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Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Rice E-Newsletter
February 23 , 2015
V o l u m e 5, Issue I

Rift between Sindh Balochistan Rice Millers


LARKANA: February 18, 2015. (nazir Siyal) A rift between Sindh Balochistan Rice Millers and
Traders Association (SBRMTA) representatives of 1500 Rice millers in Sindh after rift and
allegations of removal of three REAP-Rice Export Association of Pakistan members in
SBRMTA told President Mr. Abro.Whereas, the removed members among Haji Ismail Shaikh,
Zubari Memon and angry office bearers have decided to removal of President SBRMTA Abdul
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Aziz Abro by legally way presenting no confidence vote in upcoming CEC meeting to be held on
22 February 2015.President SBRMTA Abdul Aziz Abro told this scribe that over hundreds
members and general body called on the issue and decided to removal of these three members
and further told that they have misused of export the Sindh Rice in spite Punjab Rice and billions
of rice could not be exported of Sindh he alleged.
While addressing the press conference Senior Vice President Haji Qamaruddin Gopang, General
Secretary Assad Ali Tunio revealed that the SBRMTA President Abdul Aziz Abro has violated
bylaws of organization and take extra constitutional steps by sacking three office bearers without
seeking approval from executive committee and general body, he imposing his favorite which is
violation of rules and organization constitution. They said that President Abdul Aziz Abro had
no power to personally set-aside any office bearer it was delegated powers to executive
committee and general body to decide and remove legal way, alleged him that due to his poor
policies, rice mill owners and traders have faced loss of millions of rupees, President was unable
to address the issues of rice millers, they said.
They alleged Mr Abro wanted to shift the head office to Karachi from Larkana to facilitate
himself and his favorites without consent of members and legal way, any dictatorial steps will be
dealt with stiff resistance.Leaders told that 11 office bearers out of 15 are against the policies of
President and supporting to convene the executive committee to table no confidence requisition
against the President Abdul Aziz Abro on 22 February 2015.Former President Gada Hussain
Mahessar told media men that Mr Abro has imposed martial law in Sindh Balochistan Rice
Millers and Traders Association and inflicted the loss to organization by introducing dictatorial
decisions.
It is pertinent to mention here that President SBRMTA Abdul Aziz Abro had removed three
members of Rice Exporters Pakistan including General Secretary Asad Ali Tunio, Ismail Shaikh
and one other.On the occasion Vice President Amanullah Shaikh, Treasurer Ramesh Lal and
others were present.
Source with thanks: http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/headlinenewsd.php?hnewsid=5190

Aerobic cropping a good fit


ANDREW MARSHALL
23 Feb, 2015 03:00 AM

THE southern NSW rice industry is hoping to lift its water use
efficiency by tapping into achievements being made by the
fledgling North Queensland sector where it grows as a row
crop.Unlike the traditional paddy rice crop, the current 350
hectares planted in raised bed rows in the sub-tropical north
represent a groundbreaking shift into commercial "aerobic" rice
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cropping.About 12 farms, mostly in the Burdekin Valley, now grow rice as a break crop on sugar
cane country, supplementing the region's 900-plus millimetre annual rainfall with irrigation
waterings in much the same way cotton, maize or soybeans are grown.
While weed management is still being refined and yields vary widely from five tonnes to 10t/ha,
more farmers are keen get involved. Some as far north as Tully or in Central Queensland at
Emerald have already given it a try.National rice marketer SunRice is encouraging research
efforts which could use northern crop experience, combined with breeding for better plant root
development and cold tolerance traits, to make Australia's 800,000t-plus rice industry more
water efficient.
Via its subsidiary Rice Research Australia, SunRice also hopes to enhance characteristics found
in temperate climate varieties grown in NSW Murrumbidgee and Murray valley's to lift
Queensland yields.Researchers are also working hard to breed for improved resistance to the
internationally prevalent tropical fungus, rice blast.Rice blast has been a major impediment to
expanding the crop into northern Australia, particularly in the Ord irrigation areas.For the time
being, however, SunRice chief executive officer Rob Gordon regarded the Burdekin Valley as
opening up an exciting new chapter for his industry.He said the Burdekin region, which
previously grew ponded rice in the 1980s and '90s, had potential to expand the 80-year-old
industry's production footprint and help boost rice exports at a time when Australian production
was lagging well behind export needs.
Andrew Marshallis the national agribusiness writer for Fairfax Agricultural Media
Email: andrew.marshall@fairfaxmedia.com.au
Source with thanks :http://www.northqueenslandregister.com.au/news/agriculture/cropping/generalnews/aerobic-cropping-a-good-fit/2723503.aspx

Muse rice traders hoping New Years brings better luck


By Zaw Htike | Sunday, 22 February 2015

Muse-based rice traders are hopeful that the Year of the Sheep will improve their fortunes.
Rice exports to China have plummeted to almost nothing from peaks of 2000 tonnes a day
following a series of raids conducted by Chinese customs on allegedly illegal rice importers on
the Chinese side of the border.
The Muse commodity exchange centre is closed for Chinese New
Year from February 18 to 25. said Muse-base rice trader U Min
Thein. We hope trade will improve after the festival. Were
optimistic.The customs raids carried out between September and
November were followed by a respite. But since the end of January,
the raids have resumed with particular severity, traders say. One of
the countrys leading rice exporters, who asked not to be named,
said, This time, the customs went looking for imported Myanmar
rice in the rice mills and warehouses in Ruili.

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They arrested some Chinese traders who had imported rice from Myanmar. This is worse than
before. He added that the crackdown had blocked exports of rice from Ayeyarwady, Bago, Sagaing,
Yangon and Mandalay regions. Over a 10-day period, about 1 million rice bags were blocked in
Muse. We have no idea what will happen next, he said.On the other hand, the Myanmar and
Chinese governments have been working since the middle of last year to formalise the rice trade
between them.
The two sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding last September, and the Myanmar Rice
Federation has designated nine companies that will register to export high-quality rice officially to
China, perhaps as early as the end of April or early May.The federation says it expects to export at
least 1 million tonnes of rice to China officially in 2015.In 2013-2014, Myanmar exported 800,000
tonnes of rice to China through Muse.Image: Exports prepare cargo at 105 Mile export zone near Muse.
Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing
Source with thanks:http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/business/13211-muse-rice-traders-hoping-newyears-brings-better-luck.html

Food segment outperforms peers in manufacturing


Mohiuddin Aazim
GROWING domestic and foreign demand, coupled with efficient e-marketing and backed by bank
lending, are fueling the growth of the lucrative food business.In FY12, when overall growth in large-scale

manufacturing was just 1.2pc, food sectors output grew by 6.4pc. In FY13, the food sectors
growth of 9.4pc beat overall LSM growth of 4.3pc and in FY14
production of food, beverages and tobacco companies
expanded 7.16pc against aggregate LSM output increase of
3.95pc, official statistics show.The changes in output of food
sector is computed on the basis of variations in production of
around 1900 companies of which the number of tobacco
companies is no more than a dozen or so.
________________________________________
Some success stories, particularly those of big food companies, get public attention while a vast
majority of smaller food firms do not come under spotlight
________________________________________
The stats, therefore, reflect more or less a true picture of whats happening in the food
sector.Wheat, sugar and rice milling make up the core of food business with rice millers
regularly catering to foreign buyers as well, and wheat and sugar millers tapping foreign markets
off and on.Maize being the countrys fourth major food crop has huge export potential and in

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recent years Pakistan has been exporting more of value-added corn products than the mere maize
grains.
Moreover, dairy, meat and seafood sectors output has been growing on the back of higher
domestic demand due to growth of population, urbanisation and income levels, annual economic
surveys of the last few years reveal. Exports of dairy, meat and fish and fish products, too, have
recorded a modest to high growth.Also, business groups with focus elsewhere have realised how
profitable it is to be in food sector and have accordingly ventured into it or, if they were already
in this business, expanded their production capacity.That is why, in recent years food companies,
including multinationals, have witnessed robust growth in sales and profits.Half yearly sales of
Nestle Pakistan, for example, rose to Rs50.3bn between January-June 2014 from Rs42.4bn a
year-ago and its net profit swelled to Rs4.6bn from Rs3.5bn.The companys full year sales had
increased two and half times within five years, from Rs34.2bn in 2008 to Rs86.2bn in 2013.
And, its net profit had surged from Rs1.55bn to Rs5.86bn.Engro Foods net sales also increased
to Rs12.4bn in the fourth quarter of 2014 from Rs9.9bn a year ago. In full year 2014, too, the
company reported sales of Rs43bn against that of Rs37.9bn in 2013 which quadrupled its net
profits to Rs889m from Rs210m.Similarly, Unilever Pakistan Foods sales grew to Rs4.105bn in
the first half of 2014 from Rs3.465bn a year-ago and its net profit increased to Rs619m from Rs
469m. Earlier the companys sales had surged to about Rs6.96bn in FY13 from around Rs5.86bn
in 2012 and its net profit had reached Rs1bn, up from about Rs729m.These are just glimpses of
how food is performing but reflects a trend not setting in, but taking roots.Most of the non-listed
companies are also doing good business taking advantage of low cost of production and highly
diversified market in terms of purchasing power of the middle class end-consumers.
The food companies successes are attributed to growing demand of processed and value-added
items on the back of a growing trend of processed food consumption.Fusing foreign demand for
Pakistani food items has increased exports of fruits and vegetables, pulses, spices, nuts, meat,
fish and other seafood, dairy products and hundreds of other items. Dollar earnings of all food
items, (minus rice, wheat and sugar), increased from $1.762bn in FY11 to $2.023bn in FY12 to
$2.256bn in FY13 before slipping to $2.167bn in the last fiscal year. Behind the increasing trend
in these food items are success stories of dozens of large and thousands of small food companies
engaged in production or value-addition of food products.
Whereas some success stories particularly those of big food companies get public attention, a
vast majority of smaller food sector companies do not come under spotlight.The strong
performance of food business has attracted bank lending, making it possible for producers and
exporters of various sub-sectors to build capacity and improve quality of their products. In FY14,
banks net loans to food sector rose to Rs26bn from Rs16bn in FY13. And in the first half of this
fiscal year banks have so far lent Rs15bn to this sector, SBP stats reveal.As more and more food
companies continue to obtain international standardisation certificates, bankers say they find it

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easier to lend to them. The certification enables the industry to sell more to high-end local
markets and boost exports with better returns required to repay bank loans.
Published in Dawn, Economic & Business, February 23rd, 2015
Source with thanks:http://www.dawn.com/news/1165250/food-segment-outperforms-peers-inmanufacturing

Green Revolutions 2.0 & 3.0: No farmer left behind


Written by Gene Hettel.
Several million of the world's poorest farmers are already
adopting one of the first new technologies of the second
Green Revolution (GR2.0)flood-tolerant rice! This
was the optimistic pronouncement of Robert Zeigler,
director general of the International Rice Research
Institute (IRRI), during his keynote address to kick off
the 4th International Rice Congress(IRC2014) in
Bangkok on 28 October 2014. More than 1,500 delegates
from 69 countries attended the week-long IRC, touted as the Olympics of Rice Science.
Start of GR2.0 pinpointed
It is thanks to one farmer, Mr. Asha Ram Pal from the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, that Dr.
Zeigler pinpoints, at least in his opinion, the exact start of GR2.0. It was 31.07.2008 13:17 (1:17
in the afternoon of 31 July 2008)the exact moment in time when, ignoring the advice of his
neighbors by showing faith in the science, Mr. Pal decided not to plow under his severely floodravaged and sick-looking rice crop on his 1-hectare field that had been submerged for around 17
days across two floods.
Well, those rice plants with the SUB1 flood-tolerance gene recovered to yield 4.5 tons, a good
yield for any rainfed paddy in the world!
"This wasunambiguously the start of GR2.0," Dr. Zeigler said, "because for any agricultural
revolution to be successful, farmers must adopt the product of the science. Since then, Sub1 rice
varieties have spread like wildfire in eastern India and other regions where flooding is a
perennial problem for farmers growing their crop in such marginal environments."
According to the internationally respected plant pathologist who has led IRRI for the last 9 years,
the new technology can be attributed primarily to high-level and high-quality sciencescience
publishable in the top scientific journals in the worldbrought to bear on the problems in
farmers' fields.

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Indeed, one scientific study indicated that "the scheduled castes are likely to be a major
beneficiary from the spread of Swarna-Sub1 in India. "When I read this last paragraph of the
study, I literally got goose bumps," he told the delegates. "The scheduled castes are the lowest of
the low. So, this technologythe most exquisite research from some of the finest laboratories in
the worldis significantly benefiting the poorest of the poor. Now if that is not scientific
revolution, I dont know what is. It gives me great pride to be a scientist and to be associated
with the people who have done this work."
GR3.0 will stagger the imagination
"GR2.0's run will be fruitfuland quicker than GR1.0particularly for farmers in marginal
weather- sets the stage for GR1.0 stressed environments," Dr. Zeigler predicted. He said there is
a very wide array of problems, previously thought to be absolutely insurmountable, that
researchers can now address more rapidly using the scientific tools coming out of parallel highscience revolutions in genetics, molecular biology, and plant physiology.
According to Dr. Zeigler, GR2.0 is allowing researchers to successfully meet great challenges
with unprecedented research efforts that will result in unparalleled impactranging from mining
the rice genomes and wild relatives of rice for needed traits to developing climateready rice and
from fighting human malnutrition with more nutritious rice to better management of water and
nutrient resources in farmers' rice fields.
"Over the next 10 to 20 years, during which GR2.0 will phase into GR3.0, we will seize
opportunities for sustainable rice production in ways that will stagger our imagination," he
confidently forecasted. In another bold prediction, he envisions the start of GR3.0 sometime
around 2030 when farmers start planting yield plateau-busting C4 and nitrogen-fixing rice
varieties and consumers begin finding broad-based nutritious rice in the marketplace.
Summarizing the GR series
Dr. Zeigler summarized for the delegates what he calls the ongoing Green Revolution Series.
"GR1.0, which basically built a high-yield plant architecture adapted to the low-stress
environments, is justly criticized for benefitting only farmers in those relatively stress-free
areas," he said. "GR2.0 is incorporating tolerance to severe stresses and additional nutritional
value and ultimately, as already mentioned, is leaving no farmer behind. GR3.0 will accelerate
the evolution of the rice plant itself. It will effectively produce designer rice by leaving
no Oryzaspecies untapped."
Young scientists will lead the charge

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During a media briefing following his keynote, Dr. Zeigler told reporters that leading the charge
of the sciencebased GR2.0 and 3.0 is the next crop of vibrant, intelligent, and caring young
scientists. They are in league with IRRI through the Global Rice Science Partnership and its five
rice-breeding hubs in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Many attended their first-ever
International Rice Congress in Bangkok. Twentynine of these young rice scientists were chosen
to present their research during the science sessions and they were formally recognized for this
notable achievement during the IRC gala dinner (photo above)."The future of rice science is at
stake because without new blood in the experiment plots and laboratories, the outlook for a
continuing GR2.0 would be grim and there wouldnt even be a GR3.0," he warned reporters.
Source with thanks:IRRI

A passion for growing rice in Venezuela


Written by Adriana Varn Molina.
Finding a way to increase rice production in the
country with the largest petroleum reserves in the
worldand thus ample means to pay for
importshas posed a colossal challenge for
Venezuelas farmers over the last 4 decades.
Today, they produce about 1 million tons of paddy
rice annuallydown 300,000 tons from 8 years
ago. But the countrys rice sector is working hard
to regain its strength of an earlier 20-year period,
when it not only met local demand but also
exported its surplus to its neighboring countries.
For now, though, Venezuelan growers can supply only 65% of the rice consumed domestically
about 1.2 million tons. According to Pedro Luis Cordero, president of the National Rice
Foundation (Fundarroz), the breaking point for the country's rice growers came in 2006, when

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the government changed the rules of the game, pushing production in both the public and private
sector to the edge of the abyss.Since then, growers have been hard pressed to obtain inputs, such
as seed, fertilizer, and replacement parts for agricultural machinery, and have met with logistical
obstacles in transporting harvested grain. Against this background, a resurgence of rice in
Venezuela has just one thing going for it: an expanding culture of innovation.
Six steps to success
Farmer Rafael Urdaneta, though originally from the city of San Cristbal, began growing rice 23
years ago near Calabozo in the state of Gurico, one of Venezuela's main rice-growing areas. He
has decided to give new crop management practices a try on his 600 hectares, following to the
letter the six key steps that Fundarroz and the Latin American Fund for Irrigated Rice (FLAR)
are promoting to boost productivity. His reward is rice yields of 811 tons per hectare, well
above the national average of 4.27 tons.
Adjusting the planting date and density, using treated seed to ward off disease pathogens,
ensuring proper weed control and fertilization, and managing water adequately are the practices
that have made the difference for Mr. Urdaneta."The key is using exactly the right amount of
inputs and planting at the optimum time to realize the full genetic potential of the improved
varieties," says Mr. Urdaneta, a beneficiary of the Gurico River Irrigation System. He cites two
other factors that also help account for the unprecedented rice productivity in his fields: direct
seeding and his passion for what he does.
Crazy neighbors
About 500 kilometers away, near Majaguas in the state of Portuguesa, other passionate farmers
are following the six points to success as well, in addition to using direct seeding in their rice
fields. Eubencio Tern, scar lvarez, Venturino Cicconetti, and Nicola Campo have all
exchanged conventional production practices for the new approach. After several years of trial
and error, they now serve as models for other farmers who visit their fields to see their secret
formula.
"We started rotating rice with other crops such as maize,
sugarcane, and soybean, and weve also adopted direct
seeding and now plant in straight lines rather than in
contour lines," says Mr. Cicconetti, who boosted his
average rice yield from 5 tons per hectare to 911 tons.
"Weve gone from three rice harvests annually to two or
just one, and were using newer machinery.

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"Mr. Tern is following Mr. Cicconetti's footsteps. Four years ago, he began rotating crops on his
farm, La Celinera: irrigated rice in the dry season and rainfed maize in the rainy season. Mr.
Tern now harvests 8 tons of rice and 5 tons of maize per hectare. But still, he has set his sights
on the goal of raising the yield of both crops by 2 tons per hectare."Before, people called me the
'crazy neighbor.' They were convinced that the new technologies would fail," says Mr. Tern,
who has been farming for 25 years. "There are still some small-scale farmers in this area who are
reluctant to change, but there are also a lot more crazy neighbors like me."
Racing to close yield gaps
In Venezuela's race to raise rice productivity and close yield gaps, various organizations deserve
recognition for their efforts in support of this work. FLAR, the International Center for Tropical
Agriculture (CIAT), and several national organizationsincluding Fundarroz, the Western
Plains Association of Certified Seed Producers (Aproscello), the Venezuelan Federation of Rice
Producers Associations (Fevearroz), the Danac Foundation, and other public and private sector
actorshave joined forces, using their respective experiences with innovation in technology
development, genetic improvement, and marketing to restore the countrys self-sufficiency in
rice.Daniel Brito, a Fundarroz agronomist and extension officer, is in charge of the program for
technology transfer in the state of Portuguesa.
Every week, he visits farmers in the region who are following the six steps as well as those who
havent yet decided to take the technological leap. "The idea is to increase the number of rice
growers to learn about successful experiences and to adopt innovative practices on their farms,"
says Mr. Brito.According to Fuaz Kassen, the president of Fevearroz, Venezuela's rice growers
can satisfy local demand and cater to Central America and the Caribbean markets. "The future of
rice in Venezuela lies outside the country," he says. "We need more capital investment to expand
production into new areas and the adoption of new technologies with state support."Apart from
giving Venezuela plenty of "black gold," nature has provided it with other riches as well,
including fertile land, abundant water, and an ideal climate. These, together with new
technologies, should suffice to allow innovative rice growers to regain control of the nations
food security, win back former clients, and open new pathways toward rice exports.
_____________________________________________
Ms. Varn Molina is communications coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean at CIAT.
Source with thanks:Phil Rice

Amays House: A fragrant and rare Myanmarese find


ALEXANDRA GILL
VANCOUVER The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Feb. 20 2015, 11:34 PM EST
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Last updated Saturday, Feb. 21 2015, 3:42 PM EST
Aung San Suu Kyi stares down serenely from a framed portrait hung on a neon-tangerine wall.
Her placid image, a cherished fixture in most Myanmarese homes and restaurants, doesnt help
calm our mounting impatience.Myanmars First Lady of Freedom may have sustained millions
of impoverished followers and their thirst for democracy during her 15 years of house arrest. But
we unworthy gluttons are obviously impervious to the charms of her Buddhist grace. As fragrant
fried rice, fishy noodle soups and oily curries pile up on nearby tables, we anxiously drum our
fingers, gulp our water and eventually stand up, waving to the sole server for attention.Oh, for
the shame of first-world hunger pains.
The military junta that controlled Myanmar (formerly Burma) from 1962 to 2011 may have
failed to crush Ms. Suu Kyis non-violent resistance. But it did largely succeed in controlling the
migration of the nations cuisine with sealed borders and restrictions on travel.Myanmarese
restaurants are relatively rare in North America.In Vancouver, there are three: Amays House,
Wahh Tee Burmese and Laska King (Rangoon closed last month).All have their virtues, but
Amays House, open now for almost two years, offers the most extensive menu and traditional
dishes. A modest mom-and-pop eatery, it is owned by Hihaa Kyaw and his wife, Mya
Nyunt.Before they came to Canada in 1996, Mr. Kyaw worked as a cook at the Inya Lake Hotel,
a four-star, colonial-style resort in Yangon (formerly Rangoon).
He also trained as a pastry chef, which explains why his prata, a flat-grilled bread made from
layers and layers of oiled dough, is so light and airy almost like a thin, crispy croissant. Do try
it folded inside a creamy egg omelet that you can dress with a clear fish sauce with lime juice
called ngapi (similar to Thai nam pla) -- if your ravenous friends dont beat you to the side bowl
and drain it first. Grrr.Myanmarese cuisine it still sounds strange not to call it Burmese is
strongly influenced by the cooking styles of India, Thailand, Cambodia and China.The first
Indian settlers arrived in 250 B.C. long before the Tibetans (ninth century A.D.) and the
Chinese conquest (1272). Deep, dark curries built on a basic paste made from onion, garlic,
chili, ginger and turmeric are common.
The paste is heated in a smoking wok, like Chinese cooking, and reduced until the oil floats to
the top. But the flavour isnt greasy, probably because lighter peanut and sesame oils are
used.Amays House makes a fantastic chicken biryani, slow roasted and richly redolent of
cardamom. Its served on the bone, in a bed of pale yellow and bright orange saffron-scented
basmati rice. The rice was silky and buttery. Mr. Kyaw wouldnt reveal his secrets, but we think
it was finished with ghee.Myanmarese cuisine also offers many cold salads, including a
distinctively funky fermented tea leaf salad. The fishy ferment gives the tea a pungent, murky
flavour and its caffeine will leave diners with a jolty buzz. But when mixed with fresh citrus, red
onion, chunky peanuts and crispy lentils, the salad is actually quite lively and refreshing. (Wahh
Tee Burmese actually makes the brightest version of this ubiquitous dish; Laska Kings was a bit
dark and dreary.)
Even better, is the ginger salad at Amays House. Its tossed with the same choppy mix of
peanuts, yellow peas, broad beans and sesame seeds. But instead of tea leaves, slivered ginger
root pickled in vinegar is the main ingredient.Royal noodle salad is one of my new favourite
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comfort foods. At Amays House, the thick udon noodles (another Chinese influence) are prettily
topped with chicken curry, dried bean powder, fried noodles, fresh cilantro, raw onion and boiled
egg, all separated into their own sections. You pour a bowl of fish soup over the noodles and mix
it yourself.
Its hearty and rich, yet again bright and herbaceous. At Wahh Tee Burmese, they add shrimp
powder, which it gives it even more sticky heft.Last but not least on the must-try list is mohinga.
The lightly flavoured catfish chowder, bobbing with rice noodles and crispy lentil cakes, widely
considered Myanmars national dish. All three restaurants make it slightly different. Laska
Kings is the heaviest, almost a stew, laden with extra lentils and a slightly gelled broth. Wahh
Tee has the boldest chili heat, which sneaks up the back of the throat and slowly seduces.
Amays House is the lightest because, as Mr. Kyaw explained, he uses semolina flour instead
rice flour.Although Amays House is the best of the bunch, adventurous eaters will want to try
all three restaurants. Just be patient with poor Ms. Nyunt, who serves the dishes (alone) as fast as
her husband can cook them. Great food, like freedom, comes to those who wait.
Source with thanks:The Globe and Mail Inc

US pledges continued support for Pakistan as Interior


Minister Nisar meets NSA Susan Rice
Saturday, 21 February 2015 13:14
Posted by Parvez Jabri
WASHINGTON: The United States has pledged continued support for
Pakistan's fight against terror, as Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan
and White House National Security Advisor discussed bilateral relations,
efforts for regional stability and the need to align support for Afghan
reconciliation.
"They agreed to continue working together as partners against the threat of terrorism," the White
House said in a statement, after the meeting."They also discussed ways to mutually support
regional stability in the near term, highlighting the need to align support for Afghan-led
reconciliation efforts and continue regular US-Pakistani engagement," the statement
added.Ambassador Rice commended the role played by Pakistan's delegation, which Minister
Khan led, at the White House-hosted Summit on Countering Violent Extremism.President
Obama's Special Assistant on Afghanistan and Pakistan Jeff Eggers joined NSA Rice in the
meeting, the Pakistani embassy said.
"The two leaders exchanged views on matters of mutual interest in both bilateral and regional
context. Expressing satisfaction on the state of play in the bilateral relationship, both sides agreed

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to continue the momentum of cooperation generated in the wake of last Ministerial session of the
strategic dialogue process held in Islamabad."Rice "commended the resolve of the leadership and
people of Pakistan to deal with terrorism in a comprehensive manner. NSA Rice assured the
Interior Minister of the continued US support for Pakistan's efforts to eliminate terrorism."Noting
the timely US initiative to convene the Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, the Interior
Minister apprised NSA Rice about the ongoing military operations and steps being taken in
follow up to the National Action Plan to eliminate terrorism.Rice appreciated the sacrifices and
commitment of Pakistan in the fight against terrorism and extremism.

Source with thanks:http://www.brecorder.com/top-news/108-pakistan-top-news/226602-us-pledgescontinued-support-for-pakistan-as-interior-minister-nisar-meets-nsa-susan-rice.html

Quota restricting rice export to Malaysia


February 22, 2015

Despite having potential of over 0.2 to 0.3 million tons


annually, Pakistan could export just 119,358 tons rice to
Malaysia during last fiscal year due to quota restrictions
by the Malaysian government. The exporters have laid
emphasis on more export of rice from Pakistan to
Malaysia and requested the Malaysian Consul General and
Trade Consul to assist them in this respect. They noted
that the balance of trade between Pakistan and Malaysia is
tilted in favour of Malaysia for a long time and in order to
narrow down the trade deficit, there is dire need for increasing export of non-traditional items as
well as the existing items being exported to Malaysia.
The rice exporters invited the attention of the government to focus on the international markets
of China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Bahrain for strengthening the rice export trade, which is
ultimately beneficial for all the stakeholders, particularly the growers of rice. He added that
depressed prices in international rice markets are affecting overall agricultural sectors of all rice
exporting countries of the world.Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) chairman
Rafique Suleman also highlighted the trade between Pakistan and Malaysia and said that the
trade balance is in the favour of Malaysia, as a huge quantity of palm oil is imported from
Malaysia, whereas our exports are negligible.

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He emphasized that Government of Pakistan must take measures to balance the trade and talks
must be held with Malaysian government to discuss the possibilities to export 200,000 Metric
Ton of Pakistani rice to Malaysia.Discussing rice export to Bahrain, he said that Pakistan has
exported 27,805 tons of rice worth $26,213,194 during July 2013 to June 2014.He said that
Bahrain is also a high potential market for Pakistani rice and we request government to further
improve mutual economic relations which will be beneficial in bilateral trade between the two
countries.
There is immense scope for expanding the existing volume of bilateral trade between the two
countries which currently stands at $200 million. Currently there are approximately 100,000
Pakistanis living in Bahrain and it was one of the favourite destinations for Pakistanis working
abroad and we welcomed the decision of the Bahrain government to award dual nationality to
some of them.Discussing rice export to China, he said that Pakistan has exported 353,675 tons
rice worth $128,068,072 during July 2013 to June 2014.REAP noticed that China has made
several G-2-G deals with other neighboring countries, e.g. the contract with Thailand, MoU with
Cambodia. Since the total rice import quota of China is limited, weve afraid that the market
share of Pakistani rice in China will decline.
In order to further strengthen the bilateral rice trade relations, we request Government of
Pakistan to arrange similar mechanism, like China done with Thailand and Cambodia, in order to
stabilize the rice trade between China and Pakistan. We hope we could export additional 200,000
M/Tons good quality Pakistani rice every year, starting from Year 2015.
Source with thanks:http://nation.com.pk/business/22-Feb-2015/quota-restricting-rice-export-to-malaysia

US, Pakistan discuss methods to mutually support regional


stability
PTI
WASHINGTON, FEB 21:
Top officials of US and Pakistan have discussed methods to work together as partners and
mutually support regional stability in the near term to fight against terrorism, the White House
has said.National Security Advisor Susan Rice had met with the Pakistan Minister of Interior,
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, at the White House yesterday.During the meeting, Rice commended
the role played by Pakistans delegation led by Minister Khan at the Summit on Countering
Violent Extremism.

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They agreed to continue working together as partners against the threat of terrorism, said
Bernadette Meehan, Spokesperson of the National Security Council.They also discussed ways
to mutually support regional stability in the near term, highlighting the need to align support for
Afghan-led reconciliation efforts and continue regular US-Pakistani engagement, Meehan
said.Rice had earlier called for a renewed commitment to building a world unmarred by
terrorism and ideologies of violence.
(This article was published on February 21, 2015)

Source with thanks:http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/international/us-pak-discuss-methods-tomutually-support-regional-stability/article6919530.ece

Bringing new technologies in the uplands


APRIL M. JOSE
Every day, Margie Baclay, 21, hopes to have a
bountiful harvest as this means more money to buy
rice and send her two children to school.The young
farmer and single parent belongs to the Aeta
community that lives in the mountains of Brgy. Sta.
Rosa, Bamban, Tarlac.Struggling to make both ends
meet, Margie had to stop her elementary education
and resorted to what most people in the rural areas
cling on farming.
For almost a decade now, she has been planting banana, gabi, papaya, sugar cane, and other
crops without applying fertilizers and pesticides. She relies on the richness of the soil. She
believes that the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991 left their mountains with volcanic ashes that
made the soil fertile.Farming in the uplands is challenging, according to Margie. No questions
asked.I dig the soil of a steep mountainside and pull the weeds one by one while sitting on a
heap, she says.From the mountain down to the river, she fetches water for her plants. She
descends from the mountain for an hour to sell her produce and accompany her children to
school.
During the rainy season, the mountain trail gets slippery and dangerous. Hence, she waits for
good weather to bring her produce to the market while her children stay at home. She recalls that
after the eruption of the volcano, they have not cultivated upland rice due to the unavailability of
seeds.In 2013, the DAs Upland Rice Development Program reached the Aeta community and
re-introduced upland rice farming.

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Margies family did not hesitate on trying the new technology and started planting a 2-kg
traditional rice variety known as Pinilisa in May 2014 and harvested 25 kg of seeds in
October.I learned the science behind upland rice farming and how to make our own organic
fertilizer, shares Margie. She decided to keep the seeds for mass production and share them
later to their fellow farmers. Margie reports they are eager to try new agricultural technologies
and revive upland rice farming in their community.
Culture and identity
According to upland rice technologist Julian Macadamia of PhilRice, the Aetas are receptive to
new technologies.Margie and her community were able to balance new and old practices. The
Aetas have a way of adopting new technologies while keeping their identity intact, he says.The
Aetas are not afraid of change because they know how to be a conduit of the old and the new.
They become better through knowledge acquisition but still remain who they are that for me is
a good example of an unconventional farmer, he adds.
Rice cultivation in general is highly valued by Aetas. They acquire rice through barter or with
the money they make from selling vegetables, root crops, wild fruits, or tubers to the
lowlanders.As long as my family doesnt sleep with an empty stomach, I will be happy with
what I do every day despite the challenges that we face in farming, Margie reassures
herself.The sight of her crops growing assures her that her family will have something to eat.
Shes surely adept in survival matters.
For her, she cant think of any way of making a living apart from tilling the land. If by chance
there will be additional jobs available, she would not totally abandon the land that provides them
food.Indeed, this land on top of the mountain is a gift to our ancestors and to us, Margie
becomes emphatic and emotional.And as the day ends, Margie sleeps with her dreams. She
believes that through farming, her children will, unlike her, remain in school.
Tagged as: amjose, technology, upland

Source with thanks:http://pinoyrkb.com/philricemagazine/volume-28-2015/new-wave-offarmers/bringing-new-technologies-in-the-uplands/

Strings of Young Ideas


JOHN GLEN S. SAROL and JAYSON C. BERTO
The infomediary campaign made its first step two years ago. Now, its taking huge strides.With
its initiative to mobilize high school students to serve as information providers in their ricefarming communitiesit treks on as it continues to involve over a hundred schools
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nationwide.Certainly, the campaign has gone a long way.Eventful enough, in fact, that several
practices can now be emulated toward engaging young people in agriculture.Best-fit practices
The campaign team draws added inspiration from strings of innovative ideas growing from
teachers among participating schools.For certain teachers in Davao Oriental, Kalinga, Albay, and
Negros Oriental, the best way to re-echo the campaign is through the Parents and Teachers
Association (PTA) meetings.
The info-drive on Climate Change and Rice
Production module was performed in Occidental
Mindoro and Negros Oriental where students
relayed to farmers modern technologies in rice
farming such as the Minus-One-Element
Technique (MOET), Leaf Color Chart (LCC), and
controlled irrigation, among others.Elizabeth
Pajarillo, a crop production teacher in Mindoro
Occidental, said that exposing students in
community-based activities is a good opportunity
for farmers to appreciate tips on rice production coming from them.
In some cases, teachers were clever enough to maximize the use of ICTs in promoting the
campaigns components.This is evident in Samar and Bulacan where students promoted the
PhilRice Text Center by posting bond paper-sized campaign materials in public places inside and
outside their campuses.The campaign also relies upon good collaboration among Internet and
Computer Fundamentals (ICF) and other instructors.
In Claveria Rural Vocational School in Cagayan, for instance, the crop protection teacher and the
ICF instructor developed a computer-based quiz on infomediary campaign-related topics.We
thought of a way to make the campaign much more challenging and exciting. Weve developed
the Nutri E-Quiz featuring PhilRices Infomediary Campaign and the Pinoy Rice Knowledge
Bank. Right now, its the second year of E-quiz implementation, Allan Tomas, the quiz
developer said.While innovative campaign methods are being executed in most schools, ripples
of information are equally helpful.
In Sarangani, for instance, Malalag National High School (MNHS) disseminated the campaign
by sharing the learning modules as well as some seeds to its neighboring schools.We still plan
to reach out to other schools and share modules on rice production. This is our way of
contributing to the campaign since it has been helpful for us. This would also address the lack of
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textbooks
on
rice
production,
Onofre
Labrador,
MNHS
instructor
said.
MNHS has thus far reached out to Maguiling NHS, Wali Integrated School, and Salakit NHS.In
Bulacan, Balagtas Agricultural High School integrates rice production through essays in English
and Filipino subjects.
The key school officials are also supportive of the campaign.To encourage other schools to
replicate these practices, the campaign team has created a Facebook group where representatives
of Infomediary campaign-participating schools can post all activities they are
doing.Technically, however, it is not much about replicating the best-fit practices. Such
practices require that we work hard to determine which strategies will work best given specific
development contexts.
Remember, theres no one-size-fits-all approach in implementing development initiatives. It is
all about asking and seeing from there which strategies will work best, Jaime Manalo IV, the
campaign lead clarified.
Outcomes
From the evaluation, 94% of the students performed their role as infomediaries, either by sending
text messages to PTC, searching information from the PRKB, or reading publications on rice
from their school libraries.Meanwhile, 41% of them reported their parents and other farmers
believed in their recommendations.
Collaboration with local government units also exists, as reports in Albay show local officials
and farmers attending the PTA meetings. In Cagayan, a local executive lent land for the rice
garden in Claveria.The doubts on whether farmers would believe students who have inadequate
experience on rice farming are now being slowly erased.Across sites, the students reported their
parents believed them. An infomediary in Bulacan, for instance, managed to convince her father
and uncle to minimize the use of pesticides in their fields after she shared with them the concept
of harmful and helpful organisms.
Before, I just sprayed on every insect I saw in the farm. Now, I try to avoid spraying on helpful
organisms, Marcelo Hernandez, farmer-parent, said in Filipino.Farmers from nearby areas have
asked for seeds from the participating schools. This has been the case in Cagayan, Davao
Oriental, and Sarangani. Certified seeds have 10% yield advantage over home-saved seeds being
used by some farmers.
Through field days, farmers are introduced to the PhilRice-produced seeds. They then see the
schools as sources not only of information but also of seeds.By the end of the day, so to speak,
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the infomediary campaign is still young and is equally innovative as the young generation.With
the strings of ideas from its partners, active involvement of the youth, plus the heart that beats for
farming, the campaign is just waiting to take its next big leap.

Tagged as: agriculture, infomediary, jcberto, jgssarol, youth

Source with thanks: Phil Rice

Modern agriculturists
ASHLEE P. CANILANG and ANDREI B. LANUZA

Ayaw ko kumuha ng agriculture [course]. Ano


makukuha kong trabaho dyan? (I dont want to
take up Agriculture. What job can I possibly get
with it?).Admit it, many of us must have heard or
read about this statement or its variant somewhere
in time. The thought of working in agriculture or
on a farm could be alien to young urban and rural
Filipinos.Dr. Eduardo Bagtang, president of the
Kalinga-Apayao State College, stated in an
interview with the Manila Times that the main
reason why the children of farmers do not want to take on agriculture-related professions is that
theyve seen how their parents toil in the field day after day but barely able to make ends meet.
Even our college education system is primarily focused on preparing the youth for employment,
not entrepreneurship.Fortunately, not all Filipino youngsters have lost faith in agriculture.
Changing the game
Friends Ryan Aguas, Enzo Pinga, and Illian Pascual, while studying abroad, met in New York
City to discuss plans of starting an agriculture-related business in the Philippines when they
return. They wanted to create an impact by helping Filipino farmers and believed agriculture is
the best way to go about it. Illian, a mechanical engineer, introduced them to vertical farming
(aquaponics), since sustainability and green agriculture were among his interests.
The trio realized that aquaponics may just be the technology they needed to pursue agriculture
given that it requires no soil and is modular; the perfect setup in an urban environment where
land for farming use is limited. Thus was the beginning of the Bahay Kubo Organics (BKO),
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based in Muntinlupa City.BKO is a young social enterprise that vows to help address food
security in the Philippines. They grow crops, and help communities in rural areas through
capacity- building via training and education. Currently, these three guys are mostly supplying
produce to friends and relatives but someday wish to expand to more clients.
We established partnerships with many different organizations in all of our community builds,
including the Fairplay for All Foundation, Mu Sigma Phi, GK Sta. Rita, Dream Project PH,
Rotary Club of Bacolod South, ASSIST, and Kawil Tours. The projects we do with these
organizations mainly focus on engaging communities interested in learning about the technology
and applying it in their own areas, says Ryan.
All in the family
Passing-the-baton best defines the Gapuz Grape Farm in Bauang, La Union. The farm started
with 50 prunes of grapes through the passion and efforts of Cirillo & Roger Gapuz, father and
son, during the late 1980s. During those times, grape vineyard was unpopular in the area, and a
number of tourists and customers doubted the quality of the local harvest. Through the years,
father-and-son tandem strove until they were able to expand their vineyard and market reach.
Thus, the beginning of the Farm, now among the local tourist attractions in the municipality.The
passion and dedication to grape farming have lingered within the present generation.
The baton was passed on to Danica, the eldest daughter of Roger, a human resource course
graduate and currently a consultant in Makati City. Doubling as sales and marketing manager of
the Gapuz Grape Farm, she also operates the vineyards social media site.It wasnt hard for
Danica to engage in grapes despite having a stable job, as she grew up exposed to farm work.
And she was not sour-graping. Through her efforts, the farm expanded and gained new clients.
Thanks to social media, they now have customers in Visayas and Mindanao; clients who are not
only purchasing the fruits but also the cuttings that they grow in their own backyards.The
demand for grapes outside our locale is huge.
This is why we decided to make our own social media account to help in promotion. Through it,
our network stretched, and we now have customers as far as Davao City, said Danica.Her active
marketing drives paid off when the Farm was featured on national TV. As a result, Danica
became one member of the Go Negosyo Young Agriprenuers, and is occasionally invited to
deliver talks on radio about grape farming. The increased sales and income due to more media
exposure helped the Gapuz family to purchase another piece of land in their area. According to
Danica, part of the new farm will grow dragon fruit and local vegetables.
A goldmine in plain sight

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Ryan of BKO sees Philippine agriculture as rich with potential. All people need to do is tap on
the right resources. Although we currently are not meeting the agricultural needs in our country,
we believe that if we continue on this path and improve our agriculture by providing more
support, then we arent too far away from being self-sustaining, he added.Danica is of the same
opinion. Farming and agriculture as a whole has a huge potential for generating income. Youth
today should be educated that agriculture is not just having your sweat, blood, and tears flow to
sustain your crops. Agriculture can be rewarding when treated as a business she reflected.
Tagged as: ablanuza, apcanilang, modern agriculture

Source with thanks:http://pinoyrkb.com/philricemagazine/volume-28-2015/new-wave-offarmers/modern-agriculturists/

Fresh Forces in Farming


MYRIAM G. LAYAOEN
Ana Sibayan uses a pen and some sheets of paper to prepare for her presentation. She is about to
face more than 300 scientists, extension workers, policy makers, academicians, among other
participants in a prestigious international conference on agriculture and rural development. Her
topic attracting the youth to engage in agriculture.

At 25, Ana is one of the youngest


farmer-leaders in the country. In her
hometown Victoria in Mindoro Oriental,
she juggles her time between farming
and school as she devotes most of it to
encouraging young individuals to
cultivate lands.Deciding to farm,
Sibayans choices in life are rather rare
compared to most of the youth her age.I
see how we survive in our town and
farming is definitely something we cant
live without. I want the younger generation to realize their worth in feeding us. We, the youth,
have a crucial role to play, Sibayan said.
Numbers speak
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Looking at global figures on youth engagement in agriculture, Ana is indeed one in a million.
Although a lot of young people aged 15-40 have shown interest in farming, they are just a small
portion of the population.The International Labor Organization (ILO) reported in 2014 that
agriculture accounts for more than 32% of the worlds employment, and 39% in Asia and the
Pacifics developing countries. Yet, agriculture remains at the bottom of the youths most
preferred job list.
They look at agriculture as the past and antithesis of progress, the ILO contends.African
countries carry a major burden in handling more than 60% of their unemployed people the
youth. A burgeoning 72% of their youth live on barely US$2 or P90 a day even as their
agriculture sector offers vast job opportunities for them.The Food and Agriculture Organization
saw the need for investment planning to adequately reflect youth employment issues and
consider explicit youth employment promotion programs including adoption of postharvest
value addition and innovation on labor-saving technologies.
Official Philippine statistics reported in 2012 more than 34% of the population aged 15 and
above were thriving on agriculture. The youth comprises 45% of the countrys workforce in
2013. Of the nearly 20 million youth, 16% are still unemployed.The irony of youth
unemployment is magnified by the fact that most of them live in agricultural countries. However,
farming is always associated with poverty and ancientness. Instead of staying in rural agricultural
communities, the young people tend to migrate to cities.
The education sector is not spared. In UP Los Baos alone, enrolment in agriculture-related
courses has sharply declined to 4.7% compared with 51% in the 1980s. Most schools that offer
agriculture courses suffer from the same malady.With the farmers who produce food all over the
world aging every second, this situation seriously rings an alarm.
Push and pull
The Asian Farmers Association (AFA) believes that the youth in the region find farming as the
sure way to get their hands rough and dirty.For the youth, there is no pride and dignity in
farming. It is an unstable work, with low income and high risk. For the young people, rural life is
also boring, the AFA report said.AFA also named access to land, capital, credit, and support
services as the key element that convinces the youth to farm. Children are affected by the
hardships their farmer-parents go through to sustain a living.While youth migration to the cities
increasingly threatens food production, some scholars are exploring ways to encourage and
maintain youth involvement in agriculture.

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In a study on youth outmigration, Jaime Manalo of PhilRice and Elske van de Fliert of the
University of Queensland in Australia identified the factors that trigger and sustain youth exodus
from rural to urban areas. Their paper detailed how involvement in actual crop production,
personal perception on farming, parents dream job for their children, and education can help
shape the youths decision to move to the cities. Curiously, many of the youth are inclined to go
back to the farm when they retire.
While intentions to migrate were high, young individuals had a strong desire to remain
connected to their familys farms. Hence, policy makers would do well to assist those who leave
the rural areas and return after some time, Manalo said.Policies are set to attract the youth to
agriculture. Aside from RA 8044 known as the Youth in Nation-Building Act that serves as pillar
of support for the youth, the Philippine government has been devising incentives for smallholder
farmers, including the women and the youth.
The Agricultural Training Institute resorts to the 4-H Club as an informal teaching modality for
the youth in agriculture. PhilRice wages the Infomediary campaign that mobilizes high school
students as information catalysts. The Departments of Agriculture, Agrarian Reform, and Trade
and Industry also rear incentive schemes to further draw the youth to farm.
Multiplied potentials
Various organizations recognize the role of the youth in development advocacies.Youngsters are
prime information movers in the community and are the future hands of food production.Equal
attention should also be given to urban migrants who may not return to rural areas but are willing
to invest in farming to employ their poor relatives. Migrants can often raise the resources needed
to finance the input-intensive rice farming operations. Manalo and de Fliert said.
Careers in agriculture abound from the farm itself
to research and development, education and
extension, and agricultural entrepreneurship.
Agriculture professionals can attest to the many
options the field can offer. To encourage strong
youth participation in agriculture, AFA-Philippines
pushes for the Magna Carta of Young Farmers.
The advocacy promotes and protects the rights of
young farmers, establishes sound programs for

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them, institutionalizes their representation in agricultural policy-making bodies, and defines
discrimination against them.Despite the complications in the higher level of decision-making on
interventions, Ana Sibayan would still want the youth to return to farming.
My hands-on experience in the farm and exposure to youth activities open my eyes on the real
issues concerning the youth. We need training, and be provided with basic resources to farm.
Theres nothing wrong in getting dirty hands when you feed the world using the same hands,
Sibayan said.The current status of the youth in agriculture challenges us to build a new wave of
farmers who are empowered, productive, resilient, and prosperous. How then can it be
addressed?
Income, meaning, sense of pride thats how Ana Sibayan reflects on the matter.

Tagged as: mglayaoen, youth


Source with thanks: Phil Rice

PhilRice Agusan is best branch station again


MARY GRACE M. NIDOY

PhilRice Agusan received the top prize in the 2014 Best Station contest an annual internal
competition organized by the Institute to elevate and improve the modalities in promoting new
technologies in rice production. It also aims to highlight the best-fit practices of the stations in
rice R&D.Agusan was also recognized for successfully and creatively executing the Intensified
Rice-Based Agri-bio Systems (IRBAS) program in support of PhilRices major advocacy, the
Rural Transformation Movement (RTM).
RTM aims to reduce help poverty by promoting diversified farming and agri-business ventures.
Nucleus estates will be put up to give farmers access to support services including training,
inputs, custom services, technologies, product development and packaging, and marketing.
I thank the PhilRice management for organizing this contest and all my colleagues for keeping
our station beautiful and world-class, said Abner T. Montecalvo, station manager.PhilRice
Midsayap and Batac placed 2nd and 3rd, and were cited for creating a strategic research direction
and for continually improving their internal systems and processes in accordance with Integrated
Management Systems standards.
PhilRice has three ISO certifications.The following awards were also given: Most Improved
Field Day to Los Baos; Most Interactive Field Day to Negros; and Most Innovative External
Linkage to Bicol.The judges traveled across the country to evaluate each station based on the
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following: IRBAS (Rural Transformation Campaign Execution); level of mechanization;
organization of field day; varietal demo; client satisfaction; innovations; internal processes and
financial reports; housekeeping and safety; state of infrastructure; income generation; and station
management.
The judges were Dr. Rex Navarro, former director for communications of the International Crops
Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT); Dr. Genaro San Valentin and Thelma
Padolina, PhilRice consultants; Charlene Tan, founder of Good Food Community; and Donald
Mateo, from the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization
(PHilMech).PhilRice Agusan had earlier received the Best Field Day (2011) and Best Station
awards (2013).
Tagged as: best station, mgmnidoy, philrice agusan

Source with thanks:http://pinoyrkb.com/philricemagazine/volume-28-2015/new-wave-offarmers/philrice-agusan-is-best-branch-station-again/

Testing rice for processing tech


SHEREEN P. RAZON
PhilRice will test local rice varieties for a food processing application that produces low-protein
rice, a healthier alternative for people suffering from kidney disease and diabetes.

The tests will use propriety technology of


Biotech Japan Corporation, an exclusive
manufacturer of plant-origin lactic acid
bacteria, a naturally occurring element found in
grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans that can be
used to reduce protein content in milled rice
and cooked rice.In a meeting with officials
from the Niigata-based corporation, PhilRice
executive director Eufemio T. Rasco Jr said
that the partnership is vital as production of
low-protein rice is limited only to Japanese rice for now.
The Philippine Renal Disease Registry reported in 2008 that more than 1.2 million Filipinos
suffer from chronic kidney disease in which 41% of the cases resulted from diabetes.The
Japanese corporation, established in 1994, said that it is necessary to reduce ingestion of protein
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in kidney patients to lessen the burden on the kidneys.By helping reduce the amount of protein
in rice and bread, which are common staple foods, kidney patients will be able to have better
qualities of life, the company stated.
An experimental facility at PhilRice in Nueva Ecija was also proposed to pilot-test the
technology through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).This groundbreaking
facility will enable us to learn about the technology and conduct our own researches later on if
we want to create similar products, Rasco said.An additional advantage of this partnership
would be our people`s exposure to Japanese work values in terms of quality control and
assurance, plant operation, marketing strategiesthe culture of continuing improvement, he
added.A follow-up meeting is scheduled on February 2015 to secure the Memorandum of
Agreement among PhilRice, Biotech Japan Corporation, and JICA with a target kick-off in April.

Tagged as: sprazon, test

Source with thanks:http://pinoyrkb.com/philricemagazine/volume-28-2015/new-wave-of-farmers/testingrice-for-processing-tech/

Program launching highlight ARMM Rice Farmers Field


Day in Maguindanao, Lanao Sur
February 23, 2015
COTABATO CITY, Feb. 23, (PIA)Some 500 farmers, out-of-school youth and students from
the provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur participated in the celebration of ARMMs
Regional Rice Farmers Field Day held on Saturday under the auspices of the Department of
Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF).DAF-ARMM Regional Secretary Makmod Mending, Jr., led
the celebration held at barangay Tapayan, in Sultan Mastura, Maguindanao the site of the 2hectare demo farm for the new rice variety Green Super Rice (GSR).Mending said, while the
government intensifies its efforts to achieve increased agricultural productivity for the countrys
sustainable food sufficiency, there is a serious concern over the noted decreasing number of
farmers engage in agricultural production and the trend of preference among the young
generation to reside and seek employment in urban centers.
We are here to launch several programs to address a very alarming situation. Based on statistics,
the average age of a farmer is 52 years old so if the average life of a person is 60 to 65 years old,
in 8 years time no more farmers will be tilling the lands here if our youth decides to seek
employment in cities. The implication is, in 8 to 10 years time there will be no food in our table
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if this trend continues, Mending said.Consistent with the mandate geared towards the attainment
of increased agricultural productivity and food sufficiency, the agriculture department and the
International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) launched collaborative programs the Rice Crop
Manager (RCM), Philippine Rice Information SysteM (PRISM), and the Next Generation (Next
Gen).With this years theme Pushing the adoption of new technologies for increased
productivity and income poses the challenge to create awareness on the advantages of such
modern technologies to farmers seen to increase farm productivity and profitability through the
use of high yielding rice varieties, climate resilient and more adaptive to different types of
weather condition.
RCM program through modern IT gadgets and equipment provides appropriate
recommendations on rice/crop production management practices to address problem on seed use
(low yielding), nutrient deficiency, water (flood and drought) pests and disease control with the
expected 1 ton increase in production per hectare, while PRISM supports decision-making and
activity planning for increased rice production and serves as a platform to develop consistent and
regular assessments of rice crop production, crop health, and crop losses brought about by
natural calamities and outbreaks of pests and diseases.Next Generation is designed to accelerate
the introduction and adoption of higher-yielding rice varieties and hybrids such as the inbred and
Green Super Rice (GSR proven to be climate resilient and tolerant to biotic and abiotic stresses
(alkalinity, salinity, iron toxity, etc)for increased production and higher income. Pilot areas
identified under PRISM include Ampatuan and Datu Odin Sinsuat in Maguindanao, and for Rice
Crop Manager Sultan Mastura, Pagalungan, Datu Paglas also of Maguindanao and Taraka,
Lanao del Sur with total target of 10,500 farmer-beneficiaries.
Pushing for the commercialization of the Green Super Rice proven to be climate resilient and
adaptive to all types of weather condition and resistant to pests and diseases and high yield to
farmers, each of the farmer-participants were given a kilo of GSR seed and a bamboo seedling as
part of the campaign to mitigate and address the issue and concern on climate change.Based on
our tests, Green Super Rice yield per hectare is 7 metric tons. The average yield in ARMM is 3.1
metric tons per hectare. If the ARMM has a total production of 600,000 metric tons, with GSR
the production yield would be 1.2 million metric tons which is more than double our production,
more than enough to feed all the people in the autonomous region, Mending said.
As part of the aggressive efforts toward increased agricultural production for food sufficiency,
the agency likewise purchased six units of Combined Harvester that has the capacity to reap/
harvest and thresh 2 hectares rice field in one hour for use with 15% counterpart by partners
Irrigators Associations (IAs), Farmers Associations (FA), Cooperatives and LGUs particularly
during extreme weather conditions such as flooding to prevent crop damage and losses.
(PBChangco/PIA Cotabato City)

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Source with thanks: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/1661424673328/program-launching-highlightarmm-rice-farmers-field-day-in-maguindanao-lanao-sur#sthash.AywgPizp.dpuf

$10m investment for rice industry


Ropate Valemei
Monday, February 23, 2015

A KOREAN rice company in Navua is looking at investing $10million in the revitalisation of the
rice industry in the country.For Grace Road Company Ltd, this means more land to be acquired
to employ more local people for their rice farm.Company managing director Daniel Kim said
local people needed to be educated on why we should eat rice.From root crops to the rice, we
want the Government to educate the local people on the importance of rice," Mr Kim said.
He said a firm, stable production and supply of food was of most important requisite that
influenced a country's economy.And when considering the poor production of rice in Fiji, the
gravity of this requisite cannot be emphasised enough.With the investment, he said they would
provide all the affordable and suitable machines which were on their way from Thailand.He said
these included 20 units of machines with 16 units of tractor."Think about it, it's huge. We will be
the main distribution for the rest of the Pacific Islands.
"He said they would also provide the market for Fijians who utilised their land for rice
farming."Fiji has a big land which can be utilised for farming. After they farm, we will buy their
rice at a reasonable price so all Fijian can continue planting rice."With four varieties of rice seeds
in the country, he said they were looking at introducing more variety of rice seeds.
The company is also looking at building a rice research centre and an agricultural training
institute in the country to train local people and Government officials on rice farming.For the
research centre, he said they were looking to spend about $0.5m and $0.5m for the training
institute which they hoped to complete by October this year.
http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=295956

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