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4th December ,2018

Vol 9 ,Issue 12

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Focus on California Starts Today
By Deborah Willenborg

ARLINGTON, VA -- The focus this week is already on California as the USA Rice Outlook Conference
kicks off in San Diego in a couple days. The Golden State also shines in this month's "Focus on the
Farmer" Facebook series starting today and featuring California rice farmer Imran H. Khan.

Imran joined his family's rice farming operation in 1995, continuing a legacy that dates back to
1923. He is a graduate of the Rice Leadership Development Program, and has a degree from the
University of California, Berkeley, in environmental economics along with a law degree. "My
practice currently consists of growing rice," said Imran. "It's an honest living that I love."

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Follow along with Imran all week, and look, "like," and, most importantly, share the posts to
help spread the U.S. rice story!

Daily USA Rice

Scientists call for eight steps to increase soil carbon for


climate action and food security
International coordination and financing essential
UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT

IMAGE: GLOBAL ACTION TO INCREASE SOIL CARBON IS ESSENTIAL FOR CLIMATE AND FOOD SECURITY,
SCIENTISTS SAY

CREDIT: (PHOTO: C SCHUBERT, CCAFS) LINK: https://flic.kr/p/ojpnem

Leading scientists call for action to increase global soil carbon, in advance of the annual climate
summit of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in
Katowice, Poland (COP24) and World Soil Day (5 Dec).

The amount of carbon in soil is over twice the amount of carbon found in trees and other
biomass.
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But one-third of the world's soils are already degraded, limiting agricultural production and
adding almost 500 gigatons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, an amount equivalent to the
carbon sequestered by 216 billion hectares of U.S. forest.

Modalities for climate action in agriculture will be addressed 3 December at the first workshop
of the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture, a breakthrough initiative of the 2017 UNFCCC
climate negotiations.

In a commentary piece, Put More Carbon in Soils to Meet Paris Climate Pledges, published
today by the journal Nature, climate change and agricultural scientists who serve on the science
and technical committee of the organization 4 per 1000 describe a path for recuperating soil
carbon stocks to mitigate climate change and boost soil fertility. The scientists suggest that the
KJWA formally commit to increasing global soil organic carbon stocks through coordination and
activities related to eight steps.

The eight steps are:

1. Stop carbon loss - Protect peatlands through enforcement of regulations against burning and
drainage.
2. Promote carbon uptake - Identify and promote best practices for storing carbon in ways
suitable to local conditions, including through incorporating crop residues, cover crops,
agroforestry, contour farming, terracing, nitrogen-fixing plants, and irrigation.
3. Monitor, report and verify impacts - Track and evaluate interventions with science-based
harmonized protocols and standards.
4. Deploy technology - Use high-tech opportunities for faster, cheaper and more accurate
monitoring of soil carbon changes.
5. Test strategies - Determine what works in local conditions by using models and a network of
field sites.
6. Involve communities - Employ citizen science to collect data and create an open online
platform for sharing.
7. Coordinate policies - Integrate soil carbon with national climate commitments to the Paris
Agreement and other policies on soil and climate.
8. Provide support - Ensure technical assistance, incentives to farmers, monitoring systems, and
carbon taxes to promote widespread implementation.

A joint forum for coordinated action and funding to close research gaps is needed, the scientists
argue. The eight steps also inform the KJWA's next workshop (June 2019), which will address
soil carbon.

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"Taking steps to increase global soil carbon requires multi-stakeholder collaboration at the
science-policy interface. 4p1000 initiative, which has 281 partners from 39 countries, is showing
how such collaboration can be used to address sustainable development goals in an integrated
way," said Cornelia Rumpel, lead author of the commentary and Research Director of the
National Research Center at France's Institute of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.

Co-author Farshad Amiraslani, Remote Sensing Specialist and Deputy Dean of Academic
Affairs, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, is concerned with how lack of coordination
among stakeholders and no comprehensive database is hindering the impact of land restoration
efforts. We need to apply satellite imagery to capture changes occurring at large scales more
frequently and cost-effectively, he said.

"We are amassing a rich body of knowledge on how to increase soil carbon stocks," said Claire
Chenu, a Professor of Soil Sciences at AgroParisTech. "But further research is needed. For
example, we know root systems make an important contribution to soil carbon stocks, but we are
still researching how specific crops with deep roots, vs. cover crops, vs. agroforestry systems
differentially contribute to increasing soil carbon. We need more data on the effects of
agricultural practices in different ecosystems."

"Challenges to achieving large-scale carbon sequestration include nutrient limits, inadequate


farmer incentives and lack of organic matter in some places, but even impacts at lesser scales
will benefit the climate and food security," said co-author Lini Wollenberg, Low Emissions
Development Leader for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and
Food Security (CCAFS) and Research Professor at the University of Vermont's Gund Institute
for Environment.

"The potential benefits are too large to ignore," Wollenberg said.

###

BACKGROUND

4P1000 Science and Technical Committee members and affiliations

Co-authors in Comment article:

 Cornelia Rumpel, National Research Center (CNRS), Institute of Ecology and


Environmental Sciences, France
 Farshad Amiraslani, University of Tehran, Iran

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 Lydie-Stella Koutika, Research Center on Productivity and Sustainability of Industrial
Plantations (CRDPI), Republic of Congo
 Pete Smith, University of Aberdeen, Scotland
 David Whitehead, Manaaki Whenua -- Landcare Research, New Zealand
 Eva "Lini" Wollenberg, CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and
Food Security (CCAFS), University of Vermont, USA

Co-signatories:

 Claire Chenu, AgroParisTech, UMR Ecosys INRA, AgroParisTech, Université Paris-


Saclay, Thiverval-Grignon, France.
 Magali Garcia Cardenas, Faculty of Engineering, Universidad Mayor de San Andrés,
Bolivia.
 Martin Kaonga, Cambridge Centre for Environment, Cambridge, UK.
 Jagdish Ladha, Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, USA.
 Beata Madari, Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, National Rice and Beans
Research Center (Embrapa Arroz e Feijão), Santo Antônio de Goiás, Brazil.
 Yasuhito Shirato, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, Tsukuba, Japan.
 Brahim Soudi, Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II, Rabat, Morocco.
 Jean-François Soussana, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Paris,
France.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-12/uov-scf113018.php

CRF voices concern over EU rice tax on Cambodia


Cheng Sokhorng | Publication date 03 December 2018 | 07:42 ICT

Capital Food in Cambodia deputy director Chray Son says the average farmer will be severely impacted by a
safeguard clause. Hong Menea

The president of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) has expressed concern over an impending
EU tariff on Cambodian rice imports, saying that it is factors within EU states that are harming
European farmers most.

―Difficulties faced by European farmers are largely due to the lack of collaboration between
them, millers and traders,‖ CRF president Sok Puthyvuth told the press on Friday.

He said the ―high cost of milling in [EU]member states‖ was the main obstacle to improving
European rice industries, not imports of Cambodian rice.
6|www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com ,
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Sok Puthyvuth‘s comments come following a November 5 announcement from the European
Commission, an arm of the EU, that exporters of Cambodian and Burmese Indica white rice will
face increased taxes within three years.

The customs tariff duty will be €175 (US$198) per tonne in the first year, €150 in the second
year, and €125 the year after.

The tariffs are the result of an EU investigation launched in March after Italian farmers called for
a safeguard clause restricting rice imports.

They argued that such imports were harming EU farmers. Italian rice farmers first complained
about rice imports in 2014, but March‘s investigation was the first time the European
Commission launched a formal probe.

Scepticism
However, the CRF is sceptical that safeguard measures will improve the livelihoods of EU
farmers, as much of Cambodian rice is not directly competing with their produce. As much as 55
per cent of Cambodian rice currently imported into the bloc is fragrant rice – a variety difficult to
grow in the EU.

The impact of tariffs on the Kingdom‘s more than three million rice farmers is of major concern,
with the deputy director of Capital Food in Cambodia, Chray Son, saying the average farmer will
be most severely impacted by a safeguard clause.

7|www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com ,
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―Our cost of production is high, so if we pay Tax to the EU, how can we compete in the market?
The farmers will suffer first . . . it‘s just an excuse from EU, our rice is a small share in the
market – how can we hurt their rice market?‖

Centre for Policy Studies director Chan Sophal believes that tariffs will likely mean Cambodian
farmers will increasingly look to other Asean nations to sell their products.

―If the tariff is implemented it will impact the Cambodian rice industry, and farmers will rely
more on the market from Thailand and Vietnam as a result.‖

https://www.phnompenhpost.com/business/crf-voices-concern-over-eu-rice-tax-cambodia

EU SET TO SLAP TARIFFS ON RICE FROM


CAMBODIA, MYANMAR
12/3/2018

BRUSSELS, Dec 3 (Reuters) - The European Commission will on Tuesday propose imposing
tariffs on rice coming from Cambodia and Myanmar to curb a surge in imports that it believes is
damaging to European producers.

The proposed "safeguard" measures would apply for three years, setting a duty of 175 euros
($198.84) per tonne in the first year, dropping to 150 euros in the second and 125 euros in year
three, according to people familiar with the plan.

The two countries benefit from the EU's "Everything But Arms" scheme that allows the least
developed countries to export most goods to the European Union free of duties.

"However, it is important also to ensure that EU farmers and producers are not the ones to pay
the price for excessively cheap imports," a Commission spokesman said.

Both countries already face losing their special access to the world's largest trading bloc over
their human rights records, although this potential sanction is separate from the proposed
safeguard measures.

The Commission, which oversees trade policy for the 28-member European Union, opened an
investigation into rice imports from the two countries in March following a complaint by the
Italian government.

"The findings of this investigation confirm a significant surge in imports of rice that has caused
economic damage to the rice sector in Europe," the Commission spokesman said.

8|www.riceplusmagazine.blogspot.com ,
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EU farming group Copa-Cogeca says that the two countries' exports to the European Union of
longer-grained Indica rice have increased from 9,000 tonnes in 2012 to 360,000 tonnes in 2017,
resulting in a collapse of rice prices.

EU member states will take a final decision on Tuesday and are expected to back the
Commission's proposal given that rice is grown in eight southern European countries from
Portugal to Bulgaria. ($1 = 0.8801 euros) (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Kirsten
Donovan)

https://www.agriculture.com/markets/newswire/eu-set-to-slap-tariffs-on-rice-from-cambodia-
myanmar

MoFA receives support to boost rice production


Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, others being taken through some certified seeds by President of AGRA

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has entered into a 2.5 million euro Public Private
Partnership (PPP) agreement to boost rice production in the country.

The agreement, known as ―Ghana Rice Initiative‖, is expected to last 36 months beginning this
month, November 2018. It is being championed by the German Government and implemented
by AGRA and other partners.

Project

Dubbed ―Public private partnership for


competitive and inclusive rice value chain
development: Planting for Food and Jobs – Rice
Chapter,‖ the project is aimed at increasing rice
production, strengthening and expanding access
to output markets among others.It also intends to
adopt a two-tier approach on short, medium and
long-term solutions to enable the government
achieve its sub-sector goal of becoming self-sufficient in rice production to improve the
livelihoods of 128,763 farmers by 2020.

The project will be implemented in the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Northern, Central and Volta
regions.

Already, about 130,000 farmers from 110 districts in the beneficiary regions have been supplied

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with subsidised certified seeds under the project.

Launch

The sector minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said the project was in line with the government‘s
flagship ‗Planting for Food and Jobs‘ programme.

He stated that a recent tour of some regions revealed that the Central Region had the capacity to
produce double the rice requirements of the country.

Dr Akoto said the rice that would be produced would be of high quality comparable to
international standards.

According to him, the rice currently produced in the country was good. ―It is just that the milling
capacity is low and cannot cope with the increasing rice production in the country,‖ he added.

The minister also stated that the Planting for Food and Jobs programme was yielding results, and
added that besides rice, millet, soya beans, maize and vegetables, the programme also extended
support to groundnut and cassava farmers this year.

He further announced that his outfit was to receive a $220 million facility from Brazil and India
for the importation of machinery from those countries to ―take away the drudgery of farmers‖.

German Ambassador

For his part, the German Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Christoph Retzlaff, expressed the hope that
their partnership with AGRA on the project would be fruitful.

He said the initiative could pave the way for more domestic rice production and less dependence
on imports to help achieve the ―Ghana beyond aid‖ agenda.

Mr Retzlaff also said the initiative would offer an opportunity to align and leverage resources on
existing programmes such as Competitive Rice Initiative (CARI), Green Innovation Centre
(GIC) and existing bilateral agricultural activities in the country.
https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/business/MoFA-receives-support-to-boost-rice-
production-705185

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Local rice price drops due to Thai rice in Iranian market

12/3/2018 3:26:10 AM

(MENAFN - AzerNews) By Trend

As a result of the supply of high


quality Thai rice to Iran on
November 6 this Iranian year,
the price of local rice decreased,
Director General of the Iranian
State Trade Organization's
Distribution and Sales
Coordination Department Hojat
Baratali said in an interview
with IRNA.He said that rice is
domestically produced and
imported and there is no shortage in this area.

According to the implemented programs, the country's rice reserves are sufficient and even
increased by 40 percent compared to the previous year.

Baratali said that earlier, the price of imported rice increased. The price of this product has
dropped thanks to the country's State Trade Organization.

Thus, according to the new statistics, 1 kilo of the imported rice reached about 700-800 rials
(approximately $0.016-0.019). The price of local rice decreased by 500-600 rials (about $0.011-
0.014).

He said that a decision was made to supply 10,000 tons of Thai rice to the market from
November 6 to December 6.

This volume may be increased in case of necessity, he said.

11 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
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According to the decision, 1 kilo of Indian rice is 70,000 rials (about $1.66) in the port.

Taking into account the shipping and distribution costs, the Indian rice should be sold at 80,000-
82,000 rials (about $1.9-1.95) to the customer.

https://menafn.com/1097777681/Local-rice-price-drops-due-to-Thai-rice-in-Iranian-market

Iran ends seasonal rice import ban - agencies


DECEMBER 2, 2018 / 5:31 PM

A woman plants rice seedlings on a field near Mahmoudabad, 240 km (149 miles) northeast of
Tehran, May 6, 2008. Picture taken May 6, 2008. REUTERS/Caren Firouz/Files

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran has ended its seasonal ban on rice imports, allowing importers to register
their orders, Iranian news agencies reported on Sunday.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Ali Akbar Mehrfard announced the end of the annual ban in a letter
dated Nov. 28, the ISNA semi-official news agency reported. Other agencies carried similar
reports.The government usually imposes the ban for a few months each year to support local
prices and help Iranian growers during the harvest season.Iran consumes 3 million tonnes of rice
a year. About one million tonnes is imported, mainly from India and Pakistan.

Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by David Goodman


Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

SPONSORED

https://in.reuters.com/article/iran-rice-imports/iran-ends-seasonal-rice-import-ban-agencies-
idINKBN1O10EU

Rice Imports Resume in Iran as Seasonal Ban Ends

December 03, 2018 18:25

Rice Imports Resume in Iran as Seasonal Ban Ends.....Rice imports have resumed in Iran
following a letter sent by Deputy Agriculture Minister Ali Akbar Mehrfard to the caretaker of
Trade Promotion Organization of Iran Mohammad Reza Modoudi.

12 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
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Mehrfard notified TPO that the seasonal ban on imports of the crop, a staple food in Iran, has
come to an end, ILNA reported.

Every year and during the rice harvest season, the government bans rice imports in support of
local farmers and domestic production.

Iranians consume 3.2 million tons of the staple food annually, less than 2 million tons of which
are cultivated by local farmers.
https://financialtribune.com/articles/domestic-economy/95403/rice-imports-resume-in-iran-as-
seasonal-ban-ends

Iran ends seasonal rice import ban


ReutersDecember 03, 2018

DUBAI: Iran has ended its seasonal ban on rice imports, allowing importers to register
their orders, Iranian news agencies reported on Sunday.

The country consumes 3 million tonnes of rice a year. About one million tonnes is imported,
mainly from India and Pakistan.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Ali Akbar Mehrfard announced the end of the annual ban in a letter
dated Nov 28, the ISNA semi-official news agency reported. Other agencies carried similar
reports.

The government usually imposes the ban for a few months each year to support local prices and
help Iranian growers during the harvest season.Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2018

https://www.dawn.com/news/1449119

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Cloud of suspicion in China over rice from near Japan’s
nuclear meltdown zone

Beijing has lifted a ban on rice imports from Niigata prefecture, neighbouring the Fukushima
disaster area, but consumers will take some convincing to buy it.

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 December, 2018, 6:34pm


UPDATED : Monday, 03 December, 2018, 10:52am

China‘s General Administration of Customs announced on Wednesday that it had lifted a ban on
rice imports from Niigata, one of a number of prefectures neighbouring Fukushima, home to the
Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which went into meltdown and released radioactive material in the
aftermath of a tsunami in March 2011.

According to the World Health Organisation, radioactive iodine and caesium in concentrations
above the Japanese regulatory limits were detected in some food commodities soon after the
disaster.

China responded by banning imports of food and livestock feed from 10 prefectures.

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More than seven years later, Niigata is the first area to have the ban lifted on its rice. ―After
evaluation, we permit Niigata rice to be imported,‖ the customs administration said on its
website.

It said the rice was produced in the prefecture and processed in registered factories, and that
when imported it should satisfy Chinese laws and regulations on food safety and plant health.

But Chinese internet users weren‘t so convinced.

―The officials would rather sacrifice Chinese people‘s health for diplomacy,‖ one person said on
Weibo, China‘s Twitter-like platform.

―Whoever wants to buy the rice can buy it,‖ another wrote. ―I only ask for it to be properly
marked on the packaging.‖

In all, 54 countries and regions imposed temporary import bans on Japanese food from affected
areas immediately after the nuclear disaster. Since then, 27 have lifted their restrictions and
Fukushima prefecture shipped 210 tonnes of agricultural products abroad last year, mainly to
Malaysia and Thailand.

It follows a years-long clean-up effort and a concerted campaign by the Japanese government to
promote agricultural products from Fukushima and neighbouring regions, both domestically and
internationally.

A page on the Japanese government website, titled ―Fukushima Foods: Safe and Delicious‖, is
dedicated to the clean-up and monitoring efforts and features photos of farmers encouraging
tourists to try their rice, vegetables and fruit.

Hopes that the ban would be eased grew as relations between the two countries thawed. An
agreement was reached in March to hold talks in Tokyo between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang
and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, after which Fukushima officials told the South China
Morning Post they hoped Beijing would reopen the door to exports of agricultural and fisheries
products. Those prospects rose in late October with the first visit to China by a Japanese prime
minister in seven years.

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There were grass-roots efforts, too. Last week, a group of Chinese reporters led by Xu Jingbo,
from the Tokyo-based, Chinese-language Asia News Agency, quietly visited northeast Japan,
stopping in disaster-hit areas including Fukushima.

Xu told the South China Morning Post he had organised the trip because he wanted there to be
fair coverage of food safety and the Fukushima nuclear clean-up.

―We should look at the Fukushima nuclear leak in a scientific and fair way,‖ he said.

The group visited the power station and government centres that test radiation residues on
agricultural products and seafood. He said that since the accident, the Japanese government had
cleaned up debris and contaminated soil, digging 30cm into the earth and transporting the soil to
a remote area for treatment.

―The radiation level tested on my body was only 0.03 millisieverts after the visit, about 1/80 of
taking a CAT scan in hospital and about the same level as riding on an aeroplane,‖ Xu said.

But lingering fear and opposition in China and neighbouring regions remains strong. Last week,
voters in Taiwan showed overwhelming support for keeping a ban on food imports.

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On the Chinese mainland, every movement towards lifting the ban has provoked hostility online.

Xu‘s Weibo account was flooded with comments, calling him a ―traitor‖. Some questioned
whether he received money from the Japanese government for such ―propaganda‖.

An article published on the WeChat account Buyidao, operated by the state-run Global Times,
questioned the Japanese government and media, saying they had covered up the severity of the
radiation in Fukushima and dealt with the clean-up irresponsibly.

―Tokyo Electric Power [the owner of the plant] and the Japanese government have not been
honest with the Japanese people and the world, the panic runs inside Japan and has permeated to
other countries,‖ it said.

On the rice ban lifted this week, Guo Qiuju, a radiation expert at Peking University‘s physics
department, said the Chinese government had its own standard and detection methods.

―China has strict levels on radiation levels detected in foods; if it‘s detected below a certain
level, it can be assumed to be safe,‖ she said.

But public concerns persist.

A shopper at Alibaba‘s Hema Xiansheng supermarket in Shenzhen she said she probably would
not buy any products from the affected areas even if the ban was completely lifted. Alibaba owns
the South China Morning Post.

―I‘m afraid of what might happen to me,‖ she said.


This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Suspicion lingers over
rice from Fukushima despite Beijing lifting ban
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2176009/cloud-suspicion-china-over-rice-near-japans-
nuclear-meltdown-zone

CRF voices concern over EU rice tax on Cambodia


Cheng Sokhorng | Publication date 03 December 2018 | 07:42 ICT

Capital Food in Cambodia deputy director Chray Son says the average farmer will be severely impacted by a
safeguard clause. Hong Menea

17 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com
The president of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) has expressed concern over an impending
EU tariff on Cambodian rice imports, saying that it is factors within EU states that are harming
European farmers most.

―Difficulties faced by European farmers are largely due to the lack of collaboration between
them, millers and traders,‖ CRF president Sok Puthyvuth told the press on Friday.

He said the ―high cost of milling in [EU]member states‖ was the main obstacle to improving
European rice industries, not imports of Cambodian rice.

Sok Puthyvuth‘s comments come following a November 5 announcement from the European
Commission, an arm of the EU, that exporters of Cambodian and Burmese Indica white rice will
face increased taxes within three years.

The customs tariff duty will be €175 (US$198) per tonne in the first year, €150 in the second
year, and €125 the year after.

The tariffs are the result of an EU investigation launched in March after Italian farmers called for
a safeguard clause restricting rice imports.

They argued that such imports were harming EU farmers. Italian rice farmers first complained
about rice imports in 2014, but March‘s investigation was the first time the European
Commission launched a formal probe.

18 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
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Scepticism
However, the CRF is sceptical that safeguard measures will improve the livelihoods of EU
farmers, as much of Cambodian rice is not directly competing with their produce. As much as 55
per cent of Cambodian rice currently imported into the bloc is fragrant rice – a variety difficult to
grow in the EU.

The impact of tariffs on the Kingdom‘s more than three million rice farmers is of major concern,
with the deputy director of Capital Food in Cambodia, Chray Son, saying the average farmer will
be most severely impacted by a safeguard clause.

―Our cost of production is high, so if we pay Tax to the EU, how can we compete in the market?
The farmers will suffer first . . . it‘s just an excuse from EU, our rice is a small share in the
market – how can we hurt their rice market?‖

Centre for Policy Studies director Chan Sophal believes that tariffs will likely mean Cambodian
farmers will increasingly look to other Asean nations to sell their products.

―If the tariff is implemented it will impact the Cambodian rice industry, and farmers will rely
more on the market from Thailand and Vietnam as a result.‖

https://www.phnompenhpost.com/business/crf-voices-concern-over-eu-rice-tax-cambodia

EU SET TO SLAP TARIFFS ON RICE FROM


CAMBODIA, MYANMAR
12/3/2018

BRUSSELS, Dec 3 (Reuters) - The European Commission will on Tuesday propose imposing
tariffs on rice coming from Cambodia and Myanmar to curb a surge in imports that it believes is
damaging to European producers.

The proposed "safeguard" measures would apply for three years, setting a duty of 175 euros
($198.84) per tonne in the first year, dropping to 150 euros in the second and 125 euros in year
three, according to people familiar with the plan.

The two countries benefit from the EU's "Everything But Arms" scheme that allows the least
developed countries to export most goods to the European Union free of duties.

"However, it is important also to ensure that EU farmers and producers are not the ones to pay
the price for excessively cheap imports," a Commission spokesman said.

19 | w w w . r i c e p l u s m a g a z i n e . b l o g s p o t . c o m ,
mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com
Both countries already face losing their special access to the world's largest trading bloc over
their human rights records, although this potential sanction is separate from the proposed
safeguard measures.

The Commission, which oversees trade policy for the 28-member European Union, opened an
investigation into rice imports from the two countries in March following a complaint by the
Italian government.

"The findings of this investigation confirm a significant surge in imports of rice that has caused
economic damage to the rice sector in Europe," the Commission spokesman said.

EU farming group Copa-Cogeca says that the two countries' exports to the European Union of
longer-grained Indica rice have increased from 9,000 tonnes in 2012 to 360,000 tonnes in 2017,
resulting in a collapse of rice prices.

EU member states will take a final decision on Tuesday and are expected to back the
Commission's proposal given that rice is grown in eight southern European countries from
Portugal to Bulgaria. ($1 = 0.8801 euros) (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Kirsten
Donovan)

https://www.agriculture.com/markets/newswire/eu-set-to-slap-tariffs-on-rice-from-cambodia-
myanmar

Recto urges gov’t to ensure proper implementation of rice


tariffication law
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Published December 3, 2018, 7:48 PM

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto has urged the government to ensure the proper implementation of
the rice tariffication law so its promises to farmers would not end to no avail.

Senator Ralph Recto (JOHN JEROME GANZON / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

President Duterte is expected to sign into law soon the final version of the bill that will liberalize
rice importation and exportation in the country, and replace the quantitative restriction on rice
import with tariffs, which both houses of Congress have ratified last week.

In his explanation on voting for the bill‘s final approval, Recto, one of the authors of the
proposed rice tariffication law, said the measure should not suffer the same fate as laws that are
―full of good intentions, only to die at the hands of bad implementors.‖
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―I believe we owe our farmers candor, and we should also likewise forewarn the executive that
they will be betraying our toiling and tilling class if they will bungle the implementation of this
law,‖ Recto said in a statement sent to media on Monday.

―So much is at stake, so high the expectation, so great the promises, so many depend on it that
failure is not an option,‖ he added.

The soon-to-be law, Recto said, should be subject to a ―stringent congressional oversight to
prevent deviation from its intention.‖

He added that this way, Congress, also, would not forget its implementation.

Recto reiterated that proceeds from the import tariffs should be distributed to rice farmers ―to the
last centavo.‖

Under the Congress-approved bill, at least P10 billion shall be allocated annually as Rice
Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) for the country‘s rice industry.

Recto said farmers who have been adversely affected by the liberalization of the rice market
should be prioritized in the distribution of assistance to increase their production.

The Senate leader insisted that the bill is ―not a revenue measure‖ and the government should not
use it to shore up its fiscal position.

―This is about putting cheap rice on the table, and not stashing money in state coffers,‖ he said.
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The government, he added, should continue to modernize the rice sector to prevent farmers from
shifting to other crops or stopping their produce.

―We have to retain it because rice is a thinly-traded global commodity. Only a small surplus is up
for sale outside the borders of gross producers. Even China, which produces about 130 million
metric tons of rice per annum, still imports around six million metric tons of rice annually,‖
Recto noted.

He said it is hightime to invest in ―climate-smart, science-proven farming technologies.‖

He also asked the government to intensify its drive against rice smugglers while it is allowing
rice imports into the country.

https://news.mb.com.ph/2018/12/03/recto-urges-govt-to-ensure-proper-implementation-of-rice-
tariffication-law/

More food for Filipinos


By Manny B. Villar

December 4, 2018

I believe the passage of the Rice Tariffication bill by the bicameral conference committee of the
Senate and the House of Representatives will mean more affordable food on the dining table of
Filipino consumers.

The measure will remove the monopoly by state-run National Food Authority on food supply.
And with the lifting of quantitative restriction on imported rice, inexpensive rice from other
countries is expected to easily reach the domestic market.

The measure amends the outdated Republic Act (RA) No. 8178, or the Agricultural Tariffication
Act of 1996. Specifically, it will replace quantitative restrictions (QR) on rice imports with tariffs
and remove NFA‘s control over the rice market, thereby allowing private traders to bring in
affordable rice from other countries as long as they pay the 35-percent tariff for imports from
other Southeast Asian countries.

What caused rice prices to soar this year in the first place is the tight supply in the market amid
weak production, which came after several typhoons hit Luzon and a miscalculation on the part
of NFA to import the right volume of the staple. Hoarders exacerbated the situation by holding
on to their stock to create an artificial shortage so that prices would escalate.
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As rice is the biggest item in the consumer price index basket, inflation rate reached a nine-year
high of 6.7 percent in September and October, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority
show. Allowing more rice supply in the domestic market will definitely address food supply
concerns, stabilize commodity prices and help bring down inflation rate.

Preliminary estimates by the National Economic and Development Authority show that headline
inflation rate would ease 1 percentage point if rice prices in the local market were reduced to the
level of imported rice.

No less than President Rodrigo Duterte was alarmed by the high inflation data and ordered the
importation of more rice to stabilize the domestic supply. Thankfully, food prices are now
steady, following the arrival of rice shipments from Vietnam.

Once signed into law, the Rice Tariffication bill will allow more traders to buy rice from other
countries as long as they pay the proper import duties and taxes. As more people join the trade,
rice supply will stabilize and prices will become more competitive. Hoarding will be
discouraged, and the cartels that control the stock and dictate the prices will be neutralized.

However, it is important that the government provide Filipino farmers with safety nets against
the influx of imports. One is in the form of tariff rate, representing 35 percent of the price of rice
imported from other Southeast Asian countries. Another is in the form of subsidy or support that
will give Filipino farmers a fighting chance against farmers of neighboring countries, who also
get subsidies from their respective governments.

Making Filipino farmers more competitive should be a priority of the Department of Agriculture.

****

This should be complemented by the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, or RCEF, that
will allow farmers to acquire farm machineries and the latest technologies in rice production.
The bill provides for an annual appropriation of P10 billion for the fund over the next six years.
If the tariff collection exceeds P10 billion in any given year, the excess revenue will also be
allocated to RCEF specifically to provide direct financial assistance to rice farmers.

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The financial assistance program should be designed to directly compensate rice farmers who
will lose income as a result of the open rice importation.

The Philippines is considered a research center for rice production, and I believe that Filipino
farmers will become more competitive and productive, if they are given the latest technologies.

Whatever know-how that is available at the International Rice Research Institute should be
dispersed to the farmers. The use of modern technologies, such as the propagation of inbred and
hybrid varieties, will enable local farmers to produce more. I believe that harvesting 10 tons of
palay per season, two or three times a year, will enable a farming family to meet its needs.

This will be a win-win solution for the Filipino consumers and Filipino farmers. Our consumers
will be assured of a steady supply of affordable rice, while farmers will be protected from any
sudden surge of imports and subsequently compensated for any loss of income.

The rice industry is a vital component of the Philippine economy, but we have to realize that
with our growing population and limited land, we should take advantage of the global
marketplace to feed our people while taking care of our farmers

https://businessmirror.com.ph/more-food-for-filipinos/

Taiwan Votes to Maintain Import Ban on Fukushima Food


Imports
While Fukushima suffered a blow, trade ties between Japan and Taiwan avoided any
major impact.
By Thisanka Siripala

December 03, 2018

On Friday, Japan and Taiwan signed off on five bilateral trade pacts just days after
Taiwan voted in a referendum to uphold an import ban on agricultural products from
areas surrounding the Fukushima nuclear fallout.

Last week, 7.8 million voters in Taiwan approved renewing a legally binding food ban that was
originally imposed after the nuclear disaster in 2011. The ongoing agricultural ban covers five
Japanese prefectures including Fukushima and nearby Gunma, Ibaraki, Tochigi, and Chiba over

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an extended two year period. Although the setback was expected to put a strain on bilateral
relations, outright animosity has been diverted for now.

While there was no hiding the tension during two days of annual trade talks in Taipei,
negotiations remained on cordial terms. In the absence of formal diplomatic representatives,
leaders of the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association and Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association
reached one agreement to speed up customs clearance on trade goods and four memorandums of
understanding dealing with exchanges of patent information, business partnerships, medical
equipment trade, and joint research.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono described the referendum results as ―extremely
disappointing‖ based on government efforts to provide food safety information and its
continuous requests to lift the ban. Critics pointed out that the issue of Fukushima food safety
was addressed on the referendum without any scientific backing. Kono said he was planning to
retaliate by taking into consideration all available options as a future response. One tactic
included advancing the World Trade Organization dispute settlement route and pushing efforts to
persuade public opinion in Taiwan based on scientific data.

Although Taiwan‘s President Tsai Ing-wen has called for closer exchanges between the two
countries, she also stressed the need to respect the referendum as the embodiment of public
opinion. Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Andrew Lee also responded saying they will
handle the issue ―carefully‖ and seek understanding from the Japanese side.

Taiwan has also been seeking to sign a full free trade agreement with Japan, the island‘s third
largest trading partner, but momentum to accelerate negotiations has stalled since the
referendum. Taiwan‘s lack of support in dispelling misinformation based on scientific inspection
fueled criticisms in Japan that the food ban referendum was politically motivated by anti-
Japanese feelings.

However, Taiwan isn‘t the only government to regulate Fukushima imports behind the backdrop
of radiation concerns. China, South Korea, Singapore, and Macau are among the neighbors
imposing partial seafood and farm produce restrictions to varying degrees. Fukushima Governor
Masao Uchibori acknowledged how rumors and hearsay overseas were making it difficult to
eliminate import embargoes, but said progress on the safety of prefectural products can be seen
from the number of countries easing restrictions. The number of countries limiting imports from
the area has dropped from an initial 54 to 25.

A major breakthrough signaling regional attitudes are loosening up came with China‘s
announcement that they will begin to relax import restrictions on rice from Japan‘s west coast
Niigata prefecture. China suspended imports of all animal feed, agriculture and fisheries products
after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. But after scientific evaluation, described as
examining wind direction and distance from the damaged Fukushima nuclear reactor, Chinese

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President Xi Jinping cancelled import restrictions on the condition that white and brown rice are
processed at milling factories registered with the Chinese Customs Authority.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe‘s efforts to persuade Xi to lift restrictions at the bilateral summit in
October have paid off, symbolizing a warming of political ties.

Niigata is one of Japan‘s flagship regions for rice production and there is growing demand for
the staple food in China, which consumes 20 times more rice than Japan and amounts to 30
percent of the world market. Seven years after the ban was first imposed, its abolition unlocks
the potential to expand exports within a market of wealthy consumers eager for high end
Japanese rice.

https://thediplomat.com/2018/12/taiwan-votes-to-maintain-import-ban-on-fukushima-food-imports/

How Nigeria cut food imports, saved $21bn in 34 months


FG a day ago 1292 views by Nnenna Ibeh - Nigeria has cut its food importation, according to
the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele - Emefiele said the country has also been able to save $21
billion in 34 months - According to him, the reductions in food import were recorded on basic
food items including rice, fish, milk, sugar and wheat The federal government has said that
Nigeria has cut its importation of food into the country. The governor of Central Bank of
Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, said the country's monthly food import bill fell from $665.4 million
in January 2015 to $160.4 million as of October 2018.

Emefiele said the reductions in food import were recorded on basic food items including rice,
fish, milk, sugar and wheat. He said the policy on food items and its importation would be
maintained. READ ALSO: 2 major reasons Atiku did not travel to US finally revealed
―Noticeable declines were steadily recorded in our monthly food import bill from $665.4 million
in January 2015 to $160.4 million as at October 2018; A cumulative fall of 75.9% and an implied
savings of over $21 billion on food imports alone over that period. ―Most evident were the 97.3
per cent cumulative reduction in monthly rice import bills, 99.6 per cent in fish, 81.3 per cent in
milk, 63.7% in sugar, and 60.5 per cent in wheat.

―We are glad with the accomplishments recorded so far. Accordingly, this policy is expected to
continue with vigour until the underlying imbalances within the Nigerian economy have been
fully resolved," Emefiele added. The CBN governor also said the country has maintained a
particular focus on supporting farmers, entrepreneurs and small and medium scale businesses,
through our various intervention programmes. READ ALSO: Atiku appoints 4 youths ahead of
2019 presidential election He said one of such programmes is the Anchor Borrower Programme
which ensures that Nigeria emerged from being a net importer of rice to becoming a major
producer of rice, supplying key markets in neighbouring countries.
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―It is in light of the success of the Anchor Borrowers Program with regards to cultivation of rice
and maize that the Monetary Policy Committee in its last meeting on the 21st of November, 2018
recommended that the Anchor Borrowers program be applied to other areas such as palm oil,
tomatoes and fisheries to mention a few,‖ Emefiele noted. Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously
reported that the minister of agriculture and rural development, Audu Ogbeh, had said that
Nigeria‘s importation of rice will end in December.

The minister spoke in Osogbo, Osun state capital when he paid a courtesy visit to Ogbeni Rauf
Aregbesola. Ogbeh said Nigeria had embarked on mass rice production noting it is unfortunate
that Nigeria is still spending billions of dollars on food importation. He said the ministry of
agriculture has been restructured so as to meet Nigeria‘s food demand

https://www.legit.ng/1207223-how-nigeria-cut-food-imports-saved-21bn-34-months-fg.html

Could anyone have stopped gene-edited babies experiment?


12/2/18 8:17 PM

By MARILYNN MARCHIONE and CHRISTINA LARSON -HONG KONG — Early last


year, a little-known Chinese researcher turned up at an elite meeting in Berkeley, California,
where scientists and ethicists were discussing a technology that had shaken the field to its core
— an emerging tool for ―editing‖ genes, the strings of DNA that form the blueprint of life.

The young scientist, He Jiankui, saw the power of this tool, called CRISPR, to transform not
only genes, but also his own career.

In visits to the United States, he sought out CRISPR pioneers such as Jennifer Doudna of the
University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University‘s Dr. Matthew Porteus, and big
thinkers on its use, like Stanford ethicist Dr. William Hurlbut.

Last week, those shocked researchers watched as He hijacked an international conference they
helped organize with an astonishing claim: He said he helped make the world‘s first gene-
edited babies , despite clear scientific consensus that making genetic changes that could be
passed to future generations should not be attempted at this point .

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U.S. National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins called He‘s experiment ―a
misadventure of a major sort‖ — starring ―a scientist who apparently believed that he was a hero.
In fact, he crossed every line, scientifically and ethically.‖

But nobody stopped him. How can that be?

To be fair, scientists say there‘s no certain way to stop someone intent on monkeying with DNA,
no matter what laws or standards are in place. CRISPR is cheap and easy to use — which is why
scientists began to worry almost as soon as the technology was invented that something like this
would happen.

And there is a long history in science and medicine of researchers launching experiments
prematurely that were met with scorn or horror — some of which led to what are now common
practices, such as in-vitro fertilization.

Gene-editing for reproductive purposes is effectively banned in the U.S. and most of Europe. In
China, ministerial guidelines prohibit embryo research that ―violates ethical or moral principles.‖

It turns out He wasn‘t exactly tight-lipped about his goals . He pursued international experts at
Stanford and Rice Universities, where he had done graduate studies work, and elsewhere,
seeking advice before and during the experiment.

Should scientists who knew of He‘s plans have spoken up? Could they have dissuaded him?

The answers aren‘t clear.

―It doesn‘t fall into the category of legal responsibility, but ethical responsibility,‖ said Collins.
He said that not speaking up ―doesn‘t seem like a scientist taking responsibility.‖

China‘s National Commission of Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences and He‘s own university
have said they were in dark and have since condemned him .

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But three Stanford scientists — Hurlbut, Porteus and He‘s former fellowship adviser, Stephen
Quake — had extensive contact with him over the last few years. They and other scientists knew
or strongly suspected that He intended to try to make genetically edited babies.

Some confidantes didn‘t think He would follow through; others raised concerns that were never
heeded.

Stanford has not responded to an interview request.

Quake, a bioengineering professor, was one of the first to know about He‘s ambition. Quake said
he had met with He through the years whenever his former student was in town, and that He
confided his interest a few years ago in editing embryos for live births to try to make them
resistant to the AIDS virus.

Quake said he gave He only general advice and encouraged him to talk with mainstream
scientists, to choose situations where there‘s consensus that the risks are justified, to meet the
highest ethics standards and to publish his results in a peer-reviewed journal.

―My advice was very broad,‖ Quake said.

Hurlbut thinks he first met He in early 2017, when he and Doudna, co-inventor of CRISPR, held
the first of three meetings with leading scientists and ethicists to discuss the technology.

―Somehow, he ended up at our meeting,‖ Hurlbut said.

Since then, He returned several times to Stanford, and Hurlbut said he ―spent many hours‖
talking with He about situations where gene editing might be appropriate.

Four or five weeks ago, Hurlbut said He came to see him again and discussed embryo gene
editing to try to prevent HIV. Hurlbut said he suspected He had tried to implant a modified
embryo in a woman‘s womb.

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―I admonished him,‖ he said. ―I didn‘t green-light his work. I challenged him on it. I didn‘t
approve of what he was doing.‖

Porteus said he knew that He had been talking with Hurlbut and assumed Hurlbut discouraged
the Chinese scientist. In February, He asked to meet with Porteus and told him he had gotten
approval from a hospital ethics board to move forward.

―I think he was expecting me to be more receptive, and I was very negative,‖ Porteus said. ―I
was angry at his naivete, I was angry at his recklessness.‖

Porteus said he urged He ―to go talk to your senior Chinese colleagues.‖

After that meeting, ―I didn‘t hear from him and assumed he would not proceed,‖ Porteus said.
―In retrospect, I could have raised a hue and cry.‖

In a draft article about the gene-edited twin girls, which He planned to submit to journals, he
thanked UC Berkeley biophysicist Mark DeWitt for ―editing the manuscript.‖ DeWitt said he
tried to dissuade He and disputed that he edited the paper. He said he saw the paper, but the
feedback he offered was ―pretty general.‖

He‘s claims, including that his work has resulted in a second pregnancy , cannot be
independently confirmed and his work has not been published. He defended his actions last week
at a gene editing summit in Hong Kong.

In contrast, another U.S. scientist said he not only encouraged He but played a large role in the
project.

Michael Deem, a bioengineering professor at Rice University and He‘s doctoral degree adviser,
said he had worked with He since the scientist returned to China around 2012, and that he sits on
the advisory boards and holds ―a small stake‖ in He‘s two genetics companies in Shenzhen.
Deem defended He‘s actions, saying the research team did earlier experiments on animals.

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―We have multiple generations of animals that were genetically edited and produced viable
offspring,‖ and a lot of research on unintended effects on other genes, Deem said. Deem also
said he was present in China when some study participants gave their consent to try embryo gene
editing.

Rice said it had no knowledge of Deem‘s involvement and is now investigating.

So far most of the attention has focused on regulatory gaps in China.

But that‘s not the whole story, said Rosario Isasi, an expert on genomics law in the U.S. and
China at the University of Miami.

―Let‘s focus on how it happened and why it happened, and the way it happened,‖ said Isasi.
―How can we establish a system that has better transparency?‖

There‘s no international governing body to enforce bioethics rules, but scientific bodies and
universities can use other tools.

―If someone breaks those rules, scientists can ostracize, journals can refuse to publish, employers
can refuse to employ, funders can refuse to fund,‖ said Hank Greely, a professor of law and
genetics at Stanford.

Greely expects He‘s experiment will have ripple effects in academia, whether or not regulators
act. ―Universities are going to take a harder look at what‘s going on. This incident will put
everyone on alert about any related research.‖

Of course, sometimes bad beginnings can turn into better endings.

In 1980, University of California, Los Angeles, professor Martin Cline was sanctioned for
performing the first gene therapy on two women in Israel and Italy because he hadn‘t gotten
approval to try it at UCLA.

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Cline announced his work rather than publishing it in a scientific journal, and faced criticism for
trying ―genetic engineering‖ on people when its safety and effectiveness hadn‘t yet been
established in animals. Now gene therapy is an established, although still fairly novel, treatment
method.

Two years earlier, in 1978, Dr. Robert Edwards was similarly denounced when he announced
through the press the world‘s first ―test tube baby,‖ Louise Brown. The work later earned a
Nobel Prize, and IFV has helped millions to have a child.

And this year, Louise Brown — mother of two sons, conceived in the old-fashioned way —
turned 40.

http://www.tribtown.com/2018/12/02/med-gene-edited-babies-future/

Young Atlantic sturgeon numbers surge in the James River


Recent discoveries of the juvenile fish stir hope for the species’ comeback
 By Sarah Vogelsong on December 03, 2018

A bumper crop of juvenile Atlantic sturgeon in the James River this fall is raising some
environmentalists‘ hopes that the endangered fish may be staging a steady comeback in
Virginia‘s largest river.

All of the juvenile sturgeon found in the James River this year were in the 6–11 centimeter range and classified
as “age 0,” meaning they were likely just a few weeks old. (Matt Balazik)

―We‘re starting to see real momentum to see a species come back, but also a river come
back,‖ said Jamie Brunkow, riverkeeper for the James River Association.

This fall, as of Nov. 12, 153 juvenile sturgeon had been discovered in the James during
routine trawling surveys — a staggering increase over last fall‘s yield of just two.

Of those, 148 have been caught by Virginia Commonwealth University‘s Rice Rivers
Center; 40 of them captured on Nov. 5 alone. All of the center‘s catches were made
between the Benjamin Harrison Bridge near Hopewell and Sturgeon Point, which sits just
west of the Fort Pocahontas historical site in Charles City County. The five juveniles

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turned up by the James River Association were found in mid-October during an
education program at Presquile National Wildlife Refuge.

While the finds have sparked excitement among environmental advocates and researchers
— Brunkow called the discoveries ―extraordinary‖ even when the count sat at nine —
some are urging caution in claiming a restoration success.

―It is exciting, but it‘s still too early to call it for me,‖ said Matt Balazik, a scientist with
Rice Rivers and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who specializes in Atlantic sturgeon
in the James. ―These guys have a long way to go before I‘m comfortable with [the rate of
juvenile] recruitment.‖

Overfished in the Chesapeake region almost to the point of collapse in the 1800s, Atlantic
sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus) have been slowly returning to the Bay watershed over
the last decade. But in the James River, where researchers have identified and tagged
more than 700 adults, juveniles have largely been absent until recent years.

―We seem to have a recruitment problem in the James River of fish surviving when
they‘re young,‖ Balazik said.
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Researchers aren‘t quite sure why juveniles have been so scarce in the James. Some
suspect predation by other fish, such as the nonnative blue catfish, may be decimating the
ranks of the young. Disappearing habitat may also play a role: For spawning to occur
successfully, sturgeon need a hard, rocky river bottom for eggs to adhere to, as well as
water with low levels of sediment and high dissolved oxygen content.

Other risks include vessel collisions, the dredging of spawning areas and water intakes at
industrial plants.

Although it was clear that juveniles must exist somewhere in the James, none were found
by either fishermen or research trawls until November 2016, when three turned up. The
next year, two more emerged.

All five of the earlier juveniles, though, were older than this year‘s discoveries. The two
2017 finds were 47 and 52 centimeters in length, respectively, while the 2016 juveniles
were all less than 43 centimeters in length. Based on their measurements, Balazik
estimated them to be about a year old.

In comparison, all of this year‘s finds were in the 6–11 centimeter range and classified as
―age 0,‖ meaning they were likely born within the last few weeks around Osborne
Landing, where a number of tagged female sturgeon have been detected.

Juveniles ages one to two years ―are the ones I really love catching, because those are
pretty much safe at that point,‖ Balazik said.

Mere weeks old at the time of discovery, the 153 juveniles are not assured of reaching
maturity, and they are too small to be equipped with tracking devices that could help
researchers learn more about how the fish live and grow in the James.

Both Brunkow and Balazik speculated that the high incidence of juveniles this year may
be due to the heavy rains that affected the entire James River watershed this summer and
fall. Sturgeon move upriver to spawn, and the juveniles move slowly downriver as they
grow. Researchers at the Rice Rivers Center no longer conduct trawls above the fall line,
though, because of the high incidence of snags their equipment encounters upstream.

―It‘s a good chance in a normal year they‘re up there, but maybe with the stronger flows,
maybe they came downstream a little more quickly,‖ Balazik said.
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While Balazik is tempering his excitement until next year, when researchers can get a
sense of how many juveniles survived their treacherous early months, Brunkow sees the
finds as a hopeful signal of water quality improvement.

―The sturgeon just happens to be our local mascot here in the James,‖ he said, and this
year‘s juveniles offer ―some reason to be excited and positive about the future

https://www.bayjournal.com/article/young_atlantic_sturgeon_numbers_surge_in_the_james_river

Farmers forced to sell paddy below MSP: Odisha BJP


Purohit further alleged that rice millers are not lifting paddy from the mandis till they got a price
cut for 4 to 5 kg per bag much to the chagrin of the farmers.
Published: 03rd December 2018 11:06 AM | Last Updated: 03rd December 2018 11:06 AM
By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: As the paddy procurement scam in Kendrapara district returned to hunt the
Odisha Government, the BJP on Sunday claimed that farmers of the State are forced to go for
distress sale due to shortage of mandis and non-payment of minimum support price (MSP) by
Government appointed agencies.

―Farmers are not getting MSP of paddy due to a price cut at procurement centres. As millers are
dictating terms, farmers are forced to go for distress sale of their agriculture produce,‖ BJP MLA
Pradip Purohit alleged.

It is ironical that farmers are made to sell their paddy below the MSP at a time when the State
Government and several farmers‘ organisations have been urging the Centre to double the MSP
of paddy, he said.Even as the official date for paddy procurement in Kharif Marketing Season-
2018 was November 1, the State Government prepared a schedule for districts under the three
Revenue Divisional Commissioners (RDCs) after due consultation with Collectors.

Though procurement of paddy was scheduled to start from November 5 in Northern Division,
only a few market yards have started functioning, he said.While paddy stocks are piling up in the
market yards, non-functioning of the mandis have forced the farmers to sell their stocks to

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middlemen who are agents of the local rice millers at whatever price they quote, the BJP
legislator said.

The Centre has fixed paddy MSP at Rs 1,750 per quintal for common variety and `1,770 for
Grade-A variety, but the farmers are selling paddy at Rs 1,000 - Rs 1,200 per quintal to private
traders.

Purohit further alleged that rice millers are not lifting paddy from the mandis till they got a price
cut for 4 to 5 kg per bag much to the chagrin of the farmers. Even as a House Committee under
the chairmanship of Speaker decided during the winter session of the Assembly to meet the
Prime Minister and the President to press the demand for MSP hike, the Government has left the
farmers at the mercy of the private traders.

Recto urges gov’t to ensure proper implementation of rice


tariffication law
Published December 3, 2018, 7:48 PM

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto has urged the government to ensure the proper
implementation of the rice tariffication law so its promises to farmers would not end to no avail.

Senator Ralph Recto (JOHN JEROME GANZON / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

President Duterte is expected to sign into law soon the final version of the bill that will liberalize
rice importation and exportation in the country, and replace the quantitative restriction on rice
import with tariffs, which both houses of Congress have ratified last week.

In his explanation on voting for the bill‘s final approval, Recto, one of the authors of the
proposed rice tariffication law, said the measure should not suffer the same fate as laws that are
―full of good intentions, only to die at the hands of bad implementors.‖

―I believe we owe our farmers candor, and we should also likewise forewarn the executive that
they will be betraying our toiling and tilling class if they will bungle the implementation of this
law,‖ Recto said in a statement sent to media on Monday.

―So much is at stake, so high the expectation, so great the promises, so many depend on it that
failure is not an option,‖ he added.

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The soon-to-be law, Recto said, should be subject to a ―stringent congressional oversight to
prevent deviation from its intention.‖

He added that this way, Congress, also, would not forget its implementation.

Recto reiterated that proceeds from the import tariffs should be distributed to rice farmers ―to the
last centavo.‖

Under the Congress-approved bill, at least P10 billion shall be allocated annually as Rice
Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) for the country‘s rice industry.

Recto said farmers who have been adversely affected by the liberalization of the rice market
should be prioritized in the distribution of assistance to increase their production.

The Senate leader insisted that the bill is ―not a revenue measure‖ and the government should not
use it to shore up its fiscal position.

―This is about putting cheap rice on the table, and not stashing money in state coffers,‖ he said.

The government, he added, should continue to modernize the rice sector to prevent farmers from
shifting to other crops or stopping their produce.

―We have to retain it because rice is a thinly-traded global commodity. Only a small surplus is up
for sale outside the borders of gross producers. Even China, which produces about 130 million

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metric tons of rice per annum, still imports around six million metric tons of rice annually,‖
Recto noted.

He said it is hightime to invest in ―climate-smart, science-proven farming technologies.‖

He also asked the government to intensify its drive against rice smugglers while it is allowing
rice imports into the country.

https://news.mb.com.ph/2018/12/03/recto-urges-govt-to-ensure-proper-implementation-of-rice-
tariffication-law/

Commodity picks: 3 December, 2018


Availability of cheaper substitutes like rice bran, churi and lower mustard cake prices will further
weigh on cotton oil cake prices
Prerana
1 Desai Last Updated at December 2, 2018 21:51 IST

Castor is trading at Rs 5,360 per quintal in Deesa and is expected to move higher towards Rs 5,470 per
quintal following fresh buying at lower levels and lower overall supplies.

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Cotton oil cake

Cotton oil cake at the benchmark Akola market is trading at Rs 1,923 per quintal. For the week ahead,
prices are expected to decline by Rs 30-60 per quintal and head towards Rs 1,880 per quintal due to
higher availability as arrivals are at a peak and cake demand from Rajasthan is lower due to upcoming
elections. Availability of cheaper substitutes like rice bran, churi and lower mustard cake prices will
further weigh on cotton oil cake prices.

Prerana Desai, VP-Research -Edelweiss Agri Services and Credit, Edelweiss Agri Value
Chainhttps://www.business-standard.com/article/markets/commodity-picks-3-december-2018-
118120200589_1.html

Rainfed rice on the rise in NSW Northern Rivers


by Liz Wells, 03 December 2018

THE RAINFED rice industry is gaining traction


on the Northern Rivers of New South Wales at a
time when NSW‘s traditional rice-growing area,
the Riverina, is reducing area due to competition
from other crops and limited water for
irrigation.Brett Slater in a rainfed rice crop
growing at Slater Farms near Casino in the
Northern Rivers region of New South Wales.
Photo: Slater FarmsNorthern Rivers‘ production
last year hit 3000 tonnes, and the region is
producing conventional and bio-dynamic rice,
all of it milled at Slater Farms near Casino,
which added rice to its summer and winter-
cropping rotation after 2008.―That was the year
we had our biggest flood in 50 years, and
southern NSW had its smallest crop because of
limited water,‖ Slater Farms principal Brett
Slater said.―A cane farmer near us was trialing
rice, and we thought we would try it because it
can cope so well with the wet conditions.‖

Mr Slater and wife Karen grew their first rice


crop in 2009, and have since transitioned from organic to bio-dynamic farming.

Rice now makes up one-third of Slater Farms‘ summer-cropping area of 344 hectares, with
soybeans holding the balance.

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Move into milling

The Northern Rivers has an annual average rainfall of around 1000 millimetres. Most of it falls
between January and March.

The rainfall pattern makes the region ideal for growing rainfed rice, but its distance from existing
rice mills in the Riverina in southern NSW, and the Burdekin in North Queensland, posed an
immediate problem for Slater Farms.

―We realised that if we were growing rice, we‘d have to market it ourselves, so we put a mill in
in 2010.‖

The mill arrived in four 40-foot shipping containers, and took six months to assemble.

It grades and dehulls the grain to produce brown rice. Mr Slater said the company was looking at
adding a whitening process to its capabilities so it could also offer white rice to the market.

―Being a farmer, I understanding machinery and cropping, but the marketing world was a
challenge for us.

―We‘ve got good distributors now, and our rice has going into health-food stores in every state.‖

Contract milling

Slater Farms is contract milling additional rice tonnage grown in the region for Natural Rice Co,
which is now being supplied by close to 50 Northern Rivers growers, including cane farmers
who are trialling a supplementary crop.

Natural Rice Co managing director and food-industry veteran, Nelson Green, said the company
was expecting to market rice from a record conventionally farmed area of at least 800ha next
year.

―We‘ve been going for three years, and now we‘re focusing on building infrastructure in the
form of storage,‖ Mr Green said.

Natural Rice Co is acquiring a site at Kyogle with potential to store up to 10,000t of rice, and
with drying and aeration capacity to reduce rice moisture levels to around 14 per cent, instead of
22pc, which is common for rice at the time of harvest.

Farming challenges

Mr Slater said Slater Farms‘ rice has yielded up to 7.5 tonnes per hectare, and as little as 2.5t/ha.

―It suffers in the dry years, but does better in the wet years than soybeans, which we can lose if
they get waterlogged.

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―Soybeans have more vigour when they‘re younger, and rice is slower to start, but once it‘s up
and going, it‘s a great crop.‖Slater Farms grows wheat, triticale and green-manure legume crops
over winter.Mr Slater said rice was a good fit with soybeans as a summer crop in a three or four-
year rotation.―We started planting rice late October or November, but found the pressure from
grass weeds was high.

―Now we plant in December or early January to make better use of that summer rainfall, and use
an inter-row cultivator to control the weeds.‖Slater Farms harvests its rice in May.

Going it alone

Under legislation which controls the rice industry in NSW, both Slater Farms and Natural Rice
Co are authorised to buy rice for domestic sale.―We can contract growers on a per-area basis, we
can supply seed, give them agronomic support, and buy the rice from them, and we commit to a
price, but we cannot export,‖ Mr Green said.―SunRice holds the sole export licence for NSW
rice.‖He said current legislation tied to the Rice Marketing Board and SunRice precludes Slater
Farms and Natural Rice Co from holding an export licence.

Mr Green and Mr Slater both said they saw potential for growth in rice production in the
Northern Rivers, and Mr Green said export markets would be welcomed.

―Growers in the Northern Rivers aren‘t going to make any money out of rice if they send it to
SunRice in the Riverina, so we have to find domestic markets,‖ Mr Green said.

―Because we‘re not relying on irrigation allocations, we‘ll always get a crop, and we‘ve got to
have the ability to switch on other markets when we have a big crop.‖

According to SunRice, southern NSW in 2017 harvested 801,714t of rice at an average yield of
9.9t/ha.

SunRice has handled crops as large as 1.2 million tonnes, with around 80pc exported to more
than 60 countries in years of large production.

Competition from cotton saw the 2018 crop come in at close to 600,000t, and limited irrigation
supplies could mean the 2019 crop is a fraction of that, which would leave Australia‘s domestic
rice requirement of 300,000t profoundly short.

https://www.graincentral.com/cropping/rainfed-rice-on-the-rise-in-nsw-northern-rivers/

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