You are on page 1of 30

November 07 ,2018

Vol 9 ,Issue 11

1| ,
Better technologies needed for rice production
| Publication date 06 November 2018 | 11:22 ICT

Vietnam‘s Agro Processing and Market Development Authority said he Mekong Delta should
use modern machinery. heng chivoan

Rice production in the Mekong Delta needs more modern technologies and better cooperation
among farmers, experts said during a conference in Can Tho city on Friday.

The rate of machinery use in agriculture in the delta is higher compared to other regions in
Vietnam. However, the area‘s rice processing capability is only average when compared to other
Asian regions, which makes it harder for Vietnamese rice to compete with other rice exporting
countries, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development‘s Agro Processing
and Market Development Authority.

Rice from the Mekong Delta accounts for over 90 per cent of Vietnam‘s rice exports. The area
has produced more than 31 million tonnes of rice this year, about one tonne more than last year,
according to the ministry‘s Department of Crop Production.

Rice production, however, remains inefficient because of the lack of co-operation between
farmers, the inconsistent quality of production materials, and the inefficient usage of medicine,
fertilisers and seeds, all of which hinders profits.

2| ,
In addition, the country‘s supporting industry and logistics sector remain lacklustre at a time
when the global supply of rice is on the rise.

Revenue from rice exports could fall if a solution was not found, said Tran Thanh Hai, deputy
head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade‘s Import-Export Department.

Nguyen Van Sanh, former director of the Mekong Delta Development Research Institute, said
that more support policies for rice farmers would encourage more production.

Farmers who earn low profits could one day decide to quit growing rice, he noted.

Agro Processing and Market Development Authority deputy head Dinh Viet Tu said the Mekong
Delta should use modern machinery and large-scale farming, and closely monitor rice production
in the region.

Vietnam Food Association deputy chairman Do Ha Nam said the income of farmers could be
improved by linking provinces and encouraging co-operation between the government,
businesses, farmers and scientists.

The conference was organised by the Saigon Times newspaper and Vietnam Food Association.
viet nam news

Study: Drip irrigation uses 58% less water

Nov 7, 2018, 12:35 AM; last updated: Nov 7, 2018, 12:35 AM (IST)

Vishal Joshi
Tribune News Service
Kurukshetra, November 6
A field experiment by the Command Area Development Authority (CADA) has shown that drip
irrigation through a solar-based micro-irrigation system uses 58 per cent less water as compared
to the conventional form of paddy cultivation.

Sharing the details of the field trials with The Tribune, CADA authorities said that per acre yield
of PR-114 variety of rice in the farms irrigated under drip irrigation was recorded between 24.27
and 27.83 quintals.

Project coordinator and CADA executive engineer Neeraj Sharma said a pilot project was being
initiated at Dera Fateh Singh village near Pehowa in the district.

3| ,
Launched in 2017 under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), it was for the
first time in the country that solar-based micro-irrigation system was used to ensure water supply
to every farm.

He said the experiment was being conducted in an area spread over nine acres, offered
voluntarily by progressive farmers.

Sharma said three methods of irrigation were used in the experiment. ―Under the guidance of
experts, we used three methods of transplanting the paddy seeds, i.e. traditional method of
manual transplanting, mechanical transplanting and direct seeding. Results clearly indicated that
drip irrigation not only produces handsome yield but the technique can also save enormous
amount of water,‖ Sharma said.

A senior scientist at the Rice Research Station of Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural
University, Kaul village, Kaithal, said the field inputs were ―highly encouraging for water

The expert, who wished not to be named, said about 1.11 crore litres of water was required to
irrigate one acre of paddy under the traditional flood irrigation system.

Field report

 An experiment was being conducted in nine acres offered voluntarily by progressive farmers.
 Three methods of transplanting paddy was used — the traditional one, the mechanical
transplantation and direct seeding
 Results show drip irrigation not only produces a handsome yield, but it can also save an
enormous amount of water, say project coordinator Neeraj Sharma All readers are invited to
post comments responsibly. Any messages with foul language or inciting hatred will be
deleted. Comments with all capital letters will also be deleted. Readers are encouraged to
flag the comments they feel are inappropriate.
The views expressed in the Comments section are of the individuals writing the post. The
Tribune does not endorse or support the views in these posts in any manner.

Sierra Leone News: Govt. allocates Le294.1bn to rice and

food crop production
4| ,
The Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa, has allocated Le294.1 billion, representing 5% of the
total budget to curb the dependence on food imports especially rice. The Ministry of Agriculture,
Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS) had requested Le350 billion against a budget ceiling of
Le64.4 billion from Government during their 2019 budget presentation. Samking Koihinah
Braima, MAFFS Deputy Minister, said if there was going to be any significant input into
agriculture they will require nothing less than Le350 billion.

This allocation, Minister Saffa said will support the production of rice and other food crops such
as cassava, maize, onions and Irish potatoes through the supply of high yielding seeds, fertiliser
and other agricultural inputs to farmers as well as the development of irrigation facilities,
rehabilitation of inland valley swamps and promotion of agricultural research. The key objective
in the agriculture sector in the medium term is to improve the productivity of the sector with a
focus on increasing rice production to ensure food self-sufficiency and security.

The sector also prioritises the production of cash crops for export as well as livestock
development. According to the Minister, the provision to the Ministry will also support the
cultivation of improved varieties of cocoa, coffee and cashew as well as the enhancement of
livestock production. An amount of Le18.7 billion is also allocated for the implementation of
devolved activities in the agriculture sector. Deputy Minister Braima also said that for every
investment in agriculture, especially for rice production, it would be an investment in health. The
country he added is spending around $500 million dollars on food importation, and rice account
for about 50% of that amount.

Additionally, the government has also seen the urgent need to improve the regulatory framework
to attract private sector investment in agriculture. So in line with the pronouncement in the
Presidential Address to Parliament in May this year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in
collaboration with the Ministry of Finance is developing a new Tractor Management Policy. The
thrust of the policy, according to Minister Saffa, is to involve the private sector in the
management of tractors to promote the mechanisation of agriculture. ―It is hoped that this new
paradigm shift will ensure regular repairs and maintenance of tractors thereby ensuring the
continuous availability of tractors for use by farmers,‖ he said. In 2019, the Government has
committed to provide Le36.9 billion for the purchase of 150 tractors and will seek financing
from existing donor-funded projects and other sources to acquire additional tractors.

Competent private firms will be contracted on a competitive basis to manage the fleet of tractors.
The Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security has in the past taken initiatives to
increase farmers‘ productivity by promoting the mechanisation of farming practices and
providing technical support in areas such as planting and protecting crops from diseases.

A key element of attempts to increase mechanisation was the introduction of a scheme to provide
tractors to farmers under discounted hire purchase terms. The Government acquired Sonalika
brand tractors in 2010 through a $15 million USD loan from the Government of India. An audit
5| ,
into the scheme by Audit Service in 2013 revealed that the Ministry was unable to provide the
detailed terms of the loan agreement which was used to procure 263 tractors and that up to date
no one has paid completely what they are supposed to pay.

The audit covered the Western Area: Rural and Urban (Freetown) and the Northern Region
(Kambia, Bombali and Tonkolili). The audit focused mainly on the Northern Region because of
its vast boliland and the fact that 65% (171 out of 263) of the tractors were sold to farmers in that
region. The audit concluded that the Ministry did not efficiently manage the hire purchase
scheme, the acquired farm machines were not used to improve productivity the mechanisms put
in place by the Ministry did not minimise ‗pre‘ and ‗post‘ harvest losses and the Ministry did not
provide adequate technical support to farmers. The Ministry sold the tractors to farmers on a hire
purchase scheme with a 40% subsidy. The payment terms for the farmers required a deposit of
20% followed by agreed annual instalments over a period of seven years, with an annual interest
rate of 4%.

Government is also allocating Le70.7 billion from the domestic capital budget to meet
counterpart contributions to various donor-funded projects in the agricultural sector. The amount
also includes support to the Sierra Leone Seed Certification Agency, Sierra Leone Agricultural
Research Institute as well as the development of rice and livestock value chains. The World
Bank, IFAD, JICA and IDB will also disburse the sum of Le124.50 billion for the
implementation of various projects in the agriculture sector.


By Zainab Iyamide Joaque

Tuesday November 06, 2018.

Louisiana Cooking for a Cause

By Kane Webb

LAKE CHARLES, LA -- With the recent devastation left behind from Hurricane Michael, the
Gulf Coast region of the Florida panhandle is ground zero for what will likely be a long and
costly recovery period. The rice industry knows all too well the damages and disruption storms
6| ,
like this cause for communities and

Late last month, Louisiana Farm Bureau's Kyle McCann received information about a group
planning to assist with recovery efforts who were hoping to add some rice to their donation,
"maybe a pallet or so."

Volunteer Ascension, a group made up of several Ascension Parish agencies and organizations,
was making plans to travel to the Florida panhandle to provide relief and assistance to hurricane
victims and recovery volunteers by providing meals. They were reaching out to different ag
groups for help in gathering cooking supplies, and rice was at the top of their list.

Response to the request for a pallet of rice came in quickly. Nick Bernhard, CEO of Farmers
Rice Mill in Lake Charles, arranged for a pallet to be donated, and Marley Oldham, of Kennedy
Rice Mill in Mer Rouge, followed suit.
With more rice already on hand than requested, it was decided that what Volunteer Ascension
couldn't cook, they could donate to those in need. "Volunteers and victims will be the recipients
of some great Louisiana cooking, made with 'Certified LA Rice,'" said McCann.

"The ag groups really came through for us," said Rhett Bourgeois with Volunteer

7| ,
Ascension. "This is greatly appreciated."

Of the donation by Farmers Rice Mill, Bernhard said, "We've all been affected by a devastating
storm at one time or another, and the generosity of others made recovery a little easier. We're
glad we could be on the giving end to help our neighbors to the east."

Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa said, "Ascension Parish people are always ready and
willing to help others in need."The same can be said of the U.S. rice industry.

Hot temperatures can trigger an RNA response in plants



UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The stress of hotter temperatures may trigger a response in a plant's
RNA, or ribonucleic acid -- part of a cell's genetic messaging system -- to help manage this
change in its environment, according to a team of Penn State researchers.

In a study on rice plants, the researchers found that a sudden increase in heat led to changes in
the structure of the plant's RNA, which was linked to a loss in the number of its messenger
RNAs -- or mRNAs. The mRNA molecule is a particular type of RNA, which transfers DNA
instructions to the ribosome in a cell during the protein-making process.

Because plants are not able to regulate their own temperatures, as humans do, or move from the
heat source, this process may be one of the ways plants cope under hot temperatures and drought
conditions, said Sarah M. Assmann, Waller Professor of Biology, Eberly College of Science.

While more studies would be needed, this study may serve as an important first step to help
farmers produce more heat and drought-resistant crops, according to the researchers, who
announced their findings today (Nov. 5) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Rice is a staple food for half the world's population and is particularly important for subsistence
agriculture in some parts of the world, so it's a vital food crop," said Assmann. "With climate
change -- and with the goal that we need to increase food production to feed the world's growing
population -- we are always trying to understand how plants are responding to climate stress, so,
potentially, in the future, we could improve crop varieties, either through breeding or other
mechanisms, to get better stress tolerance and better yields."
8| ,
The researchers examined more than 14,000 different RNAs to look for changes in the
molecules' intricately folded structures that could signal acute heat stress, said Philip Bevilacqua,
Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Unlike the
intertwined double strand -- or double helix -- of the DNA molecule, RNA is single-stranded.

"Because DNA has two strands, it's really locked into very few different folds, but RNA, because
it is not tied up with another strand, is able to fold back on itself, so there are much more
complex folds in the RNA," said Bevilacqua.

To create heat stress, the researchers subjected one group of two-week old rice seedlings to
above normal temperatures -- 108 degrees Fahrenheit -- for just ten minutes and compared those
plants to a control group of plants growing at 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

"We chose such a short time because the re-folding of the RNA is a fast process, whereas the
downstream processes, such as protein production, are slower and we were particularly interested
in how the RNA refolded," said Bevilacqua.

The researchers found that the folds in the RNA of the plants suffering from heat stress were
looser than those in the control group. The unfolding of the mRNA, then, correlated with a loss
in the abundance of mRNA, suggesting that mRNA unfolding promotes its degradation, a
method that cells use to regulate which genes express and when.

"One of the main things we discovered is that there's a correlation between the RNAs that tend to
unfold at their ends and a reduction in the abundance of those RNAs and since the RNAs code
for proteins you can loosely infer that would then result in a reduction of the encoded proteins,
including enzymes and all the myriad functions that proteins perform," said Assmann.

According to Bevilacqua, this process offers hints on next steps in future research into more heat
and drought resistant crops.

"So, if loss of structure results in loss of abundance and if that loss of abundance is not optimal,
then you could imagine that we could change the sequences of the ends of the RNA, making
them more stable, and, therefore, stabilize the production of those proteins."

Zhao Su, lead author on the paper, said the study also uncovered new insights into gene

"This exciting study reveals a new layer of gene regulation that was previously not appreciated,"
Su said. "In particular, we showed that mRNAs encoding one specific type of regulatory

9| ,
proteins, transcription factors, are especially targeted for degradation by unfolding under high

According to both Bevilacqua and Assmann, studies, such as this RNA analysis, which is one of
the first to analyze the RNA process in the plant itself, or in vivo, could not happen without the
interdisciplinary teamwork of their labs. Bevilacqua's and Assmann's labs have been
collaborating for about ten years, according to Assmann.

"What I really think is interesting about this study in particular is that it incorporates all of the
different skill sets and all the different talents of our labs," said Assmann. "This is what makes
science exciting."


Assmann, Bevilacqua and Su worked with Yin Tang, a graduate student in bioinformatics and
genomics; Laura Ritchey, a graduate student in chemistry; David Tack, a postdoctoral scholar in
computational biology; and Mengmeng Zhu, a postdoctoral scholar in plant biology.

The National Science Foundation's Plant Genome Research Program supported the work.

[ Matt Swayne ]

Social scientists' methods don't always translate well

between cultures
November 5, 2018, Arizona State University

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

There is a problem with the set of tools social scientists use to study human behavior.
Trusted questionnaires and visual aids, they're finding, don't always accurately assess people
across diverse settings. That's because they were originally made to test college students and
other educated groups in select pockets around the globe.
"In trying to understand how people think and act, social scientists use methods that have been
refined over decades to work well for a very unique set of humans, who have had years of
regular practice working with them," says Daniel Hruschka, lead author of the study and
professor at Arizona State University's School of Human Evolution and Social Change.
His team found this out the hard way when it tried to investigate the link between social
closeness and generosity in rural Bangladesh.
"If you dip a kitchen thermometer in a lava pit and the thermometer explodes, you know right
away that the measurement was a complete failure," he says. "The problem is that, in our field,
our failures aren't often as obvious as a thermometer exploding."

10 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
The team saw something was off, and once they realized that their methods were causing
problems, they took the opportunity to redesign the "thermometer." Over the course of four field
seasons, they created new tools that not only work at their research site, but hold promise for
many other cross-cultural applications.

The details of those efforts by Hruschka and his colleagues, along with their call for a revolution
in social and behavioral science, will appear in Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences on November 5, 2018.
From local problem to global solution
Hruschka's team is interested in examining whether people give up more to benefit friends and
relatives, which researchers call "social discounting." In order to study this in Bangladesh, they
asked participants to do a typical exercise: create an imaginary list of 100 people—ranging from
closest friend to most distant acquaintance—and then decide how much of a commodity (in this
case, rice) they would give up to benefit people on that list.
But these instructions only confused participants. Attempts to represent different degrees of
social closeness by means other than numbers—like overlapping circles, overlapping stick
figures or baskets placed left-to-right—were also unsuccessful.
The researchers' breakthrough came when they arranged baskets to lead away from participants
in a line. This setup made more sense to respondents, who used the baskets and photos of adults
from their village to rank how close they were with each. The interviewing researcher then used
the photos to ask participants about how much rice they would give up to benefit others of
various closeness levels.
With this new methodology, the team reached a surprising finding that may have been missed
with traditional approaches. Contrary to results from over 50 studies on college students from
around the world, social closeness has no impact on generosity in rural Bangladesh. Since that

11 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
first finding, the team found a similar result in rural Indonesia. Now, they're working to figure
out why an assumed "universal" behavior actually varies greatly across cultures.
The researchers used the new methods to assess U.S. college students, who had previously done
similar exercises using classic methods. The results were unchanged, showing the previously
established strong link between closeness and generosity in this demographic. This confirmed
that the new methods are accurate and work equally well in different global settings.
"We're calling on researchers to develop more culturally sensitive methods for interacting with
the full breadth of humanity," Hruschka says. "Such efforts will require a combination of
engagement, listening to participants and teaming up with local researchers who are willing to
question standard practices."
"Tools that work in a wide range of contexts," he adds, "will be crucial in finding new insights
into human thought and behavior around the world."
Explore further: Being forgotten by acquaintances can affect self-esteem in the same
way as being rejected
More information: Daniel J. Hruschka el al., "Learning from failures of protocol in cross-
cultural research," PNAS (2018).

Building Blocks: Rice from Catalonia’s Ebro Delta

NOVEMBER 6, 2018

The Delta de l‘Ebre is a magical part of southern Catalonia‘s Tarragona region. A flat swampy

area where the Ebro River meets the sea, the delta contains within its confines a natural park rich

in fauna and flora as well as 20,500 hectares of rice fields; the ecosystem allows both to coexist

in harmony. The area is perhaps at its most magical when the water rises up to cover the plots,

creating what the rice producer Teresa Margalef calls a ―land of mirrors.‖

Until the arrival of the Arabs to the Iberian Peninsula in 711, rice in Spain (and Europe) was a

non-cultivated grass with Asian origins; wheat was the crop of choice. The Moors, experts in its

cultivation, started to implement their planting and harvesting techniques in the swampy areas in

the south and east of the peninsula.

12 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
But despite this initial expansion, rice‘s cultivation was abandoned for centuries after the

expulsion of the Jews and the Moors in the 15th century, and at certain points forbidden due to

the fact that the stagnant waters of rice fields were breeding grounds for mosquitos, which were

known for spreading malaria. It wasn‘t until the mid-19th century, when canalization became

more widespread in an attempt to exert more control over waterways and reduce the mosquito

population, that rice began to make a real comeback in different parts of Spain, including in the

Delta de l‘Ebre.

Currently, rice is the main economic activity of the Delta – it produces around 154,000 tons per

year, which accounts for 19 percent of Spain‘s rice production. The country is the second largest

producer of rice in Europe, after Italy (although it lags far behind the major producers in Asia).

In Delta de l‘Ebre, around 70 percent of the production is in the hands of large cooperatives, like

Nomen, Bayo, and Segadors del Delta, while the rest is spread out over a few independent

13 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
producers, like EcoCastells, Mas Tramontano, and Molí de Rafelet.

To learn more about the rice grown in the Delta, we talked with Teresa Margalef, the third

generation to run Molí de Rafelet, a family company that has been growing rice in the Ebro Delta

since 1910. She and her brother Rafael Margalef decided to rescue an old rice mill of the

family‘s that had fallen into a state of disrepair; the wooden and stone beauty now produces

some of the most prized rice in the region.

Teresa explains that the growing and harvesting cycle starts in April, when the rice fields are

filled with water released from the canals. The rice seeds, having already been soaked for two

days, are then planted in the fields, which at this point are covered by around 5 centimeters of

river water (back in the day this was done by hand, but now it‘s done by machines). The water
14 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
circulates from the river to the channels around each plot in a constant but almost imperceptible

stream – it never stops flowing.

―It is the kind of rice that when we are milling it, my brother and I can immediately recognize it
just by the smell.‖
In June and July, the rice fields start to become green; in August and September, the rice
matures. Although the exact harvest time depends on that year‘s conditions and the variety of
rice, it is usually held sometime in October. After being collected, the rice is typically dried in an
industrial drier, but at Molí de Rafelet they dry the rice directly in the fields, like their
grandparents did.

After it‘s sufficiently dry, the husk is removed, and it‘s time for the grain to be polished

(assuming the aim is produce white as opposed to brown rice). Most producers use an industrial

water polisher, yet at Molí de Rafelet‘s old mill, the grains are fed between two cones made of

emery stone – a process not unlike filing your nails. While it results in a more irregular color,

this type of polishing keeps the original flavor more intact.

Molí de Rafelet specializes in growing unique local varieties like bomba, marisma, carnaroli and

their very special Gran Reserva. This particular variety, an older type of rice that was saved from

extinction by a relative who collected its seeds, doesn‘t have an official name, but continues to

be planted and replanted generation after generation. ―It is the kind of rice that when we are

milling it, my brother and I can immediately recognize it just by the smell,‖ Teresa says.

Produced in small quantities and always the first variety to sell out, Teresa describes it as ―a

wonderful kind of rice that is never overcooked and ends big and full of flavor.‖Like grapes, rice

also has a terroir, and the same variety changes a lot depending of where it is cultivated – the

soil, minerals, weather and more can affect the flavor, texture and also the cooking time. That‘s

why it‘s important to know where your rice is coming from. Many customers (us included)

15 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
looking for the best-quality rice buy from Molí de Rafelet, and their fantastic rice is also used in

numerous restaurants, from famous Michelin-starred spots to smaller, family-run joints.

Now, after the harvest, when the rice is being milled and packaged, the water levels rise as

tractors press the soil down to prepare the land for the next crop. The channels are closed, and

the Ebro Delta goes into its dry period, waiting for the start of the cycle in spring, when once

again it will be transformed into a land of mirrors.

Rice obviously plays a central role in the Spanish and Catalan cuisines, so there‘s no shortage of

places to purchase it in Barcelona. If you‘re specifically looking for rice from the Delta de

l‘Ebre, we recommend visiting the beautiful Casa Gispert in El Born. In business since 1851,

this store stocks Molí de Rafelet rice. Also in El Born, the wonderful Casa Perris, formerly
16 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
known as Casa Torras, is a specialty shop that sells some 20 types of rice. Finally, Queviures

Murria in L‘Eixample is a stunning historic grocery store and deli that sells rice from the Ebro




Traditional Chinese vessels like these were most often used to store wine. Almost a gallon of pungent
clear yellow fluid was discovered in an ancient bronze pot.GETTY IMAGES

Archaeologists have dug up a 2,000-year old bronze pot that might just be hiding some
ancient wine, Chinese state news agency Xinhua has reported.

17 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
The team discovered almost a gallon of clear yellow fluid in the pot from a large Western
Han Dynasty (202 B.C. to 8 B.C.) tomb in the country‘s Henan Province.

Pouring the fluid into a measuring jug Tuesday revealed the heady aroma of alcohol, the
team reported. ―It smells like wine," Shi Jiazhen, head of the Institute of Cultural Relics
and Archaeology in the city of Luoyang, told Xinhua.

Rice and sorghum rice wine played an important role in ceremonies and sacrifice rituals
at the time, he said.

Further tests will reveal the true nature of the liquid, Shi added. As well as wine, the
2,300-square-foot tomb yielded numerous clay pots painted with color and bronze
artifacts, as well as human remains, Shi said.

This isn‘t the first time archaeologists have uncovered ancient rice wine in China. In
March, reports emerged that scientists had discovered just over a cup of the stuff in a
tomb near Xianyang, once capital of the Qin Dynasty (221 B.C. to 206 B.C.) Found in
one of several burial sites spanning three periods in China‘s ancient history, the wine‘s
bronze vessel may date back to the Warring States period (475 B.C. to 221 B.C.),
Chinese outlet GBtimes previously reported.
―The liquor was milky white when we found it, and was a little muddy,‖ Zhang
Yanglizheng from the Research Institute of Shaanxi said at the time, according to Science
News. ―Later tests showed that it was composed of high concentration amino acid
substances and also small amounts of protein and fatty acids, which made it similar to
yellow rice wine we drink nowadays.‖

Traditional Chinese vessels like these were most often used to store wine. Almost a gallon of pungent
clear yellow fluid was discovered in an ancient bronze pot.GETTY IMAGES
New archaeological evidence is transforming scientists‘ understanding of ancient China,
researchers recently reported. The remains of a 4,300 year-old-pyramid, for example,
indicates the ancient northern city of Shimao may have been part of the ―political and
economic heartland‖ of the region we now call China. Previously, the researchers stated,
archaeologists had focused on the Central Plain region.

18 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
In other archaeological news, groups of researchers exploring Egypt have found
some 800 tombs, a sphinx statue and the remains of a large building with an adjoining
religious room.
In Peru, scientists have unearthed some 3,000-year-old burial sites home to human bones,
treasure, and even the remains of a llama. Meanwhile, in Russia, archaeologists recently
discovered a medieval board game hidden in a secret passage underneath a castle.
Chinese president, other world leaders visit Pakistani
pavilion at CIIE

–Prime Minister Imran Khan shares his govt’s environment-friendly policy

–Commerce secretary briefs dignitaries of Pakistan’s important trade sectors

ISLAMABAD: President Xi Jinping on Monday visited Pakistani pavilion titled ―Emerging

Pakistan‖ at the China International Import Expo (CIIE) where he was welcomed by Prime

Minister Imran Khan.According to Radio Pakistan, the Chinese president was accompanied by other

world leaders, including Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta,

19 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who

remained at the stall for some time and discussed the trade potential with Pakistani officials.

On the occasion, Prime Minister Imran Khan explained the new government‘s environment-

friendly policy and initiatives taken by the country in this regard.

He spoke of the one billion trees project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and also shared how the

government planned to plant ten billion trees during the next five years.

Seconding the premier, Commerce Secretary Mohammad Younus Dagha said Pakistan has one

of the smallest carbon footprints (sixth largest population with only 0.4 per cent of the world‘s

carbon dioxide emissions), still, it is playing an important role and making efforts to deal with

climate change.

He also briefed the dignitaries about the theme of the pavilion, which represented five important

trade sectors of Pakistan.

Dagha said that textiles and apparels employ 38 per cent of the industrial workforce with an 8.5

per cent share in GDP and make up for more than 70 per cent of Pakistan‘s exports.

―The fastest growth has been in the garments sector that provides jobs to female workers,‖ he

said and added that Pakistan has the privilege of not only having world-renowned sportspersons,

but also has the distinction of competing in quality and winning the contracts for the supply of

sports goods for top brands and prestigious events.

―The last two FIFA World Cups, including the one held in Russia this year, were played with

Pakistan-made footballs,‖ Dagha said.

He added that with the marvelous archeological sites of the world‘s oldest civilisation in

the south and the meeting point of the three majestic mountain ranges known as ―the roof of the

20 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
world‖ in the north, the tourism sector in Pakistan also offers unlimited opportunities for

hospitality sector investors.

―The new government is improving the policy framework to attract more investments in

the manufacturing sector to increase our capacity to export.‖

He also told the dignitaries that while Pakistan is exporting aromatic basmati rice, the most

delicious mangoes and juiciest of mandarins to more than 70 countries; storage, processing and

preservation are the areas where joint ventures can bring rapid gains.

President Xi took great interest in the briefing and appreciated PM Khan‘s efforts to improve the

environment. He also extended his country‘s support for the initiative and congratulated the

premier on his successful visit to China.

Organisers say more than 3,000 foreign companies from 130 countries including the United

States (US) and Europe are present at the expo.

PM Imran Khan is on maiden visit to China on the invitation of Chinese leadership. He was the

keynote speaker at the CIIE inaugural session earlier in the day.

Addressing the opening ceremony at the National Exhibition and Convention Center Shanghai,

PM Khan said Pakistan was a leading exporter of sports goods, medical instruments and IT


He said with a promising 100 million human resource, under the age of 35, the country has a rich

potential, and was an attractive place for foreign investors

EC upholds Italy rice appeal agst Myanmar-

21 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
Tariffs et to be re-imposed agst 2 Asian countries

06 November 201810:21NEWS

(ANSA) - Brussels, November 6 - The European Commission on Tuesday upheld an appeal from
Italian rice producers saying they had been damaged by zero-tariff imports from Myanmar and
Tariffs may soon be reintroduced against these two countries, it said.
An EC probe into the matter began in March.
The C will now propose to the EU-28 a vote on restoring tariffs on the two Asian countries.

Vietnam, Thailand skip Philippines' 203,000 T rice tender

NOVEMBER 6, 2018 / 10:16 AM

MANILA, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Major rice exporters Thailand and Vietnam did not submit offers at
a Philippines import tender for the supply of 203,000 tonnes of the grain, citing stricter terms,
Philippine officials said on Tuesday.

The tender by one of the world‘s top rice importers was held to meet unfilled orders after a
tender on Oct. 18 for 250,000 tonnes of rice by Manila‘s state-owned National Food Authority
(NFA) secured only 47,000 tonnes due to high offer prices.
22 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
Thailand and Vietnam were the only government suppliers accredited for Tuesday‘s re-tender.
NFA officials said both submitted letters saying they would not participate due to the stricter
terms set out by the Philippines food authority.

NFA spokesman Rex Estoperez said import terms had been made more stringent to address
concerns that arose from previous rice purchases, including health and safety issues, which
would raise the cost for suppliers.

―I can‘t say if there will be another bidding,‖ Mercedes Yacapin, head of the tender panel, told
reporters, adding the decision will be left to the NFA Council, which is made up of the country‘s
economic managers.

President Rodrigo Duterte last month scrapped a 20-year-old government cap on rice imports to
help curtail soaring prices of the Philippine diet staple by increasing supply.

The Philippines is on a rice buying spree this year, with import approvals by the NFA hitting 2.4
million tonnes, just below the record 2.45 million tonnes bought in 2010 when rising global food
prices stoked shortage fears.

The NFA is set to hold another import tender for 500,000 tonnes of rice o n Nov. 20. (Reporting
by Enrico dela Cruz; writing by Manolo Serapio Jr.; editing by Richard Pullin)

Vietnam, Thailand withdraw from bidding to supply

203,000 MT rice to PH
By CNN Philippines Staff
Updated 22:59 PM PHT Tue, November 6, 2018

Both Thailand and Vietnam refused to participate in the bidding to supply the country with
203,000 metric tons of rice, citing the National Food Auhtority's (NFA) terms of reference of
importation. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 6) — Both Thailand and Vietnam refused to
participate in the bidding to supply the country with 203,000 metric tons of rice, citing the
National Food Authority's (NFA) terms of reference of importation.

According to a letter read by Maria Mercedes Yacapin, Chair of the NFA Committee on
Government-to-Government Procurement, Thailand cannot adhere to the terms of reference
provided to them on October 31.

23 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
The terms of reference, which enumerates the conditions to be followed by bidders, included
reassignments of discharge ports, fumigation conditions and fines for short deliveries.

"Having considered the NFA's condition, we are concerned that the terms of reference even with
some amendments as stated in your letter remains difficult for us in terms if compliance," the
letter said.

Thailand's foreign trade department also argued that they have already abided by the terms of
reference set on May 16 this year.

Vietnam echoed Thailand's sentiments saying they may not be able to comply with the
regulations under the terms of reference.

Vietnam and Thailand, produce an average of 5-8 tons per hectare at P5 to P9 per kilogram,
while local farmers produce only 3 to 6 tons at higher costs of ₱11 to ₱14 per kilogram.
Authorities have resorted to importing rice from these two countries to lower costs in the

However, Yacapin contends that Thailand and Vietnam's withdrawal is not a cause for alarm
since they are expecting rice prices to stabilize due to the implemented suggested retail price
(SRP). The SRP sets prices of rice at ₱37 to ₱47 per kilogram.

She added that they are also expecting 47,000 metric tons of rice to arrive on November 30 from
last month's bidding.

24 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
In an interview with CNN Philippines News Night, National Food Authority (NFA)
spokesperson Gerry Imperial said the countries refused to participate because of the shortness of
the delivery period for the staple. He said the first 250,000 metric tons import of rice is expected
to be delivered to the markets by the end of December.

Imperial added rice supply will still be sufficient even without the supply of the said countries.

"Yes, there is enough supply, and kasalukuyan tayong umaani. Although tumama si 'Ompong' at
'Rosita' sa northern part of Luzon, di naman naapektuhan ang isa sa rice granary natin
na Region IV and other rice-producing provinces in Central Luzon," Imperial said.

[Translation:Yes, there is enough supply, and we're currently harvesting. Although typhoons
Ompong and Rosita hit parts of Northern Luzon, they have not affected one of our rice granary
which is Region IV, and other rice-producing provinces in Central Luzon.]

PH to hold another bidding for rice imports

By PTV News - FFF

November 6, 2018

MANILA — The government will conduct another bidding for the procurement of the 500,000
metric tons (MT) of rice on Nov. 20, to augment the country‘s buffer stock and bring prices
further down.

This, after the National Food Authority (NFA) on Tuesday failed to secure offers for the supply
of 203,000 MT of rice under a government-to-government (G to G) tender with Thailand and
Vietnam, due to some provisions of the terms of reference for the importation. The two countries
did not elaborate.

But NFA Assistant Administrator Maria Mercedes Yacapin, chair of the NFA Committee on G
to G Procurement, said she is not worried about the agency‘s failure to secure offers, noting the
country has adequate rice inventory levels.

25 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
―We are still able to inject in the market about 15 percent in market participation which is a good
batting average,‖ she told reporters. ―And there is ongoing harvest, the NFA is able to procure
palay with additional incentive of PHP3 per kilo so that is helping in the procurement process.‖

Yacapin said the suggested retail price (SRP) for rice has been implemented in the market which
helps temper inflation.

―In fact, we have been seeing prices in the market go down,‖ she added. ―In fact, supermarkets
also are having their own low rice prices.‖

Meanwhile, the 203,000 MT of rice for bidding Tuesday was the balance from the 250,000 MT
offered for bidding last Oct. 18 under the open tender scheme.

With majority of the bid offers exceeding the NFA‘s approved budget of USD 428.18/MT, only
47,000 MT was awarded to three suppliers who offered prices lower than the approved budget.

―We always improve upon a certain condition. We just clarify the terms,‖ Yacapin said, referring
to provisions of the terms of reference for the G to G importation of rice. (Leslie

NFA rice import rebid fails to attract offers

November 6, 2018 | 11:01 pm

THE AUCTION Tuesday for the 203,000 metric tons (MT) of rice by the National Food
Authority (NFA) under a government-to-government (G2G) agreement failed to attract offers
from Thailand and Vietnam.

In an interview after the auction, NFA Spokesperson Angel G. Imperial said only Thailand and
Vietnam are allowed to make G2G offers because they signed executive agreements with the
Philippine government.

26 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
Mr. Imperial said Thailand and Vietnam notified the NFA of their non-participation, but did not
provide an explanation beyond saying that they could not meet the posted auction terms.

According to Mr. Imperial, NFA officials believe the delivery schedule could be too demanding,
and do not think Thailand and Vietnam were deterred by the reference price of $447.88 per MT
which was only announced during the bidding itself.

―They wrote to say that they could not meet the terms of reference. The problem was not the
price, and we think they did not believe they could deliver on the dates required,‖ Mr. Imperial

The 203,000 MT represents the unawarded portion of a previous auction for 250,000 MT. In the
first auction, only 47,000 MT was awarded to private suppliers because the reference price and
the offer prices were too far apart.

The government is authorized to import 750,000 MT of rice in total for 2018, divided into three
equal batches, the first of which was originally set to arrive late in the year.Mr. Imperial said the
next step is for the administrator to report the results of the auction to the NFA Council, ―which
will decide on a course of action.‖

27 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
The remaining 500,000 MT that has yet to be subject to auction is scheduled for prebidding on
Nov. 7.The governments of Cambodia and Myanmar are also interested on the auction, but have
not indicated their plans, according to Mr. Imperial.

In a briefing, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said the failure to attract bids was due to
Thailand and Vietnam being unable to commit to a delivery date of Dec. 15.

―They are now negotiating to take Dec. 15 out of the contract, and they prefer a deadline of end-
December with deliveries to start by Dec. 15,‖ Mr. Piñol said.

The NFA‘s Officer-in-Charge Administrator Tomas R. Escarez said that the NFA wants to have
one shipment per port, rather than have only one ship to deliver to all ports.

He added that there are some issues with fumigation of the shipments, which have been resolved.

According to Mr. Escarez, the rebidding may take place either on Wednesday or Thursday next
week. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio

VFA encourages local food traders to participate in

Philippine rice tender of 500,000 tons
By Trung Chanh
Tuesday, Nov 6, 2018,19:17 (GMT+7)

Farmers in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang gather rice in the field. The Philippines will continue importing 500,000
tons of 25% broken rice under government-to-private contracts - PHOTO: TRUNG CHANH

CAN THO – Nguyen Trung Kien, vice chairman and general secretary of the
Vietnam Food Association (VFA), has issued Document 421/CV/HHLTVN
announcing the Philippines’ tender to import rice to encourage local food
traders to participate.
The National Food Authority (NFA) of the Philippines has issued an invitation to a tender,
expected to take place on November 20, for importing an additional 500,000 tons of 25%
broken rice under government-to-private (G2P) contracts, according to VFA in an

28 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
announcement to local food traders.

According to the VFA announcement, the Philippines imposes no restrictions on the origin of
the rice or the types of enterprises permitted to attend the tender. This means both private and
State enterprises are eligible to join the tender, and the deadline for putting their names down to
join it is November 20.
The importer will divide the volume of 500,000 tons of 25% broken rice into nine tender
packages and will receive the rice at 14 seaports.
The reference price set by the Philippines is US$447.88 per ton, higher than the reference price
of US$431.2 per ton for the 250,000 tons of rice requested at a tender held last month. The
payment will be made 30 days after the buyer receives the original legal documents.
Rice traders can take part in all nine tender packages, but they must have completed at least one
rice export contract in the past five years at an equivalent value to the tender package they have
Last month, the Philippines opened a tender to import 250,000 tons of 25% broken rice under
G2P contracts, but it purchased only 47,000 tons, including 29,000 tons from Vietnam and
18,000 tons from Thailand. The volume was lower than the Philippines‘ target as suppliers
offered prices higher than the projected price of the Philippines.
It will import 203,000 tons to reach its 250,000-ton target under government-to-government
(G2G) contracts.
29 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
In May, NFA held a tender to import 250,000 tons of rice under G2P contracts, but Vietnamese
traders failed to sell any rice to the Philippines, while Thailand offered better prices and won the
tender.However, Vietnam secured a deal on May 4 to supply 130,000 tons of rice to the
Philippines at a bidding session, under G2G contracts.

Farmers asked to maintain quality of Thai rice

BANGKOK, 6th November 2018 (NNT) – The Thai Rice Growers Association has implored
rice producers to maintain the quality of their crop in a bid to keep paddy prices high.

Chairman of the Thai Rice Growers Association, Suthep Kongmak said that Hom Mali or
jasmine rice farmers have been earning more this year compared to previous years, thanks to a
reduced supply and high demand in domestic and global markets. The prices of Hom Mali rice
today range from 12,000 baht to 18,000 baht per ton. Despite the high retail and wholesale
prices, the chairman said producers should focus on keeping the quality of their paddy at a high
level while asking them not to grow more because it would only lead to increased supply and a
price drop.

In the meantime, Director-General of the Department of Internal Trade (DIT) Wichai Pochanakit
said in-season paddy is being sold at 16,000 - 17,000 baht a ton this year, and in some areas, the
price rises to 18,000 baht, the highest in rice producing history. Between November and
December, Wichai expects 5 million tons of Hom Mali rice to enter the market. Due to the
ongoing drought in the northeastern region, rice production in Roi Et, Nakhon Ratchasima,
Sisaket, Surin, Buriram, Khon Kaen, and Chaiyaphum has dropped by 20% this year.
30 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,