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Sixteen proposals of hybrid rice presented to Seed Certification Department VEC discusses improvement of rice seed business World Trade Center Arkansas to Attend 2018 Agribusiness Conference Inter-agency body set to probe rice ‘shortage’ Iraq wheat, rice imports to depend on local harvest in 2018 - minister Hike palay-buying price to P20/kg–Piñol Russia reduced imports of wheat by 25% DA eyes satellite rice production in PNG Scientists identify factors which drive the evolution of herbicide resistance USA Rice Newsmaker Video - Stephen Censky India’s agricultural focus must shift to environmentally sustainable crops Rising baht and falling output to curb Thai rice exports New agency to certify rice origin NFA welcomes audit amid rice stock shortage Matco Foods to invest IPO funds in rice glucose plant Iran affirms all-out support for trade initiatives from Pakistan Matco Foods Completes Listing On PSX Export Retention in the Leather Sector of Pakistan and Opportunities under CPEC Basmati rice stocks rally; KRBL up 8% on fund buying Wholesale, retail prices of rice, palay rising Pinol firm gov’t to control rice production, supply Prime minister asks for cooperation to bring down costs for rice farmers Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- February 15, 2018 Iraq wheat, rice imports to depend on local harvest in 2018 - minister Price of Rice Unchanged Despite President Weah’s Intervention Seed Certification Dept gets 16 proposals of hybrid rice Organic Rice Market Scope, Overview And Demand 2018 Hike palay-buying price to P20/kg–Piñol VEC discusses improvement of rice seed business www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com DA rolls out ‘Bigas ng Masa’ affordable rice program mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com 0321 3692874 Bengal traders cash in on slow paddy procurement DA rolls out 'Bigas ng Masa' affordable rice program

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News Detail‌ Sixteen proposals of hybrid rice presented to Seed Certification Department P AR V E Z J A B R I FE B 1 4 T H , 2 0 1 8

ISLAMABAD: National Coordinator on Rice Crop of Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) has presented the working papers of all the sixteen proposals of rice hybrids for the recommendation to the Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department.

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The proposals were presented in the meeting of the Variety Evaluation Committee on Rice, which was held here Wednesday in order to improve the rice seed business and promote the production of crop in the country.

Presiding over the variety evaluation committee meeting, Member Plant Sciences Division, PARC Dr. Muhammad Anjum Ali, emphasized the role of quality seed for the productivity and profitability of farmers and appreciated the role of seed companies for making efforts to improve the potential of rice hybrids in Pakistan.

Members of Variety Evaluation Committee also appreciated the role of private seed companies for taking interest in rice research and development and working in close collaboration with public sector for enhancing the rice output in the country.Under the provision of Seed Rules 2016, the standard operating procedures for the management of National Uniform Yield Trials and related business were also presented in the meeting, besides the it also reviewed the standards for evaluation of rice hybrids for evaluating the hybrids varieties of rice for the coming crop.

Representatives of seed companies appreciated the role of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council for devising a transparent procedure and setting the new bench marks for testing of rice hybrids in the country for the benefits of farmers as well as rice sector.Among others, the meeting was attended by technical members of the committee from National Agriculture Research System of the country including rice breeders, agronomists, entomologists, pathologists, seed experts, policy-makers, private seed companies’ representatives and provincial seed cooperation representatives.

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VEC discusses improvement of rice seed business Staff Reporter Islamabad The meeting of Variety Evaluation Committee (VEC) on rice, Wednesday, held at Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), Islamabad.National Coordinator (Rice) of PARC presented the working paper for all the sixteen proposals of rice hybrids for recommendation to the Federal Seed Certification & Registration Department. The representatives of national and multinational seed companies attended the meeting. Presiding the variety evaluation committee meeting, Dr. Muhammad Anjum Ali, Member Plant Sciences Division, PARC emphasized the role of quality seed for the productivity and profitability of farmers and appreciated the role of seed companies for making efforts to improve the potential of rice hybrids in Pakistan. Afterwards under the provision of Seed Rules 2016, the standard operating procedures for the management of National Uniform Yield Trials and related business were presented along with the standards for evaluation of rice hybrids for evaluating the hybrids/varieties of rice for the coming crop. Representatives of seed companies appreciated the role of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council for devising a transparent procedure and setting the new bench marks for testing of rice hybrids in Pakistan for the benefits of farmers as well as rice sector in Pakistan. The VEC meeting on Rice, among others, was attended by technical members of the committee from National Agriculture Research System (NARS) of the country including Rice breeders, agronomists, entomologists, pathologists, seed experts, policy-makers, private seed companies’ representatives and provincial seed cooperation representatives. Members of VEC also appreciated the role of private seed companies for taking interest in rice research and development and working in close collaboration with public sector. https://pakobserver.net/vec-discusses-improvement-rice-seed-business/

World Trade Center Arkansas to Attend 2018 Agribusiness Conference Feb. 15, 2018 4


Photo by Melvin Torres

The 2018 Agribusiness Conference is convening industry leaders, officials and executives today in Jonesboro to discuss the biggest issues and impacts to agriculture. Melvin Torres, Director of Western Hemisphere Trade is representing the World Trade Center Arkansas at this year's conference. (Read about the World Trade Center Arkansas' participation in last year's conference.) "This is really an opportunity for us to gain an in-depth understanding of the current agriculture industry and how today's issues in policy and the market will affect agriculture producers in Arkansas," Torres said. "We can then incorporate this new information in our service to Arkansas agriculture companies." These issues include the upcoming Farm Bill, the impact of the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the markets for rice, poultry, cotton and beef. The conference takes place at the Fowler Center on

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the ASU campus and is broken up into general sessions, a luncheon session and concurrent sessions in the afternoon. Speakers at the 2018 Agribusiness Conference include Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward; Riceland Foods Senior Vice President and COO Carl Brothers; Executive Producer of Talk Business and Politics Roby Brock and others including ASU Chancellor Kelley Damphousse, deans, professors and business men and women. The mission of the World Trade Center Arkansas is to grow trade and increase Arkansas exports by connecting Arkansas businesses to the world through international trade services. For more information and valuable updates, please follow the Center on Facebook and Twitter, or subscribe to the World Trade Center Arkansas newsletter. https://www.brecorder.com/2018/02/14/399062/sixteen-proposals-of-hybrid-rice-presented-toseed-certification-department/

Inter-agency body set to probe rice ‘shortage’ February 14, 2018 at 10:26 pm by Macon Ramos-Araneta

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said on Wednesday that the government has formed an inter-agency body that would investigate the purchase and distribution of rice by the National Food Authority, even as he assured that the country has enough supply of the staple, Piñol stressed that he was not accusing the NFA of irregularities but added that the supply chain could be abused by traders, some of whom mix government-subsidized rice with commercial rice. According to DA Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan, it was actually Bangko Sentral Deputy Gov. Diwa Guinigundo, a member of the inter-agency NFA Council, who proposed to audit the “acquisition, down to the distribution” of the grain by the NFA. “We are talking here of food and food is a national security issue,” Piñol said, adding that if it was to him, he would not allow traders and middle men to “control” the supply chain.

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“Where does the problem lie? Bakit hindi maramdaman ng publiko ang saganang ani ng Pilipino [Why can’t the public feel the bountiful harvest of Filipinos]? The food supply chain, from the farm to the market, has always been controlled by traders and middle men,” he said. Piñol said he “commends” the NFA Council’s decision to audit the NFA, the state-run grains authority that is also part of the council. Pinol said that as of the moment, the Philippines is roughly 96-percent self-sufficient in rice. The DA chief said that the government is rushing the importation of 250,000 metric tons of rice to replenish the NFA’s buffer, which had dwindled to two days’ worth. But Piñol said that farmers produced 19.4 million metric tons of palay in 2017, enough to meet the estimated 11.2 million metric tons in demand. “By mathematical computation, the supply of the production of palay is already above and beyond the national requirement. But we are not declaring rice sufficiency yet,” he told reporters in a hastily-called press conference. Meanwhile, Senator Grace Poe on Wednesday admitted that she was surprised that the country is experiencing a critically low supply of affordable rice despite the record-breaking surplus in the supply of the staple. “It is downright bewildering to allegedly have a record-breaking surplus in rice supply on one hand and experience a low inventory of rice in the warehouses of NFA on the other hand and thereby needing to import rice,” said Poe in filing a resolution to launch an investigation on the long-standing claims that there exists a syndicate inside the NFA that manipulate rice data.

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Poe filed Senate Resolution No. 623 directing the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food chaired by Senator Cynthia Villar to investigate the purported shortage of affordable rice that is driving up prices of commercial rice sold in the markets. Poe, who earlier said there had been widespread speculations about alleged syndicate in the NFA for decades, filed the measure as she wanted the impending Senate inquiry to determine the veracity of “persistent allegations” of a mafia, syndicate or “rice cartel” in the government’s rice procurement and importation program. She said this was necessary in order to put an end to their illegal and corrupt practices and ensure the availability of the staple food. The Philippine Statistics Authority late last month said a total of 19.28 million metric tons of palay was produced in 2017, compared to 17.63 million metric tons in 2016, or a 9.36 percent increase. The NFA had said that stocks of cheap rice are running low. The agency also stopped supplying rice to local retailers resulting in the unavailability of affordable rice in the market and jacking up prices of commercial rice. Poe said that “we cannot turn a blind eye on alleged reports regarding the existence of a rice cartel in the Philippines.” “The alleged existence of a rice cartel operating inside and outside the government is definitely an affront to the dignity of our Filipino rice farmers and the consuming public and must be obliterated to free our small farmers from a vicious debt trap and to drive away hunger out of the borders of the Philippines,” she added.

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The inter-agency NFA Council on Monday approved the importation of 250,000 MT of rice mainly from Vietnam and Thailand, a move meant to replenish the dwindling buffer stock. The NFA is mandated to maintain a 15-day buffer stock at any given time and 30 days at the onset of the lean months of July to September. http://thestandard.com.ph/news/top-stories/258737/inter-agency-body-set-to-probe-rice-shortage.html

Iraq wheat, rice imports to depend on local harvest in 2018 minister FEBRUARY 14, 2018 / 6:09 PM

KUWAIT, Feb 14 (Reuters) - The amount of Iraq’s wheat and rice imports in 2018 will depend on the local harvest this season, the planning minister said on Wednesday.Salman al-Jumaili was speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Kuwait where donors have gathered to discuss efforts to rebuild postwar Iraq’s economy and infrastructure. Reporting By Ahmed Hagagy; Writing by Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Edmund Blair SPONSORED STORIES

https://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFD5N1N1013https://af.reuters.com/article/commoditi esNews/idAFD5N1N1013https://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFD5N1N1013

Rising baht and falling output to curb Thai rice exports Exporters risk missing 9.5m ton target for 2018 February 15, 2018 12:30 pm JST APORNRATH PHOONPHONGPHIPHAT, Nikkei staff writer Workers transfer sacks of rice from a barge to a cargo ship on the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. © Reuters

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BANGKOK -- A stronger baht and smaller harvest are expected to curb Thai rice exports this year, potentially causing the country to miss its 2018 target of 9.5 million metric tons, according to the Thai Rice Exporters Association. https://asia.nikkei.com/Markets/Commodities/Rising-baht-and-falling-output-to-curb-Thai-rice-exports

Hike palay-buying price to P20/kg–Piñol By Jasper Y. Arcalas February 14, 2018 The government’s palay-buying price should go up to P20 per kilogram (kg) so the National Food Authority (NFA) could buy more local paddy to beef up its stockpile, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said on Wednesday.As traders could take advantage of the increase in the NFA’s support price, which has been in effect since April 2008, Piñol said the NFA Council (NFAC) must also institute measures that will prevent commercial rice prices from skyrocketing. “It will be good to increase the buying price of the NFA so they can compete against traders and buy local palay, instead of importing rice,” he told reporters in a news briefing in Quezon City on February 14. “But there should be a caveat because any increases in the NFA’s buying price would encourage traders to raise their price. While it’s true that farmers will benefit from higher palay-buying price, consumers will be affected. This should be considered,” Piñol added. The chief of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said the “ideal” NFA support price is P20 per kg, P3 higher than the current P17 per kg. At P20 per kg, he said the government could still sell rice at P36 to P38 per kg. Piñol also said the removal of the quantitative restriction (QR) on rice via the amendment of Republic Act (RA) 8178 will not guarantee that the staple would become cheaper.

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“One of the country’s economic managers said importing rice will effectively cut prices by P7 per kg. I question that. In fact, imported rice is being repacked by traders and sold as commercial rice,” he said. “Rice traders would become richer, but [more imports due to the lifting of the rice QR] would not benefit consumers,” Piñol added. Production shortfall Based on the computation of the DA, the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and the International Rice Research Institute (Irri), Piñol said the country’s rice production shortfall last year was around 400,000 metric tons (MT). He also said the Philippines achieved a 96-percent self-sufficiency rate (SSR) on rice in 2017 based on the computation of the DA, PhilRice and Irri. Piñol said the country’s paddy output of 19.3 million metric tons (MMT) last year was equivalent to around 13.1 MMT of milled rice at an average milling capacity rate of 65 percent. This, he added, was “above and beyond” the country’s annual estimated rice requirement of about 11.2 MMT. “But the government is not declaring rice self-sufficiency yet as there are factors to be considered. Part of the 19.3 MMT will have to be used for seeds, a certain percentage is considered waste, and there is also the government’s buffer stock, which is not included in computing the sufficiency rate,” Piñol said. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the government’s official statistical agency, will release a report on the country’s food self-sufficiency ratio for 2017 in October. The latest available PSA report indicated that the Philippines reached a 95-percent SSR on rice in 2016, after producing some 17.6 MMT of palay.

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“Even if we achieve rice sufficiency by 2020, we will not be able to sustain it for so long because of population growth. The best scenario would be about five to 10 years,” Piñol said. “The growth of our population will overtake rice production because our rice farms are already limited.” NFAC scrutiny D.A. Undersecretary for Operations Ariel T. Cayanan said the NFAC will scrutinize the NFA’s palay-procurement and rice-distribution schemes to determine the food agency’s impact on the country’s rice market. Cayanan added the NFAC approved a resolution ordering an audit of the NFA’s programs to ensure that there are no lapses in the strategies employed by the food agency to fulfill its mandate. “It is not a presumption of guilt or prosecutory. We are not assuming that [NFA] is doing something wrong,” Cayanan told reporters in an interview on February 14. “All the NFA’s programs will be evaluated. The government always presumes regularity.” Cayanan was invited by the NFAC as a resource person during its meeting on February 12. The DA is currently not part of the council, the highest policy-making body of the NFA. Under the resolution, the NFAC would find out how and where the NFA distributed governmentsubsidized rice sourced through imports and local palay procurement, according to Cayanan. Cayanan disclosed that it was Central Bank Deputy Governor for the Monetary Stability Sector Diwa C. Guinigundo who proposed the resolution on the audit of the NFA’s programs. “It is in a form of resolution that was actually seconded by the council. But no timeline was given as to when it will be undertaken.”

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Piñol commended the NFAC’s decision to audit the state-run agency, saying it is high time for the government to look into claims that the NFA favors some traders. NFA Administrator Jason L.Y. Aquino said he welcomes the NFAC initiative. “NFA management welcomes the audit to shed light on issues regarding our distribution. Distribution levels vary in each provinces and island-municipalities because they have different dailyconsumption requirement.” “Some are palay-procuring and some are not. Also, there are provinces that have high poverty incidence like NCR, thus requires higher distribution,” Aquino added.

Russia reduced imports of wheat by 25% 14.02.2018 | UkrAgroConsult Russia imported 2.2 MMT of grain and grain products (including deliveries from the Customs Union countries) in MY 2017/18 by February 6, or 0.4 MMT (14%) less than at the same time in MY 2016/17 (2.5 MMT). 2.7 MMT of this produce was imported for the first eight months of MY 2015/16, Rosselkhoznadzor (Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance) reports. As before, the most popular in the Russian market is soybeans, whose imports amounted to 1.3 MMT (61% of total imports, down 2% from MY 2016/17). The next is wheat: its imports plummeted by 25% to 299 KMT (14%). According to Rosselkhoznadzor, 113 KMT of Kazakh wheat that arrived to OJSC Yeysky Port Elevator will probably be shipped to other countries. The third ranked commodity is rice groats, whose imports increased 18% to 124 KMT (6%),

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reports

UkrAgroConsult.

Imports of barley dropped to 74 KMT (3%, down 44%), while arrivals of barley malt sank to 53 KMT (2%, down 21%), soybean meals to 44 KMT (2%, down 26%), and rye flour to 29 KMT (1%, down 39%).

In MY 2017/18, the top ten origins of produce imported by Russia account for 2 MMT (90%) of imports. The largest supplier was Paraguay, which exported 642 KMT to Russia (up 6% at 30%). It was followed by Brazil with 603 KMT (down 3% at 28%) and Kazakhstan with 261 KMT (down 53% at 12%).

http://www.blackseagrain.net/novosti/russia-reduced-imports-of-wheat-by-25

DA eyes satellite rice production in PNG By Catherine Teves, Philippine News Agency on February 14, 2018

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SATELLITE PRODUCTION. Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol (2nd from right) said Malacañang had approved his travel to Papua New Guinea soon for a bilateral deal allowing Filipinos to grow rice in PNG and supply the staple back here. (PNA File Photo) MANILA — The Philippine government is aiming to clinch a deal with Papua New Guinea (PNG) for Filipinos to be able to grow rice there and supply the staple back here. Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said in a media conference in Quezon City on Wednesday that Malacañang had given its thumbs up for his travel to PNG soon, so he and authorities there can finalize the arrangements. “The idea is for the Philippine government to enter into a bilateral agreement with PNG on the matter,” he told reporters, saying the planned satellite rice production could boost the availability of affordable rice for Filipinos. If plans push through, he said Filipinos would be able to grow rice in satellite farms in PNG, initially supplying the grains there while that country is developing its rice industry. The excess produce would then be shipped to the Philippines.Earlier, Piñol said he presented to Malacañang such concept of rice production outsourcing, so Filipino entrepreneurs abroad can help grow and ensure supply of this staple grain.

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Latest data indicate the Philippines is heading towards rice sufficiency by 2020, he said. Ballooning population and decreasing agricultural land in the country highlight the need for finding rice production alternatives like outsourcing in satellite farms abroad, the agriculture chief noted. Piñol is optimistic about the outsourcing prospect with PNG, noting the country of about 8 million people has a total land area of around 46 million hectares. Australia has ongoing agricultural activities in about 400 hectares there, he said. The Philippines’ initial five-year target to develop one million hectares of PNG land for rice can produce around 8 million metric tons (MT) annually – more than enough to meet PNG’s rice need of only about 200,000 MT. At present, PNG sources its rice overseas and has sought the Philippines’ help in developing its rice industry, according to Piñol. Filipino-produced inbound rice shipments from PNG would boost the availability of rice in the Philippines, Piñol said. “Those shipments will be treated as imports that may enter the country as National Food Authority (NFA) rice,” he said. NFA sells its rice at prices lower than commercial rice. Recently, however, NFA said its stocks are running low already. The agency aims to increase its stocks with rice imports totaling some 250,000 MT this year. (PNA) http://www.canadianinquirer.net/2018/02/14/da-eyes-satellite-rice-production-in-png/

Scientists identify factors which drive the evolution of herbicide resistance February 13, 2018 University of Sheffield Summary: Scientists have identified factors which are driving the evolution of herbicide resistance in crops -- something which could also have an impact on medicine as well as agriculture.Scientists from the University of Sheffield have identified factors which are driving the evolution of herbicide

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resistance in crops -- something which could also have an impact on medicine as well as agriculture. Xenobiotic chemicals, such as herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and antibiotics, are used in both agriculture and healthcare to manage pests and diseases. However, resistance has evolved to all these types of xenobiotics, rendering them ineffective with serious consequences for crop production and health. The new study, led by researchers from the University of Sheffield's Department of Animal and Plant Sciences in collaboration with Rothamsted Research and the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, gives an important insight into how we can learn from past management of agricultural systems to reduce the likelihood of resistance evolving in the future. Current strategies for managing resistance revolve around diversifying management and the range of chemicals used. Similar techniques have been proposed in medicine and agriculture but there is not yet a consensus on what is the best approach. In the new study, published in Nature Ecology and Evolution, researchers examined the evolution of herbicide resistance in black-grass (Alopecurus myosuroides) in the UK. This has become a widespread weed present in 88 per cent of 24,824 of quadrats -- small areas of habitat selected at random as samples for assessing the local distribution of plants and animals -monitored by researchers. It has spread northward in recent years and the scientists found the weed in areas where it had not been found in previous decades. Lead author of the study Rob Freckleton, Professor of Population Biology from the University of Sheffield, said: "The driver for this spread is evolved herbicide resistance: we found that weeds in fields with higher densities are more resistant to herbicides. "Once resistance has evolved it does not seem to go away: two years later, fields with high densities still had high densities, despite farmers employing a suite of different management techniques. "We estimate that the economic costs of this are very high: the costs of weed management have doubled as a consequence of evolved resistance." The research offer important insights into diversifying management which is suggested as a possible technique for reducing the evolution of resistance. The study showed the technique will work to reduce resistance only if farmers reduce their inputs of herbicides. If they continue to use the same levels of herbicides or even increase their input, then this technique will not work. The new findings show the volume and diversity of herbicide products are positively related to each other. Professor Freckleton said: "The results were simple: farms that used a greater volume of herbicide had more resistance.

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"Beyond this we found little evidence for a role of any other management techniques: neither the diversity of chemicals used -- for example whether farmers used a variety of herbicides or just one -- or diversity of cropping mattered, despite both being advocated as methods to reduce the evolution of resistance." He added: "New techniques such as precision agriculture (PA) offer the possibility of targeted applications of chemicals: for example, robots could give doses of herbicide at the level of individual plants. "In the meantime, the results that we have obtained suggest a simple rule of thumb: just using more herbicide will select for more resistance." The study showed that even in the absence of chemicals, directional selection from the repeated use of the same management will lead to evolution resistance. This highlighted a need to design a management system in which evolution is anticipated. Apart from focussing on densities and yields, there needs to be an appreciation of resistance."In an example of convergent evolution, one ecotype of the weed barnyardgrass (Eichochloa crus-galli var oryzicola L.) appears indistinguishable from domesticated rice (Oryza sativa L.)," said Professor Freckleton. "Barnyardgrass is a weed because it reduces the yields of rice, so when farmers see weeds they pull them out. This behaviour has been selected for weeds that mimic the crop, as weed plants that look similar to rice avoid being killed."This is evolved resistance: when we manage natural systems in a selective manner, evolution is inevitable." https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180213111140.htm

USA Rice Newsmaker Video - Stephen Censky

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WASHINGTON, DC -- On Monday, U.S. Undersecretary of Agriculture Stephen Censky addressed the USA Rice Federation Board about the President's budget, the Farm Bill, agriculture trade, and more. He also stopped by USA Rice's cameras to talk about rice priorities for the upcoming Farm Bill and fake organic rice. USA RICE DAILY

India’s agricultural focus must shift to environmentally sustainable crops Depleting water tables due to excessive use of ground water is a major concern vis-à-vis the sustainability of farming in India. Farmers replant rice saplings in a paddy field in Assam. Between 2006-07 and 201617, rice alone accounted for around 17% of the total value of India’s agricultural exports (AP) “India’s agriexports potential is as high as $100 billion against current exports of $ 30 billion”, said finance minister Arun

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Jaitley in this year’s budget speech. He also said that the government will further liberalise agricultural exports to achieve this potential. Most people will welcome such statements. Exports can be a big opportunity to enhance farm incomes in India. India’s agricultural trade regime is often accused of having a pro-consumer bias. When prices increase, export restrictions and lower import duties are used to control inflation. Domestic consumers gain but the farmer loses out on gaining from these cyclical movements. There is no bailout for the farmer when prices crash in domestic markets. There are good reasons why a liberalised export push in agriculture might not be an unambiguous good. These are related with issues of longterm sustainability in agriculture and domestic food security concerns. What is the biggest component of India’s agricultural exports? Spices, tea, cotton etc.all come to mind. The correct answer, however, is rice. Between 2006-07 and 2016-17, rice alone accounted for around 17% of the total value of India’s agricultural exports. More than half of our rice exports are of the basmati variety. Many farmers and exporters must have gained from the sharp rise in India’s rice exports. These exports, however, entail a huge cost for the environment. Rice production uses a lot of water. In a 2016 Mint article, I used data from the Water Footprint Network – a global network on water related issues – to estimate that 10 trillion litres of water went into the production of India’s basmati exports in 2014-15. The story also pointed out that India was among the largest virtual exporters of water via agricultural exports. Depleting water tables due to excessive use of ground water is a major concern vis-à-vis the sustainability of farming in India. Exporting more and more basmati rice without thinking of its environmental repercussions is not going to help matters. It would only hasten the destruction of agricultural ecosystems. Agricultural production in India needs to change drastically if we want to prevent irreparable damage to our environment. A policy which only looks to maximise exports would not take us very far in achieving this. We need to come up with incentives which reward our farmers for shifting to producing environment-friendly crops, even if they do not get us more in export earnings. An environment-friendly readjusting of India’s agricultural production need not necessarily be contradictory with farm incomes. India imports a large amount of pulses currently. The latest available data for past three years (2014-15 to 2016-17) shows that the value of India’s pulse imports is more than half of total rice exports from India. Why can’t we encourage farmers to switch to pulse cultivation from rice? Unlike rice, pulse cultivation can improve soil health, as pulses help in increasing nitrogen content, which is a crucial soil nutrient. India’s agricultural production basket is extremely diverse. Given this fact, the pursuit of self-sufficiency in agriculture is not necessarily a bad thing. Not only would this save us valuable foreign exchange, it can also protect our farmers from the price volatility in international markets. Such an approach can also help us safeguard our food security interests. The complete liberalisation of agricultural trade can make our domestic food production vulnerable to cheaper imports from highly subsidised production in developed countries. India’s policy makers

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are aware of this threat, which is why they are insisting for a permanent solution on the issue of public stockholding and special safeguard mechanisms in the World Trade Organisation. There can be no disagreement about the fact that agricultural incomes have to be increased in India. The challenge would remain even if a significant part of agricultural workers move out of farming. What many people do not realise is the fact that leaving everything to the markets can be counter-productive in agriculture. Current farming decisions and practices are crucial for future sustainability. Markets, especially in foreign trade, are not the best way to send the right signals to adhere to these concerns. A smart country would encourage its farmers to cultivate environmental-friendly crops and import the environmentally-damaging ones. The farmer cannot be expected to act with foresight in such matters. This increases the role of futuristic policy making even more. https://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/india-s-agricultural-focus-must-shift-to-environmentallysustainable-crops/story-xmuoDJJjphINcEyrk7B11H.html

Rising baht and falling output to curb Thai rice exports Exporters risk missing 9.5m ton target for 2018 APORNRATH PHOONPHONGPHIPHAT, Nikkei staff writer Workers transfer sacks of rice from a barge to a cargo ship on the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. Š Reuters BANGKOK -- A stronger baht and smaller harvest are expected to curb Thai rice exports this year, potentially causing the country to miss its 2018 target of 9.5 million metric tons, according to the Thai Rice Exporters Association. The 2018 rice export target was set at around 18% lower than the record figure of 11.6 million tons achieved the previous year, said Charoen Laothamatas, president of the association. "The stronger baht was the major problem for rice exports this year, as it makes the price of Thai rice unattractively high compared with the prices of competitors." Charoen said the figure of 9.5 million tons was set at the end of last year. However, the baht rose more than 9% in 2017 and has gone up another 3.1% so far this year to 31.6 per dollar on Tuesday. The strengthening baht is tied to both Thailand's relatively healthy economic outlook and overseas investors chasing funds to reap foreign exchange gains amid a weakening dollar. "We will be monitoring the baht's movement closely during the first quarter of this year and, if it continues to rise, the association will revise down the 2018 rice export target," he added. The Dong, in contrast, rose by just 1%, while the Rupee rose 6%, making rice from Vietnam and India considerably cheaper. The going rate for premium grade Thai fragrant rice was $1,200 a ton this week almost double the $650 being asked for a ton of the same grade produced in Vietnam. Charoen said global demand

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would remain strong as major importing countries like the Philippines and Indonesia were expected to buy 1-1.5 million tons this year. In addition, rising oil prices are likely to help strengthen the purchasing power of Middle Eastern rice importers. "Demand is there, but the problem is which origin the client will buy from," said Charoen. Falling production has also taken its toll. The government has sought to limit plantation areas in the hope that restricting supply might help prop up prices. The measures come in response to a failed rice-purchasing scheme implemented by former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Policies Yingluck introduced in 2013, which offered to pay above-market prices, encouraged many farmers to grow larger amounts without paying attention to quality. The scheme resulted in the government stockpiling 18 million tons of the crop and incurred multibillion dollar losses. The current government has sought to remedy the situation by implementing a zoning policy on paddy fields that could cut total annual production to around 30 million ton, down from around 33 million tons last year. Charoen added that non-tariff barriers in some rice importing countries, such as tighter surveillance of chemical contamination, could also dent exports, particularly to Japan, the EU and the U.S. https://asia.nikkei.com/Markets/Commodities/Rising-baht-and-falling-output-to-curb-Thai-riceexports?page=2

New agency to certify rice origin Some of the many varieties of rice grown in Cambodia. KT/Chor Sokunthea The Ministry of Commerce launched a new agency whose aim is to inspect the production and supply chain of rice branded as ‘made in Cambodia’ to guarantee its origin and provide assurance to foreign buyers. With Cambodian rice having won multiple international awards for its quality, the move seeks to prevent the sale of foreign rice falsely claiming to hail from the kingdom. The initiative is precautionary as, according to a ministry official, very few cases of ‘fake’ Cambodian rice have been reported to date. The new working group is staffed by officials from the commerce and agriculture ministries, as well as members of the Cambodian Rice Federation. A total of 12 individuals will make up the team, which has the authority to look into data related to every stage of the production and supply process, including processing, storing and exporting the product. “We export rice to foreign markets like the EU with certain benefits, like being exempted from paying tariffs,” said Seang Thay, spokesman at the Minister of Commerce. “We don’t want buyers complaining about having purchased rice that wasn’t grown in Cambodia, because we could lose some of those trade benefits. “We have to ensure that the rice is grown and processed here.” Mr Thay said the ministry has yet to receive a single complaint from a buyer who has been sold ‘fake’ Cambodian rice, but justified the creation of the

22


new agency by saying it will prevent any such cases from happening in the future . He said the agency will guarantee that buyers continue to trust Cambodian rice. Despite the lack of official complaints, there has been a few documented cases of rice from third countries being deceptively sold as Cambodian rice, Mr Thay said. Hean Vanhan, director-general of the general directorate of agriculture, said the new agency will help keep the reputation of Cambodian rice intact. “We aim to guarantee the purity of our rice, and make sure that foreigners are not sending their rice to Cambodia, and selling it from here as Cambodian rice,” he said. “We have heard of some cases in which rice from other countries was sold as Cambodian rice, but we don’t have strong data on this,” Mr Vanhan said, adding that perpetrators were looking to benefit from the tariff exemptions that Cambodia enjoys with key markets like the US and the EU. Khy Maly, sales and export manager at Amru Rice, also welcomed the new agency, saying buyers will now have certainty that they are buying real Cambodian rice. “It is a great move to guarantee that the rice is grown, processed and packaged in Cambodia,” she said. Last year, exports of Cambodian rice increased by 17.3 percent, reaching 635,679 tonnes, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. http://www.khmertimeskh.com/50108701/new-agency-to-certify-rice-origin/

NFA welcomes audit amid rice stock shortage By: Karl Ocampo- @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / 01:10 PM February 14, 2018

Workers take sacks of rice from a National Food Authority warehouse in this photo taken Feb. 8, 2018. INQUIRER PHOTO / JAM STA ROSA The policy making body of the National Food Authority (NFA) is set to audit the agency following reports that it was having insufficient stocks of rice. In a press conference with officials of the Department of Agriculture, Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan, a resource person for the council, said members of the council had issued a resolution to audit the NFA’s acquisition and distribution of rice. “The NFA management welcomes the audit. This is to clarify issues about our distribution,” said NFA Administrator Jason Aquino.

23


“Distribution levels in the provinces and island municipalities vary since their daily consumption requirement are also different. Others also procure palay while some do not. There are also provinces with higher poverty incidence like NCR (National Capital Region) so distribution is larger,� he explained. /cbb https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/968705/breaking-news-nfa-jason-aquino-nfa-councilrice#ixzz57Aed9n7E

Matco Foods to invest IPO funds in rice glucose plant By Farhan Zaheer February 14, 2018 Company recently generated war chest of Rs757m from the share offering

KARACHI: Matco Foods Limited, one of the leading basmati rice exporters in

Pakistan, has said the money it raised through an initial public offering (IPO) 24


will be mostly used for expansion of its high-margin business to allow the company to generate more profit in coming years. The company was formally listed at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Tuesday and its shares were available for trade among retail investors. On the first trading day, 2.49 million shares of the company were traded and its stock price closed at Rs27.30, up 5% from Rs26. Company management expects the stock price to touch Rs50 in a year because it is now moving towards the high-margin business.

25


“We are confident that our focus on high-margin products will give us better returns compared to our traditional rice exports,� Matco Foods Director Finance Faizan Ali Ghori told media at a press conference. He said the expansion is expected to be completed by March 2019. Separately talking to The Express Tribune, Ghori said the company was already using Chinese technology for value-added rice products and it would again adopt Chinese technology for expanding operations of its rice glucose and rice protein plant. The company recently raised Rs757 million with a total issue of 29,143,000 ordinary shares at the strike price of Rs26 per share. The rice exporter wants to use net proceeds from the public offering for the expansion of the rice glucose and rice protein plant. The expansion will take current capacity of 10,000 tons of rice glucose to 30,000 tons while the rice protein capacity of 1,000 tons will rise to 3,000 tons. Since rice glucose is not extracted from genetically modified (GM) food, it has huge demand in industrialised countries where health-conscious consumers prefer it over glucose that is extracted from GM food.

26


Currently, Matco exports 75% of its rice glucose production to international markets where it is priced at around $11,000 per ton against a price range of just $400-500 per ton in the domestic market. “We feel huge responsibility towards our shareholders who have trusted us in the IPO,” Matco Foods Chairman Jawed Ali Ghori said. “We will utilise this money in the best possible way because of our rich experience in the rice business.” Matco has been engaged in the rice export business for over 50 years and ships different products to over 60 countries. It has recently diversified its operations and is now producing rice glucose and rice protein that are mostly used in pharmaceutical, confectionery, juice and other such finished food products. The Express Tribune, February 14th, 2018. https://tribune.com.pk/story/1634128/2-matco-foods-invest-ipo-funds-rice-glucose-plant/

Iran affirms all-out support for trade initiatives from Pakistan KARACHI: Iranian consulate was more than ready to back any trade and investment initiative taken by business community in Pakistan, especially Sindh, and would play an active role in the exchange of information on the concerned avenues on both sides, a diplomat said on Monday. "One of my key duties here [in Pakistan] is to facilitate and develop political, economic, trade, academic and cultural relations and cooperation between Iran and Pakistan, especially development of trade relations with the province of Sindh,” Ahmad Mohammadi, Consul

27


General of Iran said at an event held to commemorate 39th anniversary of Islamic Revolution at the consulate. “Therefore, all the efforts of my colleagues are dedicated to facilitate access to each other's markets.”The volume of trade between Pakistan and Iran has reached the mark of $1.5 billion per year, while Iran has said vowed to increase it to a record level of $5 billion. Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) stats show the current trade volume between the two nations is $830 million, which is of no significance given the Persian Gulf country’s 127 billion euros worth of worldwide trade. The consul general said Iranian and Pakistani companies had an active presence in the exhibitions of the two countries and had signed many agreements with each other for promoting bilateral trade. “This shows huge economic and trade potential existing on both sides, which must be utilised fully to the benefit of the two nations,” he added.Mohammadi also mentioned the trade between the two countries posted a 33 percent year-on-year growth compared to the previous year. “Over last nine months, as a result of the facilities provided by the Iranian side to Pakistani rice exporters, the volume of Pakistani rice export to Iran had jumped up by 42 percent,” the envoy said. Besides, he added, in view of the cultural wealth and tourism potential of the two countries, the Iranian embassy and the consulates made efforts for promoting pilgrimage and tourism travels between the two countries. The statement said the Iranian envoy was confident that during the current year also, Iran-Pakistan friendly relations and cooperation would develop further. "I extend my thanks to the government of Pakistan and Sindh provincial bodies for their cooperation," he said. Analysts say most significantly, an increased regional connectivity was likely to step up the volume of trade and services; however in reality there is little economic connectivity between the two states.

28


During last nine months Iran exported $634 million worth of products to Pakistan, while Pakistan also exported products valued at $348 million to Iran. The overall trade between the two countries stood at $982 million.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/280221-iran-affirms-all-out-support-for-trade-initiatives-from-pakistan

Matco Foods Completes Listing on the PSX Staff Report FEBRUARY 14, 2018

KARACHI: “Matco Foods Limited, one of Pakistan’s largest Basmati rice exporters was formally listed today on the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX)”, said Mr Faizan Ghori (CFA), Director of Finance. The Gong Ceremony on the occasion ofthe formal listing of Matco Foods Limited was held today at the PSX, with Mr Jawed Ghori Chairman of Matco Foods Limited ringing the historical gong at the start of trading with Mr. Richard Morin, CEO of PSX and Mr. Hang You, Deputy Managing Director of PSX. This was the first IPO for the year 2018 in Pakistan and will add another company in the Food Sector on the PSX board. Matco completed the book building and public portion of the IPO in

29


the end of January with a total issue of 29,143,000 million ordinary shares, at a strike price of PKR 26 per share. The gross proceeds to Matco Foods Limited from this offering were PKR 757 million before deducting underwriting discounts, commissions and offering expenses. Matco Foods Limited intends to use the net proceeds from this public offering for the expansion of its existing Rice Glucose and Protein Plant from 10,000 MT of glucose and 1,000 MT of protein production capacity per annum to 30,000 MT of glucose and 3,000 MT of protein respectively. Speaking on the occasion Jawed Ali Ghori, Chairman of Matco Foods said “Listing on the PSX is an important milestone in the history of our Company and a matter of great pride for all the stakeholders of Matco. We are grateful for the support of the investing community, our advisers, and especially the PSX and SECP which are playing a highly commendable role in developing our country’s equity capital markets.” Matco Foods’ brand “Falak” Basmati rice is available in all major cities of Pakistan and exported to over 40 countries around the world. “We will continue to invest and grow our brand domestically and abroad,” said Khalid Ghori, CEO of Matco Foods, “in addition to expansion of our Rice Glucose and Rice Protein division.” MCB Bank acted as book-running managers for the offering, and Arif Habib Limited acted as the consultant to the issue. https://dailytimes.com.pk/201487/matco-foods-completes-listing-psx/

Export Retention in the Leather Sector of Pakistan and Opportunities under CPEC Adnan Khan, Numra Asif, Dr. Saleem Janjua Leather and Leather merchandises are the most significant and the third most dynamic industrial sector in Pakistan after cotton, textile and rice. Leather industry of Pakistan comprises approximately 800 small, medium, and large industrial units and tanneries. According to Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA), leather industry contributes 2.6 percent to GDP, 5 percent to country’s total exports and provides jobs to over one million skilled and semi-skilled workers.

30


However for the last five years, statistics for exports of leather goods depict a grave situation. Pakistan is drastically losing its exports share in the traditional leather markets to other regional states. Common reasons quoted by the industrialists, factory owners and the government are: an increase in cost of production, failure of domestic industries to comply with environmental standards and a decline in supply of leather as a raw material. For the last five years, Pakistan had an export of $1.2 billion in the leather sector. This may appear reasonable; however two things make the situation sore. Firstly overtime, leather exports

31


are exhibiting a decking trend. As per PTA official data the leather and leather products exports recorded a fall of 6.76 percent to $0.757 billion in 2016-17 from $0.812 billion in 2015-16. Export of leather apparel and cloths declined by 8.95 percent, gloves by 5.38 percent, footwear by 6.35 percent during 2016-17 as compared to 2015-16. Secondly, share of neighbouring countries in the global leather market is increasing and they are achieving double digit growth. China’s leather export rise by 20 percent, India’s by 63 percent and Bangladesh’s 100 percent. Pakistan’s share of 0.5 percent in global market for leather is insignificant compared to China’s 19 percent, Italy 9 percent, Vietnam 4 percent and India 2.5 percent. Increasing economic cooperation with China under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has the potential to boost growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through joint ventures between businessmen of the two countries, and modernization upgrade of the existing leather industry through transfer of technology and financial assistance. There is a wide scope for joint ventures between Pakistani and Chinese SMEs, especially in the fields of leather and apparel, because China currently dominates the conversion of leather into finished leather goods; however with rising labour costs, Chinese leather industries are willing to relocate to other developing economies. Globally, the demand for leather garments exhibit a stable trend, however the demand for leather products continues to expand. Pakistan is well positioned in this regard because of the availability of finished leather and competitive labour costs. Growth has been restrained by an inability to meet changing customer demands including a fast turnaround for fashion items. Pakistan has the best quality of raw material (raw skin and leather) of cow, buffalo, goat and sheep, but production has been restrained because of a decrease in livestock production. It is imperative for Pakistan to resolve the growth constraints on the leather sector. Access to technology and sector specific equipment is important for the expansion of the leather sector. Moreover investment in manufacturing and value addition are required. Since establishment of Pakistan, the primary focus has been on tanning (the process of treating skins and hides of

32


animals to produce leather). Pakistan exports 95% of all leather produced in the country and 85% of these exports comprises of leather without value addition and finished products. Leather sector imports 25% of hides and skins from the Middle East, Africa and Australasia and exports semifinished leather to China. CPEC offers immense opportunities for industry-led economic growth in Pakistan if we are able to take advantage of the emerging opportunities. Strong liaison and joint business ventures with Chinese enterprises will ensure a transfer of technology that shall help in the modernization and production of finished leather. For sustainability of local leather industries, it is vital to acquire and follow chemical production, dying, and tanning techniques from Chinese counterpart to meet the international environmental standards. However, international buyers of finished leather and leather goods require a higher degree of compliance with environmental regulations. Meeting environmental compliance standards has always been challenging for tanneries in developing countries. The waste from tanneries is in three forms: solid, liquid and gas. Liquid waste is the biggest challenge for tanneries as the amount produced per kilogram of hide is between 50 and 60 litres. Contaminants in the liquid waste must be treated by an effluent treatment plant before being discharged into water bodies. Millions of dollars have been directed at addressing this problem in tanneries; however it has resulted in a limited success. Other environmental concerns for the leather goods manufacturers are the chemicals and residues retained in the leather and managing the disposal of solid waste material. Failure to meet the environmental standards may constrain the industry from taking advantage of Pakistan’s GSP+Status for export to the EU market. The optimal utilization and usage of the effluent treatment plants in Korangi, Combined effluent treatment plant in Kasur and Cleaner Production Centre in Sialkot can resolve the environmental issues of the leather industry in Pakistan. CPEC framework can benefit the local leather industry through a flow of technology, financial assistance and business venture opportunities, however this requires vigilance planning and management policies and at both the local industrial as well as the government level, to

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overawed the root causes of export retention trend and enrich the market shares in the leather exporting community. https://pakobserver.net/export-retention-leather-sector-pakistan-opportunities-cpec/

Basmati rice stocks rally; KRBL up 8% on fund buying Kohinoor Foods, KRBL and LT Foods were up 8% to 15% on BSE in intra-day trade. SI Reporter | Mumbai Last Updated at February 14, 2018 10:48 IST

Shares of basmati rice producers rallied by up to 15% on the BSE on back of heavy volumes in otherwise subdued market after the Pabrai Investment Fund bought nearly three percentage point

34


stake in KRBL through open market purchases. Kohinoor Foods (up 15% at Rs 79.85), KRBL (8% at Rs 647) and LT Foods (8% at Rs 99.65) have rallied more than 7% on the BSE. On comparison, the S&P BSE Sensex was trading 0.1% higher at 34,336 at 10:20 am. On Monday, February 12, 2018, The Pabrai Investment Fund II LP and The Pabrai Investment Fund IV LP had bought combined 6.41 million equity shares representing 2.73% stake of KRBL for Rs 3.81 billion. The Pabrai Investment Fund II LP bought 2.4 million shares at Rs 594 and The Pabrai Investment Fund IV LP bought 4.02 million shares at Rs 594, the bulk deal data shows. Abdullah Ali Balsharaf and Omar Ali Obaid Balsaraf sold 3.25 million shares each at Rs 594 on the BSE. CLICK HERE FOR BULK DEAL DATA The stock of KRBL is trading close to its 52-week high of Rs 673 touched on December 21, 2017 on BSE in intra-day deal. It rallied 17% in past five trading sessions from Rs 551 on February 6, 2018.

Wholesale, retail prices of rice, palay rising By: Karl R. Ocampo- @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:00 AM February 14, 2018 Both wholesale and retail prices of rice continued to increase in the first week of February together with the prices of palay, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed. Distribution of low-priced rice to public markets has been constricted by the rice shortage on the part of the National Food Authority. Wholesale and retail prices of regular milled rice during the week were up 5.08 percent year-onyear to P36.39 a kg and P38.77 a kg, respectively. Wholesale prices were higher by 0.41 percent from previous week’s level.Retail prices, on the other hand, were up 4.47 percent from a year ago and by 0.39 percent from last week. Similarly, wholesale and retail prices for well-milled rice picked up during the week. Wholesale price was quoted at P39.75 a kg, while average retail price was at P42.95 a kg. Average wholesale price were up 0.33 percent from a week-ago level of P39.62 a kg and 3.68 percent from the previous year’s price of P38.34 a kg.

35


Retail prices rose 0.09 percent from the previous week’s level and 2.43 percent compared to last year’s price level of P41.58 a kg. Average farm gate price of unmilled rice also rose by 0.73 percent to P19.37 a kg. Compared to prices in the same period last year, this was higher by 6.84 percent. Prices of unmilled rice are expected to go down in Visayas and Mindanao as tropical storm “Basyang” continues to bring heavy rainfall in those areas. According to the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag), newly harvested palay that were not properly dried in Bukidnon and Guimaras were now being sold at P14 a kg due to the weather disturbance. https://business.inquirer.net/245957/wholesale-retail-prices-rice-palay-rising#ixzz57ApantJG

Pinol firm gov’t to control rice production, supply BY THE MANILA TIMES ON FEBRUARY 14, 2018LATEST STORIES, TODAY'S BREAKING NEWS AGRICULTURE Secretary Emmanuel Pinol on Wednesday reiterated that he would not allow the private sector to “control” rice production and supply here in the Philippines.“Hindi ko hahayaang ma-control ng private sector ang supply ng bigas” (I will not let the private sector control rice production here in the country), Pinol said in a press conference during the launch of the “Bigas para sa Masa” at the Department of Agriculture (DA). Rice is the staple food here in the country, therefore it is appropriate that the government manage it,” said Pinol.Pinol issued a similar statement last Sunday amid reports that private businessmen were behind the discrepancy in the rice stocks and the market price.

In a statement, Secretary Pinol also said that the DA would help the farmers sell their rice to the market. He added that the terms for loans between the department and the farmers would also be improved.The secretary said the country was currently 96 percent “sufficient,” in rice supply, debunking reports of a shortage. Secretary Pinol also said that the Philippines may continue to increase its rice sufficiency within the next 5 to 10 years but this may not be sustained because of the continuing population growth. ALEC NALDOhttp://www.manilatimes.net/pinol-firm-govt-control-rice-productionsupply/380166/

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Prime minister asks for cooperation to bring down costs for rice farmers Sok Chan / Khmer Times

A female rice farmer working in the field. KT/Chor Sokunthea The Cambodian prime minister called yesterday on the public, private and non-profit sectors to work together in bringing down the cost of growing rice to help struggling farmers throughout the country. Speaking at a graduation ceremony yesterday at Koh Pich Convention Center, Mr Hun Sen suggested government agencies, companies and development partners cooperate to reduce interest rates for farmers that take out loans, and make fertilizers and pesticides cheaper and more accessible. “Please try to find a way to lower down the production costs of farmers but make sure the quality of the rice remains the same,” Mr Hun Sen said. “Cambodian rice is famous all over the world.”

37


Taing Sokkhy, a local rice expert, told Khmer Times that to reduce costs and boost the competitiveness of their crops, farmers must change some basic elements of their farming approach. “They should use high quality seedlings,” he said. “Following current trends, they should also use less fertilizers.” Last year, rice exports increased by 17.3 percent, reaching 635,679 tonnes, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. http://www.khmertimeskh.com/50108462/prime-minister-asks-cooperation-bring-costs-ricefarmers/

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- February 15, 2018 FEBRUARY 15, 2018 / 2:05 PM

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices – APMC/Open Market-February 15, 2018 Nagpur, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Gram and Tuar showed weak tendency in Nagpur Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) on lack of demand from local millers. Easy condition on NCDEX, downward trend in Madhya Pradesh pulses and poor quality arrival also affected prices. About 200 bags of gram and 100 bags of tuar reported for auction in Nagpur APMC, according to sources. FOODGRAINS & PULSES GRAM * Desi gram raw moved down in open market on poor demand from local traders. TUAR * Tuar varieties ruled steady in open market here on subdued demand from local traders. * Wheat mill quality and wheat Lokwan moved down in open market here on lack of buying support from local traders. * In Akola, Tuar New – 4,200-4,400, Tuar dal (clean) – 6,500-6,700, Udid Mogar (clean) – 7,600-8,200, Moong Mogar (clean) 7,300-7,600, Gram – 3,500-3,700, Gram Super best – 5,400-5,800

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* Other varieties of wheat, rice and other foodgrain items moved in a narrow range in scattered deals and settled at last levels in thin trading activity. Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg FOODGRAINS

Available prices

Gram Auction

3,300-3,751

Gram Pink Auction

n.a.

Tuar Auction

3,300-3,900

2,100-2,600

4,100-4,280

Moong Auction

4,100-4,400

n.a.

Udid Auction

3,900-4,200

n.a.

Masoor Auction

Previous close

4,300-4,500

n.a.

2,600-2,800

Wheat Mill quality Auction

1,650-1,770

Gram Super Best Bold

5,500-6,000

Gram Super Best

n.a.

Gram Medium Best

5,500-6,000

n.a.

5,000-5,200

Gram Dal Medium

n.a.

Gram Mill Quality

3,900-4,000

Desi gram Raw

5,000-5,200

n.a 3,900-4,000

3,800-3,900

Gram Kabuli

1,650-1,750

3,850-3,950

12,500-13,100

Tuar Fataka Best-New

12,500-13,100

6,800-7,000

Tuar Fataka Medium-New

6,800-7,000

6,400-6,600

Tuar Dal Best Phod-New

6,400-6,600

6,000-6,400

Tuar Dal Medium phod-New Tuar Gavarani New

6,000-6,400

5,800-6,000

4,550-4,750

5,800-6,000

4,550-4,750

Tuar Karnataka

4,550-4,750

4,550-4,750

Masoor dal best

4,800-5,000

4,800-5,000

Masoor dal medium Masoor

4,500-4,700

n.a.

4,500-4,700

n.a.

Moong Mogar bold (New)

7,500-8,000

Moong Mogar Medium

6,500-7,000

Moong dal Chilka

5,800-6,800

7,500-8,000 6,500-7,000

5,800-6,800

Moong Mill quality

n.a.

n.a.

Moong Chamki best

7,400-8,000

7,400-8,000

Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 8,000-8,500

8,000-8,500

Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)

5,800-7,000

Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)

5,800-7,000

5,900-6,300

5,900-6,300

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Batri dal (100 INR/KG)

4,600-5,000

Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg)

2,400-2,500

Watana Dal (100 INR/KG)

2,400-2,500

3,100-3,200

Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG) Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG)

4,600-5,000

4,200-4,300

1,900-2,000

Wheat Mill quality (100 INR/KG) Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG)

3,100-3,200 4,200-4,300

1,900-2,000

1,750-1,850

1,775-1,900

2,150-2,350

Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG)

2,150-2,350

2,200-2,400

2,200-2,400

Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG) 1,950-2,100 Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG) MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG)

n.a.

Rice BPT best (100 INR/KG)

3,200-3,800

2,400-2,700

3,500-4,000

Rice BPT medium (100 INR/KG) Rice BPT new (100 INR/KG) Rice Luchai (100 INR/KG)

n.a.

3,200-3,800

MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)

2,500-2,700

Rice HMT best (100 INR/KG) Rice HMT medium (100 INR/KG)

3,000-3,200 3,300-3,500

2,500-2,700

2,600-2,800

Rice Swarna medium (100 INR/KG) Rice Swarna new (100 INR/KG)

2,400-2,700 3,500-4,000

3,000-3,200 3,300-3,500

Rice Swarna best (100 INR/KG)

2,000-2,200

2,400-2,500

2,400-2,500 4,500-4,800 3,900-4,300

2,600-2,800 2,400-2,500 2,400-2,500 4,500-4,800 3,900-4,300

Rice HMT new (100 INR/KG)

4,000-4,400

4,000-4,400

Rice Shriram best(100 INR/KG)

5,200-5,600

5,200-5,600

Rice Shriram med (100 INR/KG)

4,700-4,900

4,700-4,900

Rice Shriram new (100 INR/KG)

4,800-5,200

4,800-5,200

Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG)

9,500-14,000

9,500-13,500

Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG) 5,000-7,500 5,000-7,500 Rice Chinnor best 100 INR/KG) 6,100-6,300 6,100-6,300 Rice Chinnor medium (100 INR/KG) 5,500-5,700 5,500-5,700 Rice Chinnor new (100 INR/KG) 5,600-5,800 5,600-5,800 Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG) 2,000-2,200 2,000-2,100 Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG) 1,800-2,000 1,700-2,000 WEATHER (NAGPUR) Maximum temp. 27.0 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 11.0 degree Celsius Rainfall : Nil FORECAST: Clear sky. Maximum and minimum temperature would be around and 27 and 11 degree Celsius respectively. Note: n.a.--not available (For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, butincluded in market prices)

https://in.reuters.com/article/nagpur-foodgrain/nagpur-foodgrain-prices-open-february-15-2018idINL4N1Q52TU

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Iraq wheat, rice imports to depend on local harvest in 2018 minister 

Feb 14 (Reuters) - The amount of Iraq’s wheat and rice imports in 2018 will depend on the local harvest this season, the planning minister said on Wednesday. FEBRUARY 14, KUWAIT,

Salman al-Jumaili was speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Kuwait where donors have gathered to discuss efforts to rebuild post-war Iraq’s economy and infrastructure. https://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFD5N1N1013

Rice Prices as on : 15-02-2018 11:29:22 AM Arrivals in tonnes;prices in Rs/quintal in domestic market. Arrivals Current

Price % change

Season cumulative

Modal

Prev. Modal

Prev.Yr %change

Rice Durgapur(WB)

130.00

-1.52

3557.00

2550

2550

-4.49

Kasimbazar(WB)

75.00

NC

1084.50

2900

2880

21.85

Akbarpur(UP)

58.50

-24.52

1723.00

2175

2175

-0.46

41


Safdarganj(UP)

20.00

33.33

453.00

2150

2200

-

Mirzapur(UP)

9.00

-25

80.00

2130

2130

-

Robertsganj(UP)

6.50

-65.79

181.00

2190

2165

-

Muradabad(UP)

6.00

NC

114.00

2240

2280

-

Dibrugarh(ASM)

5.30

-40.45

200.30

2400

2400

6.67

Kalyanpur(Tri)

3.00

-14.29

32.50

2970

2980

6.07

Bonai(Bonai)(Ori)

2.50

NC

29.90

2500

2800

NC

Tundla(UP)

1.80

-25

38.60

2515

2510

-

Darjeeling(WB)

1.30

30

23.50

2950

2950

NC

Jagnair(UP)

1.00

NC

33.30

2500

2510

4.60

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/rice-prices/article22759044.ece

Price of Rice Unchanged Despite President Weah’s Intervention Monrovia - Rice prices remain the same despite President George Weah’s recent intervention and that rice importers have responded to his request to reduce the price of Liberia’s staple food.

Report by Al-Varney Rogers This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

President Weah said: “If government-imposed tax is an issue, you can rest assured that my government is more than ready to grant reasonable adjustments in the tax regime to make the reduction of rice price possible.”

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Many are now wondering whether the President’s statement is a mere bluff or just another political statement.Kebeh Mulbah, a mother of four, who purchase rice by cup (retail), said the price hasn’t changed from the day of the announcement. She stressed that dealers are still selling rice at the same prices. Those who are unable to buy 25kg bag of rice, daily purchase rice by cup to feed their family.Mulbah said she was filled with excitement when news broke that the President had reduced the country’s stable food. “We were happy when the President said the rice price will reduce but since that time, rice price is still the same,” Madam Mulbah said.“I don’t know why the business people are refusing to obey the President’s mandate, Liberian people like hard hand, if this were (Former President) Taylor, who had said it, the next day the price would have dropped to that price that he wants.” A shop owner Leroy Kollie said, from the day it was announced that the price of rice has reduced, he is constantly confronted with tons of questions from customers why the price of rice hasn’t change.“We sell base on how we buy; if the importers drop the rice price, we do not need any announcement we will drop the price of rice,” Kollie said.Kollie further stated that the President’s statement is not backed by action adding that the importers are still selling at the same rate.Kollie also claimed that continual increase in exchange rate is also responsible that the price of rice is still the same.

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“Most of our customers buy from in Liberian dollars and we buy from the importers in United States dollars,” Mulbah said. President Weah said rice importers have reduced the price of a 25kg bag by US$2 while the price of a 50kg bag is reduced by US$4.According to an Executive Mansion release, the purported reduction had come as a result of increased pressure on rice importers by President Weah, who believed it is intolerable for the price of the national staple, to continue to increase amidst the high cost of living in the country. A student of Economics, Darlington Johnson, said President Weah should have commissioned a study before announcing the reduction in the price of rice.“There President should have allowed his economic management team to do a study before pronouncing the reduction of price." "It is not just about asking people to reduce rice price, but the sustainability of the reduction. Rice and petroleum are the fastest selling commodities and the government depends on those commodities to generate millions to support its budget,” Johnson said. He further stated that the government should provide better incentive for the importers in order for the reduction to be effective.“So you need to look at all the indicators; the next thing is, what incentive is the government providing those business people to warrant the reduction, if the government forces the reduction we will experience artificial shortage, the government is under obligation to provide an enabling environment for businesses and also to protect the interest of the Liberian people,” Johnson added.During the meeting with rice importers, President Weah reiterated his determination to ensure that something was immediately done to reduce the price and make it affordable and available to averaged Liberians.At the end of the negotiations, officials of the Association of Liberian Rice Importers consented to effect a reduction of the price.The Association of Rice Importers headed by their Chairman John Bestman, agreed to reduce the price of the 25Kg bag of rice by US $2 while the price of 50kg bag of rice will be reduced by US $4 with immediate effect. President Weah had earlier proposed a reduction of US$3 but due to some constraints proffered by rice moguls, it was agreed that the US$3 reduction from the cost of a 25kg bag of rice would not be possible immediately, but that it could still be possible in the future once a few challenges facing the rice market were addressed and the modalities worked out. https://frontpageafricaonline.com/index.php/business/6923-price-of-rice-unchanged-despitepresident-weah-s-intervention

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Seed Certification Dept gets 16 proposals of hybrid rice

February 15, 2018 APP ISLAMABAD - National Coordinator on Rice Crop of Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) has presented the working papers of all the sixteen proposals of rice hybrids for the recommendation to the Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department. The proposals were presented in the meeting of the Variety Evaluation Committee on Rice, which was held here Wednesday in order to improve the rice seed business and promote the production of crop in the country. Presiding over the variety evaluation committee meeting, Member Plant Sciences Division, PARC Dr Muhammad Anjum Ali, emphasized the role of quality seed for the productivity and profitability of farmers and appreciated the role of seed companies for making efforts to improve the potential of rice hybrids in Pakistan. Members of Variety Evaluation Committee also

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appreciated the role of private seed companies for taking interest in rice research and development and working in close collaboration with public sector for enhancing the rice output in the country. Under the provision of Seed Rules 2016, the standard operating procedures for the management of National Uniform Yield Trials and related business were also presented in the meeting, besides the it also reviewed the standards for evaluation of rice hybrids for evaluating the hybrids varieties of rice for the coming crop. Representatives of seed companies appreciated the role of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council for devising a transparent procedure and setting the new bench marks for testing of rice hybrids in the country for the benefits of farmers as well as rice sector. Among others, the meeting was attended by technical members of the committee from National Agriculture Research System of the country including rice breeders, agronomists, entomologists, pathologists, seedexperts, policy-makers, private seed companies' representatives and provincial seed cooperation representatives. https://nation.com.pk/15-Feb-2018/seed-certification-dept-gets-16-proposals-of-hybrid-rice

Organic Rice Market Scope, Overview And Demand 2018 By Akshay Shetty On Feb 15, 2018

Global Organic Rice Market Research Report 2018 to 2023 tracks the major market events including product launches, technological developments, mergers & acquisitions, and the innovative business strategies opted by key market players. Along with strategically analyzing the key micro markets, the report also focuses on industry-specific drivers, restraints, opportunities and challenges in the Copper Strips market. This research report offers in-depth analysis of the market size (revenue), market share, major market segments, and different geographic regions, forecast for the next five years, key market players, and premium industry trends. It also focuses on the key drivers, restraints, opportunities and challenges.

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Leading companies: Doguets Rice, Randallorganic, Sanjeevani Organics, Kahang Organic Rice, RiceSelect, Texas Best Organics, CAPITAL RICE, YINCHUAN, URMATT, Vien Phu, SUNRISE foodstuff JSC, KHAOKHO TALAYPU, BEIDAHUANG, Yanbiangaoli, Jinjian, HUICHUN FILED RICE, Dingxiang, Heilongjiang Taifeng, Heilongjiang Julong This report segments the Global Organic Rice Market. On the basis of Type Polished glutinous rice(sticky rice), Indica(long-shaped rice), Polished round-grained rice. On the basis of application the Global Organic Rice Market is segmented into Direct edible, Deep processing. For comprehensive understanding of market dynamics, the Global Organic Rice Market is analyzed across key geographies Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, South America, Middle East & Africa. Each of these regions is analyzed on basis of market findings across major countries in these regions for a macro-level understanding of the market.

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Inquire for free sample copy at: https://www.marketinsightsreports.com/reports/10104817/global-nail-gun-market-researchreport-20112023/inquiry 15 Chapters are covered in this Report to deeply display the Global Organic Rice Market. Chapter 1, to describe Organic Rice Market Introduction, product scope, market overview, market opportunities, market risk, market driving force; Chapter 2, to analyse the top manufacturers of Organic Rice Market, with sales, revenue, and price of Organic Rice Market, in 2017 and 2018; Chapter 3, to display the competitive situation among the top manufacturers, with sales, revenue and market share in 2017 and 2018; Chapter 4, to show the Global market by regions, with sales, revenue and market share of Organic Rice Market, for each region, from 2014 to 2017; Chapter 5, 6, 7,8 and 9, to analyse the key regions, with sales, revenue and market share by key countries in these regions; Chapter 10and 11, to show the market by type and application, with sales market share and growth rate by type, application, from 2014 to 2018; Chapter 12, Organic Rice Market forecast, by regions, type and application, with sales and revenue, from 2018 to 2023; Chapter 13, 14 and 15, to describe Organic Rice Market sales channel, distributors, traders, dealers, Research Findings and Conclusion, appendix and data source. Available complete report of this research with TOC and List of Figures at: https://www.marketinsightsreports.com/reports/10104817/global-nail-gun-market-researchreport-20112023

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The vast market research data included in the study is the result of extensive primary and secondary research activities. Surveys, personal interviews, and inputs from industry experts from the crux of primary research activities and data collected from trade journals, industry databases, and reputable paid sources form the basis of secondary research. The report also includes a detailed qualitative and quantitative analysis of the market, with the help of information collected from market participants operating across key sectors of the market value chain. A separate analysis of macro- and microeconomic aspects, regulations, and trends influencing the overall development of the market is also included in the report. The market research provides a professional and in-depth study on the current state of the regional and Global, focusing on the capacity and production volumes, Producers, prices, import & export, market forecast and consumers, including the unbiased historical data and long-term forecasts. This report provides detailed analysis of worldwide markets for Global Organic Rice Market Research Report 2018 and provides extensive market forecasts 2018-2023 by region/country and subsectors. This report provides in-depth analysis of the Organic Rice Market and provides market size (US$ Million) and Cumulative Annual Growth Rate (CAGR (%)) for the forecast period: 2018 – 2023, considering 2017 as the base year. It elucidates potential revenue opportunity across different segments and explains attractive investment proposition matrix for this market. This study also provides key insights about market drivers, restraints, opportunities, new product launches, approvals, regional outlook, and competitive strategies adopted by the leading players. It profiles leading players in the Global Organic Rice Market based on the following parameters company overview, financial performance, product portfolio, geographical presence, distribution strategies, key developments and strategies and future plans Key companies covered as a part of this study include. Insights from this report would allow marketers and management authorities of companies to make informed decision with respect to their future product launches, market expansion, and marketing tactics. The Global Organic Rice Market report caters to various stakeholders in this industry, including investors, device manufacturers, distributors and suppliers for Organic Rice Market equipment, government organizations, research and consulting firms, new entrants, and financial analysts. Various strategy matrices used in analyzing the Organic Rice Market would provide stakeholders vital inputs to make strategic decisions accordingly. http://ratingsalerts.com/2018/02/15/organic-rice-market-scope-overview-and-demand-2018/

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Hike palay-buying price to P20/kg–Piñol By Jasper Y. Arcalas February 14, 2018 The government’s palay-buying price should go up to P20 per kilogram (kg) so the National Food Authority (NFA) could buy more local paddy to beef up its stockpile, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said on Wednesday. As traders could take advantage of the increase in the NFA’s support price, which has been in effect since April 2008, Piñol said the NFA Council (NFAC) must also institute measures that will prevent commercial rice prices from skyrocketing. “It will be good to increase the buying price of the NFA so they can compete against traders and buy local palay, instead of importing rice,” he told reporters in a news briefing in Quezon City on February 14. “But there should be a caveat because any increases in the NFA’s buying price would encourage traders to raise their price. While it’s true that farmers will benefit from higher palay-buying price, consumers will be affected. This should be considered,” Piñol added. The chief of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said the “ideal” NFA support price is P20 per kg, P3 higher than the current P17 per kg. At P20 per kg, he said the government could still sell rice at P36 to P38 per kg. Piñol also said the removal of the quantitative restriction (QR) on rice via the amendment of Republic Act (RA) 8178 will not guarantee that the staple would become cheaper.

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“One of the country’s economic managers said importing rice will effectively cut prices by P7 per kg. I question that. In fact, imported rice is being repacked by traders and sold as commercial rice,” he said. “Rice traders would become richer, but [more imports due to the lifting of the rice QR] would not benefit consumers,” Piñol added. Production shortfall Based on the computation of the DA, the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and the International Rice Research Institute (Irri), Piñol said the country’s rice production shortfall last year was around 400,000 metric tons (MT). He also said the Philippines achieved a 96-percent self-sufficiency rate (SSR) on rice in 2017 based on the computation of the DA, PhilRice and Irri. Piñol said the country’s paddy output of 19.3 million metric tons (MMT) last year was equivalent to around 13.1 MMT of milled rice at an average milling capacity rate of 65 percent. This, he added, was “above and beyond” the country’s annual estimated rice requirement of about 11.2 MMT. “But the government is not declaring rice self-sufficiency yet as there are factors to be considered. Part of the 19.3 MMT will have to be used for seeds, a certain percentage is considered waste, and there is also the government’s buffer stock, which is not included in computing the sufficiency rate,” Piñol said. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the government’s official statistical agency, will release a report on the country’s food self-sufficiency ratio for 2017 in October. The latest available PSA report indicated that the Philippines reached a 95-percent SSR on rice in 2016, after producing some 17.6 MMT of palay.

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“Even if we achieve rice sufficiency by 2020, we will not be able to sustain it for so long because of population growth. The best scenario would be about five to 10 years,” Piñol said. “The growth of our population will overtake rice production because our rice farms are already limited.” NFAC scrutiny D.A. Undersecretary for Operations Ariel T. Cayanan said the NFAC will scrutinize the NFA’s palay-procurement and rice-distribution schemes to determine the food agency’s impact on the country’s rice market. Cayanan added the NFAC approved a resolution ordering an audit of the NFA’s programs to ensure that there are no lapses in the strategies employed by the food agency to fulfill its mandate. “It is not a presumption of guilt or prosecutory. We are not assuming that [NFA] is doing something wrong,” Cayanan told reporters in an interview on February 14. “All the NFA’s programs will be evaluated. The government always presumes regularity.” Cayanan was invited by the NFAC as a resource person during its meeting on February 12. The DA is currently not part of the council, the highest policy-making body of the NFA. Under the resolution, the NFAC would find out how and where the NFA distributed governmentsubsidized rice sourced through imports and local palay procurement, according to Cayanan. Cayanan disclosed that it was Central Bank Deputy Governor for the Monetary Stability Sector Diwa C. Guinigundo who proposed the resolution on the audit of the NFA’s programs. “It is in a form of resolution that was actually seconded by the council. But no timeline was given as to when it will be undertaken.”

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Piñol commended the NFAC’s decision to audit the state-run agency, saying it is high time for the government to look into claims that the NFA favors some traders. NFA Administrator Jason L.Y. Aquino said he welcomes the NFAC initiative. “NFA management welcomes the audit to shed light on issues regarding our distribution. Distribution levels vary in each provinces and island-municipalities because they have different dailyconsumption requirement.” “Some are palay-procuring and some are not. Also, there are provinces that have high poverty incidence like NCR, thus requires higher distribution,” Aquino added. https://businessmirror.com.ph/hike-palay-buying-price-to-p20-kg-pinol/

VEC discusses improvement of rice seed business Staff Reporter Islamabad The meeting of Variety Evaluation Committee (VEC) on rice, Wednesday, held at Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), Islamabad. National Coordinator (Rice) of PARC presented the working paper for all the sixteen proposals of rice hybrids for recommendation to the Federal Seed Certification & Registration Department. The representatives of national and multinational seed companies attended the meeting. Presiding the variety evaluation committee meeting, Dr. Muhammad Anjum Ali, Member Plant Sciences Division, PARC emphasized the role of quality seed for the productivity and profitability of farmers and appreciated the role of seed companies for making efforts to improve the potential of rice hybrids in Pakistan. Afterwards under the provision of Seed Rules 2016, the standard operating procedures for the management of National Uniform Yield Trials and related business were presented along with the standards for evaluation of rice hybrids for evaluating the hybrids/varieties of rice for the coming crop. Representatives of seed companies appreciated the role of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council for devising a transparent procedure and setting the new bench marks for testing of rice hybrids in Pakistan for the benefits of farmers as well as rice sector in Pakistan. The VEC meeting on Rice, among others, was attended by technical members of the committee

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from National Agriculture Research System (NARS) of the country including Rice breeders, agronomists, entomologists, pathologists, seed experts, policy-makers, private seed companies’ representatives and provincial seed cooperation representatives. Members of VEC also appreciated the role of private seed companies for taking interest in rice research and development and working in close collaboration with public sector. https://pakobserver.net/vec-discusses-improvement-rice-seed-business/

DA rolls out ‘Bigas ng Masa’ affordable rice program By Catherine Teves, Philippine News Agency on February 14, 2018

FILE: To make it more accessible to more Filipinos, the DA said Bigas ng Masa outlets can be

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set up in the regions, where farmers’ cooperatives can directly sell the affordable rice to consumers. (Pixabay photo) MANILA — The Department of Agriculture (DA) set its “Bigas ng Masa” affordable rice program rolling on Wednesday, initially launching it in Quezon City and shortly farming it out to its regional offices nationwide. To make it more accessible to more Filipinos, the DA said Bigas ng Masa outlets can be set up in the regions, where farmers’ cooperatives can directly sell the affordable rice to consumers. “We’ll help market their rice,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said in a media briefing Wednesday. Aside from helping farmers earn, he said such marketing assistance under the Bigas ng Masa would eliminate price-raising layers of middlemen and other players crowding the supply chain, so consumers can buy rice that’s generally cheaper than what’s sold in the market. With Bigas ng Masa, DA said consumers can buy quality rice at PHP38 per kilogram. The DA assured looking into interventions that would further lower rice prices without draining the farmers’ income. Piñol expressed disappointment over reported increases in commercial prices of rice after reports that the National Food Authority has dwindling rice stocks. He said this should not be the case, as rice harvest in the country even increased last year, based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority. The DA and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) assured the country’s rice situation is under control, noting “there’s enough rice for everybody” for 92 days straight. (PNA)

Bengal traders cash in on slow paddy procurement February 14 2018 Khaira: A slow pace of procurement of paddy by 14 cooperative societies under Khaira block in Balasore added to the overflowing woes of farmers. The problem was allegedly due to an unholy nexus between civil supplies officials and rice millers. Scores of farmers are in a hurry to pay off loans which they took from societies and private money lenders. Impatient over the delay, they are compelled to sell their paddy to traders at throwaway prices. Now, most of the traders from West 55


Bengal have engaged their agents in the area and are purchasing paddy from farmers. Meanwhile, many registered farmers voiced their resentment over tardy pace of procurement and warned of agitation unless the government hastens the procurement. Reports said, only 42 per cent of paddy has been purchased in this block in the last three months. In the current season, 8288 farmers have registered themselves in 14 cooperative societies to sell off 2,93,652 quintals of paddy in Khaira block. Six rice mills including Ma Tarini, Agro Syndicate, Sutar Rice Milla, Jagannath , Ramchandi and Unidip have been roped in for procurement. Paddy procurement was started from the first week of December, but at many place millers cited dust and stone granules mixed in paddy. They started reducing some quantities of paddy per quintal on such grounds. Farmers in Antara Mirzapur had expressed their resentment over the issue. Farmers alleged that the civil supplies department has directed the societies to procure paddy in small quantities. By February 10, the societies have procured only 1,25,627 quintals. It was learnt that the procurement at Antara, Manitri, Kurunata, Osanga, Gagandhuli, Gadapokhari and Mirazapur cooperative societies are quite discouraging. Now, traders from neighbouring West Bengal are cashing in on the slow procurement and buy paddy for Rs 12,00 per quintal. Keshab Nayak, a farmer of Mirzapur, alleged that West Bengal traders have been at work in the area at the tacit instruction of the officials responsible for procurement. Nakula Sahu of Garsang village said that millers are monopolizing the procurement, leading to such a mess. Karunakar Biswal, a farmer from Jhinkiria village alleged that the millers and West Bengal traders have joined hands to scuttle quick paddy procurement. District civil supplies officer Jayshankar Manipatra said that the quantum of paddy is procured according to the security deposits being made by millers. PNN https://www.orissapost.com/bengal-traders-cash-in-on-slow-paddy-procurement/

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15th february 2018 daily global regional local rice e newsletter  

Daily Global Rice e-Newsletter is a news gathering service related to Rice stake holders. It is designed to help you keep up to date with...

15th february 2018 daily global regional local rice e newsletter  

Daily Global Rice e-Newsletter is a news gathering service related to Rice stake holders. It is designed to help you keep up to date with...

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