These are the best restaurants in St Ives and you need to try them

These are the best restaurants in St Ives and you need to try them

News These are the best restaurants in St Ives and you need to try them All this talk of food is certain to make you hungry – and luckily this list of restaurants may help you pick where to go Share We think it may be time to make a reservation at one of these restaurants (Image: Getty)
No matter what you fancy there is a restaurant to tick every box in St Ives.
Whether you are a foodie who likes to Instagram all their meals, or simply someone who loves to eat, this Cambridgeshire town is home to a wide variety of cuisines fit for even the fussiest of eaters.
If you are a local to the area, consider yourself lucky to have all these choices right on your doorstep. But even if that’s not the case we think some of the eateries are definitely worth a journey too.
So, in no particular order, here is our guide to the best restaurants in St Ives. Slepe Hall Hotel
Starting from the top we have the restaurant in Slepe Hall Hotel, which is called Ramsey’s Brasserie. It is probably one of the more luxurious places to eat in St Ives.
The restaurant is open to both guests and non-guests so everyone can enjoy their great food at a fantastic price too.
All the menus have something for everyone with locally-sourced ingredients.
During the summer months, you can enjoy the menu relaxing on the terrace at the front of the hotel, whereas in the colder months you can cosy up by the fire in the bar area.
And judging by the hotel Instagram account – the food is enough to make anyone start drooling. Amore
With beautiful views of the river and even more beautiful-tasting food, Amore is a great choice for the family.
Amore is a Italian restaurant in St Ives, specialising in seafood.It promises to provide “only the highest quality of food by only using the best ingredients prepared with love and an unsurpassed passion for cooking”. With a legendarily warm and friendly atmosphere in the dining room, combined with the amazing food, a night at Amore is a memorable experience for all its customers.
And in the warmer months you can take a seat outside and bask in the sunshine while enjoying a hearty plate of pasta and a crisp glass of vino. Zzohanna
Newly refurbished restaurant Zzohanna is set and ready to go with a delicious Indian menu.
The restaurant has been designed with a warm and contemporary feel. Situated close to the riverside, some of the views from the restaurant are unbeatable.
It offers an extensive menu accompanied by a fine selection of wines to compliment the cuisine. Di Rita’s Italian
Di Rita’s is modern and sleek in style but it creates traditional Italian food, characterised by simplicity and good ingredients.
The restaurant opened in July 2016 by owner Andrew Di Rita whose dream it has always been to run his own Italian restaurant.
Andrew explained: “Being Italian I have always had a love for food, and as a young boy I worked in my father’s Italian restaurant. As soon as I stepped foot into the restaurant, I developed a strong passion and this was mainly due to other people’s delight at enjoying our food.”
He promises to produce the finest Italian dishes using fresh local produce. Cherry Valley Chinese restaurant
If you like a Chinese buffet for a set cost, delicious food freshly cooked to order and a warm and friendly atmosphere, then this is the one for you.
The Cherry Valley Restaurant is one of the most popular and highly regarded Chinese restaurants in the local area.
The restaurant offers great service and claim it is perfect for groups and special occasions. So if you feel like celebrating or just heading out for dinner with some friends, they are sure to fit the bill. The Golden Lion Hotel
Dining in the Golden Lion hotel is exactly what a meal or a casual bite to eat should be; a relaxed, enjoyable experience.
With a comprehensive yet unpretentious menu, there is plenty for even the fussiest of taste buds to savour. Guests are free to dine where they wish, be it from the main restaurant or lounge, the bar, or alfresco in the breezy courtyard.
They also cater for large tables, including their 14-seater table in the private dining lounge; a discrete area located just off the bar.
All the sweet treats, desserts and afternoon teas are made fresh on the premises by the talented and creative kitchen team. The White Hart
The White Hart is a family-owned inn dating back to the late 1600s, making it one of the oldest pubs still trading in St Ives.
Meals are served daily from a very extensive menu. The food ranges from roasts on a Sunday to the good old pub classics like traditional fish and chips.
In addition to the lovely beer garden, there are tables on the market square in front of the pub in the warmer months. The Welcome Chinese restaurant
The Welcome Chinese Restaurant, situated behind St Ives High Street, specialises in Cantonese and Malaysian cuisine.
The restaurant, which also serves Thai and Szechuan dishes, is spacious with a relaxing and sophisticated ambience.
Tables of all sizes are available, whether you want to go for a cosy, romantic dinner or celebrate a special occasion in a large group.
There is a buffet-style eating option on some nights and also a set menu on offer, so whatever you fancy they can cater for all. The Taproom
By day, The Taproom claims to be the place for you to enjoy good company and watch the world go by. And by night it is somewhere you can enjoy a great meal and even better drinks.
The relaxed setting allows you to catch up with friends and unwind over a drink and fabulous food. The dedicated chefs use fresh ingredients sourced from local suppliers.
From the pictures on its Instagram we can tell this is also a lively setting for a cocktail or two after you have finished your meal.
They also have a cute outdoor space for you to enjoy both drinks and food in the summer. Floods Tavern
This family-friendly pub is idyllically set on the picturesque banks of the River Great Ouse.
The restaurant claims to serve mouth-watering pub grub and, judging by their pictures, we would agree. All the food is freshly prepared and locally sourced for you to enjoy in the pub’s friendly atmosphere.
And if we do say so ourselves this looks a good one for a bit of carb indulgence.
Floods Tavern is a popular choice in the sunnier months with its tranquil riverside garden bar.
If you fancy a bit of live music while you drink or eat then this one is for you as they host live bands regularly. Montaz (Image: Montaz)
Montaz is a family-run restaurant focused on great quality Indian and Bangladeshi food with authentic village-inspired recipes.
Established back in the 1980s, the Montaz brand originated from the St Ives branch, since then it has gone from strength to strength.
If you fancy embarking on a truly authentic dining experience then head down to Montaz.
Have we missed any restaurants out? Let us know in the comments below. Read More

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Food for thought: curry and culinary revolution are in the air at food writer Sumayya Usmani’s ground-breaking new cookery school

I’M sitting in a kitchen in Glasgow talking to three people I’ve never met before about my struggles with daal and my woeful and ongoing attempts to tame the aubergine. From the nods of recognition around the table I can tell I’m not the only one who has faced these challenges and lost.
Take Sarah, who admits she needs to up her curry game (her phrase) and who’s left scratching her head at the gulf in class between the daal she produces – “stewed lentils” is how describes it – and the delicious dish her father’s Pakistani neighbours bring him. How come they can do it and she can’t? What’s the magic ingredient?
Or how about Siobhan, who admits she has needed to do something like this for a long time. “It’s not that I can’t cook,” she’s saying, “but I don’t find it calming. I find it very stressful. I’d like to eat better and I’d like to cook more, but because I don’t have that knowledge I guess it’s not very easy. If I haven’t got a lot of time I’d have to use a lot of brain power to cook something from scratch.”
The final member of our quartet is Colin, a sort-of vegetarian who eats fish and likes cooking, and whose approach to that wholesome art closely resembles my own. “I just chuck things in,” he says. Put another way, he’s more interested in learning the process behind cooking a meal than in being taught how to slavishly follow a recipe, ingredient by carefully measured ingredient.
And learning is primarily what we four are here to do. The “here”, by the way, is a kitchen in an old stable block in Glasgow’s Pollok Park and our teacher for the day is Herald On Sunday cookery writer Sumayya Usmani, a Karachi-born former lawyer who moved to London in 2006 and relocated to Glasgow three years ago.
As well as also being a blogger, food columnist and the author of two acclaimed cookery books – Summers Under the Tamarind Tree and Mountain Berries And Desert Spice – Usmani has now launched Kaleyard, a cookery school founded on social enterprise and communitarian principles which aims to put cookery skills and food knowledge into as wide a variety of hands as possible, from the disadvantaged to the socially isolated and those suffering from mental health conditions. She’s already working with two special needs schools in Glasgow on a project which is introducing children to cuisines from (among other places) France, India, Pakistan and Syria.
But she also runs straight cookery classes like this one, billed as an Indian vegan masterclass and promising to instruct us in the fine art of chapati-making and give us the low down on such delights as almond, cardamom and banana kolfi. And yes, daal and aubergines will feature prominently. We’re planning on making four dishes plus the chapatis, and once the cooking is done we’ll all sit down together and share what we’ve made. That, says Usmani, is as important a part of the process as the cooking itself.
“People have lost the ability to sit together and eat a meal and it’s that simple thing of sitting together and eating a meal that’s such an incredibly enlightening moment – when you take time away from your phones, from everyday life, from stresses, and you just talk about things,” she says as we take a breather from slicing cabbage and examining the intriguing array of spices laid out in front of us. “In Pakistan, our food is very communal. So in lots of places you sit round a big platter and everyone at mealtime shares that same platter. One of the main things is that we would never plate up food. We would always make it and share it together.”
Regarding Kaleyard, she says she thinks it important “to connect people in a non-confrontational space … a place where people come together to cook and eat and share irrespective of background, belief, faith, whatever. They come and they meet each other and they socialise. There’s a barrier-breaking energy when you cook together.”
Kaleyard also aims to heal what Usmani sees as a “disconnect” affecting Scotland generally but Glasgow in particular.
“There is this absolutely incredible produce but people don’t know where to get it and most importantly they don’t eat it primarily because they don’t know what to do with it. I think there’s a general fear of the produce because people think good produce means expensive produce which doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.”
And by produce she doesn’t necessarily mean just spuds, neeps or, yes, kale.
“Over the last 50 or 60 years Scotland has got a very rich culinary landscape because of immigration and, more recently, refugees, so I think there’s a time that we can celebrate what these people have brought into the country and actually teach people what to do with things. So I thought it’s nice to have a cookery school where people celebrate ethnicity, locality, and the seasonality of Scotland and learn to how to make really cost-effective food for their families.”
So Kaleyard is about connecting with others, de-mystifying cooking and de-mystifying and promoting this healthy local produce.
“There’s loads of spaces in Glasgow where there’s community cookery going on and that’s absolutely fantastic,” Usmani adds. “And I think there are some massive changes happening – in Glasgow generally there are loads of people working in the social community sector that are trying to change people’s eating habits. But there’s no specific cookery school that actually helps people learn and understand the relationship with food at grass roots levels.”
Now there is. To date, Kaleyard has been the recipient of two financial awards. Usmani has used the money to buy equipment and fund some of the community projects. The next stage is to apply for another, larger slice of funding which would provide her with a salary for a year and allow her to develop a business plan. She’s also looking to attract those investors who only put money into social enterprises. And she’s casting around for land and potential premises for a permanent home, while talking to kitchen companies who would be prepared to fit them out. Locavore, the Glasgow-based social enterprise organisation which now operates a shop, a market garden and a vegetable box scheme, took a similar route to funding and is now running successfully, she notes.
Usmani’s other model for Kaleyard is Square Food Foundation, a cookery school and community garden based in Bristol and run by local restaurateur Barny Haughton. Ahead of launching her new venture she spent time working there.
“Because I know Barny I just called and said to him ‘I want to come over’ and he said: ‘Come and spend three or four days and learn what we do’. They started small but now they have a lovely space in a community centre. They do loads of corporate dinners and stuff like that and then they do all their community work – they work with everyone from sex workers to young kids who want to be chefs, which is what I want to do.”
On now with the cooking. Today’s menu consists of Savoy cabbage sabzi with coconut, mustard seeds and curry leaves; a Moong tarka daal with tamarind chutney; a chickpea and aubergine curry; and the almond, cardamom and banana kulfi. Oh and we’ll be rolling out chapatis and cooking them on an extraordinary contraption Usmani bought in Karachi, a sort of upturned wok that sits over a naked flame. When I ask about weights and measures, how much of this and how much of that, she just says: “Eyeball it.” I like her style.
We spend an hour or two chopping, slicing and frying as well as listening and watching. We each have our own mini stove to cook on and the aromas wafting up from my pans as I tackle the ingredients – some mundane, some exotic – smell pleasingly authentic. I even manage to roll out a chapati and cook it without singing my beard, and at the end of it all we sit down to talk and eat and share.
Colin, it turns out, is involved with Tenement Veg, a market garden and workers’ co-operative based in the south of Glasgow. Sarah works for an inter-generational gardening project in South Lanarkshire that brings together children and older sufferers of dementia. For Usmani, who harbours ambitions to create a market garden and source her own produce, and who is reaching out to mental health charities, this information proves her point about what happens when people eat together: out come the stories and the personal histories, and with them comes mutual inspiration and (perhaps) some useful personal connections. “Can we stay in touch?” Usmani asks Sarah. Then, to me: “It’s great how you meet people”.
So what have been the culinary hits of the day? The ghee is a winner all round, it seems. Traditionally it’s made from re-clarified butter flavoured with spices but we’ve made a vegan version that uses coconut oil to which we’ve added turmeric, salt and curry leaves (fresh ones, not the dried sort you might find in a supermarket).
Elsewhere Colin has been quite taken by the asafoetida, a ground root which Usmani says reduces flatulence and Wikipedia tells me is sometimes referred to as Devil’s Dung. Sarah, meanwhile, liked the cabbage sabzi. “I use quite a lot of kale but sometimes I look at cabbage and go ‘Hmmm …’. But I wouldn’t have thought to fry it up with tomatoes,” she says between mouthfuls. For Siobhan, it’s the tamarind chutney which was really found favour, a dark, sticky condiment packed with heat, sweetness and a touch of lemony sourness. I’m quite taken by it too – so much so that there’s now a half-empty bottle sitting in my fridge.
“The only way to do business now, I think, is socially,” says Usmani after the empty plates have been cleared and we reflect on the day. “The way Glasgow should be is there should be no companies that are capitalist, all companies should be social. You can still get money, you can still earn a living – but you can help people.”
Cynics would sneer but Usmani, about as go-getting and energetic an individual as you could hope to meet, has no truck with that sort of negativity. “Do you know what the amazing thing is?” she adds. “I’ve noticed that if you think big, you get people who think like you coming to you”. And with Kaleyard there’s certainly no doubt that she is thinking big.
For me, the challenges are smaller but some victories have been won. There’s no question my daal has improved and, though I’m still not convinced I can bend the aubergine to my culinary will, I do at least have the tools now to try.
The next Kaleyard classes are on April 6 (Middle Eastern Vegetarian Masterclass) and April 12 (Modern Pakistani Pop-up Kitchen). Details of further classes are available on the website, www.kaleyard.org
Sumayya Usmani’s Sourdough Chapatis
Sumayya Usmani’s Vegan cardamom, almond butter and banana Kulfi
Recipe for moong tarka daal with tamarind chutney
Serves: 3-4 people as an accompaniment
Preparation and cooking time: 25-30 minutes (plus soaking lentils)
1 red onion, thinly sliced, fried until brown then rested on kitchen paper
250g moong daal (without husk)
1 garlic clove
1 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
Salt, to taste
1 – 2 tbsp vegan ghee
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 long dried red chillies
Salt to taste
5–6 curry leaves (fresh if possible)
½ bunch of coriander
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and cut into julienne
Handful of coriander and dill, chopped, for garnish
1 tsp chaat masala
2 tbsp tamarind chutney (can be bought in most Asian shops)
Begin by frying the onions and setting them aside for garnish. Then soak daal in a bowl of water overnight or for a couple of hours before cooking. When ready to cook the lentils, drain and put into a large saucepan with the garlic, red chilli powder, turmeric and cinnamon stick. Pour in 350ml of water, or enough to cover the daal and bring it to the boil. Cook for 15–20 minutes until the daal is soft. You may need to top up the water every now and then. Once the daal is cooked, add salt. If the daal is a little watery, using a wooden spoon, crush some of the daal around the sides of the saucepan and this will thicken the sauce. Put the daal in a serving bowl.
For the tarka: In a small frying or tarka pan, heat the vegan ghee over a medium heat until melted then add the sliced garlic; when it starts to brown lightly, add the cumin and mustard seeds – when they splutter quickly add dried red chillies and curry leaves and cook for about 5 seconds then immediately pour the tarka over. Garnish with chopped herbs, fried onions, ginger, tamarind and chaat masala.

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Thinking Of Booking A Grand Canyon Bus

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Great Pace to Stay for an Indian Wedding

We visited here with a large group for an Indian wedding. The hotel was perfect. It is located near the airport, and the staff could not be more accommodating. When my daughter in law had trouble with the Indian wedding dresses she had ordered, they stepped in and helped us resolve the issue with the shopkeeper. Neema at the front desk even came to the room to help tie the sari. When she realized we were missing a piece she loaned us something from her own wardrobe. Now that is what I call real service!nnThe beds are comfortable, the breakfast food has a nice variety of Western and Eastern cuisine, and all in all it was a very pleasant stay.

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Food for thought: curry and culinary revolution are in the air at food writer Sumayya Usmani’s ground-breaking new cookery school

I’M sitting in a kitchen in Glasgow talking to three people I’ve never met before about my struggles with daal and my woeful and ongoing attempts to tame the aubergine. From the nods of recognition around the table I can tell I’m not the only one who has faced these challenges and lost.
Take Sarah, who admits she needs to up her curry game (her phrase) and who’s left scratching her head at the gulf in class between the daal she produces – “stewed lentils” is how describes it – and the delicious dish her father’s Pakistani neighbours bring him. How come they can do it and she can’t? What’s the magic ingredient?
Or how about Siobhan, who admits she has needed to do something like this for a long time. “It’s not that I can’t cook,” she’s saying, “but I don’t find it calming. I find it very stressful. I’d like to eat better and I’d like to cook more, but because I don’t have that knowledge I guess it’s not very easy. If I haven’t got a lot of time I’d have to use a lot of brain power to cook something from scratch.”
The final member of our quartet is Colin, a sort-of vegetarian who eats fish and likes cooking, and whose approach to that wholesome art closely resembles my own. “I just chuck things in,” he says. Put another way, he’s more interested in learning the process behind cooking a meal than in being taught how to slavishly follow a recipe, ingredient by carefully measured ingredient.
And learning is primarily what we four are here to do. The “here”, by the way, is a kitchen in an old stable block in Glasgow’s Pollok Park and our teacher for the day is Herald On Sunday cookery writer Sumayya Usmani, a Karachi-born former lawyer who moved to London in 2006 and relocated to Glasgow three years ago.
As well as also being a blogger, food columnist and the author of two acclaimed cookery books – Summers Under the Tamarind Tree and Mountain Berries And Desert Spice – Usmani has now launched Kaleyard, a cookery school founded on social enterprise and communitarian principles which aims to put cookery skills and food knowledge into as wide a variety of hands as possible, from the disadvantaged to the socially isolated and those suffering from mental health conditions. She’s already working with two special needs schools in Glasgow on a project which is introducing children to cuisines from (among other places) France, India, Pakistan and Syria.
But she also runs straight cookery classes like this one, billed as an Indian vegan masterclass and promising to instruct us in the fine art of chapati-making and give us the low down on such delights as almond, cardamom and banana kolfi. And yes, daal and aubergines will feature prominently. We’re planning on making four dishes plus the chapatis, and once the cooking is done we’ll all sit down together and share what we’ve made. That, says Usmani, is as important a part of the process as the cooking itself.
“People have lost the ability to sit together and eat a meal and it’s that simple thing of sitting together and eating a meal that’s such an incredibly enlightening moment – when you take time away from your phones, from everyday life, from stresses, and you just talk about things,” she says as we take a breather from slicing cabbage and examining the intriguing array of spices laid out in front of us. “In Pakistan, our food is very communal. So in lots of places you sit round a big platter and everyone at mealtime shares that same platter. One of the main things is that we would never plate up food. We would always make it and share it together.”
Regarding Kaleyard, she says she thinks it important “to connect people in a non-confrontational space … a place where people come together to cook and eat and share irrespective of background, belief, faith, whatever. They come and they meet each other and they socialise. There’s a barrier-breaking energy when you cook together.”
Kaleyard also aims to heal what Usmani sees as a “disconnect” affecting Scotland generally but Glasgow in particular.
“There is this absolutely incredible produce but people don’t know where to get it and most importantly they don’t eat it primarily because they don’t know what to do with it. I think there’s a general fear of the produce because people think good produce means expensive produce which doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.”
And by produce she doesn’t necessarily mean just spuds, neeps or, yes, kale.
“Over the last 50 or 60 years Scotland has got a very rich culinary landscape because of immigration and, more recently, refugees, so I think there’s a time that we can celebrate what these people have brought into the country and actually teach people what to do with things. So I thought it’s nice to have a cookery school where people celebrate ethnicity, locality, and the seasonality of Scotland and learn to how to make really cost-effective food for their families.”
So Kaleyard is about connecting with others, de-mystifying cooking and de-mystifying and promoting this healthy local produce.
“There’s loads of spaces in Glasgow where there’s community cookery going on and that’s absolutely fantastic,” Usmani adds. “And I think there are some massive changes happening – in Glasgow generally there are loads of people working in the social community sector that are trying to change people’s eating habits. But there’s no specific cookery school that actually helps people learn and understand the relationship with food at grass roots levels.”
Now there is. To date, Kaleyard has been the recipient of two financial awards. Usmani has used the money to buy equipment and fund some of the community projects. The next stage is to apply for another, larger slice of funding which would provide her with a salary for a year and allow her to develop a business plan. She’s also looking to attract those investors who only put money into social enterprises. And she’s casting around for land and potential premises for a permanent home, while talking to kitchen companies who would be prepared to fit them out. Locavore, the Glasgow-based social enterprise organisation which now operates a shop, a market garden and a vegetable box scheme, took a similar route to funding and is now running successfully, she notes.
Usmani’s other model for Kaleyard is Square Food Foundation, a cookery school and community garden based in Bristol and run by local restaurateur Barny Haughton. Ahead of launching her new venture she spent time working there.
“Because I know Barny I just called and said to him ‘I want to come over’ and he said: ‘Come and spend three or four days and learn what we do’. They started small but now they have a lovely space in a community centre. They do loads of corporate dinners and stuff like that and then they do all their community work – they work with everyone from sex workers to young kids who want to be chefs, which is what I want to do.”
On now with the cooking. Today’s menu consists of Savoy cabbage sabzi with coconut, mustard seeds and curry leaves; a Moong tarka daal with tamarind chutney; a chickpea and aubergine curry; and the almond, cardamom and banana kulfi. Oh and we’ll be rolling out chapatis and cooking them on an extraordinary contraption Usmani bought in Karachi, a sort of upturned wok that sits over a naked flame. When I ask about weights and measures, how much of this and how much of that, she just says: “Eyeball it.” I like her style.
We spend an hour or two chopping, slicing and frying as well as listening and watching. We each have our own mini stove to cook on and the aromas wafting up from my pans as I tackle the ingredients – some mundane, some exotic – smell pleasingly authentic. I even manage to roll out a chapati and cook it without singing my beard, and at the end of it all we sit down to talk and eat and share.
Colin, it turns out, is involved with Tenement Veg, a market garden and workers’ co-operative based in the south of Glasgow. Sarah works for an inter-generational gardening project in South Lanarkshire that brings together children and older sufferers of dementia. For Usmani, who harbours ambitions to create a market garden and source her own produce, and who is reaching out to mental health charities, this information proves her point about what happens when people eat together: out come the stories and the personal histories, and with them comes mutual inspiration and (perhaps) some useful personal connections. “Can we stay in touch?” Usmani asks Sarah. Then, to me: “It’s great how you meet people”.
So what have been the culinary hits of the day? The ghee is a winner all round, it seems. Traditionally it’s made from re-clarified butter flavoured with spices but we’ve made a vegan version that uses coconut oil to which we’ve added turmeric, salt and curry leaves (fresh ones, not the dried sort you might find in a supermarket).
Elsewhere Colin has been quite taken by the asafoetida, a ground root which Usmani says reduces flatulence and Wikipedia tells me is sometimes referred to as Devil’s Dung. Sarah, meanwhile, liked the cabbage sabzi. “I use quite a lot of kale but sometimes I look at cabbage and go ‘Hmmm …’. But I wouldn’t have thought to fry it up with tomatoes,” she says between mouthfuls. For Siobhan, it’s the tamarind chutney which was really found favour, a dark, sticky condiment packed with heat, sweetness and a touch of lemony sourness. I’m quite taken by it too – so much so that there’s now a half-empty bottle sitting in my fridge.
“The only way to do business now, I think, is socially,” says Usmani after the empty plates have been cleared and we reflect on the day. “The way Glasgow should be is there should be no companies that are capitalist, all companies should be social. You can still get money, you can still earn a living – but you can help people.”
Cynics would sneer but Usmani, about as go-getting and energetic an individual as you could hope to meet, has no truck with that sort of negativity. “Do you know what the amazing thing is?” she adds. “I’ve noticed that if you think big, you get people who think like you coming to you”. And with Kaleyard there’s certainly no doubt that she is thinking big.
For me, the challenges are smaller but some victories have been won. There’s no question my daal has improved and, though I’m still not convinced I can bend the aubergine to my culinary will, I do at least have the tools now to try.
The next Kaleyard classes are on April 6 (Middle Eastern Vegetarian Masterclass) and April 12 (Modern Pakistani Pop-up Kitchen). Details of further classes are available on the website, www.kaleyard.org
Sumayya Usmani’s Sourdough Chapatis
Sumayya Usmani’s Vegan cardamom, almond butter and banana Kulfi
Recipe for moong tarka daal with tamarind chutney
Serves: 3-4 people as an accompaniment
Preparation and cooking time: 25-30 minutes (plus soaking lentils)
1 red onion, thinly sliced, fried until brown then rested on kitchen paper
250g moong daal (without husk)
1 garlic clove
1 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
Salt, to taste
1 – 2 tbsp vegan ghee
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 long dried red chillies
Salt to taste
5–6 curry leaves (fresh if possible)
½ bunch of coriander
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and cut into julienne
Handful of coriander and dill, chopped, for garnish
1 tsp chaat masala
2 tbsp tamarind chutney (can be bought in most Asian shops)
Begin by frying the onions and setting them aside for garnish. Then soak daal in a bowl of water overnight or for a couple of hours before cooking. When ready to cook the lentils, drain and put into a large saucepan with the garlic, red chilli powder, turmeric and cinnamon stick. Pour in 350ml of water, or enough to cover the daal and bring it to the boil. Cook for 15–20 minutes until the daal is soft. You may need to top up the water every now and then. Once the daal is cooked, add salt. If the daal is a little watery, using a wooden spoon, crush some of the daal around the sides of the saucepan and this will thicken the sauce. Put the daal in a serving bowl.
For the tarka: In a small frying or tarka pan, heat the vegan ghee over a medium heat until melted then add the sliced garlic; when it starts to brown lightly, add the cumin and mustard seeds – when they splutter quickly add dried red chillies and curry leaves and cook for about 5 seconds then immediately pour the tarka over. Garnish with chopped herbs, fried onions, ginger, tamarind and chaat masala.

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18th March,2019 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter

18th March,2019 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter Horeca signs distribution deal with GSP Foodstuff DUBAI Horeca Trade, a Bidfood company and a leading provider of international F&B brands in the UAE, has entered into an agreement with GSP Foodstuff Trading to distribute the rice producer’s Raj Mehak brand in the UAE’s foodservice channels. GSP, which has advanced plants in the basmati growing belt of northern India, uses internationally acclaimed Buhler technology to produce a variety of high-quality basmati rice under the Raj Mehak and other brands. Under the terms of the agreement, Horeca Trade will employ its extensive sales, marketing and e-commerce expertise to distribute Raj Mehak basmati rice and products to the country’s complete foodservice markets. Bidfood Middle East chief commercial officer, Wael Al Jamil, said: “We are delighted to induct the premier rice brand, Raj Mehak, into our wide portfolio of products catering to the needs of the foodservice industry. Our partnership with GSP underlines our commitment to further enhance our product portfolio with brands that meet the highest safety and quality standards.” The Gulf region is one of the biggest markets for Indian basmati rice, with the UAE being the major growth driver over the years. In addition to a major domestic market, the UAE is the largest re-exporter of rice in the world, accounting for 81 per cent of global rice re-export, according to Dubai Chamber. GSP Foodstuff Trading marketing director, Waris Hasnain, said: “There is a growing demand for premier quality basmati rice in the UAE. Horeca Trade’s extensive and multi-channel foodservice network provides us with a solid opportunity to reach out to a wider consumer base in the country.” Bidfood Middle East currently operates in five markets via the Bidfood stand-alone commercial entities in every market – Horeca Trade (UAE, Oman, Bahrain), Al Diyafa (Saudi Arabia) and Bidfood (Jordan). Bidfood ME collaborates with major brands such as illy Coffee, Sweet Street Desserts, San Pellegrino Waters, Lamb Weston, Monin, Fonterra, Bridor Bakery, General Mills and several other renowned brands. – TradeArabia News Service http://www.tradearabia.com/news/MISC_352296.html Hungry for biryani? Here are 7 places in the L.A. area to get your fill By BARBARA HANSEN APR 22, 2016 | 10:00 AM Chicken Dum Biryani is served with an egg and raw red onions at Kabob Corner Indian restaurant in Artesia, Calif. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times) Toss curry and rice together and you have biryani, right? Well, not exactly. This is what often passes for the beloved Indian rice dish at restaurants too pressed for time to make the real thing. A sumptuous dish once feasted on by Mogul rulers, biryani consists of ornately seasoned meat (chicken, lamb or goat) or vegetables layered with rice. For a lamb or goat biryani, the meat is marinated for hours with spices, then cooked with still more seasonings, such as ground cumin and coriander and perhaps mint and cilantro. The rice, most often basmati, is as important as the meat; long, slender grains are prized, and broken grains indicate careless stirring. The final touch is a decorative sprinkle of saffron over the top. The Indian city most known for biryani is Hyderabad, in the south. There, in the palace of the ruling elite, cooks perfected what is known as the “dum” style of cooking, steaming the layers of meat and rice in a pot sealed with dough so no vapors could escape. Northern India and Pakistan have their own styles of biryani. In Chennai in the south, meat and rice may be cooked separately, then combined. The favored rice is short-grain jeera samba , named for its resemblance to cumin seeds ( jeera ). Genuine biryani may be rare in Los Angeles, but it does exist, mostly in Artesia’s Little India — where it’s fun to seek out the dish on the weekends, when large amounts are prepared for the crowds of shoppers who flock to the local markets, sweet shops and sari boutiques — but also at a few places on the Westside and in the San Fernando Valley. Here are seven places to try it. Annapurna Cuisine Vegetable biryani may sound dull, but at this South Indian vegetarian restaurant, where chef Bala Murugan is from Chennai, it’s both spicy and rich. A dozen or so spices plus fresh mint, cilantro and green chiles enhance the mix of carrots, cauliflower, potato, green beans, peas, basmati rice and fried onions. When the biryani is ready, butter is placed on top to seep through the layers. If this were India, the biryani would cook with heat underneath and coals on top of the pot. That’s not allowed here, so Murugan makes do with a container of hot water on the lid. For relief from the spicy flavors, Annapurna provides raitas made with cucumbers, pomegranate arils, pineapple and boondi , which are tiny, crisp chickpea flour balls that soften as they soak in the yogurt. 10200 Venice Blvd., No. 101, Culver City, (310) 204-5500, www.annapurnacuisine.com Hyderabadi Chicken Dum Biriyani is topped with raw red onions at Biriyani Factory Indian restaurant. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times) Biriyani Factory Indian Restaurant This small restaurant hardly looks like a factory, but it offers plenty of South Indian biryanis, including three Hyderabadi dum biryanis and a nizam biryani, named for the former rulers of the Indian state. Bezawada biryani — named for a city in the state of Andhra Pradesh — incorporates fiery, fried red chicken. Some of the rice grains are broken, but the biryani is charmingly presented in a lined copper pot. The accompaniments are raita and coconut-flavored gravy. On Saturdays and Sundays, the restaurant offers avakai biryani, based on an Andhra-style mango pickle. The other is ulavacharu biryani, made with horse gram; both are vegetarian. 18521 Pioneer Blvd., Artesia, (562) 860-6322, and 21510 Victory Blvd., Woodland Hills, (818) 883-2345. Also in San Diego . Muradabadi biryani as served at India’s Oven. (Glenn Koenig/ Los Angeles Times / Los Angeles Times) India’s Oven Of the four biryanis at this Westside restaurant, the must-try is the Muradabadi from Uttar Pradesh in northern India, made by executive chef Dewan Bisht, who is from Muradabadi. He makes it with lamb marinated for many hours with yogurt, red chiles, garlic, ginger and turmeric. As the meat cooks, he adds more spices, along with cilantro, mint and fresh green chiles. Then he layers the meat with partly cooked rice and places the sealed pot in the oven. The outcome is buttery, tender lamb. The other three biryanis are prawn, vegetable and Hyderabadi chicken. All the meats are halal, and Bisht, who has more than 40 years of experience, prepares a different spice masala for each dish. 11645 Wilshire Blvd., second floor, Los Angeles, (310) 207-5522, www.indiasovenwilshire.com Chettinad Chicken Biryani is served at Kabob Corner Indian restaurant. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times) Kabob Corner This South Indian restaurant is the place for classic Hyderabadi biryani made dum style — and the rice is flawless. Tender, impressively long grains are piled high, concealing the goat or chicken beneath. The rice at the top is white, some of it golden with saffron. Below, the color deepens because the rice has absorbed the rich masalas. The garnishes are traditional: a hard-boiled egg, a red onion slice and a lemon wedge. The accompaniments are yogurt-cucumber raita and a chile sauce thick with ground peanuts, sesame seeds and coconut. On weekends, it’s sometimes possible to try Chettinad chicken biryani, named for a part of the state of Tamil Nadu known for spicy food. Ranjit Muthu, the chef, is from Chennai, the state capital, and knows this style of biryani well. The biryanis are available only in the evening or on the weekend. 18728 Pioneer Blvd., Artesia, (562) 809-4455 Shrimp Biryani, consisting of basmati rice, red onion, hard boiled egg, lime, cilantro, and medium breaded shrimp, is on the menu at Paradise Biryani Pointe. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times) Paradise Biryani Pointe This chain, with locations across the U.S., claims to have the best biryani in the country. That’s a big boast, but the rice at the branch in Artesia is first-rate, with long, unbroken grains. Although chicken dum -style biryani with meat on the bone looked magnificent, only a few pieces were tucked under the rice. Other Hyderabadi-style biryanis at Paradise come with boneless chicken, goat, egg or vegetables, and a branch in Canoga Park has shrimp biryani. The accompaniments are cumin-scented raita and a golden gravy (made with peanuts) with a sourish tang. The chain specializes in northern Indian Moghlai and tandoor food, so if the biryani seems on the smaller side, you can always fill up with a side order of chicken tikka masala. 18158 Pioneer Blvd., Artesia, (562) 666-2334. Also 7231 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park, (818) 348-4454, laparadisebiryani.com Chicken 65 Biryani is a favorite item at Pickles Indian Cuisine restaurant. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times) Pickles Indian Cuisine There are 18 variations of biryani to choose from here. Owner Kavita Potla is from Amaravati, the new capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh, replacing Hyderabad. Thus, Amaravati chicken biryani is on the menu, as well as Hyderabadi dum biryanis made with lamb, goat or shrimp. One of the restaurant’s specialties is chicken 65 biryani, a spicy mix of rice and intensely red chicken. (If you’re worried about spice, it’s wise to state the desired heat level.) An interesting regional specialty is thalappakatti biryani from Chennai made with short-grained jeera samba rice, goat or chicken, mint and curry leaves. The biryanis come with raita , not pickles, despite the restaurant’s name. 11688 South St., Suite 107, Artesia, (562) 860-3999, www.picklesindiancuisine.com The Biryani as served at Zam-Zam Market. (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times) Zam-Zam Market Westsiders were bereft when the Pakistani restaurant Zam-Zam disappeared from Culver City at the end of 2014. A year later, it reopened in Hawthorne, serving its legendary Karachi-style biryani. Zam-Zam makes two batches a day, sometimes three, to satisfy the demand. Each batch of 50 servings contains 20 pounds of chicken and 10 to 12 pounds of rice, except on Saturdays, when the biryani is made with lamb. Marinated with ginger, garlic, garam masala and other spices, the chicken is layered with parboiled basmati rice, which, according to Fozia Siddiqui, who runs the front of the house, holds up better than ordinary basmati in large batches. Her husband, Fahim Siddiqui, is the chef. Instead instead of the usual raita , he makes a tangy, lemony, pale green puree of mint, cilantro, jalapeños, green tomatoes and lemon juice. Zam-Zam also has a shop stocked with Indian and Pakistani basics. The restaurant has just four tables and no printed menu, so customers can order what’s available that day. Or, to be safe, place orders in advance. 13649 Inglewood Ave, Hawthorne, (310) 978-1927 Mar 18, 2019 Rice Farm In fulfilment of maintaining national food security, the Assin North District has expressed its commitment to prioritise the cultivation of hybrid rice under the “Special Rice Initiative” (SRI). Dubbed “Public private partnership for competitive and inclusive rice value chain development: Planting for Food and Jobs – Rice Chapter,” the project is aimed at increasing rice production, strengthening and expanding access to output markets among others. The move is also intended to adopt a two-tier approach on short, medium and long-term solutions to enable the government achieve its sub-sector goal of becoming self-sufficient in rice production to improve the livelihoods of 128,763 farmers by 2020. Mr Francis Kwame Freeman, the District Director of Agriculture, who announced this said the interdependence on rice imports would significantly reduce. Ghana has since 2015 spent over a billion dollars on rice imports annually regardless of the fact that fertile lands were available for the growing rice to feed the whole of West Africa but it was importing rice to that tune. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) in November 2018 entered into a 2.5 million euro Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement to boost rice production of in the country known as “Ghana Rice Initiative”. Championed by the German Government and implemented by AGRA and other partners, the innovative initiative is expected to last 36 months beginning last November. It also intends to adopt a two-tier approach on short, medium and long-term solutions to enable the government achieve its sub-sector goal of becoming self-sufficient in rice production to improve the livelihoods of 128,763 farmers by 2020. Nationally, the project will be implemented in the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Northern, Central and Volta regions with about 130,000 farmers from 110 districts in the beneficiary regions supplied with subsidised certified seeds under the project. The District Director of Agric explained that government has put in place a number of measures to cause a permanent change in the structure of the sector by halting the importation of basic commodities, especially rice, and increase export. He said government’s interventions in the sector included horticulture development, perennial crop development, irrigation development, agriculture mechanization promotion, agriculture financing and private sector investments. Government, under the Planting for Food and Jobs, is supporting farmers with certified seeds, marketing services, e-agriculture, fertilizer and extension services to boost crop production in the country, the lowest in the sub-region. Mr Prince Osei Poku, the District Crops Officer, identified some challenges in the sector to include the lack of effective extension services to help educate farmers on improving farming technologies. He urged farmers to adopt modern agronomic practices and best farming methods to increase crop yield. ‘RUN!’: NZ shooting victims recount horror, mourn the loss By AP | Posted: Sat 7:28 AM, Mar 16, 2019 CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) – They had walked that once innocuous stretch of sidewalk side-by-side so many times. Every Friday, Yasir Amin and his dad had ambled along the path toward the mosque where they prayed together in peace, a routine so serene and so ordinary that Amin was nearly blinded by confusion when the man drove up with the gun. Amin and his father, Muhammad Amin Nasir, were just 200 meters from the Al Noor mosque on Friday when everything went wrong. They had no idea that a white supremacist had just slaughtered at least 41 people inside the mosque’s hallowed halls, or that more people would be killed at a second mosque soon after. All they knew was that a car that had been driving by had suddenly stopped. And a man was leaning out the car’s window, pointing a gun at them. “RUN!” Amin screamed. The bullets began to fly. The men began to run. But at 67, Nasir couldn’t keep up with his 35-year-old son. And so he fell behind, by two or three fateful steps. Amid the blasts, Amin turned to scream at his father to get down on the ground. But his father was already falling. The gunman drove away. A pool of blood poured from Nasir’s body. “Daddy!” Amin screamed. “Daddy! DADDY!” Amin had never seen anyone shot before. He left Pakistan for Christchurch five years ago, and was embraced by a multicultural city that felt like the safest place on earth. His father, who farms vegetables, wheat and rice back in Pakistan, also fell for the leafy green city at the bottom of the world. And so Nasir began making routine visits to see his son, sometimes spending up to six months in New Zealand before returning to Pakistan to tend to his crops. Nasir had been in town only three weeks for his most recent visit when he was shot three times on the street of the city he had adopted as a second home. From the ground, Nasir stared up at his son, unable to speak, tears running down his face. Amin ran to his car to grab his phone and called the police. Officers quickly arrived, and soon the father and son were in an ambulance racing to the hospital. Nasir had always been more than just a dad to Amin. When Amin was just 6, his mother died, leaving Nasir to raise him along with his four siblings. Nasir became both a father and a mother, a reliable source of laughter with a huge heart. He embraced Amin’s new community of New Zealand friends as if they were his own family. And in turn, the community embraced Nasir — so much so, that it initially confused him. The elder man was baffled by the constant chipper greetings of “Hello!” he received whenever he dropped Amin’s children off at school. Why do they keep saying that to me? he asked his son. Amused, Amin explained that the locals were simply trying to welcome him, their own version of the Arabic peace greeting, “As-Salaam-Alaikum.” Amin chuckled at the memory on Saturday, one day after he brought his father to the hospital. Nasir remains in an induced coma with critical injuries, though his condition has stabilized. The bullets pierced his shoulder, chest and back. Like many other victims struggling to cope with the horrific events of Friday that left 49 dead, Amin made his way to Hagley College near the hospital. The college was serving as a community center for the grieving, and members of the public poured in with meals and drinks, doling out hugs and words of support to those in need. Outside the college, Javed Dadabhai mourned for his gentle cousin, 35-year-old Junaid Mortara, who is believed to have died in the first mosque attack. As of Saturday, many families were still waiting to find out if their loved ones were alive. “He’s very punctual, so he would’ve been there at a dime. He would’ve been there at 1:30,” Dadabhai said, a reference to the time of the attack, which began soon after. His cousin was the breadwinner of the family, supporting his mother, his wife and their three children, ages 1 to 5. Mortara had inherited his father’s convenience store, which was covered in flowers on Saturday. Mortara was an avid cricket fan, and would always send a sparring text with relatives over cricket matches when Canterbury was facing Auckland. “The sad thing is he was actually due to come up to Auckland next weekend for a family wedding,” Dadabhai said. “We were due to have a catch-up. But I never knew a more shy, soft-spoken kind of person. … As cousins, you’d kind of make fun of the fact when someone’s so gentle like that, but he’s leaving a huge void.” The long wait for information on the status of the dead was particularly painful because Muslim tradition calls for burials within 24 hours of a person’s death. Dadabhai said the community was trying to be patient, because they understood there was a crime scene involved. “But it’s hard, because until that happens, the grieving process doesn’t really begin,” he said. For some families, patience had worn thin by Saturday, and frustration erupted as they waited to find out the status of their relatives. Ash Mohammed, 32, of Christchurch, pushed through a police barricade outside the Al Noor mosque Saturday morning, desperate for information, before police held him back. “We just want to know if they are alive or dead,” he could be heard telling an officer at the barricade. In an interview later, Mohammed said he was desperate for information about his brothers, Farhaj Ashashan, 30, and Ramazvora Ashashan, 31, and his father, Asif Vora, 56, who were all at the mosque on Friday. “We just want to know, are they alive or not alive so we can start the funerals,” he said. “The hospital’s not helping, cops not helping. Somebody has to help get the answers.” As Amin waited and worried over the fate of his father, he was also focused on trying to protect the youngest members of his family. He and his wife have so far tried to shield their children from hearing about the attack. But on Friday, Amin’s wife briefly turned on the news and an image of an ambulance popped onto the screen. Their 5-year-old son immediately dove under a table, assuming there was an earthquake. Christchurch, no stranger to disaster, suffered a devastating quake in 2011 that left 185 dead. Though his relatives back in Pakistan now fret that New Zealand is too dangerous, Amin believes Christchurch is the safest place in the world. And he hopes that his funny, fiercely loving father will pull through, so they can immerse themselves once again in the friendly hellos and the peaceful Friday prayers they have long cherished. Like Amin, Farid Ahmed refuses to turn his back on his adopted home. Ahmed lost his 45-year-old wife, Husna Ahmed, in the Al Noor mosque attack, when they split up to go to the bathroom. The gunman livestreamed the massacre on the internet, and Ahmed later saw a video of his wife being shot dead. A police officer confirmed she had passed away. Despite the horror, Ahmed — originally from Bangladesh — still considers New Zealand a great country. “I believe that some people, purposely, they are trying to break down the harmony we have in New Zealand with the diversity,” he said. “But they are not going to win. They are not going to win. We will be harmonious.” TNAU and IRRI Research Cooperation on Digital Agriculture 16 March, 2019 5:21 PM IST By: Abha Toppo A team of researchers from the Philippines visited the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) to find out the possibility of developing a joint research project in digital agriculture. The prime focus of the scientists visit was to talk about research cooperation between the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the TNAU on Remote Sensing-Based Information and Insurance for Crops in the Emerging Economies (RIICE) along with other international agriculture research initiatives. According to officials, recently the scientists from various departments in TNAU held a meeting with Tri D Setiyono, Cluster Leader of Geospatial Science and Modeling, IRRI and Dr. JS Prasad, Retired IRRI Scientist from Hyderabad. Mr. Setiyono had organised a workshop on “Crop monitoring strategies through remote sensing & crop modelling” and also talked with scientists as well as students. The International Rice Research Institute is the premier research organization in the world, which is dedicated to reduce poverty along with hunger through rice science; improve the health & welfare of the rice growers and consumers and to preserve the rice-growing environment for the future generations. It is an autonomous, nonprofit, research & educational institute, established in 1960 by the Ford & Rockefeller foundations with help from the Philippine government. The institute, which is headquartered in Los Baños, has branches in 17 rice-growing nations in Asia & Africa. https://krishijagran.com/agriculture-world/tnau-and-irri-research-cooperation-on-digital-agriculture/ Philippine water shortage hits more than 6 million people in and around nation’s capital Water supplies will be cut for at least six hours a day for more than a million households until the rainy season fills dams and reservoirs in May or June Published: 11:42pm, 14 Mar, 2019 A couple carries empty containers looking for places to collect water in Mandaluyong, metropolitan Manila. Photo: AP More than 6 million people have been affected by a water shortage in large areas of the Philippine capital and a nearby province, with long queues forming for rationed water, and businesses and some hospitals struggling to cope after taps ran dry. A spokesman for Manila Water Company, Jeric Sevilla, said on Thursday that water supplies will be cut for at least six hours a day for an estimated 6.8 million people in more than a million households until the rainy season fills dams and reservoirs in May or June. A man sits beside rows of buckets as he waits for water trucks in Manila on Thursday. Photo: AP The company, one of two government-authorised water suppliers in the densely populated Manila metropolis and nearby Rizal province, said a spike in demand and reduced water levels in a dam and smaller reservoirs in the sweltering summer are the culprit, exacerbated by El Nino weather conditions. Manila Water, which supplies water to the eastern half of the capital, initially tried to cope with the limited supply by reducing pressure but it did not work since some communities in hilly areas complained of not getting water for long hours. The company then decided to schedule water supply interruptions starting on Thursday, Sevilla said. Explained: How climate change will affect Asia “The concept is for everybody to share the burden,” he said by phone. “Nobody wants this to happen. The welfare of our customers is foremost in our mind and we’re taking steps to mitigate the situation.” Residents in more than a dozen cities and towns are expected to lose their water supply from six to 21 hours a day through the summer months, the company said in an advisory notice that appealed for public understanding. In the hard-hit city of Mandaluyong, residents lined up for hours with pails and water jugs to get water from fire trucks. “We have no water. It has been one week, not a drop in our tap,” said resident Richie Baloyo. “There are children going to school, people need to work, how do you expect them to collect water like this?” A woman cleans empty washing machines at a laundromat in Manila. Photo: AP Many water-dependent businesses, such as car washes and laundry shops, have closed temporarily. Some restaurants have started using paper plates or porcelain plates covered with disposable plastic sheets to conserve water. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III made an urgent appeal to relatives of hospital patients to “limit the watchers of your patients to one” to reduce water use. Five years on, Canada’s dumped garbage is still causing a big stink in the Philippines Congress is to hold inquiries next week into the cause of the crisis. The government has been blamed for decades of delay in constructing another dam and other related infrastructure. Manila Water has been criticised for not adequately preparing for contingencies. “El Nino is not really the culprit,” Sevilla said. “It’s actually supply and demand.” In the Philippines, importing rice has long been controversial but food shortages may force the government’s hand · Resistance to buying rice abroad has eased in recent months, following a bout of severe inflation · The Philippines is the world’s second-largest importer of rice after China https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/3001762/philippine-water-shortage-hits-more-6-million-people-and Assin North to prioritize rice cultivation this year In fulfillment of maintaining national food security, the Assin North District has expressed its commitment to prioritize the cultivation of hybrid rice under the “Special Rice Initiative” (SRI).Dubbed “Public private partnership for competitive and inclusive rice value chain development: Planting for Food and Jobs – Rice Chapter,” the project is aimed at increasing rice production, strengthening and expanding access to output markets among others. The move is also intended to adopt a two-tier approach on short, medium and long-term solutions to enable the government achieve its sub-sector goal of becoming self-sufficient in rice production to improve the livelihoods of 128,763 farmers by 2020. Mr Francis Kwame Freeman, the District Director of Agriculture, who announced this, said the interdependence on rice imports would significantly reduce. Ghana has since 2015 spent over a billion dollars on rice imports annually regardless of the fact that fertile lands are available for the growing of rice to feed the whole of West Africa but it was importing rice to that tune. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) in November 2018 entered into a 2.5 million euro Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement to boost rice production of in the country known as “Ghana Rice Initiative”. Championed by the German Government and implemented by AGRA and other partners, the innovative initiative is expected to last 36 months beginning last November. It also intends to adopt a two-tier approach on short, medium and long-term solutions to enable the government achieve its sub-sector goal of becoming self-sufficient in rice production to improve the livelihoods of 128,763 farmers by 2020. Nationally, the project will be implemented in the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Northern, Central and Volta regions with about 130,000 farmers from 110 districts in the beneficiary regions supplied with subsidized certified seeds under the project. The District Director of Agric explained that government has put in place a number of measures to cause a permanent change in the structure of the sector by halting the importation of basic commodities, especially rice, and increase export. He said government’s interventions in the sector include horticulture development, perennial crop development, irrigation development, agriculture mechanization promotion, agriculture financing and private sector investments. Government, under the Planting for Food and Jobs, is supporting farmers with certified seeds, marketing services, e-agriculture, fertilizer and extension services to boost crop production in the country, the lowest in the sub-region. Mr Prince Osei Poku, the District Crops Officer, identified some challenges in the sector to include the lack of effective extension services to help educate farmers on improving farming technologies. He urged farmers to adopt modern agronomic practices and best farming methods to increase crop yield. Source: GNA Highlights of China’s science and technology news Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-17 18:22:49|Editor: Yang Yi BEIJING, March 17 (Xinhua) — The following are the highlights of China’s science and technology news from the past week: — China’s Long March carrier rocket series completed 300 launches, having sent more than 500 spacecraft into space since 1970. — China has made significant progress in developing key technologies of the heavy-lift carrier rocket the Long March-9, which will help China realize manned lunar exploration, taking samples from Mars back to Earth, and other deep space explorations. — Research findings from China’s Tianzhou-1 Space Mission have shown that the microgravity environment in space promotes heart cell differentiation of mice induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, providing new perspectives on future human space travel. — China’s space-tracking ship Yuanwang-3 sailed to the Pacific Ocean for upcoming monitoring missions. — China’s lunar rover Yutu-2, or Jade Rabbit-2, has driven 163 meters on the far side of the moon and is expected to work longer than its three-month design life. — Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, developer of China’s C919 passenger aircraft, has started construction of its customer service training base in Jiaxing, east China’s Zhejiang Province. — Chinese researchers have found that the lake water storage in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau increased by 140.8 cubic kilometers from 1990 to 2013. — After using satellites and cameras, Chinese researchers have managed to use tree ages to accurately record glacier changes that happened centuries ago in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the world’s Third Pole. — A Chinese cat lover and engineer built an AI-powered shelter for stray animals in winter. — Chinese scientists have designed a new screening method for hepatitis B carriers, to detect early-stage hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of primary liver cancer. — Chinese researchers have put forward a new deployment plan for the Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)-based network to tackle China’s shortage of IP addresses. — A recent Chinese study has shown that long-term exposure to PM2.5, a major particle matter pollutant increases the risk of diabetes. — Chinese researchers have found that perovskite solar cells can retain most of their power conversion efficiency in near space, providing perspectives on the new solar cells’ future application in space. — An international study found that freshwater aquaculture in ponds converted from rice paddy fields may cause a significant rise in methane emissions, a major greenhouse gas responsible for global warming. http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-03/17/c_137902192.htm How safe are the red mud reservoirs in the Central Highlands? VietNamNet Bridge – The tailings dam break at Corrego do Feijao in Brazil in January has raised the fear that a similar disaster may occur at the red mud reservoirs in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. A report from Greenpeace about the accident, which killed more than 120 people, showed that mercury and arsenic content in the red mud on the site was ‘surprisingly high’. The accident has once again sparked worry about the safety of the red mud reservoirs at Nhan Co and Tan Rai bauxite mines, though Vinacomin, the investor of the projects, has reassured the public that the reservoirs are safe. An analyst said Vale, the owner of Feljao mine in Brazil, is the second largest mining group in the world and the biggest iron exploiter and pellets processor. Feijao is an open cast mine. “This means that incidents may occur even when the mining is carried out by a large corporation.” Local newspapers reported that in 2018, due to the high rainfall, deep holes appeared next to the tailings dam at Nhan Co bauxite project in Dak Nong province, which may lead to subsidence and dam failure. This once occurred in Hungary in 2010 The discharge from sorting workshops to iron containing reservoirs includes iron pieces w smaller than 1 mm, mud and water from sludge settling machines. If the waste water spills into ponds, lakes and fields, it will kill fish, microorganisms, rice and crops. In Vietnam, an incident at the bauxite tailings reservoir occurred at Tan Rai mine in Lam Dong province on October 8, 2014. The discharge from sorting workshops to iron containing reservoirs includes iron pieces w smaller than 1 mm, mud and water from sludge settling machines. If the waste water spills into ponds, lakes and fields, it will kill fish, microorganisms, rice and crops. Scientists said there is a risk of alkaline leaking into underground and rainwater, which may lead to the spillover at the Tan Rai and Nhan Co red mud reservoirs. The waterproofing panels used to line the bottom of the reservoirs are mostly geotechnical membranes. Experts advise against using this membrane in an alkaline environment and for a long time. Studies have found that this membrane is only suitable for waterproofing chemicals for 50 to 100 years. HDPE film has very good resistance against chemicals, but it will crack in the environmental pressure and heat. The Tan Rai project uses this type of membrane. Scientists have warned of the possible pollution to the water underground system. Designers and contractors of reservoirs in Vietnam all say they strictly follow technical regulations. However, accidents still occur. The accident at Na Lung mine in Cao Bang in 2010 buried hectares of rice fields and houses. Devdiscourse News Desk Gitega Burundi Updated: 16-03-2019 21:02 IST Created: 16-03-2019 21:02 IST Chinese experts hired Ndayikeje as their assistant and taught him how to grow Chinese hybrid rice. Afterwards, he was able to teach farmers from other villages to do the same. Image Credit: Pixabay Evrard Ndayikeje, a Burundian farmer has recently won an award given by the Chinese Embassy for those who have a high production of Chinese hybrid rice in Ninga village in northwestern Burundi. The yield of Ndayikeje’s rice field reached some 11 tons per hectare in the last season. But before he learned rice-growing techniques from Chinese agricultural experts, he could only harvest three tons per hectare. The Chinese government has dispatched four agriculture expert groups to Burundi since 2009. The current group comprises nine members — seven agriculture experts and two translators. They introduced Chinese hybrid rice to the central African country and started to grow the species in a roughly 48-hectare field in Ninga village in 2018, bringing together some 130 families and over 1,000 people to join the program. “They changed my life in a short time,” said Ndayikeje, who was one of the participants. “Before I met the Chinese experts in 2016, I didn’t have work for two years after graduating from university, and I grew traditional rice on my family’s land, but didn’t have much production and didn’t have money,” the 29-year-old said. Chinese experts hired Ndayikeje as their assistant and taught him how to grow Chinese hybrid rice. Afterwards, he was able to teach farmers from other villages to do the same. “I got married one year later and was financed by the money earned from growing Chinese hybrid rice. I have my own house now,” he said. Because of his ability to grow rice, the Burundian government employed him as a member of the national committee for the development of the environment, agriculture and livestock in Bubanza province, where Ninga village is located. After reaping a good harvest in the first season that concluded in February, the village has started the second season’s demonstration production, said Yang Huade, chief of the Chinese agriculture experts group. The average production reached 10 tons per hectare in the first season, increasing from 4 tons per hectare before, Yang said. To help Burundian farmers become self-reliant in growing Chinese hybrid rice, the Chinese experts cooperated with the Burundian government in helping villagers establish a fund which pools part of farmers’ incomes from growing rice to buy seeds, fertilizers and chemicals for new production. Besides training farmers, the experts also train government officials, agricultural technicians and researchers in the agricultural sector to ensure technical support, as reported by Xinhua. To serve the Burundian farmers better, 55-year-old Yang and his fellows spend 20 days every month on average in different fields across the country. “Our farmers have a good production now. When we can have that production in the whole country, Burundi can be developed,” said Deo-Guide Rurema, Burundian minister of environment, agriculture and livestock. Burundi wants to continue its agricultural cooperation with China and promote cooperation in other fields including vegetable production, the minister said. China will further push forward the agricultural development of Burundi in line with the needs and the actual situation of the country, said Chinese Ambassador to Burundi Li Changlin. A Reversal for KUBOTA CORP ORDINARY SHARES (OTCMKTS:KUBTF) Is Near. The Stock Has Decrease in Shorts Posted by Darrin Black on March 16, 2019 at 6:36 pm The stock of KUBOTA CORP ORDINARY SHARES (OTCMKTS:KUBTF) registered a decrease of 51.66% in short interest. KUBTF’s total short interest was 525,600 shares in March as published by FINRA. Its down 51.66% from 1.09 million shares, reported previously. With 2,400 shares average volume, it will take short sellers 219 days to cover their KUBTF’s short positions. It closed at $13.75 lastly. It is down 0.00% since March 16, 2018 and is . It has underperformed by 4.37% the S&P500. Kubota Corporation manufactures and sells a range of machinery, and other industrial and consumer products in Japan, North America, Europe, Asia, and internationally. The company has market cap of $16.93 billion. The Company’s Farm & Industrial Machinery segment provides tractors, power tillers, combine harvesters, rice transplanters, lawn mowers, utility vehicles, other agricultural machinery, implements, attachments, post-harvest machinery, vegetable production equipment, and other agricultural equipment; cooperative drying, rice seedling, and gardening facilities; and rice mill plants. It has a 13.9 P/E ratio. This segment also offers farming, construction, industrial machinery, and generator engines; mini excavators, wheel loaders, compact track and skid steer loaders, and other construction machinery related products; and scales, weighing and measuring control systems, vending machines, air-conditioning equipment, and air purifiers. More news for Kubota Corporation (OTCMKTS:KUBTF) were recently published by: Seekingalpha.com , which released: “Kubota Has Grown Gangbusters – Seeking Alpha” on June 17, 2015. Seekingalpha.com ‘s article titled: “Motion Control Leader Nabtesco Moves Toward High Margin Service Model – Seeking Alpha” and published on September 25, 2017 is yet another important article. PDS rice worth Rs 2.28 lakh seized India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 16 Mar 2019, 06:58 pm #PDSRiceSeized , #RiceSeized Eluru, Mar 16 (UNI) The Vigilance and Enforcement department officials seized Rs 2.28 lakh worth 12,680 Kilograms of rice, meant for Public Distribution Scheme (PDS) and while being transported illegally in a truck at Sivapuram village in Chintalapudi Mandal of West Godavari district on Saturday. According to Vigilance and Enforcement department officials, on a tip-off, the Vigilance and Enforcement, Civil Supplies, Revenue officials stopped a truck near Saibaba temple in the village. They found PDS Rice in white plastic bags in the truck. The officials said that the rice was being transported from Gurubhatlagudem village in Chintalapudi Mandal to Tadepalligudem in this district. The officials later seized 12,680 Kilograms of PDS Rice worth Rs 2,28,240, a Lorry and a Motorbike. A case was registered under section 6(A) and 7(1) of the Essential Commodities Act 1955, and AP PDS Control order-2018 against the driver of the lorry P Ramu, Transporter Vanama Vasu and other person K Radha Krishna. BY ANNA RAY ON MARCH 16, 2019 ENVIRONMENT , EVERYTHING ELSE Aquaculture promises to feed an ever-growing population, replacing the ‘poor-man’s protein’– rice – with fish protein. However, the conversion from rice paddies to create aquaculture environments is having far reaching and unintended consequence for global warming. Researchers across the globe have been focusing their efforts towards understanding how anthropogenic actions affect the quantities of GHGs in the atmosphere. Key to understanding the underlying mechanisms of emissions are the microbial interactions inherent in soil processes. “Paddy fields produce huge quantities of methane when decaying plant material is broken down by microbes called methanogens in the oxygen-free waterlogged paddy soils. But in the aquaculture ponds that are replacing the paddy fields, vast quantities of food are added to feed the crabs and fish that are being grown in them, and that massively increases the amount of rotting material for the methanogens to produce even more methane.” There are ways of reducing the amount of Methane produced from these areas, namely aeration of the fields: this is an aspect of the studies that promises hope . However, applying these types of technology in rural areas of China can be considered a barrier to lowering emissions. “We have known for some time that rice paddies were bad for global warming. But the realisation that there’s a “hidden” new source of problems is taking these threats to whole new level.” Nigeria: Impact of Anchor Borrowers Programme On the Economy – CBN By Obinna Ogbonna and Mark Itsibor President Muhammadu Buhari had observed that the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN -initiated Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) will lift thousands of small farmers out of poverty and generate millions of jobs for unemployed Nigerians. These words of hope and confidence have materialized in millions of naira in the pocket of many of Nigeria’s peasant farmers of yesterday. Indeed, Emefiele has effectively driven CBN’s command room to a stable exchange rate, moderated inflation and reduced import substitution regime in a period of fluid turf apex banking. Rightly, he deserves some accolades for keeping faith with the vision of President Buhari by demonstrating uncommon commitment and patriotism for home-grown products for the diversification of the productive and revenue base of the country’s economy. He is, unarguably, changing it from one that was hitherto a mono to a multi-product economy and conserved her foreign reserve by curbing the appetite for imported goods that can easily be produced locally. The CBN’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme which has emerged to become the most successful of all government intervention programmes in recent history was launched by President Buhari in 2015. It is one of the intervention programmes for sustainable economic growth of the CBN. In his remarks at the launching of the agricultural programme and flag-off of the 2015 dry season farming in Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State, the President frowned at the huge sums spent by Nigeria on the importation of food items that could be produced locally, stressing that Nigeria’s N1 trillion importation bill at the time was not sustainable. Prior to introduction of the ABP, allocation of foreign exchange to the importation of items such as rice, wheat, milk, tomato, fish, cotton and fertilizer among others, had contributed greatly to the depletion of the nation’s foreign reserves, especially in the face of low oil revenue resulting from falling oil prices. The implication was rising unemployment and escalating food imports. This prompted the CBN, under the leadership of Emefiele to shift from concentrating only on price, monetary, and financial system stability to act as a financial catalyst in specific sectors of the economy particularly agriculture; in a bid to create jobs on a mass scale, improve local food production, and conserve scarce foreign reserves. The apex bank had set aside a portion of the N220billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund to finance agricultural projects at a single-digit interest rate of nine per cent. Chiefly among the aims was to create economic linkages between over 600,000 smallholder farmers and reputable large-scale processors with a view to increasing agricultural output and significantly improving capacity utilization of integrated mills. Noticeably, the gap between the levels of local rice production and domestic consumption has been reduced within a space of three years. Perhaps more than any other institution in Nigeria, the CBN has demonstrated a passionate commitment to the support of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the Agribusiness value chain through its various development finance interventions and schemes. Other areas the bank has distinguished itself also include: Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL); Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF); The Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilization Facility (NEMSF); Entrepreneurship Development Centres (EDCs); Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YEDP); Export Stimulation Facility (ESF); Agri-business/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS), Paddy Aggregation Scheme (PAS); Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS); and the very successful Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) which has recorded an outstanding success in terms of reducing the nation’s food import bills and boosting the income levels and financial capacity of local farmers. At the last count, 200,000 smallholder farmers from 29 states of the federation are already benefitting from the N43.92 billion released through the CBN and 13 participating financial institutions to fund the agricultural programme. As at October 2018, 2.5 million direct jobs had been created through implementation of the Anchor Borrowers’ scheme, according to President Buhari. About 1 million more indirect jobs are believably created also. A total number of 862,069 farmers cultivating about 835,239 hectares of land, cultivating 16 different commodities including Rice, Wheat, Maize, Cotton, soya-beans, Poultry, Cassava and Groundnuts, tomato, in addition to fish farming had already benefited from the programme. The initiatives were undertaken in close collaboration with the states. On the brag list of the current federal government today is the fact that the administration has produced over seven million 50Kg bags of fertilizer through the CBN intervention programme. “Eleven blending plants with a capacity of 2.1 million metric tons have been reactivated. We have saved $150 million in foreign exchange and N60 billion in subsidy. Fertilizer prices have dropped from N13, 000 per 50Kg bag to N5, 500,” President Buhari had disclosed while pointing to some of the achievements of the ABP. Another revolution, similar to what was recorded in the production of rice has started in Nigeria as the CBN has made good its promise to support massive tomato production in commercial quantity in the country. Already, tomato processing plants have started springing up in parts of the country that would soon make Nigeria self-sufficient in the commodity, thanks to the support programme of the CBN. During a facility tour of Dangote Tomato Processing Factory and farms in Kadawa, Garun Malam Local Government Area of Kano State recently, Mr. Emefiele enthused that Nigeria now has a major Tomato processing Plant in Dangote farms, which he said has the capacity to meet nationwide demand of tomatoes in the country. The good news is that the initial challenges encountered by the project have been overcome with the acquisition of greenhouses for the production of high yield seedlings with the collaboration of the CBN. Mr Emefiele therefore, expressed delight that “with the initial daily production of a million tomato nurseries alone, more people would be encouraged to embrace farming thereby creating jobs for our people along the entire value chain and reverse the exportation of jobs”. Apart from that, another N2 billion Gino Tomato processing plant and farm has sprung up in Kaduna State, owing to the support of the CBN’s agricultural support Anchor Borrowers’ Programme. The plant has the capacity to mill 30 tons of fresh tomatoes a day. According to the Director, Corporate Affairs department of GBfoods, Dr. Teddy Ngu the whole land is about 100 hectares, while the farm area is about 30 hectares. He said about 16 hectares have already been cultivated, while the plan is to plant the entire area. “We plant in phases so that we can harvest in phases,” he stated, explaining that the idea is to keep the factory running continuously. “In the long run, we are going to move to 3,000 hectares,” he added. The ban on 44 items from accessing forex from official windows, and deliberate standardization of agricultural products in Nigeria largely through the support of the Anchor Borrowers’ scheme has long started making significant impacts on both home and external fronts. For example, the fourth quarter (Q4 2018) report on Nigeria’s provisional Balance of Payments (BoP) estimates that was released a few days ago indicates a significant improvement as the country recorded a surplus of $2.80 million, compared to the huge deficit of $4.542 billion recorded the preceding quarter. It had also recorded a surplus of $6.180 billion in the corresponding period of 2017, according to a “Brief on Balance of Payments Statistics for Fourth Quarter 2018,” released by the Central Bank. A balance of payments surplus meant that Nigeria exported more than it imported during the period under review. What that means is that Nigeria is up again to play its role in global trade. Furthermore, it is pertinent to mention here that so far, the overall impact of these interventions is the enhanced operational capacity of the SMEs that has translated into a reflation of Nigeria’s economy with attendant growth and development. From Kebbi, Ebonyi, Anambra and Cross Rivers to Kano States – among other parts of the federation, the ABP has given a good boost to local rice production, creating jobs and empowering many across the country. Why It Started In Kebbi President Buhari was in Kebbi to flag off the 2015/2016 Dry Season Rice and Wheat Farming as well as the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ programme in 2015 which is a financing model assistance for small holder farmers in the country. The Anchor Borrower programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria was kick started to develop rice production in the country with Kebbi State as starting point and model. The CBN programme launched by president Buhari in Kebbi, provides a flat form for a tripartite collaboration between rice farmers, rice millers as up -takers and commercial banks. Under the programme, CBN provide loans to the farmers which will be accessed through commercial banks and rice processors. The selection of Kebbi for the programme was not by accident but for the fact the land of equity is in the forefront of the production of rice in the country and the prospect of other crops like Wheat, Sorghum, Millet, Sugarcane, Groundnuts and other arable crops are promising as acknowledged by President, the CBN, and other stakeholders in the farming sector. Kebbi State is blessed with rich agricultural potentials, large water bodies and favourable climate conditions for diverse agricultural production which employs more than 80 per cent of our people. An investigation carried out by LEADERSHIP revealed that large chunk of the farming communities engaged predominantly in rice and wheat farming taking advantage of only 36.46 per cent of the estimated land area out of 37,698.69km. This indicates that the there is still large expanse of land that can be converted to agricultural use. According to 1968 FAO survey , the state is endowed with 420,000 hectares of Fadama land out of which 170 ,000 hectares have shallow extractable aquifers suitable for year round irrigation. Kebbi has also sizable water bodies which support irrigation and fisheries activities with 50 per cent of the total Fadama land on the banks of Rima River, 34.7 per cent on river Niger, 4.1 on Zamfara River while remaining 11.2 per cent are on minor tributaries. These endowments have made the state a major supplier of rice, fish, groundnuts oil and vegetables especially onions. Perhaps also Kebbi’s promising position in agriculture especially rice farming attracted President Buhari’s attention to use Kebbi as a model of his administration’s agricultural policy and economic diversification agenda largely because the international or global oil market is no longer dependable. President Buhari spearheaded the zeal of federal government in agricultural production and transformation when he led the campaign for rice production in Kebbi. The CBN Governor, at the event, said that the programme was designed to create economic linkages between farmers and processors, not only to ensure agricultural output of rice and wheat but also close the gap between production and consumption. The CBN boss further explained that over 200,000 rice and wheat farmers will benefit from the scheme ranging from N150, 000 to N250, 000 and to assist in procuring necessary agricultural input. The CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Programme, according to Mr Emefiele, which kicked started in Kebbi was also targeting to change Nigeria from a major importer to a major exporting country as well as provide food security for the nation. Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu assured that the state has the capacity and potential to produce rice and wheat for both domestic and external consumption. Kebbi State has demonstrated full commitment in helping farmers to achieve maximum production of food especially rice within the last four years. Bagudu has demonstrated a lot of political commitment and support for the overall success of the programme by also supporting farmers with input, fertilizer, financial assistance to flood ravaged farming communities and aerial spray against birds and insects which runs into millions of naira. The success story of the Anchor Borrowers programme in Kebbi State is glaring in spite of some challenges it faced. It has recorded an achievement that surpasses the one million tonne of rice production target in the second year of introducing the scheme. This was as a result of many people including civil servants, women and youths who went back to the farms and engaged in rice production. Another major achievement was the springing of private rice mills in the state paving the way for more investment flow. Both Big and mini rice mills have been established in the state all owned by private investors. The state can boast of two large modern rice mills now, the Labana Rice Mills and Wacot .This is apart from many mini rice mills being established by private individual farmers across the state. It will recalled that the state witnessed the commissioning of Labana Rice Mills Limited by the Hon Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh. The rice mill provides high quality parboiled rice for not only Kebbi but Nigerian populace. It was specially designed with sophisticated machinery from Switzerland. The massive rice farming under the CBN Anchor Borrowers programme has turned around the lives of many farmers to becoming rich. In fact, in the second year of the programme, majority of the Muslim faithful who went to Saudi Arabia on Holy Pilgrimage to Mecca were farmers who got their money from the sale of their rice. Apart from that, many other farmers got married or boost their businesses with the proceeds they got from their rice. All these are clear testimony of how many farmers in Kebbi became millionaires from the rice farming venture. Nafiu Bashar (32) is a young farmer in Birnin Kebbi which used the fortune he got from his rice farm to marry a second wife ” Yes it is obvious that young men like me who took this advantage of growing rice,really reaped the benefit because it is from my rice sells that I got the money to marry a second and now I am planning to go to the holy pilgrimage. You can call me a young millionaire. ” Women too are not left out of the success story, Hajiya Suwaiba Aliyu although a widow with three children said she picked up from what her husband left before he died some four years ago ” I used to prepare food for him and take it to the farm and I watched how he worked in the farm. So when he died I took up the challenge and obtained the “Anchor Borrowers loan package. Initially in my first harvest I didn’t record much from my two hectares of land but in the second season it kept on multiplying”, she said. On his part, the Chairman of Rice Farmers Association Kebbi State chapter, Alhaji Muhammad Sahabi opined that the Anchor Borrowers Programme in Kebbi is very successful as it assisted farmers to enhance their businesses since it was introduced four years ago. “The Anchor Borrowers Programme has largely been a success in Kebbi State, we have more people who were not rice farmers before now venturing into the activity and that has gone along away in contributing to the overall rice production in Nigeria. As you know Kebbi State is the largest rice producer in Nigeria”, he said. The Chairman also suggested how the programme can be improved to accommodate more people as well as enhance the quality of the product. He made a passionate request to CBN and all the stakeholders involved in the system. “Expand the programme to increase the number of farmers who can actually benefit from the scheme, I know that in the first year, we covered over 75,000 farmers in Kebbi. Efforts should be geared towards expanding the programme so that it will accommodate more farmers especially large scale farmers, because Anchor Borrowers as it is designed now is meant only for small scale farmers with about 1 to 5 hectares in the maximum .In Kebbi State we have more farmers who have lands as large as 100 hectares or more and these farmers want to be included. I also want the programme to include simple farm machineries to do away with issues of drudgery in rice farming. As at now most of the work is done manually using hands and I know our technology can address such issues of manual labour. We have small machines that can transplant rice, harvest and even thresh rice. So I want it to be introduced to small scale farmers to use them as alternative to manual labour”, he said. The Anchor Borrowers Programme was established by the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN to fast track the development of the Nigerian economy by providing credit facilities to commercial agricultural enterprises at a single digit interest rate. It is a programme that aims at enhancing national food security, increasing output, and generating employment as well as diversify the revenue base of the economy. It has recorded tremendous success in Ebonyi State. According to the Ebonyi State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Chief Ogodo Ali Nome, in 2016, the state accessed N2billion, another N3billion in 2017 while in 2018 another N5billion was accessed adding that with the funds released, the state now produces over 1.2 million tonnes of rice annually. Chief Nome noted that currently, the state has over 72,000 hectares of rice plantation with a target of six tonnes per hectare production and added that the loan was judiciously used to support farmers, especially, those involved in rice production. The Commissioner noted that the N2 billion loan secured in 2016 went a long way in giving thousands of Ebonyi farmers the enablement to scale up their participation in the rice revolution. He pointed out that the loan, in no small measure, assisted in lifting many families from abject poverty and became a source of empowerment to many of the youths who would otherwise have remained jobless and a threat to the society. In one of the Agriculture summit held at the Akanu Ibiam International Conference Centre, Abakaliki where hundreds of farmers who benefited from the CBN/Ebonyi State Anchor Borrowers programme converged to narrate their success story, Governor Dave Umahi said:”We want to domesticate rice production in Ebonyi State and we are going beyond individual production. We are now beginning to see how we can institute what we call rice mega cities in each local government area where by we have 5,000 hectares of land dedicated for rice production in each of our local government areas. “Already, we have four rice mills that are in operation and you also see private people that are milling with their traditional machines. We are planning to cultivate 100,000 hectares of land to produce 400,000 tonnes of rice in the next two years. “On behalf of the good people of Ebonyi State, let me express my most profound gratitude to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele;, the Governor of Kebbi State, His Excellency, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, and to the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbe, for the friendly cooperation and professional partnership that you have extended to the farmers of Ebonyi State”. I must also express deep appreciation to the very professional and competent staff of the CBN, particularly those who have been connected in one way or other with the Ebonyi rice revolution. The evolving partnership between our farmers and the apex bank, especially in respect of the Anchor Borrowers scheme, could not have gained traction but for the professionalism and dedication of the staff of the Bank who have tirelessly and patiently engaged our farmers at every turn in the laborious process. The significant progress that we have made in our determination to raise the quantum of rice produced in Ebonyi State from a modest annual average to a projected 190,000 metric tons of rice paddy could not have been possible without the financial support of the CBN”. “It has, above all, made our dream of food security a realistic one. The Bank filled a major gap for us. Although we needed and still need more, but what we got was precisely what has made it possible for our farmers to cultivate more than 30,000 hectares of land during the wet season of 2016”. According to the Commissioner, in 2016, the State government accessed the sum of N2billion and procured farm input which include, Rice seedlings, Cassava stem, fertilizer for rice and cassava production and urea. In 2016, the state according to the commissioner through the scheme procured 40 tractor machines which were given out to farmers on hire basis. He stated also that in 2016, a total of 14, 662 rice and cassava farmers benefitted from the scheme. He further disclosed that in 2017, the state government accessed another N3billion from the CBN scheme while in 2018, another N5billion was also accessed adding that between 2017 and 2018, 30,000 farmers benefitted also from the farm inputs. The Commissioner said that apart from the farm inputs which was distributed to the farmers through their associations and cooperative societies, each of the farmers was also given the sum of N25, 000 for land preparation. In an interview with some of the beneficiaries of the Anchor Borrowers scheme in Ebonyi state, the State Chairman, Cassava Growers Association, Mr. Paul Njoku said that the group joined the programme in 2018 and expressed the confidence that they will record bumper harvests in cassava cultivation and attributed the development to the pragmatic agricultural policies put in place by the Central Bank of Nigeria in collaboration with the Governor David Umahi- led administration in the state. Mr. Njoku said that before the inception of the present administration, such scheme existed but regretted that the funds usually end up in the pockets of politicians and their cronies and added that the present administration through the Agricultural summit convened by the state government identified genuine farmers and cooperative societies and dealt directly with them instead of allowing politicians to embezzle the funds. He said that there has been tremendous increase in the number of farmers cultivating cassava in the state pointing out that the number of farmers who have indicated interest to join the programme for the 2019 scheme has already tripled. He stated that many youths in the state are now self-employed and are no longer looking for white collar job in the cities of Nigeria. The Ebonyi State Chairman of Farmers Co-operative Society, Mr. Godwin Aka who was a signatory to the procurement of the loan scheme for government in 2016 said that rice farmers, millers and rice distributors in the state since 2016 have been counting their gains and could not have wished for a better programme. Mr. Aka who commended the Federal government for the ban on importation of foreign rice said that apart from the enhanced patronage of local rice, which had boosted the economic status of rice farmers, the price of the product has stabilised and might even fall drastically due to massive production in the state. According to him: “since the commencement of the scheme and the sincerity of purpose on the part of the state government and the Central Bank of Nigeria, there has been a tremendous improvement in the production of rice and other commodities in the state. Apart from Rice production, many farmers have ventured into Cassava cultivation, Yam, palm seedlings and even livestock. The scheme, in no small measure, has prompted the stability of price of rice in the state without fluctuating. There is no gainsaying it that the ban on importation of foreign rice into the country has also provoked an increase in the consumption of local rice, thereby triggering massive production. A visit to the Abakaliki Rice Mill will convince anyone that both the rich and the poor now testify to the natural taste of the locally produced rice”. Before now, consumption of foreign rice is seen as a luxury, even those who cannot afford it go as far as borrowing to buy foreign rice but today the Federal government initiative with the encouragement of the CBN loan scheme has changed the narrative. The increased patronage has made us to produce more rice,” he said. As the Chairman of Farmers Co-operative Society, we meet at different fora to brainstorm on the way forward and from our observation, the story has been the same in other parts of the country, as there has been dramatic increase in quantity of rice produced by rice farmers across the country”. The Chairman of Ebonyi State Rice Farmers Association, Mr. Uchenna Mbam said that the state government met the target of producing 350,000 tonnes of rice, which it set for the 2016 farming season adding that in 2017 and 2018, 500, 000 tonnes of rice are projected. He stated that the state was able to achieve that feat because the state government invested massively in rice production in 2016, 2017 and in 2018 farming season. The Chairman Rice Farmers further pointed out that the government’s determination to revolutionise rice production in the state was because of its comparative advantage over other states in the area of rice farming adding that efforts were underway to ensure that Ebonyi reclaimed its position as the highest rice producing state in West Africa. Sunday 17th March, 2019 By Isaac Arkoh, GNA Assin-Fosu (C/R), March 17, GNA – In fulfilment of maintaining national food security, the Assin North District has expressed its commitment to prioritise the cultivation of hybrid rice under the “Special Rice Initiative” (SRI). Dubbed “Public private partnership for competitive and inclusive rice value chain development: Planting for Food and Jobs – Rice Chapter,” the project is aimed at increasing rice production, strengthening and expanding access to output markets among others. The move is also intended to adopt a two-tier approach on short, medium and long-term solutions to enable the government achieve its sub-sector goal of becoming self-sufficient in rice production to improve the livelihoods of 128,763 farmers by 2020. Mr Francis Kwame Freeman, the District Director of Agriculture, who announced this said the interdependence on rice imports would significantly reduce. Ghana has since 2015 spent over a billion dollars on rice imports annually regardless of the fact that fertile lands were available for the growing rice to feed the whole of West Africa but it was importing rice to that tune. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) in November 2018 entered into a 2.5 million euro Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement to boost rice production of in the country known as “Ghana Rice Initiative”. Championed by the German Government and implemented by AGRA and other partners, the innovative initiative is expected to last 36 months beginning last November. It also intends to adopt a two-tier approach on short, medium and long-term solutions to enable the government achieve its sub-sector goal of becoming self-sufficient in rice production to improve the livelihoods of 128,763 farmers by 2020. Nationally, the project will be implemented in the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Northern, Central and Volta regions with about 130,000 farmers from 110 districts in the beneficiary regions supplied with subsidised certified seeds under the project. The District Director of Agric explained that government has put in place a number of measures to cause a permanent change in the structure of the sector by halting the importation of basic commodities, especially rice, and increase export. He said government’s interventions in the sector included horticulture development, perennial crop development, irrigation development, agriculture mechanization promotion, agriculture financing and private sector investments. Government, under the Planting for Food and Jobs, is supporting farmers with certified seeds, marketing services, e-agriculture, fertilizer and extension services to boost crop production in the country, the lowest in the sub-region. Mr Prince Osei Poku, the District Crops Officer, identified some challenges in the sector to include the lack of effective extension services to help educate farmers on improving farming technologies. He urged farmers to adopt modern agronomic practices and best farming methods to increase crop yield. GNA Cedi Depreciation: Injection Of $800 Million A Lazy Man’s Approach—Former Minister By Azure Imoro Abdulai The current depreciation of the Ghana cedi currency has raised anxiety among importers and the business community. This has generated public discussion lately for which many are calling on the government to arrest further depreciation of the cedi. The finance ministry of Ghana, has, therefore, been compelled to announce measures targeted at stabilising the cedi and halt its further depreciation. One of such measures as announced by the finance minister is the injection of some 800 million dollars into the economy. This approach, an outspoken former Deputy Minister of Trade and former MP Murtala Mohammed Ibrahim, has described as a lazy man’s approach in dealing with the issue. Comrade Mohammed Murtala Ibrahim said the approach is just a temporary measure and that within two to three months the problem will resurface again. Hon. Murtala Ibrahim made these comments on radio gold news analysis programme- Alhaji and Alhaji on Saturday. “If you don’t deal with the basic fundamentals affecting imports and export, you can inject millions of dollars into the economy, the problem will simply not go away” the deputy minister alluded. Hon. Murtala said under the previous regime under his Excellency John Dramani Mahama measures were taken to reduce the importation of some essential commodities such as rice, sugar, and pharmaceuticals. For example, the former deputy minister said rice importation had reduced significantly up to 40% with a corresponding increased in the local production of rice close to 60%. “While the NDC was spending an insignificant amount of 500 million dollars on general importation, the NPP is spending a whopping amount of 1billion dollars in the importation of rice alone” Again, the former deputy minister has alluded to the fact that Ghana was heavily importing pharmaceuticals and sugars Which was exerting so much pressure on the cedi, hence the depreciation of the cedi, so as part of permanent measure to arrest the cedi, the then government gave support to pharmaceuticals companies in the country to expand and able to manufacture and produce more drugs locally than importing. This he said have contributed in stabilising the local currency under the NDC administration. The Komenda Sugar Factory was another practical demonstration of the Mahama administration in dealing with the depreciation of the cedi. “His Excellency John Dramani Mahama having realised that the huge importation of sugar into the country have affected the performance of the cedi, initiated the establishment of a sugar factory in Komenda from a facility from the Indian Exim bank” If the NPP government had ensured that the sugar factory is up and running our country will not have to spend so much in importing sugar thereby putting undue pressure on the cedi. The former MP said. Hon Murtala Ibrahim concluded by calling on Ghanaians not to throw their hands in despair and that they have an option to put the country back on track by voting out the NPP government since they do not have practical solutions in dealing with the many challenges that the Ghanaian people are confronted with. He called on the finance minister to come out with a practical and more sustainable way of stabilising the cedi. PH to lose right to impose safeguard measures on imports of agri products Published March 16, 2019, 10:00 PM By Madelaine B. Miraflor The Philippines will soon lose its right to impose safeguard measures on imported agriculture products, a top agriculture official said. Agriculture Undersecretary Segfredo R. Serrano said the Rice Tariffication Law, which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last month, will not only remove volume restrictions on rice importation. It also amended Republic Act (RA) No. 8800 or the ‘Safeguard Measures Act’. RA 8800 is an act protecting local industries by providing safeguard measures to be undertaken in response to increased imports and providing penalties for violation. Under the law, Philippines shall apply a general safeguard measure upon a positive final determination of the Tariff Commission that a product is being imported into the country in increased quantities, whether absolute or relative to the domestic production. “If you invoke RA 8800, you have the option to impose a temporary or a tenured QR [quantitative restriction] to stem prejudice or damage to the industry. It is a very effective measure,” Serrano said. “Now, that [kind of security] wouldn’t be available to all agriculture products. That’s the biggest whammy on the agriculture sector. There would be no safeguards for rice imports, technically,” he added. Other commodities to be affected by this measure include pork and chicken. Serrano referred to these commodities as “collateral damage” just so the government can finally implement the Rice Tariffication Law. To be specific, the Rice Tariffication Law seeks to replace the QRs on rice imports with tariff as required by the country’s commitment to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Serrano said the removal of the safeguard measure is one of the reasons why the Department of Agriculture (DA) initially opposed the law’s implementation.“[We made oppositions to these] but to no avail. Now that the President already signed it, we decided to keep our mouth shut. Now we just want the IRR [Implementing Rules and Regulations] of the law to at least see to it that the law’s effect to other sectors will be alleviated,” Serrano said. The government’s target to release the IRR of the Rice Tariffication Law last March 5 was not met. The new target would either be this week or next week. During the meeting of the National Food Authority (NFA) Council last week, the Council was only able to approve the draft IRR of the law and did not release anything. “It’s in the hands of NEDA [National Economic and Development Authority] now. The Council already agreed to approve the resolution ad referendum. As soon as it is done the three secretaries — NEDA, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Budget and Management —will sign the IRR,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said earlier. Piñol said since the draft IRR only needed “simple amendments”, he doesn’t think it will take NEDA take too much time to come up with the IRR’s final version. The release of the IRR of the Rice Tariffication Law will pave the way for the law’s actual implementation. Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) Executive Director Jayson Cainglet said in an earlier interview that under a liberalized scheme, the Philippine government can always impose import ban depending on the season and on the amount of rice that is available in the market. “It is within the power of the government to impose import ban. All the countries do that. It should be included in the IRR [the Implementing Rules and Regulations] of the law. As long as the government can prove that the amount of imported rice that entered the could already injure the local rice sector, it should be okay to impose the ban,” Cainglet said. This was later on backed by Piñol, saying that technically, it is part of the law. Based on the Rice Tariffication Law, the tariff rate for imported rice coming from member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) like Thailand and Vietnam is about 35 percent. Outside ASEAN, the tariff rate will be higher at 50 percent. The law also says that tariff rate could go as high as 180 percent, but it didn’t cite specific scenarios that will trigger such. Piñol said a supply glut could push the tariff rate this high or when the local farmers are already suffering from the oversupply. “When you increase the tariff to 180 percent, who else will import? That is technically an import ban,” Piñol said. Source: citinewsroom.com Aveyime rice factory abandoned over lack of funds The Aveyime Rice factory According to the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie-Akoto, since 2015, Ghana has been spending over a billion dollars to import rice into the country.However, industry players say this figure could be an underestimation of the true picture on the ground.The Deputy Minister for the sector, Robert Ahomka Lindsay speaking at a Ghana-Vietnam trade and investment promotion forum held in Accra last year, said Ghana imported rice worth 1.1 billion dollars in 2017 alone; adding that rice importation into the country takes 82% of all imports into the country. Interestingly, although the country spends such a huge amount on rice importation into the country, government continues to pay lip service to the local rice industry which analysts say has great potential. Peasant and commercial rice farmers as well as investors in the country are unhappy with how successive governments have failed the sector. Quality Grain Company, now Prarie Volta Limited, popularly called the Aveyime rice farm has been left dormant. It is no secret however, that from the farm to the dining tables, Rice is a staple food consumed across the world. According to statistics, the total global consumption of milled rice amounted to approximately 477.77 million metric tons in 2016/2017 alone. Countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, India, USA and Brazil, have become wealthy and food sufficient through the commercial production of rice.But Ghana’s story is different, as the sector is virtually dead. One of such typical examples is the Aveyime Rice Farm.Successive governments have for years attempted to bridge the widening gap in rice imports by investing in commercial rice production, but all these efforts did not see the light of day. In an attempt to sustain the dream of commercialized rice production in the country, the government of Ghana on 16th May 2007, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with an American based Investor, Prairie Texas Incorporated (PTI) to provide a framework for investment, management and governance of rice production through the defunct Quality Grains Company Limited under a new name, Prairie Volta Limited PVL. According to the investment agreement, PTI owned an initial 70 percent shares valued at 2.5 million Dollars ($2.5,000,000), while the government of Ghana through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture MoFA, owned 30 percent shares also valued at One million dollars ($1,000,000) which was donated through the assets of the defunct Quality Grains project.In addition to its equity contribution, PTI was further obliged per the agreement to secure from external sources all financing and capital needed for development works and services of the project estimated at Three Million US Dollars (US $ 3,000,000) at the time. Moving forward, Prairie Texas Incorporated PTI invested one million dollars ($1,000,000) cash as its initial equity contribution. However, in a bid to raise some more capital for the project, PTI sold 30 percent of its 70 percent shares to Development Finance and Holdings Limited (DFHL), a subsidiary of the Ghana Commercial Bank.As a result of the transaction, a capital of $1,500,000 was realized from the sale of the 30% shares bringing the total equity contribution of PTI to 2.5 million dollars. This transaction, however, changed the shareholding structure of the company with PTI holding 40% shares, DFHL of GCB also holding 30% shares and the government of Ghana through Ministry of Food and Agriculture also holding 30% shares. With this arrangement, the farm was opened to business in 2009 to 2015 when operations came to a halt.According to the foreign investors, this was as a result of several factors which had to do with finance.According to the Finance Manager of Prarie Volta, Richard Amoasi, one of the factors had to do with “government pegging the value of the asset at 8.2 million dollars when it was purchased by Prarie Volta. Meanwhile, these assets have been sitting down for ten years without usage.”“The said amount was sitting on our balance sheet as a debt which was a major challenge which prevented the investors from securing any funds elsewhere in the world including the World Bank which was ready to provide us with some funding. One other challenge that worked against us had to do with land compensation. There were times we go to the farm to work and the chiefs prevented us because they have not been compensated.”“The third challenge that also worked against us had to do with the interest rate at the time. The interest rate was so so high that it was not feasible to run a rice farm in Ghana with an interest rate of 37%. The fourth challenge had to do with the equipment as the equipment we inherited were old and outmoded and most of which had lied idle for long and looked rusty,” he lamented. According to a board member representing PTI, Eric Addo Mensah, one key challenge had to do with the equipment as the company had to spend huge sums of money to make them usable.“When we took over, the equipment had been lying down for over ten years so a number of them were faulty and no longer in production,” he said.According to Deputy MD of GCB Bank, Socrates Affram, who also doubles as a board member of PVL, he mentioned multiplicity of challenges as factors that worked against the company which largely had to do with equipment and finance. But the Legal Director at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Seth Dumoga who was also a board member of the defunct PVL Company, the collapse of the project was because the investor, PTI failed to bring in the needed capital to run the project as expected.“Prarie Texas had the management and they had to bring in the needed working capital but they run out of working capital to keep the project running and this has brought the project to a halt. The foreign partners were supposed to bring in three million dollars as working capital and they failed to bring in that money. So the company suffered from lack of working capital.” However, Vandyke Mensah, the American based Investor on his part accused Mr Dumoga and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture of lacking the understanding of the project with regards to financial issues; a situation he said was one of the problems the project suffered.“I am surprised at Mr Dumoga’s claims as he has no clue what he was talking about. My partner and I spent about 1.5 million dollars on feasibility studies which include paying for agronomists, surveyors among others. The sad part of the whole transaction is that MOFA officials don’t seem to understand finance. They don’t realise that when you represent your asset, it affects your balance sheet. That singular act by MOFA affected us and made it difficult to access external source of funding.”“Apart from that, the equipment we inherited were all obsolete and outmoded. The dryer, for instance, was not meant for rice and rather it was a corn dryer. All other equipment had not been put to use for over ten years.”While the project is struggling to find its feet, GCB Bank has gone to court to seek an order to sell part of the assets of the company to defray a 1.5 million dollars debt the company owed it. Meanwhile, the town folks are expecting government to revamp the project to enable them have access to employment as the project has the capacity of employing about five hundred direct workers and about two thousand indirect workers. In the Philippines, importing rice has long been controversial but food shortages may force the government’s hand · Resistance to buying rice abroad has eased in recent months, following a bout of severe inflation · The Philippines is the world’s second-largest importer of rice after China https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/3001762/philippine-water-shortage-hits-more-6-million-people-and India may push exports via G2G trade for food products Worried over a slowdown in exports, the government is looking to use India’s good relations with other countries to push up exports through governmentto-government (G2G) trading arrangements for food products. By Kirtika Suneja , ET Bureau | Updated: Mar 17, 2019, 11.38 PM IST Worried over a slowdown in exports, the government is looking to use India’s good relations with other countries to push up exports through governmentto-government ( G2G ) trading arrangements for food products . The commerce department is exploring export of non-Basmati rice to the Philippines and Indonesia, and sugar to Egypt under this mechanism to boost exports that have been hit by rising protectionism globally and slowdown in trade. The department sent a proposal to Egypt last week to participate in its sugar tender. “We want to increase total exports and G2G trade is one such arrangement. This was a common way to trade a decade ago and is being revived now because many countries float tenders to procure food,” said one official aware of the details. “We want to be part of that procurement.” The foreign trade policy for 2015-20 has set a target of $900 billion for merchandise and services exports by 2020, which is seemingly unachievable due to muted growth of traditional exports such as gems and jewellery, farm and engineering, liquidity crunch stemming from the Goods and Services Tax, and global factors. India’s exports rose 2.44% on year in February to $26.7 billion and the total exports for the entire 2018-19 are expected to be around $330 billion. Agriculture is one of the nine sectors that that the department has identified to take overall exports to $400 billion in the next five years.“The talks are at a preliminary stage. We are exploring if Indian non-Basmati rice can be exported to Southeast Asian countries through our state-run trading firms,” said another official. At present, the Philippines and Indonesia source rice under G2G tenders from Thailand and Vietnam . “Though a large part of their rice imports are done through private tenders, a small proportion of government tenders are floated and we are keen to participate in those,” the second official added. Iraq has expressed interest in procuring wheat and rice from India. Iraq, under its government food stuff procurement scheme, primarily procures wheat flour, rice, sugar, milk powder and edible oil. Iraq’s annual requirement of wheat is 4 million tonnes, of which 1 million tonne is imported. Of its 1 million tonne of rice requirement, one fourth was imported from Vietnam last year. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/foreign-trade/india-may-push-exports-via-g2g-trade-for-food-products/articleshow/68455554.cms

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Judge’s Court: A Himalayan tryst with history- The New Indian Express

Pragpur: A Himalayan tryst with history Share Via Email Published: 18th March 2019 03:46 PM | Last Updated: 18th March 2019 08:07 PM Pragpur, an idyllic village in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra Valley, is a 45-minute drive from the railway station, Amb Andaura. We stopped at a snug little place— the Judge’s Court—that was built by Justice Sir Jai Lal between 1914 and 1918. The owners of Judge’s Court, Vijai Lal Kuthiala Sood (and his wife Kamini), who is the grandson of Sir Lal, says, “In the mist of time memories fade and whilst we have lived in the era of the British Raj with its subtle grandeur, it was our wish to preserve this slice of history, so that successive generations may experience it.” (Photo | EPS) 1 / 5 The place is a laidback traveller’s haven spread across 12 acres with 30 tastefully done-up rooms that stand testament to the bygone era. Begin the day by basking in the morning sun while sipping a cup of tea, catch up on reading and even borrow a book or two from the in-house library. As the evening approaches, head to the local bar or enjoy the wintry starlit sky sitting around a crackling bonfire—a perfect recipe for a leisurely holiday. Perhaps, the only thing that disappoints is the food. In the hills, especially at a place that boasts of growing its own vegetables, food should be quintessentially fresh. The meals here served are neither European (given the high footfall of global travelers) nor have the authenticity of Himachali cuisine. And with hardly any other places to eat in Pragpur, there is no choice but to consume the below-average fare. (Photo | EPS) 2 / 5 However, the mansion is placed right in the centre of all the action. On a lazy day, one could go walking in the village that was certified as a Heritage Village by the state government in 1997. Founded in the late 16th century by the Kuthiala Soods in memory of Princess Prag Dei of the Jaswan royal family, with its winding cobbled lanes, mud-plastered walls and slate-roofed houses, time seems to have halted here. A narrow lane outside the Judge’s Court gates snakes through the village and leads to an ornamental water tank called Taal that was built before 1868. (Photo | EPS) 3 / 5 Pragpur houses have extremely varied architectural styles—Kangra, Rajput, British, Portuguese and even Italian architecture can be spotted. Many temples fill the region, especially the renowned Bagula Devi Temple. The village is also apt to station oneself and travel to other places in the Kangra Valley. (Photo | EPS) 4 / 5 The eco-tourism and birding site Maharana Pratap Bird Sanctary on Pong Dam is 30 kms from Pragpur. The Egyptian vulture and the White-rumped vulture are a common sight. The Masroor rock cut temple, built in the 8th century, is located 55 kms from Pragpur. It reminds one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia. (Photo | EPS) 5 / 5 Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now (Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit ‘Click to Subscribe’ . Follow the instructions after that.) TAGS

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World Report – The Third World Culture_People Imbued With the Third Taste!(N0.194)

International World Report – The Third World Culture_People Imbued With the Third Taste!(N0.194)
KMU REVIEW ・ 2019. 3. 18. 14:51 번역보기 Park Sun-ae
Guest reporter

These days, more people than before visit restaurants, serving cuisines such as African, Indian, Thai, Tibetan to try the flavors of other country’s traditional foods. Food from English-speaking culture such as hamburgers, pizza, steak, or places like Starbucks and Coffee Bean have become familiar and common.
However, some people don’t accept mainstream culture, instead preferring to pursue their own individualities and try new things. Their anti-trend life style with creative consumption, putting a high value on originality and the desire to try something new, is leading to an interest not only in the food of developing countries such as Greece, Africa, India and so on, but also in the developing world’s music, fashion and culture. This ‘Third Taste’is satisfying their needs through consumption while allowing them to express their own individualities at the same time. The word ‘Cresumer’(made from the two words ‘creation’and ‘consumer’) has been made to characterize these people.

Accustomed to the third world culture
Third taste is not the only unusual thing, though. These days, through interest in well-being life styles, Yoga is popular with a lot of people. Yoga is primarily a philosophy, combined with physical exercises and meditation, initially developed in India. One of the reasons Yoga is so popular with ‘people into wellbeing’( people who seek to have a happy and beautiful life through harmony between physical and mental health) is the environment-friendly cultural code of the third world. The sounds of nature and traditional music of the third world such as India and Tibet is effective when used by people who practice Yoga and meditation.
As well as yoga, Ethnic style which was popular with lots of women last summer in Korea, derives from the third world cultures. Ethnic style refers to the exotic and folksy fashion of Africa or India, reflecting the typical feeling from the styles of dress in these countries. The big round earrings of Africans, long grand earrings made of Turkish stone and gold that dangle from ears, and wedge heels (a heel that is an extension of the sole of the shoe) which look like woven straw were in favor due to their match with ethnic style clothes. Moreover, jackets, dhoti pants (dhoti is the traditional male garment of India) and blouson jackets sleeved with Indian accessories were endeared to people who enjoy third world culture, the people with the third taste.

To find the third world culture
Shin Young-su director of the Tibet Museum has collected various relics since he was first fascinated by Tibetan culture as a high school student. He has traveled to Nepal, China, Mongolia, Tibet and their neighboring countries. From his continued interest in their cultures his collection grew so much that he decided to establish a museum. A lot of Tibetan clothes and accessories are displayed in the gallery of the Tibet Museum. Maybe no one thinks it is unusual. Because lots of people already have experienced these cultures from seeing people who enjoy wearing their clothes and accessories.
You can see diverse Indian bags, clothes, earrings and necklaces on sale when you go to Indonara near Ewha Womans University. In addition, Indonara provides customers with piercing and henna. Henna is a dye made from the leaves of a shrub which are dried and ground into a powder. It is called Mehndi in India. Henna is usually drawn on women’s hands and feet. Henna became fashionable in western Europe in the latter half of the 1990s, and has lately become fashionable with young people in Korea as well, in the form of“ henna tattoos”.

Respect for other cultures
Third world cultures such as Tibet, India and Africa are coming into the spotlight, and accor-dingly these countries are expected to become lands of opportunity. Kim Ji-ryoung the curator of Tibet museum said, “ Tourists who visit Cambodia, Thailand and Tibet are increasing lately because they prefer something unusual and these countries have a unique spirit compared to Europe.”In addition she said, “Tibet has been ruled by China since the 1950s, but it is a falsification and distortion that it is part of China. Tibetans insist that their country differs from Chinese race, culture, religion, and they have kept their own independence. They want to become independent. Recently, however, the train connecting Beijing to Tibet was opened to traffic. I am worried about their individuality.”She hoped that Tibetans could keep their own individuality.

She said further, “In other countries, the interest in Korea is increasing, too. When I traveled to Cambodia last year, I was surprised that some Cambodians in a pub were singing the song ‘Waa’by the Korean singer, Lee Jung-hyun.”Other countries are also showing interest in Korea, through the influence of Hallyu. All countries need to respect the culture of other countries. What do you think about the increasing interest in developing countries’cultures from developed countries such as United States, Europe and Japan? Take this opportunity to think about third world cultures.
sunny591@kookmin.ac.kr

issued on
2006.10.23

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Murukku peppered with history

March 18, 2019 15:59 12:43 IST more-in From prasadams to Tanjore paintings, Rakesh Raghunathan’s Dakshin Diaries, chronicles South Indian cuisine and its cultural significance
“The South of India is not just about idli , dosai and vadai . And not all of us down South are Madrasis,” says food blogger and TV host Rakesh Raghunathan, referring to the most common stereotypes South Indians are tired of hearing. With his new show Dakshin Diaries that will soon air on Living Foodz, Rakesh hopes to not just bust these misconceptions, but also highlight the cuisine, culture and history of the region. So, from the varying cuisines within Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala to the rich heritage of these states, Rakesh covers a gamut of topics for his show.
“I was approached by Living Foodz for a show back in March 2018; we’ve been in talks since, trying to come up with topics we could cover. Given how the food and people here are often stereotyped, we decided to bring about a show that factored in all that and gave viewers a nuanced understanding of the region,” says the man behind the popular food and travel blog, Puliyogare Travels. They began shooting the 13-part series in January and wrapped up by February.
Keeping with the region’s rich cultural heritage, each episode opens with temple prasadams , how they are made and the history, before moving on to presenting a capsule of the area’s historical elements while also highlighting the predominant cuisine of the area. “We’ve also spoken with the people that form an integral part of the framework. So from the murukkus of Manapparai to Madurai’s LGBTQI activist Gopi Shankar and Mangalam Srinivasan of Srirangam who recreates Raja Ravi Varma’s work using kolam and a segment with Sofia Ashraf; the show covers food and people,” says Rakesh The idea, he says, is to showcase South India as a place that is not just steeped in culture and tradition. “It does have another side to it as well,” he explains.
Shooting for the show was quite a learning experience for Rakesh. “Working with the crew also led me to set the boundary higher for myself; made me more disciplined. The show tries to bring to the fore home cooks who don’t even realise that they’re the custodians of recipes that are rooted in history as old as 1,000 to 2,000 years. We also presented a different perspective of each place: from an extensive segment on Tanjore paintings, Athangudi tiles, celebrating Pongal with farmers in Kancheepuram to dancing with fans on the release of Petta at Albert theatre. Each segment had me doing things that I wouldn’t normally do andwas an entirely different experience for me as well.”
The segments on temple prasadams were also an eye opener, according to him. “One of the priests at the Madurai Meenakshi temple told me that prasadams originally were nothing but vibuthi (holy ash). Food as prasadam came about when people would volunteer to work at temples. The temples would need to feed these volunteers and began preparing simple things,” he says, adding, “At the Tibetan monastery in Bylakuppe, I saw people leave cola bottles, biscuits, butter and other such knick knacks as offerings — basically anything they could afford. These practices are a reflection of the region’s economy, produce and history.”
Dakshin Diaries will air on Living Foodz every Thursday and Friday at 8.30 pm starting March 21.

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Best Persian Food Las Vegas : Shiraz Restaurant

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