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November 12 ,2018

Vol 9 ,Issue 11

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SCIENTISTS SUGGEST THE USE OF JELLYFISH AS
FERTILIZER

Jan Hartman | November 11, 2018 | News, Politic |

According to research scientists, University of Tokyo, snesoid and dried the remains of the
jellyfishes ‗ very effective organic fertilizer.
It not only increases the nutrient content in the soil, but suppresses the growth of weeds,
and the newspaper Express. This is the conclusion scientists made when they began to use
the innovation in the rice fields.
Where did the idea come about? To achieve large yields in the cultivation of rice, Japanese
farmers have traditionally used large quantities of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Scientists
have searched for this alternative. And found it: fertilizer from jellyfish, which in the Pacific is
not enough, is a kind of ―two in one‖. Due to this field is saturated with nitrogen, at the same
time suppressed the growth of weeds.
As the Japanese used the jellyfish they are. This is one of the most common in the Black and
Azov seas species. So, perhaps, Ukrainian farmers it makes sense to adopt the experience of the
Japanese colleagues?
— This technology is well known to us, — says Leonid Izergin, Director of the Institute of
fisheries and environment of the sea. Back in the late 70‘s — early 80-ies of the last century, our
Institute has conducted a study on the use of jellyfish as fertilizer.
Read also: In Paris, about 70 world leaders mark the centenary of the First world war (video)
This simple technology. Directly on the ship Medusa was broken into small pieces which are
then fed to the hold. Then this mass was pumped into a conventional irrigation machine and then
rushed to the fields before sowing. The mass was deposited on the land surface, and the top —
soil layer. After three days spent sowing winter wheat.
— What is the effectiveness of this technology?
— The composition of the liquid mass of jellyfish contains valuable organic and biologically
active substances (only 17 essential amino acids, including proteins, nitrogen, phosphorus, etc.),
which are the main nutrient elements of plant nutrition, encourage their development, contribute
to greater productivity.
— Fertilizer of jellyfish contains a high concentration of organic matter, which plays an
important role in improving the physical structure of the soil, — says Evgeny Skrylnik, head of
the laboratory of NSC ―Institute of soil science and agricultural chemistry named after A. N.
Sokolovsky‖. — It is also important that the jellyfish well ―pull in‖ from the earth, radionuclides,

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heavy metals. This is true for Japan, a survivor of the accident at the nuclear power plant and
Ukraine. And plenty of jellyfish holds in soil moisture, which is lacking in the southern regions.
And jellyfish are another extremely important component of the soil — iodine. It is known that
the problem of iodine deficiency are relevant to many regions of Ukraine, including agricultural
and Zhytomyr, Kirovohrad, Vinnytsia, Poltava, Dnipropetrovsk.
Do we have enough Aurelius, to start the production of special fertilizers in Ukraine? Read about
it in the new issue of the newspaper Express.
Recall that Scientists have created a robotic jellyfish to monitor the reefs
https://sivtelegram.media/scientists-suggest-the-use-of-jellyfish-as-fertilizer/63817/

Here’s how wild grass turned into domesticated rice


OUR BUREAUT+ T-

NCBS scientists identify the molecule that helped in the transformation


NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 10

A team of plant biologists at a Bengaluru has thrown light on a tiny molecule which played a key
role in the domestication of rice, the dietary staple for half the world‘s population.

The scientists led by Padubidri V Shivaprasad at the National Centre for Biological Sciences
(NCBS) in Bengaluru found that the sacrifices made by this biomolecule, a molecular regulator,
would have been critical in transforming semi-aquatic plants -- the wild relatives of domesticated
rice -- into plants bearing abundant grains.

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During its long history of cultivation that dates back to at least 4000 BC, rice plants, with ample help
from pre-historic plant breeders, have acquired and accumulated traits that would help increase yield
(such as highly branched flowering structures) and weeded out those undesirable ones that
reduced yield. Scientists have been able to identify many genes that are linked to some of these
changes that place during rice domestication by comparing genomes of cultivated rice plants and
their wild relatives.

In the latest work, which appeared in the journal Plant recently, the NCBS scientists sought to
prove that there was more than these altered genes. Shivaprasad and his colleagues hypothesised
that certain regulatory molecules named small RNAs (sRNAs) might have also contributed to
domestication-associated changes. sRNAs are tiny messenger molecules that dictate which genes
can make proteins as well as when and where within the organism.

Rice varieties

For this, the Bengaluru scientists compared sRNAs found in high-yielding rice varieties with
those in hundreds of land-races (rice varieties that were grown before green revolution) and in
their wild progenitors. Their work helped them zero in on one particular class of sRNAs called
miR397. They found that while miR397 was abundantly present in wild rice varieties, their
levels were barely detectable in cultivated varieties, including the traditional ones.

Further scrutiny by the scientists revealed that miR397 is responsible for silencing members of a
gene family called laccase that are key for producing lignin, the woody tissue which provides
mechanical strength to plant stems, helping them bear more grains.

As a next step, when the Indian scientists introduced the gene responsible for the expression of
miR397 in domesticated rice plants, the progeny plants were more similar to their wilder cousins.
They had long, spindly stems, narrow short leaves, few flowering structures and hardly any rice
grains.

―The important finding of our study is that when rice accumulates increased levels of lignin, it
gives additional strength to the plant to bear more grains. Our finding gives an opportunity to our
breeders to efficiently improve the rice yield by reducing miR397 or by elevating laccase levels,‖
said Swetha Chenna, the first author of the study.

―More importantly, this has given as a good molecular marker for breeding high-yielding
varieties,‖ said Shivaparasad. ―We have found that there are at least 26 genomic regions
previously linked, but still uncharacterised, to rice yield,‖ he added.

Published on November 10, 2018


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https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/indian-work-throws-light-on-
domestication-of-rice/article25463667.ece

Helping farmers reap bumper rice harvest

Above: Rice plant being prepared for a pollination process that will bring out certain traits.ST PHOTOS: TAN
HUI YEE

NOV 11, 2018, 5:00 AM SGT

Tan Hui Yee Indochina Bureau Chief In Laguna (Philippines)


Stray animals are not welcome inside the lush fields here, and neither are random strangers. At
the International Rice Research Institute (Irri), headquartered in Laguna province in the
Philippines, ongoing experiments on rice varieties and traits take place behind tight fences under
the close watch of security guards.

The 58-year-old, non-profit research institute, which has offices in 17 rice-growing countries in
Asia and Africa, was at the forefront of the "Green Revolution" from the late 1960s, when it
boosted rice production in the region by developing high-yielding rice.

Working with local partners, Irri has developed rice varieties that are tolerant to flash floods,
saline water, as well as drought.

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One of its more successful Indica varieties - grown in warmer climates - called the "IR64", for
example, matured early, was resistant to diseases and tasted good.

But these days, as increasingly erratic weather can scorch farms, submerge crops and scour the
earth of nutrients within short periods of time, the challenge is to produce rice that can withstand
all types of environmental stresses and yet maintain high yields, says Irri researcher Shalabh
Dixit.

"In a flood-prone season, you might get drought, and the crop might still fail," he told The
Sunday Times during a tour of Irri's experiment stations.

With global warming, "temperature stress is one thing that people are starting to worry about a
bit more", he said.

As rice is particularly sensitive to heat when flowering, scientists at Irri are looking at what can
make rice flower earlier in the morning - and not be as susceptible to the higher midday
temperatures.

WORKING WITH FARMERS

Farmer uptake of agro-technology is quite a complicated process... If we want to feed the


world, we need to work with farmers for whom farming is a way out of poverty.

DR JON HELLIN, Irri's platform leader for sustainable impact, who says certain groups of
farmers, like those who can profit from farming, need to be targeted for maximum impact.
To help farmers in low-lying areas near rivers, where floodwaters don't drain as fast, scientists
are also trying to identify the gene that will make rice plants more resilient to long-term or
"stagnant" flooding.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation's Rice Market Monitor, overall prices of
rice dropped 12.3 per cent between 2014 and last year. But urbanisation and industrialisation are
shrinking the pool of people willing to plant rice.

This labour shortage has made the development of direct-seeded rice more urgent, says Dr Dixit.

Under this method, rice seeds are sown directly onto the field, reducing the effort needed to
sprout rice in a nursery and transplant seedlings into standing water, as is traditionally done.

Breeding stress-resistant types of rice is only half the story. Convincing farmers to use them is
another hurdle.

"Farmer uptake of agro-technology is quite a complicated process," says Dr Jon Hellin, Irri's
platform leader for sustainable impact. Certain groups of farmers, like those who can profit from
farming, need to be targeted for maximum impact. "If we want to feed the world, we need to
work with farmers for whom farming is a way out of poverty," he told The Sunday Times.
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Widening the cultivation of new rice varieties also requires institutions and governments to
address questions like whether grain storage, rice-milling and transport facilities are adequate,
and whether farmers can get their hands on the machinery needed to make the best of these new
varieties.

Farmers may also be reluctant to try new rice varieties if they are uncertain of how these may
perform - something that insurance can help mitigate, he said.

"A lot of people think we just have to increase production. It's so much more than that," he said.

On the cusp of another green revolution

Rice is a staple for nearly half the world‘s population, yet yields have largely stagnated while
climate risks grow. Scientists in Australia are hoping to re-engineer the rice plant to cope with
floods, storms, heat and drought.

NOV 11, 2018, 5:00 AM SGT

Researchers are developing a super rice plant tolerant of weather swings, with high yield
David Fogarty Assistant Foreign Editor In Canberra

Crop scientist Robert Furbank opens a light-filled cabinet to inspect a rice plant, the tops heavy
with grain. It looks like any other rice plant except that this one, in a lab in the Australian
National University in Canberra, is a prototype that could revolutionise rice farming and greatly
improve rice harvests in the decades to come.

"The future of rice could be in these cabinets," Professor Furbank said, pointing to several
growth cabinets that can reproduce the light, temperature and other conditions that rice plants
need to thrive.

The prototype is the result of nearly 10 years of research that is among the most ambitious on the
planet and involves a consortium of universities in eight countries. It is funded in part by the Bill
and Melinda Gates Foundation and is led by Oxford University.

The goal is to re-engineer the rice plant using genes from maize, or corn. The aim is to raise rice
yields by at least 50 per cent while using far less water and fertiliser to grow. If the researchers
succeed, it will trigger another green revolution.

And it can't come soon enough.Rice is the world's most important crop - it is the staple for about
half the world's population. But yields have plateaued globally, while demand for rice is
expected to grow as the world's population increases.

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In an oft-repeated estimate, the UN says food production needs to increase by 70 per cent by
2050. No one really knows exactly how much more rice will need to be produced. But what
experts do know is that rice farming will only become more challenging because of greater
weather extremes caused by climate change and limits to expanding crop acreage because of
competing demand for land from cities, industries and other crops.

Wild swings in the global output of rice, and other cereals such as wheat, can trigger huge spikes
in prices, mass unrest and starvation. So scientists are urgently trying to develop crop varieties
that yield bigger harvests and can tolerate wilder swings in the weather. Plants of the future will
have to cope with extreme heat, drought and floods.

"We need stability," said Prof Furbank. "We can't be in that situation where the supply of our
major cereal crops is oscillating in response to climate change. We need to have that stability that
will ensure our future food supply."

It's the urgent need for stability that underpins the programme called the C4 Rice Project. The
International Rice Research Institute near Manila is a major partner and will be key to getting
super rice out to farmers in the future.

At its simplest, the consortium aims to make rice plants much more efficient in the way they
harness sunlight, carbon dioxide (CO2) and water - the basic ingredients for photosynthesis.

Plants have evolved different types of photosynthesis, some more efficient than others.

Rice and wheat belong to the less-efficient C3 type and have pretty much reached the maximum
amount of grain they can produce, despite many thousands of different varieties developed.

Maize and sugar cane belong to the C4 photosynthesis group and, like a high-tech assembly line,
their leaves use sunlight, CO2 and water much faster and much more effectively to produce the
sugars and other complex compounds that plants need to grow.

Inside the C4 plant leaf is a system that effectively turbo-charges CO2 capture and processing.

The consortium wants to insert this same process into rice. But to do so means re-engineering the
insides of the rice leaf - in effect turning rice into a C4 plant.

Nothing on this scale has been done before. It's an incredibly ambitious project and involves
replicating the biochemistry and internals of a C4 plant leaf. Can it be done?

The C4 Rice Project team are already about halfway there.

The rice plants in the ANU, in the Research School of Biology building, already have the genes
inserted for the biochemistry part.
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"These aren't yielding any better than traditional rice plants because we haven't managed yet to
bring the biochemistry together with anatomy and the leaf structure," said Prof Furbank, who
runs the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis at
the School of Biology.

"But they have got all the enzymes installed and ready to go to make them perform like maize
when we can bring it together with the appropriate anatomy."

Another senior consortium member, Dr Jane Langdale, and her team at the University of Oxford,
are working on the puzzle of which genes are involved in creating the internal structures within
the leaf that function like a C4 plant. This has involved testing around 30,000 genes to see which
ones are regulators for the switch from C3 to C4 photosynthesis.

Researchers estimate there could be up to 20 genes involved in creating the structures needed for
the leaves to function like a C4 plant.

 50%

Targeted increase in rice yields for research involving a consortium of universities in eight
countries, while using far less water and fertiliser to grow the crop. If the researchers succeed,
it will trigger another green revolution.

70%
Estimated increase in food production needed by 2050, says the United Nations. No one
really knows exactly how much more rice will need to be produced.

It's not yet clear how long it will take to add these genes to the prototype. It took six years to add
the five genes governing C4 biochemistry using traditional cross-breeding.

But because of rapid advances in genetics, it is now possible to insert up to 10 genes directly into
a plant and then see how that plant develops, Prof Furbank explained.

"And if we need to alter anything, it's just a six-month process. If one of those genes doesn't do
what we were hoping, we can modify it and do another transformation very quickly and get a
result back."

That process, called synthetic biology, will greatly speed up the quest for super rice, though it
will take some years yet before the C4 consortium researchers know if they will succeed.

The C4 Rice Project "is like putting a man on the moon", Prof Furbank said. But he's optimistic
that the team will succeed within the next decade. "Evolution has already created C4
photosynthesis many times in the past, so we know it's possible."

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In the meantime, Prof Furbank and other scientists are also working on other tools that can help
crops adapt to a hotter and more extreme world.

Scientists are looking at ways of introducing genes from other organisms that increase the
amount of light a plant absorbs during photosynthesis, making it more efficient. For example,
some blue-green algae can absorb light across a broader spectrum and Prof Furbank's team are
putting those genes into plants.

Above: Rice fields in Vietnam's northern agricultural province of Yen Bai. Wild swings in the
global output of rice and other cereals can trigger huge spikes in prices, mass unrest and
starvation. PHOTOS: DAVID FOGARTY, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Another is to use genes from algae which have special structures that pump CO2 inside their
cells and inserting these genes into plants to improve CO2 efficiency.

Meanwhile, Prof Furbank's colleague at the ANU's School of Biology, Dr Rob Sharwood, is
screening cotton varieties looking for heat tolerance. He is studying the agave plant, which is
adapted to living at 50 deg C in the desert, and putting agave genes into wheat and cotton to help
them better withstand higher temperatures.

Another way is to tweak the existing genes in crops and use high-speed tools to screen plants
with better photosynthetic traits. The latter is part of what Prof Furbank calls the "plant
Olympics" in which digital-imaging technologies allow rapid measurement of plant attributes
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and crop performance combined with artificial intelligence to find the best-of-the-best.

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Above: Professor Robert Furbank inspects prototype rice plants at the Australian Research
Council Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis. PHOTOS: DAVID FOGARTY,
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

However, he said, to make a quantum improvement, "I believe you really have to start looking
for genes from elsewhere or modifying genes that are in rice to make them more like other
species that are able to survive at 50 degrees or are much higher yielding."

The ultimate test, though, will be taste and nutrition for any super crops, especially C4 rice.

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"It must still look like a rice plant, grow like a rice plant and produce grain that is nutritious and
equivalent to what people are used to," he said. And it must be able to produce good yields under
future climate scenarios.

"We need to bring all of these tools to bear. Because we just can't do it fast enough at the
moment to get to where we need to go."

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/australianz/on-the-cusp-of-another-green-revolution

Sample of suspected fake rice to be sent to lab – Dr Jamilah


November 11, 2018, Sunday Peter Boon

Mansor (seated second right), Dr Jamilah (seated third right), while (from second left) Dr Ngian,
Rogayah, Dr Lee and others posing for a photo session after the press conference.

SIBU: A sample of the suspected fake rice here has been collected and will be sent to a
laboratory in Johor Bharu for analysis tomorrow (Nov 12).

Sarawak Health director Dr Jamilah Hashim disclosed this during a press conference today after
the state-level ‗Gotong-Royong‘ Mega 2.0 here at Farley Commercial Centre here today to
combat Aedes mosquito.

She, however, said it will take some time for the results to be known.

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―On the suspected fake rice – actually, the Health Department did not receive specific report –
nobody made any report that there is (suspected) ‗fake‘ rice.

―We got to know about this from The Borneo Post – the media. Therefore, (Sibu divisional
health officer) Dr Lee (Jo Hun) through the media contacted the complainant concerned and they
have already collected the rice sample suspected to be fake to be sent to the laboratory in Johor
tomorrow (Nov 12).

―In this regard, before that (the outcome of the results is known), we are unsure whether it is fake
or genuine rice. It will take a bit of time for the results to be out. We will revert when the results
are out,‖ Dr Jamilah said when asked on the suspected fake rice reported in The Borneo Post last
Saturday.
Asked for advice to members of the public, she said: ―I don‘t know. I am not sure about the
brand of the rice involved.

―Maybe, if prices are ‗unrealistically low‘, the public should think twice about buying it. Buy
those (rice) that they normally buy and where prices are logical.‖

At this juncture, Sarawak Federal Secretary Datuk Mansor Man interjected, pointing out that
sometimes the rice looked too ‗beautiful‘ and might look suspicious.

―If there are such issues, (the public are advised to) report Ministry of Domestic Trade and
Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) so that their enforcement (unit) can take necessary action. If
information can be obtained early – it is good so as to inform the public,‖ he added.

Concurring with Mansor, Dr Jamilah said the public can perhaps forward complaints to the
Health Department if they are suspicious about the product so that they can investigate.

Alternatively, she said that members of the media could alert the department if they received any
information to enable them to investigate.

She said this is important to prevent people from consuming the rice if it was proven to be fake
as there would be effect to their health.

Meanwhile, it was recently reported that two members of the public were shocked when the rice
they had cooked turned into weird consistency and did not look like genuine rice.

According to the report, one of them who requested to remain anonymous said that though the
texture of the rice looked different, she did not suspect anything at first because it tasted like rice.

She also claimed that the rice felt like cotton.

She could squeeze the water out when it was wet and the rice became light as a feather when it
was dry.

http://www.theborneopost.com/2018/11/11/sample-of-suspected-fake-rice-to-be-sent-to-lab-dr-jamilah/

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India mulls barter system to satisfy Iran's basmati appetite
amid sanctions
Iran is largest importer of basmati. India is considering barter as a mode of receiving payments
Virendra
1314 Singh Rawat | Lucknow Last Updated at November 10, 2018 22:35 IST

The payment system with Iran is being relaxed further for basmati rice exports. This comes after
the US allowed India to continue importing crude oil from Iran and develop the Chabahar port.

Now, India is finalising guidelines for exporting basmati rice to its largest importer — Iran — on
a rupee payment basis.

The move has come as a positive development for exporters who are paying a higher price for
procuring basmati.

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Last year, India exported $4.17 billion worth of basmati rice and Iran was the largest buyer of
rice (at $905 million). In the first five months of 2018-19, exports have already crossed $2 billion
and Iran continuous to be the largest buyer for India followed by Saudi Arabia.

When the US announced sanctions against Iran, farmers had already increased area under
basmati but exporters were cautious. However, the recent exemption for Iran followed by easing
of the payment crisis has lifted the sentiments of basmati exporters.

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―Higher paddy price this season has put some pressure on the retail price, especially if you
consider that there is recession in the global market. However, there has been some stabilisation
now and we expect a good basmati export cycle this year,‖ Kohinoor Foods joint managing
director Gurnam Arora told Business Standard.

He further said that the ‗Iran issue‘ had also been resolved to a large extent and traders have been
allowed to barter deals and consignments valued in rupee terms. ―The guidelines are being
formulated and we are confident that Iranian basmati imports would start soon.‖

Iran normally opens its market for basmati import by mid November after taking into account its
domestic production and demand matrices.

All-India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA) executive director Vinod Kaul claimed that
although some of the basmati crop had been damaged, yet it was not significant and that the final
assessment was being done.

―The new basmati crop has started coming to the market and we are confident that Iran would
account for about one million tonnes (MT) of exports this season,‖ he added.

India is also bullish about the prospects of the Chinese market, although it basically imports non-
basmati rice varieties now. Recently, a buyer-seller meet was organised in China, where five-six
Indian rice exporters had participated even as the country approved 24 domestic rice millers.

However, the Chinese basmati market would still take some years before it ‗matures‘ for
domestic exporters, Arora added.

China is the world‘s largest producer and importer of rice and procures about 5 MT every year.
India has estimated a potential sale of one MT of rice to China. The country planned to boost rice
and sugar exports to narrow the trade gap with China.

Recently, five new rice mills were cleared for exporting non-basmati rice to China, taking the
total to 24 rice mills. In May 2018, Chinese officials had inspected rice mills capable of
exporting non-basmati rice.

Meanwhile, basmati exporters have also been exploring other markets like the US, European
Union and Latin America. Yet, the results have not been encouraging.

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Last year, total basmati exports from India stood at little over 4 MT with almost 80 per cent of
the consignment going to West Asian countries, led by Iran. However, exporters are still unsure
if last year‘s export figures would be matched.

Following better global demand last year, farmers had increased sowing and sown new basmati
varieties like 1401, 1509, apart from the 1121 type. ―Sowing has increased but quality has been
affected. This was because pest attack lowered the yield, resulting in higher market price at a
time when Iran hopes have revived,‖ said Devendr Vora, director of Friendship Traders, a new
Bombay-based trader-exporter.

West Asia, China and Iran may be big importers. As a result of high export demand and lower-
than-expected crop (may be due to quality), the market is bullish.

Domestically, Haryana and Punjab account for 40-45 per cent of the total basmati production in
India, followed by Uttar Pradesh at 10-15 per cent. India‘s net rice exports (including basmati)
increased from 10.8 MT to 12.7 MT last year, thus allowing the country to retain the top slot in
the commodity‘s global trad

https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/india-mulls-barter-system-to-satisfy-
iran-s-basmati-appetite-amid-sanctions-118111000455_1.html
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Ghana spends $1.1 billion on rice importation – Deputy
Trade Minister reveals

play videoRobert Ahomka Lindsay, Deputy Minister of Trade and IndustryThe Deputy Minister
of Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka Lindsay has disclosed that Ghana imported rice worth
$1.1 billion in 2017.

According to him, rice importation ―takes 82% of all imports into the country‖.

Mr. Lindsay said, the leading product imported into Ghana every year from Vietnam is rice,
which is by far the largest contributor to the import quota.

The Deputy Minister indicated, ―We spent $1.1 billion last year on rice importation to Ghana‖.

He strongly believe it is about time Ghana added value to its raw materials for exports in order to
gain more from the resources of the country.

―This government‘s focus and direction is on industrial transformation thus transforming our
economy, the same transformation Vietnam went through some years ago led by its SME,‖ he
said.

He said, Vietnam has managed to move from being a huge importer of rice to the largest or the
second largest exporter of rice in the world making its economy the ―Asian tiger‖ and that is
what Ghana seeks to achieve.

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―We can partner with Vietnam and by the same or similar model, Ghana‘s economy will also
become the African tiger‖ he noted.

The minister stressed the importance of exporting refined products to the Ghanaian economy
saying, ―In 2017 Ghana recorded a trade surplus of US$52.3 million with a total exports value of
US$320.6 million, this is according to the Vietnam customs‖.

He said, with the right support and determination the Ghanaian economy can be transformed.

The Deputy Minister was speaking at the Ghana-Vietnam trade and investment promotion forum
held in Accra.

https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/business/Ghana-spends-1-1-billion-on-rice-importation-
Deputy-Trade-Minister-reveals-699410

Rice stocks down by 17.9% in Oct


BY EIREENE JAIREE GOMEZ
NOVEMBER 10, 2018

 RICE STOCKS DOWN BY 17.9% IN OCT

THE Philippines‘ total rice stocks decreased by 17.87 percent to 1.59 million metric tons (MMT)
as of October 1 from 1.94 MMT a year ago, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

The data came as the National Food Authority (NFA), backed by the Trade department and the
Philippine National Police (PNP), began imposing penalties on those violating the suggested
retail prices (SRPs) of the staple as officials from these agencies inspected a market in Sampaloc,
Manila on Friday.

A National Food Authority official inspects a stall selling rice at Trabaho Market in Sampaloc,
Manila on Friday morning to see if it is following the SRP for both local and imported rice. NFA
PHOTO

In its monthly ―Rice and Corn Stocks Inventory‖ report, the PSA said the October figure was a
36.12-percent increase from 1.795 MMT in September, as rice imports continue to boost the
NFA‘s buffer stocks.

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Stocks fell by 19.82 percent to 859,160 MT — about 54.04 percent of the total — in households;
14.56 percent to 602,300 MT (37.88 percent) in commercial warehouses; and 19.40 percent to
128,430 MT (8.08 percent) in NFA depositories from year-ago figures.

Stock in households, warehouses and NFA depositories rose by 40.80 percent, 34.82 percent, and
15.60 percent, respectively from September figures.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol had said the country is expected to lose about 800,000
MT of palay (unmilled rice) this year because of the typhoons that hit the country and slashed
farmlands.

Warning for first-time offenders

On Friday, Piñol said those violating the SRP order the first time would receive a ―written
warning,‖ and those who repeat it would be fined.

Penalties for violators include canceling their NFA licenses, a jail term of up to four years and
fines up to P1 million, he added.
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―This is a measure that we are doing because we want to protect everybody. We don‘t want to
appear to be cruel or very harsh. But this is the process: first is a stern warning from the NFA
and the second [is the] cancelation [of license] and filing of fines,‖ Piñol said in a DZMM
interview.

According to him, NFA managers also risk being sacked if they fail to enforce SRPs in markets
under their jurisdiction.

The government officially imposed SRPs for rice in markets on October 27, but penalties and
sanctions could only be enforced 15 days after the publication of the guidelines for them as
approved by the NFA Council.

For imported rice, the SRP is P39 per kilo for well-milled and P43 per kilo for premium.

For local, regular milled rice, the SRP is P39 per kilo; local well-milled rice, P44 per kilo. The
SRP for premium rice should not be higher than P47 per kilo.

The SRPs do not cover special rice varieties, including Cordillera heirloom, organic rice,
jasponica, Doña Maria, hinumay, malido, and malagkit.

https://www.manilatimes.net/rice-stocks-down-by-17-9-in-oct/465283/

Retreating Planting Season, Rice Prices Expected to be


Higher Early Next Year
Sunday, 11 November 2018 | 07:31 WIB

Illustration: Farmer planting paddy

BANYUMAS, NNC - The rice price on the market has the potential to increase due to the retreat
of the rice planting period in the first planting season of 2018/2019, said Head of the
Representative Office of Bank Indonesia of Purwokerto Agus Chusaini.

"So there is indeed a potential increase in rice prices at the beginning of the year, around
January-February, the amount of rice availability will decrease, but the government has imported

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[rice]. So, God willing, maybe the [rice] price can be controlled," he said after attending the first
planting in the context of the accelerated movement of rice planting in Kuntili Village, Sumpiuh
Sub-district, Banyumas Regency, Central Java, Saturday (11/10/2018).

According to him, imports of rice carried out by the government are intended to anticipate the
reduced supply of food in early 2019 due to the decline of the rice planting season.

Therefore, he expects rice imports that have been carried out by the government to meet the
needs at the beginning of 2019.

"With imports, the government's rice reserves are now large. So, we hope that at the beginning of
the year, reserves will be sufficient until the next harvest," said Agus.

He acknowledged that until now, the price of rice in the market, especially the city of
Purwokerto, Banyumas Regency, is still relatively stable, but his side is still observing it.

"Indeed, with the delayed planting, it is possible that the harvest will also retreat. This is
something that needs to be anticipated. Although the price rises, the increase may still be
reasonable, it will not rise dramatically as in the case of last year [end 2017 to early 2018]," said
he quoted from Antara.

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On a separate occasion, the Head of the Banyumas Regency Agriculture and Food Security
Office Widarso admitted if the rice planting period in the first planting season of 2018/20 was
delayed due to the rainy season's retreat.

Therefore, he said, the acceleration of planting movements as carried out in Kuntili Village,
Sumpiuh Sub-district, Banyumas, could catch up because previously the planting area in October
to November was targeted to reach 20,000 hectares.

However, until now, he continued, only about 10 percent had been realized or around 2,000
hectares, so it was hoped that the target could be met by the end of November.

"What we are worried about is that if the retreat is too long, the famine will increase (long) and
this is a big risk. In January 2018 alone, the price of rice is quite high and lasts quite a long
time," he said.

With the retreat of the planting season as it is now, he predicts rice production in January 2019
will not be maximized.

http://www.en.netralnews.com/news/business/read/25573/retreating.planting.season..rice.prices.e
xpected.to.be.higher.early.next.year

DoJ indicts Bangayan


BY JOMAR CANLAS, TMT
NOVEMBER 10, 2018

DOJ INDICTS BANGAYAN

The Department of Justice (DoJ) on Friday indicted suspected rice smuggler Davidson ―David
Tan‖ Bangayan and five others on charges of conspiracy to rig the bidding of rice imports in
order to drive the market price of rice in the country.

Davidson ―David Tan‖ Bangayan

In a 14-page resolution dated Nov. 5, 2018 but released to the media only on Friday, the Justice
department upheld the findings of the DoJ panel of prosecutors that Bangayan acted as financers
of some cooperatives, including dummies, who took part in the bidding of rice imports.

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Bangayan was the subject of a Senate inquiry in 2014 over an alleged rice cartel, which
manipulated the supply in the country to hike the price of rice in the market.

Charged before the DoJ were Bangayan, Elizabeth Faustino, Eleanor Rodriguez, Leah Echeveria,
and spouses David and Judilyne Lim.

The DoJ findings ruled that Bangayan had a working relationship with Faustino in doing the
documentary and financial requirements of cooperatives Riverview MPC, Umasaka MPC, Sitio
Muzon MPC, Sta. Cecilia MPC,
Formosa MPC, and GPI San Miguel MPC.The offense is penalized with a prison term of up to
12 years and fines of up to P 10,000.

The DoJ, however, cleared Bangayan and the other respondents for alleged violation of the
Procurement Act because rice bidding through farmers‘ cooperatives is not considered a form of
government procurement.

Separate dealings were also made by Bangayan with Rodriguez who was allegedly the broker
and facilitator of import requirements, Echeveria as co-signatory of bank accounts opened for

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rice importations, and the Lims as financers of cooperatives Kapatirang Takusa MPC, Ugnayang
Magbubukid ng San Isidro Inc., Samahan ng Kapampangan at Katagalugan MPC and Samahan
ng Magsasaka sa Kalawitan MPC.

The DoJ found out that these cooperatives were just dummies in the bidding in order to
manipulate the price of rice in the market.

The DoJ has also found probable cause to charge Bangayan of unauthorized use of the name
―David Tan,‖ in violation of Commonwealth Act No. 142.

During the Senate inquiry on rice smuggling in 2014, it was established that Bangayan and Tan
were ―one and the same person‖ even as the businessman insisted that he was not the one named
in intelligence reports as the prime mover in the rice smuggling industry.

Then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte told the Senate that there was no doubt that Bangayan
and Tan were the same person. Customs officials told Senate that they do not hold any record of
Bangayan nor Tan.

NFA officials, for their part, told senators that based on their records, there was ―no David
Bangayan‖ who participated in their biddings and that the NFA did not issue rice import permits
to Bangayan.

Sen. Joseph Victor ―JV‖ Ejercito on Friday urged the DoJ to ensure that it has a strong case
against Bangayan and to prosecute ―to the fullest extent of the law‖ other individuals responsible
for rice smuggling.

―Sa wakas! May kakasuhan na rin ng ‗big fish‘ sa ilalim ng batas na aking inakda, ang Anti-
Agricultural Smuggling Law (Finally! There will be a case filed against a ‗big fish‘ under the
Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Law, which I authored),‖ Ejercito said in a text message.

https://www.manilatimes.net/doj-indicts-bangayan-2/465072/

Project aims to bring wild rice back to Wisconsin


By Associated Press |

Posted: Sat 10:20 AM, Nov 10, 2018

HOWARD, Wis. (AP) -- Federal, state and local groups have formed a partnership in Wisconsin
to start a restoration project to help wild rice grow.
WLUK-TV reports that crews went out this month to spread more rice.

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Betsy Galbraith is a biologist with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
She says crews spread one ton of wild rice over 19 acres in an area of Lower Green Bay called
Peters Marsh.
Galbraith says wild rice used to flourish in the area and the project aims to re-establish the crop.
Experts say that the planting project is in its third year and rice is beginning to grow in some
areas.
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay graduate students are also providing research as part of the
project.
https://www.nbc15.com/content/news/Project-aims-to-bring-wild-rice-back-to-Wisconsin-
500203601.html

Rice production training slated for DepEd agricultural teachers


November 10, 2018
SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija -- At least 90 agriculture teachers across the country
are set to undergo a five-day rice production training for Department of Education (DepEd)

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agriculture teachers this month at the PhilRice Central Experiment Station here.

In collaboration with the Philippine Rice Research Institute, the DepEd through its Bureau of
Curriculum Development, aims to train its agriculture teachers on rice morphology and growth
stages; farm machinery operations; palay check system; nutrient, pest, water and harvest
management; including hands-on practicum.

Agriculture is one of the learning areas under the Technical-Vocational Livelihood [TVL) Track
that covers specializations such as agricultural crop production and organic agriculture. These
are highly responsive to the increasing demand of industries for agriculture workers, aiming to
breed a new blood of young farmers to replace the aging population of agriculture workers and
will soon take part in the economic growth and development of the country.

As sustainable rice production remains one of the critical activities that the government is now
focusing on, DepEd seeks to actively engage the agriculture teachers in developing among the
young farmers with relevant skills and competencies and technology on rice farming. Further,
given the right technology on rice farming, teachers shall be able to bring back the interest and
love for agriculture among our students.

In recent years, a number of agriculture teachers have been the recipients of the training
programs on Infomediary and Climate Smart Agriculture. These forms of interventions
contributed to better teaching farming practices that led to sustainable agriculture.

The training shall be held in two clusters on November 12-16 and November 19-23, 2018.
Teacher-participants include agriculture teachers with specialization either in agricultural crop
production or organic agriculture from Strengthened Technical Vocational Education Program
(STVEP) secondary schools. (PR)
https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1773377

Rice production training slated for DepEd agricultural teachers


November 10, 2018
SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija -- At least 90 agriculture teachers across the country
are set to undergo a five-day rice production training for Department of Education (DepEd)
agriculture teachers this month at the PhilRice Central Experiment Station here.

In collaboration with the Philippine Rice Research Institute, the DepEd through its Bureau of
Curriculum Development, aims to train its agriculture teachers on rice morphology and growth
stages; farm machinery operations; palay check system; nutrient, pest, water and harvest
management; including hands-on practicum.

Agriculture is one of the learning areas under the Technical-Vocational Livelihood [TVL) Track
that covers specializations such as agricultural crop production and organic agriculture. These
are highly responsive to the increasing demand of industries for agriculture workers, aiming to

28 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com
breed a new blood of young farmers to replace the aging population of agriculture workers and
will soon take part in the economic growth and development of the country.

As sustainable rice production remains one of the critical activities that the government is now
focusing on, DepEd seeks to actively engage the agriculture teachers in developing among the
young farmers with relevant skills and competencies and technology on rice farming. Further,
given the right technology on rice farming, teachers shall be able to bring back the interest and
love for agriculture among our students.

In recent years, a number of agriculture teachers have been the recipients of the training
programs on Infomediary and Climate Smart Agriculture. These forms of interventions
contributed to better teaching farming practices that led to sustainable agriculture.

The training shall be held in two clusters on November 12-16 and November 19-23, 2018.
Teacher-participants include agriculture teachers with specialization either in agricultural crop
production or organic agriculture from Strengthened Technical Vocational Education Program
(STVEP) secondary schools. (PR)
https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1773377

Large-scale paddy purchase is ‘only on paper’ in Punjab


Nov 11, 2018, 2:16 AM; last updated: Nov 11, 2018, 7:28 PM (IST)

Arhtiyas, millers, officials in cahoots; vigil stepped up

All four — arhtiya, mandi officer, inspector and miller — make profit.

Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 10

29 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
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The total paddy procured by the Punjab Government over the years could be much less than what
is being projected and paid for by the Centre with a nexus emerging during the ongoing
procurement season among arhtiyas, mandi board officers, inspectors of procurement agencies
and rice millers that points towards large-scale procurement being done only on paper.

Top officers in the state Food and Supplies Department say they have established how arhtiyas
(commission agents), mandi board officers and inspectors were simply uploading entries on the
department‘s official portal, showing paddy purchase, when no actual purchase is happening.

Once an entry for paddy purchase by an arhtiya in a mandi is uploaded, payment is released to
the commission agent electronically. With those concerned in cahoots, no physical verification of
paddy ―purchase‖ is carried out.

The Central Government ends up paying for substantial quantity of paddy that has actually not
been purchased. The paddy purchased by procurement agencies is sent to rice millers, who
process it and return it to the agencies. However, when no purchase has been made, paddy is sent
to millers only on paper. The miller, in turn, mills paddy sourced from other states at cheaper
rates and returns it to the agencies. All four — arhtiya, mandi officer, inspector and miller —
make profit.

The nexus was uncovered on November 6 during checking in Tarn Taran after state minister
Bharat Bhushan Ashu received complaints of large-scale bogus billing.

Officials say their teams found fake purchase entries for 92,000 bags of paddy by commission
agents in connivance with Pungrain officials and another 78,000 bags involving Markfed
officials.

―The teams found that no paddy purchase was done by Pungrain in Tarn Taran between October
23 and 31, but entries for 92,000 bags had been made. On questioning, officials and commission
agent revealed bags were dispatched in advance to rice millers.‖

Another 78,000 bags of paddy were shown to have been purchased, but officials couldn‘t show
the stock or furnish details of the rice mills where these had been sent, said a senior officer,
adding that the embezzlement in two cases was around Rs 1.10 crore.

―This is just one instance. As we increase vigil, we will not only be able to stop embezzlement,
but also get more realistic paddy procurement figures each year in consonance with the total
sown area,‖ he added. KAP Sinha, Principal Secretary, Food and Supplies Department, said they
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would set up district-level monitoring committees, headed by deputy commissioners, to check
the malpractice.

―These panels will have representation from the Excise and Taxation Department, Mandi Board,
food procurement agencies and rice shelling mills. They will do an end-to-end checking of actual
purchase, paddy transported to millers, and rice milled and returned to agencies after matching
the figures with farmers‘ bank accounts to which money is being transferred. Before the paddy is
transported to rice millers, a verification of the stocked paddy and rice in each mill will also be
done,‖ he said.

https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1773377

Large-scale paddy purchase is ‗only on paper‘ in Punjab


Nov 11, 2018, 2:16 AM; last updated: Nov 11, 2018, 7:28 PM (IST)

Arhtiyas, millers, officials in cahoots; vigil stepped up

All four — arhtiya, mandi officer, inspector and miller — make profit.

Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 10
The total paddy procured by the Punjab Government over the years could be much less than what
is being projected and paid for by the Centre with a nexus emerging during the ongoing
procurement season among arhtiyas, mandi board officers, inspectors of procurement agencies
and rice millers that points towards large-scale procurement being done only on paper.

31 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com
Top officers in the state Food and Supplies Department say they have established how arhtiyas
(commission agents), mandi board officers and inspectors were simply uploading entries on the
department‘s official portal, showing paddy purchase, when no actual purchase is happening.

Once an entry for paddy purchase by an arhtiya in a mandi is uploaded, payment is released to
the commission agent electronically. With those concerned in cahoots, no physical verification of
paddy ―purchase‖ is carried out.

The Central Government ends up paying for substantial quantity of paddy that has actually not
been purchased. The paddy purchased by procurement agencies is sent to rice millers, who
process it and return it to the agencies. However, when no purchase has been made, paddy is sent
to millers only on paper. The miller, in turn, mills paddy sourced from other states at cheaper
rates and returns it to the agencies. All four — arhtiya, mandi officer, inspector and miller —
make profit.

The nexus was uncovered on November 6 during checking in Tarn Taran after state minister
Bharat Bhushan Ashu received complaints of large-scale bogus billing.

Officials say their teams found fake purchase entries for 92,000 bags of paddy by commission
agents in connivance with Pungrain officials and another 78,000 bags involving Markfed
officials.

―The teams found that no paddy purchase was done by Pungrain in Tarn Taran between October
23 and 31, but entries for 92,000 bags had been made. On questioning, officials and commission
agent revealed bags were dispatched in advance to rice millers.‖

Another 78,000 bags of paddy were shown to have been purchased, but officials couldn‘t show
the stock or furnish details of the rice mills where these had been sent, said a senior officer,
adding that the embezzlement in two cases was around Rs 1.10 crore.

―This is just one instance. As we increase vigil, we will not only be able to stop embezzlement,
but also get more realistic paddy procurement figures each year in consonance with the total
sown area,‖ he added. KAP Sinha, Principal Secretary, Food and Supplies Department, said they
would set up district-level monitoring committees, headed by deputy commissioners, to check
the malpractice.

32 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
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―These panels will have representation from the Excise and Taxation Department, Mandi Board,
food procurement agencies and rice shelling mills. They will do an end-to-end checking of actual
purchase, paddy transported to millers, and rice milled and returned to agencies after matching
the figures with farmers‘ bank accounts to which money is being transferred. Before the paddy is
transported to rice millers, a verification of the stocked paddy and rice in each mill will also be
done,‖ he said.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/large-scale-paddy-purchase-is-only-on-paper-in-
punjab/681370.html

Centre policy on moist paddy leaves farmers high and dry


Nov 10, 2018, 1:29 AM; last updated: Nov 10, 2018, 8:34 PM (IST)

Agencies willing to buy produce on reduced rates

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Employees of a rice miller check moisture content in paddy at the grain market in Moga. Tribune
Photo

Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 9

There is no relief in sight for the state‘s paddy growers, whose produce is being rejected by
procurement agencies due to higher-than-permissible moisture content. The Central
Government‘s policy allows the purchase of high-moisture crop by agencies — but only after a
price cut.

Official sources told The Tribune that the Centre would buy paddy after paying Rs 17.70 per
quintal less than the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 1,770 per quintal for every 1 per cent
increase in the moisture content beyond the permissible limit of 17 per cent.

The moisture content in paddy this year is reportedly between 20 and 24 per cent. The rationale
behind the price cut is that each percentage point hike in moisture adds to the weight of paddy.
When it dries, the agencies procuring this paddy will have lesser grains than what they would
have paid for.

Senior officers of the state government said reports of paddy produced in Punjab having higher
moisture content and protests by farmers had been conveyed to the Union Government. ―We
have been told that the paddy can be bought only by imposing a price cut. However, this will
become a major issue and are still undecided on how to bail out farmers,‖ said an officer.

Sources said officers of the Food and Supplies Department were holding talks with rice-shelling
unit owners, asking them to take the paddy with higher-than-permissible moisture content. ―But
they are also unwilling to buy this paddy and suffer losses in shelling rice from it. The rice-
shelling units can take this paddy, dry it on their premises and then shell rice and return the same.
However, the units say that they will not be able to return 67 per cent of the paddy that they buy,
as it has greater weight because of higher moisture,‖ said a senior officer of the department.

State wants norms relaxed


Chandigarh, November 9

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The Punjab Government wants the Centre to relax norms for milling rice from paddy by
reducing the out-turn ratio from 67 to 65 per cent for millers so that they accept the high-
moisture crop and shell it. An out-turn ratio of 65 per cent means that for every 100 quintals of
paddy sent to rice millers, they are supposed to give 67 quintals of rice to the procurement
agencies.

Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has written to Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food
and Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan, seeking driage at the rate of 2 per cent instead of 1
per cent of the minimum support price (MSP) so as to ensure hassle-free procurement for the
remaining kharif season.

In his letter to Paswan, the Chief Minister pointed out that such relaxation was warranted
primarily on account of excessive and untimely rain and hailstorm immediately before
harvesting. — TNS

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/centre-policy-on-moist-paddy-leaves-farmers-high-
and-dry/680821.html

Rice export competition tightens


Major buyers to downshift next year as selling countries boost efforts

 10 Nov 2018 at 09:20


 NEWSPAPER SECTION: BUSINESS | WRITER: PHUSADEE ARUNMAS

Workers sort rice sacks at a warehouse in Pathum Thani. Thailand is forecast to be the No.2 rice
exporter in 2019, trailing India.

Thailand's rice exporters can expect fiercer competition next year as major buying nations reduce
purchases and rice-exporting countries beef up their shipments.

Charoen Laothammatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said India is forecast
to retain leadership in global rice exports in 2019, followed by Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan,
Myanmar and the US.

China, he said, is also expected to become a key player in the world rice market in the year to
come, given the mainland's massive stockpiles.

"This year, the Philippines and Indonesia have imported a lot to secure their rice consumption
adequacy and stave off higher rice prices," Mr Charoen said. "Indonesia is estimated to import no
less than 3 million tonnes this year, while the Philippines' rice imports are expected to exceed 2.5
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million tonnes because of bad weather. We expect the two countries to cool down their rice
purchases next year."

According to Mr Charoen, China is estimated to control huge rice stocks of as much as 96


million tonnes this year, up 1.6% from 94.5 million tonnes in 2017.

China also exported a lot of old white rice and parboiled rice from its stock to the African market
in the first nine months of the year at a price of US$325 a tonne, compared with $329 a tonne for
Thai parboiled rice.

In the first nine months, Thai's parboiled rice shipments fell by 10.9% year-on-year to 1.95
million tonnes.

"If China increases export volume in 2019, the mainland will become one of Thailand's key
competitors," Mr Charoen said.

According to the US Agriculture Department, India will ship about 13 million tonnes in 2019,
followed by Thailand (11 million), Vietnam (7 million), Pakistan (4.3 million), Myanmar (3
million), the US (3.2 million), China (1.9 million) and Cambodia (1.3 million).

But the association predicts Thai rice outbound shipments to stay at about 10 million tonnes after
shipping 11 million tonnes this year, Mr Charoen said.

Of the total, 2.5 million tonnes are expected to be Thai fragrant rice, 2.5 million tonnes parboiled
rice and 5 million tonnes white rice and glutinous rice.

As of Oct 23, Thailand had shipped 8.74 million tonnes, up 0.1% from the same period last year.

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According to Mr Charoen, Thailand's rice industry has lacked development of rice varieties over
the past 10 years, with exports relying heavily on three grains: white rice, hom mali fragrant
jasmine rice and glutinous rice.

Indian food and agro buyer seller meet in Jeddah


By Jayashree Bhosale, ET Bureau|

Nov 10, 2018, 11.23 AM IST

India is seeking to reduce the trade deficit by enhancing exports in areas where Saudi Arabia is
importing from the world.

Pune: Indian exporters of four key commodities of rice, tea, spices and dry fruits will be meeting
the major importers in Saudi Arabia during a Food and Agro Buyer-Seller Meet (BSM)
organised by Consulate General of India in Jeddah in association with Jeddah Chamber and
Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI). Twenty-five Indian companies from food and
agricultural products sector, exporting rice, tea, spices and dry fruits, will be meeting the Saudi
importers at the BSM which will be inaugurated by Md. Noor Rahman Sheikh, Consul General
of India in Jeddah and Hassan IbraheemDahlan, Secretary General of Jeddah Chamber on
November 11, 2018.

The four commodities being focused on have great prospects for furthering Indian exports to
Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been a major food and beverages (F&B) market
for India. The BSM will be an ideal platform for Indian participants to explore the business
opportunities for trade, acquaint with new consumer trends and initiate marketing tie-ups and
joint ventures.

Basmati rice export continuously dominates India‘s rice export basket. India accounts for around
72 per cent of the total Basmati rice produced and it offers India not just the leading producer tag
but also very high product visibility in the world market.
37 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com
Indian tea, is among the finest in the world owing to strong geographical indicators, heavy
investments in tea processing units, continuous innovation, augmented product mix and strategic
market expansion. India is the 2nd largest producer and 4th largest exporter of tea in the world
with a 23 per cent share in global production and a 7.5 per cent share in world tea exports. India
exports tea to more than 60 countries globally with Iran, Russia, UK, USA and the Gulf
countries being major markets.

Indian spices too are much in demand in the GCC countries, given their exquisite aroma, texture
and taste. Saudi Arabia primarily imports pepper, chilli, turmeric, ginger and cardamom from
India.

Saudi Arabia is India‘s one of the most important trade partnersand is a major FDI partner of
India after the UAE in Gulf region. India‘s export to Saudi Arabia was worth USD 5 billion in
2017. The major products exported by India to Saudi Arabia were rice, chemicals, refined
petroleum oil and motor vehicles and its parts. India‘s import from Saudi Arabia was worth USD
21 billion in 2017, amounting to a huge trade deficit of USD 16 billion. The major products
imported by India from Saudi Arabia were petroleum products.

India is seeking to reduce the trade deficit by enhancing exports in areas where Saudi Arabia is
importing from the world. India exported F&B products worth USD 4.6 billion in 2017. During
2017, India‘s total exports in F&B products stood at USD 33 billion while the exports to Saudi
Arabia in this sector during the same period stood at only USD 1.43 billion.

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/helping-farmers-reap-bumper-rice-harvest

Korean fiasco for paddy processing plant


Nov 12, 2018, 1:29 AM; last updated: Nov 12, 2018, 1:29 AM (IST)

Sukhniat Singh

Launched with much fanfare around 18 years ago, the Korean machinery at the paddy processing
unit was expected to give the system as well as revenue generation a boost. At that time, no one
even imagined that it would turn out to be a financial disaster for Markfed. The Paddy
Processing Complex, Naushehra Pannuan, 15 km from Tarn Taran, was inaugurated on January
22, 2001 by the then chief minister Parkash Singh Badal. At the inauguration, he had claimed
that the imported machinery would not yield rice quality of international level, but also reduce
considerably the grain breakage.

38 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com
The cost of the machine was said to be Rs 5 crore. The complex was first of its kind installed by
Markfed in the state. Later, a similar type of complex was set up at Chuelewar village in Patti

subdivision. The complex failed to come up with good results. At the very initial stage, Markfed
had to take help of Panesar Industries for its modification. Instead of curbing, the quantity of
broken rice went up. The same thing happened in successive seasons, resulting in a great
convenience for the officials concerned.

The complex failed to register profit. Its plight was highlighted from time to time by The
Tribune. Eventually, Markfed had to shut the complex in 2010. Officials started using the site as
a godown to stock grain.

A Markfed official, requesting anonymity, said the machinery was auctioned for a few bucks
around one and a half year ago. When contacted, Markfed chairman Amarjit Singh Samra said
he was unaware of it.

Markfed Inspector Pawan Kumar said, ―Out of 16 acres, 12 acres of land are being used to store
wheat. The remaining portion is lying unused.‖

No lead in missing case

The district police have failed to resolve the mystery of Sukhniat Singh (13), who has been
missing since October 27 from Dhotian village, 12 km from here. Sub-Inspector Lakhbir Singh,
investigation officer, said a case under Section 365 of the IPC has been registered at the Sarhali
police station and further investigation is under way. The police are in contact with the CIA. The
boy, a student of Class VII, had gone to a place nearby with his aunt when he went missing. The

39 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com
incident has left residents shocked. His father Gurnam Singh said the family was worried about
him.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/amritsar/korean-fiasco-for-paddy-processing-plant/681680.html

40 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com