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November 17 ,2018

Vol 9 ,Issue 11

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Senate praised for passing rice tarrification bill
By: Christine O. Avendaño - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:36 AM November 16, 2018

Malacañang on Thursday thanked the Senate for passing the rice tarrification bill on third and final
reading and said it was optimistic the chamber would be able to immediately reconcile its version
of the measure with that of the House of Representatives.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo noted that President Duterte had certified the bill,
which would lift restriction on rice importation, as urgent.

Artificial shortage

―In his communication with the leaders of the Senate, the President expressed the urgent need to
improve the availability of rice in the country to prevent artificial shortage, reduce the prices of rice
in the market, and curtail the prevalence of corruption and cartel domination in the rice industry,‖
Panelo said in a statement.

He said they were optimistic that the bill would pass smoothly in conference. The House passed its
version of the bill in August.

Import restrictions

―We are 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,‖ Panelo said.The bill will replace the current system of imposing
quantitative import restrictions on rice with tariffs.

Under the bill, rice imports from members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)
will be charged a tariff of at least 35 percent, while imports from non-Asean countries will get a
tariff of 50 percent.

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Amru Rice to buy $17m worth of paddy
Sok Chan / Khmer Times

KT/Chor Sokunthea

Amru Rice, one of the biggest exporters of rice in Cambodia, will purchase about 50,000 tonnes
of paddy rice this year from dozens of agricultural communities across the country, amounting to
an investment of $17 million.

Song Saran, Amru Rice CEO, said they have entered contract farming schemes with 56
agricultural communities in nine Cambodian provinces, from whom they will be purchasing
paddy rice grown following organic techniques.

A significant portion of that investment will be made in Kampong Thom, where the company
will buy 12,000 tonnes from 20 agricultural communities. Those communities have so far
supplied about 40 percent of what they agreed to, Mr Saran told Khmer Times last month.

The price Amru Rice pays for each ton ranges from $280 to $400, depending on the quality of
the product.

Thiv Vanthy, director of Kampong Thom‘s agriculture department, told Khmer Times that the
agricultural communities that are working with Amru Rice aim to produce about 30,000 tonnes
of rice this year.

―We are benefiting a lot from the contract farming schemes, particularly the farmers. They are
happy because they have guaranteed buyers and can sell their product at a good price,‖ he said.

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A report from the Secretariat of One Window Service for Rice Export Formality said that from
January to October, Cambodia exported 434,807 tonnes of rice, about 57,300 less tonnes than
last year.

China continues to be the Kingdom‘s top rice buyer, importing 110,000 tonnes during the 10-
month period.

https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50551270/amru-rice-to-buy-17m-worth-of-paddy/

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.

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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#ixzz5X6XEm8hO

Ministry reserves low-yield rice land for golf courses


Last update 12:00 | 16/11/2018

VietNamNet Bridge - The draft decree on golf course businesses compiled by the Ministry of
Planning and Investment (MPI) says that low-yield one-crop rice land may be used to develop
golf courses if the land can satisfy requirements to change the purpose of land use.

In other words, agricultural land which brings low production efficiency could be used for golf
courses.

Vu Trong Hong, chair of the Vietnam Irrigation Association, former deputy minister of
agriculture, has expressed his disagreement with the tentative regulation for fear about impact on
the environment.

Hong said as golf courses cause pollution, they are mostly built on well-aired hills.

―Golf courses are not put next to reservoirs containing water for drinking or daily life. They also
are not built in the delta,‖ Hong said. ‗Golf courses bring high risks to the environment because
herbicides are used regularly to clear weed.‖
Golf courses are It is a taboo to use rice land for golf courses, because paddy fields are
necessary to attract mostly located on flat areas, related to surrounding fields. They must
investment and not be used to develop golf courses, or the golf courses will spoil land.
development tourism,
but too many golf Hong said that it is illegal to convert agricultural land into golf course
courses will be land. The current laws stipulate changes of land use purposes, but not in
unacceptable. the way MPI mentions.

One-crop rice land must not used for tourism development.

Also according to Hong, the Ministries of Water Resources and Agriculture in the past had to
program land development for rice. The land for rice cultivation was extremely modest.

―The one-crop rice land bring low yields because of cultivation techniques. Therefore, it is
necessary to upgrade the soil, not to abandon it,‖ he commented.

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He agreed with Hong that paddy land was planned by the government after thorough analysis.

―Rice fields must not be exchanged for things which cause pollution,‖ he said.

National Assembly deputies have also expressed their concern over the development of golf
courses.

Pham Van Hoa from Dong Thap province said there are many golf courses in Vietnam already,
while ensuring food security must be put on the top priority. Vietnam now has abundant food for
exports, but people have high demand for high-quality food.

Bui Thi An, former member of the NA‘s Science & Technology Committee, said it is necessary
to discuss how many golf courses Vietnam should have.

―Golf courses are necessary to attract investment and development tourism, but too many golf
courses will be unacceptable,‖ she said.
https://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/business/212806/ministry-reserves-low-yield-rice-land-for-
golf-courses.html

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

Arrivals Price

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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

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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 -

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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 -

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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

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/rice-prices/article25515113.ece
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FG approves N60bn for rice subsidy
ON NOVEMBER 16, 20187:23 PM

as National Food Security Council faults USDA report on import By Johnbosco Agbakwuru,
Abuja – In a bid to boost agriculture in the country, the federal government has approved N60
billion subsidy to support rice industry in the country. Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe,
disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after a meeting of the National Food
Security Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, in Abuja, at the
Presidential Villa, Abuja. Ogbe who was flanked by the Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu
explained that the purpose of the subsidy was to help bring down price of the commodity in the
country. According to him, ―There is a subsidy programme coming up. Government has
approved some money N60 billion to support the rice industry to bring down prices. But we are
going to handle it differently. ―We don‘t want to get into petroleum subsidy problem. So, a
committee is looking at it with the Ministry of Finance. ―We think that it is better for us to loan
money to the millers, farmers and distributors at a very low interest rate, so that the capital
doesn‘t disappear, so they have cheaper credit to do their business that should impact on the
price of rice in the market.

―When we are ready we will let you know.‖ The


minister spoke of plan to ban fertilizer NPK
151515 which has been in use in the country for
many years, saying that the ban became imperative
because it adds no value to crops. He said, ―We
call for the ban of fertilizer NPK 151515 which
has been used in the country for many years but
recent research revealed it‘s not useful for any
crop or any soil. ―Soils differ and so do crop, to believe there is one uniform fertilizer you can
spread for every crop is a fallacy.

And it‘s because we have done soil test and change the formulations of fertilizers, local blenders
that some of the yields we are getting now are rising from two tonnes per hectares to five and six.
So the president is looking into that and to how we can deal with it.‖ In his remarks, Governor
Bagudu said the council‘s attention was drawn to the report by the United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA) which suggested that Nigeria remains a heavy importer of rice despite
government‘s claim to the contrary. He said: ―We drew the attention of the council to a report by

11 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
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the US department for agriculture which suggested that Nigeria has been importing rice or about
to the tune of about three million tonnes.

―We informed the council that contact has been made with the US agency to tell us the basis for
the report because it‘s not consistent with the report available to us. ―The only official
importation in Nigeria is about 4,000 metric tonnes of rice. Secondly, the biggest exporter of
rice, Thailand exported 1.1 million metric tonnes of rice to West Africa between January to
October this year and India exported 402 million metric tonnes of rice to West Africa between
January to end of July this year.

That is a total of 1.5 million metric tonnes. ―Even if all was smuggled into Nigeria, that was the
total amount of importation one could attribute to Nigeria. ―So, the US authorities responding by
saying that their assessment was based on satellite imaging of flooded areas and consideration
that we are about to enter electioneering period and that demand for rice by politicians or for
political purposes will increase.

―Thirdly, that most West African countries depend on Nigeria. So, because of the flooding, they
concluded based on those assumptions that Nigeria will import more. ―Certainly, that is an
erroneous report. Even in spite of the flooding, the upland rice production has been quite strong
this year. Even though prices have increase in response to flooding, we still have adequate paddy
rice in Nigeria.‖

https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/11/fg-approves-n60bn-for-rice-subsidy/

Palace sees smooth sailing for rice tariffication bill


Published November 15, 2018 12:33pm

By VIRGIL LOPEZ, GMA News

Malacañang expects the rice tariffication bill to go smoothly through deliberations at the
bicameral conference committee because the measure has been certified as urgent by President
Rodrigo Duterte.

The Senate on Wednesday approved on third and final reading the proposed law that seeks to lift
quantitative restrictions on rice and allow private traders to import the commodity from countries
of their choice.―We remain optimistic that the bill would also run smoothly during the bicameral
conference committee deliberations by both Houses of Congress,‖ Presidential Spokesperson
Salvador Panelo said Thursday.

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Lawmakers from the House of Representatives and the Senate are coming up with a harmonized
version of the bill to be ratified by Congress and subsequently forwarded to the President for his
signature.

―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,‖ Panelo said.

In October, Duterte certified the bill as urgent. He cited the ―urgent need to improve availability
of rice in the country, 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.‖

The House passed its version of the bill in August.

Once the rice bill is signed into law and fully implemented, rice prices will likely go down,
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in July.

Preliminary estimates of the National Economic and Development Authority showed that
headline inflation would slow down by 1 percentage point if domestic wholesale prices of drops
to the level of imported rice.Inflation remained steady at a nine-year high of 6.7 percent in
October. —VDS, GMA News

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/money/economy/674857/palace-sees-smooth-sailing-for-rice-
tariffication-bill/story/

Rice tariffication bill includes support for Filipino farmers


—Sen. Villar
Published November 16, 2018 11:57am
Updated November 16, 2018 12:20pm

By AMITA LEGASPI, GMA News

Farmers who will bear the brunt of imported rice once the rice tariffication bill is enacted will get
a package of support under the measure, Senator Cynthia Villar said Friday.

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This support package of support is incorporated in the bill to make sure that Filipino farmers will
have a fighting chance against farmers of neighboring countries, said Villar, chairperson of the
Senate agriculture and food committee and principal sponsor of the bill.

Inexpensive rice is expected to flood the market once the law is in place.

―I will not agree na mag-liberalize ang importation na walang tulong sa farmer kasi talo talaga
tayo. Talo tayo ng Vietnam at Thailand in terms of competitiveness. So we have to help our
farmers to be competitive as soon as possible,‖ the senator said in a statement.

―That‘s why we need additional funds and programs to help our farmers mechanize and
ultimately lower the cost of producing palay,‖ she added.

The bill creates the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund or Rice Fund consisting of an
annual appropriation of P10 billion for the next six years after the measure has been approved.

The Rice Fund will be allocated to rice producing areas and earmarked as follows:

 50 percent to the Philippine Center for PostHarvest Development and Mechanization


(PhilMech) as grant in aid of eligible farmers‘ associations, registered rice cooperatives
and local government units

 30 percent to the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) for developing,


propagating, and promoting inbred rice seeds and organizing rice farmers into seed
growers associations and cooperatives

 10 percent to a credit facility with minimal interest rates and collateral requirements
managed by Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines for
rice farmers and cooperatives

 10 percent to PhilMech, PhilRice, Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), and Technical


Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for teaching skills in rice
production, modern rice farming, seed production, farm mechanization, and knowledge
and technology transfer through farm schools nationwide

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Seventy percent of the skills training fund will go to TESDA and 10 percent each to ATI,
PhilRice, and PhilMech.

Villar said the bill focuses on rice farmers, cooperatives, and associations adversely affected by
rice tariffication.

The bill also allocates tariff revenues in excess of P10 billion to the Rice Farmer Financial
Assistance program to compensate rice farmers who will lose income as a result of the measure.

A portion of the excess tariff will be allocated to titling rice lands, expanded crop insurance, and
crop diversification program.

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto earlier said senators made sure that the bill will
mandate all duties collected from imported rice be plowed back to farmers.

―The result is a 100-percent plowback rate. Everything will be returned to the farmers. They will
get all the dividends to compensate for their losses, which I think will never be enough,‖ Recto
said. —VDS, GMA News

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/money/economy/674982/rice-tariffication-bill-includes-support-
for-filipino-farmers-sen-villar/story/

Senate sets aside P10 billion for program to scrap rice tariff
November 15, 2018 at 10:18 pm by Macon Ramos-Araneta and Vito Barcelo

An initial appropriation of P10 billion a year will be allocated to the Rice Competitiveness
Enhancement Fund under the Rice Tariffication bill until all duties collected from the
importation of rice can replace it, according to Senator Cynthia Villar.
Voting 14-0-0, the Senate on Wednesday night approved on third and final reading Senate Bill
1998 under Committee Report 440, or An Act Replacing the Quantitative Import Restrictions on
Rice with Tariffs, Lifting the Quantitative Export Restrictions.
The measure would create the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund as a special rice
safeguard duty to protect the rice industry from sudden or extreme price fluctuations.

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Malacañang on Thursday expressed optimism that the rice tariffication bill will pass smoothly
through the deliberations at the bicameral conference committee that will help ensure stable and
lower rice prices in the country.
Malacañang Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the measure had been certified as urgent by
President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a statement, Malacañang extended its gratitude to the Senate for passing the administration
bill seeking to replace the import restrictions on rice with a tariff system.
With the passage of the rice tariffication bill, Senator Sonny Angara said the price of rice was
expected to fall by P7 per kilo.
Senators unanimously approved setting the RCEF at a minimum P10 billion a year for six years,
and tariff revenues in excess of P10 billion will be appropriated by Congress based on a menu of
programs in the rice tariffication law.
The fund will be used to provide different forms of assistance to rice farmers such as the
development of inbred rice seeds, rice farm equipment and skills enhancement.
Villar, the sponsor and principal author of the bill, said the staple grain was the only agricultural
commodity in the country that had a quantitative restriction, limiting the flow of imported rice to
the country.
But all the unnecessary intervention of the government in the rice market would be removed,
Villar said.
http://manilastandard.net/news/top-stories/280636/senate-sets-aside-p10-billion-for-program-to-
scrap-rice-tariff.html

Nigeria’s Rice Revolution Journey


November 15, 2018 4:55 am

Kayode Fasua assesses the performance of the federal government in its quest to boost local
rice production

Like other spheres of national life, the agricultural sector was not spared from the ongoing
political contentions between the two major gladiators of ruling All Progressives Congress
(APC) and opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In a recent statement, PDP‘s presidential candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, took
up President Muhammadu Buhari, as he faulted a claim by the President that Nigeria had
succeeded in reducing the importation of rice by as much as 90 per cent.
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Atiku alleged that the country was actually importing more metric tonnes of rice this year than it
did last year: a possible innuendo that rice importation suddenly spiked this year for the purpose
of inducing voters with the staple food item.

Carpeting the Agriculture Minister, Chief Audu Ogbeh, for ―making phony claims about the
nation‘s steady march to food security,‖ Atiku, who spoke through his campaign organisation,
had averred said the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, during her recent visit to Nigeria, was
conned into the belief that Nigeria is now self-sufficient in rice production.

Justifying his claim, Atiku said, ―Recently released data from the United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA) World Markets and Trade Report, proved these claims by President Buhari
and his government to be false.
―According to the World Markets and Trade Report of the USDA, which is a public document,
Nigeria imported three million metric tonnes of rice in 2018, which is 400,000 metric tonnes;
more than the quantity of the product imported in 2017.‖

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But the CBN clarified that the volume of rice importation into Nigeria (in metric tonnes) has
declined drastically in 2018, judging by figures obtained from various official sources.

Indeed, figures obtained from India and Thailand, which are dominant rice exporters to Nigeria
indicated that as at September, the latter had so far exported about 5,161 metric tonnes of rice to
Nigeria, while the former sold only a paltry sum of 426 as at July 2018.

Attributing the reduction to concerted effort by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
Development and interventions of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Director, Corporate
Communications at the CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, stressed that the Bank had not allocated any
foreign exchange for the importation of rice this year.
Okorafor, argued that the figures being bandied in certain quarters were based on unrealistic
assumptions such as satellite mapping of farms, expected demand by politicians for election
campaigns as well as expected losses from flooding, all of which led to unauthentic conclusions
that the country had imported or could import 400,000 more metric tonnes.

The spokesperson for the CBN further noted that the combined figure of 5, 587 tonnes of rice
imports from India and Thailand may have been rice imported on not-valid-for-forex basis.

Meanwhile, trade figures for the second quarter of 2018 received from the National Bureau of
Statistics (NBS) showed that total imports value was N2,106.7 billion; -16.3% lower than the
first quarter (Q1), 2018 (N2518.26 billion) and – 19.9 per cent lower than Q1, 2017 (N2,631.65
billion).

In addition, a report by the Bank of Agriculture (BoA), showed that the federal government had
saved about $800 million by encouraging local production of rice in the country.

The Executive Director, Finance and Risk Management of the BoA, Mr. Niyi Akenzua, who
spoke at a recent forum, commended efforts by the government to diversify the economy with
special focus on agriculture, urging Nigerians to key into the programmes, ―because of their all-
round benefits‖.

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Akenzua, particularly noted that rice production had increased to a level that people could ever
imagine and that the government was targeting early 2019 to fully stop the importation of rice.
He said emphasis was being placed on standardising and packaging of agricultural products from
Nigeria to make them acceptable to the export market.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Bola Oyedele, a representative of Crenov8 Consulting, an agricultural concern,


who spoke at the forum, observed that the United Arab Emirate (UAE) imported over $100
billion worth of food in 2017 from Africa, and that it is expected to rise to about 400 billion
dollars in the next eight years.

She enjoined Nigeria and other African countries to tap into the huge opportunities that exist, to
export various agricultural products such as cocoa, rice, gum Arabic, palm oil, wheat, maize and
others, to Dubai, the UAE buzzing capital, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
From the days of yore, however, rice has been one of the most consumed staples in Nigeria, with
consumption per capita said to be at 32kg.

‗Nigeria Producing 15m Metric Tonnes‘


Aside from the mechanised farming circles, rice production in Nigeria is variously found at even
mass production level among presumably subsistent local small-scale farmers.

A report indicated that, predominantly among the northern states, rice is a major cash crop.

―In Nigeria, rice production sits at 15 million metric tonnes, counting from the last three years,‖
according to a top official of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture who would not want to be
mentioned.

Also, the federal government, in a recent release, stated, ―In the past decade, consumption (of
rice) has increased by 4.7 per cent, almost four times the global consumption growth, and
reached 6.4 million tonnes in 2017-accounting for c.20 per cent of Africa‘s consumption.

―As at 2011, rice accounted for 10 per cent of household food spending, and 6.6 per cent of total
household spending.‖

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It added that given the importance of rice as a staple food in Nigeria, boosting its production had
been accorded high priority by the government in the past seven years, adding, ―Significant
progress has been recorded in rice production which peaked at 3.7 million tonnes in 2017 alone.‖

The government‘s stance appeared to have been complemented by the President, Rice Farmers
Association of Nigeria, Aminu Goronyo, who said recently, that the annual rice production in
Nigeria increased from 5.5 million tonnes in 2015 to 5.8 million tonnes in 2017.

Goronyo said that in 2015, Nigerians spent not less than N1 billion on rice consumption, adding
that while spending had drastically reduced, consumption had increased, ―because of increased
local production of the commodity.‖
―The consumption rate now is seven million tonnes and the production rate has increased to 5.8
tonnes per annum,‖ he stressed.

The RIFAN president, however, traced the haul to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor
Borrower‘s Programme, under which 12 million rice producers were attracted and four million
hectares of FADAMA rice land ceded. (Fadama is an Hausa word that means a valley-bottom,
flood plain, or a lowland around a river that floods or becomes wet when the river is high.)

How the Journey Began


When the Buhari administration came on board in 2015, one of its cardinal programmes was to
diversify the economy, away from reliance on oil income, which at the period, shocked the new
administration as it dropped sharply at the international market.

The administration particularly harped on boosting agriculture as a way of earning appreciable


foreign income, to shore up its dipping purse. To that extent, it made moves to boost local
production of rice. Apart from introducing the Borrower‘s Anchor Programme in which a
window of credit facilities was open to poor farmers, the government banned the importation of
rice and also gave a marching order to the Nigeria Customs Service to descend on defaulters.
Following this, some private rice producers and millers sprang up in some states across the
country.

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The 18 Rice-producing States
As at this year, 18 states are reputed as reliable rice producers in the country. They include
Kebbi, Benue, Ebonyi, Ekiti, the Federal Capital Territory, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano and Katsina.
Others are: Nasarawa, Taraba, Kogi, Zamfara, Ogun, Niger, Kwara and Sokoto.
About three years ago, Lagos State, which is Nigeria‘s commercial nerve centre, went into a
trade partnership with Kebbi State on rice production, at a time the unit price of bags of rice
soared, partly as a result of the blanket ban on imported rice.

Speaking during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to commence the rice
partnership at a forum in Lagos then, Kebbi governor, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, had said the goal of
the two states was to produce 60 per cent of Nigeria‘s rice needs, and replicate same in other
food items.

Complementing him, his Lagos counterpart, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode had noted, ―The future of
Lagos State is partly tied to deliberate resolution on food security. Likewise, food production and
self-sufficiency require our immediate attention at policy and strategic levels, to sustain
ourselves.‖

Ambode added, ―Lagos is the largest consumer of food commodities in the country, by the virtue
of its large population. The state has the market, with the required purchasing power. The state
has an estimated consumption of over 798,000 metric tonnes of milled rice per year, which is
equivalent to 15.96 million of 50 kilogramme bags with a value of N135 billion per annum.

―We have the economic prowess to produce rice locally. The era of imported rice is gone. The
reality is for all of us to embrace the consumption of local food and commodities. In addition to
rice, the state is presently consuming 6,000 herds of cattle daily, which may increase to 8,000 in
the next five years.‖

Advice
Advising the Buhari administration on ways to boost rice production nationwide and similarly
enhance other farm produce, an agricultural investor, Dr. Dipo Okeyomi, said, ―Government

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should make agriculture a compulsory subject in all public schools and also set aside inviolable
lands, devoted to farming.‖

―Beyond this, foreign investors should be attracted to devote their money and technology to our
local agriculture and especially spiral the increase in rice production, to boost our export value,‖
he counselled.

Okeyomi, who has large hectares of rice plantation in communities in Ekiti and Osun states, also
urged that beneficiaries of the Borrower‘s Anchor Programme should be closely monitored, to
ensure that the money given to them is judiciously spent.

https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2018/11/15/nigerias-rice-revolution-journey/

News focus - Government needs to ensure enough rice stocks


by Andi Abdussalam
Reporter: ANTARA 15 hours ago

Rice stocks (ANTARA /Raisan Al Farisi)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government needs to take anticipatory steps in case of a possible
scarcity of rice stocks ahead of the Christmas and New Year 2019 festivities.

The government needs to take such steps because the price of rice, especially medium quality
rice, has begun showing an upward trend. Looking back to the past several years, the prices of
basic commodities always increased and the stock of rice frequently declined by the year-end.

Hence, market operations are required in order to supply the people with rice and prevent rice
scarcity. The Jakarta regional government, for example, will conduct rice operations, especially
for medium quality rice.

President Director of Jakarta local government-owned rice firm PT Food Station Tjipinang Jaya,
Arief Prasetyo Adi, said that his party was cooperating with state-owned Logistics Agency Bulog
in an effort to launch market operations immediately in anticipation of a rise in the price of
medium quality rice in Jakarta.

"In the near future, PT Food Station and all Pasar Induk Beras Cipinang (Cipinang Rice
Wholesale Market) traders will coordinate with Bulog to immediately carry out market
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operations," Adi said at the Indonesian National Police`s Bareskrim (Criminal Investigation
Department) Office, Jakarta, Thursday.

For market operations to distribute medium rice, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan sent a letter
to the Ministry of Trade. The Ministry of Trade has also written to the Managing Director of
Bulog to conduct market operations.

"We need assistance from Bulog to distribute medium quality rice because its price is starting to
rise," Adi said.

Adi said that currently, the rice stock in the Cipinang Rice Market is above 50 thousand tons,
which is a safe limit. The increase in the price of medium quality rice is because at the end of last
year the yields were of good quality.

With good quality rice, the price of medium quality rice will be higher. The price of IR643
medium quality rice in the second week of November reached Rp9,225 per kilogram from the
previous price of Rp8,700 per kilogram.

The highest retail price of medium quality rice is found in the regions of Java, Lampung, South
Sumatra, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), Sulawesi and Bali, which amounted to Rp 9,450 per

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kilogram, while the price of premium quality rice is Rp12,800 per kg.

Earlier on Monday, former agriculture minister Anton Apriyantono had urged Bulog to release
its rice stock to control the price of the commodity. "It should now be time to distribute (the
rice), as Bulog is free to conduct market operations throughout the year," he noted in a statement.

The government has prepared 2.4 million tons of rice for market operations across the country,
as a precautionary measure against the price hike ahead of the Christmas and New Year
festivities. "For the market operations, Bulog has prepared 2.4 million tons of rice," Trade
Minister Enggartiasto Lukita noted recently.

In the meantime, Speaker of the House of Representatives (DPR) Bambang Soesatyo has called
on the government to ensure the adequate supply of medium-quality rice in a bid to curb the
commodity`s price hike.

Soesatyo noted in a statement in Jakarta on Wednesday (November 14) that the scarcity of
medium quality rice and the price hike must be addressed soon by President Joko Widodo`s
economic team and the State Logistics Agency (Bulog).

"The problem must be addressed very seriously," the Golkar Party politician remarked.

He noted that the hike in the price of the commodity will harm people from the lower middle
class group, as some 70 percent of them consume medium quality rice.

Moreover, with the upcoming general election in 2019, the price of basic necessities will become
a sensitive issue.

"When there is an increase in the price of basic necessities, especially rice, the opposition will
exploit the issue to undermine the government`s credibility," he cautioned.

As part of the efforts to ensure rice supply and price stability, the government is also expected to
meet its rice production target of 1.5 million tons each in November and December 2018.

Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF) researcher Rusli Abdullah opined
that the Indonesian Government should make sure that it achieves its rice production target at the
end of the year.

The government should make an assurance of achieving its rice production target in order to
prevent the food commodity price turmoil and a rise in the inflation rate.

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"The rice production target for the November-December 2018 period should be achieved by the
government. It should pay attention to regions that will harvest during that period to ensure the
success of a harvest by controlling pest and flood mitigation," Abdullah stated at a press
conference on Thursday (November 15).

The government has set a rice production target of 1.5 million tons respectively in November and
December 2018. If the target is achieved, Indonesia will experience a rice surplus of 2.85 million
tons, as forecast by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

However, Abdullah opined that it will be difficult for the government to achieve its rice
production target, as the year-end is planting season and not a grand harvest season.

"Besides this, floods, as a result of the rainy season, will serve as one of the factors that cause
harvest failure," he noted.

Editor: Bustanuddin

https://en.antaranews.com/news/120572/news-focus--government-needs-to-ensure-enough-rice-stocks----
by-andi-abdussalam

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.

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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.

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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.
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―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.
https://www.deltafarmpress.com/rice/crispr-gene-editing-could-accelerate-plant-improvements

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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

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.

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The bill is among the measures pushed by President Rodrigo Duterte and his economic managers
to address high rice prices. (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:

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 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

– Rappler.com

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

In Memory: Rogers Hoyt, Sr.


USA Rice extends condolences to the family and friends of Rogers Hoyt, Sr., of Uvalde, Texas, who
passed away on November 13, at the age of 89. Rogers grew up in Katy, Texas, and was a third
generation rice farmer. His grandfather came to Katy in 1904 and was one of the first rice
farmers in the area, and Rogers joined the family operation immediately after high school. In
1974, while still farming rice at Katy, he established a ranching operation in Uvalde and Zavala
counties.

His son, Rogers Hoyt, Jr., a next generation rice farmer who also serves as president of Ducks
Unlimited, has fond memories of his father and his legacy of conservation. "I vividly remember
riding in a pickup between my paternal granddad and my father as they scouted ponds to see
which ones had ducks. On my first duck hunt as a kindergartner, Dad carried me piggyback
through the water. All the people who shaped my life enjoyed the outdoors and always believed
if you take, you give back."

A graveside service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 17, at the Katy Magnolia
Cemetery in Katy with Reverend Bill Taylor officiating.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Ducks Unlimited, Inc.

Producers Rice Mill 75th Anniversary and Membership


Meeting
By Lana Roth

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STUTTGART, AR -- More than 300 members and guests attended the 75th annual membership
meeting of Producers Rice Mill, Inc., held here last week that was highlighted by a video
celebrating the company's 75th anniversary and history. Prior to the video, State Representative
David Hillman read a letter from President Trump congratulating Producers Rice Mill on this
momentous occasion.

Chairman Jerry Hoskyn, and Roy O. "Bud" McCollum retired from the board, and both were
presented with plaques honoring their service. Hoskyn had served on the board for 38 years, and
McCollum had served for 31 years.

In the business session following the annual meeting, Jay Coker, Brooks Davis, Stephen Hoskyn,
Steve Orlicek, and Sloan Hampton were elected to serve three year terms on the board of
directors, and Coker was elected chairman of the board. Gary Wilks was elected as vice
president and vice chairman of the board; Keith Glover, president and general manager; and
Kent Lockwood, secretary-treasurer.

In his report during the business meeting, Glover said he would remember the 2018 rice crop for
all the extreme weather challenges it had to endure.

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"This year's challenging weather began back in April when the mid-South endured the coldest
month of April on record followed by the hottest May on record, according to the National
Weather Service," said Glover. "Our biggest harvest weather scare occurred on September 6,
when the remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon entered the mid-South when only about a third of
the rice crop had been harvested. Fortunately, only a few unharvested fields incurred significant
downed rice as a result of the one week rain system."

Based on USDA data, 2018 rice acres in the mid-South were 28 percent higher than 2017.
Glover said the increased acreage and good field yields resulted in longer truck lines at all of
Producers drying facilities compared to a year ago.

USA Rice Daily

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


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.

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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.
https://punchng.com/nigeriall-be-second-biggest-rice-importer-in-2019-usda/

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.
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―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

Senate sets aside P10 billion for program to scrap rice tariff
An initial appropriation of P10 billion a year will be allocated to the Rice Competitiveness
Enhancement Fund under the Rice Tariffication bill until all duties collected from the
importation of rice can replace it, according to Senator Cynthia Villar.Voting 14-0-0, the Senate
on Wednesday night approved on third and final reading Senate Bill 1998 under Committee
Report 440, or An Act Replacing the Quantitative Import Restrictions on Rice with Tariffs,
Lifting the Quantitative Export Restrictions.The measure would create the Rice Competitiveness
Enhancement Fund as a special rice safeguard duty to protect the rice industry from sudden or

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extreme price fluctuations.Malacañang on Thursday expressed optimism that the rice
tariffication bill will pass smoothly through the deliberations at the bicameral conference
committee that will help ensure stable and lower rice prices in the country.

Malacañang Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the measure had been certified as urgent by
President Rodrigo Duterte.In a statement, Malacañang extended its gratitude to the Senate for
passing the administration bill seeking to replace the import restrictions on rice with a tariff
system. With the passage of the rice tariffication bill, Senator Sonny Angara said the price of rice
was expected to fall by P7 per kilo. Senators unanimously approved setting the RCEF at a
minimum P10 billion a year for six years, and tariff revenues in excess of P10 billion will be
appropriated by Congress based on a menu of programs in the rice tariffication law.

The fund will be used to provide different forms of assistance to rice farmers such as the
development of inbred rice seeds, rice farm equipment and skills enhancement. Villar, the
sponsor and principal author of the bill, said the staple grain was the only agricultural commodity
in the country that had a quantitative restriction, limiting the flow of imported rice to the
country.But all the unnecessary intervention of the government in the rice market would be
removed, Villar said.
http://manilastandard.net/news/top-stories/280636/senate-sets-aside-p10-billion-for-program-to-scrap-rice-
tariff.html

NFA to ease rice importation process for private sector

Date: 16-Nov-2018

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.

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―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#ixzz5X6nTo2qn
Nigeria to Become 2nd Largest Rice Importer in 2019 - USDA
Tagged:

By Elizabeth Adegbesan

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has projected Nigeria to be the second
largest rice importer come 2019.

The department disclosed this in its latest Rice Outlook released on Tuesday.

The Outlook stated: "China and Nigeria are projected to remain the largest rice importing
countries in 2019, followed by the EU, Cote d'Ivoire, and Iran.

"Nigeria and Egypt are projected to account for the bulk of the 2019 import increase. Imports in
2019 are also projected to be larger than a year earlier for Benin, Burkina, Cameroon, Cote
d'Ivoire, EU, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Malaysia, Mali, Senegal, the United Arab Emirates and the
United States.

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"Global rice consumption (including a residual component) in 2018/19 is projected at a record 488.4
million tons, down 0.1 million tons from the previous forecast but up more than one percent from a
year earlier."

The projected growth is a matter of concern for the federal government, which plans to stop rice
imports by the end of this year to save foreign currency.

Onyeama to lead Nigerian delegation to 11th Extraordinary Session of AU

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) supported the course by restricting forex for rice importation and
introduced the Anchor Borrowers Programme, the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CAC) to
fast-track the development of the agricultural sector; enhance national food security; reduce the cost
of credit in agricultural production; increase national output; generate employment; and raise the
level of foreign exchange earnings of the country.

https://allafrica.com/stories/201811160759.html

Alleged fraud: Lawmakers accuse NEMA DG of plot to


evacuate wasted rice a day
by Jerrywright Ukwu –

The last has not been heard of the rice amounting to N414 million donated by the Chinese
government to NEMA - The rice for Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria was said to have
expired due to the negligence of the government agency –

Some federal lawmakers say there are moves by the agency to evacuate the wasted rice The
director general of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Maihaja,
has been accused of moves to evacuate and dispose about 6,779 metric tons of rice donated by
the Chinese government for distribution to Internally Displaced Persons in the north-east,
Premium Times reports. The accusation comes a week after a House of Representatives
committee on emergency and disaster preparedness indicted Maihaja for fraud, misappropriation
and embezzlement of N33 billion released to the agency.

On Thursday, November 15, the committee alleged that Maihaja, in collaboration with the
director, relief services, arrived in Gombe on Wednesday, November 14, and contacted NEMA
officers in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Yobe and Taraba states to prepare and forge
papers to claim that they received the items, while making effort to evacuate and dispose the
items from the warehouse in Gombe. READ ALSO: More trouble as ex-APC chief accuses
Oshiomhole of collecting $50m bribe from aspirants The committee said it discovered that

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hundreds of metric tons of the Chinese donated rice have been kept under lock and key in a
private warehouse in Lagos, under questionable circumstances.

―We are intensifying efforts to unravel the mystery surrounding how the rice was diverted from
the ports to the said warehouse, instead of being transported directly to the affected states for
onward distribution to IDPs who are dying of hunger, starvation and malnutrition,‖ the
committee chairman said in a statement. ―The committee wants to use this opportunity to alert
members of the public to watch out and be careful so that they don‘t buy or consume the rotten
rice which will pose great risk to their health,‖ he added. In his reaction, the spokesperson of
NEMA, Sani Datti, described the allegations as ridiculous. ―There is no iota of truth in these
allegations,‖ he said in a phone interview.

PAY ATTENTION: NAIJ.com upgrades to Legit.ng: a letter from our Editor-in-Chief Bayo
Olupohunda Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that a report by the US Department of
Agriculture said Nigeria‘s rice imports will jump 13 percent next year to 3.4 million metric tons.
NAIJ.com (naija.ng) -> Legit.ng. We have updated to serve you better. Legit Market Survey:
Prices of Goods Are High, Even The Customers Are Scarce - Traders | - on Legit TV Source:
Legit.ng TAGS: FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA8TH NATIONAL ASSEMBL
https://www.legit.ng/1204331-alleged-fraud-lawmakers-accuse-nema-dg-plot-evacuate-wasted-
rice.html

294 paddy procurement centres set up in EG


The officer said the government has targeted to purchase around 9.54 metric tonne of the crop
from the district.

Published: 17th November 2018 07:52 AM | Last Updated: 17th November 2018 07:52
Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo| EPS)
By Express News Service

KAKINADA: In a meeting with owners of rice mills here on Friday, Joint Collector A
Mallikarjuna said 294 paddy procurement centres were established across the district, adding
paddy harvesting had begun in 16 mandals.

The officer said the government has targeted to purchase around 9.54 metric tonne of the crop
from the district. Urging the rice millers to cooperate with the administration for ‗smooth

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governance‘, he directed them to buy paddy from the government as per the official
instructions.
http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/andhra-pradesh/2018/nov/17/294-paddy-procurement-centres-
set-up-in-eg-1899363.html

Odisha Rice Millers Threaten To Pull Out Of Paddy


Procurement
Edited By Bikram Keshari Jena | By Soumyajit Ghose Last updated Nov 16, 2018 - 23:14:16

Berhampur: With rice millers in Ganjam yet to receive their dues pending for paddy procured
since 2015, the administration is in a fix.

According to sources, the millers have threatened not to procure paddy from the farmers this
Kharif season if the pending amount is not cleared by the administration.

―It is disappointing that millers are yet to receive the remaining Rs 40 crore from the
administration,‖ Ashok Mohanty, president, Ganjam District Rice Miller Association said.

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On the other hand, the Ganjam District Collector, Vijay Amruta Kulange chaired a meeting to
review the paddy procurement process.

―We have decided keep the procurement process smooth. We will make an effort to release
payments within 24 hours so that no farmer needs to contact the distress cell for payment-related
delays,‖ Kulange said.

https://odishatv.in/odisha/odisha-rice-millers-threaten-to-pull-out-of-paddy-procurement-333758

Kerala floods aftermath: For rice mills, there is no option

but to live with the stench of lost profits


In the aftermath of the terrible Kerala floods in mid-August, when indianexpress.com visited the

premises of Geeyem Agro Mills in Koovappady near Perumbavoor, a disturbing stench of rotting
rice pervaded the air.
Written by Vishnu Varma | Updated: November 16, 2018 1:00:30 pm

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Narayana Kurup, the rice mill‘s general manager, sat uncomfortably in his small office with no choice but to
work long hours in the putrid smell as he did two months ago. (Source: GM Agro Mills)

In the aftermath of the terrible Kerala floods in mid-August, when indianexpress.com visited the
premises of Geeyem Agro Mills in Koovappady near Perumbavoor, a disturbing stench of rotting
rice pervaded the air. Muddy flood-waters had seeped into almost 60 truckloads of rice that
belonged to the Kerala Civil Supplies Corporation (SupplyCo) and was meant to reach ration
shops in Konni and Udumbanchola areas in southern Kerala. Last week, when
indianexpress.com revisited the rice mill to assess the conditions post-floods, the stench
remained and so did hundreds of sacks of decayed rice.

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Narayana Kurup, the rice mill‘s general manager, sat uncomfortably in his small office with no
choice but to work long hours in the putrid smell as he did two months ago.
―If SupplyCo could at least give us approval to take it away, we can dump it in a pit in our own
yard. There‘s plenty of space with us. How do you expect us to work like this?‖ a weary Kurup
said, over a cup of black coffee.
Geeyem Agro Mills, one of the bigger rice mills in this stretch of Ernakulam district, used to
procure, before the floods, almost 200 truck-loads of paddy every month which then go through
a process of cleaning, de-husking, polishing, grading and sorting to be packed into neat sacks of
rice of the popular ‗matta‘ variety.

A large share of this rice goes to warehouses, retail outlets and ration shops under SupplyCo
along the length and breadth of the state. However, the floods in August this year have altered
the contours of the rice mill industry, in and around this stretch, affecting nearly 30 of the 70
mills and piling up losses of almost Rs 160 crore. The sudden deluge, without any prior warning,
pushed rice mill owners into a corner where they could not shift stocks to a safer location before
the waters came in. In this process, SupplyCo stocks worth crores of rupees remained submerged

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for days at these mills, inflicting heavy losses for the industry.

Part-I: Three months after Kerala floods, Chendamangalam starts weaving a new life, but
challenges remain
A top official of SupplyCo, who declined to give his name, admitted that the public-sector
undertaking has been facing delays in making payments and giving approvals to shift stocks.
―All the damaged stocks at these rice mills are insured, so naturally they are the property of
insurance companies. Now, we have submitted the claims, but so far they haven‘t taken a
decision. A case is actually pending in the High Court asking for approval to dispose of the
stocks. We cannot do anything without the nod from the insurance firms,‖ he said.
―Once they release the payments, we will accordingly pay the mill owners as well,‖ he added.
The floods have hit SupplyCo‘s own procurement of rice for the Food Corporation of India (FCI)
hard, with internal losses estimated at Rs 136 crore, the official said.
―We have been able to procure only from Palakkad district. All other districts, especially
Alappuzha, remain devastated,‖ he said.
Part-II: In plywood hub, bankrupt entrepreneurs still wait for insurance claims
According to the Kerala government‘s own estimates, paddy cultivation in about 20,000 hectares
have been affected by the deluge, with Kuttanad, seen as the rice bowl of the state, facing its

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worst agricultural loss. In the last week of August, official data showed area sown to paddy crop
in the state accounting for 57,000 hectares, less than the 62,000 hectares in the same period last
year. The harvesting of the paddy crop in fields unaffected by the floods began in October.
As for the rice mills in the Kalady-Aluva-Mattoor stretch near the banks of Periyar in Ernakulam
district, it‘s undeniable that tough times are ahead. The Kalady Rice Millers Association told
indianexpress.com in August that 30 of the 70 mills in the area suffered large losses, amounting
to nearly Rs 160 crore. Already burdened with loans and debts, the Association said rice mill
owners were operating under onerous circumstances and had absolutely no incentives to continue
work. There‘s still no clarity about a special financial package requested from the state
government which would help them waive off their loans.
Unless payments are made from SupplyCo and funds released by insurance agencies, Kurup
points out, things cannot be brought on track.
―They (SupplyCo) formed a committee with FCI officials and those in charge of weight and
measure. They came here, took stock of the damage and left. Since then, there‘s no update. Here,
we are sitting with no money at all, unable to start work,‖ he says.
With bureaucratic red-tape and legal hassles blocking the way, the wait continues for rice mill
owners in these parts of Kerala for an intervention. For an industry having to compete hard with
nearby states like Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, government assistance is critical. The
numbers say everything: once home to over 2500 rice mill, this hub of rice production in
Ernakulam has less than 150 existing at the moment.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/kerala-floods-aftermath-for-rice-mills-there-is-no-option-but-to-
live-with-the-stench-of-lost-profits-5448928/

Pilot rice project deal signed with Philippines


BY: Sally Pokiton
07:47, November 17, 2018

An agricultural cooperation signing for a pilot rice project took place at 14-Mile outside Port
Moresby at 4pm yesterday.Visiting Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who arrived early on
the morning of November 16th, was scheduled to visit the farm yesterday afternoon and also sign
an MoU with the PNG Government and the Pacific Adventist University. However, he was

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unable to attend as Prime Minister Peter O'Neill could not make it as well.The 25-hectare project
was initiated in January this year. Land was cleared in July and 19 Filipino farmers commenced
planting in September. The first harvest is expected in December.

The pilot project has four species of rice planted.The objective of the concept of the development
is to showcase PNG's irrigated rice farming potential to the visiting APEC economies and
facilitate investment opportunities in commercial rice production.

Prime Minister O'Neill was unable to attend the signing due to a bilateral meeting with the
Chinese President.Agriculture and Livestock Minister Benny Allan, going back to the 2017
APEC meet, recalled discussions with the Philippines to grow rice in PNG through such
projects.―Like Philippines who eat rice, PNG we must grow rice too. We are serious about
growing rice but lack technology and new friends to assist us,‖ stated Allan.

PNG imports 400,000 tonnes of rice on K5-6 million per year but have a big potential to grow
rice. The Philippines imports 8 million tonnes of rice per year, even that is still not enough to
meet their demand.The MoU signing between the Filipino secretary for Agriculture, Emmanuel
Pinol, and Minister Allan, will see access to technical cooperation, among others.Whilst the
Philippines grow their own rice, PNG still imports and wants to tap into direct technical
assistances with the Philippines through such an MoU.

―The MoU will pave way for investors to come inside PNG and invest. We have big potential.
We are inviting investors to come in. W are ready. We just lack the technology,‖ Allan
reiterated.Speaker Job Pomat delivered the Prime Minister's speech and said the project will be
replicated across PNG and surpluses can be exported to the Philippines.The project will be
expended out to commercial rice production.

A joint economic and trade committee was also signed yesterday and would foster trade
opportunities through the Philippines-PNG Business Council.Five of the rice planters were
acknowledged as well. 14 had returned home to the Philippines due to visa issues

http://www.looppng.com/business/pilot-rice-project-deal-signed-philippines-80824

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