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October 13 ,2018 Vol 9 ,Issue 10

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Hom mali rice production set to drop 10% on drought  

12 Oct 2018 at 07:56 NEWSPAPER SECTION: BUSINESS | WRITER: PHUSADEE ARUNMAS

The Commerce Ministry expects hom mali fragrant rice production for the 2018-19 main crop to drop due to drought in the North and Northeast. (Bangkok Post file photo) Hom mali fragrant rice production for the 2018-19 main crop is expected to drop 10% from the previous season because of drought in the North and Northeast. Vice-minister Jintana Chaiyawonnagal said the Commerce Ministry's preliminary survey found that rice plantations in the northern and northeastern areas were hit hard by irregular rainfall. As a result, paddy production for the annual harvest season, which starts later this month, will decline from 7.6 million tonnes in the previous season. Last year's premium rice production also fell from 7.9-8 million tonnes of paddy in previous years because of the impact of floods. The Commerce Ministry in partnership with the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry surveyed rice plantations in 16 provinces during August and September. The two ministries predicted overall rice production will stay at around 25 million tonnes of paddy rice this year, on par with the previous season, boosted by white paddy and glutinous paddy production.

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White paddy production is estimated at 9.2 million tonnes, a marginal rise from the previous season, while glutinous paddy production is predicted to rise to 6.2 million tonnes from 6 million. Kriangsak Tapananon, president of Thai Rice Mills Association, said in upper northeastern provinces like Sri Sa Ket, Mukdahan and Sakon Nakhon, rice production was much better than last year because of regular rainfall in those areas. But the lower Northeast, including Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Surin, Maha Sarakham and Khon Kaen, will likely see production fall from drought. "If there is no rain within 15 days, hom mali rice production will definitely fall in those 4-5 drought-afflicted provinces," Mr Kriangsak said. "A clearer estimate is expected to become available after October." According to the Foreign Trade Department's data, in the first nine months, Thailand shipped 8.4 million tonnes, up 2.9% year-on-year, with an export value of US$4.31 billion (141 billion baht), up 21.4%. Nine-month export volume accounted for 84% of the rice export target set at 11 million tonnes this year by the ministry. Average export price is predicted at $512.67 per tonne, up 18%. Thailand should export an average of 860,000 tonnes a month for the remaining months to achieve shipments of 11 million tonnes of milled rice as projected, said the department. The Thai Rice Exporters Association recently raised its export forecast to 11 million tonnes this year, worth $5.6 billion, from 9.5 million tonnes worth $4.3 billion.

Scientists Discover A Novel Way to Improve the Nutritional Value of Rice Oct 11, 2018 The triploid cereal endosperm, consisting of an outer aleurone and an inner starchy endosperm, contributes to over 70% of the staple food consumed by humans. These two tissues have the same developmental origin. But starchy endosperm accumulates mainly starch, whereas the aleurone accumulates mainly storage proteins, lipids, vitamins, and minerals. Recently, a team led by Prof. LIU Chunming at the Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in collaboration with Prof. Philip Larkin from Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia, screened approximately 36,000 ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS)-mutagenized rice seeds using a half-seed assay, and identified an elitethick aleurone 2 (ta2) line in which the aleurone has on average 4.8 Âą 2.2 cell layers. Map-based cloning showed that a dominant negative mutation of a DNA demethylase, OsROS1, led to the thick aleurone phenotype of ta2.

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The contents of all measured nutritional factors including lipids, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibers were increased for 30% to 300% in ta2 grains.

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Furthermore, using an in-house TLLING platform, this team identified 5 addition new ta2 alleles with point mutations inOsROS1, providing important genetic materials for improving the nutritional value of rice. Currently, the team is trying to use gene editing technology to modulate the expression of DNA demethylase ROS1 in wheat, maize and other cereal crops to explore the possibilities to improve their nutritional value. This study provides a theoretical basis for understanding epigenetic regulation of endosperm development and nutrient accumulation in cereal crops, and highlights the potential for manipulating OsROS1 activity to improve the nutritional value of rice and may have applications in other cereal crops as well. This research entitled "Mutations in the DNA demethylase OsROS1 result in a thickened aleurone and improved nutritional value in rice grains" has been published in Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA on October 1, 2018. This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, the CASInnovation Project "Molecular Modules for Breeding Design", and the CAS-CSIRO Bilateral Collaboration Project. (A) ta2-1, a dominant negative mutant of OsROS1, showed the thick aleurone phenotype. (B) ta2-1 exhibited the increased aleurone cell layer. (C) The total protein, lipid, iron,zinc, calcium, dietary fiber, antioxidant, phenolic, and vitamin A, B1, B2, B3 contents of ta2-1 grains were significantly higher compared with wild type. (Image by LIU Chunming) (Editor: ZHANG Nannan) JIN Shuo Institute of Botany E-mail: int_office@ibcas.ac.cn

Reference http://english.cas.cn/newsroom/research_news/201810/t20181011_198167.shtmlOct 13, 2018, 1:21 AM; last updated: Oct 13, 2018, 1:21 AM (IST)

Nexus between millers, govt agencies: Arhtiyas Our Correspondent Abohar, October 12 Members of the Arhtiyas Association on Friday alleged that paddy growers were being exploited by representatives of some rice mills who had developed a nexus with state government purchase agencies.

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They claimed that this had become an unethical practice for the past few years. As and when some action was solicited, the powerful lobby of millers would threaten to stop milling. Last year, milling had to be done at mills in Rajasthan. On a tip-off that the ―partners in the nexus‖ were holding a secret meeting at a hotel in Jain Nagari, some members of the association carried out a surprise checking, but the people concerned had reportedly dispersed by then. The members approached Sub-Divisional Magistrate Poonam Singh and apprised her of the alleged nexus. They claimed that rice mills representatives had been purchasing paddy at Rs 70 less than the MSP in connivance with some state government officials by threatening farmers to reject the produce as it contained more moisture than the specification. The deputation said CCTV footages of the hotels should be examined to ascertain the allegations. The SDM assured to conduct an inquiry and said anyone found guilty would face the music. She said purchases below the MSP would not be allowed, adding that the interests of farmers would be protected.

Agents boycott cotton purchase Fazilka: The local commission agents have boycotted the procurement of cotton in the cotton yard here on Friday to protest against the Central government decision to buy cotton directly from the farmers through the Cotton Corporation of India. The commission agents submitted a memorandum to DC Manpreet Singh. Gurpreet Singh Lovery Kathpal, president, Arhtiya Association, Fazilka, said the Centre was trying to create a wedge between the decades' old relationship of commission agents and farmers. OC https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/nexus-between-millers-govt-agenciesarhtiyas/667448.html

World's largest rice gene bank secures permanent funding The International Rice Research Institute is home to 136,000 varieties and aims to develop crops resistant to climate change.

Rice is a staple food for almost half the world‘s population.Credit: Erik De Castro/Reuters

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A major global repository of rice biodiversity has secured permanent funding. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) gene bank, based in Los Baños, the Philippines, harbours some 136,000 varieties of rice and its wild relatives — resources that scientists can study and that breeders can use to develop new kinds of rice. On 12 October, the Crop Trust, a non-governmental organization based in Bonn, Germany that supports food security and crop diversity, announced funding of US$1.4 million a year "in perpetuity" to support the rice gene bank. ―This is fantastic news for the future of rice research,‖ said Matthew Morell, directorgeneral of IRRI in a press release. ―The Crop Trust funding enables IRRI to focus on using its large and diverse rice collection to benefit the world.‖ Rice is a staple food for almost half the world‘s population, and new varieties could help to maintain crop production in the face of increased drought, flooding and other manifestations of global climate change. ―Today‘s announcement validates 20 years of work and 50 years of thinking on how the international community can safeguard crops used for food and agriculture," said Marie Haga, executive director of the Crop Trust, in a press release. ―We hope IRRI will be the first of several globally significant gene banks to receive permanent financial support from the Crop Trust.‖ https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07029-1

Gene editing advancements critical to feeding a hungry planet Professor Jan Leach, left, watches assistant professor Hongxia Liu inoculate rice plants with bacteria at CSU. A researcher at Cal-Davis fears that Agriculture Department oversight of the bacteria will drive her out of the research field. By KRISTA KAFER | Columnist for The Denver Post October 11, 2018 at 11:57 pm

And now for some good news: because of the scientific research at Colorado State University and other research institutions we may be able to feed all nine billion people in 2050 and confront the ... https://www.denverpost.com/2018/10/11/gene-editing-advancements-feeding-hungry-planet/

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Rice 'safely conserved' in Philippines gene bank By Helen BriggsBBC News



12 October 2018

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGESImage captionRice being harvested in Northwest Vietnam

Scientists say that more than 100 thousand varieties of rice have been safeguarded for the future. Samples in the world's largest rice gene bank in the Philippines are being used to help farmers develop rice crops that can survive drought and flooding. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) gene bank has secured permanent funding from the Crop Trust. It is part of international efforts to store seeds in gene banks to protect food supplies in a warming world. "These seeds are miracles - we believe that in this natural diversity of rice you have almost any trait that you would want to look for," said Marie Haga, executive director of the international non-profit organisation, the Crop Trust. She said rice is relatively easy to store, and should survive preservation for hundreds of years at low temperatures. The rice contains the genetic diversity that can be used to breed new rice crops capable of withstanding pests and disease as well as flooding and drought.

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Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Rice food facts 

Rice accounts for over 20% of global calorie intake

Over 90% of the world's rice is produced and consumed in Asia with six countries (China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Japan) accounting for 80% of the world's production and consumption

By 2050, annual rice consumption is estimated to rise from 420 to 525 million tonnes.

One recent advance from IRRI, which is based in Los Banos, Philippines, is a strain of rice that can survive areas hit by flooding.

"Scuba rice" has been introduced in Asia and is now being adapted for growing in Africa. Image copyrightIRRIImage captionThe IRRI gene bank holds wild species of rice from around the world

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Ruaraidh Sackville-Hamilton, an evolutionary biologist who manages the IRRI genebank, said the work to conserve rice has a proven track record in bringing benefits to the world. "With this collection safely conserved, we can continue to use it to develop improved rice varieties that farmers can use to respond to the challenges in rice production, and to adapt to the changing tastes and preferences of consumers everywhere," he said. https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-45828150

World Rice Conference opens in Hanoi Thursday, 2018-10-11 16:43:09

Deputy PM Vuong Dinh Hue speaks at the World Rice Conference. (Photo: VGP) Font Size:

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NDO - The 2018 World Rice Conference kicked off in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi on October 11, gathering Vietnamese leaders and businesses, as well as rice producers and traders from 30 countries. According to Minister of Industry and Trade, Tran Tuan Anh, Vietnam is playing a greater role in rice supply, helping to ensure global food security. He added that Vietnam has adopted a rice export market development plan, aiming to enhance the quality of Vietnamese rice in order to meet market demands and strengthen the value chain linkages from production to export. President and CEO of The Rice Trader Jeremy Zwinger stated that Vietnam‘s rice production and trade has seen positive progress and expressed his confidence in the Vietnamese government‘s attention to developing the rice value in the future. Speaking at the conference, Deputy PM Vuong Dinh Hue affirmed that rice production is a major part of Vietnam‘s agricultural policy, ensuring food security for Vietnam as well as partly for

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He informed those present that the rice growing area accounts for about 60% of Vietnam‘s total cultivation area and rice production is an important source of livelihood for roughly 9 million farming households. Currently Vietnam is one of the three largest rice exporters in the world, with an annual shipment of 5-6 million tonnes to 150 countries and territories, bringing in US$2.5 billion. Deputy PM Hue said that a new government decree on rice exports will create a favourable environment for the rice trade, helping Vietnam participate deeper in the global rice value chain. Although rice production is facing numerous challenges from climate change, the Deputy PM expressed his belief that new scientific and technological advances would help the rice sector to produce new varieties that could adapt to climate change. The 2018 World Rice Conference is jointly held by The Rice Trader and Vietnam‘s Ministry of Industry and Trade. http://en.nhandan.org.vn/business/item/6707102-world-rice-conference-opens-in-hanoi.html

World’s most premier rice conference opens in Hanoi The 10th The Rice Trader (TRT) World Rice Conference, the world’s most premier conference focused solely on the rice trade, was opened in Hanoi on October 11.

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Attending the event were Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue, leading officials of Vietnam‘s Ministries of Industry and Trade, and Agriculture and Rural Development, representatives of the rice sector of the world‘s major importers and exporters and major companies, and experts from more than 30 nations and territories all over the world. Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said that Vietnam holds an increasingly important role in coordinating with rice importers, exporters and partner organisations to effectively participate in the globe‘s rice product chain and food security. The country‘s rice export market development strategy for the 2017-2020 period with a vision to 2030 approved by the Prime Minister focuses on developing export markets to increase the efficiency of and boost rice export, thus helping raise farmers‘ incomes, ensure domestic food security and social welfare, and protect the eco-environment. The strategy also targets rice export market development with increasing competitiveness, building Vietnamese rice trademark, and intensifying connectivity through a value chain from production to consumption and export, Anh added. Jeremy Zwinger, TRT President and CEO, said Vietnam‘s hosting of the 10th conference shows its Government‘s attention and commitments to the development of the rice sector and the trade of the grain. With a message of ―investing in the rice sector in future‖, delegates discussed global trends on rice production and trade in 2018 and the following years, shared experience in producing rice sustainably, controlling the supply chain, developing rice trademark and apply technology in this sector. Many stressed unpredictable changes in global trade, especially rice trade, as rice is a sensitive commodity with high requirements on food safety and environmental protection. Deputy PM Vuong Dinh Hue affirmed that agriculture and rural development is a major policy of the Vietnamese Party, State and Government, in which rice production and export play an important role in contributing to ensuring food security for Vietnam, the region and the world at large. Despite a strong industrialisation and modernisation process, rice fields now account for around 60 percent of Vietnam‘s total arable area, and rice production is an essential source of livelihood for nearly 9 million farmer households in the country. After more than 30 years of renewal, Vietnam has risen from a poor country which had to import food to one of the three largest rice exporters of the world with an average volume of 5-6 million tonnes. Last year, Vietnam exported nearly 6 million tonnes of rice, earning 2.6 billion USD, up 21 percent in volume and 22 percent in value year-on-year. Vietnamese rice is available in 150 nations and territories, Hue said, adding that Vietnam is eyeing potential markets in Europe, America and Oceania, along with its traditional ones such as China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Cuba and African nations. Vietnamese rice also meets all criteria to enter the most choosy markets in the world, as the country has paid much attention to applying high technologies in production, and develop organic agriculture, he affirmed. According to him, the Vietnamese Government has set a target of intensifying production and export connectivity through a value chain, ensuring the quality of exported rice, and entering

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more deeply into the global rice value chain so as to build and confirm the prestige of Vietnamese rice trademark.-VNA https://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/business/210106/world-s-most-premier-rice-conference-opens-inhanoi.html

Congressman Visits Rice Festival & Talks with Area Rice Farmers By Jamison Cruce WINNIE, TX -- Last Saturday, at the Texas Rice Festival here, a group of local rice farmers hosted a meeting with Congressman Brian Babin (R-TX) on current issues affecting them and other farmers in Texas' 36th Congressional District. Among those issues ranking highest in priority were the farm bill and trade given the farm bill's expiration at the end of last month and uncertainty surrounding the trade and market situation for U.S.-grown rice. The group emphasized the hurt farmers and the rice industry are facing with continued price declines and the damage to markets due to retaliatory tariffs. Specifically, the group discussed the need for the completion of a farm bill this year that provides a safety net during times of depressed prices, in addition to other programs that the rice industry uses to be more sustainable, maintain and create new markets, provide humanitarian aid to those in need both home and abroad, and mitigate risk on the farm. Also discussed was the U.S. rice industry's need for increased international market access, particularly urging the quick completion of the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement to preserve the Mexican and Canadian markets, the number one and number six largest export markets for U.S.-grown rice, respectively. In addition, the group discussed the importance of continuing to open up the European and Japanese markets and holding China accountable for disregarding its World Trade Organization obligations for U.S. rice by barring exports for over a decade. "I love visiting with our rice folks. Rice is a critical part of our economy in Southeast Texas, and I work hard to fight for their interests in Washington. I am hopeful the farm bill conferees will soon come to a compromise on the farm bill so we can ensure our rice farmers have the certainty that comes with a multiyear bill," said Congressman Babin. "It is so important we get a bill that protects farmers and strengthens our farm economy and also includes common-sense work requirements that incentivize Americans to contribute to our economy. In addition to the farm bill, we must continue advocating for trade policies which protect our interests at home while promoting fair play on the global stage." Those present at the meeting were rice farmers Charlie Reneau, Will Reneau, Steven Devillier, Neal Stoesser, Rodney Dishman, Bill Dishman, local county Extension agent Tyler Fitzgerald, and Congressman Babin's district director, Kelly Waterman. "We really appreciate the time that Congressman Babin took to visit with us while he was at the festival," said Charlie Reneau, Texas rice farmer and member of the USA Rice Farmers Board of Directors. "He was very receptive to our concerns and heard us out on our issues, assuring us that he would relay this information to [House Agriculture Committee] Chairman Conaway."

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Snap, Crackle, Pop: What Rice Cereal Can Tell Us About Collapsing Ice Shelves New research reveals how wet porous materials collapse under pressure. Friday, October 12, 2018 - 14:00 Charles Q. Choi, Contributor (Inside Science) -- The crackle of wet rice puffs is more than snappy advertising strategy: Pouring milk into a bowl of cereal might help shed light on the collapse of ice shelves and dams of compacted earth, a new study finds. Brittle, porous materials are prone to suddenly crumbling when they encounter high pressure or are soaked in liquids, an effect linked with the collapse of rockfill dams and the formation of sinkholes. However, it was uncertain what happens when such materials are subjected to both pressure and liquid at the same time, as might happen at the base of giant ice shelves. Experimenting with an ice shelf or a rockfill dam can prove difficult and dangerous. Instead, scientists have conducted research on how porous materials behave using puffed rice. In the new study, the researchers filled a vertical cylinder with puffed rice, applied constant pressure on top, and then injected milk into the lower part of the cylinder. The fluid naturally got pulled upward through microscopic pores in each puffed rice grain, the same effect that helps draw water up inside trees. They found that the cereal experienced repeated incremental collapses, as well as loud clicks from abrupt collapses of wet puffed rice, which they dubbed "ricequakes." The delays between these clicks slowly lengthened over time. The scientists developed a "crushing wave model" they suggested could explain the delays between collapses in the dry regions after fluid injection. This model could help analyze the effects of pressures in the Earth's crust and at the bottom of massive ice sheets over time, they noted.

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Researchers Itai Einav and François Guillard at the University of Sydney in Australia detailed their findings online Oct. 12 in the journal Science Advances. Charles Q. Choi is a science reporter who has written for Scientific American, The New York Times, Wired, Science, Nature, and National Geographic News, among others. https://www.insidescience.org/news/snap-crackle-pop-what-rice-cereal-can-tell-us-about-collapsing-iceshelves

World's largest rice gene bank secures permanent funding The International Rice Research Institute is home to 136,000 varieties and aims to develop crops resistant to climate change.

Rice is a staple food for almost half the world‘s population.Credit: Erik De Castro/Reuters A major global repository of rice biodiversity has secured permanent funding. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) gene bank, based in Los Baños, the Philippines, harbours some 136,000 varieties of rice and its wild relatives — resources that scientists can study and that breeders can use to develop new kinds of rice. On 12 October, the Crop Trust, a non-governmental organization based in Bonn, Germany that supports food security and crop diversity, announced funding of US$1.4 million a year "in perpetuity" to support the rice gene bank. ―This is fantastic news for the future of rice research,‖ said Matthew Morell, directorgeneral of IRRI in a press release. ―The Crop Trust funding enables IRRI to focus on using its large and diverse rice collection to benefit the world.‖ Rice is a staple food for almost half the world‘s population, and new varieties could help to maintain crop production in the face of increased drought, flooding and other manifestations of global climate change. ―Today‘s announcement validates 20 years of work and 50 years of thinking on how the international community can safeguard crops used for food and agriculture," said Marie Haga, executive director of the Crop Trust, in a press release. ―We hope IRRI will be the first of several globally significant gene banks to receive permanent financial support from the Crop Trust.‖

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doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-07029-1 Latest on: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07029-1

Rice ‗safely conserved‘ in Philippines gene bank By Digital Media October 12, 2018

Scientists say that more than 100 thousand varieties of rice have been safeguarded for the future. Samples in the world‘s largest rice gene bank in the Philippines are being used to help farmers develop rice crops that can survive drought and flooding.The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) gene bank has secured permanent funding from the Crop Trust. It is part of international efforts to store seeds in gene banks to protect food supplies in a warming world. ―These seeds are miracles – we believe that in this natural diversity of rice you have almost any trait that you would want to look for,‖ said Marie Haga, executive director of the international non-profit organization, the Crop Trust. She said rice is relatively easy to store and should survive preservation for hundreds of years at low temperatures. The rice contains the genetic diversity that can be used to breed new rice crops capable of withstanding pests and disease as well as flooding and drought. https://dailycapital.pk/news/science_technology/rice-safely-conserved-in-philippines-gene-bank/

ASIA RICE-INDIA PRICES SLIP FOR 3RD STRAIGHT WEEK ON SLOW DEMAND 10/11/2018 * Bangladesh imports slow due to tax

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* Vietnamese prices unchanged, Thai rates firm * India's production of summer-sown rice seen up 1.8 pct By Sumita Layek BENGALURU, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Rice export prices in India eased for a third consecutive week due to waning demand and prospects of fresh supplies, while markets in Thailand and Vietnam were propped up by expectations of orders from China and Philippines. Rates for top exporter India's 5 percent broken parboiled variety <RI-INBKN5-P1> fell to $365$370 per tonne from $367-$373 last week, as demand remained tepid, traders and dealers said. "As prices are falling every week, buyers are postponing purchases," said an exporter based in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. Also weighing on prices, was a plunge in the Indian rupee to a lifetime low on Thursday, allowing exporters to lower their offers. Supplies from summer-sown crop will become available for exports from the next month, dealers said. The country's production of summer-sown rice is estimated to grow 1.8 percent to 99.24 million tonnes. In neighbouring Bangladesh, imports slowed down to 80,000 tonnes in July-September owing to the imposition of a tax on rice imports in June, the country's food ministry data showed. The south Asian country, which emerged as a major importer in 2017 after floods damaged crops, imposed the 28 percent duty to support its farmers after local production revived. In Thailand, benchmark 5 percent broken rice <RI-THBKN5-P1> prices were quoted at $398$400 per tonne, free on board (FOB) Bangkok, versus $390â&#x20AC;&#x201C;$403 last week. Traders said activity was muted, despite speculation of new deals with countries including Indonesia, Japan, and Philippines. Many Thai private exporters who have been involved in a recent sale of 100,000 tonnes of rice to China are also speculating that China may purchase more Thai rice before year end, said a trader in Bangkok. "There are talks that the Chinese may order more rice and that could help drive up the price before the end of the year."

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In Vietnam, rates for 5 percent broken rice <RI-VNBKN5-P1> were unchanged from last week at $400-$405 a tonne. "Trade is slow as domestic supplies are running low," a Ho Chi Minh City-based trader said. "The Philippines has announced it will buy more rice for the rest of the year and that may be supportive for prices." Vietnam's Ministry of Industry and Trade said Thursday the value of the country's rice exports this year would likely rise 26.9 percent to $3.2 billion-$3.3 billion. Customs data released this week showed Vietnam exported 4.89 million tonnes of rice in the January-September period, up 6.7 percent from a year earlier. Rice export revenue rose 21.3 percent in the period to $2.46 billion. (Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um in Bangkok, Khanh Vu in Hanoi and Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai and Ruma Paul in Dhaka Editing by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru and Edmund Blair) https://www.agriculture.com/markets/newswire/asia-rice-india-prices-slip-for-3rd-straight-weekon-slow-demand

Police seize P300-M illegal rice imports October 11, 2018

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) has seized at least P300 million worth of illegally imported rice since President Rodrigo Duterte gave the order last month to conduct operations against rice hoarders, PNP chief Oscar Albayalde said Thursday, October 11. Albayalde said a joint PNP-Bureau of Customs (BOC) team discovered 124,807 sacks of illegally imported rice in seven warehouses in Bulacan. The team conducted random inspection in 801 warehouses across the country, which contain a total of 1.059 million sacks of rice. Of the 801 warehouses inspected, 168 were in Central Luzon, 137 in the Cagayan Valley Region and 139 in the Ilocos Region while the others were in Metro Manila, Cordillera and several areas in Western Mindanao and Bicol region. Albayalde said the 801 warehouses inspected by the team had an aggregate holding capacity of 7.2 million sacks but contained only 1.059 million sacks during the inspection. â&#x20AC;&#x2022;The PNP initiated inspection of rice warehouses on instruction of President Rodrigo Duterte to crack down on hoarding and smuggling of rice that resulted in an artificial shortage in rice supply,â&#x20AC;&#x2013; he said.

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―Even as restrictions on rice importation had been relaxed, entities behind the P300-million rice smuggling may face permanent revocation of their import license,‖ Albayalde added. The President ordered on October 9 the "unimpeded" importation of rice as a measure to tame the elevated inflation rate. Albayalde earlier said the PNP has beefed up its intelligence operations to locate rice hoarders and address the country‘s rice shortage. (SunStar Philippines) https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1768690

Rice-driven inflation entails policy change, says Finance October 11, 2018 at 10:18 pm by Julito G. Rada and Macon Ramos-Araneta, Maricel V. Cruz

The contribution of rice to the inflation rate grew 10 times this year, signaling a need for food policy reforms, the Department of Finance said Thursday.In a report, the DoF said basic food items such as rice, fish, meat, and vegetables have been major drivers of inflation this year, with the contribution of rice alone rising 10 times to 1 percentage point of the inflation rate. Philippine Statistics Agency data showed that rice was the number one contributor to inflation in September 2018, and that food items in the consumption basket accounted for more than half of the inflation rate in the same month. In its presentation during the latest Cabinet meeting, the DoF said that in contrast, the contribution of non-food items such as electricity, gas and other fuels has slowed down since July this year. ―Rice tariffication and reforms in food policy are needed to address the repeated rice supply problems,‖ Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said during the Cabinet meeting. READ: Rice tariffication certified urgent The rice tariffication bill, once passed into law, is expected to liberalize the importation of rice. It is aimed at lowering rice prices while providing enough support for local farmers who will be affected by the influx of cheaper rice imports. This measure has been certified as urgent by President Rodrigo Duterte. Economic managers said liberalizing rice imports will lower the retail price of rice by P2 to P7 per kilo (based on latest estimates), and reduce inflation rate by 0.4 percentage points. Inflation in September climbed to 6.7 percent from 6.4 percent a month ago, bringing the first nine months‘ average to 5 percent, surpassing the target of 2-4 percent set by the government earlier.

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Among the short-term measures recommended by the DOF during the meeting were for the Department of Agriculture to undertake steps to bring down food prices, and for the Departments of Social Welfare and Development and of Transportation to speed up the release and distribution of cash cards to the poorest households and fuel subsidy cards to operators of public utility vehicles, respectively. The release of unconditional cash transfers by the DSWD and fuel subsidies through the Pantawid Pasada Program are among the social mitigation measures under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN) that are meant to cushion the impact of inflation on vulnerable sectors. Inflation has continued to rise, however, hitting nine-year highs. ―Food inflation is the main driver of inflation, especially in recent months. The DA, which is the key to bringing down food prices, has been empowered under several presidential directives to put in place measures to increase food supply and bring down food prices,‖ said Finance Assistant Secretary Antonio Joselito Lambino II in a Malacañang press briefing. These presidential directives include Administrative Order No. 13, which removed administrative restrictions on the importation of agricultural products. The President also issued Memorandum Order 26 directing the DA and the Department of Trade and Industry to implement measures to reduce the gap between the farm gate and retail prices of agricultural products. MO 27, meanwhile, ordered the DA, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Philippine National Police, and the Metro Manila Development Authority to ―adopt measures to ensure the efficient and seamless delivery‖ of imported agricultural and fishery products from ports to markets; while MO 28 directed the National Food Authority to immediately release existing rice stocks in its warehouses. Lambino said the contribution of fish to inflation has been growing since 2017 while vegetables added to the inflation rate largely because of supply issues due to weather disturbances. The contribution of meat to inflation also rose reflecting a ―pricing mismatch.‖ The directives issued by the President formed part of the measures unveiled in early September by the Economic Development Cluster of the Cabinet to help rein in inflation. The DA, meanwhile, announced a massive procurement of rice from local farmers. Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said they will begin by scouting areas where the price of rice is low such as Mindoro and Bicol to help local farmers. The NFA will buy each kilo of rice for P17 with incentives of up to P3.70. ―A farmer who brings his rice to the NFA at 14 percent moisture content, will be earning P20.70 for every kilo of paddy rice that he brings to the NFA,‖ said Piñol.

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The DA will station drying facilities in all NFA buying stations across the country, which farmers may use for free, he said. Farmers cooperatives may also use the accumulated points in exchange for farming equipment from the DA such as tractors, rice harvesters and solar power irrigation systems. Piñol said these measures are aimed at reducing the impact of rice imports on local farmers. Also on Thursday, Senator Grace Poe said a bill liberalizing rice imports would also provide for a fund that would subsidize local farmers. Poe is a co-author of Senate Bill 1998 that seeks to lift quantitative restrictions or quota on rice importation by amending Republic Act 8178. She said the measure is expected to temper inflation, as food prices continue to be the main driver for the rise in commodity prices. Under SB 1998 or the Rice Tariffication bill sponsored last month by the Senate agriculture committee, rice imports will be slapped a 35 percent tariff rate in lieu of quantitative restrictions that limit the volume of rice imports every year. The restrictions were originally aimed at protecting local farmers. As part of the World Trade Organization, the Philippines has secured several extensions of the QR on rice imports, but the last ―waiver on the special treatment of rice‖ expired in June last year. The legislation also establishes a Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, which will mainly be sourced from rice tariffs, to finance the procurement of farm machinery and equipment, irrigation, subsidies and credit to farmers and rice research to improve the competitiveness of the country‘s rice sector. A party-list lawmaker, meanwhile, said the government‘s ―unimpeded‖ rice importation policy should be set aside when the supply situation stabilizes in favor of a production-driven policy that would ensure an adequate supply of the staple. ―At best, the policy of import-till-you-drop should be an ad hoc, temporary measure in answer to an emergency,‖ Butil Party-list Rep. Cecil Chavez said, as she warned of the dangers of relying on imports to fill in the country‘s food security needs. Chavez, member for the majority bloc of the House of Representatives‘ committee on agriculture and food, said delayed imports, natural calamities and the failure to fund a viable rice production program caused the acute rice shortage. And of the three, natural calamities is the one that is irreversible. ―Given the right support, the country‘s paddy production could produce the yearly national requirements,‖ Chavez said. ―The problem is with the country‘s economic managers who have

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belittled agriculture and rice production from Day One of President Duterte‘s administration,‖ she added. She also cited claims of the country‘s economic managers that the country is now a ―service economy‖ and so agricultural investments are not worth pursuing. ―According to data, roughly 30 percent of the country‘s workforce is still agriculture-based and that alone should push the government to make agricultural investments a priority,‖ she said. ―Sadly, this is not reflected in the 2019 agriculture budget of barely over P50 billion.‖ She said the government must be able provide an-all out support to Filipino farmers, having the International Rice Research Institute and the Philippine Rice Institute provide the frontier research work necessary for an intensified rice production program. ―The country‘s rice farmers, inheritors of a proud-rice production culture are still the best rice farmers in the ASEAN once given the support of Thai and Vietnamese rice farmers,‖ Chavez said. http://www.manilastandard.net/news/top-stories/277746/rice-driven-inflation-entails-policy-change-saysfinance.html

‘Shrinking farms doom goals for rice sufficiency’ posted October 13, 2018 at 01:20 am by Nathaniel Mariano and Maricel V. Cruz

President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday underscored the need to increase the country‘s rice supply through unimpeded importation, maintaining that the Philippines will fail to achieve rice sufficiency due to narrowing farmlands. ―The stomach comes first. So, the policy of the government is to keep the people... away from hunger,‖ he told reporters in Davao City as he arrived from his trip to the ASEAN Leaders‘ Gathering in Bali, Indonesia. ―So, we have to import, whether we like it or not and we have to plan. But frankly, I do not think that we will be rice sufficient. I don‘t know in the years to come. The problem is that the large tracts of land have been converted into cash crop[s for] export,‖ he said. He said it is up for Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol to come up with a formula to balance the need for rice importation with the interests of local rice producers. ―That‘s the job of Piñol. And I hope he will do his homework well in the years to come. As I have said in the Cabinet meeting, I thought that problem would never confront me. So that early on I appointed people, precisely to meet the challenges of rice shortage,‖ said Duterte.

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The President added he was the first one to order the importation of rice since the problem of shortage came up months ago. ―But would you believe it or not, it really happened, and I was the first one who ordered the importation. Some approved, some did not,‖ he said. Duterte on Wednesday certified the rice tariffication bill as urgent to facilitate the passage of the proposed measure to help temper inflation, citing an ―urgent need to improve the availability of rice in the country, prevent artificial rice shortage, reduce the prices of rice in the market, and curtail the prevalence of corruption and cartel domination in the rice industry.‖ The Palace also said on Tuesday the President has lifted the restriction on rice imports to ―flood the market‖ with rice. It will also eliminate the power of the National Food Authority to accredit importers and determine how much rice should be imported. A pro-administration lawmaker, meanwhile, urged the Department of Agriculture to file charges of economic sabotage against the owners of a warehouse stockpiling and repacking rice in Iligan City. Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, said rice hoarders are liable under the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016. ―This is what I have been telling the DA since August when we first began the budget deliberations. Some unscrupulous rice traders, particularly in Mindanao, are hoarding rice to the detriment of our poor countrymen who must struggle to eat three square meals a day,‖ Nograles said. Earlier, Nograles advised Piñol to treat cases of rice hoarding as economic sabotage. ―We should not buy the excuse of traders that this is merely inventory management. This is clearly a case of economic sabotage,‖ Nograles said On Oct. 3, at least 50,000 sacks of rice were reportedly found by a local Task Force on Rice Hoarding from two warehouses in Barangay Palao, Iligan City in the province of Lanao del Norte. According to reports, the rice found in these warehouses appeared to have been smuggled from nearby Malaysia and repacked to appear like they were milled locally. The warehouses were also found to have been operating without a permit from the NFA. Citing the reports reaching his office, Nograles said a technicality prevented the task force members from raiding a third warehouse. Given this, the scale of rice hoarding in the region could be bigger than first thought, he added. ―There have been previous cases of rice hoarding in Zamboanga and many more areas around the country. The authorities should step it up,‖ he said.

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In Zamboanga City, some 23,000 sacks of rice which were in the custody of the Bureau of Customs mysteriously disappeared, some of which were eventually traced to warehouses owned by Mindanao rice traders. http://manilastandard.net/news/top-stories/277840/-shrinking-farms-doom-goals-for-rice-sufficiency.html

Asia Rice: India prices slip for third straight week on slow demand Sumita Layek OCTOBER 11, 2018 / 5:57 PM BENGALURU (Reuters) - Rice export prices in India eased for a third consecutive week due to waning demand and prospects of fresh supplies, while markets in Thailand and Vietnam were propped up by expectations of orders from China and Philippines.

Farmers plant saplings in a rice field in Srinagar June 5, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Ismail Rates for top exporter India‘s 5 percent broken parboiled variety fell to $365-$370 per tonne from $367$373 last week, as demand remained tepid, traders and dealers said.―As prices are falling every week, buyers are postponing purchases,‖ said an exporter based in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. Also weighing on prices, was a plunge in the Indian rupee to a lifetime low on Thursday, allowing exporters to lower their offers.Supplies from summer-sown crop will become available for exports from the next month, dealers said.The country‘s production of summer-sown rice is estimated to grow 1.8 percent to 99.24 million tonnes. In neighbouring Bangladesh, imports slowed down to 80,000 tonnes in July-September owing to the imposition of a tax on rice imports in June, the country‘s food ministry data showed.The south Asian country, which emerged as a major importer in 2017 after floods damaged crops, imposed the 28 percent duty to support its farmers after local production revived.

In Thailand, benchmark 5 percent broken rice prices were quoted at $398-$400 per tonne, free on board (FOB) Bangkok, versus $390–$403 last week.Traders said activity was muted, despite speculation of new deals with countries including Indonesia, Japan, and Philippines.Many Thai private exporters who have been involved in a recent sale of 100,000 tonnes of rice to China are also speculating that China may purchase more Thai rice before year end, said a trader in Bangkok.

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―There are talks that the Chinese may order more rice and that could help drive up the price before the end of the year.‖In Vietnam, rates for 5 percent broken rice were unchanged from last week at $400-$405 a tonne. ―Trade is slow as domestic supplies are running low,‖ a Ho Chi Minh City-based trader said. ―The Philippines has announced it will buy more rice for the rest of the year and that may be supportive for prices.‖Vietnam‘s Ministry of Industry and Trade said Thursday the value of the country‘s rice exports this year would likely rise 26.9 percent to $3.2 billion-$3.3 billion.

Customs data released this week showed Vietnam exported 4.89 million tonnes of rice in the JanuarySeptember period, up 6.7 percent from a year earlier. Rice export revenue rose 21.3 percent in the period to $2.46 billion.

Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um in Bangkok, Khanh Vu in Hanoi and Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai and Ruma Paul in Dhaka; Editing by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru and Edmund Blair https://in.reuters.com/article/india-oil/record-fuel-prices-hit-indian-petrol-diesel-demand-in-septemberidINKCN1MM25O

Group opposes removal of NFA‘s licensing power By Jasper Y. Arcalas October 12, 2018

In File Photo: A worker carries a sack of rice on his head at a rice store in Makati City. The Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) said removing the National Food Authority‘s (NFA) power to issue import licenses would harm local farmers as the government will lose a tool that will prevent a glut in domestic rice supply. Former Agriculture Secretary and FFF National Policy Board Chairman Leonardo Q. Montemayor said the Senate‘s version of tariffication bill that seeks to remove the NFA‘s licensing power is ―worrisome.‖ ―Almost all countries, including those in Asean, and even advanced countries like Japan and Korea, require all rice importers to obtain licenses so that imports can be monitored and kept within bounds,‖ Montemayor said in a statement on Thursday.

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In a separate interview, FFF National Manager Raul Q. Montemayor said the loss of government regulation over imports could lead to an oversupply in the domestic market, which could slash the income of farmers.

―The problem is that without any tool to rein in on imports [if needed], there could easily be overimportation and oversupply in the market leading to very low rice, and therefore, palay prices,‖ he said. ―We are not against imports, but there must be some way to manage imports so that they do not go out of hand. Most countries use licensing, others were able to set their tariffs at very high levels and they adjust it when needed, and others give a monopoly over rice imports to a state agency like the NFA,‖ he added. The FFF also questioned the Senate‘s decision to reject proposals to allow rice farmers and their organizations to advise the Department of Agriculture (DA) on the use of the proposed rice competitiveness enhancement fund (RCEF). The RCEF is an earmarking fund to the rice industry coming from all the rice tariffs collected.

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―We just think that the farmers should have a say in how that money is spent, because it is supposed to benefit them. In the past [with the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund], there was no such consultative mechanism and the money was wasted,‖ Montemayor said. ―And if we leave it up to the DA, chances are they will favor their own priorities. We want to use the money for truly innovative projects that do not get funding support at present,‖ he added. The FFF also criticized the ―pre-allocation‖ of the RCEF for certain government programs, removing the policy space for the DA to adjust to the needs of the rice farmers. ―Worse, the Senate version proposes to bypass the DA secretary in the allocation of the RCEF, so that the money will go directly to selected DA line agencies,‖ Montemayor said. ―The RCEF has also already been pre-allocated for certain programs, so that it cannot be used for other programs that farmers may want or need in the future,‖ he added. Montemayor said the farmers should have the right to participate in the utilization of the RCEF as they are the ones supposed to benefit from it. The pre-allocation of the RCEF, which is a sort of grant to government agencies, ―contradicts‖ Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol‘s soft loan programs, according to Montemayor. ―This will clash with Secretary Piñol‘s plan of providing soft loans as a form of support to farmers so that they have the freedom to choose what brand and type of inputs they want to buy,‖ he explained. https://businessmirror.com.ph/group-opposes-removal-of-nfas-licensing-power/

House members thumb down free-for-all rice importation October 11, 2018, 4:05 PM

By Ellson Quismorio

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Pro-farmer congressmen on Thursday slammed the unimpeded rice importation policy set by the Duterte administration. ―[First], it‘s a death warrant to the agriculture sector especially our farmers. Second, it does not guarantee the lowering of prices because it enables and strengthens cartel operations,‖ said Anakpawis Party-List Rep. Ariel. Casilao.

(Flickr | Manila Bulletin)

He stressed that the move would be of no benefit to Filipinos, most especially farmers. ―Kung ngayon nga ay hindi nabawasan yung control ng cartel (the control of the cartel couldn‘t be reduced now), how much more if you liberalize importation not only to certain or those who can acquire import permits. Pero lahat na (this means everyone),‖ explained the Makabayan solon. For Butil Party-list Rep. Cecil Chavez, this new government policy should just be a temporary thing. ―At best, the policy of import-till-you-drop should be an ad hoc, temporary measure in answer to an emergency,‖ she said, adding, ―We have to realize the great folly on relying on imports to fill our food security requirements.‖ Chavez opined that the free-flowing rice import directive should be rescinded as soon as the country‘s supply of the staple grain becomes secure. According to her, a ―production-driven rice adequacy policy‖ should replace it.

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Chavez also offered a perspective on the factors that caused the Philippines–an agricultural country of 100 million people–to have rice supply woes in the first place. ―The trinity of delayed imports, natural calamities, and the failure to fund a viable rice production program caused the acute rice shortage, and of the three, only the factor of calamities is the one that cannot be reversed,‖ she said. Chavez couldn‘t help but take a jab at the Duterte administration‘s economic managers for failing to give Filipino farmers the assistance that they need in the production equation. ―The problem is rooted in support, which the economic managers have denied to agriculture.‖ Meanwhile, Casilao warned that the rice cartel might end up calling the shots as far as pricing is concerned in this liberal importation era to the detriment of Filipinos. ―Ito po ay magiging desisyon ng mga nagmomonopolyo at magiging cartel dito. And eventually yung pagtakda ng presyo, sila po ang magtatakda niyan, hindi gobyerno. (This will be the decision of those monopolizing the imports and forming the cartels here. And eventually, they will be the ones dictating the price, not the government),‖ he said.

https://news.mb.com.ph/2018/10/11/house-members-thumb-down-free-for-all-rice-importation/

Duterte: PH won't be rice self-sufficient during my term By Ina Andolong, CNN Philippines Updated 08:27 AM PHT Fri, October 12, 2018 5K12

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 12) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday conceded he doesn't think the country will become rice self-sufficient during his term despite his numerous directives to boost rice imports. He wants to flood the market with rice to help ease the rising inflation rate. "So we have to import, whether we like it or not and we have to plan. But frankly, I do not think that we will be rice-sufficient," he said in a press conference early Friday morning upon his arrival in Davao from the Southeast Asian leaders' gathering in Bali, Indonesia. The Philippines is among the top producers of rice in the world, but Duterte said farmlands for palay have been producing rice, which only end up being exported. He added the unpredictable weather caused by climate change has also affected rice planting. The President admitted the agriculture sector is the "weakest link" in the economy. He said he expects Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol to look into the matter. "I hope he will do his homework well in the years to come. As i have said in the cabinet meeting, I thought that problem would never confront me," Duterte said. http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2018/10/12/Duterte-Philippines-rice-self-sufficiency.html

FAST FACTS: Rice prices in the Philippines A kilo of rice costs almost P50, and even P66 in Sulu, as of the 4th week of September 2018 Miguel Imperial Published 5:54 PM, October 11, 2018 Updated 7:45 AM, October 12, 2018

Individuals queue to buy NFA rice at P27 per kilo at the commonwealth Market on September 5, 2018, amids shortage of NFA rice and high cost of commercial rice. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – How much a kilo of rice costs has a major impact on how Filipino families eat, or if they will eat at all. In November 2017, a kilo of rice cost P42.17. This has increased since, rising to P49.37, even to as much as P55 to P66 in some provinces as of the 4th week of September.

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Despite the price increases, the President and his spokesperson have denied there is a rice shortage in the country. But should we get worried?

Take a quick look at the numbers and controversies revolving around our staple food.

Rice crises, past and present Rice available in the market has two types: regular milled rice (RMR) and well-milled rice (WMR). The latter is more expensive, but the prices for both have been increasing since 2007. Rice prices data with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) go back to January 2007 only. RMR is rice in which 10%-30% of the lengthwise streaks of the bran layer (hard external layer) are still present on the kernel, while WMR has only less than 10% of bran layer presence. In short, RMR is less polished than WMR. In July 2008, a global rice crisis occurred from January to May. The year started with the WMR retail price pegged at P25.67 in January reaching P39.76 in July. This subsequently decreased to P32.50 in December. Globally, the cost of a ton of rice increased by 300% ($300 to $1,200) in the first 4 months of 208.

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A 2009 research done for the Center for Global Development attributed the escalating prices during the crisis to 4 reasons:    

government failed to secure adequate amount of stock rice statements and actions of government officials "encouraged" long lines and hoarding government set a low buying price for domestic rice during the dry seasons, resulting in low stocks the National Food Authority's (NFA) decisions "destabilized" both the local and global market

The Arroyo administration in April 2008 launched P43.7-billion worth of agricultural assistance named "Fields" to ensure food security (fertilizer, irrigation, extension and education, loans and insurance, dryers, and seeds). There was also a spike in rice prices in 2014 during Benigno Aquino III's administration. The year started with increasing prices since May 2013. WMR retail was at P39.49 in January 2014 and reached its highest on September 14 at P44.02. Since then, prices have decreased till January 2018. The Aquino government resorted to importing 500,000 metric tons (MT) in addition to the 800,000 MT for the year 2014. Rice hoarding also reached 2.3 million MT under Aquino from 2011-2014. At the end of his administration, RA 10845 or the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016 was signed into law. According to economist JC Punongbayan, the 2008 rice crisis was more global in nature while the crises in 2014 and 2018 were "self-inflicted" due to bad policies and corruption. According to the rice and corn price index of PSA, as of the 4th week of September 2018, for RMR, the wholesale and retail prices of rice stand at P43.12 and P45.83 per kilo, respectively. WMR wholesale and retail prices were pegged at P46.04 and P49.37, respectively. Since January 2007, the highest price for retail WMR was felt in the 4th week of September, when it reached a national average of P49.37. For Metro Manila alone, it was P48. In 2018, the province of Sulu in Mindanao had the highest price of retail WMR at P66 per kilo as of the 4th week of September, almost P17 higher than the national average. Second is Zamboanga del Norte at P58 and third are Mountain Province, Palawan, Bohol, Iloilo, and Southern Leyte, each at P55 per kilo. The cheapest price is in Tawi-Tawi at P34 per kilo.

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But with rice shortage, surging prices, and weevil-infested rice, a crisis was again felt in the country.

Do we have enough rice? The National Food Authority (NFA) is the public agency tasked to store stocks of rice and stabilize rice prices in the country to ensure food security. However, in early April, rice stocks of the agency were ―completely gone.‖ During that time, the rice reserve went down to two days‘ worth of supply instead of 15 days which the NFA is required to maintain. The NFA rice is subsidized by the government, therefore making it cheaper. Household rice is what people stock for themselves while commercial rice is what can be bought in the market. To replenish the supply, the agency can buy from local farmers or import from foreign suppliers. The NFA said they cannot buy from local farmers since they would rather sell their yield to other buyers instead of the agency which has a low buying price of P17 per kilo. Selling to private entities can yield as high as P29 per kilo. Instead, the NFA chose to import 250,000 metric tons of rice from Vietnam and Thailand. The latter delivered 133,000 sacks of rice on August 2 in Subic Bay Freeport Zone. Later on, the majority of the sacks were discovered to have been infested with rice weevils. Since 2012, ―NFA rice‖ or the cheaper version of commercial rice reached its lowest stocks inventory level yet in June 2018 according to the agency‘s Beginning Rice Stock Inventory, reaching up to only 21,000 metric tons. There was also the issue of weevil infestation. On August 22, NFA authorities said that at least 100,000 sacks of imported rice from Thailand were infested by bukbok or rice weevil. The NFA said that rice is safe to eat after fumigation. Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Manny Piñol even did a demo on live television on August 31, showing that eating the rice is safe. The President initially denied the problem of rice shortage and said there is ―ample‖ rice supply. He later admitted that prices of goods, particularly rice, have increased and suggested ancient barter trade as a solution.

Is rice still affordable?

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While denied by Piñol, there are reports of the price of rice reaching as much as P70 per kilo in Zamboanga City. Rice prices have been on a steady increase since the start of 2018. (READ: Rice prices soar as Duterte marks 2nd year in office) This could be traced back to low supply and the administration's Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law as mentioned by a 2018 study by the Philippine Rice Institute (PhilRice) under the DA. The study found that operational expenses of farmers increased (including the cost of gasoline used for machines), while decreasing profit by 10%. An increase in operational expenses leads to an increase in market price as well. The PSA announced that the inflation rate which hit a 9-year high of 6.7% in September also affected rice prices.

How do leaders propose to solve the crisis? The crisis has elicited various solutions from lawmakers and experts. (READ: Taming rice prices: What lawmakers, experts say) House Speaker Gloria Macapal Arroyo wants to import more rice and file charges against smugglers, which is different from Piñol‘s suggestion of legalizing rice smuggling. Senator Cynthia Villar proposes to declare a state of calamity on rice, impose price controls, and put a high tariff on high imports while providing subsidies to local farmers to make them competitive with foreign suppliers. A tariff is a payment on imports or exports that enter and exit a country‘s market. There are also calls to abolish the NFA and fire its executives, along with Piñol. On October 8, 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte decided to greenlight the lifting of restrictions on rice importationfollowing a "fierce" discussion between Piñol and Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez during a Cabinet meeting. Dominguez reportedly pushed for lifting restrictions, while Piñol wanted to impose an obligation for rice to be sold at certain prices. — Rappler.com

Flood markets with rice – Duterte Chinese rice trader eyed as next NFA chief Updated October 10, 2018, 12:05 AM

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By Genalyn Kabiling President Duterte, in a bid to address the rising inflation and oil prices, wants to flood the markets with rice.

President Rodrigo Duterte (Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN)

To attain this, the President authorized the unimpeded importation of rice to boost supply and lower prices. The latest decision to liberalize rice importation was reached by the President following a ―principled and fierce‖ discussion in the Cabinet meeting last Monday, according to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque. ―The President approved unimpeded importation of rice as a measure to reduce inflation,‖Roque said during a Palace press briefing, after the economic team recognized that food prices were primarily responsible for the recent inflation spike. ―He wants to flood the market with rice so that even if the price of crude and other oil prices should go up still further, the people will have access to affordable rice,‖ Roque said. With the lifting of the rice import quota system, Roque said big private companies like San Miguel Corporation could now import rice as much as they can as long as they pay the proper tariffs.

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Upon the orders of the President, he said the National Food Authority (NFA) no longer has the power to accredit who can import as well as to determine how much rice to import. ―Anyone who can afford it and will pay tariffs for rice will be allowed to import rice,‖ he said. ―Walana pong restrictions ngayon basta magbayad lang ng taripa at gagamitin natin ang taripa para sa mga Pilipino magsasaka [There will no longer be restrictions as long as they pay the tariffs and we will use the tariffs to help our Filipino farmers],‖ he said. Roque admitted that the rice importation was a ―very hot issue‖ during Cabinet meeting but denied there was a shouting match among some officials who supported and opposed to the proposal. Asked if tempers flared in the meeting, Roque said: ―Close…I don‘t think it was a shouting match. I think it was just people being assertive about their views.‖ He also declined to comment when asked if Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol were at odds during the meeting, citing executive privilege. He said there was ―a principled and fierce‖ discussion about the current rice importation system and possible solution to the problem. He noted that the President listened to the insights from the Cabinet and decided in the end to liberalize rice imports. ―It was highlighted that minimum access volume is minimum. There was no maximum and that‘s why the decision to liberalize for all intents and purposes the importation of rice was really the ultimate means by which to rein in inflation as far as food items are concerned,‖ he said. ―There was a thorough discussion of the issue and after presenting all the issues, the President decided to fully liberalize the importation of rice,‖ he said. Roque admitted the government would still push for the rice tariffication bill in Congress ―but we will not wait for it.‖ ―In effect, we did not wait for tariffication,‖ he said about the President‘s decision to liberalize rice importation. ―The consensus was there was no need for anything. The President can already order the liberalization of rice importation because again the language found in relevant instruments is minimum access volume so there is no maximum,‖ he said. He added that there was no timeframe set for the unimpeded rice importation. Later last night, Duterte revealed that he was looking for a competent rice trader to lead the agency. ―I‘m looking for somebody else. I‘m looking for a Chinese who‘s been there in the business, maybe 20 years. I‘ll just ask him to, in the meantime, to be the NFA (administrator). Alam man nila ang negosyo na ‗yan (They know the business),‖ he said.

https://news.mb.com.ph/2018/10/09/flood-markets-with-rice-duterte/

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/agriculture/basmati-exports-may-pick-up-as-saudiarabia-likely-to-ease-residue-rules/articleshow/66183870.cms

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VN rice exports reaches new heights Update: October, 12/2018 - 09:00 Share facebookChia sẻ bài viết lên TwitterShare google+| Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ examines rice products‘ on show at the conference. — VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam Viet Nam News HÀ NỘI — Rice production and exports has shifted towards quality and added value, promoting safe production and applying high technology while organic agriculture has been given special attention for development.That was the message from Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ delivered at the 10th World Rice Conference held in Hà Nội on Thursday.

Huệ said agriculture and rural development is a major policy of the Vietnamese Party, State and Government, in which rice production and export play an important role in contributing to food security for Việt Nam, the region and the world.

Despite a strong industrialisation and modernisation process, rice fields now account for around 60 per cent of Việt Nam‘s total arable area, and production is essential for the livelihoods of nearly nine million farming households in the country.

After more than 30 years of renewal, Việt Nam has risen from a poor country which had to import food to one of the three largest rice exporters in the world.

Last year, Việt Nam exported nearly six million tonnes of rice, earning US$2.6 billion, up 21 per cent in volume and 22 per cent in value year-on-year.Vietnamese rice is available in 150 nations and territories, Huệ said, adding that Việt Nam is eyeing potential markets in Europe, America and Oceania, along with its traditional ones such as China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Cuba and African nations. ―Vietnamese rice is also able to meet all criteria to enter the most picky markets in the world, as the country has paid much attention to applying high technologies in production and developing organic agriculture,‖ he said.

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The Vietnamese Government has set a target of intensifying production and export connectivity through a value chain, he added, ensuring the quality of exported rice, and entering more deeply into the global rice value chain so as to build and confirm the prestige of Vietnamese rice trademark.

Although rice production is facing numerous challenges from climate change, the Deputy PM expressed his belief that new scientific and technological advances would help the rice sector to produce new varieties that could adapt.

Minister of Industry and Trade Trần Tuấn Anh said Việt Nam holds an increasingly important role in co-ordinating with rice importers, exporters and partners to effectively participate in the globe‘s rice product chain and food security.

The country‘s rice export market development strategy for the 2017-20 period with a vision to 2030 focuses on developing export markets, helping raise farmers‘ income, ensuring domestic food security and social welfare, and protecting the eco-environment. The strategy also targets to build Vietnamese rice trademark and intensify connectivity through a value chain from production to consumption and export, Anh added.Jeremy Zwinger, The Rice Trader (TRT) President and CEO, said Việt Nam‘s hosting of the 10th conference shows its Government‘s commitment to the development and trade of rice.

He said Việt Nam‘s rice production and trade has seen positive progress and expressed his confidence in the Vietnamese Government‘s attention to developing the rice value in the future.

With a message of ―investing in the rice sector in future‖, delegates discussed global trends on rice production and trade in 2018 and the following years, shared experience in producing rice sustainably, controlling the supply chain, developing rice trademark and applying technology in this sector. Many stressed unpredictable changes in global trade, especially rice trade, as rice is a sensitive commodity with high requirements on food safety and environment protection.

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The event is the world‘s most premier conference focusing solely on rice. Attending the event were leading officials of Việt Nam‘s Ministries of Industry and Trade, and Agriculture and Rural Development, representatives of the world‘s major importers and exporters and major companies, and experts from more than 30 nations and territories all over the world.

The 2018 World Rice Conference is jointly held by The Rice Trader and Việt Nam‘s Ministry of Industry and Trade. — VNS

Rice Sugarcane production increased during current season FCA told FAW A D M A Q S O O D O C T 1 2 T H, 2 0 1 8

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ISLAMABAD: Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) here on Friday was informed that cultivation and production targets of major Kharif crops including sugarcane and rice was achieved, whereas the production of both above mentioned crops had surpassed there set targets for the season 2018-19.

The committee met here with Federal Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research Dr. Muhammad Hashim Popalzai, in the chair and reviewed the output of Kharif crops and fixed the targets for Rabi crop 2018-19.

The committee was informed that sugarcane production during current season was estimated at 68.25 million tons as the crop was cultivated over 1,115.27 thousand hectares.

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It was observed that the target area and production of sugarcane fixed by FCA as per first provisional estimates was achieved.

The rice production for 2018-19 was estimated at 7.1 million tons from an area of 2,826 thousand hectares as the area and production is slightly increased as its target fixed by previous meeting of FCA.

The maize production during the season was estimated at 5.5 million tons from an area of 1194.6 thousand hectares.

The committee has fixed wheat production target for 2018-19 at 25.6 million tons by cultivating the crop over an area of 8.8 million hectares to fulfill the domestic requirements as well as for exporting.

The FCA also proposed that provinces should focus on oilseed crops and pulses cultivation to reduce the import bill.

The Committee also discussed the situation of agricultural inputs for Rabi crops 2018-19 and IRSA advisory committee has anticipated short fall of 38 percent water short during the season.

During the Rabi season provinces were allocated 23.322 MAF of water. The Prevailing weather conditions were not promising and shortage may exceed, it was observed. However, it was further informed that the position would be reviewed in the first week of November, 2018, adding that t the shortage of water will be managed accordingly.

Meteorological department informed that monsoon rains from July to September, 2018 remain 33 percent below average in the country.

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The significant decrease in rainfall was observed in Balochistan and Sindh region where it remained 54 percent and 88 percent below normal respectively. Punjab and Gilgit Baltistan also received 17 percent and 21 percent less than long term average rainfall,respectively.

The weather outlook for the period September-November, 2018, was expected that amount of rainfall will remain slightly below normal in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, central and lower Punjab and Sindh province.

The representative from State Bank of Pakistan informed that during the financial year 2017-18 banks achieved the target of Rs 972.6 billion against target of Rs 1001 billion. Total 3.7 million borrowers were served during 2017-18 by 50 commercials banks, micro finance banks, Islamic banks and other micro finance institutions.

Agri Credit Advisory Committee set a target of Rs 1250billion for the year 2018-19. As of August, 2018 banks achieved a target of Rs 121 billion which is around 10 percent of overall target.

The FCA also noted that the supply of Urea and DAP fertilizers was satisfactory for 2018-19 Kharif Season.

The supply of Urea will remain comfortable during Rabi season 2018-19 due to enhance of local production and import during the Rabi season. https://www.brecorder.com/2018/10/12/445519/rice-sugarcane-production-increased-during-currentseason-fca-told/

Rice Prices as on : 12-10-2018 11:22:40 AM Arrivals in tonnes;prices in Rs/quintal in domestic market.

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Arrivals Current

Price % change

Season cumulative

Modal

Prev. Modal

Prev.Yr %change

Rice English Bazar(WB)

123.20

0.57

1452.50

3650

3700

5.80

Asansol(WB)

114.00

168.24

6170.30

2900

2900

11.54

Cachar(ASM)

80.00

280.95

4562.00

2400

2400

9.09

Naugarh(UP)

22.50

-8.16

672.20

2250

2235

8.43

Ruperdeeha(UP)

5.00

NC

196.00

1600

1600

-

Dibrugarh(ASM)

4.70

-34.72

664.10

2920

2920

29.78

Sehjanwa(UP)

3.00

NC

138.50

2160

2160

-

Bilsi(UP)

1.00

25

6.10

2450

2450

-

Khairagarh(UP)

0.80

14.29

104.40

2560

2560

1.59

Achnera(UP)

0.60

NC

14.00

2560

2560

0.39

Jagnair(UP)

0.60

-25

70.40

2560

2550

0.79

Kasipur(WB)

0.52

1.96

3.96

2630

2610

14.35

Published on October 12, 2018 https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/rice-prices/article25200123.ece

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World's largest rice gene bank secures permanent funding The International Rice Research Institute is home to 136,000 varieties and aims to develop crops resistant to climate change.

Ewen Callaway Rice is a staple food for almost half the world‘s population.Credit: Erik De Castro/Reuters A major global repository of rice biodiversity has secured permanent funding. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) gene bank, based in Los Baños, the Philippines, harbours some 136,000 varieties of rice and its wild relatives — resources that scientists can study and that breeders can use to develop new kinds of rice. On 12 October, the Crop Trust, a non-governmental organization based in Bonn, Germany that supports food security and crop diversity, announced funding of US$1.4 million a year "in perpetuity" to support the rice gene bank. ―This is fantastic news for the future of rice research,‖ said Matthew Morell, directorgeneral of IRRI in a press release. ―The Crop Trust funding enables IRRI to focus on using its large and diverse rice collection to benefit the world.‖ Rice is a staple food for almost half the world‘s population, and new varieties could help to maintain crop production in the face of increased drought, flooding and other manifestations of global climate change. ―Today‘s announcement validates 20 years of work and 50 years of thinking on how the international community can safeguard crops used for food and agriculture," said Marie Haga, executive director of the Crop Trust, in a press release. ―We hope IRRI will be the first of several globally significant gene banks to receive permanent financial support from the Crop Trust.‖ https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07029-1

Basmati exports may pick up as Saudi Arabia likely to ease residue rules 44 | 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

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By Parshant Krar, ET Bureau| Oct 12, 2018, 07.10 PM IST India is the top exporter in the Rs 26,000-crore global basmati market. India‘s basmati-rice exports are expected to pick up, as key importer Saudi Arabia is set to adopt easy residue parameters to take delivery of consignments. With India taking steps to reduce the deposit of harmful chemicals on rice, local authorities expect the European Union also step up imports from India. India is the top exporter in the Rs 26,000-crore global basmati market. Shipments from the country to Saudi have taken a hit after Riyadh sought undertakings from exporters on minimum residue levels (MRL). Also, Saudi rejected a few consignments of Indian rice from a Singapore-based company. Since the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) has not defined MRLs, customs authorities rejected the consignments based on the stringent lowest limit of analytical determination criteria followed by the EU and the US. The SFDA is now set to formulate its own, easier MRLs in the coming months, trade executives said. In fact, with India taking up the issue with the Saudi authorities, exports to that country have already improved, they added. ―The recent dialogue with authorities in Saudi Arabia has resulted in a positive outcome and exports have normalised to the country,‖ said AK Gupta, director of the Basmati Export Development Fund, an arm of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority. Indian delegations, comprising officials from the departments of commerce and agriculture, and the All India Rice Exporters Association, have visited Riyadh in recent weeks and held discussions with the SFDA. Globally, too, rice exports have been hurt by various non-tariff barriers, mainly over MRLs. Shipments to Europe were hit last year after the EU set the maximum permissible residue level of tricyclazole (a fungicide) in basmati rice at 0.01 mg per kg from the earlier limit of 1.0 mg. Indian authorities have since been working with farmers to reduce the use of pesticides and other harmful chemicals on basmati. Meanwhile, a three-member team of auditors from France and Switzerland visited Punjab on Wednesday. Local officials apprised the auditors of the measures taken by farmers to cut down the use of pesticides and insecticides in rice, and variations in the MRL guidelines in the global market that make those tough to follow. ―The matter over anomaly in MRLs set up by the European Union and those applicable in the US and Japan was raised with the auditors,‖ said Punjab food and drug administration commissioner KS Pannu, who is also the state‘s agriculture secretary. The auditors admitted that the MRLs were stringent by default and said any relief would only come by next year, he told ET. The auditors, who visited farms in Punjab, were also apprised of the regulatory framework for registering agro-chemicals in India and the ban on various pesticides and fungicides in the current year. To meet global residue rules, a comprehensive campaign to cut use of harmful chemicals has been conducted in the basmati belt, mainly in Punjab and Haryana. ―Farmers have been provided with material including brochures, mobile messages and video clippings to impart precise methodology for seed treatment, sowing, transplantation and pre-harvest precautions to ensure judicious use of agro chemicals,‖ All India Rice Exporters Association executive director Rajen Sudershan said. Exporters now expect a major drop in residue levels this year. source: Economic Times ·

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13th October,2018 daily global regional local rice e-newsletter  

Daily Rice News

13th October,2018 daily global regional local rice e-newsletter  

Daily Rice News

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