23rd janury 2014 daily global rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine(unedited verison)
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Daily Rice Global Rice e-Newsletter shared by Riceplus Magazine ...

Daily Rice Global Rice e-Newsletter shared by Riceplus Magazine
Riceplus Magazine shares daily International RICE News for global Rice Community. We publish daily two newsletters namely Global Rice News & ORYZA EXCLUSIVE News for readers .You can share any development news with us for Global readers.
Dear all guests/Commentators/Researchers/Experts ,You are humbly requested to share One/Two pages write up with Riceplus Magazine .
For more information visit (www.ricepluss.com + http://publishpk.net/index.php/riceplus).
Share /contribute your rice and agriculture related research write up with Riceplus Magazine to riceplus@irp.edu.pk , mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com
For Advertisement & Specs mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com

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23rd janury 2014 daily global rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine(unedited verison) Document Transcript

  • 1. Unedited Version : Daily Rice News by Riceplus Magazine www.ricepluss.com Rice farmers still fighting for water Posted: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 3:08 pm By JODY LARIMER news@journal-spectator.com | 0 comments EL CAMPO — Although Wharton County has received rain in recent months, it‘s not enough to ease the drought, making water a hot topic on the agenda at last week‘s Western Rice Belt Rice Conference. Colorado Water Issues Committee Chairman Ronald Gertson gave an update on the most recent measure approved by the Lower Colorado River Authority to increase the amount of water necessary in the upper lakes, before water can be distributed. ―We fear real economic and social suffering in our communities that have relied on rice farming for generations,‖ Gertson said during last Wedneday‘s event at the El Campo Civic Center. ―The water cutoff will have a ripple effect.‖ One of those rippling effects concerns agricultural support industries. ―Our infrastructure, those folks we count on for our seed, fertilizer, flying, storage, delivery, sales ... those folks are just barely hanging on,‖ Gertson said. ―And those of us who are still in the rice business need them to hang on. We need for them to thrive. ―It‘s important that every acre that we can ... we get in, in rice and give these folks the boost they need to continue being the lifeline for us that they are. That‘s why, even though some of you might not depend on Colorado River water, what‘s happening with Colorado River water is important to you because the acres that that water sustains is important to sustaining the infrastructure that we all need.‖ Another ripple affects current water resources. ―What the unavailability of service water has caused is a glut of new well drillings,‖ Gertson said. ―Particularly in Colorado and Wharton counties. We‘ve added about 45 new irrigation wells, primarily in the lakeside irrigation district around Eagle Lake. That is now threatening to put too much pressure on the aquifer that many of you depend upon and have depended on for a long time.‖ In an effort to manage the dwindling water supply caused by the drought, the LCRA board issued an emergency order, ultimately cutting off water to most farmers downstream the last two years, and a third year of water curtailment is looming. Claims in 2011 and 2012 were approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and a trigger was set at 850,000 acre feet necessary in highland lakes before water could be distributed downstream. The LCRA once again issued an emergency order and approved to raise the trigger to 1.1 million acre feet at the November 2013 board meeting in an 8-7 vote. Raising the trigger to 1.1 million acre feet is 54 percent of the total capacity of the system. Lakes Travis and Buchanan, the region‘s water supply reservoirs, are currently at 764,863 acre-feet of water or 38 percent. ―Unless we have at least 54 percent of the system full (by March 1), rice farmers, you don‘t get anything,‖ Gertson said. If approved by the TCEQ, water would be cut off to three of the four irrigation operations LCRA serves near the Texas coast – Pierce Ranch, the Lakeside Irrigation Division and the Gulf Coast Irrigation Division. The TCEQ received the LCRA request on Dec. 10, 2013, according to its media department. The commission is expected to take it under consideration at its Feb. 12 meeting. The CWIC is fighting that request. ―We‘re saying, loud and clear, that is not fair,‖ Gertson said. ―This is all about creating a recreation pool in those lakes because the folks that have been the loudest and who have worked the hardest to get this done, believe it or not, is not actually the city of Austin or even the water suppliers up there.‖ The Central Texas Water Coalition of Austin, however, is in opposition and feels that even 1.1 million acre feet is not enough.
  • 2. ―CTWC believes that 1.4 million acre feet should be the minimum,‖ CTWC President Jo Karr Tedder said. ―We can‘t go back to the previous year‘s trigger point number of 850,000 acre feet because it and 1.1 million acre feet are too risky for all health and safety issues. CTWC wants TCEQ to base this decision on updated scientific data and remember that no risk is acceptable when trying to protect the drinking water.‖ CWIC see things differently. ―They were the folks clamoring to make sure to it that more water was left in the lakes so that their businesses would thrive,‖ Gertson said referring to the opposing coalition. ―That‘s what‘s driving a lot of these poor decisions and we as the agricultural interest downstream are suffering from misguided decisions. Currently, we are trying to convince TCEQ of that very thing.‖ TCEQ has supported the LCRA recommendations the last two years, but Gertson said he thinks this year might be different. ―We are getting a little bit different signal from them this year,‖ he said, adding he thinks it is because the change from 850,000 to 1.1 million is more politically than scientifically driven. ―It is actually a threat to agriculture across the state because if they are successful in creating, what is essentially a recreational pool on these lakes, they are taking water supply out of Texas‘ water supplies at a time when Texas is saying ‗we need more water.‘ We can‘t afford to be taking water off of the shelf to water ski on when we need water for essential purposes like growing food.‖ Are top rice importers operating illegally in PHL? January 23, 2014 11:50am Some rice importers in the Philippines are operating illegally even if they pay duties, because they don't have a permit to import, an official of the National Food Authority (NFA) said. In an interview on GMA News' ―Balitanghali‖ on Thursday, NFA Public Affairs Department director Rex Estoperez said private companies importing rice into the country are operating without the required import permits. "Kahitnagbayadkangbuwiskungwalaka pa ring import permit that's still illegal," Estoperez said. A paid advertisement that appeared in several newspapers Wednesday listed the top private rice importers and the amount of tax each of them paid the government. Philippine laws identified the NFA as the sole agency that can import rice, mandating public companies who wish to do the same to secure from the NFA the import permit.
  • 3. According to NFA records, among the private companies operating in 2013 without import permits were Silent Royalty Marketing, Medaglia De Oro Trading, and Jade Brothers Farm and Livestock Inc. Silent Royalty is the second largest importer of rice next to NFA, while Medaglia De Oro is the sixth and Jade Brothers the 21st. NFA said rice imports of the companies are currently on-hold in several ports nationwide. Medaglia De Oro and Jade Brothers earlier told the NFA that they can import rice without a permit citing a World Trade Organization agreement that the Philippines entered into several years ago removed such restrictions against private importers. Estoperez, on the other hand, vowed to look into the operations of more rice importers to know whether they are operating illegally. "I-isa-isahinnamin 'yan and we will evaluate and validate," he said, adding that they will also look into the records of private companies which imported rice from 2011 to 2012 to find out if these companies were used by rice smugglers. NFA internal auditor LinaVincente admitted they are finding it hard to track down companies operating without permits as some of the records of the NFA committee issuing import permits are missing. "May mganaibigayperohinditalagakumpletokasikagaya dun sa validation process siyempretsinecheck namin... Na validate ba 'to? Nasaanyungresultang validation?"Vincente said. – Elizabeth Marcelo/VS, GMA News ice import curbs in effect until 2017 Local agricultural production expanded by 1.2% in 2013 By Ronnel W. Domingo Philippine Daily Inquirer 3:49 am | Thursday, January 23rd, 2014
  • 4. Play on Forex, Make Money Earn money online within 5 minutes.Get bonus 30% for each deposit www.instaforex.com Ads by Google Private-sector rice importers cannot flood the Philippine market with foreign supplies at their will since quantitative restrictions (QRs) on importation are still in effect, according to a coalition of agriculture industry groups. The SamahangIndustriyangAgrikultura (Sinag), citing World Trade Organization (WTO) documents, said in a statement Wednesday that restrictions on rice imports stand until 2017. Sinag noted that the Philippines has filed with the WTO its ―Request for a Waiver relating to Special Treatment for Rice,‖ asking for the continued effectiveness of restrictions, which was unchallenged in any of the WTO‘s general council meetings held in 2013. ―No country has formally opposed the Philippines‘ request for waiver,‖ said Sinag chair Rosendo So. ―Of the eight countries having bilateral talks with the country since March of last year, six have already agreed to new terms for our QRs until 2017, including Australia, China, El Salvador, India, Pakistan and Vietnam.‖ Based on this, according to Sinag, foreign suppliers can ship into the Philippines at least 350,000 metric tons of milled rice yearly. ―(This should) set the record straight and put to stop insinuations on the status of the country‘s request for waiver,‖ So said. ―Lawyers (who represent consignees of allegedly smuggled rice from Vietnam) who are insisting on the expiration of the QRs are not even a party nor can they speak for and in behalf of any WTO member country,‖ he added. He noted that a portion of the shipments from Vietnam, detained in Davao City, was released last week based on arguments that the restrictions have expired. Citing the Switzerland-based intergovernmental body South Centre, Sinag said the only way for countries to contest the QRs currently in place is to seek redress through the WTO Dispute Settlement mechanism and for them to actually win the case. Meantime, Philippine agricultural production grew by 1.2 percent to P777.8 billion at constant prices despite typhoons exacting significant damage to farms, according to the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics. BAS data showed that, at current prices, output expanded by 3.5 percent to P1.5 trillion. The crops subsector, which represented 51 percent of total output value, barely grew as it inched up 0.09 percent to P397 billion. Palay farmers posted a 2.3-percent increase in production to P156.2 billion. Follow Us Read more: http://business.inquirer.net/161187/rice-import-curbs-in-effect-until-2017#ixzz2rOshGoj0 Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook World Rice News 21.01.2014 21.01.2014 Some Thai rice farmers have threatened to switch sides and join protesters trying to topple the government if they do not get paid for their crop, a worrying development for Prime MinisterYingluckShinawatra whose support is based on the rural vote. ***
  • 5. Sharp rise in demand from the US, Europe and the middle-eastern countries for Basmati rice and Africa and Asian countries for non-Basmati rice, India is all set emerge as world’s top rice exporters in the current fiscal. This will be second time in a row that India is likely to emerge as biggest rice exporter globally. As per the commerce ministry data (AprilNovember, 2013), India has exported close to 7 million tonnes (MT) of rice and expected to ship more than 10.5 MT by end of current fiscal. *** Pakistani traders have fetched rice export orders worth 4 million dollar from China during a recent visit. Shipment of these orders will start from second week of February right after Chinese New Year's holidays. A 25-member delegation of rice exporters has recently visited China to further explore the emerging rice market. While talking to Business Recorder Chela Ram, senior vice chairman Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP), said the visit successful as initially exporters have got about 10,000 tons of rice orders. We had very interactive meetings with Chinese authorities and leading rice buyers. Chinese consumers take keen interest in Pakistani rice especially "long grain" because of its high quality. he said. *** The Association of Ghana-Cote d’Ivoire Rice Importers and Sellers (based in Kumasi) is appealing to the government to take a critical decision on the ban on rice importation from Cote d’Ivoire, a neighbouring country. Making the appeal through the Daily Graphic in Kumasi, the Organiser of the association, Mr Yaw Korang, said the association wanted the government to reconsider its decision to ban rice importation from Cote d’Ivoire. The ban on the importation of rice from Cote d’Ivoire is expected to take effect from January 2014. Thai farmers add to government woes with rice scheme protests Foreign January 21, 2014 Some Thai rice farmers have threatened to switch sides and join protesters trying to topple the government if they do not get paid for their crop, a worrying development for Prime Minister YingluckShinawatra whose support is based on the rural vote. Anti-government protests, now in their third month, have closed off parts of the capital in the latest installment of Thailand’s eight-year political conflict that has seen sporadic outbreaks of violence. The rural vote brought Yingluck’sPuea Thai Party to power in 2011 with a sweeping populist
  • 6. platform. But the rice program that formed part of it meant that Thailand, once the world’s biggest rice exporter, was priced out of the global market. It left the country with a mountain of unsold grain and the government’s intervention scheme running into funding problems. A scheme under which farmers are guaranteed an above-market price for their rice has been a centerpiece of the government’s program but, as financing strains mount, some are complaining they have been waiting three or four months to be paid. Prom Boonmachoey, leader of a farmers’ group in central SuphanBuri province, said a delegation would visit lawyers on Tuesday. If there was no way to get compensation, thousands more would join the anti-government protests, he said. “The Thai Lawyers Council is our consultant and it will help us file a lawsuit against the government,” Prom told Reuters. If they cannot get payment, the farmers want their rice back so they can resell it, no matter how low the price, he said. The protests in Bangkok pit the middle class and royalist establishment against the mainly poorer supporters of Prime Minister YingluckShinawatra and her brother, ex-premier ThaksinShinawatra, who was toppled by the military in 2006. DA eyes attaining P5/kg palay production cost BY: DANILO E. DOGUILES Wednesday 22nd of January 2014 4 2 0 0 0 KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, Jan 22 (PIA) -- Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said the agency has set its target to reduce cost of production of rice growers to as low as P5 per kilo. Secretary Alcala also told members of the media in SOCCSKSARGEN Region in a press conference Friday that they also aim to increase palay production to as much as 10 metric tons per hectare. “The Department of Agriculture in collaboration with Philippine Rice Research Institute (Philrice) is currently implementing Palayabangan: 10-5 Challenge,” Alcala said. He said the project, which took off in November, aims to find effective strategies that would raise the rice production standard to 10 tons per hectare yield at P5.00 input cost for every kilogram of palay produced.” “Currently, Filipino farmers yield only 4 metric tons per hectare and spend P11 to P12 production cost per kilogram of rice, “ the secretary pointed out.
  • 7. “Our production cost is much higher compared to Thailand and Vietnam.” A briefer on the 10-5 challenge said, the initiative would “provide opportunities for all players in the rice sector to show what they can do to improve yield and reduce production cost ” in support of the goals of the national government’s flagship Food Staples Sufficiency Program. Even achieving a 7 – 7 standard or 7 MT yield per hectare and P7 production cost per kilo per kilo produced, Alcala said, “the problem on rice smuggling could be addressed.” “If we can achieve these goals, production cost in the Philippines will be the lowest throughout Asia” Alcala added. Although SOCCSKSARGEN Region 12 topped Mindanao in palay production last year with over P3.4 million MT, farmers in the area only produced 3.83 MT per hectare. However, LudovicoCortado, a 76 year-old farmer in M’lang North Cotabato achieved 9.2 MT per hectare yield. (DEDoguiles with Abdullah Matucan-PIA 12) - See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=1611390370724#sthash.55rBe4hX.dpuf A rice revolution? Rice demand is growing and climate change threatens this important food source. But a system of intensified cultivation may boost yields dramatically without the need for more expensive hybrid seeds, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides. By P.K. Read, Food Tank / January 22, 2014 Farmers plant rice seedlings at a field in the central Philippines in November 2013. The Philippines, one of the world's top rice consumers, may need to import as much as 2 million tons of the grain in 2014. A system of rice intensification could boost yields. Erik De Castro/Reuters/File
  • 8. Enlarge Share on facebookShare on twitter Share on stumbleuponShare on email Rice is the most important grain in terms of human consumption, according to numerous sources, including the International Rice Research Institute and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO). Globally, rice provides 20 percent of all calories consumed as food, and up to 70 percent in some regions. A 2010 Oxfam report also states that rice cultivation is the ―single largest source of employment and income for rural people.‖ Recent posts 01.23.14 Art for Water helps people go deep in their thinking about water 01.22.14 A rice revolution? 01.21.14 Renee Farwell aids children in Ghana because the 'reason we are here [is] to love each other' 01.17.14 From human waste to fertilizer to fuel: rice yields green charcoal in Senegal 01.16.14 New land bank in Philadelphia could boost blighted areas Related stories What do you know about GMOs? Take the GMO quiz Change Agent Five ways to make aquaculture more sustainable Change Agent Increase crop diversity to boost nutrition Change Agent Fast-track breeding could bring a second Green Revolution Change Agent Stockpiling seeds today saves plants for the future Ads by Google Muyang_Rice Mill Machine Muyang,Leading brand of Grain Machine and complete project. machineryshops.com/GrainMachine Subscribe Today to the Monitor Click Here for your FREE 30 DAYS of The Christian Science Monitor Weekly Digital Edition Rice remains a crop that is grown predominantly on smallholder farms around the world, with the majority of rice farms smaller than two hectares (five acres) and an average global yield of approximately four tons/hectare. A major transition to hybridized seeds, agrochemical fertilizers, and
  • 9. pesticides took place in many areas during the so-called Green Revolution between 1940-1970, improving rice quality and yields over some earlier traditional cultivation methods. But while rice production has remained level over the past decades, rice demand has steadily expanded with growing populations. RECOMMENDED: What do you know about GMOs? Take the GMO quiz With temperatures rising around the globe, and at least one recent study by a team of scientists led by Jarrod R. Welch showing that rice fields in Asia are sensitive to increasing temperatures and decreasing solar radiation, it‘s more important than ever to find methods that maintain or further improve rice crop yields. One method that has been gaining notice is System of Rice Intensification (SRI), an approach developed by Fr. Henri de Laulanié in Madagascar beginning in 1983. There has been evidence that SRI has produced yields double the world average. A smallholder farmer in northern India, Sumat Kumar, used SRI to produce 22.4 tons of rice from a single hectare in 2012, breaking the world record. SRI differs from other modern, conventional crop management techniques in that it does not focus on the specialized seeds, fertilizers, and chemical inputs, all of which can represent high costs for smallholder farmers with limited amounts of acreage. Rather, SRI is a crop-management approach that can be adjusted to local conditions and requirements based on its four interacting principles: Early, quick and healthy plant establishment; reduced plant density; improved soil conditions through enrichment with organic matter; and reduced and controlled water application. These principles form the basis of SRI practices, which can be adapted to local conditions such as water availability, soil conditions, weather, labor availability, and access to seeds. Using SRI does not require growers to convert to fully organic agriculture, although it can be accommodated to organic growing. Typical SRI practices include early transplantation of seedlings into paddies, wider plant spacing, single planting as opposed to the conventional planting of three to six seedlings in a clump, an avoidance of continuous soil flooding, and early, frequent weed control. RECOMMENDED: What do you know about GMOs? Take the GMO quiz According to the nonprofit SRI International Network and Resources Center, the goal is to create nutrient-rich soil and provide individual plants with the space to grow, allowing them to develop a stronger root system, which leads to stronger plants and overall larger yields. And according to Oxfam, ―growing more rice with less water and agrochemical inputs is essential for future food security and environmental sustainability.‖ SRI methods have been used in 40 countries, and the overall results are impressive:
  • 10. 47 percent increase in yields. 40 percent reduction in water use. 23 percent reduction in costs. 68 percent increase in household incomes. The principles and practices of SRI have been applied with success to other crops as well, according to SRI and Oxfam. These include wheat, sugarcane, finger millet, teff, and legumes. When used with other crops, the method is known as the System for Crop Intensification. • This article originally appeared at Food Tank, a think tank focused on feeding the world better. Food Tank researches and highlights environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty and creates networks of people, organizations, and content to push for food system change. AFET rice sale goes well Published: 23 Jan 2014 at 00.00 Newspaper section: Business The government's latest effort to sell its rice stocks through the Agricultural Futures Exchange of Thailand (AFET) attracted up to 19 potential buyers. WichaiNawakul, vice-president of the Thai Rice Millers Association, attributed the good response mainly to new grains put up for auction and more flexible conditions. The new conditions do not stipulate that rice bought by the winners must be slated either for export or domestic sales. The government has also provided a guarantee of rice quality and supplies, making bidders more confident. The government yesterday put up 148,940 tonnes of rice stocks from seven state warehouses in five provinces for sale through AFET. Of the total, 110,480 tonnes are 5% white rice available from the 2012-13 season and 2013-14 new harvest, while 38,460 tonnes are 100% grade B Hom Mali rice from the 2013-14 harvest. A total of 27 interested participants including exporters, millers and packed-rice manufacturers registered to participate in the auction yesterday, but only 19 were qualified. Names of the buyers participating in the selling plan are likely to be revealed next week, with delivery due in March, April and May.
  • 11. This is the fourth batch the government has sold through AFET. It sold 110,000 out of 400,000 tonnes put up for sale in the previous three auctions. AFET is now considered one of the key channels for the government to dispose of its rice stocks to raise proceeds to honour its payments to farmers under the rice pledging scheme. The YingluckShinawatra-led government plans to sell 500,000 to 1 million tonnes through AFET. The caretaker government is struggling to find funds to pay pledged money to one million rice farmers who participated in the main 2013-14 crops after the scheme accumulated huge losses. AFET rice sale goes well Published: 23 Jan 2014 at 00.00 Newspaper section: Business The government's latest effort to sell its rice stocks through the Agricultural Futures Exchange of Thailand (AFET) attracted up to 19 potential buyers. WichaiNawakul, vice-president of the Thai Rice Millers Association, attributed the good response mainly to new grains put up for auction and more flexible conditions. The new conditions do not stipulate that rice bought by the winners must be slated either for export or domestic sales. The government has also provided a guarantee of rice quality and supplies, making bidders more confident. The government yesterday put up 148,940 tonnes of rice stocks from seven state warehouses in five provinces for sale through AFET. Of the total, 110,480 tonnes are 5% white rice available from the 2012-13 season and 2013-14 new harvest, while 38,460 tonnes are 100% grade B Hom Mali rice from the 2013-14 harvest. A total of 27 interested participants including exporters, millers and packed-rice manufacturers registered to participate in the auction yesterday, but only 19 were qualified. Names of the buyers participating in the selling plan are likely to be revealed next week, with delivery due in March, April and May. This is the fourth batch the government has sold through AFET. It sold 110,000 out of 400,000 tonnes put up for sale in the previous three auctions. AFET is now considered one of the key channels for the government to dispose of its rice stocks to raise proceeds to honour its payments to farmers under the rice pledging scheme.
  • 12. The YingluckShinawatra-led government plans to sell 500,000 to 1 million tonnes through AFET. The caretaker government is struggling to find funds to pay pledged money to one million rice farmers who participated in the main 2013-14 crops after the scheme accumulated huge losses. Nigeria loses over N110bn as revenue on rice drops by 90.6% in 2013 January 22, 2014 | Filed under: Maritime | Author: UzoamakaAnagor The Federal Government has in the last 12 months lost over N110 billion, being the amount that was supposed to have accrued into the Federation Account as import duty collected on imported rice by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS). The revenue collected on imported rice in the last 12 months since the nation changed its fiscal policy on imported rice to 110 percent import duty and levy, aimed at reducing the volume of imported rice and encouraging increased domestic rice production, has dropped by 90.6 percent. Statistics show that in 2011, Apapa port, which specialises in handling bulk cargo, especially rice, generated the total sum of N131.4 billion as revenue from rice. The above mentioned figure dropped by 4.59 percent to N125.3 in 2012, while the revenue witnessed a drastic drop of 90.6 percent to N11.8 billion in 2013. ―Despite the fact that rice used to be the mainstay of Apapa port as a break bulk handling port, rice is not coming into Apapa port at all and this is really affecting our revenue collection,‖ said Charles Edike, area controller of the Apapa Area 1 command of the Nigeria Customs Services. A breakdown of statistics as given to BusinessDay by Edike shows that in January 2013, revenue on rice contributed 4.5 percent to the total revenue collected by the command. In February, it contributed 0.9 percent; 7 percent in March, 0.9 percent in April, 22.2 percent in May, 132 percent in June, 0.0 percent in July, 0.2 percent in August, and 0.0 percent in September, October, November and December. In 2012, before the implementation of the new fiscal policy on rice, the revenue on rice contributed 36.9 percent in the month of January, 22.7 percent in February, 32.0 percent in March, 71 percent April, 80 percent in May, 69.2 percent in June, 5 percent in July, 2 percent in August, 11 percent in September, 15 percent in October, 23 percent in November, and 96.1 percent in December. In 2011, the revenue on rice contributed over 9.7 percent in the month of January, 30 percent in February, 78.4 percent in March, 39 percent April, 71 percent in May, 83 percent in June, 95 percent in July, 41 percent in August, 78 percent in September, 31 percent in October, 22.5 percent in November, and 37.6 percent in December. According to statistics from Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Nigerians consume about 5 million metric tonnes of rice annually, which sums to about 100 million 50kg bags of rice. Therefore, the total rice consumption in the country is in excess of N1 trillion annually at a minimum price of N10,000 per 50kg bag.
  • 13. Also, about 2.9 million metric tonnes, which amounts to 58 million 50kg bags of rice, is the estimated quantity of rice that is produced locally, while the remaining 2.1 million metric tonnes of rice is imported into the country through the seaports annually. Confirming this in an interview, Vicky Haastrup, executive vice chairman, ENL Consortium Limited, the operator of Terminal C and D of Apapa port in Lagos, told Business and Maritime West Africa that rice is a commodity which Nigeria has completely lost to Benin Republic since the Federal Government imposed the 110 percent duty on rice. By her estimates, government has lost over N80 billion from her terminal alone in 2013 because rice rarely comes to Nigerian ports now, yet there is no scarcity of foreign or imported rice in the Nigerian market. ―Given the 110 percent duty, the landing cost of rice became very high for importers to pay, that is why importers now prefer Benin port where the landing cost is cheaper. Nigeria is not producing enough rice and the local production cannot satisfy the local demand for a population of 170 million. Therefore, imposing such high customs duty will help the importers to take cargo to the neighbouring ports where it is cheaper to import,‖ she said. Continuing, she added that ENL handled only one cargo of rice in 2013 compared to the previous years where rice vessels started from September to congest the port due to the high importation that came with the festive season. By: UzoamakaAnagor