Saturday, January 24, 2015

23rd January (Friday),2015 Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine


Rice exports up 3.5pc in July-Dec


APP,Published 
ISLAMABAD: Rice exp-orts witnessed a growth of 3.46 per cent during the first half of this fiscal year. Around 1,781,401 tonnes of rice ($976.784 million) were exported during July-Dec period of 2014-15 as against 1,709,883 tonnes ($944.077m) in the same period last year.
Data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Thursday showed export of basmati rice rose to 260,481 tonnes ($302.265m), from 269,272 tonnes ($294.517m) in the same period last year.Export of other rice varieties also increased to 1,520,920 tonnes ($674.519m) during the period under review, from 1,440,611 tonnes ($649.560m) in the corresponding period last year.However, fruit and vegetables export recorded negative growth of 3.29pc and 25.23pc respectively during July-Dec period of this fiscal year.
The fruit export dipped to 256,146 tonnes ($189.136m) from 345,791 tonnes ($204.875m) in the corresponding period of last year.Vegetable export was recorded at 167,648 tonnes during the period as compared to 244,365 tonnes in the same period last year.Sugar export posted an increase of 0.46pc at 204,711 tonnes ($98.652m) as compared to 208,438 tonnes ($98.202m) last year.
Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2015 

South Sulawesi hopes to export surplus rice production 

Andi Hajramurni, The Jakarta Post, Makassar | Archipelago | Fri, January 23 2015, 10:49 AM
South Sulawesi’s aim of exporting rice is expected to be realized this year thanks to further increases in rice production in the province and a resulting rice surplus.According to South Sulawesi Governor Syahrul Yasin Limpo, his administration had planned to export rice from last year, but the central government had not yet agreed. “We wanted to export rice last year but we have to get approval from the central government. We hope we can achieve it this year,” said Syahrul after opening the Indonesian Agricultural Economic Association seminar and national workshop in Makassar on Thursday. 
According to its plan, South Sulawesi would export between 200,000 and 300,000 tons of rice to Malaysia and Thailand. The provincial administration has requested permission from the Agriculture Ministry to export rice to the two countries. It has so far been selling its surplus to other islands and provinces. Last year, the province delivered rice to 26 provinces. “We prioritize domestic demand, but we also hope to be able to export rice to other countries given the further increase in our rice production,” said Syahrul.South Sulawesi has been enjoying bumper yearly rice harvests.


 In 2014, production reached 5.1 million tons of dried unhusked rice, or paddy, equivalent to 3 million tons of rice. Given this volume, South Sulawesi had a rice surplus of 2.2 million tons, as local demand was only around 800,000 tons annually.This year, the production volume is expected to rise an additional 1 million tons, making a total of 6.1 million tons of paddy. However, South Sulawesi Agriculture Office head Lutfi Halide was upbeat production could reach 6.4 million tons of paddy, or 3.5 million tons of rice, so the surplus would rise to 2.7 million tons.Starting this year, the office will carry out farmland optimization contingency plans on 31,000 hectares of rice fields found in 12 regencies across the province, including providing free seedlings, fertilizer and hand tractors. In addition, the irrigation system will be improved. Currently, 229,000 hectares of rice paddies in 21 regencies in the province are irrigated. The agricultural office will build three irrigation networks in the three regencies of Wajo, Jeneponto and North Luwu.
According to Lutfi, the total area of rice fields in the province spanned 1 million hectares. However, only 50 percent of them were irrigated. “We will make efforts to extend the irrigation networks. With good irrigation, we can optimize the planting season, from once to twice and from twice to three times,” he said.The agriculture office is also working with the Wirabuana Military Command on the rice intensification program, in which Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel are to help farmers and optimize the use of technology and mechanical tools to cultivate the land. Thirty-two agricultural experts will also be involved in the program.“With these efforts, we are optimistic that rice production will increase.
Last year, one hectare was only able to produce 5.8 tons of paddy; this year we expect production could reach 8 tons of paddy per hectare, so rice production could reach 6.4 million tons of dried paddy and a surplus of 2.7 million tons,” said Lutfi. He added his office also planned to build a wholesale rice market to facilitate the rice trade, especially inter-province trade, which would be of great benefit to farmers in the province. Lutfi said the market would most likely be built in Parepare as they city had a dock. However, as the budget for the project was not yet available, he hoped the central government would provide its support.



Bulog to expand business in border areas

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Fri, January 23 2015, 8:45 AM
The Indonesian Bureau of Logistics (Bulog) of the North Sulawesi Province will expand its Bulog Mart business on the border between North Sulawesi and the Philippines.“This year we are expanding the business of Bulog Mart in Sangihe Talaud. It is a district that directly shares its borders with the Philippines,” North Sulawesi’s Bulog head Yayan Suparyan said Manado on Thursday as quoted by Antara news agency.He said the presence of Bulog in Sangihe Talaud is expected to stabilize rice prices in the district and to shorten the lengthy food product distribution chain.
Bulog is an Indonesian stated-owned company dealing with food distribution and price control.Besides rice, Bulog Mart also sells sugar, vegetable oil, flour and other food products.The commodities sold by Bulog Mart are bought from the manufacturers, so that the prices can remain competitive as compared to other retail markets.“Bulog invites all local communities to get involved in this business by selling their food commodities in the mart,” Yayan noted. (***)

Hungry armyworms feed on Riverina rice crops

Updated Thu at 3:57pmThu 22 Jan 2015, 3:57pm
Agronomists are warning southern New South Wales rice growers armyworms are on the march.The pest, a caterpillar of a native moth, attacks crops as the rice heads start to emerge.Media player: "Space" to play, "M" to mute, "left" and "right" to seek.Description: The very hungry caterpillarArmyworms are appearing more often in paddocks.Murray Local Land Services agronomist John Fowler said early detection might prevent some serious damage."Up to about four or five years ago a lot of growers weren't concerned with armyworms," he said.
"We don't know why, but over the last few years when they do hit, they've had the ability to hit in really big numbers and cause substantial losses."Growers have reported sizeable areas of up to 50 per cent losses."So they've been onto them ever since to make sure they don't get hit with that sort of damage again."Mr Fowler said rice varieties that are drained mid-season are more likely to attract the pest.Farmers have reported early foliar damage in the Murray Valley and Coleambally Irrigation Area.Mr Fowler said it is important growers eradicate the armyworms before they get too big."If you take them out while they're still small, you tend to get a good kill with the chemical," he said."I've never seen a reinfestation of significance, so even if you are doing it early and growers were worried about getting reinfested, I've never observed that."
Topics: rice, deniliquin-2710

Agri Buzz : Vietnam Expects Weak Rice Production For 2015

capital market | Mumbai | January 23, 2015 09:55 IST
The Vietnam Food Association (VFA) has scaled back its forecast for rice exports in 2015 on the back of a lacklustre 2014- as it continues to search for measures to jump start exports and power up the sector.For the year ended December 2014, Vietnam exported 6.316 million tonnes of rice, grossing US$2.789 billion in revenue, down 5.47% on-year in volume and 3.59% in value.Despite fulfilling the set target, rice exports were lethargic ranking third among the world's largest exporters after Thailand (10.5 million tonnes) and India (10 million tonnes).Market analysts at the VFA attribute the slump to the sharp decline in demand for rice in the African markets, overproduction by Thailand and India along with lack of growth in Asian markets.

Analysts at the VFA have reported that the difficulties from 2014 will carry over and continue to negatively affect the market in 2015.Last year, exports of rice via the Chinese borders skyrocketed, helping clear stockpiles; however, the border trade is fraught with risks and does little to bring in the large foreign currencies.According to VFA statistics, rice exports on record through the Chinese border was roughly 650,000 tonnes, but, in fact the real volume of rice transported from the Mekong Delta region to the northern region via Haiphong Port was substantially higher.

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OAG decides to charge Yingluck in court over rice-pledging case
January 23, 2015 1:24 pm
The Office of the Attorney General decided Friday to press criminal charges against former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra related to the rice-pledging scheme.Surasak Threerattrakul, Director-General of OAG's Investigation Office, said the Yingluck might be arraigned in the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Political Office Holders in a month.Surasak said there were strong evidences to substantiate charges that Yingluck had intentionally abused her authority to cause damage over Bt500 billion in the rice pledging scheme, and thus violating Article 157 of the Criminal Code and Article 123/1 of the Corruption Prevention and Suppression Act.
The Nation

Blast disease looms over paddy harvest

S. GANESAN
The Hindu
Concern over yield: A group of agriculture labourers feed the machine during harvest in Tiruchi on Thursday. Photo: B. Velankanni Raj

Officials hope for normal yield in delta districts

Description: Concern over yield: A group of agriculture labourers feed the machine during harvest in Tiruchi on Thursday. Photo: B. Velankanni RajHarvest of samba paddy has begun in canal irrigated areas of the district with farmers in some parts of the district worried over possible yield loss because of blast disease. Samba paddy had been raised on about 85,000 acres of land in the canal irrigated delta areas of the district and in another 25,000 acres in the non-delta areas of the district, Agriculture Department sources said.Of this, farmers in the delta areas had started harvesting the crop over the past few days.According to initial reports, the yield appeared to be normal, sources in the Agriculture Department said.Harvesting of the samba crop was expected to go on till February with farmers too expecting a decent yield.“We are expecting a normal yield. However, there will be drop in yield in paddy fields affected by the blast disease,” said N. Veerasekaran, Coordinator, Ayyan Vaical Pasanatharar Sangam.
Incidence of blast disease had been reported from Manikandam, Andhanallur, Musiri, Thottiyam, and Manachanallur and to a certain extent in Lalgudi areas in the district. Farmers are apprehensive of a sharp drop in yield in fields affected by the disease.“Yield will be badly affected in the disease-hit fields. The government should sanction compensation of Rs. 25,000 an acre to the affected farmers,” said P. Ayyakannu, vice-president, Bharathiya Kisan Sangam, who along with other members of the organisation presented a representation to the District Collector on Thursday.
According to initial estimates, about 8,000 hectares were affected in the district because of the disease. An assessment would be taken up by the Agriculture Department in association with the Revenue and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University scientists, sources in the Agriculture Department said.Mr.Veerasekaran said that the Agriculture Department should take effective steps to prevent recurrence of the disease in future by recommending appropriate steps to eradicate the fungus from the fields.

Ousted Thai PM banned from politics, faces charges

BY PANARAT THEPGUMPANAT AND PRACHA HARIRAKSAPITAK
BANGKOK Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:50pm EST

Ousted former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra delivers her statement at the National Legislative Assembly meeting in Bangkok January 22, 2015.
CREDIT: REUTERS/CHAIWAT SUBPRASOM
Description: Ousted former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra delivers her statement at the National Legislative Assembly meeting in Bangkok January 22, 2015. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom(Reuters) - Thai authorities dealt a double blow to ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her powerful family on Friday, banning her from politics for five years and proceeding with criminal charges for negligence that could put her in jail.The moves could stoke tension in the politically divided country still living under martial law after the military seized power in May, toppling the remnants of Yingluck's government to end months of street protests.
The ban and the legal case are the latest twist in 10 years of turbulent politics that have pitted Yingluck and her brother Thaksin, himself a former prime minister, against the royalist-military establishment that sees the Shinawatras as a threat and reviles their populist policies.Yingluck will face criminal charges in the Supreme Court and if found guilty could spend up to 10 years in jail, the Attorney General's Office said on Friday.The charges against the country's first female premier, who was removed from office for abuse of power in May, days before the coup, concern her role in a scheme that paid farmers above market prices for rice and cost Thailand billions of dollars.
Yingluck vowed to fight the charges."Thai democracy has died along with the rule of law," she said in a statement posted on her Facebook page."I will fight until the end to prove my innocence, no matter what the outcome will be. And most importantly, I want to stand alongside the Thai people. Together we must bring Thailand prosperity, bring back democracy and truly build justice in Thai society."There was no sign of protests on the capital's busy streets on Friday, as residents adhered to the junta's ban on public gatherings.
Security was tightened around the parliament building where the legislature, dominated by the military, voted Yingluck guilty in a separate impeachment case for failing to exercise sufficient oversight of the rice subsidy scheme.The retroactive impeachment at the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) carries a five-year ban from politics.A spokesman for the State Department said the United States had taken note of the retroactive impeachment by an appointed legislative body, and Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel would discuss U.S. concerns when he visits Bangkok on Monday.
"We believe that the impartial administration of justice and rule of law is essential for equitable governance and a just society," Jen Psaki told a regular news briefing. "It is a matter for the Thai people to determine the legitimacy of their political and judicial processes."Washington, a long-time ally of Thailand, expressed dismay at the coup and responded by freezing $4.7 million of security-related aid, as well as cancelling high-level engagements and some military exercises and military and police training programs.
Russel will be the most senior U.S. official to visit Thailand since the coup. Yingluck defended the rice scheme and disputed the charges in a NLA hearing on Thursday, but did not appear on Friday.A vote to impeach required a three-fifths majority among NLA members, who were hand-picked by the junta of coup leader and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. Around 100 of the 220 members are former or serving military officers.Prayuth said he had not ordered the NLA to vote against Yingluck, still popular among the rural poor who handed her a landslide electoral victory in 2011 and benefited from the rice scheme.
The impeachment was expected by Yingluck supporters, who see the courts and NLA as biased and aligned with an establishment intent on blocking the Shinawatra family from politics."Yingluck's case was not dealt with fairly," said Thanawut Wichaidit, a spokesman for the pro-Yingluck United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship."The intention of these actions is for Yingluck and the entire Shinawatra family to be eradicated from Thai politics. I believe there is an invisible hand behind Yingluck's impeachment."Around 150 members of the Shinawatra political movement have been banned from politics in the last decade, including four who had served as prime ministers.
ARMY CHIEF AIRS CONCERN
Prayuth's government has urged Yingluck's supporters to stay out of Bangkok this week, although a repeat of the protests that have dogged the country in recent years appears unlikely.Authorities have been quick to stifle dissent, and political meetings are banned under martial law.In a radio broadcast, Army Chief General Udomdej Sitabutr called on the population to respect the NLA vote, and a spokesman for the junta said it had seen no sign of unrest."Political gatherings cannot happen as we are still under martial law," junta spokesman Winthai Suvaree said.
Yingluck's fortunes have been similar to those of her billionaire brother.Both led populist governments toppled in coups, despite being elected in landslides, and both were subjected to legal action and street protests by pro-establishment activists.After being ousted in 2006, Thaksin fled Thailand to avoid a 2008 jail term for corruption. He has lived abroad since, but retains a strong influence over Thai politics.
Yingluck did not plan to flee, said Singthong Buachum, a member of the former prime minister's team."She will fight the case head on," Singthong said.Prayuth has promised a return to democracy after the junta enacts political and social reforms. His government has said a general election will take place in February next year at the earliest.(Additional reporting by Kaweewit Kaewjinda and Aukkarapon Niyomyat in Bangkok andDavid Brunnstrom in Washington; Writing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Simon Webb.; Editing by Jeremy Laurence, Nick Macfie and Andre Grenon)
Source with thanks: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/23/us-thailand-politics-idUSKBN0KW01S20150123
Apeda News-India Today News


APEDA Statistics


Today's Leads


Market Watch
Commodity-wise, Market-wise Daily Price on 22-01-2015
Domestic Prices
Unit Price : Rs/Qtl
Product
Market Center
Variety
Min Price
Max Price
Paddy (Dhan)
1
Bonai (Orissa)
Other
1360
1400
2
Dehgam (Gujarat)
Other
1375
1420
3
Haldwani (Uttrakhand)
Other
1360
1360
Rice
1
Bonai (Orissa)
Other
2500
2700
2
Shillong (Meghalaya)
Other
3400
3600
3
Jhagadiya (Gujarat)
Other
1900
3000
Pine Apple
1
Kangra (Himachal Pradesh)
Other
2800
3000
2
Nagpur (Maharashtra)
Other
1000
2500
3
Sirhind (Punjab)
Other
2000
2500
Cauliflower
1
Bolangir (Orissa)
Other
2800
3000
2
Shrirampur (Maharashtra)
Other
1000
1200
3
Mohanpur (Tripura)
Other
2000
2500
Source: agmarknet

Source with thanks :Apeda India

A.P. keen to promote ‘sugar-free’ rice variety

Andhra Pradesh will be identifying and promoting new varieties of rice with low content of carbohydrate, referred to as ‘sugar-free rice’ in common parlance that is more nutritious and can be consumed even by diabetic patients without the fear of their blood glucose levels shooting up.In addition to BM 1100, a new variety of rice released in some pockets, two more new variants, 209 with longer grain and ‘Sonam’ are also being considered for cultivation in demonstration farms , according to government sources.
The issue of promoting cereals and millets with value addition to increase their nutrient value came up for discussion in the recent meeting of Agriculture Minister P.Pullarao with department officials.He suggested that these varieties and also rice variety with low carbohydrates could be promoted for the benefit of all, specially the diabetics who are advised to cut down or avoid quickly digestible normal rice to keep their glucose levels in blood under control.The Agriculture Department has been asked to promote the ‘sugar-free’ rice varieties by next Kharif.However, agriculture scientists clarified that officially ‘no sugar free rice’ was being cultivated in Andhra Pradesh as yet.
The Seed Section in New Delhi Office of International Rice Research Institute (Philippines) also did not have ready information on the ‘sugar-free rice’ variety, they said. But out of all varieties of rice released so far in the State, ‘MTU 7029 Swarna’ has least amount of carbohydrates.Some private seed companies in the State are into research to promote cereals and millets with value addition to enhance nutritional value and bring down carbohydrate content. However any value addition to cereals or millets will have negative correlation with yield, scientists observed.The Agriculture Department will also be promoting flood resistant varieties of rice- Swarna sub and Samba Masuri sub- which can withstand 10 to 15 days of flooding without affecting their yield. They will be raised in 270 hectares of demonstration farms.

Obama's EPA breaks pledge to divorce politics from science on toxic chemicals

 By David Heath23 hours ago
·                     
In his first inaugural address, between promising to fix the economy and lower the cost of health care, President Barack Obama made this pledge:
"We'll restore science to its rightful place."It might sound arcane as a presidential priority, but it was a big deal at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Political interference from the Bush White House had delayed or derailed dozens of the EPA's findings on potential health risks posed by toxic chemicals.Some of those findings applied to chemicals to which all of us are exposed. Formaldehyde is in our kitchen cabinets and carpet.
 Arsenic is in our drinking water and rice. EPA scientists had determined that both of these carcinogens were more deadly than previously thought. Yet, officially, the agency remains unable to say so or to do anything about it.On her first day on the job, Lisa Jackson, the new EPA administrator, sent employees a memoechoing the president's promise to divorce politics from science. The agency has said it needs to assess 50 chemicals a year to do its job properly. Yet in the Bush years it was averaging only five assessments a year. Jackson quickly rolled out a plan to break through the logjam.The plan seemed easily achievable. It required no congressional approval and involved tweaking the inner workings of bureaucracy. Republicans never passed any legislation to block it.Yet the Obama administration's plan has been a failure. In the past three years, the EPA has assessed fewer chemicals than ever. Last year, it completed only one assessment. Today, the agency has even embraced measures sought by the chemical industry that have led to endless delays.
“Of late, the administration has displayed a disturbing tendency to retreat in the face of a blistering and self-serving industry campaign to stifle this vital program once and for all,” said Rena Steinzor, a University of Maryland law professor who closely follows the EPA’s chemical assessment program.The story of how this happened is a lesson in how Washington works.

Small scale rice dealers challenge trade ministry

Description: Rice ImportationThe Small Scale Rice Dealers Association of Ghana (SSRIDA-GH), on Thursday said the assertion by Ministry of Trade and Industry that the total ban of rice importation is detrimental to the state is not nationalistic.The media report attributed to Mr Ibrahim Murtala, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry said Ghana’s rice self sufficiency is about 30 per cent and government consider as a high priority to see the country productivity high.
He however said a total ban on rice importation is not the ideal thing to do and would also be in violation of World Trade Organisation regulations.Mr Murtala said the country must also improve the quality and quantity of rice production.The Minister was reacting to a call by SSRIDA-GH to Ministry of Trade and Industry to ensure an outright ban of rice importation.It said the ban on inland rice importation is not only having negative impact on the traders but also discriminatory and in favour of the major players in the industry.
A statement issued by Yaw Korang, National Coordinator of SSRIDA-GH said given monopoly of large scale importation of the commodity to foreigners is unfair, and so if government finds it untenable for small-scale rice dealers to be in business then an outright ban would be necessary .“The ban as it stands now is pushing poor Ghanaians out of business and helping foreign traders to thrive,” the statement.The statement said the ministry on October 14, 2013 served a notice of ban on inland importation of rice stating that with effect from November 1, 2013, all imports of rice shall be done through only the Kotoka International Airport, Tema and Takoradi Ports.
“This directive gave SSRIDA-GH only two weeks ultimatum to fold up our trading business through the border. As petty traders, our capital base would not allow us to do our business through the air or by the sea. The directive also came at a time when we had made orders with loans for goods for the Christmas festivity.
“We humbly wish to state that our business is only a threat to the monopoly being practiced by foreign rice importers, whose activities are a threat to the nation`s economy because they do the importation under the cover of warehousing and sell their products for high prices in dollar equivalence before paying their revenue and sometimes run-off without paying.“We do our business in the CFA-FRANC and pay our duty into the consolidated fund at the borders before we are allowed to bring our goods into the country to sell.
The statement asked Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, the sector Minister to review the ban on inland importation of rice or prohibit the trade in Ghana.However another statement by the SSRIDA-Ghana says the 500 million dollars spent annually to import rice is a drain to the national economy and could be used to step up the productivity of the crop.It said great rice producing nations like Thailand dreamt big and were nationalistic enough to go great length to achieve the feat.The statement said: “Nigeria was able to do it and now local rice is in high demand in the West African nation.”It said for the Ministry to say that total ban of rice importation is not feasible is “too simplistic, unpatriotic and uninspiring. It can be done if we embrace the challenge”, the statement said
Source with thanks :http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=343774


Nigerians Impoverished By Over-dependence On Oil – Jonathan

 
President Goodluck Jonathan has regretted that in spite of the abundance of agricultural resources the country is blessed with, over dependence on crude oil and prolonged neglect of the agriculture sector have impoverished Nigerians.
Speaking yesterday during the 2015 Agricultural Festival (AGRIFEST) at the Eagle Square, Abuja, the president vowed that there would be no sacred cows among importers who are owing the country on rice import duties.AGRIFEST is an international agriculture exhibition organised by the Ministry of Agriculture to aid the sector in achieving a green revolution
President Jonathan told the huge number of farmers who attended the event that they could rely on him as their Farmers’ President and be rest assured of his support at all times to further boost your efforts to produce more food for the nation.He announced the release of N26 billion towards the 2015 Dry Season Farming Programme, saying with the support of the farmers, he hoped to be with them next year as president to do even more for them.Lamenting the plight of Nigerians, he said, “Our nation is blessed with abundant agricultural resources, but for too long we have depended on crude oil and neglected agriculture.
 This situation created poverty and suffering in our rural communities.“Agriculture is now the lifeline for Nigeria. As crude oil prices decline, we must create new wealth from the richness of our soils, the vastness of our rivers and the abundance of our cheap labour. We will produce more, and we will industrialise the agricultural sector.Noting that the rice revolution is taking place across the country, the president said, while high quality Nigerian rice was now competing favourably with imported rice in the markets, rice importers cannot hold the country hostage.He said, “Nigeria our dear country will not be held hostage by rice importers. There will be no sacred cows under my watch. All those owing Nigeria on rice import duties must pay.
Source with thanks :http://leadership.ng/news/406222/nigerians-impoverished-overdependence-oil-jonathan


Corruption in FCI frightening; revamp report addresses root causes: Shanta Kumar


by Seetha  Jan 24, 2015 10:19 IST
Shanta Kumar, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader, former chief minister of Himachal Pradesh and former union food minister, headed a high level committee on reorienting the role and restructuring of the Food Corporation of India. The committee submitted its report to the Prime Minister on Wednesday, in which it has suggested a complete overhaul of the food economy. (See this article for the recommendations). In this interview with Seetha,Kumar explains what the report sets out to do and how it will change things. Excerpts:
Many of the recommendations in the report are quite radical. How politically feasible are they?
When working on the report, I was not keeping political considerations in mind. In such matters, I have always kept economic and national issues in the forefront and keep politics aside. In any case, even politically, I feel that implementing this report will be beneficial.

When over 8 crore farmers who are deprived of the benefits of minimum support price start getting direct input subsidy in cash, they will feel someone is looking out for them. It will be a huge relief especially for those poor farmers who are driven to suicide. Secondly, when the 40-50 per cent of poor consumers who do not get subsidised food because of leakages in the public distribution system (PDS) get money in their bank accounts, they will also benefit. So politically implementing this report will not entail any damage.

One criticism that can be levelled is that we are recommending reducing the coverage under the National Food Security Act from 67 per cent of the population to 40 per cent. But at the same time we have recommended increasing allocation to 7 kg per person from 5 kg. This report is both pro-farmer and pro-poor.
This proposal is bound to run into problems. This requires an amendment to the Act, which only Parliament can do. The Congress will never agree to this, nor will many other parties.
The Congress has to oppose on some excuse or the other. They won’t be able to say anything negative about the report and they will pick on this. Look, the country has made a lot of economic progress, but social justice is lacking. Development without social justice is no development at all. I am committed to antyodaya, Swami Vivekananda’s daridra narayan. From the time I became chief minister in 1977, I have tried to see how those who have been left behind can be benefited.

Is cash transfers the way to go about it?
Definitely. It will be income support for both the poor farmer and the poor consumer.
Besides, India’s delivery system is so inefficient and corrupt that no matter what you do, it is not possible to reach subsidised food to all the beneficiaries. The more complicated the system, the more corrupt it will be; the more simpler it is, lesser the chances of corruption.

There’s also the distortion in the market. When the market price of rice is Rs 40 a kg and it is being supplied at Rs 3 and Re 1 through the PDS, diversion is inevitable. It can’t be stopped. That is why the global discourse is about income support instead of market support.
food, Kumar said. Image courtesy: BJP website
How much savings can be expected from cash transfers?
In the case of fertiliser subsidy, the cash transfer of Rs 7000 per hectare will result in savings of Rs 15,000-20,000 crore. In the case of food subsidy, the government will save Rs 30,000 crore.

Can cash transfers co-exist with minimum support prices (MSP) and state procurement? If you are giving cash to the poor to buy from the market, what happens to the food grains that are procured by the FCI?
Description: Cash transfers will result in savings of Rs 15,000-20,000 crore in fertiliser subsidy and Rs 30,000 crore in food, Kumar said. Image courtesy: BJP websiteAs it is, all those beneficiaries who don’t get subsidised rations because of leakage are buying from the market and not getting compensated for it.
But we will have to keep food stocks as a buffer. A country like India will need a buffer. If we have to give relief to the farmers, we will need MSP. MSP will have no meaning if we don’t procure. If we procure food grains, they will accumulate. But we can use food stocks in excess of the buffer norms to regulate and stabilise the market. Or we can export. That is why the report has said there should be a definite liquidation policy for the stocks.
What about the PDS if we shift to cash transfers. Will it get phased out?
It will stay for some time. It should. Then an option can be given to states and consumers. Then, based on experience gained over three-four years we can review the situation.
You haven’t recommended trifurcation/unbundling of FCI, which the BJP manifesto had talked about.
This has been done indirectly. We have distributed its work to different agencies. We have said let states do the procuring; that will reduce FCI’s role in procurement. We have spoken of outsourcing stocking of food grains to the Central Warehousing Corporation, State Warehousing Corporations and private players; that reduces FCI’s role in stocking. FCI will only play a regulatory role in food grain management.
If we had recommended trifurcation, then there would have been three corporations, three chairmen, three boards of directors. The number of employees would have grown. This would have only added to non plan expenditure. Our recommendations will help achieve the objectives of trifurcation without this.
There are a lot of issues related to the internal working of the FCI itself – inefficiencies, corruption. The report has not dealt with that.

When work is reduced or simplified, the scope for corruption will also reduce.The maximum corruption is in the quality control specification and checking. Right now, food grains are manually checked, someone picks up a fistful of grain and says the moisture level is 5 per cent or 10 per cent. We have said quality control should be transparent and mechanised.There is also a lot of corruption in rice procurement.
 States procure paddy and give it to rice millers and FCI procures the rice that the millers produce. We were surprised to find that in the large states, FCI was procuring 12 per cent of the wheat produced and 70 per cent of rice. Some states asked us when you have given us the task of procuring wheat, why not rice? We kept asking FCI this.
Later we came to know that this is source of a lot of corruption.We had joint stakeholders’ meetings across states. In two of these meetings, the rice millers openly complained about how they were at the mercy of FCI officials who would nitpick about the quality of rice and the amounts of the bribes involved. That is why we have said states should procure both wheat and rice. If states procure poor quality rice, it is their responsibility. The level of corruption is frightening. We have tried to remove the root causes of corruption.

What about the unwieldy size of FCI?

When its workload is reduced, then there will be pruning of staff. We have said zonal offices should be trimmed over time. In the case of the departmental loaders, we have recommended a voluntary retirement scheme and phasing them out. This will have to done gradually over time.When work is outsourced, there will be need for further trimming. The union is very strong, problems will be there. But someone will have to start from somewhere.
Seetha is a senior journalist and author

Source with thanks :http://www.firstpost.com/business/corruption-in-fci-frightening-revamp-report-addresses-root-causes-shanta-kumar-2062185.html

I’ll Not Let Anyone Of You Escape — Jonathan Fires


Description: I'll Not Let Anyone Of You Escape -- Jonathan FiresPresident Goodluck Jonathan on Friday read the Riot Act to rice importers in the country, saying all those owing the nation rice import duties must pay, no matter how highly placed they are.He said under no circumstance will he allow rice importers to hold the nation to ransom.“Nigeria our dear country will not be held hostage by rice importers. There will be no sacred cows under my watch. All those owing Nigeria on rice import duties must pay,” Jonathan declared at the opening of an event called AgriFest 2015 at the Eagles Square, Abuja.
The President noted that rice farmers across the country have a new lease of life due to the transformation taking place in the sector.He said over six million rice farmers have received improved rice seed varieties, boosting domestic rice production by an additional seven million metric tons.He said, “The rice revolution is taking place across the country, from Kebbi, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Bauchi, Gombe, Niger, Kogi, Ogun, Ekiti, Ebonyi, Rivers, Anambra, Delta, Edo to Bayelsa State.“High quality Nigerian rice is now competing favourably with imported rice in the markets.

“Our rice millers have taken advantage of these new opportunities, and the number of integrated rice mills has expanded from 1 (one) at the beginning of this administration, to 24 today.“And they are all here today. I celebrate you all. I eat Nigerian rice and can tell you it is better than imported rice,” he added.Jonathan also announced the release of N26billion for the 2015 dry season farming programme.He told the large gathering of farmers that he remained the farmers’ President and would need their support to remain in office beyond this year.He said the various innovations put up by his administration had changed the face of agriculture in the country.He promised to do more for the farmers and the sector if re-elected.

Three Years Export Summary Statement (2011-12 To 2013-14)       




Value: 
   Rs. Lacs   Rs. Crore   US$  US$ Thousand   US$ Mill   US$ Bill  
Quantity:
  Qty In MT
  Qty In Quintal
  Qty In Kg
Three Year Export Statement of APEDA Products
Value in Rs. Lacs
  Qty In MT

2011-12
2012-13
2013-14
PRODUCT
Qty
Rs. Lacs
Qty
Rs. Lacs
Qty
Rs. Lacs
FLORICULTURE
Floriculture
30926.02
36532.15
27121.86
42344.60
22485.21
45590.62
Fruits & Vegetables Seeds
15205.81
28776.35
17168.00
34772.39
17816.70
41053.76
Total
46131.83
65308.50
44289.86
77116.99
40301.91
86644.38
FRESH FRUITS & VEGETABLES
Fresh Onions
1309924.82
172299.80
1666872.60
196662.66
1482498.58
316961.25
Other Fresh Vegetables
734178.83
131048.20
768627.20
151633.56
953731.22
229332.27
Walnuts
5841.56
23108.40
5295.47
19983.57
6726.36
32453.50
Fresh Mangoes
63441.29
20974.30
55584.99
26471.78
41279.97
28542.85
Fresh Grapes
108584.56
60288.15
172744.42
125942.78
192616.91
166647.45
Other Fresh Fruits
270437.20
75541.11
263970.29
77975.78
240552.45
102159.21
Total
2492408.26
483259.96
2933094.97
598670.13
2917405.49
876096.53
PROCESSED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Cucumber and Gherkins( Prepd. & Presvd)
258603.00
74503.45
238624.89
85659.18
218749.79
95520.18
Dried & Preserved Vegetables
64794.09
52678.47
68520.25
63795.76
56158.38
74271.74
Mango Pulp
150499.06
62082.91
147815.69
60855.73
174860.33
77294.76
Other Processed Fruits & Vegetables
274807.05
157759.82
269217.26
173305.54
287384.61
226660.26
Pulses
174625.18
106793.13
202751.36
128500.32
345051.38
174637.14
Total
923328.38
453817.78
926929.45
512116.53
1082204.49
648384.08
ANIMAL PRODUCTS
Buffalo Meat
986618.46
1374573.96
1107506.27
1741289.30
1449758.65
2645781.59
Sheep/Goat Meat
11181.04
25522.07
16046.91
42565.86
22608.95
69411.53
Other Meat
318.33
364.34
194.13
233.33
255.26
323.44
Processed Meat
575.94
949.53
796.92
937.41
488.78
691.75
Animal Casings
923.56
2705.01
602.53
1837.08
352.20
2845.84
Poultry Products
624181.11
45805.29
577864.27
49493.41
437673.53
56587.37
Dairy Products
25639.51
28935.68
87824.21
141209.83
159228.51
331857.40
Casein
838.66
3719.76
13650.78
55625.72
11461.71
63692.84
Natural Honey
26089.03
32123.96
25780.70
35632.05
28378.40
44501.46
Albumin( Eggs & Milk )
1454.31
5302.71
1663.83
9016.14
2025.32
13163.79
Total
1677819.95
1520002.31
1831930.55
2077840.13
2112231.31
3228857.01
OTHER PROCESSED FOODS
Groundnuts
832616.93
524644.77
535637.36
406536.09
509664.84
318773.51
Guargum
707326.43
1652386.71
406311.81
2128701.08
601945.42
1173452.49
Jaggery & Confectionery
207694.35
76421.98
246566.93
91759.98
266471.96
113687.91
Cocoa Products
16678.58
17597.61
19083.34
29392.13
15962.95
57078.03
Cereal Preparations
301289.71
188859.70
293124.30
224076.04
321468.07
285500.15
Milled Products
171158.13
35890.14
273584.39
60360.80
418397.99
100576.93
Alcoholic Beverages
214110.69
145944.99
264466.08
190937.00
311564.19
239357.58
Miscellaneous Preparations
229341.93
121916.02
293958.19
171205.70
338972.77
218388.87
Total
2680216.75
2763661.92
2332732.40
3302968.82
2784448.19
2506815.47
CEREALS
Basmati Rice
3178174.43
1544959.62
3459898.93
1940939.06
3757271.42
2929995.91
Non Basmati Rice
3997719.57
865912.61
6687990.85
1444880.75
7133183.37
1774995.98
Wheat
740746.76
102326.85
6514810.60
1052900.15
5562374.74
926161.08
Maize
3855721.20
515751.49
4788328.25
709634.06
3954236.61
598365.81
Other Cereals
217962.03
33540.86
652975.53
108427.36
657700.54
115690.83
Total
11990323.99
3062491.43
22104004.16
5256781.38
21064766.68
6345209.61
Grand Total
19810229.16
8348541.90
30172981.39
11825493.98
30001358.07
13692007.08
Source: DGCIS Annual Data
Source with thanks :http://agriexchange.apeda.gov.in/indexp/exportstatement.aspx

Rice exports post 3.46pc growth in first two quarters
Thursday, 22 January 2015 19:24
Posted by Imaduddin
ISLAMABAD: Rice exports from the country during first two quarters of current financial year witnessed 3.46 percent growth as compared to the corresponding period of last year. During the Description: imageperiod from July-December, 2014 about 1,781,401 metric tons of rice worth $976.784 million exported as compared to 1,709,883 metric tons valuing $944.077 million exported in same period of last financial year.According the latest figures released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), exports of basmati rice recorded 2.63 percent increase as about 260,481 metric tons of basmati rice worth $302.265 million exported as compared to the 269,272 metric tons valuing $294.517 million of same period last year.Meanwhile, the exports of rice other then basmati also grew by 3.84 per Percent and reached at 1,520,920 metric tons costing $674.519 million which stood at 1,440,611 metric tons valuing $649.560 million during same period last year.
However, the data reveled that exports of fruit and vegetables from the country during the period under review remained on down track as their exports witnessed 3.29 percent and 25.23 percent decrease respectively.From July-December, country was managed to export 256,146 metric tons of fruit worth $189.136 million which was recorded at 345,791 metric tons valuing $204.875 million of corresponding period of last year.Vegetables exports was recorded at 167,648 metric tons during the period under review as compared to the 244,365 metric tons of same period last year, the data added.During the period under review, sugar exports posted 0.46 percent growth And reached at 204,711 metric tons valuing $98.652 million as compared to the exports of 208,438 metric tons worth $98.202 million of same period last year.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2015

Source with thanks :Business Record


US 'threats' to Patent Act irks RSS outfit

SUVOJIT BAGCHI
Description: Swadeshi Jagran Manch, the economic wing of the RSS, is against any drive to facilitate business interests of the US & the EU’s pharmaceutical companies in India.Swadeshi Jagran Manch, the economic wing of the RSS, is against any drive to facilitate business interests of the US & the EU’s pharmaceutical companies in India.President Barack Obama’s visit, Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), the powerful economic wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has objected to the United States’ “threats” to India’s domestic policies on Intellectual Property Right (IPR).

The organisation is against any drive to facilitate business interest of the US & the EU’s pharmaceutical companies in India. According to SJM, the “Western world” is building “continuous pressure” on India to amend many sections of the Patent Act of 1970, particularly 3(d), which would qualify global pharmaceutical companies to market new drugs without making any genuine innovation, thus escalating profit. In a strongly worded resolution, the RSS outfit has said that the government “should not compromise” and succumb to pressure.The GDP growth of US and EU is largely dependent on the knowledge-based economy. While 35% of US GDP growth comes from IPR related industry, 39% of EU’s growth is IPR dependent. So any slow down in IPR growth is a “major concern” for both the blocks, said SJM’s recent resolution titled: ‘The US threat on IPR, a mere hoax?’
In order to achieve the estimated growth in the IPR sector, “a continuous pressure” has been mounted on India by the “western world for tampering with the domestic IPR policies,” the SJM resolution added.
Main concern
SJM and a section of the Bharatiya Janata Party are particularly concerned about dilution of Section 3(d) of the Patent Act of 1970.Section 3(d) says that “mere discovery of a new form of a known substance which does not result in the enhancement of the known efficacy of that substance” will not be eligible for fresh patents thus restricting the vested business interest of pharmaceutical companies in US and EU in India.
In its annual report (2014 Special 301 Report) to underscore trade barriers to US companies due to IPR related laws, the US Trade Representative (USTR) has expressed its concerns about the existence of 3(d).“The United States is concerned that Section 3(d), as interpreted, may have the effect of limiting the patentability of potentially beneficial innovations. Such innovations would include drugs with fewer side effects…Even after a product receives a patent, Indian law continues to pose challenges to the enjoyment of that IPR protection,” USTR observed last April.
In December, USTR conducted an Out-of-Cycle Review (OCR) of the provisions and issued another statement: “India has made useful commitments in recent months, including to institutionalize high-level engagement on IP issues, to pursue a specific work program and to deepen cooperation and information exchange with the United States on IP-related issues under the US-India Trade Policy Forum.”The December statement of USTR, followed by the draft National IPR policy, has irked the SJM members. The draft IPR Policy was released only a week after the OCR and concluded that country’s IPR policy will be guided by the “development needs and the international commitments.
” The SJM members detested the coinage, “international commitments.”“We fear that in the name of the international commitments the Patent Act will be tampered,” a senior SJM official told The Hindu on condition of anonymity. SJM has also criticized draft IPR policy.The National IPR policy is drafted “under the shadow” of a joint working group of US and is “influenced by the threats from the US about economic sanctions under the dictates of the big pharmaceutical companies for making changes in the existing patent laws of India,” said the SJM resolution.
Cancer drugs
The SJM has also objected to the policy amendments in “compulsory licensing” especially while granting permission to NATCO for manufacturing cancer drugs which was being sold by BAYER of Germany “at exorbitant prices” in the country. SJM has also red-flagged “illegitimate demand of data exclusivity on pharmaceuticals” whereby the Drug Regulatory Authority of India will be prohibited to disclose trial results to the Indian generic companies.SJM has also flagged a whole lot of other areas where US is trying to mount “pressure.
” The Government “should not compromise on any other existing provisions of Indian Patent Act including pre-grant opposition,” the resolution said. According to the RSS outfit, the government should demand “protection” for products like Darjeeling tea, Basmati rice, textile goods and several other agricultural products which have its origin in India.
TRIPS Agreement
Besides “demand(ing) protection” for biodiversity, traditional knowledge and folklore according to Doha Agenda, the country should “demand a complete review” of the “draconian provisions of the existing Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement and renegotiate the same at all appropriate forums of WTO,” the SJM statement said.In the recently concluded flagship annual IPR summit, Global Intellectual Property Convention (GIPC) in Mumbai, attended by IPR experts of 30 countries, the issue of India’s concern was passionately debated by all sides in several technical sessions. The sub-committee, constituted during GIPC, has noted the concerns of the policy makers and pharmaceutical majors and decided to submit a memorandum to the think-tank drafting National IPR policy.
Source with thanks :The Hindu

United Nations to assist Pakistan in bio-fuel project

Published: January 23, 2015
Project to promote market-based adoption of biomass gasification technologies for agro-processing enterprises. STOCK IMAGE
ISLAMABAD: 
Owing to the serious energy crisis prevailing in the country, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has announced to implement a project to promote market-based adoption of biomass gasification technologies for agro-processing of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Pakistan.
Drawing funding from Global Environmental Facility (GEF), the project will particularly introduce rice husk based gasification power plants in the rice producing areas in order to generate cheap and uninterrupted electricity. The rice husk is usually burnt and goes in vain.A report of the UN’s information centre Islamabad observed that Pakistan today faces serious energy challenges that include frequent power cuts, brown outs and unreliable supply of fossil fuels. For SMEs power breakdown results in reduced production levels, reduced quality of production etc

.In view of this, the UNIDO, by helping SMEs develop biomass gasification power plants, seeks to enable SMEs to contribute towards addressing the energy challenges in the country, it said.As part of this process, the UNIDO has signed a memorandum of understanding with Punjab Rice Mills Association to support the development of a feasibility study for 1MW rice husk based gasification power plant at Bhawalnagar, the report said.The UNIDO’s country representative Esam Alqararah said, “Pakistan being an agricultural country possesses a fuel for future which is cheap, clean and abundant.

Such projects will enable SMEs to have uninterrupted electricity to run their operations, which will increase their productivity and also help in providing low cost electricity.”The industrial development officer at UN, Alois P Mhlanga, had visited Pakistan for the project. He mentioned the feasibility study for this 1MW gasification plant does lay a strong foundation for finding new ways of clean energy by demonstrating technical feasibility and economic viability of biomass gasification technology, UNIDO report added.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 23rd, 2015.

Source with thanks :The Express Tribune Pakistan

Rice exports post 3.46pc growth in first two quarters

Thursday, 22 January 2015 19:24
Posted by Imaduddin
Description: imageISLAMABAD: Rice exports from the country during first two quarters of current financial year witnessed 3.46 percent growth as compared to the corresponding period of last year.During the period from July-December, 2014 about 1,781,401 metric tons of rice worth $976.784 million exported as compared to 1,709,883 metric tons valuing $944.077 million exported in same period of last financial year.According the latest figures released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), exports of basmati rice recorded 2.63 percent increase as about 260,481 metric tons of basmati rice worth $302.265 million exported as compared to the 269,272 metric tons valuing $294.517 million of same period last year.
Meanwhile, the exports of rice other then basmati also grew by 3.84 per Percent and reached at 1,520,920 metric tons costing $674.519 million which stood at 1,440,611 metric tons valuing $649.560 million during same period last year.However, the data reveled that exports of fruit and vegetables from the country during the period under review remained on down track as their exports witnessed 3.29 percent and 25.23 percent decrease respectively.From July-December, country was managed to export 256,146 metric tons of fruit worth $189.136 million which was recorded at 345,791 metric tons valuing $204.875 million of corresponding period of last year.
Vegetables exports was recorded at 167,648 metric tons during the period under review as compared to the 244,365 metric tons of same period last year, the data added.During the period under review, sugar exports posted 0.46 percent growth And reached at 204,711 metric tons valuing $98.652 million as compared to the exports of 208,438 metric tons worth $98.202 million of same period last year.
Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2015
The Business Recorder
USA Rice Promotes Cochran Bipartisan Letter on Iraqis Rice Purchases         
 Senator Cochran
WASHINGTON, DC -- This week, the USA Rice Federation encouraged Members of Congress to sign on to a letter written by Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran to Secretary of State John Kerry asking him to help America's rice farmers improve existing trade relations with the Iraqi Grain Board (IGB).The final letter was sent today with all six rice producing states represented by the 36 signatories.  Thirteen Senators and 23 House Members called on Secretary Kerry to see to it U.S. rice producers are fairly considered to win Iraqi business.
Despite years of effort to rebuild commercial relationships with the IGB, Iraq has inexplicably failed in several recent tenders to purchase competitively-priced U.S. rice.  And a new tender opens this weekend."While American exporters have continued to offer competitive bids, the [Iraqi Grain] Board has lately chosen higher-priced non­-American bids," the letter reads.  "We recognize Iraq's prerogative to make these types of decisions, but it serves no purpose to discriminate against competitively-priced U.S.rice...
""We've lost out on three of the last four tenders despite prices nearly $50 per metric ton below the winning South American bids with zero explanation from the IGB," said USA Rice Federation President & CEO Betsy Ward.  "We believe the U.S. government needs to engage directly with Iraq's Minister of Trade to get to the bottom of this.  Senator Cochran agreed wholeheartedly and spearheaded the effort on the Hill to focus Secretary Kerry on this issue.""Iraq is a large rice import market, purchasing just under 1.5 million metric tons annually," said Dow Brantley, an Arkansas rice farmer and chairman of USA Rice.
 "We have the high quality crop at the right price to meet Iraqi demand, but if they keep ignoring our bids, it's going to present problems down the line for rice producers and millers, especially in the mid-South."The IGB purchases nearly all imports via a public tendering process and has issued a 30,000 mt tender which will be open for bids on January 25, 2015.

Contact:  Michael Klein (703) 236-1458
Source with thanks: The USA Rice Federation

USA Rice Provides Updates for Texas Producers         
Description: https://ci6.googleusercontent.com/proxy/HAWsqiM1STavWi4OA_xj_k98BhbYVwueIO0zLebuaPHzn1md1V3UPDy36nkhO4edSUF5dftSTRKEMhgkIK_pN-8cBKOygeXyRMZOjXgaOD-uYjLlIDZ-8LL1BethTmGWTJ6pqIv4=s0-d-e1-ft#http://www.usarice.com/images/Daily/Daily_Photos/MS/ms-texas%20poster-150123.jpgEL CAMPO, TX -- Texas A&M AgriLife Extension hosted the annual Western Rice Belt Production Conference here on Wednesday.  The USA Rice Federation is a sponsor of the conference and this year USA Rice staff Amy Doane, Director, Membership & Marketing, and Evan Spencer, Manager, Economic and Policy Analysis, attended informational sessions and spoke to producers about current issues affecting the U.S. rice industry.Spencer provided members of the Texas Rice Producers' Legislative Group with updates on the Farm Bill, regulatory issues, upcoming Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) opportunities, and trade, especially the emerging Cuban market.
 "We appreciate having the team fromWashington come to Texas to participate in this conference," said Daniel Berglund, a Texas rice farmer and chairman of the Texas Rice Producers' Legislative Group.  "The work they do to communicate information and advocate for best practice solutions on behalf of our industry is clearly making a positive difference for Texas rice producers."
 Contact:  Deborah Willenborg (703) 236-1444
 Source with thanks :The USA Rice Federation

Japan Announces 6th SBS Tender in FY 2014       
Announcement:          20 December 2015
Tender:                         3 February 2015
Quantity:                    
            Total                                                    30,000 MT
            Whole-kernel (brown or milled)         27,000 MT
            Broken (milled)                                     3,000 MT
Shipping period:          15 July 2015

Source with thanks : Source with thanks :The USA Rice Federation

Japan Announces 11th Ordinary Import Tender in FY 2014         


Announcement:           20 January 2015
Tender:                        23 January 2015
Offer details:               57,000 mt

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

7,000
7,000
U.S.A.
36,000

36,000
Global Tender

14,000
14,000

36,000
21,000
57,000

Shipping period:          (U.S.A.) from 20 June 2015 to 20 July 2015
                                    (Thailand) from 15 May 2015 to 25 June 2015
                                    (GT) from 15 May 2015 to 25 June 2015


Source with thanks :The USA Rice Federation

Rice goes up by Tk 3 a kg

Blockade upsets supply to Dhaka, Ctg
Sohel Parvez and Dwaipayan Barua
Vegetable farmers sit around their pile of produce at the Mahasthangarh wholesale market in Bogra yesterday with hardly any customers. With seemingly no end to the nationwide blockade, wholesale traders are reluctant in buying perishables which they may not be able to ship. Photo: Star
Rice prices are going up in the two major cities -- Dhaka and Chittagong -- as the BNP-led alliance's nationwide blockade continues to disrupt supply.Prices of all types of rice have risen by up to Tk 3 a kg in both wholesale and retail markets in the two cities, home to over two crore people, though the prices remain unchanged at milling hubs.Wary wholesalers refrained from bringing supplies for fear of arson attacks on highways while their stocks of rice run low.“We have to charge higher prices for the rising transport costs,” said Mohammad Alamgir Hossain, a rice wholesaler at Badamtali-Babubazar market, the biggest rice wholesale depot in the capital.
For instance, he paid Tk 34,000, more than double the usual truck fare, to source rice from Chapainawabganj, a major rice milling hub and also a hotspot for political violence, early this week.According to Alamgir, the cost of transporting rice from Kushtia, another major rice milling zone, rose around 40 percent since the non-stop blockade began on January 6. A 15-tonne capacity truck now charges around Tk 21,000, up from about Tk 15,000.Moreover, rice traders have to bear the loss if the cargo is torched.
At normal times, suppliers take the full responsibility for carrying rice to the stores. “This has made us very cautious about getting deliveries.” All these factors have led to the price spike of rice, said the wholesaler.Retailers are selling fine rice for over Tk 50 a kg, which was Tk 48 two weeks ago, said Mohammad Rajon, a rice retailer at Palashi kitchen market.The prices of other types of the staple also went up in the last two weeks, he said.Coarse rice, consumed by low-income people, sold Tk 35-37 a kg yesterday.
The price was Tk 34-37 a kg a week ago, show the retail price data compiled by the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh.Abdul Matin, a rice wholesaler at the capital's Mohammadpur Krishi Market, said traders usually keep a certain level of stock. But they cannot maintain it, as fewer trucks now carry rice to the capital.Alamgir said around 300 trucks usually bring rice to the city every day but the number has dropped. Wholesalers now target weekends to get deliveries from millers to cut risk of attacks, he said.
However, Volanath Das, manager of wholesale shop Janata Rice at Badamtali-Babubazar market, said stocks at traders' end fell marginally and wholesalers were trying to maintain the usual level even if it meant paying higher transport fares and taking risks of loss.“There is enough stock to meet the demand in Dhaka city. There is nothing to be worried about,” he added.In the port city, prices of all types of rice rose by Tk 100-150 per 50-kg sack in the last two weeks.Wholesalers are selling each 50-kg sack of fine rice for Tk 2,300-2,350, up from Tk 2,150-2,200 two weeks ago.
The wholesale prices of coarse rice Swarna rose to Tk 1,560 per sack from Tk 1,450.The number of trucks bringing supplies to the port city dropped for the unrest, said Md Jamal Hossain, general secretary of Chaktai Traders Association.More than a hundred truckloads of rice used to arrive at the market. The number has slumped to 30, he said.Md Abdur Rashid, president of Bangladesh Auto, Major and Husking Mills Association, said rice stocks at the mills have swelled over the last few days.
“Stocks have piled up at our end. We can neither send rice nor get delivery of paddy from our agents in the suburbs. We are in a big trouble.”Rashid warned that prices of rice would rise further if the political unrest persists.The situation could worsen for the entire sector. Many millers' bank loans would be classified if the current situation continues for two more weeks, added the president of the association that has around 17,000 members.
Source with thanks : http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:llGglqPjDOEJ:www.thedailystar.net/rice-goes-up-by-tk-3-a-kg-61408+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=pk


Former Thai leader Yingluck Shinawatra politically banned for five years
English.news.cn   2015-01-23 16:12:02
Singtong Buechoom (C), a legal team member of the Pheu Thai Party, speaks to media about former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in Bangkok, Thailand, Jan. 23, 2015. Former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was impeached by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) on Friday for dereliction of duty in a controversial rice subsidy scheme. (Xinhua/Rachen Sageamsak)
Description: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-01/23/133942197_14220087668361n.jpgBANGKOK, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Former Thai premier Yingluck Shinawatra was on Friday impeached by legislators, rendering the country's first lady leader banned from politics for a five-years time due to alleged corruption in the previous government's rice subsidy program. A total of 190 members of the National Legislative Assembly, all of whom were handpicked by Thai Premier Prayut Chan-o-cha, voted to impeach Yingluck while 18 others voted otherwise.
The impeachment for which a minimum of three-fifths of all 220 legislators, or 132, were needed, will automatically have the former leader, who ran the country from the mid-2011 until the mid- 2014, politically banned from now until 2020.Yingluck, who had defended herself over the controversial rice program in parliament on Thursday, quietly stayed at home as the non-elected legislators cast their votes.She repeatedly dismissed accusations lodged by the Naitonal Anti-Corruption Commission that the rice program had incurred an estimated 20 billion U.S. dollars in losses of the taxpayer's money with herself allegedly turning blind eye and deaf ear to the alleged corruption which had involved high-ranking government officials.
About 3.6 million tons of rice had been allegedly unaccounted for or spoiled after the rice had been stored at government-rented warehouses in the provinces while the ex-premier had failed to take action against those primarily responsible for such losses, according to NACC member Wicha Mahakhun.Though Yingluck had claimed to have launched investigation into the alleged corruption over the rice program, the anti-graft agency had successfully contended that she had quietly learned of such malpractice but failed to combat it.She had argued in vain that farmers had benefited a great deal from the rice program as an estimated 10 billion U.S. dollars had been used to buy rice for 500 U.S. dollars a ton from them nationwide.
"Farmers are the backbone of the country. We must not let that backbone broken,'' said Yingluck during her unfruitful plea to the legislators on Thursday.Meanwhile, the Office of Attorney General resolved on Friday to lodge a criminal lawsuit against the former premier in court on duty-negligence and law-breaking charges involving the rice program.The case is expected to be submitted to the Supreme Court by Attorney General Trakul Vinitnaipak in one-month time from now.If convicted guilty as charged, Yingluck might possibly be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in jail.
Yingluck's brother, former Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra who has remained in self-exile overseas following the 2006 coup, alongside 200-plus politicians had been banned from politics for a five-year time several years ago.Thaksin had been sentenced in absentia by Supreme Court judges in charge of lawsuits against politicians to a two-years jail for power-abusing charges involving a Bangkok land grab scandal during his time as premier.Security at the Government House and parliament was stepped up with police squads and army troops amid fears that Red Shirt activists, known to have been loyal to the Shinawatra family, might possibly gather en masse in protest of Friday's impeachment.
Former Red Shirt leader and former deputy minister Nattavut Saikua earlier suggested that the pro-Yingluck and pro-Thaksin demonstrators stay calm and not take to the streets for the time being, given current martial rule enforced since last May's coup staged by the then-army chief Gen Prayut himself.

A.P. keen to promote ‘sugar-free’ rice variety

M.L.MELLY MAITREYI
Andhra Pradesh will be identifying and promoting new varieties of rice with low content of carbohydrate, referred to as ‘sugar-free rice’ in common parlance that is more nutritious and can be consumed even by diabetic patients without the fear of their blood glucose levels shooting up.In addition to BM 1100, a new variety of rice released in some pockets, two more new variants, 209 with longer grain and ‘Sonam’ are also being considered for cultivation in demonstration farms , according to government sources.The issue of promoting cereals and millets with value addition to increase their nutrient value came up for discussion in the recent meeting of Agriculture Minister P.Pullarao with department officials.
He suggested that these varieties and also rice variety with low carbohydrates could be promoted for the benefit of all, specially the diabetics who are advised to cut down or avoid quickly digestible normal rice to keep their glucose levels in blood under control.The Agriculture Department has been asked to promote the ‘sugar-free’ rice varieties by next Kharif.However, agriculture scientists clarified that officially ‘no sugar free rice’ was being cultivated in Andhra Pradesh as yet.The Seed Section in New Delhi Office of International Rice Research Institute (Philippines) also did not have ready information on the ‘sugar-free rice’ variety, they said.
But out of all varieties of rice released so far in the State, ‘MTU 7029 Swarna’ has least amount of carbohydrates.Some private seed companies in the State are into research to promote cereals and millets with value addition to enhance nutritional value and bring down carbohydrate content. However any value addition to cereals or millets will have negative correlation with yield, scientists observed.The Agriculture Department will also be promoting flood resistant varieties of rice- Swarna sub and Samba Masuri sub- which can withstand 10 to 15 days of flooding without affecting their yield. They will be raised in 270 hectares of demonstration farms.

Where they breed paddy for over a century

Description: Exhibits get ready to be displayed at the museum coming up at the Department of Rice, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.— Photo: S. Siva Saravanan
Exhibits get ready to be displayed at the museum coming up at the Department of Rice, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.— Photo: S. Siva Saravanan
Right in the middle of the paddy fields on Thondamuthur Road is an ochre, tile roofed room whose walls bear witness to the works of a few great men, who ensured food for the masses.And it is in this room the Paddy Breeding Station was born over a century ago. It will soon become a museum showcasing the history of paddy breeding since the British Raj. And, at present, the room is part of the Department of Rice, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU).Vice-Chancellor K. Ramasamy says that the room will have old implements, photographs, paintings and everything that will bring alive the paddy breeding work that has been going on since 1912, starting with F.R. Parnell, who arrived here as the government economic botanist to collect paddy varieties.

 Thus was born the modern India’s first paddy breeding station.The Imperial Government did establish another paddy breeding station in 1911. But, that is in Dakha with the new name, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute.S. Robin, Head of the Department of Rice, says Parnell’s job was to collect various paddy varieties in South India, study and document them.They had the help of an artist, whose paintings are intact and fresh even today and appear as good as photographs.The museum to-be has a photograph showing the receipt of Valwadam paddy variety from the tahsildar of Bezawada (Vijayawada) on October 1903.

 Mr. Robin says that though the Imperial Government established the breeding station only in 1912, the work started at least a decade earlier.The room also has old glass slides with picture negatives of paddy varieties to be projected and shown during seminars, a gold-plated microscope, equipment used in paddy collection, century-old books containing drawings of various paddy varieties and much more.He says that Parnell, his successor R.O. Iliffe and his successor K. Ramiah and a few others collected close to 2,500 traditional paddy varieties from the Indian sub-continent.

To date, the university has the varieties stored in the Ramiah Cold Storage Bank.The work of the scientists at the breeding station included plant protection research and crop management research. Mr. Ramasamy says that it was at the paddy breeding station that the first variety GEB 24 was identified and promoted. This GEB 24 was to later become a parent for more than 770 paddy varieties developed across the world.As on date, Mr. Robin says, the breeding station has developed 51 varieties and four hybrids. The museum to-be will house all the details and soon be thrown open to the public.

CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures 
  CME Group (Prelim):  Closing Rough Rice Futures for January 23
Month
Price
Net Change

March 2015
$11.010
- $0.150
May 2015
$11.270
- $0.145
July 2015
$11.510
- $0.140
September 2015
$11.190
- $0.140
November 2015
$11.290
- $0.140
January 2016
$11.380
- $0.230
March 2016
$11.380
- $0.230

Source with thanks : USA Rice Federation


Share (%age) of Top Five Destination of APEDA Products
Year 2013-14

Floriculture
United States (18.56 %)
Netherland (14.51 %)
Germany (13.00 %)
United Kingdom (12.09 %)
United Arab Emirates (3.73 %)
Fruits & Vegetables Seeds
Pakistan (16.70 %)
United States (10.47 %)
Bangladesh (9.91 %)
Netherland (8.64 %)
Italy (7.05 %)
Fresh Onions
Bangladesh (28.05 %)
Malaysia (20.17 %)
Sri Lanka (12.38 %)
United Arab Emirates (10.39 %)
Indonesia (7.65 %)
Other Fresh Vegetables
Pakistan (36.50 %)
United Arab Emirates (12.34 %)
United Kingdom (8.22 %)
Nepal (6.59 %)
Saudi Arabia (5.96 %)
Walnuts
Vietnam Social Republic (14.49 %)
Egypt Arab Republic (11.20 %)
Netherland (11.07 %)
United Kingdom (9.03 %)
Spain (7.82 %)
Fresh Mangoes
United Arab Emirates (60.37 %)
United Kingdom (15.92 %)
Saudi Arabia (4.27 %)
Kuwait (2.89 %)
Qatar (2.30 %)
Fresh Grapes
Netherland (31.63 %)
Russia (13.60 %)
United Kingdom (12.52 %)
United Arab Emirates (7.78 %)
Bangladesh (4.55 %)
Other Fresh Fruits
United Arab Emirates (35.10 %)
Bangladesh (17.90 %)
Saudi Arabia (8.75 %)
Nepal (6.95 %)
Netherland (3.02 %)
Cucumber and Gherkins( Prepd. & Presvd)
Russia (22.20 %)
United States (16.45 %)
France (10.39 %)
Belgium (9.19 %)
Spain (5.63 %)
Dried & Preserved Vegetables
Germany (15.43 %)
Russia (7.99 %)
United Kingdom (7.42 %)
United States (7.30 %)
France (6.78 %)
Mango Pulp
Saudi Arabia (28.00 %)
Yemen Republc (14.68 %)
Netherland (12.84 %)
United Arab Emirates (5.93 %)
Sudan (4.13 %)
Other Processed Fruits & Vegetables
United States (13.75 %)
Saudi Arabia (11.43 %)
United Kingdom (11.37 %)
Netherland (10.89 %)
United Arab Emirates (6.64 %)
Pulses
Pakistan (22.65 %)
Turkey (19.20 %)
Algeria (18.90 %)
Sri Lanka (5.21 %)
Spain (4.71 %)
Buffalo Meat
Vietnam Social Republic (41.47 %)
Malaysia (8.91 %)
Egypt Arab Republic (7.69 %)
Thailand (6.76 %)
Saudi Arabia (5.64 %)
Sheep/Goat Meat
United Arab Emirates (52.00 %)
Saudi Arabia (28.25 %)
Qatar (7.97 %)
Kuwait (5.66 %)
Oman (2.43 %)
Other Meat
Bhutan (97.60 %)
Nepal (2.34 %)
Malaysia (0.04 %)
Japan (0.02 %)
Germany (0.01 %)
Processed Meat
Saudi Arabia (31.10 %)
United Arab Emirates (24.34 %)
Australia (13.54 %)
Hong Kong (11.67 %)
Spain (9.09 %)
Animal Casings
Albania (19.51 %)
Spain (14.24 %)
South Africa (11.77 %)
Romania (8.89 %)
Lebanon (8.11 %)
Poultry Products
Oman (14.54 %)
Germany (10.81 %)
Indonesia (9.34 %)
Saudi Arabia (8.34 %)
Afghanistan (7.45 %)
Dairy Products
Bangladesh (19.21 %)
Egypt Arab Republic (9.28 %)
United Arab Emirates (9.21 %)
Algeria (6.11 %)
Yemen Republc (6.08 %)
Natural Honey
United States (82.99 %)
Saudi Arabia (6.09 %)
United Arab Emirates (3.04 %)
Bangladesh (1.16 %)
Morocco (1.13 %)
Casein
United States (53.30 %)
Poland (17.23 %)
Germany (8.47 %)
Saudi Arabia (5.73 %)
Netherland (3.70 %)
Albumin( Eggs & Milk)
Japan (61.07 %)
Vietnam Social Republic (13.53 %)
Malaysia (8.79 %)
Thailand (5.68 %)
Indonesia (3.24 %)
Groundnuts
Indonesia (44.14 %)
Philippines (12.17 %)
Malaysia (11.68 %)
Vietnam Social Republic (7.54 %)
Thailand (4.66 %)
Guargum
United States (72.68 %)
China P Rp (8.25 %)
Germany (2.83 %)
Russia (2.56 %)
Canada (1.89 %)
Jaggery & Confectionery
Nigeria (8.40 %)
Kenya (6.92 %)
United Arab Emirates (6.67 %)
Nepal (5.36 %)
Oman (4.87 %)
Cocoa Products
China P Rp (30.36 %)
United States (18.37 %)
Nepal (9.82 %)
Bhutan (6.10 %)
United Arab Emirates (5.14 %)
Cereal Preparations
United States (14.90 %)
Nepal (7.33 %)
Bangladesh (7.25 %)
United Kingdom (6.99 %)
United Arab Emirates (6.16 %)
Milled Products
Indonesia (12.08 %)
Somalia (10.44 %)
United States (10.40 %)
United Arab Emirates (8.49 %)
Madagascar (6.68 %)
Alcoholic Beverages
United Arab Emirates (19.95 %)
Ghana (12.15 %)
Angola (10.07 %)
Nigeria (7.18 %)
Singapore (7.13 %)
Miscellaneous Preparations
United States (14.75 %)
United Arab Emirates (8.92 %)
Nepal (6.81 %)
Australia (5.36 %)
Saudi Arabia (5.04 %)
Basmati Rice
Iran (37.46 %)
Saudi Arabia (22.93 %)
Iraq (5.46 %)
Kuwait (5.16 %)
United Arab Emirates (4.06 %)
Non Basmati Rice
Benin (16.59 %)
Bangladesh (8.56 %)
Senegal (6.68 %)
South Africa (5.47 %)
Liberia (4.33 %)
Wheat
Bangladesh (34.24 %)
Korea Republic (13.51 %)
United Arab Emirates (12.41 %)
Indonesia (5.91 %)
Djibouti (5.56 %)
Maize
Indonesia (24.73 %)
Malaysia (22.03 %)
Vietnam Social Republic (20.54 %)
Bangladesh (14.37 %)
Nepal (4.75 %)
Other Cereals
Iran (22.23 %)
United Arab Emirates (21.29 %)
Jordan (12.57 %)
Pakistan (6.43 %)
Taiwan (4.49 %)
   Source: DGCIS Annual Data


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