Tuesday, January 20, 2015

20th January (Tuesday),2015Daily Exclusive ORYZA Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Happy Martin Luther King Day from Oryza!
Jan 19, 2015

Oryza editorial staff is working limited hours today and will be back in full force Tuesday.

Global Rice Quotes
January 19th, 2015
Long grain white rice - high quality

Thailand 100% B grade          415-425           ↔
Vietnam 5% broken   375-385           ↔
India 5% broken         395-405           ↔
Pakistan 5% broken    365-375           ↓
Cambodia 5% broken             440-450           ↔
U.S. 4% broken          510-520           ↔
Uruguay 5% broken   NQ      ↔
Argentina 5% broken             NQ      ↔

Long grain white rice - low quality
Thailand 25% broken             NQ      ↔
Vietnam 25% broken 340-350           ↔
Pakistan 25% broken 325-335           ↔
Cambodia 25% broken           430-440           ↔
India 25% broken       360-370           ↔
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         385-395           ↔
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%         920-930           ↓
Vietnam Jasmine        505-515           ↔
India basmati 2% broken       NQ      ↔
Pakistan basmati 2% broken NQ      ↔
Cambodia Phka Mails            805-815           ↔

Thailand A1 Super     320-330           ↔
Vietnam 100% broken           320-330           ↔
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

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19th January (Monday),2015 Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Rice board head: Cuban trade could be big for Louisiana
By - Associated Press - Sunday, January 18, 2015
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - Lifting the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba could mean the return of a major market for Louisiana rice, Louisiana Rice Promotion Board chairman Kevin Berken says.He said Cuba imports about 600,000 metric tons of rice a year, with Vietnam as its biggest supplier.“Prior to the embargo, Cuba was the largest importer of Louisiana rice,” he told a conference Friday at the Petroleum Club. “So it is critically important for us to be able open trade with other countries, Cuba being the main focus. It has been a focus for the last 20 or 30 years.
”Berken was among four panelists, The Advertiser (http://bit.ly/1GfwpKt ) reported. It happened to be a day after the government announced President Barack Obama’s amendments to existing Cuban sanctions.Only Congress can fully end the 54-year embargo.“Eventually, the embargo will be lifted, and there isn’t a thing in the world that Cuba doesn’t need,” said Gary LaGrange, president and CEO of the Port of New Orleans. Its location 700 miles from Louisiana’s coast makes New Orleans an especially convenient port, he said.
Million-Ton Rice Export Goal Remains Elusive
This was meant to be a milestone year for Cambodia’s rice industry, with the government aiming to export 1 million tons of the country’s staple crop by the end of 2015.But with milled rice exports reaching just 387,061 tons in 2014, up a mere 2.2 percent from 378,856 tons in 2013, according the Agriculture Ministry, the government has revised down its expectations for this year. And industry experts say major hurdles remain if the country is to hit the ambitious export target in the years to come.
Hean Vanhan, deputy director-general in the Agriculture Ministry’s general directorate of agriculture, estimated that Cambodia would export about 600,000 tons of milled rice in 2015, depending on how successful the government and private sector are at tapping into new foreign markets.“We are still in the middle of big rice exporters in the region. We’ve just started [exporting] so it’s not a bad result,” Mr. Vanhan said Sunday.
“We need to find more markets and for consumers to recognize Cambodian rice,” he added.In 2010, the government created a new rice policy with the goal of increasing paddy production, encouraging domestic milling and ultimately raising exports, all in a bid to boost the country’s rural economy.According to an October economic update from the World Bank, significant gains were made in the ensuing years.“[Cambodia’s] modern rice milling capacity (i.e. the larger mills) increased sevenfold, from 96 tons per hour (tph)…in 2009 to over 700 tph in late 2013,” the report says.
It adds that paddy production more than doubled from 2003 to 2013, from 4.3 million tons to 9.3 tons, and notes that Cambodia’s jasmine rice has been repeatedly named the world’s best rice by the World Rice Conference.Another industry development came in May, when the country’s myriad miller and exporter associations united to form the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF), electing Sok Puthyvuth, the son of Deputy Prime Minister Sok An and CEO of local conglomerate Soma Group, as its president.Upon being elected, Mr. Puthyvuth said the two greatest obstacles to increasing exports were a lack of available funds and the quality of crops.Nearly eight months later, Mr. Puthyvuth said this year’s focus would be on improving seed quality, financing, transportation, market access and branding of Cambodian rice.
“[It] has been about 7 months now since the federation started, and it’s been challenging trying to fulfill our members expectation and overcoming our current internal and external challenges,” Mr. Puthyvuth said in an email last week.The biggest blow to exports last year, he said, was due to the competition from Cambodia’s neighbors.“Given that Myanmar [is] coming into the picture, and Thailand still [has] a lot of surplus. Cambodia will need to work very hard this year to improve our competitiveness,” he said.
From January to March, year-on-year exports plummeted 11 percent, from 95,228 tons in 2013 to 84,330 tons last year, due mainly to Thailand offloading its vast rice stocks to international buyers following the crash of its state subsidy plan.And Thailand’s rush to sell is showing no signs of slowing.According to the Thai Rice Exporters Association, Thailand exported 9.49 million tons last year, compared to 6.61 million tons in 2013, a figure expected to remain steady this year.
And since Burma entered a duty-free trade program with the European Union in 2013—similar to the one that boosted Cambodia’s exports beginning in 2010—the country has emerged as a major rice exporter.Srey Chanthy, an independent economist who focuses on agriculture, said last week that the fallout from Thailand’s failed subsidy program would continue to drag down Cambodia’s exports. And with fierce competition from India, Pakistan and Burma, he said, the 1-million-ton target remains a long way off.
“Cambodia cannot compete and I don’t think it’ll achieve the million ton target because it is far beyond [our reach],” Mr. Chanthy said.Darren Cooper, a senior economist at the London-based International Grains Council, said the CRF has been integral to giving the industry a “credible platform,” adding that Cambodia needed to find new markets for its rice if it hopes to increase official export figures.“Most international forecasters would probably say that shipments are already at that [1-million-ton] level when one takes into account unofficial or border trade for instance,” Mr. Cooper said in an email earlier this month.
“In the longer term, the emphasis will be on further expanding the geographic diversity of the country’s exports if they are to move significantly higher,” he said.In August, Cambodia made a significant step toward upping its exports when it signed a breakthrough deal with China to export 100,000 tons by April. The government inked a separate 30,000-ton deal with China later last year.But Cambodia still lacks the transport infrastructure, facilities and capital to guarantee the supply necessary for major trade deals, David Van, executive director of rice miller and exporter Boost Riche Cambodia, said last week.
Mr. Van said the country also needs far more high-quality seeds than it currently receives in order to produce bigger and better paddy yields. Due to a lack of funds available to farmers and restrictive seed-import conditions set by the government, the quantity of available seeds is “a far cry” from what is needed, he said.“You need a license to import seeds. But it’s not easy to get a license because it takes about six months and you have to submit seed samples and wait for the Ministry of Agriculture to plant and test them,” he said.Another hindrance to official exports is the informal cross-border trade in paddy, Mr. Van added.
“Millers don’t have easy access to loans to buy and store rice and farmers have to sell the paddy to pay back their loans,” he said. “So if the millers don’t have sufficient access to capital, its natural the paddy leaks out to Vietnam.”The World Bank’s October report also notes that high fuel and electricity costs in Cambodia make milling 30 percent more expensive than in Vietnam and Thailand.“In theory, the existing milling capacity could process almost the entire paddy surplus in Cambodia,” the report says.An area in which Cambodia has made particularly slow progress is in forming institutions to certify and test crops before shipment.
According to a report released last week by the Geneva-based International Trade Center, this was an impediment to trade for 89 percent of agriculture exporters in the country last year.Few agencies in Cambodia are capable of testing and certification of products for export,” the report says.
Despite a mountainous task ahead, Yaing Saing Koma, president of the Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture, a local NGO, said on Friday that he believed the government could hit its 1-million-ton target by 2017.“This year, the government may make energy costs go down, which will also help the profitability,” he said.“And if there are more government-to-government deals, especially with China, we’ll be able to export more.”

Nine firms to export rice officially to China

Published on Monday, 19 January 2015 06:12
Nine companies, including Mapco, have been selected to export rice officially to China, starting in April and May, Ye Min Aung, general secretary of the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF), told a press conference.
China Certification and Inspection Group offices are being opened in Yangon, Mandalay and Muse.Ye Min Aung said: “Due to Chinese New Year, we expect to start exporting by the end of February. But that is not the time when rice is purchased in China. China harvests rice in December and January. Myanmar’s rice-growing area is only eight million hectares while China has over 50 or 60 million hectares, and in some years, 100 million hectares. It is the biggest grower of rice in the world.
It exports on the one hand and imports with the other. This is the rice harvesting time in China. The regular time for China to purchase rice is April, May and June.”The nine exporters are FRP, Myanmar Rice Mill, Golden Land East Asia, Bayintnaung Business Group, MRDC, Shan (North) SPRDC, Ayeyar Pathein, MAPCO and Rakhine Rice and Paddy.“It’s not just these nine companies that will export but also other small- and medium-sized suppliers will follow. As a first step, the larger companies will lead, allowing smaller firms to follow,” said a MRF spokesperson.
China imports about five million tonnes of rice every year, meaning Myanmar will need to compete with Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan, Laos, and Cambodia for the Chinese market.At present, Myanmar has exported more than 1.1 million tonnes of rice to foreign countries and about 800,000 tonnes to China.

Princeton University scientists develop rice grain sized laser technology Maser

Editor : David JACKMAN

Category : SCIENCE

19 January 2015 / Monday 19:09:34

A laser the size of a grain of rice has been developed that demonstrates a major step forward in the development of quantum computers. Shrinking the scale of semiconductor materials to help build powerful quantum-computing systems has proved to be a real head-scratcher for scientists.

However, boffins at Princeton University have come up with a device that they think could be a "major step forward" for the tech.The university's associate physics professor, Jason Petta, who led the study, said that researchers had created the smallest laser possible powered by single electrons that burrow through quantum dots.

The rice grain-sized device, dubbed a "maser", is a minuscule microwave laser that demonstrates how light and moving electrons interact with each other, said Princeton University.To get an idea of the scale of the teeny-tiny maser, the researchers explained that it uses about one-billionth the electric current needed to power a hair-dryer."I consider this to be a really important result for our long-term goal, which is entanglement between quantum bits in semiconductor-based devices," enthused the Joint Quantum Institute, University of Maryland-National Institute of Standards and Technology's adjunct assistant prof Jacob Taylor, who co-authored the research paper.
Boffins undertook the study to create a better understanding of how to use double quantum dots (two quantum dots joined together) as the basic units of information, known as qubits, in quantum computers. Getting the double quantum dots to "communicate with each other" was the end goal, explained physics grad Yinyu Liu, who worked with Petta in his lab.Prof Petta added that a double quantum dot was capable of only transferring one electron at a time. He said:

It is like a line of people crossing a wide stream by leaping onto a rock so small that it can only hold one person.They are forced to cross the stream one at a time. These double quantum dots are zero-dimensional as far as the electrons are concerned – they are trapped in all three spatial dimensions.The research could apparently aid the future development of light sources.
Princeton University provides further details about the study's promising outlook for quantum computing here. The paper, Semiconductor double quantum dot micromaser, was published in the Science journal yesterday. ®

Researchers Develop Rice-Sized Laser

"Maser," powered one electron at a time, bodes well for quantum computing.

 By Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research at Princeton University 

 The tiny microwave laser, or "maser," is a demonstration of the fundamental interactions between light and moving electrons.The researchers built the device — which uses about one-billionth the electric current needed to power a hair dryer — while exploring how to use quantum dots, which are bits of semiconductor material that act like single atoms, as components for quantum computers."It is basically as small as you can go with these single-electron devices," said Jason Petta, an associate professor of physics at Princeton who led the study, which was published in the journal Science.

The device demonstrates a major step forward for efforts to build quantum-computing systems out of semiconductor materials, according to co-author and collaborator Jacob Taylor, an adjunct assistant professor at the Joint Quantum Institute, University of Maryland-National Institute of Standards and Technology. "I consider this to be a really important result for our long-term goal, which is entanglement between quantum bits in semiconductor-based devices," Taylor said.The original aim of the project was not to build a maser, but to explore how to use double quantum dots — which are two quantum dots joined together — as quantum bits, or qubits, the basic units of information in quantum computers.
Yinyu Liu, first author of the study and a graduate student in Princeton's Department of Physics, holds a prototype of the device.CATHERINE ZANDONELLA, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF THE DEAN FOR RESEARCH"The goal was to get the double quantum dots to communicate with each other," said Yinyu Liu, a physics graduate student in Petta's lab. The team also included graduate student Jiri Stehlik and associate research scholar Christopher Eichler in Princeton's Department of Physics, as well as postdoctoral researcher Michael Gullans of the Joint Quantum Institute.Because quantum dots can communicate through the entanglement of light particles, or photons, the researchers designed dots that emit photons when single electrons leap from a higher energy level to a lower energy level to cross the double dot.Each double quantum dot can only transfer one electron at a time, Petta explained.
 "It is like a line of people crossing a wide stream by leaping onto a rock so small that it can only hold one person," he said. "They are forced to cross the stream one at a time. These double quantum dots are zero-dimensional as far as the electrons are concerned — they are trapped in all three spatial dimensions."The researchers fabricated the double quantum dots from extremely thin nanowires (about 50 nanometers, or a billionth of a meter, in diameter) made of a semiconductor material called indium arsenide. They patterned the indium arsenide wires over other even smaller metal wires that act as gate electrodes, which control the energy levels in the dots.To construct the maser, they placed the two double dots about 6 millimeters apart in a cavity made of a superconducting material, niobium, which requires a temperature near absolute zero, around minus 459 degrees Fahrenheit.
 "This is the first time that the team at Princeton has demonstrated that there is a connection between two double quantum dots separated by nearly a centimeter, a substantial distance," Taylor said.When the device was switched on, electrons flowed single-file through each double quantum dot, causing them to emit photons in the microwave region of the spectrum. These photons then bounced off mirrors at each end of the cavity to build into a coherent beam of microwave light.One advantage of the new maser is that the energy levels inside the dots can be fine-tuned to produce light at other frequencies, which cannot be done with other semiconductor lasers in which the frequency is fixed during manufacturing, Petta said.
The larger the energy difference between the two levels, the higher the frequency of light emitted.Claire Gmachl, who was not involved in the research and is Princeton's Eugene Higgins Professor of Electrical Engineering and a pioneer in the field of semiconductor lasers, said that because lasers, masers and other forms of coherent light sources are used in communications, sensing, medicine and many other aspects of modern life, the study is an important one."In this paper the researchers dig down deep into the fundamental interaction between light and the moving electron," Gmachl said.
"The double quantum dot allows them full control over the motion of even a single electron, and in return they show how the coherent microwave field is created and amplified. Learning to control these fundamental light-matter interaction processes will help in the future development of light sources."The paper, "Semiconductor double quantum dot micromaser," was published in the journal Science on Jan. 16, 2015. The research was supported by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the National Science Foundation (DMR-1409556 and DMR-1420541), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency QuEST (HR0011-09-1-0007), and the Army Research Office (W911NF-08-1-0189).
Categories: News

India to get access again to transport rice

Rejaul Karim Byron
Bangladesh will allow India to use its territory to supply 25,000 tonnes of rice from Kolkata to Tripura, both Indian territories, on humanitarian grounds.The decision was taken last week at a high level meeting of the shipping ministry and is now awaiting the approval of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.Once the prime minister gives the green light, the decision will be conveyed to the neighbouring country.
The arrangement is akin to the one that allowed India to take 10,000 tonnes of rice in July last year to its north-eastern state of Tripura through Bangladesh.The move came after India last year wrote in requesting the use of Bangladesh territory to supply 35,000 tonnes of rice to Tripura. The latest transit arrangement would allow India to transport the remaining 25,000 tonnes of rice.Under the existing shipping protocol, India pays an annual fee to Bangladesh -- and the transit facility would be covered by the fee, said an official of the National Board of Revenue.
The rice will be carried by waterways from Kolkata in India to Ashuganj river port in Bangladesh by Bangladeshi ships. From there, it will reach Agartala through Brahmanbaria and Akhaura land ports in Bangladeshi covered vans.The official said, by carrying the rice the owners of Bangladeshi ships and covered vans will get another outlet to make money. However, part of the road from Ashuganj to Akhaura is in bad shape and is not fit enough for heavy covered vans.Around Tk 1,700 crore is required for the repair of the road and the government will request India to finance its reconstruction, a shipping ministry official said.Earlier, during the last tenure of the present government, permission was given to transport heavy equipment for Palatana power plant in India through the Bangladesh territory.
Published: 12:00 am Monday, January 19, 2015

Commerce Minister visits Hong Kong for cooperation

Tuesday, 20 January 2015By  NNT
HONG KONG, 18 January 2015 – The Thai Minster of Commerce is on a business trip visiting Hong Kong to enhance the trade cooperation and push forward the ASEAN - Hong Kong FTA framework to be completed by 2016.The Minster of Commerce Gen. Chatchai Sarikulya has revealed his official meeting with the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of Hong Kong Gregory So, that he is satisfied with the meeting’s outcome.He has said that both sides have agreed to extend the trade cooperation and exchanged beneficial comments for trade developments in the future, especially for the ASEAN - Hong Kong Free Trade Area (FTA) agreement, which Thailand is appointed as the coordinating country to push the FTA framework forward towards the targeted time in the year 2016.
The ASEAN - Hong Kong FTA will benefit ASEAN countries in the inclusion of utilizing the trade gateway of Hong Kong to mainland China free of tax, while Hong Kong can extend its trade and investment to the ASEAN market that houses 600 million residents.The Thai Minister has said that the Ministry of Commerce has settled the strategies and plans to extend the Thai rice exports to the Hong Kong market through various strains of rice to comply with the individual demands in Hong Kong.For example, the Hom Mali Rice is aimed for the domestic consumption market through modern trade, and the Hom Patum Rice is aimed for restaurants and hotels market, while the organic rice will be introduced to the younger generations.
In this occasion, the Minster of Commerce has given the Best Friend of Thai Rice Award to the seven Hong Kong rice importers that have imported Thai rice in the past ten years.He has also stressed that the Thai government is aware of the Hong Kong market's importance to Thai rice, and will control the quality of rice exports to be high in accordance with demand of consumers in Hong Kong.

MNF to rally against hike in rice prices

TNN | Jan 18, 2015, 11.03AM IST
Aizawl: Mizoram's main opposition party, Mizo National Front (MNF), will take out processions in all district headquarters of the state on January 22 in protest against the state government's decision to hike land tax and the price of rice sold through the public distribution system (PDS).The decision was taken at a meeting of the party's national executive committee in Aizawl on Friday.
Former Rajya Sabha MP and a member of MNF's core group, Lalhming Liana, said the Congress government, led by chief minister Lal Thanhawla, has hiked the rate of APL rice from Rs 9.50 per kilo to Rs 15 per kilo with effect from January, 2015."The 58% increase is unacceptable," the MNF leader said and added that the Lal Thanhawla regime has increased land tax by 55%. He said patients in government hospitals will be compelled to buy one unit of blood at Rs 550, even if donated voluntarily.
Accusing the Congress government of financial mismanagement, Lalhming Liana said the           processions will be called "Mipui Thlavang Hauhna Kawngzawh" or 'procession to safeguard the interests of the people'."Lal Thanhawla claimed that the price of rice in Mizoram is the lowest in the country, but Arunachal is selling rice at Rs 8.30 a kilo," an MNF leader said.
Source with thanks:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/guwahati/MNF-to-rally-against-hike-in-rice-prices/articleshow/45925861.cms
Turmoil takes heavy toll on rice milling sector in Jhenidah
Our Correspondent
Posted : 20 Jan, 2015 00:00:00
 JHENIDAH, Jan 19: Rice milling sector is undergoing a dire crisis Jhenidah district due to the enforcement of the countrywide blockade coupled with hartal."If the situation goes on due to lack of transportation, uneven prices of rice will prevail in different parts throughout the country. Our business will come to a closure," said some millers of various places, including Dakbangla and Gopalpur bazars of the district.There are 10 automatic rice mills, around 100 husking mills and over 400 Chatals (paddy drying yards) here. Among them, five auto rice mills, 50 husking mills and nearly 300 yards are at Dakbangla bazar alone in Sadar Upazila.Activities in the establishments under the district have drastically reduced to nearly a half.

 Men related with this industry expressed a tremendous concern over the disquiet situation prevailing in the country.Alauddin Al Mamun, proprietor of Ifad Auto Rice Mills Ltd at Dakbangla Trimohani told the FE, "My business is facing a serious setback due to the turmoil. About 200 workers in my auto rice mills are passing days almost without tasks. I will go bankrupt if the situation persists."Moyazzem Hossain, owner of Zohan Agro Food Ltd said he cannot bring paddy needed to run his auto rice mills. Supply of rice to places remains suspended. Besides, rice bran cannot be sent to North Bengal due to the blockade causing a big loss as the item gets damaged after one week.
 About 150 labourers are suffering from lack of work in his mills. Truck fare has already doubled, added Moyazzem.Humayun Kabir Shahin, owner of Zoarder Rice Mill at Dakbangla Bazar said he was frustrated over business in his mill. Buyers cannot come here due to unsteady situation throughout the country.Tapon Kundu, owner of Progoti Auto Rice Mill at Haat Gopalpur Bazar said that they are incurring huge losses.
Though they can sell a small amount of rice to the wholesalers they are not getting paid properly on the plea of the blockade.Zahangir Hossain, director of Saidur Rahman Agro Product Ltd at Gopalpur Bazar said that running of their business is threatened by the continuous blockade, sometimes coupled with hartal.Abul Kashem, owner of a yard at Dakbangla Trimohani said, "My Chatal is on the verge of closure as supply of rice from the bazar has almost stopped."Sokina Begum, a worker at a rice mill at the bazar said, "We are suffering a lot for lack of jobs here."

Foreign Importers Frustrate FG’s Efforts in Rice Production

L- r: Professor. A.E. Aiyelari, deputy Vice Chancellor Administration, University of Ibadan; Mr. Oscar Onyema, chief executive officer the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE); Professor. I.F. Adewole, vice chancellor, University of Ibadan; Mr. I.O. Olukoya, the University Registrar; Ms Tinuade Awe, general manager/head, Legal and Regulation Division, NSE and Mrs. Shola David-Borha, Member UISB Board on a courtesy visit to formally establish a working relationship and partnership between the University of Ibadan School of Business (UISB) and the NSE recently.
Stories by Canice Opara 
Akinwunmi Adesina, minister of agriculture has said that moves by foreign companies are sabotaging federal government’s efforts in ensuring that Nigeria attains self-sufficiency in rice production.Adesina, who stated this recently at a media briefing, accused these foreign companies mostly from Asia that they are not happy that Nigerians are now producing their own rice and are gradually doing away with rice importation.This is coming on the heels of recent rumours that the government lost N40 billion in government revenue in rice importation.Adesina dispelled the rumour, but instead clarified that those foreign importers and some few local ones owed the government a total sum of N36.56 billion.

He stated “In the last two weeks, the print media has been awash with fabricated claims by a faceless group known as ‘Stakeholders in the Rice Industry’ on the alleged indiscriminate granting of waivers and issuance of rice import quotas to investors who have no investments in the industry, either in form of paddy production or rice milling and the loss of N40 billion in Government Revenue”.“Nigerians need to be aware that there is no N40 billion missing rather there is N36.56 billion owed to Government by foreign importers of rice (and few local ones) who wish to run their own rice policy.

“The stark truth behind these publications is an ongoing struggle between the lofty policy on self-sufficiency in rice production of his Excellency, President Goodluck Jonathan, and a perverted rice importation plan of a handful of Asian companies determined to undermine Nigeria’s self-sufficiency in rice production, as they have repeatedly done under a number of previous governments.”Adesina added that these companies are experiencing serious competition from patriotic Nigerian rice importers, who have embraced Mr. President’s new rice policy and have become major investors in the local rice sector.

Rice board head: Cuban trade could bring back major market for Louisiana rice bug       
First Posted: January 18, 2015 - 8:56 pm
Last Updated: January 18, 2015 - 9:02 pm
LAFAYETTE, Louisiana — Lifting the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba could mean the return of a major market for Louisiana rice, Louisiana Rice Promotion Board chairman Kevin Berken says.He said Cuba imports about 600,000 metric tons of rice a year, with Vietnam as its biggest supplier."Prior to the embargo, Cuba was the largest importer of Louisiana rice," he told a conference Friday at the Petroleum Club. "So it is critically important for us to be able open trade with other countries, Cuba being the main focus. It has been a focus for the last 20 or 30 years.
"Berken was among four panelists, The Advertiser (http://bit.ly/1GfwpKt ) reported. It happened to be a day after the government announced President Barack Obama's amendments to existing Cuban sanctions.Only Congress can fully end the 54-year embargo."Eventually, the embargo will be lifted, and there isn't a thing in the world that Cuba doesn't need," said Gary LaGrange, president and CEO of the Port of New Orleans. Its location 700 miles from Louisiana's coast makes New Orleans an especially convenient port, he said.LaGrange said there's talk of a Cuban consulate being built in the U.S. and New Orleans may be vying against Tampa, Florida, as a host city, he said."Louisiana should be next in line," he said.
 "We need a consulate in New Orleans.Charles Larroque, executive director of Council for the Development of French in Louisiana; and Larry Sides, president of SIDES & Associates, also spoke.Sides said he has traveled to Cuba 24 times in the last 15 year on religious missions and for leisure."I'm simply fascinated with the country," he said.The only way the U.S. will fully be able to establish a diplomatic relationship with the country, and that includes tourism, is for the U.S. to completely lift the embargo, he said.
Grains prices drift lower for the week; demand falls

NEW DELHI: Weak conditions prevailed at the wholesale market during the week with prices of wheat and a few other bold grains drifting due to increased supplies from producing belts against reduced offtake by flour mills and stockists.Marketmen said fall in demand by flour mills and stockists against increased supplies from growing regions mainly kept pressure on wheat and other bold grain prices.

In the national capital, wheat dara (for mills) fell by Rs 30 to Rs 1,650-1,655 per quintal. Atta chakki delivery followed suit and eased by the same margin to Rs 1,655-1,660 per 90 kg bag.Atta flour mills and maida also eased to Rs 860-870 and Rs 920-930 against last close of Rs 880-890 and Rs 935-935 in line with wheat trend.Other bold grains, maize and bajra were also down by Rs 20 each to Rs 1,200-1,210 and Rs 1,430-1,435 per quintal, respectively.Barley too ended lower by Rs 10 to Rs 1,620-1,630 per quintal.On the other hand, rice basmati common and Pusa-1121 variety moved in a narrow range during the period in limited deals and settled steady at last levels of Rs 5,600-6,100 and Rs 4,900-6,000 per quintal, respectively.
Image :Marketmen said fall in…

Source with thanks:http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-01-17/news/58175344_1_wheat-dara-90-kg-bag-increased-supplies

DA to expand rice R&D efforts to improve output

by Madelaine B. Miraflor
January 19, 2015
The Department of Agriculture (DA) will be investing further on its research and development (R&D) efforts on rice to improve the country’s crop production.Rice production in the Philippines has been on the uptrend for the past three years.According to Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), the palay harvest in the full-year 2014 is projected to reach 18.88 million MT, 2.4 percent bigger than the 2013 record output of 18.44 million MT.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said the DA intends to intensify the commercialization of diversified and integrated rice-based farming systems such as ‘Palayamanan’ to enable farmers increase their productivity and incomes.In ‘Palayamanan’ program, farmers are taught to combine rice growing with the cultivation of vegetables and other high value crops, as well as fish and livestock raising.
DA promotes the technology through the PhilRice and National Rice Program.Likewise, DA is banking on its current partnership with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), in support of the government’s food security blueprint called the Food Staples Sufficiency Program.Under the agreement, DA and IRRI work together to produce and distribute high-quality and improved rice seeds that are adaptable to climate change.In addition, best agricultural practices and other support tools will be disseminated, including skills-training for extension and field workers.“The Department also intends to engage in profiling, finger printing and purification of traditional varieties with export potentials,” Alcala said.
He also said that regional or provincial location specific technology development and adaptive studies for irrigated, rain-fed and upland ecosystem, is also included in the DA’s agenda.Participatory varietal selection for favorable and adverse environment is included in the DA’s expanded R&D agenda for rice.The DA will also enhance rice research capability and capacity, which includes improving and increasing facilities, equipment and manpower.Nevertheless, the DA chief said the entire country still owes the increase in rice production to the farmers who worked to lead the country towards greater rice sufficiency and increased food security.

Rice stocks improve

By Anna Leah G. Estrada | Jan. 18, 2015 at 10:40pm
The country’s rice stocks improved in December, but the government still plans to import more rice this year.Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed the country’s rice stock inventory as of end December was enough for 89 days. Rice stocks increased 21.6 percent to 3.03 million metric tons in December from 2.49 million MT a year ago.PSA said of the total inventory, 51.7 percent were with households, 32.3 percent in commercial warehouses and 16 percent in National Food Authority depositories.Rice stocks in households grew 9 percent while stocks in commercial warehouses increased 25.9 percent. 
 Stocks in NFA depositories also increased 62 percent.NFA earlier said it might import 600,000 metric tons of rice this year to boost the country’s buffer stocks. NFA Administrator Renan Dalisay said the inter-agency council of the NFA recommended the import volume.“This is the volume advised by the inter-agency council. We have a standby authority to import.. but the NFA Council will have the final say if we will have to import,” Dalisay said.
Image: A young woman pours rice onto a pile earlier this month as grain is extracted behind her in Battambang province. Heng Chivoan

Damp results for rainy season

Mon, 19 January 2015

Agriculture industry representatives are hopeful that paddy rice output will pick up during the coming dry season, despite production levels during the recent rainy season weakening year-on-year.According to Ministry of Agriculture report released last week, paddy production for the May-to-January rainy season reached 6.6 million tonnes, down more than 230,000 tonnes from the 2013-14 results. Productivity has similarly dropped from 2.9 tonnes of paddy per hectare to 2.7 tonnes.Pich Romnea, deputy director for the ministry’s Paddy Rice Department, is pinning his hopes on a bumper 2015 dry season, from January to April, after drought, floods and insect plagues hampered the recent rainy season’s performance.

“Dry season paddy rice production this year has already started, and I am expecting a better total output figure,” the official said.Cambodia’s productivity levels increase from about 2.9 tonnes per hectare in the rainy season to more than 4 tonnes per hectare in the dry season, according to the government’s report. The country’s rice production area has increased by more than 30 per cent to 460,000 hectares since the previous dry season.“At the very least, we hope total production for the full 2015 year will remain the same as last year.

We expect our rice surplus to reach 4.6 million tonnes.”Cambodia produced 9.3 million tonnes of paddy in 2014.Dry spells in June and July last year affected 110,000 hectares of rice production land in 13 provinces, while floods damaged more than 78,000 hectares of paddy in 17 provinces.“Climate change is the challenge that our farmers are facing. We have informed farmers to be selective in choosing rice seeds. We tell them to be flexible and choose the seeds that are resilient to climate change,” Romnea said.But for Kan Vesna, a farmer representative from Battambang province, the dry season may not be as lucrative for rice growers as Romnea hopes.

Vesna said a lack of water irrigation systems remained the biggest barrier to ensuring maximum crop output during the four-month dry period.“Only those [farmers] who are close to water resources can produce rice during the dry season,” Vesna said.“In our case, some farmers have dug up wells and ponds around their land, but we aren’t sure if that will even be enough to sustain production over the full period.”Yang Saing Koma, president of agricultural organisation CEDAC, rallied Vesna’s frustrations over inadequate irrigation.“Though irrigation systems in Cambodia cover almost 60 per cent of the total rice production area, only about 10 per cent of the irrigation systems can be used,” Koma said.Koma said the majority of irrigation systems installed throughout the country have either dried up entirely, or are not connected to reliable water sources.“Farmers now face uncertainty over rainfall and they depend very heavily on the reliability of the seasons.”

Record rice export volume last year puts Thailand back on top of the world
January 19, 2015 5:30 pm
Thailand achieved its highest-ever rice export volume of 10.8 million tonnes last year, enabling the country to reclaim its crown as the world's largest rice exporter, according to the Commerce Ministry.The target for this year is to continue the huge export volume in a range of 10 million to 11 million tonnes.Commerce Minister General Chatchai Sarikalya said Monday that 10.8 million tonnes of rice valued at US$5.37 billion (Bt174.8 billion) were shipped overseas last year.This was some 64 per cent higher than the 2013 level of 6.6 million tonnes, and 22 per cent above last year's value of $4.42 billion.

The Nation

Ex-ministers defend Thailand's rice scheme via YouTube video

The Nation/Asia News NetworkSunday, Jan 18, 2015
Four former ministers in the previous government led by Yingluck Shinawatra defended its rice-pledging scheme yesterday on her behalf via the YouTube video-sharing website.The ministers answered all 35 questions posed by members of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) during an inquiry session on Friday, as part of an impeachment process against Yingluck, who is accused by the National Anti-Corruption Com-mission of negligence leading to corruption.

Yingluck did not show up for the inquiry session and the NLA resolved not to allow her lawyers or representatives to answer the questions on her behalf.Former deputy prime minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisal, former finance minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong, former prime minister's office minister Varathep Ratanakorn, and former deputy commerce minister Yanyong Phuangrach answered the 35 questions posed by NLA members via YouTube. Niwatthamrong explained the necessity of the rice scheme - that it was Pheu Thai Party's campaign, while other parties had a similar campaign.

He said that governments in other countries support agricultural products by subsidising at least 50 per cent of the farmers' average income, while Thai state subsidies also cover agricultural products in addition to rice.In regard to the graft case, Kittiratt said the government had 14 processes to prevent corruption, including a panel appointed to scrutinise and reduce risks that could affect the country.

"There was also a proposal to reduce the price of the rice scheme, but it was strongly opposed by farmers along with the opposition party leader," the former finance minister said.He said every time the government was accused of corruption, they did not stay still and appointed a subcommittee to eradicate corruption, which was headed by former minister Chalerm Yoobamrung.Kittiratt also claimed that the rice-pledging scheme did not affect business negatively, saying the country should also note the beneficial aspects of the project as well.

 One NLA question asked why the government insisted on continuing with the rice-pledging scheme when related agencies voiced opposition to it.Niwatthamrong said: "The National Anti-Corruption Commis-sion [NACC] forwarded documents to the government, [but] it only showed suggestions about the case, and the government then has received those suggestions on improving the project and strengthening the plan to prevent corruption."In regard to the Office of the Auditor General, the former deputy PM said after the statement of project opening OAG did not propose to cancel, but one document on January 1, 2014 includes cancelling the project, which then the government was defunct already.Deputy Commerce Minister Varathep said the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI)'s claim that only one-fourth of farmers benefited from the rice scheme, but he did not understand how TRDI obtained such a figure, because up to 79 per cent of farmers received approximately Bt200,000 (S$8,145).

"The NACC and NLA must see the accused as innocent prior to going to the justice system and if there is not enough information for a case the accused should be released, not perceiving the accused as guilty from the start," Varathep said.He insisted that the NLA could not pursue the impeachment process further, because the punishment for such an offence covers a five-year ban from politics, but the military government had stated that the 2007 Constitution was now defunct, and the NACC's claim they had the legal authority to proceed was not considered lawful. However, the former commerce minister claimed that the rice-pledging scheme also increased rice prices on the world market, but they needed to be higher.Meanwhile, NLA member Kittisak Rattanawaraha accused Yingluck yesterday of disrespect for failing to acknowledge the questions beforehand.
 "The exam paper was not leaked," said Kittisak, who was a member of the panel that asked questions. The former PM's failure to attend and answer questions by herself, showed she could not bring notes to read as answers - because she did not know what she would be asked.He explained that NLA president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai had informed both the accused and accusers about the process earlier - that whoever comes on the first day must come to answer again. And both sides understood this clearly.
He also insisted that Yingluck had to come personally to answer the questions put by the assembly because the NLA had clearly sought her presence."It can be considered that Yingluck showed disrespect to the NLA, because each question was addressed directly to the accused", the subcommittee member said. Kittisak later urged the public to scrutinise this issue themselves, because the NLA had given an opportunity for the accused to come until 6pm on Friday, yet she did not show up

Rice conference coming next week

Posted: Saturday, January 17, 2015 3:00 am
By JODY LARIMER reporter@leader-news.com 

The Western Rice Belt Production Conference is coming to the El Campo Civic Center Wednesday, Jan. 21 and rice producers are encouraged to attend.“Each year we present current market information and current production practices,” Wharton County Ag Extension Agent Corrie Bowen said. “But two key points of interest to anyone in the rice market will be the latest on farm policy and marketing for the 2015 crop.”

Release of in-stock rice will not affect market price, says Minister

BANGKOK, 19 January 2015 (NNT) – The Minister of Commerce has assured releasing the first batch of the government’s in-stock rice in late January will not affect the price of rice due to the market’s high demand.

According to the Minister of Commerce Gen. Chatchai Sarikulya, the government has been managing the rice auctioning with fair principles. All procedures are transparent and there have not been reports of misconduct.
He mentioned that the first whole-stock and by pile rice auction, approximately at 1 million tonnes, will take place by the end of January. This selling will not have any effects to the regular price of rice in the market even though the amount of rice released is quite large.He has said that the demand in the market is still high, and the timing in each round of rice release has been designed to meet the market’s demand and cause minimal effects to the current pricing.Meanwhile, the Director-General of the Department of Foreign Trade Duangporn Rodphaya has revealed that the department has been preparing the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the rice auction.
The TOR is expected to be announced within this week.She has said that there are about 200 rice warehouses participating in this auction, while the department is considering the pricing margins formula and the floor price for the auction.Price proposers who have proposed prices above the floor price will be eligible for the auction, while the rice will be sold to the proposer with the highest price. Payment in instalments will be accepted.

Farmers growing rice against advice could be in trouble
 Date : 19 มกราคม 2558
PHITSANULOK, 19 January 2015 (NNT) - The Royal Irrigation Department (RID) says it will not supply water to rice fields despite calls from farmers for fear of water shortages in summer. According to the news, there are more than 33 million rai of rice fields in 22 provinces that are located in the low-lying Chao Phraya basin. In Phitsanulok, residents, including farmers who have grown rice against the RID’s advice, have experienced a water shortage as there is less water supply from major dams.
The RID is trying to maintain the water levels across the country, hoping the dry season won’t be as bad. Despite calls from farmers for water, the RID will not release more water for irrigation to rice fields. This is due to the fact that the water levels in Sirikit and Khwae Noi Bamrungdan Dams are quite low. The RID is now trying to preserve what is left for the coming growing season. Rice farmers are normally able to take advantage of the rainy season once a year to grow their crops. There must be sufficient amount of water to sustain the ecosystem and crops should the rains arrive later than expected. The RID adds that rice plantations covering about 190,000 rai of land in Phitsanulok could be threatened by drought in the next 4 months.

210,000 tonnes of smuggled rice seized in China
PTI Jan 17, 2015, 01.37PM IST
Sunday, 18 January 2015
Beijing, January 18:
Over 210,000 tonnes of smuggled rice worth 1.26 billion yuan ($205 million) was seized in China last year, a customs official has revealed.The anti-smuggling bureau of General Administration of Customs (GAC) cracked 467 cases linked to rice in 2014 in a special drive against the smuggling of agricultural products, GAC's deputy head Zhu Feng said Saturday .
The campaign, dubbed "Green Wind", mainly targetted grains, frozen meat products, sugar, cotton and cooking oil.Zhu, however, said the total value of smuggled products recovered during the campaign was 44.9 billion yuan, up 96 percent from a year earlier.The official said illegal activities like tax evasion hurt the domestic agricultural industry and also pose serious food safety hazards.

Lower Your Blood Pressure with Delicious Low-Salt Recipes
January 17, 2015,8:01 am

67 million American adults have high blood pressure. That’s 1 in every 3 American adults.The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet was developed to help reduce blood pressure.What to eat on the DASH diet: vegetables, whole grains, fruits, low-fat dairy and lean protein. Avoid sweets, red meat and cut back on salt.One of the main things DASH addresses, is salt. The diet recommends to consume only 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of salt per day. This can be extremely challenging since the average American consumes3,400 mg of salt each day–which is nearly 1.5  teaspoons of salt daily. Be careful not to eliminate salt completely. Restricting salt too much has been linked to cardiovascular disease. Small amounts of salt are actually good for us. Here are some tasty recipes that don’t eliminate salt, but help you cut back on sodium and achieve a balanced diet.(The DASH diet does recommend eating lean meats, which you can add to the vegetarian recipes below.)
The following recipes are low in sodium and high in vegetables.
Cardamom Coconut Rice Pulao
This pulao has a unique flavor because of the cardamom, fried cashew and sultanas. The coconut adds a nutty flavor to the pulao. If you are not vegan try using ghee instead of vegetable oil to give the dish a wonderful flavor.

Image: This cardamon coconut rice pulao tastes as good as it looks and sounds
·        1 cup brown basmati rice
·        1/4 tsp salt
·        1 tsp cardamom seeds (fresh from the pods)
·        1/2 tsp turmeric
·        1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
·        4 tbsp desiccated coconut (unsweetened) or fresh grated coconut
·        1 tsp mustard seeds
·        1/4 – 1 tsp cayenne pepper* (optional)
·        2 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
·        3  tbsp cashews or peanuts
·        3  tbsp sultanas or raisins
·        2 1/4 cups water
1. Wash the rice under flowing water to remove any dust etc.
2. In a heavy skillet, add 1 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil.
3. Once the ghee is hot, add cashews and raisins.
4. Fry until the cashews are lightly-browned, then turn.
5. Remove from the pan and put them on a paper towel so that the ghee is absorbed.
6. Again, keep the pan on heat, add 1 Tbsp ghee.
7. When the ghee becomes hot, add mustard seeds.
8. Then add cinnamon, pepper, cardamon seeds and coconut and fry until the coconut turns golden brown.
9. Add rice and turmeric, stir-fry for a few minutes.
10. Add water, salt and mix well.
11. Bring to the boil and reduce the heat to low.
12. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 50 – 55 minutes until the rice is tender and fluffy.
13. Remove from heat, transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle fried cashews and raisins on top and serve hot.
* I never add pepper, but if you prefer your Indian food spicy, sprinkle some in.
Avocado Vegetable Dip
There are so many dips available to buy at the grocery store but this is one is healthier with its low sodium content,   monounsaturated fat and a good source of lutein, an antioxidant that may protect vision. Best of all it is fresh, and tasty. I enjoy this mixture is on mixed green salads.

Image: Low salt avocado vegetable dip.
·        1 ripe avocado, peeled & pitted
·        1 tsp. onion, finely minced
·        1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
·        1 – 2 tbsp. lemon juice
·        1 tomato, chopped
·        Nori & Dulse seaweed flakes to taste
1.     Mash avocado.
2. Add onion, celery and lemon juice and mix in well.
3. Gently mix in chopped tomato.
4. Serve with slices of vegetables.
Creamy Chick Pea Pie
·        onion, chopped
·        1 tsp. cumin
·        1 tsp. coriander
·        1/4 tsp. cardamom
·        1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
·        4 tbsp. tahini (light)
·        1/4 tsp. Himalayan salt
1. Saute onion, cumin, coriander, and cardamom in a little vegetable oil.
2. Add chickpeas, salt and Tahini.
3. Mix together, adding more water if necessary for a creamy sauce.
4. Set aside.
5. Add salt to taste.
6. Pour into rice pie shell
7. Bake at 450º for 25 – 35 minutes.
Rice Pie Shell
·        1 cup cooked short grain brown rice
·        2 tbsp. Chick Pea flour
·        2 tbsp. Sesame Seeds
·        1/2 to 2/3 cup water
1.     Oil pie pan well.
2. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
3. Add a little water to rice and chickpea flour to form a sticky dough-like mixture.
4. Press rice into pan to form a pie shell.
5. Pour in Creamy Chickpea Pie Filling.
6. Bake at 450º F for 25 - 35 minutes.

Image:This chick pea pie is hearty, nutritious and delicious.

Image: For those peanut butter lovers: Warming Vegetable Stew With Peanut Butter

Warming Vegetable Stew With Peanut Butter
·        1 large sweet potato, chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
·        2 medium potatoes, chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
·        1 large zucchini, chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
·        1 cup green beans, chopped
·        1 cup red pepper, chopped
·        1 medium onion, chopped
·        3-4 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
·        1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
·        1 tsp ground coriander
·        1 – 3 tsp fresh grated ginger root
·        1/4 – 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
·        Salt and pepper to taste
·        1 cup frozen corn
·        2 cups water
·        2/3 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
Garnish with roasted peanuts.
1. Chop all vegetables and garlic and ginger.
2. Put potatoes, onion and sweet potato and spices with 2 cups water in a large cooking pot.
3. Cover and bring to a boil then lower heat and cook for 20 – 25 minutes.
4. Add zucchini and green beans and cook 10 minutes.
5. Then add red pepper and cook for 5 more minutes.
6. Turn off heat and stir in corn.
7. Pour out a cup of the stew water and mix peanut butter in.
8. Just before serving stew, stir in peanut butter.
9. Serve with peanuts, garnish if desired.
Winter Immune Boosting Fruit Salad
2 kiwi fruit
1/3 cup blueberries or  strawberries
Few grapes
5–7 almonds soaked
1. Thaw berries of your choice a few hours before making.
2. Chop fruit and almonds.
3. Mix all the fruit together.
4. Eat and enjoy. 

More DASH Recipes and Healthy Information
These recipes are just a small sample of the super healthy recipes I share on Real Food For Life. To get an amazing new recipe sent to your mailbox each week, subscribe to my Health Recipes. All DASH-friendly, gluten-free and dairy-free.
If you want to get serious about making a significant change in your well being, check out one of ourFree Health Webinars or our famous 2-5-30 Healthy Diets for detoxing your body and improving your eating habits.

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