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December 06 ,2018 Vol 9 ,Issue 12

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USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue Names New NRCS Chief By Frank Leach WASHINGTON, DC -- Monday, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the appointment of Matthew Lohr to serve as Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Lohr comes to NRCS with an agriculture background, having served as the Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture from 2010 to 2013 and later working at Farm Credit of the Virginias. He currently owns and operates Valley Pike Farm in Broadway, Virginia, which includes poultry, beef cattle, row crops, and sweet corn. "USA Rice looks forward to working with Mr. Lohr in his new role as Chief of the NRCS," said USA Rice Farmers Conservation Committee Chairman Leo LaGrande, a California rice farmer. "USA Rice has developed a strong relationship with NRCS over the past several years, and we look forward to educating Mr. Lohr on the innovative practices that rice farmers utilize to conserve natural resources on their farms." USA Rice Daily

In a study that can help farmers, Indian scientist helps crops grow safely in arsenic soil PTI 5 December, 2018 File image of a barley crop | pixnio

An Indian scientist in UK has conducted a pilot study growing Barley in arsenic contaminated soil and is now looking at doing it in rice plants. London: An Indian scientist in the UK is working on a way to grow crops in arsenic contaminated soil, a study which is likely to have wide ranging impact for farmers in northeastern India.

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Dr Mohan TC, from Dr Alex Jones Laboratory at the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick, conducted a pilot study in transgenic Barley and is now looking at doing it in rice plants following funding from the Medical and Life Sciences Research Fund (MLSRF), UK. The university made the announcement on Wednesday, to mark World Soil Day on December 5. ―To stop the cancer-causing arsenic entry into the food chain, it is essential to develop safe crops, through restricting the translocation of arsenic to edible part,‖ he said. ―In our current project, we are trying to manipulate cytokinin hormone in rice plants through genetic engineering and we expect to increase the roots detoxification capacity of the transgenic rice,‖ he said. Warwick University said that arsenic in soil is a worldwide problem. The chemical is carcinogenic and is naturally found in water supplies and soil, particularly in parts of North-east India and Bangladesh.

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Arsenate is the most abundant form of arsenic and is structurally similar to phosphate. Therefore, it is easily incorporated in to plant cells through phosphate uptake pathway the process of the roots absorbing nutrients. However, when a plant absorbs arsenic it can translocate it up to the edible part of the plant ultimately arsenic enters food chain. Plants have an inherent capacity to cope with arsenic stress by producing metal-chelating peptides called phyochelatins (PCs). PCs detoxify the arsenic and restrict the movement of arsenic in the roots, which in turn helps to reduce the root-to-shoot translocation of arsenic. Phyochelatins are therefore essential in trapping the arsenic absorbed by the plant in the roots. Scientists at the University of Warwick wanted to make plants with more phytochelatins in the roots, to stop any of the arsenic escaping and travelling up the shoot to the edible part of the plant. The university said this is being done by making transgenic plants with reduced cytokinin hormone in the roots, which means phytochelatin is boosted and can detoxify and hold more arsenic in the root. – PTI ThePrint’s YouTube channel is now active and buzzing. Please subscribe here.

The Hindi news channel editor who ‘thrives on provoking’ Hindu, Muslim sentiments AMRITA NAYAK DUTTA 5 December, 2018

Suresh Chavhanke | Facebook In a widely shared tweet, Suresh Chavhanke of Sudarshan News tried to link the Bulandshahr violence with a Muslim congregation 40 km away.

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New Delhi: Provocative assertions are nothing new for journalist Suresh Chavhanke, who sought to connect Monday‘s violence in Bulandshahr with a Muslim congregation that took place 40 km away, in a tweet liked by over 3,100 people and retweeted by 1,300. ―In the unrest in Bulandshahr Ijtema, children are stuck in schools and crying, people are in the forest, they have shut the doors of their homes – locals say in conversation with Sudarshan,‖ is the rough translation of what Chavhanke, the editor-in-chief of the ―nationalist‖ Hindi channel Sudarshan News, had written in the tweet. The violence in Bulandshahr was triggered by allegations of illegal cow slaughter, and led to the death of two people, including a police inspector. The congregation in question is the ‗Tablighi Istema‘ — a three-day Muslim gathering. The Uttar Pradesh Police, which made four arrests Tuesday and suspects a local Bajrang Dal leader to be the prime instigator of the violence, was quick to refute Chavhanke‘s tweet.

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But the timing of Chavhanke‘s tweet lent a sinister spin to the episode with its potential to aggravate a delicate situation already fraught with communal connotations. This was, however, hardly new for his 175,000 Twitter followers. Chavhanke is the same person who made headlines last year with a job advertisement for Sudarshan News that said Muslims can‘t apply for the positions. And a casual walk through his timeline is enough to prove Chavhanke is a serial provocateur.

Meet Chavhanke Chavhanke, 46, claims to have been with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) since the age of three and has worked with the pro-RSS newspaper Tarun Bharat. He is accused of delivering communally charged hate speeches, tweets and programmes, but he vociferously defends them. ―Why is it wrong to practise journalism with an ideology?‖ Chavhanke said, in conversation with ThePrint. ―If it is, then I am wrong, and so were Lokmanya Tilak, Bhagat Singh and the others. ―Had it been so wrong, I would not have been able to run a channel for 14 years,‖ he added. His speeches and tweets teem with popular causes espoused by the proponents of ―Hindutva‖ — the ideology he claims is the driving force of his journalism.

A fixed pattern At a time when fake news has become a global worry, the fear of law doesn‘t deter Chavhanke from broadcasting misleading information. In fact, much of it follows a fixed pattern, often coming amid situations of communal tensions.

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Sample this: In July this year, he put out this piece of ―news‖ through a tweet: [Translation] ―All we were afraid of has started. A mosque has issued a decree to cut UP police into pieces.‖ The tweet included a link to an accompanying report on the Sudarshan News website (ThePrint tried to access the article but the link was broken). Soon afterwards, police in Baghpat, where it was alleged that the mosque was located, issued a clarification, saying the threat had been issued by the father of a youth found dead in a local sewer. But that did not push Chavhanke to either retract the article or issue an apology. Chavhanke, however, defended his tweets. ―When did police start deciding what is right or what is wrong?‖ he asked. ―If we continue to depend on what the police says, why are courts there? Is this the first time police have denied a story? ―In case of the Bulandshahr incident, we were speaking to residents who were indeed saying they were stuck in schools. Why is it wrong to show that live?‖ he asked. Chavhanke, however, didn‘t say why he linked the Islamic congregation to Monday‘s mob violence. As for the Baghpat incident, he claimed to have ―substantial proof‖ to support the report. In April last year, Chavhanke was arrested for stoking communal passions in Sambhal, UP, through multiple programmes at a time when the area was already tense for over two weeks. He was booked under Sections 153 A(1), 295A and 505(1)B of the Indian Penal Code, which deal with promoting hatred on religious grounds, committing an offence against the State, and deliberately outraging religious feelings of a certain group, and under Section 16 of the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, 1955, for the programmes Sambhal ko Kashmir Banane ki Saazish (The conspiracy to convert Sambhal to Kashmir), Sambhal ka Raavan Raj (Ravan rule in Sambhal), and Hari Mandir ka sach Jama Masjid ka jhooth (The truth of Hari Mandir, the lie of Jama Masjid), among others.

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He was released on bail, and his attacks continued. Earlier this year, when the rape and murder of an eight-year-old Bakherwal girl in Kathua deepened the communal fault lines in Jammu, he flagged off a ‗Bharat Bachao Rath yatra‘ from the heart of the city and made a speech targeting the Muslim community. Addressing a big crowd gathered under the banner of a fringe Hindu group called Rashtra Nirman Sangathan, he sought to explain the importance of a jansankhya niyantran kanoon or a law for population control. ―It is important to control population, but it‘s crucial to control the imbalance in population,‖ he had said. ―The imbalance is that despite giving out Pakistan on the basis of religion, the increase of mini Pakistans in India is imbalance and should be stopped.‖ The statement elicited applause and chants of ―Bharat Mata ki Jai‖. ―We must not be worried if there are two or three riots anywhere in the country, since it is important to save the country,‖ he had added, challenging the then Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti to stop him if she could. Talking to ThePrint, Chavhanke said his speech in Jammu was a retaliation to Jammu & Kashmir deputy grand mufti Nasir-ul-Islam‘s statement that Muslims in India should demand a separate country and that India was ―illegally occupying‖ Kashmir. Chavhanke said he was an activist and there was nothing wrong if he ―fights for a cause‖. ―If any political or social group is not taking up the subject, why is it unconstitutional if I take it up?‖ he added. Talking about his call for a population control law, he added, ―In fact, many Muslims are also part of this movement.‖

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In a programme aired 11 May, his channel referred to locals of Delhi‘s Bawana area as Rohingya and Bangladeshis, following which the Delhi Minorities Commission issued notice to the channel. Bawana has a significant Muslim population. Chavhanke has been at the centre of other controversies too, having been booked for the alleged rape of a former colleague in November 2016 in Noida. However, the case fell because police could not substantiate the charges against him. Chavhanke, however, remains unfazed. ―If speaking the truth is bias, then I‘m biased,‖ he said https://theprint.in/governance/in-a-study-that-can-help-farmers-indian-scientist-helps-cropsgrow-safely-in-arsenic-soil/159000/

Dry dog food brands recalled for potentially toxic levels of Vitamin D ByNicholas Sakelaris

Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Several brands of dry dog food are being recalled after FDA scientists found elevated levels of Vitamin D, which can cause serious health problems in dogs.

The recall effects Ahold Delhaize, ELM Pet Foods, Kroger, Lidl (Orlando brand), ANF, Sunshine Mills and Natural Life Pet Products. That's in addition to the Nutrisca recall last month for the same reason.

The recalled foods were found to have as much as 70 times the intended amount of Vitamin D, which can be toxic at that level. Symptoms to look out for include vomiting, loss of appetite, increased urination, increased thirst, drooling and weight loss. At toxic levels, Vitamin D can cause kidney failure and death.

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Pet owners are encouraged to discard any recalled dog food immediately or return it to the store.

Here's a list of the affected dog foods:

Nutrisca: Chicken and Chickpea Dry Dog in the 4, 15 and 28 pound bags

Natural Life Pet Products: Chicken & Potato Dry Dog Food in the 17.5 pound bag

Sunshine Mills: Evolve Chicken & Rice Puppy Dry Dog Food in the 14 and 28 pound bags

Sunshine Mills: Sportsman Pride Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food in the 40 pound bag

Triumph Chicken & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food in the 3.5, 16 and 30 pound bags

ANF Inc.: ANF Lamb and Rice Dry Dog Food in the 3 and 7.5 kilogram bag

Lidl (Orlando brand): Orlando Grain-Free Chicken & Chickpea Superfood Recipe Dog Food Kroger: Abound Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe Dog Food in the 4, 14 and 24 pound bags ELM Pet Foods, Inc.: ELM Chicken and Chickpea Recipe in the 3 and 28 pound bags ELM Pet Foods, Inc.: ELM K9 Naturals Chicken Recipe in the 40 pound bag Ahold Delhaize: Nature's Promise Chicken & Brown Rice Dog food in the 4, 14 and 28 pound bags

Ahold Delhaize: Nature's Place Real Country Chicken and Brown Rice Dog Food in the 5 and 15 pound bags https://www.upi.com/Dry-dog-food-brands-recalled-for-potentially-toxic-levels-of-VitaminD/2331543937446/

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Education may be key ingredient in CRISPR technology adoption Researchers are making new discoveries involving the CRISPR and Cas9 gene editing techniques in the medical and agriculture fields. Forrest Laws | Dec 05, 2018 Will consumers accept the CRISPR Cas9 gene editing technology and the wealth of new products and cropping innovations it promises to usher in in coming years? That‘s the $64 billion or so question as institutions like Texas A&M University gear up to make use of Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats or CRISPR and the CRISPRassociated protein 9 (Cas9). And it‘s one being asked by scientists such as Dr. Michael Thomson, professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M and a presenter for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Food and Agribusiness Webinar Series. Thomson says researchers are making new discoveries involving the CRISPR and Cas9 gene editing techniques in the medical and agriculture fields. Federal agencies including USDA and the Food and Drug Administration are also issuing new guidance and clarifying the regulatory climate for the technology. ―But it is consumer acceptance that will ultimately decide if it is worthwhilemoving forward with this new technology,‖ he said during his presentation on ―New technologies for rice breeding with a focus on CRISPR gene editing.‖ (To view the presentation, click on https://youtu.be/6IQTKu42Los.)

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Educating the public ―Part of it is also educating the public on the difference between a transgenic or GM crop and a CRISPR Cas9 product that — if done properly — is non-transgenic.‖ What has become CRISPR technology was first described in a paper in 1987. The potential for gene editing with CRISPR Cas9 was unveiled in a landmark paper by Dr. Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, and Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier of France in 2012. Since then scientists have been working to refine the techniques and negotiating licensing agreements for the technology in medical, agricultural and other fields. New entities have sprung up to commercialize the innovations. Texas A&M AgriLife Research has set up a new Crop Genome Editing Lab for CRISPR-based genome editing in crops, including rice, wheat, potatoes, cotton, sorghum, melon and turfgrass, according to Thomson. The CGEL lab will provide research, service and training functions to ―optimize protocols, set up a high throughput gene editing pipeline and enable development of gene-edited products,‖ Thomson said in the webinar presentation. ―We started with 15 internal seed grant projects across a number of different crops,‖ he noted. ―Essentially, rice is our model for testing new approaches. It‘s quite efficient in genome editing, and it‘s quite useful for exploring some of the ways that we can work on the crop, while making sure that it is non-transgenic.‖ Texas A&M recently awarded the lab an ―X grant‖ to investigate ―CRISPR gene editing for healthier foods and improved crop resilience. Thus, we do have support both from Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the university to pursue this field for using gene editing for crop improvement.‖

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Thomson said Texas A&M researchers have put together several core facilities, including a Genomics and Bioinformatics Service Lab. ―It uses next generation sequencing, and that information feeds into the crop genome editing lab to design the constructs and the guide RNAs. We have a multi-crop transformation facility, as well. It‘s working to optimize plant tissue culture across species and genotypes for each of the major crops. ―Thus, we have two types of projects, the seed grants, which are practical applications, and the X grant is really working on some of the future projects to make sure we have efficient delivery systems, not only to do knock outs but also insertions and allele replacements. What we're hoping then is to optimize a high-throughput pipeline for plant breeding in the future.‖In the last 20 years, rice researchers have used gene mapping to compile banks of information on beneficial alleles that can provide improvements in rice yields, stress tolerance and the nutrition improvement needed to move forward. (An allele is one of two or more forms of a gene that arise by mutation and are found at the same place on a chromosome.)The mapping is providing a wealth of genes for allele mining and knowledge on genes that can have a major effect in rice. ―In some cases, we could just continue to use marker-assisted selection, but, in others, it‘s more precise and more powerful to use gene editing to make those modifications, not just in single genes but actually in multiplex editing as well.‖ Last March, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue issued a statement that USDA does not currently regulate or have plans to regulate plans that could otherwise have been developed through traditional breeding techniques as long as they are developed without the use of a plant pest as the donor or vector and they are not themselves plant pests. The USDA statement, coupled with similar guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is expected to help companies bring new products to market without the regulatory hurdles that have added years to the approval of transgenic products. https://www.deltafarmpress.com/biotechnology/education-may-be-key-ingredient-crispr-technologyadoption

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Scuba and Sea Rice: Sowing the Seeds for Greater Food Security in Asia 5 DECEMBER 2018 Madeleine Lovelle, Research Analyst, Global Food and Water Crises Research

Background With traditional varieties of rice unable to withstand days of being submerged under flood waters, there is often a high risk of total crop loss for rice grown in rainfed and flood-affected areas. Serious flooding is usually created by heavy rainfall, overflow from nearby rivers and canals, and, in coastal areas, sometimes by tidal movements. Water is often prevented from draining in rice-growing regions due to the topography of the land. Flooding causes an annual paddy loss of 3.6 million tonnes; enough to feed 30 million people. Such events affect not only farmers whose livelihoods depend on the production of the crop, but also pose a wider threat to food supplies throughout Asia. Comment For decades, scientists have been working towards the development of so-called ―scuba rice‖; designed to withstand periods of flooding for up to two weeks. It is now being grown by farmers in India, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Indonesia. The average yield of most varieties of scuba rice is around 4 to 5.8 tonnes per hectare. According to scientists at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), scuba rice will still yield 2.7 to 3.6 tonnes after it has been submerged in flood waters for two weeks. In China, farmers in the Shandong province along the northern coast, are successfully growing ―sea rice‖, a variety of rice that is able to withstand high levels of alkalinity. The success of the sea rice means that farmers may be able to grow sufficient rice on saline-alkaline soil to feed an additional 80 million people. With China‘s population expected to reach 1.45 billion by 2030, growth of the sea rice crop is an important development. According to the IRRI, about 20 million hectares of Asian rice paddies are prone to flooding. Most of the world‘s rice is grown within this region and some estimates suggest that more than half the world‘s population rely on rice as a staple food. With Asia‘s population expected to grow from 4.4 billion in 2018, to 5.2 billion people by 2050, their consumption is expected to reach about 90 per cent of annual global rice production. The development of scuba rice and sea rice is expected to help satisfy this demand and benefit farmers tending to 20 million hectares of rice paddies throughout Asia. While the scuba and sea rice varieties offer the prospect of increased food security and a higher income for farmers throughout Asia, there are a handful of limitations to the crops. Firstly, stable rice harvesting may mean that farmers experience a higher income in the short term. These economic benefits may be short lived, however, as supply increases and the local and international market prices for rice decrease. While it may be detrimental for farmers, the increased supply is likely to increase affordability for millions of the world‘s poorest people.

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The growth of scuba and sea rice must also be carefully managed, to ensure that global rice production does not become overly dependent on these varieties. The climate adaptive rice varieties offer security against flooding, but farmers and food supply chains may become vulnerable if disease were to wipe out a whole season‘s crop. It is important that farmers throughout Asia do not abandon the traditional varieties of rice altogether. At a time when the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly obvious, Asia is at a significant risk of further hunger and famine. Further development of climate adaptive rice varieties is a positive step towards long-term future food security throughout the region. Any opinions or views expressed in this paper are those of the individual author, unless stated to be those of Future Directions International.

Published by Future Directions International Pty Ltd. Suite 5, 202 Hampden Road, Nedlands WA 6009, Australia. Tel:+61 8 6389 0211 Web: www.futuredirections.org.au http://www.futuredirections.org.au/publication/scuba-and-sea-rice-sowing-the-seeds-for-greater-foodsecurity-in-asia/

Rice is a major source of arsenic exposure Findings add to growing concerns about health risks and diet. Natalie Parletta reports. Rice absorbs arsenic present in water, raising serious health concerns. DAJ/GETTY IMAGES Researchers have verified that rice – grown and cooked in water – is a key food source of inorganic arsenic Long-term oral exposure to inorganic arsenic is a confirmed serious health risk. And the likelihood of exposure to arsenic in this toxic form through contaminated water is well established. Kan Shao from Indiana University Bloomington, in the US, says he and colleagues have recently conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of published papers, and concluded that ―rice consumption is a major arsenic exposure pathway in populations with relatively high rice intake‖.

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His collaborator, Zheng Zhou, recently presented the study‘s findings at the Society for Risk Analysis Conference in New Orleans, US. A full paper is currently being finalised. ―Scientists suggest that bioaccessibility of arsenic from drinking water is 100%,‖ Shao says. However, he explains, arsenic in rice can bind to other chemicals or proteins and undergoes digestion by the body, so it‘s not all necessarily ready to be absorbed. ―That‘s why it‘s important to understand the bioaccessibility for arsenic in rice,‖ he adds, ―so we can better understand the amount that people are being exposed to.‖ Bioaccessible arsenic is the form which can be absorbed following digestion, while the term ―bioavailability‖ refers to the absorption process from the digestive tract to the circulation. In 2016, the Food and Drug Administration in the US published a risk assessment report for inorganic arsenic in rice, estimating the bioaccessibility as between 70% and 90%. Shao and Zhou set out to improve the assessment statistically by pooling all available data and applying a ―beta distribution‖

The physics of fried rice

―That provides a better probabilistic estimate of the overall bioaccessibility,‖ explains Zhou. With the analysis they found that the median bioaccessibility of inorganic arsenic from rice was 90.4% – higher than the FDA‘s estimate – with a range from 72.2% to 98.4%. Major reasons for the variation, say the researchers, include differences in the type of rice, growing conditions and individual digestive processes. For instance, in the US, long grain rice contains higher levels of arsenic than short grain. Brown rice contains the highest levels because arsenic becomes concentrated in the outer layer of the grain. Whether bioaccessibility is higher is not clear. Digestive processes include individual differences in people‘s background diet and gut microbiome, says Zhou. But this is not yet well understood, and he thinks it is an important avenue for further research. Another variation could arise from pre-rinsing rice. Research suggests that cooking rice does not decrease arsenic levels. However, pre-washing white, although not brown, rice can lower the arsenic concentration by 17% to 29%.

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Arsenic levels are also determined by the degree of local contamination. The element is naturally present in the Earth‘s crust, and distributed through air, water and land. Many countries have high levels of inorganic arsenic naturally present in their groundwater, including China, India, the US, and several South American nations. Given that India and China are two of the world‘s major rice exporters, arsenic exposure poses a global health issue, particularly for cultures that consume rice daily as a staple food. Human activities increase arsenic levels, including several industrial processes. Pesticides, feed additives, tobacco and pharmaceutical products can also contain arsenic. Rice products, such as crackers, baby cereal and milk, contain inorganic arsenic. In the UK and US, arsenic levels in rice milk were found to exceed that of water drinking standards. Inorganic arsenic has been associated with lung and bladder cancer, skin lesions, diabetes, heart disease and impaired cognitive development. Despite this, changing people‘s behaviour poses a challenge. Shao readily admits to enjoying rice regularly – but not the long grain version. https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/rice-is-a-major-source-of-arsenic-exposure

Millers okay rice, mealie meal and flour price hikes Tafadzwa Musarara

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4th December 2018 Business, Markets

By Alois Vinga THE Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has given the green light to local traders to hike mealie-meal, flour and rice prices within cost structures that are affordable to the general public. A price list released by the association‘s technical and committee on finance and costing says that 5 kgs of mealie meal can now be sold at a retail price of $3.85 while 10 kgs will now be sold at $7.16 with 20 kgs of the same product being sold at $13.96. Similarly, 2 kgs of rice will now be sold at $7.49. In light of serious cost pressures being experienced in flour production arising from non-wheat expenditures, the price of bread flours has also been increased from $36.50 per 50 kgs to $39.65 which translates to an increase of 3 cents per loaf of bread.

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―In an attempt to maximize consumer purchase value this festive season, GMAZ at its meeting of Tuesday 27 November 2018, received, accepted and endorsed a report from its Technical Committee on Finance and Costing. Indeed with effect from December 1 2018, maximum prices of our staple products are hereby recommended as above,‖ said GMAZ chair, Tafadzwa Musarara in a statement. The association said that the motive behind the price hikes was to protect innocent consumers who have been affected by the speculative pricing pattern currently affecting the market. GMAZ is the apex representative body of the milling industry. The announcement comes a month after the association has blocked attempts by the sector to hike prices on the basis that packaging materials had risen by over 500 percent. They also made attempts to sell their products in foreign currency as they cited that manufacturers of packaging material were demanding payment in United States dollars. https://www.newzimbabwe.com/millers-okay-rice-mealie-meal-and-flour-price-hikes/

Farmer-Miller Dispute Mars Paddy Procurement In Odisha Edited By Bikram Keshari Jena | By Soumyajit Ghose Last updated Dec 5, 2018 - 23:51:17 Malkangiri/Bargarh/Sambalpur: Farmers in various districts of Odisha are a worried lot with rice millers in various districts demanding cuts/concessions for procuring paddy. Farmers across Malkangiri, Sambalpur and Bargarh districts are now in a tiff with the rice millers over such demands. According to sources, the farmers of Sambalpur have alleged that rice millers of Baraipali mandi are seeking concession of around 7-8 kilograms of rice per quintal citing moisture in the paddy. They even complained that rice millers are not paying requisite reimbursement for transporting the paddy from the mandis to the rice mills.

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Similarly, the farmers in Bargarh have complained of being harassed during procurement process. The farmers in Gudesira market yard in the district have alleged that rice millers are demanding similar concessions on the actual weight of the paddy. ―The millers are reducing 7-8 kilograms of rice per quintal citing moisture as reason. They are using a grader machine to cut the amount of rice,‖ said Sambalpur farmer, Bhairabh Pradhan.

―The rice is being unloaded here but there are no millers or officials of the administration to help us in procurement,‖ said Bargarh farmer Mahendra Das. ―The millers said that they will give receipts for 28 quintals while receiving 30 quintals of paddy. We feel it as exploitation and have denied supplying paddy,‖ Trinath Bishoi, a Malkangiri farmer said. Assistant Supplies Officer of Sambalpur, Dillip Kuamar Nayak said ―There were about 80-90 vehicles loaded with paddy for procurement, but there was some dispute between the millers and farmers. We have arranged for a negotiation between them.‖ Srikar Majhi, District Supplies Officer, Bargarh said ―We are expecting that the paddy lying in the mandi will be lifted by the millers within the next 3-4 days.‖ Kalucharan Pradhan, MD of Korukonda LAMPS (large area multi-purpose cooperative societies) said ―We have assured the farmers that their paddy will be sold without any reductions. I have assured them that they will be granted fair price at the government mandis.‖ https://odishatv.in/odisha/farmer-miller-dispute-mars-paddy-procurement-in-odisha-337934

Rice exporters call for planning, coordination Sok Chan / Khmer Times :

Cambodia is currently allowed to export 300,000 tonnes of rice to the Chinese market. KT/Chor Sokunthea

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Local rice exporters yesterday call for better planning and communication between all industry actors to meet China‘s import quota. Song Saran, CEO of rice exporter Amru Rice, said Cambodia will likely fail to export all 300,000 tonnes of rice allowed by China due, among other issues, to a lack of coordination among relevant local actors. He said monthly meetings must be convened among relevant government agencies, members and representatives of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) and local firms to ensure that Cambodia is able to fulfill the 300,000 tonnes quota that China has in place for Cambodian rice. Mr Saran also called for the establishment of a working group to organise and supervise the proposed meetings. ―Some rice exporters and rice millers have rice to process and export, but they are not allowed to ship to China, while others can export, but have no rice. ―This is a big issue and may make it difficult to meet the quota in 2018 and 2019,‖ Mr Saran said. Last year, China increased its import quota for Cambodian rice to 300,000 tonnes, from 200,000 tonnes in 2017 and 100,000 tonnes in 2016. During the first nine months of the year, Cambodia exported 96,714 tonnes of rice to the East Asian nation, according to the Secretariat of One Window Service for Rice Export. ―My request is that all related parties wake up and get to work. We need to focus and coordinate to make sure we ship the 300,000 tonnes that we are allowed,‖ Mr Saran said. ―We hope to create a forum where government, CRF officials, and key rice millers and exporters can come together to find a solution,‖ he said. Given that Cambodia has only two rice growing seasons, China should plan its orders more carefully and notify Cambodian exporters of its plans, Mr Saran added. ―Without proper planning, it is difficult to supply them when they need our rice. Rice is not harvested every month. We only have two seasons, so we need better planning,‖ he said. Only 26 Cambodian firms are allowed to ship to China, after having passed the first round of inspections conducted by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China (AQSIQ), according to Srey Vuthy, secretary-general at Cambodia‘s Ministry of Agriculture. However, China has changed the process of inspection for rice importation, which has delayed the export process for the 40 local companies that are still waiting to be given the green light by Beijing to begin exporting.

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The list with the name of the 40 potential exporters was sent to Beijing last year, and if the Chinese government does not review it soon, it will reflect badly on the Cambodian rice industry, Mr Vuthy said. ―It will also mean that only the 26 companies so far included in the exporters‘ list can ship to China,‖ Mr Vuthy said. ―This is not enough to meet the quota. We are waiting on China to review the list, but so far we haven‘t heard from them,‖ he said, explaining that if China does not react quickly, the rice will go to other countries, particularly Thailand and Vietnam. Chan Sokheang, chairman and CEO of Signatures of Asia, told Khmer Times that Cambodia did not meet the Chinese quota last year because local rice back then was more expensive than Thailand‘s. Last year, the price of Thai rice dropped to $780, while Cambodian rice sold for $850-$920 per ton. ―This made it hard to compete with Thailand to export rice to China,‖ he said. Mr Sokheang was of the same mind than Mr Saran regarding the need for better coordination in the sector. ―We should have a meeting to discuss the quota issue. We have to be more organised,‖ Mr Sokheang said. From January to September, Cambodia exported over 389,000 tonnes of rice to more than 60 countries, which represents a decrease of 8.4 percent compared to the same period last year. China continues to be the top buyer, followed by France and Poland. https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50556102/rice-exporters-call-for-planning-coordination/

Economic managers vow more measures to ensure food security December 5, 2018

By Joann Villanueva – PNA MANILA — Economic managers on Wednesday cited the deceleration of domestic inflation last November and committed to implement more measures that would guarantee food security to help manage inflation.

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In a statement issued after the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported the decline of inflation rate last November to 6 percent, the slowest since last July‘s 5.7 percent, economic managers said the latest development suggests ―the efficacy of anti-inflationary measures taken by the government‖ and points ―to continuing reduction going forward.‖ The anti-inflationary measures referred to in the statement include the directive for the National Food Authority (NFA) to immediately release rice stocks from its warehouses nationwide and for other agencies to ensure that rice imports are safely delivered from ports to warehouses and the markets. This, as rice inflation, among others, registered big upticks in the past months due to supply constraints. These non-monetary measures were made alongside the total of 175 basis points increase in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) key policy rates this year alone. The economic managers said, ―it is comforting for us that the slowdown will alleviate the struggles of poor Filipinos, especially now that the holiday season is just around the corner.‖ ―This makes us even more determined in curbing inflation and enforcing all measures to guarantee food security,‖ the statement read. The PSA attributed the slower inflation rate last November to slower inflation of the food and non-alcoholic beverages index at 8 percent, which, on the other hand, is still among the inflation drivers in the 11th month this year. Citing the PSA report, economic managers said food inflation slowed to 7.7 percent from last November‘s 9.2 percent. ―This was caused by the improvement in the supply of key agricultural commodities such as rice, fish and seafood, meat, vegetables, corn, and fruits,‖ the statement said.

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The statement said the deceleration ―is a positive development in the government‘s commitment to manage inflation.‖ However, the economic managers stressed that ―mitigating measures under various government issuances, including those prescribed in Administrative Order 13, issued by the President should be continuously implemented and strictly monitored.‖ ―Most importantly, we must ensure the timely arrival of rice imports to compensate for the lost palay harvest in the third quarter of the year,‖ the statement read. Economic managers also expect domestic rice prices to continue its decline following the recent passage of the Rice Tariffication measure in Congress. ―This measure, which opens the rice market to qualified players, should be coupled with the full operationalization of the National Window System to allow seamless imports processing and to avoid unwarranted delays,‖ the statement read. ―The government should invest in farm mechanization and adopt the latest technology in crop management that includes the utilization of high-yielding and resilient crops‖ to boost productivity of the agriculture sector.‖ Amid all these measures, economic managers urge the business sector ―to avoid any unwarranted price increases as experienced during the rollout of the first tranche of fuel excise tax increase‖ in a bid to help manage inflation expectations. ―But we urge the public to be on the lookout and report any profiteering activities. We assure everyone that we will follow through with our efforts to maintain price stability and raise the quality of life of every Filipino,‖ the statement read. https://www.ptvnews.ph/economic-managers-vow-more-measures-to-ensure-food-security/

Can rice filter water from agricultural fields? Research considers pesticide-cleansing properties of rice plants Date:

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December 5, 2018 Source: American Society of Agronomy Summary: While it's an important part of our diets, new research shows that rice plants can be used in a different way, too: to clean runoff from farms before it gets into rivers, lakes, and streams.

A delivery system applies a simulated storm runoff containing pesticides and water to rice and control (bare) systems. Credit: Matt Moore Rice is a staple food crop of 20 percent of the world's population. It's also grown on every continent except Antarctica. While it's an important part of our diets, new research shows that rice plants can be used in a different way, too: to clean runoff from farms before it gets into rivers, lakes, and streams. This idea came to Matt Moore, a USDA research ecologist, because he, himself, comes from a family of farmers. He was trying to figure out a way to address the unintended issue of runoff. As water drains from agricultural fields, the pesticides used on those fields can be carried along. Moore wanted to stop pesticides from getting into water outside the farm in a way that was easy and cost-efficient for farmers. "We wanted something that was common, that could be applied in a lot of different places, but something that's non-invasive," said Moore, who works in the USDA-Agricultural Research Service's Water Ecology and Ecology Research Unit in Oxford, Mississippi. The idea came to Moore while he was driving to his family's farm in northeast Arkansas. "We're big rice farmers. Cheesy as it sounds, I was driving around trying to look for some inspiration and it just hit me: What about rice?" So researchers planted four fields, two with and two without rice. They then flooded those fields with a mix of three kinds of pesticides plus water that together is a lot like runoff during a storm. They did this for two years in a row. They found that the levels of all three pesticides were lower in fields where they'd planted rice. How much it dropped ranged from 85 percent to 97 percent, depending on which pesticide they measured. Rice can do this through phytoremediation -- using plants and their roots to clean up water (though they can also clean soil and air). That's what researchers say happened here. Instead of those chemicals being in the runoff water, they were captured in the rice plants.

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In real life, this pesticide-cleaning ability of rice could be used in a few ways. To start, farmers could plant rice in drainage ditches already on their farms, which would "let rice clean off water that runs off into your field before it runs into a river, lake, or stream," Moore said. "Dreaming big, eventually we could get to the point where you could use rice fields as constructed wetlands," diverting runoff into rice fields so they naturally take those pesticides out of the water. One big question Moore hopes additional research can answer is whether or not those chemicals end up in the edible part of the rice plant -- the rice grain -- itself. If it doesn't, rice could be that natural water cleaner while also being a food source. "It's potentially huge for developing countries to be able to use this as a crop and water cleaning technology," he said. For now, though, Moore is excited about the potential of a humble, popular crop that even his own family has been growing for generations. "We're just trying to use simple techniques that are easy for the farmer, that are economical, that are still environmentally friendly," he said. "Farming seems like a not-for-profit business these days, which I full-well understand. How can farmers use the landscape that's already there? How can they maximize that while helping the environment and their bottom line? Rice could be it."

Story Source: Materials provided by American Society of Agronomy. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference: 1. Matthew T. Moore, Martin A. Locke, Robert F. Cullum. Expanding Wetland Mitigation: Can Rice Fields Remediate Pesticides in Agricultural Runoff? Journal of Environment Quality, 2018; 47 (6): 1564 DOI: 10.2134/jeq2018.04.0154 American Society of Agronomy. "Can rice filter water from agricultural fields? Research considers pesticidecleansing properties of rice plants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 December 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181205093704.htm>.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181205093704.htm

Rice, grilled meat, and low-flow appliances pose hidden health risks 12-04-2018LIFESTYLE

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By Kay Vandette Earth.com staff writer Rice, barbecued meat, low-flow toilets and drinking water may appear to be seemingly harmless, everyday items. But as common and well-intentioned as some of these necessities are, studies show that all can contain harmful toxins and an increasing number of risks that the typical consumer is unaware of. For example, researchers have found that there are increasing levels of arsenic in rice, which is one of the most important cereal crops in the world, and heat-prepared meats, like those cooked on a grill, contain carcinogens. Arsenic can be found in all types of rice, and the Federal Drug Administrationâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s 2016 Arsenic in Rice and Rice Products Risk Assessment Report found that 63-99 percent of the arsenic in rice can be absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract. This is especially dangerous for people who have rice-based diets as regularly ingesting low levels of arsenic can increase the risk of cancer and heart disease. And yet, many people donâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;t realize the risks associated with their rice consumption or that the majority of inorganic arsenic in rice is can be absorbed by humans. Researchers from Indiana University conducted a study to examine public knowledge of bioaccessibility of arsenic in rice. The researchers found that people absorb 73 to 88 percent of inorganic arsenic in rice crops.

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Barbecued and other heat-processed meat pose another unknown risks, as researchers from Denmark found that grilled meat can contain high concentrations of carcinogens which can drastically increase the risk of cancer. Even household products meant to conserve energy and reduce negative impacts can carry unforeseen risks, as another study conducted by researchers from Michigan State found that plumbing systems are not keeping up with low-flow appliances. The researchers discovered that while low-flow appliances like toilets are becoming increasingly popular, plumbing systems remain outdated which increases the risk of waterborne diseases and exposure to pathogens. In another study, researchers found that many private well owners donâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;t test their own wells or understand the risks of lead exposure in drinking water.

All these studies were presented during a special session at the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) Annual Meeting at the New Orleans this week. https://www.earth.com/news/rice-grilled-meat-health-risks/

BIOLOGISTS HAVE REVEALED A HIDDEN DANGER OF RICE Stone | December 5, 2018 | Science |

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Rice grain can accumulate the toxins and arsenic, said American researchers at the conference Society for risk analysis in New Orleans. According to them, such harmful substances grain absorb from groundwater and tap water, reports RIA ―Novosti‖. ―We conducted the first systematic assessment of how much arsenic contain a typical grain of rice, and learned how much it gets into the body during the digestion of food,‖ said Zheng Zhou from Indiana University (USA).The researchers analyzed data from 143 scientific papers on the metabolism of arsenic. As a rule, harmful substances in the grain of rice from local groundwater. So, about 70-80% of arsenic gets into the grain and, accordingly, enters the human body during the digestion of food. For example, in the Asian countries growing the crops, experts have discovered high levels of toxins in groundwater, which penetrate further in Fig. Thus, it negatively affects the lives of local people. Biologists have explained that hazardous substances, including arsenic, lead to the development of disorders in the human body. Meanwhile, scientists have stressed that rice varieties interact differently with arsenic. The researchers urged the authorities in Asian countries to pay special attention to the content of this harmful substance when testing cereals. Previously, scientists talked about the dangers of salt. According to experts, the crystalline substance may cause hypertension. https://kozweek.com/biologists-have-revealed-a-hidden-danger-of-rice/22192/

Ghana to stop importing rice soon – Agric Minister  

The Agric Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said the government is already working hard to ensure that rice imports are reduced drastically. Published: 05.12.2018 Emmanuel Ayamga

The Ministry of Agriculture has revealed plans to stop importing rice into the country within the next four to five years. Sector Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said the government is already working hard to ensure that rice imports are reduced drastically. This comes as a huge boost to local farmers, especially after the successes chalked in the production of maize this year. playAgric Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto

Between January and September this year, Ghana recorded an increase in local maize production which ensured that no maize imports were made.Meanwhile, Ghana would save close to a billion

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dollars, should the country put a stop to rice imports.The Agric Ministry has indicated its readiness to support local rice farmers in order to increase their yield.

By this, the government hopes to shift demand to the local rice, with a target to totally stop importing rice within the next five years. “We import about a billion dollars of rice into the country and we are determined that within the next four to five years, that should come to an end because we need that foreign exchange to develop our country by building the roads, hospitals, schools among others and not to use it to import things that our farmers are producing and giving jobs to foreign farmers,‖ Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto told Accra-based Citi FM. “The two crops we are focusing on are rice an https://www.pulse.com.gh/news/business/ghana-to-stop-importing-rice-soon-agric-ministerid9168559.html

 

The Agric Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said the government is already working hard to ensure that rice imports are reduced drastically. Published: 05.12.2018 Emmanuel Ayamga

Ghana to stop importing rice soon – Agric Minister play

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The Ministry of Agriculture has revealed plans to stop importing rice into the country within the next four to five years. Sector Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said the government is already working hard to ensure that rice imports are reduced drastically. This comes as a huge boost to local farmers, especially after the successes chalked in the production of maize this year.

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playAgric Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto

Between January and September this year, Ghana recorded an increase in local maize production which ensured that no maize imports were made. Meanwhile, Ghana would save close to a billion dollars, should the country put a stop to rice imports. The Agric Ministry has indicated its readiness to support local rice farmers in order to increase their yield. By this, the government hopes to shift demand to the local rice, with a target to totally stop importing rice within the next five years. READ ALSO: Report on creation of new regions to be published this week “We import about a billion dollars of rice into the country and we are determined that within the next four to five years, that should come to an end because we need that foreign exchange to develop our country by building the roads, hospitals, schools among others and not to use it to import things that our farmers are producing and giving jobs to foreign farmers,‖ Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto told Accra-based Citi FM. “The two crops we are focusing on are rice and soya; soya because of the poultry industry and rice because of import substitution,‖ he added. https://www.pulse.com.gh/news/business/ghana-to-stop-importing-rice-soon-agric-ministerid9168559.html

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Ghana will soon stop importing rice, Agriculture Minister says  

Published: 05.12.2018 Magdalene Teiko Larnyoh

Ghana’s Agric Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto said Ghana spends about a billion dollars on rice imports. His outfit, therefore, plans to support local rice farmers to increase their yields and gradually shift demand to the local rice.

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play Ghana‘s Agric Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto Ghana‘s Agric Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto has indicated that his Ministry is doing everything possible to drastically reduce if not stop the import of rice in the next four to five years. His comment follows the country‘s non-importation of maize between January and September this year due to the increase in maize production. X Advertisement The Minister said that Ghana spends about a billion dollars on rice imports. He said that his outfit, therefore, plans to support local rice farmers to increase their yields and gradually shift demand to the local rice. Speaking to Accra-based Citi FM, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto said ―We import about a billion dollars of rice into the country and we are determined that within the next four to five years, that should come to an end because we need that foreign exchange to develop our country by building the roads, hospitals, schools among others and not to use it to import things that our farmers are producing and giving jobs to foreign farmers.‖

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―The two crops we are focusing on are rice and soya; soya because of the poultry industry and rice because of import substitution,‖ he added. He conceded that the government has to play a significant role in order to meet the ambitious target. Some of the things to be done by the government include the supply of modern machinery for production at a subsidised rate or for free, the drive to purchase local rice and the provision of improved grains to increase yields of local rice farmers. https://www.pulse.com.gh/bi/strategy/ghana-will-soon-stop-importing-rice-agriculture-minister-saysid9170023.html

EU members fail to agree on rice tax, EC to make final call Sok Chan and Sangeetha Amarthalingam / Khmer Times Share:

The EU did not reach a consensus on imposing tariffs on Cambodian rice. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The European Union has failed to come to a consensus on the decision of imposing tariffs on Cambodian rice import into the bloc after eight countries voted against slapping a regressive tax on Jasmine fragrant rice and white rice, with seven countries choosing to abstain. Of the 28 member states, 13 nations including Italy and Spain, the alleged source of contention over the price imbalance and negative economic impact on its rice farmers that spurred the proposal, however voted in favour of European Commission (EC)‘s proposal to activate the safeguard clause, enabling tariff imposition starting Jan 1, 2019. Although unclear on the exact result, the bloc said in light of the non-opinion, it is up to the College of Commissioners to decide whether it will adopt the proposal of rice tax imposition of 175 euros per tonne in the first year, 150 euros in the second year, and 125 euros the following year. ―According to the Directorate-General of Agriculture and Rural Development, today‘s (yesterday) vote may provoke some further discussion within the Commission but the assumption should still be that this proposal will be adopted,‖ it said in a statement. The EC launched a safeguard investigation in March to see if the volume with or without prices of imports of semi-milled and milled Indica rice from Cambodia and Myanmar resulted in serious difficulties to EU producers of similar or competing products. Based on the member states that voted on EC‘s proposal to impose tariffs on Cambodian rice exports yesterday, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Sweden, and United Kingdom opposed the move.

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In contrast, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Spain opted to stay the proposal while Austria, Croatia, Germany, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta and Slovenia decided to remain neutral. In the meantime, EC included a ―shipping clause‖ stating that imports already on the way to EU on the date of entry into force of this regulation (Jan 1, 2019), provided that the destination of such products cannot be changed, shall not be subject to the duty specified in its law. ―The date of entry into force will be the day after the publication of the regulation. The timing of publication, for the time being, should be assumed to be as previously indicated, namely early January,‖ it added. EU is Cambodia‘s major rice importer with approximately 213,000 tonnes, followed by China at 127,000 tonnes, ASEAN member states (47,000 tonnes) and 48,000 tonnes to other destinations. In the first nine months of 2018, Cambodia exported 389,264 tonnes of rice, a drop of 8.4 percent year-on-year. When asked, one of the largest rice exporters in the country, Amru Rice (Cambodia) Co Ltd chief executive officer and president Song Saran told Khmer Times that the final decision is now in the hands of the EC following the failure to gain a majority vote. ―This is exactly what we were informed (would happen). However, the commission has made it clear that it will decide in the event an uncertainty happens,‖ he said. https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50556296/eu-members-fail-to-agree-on-rice-tax-ec-to-makefinal-call/

OTG’s Marathi Is Spicing Up Toronto Pearson’s PreHoliday Travel For Three Weeks, Chef Paul George Is Giving Diners His Own Personal Spice Blend to Take Home TORONTO, Dec. 05, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For three weeks starting on Monday, December 10th, diners at OTG‗s Marathi can spice up their home life too. Paul George, the Indian restaurant‘s executive chef, will be giving away spice kits to pre-flight diners, for a limited time while supplies last. The kits will also contain a recipe for Chicken Biryani that they can try at home. Marathi is based in Toronto Pearson International Airport‘s Terminal 1. The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) partners with OTG to bring the city‘s diverse cultures and tastes to the airport. Marathi offers well-known, traditional dishes such as Butter Chicken, but also adds some contemporary twists, like Naan Panini and Black Tiger Shrimp Vindaloo, as well as ―street food‖ favourites, sweets and inspired cocktails.

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Chef Paul George was born in Cochin, India. His family later moved from India to the United Kingdom where, at 13 years old, he helped start a small coffee shop with his father. From there he went on to study hotel management and food science. Paul has since held a vast array of cooking jobs in restaurants and hotels in Mumbai – as well as sailing the seas, where he created the Indian-influenced menus aboard Princess Cruise Lines (and was voted Best Employee three times). He has twice won the culinary competition at Cambridge University. Paul has been with OTG for five years, developing and executing Marathi‘s innovative menu. He is well known for his spices and personally curates his own blends. ―Indian cooking has big flavours but the secret is actually in the delicate balance of blending spices,‖ said Chef George. ―I love to visit spice markets all the time and it‘s my own point of pride to find the best, whether from India or our local community, to customize my own personal blend for each dish we serve at Marathi. I‘m really excited to be sharing my spice blends with our diners so they can take Marathi home and experiment with recreating some of our recipes for themselves.‖ Chef Paul‘s Biryani Masala spice blend for the Chicken Biryani (recipe attached) incorporates a wide selection of spices, including: Fennel seed, Shaijeera, Cumin, Cashmir chilies, Black cardamom, Green cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Javathri, Nutmeg, Bay leaf, Star anise, Black peppercorn and Poppy seed. /EIN News/ -- ―Toronto Pearson aims to bring an authentic Toronto experience to our nearly 50 million annual passengers from around the world,‖ said Scott Collier, Vice President, Customer and Terminal Services, GTAA. ―Our partnership with OTG and the creative Indian cuisine featured at Marathi are a true reflection of the diverse tastes of our city and a great way to sample some of Toronto's best food without leaving the airport.‖ To complement Marathi‘s rich spices and bold flavors, OTG is launching new cocktails including the Jitney Julep made with bourbon, orange bitters and fresh muddled coriander syrup. Images of the spices & space can be found here: http://bit.ly/MarathiSpiceMarket About OTG OTG is a hospitality group that is transforming the airport travel experience for millions of travelers every year. OTG combines world-class hospitality and award-winning cuisine with innovative design and state-of-the-art technology. OTG‘s restaurant concepts are complemented by the company‘s tablet experience, which was the first of its kind in the industry. Since 1996, OTG has been redefining the guest experience in airports, transforming the way passengers interact with the terminal. The company is currently one of the leading airport food and beverage operators in North America with more than 300 restaurants and retail locations across 10 airports. For more information, visit OTGexp.com. MARATHI’S CHICKEN BIRYANI RECIPE INGREDIENTS: 1 kg chicken – cut into medium cubes 600 gm Onion, sliced

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200 gm Tomato 2 Tbsp Ginger garlic paste 2 Tbsp Chicken Biryani Masala ¾ tsp Turmeric 4 Tbsp Oil 800 gm Basmati rice, cooked 2 Tbsp Yoghurt 1 Tbsp Chopped cilantro To taste Salt METHOD: 1. Heat oil in a sauté pan 2. Cook sliced onion until translucent in colour 3. Add ginger garlic paste 4. Add the chicken, turmeric and biryani masala mix, toss until chicken is fully coated 5. Add sliced tomato and yogurt mix, stir well. Add salt to taste, ½ of the chopped cilantro 6. Put on simmer, Add half cooked rice on top. Cover and let cook 20 to 30 minutes. Garnished with chopped cilantro Media Contacts: Eric Brinker Vice President of Experience, OTG 917-916-5504 eric@otgexp.com Gareth Edmondson-Jones GEJ, Ink 917-399-9355 gejink@gmail.com Photos accompanying this announcement are available at: http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/3fedd80e-6862-447c-9e1b7aa7e4448070 http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/59abd233-e95a-46d9-9b1d65b4a7d423bd https://agriculture.einnews.com/pr_news/470205515/otg-s-marathi-is-spicing-up-torontopearson-s-pre-holiday-travel?n=2&code=VuZLay2YinrVF20&utm_source=NewsletterNews&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Basmati+Rice+News& utm_content=article

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Local rice exporters yesterday call for better planning and communication between all industry actors to meet China‘s import quota. Song Saran, CEO of rice exporter Amru Rice, said Cambodia will likely fail to export all 300,000 tonnes of rice allowed by China due, among other issues, to a lack of coordination among relevant local actors. He said monthly meetings must be convened among relevant government agencies, members and representatives of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) and local firms to ensure that Cambodia is able to fulfill the 300,000 tonnes quota that China has in place for Cambodian rice. Mr Saran also called for the establishment of a working group to organise and supervise the proposed meetings. ―Some rice exporters and rice millers have rice to process and export, but they are not allowed to ship to China, while others can export, but have no rice. ―This is a big issue and may make it difficult to meet the quota in 2018 and 2019,‖ Mr Saran said. Last year, China increased its import quota for Cambodian rice to 300,000 tonnes, from 200,000 tonnes in 2017 and 100,000 tonnes in 2016. During the first nine months of the year, Cambodia exported 96,714 tonnes of rice to the East Asian nation, according to the Secretariat of One Window Service for Rice Export. ―My request is that all related parties wake up and get to work. We need to focus and coordinate to make sure we ship the 300,000 tonnes that we are allowed,‖ Mr Saran said. ―We hope to create a forum where government, CRF officials, and key rice millers and exporters can come together to find a solution,‖ he said. Given that Cambodia has only two rice growing seasons, China should plan its orders more carefully and notify Cambodian exporters of its plans, Mr Saran added. ―Without proper planning, it is difficult to supply them when they need our rice. Rice is not harvested every month. We only have two seasons, so we need better planning,‖ he said. Only 26 Cambodian firms are allowed to ship to China, after having passed the first round of inspections conducted by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China (AQSIQ), according to Srey Vuthy, secretary-general at Cambodia‘s Ministry of Agriculture. However, China has changed the process of inspection for rice importation, which has delayed the export process for the 40 local companies that are still waiting to be given the green light by Beijing to begin exporting. The list with the name of the 40 potential exporters was sent to Beijing last year, and if the Chinese government does not review it soon, it will reflect badly on the Cambodian rice industry, Mr Vuthy said. ―It will also mean that only the 26 companies so far included in the exporters‘ list can ship to China,‖ Mr Vuthy said. ―This is not enough to meet the quota. We are waiting on China to review the list, but so far we haven‘t heard from them,‖ he said, explaining that if China does not react quickly, the rice will go to other countries, particularly Thailand and Vietnam. Chan Sokheang, chairman and CEO of Signatures of Asia, told Khmer Times that Cambodia did not meet the Chinese quota last year because local rice back then was more expensive than

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Thailand‘s. Last year, the price of Thai rice dropped to $780, while Cambodian rice sold for $850-$920 per ton. ―This made it hard to compete with Thailand to export rice to China,‖ he said. Mr Sokheang was of the same mind than Mr Saran regarding the need for better coordination in the sector. ―We should have a meeting to discuss the quota issue. We have to be more organised,‖ Mr Sokheang said. From January to September, Cambodia exported over 389,000 tonnes of rice to more than 60 countries, which represents a decrease of 8.4 percent compared to the same period last year. China continues to be the top buyer, followed by France and Poland. https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50556102/rice-exporters-call-for-planning-coordination/

REAP holds awareness session for Basmati rice exporters The Rice Export Association of Pakistan (REAP) in collaboration with Eurofins Global Control, an international inspection company offering supply chain control solutions to achieve product quality and safety from the origin to the consumer, on Tuesday arranged an awareness session for the Basmati Rice exporters regarding changes being made in import inspection laws by the European Union (EU). Managing Director Eurofins Thomas Unger gave a detailed briefing to the exports about upcoming changes in laws by the EU in food sector with special emphasis on rice. He said rice was one of the biggest components of EU imports from Pakistan. He said four main challenges being faced by the rice exporters, from across the globe, i.e. presence of GMOs, aflatoxin, pesticide residues and inorganic arsenic. However, he said that Pakistani rice consignments have shown satisfactory results when tested for all these challenges. He said there was no GMO rice in Pakistan and 93 per cent of the samples tested for other factors came out satisfactory. However, he urged that Pakistan should strengthen its agricultural research institute to work for a more secured future for Basmati. Concluding his remarks, he urged upon Pakistan to strengthen control of seed materials to ensure there is no GMOs in export consignments, dry the paddy immediately after harvesting, build awareness among farmers to use agro-chemicals rationally to keep the pesticide residue under the prescribed level etc. Speaking on this occasion, Punjab Additional Secretary Agriculture Ghazanfar Ali assured the audience that there was no GMO present in Pakistani rice and if it had found in any consignment, it was due to use of imported seed. He also said that there was no issue of inorganic arsenic in Pakistani rice while aflatoxin and pesticide residue is also within the prescribed limits. He assured that there was no research going on for GMO rice and all the research institutes have been asked not to carry out any work on GMOs. He said the federal department of plant protection as well as provincial departments was

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keeping a strict check on this issue. He said Pakistan had only acquired first generation GMO cotton and trying to get second generation cotton GMOs. He said the provincial agriculture department was also discouraging the use of pesticides and had taken pesticide companies on board not to sell chemicals in rice zone. He said 21 laboratories under the department had been standardized and Kala Shah Kaku Research Institute laboratory is also ISO certified. He also threw light on steps taken by the government and the department for controlling the issue of smog. The additional secretary agriculture also invited the rice exporters to remain in touch with him for promotion of the rice exports. Senior Vice Chairman REAP Ali Hussam Asghar, former chairman Sami Ullah Naeem, Pir Nazim Hussain Shah, Shahjahan Malik and Kashif ur Rehman were also present on this occasion. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/12/20181205428654/

Research considers pesticide-cleansing properties of rice plants Rice is a staple food crop of 20 percent of the world's population. It's also grown on every continent except Antarctica.While it's an important part of our diets, new research shows that rice plants can be used in a different way, too: to clean runoff from farms before it gets into rivers, lakes, and streams. This idea came to Matt Moore, a USDA research ecologist, because he, himself, comes from a family of farmers. He was trying to figure out a way to address the unintended issue of runoff. As water drains from agricultural fields, the pesticides used on those fields can be carried along. Moore wanted to stop pesticides from getting into water outside the farm in a way that was easy and cost-efficient for farmers. "We wanted something that was common, that could be applied in a lot of different places, but something that's non-invasive," said Moore, who works in the USDA-Agricultural Research Service's Water Ecology and Ecology Research Unit in Oxford, Mississippi. The idea came to Moore while he was driving to his family's farm in northeast Arkansas. "We're big rice farmers. Cheesy as it sounds, I was driving around trying to look for some inspiration and it just hit me: What about rice?" So researchers planted four fields, two with and two without rice. They then flooded those fields with a mix of three kinds of pesticides plus water that together is a lot like runoff during a storm. They did this for two years in a row. They found that the levels of all three pesticides were lower in fields where they'd planted rice. How much it dropped ranged from 85 percent to 97 percent, depending on which pesticide they measured. Rice can do this through phytoremediation -- using plants and their roots to clean up water (though they can also clean soil and air). That's what researchers say happened here. Instead of those chemicals being in the runoff water, they were captured in the rice plants. In real life, this pesticide-cleaning ability of rice could be used in a few ways. To start, farmers could plant rice in drainage ditches already on their farms, which would "let rice clean off water that runs off into your field before it runs into a river, lake, or stream," Moore said.

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"Dreaming big, eventually we could get to the point where you could use rice fields as constructed wetlands," diverting runoff into rice fields so they naturally take those pesticides out of the water. One big question Moore hopes additional research can answer is whether or not those chemicals end up in the edible part of the rice plant -- the rice grain -- itself. If it doesn't, rice could be that natural water cleaner while also being a food source. "It's potentially huge for developing countries to be able to use this as a crop and water cleaning technology," he said. For now, though, Moore is excited about the potential of a humble, popular crop that even his own family has been growing for generations. "We're just trying to use simple techniques that are easy for the farmer, that are economical, that are still environmentally friendly," he said. "Farming seems like a not-for-profit business these days, which I full-well understand. How can farmers use the landscape that's already there? How can they maximize that while helping the environment and their bottom line? Rice could be it."

Author Name: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181205093704.htm

Rice prices continue downtrend, but still above gov‘t SRP Rice prices in the market continued to decline for the seventh week now but have yet to reflect the suggested retail price (SRP) three weeks since it was imposed by the government. The weekly price monitoring report by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that as of the third week of November, retail prices of regular-milled and well-milled rice were at P42.77 and P46.49 a kilogram, respectively. These are 1.59 percent and 0.98 percent lower compared to prices a week ago, but still higher than the SRPs imposed by the Departments of Trade and Agriculture during the last week of October—a measure meant to keep prices of the staple in check after it skyrocketed to record-levels. Based on the SRP, local regular-milled and well-milled rice should be sold at no more than P39 and P44 a kilogram, respectively, while imported variants would be limited to well-milled and premium rice and priced not higher than P39 and P43 a kilo, respectively. Compared to year-ago levels, prices were also higher by 11.31 percent. Earlier this week, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the agency had no plans to stop the measure given its ―effectiveness.‖ He noted the implementation of SRPs largely contributed to the decline in rice prices, but for economic managers, it was a natural result of the influx of imported rice in the market and the onset of the harvest season. Author Name: https://business.inquirer.net/261716/rice-prices-continue-downtrend-but-still-above-govtsrp?fbclid=IwAR2dJQfP7G2VkbRXDE1mwwiZFeg705YqYWQGD96cIOkywzGgAqyI-GwD6eM

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Positive sign in EU rice tariff saga

The European Union yesterday failed to come to a consensus on taxing Cambodia fragrant and white rice, giving leaders of the local rice sector more time to plan the next step in their fight to stop the EU from

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imposing tariffs. Yesterday‘s vote, hailed as a positive sign for Cambodia, failed to deliver a decision on the regressive rice tariff imposition that is expected to start from Jan 1 next year, with 15 of 28 member states either rejecting the proposal or abstaining from the vote. 13 nations voted in favour of the activation of the clause that would enable the tariffs, including Spain and Italy, the countries that allegedly prompted a revision of the rice trade with Cambodia when they complained of price imbalances impacting their rice farmers. The European Commission (EC)‘s Directorate-General of Agriculture and Rural Development noted that the vote might provoke some further discussion within the Commission but ―the assumption should still be that this proposal will be adopted‖. As a result, EC has been tasked with making a final decision before the January deadline. The tax imposition amounts to 175 euros per tonne in the first year, 150 euros in the second year, and 125 euros the following year. But this uncertainty means that Cambodia gets more time to continue lobbying the EU, said Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) vice president Hun Lak.

―We will work with the Ministry of Commerce and other relevant stakeholders to lobby our case because it is not clear now,‖ he told Khmer Times over the telephone. ―It was a positive result as the vote to impose tariffs on Cambodia rice exports did not win a majority, with some countries against the proposal. The countries that rejected it obviously feel that there will be an impact on the livelihood of the farmers. ―It would also impact EU‘s effort to alleviate poverty in least developed, and developing countries. In addition, the tariffs would affect EU importers and its own consumers,‖ he added. The EC launched a safeguard investigation in March to see if the volume with or without prices of imports of semi-milled and milled Indica rice from Cambodia and Myanmar resulted in serious difficulties to EU producers of similar or competing products. Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom voted against the proposal. In contrast, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Spain supported it, while Austria, Croatia, Germany, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta and Slovenia remained neutral. In the meantime, the EC has included a ―shipping clause,‖ stating that imports already on the way to the EU on the date the regulation comes into effect (Jan 1, 2019) shall not be subject to duties specified in the law, provided that the destination of such products cannot be changed. ―The date of entry into force will be the day after the publication of the regulation. The timing of publication, for the time being, should be assumed to be as previously indicated, namely early January,‖ it added. Mr Lak opined that everything will continue as planned as CRF seeks support from the EU Embassy in Cambodia to urge EC to refrain from imposing the rice tax. ―We have not done anything wrong and we have enough evidence to show the impact that could be caused by the tax,‖ he said. However, he added that if EC carries on with the tax, CRF would begin the second phase of

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engagement: to negotiate the reduction of the regime to 120 euros or less. Pen Sovicheat, director-general of the domestic trade department at the Ministry of Commerce, told Khmer Times that Cambodia‘s stand against the proposal is based on the skills of the farmers and fair competition, and that Cambodia‘s rice does not affect Italy and Spain‘s rice farmers. ―It is unfair to punish our farmers. We have explained in detail the technical aspects of the issue to the EU. The ball is now in EC‘s court as yesterday‘s vote due to the differing views among the member states. So, we will wait and see what the next measures are,‖ he said. He added that the government has expressed their views to countries like Germany and the UK, who understand that Cambodian rice is different. ―But if the EU still wants to tax us we have the Chinese market and other markets that recognise our rice,‖ Mr Sovicheat said. According to the Secretariat of One Window Service for Rice Export, from January to September, nearly half of all Cambodian rice exports went to the EU, 193,499 tonnes out of a total of 389,264. https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50556403/positive-sign-in-eu-rice-tariff-saga/

NFA‘s purchases of local rice up 80 percent By Jasper Y. Arcalas December 5, 2018

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NFA Grains Operations Officer II Coralyn Punongbayan of Nueva Ecija checks the quality of palay bought from farmers. The National Food Authority (NFA) said its purchases of unmilled rice from local farmers expanded by nearly 80 percent to 50,608 metric tons in January to November, from last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s 28,278 MT. The NFA said it has procured some 1.012 million 50-kilogram bags during the 11-month period, 92 percent of which were bought in October and November.

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In two months, the NFA said it was able to purchase 926,854 bags due to the additional P3 per kilogram buffer-stocking incentive (BSI) added to the government‘s support price of P17 per kg. ―This means that given the right price, the NFA will be able to buy more from our farmers,‖ NFA OIC Administrator Tomas R. Escarez said on Tuesday. ―With the additional P3/kg incentive, we were able to entice more farmers to sell their harvest to us. At a time when private traders were buying at P20.28 or lower than the NFA buying price, our farmers decided to sell to us instead,‖ Escarez added. The NFA currently buys palay from local farmers at P20.70 per kg, inclusive of the P0.70 per-kg delivery, drying and cooperative incentives. As the main harvest season reached its peak in November, the NFA said it was able to purchase 630,934 bags of palay. The NFA said it was able to buy palay from farmers in Occidental Mindoro, Mamburao, Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, Bukidnon, Isabela, Capiz, Iloilo, North Cotabato and Camarines Sur. The food agency attached to the Department of Agriculture has targeted to procure 2.6 million bags, or 130,000 MT of palay. To hit this goal, the NFA must buy 1.6 million bags, or 80,000 MT of palay. Last year the NFA failed to achieve its goal of procuring 3 million bags, as it managed to purchase only 588,820 bags, or 29,441 MT. Since the approval of its P3 per-kg BSI, the NFA has become more optimistic in achieving its palay procurement target for 2018. The NFA is banking on local palay procurement to continuously beef up its stockpile and avert the depletion of state-subsidized rice sold in local markets.

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Out-quota rice The NFA also disclosed that 30 agricultural firms, traders and farmers cooperatives are seeking to import about 274,476 MT of rice via its out-quota program. Based on the initial list of applicants published by the NFA on its web site, 30 private entities have already applied for permits to import rice outside the minimum access volume (MAV) since November 26. Among the applicants include Manila-based Pure Rice Milling and Processing Corp. that seeks to import 100,000 MT of white rice, 25-percent brokens from Thailand and Farm Mechanism Resources and and Distribution Corp. that signified its intent to buy 20,000 MT of white rice, 5percent brokens, also from Thailand. The 30 interested importers are planning to purchase rice from Vietnam and Thailand. Rice importers are allowed to bring in rice with a quality of 25-percent brokens or even better. The NFA issued the guidelines for the out-quota rice importation on November 23 following its approval by the NFA Council (NFAC) on November 21. ―The purpose of the importation is to bring down the prices of rice,‖ Agriculture Secretary and NFAC Chairman Emmanuel F. Piñol told reporters in an interview after the NFAC meeting on November 21. Rice imports within the MAV of the World Trade Organization are slapped a tariff of 35 percent, while those bought into the country outside of the quota are levied a tariff of 50 percent. Piñol said the NFAC has decided to allow out-quota importation to ensure that the retail price of rice would remain affordable to Filipino consumers. ―Why would I wait for [the rice tariffication]? What if it would take longer? Then consumers would complain that rice prices are increasing,‖ he said.

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According to Piñol, interested traders need to meet only three requirements approved by the NFAC—show proof of financial capacity, warehouse capability and retail capability. ―These will effectively weed out fly-by-night importers who just apply for import permit and sell them afterward,‖ he said. https://businessmirror.com.ph/nfas-purchases-of-local-rice-up-80-percent/

Farmers urged to support proposed rice tariffication December 5, 2018 | Filed under: News,News Roundup | Posted by: Tempo Desk

SAN FELIPE, ZAMBALES – Senator Cynthia Villar urged Zambales farmers to embrace the proposed rice tariffication law since P10 billion earned from the law will be used for the local rice industry. At the San Felipe Farmers Association General Assembly last Friday, Villar told the stakeholders that the bill would provide a Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) worth P10 billion. She added that part of the fund would be used in the mechanization of rice farming. Villar stressed that the mechanization of rice farming is crucial in the development of the industry, saying this will allow the agriculture sector, especially the rice industry, to grow and become more competitive in view of the regional economic integration under the ASEAN economic community. She explained that half of the P10-billion rice fund will be allotted to the Philippine Center for Post Harvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech). The funds, he added, that funds aim to provide groups of farmers with the machineries needed. The bicameral committee approved on November 22 the allocation of P10 billion to the RCEF that will be utilized for the improvement of farm machineries and equipment. Villar, who is also the chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, said that this will authorize the NFA to buy rice from local farmers. (Jonas Reyes) http://tempo.com.ph/2018/12/05/farmers-urged-to-support-proposed-rice-tariffication/

SunRice expands offshore rice milling as NSW crop dries up

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Andrew Marshall@BurrenAndrew 5 Dec 2018, 7:30 a.m. Farm Online News

SunRice's big Deniliquin mill will cut production back to one shift a day by mid next year. Just weeks after finalising the purchase of a rice mill in Vietnam, southern NSW-based SunRice is preparing to mothball half its milling operations at Deniliquin and cut more processing operations during 2019. Drought and the prospect of the second smallest Australian rice crop in 12 years have forced the national rice marketer to flag almost 100 job cuts, plus reduced working hours at its milling, packing and warehouse operations.

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The company normally employs about 600 regular staff in the Riverina, plus up to 300 more at harvest. While this summer‘s Riverina rice crop won‘t be anywhere as tiny as the 19,000 tonnes harvested in 2008 during the millennium drought, plantings have been restricted by limited irrigation water allocations and high prices. Chairman, Laurie Arthur, said SunRice was staying commercially careful about releasing yield forecasts for 2019, but volumes would be well below this year‘s 620,000t crop. His own Murray Valley farm was growing just 98 hectares this season. To brace for the slump a staged reconfiguration of milling operations began this week, while the company is also cranking up its processing and supply chain activities overseas to cover the Australian export shortfall. Flexibility is something we all have to accept- Laurie Arthur, SunRice The 24-hour running time at Deniliquin‘s Mill Two will drop to five days a week next month, and Mill One will wind back to 16 hours, five days a week on January 31, then stop operating in April. Normally the big Deniliquin site, the southern hemisphere‘s biggest rice milling plant, handles up to 450,000t a year. By July it will likely be operating just 40 hours a week, while SunRice‘s 350,000t capacity Leeton Mill will cut back production to five days a week in April. Although carry-over grain stocks from 2018 would maintain the reduced milling throughput next year, the company‘s big export operation would increasingly rely on rice grown and processed in Vietnam, the US and other overseas production zones. Last month SunRice took over a 260,000t (dry paddy) capacity rice mill in Vietnam‘s Dong Thap Province, where it already sources contract-grown medium and long grain crops to support sales orders, particularly from the Pacific. The company has not disclosed the purchase price, but spent about a year considering several sites before signing the deal. It also has a 100,000t capacity mill in Sacramento, California, and milling and packing plants in Jordan and Papua New Guinea. Vietnam has grown rapidly as a source of grain in the past two years.SunRice is now an established player in the Mekong Delta, handling more than five per cent of all Vietnamese rice exports.

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More than half of Vietnamâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s Japonica style rice exports are grown under specific quality standards for SunRice markets. The company has signed memoranda of understanding with two Mekong Delta provincial governments to source sustainably grown rice tailored for Australian end market requirements, with farmers eventually growing patented rice varieties bred specifically for SunRice. Mr Arthur said new equipment was being installed to increase polishing capacity and expand the mill and packing lines.

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Laurie Arthur Testing drought experiences of last decade had forced the Australian rice industry to be more savvy and flexible about maintaining supplies and consistent quality to its mostly high value customer-base. The US SunFoods division, established by SunRice during the last drought, would again be contributing supplies to maintain valued customer ties. As global food markets evolved SunRice would need more sustainable supply chains overseas to respond to rising demand for its products, particularly if the Riverina experienced more low production years. At home the company was urging local growers to think strategically and plan more than a season ahead for their water needs, while adding more grain carry-over flexibility into its own processing capacity. ―Flexibility is something we all have to accept,‖ Mr Arthur said. Production from North Queensland was also on a long-term rise as varietal and production research provided increasing opportunities for farmers to grow rice instead of relying on sugar cane. SunRice remained firmly committed to the Riverina region as a source of premium quality rice, but had been forced to implement its latest operation cuts after an extensive review of the production outlook. ―This season is very dry, but based on bigger picture trends I don‘t expect conditions to stay dry for long,‖ he said. ―When I started growing rice our biggest concern was flooding.‖ SunRice was concerned about losing valuable skills and staff when forced to scale back its operations and was therefore exploring all available options with employees and unions to retain as many people as possible, including re-locating staff and job sharing. Meanwhile, in the wake of SunRice‘s restructuring move an angry Rice Growers Association of Australia (RGA) has reiterated its criticism of the government imposed recovery of an extra 450 gigalitres of water, further restricting productive irrigation activity in the Murrumbidgee and Murray valleys. It noted the Murray-Darling Basin water reform agenda was not supposed to destroy industries and communities relying on irrigated crops. President, Jeremy Morton, said while the drought was a significant factor, the Basin Plan was undoubtedly responsible for some of these SunRice staff losing their jobs.

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Murray Darling Basin Ministerial Council (MinCo) of State and Federal Water Ministers was meeting next week to decide on future water recovery throughout the Basin Plan. ―A decision at MinCo to further reduce the amount of water available for producing food and fibre means more people without a job, fewer jobs across our entire community and the nation,‖ he said. 

Does this article interest you? Scroll down to the comments section and start the conversation. You only need to sign up once and create a profile in the Disqus comment management system for permanent access to all discussions. https://www.farmonline.com.au/story/5794271/sunrice-turns-to-offshore-mills-as-drought-saps-nsw-crop/

EU members fail to agree on rice tax, EC to make final call Sok Chan and Sangeetha Amarthalingam / Khmer Times Share:

The EU did not reach a consensus on imposing tariffs on Cambodian rice. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The European Union has failed to come to a consensus on the decision of imposing tariffs on Cambodian rice import into the bloc after eight countries voted against slapping a regressive tax on Jasmine fragrant rice and white rice, with seven countries choosing to abstain. Of the 28 member states, 13 nations including Italy and Spain, the alleged source of contention over the price imbalance and negative economic impact on its rice farmers that spurred the proposal, however voted in favour of European Commission (EC)‘s proposal to activate the safeguard clause, enabling tariff imposition starting Jan 1, 2019. Although unclear on the exact result, the bloc said in light of the non-opinion, it is up to the College of Commissioners to decide whether it will adopt the proposal of rice tax imposition of 175 euros per tonne in the first year, 150 euros in the second year, and 125 euros the following year. ―According to the Directorate-General of Agriculture and Rural Development, today‘s (yesterday) vote may provoke some further discussion within the Commission but the assumption should still be that this proposal will be adopted,‖ it said in a statement. The EC launched a safeguard investigation in March to see if the volume with or without prices of imports of semi-milled and milled Indica rice from Cambodia and Myanmar resulted in serious difficulties to EU producers of similar or competing products.

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Based on the member states that voted on EC‘s proposal to impose tariffs on Cambodian rice exports yesterday, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Sweden, and United Kingdom opposed the move. In contrast, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Spain opted to stay the proposal while Austria, Croatia, Germany, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta and Slovenia decided to remain neutral. In the meantime, EC included a ―shipping clause‖ stating that imports already on the way to EU on the date of entry into force of this regulation (Jan 1, 2019), provided that the destination of such products cannot be changed, shall not be subject to the duty specified in its law. ―The date of entry into force will be the day after the publication of the regulation. The timing of publication, for the time being, should be assumed to be as previously indicated, namely early January,‖ it added. EU is Cambodia‘s major rice importer with approximately 213,000 tonnes, followed by China at 127,000 tonnes, ASEAN member states (47,000 tonnes) and 48,000 tonnes to other destinations. In the first nine months of 2018, Cambodia exported 389,264 tonnes of rice, a drop of 8.4 percent year-on-year. When asked, one of the largest rice exporters in the country, Amru Rice (Cambodia) Co Ltd chief executive officer and president Song Saran told Khmer Times that the final decision is now in the hands of the EC following the failure to gain a majority vote. ―This is exactly what we were informed (would happen). However, the commission has made it clear that it will decide in the event an uncertainty happens,‖ he said. https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50556296/eu-members-fail-to-agree-on-rice-tax-ec-to-make-final-call/

Can rice filter water from ag fields?

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December 5, 2018, American Society of Agronomy

A delivery system applies a simulated storm runoff containing pesticides and water to rice and control (bare) systems. Credit: Matt Moore Rice is a staple food crop of 20 percent of the world's population. It's also grown on every continent except Antarctica. While it's an important part of our diets, new research shows that rice plants can be used in a different way, too: to clean runoff from farms before it gets into rivers, lakes, and streams. This idea came to Matt Moore, a USDA research ecologist, because he, himself, comes from a family of farmers. He was trying to figure out a way to address the unintended issue of runoff. As water drains from agricultural fields, the pesticides used on those fields can be carried along. Moore wanted to stop pesticides from getting into water outside the farm in a way that was easy and cost-efficient for farmers. "We wanted something that was common, that could be applied in a lot of different places, but something that's non-invasive," said Moore, who works in the USDA-Agricultural Research Service's Water Ecology and Ecology Research Unit in Oxford, Mississippi. The idea came to Moore while he was driving to his family's farm in northeast Arkansas. "We're big rice farmers. Cheesy as it sounds, I was driving around trying to look for some inspiration and it just hit me: What about rice?"

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So researchers planted four fields, two with and two without rice. They then flooded those fields with a mix of three kinds of pesticides plus water that together is a lot like runoff during a storm. They did this for two years in a row.

As runoff exits an experimental system planted with rice, it is collected and stored in a catchment basin for further analysis. Photo credit Matt Moore. Credit: Matt Moore

They found that the levels of all three pesticides were lower in fields where they'd planted rice. How much it dropped ranged from 85 percent to 97 percent, depending on which pesticide they measured. Rice can do this through phytoremediationâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;using plants and their roots to clean up water (though they can also clean soil and air). That's what researchers say happened here. Instead of those chemicals being in the runoff water, they were captured in the rice plants. In real life, this pesticide-cleaning ability of rice could be used in a few ways. To start, farmers could plant rice in drainage ditches already on their farms, which would "let rice clean off water that runs off into your field before it runs into a river, lake, or stream," Moore said. "Dreaming big, eventually we could get to the point where you could use rice fields as constructed wetlands," diverting runoff into rice fields so they naturally take those pesticides out of the water. One big question Moore hopes additional research can answer is whether or not those chemicals end up in the edible part of the rice plantâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the rice grainâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;itself. If it doesn't, rice could be that natural water cleaner while also being a food source. "It's potentially huge for developing countries to be able to use this as a crop and water cleaning technology," he said. For now, though, Moore is excited about the potential of a humble, popular crop that even his own family has been growing for generations.

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"We're just trying to use simple techniques that are easy for the farmer, that are economical, that are still environmentally friendly," he said. "Farming seems like a not-for-profit business these days, which I full-well understand. How can farmers use the landscape that's already there? How can they maximize that while helping the environment and their bottom line? Rice could be it." Explore further: Make nice with rice to boost your diet More information: Matthew T. Moore et al, Expanding Wetland Mitigation: Can Rice Fields Remediate Pesticides in Agricultural Runoff?, Journal of Environment Quality (2018). DOI: 10.2134/jeq2018.04.0154 Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-12-rice-filter-ag-fields.html#jCp https://phys.org/news/2018-12-rice-

filter-ag-fields.html https://phys.org/news/2018-12-rice-filter-ag-fields.html

Kellogg‘s factory worker admits peeing on Rice Krispies conveyor belt Jimmy McCloskey Wednesday 5 Dec 2018 2:31 pm Share this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messenger 169 SHARES A former Kellogg‘s worker is set to be jailed after admitting urinating on a Rice Krispies conveyor belt. Gregory Stanton, 49, admitted tampering with consumer products in November after a vile video emerged showing him peeing on the machinery used to carry the puffed rice cereal. He filmed himself defiling the equipment in 2014, then shared it online two years later. Disgusting video shows man urinating on cereal conveyer belt Play Video Loaded: 0% 0:00Progress: 0% PlayMute Current Time 0:00 / Duration Time 0:30 Fullscreen Cereal traces clearly visible on the floor underneath during the stomach-churning clip, which was quickly flagged up to police. That sparked a Food and Drugs Administration investigation into Stanton‘s behavior at the plant in Memphis, Tennessee. It is unclear why the worker peed on the cereal, or shared a clip of it, although WREG reported that a workers union at the plant was involved in a ‗nasty labor dispute‘ around the same time. Kellogg‘s sought for Stanton to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, although company bosses were unable to comment on whether contaminated products would have been put on sale. Stanton will be sentenced at a later date, and has been warned to expect up to three years in jail. https://metro.co.uk/2018/12/05/kelloggs-factory-worker-admits-peeing-rice-krispies-conveyorbelt-8212130/?ito=cbshare

Why Are Scientists So Upset About the First Crispr Babies? Only because a rogue researcher defied myriad scientific and ethical norms and guidelines. We break it down.

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A microplate containing embryos in the lab of He Jiankui, in Shenzhen, China. Dr. He says he edited genes in the embryos, resulting in the world's first gene-edited babies.CreditMark Schiefelbein/Associated Press

A microplate containing embryos in the lab of He Jiankui, in Shenzhen, China. Dr. He says he edited genes in the embryos, resulting in the world's first gene-edited babies.CreditCreditMark Schiefelbein/Associated Press

By Gina Kolata and Pam Belluck 

Dec. 5, 2018

A Chinese scientist recently claimed he had produced the world‘s first gene-edited babies, setting off a global firestorm. If true — the scientist has not yet published data that would confirm it — his actions would be a sensational breach of international scientific conventions. Although gene editing holds promise to potentially correct dangerous disease-causing mutations and treat some medical conditions, there are many safety and ethical concerns about editing human embryos. Here are answers to some of the numerous questions swirling around this development.

What happened? The scientist, He Jiankui, said he used Crispr, a gene-editing technique, to alter a gene in human embryos — and then implanted the embryos in the womb of a woman, who gave birth to twin girls in November. That is illegal in many countries, including the United States. China has halted Dr. He‘s research and is investigating whether he broke any laws there. Among the concerns are whether the couples involved in Dr. He‘s research were adequately informed about the embryo editing and the potential risks involved. Dr. He says he has submitted his research to a scientific journal. But nothing has been published yet, and he announced the births of the twins before his research could be peer-reviewed by fellow scientists. He also appears to have taken other secretive steps that defy scientific standards.

Which gene did he edit and why? The gene is called CCR₅. It creates a protein that makes it possible for H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS, to infect people‘s cells. Dr. He said that with the help of an H.I.V./AIDS advocacy organization in China, he recruited couples in which the man had H.I.V. and the woman did not.

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He used the Crispr-Cas9 editing technique to try to disable the CCR₅ gene in their embryos, with a goal, he said, of creating babies who would be resistant to H.I.V. infection. Dr. He presented his findings last month at the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing at the University of Hong Kong.CreditAlex Hofford/EPA, via Shutterstock

Image Dr. He presented his findings last month at the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing at the University of Hong Kong.CreditAlex Hofford/EPA, via Shutterstock

What is Dr. He’s background? Dr. He, 34, first worked with the Crispr gene-editing technology while obtaining a doctorate in biophysics from Rice University in Houston. He did postdoctoral research at Stanford and returned to his native China in 2012 under a program designed to draw Western-trained Chinese researchers back home. There, he founded two genetic-testing companies, and became affiliated with the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen. He presented early phases of his Crispr research to American scientists at conferences in the United States, but disclosed to very few people that he was planning to actually create pregnancies by implanting edited embryos in women.

Why are scientists up in arms? Changing the genes in an embryo means changing genes in every cell. If the method succeeds, the baby will have alterations that will be inherited by all of the child‘s progeny. And that, scientists agree, is a serious undertaking that must be done with great deliberation and only to treat a serious disease for which there are no other options — if it is to be done at all. Editors’ Picks

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Instead, Dr. He went ahead and disabled a perfectly normal gene, CCR₅. While people who are born with both copies of CCR₅ disabled are resistant to H.I.V., they are more susceptible to West Nile virus and Japanese encephalitis. And there are simpler and safer ways to prevent H.I.V. infection. More worrying, Crispr often inadvertently alters genes other than the one being targeted, and there are also circumstances, called mosaicism, where some cells contain the edited gene and others do not. Dr. He claimed in a video that Crispr did not affect other genes in the twins and that the babies were ―born normally and healthy,‖ but there is no way to know if that is true. In fact, some of the data Dr. He presented at a conference in Hong Kong, after he announced the birth of the twins, is concerning, several scientists said. For one thing, it indicates that he was able to disable both copies of the CCR₅ gene in only one of the twins, whom Dr. He identified as ―Nana.‖ In the other twin, ―Lulu,‖ only one copy of CCR₅ was disabled, providing limited, if any, protection against H.I.V., but Dr. He implanted the embryo anyway. He said he informed the parents and they wanted both embryos implanted. Some scientists said the data Dr. He presented also suggested several potential issues resulting from the editing process. Most importantly, said Dr. Kiran Musunuru, a geneticist at the University of Pennsylvania who reviewed the data, ―there‘s clear evidence of mosaicism‖ in the edited embryos of both twins. ―I was so furious,‖ Dr. Musunuru said. ―This would have been disturbing anyway — gene-edited babies. It made it a hundred times worse knowing that he had totally mosaic embryos. It‘s as if you took the embryos and dipped them in acid and said ‗You know what, I‘m just going to go ahead with the implantation anyway.‘ It‘s not that much different.‖ While it is unclear if the babies themselves ended up with a mosaic patchwork of cells, Dr. Musunuru said the data shows that Lulu‘s placenta was mosaic, which is not a good sign. Finally, it is not known if his study subjects knew what they were agreeing to. The consent they signed was for an AIDS vaccine development project, and it did not mention all the risks of disabling CCR₅. It said that if Crispr altered other genes, ―the project team is not responsible for the risk.‖

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What are the potential implications? Many scientists are concerned that Dr. He‘s experiment could have a chilling effect on support for legitimate and valuable gene-editing research.

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―Should such epic scientific misadventures proceed, a technology with enormous promise for prevention and treatment of disease will be overshadowed by justifiable public outrage, fear, and disgust,‖ said Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.

What are the safeguards against this? In the United States, Congress has barred the Food and Drug Administration from even considering clinical trials involving human embryo editing. The National Institutes of Health is prohibited from funding such research. The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine issued a report in 2017 concluding that editing the genes of human embryos should only be acceptable in the narrowest of circumstances. It would have to be used to correct a serious genetic disorder that causes disease or disability; there would have to be no other alternatives; there would have to be good evidence that the benefits would outweigh the risks; and there would have to be a plan in place to follow the gene-edited children. A slide from Dr. He's presentation in Hong Kong.CreditKin Cheung/Associated Press

Image

A slide from Dr. He's presentation in Hong Kong.CreditKin Cheung/Associated Press

What are the ethical concerns? Some worry that this is the first step toward using gene editing to create people with extreme intelligence, beauty or athletic ability. But that, for now, is not possible. Such traits are thought to be affected by possibly hundreds of genes acting in concert, and affected in turn by the environment. The biggest ethical concerns for now are with rogue scientists enticing couples who do not realize the risks to babies that might result from the experiments. And when those children grow up, the altered genes will be passed on to their children, and to their children‘s children, for generations to come.

What do we still not know? Until Dr. He publishes the results of his work in a peer-reviewed medical journal, we will not know the detailed results of the embryo editing, or even whether the twins were actually born. Dr. He has not submitted his data, nor has he identified the children or parents, other than to provide first names for the twin girls, Lulu and Nana; these may be pseudonyms. We won‘t know for many years if Crispr affected genes other than CCR₅. Nor can we gauge the health of the babies now or in the future.

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And, of course, we do not know if other scientists will be emboldened to try their own experiments editing the genes of human embryos. Gina Kolata writes about science and medicine. She has twice been a Pulitzer Prize finalist and is the author of six books, including ―Mercies in Disguise: A Story of Hope, a Family's Genetic Destiny, and The Science That Saved Them.‖ @ginakolata • Facebook Pam Belluck is a health and science writer. She was one of seven Times staffers awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for coverage of the Ebola epidemic. She is the author of ―Island Practice,‖ about a colorful and contrarian doctor on Nantucket. @PamBelluck https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/05/health/crispr-gene-editing-embryos.html

Conservation of Sarangani‘s indigenous rice varieties pushed December 6, 2018, 6:38 pm

GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- The provincial government of Sarangani and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) are pushing for the conservation of various traditional rice varieties that that have thrived for centuries in the province‘s upland areas.

Celito Terando, program manager of Sarangani‘s Sulong Tribu program, said Thursday the local government has launched a joint research with PhilRice to properly document over a hundred upland rice varieties that were grown by the area‘s indigenous tribes.

Terando said PhilRice personnel are currently visiting parts of the province‘s seven municipalities to specifically conduct an inventory through scientific means of the area‘s existing traditional rice varieties.

Dubbed ―Conservation of Sarangani Traditional Rice Germplasm,‖ Terando said the initiative focuses on the ―identification, collection and preservation‖ of the province‘s traditional rice varieties.

―Our goal is to set aside seed samples, especially of the premium or special varieties, and eventually reproduce them to ensure that they will be preserved for our future generations,‖ he

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said in an interview.

Terando said at least 107 upland rice varieties were listed to have been cultivated by the province‘s tribal communities.

Among the popular upland rice varieties in the area are Malgas, Lagfisan, Moradu, Masipag, Dinorado and Sampang.

Terando said the scientific research is needed as there are still a number of varieties that are not included in the list.

They also need to establish the areas where the rice varieties have grown well and whether they were cultivated by the Blaans, Tbolis, Tagakaulos or other minority groups, he said.

As part of the conservation process, Terando said the collected seed samples will be placed in a seed bank that will be established later on by the provincial government.―There are actually some varieties that are starting to vanish, and we want to save them,‖ he added. (PNA) http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1055924

REAP holds awareness session for Basmati rice exporters RECORDER REPORT

DEC 5TH, 2018 LAHORE The Rice Export Association of Pakistan (REAP) in collaboration with Eurofins Global Control, an international inspection company offering supply chain control solutions to achieve product quality and safety from the origin to the consumer, on Tuesday arranged an awareness session for the Basmati Rice exporters regarding changes being made in import inspection laws by the European Union (EU).

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Managing Director Eurofins Thomas Unger gave a detailed briefing to the exports about upcoming changes in laws by the EU in food sector with special emphasis on rice. He said rice was one of the biggest components of EU imports from Pakistan. He said four main challenges being faced by the rice exporters, from across the globe, i.e. presence of GMOs, aflatoxin, pesticide residues and inorganic arsenic. However, he said that Pakistani rice consignments have shown satisfactory results when tested for all these challenges. He said there was no GMO rice in Pakistan and 93 per cent of the samples tested for other factors came out satisfactory. However, he urged that Pakistan should strengthen its agricultural research institute to work for a more secured future for Basmati. Concluding his remarks, he urged upon Pakistan to strengthen control of seed materials to ensure there is no GMOs in export consignments, dry the paddy immediately after harvesting, build awareness among farmers to use agro-chemicals rationally to keep the pesticide residue under the prescribed level etc. Speaking on this occasion, Punjab Additional Secretary Agriculture Ghazanfar Ali assured the audience that there was no GMO present in Pakistani rice and if it had found in any consignment, it was due to use of imported seed. He also said that there was no issue of inorganic arsenic in Pakistani rice while aflatoxin and pesticide residue is also within the prescribed limits. He assured that there was no research going on for GMO rice and all the research institutes have been asked not to carry out any work on GMOs. He said the federal department of plant protection as well as provincial departments was keeping a strict check on this issue. He said Pakistan had only acquired first generation GMO cotton and trying to get second generation cotton GMOs. He said the provincial agriculture department was also discouraging the use of pesticides and had taken pesticide companies on board not to sell chemicals in rice zone. He said 21 laboratories under the department had been standardized and Kala Shah Kaku Research Institute laboratory is also ISO certified. He also threw light on steps taken by the government and the department for controlling the issue of smog. The additional secretary agriculture also invited the rice exporters to remain in touch with him for promotion of the rice exports. Senior Vice Chairman REAP Ali Hussam Asghar, former chairman Sami Ullah Naeem, Pir Nazim Hussain Shah, Shahjahan Malik and Kashif ur Rehman were also present on this occasion.

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https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/12/20181205428654/

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6th December,2018 Daily Global Regional Local Rice News  

Daily Rice News

6th December,2018 Daily Global Regional Local Rice News  

Daily Rice News

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