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26th May,2020 Daily Global Regional and Local Rice E-Newsletter.pdf

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Asia
Daily Rice e-Newsletter
Global Regional and Local Rice News
www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com
Arsenic and Global Warming: The Good, the Bad and
the Deadly
From aquifers in Vietnam to...
www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com
 Deadly Heat and Humidity Emerging Decades Ahead of Forecasts
 As the Middle East Bake...
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26th May,2020 Daily Global Regional and Local Rice E-Newsletter.pdf

  1. 1. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com Asia Daily Rice e-Newsletter Global Regional and Local Rice News
  2. 2. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com Arsenic and Global Warming: The Good, the Bad and the Deadly From aquifers in Vietnam to wells in America, Haaretz climate change briefs brings you the arsenic edition, plus a moment in a Mississippi marsh Ruth Schuster Published on 05.24.20 Protest at water shortage in Chennai, India: the more people need water, the more groundwater can get depleted, the higher the arsenic riskCredit: ARUN SANKAR / AFP Global warming increases the probability that we‘ll be drinking arsenic, especially if we live in Asia. At this point, between 94 million to 220 million people – of whom 94 percent live in Asia – are at risk of drinking water containing harmful levels of arsenic, according to a new map of global arsenic risk published Friday in Science. The map reveals previously unknown hot spots in central Asia, as well as broad areas of the Arctic and sub-Arctic. At low levels arsenic doesn‘t hurt us, but at high levels it makes us sick or even dead. And why might the risk get worse? So many reasons: heightened evaporation, causing concentration of contaminants; changes in water table; very importantly – over-exploitation of groundwater; and ever-growing populations requiring ever-more fresh water, whose sources are dwindling (and/or getting polluted). By the way, arsenic is tasteless and odorless. Arsenic-laced water can kill after decades While on the topic, in March a separate paper published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported that arsenic in drinking water may have one of the longest dormancy periods of any carcinogen. A perfect if inadvertent lab to study this was Chile, where the people of Antofagasta suffered a sudden, significant increase in arsenic water concentrations in 1958, which was ameliorated by the construction of an arsenic removal plant in 1970. Checking mortality rates from lung, bladder and kidney cancer, the team concluded that increased risks continued to manifest 40 years after exposure reduction. ―Our findings suggest that arsenic in drinking water may involve one of the longest cancer latencies for a human carcinogen,‖ the team wrote. Hanoi, poster child for groundwater-arsenic link In Vietnam, meanwhile, scientists using modeling demonstrated that increasing groundwater extraction to slake the thirst of the growing population of Hanoi is leading to arsenic pollution in the aquifer: arsenic-poor water can be replenished with arsenic-heavy water. If an aquifer is heavily tapped and if its replenishment comes from arsenic-heavy muds, there you have a cause, they demonstrated. A case in point is river mud regularly deposited at slower-flowing stretches of the Red River: organic matter, including bacteria in the mud, fueled a biogeochemical reaction, causing enhanced arsenic release into the aquifer underlying the Van Phuc village. Arsenic caps in America helped
  3. 3. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com  Deadly Heat and Humidity Emerging Decades Ahead of Forecasts  As the Middle East Bakes, Humans Show Earth’s Orbit Who’s Boss  Village Where Jesus’ Disciples May Have Lived Flooded by Rising Sea of Galilee  Rare Lengthy Heat Wave in Israel Could Break Records Americans are safer from arsenic in the water, according to a Columbia University study published in The Lancet Public Health – thanks to new arsenic caps handed down by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2006, reducing the arsenic allowance from 50 to 10 micrograms per liter. Compliance with the regulation led to a 17 percent decline in levels of urinary arsenic, the report found. Note, however, that nobody‘s checking private wells, and that‘s a significant factor because more than 45.5 million Americans draw water from their own wells, leaving perhaps 1.7 million at risk. Open gallery view Elephant having a drink at a water tap in Allahabad, IndiaCredit: AP If you drink arsenic, don’t smoke… Oh, by the way, cigarettes will contain arsenic if that mineral is used in the pesticides used to grow tobacco free of pests. And research has shown that arsenic and cigarette smoking co- exposure increases the incidence of lung cancer by acting together to damage our DNA. This was tested in Syrian hamsters, but the results surely apply to us too. For what it‘s worth, beef, fish and chicken may also contain arsenic from their feed – incredibly (with hindsight), Americans added arsenic to chicken feed in the 1940s and the additive took until the last decade to be phased out. Global warming will increase arsenic component in rice No newsletter on arsenic would be complete without mentioning rice. Yes! Global warming is also projected to increase the concentration of arsenic in rice, which is already notoriously rich in the inorganic compound. Is it a comfort that rice crops are expected to dramatically decline with climate change? No? In 2019, Stanford scientists projected that rice yields could plunge by 40 percent by 2100 and ―changes to soil processes due to increased temperatures will cause rice to contain twice as much toxic arsenic than the rice consumed today.‖ Haaretz repeats that all rice, but especially brown, non-husked rice, contains a lot of arsenic – which is water-soluble. Wash your rice before cooking; cook in lots of water; and discard the excess water. Open gallery view Growing rice in VietnamCredit: Reuters Mississippi marshes pass point of no return Another problem faced by coastal aquifers is encroachment by seawater. Now, a study from Tulane University, New Orleans, is noting the inevitable submersion of the remaining marshland in the Mississippi Delta, based on hundreds of sediment cores collected to examine how marshes responded to a range of rates of sea-level rise during the past 8,500 years. What they found is a tipping point beyond which a small upturn in the rate of sea-level rise leads to widespread submergence. In the last century, Louisiana has so far lost 2,000 square miles (5,000 square kilometers) of wetland; it has 6,000 square miles to go.
  4. 4. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com ―The scary thing is that the present-day rate of global sea-level rise, due to climate change, has already exceeded the initial tipping point for marsh drowning,‖ said Torbjörn Törnqvist, lead author and Vokes Geology Professor in the Tulane Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Open gallery view In the Mississippi marshesCredit: Charlie Brenner Yes, you can use oilfield waste water for irrigation… With a caveat. First the good news, all things being relative: Reusing the water from a specific California oilfield that‘s been mixed with surface water to irrigate crops ―does not pose major health risks‖ if the farmers grow boron-tolerant crops and keep mixing the oilfield water with freshwater to dilute the salts, researchers reported in the journal Science of the Total Environment. The caveat is that oilfield water does contain a lot of boron and salts, and if the farmer doesn‘t keep on top of that – the soil will be ruined. It begs clarifying that this doesn‘t mean all water from all oilfields can, even if diluted, serve to irrigate our food crops; elsewhere, the salinity in the water tends to be much higher. At least the oilfield water didn‘t increase the arsenic in the crops. https://www.haaretz.com/science-and-health/.premium-arsenic-and-global-warming-the-good- the-bad-and-the-deadly-1.8868988 Paswan praises food-grain distribution system in State Date :23-May-2020 Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan praised the effective measures taken for protection against COVID-19 infection and food-grain distribution system in Chhattisgarh. While reviewing the implementation of major schemes of the Department of Food and Public Distribution (DoFPD) in states/UTs in time of lockdown enforced for control and prevention of Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan held a review meeting with state/UTs Food and Public Distribution Ministers and Food Secretaries through video conference on Friday. Speaking to food ministers and food secretaries from various states across country, Paswan said that they should ensure distribution of food-grains so that no one goes hungry. The Minister said that FCI has become the lifeline of food distribution and food grains and pulses are being distributed across country by road, rail and air. The Minister took stock of the distribution of
  5. 5. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com food grains and pulses in the states and UTs. He heard the successes and hurdles faced and peculiar problems of each state. He also took stock of the implementation of the One Nation, One Card (ONOS) Scheme. Paswan said that Chhattisgarh has achieved success in providing food-grains to its people as well as the arrangements of transportation, food and health examination made for migrant labourers are also praiseworthy. Raising the issue of rice procurement under central pool during the review meeting held through video conferencing, Food Minister Amarjeet Bhagat said that procurement of 24 lakh MT rice has been permitted for central pool and urged the Union Minister to raise it to 32 lakh MT, to which the Union Minister made a positive gesture towards hiking additional 8 lakh MT for central pool. The Food Corporation of India has also given its approval for procuring additional rice. During the meeting Food Minister Bhagat urged the Union Food Minister to extend the allotment of 5 kg rice per member free of cost under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana for another three months. He also urged to permit distribution of rice at low price to APL card holders alike BPL card holders. Bhagat informed during the meeting that after lockdown was enforced, 40,000 new ration cards were prepared, most of these cards were of those people who had migrated to
  6. 6. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com other states, but have returned now. He urged to extend facility of central scheme to these card holders as well who‘re mostly migrant labourers. During the meeting, Bhagat urged the Union Minister to allow distribution of state-quota sugar produced in sugarcane factories in Chhattisgarh through PDS. He also informed that State Government is distributing chana (gram) since April and is continuing in May as well. He said that State Government is providing food grains to labourers from other states as well and that there is no dearth of food grains in State. Food Minister Amarjeet Bhagat extended his government‘s gratitude to the Prime Minister and the Union Minister for food and public distribution for the aid provided by the Centre, FCI and NAFED in respect of food-grains and pulses provided under the ‗Atma Nirbhar‘ package and the PMGKAY. Present during the meeting were Secretary (Food) Dr Kamalpreet Singh, Special Secretary Manoj Kumar Soni, MD Civil Supplies Corporation Niranjan Das and other senior officials. https://www.thehitavada.com/Encyc/2020/5/23/Paswan-praises-food-grain-distribution-system- in-State.html Lessons from 1971: If India could host and feed 10 million refugees for 10 months then, what’s wrong now? In 1971, India hosted 10 million refugees from Bangladesh. The refugees, both Hindus and Muslims, had fled the crackdown and genocide by the Pakistani army In 1971, India hosted 10 million refugees from Bangladesh NHS Bureau Published: 24 May 2020, 1:30 PM Engagement: 797 In 1971, India hosted 10 million refugees from Bangladesh. The refugees, both Hindus and Muslims, had fled the crackdown and genocide by the Pakistani army, which had been let loose to teach Bengalis a lesson for electing the Awami League to power. West Pakistan would not allow a Bengali, Muzibur Rahman, to become Prime Minister of united Pakistan. This led to the war with India in December, 1971, creation of Bangladesh and dismemberment of Pakistan. But from February that year to January, 1972, India had to bear the burden of refugees in camps set up in West Bengal, Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya. India was then a 24-year-old young republic. Its economy was weak. It had to depend on food aid from the US to feed its teeming millions. Therefore, hosting 10 million additional souls was no small task. But the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi vowed to send the refugees back to Bangladesh with honour and dignity. For almost a year ration was supplied to refugees in the camps: each adult was given 300 grams of
  7. 7. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com rice, 100 grams of wheat flour, 100 grams of pulses, 25 grams of edible oil and 25 grams of sugar every day, and half of this quantity for children. They were also given cash for daily expenses. A special postage stamp was issued, among other measures, to raise funds besides seeking donations, which poured in from both Indians and countries and agencies abroad. Some 6.8 million refugees returned within two months of the end of the war while the last batch of 3,869 refugees left on March 25, 1972. The question is, if India could bear the burden of 10 million refugees for a year then, why has the Indian Government failed to take care of the migrant workers almost 50 years later, when its economy is a lot stronger; when communication is faster, when roads are better and when there are back to Bangladesh with honour and dignity. For almost a year ration was supplied to refugees in the camps: each adult was given 300 grams of rice, 100 grams of wheat flour, 100 grams of pulses, 25 grams of edible oil and 25 grams of sugar every day, and half of this quantity for children. They were also given cash for daily expenses. A special postage stamp was issued, among other measures, to raise funds besides seeking donations, which poured in from both Indians and countries and agencies abroad. Some 6.8 million refugees returned within two months of the end of the war while the last batch of 3,869 refugees left on March 25, 1972. The question is, if India could bear the burden of 10 million refugees for a year then, why has the Indian Government failed to take care of the migrant workers almost 50 years later, when its economy is a lot stronger; when communication is faster, when roads are better and when there are https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/opinion/lessons-from-1971-if-india-could-host-and-feed- 10-million-refugees-for-10-months-then-whats-wrong-now Sino Pak Agri Cooperation Under CPEC way forward Agriculture has remained at the heart of Pakistan‘s economy contributing nearly 19 per cent of the country‘s entire GDP. Being a well-integrated sector, Agriculture is providing largest employment base to nearly thirty percent of the labor force contributing towards overall wellbeing of Pakistan‘s economy. Pakistan is amongst top producers of rice, mango, dates, citrus, cotton, and sugarcane with attached livestock, fishery and forestry sectors contributing immensely. With recent changing climatic conditions and due to lack of innovation including use of the advance of technology has led Agriculture to remain sluggish in its economic contribution. Despite having a huge potential, Agriculture in Pakistan continues to remain struggling to survive with the available resources. China Pakistan Economic Corridor emerged as a life line to this sector. The first phase of CPEC, apart from other important steps, had focused on the overall
  8. 8. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com development of communications and network projects including roads, bridges and motorways. CPEC energy projects are energy booster to not only industry but also for agriculture sector as well. This has created a plethora of opportunities to farmers to connect not only with the tremendous network at the local level but may reach to the global markets. However, this was also realized that with the development of networks, roads and other communications links alone will not help the Agriculture and there is more to be done. As a result in the second phase of CPEC, apart from other important focus on the areas of collaboration, Agriculture has received primary and immediate attention from all sides. We have also observed that new to the second phase of CPEC and emphasis of both Pakistan and China, China has recently appointed Agriculture Commissioner to oversighting the cooperation between the two countries. As a result of these effective measures and efforts, CPEC is also turning into a green corridor which galvanized the mutual opportunities in the entire framework of cooperation. Recently the second meeting of Joint Working Group on Agriculture was hosted online to further deepen the cooperation in the filed cooperation was held between Pakistan and China online. There was discussions primarily in the setting priorities for development of the agriculture. Both Pakistan and China agreed to jointly implement the Memorandum of Understanding on further cooperation in dealing with disease and pest control including locust, plant diseases and insect and pest prevention. There was also discussion on finalizing modalities to establish a sustainable plant pest control center in Pakistan. The decision and discussion during this join working meeting has reflected China‘s emergency assistance especially where Pakistan is currently battling with the Desert Locust. During the meeting other options for cooperation in trade, investment and construction as well. Representatives from the Chinese Secretariat of the CPEC and Pakistan Affairs Bureau of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor were present during the meeting. All the projects under the CPEC is moving on a fast track to be completed under the given timeline. With building of intuitions and cooperation‘s on exchange of technology sharing, Chinese government is supporting Pakistan in its drive to diversify the agriculture sector and improve the yield for better growth of economy. CPEC is an opportunity corridor and is transforming Pakistan’s entire economic base with proven results as we have witnessed in first phase of the project is a combination of phase wise implementation of diverse range of project including short, medium and long term with estimation of completion of each phase in 2017, 2025 and 2030. Agriculture sector is part of the second phase. We have observed that as a result of the strong cooperation and effective implementation of Phase I of CPEC, there are larger connectivity that has made the linkages from farms to the market hence providing ample assistance to farmers to reach to not only local but regional and international markets as well. CPEC Energy projects have also helped boost the level of contribution for the Agriculture which was under stress as a result of the lack of energy resources. CPEC is overall strengthening the entire agriculture system in Pakistan. The plans that include in CPEC are to promote and introduce the water management techniques, improve the crop yielding, storage and
  9. 9. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com transportation of agriculture products in pre and post-harvest period apart from creating innovation for marketing and sales. As a result of larger and close cooperation between Pakistan and China under the CPEC framework, there has been several important steps taken in order to provide effective ways and transfer of technology along with learning experience between experts, farmers and connected agriculture value chain that is making headways now in various directions. During the ongoing phase as the primary focus is on Agriculture, Industrial Cooperation along with Socio Economic projects, these all are overlapping and building one way or the other. Especially when we look at the industrial cooperation, we also observe that many of our industrial units are relying heavily on the agricultural products including cotton and others. This gives a multiplying effect to overall strategy for improving business. The second phase of CEPC is focusing also on the Agriculture sector in order to improve Pakistan‘s agriculture based exports which is currently lingering on only 18 percent of the entire export based. It is also important to note here that our Agri-based exports to China are also at 8 percent. Pakistan is looking for capitalizing on the building and evolving opportunities created by the CPEC and trying to add high value products that can be exported to China for consolidating and reaping the fruit. Recently a list of the items were enlisted 313 items that are free from any duties, most of them are agricultural products or by products. One of the important sector within agriculture is that to have effective seeds and yields and better production capacity including training and helping farmers to build their capacities in order to come out of low production syndrome. It is strongly believed that the joint ventures between Pakistan and China have the capacity that can bring Chinese researchers, agriculture experts and business investors to develop joint cooperation to boost the agriculture sector. In order to consolidate the entire process of cooperation a special Centre for the Pakistan-China Agriculture exchange was established under the Pak-China Agriculture Cooperation Exchange Framework. Another important step is to protect the yield from disease as well. In this regard, experts and scientist are working together for sharing information and building new pesticides and helping to develop seeds that are disease free and high yield as well. In this regard, several Chinese agriculture intuitions and agencies are in close coordination with the Pakistani counterparts. During the recent visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan, there was a detailed discussion and inking of initial agreement of cooperation on agriculture as well. The visit has put an impetus towards building and attracting Chinese investment and technical assistance in all subsectors of agriculture. Pakistan‘s one of the leading company Fatema Group has also signed agreement of cooperation with the two important leading companies China Machinery Engineering Cooperation (CMEC) a construction and engineering company and Xinjiang Tianye Group. Xinjiang Tianye Group specialized in irrigation and water saving drip irrigation technologies. Pakistan Agriculture Research Council is a leading specialized intuition providing a lead in developing synergies in Pak-China Agriculture Cooperation.
  10. 10. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com There has been as special committee on Agricultural Products was formed within the parliament initiated by the current Speaker of the National Assembly which is one of the largest having members of National Assembly from across Pakistan overlooking the entire Agriculture cooperation and one of the important subject is CPEC and its Agriculture related steps. These collaboration, institutions and at people‘s level connection is making CPEC cooperation to a much higher level and creating cementing ties amongst people at the very grassroots level. CPEC is an opportunity corridor and is transforming Pakistan‘s entire economic base with proven results as we have witnessed in first phase of the project. Pakistan needs to adopt to changing methods and techniques that are offered in this unique cooperation period and beyond. All we have to do is to gather our energies and make every possible step to benefit from this emerging and established opportunity. The writer is Director, Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies and established Centre for BRI and China Studies at the Institute. https://dailytimes.com.pk/617119/sino-pak-agri-cooperation-under-cpec-way-forward/ Karimnagar: Rythu Bandhu Assocition member Tula Manohar alleges irregularities at purchasing centres Hans News Service | 24 May 2020 1:54 AM IST Rythu Bandhu Association member Tula Manohar submitting representation to District Collector Siktha Patnaik in Karimnagar on Saturday HIGHLIGHTS District Rythu Bandhu Assocition member Tula Manohar have alleged a lot of irregularities at the purchasing centres and alleged a lot of cheating have been done while purchasing the food grains from farmers in Peddapalli Karimnagar: District Rythu Bandhu Assocition member Tula Manohar have alleged a lot of irregularities at the purchasing centres and alleged a lot of cheating have been done while purchasing the food grains from farmers in Peddapalli. T Manohar met District collector Siktha Patnail and had submitted the representation and requested to take immediate action against the persons who are responsible for corruption. Speaking on the occasion, T Manohar alleged that the 200 kgs of food grains which are weighed at purchasing centres are weighing 203 kgs to 210 kgs at Miller weigh bridge and instead of giving information to the farmers to whom the food grains belongs, by creating a binami farmer, they are adding the money into his account and later, the people involved in this are distributing the money. This season, around 1.21,60,000 quintals of food grains were purchased in the district from the farmers. All the food grains which are purchased are sent to the rice millers by loading in around 66,815 lorries by weighing 200 kgs in each lorry. If we calculate excess of just 3 kgs of food grains in each lorry it would be around Rs31 crore, he pointed out. All that money belongs to farmers. So, a representation is given to the District Collector requesting her to take immediate action, he informed. https://www.thehansindia.com/telangana/karimnagar-rythu-bandhu-assocition-member-tula-
  11. 11. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com manohar-alleges-irregularities-at-purchasing-centres-624223 China science, technology news summary -- May 22 BEIJING, May 22 (Xinhua) -- The following is a summary of published science and technology news of China. RICE RESISTS WEEDS Scientists have revealed that gene clustering helped rice evolve to produce so-called momilactone to defend itself against weeds, according to a study published in the journal PNAS. Chinese and Japanese scientists analyzed more than 100 genome sequences from plants, finding that the gene clusters that can compound momilactone exist only in three plant species, including rice. SCI-TECH JOURNALS TO CONTRIBUTE TO WHO'S COVID-19 DATABASE The China Association for Science and Technology has called on the country's sci-tech journal publishers to contribute to the COVID-19 database of the World Health Organization (WHO), sharing research data and experience to aid the fight against the pandemic. The association released the initiative on its website Wednesday, saying that authorizing the WHO to use original metadata of Chinese COVID-19-related research papers is an effort to offer China's research progress and prevention experience more thoroughly and widely to global medical experts and scientists. 5G-ASSISTED UNMANNED BOAT An unmanned boat with 5G wireless technology has been used to monitor water quality in a Beijing park, according to the Beijing Daily Thursday. The unmanned boat shuttles in the waters of Beihai Park to collect data on water quality and the surrounding environment. The 1.2-meter-long boat is equipped with high-definition cameras and a water quality sensor, which can transmit real-time data to a monitoring platform through the 5G network. https://www.bignewsnetwork.com/news/265170266/china-science-technology--summary---- may-22 Highlights of China's science news Source: Xinhua| 2020-05-23 15:36:38|Editor: huaxia
  12. 12. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com BEIJING, May 23 (Xinhua) -- The following are the highlights of China's science news from the past week: AGRICULTURAL PLANNING Chinese researchers have proposed a land-use approach for the management of mercury- contaminated farmlands. The researchers from the Institute of Geochemistry under the Chinese Academy of Sciences hoped to devise an agricultural planning strategy for reducing human exposure to mercury pollution through selecting native low-mercury-accumulating crops for future planting in contaminated farmlands. CANCER RESEARCH CENTER The University of Oxford and China's Sichuan University have jointly launched a center to bolster research cooperation on gastrointestinal cancer. Representatives from the two sides signed a contract for the Sichuan University-University of Oxford Huaxi Joint Centre for Gastrointestinal Cancer during a recent video conference, according to a statement by the Sichuan University. ICE CORES A Chinese research team has, for the first time, extracted ice core samples from a glacier outside the country. This will help the study of the history of climate and environmental changes in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and surrounding areas. Using self-developed drill systems, the researchers obtained ice core samples with a total length of more than 110 meters at an altitude of 5,600 meters at the Biafo Glacier. They also extracted four cores from the beds of two nearby lakes called Sheo Sar and Saiful Malook. RICE RESISTS WEEDS Scientists have revealed that gene clustering helped rice evolve to produce so-called momilactone to defend itself against weeds, according to a study published in the journal PNAS. Chinese and Japanese scientists analyzed more than 100 genome sequences from plants, finding that the gene clusters that can compound momilactone exist only in three plant species, including rice. 5G-ASSISTED UNMANNED BOAT An unmanned boat with 5G wireless technology has been used to monitor water quality in a Beijing park, according to the Beijing Daily Thursday. The unmanned boat shuttles in the waters of Beihai Park to collect data on water quality and the surrounding environment. The 1.2-meter-long boat is equipped with high-definition cameras and a water quality sensor, which can transmit real-time data to a monitoring platform through the 5G network. Enditem http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-05/23/c_139081476.htm Genome research reveals how rice evolves to resist weeds Source: Xinhua| 2020-05-21 22:58:50|Editor: huaxia
  13. 13. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com BEIJING, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientists have revealed that gene clustering helped rice evolve to produce so-called momilactone to defend itself against weeds, according to a study published in the journal PNAS. In order to fight weeds, one of its main enemies, rice has evolved to produce momilactone, a metabolite that can inhibit the growth of weeds. Chinese and Japanese scientists analyzed more than 100 genome sequences from plants, finding that the gene clusters that can compound momilactone exist only in three plant species, including rice. http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-05/21/c_139076383.htm LSU AGCENTER SETS VIRTUAL RICE FIELD DAY JULY 1 Fri, 05/22/2020 - 5:21pm CROWLEY The 2020 field day at the LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station will be held online only because of the challenges caused by the ongoing pandemic. The internet presentations by Rice Research Station faculty will be available for viewing starting July 1 at www.LSUAgCenter.com/ricefieldday(link is external). ―This virtual field day will allow our scientists to make their presentations just like they have in the past,‖ said Don Groth, Rice Research Station resident coordinator. ―We concluded this is the best option to keep our stakeholders and the public informed of the work we are doing at the Rice Research Station.‖ Groth cited several advantages. Viewers can watch the presentations later on YouTube, and presenters will be able to include graphics in the talks that will add to the content. The field tour will include talks on disease, insects, weeds, variety development, and an update on hybrid breeding and agronomics. For the first time, the field day will include a talk by Mark Shirley, LSU AgCenter and Louisiana Sea Grant crawfish specialist, who is overseeing research at the station‘s South Farm. Also, poster presentations will be available in PowerPoint. The event will wrap up with talks by Bill Richardson, LSU vice president for agriculture; Mike Salassi, AgCenter associate vice president for plant and animal sciences; Richard Fontenot, chairman of the Louisiana Rice Research Board; and Mike Strain, commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. Groth said he is hopeful the 2021 field day can return to a live event. https://www.raynetoday.com/news-local-state-agriculture/lsu-agcenter-sets-virtual-rice- field-day-july-1 First ancient cultivated rice discovered in Central Asia SCIENCE CHINA PRESS
  14. 14. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com IMAGE: SATELLITE IMAGERY OF KHALCHAYAN AND SURFACE REMAINS WITHIN THE SITE. CREDIT: CHEN GUANHAN AND ZHOU XINYING, IVPP view more CREDIT: ©SCIENCE CHINA PRESS Rice has always been the most important food in Asia and the world. About half of the population on earth use rice as their main food source. The origin, spread, evolution, and ecological adaptation of cultivated rice are still one of the most important issues which currently concerned by global archaeologists, biologists, and agricultural scientists. In recent years, archaeobotany and molecular biology studies have shown the originally cultivated rice was domesticated into japonica rice (Oryza sativa japonica) in the lower Yangtze region, China, 10000 years ago, then spread to Japan, South and Southeast Asia. About 5000- 4000 years ago, the cultivated japonica rice spread to South Asia, hybridized with the native wild rice, gradually form the indica rice (Oryza sativa indica) and become the main crop in South Asia today. However, in recent years, research on the origin and spread of rice have mainly focused on East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. At present, we still know very little about when and how rice spread into West Asia, Europe, and Africa. The Central Asia region, as an important node in the ancient Silk Road cannot be ignored, because it is the "crossroad" of world civilization.
  15. 15. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com Therefore, studying the time and location of rice emergence in Central Asia can help us restore the spread process about of rice agriculture and add an important part for the early crop globalization research. Recently, Li Xiaoqiang research group in Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IVPP, CAS) and other researchers in College of Cultural Heritage, Northwest University, China, Institute of Archaeology, Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences reported their latest research about the agricultural remain in Khalchayan site, Uzbekistan, which published in the Science China: Earth Science. Researchers investigated 11 sites on the northern bank of the Amu Darya from Bronze Age to Arabian period and found carbonized rice remain at Kalchayan site. With archaeobotany, chronology method and other local archaeological records, researchers provide a new physical evidence for the spread of rice to western Asia and the exchange of eastern and western civilizations along the ancient Silk Road. Khalchayan site is a city site in southeastern Uzbekistan. Researchers use flotation method obtain large amount of botanical materials at a cultural layer in southwest part of the site. The AMS 14C dating results showed that the age of the rice remains in the site are 1714-1756 cal. B.P., which in Kushan period. In addition to the rice remains, carbonized wheat, 2-row barley, pea, millet, grapes, flax and other crops were recovered at the site. These crops include both West Asian and East Asian origin, which illustrates a diverse and complex oasis farming system. Because rice cultivation requires a lot of heat and water then wheat and millet, make it difficult to cultivate in arid regions in early times. But combining the carbonized rice remains with the records of the irrigation system existing in other local oases agricultural archeological sites during Kushan period, researchers believe it has the possibility of cultivation rice locally during that time. Morphological studies show that the carbonized rice remains are japonica rice, and their morphology is similar to the remains found in some sites in southern China and northwestern India during the same period. That indicating the possibility of rice in Central Asia was spread from South Asia. Meanwhile, when rice appeared in Central Asia, Kushan Empire has already established in northwest India and conquered most part of Central Asia and South Asia. The imperial expansion and political unrest may have further fueled the dispersal of crops across Inner Asia. The emergence of rice may also indicate the beginning of the rice-based diet culture gradual integration with the local wheat-based diet system in Central Asia and finally form Central Asia diet system today, like baked dough (Naan), pilaf and barbecue. The rice remains in Khalchayan site is the first well reported rice remain in Central Asia. It is also one of the few ancient cultivated rice found without in East Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia. It has a great value for further understanding the exchange process of the early agricultural activities in the Southern Himalayan route, and also provided a new evidence to explain how rice further spreads westward to Iran, Europe, and Africa, where rice cultivation activities exist today. https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-05/scp-fac052120.php
  16. 16. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com Coronavirus: Time to localise all food production, stabilise cedi – ADB MD Dr. John Kofi Mensah, Managing Director for ADB Click to read all about coronavirus → COVID-19 presents Ghanaians with the best opportunity to localise the entire food production value chain in the country, become less reliant on import of basics such as rice and poultry and finally offer the best chance to sustained stability of the local currency, Dr. John Kofi Mensah, Managing Director of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) has said. Speaking, in Accra, at the official launch of a GH¢500 million project to finance and localise the full value chain of poultry from day-old chick producers, to broiler production, feed millers, processors and distributors, by linking one chain to another, Dr. Mensah noted that the age old story of import substitution would be realised via this project. ―This is the time to be food sufficient and change the diet patterns of Ghanaians from consumption of foreign products to high standard local ones. Agribusiness is the key backbone of any developing economy and it is time all stakeholders take the bull by the horn and ADB is leading this charge,‖ he said. Giving a breakdown of the project dubbed ‗Broiler Value Chain Financing Concept‘, Dr. Mensah pointed out that the project also forms part of government‘s agenda of reducing the importation of food products such as poultry into the country. The project which identifies, links and finances players in the poultry value chain has so far been piloted in the Bono Region with six players in the value chain including input suppliers, producers, processors and market players. The six players, who are being financed by ADB, have received a total of GH¢25 million with the least receiving GH¢1 million and the highest receiving GH¢9 million. Ghana, annually spends more than US$1billion to import food including rice, poultry, cooking oil, and several others. Poultry alone accounts for US$300million and rice accounting for some US$400million.
  17. 17. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com Partnerships for expertise and cheaper finance Forming partnerships with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) for technical expertise, Dr. Mensah noted that even though agriculture is considered a high risk venture, the bank is leaving no stone unturned to make sure all players in the value chain are provided with the right financing, expertise and insurance to get the products to market. Also, the bank is working with the Ghana Incentive Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL), which is guaranteeing the loans, and the Outgrower Value Chain Fund, which is providing supports to help reduce the interest on loans for the value chain players so that the end products do not become more expensive than the imported ones. ―With these partnerships, the interest on these loans should eventually become so low it doesn‘t go beyond 10 percent per annum. What this project seeks to achieve is revive the poultry industry, improve standards across the board so the end product competes favourably with imports and create serious jobs,‖ he said. Dr. Mensah explained that by the end of the first phase of the project, which would see replication of what is happening in Bono Region in five other regions –Ashanti, Greater Accra, Eastern, Western and Central– at least 3,000 new jobs would be created and poultry farmers that produce 10,000 birds a month would be producing 50,000 birds a week. The project, the Managing Director, added would also provide healthy and fresh proteins to Ghanaians, engender the production of maize and soya beans which are all major feed ingredients for broiler production, feed the hospitality industry when it revives after COVID- 19 and help push ADB‘s total loan book portfolio to GH¢4 billion by 2022. On rice For the rice sector, Dr. Mensah explained that the same format of linking one chain to another, financed by the same bank, advised by experts from MoFA, and the process guaranteed by OVCF and GIRSAL would be deployed. Thus, the chains of farmer, miller and distributor would be linked and monitored for success. ―The challenge with quality when it comes to local rice is simply because of timing. The rice millers are severely underfunded, which slows the whole process. When the rice is not milled on time, it loses its moisture thereby dropping the quality of the final product. But with ADB financing the growers, millers and marketers, the quality of the end product would be guaranteed.‖ https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/business/Coronavirus-Time-to-localise-all- food-production-stabilise-cedi-ADB-MD-959332
  18. 18. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com Boro Harvest, Price: Farmers happy, yet experts worry 12:00 AM, May 23, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:26 AM, May 23, 2020 High paddy price, stockpiling may affect retail market of rice Farm labourers hold Boro crops harvested from a flooded field in Chalan Beel area of Natore's Singra. Photo: star Dwoha Chowdhury and Sohel Parvez Anticipating an increased demand for food grain, a section of rice millers and wholesalers are exhibiting stockpiling tendencies, pushing up the price of the recently harvested Boro paddy. Since the coronavirus pandemic led to a countrywide shutdown, people have been buying more rice, feeling insecure about its future availability. To cash on this behaviour, rice millers and wholesalers are buying Boro paddy in large volumes at Tk 250 to Tk 400 per maund (40 kg) -- more than what they paid last year. Though high paddy prices are making farmers happy, it may affect the retail price of rice, making the staple unaffordable to millions of low-income people, who lost their income during the pandemic, experts fear.
  19. 19. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com To keep the rice market under control, economists have urged the government to increase its food grain stock by purchasing more paddy. WHAT FARMERS SAY Talking to farmers from districts with higher Boro production, our correspondents reported that the paddy price is ranging between Tk 650 to Tk 800 per maund. Last year, around this time the paddy was selling for an average of Tk 500 per maund. Farmer Ratiranjan Das from Madhyanagar of Sunamganj's Dharmapasha upazila is seeing good production after several years of bad yield and low prices. "The price is ranging between Tk 650 to Tk 780 taka per maund in the local bazaar depending on the variety, quality and moisture content of paddy," he informed. In Mymensingh, the price of paddy has gone up to as high as Tk 800 per maund, said Ali Asgar, a farmer of Chargobindapur of the district. "The price of Boro paddy is around Tk 600 to Tk 700 per maund depending on variety. It was around Tk 400 to Tk 450 last year," said farmer Abdul Gani of Dolua Dogachhi village of Nilphamari Sadar upazila. However, farmers of Moulvibazar and Netrokona are not getting very high prices yet. "In local bazaars of Moulvibazar, the price is ranging between Tk 550 to Tk 600 per maund", said Mosabbir Ali, a farmer of Bhukshimoil of Kulaura upazila in the district. In Netrokona's remote areas, buyers are deducting the cost of transportation from the purchase price so farmers are getting less money, said Dilip Talukder of Chakua village in the district's Khaliajhuri upazila. Abidur Rahman Kayes, a rice trader of Kazirbazar in Sylhet, said, "The price of new rice from the fresh Boro harvest is ranging between Tk 1,400 to Tk 1,500 per maund and is increasing because of the rising paddy price." Compared to last year, the price of new rice is higher, he added. WHAT MILLERS SAY "Millers, wholesalers, middleman, small traders -- everyone with money is buying paddy now to make profit as the demand is likely to increase due to the coronavirus pandemic," said Ashrafur Rahman Chowdhury, general secretary of Sunamganj Rice Mill Malik Samity. He said around 4,500 millers under the Samity are buying at least 500 maunds more rice than last year. Although a bumper harvest of the Boro paddy is expected this year, Md Tareq Anam, national sales manager (rice) of Rashid Group, one of the biggest rice millers in the country noted that recent rainfall affected the crop in some areas in Jashore. Besides, harvest is not yet complete because of labour shortage, he added. "The supply of rice has reduced in the market because of humanitarian aid by individuals and groups. Some consumers are also stockpiling fearing uncertainty. As a result, traders are refilling their stock," he said. KM Layek Ali, general secretary of the Bangladesh Auto Major and Husking Mills Association, said millers are buying paddy to supply to state godowns as per the contract with the government.
  20. 20. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com Besides, cultivation of fine grain appears to be less this year compared to the previous season. As a result, millers, who market fine rice such as miniket, are buying more to build stock for the whole year. GOVT MEASURES NEEDED Although the government doubled its paddy procurement quantity this year and has started buying eight lakh tonnes of paddy, 10 lakh tonnes of parboiled rice and 1.5 lakh tonnes of sunburnt rice, experts opine it should be increased further. "The government is purchasing around 10 percent of the total production of Boro. But to influence the market price during the pandemic, the stock must be increased," said Professor Jasim Uddin Ahmed, chairman of Agricultural Economics and Policy department of Sylhet Agriculture University. This year, the targeted production of Boro paddy is 2.04 crore tonnes from 47.54 lakh hectares of land, as per the Department of Agriculture Extension. "As the government can't build new storage overnight, they should rent unused buildings. The more paddy in government storage, the more the market will be in control," said the professor. However, Md Amzad Hossain, director of Supply, Distribution and Marketing Division of the Directorate General of Food, said, "We are facing an unpredictable situation due to the coronavirus pandemic and some people are buying paddy to stockpile for profit." He added, "It is too early to comment on what will happen in future as it all depends on how long we will be in such a pandemic situation." [Our Nilphamari Correspondent EAM Asaduzzaman, Mymensingh Correspondent Aminul Islam and Moulvibazar Correspondent Mintu Deshwara contributed to this report] https://www.thedailystar.net/frontpage/news/boro-harvest-price-farmers-happy-yet- experts-worry-1905238 Surjewala slams BJP-JJP govt in Haryana for imposing curbs on paddy cultivation The Congress leaders claimed that it will deprive farmers from cultivating the crop in about 4.5 lakh acres of land and demanded immediate withdrawal of the order. Updated: May 22, 2020 18:33 IST By HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times, Karnal Congress leader Randeep Surjewala on Friday slammed the BJP-JJP government in Haryana for imposing curbs on paddy cultivation in the state and claimed that it will deprive farmers from cultivating the crop in about 4.5 lakh acres of land. Surjewala, who along with three other party leaders staged a protest at Kurukshetra‘s Shahbad, demanded immediate withdrawal of the order under which farmers have been asked to diversify
  21. 21. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com at least 50% of their last-year cultivated paddy area by growing alternate crops in eight blocks of the state including Ratia, Siwan, Pipli, Shahbad, Babain, Ismailabad, Guhla and Sirsa. ―How can you prevent farmers from cultivating paddy on their own land and threaten to punish them by denying MSP for paddy and other due benefits in case they still choose to grow this crop,‖ he said. Surjewala said the Khattar-Chautala government is punishing farmers of northern Haryana in guise of the ‗Jal Hi Jeevan Hai‘ scheme. ―The BJP-JJP government‘s order to ban paddy cultivation in several blocks of the state is not acceptable to the farmers,‖ he added. He said all ministers, MP and MLAs should oppose the order of the state government and if they cannot protect farmers, rice millers and traders, then they have lost the moral right as people‘s representative and should tender their resignation. Surjewala alleged that the crop diversification scheme by the Khattar government was a conspiracy to eventually stop the procurement of paddy at Minimum Support Price (MSP) by discouraging a large number of farmers from cultivating the crop. :https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/surjewala-slams-bjp-jjp-govt-in-haryana-for-imposing-curbs-on- paddy-cultivation/story- How Much Arsenic Are You Eating? Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert. Journal of Gluten Sensitivity Spring 2009 Issue. NOTE: This article is from a back issue of our popular subscription-only paper newsletter. Some content may be outdated. Caption: A farmer harvests his rice. Image: CC BY 2.0--udeyismail Celiac.com 05/23/2020 - Although large doses of arsenic are deadly, many of us are consuming small quantities of this poison on a daily basis. It comes to us in our drinking water and in some of our foods, especially rice. Small doses of arsenic are considered harmless. It is a natural substance, traces of which are found in most soils. However, chronic intake or larger doses of arsenic cause an increased risk of cancers of the liver, skin, lung, and bladder. Still larger doses are well documented to result in multi-system organ failure and death. Unfortunately, this ubiquitous substance seems to have an affinity for rice, especially in the bran. Rice is a common substitute, among gluten sensitive individuals, for gluten-containing flours. Since we are more likely to eat more rice than the national average, we may also ingest more of this toxic and dangerous chemical. Thus, it may be prudent to learn more about the carcinogenic properties of arsenic and just how large the arsenic content of rice really is. Reznikova and her associates have postulated a theory explaining how arsenic causes skin cancer (1). Meanwhile, Lorraine Heller, reporting for Nutraingredients.com, states that there are no safe levels of arsenic when it comes to cancer risk. She quotes Professor A. Meharg as saying that
  22. 22. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com ingestion of even the tiniest quantities of arsenic ―will have an associated cancer risk‖ (2). One reporter for the ―Mail Online‖ has asserted that ―Arsenic is believed to be particularly associated with a higher risk of bladder and lung cancer‖ (3). Liao and associates have reported data suggesting a linear relationship between internal cancers and arsenic exposure (4) while Chen, et. al. indicated that patients with arsenic related cancers have decreased survival rates (5). Further, Lubin et. al. report that workers who breathe airborne arsenic from the air in copper smelters have a dose-dependent, increasing risk of developing lung cancer (6). Animal studies conducted by Lantz et. al. also indicate that exposure to arsenic in utero and infancy, in addition to causing an elevated risk of lung cancer, also induces permanent damage to pulmonary structure and function (7). Cox has even suggested that the removal of arsenic from tobacco may reduce or eliminate the increased risk of some types of lung cancer related to smoking (8). Rice grown in paddies is more likely to contain higher concentrations of arsenic if it is available in irrigation or ground water (9). While industrial effluent is one important contributor to arsenic concentrations (10) professor Meharg has also pointed out that cotton production in the past often relied heavily on arsenic pesticides. Residues of these pesticides are now being assimilated by rice crops being grown in former cotton fields (3). This may explain why researchers are finding disturbing arsenic concentrations in rice grown in parts of Arkansas, Louisana, and Mississippi. These regions are producing rice that has arsenic concentrations that are three to five times the concentrations in rice grown in California (3). Brown or whole grain rice is particularly problematic. The bran of rice is not only where most of the arsenic is concentrated (11) this bran also contains anti-nutrients that interfere with mineral absorption. (I won‘t pursue this latter issue any further, as I have raised this concern in previous articles.) Of particular concern is the traditional recommendation that infants be started on solid food in the form of rice pablum. Professor Meharg pointed to several groups that consume relatively large quantities of rice, including infants and individuals eating a gluten-free diet (12). Meharg points out that ―The majority of babyfood has relatively high levels of arsenic—the top end of the range‖. He goes on to say that given their body weight, children are eating relatively larger quantities of arsenic in rice, rice pudding, rice crackers, and powdered rice‖ (12). Rice bran is of particular concern because this is where the arsenic is more concentrated (13). Given the potential for arsenic-induced, permanent lung damage, increased risks for a variety of internal and skin cancers, and a general reduction of life expectancy, we need to pay attention to several facets of rice cultivation, particularly as there are farming methods and fertilizers that can reduce the uptake of arsenic by rice. We need to be aware that consumption of rice in large quantities, over long periods, may be damaging to our health. We also need to start children on solid foods that are less likely to have a poisonous impact. In addition to its highly glycemic nature, rice is far from an ideal infant food because of the phytates it contains. The arsenic is assimilated by rice whenever rice is cultivated in areas with elevated levels of arsenic in the water and/or soil, in the absence of special farming techniques or special fertilizers. I
  23. 23. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com recommend that we all be conservative in our consumption of rice, avoid rice bran or brown rice, and completely ignore the ―superfood‖ claims for rice bran. It is particularly important that rice not be fed, in significant quantity, to infants. Sources: 1. Reznikova TV, Phillips MA, Rice RH.Arsenite suppresses Notch1 signaling in human keratinocytes. J Invest Dermatol. 2009 Jan;129(1):155-61. Epub 2008 Jul 17. 2. Heller L, Rice bran contains high arsenic levels. www.nutraingredients.com Aug 26, 2008 3. Rice tainted by arsenic ‗raises cancer risk‘ Mail Online www.dailymail.co.uk March 23, 2007 4. Liao CM, Shen HH, Chen CL, Hsu LI, Lin TL, Chen SC, Chen CJ. Risk assessment of arsenic-induced internal cancer at long-term low dose exposure. J Hazard Mater. 2008 Nov 5. 5. Chen CH, Chiou HY, Hsueh YM, Chen CJ, Yu HJ, Pu YS. Clinicopathological Characteristics and Survival Outcome of Arsenic Related Bladder Cancer in Taiwan. J Urol. 2008 Dec 11. 6. Lubin JH, Moore LE, Fraumeni JF Jr, Cantor KP. Respiratory cancer and inhaled inorganic arsenic in copper smelters workers: a linear relationship with cumulative exposure that increases with concentration. Environ Health Perspect. 2008 Dec;116(12):1661-5. 7. Lantz RC, Chau B, Sarihan P, Witten ML, Pivniouk VI, Chen GJ. In utero and postnatal exposure to arsenic alters pulmonary structure and function. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2008 Nov 27. 8. Cox LA. Could Removing Arsenic from Tobacco Smoke Significantly Reduce Smoker Risks of Lung Cancer? Jr.Risk Anal. 2008 Nov 5. 9. Bogdan K, Schenk MK. Arsenic in rice (Oryza sativa L.) related to dynamics of arsenic and silicic acid in paddy soils. Environ Sci Technol. 2008 Nov 1;42(21):7885-90. 10. Mandal BK, Suzuki KT. Talanta. Arsenic round the world: a review. 2002 Aug 16;58(1):201-35. 11. Brahic C, Superfood rice bran contains arsenic. www.newscientist.com Aug. 22, 2008 12. Clover C, ‗Dangerous‘ levels of arsenic in 10pc of rice. www.telegraph.co.uk Aug 29, 2007 13. Sun GX, Williams PN, Carey AM, Zhu YG, Deacon C, Raab A, Feldmann J, Islam RM, Meharg AA. Inorganic arsenic in rice bran and its products are an order of magnitude higher than in bulk grain. Environ Sci Technol. 2008 Oct 1;42(19):7542-6. 14. Mandal BK, Susuki KT, Arsenic round the world: a review. Talanta, Aug 16, 2002 16;58(1): 201-35. 15. Ma JF, Yamaji N, Mitani N, Xu XY, Su YH, McGrath SP, Zhao FJ. Transporters of arsenite in rice and their role in arsenic accumulation in rice grain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Jul 22;105(29):9931-5. Epub 2008 Jul 14.
  24. 24. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com 16. Chen XP, Zhu YG, Hong MN, Kappler A, Xu YX. EFFECTS OF DIFFERENT FORMS OF NITROGEN FERTILIZERS ON ARSENIC UPTAKE BY RICE PLANTS. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2007 Nov 20:1.  About Me As co-author of "Dangerous Grains" and "Cereal Killers", the study of the impact of gluten continues to be a driving passion in my life. I am fascinated by the way that gluten induces illness and impedes learning while it alters mood, behavior, and a host of other facets of our existence. Sure, the impact of gluten on health is an important issue, but that is only the most obvious area of impact. Mood disturbances, learning disabilities, and the loss of quality of life due to psychiatric and neurological illness are even more tragic than the plethora of physical ailments that are caused or worsened by gluten. The further I go down this rabbit hole, the more I realize that grains are a good food for ruminants - not people. I am a retired school teacher. Over the last decade, I have done some college and university level teaching, but the bulk of my teaching career was spent working with high school students. My Web page is: www.DangerousGrains.com https://www.celiac.com/articles.html/how-much-arsenic-are-you-eating-r5191/ Sri Lanka trade controls extended, license regime in import substitution drive Saturday May 23, 2020 16:13:26  ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has extended import bans for three months on a wide variety of goods and started a license regime on other goods in an import substitution drive after money printing brought currency pressure on top a Coronavirus crisis. Sri Lanka is relying on a law widely in the 1970s to control imports and cripple economic activities in th 1970s as the central bank was unable to deal with the collapse of the Bretton Woods system which also sent oil prices up. But the controls are now coming despite oil prices falling. The bewildering array of controls including outright bans, halting imports under licensing, allowing import if there is export value addition of 20 percent. The import of a series of items have been banned for 90 days from April 16. Some items have been banned except under a under licensing procedure for 90 days from May 22. However exporters would be allowed to import inputs if they use funds in foreign currency banking unit or if it is financed by the foreign buyers.
  25. 25. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com Some items have been allowed under a if there is 20 percent value addition in export and if the funds are brought back to Sri Lanka within 60 days. Some items are allowed if there are no domestic inputs and value addition is 35 percent. They would be allowed if they are financed by foreign buyers on 30-60 days credit. Some items such as sugar, cement or palm oil are allowed under 180 day suppliers credit or using or using foreign currency banking unit deposits These items banned for 90 days from April 16 include ornamental fish, fish fillets, vegetable and rice including basmati rice and broken rice. Rice imports have been banned as price controls triggered shortages in the domestic markets. Flour from grains other than wheat flour, peanuts, chewing gum, confectionery, chocolate, spaghetti, biscuits, aerated waters, beer and vinegar. Building materials such as marble, quartz, granite, paints, plastic pipes, water and bathroom fittings, flooring, windows, doors, panels, curtains, ceramic tiles. Many plastic items.vehicle tyres, suitcases, leather goods, furniture, clothing, slips, jackets, pantyhose, scarves, ties, shoes, hats. Perfumes, colognes, sunscreen, make-up, deodorants, shaving foam, These includes arecanut, pepper, dried fruits, some aerated waters, cement and concrete items, piston engines, marine engines, buses, engine parts. Download Import-control-list-lgfull import control and licensing order from here. The controls are coming despite Sri Lanka making strong gains and are ahead of many other countries and the central bank injected large volumes of money in March amid spike in private credit. Private credit is expected to ease and domestic consumption had already fallen due to curfews. Many private firms are already in trouble before the import controls Economists have analysts have called for reform of the central bank and curtailing its ability to inject excess liquidity to trigger currency pressure and allow economic agents to carry out their activities in peace. (Colombo/May23/2020) https://economynext.com/sri-lanka-trade-controls-extended-license-regime-in-import- substitution-drive-70281/ No Subsidy for Rice Import No Subsidy for Rice Import ..... The government will no longer allocate subsidized foreign currency at the rate of 42,000 rials per US dollar for rice imports, Fars News Agency quoted the head of Rice Importers Association, Abbas Tavakkoli, as saying.
  26. 26. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com Rice importers are allowed to procure their forex requirements from the export earnings of non- oil products (petrochemicals, steels and minerals) traded through the so-called secondary FX market, known by its Persian acronym Nima. Following the re-tanking of the national currency in early 2017, the government introduced stringent rules like banning the import of non-essential goods, especially those produced inside the country (known as Group IV goods). https://financialtribune.com/articles/domestic-economy/103498/no-subsidy-for-rice-import DA-10 hands over P6.1-M machinery to farmers in Bukidnon By Nef Luczon May 24, 2020, 3:18 pm  AGRICULTURAL INTERVENTION PROGRAM. Representatives of farmer organizations in Talakag, Bukidnon receive a farm tractor which is part of the Department of Agriculture Region 10's (DA-10) agricultural intervention program. The DA-10 has provided PHP6.1 million worth of machinery to farmers organizations in the area. (Photo courtesy DA-10) CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Department of Agriculture in Northern Mindanao (DA-10) has provided PHP6.1 million worth of machinery to farmers organizations as part of its agricultural interventions program.
  27. 27. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com Under the DA-Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) machinery and equipment, the local government of Talakag, Bukidnon received three units of 35-horsepower mini four-wheel drive farm tractors with implements and two units of corn mechanical sheller amounting to PHP3.2 million. The Upper Patag Growers and Farmers Associations, Inc. of Lantapan, Bukidnon got one unit rice combine harvester and one unit 35-horsepower four-wheel drive farm tractors with implements which include rotavator and trailer worth PHP2.6 million. ―The need to increase the level of farm mechanization to produce more food efficiency and quality will be beneficial both for farmers and consumers,‖ Carlene Collado, officer-in-charge- regional executive director of DA-10, said on Saturday. He said the machinery will boost farming activities and ensure high production and reduce postharvest losses. Collado cited a DA-Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (DA- PhilMech) report indicating that postharvest losses in corn and rice are 7.18 percent and 16.47 percent, respectively, from harvesting, piling, hauling, shelling, drying and storage. Collado thus underscored the need for farmers to adopt the different agri-machinery and equipment innovations to increase the country‘s mechanization rate from 2.31 horsepower per hectare to 4 horsepower per hectare. ―Dako ug ikatabang ang mga makinarya kay ang wala na develop nga yuta tungod kay kulang sa galamiton maka expand na. Dako pasalamat namo sa Ginoo nga natabangan mi sa DA (The machinery would be a big help in developing and expanding our farm. We‘re thankful to God with DA's assistance),‖ Reynaldo Berdi, president of Dominorog Small Farmers Association of Dominorog, Talakag, Bukidnon, said. DA-SAAD is a locally-funded program of the agency that addresses poverty alleviation among the marginalized sectors in agri-fishery. Through this program, provinces with high poverty incidence rates have been given assistance in agri-fisheries since 2017. Also included in the turnover of agri-interventions were six units of 500-egg capacity automatic egg incubators amounting to PHP306,372 under the livestock program of the agency. The project aims to provide livelihood enterprise to qualified recipients who may engage in balut business, selling of days-old-chicks, and production of live chicken or poultry meat.
  28. 28. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com The incubator comes with a module of 10 male and 100 female chicken or ducks as start-up agribusiness kit. Six association-beneficiaries in Bukidnon received one unit each of egg incubator, comprising the Quabra Farmers Cooperative and Ambong Women‘s Organization of Impasug-ong; Dologon Fisherfolk Livelihood Association of Maramag; Bethany Christian Home for Children of Talakag; Kalilangan Cassava Farmers Association of Kalilangan, and J.A Agro Employees Farmers Beneficiary Association of Quezon. (PNA) https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1103785 Volunteers help expand COVID-19 testing across Bangladesh Obaidur Masum, Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com Published: 23 May 2020 11:34 PM BdST Updated: 23 May 2020 11:34 PM BdST  PreviousNext
  29. 29. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com Ever since the first cases of the coronavirus were reported in Bangladesh, experts have stressed the need to expand the country's testing capacity in order to gauge the scope of the outbreak and formulate effective steps to mitigate its impact on public health. also centred on the lack of trained professionals to test samples for COVID-19, highlighting how unprepared the country was initially to deal with the impending crisis. Tests for the coronavirus infection only started being conducted outside Dhaka two and a half months after the first COVID-19 patient was detected in the country. The process was made easier by the relentless efforts of a group of volunteer researchers who identified themselves as biologists.
  30. 30. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com The team is constantly visiting different parts of the country to set up testing laboratories. From collecting samples of suspected COVID-19 cases to using kits and determining the results, the volunteers are taking a hands-on approach to teaching doctors and medical technologists everything the testing process entails. After the spread of the coronavirus infection across the country, the health directorate decided to increase the number of COVID-19 testing laboratories. Sample test kits (RT-PCRs) are now being installed in different medical colleges across the country. The kits are supplied and installed by a private company. The team of biologists, who have been instrumental in keeping RT-PCRs operational from the beginning of the crisis, is being led by ASM Shamim, general secretary of the Graduate Biochemists Association, Habibul Bari Shozib, senior scientific officer of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, Richard Malo, a post-doctoral fellow of Dhaka University Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Noorjahan Maliha of Dhaka University Department of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, and Sabrina Moriom Elias, assistant professor of Independent University, Bangladesh. The volunteers are working to introduce the RT-PCR kits in Dhaka, Faridpur, Rangpur, Rajshahi, Dinajpur, Mugda Medical College, Sir Salimullah Medical College Hospital, Kumirtola General Hospital, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, National Institute of Laboratory Medicine and Referral Centre, according to ASM Shamim.
  31. 31. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com They are presently focussing their attention on Kushtia Medical College Hospital, Cumilla Medical College, a 300-bed hospital in Narayanganj and Sirajganj M Monsur Ali Medical College Hospital. The RT-PCR machines are being installed in the microbiology departments of different hospitals, Shamim told bdnews24.com. After its placement, sample tests are carried out by physicians, microbiologists and medical technologists. ―Sample testing for the coronavirus is a bit complicated because it is a new process, especially for those who do not work full-time in the laboratory. This is where trained people are needed.‖ "The COVID-19 test depends on a lot of things. You have to collect samples first. Then comes sample processing. Afterwards, the processed samples have to be run through an RT-PCR machine. Physicians, supporting staff and technologists are given training on generating test results.‖ The start of the journey was not very smooth, according to Shozib. The volunteers wanted to use their experiences during the crisis and had contacted the health directorate regarding the matter. But they did not receive any positive feedback. The team later contacted an overseas marketing company, which supplies RT-PCR machines, through a colleague. Ashraful Alam, chairman of the microbiology department at Faridpur Medical College, said the laboratory would not have been possible without the help of biologists.
  32. 32. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com Their efforts have also drawn praise from DGHS Additional Director General Nasima Sultana. https://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2020/05/23/volunteers-help-expand-covid-19-testing- across-bangladesh Farmers in Ambala anxious over labour shortage ahead of paddy sowing season Harvinder Singh, a farmer from Sonda village near Hisar Road said his labourers were like family to him, but they left a few days ago due to panic and rumours without informing him Updated: May 24, 2020 22:29 IST By Bhavey Nagpal , Hindustan Times, Chandigarh As migrant labourers continue to leave for their hometowns, farmers‘ anxiety is shooting through the roof ahead of the paddy sowing season in the region. After facing a similar problem during wheat harvest, farmers in Ambala are bracing for another period of labour shortage. Paddy is grown on nearly 80,000 hectares of land in the district. Harvinder Singh, a farmer from Sonda village near Hisar Road said his labourers were like family to him, but they left a few days ago due to panic and rumours without informing him.
  33. 33. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com ―There were around 15 labourers from Bihar working for years with us, but many of them believed that they might get stuck here if the impact of this pandemic increases. Sowing paddy will be a challenge for us without them. There is no support regarding machinery from the government, but we are expecting something in the economic package from the Centre,‖ he said. Another farmer from Ambala said that he even offered ration and medical services to his labourers, but they insisted on leaving due to the infection scare. The farmer said this time he may have to sow paddy seeds with the help of his family. This season comes as a test even for the state government after it altered some rules of paddy farming under the ‗mera paani, meri virasat‘ scheme in many districts, including Ambala, owing to depleting water table in these areas. Terming the labour engaged in paddy sowing as a sociological aspect, Ambala deputy director of agriculture (DDA) Girish Nagpal said, ―This will boost mechanisation of agriculture through DSR (direct seeding of rice) equipment that are in great demand nowadays and subsidies will also be dispersed for the same. While there is no study as of now on this elevating their profitability, but the technique will definitely make the sowing compact and timely.‖ About the new scheme, the DDA said, ―In Ambala, availing the scheme is a choice as water depletion is not that bad. Till now, farmers with 1,000 acres of land have given their consent for it and we are hoping for more in the future.‖ https://www.hindustantimes.com/chandigarh/farmers-in-ambala-anxious-over-labour-shortage-ahead-of- paddy-sowing-season/story-6pGilXvYoxBQQMI2WCwVQP.htm Arkansas farmers struggling to regain footholdsBut they‘re facing another tough year by Ginny Monk, Stephen Simpson | Today at 9:27 a.m. Conway County cattle farmer Tiffany Williams stands in a sand-cov- ered field after the 2019 flooding. She said the sand has created an environment where only weeds can grow easily. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette) When the Arkansas River flooded last spring, farmers already were wading through economic insecurity caused in part by a federal trade war with China. Then floodwaters overwhelmed levees, wiped out crops, damaged farm infrastructure and buried grazing land in sand across much of Arkansas, while wreaking billions in farm damage through the nation's south-central region. Despite government aid programs such as the Farm Bill and supplemental programs designed to help, many Arkansas farmers are still suffering, agriculture experts and farmers said. A second year of harsh weather -- too wet for some plants, too cold for others -- has slowed crop production. Rates of rice, cotton and soybeans that have been planted are lower than the averages for 2015 to 2019, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For example, in the week ending May 17, Arkansas farmers had planted 76% of their rice. On average for the past five years, farmers had planted 88%.
  34. 34. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com Rice generally should be planted by May 15, experts said. Arkansas is the leading U.S. producer of rice.
  35. 35. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com
  36. 36. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com Vic Ford, associate director of agriculture and natural resources at the University of Arkansas System's Division of Agriculture, said he couldn't recall a time with two back-to-back years of such bad weather for farmers. He said farmers are "way behind" on corn, and that while cotton can be planted, it may not grow well in the cooler weather. If cotton doesn't grow quickly, he said, farmers have to contend with pests on the crop. Andrew Grobmyer, executive director of the nonprofit Agricultural Council of Arkansas, said last year's flooding had a large impact on the rice crop and that economic issues caused by the covid-19 pandemic could negatively affect farmers further. "It's really two bad years back to back, and that's putting a lot of pressure economics-wise on the farming community," said Ford, who works in the division's cooperative extension service. "Because you've had a bad year, and [it] looks like you are going to have another one. "The unknown and uncertainty creates a very volatile market." Much of the problem comes from mounds of sand the river deposited on cropland, Ford added. Crops can't grow in sand, and it chokes out grazing grass for livestock such as cattle. Sand deposits more than a foot deep need to be removed, Ford said. Tiffany Williams, a cattle farmer in Conway County, said the sand on her fields has created an environment where only weeds can grow easily. "You're trying to come back and build another layer of topsoil again," she said. "We're doing it however we can." Problems at her farm after the flooding included damage to fences, washed-out roads and deep holes in fields created by swirling water. Holes ranged from 20 feet to 200 feet wide, Williams said. Damage to pastures, which are home to about 500 cattle, is documented in a video Williams created in 2019 to draw attention to the flooding's effects. Although she's applied for federal assistance, she hasn't gotten it yet, she said. "We can salvage our farm," she added. "There's a lot of people who could not salvage their farm." The sand has caused problems for farmers around the state, particularly in the River Valley area, Ford said. County Judge Jim Baker of Faulkner County said acres of agricultural land in his jurisdiction were completely washed out or ruined by sand. "We are just trying to get some kind of crop planted this year because of it," he said. "We are now seeing the real effects of the flood." Kevin Lawson, Faulkner County extension staff chairman, said the situation was unique because farmers knew the flood was coming and had time to move cattle and equipment to safe areas. Williams said neighbors on higher ground allowed her and other cattle farmers to keep livestock on their land, resulting in fields that were overcrowded until the animals could be returned. "There's been floods over the past five years, but not like this," she said. Lawson said producers worked hard to get their fields operational again, but many are still working to get federal assistance.
  37. 37. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com "There was a lot of sand left behind," he said. "The sand I witnessed on some acres of land was really deep." Other farmers on low plains in east Arkansas are seeing more flooding than a decade ago and haven't been able to plant this year because of increased rainfall. Jackie Prince, who owns an 1,800-acre family farm, said his farm has been underwater nearly the whole year. He rotates his crop among soybeans, rice and grain sorghum. It'll take at least a week to 10 days for the ground to dry once the water recedes, he said, leaving him little time to plant. June 20 is the last day he thinks he'll be able to have a chance at planting, and ideally he'd be in the fields planting in April or early May. "My whole farm is underwater, as we speak, again this year," Prince said. "We're rapidly approaching a period of time when it's too late to plant." From 2018 into last year, the land was flooded from November to July, he said. He knows to expect flooding during winter months because of the location of his property, but the past few years have been different. The deluge is caused by multiple factors, including a halt to dredging of the Cache River, changes to the flow of the river through dams, and other regulatory adjustments. Last year, when he wasn't able to plant, he and those who work on his farm picked up jobs such as welding, remodeling houses and helping neighbors on their farms, Prince said. "It's just becoming a way of life over here in east Arkansas," he said of the flooding. Although he realizes his land is a flood risk, the recent water damage is the worst his family can remember. "It's really been frustrating trying to make a living the way we have for generations, but doing it this way," Prince said. The effects of two years of bad weather will ripple beyond farmers, Grobmyer said. Other businesses that provide supplies to farmers, sell their crops or use them in products could also be hurt. The 2019 flooding "was felt not only on the farm but throughout the rural economy. ... You have a lot of other businesses that are affected," he said. These stresses combined can put extra pressure on farmers' mental health, Ford said. The Division of Agriculture established two programs in March 2019 to address mental health concerns and suicides in rural communities. One, called "Managing Stress and Pursuing Wellness in Times of Tight Margins" or "Farm Stress," is a one-hour program that offers information about stress management, depression and suicide, according to a news release. It's a way to communicate to farmers "you're not in this alone, and you know that there are folks that can help you during this time," Ford said. Statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that workers in farming, fishing and forestry industries have some of the highest suicide rates of all professions. Increased rates of mental health problems have also been linked to more rural populations. "It's putting a lot of stress, and a lot of folks are just trying to stay in business, just trying to keep things rolling," Ford said. A Section on 05/25/2020 https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2020/may/25/farmers-struggling-to-regain-footholds-/
  38. 38. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com 4,770 rice farmers in Negros Occidental get P23.86M in cash subsidy BACOLOD. One of the small rice farmers in Negros Occidental who were able to receive the P5,000 in cash assistance from the Department of Agriculture through its Financial Subsidy to Rice Farmers program recently. (Capitol Photo) ERWIN P. NICAVERA May 25, 2020 OVER 4,770 small rice farmers in Negros Occidental have received about P23.86 million worth of cash assistance from the Department of Agriculture (DA) through its Financial Subsidy to Rice Farmers (FSRF) program. Engineer Jose Albert Barrogo, DA-Western Visayas team leader for Negros Occidental, told SunStar Bacolod that the amount covers qualified farmers from 17 localities in the province since the payout distribution started on May 18. Barrogo said they form part of the 25,486 submitted registered farmers with a total allocation of almost P128 million. "The total number of qualified farmers is actually beyond our initial target of 20,488 in Negros Occidental," he said, adding that the release of P5,000 for each of the farmers is through the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP). The subsidy is a sort of social amelioration intended to allay possible adverse effects of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crisis among small rice farmers. Under the FSRF program, those who are qualified are those with farm areas of one hectare and below. The DA has allocated P3 billion for the recipient-rice farmers in the country. In Negros Occidental alone, the DA has already distributed the assistance to 330 farmers in Victorias City, 422 in Silay City, 502 in Sagay City, 43 in Bacolod City, 50 in Toboso, 50 in Pulupandan, 28 in Pontevedra, 214 in Talisay City, 90 in San Enrique, 783 in San Carlos City, 363 in Bago City, 65 in Murcia, 206 in Valladolid, 527 in Candoni, 326 Sipalay City, 88 Hinoba- an and 687 in Cadiz City. Barrogo said there are still remaining farmers in these cities and towns as well as in other localities in the province who are yet to receive the P5,000 subsidy. In fact, there is a scheduled distribution in Silay City, Calatrava and Manapla on May 26.
  39. 39. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com On May 27, distribution will be in La Castellana, Moises Padilla and La Carlota; May 28 - Ilog; May 29 - Cauayan; and May 30 - Kabankalan City and Himamaylan City. Barrogo said there is no final schedule yet for the payout distribution in towns of Hinigaran, Isabela and Binalbagan. "We target to fully distribute the subsidy in the province within this month, the latest is early part of June," he said, adding that recipient-farmers are reminded to bring necessary requirements when receiving their assistance. These include photocopy of their identification card (ID). For those rice farmers who are not able to go to the venue of distribution, the LBP allows authorization letter with the ID of the authorized representative. For the farmers affected by the lockdown in Metro Manila and other parts of the country, authorization and IDs of the recipient and his representative are also required. Also, it should be attested by their respective City and Municipal Agriculture Offices, Barrogo added. He earlier urged farmers to use such aid for their basic needs as well as farm inputs like seeds and fertilizers in preparation for the first cropping season. https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1857643 Philippine pivot does not impact on Vietnamese rice export By Trung Chanh Sunday, May 24, 2020,18:44 (GMT+7) After a year letting the private sector import rice on a “tax-based mechanism” instead of a quota-based mechanism in line with the G2G (Government to Government) regime, the Philippine side is considering a comeback to the previous regime (G2G) to import 300,000 tons of rice. Would this possible change strongly affect Vietnam’s rice exporters? Prior to 2019, the Philippines had preferred the quota regime in importing rice. As a result, aside from allocating annual quotas of about 850,000 tons to the Philippine private sector, the country‘s National Food Authority (NFA) maintained domestic supply-demand balance to open It takes 10 days to ship Vietnamese rice to the Philippine market - PHOTO: LE HOANG VU
  40. 40. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com bidding for rice purchases from other countries, principally Vietnam and Thailand. However, as of February 15, 2019, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed into effect the Republic Act No. 11203 on ―Liberalizing the Importation, Exportation and Trading of Rice, Lifting for the Purpose the Quantitative Import Restriction on Rice, and for Other Purposes.‖ This act has turned Philippine rice import from a quota-based regime to a tax-based regime. In short, this act abolished quotas in rice import to the Philippines to impose a 35% tax rate applicable to rice import from ASEAN countries. The import tariff is way lower than that imposed on non-ASEAN countries, which is as high as 180%. In line with the introduction of Act No. 11203, rice import to the island state has over the past year—i.e. since February 15, 2019—has fallen into the hands of the Philippine private sector. Rice import has been no longer subject to quotas and volume as had been previously provided that it complies with the new Philippine tax requirements. However, some sources recently said the country would import some 300,000 tons of rice under the G2G regime, which had been effective prior to the introduction of Act No. 11203. In other words, the quota regime would be reinstated. According to several international news outlets, Philippine Secretary of Agriculture William D.
  41. 41. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com Dar has sent a letter of invitation via the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) about the import of 300,000 tons of rice to companies in Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and India. However, when contacted by the Saigon Times, Nguyen Ngoc Nam, chairman of the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) and vice board chairman of the Southern Food Corporation (Vinafood II)—which was often delegated to take part in executing G2G rice contracts with the Philippines—and Tran Thanh Hai, vice head of the Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, both said they have not received the invitation from the Philippine side. Speaking to the Saigon Times on May 15, Nguyen Van Thanh, director of Phuoc Thanh IV in Vinh Long Province, said the Philippines has not yet officially invited the bidding for 300,000 tons of rice under the G2G regime. ―As far as I know, a delegation from the Philippine Department of Finance came to Vietnam,‖ said Thanh. ―But it arrived only to survey supplies and hold talks for the import of rice.‖ Thanh said the Philippines might import 300,000 tons of rice under the G2G regime. However, instead of assigning the NFA to the task, the Government may select the private sector instead. ―I‘m not sure about this,‖ said Thanh, adding that by virtue of correspondents he received from Philippine rice traders, it is likely that this island state would hold G2G bidding and then assign the private sector to the task of executing the contracts. Rice market analyst Nguyen Dinh Bich maintained that if the Philippine Government chooses the private sector instead of the NFA, such a choice will not affect Vietnamese companies involved. Vietnam, argued Bich, will simply export the rice in case she wins the bid. Meanwhile, the assignment of rice import is on the Philippine territory. ―Such a change in the Philippine side, if any, may be possible,‖ he said. The question, however, is whether it stands a chance for Vietnam if the Philippines returns to the G2G rice import regime. Bich stressed that if the Philippines opts for the G2G regime, Vietnam may face no problems. She may even have an edge over rivals should such bidding be put up. According to the rice analyst, the FOB price of Thai 25% broken rice, at US$468-472 per ton, is higher than that of Vietnamese rice, at US$435-457 per ton. That means Vietnamese rice is more competitive. ―Cambodia may not be able to meet large rice orders,‖ said Bich, who also remarked that Myanmar isn‘t a serious contender either. To sum up, Bich said India may be a potential rival for Vietnamese rice exporters when it comes to rice prices. India offers her 25% broken rice at US$338-342 per ton. However, maintained Bich, a scrutiny of the Philippines‘ history of rice importing may show that Indian rice exporters may not be likely to win rice bids put up by the Philippines. ―For example, the bidding prices [offered by India and Vietnam] may be equivalent,‖ explained Bich. ―But transport fees from India is US$30-40 per ton higher than those from Vietnam.‖ What‘s more, India is facing a more serious challenge from Covid-19 than Vietnam is, he argued. Meanwhile, Thanh of Phuoc Thanh IV said Vietnamese rice exporters have almost finished all
  42. 42. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com the existing rice export contracts, reaching 600,000 tons out of the 700,000 tons signed. ―Therefore, Vietnam is ready to engage in the new rice order of 300,000 tons from the Philippines, especially when Vietnam begins to harvest her summer-autumn rice crop, said Thanh. According to Thanh, the Philippines may choose to buy rice from Vietnam because it is most beneficial to her. Vietnamese rice has traditionally suited the palate of the Philippine people. Furthermore, transport fees of Vietnamese rice is low and it takes only 10 days to reach the Philippine market, he said. https://english.thesaigontimes.vn/76838/philippine-pivot-does-not-impact-on-vietnamese- rice-export.html Ca Mau faces severe shortage of irrigation water Many crop growing areas in Ca Mau province‘s freshwater zones are facing a severe shortage of water because of a prolonged dry spell. VNA Sunday, May 24, 2020 16:28 Ca Mau (VNS/VNA) - Many crop growing areas in Ca Mau province‘s freshwater zones are facing a severe shortage of water because of a prolonged dry spell. Ca Mau is the only province in the Mekong Delta that cannot access water from the Mekong and
  43. 43. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com relies mostly on rainwater for irrigation. Ly Van Lam commune, one of the largest vegetable growing areas in Ca Mau city, has seen its irrigation canals dry up and farmers struggle to find water for their crops. Following instructions from local authorities at the beginning of the ongoing dry season, farmers grew only short - term crops like onion, bitter melon, mustard greens, gourds, and cucumber. To secure water for their vegetables, many farmers have had to drill borewells to draw groundwater. But groundwater has become scarce and farmers drilling now have difficulty finding water. Mac Ngoc Truyen, Chairman of the Ly Van Lam Commune Farmers Association, said the association has told farmers not to grow vegetables on large areas like they did before. This would help farmers save water, use water meant for domestic use and mitigate the losses caused by the drought, he said. In Tran Van Thoi district, vegetable farmers are facing a poor harvest because of the lack of water while the prices of vegetables have fallen dramatically. Vu Dang Khoa, Chairman of the Minh Ha Agriculture Service Co-operative in the district‘s Khanh Binh Dong commune, said after Tet (Lunar New Year) members grew pumpkin and gourds. When the crops began to bear fruit, there was no water and the yield is set to fall by half, he said. The cooperative‘s members have built a temporary dam to store water, but there is not enough to irrigate crops, he said. Fruit growing areas in the province have been affected by a lack of water and farmers have had to make great efforts to save their fruit trees. Nguyen Van Thinh, who has a 1ha guava orchard in Tran Van Thoi district‘s Khanh Hung commune, said the leaves of many trees have withered. He had to prune many branches to save the trees, but many still died, he said. ―The source of irrigation water for the orchard is a river. This year the drought has been severe and the river has dried up.‖ The dry weather has been forecast to continue, and agricultural officials have instructed fruit
  44. 44. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com farmers to take measures to save their trees. Farmers are instructed to use rice straw, dried grass and dried leaves to cover the roots to lock in moisture, and prune branches to reduce the quantity of water required by the trees. Drought and saltwater intrusion had wholly or partially affected more than 20,500ha of crops including rice in the province as of early April, according to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. To mitigate losses to the summer – autumn rice crop caused by dry weather, the department has established farming schedules for various localities. The province plans to grow a total of 36,000ha of summer – autumn rice in Tran Van Thoi, U Minh and Thoi Binh districts and Ca Mau city. The schedules require farmers to sow 27,000ha of rice after they finish preparing the land. The remaining 9,000ha will be sown when there are rains. The rainy season normally begins in May. High-quality varieties will account for 65 – 70 percent of the province‘s summer – autumn rice area, fragrant and specialty varieties for 10 -15 percent and medium-quality varieties for 10 percent. The department has urged farmers to grow more high-quality and fragrant varieties since they are in high demand. Nguyen Tran Thuc, head of the province‘s Plant Cultivation and Protection Sub-department, said rice farmers should adopt advanced farming techniques to improve quality, reduce costs and improve their incom https://en.vietnamplus.vn/ca-mau-faces-severe-shortage-of-irrigation-water/173813.vnp Mandalay to beef up 5,000 tons of national reserve rice PUBLISHED 25 MAY 2020 LE LE AUNG A warehouse stores national rice reserve in Mandalay Region (Photo-Oakkar Kyaw) MANDALAY-Mandalay Region is going to beef up 5,000 tons of national reserve rice for emergencies in case the COVID-19 outbreak drags on.
  45. 45. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com At present, the region is storing over 1,800 tons of rice. The Ministry of Commerce announced on April 22nd that it would buy and stockpile 50,000 tons of rice and 12,000 tons of palm oil as reserve food for emergencies. And then, the ministry will purchase the items at a reasonable price. ―5,000 tons of rice will be stored in Kyaukse Township, Mandalay Region. Now, over 1,800 tons of rice has been stored in Kyaukse Township. There are totaling 37,196 rice bags till May 21st. Currently, a warehouse in Phaung village fills up with rice bags. We don‘t receive palm oil yet. However, we are now carrying out the palm oil receiving plan,‖ said Oakkar Kyaw, Secretary of Mandalay Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MRCCI). The Ministry of Commerce is also working on the national reserve food plan with the private sectors as well as the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Myanmar Rice Federation and Myanmar Edible Oil Dealers‘ Association. https://elevenmyanmar.com/news/mandalay-to-beef-up-5000-tons-of-national-reserve-rice CAA inspects eight major and medium scale rice mills in Polonnaruwa district Sat, May 23, 2020, 10:05 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka. May 23, Colombo: A team of 50 officers of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) including the Chairman Retired Major General Shantha Dissanayake this evening has raided eight main and medium scale rice mills in the Polonnaruwa district. A number of main rice mills in the district including the Araliya, Nipuna, Nivratna and Latht Sahal and several medium scale mills were inspected. Paddy mills owned by former president‘s brother Dudley Sirisena and former MP Siripala Gamlath were also inspected. Consumer Affairs Authority officials in Colombo, Polonnaruwa, Gampaha, Kurunegala and Kandy districts also participated in the raid.
  46. 46. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com The Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Authority said that after a discussion with the paddy mill owners, they had agreed to provide the Samba and Nadu rice unconditionally to the market at the maximum control prices set by the government. The CAA Chairman speaking to the media stated that during the raid paddy and rice stocks at each rice mill, their production capacity as well as the amount of paddy and rice currently stocked in each of those mills were inspected. He further stated that steps will be taken in the future to arrest the paddy mill owners who hoard paddy and rice stocks without releasing to the market. CAA Chairman Dissanayake said that rice mill owners will not be allowed to hoard rice stocks to create a shortage of rice in the market. at a time when the people are economically distressed and the Authority will do its utmost to ensure that rice is available to the consumer at an affordable price. Dissanayake said he had instructed the mill owners to promptly convert the paddy stored in the main mills in the Polonnaruwa District into rice and release them to the market. http://www.colombopage.com/archive_20A/May23_1590251759CH.php Rice Prices as on : 25-05-2020 01:05:51 PM Arrivals in tonnes;prices in Rs/quintal in domestic market. Arrivals Price Current % change Season cumulative Modal Prev. Modal Prev.Yr %change Rice Dadri(UP) 100.00 11.11 390.00 5950 5950 - Lucknow(UP) 89.00 -5.32 4064.00 2460 2475 -6.82 Ghaziabad(UP) 80.00 NC 1746.00 2700 2700 -1.82 Madhoganj(UP) 45.00 NC 3015.00 2450 2430 9.87 Jaunpur(UP) 23.00 -11.54 1085.70 2485 2470 6.20 Fatehpur(UP) 22.50 -32.84 2024.30 2435 2430 5.87
  47. 47. www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com Sahiyapur(UP) 20.00 -33.33 1847.00 2540 2540 6.72 Asansol(WB) 20.00 -9.09 858.89 3100 2900 3.33 Durgapur(WB) 20.00 -9.09 770.85 2900 2900 1.75 Dahod(Guj) 19.10 20.13 746.50 4300 4300 NC Bangarpet(Kar) 15.00 - 15.00 3600 - - Sirsaganj(UP) 13.50 -3.57 712.50 2630 2660 3.14 Farukhabad(UP) 12.00 -25 807.50 2460 2450 -6.82 Sheoraphuly(WB) 11.00 2.8 138.90 3100 3100 3.33 Devariya(UP) 8.00 23.08 829.00 2585 2580 5.08 Karvi(UP) 7.00 NC 438.00 2425 2395 5.66 Jahangirabad(UP) 3.50 NC 173.00 2670 2660 1.71 Uluberia(WB) 3.00 7.14 44.10 2800 2900 -3.45 Sonamura(Tri) 2.10 -8.7 52.00 2800 2800 - Gurusarai(UP) 1.50 150 12.00 2500 2500 8.23 Kaliaganj(WB) 1.50 -25 128.40 3150 3250 - Wazirganj(UP) 1.40 -6.67 35.10 2580 2600 - Risia(UP) 1.00 NC 63.90 2410 2410 - Melaghar(Tri) 0.80 -20 42.60 2700 2800 NC Anandnagar(UP) 0.80 -27.27 186.10 2490 2515 8.26 Published on May 25, 2020 https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/rice- prices/article31668754.ece#

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