India’s agri exports cross $50 bn in Covid-hit year; rice is top forex earner

  • According to the DGCI&S data, the export of wheat touched an all-time high at $2,118 million in 2021-22, growing 273% from the previous fiscal’s $567 million. agricultural reforms, Essential Commodities Act, farmers, agriculture sector India’s agricultural exports increased by about 20% to cross $50 billion for the year 2021-22, despite logistical challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in the form of high freight rates, and container shortages, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said. Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), which works under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has scripted history by exporting agricultural and processed food products to the tune of $25.6 billion, which is 51% of India’s total agriculture exports of $50 billion, the ministry said. It has also surpassed its own export target of $23.7 billion for the financial year 2021-22 by registering shipments of $25.6 billion. Major exporting destinations were Bangladesh, UAE, Vietnam, USA, Nepal, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Iran, and Egypt. “The rise in export of agricultural and processed food products has been largely due to the various initiatives taken by Centre through APEDA such as organising B2B exhibitions in different countries, exploring new potential markets through product-specific and general marketing campaigns with the active involvement of Indian Embassies,” the ministry said. As per the ministry statement, the government organised more than 300 outreach programmes in collaboration with state governments for enhancing the exports of agricultural produce. “We have also created a products matrix for 50 agricultural products which have good scope for expanding our exports portfolios,” said Dr. M Angamuthu, Chairman, APEDA. As per the provisional figures released by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S), the agricultural exports have grown by 19.92% during 2021-22 to touch $50.21 billion. The growth rate is over and above the growth of 17.66% at $41.87 billion achieved in 2020-21. The cereal sector in APEDA exports contributes more than 52% share in 2021-22. Livestock products and other processed foods contribute 17 and 15% to APEDA export respectively in 2021-22.
    Source: Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
    According to the DGCI&S data, the export of rice was the top forex earner at $9,654 million during 2021-22, growing 9.35% from the previous year when it was $8,829 million. The export of wheat touched an all-time high at $2,118 million in 2021-22, growing 273% from the previous fiscal’s $567 million, while other cereals registered a growth of 53% by fetching $1,083 million in 2021-22 compared to the previous financial year when it was $705 million. Export of pulses reported a growth of 34% touching $358 million in 2021-22 from $265 million in 2020-21. Dairy products grew by 96% standing at $634 million in 2021-22 from $323 million in 2020-21, while buffalo meat registered a growth of just 4% as export of bovine meat increased from $3,171 million in 2020-21 to $3,303 million in 2021-22. Export of poultry products rose to $71 million in 2021-22 from $58 million in the previous year and sheep/goat meat export was up by 34% to $60 million in 2021-22 from $44 million in the previous year. Fruits and vegetables exports were up by 12% to touch $1,676 million in 2021-22 against $1,492 million in 2020-21, while processed fruits and vegetable exports were up by 7% to reach $1,202 million in 2021-22 against $1,120 million in the previous year. Exports of other processed food items grew by 34% during 2021-22 to touch $1,164 million against $866 million in 2020-21. The cashew exports also grew by 7% to $452 million in 2021-22 from $420 million in the previous year. Floriculture products reported a rise of 33% when they touched $103 million in 2021-22 from $77 million in 2020-21.
  • Rice Market Update: Uncertainty Remains Key Factor

  • The true nature of long grain plantings continue to be debated in the U.S., with the USDA showing flat to last year, and the industry being confident of a 10-15% cut. Time will tell, but futures prices are showing a suspected cut in acreage, and paddy prices would support the same. Uncertainty of both the market and weather continue to hover over farmers. Meterorologists at Colorado State University are predicting an “above average” 2022 hurricane season that begins June 1. Nineteen storms are forecast for the Atlantic basin. Above-average sea surface temperatures and the lack of El Nino developing that would suppress hurricane activity by increasing vertical wind shear is the contributing factor.

    Prices for long grain milled are priced at or just above $650 pmt, whereas prices in South America are at least $100 pmt below that. South America is in the peak of their harvest season, with several questions swirling around the drought situation in Brazil. We know that Uruguay has crested the high point, and is on the downhill slope of the last 20% of their crop. Argentina is just ahead of them. Brazil and Paraguay are the big swings that will be coming to light in the next few weeks.

    In Asia, prices have held steady despite the inflationary rise that so many other commodities have seen. For more than a quarter now, prices in Thailand and Vietnam have oscillated around $400 pmt, while India and Pakistan have been around $360 pmt. This can in large part be attributed to India, who hasn’t slowed exports over the COVID-19 pandemic, and has been responsible for its third record crop in as many years.

    India’s farm subsidies, which many speculate have led to their record crop, has blunted the inflationary impacts of rice world-wide. With rice being the most basic food calorie for human consumption that prevents hunger for the poorest nations, this can be viewed as a positive in the global environment. However, India’s rice subsidy violations have put a burden on many rice producers around the globe; these violations were front-and-center this week with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

    India has been called out by the U.S. rice industry and others to stop creating an unfair playing field with their rice subsidy program. It is making rice from the United States and other origins uncompetitive on a global scale, and can have severe detrimental impacts on food security world-wide in the future.

    Prices on the ground show Texas in the lead at $17/cwt. Louisiana is strong at $15.25/cwt, while prices in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Missouri are fluctuation between $14.75-$15.75 based on variety and qualities.

    The weekly USDA Export Sales report shows net sales of 8,300 MT this week, a marketing-year low, down 51% from the previous week and 81% from the prior 4-week average. Increases primarily for Mexico (13,700 MT), Haiti (7,300 MT), Jordan (4,000 MT), the Dominican Republic (2,000 MT), and Honduras (1,500 MT), were offset by reductions primarily for Colombia (22,000 MT).

    Exports of 80,300 MT were up noticeably from the previous week and up 98% from the prior 4-week average. The destinations were primarily to Mexico (32,700 MT), Colombia (22,300 MT), Haiti (15,300 MT), El Salvador (4,100 MT), and Canada (2,000 MT).In the futures market, May 22 prices are down just over 1% this week to $16.010. May 23 contracts are about flat from last week, now at $16.615. Average Daily Volume registers at 411, down 23% from last week, while open interest is flat at 9,701.

  • Sri Lanka crisis: India begins shipment of rice to crisis-hit island nation

  • The rice is being offered under a credit line of $1 billion to Sri Lanka announced by India recently towards the purchase of food, medicine and other essential commodities. Of this credit line, $150 million is earmarked for rice supplies to Sri Lanka.

    India begins shipment of rice to crisis-hit Sri Lanka India has commenced shipment of around 40,000 tonne of rice to Sri Lanka to help ease shortage of essential food commodities in the country facing an acute fiscal challenge and economic turmoil. According to B V Krishna Rao, president, Rice Exporters Association, India will provide 0.3 million tonne (mt) of rice to Sri Lanka over the next six months. “All the rice shipments to Sri Lanka will be carried out through ports such as Kakinada, Tuticorin, Chennai and other posts in the southern region,” Rao told FE. The rice is being offered under a credit line of $1 billion to Sri Lanka announced by India recently towards the purchase of food, medicine and other essential commodities. Of this credit line, $150 million is earmarked for rice supplies to Sri Lanka. “As of now, supply of around 40,000 tonne of rice to Sri Lanka has been finalised under the credit line. The first consignment of rice under this framework is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka in the coming days,” according to a statement by the High Commission of India, Colombo. Trade sources said India can ship rice to Sri Lanka within days while for other countries it would at least take a few weeks to export rice. This rice shipment from India is expected to bring down the price of grain in the island nation ahead of Sinhalese New Year, which will be celebrated on April 14. India is also expected to supply other agricultural commodities such as sugar and wheat to Sri Lanka in the coming months. According to a senior official, this assistance in terms of rice shipment is seen as ‘humanitarian measure to help the Sri Lankan people during a difficult time’. Sri Lanka has become a net importer of rice as its production sharply fell after it banned all chemical fertilisers in May 2021 for making the island nation’s agriculture sector to 100% organic cultivation. Following reports of a drop in production of various agricultural commodities because of the banning of fertiliser use, the Sri Lankan government partially lifted a ban on imports of fertiliser and allowed the private sector to import it. India has been the world’s largest rice exporter in the last decade — export earnings stood at a record $8.7 billion in 2020-21 and crossed $9.6 billion in 2021-22. India exported agricultural commodities such as onion, wheat, pulses, basmati rice and processed fruit products worth of $150 million to Sri Lanka in 2020-21.
  • Rice exporters face twin challenges after record 17-mt shipment

  • The number of vessels docked at Kakinada port, a major rice loading point on the eastern coast, fell to three from 10 last year (file image)

    Higher freight, return of Thailand to international market weigh on supplies from India

    Exporters of Indian non-basmati rice, after shipping close to 17 million tonnes in 2021-22, are facing the twin challenges of higher freight cost and the return of Thailand, a major supplier, to the international market in the current financial year. This may lead to a decline of 10-15 per cent in shipments, exporters said. As per the latest official data available till end-February for the financial year 2021-22, non-basmati shipments grew by around 40 per cent to 15.61 million tonnes, from 11.17 million tonnes a year ago. In dollar terms, non-basmati rice shipments were up 35.2 per cent at $5.551 billion in April-February 2021-22 against $4.105 billion a year ago. “We will be touching close to 17 million tonnes for fiscal 2021-22, a new record over the previous year’s 13 million tonnes,” said BV Krishna Rao, President, The Rice Exporters Association. The export data for March comes with a lag. The target for the year was 16 million tonnesr. On the outlook for the new financial year, Rao said high freight costs remain a concern and supplies from Thailand have resumed, posing a challenge to Indian exporters.

    Govt needs to help

    “Last year, Thailand did not have a good crop due to bad weather. But this year, they have made a comeback and are giving a good fight,” Rao said, adding that Indian shipments will be lower this year by 10-15 per cent. “We are unlikely to maintain 17 million tonnes unless the Government helps other countries buy more rice, like it did for Sri Lanka,” Rao added. Freight rates have moved up from last year as fuel costs have surged, triggered by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Rao said the higher vessel rates have forced buyers, mainly in Africa, to adopt a wait-and-watch approach. Freight rates have gone up from around $90 per tonne to around $140, while rice prices are largely stable. “The buyer is not keen on paying the extra $50 and would wait for vessel prices to come down,” Rao said. This is reflected in the decline in the number of vessels docked at the Kakinada port, one of the major rice loading points on the eastern coast. “Usually, at least 10 vessels in Kakinada were being loaded last year around this time. Now there are only three.” Trade sources said Indian rice shipments are already slowing, going by the numbers in February, when non-basmati shipments fell 1.4 per cent to 1.618 million tonnes (1.641 million tonnes a year ago). Free-on-board (FOB) parboiled rice from Indian ports is quoted at $365 per tonne ($370-380) . White rice prices are hovering at $335-340 per tonne, at around last year’s levels. Broken rice prices have moved up from $270 per tonne FOB to $315-320. “Only broken rice prices have moved up as it is witnessing good demand due to high corn prices,” Rao said. The demand for brokens, which is used for feed ingredients, is from China, Indonesia and Africa among other regions.
  • In Rohtak, basmati fetches record price

  • In Rohtak, basmati fetches record price The price of 1121 variety of basmati rice has witnessed a considerable jump in the open market in Haryana, fetching up to Rs 1,061 per quintal more compared to last time. On Monday, a rice grower from Sheria village in Jhajjar district sold his produce for Rs 4,561 per quintal at the grain market here even as private traders had bought it for maximum Rs 3,500 last year. “We sow 1121 variety of basmati rice over 20 acres every year and store about 150 quintal for subsequent sale. Even we hadn’t expected this much gain,” said an ecstatic Naveen, the rice grower. Bhartiya Vyapar Mandal vice-president Harsh Girdhar cited several reasons for the high rates, including decrease in 1121 basmati sowing area, new markets in Iraq and Iran and global grain crisis due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. He said rice growers had been storing some portion of their produce to sell it during off-season when it fetched higher returns. “The area under PR variety of rice, procured by the government on the MSP, rising considerably last year was another factor behind the hike in the price.”    
  • Mwea scheme rice farmers vow not to pay Warma charges

  • Rice farmers from Mwea Irrigation scheme have vowed not to pay the Sh15,000 levies imposed by the Water Resource Management Authority terming it exploitative.

    The farmers argue that the new regulations which were gazetted this year will increase the levies from the current Sh3,000 repair and maintenance fee paid to National Irrigation Authority to Sh15,000 Warma. If the new regulations will be fully implemented, the Authority is set to collect Sh450 million from the 30,000 acres under irrigation at the expansive Mwea Irrigation scheme. Led by their Chairman Morris Mutugi, the farmers have vowed not to pay a single cent to the authority, saying the regulations were published in the Kenya gazette secretly without proper public participation “The irrigation authority has failed on its mandate to ensure farmers have adequate water for irrigation as well as environmental conservation and has resulted in harassing farmers who fail to pay water levies,” he said. Currently, Mutugi said, farmers are grappling with a lack of adequate water for irrigation due to the drought that the country is facing.  “Where will farmers get such a huge amount of money, with the high cost of fertilizers, pesticides and other costs of production, this is exploitation,” he said. Local leaders led by Mwea MP Kabinga Wachira have castigated the authority for continued burdening of farmers with punitive charges.
  • IBIS Rice programme set to recruit more farmers

  • The Sansom Mlup Prey Organisation (SMP) announced it is recruiting farmers to join its IBIS Rice programme. Members will carry out organic rice cultivation and wildlife rescue in four provinces – Stung Treng, Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri and Preah Vihear. SMP executive director Keo Socheat said the enrolment of new members to the programme is free of charge, and there is no limit to the number of members, provided they qualify. This project aims to improve the lives of people living in protected areas and encourage them to participate in conservation activities, he said. “Membership is free, and we provide them with good quality rice. We have selection committees in each village that will assess the candidates. The farmers can grow the rice wherever they want – unless they encroach on forest land,” he added. Socheat said that nearly 1,500 families are currently on the programme. As a general rule, when people grow organic rice – which contributes to the rescue of wildlife – his NGO will offer 20 to 30 per cent above the market price, and sometimes up to 60 per cent. The NGO said on March 28 that if farmers are interested in increasing their income by growing wildlife-friendly rice – and live near the targeted wildlife sanctuaries – they should contact the project coordinator in their area to find out more details. Applications close at the end of April. The programme will be available to those who live in or near Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary and Veun Sai-Siem Pang National Park in Ratanakkiri; Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary in Mondulkiri; Siem Pang and Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary in Stung Treng; and Kulen Promtep, Prey Preah Roka and Chhaeb wildlife sanctuaries in Preah Vihear. The NGO said that in addition to receiving high market prices, by participating in this project, farmers are protecting forests and wildlife, as well as preventing climate change. They also get access to new farming techniques. Lin Sambath, a field worker at the NGO, said that he inspects the rice at each stage of growth until it is delivered to the mill. The quality inspection of the rice is based on size, colour, cracking and hardness, and includes peeling, seeding and moisture inspection processes. Sambath said he quit his job at an oil company to work with this NGO because of the value of its four main principles – The use of non-chemical fertilizers, protecting the forest, refraining from cutting down trees and trading in illegal timber, and the protection of wild animals. “I expect that most new members will be with the project for a long time. The IBIS rice programme offers a real chance at a better life, and gave a lot of farming families the chance to send their children on to higher education. I hope that the next generations will see the forests and the wildlife and will recognise and understand the work that went into preserving them,” he said.
  • Inflation pulls down demand for cooking oil, Basmati, chicken

  • Rising prices and inflationary pressure have pulled down demand for branded basmati ricecooking oil and chicken by up to 15% in March compared to the same time last year. Russia's invasion of Ukraine that started in last week of February has seen global commodity prices surging as supply chain was disrupted. Global prices of basmati rice had gone up by $200 per tonne since the war started. "The impact of global price rise is also being felt in the domestic market. This has tapered the demand in the Indian market. It is down by 15 per cent. We are seeing that people are shifting to regional rice varieties, which are comparatively lesser priced than basmati," said Gurnam Arora, joint managing director, Kohinoor Foods that sells basmati rice under the Kohinoor brand name. Even prices of regional varieties of rice have seen a price hike as export demand is robust.  
  • Food grains heading to rice mills in the midst of uncertainty

    In the face of uncertainty over procurement of paddy cultivated in the ongoing rabi by the government, farmers have already started moving the harvested crop to private rice mills and selling it well below the minimum support price of ₹1,960 a quintal for fine variety that was more easily marketable. The movement of stocks was only in the case of early crop, which was sown immediately after the season began, while the harvest of late sowings will take another week, sources said.  They added that the millers came forward to purchase the fine variety at over ₹2,000 a quintal initially but the rates dropped to less than ₹1,900 in the last couple of days. At some places, it was even ₹1,750 a quintal.

    Drop in prices

    The drop in prices was attributed to stepped up arrivals at mills which resulted in farmers waiting for their turn for two or three days to dispose of the stocks. The initial arrival of crops that were harvested a fortnight ago which were in smaller quantities fetched good prices for farmers. On the other hand, the Food Corporation of India has refused to accept custom milled rice of 2020-21 rabi season after March 31 though the State government wanted the deadline to be extended by two months.

    Union Minister of State for Tourism G. Kishan Reddy said that the State government was yet to meet its target of 2020-21 rabi despite several reminders. The Centre will keep its commitment to the State for 2020-21 rabi but not the corresponding season which has triggered the stand-off with the State.

  • Rice Market Update: USDA Planting Report is Purely Prospective, Far from Actual

  • Prices remain firm as planting gets underway. The initial USDA Prospective Plantings report just published this week has a much rosier picture than the industry is currently projecting. The table below shows that the total long grain production is expected to be 99% of last year’s total. The industry is predicting a 10-15% decline, or acres looking much closer to 1.65 million acres. This lower acreage number would appear to be baked into paddy prices right now, which are holding firm across all regions despite scant offshore demand. Louisiana is the only region that is expected to gain acres with any significance, and the rest are expected to taper. The actual USDA acreage report is released on June 30 along with an updated rice stocks report. Looking at Medium Grain, the big drop will be coming from drought-plagued California. The USDA is projecting a 315,000 acre medium grain crop from the west coast, but recent water allocations coming out of GCID, the State’s largest water district, are dismal. Initial signals are showing that acreage could fall well below even a 270,000 acre level. Medium grain across the rest of the states will hold relatively constant. It will be interesting to watch planting progress as the weeks tick by and the actual numbers come to light. As far as planting goes, Louisiana has crested the 60% planted now, approaching as high as 70%. Texas is now approximately nearly 50% planted as well, though rain has slowed progress there a bit last week. They are itching to get started in Arkansas, and we expect to have first plantings by this time next week. The March rice stocks report was released this week, showing rough rice stocks in all positions down by 8% from this time last year. To break things out, long grain rough is down by 11%, and long grain milled almost 6% down, medium rough about equal, and medium grain milled rice stocks down nearly 40%. In Asia, Thai prices firmed slightly up to $415pmt, and Viet prices softened just a bit to come down to $415pmt. This is largely based on currency fluctuations and strong demand coming out of China and the usual suspects like the Philippines. India is still holding at steady at $365pmt, and Pakistan is coming in just below at $360pmt. The weekly USDA Export Sales report shows net sales of 17,000 MT for this week, down 80% from the previous week and 71% from the prior 4-week average. Increases were primarily for Guatemala (5,500 MT), Honduras (3,500 MT, including decreases of 400 MT), Mexico (3,300 MT), Canada (2,600 MT), and Saudi Arabia (800 MT). Exports of 27,500 MT were down 49% from the previous week and from the prior 4-week average. The destinations were primarily to Guatemala (11,000 MT), Honduras (6,000 MT), Canada (3,300 MT), Mexico (2,700 MT), and Jordan (1,600 MT).
  • Asia rice: India rates unchanged, Vietnam prices fall on rising supplies

  • BENGALURU/BANGKOK/HANOI/MUMBAI/DHAKA: Export prices of rice in India were unchanged this week amid prospects of increased supplies and an appreciation in the rupee, while an increase in stocks weighed on rates in Vietnam. Top exporter India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $367 to $370 per tonne this week, unchanged from the last week. “Since the government has extended subsidised food grain distribution by six months, local supplies will rise and prices will remain under pressure,” said an exporter based at Kakinada in southern state of Andhra Pradesh. Vietnam’s 5% broken rice was offered at $400-$415 per tonne on Thursday, down from $415-$420 per tonne a week ago. “Domestic supplies are rising thanks to output from the winter-spring harvest,” a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said, adding that quality has been affected due to prolonged rain during the harvest time. Preliminary shipping data showed 72,000 tonnes of rice were scheduled to be loaded at Ho Chi Minh City port during the first week of April, with most of the grains were heading to the Philippines and Africa. Vietnam’s rice exports in the first quarter are estimated to have increased 24% from a year earlier to 1.475 million tonnes, raising revenue by 10.5% to $715 million. Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices narrowed to $408-$410 per tonne this week, from $408-$412 quoted a week ago. Overseas demand for Thai rice has been muted due to insufficient ships and high freight rates, traders said. Prices, however, remained high on domestic demand for broken rice used for animal feed due to logistic problems with imports, a Bangkok-based rice trader said. The supply situation remains unchanged with the new harvest entering the market this week, traders said. In Bangladesh, domestic prices of rice rose for the week, despite good crop and reserves, as inflation in February hit the highest since October 2020.
  • The influx of demand from feed buyers in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine has raised numerous questions over the direction of the Asian low-quality white rice market.

  • While commercial feed demand in recent years has been dominated by corn and wheat, Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 led to price spikes for both products. It has also led to increasing concern about global exportable supplies, with the Black Sea region one of the major origins for these products. However, demand from feed buyers is not new. According to Shirley Mustafa of the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization, this has been emerging for some time. "Use of rice for feed has been rising since 2020-21, after reaching a seven-year low the year prior," Mustafa told S&P Global Commodity Insights. "Rice use for animal feed [aside from bran] is usually limited and confined to backyard operations since the commercial feed sector usually has more economically viable alternatives than rice. However, gains in wheat and maize prices over the past year-and-a-half or so, driven by these commodities' own domestic and international market dynamics, have tended to narrow price differentials with rice [especially broken rice]." In China, for example, these shifting dynamics were directly linked to 2021 rice imports rising by 69% year on year to 4.96 million mt, according to data from Chinese customs, with the world's largest exporter -- India -- emerging to satisfy this huge volume of broken rice demand.

    Rice markets react

    But the demand from feed buyers has spiked in both India and other Asian rice markets since the Ukraine conflict began. In India, for example, sources have reported instances of defaulting and low supplies, with one Kakinada-based exporter going so far as to describe the local broken rice market as a "disaster" due to the sudden influx of demand. In rice export origins which are also destination markets for corn and/or wheat, such as Vietnam, many exporters have withdrawn their broken rice offers due to high domestic demand. Vietnamese 100% broken white rice price has increased by $65/mt since the invasion of Ukraine, reaching a high of $370/mt FOB on March 25, according to Platts assessment from S&P Global. However, many sources view broken rice prices from Vietnam as hypothetical, with the country even importing substantial volumes from India to meet demand. In traditional broken rice markets -- notably in West Africa -- the situation is more immediately concerning from a food security perspective. In Senegal, which is a huge market for broken rice for human consumption, a sizable gap is opening up between current retail prices and replacement costs. While in part this is due to Senegal's new retail price cap and high freight rates, the significant rise in Indian broken rice prices in recent weeks has only served to widen this gap. According to one Europe-based trader who buys for the country, this gap has reached $90/mt in recent days, and made it "impossible" to buy for Senegal at present without taking on huge financial risks. However, with sufficient stocks in Dakar for Ramadan and the following weeks, the trader added that it makes no sense to re-enter the market before the religious holiday is over, with hopes that the replacement cost gap will have narrowed in the interim.

    Unusual price spreads

    Because of the massive influx in demand for Asian broken rice, unusual price spreads between different rice grades have emerged. Pakistani 5% and 100% broken white rice were briefly assessed at par earlier in March while the gap was $70/mt a year prior. The spread between Thai 5% and A1 Super 100% broken white rice has narrowed to only $2/mt in recent days, compared to $51/mt a year prior. One major Singapore-based rice trader said that "some 25% [broken white rice] shipments for feed purposes" was seen from Myanmar to Europe. Sources buying from the Myanmar market have reported that offers of low-quality B234 broken white rice have been largely unavailable in recent weeks due to high feed demand, with higher quality broken rice prices also moving up substantially. Despite sources reporting no obvious reason for why feed buyers could not turn to 25% broken white rice if 100% broken white rice was unavailable, or priced uncompetitively, sales of this product for feed purposes so far remain rare. A second Singapore-based trader said that they were advising their traditional broken rice buyers in Africa to accept 25% broken white rice due to supply and price issues for 100% broken white rice. However, the first Singapore-based trader cautioned that this would ultimately "depend on corn prices." FAO's Shirley Mustafa agreed, saying that "because this trend is influenced by factors outside of rice markets, developments in these external markets will have an important bearing." Mustafa added that "current forecasts suggest record-breaking supply availabilities in the major exporters this season, thanks to bumper harvests expected in India, Pakistan and Thailand. If these are realized, they should be more than sufficient to cater to the higher global needs."

    Outside forces

    Despite uncertainty surrounding how this situation will play out, it is almost inevitable that feed demand will take up an unusually large portion of international rice sales in 2022. A third Singapore-based trader said that it will "not be a huge chunk ... But it will not be insignificant either." The questions which remain at this point are whether 25% broken white rice sales for feed will become more widespread and how this demand for cheap rice will impact traditional buyers of 25% and 100% broken white rice for human consumption. However, with rice still a minor player in the massive global feed market, the situation will ultimately remain at the mercy of outside forces.
  • China sells rice at auction

  • BEIJING: China sold 9,727 tonnes of rice, or 0.53% of the total offer, at an auction of its state reserves on March 22, the National Grain Trade Center said in a statement on Monday. The average selling price of the rice was 2,644 yuan ($415.34) per tonne, according to the trade centre.  
  • Rice worth Rs 3,300 crore yet to be lifted from Telangana by FCI

  • HYDERABAD: The procurement status of 70 lakh metric tonnes of paddy ready for the current yasangi (rabi) season is in limbo due to a dispute between the state and central governments. But, that is not all. As a result of unsolved issues between the state and the Centre, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) still has to lift Rs 3,300 crore worth rice from Telangana. Eleven lakh metric tonnes of custom milled rice (CMR) is yet to be lifted from the purchase season of April and September 2021. According to sources, the cost of this 11 lakh metric tonnes of paddy is Rs 3,300 crore at the rate of Rs 30 per kg. rice, Interestingly, rice mills have exceeded their capacity in milling 50 lakh metric tonnes of paddy during the same season. Approximately, 93 lakh metric tonnes of paddy was cultivated between October 2020 and March 2021 (kharif) season. This crop’s milling had resulted in 62 lakh metric tonnes of rice (purchase period was April-September 2021), while 11 lakh metric tonnes remains to be lifted. Union food minister Piyush Goyal’s charge that the state did not deliver the rice as promised pertains to this 11 lakh metric tonnes between October 2020-March 2021. Following the state’s request for purchasing extra parboiled rice, the Centre agreed to take three lakh metric tonnes of rice from the balance of 11 lakh metric tonnes but the commitment has not been kept. The state government accuses the Centre of causing transportation problems by failing to clear railway rakes and failing to provide storage space. There are approximately 3,000 rice mills in the state, with approximately 900 catering to parboiled rice and the remaining mills being small and fine rice mills. All these mills have the capacity to grind 50 lakh metric tonnes of rice in every cultivation season and receive 35 lakh metric tonnes of rice in return. “We have a heavy burden on the rice mills. Contrary to popular belief, we are still holding paddy and rice stocks. We have increased our capacity by 20%, but some rice is still not lifted,” said Gampa Nagender, president of the Telangana State Rice Mills Association.
  • Rice exports: interesting times ahead?

  • It’s the season of new records. Pakistan’s rice exports breached 3 million tons during the 8-month period ending February-22, a first in at least 12 years. If exporters are able to maintain the monthly run rate of 0.4 million tons between Mar-June, final export tally for FY22 may touch 4.5 million tons. That would be 10 percent greater than Pakistan’s highest-ever export volume, last achieved in FY16.
    Unsurprisingly, higher export earnings have accompanied the quantum jump in volume. However, while export volume rose by 22 percent, dollar earnings only rose 15 percent. As BR Research has previously highlighted, rice is the only major cereal which has remained immune to the charms of ongoing global commodity price boom, leaving Pakistani exporters at a disadvantage so far.
    According to the data released by PBS, rice exporters fetched 5.5 percent lower prices on average during Jul ’21 - Feb ’22, compared to the same period last year. Unit price for exports of both rice categories fell during 8MFY22, with average export price for basmati declining 11 percent, while coarse prices fell 6 percent versus the previous year. Nevertheless, full year earnings against rice exports may yet clock in above $2.1 billion, nearly three percent higher than last year. Interestingly, bulk of the jump in export value has emanated from basmati category, which added $80 million in incremental earnings over the previous year. Basmati export volume rose by 37 percent during the 8M period, but still remained significantly lower than the year earlier (FY20). Full year basmati exports may reach 0.7 million tons, only third-highest during last decade.
    Market watchers will appreciate that growth in basmati exports remains the key to unlocking country’s the cereal’s export potential. Historically, basmati export has fetched 2x the unit prices in international market than coarse varieties. Pakistan’s basmati export potential is estimated at 1 million tons per annum – one-fourth of total world basmati market – yet has remained conspicuously shy of that goal due to uncompetitive pricing relative to Indian exporters until recent past. However, another risk to basmati export thesis now looms large in near-term. According to preliminary data, Pakistan’s basmati production has fallen short by 10 percent during kharif FY22, clocking in at 3.7 million tons against 4.1 million tons the previous year. This is despite news of national rice output kissing a fresh record of 9 million tons during the ongoing year, primarily driven by record yields in coarse varieties. Wherein lays the rub. Local consumers remain fond of basmati rice – which is also one-third more expensive (on average). It bears emphasis that up to 80 percent of Pakistani basmati feeds into local consumption, whereas nearly 75 - 80 percent of coarse varieties (both IRRI and hybrid) – are exported. This implies that the decline in basmati output during the current year may inadvertently impact the exportable surplus.
    Ordinarily, this would not make news, except that it comes at a time when the country is all set to witness a significant wheat shortfall. Naturally, basmati is Pakistani’s second favorite cereal after wheat flour, and a basmati surplus could have very-well come in handy to fill Pakistani stomachs in case wheat prices ran amok. Although rice and wheat prices have historically not shown any correlation in at least the domestic market, 2022-23 marketing year shall offer interesting insights into the extent of substitution effect between the two grains. Especially, if basmati prices come under pressure locally, while maintaining their prevailing calm in the international market. Whether consumers shall switch to the cheaper coarse rice also remains to be seen, especially given the strong distaste local palate has for IRRI/hybrid rice.
    Meanwhile, will traders reduce basmati export volume to cater to greater domestic demand or not will be another curious event. Or, will they aggressively chase exports, raising prices back home? Interesting times ahead.
  • Rice millers to min: Stop pilferage of paddy

  • Chandigarh: Punjab food, civil supplies and consumer affairs minister Lal Chand Kataruchak on Saturday said a policy catering to the interests of rice millers would be formulated soon “Transparency would be the hallmark of my working,” he said as representatives of Punjab Rice Millers Association (PRMA) met the minister at his office on Saturday. PRMA representatives, led by their organisation’s chief and All India Rice Miller Association president Tarsem Saini, also made a case for stopping the pilferage of paddy, which is stored in rice mills for custom milling, as this causes a huge loss to the state exchequer. Distribution of paddy amongst rice millers must be fair and equitable besides representation should be given to rice industry in the the district allotment committees, demanded the association delegation. The minister assured the delegation of all cooperation to the rice milling sector. The delegation included representatives of the Rice Miller Association from Patiala, Sangrur, Ludhiana, Bathinda, Ropar, Mansa, Fatehgarh Sahib and Gurdaspur.
  • China provides 2,000 tons of rice as emergency food aid to Sri Lanka

  • COLOMBO, March 26 (Xinhua) -- China decides to provide 2,000 tons of rice as emergency food aid to Sri Lanka, said the Chinese embassy here in a press release on Friday. The donation, which was valued at about 2.5 million U.S. dollars (including freight cost), was made at the request of the Sri Lankan government upon its current difficulty of food shortage in the island country, according to the embassy. As the continuously raging COVID-19 pandemic and the dramatically changing international situation have further worsened the global food shortage and shipping capacity, the technical teams from both countries will work closely to finalize the production and shipment arrangements, and deliver the aid to Sri Lanka at an early date, said the embassy. Noting that this year marks the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Sri Lanka and the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Rubber-Rice Pact, the Chinese embassy said the two countries have traditionally helped each other and shared weal and woe. China will continue to support Sri Lanka's social and economic development within its capacity, the Chinese embassy added.
  • Sri Lanka Facing Worst Economic Crisis; Price of Rice Goes up to Rs 500 per kg

  • Srilanka is facing an economic crisis that has led to food scarcity and inflation in prices in the country.
    People Waiting In Queue To Buy Groceries
    In the middle of its worst economic crisis in decades, Sri Lanka has been hit by a critical shortage of basic necessities such as medicine, food fuel, cooking gas, etc. People are queuing for hours for petrol and diesel. Citizens are facing daily power outages caused by the lack of fuel to power the powerplants, and the warm season has depleted hydroelectric power capacity. The Central Bank has permitted the national currency to move more freely earlier in the month which has caused inflation in prices. Food and beverage prices in Sri Lanka have skyrocketed due to inflation. People are waiting in queue for hours to buy groceries. The price of rice in Sri Lanka has risen to 500 Sri Lankan rupees per kg. In Sri Lanka, 400 grams of milk powder costs Rs 790. In the last three days, the cost of milk powder has risen by Rs 250.

    Food Scarcity Is Driving People To Flee

    The financial downturn in Sri Lanka is causing a big impact on the coastline areas of southern India, particularly Tamil Nadu as Tamil refugees are fleeing from the northern part of the island country. On Tuesday, two groups of 16 Sri Lankan Tamilian citizens from the Manna and Jaffna parts arrived in Tamil Nadu. As per the reports, Tamil Nadu intelligence officers have learned that roughly 2,000 refugees are expected to arrive in the upcoming days.

    What Has Led To The Crisis?

    The economy of Sri Lanka is highly dependent on tourism activities and trade. The pandemic has been utterly devastating, with the government assessing a $14 billion loss over the course of the past two years. According to the central bank, the economy will contract by 1.5 percent between July and September 2021. Sri Lanka, which has been depleting reserves and massive debts to pay, is in desperate need of foreign currency, with a $7 billion debt obligation for 2022. Sri Lanka's foreign currency reserves are shrinking, in part due to the non-building projects funded by Chinese loans.  
  • Southeast Asia must close yield gap to remain a major rice bowl

  • Southeast Asia must close yield gap to remain a major rice bowl t least 40% of global rice exports come from Southeast Asia, making the region a major rice bowl. The region helps feed other parts of the world such as Africa and the Middle East. Projections show that global  demand is set to increase by 30% by 2050. With the continuing rice trade and limited scope available for other main rice-producing countries like China and India to generate a rice surplus, Southeast Asia faces a challenge in stepping up to ensure adequate global rice supply. But  stagnate, land allotted for agriculture does not increase, and  remains a looming threat, raising concerns about the capacity of the region to remain a large net exporter. In a recent study published in Nature Food, an international team of researchers, including those from the major rice-producing nations in Southeast Asia, estimated the difference between yield potential and average farmer yield across the six countries: Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The initiative was led by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the U.S. and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines and multi-institutional collaborators. Results from the project are available via the Global Yield Gap Atlas (, a collaboration between the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and Wageningen University designed to estimate the difference between actual and potential yields for major food crops worldwide. "Over the past decades, through renewed efforts, countries in Southeast Asia were able to increase , and the region as a whole has continued to produce a large amount of rice that exceeded regional demand, allowing a rice surplus to be exported to other countries," said lead author Dr. Shen Yuan, a postdoctoral research associate at Huazhong Agricultural University in China. "The issue is whether the region will be able to retain its title as a major global rice supplier in the context of increasing global and regional rice demand, yield stagnation and limited room for cropland expansion."
     Through a data-intensive approach, the researchers determined that the region has the potential to increase production on existing cropland and remain a major global rice supplier—but changes in production and  will be key, and producers could stress natural resources in the process. Researchers found that the average yield gap represents nearly half of the yield potential estimated for the region, but it is not the same for every country. Yield gaps are larger in Cambodia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Thailand, but comparably smaller in Indonesia and Vietnam. "We used an approach that consists of a combination of crop modeling, spatial analysis, and use of detailed databases on weather, soil, and cropping system data," said Dr. Patricio Grassini, associate professor at the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. "The regional extent of the study together with the level of detail in relation to spatial and temporal variation in yield gaps and specificity in terms of cropping systems is unique, providing a basis for prioritizing agricultural research and development and investments at regional, national and sub-national levels" According to the study, the region needs to close the existing yield gap substantially to reduce the need for rice imports, allowing for an aggregated rice surplus of 54 million tons available for exports. "Our analysis shows that Southeast Asia will not be able to produce a large rice surplus in the future without acceleration of current rates of yield gains," Grassini said. "Failure to increase yield on existing cropland areas will drastically reduce the rice exports to other regions and the capacity of many countries in the region to achieve or sustain rice self-sufficiency. It will also put additional pressure on land and water resources, risking further encroachment into natural ecosystems such as forests and wetlands." Researchers suggest a number of interventions needed to close the gap, including improvement of crop management practices, such as the use of fertilizer and irrigation, nutrients, water, and , as well as mitigation of production risks in lowland rainfed environments. "The challenge is how to increase yield while minimizing the negative environmental impact associated with intensive rice production. For example, tailoring nutrient management to each environment will help increase yield and farmer profits while reducing nutrient losses. Likewise, integrated pest management is a knowledge-intensive but valuable approach if applied correctly and holistically to reduce yield losses to weeds, pests and diseases while minimizing excessive use of pesticides and associated risks to the environment and people," said IRRI Senior Scientist Alice Laborte. "Closing the rice yield gaps requires the concerted effort of policymakers, researchers, and extension services to facilitate farmers' access to technologies, information, and markets. Continued investment in rice research is crucial," she added.
  • Rice and maize yields boosted up to 10 per cent by CRISPR gene editing

  • It is possible to significantly boost the yield of rice and maize using CRISPR gene editing, trials in farm fields show Maize or sweetcorn Turning off a particular gene in maize and rice could enhance grain yields by 10 per cent and 8 per cent respectively, according to a new study. By exploring similar genes in other cereal grains, global crop production could be boosted. Maize and rice are staple foods around the world, and each has a distinct history of cultivation for large-scale consumption. It is believed that maize originated in Mexico, while rice came from China. Despite the independent evolution of these species, plant biologists have noted that they possess some very similar traits. This is known as convergent evolution. To investigate these resemblances, Xiaohong Yang at China Agricultural University in Beijing and her colleagues mapped the genomes of maize (Zea mays L. ssp. mays) and rice (Oryza sativa). They found 490 pairs of genes that seemed to serve analogous functions in both grains. From these pairs, the researchers identified two genes – known as KRN2 in maize and OsKRN2 in rice – that affected their grain yield. By using CRISPR gene editing to switch off these genes, they could increase grain yield by 10 per cent in maize and 8 per cent in rice. These figures came from real-world tests in farm fields. “These are excellent results,” says Yang, who hopes to continue exploring the 490 gene pairs to further improve rice and maize production. “These are two species that are the most important in terms of the economy,” says co-author Alisdair Fernie at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam, Germany. “They have such different domestication histories with different centres of origin, and very different habitats to a large extent. The fact that convergent evolution happened with so many genes is fascinating.”
    A better understanding of the genetic evolution of maize and rice could also lead to what are known as de novo domestication events, says Fernie, which is when domesticated genes are inserted into non-domesticated species to make new crops. Wild crops are generally more resilient against extreme weather and pathogens, but typically have a low yield. “With CRISPR and gene editing, we could just take a handful of these domestication genes, such as KRN2, and introduce them back into their wild species relative,” he says. “The idea is that you could make high-yielding but resilient crops, which will be critical for us in the future.”  
  • Pakistan Asks China to Enhance Rice Quota to 2 Million Tons

  • Pakistan has asked China to enhance the rice quota to two million tons. Sources told ProPakistani that Pakistan, during the tour of Prime Minister Imran Khan last month, asked China not only to support duty concessions but for quota enhancement in specific sectors including rice. Pakistan has exported rice worth $2.1 million to China in the first seven months of the current fiscal year 2021-22 whereas it exported rice worth $2.29 million to China in the same period the previous year. Sources said that Pakistan has also asked China to abolish the 4 percent duty on the export of cement. Pakistan can get the duty-free concession of exporting cement to China after 3 years under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA-II). Sources further said that this will help offset part of the trade deficit which has surged to $32 billion in the first eight months of the current fiscal year. They said that Pakistan has also asked China to expedite the process of mutual recognition agreements on agriculture and animal products. Apart from this, Pakistan has also asked the tariff liberalization to be done by 10 and 20 years from seven to 15 years under CPFTA-II respectively. Similarly, Pakistan has also asked China for an uninterrupted bilateral opening of the Khunjrab border for trade. Sources said that the Ministry of Commerce is waiting for the response of China on these proposals.  
  • Indonesia targets lower rice, corn output in 2023 – agri minister

  • Indonesia’s agriculture minister, Syahrul Yasin Limpo, told a parliamentary hearing on Tuesday: Indonesia set its 2023 production target for unhusked rice at 56.08 million tonnes. The corn production target was set at 23.21 million tonnes. Next year’s target is lower than the 2022 target at 57.5 million tonnes for unhusked rice and 26 million tonnes for corn. In the January-April period of 2022, Indonesia’s statistics bureau estimated unhusked rice output of 25.40 million tonnes, up 7.7% from the same period a year earlier.
  • Adani Wilmar plans acquisition of brands and processing units in mass rice segment

  • Country's largest commodity company Adani Wilmar is betting big on staples and scouting for acquisition of regional rice brands and processing units in several states of the country, a top company official said. The company will launch branded daily-use rice under the fortune brand beginning with West Bengal from early April. Staple is just 11 per cent of the company's topline. Adani Wilmar had acquired a sick rice processing unit in West Bengal to mark the journey in the segment which is 30-35 million tonne per annum in size.
     "We are targeting to grow fast in the daily-use rice segment which is 30-35 million tonne per annum apart from public distribution foodgrain. We are scouting for acquisitions of brands and rice processing units in several states for fast growth. We have done first from West Bengal taking over a sick unit," Adani Wilmar MD & CEO, Angshu Mallick told PTI.
    Acquisitions allow quicker rollout and rapid growth. Greenfield will take at least two years to begin operation, he said. "We are already into Basmati but it is only 10 per cent of rice consumption so we cannot ignore regional local rice used for daily consumption which is a huge untapped market," Mallick said. "We will launch packaged local rice based on regional preference. In Bengal, we will launch Baskati and miniket rice which is common here. Sona masuri in Uttar Pradesh and Kolam rice in South India," he added. The company which hit the capital market recently had earmarked Rs 450-500 crore for acquisition and atta and rice is major focus area in the staples segment.
    Adani is scouting for more rice units and brands in North India and South India. "We will ideally have one unit each in states first and then gradually scale up. We will procure paddy from farmers, mandis and brokers," Mallick said. Adani Wilmar has 22 own factories in total and has sourcing arrangement products from 28 more plants across the country.
    Staple contributes 11 per cent to Adani Wilmar's topline while the rest is from edible oil and industry essentials. "We are aiming at 30 per cent growth in the food segment and 6-7 per cent in edible oil in volume terms," Mallick said. The company was also looking at inorganic space to expand its food basket.
    The company reported a 66 per cent rise in its Q3 consolidated net profit at Rs 211 crore as compared to Rs 127 crore in the year-ago quarter. The company's revenue from operations rose over 40 per cent to Rs 14,379 crore from Rs 10,229 crore in the same quarter last year.
  • Grain market review: Rice on the rise

  • Rice LONDON, ENGLAND – Rice is, perhaps, the grain least likely to be affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, strength in prices across the grains and oilseeds index, because of the major role of both countries in the wheat market and that of Ukraine in sunflowers, has crossed over to rice, pushing prices up, although ample supplies have held back the increase. Speaking to the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee in Brussels, Belgium, on March 22, Michael Scannell, one of the European Commission’s top farm sector officials, explained that the war in Ukraine “adds further to the very substantial increase in input costs over the past year.” “The rice sector has not been immune, but it is not as vulnerable as certain other sectors,” he said. Russia has exported rice to the European Union in the past year, but the level of shipments has latterly fallen to low levels, coming to below 16,000 tonnes in 2021. Scannell also explained that high wheat prices could create demand for lower quality or broken rice for certain parts of the food processing sector. The International Grains Council (IGC) said in its March 17 Grains Market Report that rice prices had firmed by 1% over the previous month “amid broad-based gains in grains and oilseeds values.” “Although the Russia-Ukraine conflict had little direct impact on demand, market sentiment was underpinned by expectations that rising wheat and maize prices could support future rice consumption, including of 100% broken in feed mixes,” the IGC said. “In Thailand, 5% broken gained $4, to $409 fob Bangkok, with Vietnamese 5% $26 higher, at $418 fob Ho Chi Minh, as support from local government purchasing more than offset pressure from winter/spring crop harvesting. “Amid ample supplies, Indian 5% broken was little changed at $349, albeit with gains registered for 100% broken.” The London, England-based Council also looked separately at the individual grains and oilseed sectors in Ukraine and Russia, including rice. “Largely cultivated in Krasnodar, production in rice in Russia is relatively meager compared to global volumes, averaging about 700,000 tonnes per annum in recent years,” the IGC said. “Domestic consumption has also been broadly steady, with rice not a staple in Russian diets. “While exports are modest, Russia produces japonica (medium-grain) rice, with Turkey and CIS countries typically the largest buyers, although volumes have trended lower, likely on increased competition from Chinese supplies.” With only nominal production, consumption and export volumes, rice occupies a very minor role within the grains economy of Ukraine, the IGC said. In its Rice Price Update of March 4, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said prices had risen by an overall 1.1% in February, reaching an eight-month high, although still 11.6% below the levels of a year earlier. “Although Indica prices also edged up by 0.9%, aromatic quotations registered the sharpest increase last month,” the FAO said. “They rose 2.5% above their January levels, influenced by currency movements, purchases by the Islamic Republic of Iran and expectations of a pick-up in buying interest from other Near East Asian destinations. “By contrast, a relapse in demand caused glutinous prices to shed 1.4% of their value, while Japonica quotations tended to move little. Although developments in the Black Sea region toward the end of the month raised questions about their potential impacts on the rice sector, including through the energy, transport and agricultural input fronts, a well-supplied global rice market and generally lackluster trading activities limited upward pressure on Asian Indica quotations during February.”

  • JAKARTA, March 22 (Reuters) - Indonesia's agriculture minister, Syahrul Yasin Limpo, told a parliamentary hearing on Tuesday: * Indonesia set its 2023 production target for unhusked rice at 56.08 million tonnes * The corn production target was set at 23.21 million tonnes * Next year's target is lower than the 2022 target at 57.5 million tonnes for unhusked rice and 26 million tonnes for corn. * In the January-April period of 2022, Indonesia's statistics bureau estimated unhusked rice output of 25.40 million tonnes, up 7.7% from the same period a year earlier. (Reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe; Editing by Martin Petty)
  • China pledges to purchase more rice

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to increase the country’s imports of milled rice from Cambodia and indicated its willingness to purchase other agricultural products from the Kingdom after a free trade agreement (FTA) came into force. He made the commitment during a telephone conference on bilateral, regional and global issues with Prime Minister Hun Sen on March 18. Xi said that, alongside milled rice, China will import other agricultural products such as bananas, mangoes and longans to help alleviate poverty in Cambodia, and urged the Kingdom to offer more of such goods for export. “Cambodia needs to make better use of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership [RCEP] agreement in the region, and the free trade agreement between China and Cambodia, to push bilateral trade to a new level. “The Chinese side will increase the import of high quality Cambodian agricultural products, and establish cooperation that benefits more people in Cambodia,” Xi said. Hun Sen noted in the conference that bilateral trade between the two countries has been growing rapidly and that major construction projects under the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative in Cambodia have been “running smoothly”. He said that such projects have “clearly demonstrated the achievements of the comprehensive strategic partnership between Cambodia and China”, adding that the building of a “common destiny” between the two countries has “made it clear” that they have developed strong ties. The prime minister added that Cambodia is pleased to use the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries next year as an opportunity to “bolster cooperation” in areas such as cultural exchange, economy, trade and agriculture. He said he anticipated that these exchanges would “serve to deepen and enhance the joint realisation of the Belt and Road Initiative, and raise the comprehensive strategic partnership between Cambodia and China to a new level”. Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) president Song Saran told The Post that China’s commitment will be an “important tool” in boosting Cambodia's milled rice exports to the Asian giant. “The rice federation is pleased and applauds the positive things that the two leaders have discussed over the phone concerning our rice sector, both now and in the past,” he said. “This shows the strong ties our Cambodian rice sector has to the economic sector at large.” The growth of milled rice exports from Cambodia to China in the first two months increased by more than 56 per cent compared to the same period in 2021, according to Saran. At just over 120,000 tonnes, so far, Cambodia has achieved more than 22 per cent of the 2022 export quota of 400,000 tonnes as stated in the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with the Chinese government. He said he expected that the MoU “will be achieved by December 2022”. Along with the high number of orders from the Chinese private sector, Saran said that “this [rate of export] indicates that the Chinese side is willing to promote our milled rice to the Chinese market, and that the Chinese people are more aware of the quality and quality standards of Cambodian milled rice”. According to figures from the Ministry of Commerce, the bilateral trade volume between Cambodia and China reached nearly $8 billion in 2021, up 38.36 per cent compared to 2020.
  • Thailand expected to exceed rice export target of 7mn tonnes this year

  • BANGKOK: Thailand expects to export more than 7 million tonnes of rice this year, exceeding its initial target, an exporters association said on Monday. Rice exports are expected to be boosted by competitive prices due to the weak Thai baht, said Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association. Thailand, currently the world’s third-largest rice exporter after India and Vietnam, is expected to export about 2 million tonnes of rice in the first quarter of 2022, he said. “If we can keep this up, we could possibly reach 8 million tonnes of rice exports this year,” Chookiat said. Asia rice: Vietnam prices hit 3-month peak on firm demand The country has shipped a higher volume to markets in the Middle East such as Iraq, and observed consistent demand from African markets, he said. Asian markets are also turning to Thai rice over Vietnamese because of competitive prices, Chookiat said. Thailand’s 5% broken rice was trading at around $410 to $428 per tonne last week, similar to Vietnam’s rice of the same grade at $415-$420.
  • Basmati Rice – A Grain that Stands Out Amongst Others

  • Basmati Rice Rice is a staple food for more than half the world’s population and makes up 20% of the global calorific value intake. Most world cuisines include rice as a main ingredient and different regions grow different varieties of rice according to local cooking preferences and environmental circumstances. While Basmati rice is commonly cooked in households local to where it is grown in the Indian subcontinent, its taste appeals to palates around the world far beyond where the grain originates from. Basmati rice is popular due to its following qualities:
    • Its long grains
    • Its distinctive texture
    • Its rich fragrance
    • Its nutritious content
    There are many brands that are associated with Basmati rice and Amira Basmati Rice is one of the leading names in the industry. The company, which is chaired by Karan A. Chanana, provides Basmati rice in the international market across regions in The Middle East, North America, and Europe. What makes Amira Basmati Rice unique? Basmati Rice from Amira is only sourced from traditional rice-growing regions in the Indian subcontinent at the foothills of the Himalayan mountains, where the environmental conditions are optimal to cultivate Basmati rice of the highest quality. Amira Basmati rice is aged for up to a year before it enters the next stage of production. This allows its flavour and aroma to mature and flourish before the rice is prepared at a state-of-the art treatment plant that preserves its nutritional content before it is packaged and distributed for consumption. Amira selects Basmati rice for its long grains, rich aroma, exquisite taste and firm texture. The grains expand and stay separate when cooked, which creates a light and enticing appearance at the dinner table. It is the perfect basis for a traditional biryani or a contemporary pilaf and makes a versatile and nutritious accompaniment to almost any meal. Karan A. Chanana, Chairman of Amira Nature Foods Ltd has previously expressed his view that Basmati rice is a food staple that is inherent in culinary culture and a primary source of sustenance shared by people across many continents and all levels of society. Karan A. Chanana has a wealth of knowledge about the rice industry and has been interviewed by several mainstream media outlets in the past. With so many varieties to choose from and a rich history in the sourcing and provision of the finest Basmati rice, it is no wonder that Amira previously earned a trusted reputation amongst culinary connoisseurs all over the globe.
  • Pakistan’s rice production

  • With harvest complete and better than expected yields, the 2021-22 rice production estimate is increased from 8.2m to a record 8.9m tonnes, according to the US Department of Agriculture
  • Don’t blame us for quality of rice, say ration shop workers

  • Cooperative department recently  declared that shop supervisors are responsible for poor quality of rice supplied in ration outlets. Stocks of various varieties of turmeric piled up at the Nizamabad Agriculture Market Yard (NAMC), where prices of the crop have begun going up COIMBATORE: Ration shop employees said that the cooperative department must ensure the quality of rice and should not make supervisors responsible for it. Cooperative department recently  declared that shop supervisors are responsible for poor quality of rice supplied in ration outlets. President of Tamil Nadu Government Fair Price Shop Employees Association, G Rajendran, said, “State Registrar of Cooperative Department said the supervisors must check  the goods that are being delivered to the outlet from the civil supplies department and ensure quality rice is distributed to the card holders. However, supervisors cannot return the items if they find them to be of poor quality.”
    “Tamil Nadu civil supplies corporation procures paddy from farmers and they allot it to ration shops as per requirement after their staff assess its  quality. If the goods are unloaded at the outlets and found to be of low quality,  supervisors should get permission from Tahsildar of Civil supplies to return them, which takes time and may delay distribution. So, making supervisors responsible for good quality rice distributed in the outlets  is not correct,” he added
  • Việt Nam’s rice exports signal a favourable year in 2022

  • Farmers in the southern province of Hậu Giang harvest paddy. Experts are optimistic about rice exports as rice consumption is expected to exceed the rice output. — VNA/VNS Photo
    HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese rice exports have been increasing significantly in the first months of 2022, signalling a favourable year for the country’s produce. Data from the General Department of Customs showed Việt Nam exported 974,556 tonnes of rice worth nearly US$469.26 million in the first two months of the year, up 48.6 per cent and 30.6 per cent against the same period last year, respectively. Việt Nam's largest rice export market during the period was the Philippines, with the exports to the country rising by 110 per cent in volume and 82 per cent in value. It was followed by China with 81,880 tonnes. Among the exports, Lộc Trời Agricultural Products Joint Stock Company, a subsidiary of Lộc Trời Group, recently completed its first delivery this year with more than 4,500 tonnes of rice worth more than $3 million to its long-term partners in Italy, France, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines and Kuwait. In the early days of 2022, Trung An High-Tech Agriculture Joint Stock Company also exported more than 11,000 tonnes of rice to Korea. Phạm Thái Bình, general director of the Trung An company, expected the rice export market in 2022 to be more favourable than in 2021 thanks to increasing demand following the recovery of the supply chains. In addition, global uncertainties, including the recent armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine, would also cause people in many countries to pay more attention to food reserves, Bình forecast. Experts forecast both rice output and consumption in the global market would increase this year. They even said that in the next one or two weeks, rice export market will be busier. Besides, export prices are also expected to rise again when importers step up their purchases.  Specifically, according to the January 2022 report of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) released recently, global rice output in the 2021-22 crop is forecast to hit 509.9 million tonnes, an increase of more than 2.6 million tonnes compared to the previous crop. Meanwhile, global rice consumption in the 2021-22 period is projected at 510.3 million tonnes, up nearly 7.8 million tonnes compared to the previous year. Quality in focus Instead of volume, Vietnamese rice exporters have been focusing more on quality to better access the European market to capitalise on the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).  According to the General Department of Customs, though the country’s rice export volume to the EU last year inched up only 0.8 per cent against the previous year to 53,910 tonnes, the produce’s export value surged 21.6 per cent to $38.07 million. The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Import-Export Department attributed the high value to the success of Vietnamese rice exporters in taking advantage of the EVFTA. The export price of Vietnamese rice gained the strongest increase of 20.3 per cent to $781 per tonne on average among the top ten rice suppliers for the EU in the first nine months of 2021. The price hike was thanks to an increase in exports of Vietnamese high-quality and speciality rice varieties such as fragrant rice, ST24 and ST25. Experts said Việt Nam's rice exports this year will continue to better exploit the advantages from the EVFTA to boost shipments to the European market. The EU currently accounts for only a small ratio of Việt Nam's total rice exports with 1 per cent in volume and 1.3 per cent in turnover. According to the Vietnam Food Association (VFA), Việt Nam's rice exports in 2022 to the EU market will be more than 60,000 tonnes because the bloc’s rice importers have had a better assessment about the quality of Vietnamese rice. Besides, Vietnamese rice has already gained a number of traditional customers in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Poland. Việt Nam expects to export an estimated 100,000 tonnes of broken rice to the EU each year when the bloc fully liberalises broken rice imports. According to experts, under the EVFTA, enterprises with large and high standard cultivation areas such as Lộc Trời, Tân Long and Trung An will be the largest beneficiaries. The VFA said the country this year will further focus on improving rice quality while keeping the produce’s volume unchanged against last year at 6-6.3 million tonnes VNS
  • Angimex inks rice export contract with Sierra Leone

  • Angimex, a member of Louis Holdings Group has inked a rice contract export with the Republic of Sierra Leone. The MoU inked will see Angimex export 3 million tons of rice to Sierra Leone under a three-year rice export contract. This kind of international rice export contract exerts a substantial influence, helping Angimex access new markets and customer groups in the future. “Thanks to the strict quality control system, Angimex has been and will be able to provide the highest quality rice products to meet the increasingly demanding requirements of the market. The enterprise’s professional services will surely satisfy the diverse needs of customers. With the goodwill for the sake of mutual development, Angimex strongly believes in the good and long-term success in the cooperation between Angimex and our partners in the upcoming time. We look forward to accompanying our partners to create the best and sustainable values,” said Mr. Do Thanh Nhan, Chairman of An Giang Import-Export Joint Stock Company.
    Scope of deal
    Within the scope of cooperation, Angimex will transfer the sample rice field to the enterprises of the Republic of Sierra Leone. The sample rice field is Angimex’s first successful factor to ensure high-quality rice input. The expansion of the large sample rice field is one of the solutions to increase the value of rice for export, according to the policy of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). When farming on the large sample rice field, farmers will simultaneously sow each high-yield and high-quality rice variety in the same field. Therefore, this combination of high-quality rice production and rice field expansion brings practical benefits to farmers, including changing production mindset and improving economic efficiency. Aiming at improving the quality of rice seeds in the future, the agricultural services of Angimex give an emphasis on providing farmers with in-depth knowledge and cost-saving methods during varietal selection, cultivation, and harvest. Angimex’s experts with rich experience in the field of agriculture will train farmers to master cultivation techniques and answer the farmers’ questions during the farming process.
  • Kazakhstan eager to import rice

  • Will host trade summit exclusively for Pakistani companies in Almaty photo file ISLAMABAD: Kazakhstan is interested in importing rice directly from Pakistan, said the Central Asian republic Ambassador Yerzhan Kistafin. In a meeting with Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam on Friday, the Kazakhstan envoy said that his country was buying the commodity from Russia. He pointed out that Kazakhstan was hosting a trade summit exclusively for Pakistan in Almaty in May 2022 to give Pakistani companies an opportunity to showcase their products before the Kazakh business community. “Over 60 Pakistani companies from various sectors of the economy will participate in the exhibition,” he said, adding that the firms specialising in agricultural machinery, agricultural products, sports goods, surgical instruments, handicrafts and confectionery would display their products. He expressed keen interest in enhancing bilateral ties with Pakistan and recalled that during the 10th session of Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation between Kazakhstan and Pakistan, both nations agreed to increase the turnover of agricultural products. The meeting took place in November 2021. Speaking on the occasion, Minister for National Food Security and Research Fakhar Imam emphasised that Pakistan was producing surplus rice and potato, which could be exported to Kazakhstan. “Pakistan looks forward to strengthening its relationship with Kazakhstan and taking it to the next level,” he remarked. “Although Pakistan’s trade with Kazakhstan is the highest among all Central Asian countries, it is still below the true potential.” Imam highlighted that Pakistan and Kazakhstan needed to take advantage of the opportunities at hand and ensure maximum cooperation. He was of the view that deepening bilateral cooperation could benefit both sides immensely. The two dignitaries discussed the memorandum of understanding signed between the Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of National Food Security and Research on cooperation in the field of agriculture. Imam stressed the need for enhancing cooperation in livestock breeding and plant cultivation, trade in agricultural products, quarantine and plant protection, veterinary medicines and agricultural research. “Collaboration in scientific research can prove to be the cornerstone in trade relations between the two countries,” he said. “Pakistan’s food security faces a number of challenges but with the right policy interventions, the agriculture sector can be transformed.” Local agriculture has been depending on the traditional farming techniques but it is time that the country begins to look at the future and goes for modernisation, the minister said. Both sides agreed to hold an online meeting in April 2022 between the officials of the Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of National Food Security and Research to further enhance cooperation.
  • Bukidnon farmers to get rice processing system

  • FARMERS in Maramag, Bukidnon are expected to benefit from the P60-million rice processing system to be established by the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) and local government units (LGUs) in the province. In a statement, PhilMech said it has signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with the local government of Maramag, Bukidnon, Central Mindanao University (CMU) and the National Food Authority (NFA) for the establishment and operation of a rice processing system (RPS) under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Mechanization Program. The RPS will be equipped with one unit of multistage rice mill and two units of recirculating dryers worth a total of P60 million. This is the first MoA executed for the distribution of drying and milling facilities under the RCEF-Mechanization program. "The provision of the RPS for farmers of Maramag, Bukidnon represents the next level of intervention of the RCEF-Mechanization Program because it can help address the issue of lack of accessible drying and milling facilities for small farmers," PhilMech said. The lack of mechanical drying facilities by farmers forces them to sell the palay (unmilled rice) at lower prices. "The milling facilities will also allow farmers to mill their palay and market these directly to consumers or wholesalers, allowing them to earn more," PhilMech added. Meanwhile, PhilMech encouraged LGUs or progressive farmers' cooperatives and associations to build warehouses as counterparts for the provision of free drying and milling facilities by PHilMech under the RCEF-Mechanization program. Under Republic Act 11203, or the "Rice Tariffication Law" that created the RCEF, funds cannot be allocated for the provision of land and warehouses. For its part, CMU will manage and operate the facilities while the NFA has an existing area, facilities and structure within the university's property in Musuan, Maramag, Bukidnon of which a portion will be used to host the RPS.
  • Tailwater recovery system could aid in row rice water conservation

  • One major problem farmers have battled for years is the lack of water. It’s becoming harder and harder to find water for irrigation as the climate changes and the demand for crops grows along with the global population. Half the country’s rice is grown in Arkansas, and in Northeast Arkansas where rice is grown, the water table cannot sustain the amount of use into the future, according to a report by The 2020 Arkansas Groundwater Protection and Management Report.   Based on 2015 water use data, less than half of the amount of water drawn from the Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Aquifer – 44.2% – is sustainable. Users of the aquifer pulled about 7.6 billion gallons per day out in 2015. Likewise, only about half, 55% of the Sparta/Memphis aquifer withdrawal rate of 160 million gallons per day is sustainable, the report adds. One tactic producers are trying to maximize is the development of farming practices that use less water. Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station researchers can now grow rice with about half the irrigation water used in levee rice systems. Chris Henry, associate professor and water management engineer for the experiment station, has patented a tailwater recovery system for furrow-irrigated rice, also known as “row rice,” after nearly a decade of research at the Division of Agriculture’s Rice Research and Extension Center near Stuttgart. Row rice irrigation is challenging because it requires more frequent cycles than other row crops and timing is more critical because rice has a shallower root system, Henry said. “We’re trying to make row rice easier to manage. This system does that,” Henry said. “A continuous-flow system returns the water to the top of the field constantly, ensuring water is always available and simplifying irrigation management.” The efficiency is high because the system captures the tailwater and returns it to the top. The irrigation water doesn’t leave the field like a conventional row rice field. Henry’s novel tailwater recovery system makes furrow-irrigated rice competitive in water conservation with a zero-grade flooded field. Growing rice in zero-grade fields is more restrictive because it requires land with no elevation change. Zero-grade fields also present challenges in growing rotation crops. According to the B.R. Wells Arkansas Rice Research Studies 2020 publication, most of the state’s rice is grown in flooded fields through a method known as Multiple Inlet Rice Irrigation (MIRI) or conventional levee and gate systems. Traditional flooding, still the dominant rice production method, uses an average of 30 acre-inches of irrigation water a season. Henry’s novel tailwater recovery system can produce as much rice with less than 19 acre-inches of irrigation. An acre-inch is equivalent to one inch of water depth over an acre of land or 27,154 gallons per acre. Throughout his research since 2013, Henry said he has not used over 19 acre-inches of irrigation water with the tailwater recovery system. He has used as little as 12 acre-inches. Furrow-irrigated rice has gained momentum over the past seven years. In 2015, less than 1% of Arkansas rice land used furrow irrigation. By 2019, it had grown to 10.5% and in 2020 it was about 17%, according to Jarrod Hardke, rice extension agronomist with the Division of Agriculture. Henry said water conservation is an increasingly important issue as fresh groundwater becomes less abundant. Average seasonal irrigation demands range widely for different soil types and field designs, Hardke said. So, at 27,154 gallons per acre-inch, a farmer would need 814,620 gallons of water per acre to sufficiently water rice grown on a silt loam soil to achieve the average required irrigation of 30 acre-inches in a flooded field with levees, Hardke said. A zero-grade flooded field — one with no elevation difference to require an infield levee — averages about 18-acre inches of irrigation water, he said. “We are doing as good or better than a zero-grade flooded field,” Henry said. “It makes row rice field management like zero-grade but offers you the benefit of rows that can be used in subsequent seasons. You can potentially plant several weeks sooner than a conventional levee rice field because the tillage prep work to convert the beds to flooded levees is not necessary.” The system can reduce a farmer’s need for capital equipment, tractors, tillage equipment, and the labor to prepare fields, Henry added. “It can also allow more options for ground operations of fertilizer and pesticide applications providing the farmer with more options for rice management,” Henry said. The novel tailwater system has the most potential in rice but is also helpful in improving irrigation efficiency of our other crops such as soybeans, corn and cotton because it can recover tailwater for use during an irrigation event, Henry added. In addition to less irrigation water, Henry’s patented continuous-flow system in row rice provides more consistent ground saturation, which may produce less nitrous oxide than other irrigation methods, Henry said. The saturation can also reduce pigweed pressure, he added. Before Henry’s technical development, furrow-irrigated rice growers were warned of a possible 8% yield reduction in row rice production depending on field conditions and management capabilities. Henry said some recent experience and results suggest that his system may be closing that yield gap typically experienced by farmers and noted in published studies. Instead of a large water reservoir, or “pit,” common with conventional furrow-irrigation methods, the tailwater recovery uses a low-energy, high-flow-low-head, variable-speed pump at the lowest elevation of the field to return the water to the top of the field. Henry’s “pitless” tailwater recovery system recycles about 90% of the water in the system. The method also provides options for “fertigation,” or fertilizing with irrigation water. Henry continues to test slow-release nitrogen application methods in row rice, which may allow one application of nitrogen at the beginning of the season with potash and phosphate. Henry said it could be a time-saver for the farmer at no additional cost. Because it is still a new method in row rice, more work is needed to fully understand the tailwater recovery system, Hardke said. In addition to water use, research remains on fertilizer application and weed and pest control using the system. Arkansas rice farmers harvested 1.4 million acres in 2021 with a value of about $1.297 billion, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
  • Asia rice: Vietnam prices hit 3-month peak on firm demand

  • BENGALURU/BANGKOK/HANOI/MUMBAI/DHAKA: Export prices of rice from Vietnam climbed to a three-and-a-half-month high this week on steady demand and elevated shipping costs, which dissuaded some traders from signing new contracts. Vietnam’s 5% broken rice were offered at $415-$420 per tonne on Thursday, compared with $410-$415 a week ago. “Demand is stable, but traders are hesitant to sign new contracts due to high shipping costs,” a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said, adding outbound shipping costs have risen significantly since the beginning of the Ukraine-Russia crisis. “We are hearing the Philippines may soon lift its limit on rice imports from Vietnam,” another trader said. Philippines, Vietnam’s largest rice buyer, in November took steps to temporarily limit imports of the grain from Vietnam amid a big harvest at home. Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices fell slightly to $410-$428 per tonne from $415-$428 a week ago, their highest since late June. “The baht has weakened and domestic prices are seen easing in the coming weeks due to new supply,” one trader said. There is still strong demand for low-quality rice from domestic feed mills, which are looking to use more rice in their animal feed mix as prices of wheat and corn rally, traders said. However, foreign demand remained largely muted, except for exporting activities to Iraq, they said. Top exporter India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $371 to $378 per tonne, unchanged from the last week, as demand remained strong for broken grades for feed purposes. “Broken rice is in demand. Feed makers are replacing corn with 25% and 100% broken rice,” said an exporter based at Kakinada in southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
  • New, possibly arboreal rice rat species discovered in Ecuador

  • Summary: Three expeditions led an international research to the Cordillera de Kutukú, an isolated mountain range in Ecuador, to find just one specimen of the previously unknown species. The find in the Amazonian side of the Andes underlines the valuable biological role of this mountainous region.

    "In total, the expeditions to the Kutukú region in southeastern Ecuador involved 1,200 trap nights, but only one specimen of the new species Mindomys kutuku was found," says Dr. Claudia Koch, curator of herpetology at the LIB, Museum Koenig Bonn, explaining the effort that went into locating the rare animal. From the collected specimen, the dry skin, skeleton and tissue were preserved for the collections. Preservation will allow future research to detect environmental changes, learn more about the ecology of the animals and plants -- and securely document the new species description, which was published in late February in the journal Evolutionary Systematics. The rice rat genus Mindomys was previously considered monotypic and included only the type species Mindomys hammondi. This species is known from only a few specimens, all of which were collected in the foothill forests of the Andes in northwestern Ecuador.

    Using computed tomography images obtained for the new species at LIB and for the holotype (specimen from which a species was described) of M. hammondi at the Natural History Museum in London, the researchers Jorge Brito of the Instituto Nacional de la Biodiversidad (INABIO), Claudia Koch, Nicolás Tinoco from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE) and Ulyses Pardiñas from the Instituto de Diversidad y Evolución del Sur (IDEAus-CONICET) were able to compare the skulls of the two species in great detail in a 3D model and distinguish between the two species. The adult male of M. kutuku measures just under 35 cm from snout to tip of tail, of which the tail makes up about 20 cm. It has a dark reddish-brown dorsal coloration and a pale yellow ventral fur. Since the only specimen found was captured with the help of a ground trap set, it could not be observed in its habitat. Thus, as with its sister species M. hammondi, which was described in 1913, virtually nothing is known about the natural history of the new species. The scientists suspect that both of them could be arboreal species. A tail that is significantly longer than the body length and also covered with long hairs could be two features that indicate an arboreal lifestyle. However, aboreality is the least studied way of life within the New World mice and a reliable study of the anatomical aspects typical of this way of life is still lacking. Previously, Mindomys records were restricted to the western Andean foothills of Ecuador. The Kutukú material now shows that the genus also occurs on the Amazonian side of the Andes and underscores the valuable biological importance of the isolated mountain ranges in eastern Ecuador.
  • Rice Seeds Not Exempt from 17% Sales Tax: FBR Clarifies to NA Committee

  • FBR has clarified to the National Assembly Standing Committee of Defence Production that rice seeds are not exempt from 17 percent sales tax. The exemption was removed after the introduction of Supplementary Finance Bill 2022 on 16 January 2022. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had imposed a standard rate of 17 percent sales tax on all kinds of seeds, including rice, on 16 January 2022. Previously, The FBR has been directed by the Chairman Committee, Chaudhary Iftikhar Nazir, to clarify whether rice seed is exempt from sales tax under Sr. No. 19 of Table 1 of the Sixth Schedule to the Sales Tax Act, 1990.
    The clarification received at the Parliament House revealed that rice seed had been removed from sales tax exemptions after the passage of the Finance (Supplementary) Act, 2022.
    Apropos, it was apprised that Sr. No. 19 of Table 1 of the Sixth Schedule to the Sales Tax Act, 1990 has been substituted through the Finance (Supplementary) Act, 2022. Resultantly, rice seed, like other seeds, is no longer exempt from sales tax.
    In light of these details and under Pakistan Customs Tariff (PCT) Heading Number 1006.1010, the rice seed is not exempt from sales tax under Serial Number 19 of Table-1 of the Sixth Schedule to the Sales Tax Act, 1990, as per the FBR’s clarification.
  • World Bank says Ukraine war may prompt grain shortages in poor countries

  • WASHINGTON, March 16 (Reuters) - The World Bank on Wednesday said a number of developing countries face near-term wheat supply shortages due to their high dependence on Ukrainian wheat exports that have been disrupted by Russia's invasion.

    Ears of wheat are seen in a field in Kyiv region

    The World Bank said in its latest Trade Watch report that Gambia, Lebanon, Moldova, Djibouti, Libya, Tunisia and Pakistan are the most exposed to the disruptions of wheat exports from Ukraine, which make up roughly 40% or more of their wheat imports.


    "These importers will have trouble quickly switching to alternative sources, possibly leading to supply shortages in the short run," the World Bank said.

    The grain supply situation has been worsened by Russia's imposition of export curbs on wheat and other cereal grains to countries outside of fellow Eurasian Economic Union members Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

    Russia was the top wheat exporter in 2018 and Ukraine the fifth largest, according to World Bank data. The two countries together make up about a quarter of world exports.


    Western sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine do not specifically target Russian grain exports, but sanctions that prohibit dollar and euro transactions with top Russian banks make trade finance more difficult.

    Aside from the direct supply shortages to Ukraine's biggest grain customers, higher market prices for wheat will affect middle-income countries across the globe, the World Bank report said.

    The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization's Cereal Price Index in February was up 14.8% from a year earlier, and the World Bank said wheat futures prices had surged 60% since the start of the conflict.

    "Moreover, disruptions to exports of wheat will affect markets for corn and rice, which are wheat substitutes, benefiting net exporters and harming net importers of those products," the bank added.

    Disruptions caused by the war in Ukraine also could challenge a strong global trade recovery in 2021, with goods and services trade now exceeding pre-pandemic levels, the World Bank said.

    Overall trade in 2021 surged by 26% over 2020 levels and by 17% over 2019 levels, with trade values exceeding 2019 levels in all regions, except for transportation equipment, the World Bank said.

  • Australia donates rice mills to Battambang farmers

  • To celebrate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Cambodia and Australia, Australia donated agricultural machines to farmers in Battambang to boost the farming capacity of the province. Australia organized a presentation on agricultural techniques on the use of cultivators and other agricultural techniques and equipment. The demonstration was held at Don Bosco School in Sangkat O’Mal, Battambang City on March 14. The demonstration was attended by the Deputy Ambassador at the Australian Embassy, Andreas Zurbrugg, and Battambang’s Provincial Agriculture officers. Deputy Ambassador Zurbrugg confirmed that this year is a special year for bilateral relations between Australia and Cambodia, it is the 70th year of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The Deputy Ambassador added that launch of agricultural assistance cooperation is an important point because Australia is economically dependent on agriculture. He said that Australia can provide assistance to Cambodia through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) project, which has provided prior assistance to Cambodia through the establishment of the Rice Research and Development Institute in Cambodia. Deputy Ambassador Zurbrugg hopes that this good cooperation will continue with the relevant ministries and that the machines presented to farmers will assist farmers in increasing agricultural productivity.
  • India’s natural, organic farming strategy for rice and wheat

  • This can help in targeting global export market, thereby feeding the world population and getting valuable foreign exchange for the country India’s natural, organic farming strategy for rice and wheat Photo: iStock India is predominantly agrarian — 80 per cent of the population is directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture. Rice and wheat are the staple for 90 per cent of the country’s people.  Till the early 1960’s, the predominant mode of cultivation was what is now called “organic farming”, with no synthetic fertilisers or pesticides available or known.  At that time, farmers relied on cow dung, twigs of leguminous plants like Crotalaria junceaTephrosianeem and jeelugu. These materials mulched the fields ploughed for rice plantation. Oil cakes of groundnut, castor, neem were also used which is a good source of nitrogen.  Since the use of urea from the beginning of the 1960s, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium-based fertilisers became available after the establishment of industrial plants at Sindri (Bihar) Udyog Mandal (Kerala).

    Fortunately, in this decade, synthetic pesticides like dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), endrin, and others entered the market. Another spectacular discovery was that of the high-yielding hybrid wheat and rice. The high-yielding wheat was discovered by Norman Borlaug (Nobel Prize winner) and was rapidly adopted by India largely due to the pioneering work of Dr Swaminathan and MV Rao. 

    Swaminathan is remembered as the ‘father of Green Revolution’ and Rao as the “wheat man of India”. With hybrid varieties and synthetic fertilisers and insecticides, the production of rice per acre increased to 40 quintals from 10 quintals, a tremendous victory in fighting hunger. There were also some setbacks during the 1960s and 70s. India’s budget (read agriculture) is dependent on the monsoon season, as George Curzon pointed out in 1905.  Due to drought from 1964-70, India had to import food and became heavily dependent on the United States for wheat supplies under the Public Law 480 agreement. At one time, we were eagerly waiting for the arrival of a ship full of wheat at the Mumbai port. The late former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri gave a call to “miss a meal” on Monday nights as a part of the Jai Kisan movement.  Green Revolution Ultimately, the Green Revolution was initiated. The theme of the initiative was to boost food grains production of rice and wheat using any method and at any cost. Success followed many setbacks. Biologist-turned-science-writer Rachel Carson published a seminal book called Silent Spring, focused on the harmful effects of pesticides, primarily DDT on our health and environment.  DDT was found to be non-biodegradable and its remnants were traced everywhere — in our body, soil and water. Studies showed its effects on liver and kidneys, including causing cancers.  Scientists rapidly found alternatives and advocated Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM is a need-based use of pesticides, alternating crops, intercropping as well as usage of bird perches where birds rest, detect insects on crops and eat them.  After DDT, other insecticides like monocrotophos, metasystox, cypermethrin came into use but these are equally harmful to humans, livestock and fish. The “turn to nature” to get pesticide-free food has become a priority. The order of the day is organic farming — natural farming or zero-budget agriculture — which is welcome and most wanted in the agriculture sphere. 

    Not without setbacks

    The first and foremost sound solution is the usage of organic manures from compost, cow dung and ploughing and mulching of leguminous plants. Several plant-based botanical pesticides were discovered. Neem oil, neem kernel extracts, which contain azadirachtin, is the active principle discovered by Germans, the United Kingdom and US.  Neem revived the hope of using harmless pesticides but its availability is very low. Several commercial formulations were available in India. Karanj oil (Karanjin active principle), several leaf extracts like Adathoda and garlic-buds aqueous extracts are found to be effective to some extent as active repellants but they cannot replace synthetic pesticide. There is a growing awareness in India to cultivate the crops by natural fertilisers such as cow dung, leguminous green manures, compost, vermicomposting and biopesticides fungi, bacteria and virus-based  pesticides like Bacillus thuringiensisPseuedomonas aegleTrichoderma verdi.  These bio-pesticides are chiefly produced from diseased insects and soil, among other things. However, it only has limited use on too few fruit and vegetable crops. The problem with the bio-pesticide production is that it is confined to a small industry with no standardisation and doubtful efficacy. Several symposia are held by non-governmental organisations, ideal farmers and governments. Many agricultural magazines hail the miracles of higher yields from organic farming. Particular mention should be made about jeevamrutham — a recently designed concoction called Ramabanam, which gained prominence. These concoctions are made from jaggery, ginger, cow milk, cow curd, cow dung, cow urine, asafoetida. All the ingredients are mixed and fermented for a week, diluted and sprayed on crops.  It is claimed that the product can be used as a fertiliser and a pesticide. The farmers who experimented were quick to endorse the products. Their studies on organic farming presented in symposia on organic farming, however, were confined to few vegetables like tomatoes over a limited area. The yield, the farmers said, is high but not quantified with randomised block design studies.   The active principle of such concoctions is unknown and doesn’t stand scientific security. Moreover, the cost of these concoctions is as high as pesticides and starting products like cow dung are not available in plenty as of today.  For about 90 per cent Indians, rice or wheat are almost exclusively the staple food. So, encouragement of organic farming in a country like India will be meaningful, if applied for rice / wheat. Studies on these crops should also be prioritised. The inconvenient truth, as many farmers put it, is that the land is infertile now without urea in the first few days of rice plantation, and with no application of synthetic pesticides, the entire crop is prone to pests resulting in no yield. The challenge for agriculture scientists is how to maintain the current volume of yield (40 quintals per acre) with organic farming. We need to take with caution some sporadic success stories of organic farming on vegetables and fruits grown in an acre or two. Thus, all the available tools we have with us, like bio-fertilisers, bio-pesticides, green manure and vermicompost, their limitation is discussed herein. Constraints of sustainable organic farming are: None of the organic farming tools are available, especially for organic farming of rice that is the staple food in India. Importantly, the whole organic farming depends on cow dung, which is dwindling even as we are particular about their protection (gosamrakshana).  The staple food for cattle is rice straw. While we claim rice production is high and in surplus, the cost of rice remains very high and is not affordable for the poor man. Thus, the increase of cattle population is linked to paddy by rice production. Both are interlinked. Quantification for pesticide residues in food should be done by High Performance Liquid Chromatography / Mass Spectra / Mass Spectra (HPLC / MS / MS) method. The sophisticated method has been adopted by advanced countries but is still not in use in India.  The real structure of crop production is dependent on high-yielding hybrid seeds. Continuous research on high yielding varieties by cross breeding with pest resistant wild varieties is essential.

    Compost from urban areas and vermicompost, in particular, don’t seem to have been examined for pesticide residues and harmful trace elements such as arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead is needed by using HPLC /MS / MS method and atomic absorption spectroscopy. 

    Introduction of transgenic varieties is not recommended for organic and natural farming. Therefore, it is wise to use the first three sprays on crops with natural organic materials and the last two sprays with synthetic pesticides. Research on organic farming should be done using robust scientific methods only. Surprisingly, rice was found to contain high pesticides and trace elements.  This technique should be standardised in India. Our slogan should be “natural and organic farming with high yields at an affordable price to the common man”. India’s wheat exports surpassed $872 million (2021-22) and rice exports in 2021-22 is likely to surpass the record $10 million, according to the agriculture department of the Government of India. 
  • Monoculture Rice Production Outperformed by Traditional Techniques

  • Monoculture Rice Production Outperformed by Traditional Techniques that Integrate Aquatic Animals (Beyond Pesticides, March 15, 2022) Adding animal diversity to rice paddy farms reduces weed pressure, increases food production, and makes fertilizer use more efficient, according to a study published late last month in the journal eLife. As chemical-dependent, industrialized agriculture has spread across the world, local farmers are increasingly pressured into eschewing traditional agricultural practices in favor of monocultures in an attempt to meet the demands of global markets. This one-size-fits-all approach oversimplifies the interdependency within ecosystems, failing to incorporate the complexity of nature that many traditional and organic practices embrace. As the present study shows, research and investment into systems that promote natural diversity can provide insights that allow these approaches to leapfrog the chemical-dependent, monoculture paradigm of industrial agriculture. Rice paddy fields are intentionally flooded, and crops are often grown in shallow water. In industrialized fields, monocultures of rice are planted out, and fertilizers and weed killers are applied at regular intervals. However, many traditional rice farmers around the world integrate aquatic animals into their paddies. In the present experiment, researchers conducted a 4-year long evaluation comparing the benefits of monoculture production against co-cultures of rice and aquatic animals. Co-culturing animals and rice differs slightly from traditional practices that incorporates the additional direct feeding of aquatic animals for market (in traditional practices, animals generally are not provided supplemental feed). To compare the different systems, researchers established field plots with rice-carp, rice-crab, and rice-turtle co-cultures (these animals are widely eaten in rice-growing regions), as well as a rice monoculture. A mesocosm (an enclosed environment that examines natural processes under controlled conditions) experiment was also established with the same systems to evaluate nutrient efficiency. Animals in the diverse fields were introduced one week after rice transplant, provided with supplemental feed in the form of spent soybean residue (a waste product after soybean oil is extracted), and remained in the fields until rice harvest. When compared to monoculture rice production, rice yield was on average 8% higher in the rice-turtle system, 9% higher in the rice-carp co-culture, and 12% higher for rice-crabs. Animal yields were 2.66, 0.85, and 0.56 metric tons per hectare for the rice-turtle, rice-carp, and rice-crab systems, respectively. Prior research conducted by the authors found that rice-turtle, rice-carp, and rice-crab systems increased total economic output by 710%, 205%, and 78%, respectively, over a monoculture rice system. The diversified animal system also significantly lowered weed pressure on the farms in comparison to the monoculture fields. Weeds and other food (e.g., algae, plankton) from the paddy environment ended up comprising a significant portion of the aquatic animals’ food; for carp, crab, and turtle systems, 50%, 35%, and 16%, respectively. The researchers used no herbicide in any of the experimental plots, and there is evidence from the diverse plots that no herbicide use would be needed based on the weed pressure alleviated. Diverse animal paddies also displayed faster rates of organic matter decomposition, indicating improved nutrient cycling. In the mesocosm experiments, feed that was not consumed by animals made its way into the crop, accounting for upwards of 30% of rice biomass. Compared to the monoculture fields, by the end of the experiment soil nitrogen content was higher in animal fields. In aquatic rice cultures, the introduction of animals represented a multifunctional boon – reducing weed pressure, increasing nutrient recycling and availability, and subsequently yields. This process provided significant benefits to farmers, who received a higher price for their work. The authors note, “Although costs of the cocultures are higher than the costs of monoculture because of the feed input and increased labor required for the management of two species, net income was still higher for cocultures than for monocultures because of the higher prices of the products and the reduced use of fertilizers and pesticides.” The forced simplicity of monoculture farming in a diverse and complex environment is ultimately unsustainable. It is common sense that clearing land of all flora and fauna and replacing it solely with human-focused crops leads to biodiversity decline and the loss of pollinators and other beneficial species, but scientific research has backed up these judgements. Agricultural soils under monocultures are not nearly as healthy as those that embrace diversity. Soil organic matter and nutrient cycling, critical for sustainable crop growth, is lower in monoculture systems by two to three fold, according to recent research. The solution is as simple as the problem that was created. Adding back in plant diversity and moving from monoculture to multi-cropping systems produces higher biomass and seed yields, and reduces pest pressure and the need for pesticide use. Organic agriculture provides the closest approximation to the sustainable food system the future requires. While organic has not yet eliminate monocultures, it requires farmers to maintain or improve soil health, which has the effect of encouraging practices that embrace natural diversity and complexity. Organic laws and rulemaking also support the concept of continuous improvement, incentivizing the development of safer and more sustainable practices once they become available. Naysayers of diverse organic systems point to yield gaps and cost, but fail to recognize the research and development gap between conventional and organic. As this study reveals, analysis of an enhanced traditional cropping system displays yield gains over an industrialized approach. With further research and development into traditional and organic cropping systems, the next agricultural revolution has the potential to be significantly more sustainable than the current paradigm. For more information on the benefits of organic see Beyond Pesticides Why Organic webpage. All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.
  • The New Rice Variety Set To Increase Crop Production

  • A new rice grain variety is set to revolutionize crop production, increasing by almost double per acre. The hybrid variety which is high yielding, early maturing and disease resistant is capable of yielding up to 54 bags of paddy rice as compared to a maximum of 30 bags of the basmati crop. The variety is also not susceptible to lodging as compared to other varieties since it matures while its tillers are relatively short from the ground. According to the head of the rice production programme in the Country Dr. Mary Mutembei, the country is headed to self-sufficiency in rice production once farmers adopt the farming of the new variety. Within the African continent, the project activities are visible and supported in Kenya and Tanzania with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) is coordinating the full implementation of the programme in the wake of the increasing rice consumption in many African countries. According to the AATF’s Director of Programme and Commercialization Emmanuel Okogbenin, the reliance by Kenya on imported rice grain from Pakistan is headed for a stop once local farmers adopt the new variety. Speaking during a field day at Mwea East, Kirinyaga County where some farmers have produced the crop on trial basis, the official said the grain quality was the same as that farmed in Pakistan. He said rice consumers were interested in grain quality and quantity, traits found in the new hybrid variety. “This being the market force, I do not see why Kenyan farmers who are well-known for the aromatic pishori for many years should not be able to venture into the new variety which is not only high yielding but aromatic as well,” Okogebenin said. He said due to both quantity and quality of the grain produced from the variety, farmers should adopt it for profitability purposes regardless of the seed cost. The seed from the variety is not recyclable and once planted and harvested, this brings to an end its life cycle, according to Okogebenin. “In this regard, I am urging farmers to buy their certified seed for this variety from authorised dealers and should not under any circumstance recycle the seed from a past crop as this will only give back a minimal disease and pest-invested  harvest,” he said. A farmer in the area James Kinyua who was among the pioneer to plant the new crop on trial basis said he was overwhelmed by the production as compared to other varieties. He said you only needed to flood the field for seven days then you leave it dry for a whole month yet production was the highest. Many farmers from the area have promised to go for the variety this coming season and have already embarked on early land preparations. A Regional Breeding Lead – East and Southern Africa Seed Systems and Product Management Lead – Africa International Rice Research Institute Africa Regional Office Dr Ajay Panchibhai was also in attendance to the field day which farmers termed as the beginning of a positive revolution to rice production in the county.  
  • Cambodia achieves more than 100,000 tons of rice exports in January, February

  • Cambodia recorded an increase in this year’s rice exports for January and February compared to the same period in the previous year. This is according to a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries released to local news in March 14. According to the statement from the Ministry, in the first two months of 2022, Cambodia exported 103,058 tons of rice, including all kinds of fragrant rice. This is an increase of 26,836 tons compared to the previous year’s exports for 76,222 tons. Rice exports in February 2022 amounted to 50,022 tons which is an increase of 8,073 tons or 19.24 percent compared to February 2021’s export of 41,949 tons. China is the main market for Cambodian rice export. On January and February of this year Cambodia exported 56,385 tons of rice. Cambodia also exports rice to 20 EU countries with a total volume of 26,507 tons and to three ASEAN destinations with a total 9,370 tons of rice export. The country’s exports to other 16 countries have seen a drop in volume with only 10,796 tons of rice exported, which is a decrease of 19.23 percent. Agricultural exports from Cambodia have seen a slight increase as the country begins to recover from the Covid-19 slump.
  • Rice Processing Cost: Consumers To Pay More As Millers Groan

  • Rice millers in the country are currently battling the rising cost of diesel, petrol and erratic electricity supply.   The situation has pushed the...  A rice mill in Kano

    Rice millers in the country are currently battling the rising cost of diesel, petrol and erratic electricity supply.  

    The situation has pushed the cost of processing rice at the mills to an unprecedented level, and this may translate to an increase in the final product in the market. 

    Findings in the market showed that a 50kg of milled rice, which some months ago sold between N25,000 and N28,000, now goes up to N32,000 for some of the popular brands, as at the time of this report.

    For weeks now, power supply across the country has been epileptic and some small scale millers who mostly operate during the day are now forced to stay awake anytime of the night to use electricity anytime it comes.

    Major millers who rely heavily on diesel to run their factories also face exceptional increase as the product has now reached a record high of N600 per litre. In some places, reports showed it goes for up to N650.  

    They said cost of production had increased, leading many of them to suspend production.  

    Alhaji Ali Sarkin Noma, owner of Ganzaki Rice Mill in Jalingo, told Daily Trust on Sunday that a litre of diesel now sold at N600, as against N400 few weeks ago.  

    He said there was also the scarcity of diesel and poor power supply from the national grid.  

    Sarkin Noma explained that consumers of locally processed rice would pay more because of the increase of diesel and paddy rice.

    According to him, they purchase paddy rice from markets across the state and transport fares are up.

    He said a 50kg bag of locally processed rice was sold at N23,500 before the increase of diesel, and now, millers have no option than to increase their prices in order to remain in business.

    Musa Garba, another miller, also told Daily Trust on Sunday that he reduced his production level from 600 bags of paddy rice to about 100 bags daily because of high cost of diesel and poor power supply.

    He said consumers of locally processed rice would pay more if the current trend of high cost of diesel was not addressed.

    A large-scale irrigation farmer, Yahaya Mafindi, said many rice farms had dried because farmers could not afford to buy both diesel and petrol to water their rice farms.

    Yahaya Mafindi stated that rice millers got supply of paddy rice from irrigation farmers this time and many farmers are unable to fully cultivate their farm, which means there will be less paddy rice for the millers.

    Meanwhile, findings revealed that a liter of petrol is now sold at N300 while diesel is sold at N600 in Jalingo.

    In Kano State, it was gathered that all the three categories of rice mills operating in the state are virtually affected by the ongoing fuel scarcity. The mega, medium and small scale mills in the state are all complaining about the current fuel scarcity.

    According to the proprietor of Premier Rice Company, Ilyasu Nazifi, an engineer, many rice mills are running on diesel, which is currently selling at N500 per litre, which he said had made production very expensive. He explained that the fuel hike in price and its scarcity had affected not only production but other logistic aspects of the rice value chain.

    He further revealed that the price of rice had not changed as rice has been one of the main stabled commodities in the country. He, however expressesed worry that rice mills would be left with no option than to increase the price should the hike and scarcity persist longer than necessary.

    He called on the authorities concerned to arrest the situation before it gets out of hand and result in an increase in the price of milled rice.

    It was also revealed that most rice mills across the state are really finding it very difficult to keep the business going due to issues surrounding the current fuel scarcity.

    Malam Hannafi Alhassan, an operator of a small rice mill in Mariri Kumbotso Local Government of Kano State, said he had to increase the processing charges per bag of paddy to N3,000 from N2,500 due to the hike in the prices of diesel and petrol, as well as its scarcity. 

    Another small-scale rice mill operator Habu Baffa Kiru said he had stopped milling for the mean time pending the availability of diesel, as he claimed he could not afford to continue milling with the current price of diesel.    

    The situation is not different in Katsina State as the situation resulted into lean revenue for the millers in recent months.  

    Alhaji Mustapha Mu’azu Maiauduga, the manager of Beto Rice in Malumfashi, said that unlike before, people were less patronizing their packaged rice ostensibly because of the price.  

    “The assumption of every Nigerian is that when rice is locally produced and milled, its price has to come down, but unfortunately we cannot sell a 50kg of milled rice less than N22,000 due to surge in the cost of production. Diesel is now over N400 a litre and there is no consistent electricity supply to operate our machines,” he said.

    Another rice miller in Funtua, Abdulrazaq Isma’ilm said because of high cost of production they had since resolved to operate as service providers. 

    “We now don’t mill rice for sale directly here; rather, we mill for individual consumers and rice sellers who bring in their paddy. This, in our consideration, is more profitable to us as we only charge N2,500 per bag of paddy rice. We have regular customers across Faskari, Kankara, Funtua, Bakori and Danja local government areas,” he said.

    On whether they operate on diesel or electricity, Abdulrazaq said for the business to be sustained one would be on electricity, otherwise cost of diesel would force the business to fold up.’

    Daily Trust on Sunday observed that people from far and near now prefer to go for local rice sections of Dandume, Funtua or Bakori to make choice of the stable instead of going for the packaged one which now costs above N22,000 per 50kg.

    Rice millers in Kaduna State are also expressing worry over what they described as high cost of production due to poor and epileptic power supply, as well as the scarcity and high cost of petrol and diesel.

    Our correspondent reports that small-scale processors who rely on firewood for the parboiling process of paddy rice say a ban on tree felling in Kaduna State has equally impacted on production cost which has resulted in the high price of rice in the market.

    Imam Saidu, who operates a local rice mill in Kaduna, described the situation as sad, saying that rice, one of the major staple foods in Nigeria, is now becoming unaffordable for low income earners. 

    He said the rice sector, like other agricultural sectors, was debased by security and infrastructural challenges, as well as economic challenges.

    “Our farmers are unable to produce the required paddy rice because of the insecurity in most parts of the rice producing states. Now, with the little we are able get from farmers, the cost of processing the rice is now high because our machines work on diesel since the government’s power is inefficient and unreliable, especially at the moment,” he said.

    Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that epileptic power supply, coupled with scarcity and high cost of petrol and diesel, has surged the price of rice in the market. Our correspondent gathered that a bag of 50kg of rice which sold at N22,000 late January is now sold at N27,000. 

    Also speaking in Kaduna, Alhaji Idris Sarkin Alhazan Rigachikun, a local miller said, “We used to process and bag each 50kg of rice at N2,200, but we now do it at N3,000. There is no electricity, so we have fallen back on the generating set, and you know the present situation in Nigeria.”




  • Prices rise across major hubs on higher demand for rice

  • Prices of rice exported from top Asian hubs jumped this week on solid demand, while Vietnamese traders also flagged high shipping costs due to the Ukraine crisis. Thailand's 5% broken rice prices rose to $415-$428 per tonne, on average a peak since late June, from $400-$403 a week ago. As corn and wheat prices rise, animal feed makers were looking to use more broken rice, pushing up prices across the board, Bangkok-based traders said. Another trader said he recently received interest from buyers in Europe, the United States, Iraq and Iran for different grades of Thai white rice. Demand from Hong Kong has also increased, the trader said, with concerns over plans for a city-wide lockdown sparking panic buying by residents. Thailand exported 459,752 tonnes of rice worth $234 million in January, up 8.92% from the same period last year, the commerce ministry said. Rates for top exporter India’s 5% broken parboiled variety rose to $371-$378 per tonne from last week's $370-$376, also a peak since mid-June. "Consumers are trying to build stockpile due to the rally in wheat and corn prices. Demand is improving for rice," said an exporter based at Kakinada in southern state of Andhra Pradesh. Vietnam's 5% broken rice prices rose to their highest since December at $410-$415 per tonne on Thursday, versus $400 last week, amid higher demand, traders said, with the Ukraine-Russia conflict prompting buyers to place more orders from elsewhere in Asia. Another trader said shipping costs had surged since the Ukraine-Russia conflict began, with international freight costs rising 50% and domestic freight costs climbing 70%-80%. "We're concerned costs will keep rising if the conflict continues," the trader said. Traders said farmers in the Mekong Delta had harvested 20%-25% of the winter-spring crop. Domestic rice prices in Bangladesh remain high despite good crops and reserves, traders said, adding that the global market was seeing a hike due the Ukraine-Russia conflict. "It is very much unlikely that local prices will come down soon," a trader said.
  • Rice Exports Surge By 11.61 Per Cent In Seven Months

  • ISLAMABAD  – Rice exports from the country during first 07 months of current financial year increased by 11.16% as compared to exports of the corresponding period of last year. During the period from July-January, 2021-22, over 2.179 million tons of rice valuing $1.286 billion was exported as against the exports of 2.179 million tons valuing $1.157 billion of same period last year. According the trade data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the exports of Basmati rice also increased by 28.58% in last 07 months as 414,190 metric tons of Basmati rice valuing $362.183 million was exported as against the exports of 293,761 metric tons worth $281.675 million of same period last year. Meanwhile, country earned $924.668 million by exporting about 2.138 million tons of rice other than Basmati as against the exports of 1.886 million tons worth $875.959 million of same period last year. On year on year basis, the exports of rice also witnessed significant growth of 13.30% as 434,382 metric tons of rice valuing $220.078 million was exported in January, 2022 as compared to exports of 329,999 metric tons worth $194.245 million of same period last year. The exports of Basmati rice also grew by 08.97% in month of January, 2022 as 62,734 metric tons of above mentioned commodity valuing $58.086 million was exported as against the exports of 60,609 metric tons costing $53.305 million of same month of last year. It is worth mentioning here that food group exports from the country during first 07 months of current financial year increased by 20.87% as compared to the exports of the corresponding period of last year as different food commodities worth $2.952 billion were exported as against the exports of $2.444 billion of same period last year. The exports of food group from the country witnessed about 14.31% growth on year on year basis in January, 2022 as compared to same month of last year. During the period under review, the exports of all major food items recorded positive growth as exports of rice grew by 11.16%, fish and fish preparations 5.08%, fruits 11.60%, vegetables 11.36%, spices 22.94%, meat and meat preparations 1.68% respectively. Meanwhile, food group imports into the country also recorded increase of about 21.32% during July-January, 2021-22 as food commodities costing $5.629 billion were imported as against the import of $4.639 billion of same period last year. The food group imports into the country on year on basis also recorded about 13.05% growth in January, 2022 as against the imports of January, 2021. During month of January, 2022, different food commodities valuing $830.844 million were imported as compared to import of $734.953 million of same month last year. In last 07 months imports of soyabean oil increased by 34.70%, palm oil 55.75%, sugar 49.84%, pulses 14.94%, tea imports into the country grew by 5.48% as corresponding period of last year.
  • Biryani plate becomes dearer as rice prices go up

  • The mouth-watering biryani is being packed in a plastic tub at an outlet. (Right) A rice shop in Jodia Bazaar.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star KARACHI: The retail prices of various varieties of rice have been increased by up to Rs40 per kilo almost a month before Ramazan. Traders claim that the prices have been raised due to rise in exports and high transportation cost. The retail price of medium quality basmati is now Rs200 as compared to Rs160 per kg while normal basmati is selling at Rs150-160 instead of Rs120-130 per kg. Premium basmati is now priced at Rs250 per kg. A biryani shop owner said he had to pass on the impact of price hike of at least Rs10 per plate to customers as he was compelled to procure basmati Sella rice at Rs20-30 per kg higher rate from wholesale markets. He said he sold a biryani plate at Rs130. “Some other outlet owners are selling at Rs140 per plate depending on the area.” In bigger food shops, premium basmati rice biryani (double plate) is being sold at Rs300-330 and single plate at Rs170-200. While it is not easy for a buyer to judge the quality of rice in biryani, traders and biryani restaurants take full advantage of this ignorance by mixing various varieties. General secretary of the Karachi Retail Grocers Group (KRGG) Farid Qureishi said that price jump in basmati and other varieties of rice was not a matter of concern for the rich who continued to buy expensive commodities without any problem in higher quantities for monthly consumption. He said, however, the lower and middle income groups, who are hit hard by rising food inflation and utility bills, had been limiting their buying as per their requirement. A member of the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP), Anis Majeed, said that despite a drop in transportation cost after Rs10 reduction cut in fuel rates on March 1, rice prices had been soaring owing to previous massive hikes in transportation cost because of diesel and petrol rates. He said exports were in full swing, thus putting pressure on local prices despite the fact that exports were made at a very low wholesale rates. Rupee devaluation against the dollar is certainly benefiting exports. Pakistan’s rice production is over seven million tonnes per annum in which exports have been hovering between 3.5 and four million tonnes while the rest is consumed domestically. Export destinations are Europe, Gulf countries, Australia, US, China, African countries, the Far East, etc. According to figures of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, basmati exports rose by 41pc and 414,190 tonnes of rice were exported in seven months of fiscal year 2022 from 293,761 tonnes in the same period of the last fiscal year. In terms of value, it is a jump of 28per cent, i.e., $362 million from $282 million. Other varieties of exports grew by 13pc, 2.138m tonnes from 1.886mn tonnes, while it went up by 5.56pc in terms of value, $924mn from $876mn, in seven months of fiscal year 2021. Mr Anis said due to massive hike in freight rates and lack of availability of shipping containers, rice exporters had chartered two to three bulk vessels destined for African countries in the last three months to load rice cargo in these vessels. Each vessel had carried 35,000-40,000 tonnes of rice. Besides, demand from China for Pakistani rice also remained high. In financial year 2021, export of other varieties had plunged to 3.062 million tonnes fetching $1.465 billion as compared to 3.3 million tonnes valuing $1.39bn in FY20. Basmati exports earned $575 million from 629,069 tonnes in FY21 from 865,949 tonnes earning $783mn in FY20. Rice exports in FY21 remained subdued due to low price offered by India for non basmati and higher freight charges from October 2020 amid Covid-19 pandemic. However Chinese buying of Pakistani non basmati rice kept the exports moving.
  • Berbice rice millers project further reduction in paddy prices

  • Prices currently being paid by millers for paddy are likely to fall further before any possibility of stability due to internal and external shocks. Berbice rice millers who held a virtual meeting with the Private Sector Com-mission (PSC) on Wednesday requested that the body seek an audience with government to find a reso-lution to the challenges faced. “From tomorrow we might have to change to $60,000 (per tonne) and if these challenges are not addressed we will have to drop as low as $55,000 per tonne of paddy… we are buying paddy today at $65,000 which is not dried, which is not processed on the scale,” was the per-spective offered to Stabroek News by Rayaadul Hakh, who operates in Regions 5 & 6. Hakh declared that the increased cost of production was due to global issues. He point-ed out that apart from the freight cost and government commissions, millers have other production associated expenses.  
  • ‘Formulate organic food policy to regulate outlets in State’

  • An exhibition of traditional paddy strains under way at Bishop Heber College in Tiruchi on Friday.

    Organic rice farming can be profitable if marketed well, says expert

    The importance of promoting organically-farmed traditional paddy varieties was the focus of a conference organised by the Department of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Bishop Heber College in collaboration with Consumer Research, Education, Action, Training and Empowerment (CREATE) and its affiliated programme Save Our Rice Campaign Tamil Nadu on Friday. The event included an exhibition of traditional paddy strains. “For the past 15 years, we have conducted the National Paddy Festival, and distributed traditional rice seeds to farmers. As a result, they have started shifting over to organic rice farming. But they face a major problem with marketing their produce. Only when they can sell their crop can farmers sustain organic cultivation. We are taking some steps to rectify this situation from this year,” P. Duraisingham, chairman of Madurai-based CREATE, told The Hindu. “Since it is World Consumer Day on Saturday, we have invited consumer group heads from 40 districts to brief them about the medicinal value and nutritional benefits of heritage paddy,” he added. The lack of certification was a major drawback in organic paddy farming today, said Mr. Duraisingham, who is also a member of Bureau of Indian Standards. “We would like the State government to formulate an organic food policy to regulate the outlets. From the consumer’s perspective, the price of organically grown rice is exorbitant. This too has to be standardised, because some farmers and middlemen are creating a false impression about the high cost of organic cultivation,” he said. In her address, Usha Soolapani, national convenor of ‘Save Our Rice Campaign’, said, “Along with wheat, maize and potato, rice is among the four crops that ensure global food security. Paddy is a part of Asian culture, and India is a major producer of rice. But even though farmers are growing more than three times of what we need, they are still losing money when they invest in rice cultivation. This is why they are moving away to more remunerative crops such as banana, coconut and areca.
    R. Ponnambalam, CREATE managing trustee, Sridhar Radhakrishnan, Save Our Rice Campaign national coordinator and Bakkiyalakshmi, Assistant Professor of Biotechnology, Bon Secours College, Thanjavur also spoke.
  • Kazakhstan’s south to reduce rice and oil crops acreage

  • Kazakhstan’s south to reduce rice and oil crops acreage NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM 1st Vice Minister of Agriculture of Kazakhstan Aidarbek Saparov forecasted a reduction in rice and oil plants acreage in the country’s south, Kazinform reports. Besides, in Turkestan region the land sown under cotton grew by 5,000 ha due to high cotton cost price up to KZT 350,000 per a tonne that is KZT 220,000 more as compared to 2020,» he told the Government meeting. It is planned to sow 89,000 ha with rice that is 6,500 tonnes less. It is supposed to reduce oil crops acreage by 61,700 ha, while flax, safflower, mustard and sunflower crop areas will increase.  
  • ASIA RICE Prices rise across major hubs on higher demand for rice

  • March 10 (Reuters) - Prices of rice exported from top Asian hubs jumped this week on solid demand, while Vietnamese traders also flagged high shipping costs due to the Ukraine crisis.

    Thailand's 5% broken rice prices rose to $415-$428 per tonne, on average a peak since late June, from $400-$403 a week ago.

    As corn and wheat prices rise, animal feed makers were looking to use more broken rice, pushing up prices across the board, Bangkok-based traders said.

    Another trader said he recently received interest from buyers in Europe, the United States, Iraq and Iran for different grades of Thai white rice.

    Demand from Hong Kong has also increased, the trader said, with concerns over plans for a city-wide lockdown sparking panic buying by residents. 

    Thailand exported 459,752 tonnes of rice worth $234 million in January, up 8.92% from the same period last year, the commerce ministry said.

    Rates for top exporter India’s 5% broken parboiled variety rose to $371-$378 per tonne from last week's $370-$376, also a peak since mid-June.

    "Consumers are trying to build stockpile due to the rally in wheat and corn prices. Demand is improving for rice," said an exporter based at Kakinada in southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

    Vietnam's 5% broken rice prices rose to their highest since December at $410-$415 per tonne on Thursday, versus $400 last week, amid higher demand, traders said, with the Ukraine-Russia conflict prompting buyers to place more orders from elsewhere in Asia.

    Another trader said shipping costs had surged since the Ukraine-Russia conflict began, with international freight costs rising 50% and domestic freight costs climbing 70%-80%.

    "We're concerned costs will keep rising if the conflict continues," the trader said.

    Traders said farmers in the Mekong Delta had harvested 20%-25% of the winter-spring crop.

    Domestic rice prices in Bangladesh remain high despite good crops and reserves, traders said, adding that the global market was seeing a hike due the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

    "It is very much unlikely that local prices will come down soon," a trader said.

  • Rice shortage hits Migori millers as irrigation agency scales down

  • A move by the National Irrigation Authority (NIA) to reduce operations at the lower Kuja rice irrigation scheme has grounded operations of millers. Already, rice millers are bearing the brunt of the unending stalemate between farmers and the scheme management with several acres of land lying fallow over compensation delays. The two parties have been embroiled in legal battles for years since the implementation of the first phase of the irrigation project in Nyatike. Locals accuse politicians from the region of orchestrating the current stalemate at the expense of the residents who have immensely benefited from the project. “It is hurting that some of our politicians are orchestrating the withdrawal of funds for the project to make political comebacks in 2022,” Edwin Ochieng, a resident of Sagama village said. NIA regional coordinator Joel Tanui, during a recent crisis meeting, said unwillingness by the farmers to cooperate has negatively impacted the scheme’s improvement. “NIA was only tasked with providing an infrastructural framework as part of the production, leaving farmers to take care of the remaining expenses. Locals are at liberty to choose between development and legal wrangles," he said. Millers who had invested in the region as rice production in Nyatike boomed, are now at the centre of the conflict, with some fearing they might be forced to shut down their operations if the crisis is not solved any time soon. Tom Omondi, a manager at Nyakweri rice mill, said they have stock to last them two weeks, after which they are likely to fold up. “Farmers who used to supply our mill with paddy rice have since gone down after operations at the rice farms were scaled down by the irrigation authorities citing high operation costs,” he said. The miller added that at times he’s forced to source paddy rice from as far as Ahero in Kisumu county since the diminishing supplies cannot meet their milling demands of five tonnes per day. The entire irrigation project was to cover 19,000 hectares of land and not even a quarter of the project has been implemented due to unsettled court cases regarding compensation. Currently, there are over 20 court cases seeking to have the residents compensated, with sources noting that NIA had considered pulling out from supporting the project which has cushioned the semi-arid area from pangs of drought. A November 13, 2020 investigation report by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights revealed that the project had adverse and far-reaching environmental and social effects on locals.
  • Myanmar to produce value-added products from rice husk, rice bran

  • YANGON (Xinhua): The Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) has been working on the manufacturing of value-added products from rice husk and rice bran, according to state-run newspaper Global New Light of Myanmar on Tuesday (March 8). The project on manufacturing value-added products from by-products of rice will be implemented in collaboration with rice mill owners, the newspaper quoted the federation as saying. The federation will utilise rice husks for electricity generation and rice brans for rice bran oil production. The value-added production projects will benefit sectors including edible oil, renewable electricity generation and feed manufacturing, it said. Myanmar Agribusiness Public Corporation, founded by the federation, has been carrying out power generation pilot projects by operating rice husk power plants in Kyaiklat and Myaungmya townships, and rice bran oil production pilot projects using solvent extraction and physical refining technology. "The rice industry's annual production value reached nearly 7,000 billion kyats (US$3.94 billion). The federation is working on boosting the value of domestic products and increasing investment and trade," MRF President U Ye Min Aung said. Such domestic manufacturing and job creation will help the implementation of the country's economic objectives, he added.
  • Chasing climate-ready glutinous rice for food security in Thailand and Laos

  • Chasing climate-ready glutinous rice for food security in Thailand and Laos

    food security in thailand, glutinous rice varieties

    Professor Apichart Vanavichit, Director of the Rice Science Center offers insight into how the next generation of glutinous rice varieties are critical to food security in Thailand and Laos

    Rice can be broadly classified based on cooking properties as glutinous and non-glutinous. Cooked glutinous rice is sticky, translucent, and chewy with a sweet aftertaste, while non-glutinous rice is fluffier, and less sticky and sweet. Furthermore, Glutinous rice contains more amylopectin, whereas non-glutinous rice contains more amylose.

    Origin of glutinous rice

    There are three groups of glutinous rice-based on grain sizes, small (japonica), medium (upland), and long slender (indica) grains. The origin of glutinous rice has become a hot topic for discussion by evolutionists who speculate that glutinous rice has two roots. Glutinous rice has been grown in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), especially in Laos, for 4,000 – 6,000 years, and at least 2,000 years in Yunnan, China, by Tai ethnic groups. In particular, ethnic groups in Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos helped conserve upland rice diversity. Furthermore, Laos has contributed the most remarkable genetic diversity in glutinous rice to the International Rice Genebank at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

    The key to food security

    Laos and Thailand are the only countries that consume glutinous rice as primary stable food. Laos consumes glutinous rice at 171 kg per year, the highest per capita consumption globally. In Thailand, glutinous rice is vital for household consumption in the north and northeast at 125-155 kg per capita per year. Thai farmers typically grow side-by-side, glutinous rice for household consumption and Hommali rice for cash. The current consumption of glutinous rice in Thailand has been on the rise recently due to the popularity of the northeastern cuisines in restaurants and street foods among Thais and tourists. From 2021 to 2026, the demand for glutinous rice is increasing healthily.

    Sticky rice is not just sticky

    Glutinous rice provides high amylopectin for the food and beverage industries. China is the major importer of glutinous rice from Thailand and Vietnam, mainly for alcohol production. Unlike such industrial utilisation, glutinous rice cooking is a delicacy that starts from rice cooking. Glutinous rice cannot be appropriately done in an ordinary automatic rice cooker but depends on traditional streaming practices in a unique bamboo basket. Different glutinous rice varieties are varied considerably on cooking qualities such as degrees of stickiness, chewiness, hardness, and fragrance.glutinous rice varieties, food security Thailand

    Cultivation of glutinous rice in Thailand

    Thailand is the world’s top glutinous rice producer on 3.17 Mha, generating about 7-7.5 MT and exporting about 7% annually. RD6, the most popular glutinous rice in Thailand and Laos, is widely grown in the northeast of Thailand. RD6 and Thai Hommali Rice (KDML105 and RD15) are the three most cultivated rice varieties occupying lowland rain-fed areas, constituting about 70% in northeastern Thailand. Fluctuations in rainfall distribution and poor soil fertility are critical constraints in the northeastern lowland rain-fed. Originated from gamma radiation of KDML105, RD6 is as susceptible to most biotic and abiotic stresses similar to the progenitor. Resilience to infertile soil, mild drought, salinity, and acid sulfate soil benefit high-quality Thai Hommali Rice and RD6 (Bureau of Rice Research and Development, Thailand Rice Department, 2010). Nonetheless, RD6 has still been the most popular glutinous rice in Thailand and Laos because of its soft-sticky and perfume quality of cooked rice.

    New waxy rice development

    Grain yield of glutinous RD6 and Thai Hom Mali Rice is as low as 2.32 t/ha due to their genetic makeups, soil infertility, and the lack of irrigation system in the main northeast area in Thailand. Traditional Thai RD6 and Lao TDK1 are tall, photoperiod sensitive, and susceptible to multiple biotic and abiotic stresses. RD6 has superior cooking quality with a strong aroma. Still, it is very vulnerable to blast and bacterial blight diseases, easily lodged, and intolerant to flood and drought, significant production constraints in the lowland rain-fed regions. To be accepted by farmers and consumers, new rice strains are improved to resist biotic and abiotic stresses and hold similar cooked rice quality as RD6 for prolonged softness, stickiness, chewiness, and fragrance. Because cooking glutinous rice is time-consuming, preservation is convenient for farmers and workers to consume the leftover later. Therefore, prolonged soft-stickiness is a critical characteristic of cooked glutinous rice to prevent staleness. This cooked rice quality is the hallmark for the genetic improvement of glutinous rice for household consumption in Thailand. By comprehensive gene pyramiding developed by the research team at the Innovative Plant Biotechnology and Precision Agriculture (APBT), newly improved RD6 varieties are designed to resist flash flooding, bacterial leaf blight, leaf blast, brown planthopper and gall-midge. In particular, focusing on canopy architecture such as reducing plant stature, sturdy stem, and early flowering is essential for the next generation of glutinous rice varieties. New outstanding glutinous rice varieties targeting the northeast area are released for farmers. The first famous glutinous rice is Thanyasirin, a photoperiod sensitive variety with superior cooking quality similar to RD6 but withstanding lodging. It is outstanding in its resistance to a broad spectrum of blast strains. The next variety, Nan 59, is a semi-dwarf photoperiod sensitive variety with the same cooking quality as RD6 and additional characteristics such as resistance to blast and bacterial leaf blight. Nan 59 has been the favourite variety because of its high yielding in a sustainable low production cost. The newest generation named Hom Naga is outstanding for early flowering with good cooking quality, tolerance to flash flooding and drought, and resistance to blast and bacterial blight. Now farmers can grow Hom Naga two times yearly. With assistance from the breeding team in Thailand, improving TDK1 for resistance to flash flooding, bacterial leaf blight, leaf blast, brown planthopper, and grain yield has been accomplished by the close collaboration between Thailand and Laos. The new high-yielding TDK8 was released for farmers in Laos. It is aromatic, has good cooking quality with short stature, early maturing (130-135 days), and most of all, resistance to lodging and leaf blast disease. These varieties have helped Thai and Lao farmers improve grain yields at low inputs that allow more for their households, earn more income through higher yields than traditional varieties, and are more able to withstand the impacts of climate change.

    Cost-benefit of new varieties

    The selection of many tailor-made RD6 varieties, such as Thanya Sirin and Nan 59, guided farmers and stakeholder communities in a farmers’ participatory program. Such a tactic induced farmers to voluntarily adopt new glutinous rice varieties and perform good farmers’ safe seed practices for sustainability and benefit-sharing among farmers, breeders and rice millers. For the popular Thanya Sirin, the economic benefits are mainly to farmers, in terms of increasing their revenue from yield enhancement both for consumption and sales and reducing production costs. The present value of net benefits in 2018 was 150 million baht. The benefit-cost ratio was seven times over the expense, for one baht of research investment, seven-baht return. In conclusion, the investment in glutinous rice breeding is economically worth it and has already generated high benefits for society. glutinous rice varieties, food security thailand Acknowledgement These projects have been supported by the Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture (ISA), Cluster and Program Management Office (CPMO), National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) (Grant number P-18-52711) and NSRF via the Program Management Unit for Human Resources and Institutional Development, Research, and Innovation (Grant No. B16F630088).

  • HANOI, March 8 (Reuters) - Vietnam will exempt import tax on 300,000 tonnes of rice from Cambodia this year, the government said in a statement on Tuesday. Though Vietnam is one of the world's largest rice exporters, Cambodian grains are also consumed in the country and used by some Vietnamese traders to meet their rice export contracts. (Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Martin Petty)
  • Prey Veng’s dry season rice production sees increase compared to previous year

  • The Prey Veng Provincial Department of Agriculture reported that the production of dry season rice crops has seen an increase compared to the same period of last year. The Department reported that the as of February 22, the production of this year’s dry season rice covers a total area of 118,582 hectares, which is equivalent to 158.11 percent of the initial goal of 75,000 hectares to be cultivated. Farmers have so far harvested a total of 51,751 hectares of the rice fields, which is equivalent to 43.64 percent of the total rice fields cultivated. The total yield of the harvest is 250,545 tons with an average of 4.84 tons of yield per hectare. Unofficial rice exports for January 1 to February 20 totalled to 294,694 tons which is valued at more than $61 million, This week a total of more than 53 tons of rice were exported, which is worth more than $11 million. The province also cultivated other agricultural products such as corn, watermelon and pepper. Prey Veng farmers cultivated 1,281 hectares of land for the other agricultural products, which is equivalent to more than 162.15 percent of the initial plan.  
  • Odisha government to work on export plan for aromatic rice

  • The State government is exploring the possibility of exporting rice of traditional aromatic varieties beyond basmati to further enhance the income of the farmers. PDS rice BHUBANESWAR:  The State government is exploring the possibility of exporting rice of traditional aromatic varieties beyond basmati to further enhance the income of the farmers. The Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment department has been asked to constitute a resource team and frame a realistic work plan for giving a boost to rice export. Chairing a high-level meeting with different stakeholders for promoting export of rice from the State, Chief Secretary Suresh Mahapatra asked the Agriculture department to identify agro-climatic zones more suitable for cultivation of non-basmati aromatic varieties of paddy in cluster approach. The government has decided to send a team to Andhra Pradesh for gaining firsthand knowledge on the actual practices adopted there in export of aromatic varieties of rice. The Chief Secretary directed the department to frame a realistic work plan with the suggestions from technical sessions of the seminar, and inputs from the resource team so that those could be carried forward. “The State government is committed to enhance farmers’ income by boosting the rice export and the State will provide all possible support for the purpose,” Mahapatra added. Principal Advisor to Chief Minister Asit Tripathy said the rice aggregators in the State need to be mobilised, trained and given handholding support for export-oriented operations.  
  • LWF Myanmar: innovative techniques for rice farmers

  • Farmers remove weeds in a Laos rice field. In most Asian countries, rice is both a main staple and a principal livelihood. Photo: Thomas Lohnes

    Producing more with less labor and less water

    (LWI) - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is promoting long-term resilience in Myanmar by teaching farmers in the Kayin State new rice planting techniques that produces more rice with less labor and less water.   This innovative method, called the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) has helped rice farmers increase production, improve the quality of seedlings and implement more sustainable practices. Despite the current conflict in Myanmar, farmers in less affected areas continue to strive towards creating opportunities for sustainable livelihoods. According to the Myanmar Humanitarian Response Plan 2022 issued by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, over 14,4 Million people are in need of humanitarian assistance with 6,2 million requiring urgent lifesaving support. LWF has been in these communities for years, supporting long-term community-based empowerment as well as humanitarian support through shelters and Non-food Items (NFIs) “LWF continues to work with the resilient local communities to implement projects that bring hope for a better future despite times of uncertainty,” says Susan Muis, LWF Regional Program Coordinator for Asia. “Although the challenges of conflict persist, in places where the situation is less dire, such as Kayin, farmers strive to uphold a commitment to improve their livelihoods and mitigate the effects of climate change.”

    Two times the rice with less water

    Since 2019, the LWF has provided training on SRI for local farmers in Myanmar. Over 50 families have participated in the training. The technique is a climate-resilient agricultural practice that helps produce higher yields using organic methods including salt water, and cow manure. It requires a smaller investment than traditional rice production methods. The SRI technique uses less water than traditional rice planting. Rice seedlings are planted sooner, while they are young small plants and need less nutrients. Each seedling can yield two times more rice than the previously used techniques    Local crops are vulnerable to the effects of climate change and insect infestation, affecting the living conditions of families who rely entirely on farming. Severe rainfall from the mountains floods the paddies, often located in lower altitudes, destroying the sprouting rice. In contrast, at the end of the rainy season paddies dry out due to the lack of moisture in the soil, decreasing the rice yield.  
    With the SRI method the rice plants are stronger, more resistant to flood, draught, heavy winds, pests, and diseases. Yields are also higher.
    — U Saw Htein LINN, local SRI farmer
    “I was quite interested in the new method because I enjoy experimenting with technologies" says U Saw Htein Linn, one of the first farmers to train and adopt the technique.  “I also joined a Facebook group called network of SRI friends to share experiences and knowledge.”  He adds, “with the SRI method the rice plants are stronger, more resistant to flood, draught, heavy winds, pests, and diseases. Yields are also higher. 10 baskets of paddy from the traditional method would yield 3.5 baskets of milled rice, SRI yields 4.” SRI has allowed farmers to gain more independence in rice seed selection. Linn states, “in the past we would collect paddy from the harvest and replant the next year. It would last 5 to 6 years as seed quality decreased with each season. We would then go to the department of agriculture to buy new seeds. With SRI the quality of seeds is consistent in addition to selling for food, I now also sell my high-quality paddy as seeds. People are purchasing their paddy from me and don’t need to travel to the city.” Daw San San Chit, Linn’s wife shares that the improvement of the quality of their yields and living condition has allowed them to give back to the community and those most in need. “Our family has donated to the vulnerable elderly, orphans and the monastery. The profit has been enough that we can afford to purchase and donate food to our community. We are taking better care of our children and will continue to apply the SRI.”
  • Thai rice exports still untouched by Russia-Ukraine war, says association

  • The Thai Rice Exporters Association said recently that the Russia-Ukraine war has not shaken rice exports yet, though rising oil prices may affect the situation in the long run.

    Chookiat Ophaswongse, the association’s honorary president, said Thailand exported some 6,000 tonnes of rice to Russia and about 2,000 tonnes to Ukraine last year.
    However, he said, the situation may change because wheat exports from Russia have been banned, which may result in pushing up the price of rice and other grains. This may impact orders from potential buyers. Chookiat added that the sea route from Thailand to key markets in Europe, especially France, and Africa have not been affected because it does not pass Russia or Ukraine. However, the cost of shipping may spike if the price of oil rises above US$100 per barrel. Then, he said, countries may choose to purchase rice from countries that are closer and cheaper than Thailand. Yet, he said, Thailand may still achieve the goal of exporting 7 million tonnes of rice this year thanks to the Middle East, where each country exports at least 1 million tonnes of rice every year. Though the Middle East market had slowed down, it began picking up again from the end of 2021. Meanwhile, Pitak Udomwichaiwat, director-general of the Department of Foreign Trade (DFT), said the department is adjusting its publicity strategy for rice in line with the current situation. It is planning to launch online campaigns to raise awareness about Thai rice and boost its popularity. DFT plans to focus on strengthening trade ties with China, Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore. Apart from holding virtual meetings with potential buyers, the department will also look for ways to deal with Vietnam – Thailand’s No 1 competitor in rice exports. He added that Thailand’s export sector should do well this year because the container shortage problem is easing, though the cost of shipping is still high. Plus, he said, the price of Thai rice is still competitive thanks to the exchange rate and will remain so if the currency does not get stronger. DFT is planning to join international exhibitions and is eyeing the Saudi Arabian market. It has asked Thai diplomats to survey the demand and develop links with key rice exporters in Saudi Arabia. Pitak said once the Covid-19 situation eases, DFT will take Thai exporters to negotiate deals. As for government-to-government deals, DFT is waiting to sign a memorandum of understanding with Iraq even though the private sector is already exporting rice to the country.
  • Thai rice prices forecast to rise 5% in Q2

  • Thai rice prices are expected to increase by 5% in the second quarter, pushed up by the war in Ukraine's effect on surging global commodity prices, says veteran trader Chookiat Ophaswongse. Mr Chookiat, an honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said there was growing concern about a wheat shortage as Russia and Ukraine are the main producers of the crop, while rising oil prices are likely to drive up overall commodity prices. "Thai rice is expected to see just a 5% increase in prices in the second quarter because there are relatively high rice stocks in India, while rice production is expected to increase this year both in Vietnam and Thailand," said Mr Chookiat. The 5% white rice price in the domestic market is now quoted at 12 baht per kilogramme, down from 16 baht per kg in the same period last year. The free-on-board price of 5% Thai white rice is quoted at US$400 a tonne, higher than Indian white rice, which stands at $355 a tonne, and Vietnam's similar grains at $390 per tonne. For the 2021/2022 harvest season, the association expects Thailand's rice production to increase to 30-32 million tonnes of paddy rice, or 20 million of milled rice, up from 27-28 million tonnes of paddy rice, or 17 million tonnes of milled rice, in the 2020/2021 season. Widespread drought is unlikely this year, said the association, as happened two years ago. Given the ample water supply, second-crop rice production is also expected to increase. He said the war is unlikely to affect Thailand's overall rice exports because shipments to Russia and Ukraine stood at only 6,000 tonnes and 3,000 tonnes, respectively, last year. "It is fortunate export markets in the Middle East, such as Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia, will be back this year," Mr Chookiat said. "These countries are net rice importers with a combined million tonnes each year." Thailand shipped 6.11 million tonnes of rice last year, up 6.68% from 5.73 million tonnes in 2020, with exports valued at 108 billion baht, down by 7.14% from 116 billion baht in 2020. The 2021 shipments comprised 2.35 million tonnes of white rice (up 18.9%), 1.4 million tonnes of Thai hom mali rice (down 1.7%), 1.4 million tonnes of parboiled rice (up 1.6%), 550,574 tonnes of aromatic rice (down 4.1%), and 310,878 tonnes of glutinous rice (up 12.4%). The association projects exports rising 14.8% this year to 7 million tonnes, driven by ample water supply. Higher demand is likely thanks to a global economic recovery and a favourable exchange rate.
  • Visualizing the World’s Biggest Rice Producers

  • Visualizing The World’s Biggest Rice Producers

    Visualizing The World’s Biggest Rice Producers

    It’s hard to overstate the importance of rice to the world. As a staple food, over half of the global population depends on the crop as a major part of their diet. In fact, rice is considered a vital part of nutrition in much of Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean, and is estimated to provide more than one-fifth of the calories consumed worldwide by humans. This graphic highlights the world’s 10 biggest rice-producing countries, using 2019 production data from the UN’s FAOSTAT and the USDA.

    Which Countries Produce the Most Rice?

    With 756 million tonnes produced globally in 2019, rice is the world’s third-most produced agricultural crop behind sugarcane and corn (maize), which both have a wide variety of non-consumption uses. Just 10 countries are responsible for a bulk of global rice production:
    Country Tonnes Rice Produced (2019) % of Total
    China 211.4M 28.0%
    India 177.6M 23.5%
    Indonesia 54.6M 7.2%
    Bangladesh 54.6M 7.2%
    Vietnam 43.4M 5.7%
    Thailand 28.3M 3.7%
    Myanmar 26.3M 3.5%
    Philippines 18.8M 2.5%
    Pakistan 11.1M 1.5%
    Brazil 10.4M 1.4%
    Others 119.0M 15.8%
    Total 755.5M 100.0%
    At the top of the charts are China (#1) and India (#2), which produced 389 million tonnes combined, accounting for more than half of global production. They’re significantly ahead of #3 and #4 countries Indonesia and Bangladesh, which produced around 54.6 million tonnes each. Almost all of the top producers are located in Asia, with the exception of Brazil (#10).

    Feeding A Growing World

    With 84% of rice being harvested in just 10 countries, it’s clear that many countries globally must rely on imports to meet domestic demand. In 2019, India, Thailand, Pakistan, and Vietnam were large net exporters of rice, shipping out nearly $16 billion of rice combined. Other countries including Iran, China, Saudi Arabia, and the Philippines consume above production numbers and rely on imports to meet their needs. And not everything makes it from plant to table. In developing countries especially, estimates of 8–26% of rice are lost due to postharvest problems and poor infrastructure. As the global population continues to grow, rice will continue to be a key source of calories around the world—and as our diets change, it’ll be interesting to see how that role shifts in the future.
  • U.S. Army Corps works with tribe to improve wild rice

  • WATERSMEET — U.S. Army Corps of Engineers researchers are working with the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians and other Native American tribes to help improve wild rice productivity, the corps said. The work of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, located in Vicksburg, Mississippi, is supporting two six-year USACE Detroit District Planning Assistance to States studies. Wild rice, or “manoomin” in the Anishinaabe or Ojibwe language, is found in fringe and riparian wetlands along lakes and rivers in the Great Lakes region. It is culturally significant and an important food source for Great Lakes region Native American tribes, the corps said. Wild rice is also a vital part of traditional religious ceremonies for these tribes. The Native American tribes harvest wild rice using traditional methods. Called “knocking the rice,” harvesters gently guide a canoe through the rice while using “knockers” to carefully knock or brush ripe rice into the canoe, taking great care not to damage the plants, according to the corps. This centuries-old method helps sustain wild rice stands. Knowledge of wild rice has been handed down through oral tradition, the corps said. ERDC researchers found the Native American tribes to be an invaluable repository of wild rice ecological and cultural information.
    In addition to its cultural significance, wild rice is also important to the region’s ecology, the corps said. Wild rice is an annual plant that lacks a rhizome, and its seeds germinate following a prolonged submergence in cold temperatures. In ecosystems where it is found, wild rice functions as an aquatic habitat and food resource. Wild rice, the corps noted, is also sensitive to ecosystem changes. Large stands of wild rice indicate a healthy, functioning ecosystem. However, over the last few decades, wild rice production has significantly declined. Many factors, including precipitation, water quality, water temperature, vegetation competition, soil properties and hydrology, impact wild rice production. “Current ERDC research focuses on 12 lakes in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan,” said Jacob Berkowitz, research soil scientist in the ERDC’s Environmental Laboratory, in a news release. “There are varying levels of wild rice productivity across these research lakes.” ERDC research at the lakes, according to the corps, focuses on three components, each important to sustaining wild rice production: nutrient concentrations in the water column and in sediment porewater, soil physicochemical properties and hydrology. “The ERDC continues to work collaboratively with the Native American tribes of the upper Great Lakes region to identify ecological threats to wild rice,” Berkowitz said. “Researchers are developing monitoring and mapping tools to help the tribes improve wild rice management.” The benefits of these updated management practices include improving water quality, reducing flood risks and ensuring the future sustainability of wild rice in the region, the corps said.
  • Rice Soars as Ukraine War Starts Scramble for Any and All Grains

  • Rice is the latest commodity to get swept up in the turmoil of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Prices for rice are surging because traders are betting it will be an alternative for wheat, which is becoming prohibitively expensive. Exports of wheat from Russia and Ukraine account for more than a quarter of the crop’s trade worldwide and a fifth of corn sales. Shipping in the Black Sea region is already engulfed in chaos. “Everyone’s trying to buy every type of starch they can,” said Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist at StoneX. “With wheat supplies tightening up dramatically on the world market, you’re going to see demand shifting to rice to fill that need to feed people.”  Everything from wheat to oil to fertilizer is soaring as the war ramps up fears of supply-chain shakeups. That’s further exacerbating inflation worries at a time when hunger emergencies are on the rise. Rice jumped as much as 4.2% to $16.89 per 100 pounds, the highest since May 2020. The staple grain is also heading for an 11% weekly gain, the most since 2018.
    Chicago futures climb to highest since 2020 amid supply concerns
    In a bright spot, global supplies of rice are plentiful, with bigger exports coming from India, the biggest exporter, and world stockpiles forecast to increase by 0.4 million tons. In the U.S., spring planting is underway in southern Louisiana and along the Texas coast, half of which will be exported to the world market.
  • Vietnamese rice, spices, fruit gain firm foothold in international markets

  • HANOI (Vietnam News/Asia News Network): Vietnamese rice, spices, and fruit have been increasing their presence in demanding markets worldwide as local businesses are taking advantage of free trade agreements. According to statistics of the General Department of Customs, in January, rice export reached 505,741 tonnes worth US$246.02 million, sharp increases of 45.4 per cent and 28.2 per cent against last year, respectively. The Vietnam Food Association (VFA) forecast that Vietnam would ensure its 2022 overseas rice shipments at between 6-6.2 million tonnes, similar to the amount recorded in 2020 and 2021, for a revenue of over $3.2 billion. Rice exports this year are likely to maintain a good rank, as the local rice industry is increasingly improving in quality and large domestic enterprises such as Lộc Trời, Tân Long, Intimex, and Trung An have sealed large orders of high value. In addition to the traditional key export earner, investment in new products such as spices is also very promising. The Vietnamese high-quality spices producer Dh Foods Joint Stock Company has signed a cooperation agreement with the US-based Heritage Beverage Company to export its products to this market. Accordingly, Heritage Beverage will become the exclusive distributor of Dh Foods' speciality spices in the US. About 10 containers of Vietnamese products are expected to leave for the US this year starting from the third quarter. Dh Foods General Director Nguyễn Trung Dũng hoped that Heritage Beverage will help his company conquer the share of the Asian food market in the US, which is valued at up to $40 billion and serves about 30 million people of Asian origin, including three million people from Vietnam. It is estimated that more than 80 per cent of supermarkets in this country have Asian food stalls. Currently, Vietnam's spices exporters are better at meeting the strict requirements of foreign partners, capable of providing value-added, good quality and safe products for many leading importers and premium distribution channels in many regions of the world. Contributing more than $3.5 billion to Vietnam's total export turnover in 2021, the fruit and vegetable industry also successfully delivered a series of new orders from the outset of 2022. Notably, the Westerfarm limited company and Vietnam Golden Gate Joint Stock Company exported three tonnes of mangoes to the Netherlands. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Lê Minh Hoan affirmed that this year’s agro-forestry-fishery exports will reach or even exceed $50 billion, growing by 3-4 per cent.
  • Kenya introduces new hybrid rice in Mwea

  •   A new hybrid rice has been introduced in Mwea, Kenya. Dr. Emmanuel Okogbenin, the director in charge of programs and commercialization at the African Agriculture Technology Foundation (AATF), made the announcement and said the new rice variety is more yielding and early maturing. The move is set to replace the demand for imported rice in the country. According to Dr. Emmanuel Okogbenin, the new breed of rice according to scientists is more favorable to the Kenyan masses and is cheap when compared with the imported rice. African Agriculture Technology Foundation (ATTF) has been collaborating with Kenya Agricultural Research and Livestock Organization in Mwea in the development of the hybrid rice. Already 400 acres have been supplied with the rice and true to the expert’s words’ the crop is already growing faster than the traditional rice.
    Rice consumption in Kenya
    “It is heart breaking for Kenya and the entire Africa to continue importing food while they have the ability to produce their own at a local level. Our objective is to achieve prosperity for the farmers through technology as will be evidenced through the hybrid rice. There is a greater need for the adoption of the technology in order to increase rice production in Kenya and in Africa as a whole,” Okogbenin said. Okogbenin said the level of rice consumption in Kenya stands at 650,000 tons as compared to the production, which is at 150,000 tons. As a result, the deficit is met by the importation of 500,000 tons of rice yearly. The crop scientist further observed consumption of rice has increased by 13% while productivity grew by only 3% and hence the need to jump start rice production in the country.                              
  • The rice industry aims to improve water efficiency by 75 per cent by 2026

  • A man in a Fluro yellow shirt stands in front of a rice crop Rice is one of Australia's thirstiest crops, but the industry has now set itself the ambitious target of improving water efficiency by 75 per cent by 2026.  

    AgriFutures managing director John Harvey says the target – 1.5 tonnes of rice grown for each megalitre of water used – is part of a roadmap to “transform” the industry to ensure its survival.

    "Our end goal is to ensure rice remains a competitive and profitable option for all rice growers," Mr Harvey said. 

    Australian rice growers already use 50 per cent less water than the global average, but the recent drought proved water availability will continue to be the largest challenge facing the industry. 

    The 2019–20 rice crop was one of the smallest ever recorded with growers only able to access zero to 6 per cent of their water allocation. 

    "We grow a lot of rice when there's lots of water like there is this year. We'll probably grow over 600,000 paddy tonnes. But then we have years where we only grow 45,000 paddy tonnes," Mr Harvey said.

    How will the target be achieved? 

    The 2021 SunRice Grower of the Year, Darrell Fiddler, manages De Bortoli Wine’s broadacre operations at Griffith.

    He is already "knocking on the door" of achieving the target having improved his water efficiency by around 40 per cent. 

    "When we first started growing rice we were at that 12.5 to 13 megalitres [of water used per hectare]. This year's crop will come in at about 7.5ML/ha," Mr Fiddler said. 

    A group of people facing a rice crop
    The rice industry gathered at a field day to view SunRice Grower of the Year Darrell Fiddler's crops. (ABC Riverina: Olivia Calver)

    Traditionally rice is grown partially submerged in water throughout the season, however a technique that delays the application of permanent water has gained traction in the industry. 

    Mr Fiddler was an early adopter of "delayed ponding" and credits it as having one of the biggest impacts on his water efficiency. 

    Aerobic-grown rice the next step

    He is now looking at the next step, growing rice aerobically, without any water ponding, as part of a trial with Deakin University. 

    A crucial component of the trial is using automation to control irrigation flushes. 

    A man in a blue hat and shirt holds some green rice in front of a crop
    Peter Snell says new cold-tolerant varieties will be more suited to delayed ponding and aerobic-grown rice. (ABC Riverina: Olivia Calver)

    Cold-tolerant varieties that survive without the water 'blanket'

    New rice varieties are also key to achieving the water efficiency target. 

    NSW Department of Primary Industries rice breeder Peter Snell said permanent water provided a type of blanket for rice, protecting it from damaging cold weather.

    Therefore, a focus has been on breeding cold-tolerant rice varieties, which can handle the delayed or absent application of permanent water. 

    This includes a new variety, V071, which is being grown throughout the Riverina for the first time this year. 

    "We're very reliant on deep water to protect developing panicles and one of the big things for aerobic or growing rice on beds is getting cold tolerance."

  • Experts Discuss Study Findings to Boost Rice Yields

  • RESEARCH in agriculture has been described as a solid basis for increasing food production, including rice, whose consumption has increased significantly in recent years.

    This was stated by the Kilimanjaro Regional Administrative Secretary, Willy Machumu, during a meeting to present and discuss the technical manual for contributing water use efficiency at irrigation schemes, which was held in Moshi, Kilimanjaro recently.

    "All development issues are being implemented with great success after a thorough study, so this study you present today I believe will be the best foundation for increasing productivity in rice production in the country," he said in a statement read on his behalf by Mr Arnold Msuya from the Kilimanjaro Regional Secretariat.

    "I am very impressed and optimistic that the study would improve food production and improve paddy agriculture by helpingto create strategic plans for rain harvesting and preservation of water as well as its proper utilisation," he said.

    He appealed to the participants and the agricultural experts in general to use the results of the study effectively to increase rice production in the country.

    "I am optimistic that irrigation paddy fields will be improved and later on increase rice production, especially when put in mind that irrigation paddy fields accounts for 26 percent of the rice production area than the rain fed one," he noted.

    Earlier during a presentation through video from Japan, the Programme Director with the Japan International Research Centre for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), Dr Nakashima Kazuo, said the demand for rice was continuously increasing due to increasing population growth and the spread of rice eating culture.

    "Under these circumstances, Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries instructed JIRCAS to conduct a study on improving water efficiency in irrigation schemes in Africa", he said.

    He said the study was aimed at increasing paddy production especially in Sub-Saharan Africa where rice production falls short of consumption, leading to an increase in the region's rice importations from Asia and North America.

    He said it was due to that factor that Japan started its support for rice cultivation in Tanzania in 1974, whereby their experts conducted activities which were aimed at establishing techniques of irrigated rice cultivation in Lower Moshi district.

    Speaking on behalf of the Head of the National Irrigation Commission, the Kilimanjaro Regional Irrigation Officer Eng Said Hussein Ibrahim, said the study involved Kilimanjaro Agricultural Training Centre (KATC), Arusha Technical College (ATC), National irrigation Commission, Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute Ministry of Agriculture and JIRCAS.

    KATC Head, Eng Nicodemus Shauritanga, thanked JIRCAS for its collaboration in the study, whereby he said KATC's mentors who participated in the project would now be competent in research works due to the experiences they gained in the project.

  • Rice Prices In Iran Double In One Year Amid General Inflation

  • A rice field in Iran. Undated   The price of Iranian rice, the main food staple in the country, has increased over 95 percent in one year, a government reporting agency has said.
    According to the latest report released by Statistical Center of Iran (SCI)on Monday, the price for one kilogram of Iranian rice in the month of Bahman (ended on February 20) increased by about 20 percent compared with the previous month, and 95 percent compared with a year ago. The report said the price reached 760,000 rials (about $3), showing a 95.3-percent rise compared to the same period last year. The price reported by SCI is way lower than the actual price in the market, which is nearly 1,000,000 rials (about $4), which means the real increase in the price of rice is closer to 200 percent. With only a few weeks left until the new Iranian year on March 20, prices of essential food items are still rising at alarming levels, local media report. Food prices have been rising much faster than the general inflation rate -- hovering around 40 percent -- with government figures showing above 60-percent inflation at retail level in 2021, compared with 2020. Sugar and different types of rice are usually items with highest price increases followed by different kinds of meat, chicken and eggs as well as cooking oil.
  • Farm exports boom in new year

  • High quality rice is being prepared for export. Photo
    HCM CITY – Farm exports to difficult markets like Japan, South Korea, Australia, and the EU have been prolific in the first two months of this year, raising hopes for a successful year. Phạm Thái Bình, general director of Trung An Hi-tech Agriculture Joint Stock Company in Cần Thơ City, said his company has fulfilled five orders for nearly 1,000 tonnes of fragrant rice from Germany, Malaysia and Qatar. " It is expected that this year rice exports will be very successful thanks to many import markets around the world beginning to reopen after the Covid-19 epidemic was brought under control and trade agreements were signed." Lộc Trời Agriculture Products JSC, a subsidiary of Lộc Trời Group, has exported more than 4,500 tonnes of fragrant, white, brown, and glutinous rice varieties worth US$3 million to Europe, the US, the Middle East, and Asia.  Nguyễn Văn Thứ, director of GC Food Company in Đồng Nai Province, said his firm shipped a container of aloe vera and coconut jelly on February 7. His company’s exports have increased by 30 per cent in the first two months of 2022 and it has many more export orders to markets like Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia, he said. It targets exports of VNĐ350 billion (US$15.2 million) this year, up 67 per cent from 2021. "The Việt Nam - EU Free Trade Agreement has creates very favourable conditions for the export of agricultural products." General secretary of the Việt Nam Fruit and Vegetable Association, Đặng Phúc Nguyên, said in January exports of vegetables and fruits to key markets such as Japan, Korea, Russia, Australia, the Netherlands and the US grew by 12-69 per cent. Vietnamese firms are familiar with the quality and other requirements in these markets, which has helped increase exports significantly, he added. With the forecast being that in 2022 the Covid-19 epidemic will be full controlled and the global economy will recover, GC Food has invested in modern production lines to double its total capacity to 35,000 tonnes of products a year, Thứ added. – VNS.  
  • Rice produced by multi-stakeholder partnership shipped abroad

  • Loc Troi Group, a leading provider of agricultural services and products in Vietnam, shipped more than 4,500 tonnes of rice worth over 3 million USD to markets in Europe, Americas and Asia in early 2022.

    Rice produced by multi-stakeholder partnership shipped abroad hinh anh 1
    Hanoi (VNA) – Loc Troi Group, a leading provider of agricultural services and products in Vietnam, shipped more than 4,500 tonnes of rice worth over 3 million USD to markets in Europe, Americas and Asia in early 2022. The products, which met all requirements set by each market, were produced with the partnership between farming households and the company. The cooperation is part of the Loc Troi agricultural ecosystem comprising cooperatives and 1,200 staffers working with rice farmers, which helps raise efficiency, save costs and benefit farming households who engage in the process./. 
  • Pakistan has potential of $4.5b rice exports

  • Pakistan has the potential of $4.5 billion rice exports, but currently, the exports stand at $2.1 billion, WealthPK reported. By taking pragmatic steps, Pakistan can improve its production and exports, according to Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research. The minister said in a statement that Pakistan’s total production of rice this season is 9 million tons. Pakistan’s domestic consumption of rice was 3.5 million tons in FY 2020-21. He said that with a total stock of 2.5 million tons from the previous year, Pakistan now has an export potential of 8 million tons. Globally, Pakistan is the fourth largest rice exporter and the 11th largest rice producer, WealthPK reported. Rice yields are 2.56 tons per hectare in Pakistan, but the world average is 4.7 tonnes per hectare, which shows there is a lot of room for improvement. During pre and post-harvesting, a large amount of rice is lost, WealthPK reported. Post-harvesting accounts for direct loss of rice physically and quality-wise that reduces the economic value of crop or makes it unsuitable for human consumption. Due to over-exposure to fluctuating temperature, a huge quantity of rice is cracked during threshing, causing rice breakage during processing (milling) and reducing its quality. Journal of Agricultural Research and Technology states that due to mismanagement, pest attack, and spoilage, almost 25 percent of rice is lost after harvest in developing countries. Different stages of rice crops and how it is wasted are described below, WealthPK reported. Technological innovation is an important factor in boosting agricultural output and reducing wastage. Developing countries like Pakistan lag in the latest/up-to-date technologies. Weak transportation and crop management system are important factors that increase the probability of rice wastages. Almost 95 percent of farmers own less than 12.5 acres of land.
  • Rice profits up around 15 pct

  • Rice profits up around 15 pct Major rice producers and exporters saw their after-tax profits last year increase around 15 percent against the previous year thanks to stronger domestic and overseas sales with higher export prices.

    Loc Troi Group JSC reaped the biggest-ever revenues of over VND10.2 trillion ($443.4 million) and after-tax profits of more than VND420 billion, up 36 percent and 14 percent, respectively.

    Vietnam National Seed Group JSC (Vinaseed) made revenues of over VND1.93 trillion and after-tax profits of more than VND225 billion, posting respective year-on-year rises of 18 percent and 16 percent.

    Both net revenues and after-tax profits of Trung An Hi-tech Farming JSC increased 15 percent to VND3.12 trillion and over VND100 billion.

    Vietnam exported over 6.2 million tons of rice totaling nearly $3.3 billion last year, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

    The average export price of Vietnamese rice rose 5.5 percent against 2020 to $526.8 per ton in 2021, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    Loc Troi exported over 80,000 tons of rice worth over VND1 trillion, quadrupling in both volume and value against 2020. Vinaseed exported 60 tons of premium fragrant rice to the U.K. for the first time.

    Domestic sales also increased last year, partly due to social distancing measures imposed to curb Covid-19. Hoa Sen Rice told VnExpress its sales surged 45 percent in 2021.

    The Vietnam Food Association predicted Vietnam, which exported 505,700 tons of rice worth $246 million in January, would export over 6 million tons of rice this year. However, a sharp increase in prices of agricultural materials, especially fertilizers, will increase input costs and lowers farmer incomes.


  • China issues 2022 minimum purchase prices for some rice products

  • The total volume of rice purchased at the minimum purchase price for 2022 will be limited to 50mln tonnes A worker falls asleep among heaps of rice sacks at a wholesale market in Jakarta May 3, 2008. Image used for illustrative purposes.
    BEIJING- China's state planner on Friday issued the minimum purchase prices for some rice products for 2022. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) set the minimum purchase prices for early indica, late indica and japonica rice at 124 yuan, 129 yuan and 131 yuan per 50kg respectively.
    That works out at a minimum purchase price of 2,480 yuan ($392.14), 2,580 yuan and 2,620 yuan per tonne respectively. The prices are also higher than those set for 2021, signalling increasing support for production of the crop. 
    The total volume of rice purchased at the minimum purchase price for 2022 will be limited to 50 million tonnes, with 20 million tonnes for indica rice and 30 million tonnes for japonica rice, the NDRC said. China had called for an increase in rice production at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic amid concerns over food security in the world's most populous country. A government working group said that regions with good growing conditions should restore double-cropping of rice and that planted acreage of early crop rice should be expanded. ($1 = 6.3243 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Emily Chow and Beijing newsroom Editing by David Goodman) ((; +862120830020; Reuters Messaging:  
  • No rice price hike during Ramadan, predicts food secretary

  • No rice price hike during Ramadan, predicts food secretary Food Secretary Dr Mosammat Nazmanara Khanum on Wednesday assured that the prices of rice would not increase during the upcoming holy month of Ramadan. She gave the assurance while talking to reporters at her Secretariat office. "I can assure you (journalists) that the prices of rice would not increase during Ramadan this year because the food-friendly programme of the government will start in March," Dr Nazmanara said. "As many as five million families would get 30 kg rice each under the programme. So there is no chance of rice price hike during the month of fasting," she added. Asked what would be the government initiative in case rice prices increase inevitably during Ramadan in line with the present high rate of the main staple, she said, "If we (government) see that situation, we would increase the number of open market sale (OMS) outlets." She asserted that the government always shows liberal attitudes as regards the food issues and it (the government) would start selling rice at increased volumes at subsidised rate in the open market. "And if necessary, the government is ready to import rice considering the interest of the consumers," she said. She, however, straightaway ruled out the possibility of rice import right now by the government. The country has now over two million tonnes of food stock in the public silos, she said. If the government takes move to import rice, the critics might through into question the government's claim of the present sufficient food stock in the country, she added. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) had earlier suggested that the government import rice though they expressed satisfaction at the country's overall food production, she said. "We (the government) don't want to import (rice)-- if we can fulfill our requirement within our means then it will be easier for us to establish that we are self-sufficient," she added. Even though there is a stock of over two million tonnes of food, millers are ready to sell rice to the government, she continued. "So prices of the coarse varieties of rice would not increase further; rather those would come down after arrival of the newly-harvested Boro, " she said. She expressed optimism that if any untoward situation dose not happen newly-harvested Boro rice would hit the market in April next that will help prevent further price escalation of rice. Admitting the present price spiral of different varieties of rice, she said it would be brought under control through increased supply (of rice). Prices of different varieties of rice in the market are now high. Coarse varieties of rice were selling at around Tk50 per kg while fine varieties at between Tk60 and Tk 65 a kg in the city's retail markets on Wednesday.
  • Pakistan’s rice exports to China increased 133% in 2021

  • Pakistan’s export of rice to China (HS Code 1006) crossed $400 million in 2021, up 133 percent year on year, and in the first five months of the last year once Pakistan remained the largest rice supplier to China. China Economic Net (CEN) reported this on Tuesday quoting official data from the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC). Commercial Counselor of the Pakistan Embassy Beijing Badar uz Zaman previously said that in the next few years, his target is to achieve one million tons of rice. He desires that Pakistan will become the largest player in this market. This year China imported about 973,000 tons of rice worth $437 million from Pakistan. The seven new Pakistan rice exporters have been added to the approved list which has risen to 53 last year, and China relaxed import restrictions on Pakistani rice which helped rice export to China. Commercial Counselor Badar uz Zaman told CEN that Pakistan has become the third-largest exporter of rice to China, added that they are using traditional and especially social media platforms to provide awareness about Pakistani rice in this market. “We are also in discussion with the Chinese government for the technology transfer of sea rice because huge saline land along the coastal districts can be used for rice cultivation. The Chinese have been successful in their experiments to use the saline land and we can learn this from China,” Badar added. This year semi or wholly milled rice (Commodity Code 10063020) crossed about $249 millio, increased 85% as compared to last year, which followed by broken rice (Commodity Code 10064020) reached $125 million, up 201% year on year. Badar further said that the number of Pakistani restaurants isincreasing in China that helped Pakistani Basmati rice improve exports here, and Middle Eastern restaurants like Lebanese and Turkish restaurants also use Basmati rice. Previously there was no presence of Basmati rice because Chinese normally like the other varieties of rice, but now the Chinesebuying power is being increased, and the tendency to use expensive products and special aromatic basmati rice will create a pull from the Chinese market. Miss Xie working as a manager in a Pakistani restaurant is amazed that more Chinese customers are coming to eat Basmati rice because it’s different from Chinese rice and it has a special fragrance. The grains remain separate after cooking. Asif Jalil, owner of Little Lahore a famous restaurant in China told CEN that Thai Jasmine rice is very popular here because they created the demand in the Chinese market and now, they are capturing & enjoying the market, he added Pakistan still needs to work hard to grab the whole market because the Chinese market is too big. “The quantity of Pakistani rice exported to China, at this moment does not represent the demand from the local consumers. It only tells that we let some of the consumers try Pakistani rice. When this export grows over a certain period, then basically, we will be able to see the number of returning consumers to rightly quantify the growth in demand for Pakistani rice,” he added. Pakistani rice exporters expressed that the shipping cost is too high due to COVID-19 and the price of rice in the domestic market goes up while the end-users are still buying on old rates. If they get subsidies or some incentives from the Chinese side, that would help increase much more exports of Pakistani rice to China. They also said that 1121 Basmati Rice has very high quality in Pakistan but the price of this type of rice is the same as Indian traders are getting in the Chinese market, while quality has a huge difference, adding that the Pakistani government needs much more effort to increase further exports of rice because China is a very big market. They also mentioned that right now IRRI-6, IRRI-9, semi or wholly milled rice and broken rice are the main varieties of rice that are exported to China while Basmati and other top varieties still need to work hard to capture the Chinese market. Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research (NFSR) Fakhar Imam said that last year Pakistan has the best rice production of around 9 million tons, which has helped Pakistan earn $4.75 billion from rice exports, and he expected that 2022 will break all record of rice production and exports. It is also worth mentioning that the latest color sorter machines (technology) and seeds given by China to Pakistan to facilitate the sowing and improvement of rice grains helped increase rice exports to China and also around the world.  
  • State goes slow on paddy purchase, milled rice delivery

  • BHUBANESWAR: Even as the farmers are crying foul over delay in procurement of paddy leading to lapse of tokens, the Odisha government is lagging behind in both purchase of paddy under minimum support price system and delivery of custom milled rice to the Food Corporation of India (FCI). In the ongoing kharif marketing season (KMS), the State government agencies have procured 36.33 lakh tonne of paddy under the decentralised procurement system as against 43.98 lakh tonne during the same period last year. 
    In the delivery of custom milled rice (CMR), the State is way behind last year’s achievement. As per FCI procurement data, the State has so far delivered 12,313 tonne of custom milled rice to the Central agency against the last year’s figure of 4.56 lakh tonne. However, the progress in milling rice for distribution under different food security schemes is comparatively better than last year. The Odisha State Civil Supply Corporation (OSCSC), the government agency mandated for paddy procurement and supply of rice under public distribution, has received over 2.87 lakh tonne of rice against 2.51 lakh tonne during the corresponding period last year. The total rice procurement till end of January 2022 was 2.99 lakh tonne against 7 lakh tonne last year. As the blame game over lifting of parboiled rice between the State and Centre continues, the rice millers who are benefitting the most out of it are going slow as they are not keen to supply raw rice to the FCI. “We have sufficient stock of parboiled rice in our warehouse. As FCI refused to lift parboiled rice from this kharif marketing season, there is hardly any space to accommodate paddy and rice at the same time,” said a rice miller from Western Odisha. The Department of Food Distribution and Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Food, had intimated the State government on August  3, 2021 that the FCI will not lift parboiled rice from Odisha from the next KMS (2021-22). The issue was raised by BJD MPs in the Rajya Sabha last week. The State government has targeted to procure 63 lakh tonne of paddy (nearly 42 lakh tonne rice) in the kharif season and 14 lakh tonne paddy (around 10 lakh tonne rice) in rabi season.  
  • High cost of inputs leaves Mwea rice farmers with a bitter taste

  • A farmers carries some rice seedlings for transplanting at a section  whose season came late within  the Mwea Irrigation scheme. PHOTO;Munene Kamau/standard Rice farmers from the Mwea Irrigation Scheme have decried the increased cost of fertiliser and other farm inputs. The high cost of production of rice has resulted in farmers seeking money from unregulated creditors to finance farming while many small-scale farmers are unable to access credit have ditched rice farming. According to prominent rice trader Njiru Mkombozi, the farms and plots under the Mwea Irrigation Scheme still lack title deeds which make it difficult for farmers to get financial assistance from regulated banks. “Most farmers have lease and beacon certificates which are not accepted by banks as collateral for loans. This leaves farmers at the mercy of shylocks who charge exorbitant interests,” he said. Mr Mkombozi, a rice miller, said farmers rush to shylocks to get easier loans which accrue high interest of around 30 per cent. “With affordable farm inputs, farmers can be able to produce rice at low cost, we are also requesting financial institutions to start accepting lease and beacon certificates as collateral so as to save farmers from the jaws of rogue unregulated creditors,” he said. He added that some creditors are forced to harvest rice in the farms of indebted farmers who are then left with nothing from a whole crop season. Daniel Ng’ang’a, another farmer, said the completion of Thiba Dam would triple the production of rice in the scheme and urged the government to spur local production through imposing taxes on imported rice. “The government has been giving excuses that local production of rice is not enough, and that is why they have been allowing imports which have hurt our economy greatly,” he said. “This must come to an end once the dam under construction is completed.” Thiba dam is expected to double the production of rice from the current 114, 000 metric tonnes to 230,000 metric tonnes. Other than lack of affordable credit, competition from rice imports and the high cost of farm inputs, snail invasion in Kenya’s largest rice scheme are some of the challenges that have forced some farmers to abandon cultivation of the crop. Jane Wangechi, a trader at Wanguru township, said the government should expand the rice off-take programme to cover farmers outside the big cooperatives in the area. “We feel that the government has also left us at the mercy of brokers and must make the off-take programme an annual activity,” she said.  
  • From Plate to Plough: Fix rice farming to avoid a bumper emissions harvest

  • The amount of methane emitted from paddy fields of India is 3.396 teragram per year, which is 71.32 mt CO2e. By Ashok Gulati & Reena Singh Against the ‘carbon neutrality by 2070’ target set by India at CoP26, Budget FY23 lists “climate action” and “energy transition” as priorities for the “Amrit Kaal”. The announcement of an additional allocation of Rs 19,500 crore for solar PV modules, co-firing of 5-7% of biomass pellets in thermal power plants, “sovereign green bonds, and “battery-swapping policy” was made in the context. These are steps towards making energy and transport sector less polluting. But in the case of agriculture, Budget announcements have been rather limited. We know that agriculture contributes 73% of country’s total methane emissions. India has kept itself away from recent EU-US pledge to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030, despite it being the third-largest emitter of methane globally. It is in this context, one has to see the Budget announcement of chemical-free natural farming within a 5-km-wide corridor along the Ganga, support for millets, increased domestic production of oilseeds, kisan drones, etc. While these are welcome steps, they do not give enough comfort on overcoming the environmental damage already done by this sector as a result of subsidies on urea, canal irrigation, and power for irrigation, along with minimum support prices (MSP) and procurement policies that are concentrated in a few states and largely on two crops, rice and wheat. On January 1, the country had stocks of wheat and rice in the central pool that were 4X higher than the buffer stocking norms. In fact, rice stocks with the FCI are an astounding 7X higher than the buffer norms. This is despite record distribution of rice in PDS and record exports of rice (17.7MMT) in 2020-21! The financial value of these excessive grain stocks is Rs2.14 lakh crore, out of which Rs 1.66 lakh crore is just because of the excess rice stocks, estimated at economic cost of rice and wheat as given by FCI. Interestingly, the Economic Survey 2021-22, pegs the economic cost of rice and wheat as being higher than those reported by FCI. If one uses Economic Survey costs, then the value of excess stocks jumps to Rs 2.56 lakh crore, with rice accounting for approximately Rs 2 lakh crore. It is not just inefficient use of scarce capital locked up, the excess stocks are also reflective of a large quantum of greenhouse gases (GHG) embedded. As per the national GHG inventory, agriculture emits 408 million tonnes (mt) of carbon-dioxide equivalent (CO2e), and rice cultivation is the third-largest source (at 17.5%) within Indian agriculture, after enteric fermentation (54.6%) and fertiliser use (19%). Paddy fields are anthropogenic sources of atmospheric nitrous oxide and methane—273 and 80-83 times more powerful than CO2 in driving temperature increase in 20 years, respectively. The amount of methane emitted from paddy fields of India is 3.396 teragram per year, which is 71.32 mt CO2e. Two important points need to be noted here: First, India is not reporting nitrous oxide emissions in its national GHG inventories. There is scientific evidence that intermittent flooding reduces water and methane emissions, but increases nitrous oxide emissions. Thus, lowering methane emissions through controlled irrigation does not necessarily mean net low emissions. Second, there are emissions due to burning of rice residues, application of fertilisers, production of fertilisers for rice, energy operations like harvesting, pumps, processing, transportation, etc, which are not being accounted in GHG emissions by rice production. A study by Vetter et al (2017) used Cool Farm Tool (CFT) model to estimate annual GHG emissions associated with crops, from production to the farm gate. This study reported emission of 5.65 kg CO2e GHG per kg of rice. Furthermore, rice cultivation requires about 4,000 cubic metres of water per tonne. Even if half of this percolates back to the ground, the excess stocks of 46 mt of rice embed about 92 billion cubic metres of water as well as 260 mt CO2e. According to the IMF, the world needs a global carbon tax of $75 per tonne by 2030 to reduce emissions to a level consistent with a 2°C warming target. India does not have an explicit carbon-price yet, but many countries have instituted carbon pricing, with Sweden leading the pack, at as high a rate as $137 per tonne of CO2e while the EU is at $50/t of CO2e. It is high time that India announced indicative carbon pricing and create a vibrant carbon market to incentivise ‘green growth’ in Amrit Kaal. Economic Survey 2021-22 points out that India is over-exploiting its groundwater resources, particularly in its northwestern and southern reaches. This is primarily due to paddy cultivation on 44 million hectares. Paddy helped achieve food security, but now is the time to save groundwater and the environment. It calls for revisiting policies on subsidising power and fertilisers, MSP, procurement, etc. Farmer groups and the private sector can be mobilised for developing carbon markets in agriculture, both at the national and international levels, which can reward farmers for switching from carbon-intensive crops such as rice to low carbon crops, or for improving farming practices in rice to lower GHG emissions. Moving towards ‘net-zero’ agriculture will give India ‘climate smart’ agriculture. And if we can protect productivity levels with a low carbon footprint, it will help India access global markets too. Respectively, Infosys Chair professor for agriculture, and senior fellow, ICRIER
  • Fortified rice in 14 districts from April

  • Ahmedabad: Officials of state civil supplies department on Thursday said the state will start distribution of fortified rice in 14 districts through the public distribution system (PDS). Before the launch, the department along with Food Research Laboratory (FRL) of the Directorate of Forensic Sciences (DFS) carried out an awareness programme to dispel myths about ‘plastic rice’. Officials said fortified rice is made with rice flour mixed with micronutrients — folic acid, vitamin B12 and iron. Thus, it’s colour and shape is sometimes different from rice grains. According to national standards, fortified rice has one such pellet mixed per 100 grains of rice. G P Darbar, technical officer at FRL, said there are multiple tests through which citizens can determine whether the rice in question is ‘plastic’, including soaking it in water (the pellet will fall to the bottom, while a plastic grain will float) and burning (a plastic one will smell). H P Sanghvi, director of DFS, said they regularly receive samples where citizens call the pellets ‘plastic rice’.
  • Rice feeds the world, now more than ever

  • sustainable rice, international food assistance

    Jesica Kincaid, Senior Manager, International Trade Policy, USA Rice, argues that rice feeds the world, now more than ever

    Rice has been produced throughout the world for thousands of years, and today it is a staple food for more than 3.5 billion people. The United States, while newer to the rice game than some other exporters, produces several varieties of nutritious, high-quality, and delicious rice. While approximately half of the rice produced in the U.S. is consumed there, the other half is exported around the globe including providing food to the world’s hungry. The U.S. rice industry is proud to participate in international food assistance programmes that help feed, nourish and educate those in need.

    Increasing need for international assistance

    Numerous man-made and natural disasters as well as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have only increased the need for such assistance. Two years into the pandemic, the World Food Programme reports (1) that global and national economic disruptions caused by subsequent waves of the virus have resulted in an estimated 97 million more people living in poverty in 2021 compared to 2019, leaving tens of millions more people hungry and malnourished. As a result, in 2020 and 2021, the U.S. rice industry saw record years for international food assistance deliveries. With the development and ever-expanding use of fortified rice, rice contributes to improving food security by not only fighting hunger but also acute malnutrition. Fortified rice is rice that is traditionally grown and milled, and following the milling process, a nutrient premix that is specified to the dietary needs of the recipient population is added as a coating or as an extruded kernel, without substantial additional cost. In addition to being nutritious, rice has a long shelf life, is easy to prepare, fits into the diets of many different ethnic groups, and is one of the least allergenic foods, making it a perfect fit for assistance programmes.
    Rice usage in international food assistance has been growing not only in terms of volume, but also in the diversity of the programmes in which it is utilised. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has two principal international assistance programmes: Food for Progress, a monetisation development programme that sells U.S. grown commodities in the recipient country and then uses that cash to create economic and agricultural programmes within the country; and McGovern-Dole Food for Education, a global school feeding programme and a primary user of fortified rice. A third programme is Food for Peace, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) emergency feeding programme which works to create a world free of hunger and poverty. Given that it is a global staple, rice has seen increased use across all three of these government assistance programmes. Recently, more than 100,000MT of U.S.- grown milled rice was monetised in West Africa to support the cashew and sesame industries in several countries in the region. As for fortified rice, it is the most utilised commodity in McGovern-Dole, having been awarded for all 2022 school feeding projects. USAID also recognises the value of fortified rice for the people it serves, having increased volumes over the past few years and with the eventual goal of having all rice used in its programmes be fortified.

    The U.S. rice industry

    In addition to the privilege of helping those in need, the U.S. rice industry also prides itself on its sustainable farming practices, having made substantial changes over the past 30 years that led to numerous environmental benefits. Some of these benefits include a 52% decrease in water use, a 41% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, and a 39% increase in land use efficiency. U.S. rice farms, 96% of which are family-owned, contribute to a safe and strong supply chain for the well-being of all through sustainable practices and being good stewards of the land. On a global level, rice production has hit record levels for the last several years, with another record projected for the 2021/22 crop year and global stocks maintaining their highest levels in history. For rice consumers around the world, whether they are able to purchase rice at their local grocery stores or need assistance to feed themselves and their families, the U.S. rice industry is there to answer the call.
  • Rising freight rates impact India’s basmati exports to West Asia

  • Doubling of freight rates for shipments to West Asia from the beginning of February has started impacting basmati rice exports to the region. As a result, basmati exports are likely to decline more than 10% year-on-year in this financial year, said industry executives. West Asia has traditionally been the largest buyer of Indian basmati rice, accounting for 85-90% India’s basmati exports. “In the first nine months of the current financial year, basmati exports were down by 38% compared to the same period last financial year,” Vinod Kaul, executive director, All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA), told ET. “The trade was expecting exports to go up in the fourth quarter of FY22 as the Ramadan month of April was coming when the Middle East buys good quantities of basmati rice.” The surge in freight rates will hurt exports, said Kaul. “The freight cost has more than doubled in the last ten days beginning February. The freight rate was $1,100 per container at January-end which has shot up to $2,300 per container now,” he said. India exported 4.6 million tonnes of basmati rice in 2020-21. But this fiscal, exports are unlikely to cross 4.1 million tonnes, said Kaul. “The payment problem with Iran continues, though some exports are happening through third currency payments which are permitted by the Reserve Bank of India,” he said. However, while basmati rice exports are reeling under rising freight rates and exporters have no choice to send the rice to other destinations, non-basmati rice exports are doing exceedingly well. Exports of non-Basmati rice are expected to cross 17 million tonnes this fiscal, said BV Rao, president, Rice Exporters Association. Exports crossed 12.53 million tonnes in the first nine months of 2021-22, as against 13 million tonnes in the entire 2020-21. Non-basmati rice exports increased 51.8% year-on-year between April and December last year due to higher purchases made by China and Bangladesh.
  • Vietnamese rice well-received in Europe

  • HÀ NỘI — The EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) has opened up unprecedented opportunities for Vietnamese rice. Thanks to the preferential tariffs, the export of jasmine rice and high-quality rice to the EU has never been so good. Việt Nam Customs reported that the country's rice exports to the EU market have not yet recorded a sharp increase in volume, but the export price and value had increased significantly. Rice exports to the market reached 53,910 tonnes in the first 11 months of last year, worth US$38.07 million, up only 0.8 per cent year-on-year in volume but the value grew by 21.6 per cent. The Import-Export Department said this result showed that businesses had effectively taken advantage of the EVFTA to increase the value of rice exports to the EU, especially amid the pandemic, increasing sea freight rates and declining rice imports in the past year. Statistics from Eurostat showed that the EU rice imports fell by 10.9 per cent in volume in the first nine months of last year and 9.3 per cent in value. However, among the 10 major foreign rice suppliers to the EU in the nine months, the Vietnamese rice export price to the EU achieved the strongest growth, up 20.3 per cent, reaching an average of $781 per tonne. Therefore, although the country's rice exports to the EU dropped, the export turnover still rose by 13.2 per cent. With 27 member countries, a population of about 516 million people, and a GDP per capita of more than $35,000 per year, the EU market needs to import a large number of goods, especially agricultural produce. For Việt Nam, this is the third-largest export market of agricultural products, with a turnover of about $5.5 billion per year. But Vietnamese agricultural produce only accounts for 4 per cent of the EU's import market share, and rice accounts for just over 1 per cent of the market share. The Việt Nam Food Association (VFA) forecast the country's rice exports to the EU to increase significantly this year. In particular, the quality of Vietnamese rice has improved, mainly jasmine rice varieties, hitting the tastes of European consumers, said VFA. Taking advantage of the EVFTA to export jasmine rice with 0 per cent tax was in the hands of enterprises with large raw material areas and cultivated in high standards such as Lộc Trời, Tân Long and Trung An. In the last days of last year, amid the chaos and difficulties caused by the pandemic, Lộc Trời Group (LTG) completed its export of one final batch of rice to Europe, including 4,170 tonnes of jasmine and white rice. It was also the first batch shipped in the form of the bulk carrier to save transport costs amid the pandemic. For the whole year, LTG has exported more than 80,000 tonnes of rice to the EU, the UK, Africa, Australia, the Middle East and neighbouring countries in Asia, earning over VNĐ1 trillion ($43.47 million), or nearly 24 per cent of the group's total revenue. Nguyễn Duy Thuận, general director of the group, said that with an order of more than 4,000 tonnes just exported to the EU, the group believed that there would be more rice and agricultural produce produced in a greener and more sustainable direction to meet the strict requirements of the import market. Lộc Trời was also the first enterprise to export an order of 126 tonnes of jasmine rice to the EU under the EVFTA, right after the agreement took effect. The group's rice exports accounted for nearly 70 per cent of Việt Nam's total rice exports to the EU last year. Meanwhile, Trung An High-Tech Agriculture Joint Stock Company has also taken advantage of the EVFTA to export thousands of tonnes of rice to Switzerland, France and Germany. Phạm Thái Bình, general director of the company, said that the EVFTA continued to bring greater opportunities for Vietnamese agricultural products, including rice. — VNS
  • Rice farmers face turbulent 2022

  • U.S. agricultural commodity prices have been on the rebound, but at least one – rice – is still in a turbulent patch, USA Rice President and CEO Betsy Ward said during the Arkansas Rice Farmers and Arkansas Rice Council annual meeting held Tuesday (Feb. 8) in Jonesboro. Rice prices have been better, but explosive input costs, unfair world trade practices, and a lack of policy making in Washington D.C. threaten rice farmers, she said. “Crops are rebounding … rice is not recovering as fast,” she said. “Rice is different from other commodities. It has different challenges.”   Gov. Asa Hutchinson served as the keynote speaker at the event. Arkansas remains the top rice producing state in the country. About 48% of the rice grown on U.S. soil comes from the Natural State. It’s a $1.3 billion industry each year. Rice is the second largest export crop for the state with a value of $742 million. There are an estimated 1,800 rice farms in Arkansas and the crop is grown in 40 counties, he added. “I want to thank you for keeping our food supply going during the pandemic,” he said. “Farmers stepped up every step of the way.” A grim reality is setting in for many in the farm industry that input costs are going to be significantly higher in 2022, Ward said. With an evenly divided Congress, it’s unlikely relief will be coming from the federal government anytime soon, she said. “Getting anything passed in Washington D.C. right now is going to be tough,” she said. She noted the Joe Biden administration has tried to focus on climate change policies that will impact the way farmers are able to grow crops. Ward said there has been no cohesive attempt to open trade markets around the world, especially in China. Hutchinson said he talked to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last week and he offered no specifics on how the Biden administration plans to open global markets for U.S. agricultural exports such as rice. China agreed almost two years ago to buy billions of dollar’s worth of U.S. agricultural products and that promise has not been kept, he said. The Chinese not adhering to previous commitments is a problem, but another problem has emerged on the world stage, Ward said. India is now the world’s largest rice exporter. It sends out 20 million metric tons of rice each year, which is 40% of the international rice market, she said. Farmers in India can produce rice cheaply due to a number of factors, Ward said. The first is that the Indian government guarantees high prices, and then covers all input costs for farmers. They essentially only operate within their own profit margins, she said. U.S. officials are trying to work with the World Trade Organization to tackle the India rice issue, she said. In addition to high input costs, there are a number of factors that will impact rice farmers in the coming years, Hutchinson noted. Throughout the state, there is a ground water shortage and there are a number of irrigation expansion projects ongoing to alleviate the lack of water, he said. Scientific research will be critical in the coming years as the water supply wanes and farmlands will have to produce more food to support a growing global population. The governor lauded rice research that is ongoing at Arkansas State University. He authorized $5 million to be taken from the state’s Restricted Reserve Fund to be used at the Northeast Rice Research and Extension Center. Agriculture remains the state’s top economic driver, but in Northeast Arkansas steel production is starting to have a significant impact, he said. U.S. Steel recently announced it will build a new $3 billion plant in Mississippi County. Hutchinson’s term will end in one year, but he said he’s not done fighting for more projects like that and helping the farm community throughout the state. “Pittsburgh has moved to Arkansas. It will be transformative … I want you to know, I’m not going out quietly,” he said.
  • PDS beneficiaries will get fortified rice: Bihar govt

  • PATNA: The state cabinet on Tuesday gave its clearance to the government’s decision to supply ‘poshanyukt chawal (fortified rice)’ to the public distribution shops (PDSs) in the state to overcome the problem of malnutrition in the large chunk of population both in the rural and urban areas. In this regard, the Bihar State Food and Civil Supply Corporation (BSCSC) has been authorized to select the agencies required for the supply of fortified rice to the PDSs. The selection will be done through a proper tendering process, cabinet secretariat department additional chief secretary Sanjay Kumar said. The agencies concerned will also be authorized to procure fortified rice kernel (FRK) that has to be mixed with rice to prepare the fortified rice. It would require mixing of 1kg of FRK with 99kg rice. The proposal for the cabinet clearance had been moved by the food and consumer protection department. As its target people, the scheme will cover 85% of rural population and 75% of those living in the urban areas. The cabinet also sanctioned Rs72.82 crore for the construction of buildings with their specifics at Bagaha and Valmikinagar in West Champaran district to house the offices meant for Mahila Swabhiman Vishesh Sashastra Bal.The sanction was also given to the proposal of the health department for the creation of 32 posts to man Bihar Health Science University, Patna. The building construction department has been authorized to select representatives from Bihar School of Yoga Darshan or those authorised by it, to prepare the curriculum required for the Free Yoga Kendra at Shastri Nagar in Patna.

  • The USDA increased its outlook for U.S. cotton and rice ending stocks. The domestic rice supply is seen at 33.5 million hundredweight, up half a million from January, with a lower import projection more than canceled out by a decrease for exports. The average estimated farm price is $15.70 per hundredweight, $.60 higher than a month ago. Cotton ending stocks are expected to be 3.5 million bales, 300,000 above last month following a cut in export use. The average estimated farm price is $.90 per pound, unchanged on the month. The current marketing year for cotton and rice runs through the end of July. World rice ending stocks were up modestly from the previous report and global cotton stocks were down slightly. The USDA’s next set of supply and demand numbers is out Wednesday, March 9th. Breakdowns of selected supply and demand tables: 2021/22 U.S. rice ending stocks are seen at 33.5 million hundredweight, compared to 33 million in January and 43.7 million for 2020/21. Imports were cut 500,000 hundredweight to 30.5 million, leaving the total supply at 266 million hundredweight. Exports were cut 1 million hundredweight to 87 million, all of that milled rice, for total use of 232.5 million hundredweight. The average 2021/22 farm price is estimated at $15.70 per hundredweight, compared to $15.10 a month ago and $14.40 for the previous marketing year. 2021/22 U.S. cotton ending stocks are estimated at 3.5 million bales, compared to 3.2 million last month and 3.15 million last marketing year. Exports were lowered 250,000 bales to 14.75 million, putting total use at 17.3 million bales. There was also 50,000 bale swing in “unaccounted” use, from 30,000 to -20,000 bales. The average 2021/22 farm price is estimated at $.90 per pound, compared to $.90 for January and $.663 for 2020/21. 2021/22 world milled rice ending stocks are pegged at 186.33 million tons, compared to 186.06 million a month ago. Production is expected to be 510.31 million tons, slightly more than the prior report, following upward revisions for Brazil and Pakistan. Exports are estimated at 50.86 million tons, compared to 49.86 million last month. 2021/22 world cotton ending stocks are projected at 84.31 million bales, compared to 85.01 million in January. Global production is seen at 120.15 million bales, just over 800,000 less than the last guess, mainly on a cut for India. Domestic use is pegged at 124.43 million bales, compared to 124.24 million last month, and exports are estimated at 46.45 million bales, compared to 46.56 million a month ago.
  • Pune: Rice Mahotsav draws good response from farmers, customers

  • By Swarali Joshirao
    From Indrayani, Ambemohar and Ghansal from Western Ghats to black and red rice recognised for their health benefits, a variety of rice were available for sale during the Rice Mahotsav organised from February 1 to 6 at Maha FPC yard, Pune. Maha Farmers Producer Company (FPC) and NAFED e-Kisan Mandi had organised the festival with the aim to increase farmers’ profit by cutting various expenses incurred by them in delivering farm goods to consumers. As the product directly comes from farm, quality is guaranteed, an official said. Besides FPCs, self-help groups and individual farmers participated in the festival. “When I came to know that some farmers from Maval are facing difficulty in selling their rice, this idea struck my mind. With the help of NAFED e-Kisan Mandi, we have tried to apply Business-to-Consumer model, wherein farmers can earn approximately double their regular income,” said Yogesh Thorat, Managing Director, Maha FPC. “We received commendable footfall. People appreciated our initiative. This can be called a pilot project,” Rahul Godhse, Operations Team, Maha FPC, said. Aajra FCP (Kolhapur), Raigad Farmers Agricultural Producer, Donu Aaee Krushi Gat (Pune), Aandar Mava FPC (Pune), Ganpat Gangaram Kank (Pune), Jay Malhar Krushi and Organic Rice Producer Gat (Pune), Dhondidev Agro Foods (Kolhapur), and Chouras FPC (Bhandara) sold their produce at the festival. Jyoti Sahane, a customer, came all the way from Manchar to buys 250 kilograms of Indrayani rice. “We usually get low-grade Indrayani or a mixed product. I come from a farmer’s family and could easily understand that the product (being sold at the festival) is original. I feel this is a fantastic start. They should conduct such fairs often and for various other products,” she added.
  • Weak peso boosts rice tariff collections in 2021

  • Weak peso boosts rice tariff collections in 2021 MANILA, Philippines — Tariffs collected from imported rice posted a double-digit growth last year, partly thanks to a weak peso that offset the impact of falling global prices of the main staple. The Bureau of Customs raised a total of P18.9 billion from rice tariffs in 2021, up 22% year-on-year, the Department of Finance reported Tuesday. The amount collected surpassed the P10 billion mandated to be allocated to the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), a pooled funding under Republic Act 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law earmarked for projects targeted at improving local rice production. Under the law, the government is allowed to redirect in other farm programs any windfall revenues from rice levies during the first six years of the law enacted last year. The law met heavy criticism from agriculture stakeholders as many feared it would impair the livelihood of already-impoverished farmers. On the measure’s first year, part of the P12.3 billion generated under RCEF went to fund cash transfers to poor farmers. The Philippine Statistics Authority estimated that palay (unhusked rice) production increased 1% year-on-year in the final quarter of 2021 to 7.46 million metric tons. Tariff collections rose last year despite a drop in prices of rice. The Food and Agriculture Organization, a UN agency, showed its global rice price index fell 4% year-on-year in 2021.  FAO data showed grain prices have dropped in Thailand and Vietnam, where the Philippines secures the bulk of its imports, last year. Jun Neri, lead economist for the Bank of the Philippine Islands, said the higher collection was “partly due to weak peso”, which nevertheless pushed up the value of rice shipments, the base over which the 35% tariff is collected. “Tariffication works and that funds can be used to improve farmer productivity whereas no revenues prior to Rice Tariffication Law,” Neri said.

    Losses from lower pork tariff hit P4-B

    In the same statement on Tuesday, the DOF said Customs estimates that it had foregone P4 billion in revenues last year as a result of the presidential directives lowering the import tariffs on pork.  For pork imports, the bureau was able to collect P3.75 billion from April 9, 2021 to Jan. 28, 2022 from a total volume of 242 million kilograms. The national government allowed imported pork to surge in local markets in a bid to tame inflation after the African swine fever epidemic battered the local hog industry.
  • Thailand rice exports expected to rise sharply

  • Rice Paddy Harvest BANGKOK, THAILAND — Thailand is forecast to export 8 million tonnes of rice in the 2021-22 marketing year, up 31% from the previous year, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Attractive Thai prices, driven by the weakening of the Thai baht, are the reason for the sharp increase in exports, the report said. Rice production is projected to increase year-on-year from 18.8 million tonnes to 20.8 million tonnes, the USDA said. The report noted that the country’s wheat imports are expected to decline by 13% in 2021-22. Reduced domestic demand for milling and feed wheat due to a slow economic recovery from the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and high import prices for feed wheat are the primary reasons for the decline. An even sharper drop in corn imports is expected, as the USDA forecasts a 17% decrease due reduced demand for swine feed caused by the African swine fever outbreak. “Post forecasts swine feed demand to decline by 30%, in line with swine production shrinking from 19 to 20 million heads to 12 million to 13 million heads,” the USDA said.
  • Thailand’s rice exports projected to grow almost 15 percent this year

  • Thailand’s rice exports have been forecast to rise by 14.8 percent this year to 7 million tonnes driven by sufficient water supply. Thailand’s rice exports projected to grow almost 15 percent this year hinh anh 1 Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s rice exports have been forecast to rise by 14.8 percent this year to 7 million tonnes driven by sufficient water supply. According to the Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA)'s report, the nation exported 6.11 million tonnes of grain last year, up 6.68 percent from 5.73 million tonnes 2020. Its export value totaled at 108 billion THB (3.25 billion USD), down by 7.14 percent from 116 billion THB in 2020. TREA President Charoen Laothammatas said in 2022, higher demand is anticipated thanks to a global economic recovery, while a favourable foreign exchange rate should make Thai rice competitive. For the 2021/2022 harvest season, the association expects the production to increase to 30-32 million tonnes of paddy, up from 27-28 million tonnes in the 2020/2021 season. A widespread drought is unlikely this year, as happened two years ago, Charoen said. Given the ample water supply, he added second-crop rice production is also expected to increase. He said the container shortage and lack of shipping space causing relatively higher freight rates are expected to remain key risk factors for rice exports. TREA expects Thailand’s rice exports in January will tally 700,000 tonnes, slightly down from 729,138 tonnes worth 12.5 billion THB in December 2021.
  • Sri Lanka to import 100,000 tons of rice from Myanmar

  •  Sri Lanka's Ministry of Trade said on Monday it has decided to import 100,000 tons of white rice from Myanmar to control the rising price of rice in local markets. The ministry said in a statement it planned to import the rice at 445 U.S. dollars per ton through the Sri Lanka State Trading (General) Corporation. It plans to import 20,000 tons of rice at a time and release it to the market gradually. The Ministry of Trade said it has requested the Central Bank to issue the required foreign exchange for the import of the rice. Imports of rice in Sri Lanka are usually limited to small quantities, especially rice such as Basmati, officials said.
  • Laos’ rice export value nearly halves in 2021

  • Laos, rice export value in 2021 nearly halved due to COVID-19 restriction measures, reported the Vientiane Times. Laos’ rice export value nearly halves in 2021 hinh anh 1 Vientiane (VNA) – Laos’ rice export value in 2021 nearly halved due to COVID-19 restriction measures, reported the Vientiane Times. The paper quoted the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce as saying that rice brought home 52.7 million USD in 2020, but only 35 million USD in 2021. Its biggest market was China, followed by Vietnam and the European Union. Though China reopened Boten border with Laos in November, two-way trade remains slow due to COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control measures. China now buys over 80 percent of Laos’ exported farm produce, mostly cassava, banana, water melon, sugar cane and rubber.  
  • Iran orders immediate imports of rice, potato amid price surges

  • US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo) The Iranian government has ordered immediate imports of rice and potato into the country to tackle rising prices in the domestic market. Iran’s Food Security Headquarters, a government department controlled by the ministry of agriculture (MAJ), ordered the imports of 100,000 metric tons of potato and 200,000 tons of rice into the country following an emergency meeting held on Thursday. MAJ’s spokesman Alireza Rezazadeh said that the imports had been ordered to comply with a decree by Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi to fight hoarding and overpricing of food in the domestic market. Rezazadeh would not elaborate on the name of countries from where Iran will import potato but he said that rice shipments will gradually arrive from India, Pakistan and Thailand within the next two months. This is a first time in years that Iran decides to import potato, a crop which is produced in the country on a massive scale of around 5.2 million tons per year. However, reports on Thursday suggested that the MAJ had issued a decree with immediate effect to halt potato exports from Iran. The reports said that the government will impose a heavy duty on exports of potato from the country in the upcoming weeks. Rezazadeh said that the government will start distributing Iranian rice on a large scale later this week to contain surging prices that he attributed to hoarding practices. The decisions come as price of some premium verities of Iranian rice hit record highs of 1.15 million rials ($4.2) per kilogram on Wednesday. That comes as Pakistani or Indian rice varieties were selling for around $1 per kilogram in the market on the same day.
  • Non-basmati rice exports may exceed target on strong buys from China, Bangladesh

  • image caption

    Shipments up 52% in April-Dec at 12.53 million tonnes clocking $4.48 billion

    As non-basmati rice shipments clock a 52 per cent growth in the first nine months on robust purchases by countries such as China and Bangladesh, exporters are hopeful of exceeding the targeted 16 million tonnes (mt) for the current fiscal. Non-basmati rice shipments crossed 12.53 mt in April-December 2021 as compared to 8.25 million tonnes in the same period last year. In value terms, the non-basmati rice shipments were up 46 per cent at $4.48 billion as compared to $3.07 billion in same period last year. In 2020-21, India’s non-basmati rice exports stood at 13.08 mt valued at $4.796 billion compared with 5.03 mt valued at $2.034 billion in the previous year. “We were targetting 16 million tonnes for the current financial year. Going by the current trend, the shipments may touch 17 million tonnes,” BV Krishna Rao, President of The Rice Exporters Association, said.

    Top buyers

    Largest buyer this year, so far, Bangladesh has purchased a record 1.53 mt against a mere 13,811 tonnes in the same period last year. In value terms, the Bangladesh rice purchases were over $596 million ($13.47 million). “Bangladesh, which has been an aggressive buyer since January last year, has slowed down purchases now. China’s purchases are seen topping a million tonnes. We feel China’s purchases will be more as long as the corn prices are high. China is buying brokens to meet the feed requirements,” Rao said. China has imported about 9.05 lakh tonnes in April-December compared with 33,705 tonnes in the same period last year. In value terms, China’s rice buys from India has exceeded $275 million ( $10.29 million). Similarly, other countries which have scaled up their purchases include Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Senegal, Somalia and Indonesia among others. Vietnam has bought over half a million tonnes during April-Dec this year, more than eleven times that of the same period previous year. Vietnam imported 5.66 lakh tonnes valued at $187 million as compared to 48,581 tonnes valued at $15.4 million in the previous year. Some markets like Nepal, Mozambique are stable, while several countries including Malaysia, Togo, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Russia and Iraq have scaled down their purchases.

    Crop projections

    As per the first advance estimates, India is expected to harvest a record 107.04 mt of rice, the main kharif cereal crop. Kharif planting of rice was at a record 411.46 lakh ha over the normal area of 395.66 lakh ha. However, in the ongoing rabi season, the rice acreage has seen a decline at 23.61 lakh ha as on January 21, over the normal area for the season of 42.5 lakh ha.  
  • ‘How investments in agric is boosting quality rice production’

  • Anchor Borrowers Programme ( ABP ) The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)-led Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) was created to increase banks’ financing to the agricultural sector and create economic linkage between smallholder farmers and reputable large-scale rice processors. Private sector investments in rice farming has also created opportunity for consumers to get the best output from the market, writes COLLINS NWEZE Samuel Oyetunde, a cashier at a new generation bank, paid his mother a routine visit. Upon his arrival, he was served his favourite meal of rice, native stew and chicken. Samuel spooned the food,   and the taste exploded on his tongue. As he closed his eyes to savour the delicacy, the unbelievable happened. His teeth crushed some stones and sand hidden in the rice. Samuel was filled with disbelief and sadness. Unfortunately, many of consumers can identify with Oyetunde’s plight. Subconsciously, consumers make themselves vulnerable by patronising loose rice sold in open basins in neighbourhood stores and open markets. The danger is that the loose and unpackaged rice sold to consumers in basins are exposed to stones, rodents, insects and importantly easily contaminated by other food items as well as unfavourable sanitary conditions. Moses Abiodun, a farmer, who has benefited from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) funding for rice farming in various states, said the solution to this was to buy packaged rice. He said over N620 billion had been released for the ABP in over six years of implementation with consumers demanding packaged rice. through the transfer of bacteria or other microorganisms from other substances to rice. There are three main types of cross contamination: food-to-food, equipment-to-food, and people-to-food. “For instance, putting contaminated foods and non-contaminated foods under the same roof can result in food-to-food cross contamination. This allows harmful bacteria and fungi to spread and populate. Secondly, it is a known fact that bacteria can survive for long periods on surfaces like storage container and basins, when they are not washed properly or unknowingly contaminated with bacteria resulting in equipment to food contamination,” Abiodun explained. Furthermore, Adigun said people could easily transfer harmful bacteria from their bodies or clothes to loose and exposed rice in basins. For example, a person may cough into their hand or touch other food items in the store and continue to sell loose rice without washing their hands in between. This also occurs when several consumers sample the rice by handling it before purchase. “Cross contamination can have serious consequences as it can compromise consumer health and safety. Proper food safety practices like rice packaging can significantly reduce risk of cross contamination,” he stated. Another farmer and Managing Director, CountryMade Farms Limited, Timothy Nnodim, said some rice manufacturers  complied with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control’s (NAFDAC’s) regulations and international food safety standards to protect the integrity of their brands and ensure quality and wholesome rice, but some rice traders in the open market continue to undermine these efforts with loose rice. He said: “What then is the way forward? The answer lies in making informed decisions to purchase only quality, packaged and hygienic rice like Big Bull rice. Big Bull Rice is an indigenous, premium quality parboiled rice. It is sortex-cleaned, stone-free and has a high-swelling index. It is produced in a state of the art automated rice milling factory, which has eliminated handling to the barest minimum hence giving you rice produced in the highest hygienic condition. “With Big Bull Rice, you are assured of good quality, safety and the great taste of homegrown ingenuity. It is  available in open markets, neighbourhood stores, supermart, Modern Trade, among others. in varying SKUs (50kg, 25kg, 10kg, 5kg, 2.25kg and 750g) to fit consumers’ preference.”
  • Rice Seeds Market Expected To Attain About USD 8.23 Billion By 2026

  • Esticast Research has published a new report titled “Rice Seeds Market – By Grain Size (Medium, Short, and Long), By Type (Open-Pollinated Varieties and Hybrid), By Treatment (Untreated Seeds and Treated Seeds), By Hybridization Technique (Three-Line and Two-Line), and By Region – Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis, and Forecast, 2020 – 2026”. According to the report, Global Rice Seeds Market Expected To Attain About USD 8.23 Billion By 2026. The top Leading Market Players Covered in this Report are : Mahindra Agri Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Rallis India Limited, Nuziveedu Seeds Limited (NSL), Bayer CropScience Limited, Savannah Seeds Private Limited, Ajeet Seeds Pvt. Ltd., Syngenta, Pan Seeds Pvt. Ltd., Mahyco, DuPont Pioneer, Kaveri Seeds, and Biostadt India Limited. Rice Seeds Market analysis report is the representation of strategic research methodologies and market tactics. In order to fuel the business growth, knowing future scenario of the market and product sale is important and market research is the best way of obtaining forecasting of entire market scenario. Marketing strategy is also covered here to divide the market into different segments and target customers. Customers’ demands are also depicted in this Rice Seeds Market report to aware industries and increase the productivity rate of products and services. It segments the market into different categories such as behavioral segmentations and demographic segmentation for the key regions such as North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America..
  • Massive production of ‘Golden Rice’ seeds to start this year

  •   MANILA – To utilize and promote biotechnology in the country, the Department of Agriculture (DA) on Wednesday said this year marks the start of massive production of Golden Rice seeds, particularly in the vitamin A-deficient provinces. DA Secretary William Dar said the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) will map out programs for the massive production of Golden Rice seeds and production of Golden Rice in its pioneer provinces. “On the policy front, the National Seed Industry Council (NSIC) has adopted a unified policy for the varietal registration of all genetically modified crops, which paves the way for a streamlined deployment timeline for Golden Rice,” Dar said during the Healthier Rice Project Team and Advisory Committee (HRAC) meeting. As a member of the National Nutrition Council, DA will pursue the inclusion of Golden Rice as one of the recommended interventions in the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition, which currently includes the study of biofortification in its revised research agenda. “On the research and development front, we have poured extensive resources into the new facilities of the Crop Biotechnology Center in DA-PhilRice, where the Golden Rice Program office and other ongoing biotech crop research activities will be housed,” Dar said. Dar said biotechnology is a “powerful tool of science to feed the future”. “The stance of the DA is clear: biotechnology is a pillar of our ‘OneDA approach’ to ensuring agricultural productivity, sustainability, economic growth, and nutritional security,” he said. He said the biosafety approval of Golden Rice for commercial propagation firmly cements the Philippines’ leadership in agriculture biotechnology in the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (Asean) region. Dar said the department welcomes its role as a pioneer in the deployment and commercialization of the first rice variety of genetically modified (GM) for nutritional improvement. He added that DA will be needing capacity assistance and funding resources to move their basic knowledge’s from institutions such as International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to strategic research partners.
  • Pakistan to lend Sri Lanka $200mn: report

  • Pakistan will lend Sri Lanka $200mn. ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has decided to give Colombo a $200 million loan for the purchase of rice and cement, said a Sri Lankan media report. The decision was made during a recent visit of the Sri Lankan trade minister to Islamabad, the report said. However, the terms and duration of the loan were being finalized by the authorities from both the countries, it added. Sri Lankan will use the amount for the import of rice and cement from Pakistan. Sri Lanka’s Secretary to the Treasury Sajith Attygalle confirmed that Islamabad and Colombo have agreed on the $200 million credit line in principle while the details of the credit is yet to be worked out, according to Daily Mirror. The amount will be used to import cement, basmati rice and medicines manufactured in Pakistan, the publication added. It is pertinent to mention here that Sri Lanka is facing a shortage of cement recently, which had led to skyrocketing prices.
  • World Rice Market Market Analysis by 2030

  • Prophecy Market Insights recently published World Rice Market Market research which examines key industry factors such as growth drivers, existing and future trends, recent developments, threats, challenges, and opportunities in the global market. The research includes the competitive landscape of the World Rice Market Market as well as profiles of the leading organizations. North America, China, Africa, Germany, APAC, and other regions have been independently evaluated for a more detailed picture of each region’s performance in the World Rice Market Market and the various reasons for its positive and negative growth. In addition, this report offers a comprehensive overview of the market and provides a comprehensive value chain analysis. It provides detailed information on value creation at each stage of the value chain. The World Rice Market market research offers a high-level overview of the industry, as well as product definitions and market scope. Following the introduction chapter, the sections that provide in-depth overview of the market based on substantial research. Along with market dynamics, the research includes a detailed market analysis that includes supply and demand forces.
  • Thailand aims to ship 7 mln tonnes of rice in 2022 as outlook improves

  •   Thailand targets 14.6% increase in rice exports in 2022 * Paddy production seen up 18% on better growing conditions * Pressure from baht, container shortages expected to ease BANGKOK, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Thailand has set a rice export target at 7 million tonnes this year, 14.6% higher than in 2021, an exporters body said on Wednesday. The world's third-largest rice exporter shipped 6.11 million tonnes of the grain last year and 5.7 million tonnes in 2020, the lowest volume in two decades. Thai rice exports should benefit this year from a more stable baht making prices more competitive and better weather conditions, said Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association. Thailand is expected to produce 19.5 million tonnes of paddy this year, 18% up on last year's 16.5 million tonnes, he said. "It's a brighter outlook this year than the last two, in which drought undermined our production and the baht was too strong," Chookiat told Reuters. A shipping container crunch and higher global freight rates, which affected last year's exports, had also started to ease, he said. "We should overtake Vietnam this year and become the world's second-largest exporter," he said. Thai rice export volumes declined for three consecutive years after hitting a record high of 11.6 million tonnes in 2017. Thailand recorded its lowest export volume in two decades in 2020 and slipped to third place in global rankings after being overtaken by Vietnam, which shipped half a million tonnes more of the grain that year. A global economic recovery should also boost Thai rice sales, as customers gain greater purchasing power, Chookiat said. Thai rice is trading around $20 per tonne higher than similar Vietnamese grades. "In the past two years, people just bought whatever was the cheapest," he said. "But now they have more power to choose better quality rice, even if it's slightly more expensive." Vietnam exported 6.24 million tonnes of rice in 2021. (Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat; Additional reporting and writing by Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Editing by Martin Petty and Ed Davies)
  • 6.7% growth in 2021 rice export pushes Thailand up in world ranking

  • Thailand became the world’s third-largest rice exporter by shipping 6.12 million tonnes of rice last year, up 6.7 per cent year on year, Charoen Laothamatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said on Monday.

    6.7% growth in 2021 rice export pushes Thailand up in world ranking hough the export volume has increased, the total value of exported rice in 2021 dropped 7.1 per cent from the previous year, or from $3.7 billion [THB116.04 billion] to $3.4 billion [THB107.75 billion],” he said. Meanwhile, India still remains the top rice exporter for four consecutive years with 19.5 million tonnes of rice exported in 2021, up 33.9 per cent year on year. Vietnam came in second with 6.24 million tonnes exported last year, dropping 5.2 per cent year on year. Pakistan and the United States, meanwhile, are in fourth and fifth places, with 3.93 million tonnes and 2.85 million tonnes of rice exported in 2021, respectively. The Thai Rice Exporters Association also reported that in December 2021, Thailand exported 729.12 tonnes of rice valued at THB12.5 billion, down 3.5 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively from the same period in the previous year. “Rice export dropped towards the end of last year in both quantity and value because buyers tend to slow down after they have built up a stock of rice,” Charoen said. Thailand’s biggest rice buyers in 2021 include China, Japan, United Arab Emirates, the Philippines, Congo, Syria, Benin and Angola. “We expect rice export in January to be around 700,000 tonnes, while the target for 2022 is set at 7 million tonnes,” said Charoen. “Positive factors for rice export this year include the recovery of the global economy, increasing demand in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and our estimate that the baht will stay steady at THB33 per US dollar, which will make our price competitive against other exporters.”
  • Climate change will adversely impact rice production, warns FAO

  • Climate forecasts suggest that agriculture will suffer the greatest economic impacts of climate change in Cambodia, particularly due to losses of income and labour productivity associated with crop production. This is according to Rebekah Bell and the team of the UN’s FAO operation in Cambodia, as they explained in a recent correspondence with the Khmer Times on the subject of how climate change (CC) will impact rice production in the country. Findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), indicate that there are a number of regions in Asia that are already near the heat stress limits for rice, where increased night-time temperatures have been found to have a significant negative impact on rice yields, and an increase of 1° C in night-time low temperatures during the rice-growing season results in a decreased rice yield of approximately 10 percent. Experts at FAO Cambodia summarised bleakly what changes lay in store: “Considering the worst-case scenario of carbon emissions for the region, by 2050, average temperatures will rise of 0.9 – 1.4 degrees C, rainfall will decrease in the dry season and increase in the wet one, and sea level will rise between 26 to 32cm. Sea-level rise is a major threat to the social-ecological system of the Mekong Delta as salinity creeps up the rivers and causes the decline of soil productivity.” However, through the Global Environment Facility (GEF) FAO has been working to help farmers and communities address climate change “by empowering and increasing knowledge and capacity of communities in watershed management.” The team at FAO have been working in partnership with the Ministry of Environment (MoE), the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), Development Partners (DPs) to devise plans for mitigating against the worst effects that CC will have on farmers, and to help them adapt to the “New Normal” with three goals: increase productivity and diversification, equitable and sustainable management, and improved resilience to the shocks that will occur with the many unusual climate events that are expected. “FAO works closely with the MAFF and partners to promote economically and environmentally efficient rice production through Direct-Seeded Rice (DSR),” they told us, citing one of their initiatives, explaining that, “DSR has been also widely practised in many countries in Asia and beyond, because of its low-input demand. It saves scarce and expensive resources such as labour and water, and reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.” DSR, which involves sowing the plants directly onto the fields, can be as productive by “adopting various cultural practices including the selection of suitable varieties, proper sowing time, and optimum seed rate, and proper weed, nutrient and water management.” FAO has also been working in the communities with the heavily dependent rice farmers of Tonle Sap to promote the “Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) and the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) assurance scheme to create stable market opportunities and increase value addition for agricultural products that are produced in an environmentally friendly way, creating further incentives for farmers to continue with climate-resilient practices.” While climate change and its disastrous threats may be the stick, the carrot would seem to be intelligent marketing and understanding how increased revenues can go hand in hand with adapting to the changes ahead. Rebekah and her team pointed out that the (MAFF) have recognised the value of promoting quality rice, such as fragrant varieties, based on their popularity both locally and internationally hailing the fact that “Cambodia has refined and released the first non-seasonal rice variety called Sen Kra Ob 01 (SKO 01), which is recognised for its light, non-seasonal, weather-resistant and has been promoted as a strategic rice for export.” They warned, however, “that SKO 01 is not resistant to diseases and pests. To reach the full potential of the rice industry, we need further investment to promote rice seed varieties that are tolerant to drought and resilient to climate change.”
  • South Korean rice imports decline

  • Rice SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – Supply chain issues hampered South Korean rice imports in the final quarter of 2021, leading to a 11% decrease in imports from the previous marketing year, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). South Korea’s estimated rice import total of 418,336 tonnes for 2020-21 was 16% lower than the previous USDA forecast, which was made last fall. The rice import forecast for 2021-22 has been revised upward to 490,000 tonnes, a 19% increase, due to actual delivery of some 2021 tariff rate quota contacts moving to 2022. The USDA estimated this year’s rice output in South Korea at 3.88 million tonnes, up 10% from the previous year, while rice consumption is virtually unchanged from 2020-21 at 3.96 million tonnes. As in many Asian countries, rice consumption has been declining in South Korea in recent years, having fallen four consecutive years since a recent peak of 4.7 million tonnes in 2017-18. Per capita rice consumption has declined from 59.2 kilograms in 2018-19 to a projected 55.3 kilograms in 2021-22, according to the USDA.
  • Rice exports increase 10.73pc to $1066m in 1st half

  •               ISLAMABAD - The exports of rice surged by 10.73 per cent during the first half of the current financial year (2021-22) as compared to the exports of the corresponding period of last year.
    Pakistan exported rice worth $1066.769 million during July-December (2021-22) against the exports of $963.379 million during July-December (2020-21), showing growth of 10.73 percent, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). Among the rice commodities, the exports of Basmati rice increased by 33.14 percent as these surged from $228.370 million last year to $304.043 million during the current year. The exports of other rice commodities also grew by 3.77 percent by going up from $735.009 million last year to $762.726 million during the current year, the PBS data revealed. In terms of quantity, the overall rice exports grew by 12.54 percent including Basmati rice by 47.39 percent and other rice commodities by 7.51 percent, the PBS data revealed. Meanwhile, on year-on-year basis, the rice exports witnessed an increase of 3.26 percent in December 2021 as compared with the export of the same month of last year. The rice exports in December 2021 were recorded at $240.260 million against exports of $232.676 million in December 2020. During the period under review, the exports of Basmati rice increased by 54.25 percent , however, the exports of other rice verities declined 4.82 percent. On month-on-month basis, the rice exports increased by 3.60 percent as compared to the exports of $231.908 million in November 2021. On month-on-month basis, the Basmati rice exports witnessed decline of 12.94 percent, however that of other rice verities increased by 8.92 percent. The overall food exports increased by 22.28 percent during the first half of current year as compared to last year. The food exports of the country were recorded at $2482.704 million during July-December (2021-22) against the exports of $2030.322 million during July-December (2020-21).
    It is pertinent to mention here that the overall exports of the country during the first half of current financial year witnessed an increase of 24.71% by going up to $15.102 billion as compared with the exports of $12.110 billion of last year. The imports also registered about 65.94% growth as these went up from $24.454 billion in 1st  half of the last year to $40.580 billion during current year, the PBS data revealed.
  • Govt may continue rice subsidy for ethanol to reduce stock

  • image caption

    Rice stock with FCI was at 53.89 mt as on Jan 1 — more than 7-times the stocking norm of 7.61 mt

    Economic costs of rice (₹/kg)

  • Agricultural rice exports making Lake Charles a major player internationally

  • Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The Port of Lake Charles has become an international hotspot for one specific export, as tons of rice are being shipped out of the port and involves hundreds of stake holders here in the United States.

    Rice is one of the biggest exports that the Port of Lake Charles handles, and the rice is grown locally here in Southwest Louisiana and East Texas.

    “Six years ago, we didn’t know what we’d be doing today and it’s just an exciting adventure that we’re on,” said Mark Pousson, manager of the South Louisiana Rail Facility.

    The rail facility is one of the 200 partners involved in rice exporting out of the Port of Lake Charles. Pousson said even with in the three years, rice exports out of the port have taken off with each grain of “rough rice” having an impact on a global scale.

    “Annually, we’re running or average around 175,000 tons a year,” Pousson said. “We’re exporting to South America, Central America. We have a vessel on the way Tuesday that will go to Columbia. The first time we go to that country.”

    From growing it on regional farms to shipping it out of the Gulf.

    “It’s a huge accomplishment you know that we’ve produced it, we’ve marketed it, we logistically delivered to the buyer,” Pousson said.

    Now, partnerships that continue to bring economic growth to Southwest Louisiana are reaching Asia.

    “In 2019, a company from India approached us to partner in a rice milling facility, and so we are currently under construction of a rice mill in Lacassine,” Pousson said.

    The mill is another step forward in expanding the possibilities to produce more exports and developing economic growth within the region. Pousson adds that all those involved from rice produces to the stakeholders are proud of all they’ve done and are looking forward to future expansion.

  • Rice prices on the rise as exports suffer from disruption to supply

  • rice close-up Rice prices are boiling over due to severe supply chain disruption. Prices have increased on the back of logistics bottlenecks that are limiting rice exports from India, the world’s biggest rice exporter, Mintec market analyst Zanna Aleksahhina told The Grocer this week. As India was facing a shortage of freight trains there was “approximately 1.5 million tonnes of rice stuck at the ports, that India had planned to export this month”, Aleksahhina added. “Unfortunately, there is no option to switch to alternative transport – road transport – since truckers have increased their freight charges too,” Aleksahhina added. Traders were “quoting higher prices for overseas shipments to cover demurrage charges [and] high vessel rates”, she explained. This is translating into higher retail prices. Assosia data for the 12 weeks to 26 January shows a raft of rice SKUs – many from the biggest brands – have been hit. Tilda Basmati 500g and Tilda Basmati Brown Rice 500g, for example, rose from £2.65 to £2.85 in Tesco, while Ben’s Original Golden Vegetable Microwave Rice 250g and Mexican Style Microwave Rice 250g grew 15% to £1.15 in Sainsbury’s. Veetee Heat & Eat Pilau Rice Pots x2 250g and Veetee Heat & Eat Sticky Rice Pots x2 260g were subject to a 10% price increase from £1 to £1.10 in Sainsbury’s. Tilda and Ben’s Original declined to comment. Tesco confirmed it had seen a rise in the wholesale price of rice but said it was trying to minimise the impact on retail prices.
  • CRF all set to market fragrant rice in European countries

  • The Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) sets a plan of bold promotion of Cambodia’s fragrant rice in some European countries in a bid to spread out the quality of milled rice to the bloc’s consumers. The plan has been prepared amid the EU ending the three-year import tariff on the country’s long-grain white rice last week.
    The CRF sets a plan to join exhibitions in the EU countries to push direct sales to customers, said CRF president Song Saran. “Per our strategy, we will join exhibitions to sell directly to customers. Now, the rice import tariff has ended. We will go to sell and promote our rice directly to regain support,” Saran said. CRF plans to promote fragrant rice in France, Germany, Holland, Belgium and other countries such as the US, Australia and China’s Hong Kong, he said, adding that the promotion is made based on the CRF’s budget available and support from development partners. The CRF also pushes farmers to select quality rice seeds to plant so that they produce quality rice for export. The CRF plans to promote the quality rice seed to farmers to provinces in the main rice production province around the Tonle Sap Lake, Saran said.
    The EU market accounted for more than 50 percent of Cambodia’s total milled rice export in 2016 and this amount dropped sharply to around 20 percent last year, mainly due to the import tariff on Cambodia’s long-grain white rice. With the import tariff removed, Cambodia expects to see at least 200,000 tons of rice exports to the EU this year. “Rice export reaches about 150,000 tonnes to the EU, so after the import tariff ends, we expect to see at least 200,000 tonnes by this year or up to 250,000 tonnes according to high demand of Cambodia’s rice,” Saran said optimistically. Currently, China is the biggest market for the country’s rice export, followed by the EU.
  • Pakistani rice sold in international market labeled ‘made in India’

  • Pakistani rice traders are reportedly unhappy after they found out that Pakistani rice is being sold in the international market with a "made in India" tag.

    Speaking to Deutsche Welle (DW) a German international broadcaster, the Managing Director of Charagh Group of Companies Khalil Ahmed said that "Indians in Muscat, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai purchase rice from us but sell it under their own brands and labelling." Pakistan's rice export association has filed a lawsuit against Indian rice purchaser companies in an international court. But since the case is still pending in court, the association has declined to speak with DW about the matter. According to rice traders, the issue is not just about branding. Ahmed explained that as a result of crop cultivation when farmers sow the seed, rice becomes scarce in the market, which naturally increases the price of rice. Once the crop has reached maturity, the farmer begins harvesting.  He stated that 10% to 20% of paddy is broken during the reaping process due to a lack of modern equipment. Once the rice crop reaches the mills, the crop must be dried and husked, which requires more modern machinery. Similarly, the rice breaks during the process and all of these factors add to the cost.

    This year, Pakistan will export 36 million tonnes of rice to a lot of different countries, with basmati rice accounting for 20% of the total.

  • Rice exports increase by 10.73pc to $1066 mln in 1st half

  • Among rice commodities, the exports of Basmati rice increased by 33.14 percent as these surge from $228.370 million last year to $304.043 million during the current year: PBS reported ISLAMABAD, Jan 24 (APP): The exports of rice surged by 10.73 percent during the first half of the current financial year (2021-22) as compared to the exports of the corresponding period of last year. Pakistan exported rice worth $1066.769 million during July-December (2021-22) against the exports of $963.379 million during July-December (2020-21), showing growth of 10.73 percent, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). Among the rice commodities, the exports of Basmati rice increased by 33.14 percent as these surge from $228.370 million last year to $304.043 million during the current year. The exports of other rice commodities also grew by 3.77 percent by going up from $735.009 million last year to $762.726 million during the current year, the PBS data revealed. In terms of quantity, the overall rice exports grew by 12.54 percent including Basmati rice by 47.39 percent and other rice commodities by 7.51 percent, the PBS data revealed. Meanwhile, year-on-year basis the rice exports witnessed an increase of 3.26 percent in December 2021 as compared with the export of the same month of last year. The rice exports in December 2021 were recorded at $240.260 million against exports of $232.676 million in December 2020. During the period under review, the exports of basmati rice increased by 54.25 percent , however, the exports of other rice commodities declined 4.82 percent. On month-on-month basis, the rice exports increased by 3.60 percent when compared to the exports of $231.908 million in November 2021. On month-on-month basis, the Basmati exports witnessed negative growth of 12.94 percent, however that of other rice commodities increased by 8.92 percent. The overall food exports from the country increased by 22.28 percent during the first half of current year compared to last year.  The food exports from the country were recorded at US $ 2482.704 million during July-December (2021-22) against the exports of US$ 2030.322 million during July-December (2020-21). It is pertinent to mention here that the overall exports from the country during the first half of current financial year witnessed an increase of 24.71% by going up to $15.102 billion as compared with the exports of $12.110 billion last year. The imports also registered about 65.94% growth as these went up from $ 24.454 billion in 1st  half of the last year to $40.580 billion during current year, the PBS data revealed.
  • IGC meeting highlights record rice output

  • Rice LONDON, ENGLAND — A projected record in global rice production and an update on the global pulse market were among the highlights from the International Grains Council’s (IGC) 54th Council Session, held Jan. 21 via video conference. The meeting, chaired by Taras Kachka, deputy minister for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine, examined developments for the 2021-22 marketing year. Global rice output was forecast at 511 million tonnes, marginally higher year-on-year and a new record due to bigger harvests among Asian producers. Tied to population-driven gains in food use, rice consumption was predicted at a peak, while inventories were also seen at a high, including accumulation in key exporters. After the prior year’s solid year-on-year rise to a record, rice trade was expected to edge lower in 2022. World pulses trade was seen contracting for a second successive year in 2022 (January to December), by 2%, to 16 million tonnes, on smaller shipments of dry peas and chickpeas — principally to destinations in Asia. Despite a 5% year-on-year fall in dispatches, Canada would remain by far the biggest supplier of pulses to the global market, the IGC said. The Secretariat also updated members on its forecasts for chickpeas supply and demand, which formally were published for the first time in the IGC’s January Grain Market Report. The Secretariat updated members on developments regarding its ongoing work program. This program included the construction of supply and demand balances for grains-based ethanol, the expansion of its freight market model, the revamping of its suite of daily reports, as well as work in setting up a pulses fob price matrix, intended for completion by June 2022. Regarding administrative issues, members agreed to the IGC signing two Memorandum of Understandings with the Institute for the Development of Agricultural Cooperation in Asia (IDACA) and Group on Earth Observations Global Agricultural Monitoring Initiative (GEOGLAM). The Secretariat also provided a debrief on the previous day’s Grains Forum co-organized with Ukraine, titled, “Grains Sector Resilience: Contingency Plan to Anticipate Shocks,” which explored the state of contingency plans in the grains, oilseeds and rice sectors, including how those plans could be articulated and their potential impact on global trade.
  • Vietnam offers cooperation in textiles, rice production

  • KARACHI: Nguyen Tien Phong, Ambassador of Vietnam in Pakistan, on Friday proposed that building partnership in textiles and rice production would help two nations strike new avenues in world trade. “Business communities of both sides should not think that being big producers and competitors in rice and textiles, we cannot cooperate,” Ambassador Phong said talking to the officials of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry at their office. In fact, he emphasised, “we can beautifully complement each other for a win-win mechanism”. He also expressed his profound and enthusiastic desire that Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Pakistan and Vitnam should be signed through fast-tracking the initiative and implemented effectively to multiply the trade volumes. Phong added that he would certainly relay the concerns and suggestions on visa regime back to their ministry’s head office in Vietnam and he also wanted the duration of business visas for Pakistani businessmen increase from six months to one year. The Vietnamese envoy maintained that the bilateral trade volume of $600 million per year was just not sufficient and it could be taken to $5-10 billion given the true potential for exponential growth over the upcoming years. For this he strongly emphasized on the visits of businessmen from Pakistan to Vietnam and vice versa. Hanif Lakhany, Vice President FPCCI, expressed his desire to expand trade relations with Vietnam as there was untapped potential in a number of sectors. Lakhany proposed that Vietnam should consider investing in smartphone and computer chips, parts and accessories, in Pakistan being one of the most advanced large-scale producers in the sector. Suleman Chawla, SVP-elect of FPCCI for 2022, said the chamber would do its best to strengthen and enrich economic and commercial ties between the two countries.
  • Azerbaijan keen in bilateral trade

  • Islamabad : Azerbaijan and Pakistan can help each other in the food industry. He added that Azerbaijan is looking forward to signing an agreement with Pakistan to introduce low custom duties to import rice, wheat and other edible items, said the Ambassador of Azerbaijan Khazar Farhadov. He stated this while visiting while visiting the Sihala Flour Mill in I-9. Following the visit, the delegation was escorted to the Khattak and Sons IT park where the ambassador was briefed about the growing IT sector in Pakistan, says a press release. Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, former president of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) invited the Ambassador of Azerbaijan Khazar Farhadov to explore various economic opportunities in Pakistan to enhance bilateral relations. The former president of ICCI stated that Azerbaijan and Pakistan have completed over 30 years of bilateral relationship and cooperation which extends over a vast sphere ranging from political, economic, technological, security to cultural segments. Azerbaijan envoy agreed while addressing the press and stated that a ‘A strong Pakistan means a strong Azerbaijan.’ Sardar Yasir, CEO of the Centaurus, emphasised upon the imminent need to cooperate in the IT segment as it has a huge potential in terms of business and this year Pakistan aims to export nearly $3 billion from this sector alone. Several local companies at this IT park are already providing services to countries such as the US, UK, Middle East, Iraq, Zambia, Nigeria and Kazakhstan. Many of these IT companies specialize in offering backend services to Amazon, hospitals in the US including gaming and apps development for android and ios platforms etc. The ambassador was also taken to Kahuta triangle to visit various pharmaceutical companie
  • ASIA RICE-India rates jump to 7-month peak on freight trains shortage

  • By Kavya Guduru Jan 20 (Reuters) - Rice prices in top exporter India hit a more than seven-month high this week due to a railway wagon scarcity, while rates in Thailand reached their highest level since July on a stronger baht. India's 5% broken parboiled variety RI-INBKN5-P1 was quoted at $375-$382 per tonne, its highest since June, up from last week's $367-$375. "Railway wagons are not available and moving rice by trucks means spending nearly double on transportation," said a Kakinada-based exporter in Andhra Pradesh. Nearly a third of India's rice exports for this month are stuck due to a shortage of freight trains. Most traders have stopped signing February export contracts to avoid demurrage charges, industry officials told Reuters.
    Thailand's 5% broken rice RI-THBKN5-P1 prices rose to $407-$410 per tonne, the highest since last mid-July, from $404-$405 last week. The baht THB=TH appreciated against the U.S. dollar, causing rice prices to rise, said Bangkok-based traders, adding that prices are expected to hover around these levels for a while as overseas demand is muted. Vietnam's 5% broken rice RI-VNBKN5-P1 was offered at $395-$405 per tonne, unchanged from a week ago. "The market is quiet, and we expect it to remain so until after the Lunar New Year holiday," said a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City, adding domestic supplies will remain low until the harvest beginning next month. Traders forecast export prices to remain high this year on strong wheat and corn prices, and said Philippines will continue to be Vietnam's largest buyer this year. Bangladesh started selling cut-price rice to help poor people hit by exceptionally high commodity prices during the pandemic and stepped up imports while it strengthens efforts to grow more rice.
    The lowest price offered in the tender from Bangladesh's state grains buyer to purchase 50,000 tonnes of rice which closed on Sunday was $421.99 a tonne CIF liner out, officials said. (Reporting by Kavya Guduru in Bengaluru, Patpicha Tanakasempipat in Bangkok, Khanh Vu in Hanoi, Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai and Ruma Paul in Bangladesh, additional reporting by Swati Verma; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)
  • First Thai rice shipment delivered using Laos-China railway

  • A first shipment 1,000 tonnes of Thai rice has been delivered using the Lao-Chinese railway to Chongqing, marking a new chapter in exports to China, the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry announced on Thursday. Exports of other farm products using the new rail link would follow, Alongkorn Polabutr, adviser to the agriculture minister, said. He said the initial shipment of rice was carried in 20 carriages and had already reached Chongqing. More would follow. The railway, which commenced service early last month, opened the possibility of extending export routes to other Chinese provinces and farther, to Central Asia, East Asia, the Middle East, Russia and Europe. The government was looking into exporting fruit, orchids, rubber, cassava, palm oil and fishery and livestock products on the new railway, Mr Alongkorn said. Thai fruit could reach Chongqing in 1-2 days, retaining freshness thanks to the railway. This would enable expansion to markets in China, he said.
  • Global Rice Market Outlook: China’s Imports Hit Record Highs

  • Throughout January-August 2021, China's rice imports hit 3.2M tonnes, the highest level ever. Indian supplies into China's rice market have increased sharply, with exports of broken rice reaching 1M tonnes. LOS ANGELES, Jan. 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- According to a recent report published by IndexBox, the flow of foreign supplies into China's rice market has sharply increased due to spiking demand for broken rice for animal feeding. From January to August 2021, China imported record 3.2M tonnes of rice, whereas broken rice represented half of the total volume. India became the largest supplier to the country, exporting unprecedented 1M tonnes of broken rice during this period with competitive prices relative to domestic ones in China. In value terms, purchases from India amounted to over $225M. Broken rice is primarily used for feed, snack and liquor manufacturing.  Broken rice purchases from other leading suppliers, namely Myanmar, Vietnam, Pakistan and Thailand, have also increased. Shipments from Pakistan soared from $24M to $90M in 2021 for January through August. Imports from Viet Nam jumped from $131M to $150M over the same period, while Thailand's supplies soared from $25M to $44M. Myanmar boosted its broken rice exports to China from $41M to $81M.  China’s Rice Imports by Country In 2020, rice imports into China skyrocketed to 2.9M tonnes, picking up by 16% compared with 2019. In value terms, purchases soared to $1.5B.  Myanmar (911K tonnes), Viet Nam (788K tonnes) and Pakistan (475K tonnes) were the leading suppliers of rice imports to China, together comprising 75% of the total volume. These countries were followed by Thailand, Cambodia, Taiwan (Chinese) and the Lao People's Democratic Republic, which accounted for a further 25%. In value terms, Viet Nam ($452M), Myanmar ($324M) and Thailand ($242M) were the largest rice suppliers to China, with a combined 70% share of total imports. Pakistan, Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic and Taiwan (Chinese) lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 30%. In 2020, China's average rice import price amounted to $501 per tonne, flattening from the previous year. Prices varied noticeably by the country of origin; the country with the highest cost was Thailand ($746 per tonne), while the price for Myanmar ($356 per tonne) was amongst the lowest. In 2020, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Lao People's Democratic Republic, while the prices for the other major suppliers experienced more modest paces of growth.
  • Sri Lanka to import 300,000 tonnes of rice as crop loss expected

  • ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of minister has approved the import of 300,000 metric tonnes of rice to increase the supply, a government statement said, with crop losses expected due to the use of organic fertilizer. The Minister of Trade had been given approval to import 200,000 metric tonnes of Nadu type rice (parboiled) and 100,000 tonnes of GR11 short grain rice. GR11 is a substitute for Samba, the statement said. The cabinet had earlier approved the import of 100,000 metric tonnes of rice. These rice will be imported from India, cabinet spokesman Minister Ramesh Pathirana said. Rice prices have moved up and imports are to stabilize prices, he said. Stat-run Sathosa and some private traders have been allowed to import rice, Minister Pathirana said. At least 30,000 metric tonnes had been imported from Myanmar. Sri Lanka has restricted the import of rice which has allowed millers to drive up prices. However in the Maha season, where harvesting begins from around February, crop losses are expected due to a ban on chemical fertilizer and agro-chemical import. (Colombo/Jan11/2021)
  • EU Commission confirms expected resumption of tariff-free Myanmar, Cambodian rice imports

  • The EU Commission's Directorate General for Trade has confirmed to S&P Global Platts expectations that the EU's import tariffs on Myanmar and Cambodian long grain white rice will revert to zero from Jan. 18.
    Both countries benefit from their place within the EU's Everything but Arms initiative, which allows Least Developed Countries to export to the bloc tariff-free. However, tariffs were brought in three years ago as a temporary measure to help protect EU farmers from competitively priced long grain rice. Medium grain, short grain and broken rice -- in addition to brown long grain -- imports from these countries were unaffected. The tariffs led to a substantial shift in the flow of rice to Europe. Cambodian Fragrant rice faced much more competition in the continent from Thai Fragrant rice and many EU buyers switched to buying the Myanmar medium grain variety, Kayinma, instead of the regular Emata long grain variety. While Cambodia's government challenged the tariffs in the courts, there was also pressure on the EU side to go further and extend the tariffs to other rice products from both countries and to make the temporary tariff changes permanent or at least extend them. However, in a statement from DG Trade, a spokesperson confirmed to Platts that "the rice tariffs for Cambodia and Myanmar will return to zero at the expiry date (18/01/2022)." The EU's import tariffs on Myanmar and Cambodian rice during this period were Eur175/mt ($198/mt) in the first year, Eur150/mt ($170/mt) in the second year and Eur125/mt ($142/mt) in the third year.

  • South Korean rice imports decline

  • RiceRICE   SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – Supply chain issues hampered South Korean rice imports in the final quarter of 2021, leading to a 11% decrease in imports from the previous marketing year, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). South Korea’s estimated rice import total of 418,336 tonnes for 2020-21 was 16% lower than the previous USDA forecast, which was made last fall. The rice import forecast for 2021-22 has been revised upward to 490,000 tonnes, a 19% increase, due to actual delivery of some 2021 tariff rate quota contacts moving to 2022. The USDA estimated this year’s rice output in South Korea at 3.88 million tonnes, up 10% from the previous year, while rice consumption is virtually unchanged from 2020-21 at 3.96 million tonnes. As in many Asian countries, rice consumption has been declining in South Korea in recent years, having fallen four consecutive years since a recent peak of 4.7 million tonnes in 2017-18. Per capita rice consumption has declined from 59.2 kilograms in 2018-19 to a projected 55.3 kilograms in 2021-22, according to the USDA.
  • Rice export surges by 19pc to $594.5m in 4 months

  • Rice export surges by 19pc to $594.5m in 4 months ISLAMABAD    -  The export of rice surged by 19.04 percent during the first four months of current financial year (2021-22) as compared to the exports of the corresponding period of last year.
    At a time when rice exports of the country were on escalating trend, the production of the rice crop has also been estimated at over 9 million tons during current season as compared to the output 8.4 million tons of same period of last year. Pakistan exported rice worth $594.528 million during July-October (2021-22) against the exports of $499.442 million during July-October (2020-21), showing growth of 19.04 percent, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). Among the rice commodities, the exports of Basmati rice increased by 27.44 percent as these surged from $161.654 million last year to $206.013 million during the current year. The exports of other rice commodities also grew by 15.02 percent by going up from $337.788 million last year to $388.515 million during the current year, the PBS data revealed. In terms of quantity, the overall rice exports grew by 22.60 percent including Basmati rice by 39.59 percent and other rice commodities by 18.59 percent, the PBS data revealed.
    Meanwhile, on year-on-year basis, the rice exports witnessed an increase of 22.99 percent in October 2021 as compared with the export of the same month of last year. The rice exports in October 2021 were recorded at $171.335 million against exports of $139.306 million in October 2020. During the period under review, the exports of basmati rice increased by 28.09 percent whereas that of other rice commodities went up by 20.88 percent. On month-on-month basis, the rice exports increased by 19.87 percent when compared to the exports of $142.933 million in September 2021. On month-on-month basis, the Basmati exports grew by 32.19 percent whereas the exports of other rice commodities increased by 28.03 percent. The overall food exports from the country increased by 26.91 percent during the first four months of current year compared to last year.
    The food exports from the country were recorded at $1434.398 million during July-October (2021-22) against the exports of $1130.250 million during July-October (2020-21). It is pertinent to mention here that the country’s total merchandise exports surged by 24.94 during the first four months of the current fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of last year. The exports during the period were recorded at $9.462 billion against the exports of $7.573 billion during same period of last year. On the other hand, the imports into the country also surged by 65.40 percent by growing from $15.176 billion last year to $25.101 billion during the current fiscal year, the PBS data added.
  • Food prices: is basmati next?

  • According to weekly SPI, basmati (broken, average quality) national average price has closed in on Rs 100 per kg in the week ended 09th December. Although price of basmati varieties can reach up to Rs 250-300 per kg – depending upon quality – this is the first time SPI price has scored a century. Is a basmati price spiral next? Not really. It is correct that basmati prices (as tracked by SPI) have increased by nearly 60 percent in the past 5 years that says little in an economy where currency itself has depreciated by over half during the same period. But FY21 marked the highest rate at which basmati prices have raised in nearly a decade, while FY22 may prove worse still. According to PBS data, basmati prices rose by 10 percent during FY21 over the preceding year (12-month average). Since July alone, prices have risen by 6 percent, and even if they stabilize at current level for H2-FY22 – the 12-month average run rate will translate into 11.5 percent by end FY22. But that’s not crazy enough in the world of domestic food prices, where prices of other staples such as wheat flour, ghee, cooking oil and sugar have risen by over one-third in less than a year (and in some cases, witnessed double-digit increase for two years in row). What’s crazy however is basmati price increase also flirting with double-digit territory, since in more recent past these had stood out for their relative calm and semblance of stability. What has happened? First theory is a grain miller’s favourite, and takes a leaf from Econ 101. Essentially, it posits that wheat and other cereals are substitute goods – not only in human consumption but also as livestock feed inputs. Thus, increase in price of one commodity leads to rise in price of others, especially when quantum of price increase is inordinate, as has been the case with wheat flour prices domestically.
    Of course, outside of classroom, the real world does not operate under ceteris paribus conditions. Over the past decade, while Pakistan’s wheat and flour output has stagnated, production of basmati and related varieties (such as Kainat) has doubled. Meanwhile, uncompetitive pricing meant Pakistan’s basmati could find few takers in the international market, meaning there simply was a lot more rice to fill the stomachs back home. Greater output together with reduced export of marketable surplus meant that local prices remained stable, even when prices of other food commodities started to give in under the weight of rising cost of inputs. But it seems that the precarious equilibrium is now giving away too, a confluence of variety of forces. First, cost of production of basmati and other rice varieties has risen in tandem with other grains. According to Punjab government, cost of per acre production for basmati paddy rose by over one-third in the past two seasons alone, without commensurate increase in market prices. Two, output growth rate is now peaking, as growers have failed to note quantum jump in per acre productivity. Moreover, rice crop may very well have witnessed maximum area under its cultivation during the just concluded kharif season, as some growers may shift back to cotton in the upcoming season, due in part to demand revival from textile exporting industry. Lastly, demand for basmati exports is staging a comeback too, flirting with peak pre-Covid volume (witnessed in FY19). It appears likely that local basmati prices may witness upward momentum in coming months, especially if local wheat output falls short of target/expectations. Is there any saving grace then? Maybe, but only to the extent that consumers may feel assured that basmati prices shall not witness a topsy-turvy rollercoaster ride – unlike sugar and flour prices – and may instead only inch forward – albeit slowly. But that’s primarily an outcome of the very large number of small and mid-sized rice millers and shellers in the market, ensuring that none of the market participants command a dominant position in local trade. But that’s no thanks to administrative interference. Rice – and especially basmati market – has remained free of administrative intervention in the past, and must remain so regardless of which ever way prices might settle. In the medium term, however, policymakers must confront the existential dilemma of building forex reserves on raw material exports. Commodity exports may very well offer the fastest route to growing foreign trade, but sooner than later economies run out of marketable surplus if they fail to improve productivity. While rice crop may have done tremendously well compared to wheat or cotton in recent years, it is not free of the low (and stagnating) yields scrouge that inflicts agriculture sector in general.
  • Containers: Rice exporters urge govt to ensure timely availability

  • KARACHI: Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (Reap) Tuesday urged the federal government to take immediate measures to ensure the timely availability of the containers for export purposes. A high-profile delegation of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) led by Abdul Rahim Janoo, Former Chairman Reap had a meeting with Mahmood Baqi Moulvi, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Maritime Affairs yesterday at KPT Head Office Karachi. Muhammad Anwar Mianoor Senior Vice Chairman REAP, MC Members Dr. Muhammad Hafeez, Hasab Abdul Rauf along with Rasheed Jan Muhammad, Jawed Jilani, Ashfaq Ghaffar, Anis Majeed, Usman Shaikh, Noman Arif, Faisal Anis, Shoaib Rauf and others were the part of the delegation. In addition, Muhammad Sohail Shahzad, Director Technical Quarantine Department of Plant Protection Department, government of Pakistan along with his team was also present during the meeting. Anwar Mianoor said with a bumper rice crop this year, Pakistan has great opportunity to boost the rice exports. “We have good orders for China in coming months,” he said. However, exporters are facing a severe challenge of non-availability of containers for export purposes, he mentioned. He also drew the attention of the Advisor towards exorbitant increase in freight charges. He requested the federal government for immediate measures for the availability of containers for export of goods, particularly rice. “The federal government should issue a notification that forbids shipping lines from taking away empty containers or put a percentage on the movement of empty containers from our country,” he suggested. He mentioned that in some countries, their government implemented this practice. Further, he complained that shipping agents and companies are charging high exchange rates as compared to prevailing rates. He requested his support to facilitate rice exports to work with peace of mind. Mianoor also appreciated the role of DPP for the betterment of import export trade of Pakistan. He said that despite the shortage of staff, DPP staff has worked day and night and provided excellent services to business and trade. He requested Mahmood Moulvi to extend every possible support to DPP to continue their services. Abdul Rahim Janoo congratulated Mahmood Moulvi and said that he is the first leader of rice industry who have reached this position and we are proud of you for representing the rice sector everywhere. Sohail Shahzad, Director DPP thanked for the support to Reap, Ministry of National Food Security & Research and Government of Pakistan and informed that previously DPP was facing a critical shortage of staff to perform our duties to inspect import export containers at all sea ports. However, after consistent efforts MINCOM appointed a good number of Staff on Contractual basis and also provided suitable funds, so that DPP can continue to work with zeal. He requested to provide support to get these staff permanent. He requested Mahmood Moulvi to again hand over the office to DPP to work smoothly at Port premises. Sohail Shahzad added that there should be dedicated space at seaport to inspect the import export containers properly for sensitive countries, so that exports could not be stopped.
  • Pakistan poised to export near-record rice volume this season

  • Pakistan poised to export near-record rice volume this season ISLAMABAD: Bolstered by a bumper crop, Pakistan is poised to export near-record volumes of rice this season as the country struggles to manage surplus stocks of grain, a minister said on Monday. Pakistan planned to offer over 8 million tons of rice to foreign buyers as by December around 11.43 million of rice stocks will be available in the market for 3.4 million tons of local consumption. Syed Fakhar Imam, minister for National Food Security and Research said the country would offer rice worth $5 billion this season for exports to cut its ballooning surplus “but at the same time it’s a challenging task”. “This year we have over 8 million tons of exportable, worth around $4.85 billion. If we succeed in exporting this surplus rice, it would be a major breakthrough,” Imam told a news conference. China, Kenya, UAE, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia were key exports destinations of Pakistani rice over the last five years and imam said the government is mulling to setup a committee or task force on national level under the supervision and monitoring of the Prime Minister to push rice exports to new markets including. Africa and Latin-America “Exports have been a major challenge for the country over the last one decade and have been in the bracket of $21 to $25 billion. If this avenue is exploited and the rice is exported, the country can earn more forex and jack up our total exports,’ he added. Imam said the provincial crops reporting departments have reported a bumper rice crop of 8.96 million tons from 3.5 million hectares during the Karif 2021/22 crop year. Last year the country produced 8.41 million tons of rice. The government estimates that total available stock by December 2021 will be 11.43 million tons. Deducting 3.40 million tons for domestic consumption, 8.03 million tons is available as exportable surplus. Of the total exportable surplus, approximately 30 percent is basmati (2.41 million tons). Currently, the average export prices of basmati and coarse rice are $870/ton and $490/ton respectively. At these prices, Pakistan can earn $2.10 billion and $2.75 billion (total $4.85 billion) from the export of basmati and coarse rice, respectively. Official data showed that the country produced 8.41 million tons of rice and had a carryover stock of 0.51 million tons. Around 8.92 million tons of grain stock is available for domestic consumption and export. Up to November 2021, approximately 3.1 million tons were domestically consumed and 3.34 million tons was exported. Currently, the country has last year’s carryover stock of 2.47 million tons. During the last fiscal year, Pakistan exported 3.50 million tons of rice, valuing $2.11 billion. However, rice exports fell 12 percent compared to exports of FY2019-20 due to Covid-19 related disruption in shipments. “In FY2021-22, our exportable surplus is 128 percent higher than that of last year. Now that the shipment disruption is easing, Pakistan should make every effort to export 8.03 million tons and earn $4.85 billion which will be $2.74 billion more than that of last year,” Imam said.
  • Rice export has huge scope

  • Paddy shipments to Beijing may rise as agri-cooperation deepens farmers plant rice seedlings in a paddy field on the outskirts of lahore july 10 2011 photo reuters BEIJING: Will Basmati rice, the pride of Pakistan, appear on the dining tables of more Chinese consumers? Customs data showed that China imported 1.95 billion yuan worth of paddy and rice from Pakistan in the first 10 months of this year, 3.9 times higher than the same period of last year. Pakistan is the third-largest rice supplier to China. In addition, Pakistan became China’s largest rice supplier in the first five months of this year. As China and Pakistan further deepen agricultural cooperation, rice exports to Beijing may increase. The world’s leading rice exporters, India, Thailand, Vietnam and Pakistan compete and cooperate with each other. India used to be the largest exporter of Basmati rice, however, due to the strict European Union restrictions on tricyclazole and carbendazim, India lost a lot of Basmati rice orders from European clients. Meanwhile, Pakistan has become the biggest beneficiary thanks to its organic farming of Basmati rice. Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan Senior Vice President Faisal Jahangir Malik said that three years ago, India sold 400,000 tons of Basmati rice in the European markets while Pakistan’s share was less than 40,000 tons. “From 2020 to 2021, Pakistan’s rice exports to European countries reached 470,000 tons, while India’s share dropped below 40,000 tons,” he said. Read ‘Agriculture sector vital for growth’ “This was made possible thanks to Pakistan’s traditional farming method. Although Pakistan’s farming methods are not modern, they are close to organic production, hence the world has confidence in the locally produced rice.” Smog affects rice yield For a long time, Pakistan has followed a formula for rice export – rice export equals output minus domestic consumption. Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice President Shamsul Islam Khan told China Economic Net that Pakistan exports all it could offer. The only way to enhance exports is to increase the rice yield. Zhang Jiegen, the Associate Researcher at the Centre for Pakistan Studies at Fudan University, believed that China’s rice market is open to Pakistan in a way that other countries do not enjoy. “China will provide as much quota as possible to Pakistan in order to promote the healthy development of two-way trade but Pakistan’s production capacity cannot keep up,” he said. He cited sugar exports as an example. In 2020, Pakistan announced a subsidy for exporters to promote sugar export to China, however, this was followed by a spike in sugar prices as Pakistan’s domestic sugar production capacity could not keep up. Many factors affect rice yield. Read more Australia to provide agri-training Rice Research Institute Kala Shah Kaku Director Muhammad Rafiq was of the view that smog is a major culprit. “When Basmati rice is not dried in time, exposure to the air produces aflatoxins. If these factors are excluded, the average yield of crops per acre will increase by 10-15 maund (40 kg),” he said. In Pakistan, many farmers consider rice as a cash crop. They use wheat harvesters to harvest rice due to the lack of specialised rice harvesters. Shamsul Islam Khan believed that the use of inappropriate combine harvesters affected the rice yield. “This leads to grain loss and increases breakage rate. When specialised rice harvesters are used, the yield will increase and the quality of crops will improve.” Agricultural technology limits rice production and also has an impact on rice processing. Khan said that 40-50% of rice is broken during processing. Rice exporters in China In the first five months of this year, Pakistan became China’s largest rice supplier. The main reason behind this is that China has relaxed its import restrictions on Pakistani rice in recent years. China has allowed seven new Pakistani rice exporters to do business in the country. So far, the number of Pakistani rice exporters that have got permission to enter the Chinese market has risen to 53. “There are 1,800 active members in Pakistan’s rice exporters association and currently, over 800 companies export rice from Pakistan,” said Malik. Comparing 53 approved exporters to 1,800 active members, he stated that “there is still much room for improvement in the exporter quota”.
  • Pakistani rice export to China has huge potential perts

  • Pakistani rice export to China has huge potential: Experts BEIJING, Nov. 25 (APP):Customs data showed that China imported RMB 1.95 billion worth of paddy and rice from Pakistan in the first 10 months of this year, 3.9 times that of the same period last year. Pakistan is the third largest rice supplier to China. In addition, Pakistan once became China’s largest rice supplier in the first five months of this year. As China and Pakistan further advance agricultural cooperation, Pakistan’s rice exports to China may increase, according to a report published by China Economic Net. Zhang Jiegen, an associate researcher at the Center for Pakistan Studies at Fudan University, believes that China’s rice market is open to Pakistan in a way that other countries do not enjoy. “China will provide as much quota as possible to Pakistan in order to promote the healthy development of China-Pakistan trade, but Pakistan’s production capacity cannot keep up.” Many factors affect rice yield. Ch. Muhammad Rafiq, Director of Rice Research Institute Kala Shah Kaku, holds that smog is among the culprits. “When basmati rice is not dried in time, exposure to the air produces aflatoxins. If these factors are excluded, the average yield of crops per acre will increase by 10 to 15 maund (1 maund is about 40kg). “ In Pakistan, many farmers take rice as a cash crop. They use wheat harvester to harvest rice due to the lack of specialized rice harvesters. Shamsul Islam Khan believes that the use of inappropriate combine harvesters affects rice yield. “This leads to grain loss and increases breakage rate. When specialized rice harvesters are used, the yield will increase and the quality of crops will improve.” Agricultural technology limits rice production, and also has an impact on rice processing. Shamsul Islam Khan said that 40-50% of rice is broken during processing. In the first five months of this year, Pakistan once became China’s largest rice supplier. The main reason is that China has relaxed its import restrictions on Pakistani rice in recent years. China has approved seven new Pakistani rice exporters to do business in China. So far, the number of Pakistani rice exporters that have got permission to enter the Chinese market has risen to 53. “There are 1,800 active members in Pakistan’s rice exporters association, and currently over 800 companies export rice from Pakistan,” Faisal Jahangir Malik said. By comparing 53 approved exporters with 1,800 active members, he expressed his expectation that “there is still much room for improvement in the exporter quota”. China adopts tariff quota policy for corn, wheat and rice, levying a 1 percent tariff on imports within the quota and a 65 percent tariff on imports exceeding the quota. In 2021, import tariff quotas are 9.636 million tonnes for wheat, 7.2 million tonnes for corn and 5.32 million tonnes for rice, including 2.66 million tons of long-grain rice. Guo Jiapeng, a businessman engaged in global rice trade in Hong Kong, said. “Pakistani rice is mainly mixed with domestic rice according to a certain proportion to get the best taste.” As domestic rice harvest season has started, the arrival price of Pakistani rice in Hong Kong this year fell all the way from the highest USD 480 per ton to USD 310 per ton. China’s per capita consumption of rice has been declining year by year. Guo Jiapeng, based on years of trade experience, concluded that the rice that Chinese people have for staple food is decreasing at the rate of 3.5 per year, while the rice used for industrial production is increasing at the rate of 5%. Among them, broken rice for industrial use is not included in the quota, and the tariff levied on Pakistan’s broken rice export to China is 10. International sellers have set their sight on this “blue ocean market”. If the quota is a threshold, the preferences and habits of Chinese consumers determine the export prospect of Pakistani rice. Through more than ten years of experience in the Chinese market, Shamsul Islam Khan believes that the appearance of rice plays a key role in the Chinese market, “Chinese consumers’ preference for milled and polished rice leads to an increases in breakage.” Aman Ullah Khan, a Pakistani trader who has lived in China for over ten years, said that one reason for the poor sales of Pakistani rice in China is the characteristics of basmati rice. “Cooking basmati rice is demanding. The texture of cooked rice will be affected when it’s cooked in electric cookers, so the sales are not satisfactory in China.” Compared with foreign quality rice, cooked basmati rice gives a soft texture with superior aroma. As cooking it is demanding, currently, basmati rice in China is mainly served in foreign restaurants. Meanwhile, short-grain rice is still the main variety consumed by Chinese people at home. Thailand is a traditional rice supplier to China. Kesrin Ariyapongse, deputy secretary-general of the Thai Chamber of Commerce in China, holds that one reason why Thai rice has gained a good reputation in the Chinese market is that the eating habit is similar in China and Thailand, so Chinese people accept Thai rice easily. Fortunately, the Chinese have high recognition and acceptance of foreign food. Shamsul Islam Khan came to a Pakistani restaurant in China in 2018 and saw an amazing sight, “There wasn’t a single Pakistani except me. All were Chinese. They were eating samosas and having a good time. They were tasting Pakistani food, which was a good thing for us. “ If basmati rice wants to gain more recognition in China, high-end positioning is the top priority. Moreover, how to help Chinese consumers make a choice between Pakistani basmati rice and Indian basmati rice is also particularly important. A search for “basmati rice” on a Chinese e-commerce website shows that more than 70% of the products are “Pakistani basmati rice”, and the rest are produced in India. This has been made possible by the efforts of Chinese and Pakistani rice traders. Badar uz Zaman, Commercial Counsellor of Pakistani Embassy in Beijing, appreciated, “importers have started using e-commerce platforms to sell Pakistani rice, and Pakistani Embassy and Consulates in China have organized several rice related events.” “Our exporters start to comprehend Chinese taste for rice, participate and exhibit in different exhibitions and trade fairs actively, and learn about packaging requirements for products sold in the Chinese market,” said Badar uz Zaman. Kesrin Ariyapongse also suggested that Pakistani exporters should make adjustments for the habits of Chinese consumers. “Packaging improvement and constant product upgrading will allow the Chinese to accept easily.” “China is a large rice importer. Our exports can be increased many folds!” said Imran Sheikh, a Pakistani rice trader. Sino-Pak agricultural cooperation is all-round. Pakistan is eager not only to export its agricultural products to China, but also to bring Chinese investors with capital and technology to improve its agricultural sector. “Chinese technology can be seen everywhere around the world now.” He has been engaged in cooperation with Chinese companies. “We have made new machines by mixing local machines with those imported from China, Thailand and other countries. We have reached an agreement with our Chinese counterparts to cooperate in setting up a rice processing plant,” said Shamsul Islam Khan. Before Chinese agricultural machines entered Pakistan, high prices kept farmers away and hindered the development of agricultural mechanization. “In the past, the prices of these machines were quite high. For example, color sorter machines from Japan were extraordinary expensive. Now we import them from China because of lower cost and good rejection quality,” Shamsul Islam Khan said. The combine harvester mentioned above is also a good aspect of cooperation. Faisal Jahangir Malik said that Pakistan needs Chinese rice harvesters and transplanters. “Like the tray paddy transplanter, rice seedlings can be spread on the tray. Furthermore, it can increase yield by 5% to 7%. Pakistani farmers need equipment, education and training to modernize agriculture.” Chinese agricultural machines enter Pakistan relatively late, but they cost less and are in line with the habits of local farmers. In this way, upgrading of local agricultural technology and realization of agricultural machinery localization can come true in Pakistan. In response to Pakistan’s agricultural technology, Hussain Haider, Consulate General of Pakistan in Shanghai, holds that Pakistan needs to modernize its agricultural sector. In this case, Chinese assistance, investment and expertise can play a key role in mechanization of agriculture, use of modern technology and improvement of productivity. Pakistan has about 10 million hectares of saline alkali land. In this regard, Ch. Muhammad Rafiq is more interested in cooperation with agricultural colleges. “A large portion of our land is under the effect of salinity. We are still running breeding programs with old traditional methods and are not using the genetic engineering aid. We hope to cooperate with Chinese agricultural colleges.” Deep processing is a good opportunity for Pakistani rice to overtake if it wants to stand out from the fierce competition in the rice export market. As carbon constraints tighten, the gap in China’s starch market is widening, and the production of industrial products such as fast food boxes made from corn starch and rice starch is expanding. Guo Jiapeng believes that by using Chinese fermentation technology, the added value of Pakistani rice can be improved through deep processing biodegradable materials in China after initial processing in Pakistan. According to Shamsul Islam Khan, in addition to agricultural technology, he hopes that China can make extensive investment in Pakistan’s agriculture sector, and that more Chinese companies will “contract land” in Pakistan, as it has a large area of open, uncultivated land due to lack of agricultural technology. “After Chinese and Saudi companies went to Africa, they turned it into fertile land. 22% of Pakistan’s area is cultivated land, but there are still a wild stretch of land that is uncultivated. If China’s drip irrigation technology is adopted, it may also yield rice.” However, not all Pakistani farmers will accept Chinese technology. Zhang Genjie told CEN reporter a story, “Once an entrepreneur from a Chinese agribusiness talked about cooperation with a big landlord in Islamabad. The Chinese entrepreneur said that if the production technology was applied, the yield increased two to three folds, but the Pakistani landlord showed no interest. He said that the current practice could ensure an annual income of tens of millions of rupees. Why to change?” Zhang Jiegen believes that with the introduction of international cooperation and capital, an action forcing mechanism will be formed to accelerate the adaptation of local agriculture sector to international market demand. Traditionally, seed industry, agricultural machinery, agricultural materials, and product processing have been the main areas of agricultural cooperation between China and Pakistan. Pakistanis involved in rice business have started imagining scenarios of applying information technology to agricultural farming. Shamsul Islam Khan proposes to develop an application for rice farmers that would allow them to stay in touch with the agriculture department in real time, and the agricultural department would advise them on watering schedules and others. Pakistani rice is harvested by Chinese harvesters and then exported to the Chinese market according to Chinese packaging standards… This is the pursuit of countless Pakistani rice practitioners. As Badar uz Zaman said, “In the next few years, I think Pakistan will become the largest player in the Chinese rice import market.”
  • Rice exports to set new record this year

  • Rice exports rose an impressive 10.5 per cent between April and October over the record exports in FY21 A man works in a paddy field on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India, Friday, Nov. 19. (AP Photo) Chennai: Despite the pandemic demand waning out, rice exports rose an impressive 10.5 per cent between April and October over the record exports in FY21. A new record in rice exports is expected this year. In value terms, rice exports grew 10.5 per cent, increasing from $4,777.35 million in April-October 2020 to $5,278.95 million in April-October 2021. Between April and October, rice exports have almost touched 60 per cent of last year’s exports in value. Rice exports fetched $8.8 billion in FY21. Of this, non-basmati rice revenues more than doubled to $4.8 billion. However, basmati rice saw a drop of 7 per cent to $4 billion. Even in volume terms, rice exports had almost doubled to an all-time high of 17.7 million tonnes last fiscal, against 9.5 mt a year ago.  In the pandemic year, several countries have been stocking up food items prior to going into lockdown. Scarcity and export restrictions in some of the exporting countries saw demand for Indian rice going up. Further, Indian rice is becoming popular in the global market for its lower price and better quality. Even after the pandemic, the demand for Indian rice is high. In volume terms, the country has already exported 8.3 mt of rice between April and September, up 11.44 per cent over 7.5 mt a year ago.

  •             KARACHI: The steps being taken by the incumbent government to increase the country’s exports have started yielding results as Russia has increased the volume of rice imports from Pakistan. The Russian Trade ministry will monitor more rice factories via video link with the collaboration of the Plant Production department. Earlier Pakistan had around 34 rice export establishments in the Russian market, but now the number has increased up to 53, said director Plant Production Department, Sohail Shahzad said and added several countries including Russia, China, Japan and Australia have lifted the import ban from Pakistan and issuing online confirmation certificates to the Pakistani exporters. Sohail Shahzad said several countries by visiting the factories online via Plant Production Department are releasing orders for rice and fruits. It is to be noted that Russia had banned the import of Pakistani rice in 2018. The ban was lifted after efforts were made by the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of National Food Security and the trade wing of Pakistan’s embassy in Moscow. The trade attache in Moscow had also persuaded the Federal Service for Veterinary & Phytosanitary Surveillance (FSVPS), a federal executive body in Russia, to conduct a virtual inspection of other rice exporting enterprises in Pakistan, so that they may also be allowed to export rice to Russia.  
  • New grant advances research on domestic organic rice

  • Washington D.C., Sept. 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The University of Arkansas, in collaboration with The Organic Center and the University of California Cooperative Extension, has been awarded nearly $500,000 through USDA’s Organic Research and Extension Institute (OREI) to help undertake a three-year project studying the challenges and opportunities for organic rice production and usage in the United States.  Currently, consumer demand for organic rice exceeds domestic supply, and leads to significant import competition. Meanwhile, research is needed to determine whether domestic organic rice production can be competitive and sustainable, and what attributes consumers consider desirable in the rice they eat.  The long-term goal is to facilitate the growth of organic rice production in the U.S. and foster the growth of the domestic market. Specifically, researchers will focus on identifying and assessing the economic impacts of different production practices used in domestic organic rice production. To expand domestic consumption of organic rice, researchers plan to study consumers’ preferences. In addition, researchers will develop a multi-state outreach program to disseminate the findings of the research. “It will be important to assess producer and consumer attitudes about organic rice production and consumption, and then identify any barriers that need to be overcome to improve the market opportunities” says Dr. Alvaro Durand-Morat of the University of Arkansas who is lead Project Investigator. The research will include using discussions with farmer focus groups and surveys, as well as studies of consumer behavior and attitudes concerning desired attributes of rice they buy and consume. Findings and results will be disseminated through many channels, including interactive extension tools, presentations, and journal and newspaper publications, to reach targeted audiences. During the first year, The Organic Center will issue press releases and grower group announcements to publicize the planned research. It will also provide a web portal to post description of the project, updates, and other information. Meanwhile, it will launch a social media campaign about the research via The Organic Center and Organic Trade Association Facebook and Twitter accounts. This campaign will continue throughout the full four years of the project to disseminate information gathered at farmer and industry group listening sessions, requests for stakeholder input, research findings, and stakeholder meeting conference sessions and workshops.  During the second and third years, The Organic Center will increase its outreach to allow wide dissemination of on-farm research findings and recommendations. Included will be webinars, and publications explaining research results. “We are thrilled to be a part of this monumental research,” said Dr. Jessica Shade, Director of Science Programs at The Organic Center. “This project will fill a critical need to help increase the domestic supply of organic rice.” OREI helps support wide ranging research projects that specifically address the most critical issues impacting organic growers. The 2018 Farm Bill approved increasing funding for OREI to $50 million per year by 2023, thus establishing permanent funding for the program. For the current 2021 funding round, this amount increased from $20 million to $25 million. In 2022, the amount will increase to $30 million. In 2023, the program funding amount will be capped at annual distribution of $50 million.    
  • Pakistani rice export to China may cross one million in coming years: Badar uz Zaman

  • BEIJING, Aug 23 (APP): Pakistan has a huge potential to enhance rice export to several countries especially China and Pakistani rice export is likely to cross one million tons within two years with increased demand from the Chinese market, said Badar uz Zaman, Commercial Counselor of Pakistan Embassy in China. “Last year our rice exports to China was 475,000 tons and in quantity wise we are the third largest country while in amount or money wise we are fourth largest rice exporter to China,” he told APP. Last year, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Thailand were the top three rice exporters to China, with export of 787,538 tons, 911,231 tons, and 324,642 tons respectively. China had appeared as one of the top destinations for Pakistani rice with 59% increase of broken rice in last year while semi/wholly milled rice and IRRI-6 and IRRI-9 are the main top two rice varieties imported by China amounted to around $259 million last year. Badar uz Zaman said the number of registered rice exporters has increased to 53 and within the last two years as 18 new Pakistani rice companies were registered by the General Administration of Customs, China, which shows the huge demand for Pakistani rice in the Chinese market. These companies fully meet the Chinese standard. He said that IRRI-6 and IRRI-9 types of rice have special Chinese consumer taste, while all commercial sections in China are trying B2B marketing to promote all kinds of Pakistani rice types, and also the products of quality are in demand here. According to a report released by China-Pakistan Agricultural and Industrial Information Platform (CPAIC), Pakistan has already become one of the top rice producers and exporters in the world. The rice grown in Pakistan is mainly divided into Basmati rice and non-Basmati rice. Basmati rice, with slender and elongated grains, aromatic taste, and soft and fluffy texture when cooked, is one of the most favored high-end rice varieties in the international market. Pakistan is the most important growing area of Basmati rice besides India and Bangladesh. Hybrid rice breeding assisted by China is elevating Pakistani rice yield to a new height. Honglian hybrid rice developed by Wuhan University and harvested in eight demonstrative plots in Pakistan has demonstrated ability to raise production by two times. A rice variety bred by China’s Yuan Longping High-tech Agriculture Co., Ltd. in collaboration with Guard Agriculture Research and Services are anticipated to double the rice production in Pakistan from 2 tons per acre to 4 tons per acre. Last year, a total of 500 tonnes of hybrid rice seeds from a seed company in east China’s Jiangsu Province landed in Pakistan to help ensure the country’s grain yield. It may be mentioned here that China permitted imports of Pakistani rice in January 1, 2006. In February of the same year, the first batch of rice shipped from Pakistan.
  • Rice exporters slam PM aide’s claim

  • Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan say the statement regarding no demand of basmati rice in the world is misleading

    Karachi: Rice exporters on Thursday came hard on a Prime Minister’s aide for underestimating the export potential of Pakistani basmati that fetches the country more than $800 million. Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) said the statement regarding no demand of basmati rice in the world is misleading, as Pakistan exports basmati worth more than $800 million every year. REAP expressed serious concern over a public statement by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Agriculture Jamshed Cheema that demand in export markets is mostly for coarse rice while the Pakistani farmers are intoxicated with basmati rice and should shift to production of coarse rice. The aide said basmati rice should only be produced for local consumption. “The statement of the special assistant is patently false and misleading,” Qayum Paracha, chairman of REAP said in a statement. “REAP would like to apprise that basmati is sown in Punjab since 17th century and due to its unique aroma, our basmati rice acts as Pakistan’s ambassador globally,” Paracha said. Pakistan’s current basmati rice exports are around $800 million per annum out of total $2.3 billion rice exported per annum. Hundreds of thousands of people in the whole supply chain of basmati rice from farmers, millers and work force to exporters and brand owners are dependent on the crop, he added. REAP has announced a reward of Rs10 million to any rice breeder, government or private sector, who comes up with high productivity basmati rice new seed. “Instead of encouraging research and yield increase in basmati crop which has a potential of more than $3 billion export annually, Cheema is discouraging sowing of this heritage product,” he said. “Such irresponsible statements by people sitting on highest echelons of Pakistan will jeopardize our case in European Union. Such damaging stance by a high official of the government negates all our efforts to safeguard our heritage since centuries in basmati rice besides billions invested in rice mills, export market brand equity.” In March, the European Union accepted the reasons of Pakistani rice exporters for why India should not be given exclusive rights to export basmati. REAP had filed the statement in opposition to India’s claim of geographical indication of basmati on February 5 after sending the notice of opposition on December 7 last. Pakistan has been challenging India’s bid to obtain exclusive rights of exporting basmati rice to the 27-member European Union since last year. India is the world’s biggest basmati exporter and meets 65 percent of the global demand for the aromatic rice. Pakistan meets the remaining requirement.
  • CRF: Bumper 2021 for organic rice

  •           Cambodia exported 11,200 tonnes of organic milled rice to international markets in 2020, a slight 1.2 per cent increase over 2019, according to the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF). While the milled-rice export sector by and large chalks up 2020’s lacklustre growth performance to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the CRF has only strengthened its resolve to ramp up sales of Cambodian milled-rice abroad. According to the CRF, more than 90 per cent of the exports were shipped to the European market, while “a small amount” went to the US. With the Kingdom’s total 2020 milled-rice exports weighing in at 690,829 tonnes, organic rice accounted for just 1.6 per cent. Song Saran, president of the CRF and CEO of miller and exporter Amru Rice Cambodia Co Ltd, told The Post on January 11 that total milled-rice exports surged 11.4 per cent from 2019, far outshining the growth seen in the organic variant. Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries data show that the Kingdom exported 387,000 tonnes of milled rice in 2014, 538,396 tonnes in 2015, 542,144 tonnes in 2016, 635,679 tonnes in 2017, 626,225 tonnes in 2018 and 620,106 tonnes in 2019. Each figure has fallen short of the government’s pledge to export one million tonnes of rice per annum, originally made in August 2010 for 2015. Saran attributed the uninspiring growth in Cambodian organic milled-rice exports to tariffs levied by the EU, citing the market’s dependence on the bloc. Cambodia’s rice sector officially lost its import duty exemption granted by the EU in January 2019 after the bloc’s decision to impose tariffs on imports from the Kingdom and Myanmar to protect European rice farmers’ interests. Saran added that Covid-19 had brought organic rice demand in the EU to a virtual halt. “While overall milled-rice exports to Europe did not increase due to tariffs, organic milled rice did enjoy a bumper year,” he said. “Without tariff barriers, we’d be even more competitive. Still, the growth we saw is acceptable given the context. “We’ll strive to find more and larger organic milled-rice export markets, especially in the US, where demand is high and [import] volume remains small. We’ll boost Cambodia’s organic milled-rice exports to around 15,000 tonnes in 2021,” he said. According to Saran, Amru Rice accounted for 9,000 tonnes, or 80 per cent, of 2020 organic milled-rice exports, which represents a 10-20 per cent gain over 2019. With its production based on “natural principles” with a “clear control system”, he said organic rice is widely known for its myriad health benefits. Chan Sokheang, chairman and CEO of Signatures of Asia Co Ltd, another local rice miller and exporter, said Covid-19 had diminished global demand for organic rice. He said his company exported more than 2,000 tonnes of organic milled rice last year, declining about 20 per cent from the year before, and 22,000 tonnes of regular varieties, up around 30 per cent over 2019. “Declining incomes during the Covid-19 epidemic have led people to opt for the types of rice they need, with less focus on [the healthier] organic rice, which costs almost twice as much,” he said. According to Sokheang, organic white milled rice was valued at around $950 per tonne on the international market last year – similar to 2019, while fragrant varieties fetched around $1,200-1,300 per tonne. “As the global economy remains mired in uncertainties, it’d be ill-conceived to presume what the volume of organic milled-rice exports will look like in 2021, given how concretely interwoven [its performance] is with economic growth acceleration. “If people’s incomes increase, the purchase volume of organic milled rice will swell up in consonance,” he said.