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15-16 November,2018

Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter


www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com

NFA sets 3rd attempt to bid out rice contracts


BY EIREENE JAIREE GOMEZ
NOVEMBER 15, 2018

NFA SETS 3RD ATTEMPT TO BID OUT RICE CONTRACTS

A third attempt to secure 203,000 metric tons (MT) of rice import contracts will be made by the
National Food Authority (NFA) next week following Tuesday‘s failed bidding, Agriculture
Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said.

Piñol, who chairs the NFA Council, said the policy-making body had approved ―some
adjustments‖ after both Thailand and Vietnam offered prices higher than the $447.88/MT
reference price under the government-to-government (G2G) tender.

Workers stack sacks of rice at a warehouse of the National Food Authority. FILE PHOTO
Both countries did not submit offers during the first tender last week.

The Agriculture chief declined to provide more details but said the changes were part of a
―normal process.‖

―I don‘t have the liberty to provide you the numbers because that would compromise our bidding
process. But we‘re conducting another bidding next week,‖ he told reporters on Wednesday.

―You have to understand that prices in the world market from which we based the reference price
are also volatile. It‘s not really steady,‖ he added.

The delivery schedule as stated in the Terms of Reference (TOR) used for the previous auctions
will remain the same.

―[I]n the TOR that we have set we have not changed anything,‖ Piñol said.

Based on the rules, the imports must arrive over December 15 to December 31.

The 203,000-MT volume comprises the balance from the 250,000 MT offered last Oct. 18 under
an open tender. Only 47,000 MT was awarded to three suppliers that submitted offers compliant
with the NFA‘s reference price.

Piñol reiterated that the country still had ―enough rice stocks‖ despite the two failed G2G
biddings.

―We still have enough stocks actually. We‘re just beefing up our stocks. As of the moment, in
the [NFA] warehouses, we have stocks for about 33 days. And then we have another 47,000 MT
arriving by end-November; that would make it about 47 days,‖ he said.

―So we‘re safe. That would be good until the end of the year,‖ Piñol added.

https://www.manilatimes.net/nfa-sets-3rd-attempt-to-bid-out-rice-contracts/467847/

Kiên Giang rice output exceeds full-year target


Update: November, 15/2018 - 19:00

|
Farmers harvest the 2018 summer- autumn rice in Kiên Giang Province‘s Giang Thành District.
— VNA/VNS Photo

KIÊN GIANG — Kiên Giang Province, the country‘s largest rice producer, has grown more than
4.34 million tonnes of paddy so far this year, 900,000 tonnes more than the full-year target.

The Mekong Delta province grew the grain on a combined 728,400ha this year, with high-quality
rice varieties accounting for 80 per cent, according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural
Development. Thus, if a hectare of land yielded two crops, the department counted it as two
hectares of production.

The 2017-18 winter-spring rice crop had the highest yield of seven tonnes per hectare compared
to 5.3 tonnes for the summer-autumn crop, five tonnes for the autumn-winter crop, and 4.5ha for
the mùa crop.

The mùa crop is planted in the rainy season and the varieties grown have a maturity period of up
to six months compared to three months for others.

Đỗ Minh Nhựt, deputy director of the department, said rice production faced difficulties this year
due to unfavourable weather and saltwater intrusion.

Saltwater affected the 2017-18 winter-spring rice in Kiên Lương and Giang Thành districts when
the crop was flowering.

The summer-autumn and autumn-winter crops in Tân Hiệp and Hòn Đất districts were flattened
by prolonged rains when they were ready for harvest.

The delta‘s annual flooding season was intense this year, damaging hundreds of hectares of rice
in Giang Thành, Kiên Lương, Hòn Đất and Tân Hiệp districts.
Pests like brown plant hoppers and rice stem gall midge also affected the quantity and quality of
rice this year.

Yet the province easily managed to achieve the rice production target as the department
encouraged farmers to adopt certain models like planting rice and breeding shrimp together in
coastal areas and invest in agricultural machinery and irrigation, Nhựt said.

It also recommended the ―3 reductions and 3 increases‖ and ―1 must and 5 reductions‖ models.

The former refers to reducing seeding, fertilisers and plant protection chemicals to achieve
increases in productivity, quality and efficiency.

The latter requires farmers to use certified seeds and reduce seeding, plant protection chemicals,
nitrogen fertilisers, irrigation and post-harvest losses.

In the 2018-19 winter-spring rice crop, the province plans to crop 285,000ha and harvest more
than two million tonnes of the grain.

Nhựt said sowing would be completed by early next January.

The department is instructing farmers to use short-term, high-quality varieties and use the ―3
reductions and 3 increases‖ and ―1 must and 5 reductions‖ models, he said.

It would focus on further developing large-scale fields to produce high-quality rice for exports,
he said. — VNS

https://vietnamnews.vn/society/480206/kien-giang-rice-output-exceeds-full-year-target.html

Asia rice: Indian rates up on firmer rupee; Thai


harvest to shore up stocks
Swati Verma

NOVEMBER 15, 2018

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Rice prices in top-exporter India nudged higher this week as the
rupee firmed, while Thai exporters eyed fresh demand from the Philippines amid expectations of
an increase in seasonal supply.

Labourers unload sacks of rice from a handcart at a wholesale market in Kolkata, December 14,
2015. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files

India‘s 5 percent broken parboiled variety was quoted around $363-$371 per tonne this week,
versus $362-$369 last week.―As the rupee has started to appreciate, we have to adjust export
prices,‖ said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
The Indian rupee rose 0.4 percent on Thursday to its highest level in nearly 8 weeks, trimming
exporters‘ margins from overseas sales.In southern and eastern states, supplies have started to
arrive from the new season crop but they are expensive due to higher fixed government buying
prices, said a Mumbai-based exporter.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 a bumper local harvest, a government body said earlier this week.

Meanwhile in Thailand, benchmark 5 percent broken rice prices were quoted at $380 - $398 per
tonne, free on board (FOB) Bangkok, unchanged from last week.―There have been some minor
deals with markets like Japan but they have had no impact on prices,‖ a Bangkok-based trader
said.―Thai rice exporters are now watching the Philippines closely because their government will
open the bidding process next week.‖

The Philippines‘ National Food Authority has issued an international tender to import up to
500,000 tonnes of rice with offers to be opened on Nov. 20.―We see this as a major deal ahead of
December,‖ another trader in Bangkok said, pointing out that during the mid-November to early-
December period, the market expects an increase in supply due to the seasonal harvest. In
Vietnam, rates for 5 percent broken rice remained in the $415-$420 a tonne range seen last week.

―We haven‘t signed any new export deals over the past month as domestic supplies are scarce,‖ a
trader in Ho Chi Minh City said. ―We wouldn‘t be able to secure sufficient rice if we got any
new contracts now.‖Egypt received offers for more than 500,000 tonnes earlier this week,
including 50,000 tonnes from Vietnam, the trader said, adding that they were not sure if they will
bid in the Philippines‘ state grains agency tender.

Vietnam is the world‘s third largest rice exporter.―I think supplies in Vietnam won‘t pick up until
the end of January when the winter-spring harvest peaks,‖ another trader in the city said.

https://in.reuters.com/article/india-sensex-nifty-stocks/nifty-sensex-hit-more-than-four-week-high-on-
energy-bank-boost-idINKCN1NL0JN

Rice farmers chase government for insurance cover


Source: ritefmonline.org

Rice farmers across the country are calling on government to roll out insurance policy
covers for rice farmers to enhance the future of its members.

According to the farmers, this is long overdue as they also invest their best to provide food (rice)
to enhance the country‘s food security and sustainability.
Addressing the event, President of the Ghana Rice Inter-Professional Body, GRIP, Nana
Kwabena Agyei Aryeh II mentioned that to be able to be self-sufficient in rice production, it was
important government addresses insurance cover for its members.

He said government, through the insurance commission should introduce agriculture insurance as
a guarantee to farmers to grow the industry.

―With the introduction of the agriculture insurance, the financial institutions will have more
confidence to make credit available to farmers in the sector‖, he noted.

Over the past ten years, the value and volume of food imports, most especially rice, have gone up
at alarming rates.

Nana Kwabena Agyei Aryeh II also described rice production as a difficult task bedeviled with
challenges including the lack of irrigation facilities to enhance quantity and quality productions.

―Ghana lacks irrigation systems. The facility is only available to fifteen percent (15%) of the
country‘s farmers while the remaining eighty five percent (85%) who do not have access to
irrigation facilities have to depend on the rainy seasons for their farming activities which is a
serious challenge which government must tackle,‖ he said.

Nana Kwabena therefore called on the government to roll out insurance policy covers for rice
farmers and also subsidize loans for them to enhance production to curtail the importation of rice
since local rice farmers are capable of producing to feed the country as well as for export.

Last year, the Minister of Agriculture Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto revealed that the country‘s
importation bill for rice had heightened to a whopping $1.2 billion as at 2015. The figure
represents a dramatic 800 per cent increase over the rice import value of $152million in 2007.

Nana Agyei Aryeh II lamented the surge in rice importation which puts pressure on the country‘s
trade balance.

The president of the Ghana Rice Inter-Professional Body equally expressed concern at the
inadequacy of storage facilities and milling machines which according to him come as a
headache to local rice farmers, a situation she assertsa also deserve urgent government
intervention.
The intervention, she asserted is essential to cushion production as rice has become one of the
staple food produces for Ghanaians, adding that local rice is very delicious and fresh compared
to its foreign counterparts.
https://www.businessghana.com/site/news/business/176418/Rice-farmers-chase-government-for-
insurance-cover

Give us concessionary loans, we will produce 60% of


demand – Rice farmers
Rice farmers working on their farm land (file photo)

To reduce the country‘s GH1.2 billion annual rice


import, government needs to help farmers access credit at more generous rates than the market,
the Ghana Rice Inter-Professional Body (GRIB) has said.

It said because domestic producers are saddled with high lending rates at an average of 32
percent, they are unable to scale-up production to meet domestic consumption, which Ghanaian
farmers command only 40 percent of.

―We want to meet 60 percent of local demand in the next few years,‖ said Nana Kwabena Agyei
Aryeh II, President of GRIB. ―In the future we want to take over by producing more, that is our
goal; but we need to start to looking at the factors that have led us to where we are today.‖

According to him, farmers on their own will not be able increase production; hence, it is
important for government to fast-track steps aimed at helping rice producers access loans at
reasonable rates. He said: ―This will help us to increase production substantially‖.

―We know government has a lot of influence, that is why we want it to work with the financial
institutions and see how they can support us by way of concessionary loans.
―We have some of the best farmers in the world, but we are at this level because we do not have
the necessary support, or the support being given us is not good enough. If we can get the
necessary support like what Nigeria is doing, like what Thailand has done, we will be able to be
self-sufficient in rice production very soon,‖ he indicated.

Mr. Agyei Aryeh II, who spoke to the B&FT on the sidelines of the 5th Ghana National Rice
Festival in Accra, also called on stakeholders to make agriculture insurance easily accessible to
farmers.

Ghana spends about GH¢1.2billion on importation of rice, with the figure expected to increase
over the coming years.

The grain is currently a staple food in the country, but domestics farmers – who are
predominantly smallholder producers dotted across the country – are faced with lack of access to
capital for expanding and mechanising their operations.

However, Mr. Agyei Aryeh II is optimistic that with the needed support, farmers will be able
reduce the country‘s huge rice import bill.

He added that in order to facilitate large-scale production, government should identify virgin
lands, provide irrigation infrastructure and designate them for rice-farming alone. This, he noted,
will help ensure that rice is grown throughout the year – unlike the current situation wherein
farmers depend primarily on rain.

Mr. Agyei Aryeh II‘s comments come on the back of a recent announcement by the Minister of
Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, that government is positioning the country to
become self-sufficient in rice production within the next three years.

According to the Agric Minister, about US$3billion has been spent in the last three years to
import rice into the country. This huge revenue, the minister lamented, goes to strengthen other
economies.
https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/business/Give-us-concessionary-loans-we-will-produce-
60-of-demand-Rice-farmers-700953
Rice Prices
as on : 15-11-2018 12:43:29 PM
Arrivals in tonnes;prices in Rs/quintal in domestic market.

Arrivals Price

Current % Season Modal Prev. Prev.Yr


change cumulative Modal %change

Rice

Manjeri(Ker) 290.00 NC 8990.00 3500 3500 -5.41

Barhaj(UP) 180.00 -5.26 2844.00 2250 2255 -

Gondal(UP) 175.00 -3.58 11566.50 2490 2470 17.45

Madhoganj(UP) 164.00 56.19 742.30 2230 2240 -

Karimganj(ASM) 160.00 166.67 1860.00 2400 2400 2.13

Agra(UP) 102.00 4.08 3695.00 2460 2490 -7.17

Kalipur(WB) 85.00 8.97 3261.00 2400 2450 4.35

Howly(ASM) 81.50 154.69 3086.50 1350 1400 -25.00

Ghaziabad(UP) 70.00 NC 4610.00 2750 2725 14.58

Gazipur(UP) 68.00 106.06 1024.00 2300 2330 8.24


Beldanga(WB) 65.00 NC 1965.00 2600 2600 4.00

Cachar(ASM) 60.00 NC 5722.00 2400 2400 9.09

Indus(Bankura Sadar)(WB) 60.00 -7.69 4615.00 2800 2800 9.80

Asansol(WB) 47.50 -20.83 6385.30 2940 2920 13.08

Naugarh(UP) 45.50 -17.27 1176.20 2260 2255 8.92

Khalilabad(UP) 40.00 -20 1144.50 2175 2140 -

Maur(UP) 38.00 31.03 1697.00 2200 2240 -

Vasai(Mah) 35.00 -5.41 1828.00 3160 3250 8.97

Lakhimpur(UP) 35.00 NC 998.00 2230 2230 2.76

Jayas(UP) 31.00 14.81 2251.00 1925 1925 -1.28

Saharanpur(UP) 30.00 11.11 1489.00 2610 2620 10.36

Khatra(WB) 30.00 NC 1176.00 2650 2600 -

Panchpedwa(UP) 29.00 -9.38 666.00 2200 2210 -

Pukhrayan(UP) 27.00 22.73 238.00 2210 2250 3.27

Gajol(WB) 27.00 4.65 1714.60 3850 3800 32.76

Sahiyapur(UP) 23.50 42.42 2448.50 2250 2250 -


Jasra(UP) 20.00 -9.09 1381.50 2350 2300 -

Falakata(WB) 20.00 NC 294.00 2800 2800 30.23

Ulhasnagar(Mah) 17.00 -15 285.00 3000 3600 20.00

Islampur(WB) 17.00 13.33 872.00 3550 3400 57.78

Raiganj(WB) 17.00 13.33 961.00 3450 3300 36.63

Khurja(UP) 15.00 30.43 1100.00 2620 2600 -

Badayoun(UP) 13.00 -13.33 811.00 2225 2250 -

Champadanga(WB) 12.00 -14.29 600.00 3100 3150 12.73

Bijnaur(UP) 10.00 47.06 152.10 2340 2500 -

Vilthararoad(UP) 10.00 -50 471.00 2150 2000 NC

Ruperdeeha(UP) 10.00 NC 318.00 1600 1600 -

Mahoba(UP) 9.60 -5.88 488.40 2210 2310 -

Mugrabaadshahpur(UP) 9.00 12.5 220.30 2350 2350 -

Soharatgarh(UP) 8.00 60 131.00 2285 2245 10.12

Atarra(UP) 6.50 -13.33 343.00 2200 2200 10.00

Chitwadagaon(UP) 6.00 NC 377.70 2100 2100 -1.41


Buland Shahr(UP) 5.50 NC 171.50 2645 2660 13.03

Tamkuhi Road(UP) 5.00 11.11 993.00 2150 2150 -

Mirzapur(UP) 4.50 50 918.00 2255 2240 -

Kalyanpur(Tri) 4.00 14.29 76.90 2965 2985 7.82

Jahangirabad(UP) 3.50 75 207.00 2560 2550 8.94

Gopiganj(UP) 3.00 -70 326.00 2400 2400 -

Tundla(UP) 3.00 -25 194.50 2460 2460 -

Mau(Chitrakut)(UP) 3.00 NC 59.20 1835 1835 -

Bishnupur(Bankura)(WB) 3.00 -78.57 548.00 2650 2650 26.19

Dibrugarh(ASM) 2.90 -17.14 774.50 2920 2920 29.78

Amroha(UP) 2.00 -4.76 63.02 2600 2600 5.26

Sehjanwa(UP) 2.00 -20 192.50 2160 2160 -

Khair(UP) 1.50 87.5 1178.20 2450 2530 -3.92

Doharighat(UP) 1.50 NC 42.00 2000 2000 -

Gadaura(UP) 1.20 20 31.40 2000 2100 -1.23

Nautnava(UP) 1.00 NC 42.50 2250 2200 10.29


Ujhani(UP) 1.00 25 16.20 2290 2300 -

Jamanian(UP) 1.00 - 2.00 2200 - -

Anandnagar(UP) 0.60 -70 93.20 2200 2200 -

Published on November 15, 2018


https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/rice-prices/article25503494.ece

Rice Prices
as on : 16-11-2018 12:12:59 PM
Arrivals in tonnes;prices in Rs/quintal in domestic market.

Arrivals Price

Current % Season Modal Prev. Prev.Yr


change cumulative Modal %change

Rice

Shahjahanpur(UP) 900.00 -37.93 10736.40 2360 2300 -

Pilibhit(UP) 800.00 33.33 17113.50 2290 2290 2.23

Bharthna(UP) 270.00 -35.71 6592.50 2455 2455 -

Madhoganj(UP) 240.00 46.34 1222.30 2240 2230 -

Barhaj(UP) 190.00 5.56 3224.00 2250 2250 -

Gondal(UP) 185.00 5.71 11936.50 2500 2490 17.92


Siliguri(WB) 158.00 -0.63 10242.00 2700 2700 NC

Karimganj(ASM) 80.00 -50 2020.00 2400 2400 2.13

Kalipur(WB) 80.00 -5.88 3421.00 2400 2400 4.35

Beldanga(WB) 65.00 NC 2095.00 2600 2600 4.00

Hapur(UP) 60.00 NC 2610.00 2580 2520 13.16

Indus(Bankura Sadar)(WB) 55.00 -8.33 4725.00 2800 2800 9.80

Basti(UP) 53.00 51.43 2472.50 2260 2250 6.86

Ghaziabad(UP) 50.00 -28.57 4710.00 2750 2750 14.58

Cachar(ASM) 40.00 -33.33 5802.00 2400 2400 9.09

Karimpur(WB) 40.00 14.29 1640.00 3150 3550 NC

Naugarh(UP) 38.00 -16.48 1252.20 2250 2260 8.43

Saharanpur(UP) 32.00 6.67 1553.00 2600 2610 9.94

Sahiyapur(UP) 31.00 31.91 2510.50 2250 2250 -

Panchpedwa(UP) 31.00 6.9 728.00 2200 2200 -

Dadri(UP) 30.00 -25 1016.00 2750 2750 15.79

Jafarganj(UP) 27.00 68.75 146.00 2350 2330 -


Falakata(WB) 20.00 NC 334.00 2800 2800 30.23

Vishalpur(UP) 18.50 32.14 708.00 2310 2350 -

Jasra(UP) 18.00 -10 1417.50 2350 2350 -

Islampur(WB) 17.00 NC 906.00 3550 3550 57.78

Raiganj(WB) 17.00 NC 995.00 3450 3450 36.63

Karsiyang(Matigara)(WB) 15.80 -1.25 872.00 3000 3000 11.11

Giridih(Jha) 15.34 58.47 868.18 4200 4200 20.00

Badayoun(UP) 15.00 15.38 841.00 2225 2225 -

Champadanga(WB) 15.00 25 630.00 3100 3100 12.73

Muzzafarnagar(UP) 11.50 -4.17 272.50 2610 2630 -

Muradabad(UP) 11.00 22.22 389.50 2300 2400 -

Ahirora(UP) 11.00 -31.25 309.15 2300 2300 10.05

Farukhabad(UP) 10.00 NC 488.60 2360 2340 6.79

Kishunpur(UP) 10.00 -33.33 176.00 1800 1800 -

Vilthararoad(UP) 10.00 NC 491.00 2150 2150 NC

Soharatgarh(UP) 9.00 12.5 149.00 2285 2285 10.12


Mugrabaadshahpur(UP) 8.00 -11.11 236.30 2300 2350 -

Kannauj(UP) 7.50 NC 227.40 2250 2300 2.27

Shikohabad(UP) 6.00 140 49.00 2900 3000 -

Chitwadagaon(UP) 6.00 NC 389.70 2050 2100 -3.76

Ruperdeeha(UP) 6.00 -40 330.00 1600 1600 -

Tamkuhi Road(UP) 5.50 10 1004.00 2150 2150 -

Dibrugarh(ASM) 4.30 48.28 783.10 2920 2920 29.78

Sehjanwa(UP) 3.50 75 199.50 2160 2160 -

Tundla(UP) 3.50 16.67 201.50 2470 2460 -

Mau(Chitrakut)(UP) 3.50 16.67 66.20 1835 1835 -

Kalyani(WB) 3.50 NC 254.50 3400 3400 NC

Amroha(UP) 2.10 5 67.22 2600 2600 5.26

Khair(UP) 1.80 20 1181.80 2450 2450 -3.92

Bangarmau(UP) 1.60 -11.11 54.20 2275 2275 10.98

Doharighat(UP) 1.50 NC 45.00 2000 2000 -

Kamalghat(Tri) 1.00 - 2.00 3100 - -


Gadaura(UP) 1.00 -16.67 33.40 2000 2000 -1.23

Nautnava(UP) 1.00 NC 44.50 2200 2250 7.84

Jamanian(UP) 1.00 NC 4.00 2200 2200 -

Anandnagar(UP) 0.80 33.33 94.80 2100 2200 -

Khairagarh(UP) 0.80 -11.11 121.60 2560 2560 1.59

Achnera(UP) 0.70 16.67 26.00 2560 2560 0.39

Jagnair(UP) 0.70 NC 88.40 2560 2560 0.79

Naanpara(UP) 0.60 -97.6 1657.50 1625 2300 -26.64

Published on November 16, 2018


https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/rice-prices/article25515113.ece

Reinstatement of rice tariffs unrelated to politics: Brussels


Thompson ChauThiha Ko Ko 15 Nov 2018
Aung Htay Hlaing/The Myanmar Times

Reinstatement of rice tariffs unrelated to politics: Brussels

The European Union will decide whether to restore tariffs on Indica rice imports from Myanmar
in a bid to protect its own producers early next year. Brussels has denied the move is related to
the country‘s alleged human rights violations in northern Rakhine.

―The rapid increase of Myanmar‘s Indica rice exports has overwhelmed some European
producers. The EU will therefore probably reinstate customs duties to protect them,‖ a
spokesperson of the EU Delegation to Myanmar told The Myanmar Times.

Myanmar currently benefits from the EU‘s Everything But Arms (EBA) arrangement, part of the
bloc‘s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP). The EBA trade regime gives least developed
countries (LDCs) customs- and quota-free access to the world‘s largest market for all products
except arms.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström last month announced that the bloc is considering
ending Myanmar‘s trade privileges due to rights violations in northern Rakhine. European trade
organisations and Myanmar business groups, including the Union of Myanmar Federation of
Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) and Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF), came
out against the proposed move.
But the possible reinstatement of customs duties on Myanmar rice exports is unrelated.

―This is specific to Indica rice and for purely economic reasons – there are no links whatsoever
to the current wider political dialogue between the EU and Myanmar on potential EBA
withdrawal over human rights concerns,‖ the spokesperson explained. Instead, duties are to
protect EU industries which are harmed by ―excessive imports at low prices‖. In order to protect
the industries, Brussels will reduce or even withdraw the specific trade privileges.

In this specific case, Italy claims that imports of Indica rice from Cambodia and Myanmar have
increased substantially and that their respective EU market shares, of Indica rice, grew from 13pc
to 21pc and from 0pc to 5pc in the last five rice marketing years. The corresponding import
prices were substantially lower than prices of European producers, which would have presented
serious difficulties to growers and millers of Indica rice in the bloc.

Brussels is currently undertaking an investigation for data collection and assessing the situation,
before coming to a decision early next year whether increased imports from Myanmar under
trade preferences are putting EU producers under pressure and causing financial difficulties
which would not have existed in the absence of those preferences.

Nay Pyi Taw has until November 19 to respond to the case, according to U Aung Htoo, deputy
commerce minister. U Ye Min Aung from Myanmar Rice Federation warned Myanmar‘s rice
industry will find it hard to compete with other rice exporters if the duties are imposed.

If the investigation establishes that EU producers are injured, it could result in the reintroduction
of tariffs for Indica rice from Myanmar up to €170/per tonne (the MFN rate for rice is €170/per
tonne). The investigation is expected to conclude by the beginning of 2019.

The spokesperson said the outcome of the investigation cannot be anticipated at this stage.

In 2013, the EU reinstated GSP for Myanmar as a means to provide political, economic and
social support to help the country move towards democracy. The bloc is currently the sixth
biggest trading partner for Myanmar. Total trade between the two partners equalled €2.09 billion
in 2017. The EU, Myanmar‘s sixth biggest trade partner, imported goods worth €1,549 million
from Myanmar and exported goods worth almost €539 million to frontier market. EU imports
from Myanmar are dominated by agricultural products and garments.

Villanueva hails Senate for approval of rice tarrification bill


By: Consuelo Marquez - Reporter / @CMarquezINQ
INQUIRER.net / 09:39 PM November 14, 2018
Senator Joel Villanueva on Wednesday hailed the Senate‘s approval of the rice tarrification bill,
saying it would address the hike on price of rice.

―As one of the authors of the bill, it has been our consistent call to liberalize the entry of cheaper
rice in the country to ease the burden of our kababayans suffering from the rising price of rice,‖
Villanueva said in a statement.

Voting 14-0, the Senate approved Senate Bill No. 1998 or An Act Replacing The Quantitative
Import Restrictions On Rice With Tariffs, Lifting The Quantitative Export Restrictions On Rice,
And Creating The Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund.

Under the bill, a 35 percent duty will be implemented on imports from the Association of
SouthEast Asian Nations (Asean) member states and 50 percent for non-Asean nations.

It will also impose a P10-billion ―rice enhancement fund‖ from proceeds of the proposed rice
tariffs. The fund will provide forms of assistance to farmers such as equipment and skills
enhancement, among others.

Villanueva is also hoping that the bill will address issues such as rice shortage and rice smuggling.

―We hope that the immediate enactment of this measure will ensure that our country would not
have to suffer rice shortages and, at the same time, discourage the smuggling of rice, a plague that
has long been infecting this country,‖ Villanueva said. /ee

https://www.mmtimes.com/news/reinstatement-rice-tariffs-unrelated-politics-brussels.html

Rice import rebidding fails; prices still easing


By: Karl R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:05 AM November 14, 2018
The governments of Thailand and Vietnam did not agree to the reference price set by the National
Food Authority (NFA) for the supply of 203,000 metric tons (MT) of rice on Tuesday, which led to
the failure of the second round of bidding.

The failed rebidding was supposed to firm up the remaining volume that was not procured during
the previous auction, wherein only 47,000 MT of rice were bought.

Both Thailand and Vietnam‘s price offers at $480.80 and $483 a ton, respectively, were higher
than the NFA‘s reference price of $447.88 a ton.

Under the NFA‘s guidelines, both parties may make another offer within the day, but even the
countries‘ second price offers were still too high at $480.50 and $481.50.

In an interview with NFA assistant administrator Maria Mercedes Yacapin, she said that the
agency‘s reference price—described by traders who talked to the Inquirer as ―too low‖—were
based on the prevailing trends in the international market.

―This is based on our study. We do our own world market monitoring of prices,‖ she said.

Asked whether the failed bidding would affect the arrival period of the imports, Yacapin said they
would have to consult the NFA Council.

Under NFA‘s terms, the volume should arrive in the country in two tranches—the first no later
than Dec. 15 and the second must arrive no later than Dec. 31.

An additional 500,000 MT of rice are also set to be procured next week under the open tender
scheme, wherein the government will transact with the private sector.

About P18 billion worth of subsidy from the government‘s treasury is expected to be allocated for
the importation program.

Since the arrival of rice imports, rice prices have been going down for four consecutive weeks now
and these are expected to decline further with the arrival of more affordable rice.

As of the third week of October, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed average
retail price for regular-milled and well-milled rice at P45.72 and P48.83 a kilo, respectively. These
were lower by 0.33 percent and 0.35 percent from a week ago, but were still higher by 20.22
percent and 15.68 percent from the previous year.

While prices may not go back to its previous levels, the Department of Agriculture is banking on
the imposition of the suggested retail price on rice varieties as a measure to tame prices and ease
the burden of consumers from high food costs.

https://business.inquirer.net/260545/rice-import-rebidding-fails-prices-still-
easing#ixzz5X0zpUFyL

NFA adjusts reference price for rice imports after failing to draw
bids
November 14, 2018 | 10:30 pm

A worker at the NFA Quezon City warehouse. -- PHILIPPINE STAR/MICHAEL VARCAS


THE National Food Authority (NFA) Council has authorized an adjustment in the reference
price for the import auction covering 203,000 metric tons (MT) of rice, in the hope that the new
price will be more acceptable to key government-to-government suppliers Vietnam and
Thailand.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said on Wednesday that the initial reference price of
$447.88 was well below the Thai and Vietnamese offers because it incorporated estimates of
prices that suppliers from India or Pakistan might find acceptable.

―We included the prices of India and Pakistan which are lower than Vietnam and Thailand,‖ Mr.
Piñol told reporters in a briefing, without disclosing the new reference price.

―Yesterday, following the observation made by members of the council, the reference prices
were (adjusted to incorporate) the prices of Vietnam and Thailand,‖ Mr. Piñol said.

The NFA rejected most offers from Thailand and Vietnam in the first round of bidding, at which
only 47,000 MT worth of contracts was awarded. The re-bid for the remaining 203,000 MT
attracted no offers, endangering the import timetable for rice and threatening a supply crunch in
low-cost rice during the yearend holidays.

The NFA Council authorized the import of 750,000 MT of rice in 2018, divided into three equal
batches of 250,000 MT each. The initial 250,000 MT was initially scheduled for arrival in
Philippine ports by Dec. 15, which many suppliers were said to have considered difficult to
comply with.

―Yesterday, during the NFA Council meeting, the reference price was reviewed which I am not
in liberty to disclose because it will compromise our bidding process,‖ Mr. Piñol said. Another
bidding will be conducted next week, according to Mr. Piñol.

Mr. Piñol said that the terms of reference were not changed, with the date of arrival still Dec. 15
in various Philippine ports.

He added that there is enough low-cost NFA rice to meet demand.

―As of the moment, in the warehouses, we have stocks for about 33 days and we have another
43,000 metric tons (MT) coming by the end of November,‖ according to Mr. Piñol. — Reicelene
Joy N. Ignacio
https://www.bworldonline.com/nfa-adjusts-reference-price-for-rice-imports-after-
failing-to-draw-bids/

Senate gives final green light for rice tariff bill


November 15, 2018 | 12:32 am

THE SENATE on Wednesday approved on third and final reading a bill that will liberalize rice
importation — a measure the government is counting on to cut retail prices of the staple by about
P7 per kilogram and slash 0.7 percentage point off headline inflation which has lately been
clocking multi-year peaks.

The House of Representatives approved its version on Aug. 14.

Senate Bill No. 1998 amends Republic Act No. 8178, or the Agricultural Tariffication Act, by
replacing current quantitative import restrictions for rice with tariffs.

Under bill, a 35% duty will be imposed on rice imports from the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN) members, while a 50% rate will apply to imports from non-ASEAN countries.
Rice tariff collections will establish and maintain a Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund
(RCEF). The RCEF will get P10 billion annually in appropriations for six years. The fund will
support grants for rice equipment; development, propagation and promotion of inbred rice seeds
among rice farmers and organizations; credit at preferential rates for rice farmers and
cooperatives; as well as extension services to teach rice farmers modern methods of farming,
seed production and farm mechanization.

The bill also removes the authority of the National Food Authority to regulate importation of rice
and to issue import licenses or permits for the private sector.

―Rice tariffication is not a revenue measure. By stipulating in the bill that 100% of duties will be
plowed back to farmers, we are sending a strong message to those who might be tempted to use
it to primarily raise taxes that their idea is dead in the water,‖ Senate President Pro Tempore
Ralph G. Recto said in a statement on Wednesday. — Camille A. Aguinaldo

https://www.bworldonline.com/senate-gives-final-green-light-for-rice-tariff-bill/

New trends in Vietnam’s rice exports


Wednesday, 2018-11-14 11:06:05

Vietnam exported 5.15 million tonnes of rice, worth US$2.6 billion, in the first ten months of 2018. (Photo:
Internet)

Font Size: |

NDO - 2018 is witnessing new trends in Vietnam’s rice export sector, notably the priority of

exporting high-quality rice through international bidding as well as stricter and more
diverse trade barriers from importing countries.

Preliminary data by the General Department of Customs shows that Vietnam exported 264,500

tonnes of rice in October, generating a revenue of US$135.56 million, up 22.96% in volume and
31.8% in value, compared with the same month last year.

The total volume of rice exports in the first ten months of 2018 was 5.15 million tonnes, worth

US$2.6 billion, representing year-on-year increases of 6.62% and 21.49% in volume and revenue
respectively.

What is notable during the period is that the price of Vietnamese rice has now surpassed that of
Thailand, averaging at more than US$500 a tonne, up about 15%.

In 2016, Vietnam exported 4.8 million tonnes of rice, bringing in US$2.1 billion. The respective

volume and revenue figures rose to 5.8 million and US$2.6 billion the following year. And in
2018 Vietnam has set a target to ship 6.5 million tonnes.

Such positive results come due to not only growing global demand and higher prices but also

Vietnam‘s marked shift towards producing and exporting high-quality and specialty rice
varieties.

The global rice market has recently seen a trend towards prioritising international bidding
processes and attaching greater importance to quality. At the same time, more and more non-
tariff barriers are emerging. For example, China, a major importer of Vietnamese rice, has also
imposed strict requirements through quotas and food safety checks.

The greatest challenge to Vietnamese rice exporters is now the laws of importing countries, with
numerous stringent requirements on quality, food safety and origin.

In the meantime, most of Vietnamese rice exporters are small- and medium-sized businesses
with little experience in dealing with trade lawsuits and international technical barriers.

Therefore, Vietnamese enterprises should actively learn and update themselves about new
information in order to promptly adjust their business plans and remedy their shortcomings.

Furthermore, enterprises also need to work together to build supply chains for exports to add

more value to Vietnamese commodities as well as cooperating with local businesses so as to


meet the technical barriers.
http://en.nhandan.org.vn/business/item/6836302-new-trends-in-
vietnam%E2%80%99s-rice-exports.html

Iran rice imports down 4.21 pct in value in 7 months


Xinhua, November 14, 2018

TEHRAN, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- Iran imported 958,000 tons of rice worth 985.4 million U.S.
dollars during the first seven months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Oct. 22),
Eghtesadonline news website reported on Tuesday.

The figures registered a 12.54 percent decline in weight and 4.21 percent decrease in value
compared with the corresponding period last year.

This imported amount of rice accounted for 5.06 percent and 3.75 percent of the respective
volume and value of Iran's total imports over the seven-month period.
Reportedly, Iranians consume 3.2 million tons of rice every year. Domestic production stands at
2.2 million tons.

Iran mainly imports rice from India, Pakistan and Thailand.

Indian media reported this week that the India is looking at a barter system to export rice to Iran
to continue importing oil from the Islamic republic. Enditem

http://www.china.org.cn/world/Off_the_Wire/2018-11/14/content_72307453.htm

Rice import rebidding fails; prices still easing


By: Karl R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:05 AM November 14, 2018

The governments of Thailand and Vietnam did not agree to the reference price set by the National
Food Authority (NFA) for the supply of 203,000 metric tons (MT) of rice on Tuesday, which led to
the failure of the second round of bidding.

The failed rebidding was supposed to firm up the remaining volume that was not procured during
the previous auction, wherein only 47,000 MT of rice were bought.

Both Thailand and Vietnam‘s price offers at $480.80 and $483 a ton, respectively, were higher
than the NFA‘s reference price of $447.88 a ton.

Under the NFA‘s guidelines, both parties may make another offer within the day, but even the
countries‘ second price offers were still too high at $480.50 and $481.50.

In an interview with NFA assistant administrator Maria Mercedes Yacapin, she said that the
agency‘s reference price—described by traders who talked to the Inquirer as ―too low‖—were
based on the prevailing trends in the international market.

―This is based on our study. We do our own world market monitoring of prices,‖ she said.

Asked whether the failed bidding would affect the arrival period of the imports, Yacapin said they
would have to consult the NFA Council.
Under NFA‘s terms, the volume should arrive in the country in two tranches—the first no later
than Dec. 15 and the second must arrive no later than Dec. 31.

An additional 500,000 MT of rice are also set to be procured next week under the open tender
scheme, wherein the government will transact with the private sector.

About P18 billion worth of subsidy from the government‘s treasury is expected to be allocated for
the importation program.

Since the arrival of rice imports, rice prices have been going down for four consecutive weeks now
and these are expected to decline further with the arrival of more affordable rice.

As of the third week of October, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed average
retail price for regular-milled and well-milled rice at P45.72 and P48.83 a kilo, respectively. These
were lower by 0.33 percent and 0.35 percent from a week ago, but were still higher by 20.22
percent and 15.68 percent from the previous year.

While prices may not go back to its previous levels, the Department of Agriculture is banking on
the imposition of the suggested retail price on rice varieties as a measure to tame prices and ease
the burden of consumers

https://business.inquirer.net/260545/rice-import-rebidding-fails-prices-still-
easing#ixzz5X10LHTQl

575 Ilocos farmers learn agri technology


By Reynaldo Andres November 15, 2018, 6:18 pm
AWARDEES. Farmer-achievers (in green shirts) bag medals and plaques of recognition for
being topnotchers in their class during the conduct of the six-month(May -November, 2018)
school-on-the-air (SOA) program of Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU), Department of
Agriculture, Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and
Development, Philippine Rice Research Institute , and the Philippine Broadcasting
Service. (Photo by Marco Leo A. Magno, MMSU)

BATAC CITY--Some 575 farmers from 16 municipalities in Ilocos Norte are now equipped
with the latest production technologies on high-value commercial crops and livestock, which
they can apply in their farms.

The farmers learned these through the school-on-the-air (SOA) program jointly initiated by the
Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) in this city, the Ilocos Agriculture, Aquatic and
Natural Research and Development Consortium (ILAARRDEC), the Philippine Council for
Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD),
Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), and the Philippine Broadcasting Service (PBS).

Aired over government-owned DWFB Radyo Pilipinas in Laoag City and DWCI Radyo Piddig,
the SOA ran for six months , or from May to Novemeber this year, and were hosted by a
farmcaster from the MMSU‘s Extension Directorate.

―I am so happy that despite of my limited resources and time to attend seminars, I learned a lot
on various farm production technologies and livestock production,‖ said Florencio Madalipay of
Batac City, this year‘s top achiever of the program, a feat equivalent to first honors.

―I feel different now from other farmers who are still practicing traditional methods of planting
crops and raising livestock,‖ beamed Ernard John Agustin of San Nicolas town who is the
number two top achiever of the SOA curriculum.

In a grand graduation ceremony held at MMSU Teatro Ilocandia on Wednesday, Dr. Epifania O,
Agustin, MMSU‘s vice president for research, extension and agribusiness, said the university
hopes to see the graduates increase their production output next year because the SOA that was
conducted ―was an intensive extension service that aimed to improve existing crops and
livestock-based farming systems through the adoption of appropriate technologies and
innovations.

For six months, farmers listened to the aired discussions on livestock raising management and
the improved crop production practices through experts from MMSU, PhilRice, and the
Department of Agriculture (DA), who gave them practical tips on how to produce better outputs.

In partnership with PCAARRD‘s project on Sustaining Crop Productivity on Climate Vulnerable


Areas Through Science and Technology Community-based Farm (STCBF) on Climate Resilient
Technologies, the SOA served as channel of improved farming practices through the use of Bio-
N and carageenan plant growth promoter.

―We focused on crops and livestock production,‖ Dr. Agustin said, adding that as one of the
most vulnerable provinces in the country, Ilocos Norte has suffered adverse impacts of global
warming such as prolonged drought, abnormal precipitation rates, floods, environmental
degradation, and increased temperatures.

Experts have predicted that global demand for crops and livestock products are expected to
increase due to the improvement in the worldwide standard of living.

However, climate change is a threat to crops and livestock because of its impact on agricultural
production and biodiversity.

―That‘s why we need to inform the farmers on these issues and, at the same time, teach them to
cope up with these current trends and increase their production output,‖ Dr. Agustin said.

Meanwhile, Celestina C. Paz, Station Manager of DWFB Radyo-Pilipinas, said the two state-run
radio stations are honored to become partners of MMSU, saying that the radio has remained a
very efficient and effective medium in the delivery of vital research information to farmers, and
that the techniques employed in the SOA were basically instructional although the teaching-
learning process is not undertaken in classrooms.

Aside from Madalipay and Agustin, the other achievers from the 16 participating local
government units who were awarded during the graduation program were: Jeofrey Agustin
(Solsona), Richard Garcia (Badoc), Edilberto Ramos (Bacarra), Margie Sagucio (Pasuquin), Jose
Caditan (Paoay), Lorna Malvar (Sarrat), Zeny Manuel (Banna), Edison Yamongan (Currimao),
Noriel Magayano (Vintar), Ceferino Ligot (Marcos), and Feliciano Rondal (Nueva Era). (PNA)

http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1053991
FULL DISCLOSURE, TRANSPARENCY KEY TO

DISMANTLING RICE CARTEL – IMEE MARCOS


By Panay News

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Ilocos Norte governor Imee Marcos (center) is with mother Imelda (right) and brother
Ferdinand Jr. AFP

THE replacement of import quotas with tariffs would not dismantle rice cartels in the country,
according to Ilocos Norte governor Imee R. Marcos. ―The government rosters of rice importers
and traders must be purged of smugglers, economic saboteurs, hoarders, and tax evaders.‖
Marcos, who is running for senator in next year‘s midterm elections, said it would ―still be
business as usual‖ for the rice cartel because they control the underlying system and internal
architecture of rice importation and distribution. ―Their control of that system is not addressed by
any of the bills on rice tariffication,‖ she said.

―Revoking their licenses and permits to import rice will deal a serious blow to the rice cartels,‖
Marcos said.

She added that the rice cartel members are able to operate with impunity because their identities
are hidden from public view – ―locked in drawers, file cabinets, computers, and brains of several
government officials and employees,‖ the governor said.

She lamented that the lists or registries of licensed or accredited rice importers and traders are
not front-page material on the websites of the National Food Authority, the Bureau of Plant
Industry, the Bureau of Customs, the Department of Trade and Industry, and the Bureau of
Internal Revenue – the five agencies that are supposed to have those lists and supporting
documents.

―We are already in the 21st century. It is time to bring those names out of the shadows through
transparent and verifiable full disclosure on the website of the Department of Agriculture of the
names, executives, and contact numbers and electronic records of all transaction details of all
rice importers and traders, as well as their freight forwarders and warehouses,‖ the Ilocos Norte
governor said.

She called for a rigorous vetting process, with the crucial involvement of civil society watchdog
organizations, that will purge the lists of rice importers and traders.
Furthermore, Marcos called for a detailed audit and forensic examination of all the processes and
documents in the rice importation cycle.

She said the one rare time the Department of Finance revealed the names of the companies,
cooperatives and other entities that import rice was way back in 2013./PN

https://www.panaynews.net/full-disclosure-transparency-key-to-dismantling-rice-
cartel-imee-marcos/

NFA to ease rice importation process for private sector


By: Karl R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:26 AM November 16, 2018

The National Food Authority (NFA) will finally make easier the rice importation process in the
country more than a month after President Duterte gave the go-ahead to open the program to more
players.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, who heads the grains agency and sits at the board of the
NFA Council, said he would be signing the resolution this week before he flies to Papua New
Guinea to tackle agricultural issues between the two countries.

―The NFA Council approved the out-quota allocation, meaning, if you comply with the
requirements set by the NFA, you could bring in rice to the country,‖ he said. The out-quota
importation will allow the private sector to bring in rice outside the minimum access volume
(MAV). The MAV refers to the volume of agricultural products allowed to be imported at a lower
duty as part of a country‘s commitment to the World Trade Organization.

In addition, the agency has reduced the requirements that would-be traders and importers have to
submit to five from 14 as part of another mandate from the President to streamline bureaucratic
processes.

The NFA has yet to release the new guidelines.


Currently, there are 351 licensed grains importers in the country, and the agency is expecting the
number to swell given the strong support from Mr. Duterte and his economic managers.

Opening the rice market to more imports is expected to bring down prices of the staple by as much
as P6 a kilogram.

https://business.inquirer.net/260656/nfa-to-ease-rice-importation-process-for-private-
sector#ixzz5X1W0INlL

NFA adjusts reference price for rice imports after failing to draw
bids
November 14, 2018 | 10:30 pm

A worker at the NFA Quezon City warehouse. -- PHILIPPINE STAR/MICHAEL VARCAS


THE National Food Authority (NFA) Council has authorized an adjustment in the reference
price for the import auction covering 203,000 metric tons (MT) of rice, in the hope that the new
price will be more acceptable to key government-to-government suppliers Vietnam and
Thailand.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said on Wednesday that the initial reference price of
$447.88 was well below the Thai and Vietnamese offers because it incorporated estimates of
prices that suppliers from India or Pakistan might find acceptable.

―We included the prices of India and Pakistan which are lower than Vietnam and Thailand,‖ Mr.
Piñol told reporters in a briefing, without disclosing the new reference price.

―Yesterday, following the observation made by members of the council, the reference prices
were (adjusted to incorporate) the prices of Vietnam and Thailand,‖ Mr. Piñol said.

The NFA rejected most offers from Thailand and Vietnam in the first round of bidding, at which
only 47,000 MT worth of contracts was awarded. The re-bid for the remaining 203,000 MT
attracted no offers, endangering the import timetable for rice and threatening a supply crunch in
low-cost rice during the yearend holidays.

The NFA Council authorized the import of 750,000 MT of rice in 2018, divided into three equal
batches of 250,000 MT each. The initial 250,000 MT was initially scheduled for arrival in
Philippine ports by Dec. 15, which many suppliers were said to have considered difficult to
comply with.

―Yesterday, during the NFA Council meeting, the reference price was reviewed which I am not
in liberty to disclose because it will compromise our bidding process,‖ Mr. Piñol said. Another
bidding will be conducted next week, according to Mr. Piñol.

Mr. Piñol said that the terms of reference were not changed, with the date of arrival still Dec. 15
in various Philippine ports.

He added that there is enough low-cost NFA rice to meet demand.


―As of the moment, in the warehouses, we have stocks for about 33 days and we have another
43,000 metric tons (MT) coming by the end of November,‖ according to Mr. Piñol. — Reicelene
Joy N. Ignacio

https://www.bworldonline.com/nfa-adjusts-reference-price-for-rice-imports-after-failing-to-
draw-bids/

Local rice retailers worry about SRP on rice


By Jessa Mae O. Sotto|November 15,2018 - 10:56 PM

RICE retailers are worried of poor sales due when the suggested retail price on rice products will
be implemented in Central Visayas.

Rice retailer Maribeth Cabahit, 43, said most of her customers would want to buy rice with brand
names such as Ganador, Lion Ivory and Sinandomeng.

Without such labels, she said her customers might get confused and might opt to buy less.

The retailers, however, would follw the National Food Authority‘s (NFA) mandating to
standardize price labels and that rice could only be called regular milled, well milled, premium,
and special rice.

Names of rice products like Ganador, Sinandomeng and Super Angelica will no longer be
allowed.

For imported rice, the NFA ordered the retailers to name these rice products based on what
country they came from, such as Vietnam, Thailand, and Pakistan.

Reslyn Belia, 42, another rice retailer of Carbon Public market, expressed the same sentiment.

She said she was not sure if the standardization of the labels of rice would improve her sales.
―Ang mga tawo magdumdom man gyod na sa ilang bugas paliton (People would choose the rice
products they were used to buying),‖ said Belia.

She said most of her customers prefer the quality of Ganador and Lion Ivory rice.

The Department of Agriculture and Department of Trade and Industry enforced a SRP to
regulate prices of imported and locally produced rice and to combat inflation.

For regular milled rice, the SRP will be P39 per kilo; local well milled rice will now be at P44
per kilo; and local premium grade rice at P47 per kilo.

While imported well milled rice will now cost P39 per kilo; imported premium grade 1 rice will
be P43 per kilo and imported premium grade 2 at P40 per kilo.

https://cebudailynews.inquirer.net/203768/local-rice-retailers-worry-about-srp-on-rice

Recent study documents damage to rice crops by three fall-


applied residual herbicides
November 15, 2018, Cambridge University Press
Fall-applied residual herbicides are a commonly used control for glyphosate-resistant Italian
ryegrass -- one of the most troublesome weeds in Mid-South row crops. But research published
in the journal Weed Technology shows rice growers …more

Fall-applied residual herbicides are a commonly used control for glyphosate-resistant Italian
ryegrass—one of the most troublesome weeds in Mid-South row crops. But research published in
the journal Weed Technology shows rice growers need to be cautious. Some residual herbicides
can have a negative impact on rice crop performance.
The warning follows field studies conducted in Stoneville, Mississippi, where rice is frequently
planted in rotation with soybean, grain sorghum, and cotton. Researchers made fall applications
of clomazone, pyroxasulfone, S-metolachlor, and trifluralin to determine their impact on
subsequent rice growth and yields.
Each herbicide was applied at both the suggested use rate and at two times the suggested use rate
to see whether their persistence in the soil would negatively influence rice planted during the
following growing season.
Fourteen days after rice crop emergence, scientists found that pyroxasulfone, S-metolachlor, and
trifluralin had produced greater injury to plants than clomazone, regardless of the application
rate. The same was true for rice seedling density, height, and maturity.
"Among the herbicides in our study, only clomazone should be used as a fall-applied residual
herbicide to target glyphosate-resistant Italian ryegrass prior to seeding rice crops," says Jason
Bond of Mississippi State University.
Explore further: Researchers confirm glyphosate resistance in junglerice
More information: Benjamin H. Lawrence et al, Effect of Fall-Applied Residual Herbicides on
Rice G

https://phys.org/news/2018-11-documents-rice-crops-fall-applied-residual.html

Brad Robb

CROPS>RICE

CRISPR gene editing could accelerate plant improvements

CRISPR or Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats technology was first described in
a paper in 1987.
Forrest Laws | Nov 15, 2018

When Dr. Tim Croughan was looking for rice that could be resistant to the herbicide
imazethapyr, he tested thousands of mutant plants he developed in his laboratory at the LSU
AgCenter‘s Rice Research Station in Crowley, La.

After Croughan identified one resistant line in the early 1990s, it took a team of LSU researchers
led by Dr. Steve Linscombe several more years to transfer the resistance into a Clearfield rice
variety that could be grown commercially in the southern United States.

The odds are that process could be replicated in a fraction of the time with gene editing using
CRISPR Cas9 technology, according to Dr. Michael J. Thomson, professor in the Department of
Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University and holder of the Henry M. Beachell Chair in
international rice improvement.

―If you look at what we‘ve traditionally done with traits such as Roundup Ready or glyphosate-
tolerant cotton and soybeans, our tolerance was provided by a transgenic approach,‖ said
Thomson, speaking during a University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Food and
Agribusiness Webinar (https://youtu.be/6IQTKu42Los).

―So now there are ways to do the modification of essentially the endogenous genes (which
originate from within an organism, tissue or cell) so that you can use CRISPR Cas9 in what
could be a non-transgenic approach to this.‖

CRISPR or Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats technology was first
described in a paper in 1987. It was first proposed as a potential tool for genome editing in a
landmark paper written by Dr. Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, and
Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier from France in 2012.

CRISPR and the CRISPR-associated protein 9 or Cas9, a protein found in


the Streptococcus bacterial immune system, cooperate with guide RNA and work like scissors,
attacking the DNA of invading viruses and slicing it up. By ―knocking out‖ selected genes, it can
also help scientists better understand the function of those genes or allow other genes to more
fully express themselves.

That would be a far cry from the process used to develop Clearfield rice, which is non-
transgenic. ―In the past, using mutation breeding, it was still quite a long process to find the
perfect mutation — essentially it‘s a brute force method,‖ said Thomson. ―You‘re just making a
lot of random mutations in the genome, and you‘re hoping that you can get the right one for your
desired effect.‖

With the acetolactate synthase inhibiting or ALS class of herbicides, for example, research has
uncovered some of the reasons why weeds become resistant to those chemistries in field settings.

―In this case, we can do a very targeted mutation,‖ he said. ―With those amino acid changes we
have a lot of data on what provides that herbicide tolerance, and we can use that make those
modifications in our materials for breeding lines.

―Now, this is a little tricky in that you don‘t want to overuse some of these herbicide tolerance
genes because then, again, you‘ll have the tolerant weed problem. But this could be used as a
way to pyramid multiple mechanisms or modes of action of herbicide tolerance into the same
line so you have, then, many options when you‘re dealing with weeds.‖

In another recent publication, scientists described using biolistics to modify the amino acids for
ALS resistance in corn, using a method called ribonucleoprotein or RNP delivery. ―What you see
is that it does have the herbicide tolerance, provided by these specific amino acid changes.,‖
Thomson said. ―But what‘s interesting is that with RNP delivery, it‘s essentially delivery of
CRISPR Cas9. In the end, there‘s no DNA that‘s integrated into the genome; it‘s essentially a
DNA-free approach to gene editing. And it‘s also essentially non-transgenic, as well.
―This method uses a purified Cas9 protein with guide RNA mixture, and you make that complex
in vitro before you shoot it into the plant cells. You‘re starting with a Cas9 protein and the RNA
complex. Then you introduce it using the gene gun, so biolistics can make that edit very quickly.
It‘s a transient approach.‖

After a week or two, the protein will be naturally degraded by the cells, but that‘s enough time
for it to make the desired mutation in the target genome, Thomson says. ―In this case, there‘s no
DNA integration of any foreign DNA, and this would be one of the more straightforward ways to
obtain a non-GMO product.‖

Thomson says there are new products being developed by companies such as Calyxt, using gene
editing techniques. Among those are high-oleic content soybean oil, high-fiber wheat, powdery
mildew-resistant wheat, anti-browning mushrooms, disease-resistant citrus, fungus-resistant
bananas and reduced-gluten what. Growers may also have new crops to grow, crops developed
from wild plants domesticated by using CRISPR technology.

Numerous legal and regulatory hurdles remain for the technology, although early indications are
neither USDA nor the Food and Drug Administration are keen on regulating the products
primarily derived through gene editing.

Based on the early work by Doudna, the University of California, Berkely, has become involved
in patent litigation with such coalitions as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the
Broad Institute.

―The medical field is the biggest area of application, but agriculture has gotten a lot of attention
recently,‖ said Thomson. ―A year ago DuPont Pioneer and the Broad Institute essentially joined
forces to enable licensing of the technology for agriculture. It‘s provided some clarity in that
groups know who to talk to if they want to license the technology.‖

For more information on the University of Arkansas webinar series, visit https://bit.ly/2qytJUu.
Perdue hears concern on trade, optimistic better deals will

come

STAYING OPTIMISTIC: Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue (right) says he hears a lot of concern
and anxiety about low prices and trade disputes but is optimistic that new, better deals will be struck, and
that farmers will be rewarded. He is shown here with 1st District Rep. Roger Marshall.

The ag secretary believes better deals will be struck and that farmers will benefit in the end.

P.J. Griekspoor | Nov 16, 2018

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue says he is hearing a "lot of concern and anxiety" in
farm country about depressed commodity prices and the role that ongoing trade disputes play in
shutting off markets.

Responding to questions from the audience and the media following delivery of a Landon
Lecture speech at Kansas State University, Perdue said that he believes better trade deals will be
completed, and that farmers will be better off as a result.

"We have a better deal in the USMCA than we had under NAFTA," he said. "We have
agreement with South Korea and we are moving to get talks started with the European Union and
Japan. And the U.S. is ready to trade with China when it is ready to play by the rules."

Perdue said he believes that President Donald Trump‘s policies are getting the point across to
China.

"It‘s a long game," he said. "We won‘t be patsies. It looks like there will be another meeting
between President Trump and President Xi."

Perdue said that he is "99.9% certain" that there will be a second round of trade disruption
payments to farmers. "I think we‘ll see another round starting around the middle of December,"
he said., "We‘re trying to give our negotiators time, but it‘s becoming pretty clear that these trade
disputes are not going to be settled by the end of fall."

At the same time, Perdue said, he doesn‘t see another appropriation for the 2019 growing season.

"The problem this year was all this came after farmers had already made their decisions and had
a crop in the field," he said. "But our farmers are great businessmen. I have confidence that they
will make planting decisions with market problems in mind. We won‘t need a mitigation
program in 2019."

Perdue also addressed the need for immigrant labor for agriculture, saying the Department of
Labor is already in the process of making it easier for farmers needing workers to meet the
advertising requirements that are required before than can ask for H2-A workers.

Perdue said he does expect disaster aid packages for victims of Hurricanes Florence and
Michael, but he hopes that an additional appropriation won‘t be needed.

He also expressed home that a farm bill will be passed during the lame duck session of Congress.
Kansas 1st District Rep. Roger Marshall, who accompanied Perdue on the K-State visit, said he
is also confident a bill will pass.

"I think it better pass or I may not be able to come home for Christmas," Marshall joked.
Marshall, who easily won a second term on Nov. 6, took some heat during the campaign from
constituents who have a keen interest in seeing a farm bill pass.

Perdue added however, that should there not be a bill completed by the end of the year, a
resolution to continue the 2014 for a year to give the new Congress time to write a new bill, is
likely.

He said there is "no backup plan" to fix the dairy margin program, something that is addressed in
the Senate version of the farm bill now stuck in conference committee. Other programs
‗orphaned‘ by the expiration of the 2014 bill, including popular and heavily used conservation
programs, will also be in limbo if an extension occurs, because they depend on new
appropriations.
https://www.deltafarmpress.com/rice/crispr-gene-editing-could-accelerate-plant-
improvements

Chinese Scientists Create New Type of Genetically Modified


Rice
ZHANG YUSHUO
DATE: WED, 11/14/2018 - 19:38 / SOURCE:YICAI

Chinese Scientists Create New Type of Genetically Modified Rice


(Yicai Global) Nov. 14 -- Researchers at South China Agriculture University have
developed a new type of genetically modified rice rich in astaxanthin, an antioxidant
said to have multiple health benefits.

The research borrowed ideas from the genetic modification of Golden Rice 2 with
beta-carotene biosynthesis genes, according to the thesis published in esteemed
academic journal Molecular Plant. Golden Rice was a form of GM rice designed to be
rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A.

―The biofortified rice products generated by this study could be consumed as health-
promoting foods and processed to produce dietary supplements,‖ according to the
thesis.

GM foods have a bad rap among environmental circles, and have been opposed by
environmental organizations like Greenpeace and Fairtrade International. But just
over 100 Nobel laureates lobbied for those groups to be more accepting via a pro-GM
food campaign in 2016, and as of this month there were 138 of the prizewinners
backing the cause.

The campaign, named Support Precision Agriculture, accuses Greenpeace of


misleading consumers about GM foods by falsely claiming that they are dangerous,
untested and inadequately regulated.

―Humans have eaten hundreds of billions of GM based meals in the past 20 years
without a single case of any problems resulting from GM,‖ the campaign website
reads, adding that ―more than a hundred billion livestock animals ate GM feed from
1996 through 2011, during which the average health of livestock animals improved.‖

Editor: James Boynton

https://www.yicaiglobal.com/news/chinese-scientists-create-new-type-genetically-
modified-rice

End your insomnia quick with almonds and white rice


 POSTED ONNOVEMBER 15, 2018
 3 MINUTE READ
 JACQUELINE ARIAS
When I was still a student, I had terrible sleeping habits, especially when it was vacation period.
I would stay up late, sometimes not sleep because of unfinished school works, and it eventually
took a toll on my overall health. Obviously, I was tired all the time as well.

Now, I‘ve managed to regulate my sleeping schedule. Even if I do go to bed late, I still try to get
at least six hours of shut eye in so I won‘t feel too groggy the morning after. (Coffee is also a
lifesaver.) But the past few days have been difficult for me—maybe it‘s because of my upcoming
flight. While the ‗ol warm milk trick is an effective way to help get a good night‘s sleep, this
might not work for everyone. So what else can you eat and/or drink to nod off? Check our list to
find out.

Chamomile tea

This tea is widely known to be a ―natural remedy for inflammation, decrease anxiety, and treat
insomnia.‖ Chamomile tea has an antioxidant called apigenin which helps in calming down
specific brain receptors. Go buy a box of this and brew a cup every night.

Almonds

If you love munching on almonds, you‘re in luck because they have melatonin, a sleep-
regulating hormone. Healthline also noted that the magnesium in this nut will greatly help in
improving sleep quality because it reduces the effect of cortisol, a stress hormone. You just need
to consume at least one ounce and you‘re good!
White rice or oatmeal

Lucky for us Filipinos, white rice can actually help you fall asleep. Because it‘s high in
carbohydrates and low in fiber, it has a high glycemic index which can improve sleep quality.
A study cited that consuming rice a few hours before going to bed is ideal.

Looking for a healthier carb option? Try oatmeal. Just like white rice, this can make you feel
drowsy after eating a bowl. Psychology Today also mentioned that this will boost the serotonin in
your brain, which is responsible for soothing it. Feel free to customize your oatmeal too, and we
suggest using a few slices of kiwi.

Kiwi

The Sleep Doctor cited a study saying that kiwi is a must-eat fruit for those having trouble
dozing off. Researchers found that consuming kiwi daily will improve both sleep quality and
quantity. It‘s said that it has high antioxidant and serotonin levels, as well as vitamin C that helps
treat sleep apnea. Now we just love this fruit even more.

Cherry juice

I love cherries and cherry juice so much that I used to snack on a jar when I was a kid. Little did
I know that the latter actually contain natural melatonin and improve sleep. It‘s also found that
cherry juice is rich in anti-inflammatory nutrients that help in soothing muscle soreness after
working out. A medical study even likened the effect to ibuprofen. Who knew cherries would
have a uses other than be a sundae topping and cough medicine flavor?

Tuna and salmon

A University of Pennsylvania study in 2017 found that people who eat more fatty fish like tuna
and salmon have high sleep quality. The researchers said that the high Omega-3 level greatly
helped. Additionally, they mostly focused on schoolchildren and found that they passed more
exams after eating more fish. So you get better sleep and straight A‘s—time to run to the
supermarket.

Cottage cheese

Hello, cheese lovers, you‘re doing it right if you have cottage cheese in your diet. According
to Sleep Foundation, this is high in lean protein and also have trytophan, which may increase
serotonin levels. Feel free to turn this into a dessert as well—let‘s say, add some berries for an
impromptu cheesecake dish.

Art by Marian Hukom

For the latest in culture, fashion, beauty, and celebrities, subscribe to our weekly newsletter here
Follow Preen on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Viber

https://preen.inquirer.net/86712/end-your-insomnia-quick-with-almonds-and-white-
rice#ixzz5X1YA3V52

Nigeria to emerge world’s second largest rice importer in


2019 –US agency
Published November 15, 2018

With a projected 13 per cent jump next year to 3.4 million metric tons, Nigeria will emerge the
world‘s second-biggest rice importer after China, reveals a US Department of Agriculture report.

―China and Nigeria are projected to remain the largest rice importing countries in 2019, followed
by the EU, Cote d‘Ivoire, and Iran,‖ the USDA said in its latest Rice Outlook released Tuesday.

―Nigeria and Egypt are projected to account for the bulk of the 2019 import increase,‖
reports Bloomberg.

There are reports that production had increased more than 50 per cent since 2012 to 3.7 million
tons last year. Domestic demand rose 4 per cent to 6.7 million tons in the 2017-18 year that
ended in May.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, had earlier warned that Nigeria
may face shortages in the supply of rice, due to the flood that ravaged the country recently.

Current global production exceeds consumption by 2.3 million tons, according to USDA, with
2018-19 ―global ending stocks‖ projected to reach 163 million tons, 17.8 million tons more than
previously forecast

https://punchng.com/nigeria-to-emerge-worlds-second-largest-rice-importer-in-2019-
us-agency/
NFA adjusts reference price for rice imports after failing to draw
bids
November 14, 2018 | 10:30 pm

A worker at the NFA Quezon City warehouse. -- PHILIPPINE STAR/MICHAEL VARCAS


THE National Food Authority (NFA) Council has authorized an adjustment in the
reference price for the import auction covering 203,000 metric tons (MT) of rice, in
the hope that the new price will be more acceptable to key government-to-government
suppliers Vietnam and Thailand.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said on Wednesday that the initial reference price of
$447.88 was well below the Thai and Vietnamese offers because it incorporated estimates of
prices that suppliers from India or Pakistan might find acceptable.

―We included the prices of India and Pakistan which are lower than Vietnam and Thailand,‖ Mr.
Piñol told reporters in a briefing, without disclosing the new reference price.

―Yesterday, following the observation made by members of the council, the reference prices
were (adjusted to incorporate) the prices of Vietnam and Thailand,‖ Mr. Piñol said.
The NFA rejected most offers from Thailand and Vietnam in the first round of bidding, at which
only 47,000 MT worth of contracts was awarded. The re-bid for the remaining 203,000 MT
attracted no offers, endangering the import timetable for rice and threatening a supply crunch in
low-cost rice during the yearend holidays.

The NFA Council authorized the import of 750,000 MT of rice in 2018, divided into three equal
batches of 250,000 MT each. The initial 250,000 MT was initially scheduled for arrival in
Philippine ports by Dec. 15, which many suppliers were said to have considered difficult to
comply with.

―Yesterday, during the NFA Council meeting, the reference price was reviewed which I am not
in liberty to disclose because it will compromise our bidding process,‖ Mr. Piñol said. Another
bidding will be conducted next week, according to Mr. Piñol.

Mr. Piñol said that the terms of reference were not changed, with the date of arrival still Dec. 15
in various Philippine ports.

He added that there is enough low-cost NFA rice to meet demand.

―As of the moment, in the warehouses, we have stocks for about 33 days and we have another
43,000 metric tons (MT) coming by the end of November,‖ according to Mr. Piñol. — Reicelene
Joy N. Ignacio

https://www.bworldonline.com/nfa-adjusts-reference-price-for-rice-imports-after-
failing-to-draw-bids/

Nigeria’ll be second biggest rice importer in 2019 –USDA

Published November 16, 2018


Bags of rice. File photo

’Femi Asu with agency report

Nigeria‘s rice imports will rise by 13 per cent next year to 3.4 million metric tons, making the
country the world‘s biggest rice importer after China, according to the US Department of
Agriculture.

―China and Nigeria are projected to remain the largest rice importing countries in 2019, followed
by the European Union, Cote d‘Ivoire, and Iran,‖ the USDA said in its latest Rice Outlook
released on Tuesday.

―Nigeria and Egypt are projected to account for the bulk of the 2019 import increase,‖ it added.

The forecast growth is a setback for the Nigerian government, which plans to stop rice imports
by the end of this year to save foreign currency.

Production had increased more than 50 per cent since 2012 to 3.7 million tons last year.
Domestic demand rose by four per cent to 6.7 million tons in the 2017-18 year that ended in
May.

President Muhammadu Buhari wants to diversify Nigeria‘s economy away from hydrocarbons,
and agriculture is one of the sectors he has bet on.

The economy of the country, Africa‘s biggest oil producer, is still recovering from a slump in
2016, after the crash in crude prices.

Rice farmers in Nigeria have reported a drop in output since last year due to a combination of
higher input costs, insecurity and widespread flooding in the main growing regions. At the same
time, people are giving up traditional coarse grains in favour of rice in the country of almost 200
million people.
―The rain has not been favourable to rice farmers this year,‖ Mohammed Sahabi, Chairman of
the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria in Kebbi, one of the main rice-growing states, was
quoted by Bloomberg as saying.

―We lost more than 20,000 hectares of unharvested rice this year in Kebbi alone,‖ he added.

Last month, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said the
heavy flood in about 14 states might lead to a shortage of rice across the country next year.

Ogbeh warned that if adequate measures were not taken to replant the rice affected by severe
flood in some states, Nigeria might experience a shortage of the staple by 2019.

He stated these at the inauguration of the National Agricultural Seed Council Molecular Facility
and the 2018 Seed Fair and Farmers‘ Field Day in Abuja on Thursday.

He said the flood affected some major rice-producing states, and this might be risky in terms of
rice availability in the country if not addressed.

Current global production exceeds consumption by 2.3 million tons, according to USDA, with
2018-19 ―global ending stocks‖ projected to reach 163 million tons, 17.8 million tons more than
previously forecast.

Copyright PUNCH.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be
reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior
express written permission from PUNCH.

Contact: theeditor@punchng.com

https://punchng.com/nigeriall-be-second-biggest-rice-importer-in-2019-usda/
Senate approves bill lifting rice import limits
If the rice tariffication bill is passed into law, a Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund would
be created to protect the rice industry from sudden or extreme price fluctuations

Camille Elemia
@CamilleElemia

Published 10:30 PM, November 14, 2018

Updated 10:30 PM, November 14, 2018

Email

APPROVED. Rice tariffication is one of the means identified that would help address soaring
inflation. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Voting 14-0, the Senate approved on Wednesday, November 14, the bill
seeking to lift restrictions on rice importation to help address the country's soaring inflation.
Senate Bill No. 1998 or the rice tariffication bill seeks to amend Republic Act (RA) No. 8178 or
the Agricultural Tariffication Act of 1996 and replace the quantitative restriction (QR) on rice
imports.

The bill is among the measures pushed by President Rodrigo Duterte and his economic managers
to address high rice prices. (READ: Duterte to rice cartels: Stop messing with me)

Senator Cynthia Villar, sponsor and principal author of the bill, said the staple grain is the only
agricultural commodity in the country that has a QR. This, in turn, limits the inflow of imported
rice in the country.

She added that the lifting of the QR would also remove all "unnecessary intervention" of the
government in the rice market.

Senator Joel Villanueva, also an author of the bill, said it could curb smuggling.

"We hope that the immediate enactment of this measure will ensure that our country would not
have to suffer rice shortages and, at the same time, discourage the smuggling of rice, a plague
that has long been infecting this country," Villanueva said in a statement.

The bill seeks to replace the QR with the following tariffs:

 For the minimum access volume committed by the Philippines to the World Trade
Organization (WTO), the indicated rates in the applicable provisions of the WTO
agreement on agriculture shall apply.
 For ASEAN member states, 35% or the import duty rate commitment of the Philippines
for rice importation, pursuant to the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement.
 For non-ASEAN member states, 50% or the tariff equivalent calculated in accordance
with the WTO agreement on agriculture upon the expiration of the waiver relating to the
special treatment for rice of the Philippines, whichever is higher.

The House approved a counterpart measure in August 2018. A bicameral conference committee
will now be convened to thresh out differences between the two versions.

Fund for rice farmers, cooperatives

If passed into law, a Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund would also be created to protect
the rice industry from sudden or extreme price fluctuations. The Senate set it at a minimum of
P10 billion annually for 6 years.

The fund seeks to provide various forms of assistance to rice farmers, such as development of
inbred rice seeds, rice farm equipment, and skills enhancement.
Under the measure, the fund would be allocated and disbursed to rice-producing areas, as
follows:

 50% for grants to eligible farmers' associations, registered rice cooperatives, and local
government units, in the form of rice farm equipment such as tillers, tractors, seeders,
millers, and dryers, among others
 30% for the development, propagation, and promotion of inbred rice seeds to rice farmers
 10% for loans with minimal interest for rice farmers and cooperatives
 10% for extension services, such as teaching skills on rice crop production, modern rice
farming techniques, seed production, farm mechanization, and knowledge/technology
transfer through farm schools nationwide

https://www.rappler.com/nation/216719-senate-approves-rice-tariffication-bill-
november-2018

NFA Council to cut import requirements for local traders


November 15, 2018, 10:00 PM

By Madelaine B. Miraflor

In what could be a desperate attempt to bring in more imported rice into the country, the NFA
Council, the highest policy making body of the National Food Authority (NFA), has approved
the guidelines that will reduce the requirements for local traders who intend to import the staple.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol
―The NFA Council approved the out quota allocation. Meaning, if you comply to requirements
set by the NFA, which we have reduced from 14 to only five, you could bring in [imported] rice
to the country,‖ Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said.

When asked if this will also open the rice importation to everyone who are interested to do it,
Piñol said ―yes but there are requirements which will have to be met.‖

Under the guidelines, the government will also look at the net income of traders and their
computation on how much they will gain from the importation.

―This will eliminate the fly-by-night importers because now, under the new guidelines, we
should be able to see their total net income amounting to 10 percent of the value of what they
will import,‖ Piñol said.

―So those group of farmers cooperatives who will ask for allocation and then they will just sell
their permits, it will not work anymore because we will also check the capability of the traders
before we will issue them with import permit,‖ he added.

The free-for-all importation is also the essence of rice tariffication bill, which was passed in the
Senate on Thursday.

Senate Bill No. 1998 or the rice tariffication bill has amended Republic Act (RA) No. 8178 or
the Agricultural Tariffication Act of 1996, seeking to replace the quantitative restriction (QR) on
rice imports with a specific tariff rate.

The passage of the bill, which effectively liberalize rice importation, came at a time when the
Philippines, one of the top rice importing countries in the world, is struggling to find cheap
imported rice.

After another failed bidding, Piñol said the NFA should conduct two major rice bidding
processes in the span of five days next week in hopes that foreign suppliers will finally adjust
their bid price at favorable cost.

During these bidding processes, the NFA must award supply contracts for as much as 700,000
metric tons (MT) of imported rice.

NFA on Tuesday failed for the third time to secure supply for 203,000 MT of rice after Vietnam
and Thailand — the only countries with existing rice trade agreement with the Philippines —
won‘t sell their rice at cheaper price.

Vietnam and Thailand particularly made bid offers higher than NFA‘s reference price of
US$447.88 per MT.

The subject volume for bidding was the balance from the 250,000 MT offered for bidding last
October 18 under an open tender scheme.

With majority of the bid offers exceeding the NFA‘s approved budget of US$428.18 per MT,
only 47,000 MT was awarded to three suppliers who offered prices lower than the approved
budget.
https://business.mb.com.ph/2018/11/15/nfa-council-to-cut-import-requirements-for-
local-traders/

NFA to allow private sector to import rice


BY EIREENE JAIREE GOMEZ
NOVEMBER 16, 2018
The National Food Authority (NFA) has approved a measure allowing the private sector to
import rice to help boost the country‘s reserves and ease overall inflation, a Cabinet official said.

A
boy buys a kilo of NFA rice from an authorized reseller. FILE PHOTO

According to Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, the NFA Council recently approved the
―out quota allocation,‖ which will give the private sector the opportunity to import rice if it
complies requirements set by the NFA.
―If [they] comply to requirements set by the NFA and we have reduced it from 14 to only 5,
following the directive of the President to make it easier, [they] could bring in rice,‖ Piñol told
reporters in an interview on Wednesday.

Piñol, who chairs the NFA Council, said the importation permits would be given by the NFA to
compliant private firms.
The importers, however, must abide by the guidelines and requirements to be promptly released
by the NFA, he added.

The strict requirements include the NFA having to check the importers‘ capability to import by
assessing their earnings.

―Under the new guidelines, we will need to check their total net income amounting to 10 percent
of the value of what they will import,‖ Piñol said.

―So the groups who pretend to be farmers cooperatives asking for importation allocation but only
sell the import permits will strictly be stopped because we will check the capability to import
before the issuance of permit,‖ he added.

While the Philippines is taking steps to liberalize rice importation, Piñol reiterated the country
has ―enough rice stocks‖ until the end of the year. He said stocks in NFA warehouses would last
for about 33 days with additional 47,000 metric tons (MT) arriving by end-November which
would make it about 47 days of consumption.

The agriculture chief said the move would be the same as that of the one stated under the rice
tariffication bill which the House approved in August and is expected to be approved by the
Senate on final reading by next week.

On late Wednesday, the Senate approved on third and final reading the bill that would liberalize
the importation of rice into the country with the imposition of tariffs.

Under Senate Bill 1998, a 35 percent duty will be imposed on rice imports from the Association
of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members, while a 50 percent rate will apply to imports
from non-ASEAN countries.

The government has been eyeing measures to tame inflation since the start of the year when the
NFA announced the depletion of its stocks, worsened by rising prices of basic goods due to the
high price of fuel, which has greatly affected the cost of production.

https://www.manilatimes.net/nfa-to-allow-private-sector-to-import-rice/468488/
Palace hopeful rice tariffication law will ensure stable rice
supply, prices
November 15, 2018, 12:42 PM

By Genalyn Kabiling

Malacanang is optimistic that once enacted into law, the rice tariffication bill will help ensure
stable supply, lower prices, and fight the cartel in the rice industry.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo


(OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo issued the statement after thanking the Senate for
passing the administration bill seeking replace the import restrictions on rice with a tariff system.

―The Palace expresses its gratitude to the Senate for passing on third and final reading the Rice
Tariffication Bill,‖ Panelo said in a statement.

―The President has certified the aforesaid bill as urgent. In his communication with the
leadership of the Senate, the President expressed the urgent need to improve the availability of
rice in the country to prevent artificial rice shortage, reduce the prices of rice in the market, and
curtail the prevalence of corruption and cartel domination in the rice industry,‖ he added.

The Senate has approved Senate Bill No. 1998 or an An Act Replacing the Quantitative Import
Restrictions On Rice with Tariffs, Lifting The Quantitative Export Restrictions On Rice, And
Creating The Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund.

Under the measure, a 35 percent duty will be imposed on rice imports from the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) while a 50 percent tariff will be charged on imports from
non-ASEAN countries. The same bill also seeks to establish the Rice Competitiveness
Enhancement Fund to help farmers boost their production.

The House of Representatives approved its version of the bill easing rice importation last
August.

―We remain optimistic that the bill would also run smoothly during the bicameral conference
committee deliberations by both Houses of Congress,‖ Panelo said.

―We are likewise confident that through the enactment of this bill into law, we would be able to
protect the rice industry from sudden price fluctuations and eventually ease the burden of the
Filipino consumers from soaring prices,‖ he added.

https://news.mb.com.ph/2018/11/15/palace-hopeful-rice-tariffication-law-will-ensure-
stable-rice-supply-prices/

University introduced mistakes in Mahan Kosh reprint:


Experts
Nov 15, 2018, 1:17 AM; last updated: Nov 15, 2018, 1:17 AM (IST)

Our Correspondent
Fatehgarh Sahib, November 14

Nakesh Jindal, Press Secretary of the Punjab Rice Millers‘ Association, has
sought relaxation in norms fixed by the FCI for getting 67-kg rice from 100-kg
paddy to 62 kg to save the industry.

Due to unseasonal rain at the maturing stage of paddy, the moisture content in
the paddy has gone upto 22 per cent against the prescribed limit of 17 per cent.
The millers apprehend that the outcome ratio may fall even below 62 kg.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/university-introduced-mistakes-in-mahan-
kosh-reprint-experts/683283.html
Despite odds, basmati fetching ‗good‘ price
Nov 15, 2018, 1:17 AM; last updated: Nov 15, 2018, 1:17 AM (IST)

Labourers at work at the grain market in Muktsar. Tribune Photo

Archit Watts
Tribune News Service
Muktsar, November 14

Despite the falling rupee against dollar and the unstable economic condition of Iran, the price of
basmati is still almost similar to that of last year. Notably, Iran is one of the major importers of
basmati.
Besides, some rice millers said the quality of basmati was lower than the last year due to the
sudden change of weather. However, the decline in area under the basmati cultivation this year
has helped in maintaining the price of last year.

At present, basmati is being sold at nearly Rs 3,300 per quintal at the grain market in Muktsar.
Similarly, the price is almost same at the grain market in Malout. The secretaries of both market
committees said that there was no change in the price of basmati this year.

Meanwhile, Ashish Kathuria, general secretary, Punjab Basmati Rice Millers Association, said,
―The basmati price is touching Rs 3,500 per quintal. The area under basmati crop has decreased
this year sharply, from 5.46 lakh hectares last year to 4.37 lakh hectares, but due to the demand,
it is getting a good price. Further, the rain in mid-September has slightly decreased the quality.
There is a glut in mandis as the buyers are waiting for the arrival of good quality crop. Had the
quality been good this time, the price would have even touched Rs 5,000 per quintal.‖

He added, ―The European Union (EU) countries have banned the import of basmati due to the
excess use of tricyclazole pesticides. The export to Saudi Arabia has also taken a hit. The
purchase power of Iran has also tightened due to restrictions of America and weak Iranian
currency. But due to the domestic demand and other countries‘ demand, the prices are stable. It
is all because of the decrease in area under basmati cultivation in Punjab, Haryana, UP and MP.‖

Sumit Narula, joint secretary, Rice Millers Association, Punjab, said, ―Though the moisture
content is higher this year, the overall quality of basmati is good and getting a good price. In
Ferozepur district, the crop is being purchased timely from mandis.‖

Dinesh Bansal, a commission agent, said, ―Basmati was fetching a low price initially but now,
the crop is getting a good price. The price may even increase in the next few days, but it all
depends on the international market and its demand.‖

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/despite-odds-basmati-fetching-good-
price/683269.html

APCC alleges irregularities in paddy procurement


Vijayawada Nov 14 | Wednesday, Nov 14 2018 IST

Alleging that irregularities are taking place in purchasing paddy from the farmers, Andhra Pradesh
Congress Committee (APCC) Spokesperson Kolanukonda Shivaji appealed the government to take
steps to buy paddy from the farmers at Minimum Support Price without cumbersome. In a
statement here on Wednesday, the Congress leader said that officials announced the setting of
paddy purchasing centres and assured to disburse money to the farmers within 24 hours of
purchasing the commodity. But at the ground level, the farmers are being meted out injustice as the
officials sending the farmers to the rice millers, on the pretext of their produce lacked required
quality. The millers are offering less prices to the farmers,he lamented. Some officials are acting
like mediators at the at Paddy procurement centres, he slammed.

Mr Shivaji, also AICC member, alleged that there is no sincerity in the Telugu Desam led
government to provide MSP to their farmers to their produce and resolve their problems.
Agriculture Minister Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy is always busy in making political
statements criticising the Opposition parties and he does not find time to address the problems of
farmers, he lashed out.

The Congress senior leader appealed the government to take effective steps to purchase paddy
from the farmers at MSP and disburse money to them immediately. He said that lakhs of farmers
submitted applications urging government to upload their land details in the webland website.
Since their lands were not uploaded in the webland, the farmers are unable to sell their lands. He
appealed Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu to look into the mater take steps to resolve the
problem.
https://news.webindia123.com/news/articles/India/20181114/3473413.html
Palace confident rice tarrification bill will proceed smoothly
A worker seen resting at National Food Authority warehouse in Quezon City. Two hundred fifty thousand
metric tons will be imported by the NFA this November to secure rice supply this Christmas season.

Alexis Romero (philstar.com) - November 15, 2018 - 12:59pm

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Thursday expressed optimism that the rice tariffication bill would
have a smooth sailing in the bicameral conference committee after the Senate approved its version of the
measure.

The bill, which aims to replace the quantitative import restrictions on rice with tariffs, was
approved on third and final reading by the Senate last Wednesday.

The House of Representatives passed its version of the bill last August.

A bicameral conference committee will have to reconcile the two versions before the bill is
ratified and sent to President Duterte for his signature.

"The Palace expresses its gratitude to the Senate for passing on third and final reading the rice
tariffication bill," presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

"We remain optimistic that the bill would also run smoothly during the bicameral conference
committee deliberations by both houses of Congress," he added.
Panelo said the administration is confident that the measure, once enacted into law, would
protect the rice industry from sudden price fluctuations and ease the burden of consumers from
soaring prices.

Duterte has certified the passage of the bill as urgent, citing the need to ensure the availability of
rice in the country to reduce prices, prevent artificial rice shortage and curb corruption and
cartels.

House agriculture committee chairman and ANAC-IP party-list Rep. Jose Panganiban Jr.
previously said the rice tarrification bill would generate P20 billion in tariffs every year that
could subsidize the country's rice farmers.

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/11/15/1868841/palace-confident-rice-
tarrification-bill-will-proceed-smoothly#HP5fUFUvrlrzwA7b.99

National Rice Month Campaign Succeeds in Every Sector


Promotions have
By Deborah Willenborg big impact
ARLINGTON, VA -- The results are in and USA Rice's combination of promotional activities
aimed at the retail, consumer, and foodservice segments to celebrate September as National Rice
Month (NRM) went a long way to increasing awareness and consumption of U.S.-grown rice.

USA Rice worked with registered dieticians (RD) at three grocery store chains across the
country: Jewel-Osco, Pyramid Foods, and Weis. Through these efforts, the NRM retail program
secured more than five million impressions through a variety of platforms including print and
online newsletters, blogs, store circulars, signage and displays, social media, shareable videos,
in-store demonstrations, rice cooking classes, and community events.

During the NRM promotion, Jewel-Osco reported an overall 12 percent increase in sales of their
Signature Kitchen Long Grain Rice and Weis reported a range in sales lift of 8.7 percent to 30
percent across all their locations. Weis also reported that the promotion resulted in 52 percent
higher average dollar sales of U.S.-grown rice in dietitian staffed stores versus non-dietitian
staffed stores.

"We continue to collaborate with retail dieticians because they have direct contact with the
everyday consumer, and those interactions impact grocery purchases and cooking preferences,
which increases domestic consumption," said USA Rice Domestic Promotion Manager Cameron
Jacobs.

For the first time, USA Rice partnered with fast-casual chain Roti Modern Mediterranean to host
this year's RiceGiving program. As part of RiceGiving, Roti pushed NRM messaging on social
media and the restaurant chain offered a month-long promotion of a bowl of U.S.-grown rice
donated to national food bank Feeding America for every signature rice dish purchased in any
Roti Modern Mediterranean location or online.

"Roti Modern Mediterranean is already a major user of U.S.-grown rice, so they were a great
partner for the RiceGiving program," said Jacobs. "And the program was so popular with their
customers, they surpassed the goal of 180,000 rice plates ordered by more than six thousand,
resulting in a donation of over 20,000 pounds of U.S.-grown rice to those in
need."
As always, September is a big social media month for USA Rice thanks to an NRM social media
campaign that generated more than 3,976 likes, 608 shares/retweets, and 327 new followers.
Posts for the NRM campaign included farmer features, recipe contests, giveaways, shareable
videos, nutritional information, and fun facts about U.S. rice.

"As we continue to establish our digital presence and voice, our social media campaigns yield
more and more impressive results," said Vice President of Communications & Domestic
Promotion Michael Klein. "With a year-over-year comparison of USA Rice's NRM social media
campaign showing at least 100 percent growth in likes, shares/retweets/, and followers, it's clear
our social messaging is resonating."
Trade Mission to Mexico Strengthens Bonds

By Sarah Moran

USA Rice Chairman Charley Mathews (center) leads

the discussion with the

Mexican Rice Council

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO -- A USA Rice member delegation traveled to Mexico last week to
meet with key customers in the rice industry's largest export market. Over the span of three
days, the delegation met with influential players in the trade, gaining valuable insight from some
of the largest millers, wholesalers, and distributors of rice in Mexico.

The team of ten USA Rice members and staff, and Dwight Roberts of the U.S. Rice Producers
Association also enjoyed a timely briefing from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign
Agricultural Service Minister Counselor Melinda Sallyards and Agricultural Trade Office
Director Erich Kuss on the political and economic situation in Mexico, the new policies expected
from Mexican President-elect Obrador, and an overview of trade relations given the
renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

There were detailed discussions in all the meetings about the position of U.S. rice in the Mexican
market, growing competition from alternative suppliers, and concerns about U.S. rice quality
compared with rice from other origins such as Uruguay and Thailand.
A visit to Mexico City's Central de Abastos (Central Market) gave the delegates a personal view
of customer preference and buying habits in the market place. There, U.S.-grown rice and other
goods are sold side-by-side in wholesale and retail displays.

While the United States is still the largest supplier of rice to Mexico, new players have entered
the market and displaced U.S. rice sales. In 2003, Mexico imported rice from three countries and
the U.S. had nearly 100 percent market share. By 2017, Mexico imported rice from eight
countries and the U.S. market share fell to 78 percent.

The already strong bond between the Mexican trade and U.S. suppliers was strengthened as a
result of the visit and USA Rice delegates said there is a clear need to address Mexico's concern
about U.S. quality. A follow-up trip is planned for early 2019 to showcase some of the U.S.
varieties that will meet the needs of grain length and appearance that the Mexican trade demands.

"Mexico is unique in the world as it is an open market for U.S. exporters unlike many World
Trade Organization (WTO) countries," said USA Rice Chairman Charley Mathews who led the
delegation last week. "An amicable relationship is key, and I think this trip has brought the U.S.
rice industry much closer to that objective."Sampling the wares at Mexico City's Central Market

Fast yielding rice varieties could help reduce greenhouse gas


emissions

Share3
Paramananda Barman

Bengaluru Nov 12, (Research Matters):



1 of 1

In a recent study conducted by the researchers from ICAR-National Rice Research Institute,
Cuttack and their collaborators, researchers have studied the mechanism of methane gas
emission by seven varieties of rice grown in Eastern India. The study was published in the
journal Science of The Total Environment.

Greenhouse gases, like methane, trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to global warming.
Methane is considered as the second greatest contributor to human-mediated climate change.
Rice, a sustainable food crop, is one of the major culprits releasing methane to the atmosphere.
Flooded rice fields are fertile grounds for bacteria that produce methane by degrading organic
matter in the soil. The litters of the rice plants and the organic compounds (exudates) released by
the roots serve as a major substrate for the production of methane. Besides, the rice plants also
transfer methane from the soil to the atmosphere through the capillary pores present in the plant.

The researchers of the current study selected seven rice varieties based on the duration of their
life cycle and analysed their methane emission. They measured the rate of methane emission,
root exudates released by the plants and the pore spaces in the shoot aerenchyma- the spongy
tissue which helps in exchange of gases.

“The rate of methane emission was controlled by the orientation of aerenchyma, root exudation,
and biomass production rate which are the key specific traits of a cultivar”, comment the
researchers on their main findings.

The researchers infer that these traits are associated with the duration of these cultivars and their
adaptability. ―The methane emission rates were lowest in the short duration cultivars followed by
medium and long duration ones. The average methane emission rate per unit grain yield was also
relatively less in short and medium duration cultivars‖ say the authors.

Significant variations in the methane emission rate among the cultivars proved that suitable
selection of varieties might help to address the problem of methane emission.

“There is a possibility to breed rice cultivars depending on ecology, duration and having less
methane emission potential, which could be effectively used in greenhouse gas mitigation
strategies”, conclude the researchers.

https://researchmatters.in/news/fast-yielding-rice-varieties-could-help-reduce-greenhouse-gas-
emissions

DA aims to lessen rice wastage in PHL


Local News November 14, 2018November 13, 2018 TDG

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 6 – Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice)
is calling all Filipinos to be responsible rice consumers to prevent wastage. (File/R. Alejo)

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo


THE Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 6 – Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice)
is calling all Filipinos to be responsible rice consumers to prevent wastage.
DA Regional Executive Director Remelyn Recoter said that the DA is aiming to curb rice
wastage in the country through its ―Be RICEponsible Campaign.‖
―We want to disseminate the importance of rice as a staple food not only for the Filipinos but
half of the population of the globe,‖ said Recoter during the launching of the 2018 National Rice
Awareness Month celebration in a mall on Nov 5, 2018.
Aside from continuously campaigning for lesser rice wastage, the Be RICEponsible Campaign is
also promoting strong relationship between farmers as the producers and the consumers as eaters.
DA emphasized that rice must not only be produced, but should also be valued.
Hence, producing safe and nutritious rice and making it affordable, accessible, and available at
all times, does not only depend on farmers but also on the participation of the consuming public.
Every Filipino wasted around 3 tablespoons of rice in a day in 2013, based on the Food and
Nutrition Research Institute.
The wastage could have fed around 4.6 million mouths in that year alone.
In 2017, the total rice production in the country according to the Philippine Statistics Authority
(PSA) is 19.3 million metric tons.
However, it is not enough to feed all Filipinos for the whole year considering the country‘s total
population in 2017.
Western Visayas remains to be rice sufficient except for Negros Occidental.
DA cited the Rice Sufficiency Levels of the provinces in the region with Iloilo at 176%, Antique
at 173%, Capiz at 137%, Guimaras and Aklan both at 107% and Negros Occidental with the
lowest percentage of 86%

https://thedailyguardian.net/local-news/da-aims-to-lessen-rice-wastage-in-phl/

Science: Scientists debunk potential hyperlink to crop chilly


tolerance [Report]
BY MARTA SUBAT ON NOVEMBER 14, 2018SCIENCE

When temperatures drop, the enzyme Rubisco that fuels plant growth and yield gets sluggish.
Many crops compensate by producing more Rubisco; however, scientists speculated that some
crops may lack space in their leaves to boost the production of this enzyme, making them more
susceptible to cold. A new study from the University of Illinois and the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology refutes this theory but found these crops are far from reaching their
photosynthetic potential.

Plant scientists knew soybeans, rice, and other C3 crops have room for extra Rubisco in their
leaves. However, C4 crops—such as corn and sugarcane—use mesophyll cells to biochemically
pump carbon dioxide into their inner cells, called the bundle sheath, where Rubisco resides
amongst carbon dioxide concentrations that are ten times greater than atmospheric levels. More
carbon dioxide makes Rubisco more efficient.

―But by isolating the enzyme to just one part of the leaf, would there be enough space for the
larger amount of Rubisco needed at lower temperatures?‖ said Stephen Long, Ikenberry
Endowed University Chair of Crop Sciences and Plant Biology at the Carl R. Woese Institute for
Genomic Biology at Illinois.

Published in the Journal of Experimental Botany, the study measured the volume of the Rubisco-
holding chloroplasts that reside in the bundle sheaths of corn, sugarcane, as well as cold-tolerant
Miscanthus. The team concluded that these C4 crops‘ chloroplast volumes are sufficient to hold
more than enough Rubisco to conduct photosynthesis at low temperatures. Curiously,
Miscanthus had the smallest chloroplasts, showing there was no connection between chloroplast
volume and cold tolerance.
―Yet these plants are still not able to reach their maximal potential energy output,‖ said lead
author Charles Pignon, a postdoctoral researcher at Illinois, whose work was supported by the
Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell endowment. ―Now that we‘ve ruled out space as a
limiting factor, we need to explore what other factors are impacting the cold tolerance of these
important crops.‖

By unlocking the key to cold tolerance, plant scientists can extend the growing region and season
of these crops to boost food and bioenergy production across the globe. Next, the researchers
plan to compare the cold tolerance of Miscanthus varieties to pinpoint important differences.

The open-access paper ―Bundle sheath chloroplast volume can house sufficient Rubisco to avoid
limiting C4 photosynthesis during chilling‖ is published by Journal of Experimental Botany.
More information:
Charles P Pignon et al, Bundle sheath chloroplast volume can house sufficient Rubisco to avoid
limiting C4 photosynthesis during chilling, Journal of Experimental Botany(2018). DOI:
10.1093/jxb/ery345
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When temperatures drop, the enzyme Rubisco that fuels plant growth and yield gets sluggish.
Many crops compensate by producing more Rubisco; however, scientists speculated that some
crops may lack space in their leaves to boost the production of this enzyme, making them more
susceptible to cold. A new study from the University of Illinois and the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology refutes this theory but found these crops are far from reaching their
photosynthetic potential.

Plant scientists knew soybeans, rice, and other C3 crops have room for extra Rubisco in their
leaves. However, C4 crops—such as corn and sugarcane—use mesophyll cells to biochemically
pump carbon dioxide into their inner cells, called the bundle sheath, where Rubisco resides
amongst carbon dioxide concentrations that are ten times greater than atmospheric levels. More
carbon dioxide makes Rubisco more efficient.

―But by isolating the enzyme to just one part of the leaf, would there be enough space for the
larger amount of Rubisco needed at lower temperatures?‖ said Stephen Long, Ikenberry
Endowed University Chair of Crop Sciences and Plant Biology at the Carl R. Woese Institute for
Genomic Biology at Illinois.

Published in the Journal of Experimental Botany, the study measured the volume of the Rubisco-
holding chloroplasts that reside in the bundle sheaths of corn, sugarcane, as well as cold-tolerant
Miscanthus. The team concluded that these C4 crops‘ chloroplast volumes are sufficient to hold
more than enough Rubisco to conduct photosynthesis at low temperatures. Curiously,
Miscanthus had the smallest chloroplasts, showing there was no connection between chloroplast
volume and cold tolerance.
―Yet these plants are still not able to reach their maximal potential energy output,‖ said lead
author Charles Pignon, a postdoctoral researcher at Illinois, whose work was supported by the
Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell endowment. ―Now that we‘ve ruled out space as a
limiting factor, we need to explore what other factors are impacting the cold tolerance of these
important crops.‖

By unlocking the key to cold tolerance, plant scientists can extend the growing region and season
of these crops to boost food and bioenergy production across the globe. Next, the researchers
plan to compare the cold tolerance of Miscanthus varieties to pinpoint important differences.

The open-access paper ―Bundle sheath chloroplast volume can house sufficient Rubisco to avoid
limiting C4 photosynthesis during chilling‖ is published by Journal of Experimental Botany.
More information:
Charles P Pignon et al, Bundle sheath chloroplast volume can house sufficient Rubisco to avoid
limiting C4 photosynthesis during chilling, Journal of Experimental Botany(2018). DOI:
10.1093/jxb/ery345

http://infosurhoy.com/cocoon/saii/xhtml/en_GB/science/science-scientists-debunk-potential-
hyperlink-to-crop-chilly-tolerance-report/

Charley Mathews of Marysville, Calif. is the new chairman of the USA Rice Federation, an umbrella
organization that represents the US rice industry. Mathews produces rice on about 1,000 acres of land in
the southern Sacramento Valley.

CROPS>RICE

California rice farmer elected chairman of USA Rice

Federation
Charley Mathews produces short- and medium-grain varieties within an hour's drive of state
capital

Todd Fitchette 2 | Nov 12, 2018

Charley Mathews, Jr., didn‘t intend to be the third generation of his family to farm rice in
northern California. With an early goal not to continue farming like his father, and his father
before him, he took his passion for math and science to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he
studied mechanical engineering.

―I didn‘t get the job I wanted out of college, so I took a position in the East Bay, but quickly
found out I didn‘t like the traffic,‖ he recalls. ―The Bay Area was crowded and competitive, and I
had a tough time with that. So, I called my dad, and he said, ‗I‘ll pick you up‘.‖

Young Charley immediately went to work for his father, for the next decade learning the rice
farming business before branching out on his own in about 2002 to start his own rice business.
Ten years later he partnered with friends to buy a rice dryer. ―So, I became my dad‘s
competitor,‖ he says.

Since 1884 the Mathews family has lived on and farmed the same land in Yuba County that
today sits under the flight path of U-2 spy planes on final approach to nearby Beale Air Force
Base.

Charley currently farms about 1,000 acres of rice, including two varieties of medium grain and a
short grain variety popular in Japan, called Calmochi. It is a sweet rice primarily used in creamy,
dessert-type dishes, and is well-suited to the Sacramento Valley climate. Unlike other growers in
the area, he is content with growing rice. He grows no other crops. ―I tried sunflowers once,‖ he
says, ―but failed miserably at that.‖
From Local to Global

Earlier this year Mathews was elected to serve a two-year term as chairman of the USA Rice
Federation — commonly called USA Rice, the national advocate for the U.S. rice industry. He
was elected during the organization‘s annual summer meeting in Texas, and will preside over the
organization‘s annual outlook conference, Dec. 5-7 at San Diego, Calif.

The US Rice Federation is an umbrella organization dating back to 1994, when the rice
industry‘s three national associations — Rice Millers Association, USA Rice Council, and U.S.
Rice Producers Group (now USA Rice Farmers) — approved the consolidation. While each
group maintains its own board of directors and designees to the USA Rice board, a single staff
has led the federation for nearly 25 years.

Mathews previously served as chairman of the Rice Foundation, a 501c(3) organization created
to involve allied industry members in a goal of raising money to promote national research
projects. Every two years the federation elects a new chairman, which alternates between a
grower representative and a miller or merchant representative. The previous chairman, Brian
King, is a rice merchant from Erwin-Keith, Inc., in Arkansas. California currently has 10
members and alternates on the USA Rice board, representing all three categories.

After switching gears from engineering to farming in his post-college days, in 1993 Mathews
became involved in the Rice Leadership Development Program, and quickly transitioned to a
spot on the California Rice Promotion Board, which later became the California Rice
Commission (CRC).

Industry leaders saw the need to expand activities and offerings that a commission could provide.
Of these, the largest undertaking has been assisting growers with regulatory requirements,
according to CRC spokesman Jim Morris. Mathews has served ever since in some capacity on
the CRC board, including two years as chairman.
No. 2 Rice State

The significance of a California rice grower chairing the national organization responsible for all
things rice isn‘t lost on Mathews. California ranks No. 2 in rice production behind Arkansas, and
typically produces the crop on 550,000 acres of land, located predominantly between Sacramento
and Chico. Other national rice production states include Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and
Missouri.

―When you combine everyone, then you have something that has value politically,‖ Mathews
says.

While California predominantly grows medium-grain varieties, other states focus on long-grain.
California rice farmers have become savvy at growing specialty varieties that, in some cases, are
sold direct. ―Even though we‘re growing different kinds of rice, the group is still impacted by the
same issues, whether they be environmental or trade,‖ he says.

The success of the federation, Mathews says, is linked to its talented staff in Arlington, Va., and
can also be seen in efforts to pool industry resources. ―For instance, the federation has a history
of California members working to provide assistance in long-grain markets and southern
members assisting in medium-grain markets. That way, everyone benefits from the unification.‖

Recent issues related to trade tariffs between the U.S. and China may not be what they seem,
says Mathews, who believes the Trump Administration has an end-game that will be beneficial
to U.S. rice growers and other U.S. agricultural producers. ―I wouldn‘t believe everything you
read in the press on this matter.‖

Improved Market Access

Because of the Trump administration‘s insistence that trading partners comply with trade
agreements, rather than game the system to their benefit, he believes market access could
improve.
Chinese consumers still want U.S. agricultural products for food safety reasons, he says, but it‘s
cost-prohibitive for many Chinese citizens. Meanwhile, even as Japan continues to be the largest
export market for California rice, much of that rice is consumed in bulk for food security and
industrial uses. Mathews says there‘s room for improvement, that it‘s still difficult to find a bag
of California rice on Japanese store shelves. ―But we‘ll get there. Japan is a great market for us.‖

If real estate is all about location, location, location, then Mathews may be in a prime region for
growing the crop. His irrigation water comes from the Yuba River, the most prolific watershed in
the state. Water is generally inexpensive and plentiful and the heavy soil in the region is better-
suited for rice than any other crop.

Pest and disease pressure can sometimes be less of an issue in the area, though other issues can
create challenges. The cold temperature of the Yuba River can make it difficult in some places to
even get a crop. He has a warming basin on one of his parcels where canal water is spread out,
allowing it to warm before going onto the rice fields. Even then, he may be unable to get a crop
on part of one field because the water is simply too cold.

Planting by air is done in the spring. As harvest nears, he will drain fields about 25 days before
rice reaches what he calls the firm, dough stage. ―You still want a little soil moisture at harvest,
but not enough to make ruts or get stuck,‖ he says.

Armyworms/Red Rice

Two seasons ago, there was an outbreak of armyworms that growers across the growing region
said was quite bad. ―Last year was probably the first time I sprayed for armyworms in 20 years,‖
he says. This season, the pest appeared to be more manageable.

Weedy red rice has made a reappearance in the north state over the past several years, with
University of California researchers confirming finds first in the county to the north of Mathews,
and later in other parts of the Sacramento Valley. So far he hasn‘t seen it in his fields.
With the near-elimination of rice straw burning, he exclusively uses irrigation water to flood
fields shortly after harvest to decompose straw after it is chopped, disked, and rolled with a
smooth roller. If done quickly, flooding rice fields shortly after harvest can be an effective way
to decompose stubble, while making the fields a haven for waterfowl.

California rice fields are well known for the wildlife they harbor, and Mathews and other rice
farmers work tirelessly to balance their crop needs and the environment. Northern California rice
country is a stop along the Pacific Flyway that, in winter months, hosts millions of migratory
birds and is home to countless others on a year-round basis, including bald eagles. ―I‘ve sat in
my living room and watched five bald eagles across the street,‖ Mathews said.

There‘s a symbiotic relationship between rice growers and owners of nearby duck clubs.

Mathews leases land at a nearby duck club to grow rice. It‘s a balancing act to manage harvest
timing, since the clubs aren‘t set up like typical rice fields. The size and shape of the fields make
harvest slower and more of a challenge. Even so, rice grown on the duck club he rents is his
highest-yielding field, though he admits weed control there is tricky.

A Beautiful Vista

The importance of the duck clubs and nearby wildlife refuges is critical to the California rice
industry, since the habitat created by the clubs keeps ducks out of the rice fields as they‘re dried
down prior to harvest.

―People forget, but the wildlife refuge system was created by the rice industry to keep ducks out
of the rice fields,‖ he says. ―Back in the 1920s and ‗30s, rice farmers put those things together.‖

While income from rice farmers is important to the duck clubs, hunting is key, Mathews says.
Delaying duck hunting season because of rice harvest simply cannot happen, which is why he
plants a short-season crop on the duck club land as early as possible. ―I can‘t plant a late variety
crop here because I have to be harvested and out of here by duck season,‖ which started Oct. 20.
To illustrate the role the California rice industry plays in duck hunting, Mathews says the rice
industry plays a part in deciding the date for opening day. His rice fields also play a part in
attracting attention from wildlife photographers. The proximity of the northern Sierra foothills
and the view of the nearby Sutter Buttes create a vista hard to beat from his property.

Perdue hears concern on trade, optimistic better deals will


come
STAYING OPTIMISTIC: Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue (right) says he hears a lot of
concern and anxiety about low prices and trade disputes but is optimistic that new, better deals
will be struck, and that farmers will be rewarded. He is shown here with 1st District Rep. Roger
Marshall.

The ag secretary believes better deals will be struck and that farmers will benefit in the end.

P.J. Griekspoor | Nov 16, 2018

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue says he is hearing a "lot of concern and anxiety" in
farm country about depressed commodity prices and the role that ongoing trade disputes play in
shutting off markets.

Responding to questions from the audience and the media following delivery of a Landon
Lecture speech at Kansas State University, Perdue said that he believes better trade deals will be
completed, and that farmers will be better off as a result.

"We have a better deal in the USMCA than we had under NAFTA," he said. "We have
agreement with South Korea and we are moving to get talks started with the European Union and
Japan. And the U.S. is ready to trade with China when it is ready to play by the rules."

Perdue said he believes that President Donald Trump‘s policies are getting the point across to
China.

"It‘s a long game," he said. "We won‘t be patsies. It looks like there will be another meeting
between President Trump and President Xi."
Perdue said that he is "99.9% certain" that there will be a second round of trade disruption
payments to farmers. "I think we‘ll see another round starting around the middle of December,"
he said., "We‘re trying to give our negotiators time, but it‘s becoming pretty clear that these trade
disputes are not going to be settled by the end of fall."

At the same time, Perdue said, he doesn‘t see another appropriation for the 2019 growing season.

"The problem this year was all this came after farmers had already made their decisions and had
a crop in the field," he said. "But our farmers are great businessmen. I have confidence that they
will make planting decisions with market problems in mind. We won‘t need a mitigation
program in 2019."

Perdue also addressed the need for immigrant labor for agriculture, saying the Department of
Labor is already in the process of making it easier for farmers needing workers to meet the
advertising requirements that are required before than can ask for H2-A workers.

Perdue said he does expect disaster aid packages for victims of Hurricanes Florence and
Michael, but he hopes that an additional appropriation won‘t be needed.

He also expressed home that a farm bill will be passed during the lame duck session of Congress.
Kansas 1st District Rep. Roger Marshall, who accompanied Perdue on the K-State visit, said he
is also confident a bill will pass.

"I think it better pass or I may not be able to come home for Christmas," Marshall joked.
Marshall, who easily won a second term on Nov. 6, took some heat during the campaign from
constituents who have a keen interest in seeing a farm bill pass.

Perdue added however, that should there not be a bill completed by the end of the year, a
resolution to continue the 2014 for a year to give the new Congress time to write a new bill, is
likely.
He said there is "no backup plan" to fix the dairy margin program, something that is addressed in
the Senate version of the farm bill now stuck in conference committee. Other programs
‗orphaned‘ by the expiration of the 2014 bill, including popular and heavily used conservation
programs, will also be in limbo if an extension occurs, because they depend on new
appropriations.
https://www.westernfarmpress.com/rice/california-rice-farmer-elected-chairman-usa-rice-
federation

Farmers protest ‘golden rice’ tests


By: Anselmo Roque, Armand Galang - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:06 AM November 09, 2018

CLOSURE A group of farmers serves a symbolic closure order to the Philippine Rice Research
Institute office in Nueva Ecija to protest the field tests of golden rice. – ARMAND GALANG

SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ — A group of farmers on Wednesday stormed the headquarters of


the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) here to protest the scheduled field tests of the
genetically engineered variety called ―golden rice‖ in this city and in San Mateo town, Isabela
province.

―We are calling on our local leaders in Muñoz and San Mateo to reconsider the field trials of
golden rice until the farmers and the people have the full assurance of its safety,‖ said Cris Panerio,
national coordinator of Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura (Masipag),
which led protesters from the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Isabela, and Pangasinan and the southern
Tagalog region.

The farmers said golden rice was being promoted by a multinational company that wanted to
―control local food production by making farmers dependent on its seeds.‖

They also said the ―poor traits [of golden rice] will contaminate our indigenous and farmer-bred
rice varieties and prove disastrous to the already volatile rice production in the country.‖

Tests continue

Also scheduled for field trials are purple antioxidant rice and ―GM rice‖ fortified with zinc and
iron, according to Masipag.

But the PhilRice will proceed with the tests, which, Karen Eloisa Barroga, the institute‘s deputy
executive director for development, said were ―important steps in the regulatory process to ensure
the safety and bioefficacy of golden rice.‖

The PhilRice, in partnership with International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), had embarked on
the development of a golden rice version of local grains, among them PSB Rc82 (Peñaranda), a
popular, high-yielding and widely grown rice variety.

But the tests must first determine if golden rice would be fit for Filipino consumers, said Reynante
Ordoño, PhilRice‘s project leader for golden rice.

IRRI said it believed golden rice might help address Vitamin A deficiency among Filipinos. The
grain is genetically engineered with beta carotene, which can be a new food-based approach to
improve the Vitamin A status of the malnourished poor, it said.
In a study conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute in 2013, about 2.1 million
Filipinos, aged 6 months to 6 years, were considered Vitamin A deficient.

Also found to be suffering from the deficiency were pregnant women and nursing mothers.

Guided by law

The PhilRice‘s involvement in the study of golden rice is guided by Republic Act No. 8976
(Philippine Food Fortification Act of 2000) that called for a food fortification program to address
malnutrition.

Golden rice would only be made available to farmers and consumers once all the required tests and
evaluations were completed, Barroga said, adding that the PhilRice and IRRI would ―not push for
the adoption of a crop that is not yet available.‖

―As a research organization, we are interested to see first its field performance, safety and
effectiveness in increasing Vitamin A among humans following regulatory procedures,‖ Barroga
said.

Joseph Canlas, secretary general of Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon, belittled the
benefits of golden rice, saying homegrown rice is already rich in beta carotene.

In this city, the trials will be conducted at a 200-square meter lot inside the PhilRice experiment
center. The test site will be a controlled environment, so even birds will be unable to fly in and pick
up seeds, Ordoño said.

https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1051998/farmers-protest-golden-rice-
tests#ixzz5X1e0MLh8

Activists ‘storm’ Philippine Rice Research Institute to


protest field trials of vitamin-fortified Golden Rice
Anselmo Roque, Armand Galang | Philippine Daily Inquirer | November 13, 2018
Image credit: International Rice Research Institute

A group of farmers [on November 7] stormed the headquarters of the Philippine Rice Research
Institute (PhilRice) to protest the scheduled field tests of the genetically engineered variety called
―golden rice‖ ….

―We are calling on our local leaders in Muñoz and San Mateo to reconsider the field trials of
golden rice until the farmers and the people have the full assurance of its safety,‖ said Cris
Panerio, national coordinator of Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura
(Masipag), which led [the] protesters ….
The farmers said golden rice was being promoted by a multinational company that wanted to
―control local food production by making farmers dependent on its seeds.‖

But the PhilRice will proceed with the tests, which, Karen Eloisa Barroga, the institute‘s deputy
executive director for development, said were ―important steps in the regulatory process to
ensure the safety and bioefficacy of golden rice.‖
The PhilRice, in partnership with International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), had embarked on the
development of a golden rice version of local grains, among them PSB Rc82 (Peñaranda), a popular,
high-yielding and widely grown rice variety.

IRRI said it believed golden rice might help address Vitamin A deficiency among Filipinos. The
grain is genetically engineered with beta carotene, which can be a new food-based approach to
improve the Vitamin A status of the malnourished poor, it said.

https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2018/11/13/activists-storm-philippine-rice-research-
institute-to-protest-field-trials-of-vitamin-fortified-golden-rice/

Delhi should follow Los Angeles and Beijing to fight air


pollution
November 15, 2018 09:58 IST

Here’s what the national capital needs to do to ensure the residents stop breathing toxic
fumes, according to Ankur Bhardwaj.
IMAGE: A schoolboy wearing a protective mask looks on from the inside of a school bus on the
outskirts of Delhi. Photograph: Anushree Fadnavis/Reuters

After a particularly bad spell of toxic air in the city about three years ago, the Delhi government
was facing severe criticism for not doing enough to contain the menace. It responded by
announcing a novel traffic management scheme where only the vehicles with odd number plates
would be allowed to ply on Delhi roads on days with odd dates, and even-numbered vehicles on
even dates. Sundays were an exception and allowed all vehicles.

The road-rationing scheme, which drew inspiration from a similar one in Beijing before the
summer Olympics of 2008, was to run for two weeks starting January 1, 2016. The idea was to
reduce pollution in the city by containing vehicular emissions.

Another important step came from the Supreme Court in 2017. Right before the country was to
celebrate Diwali, the apex court announced a blanket ban on any sale of firecrackers in Delhi and
the National Capital Region, which includes various districts of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar
Pradesh. The SC was prompted to impose this ban, even at the cost of hurting a large number of
small businessmen, as the region had faced possibly the worst phases of air pollution in 2017.

On October 23 this year, the SC declined to impose a similar blanket ban but did stipulate certain
conditions, including a ban on crackers with emissions above a particular level. Diwali is of
particular concern, as air pollution levels on the morning after Diwali show a huge spike year
after year, as people burst firecrackers in celebration the previous night.

Let us take stock of the things Delhi-NCR has done and needs to do in order to control air
pollution.

How Delhi-NCR tackles air pollution now

The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority for NCR submitted a
Comprehensive Action Plan for air pollution control to the Supreme Court in April 2017.
According to this plan, Delhi needed to reduce PM10 concentration in its air by 74 per cent, and
PM2.5 by 69.7 per cent, to meet the annual average standard under the 2009 National Ambient
Air Quality Standards. The plan, which came a public interest suit was filed in the Supreme
Court by M C Mehta, also included a Graded Response Action Plan for Delhi-NCR.

GRAP introduced four grades of air pollution -- Moderate Poor, Very Poor, Severe and
Emergency -- with commensurate action to be taken by the authorities to counter the threat in
each condition. The air quality is considered emergency level when the PM 2.5 value exceeds
300 µg/m3 or PM 10 goes past 500 µg/m3 -- and persists beyond the threshold for 48 hours or
more. In such a scenario, all construction activity in entire NCR has to come to a halt, entry of
trucks in Delhi has to be barred (except for essential commodities), odd-even plan for vehicles
has to come into force, and additional steps like shutting of schools are to be considered by the
task force.

The major components of the CAP

Peripheral Expressways: In 2005, the SC had ordered building of peripheral expressways to


allow traffic not destined for Delhi to bypass it. This was suggested to help reduce air pollution
by checking the flow of trucks through Delhi. After a long delay of 13 years, one expressway to
the east of Delhi is functional now, and another on the west of the city is likely to become fully
functional by the end of this month.

The Eastern Peripheral Expressway connects Kundli in Haryana to Palwal in Haryana via
Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. The Western Peripheral Expressway will connect Kundli to Palwal
via Manesar in Haryana. These two would together form a ring road around Delhi to facilitate
faster and cleaner movement of around 200,000 vehicles daily without adding to the city‘s traffic
or pollution woes.
Upgrade of brick kiln technology

The CAP called for an upgrade of brick kilns in NCR to the zig-zag technology. The EPCA had
ordered this change to be done before the season began in 2018 (kilns shut down during
monsoon and then start again before winters). Brick kiln chimneys make a substantial
contribution to air pollution in Delhi. Of the 3,823 brick kilns in the region, 74 per cent had not
upgraded to the zig-zag technology as of July, according to a report by Centre for Science and
Environment.
IMAGE: A combination picture shows buildings shrouded in smog in New Delhi. A day after
Diwali, air quality was in the severe category with the WHO stating that the air was 10 times
worse than the permissible limits. Photograph: Anushree Fadnavis/Reuters

Vehicular pollution

Vehicles account for 20 per cent of all PM2.5 emissions, according to an Indian Institute of
Technology-Kanpur study which became the basis for the CAP. Among the measures listed out
in the CAP to control vehicular emissions is the introduction of Bharat Stage VI vehicles in
Delhi-NCR. While BS VI fuel is already being sold in Delhi since April 1, 2018, BS VI vehicles
will be rolled out in 2020. The Supreme Court on October 24 said that no Bharat Stage IV
vehicle should be sold across India from April 1, 2020.

The SC had also ordered the imposition of a 1 per cent green cess on diesel vehicles with an
engine capacity of 2,000 cc or more. This came into force in August 2016. The CAP also called
for an expansion of the CNG programme across NCR which is already underway.

Enhancing public transport

The CAP identified an improvement in Delhi-NCR‘s public transport as a major factor that could
help tackle the problem of poor air quality. The GRAP calls for an automatic introduction of the
odd-even plan if the quality of air deteriorates to emergency levels. But this would require the
public transport system in the city to be robust enough to take on the additional burden and make
commute easier.

In December 2017, Delhi had 5,400 buses plying on its roads. After the Supreme Court ordered
that the number should be increased to 10,000 in a year, the Delhi government and Delhi
Transport Corporation floated one tender each to procure 1,000 buses. While DTC‘s tender had
to be scrapped, the Delhi government‘s plan got stuck in courts. In August this year, the SC
allowed the Delhi government to purchase 500 buses. Now, a major failure in implementing the
CAP seems inevitable as the count of buses in the city will remain nearly unchanged by
December 31, 2018, when the SC deadline ends.

Delhi Metro is another major public transport system in the NCR. Construction for one or other
phase of the Metro has continued unabated since 1998, but this is likely to be halted from
January 2019. The construction work for Delhi Metro‘s Phase 4 cannot begin, as the Delhi
government has not given it the necessary approvals.

Caught in a political tussle between the Centre and the Delhi government, public transport in the
national capital has suffered, leading to a lack of preparation for implementing the CAP.

Closure of Badarpur power plant


Badarpur thermal power plant supplied power to Delhi for four decades, but it was also a major
contributor to the air pollution in the region. As part of the CAP, this plant was permanently shut
down this month; now all power plants in Delhi are gas-based.

IMAGE: A boy rides a bullock cart as smoke billows from paddy waste stubble as it burns in a field near Jewar in Uttar
Pradesh. Photograph: Altaf Hussain/Reuters

Construction and road dust management

Construction dust and road dust are other key contributors to Delhi-NCR‘s air pollution. For
construction dust, CAP called for covering construction sites behind curtains and using methods
like water sprinkling. Road dust could be tackled by vacuum-cleaning of roads, repairing
potholes and pavements, etc, to minimise dust.

While CAP acknowledged the need to manage these issues, it did not provide concrete solutions
for the major contributors. No mechanism or apparatus was identified to strictly enforce this rule.

Stubble burning management

The aroma of basmati rice grown in Haryana and Punjab (both India and Pakistan) is famous
around the world. But this rice leaves another imprint on the quality of air, not only in north
India but also in Pakistan. Farmers in these states are given to using combine harvester machines
for the rice crop in the months of September and October. These machines leave a trail of
stubbles in fields.
To get rid of them before moving to the rabi crop cycle, farmers choose the cheapest method --
setting fire to the stubbles. As this practice is commonplace in large parts of Punjab (of both
countries) and Haryana, it adds to the spectre of toxic air in most of North India and Pakistan. So
severe is the situation that then CM of Punjab (Pakistan) Shahbaz Sharif in 2017 wrote to his
Indian Punjab counterpart Amarinder Singh, urging to enter into a regional cooperation
arrangement to tackle the problem.

Legally speaking, the practice of stubble burning is banned in both states, and farmers are liable
to pay a penalty for any violation. A solution is offered by a machine known as ‗Happy Seeder‘,
which can sow wheat seeds through the existing rice stubble, but its prohibitive price of about Rs
150,000 has prevented its widespread use so far.

The CAP sought to monitor stubble burning using satellites and also called for increasing
subsidy to farmers for purchase of Happy Seeder machine. At a meeting with Prime Minister
Narendra Modi, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh sought a compensation for farmers to try and
control the menace of stubble burning, and the Union government has provided Rs 17.56 billion
for this. But, stubble burning has already started in some parts of Punjab and Haryana and that is
expected to make the air fouler in the coming days.

How China and the United States did it


IMAGE: A policeman wears a mask as he rides a bicycle on a street amid heavy smog in
Shanghai, China. China announced a slew of measures to limit emissions and it seems that they
are now winning their battle against pollution. Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters

Los Angeles was known as the smog capital of the world in the 1970s. Air quality in the Ohio
region was as bad as in Beijing until a few years ago. The US tackled the pressing issue with the
Clean Air Act, which was followed by the Clean Water Act. These brought in tighter regulations
and also involved shifting of the more polluting industry abroad. That resulted in the US having
the cleanest air in the world and added years in life expectancy of its residents.

In March 2014, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang told the delegates of the National People‘s
Congress that China would declare a war against pollution, just like it did against poverty. The
target was to reduce particulate matter pollution by at least 10 per cent in some cities and by 25
per cent in the Beijing region. The Chinese government allocated $120 billion to achieve the
targets. It also announced a slew of measures to limit emissions, including the desperate measure
of banning coal boilers used to keep homes warm during harsh winters. When measured earlier
this year, China seemed to be winning this war against pollution, with Beijing showing a 35 per
cent reduction in particulate matter pollution.
State and Union governments in India need to emulate the American and Chinese responses to
fix the problem of bad air quality in North India, especially Delhi-NCR. If Los Angeles and
Beijing can improve their air quality dramatically, there is no reason why Delhi‘s residents
should be breathing toxic fumes.

https://www.rediff.com/news/report/delhi-should-follow-los-angeles-and-beijing-to-fight-air-
pollution/20181115.htm

NFA to review reference price for rice imports


November 13, 2018

By Leslie Gatpolintan/PNA

MANILA — The National Food Authority (NFA) will review its reference price for
government-to-government (G-to-G) rice importation after participating countries offered to sell
at prices higher than what was approved in the budget.

During Tuesday‘s bidding to supply 203,000 metric tons (MT) of 25-percent broken, well-milled
long grain white rice, Thailand and Vietnam initially offered USD480.50/MT and USD483/MT,
respectively, way above the reference price set by the NFA at only USD447.88/MT.

Despite this, Thailand maintained its offer price, while Vietnam later submitted slightly lower
offer at USD481.50, still beyond the reference price.

―We follow the reference price, our indicator to accept the offers. Since all the offers are beyond
the reference price, we must reject the offers. The bidding failed in the sense of the price but in
terms of participation, they are here, they offered,‖ NFA Assistant Administrator Maria
Mercedes Yacapin, chair of the NFA Committee on G to G Procurement, told reporters after the
auction.

Yacapin noted the reference price is based on their studies on price trends in international
markets.
―We will review everything — the price, the delivery schedule… We still have to evaluate and
report to the (NFA) Council for the necessary direction,‖ she said.

Yacapin is confident about the country‘s rice buffer stocks despite the failure to secure offers
within NFA‘s reference price.

―We are doing domestic procurement plus harvests are ongoing. The commercial sector has its
own inventories,‖ she said.

―Because of the harvest season, our participation in the market has been reduced because there is
an ample supply in the commercial sector. Our participation has been reduced to 10 percent,
(and) 10 to 15 percent in some areas,‖ she added.

Last Nov. 6, the NFA also failed to secure offers for the supply of 203,000 MT of rice under G to
G tender with Thailand and Vietnam due to some provisions of the terms of reference for the
importation. The two countries did not elaborate.

The volume was the balance from the 250,000 MT offered for bidding last Oct. 18 under the
open tender scheme.

https://ptvnews.ph/nfa-to-review-reference-price-for-rice-imports/

Senate OKs rice tariffication bill


Measure will ensure stable supply and eliminate cartel – Palace
Updated November 16, 2018, 12:04 AM

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola and Genalyn Kabiling

The Senate has approved on third and final reading Wednesday night the bill that would
liberalize the importation of rice into the country with the imposition of tariffs.
(MANILA BULLETIN)

Malacañang expressed optimism that once enacted into law, the rice tariffication bill will help
ensure stable supply, lower prices, and fight the cartel in the rice industry.

Voting 14-0, the Upper Chamber passed Senate Bill No. 1998, which seeks to replace the
quantitative restrictions (QR) on rice imports with tariff and hence, will remove unnecessary
government intervention on rice market. The bill also moves to remove the QR on rice exports.

The bill, amending the Agricultural Tariffication Act of 1996, is expected to address the rising
rice prices in the country.

The measure, certified as urgent by President Duterte,also proposes the abolition of the National
Food Authority (NFA) Council and would open importation to private rice traders.

Senator Cynthia Villar, chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and sponsor of the SB
1998 during the plenary debates Wednesday, said the NFA would no longer be allowed to import
rice and instead be mandated to buy rice supply from local farmers who would be affected by the
removal of the QR on rice imports.

Villar said the bill would ―clip‖ the authority of the NFA over rice imports after it failed in its
mandate of maintaining affordable rice supply and triggered the hike in rice prices in previous
months.
Under the SB 1998, a 35-percent duty will be imposed on imports coming from Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states and 50 percent for non-ASEAN member
states.

Government economic managers had earlier said liberalizing rice imports would reduce the retail
price of rice by P4 to P7 per kilo and reduce inflation rate by 0.4 percentage points.

The Agriculture department also said that the bill is expected to bring in at least P20 billion
every year to the agriculture sector.

Another key feature of the bill is the proposed Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF)
wherein at least P10 billion will be allocated annually for the local rice industry.
Senators had earlier agreed with the amendment pushed by Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph
Recto to appropriate the revenues from the collected tariffs to farmers who will be affected by
the liberalization of the rice importation.

The RCEF shall amount to a minimum P10 billion a year for six years, and tariff revenues in
excess of P10 billion shall be appropriated by Congress based on the programs in the proposed
rice tariffication law, including financial assistance to distressed rice farmers.

The RCEF will be allocated and distributed to rice producing sectors, as follows:

1. Fifty percent shall be used as grant-in-kind to eligible farmers‘ associations and registered rice
cooperatives and local government units, in the form of rice farm equipment such as tillers,
tractors, seeders, threshers, rice planters, harvesters, irrigation pumps, small solar irrigation,
reapers, driers, millers, and the like, to improve farm mechanization. This will be implemented
by the Philippine Center for Post-Harvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech).

2. Thirty percent shall be used for the development, propagation and promotion of inbred rice
seeds to rice farmers, and the organization of rice farmers into seed growers associations and/or
cooperatives. Villar said this will engage them in seed production and help them sell improved
seed varieties. The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) shall be designated to
implement this provision.

3. Ten percent shall be made available to rice farmers and cooperatives in the form of credit with
minimal interest. The Land Bank and the Development Bank of the Philippines shall manage the
loans.

4. Lastly, 10 percent will be used for extension services divided between PhilMech, PhilRice,
Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and the Technical Education and Skills Development
Authority to teach farmers on rice crop production, modern rice farming techniques, seed
production, farm mechanization, and knowledge or technology transfer through farm schools
nationwide.

Meanwhile, Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo thanked the Senate for passing the
administration bill that seeks to replace the import restrictions on rice with a tariff system.
―The Palace expresses its gratitude to the Senate for passing on third and final reading the Rice
Tariffication Bill,‖Panelo said in a statement.

―The President has certified the aforesaid bill as urgent. In his communication with the
leadership of the Senate, the President expressed the urgent need to improve the availability of
rice in the country to prevent artificial rice shortage, reduce the prices of rice in the market, and
curtail the prevalence of corruption and cartel domination in the rice industry,‖ he added.

The House of Representatives approved its version of the bill easing rice importation last
August.

―We remain optimistic that the bill would also run smoothly during the bicameral conference
committee deliberations by both Houses of Congress,‖Panelo said.

―We are likewise confident that through the enactment of this bill into law, we would be able to
protect the rice industry from sudden price fluctuations and eventually ease the burden of the
Filipino consumers from soaring prices,‖ he added.

https://news.mb.com.ph/2018/11/14/senate-oks-rice-tariffication-bill/

Iran rice imports down 4.21 pct in value in 7 months


Xinhua, November 14, 2018

TEHRAN, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- Iran imported 958,000 tons of rice worth 985.4 million U.S.
dollars during the first seven months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Oct. 22),
Eghtesadonline news website reported on Tuesday.

The figures registered a 12.54 percent decline in weight and 4.21 percent decrease in value
compared with the corresponding period last year.

This imported amount of rice accounted for 5.06 percent and 3.75 percent of the respective
volume and value of Iran's total imports over the seven-month period.

Reportedly, Iranians consume 3.2 million tons of rice every year. Domestic production stands at
2.2 million tons.

Iran mainly imports rice from India, Pakistan and Thailand.


Indian media reported this week that the India is looking at a barter system to export rice to Iran
to continue importing oil from the Islamic republic. Enditem

http://www.china.org.cn/world/Off_the_Wire/2018-11/14/content_72307453.htm

Rice import rebidding fails; prices still easing


By: Karl R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:05 AM November 14, 2018

The governments of Thailand and Vietnam did not agree to the reference price set by the National
Food Authority (NFA) for the supply of 203,000 metric tons (MT) of rice on Tuesday, which led to
the failure of the second round of bidding.

The failed rebidding was supposed to firm up the remaining volume that was not procured during
the previous auction, wherein only 47,000 MT of rice were bought.

Both Thailand and Vietnam‘s price offers at $480.80 and $483 a ton, respectively, were higher
than the NFA‘s reference price of $447.88 a ton.

Under the NFA‘s guidelines, both parties may make another offer within the day, but even the
countries‘ second price offers were still too high at $480.50 and $481.50.

In an interview with NFA assistant administrator Maria Mercedes Yacapin, she said that the
agency‘s reference price—described by traders who talked to the Inquirer as ―too low‖—were
based on the prevailing trends in the international market.

―This is based on our study. We do our own world market monitoring of prices,‖ she said.

Asked whether the failed bidding would affect the arrival period of the imports, Yacapin said they
would have to consult the NFA Council.

Under NFA‘s terms, the volume should arrive in the country in two tranches—the first no later
than Dec. 15 and the second must arrive no later than Dec. 31.

An additional 500,000 MT of rice are also set to be procured next week under the open tender
scheme, wherein the government will transact with the private sector.
About P18 billion worth of subsidy from the government‘s treasury is expected to be allocated for
the importation program.

Since the arrival of rice imports, rice prices have been going down for four consecutive weeks now
and these are expected to decline further with the arrival of more affordable rice.

As of the third week of October, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed average
retail price for regular-milled and well-milled rice at P45.72 and P48.83 a kilo, respectively. These
were lower by 0.33 percent and 0.35 percent from a week ago, but were still higher by 20.22
percent and 15.68 percent from the previous year.

While prices may not go back to its previous levels, the Department of Agriculture is banking on
the imposition of the suggested retail price on rice varieties as a measure to tame prices and ease
the burden of consumers from high food costs.

https://business.inquirer.net/260545/rice-import-rebidding-fails-prices-still-
easing#ixzz5X1hqGjvr

Updates on the rice shortage


LATEST UPDATE: November 13, 2018 - 11:03am
LOCATION:
METRO MANILA
Thailand and Vietnam announce that they will make a reoffer before 12 p.m.
3 days ago

The National Food Authority rejects rice import bids from Vietnam and Thailand as they are
both above the reference price of $447.88 per metric ton.

Vietnam offered $483 per MT while Thailand offered $480.50 per MT.

Offerors are given until 3 p.m. today to submit their revised offers for the 203,000 MT in rice
imports via government-to-government procurement.

image: https://media.philstar.com/images/bites/nfa-rice-import-bidding-thailand-vietnam.jpg
Officials of the Department of Agriculture led by Secretary Manuel Piñol hold a press
conference on the rice shortage. Piñol says the department of the proper body to say whether
there is enough rice in the country.

Piñol also announces that the Philippines is 96-percent rice self-sufficient, despite criticisms by
experts that the policy—continued from the Aquino administration—may be popular but unwise,
Importation is cheaper (and makes rice cheaper for consumers) and investment on rice would
instead benefit other local farmers in more productive sectors.

https://www.philstar.com/happens/227

Of exports to China
BR ResearchNovember 13, 2018

Post PM‘s trip to China, China has agreed to increase its imports from Pakistan this year. While
reports differ whether exports are to double (FY18 exports were $1.7 billion as per SBP) or to
increase by $1 billion in FY19, it seems clear that China has pledged to extend concessions

imilar to those extended to Asean countries.


Since the Asean countries are main competitors of Pakistan‘s exports, the rhetoric regarding the
Pak-China FTA talks has revolved around negotiating for tariffs similar to theirs ever since the
China-Asean FTA came into operation in 2010. These concessions are nearly a decade in the
making given that the talks for the second phase of the FTA started in 2011.
If Pakistan‘s top exports to China indeed become zero-rated, it will be one of the biggest
victories of PTI‘s tenure. The odds of that happening are slim next to none. There are only two
exports that cross the $100 million mark: rice and cotton yarn. Let‘s look at rice first.
China‘s rice imports are roughly $1.5 billion, mostly sourced from Vietnam and Thailand. Under
China‘s trade agreement with Asean, rice imports face 35 percent tariffs whereas Pakistan faces
65 percent tariff. If Pakistan could get zero-rated access, export figures would rise from the
current paltry $129 million and sweep the market.
After years of negotiations while CPEC carried on in the background, Pakistan has not been
successful in decreasing tariffs at par with Asean. Earlier this year negotiations stalled after
China refused unilateral concessions so to the prospect of rice tariffs becoming zero-rated is
bleak, to put it mildly.
Cotton yarns make up 44 percent of Pakistan‘s exports to China, a country that accounts for
nearly half the world‘s cotton yarn imports. At tariff level of 0.4 percent, Vietnam is China‘s
supplier with about $2 billion exports. India and Pakistan take the second and third position
respectively at identical tariff level of 3.7 percent. India‘s share however is larger than what
simple trade figures report as Vietnam has no raw material base and largely imports from cotton
growing countries like China, India, and USA.
If cotton yarn and rice are not on the list of zero-rated goods, the question is what is? At imports
standing at $1.8 trillion, China imports nearly everything conceivable but Pakistan‘s exports and
potential to increase production is limited. Effects of trade diversion versus trade creation need to
be considered. If Pakistan does not have the capacity to increase production in the short to
medium term, then exports to other countries will simply be diverted to China with little net
benefit. As pleasing as it sounds that China has pledged to import at least $1 billion more from
Pakistan, whether this in the realms of practicality remains to be seen. There are prospects for
increase in exports to China that could alleviate the CAD but more on that later.

https://www.brecorder.com/2018/11/13/452223/of-exports-to-china/
New trends in Vietnam’s rice exports
Wednesday, 2018-11-14 11:06:05

Vietnam exported 5.15 million tonnes of rice, worth US$2.6 billion, in the first ten months of 2018. (Photo:
Internet)

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NDO - 2018 is witnessing new trends in Vietnam’s rice export sector, notably the priority of

exporting high-quality rice through international bidding as well as stricter and more
diverse trade barriers from importing countries.

Preliminary data by the General Department of Customs shows that Vietnam exported 264,500
tonnes of rice in October, generating a revenue of US$135.56 million, up 22.96% in volume and
31.8% in value, compared with the same month last year.

The total volume of rice exports in the first ten months of 2018 was 5.15 million tonnes, worth

US$2.6 billion, representing year-on-year increases of 6.62% and 21.49% in volume and revenue
respectively.

What is notable during the period is that the price of Vietnamese rice has now surpassed that of
Thailand, averaging at more than US$500 a tonne, up about 15%.

In 2016, Vietnam exported 4.8 million tonnes of rice, bringing in US$2.1 billion. The respective

volume and revenue figures rose to 5.8 million and US$2.6 billion the following year. And in
2018 Vietnam has set a target to ship 6.5 million tonnes.

Such positive results come due to not only growing global demand and higher prices but also

Vietnam‘s marked shift towards producing and exporting high-quality and specialty rice
varieties.

The global rice market has recently seen a trend towards prioritising international bidding

processes and attaching greater importance to quality. At the same time, more and more non-

tariff barriers are emerging. For example, China, a major importer of Vietnamese rice, has also
imposed strict requirements through quotas and food safety checks.

The greatest challenge to Vietnamese rice exporters is now the laws of importing countries, with
numerous stringent requirements on quality, food safety and origin.

In the meantime, most of Vietnamese rice exporters are small- and medium-sized businesses
with little experience in dealing with trade lawsuits and international technical barriers.

Therefore, Vietnamese enterprises should actively learn and update themselves about new
information in order to promptly adjust their business plans and remedy their shortcomings.

Furthermore, enterprises also need to work together to build supply chains for exports to add
more value to Vietnamese commodities as well as cooperating with local businesses so as to
meet the technical barriers

http://en.nhandan.org.vn/business/item/6836302-new-trends-in-
vietnam%E2%80%99s-rice-exports.html

Nine Pakistani companies take part in Foodex 2018

2018-11-13 18:34:20

Shahzad Ahmad Khan, Pakistan Commercial consul, promotes bilateral trade between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia

By Syed Mussarat Khalil

Saudi Gazette.

JEDDAH —
Muhammad Arshad Munir, Pakistan Press Consul, said Pakistan Consulate is extending full
cooperation to Pakistani businessmen match-making for their products in Saudi Arabia and to tap
enormous opportunities emerging out of Saudi Vision 2030 to promote bilateral and investment.

He was speaking to the media at the inauguration ceremony of 6th Edition of Foodex Saudi
Exhibition Jeddah organized by Reed Sunaidi Company.

On this occasion, Shahzad Ahmad Khan, the Commercial consul, said promoting bilateral trade
between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia is one of the foremost responsibility of the Pakistan
Consulate.

The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), in collaboration with Commercial


Section, Consulate General of Pakistan, selected the nine well-established companies to offer
their range of quality products for Saudi market. The participating companies/exhibitors are
among the top exporters from Pakistan dealing in rice, fruits and vegetables, processed food,
ready to eat, beverages, spices, bakery and confectionery.

Saudi Arabia, he added, imports more than $25 billion worth of food and beverage products each
year to meet its growing consumption demands due to growing population and increasing annual
pilgrimage. These developments, Khan said, offers huge opportunity to Pakistani companies to
further penetrate Saudi market and increase their market share. However, given the fact that
Pakistan is an agricultural country, and more than 50 percent of its exports are agro and textile
based, it has enormous potential to increase its exports by tapping halal food market of Saudi
Arabia, which currently imports more that 80 percent of its total food and beverages
requirement.

The participating companies include M/s Pearl Confectionery Pvt. Ltd, Karachi, M/s Roomi
Foods Pvt. Ltd Multan, M/s K&N‘s Food Pvt. Ltd, Karachi, M/s Amir Rice Traders Gujranwala,
M/s Bismillah Sehla Processing Plant Pvt. Ltd Nankana Sahib, M/s Quick Food Industries Ltd.
Karachi, M/s Kafi Kitchen, Karachi, M/s Ismail Industries Ltd Karachi and M/s K.M food
industries pvt. Ltd Lahore.
http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/547949/BUSINESS/Nine-Pakistani-companies-take-
part-in-Foodex-2018