Wednesday, January 14, 2015

14th January (Wednesday),2015 Daily Exclusive ORYZA Rice E-Newsletterby Riceplus Magazine

Australia Government to Fund Rice Projects in Eastern Gangetic Plains

Jan 13, 2015
Description: Australian government is working closely with the research scientists from Australia, Bangladesh, India and Nepal towards improving rice productivity as well as profitability of around 7,000 small scale farmers in the Eastern Gangetic plains of Nepal, Bangladesh and India, according to local sources.It will provide funds of about $6.7 million to implement the program over a period of five years in eight districts - two districts of North-west Bangladesh, two districts in East Nepal and two districts each in Indian states of Bihar and West Bengal. Rice farmers in these districts will be particularly guided to use water and other resources efficiently, adapting to climate change as well as connecting with new markets.
The Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) will manage the program with the support of Pakistan National Agricultural Research Council (NARC), the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC), the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), and agricultural universities in India.According to the South Asia regional manager of ACIAR, rice productivity in the Eastern Gangetic Plains has been low due to poorly-developed markets, inadequate development of water resources, efficient service networks and lack of sufficient agricultural knowledge. He noted that the program will help farmers in the selected districts to adopt technologies from Australia, Canada and Brazil by  modifying them accordingly. The program particularly aims to "identify different ways to optimise
Brazil Paddy Rice Index Increases Slightly from Last Week
Description: Description: 13, 2015
The Brazilian paddy rice index maintained by CEPEA reached around 38.08 real per 50 kilograms as of January 12, 2015, up about 0.40% from around 37.93 real per 50 kilograms recorded on January 5, 2015.In terms of USD per ton, the index reached around $286.65 per ton on January 12, 2015, up about 2.4% from around $280 per ton recorded on January 5, 2015.

Cambodia Hopes to Reduce Unofficial Exports with Rice Bank

Jan 13, 2015
Description: Description: major quantity of Cambodian paddy/rice is exported to Vietnam and Thailand through unofficial channels during the harvest season as the country lacks proper storage facilities. Due to this, millers face severe shortages of paddy for milling during lean months of April and May.In order to address this issue, Cambodia Rice Bank (CRB) has been set up as Cambodia's first large-scale paddy rice bank in August 2014 to ensure uninterrupted supplies to millers and exporters. The Bank collected 20,000 tons of paddy and 7,000 tons of milled rice worth $12 million in three months (October - December) of the harvest period, according to local sources.
The Chairman and CEO of the CRB told local sources that they are expecting to collect three times more paddy and rice in the 2015-16 harvest season. He noted that the Bank is primarily targeting to reduce the informal, over-the-border paddy rice sales during the harvest season and is aiming to have adequate paddy for millers to access during the lean season.  The CRB was set up by private millers with about $30 million investment to better manage market fluctuations in Cambodia's rice industry. The Bank is equipped with sufficient number of silos, rice dryers and storage sheds to carry out the purpose more effectively.
The Senior Advisor of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) noted that the private sector has been successful in starting this project while the government had failed many times. However, he said since the private sector has limited resources, he called on the government and donors to offer support to them in further developing the Bank as well as the country's rice sector. The Bank is also considering to introduce the concept of "warehousing receipt," under which it can lend loans to farmers using paddy stock as collateral.These measures along with effective irrigation systems and support to farmers are expected to increase the competitiveness of Cambodian rice in the global market and help the government to reach its export target. Lower sales through borders is also expected to help increase the foreign exchange income to the government.  
Cambodia has exported about 387,100 tons of rice in 2014, up about 2% from around 378,856 tons exported in 2013, according to local sources. USDA estimates Cambodia to export 1.2 million tons of rice (including official and unofficial exports to Vietnam and Thailand through borders) in 2015, up about 20% from around 1 million tons in 2014.

Maldives Tenders to Buy 9,000 Tons of Parboiled Rice

Jan 13, 2015
Maldives is seeking to purchase 9,000 tons of parboiled rice in an international tender, according to Reuters.European Traders were quoted as saying that tender offers would be opened on February 8, 2015.They noted that the stated amount of rice would be sourced optionally from India, Pakistan, Turkey, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Canada, Sri Lanka, United States, South America and Europe.

Indian Researchers Develop New Drought Tolerant Rice Varieties

Jan 13, 2015
Description: Description: at the Central Rice Research Institute of India (CRRI) have developed four new drought-resistant paddy varieties - Ankit, Sachala, Gopinath, Maudamani - and another variety - Chakaakhi - that can sustain in less water conditions suitable to grow in India's Eastern state Odisha, according to local sources.According to the Chief Scientist at the CRRI told local sources that Ankit (CR Paddy-101), Sachala (CR Paddy-203) and Gopinath are suited for high lands and require less water and can be harvested in 110 days.
Ankit can yield about 4 tons per hectare in normal conditions and about 2.8 tons per hectare under drought conditions. Maudamani (CR-307) is more suited for irrigated lands and can yield up to 5 tons per hectare, according to him. All the four varieties are also pest-tolerant and immune to certain diseases, according to the Chief Scientist.The fifth variety Chakaakhi (CR-408) can also withstand flood conditions and pest attacks apart from sustaining drought conditions. This a fatty and longer variety and its harvest period is around 160-165 days. Since rice plants of this variety has dark colored roots different from the color of grass that grows around paddy, it is very easy for farmers to clean weeds and unwanted grass from the fields. The variety is also suitable for preparation of watered rice (Pakhala), according to the researchers.
In November 2014, the CRRI developed three climate-resilient varieties. According to CRRI, it would take about two years to make these varieties available to farmers.  Odisha produces accounts for about 7.5% of total India's rice production. The state produced about 7.6 million tons of rice in 2013-14, up about 3% from around 7.3 million tons in 2012-13, according to the Indian Ministry of Agriculture. India produced around 106.54 million tons (91.69 from kharif and 14.85 from rabi) of rice in 2013-14 (October – September), up about 1% from around 105.31 million tons in 2012-13.     
Global Rice Quotes
January 14th, 2015

Long grain white rice - high quality
Thailand 100% B grade           415-425           ↔
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       320-330           ↔
Vietnam 100% broken             325-335           ↔
Pakistan 100% broken stxd     290-300           ↔
Cambodia A1 Super    355-365           ↔
India 100% broken stxd          295-305           ↓
Egypt medium grain brokens   NQ       ↔
U.S. pet food   405-415           ↔
Brazil half grain           NQ       ↔
All prices USD per ton, FOB vessel,

Oryza Overnight Recap - Chicago Rough Rice Futures Lifeless as Traders Mull over Yesterday's USDA S&D Update

Jan 13, 2015
Chicago rough rice futures for Mar delivery are currently trading 1.5 cents per cwt (about $0.33 per ton) lower at $11.445 per cwt (about $252 per ton) during early floor trading in Chicago. The other grains are seen trading higher this morning: soybeans are currently seen 0.6% higher, wheat is listed about 1% higher and corn is currently noted about 0.6% higher.U.S. stocks rallied on Tuesday, with equities bouncing back after a two-session drop, after aluminum-producer Alcoa kicked off the fourth-quarter earnings season by beating estimates. With the fourth-quarter earnings season started, investors are on the lookout for the effect of crude's decline on the S&P 500's collective bottom line.
 On Tuesday, oil prices fell to near six-year lows as a major OPEC producer stuck to the cartel's decision not to reduce output. Jumping as much as 281 points, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was lately up 264.33 points, or 1.5%, at 17,905.17, lifting the blue-chip index back into positive terrain for the year. The S&P 500 rose 26.12, or 1.3%, to 2,054.38, with technology leading a broad advance that included all 10 major industry groups. Also erasing its loss for 2015, the Nasdaq gained 73.94 points, or 1.6%, to 4,738.65. Gold is currently trading about 0.2% higher, crude oil is seen trading about 1.7% lower,  and the U.S. dollar is currently trading about 0.4% higher at 10:10am Chicago time.

Oryza Afternoon Recap - Chicago Rough Rice Futures Settle Little Changed as Falling Crude Weighs on US Grain Prices

Jan 13, 2015
Chicago rough rice futures for Mar delivery settled 1.5 cents per cwt (about $0.33 per ton) lower at $11.445 per cwt (about $253 per ton). Rough rice futures closed slightly lower after spending the majority of the morning trading steadily lower before turning to recover in afternoon trading. Prices remain trapped in a sideways trading range between support at $11.395 per cwt (about $251 per ton) and resistance around $11.750 per cwt (about $259 per ton).
A breakout below the previously mentioned point of support would be viewed as a bearish development and likely trigger additional technical selling. The other grains closed sharply lower today; Soybeans closed about 1.2% lower at $10.0400 per bushel; wheat finished about 1.4% lower at $5.4800 per bushel, and corn finished the day about 4% lower at $3.8575 per bushel.U.S. stocks took a stiff detour lower on Tuesday, with a near 300-point rally on the Dow fading into a triple-digit decline amid falling commodity prices and as Germany reportedly threw cold water on hopes that the European Central Bank would take additional steps to bolster the region's economy.
With the fourth-quarter earnings season started, investors are on the lookout for the effect of crude's decline on the S&P 500's collective bottom line, with oil prices on Tuesday falling to near six-year lows as a major OPEC producer stuck to the cartel's decision not to reduce output. Scaling back from a 282-point jump, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was lately down 68.50 points, or 0.4%, at 17,572.34. The S&P 500 shed 10.09 points, or 0.5%, to 2,018.17, with materials and energy hardest hit among its major sectors. The Nasdaq declined 11 points, or 0.2%, to 4,653.71. Gold is trading about 0.1% higher, crude oil is seen trading about 0.7% lower, and the U.S. dollar is seen trading about 0.4% higher at about  1:00pm Chicago time.Monday, there were 413 contracts traded, up from 174 contracts traded on Friday. Open interest – the number of contracts outstanding – on Monday decreased by 319 contracts to 8,448.

Thailand Rice Sellers Lower Some of Their Quotes Today; Other Asia Rice Quotes Unchanged Today

Jan 13, 2015
Thailand rice sellers lowered their quotes for 100% B grade white rice  by about $5 per ton to around $415 - $425 per ton today. Other 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 $320 - $330 per ton, about $5 per ton discount to 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.

Thailand Plans to Sell 10 Million Tons of Stockpiled Rice in 2015

Jan 13, 2015
Description: Description: Thai Commerce Ministry is planning to sell around 10 million tons of stockpiled rice in 2015 and around 7 million tons in 2016, Reuters quoted the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry as saying.The Secretary noted that the Ministry has planned to sell about 17.8 million tons of rice within the next two years. She noted that the Ministry will announce details of tenders to sell around 1 million tons of rice between January and March this year.
Last month, the Thai Prime Minister noted that the government is planning to sell the rice stocks without impacting prices.Thailand sold around 681,740 tons of rice in four tenders last year after the military government took over on May 22, 2014; and the government has struck government-to-government deals for about 570,000 tons last year, she said.
According to the stock audit report released by the government, of the 17.8 million tons of rice stocks, of which 2.35 million tons are of good quality, 14.4 million tons are sub-standard, around 694,000 tons are rotten and around 390,000 are missing. The former Prime Minister is facing impeachment hearing for her role in the management and implementation of the controversial rice pledging scheme.Thailand exported around 10.8 million tons of rice in 2014, up about 64% from around 6.6 million tons in 2013.
Separately, the Ministries of Agriculture and Commerce discussed on rice production adjustment considering the current in-stock rice, exports, domestic consumption and rice market information, according to local sources. They are planning to adjust rice production structure so as to balance the demand and supply of rice by 2019. They will present the outcome of their meeting to the National Rice Policy Committee (NRPC).

Thailand To Sign MOU with Hong Kong to Export 100,000 Tons of Rice

Jan 13, 2015

Description: rice exporters will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Hong Kong's rice importers to export around 100,000 tons of rice to Hong Kong this year, in presence of the Thai Commerce Minister in this week, according to the Thai News Agency.The Thai Commerce Minister is reportedly visiting Hong Kong this week from January 16 - 17 to promote Thai rice as well as discuss trade relations, especially related to rice, with Hong Kong's Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development. He will also meet the Chairs of Hong Kong's three rice importers' associations.
Thai rice exporters will also sign a letter of intent (LOI) on bilateral cooperation and trade with Hong Kong's rice importers. Both the LOI and the MOU will signify a likely increase in market share for Thai rice in Hong Kong, say Thai rice exporters.Hong Kong is one of the main destinations for Thai Jasmine rice. However, Thailand's share in Hong Kong's rice market declined to around 46% in 2013 from about 86% in 2008 due to the increase in Thai rice prices following the introduction of rice pledging scheme, under which the Thai government bought paddy from farmers at 50% above market prices, in 2011.
Thailand has been keen on regaining its share in Hong Kong Jasmine rice market since last year. Thailand exported around 156,000 tons of Jasmine rice to Hong Kong in 2011, around 134,000 tons in 2012 and around 142,000 tons in 2013.The Thai government is planning to sell over 17 million tons of rice stocks as soon as possible without impacting prices. Thailand exported around 10.8 million tons of rice in 2014, up about 64% from around 6.6 million tons in 2013, according to data from Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA).   

Philippines Rice Stocks Stand at About 3 Million Tons as of December 1, 2014; Up 3% m/m and Up 22% y/y

Description: 13, 2015

Total rice stocks in the Philippines as of December 1, 2014 reached around 3.03 million tons, up about 3% from around 2.95 million tons recorded in November 2014, and up about 22% from around 2.49 million tons recorded during the same period last year, according to the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS).
According to the BAS, household stocks (which account for about 51.7% of total rice stocks in the country) have reached around 1.57 million tons as of December 1, 2014, up about 9% from year-ago levels of around 1.44 million tons. Commercial warehouse rice stocks (which account for about 32.3% of total stocks) have reached around 980,000 tons as of December 1, 2014, up about 29% from their year-ago levels of around 760,000 tons. The rice stocks with the National Food Authority (NFA) (which account for 16% of total stocks) stood at around 490,000 tons, up about 63% from around 300,000 tons recorded in December 2013.
Month-on-month, household rice stocks are down about 3%, commercial warehouse rice stocks are up about 9% and NFA rice stocks - in which about 96.5% are imported rice - are up about 14%, according to the BAS.
The BAS says that the Philippines' rice stocks as of December 1, 2014 are enough to last for 89 days (household stocks are enough for 46 days, commercial warehouses stocks are enough for 29 days and stocks with NFA are enough for 14 days).
The NFA had imported about 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. In December 2014, it allowed the private sector to import another 187,000 tons of rice under the minimum access volume (MAV) program.

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13th January(Tuesday),2015 Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Asian importers out to sabotage local rice production –Agric Minister

Federal Government has accused Asian companies involved in rice importation in the country of aiming to sabotage its local rice production programme.Speaking at an interactive session with reporters in Lagos yesterday, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, said the Asian countries engaged in importation brought in rice above allocated quota and therefore owed the Federal Government a total of N36. 56 billion.He fingered two companies, Popular Farms and Mill as well as Olam, which allegedly imported 300, 204.53 metric tonnes of rice and 110, 163. 63 metric tonnes of rice respectively above their allocated quotas to buttress his point.
“As at December 3, 2014, Popular Farms and Mills had exceeded their approved quota by 300, 204.53MT and Olam by 110, 163.63MT, a combined total of 410, 368.16MT,” he said.Owing to the excess importation without government’s approval, he said the two companies were to pay the Federal Government N28. 299 billion.“Popular Farms and Mills owes the treasury N19.379 billion in unpaid levies, while Olam owes the treasury N9.02 billion. Together these two Asian companies owe the Federal Government N28.399 billion.”He lamented that rather than pay the levies, “the two Asian companies wrote letters to the minister asking for a revision of their rice import quotas. Olam asked for 400, 000MT rice import quota to cover the quantities of rice that they had gone ahead to import (or still desire to import) without any approved quotas or DRPP as required, but a mere agreement with Nigeria Customs that they would pay the duties due once the quota allocations are out. They pleaded with the minister of agriculture to no avail as he insisted everyone must follow the transparent and rigorous methodology on issuance of quotas.”
Vowing that the Asian companies must pay the money owed the Federal Government, Adesina said: “Every company must follow the rules and there are no sacred cows. The days are gone when they can bribe to get what they want. I will not allow them to scuttle our self-sufficiency drive in rice production. I cannot be bought or bribed. These two companies, Olam and Popular Farms and Mills, owe N28.399 billion and they must pay for the excess rice they imported above their allowed quotas at preferential rate.”The minister also revealed that other Asian companies importing rice into the country exceeded their allocated quotas and, therefore, owed the Federal Government.
“Three other companies, Conti-Agro, Central Trading and Export, and African Farms with no domestic rice production plan, have imported 98, 285MT of rice without approved quotas and owe the treasury N8.16 billion.   All these five companies owe the Nigerian government a total of N36.56 billion,” he said, insisting that every company must pay “what is due for excess volume they were allotted to import or for rice imported without a quota.”On his resolved to ensure that the right thing was done, the minister said: “I will not be intimidated. I will not be bought or corrupted. I will not sell my country to any foreign company. The president has given us a clear marching order to make Nigerian self sufficient in rice and we will fully achieve this.

Thai Rice To Be Promoted In Hong Kong

BANGKOK, Jan 13 (Bernama) -- Commerce Minister General Chatchai Sarikulya will visit Hong Kong from Jan 16-17 to promote Thai rice, Thai News Agency (TNA) reported.The ministry's Department of Foreign Trade reported on Tuesday that the minister will lead a delegation of Thai rice exporters to meet Hong Kong's secretary for commerce and economic development to discuss trade relations, especially those concerning rice.The official report said the Thai delegation will also meet chairs of Hong Kong's three rice importers' associations which have played important roles in importing and distributing Thai rice to local restaurants and households.

The report noted that the Thai commerce minister will also witness the signing of a letter of intent (LOI) on bilateral cooperation to promote Thai rice and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Thai rice exporters and Hong Kong's rice importers.According to the official report, both pacts should involve the trade of 100,000 tonnes of rice and should be a good sign for an increase in market share for Thai rice in Hong Kong.The Ministry of Commerce will also present the Best Friend of Thai Rice Award to seven key importers of Thai rice in Hong Kong.


Texas rice producers to gather for production planning

Jan 12, 2015Logan Hawkes
President Obama's planned initiative to ease embargo restrictions on Cuba is some of the best news rice producers have heard in 40 years.
In spite of multiple and consecutive years of major setbacks for Texas rice producers, the century-old tradition of growing long grain rice in the state remains an important and viable industry to the individuals and communities it serves.While a shortage of water for irrigation, persistent pest management challenges and competition from foreign rice producers, among other issues, continue to hamper Texas and Western rice belt producers, not all news is bad.
Dwight Roberts, CEO of the US Rice Producers Federation in Houston, said President Obama's planned initiative to ease embargo restrictions on Cuba is some of the best news rice producers have heard in 40 years."I had the excitement of a 5year old on Christmas," Roberts said to Federation members last month through the group's newsletter. "This is more than just about rice. A new relationship initiative sends such an important message throughout Latin America and will bring much needed respect for the USA from throughout the region.
"While the release of the five Cuban prisoners arrested in Miami in 1998 was the administration’s first step toward normalizing relations with the island nation, a great deal of opposition to lifting the embargo remains.Conservative lawmakers have threatened to take legal action if President Obama goes forward with his plan without approval from Congress. But Roberts believes the usefulness of the embargo is long past and says lost business opportunities as a result of the embargo amount to about $1.2 billion per year.
Even many conservative-leaning business and industry leaders say the U.S. economy could profit from normalized relations, and most grain producers favor the Cuba initiative.Roberts says the news about Cuba is not the only positive development for rice producers. In addition to the possibility of opening new rice markets in the Caribbean, recent news that Mexico is imposing a 20 percent import tax for rice of Asian origin strengthens the U.S. rice industry's ties with its largest customer and clears the way for additional exports.

Stocking up for the low season

Tue, 13 January 2015
Warehouse workers use a conveyor belt to move rice at the rice bank in Battambang province last week. PHOTO SUPPLIEDThree months after it began buying up rice stock, the Cambodia Rice Bank (CRB) has acquired about 20,000 tonnes of paddy and 7,000 tonnes of milled rice, a representative from the bank said on Friday. According to Phou Puy, chairman and CEO of the CRB, the stock is valued at close to $12 million and will be accessible to millers during the months of April and May when paddy supply is seasonably low.
 “Our operation is going on well. We predict that for 2015-2016 harvest season, our stock capacity will be triple the size of what it is now,” Puy said.The CRB is a private sector initiative established by local millers aiming to better manage market fluctuations in Cambodia’s rice industry.The bank is attempting to stem the flow of informal, or over-the-border, paddy trade during the harvest season when paddy supply peaks and it aims to have rice on hand for millers to access during the low season when supply is low.“Every year, millers always find it difficult to buy paddy during April to June and I think at that period, we can sell all our stock pile,” Puy added.
Fitted with silos, rice dryers and storage sheds, the $30 million rice bank began operating in Battambang province in August last year.From October to December – during harvest season for fragrant rice – the CRB began collecting rice from farmers in Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Pursat, and Siem Reap.Lim Bunheng, CEO of rice export company Loran Group, said that millers often run out of funding during the harvest season and were unable to collect all available rice which meant much of it was lost over the border to neighbouring countries.“The rice bank will be a major place where millers can get fragrant paddy when the shortage time arrives,” he said. “Now we have another option so that once the bank can sell paddy at a suitable price – it will be very much benefit for miller.
”David Van, senior adviser of the Cambodia Rice Federation, said despite some hold ups from individual investors, the private sector has been able to venture into territory where the government and donors had failed. “At least the private sector gets things moving with its own limited resources,” he said. “Most countries have their agricultural sector fully subsidised by their governments but not in Cambodia and thus the private sector must fend for itself first.”Van also called on the government and donors to work more closely with the private sector in development of their proposed “warehousing receipt” concept that uses paddy stock as collateral for loans.
Contact author: Hor Kimsay

Meetings highlight rice prices, new varieties

Nikki Henderson

01/13/2015 10:51 AM
01/13/2015 10:57 AM
Rice farmers across southern Louisiana heard the latest recommendations from LSU AgCenter experts.They gave tips for growing the 2015 crop at a series of LSU AgCenter meetings held during the week of Jan5. The meetings were held in Avoyelles, Jefferson Davis, Evangeline, Acadia and Vermilion parishes. 

A meeting for north Louisiana farmers will be held between 9 a.m. and noon Feb. 12 at the Delhi Civic Center, 232 Denver St., in Delhi.Farmers could start planting their crop in early March.At the sessions, LSU AgCenter rice specialist Dustin Harrell said fertilizer applications have a direct effect on yields.Harrell said Agronomy studies at the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station near Crowley have shown that the best results are obtained from applying fertilizer on dry ground along with a urease inhibitor, like Agrotain, that prevents nitrogen from decomposing rapidly.Two-thirds of a crop’s nitrogen fertilizer should be applied preflood, with the remainder at midseason, he said.  Applying phosphorus  fertilizer when the crop needs it is also important, and waiting until the pre-flood stage to apply phosphorus fertilizer can reduce yields by  12 percent.
AgCenter rice breeder Steve Linscombe said two new long-grain Clearfield lines are being grown now in Puerto Rico and will be grown  as foundation seed in 2015 at the Rice Research Station. He said both lines have good yields with improved blast resistance and lower  chalk than CL151.A new Clearfield medium-grain line being grown in Puerto Rico has improved yield, grain appearance and lodging resistance over  CL271.Linscombe said checkoff money provided by farmers is essential to funding the winter nursery in Puerto Rico. Linscombe said,  “If we didn’t have the checkoff funds, we wouldn’t have Puerto Rico.”
At the Acadia Parish meeting, Jerry Leonards, a farmer and chairman of the Acadia Parish Rice Growers sociation, said studies done at  the Rice Research Station are critical to rice farmers. 
Linscombe said, “If it weren’t for these people, we’d probably be out of business by now."Linscombe said work on hybrids continues, with the possibility of a seed increase for a hybrid line in the next year or two.The work on the new Provisia herbicide-resistant rice is making progress with yield testing being conducted in Argentina on 13 lines. Linscombe said, “We are looking at getting one of these lines out as quickly as possible." AgCenter weed scientist Eric Webster said the Provisia herbicide will extend the life of the Clearfield system by offering an alternative  technology to control red rice.Webster said farmers should be starting their burndown of weeds in preparation for planting.
 He urged farmers to be aggressive early  against small weeds and use the full rate of herbicides.Nealley’s sprangletop weed is becoming more of a problem for farmers after midseason. Webster said, “It grows about an inch a day. RiceStar is effective against the weed."Farmers who know they have weeds resistant to herbicides should use alternative chemistry to control the problem.AgCenter plant pathologist Don Groth said farmers should consider whether they need to use a fungicide. Groth said, “If you don’t have disease, you’re not going to get any benefit from using a fungicide.
"Groth cautioned farmers against using excessive amounts of fertilizer that could result in increased diseases problems of bacterial panicle  blight and smut.AgCenter entomologist Mike Stout said the Mexican rice borer continues its spread eastward after it was found in Calcasieu Parish in  2008.Seed treatments offer the best control for rice water weevils, and the Dermacor option provides some control against armyworms and  stem borers.

He said using Cruiser and Nipsit seed treatments help early planted rice deal with cold stress.AgCenter reproductive physiologist Glen Gentry said research on controlling wild pigs is being conducted at the Dean Lee and Idlewild  research stations. One system involves the use of sodium nitrite mixed with a bait, but it’s unknown if the chemical will threaten the  Louisiana black bear.AgCenter soybean specialist Ron Levy said Louisiana farmers have shown in the past few years that Louisiana can produce soybean yields  comparable with those grown in the Midwest. He said a new fungicide will be released this year to control aerial blight disease.
AgCenter economist Mike Salassi said long-grain rice prices are low because of a 12 percent increase in the amount of rice on the  market. He said much of that can be attributed to the 400,000 -acre increase in Arkansas last year for a total of 1.4 million acres that  produced roughly half of the rice grown in the U.S.Salassi said long-range projections by the U.S. Department of Agriculture don’t offer much hope for a price increase in the coming  months.John Morgan, of the Louisiana Rice Mill, told farmers at the Vermilion Parish meeting that international buyers are demanding better  quality.
 He said Central American buyers who once preferred American rice are turning to Uruguay for long-grain rice because they are  not pleased with the quality of some of the rice they are getting from the U.S.Morgan said, “They are paying more for South American rice than our rice."He said the large number of varieties being grown now has resulted in inconsistent quality, and Central American buyers have complained  about large amounts of chalky rice.The quality problem appears to originate from the Arkansas rice industry. Morgran said, “I think our guys do a pretty good job of growing for demand and segregating their rice.
"He said the quality issue may even be a reason why more U.S. rice isn’t being purchased by Iraq.Louisiana Rice Mill has started separating rice varieties in its storage system to make it easier to meet customer demand. Morgan said  higher-quality rice sold to the mill last year brought 75 cents more per barrel.
Vietnam aims to increase rice exports
Business Desk
Viet Nam News
Publication Date : 13-01-2015
 Vietnam will focus on Africa, West and South Asian markets to boost rice exports amidst harsh competition anticipated this year, according to the ministry of industry and trade.Those markets saw rising demands for rice, the ministry's Department of Africa, Western and Southern Asia Markets said.The department cited statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, which stated that rice consumption in Africa, with a population of more than 1 billion, was estimated at some 24 million tonnes per year and rising.Since 2009, Africa has imported 8-10 million tonnes of rice annually, worth between US$3.5 - 5 billion.
The department pointed out that import demands for rice in West and Southern Asia were also high. However, currently many countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bangladesh, mainly imported rice from Thailand or India.Statistics from the Vietnam General Department of Customs showed that, as of November 2014, Vietnamese rice was exported to 46 of 78 markets in Africa, Western and Southern Asia markets, with a total turnover of about US$410 million.Rice exports to major markets, including Ivory Coast, Angola, and Cameroon, however, declined sharply last year due to price competition from Thailand, India and Pakistan.The decline was also attributed to the impact from the Ebola epidemic, which struck several West Africa countries.The ministry believes there are significant potentials for Vietnam to expand rice exports into these markets this year.
Among measures being undertaken to boost rice exports, the ministry said, included negotiating memoranda of understanding (MoU) to sell rice to the Ivory Coast, Kenya, Angola, Mozambique and Madagascar.Also, marketing and promotional efforts would be strengthened, while co-ordination with other governmental agencies involved in agro-forestry-fisheries exports would be improved.Support to provide market information and opportunities, along with the establishment of warehouses in major markets, such as Cameroon, Angola, and Mozambique, would also be provided to make it easier for Vietnamese exporters to expand into those markets.
2014 was a difficult year for rice exports from Vietnam due to the impact of oversupply, high inventories and significant pressure from the competition, besides the impact from El Nino, Ebola and political unrest in several regions.Statistics showed that as of November, rice export from Vietnam reached 6.062 million tonnes, valued at US$2.8 billion, down 2.3 per cent in volume, while up 2.6 per cent in value. Rice exports for the full year were expected to be 6.5 million tonnes.As difficulties for rice exports were expected to continue this year, the ministry urged keeping a close watch on market fluctuations and expanding exports to new and potential market, while enhancing the quality of Vietnamese rice.

Mexico imposes 20 per cent tax on rice imports. Beginning January 9, Vietnamese rice included a tax rate of 20 per cent when imported to Mexico and a rate of 9 per cent was applied on paddy-raised rice.The tax increase seeks to protect Mexico's rice production, after Mexican rice cultivation declined by nearly 88 per cent after the country's free trade policies in rice imports came into force.The Vietnam Food Association noted that Mexico was a new potential customer for rice exports from Vietnam. 
Palay price in South Cotabato sinks to P13.50 per kilo
 January 13, 2015
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KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, Jan. 13  (PIA)  -- The  peaking of the   harvest  season   has farmers  of South Cotabato concerned. This, according to the  Office of the Provincial  Agriculturist (OPAG),  is because the expected harvest has  also  brought   steep  drop in buying prices   this week, which could persist  for several weeks more.“Based on our monitoring the   buying price of  palay in  South Cotabato  at present  ranges  from   P13.50 per  kilo  to P15.00 per kilo,”  Justina  Navarrete,  OIC provincial  agriculturist,   confirmed in an  interview. “In the past few  weeks,  commercial  traders in the area  bought  palay at  prices  ranging from P18 per kilo  to P19 per kilo.”
Citing  the principle of  supply and demand,  the agriculture official  attributed the  decrease in the buying price to the peaking of the  harvest season in the  area.“Some  10,800  hectares  of  rice  are  set  for harvest  in January, which we believe has  led  price  speculators  and  local  traders  to offer  lower prices.”“Farmers  are  really  worried, so I called  up   a  meeting  with the  National  Food Authority and the  Provincial  Agriculture and Fishery Council  to provide  solutions to this  problem,”  Navarrete  said.
During the  discussion, officials of NFA  South Cotabato  assured that they  have  sufficient  existing  funds  for the  procurement of palay  and  that they could request  for  replenishment  in  case  more  funds  are needed.“Rice growers  have the  option to sell  their  produce to  the  NFA  where they  could  get  better   price  for their  palay,”  she  said.  NFA’s  subsidized   buying  price  remains  at P17 per  kilo.
It also  provides  additional  incentives such  as   40 centavos   for  individual  farmers   for  delivery  and  drying  fees  and  up to  70  centavos  for  cooperatives,  organizations and  associations   for  delivery  and  drying  fees and  cooperative  development  incentive fund. (DEDoguiles-PIA 12)

Thai govt aims to sell 17 mln tonnes of stockpiled rice over 2 years

BANGKOK Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:06pm IST
Jan 13 (Reuters) - Thailand's government plans to sell around 17 million tonnes of rice over the next two years from stockpiles built up under the previous administration's failed buying programme, the commerce ministry said on Tuesday, announcing a new series of tenders.Thailand was the world's top rice exporter for decades until its grain became uncompetitive under the buying scheme brought in by ousted former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra after she won election in 2011.The scheme paid farmers well above market rates for their crops and the Finance Ministry, in its most recent estimate, said it caused losses of more than $15 billion to the state, although that would be reduced if grain is sold.
"We have set up a plan to sell 17.8 million tonnes of rice within a two-year timeframe," Chutima Bunyapraphasara, permanent secretary at the ministry, told reporters.The aim is to sell 10 million tonnes this year and 7 million in 2016, she added.Terms of reference for a tender for 1 million tonnes would be announced on Jan. 20, she said, adding that the ministry would hold two or three tenders from January to March.The authorities have held four, smaller tenders since the military seized power last May and have sold 681,740 tonnes for around 6.36 billion baht ($194 million), Chutima said.
Government-to-government deals have been done for larger amounts, of which 570,000 tonnes had so far been shipped or was about to be shipped this month, she added.An audit conducted after the military seized power in May suggested that only 10 percent of the grain in the stockpiles was of standard export quality. The buying scheme effectively lapsed in early 2014 when political turmoil meant Yingluck's government was unable to pay farmers for their grain.Thailand's parliament began an impeachment hearing against Yingluck on Friday over her role in the subsidy programme.
Critics denounced it as a wasteful handout to supporters of Yingluck and her brother Thaksin Shinawatra, another former premier ousted by the military.The country exported around 10.8 million tonnes of rice in 2014, a record high, according to the commerce ministry.Its previous record of 10.4 million tonnes was reported in 2011, after which India took over as top exporter.
Thailand is experiencing drought in eight provinces, which will cut its 2015 off-season crop output by more than 30 percent, according to the latest report from the Office of Agricultural Economics.The smaller harvest is unlikely to have a big impact on global prices, which are still under pressure from Thailand's stockpiles and bumper output in rival exporters India and Vietnam. ($1 = 32.8400 baht) (Reporting by Kaweewit Kaewjinda; Editing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Alan Raybould)

Legal actions taken against more than 100 partners of contract in rice pledging scheme

Date : 12 มกราคม 2558
BANGKOK, 12 January 2015 (NNT) - The National Rice Policy and Management Committee presses charges against partners of contract in the rice pledging scheme operated by the previous administration. Permanent Secretary for Commerce Chutima Boonyapraphatson on Monday traveled to meet police officers to sue partners of contract in the rice pledging scheme on grounds of theft, embezzlement and fraudulent. Relevant documents were submitted to the investigators to be used as evidence.

There are more than 100 partners of contract who face the charges. Most of them were allegedly involved in selling substandard rice to the program. Ms. Chutima said civil servants who were aware of or had taken part in the wrongdoing would face both disciplinary and criminal actions. Their cases would be forwarded to investigators and the National Anti-Corruption Commission for further investigations, she said.

Nigeria: Rice Importers Owe FG N36.5 Billion in Unpaid Duties, Says Agric Minister
"There is N36.56 billion owed to Government by foreign importers of rice (and a few local ones) who wish to run their own rice policy," says Dr Akinwumi Adesina, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.Adesina told media executives in Lagos on Tuesday that contrary to speculations in a section of the media, "there is no N40 billion missing, rather, there is N36.56 billion owed to Government... ".He said that the Federal Government's policy of encouraging local production of rice, with a view to attaining self-sufficiency in the sector, was giving sleepless nights to those determined to undermine the policy.
Adesina noted that now that Nigerians have become major investors in the local rice sector, "the fear of competition... .and their unwillingness to pay to the treasury billions of Naira is what is driving a devious media campaign against the rice quota allocation".He said that to encourage investment in local rice production and milling, the Presidency approved an import duty differential on rice (brown or polished)imported by rice investors, compared to rice traders."Investors that have milling capacity with verified Domestic Rice Production Plans (DRPP) enjoy an import duty of 10 per cent and levy 20 per cent, while traders will pay an import duty of 10 per cent and levy 60 per cent.
"The new rice policy also stated that importation of brown or polished rice should be limited to the national supply gap for import-grade rice to be determined by an inter-ministerial committee."Without waiting for the determination of supply gap by the inter-ministerial committees or issuance of quotas, two Asian companies--Popular Farms and Mills, owned by Stallion Group; and Olam, had imported 390,145.53MT and 244,126.63MT respectively, of polished rice as at December 3, 2014, at the preferential duty of 10 per cent and levy 20 per cent" .
According to the minister, Popular Farm and Mills imported 390,143MT, instead of the 89,939 approved quota and hence, liable to pay N2.2 billion as tariff on approved quota, and N17.2 billion as tariff on excess import, bringing its total indebtedness to Nigeria to N19.37 billion.He said that on the other hand, Olam imported 244,126MT as against the 133,963 approved for it, thereby owing Nigeria N9.03 million as duty payable on both approved quota and excess import.
Adesina said that three other importers would also have to pay about N8 billion to the Federal Government on the same issues, bringing the total to N36.56 billion.The minister said, "The national supply gap of import grade rice is expected to decline to one million MT in 2015, 0.3MT in 2016 and to zero in 2017 when the country is expected to become self-reliant in rice production."
According to the minister, it has been discovered that some of the rice importers are bagging rice produced in Nigeria, passing them as foreign, because the nation has succeeded in bridging the quality gap with good quality seedlings and adequate processing plants.Adesina said that the government's effort in making rice and other food stuffs available locally had prevented the country from experiencing high inflation, and that the move was being applauded by foreign governments and international organisations.

Ministries discuss rice production structure
Date : 13 มกราคม 2558
BANGKOK, 13 January 2015 (NNT) – The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC) and the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) held a meeting on the rice production structure adjustment, which will be presented to the National Rice Policy Committee. The MOAC Permanent-Secretary Chavalit Chookajorn has presided over the meeting on the rice production structure adjustment held by the MOAC and the MOC.

 This meeting took into consideration the information from the MOAC on the different strains of rice and the targeted rice grains production plan with the in-stock rice, export figures, domestic consumption, and rice market information form the MOC. The adjustment of the rice production structure is expected to balance the demand and the supply of rice in the market by the year 2019. This meeting concluded that relevant information on rice production structure, both supply and demand, must be made clear by 23 January 2015 and be submitted to the National Rice Policy Committee’s consideration by the end of January.

Coming soon: gluten-free Coors

One of the nation's largest beer brands is about to jump on the gluten-free craze. Chicago-based MillerCoors next month will begin marketing a "naturally gluten free" version of Coors called Coors Peak Copper Lager that will be sold in Seattle and Portland."With more consumers living a gluten free-lifestyle, there are few satisfying choices in the beer category," the brewer stated in a memo shared with Crain's sister publication Advertising Age that it plans to send to distributors today.
 "Our brewers have developed a proprietary brewing process that is specifically designed to deliver a 100% gluten free beer worthy of the Coors name."Big food brands have increasingly added gluten-free offerings to their portfolios in recent years. But until now mainstream beer brands have largely stayed on the sidelines. Anheuser-Busch in 2006 launched a gluten-free brand called Redbridge that is made with sorghum and is available nationally. But it has remained a relatively niche brand.MillerCoors plans to give some local marketing support to Peak in Seattle and Portland. But the brewer is not eyeing national distribution at the moment. "Given production limitations, there are currently no plans to expand beyond [Seattle and Portland]," the brewer stated in the distributor memo.
To make the beer gluten-free, Coors will replace barley with brown rice, malted brown rice and protein from peas, a spokesman said. The beer also must also be made separately from beers that contain gluten in order to comply with gluten-free certification rules.In an email, MillerCoors described Coors Peak as a "light to medium-bodied crisp copper lager" with a "malty, slight caramel profile offset by subtly spicy hops and the finish is slightly bitter, crisp and perfectly balanced." The beer contains 170 calories per 12-ounce serving. While big brewers have cautiously crept into the gluten-free beer segment, they have capitalized on the trend via their hard cider brands, which are naturally gluten free.
This report first appeared on Crain's sister website,
Nigeria: Rice Importation - Olam, Popular Farm, Others Owe FG N36 Billion - Minister
By Olushola Bello
Olam Central Trading and Export, a popular farm and mills enterprise, and three other companies owe the Nigerian government N36.56 billion for rice import above their quota allocation, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has stated.The ministry, in a press statement, also denied the allegation by a group, Stakeholders in the Rice Industry, that it granted waivers and rice import quotas indiscriminately to investors who had no verifiable investment in the industry, causing a N40 billion loss in government revenue.
According to the ministry, Nigerians need to be aware that there is no N40 billion missing; rather, there is N36.56 billion owed to government by some foreign importers of rice.According to the data obtained from the Nigerian Customs Service by the ministry, one of the firms, Popular Farm, imported 300,204.53 million metric tonnes (MT) in excess of its quota and is owing the government N19.38 billion, while Olam imported 244,126.63 MT in excess of its quota and is owing N9.03 billion. Others are Conti-Agro, Central Trading and Export and African Farms which imported 98,285MT of rice without approved quotas and are indebted to the tune of N8.16 billion.Also, from July 1, 2014 to December 3, 2014, a total volume of rice import of 1.12 billion MT, valued at N73.45 billion, was imported by 48 rice importers.
The minister of agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said that every company must pay the government what is due it for the excess volume of they were allocated to import or for rice imported without a quota."All who owe the federal government must pay what they owe and Nigeria must lose no single naira. No amount of malicious misrepresentation will derail the new rice policy," he said.He pointed out that with the devaluation of the naira, all hands must be on deck to ensure that all leakages are blocked, and that the president had given its officers the marching orders to make Nigerian self-sufficient in rice, a task the ministry is keen to achieve.

LEADERSHIP recalls that in May 2014, a new rice policy was approved by President Goodluck Jonathan to encourage investment in local rice production and milling through the introduction of an import duty differential on imported.One of the conditions precedent to import quota allocation includes investors that have milling capacity with verified Domestic Rice Production Plans (DRPP). They are to enjoy an import duty of 10 percent and levy of 20 percent while traders will pay an import duty of 10 percent and levy 60 percent.The ministry noted that the matter at hand was not the first time that foreign importers had tried to derail government rice self-sufficiency policy.
"They have always sabotaged every rice policy of the federal government, even the efforts of the presidential initiatives on rice put in place between 2001 and 2003 by the government."Nigerian farmers have shown an impressive performance in response to government's new rice policy that favours local rice production and milling. Nigeria has grown in paddy production from 4.5 million MT in 2012 to 10.7 million MT in 2014," the statement noted.At stakeholders' meetings and consultations with members of the Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RIPAN) and Rice Importers and Distributors Association of Nigeria (RIMIDAN), a national supply gap of 1.5million MT was determined.

The national supply gap of import grade rice is expected to decline to 1.0 million MT in 2016 and to zero in 2017, when the country is expected to become self-reliant in rice production, when new rice mill being purchased by investors, such as Dangote Group, Honeywell, Wacot, to mention few, come on board.Following, a transparent exercise was conducted by FMARD to allocate 1.3 million MT of rice quotas, out of the 1.5 million MT national supply gap of import-grade rice, to deserving companies.
Asia’s Invisible Women Farmers
Asia’s Invisible Women Farmers Technology support for farmers should address the needs of
women, who provide more than half of the agricultural labor input in Asia. Science and Development Network | January 13, 2015 | Editorials AsianScientist (Jan. 13, 2015) - By Crispin Maslog - Women hold up half the sky, so goes the Chinese saying. Yet in the developing countries of Asia, they do not get half the credit for it. In the field of agriculture, women have been especially invisible to scientists.
“The work women do, no matter where it is, doesn’t count. If the work goes unpaid, it is ‘housework’, and if it is paid, it is simply ‘farm labor’. Neither term recognizes the true value of the contributions women make to the food-producing capacity of Asia,” say social scientists Michael Collinson and Hilary Sims Feldstein, who produced a gender study on rice farming systems for the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR). Yet, both stress: “Women are major participants in the rice growing regions of Asia. In Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, women provide up to half the labor input in rice production.
” In India and Bangladesh, women do as much as 80 percent of the work. Invisible role of women in farms Other scientists have also pointed out that women are often the most important decision makers in the household. They manage the household budget, decide the amount of rice to be kept for consumption and for sale, and buy farm inputs like pesticides when they go to the town market. The role of women in Asian rural life is growing with urbanisation. As men are drawn to the cities to find jobs, the women are left behind to manage families and make decisions on the farms. But Asian agricultural scientists were slow to recognize this, and in the isolation of their labs, continued to develop technologies for men on Asian farms. These scientists could not see that technology is not necessarily gender neutral, Thelma Paris, a gender specialist at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), tells SciDev.Net.
Consequently, “women farmers are excluded in technology design, testing and dissemination, and agricultural extension services. This has left untapped the potential capabilities of women as farmers and as leaders in agricultural development.” Paris adds that she had a hard time convincing engineers at IRRI to develop machinery that would help ease the work of women as this was not considered a research priority. But after years of persuasion, IRRI engineers finally designed an ultra-light transplanter in pink colour to help women with the backbreaking task of transplanting rice seedlings, Paris recalls. The same narrow focus characterises agricultural extension workers. Typically, their advisory services on improved crop establishment techniques involve only men, although in most rice communities, women take care of seed nurseries as well as uprooting/pulling seedlings.
Even social scientists have fallen into this trap. When doing surveys on rural poverty, they interview only the men as heads of household. The wife’s occupation is automatically recorded as housewife although she provides unpaid labor in almost all agriculture-related activities (crop production, postharvest and livestock management activities). Women’s contributions to household income, although small, are also often unrecorded. Broadening gender perspectives Thankfully this narrow-mindedness on the part of agricultural science research is changing. Since the mid-1980s, Paris notes, “social scientists led by IRRI have started making Asian women in farms visible in agricultural statistics by quantifying their labour inputs in rice production per hectare and by disaggregating unpaid family and paid hired labour of male and female workers.
” These data, she says, have provided evidence that although women’s contributions vary across countries, their contributions total to about half in Cambodia and Indonesia, up to half in Thailand, and more than half in Vietnam and Laos. In the Philippines, women participation in rice production is about a quarter but their participation in farm management decisions about inputs and hiring of labor is higher than the women in other countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Programmes like Women in Rice Farming Systems (WIRFS) have worked to address gender issues in agriculture, enhance gender analysis in research for technology development, recruit and train more women scientists and professionals, and develop and disseminate teaching and communication materials to promote understanding of gender analysis in research. WIRFS launched a model project in a Philippine village in 1986 to demonstrate how a gender-sensitive approach to science and development could work. Among the outcomes of that project was the design of a micro rice mill powered by a small motor—the first technology intentionally designed for women.
The micro rice mill meant the women did not have to pound the unhusked rice to process the rice for cooking, reducing the drudgery of women’s work on the farm. In Thailand, the WIRFS project on integrated pest management primarily involved women. IRRI entomologist Kong Luen Heong narrated how they were surprised when visiting farming villages to find only women farmers since the men had all gone to the cities to work. But they found out in a survey that the women did not know how to properly use agro-chemicals on their rice crops. Only the men had attended government training programs on pest management. Heong, however, noted that women farmers tend to be more receptive to new ideas while men tend to be more dogmatic. Women are more sensitive to the health effects of spraying.
This realisztion led to the inclusion of women in pest management training programs and projects. The pioneering work of the WIRFS program since its inception 30 years ago should be a model for others. It has raised awareness about the role of women in rural Asia and made people realize that Asian women, hitherto invisible, may even be holding up more than their half of the sky. Crispin Maslog is a Manila-based consultant for the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication. A former journalist, professor and environmental activist, he worked for the Press Foundation of Asia and the International Rice Research Institute. ------- Read more from Asian Scientist Magazine at:

FG’s new rice policy raises hope for robust business activities at port

 Filed under: Maritime |  
The Federal Government’s new policy on rice, which has reversed the duty paid on imported rice from 110 percent (100 percent levy and 10 percent duty) to 30 percent (20 percent levy plus 10 percent duty) for rice millers and 70 percent (60 percent levy plus 10 percent duty) for other importers, has created fresh hope for increased importation of rice through the nation’s seaports this year.
Industry close watchers believe that the new policy, which allocates import quotas at 30 percent duty to people who have invested in rice production and existing millers, will not only help in bridging the gap created by insufficient local production but also reduce the alarming revenue loss due to drop in the volume of imported rice.Statistics from Federal Ministry of Agriculture show that Nigerians consume about 5 million metric tonnes of rice annually, which sums to about 100 million 50kg bags of rice, putting the total consumption of rice in excess of N1 trillion annually at a minimum price of N10,000 per 50kg of bag.

Also, about 2.9 million metric tonnes, which amounts to 58 million 50kg bags of rice, is the estimated quantity of rice that is produced locally while the remaining 2.1 million metric tonnes used to be imported into the country through the seaports.Going down memory lane, however, it would be recalled that the volume of imported rice recorded a drastic drop in 2013 when the Federal Government commenced the implementation of 110 percent duty on rice such that over N110 billion revenue loss was also recorded.At that time, rice cargo, which used to be the mainstay of Apapa port, dropped as a break bulk handling port stopped coming into the Apapa port, and this affected the revenue collection of Customs, affirmed Charles Edike, Customs area controller of Apapa command. 

BusinessDay check reveals that rice is a commodity which Nigeria in the past two years (during the implementation of 110 percent) lost to ports of neighbouring countries of Cameroun, Ghana and Benin Republic most especially. As a result, break bulk terminals like ENL Consortium Limited and Josep Dam also counted their losses as there were little or no business activities due to drop in the volume of imported rice.Given the 110 percent duty, the landing cost of rice became very high for importers to pay, and this resulted to importers preferring Benin port where the landing cost was cheaper, said Vicky Haastrup, executive vice chairman of ENL Consortium Limited.

Haastrup, who made it clear that smuggling of rice into the country from Benin Republic was the order of the day, and that was why the country never recorded scarcity of foreign or imported parboiled rice in Nigerian market, also noted that Nigeria is not self-sufficient in the production of rice because local production could not satisfy the local demand for 170 million population.To implement the new policy, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) is to facilitate the importation process for the beneficiaries of the preferential levy and duty rates, while enforcing the limit on the quantities imported in line with the approval of the Inter-Ministerial Committee.

Nigeria Customs in a recent public notice signed by Wale Adeniyi, public relations officer, re-assured all stakeholders of its readiness to collaborate with other government agencies in enforcing the import quotas, including other measures to achieve national self-sufficiency in rice production.With the new policy, analysts see a situation where importers will start bringing back loss rice cargo from the neighbouring ports to Nigerian port. This, they say, will create businesses, revenue and jobs for the operators of Nigerian bulk terminals as well as the Federal Government through Customs pending when Nigeria becomes sufficient in rice production.      
Uzoamaka Anagor

Govt threatens rice importers over unpaid N36.56b duty

Firms fault policy

FIVE companies have up till tomorrow to remit N36.56 billion to Federal Government’s treasury or face sanctions, a minister said yesterday.The firms owe N36, 569,117,975.4, being preferential duty and levy on the tariff and levy on the 732,555.55 metric tons of rice they imported, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Akinwunmi Adesina said in Lagos.
The companies are: Popular Farm and Mills; Olam, Central Trading and Export; Conti-Agro and African Farms.Akinwunmi, who at a session with journalists, accused rice importers of sabotaging the government’s policy.

But Olam Nigeria Limited said:  “there is clearly a misconception and mistake in the policy. These rice millers are sorting this misconception and mistake.”Three other operators also spoke in the same vein.He said the companies imported 508,653.55 metric tons of rice in excess of the 223,902 metric tons approved by the government.

The minister said the firms resorted to attacking the policy on rice and blackmail rather than respect the gentleman’s agreement they reached with the Nigerian Customs Service when they brought in their consignments.His words: “Without waiting for determination of supply gap by the inter-ministerial committees or issuance of quotas, two Asian companies – Popular Farms and Mills, owned by Stallion Group and Ola -, had each imported 390,145.53 MT and 244,126.63MT respectively of polished rice as at December 3rdat the preferential duty of 10% and 20% levy, according to data from Nigerians Customs.
“These two companies together imported a total of 634,270.16MT of finished rice or 56% of the total imported finished rice under the new policy as at December 3rd, 2014.“According to Customs, the importers agreed to pay any duty andn levy differential if their eventual quota allocation turned out to be lower than what they have imported.”Akinwunmi said the government will not fold its arms and watch some foreign firms undermine its policy, which, according to him, has been designed to encourage local rice production and discourage importation.The minister said: “Every company must follow the rules and there are no sacred cows. I will not allow them to scuttle our self-sufficiency drive in rice production.

These two companies – Olam and Popular Farms and Mills – owe N28.399 billion and they must pay for the excess rice they imported above their allowed quota at preferential rate.“This is not the first time that foreign importers have tried to derail government rice self-sufficiency policy. They have always sabotaged every rice policy of the Federal Government; even the efforts of the the Presidential Initiative on Rice put in place in 2001 and 2003 by the Federal Government.”The minister insisted that the government policy on rice was yielding the desired dividends as domestic rice production has increased and the number of modern rice mills grown.He listed Dangote Group, Elephant Group, Flour Mill and Honeywell as some of the local firms that have been enticed by the policy to go into rice production on a large scale.

Adesina said: “The goal is to turn importers into local producers. And that is being achieved. For example, Dangote Group, a major importer of food in the country, is developing 150,000 hectares of rice fields in Edo, Kebbi, Jigawa, Niger and Kogi states that will produce one million MT of rice paddy per annum within four years.“Elephant Group, another major rice importer, is investing $300 million on a 76,000MT/annum mill and a 10,000Ha farm in Oyo State. These are all investments that have been publicly announced.”“The Asians are getting good competitors in our local firms and they are not happy. Dangote Group is investing $1 billion; Flour Mill ($218 million); Elephant Group ($300 million); and Honeywell ($213 million)

He said: “Nigerian entrepreneurs have also seen the opportunity created by the increased paddy production; rice mills have risen from just one integrated rice mill in 2010 to twenty rice mills today, with a combined capacity of 700,000MT annum.“The use of certified improved seeds by farmers led to high quality uniform paddy which greatly increased the marketability of rice from out local integrated millers comparable with import-grade, high quality rice. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), price of local rice has consistently been lower than that of imported rice; no wonder some unscrupulous importers bag local rice and sell it as imported rice.”
Image: Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akin Adesina

Registered Dietitians' Nutrition Forecast Bodes Well for U.S. Rice

On trend with RDs and consumers:  "Think Rice!"
ARLINGTON, VA -- A survey of more than 500 registered dietitians (RD) reveals the food trends that will dictate consumer choices in 2015, many of which are good news for rice.   The "What's Trending in Nutrition" survey, conducted by Pollock Communications and Today's Dietitian, show top trends include: a continuing interest in gluten-free eating; a desire for non-GMO, locally sourced, eco-friendly foods; and an increased awareness of "clean eating" diets.
"U.S.-grown rice hits all of the points mentioned in this research - we're gluten-free, GMO-free, locally-grown, and can help people eat healthy diets," says Fred Zaunbrecher, a Louisiana rice farmer and chairman of the USA Rice Federation's Domestic Promotion Committee.  "Additionally, we also have a great environmental story to tell, so I think rice will be well-positioned with this important audience."

According to the survey, RDs' top recommendation for Americans to achieve an overall healthy diet is to eat high quality, nutrient-rich foods.  In addition, nearly 73 percent of respondents reported using MyPlate as a tool in nutrition education with patients.USA Rice is a USDA MyPlate National Strategic Partner and the Meeting Your MyPlate Goals on a Budget Toolkit, that heavily features rice, remains the most popular tool on the MyPlate website.
"It's important to be aware of the advice nutrition experts are giving to consumers since they have the ability to impact purchasing decisions," said Zaunbrecher.  "We promote U.S.-grown rice as a nutrient-rich food that fits the MyPlate healthy eating guidelines, so it's good to know that our efforts are in the right place since RDs are stressing the same message."

Contact:  Katie Maher (703) 236-1453

CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures  
CME Group (Preliminary):  Closing Rough Rice Futures for January 13

Net Change

January 2015
- $0.005
March 2015
- $0.015
May 2015
- $0.015
July 2015
- $0.015
September 2015
- $0.015
November 2015
- $0.015
January 2016
- $0.010

Japan Announces 10th Ordinary Import Tender in FY 2014              

Announcement:           13 January 2015
Tender:                        16 January 2015
Offer details:               61,000 mt

Country Specified or Global
Non-glutinous milled rice (medium grain)
Non-glutinous milled rice
(long grain)



Global Tender



Shipping period:        U.S.A.  From 20 April 2015 to 20 May 2015
                                                From 10 May 2015 to 10 June 2015
                                                From 1 June 2015 to 30 June 2015
                                   G.T.      From 20 April 2015 to 31 May 2015

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