Tuesday, February 17, 2015

18 th February 2015 Daily Exclusive ORYZA Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Happy President's Day from Oryza!

Feb 16, 2015

Oryza editorial team is working limited hours this week and will be back in full force on Tuesday. Wishing you and your families a Happy President's Day!

16th February (Monday),2015 Daily Exclusive ORYZA Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Vietnam Approves Rice Stockpiling Plan to Stabilize Prices

Feb 13, 2015
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The government of Vietnam has decided to stockpile winter-spring rice to control price falls during the harvest time, according to a Reuters.
Harvesting of the winter-spring crop, which began this month, will continue till April. Usually paddy prices dip during the harvest time due to increasing supplies and the government approves stockpiling plan to stabilize prices.
The government statement noted that the Agriculture Ministry will oversee the implementation of the plan. However, it did not mention the amount of rice planned to be stockpiled.
Export prices of Vietnam 25% rice currently stand at around $330 per ton, down about 7% from around $355 per ton in the beginning of this year. Export prices have been declining due to increasing supplies from the ongoing harvests in exporting countries and declining export demand.
Vietnam exported about 6.316 million tons of rice in 2014, down about 6% from about 6.71 million tons of rice exported in 2013, according to data from the Vietnam Food Association (VFA).  

Vietnam, Pakistan Rice Quotes Up Today; Other Asia Rice Quotes Unchanged

Feb 13, 2015
Vietnam rice sellers increased their quotes  for 25% broken rice and 100% broken rice by about $5 per ton each to around $325 - $335 per ton and $305 -$315 per ton respectively and increased their quotes for Jasmine rice by about $15 ton to around $460 - $470 per ton today. Pakistan rice sellers increased their quotes for parboiled rice by about $5 per ton to around $390 - $400 per ton. Other Asia rice sellers kept their quotes mostly unchanged today.
5% Broken Rice
Thailand 5% rice is quoted at around $405 - $415 per ton, about $50 per ton premium on Vietnam 5% rice shown at around $355 - $365 per ton. India 5% rice is quoted at around $395 - $405 per ton, about $50 per ton premium on Pakistan 5% rice quoted at around $345 - $355 per ton.
25% Broken Rice 
Thailand 25% rice is quoted at around $365 - $375 per ton, about $40 per ton premium on Vietnam 25% rice shown at around $325- $335 per ton, up about $5 per ton from yesterday. India 25% rice is quoted at around $360 - $370, about $55 per ton premium on Pakistan 25% rice quoted at around $305 - $315 per ton.
Parboiled Rice
Thailand parboiled rice is quoted at around $405 - $415 per ton. India parboiled rice is quoted at around $390 - $400 per ton, on par with Pakistan parboiled rice quoted at around $390 - $400 per ton, up about $5 per ton from yesterday.
100% Broken Rice
Thailand broken rice, A1 Super, is quoted at around $320 - $330 per ton, about $15 per ton premium on Vietnam 100% broken rice shown at around $305 - $315 per ton, up about $5 per ton from yesterday. India's 100% broken rice is shown at around $295 - $305 per ton,  about $20 per ton premium on Pakistan broken sortexed rice quoted at around $275 - $285 per ton

Weekly Recap: Global Rice Prices Steady

Feb 13, 2015
The Oryza White Rice Index (WRI), a weighted average of global white rice export quotes, ended the week at about $421 per ton, up about $1 per ton from a week ago, down about $8 per ton from a month ago and down about $41 per ton from a year ago.
Thailand 5% broken rice is today shown at about $405 per ton, unchanged from a week ago, down about $5 per ton from a month ago, and down about $35 per ton from a year ago.
Thailand may sell about 500,000 tons of rice to winning bidders from the one million tons auctioned on January 29.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission will likely recommend that the Commerce and Finance Ministries file a civil suit against the 21 state officials and employees of private firms for alleged corruption in rice exports deals with two Chinese firms.
The Thai Rice Exporters Association is concerned that rice exports this year may be negatively impacted by the ongoing drought, especially if it intensifies in April and reduces the off-season paddy output by 1-2 million tons.
India 5% broken rice is today shown at about $400 per ton, unchanged from a week ago, up about $5 a month ago and down about $20 per ton from a year ago.
According to the government rice exports for 2014-15 (April-March) were around 10.1 million tons, down about 7% from 2013-14, with the decline attributed to lower basmati rice exports.
Rice stocks in the central pool were about 24.88 million tons as of February 1, down about 20% from the same period last year.
The government has decided to sell about 2-3 million tons of excess rice stocks under the Open Market Scale Scheme (OMSS) to bulk buyers and traders through e-auctions.
The government announced plans to restore the duty drawback facility on rice exports after seven years.
The Indian Commerce Ministry reports that in March Iran may lift the ban on rice imports it imposed in November 2014.
Vietnam 5% broken rice is today shown at about $360 per ton, up about $5 per ton from a week ago, down about $20 per ton from a month ago and down about $35 per ton from a year ago.
Exports in 2014 were down about 5% from 2013, reaching about 6.32 million tons of rice, according to USDA.  Most notably, exports to Africa are down about 57% y/y.
The Dong Thap province in the Mekong Delta region has proposed a plan to adopt a policy for paddy stockpiling to curb price falls during the harvest of the winter-spring crop.
Pakistan 5% broken rice is today shown at about $350 per ton, unchanged from a week ago, down about $25 per ton from a month ago and down about $50 per ton from a year ago.
Central & South America
Brazil 5% broken rice is today shown at about $540 per ton, unchanged from a week and a month ago and down about $125 per ton from a year ago.
In January, Brazil exported about 69,913 tons of rice, according to the Rice Institute of Rio Grande do Sul.  Cuba remained the largest importer of its rice with about 53% of total exports going there.
The Brazilian paddy rice index maintained by the Center for Advanced Studies on Applied Economics (CEPEA) reached around 38.07 real per 50 kilograms as of February 09, 2015, down about 1% from around 38.43 real per 50 kilograms recorded on February 02, 2015.  In terms of USD per ton, the index reached around $273 per ton on February 09, 2015, down about 4.8% from around $286.9 per ton recorded on February 02, 2015.
In the first eleven months of 2014, Argentina exported about 499,007 tons of rice, down about 1.25% from the same period in 2013.
Guyana government is aiming to export about 521,000 tons of rice in 2015, up about 4% from exports in 2014.
U.S. 4% broken rice is today shown at about $500 per ton, unchanged from a week ago, down about $15 per ton from a month ago and down about $80 per ton from a year ago.
The USDA in its WASDE report forecasts U.S. MY 2014-15 all rice imports will reach 1.04 million tons, unchanged from last year.
The U.S. cash market was soft this weak and didn’t gain much traction as market participants wait to determine whether prices rally or drop.
Chicago rough rice futures dropped throughout the week, reaching a low of $10.150 per cwt (about $224 per ton) on Tuesday before rebounding slightly later in the week to close at $10.550 per cwt (about $233 per ton).  The USDA S&D update didn’t provide support as it was mostly neutral.
Other Markets
Cambodia 5% broken rice is today shown at about $435 per ton, unchanged from a week ago, down about $20 per ton from a month ago and a year ago. Separately, Cambodia exported about 35,921 tons of rice in January 2015, up about 66.8% from the same period last year, but down about 30% from last month, according to the Cambodia Rice Federation. Meanwhile, the European Union’s rice imports from Least Developed Countries (LDCs), such as Cambodia and Myanmar, under the Everything But Arms (EBA) Agreement have increased slightly from last year to about 106,649 tons in the first five months of the crop year 2014-15 (September-August), according to the European Commission.
The state grains purchasing agency in Mauritius has invited tenders to buy up to 6,000 tons of long-grain white rice from optional origins, with tenders due February 18 and delivery between March 31 and July 31.
Rice exporters in Egypt are complaining that they are not able to export high amounts of rice this year due to high export tariffs imposed by the government, and they are concerned about increasing contraband trade.
Paddy rice production in Australia in MY 2014-15 (April-May) is estimated to decline to around 684,000 tons, down about 18% from MY 2013-14, according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences.
The government of Sri Lanka may not increase the paddy purchase price from the current Rs.50 per kilogram (around $377 per ton).
South Korea is seeking to buy about 44,000 tons of non-glutinous rice in tender for delivery by May 31.  They recently purchased 35,000 tons of non-glutinous rice for delivery between April and June in a tender.
The UN’s FAO reports that 2015 rice production prospects in Madagascar are mixed due to heavy rains in most of the country and dry conditions in the south.
The UN’s FAO estimates Cuba’s 2014 paddy rice production to be about 700,000 tons, up about 4% from 2013.
The USDA Post estimates Bangladesh will import about 700,000 tons of rice in MY 2014-15 (May-April), down about 7% from MY 2013-14.
The National Food Authority of the Philippines is expected to decide on this year’s rice importation volume today (Feb 13).

Italy Considers Modifying Rice Bill

Feb 13, 2015
Description: http://oryza.com/sites/default/files/field/image/150213italyrisotto.jpg
The Italian government is considering to modify the existing bill on the domestic rice market to include new rice varieties, rules on paddy and rice pricing, and percentage of brokens that can be allowed, according to local sources.
The current bill regulating the paddy/rice trade is quite old and dates back to 1958 and does not include many newer rice varieties. Therefore the bill will be modified to include new rice varieties while retaining the traditional ones such as Carnaroli, Arborio, Ribe and others to safeguard the interests of the rice producers as well as consumers. The idea behind this is to help both rice growers and consumers relate and compare the characteristics of new rice varieties with the traditional ones as well as preserve the traditional varieties.
Under the old bill, the government was not permitting to sell any type of rice unless its name is registered with it. However, now the rule would be modified allowing traders to sell mixes of Indica rice even without any name indications.
There are also plans to include about the inclusion of permitted percentage of brokens in the new bill. However, there are differentiated opinions regarding the inclusion of this rule among millers and farmers. 

Cambodian Exporters Target to Double Fragrant Organic Rice Exports in 2015

Feb 13, 2015
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Cambodia's state-owned Center for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC) is targeting to nearly double its fragrant organic rice exports to around 1,000 tons in 2015 from around 540 tons exported in 2014 expecting an increasing demand, according to local sources.
Currently, CEDAC exports fragrant organic rice to the U.S. and Hong Kong. But is exploring export opportunities to Arab countries as well. According to the CEDAC's organic rice Export Officer, though the price of organic rice is higher, prices are much stable in the international markets unlike non-organic milled rice prices, which fluctuate frequently, the margins are also much better. He therefore urged the government to encourage organic rice cultivation in the country.
CEDAC collects organic rice from farmers at around 1,650 riel per kilogram (around $407 per ton) compared to around $1,150 per kilogram (around $271 per ton) of non-organic rice.
Another private rice exporter is also understood to be targeting to export 1,500 tons of fragrant organic rice this year, 2,500 tons in 2016 and 4,000 tons in 2017. The CEO of the company told local sources that they have already entered into agreements with farmers' cooperatives to supply organic rice to them for exports. He added that the agreements would benefit farmers to earn better incomes.
Though, currently, organic rice exports account for very small percentage of the country's total rice exports of around 380,000 tons, the exporters are confident of increasing this percentage substantially with the government support.
However, the Senior Advisor to the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) noted that since the process involved in the organic rice production is lengthy and tough, many farmers may not be interested in it. He suggested the government could rather focus on high end rice varieties and differentiate their product from their competitors.

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Details of India's Duty Drawback Facility on Rice Exports not Clear

Feb 13, 2015
The government of India has yesterday notified that it would allow duty drawback (DBB) facility on rice exports on brand basis but there are few issues that are not clear in the government's directive.
The facility allows the exporters to claim back the amount of sales and customs taxes paid by them at a flat drawback rate. But the government removed the duty drawback facility in 2008 and since then has been maintaining a "0%" drawback rate for rice. The rate is "0%" even for the 2014-15 financial year (April - March). So, at what rate the facility will be provided to exporters is not specified precisely. According to government regulations, duty drawback facility should not exceed 1% of fob value. In that case, basmati rice exporters would get a maximum benefit of around $10-$12 per ton and non-basmati rice exporters will get a benefit of around $3 - $4 per ton.
The government's idea behind providing the duty drawback facility on only certain brands is to subsidize the exporters' expenses for branding a "made in India" product, says an India-based Grain Analyst. A number of brands exist for basmati rice, most of which are exported. However, it is not clear if the facility is applicable to brands created and registered in overseas markets or brands registered in India only, he says.
On the other hand exporters would want the government to extend the facility to all exports (including basmati and non-basmati) rather than limiting it for certain brands of basmati rice as local taxes are equally applicable to both types.
The government is yet to clearly specify its stance on the above issues related to duty drawback facility on rice exports.

Study Identifies Ecologically Safe and Sustainable Weed Management Strategy Under Aerobic Rice Cultivation System

Feb 13, 2015
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A report published in the International Journal of Agriculture shows the results of a study on "competitive ability of rice varieties against weeds under aerobic rice production in Malaysia". The study has identified the most competitive rice variety against weeds under aerobic cultivation in Malaysia as means to provide ecologically friendly and environmentally safe weed management system.
Aerobic rice production is said to reduce water use by nearly half compared to the lowland rice production while maintaining adequate moisture in the soil. But rice plants under this system are more susceptible to severe weed infestations compared to those under the transplanted lowland rice system as weeds germinate simultaneously with rice due to absence of water layer to suppress weed growth. Weeds compete with the rice plants for all nutrients and moisture leading to lower rice yield. The study found that weeds may lead to nearly 35% of rice losses under aerobic rice production system than in the transplanted rice system.
Though herbicides are known to control the growth of weeds, their impact on environment is very severe. The authors of the study say reduced use of herbicides is suggestible as they would reduce input costs as well as ensure that weeds do not develop resistance to herbicides. Therefore the a study has been conducted to develop competitive rice cultivars which can provide safe and environmentally means for integrated weed management
The authors of study planned to find most competitive rice cultivars that can potentially suppress weed growth without sacrificing on yield. They conducted glass house and field experiments to evaluate competitive ability of five rice varieties - AERON 1, AERON 4, M9, MR211 and MR220-MCL2 - against weeds under aerobic rice cultivation system in Malaysia. They found that AERON 1, which had taller plant structure  and short growth duration, proved to have lowest weed dry weight and weed density in both glass and field trials and it competed better with weed compared to other varieties with shorter plant and longer growth duration. Authors also found lesser yield loss in this variety.

Oryza Overnight Recap - Chicago Rough Rice Futures Begin the Day Higher as Traders Prepare for Three-Day Weekend

Feb 13, 2015
Chicago rough rice futures for Mar delivery are currently listed 5 cents per cwt (about $1 per ton) higher at $10.380 per cwt (about $229 per ton) during early floor trading in Chicago. The other grains are seen trading higher this morning: soybeans are currently seen about 0.8% higher, wheat is listed about 1.5% higher and corn is currently noted about 0.6% higher.
U.S. stock opened up, following European markets higher on Friday as recent concerns about Ukraine, Greece and energy prices abated. On Sunday, Russia is expected to enter a cease-fire with Ukraine as announced early on Thursday, a move that sent European and U.S. stocks higher. In another mark of stabilization, brent oil gained to trade above $60 a barrel on Friday, while crude oil held close to $53 a barrel. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has also agreed to meet with representatives from the European Union (EU), European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, ahead of Monday's key Eurogroup meeting on debt talks, according to Reuters. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened up 13.71 points, or 0.08%, to 17,982.43. The S&P 500 opened up 0.85 points, or 0.05%, to 2,089.62, with energy leading gains across half of the 10 sectors as utilities lagged. The Nasdaq opened up 13.83 points, or 0.28%, to 4,870. Gold is currently trading about 0.7% higher, crude oil is seen trading about 3.1% higher,  and the U.S. dollar is currently trading about 0.1% higher at 8:30am Chicago time

Global Rice Quotes
February 13th, 2015
Long grain white rice - high quality
Thailand 100% B grade   415-425                ↔
Vietnam 5% broken        355-365                ↔
India 5% broken               395-405                ↔
Pakistan 5% broken        345-355                ↔
Myanmar 5% broken      415-425                ↔
Cambodia 5% broken     430-440                ↔
U.S. 4% broken                 480-490                ↔
Uruguay 5% broken        NQ         ↔
Argentina 5% broken     NQ         ↔
Long grain white rice - low quality
Thailand 25% broken      365-375                ↔
Vietnam 25% broken      325-335                ↑
Pakistan 25% broken      305-315                ↔
Cambodia 25% broken   410-420                ↔
India 25% broken             360-370                ↔
U.S. 15% broken               470-480                ↔
Long grain parboiled rice
Thailand parboiled 100% stxd     405-415                ↔
Pakistan parboiled 5% broken stxd          390-400                ↑
India parboiled 5% broken stxd                 390-400                ↔
U.S. parboiled 4% broken             555-565                ↔
Brazil parboiled 5% broken          570-580                ↔
Uruguay parboiled 5% broken    NQ         ↔
Long grain fragrant rice
Thailand Hommali 92%   920-930                ↔
Vietnam Jasmine             460-470                ↑
India basmati 2% broken              NQ         ↔
Pakistan basmati 2% broken       NQ         ↔
Cambodia Phka Mails     785-795                ↔
Thailand A1 Super            320-330                ↔
Vietnam 100% broken   305-315                ↑
Pakistan 100% broken stxd          275-285                ↔
Cambodia A1 Super        365-375                ↔
India 100% broken stxd                 295-305                ↔
Egypt medium grain brokens      NQ         ↔
U.S. pet food     380-390                ↔
Brazil half grain NQ         ↔

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

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16th February (Monday), 2015 Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Ministries debate rice stockpiling plan

Description: http://www.thepatrioticvanguard.com/local/cache-vignettes/L294xH300_arton8163-9ada8.jpgMinistries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Industry and Trade, and Finance; the State Bank of Vietnam; and Vietnam Food Association met to discuss rice stockpiling plan for winter spring crop this year in the Mekong Delta.Farmers harvest rice with combine harvester in Vinh Long Province (Photo: SGGP)

According to the Vietnam Food Association (VFA), rice export contracts have reached only one million tons including 504,000 tons left from contracts signed last year.Vietnamese rice has faced severe competition from Thai and Indian rice especially in low and medium segments in China, Malaysia, Mexico and Indonesia.Abundant supply source might impact winter spring rice consumption and prices in the Mekong Delta, it said.


The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that rice supply in the winter spring crop had surged in the Mekong Delta. Rice output has increased to 3.65 million tons in February and March while the number of export contracts has decreased in the first quarter compared to the same period last year.Deputy Minister Vu Van Tam proposed the Government to stockpile about one million tons of winter spring rice from March 1 to April 15.VFA will work with provincial people’s committees in the Mekong Delta on rice purchase volume in each province, which will depend on local commercial output. Rice produced under large scale paddy fields will receive priority in consumption.

Agreeing with the plan, Ministry of Industry and Trade said that trade promotion activities will be stepped up after Tet to sign more export contracts with the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. The ministry will seek to regain the market share in Africa and Hong Kong (China).The ministry will mobilize and negotiate about rice export with China, prepare to open the rice market to the US, Japan, Mexico and Chile after the Trans-Pacific Partnership is signed this year.



Harold Roy-Macauley appointed Director General of AfricaRice

Monday 16 February 2015.

Dr Harold Roy-Macauley (photo), a Sierra Leonean national, was appointed as the new Director General of the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) at an Extraordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of AfricaRice held on 6 February 2015, in Kampala, Uganda.The announcement was made by the Honorable Cabinet Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Republic of Uganda, Tress Bucyanayandi, in his capacity as the Chair of the AfricaRice Council of Ministers, which is the Center’s highest oversight body.
The current Chairmanship is held by Uganda.Dr Roy-Macauley has nearly 30 years of experience in agricultural research with extensive leadership and management expertise. He is currently the Executive Director of the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) – a leading sub-regional organization, which coordinates and facilitates agricultural R&D activities in 22 countries in West and Central Africa.Dr Roy-Macauley is no stranger to CGIAR, having served previously as the Regional Director for the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in West and Central Africa.
He has consulted for numerous international and bilateral organizations on biosafety and biotechnology and was the Managing Director for the Regional Center for Improving Adaptation to Drought (CERAAS) in Senegal, a research and training center of CORAF/WECARD.Dr Roy-Macauley is fluently bilingual in English and French. He obtained his PhD degree in tropical plant biology in 1993 from the Université Denis Diderot, France, his MSc in tropical plant biology in 1988 from the Université de Pierre et Marie Curie, France, and his BSc with Honors in Botany in 1982 from the University of Sierra Leone.
During the Extraordinary Session, the National Experts Committee (NEC), under the chairmanship of Dr Ambrose Agona, Acting Director General of the Uganda National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO), carefully examined the Board’s report on the selection process and recommended to the Council of Ministers that Dr Roy-Macauley be appointed.
The NEC comprises the Directors General of the national agricultural research institutions of AfricaRice member countries and serves as the technical arm of the AfricaRice Council of Ministers.“We are pleased with the transparent and rigorous selection process adopted by the AfricaRice Board of Trustees,” stated Hon. Tress Bucyanayandi, thanking the Board Chair DrPeter Matlon. “We have full confidence that Dr Roy-Macauley has the leadership experience, skills and vision needed to advance the noble mission of AfricaRice.”Thanking the Council of Ministers and the Board, Dr Roy-Macauley said, “I am honored to accept this very important challenge with a great sense of responsibility.
” He added that his vision for the Center is to help position rice, which he referred to as ‘the next gold’, as key in driving the economies of rice-producing countries in Africa and contributing to industrial development and livelihood changes of rural producers, especially women, involved in rice production.As part of his mandate at AfricaRice, he underlined the importance of “introducing more high-end life science and socioeconomic applications in the Rice Sector Development Hubs, convened by AfricaRice, to help consolidate the already profound and significant changes the rice value chain is undergoing in Africa.”He also conveyed his commitment to engage with national and regional agricultural research and innovation systems, governments of member States of AfricaRice, regional economic communities, the African Union, and international partners in order to efficiently and effectively respond to and influence national, regional, and continental rice policies.
Paying homage to former Directors General of AfricaRice, Dr Roy-Macauley said that he would further build on the legacies and achievements forged by his predecessors. He highlighted particularly his admiration for the “great dynamism of excellence in AfricaRice,” promoted by Dr Papa Abdoulaye Seck, former Director General of AfricaRice and current Minister of Agriculture and Rural Equipment of Senegal.
The Council of Ministers, the National Experts Committee and the Board took the opportunity to highlight the exceptional contributions made by Dr Seck, which have transformed AfricaRice and taken it to new levels of excellence.They also conveyed their deep appreciation to the Interim Director General, Dr. Adama Traoré, for steering the Center over the past 18 months with great steadiness, integrity and effectiveness. “We are sure that we can continue to rely on his strong support during the leadership transition.”Dr Roy-Macauley will assume his post at AfricaRice on 9 March 2015.
Credit: APO.
Editor’s Note: Here is Harold Roy-Macauley at a panel discussion in Dakar, Senegal, 2013:

New paddy variety fetches good returns

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: ‘TNAU Rice TRY 3,’ a new variety of paddy, kept on the grounds of a temple at Poongudi near Tiruchi.— Photo: A. Muralitharan

About 10 acres of land brought under the variety, suitable for ‘idly’ flour

Description: FOOD FOR THOUGHT: ‘TNAU Rice TRY 3,’ a new variety of paddy, kept on the grounds of a temple at Poongudi near Tiruchi.— Photo: A. MuralitharanA group of farmers of Poongudi village near here have been awaiting the procurement of ‘TNAU Rice TRY 3’ variety introduced by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University – Anbil Dharmalingam Agricultural College and Research Institute here. The rice variety, suitable for ‘idly’ flour, was popularised by the college at Poongudi and about 30 farmers have raised this crop.
Thanks to the crop protection technique and close follow-up by the college scientists, farmers could harvest an average 30 bags of paddy (60 kg per bag). S. Narayanasamy, organiser of the People’s Welfare Committee, says 30 farmers, who were conventionally cultivating ‘BPT 5204’ variety till 2013 had switched over to this ‘idly’ variety in September-October 2014.About 10 acres was brought under the variety and farmers had registered an average 1.5 tonnes an acre.
About 15 tonnes had been stocked in the village, he said.With paddy suitable for “idly,” a large number of traders had been making a beeline to the village to purchase the price. But, the farmers said that the price offered by traders was not attractive.“We have planned to market the paddy at Rs. 900 a bag of 60 kg.; but the traders offered just Rs.800,” says Mr. Narayansamy.
P. Pandiyarajan, Dean of the college, said the institute, as part of popularising the variety, was taking steps to popularise the rice which has a milling percentage of 71.30 and head rice recovery of 66 per cent. The variety was resistant to diseases, including leaf folder, stem borer, brown spot, sheath rot, and sheath blight, Mr. Pandiyarajan said.G. Chitrarasu, Senior Regional Manager, Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation, said that he would ascertain the quality of paddy before making arrangements for the procurement of the cro
Farmers who had harvested the paddy said that it was a tough task for them to protect the stock. Mustaffa (43), another farmer, said that he had shifted his harvested produce by tractor from Poongudi to Navalur Kuttapattu, about 2 km away, where he had a threshing floor.For dearth of space, a few other farmers had stocked the paddy on the grounds of Sri Varasidhi Vinayagar temple in the village.

  30 farmers in the village switched over to new variety under TNAU guidance
  The new variety is said to be resistant to many diseases
Civil case on rice scheme unfair: ex-PM's lawyer
THE SUNDAY NATION February 15, 2015 1:00 am
FORMER PRIME minister Yingluck Shinawatra's legal team will appeal if the Finance Ministry files a civil case seeking compensation from her for alleged damages resulting from her government's rice-pledging scheme.Norawich Lalaeng, a Yingluck lawyer, said yesterday that it would be unfair to the former PM if a civil case was filed as the Criminal Court was yet to hear a separate case in which she has been accuse stricted by martial law and she was unable to comment publicly about political issues. d of negligence of duty leading to corruption in the scheme, now scrapped.
"The legal team has discussed this matter and we agree that as soon as the NACC submits its request to the Finance Ministry, we will appeal against the move," he said.The lawyer noted that the ministry was involved in implementing the rice scheme under the Yingluck government, and questioned whether it was sensible for the ministry to act as the damaged party now.On Friday, NACC president Panthep Klanarongran said the agency had sent a written request to the Finance Ministry asking it to consider filing a civil case against Yingluck, her former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and other officials in a bid to receive compensation over the alleged government-to-government deal to sell rice to China.Norawich said Yingluck's rights were being re However, he said that certain groups seemed to be commenting negatively about the ex-PM regarding the ongoing legal cases against her.
The lawyer urged Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha not to allow any?one to attempt to influence those cases.Meanwhile, Pheu Thai politician Somkid Chueakong said it was not proper for Prayut to have disclosed that he had expressed concern to Yingluck about problems stemming from the rice scheme while she was prime minister.

Rice dealers call for auditing in rice imports in Ghana

Feb 16, 2015
The Small Scale Rice Dealers Association of Ghana (SSRIDA), has called for forensic auditing of all rice imports, which were cleared under warehousing.
rice importation
Description: rice importationThe association said this is important to ensure transparency and accountability in the rice industry, which members believe is embroiled in a lot of irregularities.Mr Yaw Korang, National Coordinator of SSRIDA made the call in a statement issued in Accra at the weekend and copied to Ghana News Agency.
It said on January 28, 2014, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) received a report from the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority, about rice imports through the Western Frontier-Sunyani Collection.
The statement said the report, which was addressed to the Chief Director at the ministry was headlined: “Authenticating copies of SAD forms and assessing impact of rice imports through the Western Frontier-Sunyani Collection”.It claimed that the exercise, which targeted SSRIDA members took the team members to Gonokrom, Kofi Badukrom, Nkrakwanta and Osei Kojokrom.“All copies of entry forms submitted by the MOTI for verification were genuine and originated from the stations indicated; all relevant taxes were paid; values applied conformed to values given by Commissioner per memorandum of August 3, 2013, and revenue from rice imports is a major source of tax for the Sunyani Collection,” the statement said.
It said despite these findings the Deputy Minister of MOTI, Mr Murtala Mohammed Ibrahim was quoted in a media report that SSRIDA members do not honour their tax obligations, and this was part of the reasons why inland importation of rice was banned by the ministry.It said SSRIDA is calling for forensic auditing of rice importation because the major players in the industry who are large scale rice dealers bring their goods and store them at bonded warehouses.
SSRIDA noted that on October 24, 2013 there was a media report that more than 280 private and public companies have been cited for allegedly evading the payment of taxes amounting to 367 million dollars over a seven-year period.These anomalies, which happened at bonded warehouses was uncovered by a presidential taskforce.The statement asked that two years down the lane what due dilligence have been performed to ensure that the situation has been streamlined?
“Since November 1, 2013, small scale rice dealers have been denied the right to do business, but what shows that those allowed to do so are serving the national interest?”
The statement said members are of the view that proper consultation was not done before they were asked not to continue with their trade hence the need for forensic auditing of rice importation for the public to judge whether the move was of national importance.
21 targeted in NACC's G2G rice probe
Published: 16 Feb 2015 at 20.01
Online news: Politics
Writer: King-oua Laohong
The anti-graft agency on Monday submitted a 67,000-page investigative report on the allegedly corrupt government-to-government rice deals made by the Yingluck Shinawatra administration. (Post Today photos)

Former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom is among 21 people targeted in an investigative report forwarded to prosecutors by the National Anti-Corruption Commission over allegedly corrupt government-to-government rice deals consummated by the Yingluck Shinawatra government. The dossier containing 67,000 pages was brought in 60 boxes to the Office of the Attorney-General by NACC assistant secretary-general Sakchai Methineepisarnku.

Mr Sakchai said the NACC is still investigating more than 100 rice-trading companies involved in the government sales, but added it should not take long to wrap up work.Chutichai Sakhakorn, chief of the OAG's special-litigation department, who received the case file, said a working panel would be set up in the next few days to review the documents.If the report included all needed evidence, he said, the OAG could indict the 21 individuals in the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Political Office-Holders in about a month

Cambodia to double organic rice exports

Published: 15 Feb 2015 at 16.57
Online news: News

A farmer walks in a rice paddy field in Kandal province on Feb 11, 2015. Cambodian exporters planned to export more organic rice this year. (Reuters photo)
Cambodia aims to sell more organic rice to international customers after exports of the grain rose over the past year. The Cambodian Centre for Study and Development in Agriculture (Cedac), one of the country's two organic rice exporters, sold 540 tonnes of fragant organic rice last year, a 20% increase from 2013, and plans to double the figure this year.''We are aiming to export 1,000 tonnes this year to fill the demand that we see in the international market,” Cedac official Sou Sarorn was quoted as saying in the Phnom Penh Post.
Its main buyers were Europe, the United States and Hong Kong and Mr Sarorn said Middle East countries could be a new target.“The price of organic rice is higher and also more stable than non-organic rice in the marketplace,” Mr Sarorn said.AMRU Rice, the other exporting firm on organic rice, was moving in the same direction, according to its CEO Song Saran, as the company has set an export target of 1,500 tonnes this year and 2,500 tonnes next year.Cambodia exported 380,000 tonnes of rice last year, mostly non-organic rice. Main destinations for Cambodian regular rice was European countries, China and Malaysia.


Half a million tonnes of rice sold

Published: 16 Feb 2015 at 18.10
Online news: News
Samples of rice put on the auction was shown at Commerce Ministry in December 2014. (Bangkok Post file photo)
The Commerce Ministry has approved the sale of 496,000 tonnes of rice, just under half the total offered for auction late last month. Around 100 bidders participated in the auction for the 999,000 tonnes of grain.Commerce Minister Chatchai Sarikulya said the rice was sold to 38 bidders for a total 7.85 billion baht. The amount sold was 49.64% of the total on offer. The ministry refused to sell the remaining rice to disqualified bidders and will put it on sale later this month.Gen Chatchai said China expressed interest in buying two million tonnes of rice and 200,000 tonnes of rubber for delivery in two years. Ministry officials returned from a visit to China over the weekend.

State readies follow-up rice auction

Published: 16 Feb 2015 at 07.54
Newspaper section: Business
Writer: Phusadee Arunmas 
The government plans to call a second auction for an additional 1 million tonnes of state-held rice later this month after the year's first auction in January drew 100 bidders. According to a Commerce Ministry source, the government expects to have sold about 60% of the 1 million tonnes put up for sale at the first auction.Official figures will be available after the ministry submits them for approval this week to the meeting of the National Rice Policy Committee chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
The source said the first auction's outcome would have been announced earlier, but authorities took time to investigate the shareholding structure of one qualified bidder, Empire Development Co, which offered to buy more than 400,000 tonnes of rice at 47 warehouses.Officials feared that Empire Development might have links to Siam Indica Co, as the two share the same address and Empire's authorised director was formerly a Siam Indica director and shareholder.Siam Indica had been barred by authorities from joining the bidding after its indictment by the National Anti-Corruption Commission for graft related to the rice-pledging scheme.But the source said authorities would still present the purchase proposal by the company for the National Rice Policy Committee's consideration.
The government fetched selling prices relatively higher than floor prices at the first auction, the source said, adding that sales of more than 60% would be deemed satisfactory.The floor price for white rice was set at eight to 10 baht a kilogramme, while the market price is now 13 baht. The floor price for Hom Mali fragrant rice was set at 25 baht a kg against a market price of 31-33 baht.The rice put up for auction included 850,000 tonnes of 5% white rice and 150,000 tonnes of Hom Mali rice.Authorities estimate the cost of the rice put on sale at 11.7 billion baht.
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Tanzania: Court Orders Rice Case Judgment After 15 Years

Published on Monday, 16 February 2015 01:56
THE Court of Appeal has directed the High Court’s Commercial Division to pronounce judgment on the 15bn/- demand in rotten rice case, which has remained undelivered for 15 years now.
Description: MS Benedicta Rugemalira, Executive Chairperson of VIP Engineering and Marketing Limited. (File photo)Justices Engela Kileo, Salum Massati and Batuel Mmilla reached such a decision last week, after revising proceedings given by High Court Judge Amir Mruma, who had refused, as a successor judge, to deliver the judgment, on claims that he had an option of doing so or otherwise.Records show that the judgment in the case was written, dated and signed by trial Judge Nathalia Kimaro in 2005 before being appointed justice to the Court of Appeal. “We find there is good cause to revise the proceedings of (Judge) Mruma in so far as he purported to have discretion to pronounce or not to pronounce his predecessor’s judgment.
We accordingly quash and set aside those proceedings,” the justices ruled. They went on, “We hereby further direct that the records of the High Court be remitted to the trial court with directions that the judgment written by (Judge) Kimaro, as she then was, be pronounced by a successor judge or other judicial officer of competent jurisdiction.”
The High Court judge had relied under Rule 2 Order XX of the Civil Procedure Code to decline to deliver the judgment in question. Such provision reads, “A judge or magistrate may pronounce a judgment written but not pronounced by his predecessor.”
But in their ruling, the justices of the appeals court since a duty was cast on the judge to pronounce judgment in the interest of litigant public and in the main to save judicial time, the word ‘may’ used in the Rule has a compulsory force and the succeeding judge was under obligation to deliver the judgment.The parties to the case are VIP Engineering and Marketing Limited, as plaintiff, who is demanding payment of over 15bn/- from two companies, Societe Generale De Survellance (S.A) and SGS (Tanzania) Limited, as defendants.
Such refusal by the High Court judge had attracted a heated debate from the parties during hearing of the case before the appeals court, as it had made the litigation the longest in the High Court’s Commercial Division.Advocate Michael Ngalo, for VIP Engineering Company, had told the panel that instead of reading the judgment, as required by the law, Judge Mruma, who was assigned as successor judge proceeded to entertain extraneous matters, including some applications filed by the two foreign companies.
Mr Ngalo, assisted by Counsel Didace Respicius, had argued that the High Court failed to discharge its duty considering the fact that pronouncement of judgment, whether the parties like or not, was mandatory.He said that when the case is heard, the judgment must be delivered to end the litigation. On the other hand, advocate Mustafa Chando, for the respondents, had asked the panel to reject the submissions and prayers by advocates for VIP Engineering Company, on grounds that there was no legal judgment, which is to be delivered by the Commercial Division of the High Court.
He submitted that the judgment, having been signed by the trial judge, was delivered by the registrar and was later declared invalid by the Court of Appeal because the registrar had no such powers. As from the date of decision of the Court of Appeal, he alleged, there was no judgment in the case.In January 1998, VIP ordered for purchase of 3,000 metric tonnes of rice (Pakistan long rice, 15-20 per cent broken) from M/S Orco International (S) Pte Lilited of Singapore under a Warehousing Management and Sales Contracts at a price of 267.50 US dollars per metric tonne thus making the total 802,500 US dollars.
At the time the sales contract was negotiated, VIP the buyer was in Dar es Salaam, while the seller in Singapore and the rice was in possession of a third party, M/S MAHMOOD PLC of Karachi in Pakistan. The respondent companies (SGS) came into the scene because of pre-shipment inspection of the rice.In the period 1998, SGS (S.A) was the sole appointee of Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) for conducting pre-shipment inspection of the imports destined to Tanzania.This appointment was done through a Pre-shipment Inspection Contract executed between them. TRA, being Government Agency, with public duties for supervision of imports into the United Republic of Tanzania for purposes of revenue collection, opted to have SGS (S.A) as its appointee in conducting pre-shipment inspection on goods destined for Tanzania for an agreed fees arrangements.
In the transaction, VIP anticipated that, SGS (S.A) to carry out their obligation with all due care, diligence and efficiency in accordance with generally accepted techniques and inspection agency profession in compliance with the World Customs Organisation (WHO) and World Trade Organisation standards.VIP made the required payment for the consignment and the same arrived in Dar es Salaam in March 1998 on board MV RUAHA.It was at the time of discharge that the plaintiff noted that the rice was of poor quality and less quantity contrary to SGS (S.A) and SGS (Tanzania) reports on quality.
Upon noting the discrepancy in the quality, VIP requested the respondents to carry out post shipment inspection and survey of the rice for a dup purpose, including ascertain the difference in quality and quantity for establishing the exact extent of loss and work together to mitigate further loss.VIP sued the respondents, demanding, among others, specific damages suffered of 656,359.08 US dollars, general damages for consequential loss of profit and economic loss occasioned by the respondent’s negligence and or fraudulent breach of the duty of care at the rate of 2,000,000 US dollars per year.
Image: MS Benedicta Rugemalira, Executive Chairperson of VIP Engineering and Marketing Limited. (File photo)

Still no payment for rice farmers for last crop

Dear Editor,
 It is evident that in the face of the tremendous challenges ahead, and continuous protest from the rice farmers, the government needs to work for more national cohesion and national unity. On Friday, once again rice farmers on the Essequibo Coast took to the road in protest for paddy payment for the last crop. Hundreds of farmers and their families demanded that the government fulfil its promises and see that millers pay them urgently, as they cannot live on promises.The reality is that rough times are ahead; harvesting of the new Spring crop will begin within two weeks and the farmers are asking what has become of the millions of dollars which were loaned to the millers to pay them off some months ago. Many farmers who have grown rice their entire lives, find themselves in an unprecedented financial situation. Farmers know that politics is not the answer to their problem.
Over the years, there has been a general reluctance by millers to pay farmers promptly for their produce. Government has claimed that there is a large export market for farmers’ paddy and our rice, but the big question is, why are the farmers not being paid crop after crop, when they have delivered their paddy to the millers? Rice-farming in general employs nearly half of the Essequibo Coast’s total workforce and is an integral part of Guyana’s economy, culture and history.
Mismanagement of the rice industry has shaken confidence in rice farmers; the current problem of payment has had more consequences for the rice farmers than the millers. The problem faced by rice farmers has been compounded by the current government and millers’ ill-conceived prompt payment scheme, which has failed. Farmers are facing increasing hardship that began long before the increasing monopolies held by big millers who have set about miring farmers in a web of debt by not paying them.
The nightmare farmers now face is growing debt, while trying to cover daily expenses. They are clinging to the false hope offered by an incompetent Ministry of Agriculture and the Guyana Rice Development Board which have neither the intent nor the ability to oversee their payment. Their children will be pulled from school, medical expenses skipped, belts tightened around the dinner table and any possible investment to improve their lives abandoned.

Yours faithfully,

Mohamed Khan
Fermenting Rice For Biofuel & Feed Read more from Asian Scientist Magazine
Fermenting Rice For Biofuel & Feed Scientists have developed a method to process rice plants into both biofuel and animal fodder that does not require special equipment. Asian Scientist Newsroom | February 17, 2015 | Editorials AsianScientist (Feb. 17, 2015)
 - By Aamna Mohdin - A technology to create biofuel and animal feed at the same time without any off-site processing has been developed by Japanese researchers. The solid-state fermentation (SSF) system involves wrapping rice plants grown to feed livestock along with yeast, enzymes and bacteria into a bale covered with a plastic film, and capturing the ethanol produced by the resulting fermentation. This technology builds on traditional processes used by farmers around the world to create silage to feed livestock such as cattle, goats and sheep, according to a report published in the journal Biotechnology for Biofuels.
“Our SSF system does not require special equipment and large facilities,” says Mitsuo Horita, a researcher at the National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences who is the project’s lead researcher. “Harvested materials are immediately packed into a round bale in the field, which is similar to a conventional silo used for silage fermentation. No extra energy needs to be supplied to the system.” Horita says the system produces high yields of ethanol and silage, without any plant waste. By processing plants destined for animal feed, it also avoids competing with food crops, he says.
As a result, the technology could help address criticism of biofuels, which at present are mostly created from crops such as rice and maize. These first-generation biofuels have come under fire for driving up food prices as their production competes with the farming of crops to feed people. Conventional biofuel manufacture also requires energy for transport and to run industrial processing plants. But Jahi Chappell, director of agriculture policy at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, an NGO that promotes sustainable farming, says the SSF system may fail to solve the biofuels conundrum. “Competition that lowers food security could still happen if this process led to conversion of lands suitable for other agricultural activities into land used for biofuel and feed production,” he says.
According to Horita, the biggest challenge to implementing SSF on a larger scale is the cost of rolling out the technology. Researchers would have to present the advantages of using the system to farmers, who would also need access to power stations that can buy and use the resulting ethanol, he says. But Siwa Msangi, a researcher at the US-based International Food Policy Research Institute, says the technology is a welcome addition to global biofuel options, despite concerns about its shortcomings. “We shouldn’t stop seeking ways to make better biofuels as we will need to add them to the portfolio of renewable energy sources that are necessary to offset future climate change,” he says.

The article can be found at: Horita et al. (2015) On-farm Solid State Simultaneous Saccharification and Fermentation of Whole Crop Forage Rice in Wrapped Round Bale for Ethanol Production. ----- Source: SciDev.Net. Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff. Tags: Biofuel, Japan, National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, Renewable Energy, Rice Read more from Asian Scientist Magazine

Happy President's Day from Oryza!

Feb 16, 2015

Oryza editorial team is working limited hours this week and will be back in full force on Tuesday. Wishing you and your families a Happy President's Day!

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