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rice news 17-18 march 2022.docx

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Rice Seeds Not Exempt from 17%
Sales Tax: FBR Clarifies to NA
Committee
By Faiz Paracha | Published Mar 17, 2022 | 4:07 pm...
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FBR has clarified to the National Assembly Standing Committee of Defence
Production that rice seeds are not exempt...
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had imposed a standard rate of 17 percent sales
tax on all kinds of seeds, including ri...
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rice news 17-18 march 2022.docx

  1. 1. Rice Seeds Not Exempt from 17% Sales Tax: FBR Clarifies to NA Committee By Faiz Paracha | Published Mar 17, 2022 | 4:07 pm    
  2. 2.     FBR has clarified to the National Assembly Standing Committee of Defence Production that rice seeds are not exempt from 17 percent sales tax. The exemption was removed after the introduction of Supplementary Finance Bill 2022 on 16 January 2022. ADVERTISEMENT
  3. 3. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had imposed a standard rate of 17 percent sales tax on all kinds of seeds, including rice, on 16 January 2022. Previously, The FBR has been directed by the Chairman Committee, Chaudhary Iftikhar Nazir, to clarify whether rice seed is exempt from sales tax under Sr. No. 19 of Table 1 of the Sixth Schedule to the Sales Tax Act, 1990. A L S O R E A D FBR to Suffer Massive Revenue Loss Due to Sales Tax Withdrawal on Crude Oil The clarification received at the Parliament House revealed that rice seed had been removed from sales tax exemptions after the passage of the Finance (Supplementary) Act, 2022. Apropos, it was apprised that Sr. No. 19 of Table 1 of the Sixth Schedule to the Sales Tax Act, 1990 has been substituted through the Finance (Supplementary) Act, 2022. Resultantly, rice seed, like other seeds, is no longer exempt from sales tax. A L S O R E A D Indian Traders Are Selling Pakistani Rice Worldwide With Made in India Tag In light of these details and under Pakistan Customs Tariff (PCT) Heading Number 1006.1010, the rice seed is not exempt from sales tax under Serial Number 19 of Table-1 of the Sixth Schedule to the Sales Tax Act, 1990, as per the FBR’s clarification. https://propakistani.pk/2022/03/17/rice-seeds-not-exempt-from-17-sales-tax-fbr-clarifies-to-na- committee/ Rice Seeds Not Exempt from 17% Sales Tax: FBR Clarifies to NA Committee
  4. 4. FBR has clarified to the National Assembly Standing Committee of Defence Production that rice seeds are not exempt from 17 percent sales tax. The exemption was removed after the introduction of Supplementary Finance Bill 2022 on 16 January 2022. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had imposed a standard rate of 17 percent sales tax on all kinds of seeds, including rice, on 16 January 2022. Previously, The FBR has been directed by the Chairman Committee, Chaudhary Iftikhar Nazir, to clarify whether rice seed is exempt from sales tax under Sr. No. 19 of Table 1 of the Sixth Schedule to the Sales Tax Act, 1990. The clarification received at the Parliament House revealed that rice seed had been removed from sales tax exemptions after the passage of the Finance (Supplementary) Act, 2022. Apropos, it was apprised that Sr. No. 19 of Table 1 of the Sixth Schedule to the Sales Tax Act, 1990 has been substituted through the Finance (Supplementary) Act, 2022. Resultantly, rice seed, like other seeds, is no longer exempt from sales tax.
  5. 5. In light of these details and under Pakistan Customs Tariff (PCT) Heading Number 1006.1010, the rice seed is not exempt from sales tax under Serial Number 19 of Table-1 of the Sixth Schedule to the Sales Tax Act, 1990, as per the FBR’s clarification. Author Name: https://propakistani.pk/2022/03/17/rice-seeds-not-exempt-from-17-sales-tax-fbr-clarifies-to- na-committee/ Date: 17-Mar-2022 Hog, rice industries say lowered tariffs produced no benefits, cut gov’t revenue March 17, 2022 | 8:29 pm
  6. 6. PHILSTAR PORK PRODUCERS and rice farmers said lower tariffs for pork and rice failed to benefit consumers and producers, with retail prices remaining high. “What we have heard from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is that lowering the tariff will benefit consumers. What we observed is that consumers didn’t benefit from it at all. There really are no savings. Our request is to help protect local producers. Imported manufactured goods competing with locally produced goods should, by law, face higher tariffs,” National Federation of Hog Farmers, Inc. President Chester Warren Y. Tan said at a virtual hearing called by the Tariff Commission. ADVERTISEMENT The government sought to liberalize imports of these commodities via lower tariffs in response to an inflation crisis in 2021. In May 2021, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed Executive Order (EO) No. 134 and 135, lowering the tariffs on pork and rice imports from non-ASEAN countries from 50% to 35%. A previous inflation crisis in 2018 led to the initial liberalization of the rice market, via the passage of the Rice Tariffication Law, or Republic Act 11203, the next year.
  7. 7. Mr. Tan said the hog sector would prefer to revert to the original tariff scheme. Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura Chairman Rosendo O. So said that the current tariff arrangement has caused the government to forego revenue it would have earned under the old tariff scheme. “If the tariff of pork was not lower, the government should have collected around P22 billion on the imports of 2021. Because of the lowering of tariffs, we only collected around P10 billion. The government lost around P12 billion… Lowering tariffs did not help improve the retail price,” he added. ADVERTISEMENT “Hog farmers… had to stop repopulation efforts (because of the imports). We are already telling the government, if there are many imports incoming, you will lose hog raisers,” he added. The hog industry is still seeking to bounce back from the African Swine Fever outbreak, which thinned the Philippine herd and caused many growers to exit the business. Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) National Manager Raul Q. Montemayor said that the reduction in tariffs on rice imports from non-ASEAN countries had no impact on overall prices and also resulted in foregone tariff revenue that could have been used to help rice farmers. “There was no increase in rice supply from non-ASEAN sources despite cost advantages of some non-ASEAN exporters. There was a large number of supplier countries, but volumes were negligible,” he said. “We hope the tariff outside ASEAN be made higher… Imports are not the solution, local produce is more dependable if only the government supported it,” Mr. So added. ADVERTISEMENT In a statement, the FFF said that imports from non-ASEAN sources amounted to only 1.78% of total imports in 2021, down from 2.36% in the previous year, even though rice from India and Pakistan are competitive against their ASEAN counterparts. “At the same time, importers opted to bring in expensive grades of rice instead of the regular rice commonly purchased by poor consumers. As what happened with the Rice Tariffication Law or RTL, the benefits of lower tariffs were captured either by importers or rich consumers,” the FFF added. Mr. Montemayor urged the government to return the tariff to 50% and focus efforts on supporting farmers.
  8. 8. “We should encourage local production and incentivize farmers through input support and assurance of stable prices. We should also intensify the accumulation of buffer stocks,” he added. NEDA told the commission that lower tariffs were intended to increase supply and bring down prices. “There are several objectives that went into this. One is to increase supply, which we achieved. We really expected to bring down prices, but true enough, it did not happen. But what did happen, which is very crucial, is the stabilization of prices. If we did not have this additional supply, we may have had rocketing prices, in those periods where production was still not coming out. The inflation rate of meat has really come down,” NEDA Undersecretary Mercedita A. Sombilla said. “When we are able to contain the rise of inflation, that affects the purchasing power of consumers, and that alone helps them. We shouldn’t say that consumers did not benefit from this. They probably did not benefit much from lowering meat prices, but they benefitted from preventing inflation rates going up,” she added. The Tariff Commission is hearing a proposal to extend the effectivity of the EO beyond its scheduled expiry on May 15, 2022. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson https://www.bworldonline.com/hog-rice-industries-say-lowered-tariffs-produced-no-benefits-cut-govt- revenue/ Bukidnon farmers to get rice processing system FARMERS in Maramag, Bukidnon are expected to benefit from the P60-million rice processing system to be established by the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) and local government units (LGUs) in the province. In a statement, PhilMech said it has signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with the local government of Maramag, Bukidnon, Central Mindanao University (CMU) and the National Food Authority (NFA) for the establishment and operation of a rice processing system (RPS) under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Mechanization Program. The RPS will be equipped with one unit of multistage rice mill and two units of recirculating dryers worth a total of P60 million. This is the first MoA executed for the distribution of drying and milling facilities under the RCEF-Mechanization program. "The provision of the RPS for farmers of Maramag, Bukidnon represents the next level of intervention of the RCEF-Mechanization Program because it can help address the issue of lack of accessible drying and milling facilities for small farmers," PhilMech said. The lack of mechanical drying facilities by farmers forces them to sell the palay (unmilled rice) at lower prices. "The milling facilities will also allow farmers to mill their palay and market these directly to consumers or wholesalers, allowing them to earn more," PhilMech added. Meanwhile, PhilMech encouraged LGUs or progressive farmers' cooperatives and
  9. 9. associations to build warehouses as counterparts for the provision of free drying and milling facilities by PHilMech under the RCEF-Mechanization program. Under Republic Act 11203, or the "Rice Tariffication Law" that created the RCEF, funds cannot be allocated for the provision of land and warehouses. For its part, CMU will manage and operate the facilities while the NFA has an existing area, facilities and structure within the university's property in Musuan, Maramag, Bukidnon of which a portion will be used to host the RPS. Author Name: https://www.manilatimes.net/2022/03/18/business/top-business/bukidnon-farmers-to-get- rice-processing-system/1836647 Date: 18-Mar-2022 Customs Seize Rice-Laden Dangote Truck, Other Contraband Worth N373m In Ogun, Lagos METRO By Tola Adenubi - Lagos On Mar 17, 2022 Share The Comptroller General of Customs Strike Force, Team A unit on Thursday revealed that it’s officers seized a Dangote truck loaded with 250 bags of banned imported rice and other items worth N373,629,700 within four weeks at different locations in Ogun and Lagos States. Addressing newsmen in Lagos on Thursday, Controller of the CGC Strike Force Team A, Deputy Comptroller Mohammed Sani Yusuf explained that amongst the seized items include three 20ft containers of Timber, 1000 bags of 50kg rice, 3,143 pieces of used tyres, 320 bale’s of used clothing, 44 sacks of Donkey hides, and 137.3kg of Indian Hemp. According to Controller Yusuf, “I am happy to state that within a period of four weeks, the reconstituted Strike Force Team ‘A’ has collected the sum of N648,300,986.00 as revenue through demand notices. It also made seizures worth a total duty paid value (DPV) of N373,629,700. “I want to reiterate, very sternly that we don’t believe in settling down before executing our task in a sensitive assignment as this. Smugglers who thought they could take advantage of the recent changes to carry out their unlawful trade were disappointed.
  10. 10. “it is pertinent for me to advise importers, licensed customs agents and freight forwarders to imbibe and always operate on good business etiquette by making sincere declarations all the time. With us on the ground, there will be no hiding place for those wishing to cut corners. They should always acquaint themselves and be guided by policies of the Federal Government and be abreast with the import and export prohibition lists. We will not take ignorance as an excuse under any guise. “We are working 24 hours from day one and they have us to contend with any time they dare to carry out their illicit activities either at night or in the day. | am happy to declare that our operatives are relentless and uncompromising as far as this task is concerned. “This is just the beginning of heated anti-smuggling action which we have embarked upon in the entire South West area of the country. We are ready to run smugglers out of town with the full support and encouragement of our CGC, Col Hameed Ibrahim Ali, Rtd. This task is aimed at protecting our national economy and preventing dangerous importation as well as exportation that contradicts the law. “Our patrolling and interdiction capacity is recharged for round the clock operation against smugglers and anyone attempting to circumvent the due process of import and export.” YOU SHOULD NOT MISS THESE FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE Buhari Urges MTN For Quality Service, Downward Price Review In Cost Of Data, Other Services President Muhammadu Buhari Friday at State House Abuja urged the MTN Group to make the available top-of-the-range service to its Nigerian subscribers… Customs seize rice-laden Dangote truck Customs seize rice-laden Dangote truck Customs seize rice-laden Dangote truck Customs seize rice-laden Dangote truck ORITAMEFA BAPTIST MODEL SCHOOLS, (OBMS), IBADAN ENTRANCE EXAMINATION INTO JSS1 FOR 2022/2023 COMES UP ON SATURDAY, 2ND APRIL, 2022 @ 8:00A.M. OBMS..... Excellence through Integrity
  11. 11. https://tribuneonlineng.com/customs-seize-rice-laden-dangote-truck-other-contraband-worth-n373m- in-ogun-lagos/ POSTED IN: RICE NEWS > Current News > 2022 Ancient El Niño behavior reveals limits to future climate projections Analysis of simulations and 9,000 years of history shows need for further research By Constantino Panagopulos Special to Rice News The climate pattern El Niño varies so dramatically on its own accord, scientists will have a hard time detecting whether it gets stronger because of global warming, according to a study by climate scientists at Rice, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Colorado Boulder. A map showing areas where sea surface temperatures were higher than normal (red) and lower than normal (blue) during the strongest El Niño on record in 2016. The large red “tongue” extending west from South America is part of the characteristic pattern of El Niño-associated warming. (Courtesy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Trying to get a clearer picture of how climate change may impact El Niño in the future, the researchers analyzed 9,000 years of Earth’s history, drew on climate data contained in ancient corals and ran climate simulations on a UT supercomputer. Their results were published in Science Advances .
  12. 12. “Because the El Niño Southern oscillation has such a profound impact on weather and climate, figuring out whether or not global warming is going to be a big enough knock to change it is going to be a really critical question for the future,” said Rice co-author Sylvia Dee, an assistant professor of Earth, environmental and planetary sciences. “I’m hopeful that this will really be a call to action for the community.” Sylvia Dee (Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) El Niño is the warm phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation, a climate phenomenon that starts in the Pacific Ocean sets the stage every few years for weather patterns worldwide. Strong El Niño events, like those in 1997 and 2015 that brought wildfires to the rainforests of Borneo and caused widespread bleaching to the world’s coral reefs, come around about once a decade. Computer models, however, don’t offer a clear answer to the question of whether El Niño events will become weaker or stronger as the world warms due to climate change. “Much of the world’s temperature and rainfall is influenced by what happens in the tropical Pacific Ocean,” said study lead author Allison Lawman, who began the research as a graduate student at UT’s Jackson School of Geosciences and continued it during a 16-month postdoctoral fellowship in Dee’s lab. “The difference in rainfall between greater or fewer strong El Niño events is going to be a critical question for infrastructure and resource planners.” said Lawman, now a postdoctoral researcher at CU Boulder. To gauge whether a computer model accurately simulates Earth’s future climate, researchers can have the model simulate a period in Earth’s past and compare the model’s output with the
  13. 13. physical record of Earth’s climate from that period. One source of physical evidence of Earth’s paleoclimate is coral, whose geochemical properties depend on ocean temperature. Allison Lawman holding a piece of coral that is more than 5,000 years old in 2019 while a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin’s Jackson School of Geosciences. As they grow, corals store ocean temperatures in the chemistry of their bones, which scientists can analyze to recreate a thermometer of past ocean temperatures. (Courtesy of the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics) Lawman, Dee and their collaborators used the Lonestar5 supercomputer at UT’s Texas Advanced Computing Center to run a series of climate simulations of a period in Earth's history before humans began influencing climate and the main source of climate change came from a tilt in Earth’s orbit. They verified findings from the simulations using a coral emulator, software Lawman had previously developed to improve the accuracy of model comparisons with climate records from ancient corals. The researchers found that although the occurrence of strong El Niño events intensified over time, the change was small compared to El Niño’s highly variable nature. “It’s like trying to listen to soft music next to a jackhammer,” said study coauthor Jud Partin, a research scientist at UT’s Institute for Geophysics. Dee, Lawman and the study’s other authors call for further investigations into even earlier times in Earth’s history, like the last ice age, to see how El Niño responded to more intense changes in climate forces.
  14. 14. “Scientists need to keep pushing the limits of models and look at geological intervals deeper in time that could offer clues on how sensitive El Niño is to changes in climate,” said co-author Pedro DiNezio, an associate professor at CU Boulder. “Because if there’s another big El Niño it’s going to be very hard to attribute it to a warming climate or to El Niño’s own internal variations.” The research, including much of Lawman’s doctoral studies, was funded by the National Science Foundation. Project partners included Rice and the University of Arizona. —Constantino Panagopulos is a science writer at the University of Texas at Austin’s Jackson School of Geosciences https://news.rice.edu/news/2022/ancient-el-nino-behavior-reveals-limits-future-climate-projections Utility stores jack up rice, basin prices ahead of Ramazan ISLAMABAD – Prices of basin and rice, the two commodities most used in Ramazan, have been increased massively at the utility stores as the holy month of fast is set to begin in early April. The price of basin has been jacked up by Rs30 to Rs190 per kilogram, according to a notification issued by the Utility Stores
  15. 15. Corporation. The price of rice has been increased by Rs25 per kg. The new price will come into effect immediately, said the notification. Author Name: https://en.dailypakistan.com.pk/18-Mar-2022/utility-stores-jack-up-rice-basin-prices-ahead- of-ramazan Date: 18-Mar-2022 Agric Minister’s comments ‘outright disrespect to living experiences’ of farmers, Ghanaians – Group « Prev Next » Comments (8) Listen to Article  WhatsApp  Facebook  Twitter  Email This Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto My wife has not told me that food prices have increased, Agric Minister Agric groups ‘appalled and disappointed’ by Afriyie Akoto’s stance on sector Approach of the sector minister – a complete disregard for real living experiences, Agric Associations Some agriculture associations and stakeholder groups have descended on the Agric Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, for some comments he made concerning happenings in the sector.
  16. 16. The associations, Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana (CAG), the General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU), the Rice Millers Association of Ghana (RMAG), and Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG) said they were appalled and disappointed by the Minister’s disregard for data on the state of the agriculture sector. The Minister during an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show on Wednesday, March 16, 2022, stated that the economy was still in good standing with the implementation of policies such as the Planting for Food and Jobs. According to the Ghana Statistical Service’s February inflation data, food inflation in Ghana has reached an all-time high of 17.40 percent. “If this is not a reflection of the double whammy of escalating prices and weak food supplies, which undermine food security, then we are not sure what is.” “The Minister continues to live in the thinking that all things are rosy in the sector when the reality is that we are saddled with the unavailability of food coupled with high food prices,” the groups noted. Dr. Owusu Afriyie stated that an increase in prices of food and other commodities was a global issue that was not peculiar to Ghana alone. The groups further stated their displeasure for the government’s refusal to acknowledge Ghana’s struggles with food security, with the 2021 Global Food Index ranking Ghana 82nd, which is a drop from 76th in 2016. “In fact, forecast by analysts and economists suggest that the situation will get worse in the coming months due to existing weaknesses in our systems as well as global pressures.” “At the minimum, such reports should be seen as feedback to enable government and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to examine their policy toolkits to address the underlying risks in a collaborative manner,” they added. Read the full statement below: Related Articles:  Cut pay by 25% to save the economy – Prof. Adei charges executive  Economy is stronger ‘than the word broke’ but we are in difficult times – Stephen Adei
  17. 17. https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/business/Agric-Minister-s-comments-outright- disrespect-to-living-experiences-of-farmers-Ghanaians-Group-1492715 Tailwater recovery system could aid in row rice water conservation One major problem farmers have battled for years is the lack of water. It’s becoming harder and harder to find water for irrigation as the climate changes and the demand for crops grows along with the global population. Half the country’s rice is grown in Arkansas, and in Northeast Arkansas where rice is grown, the water table cannot sustain the amount of use into the future, according to a report by The 2020 Arkansas Groundwater Protection and Management Report. Based on 2015 water use data, less than half of the amount of water drawn from the Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Aquifer – 44.2% – is sustainable. Users of the aquifer pulled about 7.6 billion gallons per day out in 2015. Likewise, only about half, 55% of the Sparta/Memphis aquifer withdrawal rate of 160 million gallons per day is sustainable, the report adds. One tactic producers are trying to maximize is the development of farming practices that use less water. Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station researchers can now grow rice with about half the irrigation water used in levee rice systems. Chris Henry, associate professor and water management engineer for the experiment station, has patented a tailwater recovery system for furrow-irrigated rice, also known as “row rice,” after nearly a decade of research at the Division of Agriculture’s Rice Research and Extension Center near Stuttgart. Row rice irrigation is challenging because it requires more frequent cycles than other row crops
  18. 18. and timing is more critical because rice has a shallower root system, Henry said. “We’re trying to make row rice easier to manage. This system does that,” Henry said. “A continuous-flow system returns the water to the top of the field constantly, ensuring water is always available and simplifying irrigation management.” The efficiency is high because the system captures the tailwater and returns it to the top. The irrigation water doesn’t leave the field like a conventional row rice field. Henry’s novel tailwater recovery system makes furrow-irrigated rice competitive in water conservation with a zero-grade flooded field. Growing rice in zero- grade fields is more restrictive because it requires land with no elevation change. Zero-grade fields also present challenges in growing rotation crops. According to the B.R. Wells Arkansas Rice Research Studies 2020 publication, most of the state’s rice is grown in flooded fields through a method known as Multiple Inlet Rice Irrigation (MIRI) or conventional levee and gate systems. Traditional flooding, still the dominant rice production method, uses an average of 30 acre-inches of irrigation water a season. Henry’s novel tailwater recovery system can produce as much rice with less than 19 acre-inches of irrigation. An acre-inch is equivalent to one inch of water depth over an acre of land or 27,154 gallons per acre. Throughout his research since 2013, Henry said he has not used over 19 acre-inches of irrigation water with the tailwater recovery system. He has used as little as 12 acre-inches. Furrow-irrigated rice has gained momentum over the past seven years. In 2015, less than 1% of Arkansas rice land used furrow irrigation. By 2019, it had grown to 10.5% and in 2020 it was about 17%, according to Jarrod Hardke, rice extension agronomist with the Division of Agriculture. Henry said water conservation is an increasingly important issue as fresh groundwater becomes less abundant. Average seasonal irrigation demands range widely for different soil types and field designs, Hardke said. So, at 27,154 gallons per acre-inch, a farmer would need 814,620 gallons of water per acre to sufficiently water rice grown on a silt loam soil to achieve the average required irrigation of 30 acre- inches in a flooded field with levees, Hardke said. A zero-grade flooded field — one with no elevation difference to require an infield levee — averages about 18-acre inches of irrigation water, he said. “We are doing as good or better than a zero-grade flooded field,” Henry said. “It makes row rice field management like zero-grade but offers you the benefit of rows that can be used in subsequent seasons. You can potentially plant several weeks sooner than a conventional levee rice field because the tillage prep work to convert the beds to flooded levees is not necessary.” The system can reduce a farmer’s need for capital equipment, tractors, tillage equipment, and the labor to prepare fields, Henry added. “It can also allow more options for ground operations of fertilizer and pesticide applications providing the farmer with more options for rice management,” Henry said. The novel tailwater system has the most potential in rice but is also helpful in improving irrigation efficiency of our other crops such as soybeans, corn and cotton because it can recover tailwater for use during an irrigation event, Henry added. In addition to less irrigation water, Henry’s patented continuous-flow system in row rice provides more consistent ground saturation, which may produce less nitrous oxide than other irrigation methods, Henry said. The saturation can also reduce pigweed pressure, he added. Before Henry’s technical development, furrow-irrigated rice growers were warned of a possible 8% yield reduction in row rice production depending on field conditions and management capabilities. Henry said some recent experience and results suggest that his system may be closing that yield gap typically experienced by farmers and noted in published studies. Instead of a large water reservoir, or “pit,” common with conventional furrow-irrigation methods, the tailwater recovery uses a low-energy, high-
  19. 19. flow-low-head, variable-speed pump at the lowest elevation of the field to return the water to the top of the field. Henry’s “pitless” tailwater recovery system recycles about 90% of the water in the system. The method also provides options for “fertigation,” or fertilizing with irrigation water. Henry continues to test slow- release nitrogen application methods in row rice, which may allow one application of nitrogen at the beginning of the season with potash and phosphate. Henry said it could be a time-saver for the farmer at no additional cost. Because it is still a new method in row rice, more work is needed to fully understand the tailwater recovery system, Hardke said. In addition to water use, research remains on fertilizer application and weed and pest control using the system. Arkansas rice farmers harvested 1.4 million acres in 2021 with a value of about $1.297 billion, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Author Name: https://talkbusiness.net/2022/03/tailwater-recovery-system-could-aid-in-row-rice-water- conservation/ Date: 18-Mar-2022 Asia rice: Vietnam prices hit 3-month peak on firm demand
  20. 20. BENGALURU/BANGKOK/HANOI/MUMBAI/DHAKA: Export prices of rice from Vietnam climbed to a three- and-a-half-month high this week on steady demand and elevated shipping costs, which dissuaded some traders from signing new contracts. Vietnam’s 5% broken rice were offered at $415-$420 per tonne on
  21. 21. Thursday, compared with $410-$415 a week ago. “Demand is stable, but traders are hesitant to sign new contracts due to high shipping costs,” a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said, adding outbound shipping costs have risen significantly since the beginning of the Ukraine-Russia crisis. “We are hearing the Philippines may soon lift its limit on rice imports from Vietnam,” another trader said. Philippines, Vietnam’s largest rice buyer, in November took steps to temporarily limit imports of the grain from Vietnam amid a big harvest at home. Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices fell slightly to $410-$428 per tonne from $415-$428 a week ago, their highest since late June. “The baht has weakened and domestic prices are seen easing in the coming weeks due to new supply,” one trader said. There is still strong demand for low-quality rice from domestic feed mills, which are looking to use more rice in their animal feed mix as prices of wheat and corn rally, traders said. However, foreign demand remained largely muted, except for exporting activities to Iraq, they said. Top exporter India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $371 to $378 per tonne, unchanged from the last week, as demand remained strong for broken grades for feed purposes. “Broken rice is in demand. Feed makers are replacing corn with 25% and 100% broken rice,” said an exporter based at Kakinada in southern state of Andhra Pradesh. Author Name: https://www.brecorder.com/news/40161477/asia-rice-vietnam-prices-hit-3-month-peak-on- firm-demand Do not downplay the living experiences of farmers and Ghanaians – Group to Agric Minister Source: Cornerlis Kweku Affre 17 March 2022 5:45am
  22. 22. A group of key players in Ghana’s agricultural industry have expressed their utmost disappointment at certain utterances made by the Agric Minister, Owusu Afriyie Akoto during an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show on Wednesday 16th March. The group made up of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana (CAG), the General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU), the Rice Millers Association of Ghana (RMAG), and Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG) said they were appalled by the Minister’s reactions to pertinent issue surrounding food security in the country. In the said interview, the Group says the Minister was largely evasive and unaccountable and displayed high levels of intolerance in his choice of response to the interviewer. They added that some of his responses were in outright disrespect of the living experiences of farmers and other actors in the sector. According to the group, the Minister, despite glaring evidence pointing to food inflation and Ghana’s deteriorating state of food security disagreed and insisted that the reports alluding to those claims were unreliable. He, however, failed to provide any counter argument or evidence to support his own claims.
  23. 23. What broke the camel’s back was when the Minister downplayed the claim of food inflation by drawing on his own domestic experience. “My wife has not indicated to me food prices have increased,” he’s quoted to have replied. “How inconsiderate and disrespectful to Ghanaians? We hope his responses this morning, and in previous comments such as the reference to his domestic experience is not a reflection of official government position on the developments in the sector. That will be an unfortunate situation!” the Group said. According to them, “In fact, forecast by analysts and economists suggest that the situation will get worse in the coming months due to existing weaknesses in our systems as well as global pressures.” “Policy makers at the highest level such as the sector Minister cannot be dismissive of these risks and reports. At the minimum, such reports should be seen as feedback to enable government and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to examine their policy toolkits to addressing the underlying risks in a collaborative manner,” they said. Read full statement below; https://www.myjoyonline.com/do-not-downplay-the-living-experiences-of-farmers-and-ghanaians- agric-players-to-sector-minister/
  24. 24. We are saddled by unavailability of food, high prices; Agric Minister will soon be exposed when it gets worse — Agric group SOCIAL NEWS MAR 17, 2022 LISTEN Some agriculture stakeholder groups have condemned what they say is Minister of Food and Agriculture’s disregard for data on the state of the agric sector. In a statement, they said they were “appalled and disappointed” by comments by the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, during an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show on Wednesday 16th March 2022. The minister maintains that the agric sector is in good standing in the wake of policies like the planting for food and jobs.
  25. 25. The groups in question are the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana (CAG), the General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU), the Rice Millers Association of Ghana (RMAG), and Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG). Among other things, they are upset the government refuses to acknowledge Ghana’s struggling situation with food security, with the 2021 Global Food Index ranking Ghana 82nd, which is a drop from 76th in 2016. The groups cited the Ghana Statistical Services’ (GSS) indication that food inflation in Ghana had reached an all-time high of 17.40 percent as of February 2022. “If this is not a reflection of the double whammy of escalating prices and weak food supplies, which undermine food security, then we are not sure what is.” “The Minister continues to live in the thinking that all things are rosy in the sector when the reality is that we are saddled with the unavailability of food coupled with high food prices,” the groups noted. The groups warned that the minister and other policymakers should not dismiss the negative forecasts of Ghana’s agriculture sector. “In fact, forecast by analysts and economists suggest that the situation will get worse in the coming months due to existing weaknesses in our systems as well as global pressures.” “At the minimum, such reports should be seen as feedback to enable government and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to examine their policy toolkits to address the underlying risks in a collaborative manner,” they added. —citinewsroom Comments https://www.modernghana.com/news/1145611/we-are-saddled-by-unavailability-of-food-high.html
  26. 26. 94 lakh tonnes paddy lifted for custom milling Thursday, 17 March 2022 | Staff Reporter | RAIPUR  SHARE     TT  TT    0  Following instructions of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, paddy lifting for custom milling is going on across the state at a rapid pace. An official communiqué said that till Tuesday, 94.47 lakh tonnes of paddy has been lifted by rice millers for custom milling. The work of depositing the rice in the Central pool has also been stepped up, it said. So far, 29.78 lakh tonnes of rice have been deposited. This includes 16.06 lakh tonnes deposited with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and 13.72 lakh tonnes with the Civil Supplies Corporation. Food Secretary Topeshwar Verma said that paddy lifting for custom milling was being done rapidly.
  27. 27. So far, a record 94.47 lakh tonnes of rice have been lifted. https://www.dailypioneer.com/2022/state-editions/94-lakh-tonnes-paddy-lifted-for-custom- milling.html Stop marketing rice under fancy names: Experts Photo: Noor A Alam Highlights:  No paddy by the name Miniket or Nazirshal  Millers polish coarse paddy varieties to make up the brands  The excessive polishing takes away nutritional rice values  Policy on the cards to limit rice polishing, mandate paddy variety mentioning Agri-experts and nutritionists have recommended stopping marketing rice under any names other than those of recognised paddy varieties. Currently, rice is being sold under various fancy names such as Miniket, Nazirshal etc. To protect the rights of consumers, the paddy varieties should be mentioned on the packets of rice, they told a seminar titled "Nutrition and Quality Assessment of Polished Rice Sold in Bangladesh" in Dhaka Wednesday. The Bangladesh Food Safety Authority organised the programme where its member Prof Abdul Alim revealed the findings of a research.
  28. 28. Prof Alim said new paddy varieties are being introduced in the country, but we do not find the rice brands in the market. Instead, we get rice under different names such as Miniket and Nazirshal that are not any paddy varieties. He said there are no paddies by the names Miniket and Nazirshal. Different coarse paddy varieties are polished to make these shiny and bright rice "brands", but excessive polishing of rice reduces its nutritional value. A six-member research team including Prof Alim conducted the study on BRRI-26 paddy. They compared the nutritional values of polished and unpolished rice varieties. The findings suggest both parboiled and sundried rice loses substantial amounts of protein, vitamin, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus thanks to excessive polishing. The researchers made a number of recommendations including limiting rice polishing to the highest 8%, maintaining the maximum moisture content in rice at 11%, and shaping a mass campaign to make people aware of excessive polished rice. The seminar was attended by rice millers from different parts of the country and most of them admitted that there is no Miniket paddy variety. They said that coarse paddies are polished to turn them into the premium rice brand to meet the increasing demand. As the chief guest of the programme, Food Secretary Mosammat Nazmanara Khanum said, "We ourselves have become accustomed to fine and milky white rice. A policy is also being formulated banning excessive polishing. She said the policy will also mandate mentioning the paddy variety on rice sacks. Food Safety Authority Chairman Md Abdul Kayowm Sarker presided over the seminar, while another member of the research team Mohammad Ali Siddiqui, Dhaka University Professor Nazma Shaheen and private television channel DBC News Editor Pranab Saha were present among others. Top News rice / Commodity / rice variety / Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) COMMENTS While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderation decisions are subjective. Published comments are readers’ own views and The Business Standard does not endorse any of the readers’ comments.
  29. 29. https://www.tbsnews.net/economy/stop-marketing-rice-under-fancy-names-experts-386014 Researchers Across Academia Are Generating Ground-Breaking Discoveries With Planet Data    Joseph Mascaro | March 17, 2022  Pulse Home  >  Stories  >  Researchers Across Academia are Generating Ground-breaking Discoveries with Planet Data STORIES Planet’s Education and Research Program provides researchers, academics, and scientists with the ability to see change on the Earth in real-time. In the hands of these experts, our satellite data is helping to power models, reveal planetary change, and deliver spatial-temporal insights across a variety of academic fields. Our team at Planet has been thrilled to see the broad range of places and subjects that these ground-breaking researchers have chosen to explore. Read about their exciting findings using Planet data: Cultural Heritage Dr. Adam Smith at Cornell University leverages high resolution SkySat to better understand destruction of cultural heritage sites in areas around the world.
  30. 30. “Archaeologists at Cornell and Purdue University are using SkySat imagery to monitor hundreds of cultural heritage sites at risk due to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. In 2020, Planet imagery allowed Caucasus Heritage Watch (CHW) to detect the destruction of historic cemeteries, damage to museums and churches, and emerging threats to the integrity of numerous monuments,” said Dr. Smith. “CHW’s findings were recently used as evidence in a case before the International Court of Justice, contributing to a significant ruling that sets a new precedent for cultural heritage protection worldwide.” Vegetation Growth Dr. D. Ichikawa at the Center for Research and Application of Satellite Remote Sensing of Yamaguchi University, Japan observes active rice paddy fields with PlanetScope data. “We use PlanetScope data to estimate rice growth status and to map active paddy rice fields in Yamaguchi prefecture of Japan. The use of PlanetScope ortho tiles has shown significant improvement in our estimate of rice growth indicators as vegetation indices and mapping accuracy. PlanetScope has great advantages with high observation frequency and 3 meter spatial resolution compared with other MS optical satellites. Another challenge of our research is the integrated use of optical constellation satellite and SAR data for monitoring soil-vegetation productivity of agricultural land area. The optical constellation PlanetScope and SAR data have been processed and analyzed for the agricultural land area of central JAVA of Indonesia. PlanetScope allows a multi-temporal analysis with Sentinel-1 SAR imagery for three planting seasons in this region.” Ecology Dr. Kyle Cavanuagh at the University of California – Los Angeles works with PlanetScope data to quantify and measure the extent and health of kelp forests off the shore of Northern California. “We have been using Planet imagery to map kelp cover along the coast of Sonoma and Mendocino counties following a collapse in kelp forests that occurred in 2014. This collapse has had substantial negative impacts on the ecology and economy of coastal northern California,” explained Dr. Cavanuagh. “We developed a method to map kelp canopy from PlanetScope imagery and created annual kelp maps between 2016-2021. This data allowed us to find ‘kelp refuges’, small areas that were able to persist in the face of the regional kelp collapse. We have also documented a partial recovery in kelp abundance between 2020 and 2021.”
  31. 31. Air Quality Dr. Michael Bergin and Dr. Tongshu Zheng at Duke University are using PlanetScope’s high spatial and temporal resolution to identify dangerous particulate matter known as PM2.5 in urban spaces. “[Our paper] shows neighborhood level hot spots [of PM2.5] in Delhi,” explained Dr. Bergin. “Planet data is going to be revolutionary in characterizing air pollution in a way that will result in mitigation strategies that will greatly improve human health. The overarching theme is that using Planet data with recent advances in AI is going to result in a much cleaner environment and a more healthy world.” Sustainable Agriculture Dr. Elia Scudiero at the University of California – Riverside and his research group utilize PlanetScope and SkySat to monitor agriculture in the southwest region of the United States. “The University of California – Riverside is leading a USDA-funded multi-state project on Artificial Intelligence to support sustainable agriculture in the US Southwest. UCRiverside is leveraging information from PlanetScope imagery to: map soil properties at high resolution, estimate crop water requirements, and map crop type in real-time that will help growers reduce the environmental footprint of irrigated agriculture,” said Dr. Scudiero. “Additionally, UCRiverside is using PlanetScope data and Planet educational support to train students and postdocs in the field of agricultural data science.” Deforestation to Nuclear Reactors Dr. Jennie Murack at MIT is using PlanetScope data for a range of projects from monitoring nuclear reactors to urban development. “Planet has been a valuable research tool for our students, staff, and faculty. It provides access to consistent, regularly-collected imagery at a higher resolution than what is available through other sources,” said Murack. “The data have been used by nearly every department on campus for projects ranging from monitoring nuclear reactors to assessing deforestation to exploring building renovations in cities.” Each month, researchers are using our data to contribute new knowledge to this world, asking daring questions, advancing modern science, and broadening our understanding of society and
  32. 32. the planet. We are honored to be supporting academics in their pursuit of this knowledge, and we look forward to showcasing more researchers soon. Learn more about how Planet’s Education and Research Program could help with your research here. Be sure to check out our Publications page to see published academic articles using Planet data, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to see the latest papers highlighted on #ScienceWednesday. academia - aerospace - Agile aerospace - earth observation - education - EO - newspace - planet - planet labs - research - Satellite - satellite data - satellite imagery - satellites https://www.planet.com/pulse/researchers-across-academia-are-generating-ground-breaking-discoveries-with- planet-data/ Tailwater recovery research shows significant water savings in row rice March 17, 2022 - Advertisement -
  33. 33. Chris Henry, associate professor and water management engineer for the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, explains the tailwater irrigation system for furrow-irrigated rice. (UA System Division of Ag photo by Mary Hightower) - Advertisement -
  34. 34. FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station researchers are steadily improving water conservation tactics. They can now grow rice with about half the irrigation water used in levee rice systems. Chris Henry, associate professor and water management engineer for the experiment station, the research arm of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, has patented a tailwater recovery system for furrow-irrigated rice, also known as “row rice,” after nearly a decade of research at the Division of Agriculture’s Rice Research and Extension Center near Stuttgart. Row rice irrigation is challenging because it requires more frequent cycles than other row crops and timing is more critical because rice has a shallower root system, Henry said. - Advertisement - “We’re trying to make row rice easier to manage. This system does that,” Henry said. “A continuous-flow system returns the water to the top of the field constantly, ensuring water is always available and simplifying irrigation management.” The efficiency is high because the system captures the tailwater and returns it to the top. The irrigation water doesn’t leave the field like a conventional row rice field. Henry’s novel tailwater recovery system makes furrow-irrigated rice competitive in water conservation with a zero-grade flooded field. Growing rice in zero-grade fields is more restrictive because it requires land with no elevation change. Zero-grade fields also present challenges in growing rotation crops.
  35. 35. According to the B.R. Wells Arkansas Rice Research Studies 2020 publication, most of the state’s rice is grown in flooded fields through a method known as Multiple Inlet Rice Irrigation (MIRI) or conventional levee and gate systems. Traditional flooding, still the dominant rice production method, uses an average of 30 acre-inches of irrigation water a season. Henry’s novel tailwater recovery system can produce as much rice with less than 19 acre-inches of irrigation. An acre-inch is equivalent to one inch of water depth over an acre of land or 27,154 gallons per acre. Throughout his research since 2013, Henry said he has not used over 19 acre-inches of irrigation water with the tailwater recovery system. He has used as little as 12 acre- inches. The goal of furrow-irrigated rice is to achieve increased profit margins by reducing input costs, according to the Arkansas Furrow-Irrigated Rice Handbook (https://bit.ly/ArkansasFIRHandbook). But it can also use less water if coupled with tailwater recovery. Furrow-irrigated rice also offers no-till options, along with the ability to plant cover crops and build soil health or rotate crops to soybeans, corn or other food crops. Furrow-irrigated rice has gained momentum over the past seven years. In 2015, less than 1 percent of Arkansas rice land used furrow irrigation. By 2019, it had grown to 10.5 percent and in 2020 it was about 17 percent, according to Jarrod Hardke, rice extension agronomist with the Division of Agriculture. Henry said water conservation is an increasingly important issue as fresh groundwater becomes less abundant. The 2020 Arkansas Groundwater Protection and Management Report (https://bit.ly/2020ArkansasGroundwaterReport), a publication from the Arkansas Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Division, stated groundwater use rates in the state’s rice production areas were “unsustainable.” Based on 2015 water use data, less than half of the amount of water drawn from the Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Aquifer – 44.2 percent – is sustainable. Users of the aquifer pulled about 7.6 billion gallons per day out in 2015. Likewise, only about half – 55 percent – of the Sparta/Memphis aquifer withdrawal rate of 160 million gallons per day is sustainable, the report adds.
  36. 36. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service, Arkansas typically produces nearly half of the rice in the nation. The 2021 Arkansas Agriculture Profile (bit.ly/2021 ArkAgProfile) records 1.4 million acres of rice harvested in 2020 with a value of $1.297 billion. Average seasonal irrigation demands range widely for different soil types and field designs, Hardke said. So, at 27,154 gallons per acre-inch, a farmer would need 814,620 gallons of water per acre to sufficiently water rice grown on a silt loam soil to achieve the average required irrigation of 30 acre-inches in a flooded field with levees, Hardke said. A zero-grade flooded field — one with no elevation difference to require an infield levee — averages about 18-acre inches of irrigation water, he said. “We are doing as good or better than a zero-grade flooded field,” Henry said. “It makes row rice field management like zero-grade but offers you the benefit of rows that can be used in subsequent seasons. You can potentially plant several weeks sooner than a conventional levee rice field because the tillage prep work to convert the beds to flooded levees is not necessary.” The system can reduce a farmer’s need for capital equipment, tractors, tillage equipment, and the labor to prepare fields, Henry added. “It can also allow more options for ground operations of fertilizer and pesticide applications providing the farmer with more options for rice management,” Henry said. The novel tailwater system has the most potential in rice but is also helpful in improving irrigation efficiency of our other crops such as soybeans, corn and cotton because it can recover tailwater for use during an irrigation event, Henry added. Benefits of continual flow In addition to less irrigation water, Henry’s patented continuous-flow system in row rice provides more consistent ground saturation, which may produce less nitrous oxide than other irrigation methods, Henry said. The saturation can also reduce pigweed pressure, he added.
  37. 37. Research by crop, soil, and environmental sciences professor Kristofor Brye’s graduate student Jordan M. Slayden for the experiment station in 2018 and 2019 showed that a no-till, furrow-irrigated rice field produced less nitrous oxide than a conventional-till field. Geoderma Regional published the study’s results in the March 2022 issue (https://bit.ly/ArkansasN2OinRice). Slayden’s report noted that more consistent rice field saturation could further decrease nitrous oxide. Before Henry’s technical development, furrow-irrigated rice growers were warned of a possible 8 percent yield reduction in row rice production depending on field conditions and management capabilities. Henry said some recent experience and results suggest that his system may be closing that yield gap typically experienced by farmers and noted in published studies. Instead of a large water reservoir, or “pit,” common with conventional furrow- irrigation methods, the tailwater recovery uses a low-energy, high-flow-low-head, variable-speed pump at the lowest elevation of the field to return the water to the top of the field. Henry’s “pitless” tailwater recovery system recycles about 90 percent of the water in the system. The method also provides options for “fertigation,” or fertilizing with irrigation water. Henry continues to test slow-release nitrogen application methods in row rice, which may allow one application of nitrogen at the beginning of the season with potash and phosphate. Henry said it could be a time-saver for the farmer at no additional cost. Stephen Hoskyn, a rice farmer near Stuttgart, used the tailwater recovery system to win the 2021 Most Crop Per Drop contest. It was the first time row rice won the Division of Agriculture contest created in 2018. Hoskyn produced an average of 9.77 bushels of rice per acre-inch of total water. For the competition, water-use efficiency is calculated by dividing yield by the total water — rain plus irrigation — received by a field. Hoskyn harvested nearly 240 bushels per acre corrected to 12 percent moisture by applying 13.47 acre-inches of irrigation water and 29.56 acre-inches of total water. “In a flooded field, you’re lucky to get 200 bushels per acre, and the state average is about 170 bushels,” Henry said.
  38. 38. Because it is still a new method in row rice, more work is needed to fully understand the tailwater recovery system, Hardke said. In addition to water use, research remains on fertilizer application and weed and pest control using the system. Henry’s research includes finding ways to reduce bed erosion with the new system. One way is to use low-lying plastic hose extensions with plastic mulch at the poly pipe. The continuous-flow system may not fit every farmer’s situation, Henry said. It is not suited to fields with an elevation difference over 10 feet. Henry has worked to improve the method at the Rice Research and Extension Center in Stuttgart since he arrived in 2013. So far, he knows of only about five rice farmers in Arkansas using the method, and he is working on licensing the patents for the system to third-party businesses to build them. The U.S. Department of Energy has supported research on the tailwater recovery system, along with the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board and the Arkansas Natural Resources Conservation Service, which is part of the USDA. https://www.stuttgartdailyleader.com/tailwater-recovery-research-shows-significant-water-savings-in- row-rice/ Breaking news for everyone's consumption Menu HomeOutbreaksRecallsDirectoryEventsAbout UsMedia KitContact Us
  39. 39. Irish agency issues rice milk arsenic warning following consumer complaint By Joe Whitworth on March 17, 2022 The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has warned about the illegal sale online of rice-based infant and follow-on formula.
  40. 40. Such formulas are not permitted to be sold in Europe, as they do not meet nutritional requirements for infants. They may be allowed if classed as foods for special medical purposes for those with a lactose intolerance or cow’s milk allergy. The agency’s advice is that infants and young children up to 4 and a half years old should not consume rice milk as a substitute for cows’ milk, breast milk or other kinds of infant formulas because of a risk of inorganic arsenic exposure. EU regulation on infant formula and follow-on formula manufactured from protein hydrolysates was updated in 2021. Protein from cow’s milk and goat’s milk or proteins isolated from soya or protein hydrolysates made from demineralized whey protein from cow’s milk are allowed but use of protein hydrolysates derived from rice is not permitted. Arsenic exposure concerns Previous research in 2009 detected low levels of inorganic arsenic in rice milk. A rice-based infant and follow-on formula, Prémibio Prémiriz from France, is available to buy online via the Sanareva.co.uk website. The warning about the unauthorized sale of organic hydrolyzed rice protein infant formula also includes insufficient labelling and comes after a consumer complaint. The FSAI said it has contacted authorities in the UK and other EU countries to discontinue the sale of the product in Europe from the website. The agency is also
  41. 41. reaching out to hospitals and public health professionals to inform them of the online sales. Pamela Byrne, chief executive at the FSAI, said arsenic is found in the environment and can be present in a range of foods, including rice, at low levels. “The toxicity of arsenic depends on the form in which it is present, this being either organic or inorganic. The inorganic form is the more toxic form and the FSAI states that exposure to this should be kept as low as reasonably practicable. As a precaution, to reduce exposure to inorganic arsenic, parents and guardians should not give these foods to infants and young children up to 4.5 years,” she said. Research needs The FSAI has also published its 2022 research needs report which contains priority areas that would help the risk assessment and risk management work of the agency and support the protection of public health. Food safety research is important to highlight risk and find potential control measures, address gaps in knowledge to support regulation and identify emerging issues and threats to the food system. The FSAI is not a research funding body, so to raise awareness of needs, it lists areas to help agencies that fund such projects and scientists in research institutes. Examples are vulnerability assessments on the beef, pork, poultry, and white fish product supply chains; trends and food safety risks of synthetic biology; the chemical and microbiological safety of plant-based meat alternatives; impact of the circular economy on food safety; and effects that proposed reductions in the maximum levels of nitrates and nitrites may have on meat products. Funded projects include one on the increasing risk of paralytic shellfish poisoning in Ireland headed up by the Marine Institute, another on mycotoxin exposure risk led by University College Dublin and one dealing with detection of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) in water. (To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.) Tags: Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), infant formula, inorganic arsen https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2022/03/irish-agency-issues-rice-milk-arsenic-warning-following- consumer-complaint/
  42. 42. Strong Asian rice demand for animal feed sparks food supply worries in Commodity News 17/03/2022 A surge in wheat and corn prices is boosting demand for low-grade rice in animal rations across Asia, pushing up prices of the world’s most important staple at a time when global food inflation is already hovering near record highs. Global crop importers are scrambling for supplies after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine severed grain shipments from the two countries, which together account for around 25% of world wheat and 16% of world corn exports. Chicago wheat futures hit a record high last week while corn climbed to its highest in a decade after war-torn Ukraine shut its ports and Western sanctions hit Russian exports. The price spikes in wheat and corn in turn pushed buyers to seek alternatives, including in China, by far the world’s largest feed market. Importers there are in talks to buy extra volumes of broken rice – inferior rice where the grains have been fractured during the milling process – to fatten hogs and other animals, traders and analysts said. Rice typically trades at a steep premium to wheat, but wheat’s blistering 50% price surge from a month ago has sharply cut the difference between the two grains, and even made wheat more expensive than some lower grades of rice. Benchmark food-grade rice from Thai exporters made its biggest weekly gain since October 2020 last week on the back of firmer food and feed demand, climbing 5% to around $421.50 a tonne. That’s the highest since last June, and sources say prices may keep rising if the disruption to Black Sea flows persists. Export prices from Vietnam and India have also climbed. “There could be greater interest in broken rice for animal feed if the strength currently dominating wheat and corn markets persists,” said Rome-based FAO rice economist Shirley Mustafa. “It is not just animal feed, there could also be a substitution in other use sectors, such as more people turning to rice for their meals.” CORN CUT China had booked up to two million tonnes of Ukrainian corn imports for this year, but most of those shipments are now in jeopardy given the disruption to Ukraine’s logistics chains. To replace those lost volumes, China is expected to import around three million tonnes of broken rice, up from about two million tonnes annually in the past two years, said a Beijing-based rice trader. One importer in Guangdong is looking to buy broken rice from Thailand, while others have recently bought Indian broken rice for feed, according to another source briefed on the matter. “Demand for Indian broken rice has gone up because of higher corn prices. Feed makers are trying to replace corn with rice,” B.V. Krishna Rao, president of India’s Rice Exporters Association, told Reuters. Prices of 100% Indian broken rice have moved up to $320 per tonne this month from $290 in February, he added. Further underpinning rice prices, feed makers in Thailand are also looking at using more broken rice to replace corn, pushing up domestic prices across the country, said Bangkok-based traders. “There is tremendous increase in demand for lower quality rice from Thailand’s animal feed industry,” said one trader in Bangkok. “In fact, much of Thailand’s broken rice is likely to be consumed in the domestic market.” FOOD FEARS Global rice prices could rise further in the second quarter if wheat consumers in India – the second largest rice user after China – switch to rice due to record high domestic wheat prices, which would accelerate any decline in rice inventories, said Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of Thai Rice Exporters Association.
  43. 43. While global rice inventories are set to hit a record 190 million tonnes this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, global rice output is expected to exceed world consumption by less than 5 million tonnes in 2022, so a sudden climb in worldwide demand could quickly start to deplete those inventories and reinforce bullish sentiment in the market. In turn, an increase in rice prices will intensify food security worries for some of the poorest nations in Africa and Asia, where millions rely on cheap availability of the staple. “As of now, broken rice is mainly for the feed sector, but as the war gets prolonged and buyers are not able to get hold of adequate wheat, then it comes to food security,” said one Singapore-based grains trader. “Buyers will do whatever they can to replace expensive wheat with rice or other alternatives.” Source: Reuters (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; aditional reporting by Hallie Gu in Beijing, Khanh Vu in Hanoi, Patpicha Tanakasempipat in Bangkok and Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai; editing by Gavin Maguire and Richard Pullin) https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/strong-asian-rice-demand-for-animal-feed-sparks-food-supply- worries/  Rice engineers show spinning magnetic particles surprisingly follow thermodynamic laws — ScienceDaily SCIENCE
  44. 44. Rice Engineers Show Spinning Magnetic Particles Surprisingly Follow Thermodynamic Laws — ScienceDaily By Addrew Shawn On Mar 16, 2022 0 Share Small spheres suspended in a liquid move enough like molecules that the physics for one can be used to mimic the physics of the other. That’s why the discovery of some unusual physics in colloids — particles dispersed in a solution such as milk, for example — could be of interest to researchers who study biological interactions. Chemical and biomolecular engineer Sibani Lisa Biswal and postdoctoral fellow Kedar Joshi of Rice University’s George R. Brown School of Engineering found that when a colloid — in this case, a suspension of micron-sized paramagnetic particles — is jostled with a magnetic field, it still tends to seek its lowest-energy state in the same way that gas and liquid systems do. “It’s like trying to blow a bubble in an odd shape,” Biswal said. “It always goes back to a sphere.” Their finding, detailed in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, doesn’t exactly challenge Kelvin’s equation, which describes thermodynamic interactions between liquids and gases. But it does stretch the equation a bit. “Kelvin’s equation comes from classical thermodynamics, and tells us how liquid and gas phases are in equilibrium with each other,” Biswal said. “Kedar likes to give the example of water droplets: how they stay a certain size, even with water and vapor phases around them.” “These colloidal groups are like the droplets,” Joshi said. “They try to stay circular, rather than take an arbitrary shape. Our thought was these equations should explain not just one or two but every property of our colloids as well.” The study extends the lab’s previous work to characterize how particles interact in solutions, the most recent demonstrating how superparamagnetic colloids interact with each other in a rapidly spinning magnetic field.
  45. 45. “This one falls under our purview of how we think about gases and liquids, but in a different way,” Biswal said. “Kedar decided to apply the formula to our system, in which we can see the particles, we can count them and actually track them through their ‘gas’ and condensed phases.” The results were surprising, they wrote, because Kelvin’s equation is not intended to apply to systems kicked out of equilibrium. In the Rice experiments, the particles represented liquid molecules when clumped and gas molecules when dispersed, both qualities controlled by the rotating magnetic field, a stand-in for the equation’s temperature variable. The researchers threw their colloid out of equilibrium by spinning it with the field. In spite of that, they found the equation still held true for the interactions they observed as the particles came together or flew apart depending on the strength of the field. “The particles followed the rotating field; they look like little miniaturized stir bars,” Biswal said. “But if we increased the frequency, we found that it generated an isotropic attractive interaction between the particles.” The strength of this fast rotating magnetic field became a knob that raised and lowered the “temperature” and controlled whether the particles condensed into a liquid or dispersed like a gas. “The system does behave like it’s being affected by temperature,” said Joshi, who recently left Rice to join the faculty at the Indian Institute of Technology, Goa. “We were keen to show that it would replicate what classical phases do in terms of vapor pressure, viscosity and surface tension as well.” Biswal said the study also has implications for devices like control displays that employ liquid crystals. “The new paper is about the idea that you can have coexistence (between the liquid and gas phases),” she said. “Being able to see how magnetic fields can be used to control how these systems are able to achieve coexisting phases is important to designing materials that are reconfigurable or have a desired property.” The National Science Foundation (CBET-17055703) supported the research. Biswal is the William M. McCardell Professor in Chemical Engineering, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and of materials science and nanoengineering, and associate dean for faculty development. Video: https://youtu.be/r7syYqY38Og Story Source:
  46. 46. Materials provided by Rice University. Original written by Mike Williams. Note: Content may be edited for style and length. https://vervetimes.com/rice-engineers-show-spinning-magnetic-particles-surprisingly-follow- thermodynamic-laws-sciencedaily/ Implanted 'drug factory' eliminates certain kinds of cancer in days in animals, human trials could begin in late 2022 The beads contain cells that produce a compound called interleukin-2, a protein which activates white blood cells to fight cancer.
  47. 47. Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University Rice University bioengineers Amanda Nash (left) and Omid Veiseh with vials of bead-like “drug factories” they created to treat cancer. The beads are designed to continuously produce natural compounds that program the immune system to attack tumors. Author: Alex Fregger Published: 3:41 AM EDT March 18, 2022 Updated: 3:41 AM EDT March 18, 2022 HOUSTON, Texas — Researchers say they've found a way to eliminate ovarian and colorectal cancer in mice by implanting a "drug factory" near tumors. They say they hope to start human clinical trials in the fall. The researchers, bioengineers at Rice University in Houston Texas, said in a study published March 2, that by implanting small drug-producing beads, they were able to eradicate tumors in 100% of animals with ovarian cancer, and seven out of eight animals with colorectal cancer. The beads, which use components previously proven safe for people, contain cells that produce a compound called interleukin-2, a protein which activates white blood cells to fight cancer. The researchers placed the beads next to the tumors and inside a sac-like lining that supports organs like the intestines, which helps limit exposure of the treatment from the rest of the body. Researchers say the drug factories also provoke a stronger immune response than existing interleukin-2 treatment regimens because the beads deliver higher concentrations of the protein directly to tumors. “If you gave the same concentration of the protein through an IV pump, it would be extremely toxic,” graduate student Amanda Nash said. “With the drug factories, the concentration we see elsewhere in the body, away from the tumor site, is actually lower than what patients have to tolerate with IV treatments. The high concentration is only at the tumor site.” Nash said the same general approach used in the study could be applied to treat cancers of other organs by placing the beads between the tumor and the affected organ's lining. According to the researchers, the body would naturally turn off the flow of the treatment within 30 days, and that a second course of treatment could be given if needed. To read more on the study, click here.
  48. 48. Related Articles  Lebanon County students manufacturing parts for NASA  NASA successfully launches GOES-T satellite  Researchers say a new way of testing for COVID-19 using light is fast and accurate https://www.fox43.com/article/news/health/implanted-drug-factory-eliminates-cancer-in-animals/521- e69b676e-1556-4802-a3d9-8503d2b6f5c5 Why Sh5bn Kuja irrigation project is facing collapse Government launched the Sh5 billion scheme to put 19,000 acres of land under irrigation In Summary  The authority has not been able to develop the entire land area with only about 5,000 acres going into paddy rice cultivation.  Earlier this month, the authority, which runs the scheme, met with farmers and stakeholders to help revamp the project.
  49. 49. RICE SHORTAGE Farmers prepare a nursery at Lower Kuja Irrigation Scheme. Image: MANUEL ODENY
  50. 50. RICE SHORTAGE Nykweri Rice Mills manager Tom Omondi during the interview. Image: MANUEL ODENY
  51. 51. RICE SHORTAGE Workers at Nykweri Rice Mills in Migori county load paddy rice in the store as the region has been hit by a shortage Image: MANUEL ODENY Roseline Akinyi laughs sarcastically when she looks at her fallow six acres land at Sagama in Migori during the interview. She laughs because, instead of paddy rice, her goats will have more shrubs to eat this season. Akinyi is among farmers at Lower Kuja Irrigation Scheme who have completely switched off from paddy rice farming after the billion shillings project was marred with court cases and lack of infrastructure. “Three years ago it was good when I opened up these six acres of idle land for paddy rice, but the going has been tough after the government chose to scale down operations here,” Akinyi said.
  52. 52. She said earlier the region was facing flooding, droughts and erratic rains which made farming to be done once a year until “paddy rice came and helped us supplement our income. Now things look so bleak.” Earlier this month, the National Irrigation Authority, which runs the scheme, met with farmers and stakeholders to help revamp the project. The project has been plagued by at least 30 courts cases on compensation and scaling down of infrastructure development. “The agency used to offer us cheap tractors and getting inputs like seeds and fertilisers was easier then they stopped coming," Bonface Agwenge, a farmer on 10 acres land, said. "They also refused to maintain our roads which made the once thriving rice farming to stall.” In 2011, the government launched the Sh5 billion scheme which was to put 19,000 acres of land under irrigation. However, the authority has not been able to develop the entire land with only about 5,000 acres going into paddy rice cultivation. Several investors set up millers in the area to cash in on the government promise only for millions of shillings of their investments to go to waste. Tom Omondi, a manager at Nykweri Rice mill said currently, their stock at the mills, which can mill 200 bags daily, can only sustain them for two weeks. “We have been forced to acquire paddy rice from Ahero and West Kano schemes to stay afloat," Omondi said. "When we were operating in full, we used to work with 400 farmers. However, now even getting 300 is hard to come by.” He said with scaling down on infrastructure, the newest scheme has been hit as most farmers are yet to embrace rice farming. At the centre of the problem are about 100 families in the scheme, mostly from Sagama, who have moved to court demanding compensation on their land. They are demanding a part of Sh890 million which was meant for compensation. Some said they received up to Sh250,000 for an acre of land, in addition to structures, while others were given a paltry Sh10,000 per acre of land.
  53. 53. Ken Okong'o, a resident, said his father’s grave was abandoned and they had to leave behind permanent houses that have since been destroyed by floodwaters after haphazard planning of the project and lack of compensation. “Let it go down in record that as a community, we fully support the project and wish to have it completed. But our concerns and rights have to be respected, including seeking court redress,” he said. A November 13, 2020, investigation report on the Alleged Human Rights Violations at Lower Kuja Irrigation Scheme (Sagama village – block 3) said the project implementation steered away from the plan to have negative environmental and social impacts. The report said the project seriously violated the human rights of residents and, instead of uplifting their socio-economic wellbeing, subjected them to abject poverty following the displacement. “The project has no doubt brought positive socio-economic impact to the residents. However, it has also resulted in adverse human rights impacts and the loss of property to the complainants,” the report said. During the crisis meeting earlier this month NIA regional coordinator Joel Tanui said they made a breakthrough after meeting stakeholders from the scheme who included farmers, land owners, millers and traders. “We have agreed unanimously to proceed with the project," Tanui said. "It is true we scaled our level of operations before but the costs were high as most farmers were not paying operation and maintenance fees to de-silt canals or repair roads.” He said farmers have been encouraged to continue with operations immediately as they seek compensation from the government. “The authority's main work is to provide infrastructural framework as part of production," the coordinator said. "We have also agreed the developed land will still remain to the community and there is no need to stall an entire project over compensation." “It is the community to decide whether they want irrigation infrastructure development by us working together, or else the government will take away that land,” he said. https://www.the-star.co.ke/counties/nyanza/2022-03-18-why-sh5bn-kuja-irrigation-project-is-facing- collapse/
  54. 54.  Home  Agriculture  Region Two rice farmers get $200 increase in paddy price The farmers during the meeting on Thursday (Photo: News Room/March 17, 2022) AGRICULTURE Region Two rice farmers get $200 increase in paddy price By Editor On Mar 17, 2022 0 Share
  55. 55. Two days after rice farmers from Region Two (Pomeroon – Supenaam) began protesting for an increase in paddy price, Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha announced that the price will only increase by $200. During a meeting with farmers on Thursday afternoon, Mustapha assured that farmers who already took their crop to the mills and were offered $3,500 – a decrease of $600 compared to the last crop – will now receive the $3,700 retroactive. But this price is only for grade A paddy. The Agriculture Minister said the government will continue to support and represent rice farmers and that millers have also agreed to charge $100 less for the cutting of the paddy with harvesters. But some rice farmers are not satisfied with the new price. They had protested for $5,000 and demanded a meeting with the Agriculture Minister. Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha A few of the farmers told the News Room that in addition to poor prices, they are forced to transport their paddy through deplorable dams. Many farmers also revealed that they were not able to transport their harvest because of the condition of these dams. In response, Minister Mustapha said that all complaints will be dealt with by the Guyana Rice Development Board. “We have families to maintain, we have children to feed, we ain’t asking for free money, we just asking for better prices for something we plant and feed the nation with,” a rice farmer said. The minister said the government is also working with a supplier of fertilizers to bring the cost down.
  56. 56. Rice cultivation is the main economic activity in the region and most families depend on the sale of paddy to sustain their livelihood. It should be noted that the government has no control over how much millers pay for the paddy. https://newsroom.gy/2022/03/17/region-two-rice-farmers-get-200-increase-in-paddy-price/ Gov’t to engage commercial banks on the need to support rice farmers – Afriyie Akoto
  57. 57. 1d ago | Source: Citi Newsroom The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Akoto Owusu Afriyie, has expressed concern about the limited support commercial banks offer to farmers in the country and says the government will be engaging them soon on the need to review their position to support the agric sector. The Minister was particularly worried about the lack of credit to rice farmers to mill their produce.
  58. 58. The Minister lamented the situation where some foreigners, particularly Nigerians, mill the rice grown in Ghana and make more profit because Ghanaian mills have low capacity due to lack of working capital. Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, the Minister revealed plans to hold a meeting with the President, and the commercial banks to make a strong case for banks to support rice millers in the country. “Our milling capacity put together is only 450, 000 metric tons, paddy production last year was 1.1 million, we have less than half the metric tons needed, that’s why the Nigerians come to take the paddy, go and mill it, and make all the profit from it.” “I am trying to get investors to come to invest in the milling capacity, even the current milling capacity is only about 70%. The bank has refused to give working capital to the millers, and the commercial banks in the country have vacated the agricultural sector, making our effort amount to nothing. A meeting has been arranged with all commercial banks, the president and the governor will be present, while I point out that it is high time they came in with agricultural credits.” He further stated that he stands with the farmers on the removal of the benchmark values on the products exported. “I stand with the farmers on that. Apart from the Grain Development Authority which is going to regulate the grain market which includes rice, there is a specific executive instrument coming up that will control the outgoing of our grains to neighboring countries. ” “We have to do that because we can’t spend the taxpayer’s monies, subsidize production, and for our neighbours who don’t have any contribution to take advantage of that. So, I’m very sympathetic to the farmers on that.” Farmers have always complained about the lack of access to loans from the banks to aid their production. https://www.businessghana.com/site/news/business/258806/Gov-t-to-engage-commercial-banks-on- the-need-to-support-rice-farmers-Afriyie-Akoto
  59. 59. Do not downplay the living experiences of farmers and Ghanaians – Group to Agric Minister Source: Cornerlis Kweku Affre 17 March 2022 5:45am A group of key players in Ghana’s agricultural industry have expressed their utmost disappointment at certain utterances made by the Agric Minister, Owusu Afriyie Akoto during an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show on Wednesday 16th March. The group made up of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana (CAG), the General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU), the Rice Millers Association of Ghana (RMAG), and Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG) said they were appalled by the Minister’s reactions to pertinent issue surrounding food security in the country.
  60. 60. In the said interview, the Group says the Minister was largely evasive and unaccountable and displayed high levels of intolerance in his choice of response to the interviewer. They added that some of his responses were in outright disrespect of the living experiences of farmers and other actors in the sector. According to the group, the Minister, despite glaring evidence pointing to food inflation and Ghana’s deteriorating state of food security disagreed and insisted that the reports alluding to those claims were unreliable. He, however, failed to provide any counter argument or evidence to support his own claims. What broke the camel’s back was when the Minister downplayed the claim of food inflation by drawing on his own domestic experience. “My wife has not indicated to me food prices have increased,” he’s quoted to have replied. “How inconsiderate and disrespectful to Ghanaians? We hope his responses this morning, and in previous comments such as the reference to his domestic experience is not a reflection of official government position on the developments in the sector. That will be an unfortunate situation!” the Group said.
  61. 61. According to them, “In fact, forecast by analysts and economists suggest that the situation will get worse in the coming months due to existing weaknesses in our systems as well as global pressures.” “Policy makers at the highest level such as the sector Minister cannot be dismissive of these risks and reports. At the minimum, such reports should be seen as feedback to enable government and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to examine their policy toolkits to addressing the underlying risks in a collaborative manner,” they said. Read full statement below; https://www.myjoyonline.com/do-not-downplay-the-living-experiences-of-farmers-and-ghanaians- agric-players-to-sector-minister/ Gov’t to engage commercial banks on the need to support rice farmers – Afriyie Akoto
  62. 62. 1d ago | Source: Citi Newsroom The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Akoto Owusu Afriyie, has expressed concern about the limited support commercial banks offer to farmers in the country and says the government will be engaging them soon on the need to review their position to support the agric sector. The Minister was particularly worried about the lack of credit to rice farmers to mill their produce.
  63. 63. The Minister lamented the situation where some foreigners, particularly Nigerians, mill the rice grown in Ghana and make more profit because Ghanaian mills have low capacity due to lack of working capital. Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, the Minister revealed plans to hold a meeting with the President, and the commercial banks to make a strong case for banks to support rice millers in the country. “Our milling capacity put together is only 450, 000 metric tons, paddy production last year was 1.1 million, we have less than half the metric tons needed, that’s why the Nigerians come to take the paddy, go and mill it, and make all the profit from it.” “I am trying to get investors to come to invest in the milling capacity, even the current milling capacity is only about 70%. The bank has refused to give working capital to the millers, and the commercial banks in the country have vacated the agricultural sector, making our effort amount to nothing. A meeting has been arranged with all commercial banks, the president and the governor will be present, while I point out that it is high time they came in with agricultural credits.” He further stated that he stands with the farmers on the removal of the benchmark values on the products exported. “I stand with the farmers on that. Apart from the Grain Development Authority which is going to regulate the grain market which includes rice, there is a specific executive instrument coming up that will control the outgoing of our grains to neighboring countries. ” “We have to do that because we can’t spend the taxpayer’s monies, subsidize production, and for our neighbours who don’t have any contribution to take advantage of that. So, I’m very sympathetic to the farmers on that.” Farmers have always complained about the lack of access to loans from the banks to aid their production. https://www.businessghana.com/site/news/business/258806/Gov-t-to-engage-commercial-banks-on- the-need-to-support-rice-farmers-Afriyie-Akoto
  64. 64. 94 lakh tonnes paddy lifted for custom milling Thursday, 17 March 2022 | Staff Reporter | RAIPUR  SHARE     TT  TT    0  Following instructions of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, paddy lifting for custom milling is going on across the state at a rapid pace. An official communiqué said that till Tuesday, 94.47 lakh tonnes of paddy has been lifted by rice millers for custom milling. The work of depositing the rice in the Central pool has also been stepped up, it said. So far, 29.78 lakh tonnes of rice have been deposited. This includes 16.06 lakh tonnes deposited with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and 13.72 lakh tonnes with the Civil Supplies Corporation.
  65. 65. Food Secretary Topeshwar Verma said that paddy lifting for custom milling was being done rapidly. So far, a record 94.47 lakh tonnes of rice have been lifted. https://www.dailypioneer.com/2022/state-editions/94-lakh-tonnes-paddy-lifted-for-custom- milling.html We are saddled by unavailability of food, high prices; Agric Minister will soon be exposed when it gets worse — Agric group SOCIAL NEWS MAR 17, 2022 LISTEN
  66. 66. Some agriculture stakeholder groups have condemned what they say is Minister of Food and Agriculture’s disregard for data on the state of the agric sector. In a statement, they said they were “appalled and disappointed” by comments by the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, during an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show on Wednesday 16th March 2022. The minister maintains that the agric sector is in good standing in the wake of policies like the planting for food and jobs. The groups in question are the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana (CAG), the General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU), the Rice Millers Association of Ghana (RMAG), and Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG). Among other things, they are upset the government refuses to acknowledge Ghana’s struggling situation with food security, with the 2021 Global Food Index ranking Ghana 82nd, which is a drop from 76th in 2016. The groups cited the Ghana Statistical Services’ (GSS) indication that food inflation in Ghana had reached an all-time high of 17.40 percent as of February 2022. “If this is not a reflection of the double whammy of escalating prices and weak food supplies, which undermine food security, then we are not sure what is.” “The Minister continues to live in the thinking that all things are rosy in the sector when the reality is that we are saddled with the unavailability of food coupled with high food prices,” the groups noted. The groups warned that the minister and other policymakers should not dismiss the negative forecasts of Ghana’s agriculture sector. “In fact, forecast by analysts and economists suggest that the situation will get worse in the coming months due to existing weaknesses in our systems as well as global pressures.”
  67. 67. “At the minimum, such reports should be seen as feedback to enable government and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to examine their policy toolkits to address the underlying risks in a collaborative manner,” they added. —citinewsroom Comments https://www.modernghana.com/news/1145611/we-are-saddled-by-unavailability-of-food-high.html 94 lakh tonnes paddy lifted for custom milling Thursday, 17 March 2022 | Staff Reporter | RAIPUR  SHARE     TT  TT    0 
  68. 68. Following instructions of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, paddy lifting for custom milling is going on across the state at a rapid pace. An official communiqué said that till Tuesday, 94.47 lakh tonnes of paddy has been lifted by rice millers for custom milling. The work of depositing the rice in the Central pool has also been stepped up, it said. So far, 29.78 lakh tonnes of rice have been deposited. This includes 16.06 lakh tonnes deposited with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and 13.72 lakh tonnes with the Civil Supplies Corporation. Food Secretary Topeshwar Verma said that paddy lifting for custom milling was being done rapidly. So far, a record 94.47 lakh tonnes of rice have been lifted. https://www.dailypioneer.com/2022/state-editions/94-lakh-tonnes-paddy-lifted-for-custom- milling.html Rice Industry Financial Situation Highlighted During House Ag Hearing By Jamison Cruce WASHINGTON, DC -- The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing Wednesday focused on climate change and the upcoming 2023 Farm Bill. During the hearing, several Members highlighted the formidable economic situation on American farms given ever-increasing input costs. Reps. Rick Crawford (R-AR) and Julia Letlow (R-LA) homed in on the unique situation impacting the rice industry – a combination of both skyrocketing input costs and stagnant rice prices. Rice has not seen the rebound in prices other commodities have over the Rep. Rick Crawford (top), Dr. Joe Outlaw (bottom left), and Rep. Julia Letlow (bottom right)
  69. 69. past two years. Directing a question to Dr. Joe Outlaw, co-director of the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University (AFPC), Rep. Crawford offered: “The Russians just announced the suspension of fertilizer exports to the west. We know that's driving input costs. And meanwhile, India, the world's second biggest producer of rice, wheat, and sugar is set to spend $20 billion this year to provide free fertilizer to their farmers. So, everyone here is aware of the staggering increase. And for inputs on the farm, fuel is one of them. As I mentioned, fertilizer, pest control, seed machinery, I want to say that for most field crops there's been a corresponding or even greater increase in the commodity prices…But this is not the case for rice. Prices are only slightly up, not nearly enough to cover rising input costs. India is spending billions of dollars to flood the world with cheap and dirty rice while taking the lead on emissions and distorting the world rice market…I hear U.S. rice farmers are even starting to decline, maybe even go out of business. Can you comment on the situation for rice?” In response, Outlaw said, “among all the different types of production systems we work with, rice is the one that’s actually not doing very well and not projected to do very well over the next few years mainly because they don't benefit from the higher prices to offset all these high costs.” Rep. Letlow also questioned Outlaw on the economic situation for rice farms since AFPC published a study requested by her office: “I continue to hear the concerns of our farmers particularly our rice farmers about the unpredictable challenges they face with increased cost of production. Many who are considering whether to plant this year…This is a troublesome trend. With additional challenges we're now facing globally, the situation has only gotten worse, particularly on fuel and fertilizer. Your study concluded that rice farms experience the highest fertilizer cost increase, averaging $62.04 per acre, which accounts for an astronomical impact and overall input cost. What might that look like today and do you agree it is getting worse and could we quantify that?” Outlaw responded, “The reality is when we did that study, we had polled numbers at the end of last year and the first couple of months this year, but conditions have deteriorated even more. I would suggest that the estimates we gave you are probably 20 to 30 or maybe even a greater percent lower than they will be next time.” AFPC has conducted two studies relating to increased input costs, one being rice specific. According to AFPC, rice farmers will see more than $500 million in losses this year. USA Rice Farmers Board Chairman Kirk Satterfield sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on behalf of all U.S. rice farmers on February 25, outlining this situation and the need for financial assistance using existing funds available to the USDA, including those designated for market disruptions. The letter stated: “I am writing to respectfully request that you use the available authorities of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide assistance to the nation’s rice
  70. 70. farmers who are facing both low commodity prices and disproportionately higher input costs, creating a severe financial squeeze that threatens the continued viability of U.S. rice farms and the rural communities they support.” USA Rice has been communicating with Congress and the Administration on the crisis in the rice industry and will continue to advocate for much-needed assistance. “Since December 2021, USA Rice has been engaging with Members of Congress and their staff on the unique situation rice farmers stand to face this crop year as prices remain flat and input costs continue to rise. We appreciate Congressman Crawford and Congresswoman Letlow for their efforts to highlight the seriousness of the situation,” said Ben Mosely, USA Rice vice president of government affairs. “Additionally, we applaud the Members of Congress, including House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member G.T. Thompson, for their emphasis on the immediate needs farmers, and the agriculture industry as a whole, face with high input costs.” USTR Adds Two WTO Experts, Loses Ag Negotiator Nominee By Peter Bachmann WASHINGTON, DC – Updates from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) are aplenty as several key vacancies responsible for World Trade Organization (WTO) interaction were filled last week and another important agriculture-related vacancy was created this week. Maria Pagan and Andrea Durkin Last Thursday, María Pagán was confirmed as the U.S. Ambassador to the WTO by the U.S. Senate after a monthslong hold was placed on her and another USTR nominee. Her role is a deputy position to the USTR Ambassador Katherine Tai and she’s chiefly responsible for negotiating at the WTO on behalf of the U.S. Pagán has been with USTR since 2003 and has twice served as the acting USTR during presidential transitions. She is an experienced trade negotiator, having served as lead lawyer for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement talks. She has also worked in areas including services, government procurement, and WTO disputes. In a press statement, Ambassador Tai shared: “This job requires an ability to negotiate effectively, tell hard truths, and bring together diverse coalitions around shared values and ideals to advance U.S. economic and strategic interests. María has demonstrated all of these capabilities throughout her distinguished career.” “One diverse coalition that we hope Ambassador Pagán will quickly assemble once she gets to Geneva is a bloc in support of meaningful agricultural reforms and another to pursue long

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