Alternative rice products see double digit growth in demand amid trade disruption

first_imgThe market for foreign rice varieties in Indonesia is relatively small compared to regular rice. According to the latest available data compiled by the Agriculture Ministry, Indonesia imported 295,714 tons of “special” rice varieties compared to 987,500 tons of medium-grain rice in 2016.Read also: Ministry ramps up rice production amid farmers’ lossesThe special rice varieties comprise Thai hom mali, basmati, japonica, brown and low-glycemic rice, according to the ministry’s data.Despite the niche market for the products, Hery said the worldwide disruptions to trade had impacted rice imports, increasing demand for the cooperative’s products. According to Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data, the country booked a 14.28 percent year-on-year (yoy) decrease in imports between January and June.Furthermore, the rise of Indonesia’s upper-middle class has also supported demand growth for more expensive special rice varieties, which are considered healthier than regular rice.“We are targeting the growing upper-middle class segment. As they’re extremely concerned with product quality, we pack our products neatly and market them through online marketplaces to attract customers,” he said.Amid the growing demand for special rice varieties, Hery said high-quality seeds and fertilizers were crucial for successful cultivation. However, he added that the seeds sometimes were difficult to find.Meanwhile, the chairperson of the Bali-based Jagadhita Farming Cooperative, Nyoman Suma Artha, voiced similar concerns, and urged the government to focus on improving fertilizer and seed quality to increase yields.Nyoman said farmers in Bali could increase their rice production, in yield per hectare, by up to 5 tons by using high-quality fertilizers and seeds, double the yield rate of lower quality fertilizers.“We could produce between 8 to 10 tons of dried grains [per ha] if we use high-quality fertilizers and the right techniques, while lower quality fertilizers and seeds produce only around 5 tons [per ha],” he said.The Agriculture Ministry has set a rice production target of 62.5 million tons for 2021, 5 percent higher than this year’s target.Read also: Virus, climate change cause food shortages in parts of IndonesiaThe government has allocated Rp 18.4 trillion (US$1.26 billion) for the ministry’s 2021 budget, of which around half has been allocated for programs to ensure the availability and accessibility of high-quality food.However, Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo said on July 7 that the allocation would not be enough to finance policies to ramp up food production, and proposed an additional Rp 10 trillion in next year’s state budget to finance its planned policies.“The Rp 18.4 trillion budget allocated to the ministry for 2021 is far from sufficient for the economy to recover after the COVID-19 pandemic in villages that heavily rely on agriculture, and to meet the food production target set in the government’s working plan,” Syahrul said in a hearing with the House of Representatives.In 2019, prolonged drought led to a decline in Indonesia’s rice production, which was down 13.2 percent year-on-year to 16.1 million tons in the first half of 2020, according to the World Food Programme’s (WFP) Indonesia office.Topics : The disruptions to trade and falling imports caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a double-digit increase in demand for locally produced, high-quality, alternative rice products, farmer cooperatives have reported.Sales of high-quality foreign rice varieties and organic rice products such as Japonica rice, Basmati rice, Jasmine rice, and high-protein black rice have increased by 20 percent, Mintogoro Cooperative chairperson Hery Sugiarto told The Jakarta Post on Monday. The cooperative is based in Demak, Central Java.“Alhamdulillah [thank God] the pandemic impacted our business positively rather than the other way around, as demand for our products has increased 20 percent,” he said during an online webinar held by the Indonesian Seed Cooperative (Kobeta).last_img read more

New Tropical Storm Maria racing westward

first_img Tweet Tropical Storm Maria 5-day forecast track. NHC/NOAA graphicMIAMI, USA — At 5:00 pm EDT on Wednesday, the centre of Maria, the latest tropical storm to form in the Atlantic, was located about 1,205 miles east of the Leeward Islands and moving toward the west near 23 mph.According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, this rapid motion is expected to continue during the next 24 hours with a gradual decrease in forward speed thereafter. Maximum sustained winds remain near 50 mph, with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast.An air force reconnaissance plane is scheduled to reach Maria late Thursday.Meanwhile, Hurricane Katia is located about 335 miles west-southwest of Bermuda and is forecast to pass between Bermuda and the east coast of the United States Wednesday night and Thursday, moving toward the northwest near 10 mph.A turn toward the north-northwest is expected Wednesdaynight, followed by a turn toward the north and then the north-northeast with an increase in forward speed late Thursday and early Friday.Maximum sustained winds are near 80 mph, with higher gusts. Katia is a category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the centre and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 205 miles.Large swells generated by katia will continue to affect Bermuda and east-facing beaches of the Bahamas during the next few days. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.Tropical-storm-force winds, especially in gusts, are possible in Bermuda through Thursday. Katia is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 1 to 2 inches across Bermuda.A tropical storm watch remains in effect for Bermuda.Caribbean News Now Sharing is caring! Share NewsRegional New Tropical Storm Maria racing westward by: – September 8, 2011center_img Share Share 24 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

National : Traditional powers Duke, UNC facing challenge for ACC title

first_img Published on February 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Stephen: [email protected] | @Stephen_Bailey1 Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Duke and North Carolina have dominated the Atlantic Coast Conference ever since its creation in 1953.In 46 of 58 seasons in the ACC’s existence, and each of the past eight, the Blue Devils or Tar Heels have finished the season with at least a share of the regular-season crown.Each entering the stretch run of their respective conference schedules at the top of the ACC standings, the two perennial powerhouses are not alone. Florida State is right there with them.‘Well, all three teams are extremely gifted,’ Miami (Fla.) head coach Jim Larranaga said Monday on the ACC coaches’ teleconference. ‘All three teams have different ways of hurting you. Carolina has got the biggest team. And size in basketball can really be a factor if the size has athletic ability and skill; and Carolina has both.‘So they are a very, very talented team, and so is Florida State and so is Duke.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe 20th-ranked Seminoles made it clear from the start of the season this year’s ACC competition would be a race between the three teams. FSU won seven straight conference matchups after falling to Clemson on Jan. 7. Though no player averages more than 14 points per game, eight Florida State players record at least seven points per contest.The Seminoles are tied with two of the most explosive teams in the country and have had the upper hand against the two historical powerhouses. Florida State’s winning streak included a 90-57 rout of No. 8 UNC and a buzzer-beating 76-73 victory over No. 5 Duke on Jan. 21.The Blue Devils slid a bit after that game, allowing 76 points to an inexperienced St. John’s squad and falling in overtime to Miami.But Duke came out of that slump to hand North Carolina its second conference loss Feb. 8, courtesy of a 10-point comeback in the final two minutes. It was capped off by an Austin Rivers’ 3-pointer from the right wing as time expired at the Dean E. Smith Center.The improved play of junior guard Seth Curry — who is averaging 17 points on 48 percent shooting over the Blue Devils’ last two games — factored into the turnaround, head coach Mike Krzyzewski said.‘He’s playing very well,’ Krzyzewski said Monday on the ACC coaches’ teleconference. ‘The other thing with Seth, we’ve used him in multiple roles. Sometimes when you switch him like that, there’s a little bit that can hurt a kid. Again, what the team needs sometimes puts that young man in a position where he’s not as comfortable.‘So we’ve had a little bit more stability with the perimeter and offense really playing outstanding basketball. Tyler (Thornton) has given us good leadership. So the people around him have been stable and that helps him.’Duke has four players averaging double digits in scoring. Led by freshman Rivers, who averages 15 points per game and 41 percent from deep, the Blue Devils have potent scorers at each position.Though he wishes the production would be more consistent on a game-by-game basis, Krzyzewski is pleased with his team’s performance thus far in the season.‘Really, overall, I think these kids have done an unbelievable job, coming from the base that they had,’ Krzyzewski said. ‘None of them were star players for us last year.’For the Tar Heels and Blue Devils, who close out their seasons with a March 3 rematch, there would be no better momentum-builder than a win over their respective arch-nemesis.After UNC senior forward Tyler Zeller almost single-handedly fumbled the game away in the closing minute of the teams’ first game this season, the 7-foot, 250-pound big man will be relied on to dominate the paint.Larranaga said the Tar Heels are able to counterbalance a poor shooting performance with strength inside.‘I think Carolina is so big and they can miss shots and that can still be good offense for them,’ Larranaga said. ‘Just like the other day, they can crash the offensive boards and turn a miss into a make in a split second.’Luckily for the Seminoles, the Tar Heels’ schedule does not give them a chance to avenge their blowout loss to FSU earlier this season.But FSU will likely have to hand the Blue Devils another loss Feb. 23 if it wants to become the first team other than Duke or UNC since Wake Forest in 2003 to earn the sole distinction of ACC regular-season champion.Matchups against North Carolina State and Miami also provide challenges at the tail end of the Seminoles’ conference slate.But before those highly anticipated contests, and the looming conference tournament, Florida State must avoid falling in to what could be a trap game against Virginia Tech on Thursday.The Hokies, which FSU beat 63-59 earlier this year, are 14-11 overall and are led by junior guard Erick Green, who paces VT with 15.5 points per game.‘Obviously, everybody has tremendous respect for Green,’ FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton said Monday on the ACC coaches’ teleconference. ‘Like most teams they have guys who are stepping in and out of those led roles from game to game.‘They have some talented players, and you never really know who’s going to have a good night from night to night. That’s why you have to be prepared to go out and defend them, and everybody has to be on the defensive focus.’[email protected] last_img read more