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November 08 ,2018

Vol 9 ,Issue 11

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‘Basmati hybrids hold $500mln export potential’
Munawar Hasan

November 8, 2018

LAHORE: Hybrid technology can earn Pakistan an additional $500 million in rice exports and
create Rs60 to 70 billion of economic activities, a head of a research and development company
said.

Sajjad Sulaiman Malik, chief executive officer of Emkay Seeds (Pvt) Ltd said the private
company has developed high-yielding Basmati rice variety having more than 40 percent average
yield potential if compared with output of contemporary varieties.

―If only 20 percent of basmati area is sown with new hybrids of fine rice varieties in Punjab, the
main growing area, Rs60 to 70 billion worth of additional economic activity can be generated,‖
Malik said. ―Pakistan can fetch another $500 million with this bonus production of basmati rice.‖
Basmati hybrids can produce up to 80 maunds per acre of rice with proper application of
production technology. These varieties use less water and other inputs as it matures two weeks
early if compared with other basmati varieties. The company‘s head said this is the beginning of
Pakistan‘s rice revolution, which will start bearing fruits for farmers, rice millers and exporters in
near future.

The company demonstrated test-trials of the newly-developed basmati hybrids last week in
Farooqabad of Sheikhupura district. The two basmati hybrids of Emkay Seeds outperformed
basmati super and Pusa 1121, an Indian variety with more than 40 percent yield advantage in
small scale trials.

The development of Basmati hybrid, having excellent cooking quality and elongation is not an
easy task as many such attempts could not bear fruits in past. Several public sector research
institutions have failed to introduce basmati hybrid despite spending millions of rupees. So much

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so, Chinese leader in development of coarse varieties of rice hybrids have not either been
successful despite making untiring efforts.

Malik attributed the resounding success in development of basmati hybrid to Muhammad Bashir
Cheema, who is Head of Plant Breeding and Genetics of the company. ―Eighteen years of
struggle finally proved successful,‖ he said. ―We hope that in the next two years, these superior
quality basmati hybrids will be available for commercial plantation. This is purely a home-grown
solution for enhancing output of basmati rice as Pakistan‘s own scientists contributed in this
direction.‖

On the company‘s plant breeding program, Malik said the task to develop rice hybrid is quite
challenging ―but with continued effort our company pioneered the development of both coarse
and fine varieties of rice‖.

Three basmati and two non-basmati extra-long fine grains with 8.5 millimeter length have been
developed. The milling, cooking quality, taste and aroma of some of these lines are on par with
super basmati and other contemporary varieties.

Malik said the company has been successful in achieving rare milestone of basmati hybrid
development through normal breeding without using any of the genetic engineering techniques
involving genetically modified organisms.

The non-basmati hybrid developed by the company was the pioneer back in 2008. However,
these varieties could not compete with Chinese imported hybrid seeds of coarse varieties due to
various factors. In March 2008, the company became the first to have a locally developed
medium grain rice hybrid (Emkay H-401) approved by the then ministry of agriculture.

―We have further refined our medium grain rice hybrids for Sindh and expect to launch our new
hybrid varieties next year,‖ Malik said. A number of companies are currently importing hybrid
rice seed, mainly from China. The local variety would save foreign exchange reserves.

Emkay Seeds has also developed a high yielding bacterial leaf blight-resistant rice hybrid that
will perform better in hot spots. ―We have also developed a fairly robust research program on
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maize and are actively developing and testing both single cross and double cross hybrid corn,‖
Malik said.

―These hybrids are being tested alongside the leading hybrid corn seed being sold in Pakistan by
multinationals,‖ he added. ―Significant progress has been made and in 2019 these products will
be taken into farmer fields for large scale testing. We intend to diversify our activity by including
other crops in the research program, notably sweet corn, canola and vegetables.‖

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/390948-basmati-hybrids-hold-500mln-export-potential

Long An to host third Việt Nam rice festival


Update: November, 07/2018 - 09:00

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A press briefing to introduce the third Vietnam Rice Festival in HCM City on November 6.
According to the organisers, the festival will be held in Tân An City in Long An Province from
December 18 to 24. — VNS Photo

HCM CITY — The third Việt Nam Rice Festival to be held in the southern province of Long An
from December 18 to 24 will seek to honour and promote Vietnamese rice in the global market,
organisers said yesterday.

To be held at Tân An, the festival will feature an exhibition on Việt Nam‘s rice production and
export achievements, machinery and materials used in the agricultural sector and a rice quality
contest.

There would be seminars and business meetings for those involved in rice production to
exchange information and explore co-operation, the organisers said.

Importantly, there will be a ceremony to unveil a logo for Vietnamese rice.

Speaking at a media briefing, Phạm Minh Hùng, a permanent board member of the Việt Nam
Farmers Union‘s central committee, said the festival would be a forum for farmers and
businesses to promote their products and for organisers to strengthen linkages between farmers,
scientists, businesses, and other stakeholders.

It would seek to build a sustainable value chain and raise the profile of the Vietnamese rice brand
globally, he added.

According to the organisers, some 422 businesses and localities had registered as of November 5
to participate in the festival.

Nguyễn Anh Dũng of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said a new
Government‘s decree that took effect on October 1 removed difficulties and legal barriers for
rice exporters seeking to expand to foreign markets.

Saying that as of September 15 Việt Nam had shipped over 4.7 million tonnes of rice for
US$2.38 billion, up 9.3 per cent and 24.8 per cent year-on-year, he attributed the impressive
achievement to the effective rice sector restructuring programme, which focuses on developing
high-quality and fragrant rice to bolster exports to difficult markets.

Eighty per cent of the grain exported now are classified as high-quality and sold at more than
$500 per tonne, he said.The event will be organised by the Việt Nam Farmers Union, Ministry of
Agriculture and Rural Development and Long An Province. — VNS

https://vietnamnews.vn/economy/469302/long-an-to-host-third-viet-nam-rice-
festival.html#YJpEYZ8eUW2syVrA.97

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Awareness about anti-rice stubble burning to control smog
need of hour: Benish
November 8, 2018
14
Staff Reporter

Additional Secretary Agriculture (Task Force) Benish Fatima Sahi has said that Punjab is on the
edge due to environmental pollution. She said that smog causes to effect human health and
people have to suffer in case of smog effects.
The Additional Secretary Agriculture (Task Force) said that dense smog has adverse effect for
not only human beings but also for the crops. So, it is need of time to disseminate information
regarding anti-rice stubble burning among farming community in a more effective and targeted
manner.
Benish Fatima stated this while presiding over a meeting to review rice crop situation and its off-
season management practices at Rice Research Institute, KalaShah Kaku on Wednesday. High
officials of Agriculture Department attended this meeting.
Additional Secretary Agriculture (Task Force) briefed that due to smog, photosynthesis process
in leaves of crops is also affected and plants cannot make their necessary food.
Plants, under the effect of smoggy clouds, cannot prepare necessary hormones for its growth and
per acre yield of crops may affect due to this situation. He said the government is paying special
heed towards Anti-Smog campaign and more than 200 FIRs have been registered against persons
who are involved in rice burning incidents.
The spokesman advised instead of burning of rice stubble, farmers should mix the crop residual
into the soil through deep plough through rotavator or disc harrow. This year Agriculture
Department will monitor & report burning of Rice stubbles incidents on day today basis.
Under section-144, Government of Punjab has imposed ban on burning of crop residuals. Field
Assistant of Agriculture Department is monitoring and reporting incident of rice stubble burning
to their Divisional Director & Director (M & E) on daily basis.
Researchers and experts also briefed Additional Secretary about departmental activity regarding
off-season management of Rice crop.

https://pakobserver.net/awareness-about-anti-rice-stubble-burning-to-control-smog-need-of-
hour-benish/

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Study identifies relationship between smog and rice residue
burning in Punjab

ISLAMABAD: A new research study carried out by the Food and Agriculture Organisation
(FAO) of the United Nations has found a relationship between smog and the practice of rice
residue burning by farmers in the rice belt of Punjab. Findings of the study provide scientific
evidence of the causes of smog, and the relationship between smog and crop residue burning.
The study will be instrumental in helping reduce the contribution of the agriculture sector
towards the formation of smog, FAO Representative in Pakistan, Mina Dowlatchahi said on
Tuesday.

The study carried out under the ‗Remote Sensing for Spatio-Temporal Mapping of Smog‘ project
in collaboration with the Punjab government, found that the formation of smog, however, was
not dependent only on the presence or increase of these pollutants, but certain meteorological
and weather conditions also help these pollutants suspend in the lower atmosphere because of
which the pollutants from a dense visible layer of smog. FAO responded to a request from the
Punjab government in 2017 and initiated the project, which has now been completed. It is a first
of its kind evidence-based geospatial research which will contribute to findings on emissions and
drivers of smog.

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FAO will present the report to the Punjab government next week with its recommendations. The
research findings were reviewed by FAO global technical experts on information with a
geographical component, methods and tools and validated by a wide array of Pakistani experts
and institutions. Representatives of the ministry of climate change and the Punjab government
were present on the occasion. Speaking to experts, the FAO representative stated that the
organisation remained committed to support the government efforts to help devise appropriate
strategies and action plans to tackle smog in Pakistan. Pakistan suffered one of the highest death
tolls in the world from air pollution in 2015, when, according to UN estimates, thousands lost
their lives because of the high level of fine particles in the air.

This phenomenon engulfs several cities in Punjab province, particularly Lahore, during the
winter months and has evolved into a public health and economic emergency. Smog is one of the
several forms of air pollutants that cause harm to human functioning. Formation of smog,
however, is not dependent only on the presence or increase of these pollutants, but certain
meteorological and weather conditions also help these pollutants suspend in the lower
atmosphere because of which the pollutants form a dense visible layer of smog. FAO is also
carrying out water accounting in the Indus Basin using geospatial data and techniques.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1444083/study-identifies-relationship-between-smog-and-rice-residue-burning-
in-punjab

Japan’s farmers double output of premium rice


More premium rice bands are showing up in high-end stores, like the Mitsukoshi department
store in Tokyo's ritzy Ginza district. TOKYO -- Japanese rice farmers are expanding production
of new, pricier brands, a move to shore up income as consumers eat less of the staple. The output
of 10 leading brands introduced in 2015 through 2018 is set to more than double this year to a
little over 50,000 tons, a survey of prefectures found.

Shinnosuke, from the famed rice-growing region of Niigata Prefecture, is set to post a 120%
increase to 11,000 tons. Niigata is focusing on marketing the new grain in greater Tokyo, looking
to boost name recognition in the country's largest market. For nearly half a century, the central
government controlled rice production under its acreage reduction program to prevent steep
drops in price. But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hammered out a plan in 2013 to do away with this
policy, starting with the 2018 harvest, and the prefectures have taken full charge of production
instead.

This has led to a rush to develop new regional brands. Japan has 795 registered brands today, up
50% from a decade earlier. Many of the newcomers are marketed as premium types. With a retail
price of about 3,000 yen ($27) per 5 kg, Shinnosuke is on a par with the top-of-the-line Uonuma
Koshihikari, also from Niigata. This compares with brands that grew popular in the 2000s and
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went for around 2,500 yen per 5 kg. A rice shop in the posh Mitsukoshi department store in
Tokyo's Ginza shopping district displays many brand-new offerings. "Ichihomare from Fukui
Prefecture is priced at more than 1,000 yen per kilogram, but it's the No. 1 seller and already has
many repeat buyers," said the store manager. Supermarkets, aware of customers' preference for
more affordable fare, are only dipping their toes in the premium market. "We'll test consumer
reaction to higher-grade brands with 2-kg bags for now," said an executive at Inageya, a grocery
chain based in the Tokyo area.

Rice acreage has fallen by half since 1970, before the reduction program began. To deal with the
lower income from smaller parcels, farmers worked on developing high-grade brands.
Prefectures are ready to go all-out in promoting their latest deluxe brands, with some earmarking
nearly 300 million yen a year for advertising. But critics say such campaigns are wasting
taxpayer money, since the ads rely too much on celebrities and do not effectively communicate
the flavor of the grains. Meanwhile, Japan faces an annual shortage of 1.3 million tons of the
lower-grade rice typically served at restaurants. "We want the government to fund increased
output of low-cost rice, too," said the president of a major wholesaler.
https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Business-Trends/Japan-s-farmers-double-output-of-premium-rice

Pakistan seeking to expand its exports to Yunnan

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China International Import Expo (CIIE) will lead to creation of economic opportunities for
Pakistani exporters to sell their products to China and we will, also, provide incentives to our
exporters to open up their exports to Yunnan, underscored by Pakistan‘s Consul General to
Chengdu, Muhammad Mudassir Tipu, while delivering a keynote address at the ―Everlasting
China-South Asia Expo‖ held in Shanghai today.

The Expo, held at the sidelines of the CIIE, was inaugurated by Vice Governor of Yunnan Zhang
Guohua. Other notable speakers at the opening session of the Expo included Consuls General of
Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand based in Kunming as well as Minister of Business Supply of Nepal
and Deputy Minister of Commerce of Myanmar.

Highlighting on Pakistan‘s participation at the mega event, the CG reinforced that the CIIE,
which was inaugurated by President Xi Jinping, was a monumental success.

He asserted that Prime Minister Imran Khan, was also invited by the Chinese government to
attend the Expo. Pakistan was one of the 12 Guest of Honor countries at the Expo and had a
Country Pavilion with ten booths, the CG emphasized.

In his remarks, CG added: ―During last year total bilateral trade between Pakistan and Yunnan
stood at $ 64 million. This comprised of imports by Pakistan. "We need to open up export
opportunities for Pakistan into Yunnan."

"It is worth noting that Pakistan‘s textile, furniture, leather, seafood, rice, fruits, cotton are
exported to markets around the world, and we hope we can also introduce the best of our export
products to Yunnan.‖

The CG, also highlighted the commencement of Lahore-Kashgar Bus service and urged upon
people of Yunnan to explore Pakistan‘s breathtaking beauty by riding that bus service, which he
hoped will further reinforce tourism ties between Pakistan and China.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/390517-pakistan-seeking-to-expand-its-exports-to-yunnan

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Rice exports reach 5.2 million tonnes in ten months
Monday, 2018-11-05 16:26:17

Vietnam exports 5.2 million tonnes of rice worth US$2.6 billion in the first ten months of this year. (Photo:
VNA)

NDO – Vietnam exported 264,000 tonnes of rice with a value of US$136 million in October,

thus bringing the total export volume of rice in the first 10 months this year to US$5.2

million tonnes, worth U$$2.6 billion, up 1.7% in volume and 14.1% in value over the same
period in 2017.

According to the latest data from the Department of Agro-Product Processing and Market

Development (under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), China continues to

rank first among Vietnam‘s rice export markets, accounting for nearly 24% of the market share.
Other markets also saw a sharp increase in importing Vietnamese rice, including Indonesia, Iraq,
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the Philippines and Malaysia.The average rice export value in the last nine months of this year

was at US$503 per tonne, up 13.7% over the same period last year. The price of jasmine rice was

at US$575 per tonne at its highest, followed by Japonica rice at US$526 per tonne. The price for

Vietnamese 5% broken rice in the first half of last month was at US$410 per tonne, higher than

India's at US$372 per tonne and equivalent to Thailand's at US$411 per tonne.The largest export

market for Vietnamese jasmine rice is still China, accounting for 25% of the total exports,

followed by Ghana with 21%. China continues to be the main market for Vietnamese sticky rice,
accounting for 80% of the total glutinous rice exports.

According to the Department, domestic rice prices are expected to increase as enterprises buy

more rice to serve export orders signed in October and prepare for the next orders that can be
reached in the year-end biddings.

On October 18, the Philippines closed bids to buy 47,000 tonnes of rice, including 28,000 tonnes

from Vietnam. Also on that day, Egypt opened its first tender in 2018 for the import of 25,000

tonnes of rice. In addition, during the 10th World Rice Conference in Hanoi last month, multiple

export orders were signed, in which the Hanoi Trade Joint Stock Corporation (Hapro) reached
orders with their US and Malaysian customers to export rice worth US$ 2.5 million.

Currently, farmers have finished harvesting their summer-autumn rice crop. Several localities

also started harvesting their autumn-winter crop. The price for autumn-winter rice in the Mekong

Delta rose slightly amidst a limited supply.According to the local price supply system, in Vinh

Long, the price for the autumn-winter rice variety IR50404 increased by VND200 a kg to reach

VND5,300 per kg, while IR50404 dried rice is priced at VND5,900 per kg and IR50404 husk-

free rice is at VND10,000 per kg. In Bac Lieu, dried OM 5451 rice wholesale price sold by the

Provincial Food Company is at VND6,200 - 6,300 per kg. Many other localities also reported

stable or a slight increase in rice prices.http://en.nhandan.org.vn/business/item/6802202-rice-exports-

reach-5-2-million-tonnes-in-ten-months.html

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Atiku Bagudu: Lake Rice has reduced importation by 90

percent
By Danjuma Isaiah

November 5, 2018

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Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu has said that the production of Lake Rice through the joint
efforts of Kebbi and Lagos states has reduced the importation of the staple food by 90 per cent.

Bagudu, who commended his Lagos counterpart, Ambode, for his commitment to the production
of the brand, however, said that the achieving the feat would not have been possible without the
support of the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the three-day 18th National Women‘s Conference organised
by COWLSO in Lagos, Bagudu disclosed that the partnership between Kebbi and Lagos had
helped to improve the economy of Lagos, Kebbi and Nigeria in terms of local production of rice.

―Without Ambode, there would not have been Lake Rice. The significance of Lake Rice is that it
has encouraged a revival of the ‗I can do it spirit,‖ he said.

The governor noted that the emergence of Lake Rice had help the nation to reduce the
importation of rice by 90 percent, as captured by President Muhammadu Buhari recently at a
meeting with the British Prime Minister, Theresa May.

―Without Ambode, we won‘t have been able to do that and that was because he got the support
of his wife, who is the Chairman of COWLSO. His wife supported the idea and that was why it
was successful,‖ he
said.

Bagudu, however, said COWLSO had done tremendously well by organising the conference
over the years in order to reposition women and take them to an enviable position in the society,
adding that he was impressed that women in Lagos could take time off their busy schedule to
gather in a place to network and educate themselves on issues affecting women and society.

In his remarks, Ambode commended COWLSO for organising the annual event, saying that his
wife, Bolanle, had been able to take the committee to a higher level than she met it.

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The governor said he had no doubt that the three-day programme provided opportunities for
networking and education among the women, adding that the opportunity to be part of the
conference was a privilege that came with responsibilities.

―You have a responsibility to share your experience with others around you. This is the only way
you can deepen what you have learnt at the programme. Government will give attention to the
recommendation in the communiqué,‖ he promised.

AD: To get thousands of free final year project topics and other project materials sorted by subject to
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https://www.today.ng/news/nigeria/atiku-bagudu-lake-rice-reduced-importation-90-percent-

168343

FG faults USDA’s claims on Nigeria’s rice importation, local

production

Published November 6, 2018

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

The Federal Government on Tuesday said there was no truth in the United States Department of
Agriculture‘s World Markets and Trade Report that claimed that Nigeria imported three million
metric tonnes of rice in 2018, which is 400,000 metric tonnes more than the quantity of the
product imported in 2017.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made government‘s position known
in an interview with State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

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Mohammed also faulted the claim in the report that local production of rice was on the decline
and that the facts fly in the face of government‘s claim of what it achieved in the area of rice
production.

―I want to say categorically that, that story is false. Predictably, the Atiku Media Organisation,
this afternoon, latched onto the story. We are not surprised.

―I want to say categorically that, that story is fake and that Atiku Media Organisation also
goofed,‖ the minister said.

He said immediately after the story broke, he contacted the Central Bank of Nigeria and the
Comptroller-General of Customs, while he also had meetings with the Rice Producers
Association as well as rice millers.

The minister claimed that all of them responded that the story was not true.

Mohammed said, ―For starters, you cannot import rice without a Form M being approved. You
can‘t import rice without Letter of Credit.

―So, we challenge the US Department of Agriculture World Markets and Trade Report to
provide evidence that Form M was opened to bring in 400,000 metric tonnes over and above that
of last year and that Letters of Credit were also opened for them.

―Two, the records are very clear as to the importation of rice. You don‘t have to take my words
for it, but go to Thailand Rice Miller and the figures are there.

―In 2014, 1.2 million metric tonnes of rice was exported to Nigeria. In 2015, 644 metric tonnes
of rice was exported to Nigeria, and by 2015, it went down to 5,000 metric tonnes.―These are not
my figures; these are figures from the Thailand Rice Association.―The claim that local rice
production is on the decline is again absolutely false. Yesterday (Monday), when I spoke to the
millers, all of them said, ‗please, just come to Kano, come to my factory you are going to see two
kilometre length of trailers waiting to discharge paddy rice.‘

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―So, I want to say categorically again without fear of contradiction that the Anchor Borrowers
Rice Programme is working. Nigeria has been able to reduce by 90 percent the $1.65bn it was
paying on rice importation, the number of integrated rice processing mills increased from 13 to
25.

―Those are the majors and that between the smaller ones and the big ones, today the capacity is
4.9 metric tonnes of rice. That is why we are confident that in a year plus we are going to meet
the six million metric tonnes of rice production which is our local consumption.

―The facts are there and I challenge anybody to the contrary.‖

When asked if it is possible to factor the amount of rice being smuggled into the country into the
official figures he released, the minister explained, ―You cannot claim that smuggled rice is part
of rice imported into the country. Yes, we do know we have a challenge with smuggled rice but
we have taken steps to ensure that these menace is contained.

―You remember that we set up tripartite committee between the Republic of Benin and Nigeria
comprising of the two Ministers of Finance and Agriculture and Comptroller-General of
Customs of both countries.

―Two, we have been able to reach an agreement with the Benin Republic President to allow
Nigerian Customs officials to be present at the Cotonou Port. And you know that only a week
ago, Mr. President jointly commissioned the border building within Benin Republic. These are
all attempts made to contain smuggling.

―When we say Nigeria imported, it is different from x-amount of rice is being smuggled because
when you import, you open Letter of Credit and we are saying it is absolutely untrue. Again to
say local rice production has gone down is absolutely untrue.

―We have grown rice farmers from five million to 12 million. Those facts are out there. We have
created prosperity for rice farmers. We have about 32 or 34 states that produce rice, you can ask
them.‖

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Mohammed said the such report was not only misleading but was capable of generating a lot of
misunderstanding.

He described the story as part of the fake news the government is fighting.

When asked if the Federal Government would engage the US government to present the facts
since he has declared the story a fake news, Mohammed said, ―That will be at another level.
What we are doing here is to educate Nigerians and let them know that the story is false.

―Whatever steps government is going to take, I have a responsibility as the Minister of


Information and Culture of this country to tell you what government has achieved; and if
anybody tries to demarket the government, to put the facts straight.

―I am not surprised that the Atiku Media Organisation latched unto this story and unfortunately
they goofed because what they ought to have done, when I was in their position as an opposition
was to check with Central Bank, with Customs, rice farmers association and the millers. I have
contacted all of them and what I am telling you is what I am telling you.‖

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https://punchng.com/fg-faults-usdas-claims-on-nigerias-rice-importation-local-production/

Move afoot to partly waive defaulting millers’ dues


Nov 7, 2018, 1:24 AM; last updated: Nov 7, 2018, 1:24 AM (IST)

Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 6
Over a year after bringing a one-time settlement (OTS) scheme for 1,500 defaulting rice millers
whose outstanding amount has crossed Rs 7,500 crore, the state government is coming up with a
scheme to waive part of their dues by reworking the interest penalty levied on them.

Directly benefitting top defaulters owing allegiance to the Congress or the SAD, the government
in the revised OTS has proposed that the interest component should be less than the principal
amount. It is learnt that two Cabinet ministers were pushing the case of one of the top defaulters.

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The principal outstanding that millers owe to Pungrain, Markfed, Punsup, Punjab Agro
Foodgrains Corporation and the Punjab State Warehousing Corporation has swelled to Rs
2,182.92 crore and the compounded interest has multiplied to Rs 5,400 crore.

To be tabled in the Cabinet meeting, the revised scheme prepared by the Department of Food and
Supplies would be discussed with the CM, who returned from his foreign visit on Saturday. The
Finance Department has been asked to comment on the financial implications of waiving part of
the dues.

Food and Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu said certain changes had been recommended
in the revised OTS policy. ―As millers were not coming forwards to clear their dues, the
government aims at recovering the principal amount,‖ he said.

The defaulted amount has accrued for different reasons like failing to return milled rice to the
FCI and selling it in the open market, dispute over pending interest amount, dues on account of
gunny bags, quality cut or loss on account of sale.

Legal proceedings initiated against such defaulters have been pending for the last many years
resulting in marginal recovery of the outstanding amount that keeps increasing every year due to
the factor of compound interest.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/move-afoot-to-partly-waive-defaulting-millers-

dues/679911.html

Rice industry seeks lifting of ban on biomass


Industries in NCR using this fuel shut from November 4 to 10

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

Tribune News Service


Karnal, November 6

The All-India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA) and Haryana Rice Millers and Dealers
Association (HRMDA) have opposed direction of the Supreme Court-appointed Environment
Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) of shutting all industries running with coal and biomass in
the NCR between November 4 and 10.

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They have urged the EPCA to reconsider it. The direction was issued to deal with the pollution
level in Delhi. Vijay Setia, president, AIREA, said they had received the letter and it was a jolt as
lakhs of tonnes of paddy was lying in mills, which was yet to be processed.

He said once the paddy reached the rice unit, it needed to be dried with the help of a boiler,
which ran with biomass. ―If the raw material for rice is not separated from water content within
the first few days, fungus can affect it, leading to loss,‖ he added.

Vinod Goel, state vice-president of the HRMDA, said the millers had been allotted paddy in lakh
metric tonnes for milling, which was given on time. He urged the EPCA to lift the ban.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/rice-industry-seeks-lifting-of-ban-on-

biomass/679687.html

FG, CBN Reject US Report On Rising Rice Importation

The federal government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday debunked the report
by the United States Department of Agriculture World Markets and Trade that Nigeria imported
three million metric tons of rice in 2018.

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The US report had said the import figure is 400,000 metric tonnes higher than the quantity of the
product that was imported in 2017. The report also stated that Nigeria‘s local rice production
dropped from 2016 to 2018 compared to the situation in 2015. The report ran contrary to several
claims by the Nigerian Government that local rice production had increased while importation
had dropped by up to 90 per cent.

The report, which was released in October, showed that since 2016, Nigeria had consistently
milled 3,780,000 metric tons annually which is a reduction from 3,941,000 metric tons recorded
in 2015. But the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, while briefing journalists in the State
House, described the report as false. Mohammed, who said he had contacted the Central Bank of
Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the Minister of Agriculture and rice millers on
the authenticity of the report, argued that they all dismissed the report as untrue. According to
him, whereas 1.2 million metric tons of rice was exported to Nigeria in 2014, the figure declined
to 644,000 in 2015 and went further downward to 25,000 in 2016.

However, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku
Abubakar, has said the claim by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari that it has
increased rice production in the country is false. The minister also faulted the claim by the report
that local rice production in the country is declining, saying instead, local rice production
capacity has risen to 4.9 million metric tons. The CBN has also clarified that the volume of rice
importation into Nigeria (in metric tonnes) has declined drastically in 2018, judging by figures
obtained from various official sources. Indeed, figures obtained from India and Thailand, which
are dominant rice exporters to Nigeria indicated that as at September, the latter had so far
exported about 5,161 metric tonnes of rice to Nigeria, while the former sold only a paltry sum of
426 as at July 2018.

Attributing the reduction to concerted effort by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
Development and interventions of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Director, Corporate
Communications at the CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, in a statement yesterday, also stressed that the
Bank had not allocated any foreign exchange for the importation of rice this year. Okorafor,
argued that the figures being bandied in certain quarters were based on unrealistic assumptions
such as satellite mapping of farms, expected demand by politicians for election campaigns as
well as expected losses from flooding, all of which led to unauthentic conclusions that the
country had imported or could import 400,000 more metric tonnes. The spokesperson for the
CBN further noted that the combined figure of 5, 587 tonnes of rice imports from India and
Thailand may have been rice imported on not-valid-for-forex basis.

Meanwhile, trade figures for the second quarter of 2018 received from the National Bureau of
Statistics (NBS) showed that total imports value was N2,106.7 billion; -16.3% lower than the
first quarter (Q1), 2018 (N2518.26 billion) and – 19.9 per cent lower than Q1, 2017 (N2,631.65
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billion). The report on the Bureau‘s site showed that the value of imported agricultural goods in
the second quarter of 2018 (N224.52 billion) increased by 21.7 per cent from Q1, 2018 (N184.49
billion) and lower by -3.14 per cent from Q2, 2017 (N231.80 billion). According to the report,
raw materials imports in Q2 2018 (N261.10 billion) declined by -8.3 per cent compared to Q1,
2018 (N284.81 billion) and lower by -14.2 per cent in Q2, 2017 (N304.43 billion).

The solid minerals import in Q2, 2018 (N17.29 billion) increased by 37 per cent on a quarter-to-
quarter basis (N12.62 billion), but declined by -91 per cent on a year-to-year basis (N193.16
billion). Energy goods imports in Q2, 2018 (N98.17 million) was 202.6 per cent higher than Q1
2018 (N32.45 million) and 288.5 per cent higher than Q2, 2017 (N25.27 million). The NBS
reported that the value of manufactured goods imported in Q2 2018 (N1,175.86 billion) declined
by -1.2 per cent over the previous quarter (N1,189.97 billion) but increased by 1.6 per cent over
the same quarter in 2017. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the
CBN had been collaborating to reduce the volume of rice importation through what has become
famed as the Rice Revolution.

Meanehile, the presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has said the claim by
the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari that it has increased rice production in the
country is false. Atiku in a statement issued yesterday by his campaign organisation said the
recently released data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) World Markets
and Trade Report has proven the claims by Buhari and his government to be false. President
Buhari boasted about it when he told British Prime Minister, Theresa May, on April 16, 2018,
that: ―We have cut rice importation by about 90 per cent; made a lot of savings of foreign
exchange and generated employment. People had rushed to the cities to get oil money, at the
expense of farming.

But luckily, they are now going back to the farms. Even professionals are going back to the land.
We are making steady progress on the road to food security.‖ Atiku noted that the Minister of
Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, on May 2, 2018, also made similar claim. According to Ogbe,
―Unemployment in Thailand was one of the lowest in the world, 1.2 per cent, it has gone up to
four per cent because seven giant rice mills have shut down because Nigeria‘s import has fallen
by 95 per cent on rice alone.‖ The former vice-president, however, noted that the ―World
Markets and Trade Report of the USDA, which is a public document disclosed that Nigeria
imported three million metric tons of rice in 2018, which is 400,000 metric tons more than the
quantity of the product imported in 2017.

―It does not end there. The report shows that there has actually been a steep drop in commercial
rice production from its 2015 peak under the previous Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
administration.‖ Quoting the report further, Atiku added that ―Nigeria had consistently milled
3,780,000 metric tons annually-a drop from 3,941,000 metric tons recorded in 2015.‖ Atiku,
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therefore, appealed to Buhari and his government to be truthful to the Nigerian public, rather
than claiming progress they have not made, ―because no matter how far and fast falsehood has
travelled, it must eventually be overtaken by the truth.‖
http://saharareporters.com/2018/11/07/fg-cbn-reject-us-report-rising-rice-importation-
%E2%80%8B

NFA holds pre-bid conference for 500K MT rice import


By PTV News - FFF

November 7, 2018

MANILA — A total of 12 rice suppliers from Asian countries attended a pre-bidding


conference on Wednesday at the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) auditorium along
Visayas Ave. in Quezon City for the government‘s rice importation program.

The importation is for 500,000 metric tons of 25-percent broken, long grain white rice, as
additional government buffer stock.

The National Food Authority (NFA) conducted the pre-bidding conference to allow prospective
bidders to clarify the provisions of the Terms of Reference (TOR) covering the importation.

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The opening of bids is set for November 20.

The 500,000 MT is divided into nine lots, with 14 designated discharge ports as follows: Subic
— 118,000 MT; Manila — 75,000 MT; La Union — 65,000 MT; Batangas — 40,000 MT;
General Santos City — 32,500; Tabaco — 30,000 MT; Cagayan De Oro — 26,700 MT; Cebu —
25,000 MT; Iloilo — 20,000 MT; Tacloban — 20,000 MT; Zamboanga — 17,300 MT; Davao
— 12,500 MT; Surigao — 10,000 MT; and Bacolod — 8,000 MT.

The first half or 250,000 MT should be delivered not later than Dec. 31, while the remaining
250,000 MT should arrive in the country not later than Jan. 31, 2019.

The NFA Council has approved the importation of an additional 500,000 MT on top of the
previous two batches of 250,000 MT rice imports delivered between June and October, and the
250,000 MT offered for bids last Sept. 18, where only three suppliers won the award for 47,000
MT.

Another bidding for the remaining 203,000 MT will be scheduled, as the second bidding
conducted on Tuesday under a government to government scheme failed to attract offers from
the governments of Vietnam and Thailand, the only countries with a Memorandum of Agreement
for Rice Trade with the Philippines.

The series of rice importations by the NFA is intended to continuously replenish the NFA‘s
buffer stocks, in line with the President‘s directive for the government to have sufficient food
stocks at all times. (PR/PNA)

https://ptvnews.ph/nfa-holds-pre-bid-conference-for-500k-mt-rice-import/

13 foreign bidders vying to supply 500,000 MT rice


November 7, 2018, 5:21 PM

By Madelaine Miraflor

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At least 13 companies expressed interest to supply the country with additional 500,000 metric
tons (MT) of rice through a government to private (G2P) importation, which will be done in
order to inject more stocks to the National Food Authority (NFA).

(FILE PHOTO/ MANILA BULLETIN)

On Wednesday, NFA conducted the pre-bidding for the supply and delivery of the 500,000 MT
of 25 percent brokens, well-milled, long grain white rice, import contracts of which will be
awarded on November 20.

The companies that participated in the bidding are Asia Golden Rice Co. Ltd., Thai Hua Co.
Ltd., Ponglarp Co. Ltd., Gia International Corp., Shwe Wah Yaung Agriculture Production Co.,
Ltd., Vietnam Northern Food Corp. (VinaFood I), Hiep Loi Joint Stock Company, Phoenix
Global DMCC, Meskay & Femtee Trading Co. (Pvt.) Ltd., VinaFood 2, Tan Long Group Joint
Stock Company, Olam International, Capital Cereals Co. Ltd.

The 500,000 MT is divided into nine lots with 14 designated discharge ports, including Subic
(118,000 MT), Manila (75,000 MT), La Union (65,000 MT), Batangas (40,000 MT), General
Santos City (32,500 MT), Tabaco (30,000 MT), Cagayan De Oro (26,700 MT), Cebu (25,000
MT), Iloilo (20,000 MT), Tacloban (20,000 MT), Zamboanga (17,300 MT), Davao (12,500 MT),
Surigao (10,000 MT), and Bacolod (8,000 MT).

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The first half of 250,000 should be delivered not later than December 31, while the remaining
250,000 MT should arrive in the country not later than January 31, 2019.

During the last time the NFA conducted an open tender importation, which was held on October
18, the agency failed to award all the import contracts as most of the bidders found it hard to
meet the country‘s reference price.

With majority of the bid offers exceeding the NFA‘s approved budget of US$428.18 per MT,
only 47,000 MT of the 250,000 MT worth of rice import contracts were awarded to three foreign
suppliers who offered prices lower than the approved budget.

NFA then attempted to secure offers for the supply of the remaining volume of 203,000 MT of
rice through a government-to government (G2G) importation Wednesday but also failed.

This, as the governments of Thailand and Vietnam, the only two countries with existing
Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Rice Trade with the Philippines, decided not to
participate in the bidding.

Vietnam and Thailand both said in separate letters to the state-run grains agency that they found
it hard to comply with the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the said importation.

Thailand, in particular, complained about the reassignment of discharge port, fumigation


conditions, penalty for short delivery and short landed, among others.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, who now serves as the chair of NFA Council, said the
re-bidding for this will be done next week.

The series of rice importations by the NFA is intended to continuously replenish the agency‘s
buffer stocks in line with the President‘s d

https://business.mb.com.ph/2018/11/07/13-foreign-bidders-vying-to-supply-500000-mt-rice/

NFA-Bicol orders public markets, retailers to lower rice

prices
By PTV News - CD

November 7, 2018

LEGAZPI CITY — The National Food Authority (NFA) regional office here has lowered the
price of its rice sold in public markets and accredited retailers.

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Henry Tristeza, NFA regional director, in an interview on Tuesday, said the move was in
compliance with Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol‘s directive to lower the price of NFA rice in
all public markets from PHP32 to PHP27 per kilo.

―The decision to lower down the prices of NFA rice is to cushion the effect of the high inflation
rate in Bicol and the increasing prices of prime commodities in the country,‖Tristeza said.

―Tulong ito ng gobyerno sa lahat ng mamamayan lalo na ang mga nasa poverty line ng bansa
(It‘s the government‘s way to help the people, especially those who belong to the poverty line),‖
he added.

According to Tristeza, their accredited retailers who bought rice at higher price from NFA
warehouses region-wide will not be affected by the decision because most of them are almost
running out of stocks and they are about to buy another round of stocks.

Tristeza also warned retailers not to take advantage of the lower price of NFA rice by labeling
their stocks as commercial rice.

―We have a ‗One strike policy‘ and whoever violates would be meted out penalties and fine,‖ he
said.

The official also said that on Friday, NFA-Bicol will implement the SRP, or suggested retail
price, on all commercial rice in the region.

They will require all the commercial rice traders to put SRPs beginning Friday.

―We are just waiting on the guidelines regarding the SRP program from our central office in
Manila, we will convene the inter-agency to discuss about the implementation,‖ Tristeza said.

Meanwhile, the regional director said that based from their latest monitoring, prices of
commercial rice sold in public markets are now PHP2 to PHP3 lower per kilogram.

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The NFA expects traders and retailers to gradually lower prices of commercial rice as more NFA
rice imports are expected the flood the markets soon. At the same time, the agency continues to
buy palay from farmers.

Tristeza said they have been given the go-signal to procure palay from farmers at a higher price.

They are buying palay from farmers at PHP20.70 per kilo or an additional of PHP3 per kilo as
buffer stock incentive and additional of 30 centavos per 30 kilometers as delivery incentive from
the origin to NFA warehouse. (Jorge Hallare/PNA)

https://www.ptvnews.ph/nfa-bicol-orders-public-markets-retailers-to-lower-rice-prices/

Northern localities work hard to improve rice


productivity

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VNA WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 07, 2018 -
15:11:00

Illustrative photo (Photo: VNA)

Nam Dinh (VNA) – Vietnam‘s northern region harvested some 5.6 million tonnes of rice during
the summer-autumn crop, up more than 320,000 tonnes from the same period last year, heard a
recent conference.

Tran Xuan Dinh, deputy head of the Department of Crop Production under the Ministry of
Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), said at the conference that each hectare of rice
produces an average of 5 tonnes, up 0.35 tonne against 2017.

Since the beginning of this year, the localities have shifted over 10,480 hectares of rice to other
crops, a year-on-year rise of 1,800 hectares, the official said.

As of early October 2018, the northern provinces had cultivated nearly 280,000 hectares of

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vegetables, mostly corn, sweet potato, soybean and peanut, he added.

Many localities have applied science and technology in production, Dinh said, taking the organic
rice farming model in Hanoi‘s Chuong My district and the rice production-consumption chain in
Nam Dinh province which have yielded high economic values as examples.

It is forecast that the region will face water shortages during the upcoming winter-spring crop.

Given this, northern midland and mountainous provinces have taken the initiative in shifting rice
cultivation to other crops.

Apart from forming large-scale rice fields, regional localities have also continued with
technological application in production in order to raise productivity and quality.

MARD Deputy Minister Le Quoc Doanh urged cities and provinces to roll out preferential
policies and incentives to attract investors in agriculture and rural areas, while developing
linkage chains among farmers as well as between farmers and businesses to ensure markets for
local products.

He also suggested expanding services of enterprises, cooperatives and farmers‘ groups in the
supply of varieties, materials and pesticide, and irrigation to cut production cost and improve
efficiency.

The region is expected to cultivate more than 1.1 million hectares of rice and garner some 7.2
million tonnes in the upcoming winter-spring crop.-VNA
https://en.vietnamplus.vn/northern-localities-work-hard-to-improve-rice-
productivity/141444.vnp

High rice price has farmers split over harvested crops


By NNT

November 7, 2018

Surin – The Ministry of Commerce is providing harvesters to rice growers as higher prices have
prompted many to maximize their harvests this season.
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With Hom Mali rice prices now between 16,000 and 17,000 baht per ton, rice growers
nationwide have rushed to harvest their fields, creating a shortage of rental harvesters. A media
survey of whether or not harvested rice will be sold to market or entered into government credit
programs has found opinions are split.

Most farmers in Surin province have begun drying their rice for entry into state programs
seeking to maintain rice prices by delaying produce put to market. Only those in need of
immediate cash have said they intend to sell their rice this season.

The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) in Si Sa Ket province has held
a session hosted by relevant authorities on the rice credit program, which urges rice farmers to
receive credit in exchange for state storage of their rice so that the grain may be sold when
market prices are higher.

In Nakhon Ratchasima, farmers in Non Soong district have begun drying their rice for sale to
mills and cooperatives as well as to fellow farmers in Phra Thong Kam district, who are seeking

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to regrow their crops after extended drought damaged much of their rice fields. The district is
selling its rice at 14,000 baht per ton or 14 baht per kilogram.

A group harvesting program has been kicked off in Roi Et province, encouraging local farmers to
work together to better manage and improve the quality of their rice. The province is to hold a
World Hom Mali Rice Festival from November 21-28.

https://www.pattayamail.com/thailandnews/high-rice-price-farmers-split-harvested-crops-
230936

Rice exports to EU to be hit by tariffs


Sum Manet / Khmer Times

Maxpixel/CC0 & Reuters

Cambodia is looking for new markets abroad for its rice, following news of impending tariffs in
the European Union.

Hun Lak, vice president of the Cambodia Rice Federation, said the EU intends to impose tariffs
on Cambodian rice based on complaints raised by Italy and Spain.

―They produce their own rice and they requested that the EU protects their rice instead,‖ Mr Lak
said.

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―We enjoy the benefits of the Everything-but-arms (EBA) treaty, but the new tariffs will affect
our export to the EU by making our rice less competitive.

―We must diversify away from the EU market. We are looking at China, one of the biggest
markets for Cambodia,‖ Mr Lak said, adding that Cambodia needs to continue to reduce the cost
of production and transportation while enhancing quality.

Italy, along with six other European Union countries, filed a request to the European Union to
activate a ‗safeguard clause‘ that allows EU member states to impose barriers to protect against
trade imbalances.

Fragrant rice now sells for $900 per ton, while white rice fetches $500 per ton, said Mr Lak.

The EU intends to impose tariffs of 175 euros per ton during the first year, 150 euros in the
second year, and 125 euros in the next.

Song Saran, CEO of Amru Rice Cambodia, commented on the ‗safeguard clause‘ on his
Facebook profile.

―It is totally biased. The Italian and Spanish farmers switched to Japonica variety because they
get higher profit margins than they do with the Indica variety. Then they blamed Cambodia and
Myanmar for exporting cheap Indica rice to the EU.

―Our farmers have to switch to other varieties and diversify their markets to keep fighting for
survival. No one will help us, only Khmers can help Khmers,‖ Mr Saran commented.

According to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture, Cambodia exported 389,264 tonnes of
rice in the first nine months of 2018, a drop of 8.4 percent. China continues to be Cambodia‘s top
export market.

In November last year, Cambodia signed memorandums of understanding with the Export-
Import Bank of China and CITIC Group Cooperation to help the Kingdom increase paddy
production and boost rice exports.

The agreements aim to increase rice exports to China beyond the 300,000 tonnes now allowed by
the quota in place.

https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50548309/rice-exports-to-eu-to-be-hit-by-tariffs/

Midterm Election Results


By Jamison Cruce

WASHINGTON, DC -- Most midterm elections results are in and the


Record turnout for
for-sure case is that Democrats have taken control of the House and a midterm election
Republicans solidified their hold of the Senate. Democrats in the House
gained 27 seats as of press time with 17 races yet to be called. Senate
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Republicans picked up two seats out of 32, with three races still to be called.

Most rice state/district incumbents held on to their seats and will return
to Congress. Exceptions include Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill (D)
who lost to Republican Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley. A
runoff election in Mississippi between incumbent Senator Cindy Hyde-
Smith (R) and Mike Espy (D), a former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, will take place on
November 27. In terms of House races, the only rice district race yet to be called is California's
10th Congressional District where incumbent Rep. Jeff Denham (R) is facing Democratic
challenger Josh Harder. Congressman-Elect Dan Crenshaw (R) won in Texas' 2nd
Congressional District, taking over the seat of retiring Rep. Ted Poe (R).

The change in House leadership for the 116th Congress, which convenes in January, is sure to
continue to keep things in Washington interesting. It's widely reported that current Minority
Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will again be Speaker of the House, however, there is no
guarantee. House Democrats will soon hold leadership elections and Pelosi could face a
challenger vying for the most powerful position in the chamber. It's also widely reported that
current Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is likely to become the
Minority Leader since current House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) is retiring, though McCarthy
could face a challenger as well.

If Pelosi becomes Speaker, she has publicly stated several times that shake-ups to committee
leadership is not one of her goals, meaning that current House Committee Ranking Members will
presumably take over as chairs. In the case of the House Agriculture Committee, Ranking
Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) will take over the gavel and again become chairman. House
Agriculture Subcommittee leadership could fall to the current ranking members: Rep. David
Scott (D-GA), Commodity, Exchanges, Energy and Credit; Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH),
Conservation and Forestry; Rep.

Jim McGovern (D-MA), Nutrition; and Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), Livestock and Foreign
Agriculture. The two unknowns would be the General Farm Commodities and Risk
Management Subcommittee and the Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research Subcommittee as
both ranking members, Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN) and Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM),
respectively, are leaving Congress at the end of the current session.

In the Senate it's expected Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will keep the head post for the
majority and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will remain Minority Leader. A new majority whip
will be elected by Republicans as current Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) is term-limited and must
vacate the seat. Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) was not up for reelection
this cycle and should remain at the head of the committee. Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow
(D-MI) won her re-election and will likely keep her post, as well.

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The outcome of this election will have an impact on USA Rice's legislative priorities, from the
Farm Bill to trade.The 2014 Farm Bill expired on September 30. Now that there is a lame duck
115th Congress, it's critical that a new Farm Bill is passed before the next Congress takes over in
January. If a farm bill is not passed by the end of this year and no extension of the 2014 farm
bill is passed, then the legislative process must start all over. If this is the case, a new Farm Bill
final product is destined to look much different in the 116th Congress than what the conferees
are currently negotiating.

While it's likely that the Senate bill wouldn't look much different than the bill passed in June of
this year, with Republicans maintaining the majority, a bill out of the House with a Democratic
majority has the potential to be drastically different. Rep. Peterson, the presumptive incoming
chair of the House Agriculture Committee, has already stated publicly that he does not want to
write another bill and is pushing for a conference report to be approved by both chambers before
the end of the year.

In terms of trade, barriers could compromise Congress' approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada


Agreement (USMCA), NAFTA's proposed replacement, due to Democratic concerns with the
agreement not containing more enforceable labor standards and environmental
protections.Brokering any legislative win for U.S. trade with Cuba is now also up in the air as
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), who secured an amendment in the Senate version of the Farm Bill
to allow for agriculture trade promotion program dollars to be used in Cuba, lost her bid for re-
election. It's yet to be seen if this amendment will be included in the conference report.

SUDDEN HEAT CAN DRIVE RNA CHANGES IN


PLANTS
NOVEMBER 7TH, 2018POSTED BY MATT SWAYNE-PENN STATE

UNIVERSITY
PENN STATE

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, according to a new study.The study with rice plants

shows that a sudden increase in temperature 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

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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 they cope with high temperatures and drought
conditions, says Sarah M. Assmann, professor of biology at Penn State.

While more studies are needed, the current work may serve as an important first step in helping
farmers produce more heat and drought-resistant crops, researchers say.

HEATING UP
―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,‖ says 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.‖

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, says Philip
Bevilacqua, 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.
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―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,‖ says Bevilacqua.

STRESSED OUT
To create heat stress, the researchers subjected one group of two-week old rice seedlings to
above normal temperatures—108 degrees Fahrenheit—for just 10 minutes and compared those
plants to a control group of plants growing at 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

―We chose such a short time because the refolding 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,‖ says 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,‖ says Assmann.

CROPS OF THE FUTURE


According to Bevilacqua, this process offers hints on next steps for 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,‖ he says.

Zhao Su, lead author of the paper, says the study also uncovered new insights into gene
regulation.―This study reveals a new layer of gene regulation that was previously not
appreciated,‖ he says. ―In particular, we showed that mRNAs encoding one specific type of
regulatory protein, transcription factors, are especially targeted for degradation by unfolding
under high temperatures.‖

The research will appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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

Source: Penn State


https://www.futurity.org/plants-heat-stress-rna-1906422/

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Study calls for revisiting of potato pricing model
By Emmanuel Ntirenganya

November 06, 2018

A study by Rwanda Civil Society Platform calls for revisiting of potato pricing. File.

A study conducted last year has found that the minimum price set for potato farmers was being
abused and that the farmers were the victims.

The research was informed by low prices or market issues expressed by farmers for their
produce, lack of farmers‘ say in setting prices for their produce, and insufficient access to, and
use of quality agricultural inputs (seeds, fertilisers, and agro-chemicals such as pesticides for
crop protection), which adversely affects farm productivity.

It was commissioned by Rwanda Civil Society Platform (RCSP).

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―Even as prices of potatoes increased to between Ref450 and Rwf500 a kilo of Irish potato in
Kigali markets as of September 19, 2018, farm gate prices remained at Rwf191,‖ said Dr Michel
Rwibasira, one of the researchers who carried out the study.

Under the theme; ―Analysis of Value Chain for Intensified Crops and market price in Rwanda,‖
the case study: maize, Irish potatoes and rice, the research collected data from 577 respondents
from across the three intensified crops (IC) in targeted districts producing such crops (Nyabihu,
Musanze, and Burera [for Irish potatoes production]; Gatsibo and Nyagatare in Eastern Province;
Ruhango and Gisagara in Southern Province, and Rusizi in Western Province.

Kimironko and Mulindi food markets in Kigali were also surveyed as well as views of
consumers.

―Farmers requested that such profits should be redistributed evenly among all people engaged in
the potato value chain, including farmers,‖ he said.

They expressed their dismay for not having a say in what happens to their produce beyond
harvesting, especially for Irish potatoes.

―There is a need to have farmer protection mechanisms against what they called unfair pricing;
farmers need to be empowered to participate in value chain activities beyond production,‖ reads
part of the study.

The price of a kilo of potatoes to a farmer has been set at between Rwf140 and Rwf170 during
peak season by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM), after consulting different
stakeholders in the business, including farmers‘ cooperatives and potato traders. The price
depends on the quality and type of potato in question.

However, potato farmers, including Clemence Mukarugwiza of Karago Sector, and Martin
Niyibizi from Kintobo Sector both in Nyabuhu District told The New Times that the set prices

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are sometimes not observed as they even sell as low as Rwf70 a kilo during the harvest period
because there is large supply which overweighs the demand.

Currently, they said, a kilogramme of Kinigi potatoes is Rwf180 and Rwf120 to Rwf130 for
other varieties.

―We are afraid that during the peak season in December, we will sell a kilogramme at about
Rwf70, which is not profitable for us,‖ Mukarugwiza lamented.

The Rwanda Civil Society Platform Chairperson, Jean Leonard Sekanyange said that when a
farmer hears that a kilogramme of potatoes is Rwf500 in Kigali, yet they sold it Rwf180, they
think that most of the proceeds are going to the dealer, not the farmer, which demotivates the
farmer.

―That is why we request that concerned public institutions should ensure effective mechanisms
for compliance with such pricing, and reinforce penalties against those who do not comply,‖
Sekanyange observed.

―The price should be determined by market forces. When someone sets prices yet they are not
the ones to buy the produce, it is sold at a lower price in case of oversupply and few buyers,‖ he
said.

The director of domestic trade at the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM, Cassien
Karangwa said that there were some dishonest potato dealers who wanted to make excess profits
from low potato produce that resulted from disasters such as foods that adversely affected farm
produce from March this year, and they were selling potatoes at higher prices of Rwf450 and
Rwf500.―We have taken measures to inspect markets and punish such dishonest dealers who
hike prices to make undue benefits,‖ Karangwa said.

https://www.newtimes.co.rw/news/study-calls-revisiting-potato-pricing-model

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Awareness about anti-rice stubble burning to control smog need
of hour: Benish
November 8, 2018
Staff Reporter

Additional Secretary Agriculture (Task Force) Benish Fatima Sahi has said that Punjab is on the
edge due to environmental pollution. She said that smog causes to effect human health and
people have to suffer in case of smog effects.
The Additional Secretary Agriculture (Task Force) said that dense smog has adverse effect for
not only human beings but also for the crops. So, it is need of time to disseminate information
regarding anti-rice stubble burning among farming community in a more effective and targeted
manner.
Benish Fatima stated this while presiding over a meeting to review rice crop situation and its off-
season management practices at Rice Research Institute, KalaShah Kaku on Wednesday. High
officials of Agriculture Department attended this meeting.
Additional Secretary Agriculture (Task Force) briefed that due to smog, photosynthesis process
in leaves of crops is also affected and plants cannot make their necessary food.
Plants, under the effect of smoggy clouds, cannot prepare necessary hormones for its growth and
per acre yield of crops may affect due to this situation. He said the government is paying special
heed towards Anti-Smog campaign and more than 200 FIRs have been registered against persons
who are involved in rice burning incidents.
The spokesman advised instead of burning of rice stubble, farmers should mix the crop residual
into the soil through deep plough through rotavator or disc harrow. This year Agriculture
Department will monitor & report burning of Rice stubbles incidents on day today basis.
Under section-144, Government of Punjab has imposed ban on burning of crop residuals. Field
Assistant of Agriculture Department is monitoring and reporting incident of rice stubble burning
to their Divisional Director & Director (M & E) on daily basis.
Researchers and experts also briefed Additional Secretary about departmental activity regarding
off-season management of Rice crop.

https://pakobserver.net/awareness-about-anti-rice-stubble-burning-to-control-smog-need-of-hour-benish/

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Vietnam, Thailand withdraw from bidding to supply 203,000
MT rice to PH

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.

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 market. However, Yacapin
contends that Thailand and Vietnam's withdrawal is not a cause for alarm since they are

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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. 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.]
http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2018/11/06/vietnam-thailand-bidding-ph-rice.html

Deal with Philippines eyed for rice commercialisation


By JEFFREY ELAPA The signing of a memorandum-of-agreement (MoA) between Papua New Guinea and
Philippines on Nov 16 will herald the beginning of rice commercialisation in PNG, both
countries say. Agriculture and Livestock Minister Benny Allan and Philippines Ambassador
Bien V Tejano asserted this during a visit to the Pacific Adventist University rice model farm
outside Port Moresby yesterday, which will have its first harvest next month.

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The signing will be done between agriculture ministers of the two countries while Philippines
President Rodrigo Duterte and Prime Minister Peter O‘Neill will witness at the PAU farm.
Duterte will be in PNG for the Apec leaders‘ summit at that time. Initial discussions were made
by the leaders of the two countries during Apec 2017 in Vietnam, and a State visit by O‘Neill to
the Philippines this year. After the initial discussion, 19 technical officers from department of
agriculture of Philippines started an initial rice modelling research station at PAU, which will
become a seed bank centre for rice in the region and the country.

Allan said four different types of rice varieties would be trialled at PAU and distributed
throughout Central and PNG. He said the centre would also be used to train rice farmers. Allan
said there were already investors from the Philippines ready to invest in rice farming in the
country, with the agreement opening up the floodgates. ―This is a good project to set the tone for
rice growing in PNG on a bigger economic scale to meet the local demand and even to export
and supply the Philippines population of 150 million people,‖ he said. ―The MoA of Nov 16 will
set that course for rice production, seen as a food security issue for this country.‖ Tejano said the
water, climate and soil was conducive for paddy rice farming in the country. He said the project
would expand throughout Central and the Southern Region.

Tejano said PNG imported 400 tonnes of rice annually at a cost of K500 million while the
Philippines need eight million tonnes of rice to feed 150 million people. He said most of that rice

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was imported from Thailand and Vietnam but that could change with PNG coming into the
picture. Tejano said the project could feed the people of PNG within three years as it only needed
18,000ha, with more land available. He said rice production would reduce the price of rice, retain
foreign currency, bring in more revenue, address food security and provide job employment
opportunities.
https://www.thenational.com.pg/deal-with-philippines-eyed-for-rice-commercialisation/

Rice thefts worry farmers amid high prices


 7 Nov 2018 at 16:10 WRITER: NILA SINGKHIRI AND MAKKAWAN WANNAKUL

A farmer in Muang district in Chayaphum province dries his rice outdoor to reduce moisture.
(Photo by Makkawan Wannakul)

Farmers are putting up their guard against rice thefts after several cases have been reported this
year in the wake of high prices.Noosin Damri, a farmer in Warin Chamrap district of Ubon
Ratchathani province, on Monday lodged a complaint at the Huay Khayung police station. She
claimed 16 bags of Hom Mali rice paddy weighing about 450kg had been stolen from her
granary. (continues below)

Noosin Damri, a farmer in Ubon Ratchathani province, is a victim of rice thefts this year. (Photo
by Nila Singkhiri)

She told police that she had heard the sound of a motorcycle leaving her house around 1.30am
and suspected it could be the vehicle used by the thieves.

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The loss was estimated at 6,000 baht or more based on the current prices of between 13,800 and
17,500 baht per tonne, according to a recent joint survey by the Commerce Ministry and the
Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry.

"That paddy won't make them rich. What they did to me was a sin," Ms Noosin said.

Huay Khayung police found only two pairs of sneakers and motorcycle tyre traces near her barn.

This year is a good year for farmers. Paddy prices have fetched high prices due to drought in the
lower northeastern provinces which diminishes supply while the demand remains high, the
Office of Agriculture Economics has said.

The prices of Hom Mali rice paddy from August to September were quoted at 13,800-17,500
baht a tonne, up from 11,550-14,250 baht a year earlier. The prices of 5% white rice paddy were
7,500-8,000 baht a tonne, up from 7,300-7,8000 baht.

The good news stokes worries about rice thefts. Officials in Chaiyaphum, Amnat Charoen, Roi
Et and Nong Khai provinces, as well as those in other areas, have urged farmers to be vigilant
when drying their produce, a common practice aimed at fetching better prices when the grain is
sold to rice mills. Rice paddy with lower moisture content is normally sold for higher prices.
(continued below)

A tent for farmers to guard their rice is seen near a village ground in Muang district of
Chayaphum province. (Photo by Makkawan Wannakul)

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In Chaiyaphum's Muang district, farmers have to take turns guarding their paddy dried on school
football fields, temple lawns and village roads.

"We volunteer to guard our rice around the clock," Fok Promyaem, a farmer of tambon
Cheelong, said.

Samran Boonpriem, who has rice fields at Ban Khai in tambon Ban Khai, said her family,
including her husband and sons, stayed outdoor near the village ground at night to make sure the
family's paddy was safe.

"Sometimes, we can hardly sleep. Whenever we hear vehicles coming nearby, we wake up and
turn on the flashlight," she said.

Chaiyaphum police chief Pol Maj Gen Sompot Khomprang said all police stations in the
provinces are working with farmers by stepping up their patrol duty, targeting strangers in
villages who might be rice thieves.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1571650/rice-thefts-worry-farmers-amid-high-prices

Where to, rice tariffication?


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By: Omi C. Royandoyan - @inquirerdotnet
05:04 AM November 06, 2018

The Philippines is now entering a tariff-based regime with the expected lifting of the quantitative
restriction on rice after three extensions granted by the World Trade Organization (WTO). The last
extension was delayed due to unresolved issues, such as the role of the state trading enterprise,
among others.

Quantitative restriction is a WTO trade rule instrument that restricts entry of cheap imports — rice
in our case. On the other hand, a tariff-based regime is a WTO trade rule that allows the open, free
entry of goods as long as taxes and customs duties are paid in accordance with tariff rates.

Rice farmers, civil society organizations and food security advocates, including the Department of
Agriculture (DA), have repeatedly said that tariffication without necessary support is detrimental to
our rice industry. Since the recent rice crisis, economic managers have focused their responses on
importation, as if rice tariffication is the primary solution.

The rationale behind this is not so much about making the rice industry — particularly small rice
farm holders — competitive, but simply to reduce the prices of locally produced rice by importing
cheap rice. Vietnam and Thailand are our major sources of the staple.

The 2017 rice supply data show that the country‘s level of rice production is sufficient. The total
rice/food requirement is 12,659,235.6 metric tons, while production of milled rice is equivalent to
12,529,625.31, short of 129,610.29 metric tons to fill the rice production gap. If we include the
National Food Authority‘s (NFA) imported 243,992 metric tons of rice and the government‘s
obligation with the minimum access volume that allows private sector imports of 600,000 metric
tons, the total rice supply for 2017 is at a comfortable 14 million.

However, it appears that rice tariffication is in the works to influence domestic prices. If economic
managers had their way, their solution is to flood the local market with cheap imported rice.

This is problematic. This rice is subsidized with corresponding infrastructure support. And the
production cost per kilo in Vietnam is P6.53 as against Philippine paddy rice of P12.41 per kg.
With the 35-percent Asean rice tariff, it will be difficult for Filipino rice farmers to compete.
According to PhilRice, ―even with 35-percent tariff rate, imported rice from Vietnam, the least

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expensive among the three (Vietnam, Thailand, India), is about 21 percent cheaper than domestic
rice.‖

Because of that, whatever rice production gains that have been achieved will be put to waste with
tariffication sans state support. Tariffication runs opposite to what rice farmers have campaigned
for, which is to level the playing field against importation. The government‘s consistent support for
and protection of Filipino rice farmers is paramount to ensuring competitiveness. Rice importation
is not the solution.

Nonstate actors have been actively pursuing sustainable rice production as the solution to a
liberalized food trade regime. Unfortunately, the Senate and the economic managers have been
lukewarm to suggestions that any plan prior to full implementation of rice tariffication be put in
place to address weaknesses in the rice industry.

Competing under a tariff-based regime is difficult. Rice farmers need at least six to eight cropping
seasons to be competitive. The Senate bill on rice tariffication is not much of help to farmers,
either. It is contemplating the abolition of the NFA by reducing functions to direct rice importation.
Meaning, they want rice importation to become the sole responsibility of traders and importers.

The DA made it clear that abolishing the NFA would mean giving up flexibility imposed by the
WTO. A strong NFA is a policy vehicle for the government that protects farmers‘ interests.

If a liberalized rice trade regime becomes a main policy track, a substantial reduction in rice
production, where a sizable number of rice lands will be primed for land conversion, becomes the
future. This scenario is favorable to real estate developers, since these rice lands are strategically
located near town centers. The further we liberalize our rice industry, the bigger the risk of food
insecurity.

***

Omi C. Royandoyan is executive director of Centro Saka and founding chair of Alyansa
Agrikultura.

https://opinion.inquirer.net/117275/where-to-rice-tariffication#ixzz5WGNVTXKg

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DA eyes cassava, sweet potato, corn as alternative to rice
By PTV News - FFF

November 6, 2018

RICE AWARENESS MONTH. Regional Executive Director Remelyn R. Recoter (second from
right) cuts the ribbon to kick off the celebration of the Rice Awareness Month this November in
Western Visayas held at the SM City Iloilo on Monday (November 5, 2018). (Photo by Perla Lena)

ILOILO CITY — The Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Field Unit 6 is again calling on
the public to patronize other alternative staple food rather than relying solely on rice as the country
observes Rice Awareness Month this November.

In her message during the launching of the awareness month celebration held at SM City on Nov. 5,
Agriculture Regional Executive Director Remelyn R. Recoter identified other staple foods such as
cassava, sweet potato or camote, banana (saba variety) and even the white corn. Using these
substitute foods can reduce the demand for rice.

―There is pressure in the rice industry to produce more. The country‘s per capita consumption is 119
kilos per person,‖ she said.

She added that the 70-30 rice-corn mixture is found to be acceptable based on a study conducted
among schoolchildren in Los Baños, Laguna. It has better nutritional values.

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In addition, DA is also pushing for brown rice consumption, which is healthier compared with the
well-milled rice.

Nonetheless, this Rice Awareness Month, Recoter encouraged the public to be ―RICEponsible‖. One
of the objectives of the celebration is to instill the values of responsible rice consumption among
consumers.

―What is important is we would be able to disseminate to our consuming public the importance of
rice, being the staple food not only of Filipinos but half of the population of the globe. In the
Philippines, rice is considered a political commodity,‖ she said.

The RICEponsible campaign also focuses on improving the competitiveness of farmers to produce
quality rice.

―We are hoping that with the interventions of the government we would be able to uplift the lives of
our farmers,‖ Recoter added.

This year‘s celebration anchors on the theme ―Quality Rice, Quality Life‖.

―In the theme we are encouraging stakeholders to patronize local products, especially the produce of
Filipino farmers, such as our rice variants to achieve safe and quality food for a long life,‖ said James
Earl Ogatis, regional information officer.

Meantime, to entice the public to patronize brown rice, DA also offered a free tasting of cooked
brown rice during the launching program.

It was followed by an agriculture exhibit and brown rice cooking challenge held in the afternoon.

A three-kilometer fun run will also be held on Nov. 24 dubbed ―Run for Rice‖ to promote
responsible consumption. (Perla Lena/PNA)

https://www.ptvnews.ph/da-eyes-cassava-sweet-potato-corn-as-alternative-to-rice/

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US Report on Rice import fake as Atiku Media Organisation
goofed
– Lai Mohammed ON NOVEMBER 6, 20186:08

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru ABUJA – THE Federal Government Tuesday debunked the report by
the United States Department of Agriculture World Markets and Trade that Nigeria imported
three million metric tonnes of rice in 2018. The government also said that the Atiku Campaign
Organization goofed by relying on what he described as a fake report from the US Department of
Agriculture. Lai Mohammed The US report had said that the import figure is 400,000 metric
tonnes higher than the quantity of the product that was imported in 2017.

The report also stated that Nigeria‘s local rice production dropped from 2016 to 2018 compared
to the situation in 2015. The report ran contrary to several claims by the Nigerian government
that local rice production had increased while importation had dropped by up to 90 per cent.
The report, which was released in October, showed that since 2016, Nigeria had consistently
milled 3,780,000 metric tonnes annually which is a reduction from 3,941,000 metric tonnes
recorded in 2015. Briefing State House correspondents, the Minister of Information and Culture,
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said he had contacted the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria
Customs Service, the Minister of Agriculture and rice millers on the authenticity of the report
and that they all dismissed the report as untrue.

According to him, whereas 1.2 million metric tonnes of rice was exported to Nigeria in 2014,
the figure declined to 644,000 in 2015 and went further downward to 25,000 in 2016. Hebsaid, ―I
am sure many of you read the report of United States Department of Agriculture World Markets
and Trade Report that falsely claimed that Nigeria Nigeria imported three million metric tonnes
of rice in 2018, which is 400,000 metric tonnes more than the quantity of the product imported in
2017. ―And also that local production was on the decline and that these facts fly in the face of
government‘s claim of what it achieved in the area of rice production. ―I want to say categorical
that that story is false. Predictably, the Atiku Media Organisation, this afternoon latched onto the
story, we are not surprised. ―I want to say categorically that that story is fake and that Atiku
Media Organisation also goofed. ―Immediately that story broke out, I contacted Central Bank of
Nigeria and Comptroller General of Customs, I had meetings with the Rice Producers
Association and also with the Millers and they all confirmed that that story is not true.

―For starters, you can‘t import rice without a Form M being approved. You can‘t import rice
without Letter of Credit. So we challenge the US Department of Agriculture World Markets and
Trade Report to provide evidence that Form M was opened to bring in 400,000 metric tonnes
over and above that of last year and that Letter of Credit were open for these. ―Two, the records

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are very clear as to the importation of rice, you don‘t have to take my words but go to Thailand
Rice Miller and the figures are there. In 2014, 1.2 million metric tonnes of rice was exported to
Nigeria, in 2015, 644 metric tonnes of rice was exported to Nigeria, by 2015 it went down to
5,000 metric tonnes. These are not my figures, these are figures from the Thailand Rice
Association. ―And the claim that local rice production is on the decline is again absolutely false.

Yesterday (Monday), when I spoke to the millers, all of them said, please just come to Kano,
come to my factory you are going to see two kilometers length of trailers waiting to discharge
paddy rice. ―So I want to say category again without fear of contradiction that the Anchor
Borrowers Rice Programme is working.

Nigeria has been able to reduce by 90 percent the $1.65 billion it was paying on rice importation,
the number of integrated rice processing Mills increased from 13 to 25, those are the majors and
that between the smaller ones and the big ones, today the capacity is 4.9 metric tonnes of rice.
―That is why we are confident that in a year plus we are going to meet the six million metric
tonnes of rice production which is our local consumption.

https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/11/us-report-on-rice-import-fake-as-atiku-media-organisation-
goofed-lai-mohammed/

Navy Seizes 3,039 Bags Of Rice In C‘River


By The Tide

November 7, 2018

Authorities of Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Victory, said they had seized no fewer than 3,039 bags
of contraband rice valued at N46 million in Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River
State.
The Commander of the ship, Commodore Julius Nwagu, stated this while conducting newsmen
round the goods at the state government‘s warehouse, in Calabar.
He said that the seizure was the largest so far by the Navy in the state, and that the consignment
came in from the Republic of Cameroon and was to be sold in the open markets in Cross River.
Nwagu said the parboiled rice was smuggled through Effiong Nsung community, adding that a
suspect had been apprehended over the seizure.
He said that four trucks used in conveying the rice had been handed over to the Nigerian
Customs Service.
―The value of the rice is about N46 million and this is outside the 257.50kg bags we equally

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seized just some days ago,‘‘ he said.
Nwagu said that the Navy had zero tolerance for all forms of criminality in the nation‘s
waterways and would continue to collaborate with other agencies to end such illegalities.
―This seizure is remarkable as this is the first time the Navy will extend its tentacles to the
Bakassi waters with a view to adding momentum to the war against banned rice.―The Navy will
soon move into the market to mop up banned foreign rice.―I want to use this opportunity to
advise our traders that sooner than later we are going to move to the market, shop-by-shop, to get
every foreign rice that is banned.
―The Navy will continue to ensure that we implement government‘s policies and there is no
going back on it,‘‘ he said.He said the Force was presently waging ―serious war‘‘ against
smuggling, adding that the command was going after those who owned the products rather than
the boat drivers.Assistant Controller of Customs, Eastern Marine Command, Mr Joshua Omachi,
who received the suspect and the goods, said the command would continue to partner sister
agencies to end smuggling.

http://www.thetidenewsonline.com/2018/11/07/navy-seizes-3039-bags-of-rice-in-criver/

Nigeria‘s rice imports decline


07.11.2018 at 15h21 by APA News

The volume of rice importation into Nigeria has declined drastically in 2018, judging by the
figures obtained from various official sources.The Director, Corporate Communications at the
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Isaac Okorafor, said in Abuja that the figures obtained from
India and Thailand, (dominant rice exporters to Nigeria) indicate that as at September, Thailand
had so far exported about 5,161 metric tonnes of rice to Nigeria, while India sold only 426
tonnes as at July.

Attributing the reduction to concerted efforts by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
Development and the interventions of the CBN, he said that the Bank had not allocated any
foreign exchange for the importation of rice this year.

―The figures being bandied in certain quarters were based on unrealistic assumptions such as
satellite mapping of farms, expected demand by politicians for election campaigns and expected
losses from flooding.

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―All of these led to unauthentic conclusions that the country had imported or could import
400,000 more metric tonnes,‖ he said.

Okorafor added that the combined figure of 5, 587 tonnes of rice imports from India and
Thailand may have been rice imported on not-valid-for-forex basis.

In another development, he said that trade figures for the second quarter of 2018 received from
the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that total imports value was N2.10 billion, 16.3
percent lower than the first quarter, which was N2.51 billion and -19.9 percent lower than the
first quarter of 2017 N2.63 billion.

The report on the bureau‘s site showed that the value of imported agricultural goods in the
second quarter of 2018 (N224.52 billion) increased by 21.7 percent from quarter one, (N184.49
billion) and lower by -3.14 percent from quarter two, 2017 (N231.80 billion).

According to the report, raw materials imports in quarter two, 2018 (N261.10 billion) declined
by -8.3 percent compared to quarter one, (N284.81 billion) and lower by -14.2 percent compared
to quarter two, 2017 (N304.43 billion).

The solid minerals import in quarter two, 2018 (N17.29 billion) increased by 37 percent on a
quarter-to-quarter basis (N12.62 billion), but declined by -91 percent on a year-to-year basis
(N193.16 billion).

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Energy goods imports in quarter two, 2018 (N98.17 million) was 202.6 percent higher than
quarter one (N32.45 million), and 288.5 percent higher than quarter two, 2017 (N25.27 million).

The NBS reports that the value of manufactured goods imported in quarter two, 2018 (N1,175.86
billion) declined by -1.2 percent over the previous quarter (N1,189.97 billion) but increased by
1.6 percent over the same quarter in 2017.

He recalled that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the CBN had
been collaborating to reduce the volume of rice importation through what has become famed as
the rice revolution.

https://www.journalducameroun.com/en/nigerias-rice-imports-decline/

PH to hold another bidding for rice imports


By Leslie Gatpolintan November 6, 2018, 9:00 pm

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.

―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.

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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. (PNA)

http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1053116

Philippine rice import dependency up


According to the PSA, the country‘s Import dependency ratio (IDR) of rice increased to 6.56 percent last
year from 4.99 percent in 2016.

Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - November 6, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The country‘s rice self-sufficiency level declined to 93.44 percent
from 95.01 percent, the Philippine Statistics Authority said.

According to the PSA, the country‘s Import dependency ratio (IDR) of rice increased to 6.56
percent last year from 4.99 percent in 2016.

Rice imports went up by 39 percent to P18 billion in 2017.In terms of volume, shipments soared
46 percent to 888,085 metric tons (MT).
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The declining self-sufficiency of rice was due to the reduced share of domestic production to the
country‘s supply, while the share of rice imports increased.

The country‘s rice import dependency will further increase this year after the government
approved the procurement of 1.6 million MT of rice.

Palay (unhusked rice) production is seen to reach 18.6 million MT this year, lower than last
year‘s 19.2 million MT.

The projection is also below earlier targets of 19.4 million MT following the damage brought
about by Typhoon Ompong last month.

Agricultural products that showed high dependency on importation were garlic, peanut and
mongo, with an IDR of 90 percent, 75 percent and 51 percent, respectively.

For the livestock sector, beef continued to post a higher IDR of 36 percent, carabeef 33 percent
and pork 13 percent.

Meanwhile, importation was lesser for coffee, onion, potato and all other fishery products except
tuna.

https://www.philstar.com/business/2018/11/06/1866123/philippine-rice-import-dependency-
up#dFgCrbrIlkvPWpr5.99

Pernia says rice imports, lower oil prices to temper inflation


rate
Published November 7, 2018 2:03pm

Inflation rate may slow down if there will be unimpeded importation of rice and fish and lower
oil prices in world markets, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said
Wednesday.

Measures to address inflation, including President Rodrigo Duterte‘s Administrative Order (AO)
13, would take time before having an impact on inflation, NEDA Director General Ernesto
Pernia said.Issued on September 21, AO 13 removed the constraints and non-tariff barriers on
meat, fish and rice importation.

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President Duterte also authorized unlimited rice importation on October 9 to address unabated
price increases in basic commodities that pushed inflation to a nine-year high of 6.7 percent in
October and September.

―If the global price of oil won‘t go back up and importation of rice and fish will be implemented
in full, inflation may go down easily to below 6.5 percent,‖ Pernia said in an interview on ANC.

―The AO 13 was issued to ease importation. We want to oversupply the food market so the
prices would go down, but you cannot feel the effect right away,‖ Pernia added.

He argued that the public should also consider that the average inflation rate for the year thus far
is at 5.1 percent.

The Philippine Statistics Authority attributed the unchanged 6.7-percent inflation rate to
increases in costs of housing, water, electricity, fuel, furnishing, household equipment, routine
maintenance of the house, health, transport, recreation and culture as well as restaurant and
miscellaneous goods and services.

Prior to accelerating at a similar level in October, inflation has accelerated for nine
consecutive months. —Llanesca Panti/VDS, GMA News
http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/money/economy/673867/pernia-says-rice-
imports-lower-oil-prices-to-temper-inflation-rate/story/

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.

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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 on Nov. 20. (Reporting
by Enrico dela Cruz; writing by Manolo Serapio Jr.; editing by Richard Pullin)

https://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKCN1ND0T3-OZATP

Nigeria’s rice importation rises by 400,000 tonnes – US


report
November 6, 2018

Nigeria imported three million metric tonnes of rice in 2018, which is 400,000 metric tonnes
more than the quantity of the product imported in 2017, according to the 2018 United States
Department of Agriculture World Markets and Trade Report.

The report also stated that Nigeria‘s local rice production dropped from 2016 to 2018 compared
to 2015.

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The report is contrary to several
claims by the Nigerian government
that local rice production has
increased while importation has
dropped by up to 90%. 
The report,
released in October, showed that
since 2016, Nigeria had
consistently milled 3,780,000
metric tonnes annually – a drop
from 3,941,000 metric tonnes
recorded in 2015.It also stated that
Nigeria recorded a higher
consumption of rice in 2018 at
6,900,000 metric tonnes – an
increase of 200,000 metric tonnes over the previous year.

The report also stated that global rice milling production for 2018 was 487,759,000 metric
tonnes; a drop of 3,758,000 metric tonnes against the 491,517,000 metric tonnes recorded in
2017.

The report said, ―Global rice production rose in October 2018, due to a higher crop yield in
India, partially offset by a reduction in rice production in Egypt.

―This is nonetheless still lower than the prior year‘s record. Global consumption by comparison,
is marginally higher. Trade is largely unchanged as higher imports for the Philippines are mostly
offset by lower imports for China.

‖
The report listed Brazil as the top producer and consumer of rice in the Western Hemisphere.
A significant import market, Brazil also became a net exporter as in 2016.

Due to higher supplies in 2018, Brazil has reverted to its position as not only a net exporter but
also as the top South American supplier to the global market.

―Brazil is forecast to export one million tons (milled basis) in 2018, declining to 850,000 tons in
2019 due to increased competition from Paraguay, Guyana, and Argentina.

https://www.blueprint.ng/nigerias-rice-importation-rises-by-400000-tonnes-us-report/

Rice self-sufficiency down to 93.44%


By: Karl R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:04 AM November 06, 2018

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The ability of local farmers to meet consumer demand for rice decreased last year as the country‘s
reliance on rice imports grew.

The share of local rice production to the total rice supply in the market may decline even further
this year after the government decided to lift the limit on rice imports that enter the country.

A report by the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that the country‘s rice self-sufficiency ratio
in 2017 declined to 93.44 percent from 95.01 percent in 2016.

During that period, the country‘s dependence on rice imports slightly went up to 6.56 percent from
the 2016 level of 4.99 percent.

That level is expected to rise after President Duterte allowed the entry of more rice imports to tame
soaring prices.

Unabated increases in rice prices were felt by consumers for the first 10 months of 2018, leading
prices to all-time highs.

In the island-provinces of Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, rice prices reached a high of
P70 a kilo.

The price spike was caused by rising global oil prices and the implementation of a new tax law that
pushed production costs up. This was aggravated by the National Food Authority‘s delayed
distribution of cheap, subsidized rice, which caused panic among retailers and consumers.

If all government-approved imports push through this year, the country‘s rice imports may reach
about 2.5 million tons—the highest since 2008.

Mr. Duterte had intended to push for rice self-sufficiency within the first two years of his term, but
later admitted that it would be unlikely for the country to achieve that goal.

Nonetheless, the Department of Agriculture continues to push for programs that will boost the
country‘s rice supply.

The agency is hoping to increase the farm sector‘s average production to 6 metric tons (MT) per
hectare (ha) from the current level of 4.38 MT per ha before the end of Mr. Duterte‘s term, which,

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according to the Philippine Rice Research Institute, was enough to make the country self-sufficient
in the staple.

The country‘s production cost for rice is P12 a kilo. This is almost double the production cost in
Vietnam at P6.50 a kilo and Thailand at P9 a kilo, where most of the rice imports come from.

According to a study made by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, the deregulation of
rice imports could reduce the country‘s inflation rate by 0.4 percent and bring rice prices down by
P6 a kilo.

https://business.inquirer.net/260049/rice-self-sufficiency-down-to-93-
44#ixzz5WGPM91Ze
Philippine imports hit all-time high
Imports of iron, steel and equipment for govt's infrastructure program have widened
the trade deficit and spurred galloping inflation

By ASIA TIMES STAFF NOVEMBER 7, 2018 4:36 PM (UTC+8)

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte holds a wad of peso bills on June 20, 2017. Photo:
AFP/Ted Aljibe

Philippine imports touched an all-time high in September, bulging the national trade deficit to its
highest level in nine months and adding fuel to already hot inflationary fires.

The import bill was led by purchases of foreign capital goods to be deployed in President
Rodrigo Duterte‘s touted infrastructure-spending drive, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)
said on Wednesday.

The newly released data showed that imports were up 26.1% year on year in September, hitting a
record high of US$9.75 billion. Those were led by iron and steel, up nearly 50% from a year
earlier, and industrial machinery and equipment, up 17.3%.

Duterte has vowed his government will ―build, build, build‖ a new ―golden age‖ of infrastructure
after previous administrations have failed to realize their own big ticket plans for new roads and
rails.

The PSA will release its third quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data on Thursday. The
release will be closely watched as the government recently revised down its previous 7-8% GDP
growth target for the year to 6.5-6.9%.

The trade deficit widened to US$3.9 billion in September, marking the sixth straight month the
gap stayed above US$3 billion, Reuters reported.

The deficit spanning the January-September period rose to US$29.9 billion, up from US$17.5
billion over the same period last year, the report said.

Rising imports were met with falling exports, which dipped 2.6% month on month in September
to US$5.8 billion. Shipments had risen for three consecutive months before September‘s fall.The
trade imbalance is expected to put further pressure on the peso, which has slid near 13-year lows

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vis-à-vis the US dollar in recent months despite two recent 50 basis point benchmark interest rate
hikes.

The bigger headache for government economic managers is galloping inflation, which hit its
fastest pace in nine years in October as food, transport and utility prices have surged in recent
months.

PSA reported on Tuesday that prices of widely used goods were up 6.7% year on year in
October, the same rate recorded in September. Government officials have expressed confidence
the recent surge has steadied, though analysts and economists are uncertain.

It was not immediately clear how much recent government moves to reduce import quotas on
certain food products, including rice, contributed to the record-high imports.

PSA said on Tuesday that food and non-alcoholic drinks accounted for 3.7 percentage points of
headline inflation, but was down as a segment month on month from 9.7% in September to 9.4%
in October.

Politically sensitive rice prices, which account for nearly 10% of the basket of goods used to
compute inflation, were up 10.7% in October versus 10.4% previously, local reports said.

PSA said October‘s price pace brought year-to-date inflation to 5.1%, well beyond the central
bank‘s 2-4% target band.Authorities have recently said they aim to rein-in inflation to 4% next
year, in part by loosening further import quotas on rice. But a rising trade deficit threatens to
further depreciate the peso, making imports more expensive while driving up local prices.

Concern grows in India over Sri Lankan constitutional crisis


New Delhi is keeping a close eye on Colombo as a pro-China politician comes back
into play
By BERTIL LINTNER CHIANG MAI, NOVEMBER 7, 2018 1:52 PM (UTC+8)
A constitutional crisis is unfolding in Sri Lanka – and that is causing concern in New Delhi as it
may enable China to expand its influence in the island off India‘s southern doorstep, the regional
website Benar News reported on November 5.
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The turmoil started last week when Sri Lanka‘s president, Maithripala Sirisena, dismissed prime
minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replaced him with Mahindra Rajapaksa, a former president
who established close ties with China when he was in power between 2005 and 2015.
Wickremesinghe has claimed his dismissal was unconstitutional and refused to accept it, hence
the crisis. Wickremesinghe, who assumed office in 2015, pursued a foreign policy aimed at re-
balancing relations with India and the West, which had been strained during the previous regime,
while at the same time maintaining good relations with China.

During Rajapaksa‘s presidency, China became involved in a number of infrastructure projects,


including a massive port at Hambantota, which is part of China‘s ambitious Belt and Road
Initiative, a plan for a communications network stretching from East Asia to Africa and Europe.
Even Wickremesinghe has come under criticism for relinquishing control of Hambantota to the
Chinese last year, a decision that was taken because Sri Lanka had been unable to repay its loans
to China.
But Rajapaksa is definitely much closer to China and Hambantota was a project Wickremesinghe
inherited from his predecessors.
Benar News noted ―the speed with which Beijing congratulated Rajapaksa after his sudden
elevation to prime minister on October 26.‖ And that is what fuelled Indian worries about the
strategic balance in South Asia.
India, however, is still involved in a number of infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka, including a
plan to build a new airport in Jaffna, the main city in the largely ethnic Tamil area in north of the
island.

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Sri Lanka‘s next election, in which the offices and prime minister and president are both up for
grabs, is due in 2020.
ASIA UNHEDGED SRI LANKA INDIA CHINA MAITHRIPALA SIRISENA RANIL WICKREMESINGHE MAHINDRA
RAJAPAKSA HAMBANTOTA

Navy seizes N46m worth of contraband rice in Bakassi


… to begin mop up of foreign rice in markets
by Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

November 5, 2018

Commodore Nwagu, (L), with Assistant Controller of Customs Omachi, conducting reporters to
inspect the seized items at Government Warehouse, Customs Yard in Calabar.

Men of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Victory, Calabar, have seized 3039 bags of contraband
foreign rice worth about N46 million in Bakassi local government area of Cross River
State.Commander of NNS Victory, Commodore Julius Nwagu, who said the seizure is the largest
so far by the Navy in the State, pledged they will continue to add momentum to the war against
importation of foreign rice.

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Nwagu said as part of the fight, they will soon move into the markets to mop up foreign rice.

Conducting reporters round the seized items at the Government Warehouse, Customs Yard in
Calabar, Nwagu said was smuggled into Nigeria from Cameroon through Effiong Nsung
community in Bakassi.

―The Navy apprehended one Lawrence Onaka alongside 3039 bags of rice, four trucks used in
conveying the rice alongside four outboard engines and those goods alongside the suspect have
been handed over to the officials of the NIgerian customs service.The value of the rice is about
46 million‖ he said.

The Commander said that the Navy has zero tolerance for all forms of criminality in the nation‘s
waterways and will continue to collaborate with sister security agencies to fight such illegalities.

―This is the first time the Nigerian Navy has extended its
tentacles to the Bakassi waters and we are going to sustain
it. I want to use this opportunity to advise our traders that
sooner than later we are going to move into the market shop
by shop to get every foreign rice because they are banned.
The Navy will continue to ensure that we implement
governments policies and there is no going back on it,‖
Nwagu said.

Some of the seized bags of rice at Government Warehouse, Customs Yard in Calabar.

Speaking while receiving the suspect as well as the items, the Assistant Controller of Customs,
Eastern Marine Command, Joshua Omachi, said the Command will continue partnering with
sister agencies to end the problem of smuggling.

He said so far this year, about 14,000 bags of 50kg parboiled rice have been seized in the state
and reaffirmed the determination of the command to end all forms of criminalities.He disclosed
that as soon as investigations are completed the suspect will be charged to court and the goods
will be forfeited.

The suspect, Lawrence Omaka, said he got into the business in order to feed his children.
https://punchng.com/navy-customs-confiscate-n54-6m-smuggled-rice-in-calabar/

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