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					                                  September, 2013 Volume 5-Issue 8


                             “The dynamics of rice market have been changed now.
                             We still love old conventional approach which was
                             successful in yesterday, but today latest technology and
                             innovation has provoked to adopt this way. We have to
                             understand the new emerging trends and should do
                             Investments in value addition and by products of rice”.
                                                                Shahzad A. Malik
           See interview insight…….
                                                                 September 2013, Volume 5 - Issue 88
                                           Rice plus A Quarterly Magazine

Editorial Board
Chief Editor
Managing Editor                                                             Contents                          Pg
        Rahmat Ullah                                   Harvesting and Post-Harvest Management in Rice         3
        Rozeen Shaukat
English Editor                                         Rice Culture or Rice Science: A Matter of Time and     4
        Maryam Naseer                                  Timing
Business Development Manager                           Rice Varietal Development in Pakistan                  6
        Mujahid Ali
                                                       Origin of Basmati Rice                                 7
Graphic Designer
        Mohammad Zakriya                               An Exclusive Interview                                 8
Marketing Executive (s)
        Sarfraz Ahmed                                  U.S. Rice Imports from Asia – Data Insights            10
        Khalid Shabbir (UAE)                           Whiff of Pearls                                        12
        Shamsahd Ahmad (Saudi Arabia)
Legal Advisor                                          Game Changers in the Global Rice Market                13
        Advocate Zaheer Minhas                                                                                15
                                                       Rice, Health, and Toxic Metals
                                                       Rice Production in Pakistan vs India                   16
                                                       Up gradation of Basmati DNA Testing                    17
Editorial Advisory Board
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                                                                                                           September 2013, Volume 5 - Issue 88

          Harvesting and Post-Harvest Management in Rice
                                  Dr. Muhammad Tahir* and Muhammad Aqeel Sarwar**

            ice is grown in more than a hundred countries, with a total harvested area of approximately 158
            million hectares, producing more than 700 million tons annually (470 million tons of milled rice).
            Studies have shown that 10-35% losses can occur due to mismanagement of operations such as
            harvesting, handling, threshing, drying, storage and milling. Inefficient and improper harvesting and
threshing can cause 10-14% losses. The normal sequence in the handling of a rice crop after it matures is
harvesting, threshing, cleaning, drying, storage and milling. Harvesting is the process of collecting the mature
rice crop from the field. Timely and good harvesting methods help to maximize grain yield and quality,
minimize grain damage and deterioration, resulting in higher markets and consumer’s recognition. Harvesting
can be done manually or mechanically.
         Manual harvesting is common across Asia. It involves cutting the rice crop with simple hand tools like
sickles and knives however it is labor intensive. Manual harvesting requires               Levels of
40 to 80 man-hours per hectare and it takes additional labor to manually Post Harvest Management
collect and haul the harvested crop.
          Mechanical harvesting using reapers or combine harvesters is                Threshing
another option, but not so common due to the availability and cost of                 Cleaning
machinery. Generally the appropriate harvesting time ranges from 28-32                Drying
days after flowering. At this stage moisture contents of grain are about 20-          Storing
24 %. To be surer about the harvesting time, the hull a few grains from the           Milling
most matured panicles. Grains ready for harvesting are clear and firm. Post-Harvest Management levels are:
Threshing            Rice   Cleaning           Traditional   Drying is the process        Storing grain is done to      Milling is a crucial step
farmers        generally    winnoweres are used for          that reduces grain           reduce grain loss to          in post-production of
thresh the crop by          paddy cleaning in almost         moisture content to a        weather,          moisture,   rice. The basic objective
beating small bundles       all       rice      producing    safe level for storage.      rodents, birds, insects       of a rice milling system
of harvested crop           countries which does not         Delays       in    drying,   and micro-organisms. The      is to remove the husk
against a raised mud        fulfill all the requirements     incomplete or ineffective    moisture content must be      and bran layers, and
ridge or steel drum or      of clean paddy because of        drying will reduce grain     below 9 % for                 produce an edible, white
wood. A considerable        containing stones, small         quality and result in        satisfactory storage of       rice kernel that is
quantity of grains is       mud lumphs, small pieces         losses. Sun drying of        rice. A poly thene sheet      sufficiently milled and
shattered and lost with     of straw and other               threshed grain, being the    spread on the floor is an     free of impurities. The
shifting of bundles from    foreign material resulting       cheapest method, is          operative        prevention   available          milling
the field to the            in low price fetching for        practiced by all sectors.    against percolation of        machines in the country
threshing          place.   farmers. So farmers              Almost 70-90 per cent of     moisture in the lower         are automatic modern
Threshing can also be       should clean paddy to            field harvest retained in    layer       of      grains.   mills, shellers and
done with threshers.        entire satisfaction of           the farm is sun dried.       Fumigation of storage,        huskers. But head rice
Combines are also           millers and commission           Improper and over-drying     insect proofing of bags       produced       by      our
available which harvest     agent for getting higher         as normally happens in       and disinfestations with      automatic modern mills
and               thresh    price for paddy.                 sun drying, produces “sun    inorganic salts are some      is still low as paralleled
simultaneously       and                                     checking” (cracking of the   of the approaches that        to other progressive
through              this                                    grain) and many of the       can        easily      and    rice producing countries
mechanization, harvest                                       grains break during          successfully be practiced     because of a diversity of
and         post-harvest                                     milling are the potential    for safe storage of rice.     causes like impurities
losses       can       be                                    factor responsible for                                     and foreign matter,
minimized.                                                   reducing               the                                 chalky grains and grain
                                                             marketability         and                                  classification, damaged
                                                             profitability of rice.                                     and sun cracked grains.
                                                             Therefore it is proposed                                   Therefore        outdated
                                                             that farmers should adopt                                  milling machinery needs
                                                             shade drying and millers                                   thorough renovating.
                                                             mechanical drying to
                                                             reduce higher broken in

* Author is Assistant Professor in Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

                                                                                                           September 2013, Volume 5 - Issue 88

  Rice Culture or Rice Science:
  A Matter of Time and Timing                                            of the rice crop, the life cycle of insects, the timing of farm
                         Gelia T. Castillo*                              activities with respect to nutrient and water management, and

                                                                         judicious use of loss-reducing inputs are basic parameters in
             lthough our everyday life is governed by clock              rice science and rice culture. The most sophisticated cultural
             time and in many offices by a bundy clock, in               management practices which are very time-conscious are
             rice culture, clock time is rarely ever the arbiter         referred to as precision farming which means not just doing
             of what to do. It is the rice crop in its location-         the “right” things but doing them at the “right” time. As far
specific habitat, both natural and human, which determines               as the stage of the rice crop is concerned, gone are the days
what is done, when, how and by whom. Mostly everything                   of prescribed calendar days for spraying and so many bags of
we do with rice has time and space dimensions which impact               fertilizer per hectare. The ecological approach says: “Feed
on human lives. As Fred Blum says: “It is the substance of               the rice crop as needed.” “No early spraying during the first
time and the quality of space which renders life meaningful.”            40 days.” These simple heuristics are a product of much
This statement seems to apply as well to rice culture where              research hence the expression: “High science but low-Tech.”
the interactions between time and space differ whether rice is           These are by-products of ecological time.
grown in the uplands, the lowlands, the rain fed, the                    Significant events in the life of the rice plant as exhibited in
irrigated, the flooded, the drought-prone, and the saline soils.         rice research are shown in these phrases and sentences:
Time, timing and timeliness in the world of rice are                     “seasonal influence of flowering behavior”, “determining
inevitable but not always recognized on their own merits.                seeding intervals”, “adjusting flowering”, etc.” and
Time is often mentioned only as descriptive of other features            R.Lafitte’s conclusion that “Stress at flowering is most
regarded as more important such as: early maturity; delayed              devastating.” Another case of time sensitivity is shown by
rains; peak labor demand; cropping intensity; turn-around                A.Ismail who says that “rice is particularly sensitive to salt
time; plant recovery etc. Perhaps this is because time is                stress during its seedling and reproductive stages. All of
curious. It flows only one-way onward from the past, to the              these imply an acute sense of recognition of the stages in the
present to the future. Time cannot be recaptured; it cannot              growth of the rice crop and what works best given each
even be repeated. We cannot go back in time. Only                        differentiating stage. But farmers also need sophisticated
memories do that. In 1968, Daniel Bell of the Commission                 judgments on what is early and what is late.
on the Year 2000 cites ST Augustine’s concept of Time is as              Time in Livelihood Systems: Studies in Asia have
threefold present: The present as we experience it; the past as          shown that for farm households, the share of total income
a present memory; and the future as a present expectation.               derived from rice and other agricultural activities has been
There at least 8 different ways TIME manifests itself in rice            declining while that from non-farm employment and
culture and in rice science:                                             remittances has been increasing. In the past, rice planting
Time in Technology: Although the green revolution
                                                                         calendars were promoted to guide farmers with respect to
ushered in a new era of HYVs (high-yielding varieties), less             appropriate times for rice production activities. At that time,
heralded and yet is one of the most significant features of              rice was the dominant and often the only preoccupation.
HYVs is its early maturity. In the olden days, it took about             This gradually evolved into calendars for cropping systems,
150-160 or even up to 180 days for a rice crop to be                     then farming systems, and now livelihood-systems. Rural-
harvested. These varieties which were photoperiod sensitive              urban migration, particularly of males is a widely-recognized
meant there was a period of planting, hence a period for                 phenomenon with its corresponding consequences for
harvesting, usually once a year without irrigation. The                  females left behind to pick up more rice farming chores.
rhythm of life in rice-growing villages was determined by                Women’s time is active time engaged not only in rice but in
this fact of life. Even timing in rice transplanting was                 other livelihood activities.
provided by guitar music which resulted also in seedling
                                                                         Time and space considerations include sequencing,
spacing. The new rice varieties have a maturity period of
                                                                         intercropping, and choice of crops along with alternative
about 105-110 days. This means 40 to 45 days shorter than
                                                                         feeds for livestock; labor availability (family and hired)
the old varieties. This shorter maturity is much appreciated
                                                                         including farm machinery; pest and disease occurrences;
by farmers because they can fit in one or two more rice
                                                                         markets, prices; weather; household food needs; schooling of
crops, other crops, livestock and non-farm activities. This
                                                                         children plus timing of migration and of remittances. A
also means a reduction in days-at-risk of the rice crop in
                                                                         livelihood systems framework covers all livelihood
terms of pests, diseases, possible escape from floods,
                                                                         activities. It highlights times of plenty; times of scarcity,
avoidance of drought, plus an earlier access to rice for food.
                                                                         times of intensive, even simultaneous activities, and niches
In a manner of speaking, TIME is embedded in the genes for
                                                                         of time when some other income source might fit in. Lean
early maturity, drought tolerance, flood avoidance, and
                                                                         period is a critical time to migrate in search of non-farm
suitability for dry or wet season. Perhaps it can be said that
                                                                         jobs. It is clear however, that rice farming households,
rice can be bred and developed for “time-sensitivity”. In
                                                                         contrary to the stereotyped image, do not have much “time
Asia, it seems that long-duration varieties are no longer
                                                                         on their hands” doing nothing.
preferred especially if there are no yield or grain quality
                                                                         Time to Meet Hunger: For a long, long time and up
penalties in shorter maturity rice.
Time Comes in Growth Stages: The growth stages                           to now, the issue of whether and how much to invest in
                                                                         research on rice in the uplands is still being debated despite

* Author is a Filipino national scientist and former visiting scientist at International Rice Research Institute.

                                                                                                     September 2013, Volume 5 - Issue 88

 pro-poor rethoric of the international development                  mil, the opportunity cost is zero.
 community. F.Heidhues and B. Rerkasem argue that                  Time in rice culture is also very much tied to the use of labor
 “although upland rice area has been declining in many Asian       which means money, sweat, time for exchange labor, or rice
 countries, for a considerable amount of time to come, a large     share of the crop paid to labor or to land. As more
 number of farmers in the uplands of Asia, particularly the        knowledge and skills are acquired, they tend to substitute for
 poorest groups, will remain dependent on upland rice in           labor and other inputs. Farmer’s time becomes more
 sloped areas. Moreover, even farm households that can             management time rather than back-breaking work time.
 diversify their income sources and integrate new production       Labor is hired to do the manual work. Even wages for labor
 lines into their farming activities continue to grow rice as an   increase as their skills improve. The time of a laborer who
 important component of their farming system, providing the        operates a hand tractor will be worth more than that of
 staple for the household’s food security”.                        someone unskilled.
 Sushil Pandey describes the phenomenon of HUNGRY                  Time Establishes Trends: Monitoring means
 MONTHS: “In most parts of South and Southeast Asia,               watching or checking on something for some reason.
 upland rice is normally harvested about a month earlier than      Without at least two points in time it would not be possible to
 the lowland rice. Typically upland rice is harvested in           detect stability or change and to establish trends. Monitoring
 September while the harvest of main season lowland rice           rice crops implies tracking trends overtime.
 starts in October/November. Even though the output of             Time series data (the longer the better) are always required to
 upland rice may be small, it serves the important role of         determine patterns of production, consumption yield
 supplying the family food needs during the HUNGRY                 performance, price, shortage or surplus, land use, population,
 MONTHS of September/October when the previous year’s              weather etc. PhilRice, for example, has developed agro-
 food stock has been exhausted and the lowland crop of the         climatic indices based on 20-year agromet data for one of
 current year is yet to be harvested.”                             their dryland areas, such as:
Time is Now: By its very nature, TIME does not wait,               Dry weather, harvest reliability and sunshine reliability
 neither does rice. The preceding sections have shown not          analysis implies that January-April and October-December
 just the urgency but the “right timing” vis-à-vis rains,          are favorable months for growing and harvesting of crops.
 growth stages, life cycle, livelihood, space season, hunger,      Rainfall probability is high starting from the third week of
 labor, etc. As cited earlier whether or not improved rice         May until the third weeks of October and peaks in August.
 varieties and technologies are available, rice will continue to   It has also been established that the Philippines experiences
 be grown because in Asia and increasingly in Africa, rice is      an average of 20 typhoons a year. In 2005, the IRRI Annual
 our life.                                                         Report of the Director General reports that seventeen
“The Future is NOW?” comes from those who take care of             disturbances passed through the Philippines’ area of
 rice seeds so the present and the next generations can still      responsibility. Three of these were super typhoons: Feria (15
 have those seeds we inherited; those we produced and those        -19 July); Jolina (2-4 September); and Maring (29 September
 from the wild.          But there is also a concept of            to 2 October). These trends are realities which Filipinos have
 intergenerational equity which says that the present              to live with from year to year.
 generation is just a steward of what should be enjoyed            Time to Import or Export: In rice-eating Asia, rice
 equally by the next generations. This is the message not just     is an emotional issue and self-sufficiency or not having to
 of environmentalists but of our COMMON FUTURE.                    import is a matter of national pride for almost every country.
 Sustainability which lies at the heart of this future embodies    With trade liberalization, the rice “row” heats up between the
 TIME, for nothing can be regarded as sustainable unless it        exporters and the importers. The most opportune time to
 has stood the test of time. The gene bank is a very future-       import may not be the best time for the exporters to export. It
 oriented facility which aims to conserve that which should        is like a zero-sum game where the benefit to one is about of
 benefit the next generations. Periodically the stored seeds       equal harm to the other. Until now, there does not seem to be
 are grown to test their viability. Experience has shown that      a win-win scenario. In the Philippines where, historically, it
 their lifespan can go from 20 to more than 30 years (37 or        has been almost an annual rice importer, no politician would
 38). They could probably live longer in temperatures of -18       want to be caught with a low rice supply at a high price
 to -20 OC except that the IRRI gene bank is only about 40         especially if people have to queue to purchase it. Election
 years old. There is a time element in these seeds in cold         time is the worst time for this to happen. A delay in decision
 storage with the longest-term being the coldest.                  to import was said to have caused at least one Minister of
Time has Value: In the popular song: “The best things              Agriculture to lose his job.
 in life are free”, time is not one of them. Time does not         Concluding Statements: From seed to seed, rice
 come free. As a matter of fact the value of time appreciates      culture has time and timing requirements which must be
 as the number of competing uses for it increases. If rice         identified, learned, and practiced if the rice crop is to have a
 were the major preoccupation of the farm household, the           good life. Because time never stops, rice science deserves a
 rice production cycle determines time allocation of its           sense of urgency because rice culture does not wait for
 members. If the rains come on time or if irrigation water is      research products. It goes on because the rice farmer must
 released when needed; if short maturity rice is planted and       plant and the hungry must eat. Time does matter. The
 crop production activities are managed as per the demands         vulnerabilities and responsiveness of the rice crop are time-
 of ecological time, hunger is averted, and life is good.          sensitive and are defined by ecological time. Although
 However as rice cropping progresses into livelihood systems       nature still decides when the rains will come, some features
 and the calendar of activities go beyond agriculture and own      of the rice crop can be “designed” for effective escape or
 village, priorities i.e. decisions as to which comes first,       clever avoidance. There is no perfect rice crop for all seasons and
 come into play. As the economists put it: when the                all reasons but the search is for those which will do better given time
 alternatives for the use of one’s time is limited or almost       and space considerations. That’s what rice science is all about.
                                                                                               September 2013, Volume 5 - Issue 88

                      Rice Varietal Development in Pakistan
                                                     Hafeez ur Rehman*

             arietal diversification process involves adaptation of genotypes over diverse-agro-climatic conditions
             coupled with continued human selection for his diverse quality preference. Basmati rice, one of unique
             varietal group is result of this natural selection widely accepted all over the world. Oryza sativa known as
             Asian rice is derivative of its perennial progenitors Oryza rufipogan and since domestication have been
differentiated into three eco-geographical sub-species, indica, japonica (temperate japonica) and javanica (tropical
          According to Glaszmann, Asian cultivar should be differentiated into six varietal groups viz., Indica, aus,
ashina, rayada, aromatic and Japonica. Nonetheless, aromatic varieties have been cultivated in north-western foot hills
of the Himalayas in the Indian subcontinent.
          Pakistan is also famous for
                                          Ecological Zones
its long grain and aromatic basmati
and non-aromatic rice is grown here Zone I: consists of northern mountainous areas in flat valleys or terraced valley sides grown
under diverse climatic conditions with short duration cold tolerant varieties.
divided into four ecological zones.       Zone II: lies between broad strip of river land of Ravi and Chenab and with sub-humid,
          Several breeding efforts subtropical climate “Kallar tract” suitable for some coarse and fine grain aromatic varieties.
have been taken to improve the Zone III: is large tract of land on west bank of river Indus with sub-tropical climate that favors
genetic basis of rice for high yield heat tolerant coarse varieties.
and better nutritional quality. More Zone IV: consists of Indus Delta with arid tropical climate had no marked season.
than 20 varieties developed are
cultivated in Pakistan with Basmati-370 as first aromatic variety through pure line selection in 1933 by Rice research
Institue Kala Shah Kaku (RRI-KSK). Two other varieties, Mushkan-7 and -41 were also approved in 1933 but due to
their low yield potential and poor grain quality characteristics, could not sustain among growers. Then continued
efforts started on developing high yielding aromatic and Kernel Basmati (Basmati Pak) with longer grains than
Basmati 370 was released in 1968 through cross breeding of Basmati-370 x CM 7-6. This was followed by Basmati
198, Basmati 385 in 1985 readily adopted by farmers due to its high yield. As leading for breeding of basmati rice in
Pakistan, the institute RRI-KSK released Super basmati in 1996 with extra grain long, higher yield and better
resistance to pests and diseases. The variety is still planted on more than 90 per cent of the basmati growing area. The
latest development had been release of Basmati 2000 with better threshing quality in 2000 and of Basmati 515 with
extra grain length and high yield. Some efforts have also been undertaken to develop salt tolerance variety for saline
areas is Shaheen Basmati in 2001 at Soil salinity research institute Pindi Bhattian. It is fairly resistant to salinity than
other basmati types, however, genetic variation exists for this trait and efforts are on underway.
          Due to increasing water crisis in country, efforts for varietal trials under development and dissemination of
water saving technologies in South Asia by Asian Development Bank (ADB) at RRI-KSK have been done. Four
promising high yielding basmati types donors; Bas 385, 515, 2000 and Super Bas have been identified to develop
breeding lines with more closeness to Basmati rice. Likewise, marker assisted breeding to introgress QTLs for drought
stress environment using drought tolerant donor parents viz, Azucena, APO and IR55419-04 into Super Bas and use of
isotope discrimination techniques to improve Water Use Efficiency (WUE) using Bas 385 and 370 are in progress.
          Since many years, non-existent of rice research in different institutions of country, stagnant yields and
competition in international market have come up with depleted area under basmati; no introduction to new variety
has resulted in shortfall in export of Pakistani basmati. Farmers prefer to grow Basmati 386 an early maturing and high
yielding variety than Super and Kainat producing low yield with late maturity. One of the reasons, of losing Super
basmati strength is increasing area under hybrid cultivation difficult to understand and shift of rice area to other crops.
The reasons for widespread technology of hybrid rice are the high average yield of 89 maunds per acre even higher up
to 110-120 maunds despite of coarse high yielding IR-6 varieties also losing its strength.
          On other hand, competition with India has become tough and its exporters have captured Pakistan most of the
traditional markets. The Indian exporters are selling their non-aromatic varieties at $1200 against $1350 per tone of Basmati
Kainaat due to rise in its consumption in UAE and Iran. In fact, Indian exporters have made aggressive and smart marketing
moves to convince our traditional buyers in these countries for their 1121 Basmati variety to claim well as our Kainaat.
Although the buyers may be interested in better quality of our rice but the price difference have reflected them to move for
Indian rice. Since basmati varieties are of several types and grown in several countries, this can harm its export, and there is
need for legislation rights to protect the country’s rice industry. Due to lack of Geographical Indicators (GI) about basmati
registering of our country, we have to register it as common Geographical Indication with India. Pakistan should also pass
our own GI act otherwise we will lose our rice export in International market as Phillipine and Bangladesh have also
indicated to export its basmati rice. Meanwhile Pakistan should strengthen its basic infrastructure to support the rice
research. As a quote of India, Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) should also take cue from it to provide and
spent resources on rice research rather than to blame the government. Industry has to play role by helping the researchers to
develop new varieties, take them to farmers and keep the marketing process clean and transparent. Unfortunately, there are
no bridges between them to maximize their profits at the cost of each other.

* Author is a lecturer in Department of Crop Physiology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

                                                                                            September 2013, Volume 5 - Issue 88

                                            Origin of Basmati Rice
                                           Dr. Muhammad Ashfaq* and Farooq Ahmed*

         The boundary of ancient Punjab was clear before the Indo-Pak partition done by the authorities of
British Empire for the independence. Old Punjab which is found in western Punjab is in Pakistan whereas
eastern Punjab and Haryana is in India. Most districts of Punjab are known to have rice with the best aroma i.e
Basmati rice so these districts are also called as rice belt. All these belts located in Himalayan foothills and
constitute home of Basmati, with particular climatic conditions and knowledge on traditional cropping of
Basmati rice (Giraud 2008). For example, cropping in districts of Sialkot, Gujranwala, Sheikhupura in Pakistan
and Kurukshetra, Amritsar in India, is well known for giving high quality and aroma to Basmati may be due to
specific association of climatic conditions and soil.

The Facts and Gap:
         Basmati rice is known due to its long grain, high value, aroma in both raw and cooked and the grain has
distinctive shape which elongate to almost double to its original length but its width remains same. It also has
unique eating qualities and reported that it is a good source of slow releasing carbohydrates. Basmati rice can be
identified commonly by three factors; Aroma, Taste and appearance. It is characterized by superfine grain, soft
texture, extreme grain elongation and pleasant aroma. It best grows under warm, humid, valley like conditions.
In western Punjab where 91.2% of all Pakistan Basmati crops are grown, Basmati acreage increased by 39.7% in
ten years, yield increase by 32.8%. Annual export of
Basmati rice is 328373 MT (Metric Tons) of Pakistan during In the Nutshell, the competition
2012-13. (REAP). Pakistan earned 319.518283 million is now between yield, aroma
dollars in 2012-13 by exporting Basmati rice. (REAP). But
still low yield can be observed in Pakistan with 1721 kg/ha size improvement and pure
in 2006 in western Punjab as compared to 2116 kg/ha for all
rice produced. While in eastern Punjab 3858 kg/ha and 3051 lineage in Basmati percentage
kg/ha in Haryana, are the major Basmati producing regions
of India. If we talk about the reasons, it depends upon yield
                                                                for new varieties. So we have to
improvement, substitution of Basmati instead of coarse divert our minds and invest
varieties, adoption of new breeding technologies,
introduction of new advanced extra long basmati rice more on Basmati rice instead of
varieties, minimizing the harvest losses and improvement in
milling process etc. Basmati represented 61.6% of rice
                                                                coarse varieties.
acreage and 50.3% of production in Pakistan. According to
Mushtaq and Dawson, Basmati rice acreage is not responsive to price shocks but more sensitive to variation in
irrigated areas ( Mushtaq and Dawson, 2002).

Agricultural extension should;

    Promote and aware farmers in order to keep them to use best practices in rice growing, yield improvement
     mainly vary due to genetic selection and cross breeding.
    Researchers should also work hard to help farmers in order to increase Basmati yield and spreading crop
     areas (Singh et al., 2007; Abedullah, 2007) which will be economically benefical for Pakistan.
    However end use characteristics are related to the growing place. The same seeds do not provide the same
     final traits according to variation in planting location.
    Hence the competition is now between yield, aroma size improvement and pure lineage in Basmati
     percentage for new varieties. So we have to divert our minds and invest more on Basmati rice instead of
     coarse varieties.

* Authors belong to Institute of Agricultural Sciences, University of the Punjab, Lahore.

                                                                                        September 2013, Volume 5 - Issue 88

                      AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH
                                        SHAHZAD A. MALIK
                                    Founder of Modern Rice Sector of Pakistan

       Shahzad Ali Malik is the pioneer of modern rice industry in
       Pakistan, serving industry from the last two decades and has
       influenced the sector to grow from minor to major export
       sector. Mr. Shahzad inherited great values, national spirit,
       welfare and business sense for the country from ancestors. He
       exercised the same in his professional life. He is known as
       man of R&D in rice, always trying to keep the sector on
       competitive edge through latest technologies and new varieties.

Rice Plus Team: Please share something about experiences of early life and brought up.
         Shahzad Malik: I grew up in a business family struggling for business community particularly and general
public as well. I did my Graduation in 1978 and entered in the business of Auto Part- A unit of Guard Group of
Rice Plus Team: What was the special feature which influenced your life most?
          Shahzad Malik: I learned very unique business skills from my elders which framed my personality mostly.
Doing business ethically, respect and care for customer, quality concerns, good for others and business which give
profit to us but must be fruitful for others too. Along with successful business, I found my elders fighting for two
social objectives. 1) Working for the rights and good of business community and 2) Working for the welfare of
common people. I grew in such kind of environment and I continued on such patterns in my business life.
Rice Plus Team: Please share your entry in rice sector and early developments.
          Shahzad Malik: We ventured into rice business in 1985 by realizing that we are far behind the world in rice
milling. Our aim was to promote modern rice milling in Pakistan. We started by importing rice machinery and selling
it in local markets. Gradually local engineering firms got encouraged to do reverse engineering and thus resulted in
local production of modern rice machinery in Pakistan.
The second breakthrough
we made in rice seed. We        We (Myself, Javed Agha Islam and Zahid Khawaja) set up REAP and mobilized exporters
realized that without better
variety, neither we will be
                                to join REAP to safeguard their interest. We did fight with Government for two years and
able to compete in the          finally Ishaaq Dar helped us to get license for REAP. After the license, we were heard by
world market, nor our           EU and Dr. Majeed made lot of briefings to convince the policy makers of EU.
industry can grow. There
was variety in Rice
Research Institute-Kala Shah Kaku (RRI-KSK), called Super Basmati developed by Dr. Abdul Majeed. After
retirement, Dr. Majeed joined Guard Rice and we started multiplication of Super Basmati seed. We made extensive
struggle and got the variety accepted by more than 40% rice market within a span of six years. The farmers found
Super Basmati better and similarly, exporters and processors also trusted this variety due to wider acceptance in
national and international market.
Rice Plus Team: What is the role of Government and other bodies?
         Shahzad Malik: The dynamics of rice market are changed. R&D people should understand that future is
extra long grain. Variety was developed in Rice Research Institute-Kala Shah Kaku but the high risk was involved if
not being properly commercialized. Guard Rice commercialized this variety which made Pakistan stand at the top in
rice exporters of the world.
As far as the role of Government is concerned, they approved this variety after 6 years when it was widely cultivated
and exported from Pakistan. We are not aware of any other role of Government or any other department in this
development. The whole rice sector like exporters, processors, machinery manufacturers, farmers and traders have
benefited from the development and commercialization of Super Basmati.
Rice Plus Team: How REAP was established and what were driving factors?

                                                                                          September 2013, Volume 5 - Issue 88

          Shahzad Malik: This is a very interesting story and shows how industry survives by taking various
initiatives. We started facing tough competition with other countries due to duties imposed by European Union 1995.
We were no more competitive in EU market and our export would down to great extent, if newly imposed duties
continue, we found at that time. India was given more relaxation than Pakistan. We (Myself, Javed Agha Islam and
Zahid Khawaja) set up REAP and mobilized exporters to join REAP to safeguard their interest. We did fight with
Government for two years and finally Ishaq Dar helped us to get license for REAP. After the license, we were heard
by EU and Dr. Majeed made lot of briefings to convince the policy makers of EU. Thanks God, that we got relaxation
in duty.
I have also taken a recent initiative of setting up Seed Association of Pakistan. I am hopeful that this will also promote
Seed industry of Pakistan like REAP.
Rice Plus Team: Are we left behind other countries in rice varieties? What Guard Rice is doing in this regard?
          Shahzad Malik: It is true that we are left far behind other countries in rice varieties. The dynamics of rice
market have been changed now. We still love old conventional approach which was successful in yesterday, but today
                                                        latest technology and innovation has provoked to adopt this way.
I found my elders fighting for two social objectives. Markets are moving toward extra long grain of rice and our R&D
   Working for the rights and good of business people are unable to understand this trend. Hybrid rice is the
    community                                           future of rice market. Only hybrid rice can guarantee to this great
   Working for the welfare of common people. I grew in alarming challenge of food security due to increasing food
    such kind of environment and I continued on such demand of the world. Our R&D stakeholders should work on
                                                        the development of hybrid variety of rice. We must learn this
    patterns in my business life.
                                                        from China how to excel in this field.
Guard Rice has also introduced 5015 as extra long grain variety which is gradually being promoted. We do hope that
Government of Pakistan will register these varieties to boost our rice export, which is now second largest export item
after textile. We have also extended our R&D sector in the pipeline, and we will serve this nation and industry by
developing more varieties in order to meet the growing challenges of rice industry.
Rice Plus Team: How do you find Free Trade with India and its effects on rice industry of Pakistan?
         Shahzad Malik: Regarding Trade with India a level playing field is required as import duty in Pakistan is
10% whereas in India it is 70% on import of rice. How can Pakistan export rice to India under the circumstances
when the import duty in India is so high.
Rice Plus Team: What drives your passion to make such breakthrough developments?
         Shahzad       Malik:      I
strongly believe that business has      Hybrid rice is the future of rice market. Our R&D stakeholders should work on the
dual meaning, not only to earn          development of hybrid variety of rice. We must learn this from China how to excel
profit but also to work for the
welfare of community. I inherited
                                        in this field.
this spirit from my elders. My
family is very active in social welfare as we manage a large hospital for the poor community. We are also active in
promoting and protecting interests of business community so that we may not left far behind in the race of
development. Here lies business opportunity as well as area to serve the country.
Secondly development plays a great role in the live hood of poor people. For example the income of Sindhi farmers
doubled due to the high yield variety. We need such varieties to improve the live hood of agro community .
Rice Plus Team: Which areas of R&D need to be addressed by research community of Pakistan?
         Shahzad Malik: In my view following issues must be resolved through national R&D sectors:
                  Less water consuming varieties
                  Development of high yield varieties
                  Acre under rice cultivation needs to be increased than plant population
                  Extra long grain varieties should be developed
                  Local harvester for rice crop to be developed
Rice Plus Team: Any advice for new investments in rice sector?
         Shahzad Malik: Sure, but not only in rice export as it reached to optimum level now. However investment
in value addition and by products of rice is very much needed. New investments must be appreciated like Rice bran
oil, Value added products , High tech tools and techniques in rice cultivation and Processing, Improving storage and
Transportation of rice and Lab testing facilities in Pakistan.
Rice Plus Team: What is your advice to young generation?
          Shahzad Malik: Honesty, integrity and hard work is a key of success for personal growth business development and
progress of our nation. Short term and unfair means may produce temporary results but in fact takes you towards long term
                                                                                                        September 2013, Volume 5 - Issue 88

                       U.S. Rice Imports from Asia – Data Insights

            famous report titled as “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates 2013” presents following
           very encouraging trends of rice primarily exported by Asia countries.
           “U.S. rice imports have increased in recent decades, largely because of the growing demand for aromatic
           varieties, partly driven by the expanding population of rice-consuming ethnic groups. Aromatics, primarily
jasmine and basmati rice are imported from Thailand, India, and Pakistan. U.S. plant breeders have yet to develop
aromatic rice varieties with the same characteristics as Asian varieties. Imports of aromatic rice are expected to
continue increasing until U.S. breeders develop varieties that satisfy this part of domestic demand”.
                                                       Import of Long Grain
Year         2001/02    2002/03     2003/04    2004/05     2005/06     2006/07        2007/08     2008/09    2009/10    2010/11    2011/12

Imports       9.155      10.037      9.79      10.515      12.254         14.249      17.656      15.859     16.496      15.815      17.5

The import of long grain in total has increased from 9.15 to 17.65 in 2008. The import of long grain rice observed
slight decrease in next three years from 2009 to
2011 which recovered back and touched the figure
of 17.5 in 2012. (Millions in CWT). This trend
especially represents the above cited text by report.
There is another story of Asia rice export presented
by data inside the report. The story is based on 10
years export data of rice to USA by 5 Asian
countries. Each country presents a unique insight.
There are three trends observed in this entire data
of 10 years rice export by 5 countries to USA.

Trend 01. The Increase in Export – Vietnam and China

  Year        2001/02     2002/03    2003/04     2004/05     2005/06        2006/07     2007/08    2008/09    2009/10    2010/11   2011/12

 Vietnam       257         106         105        237          261           1162        557        17478     41554      15901      10846

Vietnam is country which exported around 257 (matric
tons) in 2001 to USA. Vietnam experienced ups and
downs in next four years from 100 the lowest to 269
the highest in 2005. Vietnam just stepped up to 1162
which is almost four times higher growth. After down
in 2007, the export of Vietnam is grown up to 17478
and then 41554, the peak of export. And now Vietnam
is exporting 10846 (metric tons) to USA. The policy
makers in Rice sector can guess the growth rate and
penetration of this country.

Insight: export of Vietnam is net stable and constant. High fluctuation is area of concern for good export planners.
  Year       2001/02     2002/03    2003/04    2004/05     2005/06        2006/07      2007/08     2008/09   2009/10    2010/11    2011/12
  China        539       39890      97318       1139       50753          119662       122996       3951      3787       3100       2075

Similar to Vietnam, China also follows trend 01 of
increase in export. In total China has grown from 539 in
2001.02 to 2075 in 2011/12 registering a four times
increase in rice supply to USA market. The four times
growth is not the peak of supply in this decade. China
has supplied 39890 in 2002, 97318 in 2003, 119622 in
2006 and 122996 in 2007 making these years as the
highest selling years of rice to USA market. There are
decline years like 2004 (1139), 2008 (3951) and 2010
(3100) where rice export to USA has decreased. The
export has fallen sharply after drastic increase and decrease.
Insight: export of China to USA market is highly volatile and unstable. Such fluctuation leaves no choice for
prediction. The exporters of countries like Pakistan can take good share of China by gauging the next move of this trend.
Note: Statistics for analysis is taken from http://www.indexmundi.com

                                                                                                         September 2013, Volume 5 - Issue 88

Trend 02. The Same Level of Export – India
 Year       2001/02     2002/03     2003/04    2004/05    2005/06     2006/07        2007/08    2008/09       2009/10   2010/11    2011/12
 India      47257       53483       52531      56817      70345        71028         119054     74050         94810      96454      48361

India exported rice 47257 in 2001/02 and about same
quantity as 48361 in 2011/ 12 just repeating the export
history after a decade of increase and decrease. The
peak of export sale of Indian rice was observed in
2007/08 with 119054 of rice export followed by 94810
and 96454 in 2009 and 2010. These three years are
highest export of years. Export of Indian rice in other
years range between 52531 and 74050 during last

Insight: The Indian export of rice to USA market has
observed fluctuation and remains unstable. But as compared to China, India export is quite stable and maintained a
high end fluctuation without taking a big dip or decline.

  Year        2001/02     2002/03    2003/04    2004/05     2005/06        2006/07    2007/08   2008/09       2009/10    2010/11    2011/12
 Pakistan      11388      12259       13779      16253      16668          16715       19377     16852        19387      17317       6774

Trend 03. The Decrease in Export – Pakistan and Thailand
Pakistan is among those countries who observed 50%
decline in export of rice to USA market. Pakistan
exported 11388 in 2001/02 and decreased to 6774 in
2011/12. Pakistan export quantity is very less as
compared to Vietnam and India and have downward
trends is more alarming for exports and policy makers
of Pakistan.
Pakistan has made good exports in 2009 and 2007 as
19387 and 19377 according. These two years are peak
years of Pakistan regarding rice export to USA.

Insight: Pakistan needs to revisit its planning for rice
export to USA market. By making better planning, Pakistan can exploit instability of export trend by other
  Year        2001/02     2002/03    2003/04    2004/05     2005/06        2006/07    2007/08   2008/09      2009/10    2010/11    2011/12
 Thailand     287848      315827     300880     331683      349094         394367     454383    422132       400977     393401     215624

Thailand has also exported slightly less in 2011/12 as
compared to 2011/12 as decreasing from 287848 to
215624. In other years of Thailand export remains
stable with slight fluctuation ranging from 300880 to
454383. Thailand is also one of the largest exporters to
USA market and has maintained its supply for entire

Insight: USA market is very promising for good
returns and effectively capitalized by Thailand. Such export stability also positively affects rice growers in the

   Summary Highlights

   Rice Industry needs to pay attention to market trends and changing scenario in the world market of rice. The
   proven role of business to capitalize the gap between supply and demand. Sometime this gap is of few hours and
   days. The traders of rice having command on pluses of market can play and win out of these opportunities.

                                                                                              September 2013, Volume 5 - Issue 88

                                                Whiff of Pearls
                           Naeem     Fiaz*,   Farhan Khalid** and Muhammad Aleem Sarwar*

            ice is the largest source of nourishment to the world’s population. Scented rice fetches a higher
            premium. In the 1990s, the demands for aromatic rice started to blow in the popular markets compel
            the scientists to develop a number of specific cultivars with unique flavors and scents. The volatile
            compounds responsible for aroma, get detected on perceiving by millions cilia (hair like) located on
epithelium in the roof of the nasal cavity. The aroma combined more than 200 volatile compounds which are not
limited to the seed but present in the whole plant. Methods like microsteam distillation-solvent extraction,
simultaneous steam distillation-solvent, direct solvent extraction and static headspace are used for the isolation
of 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (2-AP) while gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method is developed and used for
its determination.

Important Types of Aromatic Rice
      Basmati. The most popular types of scented rice liked and sold around the world. This long grain rice
tends to be fluffy but not sticky. Unfortunately, it has tendency of susceptibility to pests and disease, lower in
grain yield and shedding on maturity. The compound 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline is found responsible for fragrance and
a powerful food stimulant. It is present in basmati rice around 630 UGg/KG, that is many fold high than fluffy
popcorn (24μg/kg). Pakistan and India are well renowned for Basmati rice. 2-AP has simple chemical structure
but its biosynthesis is still unknown.
      Texmati. This rice exhibits the nutty flavor and rich aroma of basmati rice as well as the dry, fluffy
characteristics of American long grain rice. Perhaps the only cultivable (primarily in Texas, America) basmati
variety developed by crossing of American long grain rice and basmati. It is better in flavor and fragrance than
its American parent but lesser than basmati. It was developed to suit the tastes of the Americans who were got
crazy for Basmati.
      Jasmine. Thailand and China are famous
for this type of aromatic rice and it is harvested Aroma is Affected by:
green in some parts of Asia for its unusual
delicacy. Jasmine rice has been bred for easy  Nitrogen fertilizers play key role in the production of rice but
harvest, unlike Basmati it does not shatter when it
                                                          their improper use can deteriorate the crop. Aroma and amylose
ripens. It had greater concentrations of other
                                                          (responsible for good texture of cooked rice) contents do not vary
compounds, responsible for aroma, like hept-2-
enal; 2-pentylfuran methyl salicylate; but-2-enal,        significantly with higher N.
deca-2,4-dienal etc along with 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline     The higher concentration of 2-AP and lower levels of off-flavor
(present in Basmati).                                     compounds (2- pentylfuran and n-hexanal) is observed when rice
      Wehani. Red-brown colored variant of long-          was sun dried (30- 40°C).
grain brown rice that splits while cooking and  Off-flavors and odors develop by hydrolysis lipids to form free
emits a smell similar to popcorn. It is also called as    fatty acids, particularly linoleic and linolenic acids, that on
popcorn rice and was developed at the famous rice-        oxidation produce ketones, aldehydes, alcohols, furanones and
growing Lundberg Family (largest producers of             lactone etc.
organic rice in the country) Farms, California.  High degree milled rice; it has more 2-AP than lower degree
Likewise Texmati, it is also developed
                                                          milled rice.
from basmati rice. A very distinctive form of
aromatic rice, created to appeal primarily to  Preservation of 2-AP is moderately affected by packing material.
American proletarian cooks.                             Pre-cook soaking facilitates uniform cooking. During soaking,
      Wild Pecan. This scented, basmati hybrid,           thorough activation of amylases, a considerable amount of
rice also specifically created (in Louisiana, America)        oligosaccharides (which are not digested and accumulate in large
to accommodate the growing demand for aromatic                intestine and on anaerobic fermentation by bacteria, some gases
rice in and the word "Wild" is just a marketing term;         such as methane, carbon dioxide and hydrogen are produced) are
there is nothing wild about it. It has aroma similar to       formed on outer layers that can be removed by repeated washing.
popcorn with a flavor giving rich nutty taste. There
has been a quest for over three decades to identify the
                                                             Water washing not only removes oligosaccharides but also 60-
factors affecting the aroma and flavor of cooked rice.        80% of total surface lipids, thus preventing from off-flavor and
Efforts are made to find numerous volatile compounds          odors compound to develop.
responsible for aroma by studying the rice genetics, pre-
harvest, (cultural & environmental) and postharvest
(drying, milling, storage, cooking) aspects. A small region on chromosome 8 is potentially considered for aromatic gene in
rice but because of the lack of high throughput sensory evaluation, no one has reached the gene.
* Sugarcane Research Institute, Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad, Pakistan.
** Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

                                                                                         September 2013, Volume 5 - Issue 88

               Game Changers in the Global Rice Market
                                                Samarendu Mohanty*

         or the past four decades, rice
         market has been dominated
         by a few exporters namely,
         Thailand,     Vietnam,     the
         United States, and Pakistan,
accounting for 60–70% of the total
exports. During this period, Thailand
has remained the top rice exporter in
the world. Unlike the export side, the
import side looks quite fragmented,
with many countries each importing a
small amount of rice. The top six
importers account for only 20−30% of
the market share.

New roles for China and
Through the years, both China and
India, the top two rice producers and
consumers in the world, have played a
minor role globally with occasional
exports and imports. Despite India's
rise as an exporter since the mid-
1990s, both these countries, which
account for half of global rice
production, have largely focused on
domestic food security. Trade is an afterthought for these two giants and it is mostly used to manage occasional
surpluses and deficits. But, with India’s meteoric rise to the top of the export chart and China's unexpected rise to near
the top of the import chart in 2012 (Fig.1), this might be a thing of the past. In2012, India displaced Thailand from the
top spot by exporting 10.4 million tons of rice vis-à-vis 6.9 million tons for Thailand. India’s removal of its export ban
on the non basmati market in late 2011 after a gap of 4 years, burgeoning domestic stocks, and a weak rupee definitely
increased India's export prospects in 2012. But, Thailand’s mortgage scheme should get most of the credit for India’s
rise to the top by making India’s broken and parboiled rice fly off the shelves like hotcakes.
Like India, nobody expected China to come close to displacing Nigeria as the top importer in 2012, with 2.9 million
                                                                             tons of imports compared with 3.4 million
                                                                             tons by Nigeria. A majority of these imports
                                                                             have come from Vietnam and Pakistan.
                                                                             Apart from rice, China also imported large
                                                                             amounts of wheat and corn (maize) in 2012.
                                                                             Altogether, Chinese grain (wheat, rice, and
                                                                             corn) imports increased from 2.5 million
                                                                             tons in 2011 to 11 million tons in2012 (Fig.
                                                                             2). Tight corn supplies and greater demand
                                                                             for wheat from the feed sector increased
                                                                             their imports. But, it is still intriguing to
                                                                             many why China is importing so much rice
                                                                             because domestic production has no
                                                                             apparent shortfall in the past few years, and
                                                                             the carry over stocks (according to FAO and
                                                                             USDA) suggest that these stocks have been
                                                                             steadily rising since 2007. A plausible
                                                                             explanation, shared by many, could be that
                                                                             the large price spread between domestic and
                                                                             international rice prices is making it
attractive for Chinese traders to import cheap foreign rice. Another reason could be that Chinese consumers are

 * Dr. Samarendu Mohanty is the head of the Social Sciences Division at the International Rice Research Institute.
                                                             Source with thanks: Rice Today July-September, 2013

                                                                                         September 2013, Volume 5 - Issue 88

diversifying their food consumption, thus creating demand for different types of rice such as sticky rice from
Vietnam, Jasmine rice from Thailand, and long-grain rice from Pakistan. This raises another important question:
Will China go back to its traditional insignificant role in the global rice market (low imports and exports) and India
goes back to its familiar                                                                        territory of mainly
exporting basmati rice         India and China are new forces to reckon and                                 will     self-
sufficiency remain their                                                                         primary motto? Or will
they continue with the                                                                           recent trend and evolve
as dominant players in                                                                           the global rice market
in the coming years? Both India and China have maintained their respective positions as dominant exporters and
importers in the global rice market in the first quarter of 2013. From January to March 2013, China imported
692,200tons of rice (according to oryza.com) whereas India exported nearly 2million tons of rice (data compiled from
different sources). If this trend continues, they are likely to grab the top importer and exporter spots respectively by
the end of 2013.Some indications suggest that China and India are here to stay for the “long haul.” In India’s case, the
government wants to move non basmati rice area from the northwestern states of Punjab and Haryana, which are
plagued by water shortages and pest and disease problems, to eastern India. Several programs such as the National
Food Security Mission, National Rural Livelihood Mission, and Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India have
                                                                                                 been rolled out by the
                                                                                                 government to expand
                                                                                                 rice production in the
                                                                                                 eastern states, and the
                                                                                                 impact      is   already
                                                                                                 evident from the rapid
                                                                                                 rise in production in
                                                                                                 the last few years.
                                                                                                 The             Chinese
                                                                                                 government is also
                                                                                                 trying to expand rice
                                                                                                 production to keep up
                                                                                                 with the demand, but
                                                                                                 the rapidly rising costs
                                                                                                 of production and
                                                                                                 pressure on rice area
                                                                                                 from other competing
                                                                                                 crops are likely to keep
                                                                                                 imported rice a lot
                                                                                                 cheaper than producing
rice domestically. Unless the Chinese government is strongly determined to achieve rice self-sufficiency through trade
measures, it is reasonable to assume that Chinese imports will continue in the near term to mid-term.

Some Implications
On the positive side, the greater participation of China and India in the rice market is likely to increase the volume of
trade, thus making the market more stable. Ideally, the global rice market should account for15−20% of total
production compared with 6−8% now. On the other hand, both countries will bring greater uncertainty to the market as
their politicians will continue to fiddle with domestic and trade policies to support farmers and achieve greater
domestic price stability, and in the process bring volatility to the international market. India’s export ban in 2007 on
non basmati rice and its repercussions on the global market is a good example of how these countries can adversely
influence the market. Similarly, Thailand has held the global market hostage through its rice pledging scheme, for
which nobody knows how and when the mortgage stocks will rock the market.
In addition, the disparity in the estimates of Chinese supply and use data by two major sources (USDA and FAO) is
likely to create problems in the functioning of the market if China remains in the global rice market as a dominant
player for the long haul. For example, FAO projects Chinese rice stocks to be more than50% greater than those of
USDA in 2012-13 (94.2 million tons vs 46.2million tons). In the past 3 years, the FAO estimates indicate more than a
20-million-ton rise in Chinese stocks compared with only 6 million tons in the case of USDA. The difference in
domestic consumption between USDA and FAO estimates for China is more than 10 million tons. All these disparities
in supply and use data did not really matters long as China was mostly self sufficient and didn’t trade much. But,
accuracy and timely availability of this information will be essential for proper functioning of the market once China
becomes a dominant player in the global rice market.

                                                                                                     September 2013, Volume 5 - Issue 88

                               Rice, Health, and Toxic Metals
                                                         Sarah Beebout*

            rsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead are four ubiquitous trace elements known to have a harmful
            effect on human health. These elements are naturally present at very low concentrations in the
            environment, and human bodies are able to detoxify them in limited amounts. Most of what we know
            about toxicity of these elements comes from case studies of people who were exposed to the toxins
through unrecognized pollution sources. In these cases, the people were exposed to the toxin through many ways
such as air, water, and food simultaneously. So far, no evidence shows clearly that rice consumption, by itself,
has had toxic effects on humans. But, since the effects of long term chronic exposure are not well known, people
are concerned that rice consumption might expose them to these elements and endanger their health..

 Arsenic,        remains the       Cadmium, is second as a           Mercury, content of rice            Lead, on the other hand,
 biggest concern. Arsenic can      public concern about toxins in    has not received much public        received the least public
 move from the soil into rice      rice. Rice plants can take up     attention because of other          interest until last month, when
 grain, and rice produced in       cadmium from polluted soil        more important food sources         an       unpublished       study
 high-arsenics oil has higher      and produce grains with           of mercury (most notably,           indicating high lead in rice was
 arsenic than average. The         elevated               cadmium    fish). Mercury in rice is           presented at a scientific
 arsenic in soil or irrigation     concentration. However, very      reportedly       lower      than    meeting, causing a publicity
 water is sometimes high           few reports have shown            “allowable limits”—with the         stir.      However,        these
 enough to inhibit plant growth,   cadmium          concentrations   same caveat that these              anomalously                 “high
 resulting in low yield.           higher than the “allowable        “limits” are still under            concentrations” have not been
 Scientists have already           limit” for rice grains, even      discussion.       A     potential   published scientifically, and
 identified rice varieties that    when they are grown in            problem is that, although           the      preponderance         of
 grow well in high-arsenic         moderately polluted soil. But,    mercury in rice is lower than       published evidence so far
 conditions and can minimize       not everyone agrees on what       in fish, a large amount of rice     indicates that very little lead
 arsenic accumulation in the       this allowable limit should be.   consumed         from      some     accumulates in rice grains,
 grain. So, plant breeding         Cadmium is known to be more       contaminated areas may be           even in areas with moderately
 programs can potentially          likely taken up by rice plants    enough to raise the overall         polluted soil.
 develop even safer varieties.     when the soil is aerobic (the     consumption of mercury to a
 Also, rice plants in more         opposite of arsenic). So, one     worrisome        level.    Since
 flooded soil (anaerobic           way to minimize cadmium           moderate                mercury
 conditions) take up more          uptake would be continuous        contamination is widespread
 arsenic. So, an effective way     flooding. Studies to understand   from coal-burning exhaust,
 to lessen arsenic uptake is to    and identify the genes that       some scientists have been
 use moderately dryer growing      control the movement of           investigating how mercury
 methods through irrigation        cadmium from rice roots into      contamination affects rice.
 management. The relative          the grains are in progress        One of the more toxic forms,
 toxicity of different chemical    including the identification of   methyl mercury, is formed in
 forms of arsenic is still         genes that essentially prevent    flooded or intermittently
 debated. The science for          cadmium from reaching rice        flooded soils and is sometimes
 differentiating among these       grains. These genes can be        present in rice grains. Some
 forms is progressing rapidly. I   helpful in plant breeding         rice varieties are better than
 hope that we will soon know       programs to ensure that all       others at excluding mercury
 which forms of arsenic are        new rice varieties have a very    from the grains, but we don’t
 safer and which forms             low cadmium risk.                 know yet how they do this so
 accumulate in rice grains                                           we cannot recommend which
 under different conditions.                                         varieties are the safest.

                      Consumers need not change their rice-eating habits based on any known risks from toxic
elements. Scientists can now detect very low amounts of these elements in rice grains. Some studies are being done on
how these elements move within soil and rice plants. We hope that these will enable us to develop even safer rice
varieties and rice production techniques.
* Dr. Sarah Beebout is a soil chemist at IRRI.
                                                                                         September 2013, Volume 5 - Issue 88

                       Rice Production in Pakistan vs India
                                               Muhammad Asif Rana*

             overnment of Pakistan always sets the Rice Production targets in the start of season keeping in view the
             area subjected for growth of various crops. Target set by Government of Pakistan in Year 2012-13 was 6.8
             million tons but production remain under the target and total volume produced to be reported as 6.0 million
             tons. Total exports reported for the year 2012-13 are 3.50 million tons and rest 2.50 million tons consumed
locally. These exports also includes Basmati segment not exceeding 0.630 million tons which is 45% less than
Basmati exports in same period in 2011-12. Prices of Basmati varieties are at higher end because area for Basmati
growing is decreasing at one side whereas local consumption is standing at the same level. Government has also set
target of 6.20 million tons of Rice in Pakistan but owing to floods expected figure has declined to 5.5 million Tons.
          This significantly low export of Basmati is directly linked with its production area. In 2008-09 Total
Production area under Basmati Banner was 2.89 million acres which has been reduced to 1.89 million acre in year
2012-13. It is statistically reported that every years farmers leave to grow Basmati on area of 200,000 acres which
show their less interest towards basmati because of low commercial viability when compare to 1121 and PK-386 Long
Grain Rices.
Current floods have also severely impacted on growing area of the Rice where most of the damage has been reported
on leading Basmati growing areas. According to Agriculture Department of Pakistan, Total area affected by the Floods
is 340,084 acres. Total area under production of paddy in year 2013-14 was designated to around 04 million acres and
hence around 09% of the total area damaged by the Floods. There are various gossips about the loss of Basmati where
some school of thoughts says that Floods has caused around 25% loss to Basmati but other don’t agree and says its
loss will not exceed 10% where as Government has only released total loss in terms of Acreage.
          Further to floods, Rice crop particularly PK-386, Super Fine, 1121 and Super Basmati Rice is also attacked
by Rice Grasshopper, Rice Blast and smuts which are causing to reduce per acre yield very significantly.
Keeping in view the flood losses and also reduced basmati production with passage of time will support the prices to
remain at higher side. Meanwhile currency of Pakistan also depreciated around 08 % since January 2013 which is
natural where Indian has depreciated to 30% already. Pakistan has started receiving its long grain crop (KS-282 and
IRRI-06) where the prices are yet higher than International competitors. KS-282 Long Grain and IRRI-06 Long grain
are opened between USD-429 to 438 PMT FOB Karachi with 05% broken but its acceptance is little slow now where
Thailand is standing at USD-445 and Vietnam at USD-390 PMT FOB.
          India once again is coming to world with good competition. India has exported 10 million tons last year and
stood first in worldwide export ranking. After waving off ban from Long Grain Rice, India is giving hard time to all its
competitors in export both in Basmati in non-basmati segment. Where the crop size is miserably affected in Pakistan,
the same time these rains are proven blessed for Indians and enhanced their production from expected 103 million tons
to 105 million tons and will enable them to serve the world with sufficient quantity of Rice available surplus to their
domestic demand. Secondly swift depreciation of Indian Rupee has brought Indian to offer very competitive prices. In
last six months, Indian currency depreciated around 25% which ultimately means that prices become competitive 25%
just because of currency depreciation. Pressure of carryover stocks is also relaxed at India because it exported huge
quantities of rice leaving very less carryover stocks to enter next season. Indian is expecting the depreciation of their
currency further to Rs.70 against dollars in the next quarter but Government is claiming to keep it fixed at current
level. Till now Indian Government proven fail to keep their currency stable. India is highly speculative market and
every coming day bring with it a new gossip about the market. Sometimes news about the strengthening of countries
are heard where expert opined about the highly stable condition of Indian economy where reserves are yet surplus
available for next three years but the other hand reports of weakening of currency are received.
          Indian Government has increased 10% minimum support price but currency depreciated around 30% in one
year which means that new prices of India should open at least 10% competitive than last year (if currency remains at
the same deprecated level) and
inflation rates stands around                 PRICES OF VARIOUS RICE VARIETIES IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES
10%                                                                                  Prices (USD) on FOB Basis
          Same      situation     of                Variety
                                                                             Pakistan       India     Thailand   Vietnam
growing area in India too where 1121 Parboiled Rice (Crop 2012-13)              1500         1350        NA        NA
farmers has left sowing Pusa and
Traditional rice and tilted to       Jasmine Hom Mali Rice (Crop 2012-13)        NA           NA        1150       650
1121 Extra Long Grain Rice and Super Basmati White Rice (Crop 2012-13)          1320         1400        NA        NA
now 85% of area in Punjab and Indian Tradtional Crop (2012-13)
Haryana of India is growing Super Basmati Brown Rice (Crop 2012-13)             1130         1230        NA        NA
1121 Rice. 1121 Extra Long Indian Traditional Brown Rice (2012-13)
Grain parboiled Rice was sold at Long Grain White Rice (05% Broken)             437          415         445       385
such a lowest price level in 2009
-10 that its introduction has been reached to almost all the corners of the world where the world’s longest rice was sold
at price level of 750 to 850 dollars per ton, therefore no need of introducing this variety where it has become the eating
*Author is from Atlas Foods Pakistan.

                                                                                      September 2013, Volume 5 - Issue 88

                  Up gradation of Basmati DNA Testing

            ice is third major cash crop of Pakistan, grown over 10% of the total cropping area with 6.7% value
            addition in agriculture and 1.6% in GDP. Super Basmati is well known premium rice and accounts
            for 2% of total export. It is renowned for unique fragrance, distinctive shape, long grain and top
            quality, both in raw and cooked state. Consumer’s preference generates higher returns for customary
Basmati varieties.
         Food adulteration is a major problem with serious
concerns worldwide. Admixtures of inexpensive normal long
grain rice in fine grain “Super Basmati” might be caused by According to a report titled, Export of rice to
inhomogeneous seed material, seed mixing during cultivation,        the USA “Pakistani Basmati rice is
cross contacts during transportation, handling or processing as matchless in quality, known internationally
well as on purpose. These incriminations have disturbed for aroma and exotic taste”. This highlights
consumer trust and hence export volumes. According to a report
                                                                    the great opportunity of Basmati rice export
of Food Standard Agency, UK, 17% out of 363 tested Basmati
samples had non-Basmati mixing. It is inevitable to develop a       to EU and other countries.
technique to protect the interests of consumers and rice-trading
community. Authenticity of Basmati rice samples is crucial to certify it for customers, international rice trade,
and to qualify for zero import duty. Moreover, a number of Basmati importing countries insist for mandatory
purity certificate based on a DNA test.
                                                                   Benefits of DNA Authenticity Test
                                                                          for Seed Companies

                                                                  To meet the requirements of EU
                                                                  Regulation (EC) No 972/2006 for zero
                                                                   import duty
                                                                  Exploring potential of seed purity
                                                                  Testing of F1 seed purity importing to

                                                           Dr. Muhammad Arif , Principal Scientist of NIBGE
                                                           is testing authenticity of Super Basmati rice since
                                                           2004. Currently Dr Arif and his team has upgraded
                                                           its facility with assimilation of a CEQ-8000
                                                           Beckman Coulter Genetic Analyzer, for the
                                                           identification of admixture level in premium
                                                           Basmati rice with other long grain rice in given
                                                           sample. Thus even small percentage of other
                                                           varieties can be identified easily with this facility.
                                                           NIBGE is the first institute in Pakistan that now
                                                           offers DNA Genetic Analyzer facility for
                                                           certification of Basmati rice.

                                                            For more details;
                                                             National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering


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