Rice export prices rise to 3.5-month high

  • The prices for Vietnamese 5 percent broken rice rose to $420 per ton late March, the highest in the past 3.5 months.

    Vietnam exported 1.48 million tons of rice worth $715 million in the first three months this year, up 24 percent in volume and 10.5 percent in value against the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    The ministry said stable global demand and high transportation costs resulted in March’s price hike.

    Vietnam’s 5 percent broken rice was sold at $415-420 per ton in late March, up $20 per ton from the beginning of the month. On average, the rice has cost $414 per ton in the world market in March, up $16 per ton against February.

    Meanwhile, Thailand’s 5 percent broken standard rice was sold at $408-412 a ton, down $16 from the beginning of the month as the baht continued to drop against the dollar.

    Vietnam exported over 6.2 million tons of rice for 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 in 2020 to $526.8 per ton in 2021, according to the agriculture ministry.

  • 40,000 MT of rice from India to reach SL

  • 40,000 MT of rice from India to reach SL COLOMBO (News 1st); The Ministry of Trade said that another 40,000 MT of rice imported via the Indian Line of Credit will reach Sri Lanka on Monday (11). The secretary to the Ministry of Trades, Bhadrani Jayawardena stated that the stock will be sold through Sathosa outlets as soon as it is received. 1kg of Nadu and Kekulu rice is sold at Rs.110/- and 1kg of Samba is sold at Rs.130/- through Sathosa. Meanwhile, the Association of Importers of Essential Commodities said that all essential commodities required by the people during the New Year season have been distributed throughout the island. The spokesman of the Association of Importers of Essential Commodities, Nihal Seneviratne said that there could be a slight shortage of milk powder. He also said that the prices of essential commodities will be reduced in the future.
  • Sri Lanka economic crisis pushes price of food items to ‘unbearable levels’, rice now selling at over Rs 200 per kg

  • Reeling under severe economic crisis, the Sri Lankan government is now forced to restrict the import of a host of essential commodities, including food items Sri Lanka economic crisis pushes price of food items to 'unbearable levels', rice now selling at over Rs 200 per kg Colombo: Sri Lanka is already under an unprecedented economic crisis and amid this people being burdened further as prices of food essentials are soaring high. Buying rice has become dearer in the island nation as the price of the foodgrain has risen to "unbearable levels" in the island nation. A report by Colombo Page mentioned consumers in Sri Lanka saying that the minimum price of a kilogram of rice in the general market has now surged Rs 200-240. Reeling under severe economic crisis, the Sri Lankan government is now forced to restrict the import of a host of essential commodities, including food items which has pushed the price of essentials such as milk powder and rice exceptionally high. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Trade says that rice is being sold at concessionary prices by wholesale network Lanka Sathosa outlets, it was learned from several CWE outlets that imported rice was not meeting the mounting demand. The report further said that Sathosa outlets in many parts of the country are in short supply of essential consumer items including rice, dried chillies and other items. In Sri Lanka, consumers have been demanding the government to take steps to reduce prices by importing rice or setting a control price. Sri Lanka is battling a severe economic crisis, with food and fuel scarcity affecting a large number of the people in the island nation. The economy has been in a free-fall since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the crash of the tourism sector. Sri Lanka is also facing a foreign exchange shortage, which has, incidentally, affected its capacity to import food and fuel. The country is facing long power cuts. The country is also witnessing protests over the government's handling of the worst economic crisis in decades. Yesterday, a protest was held outside the US Embassy in Colombo against the Sri Lankan government.  
  • Nearly 25% increase in rice export bring relief to Haryana farmers, exporters

  • After heavy slump in export of rice in past about one and half years due to epidemic outbreak now farmers as well as rice exporters in Haryana state are having relief due to nearly 25% increase in rice export in past few weeks due to worldwide unrest as a result of war between Ukraine and Russia causing increase in demand of Indian rice. Information reveals, during year 2020-21nearly 16% drop in export of rice to various countries was witnessed. Farmers in Haryana grain markets are selling 1121 variety rice at the rate of Rs 4400 per quintal, Basmati rice at the rate Rs 4000 per quintal and 1509 variety rice at the rate ranging between Es 1600-1700 per quintal which is being sold at the rate ranging between Rs 3200-3300 per quintal at present. President of India Rice Exporters Association Vijay Setia told that Haryana state had export between 16 to 17 lakh ton rice of value worth Rs 16000 crore last year since there was nearly 16% drop in export due to unavoidable circumstances, whereas 25% growth in export has now been identified. Setia said in case Haryana state government had reduced market fee from 4% to 1% similar to being charged in Ghaziabad and Narela grain markets the export of rice would have increased to 20000 ton this year. Chairman of Haryana Rice Millers Association Jwail Singh told that demand of Basmati, 1121 and 1509 varieties rice has suddenly increased all over in the world due to present Ukraine-Russia war. Districts situated on G.T. Road belt which including Kurukshetra, Karnal, Kaithal, Panipat and Sonipat districts in Haryana are famous for production of paddy crop in the state in which Kuruksetra and Karnal districts are producing maximum quantity of Basmati, 1121 and 1509 variety rice being exported to large number of countries across the world including Saudi Arab, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Muscat, Dubai, Africa and Australia. Singla told that Saudi Arab is biggest buyer of all types of rice from our country. He said, the prices of Basmati being sold earlier at the rate Rs 3300-3500 per quintal is now being sold at the rate Rs 4400 per quintal, whereas 1121 variety rice earlier sold at the rate Rs 3500-3700 per quintal  presently being sold at the rate Rs 4100 per quintal. Similarly, 1509 variety rice earlier sold at the rate Rs 2500-2700 per quintal is available at the rate Rs Rs 4200 per quintal at present. In view of fast declining water level in underground in Haryana state government is offering beneficial schemes in case of change of crop pattern from paddy requires huge quantity to alternate crops consuming less quantity of water offering incentive of Rs 7000 each acre area.  
  • 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.
  • 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.  
  • Cambodia to play key role in meeting global rice demand

  • A recent study published by nature.com showed that global demand for rice is expected to increase 30 percent by 2050, however, with a “limited scope available for other main rice-producing countries such as China and India”, it will become incumbent on the countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam to close the future deficit. “At present, the region accounts for 26 percent and 40 percent of global rice production and exports, respectively, being a major rice supplier for other world regions such as Africa and the Middle East,” it said. Over the past decades, countries in Southeast Asia were able to increase rice yields. However, there are concerns about whether future quotas can be met, as noted by a research analyst within the publication. “There is now evidence of yield stagnation in four of the six major rice-producing countries in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam)”. Aligning with reports that “the harvestable rice area has remained stable [within the aforementioned countries] or even declined slightly in some countries recently and is under growing threat of conversion for residential and industrial uses”. So, in the absence of land expansion, what can be done to make better use of the available land? A publication titled the ‘Use of Legume Cover Crops to Improve Soil Fertility, Rice Yield and Profits’, co-produced by the DALRM, GDA & CIRAD, details the story of Heng Hour, owner of a family-run rice farm in Boh Village, Rovieng District, who transitioned to Regenerative Farming practices to increase his yields. “We started farming rice in 1979. In the past, the soil was rich and the yield was high. From year to year, the yield decreased due to the loss of the soil fertility, higher weed pressure and diseases.” Heng explained that access to greater water controls helped his yield, but the remaining issue of soil fertility meant that “rice production was still not economically viable”. In November 2019, Hour was invited to a village meeting organised by the agronomists of the Conservation Agriculture Service Center and SmartAgro, a startup specialised in cover crops and bio-products. They presented the use of ‘legume cover crops’ to improve soil health in the community. According to organicgrowersschool.com, a ‘cover crop’ is a crop you “grow for the soil, instead of for your plate”, a practice dating as far back as the Roman Empire. Cover crops add “organic matter to the soil, and add nitrogen in a slow-release way that plants can handle, leading to less nitrogen volatilisation”. After implementing the legume cover crop strategy, Heng saw his yield grow by approximately 1 tonne per hectare compared with the previous year, noting a drastic increase in quality with over 60 percent of his yield being sold under the class one standard. “After the ploughing of the cover crops, I noticed the good smell of the decomposition of the cover crops. I observed many big earthworms and the soil was loose and soft when we walked into the field. After transplanting, the plants grew fast, the rice leaves were dark green, and I observed that the grains were well filled.” The cover crop practice is just one of many ‘Regenerative Farming’ methods that could be used to bolster rice yield and quality without dependence on high concentrations of chemicals. Regenerative Farming is a practice that actually rejuvenates Earth’s ecosystems, as opposed to just sustaining them.
  • 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).
  • India invokes peace clause for 3rd time as rice subsidies exceed cap

  • India has for the third time invoked the peace clause for exceeding the 10% ceiling on support it offered its rice farmers. The country informed the WTO that the value of its rice production in 2020-21 was $45.56 billion while it gave subsidies worth $6.9 billion, which comes out to 15.14% as against the permitted 10%. The peace clause protects India's food procurement programmes against action from WTO members in case the subsidy ceilings are breached. New Delhi had first invoked the clause in 2020 when it became the first country to do so. New Delhi told the WTO on Friday the stocks under the programme are acquired and released to meet the domestic food security needs of India's poor and vulnerable population, and not to impede commercial trade or food security of others.
  • Cuba & Chile to buy Basmati Rice from Haryana

  • Latin American countries Cuba and Chile have expressed interest to purchase Basmati rice from Haryana. For this, a delegation of Cuba will visit Haryana next month. While giving this information on Saturday, a spokesperson of the Foreign Cooperation Department said the chairman of HAFED  Kailash Bhagat, managing director A Sreenivas and adviser to the department of foreign cooperation Pawan Choudhary held a meeting with Ambassador of Cuba to India, Alejandro Simancas Marin and Ambassador of Chile, Juan Angulo to discuss mutual cooperation with Haryana in various fields. During the meeting, Cuba and Chile have expressed interest to procure Basmati rice from Haryana. In addition, opportunities for cooperation in information technology, pharma and aviation will also be explored by Cuba. Therefore, a delegation from Cuba will visit Haryana next month. The export graph of the state will increase with the purchase of Basmati rice from Haryana by Cuba and Chile and the trade and bilateral relations of Haryana with these countries will also get strengthened, the spokesperson said. He said  the Ambassadors of Cuba and Chile also appreciated the thinking and vision of the Chief Minister Manohar Lal and said the initiative taken by the Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar for Heart to Heart Connect relationship is unique and commendable in itself. The Ambassador of Chile,  Juan Angulo said,”We are already working closely with the Government of India and we are glad that Haryana has contacted us. Certainly Cuba will take forward its relations with Haryana,”. The spokesperson said that the Haryana Government is continuously making consistent efforts to promote bilateral relations with other countries. In this episode, Haryana-Africa Conclave Series-1 was organized with African countries and a meeting was also held with the delegation of Latin America and Caribbean countries on March 27, 2022 at Surajkund, Faridabad, in which delegations from 11 countries had participated.
  • 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.
  • FCI won’t procure parboiled rice, States can do so: Centre

  • The Centre, however, clarified that the States could procure parboiled rice for consumption within the State. Image for representational purpose only. (File Photo) HYDERABAD: Dashing all hopes of the State government, the Centre has once again made it clear that the Food Corporation of India (FCI) would not procure parboiled rice from any State, including Telangana. The Centre, however, clarified that the States could procure parboiled rice for consumption within the State. In a written reply to BJP MP Dushyant Singh on procuring surplus parboiled rice during Question Hour in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti said that after meeting State’s requirement for Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) and Other Welfare Schemes (OWS), only the excess/surplus stocks procured by the State government/its agencies were handed over to the FCI in central pool in the form of raw or parboiled rice to meet the overall consumption requirement of the country as per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Central government and Decentralised Procurement (DCP) States. “Due to burgeoning stock level of parboiled rice in the central pool, the States were informed that FCI will not be in a position to accept parboiled rice during Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2021-22. However, a State can procure parboiled rice for consumption within that State. In the last few years, procurement of parboiled rice in the deficit parboiled consuming States like Jharkhand, Kerala and Tamil Nadu has increased resulting in lesser movement of parboiled rice from surplus to deficit States,” the Minister said. Ethanol policy In its action plan for Rabi Marketing Season 2022-23, the FCI suggested the State govt to adopt a good ethanol policy as broken rice is suitable for the production of ethanol. The FCI also asked the State to enhance its storage capacities like Punjab and Haryana. 
  • Despite rising recognition, Pokkali farmers seek help

  • Pokkali rice from central Kerala, a grain variety that has a geographical indication (GI) tag in 2007, has now become a part of India’s postal stamps.
    Express News Service
    KOCHI: Pokkali rice from central Kerala, a grain variety that has a geographical indication (GI) tag in 2007, has now become a part of India’s postal stamps. In an event organised by Kadamakudy Nellulpathaka Padasekhara Samithi in Kochi, the stamp was released to the public in the presence of Vypeen MLA K N Unnikrishnan, District Collector Jafar Malik and Post Master General of Central Kochi Mariamma Thomas.  The move will help popularise pokkali, a unique rice variety that can grow in saline waters, said K A Thomas, secretary of Kadamakudy Nellulpathaka Padasekhara Samithi. He said the organisation will submit a memorandum to the MLA and the collector detailing the struggles and demands of paddy farmers.  “Pokkali rice is grown without any fertilisers or pesticides — be it organic or chemical. That is what makes pokkali rice unique and highly nutritious. But now, pokkali farmers are struggling to stay afloat. Moreover, the number of paddy fields and farmers producing pokkali has also come down drastically,” said Thomas. The base price set by Supplyco for the rice is Rs 28 per kg. “It is to be noted that many organic varieties are sold at over Rs 100 per kilo. It’s difficult for the farmers to survive when our crops are so underpriced,” Thomas said.   The reduction in the price of prawn varieties, which are farmed in waterlogged pokkali fields after harvest, has made things worse for these farmers. “In 1995, we used to earn nearly Rs 300 per one kilo white shrimps. Now, we get only around Rs 200 even for the highest quality prawns. Pokkali farmers used to depend on prawn farming to survive. But right now, neither of them is fetching us enough money. If we spend around Rs 45,000 for farming pokkali, we earn only around Rs 25,000,” he said. To survive, the organisation has demanded the government revise the base price to Rs 120 per kg. Demands Increase the base price of pokkali rice to I120 Help farmers with basic cultivation needs Help to remove silt from farms Adding pokkali to super-speciality rice category  A governemnt master plan to help the prawn and pokkali farmers
  • Rice Exports to Sri Lanka Good Business for Myanmar

  • COLOMBO (IDN) — A recent statement by a Myanmar official has indicated that Sri Lanka has been buying rice from the country at a price higher than what others are paying for it. This has raised eyebrows in Sri Lanka that has prided itself for being self-sufficient in rice, its staple diet, for decades. In a statement attributed to the secretary of the Bayintnaung Rice Wholesale Depot, U Than Oo, Myanmar’s national daily Global New Light of Myanmar has said that in the past year Myanmar has been exporting rice to Sri Lanka and it has been a very profitable business. “Sri Lanka is a neighbour of ours and it is easy to export rice from Myanmar by sea. We sell rice to other countries at USD 340-350 per tonne, but to Sri Lanka we have been able to sell at USD 440-450 a tonne,” U Than was quoted as saying.  While Myanmar has been fetching over $ 100 per tonne above the price paid by other countries, he has also said that the Sri Lankan authorities have not imposed any restrictions on the import of Myanmar rice. “While Sri Lanka imposes no restrictions, Europe and China have been imposing various tariffs and other restrictions to protect their markets,” says U Than. “So, it is somewhat complex to export rice to these countries.” Sri Lanka has signed a memorandum of understanding with Myanmar on January 7 to import 100,000 tonnes of white rice and 50,000 tonnes of brown rice this year and the next. Due to this agreement Sri Lanka would be spending $ 15 million extra on rice imports. According to a Sri Lankan commerce ministry statement, while Myanmar has quoted $ 465 per metric tonne, the Sri Lankan counterparts have been able to negotiate the price down to $445 per metric tonne. Agricultural industry observers here predict that the rice harvest this year (due for harvest in April) could be down by about 30 percent. Today the rice prices in the market have skyrocketed creating social tension in the country. After the fertilizer subsidies to farmers were lifted (after the organic farming policy was announced) and the guaranteed price for paddy was increased to Rs 75 per kilogram, it has made any price controls of rice in the market place impossible. Government has announced that due to domestic market necessities, Sri Lanka would need to import up to 600,000 tons of rice this year. This would be the biggest rice imports to the country for 5 years. The government has also allocated Rs 40 billion ($ 13.8 million) to compensate farmers for harvest losses due to the switch to the organic farming policy. Due to the import of processed rice, United Rice Producers Society (URPS) says that it is threatening the closure of up to 500 small and medium sized rice mills in the country. “Only 75 percent of more than 800 rice mills in our country are in operation right now,” says Kusumitha Muditha, president of URPS. After a long period of self-sufficiency in rice, on November 15 last year when rice imports began to flow in, it has created this situation, he added. It is estimated that only 2.8 percent of farming land in the country use non-chemical fertilizer. After the announcement of the organic farming policy (in April 2021) some businesses have used household waste to make so-called “organic-compost fertilizer” to sell to farmers, which agricultural sources are worried is a fraud misleading farmer. Most of this is compost of food waste and is not helpful to realize Sri Lanka’s organic farming dream. The Central Bank has estimated that the leadership given to the Sri Lankan economy by agricultural activity has been now reduced by 7 percentage points and it has given rise to an agricultural industry that cannot satisfy farmers or consumers. It has come to a situation that seeds and fertilizer necessary for farmers are hard to obtain. Most of the farmers in Sri Lanka do not own the land on which they farm. Out of the productive land in Sri Lanka, government owns 82 percent.  Many of the farm leases of farmers have expired or lapsed. There are fears that if the traditional methods of survival of the farmers are tampered with, Sri Lanka would need to depend on rice imports into the foreseeable future. The farm costs have gone up including labour and hire of farm equipment. It has also made the farmer a permanent debtor. The Peoples Bank that was set up to assist farmers has now distanced itself from the farm sector, while the government has shied away from assisting the farmer. Today it is estimated that 22.2 percent of Sri Lanka’s food needs are covered by imports. To address this Sri Lanka has imported rice from Myanmar without any checks on its standards and suitability (for Sri Lankan cuisine). Within the Sri Lankan rice production industry there has been a shift in power structures with very few people controlling farming and especially trading. This has had a serious impact on the consumer according to the National Audit Office. They attribute this to the dire straits of the rice farming sector in the country. They have also pointed out that the ownership of rice mills in Sri Lanka has been slashed from 2000 people two decades ago to 800 today. 'Economynext' news noted recently that the government has given the nod to the State Trading Corporation to import limited quantities of rice from Myanmar to help stabilize the price of rice in the local market, which has been pushed up by a milling oligarchy, after Sri Lanka banned rice imports earlier and imposed an import tax. [IDN-InDepthNews – 31 March 2022] * Deshan Maduranga is a media and communication student at the Sri Palee campus of the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka. Image: Myanmar inks G-to-G agreement to export rice to Sri Lanka. Credit: MMR IDN is the flagship agency of the Non-profit International Press Syndicate.    
  • To fertilize or not to fertilize: A delicate balance between chalky rice grains and excessive protein content

  • Newswise: To fertilize or not to fertilize: A delicate balance between chalky rice grains and excessive protein content Newswise — March 30, 2022 - There’s a widespread problem in rice growing that you’ve probably never heard of. Rice plants that face elevated temperatures can produce “chalky grains” that are easily crushed during the milling process. This leads to lost profits because the price is lower for chalky grains than undamaged grains. Nitrogen fertilizer can reduce the production of chalky grains. However, too much nitrogen can cause an increase in rice protein levels. Too much protein affects the quality of rice in an undesirable way because of its lower viscosity when cooked. This means that applying nitrogen fertilizer is a delicate balance between preventing chalky grains and keeping protein at an acceptable level. Hiroshi Nakano, a researcher at the Kyushu Okinawa Agricultural Research Center, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization in Japan, and collaborators are researching one potential solution. This study was recently published in the Agronomy Journal, a publication of the American Society of Agronomy. Farmers can use the tools to predict the chalky grain percentage and protein content in the field. This will allow them to assess how much nitrogen fertilizer they need in real-time. “Our goal is to facilitate the stable production of rice in a changing climate,” Nakano says. “It is important to establish an ideal nitrogen application rate using growth diagnosis. In this study, we identified useful factors to regulate white-back grains (one type of chalky grain) and protein content.” He adds that in Southwestern Japan, rice seedlings are transplanted from mid to late June. The rice grains develop through processes that occur in July, August, and October. There are slight differences in weather and growth each year. This means the exact needs for nitrogen are not always the same. The result is the nitrogen application needs to be adjusted based on growth conditions. “Our mission is to develop ways to protect rice from global climate change,” Nakano says. “In Japan, rice production areas account for approximately 36% of all farming land. In recent years, rice plants have been exposed to higher air temperatures during the ripening stage. This can result in white-back grains.” In their study, the researchers tested two types of measurements using two devices. One looked at the concentration of nitrogen in the leaves of the rice plants. The other measure how much of a plant can uptake nitrogen. The team also determined the best times to take these measurements. Their findings point to the usefulness of the readings for allowing farmers to make real-time adjustments to nitrogen application at an important time during rice production. Heading is the stage of rice growth before flowering. Timing the measurements at the correct time in the plants’ development helped reduce the amount of some chalky grains and regulate the grain protein content. “We recommend that farmers conduct the growth diagnosis by using handheld meters,” Nakano says. “These meters are not expensive, and getting this information will allow them to harvest rice grains with high quality.” However, it can be difficult for farmers to get enough data if they have lots of rice fields. The researchers hope to develop a way to take these measurements using an unmanned aerial vehicle. Nakano adds that being able to help farmers enhance their rice yields while maintaining high quality is important for solving food security issues. A growing global population and rising temperatures are causing these food security issues. “This research is broadly important as the global average temperature is predicted to increase due to global warming,” Nakano says. “The occurrence of white-back grains increases when rice plants ripen under high air temperatures. Rice is a staple food of approximately 50% of the global population. Therefore, this issue is important for farmers but also for consumers.” Support for this research was provided by Japan’s National Agriculture and Food Research Organization Biooriented Technology Research Advancement Institution.
  • 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.
  • Southeast Asia must close yield gap to remain major rice bowl

  • Rice growing in field At 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 rice demand is set to increase 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 crop yields stagnate, land allotted for agriculture does not increase, and climate change 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 six countries — Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The initiative was led by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines and included researchers from Huazhong Agricultural University in China, the International Fertilizer Association in France, the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development in Vietnam, Field Crops Research Institute in Vietnam, Thailand’s Rice Department, Thailand Rice Science Institute, Mawlamyine University in Myanmar, IRRI-Myanmar Office, the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, IRRI-Cambodia Office, the General Directorate of Agriculture in Cambodia and the Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development. 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 rice yields, 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 Shen Yuan, a postdoctoral research associate at Huazhong Agricultural University. “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 management techniques 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.
    Patricio Grassini
    Patricio Grassini
    “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 Patricio Grassini, associate professor of agronomy and horticulture at Nebraska. “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 pest management, 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,” said IRRI Senor Scientist Alice Laborte. “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. “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.” The study received support from Closing Rice Yield Gaps in Asia with Reduced Environmental Footprint, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. The project also received complementary funding from the Global Water for Food Institute, as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through the CGIAR Excellence in Agronomy 2030 Incubation Phase.
  • 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.
  • With maize prices soaring, export demand zooms for Indian broken rice as feed

  • According to exporters, shipments of maize have slowed down due to the Russia-Ukraine conflictBuyers in Vietnam, China and Indonesia switch to the foodgrain, but its rates rising sharply 

    With maize (corn) prices soaring on demand from West, South and South-East Asia, buyers abroad are switching over to 100 per cent broken rice for animal feed in countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia and China.  “There is a huge demand for maize from Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia besides the Gulf. But prices have surged and availability is low since the new crop will arrive only after next month,” said Bimal Bengani, Managing Director of Kolkata-based Bengani Export Pvt Ltd.  “Shipments of maize have slowed down after prices soared due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Instead, buyers from Vietnam and Indonesia are now seeking broken rice,” said M Madan Prakash, President, Agri Commodities Exporters Association (ACEA). 

    Only small orders taken

    “Exporters are accepting only small immediate orders that can be shipped in containers. From Kandla in Gujarat, maize is now going to Oman and other Gulf countries, as they are keen on maintaining the feed quality,” said Mukesh Singh, Co-founder of Mumbai-based MuBala Agro Commodities Ltd. A major reason for domestic maize prices increasing is that the kharif crop has almost got exhausted. Singh said maize is currently quoted at ₹2,200-500 a quintal against the minimum support price of ₹1,870. Demand for maize has increased as supplies from Ukraine, which contributes 16 per cent of global exports, have been cut off with shipments from the Black Sea coming to a total halt after Russian troops entered eastern Ukraine on February 24.

    Lukewarm demand

    “Prices of maize delivered in Chennai for exports are ₹2,350,” said ACEA’s Prakash. In Gujarat, agricultural produce marketing committee yards such as Dahod, the modal, or rate at which most trades took place, was ₹2,300 on Monday. According to the International Grains Council (IGC), Argentina quoted $329 a tonne last weekend, while Brazil offered maize at $364 and the US at $363 (f.o.b) free on board. Currently, benchmark corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade are ruling at $7.44 a bushel ($292.83 a tonne). “We shipped 250 tonnes of maize to Hong Kong some time back, but after that demand has been lukewarm,” Prakash said.  “There are still some varieties of maize being shipped to Vietnam and Indonesia. A lot of maize is going to Bangladesh by road,” said VR Sagar, Director, Bulk Logix. Bengani and Singh concurred with his views. “Some exporters are expecting prices to increase to $420-430 and are holding off,” Sagar said. 

    Exports feasibility

    Maize is one of the agricultural products whose exports have been good this fiscal, increasing by over 30 per cent in the first 10 months. According to the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), the export of other cereals, in which maize plays a major part, was 3.16 million tonnes (mt) valued at $1.74 billion during April-January this fiscal against 2.37 mt valued at $527 million in the year-ago period. MuBala’s Singh said maize exports were feasible as long as prices were around ₹1,700-800 a quintal in the domestic market. Until December, Bangladesh was the top buyer purchasing 1.25 mt, while Vietnam purchased 0.95 mt. “In view of the high prices, there is good demand for 100 per cent broken non-sortex rice that is commanding a higher price,” said Prakash. The non-sortex rice will have yellow and black coloured grains.

    Chinese purchase

    “Even broken rice prices are now quoted near maize prices as there is a shortage,” said Sagar. Broken rice are commanding ₹2,100 a quintal and more. An exporter from Bengaluru said 100 per cent broken rice prices were at par with 25 per cent broken white rice. As per IGC data, 25 per cent broken rice price last weekend were $349 a tonne.  According to APEDA data, China, which began importing Indian rice in the last fiscal after over three decades, bought 1.1 mt of rice during the April-December period of the current fiscal and Vietnam 0.6 mt. In October, the US Department of Agriculture said broken rice accounted for 97 per cent of India’s rice exports to China during January-August last year.  “Broken rice has always been going to China and Vietnam over the last couple of years. This year, there is a shortage now,” Sagar said. “Exports of broken rice could also be a problem in view of the surge in price. We could manage when prices ruled at around ₹1,600-700,” he said, adding that the issue now was the grain’s availability.  China began buying broken rice from India to use it as feed after corn prices surged last fiscal. Also, Beijing is required to build feed inventories as part of its plans to increase the production of pigs. Singh said it takes time to accumulate broken rice quantity for exports as they are done in bulk.   A Delhi-based trade consultant said most of the broken rice was heading from the east coast ports such as Kakinada and Kolkata to Vietnam and Indonesia.  “Maize prices will begin to decline once the arrival of the rabi crop beings,” Bengani said.  “Rice prices will begin tapering off once Rabi arrivals begin. This will  happen around mid-May,” said Sagar. 

    Freight advantage

    Delhi-based exporter Rajesh Paharia Jain said India has freight advantage to export to China, the Netherlands and South Korea, which had been buying from Ukraine before the conflict intensified. “It is a win-win situation for India after the Russian-Ukraine crisis. As India has a freight advantage of $70-80 a tonne and Chinese demand is up, it would be favourable to India. India maize export share to China might improve,” he said, adding that the coarse cereal exports might increase by 5-7 per cent in 2022-23.
  • 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.
  • Japanese rice overcomes price barrier to log record exports

  • Exports to Singapore and Hong Kong up about 30% in 2021 TOKYO -- Despite the high asking price, Japan's rice exports rose by double digits to a new record in 2021 as demand for Japanese food boomed amid coronavirus-era travel restrictions. A Japanese yakitori restaurant at a Singapore shopping mall has created buzz for its takeout bento meals. They use Japanese-grown rice supplied by Osaka-based farm machinery manufacturer Kubota. The bentos caught on in Singapore as more consumers avoided eating out during the pandemic. "Demand for takeout is strong," a Kubota export manager said. "Japanese rice is made for bento, since it doesn't harden or easily lose flavor even when it's cold." Japan's rice exports, excluding for foreign aid, increased 15% to 22,833 tons in 2021. Sales of commercial Japanese rice to conveyor-belt sushi eateries and Japanese restaurants increased, particularly in Asian countries reopening their economies. Exports to Singapore soared 35%. Kubota overall exported 5,206 tons to Singapore, Hong Kong and other markets, up 30% or so. High-end Japanese rice has been a focus of exporting since the early 2000s, targeting wealthy consumers and gift purchases. About 90% of the global rice trade involves long-grain varieties. For Hong Kong, the top importer of Japanese rice, approximately 70% of the rice is long-grain and about 30% is medium- or short-grain. Japanese rice is estimated to languish at 3% or so of Hong Kong's market. Among medium- or short-grain rice, products from California and China are mainstream. Rice exports grew for 14 straight years from 2007. Prices in 2021 were less than half of 2007 levels but still around 20% above those for California-grown rice. Price is the biggest barrier to Japan increasing its presence in the export market for rice. Cooking it the Japanese way comes next. A Hong Kong curry chain that uses Japanese-grown rice from Kubota found that it did not taste the same every time. After receiving an inquiry from the chain, Kubota manager Takushi Suminaka found that staffers were putting rice and water into rice cookers by eye. Kubota and another Japanese company co-developed equipment to automatically wash and cook the rice. Kubota offered it to the chain with the rice itself. The chain won rave reviews from customers after installing the equipment. "The rice itself has flavor and is tasty," a guest said.
  • 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 (www.yieldgap.org), 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.”  
  • 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
  • Cooperative nets much yearly from growing organic rice

  • The Long Hiep Cooperative in the Mekong Delta Province of Tra Vinh’s Tra Cu District has gradually grown and netted hundreds of millions of Vietnam dong per year from growing organic rice though it faced many various difficulties, lack of investment capital, application of technology at first.
     Cooperative nets much annually from growing organic rice ảnh 1
    After graduating with a master's degree in food technology, young man Tram Minh Thuan worked for a time to gain experience, then returned to his hometown in Long Hiep Commune in Tra Cu District to establish Long Hiep cooperative. In 2018, the cooperative went into operation but faced many difficulties because people did not trust this model initially. Thanks to the support of local government and scores of organizations, the cooperative has gradually grown gaining residents’ trust.
    The cooperative had 61 members, the farming area was about 50ha, now it has expanded to 120ha with 72 members, specializing in cultivating rice varieties OM 18, OM 5451, ST24, and ST25. The cooperatives focus on producing high-quality, organic rice, grown by exploiting the natural productive power of paddy fields without relying on pesticides or chemical fertilizers in combination with giant freshwater prawn farming.
    According to the cooperative’s plan, normal rice is grown in a large field in Long Hiep commune, which is less susceptible to saline intrusion while organic rice is grown in an area of about 20 hectares in Dong Xuan commune in Duyen Hai District, where salinity is affected. In the saline area, the cooperative will also raise freshwater shrimp.
    Organic rice cultivation has a lower yield than normal rice production, but many farmers prefer growing organic rice in saline areas because without using pesticides and chemical fertilizers, farmers can breed freshwater prawns. In addition, the cooperative promised to buy all organic rice according to the market price and pay farmers an extra of VND500 a kilogram of rice they buy.
    According to Mr. Thuan, the cooperative will continue to invest in growing organic rice by expanding the area of organic rice cultivation and developing the clean rice supply chain. The expansion of organic rice cultivation area not only helps the cooperative to develop but also helps farmers not to be forced to sell rice at lower prices to traders.
    In addition, the cooperative has constantly improved the value of clean rice production chains in saline areas with typical clean rice products and rich flavors investing in rice seeds and providing microbiological fertilizers for farmers to produce according to the technical process.
    Cooperative nets much annually from growing organic rice ảnh 2An aerial view of an organic rice field
    This approach helps cooperative members reduce investment costs and increase productivity by 10-20 percent. The cooperative proposed to buy organic rice at high prices, farmers are more excited. Currently, the price of organic rice is about VND7,500 per kg widely consumed.
    The profits of the cooperative have increased year by year, in 2021 alone, the revenue reached VND3.2 billion (US$139,708), bringing hundreds of millions of Vietnam dong in profit, said Thuan.
    Thanks to his contributions to the province’s growth, Mr. Tram Minh Thuan has just been elected as Vice Chairman of the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Tra Vinh Province. In addition, Mr. Thuan also entered the top 100 outstanding young entrepreneurs nationwide in 2021 and was one of 56 typical young people to receive the 2020 Luong Dinh Cua Award.
    Mr. Le Van Dong, Deputy Director of Tra Vinh Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that the Long Hiep cooperative is highly appreciated by functional sectors. From this effect, the province is continuing to replicate and develop many similar models in the area.
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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.  
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.  
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • ASIA RICE Vietnamese rates gain as China routes reopen post COVID curbs

  • March 3 (Reuters) - Prices of rice exported from Vietnam rose this week, as trade routes to China reopened with some traders betting on additional demand from buyers looking for alternate sources due to the Ukraine crisis.

    Vietnam's 5% broken rice were offered at $400 per tonne on Thursday, versus $395-$400 a week ago.

    "Shipments to China are expected to increase as China is reopening borders with Vietnam after coronavirus curbs," a trader in Ho Chi Minh City said.

    "The ongoing Ukrainian war might prompt buyers to import more rice from Asia, including Vietnam," the trader added.

    A Bangkok-based trader said the situation in Ukraine "might have increased freight rates slightly."

    Prices of Thailand's 5% broken rice widened slightly to $403-$400 per tonne from $400 last week, also taking cues from currency fluctuations with the baht valued at 32.60 against the U.S. dollar on Thursday.

    But another trader said the crisis has not impacted Thai rice exports because neither Russia nor Ukraine were among its main trading partners.

    Ukraine's military recently suspended commercial shipping at its ports, threatening grain and oilseed exports.

    Demand for rice from top exporter India improved, but prices of its 5% broken parboiled variety were unchanged at $370-$376 per tonne as the rupee weakened, translating into higher margins for traders from overseas sales.

    "Demand for broken rice has improved as prices of corn are rising. Some buyers are looking for alternatives to corn," said an exporter based at Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh.

    Indian farmers may harvest a record 127.93 million tonnes versus 124.37 million tonnes the year before.

    Meanwhile, domestic rice prices stayed high in Bangladesh, despite good reserves, officials said.

    Freight rates have increased slightly due to the Ukraine crisis, prompting higher import costs for grains, a trader said.

  • Admin helps farmers grow aromatic rice in Simdega

  •   Gumla: Simdega administration has rolled out an innovative project to help farmers grow scented rice, package their products and sell them under its Kurdeg rice brand. Kurdeg is a block in the district which is known for its rice cultivation. Titled as aromatic rice bowl project, officials said that the idea is to help the farmers get proper market linkage of their products. “Around 1,000 fathers from 11 blocks in the district were provided seeds of traditional aromatic rice varieties, like kala jeera, jeera ful, gobind bhog, bhukta, mansuri and sambha mansuri, for cultivation. Over the period of time, canals were renovated and others methods of irrigation have been made operational to ensure water supply for irrigation,” said an official. A semi-automatic rice mill has been installed for value addition and it will start milling soon. Officials said that a farmers’ producer organization named Sankh Aroma Trust has been set up for overall operation of rice milling, packaging and branding. The project is the brainchild of Sushant Gaurav, who served as DC of Simdega until last week before his transfer. Speaking to TOI on the project before his transfer, Gaurav said, “A high percentage of population here depends on farming but it is mainly dependent on rainfall. The district administration identified the potential of adding value to the produce and hence, the project was initiated.”
  • Experts advise growing more low GI rice to fight spurt in diabetes

  • Experts advise growing more low GI rice to fight spurt in diabetes ‘Increasing shift to sedentary lifestyle driving up cases' With sedentary lifestyle increasingly becoming the norm in India — more so in view of the Covid-19 induced work-from-home trend — driving up the number of diabetes cases, scientists from ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition and ICAR-Indian Institute of Rice Research have favoured large-scale cultivation of the low Glycemic Index (GI) rice as a fit diet for diabetic people in the country. Any variety of rice with less than 55 GI is considered diabetic-friendly, according to scientists. A low GI diet helps curb cravings and prevent sugar levels from spiking, reduces heart risks, and aids weight  loss. “Considering increased shift towards sedentary lifestyle in majority of the population, necessary policy changes are to be made at various levels to increase the cultivation of low-GI rice in the country,” lead author of the study, D Sanjeeva Rao from IIR said. His colleagues J Aravind Kumar, V Ravindra Babu and R M Sundaram and Ananthan and  T Longvah, both from ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition co-authored the study published in the latest edition of journal Current Science. Most rice varieties in India are of high GI, a food quality said to contribute to the health problems surrounding high-calorie intake and dysregulated glucose metabolism. Manipulation of GI through various approaches is considered to significantly help in the fight against diabetes and related diseases. The scientists also noted that paddy procured from the farmers is processed to milled rice and sold in the market under various brand names, and often the varietal purity is compromised. Hence, they emphasized that it is equally important to indicate the original name of the variety, GI value and available carbohydrate value on the label to translate the advantages of this research to society. The IIRR has already identified three rice varieties with low GI values which are considered suitable for diabetic patients. These are Lalat (GI=53.17), BPT 5204 (GI=51.42) and Sampada (GI=51). Also, named the ‘Telangana Sona’, yet another low GI rice variety has been developed by researchers at Professor Jayaprakash Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU).  India is known as the Diabetes capital of the world with above 77 million adults suffering from diabetes, this number is expected to increase to 134 million by 2045. According to the World Health Organisation, diabetes mellitus is considered as one of the major causes of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and lower-limb amputation.
  • 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.  
  • Gulf Food: Tilda – Market leader in the region’s premium Basmati rice category

  • Gulf Food Tilda for web
    The story of Tilda is one of unbroken success. Tilda was the first company to bring Basmati to the Western world over 50 years ago and has become an international food brand selling in over 70 countries across the globe, which includes Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, Africa, Middle East and Far East.
    Tilda Middle East was established in 1992 and caters to retail/traditional outlets, HORECA and Royal palaces across Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco and Egypt. Tilda is the market leader in the Premium Basmati rice category in the Middle East.
    Basmati remains at the very heart of Tilda and we are committed to selecting only the finest Basmati for all our products. Indeed, Tilda refuses to blend with inferior grains. In our quest for the very best Basmati, Tilda employs the latest technology and checks every batch of rice for purity, ensuring only the finest and purest rice reaches the consumers’ plate.
    While rice remains the core product for Tilda, the brand has never stopped innovating. Our recently launched Tilda Ready to Heat products have taken the European markets by storm and soon will be driving a paradigm shift in how rice is consumed around the world. These Ready to heat Basmati rice meals consists of all-natural ingredients, no artificial preservatives and carry an 18-month shelf life while being kept in ambient temperature. This has allowed to us to target not just women, but men and also the younger audience who prefer convenience over food.
    Tilda is proud of its reputation for uncompromising quality and commitment to sustaining the premium status of Basmati and the Tilda brand worldwide. Tilda will be participating in Gulfood 2022 as a global brand and will be showcasing its entire range of rice products under Ebro Foods S.A. at Hall World Food S1-H40.
  • Eunice farmer and LSU AgCenter develop new, diabetic-friendly rice

  • Michael Frugé, a second generation farmer in Eunice, is working to change the way we think of rice, even though it’s been a little bit of a process over the last couple of years. "It’s always been a passion of mine to put rice in a package. But I didn’t have-I couldn’t find a way to do it with just what I was growing," says Frugé. But that’s when he came across a particular variety of rice that his friend and fellow rice farmer in Illinois was growing. The variety is called Frontier and is developed through the LSU AgCenter. Now through a partnership with that same friend, Frugé created his own brand and is now growing this variety of rice in Eunice. It’s one that is high in protein but also brings the glycemic index down significantly compared to ordinary white rice. In fact, down from the 60s and 70s to a score of 41: A game changer for diabetics or those trying to bring rice back into their diets. "We have a lot of people who have left from eating rice because of their diabetes..because of what it does to their blood sugar. But this particular rice has allowed us to bring a lot of those people back. They can eat rice now and put it back in their diet to a certain extent," explains Frugé. While Parish Rice is in several different stores, Frugé says the biggest partnership they’ve had so far has been with Rouses. The local chain tells us the product is a perfect addition to their Eat Right with Rouses program. They also say they are receiving really good feedback from the public so far. Frugé says he looks forward to continue bringing attention to and celebrating Louisiana agriculture. You can find more information on this new rice over on the Parish Rice website or on their Facebook page.
  • India’s basmati rice exports hit 4-yr low as Iran trims buying

  • Workers lift a sack of rice to load onto a truck at a wholesale grain market in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh February 9, 2012. REUTERS/Ajay Verma/File Photo  

    MUMBAI, Feb 11 (Reuters) - India's basmati rice exports plunged a fifth from a year ago to the lowest level in four years in 2021 as top buyer Iran slashed purchases after its rupee reserves dwindled, government and industry officials said.

    The country's basmati rice exports in 2021 fell 20% from a year ago to 4 million tonnes, the lowest since 2017, according to government data.

    Shipments to Iran, the biggest buyer of India's basmati rice, plunged 26% from a year ago to 834,458 tonnes, the data showed.

    "Iran wasn't active in the market for a few months last year after its rupee reserves with Indian banks depleted," said a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading house.

    Iran previously had a deal to sell oil to India in exchange for rupees, which it used to import critical goods, including agricultural commodities, but New Delhi stopped buying Tehran's oil in May 2019 after a U.S. sanctions waiver expired.

    Tehran continued using its rupees to buy goods from India, but without crude sales, which brought down Iran's rupee reserves. read more

    There was slowdown in exports in the middle of 2021 but in the last two-three months buying from Iran, Saudi Arabia and other key buyers have picked up, said Vijay Setia, former president, All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA).

    India, the world's biggest rice exporter, mainly exports non-basmati rice to African countries and premier basmati rice to the Middle East.

    The country total rice exports jumped nearly 46% in 2021 from a year ago to a record 21.42 million tonnes as Bangladesh, China and Vietnam increased purchases.

    Basmati rice production in 2021 fell around 15% from a year ago because of lower area and untimely rainfall during harvesting season, Setia said.

    "Export prices of basmati rice have gone up by 20% because of lower production, but still demand is robust for February and March shipments," Setia said.


  • Modern rice mill to come up at Chinnamanur, says Minister

    Whenever the DMK came to power in Tamil Nadu, temples across the State had been given a facelift and kumbabishekams were performed, said Minister for Cooperation I Periasami here on Thursday. Speaking at a meeting at Chinnamanur Uzhavar Sandhai, he said that soon after the DMK assumed office in May 2021, the government swung into action and retrieved thousands of acres of lands from encroachers. On the one hand, the government has been fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic while on the other side, it focused on development. Very recently, Vadapalani Murugan Temple witnessed kumbabishekam. Despite several odds, the officials and temple staff performed the rituals without compromising on the agama sastras, he said and informed that the Sivakami Amman - Poola Nandeeswarar Temple here would witness kumbabishekam soon.

    Quality rice

    The DMK government had promised to supply quality rice through PDS outlets. It had been decided to set up a state-of-the-art rice mill at Chinnamanur for this purpose. It would procure paddy from farmers and send the rice to ration shops from here directly. This is going to be a reality soon, he said and added that the modern rice mill would come up on an outlay of ₹ 108 crore. For the benefit of the plantain growers, the government had established a cold storage facility. It has a great impact so that they would establish more such facilities in different locations in Theni district including Uthamapalayam, Bodi and Cumbum.

    The government strived hard to maintain the storage level in Mullaperiyar reservoir at 142 feet. He recalled the legal battle undertaken by the DMK government and assured the farmers that the Chief Minister M.K. Stalin would not let them down at any cost.

    The party MLAs Cumbum N Ramakrishnan and Andipatti Maharajan were present. Earlier, Mr Periasami introduced the candidates to the voters. He also addressed meetings at different locations in Theni district.
  • 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
  • China’s quest to secure its ‘Rice Bowl’: Challenges to its food security

  • Can Xi continue to promise food security despite increased consumption, aging rural population, rapid urbanisation, and climate changes? In June 2021, President Xi Jinping declared that China had achieved CCP’s first centenary goal to become a ‘moderately prosperous society’ with zero absolute poverty. As the nation moves to attain its second centenary goal, which is to build a ‘modern socialist country’, Xi knows he has to pivot back to the rural hinterlands  to perennially secure his people’s ‘rice bowl’—by increasing grain quality and output. Throughout its civilisational history, China has faced major famines. Ever since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) took reigns of mainland China in 1949, the country has witnessed major setbacks when it comes to food security. One such major setback was the Great Chinese Famine (1959-61) a man-made disaster during the Great Leap Forward movement which is said to have killed nearly 45 million people. Some of the older generations alive today have horrid memories of the famine.
    The Great Chinese Famine (1959-61) a man-made disaster during the Great Leap Forward movement which is said to have killed nearly 45 million people.
    The Party has crafted a narrative that credits the nation’s leadership for being able to deal with nation’s challenges. Citizens are expected to place their faith in their party and their leader Xi Jinping. However, China’s food security faces certain perils.

    Journey towards food self-sufficiency

    China holds the distinction of being the world’s largest importer of food products—grains, meat, and seafood included. It is also the fourth largest buyer of agricultural land abroad. However, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic left an adverse impact on international food supply chains and although China has ample stockpiles of corn, rice, and wheat, it depends on global markets for pork and soybean which are part of the staple Chinese diet. The world continues to view China’s aggressive rise with suspicion, especially as it does little to allay the fears of the international community. Trade frictions, allegations of food hoarding and land grab, belligerent military posturing in Asia-Pacific, and the overall global perception of its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak—these are merely a few reasons for China to accelerate efforts to look inwards and attain self-reliance.
    Although China has ample stockpiles of corn, rice, and wheat, it depends on global markets for pork and soybean which are part of the staple Chinese diet.
    To further exacerbate food insecurity concerns, there were widespread incidents of panic buying and hoarding in November last year, when a Ministry of Commerce directive to local governments to stabilise food prices for winter months was widely speculated to mean a possible incoming COVID-19 wave or an outbreak of war with Taiwan.

    Policy changes over the last few years

    Over the years, China has shifted its policy focus towards self-sufficiency in food. In the 1990s, China’s leadership ordered for establishing a National Grain Stockpile to coordinate central and regional food reserves—which today is claimed to be one of the world’s largest stockpiles. In 2006, a ‘red line’ was established, under President Hu Jintao, at 1.8 billion mu of land (120 million hectares) to ensure that urbanisation and industrialisation drives did not encroach into arable lands that was to be utilised for agriculture.
    President Xi Jinping through the National Congress enacted a law that banned binge eating and food wastage to instill values of conservation amongst the general public.
    An ambitious target of 95 percent self-sufficiency in grains was set, i.e., 95 percent of domestic demand should be met through domestic supplies—which China claims it has ensured till date. To ensure accountability in provinces, political responsibility to prevent food shortages was assigned to provincial governors and local party functionaries. In April 2021, President Xi Jinping through the National Congress enacted a law that banned binge eating and food wastage to instill values of conservation amongst the general public.

    Seeds are the new ‘semiconductor microchips’

    In 2021, the Chinese central authority issued the year’s first policy document called ‘Document No. 1’, which is seen as an indicator of national policy priorities. For the 18th consecutive year, the document focused on food and agriculture. However, a significantly important policy change was in the promotion of Genetically Modified (GM) technologies in seed industries and commercial usage of GM crops. China’s Agriculture Minister Tang Renjian declared that seeds are the new “semiconductor microchips” in agricultural technology, and they shall be instrumental in securing grain output. Unlike countries like USA where private players are involved in three-quarters of the research in seed technologies that leads to commercial applications, in China, the number stands at 10 to 20 percent. Thus, CCP has instructed the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs to provide the government’s direct support to leading private seed enterprises. Acquisition of multinational corporations has been considered the quickest way for China to acquire seed technology. One of the most high-profile acquisitions has been that of Swiss food-tech giant Syngenta in February 2016 by state-owned ChemChina for US $43 billion.
    CCP has instructed the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs to provide the government’s direct support to leading private seed enterprises.
    On 24 December 2021, China adopted a revised Seed Law which shall come into effect from 31st March 2022. The revised law increases commercialisation and standardisation of GM technology in the seed industry and brings it in line with international standards. However, Chinese government has been drawing flak for promoting GM foods.

    Challenges ahead

    Despite China’s leadership’s go-ahead for GM corn and soyabean after passing them through biosafety evaluations in 2020, it has met with resistance from the Chinese public at large. Policymakers in Beijing have been unsuccessful in building trust amongst the citizens that GM foods are safe for consumption. The public has seen its share of food safety scandals in the past. However, this is only part of the problem. Till date, China continues to be an agrarian society but it faces the daunting task of feeding the world’s largest population on just 7 percent of world’s arable land. A survey conducted by the Ministry of Natural Resources stated that China’s arable land area towards the end of 2019 had reduced by 6 percent to 1.28 million square kilometres, as compared to 2009—a majority of it converted into forests, urban areas or industrial hubs. Since 1990s, incessant and inefficient use of chemical fertilisers has polluted and depleted groundwater table and soil quality. China also happens to be the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world since 2006. In 2020, China’s carbon emissions broke records by reaching nearly 14 billion tonnes (GtCO2) contributing to 27 percent of the global emissions, as per reports by the Rhodium Group. Particularly, a major source of carbon emission in China arises from livestock cultivation. As per the ‘Journal of Integrative Agriculture’, net greenhouse gas emissions from the pork industry in China increased 16 million tons (Mt) of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2eq) during the study period 1976-2016, further adding to the national carbon footprint. The greenhouse gas emissions have a direct contribution to loss in crop yields. According to a study by Nature Food, China saw an increase in Ozone pollution resulting in diminishing yields of wheat, rice, and maize at 33 percent, 23 percent and 9 percent, respectively.
    The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has hailed climate change caused due to anthropogenic factors as the main reason for flooding in China and other countries.
    In 2021, heavy rainfall led to flooding in many provinces in China. Henan province, for one, experienced loss of 2.4 million acres of crops fields. The province produces one-third of China’s wheat supply and nearly one-tenth of its corn, vegetable, and pork. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has hailed climate change caused due to anthropogenic factors as the main reason for flooding in China and other countries. Thus, the need of the hour for the leadership is to ensure the adoption of sustainable and environmentally safe practices in food production. The socio-economic effects of the ageing population in China, especially in rural areas, have an impact on food production and consumption. Urbanisation rate in China was at 57 percent in 2016, and might go up to 65 percent by 2025, and 80 percent by 2050. These figures raise an important question—who shall be a part of food production in rural areas if society continues to undergo such transitions?


    Ever since he came into power 10 years ago, food security has been one of Xi’s prime areas of focus. “Food security is an important foundation for national security. Guaranteeing national food security is an eternal issue, and this string cannot be loosened at any time” claims the President. The ‘string’ which Xi refers to is extremely vital to the longevity of his presidency. In 2013, he had reminded his officials to take heed of USSR’s disintegration in 1991 and to keep in mind the reasons for the same—that the then Russian leadership had permitted the public denigration of Soviet leaders like Lenin and Stalin. In China, excessive rise in food grain prices was one of the factors that led to the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 and Xi will not let public criticism of food security programmes adversely affect his political career. The National Congress, which assembles once in five years, shall convene towards the end of this year and determine who forms part of the future leadership, which Xi aspires to lead. Despite enacting a national anti-food wastage law, Beijing must realise that China has transformed into a relatively more prosperous country. With growing urbanisation and rising income levels in urban and rural areas, dietary consumption is bound to increase in the world’s largest population. The CCP had always promised its people abundance in food and grains. Now that citizens have begun to enjoy the fruits of a ‘moderately prosperous society’, an important question arises—are various components of China’s food policy realistic enough to secure the ‘rice bowl’ or are they mere political gimmicks to secure Xi’s presidency?  
  • High-yield rice offered

  • A new high-yielding, with the registered trademark of Clearfield rice variety developed by the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station will be available to rice growers from Horizon Ag in 2023.
    The new rice is called CLL18 and averaged 221 bushels per acre over two years in the 2020-21 Arkansas Rice Performance Trials conducted by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
    Beginning in 2022, the ARPT will be known as the Arkansas Rice Variety Advancement Trials.
    “This was the highest yielding nonhybrid Clearfield® rice in the ARPT for those two years,” said Karen Moldenhauer, professor emeritus and rice breeder for the experiment station. “It has looked very good in all of the tests it has been in.
    “CLL18 is an excellent long-grain Clearfield® line derived from the cross of Roy J and CL142-AR, made at the Rice Research and Extension Center at Stuttgart in 2011,” Moldenhauer said.
    BASF provided the CL142-AR Clearfield® breeding material.
    “It has excellent rough rice yields,” Moldenhauer said. “CLL18 yielded a two-year mean of 221 bushels per acre in the 2020-21 ARPT, compared to CLL16 at 210 bushels per acre and Diamond at 209 bushels per acre,” she said.
    “BASF views CLL18 as a high performing new Clearfield® variety that will greatly benefit Arkansas rice growers, as well as rice growers in the mid-south down to the coastal states,” said Frank Hardimon, rice licensing account manager for BASF Agricultural Solutions. “The New CLL18 will be a great addition to the Horizon Ag portfolio of herbicide-tolerant rice varieties. CLL18 will be an excellent companion to CLL16, this combination of broadly adapted varieties will have strong performance across the mid-south.”
    “We appreciate the rice breeding efforts of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture that developed CLL18 and the business relationship that we have with Horizon Ag that will bring CLL18 to the market in 2023,” Hardimon said.
    Tim Walker, Horizon Ag general manager, said, “We’re excited about the fit that new CLL18 will have in our elite Clearfield® rice variety portfolio and the outstanding performance potential it offers our farmers. CLL18 has shown it has yield potential equal to or greater than CLL16, which has proven it can yield with or better than top-performing varietals and even hybrids. In addition, because CLL18 is earlier in maturity than CLL16 and appears to be well adapted to the coastal region of Louisiana and Texas, it may have a better fit in second crop situations.”
    CLL18 will be in seed production in 2022, Walker said. He encourages farmers to look at how it performs and where it will fit on their farms, along with other Horizon Ag Clearfield performers like CLL16, CLL15 and CLL17.
    “CLL18 is another step in our commitment to providing farmers better and better-performing varieties,” Walker said. “Since it doesn’t have the pi-ta gene, it doesn’t have as broad a spectrum for blast as CLL16. But it will be a great addition to the top-performing Clearfield varieties that are helping farmers improve production potential and profitability.”
    Moldenhauer said CLL18 has a plant height of 37 inches with grain weight and kernel size like Diamond, and early maturity similar to CLL15. It has a lodging resistance similar to Diamond and CLL16.
    “CLL18 is moderately susceptible to common rice blast, to sheath blight, bacterial panicle blight and false smut,” Moldenhauer said. “It is moderately resistant to narrow brown leaf spot.”
    CLL18 has typical southern U.S. long-grain cooking quality, she said.
    Clearfield rice, from which CLL18 was bred, was developed at Louisiana State University from a rice breeding line with a naturally occurring genetic mutation tolerant to the imidazoline family of herbicides.
    Scientists at LSU licensed the original Clearfield® lines to American Cyanamid, now BASF Agricultural Solutions, which later shared the breeding material with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. Horizon Ag is a seed technology company licensed by BASF to market Clearfield rice varieties.
    Breeder seed for CLL18 will be maintained at the Division of Agriculture’s Rice Research and Extension Center and distributed to growers by Horizon Ag. Fertilizer and other agricultural management recommendations are available from County Extension offices or Horizon Ag.
  • Applications invited from rice growers for subsidised machinery provision

  • FAISALABAD    -  The agriculture department has invited applications from rice growers for providing them agri appliances and machinery on subsidised rates under Prime Minister (PM) Agri Emergency Programme.
    Deputy Director Research Information Unit Agriculture Department Faisalabad Dr Asif Ali said that male and female farmers belonging to Faisalabad, Jhang, Chiniot, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sialkot, Mandi Bahauddin, Narowal, Hafizabad, Lahore, Kasur, Sheikhupura, Nankana Sahib, Bahawal Nagar and Okara were eligible for applying for agri machinery. He said that rice growers should submit their applications up to February 20, 2022 and they would be provided rice machinery after balloting. He said that application forms were available in the offices of Assistant Director, Deputy Director and Divisional Director agriculture (extension) while the same could also be downloaded from website www.agripunjab.gov.pk and its photocopy would also be acceptable. He said that after balloting farmers would be provided various kinds of agri appliances and gadgets. More information in this regard can be obtained from the offices of Deputy Director or Divisional Director Agriculture (Extensive) Department during office timing, he added.
  • 50 tons of PDS rice seized in Hyderabad

  • Hyderabad: The Jawaharnagar police raided a house at Bharatnagar and seized huge quantity of rice meant to be distributed under the Public Distribution Scheme (PDS) on Monday morning. Acting on a tip-off, the local police raided a house and found two persons had stocked around 50 tons of PDS rice after purchasing it from different people. “The duo was planning to transport it to Gujarat and sell it a higher price. On being informed, a raid was conducted and the PDS rice along with a lorry was seized,” Jawaharnagar Inspector S Chandrasekhar said. A case was registered.
  • 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.
  • 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.  
  • Minister: Rice prices soaring due to international market

  • The government has a roadmap to increase production through high yield rice breeds, Unb Rice 1630333402314

    Rice prices in the country are on the rise due to high demand and increased prices in the international market, says Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque. 

    “We are trying to figure out how to be self-sustaining in terms of grain food production,” he said during a meeting on Thursday. 

    The minister said that the government did not need to import rice until 2017 and any imports were made by private traders. 

    “Then the import tax was reduced due to the floods, which in turn led to rice prices falling,” he said. 

    He added that the government is undertaking initiatives to increase production in line with the demands. 

    “We have also discussed how to increase the production of Boro, Aman and Aush rice,” the minister said before adding Bangladeshi scientists have invented the Bri-89, 92 which yield high produce. 

  • Emerging Riceberry Rice

  • Professor Apichart Vanavichit, Director at the Rice Science Center in Thailand, highlights the attempt to develop rice that directly benefits well-being

    Rice, a staple food for the majority of countries, has always carried health risks. Eating rice in excess of moderation can cause risks particularly when it comes to sugar in the blood. Rice is actually the basis of 50% of daily energy needs for the population of the world. Did you know that purple rice used to be considered such a delicacy, it was only served to Emperors and used as a base for foods made to be given to spirits? Rice has a rich, fascinating history, which rises up to meet the present day with advice and insight. In a pioneering project, Professor Vanavichit is part of a push to create an easy-to-grow, healthy strain of rice. Wholegrain, pigmented rice like Riceberry rice is one of the most likely sources of healthy nutrition. However, when it comes to wholegrain rice, it can be difficult to balance taste with nutritional and health benefits. While the rice is infinitely better for the human body, it also often lacks the aromatic appeal of a classic, white rice – which is also melded into traditions across the world as the norm. To change a norm this deep-rooted, the new form of rice has to manage taste, health benefits and be as easily accessible as existing forms of rice. The intricate science behind how Riceberry rice impacts human health is at the forefront of food technology, which will shape the future of diabetes and hypertension management if it can be successfully introduced to global markets. In addition, rice growing usually requires a heady mix of chemicals – contributing to climate change, as the demand for this product remains intrinsically high. Organic forms of rice, while benefitting future health, can also protect the Earth from the need for excessive pollution.
  • 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.”
  • Black rice makes its way to Pakistan

  • New variety can fetch three times higher export revenue, says grower a worker harvests hybrid rice at a rice research base in northern costa rica may 1 2010 photo xinhua gabiera An ancient Chinese royal food - black rice - has made its way to Pakistan and it has the potential to fetch three times greater export revenue for the country. These are the views of a grower, Rehan Khoso, who has successfully cultivated this rice variety in Jacobabad - the border area of Sindh and Balochistan - after conducting prior research. In an interview with The Express Tribune, he mentioned that this variety of rice, being a royal food, was once forbidden for the common people. Underlining the health benefits of the variety, he explained that black rice contained 28 antioxidants. He was of the view that the variety had a huge export potential, as India had been exporting this type of rice on a large scale since 2017. “Rice is the second biggest export product of Pakistan after textile,” he underlined and sought government’s support to exploit the full potential of the new variety and fetch foreign exchange. “As of now, Pakistan does not have a full-fledged domestic market for black rice and it takes a lot of effort and money for export,” he said. “The basic thing is to get seeds to the farmers and they will grow it by themselves as hybrid varieties are getting popular here,” Sindh Abadgar Board Vice President Mahmood Nawaz Shah told The Express Tribune. “Although these seeds are more expensive and untested, they are increasingly becoming popular now owing to their high-yielding capability,” he underlined. “There is no doubt that if the government supports this new variety of rice, it will fetch significant export revenue for Pakistan,” noted Agriculture Republic Co-founder Aamer Hayat Bhandara. He was of the view that black rice had a huge demand in the international market. “Thus, Pakistan has a massive export potential if this variety is cultivated successfully across the country.” The government should scale up the research platforms and link them with farmers to get the desired results, he suggested. “We must opt for hybrid crop varieties due to their robust demand in global markets,” he stressed, adding that such varieties would support the farmers, exporters and government in terms of revenue.
  • 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.
  • Organic Rice Protein Market to Reach $307.2 Million by 2028 – Powered by Increase in Consumer Awareness about Healthy Diet

  • Vantage Market Research’s recent analysis of the Global Organic Rice Protein Market finds that emergence of organic rice proteins as an alternative to animal proteins is expediting market growth. Primarily driven by increasing consumer awareness about healthy diet, the total Global Organic Rice Protein Market is estimated to reach USD 307.2 Million by 2028, up from USD 95.3 Million in 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18.2%. Furthermore, the changes in lifestyle and food habits of consumers are also anticipated to augment the growth of the Global Organic Rice Protein Market, states Vantage Market Research, in a report, titled “Organic Rice Protein Market by Type (Rice protein isolates, Rice protein concentrates, Others), by Application (Sports & energy nutrition drinks, Beverages, Dairy alternatives, Bakery & confectionery), by Form (Dry, Liquid), by Region (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa) - Global Industry Assessment (2016 - 2021) & Forecast (2022 - 2028)”.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Rice valuing $1.066b exported in H1-FY2021-22

  • Rice valuing $1.066 billion were exported in the first of the financial year 2021-22 as against the exports of $963.379 million of the corresponding period of last year. During the period from July-December 2021, over 2.081 million tons of rice were exported as against the exports of 1.849 million tons of the same period last year, according to the data of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. In the first two quarters of the current financial year, rice exports from the country witnessed about 10.73pc growth as against the exports of the same period of last year, it added. The exports of basmati rice grew by 33.14pc as 343,633 metric tons of basmati rice valuing $304.043 million exported as against the exports of 233,152 metric tons worth $228.370 million of the same period last year, it added. Meanwhile, the country fetched $762.772 million by exporting over 1.738 million tons of rice other than basmati rice as compared to the exports of 1.616 million tons $735.009 million of the same period last year. During the last six months, the country earned $201.581 million by exporting about 75.268 metric tons of fish and fish products, which was stood at $195.364 million in the same period of last year, it added. On a month-on-month basis, the exports of rice grew by 3.26pc in December 2021 as against the exports of 484.956 million tons worth $232.676 million of the corresponding month of last year, it added.  
  • 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)
  • EDF Board approves Rs27m for global ‘Biryani Festivals’

  • KARACHI: On the request of the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP), the Export Development Fund (EDF) Board has approved some Rs27 million for Biryani Festivals at five international destinations for the promotion of Pakistani rice. Reap is making serious efforts to boost the country’s rice export and intends to achieve a $5 billion export target in the next few years. Rice is one of the largest exporting commodity and cumulatively, some 3.2 million tons worth $2 billion rice were exported during the last fiscal year. As per Reap proposal, these Biryani Festivals will be organized in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Muscat (Oman), Baghdad (Iraq), Tehran (Iran) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) for the promotion and marketing of Pakistani rice. In these festivals, Reap would present Pakistani rice as a brand to enhance the exports and earn more foreign exchange for the country. While talking to Business Recorder, Muhammad Anwar Mianoor, acting Chairman Reap said these five countries are already importing Pakistani rice, but there is huge potential to increase exports. Pakistan has exported some 0.2 million tons of rice to Malaysia and is willing to achieve 0.5 million tons target. Iraq’s rice market is over one million tons and Iran is also a potential market with 1.5 million tons demand, he mentioned. He said the Export Development Fund (EDF) Board in its 22nd Finance Committee Meeting has principally approved Reap’s proposal for organizing Biryani Festivals in the five international destinations to further explore the rice export markets. “We are planning to conduct Road Shows and aggressive social media marketing. We will engage food bloggers and social media influencers for the promotion of Pakistani rice,” acting Chairman Reap said. He said that these Biryani Festivals will be arranged in the hotels, restaurants and hypermarkets of the potential rice buying countries. Accordingly to manage funds for these festivals, Reap requested Ministry of Commerce and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) for support Reap’s proposal through the EDF, so that the rice exporters’ representative body will be able to increase rice exports from Pakistan and increase overall market share in the different countries, he added. He informed that Mincom and TDAP have not only appreciated the Reap’s Biryani Festival proposal but also assured full support to make these events successful. Accordingly, the EDF Board has approved Reap’s proposals and sanctioned EDF funds of Rs.27 million for Biryani Festivals at five proposed destinations. Anwar Mianoor said that Pakistani rice is one of the best rice in the world due to its length and quality. There is a need to make some serious efforts for the promotion of Pakistani rice. Pakistan has a bumper rice crop this year and has sufficient stocks for exports. The growth in rice exports and its earnings will also help the government to reduce pressure on external accounts. He has thanked Abdul Razzak Dawood, Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce, Sualeh Farooqi Federal Secretary Commerce and all members of EDF Board for their consistent support for approval of these proposals and efforts for the betterment of rice export trade of Pakistan.
  • Where is the rice export rally?

  • Numbers are a fickle mistress. One look at export data from PBS would seem to suggest that the country exported highest monthly volume of rice in over six years. That would be cause for celebration. Yet the same dataset also indicates that – on six monthly basis - this is the poorest performance by rice exporters since PTI came to power. So, what is really happening in the paddy universe? First off, the frequent revisions in (prior) monthly databy PBS isn’t inspiring confidence, as the quantum of revisions is stretching further. But more importantly, paddy prices in the international market are trading against the tide, facing considerable downward pressure,even as prices of many other grains have galloped forward for many months. Six-month moving average of international rice prices (various indices, by type) are trailing below levels last witnessed in 2016. In fact, rice prices of various commodities such as IRRI (Pak) may be second-lowest in a decade. That’s certainly one reason why Pakistan hasn’t seen its rice export earnings explode, but doesn’t fully explain the picture.
    Quantity exported during H1-FY22 is also significantly lower than in recent past; even lower than the dreadful pandemic stint of H2-FY20. At 2.08 million tons exported during H1-FY22, quantity exported is lowest since at least H2-FY17. Variety-wise breakdown is equally bleak, with 6-month basmati exports lowest since H1-FY19 (minus H1-FY21); while coarse rice exports being lowest since H2-FY17. And that trend alone offers insight into what’s been brewing in Pakistan’s rice exporting market. After peaking during H2-FY19, Pakistan’s rice exports appear to be on a secular decline, both in value and volume terms. That peak had come with the precipitous decline in currency value between Jan – Jun 2019, when Pak Rupee breached Rs160/$ parity for the first time in history. Rice export earnings shot up by 36 percent during H2-FY19 against the preceding six months, while quantity exported also rose by nearly one-third over the same period. Since then, export earnings are crawling back in the 2015-18 territory, with slight seasonal upticks during second half of the year (when autumn harvest makes it to market). Quantum exported also seem to be mirroring the much-reviled PML-N era, during which artificially overvalued currency was held guilty for lack of competitiveness of Pakistan’s exports in the global market. The currency is arguably now as free as it ever has been. Global container shortage also seems to be eking itself out. December export performance is certainly uplifting, but medium-term trend is insipid, if not altogether alarming. Will exporters take the stand and explain: where is the rice export rally?
  • 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.

  • * Vietnam's 2021 rice exports fell 0.2%- govt. data * Bangladesh domestic rates up despite good crops, imports- trader By Kavya Guduru Jan 14 (Reuters) - Rice export prices in top exporter India this week touched their highest levels since last June, supported by tight supplies and a stronger rupee, while an uptick in demand buoyed rates in nearby Thailand to their highest since mid-July last year. India's 5% broken parboiled variety <RI-INBKN5-P1> was quoted at $367-$375 per tonne, a peak since the week of June 24 last year, up from last week’s $359-$363. "Mills are mainly focusing on milling white rice. Parboiled supplies are very limited, and that's why prices are moving higher," said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
    Prices are also firming because of an appreciation in the rupee, he said, which trims traders' margins from overseas sales. Thailand's 5% broken rice <RI-THBKN5-P1> prices rose to their highest since mid-July 2021 at $404-$405 per tonne from $390-$402 last week. Bangkok-based traders said an uptick in demand among exporters who had to fulfil orders made before the New Year’s holidays raised prices slightly. Thailand exported 5.39 million tonnes of rice between January and November 2021, up 2.6% from the same period a year earlier, according to the country’s commerce ministry. Vietnam's 5% broken rice <RI-VNBKN5-P1> was offered at $395-$405 per tonne, widening from a range of $395-$400 a week ago. "Sales are slow, and local traders have scaled down their purchases from farmers," a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said. Government customs data released on Thursday showed Vietnam’s rice exports in 2021 fell 0.2% to 6.24 million tonnes. Exports in December fell 13.4% from November to 490,219 tonnes. Meanwhile, in Bangladesh, domestic rice prices went up again this week despite good crops and huge imports, traders said. Bangladesh, the world's third-biggest rice producer, imported nearly 1.36 million tonnes in the previous year that ended in June. (Reporting by Kavya Guduru in Bengaluru, Patpicha Tanakasempipat in Bangkok, Khanh Vu in Hanoi, Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai and Ruma Paul in Bangladesh; Editing by Hugh Lawson)
  • Rice exporters warn of losing $400 million due to high freight charges

  • China Rice import Pakistan KARACHI: Pakistani rice exporters warned the country could lose $400 million in export revenue due to high freight charges and lack of container availability, Arab News reported. The global shortage of containers and high freight charges have affected Pakistan’s rice exports, making people associated with the business seek government intervention to restrict the exit of empty containers from the country. “Due to the lack of availability of containers and high fright costs, 250,000 tonnes of rice could not be exported last year and this quantity may increase to 500,000 tonnes this year due to the severity of the situation,” Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (Reap) senior vice chairman Muhammad Anwar Mianoor said during a news conference. “The county is likely to lose $400 million in export revenue if timely steps are not taken through policy measures by restricting the movement of empty containers,” he said, adding, “The government should come up with policies for return of empty containers and should bound shipping companies to cap a fixed percentage of empty containers which will be available for export purposes.” The Reap official noted that India had already taken such steps to facilitate its export sector by allowing imported containers to remain in the country for re-use. Rice exporters said the container charges had gone up over 1,500 per cent by shipping companies which had been steadily increasing the cost of the commodity. “Over a year, container charges which were $70 to $80 last year have increased to over $1,300 per container for their Chinese destination,” Mianoor said. The Pakistani rice exporter called for a complete audit of shipping companies and freight forwarders, saying they were making money by disturbing the export sector. “Shipping companies have made a cartel and are blackmailing us,” he continued. However, the government officials said that the rice export was continuing from the country, adding that 55,000 tonnes of it had already been exported this week from the Karachi port. They also maintained that appropriate measures had been taken to make containers available for exports. “Around 5,000 containers at the ports are stuck up and we have asked the Federal Board of Revenue [FBR] to clear them,” special assistant to the prime minister on maritime affairs Mahmood Moulvi told Arab News. Pakistan exported around 1.6 million tonnes of rice worth over $826 million, up by 13 per cent, during the July-November 2021 period of the current fiscal year. The country’s exports fell by six per cent to over $2 billion, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.
  • 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.

  • Pakistan posts record rice production

  • Rice_ShutterStock_E.jpg ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN — Pakistan harvested a record rice crop of 8.9 million tonnes in the 2021-22 marketing year, up from 8.4 million tonnes the prior year, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). “New higher-yielding hybrid rice varieties, improved agronomic practices and increased planting area, as farmers shift out of cotton, are factors driving the increased production,” the USDA said. The agency noted that the Pakistan government’s policy of ensuring rice growers had adequate inputs also contributed to the record production. Meanwhile, the country’s rice exports in 2020-21 (November-October) were stagnant at 3.8 million tonnes, virtually unchanged from the previous year, the report said. Supply chain disruptions, shipping container shortages, and high transportation costs negatively impacted rice exports. With this year’s record production adding more stocks, total available supply is estimated to be 11 million tonnes, the USDA said. “Domestic rice consumption is 3.7 million tonnes, leaving an exportable supply of 7.3 million tonnes for 2021-22,” the USDA said. “This large surplus will provide an opportunity to significantly increase exports, but Pakistani rice will continue to face stiff competition from India and Southeast Asia suppliers.”    
  • 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.
  • 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”.
  • 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.
  • Rice exports to Russia restored after two-year ban

  • DPP portraying false image of increasing exports due to govt efforts ISLAMABAD: The exports of rice to Russia have been restored with officials of the Department of Plant Protection (DPP), an attached department of Ministry of Food Security and Research (MFS&R), claiming that the development was a result of the government’s efforts to increase the country’s exports. However, Profit learnt that Russia had actually re-allowed import from Pakistan in the mid of this year, under stiff conditions, as the product was banned for clear negligence of DPP in 2019.  As per details, the ban was imposed in August 2019 after insects were found in the rice. It is pertinent to mention here that a number of similar incidents of Pakistani products being banned has been reported in the past due to the DPP’s alleged role wherein they clear consignments without the due fumigation process. This has earned the country a very bad name apart from resulting in losses of revenue through exports. For example, Mexico banned the import of Pakistani rice in 2013 due to the presence of the Khapra beetle, Vietnam has banned Pakistani wheat, the UK destroyed one consignment of bitter melon (karela) due to the presence of a sort of bacteria in July this year, while Malaysian Quarantine Authorities (MQA) found turtles in a potato container sent by DPP with a fake Phyto certificate. Interestingly, the officials accused of negligence which caused huge losses to the national exchequer were never probed.  Speaking with Profit, a leading exporter of rice who did not want to be named informed this scribe that exporters are allowed to fumigate their consignments themselves and pay charges to DPP. “This clearly shows the negligence and violation of rules by DPP officials and there is no doubt that they are damaging the country’s exports,” they added. On the other hand, a complaint to the Prime Minister Office against DPP officials sent by trade bodies states that the department even asks importers to fumigate already fumigated items. Regarding this matter, although the DPP is mandated to fumigate hundreds of consignments both exported and imported, only a single company, National Chemicals, is allowed to import methyl bromide, a chemical that is necessary for carrying out the task. In similar wrongdoing, there are 54 fumigation companies that are registered with the DPP; however, only sister fumigation companies of National Chemical, namely Adeel Pesticides, Pak Pansy, Pest Management Pentagon Fumigation Services, and Tahir Fumigation Expert are carrying out fumigations and charging sky high rates due to their monopoly. Documents available with Profit show that there are 54 fumigation companies registered with the department, but only 8 of them are active, which are actually firms set up under different names of three companies whereas about 46 registered companies are either inactive or closed due to the non-supply of methyl bromide. Furthermore, citing ongoing irregularities in the department, Iranian authorities had earlier blacklisted fumigation companies Ramadan Associates and Millat Trading, stating in a letter that insects were found in a consignment of mangoes which had been imported from Pakistan. Sources said that a monopoly has been established on the international trade of agricultural products under the auspices of DPP officials, yet the food ministry has turned a blind eye to the department’s performance. On Friday, DPP officials claimed that the Russian Ministry of Commerce, in collaboration with the department itself, would monitor more rice mills via video link. Plant Production Director Sohail Shahzad told Profit that several countries including Russia, China, Japan and Australia have lifted the import ban from Pakistan and are also issuing online confirmation certificates to Pakistani exporters. He said that by visiting the factories online, several countries are releasing orders for rice and fruits. Previously, Pakistan had about 34 rice export outlets in the Russian market. But now the number has increased to 53. Pakistani exporters are allowed to export 150,000 tonnes of rice to Russia. Pakistani exporters are allowed to export 150,000 tonnes of 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.
  • India, Pakistan take battle over basmati rice title to EU

  • India applies for exclusive trademark that would grant it sole ownership of basmati title in European Union, setting off a dispute with rival Pakistan. From biryani to pulao, Pakistan and India’s shared culinary landscape is defined by basmati, a distinctive long-grain rice now at the centre of the latest tussle between the bitter rivals. India has applied for an exclusive trademark that would grant it sole ownership of the basmati title in the European Union, setting off a dispute that could deal a major blow to Pakistan’s position in a vital export market. “It’s like dropping an atomic bomb on us,” said Ghulam Murtaza, co-owner of Al-Barkat Rice Mills just south of Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest city. Pakistan immediately opposed India’s move to gain Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) from the European Commission.

    India is the largest rice exporter in the world, netting $6.8bn in annual earnings, with Pakistan in fourth position at $2.2bn, according to the United Nations figures.

    The two countries are the only global exporters of basmati. “(India) has caused all this fuss over there so they can somehow grab one of our target markets,” said Murtaza, whose fields are barely five kilometres (three miles) from the Indian border. “Our whole rice industry is affected,” he added.

    From Karachi to Kolkata, basmati is a staple in everyday diets across southern Asia.

    It is eaten alongside spicy meat and vegetable curries, and is the star of the endlessly varied biryani dishes featured at weddings and celebrations across both countries, which only split following independence from British colonial rule in 1947. They have since fought three full-scale wars, with the latest skirmish in 2019 involving the first cross-border air attacks in nearly 50 years. Diplomatic relations have been tense for decades and both countries routinely attempt to malign each other on the international stage.

    ‘Very important market’

    Pakistan has expanded basmati exports to the EU over the past three years, taking advantage of India’s difficulties meeting stricter European pesticide standards.

    It now fills two-thirds of the region’s approximately 300,000-tonne annual demand, according to the European Commission.

    “For us, this is a very, very important market,” says Malik Faisal Jahangir, vice-president of the Pakistan Rice Exporters Association, who claims Pakistani basmati is more organic and “better in quality”. PGI status grants intellectual property rights for products linked to a geographic area where at least one stage of production, processing, or preparation takes place.

    Indian Darjeeling tea, coffee from Colombia and several French hams are among the popular products with PGI status.

    It differs from Protected Designation of Origin, which requires all three stages to take place in the concerned region, as in the case of cheeses such as French brie or Italian gorgonzola. Such products are legally guarded against imitation and misuse in countries bound by the protection agreement and a quality recognition stamp allows them to sell for higher prices. India says it did not claim in its application to be the only producer of the distinctive rice grown in the Himalayan foothills, but attaining PGI status would nevertheless grant it this recognition.
     “India and Pakistan have been exporting and competing in a healthy way in different markets for almost 40 years… I don’t think the PGI will change that,” Vijay Setia, former president of the Indian Rice Exporters Association, told AFP news agency.
    As per EU rules, the two countries must try to negotiate an amicable resolution by September, after India asked for a three-month extension, a spokesman for the European Commission told AFP. “Historically, both the reputation and geographic area (for basmati) are common to India and Pakistan,” says legal researcher Delphine Marie-Vivien. “There have already been quite a few cases of opposition to geographical indication applications in Europe, and each time a compromise has been found.”

    After years of procrastination, the Pakistani government in January demarcated where basmati can be harvested in the country.

    It also announced it would assign similar protected status to pink Himalayan salt and other vaunted agricultural products. Pakistan hopes to convince India to instead submit a “joint application” in the name of the common heritage that basmati represents, Jahangir said. “I am confident that we will reach a (positive) conclusion very soon… the world knows that basmati comes from both countries,” he added. If an agreement cannot be reached and the EU rules in India’s favour, Pakistan could appeal to the European courts, but the long review process could leave its rice industry in limbo.
  • 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.
  • The Basmati War

  • Pakistan is already fighting its case against India’s application for an exclusive GI (Geographical Indication) tag for basmati rice after the Intellectual Property Organisation (IPO) filed an application in the European Union (EU). However, it is unfortunate knowing that Pakistan has not registered basmati as a local commodity. The reason for our failure to protect basmati rice as a Pakistani product is the flawed piece of legislation, Geographical Indications (Registration and Protection) Act, 2020. The legal document enacted in March this year has no mechanism to register basmati as a distinct local merchandise. If the authorities fail to catalog basmati rice as a unique Pakistani commodity under local GI laws, then our case before the European Commission (EC) will weaken.
    Unfortunately, successive governments failed to formulate the GI laws despite the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan’s (REAP) requests since the early 2000s. The government has to keep up with the crushing timeline and make the required amendments in the GI Act before it takes up its case in the EC. The EU is one of the most lucrative markets for Pakistani rice exporters. We cannot afford losing it because of negligence. It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan’s exports of basmati to the EU have more than doubled in the last five years. Those of India have been shrinking because of the strict EU standards on the use of pesticides. We have already made inroads; it would not be wise to let a rival completely take over the market through the use of technicalities. The commerce ministry needs to get the REAP on board while formulating the required GI rules. If we can register the GI of basmati internally, our case in the EU will strengthen. Geographic labelling of basmati rice holds immense significance for Pakistani rice growers. The state must utilise all its resources in convincing the EU that Pakistan has a right to a GI tag for basmati rice. Indian traders are lobbying for exclusivity, as the application reveals. If the GI tag goes to India, Pakistan will lose the European market automatically.
  • Breaking News | Overseas warehousing of rice to be permitted, says Dar

  • (Web Desk) -- Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is to present the federal budget for the fiscal year 2016-17 on Friday in the National Assembly (NA) and Dunya News brings to you the live updates:

    Live Updates:

    17:53 - 38 billion rupees to be allocated for improving water reservoirs. 17:49 - Pakistan had 1200 megat watts surplus in 1999 and it went several thousand mega watts in deficit. But next year, this load shedding will have become history. 17:48 - Most of the population expected to remain below 20 years of age in the ongoing census. 17:48 - Rs 411 billion allocated for transport sector, including highways, railways and aviation. 17:46 - Mobile telephone companies  accessories import duties to be reduced. 17:46 - Withholding tax and excise duties on mobile phone to be reduced. 17:45 - First year to be exempted from tax for IT companies setting up in Pakistan. 17:44 - IT Software Park being made in Islamabad with the help of South Korea. 17:43 - Innovation Challenges Fund to be formed. 17:42 - Disaster Risk Management Fund has been formed with Rs 525.1 million for covering the risk of small businesses. 17:41 - Government to form e-banking department in State Bank for encouraging mobile banking. The project will cost Rs 2 billion. 17:41 - Subsidy on urea, fertiliser to continue. 17:40 - Pakistan Infrastructure Bank to be formed for project financing. Pakistan to own 20% of shares, World Bank to hold 20% shares and the rest to be owned by private organisations and financial institutions. 17:40 - Pakistan currently has a deficit of 1 million houses. 17:39 - Banks don t provide long-term loans for housing. Government to provide 40% credit guarantee to the banks and financial institutions for housing loans up to Rs 1 million. 17:38 - Custom duty on raw hides to be removed, overseas warehousing of rice to be permitted. 17:37 - Pakistan s exports dropped due to the drop in prices of agricultural products in the global market. 17:37 - Government to start brand development fund for textile industry. 17:36 - Textile import duty waiver to continue this year as well. 17:36 - Ad-hoc reliefs added in 2009-10 to be incorporated into the salaries. 17:34 - Government will encourage import of agriculture machinery by removing the custom and import duties on the import of combined harvester used for less than 5 years. 17:33 - Government will keep providing the electricity to agricultural tubewells at Rs 5.35 per unit during off-peak hours. 17:32 - State Bank working on linking banking system with land record management system. 17:32 - Sales tax on FDP to be reduced from Rs 400 per bag to Rs 100 per bag. 17:31 - Loans worth Rs 1001 billion to be provided for agriculture sector. 17:30 - Rs 50,000 loans for agriculture to be provided to farmers owning land less than 12.5 acres. Agricultural Development Bank of Pakistan will be leading the initiative while State Bank of Pakistan to suprevise. 17:28 - 118 billion rupees allocated for subsidy on electricity. 17:28 - Balochistan to especially benefit from the solar power projects during the next year. 17:27 - Subsidy to the households using less than 300 units will continue. 17:26 - The proverty survey of 2002 said the population living below poverty line was over 64% while it has dropped to less than 30% now. 17:26 - GDP growth rate target to be set at 6% for the next year. 17:25 - Agricultural tubewell electricity subsidy to continue. 17:25 - 5.5 million families to now receive funds from Benazir Income Support Program. 17:24 - Around 10,000 mega watts of electricity will be added to the national grid in the coming year, eliminating load shedding from Pakistan completely. 17:23 - Tax facilities will be provided to agriculture and IT sectors. 17:23 - We will raise the development budget by 40% i.e. 1001 billion rupees. 17:22 - Our budget deficit will be kept at 4.1% during the next financial year. 17:21 - We have to improve and consolidate the achievements of the current year in the FY 2017-18. 17:20 - Pakistan signed OECD convention as a part of reforms to attain tax transparency. 17:19 - Bills pertaining to income tax reforms were signed by this House during 2015-16 and it d help Pakistan to attain the improved levels of transparency globally. 17:18 - Government signed the OGP document recently after Pakistan was invited to the agreement as it completed all the requirements. 17:15 - Azan break 17:15 - Remittances woth 15.60 billion dollars were sent to Pakistan during current fiscal year during the first 10 months. 17:14 - Companies listed with the government will have to include women in the boards of directors. 17:12 - Pakistan s stock market was compared with the best stock markets of Asia. 17:11 - Pakistan s rating to improve from frontier market status to emerging market status on June 1 according to Standard & Poor s. 17:10 - Remittances are expected to rise during the last couple of months of the current financial year due to Ramazan and Eid festivals in May and June. 17:10 - FBR will be able to collect 3521 billion rupees during the current financial year. 17:09 - Services sector s GDP growth remained 5.98% during the current financial year. 17:09 - Agricultural GDP growth rate remained 3.46%. 17:08 - Per capital income rose by 22%. 17:07 - State Bank s interest rate brought down to the least in Pakistan s history. 17:06 - Budget deficit in 2012-13 of 8.2% has been reduced to 4.2% of the GDP this year. 17:05 - Opposition walks out of the House. 17:05 - Global ratings agencies improved Pakistan s ratings during the last four years. 17:05 - For the first time in Pakistan s history, the country s economic volume has risen to 300 billion dollars. 17:04 - Pakistan s financial performance remained better than most of the countries across the globe. 17:03 - Opposition chants slogans against the government as Finance Minister Ishaq Dar shares the financial performance during the previous year.  17:02 - Pakistan will be added to the G20 by 2030 17:01 - The GDP growth rate remained 5.3% during the current financial year. 16:57 - Ishaq Dar begins his budget speech. 16:51 - Leader of the Opposition, Khurshid Shah granted permission to take the mic before Ishaq Dar proceeds 16:45 - Speaker of the NA, Ayaz Sadiq presides over a session
  • Food Aid Funding Fight in Future

  • May 09, 2017

    Vital food aid
    WASHINGTON, DC – The recently passed Fiscal Year 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill included $2 billion for food aid programs that the U.S. rice industry supports, but signals from the Trump Administration indicate American humanitarian efforts may not exist in the future. The FY 2017 bill funded Food for Peace programs at $1.466 billion, including a one-time increase for famine crises of $134 million, and $202 million for the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program for the remainder of FY 2017. Last month, USA Rice joined more than 90 agriculture and humanitarian organizations in sending a letter to House and Senate appropriators requesting they, at a minimum, maintain FY2016 funding levels and U.S. leadership in fighting against famine and global malnutrition. “According to the World Food Programme, 795 million people, or one in nine, are currently suffering from chronic hunger, while one in three suffer from malnutrition daily,” the letter read.  “Now is the time for America to continue our leadership role in the world by showing full support for Food for Peace, a program that has touched 3 billion lives…and the McGovern-Dole Feeding program which fosters knowledge through food.” Meanwhile President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget blueprint, ironically-called “The Skinny Budget,” actually zeros out the McGovern-Dole programs, and many expect Food for Peace to also come under fire from the Administration. “We are happy with the commitment shown by Congress, not only to our moral duty to help those in need, but to our farmers who grow the food vital for these aid programs,” said Blake Gerard a Missouri rice farmer and chairman of USA Rice Farmers.  “But it seems like we’re all going to have to work hard to demonstrate the value of these programs to President Trump.” Gerard said the rice industry especially wants to keep food aid programs going since they have worked so hard to create enriched rice that solves many malnutrition problems, is affordable, long-lasting, and accepted by those in need. “Rice is the most widely-used commodity in current food aid programs for a reason,” he said. “President Trump can score a win-win by continuing to help those in need, and using U.S. products to do it.”