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September 12 ,2018 Vol 9 ,Issue 9

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Fact check: Duterte says rice shortage 'artificial' People lining up at Pasig Mega Market for NFA rice sold at P32 per kilo with customers limited to buying up to 5 kilos each on Sept. 9, 2018. The STAR/Michael Varcas

(philstar.com) - September 11, 2018 - 11:57pm MANILA, Philippines — In a televised interview with Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, President Rodrigo Duterte said rice shortage is "artificial" and blamed "man-made manipulation" for the problem, which in some areas, prompted the public to line up in markets just to secure their grains. While the government did apprehend some rice smugglers in recent months, the root cause of the rice problem has been blamed on the failure of the government to timely import rice. Rice, the country's main staple, accounts for nearly a tenth of the basket of basic goods and commodities a Filipino purchases. As a result, high rice prices have pushed inflation up to an over nine-year high of 6.4 percent in August. The problem began in February when the state-led National Food Authority announced its buffer stock of cheap rice sold to the poor was only enough for two days, below the 15-day requirement.

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Since then, Duterte has mandated imports of up to 500,000 metric tons, but nearly nine months after, only 350,000 MT have arrived, while NFA's buffer stock remains below minimum and ample only for four days. Without the cheaper alternative, the poor are forced to buy commercial rice, together with the rest of the population. This drives demand and pushes prices up. Philippine Statistics Authority data show average retail prices of regular-milled rice rose 15.24 percent yearon-year in the last week of August. Those of well-milled rice went up 11.63 percent. Both are the fastest so far this year. While imports have indeed started to arrive, some of the shipments from Thailand were infested by weevil. The government said the infested grains are safe to eat after fumigation and no less than Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol cooked and ate some of it before the media, to prove the point. The government has recently ordered importing more rice as it awaits other pending deliveries as well as the passage of the rice tariffication bill, which would remove annual limits on rice imports and replace them with tariffs on shipments. The rice caps have been constantly set for more than two decades as a way to protect local farmers from cheaper imports. Under the bill, tariff proceeds will be used to fund local farmers to improve their harvests and allow them to compete with grains abroad. The bill was approved at the House of Representatives and is in advanced stages at the Senate. In a related development, Duterte also said on Tuesday that NFA Administrator Jason Aquino has asked to be relieved amid calls for his resignation due to the rice problem. Duterte said he would soon appoint a replacement to Aquino.

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/09/11/1850885/fact-check-duterte-says-rice-shortage-artificial

Rice supply still thinning; Duterte says lack artificial The figure is 24 percent below the previous month‘s stock level of 1.99 million MT. Michael Varcas/File

Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - September 12, 2018 - 12:00am MANILA, Philippines — The country‘s rice inventory dropped to 1.52 million metric tons in August, down 25 percent from last year‘s stock of 2.02 million MT, according to latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

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The figure is 24 percent below the previous month‘s stock level of 1.99 million MT.

The PSA did not specify for how long the rice stock would be sufficient. But based on the average daily consumption of Filipinos of 32,000 MT, the current inventory is enough for 48 days. The National Food Authority (NFA) still has limited inventory of three days from the mandated 30 days and even if imports started arriving three months ago, the stocks were distributed to markets to bring down prices of commercial rice. So far, 385,000 MT out of the 500,000 MT of imported rice have arrived in the country. Another 250,000 MT will be imported for the fourth quarter, bringing total imports for the year to 750,000 MT. The main harvest season will be in full blast starting next month, which could help augment national inventory. NFA administrator Jason Aquino has instructed the agency‘s field offices, especially in rice producing areas, to be more aggressive in their palay buying strategies. ―We will not wait for the farmers to bring their produce, but rather go out to the farthest and remotest barangays to buy their harvest, especially in areas where the prices offered by private traders are below the government support price,‖ Aquino said.

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The grain agency reactivated its mobile procurement teams, which are coordinating with farmers‘ organizations and local government units to inform them about the NFA‘s procurement scheme and incentives. As of last month, NFA has only procured a total of 75,753 bags, which is roughly three percent of its target 2.6 million bags for the whole year. The agency‘s low procurement performance during the summer harvest was attributed to the high palay farmgate price offered by private traders ranging from P20 to P28 per kilogram. The buying support price of NFA remains at P17 per kilo for clean and dry, with additional incentives of P0.70-P1 per kilo for delivery, drying and cooperative incentive fee. With the additional imports and the start of the harvest season, the government is expecting rice prices to stabilize by November but will unlikely reach below P40 per kilo. Retail prices of rice ranged from P44 to P48 per kilo.

P38/kilo in Bulacan In Bulacan, a group of rice traders agreed to sell P38 per kilo of imported rice in selected areas in the province. Roderico Sulit, spokesman for the Rice Millers Association of Bulacan, said they would sell mixed grains imported from Vietnam in coordination with the NFA. The rice will be sold initially in relocation sites in Balagtas, Bocaue, Marilao and Malolos. Each relocation site will be allocated 150 sacks of rice. Consumers can buy up to five kilos of rice, Sulit said. – With Ramon Lazaro

Read more at https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/09/12/1850818/rice-supplystill-thinning-duterte-says-lack-artificial#ipDm18FIdSiXuJZk.99

Resource-short Taiwan achieved rice self-sufficiency posted September 13, 2018 at 12:10 am by Rudy Romero

Taiwan is generally regarded as a First World country and is one of the world‘s foremost industrial and trading nations. Yet, not so long ago—more precisely, almost 70 years ago—that was not the case. In September 1949, Taiwan—christened Formosa by the colonizing Portuguese—was just one of the larger islands off the Chinese mainland. Then in the following month, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shak and his Nationalist army, beaten by the Communist troops led by Mao Tse-tung, crossed the Formosa Strait and established a government on Taiwan. Thus was the island-state born.

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The Chiang group came to an island that was relatively small and had minimal natural resources. Taiwan is largely mountainous, and whatever cultivable land it has is found along the island‘s coastal areas. The total area available for agriculture is just over 200,000 hectares—that wasn‘t much land by any standard. Realizing that the first order of business was to provide enough food for his beleaguered army, the Generalissimo decreed that the highest priority, after the strengthening of Taiwan‘s defenses, was the development of the island‘s agriculture. Whatever land and water existed were to be used in the most efficient manner possible. All the necessary agricultural production inputs besides water—especially credit, agricultural extension and marketing assistance—were to be made available by the government to ensure the highest possible yield per hectare of land. It was a case of, literally, all hands to the flow, and the government was closely monitoring the progress of the farmers. It is not out of place to mention here that some of Taiwan‘s agricultural officials and technicians were sent to this country to enroll in courses at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). It was not long before the single-mindedness and determination of the Nationalist government began to bear fruit. Self-sufficiency in rice, corn, vegetables and other agricultural products was soon attained, and Taiwan no longer needed food aid from friendly countries, particularly the Communists‘ arch-enemy, the US. Not only that. Since it now had enough rice and other agricultural products to feed the Taiwanese people, and because Taiwan badly needed foreign exchange, the island-state embarked on export trade in agricultural products, especially rice. Taiwan became, and remain, an important exporter of rice. That surely is not bad for a country that had very little cultivable land, had limited water resources, had a start-from-scratch administrative infrastructure and was short of foreign exchange. Since it first attained rice self-sufficiency, Taiwan has not had to import a single grain of that. Comparisons are odious, but in view of what is happening in this country today—and of how unstable the rice situation is—a comparison between the agricultural experiences of Taiwan and the Philippine is both inevitable and instinctive. This country is one of the world‘s biggest importers of rice—total imports will probably be 500,000 metric tons in 2018—despite the 3,000,000 hectares of land devoted to the cultivation of rice and corn, this country‘s numerous rivers with large water volume, its centuries-long tradition of rice culture, the existence in the Philippines of two pre-eminent rice research institutions (UPLB and the International Rice Research Institute), a favorable legislative environment, a broad administrative infrastructure and sufficient foreign exchange.

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If the government—Congress and the Executive branch—applied to Philippine agriculture the same seriousness and consistency that the authorities of Taiwan, with the island‘s far more limited resources, did, this country would have become (1) self-sufficient in rice, (2) not needed to import that basic community and (3) quite possible have become an exporter. The job can be done. In the seventies the government, through its Masagana 99 program, demonstrated that an all-out effort pursued with determination could give rise to rice self-sufficiency. There is no reason why a Masagana-type program cannot be replicated at this juncture. If Taiwanese, with far limited resources on their agriculturally inhospitable island, could produce not only rice self-sufficiency but also a rice export trade, so, definitely, can Filipinos. http://www.manilastandard.net/opinion/columns/business-class-by-rudy-romero/275390/resource-shorttaiwan-achieved-rice-self-sufficiency.html

P300-m worth of smuggled rice seized in Bulacan posted September 13, 2018 at 01:40 am by Vito Barcelo and Francisco Tuyay

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The Bureau of Customs seized smuggled rice worth P300 million in a raid Tuesday by customs and police officers in seven warehouses in Marilao, Bulacan, as the police nationwide were ordered to identify and arrest rice hoarders blamed for the shortage of government grains in public and private markets. DISTURBING DISCOVERY. The Bureau of Customs, upfront in addressing the wrath of a hungry population, has seized smuggled rice worth P300 million in a raid Wednesday by Customs and police operatives, with authorities claiming at least 125,000 sacks of imported rice–from Thailand, China and India–discovered in warehouses in one town alone in Bulacan. Customs Facebook Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said Wednesday at least 125,000 sacks of imported rice, reportedly imported from Thailand, China, and India, were discovered inside the warehouses located at the FedCor Compound at Barangay Ibayo, Marilao, Bulacan. Representatives from the National Food Authority in Bulacan were present when the BoC and Philippine National Police raided the compound. ―Seven out of the total of 11 warehouses inside the compound were being used to store the thousands of sacks of rice,‖ the BoC chief said. The customs chief said the warehouse owners, lessees or the owners of the imported goods failed to present proof that payment of duties and taxes had been made on the rice. The bureau is stepping up its operations to thwart rice smuggling given the price hike in the country‘s staple grain. President Rodrigo Duterte earlier announced that the government will go after rice hoarders who contribute to the increasing cost of rice. Lapeña instructed the bureau‘s Intelligence and Enforcement Groups to go after suspected rice smugglers and hoarders of imported rice and other agricultural products. PNP chief Oscar Albayalde on Wednesday ordered the mobilization intelligence units across the country to identify and arrest rice hoarders and manipulators. Albayalde‘s directive came after President Duterte ordered the police to go after traders who were keeping rice out of the market. ―We intensify our intelligence gathering to identify these warehouses that are hoarding rice blamed for the shortage of staple,‖ Albayalde said.

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The PNP is closely coordinating with the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agriculture and National Food Authority (DTI, DA, NFA) to discuss the anti-hoarding campaign. Despite imports, NFA rice of different varieties, priced at P27 and P32 a kilo remained scarce, sparking public outrage. Albayalde said the prevailing rice shortage could be attributed to illegal stockpiling in warehouses. ―If there‘s a shortage, it could be because of hoarding. The rice could be sitting in warehouses and will be released only when the price goes up,‖ Albayalde said in a mix of English and Filipino. ―We have to figure out, that‘s why we intensified our intelligence gathering through the different intelligence officers of different regions,‖ he said. ―This is a matter of national interest.‖ Meanwhile, quarantine officials on Wednesday cleared 132,400 bags of rice docked at the Subic Bay Freeport after they were fumigated for weevils. Plant Quarantine Service Regional Manager Ronnie M. Manuel issued the certification that the rice shipment from Thailand is fit for human consumption after it was treated by SSI Chemical Applications, Inc., a Bureau of Plant Industry-accredited fumigator.Before the clearance was issued, rice samples were randomly taken from the cargo holds of m/v Gazi for inspection, examination and sensory evaluation. The samples passed the quality specifications and standards. If the weather permits, unloading of the rice shipment is expected to resume on Sept. 13 for delivery to NFA warehouses. The 132,400 bags rice shipment is part of the 160,000 bags allocated for distribution in Central Luzon to beef up the inventory of NFA rice in the agency‘s warehouses in Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Bulacan, Zambales, Tarlac, Bataan and Aurora. Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros described the weevil infestation involving over 100,000 sacks of imported rice languishing at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone as the ―single biggest hallmark of government incompetence.‖ ―No matter how many cups of weevil-infested rice our public officials eat, no matter how safe they all claim it to be, our people shouldn‘t have to endure eating this kind of food if only our government had done its job in ensuring the country‘s food security,‖ she said. She said the government has thousands and thousands of sacks of rice and just let it get infested.

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―If this is not gross incompetence, I don‘t know what is,‖ she said. The NFA on Wednesday assured the public that the delivery of its services will continue even as administrator Jason Aquino has requested to be relieved from his post. In a statement, the NFA said Aquino, who is currently on leave, will remain head of the food agency until a replacement is appointed by Duterte. During a meeting with NFA Regional Directors last Sept. 5, Aquino had instructed them to further intensify rice distribution activities, to reach 15 to 20 percent market participation, so that more consumers, especially those living in remote barangays, island-provinces, the poor and marginalized in highly populated urban areas, are able to benefit from the government‘s low-priced good quality rice at P27 and P32 per kilogram. With Macon Ramos-Araneta and PNA http://www.manilastandard.net/news/top-stories/275406/p300-m-worth-of-smuggled-rice-seized-inbulacan.html

Rice imports from Brazil raising concerns U.S. rice supplies expected to be up more than 8 percent in 2018-19. So why is the U.S. importing more rice?

Forrest Laws | Sep 12, 2018 U.S. rice supplies are expected to be up by more than 8 percent in 2018-19, mainly due to increased plantings and average yields in Arkansas, according to USDA. So why is the U.S. importing more rice? Until the last few years, the U.S imported very little rice aside from specialty rice for the AsianAmerican market, according to Dr. Nathan Childs, senior agricultural rice economist with USDA‘s Economic Research Service. That situation is changing. ―Just a few years ago it looked like imports had leveled off; that they were maybe starting to decline a little bit,‖ said Childs, a speaker for the latest in the University of Arkansas System

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Division of Agriculture series of Food and Agribusiness Webinars. To see the webinar: https://bit.ly/2E2BEla. ―But we‘ve seen something very differ

ent in the last two years,‖ he said. ―Very strong imports that will be a record for sure. It is not due to brokens (kernels of rice). The U.S. does import brokens, but it‘s really due to milled rice.‖ The bulk of U.S. rice imports typically have come from Asia, Childs noted, with Thailand supplying about 60 percent and India and Pakistan at least 20 percent. Imports are expected to reach about 28 million hundredweight for the second year in a row in 2018-19. ―I want to show you that, in recent years, Brazil has accounted for more U.S. rice imports,‖ he said, referring to a slide showing Brazil‘s rice exports to the U.S. since 2006. ―This is not a lot of rice, maybe around 30,000 tons (in 2017-18). But it came from 4,000 or 5,000 tons. ―So that‘s Brazil exporting into the U.S., that‘s milled rice. Again, as a share, it‘s not real high. The U.S. imports maybe a little over 800,000 tons annually. And 30,000 or 40,000 is not a huge share by any means. But it came from a very low number previously.‖

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Puerto Rico

Another ―odd‖ development involves China and Puerto Rico, which is a part of the United States although it has not achieved statehood. ―In years past, Puerto Rico imported medium grain rice from China,‖ said Childs. ―But for almost a decade, it imported virtually zero. Now, the census is showing Puerto Rico‘s back to taking some rice from China. The bulk of U.S. rice from China is landing in Puerto Rico.‖ USDA‘s World Agricultural Supply and Demand estimates project U.S. rice supplies at roughly 280 million hundredweight in 2018-19 or about 8 percent higher than in 2017-18. That‘s mainly due to increased plantings in Arkansas since the carry-in and imports are roughly the same as last year. (Arkansas accounts for 61 percent of the 150,000-acre increase in the U.S. in 2018.) ―The crop is up,‖ he said. ―Carry-in is down a little. Imports about the same. So it‘s driven by a much larger crop. Notice that U.S. rice exports are projected to increase 13 percent. Domestic use about the same. Why are exports expected to increase? More supplies, more competitive prices, and they need to be more competitive to move that rice.‖ The need to increase exports is coming at a time when the U.S. is facing increased competition for what, until now, has been its primary exports market in the region of Mexico and Central America. ―Latin America accounts for 60 percent of U.S. rice exports,‖ said Childs, referring to a slide depicting U.S. rice shipments by country and region going back to the 1990s. ―You can see that Mexico, and then the rest of Latin America, are important to the U.S. rice industry.‖ On the other hand, Latin America accounts for 80 percent of U.S. long-grain rice exports. ―So it‘s even more important for the South, which primarily grows long-grain rice. California, which primarily grows medium-grain rice, doesn‘t ship much to Latin America.‖

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Uruguay and Guyana, two relatively new rice exporters in South America, nearly doubled their shipments to Mexico in 2017, said Childs, and they are making more inroads in 2018. ―But the most troubling development,‖ he said, ―is the significant increase in shipments of Brazil‘s milled rice into the U.S., particularly along the East Coast, beginning in Florida and moving up through the Southeast.‖ https://www.deltafarmpress.com/rice/rice-imports-brazil-raising-concerns

San Miguel plans to venture into rice importation posted September 12, 2018 at 07:35 pm by Jenniffer B. Austria

Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. said it plans to venture into rice trading, once the proposed Rice Tariffication Law is approved in a bid to help the government achieve food security. San Miguel president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said in an interview at the sidelines of San Miguel Food and Beverage‘s special stockholders meeting the company was planning to engage in rice importation using the existing grains terminals to handle the shipments. ―If there is a law allowing us to venture into this business, we can get into that and quickly we can do it,‖ Ang said. Ang said the company could put up an extra silo or storage in existing grains facilities in Bataan and Batangas for rice imports. He said the company could also use its feed mill and other food facilities in Davao, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Pangasinan and Quezon. ―We can easily help in stabilizing the price of rice in the country,‖ Ang said. Ang said the Rice Tariffication bill could help local farmers, as proceeds from the tariff collection could be plowed back to improve the competitiveness of the sector and raise farmers‘ incomes. The proposed bill aims to amend Republic Act No. 8178, or the Agricultural Tariffication Act of 1996 to replace the quantitative restrictions on rice imports with tariff. Rice importation, which is currently being controlled by state-run National Food Authority, will then be opened up to private traders. Meanwhile, Ang said he was confident SMFB would be able to conduct its P142-billion share sale this year despite current market conditions.

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Ang said SMFB already started an international roadshow for the planned follow-on offering and the feedback from investors was positive. ―Investors like companies with stable cash slow with big market share in food and beverage category. So even with the situation in manila, we are confident that we can place out the shares,‖ Ang said. Ang said the final terms of the planned share sale would be revealed in the next few months. Under the plan, SMFB will sell 887 million secondary shares owned by parent company San Miguel Corp. and another 133 million shares to cover over allotment at an offer price of up to P140 per share. Ang said proceeds from the offering would be used to create projects and generate jobs. http://manilastandard.net/business/corporate/275357/san-miguel-plans-to-venture-into-riceimportation.html

NFA administrator out; Duterte asks Congress: 'Abolish NFA Council' National Food Authority administrator Jason Aquino has requested to be relieved, according to President Duterte.

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - September 12, 2018 - 12:00am MANILA, Philippines — With the country‘s rice supply still dwindling, President Duterte is now in search of a new head for the state-run National Food Authority (NFA) after his appointee Jason Aquino requested to be

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relieved.

In a televised interview with chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo yesterday, Duterte announced that Aquino has requested to be removed after leading the agency for one year and eight months. ―He says he‘s tired and he cannot cope with the dynamics inside, which is always ordinary happening, happening in government because we cannot be in agreement all the time,‖ Duterte said, referring to the NFA administrator. Aquino is being blamed for the lack of rice supply in the market, prompting prices to spike. Aquino could not be reached for comment while NFA special assistant to the administrator Rachel Miguel is currently out of the country. Even NFA spokesman Rex Estoperez, who is on leave, has not responded to queries and clarifications. A source from the NFA, however, said the announcement from the President was unexpected as Aquino has not mentioned any plan to resign from his post. NFA deputy administrator Tomas Escare told a recent House hearing that the grains agency asked the council last October to allow the importation of one million metric tons of rice. He claimed the council permitted the NFA to import rice only last May. NFA Council member and Trade Undersecretary Ruth Castelo countered Escare‘s claim, saying the approval was delayed because of the NFA‘s failure to submit information about its inventory.

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Duterte has claimed that the Philippines has more than enough supply of rice and expressed readiness to order the opening of warehouses to prevent hoarding. Officials have said the government would open stores selling cheap rice to stabilize prices. The Chief Executive said he would appoint someone who would implement the policies of the economic managers but did not elaborate. He also did not say what position would be offered but revealed he was just waiting for the person to retire.

Best option Several lawmakers and agriculture industry groups have been calling for Aquino‘s resignation because of his supposed failure to address rice supply issues. The Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) welcomed the decision, saying voluntary exit is the best option for Aquino. ―I don‘t think he could solve the situation right now so it is better that he just leave,‖ Sinag chairman Rosendo So told The STAR in a phone interview. ―He has to be accountable to the farmers and to the people for the rice shortage in the market,‖ he added. The group will also review the graft charges it filed against Aquino on Aug. 29, saying there is a chance that the Office of the Ombudsman may just dismiss it given that he will be out of office anytime soon. As to the next NFA chief, So said stakeholders trust the President to choose the right person to replace Aquino. ―The person to replace him should be pro-farmer and who will buy and protect our local farmers and not just think of importation,‖ he said. ―Someone who will help the local farmers and not the other countries,‖ So added.

NFA Council abolition The industry also lauded the administration‘s plan to scrap the interagency NFA Council, echoing the President‘s sentiments that it is useless and has supposedly failed to perform its function. Duterte revealed his plan amid the increase in prices of rice in the market. ―I will recommend to Congress the abolition of the (council). It has not done any purpose; it only hinders the operation,‖ he said. The NFA Council, which formulates policy on rice and food security, like importation, was formed by Presidential Decree No. 4, later amended by Presidential Decree No. 1770. It consists of representatives from the finance department, National Economic and Development Authority, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Landbank and the farming sector. Duterte reiterated the need to remove rice quotas and to just allow anyone to import rice to ensure that the country has enough supply.

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―I have been advocating tariffication... anybody can import,‖ he added. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. previously said the bill that imposes tariffs on rice imports could lead to the abolition of the NFA. The measure was approved by the House of Representatives last month. The entire council, which used to be led by Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco, has been in disagreement with Aquino in particular since last year due to opposing decisions on the extension of import arrivals. The issue worsened with several deferments and non-approval of importation as well as rejection of the increase in the buying price of palay.

Rice from Sabah Meanwhile, Duterte said he was considering buying rice from Sabah to address the country‘s rice supply issues. ―Shortages are always there... The economic life of a country cannot be all bed of roses. I have several options. The importation did not stop. If worse comes to worst, I will open Sabah,‖ the President said. ―The rice from Sabah is cheap. If we let the authorities, those from Basilan, those from Jolo or Zamboanga to buy rice there, they can get it at a very low price,‖ he added. Duterte also expressed willingness to set up barter trade in the area, which is now being administered by Malaysia. – With Louise Maureen Simeon

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/09/12/1850832/nfa-administrator-out-duterte-asks-congressabolish-nfa-council

Health dangers of Nigeria’s rice revolution Posted By: Femi Kusa On: September 13, 2018 In: Health

WHENEVER I see my son load up on white rice for lunch or dinner, I am unable to restrain myself from warning him that he is playing with ‗‗fire‖. Many parents tell me their children are like him…. White rice gobblers. I used to shout or scream to no avail until he caught the bug, hitting the ceiling of pre-obesity in a bodymass index (BMI) test. He is luckier than most other children of his age who, hooked on white rice, develop such diseases as Type 2 diabetes, heart problems, obesity, beri-beri, muscle and nerve degeneration, eye and kidney challenges, to

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mention a few of the problems which can arise from the consumption of mountains of white rice every day. I become more concerned about the health of voracious Nigerian rice eaters when I heard the good news about Nigeria‘s RICE REVOLUTION in only three years of the Buhari Administration in which many of his pathological haters do not see anything good. Before Buhari came to power in 2015, Nigeria depended almost 100 percent on rice imports to feed itself, rice having become one of its staple foods. But about three years on by last year, Nigeria was growing about 85 percent of the rice it consumed every year. Rice price is crashing. Farm output is growing. And there are indications that the rice fields will balloon more next year, leaving no gap between need and production to be filled with imports. In fact, Nigeria is looking forward to becoming a rice exporting nation with rice price so down at home that it would be tempting to eat it three times a day. That is where nutrition specialists are likely to have sleepless nights and professional headaches.

Nigeria’s rice history When I was a boy in the 1950s, we ate rice only on special days such as during Easter Monday picnic, Christmas, birthdays or when a child was ill and the mother wished to pamper him or her. Even then, the rice was native rice, grown organically and unmilled. Women had a hell of a time destoning it in the kitchen, and it may not be totally free of stones in the rice pot or in the lunch or dinner plate. That was why Uncle Ben‘s Rice, sparkling white from the rice mills and stone free, made an instant market success, although it was less nutritious and more hazardous to health than Nigerian native rice. How Nigeria became a heavy eater of factory processed rice over the decades is mind boggling, from data provided by www.indexmundi.com.

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1968-50,000 metric tonnes/1969-258,000 tonnes/1970-285,000 tonnes/1971-313,000 tonnes/1972-321,000 tonnes/1973-344,000 tonnes/1974-352,000 tonnes/1975-396,000 tonnes/ 1976-500,000 tonnes/1977-750,000 tonnes/1978-950,000 tonnes/1979-845,000 tonnes/1980-850,000 tonnes/1981-1,227,000 tonnes/1982-1,337,000 tonnes/1983-1,648,000 tonnes/1984-1,220,000 tonnes/1985-1,249,000 tonnes/1986-1,042,000 tonnes/1987-1,152,000 tonnes/1988-1,350,000 tonnes/1989-1,550,000 tonnes/1990-2,757,000 tonnes/1991-2,207,000 tonnes/1992-2,436,000 tonnes/1993-2,221,000 tonnes/1994-2,136,000 tonnes/1995-2,000,000 tonnes/1996-2,175,000 tonnes/1997-2,712,000 tonnes/1998-2,815,000 tonnes/1999-2,866,000 tonnes/2000-3,029,000 tonnes/2001-3,051,000 tonnes/2002-3,307,000 tonnes/2003-3,670,000 tonnes/2004-3,750,000 tonnes/2005-3,800,000 tonnes/2006-4,040,000 tonnes/2007-4,100,000 tonnes/2008-4,220,000 tonnes/2009-4,353,000 tonnes/2010-4,800,000 tonnes/2011-5,600,000 tonnes/2012-5,700,000 tonnes/2013-5,800,000 tonnes/2014-6,100,000 tonnes/2015-6,400,000 tonnes/2016-6,500,000 tonnes/2017-6,700,000 tonnes and in 2018, it is 6,900,000 tonnes. Of the 6,700,000 metric tonnes consumed in 2017, Nigeria was able to produce 5,800,000 metric tonnes, which meant that import accounted for a mere 900,000 metric tonnes. This must have been bad news and bad business for Nigeria‘s suppliers of rice such as Thailand where unemployment in the rice fields must be causing social problems by now.

The politics of rice Nigeria‘s rice revolution caused political storms in and outside the country. The government wished to stop spending money to import rice, to create employment not for citizens of other countries while Nigerians could be employed in their own country growing rice to feed themselves. Thailand and the other exporters wished to keep their citizens employed growing rice to feed Nigerians and earning foreign exchange from Nigeria in the process. It would be prepared to sell at even half of cost price if that would make its rice cheaper than Nigeria‘s and

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more desirable by Nigerian consumers. With the Nigerian government ban on rice importation bitting and frustrating Thailand Benin Republic became a beneficiary. The economy of Benin Republic, Nigeria‘s western neighbour, thrives on smuggling of banned goods into Nigeria. And the smuggling of petroleum products outside Nigeria. Thus, mountains of rice are imported into Benin Republic by Nigeria importers, Benin Republic benefits from tariff income and look the other way despite bilateral agreement between both countries to fight smuggling. In desperation, the Buhari Administration instructed border closure with dire economic consequences for both countries. Nigeria winning the war From all indications, the war is only about one year away from ending. The government public relations machinery is poor. It is third parties who have been calming nerves frayed by high rice price with soothing reminders that laughter follows the screams of a woman in having a baby in the labour room. That laughter on the dining table can be seen already in the flicker of hope or silver lining presented by two rice projects in southern Nigeria. These are the rice seedling plant in Cross River State and the rice mill of the Lagos State government. Cross River State‘s rice seedling mill, the biggest in Africa, will employ about 500 workers and earn a N70 billion naira revenue every year. The rice mills in Imota, Lagos State, the biggest in sub-Saharan Africa, will employ 200,000 workers in the rice chain and process 32 metric tonnes of rice per hour. That means that this plant can mill the 5,800,000 metric tonnes of rice produced in Nigerian last year in 181,250 hours or 7,552 hours or 315 days. This must be unable to handle Nigeria‘s rice consumption with dispatch. Happily, many rice mills are being built all over the country. The one at Imota will mill rice produced in south-western Nigeria.

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Havocs of the mills We do not know the brands of Nigeria‘s rice mills. So, we cannot talk as yet about the nutritional defects of the rice which would come out of them. But we do know that the rice which goes into any rice meal doesn‘t come out at the other end in one whole or good piece. For it emerges as prece work. The virgin rice, that is rice before it goes into the mills, has a covering known as the hull. This is the first part of it the machines remove. The de-hulled rice is brown rice. The brown part, called the bran, is where the grains nutrients are most concentrated. The average rice business man does not wish to sell this brand of milled rice for various reasons. First, he may need to store his stocks for months or transport them overseas. For example, Thailand, Nigeria‘s major rice supplier, is reputed to be the biggest rice growing ration on earth, accounting for about 30 percent of the worlds output. The rice with bran is so nutrient dense that weevils and other insects like to feast on it. This will be bad business for the rice merchant. So, he asks the machines to scrapes off the bran. Scraping it off reveals the white part of the rice grain we are all familiar with. It contains the germ or the embrayo which the plant in Calabar, Cross River State, will be extracting to grow into seedlings for about N70 billion revenue every year, under the watchful care of Chinese magers. The white rice is pleasing to the rice merchant because, deprived of nutrients which can be easily oxidized or spoiled, it can keep for about one week after cooking, whereas the brown rice spoils about the day after. More harm is done to white rice when it is sent for parboiling in boilers to further extract nutrients which stubbornly cling to it after the bran layer has been scraped off. Polishing, another phase of rice processing, adds more insult to the injury by removing more nutrients. The Nigerian man and woman or child who gleefully enjoys a meal of appetising white

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rice does not know what harmful or devitalised food the rice miller and the rice merchant have brought to his or her lunch or dinner or even breakfast plate. On the plate is an almost pure carbonhydrate meal, which is far from the intention of Mother Nature, the provider. Mother Nature provides rice as a balance food which comprises carbonhydrate, fats, proteins, minerals, vitamins and lots more. Among these vitamins, for example, is Thiamin (Vitamin B1) Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3). Among its many uses in the body, Thiamine is a vitamin for the nerve and for the muscles and the digestion of carbonhydrates. If nature formulated thiamine into the carbonhydrate stuff of rice and man removes it, it means a rice meal may not be digested or well digested and, if it has to be well digested, the body would have to release some of its thiamine stocks for this purpose. This goes on most of the time because most foods today are processed and, in Nigeria, we eat mainly carbonhydrate foods. Imagine your heart, a muscle, releasing their thiamine stock for digestion. They would become weak and flabby as most people‘s hearts are, enlarging sooner than later. Palpitations and hypertensions may not be too distant. All the time, we search too far away from the causes of these ailments, sometimes blaming other people for it if we are under the influence of spiritual or religious acrobats who call themselves Pastors or Alfas, without realsing the causes are in our kitchens and dining tables! . The Japanese who discovered the disease called Beri-bere are not like us in this regard. In www.healthline.com, we learn:

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Beri-beri is a disease caused by vitamin B1 deficiency also known as Thimine deficiency. There are two types of the disease, wet beriberi and dry beriberi. Wet beriberi affects the heart and the circulatory system. In extreme cases, wet beriberi can cause heart failure. Dry beri-beri damages the nerves and can lead to decreased multi strength and eventually paralysis. Beri-beri can be life threatening if it isn‘t treated. If you have access to foods rich in thiamine, our chances of developing beriberi are low. Today, beriberi mostly occurs in people with an alcohol use disorder. ‌Wet beriberi symptoms include shortness of breath among physical activity, waking up short of breath, rapid heart rate, swollen lower legs. Dry beriberi symptoms include decreased muscle function, particularly in the lower legs, tingling or loss of feeling in the feet and hands, pain, mental infusion, difficulty speaking, vomiting, involuntary eye movement, paralysis. In extreme cases, Beriberi is associated with wernicke korsakoff syndrome. Wernicke encephalopathy and korsakoff syndrome are two forms of brain damage caused by thiamine deficiency. Weenicke encephalopathy damage regions of the brain called the thalamus and Hypothalamus. This condition can cause; (a) Confusion (b)

Memory loss (c) Loss of muscle co-ordination (d)

Usual problems such as rapid eye movement and double vision. Korsakoff syndrome is the result of permanent damage to the region of the brain where memory is formed. It can cause; (a)

Loss of memory (b) Inability to form new memory (c) Hallu-

cinations Beriberi is most common in region of the world where the diet includes unenriched processed white rice which only has a tenth of the amount of thiamine as brown rice. Other factors may cause thiamine deficiency as well. These include; (a) Alcohol abuse which can make it hard for your body to absorb and store thiamine (b)

Genetic beriberi is a rare condition that prevents the body from absorbing

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thiamine (c) Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland) (d) Extreme nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (e) Bariatric surgery (f) AIDS (g) Prolonged diarrhea or use of diuretics (medications that make you urinate) More). Breast feeding mother need daily thiamine in their diet. Infant drinking Breast milk or formula low in thiamine are at risk, for thiamine deficiency. Thank a million, www.healthline.com. Thanks, also, Mr. S.O. Kolade (S.O.K.), my Health Science teacher at Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo (1964-68), a born teacher who taught his class many ramifications of this disease that , in 1970, I diagnosed it easily in an uncle sick and bedridden at home , took him to KETU CLINIC in Lagos, where a doctor confirmed the diagnosis. I have seen it presented in many cases since then and, all too often, the challenged people are on a heavy white rice diet. To such people, I always suggest the inclusion in the daily diet of a good dosage of Vitamin B1 and a Vitamin B-50 procured from a reputable health food store. As you settle before the next meal of white rice, think of the following facts. In the milling of the bran, the bran part, 8o percent of the thiamine is lost. Iron and Riboflabin losses occur as well. Iron deficiency may cause anemia. Deficiency of Riboflabin (Vitamin B2) may cause cataracts of the eye lens. The symptoms of a deficiency may also include sore threat, redness and swelling of the mucus lining in the mouth, cracks on the lips and those breaks in the corners of the mouth, reddish, in flame tongue, scaly and moist skin. As proteins and Vitamin E are lost as well in the milling of rice, deficiencies of these food substances cannot be ruled out in populations where milled and polished rice has being a staple food for decades. Protein deficiency means the body will not be well maintained in terms of the repair of cellular damage, and old, tired or worn out molecules will not be quickly and regularly replaced. This

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may hasten the aging process. Vitamin E deficiency is a serious nutritional sin. We need it for maximum oxygen utilisation, as an antioxidant, for heart, eye and muscle health, to prevent the blood from clotting and for reproductive health, among its many other benefits. The devitalisation of rice by the rice mills, to classify it among the foodless foods i.e. processed foods, is incomplete. Minerals such as calcium and magnesium are also lost at the mills. In the home or industrial kitchen, there is a final touch to tantalization when, either when, either before cooking rice or half- way through cooking, the rice is washed and the cooking water drained to remove dirt, dust and farm chemical such as pesticides or herbicides. The water drained off the pots takes away lot of potassium and minerals. Potassium is needed by the muscles, including the heart, a bundle of muscles. It is needed to neutralise poisons and acids, to prevent the blood cell from becoming acidic and toxic. It is needed at the cellular level to extract oxygen from the plasma for use in the cells. Potassium shows us how important it is when we are sore or a ching all over and we consume potassium rich foods and vegetables, and the soreness and a ching disappear. Dr. Mat Gerson, that Germen doctor who cured his perenal migraines with vegetable and fruit juices was among the first doctors and researchers & to teach our generation to respect potassium. He cured many cases of terrible cancers, including those complicated by chemotherapy and radiation, by including generous amounts of potassium- rich juices in the diets of his patient. And he left us with the theory that ‌beny and malignant tumours such as uterine fibroids or cancer occur when the cell loses potassium and sodium fills the gap. A potassium – rich cell is oxidative (oxygen using) while one deficient in potassium is fermentative (non-oxygen dependant). If potassium is scarce in the cell and oxygen cannot be extracted from the plasma, the cell would change its living mode to fermentative lifestyle, which is the lifestyle of all cancers. This is why cancer patients fare better when they improve the oxygen content of their

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tissues either by consuming potassium-rich foods, infusing oxygen to their diets through green foods (Spirulina, Kale, Wheat grass, Barley grass, Lemon grass, Pawpaw leaf, Chlorella, Cilantro etc), through the hyperbaric oxygen chamber or by taking Ozone injections regularly. A staple processed rice diet over time may also cause constipation, diabetes, obesity fatigue, high blood pressure and related conditions, including stroke and heart attack. Lest I forget, I would like to add a last note on beriberi. It was discovered in a Japanese prison. The inmate were fed with polished rice about three times a day. Soon, they began to develop muscle weakness and were unable to stand unaided without falling. No one suspected the processed rice diet. Whenever doctor came around and asked the afflicted ones to raise their legs, they tried and screamed beriberi, beriberi in their language, that meant ―I can‘t, I can‘t‖. But, thank goodness remnants of the prisoners food was thrown out to chickens which foraged around the waste bins. Soon, the chickens, too, were unable to stand or walk. The link thus established, the nutritional value of whole grain rice was compared with those of milled, polished or processed rice and … the differences were crystal clear. http://thenationonlineng.net/health-dangers-of-nigerias-rice-revolution/

Makabayan bloc backs P10 billion extra NFA budget for use in rice procurement only September 12, 2018 | 9:10 pm PHILSTAR/MICHAEL VARCAS

THE MAKABAYAN bloc of legislators on Wednesday filed a resolution backing a P10-billion supplemental budget for the National Food Authority (NFA) for domestic rice procurement between September and January. House Joint Resolution 28, hopes to ease the rice crisis by directing the NFA to acquire at least 500,000 metric tons (MTs) of rice from local farmers at P20 per kilogram.

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According to the resolution, the NFA‘s preference to service its debt hindered it from fulfilling its mission to buy rice from farmers, thereby creating ―a need to provide the agency a supplemental budget so it can resume procuring palay from local production in order to (ease) the shortage of NFA rice.‖

The Makabayan bloc, a coalition of party list representatives, noted that NFA‘s reliance on rice imports hindered it from meeting its procurement target. ―In 2017, with its reliance on importation, it only procured 28,344 metric tons of palayout of a target of 153,483 metric tons,‖ according to the resolution. The NFA, without approval of the NFA Council, used its P5.1 billion Food Security budget under the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2017, to pay down maturing loans, according to the resolution. In 2018, the agency also used much of its budget for Buffer Stocking on debt service.

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―It again used P6.1 billion of its P7 billion allocated in the 2018 GAA for Buffer Stocking Program to pay for its maturing loans,‖ the Makabayan bloc said. This resulted to the procurement of only 334 MT of rice in January 2018. The bloc‘s legislators proposed to direct the NFA to exclusively utilize the proposed additional P10-billion in funding on procurement. — Charmaine A. Tadalan http://www.bworldonline.com/makabayan-bloc-backs-p10-billion-extra-nfa-budget-for-use-in-riceprocurement-only/

Changing NFA leadership not enough to solve rice woes, say groups ABS-CBN News Sep 12 2018 05:17 PM

MANILA - Peasant and consumer groups on Wednesday urged authorities to implement concrete measures to ease the rising prices of rice, saying that changing the leadership of the National Food Authority (NFA) won't be enough to solve the problem. Instead of resorting to rice imports, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said one of the things the officials concerned could do is to raise the NFA's buying price for palay (unmilled rice) to P20 from the current P17. The group Bantay Bigas, meanwhile, urged the government to put a P38 price ceiling on commercial rice to prevent traders from abusing or taking advantage of the supposed lean supply in the market. In a live interview with Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte said he has started looking for someone new to lead the NFA after its current head Jason Aquino requested to be relieved amid rice supply woes. He also urged Congress to abolish the NFA Council, saying "it only hinders" the agency's operations with too many involved. But both KMP and Bantay Bigas said there is no need to abolish the council. The President, they said, only has to make sure that the farmers are well-represented in the body because they know the real issues in agriculture. The groups hope that Aquino's replacement will have a heart for farmers and the will to uphold the NFA's mandate. They also said Aquino must be held accountable for the country's rice supply problems.

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ABS-CBN News tried to get the comment of NFA Council President Jun Evasco on Duterte's recommendation to abolish the body on Wednesday but was told that the official will not be available for an interview. -- report from April Rafales, ABS-CBN News https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/09/12/18/changing-nfa-leadership-not-enough-to-solve-rice-woes-saygroups

Governor appoints Brainerd man to wild rice council By Brainerd Dispatch on Sep 12, 2018 at 4:30 a.m. 1 Gov. Mark Dayton announced his appointments to the Governor's Task Force on Wild Rice. Among those appointed was Gary Drotts of Brainerd, who will serve as a non-native wild rice harvester on the task force. The terms for all those appoint begins Wednesday, Sept. 12, and will continue through April 7, 2019. Established in June 2018 through Executive Orders 18-08 and 18-09, the task force will work toward the restoration and protection of wild rice habitats to preserve the cultural, environmental and economic interests many Minnesotans have for this complex issue. "Wild rice is vitally important to many Minnesotans and, especially, to our state's Native Americans," stated Dayton in a news release. "We must find a sustainable solution that will protect both wild rice and its waters and economic growth and jobs. I thank the members of this task force for their efforts to find a solution that benefits all Minnesotans." The task force is comprised of representatives from tribal nations, industry, environmental advocacy groups, scientists, state government agencies and other stakeholders. Over the coming months, the task force will work to review existing peer-reviewed scientific literature and existing wild rice conditions. The task force will also help develop recommendations on funding for additional data collection, best management practices for protecting and restoring wild rice, sulfate minimization plans and the development and installation of cost-effective sulfate treatment technologies.

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By Dec. 15, the Governor's Task Force on Wild Rice will recommend specific policy proposals and actions that can be taken by the executive and legislative branches of state government and the private sector to protect wild rice in Minnesota, while supporting continued economic development and job creation across the state. Also appointed to the task force: Kurt Anderson of Brookston, electric utility representative; Paul Austin of Minneapolis, environmental nongovernmental organization representative; Chrissy Bartovich of Mountain Iron, ferrous mining industry representative; Leya Charles of Welch, Minnesota Dakota tribal representative; Kathryn Hoffman of St. Paul, environmental nongovernmental organization representative; Emi Ito of St. Paul, independent scientist with expertise in wild rice research, plant-based aquatic toxicity; Peter Lee of Kakabeka Falls, Ontario, Canada, independent scientist with expertise in wild rice research, plant-based aquatic toxicity; Norman Miranda of Deer River, municipal wastewater discharger representative; Brad Moore of Mahtomedi, non-ferrous mining industry representative; Al Pemberton of Red Lake; Red Lake Nation representative; and John Rebrovich of Eveleth, statewide labor organization representative. Ex-officio members of the task force are Ann Pierce with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Catherine Neuschler with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. http://www.brainerddispatch.com/news/4498058-governor-appoints-brainerd-man-wild-ricecouncil

Cheap rice available in Bulacan markets By Inquirer Northern Luzon / 05:32 AM September 13, 2018

NO MORE NFA RICE A woman is forced to buy commercial rice after the stock of cheaper rice from the National Food Authority (NFA) is sold out at the Sangitan public market in Cabanatuan City.—ARMAND GALANG CITY OF MALOLOS — Rice millers in Bulacan said they were selling rice at P38 a kilogram at local markets in urban poor areas in the province starting on Thursday.

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Roderico Sulit, vice president of the Bulacan Rice Millers Association, said they would distribute a minimum of 150 bags in the towns of Bocaue, Marilao and Balagtas, and the City of Malolos. Echoing assurances made by the government, Marianne Pualenco, an official of the millers‘ group, said they expected rice prices to stabilize before Christmas, with the harvest season this month and in October, and the expected arrival of imported rice that would soon flood the market. The millers sent cheap rice to Metro Manila markets in June when rice stocks of the National Food Authority (NFA) ran out. Augmenting supply Sulit said more millers had volunteered to join the group‘s project to augment the supply of cheap rice, focusing on poor families. ―We urge those who can afford the more expensive varieties not to line up, and give way to the poor,‖ he said during the launching of the project on Tuesday at the NFA Malolos office. Elvira Obama, NFA Bulacan manager, said more than 120,000 cavans of rice would be delivered to the province from Subic Bay Freeport.

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‘Bigasang Bayan’ Once the Subic stock reached NFA warehouses, the agency would put up ―Bigasang Bayan‖ (public rice markets) which would sell the grains at P32 a kilo, she said. In Pampanga, the NFA stopped its rice allocations for 243 accredited retailers in the province, to reserve its supply of 1,998 bags as a food security measure, according to NFA provincial coordinator Roberto Mariano Jr. He said NFA would resume the allocations when it received 4,500 bags from the NFA central office and 80,000 bags from the agency‘s imported stocks that arrived in two vessels at the Subic Bay Freeport. In Nueva Ecija province, stores accredited to sell government subsidized rice in Cabanatuan City received only 25 bags a week from NFA. —Reports from Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Tonette Orejas and Armand Galang https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1031509/cheap-rice-available-in-bulacan-markets

Europe's Largest Street Festival Features U.S. Rice By Eszter Somogyi LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- Two local U.S. rice brands, Peacock and Tropical Sun, participated in a billboard campaign set up by USA Rice for the carnival season, which concludes here at the Notting Hill Carnival the last weekend of August. The Carnival started in 1966 and is now recognized as Europe's largest street festival attracting more than one million attendees each year and featuring music, dancing, theater, and, of course, food, including rice - a lot of rice! Reports suggest that as much as 18 MT of rice is eaten over that one carnival weekend. Both Peacock and Tropical Sun sponsored billboards at specific sites around London prior to and during the Carnival to ensure that U.S. rice was the preferred rice eaten at the street festival. "We always order extra rice for the carnival season, which covers multiple cities, but culminates at the Notting Hill Carnival," said Tropical Sun's Marketing Manager Jag Singh. "The love that we receive for Tropical Sun USA rice is measured by the additional volume we sell in the run up to, and over Carnival weekend." Tropical Sun also had its own branded tent set up at the Carnival. 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 , mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com


"This was the first time we participated in a billboard campaign prior to the Carnival, and the early results show that it was successful in driving volume for our brand," said Peter Walker, sales manager of Peacock USA rice. "We'd like to do this again." The U.S. exports about 30,000 MT (over $15 million) of rice to the UK each year, most of which is exported under tariff rate quota (TRQ) certificates. U.S. exports to the UK are up 9 percent in the first six months of this year compared with last year. Drumming up business

WASDE Report Released WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. 2018/19 all rice supplies are raised 3.3 million cwt this month to 275.9 million as higher production more than offsets lower beginning stocks. The August 24 NASS Rice Stocks report indicated lower 2017/18 ending stocks than previously forecast thereby reducing 2018/19 beginning stocks by 5.4 million cwt. In the September Crop Production report, NASS increased the 2018/19 U.S. crop by 8.6 million cwt to 219.5 million on increased harvested acreage and yields. NASS incorporated FSA certified acreage data this month. The average all rice yield increased 40 pounds to 7,563 pounds per acre with forecast yields higher in California, Louisiana, and Texas. Long grain production is raised by 5.8 million cwt and combined medium and short grain is increased by 2.8 million. Total projected domestic and residual usage is increased by 2 million cwt to 133 million on larger supplies. The all rice export forecast is unchanged at

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98 million as a 1-million-cwt increase in long grain on more competitive prices is offset by an equivalent reduction in medium and short grain on lower expected exports to Turkey. All rice ending stocks are increased 1.3 million cwt to 44.9 million and are 53 percent higher than 2017/18. The projected 2018/19 all-rice season-average farm price is lowered $0.20 per cwt at the midpoint to a range of $11.20 to $12.20 with reductions in all rice class prices. Global 2018/19 rice supplies are increased to 632.8 million tons, primarily on higher production and beginning stocks for India. World production is fractionally lower as reductions in China and Bangladesh more than offset India's increased production. Global consumption is increased by 600,000 tons to 488.4 million, led by India. World trade is raised to a record 49.5 million tons on higher India exports. Global ending stocks increase 800,000 tons to 144.4 million as higher projected stocks for India, Cote d'Ivoire, and Burma more than offset reduced stocks for China. Read the complete report here.

Cheap rice available in Bulacan markets By Inquirer Northern Luzon / 05:32 AM September 13, 2018

NO MORE NFA RICE A woman is forced to buy commercial rice after the stock of cheaper rice from the National Food Authority (NFA) is sold out at the Sangitan public market in Cabanatuan City.—ARMAND GALANG

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CITY OF MALOLOS — Rice millers in Bulacan said they were selling rice at P38 a kilogram at local markets in urban poor areas in the province starting on Thursday. Roderico Sulit, vice president of the Bulacan Rice Millers Association, said they would distribute a minimum of 150 bags in the towns of Bocaue, Marilao and Balagtas, and the City of Malolos. Echoing assurances made by the government, Marianne Pualenco, an official of the millers‘ group, said they expected rice prices to stabilize before Christmas, with the harvest season this month and in October, and the expected arrival of imported rice that would soon flood the market. The millers sent cheap rice to Metro Manila markets in June when rice stocks of the National Food Authority (NFA) ran out. Augmenting supply Sulit said more millers had volunteered to join the group‘s project to augment the supply of cheap rice, focusing on poor families. ―We urge those who can afford the more expensive varieties not to line up, and give way to the poor,‖ he said during the launching of the project on Tuesday at the NFA Malolos office. Elvira Obama, NFA Bulacan manager, said more than 120,000 cavans of rice would be delivered to the province from Subic Bay Freeport. ‘Bigasang Bayan’ Once the Subic stock reached NFA warehouses, the agency would put up ―Bigasang Bayan‖ (public rice markets) which would sell the grains at P32 a kilo, she said. In Pampanga, the NFA stopped its rice allocations for 243 accredited retailers in the province, to reserve its supply of 1,998 bags as a food security measure, according to NFA provincial coordinator Roberto Mariano Jr.

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He said NFA would resume the allocations when it received 4,500 bags from the NFA central office and 80,000 bags from the agency‘s imported stocks that arrived in two vessels at the Subic Bay Freeport. In Nueva Ecija province, stores accredited to sell government subsidized rice in Cabanatuan City received only 25 bags a week from NFA. —Reports from Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Tonette Orejas and Armand Galang

Read more: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1031509/cheap-rice-available-in-bulacanmarkets#ixzz5QydVjEqP Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1031509/cheap-rice-available-in-bulacan-markets

Gordon prompts accelerated rice harvest; wet conditions prompt cotton boll rot fret Staff at the Rice Research and Extension Center at Stuttgart pull out all available combines to harvest foundation seed ahead of Tropical Storm Gordon. This Sept. 4 photo shows an aging combine harvesting 1099, a sushi rice variety. Special to The Commercial/U of A System Division of Agriculture, Bob Scott By Mary Hightower Special to The Commercial Posted Sep 11, 2018 at 3:14 PMUpdated Sep 11, 2018 at 4:17 PM

Rice harvest in Arkansas accelerated last week, spurred by the approach of Tropical Storm Gordon‘s remnants, and this week, farmers are hoping for dry weather to get cotton bolls open and combines into the soybean fields. ―Rice harvest progress jumped from 20 percent to 33 percent last week with only a few days of real harvest opportunity,‖ Jarrod Hardke, extension rice agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said Tuesday. (See crop progress report: https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Arkansas/Publications/Crop_Progres s_&_Condition/index.php )

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―Progress was mixed as south of I-40 rain stopped everyone on Wednesday, but scattered showers across the north allowed some to keep going through Friday,‖ he said. ―The continued overcast weather is concerning, but the wind is helping to dry things out.‖ Hardke said he hadn‘t received any reports of rice sprouting in the field, ―but that may change as downed rice waits to be harvested. With the cooler temperatures and a slight breeze, many growers were back in the fields yesterday and today ‗mudding‘ the crop out.‖ The continued moisture is a concern for the state‘s cotton growers. ―We just need sunshine and dry weather,‖ said Bill Robertson, extension cotton agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. ―Boll rot is moving up the plant. We are losing ground now, trading our bottom crop for the top crop.‖ Robertson said he was surprised to find growers south of McGehee in sodden southeastern Arkansas, applying harvest aids. Further north, ―in areas where up to 3 inches were received like Forrest City, they hope to get ground rigs in field on Wednesday or Thursday.‖ According to Tuesday‘s Crop Report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the state‘s cotton harvest has not yet begun. Soybean harvest is just getting started, Jeremy Ross, extension soybean agronomist for the Division of Agriculture said. He‘d gotten ―some calls on splitting pods with sprouting seed, but it‘s a very low percentage in fields affected,‖ Ross said. ―Just need some dry weather to continue harvesting. Another two weeks and we will be rolling.‖ Robert Goodson, a Phillips County extension agent for the Division of Agriculture, said his county saw between 2 to 3.5 inches from Gordon with some rice downed and soy and corn harvest delayed by cool, wet weather and some worry about boll rot in cotton. For more information on crop production, contact a county extension office or visit www.uaex.edu. The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic

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information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. — Mary Hightower is director of Communication Services at the U of A System Division of Agriculture.

http://www.pbcommercial.com/news/20180911/gordon-prompts-accelerated-rice-harvest-wet-conditionsprompt-cotton-boll-rot-fret

Governor appoints Brainerd man to wild rice council By Brainerd Dispatch on Sep 12, 2018 at 4:30 a.m. 1

Gov. Mark Dayton announced his appointments to the Governor's Task Force on Wild Rice.Among those appointed was Gary Drotts of Brainerd, who will serve as a nonnative wild rice harvester on the task force. The terms for all those appoint begins Wednesday, Sept. 12, and will continue through April 7, 2019. Established in June 2018 through Executive Orders 18-08 and 18-09, the task force will work toward the restoration and protection of wild rice habitats to preserve the cultural, environmental and economic interests many Minnesotans have for this complex issue. "Wild rice is vitally important to many Minnesotans and, especially, to our state's Native Americans," stated Dayton in a news release. "We must find a sustainable solution that will protect both wild rice and its waters and economic growth and jobs. I thank the members of this task force for their efforts to find a solution that benefits all Minnesotans." The task force is comprised of representatives from tribal nations, industry, environmental advocacy groups, scientists, state government agencies and other stakeholders.

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Over the coming months, the task force will work to review existing peer-reviewed scientific literature and existing wild rice conditions. The task force will also help develop recommendations on funding for additional data collection, best management practices for protecting and restoring wild rice, sulfate minimization plans and the development and installation of cost-effective sulfate treatment technologies. By Dec. 15, the Governor's Task Force on Wild Rice will recommend specific policy proposals and actions that can be taken by the executive and legislative branches of state government and the private sector to protect wild rice in Minnesota, while supporting continued economic development and job creation across the state. Also appointed to the task force: Kurt Anderson of Brookston, electric utility representative; Paul Austin of Minneapolis, environmental nongovernmental organization representative; Chrissy Bartovich of Mountain Iron, ferrous mining industry representative; Leya Charles of Welch, Minnesota Dakota tribal representative; Kathryn Hoffman of St. Paul, environmental nongovernmental organization representative; Emi Ito of St. Paul, independent scientist with expertise in wild rice research, plant-based aquatic toxicity; Peter Lee of Kakabeka Falls, Ontario, Canada, independent scientist with expertise in wild rice research, plantbased aquatic toxicity; Norman Miranda of Deer River, municipal wastewater discharger representative; Brad Moore of Mahtomedi, non-ferrous mining industry representative; Al Pemberton of Red Lake; Red Lake Nation representative; and John Rebrovich of Eveleth, statewide labor organization representative. Ex-officio members of the task force are Ann Pierce with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Catherine Neuschler with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. http://www.brainerddispatch.com/news/4498058-governor-appoints-brainerd-man-wild-rice-council

Rice remains atop list of items smuggled into Nigeria ON SEPTEMBER 12, 201812:56 AMIN MARITIME REPORT, NEWS3 COMMENTS

By Godwin Oritse

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Against the backdrop of the Nigerian government‘s policy on domestication of the rice industry and the war against its illegal importation, sea ports of West African countries are still receiving large quantities of the commodity, apparently for onward shipment to Nigeria through land borders. Rice Consequently the commodity still tops the smuggling chart and seized items by the recent records of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, with a total of 124,407 bags of rice seized in the first half of 2018, H1‘18. Statistical data made available to Vanguard Maritime Report, showed that the NCS recorded a total of 2,354 seizure incidences with the Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone ‗A‘ of the Service recording the highest number of 558 seizure incidences in H1‘18. The smuggling-seizure data also indicated that while 34,139 bags of rice was intercepted in Zone ‗A‘, 8,915 bags were seized in Zone ‗D‘, and Zones ‗C‘ and ‗B‘ recorded 7,501 and 941 bags respectively. While Kaduna-Katsina command recorded seizure of 4,085 bags of rice, a total of 2,917 bags of rice was seized by the Oyo-Osun command, and 2,833 bags of rice was seized by Sokoto-Kebbi-Zamfara command. Western Marine recorded a total seizure of 1,443 bags of rice, while Niger-Kwara-Kogi seized 1,133 bags of rice. All other commands recorded less than a thousand bags of rice seizures. Instructively the most popular ports, Apapa and Tin Can Island, did not record any rice seizure, indicating that the illegal shipments avoided Nigeria‘s sea ports. Other big seizures of banned items coming into Nigeria through sea ports of neighbouring countries have poultry products in second position after rice, with a total of 11,319 cartons of chicken and turkey seized and destroyed during the period. While 8,011 of cartons of poultry were seized in Zone ‗A‘, while Zone ‗C‘ recorded 1,088 cartons seized, but there was no seizure recorded of the item in Zones ‗B‘ and ‗D‘. The third position in smuggled items is occupied by vehicle. But the item came in through neighbouring countries‘ sea ports as well as Nigeria‘s major sea ports. For vehicle seizures, all the four zones recorded incidences as zone ‗A‘ again recorded the highest number of 132, while zones ‗B‘, ‗C‘ and ‗D‘ recorded 128, 35 and 13 respectively. The seizure report also noted that 135 suspected smugglers were arrested within the period. While no suspect was arrested in Zones ‗B‘, ‗C‘ and ‗D‘, 98 suspected smugglers were taken in zone ‗A‘, the rest were arrested in other customs commands across the country. Revenue For revenue generation, Zone ‗A‘ raked in the highest amount of revenue at a total of N3.9billion representing the Duty Payable Value and import Duty inflows. While N2.8billion was recorded as value of the goods, the import duty was put at N991.4million. While N982.2million was raked from Zone ‗C‘, Zones ‗B‘ and ‗D‘ recorded N457.4million each as revenue during the period. At the command level, all the 27 customs commands recorded the seizure of one item or the other. For the nation‘s premier port in Apapa customs command, no seizure of any kind was recorded but Seme, Idiroko-Ogun, Oyo-Osun, Delta-Edo commands recorded seizures of various items. For the Murtala Mohammed Airport customs command, 18 seizures were recorded, two suspects arrested. The command however raked in a total of N13.6million from seized items. Why rice? Reacting to the development, the Public Relations Officer of the Seme border Command of the

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NCS, Mr. Nurudeen Saidu, told Vanguard Maritime Report that apart from being a staple food for Nigerians, rice is the most profitable for smugglers as there are also always ready buyers for smuggled rice. ―Rice is the most profitable for smugglers, which is why smugglers will always engage in the smuggling of the commodity‖ he said.

Similarly, the National President of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, NCMDLCA, Mr. Lucky Amiwero, also told Vanguard Maritime Report, that the smuggling of foreign rice will continue to thrive because they are cheaper and more available than the locally produced rice. Amiwero suggested that the government needs to go beyond its policy on rice by way of intervening with subsidy on the local rice production and making it more available. He said: ―The volume of locally produced rice cannot meet the demand of Nigerians; the local is also more expensive than the foreign one‖. https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/09/rice-remains-atop-list-of-items-smuggled-into-nigeria/

Gordon prompts accelerated rice harvest; wet conditions prompt cotton boll rot fret

Staff at the Rice Research and Extension Center at Stuttgart pull out all available combines to harvest foundation seed ahead of Tropical Storm Gordon. This Sept. 4 photo shows an aging combine harvesting 1099, a sushi rice variety. Special to The Commercial/U of A System Division of Agriculture, Bob Scott

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By Mary Hightower Special to The Commercial Posted Sep 11, 2018 at 3:14 PMUpdated Sep 11, 2018 at 4:17 PM

Rice harvest in Arkansas accelerated last week, spurred by the approach of Tropical Storm Gordon‘s remnants, and this week, farmers are hoping for dry weather to get cotton bolls open and combines into the soybean fields. ―Rice harvest progress jumped from 20 percent to 33 percent last week with only a few days of real harvest opportunity,‖ Jarrod Hardke, extension rice agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said Tuesday. (See crop progress report: https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Arkansas/Publications/Crop_Progres s_&_Condition/index.php ) ―Progress was mixed as south of I-40 rain stopped everyone on Wednesday, but scattered showers across the north allowed some to keep going through Friday,‖ he said. ―The continued overcast weather is concerning, but the wind is helping to dry things out.‖ Hardke said he hadn‘t received any reports of rice sprouting in the field, ―but that may change as downed rice waits to be harvested. With the cooler temperatures and a slight breeze, many growers were back in the fields yesterday and today ‗mudding‘ the crop out.‖ The continued moisture is a concern for the state‘s cotton growers. ―We just need sunshine and dry weather,‖ said Bill Robertson, extension cotton agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. ―Boll rot is moving up the plant. We are losing ground now, trading our bottom crop for the top crop.‖ Robertson said he was surprised to find growers south of McGehee in sodden southeastern Arkansas, applying harvest aids. Further north, ―in areas where up to 3 inches were received like Forrest City, they hope to get ground rigs in field on Wednesday or Thursday.‖ According to Tuesday‘s Crop Report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the state‘s cotton harvest has not yet begun. Soybean harvest is just getting started, Jeremy Ross, extension soybean agronomist for the Division of Agriculture said.

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He‘d gotten ―some calls on splitting pods with sprouting seed, but it‘s a very low percentage in fields affected,‖ Ross said. ―Just need some dry weather to continue harvesting. Another two weeks and we will be rolling.‖ Robert Goodson, a Phillips County extension agent for the Division of Agriculture, said his county saw between 2 to 3.5 inches from Gordon with some rice downed and soy and corn harvest delayed by cool, wet weather and some worry about boll rot in cotton. For more information on crop production, contact a county extension office or visit www.uaex.edu. The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. — Mary Hightower is director of Communication Services at the U of A System Division of Agriculture. http://www.pbcommercial.com/news/20180911/gordon-prompts-accelerated-rice-harvest-wetconditions-prompt-cotton-boll-rot-fret

Gordon accelerates Arkansas 2018 rice harvest A big Arkansas rice harvest in 2018 could mean lower prices. Rice harvest in Arkansas accelerated, spurred by Tropical Storm Gordon. Farmers hope for dry weather to get cotton bolls open and combines into the soybean fields.

Mary Hightower | Sep 12, 2018 Rice harvest in Arkansas accelerated last week, spurred by the approach of Tropical Storm Gordon‘s remnants, and this week, farmers are hoping for dry weather to get cotton bolls open and combines into the soybean fields.

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―Rice harvest progress jumped from 20 percent to 33 percent last week with only a few days of real harvest opportunity,‖ Jarrod Hardke, Extension rice agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said on Tuesday (Sept. 11).

―Progress was mixed as south of I-40 rain stopped everyone on Wednesday, but scattered showers across the north allowed some to keep going through Friday,‖ he said. ―The continued overcast weather is concerning, but the wind is helping to dry things out.‖ Hardke said he hadn‘t received any reports of rice sprouting in the field, ―but that may change as downed rice waits to be harvested. With the cooler temperatures and a slight breeze, many growers are back in the fields yesterday and today ‗mudding‘ the crop out.‖The continued moisture is a concern for the state‘s cotton growers. Cotton

―We just need sunshine and dry weather,‖ said Bill Robertson, Extension cotton agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. ―Boll rot is moving up the plant. We are losing ground now, trading our bottom crop for the top crop.‖

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Robertson said he was surprised to find growers south of McGehee in sodden southeastern Arkansas, applying harvest aids. Further north, ―in areas where up to 3 inches were received like Forrest City, they hope to get ground rigs in field on Wednesday or Thursday.‖ According to Tuesday‘s Crop Report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the state‘s cotton harvest has not yet begun. Soybeans

Soybean harvest is just getting started, Jeremy Ross, extension soybean agronomist for the Division of Agriculture said. He‘d gotten ―some calls on splitting pods with sprouting seed, but it‘s a very low percentage in fields affected,‖ Ross said. ―Just need some dry weather to continue harvesting. Another two weeks and we will be rolling.‖ Robert Goodson, a Phillips County Extension agent for the Division of Agriculture, said his county saw between 2 to 3.5 inches from Gordon with some rice downed and soy and corn harvest delayed by cool, wet weather and some worry about boll rot in cotton. https://www.deltafarmpress.com/rice/gordon-accelerates-arkansas-2018-rice-harvest

Changing NFA leadership not enough to solve rice woes, say groups ABS-CBN News

Sep 12 2018 05:17 PM

MANILA - Peasant and consumer groups on Wednesday urged authorities to implement concrete measures to ease the rising prices of rice, saying that changing the leadership of the National Food Authority (NFA) won't be enough to solve the problem. Instead of resorting to rice imports, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said one of the things the officials concerned could do is to raise the NFA's buying price for palay (unmilled rice) to P20 from the current P17.

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The group Bantay Bigas, meanwhile, urged the government to put a P38 price ceiling on commercial rice to prevent traders from abusing or taking advantage of the supposed lean supply in the market. In a live interview with Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte said he has started looking for someone new to lead the NFA after its current head Jason Aquino requested to be relieved amid rice supply woes. He also urged Congress to abolish the NFA Council, saying "it only hinders" the agency's operations with too many involved. But both KMP and Bantay Bigas said there is no need to abolish the council. The President, they said, only has to make sure that the farmers are well-represented in the body because they know the real issues in agriculture. The groups hope that Aquino's replacement will have a heart for farmers and the will to uphold the NFA's mandate. They also said Aquino must be held accountable for the country's rice supply problems. ABS-CBN News tried to get the comment of NFA Council President Jun Evasco on Duterte's recommendation to abolish the body on Wednesday but was told that the official will not be available for an interview. -- report from April Rafales, ABS-CBN News https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/09/12/18/changing-nfa-leadership-not-enough-to-solve-rice-woes-saygroups

DA: Mangkhut may cause P7B rice crop damage April Rafales, ABS-CBN News Sep 11 2018 10:44 PM

MANILA - The Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday it is preparing for the impact of typhoon Mangkhut, which is expected to hit northern Luzon later this week. Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said given Mangkhut's strength, potential damage to rice crops may reach P7 billion covering the Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley and the Cordillera, under a worstcase scenario. Damage to corn crops could hit P6.2 billion, Piñol said. But Pinol said Mangkhut will not adversely affect rice supply because the country has already imported 1.3 miilion metric tons of rice, while some areas in Bulacan and Nueva Ecija have already started harvesting. ―With the ongoing harvest now and with the arrival of the imported rice medyo stable na tayo October, November," Piñol said.

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The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said typhoon will also affect the supply of fish in wet markets in areas affected by the typhoon. ―If there is typhoon, if there is rain, there‘s no fish to be caught," said BFAR director Eduardo Gongona. Meanwhile, Gongona said that they are now processing the importation of 17,000 tons of galunggong or round scad from China and Vietnam, which are expected to arrive this month. The BFAR expects fish supply to remain tight until February because of the lean months and the closed fishing season, which is meant to allow fish stocks to recover. https://news.abs-cbn.com/business/09/11/18/da-mangkhut-may-cause-p7b-rice-crop-damage

NFA has 4.6M rice stocks, 2M sacks arriving soon — Palace Published September 12, 2018, 7:00 PM

By Genalyn Kabiling Outgoing National Food Authority (NFA) Jason Aquino could still be held accountable for the reported rice supply problems despite his intention to leave his post. ―It‘s without prejudice, kung mayroong basehan para sa pananagutan [It‘s without prejudice, if there is basis for accountability],‖ Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said when asked if Aquino will be held liable for the rice shortage reported in some parts of the country.

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Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque

(RESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

―Pero sa ngayong po, abala ang Presidente na naghahanap ng kapalit ni Jason Aquino [But for now, the President is busy looking for a replacement of Jason Aquino],‖ he said during a Palace press briefing. The President earlier announced that Aquino has offered to be relieved from his post because he was tired. Duterte said Aquino claimed he could no longer cope with the workings inside the NFA.―I will scout for a new one,‖ Duterte said. Some lawmakers recently called for the removal of Aquino following the shortage of government rice in the market that led to the price hikes of the commodity in the market. The government earlier decided to allow the importation of more rice to boost NFA stocks in the country. Roque, meantime, said there was adequate supply of rice in the country, citing the addition of more stocks from local harvest as well as importation in the coming months. ―We assure the public that we have sufficient rice. We have 4.6 million sacks of rice available in NFA warehouses which will be released immediately,‖ he said. He said around 2 million sacks of rice are scheduled to arrive in the country before the end of the month. He said the National Food Authority Council has likewise approved the importation of 5 million sacks that will arrive over the next one and a half months. ―Now, 2.7 million sacks will be allocated to ZAMBASULTA – Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi,‖ he said.

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He said the government was also projecting a local harvest amounting to12.6 million metric tons or around 252 million sacks of rice this year.―Another 5 million sacks of rice will be imported early next year,‖ he said.

https://news.mb.com.ph/2018/09/12/nfa-has-4-6m-rice-stocks-2m-sacks-arriving-soon-palace/

Indonesia's 2018 unhusked rice production forecast at 83 mln T - official JAKARTA, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Indonesia‘s unhusked rice production is forecast to be about 83 million tonnes this year, up from 81 million tonnes in 2017, an agriculture ministry official said on Wednesday. The boost in production is due to an ―intensification of planting area‖, said Sumarjo Gatot Irianto, director general of food crops at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.The Southeast Asian country is targeting production of 84 million tonnes of unhusked rice in 2019, Irianto added. (Reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe; Writing by Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Christian Schmollinger) https://af.reuters.com/article/commodities07News/idAFL3N1VY56K

Research aims to boost rice production in Africa Published 13 Sep 2018 PR-AGR-18-96 Guy Kirk, Professor of Soil Systems at Cranfield University, is leading a £1 million research project to overcome a soil health problem affecting rice production in sub-Saharan Africa. Rice is a major staple food across sub-Saharan Africa and demand for it is increasing rapidly with urbanisation and changes in consumer preferences. Domestic production accounts for only 60% of the rice consumed which means there is a heavy reliance on imports - the import of rice into sub-Saharan Africa accounts for a third of the global rice trade. There is therefore mounting pressure to greatly increase sub-Saharan rice production. One of the main barriers to increasing production is the soil disorder known as iron toxicity. This is a particular problem in flooded paddy soils, and particularly the highly weathered and nutrientdepleted soils that typify sub-Saharan Africa. In affected areas, rice yields are reduced by up to 90%. Traditional, indigenous African rice varieties can tolerate the toxicity, but are low yielding. That means large areas of land are needed to meet the demand for more rice, and this is driving unsustainable development of new lands, typically in fragile wetlands in inland valleys to the cost of biodiversity and other vital ecosystem services. The Cranfield-led study will examine the traits that allow indigenous African rice varieties to tolerate the toxicity, with the aim of incorporating these traits into more high-yielding varieties through plant breeding. It will also seek to map areas where new rice varieties and crop management to tackle iron toxicity will be most beneficial. The project will use a combination

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of soil chemistry, plant physiology and molecular genetics, in partnership with plant breeders and agronomists based in West Africa and Madagascar. Professor Kirk said: ―There is widespread recognition of the need to increase sub-Saharan rice production to meet projected increases in demand for rice. Less than 10% of the total inland valley area in sub-Saharan Africa could be sufficient to meet the demand for rice in Africa if we can overcome iron toxicity. But currently, increased production with low-yielding varieties and poor management is destroying large swathes of natural ecosystems in inward valleys. With realistic improvements in varieties and management, we can greatly reduce the amount of land needed and therefore safeguard the vital biodiversity of the African inward valleys.‖ Partners in the three-year study include AfricaRice, the University of Antananarivo and the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences. Funding for the project comes from BBSRC, part of UK Research and Innovation, through its Global Challenges Research Fund. Announcing the funding for the project as part of its Sustainable Agriculture for Sub-Saharan Africa programme, Professor Sir Mark Walport, Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation, said: ―Stresses such as drought, and the restriction of vital resources including nutrients and water are among the challenges affecting the development of sustainable agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa. ―By bringing together UK researchers with partners in the region, these projects will play an important role in addressing these challenges and unlocking the potential of sustainable agriculture to transform food production and improve lives.‖ Notes for editors Iron toxicity is a set of severely yield-limiting disorders associated with high concentrations of reduced ferrous iron (Fe(II)) in flooded paddy soils. It is exclusively a problem of paddy rice, linked to the biogeochemistry of flooded, anaerobic soil. It is a particular problem in African rice systems because of the nature of the soils, which are highly weathered, nutrient-depleted and rich in Fe oxides, in contrast to the young alluvial rice soils of the Asian lowlands. It affects a large part of the existing and potential rice area in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) (estimates vary from 20-60% of the area) and causes large yield losses (up to 90%). There are currently efforts to exploit tolerance of it in the indigenous African rice germplasm in breeding and management programmes at AfricaRice and elsewhere. But this is constrained by the complexity of the disorder and by poor understanding of the underlying mechanisms and genetics of tolerance, which reflects its relative unimportance in Asian rice systems where most rice research has been focused. In this project we aim to (a) elucidate the mechanisms and genetics of tolerance to Fe toxicity in indigenous African germplasm, in support of rice breeding and management programmes, and (b) assess the potential of improved germplasm and management to raise the productivity of existing and new rice-based farming systems across SSA. We will especially focus on Oryza glaberrima (‗African‘ rice) species, indigenous to West Africa, and sub-species of Oryza sativa (‗Asian‘ rice) particular to Madagascar. We will use a combination of soil chemistry, plant physiology and molecular genetics approaches with field work in West Africa and Madagascar, supported by controlled-environment and laboratory work at Cranfield. We will also map the spatial extent of different types of Fe toxicity in existing and potential rice areas across SSA, and

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we will develop GIS tools for assessing the potential for improved germplasm and nutrient and water management to raise the productivity of rice-based farming systems in these areas. About the Global Challenges Research Fund The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5 billion fund announced by the UK government in late 2015 to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries. Alongside the other GCRF delivery partners, BBSRC is creating complementary programmes that: 

Promote challenge-led disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, including the participation of researchers who may not previously have considered the applicability of their work to development issues

Strengthen capacity for research, innovation and knowledge exchange in the UK and developing countries through partnership with excellent UK research and researchers

Provide an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research need.

GCRF is part of the government‘s commitment to allocate 0.7% of the UK‘s Gross National Income to Official Development Assistance (ODA) for promoting the welfare and economic development of developing countries. As well as being scientifically excellent, research supported by GCRF must meet the criteria for classification of expenditure as ODA. For further information see: UK Research and Innovation: Global Challenges Research Fund. About BBSRC The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond. Funded by government, BBSRC invested £498 million in world-class bioscience in 2017-18. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. https://www.cranfield.ac.uk/press/news-2018/research-aims-to-boost-rice-production-in-africa

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Greenhouse gas emissions from rice farms in Indian paddy fields very high: Reserach By Omair Iqbal September 12, 2018

It was earlier estimated that Rice farming around the world could be responsible for up to twice the level of climate impact in India. But, the researchers have found that Intermittently flooded rice farms can emit almost 45 times more nitrous oxide as compared to the relentlessly flooded rice farms that predominantly emit methane. The analysis conducted by the Environmental Defense Fund in the US, methane and nitrous oxide emissions from rice farm could have the same long-term warming impact as about 600 coal plants. ―The full climate impact of rice farming has been significantly underestimated because up to this point, nitrous dioxide emissions from intermittently flooded farms have not been included,‖ Kritee Kritee from EDF, who led the study quoted as saying to news agency PTI. But, the researchers have found that nitrous oxide emissions from rice farm can also contribute up to 99 per cent of the total climate impact of rice cultivation at a variety of intermittently flooded farms. These greenhouse emissions contributed substantially to global warming pollution — which is much more than the estimate of 10% previously suggested by multiple global rice research organizations.

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―An inverse correlation between Methane and nitrous oxide emission from rice farming. Water and organic matter management techniques that reduce methane emissions can increase nitrous oxide emissions,‖ the study says. Kritee further said, ―Increasing pressure on limited water resources under a changing climate could make additional rice-farming regions look to intermittent flooding to address water limitations and concerns about methane emissions.‖ Rice is a critical source of nutrition for the world‘s speedily growing population, to provide more calories to humans than any other food, researchers said. However, growing rice is also resourceintensive: rice cultivation covers 11 % of the Earth‘s arable land, consumes one-third of irrigation water. https://www.thelivemirror.com/greenhouse-gas-emission-from-rice-farms-indian-peddy-fields/

Philippines, Papua New Guinea begin farming cooperation Papua New Guinea imports around 98 percent of the nearly 400,000 kilos of rice the country consumes each year. It is said that only 50,000 hectares of its two million hectares of suitable agricultural lands are required to meet its rice needs.

Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - September 13, 2018 - 12:00am MANILA, Philippines — Amid a rice shortage the country is facing, the Philippines sent 19 farm technicians to Papua New Guinea to train local farmers under a rice cooperation agreement between the two countries.

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Papua New Guinea imports around 98 percent of the nearly 400,000 kilos of rice the country consumes each year. It is said that only 50,000 hectares of its two million hectares of suitable agricultural lands are required to meet its rice needs. The Philippines and Papua New Guinea held a successful groundbreaking of a 25-hectare rice demonstration farm on the grounds of the Pacific Adventist University (PAU) on Aug. 24. The Philippines‘ Departments of Agriculture and Foreign Affairs, through the Philippine embassy in Port Moresby, enabled the sending of 19 Filipino farm technicians and tax-free supplies and equipment to Port Moresby for the clearing, ploughing, irrigation and planting of the initial rice seeds of the demo farm. The research of appropriate rice varieties for Papua New Guinea and the training of local farmers are intended to start larger scale projects and investments. It is being readied for showcase during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders‘ Meeting in Port Moresby in November 2018. Papua New Guinea Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel, Department of Agriculture and Livestock Minister Benny Allen, Central Provincial Governor Robert Agarobe, and Philippine Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Bienvenido Tejano delivered their remarks before proceeding together to the rice paddies for the ribboncutting and ceremonial planting of rice seeds. In Papua New Guinea‘s Vision 2050, rice imports are projected to triple as the country reaches 22 million in population. Its government is now focusing policies towards rice sufficiency and the overall strengthening of its agricultural sector for food security. The Philippines joined the European Union, Australia and Israel in supporting Papua New Guinea‘s agricultural policy with assistance targeted at training and production of specific crops such as rice, cacao and high-value vegetables. Southeast Asian countries sent students to the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the University of the Philippines in Los Baños, and these countries are now exporting rice to the Philippines.

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/09/13/1851140/philippines-papua-newguinea-begin-farming-cooperation

Organic Rice Vinegar Market | Industry Research Report (Key Players- Muso, Gallettisnc, Marukan) And More… September 12, 2018 Kenneth RowellLeave A CommentOn Organic Rice Vinegar Market | Industry Research

Report (Key Players- Muso, Gallettisnc, Marukan) And More…

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The research report on the Global Organic Rice Vinegar Market delivers extensive analysis of market trends and shares. The report analyzes the current market size, recent market trends, key segments and future prospects of the global Organic Rice Vinegar market (2018-2025). The market shares of segments (players, type, application and regions) are prepared to give an opportunistic roadmap to the readers of the Organic Rice Vinegar Global market. The report also comprises the study of drivers, restraints, and trends that influence the current scenario of the Organic Rice Vinegar Global market and its impact on the global market over the forecast period 2018 – 2025. The report offers information and data analysis on market segments such as Organic Rice Vinegar product type, end-user, and region. In addition to this detailed qualitative analysis of market growing elements and threats, investment opportunities in Organic Rice Vinegar industry and challenges for newcomers are covered in the overview section. The Organic Rice Vinegar is one such crucial constituent that continues to gain demand from all corners of the globe. The global Organic Rice Vinegar report also states import/export consumption, supply and demand Figures, cost, price, revenue and gross margins. Get a Sample copy of Global Organic Rice Vinegar Market Report: https://market.biz/report/global-organic-rice-vinegar-market2018/255920/#requestforsample

Organic Rice Vinegar Market Report Introduction: Firstly, the report speaks about the Organic Rice Vinegar market overview that assists with definition, classification and statistical details of the market that reveals the Organic Rice Vinegar market current status and future forecast. In the next section, market dynamics of the Organic Rice Vinegar industry has been studied comprehensively, includes industry drivers, Organic Rice Vinegar Global market restraints, latest developments and opportunities available to upcoming market players. The path towards Organic Rice Vinegar market threats and drivers offers a clear picture of how the market anticipated growing during the forecast period 2018 – 2025.

Organic Rice Vinegar Market Covered Segments:Markets Players: 

Shanxi Mature Vinegar Group, Hengshun Group , Huxi Island, Muso, Marukan, Nakano Organic and Gallettisnc

Product Type: 

Unseasoned, Seasoned

End-user: 

Household, Commercial

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For More Information about the report (Full Report Details, Table of content, list of Figures, Sample report copy, Buy this Report):https://market.biz/report/global-organic-rice-vinegar-market-2018/255920/#inquiry

Global Organic Rice Vinegar Market Regions: World’s Major Regions Covered:Regions

Sub-Regions

North America:

United States, Canada, Mexico

Asia-Pacific:

China, India, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam

Middle East Africa:

Turkey, Egypt, South Africa, GCC Countries, Rest of Middle East & Africa

Europe:

Germany, France, UK, Russia, Italy, Rest of Europe

Central & South America:

Brazil, Rest of South America

The report segments the worldwide Organic Rice Vinegar market based on the type of product, end users, and regions. It describes the performance of the individual segment in Organic Rice Vinegar market growth. Nitrilotriacetic acid market research is conducted leveraging the data sourced from the primary and secondary research team of industry professionals as well as the in-house databases.

Competitive Landscape of Global Organic Rice Vinegar Industry: Another notable feature of the Organic Rice Vinegar report offers the detailed company profiles of some of the prominent market players, which will remain active in forthcoming years, along with Organic Rice Vinegar product launches, key developments, financials details, product sale and gross margin, Organic Rice Vinegar business short-term and long-term marketing strategies and SWOT analysis of the companies. It has been observed that many of the market players are focused on product innovations and want to expand their geographical footprint in upcomming years. Although technological developments have given the boost to the Organic Rice Vinegar business which is prompting new openings and welcomes new players in form of startups.

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The assessment of the winning strategies followed by these companies can help Organic Rice Vinegar industry not only strategize but also execute industry operations by referring to the statistics about competitor analysis. The valuation of the Organic Rice Vinegar industry analysis across different regions along with vital information on the market size, share and growth rate makes this report a wonderful resource for business evangelists.

https://realcriticism.com/2018/09/12/organic-rice-vinegar-market-2018/

Governor appoints Brainerd man to wild rice council By Brainerd Dispatch on Sep 12, 2018 at 4:30 a.m. 1

Gov. Mark Dayton announced his appointments to the Governor's Task Force on Wild Rice.Among those appointed was Gary Drotts of Brainerd, who will serve as a nonnative wild rice harvester on the task force. The terms for all those appoint begins Wednesday, Sept. 12, and will continue through April 7, 2019. Established in June 2018 through Executive Orders 18-08 and 18-09, the task force will work toward the restoration and protection of wild rice habitats to preserve the cultural, environmental and economic interests many Minnesotans have for this complex issue. "Wild rice is vitally important to many Minnesotans and, especially, to our state's Native Americans," stated Dayton in a news release. "We must find a sustainable solution that will protect both wild rice and its waters and economic growth and jobs. I thank the members of this task force for their efforts to find a solution that benefits all Minnesotans." The task force is comprised of representatives from tribal nations, industry, environmental advocacy groups, scientists, state government agencies and other stakeholders. Over the coming months, the task force will work to review existing peer-reviewed scientific literature and existing wild rice conditions. The task force will also help

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develop recommendations on funding for additional data collection, best management practices for protecting and restoring wild rice, sulfate minimization plans and the development and installation of cost-effective sulfate treatment technologies. By Dec. 15, the Governor's Task Force on Wild Rice will recommend specific policy proposals and actions that can be taken by the executive and legislative branches of state government and the private sector to protect wild rice in Minnesota, while supporting continued economic development and job creation across the state. Also appointed to the task force: Kurt Anderson of Brookston, electric utility representative; Paul Austin of Minneapolis, environmental nongovernmental organization representative; Chrissy Bartovich of Mountain Iron, ferrous mining industry representative; Leya Charles of Welch, Minnesota Dakota tribal representative; Kathryn Hoffman of St. Paul, environmental nongovernmental organization representative; Emi Ito of St. Paul, independent scientist with expertise in wild rice research, plant-based aquatic toxicity; Peter Lee of Kakabeka Falls, Ontario, Canada, independent scientist with expertise in wild rice research, plantbased aquatic toxicity; Norman Miranda of Deer River, municipal wastewater discharger representative; Brad Moore of Mahtomedi, non-ferrous mining industry representative; Al Pemberton of Red Lake; Red Lake Nation representative; and John Rebrovich of Eveleth, statewide labor organization representative. Ex-officio members of the task force are Ann Pierce with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Catherine Neuschler with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. http://www.brainerddispatch.com/news/4498058-governor-appoints-brainerd-manwild-rice-council

Rice basmati softens on low demand PTI | Sep 12, 2018, 14:52 IST New Delhi, Sep 12 () Rice basmati prices fell by Rs 100 per quintal at the wholesale grains market Wednesday on sluggish demand.

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However, maize edged up on uptick in demand from consuming industries. Traders said besides easing demand, ample stocks position on increased supplies from growing regions mainly attributed the slide in rice basmati prices. In the national capital, rice basmati common and Pusa-1121 variety slipped by Rs 100 each to Rs 7,800-7,900 and Rs 6,750-6,850 per quintal, respectively. Non-basmati permal raw, wand, sela and IR-8 also settled lower at Rs 2,375-2,400, Rs 2,5002,525, Rs 3,000-3,100 and Rs 2,000-2,050 as compared to previous levels of Rs 2,425-2,450, Rs 2,525-2,575, Rs 3,050-3,150 and Rs 2,025-2075 per quintal, respectively. On the other hand, maize went up by Rs 40 to Rs 1,400-1,405 per quintal. Following are today's quotations (in Rs per quintal): Wheat MP (desi) Rs 2,335-2,435, Wheat dara (for mills) Rs 2,015-2,020, Atta Chakki(delivery) Rs 2,025-2,030, Atta Rajdhani (10 kg) Rs 250-280, Shakti Bhog (10 kg) Rs 275-310, Roller flour mill Rs 1,070-1,090 (50 kg), Maida Rs 1,170-1,180 (50 kg) and Sooji Rs 1,220-1,230 (50 kg). Basmati rice (Lal Quila) Rs 10,700, Shri Lal Mahal Rs 11,300, Super Basmati rice Rs 9,900, Basmati common new Rs 7,800-7,900, Rice Pusa (1121) Rs 6,750-6,850, Permal raw Rs 2,3752,400, Permal wand Rs 2,500-2,550, Sela Rs 3,000-3,100 and rice IR-8 Rs 2,000-2,050. Bajra Rs 1,350-1,355, Jowar yellow Rs 1,650-1,700, white Rs 2,850-2,900, Maize Rs 1,400-1,405,Barley Rs 1,570-1,580. SUN KPS SHW ADI ADI

‘Full-blown food crisis’: Philippines president denies rice shortage amidst calls for state of calamity By Pearly Neo 13-Sep-2018 - Last updated on 13-Sep-2018 at 02:58 GMT ddT his Sharing Buttons

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Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte has denied that there is any rice shortage in the country despite senators calling it a ‗full-blown food crisis‘ and urging him to declare a state of calamity. ©iStock

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Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte has denied that there is any rice shortage in the country despite senators calling it a ‘full-blown food crisis’ and urging him to declare a state of calamity. This was despite the country having to import 500,000 metric tons worth of rice earlier this year to deal with rising prices due to low supply. ―They [keep] saying there is rice shortage. We have lots of rice. Some of them are set to arrive. Now there’s even an excess,‖ said Duterte. ―You know, those are politics. But I would like to remind you that I won because of the vote of the Filipino.‖ A lack of supply also forced the Zamboanga City local government to declare a ‗state of calamity‘ after rice prices soared to US$ 1.31 (PHP 70 per kilo). However, food firms in the country have been reluctant to make public statements. Monde Nissin Corp, producer of rice crisps brand Peckish, at first mentioned a brief impact. This was retracted in a later statement, saying the company ―does not have any rice-based products‖. Monde Nissin Corp commanded a 42% retail value sales share for rice, pasta and noodles in 2017. Meanwhile Sunnywood, producer of the popular Harvester‘s, Jordan Farms and Farmboy rice brands, also declined to elaborate. This declaration comes on the heels of Duterte‘s warning to rice traders who are hoarding supply. The president declared he ―will not hesitate‖ to order warehouse raids as an emergency measure to address rice shortages. ―I will not allow Filipinos to go hungry. Do not force me to resort to emergency measures,‖ said Duterte. 60 | 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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―If I see something amiss, I will not hesitate to exercise the powers of the President. And I will ask the military and police to raid your warehouses, bodegas, and I will just subject (you) of course to just compensation.‖ Duterte also permitted rice from Malaysian small traders to be imported, subject to tariffs, to alleviate the lack of supply. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said that an expected 152,000 metric tons of rice is to be imported. Along with local rice harvest, this is projected to flood the market with supply. Opposing voices in the country

Several Philippines senators have voiced discontent about the handling of the entire situation, and predict worse outcomes. Speaking to PhilStar, Senator Francis Escudero opined that Philippines is heading towards a ―full-blown food crisis‖, and that a state of calamity should be declared to impose price controls and contain abusive rice traders. ―What if we declare a state of calamity and impose price controls lest the situation worsens and the people suffer more?‖ he said. Failing this, Senator Cynthia Villar has suggested setting a price ceiling on rice, such that violators can by punished acccordingly. Senator Francis Pangilinan criticised warehouse raids as a band-aid measure instead of a solution to the country‘s problems. ―[These] raids will just be for show,‖ he said. ―The rice supply situation is a result of incompetence and corruption in the National Food Authority (NFA) that at this point cannot be solved by raiding warehouses.‖ ―The solution is more than just going after traders when the NFA itself, through corruption and incompetence, caused the problem in the first place.‖

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Food as the main driver of nine-year high inflation rate in August

Inflation rates in Philippines hit 6.4% in August, a new nine-year high. Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda lay the blame for this square on the shoulders of the government. "Ultimately, the 6.4% was really due to the fact that we did little or nothing. We can no longer blame market opportunists, profiteers, and rice hoarders," said Salceda. Identifying the main driver of inflation as food, he added: "[W]hat is more worrisome is that [government action thus far will take time to gain traction].‖ ―[This] would reverse gains in poverty reduction and hunger mitigation since the main culprit is food inflation, which surged by 8.5%. Thus, the inflation of the poor (lowest 30%) is estimated at 7.4%." Rice supply issue affecting rice-based products industry

Rice-based products in the country are seeing negative impacts. Because rice is the nation‘s staple food, the lack of supply makes the development of the rice-based products manufacturing industry a non-starter. According to Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) researcher Dr Marissa V. Romero, ―Since there is not enough rice to feed the population, the argument of not utilising rice for purposes other than table rice remains.‖ ―This makes value-adding difficult because of the competition for the availability of raw materials and high cost.‖

Parliamentarians Ask China To Set Up Engineering, Medical Universities In Pakistan Rukhshan Mir (@rukhshanmirpk) , Wed 12th September 2018 | 10:45 PM Pakistani parliamentary delegation has proposed to their Chinese counterparts to establish engineering and medical universities in Pakistan for those Pakistani students who could not afford to study in China.

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BEIJING, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 12th Sep, 2018 ) :A Pakistani parliamentary delegation has proposed to their Chinesecounterparts to establish engineering and medical universities in Pakistan for those Pakistani students who could not afford to study in China. "We have proposed to the Chinese officials to establish Pak-China Engineering University and Pak-China Medical University in Pakistan for providing higher education facilities to those students who could not afford to go to China," Riaz Fatyana MNA told APP here on Wednesday. Fatyana is heading a three-member parliamentary delegation comprising MNAs Junaid Akbar and Mehnaz Akbar Aziz at the third Interregional Seminar on the achievement of SDGs for Parliaments of Developing Countries held here. The seminar was co-hosted by National People's Congress (NPC) of China and the Interparliamentary Union (IPU). He said around 22,000 Pakistani students were currently studying in China and due to which a large amount of foreign exchange was being transferred to China. Riaz Fatyana said the delegation discussed different issues including the energy sector, roads and railways during the seminar. "We presented our point of view and our members of the parliament actively participated in different sessions of the seminar," he added. He informed that during the discussions and debates on various topics, the Pakistani delegation openly showed its concerns over issues including an imbalance in the imports and exports and the debt repayment etc. "We have informed the Chinese side that Pakistan has surplus wheat and rice and they should import these crops from Pakistan helping us to narrow the gap in the imports and exports," he added. He said that the government wanted early laying of fibre optic between China and Pakistan as early as possible, adding, "We have proposed to the Chinese companies to come forward and invest in the energy sector particularly renewable energy like wind, solar and hydel in Pakistan." Riaz Fatyana said the delegation also recommended to start work on the social, education and sanitation sectors as well as industrial and economic zones being completed under the ChinaPakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework. He said after the revival of economic activities, people would get employment and added that the communication sector was being upgraded.

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At present, the energy projects were up to 70 per cent of the CPEC, he said and added, two high voltage power transmission lines were being constructed. The MNA said that 72 per cent electricity was being produced through coal-powered plants while the remaining hydel and wind electricityprojects would be completed at an early date He pointed out that the efficiency of Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Plant was not up to the mark as a result of environmental issues and proposed to make efforts to increase its production. He said the delegation apprised the Chinese side that more Pakistani companies, businessmen, technicians and skilled labours should be engaged in the CPEC projects enabling them to increase their share and get more employment opportunities. The Chinese side assured the delegation to look into the recommendations and proposal presented by the members of Pakistani delegation during the seminar. The delegation will also visit Chinese cities of Xian and Nanjing before leaving for home from Shanghai.

https://www.urdupoint.com/en/education/parliamentarians-ask-china-to-set-up-engineer431196.html

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13th september 2018 daily global regional local rice e-newsletter  

DailyRice News

13th september 2018 daily global regional local rice e-newsletter  

DailyRice News

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