could produce a super NLR that’s able to bind multiple pathogen effectors,” Banfield said.   

As an ultimate endgame, gene-editing technologies could be used to insert enhanced versions of NLRs—like Pikp—into plants, Banfield said, which could tip the scale in favor of rice crops in the face of rice blast disease.

###

DOI: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.007730

This work was supported by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, grant numbers BB/P012574, BB/M02198X; the ERC (proposal 743165), the John Innes Foundation, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and JSPS KAKENHI 15H05779 and 18K05657.

Other authors on this study include Freya A. Varden, Hiromasa Saitoh, Kae Yoshino, Marina Franceschetti, Sophien Kamoun and Ryohei Terauchi.

About the Journal of Biological Chemistry

JBC is a weekly peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes research "motivated by biology, enabled by chemistry" across all areas of biochemistry and molecular biology. The read the latest research in JBC, visit http://www.jbc.org/.

About the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The ASBMB is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization with more than 11,000 members worldwide. Most members teach and conduct research at colleges and universities. Others conduct research in government laboratories, at nonprofit research institutions and in industry. The Society publishes three journals: the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the Journal of Lipid Research, and Molecular and Cellular Proteomics. For more information about ASBMB, visit www.asbmb.org.

https://www.newswise.com/articles/discovery-could-pave-the-way-for-disease-resistant-rice-crops2

 


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Best supplements for cholesterol: This type of rice could lower ‘bad’ cholesterol

BEST supplements for cholesterol: Having high cholesterol can lead to serious health complications if left untreated, so what can you do to lower it? A certain type of rice could help reduce it.

By Katrina Turrill

PUBLISHED: 20:35, Thu, Aug 15, 2019 | UPDATED: 20:51, Thu, Aug 15, 2019

High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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High cholesterol can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, conditions such as heart disease and stroke. But there are two types of cholesterol found in the body - HDL which is considered good, and LDL which is considered bad. HDL cholesterol is essential in helping the body get rid of excess cholesterol by carrying it from tissues to the liver. LDL cholesterol carries cholesterol from the liver to the cells around the body where it’s needed, but too much LDL can lead to fatty deposits in the arteries.

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Research has proven taking supplements could help lower cholesterol, and one to consider is red yeast rice

Experts recommend a number of lifestyle changes to help lower cholesterol, including stopping smoking, eating a healthier diet with more fruit and vegetables and less salt, and doing more exercise.

But alongside these lifestyle changes, research has proven taking supplements could help lower cholesterol, and one to consider is red yeast rice.

Red yeast rice is a type of fermented rice that’s popular in Indonesian cuisine, but is also available as a supplement.

For many years now red yeast rice has been used as a natural remedy to help lower cholesterol levels and to promote heart health.

One study involving 25 people demonstrated how red yeast rice lowered total cholesterol y an average of 15 per cent and ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol by 21 per cent over a duration of two months. 

An eight-week long study in 79 people showed similar effects.

Best supplements for cholesterol: A certain type of rice could lower ‘bad’ cholesterol (Image: GETTY)

It found participants taking 600mg of red yeast rice twice daily had significantly reduced ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels, compared to a control group. 

Another review of 21 studies found red yeast rice was effective at reducing levels of total and ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, as well as blood pressure, when combined with statin drugs. 

When it comes to how much red yeast rice you should take, you should always follow the directions on packaging,

Doses ranging from 200 to 4,800mg have been studied in clinical trials.

What other supplements could lower cholesterol?

https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/1166269/best-supplements-cholesterol-lower-red-yeast-rice

 

Chinese scientists complete high-resolution 3D genome map of rice

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-15 19:32:25|Editor: Li Xia

WUHAN, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientists completed a high-resolution three-dimensional genome map of rice, which is a breakthrough in the crop's genetic improvement, according to the research team.

The team from Huazhong Agricultural University in central China's Hubei Province aimed to investigate the genome architecture and its effects on the growth of rice through the map.

The study will help reveal the genome architecture of rice and promote research on the genetic improvement of rice and other crops, according to the research team.

The study has been published in the international academic journal Nature Communications.

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-08/15/c_138311743.htm

JJ Johnson Has Already Changed the Way You Eat. You Just Didn't Realize It.

The food prophet of Harlem took on the elite food world. Now, he's taking on Shake Shack and Chipotle.

AUG 15, 2019