Thursday, July 30, 2020

30th July,2020 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter

Rice Prices

as on : 29-07-2020 06:19:27 PM

Arrivals in tonnes;prices in Rs/quintal in domestic market.

Arrivals

Price

Current

%
change

Season
cumulative

Modal

Prev.
Modal

Prev.Yr
%change

Rice

Bangalore(Kar)

974.00

-63.02

124499.00

4650

4650

3.33

Bangarpet(Kar)

496.00

86.47

8305.00

2200

2300

-

Manjeri(Ker)

290.00

NC

11310.00

3500

3500

NC

Gangavathi(Kar)

272.00

1195.24

627.00

1420

1380

-

Sultanpur(UP)

200.00

NC

7507.00

2325

2375

-15.45

Maharajganj(UP)

200.00

3900

220.00

2550

1950

10.87

Mandya(Kar)

170.00

-57.5

18449.00

2350

1530

-

Gondal(UP)

118.00

3.96

8041.00

2420

2420

-1.22

Dadri(UP)

90.00

-10

1840.00

5930

5950

-

Thodupuzha(Ker)

70.00

NC

1940.00

3000

3000

7.14

Hardoi(UP)

60.00

NC

8552.80

2440

2450

-2.79

Barhaj(UP)

60.00

-14.29

10196.00

2600

2600

8.33

Azamgarh(UP)

55.00

-8.33

5436.70

2570

2575

4.90

Ballia(UP)

50.00

NC

3133.00

2650

2600

10.42

Choubepur(UP)

45.00

-6.25

2319.35

2600

2550

-2.80

Maur(UP)

43.00

7.5

674.00

2580

2590

5.09

Raibareilly(UP)

40.50

440

1623.50

2460

2460

12.33

Aligarh(UP)

40.00

NC

4322.00

2550

2550

0.39

Ghaziabad(UP)

40.00

-33.33

2605.00

2830

2840

-3.41

Meerut(UP)

40.00

33.33

890.50

2815

2810

-5.22

Lakhimpur(UP)

40.00

21.21

2784.00

2430

2450

4.29

Sahiyapur(UP)

40.00

60

2567.00

2560

2560

5.13

Allahabad(UP)

35.00

-36.36

2567.50

2450

2450

-4.30

Faizabad(UP)

34.00

6.25

1539.00

2430

2450

2.32

Jaunpur(UP)

32.50

-18.75

1527.50

2600

2560

10.17

Basti(UP)

32.00

23.08

1698.00

2560

2560

5.79

Saharanpur(UP)

32.00

-30.43

2633.50

2730

2725

-6.51

Kanpur(Grain)(UP)

30.00

100

5720.00

2340

1300

-4.49

Khalilabad(UP)

30.00

-25

1770.00

2550

2550

13.33

Muradabad(UP)

30.00

NC

1612.00

2630

2630

2.73

Gorakhpur(UP)

30.00

-36.84

1019.70

2550

2550

-

Madhoganj(UP)

30.00

-14.29

3653.50

2450

2445

8.89

Firozabad(UP)

29.00

-10.77

1679.60

2590

2570

-

Mainpuri(UP)

28.00

-28.21

4001.50

2610

2576

-0.76

Sindhanur(Kar)

25.00

-50

376.00

1880

1875

4.44

Hapur(UP)

25.00

-16.67

1182.00

2700

2700

-9.40

Lalitpur(UP)

25.00

-28.57

1690.50

2480

2480

-12.06

Muzzafarnagar(UP)

25.00

25

4501.00

2780

2780

-5.92

Bharwari(UP)

25.00

25

175.50

1850

1850

-

Mathura(UP)

24.00

-14.29

3033.50

2560

2550

-0.39

Chintamani(Kar)

23.00

91.67

1381.00

2200

2200

-2.22

Vilaspur(UP)

22.00

10

1663.20

2640

2620

5.18

Farukhabad(UP)

21.00

50

1164.00

2450

2450

-7.55

Partaval(UP)

20.00

NC

773.50

2545

2550

11.38

Shamli(UP)

20.00

-9.09

1209.40

2790

2785

1.09

Utraula(UP)

20.00

8.11

522.20

2420

2420

-

Sehjanwa(UP)

20.00

-20

2488.50

2565

2575

18.75

Paliakala(UP)

20.00

33.33

665.00

2410

2440

6.64

Sirsaganj(UP)

19.00

8.57

1141.50

2510

2550

-7.04

Nawabganj(UP)

18.00

12.5

788.00

2420

2420

51.25

Agra(UP)

18.00

-14.29

3451.50

2635

2630

1.35

Chorichora(UP)

18.00

-10

1471.00

2560

2560

7.34

Bharthna(UP)

17.00

-15

2326.00

2540

2550

-4.15

Pratapgarh(UP)

15.00

20

490.50

2435

2425

8.95

Kayamganj(UP)

15.00

25

1979.00

2510

2510

-5.28

Gazipur(UP)

14.00

-24.32

2170.00

3250

3240

0.62

Jafarganj(UP)

14.00

-22.22

1110.00

2480

2440

5.53

Etawah(UP)

12.00

-14.29

2582.50

2535

2535

-3.98

Rampur(UP)

12.00

-14.29

665.50

2630

2630

2.73

Devariya(UP)

11.00

-8.33

1071.50

2560

2575

5.79

Atarra(UP)

10.00

100

847.50

2450

2420

5.38

Rasda(UP)

10.00

-16.67

516.00

2640

2575

1100.00

Jangipura(UP)

10.00

-23.08

654.00

2600

2580

11.11

Mawana(UP)

9.00

-25

271.20

2785

2770

-

Raath(UP)

9.00

-44.44

240.60

2350

2350

-

Dahod(Guj)

8.70

-80.41

1032.70

4200

4200

5.00

Etah(UP)

8.00

14.29

430.50

2560

2570

-1.16

Unnao(UP)

8.00

60

223.30

2465

2475

-0.40

Ajuha(UP)

8.00

NC

394.00

2500

2500

2.04

Karvi(UP)

8.00

-27.27

629.50

2435

2400

2.96

Bahraich(UP)

7.50

-38.52

1115.50

2400

2440

-1.23

Fatehpur(UP)

7.50

36.36

2288.20

2515

2500

7.02

Mohamadabad(UP)

6.50

-7.14

852.80

2500

2480

-

Pukhrayan(UP)

6.00

-76

600.00

2520

2500

14.03

Banda(UP)

5.00

-28.57

347.50

2450

2430

4.03

Bareilly(UP)

5.00

42.86

1990.50

2600

2590

3.59

Kasganj(UP)

5.00

-16.67

489.50

2580

2580

1.18

Mahoba(UP)

4.00

-20

464.10

2440

2450

7.73

Mirzapur(UP)

4.00

-11.11

302.50

2660

2665

10.14

Achalda(UP)

4.00

NC

345.90

2500

2500

13.12

Lucknow(UP)

3.60

-2.7

4970.50

2450

2400

-10.91

Naanpara(UP)

3.60

-25

668.00

2430

2440

3.40

Jahangirabad(UP)

3.50

-12.5

248.00

2650

2650

-0.93

Akbarpur(UP)

3.50

NC

402.10

2450

2450

0.82

Tundla(UP)

3.50

NC

277.00

2620

2560

1.35

Chhibramau(Kannuj)(UP)

3.40

NC

607.30

2480

2480

-4.62

Chandoli(UP)

3.00

-33.33

85.70

2585

2585

11.18

Perinthalmanna(Ker)

2.90

NC

29.00

3000

3000

7.14

Fatehpur Sikri(UP)

2.80

7.69

144.90

2590

2585

1.17

Kosikalan(UP)

2.80

-6.67

246.20

2555

2540

0.99

Chitwadagaon(UP)

2.50

-16.67

473.60

2630

2560

25.24

Sonamura(Tri)

2.20

57.14

65.40

2800

2800

-

Charra(UP)

2.20

-15.38

120.90

2550

2550

0.99

Auraiya(UP)

2.00

-20

252.60

2550

2500

-3.04

Tulsipur(UP)

2.00

-42.86

92.10

2420

2400

-

Bishnupur(Bankura)(WB)

2.00

-9.09

200.60

2600

2550

NC

Anandnagar(UP)

1.80

80

216.60

2545

2535

6.04

Jhansi(UP)

1.80

50

148.20

2475

2480

4.21

Mugrabaadshahpur(UP)

1.80

20

71.90

2510

2510

12.05

Baberu(UP)

1.70

-5.56

87.90

2410

2400

8.31

Panichowki(Kumarghat)(Tri)

1.60

14.29

56.90

2880

2930

-

Melaghar(Tri)

1.00

-33.33

63.70

2700

2700

NC

Kamalghat(Tri)

1.00

NC

3.00

3800

2900

-

Khair(UP)

1.00

25

76.30

2590

2590

-0.38

Lalganj(UP)

1.00

-16.67

274.00

2350

2350

-

Safdarganj(UP)

1.00

-50

87.50

2400

2450

-

Bharuasumerpur(UP)

0.80

-33.33

28.10

2500

2500

28.21

Published on July 29, 2020

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/rice-prices/article32222356.ece

 

Rice farmers ditch crop amid increasing fears of food crisis

By HAROLD ODHIAMBO AND ANNE ATIENO | July 29th 2020 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Description: https://cdn.standardmedia.co.ke/images/tuesday/jytoujqryb3to6kxarw5f20311250f58.jpg

Roseline Awuor, a casual labourer, removes weeds from a farm at Ahero Irrigation Scheme in Kisumu County. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Farmers in the Ahero rice belt region and West Kano irrigation schemes are abandoning the crop in large numbers amid fears of food shortage and rise in unemployment. 

Some of the challenges pushing the rice farmers out of the sector include severe destruction of farms by the swollen lake, the rising cost of production, lack of extension officers, pest infestations and floods and hailstorms.

Reports by the National Irrigation Board paint a disturbing picture of several farms were left idle as rice production drops by 40 per cent from 2019.

So dire is the situation that by the end of June, more than 30 per cent of farms were idle while others have now been leased out to accommodate other crops.

A spot check in the rice belt paints a picture of a promising venture slowly losing its value in helping address food security and unemployment.

The situation has been made worse by Covid-19 which has forced the irrigation board to scale down activities in rice schemes while entities that provided farmers with loans to purchase fertilisers have also suspended their services.

Even before Covid-19 struck, farmers were already reeling from adverse effects of natural disasters.

Raging floods

In West Kano, farmers are yet to recover after large swathes of rice fields were washed away by the swollen Lake Victoria.

Christine Akinyi, a farmer in West Kano regrets investing in the crop after raging floods compounded by the lake back flow destroyed her one hectare under rice. “I lost all my crop after the lake waters flooded my land,” said Akinyi.

For some, although the floods that affected their farms at the Ahero scheme have ended, their farm have now dried up as a result of the inconsistencies in water supply.

Despite the challenges, the farmers have been facing in cultivating the crop, selling the produce has also been a big problem with middlemen taking advantage of their vulnerability and buying their produce at throwaway prices.

Although rice production is facing several challenges, the government has stepped up its operations to ensure that the sector does not go down the drain.

Before Covid-19 struck, National Irrigation Board had started a process of expanding the schemes under rice production in Nyanza from 11,000 hectares to 16, 000 hectares to boost food production this planting season.

Yesterday, NIB Nyanza regional manager Joel Tanui admitted that rice production is facing a number of challenges that have adversely affected production, and this has been worsened the Covid-19 pandemic.

https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/nyanza/article/2001380410/rice-farmers-ditch-crop-amid-increasing-fears-of-food-crisis

 

x

Basmati rice cos'' operating margins to rise 100-150 basis points in FY21: Crisil

 

 

Covid 19 Time Series

Description: Flourish logoA Flourish chart

 

Description: Flourish logoA Flourish chart


Related Topics

Ahero rice belt region West Kano irrigation schemes National Irrigation Board Farmers abandoning rice farming Swelling Lake Victoria

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Mumbai, Jul 28 (PTI) Even as the COVID-19 pandemic and the global slowdown has affected many industries, basmati rice companies are set to witness 100-150 basis points increase in operating margins in financial year 2020-21 due to lower paddy prices and stable volume demand overseas, according to a report.

Paddy prices are expected to fall by 17 per cent in the current fiscal from an average of Rs 36 per kg last fiscal due to good monsoon and stable acreage, Crisil said in a report.

Operating margins of basmati rice companies are set to rise 100-150 basis points this fiscal because of lower paddy prices and stable volume demand abroad, making them one of the few segments of the Indian economy to buck the impact of both the COVID-19 pandemic and the global slowdown, Crisil said.

Demand from key markets like the US, the UK and the Middle East, excluding Iran, which account for more than half of India''s annual basmati export of around 4.4 million tonnes, continues to be strong.

The increase in demand in these countries is mainly because they are building food security buffers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the report said.

Iran, which imports around 1.3 million tonnes annually, is expected to register a 20 per cent decline in volume from India due to payment-related issues being faced from last fiscal because of the US sanctions.

However, higher demand from other markets abroad is expected to offset this, Crisil said.

Realisation from domestic market, accounting for 2 million tonnes sales annually, is seen stable at Rs 52 per kg on strong retail demand.

Rigid food habits and strong preference for basmati rice will prevent down-trade to non-basmati varieties in the retail market. However, domestic volume may de-grow by 20 per cent because of extended lockdowns impacting demand from hotels, restaurants and cafes, it said.

"Spreads between blended realisation and paddy prices are expected to improve to Rs 31 per kg against Rs 29 per kg last fiscal. That would crank up operating profitability to 5.5-7.5 per cent this fiscal, compared with 4.5-6 per cent last fiscal," Crisil Ratings Senior Director and Head of Analytics Subodh Rai said.

Demand has remained strong during the lockdown, and rice companies have started to accept orders by seeking higher advances or letters of credit, he said.

They plan to use the advance monies to cut working capital debt.

"As much as 94 per cent of the total debt is short-term for working capital requirements. Higher advances leading to reduction in debt will improve the liquidity profile significantly, which is an important credit driver for the rice industry," Crisil Ratings Director Nitin Kansal said.

"The interest coverage of basmati rice companies could improve to 2.4 times this fiscal from 2.1 times last fiscal, and leverage ratio to 1.9 times from 2.2 times. That will be a credit positive," he added. PTI SM RVK

https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/basmati-rice-cos-operating-margins-to-rise-100150-basis-points-in-fy21-crisil/1904444

 

Modi’s free food scheme rescues farmers, poor: FCI procures record amount of wheat, rice this season

By: Samrat Sharma | 

Published: July 29, 2020 2:11 PM

The FCI has procured 389.76 LMT wheat and 504.91 LMT rice in the just concluded crop season.

Description: rice, wheat, PM garib kalyan ann yojana

The government said that extensive and detailed logistical planning has been done by the FCI to ensure that food grain stocks reach every part of the country.

In an effort to give relief to the farmers and to support PM Narendra Modi’s Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana, the Food Corporation of India procured a record amount of food grains this season. The FCI has procured 389.76 LMT wheat and 504.91 LMT rice in the just concluded crop season, according to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution. The government said that extensive and detailed logistical planning has already been done by the FCI to ensure that food grain stocks reach every part of the country as per the allocation over these five months of extension of PMGKAY. 

The large scale food distribution has some severe roadblocks as it is double the normal allocation and the existing warehousing capacities. Transportation is also a hurdle as they are based on regular allocations. However, citing the FCI’s capabilities to deliver in the most trying circumstances during the lockdown period, the government assured that the FCI is fully geared up for the challenge. The government further assured that food grains will reach every corner of the country and no poor person will have to remain hungry. It is expected that the coming Kharif season of 2020-21 will also be good in terms of productivity. 

Meanwhile, after PM Modi announced to extend the PMGKAY for five more months to ensure sufficient food supply during the festive seasons, the total allocation for PMGKAY II from July to November 2020 was 200.19 LMT. Including the additional allocation of 200.19 LMT for PMGKAY II, the total quantity of food grains that will be distributed to the vulnerable sections of the society is 455 LMT. The government further said that there has been a very enthusiastic response from the state governments as well as beneficiaries of this scheme. About 81 crore beneficiaries are covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) and Antyodaya Ann Yojana (AAY) and are being provided 5 kg of rice or wheat, free of cost under this scheme. 

 

https://www.financialexpress.com/economy/modis-free-food-scheme-rescues-farmers-poor-fci-procures-record-amount-of-wheat-rice-this-season/2038538/

 

Urban poor starve as food aid suspended

 

Emran Hossain | Published: 00:46, Jul 29,2020

      

 

 

The government has suspended the special open market sale of rice introduced to help the urban poor who were force to slash food consumption after being hit by the coronavirus crisis saying that they did not need help anymore.

‘We have stopped the special OMS programme because of the fact that the food crisis people found themselves in after the coronavirus struck is now over,’ director general of food Sarwar Mahmud told New Age.

‘Bangladesh just reaped bumper rice harvest while their normal economic lives are gradually being restored since lockdown restrictions were lifted,’ he said.

Life is still hard but people have their means to cope with the coronavirus crisis on their own at the moment, said Sarwar.

The government decision to shut down special OMS shops, through which a limited number of ration card holders could buy a kilogram of rice at a subsidised price of Tk 10, comes amid depleting government rice stock due to poor procurement.

The decision surprised many, including the beneficiaries — the urban poor — and economists, as evidence grew that millions remained half-fed in Bangladesh as they tried to make up for the drastic fall in their income caused by the coronavirus crisis.

The situation is further worsened by a devastating flood that continued to wreak havoc across Bangladesh for over a month.

The United Nations recently said that Bangladesh needs to extend monthly temporary cash aid to 6.53 crore to the people so that they could bear their food, health and education expenses.

Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies professorial fellow Md Asaduzzaman said that the government misinterpreted the idea of urban poor as it sought to conceal its failure to help them.

‘Bumper rice production bears no implication on the urban poor for they do not grow rice,’ said Asaduzzaman.

He said that the government clearly failed to stock up enough rice needed to run the special OMS rice scheme and was making the poor pay for its failure.

‘It is a classic case of management failure when hungry people roam around, though there is no shortage of food in the country,’ said Asaduzzaman.

On July 25, the government rice stock fell to 12.85 lakh tonnes, half a million tonnes less compared to the stock on the corresponding day last year.

In April, more than two weeks after the coronavirus infection emerged in Bangladesh, prime minister Sheikh Hasina announced her intention of feeding the poor through the special OMS programme.

But the programme could not become fully operational until May because of the delay in the distribution of ration cards.

In May and June, the special OMS covered 33,02,600 people in cities and towns across Bangladesh.

Though in the first month the turnout of ration card holders was 86 per cent, it rose to 96 per cent in June, testifying to the growing need for food aid.

Nazrul Islam, founder and honorary chairman of the Centre for Urban Studies, said that the government must continue lending support to over one crore urban poor living in cities and towns.

‘They all are in emergency need of food and relief aids,’ said Nazrul.

Some of them might have returned to village homes as the coronavirus crisis broke out, but they would be back shortly because their livelihoods depend on cities, he said.

Different studies showed that the number of poor in the country grew after the emergence of the coronavirus crisis.

Last month, a study by Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies revealed that 1.64 crore people became newly poor because of the virus crisis.

On July 16, a Right to Food Bangladesh study covering 37 districts revealed that 87 per cent of the people surveyed were facing food crisis.

The study said that three-fourths of the surveyed people did not have any food in store and the rest could get by a week with what they had in stock.

The study included rickshaw pullers, hawkers, wage earners, small entrepreneurs, housemaids and drivers, 97 per cent of whom had their livelihood affected in a way or the other.

At least five per cent of the surveyed people ate once a day while nearly 42 per cent could not afford nutritious food, not even for children and lactating and pregnant mothers, said the study.

The directorate of food said that regular sale of OMS rice at Tk 30 continued as usual from July.

Per kilogram of coarse rice sold between Tk 38 and Tk 45 in the market until Monday after a 2.41 per cent increase in price over the last month.

‘We don’t mind eating less to save some money to pay the outstanding rent to the homeowner. We are simply helpless,’ said Dolna, 40, who was the proud member of a solvent family even in March.

Dolna’s son and daughter, who are garment workers, and her husband, a roadside vendor, lost their earnings over April and May.

Dolna and her family spent the month of July in their village home in Jamalpur in an attempt to settle down, but the flood forced them to come back to Dhaka.

‘We can use some help to tackle the crisis,’ said Dolna, who used to work as a housemaid but was denied employment by her previous employers upon her return.

https://www.newagebd.net/article/112359/urban-poor-starve-as-food-aid-suspended

 

Source: Rice pledging debt halved

Contentious scheme's legacy still lingers

PUBLISHED : 29 JUL 2020 AT 06:12

NEWSPAPER SECTION: BUSINESS

WRITER: WICHIT CHANTANUSORNSIRI

Description: The rice pledging scheme for rice farmers, running from 2011 to 2014, was the largest rice market intervention scheme in Thai history. (Photo by Sunthorn Pongpao)The rice pledging scheme for rice farmers, running from 2011 to 2014, was the largest rice market intervention scheme in Thai history. (Photo by Sunthorn Pongpao)

The debt burden from the rice pledging scheme during Yingluck Shinawatra's government has declined by more than half, says the Public Debt Management Office (PDMO).

The debt amount accumulated since year-end 2014 from the rice pledging scheme, one of the flagship populist policies of the ousted administration, is valued at 550 billion baht, said a PDMO source who requested anonymity.

Almost 10 years have passed since the scheme's emergence in 2011. The debt stands at 211 billion baht and will take around eight more years to be paid off.

The PDMO set a budget to 23 billion baht of the principal per year.

In total, the debt repayment period will cover 18 years starting from the first year of indebtedness, said the source.

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The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperative has shouldered the debt burden through borrowings, with the Finance Ministry as the loan guarantor.

The rice pledging scheme, running from 2011 to 2014, has become the largest rice market intervention programme in Thai history.

The government used money worth 985 billion baht to purchase 54.4 million tonnes of paddy.

Throughout the scheme, the price at which the government bought from farmers was unprecedentedly high, 50% more than the market price, and for the first time it bought unlimited amounts of rice. This meant the scale of the loss was massive, said Peeradej Tanruangporn, a researcher at the Thailand Development Research Institute.

There is debate over how much loss the scheme incurred per year, with calculations ranging 150-200 billion baht or even as high as 500 billion baht.

Rice pledging also decreased the competitiveness of Thai rice producers. One easy measure of competitiveness is market share, which Thailand lost a lot because the government failed to sell the rice.

The pledged price also resulted in a deterioration of rice stock and sub-standard rice quality. The government had to shoulder the cost of storing the huge surplus of rice.

According to the Finance Ministry, the closed accounts of the rice pledging scheme from 2004 to May 22, 2014 showed losses tallied at 682 billion baht for a total of 15 projects, with 84 million tonnes of paddy bought.

Of the amount, 518 billion baht was attributed to the Yingluck Shinawatra administration's rice pledging scheme.

 

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1959167/source-rice-pledging-debt-halved

BlocRice – Cambodia eyes blockchain in future of agriculture

By

 Tech In Asia

 -

July 29, 2020

While the technology is in many ways still nascent, it seems already that only a small few of the world’s commodities have yet to be traded using blockchain.

Most of these dalliances seem to peter out quickly, but there are a small number of cases where perseverance and commitment has seen the potential of small blockchain projects begin to flourish.

Agriculture, led by rice production, comprises around one-third of Cambodia’s GDP and it employs 80% of the population, according to the International Finance Corporation. Rice plays such an important role in the country’s economy that Cambodia’s Prime Minister has even referred to the commodity as ‘white gold’.

In full: https://techwireasia.com/2020/07/blocrice-cambodia-eyes-the-future-of-blockchain-for-agriculture/

https://english.cambodiadaily.com/business/blocrice-cambodia-eyes-blockchain-in-future-of-agriculture-167267/

 


VIETNAM'S JAN-JULY COFFEE EXPORTS DROP 0.1%, RICE DOWN 1.4%

7/28/2020

HANOI, July 29 (Reuters) - Vietnam's coffee exports in the first seven months of the year are expected to drop 1.4% from a year earlier to 1.06 million tonnes, and rice exports will likely drop 1.4%, government data released on Wednesday showed. COFFEE Coffee exports from Vietnam will likely decrease an estimated 1.4% in the first seven months of this year from a year earlier to 1.06 million tonnes, equal to 17.68 million 60-kg bags, the General Statistics Office said in a report on Wednesday. Coffee export revenue for Vietnam, the world's biggest producer of the robusta bean, will likely decrease 0.5% to $1.8 billion in the seven-month period, the report said. The country's coffee shipments in July are estimated at 120,000 tonnes valued at $213 million, it said. RICE Rice exports in the first seven months of this year from Vietnam were forecast to drop 1.4% from a year earlier to 3.9 million tonnes. Revenue from rice exports in the period was expected to rise 10.9% to $1.91 billion. July rice exports from Vietnam, the world's third-largest shipper of the grain, totalled 300,000 tonnes, worth $109 million ENERGY Vietnam's Jan-July crude oil exports were seen rising 18.7% from the same period last year to an estimated 2.8 million tonnes. Crude oil export revenue in January to July is expected to fall 25.2% to $915 million. Oil product imports in the first seven months were estimated at 6.9 million tonnes, up 41.9% from the same period last year, and the value of product imports rise 8.1% to $2.5 billion .

(Reporting by Phuong Nguyen Editing by Ed Davies)

 http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.

https://www.agriculture.com/markets/newswire/vietnams-jan-july-coffee-exports-drop-01-rice-down-14#:~:text=%E2%96%B8%20Markets%20Newswire-,Vietnam's%20Jan%2DJuly%20coffee%20exports,0.1%25%2C%20rice%20down%201.4%25&text=HANOI%2C%20July%2029%20(Reuters),data%20released%20on%20Wednesday%20showed.

Operating margins of basmati rice companies set to rise: Crisil

 

Jul 28, 2020 (MENAFN via COMTEX) --

(MENAFN - IANS)

New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) Operating margins of basmati rice companies are set to rise 100-150 basis points this fiscal because of lower paddy prices and stable volume demand abroad, credit ratings agency Crisil said.

These factors have made them one of the few segments of the Indian economy to buck the impact of both the Covid-19 pandemic and the global slowdown, an analysis of 105 companies rated by Crisil have showed.

"Paddy prices are expected to fall 17 per cent in current fiscal from an average of Rs 36 per kg seen last fiscal due to good monsoon and stable acreage," Crisil said in a report.

"On the other hand, export realisation is unlikely to decline in the same proportion as paddy prices because orders from key markets continue to be strong. Demand from the US, the UK and the Middle East (excluding Iran), which account for more than half of India's annual basmati export of around 4.4 million tonnes, has increased because these countries are building food security buffers amid the Covid-19 pandemic."

The report pointed out that Iran, which imports around 1.3 million tonne annually, is expected to register 20 per cent lower volume from India as payment-related issues continue from last fiscal because of US sanctions.

"However, higher demand from other markets abroad should offset this. On average, export realisation is seen at Rs 63 per kg this fiscal compared with Rs 69 per kg in the last fiscal," the report said.

"Realisation from the domestic market, accounting for 2 million tonne sales annually, is seen stable at Rs 52 per kg on strong retail demand."

As per the report, rigid food habits and strong preference for basmati rice will prevent downtrade to non-basmati varieties in the retail market.

"But domestic volume may de-grow 20 per cent because of extended lockdowns impacting demand from the hotels, restaurant and cafes (Horeca) segment," the report said.

"Given this, the credit ratio of CRISIL-rated basmati rice companies could remain higher than CRISIL rated portfolio. The key monitorables going ahead will be the extent of lockdown and timely sowing of paddy, which can impact the prices of both rice and paddy. That, in turn, will have a bearing on the credit profiles."

Additionally, the report said that demand has remained strong during the lockdown, and rice companies have started to accept orders by seeking higher advances or letters of credit.

"They plan to use the advance monies to cut working capital debt," the ratings agency said.

--IANS

rv/sn/vd

MENAFN2807202002310000ID1100556156

https://futures.tradingcharts.com/news/futures/Operating_margins_of_basmati_rice_companies_set_to_rise__Crisil_368546544.html

 

 

 

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Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury's in food recall as Uncle Ben's rice could contain glass

Mars Food UK is recalling the product over contamination fears

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The Food Standards Agency and supermarket giants Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda have issued a product recall on Uncle Ben’s Brown Basmati ready to heat rice pouches.

Mars Food UK issued the warning on Uncle Ben's Brown Basmati Rice as it may contain traces of glass.

When a food product is recalled the Food Standards Agency provides details on what customers should do if they have bought the items, as well as information on why the product is being pulled from shelves.

The  Food Standards Agency  issues 'Product Withdrawal Information Notices' and 'Product Recall Information Notices' to let consumers and local authorities know about problems associated with food.

Uncle Ben's Brown Basmati Microwave Rice

Mars Food UK is recalling the food with particular best before dates.

The Food Standards Agency website states: "Mars Food UK is recalling Uncle Ben’s Brown Basmati ready to heat rice pouches as some packs may contain pieces of glass.

"The possible presence of glass makes this product unsafe to eat."

Full list of affected packs

Best Before November 17, 2020

Best before December 8, 2020

Best before December 9, 2020

Best before January 8, 2021

Best before January 18, 2021

Best before January 19, 2021

Best before March 2, 2021

Best before March 16, 2021

Best before March 20, 2021

Best before May 24, 2021

Best before July 3, 2021

Best before June 14, 2021

Best before June 15, 2021

Best before July 19, 2021

Check the best before dates

The packs affected are 250 grams.

Customers are advised to return the faulty packs to the store where it was bought for a full refund.

Shoppers can also get in touch with Uncle Ben's consumer care line on 0800-952-1234 to arrange a refund.

All supermarkets selling the rice will have point-of-sale notices in store giving more information.

The notices say: "Uncle Ben's is voluntarily recalling Uncle Ben's Brown Basmati 250g ready to heat rice pouches. 

"This is a precautionary recall due to the possible presence of glass.

"No other best before dates or Uncle Ben's products are affected by this recall."

 

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/whats-on/shopping/tesco-asda-sainsburys-food-recall-18676386

Argentina: Grain and Feed Update

July 28, 2020 

Attaché Reports (GAIN)

Commodities 

Grain and FeedBarleyCornGrain SorghumRiceWheat

Locations 

Western HemisphereArgentina

Wheat production for marketing year (MY) 2020/21 is forecast at 20 million tons on reduced planted area. Exports are projected at 13.4 million tons. Barley production in MY 2020/21 is forecast at 3.5 million tons on reduced area. Corn acreage in MY 2020/21 is forecast at 5.9 million hectares with production of 47.6 million tons. Conservative producers may substitute soybeans for corn to reduce costs and risks from economic pressures. Sorghum exports in MY 2020/21 are projected at 500,000 tons with recent interest from China.

Argentina: Grain and Feed Update

https://www.fas.usda.gov/data/argentina-grain-and-feed-update-12

https://www.fas.usda.gov/data/argentina-grain-and-feed-update-12

 

Agricultural scientists from KVK stress biological pest control strategies

When the entire world is challenged with the great threat of environmental pollution, agricultural scientists from

By : Sentinel Digital Desk  |  30 July 2020 9:27 AM STAFF CORRESPONDENT DIBRUGARH: When the entire world is challenged with the great threat of environmental pollution, agricultural scientists from Krishi Vigyan Kendra Dibrugarh under Agricultural University Assam - Hemchandra Saikia, Sanghamitra Sharma and Tilok Malaka were seen in the fields of farmers, demonstrating the environment-friendly biological pest control of rice pests at No.2 Charaihabi gaon under Barbaruah Block in Dibrugarh district. Addressing the participant farmers of several villages, Hemchandra Saikia, an expert in Agricultural Economics, reminded that health was wealth and this would need pollution-free environment and food stuff. "Hence, while continuing our crop cultivation to fulfill food security and economic development, effective steps should be taken at the right time and place to minimize the use of pesticides and chemicals," he said. "The injudicious use of chemicals and pesticides over the years has been contributing to environmental pollution, causing hardship to mankind," he added. He further stated that injudicious use of pesticides might convert a minor pest to a major form of pest to crops, besides polluting the ecosystem and food chain and also killing the beneficial insect pests, which ultimately would hamper both agricultural output and sound human health. As there is a growing demand for organically produce output of agricultural crops in the entire world, KVK scientist Saikia stressed biological control of pests affecting crop cultivation Sanghamitra Sharma, who is expert in entomology, demonstrated how to use biological pest control strategies against rice pests like rice stem borer and leaf folder with the use of pheromone trap and use of neem oil spray. The scientists also explained other means of eco-friendly rice pest control measures like use of 'T' shaped bamboo technology through which various birds used to eat various pests of rice by sitting in the T fitted in the rice field. They also urged farmers to go for multiple crop cultivation to enhance their total farm income in order to lead a respectable standard of living.

https://www.sentinelassam.com/north-east-india-news/assam-news/agricultural-scientists-from-kvk-stress-biological-pest-control-strategies-492024

Iran runs out dollars, India's basmati rice exports may fall 20%

Islamic Republic ordered nearly 30 per cent of India's basmati rice exports in financial year 2019-20, buying 1.3 million tonnes

Topics
Basmati rice | Iran | India

Dilip Kumar Jha  |  Mumbai Last Updated at July 30, 2020 11:51 IST

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Indian exporters said they have cut shipments to Iran because of delay in payments linked to the Islamic nation running out of dollars

India’s basmati rice exports to Iran may decline 20 per cent this financial year as the West Asian nation fails to make payment due to US economic sanctions, said a study.

Iran ordered nearly 30 per cent of India’s total basmati rice exports in financial year 2019-20, buying 1.3 million tonnes. The US economic sanctions have paralysed business in Iran, which is battling the crisis for a year now.

Indian exporters said they have cut shipments to Iran because of delay in payments linked to the Islamic nation running out of dollars.

“Iran, which imports around 1.3 million tonne annually, is expected to register 20 per cent lower volume from India as payment-related issues continue from last fiscal because of US sanctions,” said a Crisil study.

Data compiled by the Agricultural and Processed Food Export Development Authority (Apeda) showed India exported 4.45 million tonnes basmati rice (worth $4.33 billion) in financial year 2019-20 as compared to 4.41 million tonnes ($4.72 billion) the year before. India recorded 4.01 million tonnes (worth $4.17 billion) for the financial year 2017-18.

“Exports to Iran is currently on halt due to delay in payment receivables. Owing to economic sanctions, dolalr availability remained scarce. But, Iran market is set to open very soon,” said Gurnam Arora, Joint Managing Director of Kohinoor Foods Ltd, the producer and exporter of Kohinoor brand basmati rice.

Indian rice exporters are exploring opportunities in South East Asia and South America to compensate for exports to Iran. Demand from European Union, the Middle East, South East Asia and the South American countries has increased.

“There will be no impact of decline in export volume to Iran on India’s overall shipment of basmati rice as demand from other markets has increased,” Ashwini Arora, Director, L T Foods, the producer of Daawat brand basmati rice, had said in a recent interaction with Business Standard.

Demand for basmati remained strong in nationwide lockdowns to contain the coronavirus outbreak, prompting rice companies to accept orders by seeking higher advances or letters of credit. They plan to use the advance monies to cut working capital debt. The aromatic rice demand from the US, the UK and the Middle East (excluding Iran), which account for more than half of India’s annual basmati export, has increased because these countries are building food security buffers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Crisil report said the average export realisation at Rs 63 per kg this fiscal compared with Rs 69 per kg in the last fiscal. Realisation from the domestic market, accounting for 2 million tonne sales annually, is seen stable at Rs 52 per kg on strong retail demand.

https://www.business-standard.com/article/markets/iran-runs-out-dollars-india-s-basmati-rice-exports-may-fall-20-120073000562_1.html

 


Why is the Philippines a food importer?

Description: DR. FERMIN ADRIANO

ByDR. FERMIN ADRIANO

July 30, 2020

 

 

“The purpose of science is to liberate us from the tyranny of common sense.” — Anonymous

The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic highlighted the strategic importance of our agricultural sector, mainly on two counts. First, the sector provides our food requirements, the supply of which became critical at some point in the lockdown due to transport bottlenecks, both local and international. Second, with the massive loss of jobs in other sectors of the economy, particularly in the services sector (including tourism and the “gig”/entertainment industries), it is agriculture, being labor-intensive, that offers alternative employment opportunities as there will be perpetual food demand as people will have to eat to survive.

 

With our vast natural resources and relatively fertile lands, there is this populist notion that we should have no problem producing our food requirements. Thus, some observers, who obviously have little knowledge of and readings on agricultural economics, are flabbergasted whenever government imports or allows importation of certain agricultural products. Their ire is particularly targeted at the Department of Agriculture (DA) and its leadership. They are lashing out at the agency for its supposed irresponsibility in resorting to importation when we are capable, they assert, of producing all of our food requirements. The more insidious of these critics blame the current Agriculture Secretary, despite him being barely a year on the job, for making the country food import-dependent.

But a little research work will reveal that the country has been import-dependent on many food commodities. Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) for 2018 shows that we import most of our food requirements as local production is not sufficient to meet local demand. On average, we import around 14, 12, 71, 14, 6, 39, 38, 91 and 75 percent of our rice, corn, coffee, pork, chicken (dressed), beef, onion, garlic, and peanut, respectively. Our import dependency on selected food requirements (e.g., rice, corn, pork, chicken, garlic, coffee, etc.) has been going on for more than three decades now, yet so-called agricultural pundits blame the current leadership of the Department of Agriculture for this predicament.

The main reason, again if one bothers to do a little research on our official data, is that our agricultural productivity has not kept pace with our population growth rate.
The table above shows agricultural growth rates for various agricultural crops.

While our population growth during the decade 2008-2018 averaged around 1.7 to 1.8 percent, our agricultural sector only registered an annual average growth rate of 1.3 percent for the same period. In economic parlance, this is a simple case of local demand outstripping local supply. Thus, importation is a necessary recourse to ensure that our people will not go hungry.

Ostensibly, by the figures I got from the PSA, the logical policy direction to take is to significantly increase productivity of our agricultural crops. As such, it was a most welcome development for us who understand the workings and dynamics of the agricultural economy, and spent a good part of our lives reading agricultural economics literature (local and international) and analyzing agricultural statistics, that Agriculture Secretary William Dar made modernization and industrialization of agriculture the cornerstones of his program to develop our agricultural sector. As he laid down in his eight-point paradigm for agriculture, the twin goals of modernization and industrialization are anchored on the application of modern farm technology and machinery and farm clustering to benefit from economies of scale. These are supported by appropriate budgetary resources and partnerships with the private sector and local government units.

My next column will focus on rice as a case study of what ails our agricultural sector and how the productivity of the rice subsector can be significantly raised.


Dr. Fermin D. Adriano once served as information director of the University of the Philippines System and vice chancellor of UPLB, where he took an early retirement with the rank of professor. He was board member of the former Manila Chronicle while serving simultaneously as editorial consultant and regular columnist. For almost two decades, he served as senior advisor for the Mindanao program of World Bank–Philippines, and had served as consultant of various international and bilateral organizations such as the Asian Development Bank, United Nations Development Program, Food and Agricultural Organization, and John Hopkins University, among others. He is currently a member of the advisory council of the Asian Development Bank, Institute based in Tokyo, Japan. He is writing for the second time for The Manila Times also as columnist.

 

https://www.manilatimes.net/2020/07/30/business/agribusiness/why-is-the-philippines-a-food-importer/747772/

 

Covid-19-Related Rice Restrictions And President Buhari

 

BENIN CITY – Nigeria has benefitted greatly from covid-19 rice import restrictions. FROM IMPORTED RICE IN 2015 TO NIGERIAN RICE IN 2020, Since Buhari first took office in 2015, Nigeria’s central bank has presided over policies aimed at stimulating growth in the agricultural sector to reduce dependence on oil. Those policies included a 2015 ban on access to foreign exchange for 41 items that the bank felt could be produced in Nigeria.

President Buhari has saved Millions of people in Nigeria who are at risk of not getting the food they need due to coronavirus disruptions, according to the United Nations and World Bank. President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop providing foreign exchange for importation of food into the country. “Don’t give a cent to anybody to import food into the country,” Buhari is quoted as saying in the statement, which noted that the call was in line with efforts to bring about a “steady improvement in agricultural production, and attainment of full food security”. “The foreign reserve will be conserved and utilised strictly for diversification of the economy, and not for encouraging more dependence on foreign food import bills,” the statement added.

While domestic crops and capacity go to waste, the imports the region relies on have also dried up as major suppliers, including India, Vietnam and Cambodia, have reduced or even banned rice exports to make sure their countries have enough food to cope with the pandemic. Rice export bans (100%) in Viet Nam, Cambodia, India, and Thailand along with rice import tariff relief (25 percentage points lower than current levels) to facilitate imports in key rice markets in Asia (Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines) and across Africa south of the Sahara (except South Africa)

Imposing trade restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic can have dramatic adverse impacts on food security on Nigeria. President Buhari has saved 200 million Nigerians from the food crisis which will likely impact food security through other significant channels, such as the effects on incomes, understanding the potential food price and hunger impacts specifically from trade bans demonstrates how harmful these policies can be to efforts to withstand this shock.

President Muhammadu Buhari is transforming Nigeria into a self-sufficient country in rice production within four and half years. People have certainly benefited from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor-Borrower Programme.

I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for the launch of Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP) in 2015 that resulted in the establishment of rice processing mills, foreign investment and employment generation to our teeming unemployed youths in Nigeria. The Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) of the Central Bank of Nigeria, launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 17, 2015, has made available more than 200 billion Naira in funding to more than 1.5 million smallholder farmers of 16 different commodities (Rice, Wheat, Maize, Cotton, Cassava, Poultry, Soy Beans, Groundnut, Fish), cultivating over 1.4 million hectares of farmland.

The ABP has substantially raised local production of rice, doubling the production of paddy as well as milled rice between 2015 and 2019. Between 2016 and 2019, more than 10 new rice mills came on-stream in Nigeria. Many of the existing Mills have expanded their capacity; several new ones are under construction. More than a billion dollars of private sector investments in the production of Rice, Wheat, Sugar, Poultry, Animal Feed, Fertilizers, etc, since 2015. Federal Executive Council approval (2020) for a National Agriculture Mechanization Programme, “the Green Imperative”, in partnership with the Government of Brazil and multilateral financing institutions.

Nigeria, which has the largest economy in Africa, is the continent’s top oil producer and relies on crude sales for about 90 percent of its foreign exchange. Low oil prices led to a 2016 recession from which the country emerged two years ago. President Muhammadu Buhari has said the directive to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to stop providing foreign exchange for food importation was to improve agricultural production and attain full food security.

”When we came to Nigeria, farmers were doing 1.5 tonnes per hectare, now they are doing six tonnes per hectare two times in a year. Nigeria has partially closed its western border with Benin to curb rice smuggling that is threatening the country’s attempt to boost local production, the government said on Wednesday. The government wants Nigeria to be self-sufficient in rice and has imposed import controls but these have kept prices high and led to smuggling from Benin into Nigeria. The government has said Nigeria’s imports of rice and wheat together cost almost $4 billion a year but its 190 million people rely on imports for most of what they consume due to limited manufacturing capacity.

The country has considered developing agriculture for export to earn more hard currency and to increase revenues from outside its dominant oil industry. Earlier in 2019, Buhari told the central bank to stop providing foreign exchange for food imports as part of his drive to bolster the country’s agriculture sector.

President Muhammadu Buhari has introduced policies since taking office in 2015 that are aimed at curbing imports to boost local production and conserve foreign exchange reserves. He said rice smuggling across the western border threatened his policy of self-sufficiency. “The country has saved huge sums of money which would otherwise have been expended on importing rice using our scarce foreign reserves,” Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his spokesman. “We cannot allow smuggling of the product at such alarming proportions to continue.”

The President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has ended the importation of rice in Nigeria, the federal government has said – FG said prior to the administration of President Buhari, Nigeria was importing major food items including the ones the country was capable of producing – According to Nduka Eluhaiwe, a special assistant to the CBN governor, Nigeria following President Buhari’s mandate, major sectors of the economy has witnessed some form of change or the other The federal government has said that Nigeria is no longer importing rice needed to be consumed by Nigerians across the country.

The federal government has said that Nigeria is no longer importing rice needed to be consumed by Nigerians across the country. Speaking at the maiden edition of the Nigeria Policy Development (N-PoD) summit, on Tuesday, February 5, a special assistant to the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria development finance, Nduka Eluhaiwe, said the president Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has ensured an end to rice importation.

Nigeria banned the importation of rice from Benin in 2004 and from all its neighbours in 2016, but that has not stopped the trade.Why is rice so profitable as a business? Nigeria is only allowing in foreign rice through its ports – where since 2013 it has imposed a tax of 70%.The move, it should be understood, is intended not only to raise revenue but also to encourage the local production of rice. But smugglers have been taking advantage of the fact that it is cheaper to import rice to Nigeria’s neighbours. According to Nigerian maritime site, Ships and Ports, in 2014, Benin lowered its tariffs on rice imports from 35% to 7% while Cameroun erased it completely from 10%. Accordingly, neighbouring Benin then recorded an astronomical rise in imports from Thailand, the world’s second-largest producer.

https://nigerianobservernews.com/2020/07/covid-19-related-rice-restrictions-and-president-buhari/

 

It pays to major in fields with close ties to jobs, study shows

College graduates make more money if they major in fields with close ties to jobs, according to a new study from the Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC), part of Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research and School of Social Sciences.


Description: https://news.rice.edu/files/2020/07/105937061_l-310x207.jpg

Photo credit: 123rf.com

“School-to-Work Linkages in Texas,” authored by HERC researchers Brian Holzman and Bethany Lewis and graduate student Irina Chukhray of the University of California, Davis, examines Texas residents with bachelor’s degrees who are 25-64 years old using microdata from the American Community Survey 5-Year Sample for 2013-2017.

The researchers studied what they refer to as “linkage,” the connection between college majors and specific occupations. Some college majors like architecture and engineering have clear paths to jobs, while other majors like history and social science do not and end up working in a variety of professions ranging from teaching to business. Holzman, Lewis and Chukhray found that graduates who completed college majors with clearer paths to jobs not only tended to make more money, but also were less likely to find themselves unemployed.

“Aside from the positive relationship between linkage and earnings, we also found linkage mattered more for women, Black, Hispanic, foreign-born and non-native-English-speaking workers,” Holzman said. “Linkage appeared to close wage gaps between marginalized and privileged populations.”

The report also found:

§  People who completed college majors with weak ties to jobs (such as graduates with degrees in history and social sciences) had a 3.2% likelihood of being unemployed, compared with 2.4% for those who completed majors with strong ties to jobs (such as graduates working in professions like architecture and engineering).

§  Older, female, Asian, foreign-born and non-native-English-speaking workers were more likely to choose college majors with closer ties to jobs than those who were younger, male, white, Black, Hispanic, native-born or native English speakers.

Holzman and his co-authors recommend education policymakers and researchers explore why students choose college majors strongly or loosely connected to the job market. The researchers also suggest higher-education practitioners develop new strategies to help students understand the career pathways open to them when choosing a given major. Finally, they recommend college career placement and academic staff collaborate with employers to help students, particularly those from underserved backgrounds, find jobs in occupations related to their majors.

The paper is available online at https://kinder.rice.edu/.

/Public Release. View in full here.

Tags:americanarchitectureBethanybusinesscaliforniacommunityeducationEngineeringEnglishhoustonresearchRice UniversitysciencestudentsTexasuniversity

https://www.miragenews.com/it-pays-to-major-in-fields-with-close-ties-to-jobs-study-shows/

 



The Uncle Roger controversy: Why people are outraged by a video about cooking rice

Analysis by Jessie Yeung, CNN • Published 30th July 2020

 (CNN) — On July 8, Malaysian comedian Nigel Ng uploaded to YouTube a video titled "DISGUSTED by this Egg Fried Rice Video," under his comedic persona "Uncle Roger."

In the video, Ng slammed BBC Food presenter Hersha Patel's unconventional way of cooking Chinese-style egg-fried rice, which included draining the rice through a strainer after boiling.

"What she doing? Oh my god. You're killing me, woman. Drain the -- she's draining rice with colander! How can you drain rice with colander? This is not pasta!" he exclaimed.

Shortly afterward, he groaned, "You're ruining the rice," as Patel used tap water to wash it of starch.

What Ng intended to be a comedic video sparked a firestorm of dismay and disbelief as it ricocheted around the internet, gaining more than 7 million views on YouTube and nearly 40 million on Twitter.

Many viewers, including Asian-American celebrities such as writer Jenny Yang, derided Patel's methods for departing from how Chinese egg-fried rice is traditionally made. Patel hadn't washed the rice before boiling it. She had added too much water. She should have used day-old rice. The scrambled egg was overcooked instead of runny.

"THIS RICE COOKING IS A HATE CRIME," Yang joked on Twitter.

Ng, who is based in London, tried to defuse the situation by filming a short clip with Patel announcing they are planning a collaboration. "While this guy's blown up like nobody's business, I've been trolled," Patel said in the video, claiming she had been simply presenting the BBC's recipe and that "I know how to cook rice."

The BBC has not publicly commented on Ng's or Patel's remarks.

Rice is a staple ingredient in Asia, and has been adopted by cuisines globally since it was first domesticated in China more than 9,400 years ago, according to Chinese researchers. There are countless ways to prepare rice -- you can steam it, fry it, simmer it slowly in broth like Italian risotto or scorch it to develop a crispy crust like Iranian tahdig.

But the issue at hand goes beyond a difference in opinion on the varying methods of cooking rice.

The controversy over the BBC Food clip, and the reaction it provoked within certain Asian communities, speaks to a broader, long-standing debate about the intersection of food, ethnicity and culture -- the fundamental question of who is allowed to cook what food.

Appropriating and whitewashing food

Countless White chefs in recent years have been accused of cultural appropriation by creating food from other ethnic groups using methods and phrases that are deemed "unauthentic," disrespectful, and sometimes outright racist.

Last year, for instance, an Asian food critic accused celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay of tokenism, after he launched a restaurant described in promotional material as "an authentic Asian eating house."

The restaurant didn't differentiate between wildly different and unique types of Asian cuisines, lumping them all together as generically Asian. And at the time of the opening, it did not appear to have any Asian chefs.

Related content

Gordon Ramsay's new 'authentic Asian' restaurant kicks off cultural appropriation dispute

"Japanese? Chinese? It's all Asian, who cares," wrote the critic, Angela Hui, in a scathing Instagram story.

CNN reached out to Ramsay's restaurant group for comment after the initial controversy.

Tokenism is when racial, ethnic, or cultural diversity is emphasized only on a symbolic level, without much substantial effort to understand that culture -- in Ramsay's case, labeling a restaurant "Asian" without taking the time to differentiate between these individual nuanced cuisines.

Food is not just sustenance, it carries history and heritage, which is why many people are deeply offended when these traditional methods of cooking are cast aside.

Sometimes chefs don't just change up cooking methods, they blatantly insult the cuisine and culture of origin.

One notorious example is the Chinese-inspired restaurant Lucky Lee's in New York. When it opened in 2019, the White owner said it would serve "clean" food that wouldn't make people feel "bloated and icky" afterwards -- the implication being that regular Chinese food was somehow unhealthy. That sparked uproar and the restaurant closed eight months later.

And then there are chefs who fail to acknowledge a dish's ethnic origins at all -- the equivalent of whitewashing food.

The New York Times food columnist Alison Roman, also a White woman, gained internet fame for her recipe for a "Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut and Turmeric" -- which sounds an awful lot like an Indian or Jamaican curry. But in an interview with Jezebel, she said: "I'm like y'all, this is not a curry ... I've never made a curry." Roman's refusal to call it a curry and her denial of its ethnic background prompted critic Roxana Hadadi to call it "colonialism as cuisine."

In response to the backlash, NYT eventually added a line in Roman's recipe on their website, saying it "evokes stews found in South India and parts of the Caribbean."

Related content

MSG in Chinese food isn't unhealthy -- you're just racist, activists say

But some people have pushed back against the idea of cultural appropriation.

Gatekeeping food prevents innovation, some say: for instance, fusion foods are born from chefs experimenting with different cuisines. Many also point out that food is meant to be shared, and its power is often directly tied to the communal eating experience.

Setting boundaries around food -- for example, saying only Chinese people can cook Chinese food, or Chinese food can only be cooked a certain way, as those reacting to Ng's video posit -- seems like the antithesis of this sharing spirit in our globalized world.

But sharing is different from appropriating without respect, especially when the chefs who do it profit from portraying those foods.

A reckoning in food media

The Uncle Roger video is the latest in a string of incidents that have drawn attention to issues surrounding food and culture. This summer has seen the reckoning on race and racism, embodied by the Black Lives Matter movement, spread from the streets to newsrooms and companies.

Within food media, Bon Appetit -- owned by Conde Nast -- is the best-known example. Current staffers, including assistant food editor Sohla El-Waylly, accused the company of underpaying and exploiting employees of color, and viewers called out the brand for numerous instances of food appropriation.

For instance, irate viewers pointed to the time Bon Appetit had a White chef demonstrate how to cook Vietnamese pho, with the title "PSA: This Is How You Should Be Eating Pho." There was also the time they "reinvented" the Filipino dessert Halo-halo by stuffing it with gummy bears and popcorn, spurring scorn from readers.

Each time, the brand would issue an apology and a promise to do better -- but it has been happening for years.

After this summer's explosive allegations, the company released a statement in June, acknowledging that "BA's recipes for Vietnamese pho, mumbo sauce, flaky bread, and White-guy kimchi all erased these recipes' origins or, worse, lampooned them."

Related content

Bon Appetit vows to resolve pay inequities and prioritize people of color for editor in chief search

"In all these cases and more, BA has been called out for appropriation, for decontextualizing recipes from non-White cultures, and for knighting 'experts' without considering if that person should, in fact, claim mastery of a cuisine that isn't theirs," wrote Joey Hernandez, BA's research director, in the statement.

The Bon Appetit debacle also prompted other questions about biases within established institutions. Who chooses what dishes get more coverage? Why do publications continue to use language that frames "ethnic" food as occasionally bizarre and often incomprehensible -- for example, Bloomberg calling tofu a "white, chewy and bland" food people are "learning to love?" Bloomberg eventually removed these phrases from their article after international backlash.

And why are "ethnic" chefs -- a euphemism for non-Whites -- often paid less? Bon Appetit fans were further outraged when Somali chef Hawa Hassan revealed last month that she was only paid $400 per video, and El-Waylly blasted Bon Appetit for only paying her $50,000 to "assist mostly white editors with significantly less experience than me."

These themes sound abstract at times -- but they're linked to and help perpetuate broader real-life inequalities such as workplace discrimination, pay inequity, power imbalances and prevailing Whiteness in the food world.

Ng and Patel may not have intended for their respective videos, and upcoming collaboration, to raise these questions.

But viewers' frustrations are inherently tied to the idea that there is an authentic way to cook fried rice, and that Patel's errors are made worse by the fact she is a non-Chinese chef presenting herself as an authority on the dish.

"FOR ANYONE WHO IS TRYING TO SAY THERE ARE MULTIPLE WAYS OF COOKING RICE, WELL OF COURSE THERE ARE. AND I LOVE THEM ALL," tweeted Yang, the Asian American writer. "BUT THIS IS *NOT* HOW YOU MAKE DELICIOUS FRIED RICE, THE DISH OF MY PEOPLES, THE SUBJECT OF THIS VIDEO."

https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/uncle-roger-rice-food-appropriation-intl-hnk/index.html

 

SA should start growing much more rice – soon – as India and others impose Covid-19 limits

Business Insider SA

 Jul 29, 2020, 01:36 PM

·         Description: https://cdn.24.co.za/files/Cms/General/d/7009/9b4d5d6bec5e4b37b52f1c90857e57de.pngDescription: Rice exports being loaded in Thailand (file)

Workers load a ship with rice in Bang Pakong, Thailand. (Getty)

·         It is not yet clear what the impact will be in the global market after several countries banned or restricted rice exports due to Covid-19, says the National Agricultural Marketing Council.

·         South Africa should be okay for now, though.

·         But the country really needs to look into ramping up on local rice production, the body says – and needs to get over the idea that you need lots of water to grow it.

·         Go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za for more stories.


Restrictions, and even outright bans, on exporting rice imposed by several amid Covid-19 should not have a short-term impact on South Africa, the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) said in commentary published on Wednesday.

But SA should be ramping up on local production anyway.

Various restrictions on rice were imposed, and in some cases are still in place, by 12 countries: Vietnam, the Philippines, Myanmar, Mali, India, Kyrgyzstan, Cambodia, El Salvador, Russia, Armenia, Tajikistan, and Belarus.

That could impact even the price of other staples, such as potatoes and mielie meal; "negative implications in the form of a drastic increase in the retail prices of rice and the other closely related staple food items are bound to arise if the various value chain or market players raise fears of dwindling rice stocks in the country," said NAMC agricultural economist and trade analyst Moses Lubinga.

Some restrictions were already dropped in mid-May, though.

"[A]vailable trade statistical data cannot provide a clear picture of the actual implications coupled with the major uncertainty about the duration of these restrictions. Moreover, the volume of rice consignments, if any, that were in transit at the time these trade restrictions came into force is also not known," said Lubinga.

Still, SA imports more than 70% of its rice from Thailand, and much of the remainder from India, and so "there are no foreseeable consequences for South Africa due to the restrictive trade measures imposed on rice by some countries during the Covid-19 pandemic, especially if the trade measures are not in effect for a prolonged period," said Lubinga.

And SA should be able to make up for a shortage in rice with maize meal without too much trouble.

Even so, the NAMC is strongly recommending that SA ramps up on the very small amount of rice produced domestically "in preparation for similar unforeseen trade- distorting shocks that may arise in the near future."

"The school of thought that South Africa is a water-scarce country, thereby implying that the country cannot venture into commercial rice production, might have to be revisited since existing scientific evidence suggests that there are a number of upland rice varieties that give good yields on dryland," said Lubinga.

If it looks elsewhere on the continent, SA may also find places where it can "co-invest in rice production in countries with the comparative and competitive advantage to do so, such that rice imports from those specific countries become easily accessible and affordable to South Africa’s consumers," Lubinga said.

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

·         Posted: Jul 30, 2020 07:16 AM (IST)

Laxity in issuing property tax bills

House/property tax running in many crores is lying piled up in the Municipal Corporation of Hisar. The accumulation of the taxes is not due to the reluctance of the payers but it must be attributed to the lackadaisical functioning of the MC as the bills of house/property tax are not issued yearly. Besides, the record is not updated. How ludicrous is this that the tax payers on certain occasion are asked to produce the receipt of tax paid last time. This time, the MC is on toes to recover the taxes by handing over bills for years together, causing monetary hardships. To avert the piling up of taxes and inconvenience to the tax payers, the MCs in Haryana should issue yearly bills without fail. Baljeet Singh, Hisar

Slow pace of road construction

A stretch of the Kurukshetra road near the railway crossing of Teek village in Kaithal is lying incomplete for years, putting commuters’ lives at risk. Both sides of the road have deep pits, which often get filled with water during monsoon. The department concerned is waiting for any untoward incident to happen. It is our traditional way to keep the work pending while making roads. A final touch is never given. Only making tall claims interests our government, whichever is in power. Kapil Sharma, Kaithal

Social distancing goes for a toss

Amid spiraling Covid cases, people are flouting social-distancing norms and are putting theirs as well as others’ lives in danger. No social distancing is being followed even in key areas like market and government offices. Self-awareness is the need of the hour as wearing masks, frequently washing hands and social distancing are the only ways to lessen the chances of being infected or spreading the deadly virus. Everyone needs to realise that the risk of acquiring Covid is closer than we think. Awareness campaigns should not fall silent. The authorities concerned must adopt strict measures towards the effective implementation of precautionary guidelines issued by the government for the welfare of citizens. Brij Mohan Kumar Tehri, Tohana

Roadside encroachments on the rise The busiest station road of Yamunanagar city is almost entirely encroached upon by local vendors i.e. rehriwalas and fruit-sellers, etc. The movement of traffic is badly affected, resulting in frequent Jams. The haphazard parking of vehicles on this road make the position more critical. The local MC/police authorities have not been paying any attention to this problem since long, leading to the worsening of situation. The six-laning of road from fountain Chowk to Agrasen Chowk on this stretch has become useless due to encroachments. I request the administration to conduct frequent drives to control the rising problem of encroachments on the roads. Suresh Kumar, Yamunanagar

Corruption at its peak

Whenever a political crisis happens in any state, the MLAs, especially Independent ones, start demanding money and are offered exorbitant amount, sometimes even up to Rs 30 crore each like in Rajasthan. In Haryana, during the lockdown, the liquor mafia sold illegal booze worth crores day and night, exposing the political-bureaucratic-criminal nexus. Now we are told that during the lockdown, the entire administration facilitated the officials to go ahead with the registration of properties in bulk, breaking all kinds of rules and the scandal could run in thousands of crores. Similarly, sometime ago rice millers played all types of illegal tricks to mint money. It appears that the government has no interest to set up an example of honesty before the electorates. Ramesh Gupta, Narwana

 

 

 

 

The Central Government has given time until August 31 to produce the residual rice of CMR to all 1314 rice millers of Haryana together with Karnal. In which orders have been given to produce 100 %. However, rice millers have been asking for time until 15 September.

commercial

In the paddy given by the central authorities, after the lockdown, the time until June 30 was given to the mills of Punjab and Haryana until July 15. According to the Food and Supplies Department, 40 lakh metric tonnes of rice have been delivered to date, whereas 2.5467 lakh metric tonnes should be provided. In Karnal district, 108 rice mills primarily owe 11.66 lakh quintals of rice. Which couldn’t be provided until 15 July.

Now when the federal government began strictly, there was a panic within the millers. An FIR has additionally been lodged towards a rice mill in Panipat. While the top of the Haryana Rice Millers Association, Hansraj Singla, had written a letter on July 4, demanding an extension from the division. District Food and Civil Supplies Controller Nishant Rathi mentioned that the Union Food and Supplies Ministry has issued an order to the Haryana authorities to present time until August 31 to produce CMR rice. In the identical interval, the excellent rice will even should be provided to the Central Pool.

About Post Author

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Abigale Lormen

Abigale is a Masters in Business Administration by education. After completing her post-graduation, Abigale jumped the journalism bandwagon as a freelance journalist. Soon after that she landed a job of reporter and has been climbing the news industry ladder ever since to reach the post of editor at Our Bitcoin News.

https://ourbitcoinnews.com/rice-millers-got-time-till-august-31-to-supply-cmr-rice/

 

 

 

Harvest Hits Stride in Louisiana

By Kane Webb

 

LAKE CHARLES, LA -- Louisiana's rice harvest is gaining momentum following rains that swept across the southern part of the state as a result of Hurricane Hanna's pass through the Gulf Coast region last week.  Some areas saw rains daily, while others had breaks in between bands to allow for a few hours of harvesting.  Now that Hanna has exited, the hope is that weather patterns return to normal as a majority of the crop is nearing harvest.

 

Early reports on yields are promising, with many growers indicating yields are better than last year, and the overall crop is looking better than it has in the previous few years.  This is good news as we head into the bulk of the rice harvest in southwest Louisiana, and an optimistic outlook for growers further north as they begin harvesting in the coming weeks.

 

"Our first fields did well, but we see yields increasing as we keep going", said Randy Thibodeaux of the Thibodeaux Ag Group in Morse.  "I don't know if we're going to break any records, but it's encouraging and a welcome change over the last few years crop." 

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Further north in Evangeline Parish, rice farmer Kane Fontenot said, "We're just beginning to scratch the surface.  The two fields we've cut so far have been really good, well above last year's yield.  Over the next few weeks, everyone should be running wide open, as most of the rice in our area will be ready, and all indications seem to point to a better crop than the last year, and that's reassuring news."

 

While the rain events have slowed down harvest, they haven't put a complete stop to it. 

Description: C:\Users\abc\Downloads\unnamed (1).jpg

"After recent rains, field conditions are getting softer than most prefer, especially considering our second crop and dealing with the ruts we'll make", said Eric Unkel, who farms rice in Allen Parish.  "It's easier to deal with the little things when the yields are more in line with what you expect them to be, which is not something we've been able to say the last few years."

 

Hot Dog Rice Krispies Treats Combine Childhood Staple Snacks

 

by Michael Walsh

Jul 28 2020 • 9:00 AM

On The Good Place, when Chidi learned there was an afterlife but that there was no way for him to avoid eternal damnation, he had the mother of all existential breakdowns. His despair led him to making chili with marshmallow Peeps and M&Ms. Which I then personally tried myself. It remains the single worst food I’ve ever eaten/gagged up, and after that horrible night, I swore I would never again try something so obviously vile.

But that was before 2020 became a worldwide existential crisis. Now I think I understand where Chidi was coming from. So when it comes to this chef’s new Frankenstein concoction of Hot Dog Rice Krispies Treats, I say, “Sure, why not?”

Yup, that is a real “food.”

It’s the Vulgar Chef‘s latest hybrid monstrosity (which we first came across at Boing Boing, though we won’t hold that against them). It really is….something. This item combines the classic recipe for Rice Krispies Treats with cut up pieces of hot dog. You can cook it like normal Rice Krispies Treats, just with the addition of leftover processed “pork” mixed in. As if that unholy marriage isn’t bizarre enough, it’s then smeared with relish, mustard, and ketchup.

If that sounds absolutely disgusting to you, then congratulations. You’re still emotionally alive and your fight-or-flight response is still active. As for me? I’ll eat one of these nightmares if someone gives me one. Heck, compared to that Peeps and M&Ms chili, this seems downright delectable.

Actually…maybe it doesn’t.

It’s interesting that both dishes call for copious amounts of marshmallow. Maybe it’s the food’s familiar, comforting taste and soft consistency that makes it perfect for people in crisis.

NBC

People like Chidi (and everyone alive in the year 2020) might be the only ones who could even come up with dishes like this.

https://nerdist.com/article/hot-dog-rice-krispies-treats/

 

California Rice Pilot Salmon Project Yields Great Results

By Paul Buttner

The second year of our Pilot Salmon Project fieldwork has yielded some exciting results and should pave the way for the Rice Commission and our fish conservation partners to develop methods to utilize winter-flooded rice fields to help struggling salmon populations.

In late-March, we released nearly 350 baby salmon that were raised in rice fields. Later, we released a set of control groups that were reared and released using more traditional approaches. Fish in both of these groups were fitted with a very sophisticated tag, allowing us to track their travels through the watershed and out to the ocean. Our hope was to demonstrate rice field-reared fish might survive their journey out to the ocean better than those that are raised in hatcheries. We hypothesized this possible outcome based on previous studies showing that salmon grow very fast in rice fields because of the abundance of their natural food sources in these fields. I’m happy to say that our 2020 graduating class of our young salmon did not let us down!

Before getting to the results, it’s probably best to understand what reasonably expected salmon survival rates are from year-to-year. In extremely high-water years, it is possible to get to as high as 15 to 20 percent survival. However, those years are quite rare. In drought years, similar to the 2019/20 season, expected survival is typically around zero to 3 percent and is often close to zero. The outmigration survival rate of our 2020 rice field-reared salmon was nearly 4.5 percent. This was nearly 4.5 times higher than our control groups and substantially higher than other similar tagging study during this period. We could not be happier with these results and they will now serve as the basis for further work by CRC and its fish conservation partners to continue efforts to develop a larger-scale strategy to use our fields to help salmon just as we have used them to help birds for decades now.

We want to thank UC Davis and CalTrout for their extraordinary work in the field over these past two years. And, of course, this project could not be possible without the help of our funding partners and participating growers. Special thanks to the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Syngenta for their major contributions and our long list of supporting partners including S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, GrowWest, Corteva, Valent, Almond Board of California, NovaSource, Conaway Ranch and River Garden Farms. We also want to specially recognize both U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife for supplying us with hatchery fish to support this important work and for technical expertise on key aspects of the work.


Paul Buttner is Manager of Environmental Affairs for the California Rice Commission.

 

Description: https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-4auE-N_U7Ag/UKazGnJk_jI/AAAAAAAAAgg/QavbYGL1SFA/s400/PB+Profile+photo_1.jpg

https://calrice.org/california-rice-pilot-salmon-project-yields-great-results/

 

California Rice Pilot Salmon Project Yields Great Results

By Paul Buttner

The second year of our Pilot Salmon Project fieldwork has yielded some exciting results and should pave the way for the Rice Commission and our fish conservation partners to develop methods to utilize winter-flooded rice fields to help struggling salmon populations.

In late-March, we released nearly 350 baby salmon that were raised in rice fields. Later, we released a set of control groups that were reared and released using more traditional approaches. Fish in both of these groups were fitted with a very sophisticated tag, allowing us to track their travels through the watershed and out to the ocean. Our hope was to demonstrate rice field-reared fish might survive their journey out to the ocean better than those that are raised in hatcheries. We hypothesized this possible outcome based on previous studies showing that salmon grow very fast in rice fields because of the abundance of their natural food sources in these fields. I’m happy to say that our 2020 graduating class of our young salmon did not let us down!

Before getting to the results, it’s probably best to understand what reasonably expected salmon survival rates are from year-to-year. In extremely high-water years, it is possible to get to as high as 15 to 20 percent survival. However, those years are quite rare. In drought years, similar to the 2019/20 season, expected survival is typically around zero to 3 percent and is often close to zero.

The outmigration survival rate of our 2020 rice field-reared salmon was nearly 4.5 percent. This was nearly 4.5 times higher than our control groups and substantially higher than other similar tagging study during this period. We could not be happier with these results and they will now serve as the basis for further work by CRC and its fish conservation partners to continue efforts to develop a larger-scale strategy to use our fields to help salmon just as we have used them to help birds for decades now.

We want to thank UC Davis and CalTrout for their extraordinary work in the field over these past two years. And, of course, this project could not be possible without the help of our funding partners and participating growers. Special thanks to the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Syngenta for their major contributions and our long list of supporting partners including S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, GrowWest, Corteva, Valent, Almond Board of California, NovaSource, Conaway Ranch and River Garden Farms. We also want to specially recognize both U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife for supplying us with hatchery fish to support this important work and for technical expertise on key aspects of the work.


Paul Buttner is Manager of Environmental Affairs for the California Rice Commission.

https://calrice.org/california-rice-pilot-salmon-project-yields-great-results/

 

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) offices in London 

(Image: Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)

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A number of Uncle Ben's rice packets are being urgently recalled because they might contain glass.

Mars Food UK is recalling Uncle Ben's Brown Basmati ready to heat rice pouches as a precaution due to the "possibility of the presence of glass". It's not been stated how glass may have got into the packets.

A notice issued by the Food Standards Agency on Monday (July 27) said certain batches of the product are unsafe to eat.

The 250g Uncle Ben's Brown Basmati pouches which have been affected, including their best before dates, are listed below:

·         November 17, 2020

·         December 8, 2020

·         December 9, 2020

·         January 8, 2021

·         January 18, 2021

·         January 19, 2021

·         March 2, 2021

·         March 16, 2021

·         March 20, 2021

·         May 24, 2021

·         June 14, 2021

·         June 15, 2021

·         July 3, 2021

·         July 19, 2021

The company says no other products or best before dates are affected by this recall.

Find out how you can get more news from SurreyLive straight to your inbox HERE.

Any customers who have purchased the above items should return them to the store from where they were bought or dispose of them and contact the Uncle Ben's consumer care line on 0800 952 1234 for a full refund.

https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/packs-rice-urgently-recalled-because-18673240

Source: Rice pledging debt halved

Contentious scheme's legacy still lingers

PUBLISHED : 29 JUL 2020 AT 06:12

NEWSPAPER SECTION: BUSINESS

WRITER: WICHIT CHANTANUSORNSIRI

Description: The rice pledging scheme for rice farmers, running from 2011 to 2014, was the largest rice market intervention scheme in Thai history. (Photo by Sunthorn Pongpao)The rice pledging scheme for rice farmers, running from 2011 to 2014, was the largest rice market intervention scheme in Thai history. (Photo by Sunthorn Pongpao)

The debt burden from the rice pledging scheme during Yingluck Shinawatra's government has declined by more than half, says the Public Debt Management Office (PDMO).

The debt amount accumulated since year-end 2014 from the rice pledging scheme, one of the flagship populist policies of the ousted administration, is valued at 550 billion baht, said a PDMO source who requested anonymity.

Almost 10 years have passed since the scheme's emergence in 2011. The debt stands at 211 billion baht and will take around eight more years to be paid off.

The PDMO set a budget to 23 billion baht of the principal per year.

In total, the debt repayment period will cover 18 years starting from the first year of indebtedness, said the source.

·         Scheme at a crossroads

·         Public debt not scary yet, PDMO says

·         Rice pledging hoard cleared

The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperative has shouldered the debt burden through borrowings, with the Finance Ministry as the loan guarantor.

The rice pledging scheme, running from 2011 to 2014, has become the largest rice market intervention programme in Thai history.

The government used money worth 985 billion baht to purchase 54.4 million tonnes of paddy.

Throughout the scheme, the price at which the government bought from farmers was unprecedentedly high, 50% more than the market price, and for the first time it bought unlimited amounts of rice. This meant the scale of the loss was massive, said Peeradej Tanruangporn, a researcher at the Thailand Development Research Institute.

There is debate over how much loss the scheme incurred per year, with calculations ranging 150-200 billion baht or even as high as 500 billion baht.

Rice pledging also decreased the competitiveness of Thai rice producers. One easy measure of competitiveness is market share, which Thailand lost a lot because the government failed to sell the rice.

The pledged price also resulted in a deterioration of rice stock and sub-standard rice quality. The government had to shoulder the cost of storing the huge surplus of rice.

According to the Finance Ministry, the closed accounts of the rice pledging scheme from 2004 to May 22, 2014 showed losses tallied at 682 billion baht for a total of 15 projects, with 84 million tonnes of paddy bought.

Of the amount, 518 billion baht was attributed to the Yingluck Shinawatra administration's rice pledging scheme.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1959167/source-rice-pledging-debt-halved