Wednesday, August 26, 2020

25 - 26th August,2020 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter

 


Future of food security? UAE seeks to reduce import reliance with crop growing projects

By Guan Yu Lim

26-Aug-2020 - Last updated on 26-Aug-2020 at 02:43 GMT

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Description: UAE embarks on agri-research to test crop varieties suitable for weather and environmental conditions ©MOCCAEUAE embarks on agri-research to test crop varieties suitable for weather and environmental conditions ©MOCCAE

Related tags: Uae, Rice, Food security, South korea

The UAE is conducting several research projects to try and boost food security and reduce reliance on imports – including trying to grow to test crop varieties that are suitable for the country’s harsh weather and environmental conditions.

Among the crops being tested include quinoa, barley, wheat, and most recently rice.

UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) and South Korea’s Rural Development Administration (RDA) is working on sowing more varieties of rice in the first-of-its kind rice cultivation research project between the two countries.

This follows a successful pilot phase where Japonica and Indica rice varieties were sowed in November 2019 and harvested in May this year. These rice varieties were chosen for their ability to tolerate heat, salinity and poor conditions.

The next step of the research project will include other varieties including basmati and slated to start in Q4 2020. It will be grown at the MOCCAE’s research center in Al Dhaid, Sharjah.

Mohamed Al Dhanhani, Director of the Agriculture Development and Health Department at UAE’s MOCCAE told FoodNavigator-Asia​ that UAE mostly imports its rice from India, China, Egypt, and USA.

Growing rice in desert

He said UAE had limited natural water resources and arid land, which proved more challenging for a water intensive crop like rice.

We knew that the soil quality was not optimal and needed supplements and nutrients. Underground water is too saline to use in rice cultivation, so we used desalinated water​.”

In the first phase of the rice research project, an underground drip irrigation system was installed to reduce the cost and amount of water used for the crops.

UAE has to deal with water scarcity and salinity of available water, so we focused on using modern irrigation technologies to optimise the utilisation of water​.”

In addition, UAE’s extreme weather was a limited factor in cultivating rice, especially in open field conditions.

However, with the coordination achieved between the UAE and Korean research teams, we were able to identify the most suitable time to enhance the germination of the seedlings and ensure the process did not damage the crop in any way​.”

The first phase yielded about 763 kg of rice per 1,000 square meters.

Asked on why MOCCAE selected South Korea as its agricultural research partner, Al Dhanhani explained: “We chose to partner with South Korea because it has advanced agricultural research experience, especially in a hot climate, which is relevant to us​.”

Moreover, the country has well-established rice cultivation technologies that can help farming communities in countries where rice and vegetable production requires more innovative methods​.”

The research project was not limited to rice cultivation only as the two countries have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on agricultural research. “Our research collaboration will cover several areas such as closed-loop farming systems, pest control, vegetable production, livestock, and rice cultivation is (just) one of them​.”

The harvested rice will only be put to commercial use after the completion of testing to ensure its compliance with standard specifications.

Al Dhanhani highlighted: “This type of research is important for the UAE and for the world as it presents new solutions to adapt to the accelerating impacts of climate change.

(While) such research projects might not be economically viable at the present time, they are important for the future of food security​.”

This is the first time rice is being researched and grown in UAE. Crops currently grown in UAE include hydroponic vegetables, mushroom and tomatoes. 

 

 

Australian study finds plastic in 100% of seafood samples

 ‘Considering an average serving, a seafood eater could be exposed to up to 30mg of plastic – equivalent to the average weight of a grain of rice’

A recent Australian study has found plastic in all samples of popularly consumed seafood including crabs, oysters, farmed tiger prawns, wild squid and wild sardines.

The study led by the University of Exeter and the University of Queensland and published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology analyzed seafood samples for five different kinds of plastics commonly used in packaging and typically found in marine litter.

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According to the release, researchers found trace levels of plastic contamination in each sample, with the highest amount found in sardines.

Description: Australian study finds plastic in 100% of seafood samplesImage: University of Queensland

Study findings

A new technique, which involves using chemicals to dissolve the plastic from the edible tissue and analysed in a machine to determine the type of plastic helped the team identify and measure the level of plastic within the tissues of each sample.

While polyvinyl chloride- a widely used synthetic plastic polymer was found in each sample, polyethylene-the world’s most common plastic was found in the highest concentration.

The amount of plastic found in each sample was: 0.04mgs in squid, 0.07mgs in prawns, 0.1mg in oysters, 0.3mgs in crabs and 2.9mgs in sardines.

Description: Seafood now contains 283% more parasitesImage: Eskymaks / shutterstock.com

‘Weight of a grain of rice’

The study further discussed how plastic frequently found in waterways and oceans is broken down to microplastics and eaten by these marine creatures eventually ending up on our plates.

Francisca Ribeiro, the lead author of the study, said in a UQ press release: “Considering an average serving, a seafood eater could be exposed to approximately 0.7mg of plastic when ingesting an average serving of oysters or squid, and up to 30mg of plastic when eating sardines, respectively.

“For comparison, 30mg is the average weight of a grain of rice.”

The study pointed out that microplastic ingestion is not restricted to eating seafood only, and can occur from bottled water, sea salt, beer and honey, as well as the dust that settles on our meals.

‘Risks to human health’

While the study does not shed light on the implication of eating this plastic laden seafood, the research team said the new testing method will help in determining what microplastic levels can be considered harmful and evaluating the possible risks of ingesting microplastics in food.

 “We do not fully understand the risks to human health of ingesting plastic, but this new method will make it easier for us to find out,” study co-author, Tamara Galloway said.

The study’s findings are meaningful in light of another recent research presented at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Fall 2020 Virtual Meeting, which showed that microscopic bits of plastic can be absorbed and deposited in human tissue.

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“You can find plastics contaminating the environment at virtually every location on the globe and in a few short decades, we’ve gone from seeing plastic as a wonderful benefit to considering it a threat,” study co-author Charles Rolsky from Arizona State University (ASU) said.

“There’s evidence that plastic is making its way into our bodies, but very few studies have looked for it there,” he added. Artist Sheng-Ying Pao incorporates an experimental,

 

 

CRISPR-modified rice into a traditional Chinese material: rice paper. (UC Berkeley video by Stephen McNally with Roxanne Makasdjian)

 

To Sheng-Ying Pao, the power of reframing CRISPR lies in what is absolutely ordinary: paper. In CRISPaper, Pao revisited a cultural past in the ancient art of papermaking.

Over thousands of years, farmers painstakingly converted the wild rice plant into a staple crop. Today, researchers are using CRISPR to change genes to optimize grain yield. However, rice is more than food. In ancient China, it was used to make paper.

Pao took rice stalks from plants edited with CRISPR and ground the fibers into pulp. She then poured the pulp over a mesh screen. Every time she dipped the screen into water, the plant fibers would lift and resettle on top of the mesh, eventually making paper. Through the genome-edited rice plant, an ancient practice was juxtaposed with cutting-edge technology. Pao’s meditative ritual of papermaking is a counterbalance to the strangeness of the source material.

She explains, “We all know that paper wouldn’t last forever. And just because of that, we put in extra care.” This paper is delicate indeed. Light shines through in patches where the fiber is less dense. Woven into the paper, as if growing out of it, is a dried rice stalk. CRISPR might be a powerful technology, but Pao has used it to turn what is familiar into something fragile and unique

https://news.berkeley.edu/story_jump/crispaper-understanding-gene-editing-through-art/

 

Punjab to procure 170 lakh tonnes paddy; goes online for smooth milling operations

Cabinet approves the new Punjab Custom Milling Policy aimed at ensuring seamless milling of paddy and delivery of rice into the Central pool from more than 4,150 mills operating in the state

CHANDIGARH Updated: Aug 25, 2020 17:17 IST

Description: HT Correspondent

HT Correspondent

Hindustan Times, Chandigarh

The state government will launch a dedicated portal, www.anaajkharid.in, for smooth paddy procurement. The whole gamut of yearly procurement operations – from allotment of mills, their registration, application of release order and deposit of fee, besides all important monitoring of stocks, will be done online now on.(HT file photo)

     

Chandigarh: Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, all rice delivery operations in Punjab, including allotment, registration and physical verification of rice mills, will be managed and monitored online, under the new Punjab Custom Milling Policy for paddy for the 2020-21 kharif season.

The state cabinet on Tuesday approved the new policy, aimed at ensuring seamless milling of paddy and delivery of rice into the Central Pool from more than 4,150 mills operating in the state. The state is expected to procure 170 lakh metric tonnes (MTs) of paddy during the season beginning on October 1, with a total area under paddy sowing this year at 26.6 lakh hectares. Last year, 29.2 lakh hectares was under paddy cultivation.

www.anaajkharid.in PORTAL LAUNCHED

The state government will launch a dedicated portal, www.anaajkharid.in, for smooth paddy procurement. The whole gamut of yearly procurement operations – from allotment of mills, their registration, application of release order and deposit of fee, besides all important monitoring of stocks, will be done online now on, according to an official spokesperson.

State procuring agencies, including Pungrain, Markfed, Punsup, Punjab State Warehousing Corporation (PSWC) and rice-millers and other stakeholders will operate and interact on the website, with the department of food, civil supplies and consumer affairs acting as the nodal department.

The spokesperson said that under the policy, the sole criterion for allotment of free paddy to mills this season would be the miller’s performance in the previous year (kharif marketing season 2019-20), and an additional percentage-wise incentive would be provided to mills as per their date of delivery of rice against milling of custom-milled paddy, including RO paddy in the previous year.

Mills that had completed their entire milling by January 31, 2020, would be eligible for additional 15% of free paddy milled in 2019-20, as per the policy. Those who had completed delivery of rice by February 28, 2020, would get an additional 10% of free paddy.

ENHANCED BANK GUARANTEE

The government has also enhanced the bank guarantee for security of the stocks and millers will be required to furnish enhanced bank guarantee, equal to value of 10% of acquisition cost of allocable free paddy above 3,000 metric tonnes (MTs), as against 5% on 5,000 MTs last year. “Lowering of the threshold limit for submission of bank guarantee will bring an additional 1,000 mills within the direct monitoring ambit,” the spokesperson said.

In addition, a miller will have to purchase a minimum of 150 MTs of paddy in his own account or deposit an amount of Rs 5 lakh (non-refundable) in state treasury and Rs 5 lakh in the form of refundable security online in Pungrain account.

Another measure to guard against any paddy diversion is the decision to bring RO paddy into the ambit of custom milling security (CMR). Millers will be required to deposit Rs 125 for each MT for every paddy stored or part therefore, including RO paddy, with the agency concerned. To tackle the issue of moisture content in CMR, the policy stipulates compulsory installation of dryer and sortex for a new mill and/or in case of enhancement of capacity. The target is to complete the custom milling of paddy and delivering all due rice to Food Corporation of India by March 31, 2021.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/punjab-to-procure-170-lakh-tonnes-paddy-goes-online-for-smooth-milling-operations/story-HQqoQnFgo3eMuXaXWx6vJJ.html

 

Govt to present 5 ordinances for enactment in Aug 28 VS Session

 

Wednesday, 26 August 2020 | PNS | Chandigarh

Punjab Cabinet on Tuesday okayed the presentation of five Ordinances, introduced earlier by the State Government, for enactment in the forthcoming one-day session of the Vidhan Sabha on August 28, including amendment Bills related to regulation of private clinical establishments, temporary release of some prisoners amid Covid-19 pandemic, control of drugs dispensation by private de-addiction centres, industrial disputes and child labour.

As there is no legislation at present in the State to register or regulate private clinical establishments, the Government is enacting The Punjab Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Ordinance-2020 to bring the clinical establishments under a regulatory mechanism to ensure that there is more transparency in their functioning.

It also seeks to improve quality public healthcare, prevent overcharging of patients, and to lay down norms, terms of physical standards, medical standards, staff norms, record maintenance, reporting etc. The legislation will provide for such establishments to support the State during natural disasters, calamities as well as pandemics and epidemics.

 Considering the prevailing situation arising out of COVID-19 pandemic, the Cabinet approved the introduction of ‘The Punjab Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Amendment Ordinance, 2020 (Punjab Ordinance No. 1 of 2020)’ in the upcoming session.

The enactment of the legislation would pave the way for extending the period of parole in situations of disasters, epidemics, and extreme emergencies. “The rationale behind bringing the legislation is to enable the Jail Department to take measures to decongest jails, besides ensuring that the jails remain COVID-19 free, as readmitting the inmates released on parole or interim bail, who reside in different parts of State and outside, would expose other inmates to the risk of contracting COVID-19,” said the spokesperson.

Notably, the Punjab Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Act, 1962, did not have any provision through which parole of prisoners could be extended from 16 weeks and the condition of parole being availed on quarterly basis could be waived in unprecedented situations of disasters and epidemics.

In another move, the Cabinet has approved amendment to ‘The Punjab Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Counseling and Rehabilitation Centres Rules, 2011’ to enable the Health Department to control the private de-addiction centres dispensing Buprenorphine-Naloxone and monitor private psychiatric clinics in order to avoid misuse of drugs.

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985, was introduced by the Centre to prevent illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, to implement the provision of international conventions on Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and for matters connected therewith, and to make stringent provisions for the control and regulation of operations relating to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

As per section 78 of this Act, the State Government may, by notification in the official gazette, make rules for carrying out the purpose of this Act. The state Health and Family Welfare Department had earlier formulated the Punjab Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Counseling and Rehabilitation Centres Rules, 2011, in line with this provision.

The Cabinet has also given its nod for conversion of Ordinance amending section 2A, 25K, 25N, 25-O and fifth Schedule of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, into a Bill to be presented during the forthcoming session.

The amendment provides for enhancement of the threshold limit for applicability of Chapter V-B from the present limit of 100 to 300 workers. Apart from this, now workers will be eligible for three months of extra wages on retrenchments or on closure of establishments. This move will go a long way in further improving the process of ease of doing business.

The State Government will also present before the House necessary amendment for raising the number of workers for attracting the provisions of sub clause (a) and (b) of sub-section (4) of section 1 of the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970, from 20 to 50.

 

ONLINE PADDY PROCUREMENT, NEW CUSTOM MILLING POLICY APPROVED

For the first time, amid COVID-19, all rice delivery operations in Punjab, including allotment, registration and physical verification of rice mills through videos, will be undertaken online, under the new Punjab Custom Milling Policy for Paddy for Kharif 2020-21 — approved by the State Cabinet on Tuesday.

To ensure smooth paddy procurement this kharif season, the State Government has decided to launch a dedicated portal — www.anaajkharid.in — as a part of the new policy which is aimed at ensuring seamless milling of paddy and delivery of rice into the Central Pool from more than 4150 mills operating in the State.

The whole gamut of yearly procurement operations — from allotment of mills, their registration, application of release order, deposit of RO fee and levy or CMR security besides all important monitoring of stocks — will be done online now on a continuous basis, said an official spokesperson.

All the state procuring agencies — PUNGRAIN, MARKFED, PUNSUP, Punjab State Warehousing Corporation (PSWC) — including the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and the Rice Millers or their legal heirs as well as all other stakeholders will operate and interact on the website, with the Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs acting as the Nodal Department.

Under the policy, the sole criterion for allotment of free paddy to mills this season would be the miller’s performance in previous year, KMS 2019-20, and an additional percentage-wise incentive would be provided to mills as per their date of delivery of rice against milling of custom milled paddy, including RO paddy in the previous year.

Mills which had completed their entire milling by January 31, 2020, would be eligible for additional 15 percent of free paddy milled in 2019-20, as per the policy. Those who had completed delivery of rice by Feb 28, 2020, would get an additional 10% of free paddy.

For security of the stocks, millers this year would be required to furnish enhanced bank guarantee, equal to value of 10 percent of acquisition cost of allocable free paddy above 3,000 Metric Tonnes (MTs), as against five percent on 5,000 MTs last year.

Lowering of the threshold limit for submission of bank guarantee would bring an additional 1000-plus mills within the direct monitoring ambit.

In another measure to guard against any paddy diversion, RO paddy has been brought into the ambit of Custom Milling Security (CMR). Millers will be required to deposit Rs 125 for each MT for every paddy stored or part therefore, including RO paddy, with the concerned agency.

In another unique step, to tackle the issue of moisture content in CMR, the policy stipulates compulsory installation of Dryer and Sortex for a new mill and/or in case of enhancement of capacity.

The state is expected to procure 170 Lakh MTs of paddy during Kharif season beginning October 1, with total area under paddy sowing this year at 26.60 Lakh hectares, down from 29.20 Lakh hectares the previous season in line with the state’s crop diversification efforts. The target was to complete the Custom Milling of Paddy, thereby delivering all due rice to Food Corporation of India, by March 31, 2021.

Under the milling schedule prescribed, millers would have to deliver 35 percent of their total rice due by December 31, 2020, and 60 percent of total rice due by January 31, 2021, 80 percent of total rice due by February 28, 2021, and total rice due by March 31, 2021.

 

CABINET APPROVES INTRODUCTION OF PUNJAB GST (AMENDMENT) BILL

Paving way for simplification of provisions and processes to levy and collect taxes under Punjab GST, the Cabinet has approved the proposal for introduction of ‘The Punjab Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2020’. “The introduction of the Bill would not only ensure simplifications of provisions and processes but also make it more user-friendly. It envisioned to provide changes so as to make levy and collection of taxes under GST, which would be effective and easier for the taxpayers, like provisions related to composition levy, eligibility and conditions for taking Input Tax Credit, cancellation of registration, revocation of cancellation of registration, tax invoice, tax deduction at source, penalty und punishment for certain offences and transitional arrangements for Input Tax Credit.

 

 NOD TO SET UP SRI GURU TEG BAHADUR UNIVERSITY OF LAW AT TARN TARAN

The Cabinet has approved the establishment of a law university in the border district of Tarn Taran to commemorate the 400th birth anniversary of the Sikhs’ ninth master Guru Teg Bahadur, by approving the ‘Sri Guru Teg Bahadur State University of Law Bill – 2020’ for presentation in the forthcoming Assembly session. The draft Bill seeks “to establish and incorporate a State University for the development and advancement of legal education and for the purposes of imparting specialized and systematic instruction, training and research in the field of law and for the matters connected therewith or incidental thereto”.

 

Rs  1.5 CR ANNUAL RECURRING GRANT FOR 11 CONSTITUENT COLLEGES

To further improve the standard of higher education in the State, the Cabinet has approved the release of Rs 75.75 crore recurring grant for 11 more constituent colleges at Rs 1.5 crore per college per annum from the year 2016-17 to 2020-21. The Cabinet also okayed regular budgetary provision of Rs 1.5 crore per annum per college for the subsequent year. With this, the total number of colleges to which the State Government is paying recurring grant has gone up to 30.

 

 CONCERNED OVER FISCAL LOSSES DUE TO COVID, CABINET SEEKS COMPENSATION FROM CENTRE

Citing huge revenue losses suffered by the State Government on account of COVID pandemic and the resultant lockdown, the Punjab Cabinet on Tuesday sought adequate compensation from the Central Government to support the State in these difficult times.

The Cabinet, during a review of the state’s fiscal situation amid the pandemic, noted that the situation was grave, considering the decline in revenue collections over the first quarter of 2020-21 financial year and the estimated losses for the full current financial year.

A presentation made to the Cabinet by the Finance Department showed that the state’s own tax revenue collections for April-June 2020 period had gone down by a whopping 51 percent, with GST losses alone to the tune of 61 percent as against the budgetary estimates for this period. GST and VAT revenue collections for this quarter together went down by 54 percent, and the decline in total revenue receipts for April-June quarter was 21 percent.

Cabinet further noted with concern that in terms of state’s non-tax revenue collections, the shortfall against budgetary estimates for first quarter of 2020-21 was a massive 68 percent. The figures are as per the initial estimates derived from the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS), as accounts are yet to be received from Accountant General, Punjab.

The Cabinet observed that the situation was extremely grim, while calling for financial support from the Centre to compensate for these huge losses. The revenue loss would badly impact not just the battle against COVID, which was now peaking in the State, but also obstruct the implementation of key schemes and programmes of the State Government in addition to affecting routine expenses, including payment of salaries, pointed out the Council of Ministers.

The Central Govt needed to come out with urgent financial help for the State Government to tide Punjab over the current crisis, felt the Cabinet.

https://www.dailypioneer.com/2020/state-editions/govt-to-present-5-ordinances-for-enactment-in-aug-28-vs-session.html

 

PAG-AHON farmers earn from first harvest

 

Description: PAG-AHON-Project-1024x768

 

Farmer-beneficiaries of the “Sa Palay at Gulay, may Ani, Hanapbuhay, Oportunidad, at Nutrisyon,” (PAG-AHON) Project have earned income from their first harvest after a month of growing quick-maturing vegetables.

 

From the 50 key farmer-beneficiaries from Lupao Vegetable Growers Association (LVGA) who were trained under the crop diversification component, three vegetable growers already harvested 270 kilograms of pechay and mustard giving them a combined income of P10,400. The vegetables were planted mid-July.

 

A part of the Plant, Plant, Plant program of the Department of Agriculture (DA), PAG-AHON project aims to increase the harvest and income of rice farmers and provide farmers access to planting materials and diverse sources of nutrition. Other farmers are expected to harvest their vegetables within August.

 

According to Dr. Roel Suralta of DA-Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), PAG-AHON project lead, market-matching is among the major support they provided to farmers so that harvests would reach the consumers. The farmers’ harvests were sold to Manila-based Dizon Farms, a market linked by the East-West Seed Company, a project partner.

 

“Market is a key component in this project, otherwise, it won’t be sustainable. Project beneficiaries don’t have to transport their crops to the market. It’s the market that comes to them to collect their produce,” he said.

 

The harvest is from the farmers’ demo field where they practice the learning gained from training sessions.

 

The project also helped provide the Lupao community with food amid the limitations brought about by community quarantine.

 

“One of our major targets is to have enough food supply even during crises,” Suralta said.

 

The on-going training covers the medium-maturing vegetables such as papaya, bitter gourd, and cucumber.

 

“The first harvest for these vegetables is slated late September or early October,” he said adding that Agriculture Secretary William Dar is invited to grace the event.

 

Suralta said they are keen on observing the health protocols to maintain farmers’ safety.

 

“Instead of having a single training session for all of the farmers, they are clustered to 10 farmers per barangay to maintain social distancing during the sessions. We also practice other health protocols, such as the wearing of face masks and proper sanitation,” Suralta said.

 

On May 11, the local government of Lupao, Nueva Ecija, LVGA, and East West Seed Company signed a memorandum of understanding with DA-PhilRice to boost food production in the municipality through the PAG-AHON project.

 

 

PAG-AHON farmers earn from first harvest

 

Description: PAG-AHON-Project-1024x768

 

Farmer-beneficiaries of the “Sa Palay at Gulay, may Ani, Hanapbuhay, Oportunidad, at Nutrisyon,” (PAG-AHON) Project have earned income from their first harvest after a month of growing quick-maturing vegetables.

 

From the 50 key farmer-beneficiaries from Lupao Vegetable Growers Association (LVGA) who were trained under the crop diversification component, three vegetable growers already harvested 270 kilograms of pechay and mustard giving them a combined income of P10,400. The vegetables were planted mid-July.

 

A part of the Plant, Plant, Plant program of the Department of Agriculture (DA), PAG-AHON project aims to increase the harvest and income of rice farmers and provide farmers access to planting materials and diverse sources of nutrition. Other farmers are expected to harvest their vegetables within August.

 

According to Dr. Roel Suralta of DA-Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), PAG-AHON project lead, market-matching is among the major support they provided to farmers so that harvests would reach the consumers. The farmers’ harvests were sold to Manila-based Dizon Farms, a market linked by the East-West Seed Company, a project partner.

 

“Market is a key component in this project, otherwise, it won’t be sustainable. Project beneficiaries don’t have to transport their crops to the market. It’s the market that comes to them to collect their produce,” he said.

 

The harvest is from the farmers’ demo field where they practice the learning gained from training sessions.

 

The project also helped provide the Lupao community with food amid the limitations brought about by community quarantine.

 

“One of our major targets is to have enough food supply even during crises,” Suralta said.

 

The on-going training covers the medium-maturing vegetables such as papaya, bitter gourd, and cucumber.

 

“The first harvest for these vegetables is slated late September or early October,” he said adding that Agriculture Secretary William Dar is invited to grace the event.

 

Suralta said they are keen on observing the health protocols to maintain farmers’ safety.

 

“Instead of having a single training session for all of the farmers, they are clustered to 10 farmers per barangay to maintain social distancing during the sessions. We also practice other health protocols, such as the wearing of face masks and proper sanitation,” Suralta said.

 

On May 11, the local government of Lupao, Nueva Ecija, LVGA, and East West Seed Company signed a memorandum of understanding with DA-PhilRice to boost food production in the municipality through the PAG-AHON project

 

 

RCEF farmers post higher yield, income

 

Description: RCEF_Bacarra-Ilocos-Norte-4

RCEF field in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte

 

Farmer-recipients of inbred certified seeds from the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) – Seed Program are reporting higher harvests and additional income for the first half of the year.

 

A survey by our Socioeconomics Division (SED) showed that rice yield of more than 4,000 farmer-beneficiaries in 55 provinces averaged 4.14t/ha.

 

Dr. Jesusa Beltran, SED head, said that the harvest is higher by 0.44t/ha than the baseline yield of inbred seed users in the 2019 dry season.

 

The yield increment, valued at an average price of P17/kg, translates to almost P7,500/ha additional income per farmer-recipient, which helps them cope with the financial slash brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The DA-PhilRice survey, conducted through phone interview, also showed that more than half of respondents gained access to information materials circulated during seed distribution. About 97% of them reported that these helped improve their knowledge in rice farming.

 

Survey results were released following the recent Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) report showing that first-semester palay production had increased from 8.27 million tons in 2019 to 8.39 million tons in 2020.

 

Dr. Flordeliza Bordey, the Institute’s RCEF Program Management Office Director, said that yield mainly drove this year’s rice production growth in the first semester.

 

“Though still short of our peak yield in 2018, the observed yield recovery offsets the effect of the shrink in rice area harvested,” she emphasized.

 

For DA’s part, Sec. William Dar said the department had been intently monitoring the progress of RCEF implementation.

 

“We have been on our toes since last year, squarely confronting all challenges in the implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law, especially those on RCEF. We acknowledge the ‘birth pains,’ but we are now reaping the benefits, accruing to our farmer-beneficiaries. There’s no better way to tell the stories than to come from farmers themselves,” Dar said.

 

“We will continue to monitor, document, and share these farmers’ stories to inspire millions of their counterparts nationwide; faithfully serving them all as we conscientiously implement RCEF program components in the succeeding years through 2025,” the servant-leader added.

 

Rice grower Teodolfo Gindap of Barbaza, Antique gained his highest yield in his 20 years of farming thru the program that doubled his harvest to 3.8t. He used to harvest 1.5t from his 0.75ha even with good irrigation.

 

Gindap, who is enlisted in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA), also saved P3,000 from the distributed seeds.

 

“Seeds from the program are good choices because they are of high quality. This wet season, I planted NSIC Rc 402 – a new, early-maturing variety,” he said.

 

From March to August 2020, the program has delivered more than 2.4M bags for about 884,000 farmers.

 

“With more farmers reached this wet season, a more positive outlook in rice production is expected this second semester under favorable weather,” Bordey said.

 

Other than yield increase, program implementers also noted renewed farmers’ confidence to continue producing rice.

 

Flaviano Dator, president of Samahan ng Magpapalay ng Lucban in Quezon, used to describe farming as an unprofitable livelihood before the RCEF-Seed Program.

 

“Farm inputs including seeds are expensive, trapping many farmers in debt. But with the provision of free certified inbred seeds, farmers can save at least P1,500 per hectare, which motivated us to plant anew,” he said.

 

The RCEF-Seed Program is a component of Republic Act 11203 or Rice Tariffication Law, which was sponsored by Sen. Cynthia Villar, supported by the House of Representatives, and signed by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte. It allots a P10 billion fund every year for the rice farmers. The program is a 6-year government initiative to help the farmers defend themselves against open competition from the international rice market.

 

DA-PhilRice leads the implementation of the RCEF-Seed Program in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and Local Government Units. It also co-implements the RCEF-Rice Extension Services Program along with the Agricultural Training Institute, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Measuring rice grain size and shape faster

 

Description: CGD130808-11310005

 

The Rice Chemistry and Food Science Division (RCFSD) of Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) is developing an automated system that determines rice grain size and shape through digital image processing. The method will help breeders measure grain size, one of the factors that reveal its yielding capacity.

 

 

Going digital

 

Measuring grain size and shape manually is time-consuming, laborious, and straining to the eyes.

 

Early results of a research by Evelyn Bandonill, Dr. Jasper Tallada, and Jerry Adriano show that it is possible to fast-track the physical evaluation of the rice kernel.

 

Their study involved a flatbed scanner and a singulation template to capture the images of kernels at 800 dots per inch. The digital measurements are then defined using OpenCV-Phyton, a pixel-editing software. 

 

Automated measurement took only 12 seconds per kernel, four times quicker than the traditional way.

 

The newly developed method will be immensely advantageous compared to the routine procedure that measures grain length and width using an analog caliper.

 

“The manual system is also prone to human error because it requires dexterity in positioning the kernels on the caliper,” Bandonill said.

 

 

For brown rice, too

 

The study also included trials on brown rice. Tallada explained that the grain size and shape characteristics are more intact and stable in the brown rice form than in white rice because of the polishing operations. Additionally, measuring the dimensions of brown rice grains reflects more of the effects of breeding and crop management on the yield outcome.

 

 

Localized version

 

The greater target is to produce a local grain measurement device for easier access.

 

The RCFSD aims to develop an alternative equipment that is cheaper yet has quick grain-scanning ability just like the commercially available flatbed scanners partnered with OpenCV-Phyton programming language. Bandonill said the instruments SeedCount SC4 and Satake’s Grain Scanner RSQI 10A are available and may be imported but are expensive.

 

At PhilRice, a system called Milled Grain Classifier was developed with a capacity to process 6.2g of samples in less than 5 minutes, much faster than the conventional approach that needs up to 96 minutes for a set of only 30g samples. However, the system proves tiresome as the grains should be placed in straight rows and columns, which is difficult when hundreds of samples are involved.

 

“We need a system where the operator simply dumps a sample, images are quickly scanned, and the kernels are automatically measured,” Bandonill challenged herself.

 

The fast measuring capacity of larger samples of this localized automated system defines the size distribution better. This helps provide an accurate insight in the expression of genes during the breeding process.

 

“Chances are, the more samples we can scan in a shorter time, the faster we can pinpoint good-quality rice varieties, which is a sure headstart for breeders,” Bandonill said.

 

 

Global Food Aid Challenges and the Role of Rice on The Rice Stuff Podcast  

 

By Deborah Willenborg

 

ARLINGTON, VA -- USA Rice's food aid consultant, Rebecca Bratter, joined The Rice Stuff podcast this week to talk about the unprecedented challenges facing the humanitarian sector, how food aid addresses global problems, and where U.S.-grown rice fits in.

"With U.S. rice at record levels in food aid programs this year and more to come, we felt it was time to take a deep dive into these vital programs," said Michael Klein, USA Rice vice president of communications and domestic promotion and one of the podcast's hosts.  "Rebecca did a great job unpacking the multilayered world of food aid to explain the different programs, what their goals are, and how and where they are working.  If you are interested in how these programs work, you need to listen to this episode."

Bratter said at any given time upward of 50 countries are receiving vital food aid from the United States, and with experts describing today's global humanitarian crises as "biblical," the programs are needed now more than ever.

"We explored the differences in the major food aid programs that rice is involved in:  Food for Peace, Food for Progress, and the McGovern-Dole program," said podcast co-host Lesley Dixon.  "We also talked about fortified rice, which is a game changer, and other notable success stories that the U.S. rice industry is proudly a part of."

New episodes of The Rice Stuff are published on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month and can be found on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.  

All episodes and additional information can be found on the podcast's dedicated website at 
thericestuffpodcast.com.  The site includes a "Podcast 101" section on the "About" page for people new to the medium and a means to reach out to the show hosts and guests via the "Talk to Us" button.

 

 

CALL FOR PhD SCHOLARSHIP UNDER THE CLIMATE SMART RICE RESEARCH PROJECT (Re-Advertised)

 

Mon, 08/24/2020 - 17:15

 

COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE
DEPARTMENT OF CROP SCIENCE AND HORTICULTURE

 

The College of Agriculture of the Sokoine University of Agriculture, in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), of the Philippines and the University of Copenhagen, Denmark invites qualified and interested citizens of Tanzania to apply for PhD Scholarship under the Climate Smart Rice Research Project. The PhD student will focus on the Chemistry and Management of flooded and salt affected soils. 

Interested applicants should possess MSc. in Soil Science, Soil Science and Land Management or Soil Chemistry. All applicants for the scholarships should have a minimum GPA of 3.6 at BSc. level and a GPA of 4.0 at MSc. level. The applicants should submit application letters, Curriculum Vitae, a Concept note based on the area of focus (maximum 2,000 words), scanned copies of transcripts and certificates from recognized Universities. 

Experience in working on rice will be an added advantage for the applicants. Females are highly encouraged to apply. 

All applications should be sent electronically to Prof. S. Nchimbi-Msolla (nchimbi@sua.ac.tz). The deadline for application is two weeks from the date of this advertisement. Only shortlisted applicants will be invited for interview

https://www.sua.ac.tz/announcements/call-phd-scholarship-under-climate-smart-rice-research-project-re-advertised

Staff Correspondent |

      

 

 Rice prices rise further

 

Published: 22:08, Aug 24,2020

 

A file photo shows a trader waiting for customers at a shop at Demra in the capital recently. The price of the course variety of rice increased further on the city market, pushing lower income groups into much hardship amid loss of incomes due to the coronavirus outbreak. — Focusbangla photo

 

Description: https://www.newagebd.com/files/records/news/202008/114409_19.jpg

The price of the course variety of rice increased further on the city market, pushing lower income groups into much hardship amid loss of incomes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Although the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute in its latest report said that there would be more than 55 lakh tonnes of surplus rice after meeting local demand at the end of November this year, the price of the staple food continued to rise on the market.

Traders said that the prices of rice had increased twice in this month and the price of the course variety had witnessed the highest hike on the market.

They said that the course variety rice price had increased the highest on both the wholesale and retail markets due to the price hike of paddy.

Rice mill owners, however, said that government procurement was going on and the mill owners were giving the course variety of rice to the government warehouses that led to a supply shortage of the item on the market. 

The price of the course variety rose Tk 3-4 a kilogram in the last three days and the item sold for Tk 46-48 a kg on Monday.

The standard variety of BR-28 rice sold for Tk 50 a kg and the fine variety for Tk 52-54 a kg in the capital.

The standard variety of Miniket rice sold for Tk 56-58 while the fine variety sold for Tk 60-65 a kg on the day.

The fine variety of Najirshail rice retailed at Tk 62-65 a kg.

According to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh, the price of rice had increased by 4.55 per cent in the last one week while the price had increased by 8.24 per cent in the last one month.

The data also showed that the prices of the fine varieties had increased by 5.26 per cent in one month.

The price of the coarse variety had increased by 27.78 per cent or Tk 10 a kg in one year while that of the fine variety had increased by 16.50 or Tk 8 a kg in the period, the government data showed. 

More about:

https://www.newagebd.net/article/114409/rice-prices-rise-further

 

Antagonistic genes modify rice plant growth

Description: Antagonistic genes modify rice plant growthA short paddy rice variety (above) and long deepwater variety (below) were placed in rising levels of deep water. ACE1 was specifically triggered in the deepwater variety, stimulating elongation above water level. Credit: Motoyuki Ashikari

Scientists at Nagoya University and colleagues in Japan have identified two antagonistic genes involved in rice plant stem growth. Their findings, published in the journal Nature, could lead to new ways for genetically modifying rice crops.

Longer, deepwater rice crops are planted in South Asia and West Africa to survive floods. Shorter paddy rice varieties are widely cultivated worldwide because they are easier to harvest.

A key driver of plant growth is a hormone called gibberellic acid. It activates cell division in the stem tissue, causing the stem to lengthen. Breeders know they can control plant height by stimulating or inhibiting gibberellic acid activity. However, exactly how this works has been unclear.

Bioscientist Motoyuki Ashikari has been studying the growth and evolution of rice for years. He and a team of researchers conducted genetic studies and identified two genes that are involved in regulating rice plant growth.

"We showed that gibberellic acid is necessary, but not enough, for stem elongation," says Ashikari.

Interestingly, the two genes, called ACCELERATOR OF INTERNODE ELONGATION 1 (ACE1) and DECELERATOR OF INTERNODE ELONGATION 1 (DEC1), counteract each other as part of the regulation process.

In the presence of gibberellic acid, ACE1 stimulates cell division and elongation of the stem's "internode" sections in deepwater rice. The shorter paddy rice variety did not have a functional ACE1 gene, but it did have a homologous ACE1-like gene that was switched on to activate stem elongation at a different point of plant development.

DEC1 was found in both the deepwater and paddy rice varieties. Its expression was reduced when deepwater rice plants were placed in deep water or treated with gibberellic acid. However, DEC1 continued to be expressed in paddy rice, even under the same conditions, suggesting this gene helps to suppress stem growth.

"We also found that ACE1 and DEC1 are conserved and functional in other plant species, like barley and other grasses, so our investigations improve understanding of the regulation of stem elongation in members of the Gramineae family that may have similar stem elongation mechanisms," says Ashikari.

The team next aims to understand stem elongation at the molecular level by identifying factors that are associated with ACE1 and DEC1 expression.

The research paper, "Antagonistic regulation of the gibberellic acid response during stem growth in rice," was published in Nature.

https://phys.org/news/2020-08-antagonistic-genes-rice-growth.html

 

Protecting the overlooked cotton-poor economy

Irfan AfzalUpdated 24 Aug 2020

 

Description: The enormous application of old, ineffective, and in some cases adulterated, pesticides on Bt cotton has induced resistance in insects and destroyed the population of eco-friendly insects at a large scale. — Dawn/File

The enormous application of old, ineffective, and in some cases adulterated, pesticides on Bt cotton has induced resistance in insects and destroyed the population of eco-friendly insects at a large scale. —

 

Dawn/File

Pakistan is the fifth-largest cotton producer in the world and cotton products account for more than 50 per cent of the foreign exchange earnings of the country. However, the quality of cottonseed is comparatively overlooked as fibre yield and quality of cotton production are not considered though these are of prime importance to fetch high prices in the market.

Pakistan was short of more than six million bales from the target for the 2019-20 crop which is equal to a financial loss of $6 billion. The area under cultivation has fallen by 12pc in the last five years. During 2019-20, an area of 2.5m hectares was cultivated against the target of 2.9m hectares with the hope of production of 12.72m bales in the coming season.

The farmers are replacing area under cotton cultivation with sugarcane and rice for better incentives, especially in Punjab which contributes 65pc of the total cotton area. The government is providing support to farmers involved in the production of wheat (Rs19.3bn), rice (Rs11.4bn) and sugarcane (Rs4bn) but the cotton crop is neglected.

There are 95 sugar mills functional in the country and 40 are owned by politicians. In order to meet the demands of the increasing number of sugar mills in Punjab, sugarcane cultivation is being promoted despite the heavy water requirement compared to cotton which needs less irrigation. Due to excessive production of sugarcane in Punjab’s cotton zone, high relative humidity is created which is the main culprit that promotes pest attacks on the cotton crop in the region.

The land under cultivation has fallen by 12pc in the last five years as sugarcane and rice offer better incentives, especially in Punjab which contributes 65pc of the total cotton area

Mostly Bt cotton is cultivated across the country, which is based on outdated first-generation Bt technology against which insects have developed resistance. According to the 2019-20 report from the Punjab Agricultural Extension department, more than 80pc area of districts Multan, Vehari and Bahawalpur were infected with pink bollworm. For the last three years, the attack of pink bollworm, along with mealybug and whitefly has increased significantly.

The enormous application of old, ineffective, and in some cases adulterated, pesticides on Bt cotton has induced resistance in insects and destroyed the population of eco-friendly insects at a large scale. The frequent use of pesticides has increased the cost of production of cotton which is unaffordable for farmers. This is the right time to introduce the next generation Bt technology along with other genetically resistant resources the way advanced countries have already introduced third-generation products to save the cotton seed industry.

In the current season, the government has reduced germination standards for approved cotton seed from 70pc to 50pc on the request of seed companies who could not meet this criterion due to crop failure as a result of heavy rains, pink bollworm attack and high temperature in 2019. High day temperature above 40°C during June and July and night temperature about 29°C during June-September was one of the main reasons for the low yield of the cotton crop. There should be a paradigm shift in cotton breeding strategy to develop more climate-resilient varieties.

According to the Federal Seed Certification and Registration Depart¬ment (FSC&RD), 44,766 tonnes of cottonseed were tested, out of which 68pc was approved for cultivation while the rest was rejected. The private sector has a prominent share of 30,481 tonnes (99pc) of certified and approved seed while the public sector contributed up to 16.27 tonnes in this season. The majority of the farmers in Punjab cultivated four approved varieties IUB-13, NIAB-878, BS-15 and FH-142 covering almost 75pc area while the remaining area is occupied by unapproved varieties. Cotton control ordinance or other regulatory measures should be stringently enforced to deter such unapproved varieties cultivation.

The quality of seeds creates a pathway towards a high yield but the unavailability of good quality cottonseed is the prime reason for poor germination and crop stand failure. Farmers have used high seed rate (more than 10kg per acre) of poor quality seed which only increases their input cost while low plant population is recorded in the fields.

Most of the seed companies have sold out their previously stored cottonseed this season. These seed companies have no proper infrastructure for cottonseed storage. And high intermittent rainfall during March to the first week of June 2020 hindered sowing. The delayed sowing due to rains, particularly in March, and the locust attack in May 2020 also affected the cotton crop.

Every stage of seed production is crucial for quality management. Conditions during development, pre- and post-harvest factors collectively determine the quality of cottonseed. Picking time is a critical factor for quality. Boll opening is the first indication for the time of picking. So, picking can start following a dry weather forecast after the opening of 80pc bolls. If opened bolls are left open for a long-time, they result in the poor quality of both seed and lint.

Seed cotton should be harvested at a low moisture content of up to 12pc as high moisture raises the temperature and accelerates cottonseed deterioration. Dusky cotton bug population predominantly increases in a humid environment before picking and it deteriorates seed quality by reducing oil content, seed weight and ultimately results in the decrease in cotton yield. Most of the seed industry people deal in cotton for both crop and seed purposes, utilising early pickings for lint and later pickings for seed which compromises the quality of cottonseed.

After picking, physical seed quality is affected by improper seed-handling during the ginning process. Seed cotton moisture content below 12pc not only provides good quality lint but also saves seeds from mechanical damage. Subsequently, the time of drying and seed moisture contents just before storage also affects the success or failure of the drying system.

Cottonseed should be dried to 8pc moisture by adopting quick and efficient drying methods. The deterioration process is also species dependent i.e. cottonseed, being high in oil, is more prone to deterioration than cereals. Furthermore, seed storage in conventional bags cannot maintain low moisture levels during storage due to direct contact with ambient relative humidity.

The Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department is responsible for seed inspection and quality assurance while the Punjab Seed Corporation and Sindh Seed Corporation are public entities involved in multiplication and marketing with the collaboration of research institutions. The performance of these public institutions is badly affected due to the lack of trained manpower and stringent public sector policies though they are engaged in a commercial venture in a competitive market. The government must sensitise the concerned departments for the provision of certified cotton seeds to growers to save the textile industry that has a major share in exports.

________________________________________

The writer is an associate professor and the focal person of the Seed Science and Technology Program in the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad

Published in Dawn, The Business and Finance Weekly, August 24th, 2020

 

https://www.dawn.com/news/1576025

 

Rice exporter prioritizes women empowerment of Agri-worker

  Published On 23 August,2020 06:47 pm

Description: https://img.dunyanews.tv/news/2020/August/08-23-20/news_big_images/560425_23750036.jpg

RPL has established childcare facilities at both farm and community level.

ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) – The rice exporters prioritized the empowerment of rice transplants women and small farmers to provide a decent working environment during the rice transplantation in different districts of the Punjab.

“We are prompting the decent working conditions and improve livelihoods of the small land holder farmers, farm labor and families of rice transplanters in the entire rice value chain during the challenging situation of Covid-19 Pandemic in upper Punjab including district Sheikhupura and other districts of the Province, Chief Operating Officer (COO) Rice Partners Limited (RPL) a known rice exporters group and philanthropy organization, Muhammad Ali Tariq said on Sunday.

The Rice Partners Limited (RPL) trained 150 families on Covid-19 safety measures and also provided them decent working conditions, food packets, shelter/canopy, Personal Protection Equipments (PPEs), first aid boxes, solar system, fans, Water cooler, Desert Cooler and stationary items for their kids in different districts of upper Punjab”. 

He said around 15000 families are engaged only from district Sheikhupura and more then 100,000 from all over the different districts of Punjab.

Under decent work condition RPL has establishing mother community centres for the children of rice translators from 2015 onwards every year with the support of Mars Foods for the children of rice transplanters to avoid their presence at farm during the rice transplanting seasons and engage them into learning activities while their parents are at work, Muhammad Tariq said.

This year (2020), RPL has established childcare facilities at both farm and community level.

He said that younger children below the age of 5 years are taken to the farms along with their elder brother or sister to be looked after when their mother is busy.

He said that RPL has been engaged with rice farmers in Sheikhupura district well other districts of the Punjab province since 2011, a potential agriculture region of the country.

He said Rice Partners is a social impact business that works with thousands of growers of Basmati in Upper Punjab Pakistan to provide them with the best growing practices for enhancing their yields and livelihoods.

Manager Sustainability RPL MR. Zafar Iqbal said that these marginalized families of rice growers, especially women, have their key role for the cultivation of rice which is the main crop for the food security of the entire world.

He said that rice transplanting is carried out from mid-June till the start of August in every year, when temperature remains between 37 – 45 C®. in these regions of rice cultivation. Usually all members from these families take part in transplanting work, he added.

Zafar said that Children from these families also accompany their parents (mothers) due to several reasons.

On the occasion Field Manager, Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation, Zahid Rehman said that for protecting the children these families from these risks RPL with support of Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation and Swiss Solidarity has provided these children with the moveable backpack canopies covered from all sides to avoid the insects and provision of shelters along with the dry food, repellents, and water coolers in rice cultivation region of the Punjab Province, he said.

Zahid Rehman said that Conditions on the farm are highly hazardous and expose children to several risks of insect bites, injuries and infections, exposure to extreme heat and pesticides without any shelter.

Similarly, for the larger group of families working jointly a farm level big shelter tent along with solar plates, fans, air cooler, water cooler and first aid boxes were provided to keep the children in a healthy and safe environment at farm level, he said.

 

http://dunyanews.tv/en/Business/560425-Rice-exporter-prioritizes-women-empowerment-of-Agri-worker

 

 

 

Rice exports need more attention

 

From the Newspaper 24 Aug 2020

   Description: A villager planting rice in a field in Lahore.

A villager planting rice in a field in Lahore.

 

In July 2020, rice export shipments shrank to 266,206 tonnes from 365,138 tonnes in July 2019. Export earnings fell to $148.8 million from $194.5m.

These numbers released recently by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) do not necessarily indicate that during this fiscal year rice exports would tumble. But they bring to the fore some inefficiencies of exporters and government-run agencies.

In 2019-20, Pakistan’s rice exports fetched $2.27 billion with an annual growth rate of five per cent, according to the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) foreign trade report. This increase came at a time when Pakistan’s total food export bill of about $4.36bn was down more than 5pc from $4.61bn in 2018-19, according to the PBS.

For the past few months, exporters were warning the government of the damage to the paddy crop during the ongoing second locust attack. The government claims it is fighting the second locust attack more furiously than it did during the first quarter of this year. It claims that the ongoing second attack has only slightly hurt the paddy crop that is at the flowering and harvesting stage. But exporters say the damage to the paddy crop, particularly in Sindh, is being underestimated by authorities. They say rice millers started factoring this in back in July and raised the prices of rice varieties for commercial exporters who, in turn, failed to export as much as they did in July last year.

The nation can spare 4.4m tonnes for exports as domestic consumption and contingency reserves don’t require more than 3m tonnes. But it is up to the Ministry of Commerce and our exporters to find buyers for 4.4m tonnes of rice

Even the mills that directly export rice failed to get as large buying orders as they did in July last year: their own cost of rice processing increased owing to the general inflationary trend and due to higher forward paddy prices paid to growers who were anticipating the crop’s damage under the second locust attack.

Going forward, the future of rice export earnings depends on whether exporters can manage to export 1m-1.2m tonnes of Basmati rice and 3m tonnes or more of non-Basmati varieties.

In 2018-19 as well as 2019-20, total rice shipments remained above 4m tonnes. But the exports of Basmati rice stood at 791,000 tonnes and 890,000 tonnes in 2018-19 and 2019-20, respectively. Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (Reap) Chairman Shahjahan Malik hopes that during this fiscal year Basmati rice exports would touch the 1m-tonne mark.

Based on July 2020 statistics of the PBS, the average export price of Pakistani Basmati rice now hovers around $955 per tonne whereas that of non-Basmati rice is around $453 per tonne. With some effort, the average export price for Basmati and non-Basmati could be raised to $1,100-1,200 per tonne and $500-600 per tonne, respectively. If this happens — and exporters, particularly those of Basmati rice, say they are working seriously to make this happen — then rice export earnings could be enhanced substantially with a little increase in the volume of 2019-20 that was below 4.2m tonnes.

According to Reap statistics, the average export price of Basmati rice had shot up to $1,153 per tonne back in 2013-14. But this level could not be sustained in later years owing to fierce competition in global markets and, in recent years, also due to a huge depreciation that reduced massive gains in exports in the local currency.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently projected that Pakistan’s milled rice output during this crop year could be 7.4m tonnes against the target of about 8m tonnes set by our Federal Committee on Agriculture.

The nation can easily spare 4.4m tonnes for exports as domestic consumption and contingency reserves don’t require more than 3m tonnes. But it is up to the Ministry of Commerce and our exporters to find buyers of 4.4m tonnes of rice. This should not be a problem as lockdowns in parts of India still continue, making rice exports difficult like they were in April-June. Our exporters grabbed that opportunity during the quarter to boost rice exports.

But even if Pakistani exporters get some share of Indian rice exports, particularly in the Gulf region, overall competition in global markets this year is expected to remain tough — with Vietnam having a larger exportable surplus and with stricter rules in place for clearance of import consignments at ports of buying countries amidst Covid-19 safety measures. The USDA has projected a straight 17pc increase in Vietnam’s total rice output this year.

Maintaining growth momentum in rice exports during this fiscal year also depends on whether brisk shipments to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia remain intact. They are among Pakistan’s important markets and our rice export earnings from these two countries were 18pc of the total, according to the SBP. Owing to the unfolding of deep and surprising strategic developments in the Gulf region, it is premature to predict how these developments will eventually impact our trade in the region.

In 2019-20, our rice exports to China — the second largest market after the United Arab Emirates — did suffer because of Covid-19–triggered lockdowns earlier in China and later on in our own major cities. So the China factor would also determine to a great extent how our rice exports could grow in 2020-21.

Exporters say that unlike the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, United States and United Kingdom where Pakistan’s rice demand does not fall easily on price consideration, it does in China. This means that to boost rice exports to China, exporters will have to be more competitive than in the aforementioned countries.

That is an uphill task, more so because in China there is far greater demand for our non-Basmati rice than Basmati varieties. And the damage done to paddy crops mainly due to the second locust attack and the increase in the transportation cost after a massive rise in domestic fuel prices have pushed up the cost of procurement of non-Basmati varieties for commercial and industrial exporters.

Published in Dawn, The Business and Finance Weekly, August 24th, 2020

https://www.dawn.com/news/1576026/rice-exports-need-more-attention

 

 

Uganda exports more rice to South Sudan than other EAC countries

MONDAY AUGUST 24 2020

    

A rice farmer gathers a harvest from his field. Uganda exported more rice to South Sudan than any other country, according to the East African Trade report covering the 2020 second quarter. PHOTO | FILE 

By Ashita Chopra

Uganda exported more rice to South Sudan than any other country, according to the East African Trade report covering the 2020 second quarter.
The exports and re-exports accounted for 68 per cent of rice exports to South Sudan from the period running between April and June.

During the period, according to the report, Uganda exported 31,411 metric tonnes [MT] of rice to South Sudan.

The rest was sourced from Tanzania, which contributed 21 and Somalia - 11 per cent.

“Uganda’s rice exports and re-exports to South Sudan increased due to the formal staple food cross border trade,” the report reads in part.

In 2018, Uganda had banned imports of rice to protect local farmers and boost the production.

A study then indicated that the rice market in Uganda had a daily milling capacity of 7,158 metric tonnes.

During the period, Uganda also exported other food items to South Sudan including beans.

For instance, Uganda exported 18,098 metric tonnes of dry beans to South Sudan while Kenya exported 11,136 metric tonnes.

Data from Bank of Uganda indicates that in the last 25 years (from 1994), formal beans export earnings have consistently grown at an annual average of 8.5 per cent, from $12.64m for 37,000 metric tonnes exported in 1994 to $99.6m for 218,000 metric tonnes in 2018.

The most significant growth, however, was in the five-year period to 2018 where export values grew from $25.12m to $99.6m.

That was a 32 per cent per annum growth over the five-year period. Data also indicates that less than 25 per cent of Uganda’s beans are exported.

Dry beans have progressively overtaken maize as the most informally exported commodity at Uganda’s borders.

For example, in 2018 dry beans worth $42.95m were traded informally, which was more than double the value of maize exported informally in the same year.

The East African Trade report, which projects the outlook of exportable commodities in East Africa also indicates that locally produced rice is projected to increase.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

https://www.monitor.co.ug/Business/Markets/Uganda-exports-more-rice-to-South-Sudan-than-other-EAC-countries/688606-5613104-sdxnqo/index.html

 

Graphics: Will the floods impact China's food security?

Description: https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-08-25/Graphics-Will-the-floods-impact-China-s-food-security--TeYsRQU9C8/img/bb8d8babcdd846818b026614625aff3f/bb8d8babcdd846818b026614625aff3f.jpeg

Farmers are harvesting rice in Qionghai City, Hainan Province, August 23, 2020. /VCG

Due to COVID-19 and floods in several southern provinces, concerns over food shortage have arisen among the public. But experts and officials of the agriculture ministry have confirmed that the impact of floods in food supply are limited. 

Food supply and demand in China

Description: https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-08-25/Graphics-Will-the-floods-impact-China-s-food-security--TeYsRQU9C8/img/e2aa35a675544dcf9823eb78ce87fb48/e2aa35a675544dcf9823eb78ce87fb48.jpeg

China's crop production can meet people's consumption demand completely. 

In terms of production and demand, China's crop output reached 664 million tonnes in 2019, including 210 million tonnes of rice, 134 million tonnes of wheat and 261 million tonnes of corn, while rice and wheat consumption in China reached 143 million tonnes and 125 million tonnes, respectively, standing at a lower level than production, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China.

Moreover, the consumption of rice and wheat has been reducing year by year. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, from 2013 to 2018, China's annual per capita crop consumption dropped from 138.9 kilograms to 116.3 kilograms.

Description: https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-08-25/Graphics-Will-the-floods-impact-China-s-food-security--TeYsRQU9C8/img/64017be653b947bbbac3de89b0ba81c8/64017be653b947bbbac3de89b0ba81c8.jpeg

From the trade perspective, most of imported crops by China are feed grains, such as soybeans. Wheat and rice account for only a small part of crop imports. In 2019, soybean imports reached 88.511 million tonnes, accounting for 79.4 percent of total crop imports.

In addition, China has been reducing the imports of wheat and rice for several years now. In 2019, China imported 2.55 million tonnes of rice, a drop from four million tonnes in 2017. Besides, in 2019, China exported 2.75 million tonnes of rice. Domestic self-sufficiency rates of wheat and rice are maintained at a high level of 99.1 percent.

As to the inventory, the total government inventory of rice, wheat, and corn is about 300 million tonnes, which can fully meet domestic consumption, according to official estimates, and there are also crops kept by farmers and businesses as crop inventory in China includes two parts: government inventory and social inventory. 

Floods impact 

Description: https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-08-25/Graphics-Will-the-floods-impact-China-s-food-security--TeYsRQU9C8/img/e590377468ed4bc39648b0127f3565c1/e590377468ed4bc39648b0127f3565c1.jpeg

Five percent of cropland in China was affected by floods, and only one percent was destroyed, which experts say will only cause a limited impact on crop production, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management.

Official data shows that floods have damaged 6,032,600 hectares of crops so far, of which 1,140,800 hectares have been destroyed. However, the total area of croplands in 2019 is 116.06 million hectares, which means the affected area only accounts for a very small part of the total.

Additionally, China's total summer crop output in 2020 is 142.81 million tonnes, an increase of 0.9 percent over 2019. The total output of early rice was 27.29 million tonnes, up 3.9 percent from 2019.

As for the fall harvest in October and November, which accounts for more than 70 percent of China's total annual grain output, this is rarely impacted by floods, as 60 percent of fall crops are planted in northern China, which has much less rainfall compared with southern provinces.

 

 

 

Industrialists Want Review of Partial Border Closure.

By

 

Industrialists Want Review of Partial Border Closure

Some Industrialists have over the weekend called for the review of the Federal government’s partial border closure one year after.

The industrialists made the call while speaking in separate interviews  in Lagos.
They said the policy on partial border closure was not sustainable.
It would be recalled that on Aug. 20, 2019, law enforcement agencies were ordered by the presidency to enforce the partial closure of the country’s borders.
Mr Ambrose Oruche, acting Director-General, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) called for the review, saying that it had impacted negatively on  exports and other businesses forcing some to close shop.
Oruche said that although the policy had improved the nation’s agricultural production, however, insisted that further study be carried out to determine the way forward on its impact on other sectors of the economy.
“We are asking that the border closure policy be reviewed and assessed to determine the way forward as it is not sustainable.
“Exporters have been affected, businesses have shutdown, the border closure has greatly impacted the sector negatively.
“Though some will say rice millers are smiling to the bank but the fact remains that a study must be carried out to assess the impact to determine the way forward.
“If they say it is to prevent smuggling of items, go around and you will still see banned products still coming in with fresh expiring dates in our supermarkets.
“It is also not the right policy, especially as the nation plans to be a part of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), ” he said.
The MAN D-G also advised government to address the porous nature of the borders by deploying advance technology as against the compromised gatekeepers now at the borders.
Dr Muda Yusuf, Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said though the policy reduced smuggling, the unintended consequential costs on many businesses were very profound, and in some senses disproportionate.
Yusuf said the closure had resulted in the coplete shutdown of cross border trades between Nigerian businesses and their counterparts in the West African sub region with consequences on investments and jobs.
“Many industries have invested in products registered under the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS).
“These investors whose business models were anchored on market opportunities in the ETLS have investments that have suffered unforeseen disruptions and dislocations in the past one year.
“Supply chain of some businesses have been completely disrupted as many companies including big manufacturing firms source their raw materials from countries in the sub region,” he said.
Yusuf called for the fixing of some fundamental governance shortcomings which had led to the closure in the first place.
He listed some of them to include the fixing of security institutions for effective border management and policing, and fixing of infrastructures to build a more efficient, productive and competitive economy.
He also called for the review of import tariff regime to reduce incentives for smuggling.
“High production cost remains a fundamental problem for the economy as it increases the price of locally produced items and encourages smuggling.
“Government also needs to get the government of Benin Republic to respect the ECOWAS protocol on transit goods.
“This is crucial to reduce the practice of using the Benin Republic as a major smuggling corridor into Nigeria.
“There is evidence that this and other regional issues are being addressed by the ECOWAS Committee set up to intervene in the land border closure crisis,” he said.
Prince Saviour Ichie of the Association of Micro Entrepreneurs of Nigeria (AMEN), said the policy was more isadvantageous as the nation had not attained manufacturing self-sufficiency enough to close its borders.
Ichie said that even though rice production had improved, it had not gotten to the stage where it would be able to sustain the nation’s needs.
He appealed that government measured the success in aspects of local manufacturing such as textile, shoes making among others to ascertain its impact.
“The border closure is not the best as you have to have enough before you think about closing.
“It is disadvantageous to us as a nation if you look at how it has impacted our textile and other companies in Nigeria.

https://economicconfidential.com/2020/08/industrialists-want-review-of-partial-border-closure/

 

CALL FOR PhD SCHOLARSHIP UNDER THE CLIMATE SMART RICE RESEARCH PROJECT (Re-Advertised)

 

 

Mon, 08/24/2020 - 17:15

Description: logo.png

COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE
DEPARTMENT OF CROP SCIENCE AND HORTICULTURE

 

The College of Agriculture of the Sokoine University of Agriculture, in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), of the Philippines and the University of Copenhagen, Denmark invites qualified and interested citizens of Tanzania to apply for PhD Scholarship under the Climate Smart Rice Research Project. The PhD student will focus on the Chemistry and Management of flooded and salt affected soils. 

Interested applicants should possess MSc. in Soil Science, Soil Science and Land Management or Soil Chemistry. All applicants for the scholarships should have a minimum GPA of 3.6 at BSc. level and a GPA of 4.0 at MSc. level. The applicants should submit application letters, Curriculum Vitae, a Concept note based on the area of focus (maximum 2,000 words), scanned copies of transcripts and certificates from recognized Universities. 

Experience in working on rice will be an added advantage for the applicants. Females are highly encouraged to apply. 

All applications should be sent electronically to Prof. S. Nchimbi-Msolla (nchimbi@sua.ac.tz). The deadline for application is two weeks from the date of this advertisement. Only shortlisted applicants will be invited for interview
 

https://www.sua.ac.tz/announcements/call-phd-scholarship-under-climate-smart-rice-research-project-re-advertised

 

 

Govt Rice Procurement: Drive in Pabna destined to crash

 

12:00 AM, August 25, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:00 AM, August 25, 2020

 

Description: https://assetsds.cdnedge.bluemix.net/sites/default/files/styles/very_big_1/public/feature/images/pabna_24.jpg?itok=n3TlR1AO

The government food grain storage facility in Pabna town wears a deserted look without anyone lining up to sell rice or paddy at rates set by the government. The photo was taken on Saturday. Photo: Star

Our Correspondent, Pabna

Marred by poor response from listed millers and with the closing deadline for the government's Boro rice procurement programme only a few days away, the programme is destined for a massive shortfall in target procurement this year in Pabna.

The rice procurement drive in Pabna started on May 7 and it is set to end on August 31. This year the government set a target of procuring 24,571 metric tonnes of rice from 682 listed rice mills through 11 designated procurement centres in the district.

But, as of August 15, only 9,800 tonnes, which is less than half the target, of rice was purchased at the procurement centres.

While some are pointing out that steep prices of rice, at retail markets, might be one of the reasons behind the deficit, many others are blaming it on the role of a group of rice traders and millers with vested interest.

But on whomever the blame is put, the situation might lead to a massive shortage in the food grain stock of the government, said many stakeholders.

Rice millers and traders said many of the listed millers might have felt discouraged to sell the grain to the government as the former have been able to sell it at retail markets for prices much higher than that set by the government.       

But whatever the reason might be, more than a third of the listed millers have so far refrained from selling even one bag of rice to the government, according to food officials.  

Iqbal Bahar, controller of food in Pabna, said over two hundred millers, most of who own large-scale rice mills and under contract with the government, did not sell a single bag of rice to the government after the drive started.

Although the food controller's office served numerous notices on them in this regard, many of the millers are yet to comply, he added.

Out of the total procurement target of 24,571 tonnes, 15,162 tonnes of rice was set to be procured from Ishwardi, an upazila considered to be the largest rice hub in the region. 

Till August 15, only 6,402 tonnes of rice was procured at procurement centres in the upazila. As opposed to the paddy procurement target of 6,695 tonnes, only 582 tonnes was procured in the upazila till the same date.

Asked about the reasons behind the poor response, Fazlur Rahman Malitha, president of rice mill owners' association in the upazila, said out of all the upazilas in the northern region, they had been selling the highest amount of rice to the government.

But this year, the millers from Ishwardi have felt disappointment and thus refrained from selling rice to the government as the procurement rates set by the latter are too low -- only Tk 36 for one kilogram of rice and Tk 26 for paddy.

At retail markets, each kg of rice can be sold for more than Tk 40 against its production cost of Tk 38 to Tk 39, while a kg of paddy can be sold there for more than Tk 28. These are the main reasons that made the millers to turn away from government procurement centres, Fazlur added.  

In response to the possibility of raising the rates, Iqbal Bahar, the food controller in Pabna, said there was no scope of raising the procurement rates at the moment as a market survey was conducted prior to setting those rates. 

Stern action would be taken against the listed millers for their breach of contract, under which they are required to sell the produce at rates set by the government, he added. 

On how to tackle a probable shortage in food grain stock of the government, he said there would be no shortage in food grain as the government might import rice if the rice procurement drive fails.

https://www.thedailystar.net/country/news/govt-rice-procurement-drive-pabna-destined-crash-1950393

 

 

Benefits of local farm machinery

By

Julio Yap Jr.

-

MECHANIZATION and how the country’s agriculture sector can utilize it to become competitive in the local and global markets should always be a priority.

Mechanization can help solve various problems being encountered by the local farmers due to low production, lack of manual labor, and out-dated farming practices.

In order to cope up with the changing times, local farm machinery and equipment manufacturers should exert efforts to adopt new technologies and produce modern equipment.

Following this development, the Bacolod City-based R.U. Foundry and Machine Shop Corporation (RUFMSC) has been authorized to manufacture OGGUN tractors in the Philippines.

It was learned that OGGUN Tractors is owned and designed by the United States-based Cleber LLC-Oggun.

This Open System Manufacturing Project was already adopted by the University of the Philippines – Los Baños (UPLB).

It aims to create a partnership with the private and public sectors for the development of equipment and implements that are intended for the smallholder farmers in the country.

“We have been inspired to commit our resources for the realization of this project due to its potentials and the benefits that our farmers can achieve,” RUFMSC says.

In fact, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and the Central Philippines State University (CPSU) in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, have already formalized their intentions to be part of the said project.

Initially, RUFMSC will be producing the first unit of the tractor, but part of its future strategies is to allow the farmers to participate in the manufacturing process.

RUFMSC is also planning to farm out the production of minor parts to the rural farmers.

“This is basically our advocacy of encouraging the mini industrialization of the rural areas, where the farmers can eventually produce their own equipment,” RUFMSC stressed.

As we probably know, the country is lagging behind its regional neighbors in terms of farm mechanization.

Based on studies, two of the barriers confronting the farmers, fisherfolk, and agricultural workers are the lack of mechanization and technical expertise.

Therefore, efforts must be geared towards the realization of the collective goal for the agriculture sector and the Philippines as well, which is an agricultural country.

Agricultural mechanization would mean the development, adoption, assembly, manufacture and application of appropriate, location-specific and cost-effective agricultural and fisheries machinery.

Aside from mechanization, training programs will equip the industry players, particularly the farmers, with vital skills and technical expertise which will provide them with a competitive edge.

It can be noted that the younger generation of supposed to be farmers no longer want to plant crops, but instead migrate to the urban areas and opt for employment because of lack of modern and practical farm machinery.

Mechanization can significantly bring down the cost of labor, particularly for labor-intensive crops such as rice, corn, and sugar.

These equipment and mechanized procedures will definitely increase production.

The development and adoption of modern, appropriate, cost-effective and environmentally safe agricultural machinery and equipment can enhance farm productivity and efficiency to achieve food security and increase the income of the farmers./PN

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:To58K2-sEkEJ:https://www.panaynews.net/benefits-of-local-farm-machinery/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=pk

 

 

Explained: Why Punjab govt’s temporary ban on nine pesticides can’t put a stop on their use

Farm experts, pesticide dealers and farmers said that such temporary bans cannot stop usage of such pesticides even for Basmati and non-Basmati crop, which is the main target of the government.

Description: https://images.indianexpress.com/2020/08/Pesticides-Explained.jpg There are over 10,000 pesticide dealers in Punjab and almost all of them had stocked up ahead of the sowing season. (File photo) Punjab government, through a notification, has banned the usage of nine pesticides, generally used for Basmati and non Basmati crops, for 60 days — August 14 to October 14. There are over 10,000 pesticide dealers in Punjab and almost all of them had stocked up ahead of the sowing season. The government has directed the dealers to either return the stock to the manufactures or remove them from display of their stores. More than half of these pesticides are also used by farmers for other crops such as wheat, vegetables, fruits, sugarcane as well as for seed treatment. Farm experts, pesticide dealers and farmers said that such temporary bans cannot stop usage of such pesticides even for Basmati and non-Basmati crop, which is the main target of the government. What are the pesticides whose sale has been banned for 60 days? The nine pesticide that have been banned temporarily include Acephate, Carbendazim, Thiamethoxam, Triazofos, Tricyclazole, Buprofezin, Carbofuron, Propiconazole, and Thiophanate Methyl. Why is this ban only for 60 days?

 

Experts say that farmers use these pesticides even after the grain formation stage in the rice crop. It leads to the presence of pesticides beyond the permissible maximum residue limit (MRL) on the grains after harvesting of the crop. The EU has fixed the MRL for all these agro-chemicals at 0.01 mg per kg except for Triazophos for which the MRL is 0.02 mg. The harvesting of early varieties of Basmati and non-Basmati crops starts in late September and early October, respectively. If farmers do not stop spraying these pesticides at least 40-50 days before the harvesting, a MRL cannot be ruled out. Also, the 60-day ban has been ordered with the main focus on Basmati varieties, which is mainly grown for export. Government does not want to annoy big exporters who face rejection of the consignments by the European Union (EU), the USA, and the Middle East. The EU had earlier rejected Indian Basmati due to the presence of MRL beyond the specified limit. Is it possible to put a complete stop on usage of pesticides on Basmati and non-Basmati crop? An attempt to do so had failed last year when Punjab government had restricted the usage of all these pesticides during paddy season and various awareness camps were also organised for farmers across state. The farmers, however, had even used the pesticides and Punjab government admitted as much in its notification last week that samples tested in state’s two labs had found pesticides in rice much above the specified MRL value. Why was chemical residue found in grains last year despite restrictions on pesticide usage? Most farmers stock up on the pesticides ahead of the sowing season. They used it on the crop even after the Punjab government’s notification, following which Food Safety Laboratory (Kharar) had found high MRL in nine samples and Punjab Biotechnology Incubator Agri and Food Testing Laboratory (SAS Nagar) in seven samples. This year too, big farmers stocked up on a couple pesticides before the ban order came in. “Several farmers purchased the pesticides in the beginning of the season. They even use banned Carbendazim, a fungicide, to treat the seed for better germination,” said Khalsa. He said that while government has warned dealers of heavy fine, there was no way to stop the farmers who already have the chemicals with them. “Farmers in Punjab are more concerned about their crop output and don’t mind using such chemicals,” said a farmer, adding that checking pf dealers in remote areas too is difficult. How can the government stop the complete usage of these chemicals on rice crop? The only way government can completely stop its usage on rice crop is if it bans these nine pesticides for all other crops such as vegetables, fruits, and sugarcane or bars manufacturers from producing these agro-chemicals. “Government says that safety of human beings is of paramount importance and that these pesticides should not be used then what it not putting a halt on their manufacturing,” asked Khalsa, adding that an agro-chemical harmful for one crop is harmful for every other crop. “Wheat and rice are used months after their harvesting but the vegetables are consumed immediately. We are only trying to protect the Basmati as it is exported. Ironically, the Basmati rejected by the EU was consumed in India. How was something not fit for consumption in 28 countries, was good for our people,” he asked.

Author Name: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/punjab-pesticide-ban-farmers-6568309/

Date: 25-Aug-2020


FARMERS HAVE THEIR EYE ON HURRICANES AS HARVEST BEGINS

By 

Xtreme Ag Team

8/24/2020

Photo credit: Matt Miles, Xtreme Ag

Our team in the South is watching Hurricanes Marco and Laura closely. Both are forecast to make landfall this week. Hurricane Marco is expected to make landfall first with Hurricane Laura coming midweek.

This week, XtremeAg farmers Matt Miles, Kevin Matthews, and Kelly Garrett share their crops’ progress in Arkansas, North Carolina, and Iowa. XtremeAg’s goal is to share our accumulated knowledge and experience with an online community of growers working together to be a part of a diverse, cutting-edge, unbiased knowledge pool.

A week ago, USDA’s Crop Progress Report indicated 69% of U.S. corn was in good to excellent condition. Soybeans were 72% good to excellent last Monday.

KELLY GARRETT – ARION, IOWA

Photo credit: Xtreme Ag

A fifth-generation farmer, Kelly Garrett farms corn, soybeans, and winter wheat in western Iowa.

Almost every acre we farm was touched by wind or hail from the derecho storm on August 10. There was 80 mph wind, and even stronger winds hit the eastern part of the state. Damage that I saw while traveling to Pontiac, Illinois, was like nothing I’ve seen before.

We are a bit to moderately dry depending on where you are. The subsurface drip irrigation system from Nutradrip is paying big dividends this year.

I attended the Precision Planting and Nachurs field day at the PTI farm in Pontiac, Illinois. The research they have going on was very eye-opening and informative.

XtremeAg has allowed Garrett Land and Cattle to connect with Locus Ag Solutions to be among the first in the nation to be able to market our carbon credits through the Nori system. It has been a tremendous experience to go through. Locus is the account manager that lines you up with the Nori system. It will provide an unforeseen financial gain to our farm, and I would recommend that every farmer look into the value of carbon credits on their farm.

MATT MILES – MCGEHEE, ARKANSAS

Photo credit: Xtreme Ag

Matt is a fourth-generation farmer in southeast Arkansas who grows corn, soybeans, rice, and cotton.

We began corn harvest last week on some ultra-early corn. It was around our average yield; it went through some pretty nasty weather this spring. We have started back and yields have picked up considerably on the corn that had a more normal spring. Moisture levels are running in the low 20s.

We are on the last irrigation event for the season on a large amount of our soybean acres as well as the cotton. Both of those crops look really good.

We drained rice last week, so we’ll start harvest on it in a couple weeks. It’s a week late but looks like a good crop.

Peanuts are looking good; they’re about 30 days out from harvest.

Due to the late spring, I’m afraid we’ll be harvesting multiple crops at the same time.

We currently have two storms in the Atlantic that look like they have a possibility of coming into the Gulf pretty close together. We are praying they dissipate and harm no one.

Pray for a great harvest!

KEVIN MATTHEWS – EAST BEND, NORTH CAROLINA

Photo credit: Xtreme Ag

Kevin and his wife, Cindy, own and operate Matthews Family Farms of North Carolina, Inc., Precision Nutrient Management, Inc., and Deep Creek Grain, Inc. in East Bend and Yadkinville.

Working to finish our fungicide application on corn and soybeans between rains. Grey leaf spot is very problematic in our bottomland corn. It is apparent which fields were sprayed on time.

Rainfall is over 12 inches in the past three weeks, and there are hurricanes in the forecast. It does not look like there’s an end in sight to the rain. Overall, the crop looks great. Corn harvest will start this week in North Carolina, but we are about one week out on our farm. Areas that typically do not yield from dry conditions have had the rainfall needed to help bring the overall field average up in our area. Anything can happen and change the outcome. We won’t count it as a great crop till it’s in the bin.

This week will be busy as we finalize grain facilities and inspect corn headers for harvest.

XtremeAg.farm is a team of the nation’s top producers who have come together to share their experience, expertise, knowledge, and farming practices with other farmers. Members get access to exclusive content from the team as well as one-on-one support for their own farming operation. Visit XtremeAg.farm for more information.

Read more about 

Crops

https://www.agriculture.com/crops/farmers-have-their-eye-on-hurricanes-as-harvest-begins

 

 

China recording record stockpiles of rice and wheat

 

Xinhua
25th August 2020, 02:09 GMT+10

BEIJING, China, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- China's grain inventory has been kept at a high level, with abundant government grain reserves and policy reserves, an official with the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration said on Monday.

The ratio of China's grain inventory to consumption far exceeds the warning level designated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the stockpile of rice and wheat, two staple grains of the country, can feed the whole population for more than one year, the official said in an interview with Xinhua.

Thanks to bumper harvests in the past years, as well as strong grain reserves, China has managed to keep grain prices at a generally stable level amid fluctuations in international prices, the official noted.

The country will step up the protection of arable land and stabilize grain output, while enhancing management of grain reserves, the official said.

https://www.bignewsnetwork.com/news/266186871/china-recording-record-stockpiles-of-rice-and-wheat

 

While the year 2020 will already go down in history for many reasons — the coronavirus pandemic, murder hornets, and a derecho in Iowa — we can also add rare back-to-back tropical storms making landfall in the United States.

Marco is the first storm hitting the mainland in this historic event. Although Marco is no longer categorized as hurricane and downgraded to a tropical storm, it will still bring rainfall, gusty winds, and storm surges to Louisiana and the northern Gulf Coast late Monday evening. 

Laura is the second storm and is actually predicted to intensify into a hurricane later this week. As of right now, the forecast shows it to hit the mainland by midweek along the Louisiana and Texas coasts, but the forecast can still change.

Image courtesy of NOAA

 

Thankfully, The Weather Channel states that although close, these two storms will not merge. “Despite the two cones crossing paths, these storms will not merge together. Instead, it’s increasingly likely that Laura could follow Marco and make landfall back-to-back over a similar region just days apart,” the network said.

This is a rare occurrence to have so much activity in the Gulf of Mexico. According to Dr. Phil Klotzbach from Colorado State University, it will be the first time since the 1950s that two tropical storms have been simultaneously active in the Gulf of Mexico. 

These events will have major impacts for farmers and ranchers in the path of the storms. Farmers are working against the clock to harvest as much as their crop as possible. In a Facebook post the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation said, “Hurricane Marco is on track to make landfall in Southeastern Louisiana Monday evening. Laura is expected to follow 48 hours later with landfall near the Sabine River, possibly as a category two hurricane. This happens as Louisiana farmers are harvesting rice, corn and soybeans and planting sugarcane.

On Facebook, RCM Ag Services posted a photo with Louisiana farmers helping each other out in preparation of the storms to come. 

Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain also said livestock and pet owners should make preparations ahead of possible severe weather and flooding caused by tropical systems Laura and Marco and be prepared to evacuate if necessary.

“While the track of these storms remains somewhat uncertain, forecasters say the main threat is heavy rainfall and coastal flooding due to storm surge,” Strain said. “Citizens should be prepared for an extended period of severe weather with little or no window between storms. Livestock and pet owners should be ready to evacuate if necessary.”

Strain gave the following tips for livestock:

·         Get cattle to the highest ground on your property that can allow access to trailers and vehicles if animals need to be moved.

·         Valuable breeding stock should be identified and moved in accordance with the owner’s evacuation plan. Those animals should be kept closer to the homestead for easier transport.

·         If a large group of cattle is to be moved, it is important that each herd member is properly identified with brands, microchips or ear tags. Identify the ultimate evacuation location for livestock. Proper identification for livestock is crucial in the event of commingling. Check trailer tail lights and tires.

·         If you shelter in place, be sure to have at least a five day supply of water and hay for cattle.

·         Plan to carry at least five days of food for your animals on livestock transports, especially if the animals require a specially-formulated diet.

·         Horses must have a permanent identification, like a microchip, brand or lip tattoo.

·         Horse owners should bring all identification papers if evacuation is necessary along with a copy of the horse’s current Coggins test record.

·         Horse owners should also carry recent photographs of their horses (including identifying marks).

 

 Rice Prices

as on : 25-08-2020 12:27:46 PM

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

Arrivals

Price

Current

%
change

Season
cumulative

Modal

Prev.
Modal

Prev.Yr
%change

Rice

Barhaj(UP)

90.00

28.57

11475.00

2590

2590

7.92

Sehjanwa(UP)

50.00

25

3102.50

2565

2570

18.75

Hardoi(UP)

45.00

12.5

9312.80

2430

2460

-2.80

Lakhimpur(UP)

40.00

14.29

3151.00

2430

2430

2.53

Asansol(WB)

32.00

NC

1435.01

3100

3100

9.15

Soharatgarh(UP)

10.00

11.11

1687.20

2565

2570

5.12

Ghatal(WB)

5.00

108.33

280.40

2750

2750

11.11

Achalda(UP)

4.00

33.33

393.90

2500

2500

13.12

Melaghar(Tri)

1.50

25

79.40

2800

2800

3.70

Alibagh(Mah)

1.00

NC

105.00

2200

2200

NC

Murud(Mah)

1.00

NC

103.00

2200

2200

NC

Atrauli(UP)

0.70

NC

13.80

2550

2550

-

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Published on August 25, 2020

TOPICS

rice (commodity)

 

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/rice-prices/article32435543.ece

 

 

 

AUGUST 25, 2020 / 4:27 PM Indian monsoon 24% above average in August, heavy rain to continue

 

Mayank Bhardwaj

 

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Monsoon rains, which picked up pace in August, are likely to be heavy for the rest of the month, the chief of the state-run India Meteorological Department (IMD) said, potentially benefiting summer crops such as rice, corn and cotton.

 

After a patchy spell in the last two weeks of July, India received 24% above average rains so far in August, and the trend is likely to continue at least through this month, Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director general of the IMD, told Reuters.

 

“There’s no doubt that the quantity of rains has been excellent, but the other important feature of this year’s monsoon is that the rainfall has been very well distributed across the country,” Mohapatra said. “And that augurs well for our agricultural output this year.”

 

Of the 36 meteorological subdivisions in India, monsoon rains have been either average or above average in 32 so far this year, he said.

 

The IMD defines average, or normal, rainfall as between 96% and 104% of a 50-year average of 88 cm for the entire four-month season beginning in June.

 

India, where nearly half of the country’s farmland lacks irrigation, has received 7% above average rains since June 1, when the monsoon arrived on the southernmost Kerala coast.

 

Farmers have planted 106.3 million hectares with summer crops so far, the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare said, up 8.5% from last year as heavy monsoon rains in June spurred sowing in the world’s leading producer of farm goods.

 

Until last week, planting of rice, the key summer crop, was at 37.8 million hectares, against 33.9 million hectares at the same time last year.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-monsoon/indian-monsoon-24-above-average-in-august-heavy-rain-to-continue-idUSKBN25L1D6#:~:text=After%20a%20patchy%20spell%20in,of%20the%20IMD%2C%20told%20Reuters.

 

Punjab to procure 170 lakh tonnes paddy; goes online for smooth milling operations

Cabinet approves the new Punjab Custom Milling Policy aimed at ensuring seamless milling of paddy and delivery of rice into the Central pool from more than 4,150 mills operating in the state

CHANDIGARH Updated: Aug 25, 2020 17:17 IST

 

HT Correspondent

Hindustan Times, Chandigarh

The state government will launch a dedicated portal, www.anaajkharid.in, for smooth paddy procurement. The whole gamut of yearly procurement operations – from allotment of mills, their registration, application of release order and deposit of fee, besides all important monitoring of stocks, will be done online now on.(HT file photo)

     

Chandigarh: Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, all rice delivery operations in Punjab, including allotment, registration and physical verification of rice mills, will be managed and monitored online, under the new Punjab Custom Milling Policy for paddy for the 2020-21 kharif season.

The state cabinet on Tuesday approved the new policy, aimed at ensuring seamless milling of paddy and delivery of rice into the Central Pool from more than 4,150 mills operating in the state. The state is expected to procure 170 lakh metric tonnes (MTs) of paddy during the season beginning on October 1, with a total area under paddy sowing this year at 26.6 lakh hectares. Last year, 29.2 lakh hectares was under paddy cultivation.

www.anaajkharid.in PORTAL LAUNCHED

The state government will launch a dedicated portal, www.anaajkharid.in, for smooth paddy procurement. The whole gamut of yearly procurement operations – from allotment of mills, their registration, application of release order and deposit of fee, besides all important monitoring of stocks, will be done online now on, according to an official spokesperson.

State procuring agencies, including Pungrain, Markfed, Punsup, Punjab State Warehousing Corporation (PSWC) and rice-millers and other stakeholders will operate and interact on the website, with the department of food, civil supplies and consumer affairs acting as the nodal department.

The spokesperson said that under the policy, the sole criterion for allotment of free paddy to mills this season would be the miller’s performance in the previous year (kharif marketing season 2019-20), and an additional percentage-wise incentive would be provided to mills as per their date of delivery of rice against milling of custom-milled paddy, including RO paddy in the previous year.

Mills that had completed their entire milling by January 31, 2020, would be eligible for additional 15% of free paddy milled in 2019-20, as per the policy. Those who had completed delivery of rice by February 28, 2020, would get an additional 10% of free paddy.

ENHANCED BANK GUARANTEE

The government has also enhanced the bank guarantee for security of the stocks and millers will be required to furnish enhanced bank guarantee, equal to value of 10% of acquisition cost of allocable free paddy above 3,000 metric tonnes (MTs), as against 5% on 5,000 MTs last year. “Lowering of the threshold limit for submission of bank guarantee will bring an additional 1,000 mills within the direct monitoring ambit,” the spokesperson said.

In addition, a miller will have to purchase a minimum of 150 MTs of paddy in his own account or deposit an amount of Rs 5 lakh (non-refundable) in state treasury and Rs 5 lakh in the form of refundable security online in Pungrain account.

Another measure to guard against any paddy diversion is the decision to bring RO paddy into the ambit of custom milling security (CMR). Millers will be required to deposit Rs 125 for each MT for every paddy stored or part therefore, including RO paddy, with the agency concerned. To tackle the issue of moisture content in CMR, the policy stipulates compulsory installation of dryer and sortex for a new mill and/or in case of enhancement of capacity. The target is to complete the custom milling of paddy and delivering all due rice to Food Corporation of India by March 31, 2021.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/punjab-to-procure-170-lakh-tonnes-paddy-goes-online-for-smooth-milling-operations/story-HQqoQnFgo3eMuXaXWx6vJJ.html

 

 



Govt Rice Procurement: Drive in Pabna destined to crash

 

12:00 AM, August 25, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:00 AM, August 25, 2020

 

Description: https://assetsds.cdnedge.bluemix.net/sites/default/files/styles/very_big_1/public/feature/images/pabna_24.jpg?itok=n3TlR1AO

The government food grain storage facility in Pabna town wears a deserted look without anyone lining up to sell rice or paddy at rates set by the government. The photo was taken on Saturday. Photo: Star

Our Correspondent, Pabna

Marred by poor response from listed millers and with the closing deadline for the government's Boro rice procurement programme only a few days away, the programme is destined for a massive shortfall in target procurement this year in Pabna.

The rice procurement drive in Pabna started on May 7 and it is set to end on August 31. This year the government set a target of procuring 24,571 metric tonnes of rice from 682 listed rice mills through 11 designated procurement centres in the district.

But, as of August 15, only 9,800 tonnes, which is less than half the target, of rice was purchased at the procurement centres.

While some are pointing out that steep prices of rice, at retail markets, might be one of the reasons behind the deficit, many others are blaming it on the role of a group of rice traders and millers with vested interest.

But on whomever the blame is put, the situation might lead to a massive shortage in the food grain stock of the government, said many stakeholders.

Rice millers and traders said many of the listed millers might have felt discouraged to sell the grain to the government as the former have been able to sell it at retail markets for prices much higher than that set by the government.       

But whatever the reason might be, more than a third of the listed millers have so far refrained from selling even one bag of rice to the government, according to food officials.  

Iqbal Bahar, controller of food in Pabna, said over two hundred millers, most of who own large-scale rice mills and under contract with the government, did not sell a single bag of rice to the government after the drive started.

Although the food controller's office served numerous notices on them in this regard, many of the millers are yet to comply, he added.

Out of the total procurement target of 24,571 tonnes, 15,162 tonnes of rice was set to be procured from Ishwardi, an upazila considered to be the largest rice hub in the region. 

Till August 15, only 6,402 tonnes of rice was procured at procurement centres in the upazila. As opposed to the paddy procurement target of 6,695 tonnes, only 582 tonnes was procured in the upazila till the same date.

Asked about the reasons behind the poor response, Fazlur Rahman Malitha, president of rice mill owners' association in the upazila, said out of all the upazilas in the northern region, they had been selling the highest amount of rice to the government.

But this year, the millers from Ishwardi have felt disappointment and thus refrained from selling rice to the government as the procurement rates set by the latter are too low -- only Tk 36 for one kilogram of rice and Tk 26 for paddy.

At retail markets, each kg of rice can be sold for more than Tk 40 against its production cost of Tk 38 to Tk 39, while a kg of paddy can be sold there for more than Tk 28. These are the main reasons that made the millers to turn away from government procurement centres, Fazlur added.  

In response to the possibility of raising the rates, Iqbal Bahar, the food controller in Pabna, said there was no scope of raising the procurement rates at the moment as a market survey was conducted prior to setting those rates. 

Stern action would be taken against the listed millers for their breach of contract, under which they are required to sell the produce at rates set by the government, he added. 

On how to tackle a probable shortage in food grain stock of the government, he said there would be no shortage in food grain as the government might import rice if the rice procurement drive fails.

https://www.thedailystar.net/country/news/govt-rice-procurement-drive-pabna-destined-crash-1950393

 

 August 25, 2020

Farmers suffering from twin hazards of floods, droughts

Sok Chan / Khmer Times 

A farmer in a paddy field in Banteay Meachey province. Supplied

 

Floods and drought are now the major problems hitting farmers and affecting the Kingdom’s food security and exports after drought left much land in the Northwest dry and cracked.

Song Saran, president of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF), told Khmer Times that from May to August, there is severe impact from climate change to the Cambodian dry paddy season especially Sen Kro Ob and IR varieties.

He added that according to the survey by the CRF with its members to more than 100 agriculture cooperatives, it showed that 30 to 40 percent of their dry seasonal paddy was affected by drought and they have to replant the paddy. The remaining 60 percent was recovered but the yield  dropped from four to three tonnes. Therefore, the harvest season this year will be lower and delayed until mid-October or November.

“The areas affected by drought are Kampong Thom, Battambang, Kampong Cham, Banteay Meanchey, with some slight impact in Kampong Chhnang and Kampong Speu and Takeo,” Saran said. He added that the lower reaches of the Mekong River are also a concern for the farmers along Tonle Sap Lake.

Saran added that generally the Sen Kro Ob variety was harvested in mid-July, but now fewer farmers are harvesting because their crops were damaged or some can harvest but the quality and yield are lower.

He said that the harvest will be delayed for about two months because the farmers now have to replant the paddy, so they will harvest it in October and November.

“We found flooding in September and October is also a major issue for farmers. It is a concern because we have a market but no paddy for processing to export. In August, we project exports will drop around 30 percent and 20 percent in September,” he said.

“Some 60 percent of the farmers can rehabilitate their paddy and can slowly harvest, but for those who have to replant, they will harvest their paddy in mid-September and the full harvest will be mid-October or November. Therefore, there is no growth in exports in August or September,” he added.

Kong Kea, director of the Department of Rice Crop from the General Directorate of Agriculture, at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF), agreed there was damage to the paddy. However, it was only in some areas across the country.  He said the paddy yield in Takeo, Kampong Speu, Kampot and Pursat province are good. Kea added that the export of paddy to Vietnam is still normal, especially through Prey Veng province, because there is a market and farmers get a high price of paddy from 970 riels a kilogramme (kg) for the OM and IR504-04 varieties and 1,200 riels/kg for the Sen Kra Ob variety. “Food security is not much affected because the farmers are cultivating and harvesting in November this year,” he added.

However, Mak Soeun, deputy director of MAFF’s General Directorate of Agriculture, told Khmer Times that there was not much effect on dry season paddy because mostly has access to irrigation systems so although there is drought, farmers still produce yields. “The drought has hit some areas, but in some areas farmers are harvesting up to today and starting to plant the second round,” Soeun added. “Mostly, the impact is in the Northwestern provinces such as Banteay Meanchey, where 6,000 hectares were damaged. This has now recovered because there is rain,” he said.

As of Aug 14, the harvest yield from 116,752 hectares was 481,448 tonnes. It was mostly affected by the drought while the flooding hit just 20 hectares in Kep province. The ministry  rehabilitated this. “Mostly, drought affects the paddy and this is mostly in the western provinces of the Kingdom such as Banteay Meanchey.

According to the report from the Ministry of Agriculture, Cambodia exported 438,829 tonnes of rice as of Aug 12. It said that more than 2.43 million hectares of farmland were cultivated as of that date.

https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50756473/farmers-suffering-from-twin-hazards-of-floods-droughts/

 


Prices of paddy, rice climb as summer-autumn crop ends in Mekong Delta

SGGPTuesday, August 25, 2020 13:54

Currently, the prices of paddy and rice are both increasing thanks to the smooth export of rice and the positive impacts of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

Description: Prices of paddy, rice climb as summer-autumn crop ends in Mekong Delta

Farmers in the Mekong Delta are deliriously delighted as the prices of paddy surge at the end of the summer-autumn rice crop.

On August 25, the price of paddy rose by VND400 per kilogram compared to the beginning of this month. Specifically, farmers sold fresh paddy at the field at the price, varying from VND5,500 per kilogram to VND6,500 per kilogram, depending on rice varieties.

Noticeably, many farmers and granaries capable of storing rice hit a jackpot when stockpiling Jasmine 85 fragrant rice variety, because the price of paddy has jumped from VND7,500 per kilogram to VND8,200 per kilogram. In the summer-autumn rice crop this year, the Mekong Delta has produced 1.54 million hectares of rice with an estimated production of about 9 million tons of rice.

According to the Vietnam Food Association, Vietnam's rice export prices are fairly good. Specifically, the price of 5-percent broken rice in Vietnam is at US$480-$490 per ton, an increase of $2-$3 per ton compared to that at the beginning of the month. According to enterprises in the Mekong Delta, because it has entered the end of the summer-autumn rice crop, the supply of rice has become lower, and the domestic traders have increased buying recently.

Description: Prices of paddy, rice climb as summer-autumn crop ends in Mekong Delta ảnh 1Traders buy paddy from farmers. (Photo: SGGP)


According to Pham Thai Binh, Director of Trung An Company, currently, the prices of paddy and rice have increased as the export market is good. Moreover, the EVFTA, which just took effect from August 1, has had positive impacts on the rice industry. The company's target is to export 80,000 tons of high-quality fragrant rice this year. The company's export prices of fragrant rice currently reach an average of $700 - $900 per ton.

Description: Prices of paddy, rice climb as summer-autumn crop ends in Mekong Delta ảnh 2Enterprises prepare the source of rice for export. (Photo: SGGP)

Due to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the current global logistics is interrupted. Rice experts said that the current concern of rice importing countries is the delivery. Accordingly, prompt delivery and logistics add more value to the purchase. Logistics and delivery or reception capacity have become important factors in shaping the current rice demand.

https://sggpnews.org.vn/business/prices-of-paddy-rice-climb-as-summerautumn-crop-ends-in-mekong-delta-88166.html

 

Satellite technology to predict rice crop size in real time

Olivia Calver@OliviaCalver125 Aug 2020, 8 p.m.

News

Description: Satellite image of central Java, Indonesia (left) and an image processed by Paddy Watch showing rice fields at different stages of growth. Dark green indicates high moisture levels, meaning the rice is at the vegetative stage. Photo supplied.

 Satellite image of central Java, Indonesia (left) and an image processed by Paddy Watch showing rice fields at different stages of growth. Dark green indicates high moisture levels, meaning the rice is at the vegetative stage. Photo supplied.

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Groundbreaking new technology is helping develop the world's first real-time monitoring platform for rice fields globally.

The platform, named Paddy Watch, is being developed by the University of Sydney using the Google Earth platform to help realise the Zero Hunger target of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

Paddy Watch uses radar satellite images and new cloud technology to determine where rice is planted and what stage of development it is at.

The next steps of the project aim to be able to also predict yield from the satellite images, and inform water use.

Project leader, Professor Budiman Minasny from the Sydney Institute of Agriculture at the University of Sydney said accurate and up-to-date information on how much rice has been planted and how much can be harvested was crucial to achieving global food and water security.

"Initially the demand for the project came from my colleague in Indonesia," Prof Minasny explained.

"In Indonesia rice is a staple food and is important for food security, but they have no accurate way of knowing how much rice has been grown.

"There is a conflict in estimates from different government departments.

"My colleague asked us to find a solution."

He said Paddy Watch used radar satellite images, captured every 10 days by Google Earth Engine.

"The beauty of radar is it can penetrate through the clouds, unlike other satellites," Prof Minasny said.

"In tropical countries, one of the limitations of the satellite image is that it's always covered in clouds."

He said the radar could track the cycle of soil moisture in rice paddies to determine how much was grown and what stage it was at.

"We are able to do that because of the computer cloud we use," Prof Minasny said.

"We are talking about hundreds of thousands of square kilometres and traditionally if you want to do that, you have to get the satellite data from the provider, download terrabytes of data and process them on your computer.

"But the advantage with the cloud computing is that every time the satellite gets new data it's put straight up in the cloud, so all the processing can be done automatically and it can therefore be updated frequently."

The real-time data generated using Google Earth will be verified by field operators in India, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, to ensure its accuracy worldwide.

These five partner countries make up more than 40 per cent of the world's population.

India, China and Indonesia are the world's three-largest producers of rice and together account about 60pc of total world production.

Prof Minasny said he thought the technology would also be applicable to the Australian rice industry.

"It would be much easier because in Australia we have a better idea of what's been grown and where," he said.

But can the technology be used to predict yields in other crops?

Prof Minasny said to do this you would have to know what had been planted where.

"For example if I want to make a regional wheat yield predictor I need to know which areas are growing wheat versus barley, but if this information is available it can be done accurately," he said.

https://www.theland.com.au/story/6895621/eye-in-the-sky-with-paddy-watch/#:~:text=Groundbreaking%20new%20technology%20is%20helping,the%20United%20Nations%202030%20Agenda.

Description: Satellite image of central Java, Indonesia (left) and an image processed by Paddy Watch showing rice fields at different stages of growth. Dark green indicates high moisture levels, meaning the rice is at the vegetative stage. Photo supplied.

 Satellite image of central Java, Indonesia (left) and an image processed by Paddy Watch showing rice fields at different stages of growth. Dark green indicates high moisture levels, meaning the rice is at the vegetative stage. Photo supplied.

Groundbreaking new technology is helping develop the world's first real-time monitoring platform for rice fields globally.

The platform, named Paddy Watch, is being developed by the University of Sydney using the Google Earth platform to help realise the Zero Hunger target of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

Paddy Watch uses radar satellite images and new cloud technology to determine where rice is planted and what stage of development it is at.

The next steps of the project aim to be able to also predict yield from the satellite images, and inform water use.

Project leader, Professor Budiman Minasny from the Sydney Institute of Agriculture at the University of Sydney said accurate and up-to-date information on how much rice has been planted and how much can be harvested was crucial to achieving global food and water security.

"Initially the demand for the project came from my colleague in Indonesia," Prof Minasny explained.

"In Indonesia rice is a staple food and is important for food security, but they have no accurate way of knowing how much rice has been grown.

"There is a conflict in estimates from different government departments.

"My colleague asked us to find a solution."

He said Paddy Watch used radar satellite images, captured every 10 days by Google Earth Engine.

"The beauty of radar is it can penetrate through the clouds, unlike other satellites," Prof Minasny said.

"In tropical countries, one of the limitations of the satellite image is that it's always covered in clouds."

He said the radar could track the cycle of soil moisture in rice paddies to determine how much was grown and what stage it was at.

"We are able to do that because of the computer cloud we use," Prof Minasny said.

"We are talking about hundreds of thousands of square kilometres and traditionally if you want to do that, you have to get the satellite data from the provider, download terrabytes of data and process them on your computer.

"But the advantage with the cloud computing is that every time the satellite gets new data it's put straight up in the cloud, so all the processing can be done automatically and it can therefore be updated frequently."

The real-time data generated using Google Earth will be verified by field operators in India, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, to ensure its accuracy worldwide.

These five partner countries make up more than 40 per cent of the world's population.

India, China and Indonesia are the world's three-largest producers of rice and together account about 60pc of total world production.

Prof Minasny said he thought the technology would also be applicable to the Australian rice industry.

"It would be much easier because in Australia we have a better idea of what's been grown and where," he said.

But can the technology be used to predict yields in other crops?

Prof Minasny said to do this you would have to know what had been planted where.

"For example if I want to make a regional wheat yield predictor I need to know which areas are growing wheat versus barley, but if this information is available it can be done accurately," he said.

1.      Description: Fairfax Media

https://www.theland.com.au/story/6895621/eye-in-the-sky-with-paddy-watch/?cs=4951

 

Rice farmer incomes, yields improve due to RCEF — study

August 25, 2020 | 6:56 pm

 

PHILSTAR.COM

RICE farmers’ incomes and yields are rising as a result of programs supported by the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), according to a survey conducted by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).

PhilRice surveyed more than 4,000 RCEF beneficiaries across 55 provinces who harvested an average of 4.14 metric tons (MT) per hectare.

Respondents reported an additional yield of 440 kilograms per hectare were realized after farmers used certified inbred seed distributed by PhilRice under the RCEF program.

PhilRice’s Socio-Economics Division Chief Jesusa C. Beltran said the increase in output, assuming an average price of P17 per kilogram of dry palay, translates to nearly P7,500 per hectare in additional earnings.

Ms. Beltran said that due to higher income, farmers and their families have been able to weather the financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

PhilRice said 97% of respondents reported receiving additional information about farming methods provided by PhilRice during the seed distribution activities.

Between March and July, PhilRice distributed more than two million bags of certified inbred seed to 750,000 farmers, who were tilling more than 855,000 hectares.

“With more farmers reached this wet season, a more positive outlook in rice production is expected this second semester under favorable weather conditions,” PhilRice RCEF Program Management Office Director Flordeliza H. Bordey said.

Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, PhilRice said palay production during the first half rose 1.5% year on year to 8.39 million MT.

Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said the findings are evidence that farming, with the right inputs and technology, can be profitable.

“We believe our joint efforts — in partnership with farmers, local government units and the private sector — are paying off, and thus we will vigorously implement the RCEF program in the succeeding years through 2025,” Mr. Dar said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

https://www.bworldonline.com/rice-farmer-incomes-yields-improve-due-to-rcef-study/

 

Nanotechnology and the Future of Rice: Borlaug Scholar Tia Dunbar

By

 Marc Zienkiewicz

 -

 

The virtual meeting of the National Association of Plant Breeders took place last week. In our final podcast from the proceedings we talk with Borlaug Scholar Tia Dunbar about her rice research.

Dunbar is obtaining her MS degree in Plant Breeding at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. Originally hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area, she received her BS degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Davis. Her research focuses on gene editing for crop improvement, specifically with rice. She is currently optimizing in planta gene editing techniques involving novel nanotechnologies.

https://seedworld.com/nanotechnology-and-the-future-of-rice-borlaug-scholar-tia-dunbar/

 

The Week Ahead: August 26, 2020

·         Colusa County Sun-Herald

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

Free Fare Days

Today – September 4

The Colusa County Transit will be offering free fare days today through Friday, September 4 thanks to a Low Carbon Transit Operations grant provided through Caltrans. Passengers will receive free transportation on any of the fixed-timed routes that travel throughout the county, excluding medical transports. All riders must call the Transit office in advance to schedule a ride. A full list of scheduled route times is available at www.ca-colusacounty.civicplus.com/index.aspx?NID=182. The Colusa County Transit operates Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. For more information or to schedule a ride, call the Colusa County Transit at 458-0287. 

California Virtual Rice Field Day

Today

The University of Cooperative Extension and California Rice Research Station will host a virtual Rice Field Day from 1-3 p.m. to update attendees about variety development, disease and arthropod management, weed control, weedy rice and fertility. The virtual meeting will be held via Zoom and registration costs $20. To register, visit http://rice.ucanr.edu/?fbclid=IwAR2eDMCIoE8fMOFg7mKSBYNtAuoN8dKFheMjofZuDHCODNk3XPETlCq7XRI. For more information, email Whitney Brim-DeForest at wbrimdeforest@ucanr.edu

Arbuckle Farmers Market

Today

The Arbuckle Farmers Market, hosted by the Arbuckle Revitalization Committee, will be open at LaVanche Hursch Park, 308 Fifth St, from 4-7 p.m. The market will be offering fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, nuts, eggs, olive oil, meat, hand-made crafts and community information for the final installation of the season. A weekly meal provided by Market Street Grill will also be available for purchase. For more information, visit the Arbuckle Revitalization Committee’s Facebook page. 

Community Conversations webinar

Today

The City of Colusa will host a “Colusa Community Conversations” webinar at 4 p.m. Mayor Josh Hill, Colusa City Manager Jesse Cain, representatives from Cambios Design, Ed Hulbert, Colusa Industrial Properties, and  Kristy Levings, Golden Oaks, will discuss the rehabilitation process of the Pirelli Building and what the next steps will look like. To join the free meeting, visit http://zoom.us/j/98313350646. For more information, visit the City of Colusa California Facebook page.

Wildfire Safety webinar

Today

Pacific Gas and Electric Company will host a safety webinar on the utility’s Community Wildfire Safety Program and the steps the company is taking to reduce the impact of Public Safety Power Shutoff events on customers and communities from 5:30-7 p.m. To join the free meeting, visit https://bit.ly/2WxivQp or call toll-free 1-866-501 6088 and enter conference code: 3567527.  For more information, visit www.pge.com/

Colusa County Democratic 

Central Committee meeting

Today

The Colusa County Democratic Party will host a virtual community meeting with Congressman John Garamendi at 6 p.m. Participants must register in advance at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMlcu6qqDIqH9M0I_2k5zWg4bwJ506dUNd7. For more information, email colusacountydemocrats@gmail.com or message the Colusa County Democratic Central Committee’s Facebook page.

Colusa Certified Farmers Market

Thursday

The Colusa Certified Farmers Market will be open at Veterans Memorial Park, located on the corner of Tenth and Markets Streets in Colusa, from 4-7 p.m. Each Thursday the market will feature several local certified vendors selling a variety of fruit, produce and other local commodities. The Colusa Certified Farmers Market accepts WIC, senior vouchers and CalFresh as part of the Market Match Incentive Program. For more information, contact Market Manager Jennifer Diaz at 415-994-9082.

Second annual Vintage Fair

Saturday

The Arbuckle Revitalization Committee will host the second annual Vintage Fair at LaVanche Hursch Park, 308 Fifth St, from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Antiques, vintage items, repurposed creations, decorations and several cottage industries selling lotions and soaps, all of which are hand crafted and locally produced, herbs and lavender, plants and woodworking crafts items will be featured. Admission to the Arbuckle Vintage Market is free and open to the public. For more information or to become a vendor, call 681-2532.

Board of Supervisors meeting

Tuesday, September 1

The Colusa County Board of Supervisors will hold a meeting in the Board Chambers, located at 546 Jay Street, Suite 108, in Colusa, starting at 9 a.m. To observe social distancing recommendations, the meeting will be accessible via teleconference and members of the public are encouraged to participate. To listen to the meeting, call 916-264-0723 or 1-800-356-8278 and enter the conference code: 401978. Participants are asked to mute their phone when not speaking. Those that would like to participate in the Public Comment portion of the meeting or would like to comment on a specific agenda item, text your name to 501-3309 and the Chair will recognize you when it is your turn to speak. For more information about how to access the teleconference, call 458-0508.

Colusa City Council meeting

Tuesday, September 1

The Colusa City Council will hold a meeting at Colusa City Hall, located at 425 Webster St. in Colusa, starting at 6 p.m. To observe social distancing recommendations, City Council meetings will be available for live viewing via Zoom Meetings. To watch, visit www.zoom.us/join.

https://www.appeal-democrat.com/colusa_sun_herald/the-week-ahead-august-26-2020/article_28fb9282-e725-11ea-84d5-9781539f2943.html

 



Hurricane Laura could impact crawfish production in Louisiana

Rick Bogren

rbogren@agcenter.lsu.edu

BATON ROUGE — Widespread flooding from Hurricane Laura could affect crawfish production for the upcoming season, but the extent of any damage will depend on whether crawfish producers are able to get the unwanted water off their fields in a timely manner. 

When storm-related flood waters cover pond levees in July, August or September, crawfish have no choice but to get out of their burrows, said LSU AgCenter and Louisiana Sea Grant aquaculture specialist Greg Lutz. Unfortunately, once they come out, they usually die because of hot, stagnant water and predation by birds and other predators. 

The crawfish life cycle in Louisiana is the result of millions of years of adaptation to local conditions. 

More:Governor John Bel Edwards: Storms won't disrupt extra $300 benefit for Louisiana's jobless

Mature crawfish spend the summer sealed in burrows along pond levees while crawfish farmers plant rice or other vegetation to serve as the basis for a natural food chain when the ponds are flooded again in the fall, Lutz said. 

Female crawfish lay their eggs while sealed in these burrows. Egg laying begins in late August, peaks in late September or early October and continues all the way until November or even early December. 

“Crawfish eggs are attached to the bottom of the female’s tail, and that’s where they hatch,” Lutz said. Hatchlings cling to their mother’s tail for several weeks after hatching. 

Normally, after a female crawfish has eggs or babies on her tail, she waits to come up out of the burrow until a heavy rain. This gives her hatchlings a good chance of finding open water where they can disperse and begin growing.

“She’ll wait as long as it takes, and her hatchlings can usually live off of their yolk reserves for a month or two,” Lutz said. 

When crawfish ponds are flooded during the summer before egg-laying has begun, crawfish that manage to survive being flushed out of their burrows attempt to go back underground, either using an existing burrow or constructing a new one. 

Several years ago, research at the LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station in Crowley confirmed that female crawfish can survive being flushed from the ground several times and still go on to spawn in the fall if they can get back into a burrow, Lutz said. 

But if flooding continues for a week or longer with hot temperatures, oxygen levels in the water drop to zero, and crawfish are forced out onto the pond banks, where they become easy prey. 

A producer can suffer heavy losses of the mature crawfish that he or she was counting on to produce the next season’s babies, he said. 

“What should crawfish farmers do if these storms cause widespread flooding?” Lutz asked.

Ponds should be drained as soon as possible, he said. This will help eliminate predatory fish that often enter with floodwaters. 

“One sunfish can eat the equivalent of a sack of crawfish over the course of the season, so fish control is an important consideration,” Lutz said.

Live webcams:Views from Louisiana beaches as Hurricane Laura approaches the Gulf of Mexico

Once fish have been eliminated, growers should put a couple of inches of water back on the field if they have planted rice as a forage. In fields where rice has already been harvested, producers are encouraged to manage the rice re-growth but wait until early October to flood, he said. 

For ponds where rice could not be planted as a forage crop or ponds with natural vegetation, producers should still drain them as soon as possible to get rid of fish. “As always, waiting to flood until temperatures have cooled off in mid-October makes the most sense economically,” Lutz said. 

“Louisiana’s crawfish aquaculture industry has dealt with hurricane impacts many times over the past five decades, and each year producers are more experienced and better prepared to deal with them,” he added. “Hopefully Laura will not cause prolonged flooding, and producers will see good reproduction this fall.”

https://www.thenewsstar.com/story/news/local/louisiana/2020/08/25/hurricane-laura-could-impact-crawfish-production-louisiana/3432299001/

 

Hurricane Laura could affect harvesting in Arkansas

Previous volunteers with The Food Project work to harvest food that will be sent to those who need it. (The Food Project)

By: Fox13Memphis.com News Staff
Updated: August 25, 2020 - 10:21 AM

ARKANSAS — Hurricane Laura is expected to sweep through most of Arkansas by Friday, just as harvest nears for several major crops across the state.

In a release from the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension, they said the storm will affect some of the efforts of the harvest season.

The release stated:

Content Continues Below

Terrible timing

While the rice harvest is set to begin in northern Arkansas, the corn harvest throughout the state has already begun for producers with grain drying capabilities.

As of Aug. 23, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported about 5 percent of the state’s approximately 640,000 acres had been harvested. Jason Kelley, extension wheat and feed grains agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said much of the state’s corn crop is in a vulnerable state.

“The timing is terrible, to be honest,” Kelley said.

While some corn producers in the state began harvesting as early as Aug. 1, Kelley said that those first three weeks of harvest were mainly limited to producers who have access to grain dryers.

“If you don’t have a way to handle corn above 15 percent moisture, there’s not much you can do prior to the tropical storm arrival, since most commercial grain terminals only want dry corn,” he said. Much of the state’s 2020 corn crop was late-planted, due primarily to wet conditions throughout March and April.

As with many crops in the state, lodging — the phenomenon of crops becoming first saturated with rain, and then blown down in high winds — poses the most likely threat at this point.

“Getting a big storm at the very end here isn’t ideal,” Kelley said. “But the big concern is that we get wind with it, which could cause lodging. When corn blows down, you’re just never able to get it all picked up and into the combine.”

Even lodged corn plants that can be recovered may suffer significant yield and grain quality loss, he said. The situation can be even more dire for grain sorghum, which, although not currently grown on substantial acreage in Arkansas, is ready for harvest this week.

“The problem with sorghum is that if it’s 80 degrees and it rains for 24 hours, the grain quality suffers — you’ll see sprouting in the head,” Kelley said. “We’ve seen this before in grain sorghum — we get these tropical rains, and the grain begins sprouting, and a very good crop can become unmarketable very suddenly.”

Additionally, heavy rains one week can make for muddy fields the next, even if the storm passes.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, all but the northern 25 percent or so of Arkansas stands a 10-30 percent chance of receiving tropical-storm-force winds between now and Sunday, Aug. 30. NOAA also forecasts all of the state receiving at least 2 inches of rain by the end of the week, with some spots receiving up to 10 inches of rain.

https://www.fox13memphis.com/news/local/hurricane-laura-could-affect-harvesting-arkansas/75PKS3533VFWBJZBNAMEMLT4SU/

 

The prawn biryani arrives. Think tender prawns cooked with spices, rice and yoghurt. Raj’s version of biryani has fluffy grains of basmati rice, some white, others stained red and yellow from absorbing the spices and flavours of the curry, pungent ghee and saffron.

The making of an Indian restaurant can come down to its bread, especially its naans, puffed and blistered from being baked against the wall of the tandoor oven. Delhi to Canberra makes fabulous naans. Twelve different types, in fact. Their satisfyingly flaky, garlic-buttered cheese naan oozes cheese and is fragrant with garlic butter. You won’t want to share. The coconut and raisin filled naan, brushed with melted butter, is a yummy sweet version.

Raj creates all his curries from scratch. They are gluten-free and the menu features plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. If you eat in the restaurant, Raj recommends the banquet. For a minimum of 2 people, his banquet includes mixed pickles, samosas, lamb cutlets, three curries, sides and pappadams.

The only Delhi to Canberra dilemma might be whether you stick with your favourite dishes or work your way through the menu.

Description: Beef dopiaza

Beef dopiaza – tender chunks of beef in a fragrant onion-based gravy.

Delhi to Melba is located at 12 Chinner Crescent in Melba. It is open every day for dinner from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Visit their website to drool over their menu and follow them on Facebook.

https://the-riotact.com/delhi-to-canberra-delivers-majestic-indian-flavours-in-melba/398731

 

Surpassing Thailand, Vietnam becomes No 2 rice exporter in the world

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With a bumper crop and good export prices, Vietnam’s rice export volume and turnover have exceeded Thailand’s, making the former the second largest exporter amid the Covid-19 crisis.

While the exports of many farm produce items have fallen dramatically because of the epidemic, exports of rice have been high.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) reported that in the first seven months of the year, Vietnam exported 3.9 million tons, earning $1.9 billion. Though the export volume decreased by 1.4 percent, export turnover increased by 10.9 percent compared with the same period last year.

In the first half of 2020, China imported 458,000 tons of rice, an increase of 88.9 percent.

The second biggest importer has been the Philippines which consumed 1.4 million tons worth $634.3 million in H1, up by 13.3 percent in volume and 30.5 percent in value.

The Vietnam Food Association (VFA) updated export price list on August 14 showed that Vietnam’s 5 percent broken rice was traded at $493-497 per ton, Thailand’s at $473-477 per ton. Pakistan’s rice at $423-427 and India’s $378-382 per ton.

Description: https://vnn-res.vgcloud.vn/ResV9/images/quote-icon.png

According to VFA, of the three biggest rice exporters in the world (Vietnam, Thailand and India), Vietnam’s 5 percent broken rice price is the highest, higher by $20 per ton than Thailand’s.

According to VFA, of the three biggest rice exporters in the world (Vietnam, Thailand and India), Vietnam’s 5 percent broken rice price is the highest, higher by $20 per ton than Thailand’s.

An expert on farm produce market said Vietnam’s rice export price peaked thanks to the demand increase in the context of limited supply from India and Thailand.

Besides, the improvement of Vietnam’s rice quality, especially scented rice, also helped raise the export price.

 

The expert believes that Vietnam’s rice price may continue increasing because some countries have lowered exports, while the demand is high.

Besides traditional markets, Vietnam now can export rice to the EU, about 80,000 tons a year under the EVFTA (EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement).

The USDA (US Department of Agriculture) has predicted that the global total rice output would be 495.2 million, a decrease of 0.3 percent, while the consumption level would be 490.4 million tons, an increase of 1.3 percent over 2019.

The high exports have pushed domestic rice prices up. Mekong Delta rice was traded at VND5,000-6,700 per kilogram, up by VND200-500 per kilogram.

Nguyen Van Tam in Can Tho City, who cultivates rice on 6 hectares, said though rice is still unripe, merchants have committed to buy fresh rice at the fields at VND5,700 per kilogram, or VND500-700 per kilogram higher than the previous year.

The farmers in Phu Dien commune of Dong Thap province also said merchants have committed to collect rice at high prices. 

Tam An

Description: Improved quality and higher demand boost Vietnam rice export outlook

https://vietnamnet.vn/en/business/surpassing-thailand-vietnam-becomes-no-2-rice-exporter-in-the-world-668885.html

 

DA-12 set to release cash assistance to 50,000 rice farmers in Soccsksargen

By

 MALU CADELINA-MANAR

 -

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 24 August) – Some 50,000 rice farmers in Soccsksargen region have yet to receive cash assistance from the Department of Agriculture – Region 12 (DA-12) as part of the government’s mitigating measures against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

DA-12 regional director Arlan Mangelen admitted some “technical” problems in the release of cash aid for the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA).

One of the reasons he cited was the delay in the liquidation of the first tranche of the RFFA.

The local Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and other government-owned financial institutions were supposed to complete the liquidation weeks after the release in June.

Mangelen said the top management of LBP based in Metro Manila has strictly ordered its local branches to hasten the completion of the release of funds for the RFFA.

He made the clarification after receiving several complaints from rice farmers in North Cotabato that the cash cards they released last July 17 has no deposited funds.

Each RFFA beneficiary will receive P5,000 cash assistance from the department.

In Region 12, the first tranche of RFFA benefited some 30,000 rice farmers, according to Mangelen.

 

https://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2020/08/da-12-set-to-release-cash-assistance-to-50000-rice-farmers-in-soccsksargen/

 

As Tropical Storm Laura batters Caribbean, at least 13 dead in Haiti, Dominican Republic

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·         AUG 24, 2020 - 7:36 AM

 

Women walk in a flooded street during the passing of Tropical Storm Laura in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020. Tropical Storm Laura battered the Dominican Republic and Haiti and is heading for a possible hit on the Louisiana coast as a hurricane, along with Tropical Storm Marco. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

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Locals stand on the banks of the Tet Dlo river during the passing of Tropical Storm Laura in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020. Tropical Storm Laura battered the Dominican Republic and Haiti and is heading for a possible hit on the Louisiana coast as a hurricane, along with Tropical Storm Marco. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

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Street vendors wade a flooded street during the passing of Tropical Storm Laura in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020. Laura battered the Dominican Republic and Haiti and is heading for a possible hit on the Louisiana coast at or close to hurricane force as a hurricane, along with Tropical Storm Marco. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

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Locals watch as the bodies of two women lie on the ground after drowning in the Tet Dlo river during the passing of Tropical Storm Laura in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020. Tropical Storm Laura battered the Dominican Republic and Haiti and is heading for a possible hit on the Louisiana coast as a hurricane, along with Tropical Storm Marco. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

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A woman is helped by a man to cross a flooded street during the passing of Tropical Storm Laura in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020. Tropical Storm Laura battered the Dominican Republic and Haiti and is heading for a possible hit on the Louisiana coast as a hurricane, along with Tropical Storm Marco. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

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People line up to enter retail chain Costco to buy provisions in New Orleans, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020, in advance of Hurricane Marco, expected to make landfall on the Southern Louisiana coast. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

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Workers board up shops in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020, in advance of Hurricane Marco, expected to make landfall on the Southern Louisiana coast. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

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Greg Johnson, left, and Isaac King work together to fill sand bags on Courthouse Road in Gulfport, Miss., on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020, as coastal residents prepared for impact of two possible back-to-back hurricanes. (Donn Hupp/The Sun Herald via AP)

At least nine people died in Haiti and two were missing on Sunday, when heavy rainfall from Tropical Storm Laura buried large swaths of the country under murky floodwaters and threatened to overpower the country's only hydroelectric dam.

Four people died in Haiti's neighbor, the Dominican Republic.

Laura was headed for a possible hit later in the week on the Louisiana coast as a hurricane, along with Tropical Storm Marco.

 

Tropical Storm Marco weakens as it approaches Louisiana; Laura expected to strengthen

"The waves are already spilling over the Gibara seawall. Many residents have already left the area for fear of flooding," Guillermina Montejo, a resident of the coastal Cuban city of Holguin, told el Nuevo Herald.

The center of Tropical Storm Laura passed into Haiti Sunday morning after moving from Puerto Rico and through the Dominican Republic, where it also left at least four dead and a destructive trail of floods, heavy rains and wind in its wake.

Among the dead: two, possibly three, children.

In Haiti, a 10-year-old girl in the southeastern town of Anse-a-Pitre near the Haiti-Dominican border was killed when a tree fell on her house. A 10-month-old baby boy was missing after his mother's Toyota Rav4 car got stuck in the mud in Tabarre and the two appeared to have gotten swept away by flash floods sometime after 7 a.m. Sunday. The lifeless body of the mother, who was identified by a friend as Jessica Jeanniton, a pediatrician, was later found, but not the child.

 

Residents look for salvage items next to the Tet Dlo river after the passing of Tropical Storm Laura in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020. Tropical Storm Laura battered the Dominican Republic and Haiti and is heading for a possible hit on the Louisiana coast as a hurricane, along with Tropical Storm Marco. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

In the neighboring Dominican Republic, 7-year-old Darwin Frias and his mother, Clarissa, 44, died when their house collapsed in Santo Domingo, the capital, which saw severe flooding and damaged homes.

Video posted on Twitter showed Dominican Civil Defense workers pulling trapped residents out of the rubble in at least one area of Santo Domingo known as Palmarejo.

"We want to show solidarity with the pain of these families; we ask God to bring them comfort and we ... will be there to help them with their needs," Juan Manuel Mendez Garcia, the director of the Center of Emergency Operations, said in a news conference.

 

Louisiana emergency declaration approved by White House, freeing up FEMA aid as Marco, Laura loom

Visiting one of the hard-hit neighborhoods, La Yuca, newly sworn-in Dominican President Luis Abinadar promised the crowd he would implement a plan to prevent tragedy around the ravines and rivers in urban areas that are particularly vulnerable to dangerous floods during storms.

"It will take us several years," Abinader later told one woman who had lost her home. "We will relocate you to somewhere safe and help you with everything. The government is here for you."

First lady Raquel Arbaje, visiting an impromptu vigil for the Frias family, said, "You are not alone, we have to make sure no life is lost."

Laura left more than 1 million Dominicans without power, according to the country's electric utility, and large parts of the Dominican Republic without water.

Mendez said the storm forced the evacuation of more than 1,050 Dominicans, damaged roads, knocked down trees and downed power lines while leaving large swaths of the country's 11 million residents without services. Damages, he said, were concentrated in the northern and eastern regions of the country.

 

A woman walks on a bridge near a house damaged by a river after the passing of Tropical Storm Laura in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020. Tropical Storm Laura battered the Dominican Republic and Haiti and is heading for a possible hit on the Louisiana coast as a hurricane, along with Tropical Storm Marco. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

While he did not say how many homes had been destroyed, Mendez pointed out that many houses were under the threat of being destroyed "because of what has happened to the rivers."

In Haiti, Laura's destruction was equally as severe as roads were cut off, rivers ran over their banks and cars got stuck in mudslides.

Officials spent the better half of an afternoon news conference Sunday pleading with Haitians to not cross rivers, and to protect themselves.

And while they pleaded with Haitians to stay put in some communities, they also begged for some in others "to hurry and flee."

 

A Marco-Laura one-two punch: Louisiana preps for back-to-back hurricane blows on Gulf Coast

An overflowing Peligre Dam in Haiti's Central Plateau meant that authorities had to quickly release its waters, endangering the rice plains and farms in the nearby Artibonite Valley.

"All the radio stations that are here who can call the people of the Artibonite, tell them, 'Attention!' Secure their belongings because there is going to be a lot of water in the Artibonite Valley," Public Works Minister Nader Joaseus said.

The dam is a key supplier of electricity and irrigation for the rice plains and farms north of Port-au-Prince. The probability of its destruction by the storm "was high," Joaseus said. That would not only create a new crisis for the rural farmers of the Artibonite, who were already struggling with yields as Haiti undergoes a severe food shortage amid the coronavirus pandemic, but "the little bit of electricity, the 10 megawatts that it gives us, we also won't have it,"Joaseus said.

"If Peligre breaks, it will be catastrophic," Agriculture Minister Patrick Severe added, while begging Haitians to cooperate. "We can diminish the effects of flooding but we can't eliminate it."

 

Street vendors stand on the sidewalk as water runs down a flooded street during the passing of Tropical Storm Laura in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020. Tropical Storm Laura battered the Dominican Republic and Haiti and is heading for a possible hit on the Louisiana coast as a hurricane, along with Tropical Storm Marco. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

With all of their disaster-prone country under siege by Laura, Haitians experienced flash floods in the southeast, wind gusts of 50 miles per hour in the north and severe flooding throughout, including in the capital, where some were forced to wade through waist-high dirty water.

Even Port-au-Prince's Toussaint Louverture International Airport was not spared flood waters.

Overnight, Haiti had raised its severe weather alert from orange to red, the country's highest.

Prime Minister Joseph Jouthe, offering his and the president's condolences over the loss of life and property, said earlier in the day: "Five people are already dead, and it's five too many."

The deaths were mainly in the southeast _ where a woman in her 50s was swept away while trying to cross the Gosseline river in the town of Marbial _ and in the metropolitan Port-au-Prince area.

 

Why power outages, high water may last longer than normal during Hurricane Marco, Tropical Storm Laura

"From what I am looking at," said the mayor of a flooded Cite Soleil slum, Joel Janeus, "it's not just Cite Soleil that will have a problem if they do not hurry up and do something."

Janeus said the shantytown, which sits like a basin on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, was inundated with flood waters.

"It's not some people who are flooded. It's the entire area," he said.

Though there were 800 shelters available throughout the country, only a handful had opened to accommodate people in the northeast, southeast and west who had been flooded out of their homes. The government acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic made managing shelters difficult and that the coronavirus also had depleted available resources.

Haitians were warned not to let their guard down.

This was also the message in Puerto Rico, even after Laura's passing. Puerto Rican officials told residents there still remained a high risk of rip currents across the northern coast as the storm moved away from the U.S. territory.

Earlier in the day, Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vazquez said there had been no loss of life.

At least 23 storm-related incidents, including six landslides along roads in the municipalities of Comerio, San German, Corozal and Villalba, were reported by the Department of Transportation and Public Works, Vazquez said during a late Sunday morning news conference.

She also mentioned an incident involving two teens, ages 17 and 19, who went to a local swimming hole in Ciales on Saturday, as the storm passed. The teens ended up trapped after the water levels of the river rose and they were forced to spend the night on top of a rock until rescuers retrieved them Sunday morning.

And just as the storm left more than a million Dominicans without power and water, it did the same in Puerto Rico, which suffers from repeated blackouts even without storms.

On Saturday, more than 200,000 customers of the Puerto Rican Electric Power Authority were reported to have lost power, though Vazquez said the number had dropped to around 33,000 as of 9 a.m. Sunday

But Angel Figueroa Jaramillo, president of the Electrical Industry and Irrigation Workers Union, tweeted that the number was approximately 50,000 by 11:15 a.m.

In addition to the blackout, around 61,000 clients of the Puerto Rico Aqueducts and Sewers Authority did not have water on Sunday morning, said Vazquez, who added that 70% of the water service interruptions were due to the lack of electricity.

At 3 p.m. Sunday as life-threatening flash floods continued over portions of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, a tropical storm warning remained in effect for the Turks and Caicos Islands and southeastern Bahamas as Laura headed toward eastern Cuba.

A tropical storm watch was also in effect for the Bahamian island of Andros, while other islands in the chain were under alert, according to the Bahamas Department of Meteorology.

By 6 p.m., however, the all clear had been given for several Bahamian islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

In Cuba, warnings were also issued.

At 8 pm. the Cuban Institute of Meteorology reported gusts of 90 miles per hour in areas of the north coast of Baracoa.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for all Cuban provinces. The entire country could see heavy rains that could cause floods, landslides and coastal swells such as those left by Laura during her passage through the Greater Antilles.

Earlier Sunday, the National Civil Defense warned that the storm could intensify and issued a "cyclonic alarm" advisory for the eastern provinces and Camaguey, which indicates the imminent passage of a storm. The rest of the central provinces are on alert.

Local authorities were rushing Sunday morning to clean streets, secure buildings, protect crops, and evacuate residents from vulnerable areas, such as Baracoa, in Guantanamo, which is just recovering from the damage caused by Hurricane Isaias in late July. But there were no reports on government media of widespread evacuations.

https://coleofduty.com/military-news/2020/07/19/comprehensive-study-on-europe-rice-market-2020-trends-drivers-strategies-applications-and-competitive-landscape-forecast-to-2024/

 

Gov’t pushes for new rice substitute

posted August 23, 2020 at 11:00 pm by PNA

With thousands of Filipinos struggling to feed their families amid the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, the government is looking for ways to introduce a new substitute for rice to help make more parts of the country hunger-free.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the government is pushing for the planting of ‘adlai,’ a gluten-free grain, to ensure food security and fight against hunger and poverty.

“We will push for the planting of adlai in the Caraga region as part of the residents’ staple food and as a source of livelihood for farmers, indigenous peoples, rebel returnees as well as those located in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas to ensure we have food security and to continue the fight against hunger and poverty,” Nograles said in a statement.

Nograles, chair of the Zero Hunger Task Force, described adlai as a “great potential” to be a key food and livelihood source for the region.

“Adlai is more nutritious than corn and brown and white rice. Its propagation is appropriate for upland and highland areas in Mindanao where there is a higher incidence of poverty and hunger,” he said.

He said his office is closely coordinating with the Department of Agriculture for assistance in propagating adlai and in allocating additional funds to buy seedlings that will be distributed to farmers and other beneficiaries in Caraga and in other areas in Mindanao.

 Citing a DA study, Nograles said adlai is ideal for inter-cropping with other plants and does not need additional water irrigation because it can survive in slope areas and can depend on moisture from rainfall.

Adlai, he added, also has several nutritional benefits because it is a nutritionally and energy-dense food that provides perfect energy boost and is also a good source of protein.

He said that adlai is high in dietary fiber that assists healthy probiotic bacteria in the gut, removes bad cholesterol and high in calcium which ensures good bones and teeth, aids in nerve transmission, blood clotting and muscular function.

Currently, he said the grain variety is already popular in Bukidnon and many areas in Region 10, and is starting to pick up in Region 11.

Like corn and other rice varieties, adlai is a type of long-stemmed crop that grows in tropical areas in Southeast and South Asia.

It is also known as Chinese Pearl Barley or Jobs’ Tears because of its tear-like shaped grains. In the Philippines, cracked Adlay grains are more commonly found because of the milling processes typical for the country.

By virtue of Executive Order 101, the IATF on Zero Hunger is tasked to ensure that government policies, initiatives, and projects on attaining zero hunger will be “coordinated, responsive, and effective”.

Member-agencies of the task force are departments of Social Welfare, Agriculture, Agrarian Reform, Budget, Education, Environment, Health, Labor, Local Government, Trade, and Science; Presidential Communications Operations Office; National Economic and Development Authority; and Commission on Higher Education.

https://manilastandard.net/news/national/332225/gov-t-pushes-for-new-rice-substitute.html?__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=79556dddad6ea4afa0af3ad3c3752c58b4be5dd6-1598446586-0-AY6S8fEA_Zp0D2DmNHNciA_QUeuB8g4JFLdSE6vyhw9iFDsUKdfX9qtL9ggeEDAzNz0RRIN3oK451GXPHAvPYJpd3lSDJSfhydooW2k8SBJLmsrVm2WkL0K1o2cpMHzWzGKYeTH1ZvkPw4y47TkmoQG4QWPVcXPPHHe2GI_0NyqHW1f5xW1H1oIplrja54m41tlQoHgYxYiIHNc_wuyYNftZEp6JytOklS6FDq7G9ZiGX1PfiaTxi74FfQCXr3k-_xOos0vzwmRUCK0hUj4TirzUQxEwZ2oou332dBhN1_CtNVaB-vBdQfzSK1WDs5x4xKj7DkdyHIqNIGovgplKVcwpi_1eM9siy_eSrxcW2Gku

 

 

Virtual UofA Field Day Serves Up Lots of Rice 

 

By Emily Woodall

 

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- The University of Arkansas (UofA) Division of Agriculture held their annual Rice Field Day last week.  Participants tuned in via computer as the virtual event kicked off last Thursday evening with pre-recorded presentations, and Dr. Jarrod Hardke, director of the UofA Rice Experiment Station, moderating the live question and answer session following presentations.

 

Dr. Bob Scott, the newly appointed director of the UofA Cooperative Extension Service, started off the event by reminding attendees that "the extensive research we do helps inform our recommendations for best practices for the rice industry in Arkansas.  It is the desire of the Division to share our research findings even when an in-person field day is not recommended.  So, we may not have catfish or BBQ, but, thanks to technology, we do have the ability to bring the field day to you."

 

"The Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board is investing grower check-off funds to facilitate rice production in Arkansas," said Roger Pohlner, chair of the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board, who provided his board update from the future home of the Northeast Rice Research and Extension Center.  "Primarily, we direct these funds into areas that you are probably already familiar with:  variety development, fertility and irrigation management, weed and disease control, and the rice research verification program, just to name a few."

 

Design plans for the Northeast Rice Research and Extension Center, to be directed by Dr. Tim Burcham, were shared.

 

Other presenters included Dr. Jason Norsworthy who discussed weed control and tolerance of herbicides such as Provisia, Rogue, Loyant, and others.  Dr. Ehsan Shakiba reviewed the process of hybrid rice breeding. 

 

Dr. Trent Roberts encouraged producers to regularly test their soil which could increase yield and profitability, and also reported on research results pertaining to optimizing soil fertility.  Dr. Yeshi Wamishe focused on fungicide management and urged producers to know the disease reactions of their rice varieties and then use those ratings to select varieties that match with the history of their fields. 

 

Lastly, Dr. Xueyan Sha provided an overview of the varieties released over the past two years including CLL16, released late last year, and talked about a new variety that could be ready in the near future.

 

Go here to access all the field day presentations.

 

 

Growing Rice At Home: Learn How To Grow Rice Rice By: Amy Grant Printer Friendly Version Image by niti_h Rice is one of the oldest and most revered foods on the planet. In Japan and Indonesia, for instance, rice has its own God. Rice requires tons of water plus hot, sunny conditions to grow to fruition. This makes planting rice impossible in some areas, but you can grow your own rice at home, sort of. Can You Grow Your Own Rice? While I say “sort of,” growing rice at home is definitely possible, but unless you have a large rice paddy outside your back door, it is unlikely you will be harvesting much. It is still a fun project. Growing rice at home takes place in a container, so only a small space is needed, unless you decide to flood the backyard. Read on to find out how to grow rice at home. How to Grow Rice Planting rice is easy; getting it to grow through harvest is challenging. Ideally, you need at least 40 continuous days of warm temps over 70 F. (21 C.). Those of you who live in the South or in California will have the best luck, but the rest of us can also try our hand at growing rice indoors, under lights if necessary. First, you need to find one or several plastic containers without holes. One or several depends upon how many miniature pseudo rice paddies you want to create. Next, either purchase rice seed from a gardening supplier or buy long grain brown rice from a bulk foods store or in a bag. Organically grown rice is best and it can’t be white rice, which has been processed. Fill the bucket or plastic container with 6 inches (15 cm.) of dirt or potting soil. Add water up to 2 inches (5 cm.) over the soil level. Add a handful of the long grain rice to the bucket. The rice will sink to the dirt. Keep the bucket in a warm, sunny area and move it to a warm place at night. Care of Rice Plants Rice plants don’t need too much care from here on out. Keep the water level at 2 inches (5 cm.) or so above the dirt. When the rice plants are 5-6 inches (12.5-15 cm.) tall, increase the water depth to 4 inches (10 cm.). Then, allow the water level to lower on its own over a period of time. Ideally, by the time you harvest them, the plants should no longer be in standing water. If all goes well, rice is ready to harvest in its fourth month. The stalks will go from green to gold to indicate it is time to harvest. Harvesting rice means cutting and gathering the panicles attached to the stalks. To harvest the rice, cut the stalks and allow them to dry, wrapped in a newspaper, for two to three weeks in a warm, dry place. Once the rice stalks have dried, roast in a very low heat oven (under 200 F./93 C.) for around an hour, then remove the hulls by hand. That’s it; you can now cook with your very own home grown, long grain brown rice.

Read more at Gardening Know How: Growing Rice At Home: Learn How To Grow Rice 
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/grains/rice/how-to-grow-rice.htm https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/grains/rice/how-to-grow-rice.htm

 

 

Farmers introduced to modern rice production

 

 

Description: File photo of riceMembers of Asene Ghana Rice Farmers Group have lauded the Agriculture Department in Asene Manso Akroso District for introducing them to modern rice production.

Mr Asante Badu, the Chairman of the Group, told the Ghana News Agency at a demonstration farm at Asene in the Eastern Region that the group was taken through the various stages of modern rice production and the use of net instead of the tradition use of catapult and noise making to prevent birds from pecking the grains at the fruiting stage.

He said the use of the net had taken away the most difficult aspect in rice production and said that could reduce the cost of rice production and help increase their yields.

Ms Victoria Beyuo, the Agriculture Extension Agent in Asene urged the farmers to plant AGRA rice seeds, an improved high yielding rice variety.

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https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/business/Farmers-introduced-to-modern-rice-production-1041097

 

Rice exporters vow better working conditions for growers

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ISLAMABAD: Rice exporters on Saturday, vowed to promote decent working conditions and improve livelihoods of small farmers, farm labor and families of rice transplanters in the entire rice value chain of Southern Punjab in order to better equip them to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have trained 150 families in Southern Punjab who are associated with rice farming regarding Covid-19 safety measures and also provided them decent working conditions, food packets, shelter, Personal Protection Equipments (PPEs), first aid boxes, solar systems, fans, water cooler, desert cooler and stationary items for their kids,” said Rice Partners Limited (RPL) Chief Operating Officer (CEO) Muhammad Ali Tariq.

He said RPL wants to provide a decent working environment to the labor involved in the plantation of rice adding that RPL has established mother community centres for the children of rice transplanters with the support of Mars Foods which helps keep children away from farms during the transplantation season while keeping them involved in learning activities.

He said that during the current year, RPL has established childcare facilities at both the farm and community level. Such child care facilities take care of the children of rice transplanters while their parents work at the farm.

.Muhammad Ali Tariq said that RPL which was established in 2011, is a social impact business that works with thousands of growers of basmati rice in Punjab in order to help them enhance their production yields adding that more than 100,000 families in Southern Punjab benefit from RPL.

Manager Sustainability Zafar Iqbal said that the women involved in the growing of rice play a key role in its cultivation and contribute towards food security.

He said that rice transplanting is carried out every year from mid-June till the start of August when temperature remains between 37 degrees centigrade to 45 degrees centigrade adding that usually all members of the families take part in the work of transplantation.

He further said that conditions on the farm are highly hazardous and expose children to several risks of insect bites, injuries, infections, exposure to extreme heat and pesticides adding that RPL is working to ensure a safer environment for such kids.

https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/2020/08/22/rice-exporters-vow-better-working-conditions-for-growers/

 

Rice Prices

as on : 24-08-2020 04:59:00 PM

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

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/rice-prices/article32429371.ece

 

West Bengal’s paddy output seen higher on optimum rains

Shobha Roy  Kolkata | Updated on August 21, 2020  Published on August 21, 2020

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West Bengal is expecting a higher kharif paddy production thanks to the favourable weather conditions.

Description: support quality journalism

Optimum rainfall during the sowing and transplantation period is likely to push up the yield of the crop this year.

According to Pradip Kumar Mazumder, Chief Advisor (Agriculture) to the Chief Minister, while there is no change in the acreage, if the weather conditions remain favourable, as now, then the yields will be higher.

West Bengal produces 15-16 million tonnes of paddy each year across the three seasons — ausaman and boro. The kharif paddy (aus and aman) output accounts for about 70 per cent of the total production. Boro paddy is usually cultivated on land dependent on canal or irrigation facility.

“The sowing looks great; the rain has been better than optimum for paddy cultivation. In terms of the area under cultivation, we have already saturated so there might not be any increase, but if this kind of conditions prevail and the kind of crop stand we are seeing, we expect the yield to go up and we will have a better crop this year,” Mazumder told BusinessLine.

By official estimates, West Bengal has 5.8 million hectares under rice cultivation. This covers both irrigated and the rainfed areas, with an average productivity of 2.6 tonnes/ha.

According to Angshujyoti Das, Founder and CEO, Farmneed Agribusiness Ltd, the rainfall has been above average in most rice growing districts. This is likely to ensure a decent crop this year. However, the only challenge will be the supply of agri inputs, which has been impacted in some places in the wake of the pandemic. “Input mobilisation has started and if that picks up then there might not be any challenge on getting a good crop. The temperature and weather conditions are ideal for paddy growing this year,” he said.

Support for mechanisation

According to Mazumder, there has been a surge in demand for all kinds of mechanical support in agriculture and to facilitate this, the State government has invited applications for providing subsidy for mechanisation under various schemes.

“In the first three days of announcing the scheme, we had witnessed close to 40,000 applications. We expect this to go up. The government is ensuring adequate support for mechanisation as it will help ensure jobs. The idea is to train rural youths to operate machines, and maintain them,” he said.

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Published on August 21, 2020

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/west-bengals-paddy-output-seen-higher-on-optimum-rains/article32416297.ece#:~:text=West%20Bengal%20is%20expecting%20a,of%20the%20crop%20this%20year.

 

Agri Buzz: Kharif Acreage Up 8.50%, Rice Planting Soars

Agri Buzz: Kharif Acreage Up 8.50%, Rice Planting Soars

August 24, 2020 9:36 IST | capital market

The Agriculture Ministry on Friday said that the overall kharif area stood at 1,062 lakh hectare (lh) as on 21th August 2020, adding 8.47% compared to 979 lh sown in the corresponding week last year. The pace of sowing has been maintained over recent days. Rice planting has covered 378 lh, 11.71% more than the same week in the previous kharif season. The oilseeds area stood at 191 lh, 14% more than 167.53 lh in the corresponding week in kharif 2019. While soyabean is planted over 120 lh, up 6.69% more than 112.47 lh covered in the same week in the previous season, groundnut area has also gained by 40% to 50 lh as compared to same period last year. Area under pulses stood at 132.56 lh, up 6.77% on year though. Major pulses like Arhar and Urad saw acreage rise by 7.34% and 7.6% respectively. Coarse cereals have been planted over 174 lh, up 4.35% on year. Maize area is up 2.18% at 79.58 lh. At 127.67 lh, the area under cotton is 3.36% higher than that in the same week in the previous year. Sugarcane acreage is up 1.1% at 52.19lh.

https://www.indiainfoline.com/article/capital-market-commodity-futures-mid-session-commentary/agri-buzz-kharif-acreage-up-8-50-rice-planting-soars-120082400105_1.html

 

Seasonal Rice Import Ban Postponed to September 21

Description: Seasonal Rice Import Ban Postponed to September 21

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This year’s seasonal ban on rice imports has been postponed and will come into effect on Sept. 22 instead of the previously announced date (July 22), according to the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration’s deputy for technical affairs.
Mehrdad Jamal Orangi added that importers have time to go through the clearance procedures of their rice consignments until Sept. 22, the website of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting reported.
The official noted that more than 800,000 tons of rice have been imported into the country since the beginning of the current Iranian year on March 20, which shows a 20% decline compared with the similar period of last year. Around 390,000 tons of the total amount have undergone clearance. 

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Flooding disrupts Aman farming

Rice production may fall


 Yasir Wardad | Published:  August 22, 2020 10:17:36 | Updated:  August 23, 2020 14:23:26


Description: Flooding disrupts Aman farming

The ongoing flood has dealt a severe blow to rice cultivation across the country in this season of Aman, the second largest contributor to domestic rice supply.

The lingering flood might lead to a sharp fall in rice production, which, in turn, may push up the prices of the key staple further, insiders said.

The rice prices have already registered an increase of 5.5 to 9.0 per cent in the last two weeks in the city, according to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).

Coarse rice was selling at Tk 42-48 a kg, medium quality rice at Tk 50-55 and the finer one at Tk 58-70 a kg on Friday in the city, according to market sources.

The floods caused damage to standing crops and seedbeds, delay in plantation and shortage of seedlings, badly affecting Aman cultivation in 35 districts, said Golam Sarowar, finance secretary of the Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Labour Federation.

July and August are the peak period for farmers to transplant Aman seedlings, but lands in several key rice-growing hubs are still under waist-deep water, he said, adding that seedbeds couldn't be prepared in those areas.

Croplands in Rangpur, Lalmonirhat, Gaibandha, Kurigram, Jamalpur, Bogura, Sirajganj, Tangail, Faridpur, Netrakona, Sunamganj, Sylhet districts still remained inundated, he said.

He also said majority of the farmers couldn't even prepare seedbeds in districts like Jamalpur and Sirajganj.

And there was no sign of floodwater receding before the end of this month, which means the Aman farming would be affected severely this year, he added.

According to the official data, standing Aman crops on about 71,000 hectares of land have so far been damaged by the flood. And about 8,000 hectares in 33 districts went under water, resulting in severe shortage of seedlings.

The Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) officials said they set a target to produce 15.6 million tonnes of rice on 5.89 million hectares of land in this Aman season.

According to the DAE, farmers brought 57 per cent of the targeted land under Aman farming until August 13, up by 61 per cent from the corresponding period of last year.

The rice production was 15.5 million tonnes in the Aman season in the last fiscal year (FY '20), according to the DAE.

DAE deputy director (monitoring and evaluation) Mizanur Rahman, however, expressed the hope that there was still some time for the Aman cultivation as it could be carried out until September.

The DAE started growing seedlings on highlands of the flooded districts to help affected farmers, he added.

Water levels in the coastal areas as well as in the Ganges basin swelled due to heavy downpour.

tonmoy.wardad@gmail.com

https://www.thefinancialexpress.com.bd/trade/flooding-disrupts-aman-farming-1598069856

 

 

Rice prices spiral amid floods, pandemic

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Prices of almost all rice varieties have increased by up to Tk 3 per kg in Dhaka in a space of 20 days amid floods and the coronavirus pandemic.

Mill owners blamed it on a paddy price hike. But the traders in the capital could not say why prices rose despite a good harvest.   

Rice prices started spiralling in early August. Until Saturday, the prices rose by at least Tk 150 per 50kg, while prices fell by Tk 300 a year ago.

Traders in Mirpur sold Miniket rice at Tk 2,500 to Tk 2,600 per 50kg sack, Nazirshail at Tk 2,550 to Tk 2,600, Paijam and Katari Bhog at Tk 2,300 and BR-28 at Tk 2,150 to Tk 2,200.

“I don’t understand why rice prices surged at a time when the harvest was good,” said Mohiuddin Harun, a wholesaler.

The government has allowed traders to import rice to boost supply as floods damaged crops, but the traders were not very keen, he said.

Rafiqul Islam, president of Naogaon District Rice Mill Association, said they had to raise the prices by the end of July because they bought paddy at high prices. One maund or 37.42kg of paddy costs Tk 1,100 to Tk 1,120 now.

The retail price of fine rice varieties, Nazirshail and Miniket, was Tk 55 to Tk 74 per kg on Saturday, up from Tk 50 to Tk 72 a week ago, according to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh or TCB.

Prices of medium category rice -- Paijam and Lota -- rose to Tk 48-54 per kg on Saturday from Tk 44-50 a week earlier.

Sharna and Guti Sharna, the coarse rice varieties, retailed for Tk 44-48 per kg, up from Tk 40-45 a week earlier.

Meanwhile, prices of fragrant rice have decreased as the demand has dropped. Such rice varieties are used in vast quantities for ceremonial feasts but the pandemic halted parties and programmes.

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