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November 20 ,2018

Vol 9 ,Issue 11

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You've been cooking fried rice wrong! Flip it out of the wok
like pancakes every 0.32 seconds for the best flavour, say
scientists
 Perfect wok technique involves pulling pan towards you before pushing it away
 Another is using a ‘seesaw’ motion to tilt the pan backwards and forwards
 This should be done every 0.32 seconds, without removing wok from the stove
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
PUBLISHED: 01:14 GMT, 20 November 2018 | UPDATED: 02:17 GMT, 20 November 2018

It is bad news for lazy cooks or those without much upper arm strength.

Scientists have discovered the secret of the perfect stir-fry and it means tossing the rice every third
of a second.The best wok technique involves two motions – pulling the pan towards you before
pushing it away, and a ‗seesaw‘ motion to tilt it backwards and forwards. This should be done
rapidly every 0.32 seconds, without ever removing the wok from the stove.

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+1Scientists say secret of the perfect stir-fry is tossing rice every third of a second

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6408241/Best-way-cook-fried-rice-flipping-wok-0-32-seconds-
say-scientists.html

Closer To Harvest? The Status Of The Golden Rice Project


Published on November 20, 2018

by FlipScience StaffCloser To

Despite having received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration last May, the
Golden Rice project is still about to do field tests to ensure quality and safety in the
Philippines.

Written and researched by Czareina Mae Espiritu, Michael Jay Trapse, Analyn Cabote, Cecilia
Angoluan, Agnes Lagat, Efraim Michael Teja, and Julibeth Baiwa of Isabela State University

A variety of Oryza sativa (rice) genetically engineered using recombinant DNA


technology, Golden Ricecontains beta carotene, an antioxidant which the body converts into
Vitamin A. This gives the rice grain the yellow-orange or gold color that inspired its name.

However, the Golden Rice project is still on its way to completion. Its path, as expected, has not
entirely been bright and shiny.

The road to Golden Rice

The Department of Agriculture‘s Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is working with
the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) towards further developing and completing the
Golden Rice project in the Philippines.

The process involves different stages: research, confined field testing, field trials, safety
assessments, market tests, and nutrition studies. Nevertheless, multiple rounds of trials and errors
are bringing scientists closer to fully developing safe, genetically modified rice varieties with
benefits that conventional varieties do not provide.

In the early stages of the project, researchers isolated specific genes from maize (a cereal grain
originally from Central America) and common soil bacteria with desired traits for Golden Rice.
A screen house setup then allowed for the creation of different local rice varieties.

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A series of confined tests followed, where Golden Rice varieties created in the screen house were
further improved to retain the same grain quality, yield, and pest resistance.

Growing pains

One of the biggest hurdles in the development of the project took place in 2014. The then-current
version of the genetically engineered rice (also called an ―event‖), GR2R, achieved the target
level of beta carotene. However, it also resulted in a reduced yield. Eventually, a more successful
event, GR2E, hit the beta carotene target without negatively affect yield.

For a time, obtaining the necessary signatures from government authorities for trials proved
challenging as well.

Now, the Golden Rice project is entering its fourth stage. In this phase, researchers will plant and
grow Golden Rice in the same normal field environment as unmodified rice varieties. Further
tests and assessments will be involved after the field test to ensure that Golden Rice is
efficacious and will reach the communities that need it the most.

In addition, PhilRice is currently breeding Golden Rice varieties resistant against diseases such
as tungro and bacterial blight.

Golden rice for healthy eyes

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According to PhilRice, GR2E Golden Rice should be the same as traditional rice varieties in
terms of safety, span of time from growth until harvest, water requirements, yield, and market
price.

Data from the Food and Nutrition Research Institute Survey reveals that incidences of vitamin A
deficiency among preschool children have increased from 15.2% in 2013 to 20.4% (about 2.1
million) in 2013. Additionally, roughly 9% of pregnant women and 5% of lactating mothers
suffer from a deficiency in vitamin A.

Once commercialized, Golden Rice is expected to become an affordable and sustainable way to
combat vitamin A deficiency in the Philippines, particularly in its most remote and
underdeveloped areas.

Numerous methods of fighting vitamin A deficiency already exist, but Golden Rice looks to be
the most promising. After all, rice is a staple food not just for Filipinos, but for many Asian
regions as well. –MF

Cover photo: IRRI

About the Authors

The authors of this article are students of Isabela State University. Czareina Mae
Espiritu, Michael Jay Trapse, Agnes Lagat, and Julibeth Baiwa are BS Biology freshmen. Efraim
Michael Teja is a BA Mass Communication student, while Analyn Cabote is a BS Biology
senior. Cecilia Angoluan is finishing her master‘s degree in Biology. The students participa

Scientists have modified rice to prevent HIV infection


By paradox

19.11.2018

This modification can reduce the incidence in poor countries.

Scientists have discovered the miraculous property of rice, which was not previously known. A
group of scientists describes a method by which they have modified rice so that it can be used for
preventing HIV infections.

Doctors have made great strides in the treatment of patients infected with HIV-infections, besides
their number has sharply decreased, especially in developed parts of the world.
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Scientists have also spent a lot of time and effort to develop a vaccine against the virus, but so far
have not succeeded. Although the development of oral drugs that can prevent infection for a short
period of time.

But, as the researchers note, these drugs are usually not available in third world countries.

In order to help those people at risk, they have developed a strain of rice which contains the same
HIV-neutralizing proteins, and oral drugs.

After maturation of the seeds processed at the place in the ingredient is based on it then made a
topical cream containing proteins. The cream should be applied on the skin, so the squirrels got into
the body and had a protective effect.

Rice, was developed by bioengineers synthesize one type of antibody and two proteins that bind
directly to the HIV virus, not allowing him to interact with human cells.

http://micetimes.asia/scientists-have-modified-rice-to-prevent-hiv-infection/

Scientists have modified rice to prevent HIV infection


By paradox

19.11.2018

6|www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com ,
mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com
This modification can reduce the incidence in poor countries.

Scientists have discovered the miraculous property of rice, which was not previously known. A
group of scientists describes a method by which they have modified rice so that it can be used for
preventing HIV infections.

Doctors have made great strides in the treatment of patients infected with HIV-infections,
besides their number has sharply decreased, especially in developed parts of the world.

Scientists have also spent a lot of time and effort to develop a vaccine against the virus, but so far
have not succeeded. Although the development of oral drugs that can prevent infection for a
short period of time.

But, as the researchers note, these drugs are usually not available in third world countries.

In order to help those people at risk, they have developed a strain of rice which contains the same
HIV-neutralizing proteins, and oral drugs.

After maturation of the seeds processed at the place in the ingredient is based on it then made a
topical cream containing proteins. The cream should be applied on the skin, so the squirrels got
into the body and had a protective effect.

7|www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com ,
mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com
Rice, was developed by bioengineers synthesize one type of antibody and two proteins that bind
directly to the HIV virus, not allowing him to interact with human cells.

http://micetimes.asia/scientists-have-modified-rice-to-prevent-hiv-infection/

Aroma of Kala Namak rice to waft abroad, now


The Terai belt of Sidhdharthanagar, Maharajganj and Gorakhpur, close to Nepal, was once called
the ‗pride of Purvanchal‘ due to the cultivation of a very special variety of rice there called Kala
Namak.
LUCKNOW Updated: Nov 19, 2018 11:29 IST

Abdul Jadid
Hindustan Times, Gorakhpur

The rice with and without its husk.(HT Photo)

The Terai belt of Sidhdharthanagar, Maharajganj and Gorakhpur, close to Nepal, was once called

the ‗pride of Purvanchal‘ due to the cultivation of a very special variety of rice there called Kala

Namak.

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However, with the passage of time, this rare variety of rice, world famous for its rich aroma and

exotic taste, was shunned by farmers because of its low yield and non-profitability.

The crop was all but extinct in the region. However, with the efforts of a local NGO –

Participatory Rural Development Foundation (PRDF) led by retired agri-scientist Ram Chet

Chaudhary -- the crop is seeing a revival.

At an international seminar at IIM Lucknow in 2013, PRDF presented a research it had

conducted, titled ‗Kala Namak from extinction to distinction‘.

According to statistics presented during the seminar, the production of Kala Namak rice had

dropped from 50,000 hectares to just 2,000 hectares of land and was declining.

However, after efforts were put in to revive it, production again went up to 35,000 hectares in

2018 in 14 districts, including Gorakhpur, Basti, Maharajganj, Deoria, Sidhdharthanagar among

others.

Also, three high-yielding varieties of Kala Namak rice have been developed, and its farming

promoted in 14 districts of the Gorakhpur-Basti division. The latest variety developed is Bauna

Kala Namak 102. And if all goes as per plan, people may have this variety on their table before

the year ends.

The development has attracted Lucknow-based company Wet Land Glory Pvt Ltd, which on

Friday, entered into an agreement to purchase the crop directly from farmers and market it not

only in India but also abroad, especially Dubai and Singapore, under contract-farming.

If the NGO is to be believed, the Kala Namak rice cultivation, based totally on organic farming,

has contributed to three times more income to farmers compared to other paddy varieties such as

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Samba Massorie, Doongara, Koshihikari and as a result, more and more farmers are showing

interest in it.

Dr Chaudhary worked with the UN for 10 years, before coming back to the city in 2003. People

asked him to do something to revive the dying Kala Namak rice, related with the identity of

region, tracing its history back to the period of the Buddha. A meeting was called and the issue

discussed threadbare with agriculture scientists from various universities, including Faizabad

University. Even the then agriculture minister, Dhanraj Yadav, had attended the meeting.

―I collected over 250 samples from farmers to research the crop. After seven years of extensive

research, I succeeded in developing Kala Namak variety KN3, which was released by the UP

Government and notified by government of India in 2010. It was rich in aroma and tasted like the

original Kala Namak Rice but farmers complained that it had a low yield and that the outer

covering with pointed tip (awn) troubled them while separating rice from husk.

―Then I came up with an improvement, ‗Bauna Kala Namak 102‘, which was without an awn

and high-yielding. It was released and notified by the government of India in 2016. Now, we

have come up with latest variety called ‗Kala Namak Kiran‘, which will soon be notified by the

government.

―Now I wish to boost the marketing of Kala namak so that farmers are encouraged to grow it and

can sell it right from their doorstep,‖ Chaudhary said.

PK Srivastava of Wet Land Glory Pvt Limited, who signed the agreement with farmers, said,

―We want to take the Kala Namak Rice to national and international markets again.

―To ensure a fair price to farmers for their produce, we have entered into an agreement with

100% buy-back terms. To take this unique product of UP abroad, we will also start exporting it

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soon, besides promoting it through stalls at the coming Lucknow Mahotsav and even at Kumbh

2019. By the end of December, we will be able to market it.‖

Assistant Development officer Arvind Kumar Yadav said, ―Among the three varieties developed

by Dr Chaudhary, Bauna Kala Namak 102 has become very popular. It‘s very similar to the

original crop with a small stem and ripens in a comparatively shorter period of time. Also,

compared to the original Kala Namak Rice, its gives a good income to farmers. In one hectare,

50 to 55 quintals of Kala Namak Rice can be grown against 20 to 25 quintals of original Kala

Namak Rice per hectare.‖

https://www.hindustantimes.com/lucknow/aroma-of-kala-namak-rice-to-waft-abroad-now/story-
mdQXiMJd2SBdxF0SNSmA1I.html

Agriculture Exporters Convene in Baltimore


By Asiha Grigsby

BALTIMORE, MD -- Last week, USA Rice and 80 other agricultural trade associations met
here for the U.S Agricultural Export Development Council (USAEDC) Annual
Workshop. USAEDC is a non-profit, private sector trade association that represents the groups,
including USA Rice, that receive funding from USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) for
promotion of agricultural products overseas. This year's two-day event boasted a full schedule of
speakers and breakout sessions which focused on the Farm Bill, mid-term election results, the
toll of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agriculture, and an update on the Agricultural Trade Promotion
(ATP) program.

Political analyst Charlie Cook started things off with a candid summary of the importance of
mid-term elections and how they directly correlate to the government's response to issues facing
U.S. agriculture.

FAS Administrator Ken Isley gave the keynote address and discussed an agency reorganization
underway designed to better align the mission of FAS with its constituents. USDA staff also
provided an update on the ATP program, a 200 million dollar trade mitigation package aimed at
assisting farmers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign
nations. During the submission period, 71 organizations requested funding under this new
program and the requests were more than three times larger than the amount of available

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funds. USDA is currently reviewing proposals and expects to have funding decisions completed
by January 8, 2019.

Jason Hafemeister, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs,
reported that U.S. agriculture's top export markets are also those markets that have imposed
retaliatory duties on U.S. goods in response to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum. For example,
seventy-two percent of the goods Mexico has slapped with retaliatory tariffs are agricultural
exports, and 22 percent of all U.S. exports subject to retaliatory tariffs in China are in the
agriculture sector. The negative effects caused by agriculture tariffs were significant enough to
justify the implementation of the ATP program.

As part of a panel titled, "Maximizing Opportunities in Brexit," USA Rice COO Bob Cummings
spoke about the current market access challenges faced by U.S.-grown rice in the EU with high
tariffs, duty free access for only a small amount of U.S. rice, and favorable treatment provided to
other origins. The upcoming free trade agreement negotiations with the EU and the UK provide
an opportunity for U.S. rice to gain a larger market share in what was once a top market for U.S.
rice.

The event culminated with a standing ovation of gratitude to Annie Durbin, who has served in
the role of Executive Director for USAEDC since 2000 and is retiring at the end of 2018.

"The USAEDC Workshop is always a great opportunity for us to meet with our partners in FAS
and fellow cooperators to discuss challenges and opportunities in international markets. I was
happy to be able to publicly honor Annie who has strengthened the public/private partnership
with FAS/USDA and the bonds among the USAEDC members during her service as Executive
Director," said USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward, who chaired USAEDC from 2012-
2014.

PNG ,Philipines Rice Venture to Produce Megatonnes


BUSINESS
PNG, Philippines Rice Venture To Produce Megatonnes
The Secretary Of The Philippine Department Of Agriculture, Emmanuel Pi`Nol Has Projected 4-
5 Megatonnes (4-5 Million Metric Tonnes) Of Rice Production In PNG Within 2 Years,
Stamping Out Criticisms That Say PNG Is Not Able To Produce And Export Its Own Rice.

November 20, 2018


BY LEIAO GEREGA

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The secretary of the Philippine Department of Agriculture, Emmanuel Pi`nol has projected 4-5
megatonnes (4-5 million metric tonnes) of rice production in PNG within 2 years, stamping out
criticisms that say PNG is not able to produce and export its own rice.
Mr Pi`nol and Agriculture Minister Benny Allan both stood in for Philippines President Rodrigo
Durtete and Prime Minister Peter O‘Neill who did not turn up due to APEC commitments last
week.
PNG is not a rice exporting country and the MoU hopes to eliminate the expensive exercise of
importation cost at K500-600 million annually.
Already in production since August, is the 25-30-hectare rice demonstration field situated in the
Pacific Adventist University grounds from which rice seeds will be yielded and replicated from.
The agreement comes through technical, expertise and financial support from the Philippines
government in exchange that the rice demo field will replicate seeds with surplus to be
exclusively imported to Philippines.
―I was quite impressed by the growth, and the vigor of the rice in the field,‖ said Mr Pi`nol, who
earlier visited the plots and has confirmed its growth to be unique from Philippines rice
importing countries.
―Our target for PNG is to cultivate about a 100,000 hectares in two years which will make PNG rice efficient
but not only that we will go beyond that and we will target a million hectares in the next five years because
that will not only create greater income for the farmers and landowners but will also create food security of the
Philippines people.‖
For the Philippines this will ease food security issues in their country where they have a population of 105
million people, an annual growth rate of 1.7 percent and only 3.9 million hectares of rice planting fields.
For PNG, growing rice will save high importation bills for which the country currently imports about 400,000
tons of rice annually and spends 500-600 million in kina annually.
―We will simply plant rice in the country not only because we want to feed the people of Papua New Guinea
but because we would also like to feed our own people,‖ said Pi`nol.
The Philippine imports rice from Vietnam, Pakistan and Thailand but Mr Pi`nol projected that the growing
population of their trading rice partners will mean lesser supplies in the future.

https://postcourier.com.pg/png-philippines-rice-venture-produce-megatonnes/

Buhari’s #NextLevelLies, organises special Dinner,


Thanksgiving to celebrate WAEC ‘Certificate’? –
OVEMBER 19, 201812:49

Number one bestselling author and former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Pastor Reno
Omokri has called the campaign blueprint, ‗The Next Level,‘ which has just been launched by
President Muhammadu Buhari as ―Next Level Lies.‖ Pastor Reno Omokri El-Rufai to Obi:
You‘re bigot; No, you‘d insulted Jesus Christ, Omokri replies Pastor Omokri also described as
shameless a claim that the President organised a ―special Dinner and Thanksgiving ceremony to
celebrate his WAEC ‗Certificate.‖ President Buhari is the All Progressives Congress, APC, party
candidate in the coming presidential election. President Buhari just launched his presidential

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campaign council, ‗The Next Level,‘ wherein he said that his government has stabilised the
economy and reduced rice importation by 90%. He, also promised to overhaul the education
sector by remodeling at least 10,000 schools every year if re-elected as president in 2019. But
Pastor Omokri, in a series of tweets, disagreed with the president‘s development claims, saying
they are all lies. According to Omokri, the Buhari-led government has caused the loss of over 11
million jobs and reduced Nigeria to second world‘s largest importer of rice. ―The @MBuhari
campaign document lists job creation as achievement! Even @SGYemiKale, head of NBS was
on Twitter to complain that they have not given him funds to release this year‘s job numbers. 11
million Nigerians lost their jobs. Retweet if you know it is a lie #NextLevelLies.‖ ―Their Next
Level campaign document claims they stabilised the economy, yet, Bloomberg named the Naira
under @MBuhari as the fourth worst performing currency on earth. Please don‘t take my word.
Google it. Retweet if you know this is another big #NextLevelLies ―The biggest @FKeyamo lie
in @Mbuhari‘s campaign document is the claim they reduced rice importation by 90%.. Nigeria
is now the WORLD‘s SECOND LARGEST RICE IMPORTER after China. Our rice imports
increased by 30%. @Google it. Retweet if you know this is another big #NextLevelLies ―Can
you imagine how low and shameless @FKeyamo and co are. They advertise the so called
WAEC ‗certificate‘ given to @Mbuhari as an achievement! Look at how stupid they think you
are. Look at what they have reduced Nigeria to. Retweet if you know this is another big
#NextLevelLies ―How did Nigeria get to the point where a President arranges a special Dinner
Ceremony and Thanksgiving to celebrate a WAEC ‗Certificate‘?

I guess when you have no achievements to celebrate, you end up celebrating your ‗certificate‘!
Retweet to reject this #NextLevelLies ―. @FKeyamo‘s Next Level document praises
@MBuhari‘s economic plan. Is Keyamo an economist? @BillGates traveled to @AsoRock and
told Buhari face to face that ‗Your economic plan does not meet the needs of Nigerians‘. Google
it! Retweet if you know this is another big #NextLevelLies ―Another achievement in
@MBuhari‘s campaign document is the creation of ―a fairer and more equitable society‖. Yet
ALL the intelligence agencies are headed by Northern Muslim men. Not one SE person heads a
security agency. Retweet if you know this is another big #NextLevelLies ―The next achievement
in @MBuhari‘s campaign document is that ―we lay the foundation for a star and prosperous
nation‖.

Yet Nigeria was officially named the world headquarters for extreme poverty under Buhari.
Retweet if you know this is another one of @fkeyamo‘s big #NextLevelLies ―One of the
achievements in the @MBuhari campaign document is the Mambilla hydro power plant. But that
plant is an @OfficialPDPNig project by @GEJonathan. Dont take my word for it. @Google it.
They have no achievements so they lie. Retweet if you know this is a lie #NextLevelLies
―Another @FKeyamo lie in @Mbuhari‘s campaign document is the claim that ―We implemented
a responsible and transparent fiscal plan‖. Yet Ibe Kachikwu‘s leaked memo revealed NNPC
awarded $25 billion contracts without due process. Retweet if you know it is another big
#NextLevelLies ―One of the achievements in the @MBuhari Next Level campaign document is
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that they increased power from 4000 megawatts in 2015 to 7000 megawatts today. But how can
you increase power without building even one single new power station? Retweet if you know
this is a #NextLevelLies ―@FKeyamo‘s lies of @MBuhari achievements claims they have
improved healthcare. They improved healthcare so much that Buhari lived in London for half of
2017 and @AishaMBuhari complained of no paracetamol in @AsoRock clinic. Retweet if you
know this is another big #NextLevelLies ―Even President @MBuhari and @aishambuhari are
not happy with all the #NextLevelLies @fkeyamo packaged for them!‖

https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/11/buharis-nextlevellies-organises-special-dinner-thanksgiving-to-
celebrate-waec-certificate-reno/

FG mulls N60b rice subsidy, N24b compensation for


flood victims by TONY AILEMEN, Abuja
November 18, 2018 | 5:45 pm
The National Council on Food Security on Friday said Federal government has set aside the sum
of N60b to subsidize rice production in Nigeria.

The Council also announced that the Bureau of Public Enterprises BPE has concluded plans to

restructure the bank of agriculture.

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He noted that the restructuring will now made it possible for investors and farmers to buy shares

in the bank.

―It will eventually become the farmers bank. And we hope that in the process this will bring

down interest rates reasonably maybe 5 percent or a little higher, so that agriculture will become

attractive and people can raise capital to invest‖

This is just as the Council said government has also set aside another N24b to mitigate the

negative effect of flooding on states ravaged by the recent flood disaster that destroyed farm

lands across the country.

The Governor of Kebbi State and Vice Chairman of the Council, Atiku Bagudu, and Minister of

Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbe disclosed this at the Presidential Villa on Friday

while briefing State House Correspondents after the Council‘s meeting presided over by

President Muhammmadu Buhari.

―There is a subsidy programme coming up, government has approved N60 billion to support the

rice industry to bring down prices. But we are going to handle it differently, we don‘t want to get

into petroleum subsidy problem, so a committee is looking at it with the ministry of finance.

―We think that it is better for us to loan money to the millers, farmers and distributors at a very

low interest rate, so that the capital doesn‘t disappear, so they have cheaper credit to do their

business that should impact on the price of rice in the market. When we are ready we will let you

know.

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The Council also used the opportunity to debunk claims by the United States Department of

Agriculture that Nigeria will be the second largest importer of rice from 2019

The agency had projected 13 per cent rise in Nigeria‘s rice importation from next year to 3.4

million metric tons.

Bagudu who said the report was based on the recent flooding, added that it has no direct bearing

with the current rice production capacity of Nigeria.

Speaking on the herdsmen/farmers clashes, Ogbe said was putting in place a programme that will

aggregate all the wastes from harvest – from maize stock, rice stock, sorghum, Millets, beans,

process them, add molasses to feed the cows instead of allowing them roam around and getting

to this conflict with the farmers.

Federal government also announced a decline in foreign exchange expenditure on food items in

the last five years, including sugar, milk, Rick, tomato and wheat.

―In 2013 we spent $1,424,968.1 importing these five good items, the figure dropped to $1.280

billion in 2014.‖

―These are figures from the CBN as far Monday this week. In 2015 the figure dropped further to

$971 million and to $780.792 million and in 2017 the figure is now $628,643 million. The figure

for the 2018 will be ready next year. You can see the decline in our importation of food‖

―We drew the attention of the council to a report by the US department for agriculture which

suggested that Nigeria has been importing rice or about to the tune of about three million tonnes.

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―We informed the council that contact has been made with the US agency to tell us the basis for

the report because it‘s not consistent with the report available to us.

―The only official importation in Nigeria is about 4,000 metric tonnes of rice. Secondly, the

biggest exporter of rice, Thailand exported 1.1 million metric tonnes of rice to west Africa

between January to October this year and India exported 402 million metric tonnes of rice to

west Africa between January to end of July this year. That is a total of 1.5 million metric tonnes.

Even if all was smuggled into Nigeria, that was the total amount of importation one could

attribute to Nigeria.

―So, the US authorities responding by saying that their assessment was based on satellite

imaging of flooded areas and consideration that we are about to enter electioneering period and

that demand for rice by politicians or for political purposes will increase. Thirdly, that most west

African countries depend on nigeria so because of the flooding, they concluded based on those

assumptions that Nigeria will import more.‖

―Certainly, that is an erroneous report, even in spite of the flooding the upland rice production

has been quite strong this year. Even though prices have increase in response to flooding, we still

have adequate paddy rice in Nigeria.

Government said it has banned a brand of fertilizer known as NPK 151515 which has been
used in the country for many years but recent research revealed its not useful for any crop
or any soil.
“Soils differ and so does crop, to believe there is one uniform fertilizer you can spread for
every crop is a fallacy. And it’s because we have done soil test and change the formulations
of fertilizers, local blenders that some of the yields we are getting now are rising from two
tonnes per hectares to five and six. So the president is looking into that and see how we can
deal with it.

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AMRU Rice fears tax will impact rice
Cheng Sokhorng | Publication date 19 November 2018 | 10:16 ICT

AMRU Rice appeals to the EU to reconsider imposing a tax on the Kingdom‘s rice exports to all
EU member states. Pha Lina

AMRU Rice (Cambodia) Co Ltd, one of the Kingdom‘s main rice exporters, has appealed to the
EU to reconsider imposing a tax on the Kingdom‘s rice exports to all EU member states.

The company expressed concern that the EU action on the Kingdom‘s rice exports will impact
the entire industry, according to a letter sent to the EU Commission Directorate-General for
Trade.

Complaints
Italian rice farmers had complained about Cambodian rice imports since at least 2014, but this is
the first time a formal investigation was launched by the Commission.

The EU‘s investigation was launched on March 16 in response to a request from Italy, which
called for ―safeguard measures‖ – most commonly import restrictions or tariffs – to be imposed
on indica, or white rice from both Cambodia and Myanmar.

After the investigation, Commission issued its general disclosure document on November 5,
requiring Cambodia to pay tax on rice exports to the EU within three years with common custom
tariff duties of €175 per tonne in the first year.
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The Kingdom‘s rice industry argues that the EU‘s safeguard clauses should be specific to the
type of rice.

AMRU CEO Song Saran told The Post on Sunday that the EU‘s safeguard clause targets all
types of rice, while Cambodia mostly exports fragrant rice.

―The EU commission should review its safeguard clause or it will impact the entire Cambodian
rice industry. It will hurt rice farmers and rice millers as well as the Kingdom‘s economy."

―The safeguard clauses not only focus on indica rice or white rice but include all types of rice,
which will hurt our fragrant rice exports,‖ Saran said.

He said while Cambodian fragrant rice targets a niche market, farmers in the EU do not produce
that type of rice.

―The EU should better define [the terms and conditions of] rice exports in order to protect the
profits of rice farmers in Cambodia.‖

Saran said 90 per cent of Cambodian rice exports are made up of fragrant rice. And, it‘s on the
way to building a sustainable market for farmers.

Cambodia is granted a Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP), which currently grants the
country‘s exports tax-free entry to the European market under the Everything But Arms (EBA)
scheme.

However, under Article 24 of the GSP, import tariffs can be re-applied to a product if it is
determined that the product ―is imported in volumes and/or at prices which cause, or threaten to
cause, serious difficulties to EU producers of like or directly-competing products‖.

Ngin Chhay, director of the General Directorate of Agriculture at the Ministry of Agriculture,
Forestry and Fisheries, said that the Commission‘s decision is unfair for the Cambodian rice
industry.―The statement from the EU regarding indica rice kind of puts pressure on Cambodia,
which just stepped into [a stage of] better [economic] development."

―It is not fair for us to be based on EBA status policy and the WTO. Our rice production is based
on the export of fragrant rice and does not hurt the Italian market,‖ he said.

The share of the EU rice market captured by Cambodian rice has grown from 15 per cent in 2013
to 25 per cent last year, said the EU.Meanwhile, the share of the rice market controlled by
European producers has fallen from 61 per cent to 39 per cent over the same period

https://www.phnompenhpost.com/business/amru-rice-fears-tax-will-impact-rice
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Nigeria produces 75% of 7.8m MT of domestic need, says
AfricaRice
By Femi Ibirogba

19 November 2018 | 4:22 am

Says Customs negligent on rice smuggling

The Country Representative and Regional Coordinator of Africa Rice Centre (AfricaRice),
Ibadan, Dr Francis Nwilene, has exclusively disclosed to The Guardian that Nigeria‘s demand
for rice per annum hovers around 7.8 million metric tonnes.

The country, Nwilene said, produces about 5.8 million metric tonnes, making it about 75% of its
annual requirement.―Our demand is about 7.8 million tonnes per annum, not 6 million. Our
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production now is about 5.8 million. The US agency is not correct on the quantity of rice
produced in Nigeria,‖ the AfricaRice boss said.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had claimed that Nigeria‘s demand
for rice was 6 million tonnes, claiming that the country was already producing 90% of such
locally.The minister had disclosed this while reacting to a report released by the United States‘
Department of Agriculture‘s World Markets and Trade recently.

In the October report, the Department of Agriculture stated that more than three million metric
tonnes of rice had been imported into Nigeria this year.While the report also stated that Nigeria‘s
local rice production dropped from 2016 to 2018 compared to the situation in 2015, the minister
claimed 1.2 million metric tonnes of rice was exported to Nigeria in 2014, and that the figure
declined to 644,000 in 2015 and went further downward to 25,000 in 2016.

By implications, neither the Federal Government nor the US agency is right on the controversial
rice production and import figures.Lai Mohammed had admitted that importation figures from
the CBN and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) officially revealed 1.2 million, and Africa Rice
Centre said home production is 5.8 million. The sum of this is 6 million tonnes.

Perhaps the minister did not factor in the smuggled quantity of rice, concluding, by implication,
that Nigeria consumes 6 million metric tonnes. Another clear fact coming from the international
centre is that Nigeria is over 2 million tonnes deficit in rice production. Nwilene said the
Nigerian rice is getting more lucrative because most Nigerians now want locally produced rice,
not imported rice, because of the health hazards associated with imported one.

―What some of the importers do now is that they re-bag it. They stay at border towns and re-bag
rice as their own Mama Gold and sell in Nigeria. So, the US agency must have their figures.
Those importers do not want to let go easily. They do not need any approval from the CBN or
the Custom authority because they smuggled the products through the borders,‖ he disclosed.

―The only way now,‖ the rice scientist said, ―as I keep saying, is for the Custom authorities to
perform their duty effectively.‖ The Africa Rice Centre (AfricaRice) is a leading pan-African
rice research organisation committed to improving livelihoods in Africa through science and
effective partnerships. AfricaRice is a CGIAR Research Centre – part of a global research
partnership for a food-secure future. It is also an inter-governmental association of African
member countries.

The centre was created in 1971 by 11 African countries. Today its membership comprises 27
countries, covering West, Central, East and North African regions, namely Benin, Burkina Faso,
Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d‘Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo,
Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali,
Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone,
Togo and Uganda.

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An official of the Federal Government‘s Ibadan-based National Rice Centre, another rice
research institution under the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, who did not want his identity
disclosed, corroborated Nwilene‘ point that the country is not producing up to 90 per cent,
claiming that importation had reduced though.―Rice importation is less than in the last
administration, but we are not producing up to 90 per cent, I think,‖ he told The Guardian.

In another development, the Federal Government approved N60 billion for a rice subsidy
programme to make the product more affordable for Nigerians.The Minister of Agriculture and
Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbeh, disclosed this while briefing journalists on the outcome of
the meeting of the National Food Security Council.

Ogbeh claimed that a committee would be set up in collaboration with ministry of finance to
work out the modi operandi of the rice subsidy. He, however, hinted that the subsidy is not meant
for importation of the product, but to rev up local production at a lower cost.

This followed just as the forecast by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
claimed that Nigeria would be the world second largest rice importer by 2019.

―On an annual basis, consumption and residual use is projected higher in 2018/19 in Angola,
Benin, Burkina-Faso, Cambodia, Cote d‘Ivoire, Cuba, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Kenya,
Madagascar, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam,‖ the department said in its latest
Rice Outlook released on Tuesday..―China and Nigeria are projected to remain the largest rice
importing countries in 2019, followed by the EU, Cote d‘Ivoire, and Iran,‖ the forecast claimed.

NIGERIA PROJECTED TO BE SECOND LARGEST


RICE IMPORTER
November 17, 2018

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Come twenty nineteen, Nigeria has been projected to be the second largest rice importer.This is
according to the United States Department of Agriculture as contained in its latest Rice Outlook.

The Outlook in part stated: ―China and Nigeria are projected to remain the largest rice importing
countries in 2019, followed by the EU, Cote d‘Ivoire, and Iran. ―Nigeria and Egypt are projected
to account for the bulk of the 2019 import increase.

―Global rice consumption in 2018/19 is projected at a record 488.4 million tons, down 0.1
million tons from the previous forecast but up more than one percent from a year earlier.‖

The Central Bank of Nigeria in a bid to curb rice importation restricted forex for rice
importation, introducing the Anchor Borrowers Programme and the Commercial Agriculture
Credit Scheme.

https://plustvafrica.com/news/nigeria-projected-to-be-second-largest-rice-importer/

Lucknow group develops transgenic rice with reduced arsenic

accumulation
By Yogesh Sharma

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November 19, 2018

Arsenic acc

umulation in rice grains is one of the serious agricultural issues in India. To address this,
researchers at Lucknow- based CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute have developed
transgenic rice by inserting a novel fungal gene, which results in reduced arsenic accumulation in
rice grain.

In their latest study, researchers have cloned Arsenic methyltransferase (WaarsM) gene from a
soil fungus, Westerdykell aaurantiaca, and inserted the same into the rice genome with the help
of Agrobacterium tumefaciens, a soil bacterium which has natural ability to alter the plant‘s
genetic makeup.

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The newly developed transgenic rice along with normal rice was then treated with arsenic.
Comparison of transgenic and non-transgenic rice showed that transgenic plants accumulated
less arsenic in root as well as shoot as compared to non-transgenic lines.

Researchers found that the resulting transgenic plant acquired the potential for methylating
inorganic arsenic to a variety of harmless organic species, including volatile arsenicals. This
could be potential strategy for developing transgenic rice capable of low arsenic accumulation
not only in grain but also in straw and feed which are used for livestock.

Team of researchers at NBRI, Lucknow.

Now the team is focusing on food safety test and field trials, subject to regulatory approvals. In
addition, researchers are also looking for gaps in arsenic metabolism in rice which will ultimately
lead to understand arsenic uptake and metabolism in rice.

―Our study provides an understanding into arsenic transport mechanism in plants, predominantly
rice grain. This knowledge can be applied to develop practices to decrease accumulation of
arsenic in rice grain by molecular breeding, gene editing or transgenic approaches. It can have
tremendous public health consequences‖, explained Dr. Debasis Chakarabarty said while
speaking to India Science Wire.

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The research team is involved in developing biotechnological methods for reducing arsenic
accumulation in rice grain. In the past, it has shown a transgenic approachin which phytochelatin
synthase from Ceratophyllum demersum (an aquatic plant) was expressed in rice. Transgenic
lines showed enhanced accumulation of arsenic in roots and shoot but less in grains. They also
described that overexpression of OsGrx_C7 (protein found in rice) enhanced tolerance to arsenite
and reduced arsenite accumulation in seeds and shoots of rice. Recently, they have showed that
OsPRX38 transgenics accumulate less arsenic due to high lignification in root which acts as a
barrier for arsenic entry in transgenic plants.

―As large number of people are affected by arsenic toxicity, it is imperative to develop rice with
lesser arsenic content and high yield. In this background, biotechnological methods such as
modulating the expression of Arsenic metabolism-related genes in rice will be a fruitful and
practical approach to decrease arsenic accumulation‖, added Dr. Chakarabarty. The research
team included Shikha Verma, Pankaj Kumar Verma, Maria Kidwai, Manju Shri, Rudra Deo
Tripathi and Dr. Debasis Chakrabarty (CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute); Alok
Kumar Meher and Amit Kumar Bansiwal (National Environmental Engineering Research
Institute). The recent research results have been published in Journal of Hazardous Materials.

https://www.techexplorist.com/lucknow-group-develops-transgenic-rice-with-reduced-arsenic-
accumulation/18625/

Tiny Optical Gyroscope Smaller Than a Grain of Rice


Nadia Krieger posted on November 19, 2018

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Tests in the lab have shown the sensor to be 500 times smaller and 30 times more sensitive than
MEMS gyroscopes, but the device is still a long way from mass production. (Image courtesy of
Ali Hajimiri/Caltech.)
You may not realize it, but gyroscopes can be found in pretty much any modern electronic

gadget. With applications ranging from cell phones to vehicles, drones and wearables, the

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humble gyroscope sensor is also one of the most versatile. These days, the gyroscopes that you

can find in your phone will likely be MEMS-based.

Now however, researchers from Caltech have successfully built another type of gyroscope that is

500 times smaller and 30 times more sensitive than the MEMS version. Their research

was published in Nature this month.

Traditional MEMS-based gyroscopes work by measuring the forces of two identical masses that

are oscillating and moving in opposite directions. By contrast, the optical gyroscope that the

Caltech team developed employs lasers rather than MEMS to achieve the same result. Although

optical gyroscopes are effective in theory, in practice they have been hard to miniaturize, as the

noise-to-signal ratio is inversely proportional to the optical gyroscope‘s size.

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To understand the optical gyroscope, one must first begin with the Sagnac Effect. Discovered by

French physicist Georges Sagnac, the effect uses Einstein‘s principle of general relativity to

detect changes in angular velocity. Essentially, a laser is broken into two beams, and each beam

is shot along one side of a disk. Because light travels at constant speed, the two beams reach the

end of the disk at the same time so long as the disk is not in motion. If the disk is spinning, the

laser beams will arrive at the end-point out of sync. This difference in synchronization is what

the gyroscope measures, as the end-point beam has minute changes in its properties that can

reveal, for instance, whether or not you‘ve just dropped your smartphone.

Unfortunately, the Sagnac Effect is often prohibitively sensitive to noise in the signal.

Everything from small thermal fluctuations, to vibrations from nearby construction or loud

noises can disrupt the beams as they travel. To make matters worse, the smaller the gyroscope is,

the more easily it is disrupted. The smallest high-performance optical gyroscopes today are

around the size of a golf ball—not very suited to being stuffed inside a smart watch.

In order to bypass these problems, the Caltech team came up with the solution of lengthening the

path that the laser beams must travel, allowing them to employ small disks instead of large ones,

while still getting the same level of accuracy. Ali Hajimiri, Bren Professor of Electrical

Engineering and Medical Engineering in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science, and

the leader of the study, calls the technique "reciprocal sensitivity enhancement." In this case,

"reciprocal" means that it affects both beams of the light inside the gyroscope in the same way.

The technique works by using two disks instead of one, and then switching the direction that the

light is travelling back and forth. This extended the path that the beams are travelling to several

thousand rotations instead of one. When the path of the beams is longer, the amount of noise is

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more even across the two beams, thereby smoothing out imperfections from outside interference,

and resulting in an accurate measurement when the beams meet each other at the end.

Although the research has been garnering some attention, it is worth remembering that it takes a

long time for these kinds of innovations to get from the lab to the factories. The research has

shown that building optical gyroscopes of this size is possible, but converting the results into a

commercial product is a process that can take many years

https://www.engineering.com/ElectronicsDesign/ElectronicsDesignArticles/ArticleID/18013/Tiny-
Optical-Gyroscope-Smaller-Than-a-Grain-of-Rice.aspx

The Arsenic In Our Food


by Sudhakar Srivastava

November 19, 2018

Arsenic is a widely-distributed toxic carcinogenic metalloid popularly known as the king of


poisons and the poison of the kings. The history of intentional and accidental poisoning by
arsenic dates back a long time.

Acute and long-term exposure of arsenic leads to several health problems and diseases in humans
collectively referred to as ―arsenicosis.‖ Arsenic exposure in pregnant women may also affect
fetus development. Arsenic-related health effects include various skin related problems
(hyperkeratosis, hyperpigmentation), cancer development in different tissues and organs (skin,
bladder, kidney, lung), mee‘s lines, and hair hypomelanosis.
The WHO has proposed a Benchmark Dose Lower Limit (BMDL0.5) for arsenic that suggests a
0.5% increased incidence of cancer. These limits are 3 μg day−1 kg−1 bw, 5.2 μg day−1 kg−1 bw,
and 5.4 μg day−1 kg−1bw for lung cancer, bladder cancer, and skin lesions, respectively (WHO,
2011; JFCFA, 2011).

Both natural (biogeochemical) and anthropogenic activities are known to be the source of arsenic
contamination in the environment. Severe arsenic contamination exists in Southeast Asian
countries like Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and China. In these regions, arsenic-contaminated
groundwater is used as drinking water and also for irrigation purposes. This leads to arsenic entry
into different crops and, subsequently, into the food chain through food grains, processed food
items, vegetables, fruits, fish, mushrooms, etc.

Credit: Pixabay

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Rice is known to be the most affected of all crops. The daily consumption of rice is very high in
India, Bangladesh, as well as other Southeast Asian countries. These regions have severe and
widespread arsenic contamination and are also the major rice-growing areas. Thus, arsenic
contamination of groundwater and rice becomes a huge problem in these regions. However, it
must be understood that the problem of arsenic accumulation in rice plants is of global concern,
as rice import and export among different countries is a regular practice, and rice grains, rice
milk, rice bran, and several rice-based food products are consumed by millions of people of
different ages (from infants to adults), groups, and regions.
Researchers have focused on analyzing not only the whole rice grains but also a number of rice-
based food products for arsenic levels and arsenic species. In addition, government agencies
conduct an arsenic analysis of food items regularly. The results of hundreds of research articles
and government reports have been eye-opening, as the presence of arsenic at higher-than-
recommended levels has been detected in rice grains. Arsenic concentrations have been found to
vary in different varieties of rice of varying origin, e.g. Indica vs. Japonica rice, local vs. high
yielding varieties, long grain vs. short grain varieties, etc. Rice bran samples have also been
found to contain a very high amount of arsenic (∼1 mg kg-1 dry weight; Sun et al., 2008) putting
products using rice bran as an ingredient at risk. Different after-harvest treatments also affect
arsenic concentrations in rice, for example, brown rice vs. parboiled brown rice and white rice
vs. parboiled white rice (Batista et al., 2011).
Lately, there have been plenty of reports demonstrating arsenic presence in rice-based food
products, including baby food items from different parts of the world. Hence, even the infants
and toddlers are exposed to arsenic at a very young age (Carbonell-Barrachina et al., 2012;
Cubadda et al., 2016). The problem is further exacerbated by the fact that infants and young
children consume more food than adult people based on body weight. With rising concerns about
arsenic in rice, the WHO has set a permissible limit for inorganic arsenic (arsenite + arsenate) of
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0.2 mg kg-1 for white rice and 0.4 mg kg-1 for brown rice. The European Union (EU) prescribed
the maximum limits for inorganic arsenic as 0.2 mg kg−1 for white rice and a limit of 0.1 mg
kg−1 for rice-based food products for infants and young children.
With more and more research focused on evaluating the impact of arsenic contamination around
the world, it has come to light that infiltration affects a number of crop plants (wheat, maize,
burglar, pulses, beans etc.), fruits, vegetables (potato, lady finger, leafy vegetables etc.),
mushrooms, and animal products (fish, meat, meat products, egg, milk, and dairy-based
products). Because of this, arsenic consequently finds its way into commercial food products
prepared from contaminated raw material (Zhao et al., 2010). Hence, the risk of As-exposure
becomes pertinent not only to people living in arsenic-contaminated regions and/or consuming
rice as major food but also to people living in other parts of the world. Future research needs to
devise easy, low-cost methods for the routine sampling of water and food samples to ensure safe
food for all.

The need was felt to devise the best possible low-cost method to reduce arsenic in rice grains
purchased from the market. In this perspective, cooking methods have been researched to
evaluate the impact of cooking on rice arsenic concentration and arsenic speciation. It has been
found that the ratio of rice to water used for cooking of rice, water used for washing rice, the
cooking duration, and the number of washing steps significantly influence the arsenic content
and its bioaccessibility in cooked rice (Mwale et al., 2018; Rasheed et al., 2018).

Nonetheless, Gray et al. (2016) warned that if excess water is used for cooking rice, along with
significant reduction in inorganic arsenic content, loss of nutrient elements like iron and vitamins
(folate, thiamin, and niacin) might also occur. Hence, more research is needed to optimize a
cooking method so as to achieve maximum possible arsenic reduction while managing the
optimum nutritional quality of rice grains.

The years of research into arsenic in our food and drinking water have led not only to changes in
arsenic limits (mentioned above) but also to changes in composition and types of infant and child
food products. It has been found in a recent survey that the proportion of rice was varied while
other grains (maize) were mixed in infant/baby food products in Ireland (Carey et al., 2018). In
the future, strict regulations need to be imposed to make food items safe for consumption by
people of all ages.

These findings are described in the article entitled A review of arsenic in crops, vegetables,
animals and food products, recently published in the journal Food Chemistry. This work was
conducted by Munish K. Upadhyay, Anurakti Shukla, Poonam Yadav, and Sudhakar Srivastava
from Banaras Hindu University.
References:
1. Batista, B. L., Souza, J. M. O., Souza, S. S., & Barbosa, J. (2011). Speciation of As in rice and
estimation of daily intake of different As species by Brazilians through rice consumption. Journal of
Hazardous Materials 191, 342–348. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2011.04.087

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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2. Carbonell-Barrachina, A. A., Wu, X., Ramirez-Gandolfo, A., Norton, G. J., Burlo, F., Deacon, C.,
et al. (2012). Inorganic As contents in rice-based infant foods from Spain, UK, China and
USA. Environmental Pollution 163, 77 – 83. DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2011.12.036
3. Carey, M., Donaldson, E., Signes-Pastor, A. J., & Meharg, A. A. (2018). Dilution of rice with other
gluten free grains to lower inorganic arsenic in foods for young children in response to European
Union regulations provides impetus to setting stricter standards. PloS One e0194700. DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0194700.
4. Cubadda, F., D‘Amato, M., Aureli, F., Raggi, A., & Mantovani, A. (2016). Dietary exposure of the
Italian population to inorganic arsenic: The 2012−2014 total diet study. Food and Chemical
Toxicology 98, 148−158. DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2016.10.015
5. Gray, P. J., Conklin, S. D., Todorov, T. I., & Kasko, S. M. (2016). Cooking rice in excess water
reduces both As and enriched vitamins in the cooked grain. Food Additives and Contaminants: Part
A 33, 78 – 85. DOI: 10.1080/19440049.2015.1103906
6. JECFA (Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives) (2011). Evaluation of certain
contaminants in food. The seventy-second report, WHO, 1-115.

7. Mwale, T., Rahman, M. M., & Mondal, D. (2018). Risk and benefit of different cooking methods on
essential elements and arsenic in rice. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public
Health, 15, 1056. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph15061056.
8. Rasheed, H., Kay, P., Slack, R., & Gong, Y. Y. (2018). Arsenic species in wheat, raw and cooked
rice: Exposure and associated health implications. Science of the Total Environment, 634, 366–373.
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.03.339.
9. Sun, G. X., Williams. P. N., Carey, A. M., Zhu, Y. G., Deacon, C., Raab, A., et al. (2008). Inorganic
As in rice bran and its products are an order of magnitude higher than in bulk grain. Environmental
Science and Technology 42, 7542 – 7546. DOI: 10.1021/es801238p
10. WHO (World Health Organization) (2011). Guidelines for drinking-water quality, vol. 4. pp. 315–
318.

11. Zhao, F. J., Stroud, J. L., Eagling, T., Dunham, S. J., McGrath, S. P., & Shewry, P. R. (2010).
Accumulation, distribution, and speciation of As in wheat grain. Environmental Science and
Technology 44, 5464-5468. DOI: 10.1021/es100765g

https://sciencetrends.com/the-arsenic-in-our-food/

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Bangladeshi rice research lags behind due to legal framework
Mahadi Al Hasnat

Published at 09:58 pm November 19th, 2018

Photo: Bigstock

The experts said there are still many legal and policy challenges for the private sector to
overcome if it is to become involved in research and development, even with the recent
passing of a law allowing the private sector and government agencies to develop rice
varieties

Scientific research to develop new and high yielding rice varieties in Bangladesh has
fallen behind the rest of the world despite rice being the key food grain of the country,
experts at a workshop said yesterday.

The experts said there are still many legal and policy challenges for the private sector to
overcome if it is to become involved in research and development, even with the recent

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passing of a law allowing the private sector and government agencies to develop rice
varieties.

―For so many years, only the public sector and public universities were allowed to
conduct research and release the varieties,‖ Managing Director and Chief Executive
Officer of ACI Agribusiness Ltd Dr FH Ansarey said.

―However, the new Seed Act 2018 allows private sector to conduct research and
development work. This is a great opportunity to give the country‘s rice research
activities a boost.‖

The two-day workshop that began at the ACI Centre in Dhaka on Sunday was titled
―Transforming Rice Breeding: Current Status and Way Forward‖ and was held in
partnership with USAID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

The workshop aimed to create awareness, disseminate the Transforming Rice Breeding
(TRB) approaches and evaluate the current status of the ongoing TRB progra m at the
International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI)
and ACI.

Govt support sought

Addressing the workshop, ACI Agribusiness CEO Ansarey warned about the current
projections for the future demand of rice and restrictions on its cultivation.

―In Bangladesh, rice occupies 71% of gross cropped area and contributes to 94% of the
total food grain production along with one half of agricultural GDP,‖ he said.

―However, with the population growth in the country, farmland shrunk by 0.26% annually
between 1976 and 2010 and is currently shrinking at an estimated 1% per year. By 2050,
the country‘s population will increase to 200.19 million while 44.6 million metric tons of
clean rice will be required for these people.‖

Ansarey also sought government support in innovation, finance, policy, infrastructure,


production costs, and promotion and communication.

35 | 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
Agriculture Ministry Secretary Md Nasiruzzaman graced the opening of the workshop as
chief guest while BRRI acting Director General Dr Tamal Lata Aditya and ACI Group
Chairman M Anis Ud Dowla were present as special guests.

USAID Bangladesh‘s Roy Fenn and BMGF‘s Gary Atlin also spoke at the opening
session as guests of honour with IRRI Representative for Bangladesh Dr Humna th
Bhandari in the chair.

Cost effective

The speakers said TRB enables rice breeders to develop a rice variety faster, within three
to four years, compared to the traditional system, which takes around seven to eight
years.

They said the new approach to rice breeding is cost effective and based on market
demand. The important aspect of the modern approach is the selection process, which is
molecular based and unlike the visual selection system in the traditional approach, they
said.

According to experts, this molecular based selection ensures rice breeders develop
varieties built in specific desired traits with high genetic gains mainly in terms of yield.

―It is strongly believed that the rice varieties once developed through the TRB
approaches will be highly acceptable by the farmers not only for high yield but also for
the desirable traits such as resistance to diseases and pests, salinity tolerant, and
attractive grain quality,‖ IRRI‘s Bangladesh Representative Dr Humnath said.

―It will overcome the constraints of varietal replacement: the farmers will not cultivate
decades old varieties; instead they will cultivate the new ones.

―This will provide a tremendous boost to rice production in Bangladesh.‖

https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/nation/2018/11/19/bangladeshi-rice-research-lags-behind-due-
to-legal-framework

36 | 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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