Monday, December 29, 2014

29th December(Monday),2014 Daily Exclusive ORYZA Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Description: Description: http://oryza.com/sites/default/files/field/image/141226indonesiaricefields.jpgIndonesia Targets to Produce Over 80 Million Tons of Paddy Rice in 2015

Dec 26, 2014

Indonesia needs to produce over 80 million tons (around 52.8 million tons, basis milled) of paddy rice in 2015 to achieve food self-sufficiency target in the next three years, local sources quoted the  Agriculture Minister as saying.The Minister noted that he has set a target of over 80 million tons, or about 11 million tons higher than an estimated 70.6 million tons produced in 2014 to support the food self-sufficiency program initiated by the new President.
He noted that he expects all the major rice producing provinces to contribute to the increased paddy rice production. He said an increase of 2 million tons each in the provinces of East Java and West Java; 1.5 million tons in Central Java; and one million tons each in West Sumatra and North Sumatra.The Minister said the government is planning to increase the allocation for farming in the 2015 budget to around Rp20 trillion (around $1.6 billion) from the current Rp4.1 trillion (around $330 million) as part of efforts to achieve the food self-sufficiency target.
He noted that in order to increase production in the major rice producing provinces, the government needs to address certain issues such as damaged irrigation channels, inefficient distribution of fertilizer and seeds, farming tools and lack of agricultural extension. The Minister noted that the President has already approve the Ministry's plan to repair damaged irrigation system for 1 million hectares of rice fields next year.
The Minister also noted that the government would distribute 57,000 tons of fertilizer and seeds for about five million hectares of rice fields across the country.The government has actually targeted an increase of about 4% in the paddy rice production in 2015 to around 73.4 million tons (around 48.44 million tons, basis milled) from an estimated 70.61 million tons (around 46.65 million tons, basis milled) in 2014, according to local sources.
USDA estimates Indonesia to produce around 36.5 million tons of rice, basis milled (around 57.4 million tons, basis paddy), and import around 1.3 million tons of rice in MY 2014-15 (January 2014 - December 2014. Consumption in 2015 is estimated at around 39.2 million tons.

Thai NACC and OAG to Gather More Evidence in Rice Pledging Case

Description: Description: http://oryza.com/sites/default/files/field/image/141226thairicestocks1_0.jpgDec 26, 2014

Thailand's National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) and the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) have decided to gather further evidences in the controversial rice pledging scheme before deciding over the prosecution of indicting the former Prime Minister (PM), according to local sources.
The NACC initially refused to question more witnesses following OAG's ruling to gather more evidences, regarding a government-to-government (G2G) deal with China, saying it's investigative report is complete in all respects. However, in a joint meeting on December 25, 2014, both the NACC and OAG decided to gather more evidences against the former PM as well as question two more witnesses in regarding the G2G deal.
The NACC will question an accuser over the G2G deal and a researcher from the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI).
The NACC Secretary-General said he was hopeful of the OAG to carry out the prosecution of the former PM at the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Offices after its completion of interviewing the witnesses by the end of January 2015. He added that if OAG did not take up the prosecution case, it would take the case to the Court individually.
The former PM is also facing charges of ignoring warnings against misdealing in the controversial rice pledging scheme, which brought losses of over 500 billion baht (around $15.6 billion) to the exchequer.

Oryza Overnight Recap - Chicago Rough Rice Futures Slightly Higher on Light Volume

Dec 26, 2014
Chicago rough rice futures for Jan delivery were trading 2 cents per cwt (about $0.44 per ton) higher at $12.145 per cwt (about $268 per ton) during early floor trading in Chicago. The other grains are seen trading mostly higher: soybeans are currently seen 0.8% higher, wheat is listed about 0.2% higher and corn is currently trading unchanged.
U.S. stocks rose in light volume on Friday as Wall Street reopened following the Christmas holiday, with the Dow and S&P 500 at or near records. Around the globe, most major markets were closed, with trading shuttered in cities including London, Paris, Milan, Hong Kong and Toronto. Crude-oil futures for February delivery rose 21 cents, or 0.3%, to $56.05 a barrel as fighting between government troops and Islamist militias in Libya fostered supply concerns. Benchmark indexes were in position for a second week of gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 45.26 points, or 0.3%, to 18,075.47. The S&P 500 gained 6.27 points, or 0.3%, to 2,088.15, with energy leading sector gains that extended to all 10 of its major industry groups. The Nasdaq gained 18.43 points, or 0.4%, to 4,791.89. Gold is currently trading about 1.7% higher, crude oil is seen trading slightly lower,  and the U.S. dollar is currently trading about 0.2% higher at 8:40am Chicago time.

Oryza Afternoon Recap - Chicago Rough Rice Futures Push Slightly Higher Near Session Close but Remain Lower on the Shortened Week

Dec 26, 2014
Chicago rough rice futures for Jan delivery settled 4 cents per cwt (about $1 per ton) higher at $12.165 per cwt (about $268 per ton). Rough rice futures pushed slightly higher in the final moments of trading as the market finished a shortened holiday week over 20 cents per cwt (about $5 per ton) lower from their starting point of $12.370 per cwt (about $273 per ton) at which they opened for Monday’s session. Overall the market continues to trade in a sideways pattern and will likely continue to do so through the coming weeks.
The other grains closed mostly higher today; Soybeans closed about 1.8% higher at $10.5400 per bushel; wheat finished about 0.1% lower at $6.1075 per bushel, and corn finished the day about 1.7% higher at $4.1475 per bushel.U.S. stocks rose in light volume on Friday following the Christmas holiday, with the Dow and S&P 500 at or near records. Around the globe, most major markets were closed, with trading shuttered in cities including London, Paris, Milan, Hong Kong and Toronto. Benchmark indexes were in position for a second week of gains. After rising 73 points to an intraday record, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was more recently up 42.38 points, or 0.2%, at 18,072.59.
The S&P 500 gained 8.04 points, or 0.4%, to 2,089.92, with utilities leading sector gains that extended to all 10 of its major industry groups. The Nasdaq gained 28.01 points, or 0.6%, to 4,801.48. Gold is trading about 1.9% higher, crude oil is seen trading about 1.6% lower, and the U.S. dollar is seen trading about 0.2% higher at about  1:00pm Chicago time.Wednesday, there were 672 contracts traded, down from 1,064 contracts traded on Tuesday. Open interest – the number of contracts outstanding – on Wednesday decreased by 304 contracts to 9,218.

Philippines Targets to Produce 20 Million Tons of Paddy Rice in 2015; Up 6% from 2014

Description: http://www.oryza.com/sites/default/files/field/image/141226philricefields_0.jpgDec 26, 2014

The Philippines Department of Agriculture (DA) is targeting to produce around 20 million tons of paddy rice in 2015, up about 6% from an estimated 18.8 million tons in 2014, according to local sources.The Agriculture Secretary was quoted as saying that they are planning to achieve their target by expanding paddy rice acreage and increasing the yield per hectare to around 3.89 tons per hectare from an estimated 2.09 tons per hectare. He also noted that the government would encourage farmers to increase hybrid seeds planting to ensure higher output. He added that the government is planning to provide about 52,000 hectares of irrigated land to plant hybrid rice seeds.
The Secretary told local sources that the government is also planning to increase the budget allocation to its credit assistance program, Sikat Saka, to about P1 billion (around $22 million) from next year from the current P400 million (around $8.9 million).The Philippines government aimed to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production in 2013, but could achieve only 92% of the self-sufficiency target due to a series of typhoons that hit the country. Now the government has temporarily put off the rice self-sufficiency target and is planning to import sufficient rice to ensure adequate stocks and control price hikes.
The South-East Asian nation has imported around 1.8 million tons of rice since the beginning of 2014 (including 1.5 million tons of this year's imports and 300,000 tons of last year's imports) to replenish rice stocks and control price hikes. It has recently allowed the private sector to import another 187,000 tons of rice under the minimum access volume (MAV) program.USDA estimates Philippines  MY 2014-15 (July - June) paddy rice production at around 19.365 million tons (around 12.2 million tons, basis milled), up about 3% from around 18.822 million tons (around 11.8 million tons, basis milled) produced in the previous year. It estimates Philippines 2014-15 milled rice exports at around 1.6 million tons, up about 10% from last year.

Vietnam's 2014 Rice Exports Estimated at 6.53 Million Tons; Down 1% from 2013

Dec 26, 2014
Description: http://oryza.com/sites/default/files/field/image/141226vietnamricefields.jpgVietnam's rice exports in 2014 are expected to reach around 6.53 million tons, down about 0.9% from around 6.59 million tons in 2013 due to a stiff competition from other exporting nations such as Thailand and India, according to Reuters.The Agriculture Ministry was quoted as saying in a monthly report that total earnings from rice exports are however expected to increase to around $3.05 billion in 2014, up about 4.2% from around $2.93 billion earned in 2013.
The Ministry noted in the report that Vietnam's total paddy production in 2014 would reach around 44.84 million tons (around 28 million tons, basis milled), up about 1.8% from around 44 million tons (around 27.5 million tons, basis milled) produced in 2013.Increase in the paddy rice output is attributed to increase in yields despite a decline in paddy rice acreage by about 1.2% to around 7.8 million hectares from around 7.89 million hectares in 2013. According to the Ministry sources average yield increased by about 3% to around 5.83 tons per hectare from around 5.66 tons per hectare in 2013.
Vietnam exported around 5.961 million tons of rice in January 1 - December 18, 2014, down about 11% from about 6.71 million tons of rice exported in full year of 2013, according to data from the Vietnam Food Association (VFA). Average rice export price so far in this year stands at about $439 per ton (FOB), up about 2% per ton from same time last year.
USDA estimates Vietnam to produce around 28.16 million tons of rice, basis milled (around 45 million tons, basis paddy) and export around 6.5 million tons in MY 2013-14 (January 2014 – December 2014) .
Global Rice Quotes
December 26th, 2014

Long grain white rice - high quality
Thailand 100% B grade           420-430           ↔
Vietnam 5% broken     385-395           ↔
India 5% broken          385-395           ↔
Pakistan 5% broken     370-380           ↔
Cambodia 5% broken 460-470           ↔
U.S. 4% broken           510-520           ↔
Uruguay 5% broken    595-605           ↔
Argentina 5% broken   595-605           ↔

Long grain white rice - low quality
Thailand 25% broken NQ       ↔
Vietnam 25% broken   350-360           ↔
Pakistan 25% broken   330-340           ↔
Cambodia 25% broken            435-445           ↔
India 25% broken        350-360           ↔
U.S. 15% broken         495-505           ↔

Long grain parboiled rice
Thailand parboiled 100% stxd             405-415           ↔
Pakistan parboiled 5% broken stxd      395-405           ↔
India parboiled 5% broken stxd           375-385           ↔
U.S. parboiled 4% broken       580-590           ↔
Brazil parboiled 5% broken     570-580           ↔
Uruguay parboiled 5% broken             NQ       ↔

Long grain fragrant rice
Thailand Hommali 92%           890-900           ↔
Vietnam Jasmine         525-535           ↔
India basmati 2% broken         NQ       ↔
Pakistan basmati 2% broken    NQ       ↔
Cambodia Phka Mails 805-815           ↔

Brokens
Thailand A1 Super       330-340           ↔
Vietnam 100% broken             330-340           ↔
Pakistan 100% broken stxd     300-310           ↔
Cambodia A1 Super    385-395           ↔
India 100% broken stxd          295-305           ↔
Egypt medium grain brokens   NQ       ↔
U.S. pet food   390-400           ↔
Brazil half grain           NQ       ↔


All prices USD per ton, FOB vessel, oryza.com

Asia Rice Quotes Unchanged Today

Dec 26, 2014
Asia rice sellers kept their quotes mostly unchanged today.
5% Broken Rice
Thailand 5% rice is quoted at around $405 - $415 per ton, about $20 per ton premium on Vietnam 5% rice shown at around $385 - $395 per ton. India 5% rice is quoted at around $385 - $395 per ton, about $15 per ton premium on Pakistan 5% rice quoted at around $370 - $380 per ton.
25% Broken Rice 
Thailand 25% rice was last quoted at around $350 - $360 per ton, on par with Vietnam 25% rice shown at around $350 - $360 per ton. India 25% rice is quoted at around $350 - $360, about $20 per ton premium on Pakistan 25% rice quoted at around $330 - $340 per ton.
Parboiled Rice
Thailand parboiled rice is quoted at around $405 - $415 per ton. India parboiled rice is quoted at around $375 - $385 per ton, about $20 per ton discount to Pakistan parboiled rice quoted at around $395 - $405 per ton.
100% Broken Rice
Thailand broken rice, A1 Super, is quoted at around $330 - $340 per ton, on par with Vietnam 100% broken rice shown at around $330 - $340 per ton. India's 100% broken rice is shown at around $295 - $305 per ton,  about $5 per ton discount to Pakistan broken sortexed rice quoted at around $300 - $310 per ton.

Myanmar's Illegal Rice Exports to China Increase Despite Ban

Dec 26, 2014
Description: http://oryza.com/sites/default/files/field/image/141226burmafarmer.jpgMyanmar rice exports to China through its northern borders have reached about 716,272 tons accounting for nearly 78% of the total rice exports since the beginning of this fiscal year, which began on April 1, according to local sources. Total rice exports of the country reached around 915,000 tons from April 1 - December 15, 2014, up about 75% from around 522,857 tons exported during the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Commerce. Sources at the Ministry were quoted as saying that illegal rice exports to China through northern borders have increased despite China officially banning rice imports through borders. Official rice exports from the country constituted only 198,698 tons, according to the Ministry. 
The Chairman of the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) noted that though rice exports through the northern  borders is considered to be legal from Myanmar's point of view, Chinese authorities have been treating these cross border imports as illegal as there is no formal rice export agreement between China and Myanmar. China, which had been demanding a phyto-sanitary agreement with Myanmar, had officially banned rice imports through Myanmar's northern borders in August this year.
Myanmar government has been negotiating with the Chinese authorities to chart a formal trade agreement between the two countries. In November, on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit, the Chinese Premier reportedly promised to import one million tons of rice from Myanmar in 2015 as well as legalize imports through borders. The MRF Chairman said a delegation would visit China to carry out further negotiations with the Chinese authorities next month.
The Chairman of the Myanmar Farmers Association added that China Certification and Inspection Group is planning to set up an office in Rangoon soon in order to monitor the quality of Myanmar rice before exporting to China.
Myanmar exported record 1.33 million tons of rice in 2012-13, but exports dropped to around 1.2 million tons in MY 2013-14. The government is keen on increasing rice exports to around 3 million tons over the next few years and is planning to prioritize rice in its National Export Strategy, which is likely to be released in January 2015. It is planning to explore newer markets for its rice exports under the new strategy.
The South-East Asian nation expects to export over 1.5 million tons of rice this year. USDA estimates Myanmar to produce 18.98 million tons of paddy rice (around 12.15 million tons, milled basis) and export around 1.4 million tons of rice in MY 2014-15 (January - December 2015).

About 42% of Taiwan's Rice Imports Under 2014 U.S. CSQ Remains Untendered

Dec 26, 2014
*       Description: http://oryza.com/sites/default/files/field/image/141226tiwanrice_0.jpgOf the 38,634 tons to be imported under normal tenders, Taiwan imported around 9,750 tons or about 12% of the U.S. 2014 CSQ and has invited tenders for around 12,384 tons of U.S. long grain rice on December 25. Tenders have to be invited for the remaining 16,230 tons or 42% of the total 2014 U.S. CSQ, according to the USDA Post.
According to the Post, as the year 2014 was coming to an end, Taiwan issued five tenders for a total of about 22,100 tons of U.S. rice during the week of December 8 - 13, 2014. Of this, tenders for only 5,600 tons were successfully awarded.
Tenders for 1,500 tons of U.S. origin long grain brown rice for delivery between May 1 - June 30, 2015 on December 11 and 18 failed due to no bidder participating in the bid. About 1,000 tons of rice were awarded on December 10 at NT$24,490 per ton ($784.66 per ton). Tender for another 500 tons of rice on December 18 failed due to high prices. Of 9,000 tons of U.S. origin medium/short grain brown rice tendered on December 11, only 2,000 tons were awarded at NT$24,990 per ton ($800.96 per ton) for delivery between May 1-June 30, 2015. Tender for the remaining 7,000 tons will be scheduled shortly on a global basis. Tenders for 1,500 tons of U.S. origin medium/short grain brown rice for delivery between May 1 - June 30, 2015 failed because of high prices. Of the 8,600 tons of U.S. origin medium/short grain brown rice tendered for delivery between May 1 - June 30, 2015, around 2,600 tons were awarded to two bidders at NT$26,095 per ton (around $836.83 per ton). Tender for remaining 6,000 tons is expected in January 2015.
Recently, Taiwan has removed the longstanding eight-year ban on U.S. long grain rice imports.  Taiwan has to import around 64,634 tons of rice under 2014 U.S. country specific quota (CSQ), of which around 38,634 tons of rice are to be imported in normal tenders and around 26,000 tons of rice are to be imported in Simultaneous Buy Sell (SBS) tenders.

News are published with permission of ORYZA.com

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29th December(Monday),2014 Daily Exclusive ORYZA Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

29th December (Monday),2014 Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Brown rice more nutritious


Let me express my appreciation of and gratitude for the excellent article titled “Redeeming the lost glory of brown rice” (Across the Nation, 12/3/14).I have noticed that brown rice is more expensive although it needs less processing. I have also noticed that there are many rice hybrids and GMO varieties being promoted.As someone who worked to make rice-growing less polluting to our environment, I am concerned that hybrids often require a heavy chemical input, much of which runs off into our streams, rivers, lakes and ocean.
When growing rice with integrated rice duck methods, we use azolla and/or duckweed to provide extra nitrogen for the rice via the ducks. Small fish can also be integrated if the water level is sufficient, and then both the ducks and the fish will eat the azolla and excrete the nitrogen and other nutrients into the water. Aside from consuming insects and adding to the nutrients in the water, the fish provide additional food and product for the farmer. In the past I was told that this will not provide sufficient nutrients for hybrid varieties and that we should plant old varieties that do well with the natural fertilizers provided by the ducks (recycled snails, weeds and insects).Before I began my integrated rice duck project I visited both the International Rice Research Institute (Irri) and the Department of Agriculture. Scientists at Irri told me that too much rice is wasted through improper postproduction methods (such as drying palay on highways).
 A scientist at the DA told me that more rice is wasted by consumers. The wasted rice, all in all, is more than what is needed for the countryĆ­s self-sufficiency in rice.Also, importing rice from abroad is detrimental to Filipino farmers as it inevitably lowers the price they get for their produce. Why not focus on eliminating waste rather than going to hybrid varieties that are likely to contaminate our water with chemical runoff?
One last point, the GMO “golden rice” mentioned in the article lacks some of the nutrients that are present in the rice bran—the bran is removed when rice is milled into the white rice that Filipinos prefer. I urge people to cook


and enjoy brown rice, which still has the bran intact and is more filling and nutritious than the polished white rice. In fact, before I heard of the GMO golden rice, I was calling unpolished brown rice golden rice.
I was surprised that all things brown are considered inferior here in the Philippines. In my homeland of California, tanning salons, lotions and ointments turn the white into golden brown, a most desirable color… and with rice a most delicious and
nutritious one!
—ROWLAND LANE ANDERSON,
permaculturist at Tagpopongan Natural Farm, Veterans For Peace Mission to the Philippines, Davao City andersonlane47@yahoo.com

Source with thanks: http://opinion.inquirer.net/81305/brown-rice-more-nutritious#ixzz3NKSBevHb 


Wheat up on rising demand, tight supply
Saturday, 27 December 2014
New Delhi , December 27:
Wheat prices rose by Rs 20 per quintal at the wholesale market today on increased demand by flour mills against tight supplies from producing belts.However, other grains continued to trade in a tight range in limited deals and settled around previous levels.Traders said tight supplies from producing regions mainly led to rise in wheat prices.

In the national capital, wheat dara (for mills) advanced by Rs 20 to Rs 1,695-1,700 per quintal. Wheat deshi followed suit and traded higher by a similar margin at Rs 2,270-2,670 per quintal. Atta chakki delivery enquired higher by RS 20 to Rs 1,700-1,705 per 90 kg.
Following are today's quotations (in Rs per quintal):

Wheat MP (deshi) 2,270-2,670, Wheat dara (for mills) 1,695-1,700, Chakki atta (delivery) 1,700-1,705, Atta Rajdhani (10 kg) 220, Shakti bhog (10 kg) 220, Roller flour mill Rs 890-900 (50 kg), Maida 960-965 (50 kg) and Sooji 1000-1010 (50 kg).

Basmati rice (Lal Quila) 10,400, Shri Lal Mahal 10,000, Super Basmati Rice 9,500, Basmati common new 5,400-6,000, Rice Pusa (1121) 4,750-5,800, Permal raw 1,750-1,800, Permal wand 1,875-1,900, Sela 2,450-2,500 and Rice IR-8 1,575-1,625, Bajra 1,170-1,175, Jowar yellow 1,400-1,425,white 2,400-2,525, Maize 1,360-1,365, Barley 1,650-1,660.
Rice-economics' in a drought
By Brad Hooker
UC Davis News Service
CREATED:   12/26/2014 03:45:09 PM PST
Courtesy Water management practices for rice have taken on a new urgency as the California...
When herbicides swept from farms into rivers, George Tibbitts adopted better water-management strategies.With field burning phased out, the Colusa County farmer, like many rice growers, flooded his fields to dissolve the straw remaining after harvest. When water was scarce, he fallowed. But now that a possible fourth year of drought threatens his crucial water allocations, Tibbitts is at a loss.His deep ties to UC Davis have led him to harvest some of the highest yields in the state.

 They will also help Tibbitts take on what will likely be his most challenging year.Tibbitts gained an early curiosity about agriculture from weekends with his grandparents at the Lodi Ranch, the farm started in 1930 by a legend in California rice, George Lodi. At UCD, he studied plant science and as a graduate student he worked in agronomy with Jim Hill, a Cooperative Extension specialist and today an associate dean.Together they researched water management practices, including the impacts of water depth and how to balance the quality of water released from rice fields — crucial work to an industry that would eventually reduce herbicide contaminants by nearly 100 percent."We were doing research on other people's farms and I saw how important it was that growers cooperate with researchers," says Tibbitts.

After college, he married Nancy Rupp, a UCD career counselor, and he applied his master's courses in agricultural economics to a job at the California Farm Bureau. He saved and planned, and finally, at 35, he and his siblings took out a loan to buy back the old family farm."I did what I could, begging and borrowing and stealing those first few years to get my foot in the door," says Tibbitts. "The experience I got working with Jim doing research really helped me understand the science that goes behind the breeding and the agronomics of planting and growing rice."The mixed clay soil at the Lodi Ranch allows for ponding up water for rice, while in other years rotating to crops like safflower and sunflowers, which mine the clay for deeper moisture and nutrients. Tomato growers come in before Tibbitts returns a field to rice. It cuts down on weeds and diseases.
With modern practices and decades of scientific innovation, particularly at the UC-supported Rice Experiment Station, Tibbitts now sees twice the yield his grandfather once harvested.
"It's the same amount of water, same amount of land," he says, "just new varieties and better equipment, better science and technology behind it — all constantly evolving trying to shift that curve."When the Tibbitts family bought the farm, Hill was introducing a new era to rice growing. The Cooperative Extension specialist was helping farmers with new ways of fighting weeds and diseases, from flooding fields in winter to suffocate the weeds, to rotating herbicides before aquatic weeds can adapt.
More than 20 years later, the practices are a mainstay in the region and, long before the current drought, they have led farmers to think more carefully about conserving water."A lot of people think rice is a heavy water user," says Jim Hill. "But it's not much more than other crops and actually less so than some."Hill points out that much of the water that floods the fields is used over and over as it cascades through the rice-growing areas — one farmer's tailwater is the next person's irrigation water.
Little water seeps into the high-clay soils where rice is grown. The flooded fields, meanwhile, simulate the wetlands that once dominated the Central and Sacramento valleys. The habitat supports millions of waterfowl and shorebirds annually."The way we farm is sustainable," says Tibbitts, "but it requires being mindful of putting back into the soil what we take out when we harvest a crop.
"He is reminded of this often by Bruce Linquist, the UCD CE specialist who replaced Jim Hill and has studied fertility on Tibbitts' fields for several years.Today breaking down rice straw through flooding is becoming a luxury. With climatologists predicting a fourth year of drought, every drop of Tibbitts' allocation grows more sacred."Our greatest fear right now is that we have another winter like we had last winter," he says.
"I hope we don't have to find out the hard way what happens when things get as bad as they can get."One weapon Tibbitts may wield years from now could be crafted from the genes of rice. UC Davis scientists have already worked for several years to develop rice varieties tolerant of flooding. By flipping that genetic switch, they could potentially equip rice to handle more drought stress."But in this particular area you could probably do more with water management than you can with breeding," stresses David Mackill, a rice geneticist and adjunct professor in the Department of Plant Sciences. "In the longer term we should be thinking about breeding crops for better sustainability traits.
"Mackill and Bruce Linquist have seen potential in using alternate wetting and drying, which could have other benefits, like fewer traces of arsenic in the grains and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. But this could come at the cost of reduced yields. Yet advanced technologies like this won't be ready for the current drought.Another drought year for Tibbitts means he may leave more fields fallow, hire fewer farmhands and switch to other crops. Rice growers with the heavy clay soil further north, meanwhile, won't have that option.With all the changes, one goal hasn't been lost: sustainability, as in maintaining a farm Tibbitts hopes the next generation of his family will one day inherit."In my lifetime," he says, "I hope I'm still farming when we reach our 100-year anniversary."
Source with thanks:http://www.dailydemocrat.com/breakingnews/ci_27211780/rice-economics-drought
NACC to question two more in rice case
The Nation December 26, 2014 1:00 am
Watchdog responds to prosecutors' demand for more proof of govt deals
The National Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday agreed to question two more witnesses to shore up its case against former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra for dereliction of duty in overseeing the government's rice-pledging scheme. Surasak Srirattrakul, a senior public prosecutor, said the fourth conference of the NACC and the Office of the Attorney-General at the NACC's headquarters to find a common ground on the case came to the conclusion that more substantiation, particularly of the previous government's claim of the existence of a government-to-government rice deal, was needed.
The NACC acceded to the state attorneys' request to summon the two witnesses - an accuser over the government-to-government rice sale and a researcher from the Thailand Development Research Institute - and to observe the questioning.The NACC would also seek more evidence against Yingluck.The NACC and the Office still had minor differences over the completeness of the NACC's investigative report submitted to the public prosecutors, particularly involving the government-to-government issue, Surasak added.

Sansern Poljieak, secretary-general of the NACC, said he expects the state attorneys to proceed with Yingluck's prosecution at the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Offices after interviewing the witnesses.The prosecutors have been suggesting that the NACC needs to flesh out its case by interrogating more witnesses, but the anti-graft agency has insisted it had already built a strong case against Yingluck. The NACC also had threatened to take the case to court itself if the Office refused to pursue it.Sansern, who heads the NACC team in the working group with the Office, said the two witnesses had provided conflicting information and further grilling was needed to "sort things out".
He did not think the statements from the witnesses were directly related to the case against Yingluck, saying the NACC already had initiated a separate investigation for the government-to-government rice sale. "Further questioning of the witnesses should complete the investigative report," he said.There were some good signs in the meeting. "We agreed on all issues and I don't think we will be in conflict again," he said.The questioning of the two witnesses would take only a short time. "It will be completed in January and the other evidence should be ready by the end of February," he said.


Illegal’ Shipments to China Dominate Burma’s $340m in Rice Exports

26.12.2014
Rice shipments across the Sino-Burmese border, considered illegal in China, accounted for more than two-thirds of total rice exports over the last nine months, the Ministry of Commerce announced this week.Though total rice exports reached nearly 915,000 tons from April 1 through the second week of December, overseas exports totaled only 198,698 tons (US$70.1 million), while border exports to China and Thailand reached 716,272 tons ($272.6 million).Chit Khine, chairman of the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF), said Burma’s rice exports across the Sino-Burmese border constituted the highest bilateral trade total, despite a Chinese ban on Burmese rice imports.

“Rice exports, from our side, are legal, but on the China side these exports are illegal, that’s why we’re discussing with the Chinese government to legalize rice exports. One of our business missions will go to China in the second week of next month,” he said.Early this year, China officially banned rice imports from Burma, demanding that a trade agreement be signed guaranteeing that most rice is milled and meets certain quality standards. China had long been—and continues to be—one of Burma’s biggest customers for rice, much of which is harvested in the Irrawaddy Delta and shipped over land borders in Shan and Kachin states.According to government figures, rice exports to China through the Burmese border town of Muse to Ruili in China accounted for the vast majority of overland exports, at 700,000 tons, while overseas rice shipments to China reached 11,000 tons.

“That is why the business delegation from the MRF and the government will talk with the Chinese government next month to buy our rice legally over the borders,” Chit Khine said, adding that he expected the legalization of rice exports to China would further accelerate export growth.A bilateral agreement on rice standards would allow the MRF to legally export about one million tons of milled rice to China, starting in January.Dr. Soe Tun, chairman of the Myanmar Farmers Association, said that China would continue to hold its position as the No. 1 buyer of Burma’s rice next year.

He added that a China Certification and Inspection Group would open an office in Rangoon soon, pending its obtaining a company license from the government, and will serve to monitor the quality of Burmese rice before exporting to China.“We expect that the rice export volume will reach 1.5 million tons in this 2014-15 budget year. We expect 2 million tons for next budget year,” he said.Burma’s rice exports totaled 1 million tons in the 2013-14 fiscal year.Rice prices are also on the rise, with the grain selling for $400 per ton, up from $350 per ton last month, after a heavy monsoon season lowered yields in Burma.

In October, the MRF reached an agreement with Indian rice traders to supply two states in northeastern India with 240,000 tons of rice per year at $400 per ton, although Burmese traders will incur all costs for transporting the goods to the Indian border.Paddy yields in Burma are among the lowest in Southeast Asia, at 2.5 metric tons per hectare. Most rice mills used outdated machinery that produces rice with a high portion of broken grains, making it unsuitable for high-value foreign export markets such as the European Union and Japan.


Jokowi aims for food self-sufficiency in three years

Ina Parlina, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Sat, December 27 2014, 2:44 PM

Joko “Jokowi” Widodo reiterated on Friday his target for achieving rice self-sufficiency for the country in the next three years and said that his government would give more incentives to farmers to meet the objective.Jokowi said that the assistance would be in the form of agricultural tools, including some that he distributed to farmers in Subang, West Java on Friday.Jokowi visited several areas in Subang on Friday, including the Rice Research Center in Sukamandi, Subang, where he handed over 1,099 hand tractors for farmers groups from 19 regencies in West Java.In total, 7,800 units were given to farmers in 14 provinces.

 The government will also provide another 65,931 hand tractors next year for farmers across the country.The Agriculture Ministry will also give free seeds for 5 million hectares of farm lands across the country, or around 40 percent of the total farm lands nationwide, as well as free fertilizer.The ministry also plans to revitalize irrigation infrastructure next year, a program it claims could irrigate 1 million hectares of land across the country.Jokowi has recently instructed his ministers to focus on food and agriculture, as well as the infrastructure developments, in drafting and implementing the revision of the 2015 state budget (RAPBN-P). 

The President has also unveiled the government’s ambitious medium-term economic agenda, which includes boosting the production of food, particularly rice, to achieve food sovereignty within three years during last week’s National Development Planning Conference (Musrenbangnas) during which governors, regents and mayors from across the country were present “Tractors, fertilizers, seeds [...] I give you all of those. But, I will make sure that you keep your words. Within the next three years, [we] must be self-sufficient; this is non-negotiable,” Jokowi told an assembly of farmers and local government leaders.In his five years of presidency, Jokowi also expects to build 49 new dams in several areas in the country.Currently, 52 percent of the country’s irrigation system are in disrepair.Farmers also have to deal with problems like the chaotic distribution of fertilizer and seeds as well as the lack of modern agricultural tools, all of which had hampered the way for the world’s fourth most populous nation to achieve food self-sufficiency.

Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman expects that the government’s assistance could serve as an incentive for local heads to meet the self-sufficiency target.“Because of the assistance, governors have shown their support for the government’s self-sufficiency plan. Already, 10 governors pledged to produce an additional 11 million tons of rice in total,” Amran said. “If we are able to meet such target, we will reach rice self-sufficiency very soon.”West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan, a Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) politician, pledged during the event that his province would be able to produce an additional 2 million tons of rice next year. East Java, meanwhile, was predicted to produce an extra 2 million tons of rice, while South Sulawesi and Central Java would add 1 million tons and 1.5 million tons respectively.

Amran said the country was expected to produce 73 million tons of rice next year, or an increase of 3 million tons from this year’s production.The minister has earlier said that the focus on self-sufficiency in the short-term would be on four key food commodities — rice, corn, soybeans and sugar — all of which are currently being imported.For the food sovereignty program, the Agriculture Ministry would propose that the government earmark an extra Rp 15 trillion in the 2015 revised state budget, while the Public Works Ministry, which oversees dams and water reservoirs, would propose a Rp 12 trillion allocation to support food sovereignty programs.

DA includes climate smart crops in its program

By Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) | 
MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Agriculture (DA) is now incorporating climate smart technologies in its programs to enable the local agriculture sector to adapt to extreme weather changes.“In response to the directive of his Excellency, President Benigno S. Aquino, and in line with the Climate Change Act, DA has put in place adaptation strategies to cushion the impact of extreme weather conditions,” Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala told stakeholders during the recently-held Gawad Saka Awards.The DA, he said, is in the process of setting up 153 automatic weather stations in key agricultural areas to give timely weather advisories to food producers.“These stations will serve as source of information so they will know when and how to plant at a particular season,” said Alcala.The DA, he said, is also developing planting materials for climate-resistant food crops.The DA is now testing the adaptability of green super rice, a variety jointly developed by Laguna-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).
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Alcala said three varieties of the Green Super Rice are being tested for adaptability in various growing stations of the DA nationwide.The National Seed Industry Council has yet to approve though the use of the Super Green Rice for commercial use. The seed council is mandated to register and accredit new seed varieties of superior quality for commercial use.Represented in the council are the DA, rice research institutes, state colleges and universities, as well as players in the seed industry.According to the IRRI, Green Super Rice combines the superior traits of 250  varieties and hybrids variously adapted to difficult growing conditions such as drought and low inputs, including no pesticide and less fertilizer.

 

Source with thanks:http://www.philstar.com/business/2014/12/28/1406984/da-includes-climate-smart-crops-its-program

Noodle factory opening new market for rice

Sat, 27 December 2014
A new rice noodle venture is filling restaurant spring rolls in the West while pushing the value of Cambodian’s broken rice north
In the competitive world of Cambodian rice, Amru Rice is consistently among the leading exporters, ranking second for the first nine months of this year, with more than 34,450 tonnes, or 13 per cent of the Kingdom’s rice exports for that period.This year marks a new venture for Amru, with the opening of Cambodia’s first industrial-scale noodle factory. The new facility will add value to Cambodia’s lower graded rice – used to make the noodles – and exports to Europe and the US are already locked in, according to Song Saran, the 33-year-old chief executive officer of Amru Rice Group.“In the past, we sold broken rice at a low price and we always worry about the market demand,” he said  “But now, we don’t have worry about it anymore.

By having this new production [of noodles], we can add a value of about $100 per tonne to our broken rice,” Saran added.Located in Kampong Speu province, the 3,000 square metre factory cost $700,000 to build and fit out with equipment imported from Japan. Employing 50 people, production of Cambodian noodles began this month, and the first shipment is destined for France in January.Saran said that recent test samples of his noodles sent to France and the US, via existing relationships he has with rice buyers, proved a hit among a small group of restaurateurs looking to add Cambodian noodles to their menu. “Our product is intended to meet the demand for restaurant appetisers,” he said. “There is an increasing trend of eating spring rolls or wontons as a starter.”
CEO Song Saran. Heng Chivoan
According to Saran, about 10 per cent of rice that comes from his mills is broken rice, which fetches about $440 per tonne. Amru will use the broken rice to produce its noodles, which Saran says will be exported for about $500 to $540 per tonne.Amru will ship its first container to France next month, with another half-container scheduled for the US shortly thereafter.Mey Kalyan, senior adviser for the Supreme National Economy Council, said the new facility was an important example of the enhanced production that is needed in Cambodia’s rice industry.

“Whenever we invest to produce more from our raw materials for higher value-add, it’s a great move,” Kalyan said.Although small-scale, the new factory should be a reminder to others in the industry of the need to diversify, said independent economist Srey Chanthy.The opportunities to vary rice-based products will become available if efforts to strengthen the image are enhanced, the independent economist added.“There will be more Cambodian products processed from rice available on the international market in the near future,” he said.For now, Amru’s noodle factory produces between 200 to 300 tonnes per month, but Saran expects to ramp that up to about 700 tonnes.“Then I believe that my enterprise can buy broken rice from other rice millers who don’t have the ability to export,” he said.
Image: A worker at Cambodia’s first noodle factory. Heng Chivoan

Gov’t should not be bailing out rice millers

DECEMBER 27, 2014 · BY STAFF WRITER · 
Dear Editor,
It amazes me to see how government is bailing out rice millers with rice farmers’ paddy payments, this is an ongoing feature since the Jagdeo administration in 2006. I can remember when Cheddi was alive and being the Executive President of Guyana, he never bailed out any rice millers. At one time a rice miller at Vilvoorden on the Essequibo Coast had owed farmers large sums of money for years and Cheddi sent the late Fazal Ali to meet with the owner so they could be paid.
I was on that team with the late Fazal Ali, the General Secretary of the Guyana Rice Producers’ Association (RPA). We were able to negotiate payments for some 200 rice farmers who were owed. However, the miller was unable to pay the farmers and his mills were sold. In the agreement of sale the owner agreed that from the sale, the outstanding payment to farmers would be honoured before the mills were transferred to the new owner.I also remember under the Jagdeo administration, rice millers received debt write-offs in billions of dollars for owing the government-owned banks which had caused the collapse of GNCB, the only farmers’ bank.
Today, we are witnessing another replay of these millers playing dead so they can continue to receive bailouts while they are extending their operations.
These millers get away with much. They offer crummy prices on farmers’ paddy and then have the gall to add interest whenever they buy fertilizers from them.The debt write-offs began nearly decades ago and the government and the ministry of agriculture still think that the chief weapon in quelling this slow-motion panic and loss of confidence is to continue bailing them out with farmers’ money. Yet it is this very policy –that is perpetuating the crisis and undermining our economy.
Lest I be misunderstood, let me say clearly that I am not against rice farmers being paid for their produce but I do not believe that is the government’s duty to bail out millers.I personally think the rice farmers need more subsidies on fertilizers, fuel, spare parts, duty-free concessions on agriculture machinery, mechanical pumps to pump water in their fields, combines, tractors etc. etc.

 rather than bailing out rice millers. Farmers are toiling night and day under the hot sun to produce paddy which has reach a record breaking figure of 633,000 tonnes of rice, surpassing last year’s target. Another thing is to pay the farmers production bonuses for their hard work so they can produce more.
 Yours faithfully,
Mohamed Khan

Source with thanks: http://www.stabroeknews.com/2014/opinion/letters/12/27/govt-not-bailing-rice-mil



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29th December (Monday),2014 Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine