Wednesday, October 21, 2020

22nd October,2020 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter

 

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  • HOMEPAGE
  • HEALTH
  • WITH PLANT SUPPLEMENTS, LAB-DEVELOPED MEAT CAN BE HEREDITARILY IMPROVED

HEALTH

With plant supplements, Lab-developed meat can be hereditarily improved

Description: https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/6a512e62a59c91a272fc6b5630c00cbc?s=40&d=mm&r=g Shubhangi Chavan  Posted onOctober 19, 2020

Analysts from Tufts University have hereditarily designed ox-like cells to create lab-developed hamburger containing beta-carotene, a plant supplement that is changed over into nutrient An in the human body. The scientists propose lab-developed meats later on could be healthfully designed to pass on a wide grouping of medical advantages.

Countless individuals around the globe experience the ill effects of nutrient An insufficiency. The dietary inadequacy is a specific issue in youngsters, with up to a large portion of 1,000,000 losing their visual perception consistently because of the lack.

With plant supplements, Lab-developed meat can be hereditarily improved

During the 1990s food researchers hereditarily designed a strain of rice by including a few beta-carotene qualities. The rice was named “brilliant rice,” and over the recent many years it turned into a flashpoint for banters over the security of hereditarily adjusted food.

Until this point in time, just a couple of nations around the globe have endorsed brilliant rice for public utilization, yet researchers kept on trying different things with methods of hereditarily controlling foods grown from the ground to intensify their nourishing substance. Most as of late we have seen fundamental investigation into “brilliant potatoes” and “brilliant bananas.”

The scientists from Tufts set out to research whether lab-developed meat could be healthfully upgraded similarly as brilliant rice.

Researchers and new companies might be extremely near getting lab-developed meat onto grocery store racks, be that as it may, most examination consideration in the field has been centered around scaling up creation and working out approaches to repeat normal items, for example, hamburger steaks and singed chicken.

“Dairy animals don’t have any of the qualities for delivering beta carotene,” clarifies lead creator on the new examination, Andrew Stout. “We designed cow muscle cells to deliver this and different phytonutrients, which thusly permits us to confer those dietary advantages legitimately onto a refined meat item such that is likely infeasible through creature transgenics and regular meat creation.”

The new exploration is essentially a proof-of-idea, exhibiting how this sort of dietary designing can be adequately conveyed on lab-developed meat. The investigation notes there are an enormous grouping of likely applications for these sorts of added substances to lab-developed meat. Not exclusively are wholesome augmentations conceivable however restorative nourishments could speculatively be delivered with lab-developed meat spiked with prescriptions or aggravates that can improve drug assimilation.

The new examination likewise conjectures this sort of hereditary designing may decrease the cancer-causing nature of meat. Bold says his group saw a diminishing in lipid oxidation in the wake of cooking a portion of these “brilliant hamburger” cells.

“We saw a decrease in lipid oxidation levels when we cooked a little pellet of these cells when they were communicating and delivering this beta carotene,” says Stout. “Since that lipid oxidation is one of the key robotic proposition for red and prepared meats’ connect to illnesses, for example, colorectal malignant growth, I feel that there is a pretty convincing contention to be made that this might diminish that hazard.”

Relating creator on the new examination, David Kaplan, says there is still a lot of work to be done before the overall population will comprehensively acknowledge these sorts of refined meat items. Beside public acknowledgment and administrative obstacles, creating this sort of meat in moderate amounts is as yet a test, however Kaplan accepts lab-developed meat with healthful advantages might be a powerful method to persuade purchasers to pay somewhat more for the item, in any event from the outset.

“It will probably be trying for refined meat to be seriously valued with manufacturing plant cultivated meat directly out of the door,” says Kaplan. “A worth included item which furnishes purchasers with included medical advantages may make them all the more ready to pay for a refined meat item.”

https://www.residentweekly.com/with-plant-supplements-lab-developed-meat-can-be-hereditarily-improved/

USTR Alum Receives 2020 USA Rice Industry Award

   

By Peter Bachmann

 

WASHINGTON, DC -- Last week, USA Rice presented a 2020 USA Rice Industry Award to longtime public servant and rice industry ally Sharon Bomer Lauritsen.

Bomer Lauritsen retired from her post as agriculture's Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in April 2020 after more than 16 collective years at USTR.  Her career also included stints at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Congress, and several private sector agriculture trade organizations spanning more than 35 years of government policy experience.
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As the highest-ranking career negotiator for U.S. agriculture, Bomer Lauritsen was involved in nearly every major trade negotiation and dozens of minor agreements since taking the job in 2011.  A few of her major contributions for all of U.S. agriculture included work on the agriculture, market access, and sanitary and phytosanitary chapters of the U.S.-China Phase One Agreement, U.S.-Japan Agreement, U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement, and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.  Specific to rice, she was on the frontlines for the finalization and implementation of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, helped achieve the long-fought U.S. rice country-specific quota agreement with South Korea last year, was at the table for the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement, and helped USA Rice achieve access into China after nearly a decade of phytosanitary negotiations.

Bomer Lauritsen and her team worked hand-in-hand with their colleagues at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to assist USA Rice with regular technical exchanges and helped resolve many phytosanitary challenges throughout her tenure.

"I saw firsthand how tirelessly Sharon worked for not only the rice industry's trade priorities but also for all of agriculture over the years," said USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward.  "From the after-hours calls and visits to USTR headquarters with USA Rice staff and members, Sharon always made herself available and served us well as a 'straight shooter,' making her more than deserving of this award."

Despite the challenge of rice's near-universal sensitivity across trade negotiations, Bomer Lauritsen fought for, made progress toward, and protected existing market access agreements for U.S. rice farmers and exporters.

"We are sad to lose her as a champion at the USTR, but we wish Sharon well in her future endeavors in retirement and private sector consulting business," said Ward.

 

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Market Information

Daily Rough Rice Prices
(updated daily)

Market Year Average Price Tracker (updated monthly)

 

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Quote of the Day

 

"One of the best ways to persuade others is by listening to them."

                                                                                              - Dean Rusk

 

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In the News

 

Farmers Find More Flexibility and Lower Costs Through Row Rice

RFD-TV

Row rice has several advantages, because it is grown in fields similar to corn and soybeans, a grower has some flexibility to choose between three crops based on economic conditions at planting. It also requires less water than paddy rice.

 

I Miss Restaurants, So I Opened My Own...for a Chipmunk

Bon Appetit

What a freelance food writer resorts to when no new restaurants are opening in her city.

 

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The USA Rice Daily is published Monday through Friday approximately 230 times per year. 

The editor is Michael Klein. The deputy editor is Deborah Willenborg.

The banner photo this month is courtesy of Jenna Martin, a rice farmer from Arkansas. 

A searchable daily archive can be found on the USA Rice website.


USA Rice takes data and privacy responsibilities seriously and does not sell or share USA Rice Daily data.  If you have any questions, concerns, or corrections you want made to your information, please contact the editors.

Media should feel free to reprint and cite any original content in the Daily 

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Farmers find more flexibility and lower costs through row rice

Monday, October 19th 2020, 1:25 PM CDT

Growing rice in rows, similar to how corn or soybeans are grown, is becoming more of a common practice in northeast Louisiana. As LSU AgCenter's Craig Gautreaux explains, this technique gives farmers some flexibility and lowers water usage.

The technical name is furrow-irrigated rice, but it is more commonly known as row rice. It is a farming practice that is growing in popularity across northeast Louisiana. 

"I think we've seen our acreage increase, a steady increase of 5 to 10 percent a year, for the past five to six years," according to LSU AgCenter agent, Bruce Garner. 

Row rice has several advantages, because it is grown in fields similar to corn and soybeans, a grower has some flexibility to choose between three crops based on economic conditions at planting. It also requires less water than paddy rice.

"When you think about rice, you usually think about flood," Garner adds. "When you think about the amount of water we put into it, if we can decrease that by 28 percent, so we're showing a savings on our water, our pumping costs, even from surface water."

Jason Waller farms 2,200 acres of rice, nearly all of it row rice. He sees little difference in yields between the two techniques, and row rice actually takes less effort.

"The yield was practically the same, but it was so much easier to grow row rice, and not that, when we get done harvesting, we didn't have to tear levees down," Waller states.

After four years of growing row rice, Waller is learning more about the practice each time. His experience is allowing him to avoid the pitfalls from previous growing seasons.

"We really don't want a high row. High rows in a field can be disastrous, especially if you get lodging and rice goes down between the rows," he notes. "You can hardly get it out of those rows."

Both Garner and Waller said hybrid rice lines have been more successful than conventional varieties in row rice applications. 

https://www.rfdtv.com/story/42785719/farmers-find-more-flexibility-and-lower-costs-through-row-rice

I Miss Restaurants, So I Opened My Own…for a Chipmunk

It all started when my uncle sent a tiny wooden picnic table in the mail.

BY ANGELA HANSBERGER

October 15, 2020

Photo By Emma Fishman

The aromatic broth of vegetable scraps, mushrooms, and scallions simmers on the stove. I place a twirl of noodles into a bamboo bowl, ladle in the steaming broth, add chopped shiitakes and bamboo shoots, then tweezer on a few sesame seeds for flavor and garnish. There is a diner already seated at my new ramen-ya, awaiting the artful balance I hope to have achieved. He sniffs, sips, and in one giant slurp, it’s gone—bowl and all. Sometimes this happens with chipmunks. Did I mention my food is tiny and my “restaurant” is on the front steps of my porch?

I am a freelance food writer by trade. My work centers around eating and drinking and observing the restaurant culture of Atlanta, where I live, and then writing about it. But these days, like everyone else, I’m at home. ALWAYS at home. There are no more new cafés to review or omakase dinners to critique or chicken wing competitions to judge. I’ve hoarded the beans, planted the garden, and grown the scallions on the windowsill. I’ve written about how industry folks are coping with “the new normal.” But how am I coping? Well.

It was mid-April when the giant box appeared on my front porch. The return address was from my Uncle Ed, who owns a bowling center in Ohio and thus has had quite a bit of time on his hands since COVID-19 shut down his business. I unwrapped layers and layers of Bubble Wrap and there it was: a mini wooden picnic table on which red magic marker scrawled out “Angela.” It was intended for hanging on a tree for squirrels, said Ed, but I took a shortcut and sat it out on the porch, putting a few walnuts left over from Christmas on top. By the time I’d walked the box to the recycling bin, a chipmunk had taken a seat at the wee table. In seconds he’d gobbled up all the walnuts.

The next morning he came back and dined on walnuts again. He seemed eager.

Thelonious, catching up on his reading

 Photo By Angela Hansberger

By day three I’d made a makeshift tablecloth cut from a bandana. Then I fashioned a vase out of one of those rubber guards for pencils and filled it with a tiny purple vinca bud. “What do chipmunks eat besides nuts?” I wondered as I made a grocery list. A deep google dive gave me answers. Much as expected: seeds, berries, buds, and small worms. And, more surprising: mushrooms, vegetables, and small frogs. (Spoiler: This porch café does not serve small frogs.) I read that chipmunks are crepuscular creatures mainly active at dawn and dusk when fewer predators are a threat. And sure enough, those were the hours in which Thelonious, as I had now named my chipmunk (Thelonious Munk, get it?), came calling.

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Important to dining, especially now, is tipping. Thelonious, I’ll admit, had always been a poor tipper. Then one evening I watched as he carried over a mysterious wad of leaves and bits of flowers, things not available near my porch, and left them at the table. For me? Did he leave these special things for me? I considered it an excellent tip.

Thelonious Munk comes every day now. Sometimes he sits at the table, waiting for me. He is the diner critiquing my meals; I am the chef and the server, waiting for positive reviews. I switch up the menu, making sure not to overfeed, as chipmunks are hoarders and can eat to their detriment. I watch like a new parent introducing foods to a baby, cataloging likes and dislikes. Google be damned, Thelonious doesn’t dig mushrooms, fresh or dried, crimini or enoki (I tried). He loves blueberries and hates peanuts and yellow bell peppers. He pushes cabbage to the side.

Missing my own restaurant experiences, I try to give them to Thelonious. One day, reminiscing on my sushi habit (a frequent writing subject), I turned the table into a sushi counter. I made a tray from modeling clay. I took individual grains of rice and tweezered them atop pieces of carrot, peach skins, mango, and seaweed with grated ginger and “wasabi” made from a sassafras leaf. I fashioned itty-bitty chopsticks from stems of the aforementioned scallions. It was definitely wabi sabi—perfectly imperfect.

Thelonious, at the sushi counter

 Photo By Angela Hansberger

Thelonious devoured pizza from a crust of almond flour topped with smashed raspberry and slivered almond “cheese.” I made a Detroit version too, and placed the pizzas on a stand made from a Champagne cage. He loved the accompanying salad of garden herbs and nut “croutons.” It took a lot of trial and error to create tiny taco shells, but once I did, he seemed to marvel at them before eating them with his paws, just like a person would. The chips and guac disappeared too. I created a pretzel recipe without the salt, so as not to damage little kidneys. Making the teeny twists was especially tedious, but after about 10 attempts and a few more tries baking them at various temperatures, my improvised recipe worked: Munk ate them in his own personal beer garden, and I, too, was soulfully satiated.

Later, with the help of my husband, I built a full miniature bar with stools covered in scraps of leather: the Peanut Club. Thelonious sat anxiously on the stoop as we worked, watching and waiting to eventually steal the nut bowl as I positioned mini bottles of booze, a cocktail shaker, and bev naps. Once it was complete, he took his place on a stool for a while before opting to be bartender and moving behind the counter. And after a spell at the bar, he went to his table ready for the next dinner experience. I used to do this too.

Over these past months, my Instagram feed has shifted from shots of the newest restaurants and meticulous chef platings to this little guy encountering a new setup and new variations on his favorite flavors each day. Instead of noting the ambiance, the particulars of design, or the nuances of a restaurant’s menu, I dream it up chipmunk-sized. And for once I do the verboten in food journalism—I read the comments. Bringing a little joy to others is the secret sauce that quells my pandemic anxiety. Messages from strangers who found my munk via social media keep me going. A recent human-sized take-out order from a local restaurant included a small container labeled “Thelonious.” Inside were hazelnuts, carrot curls, and wee chanterelles, a gift from the kitchen.

The existential dread of a global pandemic is pervasive. I find myself often caught in a state of hopelessness and helplessness, unable to celebrate newborn babies, birthdays, graduations, and marriages. Unable to properly grieve losses or sit with a close friend undergoing chemo. Worried about the chefs and restaurant workers who rely on our collective ability to go out to eat. News is bleak and we are all feeling physically and socially isolated. But every day, there is also Thelonious, a chipmunk who sits down to eat in a world without a doomful election and a deadly virus. This is how I am coping, laying out a picnic, watching tiny hands hold my tiny food. It’s silly, yes, but sometimes silliness is needed.

The evening Thelonious dined with a white tablecloth, a battery-lit candle, and petite silver dinnerware was the best restaurant experience I’ve had in months. I sat behind my window—next to my eternally frustrated cat—and marveled as the chipmunk prepared his to-go order, stuffing nut after nut into his impressively expanding cheek pouches. It made me feel hopeful, knowing his face luggage would carry these supplies into his own little subterranean pantry. Knowing that, come winter, they would get him through his own period of isolation.

https://www.bonappetit.com/story/a-restaurant-for-a-chipmunk

Payments worth 2,000 cr to basmati rice exporters stuck, say industry insiders

Export of basmati rice and tea is likely to be severely impacted this year due to issues with Iran which is one of the major importers of the two commodities. Delayed payments from Iran on the back of the “depleting balance” in the rupee-rial trade account is the problem.

Iran is one of the major importers of basmati rice accounting for nearly a third of India’s total exports of the commodity. It also accounts for over 21 per cent of the country’s total tea exports, particularly the orthodox variety.

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According to estimates by industry insiders, around 2,000 crore, due to basmati rice exporters to Iran, is currently stuck because of a payment crisis. While the tea industry was not able to share the exact figures of the outstanding dues, it would be a “considerable sum” given that no payments have been coming for the past four-six weeks, said Anshuman Kanoria, Chairman, Indian Tea Exporters’ Association.

Payment crisis

Ever since the US imposed sanctions on Iran, India could not engage in dollar-denominated trade with the country. Hence, a rupee-rial trade mechanism was put in place in 2018.

Under this, oil refineries from India would deposit rupees in the two designated banks — UCO Bank and IDBI Bank — for import of crude oil from Iran; the fund was used to clear dues of exporters from India to Iran. However, since there have been no oil imports by India since May 2019 due to the US-mandated sanctions, the accumulations in the rupee-rial accounts have been depleting drastically.

“The Central Bank of Iran is not doing currency allocations to importers there (because of the depleting balance in the rupee-rial account). Therefore, a large number of consignments, shipped from India from December 2019 till July this year, have been stuck at Iranian ports and payments for none of these has come so far,” Vinod Kaul, Executive Director, All India Rice Exporters’ Association (AIREA), told BusinessLine.

Looking for alternatives

A senior executive at UCO Bank confirmed that the balance in the rupee-rial account is “steadily depleting” and also indicated that an alternative mechanism for payments was being discussed. The possibility of India importing fertilisers and some other goods, including kiwi, dates and saffron in lieu of crude oil, to keep the balance in the account is also being explored, he pointed out.

It may be noted that Indian exporters to Iran had faced similar delays in payment to the tune of 2,000 crore during the period between June and December 2019. However, the dues were cleared eventually on government intervention.

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/depleting-balance-in-rupee-rial-account-chokes-export-of-basmati-rice-tea-to-iran/article32856455.ece

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TGIFOOD

Lockdown Recipe of the Day: Tamarind prawn curry

By Tony Jackman• 20 October 2020

Description: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/wp-content/uploads/tamarindprawncurry-1-1600x1200.jpg

 Tamarind prawn curry. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

This recipe relies on first making a fish/crustacean stock. I keep prawn heads and lobster shells in the freezer for this purpose. But using the heads of the prawns for this curry’s stock is a perfect solution.

Ingredients

1 large red onion, chopped 

2 fat cloves of garlic, chopped finely 

3 cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated

3 Tbsp coconut oil 

1 kg tiger prawns

2 bay leaves

1 tsp each ground cumin, turmeric, fennel, and mustard seeds

1 tsp dried chillies

1 whole star anise

2 tsp fish masala or other mild masala you have to hand

100 ml tamarind water (or thereabouts, more is fine as the water will cook away; it’s the flavour you’re after)

80 ml tomato paste

1 x 400 g can chopped tomatoes

500 ml fish stock, or more (commercial if you aren’t able to make your own)

Basmati rice, cooked and drained

Coriander leaves for garnish

Method

Have 500ml or more of stock to hand, and a ladle. If making your own, boil down shells, prawn heads, fish bones etc. with carrots, onions, leeks and garlic in plenty of water until there is only a tenth or so of concentrated liquid left.

Prepare the prawns this way or do the same but leave the tail shell on.

Melt coconut oil in a large pan. Add onion, garlic, bay leaves and star anise and sauté until softened.

Add the ground spices and tomato paste and braise for 2 to 3 minutes, gently.

Add the chillies, masala, and chopped tomatoes, simmer while stirring for 2 or 3 minutes. Salt well.

Simmer gently for half an hour to 40 minutes, adding a ladleful of stock at intervals, to develop and strengthen the flavours.

Dissolve tamarind pulp in hot water, cool it a little and squeeze it with your fingers to get as much of the pulp as possible to meld with the water. Essentially you’re adding tamarind water to the dish. Pour the contents into the curry through a fine sieve and discard the rest.

When your tastebuds tell you the sauce is just right (and presuming you’ve made some basmati rice in the meantime), add the prawns and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve immediately. DM/TGIFood

Our Thank God It’s Food newsletter is sent to subscribers every Friday at 6pm, and published on the TGIFood platform on Daily Maverick. It’s all about great reads on the themes of food and life. Subscribe here.

Send your Lockdown Recipes to tony@dailymaverick.co.za with a hi-resolution horizontal (landscape) photo.

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https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-10-20-lockdown-recipe-of-the-day-tamarind-prawn-curry/

Experts: Study well curbs on rice importation

ByCai Ordinario

October 20, 2020

 

Description: https://businessmirror.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/rice-unload-nonoy-696x430.jpgFile photo: Workers unload tons of rice to be distributed to Quezon City barangays affected by the COVID-19 lockdown. (NONOY LACZA)

PROPOSALS to limit rice imports to stabilize farmgate price, especially during harvest, require careful study, according to economists.

Economists said proposals such as barring rice cooperatives from importing the commodity, as well as banning importation of commodities during their main harvest, could affect the rice market and eventually hurt consumers.

Last week, the Department of Agriculture proposed to bar cooperatives from importing rice while on Monday, senators suggested disallowing importation during the main harvest of commodities.

“These proposed policies are going to hurt the consumers. While producers are supposedly supported by imposing these restrictions, these can in the long run cause inefficiencies in the market. The goal should be to make producers competitive without causing a burden to the consumers,” Ateneo Eagle Watch Senior Fellow Leonardo A. Lanzona Jr. told the BusinessMirror.

With the passage of the Rice Trade Liberalization (RTL) Law, any entity with proper papers can import rice, Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS) Senior Research Fellow Roehlano M. Briones pointed out.

Briones added that implementing seasonal import bans does not really work given that “someone can pre-purchase rice during open season.”

Non-tariff barrier

Moreover, barring cooperatives from importing could be a form of non-tariff barrier (NTB), said Briones.

Former University of the Philippines School of Economics Dean Ramon L. Clarete explained that there is a difference between NTBs and Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs).

“You distinguish between NTMs and NTBs. Former may be allowed like SPS [Sanitary Phytosanitary] or TBT [Technical Barriers to Trade]. Generally NTMs have valid reasons for using them. But NTBs may just be disguised protection. They appear to be NTMs but without valid reason for using them,” Clarete told the BusinessMirror.

These are important qualifications that need to be understood when making trade policy. These kinds of qualifications include, Clarete said, on the proposal on barring cooperatives from importing as well as the meaning of harvest.

Clarete said before barring cooperatives, the government should make a qualification that the policy covers “co-ops which allow themselves to be used by big importers.”

He added that if the government can define well the meaning of harvest, imposing a seasonal ban could be an NTM more than an NTB.

“A seasonal ban may be defensible under the development criterion of supporting economically depressed rural areas whose residents derive their main income from, say, rice. But if the harvest is arbitrary like growing livestock and poultry then it becomes an NTB,” Clarete explained.

University of Asia and the Pacific Center for Food and Agri Business Executive Director Rolando T. Dy said Agriculture Secretary William Dar should have a basis for not allowing cooperatives to import.

Dy told the BusinessMirror this means determining whether they are legitimate farmers cooperatives or trader-financed farmers’ cooperatives.

He added that before a seasonal ban on importation is enforced, the government should determine whether the country would be compliant with the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

“Such barriers may have implications on the labor market as well since these maintain existing inefficiencies,” Lanzona stressed.

On Monday, certain senators suggested halting importation of commodities during their main harvest season of local output. This includes rice, corn, feed wheat, and whole chicken.

Last week, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar declared in a hearing presided by Sen. Cynthia A. Villar that he will bar farmers’ cooperatives and associations from importing rice.

(Related story: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/10/16/agri-chief-dar-to-bar-farmer-co-ops-from-importing-rice-amid-dummy-for-traders-issues/)

The BusinessMirror broke the story last year that unscrupulous traders continue to use farmers’ cooperatives and associations as their fronts and dummies even after the rice industry was liberalized.

(Read the award-winning story here (https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/31/pre-and-post-rice-trade-liberalization-law-big-traders-gaming-farmer-groups/).

https://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/10/20/experts-study-well-curbs-on-rice-importation/

 

Rough year for rice farmers after hurricanes Laura and Delta

Rough year for rice farmers after hurricanes Laura and Delta

By Rania Kaur | October 19, 2020 at 10:15 PM CDT - Updated October 20 at 8:23 AM

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Whether wind or rain, farmers across Southwest Louisiana are used to adjusting to Mother Nature, but after COVID, and hurricanes Laura and Delta it hasn’t been an easy year.

Rice and crawfish farmer, Joel Stelly believes he got lucky.

“For Laura, I was fortunate I had all my crops were in the bins,” Stelly said. "I had some minor damage on some of my bins but I saved all of my rice.”

Some of his fellow farmers in Iowa, however, lost the fruits of their labor as a result of the storms.

“Some of my neighbors were less fortunate south of me,” Stelly said. "They lost rice in their bins and in their field. And the ones that were in the fields, whenever they harvested it, there was a severe crop reduction in yield due to the wind knocked the botanicals off the wind. It was a pretty tough situation for the people in this area.”

County Agent for the LSU Ag Center, Jimmy Meaux explained, not just crops were damaged by the hurricanes.

“A lot of them, their infrastructure got damaged,” Meaux said. "A lot of their bins that they harvest that they keep the rice in, got destroyed. A lot of them are damaged, they’re not about to use them anymore. A lot of their equipment, some of their equipment sheds got damaged.”

An overall rough year for rice for farmers, which Stelly said is a job hazard when you’re dealing with Mother Nature.

“Farmers cannot control Mother Nature in any aspect," Stelly said. "Some years she’s great to us, some years she takes it from us. Each year, we take what she gives us and make the best out of it.”

Meaux estimates around 80 to 100 thousand acres were damaged as a result of the hurricanes.

Copyright 2020 KPLC. All rights reserved.

https://www.kplctv.com/2020/10/19/rough-year-rice-farmers-after-hurricanes-laura-delta/

Annual rice yield to remain above 200m tons

By Wang Xiaoyu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-10-20 15:22 Description: https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/image_e/2020/facebook.png Description: https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/image_e/2020/twitter.png Description: https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/image_e/2020/linkedin.png 

A farmer smiles at he holds a bundle of saline-alkali tolerant rice and a sickle in Weifang, East China's Shandong province, on Oct 16, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

China's total rice growing area will remain above 30 million hectares, while annual production will be maintained above 200 million metric tons, said Han Changfu, minister of agriculture and rural affairs.

More preferential policies, incentives and compensation will be rolled out to protect major rice-planting regions and keep farmers motivated.

China will accelerate development of high-quality farmland, improve agricultural equipment, logistics and storage, and enhance protection of black soil in Northeast China, Han said at the opening ceremony of the 3rd International Rice Festival of China in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, on Sunday.

He said efforts will continue to reduce the use of chemicals and pesticides while increasing their efficient use. Mechanization of the industry will also be promoted and emerging industries such as tourism will be fostered, he said.

Market demand will be monitored to help adjust rice planting schedules. The ministry will also strive to cut back losses and waste in the industrial food chain, he said.

Han added that the ministry will step up efforts to establish and promote a number of domestic rice brands.

China has 20 percent of the world's rice planting areas and produces nearly 40 percent of the global supply, according to the ministry.

ttps://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202010/20/WS5f8e903ca31024ad0ba7fd97.ht

 

 

Japan Donates $3.8 Million To Haiti For Rice

Description: https://i1.wp.com/haitiantimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Claude-JosephJapan-Ambassador.jpg?resize=1024%2C576&ssl=1Claude Joseph, Haiti’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Culture, sitting next to Mitsuaki Mizuno, Japan’s Ambassador to Haiti. Photo credit: Juno7

Japan pledged to give Haiti $3.8 million to purchase rice that can be sold at reasonable prices to residents.

Claude Joseph, Haiti’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Culture, met with Mitsuaki Mizuno, Japan’s Ambassador to Haiti, to sign the agreement of the project, KR 2020, in Port-au-Prince on Monday. The KR 2020 Project fund will also cover the purchase of agricultural tools.

The officials did not mention when the project would start nor what prices would be considered reasonable.  Source

https://haitiantimes.com/2020/10/20/japan-donates-3-8-million-to-haiti-for-rice/#:~:text=Japan%20pledged%20to%20give%20Haiti,%2Dau%2DPrince%20on%20Monday.

Claude Joseph, Haiti’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Culture, sitting next to Mitsuaki Mizuno, Japan’s Ambassador to Haiti. Photo credit: Juno7

 

Japan Donates $3.8 Million To Haiti For Rice

Japan pledged to give Haiti $3.8 million to purchase rice that can be sold at reasonable prices to residents. Description: https://i1.wp.com/haitiantimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Claude-JosephJapan-Ambassador.jpg?resize=1024%2C576&ssl=1

Claude Joseph, Haiti’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Culture, met with Mitsuaki Mizuno, Japan’s Ambassador to Haiti, to sign the agreement of the project, KR 2020, in Port-au-Prince on Monday. The KR 2020 Project fund will also cover the purchase of agricultural tools.

The officials did not mention when the project would start nor what prices would be considered reasonable.  Source

 

https://haitiantimes.com/2020/10/20/japan-donates-3-8-million-to-haiti-for-rice/#:~:text=Japan%20pledged%20to%20give%20Haiti,%2Dau%2DPrince%20on%20Monday.

 

 

 

GIEWS Country Brief: Guyana 20-October-2020

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20 Oct 2020

 

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20 Oct 2020

 

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FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

·         Paddy production anticipated at record level in 2020

·         Rice exports expected to continue to rise in 2020 marketing year

Paddy production anticipated at record level in 2020

Harvesting of the 2020 second season paddy crop is ongoing and production is expected at an above‑average level. The 2020 paddy output is officially anticipated at a record level of 1.1 million tonnes, including the first season crop harvested in the first half of 2020. Paddy production has been increasing in the past four years reflecting large plantings due to improved financial gains for farmers, prompted by strong demand for exports. The improvement of extension services of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) and the expanding of public agricultural investments supported crop yields.

Weather forecasts indicate average to slightly above‑average rainfall amounts in the November‑December period, providing conducive conditions for planting operations of the 2021 first season paddy crop.

Rice exports expected to continue to rise in 2020 marketing year

Rice is the country’s fourth most important exported commodity, after gold, aluminium ore and cargo containers (designed for transport mode), with about half of the annual production being exported. Rice exports have been on the rise over the past three years due to increasing production and are forecast to continue rising in the 2020 marketing year (January/December). Rice exports in the January‑August period exceeded the record high exports in the same period in the previous year, with the major destinations being the European Union and Latin America. Rice exports in 2020 are forecast at 530 000 tonnes, more than 20 percent above the last five‑year average.

https://reliefweb.int/report/guyana/giews-country-brief-guyana-20-october-2020

 

 

Pakistani rice participates International Rice Festival in China

 

: 2020-10-20 09:25 | Gwadar Pro

Description: http://en.ce.cn/images/enicon1.jpg Save Description: http://en.ce.cn/images/enicon2.jpg Print  Description: http://en.ce.cn/images/enicon3.jpg E-mail

HARBIN, Oct 19 (Gwadar Pro) – Oct 18-22, the 3rd China Heilongjiang International Rice Festival is held in Harbin, Heilongjiang province. Pakistani rice companies also take part in the exhibition. Meanwhile, Pakistani rice took part in the Rice Tasting Competition with rice from China, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Russia, and other countries.

 

The opening ceremony of the 3rd China Heilongjiang International Rice Festival was held in Harbin last Sunday (18th). About 260 people from Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Pakistan, Russia, Vietnam, Indonesia and other countries attended the opening ceremony.

 

After the opening ceremony, the "World Hundred Rice Gathering" activity was held. On the occasion, the rice from various countries and regions including Pakistan were steamed with 100 electric rice cookers. With local special snacks side dishes, guests were invited to taste quality rice from around the world.

 

During the exhibition, the rice auctions and promotional events also are held online. Chinese merchants and consumers can buy Pakistani rice through this platform. 

 

On the opening ceremony, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General, Qu Dongyu, congratulated the rice Festival through a video. “For many people in the world, rice is life,” he said, rice cultivation has contributed to population growth in Asia. Qu also called on countries to adopt more active policies to promote sustainable development of the rice industry. 

Editor:Liao Yifan

http://en.ce.cn/main/latest/202010/20/t20201020_35909878.shtml

 

Mekong Delta Takes Preventive Measures Against Saline Intrusion

MEKONG NEWSTUESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2020

Vietnam + —

Local authorities in the Mekong Delta have begun taking measures to cope with the effects of saltwater intrusion and drought in the upcoming 2020-2021 dry season.

In recent years, the Mekong Delta – the country’s largest rice, fruit and seafood producer – has faced severe saltwater intrusion from sea via river mouths during the dry season.

Local authorities in Can Tho City and the delta’s 12 provinces, have warned farmers to sow rice and other crops in the dry season under certain schedules and in areas that can secure irrigation water.

The provinces in coastal areas have upgraded irrigation systems to protect crops and aquaculture.

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Sac Trang province has warned farmers to sow the 2020-21 winter-spring rice crop one month earlier than normal to mitigate the impact of saltwater intrusion and drought.

Read more >

https://fishbio.com/news/mekong-delta-takes-preventive-measures-saline-intrusion#:~:text=Mekong%20Delta%20takes%20preventive%20measures%20against%20saline%20intrusion&text=The%20Department%20of%20Agriculture%20and,of%20saltwater%20intrusion%20and%20drought.

 

Situation Update No. 2 - Flooding in Central Viet Nam - Monday, 19 Oct 2020, 23:00 hrs (UTC+7)

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19 Oct 2020

 

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19 Oct 2020

 

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1. HIGHLIGHTS

a. The combination of weather systems (Tropical Storms LINFA and NANGKA, and the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone combined with cold air) affected the Lower Mekong Region. This resulted in widespread flooding and landslides in multiple provinces of Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam.

b. A fourth weather disturbance (after Tropical Storms LINFA and NANGKA, and tropical depression INVEST 94W), currently named tropical depression INVEST 19W, is forecasted to impact the central provinces of Viet Nam between 24 to 26 October 2020.

c. The floods, landslides, storms, and winds in Central Viet Nam affected an estimated 800.5K people, 160.1K houses, 112.8K hectares of land damaged or destroyed, 42 commune health stations (Quang Tri: 32; Quang Ngai: 5; Quang Nam: 4; and one regional clinic), 362 educational institutions, 14.7 km of roads, and the loss of 462K livestock (cattle and poultry). About 26.3 km of coastal landslide was also reported. Casualties were also reported (64 dead and 12 missing).
**highest number reported as of 16 October 2020 source: VNDMA

d. The Government of Viet Nam identified several humanitarian needs: 6,500 tons of rice**, 5.5 tons of dried food, 20,000 boxes of instant noodles, medicines, disinfectants, and search and rescue equipment.
**the Government of Viet Nam will shoulder rice provision

e. The UN Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam provided a report summarising sectoral needs for Education, Food Security, Health & Nutrition, Protection & Gener, Shelter, and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.

f. Viet Nam Disaster Management Authority (VNDMA) has organised response missions to the affected provinces. It has also maintained close coordination with its partners. On the morning of 19 October 2020, the Government of Viet Nam convened a meeting with Disaster Risk Reduction partners to discuss and coordinate support from international organisations. Several organisations — United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Save the Children, World Health Organization (WHO), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) also provided or pledged assistance to Viet Nam.

g. From 20 to 23 October 2020, three (3) teams, coordinated by VNDMA, will conduct damage assessment and needs analysis in the provinces of Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Nam, and Quang Ngai.

h. The ASEAN relief items, consisting of 1,000 shelter repair kits and 1,300 kitchen sets from the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN (DELSA) regional stockpile in Subang, Malaysia have been prepared by the AHA Centre for air freight. The relief items are expected to arrive in Da Nang International Airport on the evening of 20 October 2020.

https://reliefweb.int/report/viet-nam/situation-update-no-2-flooding-central-viet-nam-monday-19-oct-2020-2300-hrs-utc7#:~:text=The%20floods%2C%20landslides%2C%20storms%2C,of%20roads%2C%20and%20the%20loss

SCORES DEAD AS FLOODS, HEAVY RAINS HAMMER VIETNAM, CAMBODIA, LAOS

ScotFree | Oct 20, 2020 

Description: Scores Dead as Floods, Heavy Rains Hammer Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos

Home » Asia » Scores Dead as Floods, Heavy Rains Hammer Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos

Floods, landslides, and other natural disasters triggered by downpours in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam have left scores dead, with paddy fields and rice stocks destroyed, and thousands displaced from their homes in a region hard hit by COVID-19 and its economic fallout, officials and state media said Monday.

In Vietnam, at least 90 are dead and 34 missing, with thousands of households evacuated from flooded areas to safer ground, state media and other sources say.

Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue provinces have been hardest hit, with 41 deaths, 18 missing, and 27 deaths, 15 missing, respectively, Vietnam’s Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster and Control said on Oct. 19.

In Thua Thien Hue, nearly 40 thousand households have been evacuated, with some 121,700 dwellings reported still under water.

“At present, we are safe, but thousands of local households have remained without power for three days, and at first we couldn’t contact anyone for help,” a resident of Quang Tri’s Cam Lo district told RFA’s Vietnamese Service on Sunday after he and his family were rescued by boat.

“Now, we are holding up with instant noodles until the waters go down again,” he said.

News of a release of water from a local dam due to flooding never reached local residents, who were already cut off from outside contact, the source said, adding that his home was now submerged to a depth of two meters.

“[The authorities] said on Facebook that they were going to discharge water from the dam, but because our area was already isolated, we never got that news, and the flood hit us at midnight. We had no chance to get away,” he said.

A source named Thao in Quang Tri’s capital city Dong Ha confirmed that power outages had prevented residents in low-lying residential areas from learning that large quantities of water would be released from dam reservoirs.

“They announced this on Facebook, but no one in our area was connected to the internet, so we never heard anything about it,” she said, adding that rescue teams had arrived at her home at 5:00 a.m. on Saturday to take her and her children to a safer place.

Landslides on Oct. 12 and 18 also buried 17 workers and 13 members of a rescue team at the Rao Trang 3 Hydropower Plant in Thua Thien Hue province and 22 soldiers and officers at a military barracks in Quang Tri’s Hung Hoa province, sources said.

The bodies of the missing soldiers were recovered on Oct. 19, but searches continue for 15 of the 17 workers buried at the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant.

More rain is expected to hit central areas of the country in coming days as a tropical storm forms in the South China Sea, called the East Sea in Vietnam, off the coast of the Philippines, with continued high risk of floods and landslides that have already damaged highways and roads, media sources say.

Villagers cut off in Laos

In Laos, storms have ravaged Savannakhet province in the country’s center, with authorities unable to access many areas due to damaged roads and not enough boats available to transport aid and other supplies, Lao sources said.

More than 100 villages in eight districts have now been flooded, with many houses and over 10,000 hectares of paddy fields submerged, official sources in the province say.

Heavy rains due to tropical storms along with an overflow of the Xe Ranong No. 1 Dam upstream were to blame for the devastation in Phin, a district agriculture and forestry official told RFA, saying that 35 villages in the district have been affected by floods.

“Around 502 hectares of paddy rice has also been flooded,” the official said, adding, “Things are hard, but we will have to endure.”

“People who live close by will get rice and dry goods more quickly than those who live far away.”

In Phin district’s Apia village alone, 184 people in 32 families have been affected, with rising waters destroying rice fields, food stores, and villagers’ homes, a village official told RFA on Monday.

“[Some] houses have been damaged beyond repair, and the rice that the government gave us during the last flood is now almost gone,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“A store of rice reserves with 50 sacks of sticky rice has been destroyed in this flood,” another villager confirmed, adding that he had been able to move livestock and other family valuables to high ground before the flood hit, but that clothes, utensils, and other household goods had been washed away.

“Our rice in the fields was almost ripe and was ready to be harvested soon, but the rain and floods destroyed it all. We are going to be hungry here next year,” he said.

District officials say that authorities have too few boats now to move people from flooded areas or to transport supplies to villagers cut off by the flood or by roads damaged or cut off by fallen trees. Phin district authorities are now working with the neighboring district of Champhone to convey dry goods, medicines, clothes, and gasoline for boats to those in need, sources said.

Thousands evacuated in Cambodia

Floods in Cambodia have meanwhile killed at least 25 and seen 40,000 evacuated to temporary shelters, Cambodian national disaster management authorities said. More than 200,000 hectares of paddy field and nearly 80,000 farms have also been destroyed, with more than 500 school buildings and 79 garment factories damaged.

Roads, hospitals, and dams have also been affected, authorities said.

Cambodians in debt to banks or other lenders have been especially hard hit, with many left unable to work and make monthly payments to their creditors,

“I don’t know what to do,” said one villager from Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongol Borey district named Sareourm. “We don’t have enough rice to eat, even though we got a small amount of food aid on Oct. 18.”

Sareourn said he wants his creditor, a microfinance institution, to delay demands for payment until the flood waters recede, allowing him to look for a job.

“I can’t look for work now because I’m taking care of my grandchildren, and I can’t leave them behind because the flood is now up to the ground floor of my house. If my creditor doesn’t agree, I will have no choice but to sell off my house and land to pay my debt,” he said.

“I’m having real difficulties now,” added a villager from Battambang province named Chun Ry, who said that he can’t earn enough money now to pay back a loan from a microfinance company that helped him buy a small home and a motorbike to start a taxi service.

“Now, people are commuting to the markets and other places mainly by boat, though.”

“I park my bike on higher ground where I earn only about 20,000 riel [U.S. $5] per day, and half of this goes for gasoline. So it’s hard even to earn a living, not to mention paying back my loan,” he said, adding that he hopes the government can work with his creditor to cancel his payments for at least one or two months.

Reported by RFA’s Vietnamese, Lao, and Cambodian Services. Translated by Huy Le, Sidney Khotpanya, and Sum Sok Ry. Written in English by Richard Finney.

Copyright © 1998-2018, RFA. Published with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036



www.asiapacificnews.net

https://www.thescotfree.com/asia/scores-dead-as-floods-heavy-rains-hammer-vietnam-cambodia-laos/

 

Farmers reeling from crop losses due to torrential rains across Mekong Delta

20.10.2020, 15:14

 

Description: Farmers reeling from crop losses due to torrential rains across Mekong Delta



Soldiers help farmers on the field during early harvest to cut losses (Photo: SGGP)


Farmers in the Ca Mau Province in the southern tip of Vietnam are harvesting on October 19 amid heavy rains inundating rice fields causing difficulties in cutting rice with sickles.
Farmer Duong Van Thang in Tran Van Thoi District said that continuous downpour wreaked havoc in the district. More than 1.5 hectares of his rice field was destroyed by downpours; he suffered a complete crop loss .
Farmers are scrambling to find desperately needed manpower to harvest their rice to minimize loss; however, high pay for laborers who helped to harvest the rice fields damaged by heavy rain disappointed farmers. Farmer Pham Thi Ut in Khanh Binh Dong Commune said payment for hiring people to reap ripe rice surged from VND500000 to VND600000- VND800000 at the time plus rent for a machine to pluck grains off ears each rice bag is VND20000.
Many rice fields in districts Vi Thuy, Long My, Phung Hiep and Vi Thanh town in the Mekong Delta of Hau Giang were flattened after heavy rains. Farmer Tran Van Trai in Vi Thuy District sadly said that a month ago, traders offered VND6000 for a kilogram of fragrant rice; his rice field is estimated to generate profit of VND8 million. But continuous downpours in these days tore his dream as traders refused to buy the rice.


According to the provincial Steering Board for Disaster Prevention and Rescue, of farmers have harvested the fall-winter crop on 21600 hectares. By October 19 more than 3913 hectares of ripe rice field in the province were flattened; the yield at the rice fields is expected to fall by 5- 80 percent. Water levels in additional 5809 hectares of paddy field with ripe rice plants ready for harvesting are from 10 to 30cm.


Farmers in Soc Trang also suffered the same fate as their rice plants were flattened.
Alongside complete losses due to bad weather, farmers in Ca Mau are in despairs as traders proposed to buy rice at VND3000- VND3800 per kilogram, a drop of one third compared to before. Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Kien Giang Province Do Minh Nhut said approximately 10000 hectares of rice were flattened and submerged in floodwater.


Meanwhile Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Bac Lieu Province Luu Hoang Ly said that as per each locality’s initial statistics, there were 16000 hectares of the flood-affected rice fields while 380 hectares of the summer-fall crop were totally destroyed.
Traders proposed to buy unhusked rice at VND6100-VND6400 a kilogram before; but now, they didn’t want to buy. Presently, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development directed related competent agencies and local administrations to drain water from irrigation culverts.
For these days, soldiers were sent to localities to help farmers on the field during early harvest to cut losses. Related state competent also made statistics of loss to have plan to compensate farmers.
Deputy Chairman of Hau Giang Province People’s Committee Truong Canh Tuyet yesterday toured to flood-affected paddy fields to study the situation. He requested local administrations to reinforce embankments as well as advised farmers to harvest the ripe rice to minimize losses. Moreover, he asked local administrations to have compensation plan to help farmers.

By staff writers – Translated by Anh Quan

https://vietreader.com/business/19920-farmers-reeling-from-crop-losses-due-to-torrential-rains-across-mekong-delta.html

 

Procurement target set for rice millers in East Godavari

 

Description: https://th.thgim.com/migration_catalog/article10011162.ece/alternates/SQUARE_80/T.%20APPALA%20NAIDUT. Appala Naidu

KAKINADA, OCTOBER 21, 2020 01:05 IST

UPDATED: OCTOBER 21, 2020 01:05 IST

Harvesting set to begin from first week of November

The East Godavari Rice Millers’ Association has been told to extend timely support to achieve the target of procuring 13.60 lakh Metric Tonnes of paddy in the Kharif season in the East Godavari district.

In a preparedness meeting with rice millers here on Tuesday, Mr. Lakshmisha said, “The harvesting of paddy is likely to begin from the first week of November across the district. Millers are required to support the government to achieve the target of procuring of 13.60 lakh Metric Tonnes in Kharif 2020.”

The rice millers have been told to depute their representatives to guide the farmers to register in the e-Karshak application to be able to sell their produce.

On the other hand, all the Paddy Procurement Centres will procure the paddy under the aegis of the Rythu Bharosa Kendras, ensuring the Minimum Support Price.

The paddy was sown in above 2.25 lakh hectares in the East Godavari district where a majority of the standing crop was damaged due to recent rains.

On the other hand, the district authorities are gearing up to chalk out a plan to guarantee the Minimum Support Price for the discoloured paddy.

However, an action plan on the discoloured paddy will be announced soon. East Godavari Rice Millers Association president D. Bhaskara Reddy, Civil Supply Department District Manager E. Lakshmi Reddy were present.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/procurement-target-set-for-rice-millers-in-east-godavari/article32904589.ece

 

 

Farmers call for protecting Basmati rice

Demand measures for promotion of rice variety in, outside of Pakistan


PPIOctober 21, 2020

Description: in-the-short-term-the-government-will-push-for-export-of-basmati-rice-horticulture-meat-and-meat-products-as-well-as-jewellery-to-target-markets-in-iran-china-europe-and-afghanistan-photo-file

In the short term, the government will push for export of basmati rice, horticulture, meat and meat products as well as jewellery to target markets in Iran, China, Europe and Afghanistan. PHOTO: FILE


The SME Farmers Association of Pakistan (SMEFA) has urged the institutions concerned to take prompt measures for the protection and promotion of Basmati rice in and outside of Pakistan and also at all international forums without wasting time.

During a meeting, SMEFA Chairman Haji Muhammad Saeed said, “Basmati rice is our heritage and indeed a gift. It is a well-known fact that our basmati rice fully qualifies and deserves the geographical indication (GI) tag, and the trademark of basmati belongs to Pakistan.

He urged the ministries of agriculture, commerce and Intellectual Property Organisatio, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (Smeda), Trade Mark’s Registry, rice exporters, growers, millers and processors to join hands with the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) for protecting and promoting the Basmati rice and make sure rights to its ownership and GI tag were not infringed upon.

Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) President Zulfikar Thaver endorsed views of SME farmers and growers of Basmati rice and assured them on behalf of the institutions that efforts would be made to protect Basmati rice at all cost.

Thaver urged the farmers to grow more Basmati rice and exporters to promote it more. He also requested commercial attaches overseas to promote Basmati and arrange festivals across the world to highlight that Pakistan’s Basmati was the best aromatic rice in the world.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2020.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2269214/farmers-call-for-protecting-basmati-rice

 

 

Rice exports ‘unaffected by rain’

Sorn Sarath / Khmer Times 

 October 21, 2020

 

A worker at a rice storage building in Phnom Penh. Exports are not expected to be affected by flooded paddies. KT/Chor Sokunthea

 

Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) has claimed that the floods, which have had the biggest impact on the agriculture sector, will not hurt the country’s rice exports this year.

Cambodia expects to export more than 800,000 tonnes of milled rice this year and reach the 1 million tonne milestone target by 2022.

Lun Yeng, CRF’s secretary-general, said some farmers had already harvested much of their paddy before the flooding so the amount for processing would be enough.

“Now rice millers are continuing to buy paddy from farmers every day even though some areas are blocked because the trucks cannot travel along flooded roads,” he said.

Yeng said that the floods could bring the ultimate yield slightly down but it will not affect the amount of rice exports because the amount of damaged paddy is still small compared with the total cultivated area of 2 million hectares. He said there are many  paddies unaffected.

He said, however, it could reduce the outflow of paddy to Vietnam that amounts to more than 2 million tonnes a year. “Because we still have surplus paddy in stock,  that will enable us be able to process enough rice for export,” he said. “The price of paddy would increase as well because rice millers will need more paddy.”

A report by the National Committee for Disaster  Management shows the floods affected 18 provinces and Phnom Penh and affected 213,289 hectares of paddies, of which 32,382 hectares have been damaged.

Yeng said the size of the affected area could be bigger after the floods end and final assessments are made. However, he said in some rice-producing provinces such as Preah Vihear and Kampong Thom, the paddy is providing a good yield.

“Now we are working with the Agricultural and Rural Development Bank (ARDB) to buy paddy from farmers for a fair price. We are trying to help farmers whose paddy is affected by flooding. We have enough money to buy it and the Ministry of Agriculture has prepared rice seed to distribute,” he said.

Cambodia produce more than 10 million tonnes of paddy a year of which about 3 million tonnes are premium fragrant paddy, according to a report from Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon.

As of September this year, paddy cultivation was carried out on 2.7 million hectares nationwide.

Figures from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries show that Cambodia exported 488,775 tonnes of milled rice in the first nine months of this year, up 22.6 percent compared with the same period last year.

However, it is not all good news.

Soueng San, a representative from Trapeang Khangcheung organic rice community in Takeo province – which is not affected by flooding – said that the community is now seeking a loan from the ARDB to collect paddy from its 130 members. “My community has requested the loan to collect paddy from members but the request has been rejected by the bank because we do not have a hard title as collateral,” he said.

He said three organic rice communities in Takeo province’s Tramkok district have requested a combined loan of $120,000.

 

https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50775239/rice-exports-unaffected-by-rain/

 

Growing demand for local rice

 

 

 Aminu Goronyo has assured that Nigerians should expect between nine and 11 million metric tons of rice this year. Description: local rice

Goronyo said the increase in the price of rice is associated with dollar appreciation against the naira as producers and processors convert naira to buy the input and other equipment.

He said plans are on to make rice available, accessible and affordable.

 

“We are still expecting between nine and 11 million metric tons of rice this year. Nigerians should not panic because, in the next few weeks, the prices of rice will reduce from what it is now. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has done its best for us by making farming easy for farmers. We have begun harvesting. Between now and four weeks, the prices of milled rice will reduce,” he said.

Vice-President RIFAN North West, Mohammed Auwal, said plans are on to start the dry season farming so as to compensate for whatever that is happening in any location and take care of all the losses during the year.

Auwal, who noted that RIFAN has been consulting with the government, said the second cropping season will begin immediately by the end of this month, after the first season harvest so that there won’t be a difference in output.

Description: uncle ben riceuncle ben rice

He said: “Despite the issue of banditry, there was a massive production of rice, people have planted en masse. Every little space that can produce rice has been cultivated; so that will compensate for whatever that is happening in any location, so in terms of the output, there won’t be any difference.

“We have been consulting with the government; we have plans in place. Instead of doing one dry season, we are going to do two dry seasons this year. So, we are going to have two cropping seasons within the dry season.

“The first cropping season will come by the end of this month, then we harvest in January, and in February, we plant again, we will harvest in June, by then, the rains have begun when we will plant again.

Furthermore, Vice-Chairman RIFAN South West, Victor Korede, who noted that despite that the farmers couldn’t access inputs on time due to the lockdown and issues with logistics, he said rice production in the South West is in progress.

He said:  “A lot of our farmers recorded losses because South West was affected by drought instead of a flood. We remained undaunted and we replanted.

 

Price control

 

An Assistant Director with the CBN and member of the Rice Value Team, Dr Musa Olasupo, who explained that prices are actually controlled by demand and supply said rice was selling at a cheap rate when the market was flooded with imported rice, adding that it affected the country’s import bills which amounted to about $372 million.

Olasupo added that the CBN is encouraging producers to mill rice in those zones where there are no milling facilities so that the cost of transport logistics and the premium that is being given by distributors will be reduced to the nearest minimum.

“If you are picking price in isolation because of a particular region, then you don’t have a true reflection of what is the price of a 50kg bag of rice in states where we have a peak of production. We have these exceptions in the South where we don’t have mills and the challenge has been more of logistics.

“Kano State, for example, has the largest milling capacity in Nigeria. The cost of a 50kg bag of rice in the farm gate or factory gate is about N16, 000 while they get it in the market about N17, 000 and that explains all.

“As at now, 100kg bag of paddy is between N130, 000 and N140, 000. So, the inefficiency is an arbitrage that is being put there by distributors and those involved in logistics. It is when we are able to have efficiency along the value chain that we can have fair pricing across the entire zone, and we can have a standard price of rice nationwide,” he said.

Assuring that Lagos State’s milling capacity is about 80 per cent completion, he said the CBN will go beyond encouraging paddy production for the country to attain self-sufficiency in rice production.

He explained: “We also will require bigger mills because we have smaller mills in the South. There is a mill in Delta State; it is doing about 20 to 25 metric tons per hectare. Consumption in Delta, Benin, Rivers, and Beyalsa will be going to about 200 million metric tons. So, we need to bring in this efficiency by encouraging more people to mill beyond paddy production.

“We will have millers that will be able to deliver rice at affordable prices. We started this in 2015. Any country that has been able to attain self-sufficiency in rice production went through this path. Once we are able to produce more, the price will continually come down until it attains an equilibrium position.

“The cost of production is more of physical issues. Even if we fix the cost of paddy, fueling, labour and cost of bagging, it will continue to increase and it means the final price the consumer will pay will increase.

“This is a journey for everyone. The government is trying to increase power supply. If that comes up, it means the cost of diesel will reduce and the price of rice will finally reduce. A lot of things come into the pricing mechanism. We are trying to fix a part of it. Some other parts will also need to be fixed. That is why in 2019 we went into a collaboration to ensure that every stakeholder in this value chain comes to the realisation that we need to do more to attain self-sufficiency in rice production.

 

Hope for flood victims

 

While explaining that there are mitigants for almost every risk and pro-actively, Olasupo said the CBN has done all for the farmers to thrive after the flood incidence.

He said: “For those farmers, they have their farms covered in the area of yield index insurance scheme. What this indicates is that if there are eventualities, the insurer will be able to pay back farmers what they expect to be the yield from that farm.

“Now, we have them on the field where they are engaging the farmers. We are trying to bring the farmers back to cultivate during this dry season so that they don’t lose out thereby by getting discouraged.

He, however, assured that finance will not be a challenge for farmers who will help in diversifying the economy.

https://thenationonlineng.net/growing-demand-for-local-rice/

 

Kerala must opt for heat-tolerant rice varieties for better yield: Study

Rise in temperature and reduction in rainfall under present and future climate scenario affected rice yield, thereby reducing crop maturity time

 

By Susan Chacko
Published: Wednesday 21 October 2020

Opting for alternative rice varieties tolerant to high temperature and that consume less water is imperative to achieve a better yield under future warming conditions in Kerala, according to a recent study.

The study to predict paddy yield by a team of scientists from India and Japan also recommended a shift in planting dates of the crop to the last week of July or first week of August for the central zone.

Rise in temperature and reduction in rainfall affects rice yield, thereby reducing the crop maturity time, the report found. It was published in Journal of Earth System Science on September 14, 2020.  

Rice is a key crop consumed by populations across more than half the world, especially Asia. India accounts for 17.7 per cent of the total world population; global food production must be able to cope with the increase in demand.

The study determined the importance of climate variables in the prediction of agriculture yield for present and future climate scenarios. Researchers analysed weather parameters such as maximum temperature, minimum temperature, rainfall and solar radiation for the station for base period and bias-corrected for high-emissions RCP8.5 scenario.

They observed a clear increase in maximum and minimum temperature and a reduction in rainfall under the climate model, which affected the yield

Growing degree days (GDD) — a tool to estimate the growth and development of plants during the growing season — was found to decrease during the scenario shift (from base period to future scenario), indicating early maturity of rice crop in future scenario. Another factor that accounted for it was tolerance to heat stress.

GDD works on the premise that development will only occur if the temperature exceeds a minimum development threshold or base temperature. 

The researchers analysed the predicted value of rice yield for climate change scenario at constant carbon dioxide and varying meteorological variables and found a decrease in yield for all planting dates.

They suggested a shift in planting as well as introduction of temperature-tolerant and high-yielding varieties of rice, the study stated.

The impact study of future climate change on rice yield was carried out using CERES Rice Cropping System Model. Climate change information was derived from the projection of a 20-kilometre resolution global climate model of Meteorological Research Institute, which helped the researchers in simulating the present-day Indian climate model.

Field experiment data was collected from the Agricultural Research Station (ARS) in Mannuthy, Kerala.

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity and nutritional needs of millions of people are under threat. This is especially true for low-income countries and the most marginalised populations that include small-scale farmers and indigenous peoples.

The pandemic has the potential to escalate into a humanitarian and food security catastrophe, with a potential loss of already achieved development gains, according to a joint statement by the International Labour Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization, International Fund for Agricultural Development and World Health Organization.

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/kerala-must-opt-for-heat-tolerant-rice-varieties-for-better-yield-study-73881 https://www.genomeweb.com/sequencing/nrgene-agriplex-offer-mid-density-genotyping-services#.X5Ak0UQzY2w

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NRGene, Agriplex to Offer Mid-Density Genotyping Services

Oct 20, 2020

 

staff reporter

NEW YORK — NRGene and AgriPlex Genomics said on Tuesday that they have partnered to offer mid-density genotyping services for crop and livestock breeding.

Under the terms of the nonexclusive alliance, the companies will combine NRGene's SNPer software for SNP set creation with AgriPlex's amplicon sequencing-based PlexSeq genotyping platform and Plexcall software, which analyzes sequencing results to generate a report of allele frequencies and SNP calls. Israel-based NRGene launched SNPer last month.

Additional terms were not disclosed.

"Lowering the cost of genotyping in breeding projects while broadening the genetic understanding is the ultimate goal," NRGene Cofounder and CEO Gil Ronen said in a statement. "With AgriPlex, we successfully combined customized genotyping set design, low-cost genotyping services, and accurate imputation."

Earlier this year, Cleveland-based AgriPlex acquired a nonexclusive license to use SNP panels and DNA markers developed by the International Rice Research Institute in the development of rice genetic testing panels.

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Fulbright grant for rice productivity research in Sierra Leone

9:45 pm

Description: Richard Cooke, professor in the University of Illinois Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, has received a 2020-2021 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award to conduct research with faculty, graduate students from several departments at Njala University in Sierra Leone, studying rice productivity.

Caption

URBANA, Ill. — Richard Cooke, professor of agricultural and biological engineering at the University of Illinois, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award for the 2020-2021 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Cooke will conduct research with faculty and graduate students from several departments at Njala University in Sierra Leone. His research is an integrated approach to lowland development, focusing on increasing rice productivity by introducing efficient water management, rainfall harvesting techniques, and improved rice cultivars.

He will also investigate the impact of improved agricultural practices on farmers’ socio-economic conditions in the context of Sierra Leone, specifically targeting women and smallholder farmers in order to improve their living conditions and tackle gender issues.

“Dr. Cooke has established an exemplary record in research, teaching, and outreach at the University of Illinois. He is a world-renowned, highly regarded expert in drainage engineering,” said Kim Kidwell, dean of the U of I College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

“Through this Fulbright program, Dr. Cooke will be able to build on past successes of his work in Sierra Leone to further improve crop productivity and food security, contribute to the improvement in socio-economic conditions, and provide better opportunities for women and smallholder farmers in Sierra Leone.”

Cooke is one of over 800 U.S. citizens who will conduct research or teach abroad for the 2020-2021 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.

Fulbrighters engage in cutting-edge research and expand their professional networks, often continuing research collaborations started abroad and laying the groundwork for forging future partnerships between institutions.

Upon returning to their home countries, institutions, labs and classrooms, they share their stories and often become active supporters of international exchange, inviting foreign scholars to campus and encouraging colleagues and students to go abroad.

As Fulbright Scholar alumni, their careers are enriched by joining a network of thousands of esteemed scholars, many of whom are leaders in their fields. Fulbright alumni include 60 Nobel Prize laureates, 88 Pulitzer Prize recipients and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to forge lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, counter misunderstandings and help people and nations work together toward common goals.

Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has enabled more than 390,000 dedicated and accomplished students, scholars, artists, teachers and professionals of all backgrounds to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and find solutions to shared international concerns.

The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.

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Climate change will continue to widen gaps in food security, new study finds

By Hannah Seo

October 21, 2020

Description: A farmer tending his rice fields in Ubud, Indonesia, on a rainy day.

A farmer tending his rice fields in Ubud, Indonesia, on a rainy day. Indonesia was one of the countries found to be most negatively impacted in the new study.

Photo by Simon Fanger on Unsplash.

Close Authorship

With storms to the east and wildfires to the west, the climate crisis is at the forefront of public consciousness. But aside from dramatic disasters, another pernicious threat comes with a warming climate: diminishing global crop yields.

In a new study published in Nature Food, researchers assessed global yields for 18 of the most farmed crops — wheat, maize, soybeans, rice, barley, sugar beet, cassava, cotton, groundnuts, millet, oats, potatoes, pulses, rapeseed, rye, sorghum, sunflower and sweet potatoes — crops that, all together, represent 70 percent of global crop area and around 65 percent of global caloric intake.

The authors found that climate change will not only hamper farmers' abilities to maintain current harvests, but that countries already facing food insecurity will be disproportionately affected. The researchers investigated temperature variations, but didn't examine climate impacts to precipitation patterns or other weather phenomena such as flood or drought.

The most negatively affected countries across most crops, their models found, were those in sub-Saharan Africa and certain countries in South America and South Asia such as India, Brazil, Indonesia and Venezuela, among others.

Climate change will not only hamper farmers' abilities to maintain current harvests, but that countries already facing food insecurity will be disproportionately affected.

"Generally the countries with low existing productivity also expected a high negative impact of climate change ... these happen to be mostly non-developed countries," Paolo Agnolucci, an environmental economist at University College London and a co-author of the study, told EHN.

Agnolucci and his team used data from the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on global crop yields, and used statistical models to predict how current croplands across the globe will react to a warming climate. The researchers made sure to control for such factors as fertilizer and pesticide use, and differing irrigation techniques.

Their statistical models yielded oddly symmetrical results: They predicted that countries with already high yield for a crop will, on average, benefit from a 1 degree Celsius rise in temperature while countries that struggle with that same crop will struggle even more with their yield. Agnolucci and his team found the same trend with caloric consumption: Countries with higher average calorie intake per person per day were more likely to benefit from that 1 degree Celsius rise in global temperature than countries where average caloric intake is lower.

The data show that the issue of climate change is also one of food security, said Agnolucci, where the beneficiaries of a warming climate are the ones who don't necessarily need more arable land or more available calories — "on average, the losers are those countries who are already losing."

Description: Share of population with severe food insecurity, 2014 to 2018

Counting calories vs. healthy foods 

The unequal burden poorer countries will face is no surprise, Ephraim Nkonya, an agricultural economist with the International Food Policy Research Institute who was not involved in the study, told EHN. It is well known that climate change disproportionately affects poorer nations; it also disproportionately affects poorer communities within nations. Climate change, by exacerbating income and wealth inequalities, will of course widen food security disparities, he said.

But Nkonya questions whether caloric intake should be used as an indication of food security. "The current thinking is that we really need to look at a healthy diet." He said the FAO has pivoted their focus in recent years from raising caloric intake in food insecure areas to fostering systems that yield accessible, healthy diets.

Simply raising a nation's average caloric intake does not translate necessarily to a more food secure nation, he said, and relying on a measure such as caloric intake obscures population well-being.

For example, Nkonya quotes the FAO's "The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020" report and said that around 60 percent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa cannot afford a healthy diet. That information is lost if you only look at average caloric production and consumption, which have been on the rise.

Farmer in Indonesia, one country found to be most negatively affected in the new study. (Credit: defika hendri/Unsplash)

Crop comparisons

Beyond countries, the study shows that there are losing and winning crops, too. The models show that not all crops will respond equally to rising temperatures, with yields for crops such as barley, millet and rapeseed reacting quite volatilely. More robust crops were cassava, potatoes and soybeans — those for which the models predict that a 1 degree Celsius raise in temperature will help yields almost universally.

The results also showed symmetry in that dramatic negative crop yield changes in some countries for one crop also would be accompanied by strong positive yield changes in other countries. For rice yields, for example, a 1 degree Celsius temperature rise predicted an about 20 percent yield decrease in India, but an about 10 percent yield increase in Russia.

These data show us where future efforts need to be concentrated, and which crops need to be focused on when planning agricultural strategies with climate change in mind, said Agnolucci. In India's case, rice is such a culturally important food, but it may not be worth the resources to double down to try to maintain crop levels. But "a substitution in production does not necessarily imply there needs to be a substitution of consumption," he added. Rather, it's more likely that "the winning strategy might take a combination of things, including shifting the production to a different crop and exporting that crop while importing rice."

In India's case, rice is such a culturally important food, but it may not be worth the resources.

The study has its limitations. Not every country has comprehensive, reliable data on crop yield or standard farming practices, for one. Also the statistical models could not account for the dynamic changes in farmland that will occur as the climate changes.

Their model only represents how existing arable land will react with changing temperatures, when in reality, a warming climate will shift the area and location of farmable land over time. Lastly, Agnolucci said that the data they used were numbers averaged across nations, which erased any nuance or variability across large countries such as the U.S. or China, and so on.

Nkonya takes greatest issue with all these generalizations, and specifically with one line in the study: "In 10 of the 18 crops assessed in this study, an increase of 10 millimeters in precipitation induces a decrease in the yields, evaluated at the global mean, while in the remaining crops the impact is positive."

That line is counterintuitive, said Nkonya, likely because the global mean they used again obscures the reality for poorer countries. That average almost certainly does not reflect the reality of poorer, drier countries where an increase in precipitation almost definitely will increase crop yields. Such generalizations are not helpful, he said, and possibly counterproductive when it comes to food security initiatives.

Agnolucci concedes, and believes that further research will build upon and improve the accuracy of the data and show greater nuance. These data, he said, hopefully will allow countries and communities to tailor toolkits and strategies to meet their own needs and combat climate-related agricultural challenges. After all, he says, "there is no magic wand here."

This story first appeared on:

 

Environmental Health News

https://www.greenbiz.com/article/climate-change-will-continue-widen-gaps-food-security-new-study-finds

 

Marcos seeks probe on misdeclared, undervalued rice imports

Published October 21, 2020, 10:58 AM

by Mario Casayuran

Senator Imee R. Marcos has filed Senate Resolution 549 urging an immediate investigation of misdeclared and undervalued rice imports as well as the “brazen return” of 34 of 43 rice importers previously blacklisted by former Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol for using legitimate farmer cooperatives to avail of tax exemptions.

Description: https://mb.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/imee4.jpgSenator Imee R. Marcos (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

Marcos called out corrupt Bureau of Customs (BOC) officials and rice importers exploiting hard-pressed farmers’ cooperatives to maximize their profits but deprive farmers of much needed government subsidies sourced from tariff collections.

Marcos, chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Economic Reforms, said that rice importers were using legitimate farmer cooperatives as conduits to avail of the latter’s tax exemptions.

White and well-milled rice imports were also being misdeclared as brown rice or broken rice for animal feed to get a discount on tariff payments.

Shipment costs were being undervalued as unspecified charges exempt from tariff, further shrinking customs revenue collections meant to subsidize the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).

“The exploitation of legit farmer coops has happened before when the cartel of garlic importers solicited signatures to contrive a petition declaring a garlic shortage, paving the way for the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) to allow large import volumes,” Marcos said.

She said the uncollected customs revenue on rice imports has reached about P2.7 billion this year, depriving local farmers of much needed assistance as they struggle to cope with unrestricted importation under the rice tariffication law.

Some P1.6 billion in customs revenue losses were due to discrepancies between point-of-origin prices declared by rice importers and reference values of the BoC, which more than doubled from P945 per metric ton in 2019 to P2,416 per metric ton in January to May this year.

Freight and insurance costs were also being listed under “other charges” to avoid being included in tariff computations, resulting in more uncollected customs revenue of about P1.1 billion. 

The DA estimates that 2.6 million metric tons of rice will be imported by the end of 2020, making up more than 20 percent of the country’s annual rice consumption of some 12.9 million metric tons.

Marcos said that local rice farmers can produce more than 90 percent of the country’s rice needs and that only seven percent to 10 percent needs to be imported.

“The Philippines is ironically the world’s largest rice importer, even as it is the world’s eighth largest rice producer,” she pointed out.

https://mb.com.ph/2020/10/21/marcos-seeks-probe-on-misdeclared-undervalued-rice-imports/

 

 

Rice and grain prices found to be most stable over last decade

Imran Ariff

 -

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Description: https://s3media.freemalaysiatoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/beras-supermarket-rice-fmt-010420-11.jpgResearch has shown that the annual price volatility of rice is around 1%, with flour and other cereal prices fluctuating a little over 5%.

PETALING JAYA: Stable food prices are an important aspect in ensuring national food security, as fluctuations due to supply chain disruptions and spikes in demand, intensified during times of crisis, can cause prices to rise beyond the reach of vulnerable communities.

Research has shown how volatile the prices of certain household staples can be, with changes reflective of market instabilities.

Using data from KPMG that drew on food prices between 2010 and 2017, rice and flour were found to be the most stable commodities, with the price of seafood, cooking oil and vegetables varying wildly over the same time period.

The annual price volatility of rice was around 1%, with flour and other cereal prices fluctuating a little over 5%.

On the other hand, fish prices varied by as much as 48% over the same period, while vegetables and cooking oil saw fluctuations of over 30%.

Research also showed that prices of beef and poultry products fluctuated by up to 50% and 8%, respectively.

Fatimah Mohamed Arshad, head of the Food Security and Safety Cluster at the Academy of Professors, told FMT that price volatility can typically be chalked up to “unstable supply and inelastic, relatively stable demand”.

On why the rice industry has historically been so stable, she said the “padi and rice sector is highly protected and insulated from the world market”.

“Prices are controlled through the government setting the guaranteed minimum price for farmers and fixing the retail ceiling price.”

Bernas, the company responsible for these protections, operates as single gatekeeper and sole importer for the Malaysian rice industry in order to subsidise these protections. This role has not been without its critics however, with Fatimah arguing that it suppresses free market practices.

While this model has been said to stifle trade competition, there are some upsides. The gatekeeping mechanisms in place ensures the market is not flooded with international imports to protect local rice producers, and helps to pay for the company’s other role as a buyer of last resort, taking on padi from farmers even when demand has dried up.

In countries without sole gatekeepers in place, while competition can drive prices down, it can also lead to price hikes and shortages, most recently seen in the Philippines during the pandemic.

In June, the United Nations predicted the world was on the brink of the worst food crisis in the last 50 years.

However, since the Asian food crisis in 1997, which saw essential food items become scarce across the continent, Malaysia is yet to suffer a major food shortage. This year alone, even developed countries like China and the US have battled with unavailability of staple foods.

M Niaz Asadullah, an agricultural economist at Universiti Malaya (UM), said that “ensuring adequate supply and production is the key” to stabilising food prices.

“Cutting down dependence on single sources will mean less price fluctuations in case of change in production and trade conditions in the source country. Internally, maintaining a good local transport and shipment network is also important,” he said.

The less Malaysia relies on imports for a particular food, the fewer variables at play that can affect its price.

“For food where Malaysia is not self-sufficient and import is not diversified, the price shows greater volatility,” said Niaz.

For example, he said, 63% of Malaysian rice is produced locally, a large proportion that means imports are only needed to service leftover demand.

Abdul Rahman Saili, an associate professor in agribusiness at Universiti Teknologi MARA, said the government can play an important role in protecting vulnerable communities from high prices as they can implement policies to control prices, protect producers and manage stockpiles, functions that in Malaysia are performed by Bernas in the case of rice.

Ensuring price stability is particularly important for staple food items, as fluctuations in cash crops like coffee and palm oil are less likely to affect as wide a socioeconomic spectrum of consumers.

“This is not to say that volatility of prices for these crops is unimportant for the welfare of the poor, only that it is probably less important than volatility of prices for staple foods,” he said.

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https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2020/10/21/rice-and-grain-prices-found-to-be-most-stable-over-last-decade/

 

 

Marcos seeks probe on misdeclared, undervalued rice imports

Published October 21, 2020, 10:58 AM

by Mario Casayuran

Senator Imee R. Marcos has filed Senate Resolution 549 urging an immediate investigation of misdeclared and undervalued rice imports as well as the “brazen return” of 34 of 43 rice importers previously blacklisted by former Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol for using legitimate farmer cooperatives to avail of tax exemptions.

Description: https://mb.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/imee4.jpgSenator Imee R. Marcos (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

Marcos called out corrupt Bureau of Customs (BOC) officials and rice importers exploiting hard-pressed farmers’ cooperatives to maximize their profits but deprive farmers of much needed government subsidies sourced from tariff collections.

Marcos, chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Economic Reforms, said that rice importers were using legitimate farmer cooperatives as conduits to avail of the latter’s tax exemptions.

White and well-milled rice imports were also being misdeclared as brown rice or broken rice for animal feed to get a discount on tariff payments.

Shipment costs were being undervalued as unspecified charges exempt from tariff, further shrinking customs revenue collections meant to subsidize the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).

“The exploitation of legit farmer coops has happened before when the cartel of garlic importers solicited signatures to contrive a petition declaring a garlic shortage, paving the way for the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) to allow large import volumes,” Marcos said.

She said the uncollected customs revenue on rice imports has reached about P2.7 billion this year, depriving local farmers of much needed assistance as they struggle to cope with unrestricted importation under the rice tariffication law.

Some P1.6 billion in customs revenue losses were due to discrepancies between point-of-origin prices declared by rice importers and reference values of the BoC, which more than doubled from P945 per metric ton in 2019 to P2,416 per metric ton in January to May this year.

Freight and insurance costs were also being listed under “other charges” to avoid being included in tariff computations, resulting in more uncollected customs revenue of about P1.1 billion. 

The DA estimates that 2.6 million metric tons of rice will be imported by the end of 2020, making up more than 20 percent of the country’s annual rice consumption of some 12.9 million metric tons.

Marcos said that local rice farmers can produce more than 90 percent of the country’s rice needs and that only seven percent to 10 percent needs to be imported.

“The Philippines is ironically the world’s largest rice importer, even as it is the world’s eighth largest rice producer,” she pointed out.

https://mb.com.ph/2020/10/21/marcos-seeks-probe-on-misdeclared-undervalued-rice-imports/