Friday, October 09, 2020

9th October,2020 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter

 

News Detail…

Indian Agri Scientists Close To Releasing Vaccine To Resist Major Disease In Paddy Plants

byM R Subramani-Oct 7, 2020 12:54 PM

Representative image (Freepik)

Snapshot

·         Till now, the resistance of the paddy plant was being strengthened with the introduction of genes known as “Resistance R” which involved manipulating the genes. This took a considerable amount of time and man-hours.

Indian agricultural scientists are set to release a vaccine that will boost the immune system of paddy (rice). This vaccine, to start with, will tackle the Xoo bacterium (Xanthomonas oryzaepv.oryzae), that causes bacterial leaf blight in paddy plants.
https://swarajyamag.com/news-brief/indian-agri-scientists-close-to-releasing-vaccine-to-resist-major-disease-in-paddy-plants

India Under WTO Scrutiny, Actively Tries to Avoid Rice Subsidy Challenges 

By Peter Bachmann

 

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND -- Late last month, members of the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Committee on Agriculture held a regularly-scheduled meeting to discuss existing ministerial decisions, COVID-19, and impacts on farm policy around the world.  While global COVID-19-driven food security measures took up a significant portion of the meeting, the United States kept up the pressure on outstanding domestic support concerns regarding other members, like India.

India was targeted by other member countries for lack of transparency around their agriculture policies and incomplete notifications to the WTO that tally their farm subsidies over the years.  India was questioned over, admittedly, providing prohibited export subsidies through the Transport and Marketing Assistance scheme that was introduced in 2019.  The program reimburses part of the freight costs for exported agricultural products to North America, Europe, and other regions, ultimately allowing exporters to reduce the price for which they sell their commodities overseas.

WTO members also grilled India on their public stockholding program, where the government purchases commodities from farmers at a set/floor price and then sells the commodities to the public, usually at a loss.  The value of the public stockholding program expenditures far exceeds India's WTO subsidy limit.  The Indian government has admitted its rice stockholding program violates WTO commitments, but uses flawed methodology to disguise the scale of its support.

For nearly a decade, India has been the world's largest rice exporter and the second largest producer.  India also is responsible for providing the second highest tonnage of rice imports into the U.S.  Their admitted export and domestic support subsidies, along with a series of subsidies for inputs like fertilizer, irrigation, seed, and fuel, have all contributed to their dominance on the world stage.  Many of these subsidies, both separate and in aggregate, appear to be violations of India's WTO commitments.

"India continues to claim that a number of abstruse exemptions from WTO rules allow it to provide virtually unlimited subsidies, especially for rice, but we know that they're way out of compliance with their subsidy commitments," said Bobby Hanks, a Louisiana rice miller and chair of the USA Rice International Trade Policy Committee.

In May 2018, the U.S. issued its first ever counter-notification to the WTO against how India reports its rice and wheat subsidies.  The U.S. continues to press India for transparency in how they administer their agricultural subsidy programs, calling for a level playing field for American producers and ultimately, WTO compliance.

"The limited exemptions in the WTO decisions do not allow for programs that distort trade, like India's programs do," said Hanks.  "India is abusing this flexibility to the detriment of other rice producing nations, including the U.S, and has stretched it past the breaking point.  The scale of India's programs and rice exports mean avoiding trade distortion is impossible.  If India wants to be a responsible world power, it should ensure it abides by its WTO commitments and not hide behind its status as a 'developing' nation that happens to ship more than $5 billion in agricultural products to the U.S. annually.  We would like to see India held accountable through dispute settlement, especially since attempts to shield its programs don't stand up to scrutiny."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L.G. Raun, El Campo, Texas, says the main rice crop looked good but production was not as good as expected.

Texas rice notches good year

The average yield expected to be more than 7,800 pounds per acre on the main crop.

Ron Smith | Oct 07, 2020

It’s been a good year for Texas rice with yield estimates topping 7,800 pounds per acre, dry, on the main crop.

“It’s been a very good year for rice yield,” says M.O. Way, professor of entomology, Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Beaumont.

“We still don’t have reliable yield data, but average yield should be better than 7,800 pounds per acre on the main crop. The ratoon crop is also looking good, but recent cool weather may negatively affect the second crop.”

Jefferson County farmer Chris Latta says his crop is “just okay. Yields run in the low- to mid- 50s per acre on a green basis. Milling yield is also down,” Latta says.

(Texas rice acreage should remain stable in 2021, “unless other commodity prices go way up,” says El Campo, Texas rice farmer L.G. Raun. Photo by L.G. Raun.)

He’s not certain why milling yield is down but says it could be from showers at bloom. “But we didn’t get high winds with the rain; that’s what usually affects milling yields.”

Harvest conditions were good. “We had dry harvest weather. Moisture dropped drastically as we began harvest, from 18% to 20% when we started down to 13% to 14% when we got through.”

Latta says he’s not sure how his ratoon crop will turn out.

Okay yields

L.G. Raun, El Campo, says his main rice crop looked good before harvest, “but was not what we hoped for. Yield is above average but is not what we expected. The ratoon crop also looks good, but we will not know how good it is until we get the combine in.”

Shelley E. Huguley

El Campo, Texas, rice producer L.G. Raun, left, Dick Ottis, Rice Belt Warehouse, center, and Raun's wife Linda, at the 2018 Texas Ag Forum. The Raun family has grown rice in the area since 1915.

He’s also concerned that storms building in the Gulf of Mexico can threaten the second crop. “We’re keeping an eye on two storms building in the Gulf now.”

Latta says markets are good, unusually so for this time of year. “Price usually tanks at harvest. But exports are up, and imports are not flooding the market. Price is around $13.”

Weedy rice

He’s concerned about increasing difficulty controlling weedy rice. “We’ve had a big problem, similar to what we used to have with red rice.”

See,  Rice market volatility: ‘get used to it’

He says herbicide resistance seems to be part of the problem. “And in recent years, all the water we’ve had seems to make it worse. We’ve tried different tillage methods, water seeding and other measures — similar to what we did with red rice infestations. We need a new herbicide and variety to help us control weedy rice.”

Latta says weedy rice “has characteristics similar to red rice, but it seems to be more vigorous. It comes on quicker.”

He says red rice almost put a lot of producers out of business back in the ‘90s, before Clearpath herbicide came along.

“In 1996, we cut and baled rice because of so much red rice infestation. Clearpath saved us when other control measures stopped working.”

He says weedy rice is an issue across the Rice Belt. “The technology is out there,” he said. “We expect new chemistry in 2022. We hope we can hold on that long.”

In addition to rice, Latta grows hay and raises cattle.

Usual challenges

Way says rice producers experienced the usual challenges in 2020. “Disease problems have been minimal, but we’ve seen some kernel smut. We’ve also had some complaints about low head rice yield, associated with very high yields.

“Insect pressure from rice water weevil and rice stink bug has been average or greater than average. Virtually all our rice farmers apply an insecticide treatment. Treatment of choice is Dermacor X-100, which controls both rice water weevil and stem borers.”

He says most farmers also apply Tenchu 20SG for rice stink bug control. “This product has good residual activity, so many farmers are only spraying once, sometimes twice for this pest.”

 Way says rice planthoppers have shown up in some fields. “Either populations are low, or farmers have sprayed with Endigo ZC.”

A new wrinkle showed up late, he says. “Late in the main crop season, some farmers were reporting damage from the English grain aphid, which is a new one on me.”

Hurricane impact

He says overall damage from Hurricane Laura has not been significant.

“As far as I know, we’ve had no direct loss of rice to Laura, but the impending rain caused farmers to harvest rice before fields were dry, which rutted up the fields affecting ratoon crop production. Some rice lodged here at the center, but I don’t think any (or on a very small number of acres) lodged commercially.”

Latta says the hurricane affected less than one-third of his main crop. Most was harvested before the storm hit.  “We had some shattering but not a lot blown down.”

Way says the 2020 Texas rice crop totals about 180,000 acres.

That’s an improvement over 2019, Raun said. “Texas rice acreage was down to 153,000 last year. We’re back to 180,000 this year and that’s been pretty stable.”

Those numbers pale in comparison to the 500,000 acres Texas farmers once planted.

Raun says acreage has dipped in East Texas where farms compete with urban encroachment and industry for land and water.

Raun’s family has grown rice in the area since 1915, when his grandfather planted his first crop. Now, he, his wife, Linda, his brother and nephew are the only Rauns still growing rice.

He thinks Texas will plant about the same acreage next year. Further acreage declines will affect the infrastructure necessary for a rice industry.

“Prices are a bit flat, now,” Raun says. “They might be marginally better, and futures are up a bit. Still, I think Texas will plant about the same acreage next year unless the price of other commodities go way up.”

TAGS: HARVEST RATOON

https://www.farmprogress.com/rice/texas-rice-notches-good-year

Scientists identify a gene that could help increase help productivity

By India Science Wire

        New Delhi, Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Prof. P.V. Shivaprasad and his team at NCBS, Bnegaluru

In a major development in the search for methods to improve the productivity of rice, a team of scientists at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research’s Bengaluru-based National Centre for Biological Sciences has identified a protein that has a critical role in the holding of the grains in the panicles of rice crops.

Small RNAs are regulators of gene expression. They decide which protein should be made and how much of it should be made in a given cell/tissue/organism. They are present across all organisms. Plants. Animals. Fungi. Bacteria. Name it. These small RNAs are tiny, but they perform critical roles in different aspects of life. There are hundreds and thousands of them in any given species.

Small RNAs are also key regulators in initiating and maintaining heritable changes in gene expression without changes in the DNA sequence (called ‘epigenetics’). Numerous pioneering studies have shown that small RNAs and epigenetic modifications are central to plant development and defence.



Small RNAs are also key regulators in initiating and maintaining heritable changes in gene expression without changes in the DNA sequence (called ‘epigenetics’).

Small RNAs are made in cells by a set of proteins called Dicers (proteins that dice longer RNAs into shorter bits). Once they are made, they associate with another protein called Argonautes (abbreviated AGO). For acting as gene regulators, this association between small RNAs and Argonautes is a must. There are a minimum of10 different Argonautes in plants performing different activities. There are at least 19 of them in the group of plants called monocots, which include cereal crops.

In a new study, a team of scientists led by Prof. P.V. Shivaprasad has shown that a previously unknown AGO named AGO17 is essential for the growth of panicles that hold rice grains. When the researchers expressed it at higher levels in plants, they got plants with longer panicles and more yield. On the other hand, plants had poor growth if they removed this gene by knockdown strategies.

Speaking to India Science Wire, Dr. Shivaprasad said, “It is clear that AGO 17 is a new player that can be used to increase yield. Last year, we showed what exactly was changed during the domestication of rice from wild grasses to high yielding cultivated lines. In that work, we showed how the loss of small RNA led to a change in the rigidity of rice stems as in current rice lines that are st

 

urdier and can hold more grains. AGO17 is also related to domestication. Its expression has been altered during the domestication of rice. Since our results show that this gene can be used to improve yield, natural lines having a higher expression of this gene can be used by breeders to produce new crops with a higher yield. As we have demonstrated in this new study, genetic engineering can also provide rice plants with enhanced yield. In the era of genome editing, we can increase the yield by altering the expression of this gene”.

Dr. Kannan Pachamuthu, who is the first author of the paper, is equally enthusiastic that this finding has a direct application. ‘Panicles have a very dynamic gene expression pattern during its development. We are happy that we found one major regulator in panicle development’, he says.

The study team consisted of Chenna Swetha, Debjani Basu, Soumitra Das, Indira Singh, Vivek Hari Sundar and T.N.Sujith, besides Dr. Shivaprasad and Dr. Pachamuthu. They have published a report on their findings in springer’s journal, Plant Molecular Biology.

:https://vigyanprasar.gov.in/isw/Scientists-identify-a-gene-that-could-help-increase-rice-productivity.html+

 

 

S. Korea's Rice Output Forecast To Dip 3 Pct In 2020

 

South Korea's rice output is expected to shrink 3 percent in 2020 due mainly to bad weather conditions and reduced cultivation area, government data showed Thursday

SEOUL (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 8th Oct, 2020 ) :South Korea's rice output is expected to shrink 3 percent in 2020 due mainly to bad weather conditions and reduced cultivation area, government data showed Thursday.

The country's rice production is likely to come to 3.63 million tons this year, compared with 3.77 million tons a year earlier, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

The amount would represent the lowest level since 1980, when South Korea produced 3.55 million tons of rice. It would also mark the fifth consecutive year of on-year decline and the fourth straight year for the country's rice output to fall below the 4-million-ton level.

The weak output forecast comes as South Korea was hit by an unusually long rainy season and a series of typhoons in recent months, the agency said.

A drop in the cultivation area for rice was also responsible.

In 2020, the combined size of rice paddies is estimated to decline 0.5 percent on-year to 726,432 hectares -- about half the size of the U.S. state of Connecticut.

Consumption of rice, a key staple food for Koreans, has been on a steady decline in recent decades due largely to changes in diet and eating habits.

https://www.urdupoint.com/en/agriculture/s-koreas-rice-output-forecast-to-dip-3-pct-1051173.html

Mango diplomacy: UK Prince Charlies lauds Pakistani mangoes as ‘very tasty’

President Alvi had sent Pakistani mangoes to the heads of state of various countries under ‘mango diplomacy' to promote a soft image of Pakistan.

News Desk

 -

October 8, 2020

 

 

Prince Charles, of UK’s royal family, has thanked President Arif Alvi for sending the royal family a gift of Pakistani mangoes, said a statement released from the President’s Media Office on Tuesday.

Prince of Wales, and heir-to-throne, in a letter addressed to President Alvi, said he and his wife, Camilla Parker, were appreciative of the excellent gift. The Prince had described Pakistani mangoes as ‘very tasty’ in the letter.

President Alvi has sent Pakistani mangoes to the heads of state of various countries under ‘mango diplomacy.’

President Alvi tweeted: “Mango diplomacy, that was done this year, is the best way to expose heads of states & govts, princes & kings to Pakistan, creating a soft image describing Pakistan as a ‘strategic economic hub’ with exquisite culture, traditions, cuisine, fruits, and above all its people.”

 The initiative is aimed at introducing one of the best produces of Pakistan to the world and to increase the export of Pakistani fruits to other countries. Pakistani fruits, especially mangoes, are recognized for their quality and taste globally.

Mangoes make up a substantial export item of Pakistan and are a major contributor to the economy.

According to recent reports, Emirates Skycargo has transported 10million mangoes from Pakistan this season despite disruptions from pandemic coronavirus. The mangoes were transported to UAE, UK, US, Canada, Australia, France, Singapore, and Malaysia markets this season.

Read more: Japan eager to import famous Pakistani exports like mangoes, rice, and textiles

By August 2020, mango export has earned the country $72 million in foreign exchange, reported Dawn News. The newspaper reported that the country exported 45,000 tonnes above the set target.

https://www.globalvillagespace.com/mango-diplomacy-uk-prince-charlies-lauds-pakistani-mangoes-as-very-tasty/

 

 

Companies okayed to import rice to Uganda tax free

By Henry Sekanjako

Added 7th October 2020 08:33 PM

According to the Rice Business sector association Limited, the three companies were cleared last month by both the ministry of finance and that of trade, to import the rice into the country.

 

Currently the demand for rice in Uganda stands at around 380,000 metric tons per month. File/Photo

At least three rice trading companies have been exempted from Value Added Tax (VAT), to import rice to Uganda to deal with the scarcity of rice created by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The three companies include Gotovate Uganda limited, Williex Commodities limited and Akhcom Limited.

According to the Rice Business sector association Limited, the three companies were cleared last month by both the ministry of finance and that of trade, to import the rice into the country.

Isaac Kashaija, the chairman Rice Business sector association said currently the demand for rice in Uganda stands at around 380,000 metric tons per month, with total local production of approximately 180,000 metric tons per season leaving a deficit of about 200,000 metric tons per month.

"If we need rice, we either have to help farmers grow more rice or increase the quality and quantity of our rice to lower the demand, but before we do that, we have to allow rice imports," Kashaija said.

He noted that to address the rice shortage in the country one of the companies, Gotovate Uganda Limited, was allowed to import tax free, 50,000 metric tons of rice from Tanzania, to Uganda.

He said the company requested for the tax waiver between the period of August to December 2020, to save Ugandans who were in total lockdown.

The move to exempt Gotovate from tax was however challenged by other stake holders saying it would affect local rice farmers.

Kashaija defended the issuance of an import permit to Gotovate saying it would help address the scarcity of rice in the country.

He also noted that the government had cleared other 14 rice companies to import rice into the country in 2014, after they challenged parliament legislating against tax exemption on imported rice from Tanzania and other East African Community (EAC) member states, to Uganda.

"It is not only one company that is importing exempted rice from Tanzania to Uganda, 14 companies have been importing the same rice for the last six years, with exempt taxes of over sh1 trillion," Kashaija said.

According to the rice business sector association, a decision was taken following the East African customs Union protocol article 15 that prohibits partner states from imposing duties on products originating from partner states as urged by the 14 companies in the court case against URA in 2014.

The rice companies challenged URA in court, for charging them tax on rice imports, despite the EAC protocol barring such taxation.

"The government through the attorney general should expeditiously dispose of the case in the court of appeal. It has broken the records of justice system of Uganda by taking now close to seven years," Kashaija noted.

Fourteen rice trading companies appealed to court against the 18% VAT charge then and court declared an injunction and since then the case has never been resolved.

The growers of rice also implored the government to help rice farmers to improve and increase on quality and quantity of rice that can easily compete on the market.

They attributed the high volume of rice importation from Tanzania and Pakistan to Uganda, to the bad quality of rice grown in Uganda.

"When you buy rice from Uganda and that from Tanzania, the aroma is different, most Ugandans go for Tanzania rice because the aroma is different and good," Kashaija said. 

https://www.newvision.co.ug/news/1528768/companies-okayed-import-rice-uganda-tax-free

Cost of wheat touches Rs 60 per kg in Pakistan as soaring food prices crush citizens

World

 

Times Now Digital

Updated Oct 08, 2020 | 15:52 IST

Pakistan is looking at a massive wheat and flour crisis as higher food prices continue to push inflation up.

 

Image for representation only.  |  Photo Credit: IANS

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

·         Inflation in Pakistan has gone up from 8.2 per cent in August to 9 per cent in September in the nation

·         The prices of 94 life-saving drugs too have been increased

·         'India is trying its best to push Pakistan to the black list of the Financial Action Task Force', Pakistan minister alleged

Islamabad: The cost of rice in Pakistan has skyrocketed to Rs 2400 per 40 kg. For the first time in the history of the nation, the price of wheat has touched Rs 60 per kg. Pakistan is looking at a massive wheat and flour crisis as higher food prices continue to push inflation up.

The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) last week released data that confirmed that inflation has gone up from 8.2 per cent in August to 9 per cent in September in the nation. The prices of 94 life-saving drugs too have been increased at a time the world is fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. The country is also looking at an acute shortage of gas during the winter.

While the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is expected to help its citizens with controlling the inflation, panic buying, the wheat and sugar hoarders and the cost of medicines, the government is busy continuing to target India despite failing repeatedly.

Pakistan's Minister of Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz, speaking to media persons over rising prices of edible items, accused India for the mess Pakistan finds itself in right now. "He said India is trying its best to push Pakistan to the black list of the Financial Action Task Force. The Minister said Pakistan's adversaries are attempting to weaken our institutions to create a situation prevailing in Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He said they want to create chaos, political instability and economic unrest in Pakistan," a report in The Nation, said.

 

Notably, a couple of months ago, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had said, "People talk about inflation now. If we are placed on the (FATF) blacklist, we will experience inflation that would ruin our economy, the country would face destruction."

https://www.timesnownews.com/international/article/price-of-wheat-touches-rs-60-per-kg-in-pakistan-as-soaring-food-prices-crush-citizens/664211

 

Pakistani Expatriate wins 1 million in Dubai duty free draw

 

The lucky winner Mohammed Shafique Mohammed Siddique with his family Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A Pakistani expatriate in the UAE has joined the long list of $1 million winners when the latest Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire and Finest Surprise draw was held on Wednesday at Concourse B of Dubai International Airport.

Mohammed Shafique, 48, became the latest dollar millionaire when his ticket number 4422 in Millennium Millionaire Series 340 was drawn on October 7, 2020. Shafique had purchased his ticket, which was only his second ever Millennium Millionaire ticket, online on September 10.

Shafique  runs his property managment company in Abu Dubai. He could not contain excitement when Gulf News called to congratulate him. “I don’t know what to say. All that I have won will go to my children. I feel blessed,” said father of seven children.

“My oldest child, a daughter and her younger sibling are both studying in university. My priority will be to spend on their education. My youngest is three years old and his schooling has begun as well. So this win is a huge relief and blessing for me,” he said.

Siddique is second generation Pakistani expat living in the UAE. His parents came to the UAE when Siddique was still a teenager.  “UAE is home to us,” he said, adding that this was his second attempt at the DDF raffle draw.

His winning ticket number 4422 in Millennium Millionaire Series 340 was drawn on Wednesday, October 7 at the Concourse B of Dubai International Airport. Siddique who hails from Lahore in Pakistan is the 19th Pakistani national to win the mega US$1 million since the start of the Millennium Millionaire promotion in 1999, according to DDF statement on Wednesday.

Other winners

Following the Millennium Millionaire draw, the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise draw for a Luxury car and two motorbikes was also conducted. Indian expat and businessman Angkur Sanghvi, 35, living in Dubai won a Bentley Bentayga V8 (White Sand) with ticket number 1653 in Series 1759, which he bought online on September 27.

Another lucky Indian Rabiya Begum, 47, a mother of two and resident of Dubai since 14 years won a Harley Davison Fat Bob (Black Denim) with ticket number 0695 in Series 424.

Latvian expat from Dubai and a self-confessed biker, Mihails Kovals, 42, could not be more excited with his Aprilia Tuono Factory (Superpole) motorbike win. His winning ticket number 0836 was picked in Series 425. Kovals is the first Latvian national to win a motorbike at DDF Finest Surprise promotion.

Wednesday’s draw was conducted following strict social distancing by Colm McLoughlin, Dubai Duty Free’s Executive Vice Chairman & CEO; Ramesh Cidambi, Chief Operating Officer; Salah Tahlak, Executive Vice President – Corporate Services;  Sinead El Sibai SVP – Marketing; Michael Schmidt, SVP – Retail Support; Sharon Beecham, VP- Purchasing and Zayed Al Shebli, VP – Corporate Security and Loss Prevention.

Trending

 

https://gulfnews.com/uae/pakistani-expatriate-wins-1-million-in-dubai-duty-free-draw-

 

RTL, RCEF to regain PH rice sector’s strength, resiliency

By Kris Crismundo  October 8, 2020, 5:18 pm

MANILA – Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar has reiterated the benefits of the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL) and the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), saying these reforms will regain the strength and resiliency of the Philippine rice sector.

At the RTL webinar on Thursday, Dar said the RTL meant to achieve these goals by increasing productivity and reducing production cost.

But this would also involve some adjustments among farmers as they have to organize themselves into cooperatives to obtain economies of scale and benefit from modern farm mechanization, he added.

The RTL has been enacted more than a year ago, lifting the quantitative restrictions (QR) on rice and placed it under a general tariff regime.

It aims to protect local farmers by imposing tariffs on imported rice, while tariff collection will fund mass irrigation, warehousing, rice research, and other assistance to farmers that will be affected by the RTL.

It targets to lower domestic rice prices and makes it affordable to greater number of the population.

Dar stressed that the enactment of the RTL is a major game-changer in the country’s rice history.

“We hope to see that after six years of RTL, we have raised the productivity of our farmers from the current average harvests of four metric tons per hectare, to at least six metric tons per hectare. Secondly, we should have reduced average production costs by 30 percent of the carrying costs, ranging from PHP12 to PHP14 per kilogram to ensure bigger profit margins. We need higher productivity and lower production costs,” he said.

The agriculture chief added that the RTL will help the Philippines secure the staple for its growing population in the future.

He noted that the national rice consumption is projected to reach 14.45 million tons in 2022, 15.18 million tons in 2026, and 15.88 million tons in 2030.

In 2019, palay production reached 18.81 million metric tons (MT), or equivalent to 12.3 million tons of rice. This accounted for 90 percent of the projected local rice utilization of 13.91 million tons, Dar added.

‘Good results’

“Initially, we are seeing good results,” Dar said, noting that palay production in the first semester of the year increased to 8.39 million MT from 8.27 million MT in 2019.

He cited the latest survey among 5,000 RCEF beneficiaries in 55 provinces, who harvested an average of 4.14 MT per hectare, reported an additional yield of 440 kilograms, or close to nine cavans of rice per hectare.

The improvement in yield translates to PHP7,500 additional income per hectare for farmers, which farmers and their families can use amid the pandemic, Dar said.

RCEF benefits 

A key provision of the RTL is the RCEF, which provides free seeds, machinery and equipment, access to credit facilities, and trainings to farmers.

Annually, the government earmarks PHP10 billion for RCEF for the six years from the tariff revenues of rice imports.

Dar mentioned that from the dry season in 2019 to 2020, over 1.37 million bags of certified inbred seeds were distributed to 554,512 farmers covering 68, 586 hectares.

On the other hand, more than 2.27 million bags of inbred seeds were given to 862,854 farmers covering over 1 million hectares during this year’s wet season.

In terms of rice farm machinery and equipment grants, some 2,938 postharvest machineries were already distributed. Of the number, 1,108 were distributed to 625 farmer cooperatives and associations in rice-producing provinces.

In terms of credit facility, RCEF has loaned out PHP1 billion to 5,671 individual farmers and 22 cooperatives last year.

For this year, there is an obligation to release PHP670.88 million worth of loans. Some PHP102.71 million was already released to 610 farmers and 15 cooperatives.

National Scientist Emil Javier, also former president of the University of the Philippines, said it is better if a big portion of the annual PHP10-billion RCEF fund will be provided as a low-interest loan with generous insurance to farmers.

Javier said this credit facility should be available not only to members of farmer cooperatives but to all farmers to expand the beneficiaries of RCEF.

Measures to stop falling palay prices

Meanwhile, Dar said measures are in place to prop-up palay prices.

These measures include a partnership with local government units to procure palay from farmers in their area; procurement, processing, and marketing of palay by multipurpose cooperatives from their farmer members; multinationals to buy directly from farmer cooperatives and associations for their employees’ rice allowance; and potential of giving cash assistance.

For the Department of Trade and Industry, Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said that since the enactment of RTL, prices of rice in the market have gone down.

The RTL has contributed to the taming of the food inflation, Castelo said. (PNA

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1117933

East-West shows vegetable farming viability

 

ByConrad M. Cariño

October 8, 2020

For more than four months, East-West Seed trained the farmers on crop diversification, improved vegetable production techniques, and good agricultural practices (GAP) through the Sa Palay at Gulay-May Ani, Hanapbuhay, Oportunidad at Nutrisyon (Pag-ahon) Project.

On September 23, farmers under Pag-ahon celebrated the fruits of their labors in a harvest festival together with representatives from collaborating organizations of the project: Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice), East-West Seed, the municipal government of Lupao in Nueva Ecija province and the Lupao Vegetable Growers’ Association (LVGA).

(From left) East-West Seed Philippines Knowledge Transfer Manager Girlie Banaña and General Manager Henk Hermans; Agriculture Secretary William Dar; and Department of Agriculture Food Security Ambassador James Reid attend the harvest festival of farmers supported by the Sa Palay at Gulay-May Ani, Hanapbuhay, Oportunidad at Nutrisyon Project in Lupao town, Nueva Ecija province on Sept. 23, 2020. PHOTO FROM EAST-WEST SEED

Launched in May as part of the DA’s “Plant, Plant, Plant” program, Pag-ahon aims to give farmers a sustainable income source and ensure food security in their communities amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

“Vegetables have great economic power. Diversification into vegetables presents a good business opportunity for our farmers,” said East-West Seed Philippines General Manager Henk Hermans.

He also said vegetables are “cash crops” because they grow faster and can be grown throughout the year, citing that the average income per hectare is also higher. For example, a 1,000-square meter of land planted with bitter gourd (ampalaya) can generate the same income as one hectare planted with rice, he added.

Lupao Mayor Alex Rommel Romano said Pag-Ahon was a “big help” to his town, “especially that we only produce rice once a year.”

“Through this project, more sources of income will be provided to our farmers while ensuring their own food supply,” he added.

Farmers under the project were also trained on how to market their produce to direct buyers, and were linked to Dizon Farms, which has purchased around 5.9 tons of vegetables from them.

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https://www.manilatimes.net/2020/10/08/business/agribusiness/east-west-shows-vegetable-farming-viability/777742/

 

 

PH recognized in food visioning competition

 

ByConrad M. Cariño

October 8, 2020

The Philippines has received “special recognition” from the prestigious, Rockefeller-funded Food System Vision Prize for its entry that envisions to reduce the country’s food imports worth billions of dollars by 2050.

The Philippine team, led by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), submitted its entry “Feeding Metro Manila in 2050” that aims to wean Filipinos from a rice-based diet. In place of rice, consumption of other staples like banana, sweet potato and other root crops and tubers are pushed.

The Philippines’ entry to the Rockefeller-funded Food System Vision Prize envisioned a food system where farmers directly deliver to consumers more nutritious food via a digital-based distribution system using appropriate apps.

Food will also be sourced from more affluent farmers who directly deliver to consumers more nutritious food through a digital-based distribution system. Also, the future food system will transform waste into economically valuable resources, such as fertilizers or renewable energy.

“The traditional sewage treatment plant will be transformed [into] a ‘factory’ where domestic waste will be processed to produce recycled water, energy and fertilizers. Consumers will earn from the daily waste they generate,” Eufemio Rasco of NAST said in the entry.

Food will also be produced with less water, and more land will be transformed into watersheds, forests and habitat for a richer biodiversity.

Among the visions of the entry is the extensive use of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies for agriculture, like soil-less farming and smart sensors.

The competition is being pushed by the New York-headquartered Rockefeller Foundation, OpenIDEO and SecondMuse. Its goal is to help economies develop a vision for sustainable and nourishing diet for their people. It has established a $2-million fund for the prizes.

Government collaborators in the Philippines’ entry include the Institute of Plant Breeding of the University of the Philippines (UP) Los Baños and Philippine Rice Research Institute. From the academe, the participants were De La Salle Araneta University, De La Salle University-Manila, Ateneo de Manila University and UP (SPICE project).

The private sector was represented by East West Seeds, Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc., and Management Association of the Philippines-Agribusiness, and Countryside Development Foundation. Research associations and other civic groups include Coalition for Agricultural Modernization of the Philippines, National Research Council of the Philippines, Urban Agriculture PH, Pambansang Kilusan ng Mga Samahang Magsasaka and Young Professionals for Agricultural Development.

https://www.manilatimes.net/2020/10/08/business/agribusiness/ph-recognized-in-food-visioning-competition/777745/

 

Hybrid Rice Research: Current Status and Prospects

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Open access peer-reviewed chapter - ONLINE FIRST

By Diptibala Rout, Debarchana Jena, Vineeta Singh, Manish Kumar Ahlavat, Pandurang Arsode, Prakash Singh, Jawahar Lal Katara, Sanghamitra Samantaray and Ramlakhan Verma

Submitted: May 26th 2020Reviewed: August 21st 2020Published: October 7th 2020

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.93668

Abstract

Heterosis is a solitary means of exploiting hybrid vigor in crop plants. Given its yield advantage and economic importance, several hybrids in rice have been commercialized in more than 40 countries, which has created a huge seed industry worldwide. India has made commendable progress and commercialized 117 three-line indica hybrids for different ecology and duration (115–150 days), which accounted for 6.8% of total rice area in the country. Besides, several indigenous CMS lines developed in diversified genetic and cytoplasmic backgrounds are being utilized in hybrid rice breeding. NRRI, which has been pioneering to start with the technology, has developed three popular rice hybrids, viz., Ajay, Rajalaxmi, and CR Dhan 701 for irrigated-shallow lowland ecosystem. Biotechnological intervention has supplemented immensely in excavating desirable genomic regions and their deployment for further genetic enhancement and sustainability in rice hybrids. Besides, hybrid seed production creates additional job opportunity (100–105 more-man days) and comparatively more net income (70% more than production cost) than HYVs. Hence, this technology has great scope for further enhancement in per se rice productivity and livelihood of the nation.

Keywords

·         hybrid rice

·         CMS

·         genetic gain

·         heterosis

·         restorer

·         breeding value

Chapter and author info

1. Introduction

Heterosis is the superiority of F1 offspring over either parent, a solitary means of harnessing complete hybrid vigor in crop plants. This phenomenon has aided agriculture and captivated geneticists for over centuries for the development of superior cultivar in many crops [1]. Suitable allelic combination and manipulation has made yield advantage in hybrid than HYVs. It covers large acreage for many crops, including rice, and has affected agrarian practices and the seed business across the world. Heterosis had been exploited in several practical ways for centuries before Darwin provided an early scientific explanation in maize. In rice, heterosis was first reported by Jonse [2]. However, owing to its self-pollinating nature (0.3–3.0% out-crossing), heterosis could be realized during middle of second half of the twentieth century after identification and development of the cytoplasmic male sterile (CMS) source. Subsequently, China, under the leadership of Yuan Long Ping, started work on the development of hybrid rice (HR) with a vision to make it possible to be commercial. He identified a natural male sterile mutant plant in rice (indica) and pollen abortive genotypes in the wild rice (Oryza rufipogon; Li 1970), which later served as donor of male sterile source (male sterile cytoplasm) for CMS development. In 1973, through recurrent back-cross breeding, several promising indica wild abortive CMS, viz., Erjiunan1A, Zhenshan 97A, and V20A CMS-WA, and good restorers, viz., Taiyin1, IR4, and IR1, were developed. Later during 1974, first indica rice hybrid, Nanyou 2, was released for cultivation in China. Afterward, relatively more heterotic hybrid rice (HR) breeding approaches like two-line system (1987 AD) and super hybrids (1996 AD) were adopted which supplemented substantially toward Chinese food security and livelihood.

In India, systematic research on hybrid rice was initiated during 1989 when the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) launched a special goal-oriented and time-bound project, “Promotion of Research and Development Efforts on Hybrids in Selected Crops,” for rice at 12 network centers. Around 4 years (1989–1993) of rigorous research efforts have rewarded substantially, and India became the second country after China to develop and commercialize hybrid rice. The first hybrid variety APRH-1 was released by APRRI, Maruteru, for Andhra Pradesh in 1993–1994. So far, 117 rice hybrids (36 from public organization and 81 from private sector) were developed, suitable for different ecology and duration ranging from 115 to 150 days, covering 3.0 mha, which accounted for ~7.0% of the total rice acreage in India (Varietal Improvement, Progress report) [3].

Hybrid rice technology has substantial yielding ability that is able to enhance farm productivity ~15–25% more than inbred varieties. Given its yield advantage and economic importance, several hybrids in rice have been commercialized in more than 40 countries, which has created a huge seed industry worldwide. Moreover, this venture also has great service opportunity and generates additional employment for the poorer [1]. However, it has some limitations in generation of hybrids, seed production, and marginal heterosis. Success of the hybrid depends on their parental combination, adaptability, and allelic interactions, and hence, faces several problems like unstable male sterility (MS), non-abundancy in cytoplasmic diversity, inherited CMS load, low seed producibility in seed parent, poor grain and eating quality, lack of responsive parents for biotic and abiotic stresses, hybrid sterility, marginal heterosis in indica hybrids, etc. This chapter deals with information on: (i) research status of HR, (ii) breeding system and methods involved in hybrid rice development and production, (iii) trait-specific parental line improvement, (iv) molecular dissection of genes and QTLs for parental line improvement, and (v) economic opportunity (Figure 1).

Figure 1.

A schematic representation of hybrid rice technology (seed production, trait improvement, yield evaluation, etc.).

2. Breeding component and system in hybrid rice development

Rice is a strict self-pollinated crop; commercial exploitation of heterosis requires some parental specificity which could excludes manual emasculation. The invention of naturally occurred male sterility (MS) in rice thus played substantial role in realization of heterosis in rice. Following are the genetic tools as mentioned in various heads are required for development and commercialization of hybrid in rice:

2.1 Male sterile system

The male sterility (MS) in plants is the condition where the male reproductive organ, anthers, loses its ability to dehisce and produce viable pollen and thus encourages the allogamous nature of reproduction. This is crucial breeding tools to harness heterosis that exclude additional efforts of emasculation which is cumbersome process. In plants, male sterility is conditioned either by mitochondrial or nucleus genome or in associations. The male sterility in plant was first observed by Joseph Gottlieb Kolreuter in 1763 and later it was reported in >610 plant species. In rice, it was reported by Sampath and Mohanty [4] at ICAR-NRRI (formerly CRRI), Cuttack by studying the differences in male fertility in indica/japonica reciprocal crosses. The male sterility in plant is found to be determined by several biological as well as environmental factors. In rice, it is conditioned either by cytoplasmic genes in association with nuclear genes (CMS) or nuclear genes alone (GMS) which cause abnormal development in sporogenous tissue (either sporophytic or gametophytic tissue). The sporophytic male sterility is governed by genetic constitutions of sporogenous tissues like tapetal and meiocytes which creates improper nourishing to developing microspores and cause pollen abortion, whereas in gametophytic male sterility, microspore and pollen development get affected. Sporophytic male sterility is quite useful in hybrid rice breeding as it gets fertile in heterozygous state and encourages complete fertility in resulting hybrids. To date, several types of male sterile system, viz., cytoplasmic male sterile (CMS), environment sensitive male sterile (GMS), viz., thermo-sensitive genetic male sterility (TGMS), photo-sensitive genetic male sterility (PGMS) and reverse photo-sensitive genetic male sterility (rPGMS), etc. have been identified and substantially being utilized in hybrid development (Table 1).

CMS group

Associated ORF

Protein

Cytoplasm source

Representative CMS-line

1.      Cytoplasmic male sterile line

1.      BT-CMS and their lineage

BT-CMS (G)

B-atp6-orf79

Membrane protein

Chinsurah Boro II/Taichong 65

Liming A, Xu 9201A

LD-CMS (G)

UK

UK

Lead Rice (Burmese indica variety) × Fujisaka 5 (japonica variety)

Fujisaka 5A

Dian1-CMS (G)

UK

UK

Yunnan high altitude landrace rice (indica) cytoplasm

Yongjing2A, Ning67A

HL-CMS (G)

atp6-orfH79

Membrane protein

Red-awned wild rice (Oryza rufipogon) cytoplasm

Yuetai A, Luohong 3A4

1.      WA-CMS and their lineage

WA-CMS (S)

rpl5-WA352

Membrane protein

Wild abortive rice (Oryza rufipogon) cytoplasm

Zhenshan97 A, V20A, IR58025A, CRMS31A, etc.

Kalinga-I-CMS (S)

UK

UK

Kalinga-I (indica) cytoplasm

CRMS 32A

D-CMS (S)

UK

UK

Indica rice Dissi D52/37

D-Shan A, D62A

DA-CMS (S)

UK

UK

Dwarf abortive rice (Oryza rufipogon) cytoplasm

Xieqingzao A

GA-CMS (S)

UK

UK

Gambiaca (indica) cytoplasm

Gang 46A

ID-CMS (S)

UK

UK

Indonesia paddy rice (indica) cytoplasm

II 32A, You1A

K-CMS (S)

UK

UK

K52(japonica) cytoplasm

K-17A

CMS-RT102 (S)

rpl5-orf352

Membrane protein

Oryza rufipogon, W1125

RT102A

CMS-RT98A (G)

orf113-atp4-cox3

Membrane protein

Oryza rufipogon Griff, W1109

RT98A

LX-CMS

UK

UK

Luihui rice (indica) cytoplasm

Yue 4A

Maxie-CMS

UK

UK

MS mutant of Maweizhan (indica) with Xieqingzao (indica)

Maxie A

NX-CMS

UK

UK

Selected from F2 male sterile plants in the progeny of Wanhui 88 (indica) × Neihui 92–4 (indica) nucleus

Neixiang 2A, Neixiang5A

Y-CMS

UK

UK

Yegong (indica landrace) cytoplasm

Y Huanong A

CW-CMS (G)

orf307

Mitochondrial protein

Oryza rufipogon Griff.

IR24A, IR64A

1.      Environment-sensitive genetic male sterility (EGMS)

PGMS

pms3

Noncoding RNA

Nongken 58S, PGMS mutant of japonica cultivar Nongken 58

7001S, N5088S

P/TGMS

p/tms12–1

noncoding RNA

Photoperiod and temperature sensitive genic male sterile (P/TGMS) derived from Nongken 58S

Pei’ai 64S

TGMS

tms5, RNase ZS1 (loss in function)

Nuclease enzyme

Spontaneous TGMS mutants of Annong S-1 and Zhu 1S

Guangzhan 63S5, Xinan S

rPGMS

csa OsMST8

MYB transcript regulator

Carbon starved anther (csa) mutant of japonica cultivar 9522

9522S

Table 1.

Cytoplasmic diversity in rice CMS.

Note: “S” stands for sporophytic male sterility and “G” stands for gametophytic male sterility.

2.2 Diversity in male sterile system and their mechanism

The CMS is a maternally hereditary trait instigated by improper communication between cytoplasmic and nuclear genome [5]. Gene(s)/genic block(s)-conditioned cytoplasmic male sterility is chimeric construct, which evolved due to rearrangement of the mitochondrial genome (Figure 2). In rice, several types of CMS have been identified and characterized, having diversified mechanism in MS expression. Wild abortive (WA-CMS), a sporophytic MS system, is widely utilized in hybrid development. It is found to be caused by a constitutive mitochondrial gene WA352c located downstream of rpl5 (comprised four mitochondrial genomic segments, orf284, orf224orf288, and cs4-cs6) and encodes a putative protein (352-residue) with three transmembrane segments. The WA352c inhibits nuclear-encoded mitochondrial protein COX11 (essential for the assembly of cytochrome c oxidase, TCA) and triggered premature tapetal programed cell death and pollen abortion [6]. In contrast, BT-CMS is a gametophytic MS reported in the Indian rice variety, Chinsurah Boro-II, in which pollen development get arrested at the tri-nucleate stage. The mitochondrial chimeric (dicistronic) gene B-atp6-orf79 encodes a transmembrane protein, cytotoxic peptideORF79 [7], which accumulates preferentially in the microspore, was found to be responsible for male sterility. The orf79 reside downstream to the atp6 and interact with P61 and mitochondrial complex III and impair the activity of this complex which lead to dysfunctional energy metabolism and elevate oxidative stress and thus causing sterility. However, in HL-CMS, which is also a gametophytic MS system, pollen development gets arrested at di-nucleate stage. A chimeric aberrant transcript of the mitochondrial geneatp6-orfH79, located downstream of atp6is confirmed as candidate gene of this MS. Transcript of orfH79 gene preferentially accumulates in mitochondria which interacts with P61 (a subunit of ETC complex III) and impairs mitochondrial function [8] and leads to MS. The MS in CW-CMS is conditioned by mitochondrial orf307, which causes anther-specific mitochondrial retrograde regulation for nuclear gene expression. It is a gametophytic MS in which pollen grain appears normal but unable to germinate.

Figure 2.

Schematic presentation of rice CMS types, where WA stands for wild abortive, BT is for boro type, HL for Honglian, LD for lead rice, CW is for Chinese wild rice, RT102A and RT98A, respectively.

2.3 Genetic male sterility (GMS)

The GMS in rice is conditioned generally by recessive nuclear genes and exert showing normal Mendelian inheritance. Owing to difficulties in their maintenance (occurrence of only 50% sterility in F1), GMS could not be part of rice hybrid breeding program. Some GMS lines has shown threshold nature in MS expression where male sterility occurs in specific environmental regime (high temperature and long day length); hence called environment sensitive genetic male sterile (EGMS). The GMS line shows male sterility at elevated temperature, that is, >30°C is called temperature sensitive male sterility (TGMS) whereas male sterility in long day length, that is, >13.5 h is called photoperiod-sensitive genetic male sterility (PGMS). The male sterility in EGMS line is found to be revert into male fertile in favorable temperature (<30°C) and day length (<12.5 h) which provide its unique opportunity to be utilized in hybrid rice breeding program. The rice lines exert MS impression under long photoperiod and elevated temperature are referred as P/TGMS, for example, Pei’ai 64S. The EGMS lines, PGMS-Nongken 58S (NK58S) and TGMS-Annong S-1 and Zhu1S or derivatives are utilized extensively in majority (>95%) of the two-line hybrid program. Among, derivatives of NK58S are exerts either P/TGMS or even TGMS (e.g., Guangzhan 63S), the mechanism underlying to such dramatic changes yet to be revealed. Recently, a novel type of EGMS (csa-carban starved anther mutant) in rice called rPGMS (reverse PGMS). These lines expresses MS under short photoperiod (<12.5 h) and revert to normal fertile when exposed to long days (>13.5 h). This is found to be suitable for seed production of two-line hybrids in tropics and subtropics [9].

2.4 Transgenic cytoplasmic male sterility

The genetically engineered male sterile line M2BSin rice is developed by transformation of indica rice maintainer M2B with partial-lengthHcPDIL5-2a (Hibiscus cannabinus protein disulfide isomerase-like) genetic construct. Male fertility in this CMS is reported to be arrested due to tapetum degeneration which leads pollen abortion. The genetic analysis revealed this MS a maternally inherited inability as of CMS. Besides, by combining cysteine-protease gene (BnCysP1) of Brassica napus with rice anther-specific P12 promoter (promoter region of Os12bglu38 gene), a transgenic MS system was successfully created which is restored by transgenic rice plants carrying BnCysP1Si silencing system [10]. Zhou and co-workers [11] could develop 11 “transgene clean” TGMS lines by editing most widely utilized TGMS gene tms5 through CRISPR/Cas9.

2.5 Genetics of fertility restorer gene

The rice CMS is found to be restored by nuclear genome, that is, mono or oligo nuclear loci called restorer gene. In rice, a total of 10 Rf genes (Rf1aRf1bRf2Rf3Rf4Rf5Rf6 and Rf17, Rf98 and Rf102) have been identified, of those seven (Rf1a, Rf1b, Rf2, Rf4, Rf5Rf17, and Rf98) are characterized. All Rf genes are found to be dominant in nature (except Rf17, restores fertility in CW-CMS), which can restore male fertility in heterozygous state. Restorer genes are very specific to male sterile genome in the mechanism of fertility restoration. Genes Rf1a and Rf1b (Chr.-10) encode pentatricopeptide-repeat (PPR)-containing proteins and have functional affinity of fertility restoration in BT-CMS; RF1A promotes endonucleolytic cleavage of the atp6-orf79 mRNA andRF1B promotes degradation of atp6-orf79 mRNA [7] and revert the male sterility into fertility. Whereas, HL-CMS is restored either by Rf5 or Rf6 gene, these genes can produce 50% normal pollen grains in F1 plants individually; however, both genes in complementation could restore more than 80% spikelets’ fertility in hybrids. The Rf5 encodes a PPR family protein PPR791 and which bind with GRP162 (glycine rich protein) and atp6-orfH79 transcripts and makes a RFC (restoration of fertility complex). The RFC cleave the aberrant transcript of atp6-orfH79at 1169 nucleotides position [12]. TheRf6 gene encodes a novel PPR family protein (duplicate PPR motif 3–5) which in association with hexokinase (osHXK6) targets mitochondria and process defective transcript of atp6-orfH79 at 1238 nucleotide position. Thus, PPR protein family cause editing of aberrant transcript, inhibit their translation, and at the end, fertility restoration. Besides, male fertility in WA-CMS is found to be counteracted by Rf3 and Rf4 genes (chrom.-1 and 10, respectively). The genes Rf3 and Rf4 encode a pentatricopeptide protein (PPR) where RF4 cleave the abnormal WA352 transcript and RF3 suppress translation of WA352 into polypeptide and helps in restoring fertility in WA-CMS. Fertility in LD-CMS is reported to be restored by either Rf1 or Rf2. The Rf2 gene encodes a glycine-rich protein in mitochondrial; replacement of isoleucine by threonine at amino acid 78 of the RF2 protein causes functional loss of the rf2 allele. Moreover, CW-CMS is reported to be restored by a single recessive gene (Rf17) which is a retrograde-regulated male sterility (rms) gene (Table 2) [20].

S. No.

Rf genes

Locality

Marker

CMS system

Restorer line

Causative gene

Encoded product

Reference

1

Rf1a, Rf1b

Chr-10

InDel-Rf1a

CMS-BT

BTR, IR24, MTC10R; C 9083

PPR8–1, PPR791,Rf1A, Rf1B

PPR

[13]

2

Rf2

Chr-2

CAPS42–1

CMS-LD

Kasalath, Minghui 63

LOC_Os02g17380.1

Gly. Rich protein

[14]

3

Rf3

Chr-1

DRRM-Rf3–10

CMS-WA

Swarna, PUSA 33

PPR

[15]

4

Rf4

Chr-10

RM6100

CMS-WA

IR 24, Pusa 33, CRL 22R

PPR782a

PPR

[15]

5

Rf5(t)

Chr-10

RM3150

CMS-HL

Milyang 23

PPR791

PPR

[16]

6

Rf6

Chr-10 & 8

RM5373

CMS-HL

[16]

7

Rf17

Chr-4

AT10.5–1, SNP 7–16

CMS-CW

CWR

PPR2

RNA interference

[17]

8

Rf98

Chr-10

UK

CMS-RT98A

RT98C

PPR762

PPR

[18]

9

Rf102

Chr-12

UN

CMS-RT102A

RT102C, K102-Oryza rufipogon. T

UK

UK

[19]

Table 2.

Restorer genes in rice plants.

2.6 Breeding system

Commercial hybrid seed production in rice where natural out-crossing (ranged only 0.3–3.0%) is very low, cumbersome, and an expansive task. To be practical and readily adoptable, it requires some specific parental requirements and agro-management practices. Invention of male sterile lines thus provided unique opportunity to start with the technology in rice. Based on mechanism of male sterility, threshold nature in male sterility expression and number of parental lines used, three types of hybrid seed production system namely three-line system (involving three parents, A, B, and R), two-line system (two parents, A and R), and one-line system (apomictic-based) exist. Among them, CGMS-based three-line system is more suitable, hence widely utilized (>90% of world’s hybrids developed utilizing this) in hybrid rice varietal development and seed production.

2.6.1 CGMS system

This system involves three parents such as male sterile line (A-line, cytoplasmic male sterile), B-line (maintainer), and R (restorer) lines and two steps in seed production, that is, CMS multiplication and hybrid seed production under strict isolation (spatial or temporal or physical barrier). Male sterile line (A-line), because of their eliminated manual emasculation needs, served as seed parent and facilitates large-scale seed production. A suitable CMS line to be utilized as seed parent should have complete and stable male sterility, substantial seed producibility, wide compatibility, and good combining ability with minimum CMS load. The wealthy panicle and narrow semi-erect leaf configuration in seed parent has additional impact, assures more seed production. In Indian perspective, hybrid seed production is a major dilemma, generally keen to Rabi season, hence, CMS lines should have substantial cold tolerance at seedling stage and heat at flowering stage.

The maintainer (B-line), on the other hand, is an isogenic to the CMS line (differs only for fertility/sterility) in their genetic constitution, able to produce functional pollen and maintain the sterility in male sterile line/seed parent. The maintainer line can maintain 100% male sterility in seed parent thus utilized to perpetuate CMS with their inherent male sterile ability.

In contrast, restorer line can restore male fertility in F1s produced on male sterile parent, thus utilized as pollen parent in hybrid seed production. A good restorer should have substantial genetic distance with seed parent which is prerequisite and major determinant of the extent of heterosis in hybrids (more genetic distance more heterosis and vice-versa). Restorer is the major contributor of heterosis in three-line hybrids, hence, should have good combining, strong fertility restoration ability (dominant Rf gene(s) responsible for fertility restoration in CMS). Besides, restorer line with ideal plant type, acceptable grain quality parameters, substantial source-sink balance, heavy pollen load, and broad spectrum of resistance/tolerance against multiple biotic/abiotic stresses is imperative in maximization of genetic gain in hybrids.

2.6.2 EGMS system

This system is a simple and more efficient hybrid breeding system in rice, involves only two parents, that is, A and R line in seed production, thus, referred as two-line system. This is a threshold of genetic male sterility (EGMS)-based hybrid rice breeding system, where male sterility is conditioned in specific environmental regimes such as long photoperiod (>13.5 h day length) and at elevated temperature (>30°C). In this system, male sterile parents are to be maintained by selfing under favorable conditions (below critical sterility point, i.e., <30°C temperature and at below CSP of photoperiod length, <12.5 h.).

Two-line hybrid seed production system is an easy and effective alternative to CMS and has specific advantages as it requires only one step for seed production. In this system, any good combiner genotype irrespective of their fertility restoration ability can be utilized as a pollen parent. EGMS system is normal and does not exert any ill effect in the growth and development of carrier plant, and thus, exploits comparatively higher extent of heterosis (up to 5–10%) in F1 than the CGMS-based three-line system. The EGMS traits are governed by major genes, thus are easily transferable to any genetic background; besides, no CMS load could be helpful in reducing the potential vulnerability among the hybrids. Because of its eliminating needs for restorer genes in the male parents, this is ideal for developing inter-subspecific (indica/japonica) hybrids.

2.6.3 One-line system (apomictic-based)

In this system, seeds of rice hybrid once generated need not to be further produced in the hybrid seed production plot. This system is solely based on apomixes phenomenon (embryo developed apart from mixing of sexual gametes/fertilization) where the embryo developed without fertilization. In this system, hybrid seeds once generated will be maintained through apomixes in their original heterozygous form. The apomictic embryo is formed in the ovule via two fundamentally different pathways, sporophytic or gametophytic, which define the origin of the apomictic embryo [21]. In sporophytic apomixes, the embryo arises directly from the nucellus or the integument of the ovule in a process generally called adventitious embryony. In gametophytic apomixis, two mechanisms are generally recognized, diplospory and apospory. In both of these, an embryo sac is formed and the two mechanisms are distinguished by the origin of the cells that give rise to the apomictic embryo sac. In diplospory, the embryo sac originates from megaspore mother cells either directly by mitosis and/or after interrupted meiosis. In apospory, the embryo sac originates from nucellar cells. In both gametophytic mechanisms, the resulting nuclei forming the embryo sac are of the same ploidy as those found in the female parent because the reduction division cycle of meiosis does not occur. The embryo arises autonomously from one of the cells in the embryo sac.

In a recent adventure, Delphine et al. reported three genes such as SPO11–1, REC8, and OSD1 in the sexual model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, which were combiningly mutated to turn meiosis into mitosis and its nourishing tissue from the female gametophyte without contribution of a male genome. This results in the production of clonal male and female gametes, but leads to doubling of ploidy at each generation when self-fertilized. Crossing a MiMe plant as male or female with a line whose genome is eliminated following fertilization (lines expressing modified CENH3) leads to the production of clonal offspring [22]. The MiMe technology was also implemented in rice to get diploid gametes. Furthermore, a study was conducted by Reda et al. to induce apomixis and fix heterosis in the sterile Egyptian Hybrid1 line using 0.2% colchicines [23]. It was observed that as colchicine is an alkaloid, which during cell division binds to tubulin protein of the spindle fiber and stops microtubules formation, and during meiosis, it prevents chromatids separation and inhibits cytokinesis. So ultimately, colchicines lead to meiosis aberrations, which produce aberrant microspores, pollen sterility, ovule sterility, as well as loss of fertility. Recently, a strategy based on the advanced technique, that is, CRISPR/Cas 9, has been utilized to introduce apomixis into rice (Oryza sativa) by mutating the three combined genes OsSPO11-1, OsREC8, OsOSD1, and OsMATL to get a MiMe phenotype [24].

3. Progress in hybrid rice research and development

3.1 International status

Hybrid technology is one of the greatest innovations in the modern era, contributed greatly in yield enhancement in several important crops. Over the decades of rigorous research, Chinese could develop parental lines, that is, cytoplasmic male-sterile line, maintainer line, and restorer line which assisted in the realization of heterosis exploitation in rice. Subsequently, hybrid seed production system was refined and world’s first hybrid rice was released for commercial cultivation during 1974 AD. The first generation wild abortive CMS line, that is, Zhenshan 97A was widely utilized and several elite hybrid rice varieties were commercialized. Besides, several CMS with altered genetic mechanism of male sterility expression were also identified and characterized.

At beginning, low seed producibility with WA-CMS was a concern for its commercialization. However, with the keen interest of agronomist, management practices for hybrid seed production were sustainably rationalized. The Chinese government has supported this venture in pilot mode and established large and effective hybrid rice seed businesses in the late 1970s at all levels. Besides, intensive mechanization of hybrid seed production helped in modification of planting ratio (2R: A as 6–8 rows to 40–80 rows) and reducing the cost of production. Therefore, China could achieve seed yield by 2.7–3.0 t/ha on a large scale in hybrid rice seed production, which is further enhanced to 3400 kg/ha and maximizes their acreage.

Over past three decades, hybrid rice varieties have been substantial for national food security in the China which accounted for approximately 57% of the total 30-million-hectare rice planting area. The Ministry of Agriculture, China, has launched project on super hybrid rice development during 1996 which resulted altogether 73 super hybrids (52 three-line hybrids and 21 two-line hybrids) for commercial cultivation. Super hybrid P64S/E32 released recently has recorded new height of yield potential of17.1 t/ha with some striking characteristics [25].

Beside China, this technology has also been introduced and promoted by more than 40 countries around the world. At beginning, IRRI helped technically and supplied prerequisite parental materials. Later, most of the countries could establish their own hybrid rice breeding program and developed several heterotic hybrids. India was the second country after China that adopted this technology in 1989 and made substantial progress. At present, hybrid rice covers around 3.0 mha in India that has 6.8% of total rice area. Vietnam was the next to adopt this technology in 1992, harnessing yield of 6.3–6.8 t/ha from 0.7 mha, which covers around 10% of their rice area. In Philippines, it was introduced in 1993. Several popular hybrids like Magat, Mestizo, Mestizo 2, Mestizo 3, Bigante, Magilla, SL8H, Rizalina 28, etc. were developed and commercialized. Hybrid seed production in Philippines has been handled by “seed growers” cooperatives that are to produce around 60–70%. In Bangladesh, several rice hybrids were introduced and commercialized from China, India, and Philippines. They are almost self-sufficient in hybrid seed production, producing around 8000 tons to cover about 800,000 ha. In order, Indonesia also has substantial hybrid rice area, developed several good rice hybrids like Hipa7, Hipa 8, Hipa9, Hipa10, Hipa11, Hipa12 SBU, Hipa13, Hipa14 SBU, Hipa Jatim1, Hipa Jatim2 and Hipa Jatim3 were extensively commercialized, having yield superiority of 0.7–1.5 tons/ha over the lowland inbred varieties.

USA has adopted this technology during 2000 and has developed and commercialized several two-line and three-line hybrids. Most of the hybrid rice cultivars in USA employed Clearfield (CL) technology offering selective control of weedy red rice. Rice hybrids, viz., Clearfield XL729, Clearfield XL745, Clearfield XP756 (a late maturing) and Clearfield XP4534 (new plant type) has shown yield advantage ranging from 16 to 39% over inbred cultivars are being commercialized by RiceTec.

3.2 National status

In India, systematic hybrid rice research was initiated in 1989.The first hybrid rice was released in Andhra Pradesh during 1993–1994 and India became the second country after China to commercialize hybrid rice. India has made substantial progress and developed total 117 (indica/indica) rice hybrids having 15–20% yield superiority with 115–150 days duration for various rice ecosystems. Recently, Savannah Private Limited from India has made another landmark by developing two two-line rice hybrids, viz., SAVA-124and SAVA-134, for commercial cultivation. In addition, more than 100 CMS in diversified genetic and cytoplasmic backgrounds have been developed and utilized. Among, the promising CMS lines CRMS 31A, CRMS 32A, CRMS 8A, PMS10A, PMS 17A, APMS 6A, DR8A, PUSA 5A, PUSA6A, RTN 12A, etc. are substantially being utilized in development of rice hybrids in India and abroad. Notably, medium-duration seedling stage cold-tolerant CMS, CRMS 32A, developed at NRRI under Kalinga-I cytoplasm is more suitable for development of hybrids for boro ecosystem. Two popular hybrid rice varieties, namely, Rajalaxmi and KRH 4 were developed using CRMS 32A as one among the parent.

Hybrids released in India having unambiguous specificity like specific to ecosystem, tolerant to several abiotic/biotic stresses and consumer preferences (Table 3). These hybrid varieties can be utilized to up scale the hybrid rice cultivation and productivity enhancement per se in the respective area.

S. No.

Stress

Promising hybrids

1

Rain-fed upland

DRRH-2, Pant Sankar Dhan-1, Pant Sankar Dhan-3, and KJTRH-4

2

Salinity

DRRH-28, Pant Sankar Dhan-3, KRH-2, HRI-148, JRH-8, PHB-71, and Rajalaxmi

3

Alkalinity

Suruchi, PHB-71, JKRH-2000, CRHR-5, DRRH-2, DRRH-44, and Rajalaxmi

4

Boro/Summer season

Rajalaxmi, CRHR-4, CRHR-32, NPH 924–1, PA 6444, Sahyadri, and KRH 2

5

BB resistant

BS 6444G, Arize Prima, Rajalaxmi, Ajay, CR Dhan 701, PRH 10, etc.

Table 3.

Rice hybrids tolerant to various stresses.

Hybrids like CRHR 105, CRHR 106, 25P25, 27P31 are suitable for high-temperature regime which has a more deleterious effect on seed development in hybrids. The hybrid varieties, US 382, Indam 200–17, US 312, DRRH3, and JKRH 401 having high N use efficiency are thus found suitable for cultivation in N-deficient soil. Besides, hybrids PNPH 24, RH 1531, and Arize Tej are under mid-early maturity group which can sustain substantially under drought situations. The problems of coastal and shallow lowland ecosystem sharing around 32% of total rice area can be addressed by adopting long-duration hybrids like CRHR 32, Arize Dhani, CRHR 34, CRHR 102, and Sahyadri 5 (Table 4).

Aerobic condition

PSD 3, PSD 1, Rajalaxmi, Ajay, ADTRH 1, PRH 122, DRRH 44, HRI 126, JKRH 3333, and KRH 2

Early duration

CRHR 105, CRHR 106, 25P25, 27P31 (heat-tolerant), US 382, Indam 200–17, US 312`, DRRH3, JKRH 401high N use efficient; PNPH 24 and RH 1531, Arize Tej-mid-early drought-tolerant; DRRH2, and KJTRH-4 (upland)

Long duration

CRHR 32, CRHR 34, CRHR 100, and Sahyadri 5

SRI

TNRH CO-4, KRH 4

Idly making

VNR 2355+

MS grains

CRHR 32, DRRH 3, 27P63, 25P25, and Suruchi

Aromatic

PRH 122 (slight aroma), PRH 10

Table 4.

Hybrids suitable for specific condition.

3.3 ICAR-National Rice Research Institute’s contribution

The ICAR-National Rice Research Institute, Cuttack has been pioneer to start with the technology in late of seventh decade of last century, quite before the beginning of their project mode program in 1989 by ICAR. In the beginning, ICAR-NRRI has acquired all the prerequisite materials (CMS lines, viz., V 20A, Yar Ai Zhao A, Wu10A, MS 577A, Pankhari 203A, V 41A, Er-Jiu nanA, respective maintainers, nine other maintainers, and 13 restorers) from the IRRI (NRRI annual report 1981–1982). Systematic hybrid rice breeding was initiated in an interdisciplinary mode with objectives to develop desirable parental lines, viz., cytoplasmic genetic male sterile (CGMS) lines, maintainers, and restorers for the development of rice hybrids for irrigated and shallow submergence. The farmers in the rain fed shallow lowland ecosystem would be extremely benefited if the hybrid rice technology can be extended to this ecosystem, which need hybrids of Swarna duration. Keeping in views, ICAR-NRRI has developed three rice hybrids, viz., Ajay, Rajalaxmi, and CR Dhan 701 for this fragile ecosystem. Among them CR Dhan 701 is the country’s first long-duration hybrid, substitute for popular variety Swarna. Besides, NRRI has developed several promising CMS lines which have stable male sterility (WA, Kalinga-I and O. perennis, etc. cytoplasmic background), maintainers, and effective restorers. More than 45 CMS lines in diverse genetic and cytoplasmic backgrounds have been developed among Sarasa A, Pusa 33A (WA), Annada A (WA), Kiran A (WA), Deepa A (WA), Manipuri A (WA), Moti A (WA), Krishna A (O. perennis), Krishna A (Kalinga I), Mirai (Kalinga I), Padmini A, PS 92A and Sahabhagidhan A, etc., which are more prominent to be utilized in hybrid development. The medium-duration CMS, CRMS 31A (WA) and CRMS 32A (Kalinga-I) are significantly utilized for hybrid development at NRRI and elsewhere in the country. The CRMS 24A and CRMS 40A, developed under the nucleus background of Moti and Padmini are found suitable for late-duration hybrid breeding. Moreover, short-duration CMS, CRMS 8A, CRMS 51A and CRMS 52A and CRMS 53A having drought tolerance are also being used for development of hybrids for drought prone ecosystem.

The latest release CR Dhan 701 (CRHR32) found suitable for irrigated-shallow lowland of Bihar, Gujarat and Odisha having MS grain type with an average yield capacity of 7.5 t/ha. This hybrid shows substantial tolerance to low light intensity, thus having great scope in eastern Indian states where low light limits the potential expression of hybrids/varieties during wet season. Moreover, hybrid Rajalaxmi (125–130 days) was developed utilizing native CMS line CRMS 32A, released by SVRC 2006/CVRC 2010 for irrigated-shallow lowland of Odisha and boro ecosystem of Odisha and Assam as it has seedling stage cold tolerance. Ajay is a medium-duration, long slender grain-type hybrid, released for cultivation in irrigated-shallow lowland of Odisha. As these hybrids are adaptable for eastern Indian climatic condition with assured remuneration, 12 private seed agencies over five states have commercialized them.

To make this technology more sustainable and amenable to farmers, trait development strategy among the parental lines becomes mandatory. The parents of ICAR-NRRI bred hybrids Ajay, Rajalaxmi and CR Dhan 701 has been improved for bacterial blight, the most devastating disease of rice [26]. The submergence and salinity are the major abiotic stresses occur frequently in rain-fed shallow lowland area and causes substantial yield loss in rice. Hence, to cope up with the problems, and make hybrid rice more sustainable during these adversity, ICAR-NRRI has successfully stacked submergence and salinity-tolerant QTLs in the seed parents CRMS 31A and CRMS 32A. To enhance the seed producibility in seed parents, introgression of stigma exsertion trait from O. longistaminata into CRMS 31A and CRMS 32A, are under progress. To excavate the genetic region responding heterosis in rice, transcriptomic analysis of hybrids Rajalaxmi and Ajay are completed and interpreted. Availability of restorers for WA-CMS lines is very stumpy in nature, only 15% of total rice genotypes having the ability to restore complete fertility in WA-CMS-based hybrid rice [15]. Hence, good combiner genotypes having partial fertility restorers Mahalaxmi and Gayatri were improved by introgressing fertility restorer gene(s) Rf3 and Rf4 through MABB approach. Further, to make clear cut identity and ensure pure seed of parents/hybrids to the stack-holder, 12 signature markers that unambiguously distinguish 32 rice hybrids were developed, which can be utilized for DNA fingerprinting and genetic purity testing of hybrids.

4. Potential application of OMICS approaches in hybrid rice breeding

Recent advancement in molecular biology has offered tremendous opportunities to the breeder and breeding per se in enhancement in their efficacy and speed up the varietal development process. It has diverse applications like mapping, tagging, amplification-based cloning, gene pyramiding, marker-assisted selection (MAS/MARS), fingerprinting applications, including varietal identification, ensuring seed purity, phylogeny and evolution studies, diversity analysis, and elimination of germplasm duplication. The progress in research related to application of DNA marker technology in hybrid rice improvement may be valuable in following way.

4.1 DNA fingerprinting and genetic purity testing

Varietal identity of hybrids and parents is imperative to assure the ownership (IPR issue) and pure seeds to the stakeholders. The genetic purity testing of hybrid seed is done by conducting Grow-Out-Test (GOT) which is time taking (needs one full growing season), tedious and very expensive. Molecular markers in this context found to be a suitable alternative, provide an unbiased means of identifying crop varieties. Among available DNA-based markers, sequence-tagged microsatellites (STMSs), which are co-dominant in nature, are widely used for speedy genetic purity assessment of the hybrids and parental lines [2728]. Besides, ICAR-NRRI has developed another set of nine signature markers which can distinguish parents CRMS 31A, CRMS 32A; and hybrids Ajay, Rajalaxmi and CR Dhan 701, unambiguously.

4.2 Trait improvement in parental lines and hybrids

Hybrid rice has been one of the innovations that led the quantum jump in rice productivity last century. However, the challenge of meeting the increasing demand for rice and making hybrid more sustainable under impeding climatic changes, trait development in parental lines for ideal plant type with substantial yield, grain quality, and resistance/tolerance to multiple biotic and abiotic stresses is necessary. In this context, conventional breeding is more cumbersome, time taking and less précised. The advancement in molecular breeding techniques makes it convenient to improve the parents and hybrids for desirable traits with great precision. Marker-assisted selection/MABB has provided strong utensils for indirect selection/trace the trait of interest at any plant growth stage. The bacterial blight and blast are the two-major destructive diseases affecting rice plant at different growth stages and caused substantial yield loss. Resistant genes for BB diseases have been deployed successfully in popular hybrids like Rajalaxmi, Ajay [26], BS 6444G, PRH 10 [29], Shanyou 63, Guangzhan63-4S; seed parent of CR Dhan 701; restorers Minghui 63 and Mianhui 725 [526], Zhonghui 8006 and Zhonghui 218, etc. The popular CMS line Rongfeng A, Pusa 6A female parent of popular basmati hybrids PRH 10, RGD-7S, and RGD-8S [30] were successfully stacked with blast and BB resistant gene(s). Besides, CRMS 31A and CRMS 32A were deployed with submergence and salinity tolerance QTLs (NRRI newsletter 2015). Grain and eating quality in hybrids are concerns which are addressed by stacking QTLs/genes for quality traits in parents. Zhenshan 97A seed parent of several hybrids in China has been stacked with QTLs of AC, GC and GT [31]. Efforts were made toward quality improvement of both the parental lines of popular indica hybrids, viz., Xieyou57, using marker-assisted selection for Wx locus [32]. Yield-enhancing QTLs, yld1.1 and yld2.1, from O. rufipogon to restorer “Ce64” [33] are successfully stacked. Hybrid sterility in inter-subspecific (indica/japonica) hybrids is reported to be effectively addressed by utilizing genome editing tool “CRISPR/Cas9” [34].

4.3 Screening of Rf genes in parents

Limited availability of fertility restorer system in rice makes three-line system very selective and less heterotic. Rice genotypes have fertility restorer ability can only be utilized as pollen parent in three-line hybrid breeding. Identification of genetically compatible, well combining restorers is tedious process, involve laborious test cross generation and evaluation steps. However, prior information on fertility restorer genes in the pollen parent excludes test cross steps thus make it convenient for saving time of hybrid development. Plenty of co-segregating molecular markers (tightly linked or functional markers) for fertility restorer gene(s) having functional specificity to diverse CMS systems are available (Table 2). The genic/functional markers, RM6100 and DRRM Rf3–10 of restorer gene(s) Rf4 and Rf3, respectively, are widely utilized for screening the fertility restoration efficacy of unknown pollen parents for WA and lineage CMS well in advance [15].

4.4 Screening of parental lines for wide compatibility genes

Hybrid sterility is common nuisance menacing breeder to exploiting heterosis in inter-subspecific (5–10% more heterosis) hybrids. Generally, indica × japonica hybrids are sterile due to lack of wide compatibility (WC) between parents. It is reported that hybrid sterility in inter-subspecific crosses is mainly affected by the genes at SbScSd, and Se [35] loci causes male sterility in F1and the gene at S5 locus cause female sterility in F1. Presence of these genic regions in at least one parent ensures complete fertility in resulting hybrids. These gene(s) can be assessed in advance by utilizing co-segregating markers (S5-InDel, functional marker to S5n) [36] and G02–14827 (genic marker) PSM8, PSM12, and PSM180 (linked SSR); IND19 and ID5 (indel markers) to SbScSd, and Se, loci). Thus, it helps breeder in selection of WC-positive parent in more predictable way which circumvents laborious test-cross and their evaluations steps.

4.5 Prediction of heterosis

Genetic distance and level of genetic gain/breeding value in parents are major determinants of extent of heterosis in the resulting hybrid. Molecular markers help in assessing the genetic diversity among parents and breeding values in progenies (through genomic selection, high-density SNP genotyping) with great convenient. There are abundant STMS and SNP markers available which can be utilized for assessment of genetic diversity/genetic distance between parents and genomic selection in progenies easily [37]. Hence, this is helpful in the selection of diverse parents with maximum breeding values in turn higher heterosis or genetic gain in hybrids.

4.6 Determination of heterotic group and heterosis pattern

The extent of genetic variation and selection strategies are keys to the success of heterosis breeding. Accurate assessment and assignment of parental lines into heterotic groups “group of genotypes (related or unrelated) having similar combing ability and heterosis response when crossed with the genotypes of other diverse group” are fundamental prerequisites. Usually it is evaluated by combining ability analysis of parents and hybrids in multi-environment trials. However, advances in molecular marker technology have made it possible to combine information on parental pedigree and field trials with molecular marker data to detect and establish heterotic groups. Several heterotic groups have been developed and utilized for three-line and two-line hybrid development in rice [38].

4.7 Excavating QTLs/gene(s) responses heterosis

Omics techniques reported to have great potential in excavation of QTLs/gene(s) responses heterosis in rice. By utilizing genomics tools, many QTLs/genes for several important traits has been mapped, validated, and deployed in trait development in rice. The transcriptomics, an emerging technique helps in genome-scale comparisons of the transcripts of different individuals within the same species/population. It helps in understanding the level of variation for gene expression, as measured by transcript abundance that exists within plant species and between hybrids and their parents. This is useful for identification of transcript and gene per se involves in heterotic expression. Moreover, epigenetics, a posttranslational biochemical regulation of gene is found to be playing substantial role in trait expression. Individuals of the same species can have epigenetic variation in addition to genome and transcriptome content variation. A potential role for epigenetic regulation in heterosis has been proposed. It is possible for epigenetic variation to affect heterosis by creating stable epialleles that would behave similarly to the genomic or transcriptomic differences. Alternatively, hybrids may exhibit unique epigenomic states that lead to heterosis.

5. Major challenges and potential research opportunities

5.1 Major challenges

Despite of being remunerative and varietal abundancy, HR technology could not make substantial dent in the rice farming system outside China. The following are the inherited void led poor acceptability and acreage expansion of hybrids:

5.1.1 Lack of cytoplasmic diversity in countries outside China

Outside China, WA-CMS or their lineages are commonly utilized as seed parent in more than 90%rice hybrids. Several alternative MS cytoplasmic sources such as BT-CMS, HL-CMS, and CW-CMS are identified in China, but the hybrid breeding program of other countries relied only on WA-CMS which has several inherited abnormalities. These narrowed genetics of sterile cytoplasm limits the extent heterosis exploitation and make hybrids vulnerable to many biotic and abiotic stresses.

5.1.2 Marginal heterosis in intra-subspecific hybrids

Two-lines and inter-subspecific (indica/japonica) hybrids are comparatively more heterotic (5–10%) than three-line indica hybrids. But owing to several inevitable difficulties in seed production of two-line hybrids and poor grain and eating quality in inter-subspecific hybrids, both could not be exploited in the countries like India who has vast climatic and food affection diversity. We are utilizing three-line indica hybrids which are comparatively less heterotic hybrid breeding systems giving low yields. Hence, focused and intensive research is proposed to make above said hitches be addressed in future.

5.1.3 Poor grain and eating quality

In hybrids, consumable parts are F2 grains, segregating for various quality traits hence very poor in quality limits its acceptability among stakeholders. Therefore, make hybrids more sustainable and popular, quality traits in hybrids needs to be addressed urgently in the country like India where people have vast category of food fondness. Hence, a strong breeding strategy for quality concern in hybrids is needs to be devised and implemented.

5.1.4 Subtle information on QTLs/gene(s) responding heterosis

Although heterosis, or hybrid vigor, is widely exploited in agriculture, but despite extensive investigation, complete description of its molecular underpinnings has remained elusive. It appears that there is not a single, simple explanation for heterosis. Instead, it is likely that heterosis arises in crosses between genetically distinct individuals because of a diversity of mechanisms. Hence, mining factors responding heterosis in rice will have a substantial role in development and exploiting heterosis in most precise way.

5.1.5 Inter-subspecific hybrid sterility

Hybrid sterility is key nuisance in inter-subspecific hybrids, limiting development and commercialization of more heterotic indica/japonica hybrid in rice. The sterility in hybrids (inter-subspecific) generally occurs due to non-functional pollens as well as sterility in female reproductive organs. It is reported that mutant of S-i alleles at Sb, Sc, Sd, and Se loci produce sterile pollens; and mutants of S5locus causes sterility in female gamete. Hence, trait development for wide compatibility in either parent has great opportunity in addressing the hybrid sterility in rice.

5.2 Potential research opportunity

5.2.1 Exploitation of inter-specific heterosis

Inter-subspecific (indica/japonica) hybrids as discussed in earlier section are more heterotic than intra-subspecific hybrids. However, owing to hybrid sterility and poor grain quality, this genetic pool remains untapped. Grain quality of inter-subspecific hybrids proposed to be improved by utilizing parental combinations having good combining ability but similar in quality parameters, might reduce the concern of segregation for quality traits. Hybrid sterility problem in inter-subspecific hybrids can be addressed by stacking indica allele (S-i) at Sb, Sc, Sd, and Se loci and the neutral allele (S-n) at S5locusin to japonica genetic background [35] or by silencing the S-i and S5 mutant loci through genome editing tools [34].

5.2.2 Utilization of Iso-cytoplasmic restorers

In three-line hybrid system, cytoplasm of CMS exerts various unwanted effect (called CMS penalty) and reduces the complete heterosis expression (up to 5–10%) in CGMS hybrids. Iso-cytoplasmic restorer is fertile transgressive segregant of CGMS hybrid, having same cytoplasm as of CMS. In combination with iso-cyto-CMS, it can normalize the fatal cyto-nuclear conflicts, hence enhances the heterosis to substantial extent. In rice, several iso-cytoplasmic restorers has been developed and utilized in hybrid rice research [39].

5.2.3 Out-crossing enhancement in seed parent

Low seed producibility (1.5–2.5 t/ha) in the CMS remains a concern, restricts seed abundancy, and area expansion in India. Trait development in seed parent for out-crossing traits like stigma exertion, complete panicle exertion is important and needs to be addressed strategically. Recently, a CMS line, IR-79156A possessing more than 50% out-crossing, developed by IRRI showed seed producibility of 3.5 t/ha.

5.2.4 Ideotype hybrid breeding

To maximize genetic gain in rice, breeding of ideal plant type was started long back in Japan and subsequently adopted by China. Through morphological improvement and adopting inter-subspecific (indica/japonica) hybrid strategies, substantial progress in ideotype hybrid breeding “super hybrid” have been achieved. China, indeed has made considerable progress and released more than 100 high yielding super hybrids [25]. Hence, inclusion of inter-subspecific quality type inbreds “super rice” in hybrid development will have substantial impact in attaining quantum genetic gains in hybrids.

6. Economic importance

Inspite of being more cumbersome and high input intense practice, hybrid rice seed production is a profitable venture. It creates additional job opportunity (requires 100–105 more-man days) and provides more net income (around 1050 USD/ha net income, 70% more than the unit production cost) as compared to seed production of HYV (192.0 USD/ha, only 18% more than production cost) (Table 5). The market price of hybrid seed is 3.5–4.25 USD per kg. The farmers producing the hybrid seed get only 1.15–1.30 USD per kg. In case of low production (<5 quintal/acre) farmers get minimum 635.0 USD as compensation from seed production agencies.

Item

Quantity/number (per hectare)

Cost/income (USD)

Hybrid seed

HYV

Seed cost

Male

5 kg @ 0.71 USD/kg

4

28

Female

15 kg @ 5.65 USD/kg

42

Nil

Labor cost

250/145 @ 2.83 USD/labor/day

707

410

FYM and fertilizer cost

N:P:K (100:50:50) (based on market price)

76

76

Irrigation

18–20 Irrigation (weekly) @ 21.20USD/ha/irrigation

425

425

Gibberellic acid

28

Nil

Others

212

141

Total cost

1494

1080

Average production

2.0 t/ha

4.5

Gross income

Price @ 1.27USD/kg and 0.28USD/kg a

2544

1272

Net income

1050

192

Table 5.

Cost analysis of hybrid rice seed.

a 

Price of seed is the price given to the farmer.

 

Source: Verma et al., [40].

7. Way forward

Hybrid technology has been substantial in enhancement of rice productivity per se production in temperate countries, however, owing to low photo-intensity during growing period in tropics, its impact remains meager. Under changing climatic and agriculture scenario, rice hybrid is likely to face stiff competition to sustain in future. Despite having great potential to enhance production and productivity, it has not been adopted on large scale as was expected. This is due to several constraints like lack of acceptability of hybrids in some regions such as Southern India due to region-specific grain quality requirement. Moderate (15–20%) yield advantage in hybrids is not economically very attractive and there is a need to increase the magnitude of heterosis further. Lower market price offered for the hybrid rice produce by millers/trader sis acting as a deterrent for many farmers to take up hybrid rice cultivation. Higher seed cost is another restrain for large-scale adoption and hence there is a need to enhance the seed yield in hybrid rice seed production plots. Efforts for creating awareness and for technology transfer were inadequate in initial stages. Involvement of public sector seed corporations in large-scale seed production has been less than expected. Hybrid rice for aerobic/upland, boro season and long-duration hybrids for shallow lowland conditions are to be developed. Most of the constraints mentioned above are being addressed with right earnestness through the ongoing research projects and transfer of technology efforts.

8. Conclusion

Since inception, this technology has a substantial impact in enhancing the productivity and production in crop plant and livelihood of the farming community. In rice, it is adopted worldwide over 40 countries; however, it could not make a substantial dent in outside of China. This chapter has represented the holistic status of hybrid technology in rice along with future research and developmental road map to make this venture more substantial and sustainable for benefiting all stakeholder involves. This chapter identifies the ambiguities held responsible for slow adoption of this technology and probable strategies to get rid of those. Therefore, this chapter will be helpful for researchers and students in planning of future hybrid rice breeding strategies.

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Chapter and author info

  • 1.Introduction
  • 2.Breeding component and system in hybrid rice development
  • 3.Progress in hybrid rice research and development
  • 4.Potential application of OMICS approaches in hybrid rice breeding
  • 5.Major challenges and potential research opportunities
  • 6.Economic importance
  • 7.Way forward
  • 8.Conclusion

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Diptibala Rout, Debarchana Jena, Vineeta Singh, Manish Kumar Ahlavat, Pandurang Arsode, Prakash Singh, Jawahar Lal Katara, Sanghamitra Samantaray and Ramlakhan Verma (October 7th 2020). Hybrid Rice Research: Current Status and Prospects [Online First], IntechOpen, DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.93668. Available from: https://www.intechopen.com/online-first/hybrid-rice-research-current-status-and-prospects

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Indian Basmati Rice Exporters Renegotiating Terms & Conditions with the US, Canada and Australia Importers

Chintu Das 9 October, 2020 11:00 AM IST

 

Indian Basmati rice exporters are renegotiating the terms and conditions with the importers from the US, Canada, Australia and western Europe. The new agreements are to be signed by the mid of October after the abroad cargo rates moved about 50% in the course of the last one month. Freight rates have also risen by $1200 to $1800 per ton.

Nonetheless, exporters stated that regardless of whether they renegotiate with importers or not, they won't have the option to recoup the whole value climb in cargo. Additionally, the prices of the regular variety of basmati rice i.e. Pusa 1121, have fallen about a fifth in comparison to the previous year, after shipments to Iran were stopped as a result of non payment of levy by the importers concerned. "Prior, compartments were originating from China and we were confronting no problem. But since imports from China have descended, accessibility of containers has diminished and we need to pay immense amounts of money to transportation lines for exports," said Gautam Miglani, proprietor of LRNK, a Haryana-based basmati rice exporter.

"In spite of the fact that we will be attempting to renegotiate the agreements with foreign purchasers in the scenery of this increasing cargo rates, there is no assurance that we will get higher rates." India yearly fares 4.4 - 4.5 million tons of basmati rice to the worldwide business sectors. Miglani included that due to oversupply of basmati rice in the country, the exporters are not in a great situation to request more prices from other importing countries. "In addition, the pandemic has seriously affected the financial state of the majority of the nations on the planet. So we are dubious of getting greater prices," he said. A major basmati rice exporter from Amritsar who wanted to remain anonymous said that "Freight rates have been increasing since the lockdown was pulled back. However, over the most recent one month, they have gone up forcefully. We had losses in the prior agreements because of high cargo rates. In any case, in the forthcoming overseas arrangements, we should incorporate the excessive cost of cargo."

The business players are likewise stressed over Pakistan's transition to begin trading their basmati rice to Iran under the barter framework. "Payment issue with Iran is not sorted in the near future, we won't be having the option to export to the nation and hence lose the market there. It is the greatest export destination for Indian basmati rice," said Miglani. BV Krishna Rao, leader of Rice Exporters Association, said that the non-basmati rice exporters are additionally feeling the warmth of rising cargo costs.

https://krishijagran.com/commodity-news/indian-basmati-rice-exporters-renegotiating-terms-conditions-with-the-us-canada-and-australia-importers/

 

Political will needed

By: Arsenio Tanchuling - @inquirerdotnet

Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:26 AM October 09, 2020

It is ironic that with hunger rising, agriculture is dying. This disaster can be solved only with political will.

Last Aug. 21, Boy Montelibano, special projects head of Gawad Kalinga (GK) and chair of Ateneo de Manila University 616569 Foundation, sounded the call for a private sector “Walang Iwanan Alliance” (WIA), as he saw hunger getting worse.

WIA stated: “Hunger incidence has doubled from 10 to 20 percent. Since nothing of signi­ficance has been done to reverse this condition, 20 percent is not just a snapshot but the beginning of a trajectory.” Last Sept. 27, Social Weather Stations (SWS) confirmed the WIA’s predicted trajectory. Hunger increased from 9 percent last December to 21 percent in July, and to 31 percent in September. Seven and a half million Filipinos are now hungry.

A few days ago, the Department of Social Welfare and Development decreased the number of people it was helping from 18 million to 14 million families. It even wanted to return to state coffers P10 billion in unused funds at a time when things are getting worse.

WIA continues: “Given these conditions, we must all join in averting a deepening hunger from provoking unrest. A strong response by ordinary citizens will show the government what is important, and should trigger a review of budget and allocation of resources (WIA website: walangiwanan.com).” Let us now, discuss agriculture, which provides the food for the hungry. On Oct. 5, Alyansa Agrikultura, the coordinator of AgriFisheries Alliance representing farmers and fisherfolk, agribusiness, science and academe, rural women and multisectors, met to discuss the hunger crisis. They agreed that agriculture was dying. They identified the culprit as the government’s lack of political will. Examples are given in five critical sectors: rice, poultry, swine, corn and fisheries.

Rice. Because of the rice tariffication law that imposed a 35 percent tariff on imports (when the tariff that would equalize domestic and imported rice is 70 percent), rice farmers lost more than P60 billion. Farmers selling dry palay in 2019 earned only half the income per hectare compared to the previous year (P15,480 versus P31,240). Those selling wet palay because of no access to drying facilities got only P3,560.

These are way below the poverty line of P10,700 for a family of five. This could have been prevented if the government had the political will to institute added safeguard duties that are allowed by both the World Trade Organization (WTO) and our own law (Republic Act No. 8800). Rice farmers showed evidence of rice smuggling, but got no action. Today, rice farmers continue to suffer.

Poultry. Small producers cannot compete with subsidized poultry imports. Thousands have gone out of business. They have lost more than P100 billion. In response to a request to temporarily limit poultry imports (there are 26 import restrictions documented at the WTO by several countries, while the Philippines has none), a videotape showed a government official asking the producers to regulate their production instead.

Even big companies are decreasing their production and are now importing. The alleged restriction on poultry imports from Brazil is being investigated on its proper implementation. Instead of protecting our farmers, we see our political will in reverse. Countries selling their excess subsidized production because of their own lockdowns are welcomed into our shores to unfairly compete with our small producers.

Swine. There are hardly any swine producers operating in Luzon now. Massive losses have been incurred because there was no political will to contain the Asian swine fever. In addition to the absurdity of our not having even one integrated quarantine facility, we do not conduct the required 100 percent inspection at entry, which other countries do.

In Taiwan, there is 100 percent inspection. We are not doing this because of alleged lack of people and resources. Where is political will?

Corn. Today, corn farmers are up in arms. They are getting P9 a kilo, instead of the P13.25 support price that the Natio­nal Food Authority no longer gives. Feed wheat is now being imported as a substitute during harvest time, which is severely depressing prices.

With political will, the Department of Agriculture could have done the practice of the Department of Trade and Industry. This is to call a meeting between producers and users to determine the appropriate quantity and timing of the imports. The lack of concern on this recurring issue is worsening our corn farmers’ situation.

Fisheries. Our fisherfolk are the poorest sector in the economy. During the COVID-19 lockdown, they became worse off because a curfew prevented the normal fishing at night.

There is also a lack of poli­tical will in implementing a law that reserves municipal waters for small fisherfolk. The legisla­ted delineation of an area 15 kilometers from the coastline for them is not being followed. Even when done, enforcement is poor. Consequently, large commercial vessels get the catch reserved for municipal fishers, excessively depleting our aquatic resour­ces, and even export their catch, much of which we import back.

Imported fish that violate our laws (such as labeling) freely enter our wet markets, where our domestic fish is primarily sold. No apprehensions are made.

It is not too late. In the last two years of this administration, our government must exercise strong political will to stop the rising hunger and inject new life into our dying agriculture. This may then escalate our problem of food security into the more perilous one of national security. INQThe author is the president of Alyansa Agrikultura, a coalition of 32 federations and organizations covering agriculture and fisheries sectors. Contact is pepetanchuling@gmail.com.

https://business.inquirer.net/309123/political-will-needed

 

NEDA: Rice tariff law pro-consumer, pro-farmer

ByEireene Jairee Gomez

October 9, 2020

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on Thursday defended Republic Act 11203, or the “Rice Tariffication Law” (RTL), claiming that the liberalized rice regime it introduced became a “game changer” in further developing the Philippines’ rice economy.

File photo of Karl Kendrick Chua

During a webinar attended by rice industry stakeholders, Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua highlighted the benefits of the law, calling it “pro-consumer in the form of lower rice retail prices. Prior to RTL, we pay double compared to our neighbors for the same kilo of rice.”

“[It is also] pro-farmer, given the P60-billion guaranteed Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), which aims to increase productivity,” he added.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said his department had “been working overtime to implement components of the RCEF. With the RTL and RCEF firmly in place and properly implemented, we in the Department of Agriculture are confident that the rice sector will fully develop as resilient and competitive rice industry.”

The law created RCEF to fund programs and projects to increase the rice industry’s competitiveness.

Enacted in February 2019, RA 11203 removed restraints on the importation, exportation and trading of rice. Restraints on imports were replaced by tariffs to fund those programs and projects.The law provides that RCEF would be endowed with P10 billion annually for six years to improve farm mechanization, and access to seed and financing for qualified farmers’ cooperatives and associations.

During the initial implementation of the new rice regime, however, the country saw a steep drop in farmgate prices of palay (unmilled rice), primarily because of the entry of cheap imported rice.

Some farmers have complained of delayed government support, such as cash assistance and delivery of farm machineries and inputs.

Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, Chua said farmgate price of palay was at P18.25 per kilo in August, higher than the P17.66 per kilo in 2015 to 2017.

“This emerging trend indicates that farmgate prices will not fall below the production cost of P12 per kilo, contrary to some claims and projections. Today, with the help of production support, highly competitive farmers can actually bring down the production cost to as low as P5 to P6 per kilo, or roughly the same cost our neighbors are able to produce at,” he said.

“In the previous (quantitative restriction or QR) regime, farmers may have earned more due to higher prices. However, this was not because they are using better technologies or utilizing modern machinery, but…because of the protection afforded by the old QR regime. This is not sustainable in the long run and served as disincentive for them and the rice industry as a whole to innovate,” Chua added.

According to him, the Rice Tariffication Law was one of the country’s “insurance” during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

“When the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) started and shut down 75 percent of the economy, and affecting jobs and income in a massive way, lower rice prices helped actually our low-income families cope, tempering the rise in hunger and malnutrition. Without RTL, during the ECQ and GCQ (general community quarantine) period, it would have been much worse,” Chua said.

 

https://www.manilatimes.net/2020/10/09/business/business-top/neda-rice-tariff-law-pro-consumer-pro-farmer/778234/

300,000 MT DA rice importation questioned

 

Published October 8, 2020, 5:51 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

A Makabayan lawmaker  today questioned the Department of Agriculture (DA) move to import  300,000 metric tons (MT) amid the harvest season.

“Ngayon ay season ng anihan sa bansa. Dahil din tag-ulan pa, hirap na hirap na pababain ng mga magsasaka ng palay ang moisture content ng kanilang produktong bigas (It’s harvest season now in the country. And since it’s also the rainy season, palay farmers find it difficult to dry their rice crops),” Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Eufemia Cullamat said during the Makabayan Bloc’s weekly virtual press conference.

“Tapos ay mababalitaan natin ang 300,000 metriko toneladang importasyon ng DA para diumano sa estableng buffer stock? Dalawang milyong metriko tonelada na ang nakapasok sa bansa ngayong taon. Napakalaking kumpetensya na ito sa lokal na produksyon (Now we learn that DA imported 300,000 MT of rice supposedly to stabilize buffer stock? Two million MT of rice have already entered the country this year. This presents a huge competition for the local production),” Cullamat said.

Palay or rice crops must be dried first before it can be processed to produce rice – the staple food of Filipinos. It’s always a race against time to dry wet palay because they may potentially rot if not dried immediately. 


Adding to Filipino farmers’ hardships is the low farm gate price of palay, which stood at a measly P12 per kilo as of end September. It is said to be the break even amount, meaning there is no more profit margin.Farmers’ groups, particularly the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura and Federation of Free Farmers, expect farm gate price to drop further once peak harvest is achieved later this month.

Ideally, the government, the National Food Authority (NFA), should procure palay from local farmers for buffer stock purposes.

“Naghihikahos na ang sarili nating magsasaka sa labis na pambabarat ng mga trader sa kanilang produkto. Rice liberalization ang nagpalala nito (Our poor farmers have had to deal with the low-balling of traders for their products. This was worsened by rice liberalization),” Cullamat said, referring to Republic Act (RA) 11203 or the Rice Tarrification Law. 
Enacted in February 2019, the controversial law did away with the old quantitative restrictions or limits on rice imports in exchange for tariffs, liberalizing the entry of imported rice into the county. 

“Mahalin naman natin ang sarili nating tagalikha ng pagkain. Ibasura na natin ang Rice Liberalization Law (Let us love our own food producers. Let’s junk the Rice Liberalization Law),” she said. 

https://mb.com.ph/2020/10/08/300000-mt-da-rice-importation-questioned/

 

Nobel chemistry prize awarded to 2 scientists for developing CRISPR gene editing tool

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CRISPR-Cas9 method allows scientists to precisely edit specific genes to remove errors that lead to disease

The Associated Press · Posted: Oct 07, 2020 6:20 AM ET | Last Updated: October 7

American biochemist Jennifer A. Doudna, left, and the French microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier, pictured in Germany in 2016, have won this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry. (Alexander Heinl/dpa/The Associated Press)

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Two scientists won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry Wednesday for developing a way of editing genes likened to "molecular scissors" that offer the promise of one day curing inherited diseases.

Working on opposite sides of the Atlantic, French microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier and American biochemist Jennifer A. Doudna came up with a method known as CRISPR-Cas9 that can be used to change the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with extremely high precision.

It was only the fourth time that a Nobel in the sciences was awarded exclusively to women, who have long received less recognition for their work than men in the prize's 119-year history.

Charpentier and Doudna's work allows for laser-sharp snips in the long strings of DNA that make up the "code of life," allowing scientists to precisely edit specific genes to remove errors that lead to disease.

"There is enormous power in this genetic tool, which affects us all," said Claes Gustafsson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry. "It has not only revolutionized basic science, but also resulted in innovative crops and will lead to groundbreaking new medical treatments."

WATCH | 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry announcement:

Gustafsson said that, as a result, any genome can now be edited "to fix genetic damage."

Dr. Francis Collins, who led the drive to map the human genome, said CRISPR "has changed everything" about how to approach solutions to diseases with a genetic cause, such as sickle cell disease.

"You can draw a direct line from the success of the human genome project to the power of CRISPR-cas to make changes in the instruction book," said Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, which helped fund Doudna's work.

But many also cautioned that the technology raises serious ethical questions and must be used carefully. Much of the world became more aware of CRISPR in 2018, when Chinese scientist He Jiankui revealed he had helped make the world's first gene-edited babies, to try to engineer resistance to future infection with the AIDS virus.

His work was denounced worldwide as unsafe human experimentation because of the risk of causing unintended changes that can pass to future generations, and he is currently in prison.

In September, an international panel of experts issued a report saying it's still too soon to try to make genetically edited babies because the science isn't advanced enough to ensure safety, but they mapped a pathway for any countries that want to consider it.

First time all-female team wins science Nobel

Charpentier, 51, spoke of the shock of winning.

"Strangely enough I was told a number of times [that I'd win], but when it happens you're very surprised and you feel that it's not real," she told reporters by phone from Berlin after hearing of the award, announced in Stockholm by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. "But obviously it's real, so I have to get used to it now."

Doudna and Charpentier have won numerous awards for their work. They are shown here receiving the Kavli Prize in nanoscience, alongside Lithuania's Virginijus Siksnys, from King Harald of Norway in Oslo in 2018. (Berit Roald/AFP/Getty Images)

When asked about the significance of two women winning, Charpentier said that while she considers herself first and foremost a scientist, "it's reflective of the fact that science becomes more modern and involves more female leaders."

"I do hope that it will remain and even develop more in this direction," she said.

There have been three times a woman has won a Nobel in the sciences by herself. In 1911, Marie Curie was the sole recipient of the chemistry award, as was Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin in 1963. In 1983, Barbara McClintock won the Nobel for medicine. This is the first time an all-female team has won a science prize.

ANALYSIS

Scientists mobilize for a fight over powerful gene-editing technology

Doudna told The Associated Press of her own surprise — including that she learned she'd won from a reporter.

"I literally just found out, I'm in shock," she said. "I was sound asleep."

"My greatest hope is that it's used for good, to uncover new mysteries in biology and to benefit humankind," said Doudna, who is affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley, and is paid by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, which also supports AP's Health and Science Department.

Research published in 2012

The breakthrough research done by Charpentier and Doudna was only published in 2012, making the discovery very recent compared to many Nobel wins that are often only honoured after decades have passed.

Speaking to reporters from the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens in Berlin, which she leads, Charpentier said despite how recently it was developed, the method is now widely used by scientists researching diseases, developing drugs and engineering new plants.

Among the most promising therapies already being developed are those for eye diseases and blood disorders, such as sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia, she said. It could also have applications in the growing field of cancer immunotherapy.

Charpentier and Doudna pose for the media during a visit to a painting exhibition by children about the genome in Spain in 2015. (Eloy Alonso/Reuters)

Developing hardy crops is another promising direction, said Charpentier.

"I think this is very important considering the challenge we are facing of climate change."

The Broad Institute at Harvard and MIT have been in a long court fight over patents on CRISPR technology, and many other scientists did important work on it, but Doudna and Charpentier have been most consistently honoured with prizes for turning it into an easily usable tool.

Third Nobel prize awarded this week

The prestigious award comes with a gold medal and prize money of 10 million krona ($1.5 million Cdn), courtesy of a bequest left more than a century ago by the prize's creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel. The amount was increased recently to adjust for inflation.

On Monday, the Nobel committee awarded the prize for physiology and medicine to Americans Harvey J. Alter and Charles M. Rice and British-born scientist Michael Houghton, who currently works at the University of Alberta, for discovering the liver-ravaging hepatitis C virus.

Tuesday's prize for physics went to Roger Penrose of Britain, Reinhard Genzel of Germany and Andrea Ghez of the United States for their breakthroughs in understanding the mysteries of cosmic black holes.

The other prizes are for outstanding work in the fields of literature, peace and economics.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/nobel-prize-chemistry-2020-1.5753279?cmp=rss

Researchers convert agricultural waste to building materials

University of Melbourne researchers examine how grapevine prunings can be mixed with softwood chips and resin, before being converted into particleboards

Bizclik Editor

|Oct 8|

Researchers at the University of Melbourne are examining how plant and crop waste can be converted into recycled building materials, thereby minimising waste and improving sustainability within the construction industry.

While agriculture is one of Australia’s most important industries, it also produces millions of tons of plant and crop waste each year. This waste comprises a diverse range of wood-like material, such as rice husks, flax shives, wheat straws, bagasse, canola stalks, oat hulls and grapevines. Globally, crop waste production is approximately 3.7 billion tonnes per year.

Despite this abundance of waste, there are very few ways to recycle such a massive amount of material, with most of it returning to the soil or burnt. However, both these processes release huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the environment. Therefore, it is imperative to find ways to reuse and recycle this crop waste, especially in a future where there is increasing competition for resources and materials. In addition, it also enables the industry to help boost the economy and environment.

The university report notes that breakthrough research from the University’s Department of Chemical Engineering’s Ellis Research Group – led by Professor Amanda Ellis – shows how these recycled waste materials can be made into useful building materials.

“As the human population increases worldwide, the global demand for particleboard is growing rapidly and the need for woodchip is rapidly outstripping supply.

“Particleboard’s niche within the construction industry is a result of the fact that it’s commonly produced from post-industrial recycled waste wood and sold at a correspondingly low price – but the increasing demand and cost of production are rapidly making it less attractive,” the report notes. “By making particleboard from another low-cost source, we would ensure the viability of the industry, and the future of an environmentally-friendly building material.”

Globally, grapevine prunings represent a major source of agricultural crop waste, with an estimated 42 million tonnes disposed of yearly. Grapes are also grown almost everywhere, but importantly in countries like China, the US, Australia, France, and Spain – which all also all major producers of particleboard.

Therefore, the grapevine waste could be used to replace the pine chip in particle board, which would help minimise import and transportation costs. The waste can be easily milled into chips using existing chips and mixed with softwood chips and resin to make a hybrid grapevine-softwood particleboard.

By adding as little as 10 percent grapevines into the particleboard, the boards exceed all industry and durability standards, without changing any aspect of the existing process, the report adds.

“While 10 percent doesn’t sound like a lot, the scale of particleboard production globally means that even replacing as little as this much of the soft woodchips relieves the pressure on supply while also reducing grapevine waste.

“In fact, substituting 10 percent of softwood for grapevine in Australian particleboard production alone could reduce the demand for wood by tens of thousands of tonnes annually,” the report points out, adding that these considerations enable manufacturers to switch to more sustainable materials, without altering the strength, durability and reliability of their products.

“The next steps in our research involve running a pilot trial of grapevine particleboards in a facto

 

ry and conducting a business case analysis to determine the overall cost of replacing wood with grapevine.

“But our findings have the potential to not only reduce the amount of pollution from crop waste disposal, but to also ensure particleboard can remain a cheap, staple construction material into the next century,” it concludes.

https://www.constructionglobal.com/built-environment/researchers-convert-agricultural-waste-building-materials

 

Abia trains rice farmers, expects six tonnes per hectare

By Gordi Udeajah, Umuahia

08 October 2020   |   3:24 am

A three-month training course on Sawah Expansion Strategy of Sawah Ecotechnology for Rice Farming is ongoing for farmers selected from the Abia State rice growing Farmers’ Cooperative Societies in the state and Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN).

During the flag-off of the training at the Sawah Demonstration Field at Ajataeretu in Umuahia North LGA, the Programme Manager, Abia State Agricultural Development Programme (ADP), Chief Israel Amanze, said the state was determined to attain a minimum of six tonnes per hectare in rice output from next harvest.

The training was organized by the state ADP in collaboration with the National Center for Agricultural Mechanization NCAM who was represented in the training by Mr Dada Temitope.

Temitope said that the Sawah Ecotecnology training is a Federal Government Initiative to empower rice farmers and boost their capacity through training and demonstration.

https://guardian.ng/features/abia-trains-rice-farmers-expects-six-tonnes-per-hectare/

 

GIEWS Country Brief: Nigeria 08-October-2020

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FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

·         Extremely elevated price levels recorded in July

·         Cereal import requirements forecast at below-average level

·         Extremely high food prices registered in July in most markets

·         Increased external assistance needs in 2020

Cereal production in 2020 estimated at slightly above-average level

Harvesting of the 2020 main season maize crop was completed in August in the south, while it is still ongoing in the rest of the country for rice, millet and sorghum crops. Following a timely onset of seasonal rains, planting activities started in February/March in the south and in May/June in the north. The cumulative precipitation amounts were above average in most areas since the beginning of the season, favouring crop germination, establishment and development as well as improved vegetation conditions (see ASI image). However, in September, below-average rainfall and moisture deficits are impacting main season cereals in northwestern parts of the country. Moreover, flooding across northwestern and northcentral parts of the country due to heavy rains in July and August, coupled with the widespread high levels of conflict in the northern areas and the effects of restriction measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, had a negative impact on yields, curbing production prospects. In addition, localized Fall Army Worm (FAW) attacks were reported, with high presence in Adamawa State. Overall, the 2020 cereal crop production is estimated at slightly above the last five-year average.

The abundant rainfall in July and August boosted natural pasture conditions and contributed to replenish surface water, improving livestock body conditions and enhancing their market values. The animal health situation is generally stable, with only small seasonal outbreaks of epizootic diseases, including Trypanosomiasis in northern parts of the country. However, in the northern parts of the country, pastoralist production systems are still affected by armed and community conflicts, theft and banditry. As a result, a higher concentration of animals is expected in the areas less affected by insecurity, with a consequent rapid degradation of fodder and water resources.

Favourable rainfall and the adequate supply of inputs by the Government and several NGOs in 2019 benefitted crop production in most parts of the country. Despite some pockets of drought and some FAW outbreaks, the 2019 national cereal production is estimated at about 30 million tonnes, 16 percent above the previous five-year average.

Below-average import requirements forecast

Despite the trade restrictions introduced since 2015 by the Government, the country relies on imports of crops, including rice and wheat, to cover its domestic requirements. Following the above-average 2019 production, cereal import requirements for the 2019/20 (November/October) marketing year are forecast at a below-average level of 7.1 million tonnes.

Extremely elevated food prices registered in July in most markets

Prices of coarse grains continued to increase significantly in most markets in the past few months, supported by the effects of the restrictive measures implemented to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and strong domestic demand. The situation is exacerbated by the closure of the borders with neighbouring countries, implemented since August 2019 to curb the smuggling of imported rice and maize. In addition, the continued depreciation of the local currency, the decline in foreign reserves and the high general inflation rate, coupled with high transportation costs due to the 20 percent increase in petrol prices in July, have contributed to the atypical price spikes. As of July, prices of all cereal products were at least 50 percent higher than their year-earlier values, with peaks in the conflict-affected areas of the northeast due to the impact of persistent insecurity.

Increased external assistance need in 2020

According to the March 2020 "Cadre Harmonisé" analysis, without considering the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, about 7 million people were estimated to be severely food insecure during the lean season between June and August 2020, well above the about 5 million food insecure people estimated in the same period in 2019. The main drivers for the significant increase in the number of people in need of assistance are some localized cereal production shortfalls in 2019, the escalation of armed and community conflicts and high inflation rates. The areas most affected by food insecurity are Borno and Yobe states, where over 2 million people are food insecure. However, the current situation is worse than expected as the COVID-19 containment measures adversely effected households’ livelihood activities and incomes, especially in urban areas.

Recent attacks by Boko Haram insurgents and military operations across the northeast continue to hinder the agro-pastoral and seasonal livelihood activities, including access to fields. This is resulting in increased displacement, humanitarian needs and food insecurity. Heavy rainfall in July and August resulted in localized flooding in Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi and Niger states, affecting thousands of people and causing human casualties, loss of livelihoods and damage to crops, livestock and infrastructures. As of August 2020, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) identified over 2.7 million people that have been displaced due to the insurgency in the northeastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, due to communal clashes in North-West/North-Central and to natural disasters. Most displaced households have limited income and mostly rely on humanitarian assistance to cover their basic needs.

https://reliefweb.int/report/nigeria/giews-country-brief-nigeria-08-october-2020

Prices of several staples up to multi-month highs

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FAO Food Price Index rises 2.1 percent in September, while new forecasts for global cereal output, utilization, stocks and trade all point to well-supplied markets

08 October 2020, Rome - The benchmark price index for food commodities rose in September, led by vegetable oils and cereals, according to a report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

The FAO Food Price Index averaged 97.9 points during the month, up 2.1 percent from August and 5.0 percent higher than its value in September 2019.

The FAO Cereal Price Index rose 5.1 percent from August and is now 13.6 percent higher than a year ago. Higher wheat price quotations led the increase, spurred by brisk trade activity amid concerns over production prospects in the southern hemisphere as well as dry conditions affecting winter wheat sowings around Europe. Maize prices also rose, responding to lower production prospects in the European Union and a downward revision of carryover supplies in the United States of America. International sorghum and barley prices rose as well, while those of rice subsided.

The FAO Food Price Index, released monthly, tracks the international prices of the most commonly-traded food commodities.

The FAO Vegetable Price Index rose 6.0 percent in September, hitting an eight-month high as quotations for palm, sunflower seed and soy oils all rose in step with firm global demand.\ The FAO Meat Price Index declined 0.9 percent from August, partly influenced by China's decision to ban imports of pig meat from Germany after African swine fever (ASF) was detected among wild boars.

The FAO Dairy Price Index was almost unchanged during the month, as moderate increases in the prices of butter, cheese and skim milk power were offset by a fall in whole milk powder quotations.

The FAO Sugar Price Index declined 2.6 percent, mainly in reaction to expectations of a global sugar production surplus in the coming season, driven by a significant production recovery in India and strong output anticipated in Brazil.

Cereal markets remain well supplied

FAO also released today new forecasts for world cereal production, slightly trimmed from last month's projections, and now pegged at 2 762 million tonnes for 2020, still an all-time high and some 2.1 percent higher than the previous year's output.

The new assessment, outlined in FAO's Cereal Supply and Demand Brief, highlights expectations for global coarse grains output of 1 488 million tonnes, marked down by 0.5 percent from the previous report due to weather impacts on maize crops in several large producing countries and buoyed by improving prospects for barley. Global wheat production for 2020 is now seen at 765 million tonnes, a record high, marked up by conducive weather in Australia. World rice production is expected at 509.1 million tonnes, also a record level and unchanged from last month's projections.

World cereal utilization in 2020/21 is forecast at 2 744 million tonnes, 2.0 percent higher than the previous year. More than half entails coarse grains, now forecast at 1 477 million tonnes, while wheat utilization is pegged at 757 million tonnes, rising with increased consumption in China and India. World rice utilization is expected to hit a new record of 510.5 million tonnes.

World cereal stocks are now forecast at 890 million tonnes at the close of seasons in 2021, a record high buoyed by growing wheat inventories in China. If the new projections are confirmed, the world cereal stocks-to-use ratio in 2020/21 will be 31.6 percent, only slightly down from the 2019/20 ratio but still relatively high from a historical perspective.

Global trade in cereals is also expected to reach an all-time high of 448 million tonnes in 2020/21, up 2.4 percent from the previous year and higher than FAO's earlier forecast in September. More details are available here.

https://reliefweb.int/report/world/prices-several-staples-multi-month-highs

S. Korea's rice output forecast to dip 3% in 2020

By Yonhap

Published : Oct 8, 2020 - 13:13       Updated : Oct 8, 2020 - 13:13

 

(Yonhap)

South Korea's rice output is expected to shrink 3 percent in 2020 due mainly to bad weather conditions and reduced cultivation area, government data showed Thursday.



The country's rice production is likely to come to 3.63 million tons this year, compared with 3.77 million tons a year earlier, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

The amount would represent the lowest level since 1980, when South Korea produced 3.55 million tons of rice. It would also mark the fifth consecutive year of on-year decline and the fourth straight year for the country's rice output to fall below the 4-million-ton level.

The weak output forecast comes as South Korea was hit by an unusually long rainy season and a series of typhoons in recent months, the agency said.

A drop in the cultivation area for rice was also responsible.

In 2020, the combined size of rice paddies is estimated to decline 0.5 percent on-year to 726,432 hectares -- about half the size of the US state of Connecticut.

Consumption of rice, a key staple food for Koreans, has been on a steady decline in recent decades due largely to changes in diet and eating habits. (Yonhap)

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20201008000717

S. Korea's rice output forecast to dip 3 pct in 2020

All News 12:00 October 08, 2020

All News 12:00 October 08, 2020

SEOUL, Oct. 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's rice output is expected to shrink 3 percent in 2020 due mainly to bad weather conditions and reduced cultivation area, government data showed Thursday.

The country's rice production is likely to come to 3.63 million tons this year, compared with 3.77 million tons a year earlier, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

The amount would represent the lowest level since 1980, when South Korea produced 3.55 million tons of rice. It would also mark the fifth consecutive year of on-year decline and the fourth straight year for the country's rice output to fall below the 4-million-ton level.

The weak output forecast comes as South Korea was hit by an unusually long rainy season and a series of typhoons in recent months, the agency said.

A drop in the cultivation area for rice was also responsible.

In 2020, the combined size of rice paddies is estimated to decline 0.5 percent on-year to 726,432 hectares -- about half the size of the U.S. state of Connecticut.

Consumption of rice, a key staple food for Koreans, has been on a steady decline in recent decades due largely to changes in diet and eating habits.

https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20201008003400320

 

China: Grain and Feed Update

July 2, 2020 

Attaché Reports (GAIN)

Commodities 

China’s 2020/21 feed and residual use for all coarse grains and feed-quality wheat are forecast to increase about 5 percent compared to the previous marketing year due to a projected recovery of swine production and strong expansion in the poultry and ruminant sectors. Corn production in 2020/21 is forecast down 4 percent from 2019/20 due to the impact of Fall Armyworm and reduced planted area. A regional corn shortage in the Northeast, increased feed demand, and insufficient corn imports have pushed up corn prices. In response, the government started liquidating the temporary corn reserve in May. China may rely on corn imports and stockpiled rice and wheat to meet feed demand in the coming marketing year. Wheat production in 2020/21 is forecast down by 1 million tons compared to the previous report due to adverse weather before harvest, while consumption is adjusted higher by 2 million tons based on higher feed-quality wheat consumption.

China: Grain and Feed Update

https://www.fas.usda.gov/data/china-grain-and-feed-update-13

 

Rice tariff collection in excess of P10B to be used for productivity programs —DOF

Published October 8, 2020 4:50pm

By TED CORDERO, GMA News

The government will be using any excess of the P10 billion tariff to be collected from rice imports for programs to enhance the productivity of local rice farmers, the Department of Finance (DOF) said Thursday.

“Ang taripang sosobra sa P10 billion ay ilalaan sa ibang productivity programs para sa rice sector,” Finance Assistance Secretary Tony Lambino said during a virtual webinar.

Under the Rice Tariffication law (RTL), of the total tariff to be collected annually, P10 billion is automatically appropriated for the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).

The P10-billion RCEF is divided into four components, namely farm machinery and equipment at P5 billion, certified inbred seeds at P3 billion, credit at P1 billion, and training and extension at P1 billion.

The Rice Tariffication Law was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in February 2019.

It removed all quantitative restrictions on rice importation in the Philippines and imposed a 35-percent tariff for rice imports.

“Mula nang maisabatas ang RTL sobra po para sa P10 billion para sa RCEF ang nalilikom mula sa taripa,” Lambino said.

As of the seven months of the year, rice tariff collections amounted to P11.036 billion, up 4% year-on-year, and exceeding the P10-billion worth of rice import tariffs aimed for RCEF.

“Lahat ng tariff collection na lalagpas sa P10 billion ay ilalaan sa iba pang tulong sa mga magsasaka,” Lambino said.

Without specifying how the government will utilize the excess rice tariff collection, the Finance official noted that of the P12.1 billion collected in 2019, the excess of P2.1 billion was used by the Department of Agriculture for crop diversification program (P1 billion) and expanded crop insurance on rice (P1.1 billion).

Noting that tariff collections have already exceeded P10 billion so far this year, Lambino said, “Sigurading mapopondohan ang RCEF programs.”

Agriculture Secretary William Dar, for his part, cited the milestones done by the Department of Agriculture under the RCEF programs.

Dar said the DA has distributed 1,375,125 bags of certified inbred seeds to 554,512 farmers covering 698,586 hectares during the dry season 2019 to 2020.

The agency has also distributed 2,274,165 bags of certified inbred seeds to 862,854 farmers covering 1,006,537 hectares during the wet season 2020.

For the RCEF mechanization component, Dar said the DA has procured 2,938 machines, of which 1,108 were distributed to 625 farmer cooperatives and associations.

Under the RCEF credit component, the Agriculture department loaned out P1 billion to 5,671 individual farmers and 22 cooperatives in 2019.

For this year, the DA has so far obligated P670.88 million for credit, of which P102.71 million was released to 610 farmers and 15 cooperatives.

For the RCEF’s extension service component, the Agriculture chief cited the following achievements:

  • 53 farm schools established; 12 assisted
  • 831 batches of training for farmers, with 20,803 participants, of which 20,231 received scholarships
  • 163 batches of training of trainers, with 5,255 participants
  • 8 batches of training of specialists, with 226 participants
  • 31 batches of training of seed growers, inspectors, analysts, and other extension intermediaries, with 809 participants
  • technical briefings conducted to 691,761 participants
  • 3,363,463 copies of information and educational communication materials distributed

“We have generated more than enough revenues to fully fund RCEF para pataasin ang competitiveness ng local rice industry,” Lambino said.

Emphasizing how the RTL helped in increasing the local industry’s competitiveness, Dar said that palay production increased to 8.9 million metric tons in the first half of 2020 from 8.27 million metric tons for the entire 2019.

Average production cost is also eyed to be reduced by 30% from the current cost ranging from P12 to P14 per kilogram to ensure bigger profit margins for farmers.

“With higher productivity and lower production cost, farmers can offer to our consumers, particularly the poor, affordable rice,” Dar said.

To shield the domestic sector from decline in farmgate prices of palay due to the unhampered entry of imports, the DA allocated P10 billion under the 2020 budget of the National Food Authority for the procurement of palay from local farmers at P19 per kilo.

The NFA also established 558 palay buying stations across the country and procured two million bags of palay for September alone.

The DA also partnered with local government units for the procurement of locally produced palay.

Multinational companies were also encouraged to buy from farmer cooperatives and associations for their employees’ rice allowance. -MDM, GMA News


https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/money/economy/759034/rice-tariff-collection-in-excess-of-p10b-to-be-used-for-productivity-programs-dof/story/

 

Rice Prices

as on : 08-10-2020 03:50:58 PM

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

Arrivals

Price

Current

%
change

Season
cumulative

Modal

Prev.
Modal

Prev.Yr
%change

Rice

Bharwari(UP)

40.00

60

415.50

1750

1750

-

Vilaspur(UP)

19.00

-90.95

1842.20

2610

2580

3.98

Mawana(UP)

11.00

-26.67

568.20

2860

2850

-

Alibagh(Mah)

1.00

NC

88.00

2200

2200

NC

Murud(Mah)

1.00

NC

86.00

2200

2200

NC

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https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:4vk_9hz_ascJ:https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/rice-prices/article32802612.ece+&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=pk

India Grain: Spot wheat prices up on firm demand, basmati down

Wednesday, Oct 7, 2020

 

By Sampad Nandy

 

NEW DELHI – Prices of wheat across key spot markets rose today, while those of basmati 1121 fell further in Amritsar. Maize and bajra prices remained steady across spot markets.

 

* Prices of WHEAT in Jaipur and Indore rose today due to firm demand from bulk buyers amid largely unchanged supply, traders said. 

 

* Arrivals in Jaipur were steady at 1,000 bags (1 bag = 100 kg). In Indore, supply was largely unchanged at 1,500 bags.

 

* Price of the Pusa 1121 variety of BASMATI fell further today as an anticipated rise in output in 2020-21 (Jul-Jun) continued to weigh on prices, traders said.

 

* Basmati rice output in the country is expected to rise 10% on year to nearly 6.3 mln tn in 2020-21 (Jul-Jun), said A.K. Gupta, director of the Basmati Exports Development Foundation under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority.

 

* Weak demand from bulk buyers has also weighed on prices of the premium variety of rice, traders said. "Bulk buyers have reduced their purchases as they are waiting for the fresh crop to hit markets," Amritsar-based trader Ashok Sethi said.

 

* Prices of MAIZE were flat in Purnea and Nizamabad today, traders said.

 

* Arrivals in Purnea were pegged steady at 1,200 bags (1 bag = 100 kg). In Nizamabad, arrivals were steady at 1,000 bags.

 

* Prices of maize are likely to fall in the coming days as the fresh kharif crop has started hitting markets in Karnataka, traders said.

 

* Prices of BAJRA in Jaipur rose today due to firm bulk demand, traders said.


Following are highlights from trading in grain markets today:

 

Commodity

Market

Price/100 kg

Change

Wheat

Indore

1,630-1,650

10-20

Wheat

Jaipur

1,730-1,750

10-20

Maize

Purnea

1,250-1,300

Maize

Nizamabad

1,250-1,300

Pusa 1121 basmati paddy

Amritsar

3,100-3,120

(-)10-20

Bajra

Jaipur

1,290-1,330

 

End

 

Edited by Avishek Dutta

 

Cogencis Tel +91 (11) 4220-1000

Send comments to feedback@cogencis.com

This copy was first published on the Cogencis WorkStation

© Cogencis Information Services Ltd. 2020. All rights reserved.

http://www.cogencis.com/newssection/india-grain-spot-wheat-prices-up-on-firm-demand-basmati-down/

 

India’s rice exports set to surge by 42%

 

India ships premium basmati rice to Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq and non-basmati rice to Bangladesh, Nepal, Benin, and Senegal.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 11:58 PM UTC

India’s rice exports in 2020 could surge to 14 million tons, up by nearly 42 percent from last year’s 9.9 million tons due to reduced shipments from rival exporters Thailand and Vietnam and a depreciating currency.

Higher Indian shipments could cap global prices, reduce the country’s bulging inventories, and limit stockpiler purchases from farmers.

Thailand is hounded by drought that could pull down exports in 2020 to 6.5 million tons, its lowest in 20 years.

Meanwhile, Vietnam had to contend with low water levels in the Mekong River Delta that limited its production.

India ships premium basmati rice to Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq and non-basmati rice to Bangladesh, Nepal, Benin, and Senegal.

A surge in demand for non-basmati rice from African countries due to its attractive prices is expected to double India’s rice shipments from a year ago to 9.5 million tons in 2020.

Basmati rice exports are expected to be stable at around 4.5 million tons.

Indian exporters are able to offer rice at lower prices because of the rupee’s depreciation, which declined 3 percent against the US dollar this year.

India sells 5 percent broken parboiled rice at $380 per ton on a free-on-board basis, while Thailand offers it at $490 per ton.

https://www.econotimes.com/Indias-rice-exports-set-to-surge-by-42-1593731#:~:text=India's%20rice%20exports%20in%202020,Vietnam%20and%20a%20depreciating%20currency.

L.G. Raun

Texas rice notches good year

L.G. Raun, El Campo, Texas, says the main rice crop looked good but production was not as good as expected.

 

The average yield expected to be more than 7,800 pounds per acre on the main crop.

Ron Smith | Oct 07, 2020

It’s been a good year for Texas rice with yield estimates topping 7,800 pounds per acre, dry, on the main crop.“It’s been a very good year for rice yield,” says M.O. Way, professor of entomology, Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Beaumont.

“We still don’t have reliable yield data, but average yield should be better than 7,800 pounds per acre on the main crop. The ratoon crop is also looking good, but recent cool weather may negatively affect the second crop.”

Jefferson County farmer Chris Latta says his crop is “just okay. Yields run in the low- to mid- 50s per acre on a green basis. Milling yield is also down,” Latta says.

(Texas rice acreage should remain stable in 2021, “unless other commodity prices go way up,” says El Campo, Texas rice farmer L.G. Raun. Photo by L.G. Raun.)

He’s not certain why milling yield is down but says it could be from showers at bloom. “But we didn’t get high winds with the rain; that’s what usually affects milling yields.”

Harvest conditions were good. “We had dry harvest weather. Moisture dropped drastically as we began harvest, from 18% to 20% when we started down to 13% to 14% when we got through.”

Latta says he’s not sure how his ratoon crop will turn out.

Okay yields

L.G. Raun, El Campo, says his main rice crop looked good before harvest, “but was not what we hoped for. Yield is above average but is not what we expected. The ratoon crop also looks good, but we will not know how good it is until we get the combine in.”

Shelley E. Huguley

El Campo, Texas, rice producer L.G. Raun, left, Dick Ottis, Rice Belt Warehouse, center, and Raun's wife Linda, at the 2018 Texas Ag Forum. The Raun family has grown rice in the area since 1915.

He’s also concerned that storms building in the Gulf of Mexico can threaten the second crop. “We’re keeping an eye on two storms building in the Gulf now.”

Latta says markets are good, unusually so for this time of year. “Price usually tanks at harvest. But exports are up, and imports are not flooding the market. Price is around $13.”

Weedy rice

He’s concerned about increasing difficulty controlling weedy rice. “We’ve had a big problem, similar to what we used to have with red rice.”

See,  Rice market volatility: ‘get used to it’

He says herbicide resistance seems to be part of the problem. “And in recent years, all the water we’ve had seems to make it worse. We’ve tried different tillage methods, water seeding and other measures — similar to what we did with red rice infestations. We need a new herbicide and variety to help us control weedy rice.”

Latta says weedy rice “has characteristics similar to red rice, but it seems to be more vigorous. It comes on quicker.”

He says red rice almost put a lot of producers out of business back in the ‘90s, before Clearpath herbicide came along.

“In 1996, we cut and baled rice because of so much red rice infestation. Clearpath saved us when other control measures stopped working.”

He says weedy rice is an issue across the Rice Belt. “The technology is out there,” he said. “We expect new chemistry in 2022. We hope we can hold on that long.”

In addition to rice, Latta grows hay and raises cattle.

Usual challenges

Way says rice producers experienced the usual challenges in 2020. “Disease problems have been minimal, but we’ve seen some kernel smut. We’ve also had some complaints about low head rice yield, associated with very high yields.

“Insect pressure from rice water weevil and rice stink bug has been average or greater than average. Virtually all our rice farmers apply an insecticide treatment. Treatment of choice is Dermacor X-100, which controls both rice water weevil and stem borers.”

He says most farmers also apply Tenchu 20SG for rice stink bug control. “This product has good residual activity, so many farmers are only spraying once, sometimes twice for this pest.”

 Way says rice planthoppers have shown up in some fields. “Either populations are low, or farmers have sprayed with Endigo ZC.”

A new wrinkle showed up late, he says. “Late in the main crop season, some farmers were reporting damage from the English grain aphid, which is a new one on me.”

Hurricane impact

He says overall damage from Hurricane Laura has not been significant.

“As far as I know, we’ve had no direct loss of rice to Laura, but the impending rain caused farmers to harvest rice before fields were dry, which rutted up the fields affecting ratoon crop production. Some rice lodged here at the center, but I don’t think any (or on a very small number of acres) lodged commercially.”

Latta says the hurricane affected less than one-third of his main crop. Most was harvested before the storm hit.  “We had some shattering but not a lot blown down.”

Way says the 2020 Texas rice crop totals about 180,000 acres.

That’s an improvement over 2019, Raun said. “Texas rice acreage was down to 153,000 last year. We’re back to 180,000 this year and that’s been pretty stable.”

Those numbers pale in comparison to the 500,000 acres Texas farmers once planted.

Raun says acreage has dipped in East Texas where farms compete with urban encroachment and industry for land and water.

Raun’s family has grown rice in the area since 1915, when his grandfather planted his first crop. Now, he, his wife, Linda, his brother and nephew are the only Rauns still growing rice.

He thinks Texas will plant about the same acreage next year. Further acreage declines will affect the infrastructure necessary for a rice industry.

“Prices are a bit flat, now,” Raun says. “They might be marginally better, and futures are up a bit. Still, I think Texas will plant about the same acreage next year unless the price of other commodities go way up.”

https://www.farmprogress.com/rice/texas-rice-notches-good-year

 

No safeguard duties yet to stem Philippine rice imports


·         ASEANPLUS NEWS

·         Thursday, 08 Oct 2020

12:29 PM MYT

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN): The Department of Agriculture (DA) said it was not considering the imposition of safeguard duties just yet to temper the arrival of imported rice in the country.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said at a press briefing that the agency was still looking at other measures to prop up prices of palay, including ramping up the procurement of the staple and giving financial assistance to distressed farmers.

It has also been strict with the issuance of food safety permits — a primary requirement to import.

Under the rice tariffication law, taxes imposed on imports may be increased, reduced or revised by the President to protect Filipino farmers and consumers from any unwarranted price or supply concerns.

Imposing safeguards would increase tariffs and would make imports more expensive, thereby discouraging traders from bringing in the staple to the domestic market and force traders to buy from local farmers at higher rates.

Despite the insistence of the agency that prices at the farm-gate were hovering between P16 and P19 a kilo, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that several provinces have recorded palay quotations as low as P12.80 a kilo

The Federation of Free Farmers had blamed the dip in prices to the unimpeded arrival of imported rice in the country, which allegedly robs local farmers of a stable market.

The DA considered using safeguards to temper the volume of rice imports, but this was shot down by economic managers for being “inflationary.”

Other groups recommended a safeguard duty of 70 per cent on top of the current tariffs slapped on rice. Under the law, rice coming from Asean countries are imposed a 35-per cent tariff while those from non-Asean countries are slapped 50 per cent. - Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network

https://www.thestar.com.my/aseanplus/aseanplus-news/2020/10/08/no-safeguard-duties-yet-to-stem-philippine-rice-imports

VN rice exporters gear up to penetrate EU arena

Chia sẻ 

Vietnamese companies have been stepping up investment to boost rice exports to Europe – however, it remains a challenging task penetrate the market efficiently.

Rice exporters gear up to penetrate EU arena

On September 22, Loc Troi Group JSC exported the first batch of 126 tonnes of fragrant rice to the EU. To reach this, LocTroi upped its planting methods and quality control for the EU market in 2018. So far, the company has exported over 10,000 tonnes of rice to the EU market.

Backed by the tariff exemptions under the new EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), LocTroi chairman Huynh Van Thon said that the group aims to become one of the major rice exporters to the EU. The company will mobilise all its resources to satisfy the EU’s strict quality requirements, expanding its growing area and export volume and diversifying varieties.

Meanwhile, at the end of August Trung An Hi-Tech Farming JSC also exported its first batch of fragrant rice in line with EVFTA commitments. Pham Thai Binh, the company’s general director, said that the shipment is part of the company’s current contract to export 3,000 tonnes of rice to Europe.

Binh said the company made early preparations during the EVFTA negotiation process to increase its rice exports. Among them, food safety standardss were Binh’s focus as the bloc refuses products exceeding pesticide residue limits. Therefore, Trung An focused on international standards for planting, harvesting, preserving, and processing.

Elsewhere in 2019, Vinaseed also exported over 2,000 tonnes of rice to the EU with turnover of $2 million. The group inaugurated the Centre of Seed and Agricultural Product Processing Industry in Dong Thap province last year. Covering five hectares, the centre has capacity to process and preserve 100,000 tonnes of rice and 50,000 tonnes of seeds per year.

Nguyen Quang Truong, general director of Vinaseed said, “With modern lines and technology from Japan, the new centre can help us to produce rice meeting the EU’s rigorous inspection procedures, while preserving its natural taste.”

In addition, Vinaseed has also purchased an 800ha forest in Kien Giang’s Hon Dat district. The company will spend 3-4 years on preparing the land for agricultural use.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Vietnam’s rice exports to the EU reached over $1.2 million in August, up 93.5 per cent against July and 35.6 per cent on-year. Currently, many Vietnamese rice producers are negotiating new contracts with European partners.

While these efforts show the hard work of domestic companies in trying to raise their exports to the EU, it will remains tough to conquer the market for some time.

Quach The Phong, co-chair of the Food, Agri, and Aqua Business Sector Committee under EuroCham, said that rice and products thereof are a sensitive category in the EVFTA. The agreed export quota from Vietnam to the EU is set at 80,000 tonnes per year, including all types of rice. For comparison, in 2018 Vietnam exported only around 20,000 tonnes to the EU.

The EVFTA only helps with a fraction of the Vietnam’s total export volume, which is expected to reach 7 million tonnes this year. In the short-term, it is expected that there will be a positive price impact for the country’s rice exports. However, over the medium and long term, benefits include many aspects for improving technology transfer and trusts for a larger quota.

In addition to consumption rates, Vietnamese rice is facing tough competition from Thailand and Cambodia. Between September 2019 and March, the EU imported 30 per cent of its rice from Thailand and 27 per cent from Cambodia as well as 16 per cent from Pakistan, 15 per cent from India, and only 6 per cent from Vietnam, according to a report by the European Commission in April.

“Even though Vietnamese rice has advantages in terms of pricing, it is still difficult to change the consumption habits of European customers, which is likely to pose obstacles for local producers to fully take advantage of the EVFTA,” Binh said.

On the same note, Phong added that some firms able to export to the EU will have opportunities to strengthen their production locally as well as to understand and further adapt to EU standards as both the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Ministry of Industry and Trade are closely observing and regulating the export process to follow commitments.

“With the help of government bodies here, this can become a reality to improve the entire rice export industry. This initiative is also important since the MARD has identified that a value-based export direction for rice will be the future for Vietnam, rather than a volume-based one,” Phong stated. VIR

https://vietnamnet.vn/en/business/rice-exporters-gear-up-to-penetrate-eu-arena-679584.html

 

Drought fears persist despite rainstorms

Khouth Sophak Chakrya | Publication date 08 October 2020 | 00:28 ICT

 

A view of Stung Sangke stream in Battambang Province on October 07, 2020. Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology

Prime Minister Hun Sen urged farmers and relevant local authorities to store water in reservoirs to avoid running low in the coming dry season.

Hun Sen made the remarks on Wednesday during the inauguration of the Prince Manor entertainment complex located on National Road 1 in Kandal province.

He said according to the weather forecast of the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, a low-pressure system from the South China Sea was expected to hit Vietnam on Wednesday causing more rain to fall in Cambodia.

However, he said the river levels are still low, which requires well-organised water storage systems to store water for the dry season.

“Our river levels now are very low compared to previous years, about 4m to 5m lower. So I urge people to work together to consider ways to preserve water,” he said.

The prime minister urged relevant ministries and professional institutions to consider strategic stockpiling to be ready to respond to the shortages. He also urged storm preparation.

“We need to stock up on soy sauce, noodles, rice and all kinds of vegetables and medicines to save our people from starving,” he said.

Kampong Chhnang provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries director Ngin Hun told The Post on Wednesday that his department’s strategy was to cooperate with the Department of Water Resources and Meteorology and other relevant departments under its jurisdiction.

He said the Kampong Chhnang Provincial Administration inspected water sources in lakes, canals and canal systems to take measurements to prevent water retention or open drains to prevent the flooding of rice fields.

“Of course, the recent rains have caused the Tonle Sap and some tributaries of the river to rise slightly, but not as much as in previous years. This is what we are worried about. This season farmers have planted more than 130,000ha of rice, which is more than 10,000ha over the plan,” Hun Sen said.

According to Ngin Hun, his department has cooperated with the water resources department and the Department of Public Works and Transport in Kampong Chhnang province to prepare to pump water from some streams and rivers into reservoirs.

Contact author: Khouth Sophak Chakrya

https://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/drought-fears-persist-despite-rainstorms

 

RPT-Asia Rice-Thai rates dip for 6th week as top hubs grapple with weak demand

OCTOBER 9, 20206:31

 (Repeats story first published on Thursday, no changes to text)

* India rates steady as demand softens

* Prices for Vietnamese rice quoted at $470 a tonne

* India’s rice exports could jump to record this year - officials

Oct 8 (Reuters) - Rice export prices fell for a sixth straight week in Thailand, with fresh supply expected to bring down rates further this month, as subdued global demand crimped exports from most Asian hubs.

Thailand's benchmark 5 percent broken rice RI-THBKN5-P1 prices eased slightly to $470-$475 per tonne from $472-$477 last week, with traders attributing the slight dip to fluctuation in the currency exchange amid relatively flat demand.

“There is still room for prices to go lower because the harvest volume should be bigger around the end of the month,” a trader in Bangkok said.

In top exporter India, prices remained steady due to softening demand after a surge in exports in the last few months.

Prices of the 5 percent broken parboiled variety RI-INBKN5-P1 were unchanged from last week, around $376-$382 per tonne.

“We could not lower prices despite ample crop due to the appreciating rupee,” said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

However, India’s rice exports in 2020 may rise by nearly 42%from a year ago to a record 14 million tonnes because of reduced shipments from rival exporters, industry officials said this week.

In Vietnam, rates for 5 percent broken rice RI-VNBKN5-P1 were quoted at $470 a tonne versus $460-$480 last week, as demand from Philippines remained weak.

“We have seen some buyers from the Philippines having shown interest, but most of them ended up only checking for prices,” a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said.

Meanwhile, domestic prices of rice kept rising in Bangladesh which officials blamed on hoarding by middlemen, despite the government’s move to fix wholesale prices of the staple grain for the nation.

Stern action will be taken against those who are hoarding rice to create artificial crisis to make windfall profits, Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder said. (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru, Khanh Vu in Hanoi, Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai, Ruma Paul in Dhaka, and Patpicha Tanakasempipat in Bangkok; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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https://www.reuters.com/article/asia-rice/rpt-asia-rice-thai-rates-dip-for-6th-week-as-top-hubs-grapple-with-weak-demand-idINL4N2GZ2RP

 

Commercial aromatic rice farming shows bright prospects

ANM Mohibub Uz Zaman


8th October, 2020 12:40:38

 

 

Lucrative price, low production cost and higher demand of aromatic rice in local and overseas markets are drawing much attention of farmers to cultivate the crop commercially in many parts across the country.

Prices of aromatic rice are much higher than that of regular rice verities in the country.

Its prices range between Tk90 and Tk120 per kg while prices of the regular varieties range between Tk45 and Tk60 per kg in country.

Commercial cultivation of aromatic rice has already gained popularity in Dinajpur, Thakurgaon, Panchagar, Rangpur, Naogaon and Rajshahi districts.

Five varieties of aromatic rice, including Kalizira, Chiniatab and Chinigura are popular in the country.

Currently, 37 varieties of aromatic rice are being cultivated in the country.

Farmers get 12 to 15 mounds yield per bigha of land on an average. So, the farmers are benefitting from growing the crop commercially.

The prospect of producing more export-quality aromatic rice in the northern region is very bright, said Shahjahan Kabir, DG of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI).

Very smelly varieties of aromatic are chinigura, kalijira, kataribhog, tulshimala, badshavog, khaskhani, bashful, durbashail, begun bichi, kalpakhri etc. Medium smelly varieties are punia, kamini soru, jiravog, chin chail, sadagura, modhumadhob, gobindovog, dudhshail etc.

BRRI also invent eight aromatic rice varieties. Those are BR-5 (dulavog), BRRI dhan-34, BRRI dhan- 37, BRRI dhan- 38, BRRI dhan- 70, BRRI dhan- 75, BRRI dhan-80 and BRRI dhan- 50 (banglamoti).

Aman and Aush seasons are the times to cultivate the crop. Fragrances of this rice stay upto eight months from its harvest.

Aromatic rice is used to make different mouthwatering food usually cooked to host guests and celebrate festivals.

The rice is in great demand in Europe, America and Middle East. It is being exported to 136 countries in the world, said BRRI DG.

Bangladesh produces around 17.80 lakh tonnes of aromatic rice per year while around 15,000 tonnes are being exported, he said.

 

No safeguard duties yet to stem rice imports

By: Karl R. Ocampo - Reporter / @kocampoINQ

Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:18 AM October 08, 2020

The Department of Agriculture (DA) said it was not considering the imposition of safeguard duties just yet to temper the arrival of imported rice in the country.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said at a press briefing that the agency was still looking at other measures to prop up prices of palay, including ramping up the procurement of the staple and giving financial assistance to distressed farmers.

It has also been strict with the issuance of food safety permits—a primary requirement to import.

Under the rice tariffication law, taxes imposed on imports may be increased, reduced or revised by the President to protect Filipino farmers and consumers from any unwarranted price or supply concerns.

Imposing safeguards would increase tariffs and would make imports more expensive, thereby discouraging traders from bringing in the staple to the domestic market and force traders to buy from local farmers at higher rates.

Despite the insistence of the agency that prices at the farm-gate were hovering between P16 and P19 a kilo, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that several provinces have recorded palay quotations as low as P12.80 a kilo.

The Federation of Free Farmers had blamed the dip in prices to the unimpeded arrival of imported rice in the country, which allegedly robs local farmers of a stable market.

The DA considered using safeguards to temper the volume of rice imports, but this was shot down by economic managers for being “inflationary.”

Other groups recommen­ded a safeguard duty of 70 percent on top of the current tariffs slapped on rice. Under the law, rice coming from Asean countries are imposed a 35-percent tariff while those from non-Asean countries are slapped 50 percent.

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Read more: https://business.inquirer.net/309060/no-safeguard-duties-yet-to-stem-rice-imports#ixzz6aMm94hke

India’s rice exports could jump to record on Thai drought effects

12:00 AM, October 08, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:34 AM, October 08, 2020

Farmers plant saplings in a rice field on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India. Photo: Reuters/file

Reuters, Mumbai

India's rice exports in 2020 may rise by nearly 42 per cent from a year ago to record highs because of reduced shipments from rival exporters and a depreciating rupee, industry officials said this week.

Higher shipments from India, the world's biggest rice exporter, could cap global prices, reduce the country's bulging inventories and limit Indian state stockpiler purchases from farmers.

India's rice exports could jump to 14 million tonnes in 2020, up from last year's 9.9 million tonnes, the lowest in eight years, said B.V. Krishna Rao, president of the Rice Exporters Association.

"Thailand's shipments are falling due to the drought. Vietnam is struggling because of lower crop. That share is naturally coming to India," Rao said.

Thailand, the world's second-largest rice exporter, suffered through a drought earlier this year that has affected the rice crop. Shipments in 2020 could fall to 6.5 million tonnes, the lowest in 20 years.

Vietnam, the third-biggest global exporter, has contended with low water levels in the Mekong River Delta, the country's main rice growing region, that has limited supply.

India mainly exports non-basmati rice to Bangladesh, Nepal, Benin and Senegal, and premium basmati rice to Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

India's rice shipments in 2020 will rise because of robust demand for non-basmati rice from African countries, said Nitin Gupta, vice president for Olam India's rice business.

"Basmati rice demand is more-or-less stable, but in non-basmati we have seen a huge surge in demand due to attractive prices," Gupta said.

India's non-basmati rice exports may double from a year ago to 9.5 million tonnes, while basmati rice exports would remain stable around 4.5 million tonnes, he said.

India was offering 5 per cent broken parboiled rice at $380 per tonne on a free-on-board basis, while Thailand was offering the same grade at $490 per tonne, dealers said.

Indian exporters have offered rice at lower prices at a time when global prices have jumped on limited supplies because of the rupee's depreciation, Rao said.The rupee has declined 3 per cent against the US dollar so far this year.In addition to lower Southeast Asian sales, China has also cut exports to Africa after floods hit local crops, said a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading firm.

"Unlike other countries, India has massive surplus. Exports won't create shortage in the local market," the dealer said.

Also, the higher exports should cut into Indian inventories and limit government purchases from farmers at minimum support prices, said Rao from the Rice Exporters Association.

https://www.thedailystar.net/business/news/indias-rice-exports-could-jump-record-thai-drought-effects-1974265

Record-setting monsoon season causes Southwest drought

Published Oct. 4, 2020 12:06 AM

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The Southwest monsoon season has come to an end for many cities. AccuWeather's Brittany Boyer recaps the season and has more on what lies ahead.

Across the Southwestern United States, what should have been a season packed with thunderstorms and rain turned out to be almost entirely parched -- and records were broken through the region as a result.

Monsoon season runs from June 15 to the end of September and is typically expected to bring a wash of wet weather to the area. This year, however, the Southwest experienced a drier-than-usual monsoon season, with many cities breaking records.

"Every summer, it gets really hot in the Southwest and low pressure develops mainly over Arizona," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bob Smerbeck said. "This causes more air from the tropics to get drawn northward out of Mexico into the Southwest, and then you get your showers and thunderstorms."

The dry desert soil cracks due to the lack of monsoon rainfall, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, in Maricopa, Ariz. Cities across the U.S. Southwest recorded their driest monsoon season on record this year, with many places seeing next to no rain this year. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Smerbeck explained that usually, an area of high pressure forms over the southern Rockies, and clockwise flow around the area of pressure pushes tropical moisture into the Southwest. This year, he said the area of high pressure built up over the Great Basin, farther west than usual, which prevented the tropical moisture from traveling north.

For many Southwestern cities, this monsoon season was the driest on record, including Flagstaff, Grand Canyon, Yuma, Prescott, Show Low and Bellemont, all located in Arizona. Las Vegas tied with its previous record dry monsoon season and broke its record for the longest streak of consecutive days without rain.

"The monsoon season was pretty much a dud," AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok told AccuWeather's Brittany Boyer. "It just tried to get going and it never happened."

"We had a couple of days where it surged, but there were a lot of days where there was just nothing going on," Pastelok told Boyer.

For any particular place in the Southwest, Pastelok explained that about on third of the moisture it receives is dependent on the monsoon season. So as a result of this year's dry season, the drought will continue through the winter and possibly spring, and even the early parts of the summer.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Kate Guillet told AccuWeather during a phone interview in September, that the dryness from the monsoon season could have been a contributor in the out-of-control wildfires that continue to plague the region.

"Normally if it is drier we see heat be a bigger problem because we don't have the moisture to kind of temper down how hot it can get," National Weather Service Meteorologist Kate Guillet told AccuWeather during a phone interview in September. "So this year we had multiple heat waves that moved in and numerous records over the last few months... in addition to fire weather concerns. Without that rain that helps moisten up the vegetation the fire fuels are extremely dry right now."

Looking ahead, Pastelok is not optimistic that the region can make up on lost precipitation.

RELATED:

https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/record-setting-monsoon-season-causes-southwest-drought/823465

 

Uganda envoy optimistic on Tanzania business relations on day of independence

Friday October 9 2020

 

Ugandan High Commission in Tanzania Richard Kabonero. 

By Rosemary Mirondo @mwaikama rmirondo@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. Ugandan High Commission in Tanzania has said that non-tariff barriers (NTBs) that have been hampering trade between Tanzania and Uganda are currently being addressed at a bilateral level and the East African Community.

This was said by the High Commissioner, Richard Kabonero when speaking to The Citizen on the 58th Independence anniversary that is celebrated on October 9.

He said while the NTBs are being addressed the EA Common Market understands that products manufactured the in the EAC member states should be duty free.

“We had challenges on the weigh bridge especially at Mutukula which have currently been reduced tremendously , but currently sugar exports, rice and fish imports taxes are being addressed at both bilateral and EAC level,” he said.

He said trade between the two countries has been increasing with Uganda importing rice from Tanzania as well as petroleum products while also planning to import gas in their near future which the latter has in abundance. Uganda on the other hand exports sugar and milk to Tanzania.

He said that both countries have invested heavily in infrastructure including the railway from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza that will reduce the cost of transportation of goods by 40 per cent.

While at the same time Port Bell cargo vessel in Mwanza and Uganda have also been invested on.

In another development, he said as Ugandans celebrate the Independence Day they are happy with the resilience of the Ugandan people despite challenges when the military took over.

“We appreciate the help of Tanzanians as many shed blood for our freedom,” he said.

He added: On behalf of staff of the Uganda High Commission, I take this opportunity to congratulate all Ugandans in Tanzania and other countries of accreditation and all friends of Uganda on this auspicious occasion of our country’s 58th Independence Anniversary.

He said, this year’s theme is “Celebrating Uganda’s steady progress towards economic take off and self-sustaining economic growth”

According to him, the economy has been averaging an impressive 7 percent growth, 13 million children are enrolled in primary and secondary schools, and millions of Ugandan citizens have been lifted out of poverty.

Last month the Heads of States of Uganda and Tanzania signed an agreement to expedite the implementation of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline, the largest project in East Africa that will create hundreds of jobs while transforming the economies of the two countries.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-54137090

 

Irked over slow paddy procurement in US Nagar, farmers warn protest from October 11

Aakash Ahuja | TNN | Oct 9, 2020, 04:09 IST

Rudrapur : Farmers of Udham Singh Nagar district, which is known to be the food bowl of Uttarakhand, have expressed displeasure over “undue delay” in the procurement of paddy crops.
They are alleging that a “lack of coordination” between the government departments and the procurement agencies is causing the delay. Farmers in Sitarganj have been protesting for the last five days and they have been now joined hands with the farmer organisations who have warned to intensify their agitation from October 11.

Tejender Singh Virk, president of the Terai Kisan Mahasabha, said, “Farmers have been waiting to sell their crops for the past five days. The government should make proper arrangement for farmers and ensure that the crop is procured as soon as the produce reaches the grain market.”
Block president of Bhartiya Kisan Union, Gursahab Singh, said: “The district administration is not serious on paddy procurement. The active procurement has not been initiated and farmers are compelled to play in the hands of middlemen who are paying them only Rs 1200 for a quintal against the minimum support price of Rs 1880 per quintal. They are not clear about the moisture content and are really unaware how many days they will have to wait till competent authorities come into action.”

 

A majority of mandis (paddy procurement centres) in several blocks are expressing their inability to purchase paddy from farmers due to non-lifting by the rice millers.
“Paddy laden trucks, tractors and bullock carts are waiting for days near the mandis to avoid the burden of extra transportation costs. In any case they have to shell out more towards transportation as they have to pay the vehicle halting charges,” said Ganesh Upadhyay, Congress leader and member of Akhil Bhartiya Kisan Mahasabha.
Virk further said they apprised the situation to the administration and urged the DM to take appropriate measures for smooth lifting of paddy. "We will be agitating against the administration at DM office on October 11 if the procurement is not embarked", he added.
“This is happening in all mandis. We have warned the ADM that the farmers will be forced to hit the streets if such poor treatment will continue,” Navtej Pal Singh, another farmer, said.
The farmers suggested the administration to issue token to farmers before the procurement of paddy by clearly mentioning the quantity of paddy each of the farmers have to bring to the mandis. This way the farmers will be save from paying extra transportation cost.
Farmers also alleged that the few paddy procurement agencies who are working have not been paying the full cost of the paddy to the farmers. The agencies are keeping the cost of 4-5 kg of paddy on the pretext that the grains are not meeting the standard of fair average quality.
Meanwhile, the vice-chairman of the Farmers Commission, Rajpal Singh, has assured the farmers that the procurement of paddy will come into full swing in another couple of days and the farmers' demands will also be met.

 

https://www.farmprogress.com/rice/texas-rice-notches-good-year

India's rice exports could jump 42% to record highs due to drought in Thailand

 

India's rice exports could jump 42% to record highs due to drought in Thailand

ReutersLast Updated: Oct 07, 2020, 12:45 PM IST

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Synopsis

Higher shipments from India, the world's biggest rice exporter, could cap global prices, reduce the country's bulging inventories and limit Indian state stockpiler purchases from farmers.

Thailand, the world's second-largest rice exporter, suffered through a drought earlier this year that has affected the rice crop. Shipments in 2020 could fall to 6.5 million tonnes, the lowest in 20 years.MUMBAI: India's rice exports in 2020 may rise by nearly 42% from a year ago to record highs because of reduced shipments from rival exporters and a depreciating rupee, industry officials said this week. Higher shipments from India, the world's biggest rice exporter, could cap global prices, reduce the country's bulging inventories and limit Indian state stockpiler purchases from farmers.

India's rice exports could jump to 14 million tonnes in 2020, up from last year's 9.9 million tonnes, the lowest in eight years, said B.V. Krishna Rao, president of the Rice Exporters Association.

"Thailand's shipments are falling due to the drought. Vietnam is struggling because of lower crop. That share is naturally coming to India," Rao said.

Thailand, the world's second-largest rice exporter, suffered through a drought earlier this year that has affected the rice crop. Shipments in 2020 could fall to 6.5 million tonnes, the lowest in 20 years.

Vietnam, the third-biggest global exporter, has contended with low water levels in the Mekong River Delta, the country's main rice growing region, that has limited supply.


India mainly exports non-basmati rice to Bangladesh, Nepal, Benin and Senegal, and premium basmati rice to Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

India's rice shipments in 2020 will rise because of robust demand for non-basmati rice from African countries, said Nitin Gupta, vice president for Olam India's rice business.

"Basmati rice demand is more-or-less stable, but in non-basmati we have seen a huge surge in demand due to attractive prices," Gupta said.

India's non-basmati rice exports may double from a year ago to 9.5 million tonnes, while basmati rice exports would remain stable around 4.5 million tonnes, he said.

India was offering 5% broken parboiled rice at $380 per tonne on a free-on-board basis, while Thailand was offering the same grade at $490 per tonne, dealers said.

Indian exporters have offered rice at lower prices at a time when global prices have jumped on limited supplies because of the rupee's depreciation, Rao said.

The rupee has declined 3% against the U.S. dollar so far this year.

In addition to lower Southeast Asian sales, China has also cut exports to Africa after floods hit local crops, said a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading firm.

"Unlike other countries, India has massive surplus. Exports won't create shortage in the local market," the dealer said.

Also, the higher exports should cut into Indian inventories and limit government purchases from farmers at minimum support prices, said Rao from the Rice Exporters Association.

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/india-rice-exports/indias-rice-exports-could-jump-to-record-on-thai-drought-effects-idUSKBN26S0S9

 

Stronger kyat threatens exports, but presents import opportunities

Chan Mya HtweHtoo Thant 09 Oct 2020

Paddy farmers seen working at the field in Kyee Tan village, Twan Tay township, Yangon on June 29. Photo: Mar Naw/The Myanmar Times

Stronger kyat threatens exports, but presents import opportunities

Myanmar’s exports have come under pressure as a result of the weakening US dollar, which has made key exports such as rice more expensive in overseas markets, said U Soe Tun, a committee member of the Myanmar Rice Federation.

While the weaker exchange rate has made prices more attractive to local farmers, falling demand from foreign traders has more than offset the gains. “Its not profitable for exporters at the current exchange rate,” U Soe Tun said. 

The Myanmar kyat is now at its strongest levels against the US dollar since 2018, with the Central Bank’s reference exchange rate on October 8 having fallen under K1300 per dollar. This is despite the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) continuously purchasing US dollars in the market in attempts to stabilise the exchange rate.  In January, the exchange rate was more than K1400 per dollar.

“Some traders still have remaining contracts while others are still trying to continue exporting as there are opportunities to fetch high prices although not in huge volumes as trade is no longer profitable for overseas buyers at the current exchange rate,” U Soe Tun said. 

Although the Ministry of Commerce had earlier imposed limitations on rice exports to ensure sufficient reserves for the country in case of emergency during COVID-19,  these have been lifted as the new harvest seasons draws near.  

“As the new paddy harvest season draws near and with sufficient reserves in the country, we have allowed traders to export freely to prevent losses” said U Min Min, Director General of the Department of Trade.

According to data from the Myanmar Rice Federation, Myanmar exported over 2.5 million tonnes of rice and broken rice to over 60 countries up to September 11 during fiscal 2019-20, generating revenues of more than US$774 million. 

On the flip side, it could be time for Myanmar to take advantage of the stronger kyat and raise imports of key commodities such as corn.

Myanmar exports large quantities of corn to China and Thailand, and there is currently a domestic shortage of the commodity, which is used as animal feed in the livestock industry.

Last month, traders and livestock breeders requested an import permit for corn, but this was met by objections from local farmers, who fear a potential glut if uncontrolled imports are allowed.  Under the Law of Protection of the Farmer Rights and Enhancement of their Benefits, the farmers’ market and price stability should be taken into consideration, said U Ye Tint Tun, Director General of the Department of Agriculture.

 

There has typically been a surplus of corn in the domestic market but after more than 2 million tonnes were exported in fiscal 2018-20, there is a possibility that the crop will need to be imported back, U Aung Htoo, Deputy Minister of Commerce, told Pyidaungsu Hluttaw in August.- Translated

https://consult-myanmar.com/2020/10/09/stronger-kyat-threatens-exports-but-presents-import-opportunities/

 

Gotovate Tax Exemption Row: Rice Business Sector Association Defends Minister Kyambadde

Dedan Kimathi October 7, 2020

The Chairman of Rice Business Sector Association Isaac Kasahaija addressing the press on October 7, 2020.

The Chairman of Rice Business Sector Association (RBSU) Isaac Kashaija has on Wednesday trashed accusations being leveled against the Minister of Trade Hon. Amelia Kyambadde for single handedly allowing a firm to import 50,000 Metric Tons of untaxed rice from Tanzania.

It is understood that last week, there was an uproar when news emerged that Gotovate Uganda Limited had been exempted from paying 18% Value Added Tax (VAT) for a period of four months with effect from August 2020, something stakeholders said was ‘crafty’ in nature.

Addressing the press on October 7, 2020, Kashaija defended the minister saying that Gotovate’s request was approved way back in March after meeting a number of upfront pre-requisites and protocols.

“The Trade Ministry does not give exemptions. It only receives the request for a single company, forwards it to the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry of Finance, based on who has applied and the facts therein, is the one that decides to consider the applicant and then informs URA,” Kashaija stated.

He elaborated that the reasons advanced by Gotovate were compelling in a way that they were geared at fending off speculators and fixing the acute food scarcity conundrum caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic.

“It requested the Ministry of Trade and other authorities to allow them to bring in rice which can be sold off to the public at a cheaper price. Because, shortly after the Covid-19 lockdown was effected, people began hiking the prices of food,” Kashaija pointed out.

“Currently, the demand for rice in Uganda stands at 380,000 MT per month with local production of approximately 180,000 MT per season leaving a deficit of about 200,000 MT per month,” he stressed.

Fast forward, Kashaija attributed this unbefitting criticism to Rachael Mbabazi’s Rice Association of Uganda (RAU) whom he said was jealous and afraid of losing her monopoly.

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“The Rice Business Sector Association Limited has got information that Ms Rachael Mbabazi, the purported chairman of the Rice Association of Uganda, is one of the beneficiaries of the 14 companies that were exploiting Ugandans,” he retorted.

“And she is not happy that Ugandans are getting relief from the ‘sharks’ and is determined to disorganize the rice industry for her own benefit,” Kashaija concluded.

To amicably solve this row which might suck in East African Community (EAC) member states, Kashaija opined that all stakeholders including rice farmers, millers, traders and Government must sit on a round table.

Since 2014, it is understood that fourteen companies which include SWT Tanners, Imba Foods, Zen Trading Limited, Mabu Commodities, Ssunad and General Agencies among many others have not been subjected to VAT pending conclusion of a court case.

To establish the truth of the matter, the writer called Ian Rumanyika, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Public and Corporate Affairs Manager who unfortunately was not in office.

While the Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) statistics indicate that the area under rice cultivation had increased by close to 70,000 hectares in a space of ten years ending 2010, rice imports have been on an upward trajectory.

 

 

 

Basmati rice exporters from India are renegotiating with importers from Australia, Canada and the US

 

The industry players are also worried about Pakistan’s move to start exporting their basmati rice to Iran under the barter system.

India annually exports 4.4 -4.5 million tonnes of basmati rice to the global markets. Basmati rice exporters from India are renegotiating with importers from Australia, Canada, the US and western Europe the new contracts to be signed by mid-October after a overseas cargo rates climbed about 50% over the past one month. Freight rates have gone up from $1200 to $1800 per tonne.

However, exporters say that even if they renegotiate with importers, they will not be able to recover the entire price hike in cargo. Also, the prices of the common variety of basmati rice, Pusa 1121, have fallen about a fifth compared to last year after shipments to Iran were halted because of non-payment of dues by the importers concerned. “Earlier, containers were coming from China and we were facing no problem. But since imports from China have come down, availability of containers has dwindled and we have to pay huge sums to shipping lines for exports," said Gautam Miglani, owner of LRNK, a Haryana-based basmati rice exporter.

"Although we will be trying to renegotiate the contracts with foreign buyers in the backdrop of this rising cargo rates, there is no guarantee that we will be getting higher rates.” India annually exports 4.4 -4.5 million tonnes of basmati rice to the global markets. Miglani added that since there is an oversupply of basmati rice in the Indian market, the exporters are not in a favourable position to ask for higher prices from other importing nations. “Moreover, the pandemic has badly impacted the economic condition of most of the countries in the world. So we are doubtful of getting higher prices,” he said. A leading basmati rice exporter from Amritsar who did not want to be named said: “Cargo rates have been rising since the lockdown was withdrawn. But in the last one month, they have gone up sharply. We have made losses in the earlier contracts due to high cargo rates. But in the upcoming overseas deals, we will have to include the high price of cargo.”

The industry players are also worried about Pakistan’s move to start exporting their basmati rice to Iran under the barter system. “If the payment issue is not sorted out with Iran, we will not be able to export to the country and subsequently lose the market there. It is the biggest export destination for Indian basmati rice,” said Miglani. BV Krishna Rao, president of Rice Exporters Association, said that the non-basmati rice exporters are also feeling the heat of rising cargo prices.

“Our product price is much less than the basmati rice exporters. We are in real trouble. One of the leading shipping companies has informed us that from October 15, it will increase cargo rate by another $500,” said Rao.

 

https://m.economictimes.com/news/economy/agriculture/basmati-rice-exporters-from-india-are-renegotiating-with-importers-from-australia-canada-the-us-and-western-europe/amp_articleshow/78554733.cms

 

Only 14 grain trains left Punjab in October due to farmer protests

Sanjeev Verma | TNN | Oct 9, 2020, 07:30 IST

 

Picture used for representational purpose only

CHANDIGARH: Nearly 1,000 special goods trains left Punjab with around 1.16 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of wheat and rice for other states in September. However, only 14 special trains could move out of the state in October till Thursday due to ‘rail roko’ agitation by various farmer organisations against the Centre’s three farm laws.
Although Punjab food, civil supplies and consumer affairs minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu said the state’s godowns have sufficient space to store rice after it arrives from the rice shellers, he has requested farmer unions to allow the movement of goods trains. “Each special train carries food grains weighing between 2,500 metric tonnes and 3,000 metric tonnes. Agitating farmers should allow these special trains to move out of Punjab because it is directly linked to the transportation and stocking of their produce,” Ashu said.

‘FCI will transport grains once trains start’
Ashu said such trains will also bring fertilisers and coal (for power generation) to Punjab from other states, which are also directly linked to the farmers.Nearly 130 LMT of wheat and 50 LMT of rice are lying in Punjab godowns and as soon as the farmers allow trains to run, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) would again start the transportation process of these food grains to the other states. The FCI has 576 godowns in Punjab with the storage capacity of 235 LMT of grains.Punjab has 27.36 lakh hectares of area under paddy this year and the state government is targeting total procurement of 171 LMT in the kharif marketing season which started on September 27 and would end by November 30. The MSP for ‘common variety’ paddy is Rs 1,868 per quintal and for ‘A’ grade Rs 1,888 per quintal for this kharif season.

Lalu gets bail in a fodder scam case, but to remain in jail

The Jharkhand HC granted bail to former Bihar CM Lalu Prasad in a fodder scam case related to Chaibasa treasury. The case involves fraudulent withdrawals amounting to Rs 33.67 crore from the Chaibasa treasury in undivided Bihar when Lalu Prasad was the chief minister. The RJD chief, however, will have to remain in jail as he is serving time in another case related to Dumka treasury.

Piyush Goyal gets additional charge of food ministry

A day after the demise of Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, President Ram Nath Kovind has given the additional charge of the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution to railway minister Piyush Goyal.

 

Keep an eye on moisture content, says minister
Ashu said the Punjab government is ensuring that paddy is procured on MSP and the farmers are paid by arhtiyas (commission agents) within 24 hours. Asked about the complaints from some mandis, including Ajnala, in Punjab about the paddy being procured below the MSP, he replied, “We are requesting farmers to ensure that they bring paddy to the mandis that has moisture content not more than the specification. Otherwise, arhtiyas sometimes either reject their produce or purchase it at price below MSP on mutual consent with the farmer.” But, he said, if any complaint is received against anyone indulging in illegal activities, prompt action would be taken against the culprit.The maximum permissible moisture content in paddy is 17%. Though some arhtiyas do purchase paddy having moisture content even up to 22%, they impose the value cut as per the increase in moisture. After the procurement, when the paddy reaches rice millers, they have to deliver 67 kg of rice for every 100 kg of paddy to the government or the FCI. So when the moisture content is more at the time of procurement, it finally results in less rice out of paddy after milling process.

 

 

Green Bay fall wild rice seeding planned for late October

 

October 8, 2020

 

Small teams of conservation professionals and volunteers from UW-Green Bay, Ducks Unlimited, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, UW-Madison Division of Extension, and others will seed 2,000 lbs. of wild rice at coastal wetlands in the bay of Green Bay during the week of October 26-30, 2020.