Tuesday, January 13, 2015

13th January (Tuesday),2015 Daily Exclusive ORYZA Rice E-Newesletter by Riceplus Magazine

Asia Rice Quotes Unchanged Today

Jan 12, 2015
Asia rice sellers kept their quotes mostly unchanged today.
5% Broken Rice
Thailand 5% rice is quoted at around $405 - $415 per ton, about $30 per ton premium on Vietnam 5% rice shown at around $375 - $385 per ton. India 5% rice is quoted at around $390 - $400 per ton, about $20 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, about $5 per ton premium on Vietnam 25% rice shown at around $345 - $355 per ton. India 25% rice is quoted at around $355 - $365, about $30 per ton premium on Pakistan 25% rice quoted at around $325 - $335 per ton.
Parboiled Rice
Thailand parboiled rice is quoted at around $405 - $415 per ton. India parboiled rice is quoted at around $380 - $390 per ton, about $20 per ton discount to Pakistan parboiled rice quoted at around $400 - $410 per ton.
100% Broken Rice
Thailand broken rice, A1 Super, is quoted at around $330 - $340 per ton, about $5 per ton premium on Vietnam 100% broken rice shown at around $325 - $335 per ton. India's 100% broken rice is shown at around $300 - $310 per ton,  about $10 per ton premium on Pakistan broken sortexed rice quoted at around $290 - $300 per ton.

Brazil December 2014 Rice Stocks Down 61% from Last Year

Jan 12, 2015
Description: Description: http://oryza.com/sites/default/files/field/image/140112brazilricestocks_0.jpg
Brazil rice stocks stood at around 351,860 tons in December 2014, down about 15% from around 411,947 tons in November 2013 and about 61% from around 904,424 tons in December 2013, according to the country's national grain supplying agency Conab.According to Conab, rice stocks with the Selling Option Contract of Agricultural Products (OPCAO) have declined to around 202,861 tons, down about 17% from around 244,253 tons in November 2014 and down about 63% from around 554,379 tons in December 2014.
 Rice stocks with Federal Government Acquisition (AGF) stood at around 148,057 tons, down about 11% from around 166,604 tons in November 2014 and down about 57% from around 346,235 tons in December 2013. Rice stocks with farmers (Agricultural Familiar) stood at around 942 tons, down 14% from around 1,090 tons in November 2014 and about 75% from around 3,809 tons in December 2013.USDA estimates Brazil MY 2014-15 (April – March) paddy rice production at around 12.28 million tons (around 8.35 million tons, basis milled), slightly up from an estimated 12.2 million tons (around 8.3 million tons, basis milled) in MY 2013-14.

European Commission Meets with Italian Rice Growers to Discuss Import Safeguard Clause

Jan 12, 2015
European Commission officers will be in Rome on January 28 to meet with the Italian rice growing sector and the Italian Government in order to clarify some aspects of the Italian request for a safeguard clause designed to product the domestic industry; this is the first concrete response from Brussels to Rome after the presentation of the second dossier in December 2014. The request asks the European Union (EU)to reintroduce customs barriers for rice imported from Cambodia and Myanmar; currently, under the "Everything but Arms” agreement rice produced from a list of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) which include Cambodia and Myanmar is imported into the EU duty-free.
Italian rice producers say this zero duty policy has caused financial hardship for the local rice industry last two years, although now the European market is showing some hints of recovery.Meanwhile, the boom of rice imports from LDCs to Europe seems to be slowing down. Data supplied by the European Commission from September to December 2014 show that the flow of milled rice from Cambodian and Myanmar is about unchanged if compared to one year ago. The total amount reached in this 4-month period was 81,618 tons, down -1% if compared to the 82,814 tons in the same period a year earlier. 
That includes about 85% from Cambodia and about 15% from Myanmar.  Cambodia rice exports to the EU have slowed while Myanmar rice exports to the EU have increased.   From September-December 2014, Cambodia shipped 67,528 tons to the EU, against the 77,881 tons of the same period of 2013 (down -13% y/y) while Myanmar shipped 12,405 tons to the EU in the same 4 months, up from 3,479 tons of 2013 (+257% y/y ) in the same period a year earlier.

Conab Estimates Brazil 2014-15 Paddy Rice Production at 12.198 Million Tons, Slightly Up from Last Year

Jan 12, 2015
Description: Description: http://oryza.com/sites/default/files/field/image/150112brazilconabproj.jpg
Brazil’s National Grains Supply Company (Conab) has forecasted the country's 2014-15 paddy rice production at around 12.198 million tons, slightly up from around 12.122 million tons in 2013-14. Conab slightly lowered its projections for Brazil 2014-15 paddy rice production from its last month's projection of around 12.21 million tons.
Conab has estimated Brazil's 2014-15 paddy rice acreage at around 2.354 million hectares, slightly down from around 2.373 million hectares in 2013-14 and slightly down from its previous month's projection of around 2.360 million hectares.
Paddy rice acreage in the key rice growing Centro-Sul  (Center-South) region is projected at 1.553 million hectares in 2014-15, slightly down from around 1.565 million hectares in 2013-14. Rice acreage in the North/Northeast regions is estimated at around 800,600 hectares, down 1% from around 808,400 hectares in 2013-14.
Average rice yield in Brazil in 2014-15 is projected at around 5.182 tons per hectare, up about 1.4% from around 5.108 tons per hectare recorded in the previous year, and slightly up from its last month's projection of around 5.174 tons per hectare.
USDA estimates Brazil MY 2014-15 (April – March) paddy rice production at around 12.28 million tons (around 8.35 million tons, basis milled), slightly up from an estimated 12.2 million tons (around 8.3 million tons, basis milled) in MY 2013-14. It estimates Brazil’s 2014-15 paddy rice acreage at around 2.45 million tons, up about 2% from an estimated 2.4 million hectares in MY 2013-14.  USDA estimates Brazil to export around 900,000 tons of rice and import around 700,000 tons of rice in 2014.

Iraq Invites International Tenders to Buy 30,000 Tons of Rice

Jan 12, 2015
Iraq's Trade Ministry has invited international tenders to purchase 30,000 tons of rice from the U.S., Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Vietnam and Thailand, according to Bloomberg.The last date for submitting bids is January 25, 2015 and the bids would be valid till January 29, 2015.

Oryza Afternoon Recap - Chicago Rough Rice Futures Close Lower as USDA S&D Does Little to Support Prices

Jan 12, 2015
Chicago rough rice futures for Mar delivery settled 8.5 cents per cwt (about $2 per ton) lower at $11.460 per cwt (about $253 per ton). Rough rice futures settled lower following an unimpressive USDA S&D report which showed a slight reduction in production for the 2014/15 marketing year. USDA reduced pounds per acre while increasing acreage. Today’s report was more or less as expected and provide little to spur trade activity. The other grains closed mostly lower today; Soybeans closed about 3.5% lower at $10.1600 per bushel; wheat finished about 1.5% lower at $5.5550 per bushel, and corn finished the day about 0.4% higher at $4.0200 per bushel.
U.S. stocks declined on Monday, erasing opening gains, as worries about the falling price of oil overrode enthusiasm that came with a bout of corporate deal making. Exxon Mobil and Chevron led blue-chip declines, which had a 56-point gain quickly evaporating and the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling as much as 157 points and lately off 46.29 points, or 0.3%, at 17,688.11. The S&P 500 shed 11.44 points, or 0.6%, to 2,033.37, with energy leading declines and telecommunications the sole sector in the green among its 10 major industry groups. The Nasdaq declined 28.94 points, or 0.6%, to 4,675.12. Gold is trading about 1.5% higher, crude oil is seen trading about 4.2% lower, and the U.S. dollar is seen trading about 0.1% higher at about  1:00pm Chicago time.
Friday, there were 174 contracts traded, down from 388 contracts traded on Thursday. Open interest – the number of contracts outstanding – on Friday increased by 3 contracts to 8,767.
Global Rice Quotes
January 12th, 2015
Long grain white rice - high quality
Thailand 100% B grade          420-430           ↔
Vietnam 5% broken    375-385           ↔
India 5% broken         390-400           ↔
Pakistan 5% broken    370-380           ↔
Cambodia 5% broken             450-460           ↔
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 345-355           ↔
Pakistan 25% broken 325-335           ↔
Cambodia 25% broken           430-440           ↔
India 25% broken       355-365           ↔
U.S. 15% broken         495-505           ↔
Long grain parboiled rice
Thailand parboiled 100% stxd            405-415           ↔
Pakistan parboiled 5% broken stxd    400-410           ↔
India parboiled 5% broken stxd         380-390           ↔
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%          895-905           ↔
Vietnam Jasmine         510-520           ↔
India basmati 2% broken        NQ      ↔
Pakistan basmati 2% broken   NQ      ↔
Cambodia Phka Mails             805-815           ↔
Thailand A1 Super      330-340           ↔
Vietnam 100% broken            325-335           ↔
Pakistan 100% broken stxd    290-300           ↔
Cambodia A1 Super   355-365           ↔
India 100% broken stxd         300-310           ↔
Egypt medium grain brokens NQ      ↔
U.S. pet food 405-415           ↔
Brazil half grain          NQ      ↔

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

Oryza U.S. Rough Rice Recap - Prices Soften after WASDE Increases Production and Carry Out; Iraq Floats New Tender

Jan 12, 2015

The U.S. cash market was softer today after the USDA WASDE report showed an increase in their long grain production estimate by 2.1 million cwts from last month’s estimate bringing the total to 162.4 million cwts which was mostly due to increased acreage.At the same time, the USDA increased both their long grain import and export projection by 1.0 million cwts as (45,360 tons) which offset each other. This, in turn, increased their 2014/2015 long grain carry over projection from 27.0 million cwts (1,224,700 tons) to 29.1 million cwts (1,319,955 tons).
Analysts note that today’s report was mostly in line with expectations and as a result it did not significantly change buy or sell interest in this market.Meanwhile, the Iraqi Grain Board issued another tender for at least 30,000 tons of long grain white rice of either U.S., Uruguayan, Argentine, Brazilian, Vietnamese, or Thai origin. Offers need to be submitted no later than January 25 and must remain valid through January 29.  

Oryza Overnight Recap - Chicago Rough Rice Futures Little Changed ahead of Today's USDA S&D Update

Jan 12, 2015
Chicago rough rice futures for Mar delivery are currently trading 2 cents per cwt (about $0.44 per ton) lower at $11.530 per cwt (about $254 per ton) during early floor trading in Chicago. The other grains are seen trading mixed: soybeans are currently seen 0.3% lower, wheat is listed about 0.1% lower and corn is currently noted about 0.5% lower.U.S. stocks declined on Monday, erasing opening gains, as worries about the falling price of oil overrode enthusiasm that came with a bout of corporate deal making.
Exxon Mobil and Chevron led blue-chip declines, which had a 56-point gain quickly evaporating and the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling as much as 157 points and lately off 114.89 points, or 0.6%, at 17,622.48. The S&P 500 shed 17.26 points, or 0.8%, to 2,027.55, with energy leading declines and telecommunications the sole sector in the green among its 10 major industry groups. The Nasdaq declined 42.51 points, or 0.9%, to 4,661.55. Gold is currently trading about 0.6% higher, crude oil is seen trading about 4.4% lower,  and the U.S. dollar is currently trading about 0.2% higher at 10:10am Chicago time.

Thailand Rice Bond Sales Receives Lukewarm Response on First Day

Jan 12, 2015

Description: Description: http://oryza.com/sites/default/files/field/image/151212thairicestocks.jpgThailand government has begun the sale of bonds through the state-owned and commercial banks to clear the debts associated with the rice pledging scheme, according to local sources. The government hopes to raise around 100 billion baht (around $3 billion) from bond sales this year.However, response to the sales has not been as expected, according to local sources. While the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) sold about 391 million baht (around $1.2 million) to about 439 buyers; Krungthai Bank sold bonds worth 1 billion baht (around $30.4 million); and Siam Commercial Bank sold around 400-500 million baht (around $1.2 - $1.5 million) worth bonds during the first few hours of opening the sale.
The government planned to sell bonds in two tranches of 50 billion baht (around $1.5 billion) each. The first tranche has a ten-year maturity with 3% interest during the first three years, 4% in the 4th to 7th years and 5% in the 8th to 10th year. The second tranche has five-year maturity with a fixed interest rate at 3.8%. Both the tranches are guaranteed by the Finance Ministry.
The first tranche bond sales began today and the second phase sales will take place between January 19 to 23 , 2014. The buyers are required to purchase a minimum of 1,000 baht (around $30) and can purchase a maximum of 2 million (around $60,832) in the first phase. There are no specified quantity restrictions for the second phase sales.
The rice pledging scheme introduced by the Yingluck-led government has brought about losses of about 518 billion baht (around $15.8 billion) to the government, according to the Thai Finance Ministry. However, the former Thai Prime Minister defended the rice pledging scheme before the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) and denied all the charges against her on last Friday.Separately, the Thai Commerce Ministry has accused 77 parties of theft, embezzlement and fraud connected to the rice pledging scheme introduced by the previous government and has asked the police to prosecute them, said local sources.

USDA Post Estimates Bangladesh to Import 500,000 Tons of Rice in 2014-15; Down 33% from Last Year

Jan 12, 2015

Description: Description: http://oryza.com/sites/default/files/field/image/150112bangladeshricepsd.jpgUSDA Post has estimated Bangladesh to import around 500,000 tons of rice in MY 2014-15 (May - April), down about 33% from an estimated 751,000 tons imported in MY 2013-14. Imports in 2013-14 (mostly by private sector) increased due to competitive Indian prices.
According to official media sources, the government of Bangladesh agreed to export 50,000 tons of coarse tons to Sri Lanka.The Post has estimated Bangladesh's 2014-15 milled rice production to decline slightly to around 34.5 million tons, slightly up from an estimated 34.39 due to expected lower Aman production (July - December), which is likely to be affected from floods in northern Bangladesh, and rice blast and drought in some areas.
The government has planned to procure around 1.4 million tons of paddy and 200,000 tons of milled rice in 2014-15. According to official media sources, the government's procurement of Aman rice from began on November 15, 2014 and will continue till February 28, 2015. The government is expected to procure about 300,000 tons from the Aman crop at around Tk 32 per kilogram (around $386 per ton) for husked rice and around Tk 20 (around $257 per ton) fro unhusked rice.Prices of coarse rice have been falling since October 2014 due to excess supplies from Aman harvest, according to the Post. Government's rice stocks as of December 2014 stood at around 1.16 million tons, up about 75% from 2013, reports the Post based on data from the Ministry of Food. 

Vietnam Charts Out Plans to Expand Rice Exports Amid Stiff Competition; Considers Bonded Warehouses in Africa

Jan 12, 2015

Description: http://oryza.com/sites/default/files/field/image/150112vietrice_0.jpgVietnam's Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has set out plans to intensify measures to boost rice exports in 2015 amid exporters' fears of a likely tough year for Vietnamese rice exports this year due to expected stiff competition with Thailand and India, and declining demand, according to local sources.The Ministry is particularly planning to increase exports to African, West Asian and South Asian markets as it expects the Vietnamese rice to be more price competitive in these markets Vis-a-Vis other rice exporters. It is keen on tapping the markets of  Ivory Coast, Congo, Kenya, Angola, Mozambique and Madagascar, Iran, Iraq and Bangladesh .The MOIT told local sources that it is planning to strengthen marketing and promotion efforts as well as improve coordination with the respective governments to boost exports. It is also reportedly planning to set up bonded warehouses in Angola, Cameroon and Mozambique to help Vietnamese exporters increase market accessibility in these markets. 
Currently, Thailand, India, Pakistan and the U.S also supply rice to the African market along with Vietnam.  Lower and medium quality rice, including 10%, 15% and 25% brokens, is mostly preferred by African customers. With concerns over weak export demand, last week, Vietnam has cut floor prices of 10%, 15% and 25% broken rice to about $375 per ton, $365 per ton and $360 per ton respectively.Vietnam's rice export prices have declined since the beginning of this year due to higher supplies from 2014 winter-spring harvest and a sluggish demand from buyers. Export prices of Vietnamese 25% broken rice currently stand at $350 per ton, down about 1.4% from about $355 per ton in the last week of December 2014.
Meanwhile, Mexico's reinstating import tariffs on paddy and rice imports from this month are also likely to impact Vietnam's rice exports to Vietnam. According to data from the VFA, Mexico imported around 65,000 tons of rice from Vietnam in the first nine months of 2014, compared to around 59,410 tons from the U.S., around 46,720 tons from Uruguay and around 31,480 tons from Thailand. The U.S. share in the Mexico market has been falling while that if Vietnam and Pakistan has been increasing since the last couple of years due to lower prices offered by the two Asian nations.Vietnam exported about 6.316 million tons of rice in 2014, down about 6% from about 6.71 million tons of rice exported in 2013, according to data from the VFA. Average rice export price so far in this year stands at about $442 per ton (FOB), up about 2% per ton from about $433 per ton recorded same time last year.

Pakistan Basmati Rice Prices Decline Sharply in 2014 Amid Weak Demand

Jan 12, 2015
Description: http://oryza.com/sites/default/files/field/image/150112pakbasriceprices.jpg
Average Pakistan basmati rice export prices declined about 4% in 2014 (January - December) to around $1,324 per ton from around $1,372 per ton in 2013 due to increased output and subdued export demand, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The decline has been in line with the global rice export prices. Especially rice import ban by Iran has affected both India and Pakistan basmati rice export prices.  According to the FAO, export rice prices in Thailand, Vietnam and India too have been declining since the end of September due to increasing supplies from the 2014 main crop harvests and stiff competition between exporting countries.
The decline has been very sharp in December 2014 though the declining trend has been continuing since August 2014. In December 2014, Pakistan's basmati rice export prices have declined about 25% to around $885 per ton from around $1,181 per ton in November 2014, and down about 16% from around $1,411 per ton in December 2013.Average basmati rice prices increased between August and September 2014 and peaked to around $1,450 per ton in September 2014 due to fears of a fall in production as floods affected large area of basmati rice acreage in Punjab. 
In terms of local currency, average Pakistan basmati rice prices in 2014 declined to around PKR 132,532 per ton (using historical exchange rates), down about 5% from around PKR 139,070 per ton in 2013.In December 2014, Pakistan's average basmati rice prices declined to around PKR 88,350 per ton (using historical exchange rates), down about 26% from around PKR 118,903 per ton in November 2014, and down about 40% from around PKR 148,155 per ton in December 2013.Pakistan basmati growers associations have been urging the government to provide adequate support to increase competitiveness of Pakistan's basmati rice in the global market.

Vietnam Exports About 6.32 Million Tons Rice in 2014

Jan 12, 2015

Vietnam exported around 6.316 million tons of rice in 2014, down about 6% from about 6.71 million tons of rice exported in 2013, according to data from the Vietnam Food Association (VFA). Average rice export price so far in this year stands at around $442 per ton (FOB), up about 2% per ton from around $433 per ton recorded same time last year.
In December 2014, Vietnam exported around 472,575 tons of rice, down about 13% from around 540,378 tons rice exported in December 2013, and down about 2.5% from around 484,513 tons rice exported in November 2014. Average export prices in December 2014 stand at around $475 per ton, up about 4% from a year ago, and up about 2% per ton from a month ago.
Description: Description: http://oryza.com/sites/default/files/field/image/150112vietriceexports.jpg

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12th January (Monday),2015 Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

World Rice Production 2014/2015


January 2015

This month the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that the World Rice Production 2014/2015 will be 475.47 million metric tons, around 0.23 million tons more than the previous month's projection.
Rice Production last year (*) was 476.96 million tons. This year's 475.47 estimated million tons could represent a decrease of 1.49 million tons or a 0.31% in rice production around the globe.

Rice Production by Country

(Values in Metric Tons)
China: 144,500,000
India: 102,000,000
Others: 38,459,000
Indonesia: 36,500,000
Bangladesh: 34,600,000
Vietnam: 28,250,000
Thailand: 20,500,000
Philippines: 12,200,000
Burma: 12,150,000
Brazil: 8,300,000
Japan: 7,700,000
United States: 7,068,000
Pakistan: 6,500,000
Cambodia: 4,900,000
Egypt: 4,500,000
Korea, South: 4,240,000
Nepal: 3,100,000

Next Update will be February 10, 2015.

Scientists to help Ganges rice farmers handle climate threat

An international team of researchers will boost food security for 300 million people in Nepal, India and Bangladesh

Rice harvests in Nepal are at risk from increasingly volatile rainfall with climate change (Pic: UN Photo/John Isaac)
By Bhrikuti Rai in Kathmandu
Research scientists are coming to the aid of 300 million people along the River Ganges who face a hungry future because their staple rice crop is threatened by climate change.
The team of scientists and development practitioners from Australia, Bangladesh, India and Nepal plan to improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of 7,000 small-scale farmers in the eastern Gangetic plains with a five-year US$ 6.7 million programme.According to Nepal’s Ministry for Agriculture Development, 66 per cent of Nepal’s total population of almost 27 million is involved in agriculture and contributes 39 per cent in the GDP.Local scientists say that lack of access to climate-resilient technologies and dependency on monsoon rains for irrigation are major problems for farmers in Nepal.
Food security
“Nepal is one of the most vulnerable countries to projected climate change effect, so the project will help small-scale farmers address pressing issues about their livelihood and food security,” Devendra Gauchan, senior scientist at Nepal Agricultural Research Council, told the Climate News Network.Altogether, the eastern Gangetic plains of Nepal, Bangladesh and India are home to 300 million people. The aid team, funded by the Australian government, aim to help rice farmers systems through efficient use of water and conserving resources to improve adaptation to climate change, and also connect them to new markets.
The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) will manage the programme, which will be led by the International Wheat and Maize Improvement Centre in eight districts − two in north-west Bangladesh, two in east Nepal, and two each in the Indian states of Bihar and West Bengal.
“Rice-based system productivity [in the eastern Gangetic plains] remains low, and diversification is limited because of poorly-developed markets, sparse agricultural knowledge and service networks, and inadequate development of available water resources,” says Kuhu Chatterjee, South Asia regional manager of ACIAR.The project was designed in consultation and participation with NARC, the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, and agricultural universities in India.
New technologies
Local scientists feel that this project will also help build capacity of researchers in Nepal. Gauchan said: “Agricultural research in Nepal has very limited strength in terms of human resource, infrastructure facility and institutional capacity.“Through this project we will get to learn about new technologies and research management from scientists from participating countries.”
According to Chatterjee, the project will test and fine-tune the technologies developed in countries such as Australia, Canada and Brazil, and will modify them to suit farmers in the eastern Gangetic plains.“Community consultations will be conducted to identify different ways to optimise the productive use of rain and irrigation water, increase cropping intensity through timely planting, reduced tillage and enhancing access to, and use of, energy-efficient irrigation technologies,” Chatterjee said.

This article was produced by the Climate News Network



Good news for farmers, drought-resistant rice varieties developed in Odisha

Monday, 12 January 2015 - 6:10pm IST | Team Iamin.in
Scientists at the Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI) in Cuttack have developed four new varieties of drought-resistant paddy and another variety that can be grown in less water conditions.Named as Ankit, Sachala, Gopinath, Maudamani, these new varieties of paddy can meet the drought condition while Chakaakhi, the other variety, can grow in less water and survive flood conditions up to a week. The CRRI scientists claim that it can also withstand high winds.

Sharat Kumar Pradhan, chief scientist at CCRI, informed that Ankit (CR Paddy-101) can be cultivated in high lands with less water requirement and can be harvested in three and half months.

About 68 kgs of rice can be obtained by milling a quintal of paddy of this variety, according to Pradhan. 
Sachala (CR Paddy-203) and Gopinath are also immune to certain diseases and can be harvested in 110 days and can be cultivated and harvested like the Ankit variety, he informed. “Maudamani (CR-307) is a small, fatty and pest-resistant variety of paddy, can be cultivated in the irrigated lands. About 50 quintals per hectare of this variety can be harvested in normal conditions,” Pradhan said.Chakaakhi (CR-408), the fatty and longer variety, can withstand flood conditions and pest attack and grow up to 130 to 140 centimetres. The harvest period of this paddy is 160-165 days, said Pradhan.

Pradhan, however, pointed out that the farmers of the state may have to wait for another two years to get adequate amount of these new varieties of paddy.



How to stabilise rice production, by stakeholders

Monday, 12 January 2015 16:37
Written by Itunu Ajayi, Abuja
Category: National

STAKEHOLDERS in the nation’s rice production sub-sector have canvassed sustenance of policy consistence regime, to ensure sufficiency of the commodity for local consumption and export.  While commending the efforts of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in his intervention in the industry, the group said in Abuja at the weekend that Nigeria will experience a total turnaround in the sub-sector, if the Federal Government can continue to build on the existing policies and programmes that would encourage investors in the rice value chain. 

The group, which is a coalition of Rice Millers’ and Importers Association of Nigeria, Rice Processors Association of Nigeria, the large scale farmers group and other stakeholders, said the relevant ministries involved in the policy review in the sector under the present administration have done a good job in ensuring that stakeholders and Nigerians have a better deal in the industry, noting that the present reality in the sub-sector is that interventions by the Federal Government had gone to the grassroots, where those who need such interventions can easily access same without necessarily having to know anybody in the corridors of power nor do farmers have to come to the federal capital to lobby for anything.

  They also added that the old cabal which usually hijack releases from the centre has been disbanded, as interventions are now at the reach of investors without having to go through middle men.   The chairman  of Rice Millers’ and Importers Association of Nigeria, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Elephant Group, Tunji Owoeye explained that the policies that were reeled out on rice at the commencement of the present administration were all geared towards self- sufficiency.  He said the tariff that was heightened to 110 per cent in order to discourage rice importation was however taken advantage of by smugglers who hijacked the whole process as time went on, adding that the last two years up to June 2014 has witnessed what can be described as smugglers rubbishing the good intention of the Federal Government.  

 “At that point, as rice investors, we were having problems with the implementation of the policy of government which moved levy from 50 per cent to 100 per cent and of course, still retained duty of 10 per cent, making 110 per cent.  It was extremely difficult for those of us who are operators in Nigeria to compete with rice being smuggled into Nigeria through Cameroon, Niger, Chad and Benin Republic,”he said.

In order to beat smugglers to their game, Owoeye pointed out that the  government was advised last year to review the 110 per cent tariff to 30 per cent for investors and 70 per cent for traders respectively, which he said, has yielded a positive change to both local and international investors in the value chain.    He said some states in the North West and the Middle Belt have been involved in massive cultivation of rice in the recent time, a situation Owoeye said gives enough optimism that the sector would be able to produce enough rice to feed Nigerian and also produce for export as the years roll by.

 He added that it is important for Nigeria to continue to grow rice so that the integrated mills in the country will have enough material to process for the populace.  The Chairman of Rice Processors Association of Nigeria, Mohammed Abubakar explained that the current situation in the sub-sector suggests that there is enough paddy rice for processing.   He said that five years back, there was only one rice processing mill in Nigeria, which was located in Benue State, but with the intervention of the Federal Government and the creation of enabling environment for investment to strive in the sector, the country now has 24 rice mills scattered around the country. 

   He added that the sector has also witnessed improved paddy quality due to the improved rice seedlings made available by the government to farmers, noting that in the past, the paddy produced in Nigeria could not compete with others around the world.  His words: “The paddy produced by our farmers processed by our millers can compete with any in the world be it Thailand, India.  All these have not happened just like that, it was by the help of this government.  The issue of investment in the sector and production of rice in the country was thought to be impossible until the interventions of the government as a lot of our farmers are now encouraged to go back to the farm”. 




El Nino likely to head to an end over spring: Japan weather bureau

January 9, 2015 12:20 AM
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's weather bureau said on Friday the El Nino weather pattern, often linked to both heavy rainfall and drought, is continuing but added that the phenomena could end over spring.The Japan Meteorological Agency forecast said the El Nino, which emerged during last summer for the first time in five years, was already starting to ease.The El Nino weather pattern - a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific - can trigger drought in Southeast Asia and Australia, and floods in South America, hitting production of key foods such as rice, wheat and sugar.
(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Tom Hogue)

Vietnam plans to open rice bonded warehouses in Africa: Thanh Nien

Mon Jan 12, 2015 6:50am GMT
 Vietnam plans to open bonded warehouses in Angola, Cameroon and Mozambique as part of measures to boost rice exports to African countries to meet an expected higher demand in 2015, according to the Industry and Trade Ministry, the Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper reported.Vietnam's share in the African rice market dropped last year as main competitors Thailand, India and Pakistan cut their export prices significantly, the report said.
NOTE: Reuters has not verified this story and does not vouch for its accuracy.

Vietnam cuts rice export floor price to $360 per tonne - Food Association

HANOI Fri Jan 9, 2015 2:20pm IST

Jan 9 (Reuters) - Vietnam has lowered its floor price for exports of 25 percent broken rice by 5.3 percent to $360 a tonne amid thin demand for the commodity in the world's second-largest exporter.The floor, set by the Vietnam Food Association, will come into effect on Jan. 12, according to a statement from the association to traders seen by Reuters on Friday.The previous floor for the grade was set at $380 a tonne in late November.
The agriculture ministry said last month that Vietnam's rice exports in 2014 were expected to have dipped slightly to an estimated 6.53 million tonnes, putting the Southeast Asian country far behind top exporters Thailand and India. (Reporting by Ho Binh Minh and Mai Nguyen; Editing by Alan Raybould)

Basmati rice rates drop by nearly 40%

Pune: Premium rice variety Basmati seems to have become affordable for the common man. The rates dropped nearly 40% over the last season as retail prices hovered around Rs 80-90 per kg. 
The fall in prices could be attributed to higher production and a ban on import of rice by the Iran government, traders said on Saturday. Angshu Mallick, chief operating officer of Adani Wilmar Ltd, which entered the rice business this year, told mediapersons that the new crop is now available for yearly stocking at a very attractive price. 
India exports 38 lakh tonne of Basmati rice every year with Iran buying about 40% of it. The home market for Basmati is 12 lakh tonne, with Maharashtra ranking highest in consumption. Though the selling price has come down, growers will not face losses as high volume will make up for the set back caused by lower purchase price, Mallick said. Rajesh Shah of Jairaj & Company said that Basmati is now available for a price ranging from Rs 23 per kg to Rs 80 per kg for the full-long grain variety. "There are two varieties which people commonly purchase for annual stocking: the Pusa 1121 and the traditional one with the latter accounting for most of the sales," Shah said, adding that last year's stock of Basmati is available for a price of about Rs 110 per kg. 

Besides the two main varieties of Basmati — Pusa 1121 and the traditional variety — Pusa 1509, a new variety, is making inroads into the markets. Scientists who developed the variety are confident of the new rice's success because of its high yield. The Basmati market in India is worth Rs 50,000 crore (2013-14) with exports accounting for nearly 75% of the consumption. Saudi Arabia and Iraq are among the importers. Punjab and Haryana are the major Basmati-growing states. The variety is also grown in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal and parts of Rajasthan.

Six Farm Bill webinars scheduled during January

Fast facts
o    Farm Bill webinars scheduled
o    20-30 minute sessions will have Q&A periods
o    Attendees must register online before each event
o    Series will extend through March
(318 words)
LITTLE ROCK – The first in a series of Farm Bill webinars that will extend through March, each covering a different facet of law and its effects on farming in Arkansas, have been scheduled through the month of January.
The webinars will be hosted by experts from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and the Farm Service Agency and will run 20-30 minutes each and be followed by a Q&A. The webinars will help participants learn about Farm Service Agency, or FSA, Farm Bill programs and decisions specific to row crop production in Arkansas including:
o    Base Acre ReallocationYield updates
o    Agricultural Risk Coverage, or ARC
o    Price Loss Coverage, PLC
o    Supplemental Coverage Option, SCO
o    Web-Based decision aids
The team of panelists includes: Tony Franco, chief, Farm Programs Division, FSA; Anita Wilson, agricultural program specialist, FSA; and Robert Coats, professor and extension economist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. Brad Watkins, professor and economist for the Division of Agriculture will be fielding questions in the Jan. 20 webinar about the web-based Farm Bill decision aid.    
Learning more about ARC and PLC and other farm bill features is extremely important for row crop producers who must make a one-time decision about base and yield updates by Feb. 27, 2015, as well as ARC or PLC election by March 31, 2015, Coats said.
Those wishing to participate must register for each webinar. Upon registration, they will receive an email confirmation with the link to join the webinar and the system requirements for Zoom, the webinar software.   
The webinar schedule:
Jan. 13, 9 a.m.:  ARC/PLC Overview. Registration link: https://uaex.zoom.us/webinar/register/b5788ad654b990aa7510d14dfea9e911
Jan. 14, 9 a.m.:  ARC/PLC Yield Updates. Registration link: https://uaex.zoom.us/webinar/register/f5d06d429a3c0aa5cde7dc3c8da9331e
Jan. 20, 9 a.m.: ARC/PLC Base Reallocations and web-based Farm Bill Decision Aid.  Registration link: https://uaex.zoom.us/webinar/register/2afe8cffe92080e134538d7d4481ef37
Jan. 22, 9 a.m.:  Price Loss Coverage. Registration link: https://uaex.zoom.us/webinar/register/bc20d3d579d0a2968c34be5db4a05ad8
Jan. 27, 9 a.m.:  ARC - County Level. Registration link: https://uaex.zoom.us/webinar/register/2fef879916bbcea97510d14dfea9e911
Jan. 29, 9 a.m.:  ARC - Individual Level.  Registration link: https://uaex.zoom.us/webinar/register/6d02aed30be7c550cde7dc3c8da9331e
Schedules for February and March webinars are yet to be announced.
For more information about the Farm Bill series contact your county extension office or visit www.uaex.edu/farmbill.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
# # #
By The  Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126
Related Links
·         Arkansas Farm Bill Education 
·         Arkansas Crops
USA Rice Welcomes New Government Affairs/PAC Manager          

Julie Vieburg
ARLINGTON, VA -- Our New Year's resolution was to reinforce the Government Affairs staff and the USA Rice Federation is pleased to fulfill that goal with the hiring of Julie Vieburg as the new Manager of Government Affairs/PAC.Julie comes to USA Rice from Advanced Network Strategies where she was most recently the Deputy Finance Director, managing fundraising opportunities for 12 House Members and five Leadership PACs.  She will have plenty of opportunity to take advantage of her prior job experience maintaining relationships with a broad network of donors, lobbyists, PAC managers, Congressional staff, and government affairs professionals as she becomes an integral member of the team organizing next month's Government Affairs Conference.
A native of Golden Valley, Minnesota, Julie grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona and has a B.B.A. in Finance and a B.A in Political Science from the University of San Diego.
Contact:  Deborah Willenborg (703) 236-1444
USA Rice Promos Hit During Peak Sales Season in Ghana           
 U.S. rice out in the open
 ACCRA & KUMASI, GHANA -- USA Rice Federation conducted promotions in twenty major open air markets here during the holiday season, which is the peak sales period for rice in Ghana.  Open air markets are where the majority of Ghanaians go to purchase rice, and USA Rice focused promotional activities in the country's two largest cities, Accra, the national capital, and Kumasi, capital of the Ashanti Region.
  Promotional stands were set up in each market where staff conducted cooking demonstrations, distributed dry rice samples, and talked about the positive attributes of U.S. rice brands, urging consumers to test and buy U.S. rice.  All the rice used in the promotions was donated by participating brands.
 "U.S. rice is facing intense price competition from Thai and Vietnamese sources that is having a negative impact on U.S. market share," said Jim Guinn, USA Rice vice president of international promotion.  "Although consumers attest to the high quality of U.S. rice, they are also extremely cost conscious so we are encouraged that these recent promotions attracted large crowds and resulted in big sales for the participating U.S. rice brands."

Contact:  Eszter Somogyi, 011-49-40-4503-8667
WASDE Report Released             
WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. 2014/15 rice crop is estimated at 221 million cwt, down fractionally from the previous estimate.  Average yield is estimated at 7,572 pounds per acre, down 25 pounds peracre.  Harvested area is estimated at 2.919 million acres, up 9,000 acres from the previous estimate with most of the increase in Arkansas.  Long-grain rice production is estimated at 162.4 million cwt, up 2.1 million from last month, and combined medium- and short-grain production is lowered 2.2 million to 58.7 million.  All rice imports for 2014/15 are increased 1 million cwt to 22 million due primarily to a large shipment of long-grain broken rice from Vietnam reported in the November trade data released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The all rice 2014/15 domestic and residual use projection is unchanged at 131 million as implied by the December 1 stocks.  Long-grain and combined medium- and short-grain rice domestic and residual use are both unchanged from a month ago and projected at 99 million and 32 million, respectively.  The all rice export projection is unchanged at 103 million cwt; however, the long-grain export projection is raised 1 million cwt to 70 million and the combined medium- and short-grain forecast is lowered to 33 million.  The boost in the long-grain export projection is due primarily to increased exports of rough rice to Latin America as reported in the November trade data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.  The 2014/15 all rice rough export projection is unchanged at 35 million cwt and the milled and brown rice component is unchanged at 68 million (rough rice equivalent basis).  All rice ending stocks for 2014/15 are projected at 40.9 million cwt, up 1 million from last month, and an increase of 28 percent from a year ago.  Long-grain rice ending stocks are forecast at 29.1 million cwt, up 2.1 million from last month.  Combined medium- and short-grain rice ending stocks are projected at 9.5 million cwt, down 1.2 million from last month.
 The 2014/15 long-grain season-average farm price range is projected at $11.70 to $12.70 per cwt, down 30 cents per cwt on each end from last month.  The combined medium- and short-grain farm price range is projected at $18.00 to $19.00 per cwt, down 50 cents per cwt on each end from a month ago.  The all rice season-average farm price is forecast at $13.60 to $14.60 per cwt, down 40 cents per cwt on each end.  The decrease in the price projections is due to lower-than-expected prices reported in the December issue of Agricultural Prices released by USDA and price expectations the remainder of the marketing year.
 Global 2014/15 rice supply and use is changed very little from a month ago.  Global rice production is projected at 475.5 million tons up 200,000 from last month, but down 1.5 million from the record 2013/14 crop.  The increase in the 2014/15 crop is primarily due to an increase for Paraguay which is partially offset by a drop in Brazil.  Global consumption for 2014/15 is 400,000 tons to a record 483.3 million tons with small increases distributed among several countries.  The export projection for 2014/15 is raised 700,000 tons to a record 42.6 million due primarily to increases for Burma, Guyana, Paraguay, and Thailand. Imports are raised for Bolivia, Haiti, Syria, and the United States.  Global rice ending stocks for 2014/15 are projected at 99 million tons, 100,000 from last month, and a decrease of 7.9 million from the prior year. Ending stocks projections are lowered for Brazil and Thailand, but increased for Bangladesh and the United States.
 Read the complete report here.
CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures  
CME Group (Preliminary):  Closing Rough Rice Futures for January 12

Net Change
January 2015
- $0.080
March 2015
- $0.085
May 2015
- $0.065
July 2015
- $0.065
September 2015
- $0.065
November 2015
- $0.065
January 2016
- $0.030

Adani-Wilmar to invest Rs 150 cr in rice business

PUNE, JAN 11:  
Edible oil major Adani Wilmar Ltd plans to invest Rs 150 crore over the next 12-18 months in its rice business, a new vertical it expects to grow over the next few years.The company forayed into rice last year and ran a pilot with its Pilaf brand of basmati rice. It has just launched the commodity in its flagship Fortune brand in Maharashtra, the State that consumes nearly a quarter of the 12 lakh tonnes of basmati rice sold in the country per annum. A phased rollout across the country will follow.
“We plan to spend Rs 150 crore over the next 12-18 months to acquire two or three brown field rice mills and upgrade them,” Angshu Mallick, Chief Operating Officer, Adani-Wilmar said.These acquisitions, as well as the five mills it currently operates on a contract basis, will help the company augment the existing paddy processing capacity from 520 tonnes per day to 800 tonnes per day, he added.With the launch of the new Fortune brand, Adani Wilmar expects to sell around one lakh tonnes of basmati rice till March 2016.
Basmati prices down by over 30%
Meanwhile, Basmati rice prices in India have dropped by over 30 per cent in comparison to that last year thanks to a 20 per cent higher crop yield this year, coupled with a ban on exports from Iran, a major importer of the commodity.This year the prices are around Rs 80-85 per kg for the new crop against Rs 128 per kg last year, Rajesh Shah, a rice trader and executive member of the Poona Merchants’ Chamber said.The country produces 50-55 lakh tonnes of Basmati rice annually, with exports accounting for around three-fourths of total sales. India produces three varieties of the rice — traditional, Pusa and the 1121 varieties. A fourth variety — 1509 — is expected to be introduced this year.
(This article was published on January 12, 2015)
Source with thanks: The Business Line

Adani Wilmar launches Fortune Basmati Rice in Pune

This is a part of company's plan to extend flagship edible oil brand Fortune into other commodities like pulses, besan and nuggets
BS Reporter  |  Pune  
January 11, 2015 Last Updated at 20:53 IST
Ahmedabad-based Adani Wilmar has launched its basmati rice brand under the name of Fortune Basmati Rice in Pune. This is a part of company's plan to extend its flagship edible oil brand Fortune into other commodities like pulses, besan and nuggets. The company, on an average, spends about Rs 200 crore to Rs 250 crore in capacity expansion every year.

“We have a wide variety of basmati to suit every budget and requirement, starting from the new crop traditional basmati rice for stocking up for whole year to assorted packs of Aged, Steamed & Parboiled basmati. Besides, we will also be offering non-basmati range to our customers. To make our rice products available to every consumer we have partnered with a strong and experienced distribution partners across India,"  says Angshu Mallick, COO, Adani Wilmar.

The products will pushed through Adani Wilmar’s existing network of one million retail outlets across the country.According to Mallick, Maharashtra is a largest consumer of rice in India followed by Gujarat. India produces over 40 lakh tonnes of rice every year out of which 38 lakh tonnes is being exported and 12 lakh tonnes of rice is consumed domestically. The total rice market of India is of Rs 50, 000 crore. The company exports its products to 19 countries in the Middle East, South East Asia and East Africa.

The company has a target of producing one lakh tonnes of basmati rice in the next two years. It has rice toll units in Karnal, Gharaunda and Kaithal in Haryana, Chhata in Mathura and Delhi for manufacturing and processing. Fortune Basmati is packed in high quality material to serve the same delicious taste round the year. Fortune Basmati Rice Range is available in 1, 5, 10, 20 and 25 kg SKUs.The company's revenue stood at Rs 17,300 crore in FY14. The company, which is a 50:50 joint venture between Adani Group and Wilmar International of Singapore.

However, the prices of basmati rice have come down this year due to increased production and lower exports. Iran, who  purchases about 40 per cent of the basmati rice sold in the international market by Indian exporters, has banned the rice imports. Iran has been charging an import duty on rice (basmati and non-basmati) to safeguard the interests of farmers in that country. This was lifted once the local crop was consumed.Last year, the import duty was raised from 22.5 per cent to 40 per cent in July; the move was rolled back in December. This year, however, Iran banned such imports. Last year, the average realisation was $1,400 a tonne; as of now, the price stands at about $900 a tonne.

Source with thanks: The Business Standard
In search of a personalised diet
By Denise WintermanBBC News Magazine

Forget the latest weight-loss fad - science may already have worked out what diet is best for you. Experts say a personalised approach could transform the way people lose weight.January is a month when many go on a post-Christmas purge and start dieting. It's also the month when many fail and go back to their bad eating habits. Scientists say this isn't just down to a lack of willpower. It is due to a person's individual make-up - their genes, hormones and psychology.The latest weight-loss theory is that instead of reaching for a one-size-fits-all diet, people should follow one that is tailored to their individual needs.
For the first time leading obesity experts and BBC Science have put this theory to the test nationally. Over three months, 75 dieters were put through a series of tests and monitored at home. The study was overseen by scientists from Oxford and Cambridge and their research teams.
What's the right type of diet for you?

The study looked at three types of overeaters. Feasters who find it hard to stop eating once they start, constant cravers who feel hungry all of the time and emotional eaters who turn to food when they get stressed or anxious.
When it comes to feasters, research shows hormones play a big part in their eating habits. In particular, they produce low levels of certain gut hormones that are released when food arrives in the intestines. These chemical signals travel through the blood to the brain and tell the body when it has had enough food and should stop eating."Some people have astonishingly low levels of certain gut hormones and are not getting those signals," says Susan Jebb, a professor of diet and population at Oxford University.
Constant cravers always want to eat and their "hungry brains" often want fatty and sugary foods. Scientists know certain genes make people this hungry. They disrupt the way signals are sent to the brain telling it to stop eating, tricking it into thinking fat stores continually need replenishing."The role genes play in losing weight is unequivocal, but due to changes in technology we are beginning to find out what these genes are," says geneticist Dr Giles Yeo, from Cambridge University.
Emotional eaters reach for food when they are stressed or anxious. When the brain perceives a person is in difficulty, it triggers changes to the body, like the heart rate increasing. This stressed state makes it even harder for people to overcome what they are facing. This sort of eater has developed habits that are hard to break and in stressful times their brains seek out a reward."People often think diets are about willpower," says Jebb. "Forget that, diets are about habits. There has never been a study that says people can will themselves to lose weight, but they can change their habits."So, what diet should each group follow to successfully lose weight?
Feasters need a diet that makes them feel full for as long as possible. Scientists suggested a high protein, low glycaemia index (GI) diet. These are foods that boost gut hormone signals and include fish, chicken, basmati rice, lentils, grains and cereals. No potatoes or bread because they don't make people feel full for very long."Protein and carbs that are not absorbed quickly are absorbed lower down the gut, producing more hormones that make us feel fuller," says gut hormone specialist Prof Fiona Gribble, from Cambridge University.
Constant cravers have genes that make them feel hungry most of the time. As a result they struggle to diet for seven days a week. Instead they were told to drastically reduce their diet to 800 calories on two days of the week. They ate normally, but healthily, for the other five. This is often called intermittent fasting."Constant cravers have the toughest job as they have a strong predisposition to being overweight," says Jebb. "The fasting diet should shock their bodies into burning fat."

The emotional eater - Alison Vaughan, 53
Alison Vaughan before and after her 12-week diet
"My relationship with food has been quite negative in the past. I now know that is a result of being deliberately deprived of food when I was very small. I would often only be given bread soaked in water. It has taken a long time to realise the effect this has had on the way I eat. The study made me realise food was controlling me, now it is the other way round.
"Getting support was an essential part of that, weekly meetings were a big help for me. I feel relieved at being classified as an emotional eater because it gives you a footing from which to continue, unless you can see what the issue is you've really got no hope of changing."I lost 1st 11lb (11.3kg) over the 12 weeks and my total weight loss now is 3st 1lb (19.5kg). As my size goes down, my confidence and belief in myself goes up."
"Constant cravers have the toughest job as they have a strong predisposition to being overweight," says Jebb. "The fasting diet should shock their bodies into burning fat."Emotional eaters have established bad habits that are hard to break. As well as following a healthier diet, group support was important for them. Encouragement can trigger the motivational part of the brain that helps people overcome stress.By being part of online support groups and attending weight-loss meetings, they were encouraged to stick to their diets. They also had cognitive behavioural therapy to help manage the thoughts and behaviour associated with emotional eating.
Source with thanks: BBC News Magazine

The success story of ‘The Halal Guys’

Sharif Paget  /   January 12, 2015  /   0 Comments   /   579 Views
From street-cart to international franchise, the story of how Egyptian Halal food is going world-wide

A platter of Halal food after waiting 2 hours in line.
(Photo from from Yelp)
If you’re ever in New York City and happen to be in midtown, you should head over to 53rd  Street and 6th Avenue. You will be absolutely astonished at the sight of a massive queue – a mass congregation of some sort – but for what? Some famous person signing autographs, or free stuff being given out? What could possibly be responsible for making people wait in line for up to 2 hours? Enter “The Halal Guys”.
“The Halal Guys” is an Egyptian-owned food cart that specialises in making platters that consist of halal chicken and/or lamb over yellow rice. The menu is simple; the sauces though, perhaps the biggest draw for the cart, are complex – most notably, the white sauce.
The chicken is soaked in plastic bags full of seasoning before being placed on the grill – sending tasty Middle-Eastern flavours sizzling through the air. The lamb, much like a shawarma, rotates on a spit, and is then sliced into bite-sized bits and grilled to a perfect amount of crispiness. The yellow basmati rice, that’s oh-so-fluffy, and a side salad, which is basically just another thing to put the famous “white sauce” on, accompanies the meats. What exactly goes into the white sauce is a secret, and officer workers, taxi drivers, club-goers, tourists, construction workers, and police officers can’t seem to get enough. It is not tahini sauce, and many contend that the base is mayonnaise, but other than that, no one really knows.
The food-cart opens up at noon to start feeding hungry office workers, and keeps at it until four in the morning to satisfy hungry club-goers.For club-goers, “The Halal Guys” food cart is akin to an after-hours party – with delicious affordable food.For $6 a plate, in a city as expensive as New York, it doesn’t get much better.
Chicken, Lamb and mixed plates.
(Photo from from Yelp)
Why is this street meat, along with that legendary “white sauce”, so successful? Like any good success story, one must look to the beginning, and start with its characters.Meet Ahmed Elsaka and Abdelbaset Elsayed, both from Alexandria, and Mohamed Abouelenein, a native of Cairo. These three gentlemen are the owners of “The Halal Guys”.In 1990, they immigrated to New York, and went on to own and operate a hot dog cart. At the time, the hot-dog and pretzel business was dominated by the Greeks. Today, it is almost entirely Egyptian—the carts got bigger and started selling more food, and though it’s up for debate, many argue that it was these three Egyptians that changed the game.
However, the mini “Greek” style hot-dog cart that Elsaka, Elsayed and Abouelenein owned did not transform over night. It took almost two years before they took the plunge to renovate the cart, and it all started with taxi drivers.Many of the taxi drivers in New York are Muslim, and they found it hard to find a cheap, filling meal that was prepared according to Islamic law at two in the morning. Knowing that Elsaka, Elsayed and Abouelenein are also Muslim, the taxi drivers asked them to create a menu that would cater to their appetites. The cart, along with the food portions, got bigger, and “The Halal Guys” was born.
Soon after, the cart was a success, not just with taxi drivers, but with New Yorkers from all walks of life. Many imitation carts started popping up around the city, and today they easily outnumber the older, smaller “Greek” versions.
Lunch time crowds line up for Egyptian food.
(Photo from from Yelp)
None are as successful as “The Halal Guys”. Some attribute it to the “white sauce”, others the location (the cart is located close to the Museum of Arts and Design), but ultimately it’s a mystery.Now, after about 25 years of serving food in the street, “The Halal Guys” are looking to franchise. The owners incorporated the cart and signed a deal with Fransmart, a restaurant franchise consulting firm. This is the same firm that took “Five Guys Burgers and Fries” from four locations in Northern Virginia and turned it into a fast food chain with over 1,200 stores and over $1bn in sales last year, according to The New York Times.
Fransmart has a 5-year-plan for “The Halal Guys”, which includes over 100 locations in the States, as well as a presence in Europe and Southeast Asia. This will be the first time that Middle-Eastern Halal food will be in the same conversation as McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken.The first location was opened up last June in the East Village; a hip young neighbourhood located in New York. Another is scheduled to be opened near Columbia University. The menu resembles the one from the cart, with a few extra items – kofta, and deserts such as basbousa.
The thing about “The Halal Guys” is that they are so inherently tied up with the street. How the food translates from side-walks to dining tables will be an experiment worth watching out for.As legend goes, Colonel Sanders, the man behind KFC, started his franchise by selling chicken out of his car. So perhaps “The Halal Guys” have a shot to go world-wide. After all, just as KFC has its secret 11 herbs and spices “The Halal Guys” have their white sauce.
Source with thanks: Daily News Egypt
NLA panel to focus on rice losses

NLA has questions for Yingluck, NACC
Published: 12 Jan 2015 at 06.00 |
Newspaper section: News
Writer: Aekarach Sattaburuth
An inquiry committee set up by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) to question former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra about the NLA's impeachment motion is expected to focus mainly on the losses under the rice-pledging scheme.  NLA member Kittisak Rattanawaraha, who sits on the inquiry committee, said NLA members are now submitting questions to the panel which will ask Ms Yingluck on their behalf. Ms Yingluck began testifying last Friday to the National Legislative Assembly, with a defiant defence of her rice-purchase scheme. NLA members insist on hearing more.
(AFP photo)

They have until Tuesday to submit questions.  Mr Kittisak said several NLA members who submitted the questions wanted Ms Yingluck to clarify the figures for losses under the rice scheme.The figures presented by Ms Yingluck were not consistent with those submitted by the Finance Ministry's subcommittee inspecting the scheme's accounting.Some NLA members also wanted to know why Ms Yingluck did not scrap the rice scheme after alleged corruption and losses came to light, Mr Kittisak said.
He said NLA members wanted to question the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) about the law which has served as the basis to seek Ms Yingluck's impeachment.Mr Kittisak said the committee will question Ms Yingluck on Friday. She can appear in person or send her lawyer to answer questions on her behalf, he said.However, it would be in her best interests to show up and clear the accusations herself, he said, adding that the panel will maintain neutrality in doing its job.
The NACC petitioned the NLA to impeach Ms Yingluck, accusing her of dereliction of duty for failing to stop corruption and losses in the rice-pledging scheme. She chaired the National Rice Policy Committee when she was premier.Ms Yingluck gave statements in her defence before the NLA last Friday, denying all the accusations made by the NACC.Jate Siratharanont, spokesman for the NLA whip, said the committee will not reveal its questions in advance, but Ms Yingluck should be able to expect what the panel will ask of her. Norawit Lalaeng, a member of Ms Yingluck's legal team, said her lawyers will meet today to prepare Ms Yingluck's defence before the panel. It is not yet decided whether Ms Yingluck will appear in person, Mr Norawit said.
The NLA has set Jan 23 as the date for votes on the impeachment cases against Yingluck and former House speaker Somsak Kiatsuranon, and ex-Senate speaker Nikhom Wairatpanich. Separate votes will be taken on the impeachment motions against the three. Mr Nikhom and Mr Somsak face proceedings for their support of an attempt to amend the 2007 constitution to make the Senate fully elected. Mr Nikhom and Mr Somsak are due to be questioned on Thursday by another inquiry committee set up by the NLA.Suriyasai Katasila, a former core leader of the People's Alliance for Democracy,  said Sunday the NLA should disregard threats by some groups that the impeachment will disrupt efforts to foster unity.
77 accused of rice-scheme fraud
Published: 12 Jan 2015 at 18.31 ,Online news: Crime
Writer: Wassayos Ngamkham
The Commerce Ministry on Monday asked police to prosecute 77 parties for causing B65bn damage to the state through theft, embezzlement and fraud connected to the previous government’s rice-pledging scheme. Chutima Bunyapraphasara, permanent secretary for commerce, files a fraud complaint with Pol Col Nos Sawetlek, deputy commander of the Crime Suppression Division, on Monday. (Photo by Pattanapong Hirunard)

Chutima Bunyapraphasara, permanent secretary for commerce, filed the complaint with Pol Col Nos Sawetlek, deputy commander of the Crime Suppression Division. She sought legal actions against numerous contract partners in the rice-pledging programme run by the past Yingluck Shinawatra government. Five parties are accused of switching out pledged rice. They are in five provinces and ten warehouses are involved. Thirteen parties operating 94 warehouses in 22 provinces are accused of allowing pledged rice to rot. Fifty-nine parties operating 652 warehouses in 51 provinces are accused of warehousing substandard rice instead of standard-quality grain.

The combined amount of rice stood at about 3.6 million tonnes and damage to the state is estimated at about 65 billion baht.Miss Chutima said that if police found any government officials involved in the wrongdoings, their cases would be sent to the National Anti-Corruption Commission.

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