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November 12 ,2018

Vol 9 ,Issue 11

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India Mulls Barter System to Export Rice to Iran
Domestic Economy

November 11, 2018 19:36

India's payment system with Iran is being relaxed further for basmati rice exports. This comes
after the US allowed India to continue importing crude oil from Iran and develop Chabahar Port.

Now, India is finalizing guidelines for exporting basmati rice to its largest importer—Iran—on a
rupee payment basis, Business Standard reported.

The move has come as a positive development for exporters who are paying a higher price for
procuring basmati.

Last year, India exported $4.17 billion worth of basmati rice and Iran was the largest buyer of
rice with $905 million. In the first five months of 2018-19, exports have already crossed $2
billion and Iran continues to be the largest buyer for India followed by Saudi Arabia.

When the US announced sanctions against Iran, Indian farmers had already increased area under
basmati but exporters were cautious. However, the recent exemption for Iran followed by easing
of the payment crisis has lifted the sentiments of basmati exporters.

―Higher paddy price this season has put some pressure on the retail price, especially if you
consider that there is recession in the global market. However, there has been some stabilization
now and we expect a good basmati export cycle this year,‖ Kohinoor Foods joint managing
director, Gurnam Arora, said.

He added that the "Iran issue" had also been resolved to a large extent and traders have been
allowed to barter deals and consignments valued in rupee terms.

―The guidelines are being formulated and we are confident that Iranian basmati imports would
start soon.‖

Iran normally opens its market for basmati import by mid November after taking into account its
domestic production and demand matrices.

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All-India Rice Exporters Association Executive Director Vinod Kaul claimed that although some
of the basmati crop had been damaged, it was not significant and that the final assessment was
being done.

―The new basmati crop has started coming to the market and we are confident that Iran would
account for about 1 million tons of exports this season,‖ he said.

India is also bullish about the prospects of the Chinese market, although it basically imports non-
basmati rice varieties now. Recently, a buyer-seller meet was organized in China, where five to
six Indian rice exporters had participated even as the country approved 24 domestic rice millers.

However, the Chinese basmati market would still take some years before it "matures" for
domestic exporters, Arora said.

China is the world‘s largest producer and importer of rice and procures about 5 million tons
every year. India has estimated a potential sale of 1 million tons of rice to China. The country
planned to boost rice and sugar exports to narrow the trade gap with China.

Recently, five new Indian rice mills were cleared for exporting non-basmati rice to China, taking
the total to 24 rice mills. In May 2018, Chinese officials had inspected rice mills capable of
exporting non-basmati rice.

Basmati exporters have also been exploring other markets like the US, European Union and
Latin America. Yet, the results have not been encouraging.

Last year, total basmati exports from India stood at little over 4 million tons with almost 80% of
the consignment going to West Asian countries, led by Iran. However, exporters are still unsure
if last year‘s export figures would be matched.

Following better global demand last year, farmers had increased sowing and sown new basmati
varieties like 1401, 1509, apart from the 1121 type. ―Sowing has increased but quality has been
affected. This was because pest attack lowered the yield, resulting in higher market price at a
time when Iran hopes have revived,‖ said Devendr Vora, director of Friendship Traders, a new
Bombay-based trader-exporter.

As a result of high export demand and lower-than-expected crop (perhaps be due to quality), the
market is bullish.
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Domestically, Haryana and Punjab account for 40-45% of the total basmati production in India,
followed by Uttar Pradesh at 10-15%. India‘s net rice exports (including basmati) increased from
10.8 to 12.7 million tons last year, thus allowing the country to retain the top slot in the
commodity‘s global trade.
https://financialtribune.com/articles/domestic-economy/95004/india-mulls-barter-system-to-
export-rice-to-iran

Iran Rice Imports Down 4.21% (Mar-Oct 2018)


November 12, 2018 17:58

About 958,000 tons of wholly or semi-milled rice worth $985.4 million were imported into Iran
during the first seven months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Oct. 22) to register a 12.54%
and 4.21% decline in weight and value respectively compared with the similar period of last
year.

The latest data were released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
https://financialtribune.com/articles/business-and-markets/95024/iran-rice-imports-down-421-
mar-oct-2018

India Contemplates Bartering Basmati Rice with Iran to


Bypass Sanctions
Last year, India exported $4.17 billion worth of basmati rice and Iran was the largest buyer. he
payment system with Iran is being relaxed further for basmati rice exports. This comes after the
US allowed India to continue importing crude oil from Iran and develop the Chabahar
port. India is now finalising guidelines for exporting basmati rice to its largest importer – Iran –
on a rupee payment basis. The move has come as a positive development for exporters who are
paying a higher price for procuring basmati. Last year, India exported $4.17 billion worth of
basmati rice and Iran was the largest buyer (at $905 million). In the first five months of 2018-19,
exports have already crossed $2 billion and Iran continuous to be the largest buyer for India
followed by Saudi Arabia. When the US announced sanctions against Iran, farmers had already
increased area under basmati but exporters were cautious. However, the recent exemption for
Iran followed by easing of the payment crisis has lifted the sentiments of basmati exporters.
Higher paddy price this season has put some pressure on the retail price, especially if you
consider that there is recession in the global market. However, there has been some stabilisation

4|www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com ,
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now and we expect a good basmati export cycle this year,‖ Kohinoor Foods joint managing
director Gurnam Arora told Business Standard. He further said that the ‗Iran issue‘ had also been
resolved to a large extent and traders have been allowed to barter deals and consignments valued
in rupee terms. ―The guidelines are being formulated and we are confident that Iranian basmati
imports would start soon.‖ Iran normally
opens its market for basmati import by
mid November after taking into account
its domestic production and demand
matrices.

All-India Rice Exporters Association


(AIREA) executive director Vinod Kaul
claimed that although some of the
basmati crop had been damaged, yet it
was not significant and that the final
assessment was being done.

―The new basmati crop has started


coming to the market and we are
confident that Iran would account for
about one million tonnes (MT) of exports
this season,‖ he added.

India is also bullish about the prospects of


the Chinese market, although it basically
imports non-basmati rice varieties now.
Recently, a buyer-seller meet was
organised in China, where five-six Indian rice exporters had participated even as the country
approved 24 domestic rice millers.

However, the Chinese basmati market would still take some years before it ‗matures‘ for
domestic exporters, Arora added. China is the world‘s largest producer and importer of rice and
procures about 5 MT every year. India has estimated a potential sale of one MT of rice
to China. The country planned to boost rice and sugar exports to narrow the trade gap
with China. Recently, five new rice mills were cleared for exporting non-basmati rice to China,
taking the total to 24 rice mills. In May 2018, Chinese officials had inspected rice mills capable
of exporting non-basmati rice. Meanwhile, basmati exporters have also been exploring other
markets like the US, European Union and Latin America. Yet, the results have not been

5|www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com ,
mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com
encouraging. Last year, total basmati exports from India stood at little over 4 MT with almost
80% of the consignment going to West Asian countries, led by Iran.

However, exporters are still unsure if last year‘s export figures would be matched. Following
better global demand last year, farmers had increased sowing and sown new basmati varieties
like 1401, 1509, apart from the 1121 type. ―Sowing has increased but quality has been affected.
This was because pest attack lowered the yield, resulting in higher market price at a time when
Iran hopes have revived,‖ said Devendr Vora, director of Friendship Traders, a new Bombay-
based trader-exporter. West Asia, China and Iran may be big importers. As a result of high
export demand and lower-than-expected crop (may be due to quality), the market is bullish.
Domestically, Haryana and Punjab account for 40-45% of the total basmati production in India,
followed by Uttar Pradesh at 10-15%. India‘s net rice exports (including basmati) increased from
10.8 MT to 12.7 MT last year, thus allowing the country to retain the top slot in the commodity‘s
global trade.
https://thewire.in/trade/india-barter-basmati-rice-iran

Sample of suspected fake rice to be sent to lab – Dr Jamilah


SIBU: A sample of the suspected fake rice here has been collected and will be sent to a
laboratory in Johor Bharu for analysis tomorrow (Nov 12).

Sarawak Health director Dr Jamilah Hashim disclosed this during a press conference today after
the state-level ‗Gotong-Royong‘ Mega 2.0 here at Farley Commercial Centre here today to
combat Aedes mosquito. She, however, said it will take some time for the results to be known.
―On the suspected fake rice – actually, the Health Department did not receive specific report –
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nobody made any report that there is (suspected) ‗fake‘ rice.

―We got to know about this from The Borneo Post – the media. Therefore, (Sibu divisional
health officer) Dr Lee (Jo Hun) through the media contacted the complainant concerned and they
have already collected the rice sample suspected to be fake to be sent to the laboratory in Johor
tomorrow (Nov 12). ―In this regard, before that (the outcome of the results is known), we are
unsure whether it is fake or genuine rice. It will take a bit of time for the results to be out.

We will revert when the results are out,‖ Dr Jamilah said when asked on the suspected fake
rice reported in The Borneo Post last Saturday. Asked for advice to members of the public, she
said: ―I don‘t know. I am not sure about the brand of the rice involved. ―Maybe, if prices are
‗unrealistically low‘, the public should think twice about buying it. Buy those (rice) that they
normally buy and where prices are logical.‖ At this juncture, Sarawak Federal Secretary Datuk
Mansor Man interjected, pointing out that sometimes the rice looked too ‗beautiful‘ and might
look suspicious.

―If there are such issues, (the public are advised to) report Ministry of Domestic Trade and
Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) so that their enforcement (unit) can take necessary action. If
information can be obtained early – it is good so as to inform the public,‖ he added. Concurring
with Mansor, Dr Jamilah said the public can perhaps forward complaints to the Health
Department if they are suspicious about the product so that they can investigate. Alternatively,
she said that members of the media could alert the department if they received any information to
enable them to investigate.

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She said this is important to prevent people from consuming the rice if it was proven to be fake
as there would be effect to their health. Meanwhile, it was recently reported that two members of
the public were shocked when the rice they had cooked turned into weird consistency and did not
look like genuine rice. According to the report, one of them who requested to remain anonymous
said that though the texture of the rice looked different, she did not suspect anything at first
because it tasted like rice. She also claimed that the rice felt like cotton. She could squeeze the
water out when it was wet and the rice became light as a feather when it was dry.
http://www.theborneopost.com/2018/11/11/sample-of-suspected-fake-rice-to-be-sent-to-lab-dr-

Northern California marks 2018 rice harvest


Weather held out for northern California's 2018 rice harvest

Weather conditions held out for northern California's 2018 rice harvest as growers worked their
way through their early-to-late season varieties. Marysville-area grower Charley Mathews began
harvest of his early crop as morning temperatures began to hint of a cool-down while daytime
highs remained above 90 degrees. Mathews is the new USA Rice Federation chairman, elected to
the post by his peers at a meeting in Texas last summer. California produces about 4 billion
pounds of rice annually from roughly 550,000 acres of farmland. About 95 percent of the state's
rice production takes place between Sacramento and Chico. According to the University of
California, rice yields in California can exceed 10,000 pounds per acre, which is about 20
percent above the national average.
https://www.westernfarmpress.com/rice/northern-california-marks-2018-rice-harvest

Chama rice company in 150 metric tonnes a month contract


By Christopher Miti on November 12, 2018

MWANANGWA Rice managing director Yotam Mtayachalo says the company is in the process
of designing programmes to support out grower rice schemes aimed at raising capacity for small-
scale farmers to boost rice production in the district. In a statement, Mtayachalo stated that
Chama had potential in rice production.

―We would like to appeal to the people of Chama to support the company and we are more than
ready to partner with individuals or organisations in order to further grow the business and
develop the district respectively,‖ he stated.Mtayachalo stated that his Chama-based company
had signed a contract to supply 150 metric tonnes of Chama rice per month to Gourock (Z), a
Copperbelt based company.

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―The signing of this supply contract is a historic landmark and good news to the people of
Chama as it is a giant step in revolutionising rice production in the district,‖ he stated.

―It will provide a window of opportunity to rice farmers in the district to boost rice production
because the signing of the contract will provide a ready market for their commodity. The move
shall also go a long way in as far as creation of household income for rice farmers is concerned
thus significantly reducing high poverty levels which is more pronounced in rural communities.‖

Mtayachalo stated that the contract was signed during the week in Ndola. He disclosed that he
signed on behalf of Mwanangwa Rice Company while Jayesh Thakkar, the chief operating
officer, signed on behalf of Gourock (Z) Ltd.

―The company shall next year embark on an ambitious programme to expand its business
operations in order to meet the ever increasing demand for rice and the move shall undoubtedly
create job opportunities for the local people as priority shall be given to disadvantaged groups
such as the youths and women,‖ stated Mtayachalo.

―I want also to assure the people of Chama that the company will also endeavour to provide
corporate social responsibilities (CSR) to the communities as a token of appreciation for their
hard work and partnership.‖

https://www.themastonline.com/2018/11/12/chama-rice-company-in-150-metric-tonnes-a-
month-contract/

Getting richer, more Indonesians shift to premium rice


News Desk
The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Mon, November 12, 2018 | 12:55 pm

Customers browse the rice varieties on offer at the Cipinang Central Rice Market (PIBC) in East
Jakarta in this file photograph. (Antara/Muhammad Adimaja)

Following the consumption trend of middle-income consumers, rice producers have started to
distribute more premium rice instead of medium-quality rice, a report submitted to the
Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) says.

The report from rice producer PT Buyung Poetra Sembada (HOKI) shows that the company‘s
revenue increased 17.78 percent from January to September to Rp 1.06 trillion (US$72.14
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million), compared to figure in the same period last year, which was at Rp 900.05 billion

The report from HOKI, which focuses on selling premium rice, also shows a 15.6
percent increase from Rp 941.3 trillion to Rp 1.09 trillion.

Agriculture expert Khudori said that rice was no longer a single commodity and was not viewed
as "inferior" by middle-class consumers, which preferred to consume premium rice rather than
medium-quality rice.

―In the last few years, the price trend for rice has been determined more by premium rice, not
medium-quality rice. When the rice price increases, [consumers] did not shift to rice that
were priced lower, instead, they reduced the volume of their purchases,‖ Khudori said as quoted
by kontan.co.id.

―The [consumer] preference has been shifting. The government policy, therefore, should also
change to be more effective,‖ he said.

The number of middle-income consumers has been growing, and is projected to grow from 40
million at present to 200 million by 2045, said National Development Planning
Minister/National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) head Bambang Prodjonegoro.

A study in April 2016 that involved 1,977 respondents shows the majority of respondents ranked
rice the highest among daily consumption choices. (bbn)

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Healthy white rice may soon be on the menu
Anna Kitanaka
Bloomberg

| Fri, November 9, 2018 | 01:00 am

The Australian organization says it‘s developed the rice with the Chinese Academy of Sciences,
and it has been successfully tested by breeders in the Asian country. (Bloomberg/File)

While delicious, there‘s no denying that white rice can wreak havoc on your diet -- that is unless
someone could make a refined version with the same benefits of its wholegrain brother.

Luckily, Australia‘s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation has just
done that - creating a variety of rice that has an outer layer four to 12 times thicker than usual.
That means it can be polished to remove the outer layer to make a white rice that retains more of
the nutrients found in the wholegrain variety, according to the CSIRO.

―Our obsession with rice isn‘t going anywhere, but unfortunately, our waistlines are, and too
much white rice isn‘t helping,‖ Eliza Keck, a CSIRO communications adviser said on the
government agency‘s website. ―Thankfully, the demand for healthier varieties of rice has been
on the rise in recent years, and that‘s where our innovation comes in.‖

The Australian organization says it‘s developed the rice with the Chinese Academy of
Sciences, and it has been successfully tested by breeders in the Asian country. The new
variety has little to no effect on the growth and yield of rice, CSIRO said. The Asian
nation, which consumes over 100 kilograms per capita of rice every year, has a strong
incentive to see healthier varieties become more popular as it battles with the world‘s
most-diabetic population.

CSIRO is teaming up with Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of
Agricultural Sciences to see if its innovation can also be applied to wheat, barley and
sorghum, it said.
http://www.thejakartapost.com/life/2018/11/08/healthy-white-rice-may-soon-be-on-the-menu.html

No to rice tariffication
posted November 12, 2018 at 09:23 pm by Norman Cruz

11 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
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NFA rice millers and farmers troop in front of the Senate office to ask for the dismissal of the
proposed Rice Tariffication bill and oppose Senate Bill 1998.
http://manilastandard.net/gallery/-news-in-photos/280362/no-to-rice-tariffication.html

Agric Minister describes USDA‘s 2018 rice importation report


a mischief
Sunday, November 11, 2018 3:39 pm

November 13, 2018

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has described as
―mischief‖ the report credited to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) alleging
that Nigeria imported about three million tonnes of rice in 2018.

According to him, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has not issued any Letter of Credit (LC)
for importation of rice in 2018.
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Ogbeh made the assertion in Otukpo, Benue State, on the sideline of the distribution of rice and
feed milling machines to farmers in Oja Community of the state on Sunday.

The minister, who was reacting to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture
(USDA), which alleged that Nigeria imported about three million tonnes of rice in 2018,
described it as a ‗mischief‘.

The minister said that although smuggling was being perpetrated at the borders, there had not
been any officially approved importation of rice into the country this year.

He, however, challenged the USDA to prove the authenticity of the claim by providing the
details of the company that had imported rice, details of the paid duty at the port and clearance.

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―After that report I went to the CBN and I met with the governor on Monday and asked him how
many Letters of Credit (LC) they have opened this year for rice importation and he said `not one‘
and you can ask the CBN governor.

―Some of these reports with all due respect are meant to demoralise our people here.

―Smugglers are smuggling rice, we fight them, we seize them.

―Official importation of rice is as low as it ever was except they can tell us which company
imported rice, paid the duty at the port, who cleared it.

―If they don‘t, let them give us more details of what they found.

―With all due respect, I don‘t like some of the comments of some of our foreign firms.
Everything we do is wrong and Nigerians absorb that message.

―If they are talking of smugglers through the ports in Cotonou, that is a different story, even
though I am not sure that about three million tonnes was imported.

―How do they sit out there and know what is happening in our ports. It is incredible,‖ he queried.

The minister said that the government had cut down on rice importation by 90 per cent.

According to him, Kano has 1,240 rice mills, Kebbi has three giant ones and so is Jigawa,
Ebonyi, Anambra and other states.

On working with rice farmers and millers to slash the price of locally produced rice, Ogbeh said
that the CBN would give low interest loans to them to help reduce the price.

https://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2018/11/11/agric-minister-describes-usdas-2018-rice-importation-
report-a-mischief/

Two officers suspended in fake paddy purchase scam


Nov 12, 2018, 1:41 AM; last updated: Nov 12, 2018, 5:28 PM (IST)

THE TRIBUNE IMPACT

Ruchika M Khanna

14 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
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Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 11
The state government has placed the services of two officers — one employed with Pungrain and
the other with Markfed — under suspension with immediate effect.

The two officials are accused of having made fake entries for paddy purchase on the official
portal of the state Food and Civil Supplies Department.

Launching a thorough investigation into the scam, believed to be going on for the past decade,
the Food and Civil Supplies Department has also written to the Secretary, Punjab Mandi Board,
asking him to initiate a probe against their officers and arhtiyas (commission agents) involved in
the scam.

The suspensions were ordered today by Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu
after the scam of fake purchase of paddy was discovered by the department and highlighted by
The Tribune in its news columns.

The two officers — Vikas Jindal of Pungrain and field officer of Markfed Charanjit Singh —
will be stationed at the headquarters during the course of their suspension so that they have no
access to the records in the mandis and chances of manipulation of records is minimal.

The government has also withdrawn the work of procurement from Pungrain and Markfed in the
mandi at Patti - where the alleged scam was unearthed last week.

Anandita Mitra, Director, Food and Civil Supplies Department, said very limited quantity of
paddy was left to be purchased and the other two food procurement agencies — Punsup and
Punjab Agro Industries Corporation — would carry on with the procurement at the Patti mandi.
Patti is the hometown of former Food and Civil Supplies Minister Adaish Partap Kairon.

The department officials had caught the inspectors making entries for purchase of 1.7 lakh bags
of paddy without any paddy actually being purchased.

The Tribune had highlighted that how a nexus between the arhtiyas, mandi officer, inspector and
rice millers was leading to bogus billing of paddy without any purchase. The arhtiyas, mandi
officer and inspectors make fake entries in the portal for paddy purchase, following which the
money is released by the government. The miller purchases cheaper paddy from other states,
processes it and sends it to the government. In the process all four make profit.

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Mitra said they had been disturbed at how the acreage under paddy had not gone up, but
procurement was increasing. This shows that procurement increase was affected only on paper,
and the government continued to pay for paddy that was not even purchased.

 The two officials — Vikas Jindal of Pungrain and Charanjit Singh of Markfed — are
accused of having made fake entries for paddy purchase on the official portal of the state
Food and Civil Supplies Department.
 The government has also withdrawn the work of procurement from Pungrain and Markfed in
Patti, where the ―scam‖ was unearthed last week.
https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/two-officers-suspended-in-fake-paddy-purchase-
scam/681721.html

Farmers’ union demand CBI probe


Monday, 12 November 2018 | PNS | Moga

Punjab‘s farmer organisations on Sunday demanded a high level probe of large scale paddy
purchase ―only on papers and not in stocks‖ for which payment was also made by the State Food
and Supply Department to the farmers through the commission agent.Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta
Ugrahan) president Joginder Singh Ugrahan and general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokri
demanded that a high level probe of the scam be conducted with immediate registration of cases
against the inspectors of procurement agencies, Food and Supply Department and also against
the commission agents on alleged charge of cheating and fraud with the State Government and
also with the Centre and also cheating the farmers.

―Rice millers and Punjab Mandi Board officers and inspectors were also involved in this scam,‖
they alleged.

Farmer leaders, referring to a news report, stated that the scam was uncovered on November 6,
when the Food and Civil Supply Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashus received a complaint of large
scale bogus billing.

The Department, when visited Tarn Taran, found fake purchase of 92,000 bags of paddy by the
commission agents in connivance with one of the Government procurement agency, and another
78,000 bags involving Markfed officials was also found.

They pointed that the commission agents, mandi board officers and inspectors were uploading
entries on the Department‘s official portal, showing paddy purchase, when no actual purchase is
being made.

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And when an entry for paddy purchase by the commission agent was made, the payment is
released to them electronically, while no physical verification of paddy purchase was undertaken,
they added

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/two-officers-suspended-in-fake-paddy-purchase-
scam/681721.html

Northern California marks 2018 rice harvest


Todd Fitchette 2 | Nov 12, 2018

Weather held out for northern California's 2018 rice harvest

Weather conditions held out for northern California's 2018 rice harvest as growers worked their
way through their early-to-late season varieties.

Marysville-area grower Charley Mathews began harvest of his early crop as morning
temperatures began to hint of a cool-down while daytime highs remained above 90 degrees.
Mathews is the new USA Rice Federation chairman, elected to the post by his peers at a meeting
in Texas last summer.California produces about 4 billion pounds of rice annually from roughly
550,000 acres of farmland. About 95 percent of the state's rice production takes place between

17 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
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Sacramento and Chico. According to the University of California, rice yields in California can
exceed 10,000 pounds per acre, which is about 20 percent above the national average.

https://www.westernfarmpress.com/rice/northern-california-marks-2018-rice-harvest

Getting richer, more Indonesians shift to premium rice


News Desk
The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Mon, November 12, 2018 | 12:55 pm

Customers browse the rice varieties on offer at the Cipinang Central Rice Market (PIBC) in East
Jakarta in this file photograph. (Antara/Muhammad Adimaja)

Following the consumption trend of middle-income consumers, rice producers have started to
distribute more premium rice instead of medium-quality rice, a report submitted to the
Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) says.

18 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com
The report from rice producer PT Buyung Poetra Sembada (HOKI) shows that the company‘s
revenue increased 17.78 percent from January to September to Rp 1.06 trillion (US$72.14
million), compared to figure in the same period last year, which was at Rp 900.05 billion

The report from HOKI, which focuses on selling premium rice, also shows a 15.6
percent increase from Rp 941.3 trillion to Rp 1.09 trillion.

Agriculture expert Khudori said that rice was no longer a single commodity and was not viewed
as "inferior" by middle-class consumers, which preferred to consume premium rice rather than
medium-quality rice.

―In the last few years, the price trend for rice has been determined more by premium rice, not
medium-quality rice. When the rice price increases, [consumers] did not shift to rice that
were priced lower, instead, they reduced the volume of their purchases,‖ Khudori said as quoted
by kontan.co.id.

―The [consumer] preference has been shifting. The government policy, therefore, should also
change to be more effective,‖ he said.

The number of middle-income consumers has been growing, and is projected to grow from 40
million at present to 200 million by 2045, said National Development Planning
Minister/National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) head Bambang Prodjonegoro.

A study in April 2016 that involved 1,977 respondents shows the majority of respondents ranked
rice the highest among daily consumption choices. (bbn)

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2018/11/12/getting-richer-more-indonesians-shift-to-premium-
rice.html

Retreating Planting Season, Rice Prices Expected to be


Higher Early Next Year
Sunday, 11 November 2018 | 07:31 WIB

Illustration: Farmer planting paddy

BANYUMAS, NNC - The rice price on the market has the potential to increase due to the retreat of
the rice planting period in the first planting season of 2018/2019, said Head of the Representative
Office of Bank Indonesia of Purwokerto Agus Chusaini.

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"So there is indeed a potential increase in rice prices at the beginning of the year, around January-
February, the amount of rice availability will decrease, but the government has imported [rice]. So,
God willing, maybe the [rice] price can be controlled," he said after attending the first planting in the
context of the accelerated movement of rice planting in Kuntili Village, Sumpiuh Sub-district,
Banyumas Regency, Central Java, Saturday (11/10/2018).

According to him, imports of rice carried out by the government are intended to anticipate the
reduced supply of food in early 2019 due to the decline of the rice planting season.

Therefore, he expects rice imports that have been carried out by the government to meet the needs at
the beginning of 2019.

"With imports, the government's rice reserves are now large. So, we hope that at the beginning of the
year, reserves will be sufficient until the next harvest," said Agus.

He acknowledged that until now, the price of rice in the market, especially the city of Purwokerto,
Banyumas Regency, is still relatively stable, but his side is still observing it."Indeed, with the
delayed planting, it is possible that the harvest will also retreat. This is something that needs to be
anticipated. Although the price rises, the increase may still be reasonable, it will not rise dramatically
as in the case of last year [end 2017 to early 2018]," said he quoted from Antara.

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On a separate occasion, the Head of the Banyumas Regency Agriculture and Food Security Office
Widarso admitted if the rice planting period in the first planting season of 2018/20 was delayed due
to the rainy season's retreat.

Therefore, he said, the acceleration of planting movements as carried out in Kuntili Village, Sumpiuh
Sub-district, Banyumas, could catch up because previously the planting area in October to November
was targeted to reach 20,000 hectares.

However, until now, he continued, only about 10 percent had been realized or around 2,000 hectares,
so it was hoped that the target could be met by the end of November.

"What we are worried about is that if the retreat is too long, the famine will increase (long) and this is
a big risk. In January 2018 alone, the price of rice is quite high and lasts quite a long time," he said.

With the retreat of the planting season as it is now, he predicts rice production in January 2019 will
not be maximized.

http://www.en.netralnews.com/news/business/read/25573/retreating.planting.season..rice.prices.expected.
to.be.higher.early.next.year

Australian firm acquires Vietnamese processing mill


VNA SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2018 - 18:18:00 PRINT

Rice is packaged at the Song Hau Food Company in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho (Photo:
VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – SunRice Group has completed the acquisition of a rice processing mill in the
Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap, the first direct financial investment of the Australian
business in Vietnam.

The Vietnamese Trade Office in Australia cited SunRice as saying that this is an important step
towards establishing a fully vertically integrated and sustainable supply chain in Vietnam.

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This firm will invest in improving and expanding the mill and purchasing equipment, in order to
increase whitening and polishing capacity and to add a new packing line. This will ensure that
the mill satisfy high quality and safety standards and customers‘
requirements.

The mill is anticipated to be fully operational during the first half of 2019 with a processing
capacity of around 260,000 dry paddy tonnes per year.

SunRice CEO Rob Gordon said the purchase of a fully owned mill in Vietnam is the latest in a
series of acquisitions and investments that have been made to advance SunRice‘s 2022 Growth
Strategy.

https://en.vietnamplus.vn/australian-firm-acquires-vietnamese-processing-mill/141644.vnp

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Myanmar earns over 435 mln USD from rice export in 7 months
Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-10 16:13:54|Editor: xuxin

YANGON, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar earned 435.96 million U.S. dollars from export of rice
and broken rice as of Oct. 26 this year, the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) said Saturday.
From April 1 to Oct. 26, over 1 million tons of rice was exported to 43 countries and 251,224
tons of broken rice to 18 foreign countries, respectively.
About 53.4 percent of rice and broken rice were exported through border gates while the rest via
sea routes during the period.
The country earned over 1.11 billion U.S. dollars from export of 2.89 million tons of rice and
620,696 tons of broken rice in last FY 2017-2018.
About 60 percent of the country's rice exports predominantly go to neighbouring China mainly
through border gates while demand for the country's rice also comes from other Asian countries,
European Union member states and some African countries.
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-11/10/c_137597211.htm

Nigeria: How Kebbi Lost 80% of Rice to Flood


Tagged:

By Ismail Adebayo

Birnin Kebbi — It was mixed feelings as farmers in the various rice-producing communities in
Kebbi State began harvest of their rain-fed rice.

Rice production in the lowland Fadama plain areas in the state was badly affected during the wet
season.

The two Fadama areas: River Rima and River Niger flood plains, are seen as a blessing to rice
farmers because of the large quantity of rice that comes from the areas.

However, in this last wet season, floods in various parts of Kebbi, were a disaster to the farmers.

Most of the farms along the River Rima and River Niger Fadama flood plains were taken over by
floods leading to over 80 per cent loss by farmers.

The Chairman of the Rice Farmers Association (RFA) in Kebbi State, Alhaji Muhammed Sahabi
Augie, lamented that production was affected because of the floods.

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Alhaji Muhammed said, "Rice production was affected in the lowland Fadama areas. Rice
farmers' loss along the River Rima plain was huge. We can put their loss at about 80 per cent and
30 per cent at the River Niger flood plain. For the upland areas such as Zuru and Yauri, where
rice is also produced in large quantity, the situation was better. There is a need to embark on
intensive and robust dry season rice farming during next year's season to be able to manage the
loss.

"The good thing is that Kebbi farmers produce rice throughout the year. The rice available can
serve millers' at least five to six months of next year and by that time the farmers would have
started harvesting rice again. I will advise government to open up more areas for rice farmers to
cultivate and embark on aggressive and robust rice production next year. This will help to make
up for the losses and boost rice production in the state."

Augie said apart from the usual loan assistance the farmers get from the Anchor Borrowers
Programme (ABP), government should create other interventions through which they could be
assisted in order to boost rice production in the state.

A farmer at the Makera farm area of Birnin Kebbi Local Government Area told our
correspondent that he was able to harvest less than 20 per cent of his rice because the farm was
taken over by flood a few weeks before harvest, and added that, "I was somehow lucky because
many of the farmers here lost everything to the flood."

https://allafrica.com/stories/201811110013.html

Myanmar earns almost 436 million USD from rice exports

VNA Sunday, November 11, 2018 - 16:14:00

A worker arranges rice at a warehouse in Yangon, Myanmar (Photo: Xinhua)

Hanoi (VNA) – Myanmar earned nearly 436 million USD from exporting rice and broken rice
from April 1 to October 26 this year, according to the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF).

In the period, the Southeast Asian country shipped abroad more than 1 million tonnes of rice and
nearly 251,230 tonnes of broken rice.

About 53.4 percent of the two types of rice were exported through border gates while the rest via
sea routes. The country raked in over 1.11 billion USD from export of 2.89 million tonnes of rice
and 620,696 tonnes of broken rice in the fiscal year 2017-2018.

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China is the leading rice export market of Myanmar, accounting about 60 percent, while demand
for the country's rice also comes from other Asian countries, European Union members and some
African countries.

Aside from rice, Myanmar also boosts exports of other products, including peas, aquatic
products, garment-textile, timber and wooden products, and rubber, a move to decrease the
country‘s trade deficit.
The Asian Development Outlook 2018, published by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), has
updated Myanmar's estimated economic figures, saying that the country's growth rate of gross
domestic product (GDP) is 6.6 percent for 2018, and 7 percent for 2019.
Myanmar's inflation rate is 6.2 percent for 2018 and 6 percent for 2019 respectively. Meanwhile,
the current account balance deficit is 3 percent of GDP in 2018, and 4 percent in 2019. -VNA
https://en.vietnamplus.vn/myanmar-earns-almost-436-million-usd-from-rice-exports/141660.vnp

India's rice exports drop in April-September, pulses surge:


government body
NOVEMBER 12, 2018 / 3:13 PM

A farmer winnows rice in a field on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India, November 4, 2016.
REUTERS/Amit Dave

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MUMBAI (Reuters) - India‘s rice exports dropped 9.6 percent to 5.8 million tonnes between
April and September from a year earlier, as leading buyer Bangladesh trimmed purchases due to
bumper local harvest, a government body said.

The country‘s buffalo meat exports during the period edged down 0.5 percent from a year ago to
618,559 tonnes, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority
said.Guar gum exports rose 5 percent to 265,195 tonnes on robust demand from the United
States.India is the world‘s biggest exporter of buffalo meat, guar gum and rice.

The country‘s exports of pulses more than doubled during the period to 171,656 tonnes, while
dairy exports surged 39.3 percent to 66,462 tonnes, the agency said.Reporting by Rajendra
Jadhav; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

https://in.reuters.com/article/india-palmoil-imports/indian-palm-oil-imports-unlikely-to-rise-despite-fall-
in-prices-idINKCN1NI0UF

Rice Prices
as on : 12-11-2018 11:07:40 AM
Arrivals in tonnes;prices in Rs/quintal in domestic market.

Arrivals Price

Current % Season Modal Prev. Prev.Yr


change cumulative Modal %change

Rice

Cachar(ASM) 60.00 50 5602.00 2400 2400 9.09

Hapur(UP) 60.00 NC 2490.00 2520 2480 10.53

Panchpedwa(UP) 26.00 4 544.00 2220 2220 -

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Ruperdeeha(UP) 6.00 NC 278.00 1600 1600 -

Dibrugarh(ASM) 3.60 -28 761.70 2920 2920 29.78

Khairagarh(UP) 0.80 14.29 118.20 2560 2560 1.59

Achnera(UP) 0.70 NC 23.40 2560 2560 0.39

Jagnair(UP) 0.60 -14.29 85.60 2550 2550 0.39

Published on November 12, 2018


https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/rice-prices/article25473236.ece

Farmers' union demand CBI probe in Punjab's biggest


paddy scam
Moga, Nov 11 ( UNI) Joginder Singh Ugrahan and Sukhdev Singh Kokri president and general
secretary respectively of BKU Ekta Ugrahan demanded a high level probe of large scale paddy
purchase only on papers and not in stocks and also made payment by the food and supply
department to the farmers through the commission agent .
Both leaders demanded high level probe of the scam with immediate registration of cases against
the inspectors of procurement agencies , food and supply department and also against the
commission agents on alleged charge of cheating and fraud with the state government and also
with the centre and also cheating the farmers , both the farmers leaders said here today that rice
millers and Punjab Mandi board officers and inspectors were also involved in this scam .
Commission agent showing uploading entries of paddy and also supplying to the millers when
there was not actual purchase, they said that when entry of purchase of paddy by commission
agent is uploaded the payment soon after release to the commission agent electronically without
any verification .they referred the scam appeared in papers that the scam was uncovered on Nov
6 when food and supply minister received a complaint of large scale bogus billing .
Punjab government food supply department when visited Taran Taran they found fake purchase
of 92000 bags of paddy by commission agents in connivance with one of the government
procurement agency found another 78000bags nu markfed officials.
The farmer union leader alleged that inquire teams found that no paddy purchase was made by
procurement agencies in Taran Taran between Oct-23 and 31, increase of purchase had been
made , inquire also revealed that bags were sent millers in advance. the farmer leader alleged that

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the state department of food and supply making false entries of unloading of paddy, making
payment to commission agent and dispatching to millers .
There was no entry of dispatch to millers .The farmers leaders If the purchase of paddy was
correct than why farmers were being exploited and heaps of paddy still lying in the mandies on
the stand of more moisture .
The farmers leader demanded high level probe of this biggest scam by the CBI with the
registration of cheating of Punjab government, centre and farmers so that such officials and
commission agent involved in the scam could be punish .
UNI XC KS SY 1445

Rice millers seek exemption as environment body extends


shutdown
By Prashant Krar, ET Bureau|

Nov 12, 2018, 02.11 PM IST

As the current restriction has coincided with the peak paddy


procurement season, large quantity of paddy is lying in
mandies.CHANDIGARH: Perturbed by the imminent losses
they may face at the peak of the business season, rice millers in
the National Capital Region (NCR) have approached the
Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority to
seek relief from the ban on operating their mills. The ban on
such operations has been extended beyond November 10 after
air quality nosedived in Delhi post Diwali. EPCA has extended
the closure of all biomass and coal-based industries till
November 12 and will take a call on the ban on Monday after
reviewing the pollution situation.

EPCA chairman Bhure Lal, in his order on November 10, extended the ban on industries but
exempted the entry of trucks supplying essential commodities to Delhi. As per the orders, all
construction activity, brick kilns, truck traffic to Delhi, operations of coal and biomass-based
industry in the NCR will be banned.

Over 500 mills across Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan had to shut operations since
November 4 as they use rice husk (biomass) as fuel to run different operations including the
drying of paddy on arrival. All India Rice Exporters Association has apprised the EPCA
chairman of the situation that is set to have a drastic impact on the rice industry as it will impact

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exports and hit the income to labourers and farmers. During his meeting with the chairman, the
association‘s executive director, Vinod Kaul, said the drying of paddy is the first step taken to
preserve paddy. This year, the moisture levels are already high.

As the current restriction has coincided with the peak paddy procurement season, large quantity
of paddy is lying in mandies. The large labour force engaged in rice industry is without work and
can become another a major issue if the industry does not resume operations immediately.

The association cautioned that the ban would help Pakistan in the highly competitive rice export
market.

Millers maintain that the rice industry has installed all measures for pollution control as advised
from time to time by the Pollution Control Board. ―Being a food commodity, even last year, the
NGT had exempted rice industry from any restriction… The industry, through the forum of
AIREA, appeal to the EPCA to kindly reconsider its decision of extension of restriction on rice
industry and allow its operations immediately,‖ president of AIREA, Vijay Sethia said.

India Mulls Barter System to Export Rice to Iran


.....

India's payment system with Iran is being relaxed further for basmati rice exports. This comes
after the US allowed India to continue importing crude oil from Iran and develop Chabahar Port.

Now, India is finalizing guidelines for exporting basmati rice to its largest importer—Iran—on a
rupee payment basis, Business Standard reported.

The move has come as a positive development for exporters who are paying a higher price for
procuring basmati.

Last year, India exported $4.17 billion worth of basmati rice and Iran was the largest buyer of
rice with $905 million. In the first five months of 2018-19, exports have already crossed $2
billion and Iran continues to be the largest buyer for India followed by Saudi Arabia.

When the US announced sanctions against Iran, Indian farmers had already increased area under
basmati but exporters were cautious. However, the recent exemption for Iran followed by easing
of the payment crisis has lifted the sentiments of basmati exporters.

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―Higher paddy price this season has put some pressure on the retail price, especially if you
consider that there is recession in the global market. However, there has been some stabilization
now and we expect a good basmati export cycle this year,‖ Kohinoor Foods joint managing
director, Gurnam Arora, said.

He added that the "Iran issue" had also been resolved to a large extent and traders have been
allowed to barter deals and consignments valued in rupee terms.

―The guidelines are being formulated and we are confident that Iranian basmati imports would
start soon.‖

Iran normally opens its market for basmati import by mid November after taking into account its
domestic production and demand matrices.

All-India Rice Exporters Association Executive Director Vinod Kaul claimed that although some
of the basmati crop had been damaged, it was not significant and that the final assessment was
being done.

―The new basmati crop has started coming to the market and we are confident that Iran would
account for about 1 million tons of exports this season,‖ he said.

India is also bullish about the prospects of the Chinese market, although it basically imports non-
basmati rice varieties now. Recently, a buyer-seller meet was organized in China, where five to
six Indian rice exporters had participated even as the country approved 24 domestic rice millers.

However, the Chinese basmati market would still take some years before it "matures" for
domestic exporters, Arora said.

China is the world‘s largest producer and importer of rice and procures about 5 million tons
every year. India has estimated a potential sale of 1 million tons of rice to China. The country
planned to boost rice and sugar exports to narrow the trade gap with China.

Recently, five new Indian rice mills were cleared for exporting non-basmati rice to China, taking
the total to 24 rice mills. In May 2018, Chinese officials had inspected rice mills capable of
exporting non-basmati rice.

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Basmati exporters have also been exploring other markets like the US, European Union and
Latin America. Yet, the results have not been encouraging.

Last year, total basmati exports from India stood at little over 4 million tons with almost 80% of
the consignment going to West Asian countries, led by Iran. However, exporters are still unsure
if last year‘s export figures would be matched.

Following better global demand last year, farmers had increased sowing and sown new basmati
varieties like 1401, 1509, apart from the 1121 type. ―Sowing has increased but quality has been
affected. This was because pest attack lowered the yield, resulting in higher market price at a
time when Iran hopes have revived,‖ said Devendr Vora, director of Friendship Traders, a new
Bombay-based trader-exporter.

As a result of high export demand and lower-than-expected crop (perhaps be due to quality), the
market is bullish.

Domestically, Haryana and Punjab account for 40-45% of the total basmati production in India,
followed by Uttar Pradesh at 10-15%. India‘s net rice exports (including basmati) increased from
10.8 to 12.7 million tons last year, thus allowing the country to retain the top slot in the
commodity‘s global trade.

Chitralis begin stocking flour, rice, kitchen items as winter


sets in
CHITRAL: With the advent of the winter season, the residents here have started buying daily use
items in large quantities to avoid inconvenience in case of shortage due to the closure of roads
after heavy snowfall. The provision stores have sprung up in Chitral selling wheat flour, rice,
pulses and ghee and other daily use items. The people could be seen visiting the bazaars to stock
the necessary kitchen items to cope with the harsh weather conditions in the landlocked district.

The traders, who normally deal in construction material, have also started selling flour, rice,
pulses, cooking oil and ghee as construction activities grind to a halt during the winter season in
Chitral.

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Scores of new general stores have opened up on both sides of the Bypass Road in the Chitral
town. The road along the polo ground is dotted with grocery stores up to the vegetable market,
selling a myriad of items. A shopkeeper running a general store at the Ataleeq Bazaar on the
Bypass Road said that flour was in great demand and people were buying it in large quantities to
ward off shortages during the inclement weather conditions.

He said that the number of general stores had increased which was benefiting the customers as
the shopkeepers tended to maintain low prices to attract the buyers.

The shopkeeper said that now wholesale dealers had opened up stores in Drosh, Booni, Ayun,
Garam Chashma and Mastuj and the local people were benefiting from them. A costumer said
now good quality flour was being sold in the market due to the construction of the Lowari
Tunnel. Meanwhile, the local Food Department was transporting wheat flour to the length and
breadth of Chitral before the start of the snowfall.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/392675-chitralis-begin-stocking-flour-rice-kitchen-items-
as-winter-sets-in

Chinese help in agriculture


Mohiuddin AazimNovember 12, 2018

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Illustration by Rohail Safdar

Agriculture in Pakistan will soon begin witnessing the increased footprint of Chinese
cooperation. But how much this cooperation will help accelerate our agricultural growth —
and at what cost — remains to be seen.

During Prime Minister Imran Khan‘s visit to China, Islamabad and Beijing inked a few initial
agreements on agriculture; on the basis of which detailed frameworks of cooperation in the field
of crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry will be developed and implemented.

Officials say that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed during Mr Khan‘s visit
provides the basis for attracting Chinese investment and Chinese technical assistance in all sub-
sectors of agriculture.

Officials are tight-lipped about the issue of land acquisition and unclear about financing
modalities

―From strengthening the seed sector, increasing crop yield, modernising livestock and fisheries
and enlarging our forest cover, there is a long list of areas in which Chinese funds and technical
cooperation will be coming in,‖ says a senior official of the Ministry of National Food Security
and Research.

―Whereas it‘s true that we‘ll develop detailed frameworks for implementation of the Pakistan-
China cooperation agreement, it‘s wrong to assume that none exists right now. A number of such
frameworks are already in place since 2015 — when the CPEC master agreement was signed —
and implementation on them continues,‖ he said.

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Officials, however, are tight-lipped about the critical issue of land acquisition in Pakistan by
Chinese state-run or private firms for furthering cooperation in agriculture. That was an
important feature of the CPEC long-term plan.

After the prime minister‘s visit, facts regarding land leasing to the Chinese must now be
revealed. Will leasing be allowed? If yes, to what extent? And what else has been agreed to?
Silence on this subject can lead to unrest among the farming community and prove
counterproductive.

Chinese companies have already been engaged in development of hybrid paddy and wheat seeds
in Pakistan. Sinochem Group Agriculture Division, for example, has been running pilot projects
at 200 sites in Pakistan including experimental bases and local farms.

A hybrid rice variety developed and cultivated by a Pakistan rice research and exporting
company in collaboration with Yuan Longping High-Tech Agriculture Co, has already been
exported to the Philippines.

In the seed manufacturing industry, Syngenta Pakistan is aggressively increasing its market share
after China took over the Switzerland-based Syngenta in the middle of 2017, industry officials
say.

In the follow-up to Mr Khan‘s visit to China, delegations of Chinese companies are expected to
visit Pakistan. Government officials say details of the Chinese investment commitment in
agriculture will become known after the event.

―But it would be naïve to expect that Chinese investment will start pouring into our agriculture
sector automatically,‖ says a Sindh government official working on the province‘s long-term
agriculture policy.

―Chinese companies that are already here are all working in active partnership with local
companies or federal or provincial institutions. They will continue to take this relationship one-
notch further every time they decide to increase their level of cooperation. This effectively
means we must prepare ourselves to work with them,‖ he opined.

Sindh is about to unveil its agriculture policy for 2018-2030 and officials working on it say that
similar to Punjab, where Chinese and other foreign companies have been actively engaged in
agricultural development, Sindh also wants to seek greater international cooperation.

―In fact, we have also developed an external borrowing manual in collaboration with the federal
government to enhance governance and transparency levels in foreign-funded projects,‖ one
official who has worked on the manual told this writer.

Increased inter-provincial harmony and improved federal-provincial relationship is a must in


promoting the sector.

―We‘re going to invite officials from the agriculture departments of all provinces as well as
private sector stakeholders to develop an inclusive roadmap for agricultural growth,‖ a federal

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government official said adding ―we need that roadmap to ensure that the Chinese investment in
agriculture fits well into an integrated growth strategy.‖

About three years ago, the Pakistani and Chinese governments had identified a couple of areas
for cooperation in agriculture and China had promised to build agriculture demonstration centres
across Pakistan and supply seeds and machinery to Pakistani farmers.

Authorities have so far not shared with the public how many of such demonstration centres have
been built and the arrangement under which the Chinese are supplying seeds and agriculture
machinery.

According to an MOU signed in this regard in October 2015, Pakistan was to use Chinese
capital, technology and experience to improve irrigation, reduce post-harvest losses and enhance
water use efficiency.

Officials with background knowledge of agricultural programmes under CPEC say work is
progressing on the above-mentioned and several other areas of agriculture development and
poverty alleviation.

They further add that under the current MOU signed, modalities of financing of agricultural
projects must have been fine-tuned.

―Currently it is difficult to say how much of the Chinese funding we can expect in state grants
and loans, and how much through foreign direct investment of Chinese companies,‖ a federal
government official explained.

Some projects like those of farm-to-market road networks that are connected with storage,
packaging and processing units, fall under infrastructure development in CPEC wherein long-
term state funding can rightly be expected.

But both state-run Chinese institutions and companies will be involved in other projects like
construction of modern slaughter houses or pulses, tea and oilseeds crop cultivation or deepening
of agricultural research programmes.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1445094

Rural Population in Pakistan and India victim of food insecurity.


By Abbas Kassar
Indian farmers hit by drought and debt displayed the skulls of fellow farmers, believed to have
committed suicide, and placed live rats in their mouths at a protest in Delhi calling on Prime
Minister NarendraModi to save them from starvation.

―It has come to the stage where hundreds of farmers are committing suicide due to the pressure
of not being able to repay these loans‖, said Rajesh president of South India peasant‘s union,
while leading the protest.

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More than 12,600 farmers and agricultural laborers committed suicide in 2015 alone – making
up almost 10 percent of all suicides in India, according to the National Crime Records Bureau
(NCRB). Almost 60 percent of the suicides were caused by bankruptcy and indebtedness or
farming-related issues, said the NCRB and almost three-quarters of victims were farmers
cultivating land plots of less than two hectares (five acres).

India and Pakistan both are facing no or little rains since last 3 years and also more than 50% less
water from rivers/canals at tail end districts resulting less than half harvest of food crops like
wheat, rice, vegetables. Coupled with no relief from governments 70% population of both
countries living in rural villages continue to be victim of food insecurity, malnutrition and under
nourishment.

According to Food and Agriculture Organization of UNO number of people in whole world who
could get only one-time meal in a day was 815 million in 2016 while this number rose to 849 in
2017. Out of these 450 million were in Asian countries. According to International Hunger Index
of FAO, Pakistan was placed at number 106 out of 119 worldwide while India was at number
100. It means India remained hungrier than Pakistan. In countries inflicted with civil wars or
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domestic conflicts like Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan situation was more critical.

Poor nutrition remains colossal and universal problems with one in three people on the planet
affected by some form of malnutrition which, according to World Food Program, continues to
affect 150 million children worldwide. It can be matter of life and death as also undermines
economic development. Africa has highest prevalence of hunger but Asia has highest number of
undernourished people.

In Pakistan‘s Thar region children continue to die of hunger and malnutrition. According to
figures of media reports of Pakistan, during 10 months of 2018 as many as 534 children had died
of hunger. During the last 10 years inefficient rule in Sindh province of Pakistan thousands of
children had died in Thar as rulers have turned their ears to hear screams of parents of dying
children instead, they remained busy in loot and plunder of national wealth through money
laundering and building palaces in foreign countries.

The health department revealed that around 1,500 children die due to malnutrition each year as a
result of infections and a shortage of proper medicinal services in the remote part of the
province.

The United Nation‘s Children Fund, in a report released in April, states Pakistan remains one of
the countries in the world with the highest infant mortality rate stating: ―Pakistan is the riskiest
place to be born as measured by its newborn mortality rate.

Sindh being in tail end of Indus river, peasants here are deprived of sufficient water required for
cultivation. Whatever crops they grow, they cannot get sufficient price of same in market. Sindh
produces sugarcane, wheat, rice and vegetables in big quantities but because of acute shortage of
water coupled with no rains in Sindh staple food production has been less than 50% which was
main cause of critical situation of food insecurity. According to Zahid Bhurgri general secretary
of Sindh Chamber of Agriculture with no or little cultivation, growers were unable to pay
agriculture loans. In such a situation banks have issued notices to auction their lands aggravating
their worries and miseries. Growers have made appeal to prime minister to order postponement
of loan recoveries. ZubairTalpur president of Sindh Growers Ittehad said sugarcane crop is
cultivated on hundreds of thousands of acres in Sindh but mill owners were exploiting them by
late start of crushing season, purchase rate half the market and withhold payment to growers. He
said growers owe around Rs.44 billion of starving peasants and growers from sugar cane
supplied to mills last year.According to ―Vision 2030‖ of the Planning Commission of Pakistan,
about half of the population in the country suffers from absolute to moderate malnutrition, with
the most vulnerable being children, women, and elderly among the lowest income group. Out of
70% population of Sindh living in rural villages 60% was facing food insecurity. In order to
solve the problem, we shall have to rethink our approach of agriculture sector and to start food
systems that are truly sustainable and nutritious. (writer is senior journalist bureau chief of daily
Messenger at Hyderabad, also writes for Pakistan Christian Post of USA.He is general secretary
of Hyderabad union of journalists. Can be reached at kassarabbas@gmail.com; twitter, linked-in
&wordpress @kassarabbas.)
http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/detail.php?articleid=3213

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