Saturday, December 13, 2014

12th December (Friday),2014 Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

New Reservoir to Help Downstream Rice Farmers
By: Alese Underwood 
12/11/2014 04:20 PM
TWC News: New
Description: http://images.texas.ynn.com/media/2014/12/11/images/IMG-2014-12-11-17h07m12s43d2e6bace-f7b3-482a-b5e3-58b2ee19ff65.jpg
Breaking ground for the Lane City reservoir is the first big break Haskell Simon has seen in a while.Like many in Wharton County, his rice farm was caught in the perfect storm of drought, legislation and water management.Since 2012, during one of the worst droughts in state history, waters from the Highland Lakes have not flowed to farmers downstream.

That's because the Highland Lakes are the main source of water for Central Texas."We've had businesses that have failed, we have farmers that are surviving just barely with some insurance they had, but we have a lot of the aggregate businesses that are suffering or actually have gone out of business," rice farmer Simon said.The LCRA's planned reservoir will span more than 1,000 acres and will be 40 feet deep, holding more water than Marble Falls, Austin and Lady Bird lakes combined."That's a big project when you're looking at the plan this early, it's a large project,” Bech Bruun with the Texas Water Development Board said. “It's going to be important for this part of the state, but for the Highland Lakes and Austin as well."By building it off the main channel of the Colorado River, it will capture precious raindrops, which have previously gone to waste.

"We had a huge flood event in Austin, all the water from that flood ended up in the Gulf of Mexico,” Bruun said. “There's millions of acre-feet of water in our basins that just flows into the Gulf, so to be able to take that water and scalp it out of the river during flood events when there's a plenty and to be able to take that water and put it use makes a lot of sense."For Haskell Simon, he hopes what makes sense on paper becomes a life-saving reality in 2017.We're hopeful that if there isn't damaging legislation that's going to be coming out of the legislature, that the droughts will be over some day and hopefully we can start to recover," Simon said.The LCRA and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality did not release water from the Highland Lakes because Lakes Travis and Buchanan are only about 33 percent full right now.Both lakes are the primary sources of water for many cities including Austin.

Commerce to hold fourth rice auction
Date : 12 ธันวาคม 2557
Description: Commerce to hold fourth rice auction BANGKOK, 12 December 2014 (NNT) -- The Ministry of Commerce is preparing for the 2014's fourth rice auction for over 400,100 tons of rice in its stockpiles. The ministry will disclose regulations and other details on December 12, and he bidding will be held at the Department of Foreign Trade on December 22, between 8.30 am- 11.00 am. Currently, there are 17 million tons of rice sitting in the government's warehouses nationwide, 14 million of which are considered sub-standard, according to the ministry. he ministry has come up with a plan for 2015, releasing the entire stock as quickly as possible in order to prevent further damage caused by deterioration as well as to increase the efficiency of rice management. The plan will soon be submitted to the National Rice Policy Committee for consideration and approval.

New levy policy gives more leeway to AP millers to boost rice exports
CH RS SARMA
KAKINADA, DECEMBER 12:  
The rice market is witnessing a shake-up this year, especially in the rice bowl of Andhra Pradesh (the two Godavari districts and Krishna). This is mainly in view of the new levy policy of the Centre, drastically reducing the quantity they will have to give for the public distribution system and buffer stocks.Earlier, millers used to buy paddy vigorously from farmers in the two Godavari districts and supply rice to the FCI.They had to give FCI 75 per cent of what they bought from growers. In return, they were given permits to sell the rest of 25 per cent in the domestic market or for exports.
From this crop season, the ratio has been reversed and millers have to give only 25 per cent as levy and retain the rest can be sold in the open market.Millers are finding the reversal disconcerting and many of the millers even want the Government to buy the paddy from farmers at MSP and give it to them for milling – the kind of custom milling prevalent in Punjab and Haryana. Custom milling has never been the practice in AP in the past.Rice exporters have reacted to the change in levy policy in a positive manner, as there will be exportable surplus in the market, and it may lead to spurt in exports.But exporters are also wary as millers in Andhra Pradesh have not yet made the necessary adjustments.

AP Rice Exporters’ Association President Vinod Kumar Agarwal is of the view that the Government should adopt a consistent levy policy and encourage rice exports.“With this change in levy policy, it is now all the more necessary to encourage non-basmati rice exports, as otherwise the farmers will not get the MSP. It is a fact that many of the small millers do not have the holding capacity and the problem is also compounded in the two Godavari districts by the fact that the varieties grown here – 1001 and IR 64 – are either given as levy to the FCI or exported to African countries.
They are not locally consumed. It is all the more difficult for the millers to adjust to the new policy. Therefore, they should be allowed to sell freely to the exporters. There should not be any curbs on the export market,” he said.He said the Government should extend a helping hand to the millers in adjusting to the new system and “it is no wonder that many millers now want custom milling in AP also as in Punjab and Haryana.”BV Krishna Rao, Managing Director of Pattabhi Agro Foods Pvt Ltd, a leading rice exporter, is of the view that inspite of the transitional travails the new policy will be of help to all in the long run.“Certain adjustments have to be made. Farmers have all along been cultivating common varieties for the levy or for exports. Now they have to grow fine varieties.
Exporters also have to search for new markets for these varieties instead of relying on African countries alone. It is a fact that right now rice millers are in a spot of bother because of the new policy. But any change entails some difficulty,” he said.He expects that there may be considerable spurt in rice exports through Kakinada port during 2015, by roughly a million tonnes or so.During 2014, the rice exports totalled 2.4 million tonnes.
(This article was published on December 12, 2014)

India exports rice worth Rs 23,161.56 crore in Apr-Sep
12.12.2014

India has exported rice worth Rs 23,161.56 crore in the first six months of the current financial year, Parliament was informed today.India has exported 16.41 lakh tonnes of basmati rice in the April-September period of the current financial year, valued at Rs 13,846.95 crore.On the other hand, 36.56 lakh tonnes of non-basmati rice was exported in the same period, valued at Rs 9,314.61 crore.

In the entire 2013-14 fiscal, exports of basmati rice stood at 37.54 lakh tonnes, valued at Rs 29,291.82 crore, while in the same period, outward shipments of non-basmati rice was 71.48 lakh tonnes, worth Rs 17,795.21 crore.Meanwhile, Iran, one of the largest importers of rice from India, has imposed a temporary restriction on imports from October 19 this year.


Rice exports: Why are Vietnam’s miracle-makers still poor?

VietNamNet Bridge - The biggest risk for Vietnamese rice growers is not the weather or the market but policies, from exchange rate policy to tax policy to a range of other policies.VietNamNet would like to introduce the next part of the roundtable discussion on a quarter century of rice exports of Vietnam, with the participation of Prof. Dr. Vo Tong Xuan, Dr. Vu Trong Khai and Mr. Nguyen Minh Nhi.

VietNamNet: There is a question that has not had a satisfactory explanation in a long time: Why are Vietnamese farmers -- who created the miracle of turning Vietnam from a hungry country into a rice exporter, who ended the period of starvation and created a foundation for the rise of the country's economy --  still poor?

From the left: Mr. Nguyen Minh Nhi, Dr. Vu Trong Khai and Prof. Vo Tong Xuan.
Description: Description: Rice exports, rice exporting policy, vietnamese rice, vo tong xuanProf. Dr. Vo Tong Xuan: This is a paradox stemming from systemic weaknesses, with the root being our education. In developed countries, those who are fully trained are allowed to do agricultural production. But it is to the contrary in our country, so our farmers are just happy with the experience. They produce not in accordance with scientific recommendations, with  high production costs, poor product quality, and even unsafe food hygiene.Meanwhile, many of the participants in the value chain of rice have privileges, and they use these privileges to take the parts that would belong to farmers.

I still remember when Vietnam resumed rice exports, I was invited to the United States and Europe to meet with rice trading groups. They said frankly that Vietnam had just joined rice exporters so it would not be easy for Vietnam to export rice like Thailand or London. It was because the state-owned rice trading companies of Vietnam were not trusted yet and the quality of Vietnamese rice was not assured, so rice from Vietnam had to bear the risk cost of $40-50 per ton. That's why we have long heard that the quality of Vietnamese rice is equivalent to Thai rice, but the price is always $40-50/ton less than Thai rice.

They said at the time that it would be best if Vietnam produced rice at their quality standards and then it would be reserved and sold in Europe and they would only collect 2% of the cost. Then I returned home and proposed the idea with a central body but it was not accepted, because they required export contracts and L/C for rice exports.

Mr. Nguyen Minh Nhi: In my opinion, Vietnam does not have a specific agricultural management strategy: who are our customers, what are the good prices, who sells the rice, what will the farmers earn each year, and for each ton of rice increase ... Instead, we completely rely on "familiar markets" and "business routines" as our forefathers did hundreds of years ago. Recently I have heard of "restructuring" but it seems that it has not moved.We have exported rice to low-quality rice markets such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Cuba where the market is covered by state-owned food companies and the rice is supplied to the poor. In the past, thanks to the monopoly factor and sometimes corruption the rice business was smooth and profits were shared between two sides. Our farmers earned very little benefit, while under the government’s policy, the "required minimum profit for farmers must be 30 percent".

Since those countries changed, that kind of business was not maintained and our rice could not compete. Even in traditional markets like the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia ... we have to seek export contracts through tenders.People say doing business needs partners, but now when we no longer have partners – state-owned firms – how can our state-owned rice traders do their business?

Nearly all my life I’ve supported the state-owned economy, especially in the food business, but with the current rice trading policy, only farmers and the government are the losers.Our way of management is in heaven and it does not fit with reality. In 1992, I went to Taiwan and I saw that state-owned firms also held a monopoly in rice, sugar, salt, alcohol, tobacco trading but their farmers were extremely happy.For our farmers, they are very lucky if they earn a profit of 30 percent.VietNamNet: What could we learn from the inadequacies of life of farmers, with the policies as the main cause?

Description: Description: Rice exports, rice exporting policy, vietnamese rice, vo tong xuanDr. Vu Trong Khai: Firstly, in the past 25 years we have exported rice on a small and fragmented scale, rather than a fundamental change in nature. If there has been a change, it has been just in the varieties and cultivation techniques. Over the past 25 years we still have based rice growing on household production and raw material processing enterprises.

That is, we only rely on the availability.Even the progress of science and technology that we have, including new varieties, new farming techniques, are also difficult to apply. In fact, each farmer has only several thousand of square meters of field land on average.Therefore, farmers cannot get rich in this scenario. We should remember that the "untie" policy (Resolution 10 issued in 1988 considering farmer households as autonomous units) was only valuable for a short time because it did not create new elements.Secondly, we have not looked at the world in order to reposition ourselves, thereby reorganizing production in an appropriate and prudent way.

The annual total value of rice exchange is many times lower than the exchange of fruit and vegetables. We have a huge advantage of tropical fruits and vegetables but we have not realized it. Many Asian countries like South Korea, Japan, northern China, etc … have a long winter when they cannot grow vegetables, not mentioning Europe.We should also talk about the role of the entrepreneur. We do not have powerful forces of entrepreneurs who are aggressively seeking world markets. For example, looking to China, their traders go around the world to buy raw materials and sell their products.

Dr. Vu Trong Khai: Commercialization of products is the responsibility of business. Businesses must do two functions of processing and consumption. If we had the right investment policies for businesses, and not just rely on state corporation as the Northern Food Corporation (Vinafood 1) and the Southern Food Corporation (Vinafood 2), the situation would have been different.Generally, Vietnamese businesses don’t dare to accept risk. Why? There are two elements:Firstly, so far we have not formed a strong team of entrepreneurs, since the appearance of big names in the early 20th century as Bach Thai Buoi, the family of musician Doan Chuan (with fish sauce firm Van Van) and especially Mr. Nguyen Son Ha, a businessman and one of the first National Assembly deputy of Vietnam. As an NA deputy, he proposed to put the line "All Vietnamese citizens have the freedom of doing business" into the Constitution of 1946.

Unfortunately we did not maintain that atmosphere. The new generation of businessmen look at the context of general economic institutions and they see too many risks. The biggest risk in Vietnam is not the weather, not the market but the policies, from the exchange rate policy to tax policy to a range of other policies. Businesses are afraid of the changes because many of them “died” of that change. Bureaucracy and red tape also contribute to stamp out the will and aspirations of entrepreneurs.Secondly, the traditional elements of history, culture and mechanisms in Vietnam do not encourage businesses to take risks, do not create the environment for them to engage, to take risks. Therefore, the majority of our businesses accept to do business that is above average.These problems cannot be solved overnight. And it must begin with economic institutions.

VNN
Myanmar's rice export earning grows sharply in 8 months
2014/12/12 15:08:24
YANGON, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar earned 300 million U.S. dollars through export of rice in the first eight months (April- November) of fiscal 2014-15, up 118 million dollars or 64.8 percent from a year earlier, sources with the Ministry of Commerce said on Friday.A total of 799,600 tons of rice was exported in the eight months, an increase of 343,800 tons or 75.4 percent.Myanmar's rice is mainly exported to the neighboring Chinese market.According to official statistics, the rice export in the last fiscal year reached 460 million U.S. dollars, down by 15.4 percent from the previous fiscal year's 544 million dollars.

India exports rice worth Rs 23,161.56 crore in Apr-Sep

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi  
December 12, 2014 Last Updated at 16:50 IST
India has exported rice worth Rs 23,161.56 crore in the first six months of the current financial year, Parliament was informed today. India has exported 16.41 lakh tonnes of basmati rice in the April-September period of the current financial year, valued at Rs 13,846.95 crore. On the other hand, 36.56 lakh tonnes of non-basmati rice was exported in the same period, valued at Rs 9,314.61 crore. In the entire 2013-14 fiscal, exports of basmati rice stood at 37.54 lakh tonnes, valued at Rs 29,291.82 crore, while in the same period, outward shipments of non-basmati rice was 71.48 lakh tonnes, worth Rs 17,795.21 crore. 

Meanwhile, Iran, one of the largest importers of rice from India, has imposed a temporary restriction on imports from October 19 this year. "Iran has imposed a temporary restriction on import of rice w.E.F 19th October, 2014. The government engages with its trade partners in an institutional basis and taken up all trade related issues from time to time," Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to Lok Sabha. The Minister added that Iran has increased customs duty on import of rice from 22 per cent to 40 per cent in view of the domestic crop season, which will continue till January 21.

 

New levy policy gives more leeway to AP millers to boost rice exports

CH RS. SARMA
KAKINADA, DECEMBER 12:  
The rice market is witnessing a shake-up this year, especially in the rice bowl of Andhra Pradesh (the two Godavari districts and Krishna). This is mainly in view of the new levy policy of the Centre, drastically reducing the quantity they will have to give for the public distribution system and buffer stocks.Earlier, millers used to buy paddy vigorously from farmers in the two Godavari districts and supply rice to the FCI.They had to give FCI 75 per cent of what they bought from growers. In return, they were given permits to sell the rest of 25 per cent in the domestic market or for exports.
From this crop season, the ratio has been reversed and millers have to give only 25 per cent as levy and retain the rest can be sold in the open market.Millers are finding the reversal disconcerting and many of the millers even want the Government to buy the paddy from farmers at MSP and give it to them for milling – the kind of custom milling prevalent in Punjab and Haryana. Custom milling has never been the practice in AP in the past.Rice exporters have reacted to the change in levy policy in a positive manner, as there will be exportable surplus in the market, and it may lead to spurt in exports.
But exporters are also wary as millers in Andhra Pradesh have not yet made the necessary adjustments.AP Rice Exporters’ Association President Vinod Kumar Agarwal is of the view that the Government should adopt a consistent levy policy and encourage rice exports.“With this change in levy policy, it is now all the more necessary to encourage non-basmati rice exports, as otherwise the farmers will not get the MSP. It is a fact that many of the small millers do not have the holding capacity and the problem is also compounded in the two Godavari districts by the fact that the varieties grown here – 1001 and IR 64 – are either given as levy to the FCI or exported to African countries.
They are not locally consumed. It is all the more difficult for the millers to adjust to the new policy. Therefore, they should be allowed to sell freely to the exporters. There should not be any curbs on the export market,” he said.He said the Government should extend a helping hand to the millers in adjusting to the new system and “it is no wonder that many millers now want custom milling in AP also as in Punjab and Haryana.”BV Krishna Rao, Managing Director of Pattabhi Agro Foods Pvt Ltd, a leading rice exporter, is of the view that inspite of the transitional travails the new policy will be of help to all in the long run.
“Certain adjustments have to be made. Farmers have all along been cultivating common varieties for the levy or for exports. Now they have to grow fine varieties. Exporters also have to search for new markets for these varieties instead of relying on African countries alone. It is a fact that right now rice millers are in a spot of bother because of the new policy. But any change entails some difficulty,” he said.He expects that there may be considerable spurt in rice exports through Kakinada port during 2015, by roughly a million tonnes or so.During 2014, the rice exports totalled 2.4 million tonnes.
(This article was published on December 12, 2014)
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/agri-biz/new-levy-policy-gives-more-leeway-to-ap-millers-to-boost-rice-exports/article6686690.ece
Rice case against Yingluck postponed
Published: 12 Dec 2014 at 18.46
Online news: General
Writer: King-oua Laohong
Additional evidence is still needed to round out the case before a decision can be made on the indictment of former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra over the loss-ridden rice-pledging scheme, the attorney general has ruled. Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, centre, samples the  rice at a bagged rice company in 2013 to boost public confidence in packed rice amid concerns that chemicals were being used to preserve the huge government stockpile of rice.
Surasak Trirattrakul, director-general of the Office of the Attorney-General's litigation department, and Kosolwat Inthujanyong, deputy OAG spokesman, announced the decision at a press conference.They said attorney-general Trakul Winitnaiyapak had accepted the finding of an OAG working group that the case in its present form was not complete.Mr Surasak said the attorney-general ruled more evidence was needed from the NACC and some more people still  needed to be questioned about the government-to-government (G2G) rice trades before a decision could be made on whether there should be an indictment.
Mr Kosolwat said there was conflicting evidence about whether G2G rice deals really happened. Some witnesses had insisted G2G rice deals were made, but other witnesses denied this.Information on G2G rice deals from the NACC was still incomplete, Mr Kosolwat said.Representatives of the NACC and the OAG would this month discuss what further inquiries were needed.  The matter should become clearer in January, as only a few more witnesses had yet to be questioned, Mr Kosolwat said.
The NACC accused Ms Yingluck in her past capacity as the ex-officio chair of the National Rice Policy Committee of dereliction of duty and abuse of authority for failing to halt or review her government's  loss-ridden rice-pledging scheme, and the alleged corruption in it.It also proposed impeachment and her retroactive removal from the prime minister's position.The Finance Ministry has estimated the country faced a total loss of 682 billion baht from implementing rice-subsidy schemes over the past 10 years, of which 518 billion baht occurred under the Yingluck government while it was in office from 2011 to 2013.
Her government bought rice from growers at prices up to 40%  higher than market prices, resulting in a major slump in exports as Thai rice priced itself out of the market.Much or the previous government's excessive stocks of rice that could not be sold have degenerated because of poor storage, posing quality problems for sellers and buyers.
(Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

New levy policy gives more leeway to AP millers to boost rice exports

CH RS. SARMA
KAKINADA, DECEMBER 12:  
The rice market is witnessing a shake-up this year, especially in the rice bowl of Andhra Pradesh (the two Godavari districts and Krishna). This is mainly in view of the new levy policy of the Centre, drastically reducing the quantity they will have to give for the public distribution system and buffer stocks.Earlier, millers used to buy paddy vigorously from farmers in the two Godavari districts and supply rice to the FCI.They had to give FCI 75 per cent of what they bought from growers. In return, they were given permits to sell the rest of 25 per cent in the domestic market or for exports.
From this crop season, the ratio has been reversed and millers have to give only 25 per cent as levy and retain the rest can be sold in the open market.Millers are finding the reversal disconcerting and many of the millers even want the Government to buy the paddy from farmers at MSP and give it to them for milling – the kind of custom milling prevalent in Punjab and Haryana.
Custom milling has never been the practice in AP in the past.Rice exporters have reacted to the change in levy policy in a positive manner, as there will be exportable surplus in the market, and it may lead to spurt in exports.But exporters are also wary as millers in Andhra Pradesh have not yet made the necessary adjustments.AP Rice Exporters’ Association President Vinod Kumar Agarwal is of the view that the Government should adopt a consistent levy policy and encourage rice exports.“With this change in levy policy, it is now all the more necessary to encourage non-basmati rice exports, as otherwise the farmers will not get the MSP.
It is a fact that many of the small millers do not have the holding capacity and the problem is also compounded in the two Godavari districts by the fact that the varieties grown here – 1001 and IR 64 – are either given as levy to the FCI or exported to African countries. They are not locally consumed. It is all the more difficult for the millers to adjust to the new policy. Therefore, they should be allowed to sell freely to the exporters. There should not be any curbs on the export market,” he said.He said the Government should extend a helping hand to the millers in adjusting to the new system and “it is no wonder that many millers now want custom milling in AP also as in Punjab and Haryana.
”BV Krishna Rao, Managing Director of Pattabhi Agro Foods Pvt Ltd, a leading rice exporter, is of the view that inspite of the transitional travails the new policy will be of help to all in the long run.“Certain adjustments have to be made. Farmers have all along been cultivating common varieties for the levy or for exports. Now they have to grow fine varieties. Exporters also have to search for new markets for these varieties instead of relying on African countries alone. It is a fact that right now rice millers are in a spot of bother because of the new policy. But any change entails some difficulty,” he said.He expects that there may be considerable spurt in rice exports through Kakinada port during 2015, by roughly a million tonnes or so.During 2014, the rice exports totalled 2.4 million tonnes.
(This article was published on December 12, 2014)

Odisha govt to expedite paddy procurement

Total procurement is 172,000 tonne so far against 4.45 mt target
BS Reporter  |  Bhubaneswar  
December 12, 2014 Last Updated at 20:32 IST
Description: http://bsmedia.business-standard.com/_media/bs/img/article/2013-11/25/full/1385318643-3177.jpgThe state government today asked 24 districts collectors to take steps to expedite paddy procurement as the collections have fallen far behind the target due to disputes over purchase target and payment issues.For 2014-15 kharif marketing season, the government had decided to procure paddy equivalent of 3 million tonne (mt) rice. However, total paddy procurement has been just 172,000 tonnes since the process started on November 14, against the target of 4.45 mt.
“The chief minister today asked the collectors to take steps for smooth functioning of the marketing yards by making surprise visits. He also asked them to take action against millers procuring paddy lower than the fixed rate,” said Sanjay Dasburma, minister for food and civil supplies after attending a video conference meeting with the district collectors along with the chief minister.The direction from the government follows complaints related to non-payment of procurement prices to farmers in some areas.
Earlier this week, the paddy purchase programme was stalled at 118 procurement yards of key rice producing district Bargarh as the online server meant for direct cash transfer to farmers’ account failed to function.“The CM has ordered to make the payments through account payee cheques wherever possible,” Dasburma added.In south Odisha, procurement has been halted as farmers protested against the purchase target fixed by the government as per yield capacity of farm land. According to guidelines for food grain procurement, the government will buy 1,200 kg per acre from non-irrigated land and 1,800 kg from irrigated land.
In Koraput and Nabarangpur districts, farmers demanded 2,000 kg procurement per acre as they grow high yielding variety. However, no decision was taken today on this issue in the meeting.The procurement plan is divided into two phases. While the first phase began on November 14 in 24 districts, the next phase of paddy procurement will begin in January in remaining 6 districts.Odisha produces close to 8 mt paddy in a year, the fifth largest in the country. While 60 per cent of the total production is processed in the state, the rest amount is exported to other states.
As the state is surplus in rice requirement, the government has initiated steps to attract investments in establishments of integrated rice mills. Under its food processing policy, investors will get subsidy and interest rate subvention for setting up of rice mill having facility to produce rice barn oil and rice husk power along with rice processing facility.
Read more on:    Odisha | Rice | Kharif Season | Rice Procurement | Rice Bran Oil | Bio Mass Power

Madhya Pradesh CM Chouhan at meeting with representatives of traders and millers
Thursday, December 11, 2014

Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said that efforts should be made that minimum price of basmati paddy in the state should not be less than other states. Safeguarding farmers’ interests is in everybody’s interest. Shri Chouhan was addressing a meeting of traders and millers in the context of recession caused due to fall in global demand for basmati here today. Shri Chouhan directed that rates of basmati paddy prevailing in all basmati producer states should be displayed daily in paddy mandis of the state.
The meeting was informed that government has decided that such paddy produced in the state, which is sold by farmers in mandis and which is used in state’s rice mills for milling rice or for exporting outside the state, will be exempted from Mandi Cess till March 31. The Chief Minister said that the government has taken all necessary steps to cooperate with farmers. The meeting decided that the minimum limit of exemption from tax on paddy purchase should be increased from Rs. 10 crore per annum to Rs. 50 crore per annum.
Tax will be payable only on purchase of paddy above Rs. 50 crore in a year. Besides, it has also been decided to rationalize rates of paddy storage. As a result, both processors and purchasers will face no difficulty. The meeting was informed that the state government will make initiative for branding and marketing of state’s paddy in Europe. Agriculture Minister Shri Gaurishankar Bisen, Food & Civil Supplies Minister Kunwar Vijay Shah, Chief Secretary Shri Anthony de Sa, Additional Chief Secretary Agriculture Shri R.K. Swai, basmati traders and millers attended the meeting.
Source with thanks:

Rice and shine



The rice, originally is not white in colour. It is light brown in colour and is considered to be healthier than the white ones you eat

Description: Madhya Pradesh CM Chouhan at meeting with representatives of traders and millersRice is a grass that produces several grains consumed by humans. It is believed that humans started consuming and cultivating rice for more than 3,500 years in Asia before which it gradually spread across the world. Today rice is a common food for almost all humans on the planet except for those living in colder regions such as the Antarctica where it is generally covered with snow all through the year.
Unlike trees which are planted just once, rice needs to be resown every year.
It requires a lot of water and is also called as water guzzler among plants.
It is usually grown in fields which are partially submerged in water.

Seasons to sow

The plant has two seasons for sowing. These are the Rabi and Kharif.The Kharif crop is planted in early summer and depends on the summer monsoons for irrigation and Rabi during November – December.Official records say that there were more than 40,000 different rice varieties in India till 50 -60 years ago. Sadly much of these varieties have either been lost over time or have vanished since farmers are not so willing to grow them. And growing of many old and traditional rice varieties have vanished from our system and some rare varieties have been lost. The rice that you eat today is not what your grandparents ate.
 If you ask them about this they would have stories to tell you as to how the rice they consumed as a kid was far more delicious and kept them healthy. Those days when pizzas or fast foods were alien to our culture, it was simple rice porridge or overnight cooked rice soaked in water gruel which your grandparents must have had for their morning breakfast.There are certain varieties of rice that grow only in certain regions.For example, Basmati rice used for making biryani and pulav grows well only in Himalayan regions like Uttarakhand. Sona Masuri is native to Karnataka, while varieties such as Bapatla and Ponni to Andhra Pradesh.
Before it reaches your plate
The rice grains are processed before being packed and sold. The rice, originally is not white in colour. It is light brown in colour and is considered to be healthier than the white ones you eat.Once the rice is harvested, it is milled in rice mills to remove the outer soft coating and polished. This is called milling.Milling makes rice fluffier and gives it white to light yellow colour. It is then sent to markets and department stores from where you buy it.
Eating white polished rice must have become a habit some 50 years back according to well known rice researchers and historians because in olden times the poor village folks seldom had the money or technology to mill the harvested brown rice into white and had to consume only the brown rice. Today there are some organisations and individuals across the country who have been doing sterling work in preserving many of the rice varieties thought to have been lost.
(M.J. Prabu is The Hindu’s Agriculture correspondent. He writes the popular Farmer’s Notebook. Write to him at prabu.mj@thehindu.co.in)
Keywords: RiceWhite ricebrown rice

Matco Rice represents Pakistan in Canada Trade Expo


December 12, 2014
RECORDER REPORT

Pakistan's largest basmati rice exporter, Matco Rice Processing (Pvt) Limited, represented the country's highest quality rice at the 3rd Edition of Canada Pakistan Trade Expo in Ontario, Canada. The exhibition was organized with Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), and Consulate General of Pakistan in Toronto, with the sole purpose of creating awareness about business opportunities existing in Pakistan. Matco Rice displayed its Flagship brand "Falak" which is one of the highest selling brands in Canada and is available in all store keeping units.

Expressing his views on the occasion, Jawed Ali Ghori, Chairman of Matco Rice said, "We at Matco Rice strongly believe that the lifeblood of global market is trade. The Canada Pakistan Trade Expo has given us the opportunity to display our top quality rice brands and enhance the economic significance by creating more demand of our brands globally." Responding to a question which was put forward by a Canadian journalist interviewing him during the exhibition, Jawed Ali Ghori said, "There is so much to be gained from improved branding and marketing practices within the rice industry in Pakistan, our competitors are selling our rice by developing them into their own brands through value-addition and retail packaging.

Pakistan could easily double the current amount of foreign exchange earnings by focusing on brand development instead of exporting in bulk quantity." He emphasised on the need of holding such exhibitions on regular basis in Toronto which can prove significant in expansion of Pakistan's export to Canada.-PR 


Time to revisit Pakistan-Iran economic relations


There should be no embargo on Pakistan-Iran trade as other countries in the world are also engaging in trade with Iran
December 12, 2014   

Iran’s economic minister Ali Tayebnia met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on December 9, 2014. Iran’s economic delegation, led by Tayebnia, visited Islamabad to attend the 19th meeting of the Iran-Pakistan Economic Commission (IPEC) to enhance bilateral trade and to increase the pace of implementation of existing agreements. Earlier, Tayebnia met Pakistan’s finance minister Ishaq Dar and said that Pakistan is a reliable partner of Iran in all fields, including the economy and foreign policy. He noted that the trade exchange between Iran and Pakistan stood at $ 893 million during 2014 and that the two states should do their best for a 20 percent increase.

Trade between Pakistan and Iran peaked at $ 1.32 billion in 2008-2009 but subsequently declined and is presently around $ 893 million. The elected governments of both countries want to boost trade, which remained low due to international sanctions on Tehran. However, several other countries like China, Russia and India have been able to resist these sanctions and have maintained trade relations with Iran. The trade volume between the two countries remained low despite the signing of a preferential trade agreement on March 4, 2004, which became operational on September 1, 2006. Nevertheless, it is understood that the two countries have a much higher trade volume through informal channels, such as through smuggling and third country transactions.

Pakistan has identified five places for the setting up of trading centres along the Pak-Iran border, i.e. Taftan-Minjaveh, Ladgashtjalaq, Parome-Kuhak, Mand-Peshin and Santsar-Nobandan. The purpose of these common border markets is to sell goods at concessional rates of customs duty and other taxes in order to control growing cross-border illegal trade. The Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline will further enhance economic cooperation between the two countries. It would ensure the supply of 750 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to Pakistan, which is required to keep our industrial and commercial wheel in perpetual motion.At present, major commodities exported to Iran by Pakistan include rice, meat, paper, paperboard, textiles, fruits (particularly mangoes and oranges), sesame seeds, chickpeas, beans and surgical goods.

 Rice enjoys the lion’s share of approximately 35 percent, followed by meat at 20 percent and paper and paperboard at 19 percent. The major commodities imported from Iran include organic chemicals, plastic, minerals, oil, iron and steel. The two countries have agreed to open up bank branches and facilitate a currency swap but the details are still inconclusive. Iran had offered that Iran’s Bank Milli and Pakistan’s National Bank open branches on a reciprocal basis but this process is taking time. The mode of business transactions is through the Asian Clearing Union (ACU), which is more time consuming than a normal letter of credit (LC).

Opening a LC through Iran’s sister companies in Dubai also adds to the costs and it only benefits Dubai’s banks. It would be far more profitable if trade were permitted in local currencies instead of dollars.There should be no embargo on Pakistan-Iran trade as other countries in the world are also engaging in trade with Iran. Pakistan has banking channels with various countries worldwide and therefore there is no reason that only Iran be excluded in this respect. Both Pakistan and Iran have joint chambers of commerce with a number of countries. These forums, mainly managed by the private sector, go a long way in facilitating the growth of bilateral commercial relations. Pakistan needs to have a joint chamber of commerce with Iran as well. It will facilitate greater interaction between the private sectors of the two countries.

Moreover, both countries should try to divert informal trade towards legal channels by checking ongoing smuggling, a revision of trade policies and also a reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers. It is difficult to check smuggling through administrative measures. The best way is through the elimination or reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers.Iran and Pakistan need to strengthen their economic relationship in the face of the evolving regional situation and the depressed global economic growth.
 Trade is the best way to strengthen and sustain mutual relations in the changing international scenario. The Iranian economic minister’s recent visit to Pakistan is a breath of fresh air in the otherwise stagnant geo-political environment, particularly after the tense border situation between the two countries. His visit may enhance the pace of bilateral projects, including the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, as he stressed on implementation of bilateral agreements, including the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline and the export of electricity.
corporate corner
December 12, 2014
Chinese journalists team discusses trade with SM Munir
KARACHI (PR): Liu Xing, Wang Yan & Wang Yuehua, Chinese Journalists of Guangzhou Daily Group called on S. M. Muneer, Chief Executive TDAP on 10th December 2014 at TDAP. The purpose of the visit was to discuss the trade matters between Pakistan and China and to highlight the same in Chinese media. S. M. Muneer, Chief Executive TDAP praised role of China and said that China is all weather friend of Pakistan. The Chinese journalists were communicated that balance of trade between Pakistan and China is in the favor of China and next week Chinese delegation is visiting Islamabad to talk on expansion of list of items in Pak – China FTA. It was also communicated that Pakistan has increased the participation in Chinese trade fairs due to encouraging response and increased buying power. 

Pakistani Yarn, Leather, Marble and its products and handcrafts of Pakistan are liked in China and exports of Pakistan in these products have increased considerably in last 3 – 5 years. Exponential rise in sea food exports of China has also been witnessed and Chinese companies are also investing in sea food sector to get the maximum benefit / profit from this sector. Chief Executive TDAP termed Kunming Fair of China a good fair in which Pakistani exporters desires to participate due to its trade and export potential. He further added that Pakistan is importing lot of products from China and Chinese government should encourage their importers to import from China for strong trade ties between both the countries. Mr. Javaid Akhter, D.G. Asia, provided them data related with trade related between Pakistan – China to them to highlight in the Chinese Media. 

Dr. M. Yousuf Khan, D.G. Agro Food, briefed them about the Agro Food trade between both the countries and informed that there is no trade barrier as far as Pakistani agro food products are concerned, however, due to higher freight costs, it become difficult for the exporters of Pakistan to export their agro related products with China. In the last, Mr. S. M. Muneer, Chief Executive TDAP gave souvenirs to the guests.

Resource Academia event 

LAHORE (PR): Resource Academia hosted the CIE O-Level High Achiever Award Ceremony at the Senior Campus, recognizing the alumni who achieved outstanding grades in the Cambridge International Examinations 2014. The school also recognized the O Level faculty members whose students achieved brilliant results in CIE 2014.
The Dean of University of Central Punjab, Dr. Mohammad Zafar Iqbal Jadoon presided over the ceremony as the Guest of Honour. He was accompanied by the Project Director of Resource Academia, Dr. Shahid Mahmood. The prestigious Chief Guests presented the awards to the students and faculty members.

Punjab Overseas Commission lauded

LAHORE (PR): Pakistan Overseas Alliance Forum Europe Ch Ejaz and PML N Youth Wing, Spain president Shehzad Usman in a joint statement appreciated the Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif for establishing the Punjab Overseas Commission that would help in addressing the problems related to the overseas Pakistanis.PTCL to provide data centre services to Soneri Bank
KARACHI (PR): PTCL has inked an agreement with Soneri Bank to provide Data Center hosting services.

PTCL Data Center will serve Soneri Bank’s integrated branch banking operations spanning over 250 branches.
Kamal Ahmed, Chief Digital Services Officer said “We are pleased to extend cooperation to Soneri Bank. PTCL business solutions are designed to enable growth and the company is striving to empower organisations and improve efficiencies through its end-to-end ICT solutions.”

“Our state-of-the-art Data Centers offer optimum network security and profitability, thus helping organisations to move up the value chain,” added Kamal Ahmed.
Muhammad Aftab Manzoor, President & CEO, Soneri Bank said at the occasion, “The synergy of PTCL with Soneri Bank is a welcomed combination to achieve our goal to deliver exceptional client experiences through improved operational efficiency.”

Senior management from both the organisations including Kamal Ahmed, Chief Digital Services Officer, PTCL; Muhammad Aftab Manzoor, President & CEO, Soneri Bank; Amin A. Feerasta, Chief Risk Officer, Soneri Bank; Ahmed Saqib Asad, Chief Information Officer, Soneri Bank; Noman Muzaffar, Head Infrastructure Services, Soneri Bank and Mirza Sajid Baig, General Manager Corporate Services, PTCL were present at the occasion.
PTCL is the leader in the corporate digital services that provide large network-based organisations with greater efficiency through its seamless ICT services.

Berger cricket tournament
AHORE (PR): Berger Paints Pakistan Limited organised its 10th Inter Departmental Cricket Tournament. It was a day & night event in which all departments from Berger participated with great interest and excitement. Technical department won the tournament after a very thrilling and impressive performance from both teams.

Matco Rice at Canada expo 

KARACHI (PR): Pakistan’s largest basmati rice exporter, Matco Rice Processing (Pvt) Limited, represented the country’s finest quality of rice at the 3rd Edition of Canada Pakistan Trade Expo in Ontario, Canada. The exhibition was organized with Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), and Consulate General of Pakistan in Toronto, with the sole purpose of creating awareness about business opportunities that exist in Pakistan.
Matco Rice displayed its Flagship brand “Falak” which is one of the highest and most popular selling brands in Canada, and is available in all SKUs.


Expressing his views on the occasion, Jawed Ali Ghori, Chairman of Matco Rice said, “We at Matco Rice strongly believe that the lifeblood of global market is trade. The Canada Pakistan Trade Expo has given us the opportunity to display our top quality rice brands and enhance our economic significance by creating a more global demand of our brands”. Responding to a question which was put forward by a Canadian journalist interviewing him during the exhibition, Jawed Ali Ghori said, “There is so much to be gained from improved branding and marketing practices within the rice industry in Pakistan. Our competitors are selling our rice by developing them into their own brands

USA Rice Outlook Conference Wrap-up       

Description: https://ci3.googleusercontent.com/proxy/PS1x1g1R-2kxMLSqVJX0m_R3hhkfeeoM2Pp1fcMBAlgMJqjJfmVm_Z-BsC8RzM3LXUAnulVcuh2e8yheoSGjXwgeQH9lo1Ztk-mpvWb9YhscNpEoO8xqb1VuIUOcAfeUtIsdkUCdUI6D5URtPL71DqmyPSNyTyE=s0-d-e1-ft#http://www.usarice.com/images/Daily/Daily_Photos/COMM/comm%202014%20outlook%20roundup%20image.jpgLITTLE ROCK, AR - The 2014 USA Rice Outlook Conference successfully wrapped up here on Tuesday.  The USA Rice Federation reports attendance of 840, the second highest total on record, and the largest trade show in USA Rice Outlook Conference history with more than 70 booths featuring rice-related equipment, technology, products and services.  Arkansas was the host state for this year's conference and Governor-elect Asa Hutchinson
welcomed attendees at the opening session.  The program included farm bill implementation, conservation, the Central American market for U.S. rice, trade policy, research, and other issues that affect the outlook for U.S. rice. The 2015 USA Rice Outlook Conference will be held December 9-11 in New Orleans, LA.    
For more information, contact USA Rice at (703) 236-2300. 

Crawford to Lead House Commodities and Risk Management Ag Subcommittee   
Description: Dow Brantley with Rep. CrawfordWASHINGTON, DC -- Representative Michael Conaway (R-TX), the next chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, this week named Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR) as Chairman of the General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee.  Crawford is from Arkansas' 1st Congressional District and is a strong advocate for the U.S. rice industry.  Both Crawford and Conaway received the USA Rice Federation's Friend of the U.S. Rice Industry Award earlier this year.
"Congressman Crawford understands the inherent risks associated with farming and the importance of the farm safety net," said Ben Mosely, USA Rice's vice president of government affairs.  "Rice producers in Arkansas and every other rice producing state will be well represented with Mr. Crawford in this leadership role."The Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee has jurisdiction over commodity programs and the federal crop insurance program and was formerly chaired by Rep. Conaway.  
Contact: Michael Klein (703) 236-1458 



Correction 


In the story entitled "USA Rice Selects Nicholas Shafer as Scholarship Winner" in the December 10, 2014 issue, Leslie Rogers was incorrectly identified as "Leslie Roberts."  The USA Rice Daily regrets the error.

CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures   
CME Group (Prelim):  Closing Rough Rice Futures for December 12

Month
Price
Net Change

January 2015
$12.350
+ $0.265
March 2015
$12.615
+ $0.260
May 2015
$12.890
+ $0.265
July 2015
$13.080
+ $0.255
September 2015
$12.395
+ $0.210
November 2015
$12.285
+ $0.175
January 2016
$12.295
+ $0.185


Thailand confident of regaining top rice exporter slot

 

Industry remains in doldrums on back of ongoing complications related to previous goverment's failed rice subsidies-scheme
Description: Industry remains in doldrums on back of ongoing complications related to previous goverment's failed rice subsidies-schemeBANGKOK - Thailand is predicting it will regain its position as the world's leading rice-exporter, even though the industry is still reeling on the back of ongoing complications related to a failed rice subsidies-scheme.For decades the Kingdom led the way, until then Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra instigated a scheme in 2011 that saw farmers paid 30-40 percent above market level for their rice.

 With the government unable to shift the grains at a profit, stockpiles have grown dramatically. Chookiat Ophaswongse, the honorary president of the Thai rice exporters association, told the Anadolu Agency on Thursday that the country could again surpass India and Vietnam.“We are quite confident that, if our prices are not too far apart from those of our competitors worldwide, we should be able to regain and maintain the position of top world exporter from now on,” he said.Since 2011, total losses due to the scheme have risen to $5.8 billion, according to Rangsan Sriworasart, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Finance.
Thailand is projected to export 9.8 million tons of rice this year, compared to 6.5 million tons in 2013.It hopes that the 2014 figure will see it surpass India (8.5 million tons) and Vietnam (6.5), but the country is still burdened by its excess.Of the 17 million ton stockpile, analysts, however, say only 10 percent is considered of good quality.Somporn Isvilanonda, a senior fellow at the Knowledge Network Institute of Thailand, told AA that around 14 million tons "is substandard" and "needs to be milled again to be sold on the world market.""The problem is that we don’t know exactly how large is the loss of quality of the stored rice, we just have general data," he added.
Despite the promise of a rise in exports, Thai rice has been heavily penalized by a steep decline in price - mostly because of the massive stockpile and efforts by the previous government to release it onto the world market before it deteriorated.Ophaswongse said that Shinawatra was forced to sell some of the pile from mid-2013, as the subsidies scheme was costing so much."But it did not sell it on a tender-basis, but rather through secret channels at very low prices under the guise of government-to-government agreements,” he claimed.
In fact, he says, the rice was sold to some private companies connected to the government at prices that allowed them to make a very large profit.“The effect was that it depressed the market price,” he underlined.Between November 2011 (the launch of the subsidies scheme) and November 2014, the price of Thai rice fell by 30 percent.The current military appointed government - which overthrew Shinawatra's May 22 - is determined to unload the rice stock as the longer it is kept in warehouses, the longer its quality deteriorates.
It has called for auctions and is trying to negotiate new government-to-government agreements, with its price falling so low that it is becoming attractive again for large buyers such as China, India and Indonesia.Ophaswongse warned that such agreements should be done with extreme caution. “The government must release the rice from warehouses gradually, not in large volumes, and it has to monitor the market very closely.""They can do it when the world market is short of rice, for instance a few months after the harvest,” he added.The Thai commerce ministry announced this week that it plans to sell 400,000 tons of rice before the end of the year, after having sold previously 350,000 tons in November.
Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency

UN REPORT: 2014 A RECORD YEAR FOR WORLD CEREAL PRODUCTION
Dec. 12, 2014

Source: U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) news release 

Latest indications confirm that world cereal production will reach an all-time record of more than 2.5 billion tonnes in 2014.
 Buoyed by bumper crops in Europe and a record maize output in the United States of America, this year's cereal output should reach 2.532 billion tonnes, including rice in milled terms, or 0.3% higher than 2013, according to FAO's latest Crop Prospects and Food Situation Report. 

The record global cereal harvest in 2014 will outpace projected world cereal utilization in 2014/15, allowing stocks to rise to their highest level since 2000 and pushing the worldwide stock-to-use ratio, a proxy measure for supply conditions, to rise to 25.2 percent, its highest level in 13 years, according to FAO. However, the report also warns that food insecurity is worsening in a number of countries due to civil conflicts, adverse weather and the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak.

Some 38 countries are at risk of food insecurity, including 29 in Africa, 3 more countries than reported in October. EVD triggered one of the biggest shocks to West Africa's agriculture and food sectors, as it started to spread when crops were being planted and expanded throughout the farming cycle, especially in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. FAO warned that local rice prices and those for cassava, the region's second staple food, showed notable increases in Freetown and other cities in September. Adverse weather in the Sahel region is also expected to result in a sharply reduced harvest - by as much as 38 percent below average in Senegal. 

Conflict seriously impacts on food insecurity
 

The situation in Syria is particularly urgent, as a weak harvest is exacerbating strains due to worsening civil conflict. An estimated 6.8 million people - some refugees in neighboring countries - are facing severe food insecurity. FAO reports a notable production decline for the 2014 crop, due to abandoned land, scarce labor, damaged power stations and canals as well as drought conditions.
 The situation in Iraq is also acutely serious, where the number of people displaced due to civil conflict has tripled since last year to 2.8 million. One third of the population is in need of urgent food assistance in the Central African Republic (CAR), where this year's food crop production is estimated to be 58 percent below average despite improving on 2013, FAO said.

It noted an increase in violence since early October in a country where one in four households has resorted to negative coping strategies, including selling productive assets and slaughtering livestock. Prices of agricultural commodities shot up as much as 70 percent this year in the CAR. According to FAO, the decline in cereal output was partially mitigated by a large 45 percent jump in the production of cassava, which though less nutritious is less reliant on labor and other inputs. Refugee movements - especially from Sudan's Darfur region, northern Nigeria, the CAR and Mali - have put pressure on local food supplies, notably in Chad, where more than 550,000 people need food and livelihood assistance, according to the report. 

While the recent harvest and delivery of humanitarian aid has offered relief, more than 6 million people in South Sudan, Sudan and Somalia are deemed to be in need of food and livelihood assistance. Prices in those countries remain at high levels, with sorghum prices running as much as four times higher in some of the most conflict-affected areas, further deteriorating vulnerable people's access to food. 


Maize supplies stable in Southern and Eastern Africa
 

Elsewhere in Africa conditions were better, especially in Southern Africa, where stable maize prices declined due to ample supplies from this year's bumper output boosted food security. More stable maize supplies also led to a 78 percent drop in the number of food-insecure persons in Zimbabwe. Recent harvests and favourable prospects for the second season crops helped push maize prices down in some countries of East Africa. Meanwhile, 2014 cereal crop production was slightly below average in North Africa, where Morocco suffered sharp reductions due to erratic rains while the output in Tunisia recovered after a poor 2013 harvest. 


Dry conditions result in reduced Central American harvest

Mexico is enjoying a bumper maize crop and its cereal output is expected to increase by 7 percent above last year's record harvest, FAO said.
 That may ease the production short-fall expected in Central America, where a drought earlier in the year pushed the maize output down by around 9 percent, resulting in 400,000 families in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala needing food assistance. Aggregate cereal output from Europe this year is estimated to be 5.6 percent higher than 2013, while the U.S.'s record maize output comes despite less acreage being sowed 



Posted: Dec 11, 2014 11:43 AM PSTUpdated: Dec 11, 2014 11:53 AM PST

Rice farmers harvest bountiful second crop this year

 
Johnny Saichuk
  

 Ideal weather conditions are being touted as the main reason for a massive second rice crop this year, John Saichuk, extension rice specialist with the LSU AgCenter, said.Farmers generally bring in about five to 10 barrels of rice in their second harvests, but Saichuk said farmers have been reporting yields of about 25 to 30 barrels.A barrel of rice is about 162 pounds, Saichuk said."We harvested a really dynamite second crop," he said. "Just based on the my personal experience over the years, I think this is the best second crop we've ever had."The second crop follows a great first crop this year in which farmers said they harvested about 50 barrels of rice, Saichuk said.
The dry weather, lack of rain and abundance of sunshine are the main reasons for the bountiful crop, Saichuk said.The second crop is harvested after farmers re-fertilize and flood their fields following the first harvest. Not all rice farmers plant a second crop.And the economics of the great harvest will be felt in the rice belt towns like Gueydan, Kaplan and Crowley, because the money the farmers make will be put back in the local economies, bringing in more tax dollars for cities, Saichuk said.

U.S. West Coast port backups delay apparel, bobbleheads, french fries

By Steve Gorman and Lisa BaertleinDecember 11, 2014 9:28 PM
·                   
By Steve Gorman and Lisa Baertlein
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Crippling cargo backups at U.S. West Coast ports dragged on into a third month amid industry reports on Thursday of prolonged shipment delays for goods ranging from yoga apparel and rice to NBA bobblehead collectibles and frozen french fries.Cargo that normally takes two to three days to flow through the affected ports, accounting for nearly half of U.S. maritime trade and over 70 percent of imports from Asia, now faces lag times of up to two weeks, the National Retail Federation said.
The congestion has been most pronounced at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the nation's two busiest cargo hubs, where marine officials reported 11 ships anchored on Thursday waiting for berths to open.The number of freighters kept waiting outside the two ports has fluctuated from about eight to 18 on any given day since the slowdown began there around mid-October, said port of Los Angeles spokesman Phillip Sanfield.
Smaller backups have hit other West Coast ports, including Seattle and Tacoma in Washington state.The slowdowns have coincided with prolonged labor talks between 20,000 dockworkers and the Pacific Maritime Association, representing terminal operators and shipping lines at 29 West Coast ports. Their latest contract expired June 30.Management has accused the International Longshore and Warehouse Union of orchestrating some slowdowns on the docks to bolster its leverage at the bargaining table.
Union officials deny organizing protest delays but acknowledge individual dockworkers may have acted out of frustration over the pace of contract talks.They point to other factors that port officials cite as the main reasons for gridlock. Chief among them has been a shortage of tractor-trailer chassis used for hauling cargo containers from the ports, a situation created when shippers decided to sell off their chassis to equipment-leasing companies.Union and port officials also cite record import levels at the peak cargo season, rail service delays and the advent of super-sized container vessels delivering greater cargo volumes.
BOBBLEHEADS, YOGA WEAR AND RICE
Port slowdowns have rippled through the commercial supply chain.Vancouver-based retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc blamed West Coast port congestion for its lower sales forecasts on Thursday. The yoga wear seller said about 1 million of its garments were stuck in port, delaying shipments to stores for up to 10 days.Similar shipment lags were reported by Ann Inc and Ascena Retail Group Inc, parent companies of women's apparel chains Ann Taylor and the Loft, and Lane Bryant and Justice, respectively.
Even professional sports have felt the pinch. The Oakland-based Golden State Warriors earlier this month had to hand out vouchers to 10,000 basketball fans after shipments of the team's Sarunas Marciulionis bobblehead figures were delayed for weeks.Exports have been squeezed as well. Among the hardest hit are Washington state apple growers, who posted a record harvest of 150 million cartons this year but have been thwarted in selling as much of their surplus as hoped to Asian markets.
Port delay-related apple losses since October have run in the tens of millions of dollars, according to Mark Powers, an executive of the Northwest Horticultural Council.Fast-food giant McDonald's Corp said its Japan outlets are among that country's eateries grappling with a french-fried potato shortage blamed on port backups.Most U.S.-processed frozen french fries bound for Japan and other Asian countries are shipped in refrigerated containers through Seattle-Tacoma, said John Toaspern, chief marketing officer for the U.S. Potato Board.
Japan is the biggest Asian market for U.S.-made frozen potato products, importing $336 million worth last year. Toaspern said port jams have at least doubled transit times for french fry shipments to Japan from two to four weeks.Container shipments of California-grown rice bound for Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have likewise been delayed two weeks or more at the height of growers' winter shipping season.
"You start running short on warehouse space. It's a mess," said Tim Johnson, head of the California Rice Commission.Container shipments of corn and soybeans also were being held up, forcing the Illinois-based Prairie Creek Grain Company to offer some Asian customers discounts of up to 6 percent.A roughly $700 discount per $12,000 container of soybeans is the difference between making a profit and breaking even, said Robert Briscoe, Prairie Creek president.(Additional reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago; and Solarina Ho and Euan Rocha in Toronto; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)



Matco Rice represents Pakistan in Canada Trade Expo

December 12, 2014
RECORDER REPORT
Pakistan's largest basmati rice exporter, Matco Rice Processing (Pvt) Limited, represented the country's highest quality rice at the 3rd Edition of Canada Pakistan Trade Expo in Ontario, Canada. The exhibition was organized with Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), and Consulate General of Pakistan in Toronto, with the sole purpose of creating awareness about business opportunities existing in Pakistan. Matco Rice displayed its Flagship brand "Falak" which is one of the highest selling brands in Canada and is available in all store keeping units.
Expressing his views on the occasion, Jawed Ali Ghori, Chairman of Matco Rice said, "We at Matco Rice strongly believe that the lifeblood of global market is trade. The Canada Pakistan Trade Expo has given us the opportunity to display our top quality rice brands and enhance the economic significance by creating more demand of our brands globally." Responding to a question which was put forward by a Canadian journalist interviewing him during the exhibition, Jawed Ali Ghori said, "There is so much to be gained from improved branding and marketing practices within the rice industry in Pakistan, our competitors are selling our rice by developing them into their own brands through value-addition and retail packaging.
Pakistan could easily double the current amount of foreign exchange earnings by focusing on brand development instead of exporting in bulk quantity." He emphasised on the need of holding such exhibitions on regular basis in Toronto which can prove significant in expansion of Pakistan's export to Canada.-PR 

 

India exports rice worth Rs 23,161.56 crore in April-September

By PTI | 12 Dec, 2014, 07.05PM IST
India has exported 16.41 lakh tonnes of basmati rice in the April-September period of the current financial year, valued at Rs 13,846.95 crore.
Description: India has exported 16.41 lakh tonnes of basmati rice in the April-September period of the current financial year, valued at Rs 13,846.95 crore.NEW DELHI: India has exported rice worth Rs 23,161.56 crore in the first six months of the current financial year, Parliament was informed today. India has exported 16.41 lakh tonnes ofbasmati rice in the April-September period of the current financial year, valued at Rs 13,846.95 crore. On the other hand, 36.56 lakh tonnes of non-basmati rice was exported in the same period, valued at Rs 9,314.61 crore.
 In the entire 2013-14 fiscal, exports of basmati rice stood at 37.54 lakh tonnes, valued at Rs 29,291.82 crore, while in the same period, outward shipments of non-basmati rice was 71.48 lakh tonnes, worth Rs 17,795.21 crore. Meanwhile, Iran, one of the largest importers of rice from India, has imposed a temporary restriction on imports from October 19 this year. "Iran has imposed a temporary restriction on import of rice w.e.f 19th October, 2014.
 The government engages with its trade partners in an institutional basis and taken up all trade related issues from time to time," Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharamansaid in a written reply to Lok Sabha. The Minister added that Iran has increased customs duty on import of rice from 22 per cent to 40 per cent in view of the domestic crop season, which will continue till January 21.






2014 Outlook Conference Photo Gallery       







Cook It At Home: Chefs' Holiday Dinners

OPB | Dec. 12, 2014 midnight

CONTRIBUTED BY:

For our Cook it at Home series, OPB visits Portland-area chefs and food-industry entrepreneurs to see how they prepare their favorite dishes in their home kitchens. This month, we caught up with some of our Cook it at Home alums to find out how they celebrate the holidays.
Description: Chef Mirna Attar of Ya Hala restaurant
Chef Mirna Attar of Ya Hala restaurant

OPB: What do you cook for holiday dinners?
Mirna Attar: I cook a Christmas dinner every year for friends and family. We usually host about 45-50 people in our home on Christmas Day. It is another chance for us to all get together and celebrate each other’s company.
OPB: Are there any unique dishes you cook? Any family or cultural traditions? 
Description: Kibbeh Neyyeh
Kibbeh Neyyeh
Joyce Attar
MA: While we tend to have 10-15 dishes, I usually start with Brie canapés with a sundried tomato pesto as an appetizer. This is usually wiped out within the first half hour. Another dish I love to make is Kibbeh Neyyeh, a Lebanese take on steak tartare. We purée a beef tenderloin and knead it with bulgar pilaf, allspice, mint and onion and drizzle it with olive oil. Finally, we all love eating my stuffed Cornish game hen which I fill with basmati rice, ground beef, chestnuts and herbs.

We always have a batch of fresh olives at the dinner table for Christmas. We cure the olives in September and October and they are ready for the holiday season. Salty and bitter, olives bring everyone around the dinner table before, during and after the meal.
OPB: Do you have any interesting memories about holiday food?
MA: As a kid we visited family and friends from home to home on Christmas Day. We were always given a Jordan almond, chocolate and a shot of cognac in their homes. The family with the finest chocolate and cognac would earn bragging rights that year.
Description: Matt & Chong Choi of Choi's Kimchi Company
Matt & Chong Choi of Choi's Kimchi Company
John Kin / OPB
OPB: What do you cook for holiday dinners?
Chong Choi: You can find me in the kitchen cooking for just about every holiday in the winter. 
As the owner of a kimchi company it’s kind of funny, but most people don’t think of kimchi as a holiday food. But you can be sure there will be many different varieties of kimchi that sprinkle our holiday spread. I cook a mixture of American and Korean food for the holidays and am usually cooking for about 20 family and friends. Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, japchae (sweet potato noodles, vegetables, beef), bossam (sliced pork belly served with fresh kimchi and garlic) and kimchi are almost always present.
OPB: Are there any unique dishes you cook? Any family or cultural traditions?
Description: Galbi Jjim
Galbi Jjim
Courtesy of Matt & Chong Choi
CC: Galbi Jjim is probably the favorite dish during the holidays in my household. It’s a Korean braised beef short rib dish. My kids can’t get enough of it.
Sometimes we’ll play Yut Nori. Especially around New Year’s. It’s a traditional Korean board game. Sebeh is also a big Korean tradition involving the children wishing their elders a Happy New Year by performing a deep bow and being rewarded with money. 

My kids hated me for doing this, but I would gather all the kids and make them perform a mini talent show. My niece would play the flute, and my sons would play piano or guitar. They loathed it. ​​
OPB: Do you have any interesting memories about holiday food?
CC: The first year I came to the States, I was really shocked at how different the holiday food was here. It was nothing like the food back home. I didn’t know there were turkeys that big. I actually thought it was a giant chicken! It piqued my interest and I learned how to prepare them from my mom who moved here before I did.
Description: Chef Jenn Louis of Lincoln Restaurant and Sunshine Tavern
Chef Jenn Louis of Lincoln Restaurant and Sunshine Tavern
John Kin / OPB
OPB: What do you cook for holiday dinners?
Jenn Louis: I celebrate Hanukkah. I am Jewish. So for Hanukkah, I always make a braised brisket and it’s different than a smoked brisket you typically see at barbecue joints. It’s braised really, really slowly and it’s very tender, and we serve that with traditional potato latkes. I always make either an apple or pear sauce to go with it. I like an applesauce, but I usually use pears and vanilla. We always have jelly doughnuts, which are the traditional dessert for Hanukkah, called sufganiyot.
Description: Potato latkes & braised brisket
Potato latkes & braised brisket
Jenn Louis
OPB: Are there any unique dishes you cook? Any family or cultural traditions?
JL: My husband and I are both Jewish. We are both from different kinds of heritage. My family is from Eastern Europe, and his family are Greek Jews, so we kind of blend a little bit of the two traditions together for our holidays. 
OPB: Do you have any interesting memories about holiday food?
Description: Bacon apple pie
Bacon apple pie
Jenn Louis
JL: Christmas Day is really fun for us because we don’t celebrate Christmas, but we always go out for Chinese food for dinner later that evening. That’s pretty traditional. It’s kind of a joke that it’s always the Jewish Christmas is Chinese food.
Another thing to add … I have a really good friend who loves bacon, so I made him a bacon apple pie for Thanksgiving one year as a treat.
Description: Tyler Malek
Tyler Malek
John Kin / OPB
OPB: What do you cook for holiday dinners?
Tyler Malek: I love roasting the birds for each meal, typically turkey for Thanksgiving and duck for Christmas. I’m not sure why I always try to sign up for these. There’s something about the perfectly crispy skin and the joy people have when you bring out the main course!
OPB: Are there any unique dishes you cook? Any family or cultural traditions?
TM: My grandma has a pretty killer oyster casserole recipe. Buttery, salty and pleasantly fishy! I remember growing up and always looking forward to this casserole! After looking back on it, the funny thing about our grandma’s famous oyster casserole was that we were eating this ‘delicacy’ in rural Montana — not until I was in my 20s did I realize that the oysters were all from a can.
OPB: Do you have any interesting memories about holiday food?
TM: My stepdad, although culinarily challenged, was the bearer of warmed Parker House rolls. He used to buy WAY too many par-cooked rolls and microwave them till they were WAY too undercooked. With a slab of butter, he would pass the doughy doughnut-like rolls around between my brothers and me as we all played games and watched football.
Description: Bonnie Morales, chef and owner of Kachka
Bonnie Morales, chef and owner ofKachka
Kayo Lackey / OPB
OPB: What do you cook for holiday dinners?
Bonnie Morales: For Hanukkah: latkes, applesauce, carrot tsimmes, apple cider doughnuts. 
OPB: Are there any unique dishes you cook? Any family or cultural traditions?
BM: Latkes are the only real family/cultural tradition. I couldn’t imagine Hanukkah without them. Besides being big on Hanukkah for most people, they are something that my grandfather used to make year-round. He was famous for them (in the family, that is). Belarus, where my family is from, is known as potato country, so fried potato pancakes are just part of the daily fare. They are known as Dryaniki. I think serving them with applesauce is something that was picked up here in the States. Back in Belarus they were just eaten with sour cream (smetana). I’d say the type of applesauce I make these days is somewhat unique. A little smoother and brighter than the Motts variety.

As an adult, I’ve taken on making doughnuts on Hanukkah. Again, this is not a family tradition, but something that is common amongst American Jews. I press fresh apple juice for them and I think they are pretty tasty (though not all that unique, I suppose).

Carrot tsimmes is a dish that has no historical or family tie to Hanukkah, but I always crave it this time of year so I tend to make it for Hanukkah. I do know it to be a popular dish in the Jewish canon. It is a slow braise of meat (I bounce between short rib or chicken thighs) in a whole bunch of shredded carrots. Cooked carrots on their own are very one note, but the meaty braise transforms them to something craveable.  
OPB: Do you have any interesting memories about holiday food?
BM: In my childhood home, the menorah was always on the kitchen table. I remember my brother and I getting in trouble for using it to roast stuff while eating dinner. You know, potatoes or other items off the dinner plate. We even got a marshmallow going before we were busted. Real interactive dining!
Description: Heidi Nestler and her husband, Daisuke Fukushima, who makes natto at home
Heidi Nestler and her husband, Daisuke Fukushima, who makes natto at home
John Kin / OPB
OPB: What do you cook for holiday dinners?
Heidi Nestler: When our family lived in an old house in Kyoto without central heat, the four of us would often huddle together in the winter and cook at the table, in large part to keep warm! We love nabe (Japanese one-pot dishes) where we cook vegetables and meat or fish in a broth. My favorite nabe in Kyoto was made with thinly sliced duck meat. The broth at the end is so rich and fatty, so good mixed with a little rice or noodles! Come to think of it, I always have soup or nabe on solstice, going back to when the kids were little. 

OPB: Are there any unique dishes you cook? Any family or cultural traditions?
HN: On December 26th, we typically take down all Christmas decorations and launch into preparations for Japanese New Year’s. Basically we clean a lot, then cook a lot. A little before midnight, we eat toshikoshi soba (“year-end noodles”). In Japan, we could hear the temple bell start to toll 108 times around this time of the night. Each ring represents an earthly temptation in Buddhist belief. It sounds corny, but since living in Portland we will sometimes listen to a recording of a resonant temple bell tolling while we slurp our noodles! Also, my German grandmother’s tradition was to eat pickled herring at midnight, which goes surprisingly well with soba.
Description: Osechi
Osechi
Courtesy of Heidi Nestler
Osechi, the New Year’s foods that we spend the last days of the year busily preparing and procuring, are meant to last for a few days. Most of the dishes have auspicious symbolism and we take care to arrange them in plates and boxes that only get pulled out at New Year’s. My favorite osechi dish is kazunoko, or herring roe. It is salty and crunchy like no other crunchy food I know. We start New Year’s Day with saké infused with Chinese medicinal herbs, toso. There are a few other favorite foods that are not traditional for New Year’s, but which I make every year to have during the first couple of days of January: chirashi, or scattered sushi; oden, a winter stew with fish cakes and chikuzen-ni, a medley of wonderful root vegetables and chicken simmered in a soy-based broth.

OPB: Do you have any interesting memories about holiday food?
 

HN:
 Growing up, Christmas Eve dinner meant something a little fancy. My father would always ask if we were having pheasant under glass, but we never did. I do remember small birds, though, like squab and Cornish game hens, and lots of stuffed mushrooms and Brie. My mom would also sometimes make pizza fondue to appeal to me. It’s still all about the melted cheese for me, I guess. These days our tradition is to serve raclette.

Christmas Day we always had a traditional meal which centered on ham or turkey. I grew up in upstate New York, where we would have big storms that would knock out the power for days sometimes. This happened one Christmas, and I will never forget my mom in her apron and snow boots carefully carrying the turkey in its roasting pan up a hill to cook in our neighbors’ gas oven. And then her deliberate steps back down the hill with our steaming turkey. I thought she was amazing because she didn’t drop it! 
Description: http://www.opb.org/images/fetch/c_limit,h_350,q_90,w_220/http%3A/s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/opb-media/artsandlife/2012/07/cookhome.jpg
John Rosman/OPB
OPB: What do you cook for holiday dinners?
Gabe Rosen: Ours change every year. Sometimes we do things with our family, sometimes with our Biwa family, sometimes a combination, and honestly we absolutely love to spend Christmas Day, particularly just the two of us, at home, the restaurant is closed, everything else is closed.
OPB: Are there any unique dishes you cook? Any family or cultural traditions?
GR: I love to cook, for the two of us or a crowd, and over the holidays I like to cook turkeys for a crowd or Dungeness crabs if it is the two of us. Kina makes a very good cheesecake (for a crowd), and we also both really like to come together on an afternoon for a long German-style Christmas Day brunch buffet in our kitchen enjoyed in our pajamas. Kina makes biscuits, we have real soft scrambled eggs, smoked fish, lots of tea (Earl Grey for Kina, Pu-erh for Gabe), vollkornbrot from Fressen or spelt from Little T, little salads, cheese, endless butter, yogurt, some pastries just to be safe (but less in recent years). We will gladly do this for guests, but absolutely love to do it just the two of us and the cats. I also make and we eat a lot of soup. Right now we are deep in a fish sauce/turkey soup that is really hitting the spot.
OPB: Do you have any interesting memories about holiday food?
GR: I wouldn’t say that either of us are particularly traditional about the holiday season. I like to get a present from Kina. I grew up eating ‘Thanksgiving Dinner Part Two’ for Christmas because my dad likes it and likes cooking it. We liked it, too. My dad has a fairly ritualized holiday meal that I grew up eating that, among other recognizable items (dressing, gravy, bird), also contains Japanese potstickers (gyoza) that a restaurant owner/friend taught him to make and that we all like and are somehow part of the Biwa story, too.