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23rd july (thursday),2015 daily global rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine

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Riceplus Magazine shares daily International RICE News for global Rice Community. We publish daily two newsletters namely Global Rice News & ORYZA EXCLUSIVE News for readers .You can share any development news for readers. Share your rice and agriculture related research write up with Riceplus Magazine contact riceplus@irp.edu.pk , mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com For Advertisement & Specs mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com

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    July 23 , 2015 Vol 5 ,Issue VII

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    Nigeria spends N10tr on rice, sugar, wheat since 2005

    Posted By: Frank Ikpefanon: July 23, 2015In:

    The Federal Government yesterday said the country has spent over N10 trillion on the

    importation of rice, sugar, wheat and fish since 2005.The government said the figure indicated

    that the country spends over N1 trillion year importing the food items.The Permanent Secretary,

    Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Sonny Echono, said Nigerias food import bill is growing at an unsustainable rate of 11 per cent, while the country continued to rely

    on the importation of food from the global market.Echono spoke during a two-day workshop on

    Food Crisis Prevention and Management Charter held at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry

    of Agriculture and Rural Development in Abuja yesterday.

    He added that import dependency was hurting Nigeria farmers, displacing local production and

    creating unemployment.According to him, Nigerias unemployment rate is spiralling, driven by the wave of four million young people entering the workforce every year with only a small

    fraction able to find employment.Nigeria became a net importer of food and major importer of wheat, rice, sugar and fish. Importation of these four commodities accounts for over N1trillion in

    foreign exchange every year since 2005. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) showed that

    Nigeria is the worlds largest importer of United States hard red and white winter wheat with an annual food import of N635billion.

    It is also the second largest importer of rice (N700billion last year), sugar (N217billion) and fish (N97billion). Nigerias food imports are growing at an unsustainable rate of 11 per cent per annum while relying on the import of expensive food on global markets fuels domestic

    inflation, he said, lamenting that Nigeria imports what it can produce in abundance.According to him, import-dependency is hurting local farmers, displacing local production and creating job

    loss.Echono, who was represented by the Director of Agriculture, Mr. Damilola Eniayeju,

    explained that Nigeria had vast arable land for cultivation, adding that this must be harnessed by

    stakeholders in order to effectively prevent food crisis and reduce import to its barest minimum.

    He noted that the country has about 174 million people to feed daily as well as its neighbours,

    adding that it was time to start thinking of massive agricultural production for export.Nigeria has huge agricultural potential, with over 84 million hectares of arable land, of which only 40 per

    cent is cultivated. A population of over 167 million making it Africas largest market; and 230 billion cubic meters of water, making it one of the richest sources for agricultural growth in the

    world.Agriculture contributes to rural peoples livelihoods by providing them with food and income. In addition, agricultural exports have potential to contribute to the national economy

    through generating foreign exchange and improving the balance of payments.The fact that the bread basket regionNorthcentral part of Nigeria, has the lowest unemployment rate (nine per cent) in the country suggests that increasing investment in agricukture is a frontal attack on the

    unemployment challenge, Echono added

    http://thenationonlineng.net/nigeria-spends-n10tr-on-rice-sugar-wheat-since-2005/

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    Have Scientists Found A Way To Feed The World Without Warming The Planet?

    BY NATASHA GEILING JUL 23, 2015 2:50PMCREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK

    Aside from corn, rice might be the single

    most important staple crop on Earth.

    According to the International Center for

    Tropical Agriculture, more than 3.5

    billion people around the world depend on

    rice for at least 20 percent of their daily

    caloric intake. But rice is also a major source

    of methane, a potent greenhouse gas thats

    more effective, at least in the short term, at

    trapping heat than carbon dioxide.

    Now, scientists at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences think theyve found a

    solution: a high-yielding, low-methane type of rice that can cut methane emissions from rice

    cultivation by up to 90 percent.To create the starchy, climate-friendly rice, the scientists

    transferred a single gene from barley to rice that stimulates the production of starch in grain and

    stems. According to the study, published this week in Nature, previous research has shown that

    rice plants with smaller root systems tended to expel less methane than plants with larger roots,

    and the scientists hoped that by emphasizing starch growth in the stems and grains, the rice

    plants would naturally grow smaller root systems.

    Root systems in rice secrete the carbohydrates created by photosynthesis when rice paddies

    are flooded, the oxygen-devoid environment provides the perfect breeding ground for methane-

    producing bacteria that feed on these carbohydrates. By reducing the size of the rice plants

    roots, the scientists hoped that they could curb the amount of methane produced in the fields.To

    test how the modified rice plants fared in the real world, the scientists planted the rice in two

    different fields in China, alongside conventional rice, which served as a benchmark. Over three

    years, they measured the methane emitted by the plants in the fall and summer, near the end of

    the growing season. They also took measurements of starch content in the plants stems, roots,

    and seeds.

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    They found the modified rice plants extremely effective at producing starch and curbing methane

    emissions. In the summer, when temperatures were highest, the modified rice cut methane

    emissions to 0.3 percent of conventional rice. On average, the modified rice produced less than

    10 percent the methane of conventional rice, while providing 43 percent more grain per

    plant.In an essay in Nature that accompanied the studys publication, Paul Bodelier, a researcher

    at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology who was not directly involved with the study, called the

    findings a tremendous opportunity for more-sustainable rice cultivation, but cautioned that

    large-scale trials are necessary before moving forward with full-scale commerical use.

    Without more trials, Bodelier wrote, its difficult to know how the genetic modification impacts

    the rice cultivars long-term chances for survival. Its also important to study how the plants

    root system impacts microbes in the soil microbes that themselves contribute to

    the production and consumption of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and

    methane.In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Bruce Linquist, a plant scientist at the

    University of California at Davis, echoed Bodeliers sentiment.

    The research is too preliminary to know for sure how the genetic modification impacts methane

    production, Linquist said, and there is some concern that smaller root systems might impact the

    plants ability to take up nutrients.Even if further trials prove the efficacy of the modified rice, it

    faces huge hurdles in order to become commercially viable. Largely in response to public

    distrust of genetically modified foods, no genetically modified rice has ever been successfully

    used in commercial production. Golden rice a genetically modified strain of rice that contains

    beta carotene to combat malnutrition in developing countries was ready for full-scale use in

    2002, but has faced staunch opposition that has kept it from market for over a decade.

    Despite public distrust a January poll conducted by Pew found that 57 percent of

    Americansthink genetically modified foods are generally unsafe to eat nearly all scientific

    evidence suggests that genetically modified foods pose no threat to human health.There is some

    concern, however, about the environmental impact of genetically modified foods. Crops like

    Roundup-resistant soy or corn have led to a marked increase in the use of herbicides in the

    United States, though some studies have also shown that genetically modified crops have led to a

    decrease in the use of some pesticides. Since the low-methane strain of rice isnt bred to be

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    herbicide or pesticide resistant, this most likely wont be an issue with this particular strain

    though the way that its root-system interacts with microbes in the soil is something to watch.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/07/23/3683754/gmo-rice-climate-change/

    SCIENTISTS WARN OF RISK OF ARSENIC IN RICE THURSDAY, JULY 23, 2015

    Scientists at Queens University in Belfast are warning of the risks of arsenic in rice, in particular for

    babies and young children.

    They have found that using plenty of water during cooking can significantly cut the level of

    arsenic.Coffee percolators have been found to be particularly good for cooking rice.Inorganic

    arsenic is found in all types of rice, where its grown under flooded conditions which causes soil

    minerals, including arsenic, to be absorbed by the plant.A range of health problems including

    bladder and lung cancer can be caused by arsenic consumption.

    Professor Andy Mehang of Queens University said that babies in particular can be at risk.

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    "There's more concern over young children," he said.He added: "Their exposure to arsenic from

    rice is three times higher than adults, so I'd be especially careful to avoid as much as possible a

    reliance on rice products for young children - and there are many of them out there.

    http://www.carlow-nationalist.ie/2015/07/23/scientists-warn-of-risk-of-arsenic-in-rice/

    Stuttgart Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center researchers working to fight rice blast

    According to Dr. Yeshi Wamishe, Extension plant pathologist, along with Dr. Jarrod Hardke,

    Extension rice agronomist of the UA Cooperative Extension Service, blast has been reported in

    four counties in Arkansas (Desha, Prairie, Arkansas and Greene).

    By Stuttgart Daily Leader Staff

    Posted Jul. 23, 2015 at 4:22 PM

    As most rice farmers in Arkansas know, rice blast is one of the most devastating rice

    diseases.According to Dr. Yeshi Wamishe, Extension plant pathologist, along with Dr. Jarrod

    Hardke, Extension rice agronomist of the UA Cooperative Extension Service, blast has been

    reported in four counties in Arkansas (Desha, Prairie, Arkansas and Greene). It has occurred in

    fields planted with Jupiter and CL 151 varieties. Last year, almost all rice-producing counties in

    Arkansas reported blast disease on several varieties, including Jupiter and CL 151. The extent of

    damage varied among the producers surveyed.

    Because the blast pathogen is air, seed or residue-borne, it can easily move long distances and

    attack the leaves and seedheads of the rice plant. It can cause dramatic yield loss on susceptible

    rice varieties under certain conditions.The Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center

    (DBNRRC) has worked with university colleagues to develop new tools for producing blast

    resistant rice varieties. Drs. Yulin Jia and David Gealy recently had these new findings

    published in the prestigious science journal, Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions.

    Working with scientists from Washinton University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst

    and the University of Arkansas Rice Research and Extension Center, they sought to understand

    the genetic basis of weed adaptation in rice to blast disease. The scientists evaluated the disease

    reactions of 60 U.S. weedy rice accessions with 14 blast races commonly found in Arkansas and

    southern U.S. rice production areas, and investigated the QTLs (quantitative trait loci where rice

    genes contribute small effects) associated with blast resistance in two major ecotypes of U.S.

    weedy rice. They discovered that U.S. weedy rice had a broad resistance spectrum.

    Using a new genetic technique called genotyping by sequencing (GBS) with next gen DNA

    sequencing, they identified 28 resistance QTLs in two U.S. weedy rice groups. When they

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    compared with publically available databases, they found the resistance genes at these resistance

    QTLs are novel, suggesting that U.S. weedy rice is a potential source of novel blast resistance

    genes for resistant breeding.According to Dr. Yulin Jia, This is the first report to investigate the

    quantitative trait loci with resistance to rice blast in U.S. weedy red rice.

    These findings not only provided important insights into the molecular basis of the adaptive

    evolution of weeds, but also discovered a potentially important resistance resource for U.S. rice

    breeders.Five genetic loci with broad resistance spectra defined in weedy rice can be used to

    breed for durable resistance to blast pathogens. These newly identified blast resistance genes

    from weedy red rice can be readily used in combination with deployed major blast resistance

    genes to effectively prevent blast disease in Arkansas. For more information, contact Jia at the

    DBNRRC.

    http://www.stuttgartdailyleader.com/article/20150723/NEWS/150729782

    GMO Rice Produces Higher Yields, Less Greenhouse Gases

    By Jim Algar, Tech Times | July 23, 9:02 PM

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    An alteration of a single gene produces a strain of rice that yields more grain but creates less

    methane, researchers say. The finding could bring more sustainable rice production to help feed

    the world, they say.

    (Photo : Spencer Platt | Getty Images)

    A new strain of GMO rice, with just a single altered gene, shows significant increases in yield

    per acre while reducing emission of methane, a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon

    dioxide.A single gene borrowed from barley has created the new strain that produces 43 percent

    more rice grain per plant while creating significantly less methane, researchers say.With more

    than half of the world's population consuming rice as a dietary stable, rice paddies around the

    world constitute one of the largest human-linked sources of methane, with a greenhouse gas

    effect 20 times that of carbon dioxide.

    It is estimated global rice production puts between 25 million and 100 million metric tons of

    methane into the atmosphere each year.The researchers inserted a barley gene into the rice to

    cause it to store more carbon in the form of starch and sugar in its stems and grains, and less in

    its roots, they report in their study appearing in the journal Nature.In rice paddies, the plants'

    roots leak carbon into the soil, where it is converted into methane by microbes. With less carbon

    in the roots, there is less raw material for the microbes to work on, the researchers explain.In

    laboratory tests and field trials in China, methane emissions from the GMO rice were 0.3 percent

    compared with 10 percent produced by non-modified rice, they say.

    "For three years of field trials it worked very well," says study senior author Chuanxin Sun of the

    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.At the other end of the plants, the grain was

    starchier than conventional rice, increasing the food yield of the plants.The dual benefits

    higher yield with lower methane emissions suggest "a tremendous opportunity for more-

    sustainable rice cultivation," Paul Bodelier, a microbial ecologist at the Netherlands Institute of

    Ecology, wrote in an essay accompanying the published Nature study.It could be the better part

    of 10 years before this new strain of rice is widely available, the researchers caution, as more

    testing and more extensive field trials need to take place first.

    It will also take years to selectively breed the genetic modification into a new variety of rice in

    sufficient volume to begin sending it to farmers for planting and harvesting, they say."Right now,

    of course, it's a GMO issue, and we cannot deliver this variety directly to farmers," says Sun.

    "We have to use traditional breeding methods and breed the new, society-acceptable variety for

    farmers.

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    http://www.techtimes.com/articles/71475/20150723/gmo-rice-produces-higher-yields-less-greenhouse-

    gases.htm

    Rice cooked in coffee maker can reduce arsenic intake

    Rice has 10 times more arsenic than other foods because it is grown in flood plains.

    By Stephen Feller | July 23, 2015 at 12:33 PM

    Up to 85 percent of arsenic in rice, absorbed from soil in floodplains, can be removed by cooking it in a

    coffee maker instead of boiling it in a pan. Photo by Mrs_ya/Shutterstock

    BELFAST, Northern Ireland, July 23 (UPI) -- Researchers are suggesting people cook rice in a

    coffee maker instead of boiling it in a pan to reduce potentially harmful levels of arsenic in the

    food.Rice contains on average 10 times more arsenic than other foods because it is grown in

    flood plains. This causes inorganic arsenic to be released by soil minerals, which are then

    absorbed by the plant."This is a very significant breakthrough as this offers an immediate

    solution to decreasing inorganic arsenic in the diet," said Andy Meharg, a professor of Plant and

    Soil Sciences at Queen's Institute for Global Food Security, in a press release.Researchers sought

    a simple way to remove arsenic from rice by testing two types of percolating technology, one a

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    normal store-bought coffee maker using tap water and the other using freshly hot distilled water

    recycled by condensing boiling-water steam.

    Both methods removed up to 85 percent of arsenic depending on the type of rice. The steam

    method of percolating on average removed 59 percent of arsenic from white rice and 69 percent

    from whole grain rice. The store-bought filtration coffee maker removed and average of 49

    percent of arsenic from samples of 6 white and 6 whole grain brands of coffee."We discovered

    that by using percolating technology, where cooking water is continually passed through rice in a

    constant flow, we could maximize removal of arsenic," Meharg said. "Chronic exposure to

    inorganic arsenic can cause a range of health problems including developmental problems, heart

    disease, diabetes and nervous system damage. However, most worrying are lung and bladder

    cancers."The researchers said that children and infants were of most concern for arsenic

    poisoning because they eat about 3 times as much rice as adults, and their organs are still

    developing. http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2015/07/23/Rice-cooked-in-coffee-maker-can-reduce-arsenic-

    intake/4051437665024/

    Rice Expo scheduled for Aug. 7 in Stuttgart

    Posted: Thursday, July 23, 2015 9:06 am By Mary Hightower U of A System Division of Agriculture

    Gov. Asa Hutchinson will deliver the keynote at this years Arkansas Rice Expo, set for Friday, Aug. 7, in Stuttgart.The half-day event opens at 8 a.m. at the Grand Prairie Center, 2709 U.S.

    165 in Stuttgart. There is no cost to attend and the event ends with a catfish lunch. Field tours of

    research plots, food demonstrations and family fun are all part of the expo, a salute by the

    University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture to rice production in Arkansas.Arkansas is Americas No. 1 rice state, growing more than half of the rice produced in the United States, said Mark Cochran, head of the UA Systems Division of Agriculture.

    The Rice Expo is our opportunity to celebrate the successes of the farmers who make agriculture the states largest industry and share some of the exciting developments from our research and extension programs.We also see the Rice Expo as our open house an invitation for the community to meet our researchers and extension educators and see their work first-

    hand, he said. We are very pleased that Gov. Hutchinson will be our keynote speaker this year.The governor is scheduled to speak at 11 a.m.Hutchinson is no stranger to the Arkansas Rice Expo, having attended the last two years.

    Rice industry issues

    This years event features breakout sessions that focus on issues looming large in the rice industry, including the implications of rice trade with Cuba, marketing rice and managing

    barnyardgrass.Expo-goers will get an up close and personal look at the work being done for the

    rice industry by Division researchers, who will be leading field tours.Event attendees with

    problems in the garden or landscape can take advantage of the plant disease clinic by bringing

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    samples for diagnosis.There will also be a feral hog exhibit, food preservation clinic, equipment

    display and an update on crop application technologies.Staff from the Arkansas 4-H Youth

    Development program will be there with activities for youngsters.Dont miss the cooking demonstrations and tastings, and see the finalists in the rice recipe contest and the creativity on

    display in the rice tabletop centerpiece competition.

    http://mymonticellonews.net/news/article_0222825c-3144-11e5-86db-335bed00ccbe.html

    PH may import more rice as El Nino worry persists

    Reuters

    Posted at 07/23/2015 4:20 PM | Updated as of 07/23/2015 6:24 PM

    MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines, one of the world's biggest rice importers, could ship in

    more to boost buffer stocks and keep local prices stable because of an El Nino dry weather

    pattern now forecast to last until next year, potentially hurting the local harvest."The economic

    managers have indicated that they are reassessing the rice supply-demand conditions for the rest

    of the year (to see) if there is a need to do another importation," Zeno Ronald Abenoja, director

    at the Department of Economic Research of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, said on

    Thursday.The central bank is represented in the National Food Authority Council (NFA), which

    approves rice imports.Purchases this year have reached 750,000 tonnes - 550,000 tonnes from

    Vietnam and the rest from Thailand.

    The NFA has permission from President Benigno Aquino to import an additional 250,000 tonnes

    if drought conditions worsen and hurt local rice production.Timely imports of the staple have

    prevented a repeat of last year's spike in rice prices caused by damage to supply chains from

    Super Typhoon Haiyan in late 2013. Food prices have a weighting of 39 percent in the consumer

    price index.Central bank Governor Amando Tetangco, in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday,

    said he saw no need to alter monetary policy settings for now but cited the potential threat of an

    extended El Nino as one of the reasons to be careful.

    Inflation is expected to inch up later in the year, after slowing to a two-decade low in June, due

    to the potential impact of the worsening dry spell and possible adjustments to electricity

    prices.Latest government data shows local rice prices have fallen around 5 percent from a year

    earlier. The expectation now is for the domestic harvest to be "lean" in the third quarter before

    rebounding in the final three months, Abenoja said.The Philippines' weather bureau forecasts a

    "moderate" El Nino that is likely to intensify and last until early next year.Private rice traders

    have also been given permission to import 805,200 tonnes of rice with a tariff of 35 percent,

    although so far they have applied to ship in only about 300,000 tonnes.

    http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/business/07/23/15/ph-looking-import-extra-rice-el-nino-intensifies

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    PHL worlds 8th biggest rice producer by 2016World Bank byMary Grace Padin - July 23, 2015

    The Philippines will be the worlds eighth-largest rice producer by the end of 2016, according to the latest report released by the World Bank.In the report, titled Commodity Markets Outlook, the

    World Bank estimated that the Philippines is estimated to produce 12.4 million metric tons

    (MMT) of milled rice by the end of 2016. In 2015 the World Bank estimates that the country will

    produce some 11.9 MMT of milled rice.The worlds largest rice producer is China, which is estimated to produce 146 MMT by 2016 and 144.5 MMT of milled rice by 2015.Global rice production is set to increase in 2015-2016 by 4 MMT [from last seasons 476 MMT] in response to better crops in Asian rice-producing countries, including China, India and Indonesia, the report stated.

    With the expected increase in production, the World Bank estimated that the countrys rice imports will decline to 1.3 MMT by the end of 2016 from the expected 1.7 MMT this year.This

    will make the country the worlds sixth-largest importer of the commodity by 2016. The largest importer of rice is also China which is expected to import some 4.7 MMT by 2016.The World

    Bank estimated that the Philippiness rice stocks may reach 2.5 MMT by 2016. This is higher than the rice stocks this year, which is estimated at around 2.1 MMT.The report also bared the

    World Banks rice-price estimates, particularly for Thailand-sourced rice. Data showed that the prices are expected to escalate to $410 per metric ton (MT) by 2025 from $400 per MT in 2015.

    Agricultural prices fell 2.6 percent in the quarter, due to large declines in food commodities especially edible oils and grains on further improvements of supply conditions and despite some adverse weather in North America and El Nio fears.The World Bank expects agriculture

    prices to average 11 percent below 2014 levels this year, revised downward from 9 percent in

    April, the World Bank said.Meanwhile, the World Bank increased its 2015 forecast for crude oil prices from $53 in April to $57 per barrel after oil prices rose 17 percent in the April to June

    quarter.

    The World Bank reports that energy prices rose 12 percent in the quarter, with the surge in oil

    offset by declines in natural gas (down 13 percent) and coal prices (down 4 percent).However,

    the World Bank expects energy prices to average 39 percent below 2014 levels. Natural gas

    prices are projected to decline across all three main marketsthe US, Europe and Asiaand coal prices to fall 17 percent.Excluding energy, the World Bank reports a 2-percent decline in

    prices for the quarter, and forecasts that nonenergy prices will average 12 percent below 2014

    levels this year.Demand for crude oil was higher than expected in the second quarter. Despite the marginal increase in the price forecast for 2015, large inventories and rising output from

    Opec [Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries] members suggest prices will likely

    remain weak in the medium-term, said John Baffes, senior economist and lead author of Commodity Markets Outlook.

    http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/phl-worlds-8th-biggest-rice-producer-by-2016-world-bank/

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    Japan may allow import of less than 100,000 tons rice under

    TPP The Yomiuri Shimbun/Asia News NetworkThursday, Jul 23, 2015

    TPP minister Akira Amari aims to reach agreements with his US and Australian counterparts in

    separate talks later this month. Photo: Reuters

    The government considers allowing less than 100,000 tons of rice to be imported from the

    United States and Australia under the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, it has been

    learned.Under Japan's planned tariff-free import quota for rice as a staple food, the amount for

    the United States could be increased to 70,000-80,000 tons, while Australia would be granted

    about one-tenth of the US amount, according to sources.TPP minister Akira Amari aims to reach

    agreements with his US and Australian counterparts in separate talks later this month, the

    sources said.

    http://business.asiaone.com/news/japan-may-allow-import-less-100000-tons-rice-under-tpp

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    Govt. allocates Rs.6,000 Mn for Yala season paddy

    purchases Published inLatest - Defence

    The government has allocated 6,000 million rupees to purchase paddy for Yala Season, the

    Cabinet Spokesperson Rajitha Senarathne said at the Cabinet Press briefing held today at the

    Government Information Department.He said the Cabinet has granted approval to release a loan

    of Rs.6,000 million to the Paddy Marketing Board for these purchases. The Bank of Ceylon will

    provide 4,000 million rupees and the people's bank the balance Rs.2,000 rupees to meet this

    requirement. It is expected to purchase 120,000 M/T of paddy from all districts in the

    country. The Sub committee on paddy purchase which was appointed by the Cabinet has met on

    Wednesday(22) to discuss the modalities of the process and to adhere new purchasing methods

    in order to implement the process effectively.

    http://www.news.lk/news/sri-lanka/item/8817-govt-allocates-rs-6-000-mn-for-yala-season-paddy-

    purchases

    Govt. allocates Rs.6,000 Mn for Yala season paddy

    purchases

    Published inLatest - Defence

    The government has allocated 6,000 million rupees to purchase paddy for Yala Season, the

    Cabinet Spokesperson Rajitha Senarathne said at the Cabinet Press briefing held today at the

    Government Information Department.He said the Cabinet has granted approval to release a loan

    of Rs.6,000 million to the Paddy Marketing Board for these purchases. The Bank of Ceylon will

    provide 4,000 million rupees and the people's bank the balance Rs.2,000 rupees to meet this

    requirement. It is expected to purchase 120,000 M/T of paddy from all districts in the

    country.The Sub committee on paddy purchase which was appointed by the Cabinet has met on

    Wednesday(22) to discuss the modalities of the process and to adhere new purchasing methods

    in order to implement the process effectively.

    http://www.news.lk/news/sri-lanka/item/8817-govt-allocates-rs-6-000-mn-for-yala-season-paddy-purchases

    Thai government told to 'cut water use'

    ALL STATE agencies have been told to cut water use by 10 per cent while people in the

    country, businesses and the industrial sector have also been urged to save and reduce water usage

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    during this severe drought period.Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha issued the

    instructions while presiding over the first National Water Resource Committee meeting at

    Government House yesterday.

    The committee was given strategies on water resource management to increase water access

    nationwide and to tackle drought and flood issues in the long term."There are 12 projects aimed

    at solving shortage for every kind of water use.The agriculture sector will get maximum water

    share, followed by water for sustaining the ecology, for domestic use and for industrial use,"

    Prayut explained.The 12 projects would prioritise increased tap water accessibility and focus on

    preventing drought and flood in the long term.According to the plan, a total of 7,490 villages

    would have access to piped water by 2021.The irrigation area will increase to 8.7 million rai in

    2026 because of more ponds and artesian wells to supply water for farmlands.

    The total water available for agriculture in 2026 will rise to 7,842 million cubic metres, up

    sharply from the present 2,074 million cubic metres.It is estimated that the overall expense on

    the projects until 2016 would be up to Bt80 billion.Prayut insisted that the government was

    looking after every sector and emphasised that everyone should use the water within their

    quota."If everyone doesn't use water responsibly, there will surely be a water shortage for all

    sectors because all activities share the same water source," he warned.Water Resources

    Department director Jatuporn Buruspat said to save water and be a role model for others, Prayut

    had ordered government agencies to cut water use by 10 per cent from the current 19 per cent of

    tap-water share.

    Jatuporn said that while domestic, business and industrial water consumers were not ordered to

    reduce water usage, the government would urge them to voluntarily save water.Regarding the

    agricultural sector the biggest consumer of water he said Prayut had told the Agriculture

    Department to encourage farmers to grow plants that needed less water and to re-zone

    agricultural land use.He said long-term solutions included considering ways to draw water from

    international rivers to Thailand; finding ways to use water at the bottom of dams; construction of

    pipes to send raw water for domestic use in the capital directly from the northern region's water

    source."Those plans are for the future, which still require further feasibility studies of possible

    impacts, and negotiation with all stakeholders," he added.

    Meanwhile, HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn has granted 5,000 packs of drinking water to

    drought-affected residents in Pathum Thani's Thanyaburi, Lam Lukka and Nong Seu districts, a

    senior official at the Princess' Personal Affairs Division, Pradith Arnpothong, said

    yesterday.Rice farmers in the Chao Phraya basin yesterday started pumping water into their rice

    fields after the government approved the water release on Tuesday. Ayutthaya Governor Apichat

    Todilokvechm said four sluice gates - Chao Ched, Lad Chado, Phak Hai and Khanom Jeen were

    opened, allowing the irrigation of more than 100,000 rai of rice fields in Sena, Phak Hai and

    Bang Sai districts.

    In Lop Buri's Tha Wung district, Bang Nga subdistrict municipality workers installed more

    pumps to deliver water from Chao Phraya River to the area's 16,000 rai of dying crops, half of

    which could be saved by this operation.In Phichit's Muang district, farmers persisted with

    pumping the remaining water from an irrigation canal onto rice fields, in defiance of the Royal

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    Irrigation Department's orders to suspend the activities in keeping with the government's

    policy.Uttaradit's Sirikit Dam reportedly received 17 million cubic metres of water per day due

    to the increase in rainfall and local farmers were advised to dig a pool to store the water.Dam

    director Suthep Lertmongkol said the dam would still release 11 million cubic metres of water

    daily until August as per the Cabinet resolution. The dam level was at 276 million cubic metres

    or four per cent of capacity, which is considered critical, he added. http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/thai-government-told-cut-water-use

    PH may import more rice as El Nino worry persists Reuters

    Posted at 07/23/2015 4:20 PM | Updated as of 07/23/2015 6:24 PM

    MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines, one of the world's biggest rice importers, could ship in

    more to boost buffer stocks and keep local prices stable because of an El Nino dry weather

    pattern now forecast to last until next year, potentially hurting the local harvest."The economic

    managers have indicated that they are reassessing the rice supply-demand conditions for the rest

    of the year (to see) if there is a need to do another importation," Zeno Ronald Abenoja, director

    at the Department of Economic Research of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, said on

    Thursday.The central bank is represented in the National Food Authority Council (NFA), which

    approves rice imports.

    Purchases this year have reached 750,000 tonnes - 550,000 tonnes from Vietnam and the rest

    from Thailand. The NFA has permission from President Benigno Aquino to import an additional

    250,000 tonnes if drought conditions worsen and hurt local rice production.Timely imports of the

    staple have prevented a repeat of last year's spike in rice prices caused by damage to supply

    chains from Super Typhoon Haiyan in late 2013. Food prices have a weighting of 39 percent in

    the consumer price index.Central bank Governor Amando Tetangco, in an interview with

    Reuters on Tuesday, said he saw no need to alter monetary policy settings for now but cited the

    potential threat of an extended El Nino as one of the reasons to be careful.

    Inflation is expected to inch up later in the year, after slowing to a two-decade low in June, due

    to the potential impact of the worsening dry spell and possible adjustments to electricity

    prices.Latest government data shows local rice prices have fallen around 5 percent from a year

    earlier. The expectation now is for the domestic harvest to be "lean" in the third quarter before

    rebounding in the final three months, Abenoja said.The Philippines' weather bureau forecasts a

    "moderate" El Nino that is likely to intensify and last until early next year.Private rice traders

    have also been given permission to import 805,200 tonnes of rice with a tariff of 35 percent,

    although so far they have applied to ship in only about 300,000 tonnes.

    http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/business/07/23/15/ph-looking-import-extra-rice-el-nino-intensifies

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    USA Rice Gets In-depth Look at Japan Market

    Yumi Kojima leads the discussion

    TOKYO, JAPAN -- Last week USA Rice leaders engaged in the export trade to Japan received a

    detailed briefing on USA Rice's promotional activities in Japan, where the focus is on the quality

    and safety of U.S. rice and the promotion of U.S. medium grain rice to the foodservice sector,

    deli operators, and retailers. U.S. rice is under particular challenge today because the depressed

    domestic price of Japanese rice, coupled with the high costs imposed by the Japanese

    government in the operation of the Simultaneous Buy-Sell system, severely reduces the cost

    competitiveness of imported U.S. rice.

    Yumi Kojima, head of USA Rice's representative office in Tokyo, outlined Japan's domestic rice

    market situation, the relative competitive position of imported rice from various origins to

    Japanese rice, and outreach and promotion efforts to consumers, bloggers, restaurants, and

    retailers.While here, the USA Rice team also attended the 18th annual U.S.-Japan rice technical

    meeting and met with staff from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural

    Service posted to the U.S. embassy.

    "These annual meetings are an excellent and important venue for discussing and resolving

    technical issues with our Japanese counterparts with the goal of better mutual understanding and

    more efficient rice trade between our two countries," said Alex T. Balafoutis, U.S. delegation

    chairman and vice president, PGP International, Inc.

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    Both sides exchanged reports on the rice supply and demand situation in the United States and

    Japan, the U.S. rice export situation, and concluded with a discussion and overall positive

    assessment of the quality of U.S. rice. In addition to Chairman Balafoutis, the U.S. delegation

    included Todd Burich, ADM Rice; Jess Errecarte, SunWest Foods; Jim Higa, Sun Valley Rice

    Co.; Kirk Messick, Farmers' Rice Cooperative; Michael Rue, rice producer, and USA Rice COO

    Bob Cummings.

    Contact: Bob Cummings (703) 236-1473

    USA Rice Federation

    EPA Sets New Threshold for SPCC Rule

    WASHINGTON, DC -- Recently the U.S. Environmental Protection

    Agency (EPA) Office of Emergency Management released the findings

    of a study to determine the aggregate aboveground oil storage capacity

    threshold for farms subject to the Spill Prevention Control and

    Countermeasure (SPCC). The EPA storage capacity report was a

    requirement of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act

    (WRRDA) of 2014.

    Without a national registration database of aboveground oil storage tanks on farms, EPA used

    anecdotal and other data to determine that the original 1,320 gallon capacity threshold was

    appropriate. However, the WRRDA required a new threshold of between 2,500 gallons and

    6,000 gallons. EPA has opted for the minimum 2,500 gallon threshold as the new trigger for

    compliance under SPCC -- a move that EPA states will exempt more than 80 percent of farms in

    the United States.

    In response to the new WRRDA report, Congressman Rick Crawford (R-AR) plans to

    reintroduce the Farmers Undertake Environmental Stewardship (FUELS) Act, which modifies

    EPA's SPCC regulations applicability on farms and raises the exemption level for a single

    container up to 10,000 gallons.

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    A fact sheet on the WRRDA-compliant SPCC rule for farms can be found here.

    Contact: Steve Hensley (703) 236-1445

    Nigeria: Kebbi Targets 500,000 Tonnes of Rice From Local Farmers By Garba Muhammad

    Birnin Kebbi The Kebbi State Government has initiated a programme to, in collaboration

    with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), provide support to rice farmers for the production of

    500,000 metrics tonnes of rice this year.Governor Atiku Bagudu made the disclosure when he

    received delegates of commercial rice millers and farmers led by the Special Adviser to the CBN

    Governor on Finance, Mr Paul N. Eluhaiwe, in Birnin Kebbi.He stressed the need to obtain rice

    quality project certification, adding that the state government already has in store, 9,000 tonnes

    of rice.He called on commercial millers to provide seedling on the variety their firms preferred,

    to enable farmers produce the required quality.

    According to the governor, "additional farmland would be cleared and young farmers would be

    provided with funds and extension services to boost production."Strategies would be worked out

    for transportation of produce to the designated centres," he said.The CBN delegation and the

    commercial rice millers earlier undertook tour of some rice production centres in Bunza, Suru,

    Jega, Birnin-Kebbi and Argungu to assess quality and variety of rice proposed for processing in

    commercial quality.

    http://allafrica.com/stories/201507231470.html

    Pakistan asks Kenya to lower import duty on rice

    Facing surplus rice stocks of close to 1 million ton due to fallingCOMMODITY PRICES in the

    international market, Pakistan has asked Kenya to lower the import duty on Pakistani rice which is

    affecting rice exports.Finance Minister Ishaq had a meeting with Kenyan High Commissioner Prof Julius

    Kibet Bitok on Thursday. The minister highlighted the issue regarding enhancement in import duty on

    Pakistani rice by Kenya and asked for a review of the matter.He said that enhancement of the duty was

    affecting Pakistani rice exports to Kenya. The matter regarding import of Kenyan tea in Pakistan was also

    discussed with emphasis on efforts to ensure import through regular channels.

    It is important to mention that Pakistani exporters use Kenya as a hub for exports to the Africa region.

    Pakistani exporters are facing stiff competition from Indian, Thai and Vietnamese exporters. Pakistan, for

    the last two years, has not managed to export its surplus rice and this year another bumper crop of 7

    million tons is expected which is estimated to increase the exportable surplus for current 0.6 million tons

    to over 1 million tons.The lowering internationalCOMMODITY PRICES are impacting the farmer,

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    whose cost of production is estimated around Rs 70,000 per acre but in return they are getting Rs 36,000

    per acre. The government is under pressure to buy the surplus stocks from the rice mills and export them

    on government to government basis to protect the farmers

    http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2015/07/23/business/pakistan-asks-kenya-to-lower-import-duty-on-

    rice/

    Weekly Rice Sales, Exports Reported

    WASHINGTON, DC -- Net rice sales of 9,400 MT for 2014/2015 were down 91 percent from the

    previous week and 88 percent from the prior four-week average, according to today's Export Sales

    Highlights report. Increases were reported for Venezuela (30,000 MT switched from unknown

    destinations), Haiti (14,300 MT), Mexico (6,800 MT), New Guinea (3,200 MT), and Canada (1,300

    MT). Decreases were reported for unknown destinations (28,000 MT), Turkey (20,000 MT), and Taiwan

    (300 MT). Net sales of 132,400 MT for 2015/2016 were reported for Iraq (60,000 MT), Iran (60,000

    MT), unknown destinations (5,500 MT), and Honduras (3,400 MT).

    Exports of 92,400 MT were up noticeably from the previous week and up 53 percent from the prior four-

    week average. The primary destinations were Venezuela (30,000 MT), Haiti (14,300 MT), Mexico

    (12,700 MT), Japan (12,000 MT), and Ghana (7,000 MT).

    This summary is based on reports from exporters from the period July 10-16, 2015.

    Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open-July 23

    Nagpur, July 23 Gram and tuar prices reported higher in Nagpur Agriculture Produce

    and Marketing Committee (APMC) here on good buying support from local millers amid weak

    supplyfrom producing regions because of rains. Healthy rise in Madhya Pradesh pulses and

    reporteddemand from South-based millers also boosted prices, according to sources.

    * * * *

    FOODGRAINS & PULSES

    GRAM

    * Gram varieties ruled steady in open market here but demand was poor.

    TUAR

    * Tuar gavarani recovered in open market on increased demand from local traders amid

    tight supply from producing belts. Estimate about weak production in this season

    also activated stockists.

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    * Batri dal and Lakhodi dal firmed up in open market here on good seasonal demand

    from local traders amid restricted supply from producing regions.

    * In Akola, Tuar - 7,100-7,200, Tuar dal - 10,100-10,300, Udid at 9,500-9,900,

    Udid Mogar (clean) - 11,000-11,400, Moong - 7,000-8,000, Moong Mogar

    (clean) 9,800-10,100, Gram - 4,100-4,200, Gram Super best bold - 5,700-5,900

    for 100 kg.

    * Wheat, rice and other commodities remained steady in open market

    in thin trading activity, according to sources.

    Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg

    FOODGRAINS Available prices Previous close

    Gram Auction 3,800-4,590 3,800-4,510

    Gram Pink Auction n.a. 2,100-2,600

    Tuar Auction 6,700-7,530 6,700-7,480

    Moong Auction n.a. 6,000-6,400

    Udid Auction n.a. 4,300-4,500

    Masoor Auction n.a. 2,600-2,800

    Gram Super Best Bold 6,000-6,200 6,000-6,200

    Gram Super Best n.a.

    Gram Medium Best 5,700-5,800 5,700-5,800

    Gram Dal Medium n.a. n.a.

    Gram Mill Quality 5,350-5,550 5,350-5,550

    Desi gram Raw 4,550-4,650 4,550-4,650

    Gram Filter new 5,950-6,150 5,950-6,150

    Gram Kabuli 5,600-7,100 5,600-7,100

    Gram Pink 6,500-6,700 6,500-6,700

    Tuar Fataka Best 10,600-10,850 10,600-10,850

    Tuar Fataka Medium 10,200-10,500 10,200-10,500

    Tuar Dal Best Phod 9,700-9,900 9,700-9,900

    Tuar Dal Medium phod 9,200-9,500 9,200-9,500

    Tuar Gavarani New 7,700-7,800 7,650-7,750

    Tuar Karnataka 8,100-8,300 8,100-8,300

    Tuar Black 11,000-11,300 11,000-11,300

    Masoor dal best 8,000-8,300 8,000-8,300

    Masoor dal medium 7,700-7,900 7,700-7,900

    Masoor n.a. n.a.

    Moong Mogar bold 9,500-10,500 9,500-10,500

    Moong Mogar Medium best 8,800-9,200 8,800-9,200

    Moong dal Chilka 8,800-9,200 8,800-9,800

    Moong Mill quality n.a. n.a.

    Moong Chamki best 9,600-9,900 9,600-9,900

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    Udid Mogar Super best (100 INR/KG) 11,200-11,800 11,200-11,800

    Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG) 10,600-11,000 10,600-11,000

    Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG) 9,200-9,600 9,200-9,600

    Batri dal (100 INR/KG) 4,600-5,000 4,400-4,800

    Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg) 3,300-3,400 3,250-3,350

    Watana Dal (100 INR/KG) 3,300-3,400 3,300-3,400

    Watana White (100 INR/KG) 3,100-3,200 3,100-3,200

    Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG) 3,200-3,800 3,200-3,800

    Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG) 1,400-1,500 1,400-1,500

    Wheat Mill quality(100 INR/KG) 1,550-1,700 1,550-1,700

    Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG) 1,300-1,500 1,300-1,500

    Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG) 2,200-2,400 2,200-2,400

    Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG) 1,900-2,100 1,900-2,100

    Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG) n.a. n.a.

    MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG) 3,200-3,700 3,200-3,700

    MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG) 2,550-2,850 2,550-2,850

    Rice BPT New(100 INR/KG) 2,750-2,900 2,750-2,900

    Rice BPT (100 INR/KG) 3,050-3,300 3,050-3,300

    Rice Parmal (100 INR/KG) 1,600-1,750 1,600-1,750

    Rice Swarna new (100 INR/KG) 2,200-2,450 2,200-2,450

    Rice Swarna old (100 INR/KG) 2,500-2,700 2,500-2,700

    Rice HMT new(100 INR/KG) 3,100-3,600 3,100-3,600

    Rice HMT (100 INR/KG) 3,800-4,200 3,800-4,200

    Rice HMT Shriram New(100 INR/KG) 4,200-4,500 4,200-4,500

    Rice HMT Shriram old (100 INR/KG) 4,500-5,100 4,500-5,100

    Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG) 8,000-10,000 8,000-10,000

    Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG) 7,000-7,500 7,000-7,500

    Rice Chinnor new (100 INR/KG) 4,500-4,800 4,500-4,800

    Rice Chinnor (100 INR/KG) 5,100-5,500 5,100-5,500

    Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG) 2,100-2,350 2,100-2,350

    Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG) 2,400-2,500 2,400-2,500

    WEATHER (NAGPUR)

    Maximum temp. 33.2 degree Celsius (91.8 degree Fahrenheit), minimum temp.

    24.7 degree Celsius (76.5 degree Fahrenheit)

    Humidity: Highest - n.a., lowest - n.a.

    Rainfall : 9.6 mm

    FORECAST: Generally cloudy sky. Rains or thunder-showers likely. Maximum and minimum

    temperature would be around and 33 and 25 degree Celsius respectively.

    Note: n.a.--not available

    (For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but included in market prices.)

    http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/07/23/nagpur-foodgrain-idINL3N1033GD20150723

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    The best and worst baby foods revealed

    JULY 23, 2015 5:30PM

    Smart choices ... a new study has named the best and worst baby foods on the market. Source: Supplied

    THE best and worst baby foods have been revealed in a new study that finds nearly half of

    Australias baby foods get a four out of five star health rating.Australias baby foods have been

    hailed as healthier than salt and sugar-laden products in Britain and Canada.However, parents are

    warned more than half of all commercial baby foods are fruit-based and there is a risk babies

    could develop a sweet tooth.

    Their relatively high sugar content deriving from fruits requires close attention to ensure these

    foods do not replace more nutrient dense foods, given children have an innate preference for

    sweet tastes, the study says.The research by the George Institute which looked at 309 baby food

    products shows 30 per cent of products are high in sugar.Only six per cent were high in saturated

    fat and only six per cent were high in salt, the study published in the Journal of Maternal Child

    Health shows.The message for mums and dads is that generally the products are good, but some

    arent good, says University of Sydney researcher Professor Victoria Flood.Only 25 products

    had a Health Star Rating of less than 3 stars while 45 per cent were four out of five stars.

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    Look out ... babies could develop a sweet tooth from fruit-based treats. Source: Getty Images

    The study found the worst baby foods tended to be dry finger food products and snack bars.

    The four worst products were:

    Heinz Little Kids Yoghurt Muesli Fingers Fruit Salad had 38.5 grams of sugar and 75 grams of

    salt per 100 grams.Raffertys Garden Fruit Snack Bars Blueberry Banana Apple contained 40.1 grams of sugar and 170 grams of salt per 100 grams.Heinz Little Kids Wholegrain Cereal Bars

    Apple and Strawberry with yoghurt flavour had 35 grams of sugar and 80 grams of salt per 100

    grams.Raffertys Garden Fruit Snack bars with banana had 37.2 grams of sugar and 220 grams of slat per 100 grams.The study found Australianj baby foods had less sugar and salt than foods in

    the UK and Canada.

    Healthier ... Australian baby foods had less salt and sugar than foods in the UK and Canada. Picture Getty

    Images.Source: Getty Images

    The four best products were Only Organic Pasta Bolognese which contains just 4.2 grams of sugar and 20

    grams of salt per 100 grams.

    Best baby food ... Only Organic pasta bolognese. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

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    Raffertys Garden Beef with Veggies and Basmati Rice had 1.3 grams of sugar

    and 15 grams of salt per 100 grams.Only Organic Pear, Purple Carrot, Blueberry

    and Quinoa had 4.6 grams of sugar and 11 grams of salt per 100 grams.Heinz

    Little Kids Tender Beef and Vegetable had 2.9 grams of sugar and 35 grams of

    salt per 100 grams.Obesity experts have hailed the first three years of a childs

    life as crucial to setting up their food preferences for life.They warn overloading

    children with sweet and salty foods will establish a lifetime preference for these

    sorts of flavours associated with obesity inducing junk foods.

    Think about it ... the first three years of a childs life are crucial to setting up their food preferences for life. Source: Getty Images

    Professor Flood says parents should

    persevere with introducing vegetables

    to their children.Sometimes youve

    got to do it 10,15, 20 times before

    they will take it, she

    says.Commercial baby foods are

    consumed by 90 per cent of children

    by the time they are nine months old

    so their impact on the childs food

    preferences cannot be over stated.The

    market for commercial baby food is

    growing at 4.8 per cent a year and is

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    now worth $300 million a year.Part of the increase in this market can be attributed to time-poor parents

    needing to make quick food decisions and that isnt likely to change any time soon, so we need to get it

    right, says George Institute for Global Health Professor Bruce Neal.

    CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures

    CME Group (Prelim): Closing Rough Rice Futures for July 23

    Month Price Net Change

    September 2015 $11.110 - $0.010

    November 2015 $11.375 - $0.010

    January 2016 $11.645 - $0.005

    March 2016 $11.845 - $0.005

    May 2016 $12.035 - $0.005

    July 2016 $12.035 - $0.005

    September 2016 $12.045 - $0.005

    SA Rice Federation

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